Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Study Hall - Extensive Record

Keeping things interlinked, in one of the dinner conversations I had last week, the other person expressed an interest in Dogen's poetry. She declined to take a copy of Dogen's Extensive Record, even though the last two volumes comprise over a hundred pages of poetry, on the entirely understandable grounds that it was too big, and was happier to go with a slim volume that contained just poems.
This nevertheless prompted me to open again my copy of the Extensive Record, and it happened that the page I opened to resonated with the conversation we had been having:
"The great way originally has no names or words. Recognizing this principle, still we are compelled to call it the great way. Buddhas and ancestors appear one after another. The wooden man and the iron bull follow on each other's heels, ascending and descending. However, they leave no traces to appear before us. But assuredly [the great way] does not depart from this very place, but is always deep and calm. We should know that when we seek we cannot see it.
A long time ago, a monk asked Zen Master Guizong [Zhichang], 'What is the way?'
Guizong answered, 'You are it.'
Also a monk asked Mazu [Guizong's teacher], 'What is the way?'
Mazu said, 'Ordinary mind is the way.'
Also there was a monk who asked an [unknown] ancient worthy, 'What is the way?'
The person said, 'What you have been going through is it.'
Are these three venerable masters' sayings ultimately the same or different? If you say they are the same, ten are just five pairs. If you say they are different, eight ounces are half a pound. Ha!" (Volume 8, 2).


Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

Shundo said...

It's always my pleasure