On Dogen Zenji's DAIGO 大悟 Great Realization
(Commentary) from "Receiving the Marrow"
(Teachings on Dogen by Soto Zen Women Priests)
Chapter by Byakuren Judith Ragir
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One of Zen's traditional images is the Bodhisattva covered in mud. Because the enlightened person has to and does live in the world of form and samsara, we cannot help but be covered in mud. From a non-dualistic point of view mud and cleanliness (purity) interact and are different sides of the moment. A misunderstanding of Zen practice is to aspire to live in the pristine, transcendent world of enlightenment that is separate from delusion. The teaching of Daigo is the counterpoint to that misunderstanding. In Zen reality we wade into the swampland and we are unafraid of the entangled briars of life. We are able to do this playfully, because at each moment we open up and see the moment as an expression of universal play without moving a speck of dust or destroying a single form.* This means that the form world remains complete, "as it is," even though our perception of it has been transformed. Through this process of pivotal awareness we are able to be clear. We can serve others with a clarity and understanding of life that can actually help. We are not holding on to the three positions that come out of the idea of a separate self. We are lighthearted, supported by boundless openness, while we play in the mud of samsara.
Dogen admonishes us to contemplate: Do we rely upon realization or not? We must investigate these words quietly; we should replace our heart with them and replace our brain with them.** Do we source our life from realization or not?
* Eihei Dogen: Jijuyu Zanmai, Self-Fulfillment Samadhi
** Okumura, Daigo, unpublished
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(Zen Master) DOGEN ZENJI'S (道元禅師)
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