Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Study Hall

It's nice to have an hour of study built into the retreat schedule, especially as it does not clash with Tour de France watching time. Appositely, I have just bought Dogen's Genjo Koan, Three Commentaries from the bookstore, so aside from chanting Uji, I am getting another fix of Dogenthink.
Here are a few of the simpler paragraphs from Nishiari Bokusan's deep commentary. He is Suzuki Roshi's dharma grand-father in a manner of speaking, in that he taught Kishizawa Ian, with whom Suzuki Roshi studied extensively - Kishizawa is not in the transmission lineage that we chant, but we have his picture in the kaisando.
"Practice is not limited to one form. Sometimes we need to go onto high peaks; sometimes we need to go into the deep ocean. It's no use to say, 'Originally, there is no one thing,' or 'not obtainable,' jumping before your feet are settled. On the other hand it is foolish to be stuck under the ladder for a lifetime by being bound by cause and effect and not knowing how to get through it.
So in practice we need to go to that place, look back at this place, go to the absolute, look back at the relative and continue taking years and years to examine by asking, 'What? What?'
Now each of these pursuits in your practice will become integral to the self. There is no way to practice without the self. This is the guide post for practice in our school. this is the point...
Practice always requires two separate dharmas, which are subject and object. But as long as there are dualistic views of subject and object, that is not Buddha dharma. When the subject and object disappear and have no affairs to attend to, the self is the self and myriad dharmas are myriad dharmas, and nothing gets in the way. We need this today. Being free from subject and object, when we meet people, even hundreds and thousands of people, we have no hindrance and have freedom within the self. Whether we  meet people who are disturbing or attractive, it doesn't matter. When this is not practiced, it is difficult to enter the paths of various beings and save them."


Daigan said...

I am reading that book as well. It's was a great help when I was taking a Dogen class last year. To see three deep views into Genjo Koan side by side so you can dive deeper in really is quite a gift.


Shundo said...

Indeed so. See you soon.

clare said...

This book sounds great Shundo -- I will get a copy, too. In the passage you quoted, there is such a feeling of aliveness and ease of flowing that includes everything. Near the end of the passage, one of the lines reads "we need this today". And I needed this today. So thank you! And I'm glad you posted this passage before suspending the blog for the rest of the retreat!