The lifetime teaching of Dogen can be found in one phrase: Genjo koan, says Nishiari Bokusan, the late head of the Soto school. : Dogen’s Genjo Koan: Three Commentaries (): Eihei Dogen, Nishiari Bokusan, Shohaku Okamura, Shunryu Suzuki, Sojun Mel. When Eihei Dogen compiled Shobogenzo, his collection of essays, he put the Genjo Koan first. The Genjo Koan, written by Dogen for a lay person, is his.

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To be experienced by millions of things and phenomena is to let our own body and mind, and the body and mind of the external world, fall away. If the bird leaves the air kosn will die at once. Yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread. The secular world and the Buddhist world include a great many situations, but we can view them and understand them only as far as our eyes of Buddhist study allow.

When the Buddhas are indeed the Buddhas, there is no need to be self-conscious of being Buddhas; nevertheless it is realizing buddhahood—Buddhas go on realizing. But neither fish nor birds have been separated from the water or sky – from the very beginning.

Written in mid-autumn, the first year of Tempukuand given to my lay student Koshu Yo of Kyushu Island.

Written genji zen master Dogen Zenji translated by Prof.

Zen in daily life

Set up a giveaway. It is the same, for example, with winter and spring.

Share your thoughts with other customers. All things are like this. This is a Buddhist way of understanding—Buddhist way of practice. To study the buddha way is to study the self.

The place, the way, has not carried over from the past and it is gennjo merely arising now. Once the Teaching is properly conveyed in oneself, already one is the original human being.


We should understand that it is not only our distant surroundings that are like this, but even what is right here, even a single drop of water.

We want to attain enlightenment in realm of—both in realm of non-existent and existent.

The depth of the one will be the measure of the other’s height. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Do not suppose that what you realize becomes your knowledge and is grasped by your intellect. So if we want to know the way things naturally are, we should remember that the oceans and mountains have innumerably many characteristics besides the appearance of squareness or roundness, and we should remember that there are [other] worlds in [all] four directions.


Zen in Daily life / Genjo Koan

However, the ocean koaan not round, and its virtue is limitless. Eihei Dogen Zenji was born in Japan on January 19, Even though your practice is not perfect, that is enlightenment. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. In the sky, birds are life; and in the water, venjo are life.

Translated in Soto Approach to Zen by Prof. The commentaries are so precious and really give an impression of how one can manifest Genjokoan in an everyday life of a western practitioner.

That death does not become life is an established teaching of the Ggenjo therefore we say imperishable. If the bird leaves the air it will die at once. Text GenjoKoan When all things are Buddhism, delusion and enlightenment exist, training exists, life and death exist, Buddhas exist, all-beings exist.

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. To study Buddhism is to study the self. Each translation has been divided into the same 12 parts; links to the corresponding parts of the other translations are found to the right of each section.

That enlightenment does not shatter people is like the moon yenjo piercing the water. You see nothing as you gaze about you but a wide circle of sea. The monk prostrated himself. When their need is great, there is great activity. Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. The moment you begin seeking the Dharma, you move far from its environs. However, they are actualized buddhas, who go on actualizing buddha.


This being the case, not saying that life becomes death is an established custom in Buddhism—therefore it is called unborn. Accordingly, in the practice-enlightenment of the buddha way, to attain one thing is to penetrate one thing; to meet one practice is to sustain one practice.

When their need is small their field is small. This is an absolut must for all students of Dogen. This is the state in which the place exists and the way is realized, and this is why we cannot clearly recognize where [the place and the way] are—because such recognition and the perfect realization of Buddhism appear together and are experienced together. There is a slight difference between your usual activity and the activity in our monastery.

We must understand that firewood is at the stage of firewood, and there must—and there we find—there we find its before and after.

Suzuki-roshi 2nd talk. Zen Master Dogen’s Shobo Genzo. Life is a position of time, and death is a position of time.

If he turns back within himself, making all his daily deeds immediately and directly his own, the reason all things have no selfhood becomes clear to him. As all things are buddha-dharma, there are delusion, realization, practice, birth and death, buddhas and sentient beings. There may be other expressions that go even further. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things.