Friday, December 22, 2006

Dogen Zenji in the style of William Blake

Using William Blake's "Marriage of Heaven and Hell" as a model...

Lore of Priestcraft

Priestcraft operates by exploiting Mans deepest fears and highest aspirations. The primary medium of this sorcery is Lore. Ever aware of its main objective, subjugating the lay society to the Priesthood, Priestly Lore’s foremost concern is instituting and maintaining a rigid caste system. Such Lore posits:

1. There are two kinds of Men: Buddhas and ordinary mortals.
2. Delusion is the state of ordinary mortals; Enlightenment is the state of Buddhas.
3. Delusion merges Man with old age, sickness, and death; Enlightenment separates Man from old age, sickness, and death.
4. Enlightenment is extremely difficult, complex, and mysterious.
5. Ordinary mortals are incapable of realizing Enlightenment without the intercession of the Priesthood.
6. True aspiration for Enlightenment is demonstrated by passive acceptance of authority, total submission, and unquestioning obedience.

Such views are inculcated in efforts to conceal these truths:

1. There is no distinction between Buddhas and ordinary mortals.
2. Ordinary mortals are Enlightenment and Buddhas are Delusion.
3. Delusion separates Man from old age, sickness, and death; Enlightenment merges Man with old age, sickness, and death.
4. Enlightenment is facile, simple, and completely lucid.
5. Ordinary mortals are only capable of realizing Enlightenment on their own.
6. True aspiration for Enlightenment is demonstrated by unflinching readiness to challenge and disregard all forms of authority, unyielding perseverance, and obstinate autonomy.

A Man that blindly submits his own unique existence to authority transforms the Blessing of Life into a Curse of Death; true Life demands Independent Activity and Creative Expression.
When sacrificed by stages and gates, Independent Activity and Creative Expression stagnate like still pools where larvae flourish; and the limitless potential of Life becomes an abundance of misery.

Dogen Zenji’s writings testify to this principle, where submission and obedience are called sect, or school, and the enemy of Buddha-Dharma. The usurper and enemy illumine the Carved Dragon, thereby concealing the True Dragon in darkness.

The illegitimate children of Dogen call the Carved Dragon the True Dragon, and call sitting meditation Enlightenment, and call suffering Buddhahood, and say that the Wisdom of Sages is Nothing Special.

Nevertheless, the True Dragon howls with laughter in the Withered Tree, for the worshippers of the Carved Dragon cannot discern True Words.

Although it appears that the True Dragon has been extinguished, the few have kept the sacred flame for the resurrection of Shobogenzo and the revelation of Ichchantika.

Samsara is Nirvana!

As revealed in the Vimalakirti Sutra when Buddha released the supernatural power that he had exercised with his toe and the world returned to its impure appearance so that Emptiness would have a field in which to play. Nirvana is Samsara. The Buddha is no other than he who rejoices in old age, sickness, and death.

Hyakujo may have lived 500 lives as a wild fox, but before he was born as a fox, and after the cremation ceremony he was Kasyapa Buddha.


Anonymous said...

It has never been the least bit clear to me why it is that there can be only one special position to sit in which reality may be experienced or why it is that it is necessary to wear special clothes or say special incantations or follow special rituals or any of a myriad other things.

Some or all of these things may be expedient but ultimately they are useless and without merit (pun intended).

SlowZen said...

welcome back!

I am guessing you saw my question on the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya.

Thank you for posting this.

If I were free from attachments I would have allready raided your library. Or would that be expressing an attachment to knowledge?

Be well and Happy!

Ted Biringer said...


I agree with you on this. Although traditional methods and techniques may be quite helpful (especially for beginners), they often lead people to confuse the finger for the moon.

The idea, for example, that simply sitting like a Buddha is all there is to being a Buddha, seems to be the functioning teaching in a number of "Zen Centers." Sad, really. No merit at all. Ha!


Ted Biringer said...


Ha! If we were absolutely free from attachments, I think we would die quickly. I read that Kuon Yamada Roshi used to say, "Manjusri cannot fly an airplane."

But so far, my favorite Zen Buddhist teaching about the role of attachment is Case 36 in the Blue Cliff Record:

One day Ch'ang Sha went wandering in the mountains. Upon returning, when he got to the gate, the head monk asked, "Where are you coming from, Master?"

Sha said, "From wandering in the mountains."

The head monk asked, "Where did you go?"

Sha said, "First I went pursuing the fragrant grasses; then I returned following the falling flowers."

The head monk said, "How very much like the sense of springtime."

Sha said, "It even surpasses the autumn dew dripping on the lotuses." Hsueh Tou added the remark, "Thanks for your reply."
(Translated by J.C. and Thomas Cleary)

I have to admit, I do love the quiet emptiness of "dew dripping on the lotuses," but it would be a pretty flavorless life without the masses in the forms of "springtime."

Good to hear from you.

Gassho, Ted