Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Welcome! Here is a question...

Welcome to all!
I thought it might be interesting to hear ideas or insights that anyone may have about how Dogen viewed his own role in relation to the Zen Buddhist tradition.
Throughout his records Dogen uses the the terms "Zen," "Zen sect," "Zen ancestor," etc. Yet, he also consistently maintains that "Zen" is not a school or sect of Buddhism, but rather the authentic transmission of Buddhism itself. In some of his most passionate writings, Dogen even goes so far as to say that the term "Zen" is a corruption of "Zazen" created by "stupid people" that did not "know reality" (Shobogenzo, Bendowa), and that "If you use the name Zen School, you are not descendants of Buddha ancestors and also have poisonous views" (Eihei Koroku).
I have some of my own ideas, and I do not think that Dogen is contradicting himself, but I would be interested in hearing any thoughts or insights that others might have on this topic.
If this topic does not interest you, please feel free to write about any topic you would like to regarding Zen Buddhism, Dogen, or the Shobogenzo.


SlowZen said...

You are correct that Master Dogen was not contradicting himself. Often when he appeared to break precepts it was for the benefit of his students so they would not be distracted with other forms of practice. Buddhism is Buddhism. Buddhism is not Buddhism. No “sect” has the ultimate end all be all of the Buddha dharma. All of the practitioners with a will for the truth will eventually come to the same conclusions.


Ted Biringer said...

Dear Jordan,

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Thank God (or Buddha!) that, as you say, no "sect" has the ultimate end all be all of the Buddha dharma. They would surely try to keep it to themselves... Too bad though that almost every "sect" THINKS they have the ultimate.

Take care.

Gassho, Ted