Citations from Dogen Zenji's
Attaining the Marrow Through Reverence
and JUUNDOSHIKI (重雲堂式)
[Instructions for the Cloud Annex]
Mystical Realist, Selections and Commentary by Hee-Jin Kim
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DOGEN  repudiated, at least in principle, religious discrimination between the sexes. Regarding the question of whether zazen can be practiced by men and women in the secular life or only practiced by monks, Dogen answered: "The understanding of Dharma, as the ancestors taught, does not depend on differences in sex and in rank." His case for the equality of sexes was most eloquently stated in the following:
Some people, foolish to the extreme, think of a woman as nothing but the object of sensual pleasures, and see her in this way without ever correcting their view. A Buddhist should not do so. If a man detests a woman as a sexual object, she must detest him for the same reason. Both man and woman become object and thus equally become involved in defilement.
Dogen continues:
What charge is there against woman? What virtue is there in man? There are wicked men in the world; there are virtuous women in the world. The desire to hear Dharma and the search for enlightenment do not necessarily rely on the difference in sex.
Thus Dogen ridicules the Buddhist practice of "no admittance to women" (nyonin-kinzei) as laughable matter in Japan.
The rapid expansion of Dogen's Buddhism can be seen in the fact that an annex (juundo) soon had to be added to the monastics' hall in 1239. In commemoration of the event, Dogen wrote twenty-one instructions on life in the annex in his Kannon-dori Kosho-gokokuji juundoshiki, which begins with the statement: "Those who have believing minds and give up the desire for worldly fame and gain shall enter. Those who lack sincerity shall not join; entering mistakenly, they shall depart after due deliberation." And: "The congregation in the hall should be in harmony with one another just like milk and water, and endeavor to live by the Way." The book ends with this remark: "The foregoing instructions shall be the body and mind of the Buddhas and ancestors: revere and follow them."
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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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