COMMENTARY on DOGEN ZENJI'S
FUKAN ZAZENGI (普勧坐禅儀, Rules for Meditation)
CITATION from Impermanence is Buddha Nature (Chapter One)
by JOAN STAMBAUGH
Portrait: Gertrude Stein by Pablo Picasso, 1906
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 Our fundamental questions..are not "solved," but dissolved. The anecdote about Gertrude Stein on her deathbed is of some relevance here. She is supposed to have said something like: "What is the answer? Nobody has told me the answer. Well, if nobody has told me the answer, then what is the question?" It might have been even better if she has said, why the question?

Dogen, too, had his fundamental question [see Fukan Zazengi]: if we are all inherently possessed of the Buddha-nature, why the necessity to engage in strenuous practice? This question actually embraces all questions, including that of the identity of samsara and nirvana [delusion and enlightenment], although this might not be immediately evident. Had Dogen not been plagued with the question, he would never have gone to China, he would never have "discovered" his original enlightenment.

Thus, questions, even when they don't have answers, are crucial. In fact there are times when a question is the most appropriate way to express or "utter" the inexpressible.
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Comment on Gertrude Stein as Manjusri Bodhisattva,
from FACES OF COMPASSION
by Taigen Dan Leighton, (p.129-130):
 "[Like James Joyce] Gertrude Stein is another example of a writer deconstructing our usual sense of language in the interest of revealing deeper realities. She not only juggles normal grammar and syntax, but also plays with our sense of meaning and logic with frequent use of non sequitur. This is Manjusri's vital use of language itself to show us deeper realities beyond the reach of linguistic conventions. Stein attempted to show 'things as they are,' in some works virtually abandoning narrative. [...] Like Manjusri the teacher of Buddhas, sitting on the central altar of meditation halls, Stein's linguistic experimentation had considerable influence on the coterie of distinguished writers who gathered around her in her Paris salon."

(Zen Master) DOGEN ZENJI'S (道元禅師)
(Gender Inclusive) STUDIES OF THE WAY (學道) | (INDEX)
95-Fascicle SHOBOGENZO (正法眼蔵) & Other Writings