More Inspiration

I’m not sure where I got this from, I’ve had it for a while, but obviously it is a compilation of some popular quotes taken from various writings by Dogen (Mountains and Waters Sutra, Rules on Zazen are two). Some people find Dogen hard to understand. I can relate. But even when we don’t grasp everything he says, we can always appreciate it as poetry:

Even in a drop of water innumerable Buddha fields appear.

You should know it as a fact that mountains are fond of wise people and sages.

It is not only that there is water in the world, but there is a world in water. It is not just in water. There is also a world of sentient beings in clouds. There is a world of sentient beings in the air. There is a world of sentient beings in fire. There is a world of sentient beings on earth. There is a world of sentient beings in the phenomenal world. There is a world of sentient beings in a blade of grass. There is a world of sentient beings in a staff. Wherever there is a world of sentient beings, there is a world of Buddha ancestors. You should thoroughly examine the meaning of this.

Mountains and waters at this moment are the manifestation of the ancient Buddha way. Each, resting in its phenomenal expression, realizes wholeness. Because mountains and waters have been active since before the beginning, they are alive at this moment. Because they have been the self since before form arose they are liberation-enlightenment.

A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.

Do not travel far to other dusty lands, forsaking your own sitting place; if you cannot find the truth where you are now, you will never find it.”

Handle even a single leaf of green in such a way that it manifests the body of the Buddha. This in turn allows the Buddha to manifest through the leaf.

Think only of today and this moment. Don’t spend your time looking forward tomorrow, because tomorrow in uncertain, demanding, and difficult to know.


2 thoughts on “More Inspiration

  1. I love the Mountain and Rivers Sutra. I’m not huge on Dogen (don’t dislike, just not always my cup of tea) but this sutra really, really speaks to me, yet I don’t think I’ve really penetrated much of it at all yet. It is one that I think I can (and will) spend years with.

    1. And that’s as it should be, the spending years with it part. Frankly, I don’t trust people who say they understand it all. Even the Dalai Lama is humble enough to admit there are things he hasn’t penetrated all the way.

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