SHUNJU 春秋 (Spring and Autumn)
Eihei Dogen: Mystical Realist, by HEE-JIN KIM, from
Chapter Five: The Way of Ritual and Morality
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TUNG-SHAN Liang Chieh (807-869) was asked by a monastic one day: "When cold or heat comes, how can I escape it?" "Why don't you go to a place where there is no cold or heat?" said the teacher. "What is it like in a place where there is neither cold nor heat?" asked the monastic. The teacher's answer was: "When it is cold, it makes you exceedingly cold, when it is hot, exceedingly hot." Dogen used this koan as a text for an exposition of his view on the four seasons, commenting as follows:
 "This cold or heat means total cold or total heat,
being cold or heat just as it is."
  "Cold or heat just as it is" was precisely the place where there existed no cold or heat. While living in cold, the enlightened person lived in cold in total freedom; while living in heat one lived in the same way. It was not an escape but a choice — the choice of duality, though not dualism, undefiled and free. Therefore the statement followed:
  "Where there is the body-mind cast off, there is an escape from cold and heat... You know the signs of this cold and heat, live in the seasons of cold and heat, and make use of cold and heat."
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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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