Thursday, August 12, 2010

Giving Rise to the Enlightened Mind

In an earlier post it was stated that "study with the mind" in Dogen's writings refers to the active, intentional aspect of practice-enlightenment that expressed by the body - study with the mind is an activity, while study with the body is an expression; the human body (its moment to moment physical activity) is an expression of the actual understanding of study with the mind. One thing this means, according to Dogen, is that enlightenment always begins with “study with mind.” It is important not to confuse “mind” with some abstract notion of Buddha mind, or universal mind, etc.; this mind is the thinking, discriminating mind of real, particular, individual human beings — your mind and mine. Thus Dogen writes:

"Chitta" is an Indian word which we call the discriminative mind. Without this discriminative mind we could not give rise to the enlightened Mind. I am not saying that this discriminative mind is the enlightened Mind; rather, we give rise to the enlightened Mind by means of the discriminative mind.
~Shobogenzo, Hotsu Bodai Shin, Hubert Nearman

Study with the body is to study with the mind as smiling is to happiness; happiness does not cause smiling, happiness is expressed as smiling. In the same way, study with the mind is expressed as study with the body. Also, just as genuine smiling (a true physical expression of happiness) can increase or expand genuine happiness, so too genuinely enlightened physical activity increases the practitioners enlightened wisdom.

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