Varying Buddha Sculptures
GABYO 畫餅 (Painting of a Rice Cake)
commentary by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett, Abbess, Shasta Abbey
Dogen citations from the SHOBOGENZO translation
by Hubert Nearman, Shasta Abbey
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Dogen Zenji says:

Because all Buddhas are enlightened, all worldly beings are enlightened. Even so, Buddhas and worldly beings are not of one and the same nature or of one and the same frame of mind. Nevertheless, at the time when both manifest their enlightenment, the enlightenment of one does not inhibit the enlightenment of others. At the time when both manifest their enlightenment, they will manifest it without the two coming in contact with each other’s manifesting it. This is the forthright Teaching that is characteristic of our Ancestors. So do not hold up some measure of sameness or difference as the gauge of someone’s capacity to train.

Abbess Jiyu-Kennett comments:

Although we are all in enlightenment, each one of you is an individual. You do not dissolve and cease to be a separate entity. Here Dogen is reaffirming the principle that "all is One and all is different."

Dogen Zenji continues:

This is why it is said, “When we just barely comprehend what a single thing is, we comprehend what myriad things are.” What is spoken of here as ‘comprehending what a single thing is’ does not mean that we deny the appearance that some thing previously had, nor does it mean that we make one thing stand against another, nor does it mean that we treat some thing as absolute and unique. Treating some thing as absolute and unique is synonymous with treating it as an obstruction and then being obstructed by it.

Abbess Jiyu-Kennett comments:

We are the same in the Unborn, but we are long and short, bright and stupid. We have our own opinions, our own thoughts. Sometimes those opinions get in our way: sometimes they help us on our way. No one knows the twists and turns of another person's karma, therefore no one can be sure what the way is for another person. [...] Furthermore no one can force another into a mold, for all is different. And in the Buddha Nature all is One. Thus there are many, many pathways on the way to enlightenment, within the great way of the Buddhas and Ancestors.

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(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
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