Scopes Trial Courthouse - Dayton, TN.jpg

Dogen

Dogen’s "Practice-Realization" and St. Paul’s "By Grace – Not Works"

The idea that enlightenment or salvation is always already the case and freely available was taught by both Eihei Dogen, 13th century Japanese Zen teacher and founder of the Soto School of Zen Buddhism and by St. Paul, 1st century Jewish teacher and “founder” of Christianity. Dogen’s short-hand term for effortless enlightenment or salvation is “practice-realization;” St. Paul’s phrase is “by grace are ye saved.”

Here are two relevant texts, Dogen’s “Fukanzazengi” (Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen) and an excerpt from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Paul’s first:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

Dogen’s is a bit longer. You can download the Fukanzazengi by clicking here.

FUKANZAZENGI

Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen

The Way is originally perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingent on practice and realization? The true vehicle is self-sufficient. What need is there for special effort? Indeed, the whole body is free from dust. Who could believe in a means to brush it clean? It is never apart from this very place; what is the use of traveling around to practice’ And yet, if there is a hairsbreadth deviation, it is like the gap between heaven and earth. If the least like or dislike arises, the mind is lost in confusion. Suppose you are confident in your understanding and rich in enlightenment, gaining the wisdom that knows at a glance, attaining the Way and clarifying the mind, arousing an aspiration to reach for the heavens. You are playing in the entranceway, but you still are short of the vital path of emancipation.

Consider the Buddha: although he was wise at birth, the traces of his six years of upright sitting can yet be seen. As for Bodhidharma, although he had received the mind-seal, his nine years of facing a wall is celebrated still. If even the ancient sages were like this, how can we today dispense with wholehearted practice?

Therefore, put aside the intellectual practice of investigating words and chasing phrases, and learn to take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will manifest. If you want such a thing, get to work on such a thing immediately.

For practicing Zen, a quiet room is suitable. Eat and drink moderately. Put aside all involvements and suspend all affairs. Do not think ‘/good” or “bad.” Do not judge true or false. Give up the operations of mind, intellect, and consciousness; stop measuring with thoughts, ideas, and views. Have no designs on becoming a Buddha. How could that be limited to sitting or lying down?

At your sitting place, spread out a thick mat and put a cushion on it. Sit either in the full-lotus or half-lotus position. In the full-lotus position, first place your right foot on your left thigh, then your left foot on your right thigh. In the half-lotus, simply place your left foot on your right thigh. Tie your robes loosely and arrange them neatly. Then place your right hand on your left leg and your left hand on your right palm, thumb-tips lightly touching. Straighten your body and sit upright, leaning neither left nor right, neither forward nor backward. Align your ears with your shoulders and your nose with your navel. Rest the tip of your tongue against the front of the roof of your mouth, with teeth and lips together both shut. Always keep your eyes open, and breathe softly through your nose.

Once you have adjusted your posture, take a breath and exhale fully, rock your body right and left, and settle into steady, immovable sitting. Think of not thinking. Not thinking-what kind of thinking is that? Nonthinking. This is the essential art of zazen.

The zazen I speak of is not meditation practice. It is simply the Dharma gate of joyful ease, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment. It is the Road realized, traps and snares can never reach it. If you grasp the point, you are like a dragon gaining the water, like a tiger taking to the mountains. For you must know that the true Dharma appears of itself, so that from the start dullness and distraction are struck aside.

When you arise from sitting, move slowly and quietly, calmly and deliberately. Do not rise suddenly or abruptly. In surveying the past, we find that transcendence of both mundane and sacred, and dying while either sitting or standing, have all depended entirely on the power of zazen. ~

In addition, triggering awakening with a finger, a banner, a needle, or a mallet, and effecting realization with a whisk, a fist, a staff, or a shout- these cannot be understood by discriminative thinking, much less can they be known through the practice of supernatural power. They must represent conduct beyond seeing and hearing. Are they not a standard prior to knowledge and views?

This being the case, intelligence or lack of it is not an issue; make no distinction between the dull and the sharp-witted. If you concentrate your effort single-mindedly, that in itself is wholeheartedly engaging the way. Practice-realization is naturally undefiled. Going forward is, after all, an everyday affair.

In general, in our world and others, in both India and China, all equally hold the buddha-seal. While each lineage expresses its own style, they are all simply devoted to sitting, totally blocked in resolute stability. Although they say that there are ten thousand distinctions and a thousand variations, they just wholeheartedly engage the way in zazen. Why leave behind the seat in your own home to wander in vain through the dusty realms of other lands? If you make one misstep you stumble past what is directly in front of you.

You have gained the pivotal opportunity of human form. Do not pass your days and nights in vain. You are taking care of the essential activity of the Buddha way. Who would take wasteful delight in the spark from a flint stone? Besides, form and substance are like the dew on the grass, the fortunes of life like a dart of lightning emptied in an instant, vanished in a flash.

