Seminary Stone Bench
Commentary on Dogen Zenji's MUJO SEPPO (無情説法),
All Beings Sing the Song of Dharma
citation from "Receiving the Marrow: Mujo Seppo" by Jisho Warner
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"In case we might like to think of ourselves as exemplary dharma* speakers and to feel broad-minded when we stretch our minds to include hummingbirds and hemlock trees, Dogen pushes the gate open all the way: insentient beings** are also speaking dharma, at all times, and in this speaking dharma by insentient beings, there are all buddhas, all ancestors. The insentient speak the full and complete dharma.[…]

"Huizhong [says]: 'Clearly, insentient beings always speak dharma. The speaking never stops.'

"This great declaration echoing down the centuries to us confirms that all beings are always speaking dharma, the insentient too. Master Huizhong reinforces this, or seals it, by saying that this speaking — even by the insentient — never stops. It is always happening. How can this be? As Dogen said in opening the essay, 'This speaking dharma is spoken by dharma [all things]. The dharma never stops and it is never static or passive, it is always speaking, always expressing itself. The speaking never stops. This is life as endless movement and exchange, giving and receiving life and meaning ceaslessly.'"

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Site Notes:
*dharma: like the Greek Logos or Word, both all creation and the teachings of the Way
**insentient beings: according to Dogen, including fences and walls, tiles and pebbles

(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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