Kannon Bodhisattva
Dogen & Ecology
Bodaisatta Shishobo (菩提薩埵四摂法)
Commentary on DÔJI by Masanobu Takahashi from "The Essence of Dogen"
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"[W]hen the Shôbôgenzô was written, the language chosen was Japanese. In that period of Japanese history, Chinese was generally used for authoratative, academic, and ceremonial writing. [...] Dogen broke with this practice. He wrote [mostly] in Japanese....This was for the time for the time an unprecedented practice. Naturally individual attempts did not completely get rid of the Chinese influence. The Japanese texts retain a stiffness; sentences are brief, a characteristic of Chinese, and not sufficiently coherent.... But, since the general trend was for the Zen masters to write in Chinese, Dogen's challenge to tradition was singularly epoch-making. For the first time a Japanese wrote and explored foreign learning through the medium of their own language.

"Dogen's original insights into Buddhism were grounded in the essential fact of his being racially and culturally Japanese. Moreover the fact that Dogen's comprehensiveness never leaned toward imitation as some Japanese are prone to do, ought to be especially significant. This was due in essence to the fact that his comprehensiveness was firmly rooted in an amazing discretion. His original interpretation of dôji in the chapter Shishô-Bô of the Shôbôgenzô bespeaks this fact. Buddhism regards comprehensiveness as the most important component of Bosatsu (way of the Bodhisattva). This is stressed by the practice of doji.

Doji, according to its literal sense, means to "accommodate ourselves to the needs of others." This points, however, to a paradoxical 'way' to attain Buddhahood. Doji is one of the four essential practices demanded of us in the way of Bosatsu. A contradiction is implied here because if we accommodate ourselves completely to the things of others, we will be carried away by them. [...] "Dogen, percieving this dilemma put a new interpretation on dôji. He states that dôji means..."to acccomdate ourselves to the things of others at the same time as we accommodate ourselves to self. He insists that this dual accommodation expresses the truth of dôji. [...] This is exactly what Dogen aimed at by writing [the Shôbôgenzô] in Japanese. By way of summation, comprehensiveness should not result in the loss of individuality or originality."
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(Zen Master) DOGEN ZENJI'S (道元禅師)
(Gender Inclusive) STUDIES OF THE WAY (學道) | (INDEX)
95-Fascicle SHOBOGENZO (正法眼蔵) & Other Writings
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Kannon (Kuan-Yin) Bodhisattva