Please, honored followers of Zen, long accustomed to groping for the elephant, do not doubt the true dragon. Devote your energies to the way that points directly to the real thing. Revere the one who has gone beyond learning and is free from effort. Accord with the enlightenment of all the Buddhas; succeed to the samadhi of all the ancestors. Continue to live in such a way, and you will be such a person. The treasure store will open of itself, and you may enjoy it freely.

Share
Calendar
October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
Archives
Politics, Culture, Philosophy
  • Rachel Maddow
  • Frank Schaeffer
  • Roberto Ruiz

Friday's Mini-Report, 10.20.17Today's edition of quick hits. [...]

Donald Trump vs. Generals: A brief historySince the White House argued today it's "highly inappropriate" to question a four-sta [...]

Confronted with evidence, White House won't acknowledge falsehoodWhite House Chief of Staff John Kelly told a powerful story yesterday, which was discredited today. [...]

Trump raises new questions with outreach to US Attorney nomineesIn his eight years in office, Barack Obama never met with a prospective federal prosecutor. Donald T [...]

Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 10.20.17Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country. [...]

As uninsured rate starts to climb, Trump won't avoid blameDonald Trump thinks he can avoid blame for making the health care system worse on purpose. That [...]

Haley contradicts Trump on Russian election interference (again)It sometimes seems as if Nikki Haley, Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, works in an ent [...]

On opioids, Trump World's plans have become 'such a mess'Donald Trump vowed an official declaration on an opioid emergency by next week. White House aides ha [...]

Unwilling to move on, Trump takes aim at 'wacky' House DemocratIf Donald Trump could try to stop politicizing fights over fallen American soldiers, it'd be a [...]

With the GOP tax plan looming, the Senate budget vote mattersWhy should you care about the Senate approving a budget bill? Because of what happens next. [...]

We got to discuss the religious right and the hypocrisy of the pro-life movement, the toxicity of th [...]

Yes. Here’s why I think most Americans would approve if General Kelly punched Trump in the mouth for [...]

Trump was received as the Messiah by screaming clapping white evangelical right-wingers. They see Tr [...]

Misogynist pathology infects America Left and Right. Trump to Bill Clinton to Weinstein treat women [...]

Help Jenny Marshall defeat Virginia Foxx and Take Back the House in 2018! TAKING BACK THE HOUSE IN 2 [...]

I ask myself these questions silently and inwardly: How may I atone for helping to poison America wi [...]

Wearing a white cowboy hat and leather vest at a rally, Roy Moore repeated the conservative Christia [...]

Where are we going?!? Pre-order my new book, “Letter to Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption in [...]

Pre-order my new book, “Letter to Lucy: A Manifesto of Creative Redemption in the Age of Trump, Fasc [...]

How to understand the Roy Moore “win”? While Rousas Rushdoony and my dad Francis Schaeffer, are virt [...]

James Baldwin Debates William F. BuckleyJames Baldwin, the great essayist, poet, civil rights activist, writer and orator, would have turned [...]

Genius of the Ancient World - SocratesFew figures have been more important and influential in the history of civilization than the ancient [...]

The PresocraticsAnyone who's ever contemplated Raphael's celebrated painting The School of Athens knows th [...]

President Obama's Farewell AddressAs his presidency sadly comes to an end, President Obama delivered last night what is sure to become [...]

John Berger - Ways of SeeingArt critic John Berger's recent death has left a huge void in the world of art appreciation. Wh [...]

Some Thoughts and Feelings on the Aftermath of the ElectionWhen I saw that anger, hate and bigotry were going to win two nights ago, I had to unplug for a whil [...]

The Philosophy of Marvel's DaredevilEveryone is familiar with the most obvious tropes of superhero comics: exciting action sequences, sk [...]

How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump, and the Democratic Party went from White Supremacy to ObamaWhen accused of promoting racist beliefs of policies, Republicans usually argue that it was their pa [...]

Simon Blackburn - Plato's RepublicThe term Utopia wasn't invented until 1516, when Thomas More published his now classic renditio [...]

Introduction to Symbolic & Philosophical LogicAlthough almost every activity human beings engage in requires some degree of reasoning, we're [...]

Right Living, Thinking, Etc
  • Two Truths News
  • Natural Living-Healthy Planet

Lama Willa Miller offers five meditations to help accept the truth of climate change, laying the gro [...]

The teachers are asked if it is every okay to distance yourself from manipulative and harmful people [...]

Andrea Miller interviews psychiatrist and author Robert Jay Lifton, who studies the worst in human n [...]

Lama Willa Miller offers nine pieces of advice for women who find themselves in secret relationships [...]

Lama Willa Miller offers suggestions on how to support a survivor of sexual misconduct by a Buddhist [...]

Shamatha meditation is the foundation of Buddhist practice. Lama Rod Owens teaches us a version from [...]

There are two ways to understand dependent origination, teaches Ajahn Buddhadasa. But only one leads [...]

To victims of sexual misconduct, writes Buddhadharma editor Tynette Deveaux, "we stand with you [...]

