Dogen Zenji's Waka Collection: #61-J (more waka with sounds)
COMMENTARY from "Buddha Nature" by SALLIE B. KING

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 THE FAMOUS CHAN MASTER Lin-ji (Lin-chi) developed a system for instruction in Chan called the four processes of liberation from subjectivity and objectivity. These are: take away the person but not the objective situation, take away the objective situation but not the person, take away both the person and the objective situation, and take away neither the person or the objective situation. In each of these, and indeed in this very approach, we see the same kind of playfulness we saw in Suzuki's treatment of variety and oneness; by playing so freely with the categories "person" and "objective situation" in this manner, we see the nonabsoluteness of each and the incorrectness of each as conceived from the perspective of subject-object nondualism.

Some illustrations of these four positions might be as follows. First, the "objective situation" approach can be seen in "when a frog becomes a frog, Zen becomes Zen." In the absoluteness of a frog As It Is, one finds Zen, or enlightenment, or Thusness. Second, teaching with reference to person only is well-illustrated in Lin-ji's famous challenge, "Show me the true man without rank!" Third, the use of blows and shouts to jolt the mind illustrates teaching with reference neither to person nor objective situation. Finally, the fourth approach, speaking of both person and objective situation, is demonstrated in a poem by Dogen:

To what might it be compared?
Dwelling in the dewdrop
Fallen from a waterfowl's beak,
The image of the moon. (*)

Here human being is portrayed with the image of the moon of enlightenment present in the phenomenal dewdrop. This fourth example conveys the mutuality of subject and object, of person and objective situation. We may say, however, that all four of these approaches are means of pointing at, and transcending, the error of the ordinary dualistic conception of subjectivity and objectivity.
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(*) as translated by T. P. Kasulis, ZEN ACTION, ZEN PERSON

(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
Related: Natural Sounds in Early Japanese Women's Poetry
Mallard (Hen), Hudson River: Photos:
Sounds: Mallards, Hen and Drake: