Thursday, June 30, 2011

Study Hall - Shobogenzo

I was tempted just to put this sentence up yesterday: "Expressing with words and without words is like a wisteria vine entangled around a tree, herding a donkey and a horse, or penetrating water and cloud", but I feared it would be a little gnomic, even if I had added this from the end of the same fascicle ('King wants the Saindava', 'Osaku Sendaba'): "How terrible that the ancestral way is declining! Don't be negligent in your endeavor of the way. Receive and maintain the buddha ancestors' life vein".
Today, reading on to the first of the Eiheiji fascicles, 'Instructions on kitchen work', 'Ji Kuin Mon', some more accessible ideas to balance things out: "Regarding the method of serving meals to the community of monks, it is said [in the Guidelines for Zen Monasteries], 'Make respect the essence of this pure practice'".
Dogen goes on to detail the forms of language that should be used around kitchen practice - the honorific forms rather than informal phrases - and adds, "All the materials being prepared for the midday or morning meals should be referred to with respect in this way. Being disrespectful to materials causes disaster and brings forth no merit".

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