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Commentary on Dogen Zenji's MUJO SEPPO (無情説法)
Insentient Beings Speak Dharma

citation from Dogen's TREASURY OF THE TRUE DHAMA EYE ed. by Kasuaki Tanahashi
Dongshan [responding to a monk] presented this poem [adapted here as waka]:

How splendid!
How Wondrous! Inconceivable!
Insentient beings
speak dharma — the ears never
hear it, but the eye can hear.
Dongshan asked, Who can hear insentient beings speak dharma?
Investigate this question in detail throughout your life, throughout many lives. The question also can work as a statement. This statement is the skin, flesh, bones and marrow. It is not merely transmitting mind with mind. This "transmitting mind with mind" is a common notion of beginning and advanced students. However the key to practice is taking up the robe and transmitting it, taking up dharma and transmitting it. How can people nowadays master this matter in three or four months?

Dongshan had heard about the words of Huizhong...Insentient beings speak dharma...All sages can hear it. But he inquired further...Who can hear hear insentient beings speak dharma? Is Dongshan agreeing or disagreeing with Huizhong, why did he speak this way?

Yunyan said Insentient beings hear insentient beings speak dharma. Transmit this blood vein and experience body and mind dropping away.

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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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