Gull Raising One Foot
Acting Out Buddha-Nature
CITATIONS from COMMENTARY on DOGEN ZENJI'S

BUSSHO 佛性 (Buddha-Nature)
from Eihei Dōgen: Mystical Realist, by Hee-Jin Kim
(Chapter Four: The Religion of Metaphysics & Buddha Nature)
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 EXPRESSION [to Dogen] was necessarily activity and activity was necessarily expression. An expression was not a theory or an abstraction, — but an activity to see, understand, and express Buddha-nature was tantamount to acting out Buddha-nature. Thus, we see the necessary connection between the Buddha-nature of expression and the Buddha-nature of activity. With the following statement, Dogen began his exposition on time and existence:

A Buddha said: "If you want to know the meaning of Buddha-nature, you should reflect upon temporal conditions (jisetsu no innen). If the time arrives, Buddha-nature will manifest itself." "If you want to know the meaning of Buddha-nature" is not solely a matter of knowing. You can also say, "If you want to practice it..." "If you want to realize it..." "If you want to elucidate it..." "If you want to forget it..." and so on.
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In light of this, Dogen's paradoxical statement...makes sense: 
"The truth of Buddha-nature is such that Buddha-nature is embodied not before but after becoming a Buddha (jobutsu). Buddha-nature and becoming a Buddha always occur simultaneously."

Being Buddha and becoming Buddha (i.e. original enlightenment and acquired enlightenment) although distinct, occurred simultaneously. To the extent that we took risks when we chose to act, Buddha-nature became visible, audible, and tangible. Until this happened, Buddha-nature could not be said to exist or subsist in such forms as potentialities, innate ideas, and eidetic forms.
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(Zen Master) DOGEN ZENJI'S (道元禅師)
(Gender Inclusive) STUDIES OF THE WAY (學道) | (INDEX)
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