A Dogen Story

FROM: “Shobogenzo”

“When I was staying at Tiantong-jingde-si, I came upon a monk named Lu from Qingyuan in front of the Buddha Hall. He was drying mushrooms in the sun. He had a bamboo stick in his hand and no hat covering his head. The heat of the sun was blazing. It looked very painful; his back was bent like a bow and his eyebrows were as white as the feathers of a crane.

I went up to him and asked, “How long have you been a monk?”

“Sixty-eight years,” he said.

“Why don’t you have an assistant do this for you?”

“Other people are not me.”

I was moved . . . I asked, “What is practice?” and was told, “Nothing in the entire universe is hidden.”

One thought on “A Dogen Story

  1. Funny, this old man may have been the catalyst for what I call “Dogen’s Koan.”

    Dogan was driven by a question: “If we are already Buddhas, then why practice?”

    This old man may have tipped the point for Dogen to proclaim his heretical notion on enlightenment.

    “Zazen (shiken taza) is enlightenment (attainment).”

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