Thread: Zen Master Dogen

  1. #1

    Zen Master Dogen

    Here are some quotes by Zen Master Dogen (1200 -1253)

    11 Quotes By Zen Master Dogen

    1.“Students, when you want to say something, think about it three times before you say it. Speak only if your words will benefit yourselves and others. Do not speak if it brings no benefit.”

    2.“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”

    3.“Do not be concerned with the faults of other persons. Do not see others’ faults with a hateful mind. There is an old saying that if you stop seeing others’ faults, then naturally seniors and venerated and juniors are revered. Do not imitate others’ faults; just cultivate virtue. Buddha prohibited unwholesome actions, but did not tell us to hate those who practice unwholesome actions.”

    4.“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.”

    5.“When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine many things with a confused mind, you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. But when you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that there is nothing that has unchanging self.”

    6.“When you paint Spring, do not paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots, but just paint Spring. To paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots is to paint willows, plums, peaches, or apricots – it is not yet painting Spring.”

    7.“Students today should begrudge every moment of time. This dewlike life fades away; time speeds swiftly. In this short life of ours, avoid involvement in superfluous things and just study the Way.”

    8.“If he cannot stop the mind that seeks after fame and profit, he will spend his life without finding peace.”

    9.“Just practice good, do good for others, without thinking of making yourself known so that you may gain reward. Really bring benefit to others, gaining nothing for yourself. This is the primary requisite for breaking free of attachments to the Self.”

    10.“Because monks come from the midst of purity, they consider as good and pure what does not arouse desire among other people.”

    11.“A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself.”

    Any thoughts ?

  2. #2
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Buckingham, Virginia
    I just finished “Don’t Be A Jerk” by Brad Warner... It breaks down into detail much of what you covered here in a approachable manner. The other translations I have read we’re somewhat contradictory in places and hard to pin down. Dogen was and is a great Master but not always the easiest to follow for me at least.
    Of course, he was teaching about 650-700 years ago so maybe a few things have changed. Just not his core messages.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2018
    “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self....."

    “A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself.”

    Those two are really good. I feel that some of Dogen's ideas are more about religion than the practice, especially his fundamentalist beliefs on rebirth and reincarnation, and he can be a bit contradictory in his writings, but he is certainly one of the giants of Zen. The first quote above, combined with a few other things, is all one would need to practice Zen.

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