Stone Buddha
Citation from DOGEN ZENJI'S
DOTOKU (道得 Expressing What One Has Realized)
translated by Hubert Nearman, Shasta Abbey
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[In regard to "expressing what one has realized,"] Great Master Joshu Shinsai, in instructing his assembly, once said, "If you were to spend your whole life not leaving the monastery, sitting as still as a mountain and not saying a word for five or ten years, no one would call you a mute, and later on, not even the Buddhas would be your equal!" Accordingly, when you reside in a monastery for five or ten years as the frosts of winter and the flowers of summer, time and again, pass you by, and when you esteem doing your utmost to practice the Way whilst spending your whole life without leaving the monastery even once, then your sitting as still as a mountain, which severs the roots of your dualistic thinking, will, before long, be an expression of your realization. Your walking, sitting, and reclining whilst not leaving the monastery will be instances of no one calling you a mute. Even though we do not know what our whole life will be like, if we make our lifetime one of not physically leaving the monastery, this will be our way of 'not leaving the monastery'. And what path through the trackless sky could one traverse in order to go beyond such terms as 'our whole life' and 'a monastery'? So, simply strive to sit as still as a mountain, and do not speak of 'not expressing It through words.' 'Not expressing It through words' is a way of expressing It that is correct from beginning to end.
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 Translator's Note: Throughout this text, the word ‘monastery’ can be understood literally as referring to the physical place where trainees come in order to train together and figuratively as one’s place of training, which is wherever one does the practice. In the present context, the Zen Buddhist term ‘akan’, translated here as ‘a mute’, refers to a thoroughly inexperienced trainee who is unable to say even a word in response to a Master’s question.

(Zen Master) DOGEN ZENJI'S (道元禅師)
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