Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dogen On Teachers and Scriptures

While it is an axiom of Zen that "The Treasure Is Never Found Outside Ourself," it can be easy to forget. Here Dogen offers us a stark reminder about the foremost principle of Zen:
At the same time, whether people are following a good spiritual teacher or following the Scriptures, all such persons are following their True Self. The Scriptural texts are, naturally, the Scriptural texts of Self, and good spiritual teachers are, naturally, good spiritual teachers of Self. Thus, you should investigate through your training that thorough training means thoroughly training oneself, that studying the hundreds of things which sprout up like grass means studying oneself, that studying the myriad things that take root and branch out like trees means studying oneself, and that this self is, of necessity, synonymous with making such an effort. By exploring like this through your training, you drop off self and you promise enlightenment to yourself.
Shobogenzo, Jisho Zammai, Hubert Nearman

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