The Wholehearted Way Quotes
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The Wholehearted Way Quotes Showing 1-3 of 3
“This is the Way of Dōgen Zenji. For him, the Way is not simply one direction from starting point to goal; rather, the Way is like a circle. We arouse bodhi mind moment by moment, we practice moment by moment, we become fully aware moment by moment, and we are in nirvana moment by moment. And we continue to do it ceaselessly. Our practice is perfect in each moment and yet we have a direction toward buddha. It is difficult to grasp with the intellect, but that is the Way that Dōgen Zenji refers to in Bendōwa. So our practice is not a kind of training for the sake of making an ignorant person smart, clever, and finally enlightened. Each action, each moment of sitting, is arousing bodhi mind, practice, awakening, and nirvana. Each moment is perfect, and yet within this perfect moment we have a direction, the bodhisattva vows. "However innumerable all beings are, I vow to save them all. However inexhaustible my delusions are, I vow to extinguish them all. However immeasurable the dharma teachings are, I vow to master them all. However endless the Buddha's way is, I vow to follow it." These four bodhisattva vows are our direction within our moment-by-moment practice. And yet each moment is perfect. Since our delusion is inexhaustible, at no time can we eliminate all our delusions. Still we try to do it moment by moment. This trying is itself the manifestation of the buddha way, buddha's enlightenment. But even though we try as hard as possible to do it, we cannot be perfect. So we should repent. And repentance becomes energy to go further, to practice further in the direction of buddha. That is the basis of bodhisattva practice. Our practice is endless. Enlightenment is beginningless.”
“I have given a brief explanation of the various meanings of dharma according to the Abhidharma, but what I want to say next is much more important. In Mahayana Buddhism, and especially in Dōgen Zenji's teachings, the meaning of dharma has more depth. According to the concepts we accept, we think that everything exists as objects outside the self. For example, we usually think that all phenomenal things that appear before our eyes, or this twentieth-century human society, have existence outside our individual self. We believe that when we are born we appear on this world's stage, and when we die we leave that stage. All of us think this way. But the truth is that this common-sense concept is questionable. Mahayana Buddhism began from a reexamination of this common-sense attitude. I'll give you one of my favorite examples. I am looking at this cup now. You are also looking at the same cup. We think that we are looking at the very same cup, but this is not true. I am looking at it from my angle, with my eyesight, in the lighting that occurs where I am sitting, and with my own feelings or emotions. Furthermore, the angle, my feeling, and everything else is changing from moment to moment. This cup I am looking at now is not the same one that I will be looking at in the next moment. Each of you is also looking at it from your own angle, with your eyesight, with your own feelings, and these also are constantly changing. This is the way actual life experience is. However, if we use our common-sense way of thinking, we think we are looking at the very same cup. This is an abstraction and not the reality of life. Abstract concepts and living reality are entirely different. The Buddhist view is completely different from our ordinary thinking. Western philosophy's way of thinking is also based on abstractions. It assumes that all of us are seeing the same cup. Greek philosophers went further and further in their abstractions until they came up with the concept of the idea that cannot be seen or felt. One example is Venus, the goddess of beauty. In the real world, no woman is as well-proportioned as Venus, or embodies perfect beauty as she does. Yet the Greeks idealized beauty and created a statue of Venus, just as they had thought of the "idea" of a circle that is abstracted from something round. In other words, the Greek way of thinking is abstraction to the highest degree. Buddhism is different. Buddhism puts emphasis on life, the actual life experience of the reality of the self.”
“Clarifying the Way" means that we determine the point we should aim at throughout our lives, based on the self that is only the self and life that is only life. This is the sole great matter, and this is what "completing the sole great matter of one's life" means. True practice begins at this point.”