Dogen Zen and Vinegar

A couple days ago at work I was cleaning the coffee maker in my office by running vinegar through it. After the first person came in and said, "Wow, that smell brings me back. I'm in my grandmother's kitchen in Louisiana in 1960 and she's cooking greens," I began to ask each passing guest what they were reminded of by the smell.One person said, "I'm thinking of my dad on a hot summer day while we were growing up. He always used vinegar to treat sunburn."Another said, "Smells like taking … [Read more...]

What is Enlightenment and What does It Matter Anyway?

"When perceiving one side, the other side is concealed."So says old Dogen in his Genjokoan (translated variously but by Heine's work cited below as Spontaneous Realization of Zen Enlightenment).This little gem is quite a fulcrum for understanding dharma practice and making it real or as Dogen puts it in "Bendowa,""The endeavor to negotiate the way as I teach now, consists in discerning all things in view of enlightenment, putting a unitive awareness into practice in the midst of the … [Read more...]


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