Monday, November 15, 2010

Study Hall - Shobogenzo

'Mountains and Waters Sutra', 'Sansuikyo', is an easy one to really get your teeth into. Turning our usual way of looking at things on its head, it dwells on the interconnection of phenomena and their essence without being as impenetrable as other fascicles. Dogen cautions: "When your understanding is shallow, you doubt the phrase Green mountains are always walking. When your learning is immature, you are shocked by the words 'flowing mountains'. Without fully understanding even the words 'flowing water', you drown in small vews and narrow understanding", just as in the Genjo Koan he says, with regard to how you see the ocean "you see and understand only what your eye of practice can reach". He even takes time to disparage some "bald-headed fellows" in China who prefer to throw up their hands and say that these statements are simply illogical. There are many exhortations to try harder: "Examine in detail the characteristics of the mountains' walking...Penetrate these words...Study and investigate this thoroughly...Pursue this beyond the limit of pursuit". He wants us to be free from conventional and limited views; being separate from mountains, or being separate from water is being separate from understanding.

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