Some Teachings of Zen Master Dogen

Enlightenment Part 10

Tony Crisp

The Way is in essence perfect and pervades everywhere. How could its realization be dependent upon practices? The Dharma-vehicle does not need us to give it a push. Do I need to say that it is free from delusion? Who could believe that such a bright mirror needs their polishing? It is never separate from where you are, so why scramble around in search of it?

A quiet room is good for zazen. Eat and drink moderately, don’t tangle yourself in delusive relationships. Just leave such things to themselves. Don’t think about good or bad, right or wrong. Don’t give rise to the mind’s common concepts, the judging of thoughts and observations. Don’t sit to become Buddha because you can’t fabricate a Buddha with sitting or lying down.

What I call zazen is not developing concentration by stages and so on. It is simply the Buddha’s own easy and joyful practice, realized-practice within already manifest enlightenment. It is “things as they are” presenting itself. Traps and cages spring open. Grasping the heart of this, you are the dragon who has reached his waters, the tiger resting in his mountains. Understand that the true Dharma displays itself here and then dullness and mental wandering have no place to arise.

You might hear about ten thousand ways to practice but just be complete and sit.

If a bird or fish ever even tried to escape its own element it would be without its own place. Realizing your life as your life you realize the arising of things as they are. Realizing this, everything you do is actually done as the Way itself. There is no big or small, self or other, beginning, ending – and so this Way exists now.

The place is here, the Way everywhere.

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