Mingyur Rinpoche explains Vajrayana ethics, how to find a genuine teacher, and what to do if a teach [...]

Saunders' novel is based on the idea of bardo, the Tibetan Buddhist concept of a state between [...]

(Natural News) To anyone who doesn’t frequently engage in exercise, just mentioning the word brings [...]

(Natural News) The obesity-related diabetes disaster continues unabated in the United Kingdom, trigg [...]

(Natural News) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appears to be slowly but surely losing [...]

(Natural News) One of the most common excuses I hear when it comes fitness is that people claim they [...]

(Natural News) Liberal leftists think that wealth must be confiscated at gunpoint and STOLEN from we [...]

(Natural News) As promised, the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center is rolling out a new format that [...]

(Natural News) The scientific modification of plants and animals – and even humans – is often justif [...]

(Natural News) The prospect of humans one day visiting another planet has never seemed more possible [...]

(Natural News) Although one-third of older Americans take prescription sleep medication, the majorit [...]

(Natural News) Listening to songs has been proven to affect the way we feel. A new study discovered [...]

Science News
  • The Universe Today
  • Perimeter Institute
  • Science Daily
  • Sky and Telescope

According to a new analysis, the number of undiscovered and potentially-hazardous asteroids could be [...]

A recent study from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) has produced a new 3-D mo [...]

5 years after a heart throbbing Martian touchdown, Curiosity is climbing Vera Rubin Ridge in search [...]

A team of astronomers from the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory has confi [...]

Bigelow Aerospace and United Launch Alliance announced on Tuesday that they’ll be sending their own [...]

One of the many interesting finds made by the Cassini orbiter before it crashed into Saturn was evid [...]

A new study by a team from the University of Michigan has shown how Planet 9 could have prevented TN [...]

A new study by JAXA and international scientists has confirmed the existence of a stable lava tube i [...]

A new study by a team of European scientists has shown how metal-eating bacteria could have left the [...]

Hosts: Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain) Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter) [...]

New faculty to advance quantum matter researchMonday Oct 02, 2017 The research pursued by three new [...]

Quantum information pioneer Raymond Laflamme takes on new ChairWednesday Sep 20, 2017 Former IQC Dir [...]

Physics with a side of summer friendshipsThursday Aug 03, 2017 High-schoolers from across the globe [...]

EinsteinPlus: Come for the fun. Stay for the physics.Monday Jul 17, 2017 How Perimeter Institute’s a [...]

Perimeter voted among top Canadian workplacesThursday Jun 22, 2017 The inaugural Employee Recommende [...]

PSI celebrates another adventure in research and discoveryFriday Jun 16, 2017 Eighth class of Perime [...]

A new generation of NoethersTuesday May 30, 2017 Four talented physicists have been recruited as the [...]

Inside the Perimeter Magazine: Spring/Summer 2017Thursday May 25, 2017 For more than 150 years, Cana [...]

Raymond Laflamme wins CAP-CRM PrizeMonday Apr 24, 2017 IQC Executive Director's work in quantum [...]

Myers Named Among World's Most Influential Scientists for Third Straight YearWednesday Feb 22, [...]

Life goes on for marine ecosystems after cataclysmic mass extinctionOne of the largest global mass extinctions did not fundamentally change marine ecosystems, scientist [...]

NASA's MAVEN mission finds Mars has a twisted magnetic tailMars has an invisible magnetic 'tail' that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, [...]

New NASA study improves search for habitable worldsNew NASA research is helping to refine our understanding of candidate planets beyond our solar syste [...]

Climate shifts shorten marine food chain off CaliforniaEnvironmental disturbances such as El Niño shake up the marine food web off Southern California, new [...]

Field trips of the future?A biologist examines the benefits and drawbacks of virtual and augmented reality in teaching environ [...]

DNA damage found in veterans with Gulf War illnessResearchers say they have found the 'first direct biological evidence' of damage in vetera [...]

New tyrannosaur fossil is most complete found in Southwestern USA fossilized skeleton of a tyrannosaur discovered in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National [...]

Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' pastResearchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representin [...]

Evolution in your back garden: Great tits may be adapting their beaks to birdfeedersA British enthusiasm for feeding birds may have caused UK great tits to have evolved longer beaks th [...]

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for fluIn 2013, an influenza virus began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of hum [...]

Download the Celestial Harvest Showpiece Roster, a handy list of 300 of the best deep-sky objects to [...]

Look northeast in the starry sky these evenings. Capella shines low and brightest. Upper right of Ca [...]

The post NGC 7000 IC 5070 appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post North América and Pelican nébulas appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

A professional observatory in Greece has begun recording flashes created when bits of interplanetary [...]

See what cosmic dust can do! Head outside this weekend for the peak of the Orionid meteor shower and [...]

The post Milky Way over La Palma-Spain appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post NGC700 & IC 5067 appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Comet Asassn Passes into Camelopardalis appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Messier 45 – Pleiades appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]