To study the buddha way...

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To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.

To study the buddha way is to study the self.

You may think that Buddhism is some object of study out there — pages in a book, sutras... Studying the Buddha way is not, Dogen tells us, to study the sutras or teachings.

It’s OK to study the sutras for sure. And the teachings of our teachers. (That’s what we’re doing here – studying Dogen Zenji’s koan!)

Dogen is telling you to study your life—that that’s what studying the Buddha way is!

Is there is difference between "study your self" and "study yourself"?

Dogen urges us to study our most immediate experience of things—what’s in front of us. The self.

To study who is studying.

It’s not about studying some object out there. The object out there and the thing inside are parts of the same thing.

Translating Dogen

To study the buddha way is to study the self.  

We in the west bring many associations to the word study. Isn’t this what we did in school? Reading and writing and analyzing?

Here are some options. How do they affect your understanding of Dogen’s teaching?

"To come to understand the Way is to come to understand the self."  Robert Aitken
“The word narau, or study, is more like to repeat something over and over and over. We could also say to learn, but not necessarily to learn something new. Perhaps an even better word would be practice. To practice the Buddha Way is to practice oneself, or just live life. This seemingly repetitive process is nothing but one’s own life. …the words learn or study are not quite sufficient. They do not convey this sense of over and over and over.”  Taizan Maezumi

To study the Buddha way is study the self

You may have noticed that I’ve used “the Buddha way” and “Buddhism” interchangeably. Based on what you’ve been reading and contemplating, how does Dogen’s meaning change for you when the Buddha way becomes Buddhism?

What is your self? Spend some time studying what the self is.

How would you go about studying of the self?

Where does your self begin? Where does is end?

Is it permanent? Is it changing? Is is an it?