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Mark Foote

Post title:  is enlightenment obtained with the body, or the mind- part 2 (from Tao Bums)

(Jan 29 2010 at 01:36 PM)



Here are some lines from the Stanford project (at zazen shin), translating Dogen's words, and here Dogen continues the story about polishing a tile:

Daji said, "How can you produce a mirror by polishing a tile?"
Nanyue replied, "How can you make a buddha by sitting in meditation (zazen)?"
Daji asked, "Then, what is right?"
Nanyue replied, "When someone is driving a cart, if the cart doesn t go, should he beat the cart or beat the ox?"
Daji had no response.
Nanyue went on, "Are you studying seated meditation or are you studying seated buddha?"
"If you re studying seated meditation, meditation is not sitting or reclining."
"If you re studying seated buddha, buddha is no fixed mark."
"If you re studying seated buddha, this is killing buddha."
"If you grasp the mark of sitting, you re not reaching its principle."

In Dogen s Manuals of Zen Meditation, at least the first edition, Bielefeldt offered "if you re studying seated meditation, meditation is not sitting still", which I kind of prefer. I love Bielefeldt s book, because it makes clear that Dogen rewrote his zazen instructions many times, and borrowed much of his original content from a Chinese manuscript. Still amazing.

Of course Dogen got the famous bit about dropping mind and body from his teacher in China. Yet his description of shikantaza says "attained the way through their bodies". My understanding is that the necessity of breath and the necessity of the cranial-sacral respiration move consciousness to effect carriage and posture; to move the cart, is about the place of occurrence of consciousness. Place in the occurrence of consciousness creates an impact on the stretch already in existence in the body as consciousness takes place. The impact generates activity (not sitting still), and the activity generates ability to feel; the sound of water or the sight of blossoms is about an ability to feel, hence "attained the way through their bodies".

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