citation from Dogen Zenji's|
(Admonitions for Zazen)
Flowers of Emptiness, trans. by Hee-Jin Kim
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CH'AN (ZEN) Teacher Chiang-si Ta-chi formerly studied under Ch'an
Teacher Nan-yueh Ta-hui. After recieving the seal of the mind
personally, he daily engaged in zazen. Once Nan-yueh visited Ta-Chi,
asking: Your Reverend, what do you seek by doing zazen?
We must quietly consider and investigate this question. Does it mean
that there is "seeking" beyond zazen? Does it mean that there is still
a way to "seek" outside of zazen? Does it mean that one should not
"seek" at all? Furthermore, is it asking what sort of "seeking" is
realized in doing zazen at this very moment? These must be
considered in detail.
From loving an engraved dragon (*), we should proceed to loving
a real one; we must learn that both the engraved and the real
dragons have the ability to bring about clouds and rains.
Neither esteem nor despise what is distant: rather become
proficient in what is distant. Neither despise nor esteem what
is near: rather become proficient in what is near.
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(*) Translator's note:
This alludes to the following source: Yeh-kung Tsu-Kao of the state of Ch'u
(Spring and Autumn period, 722-481 B.C.E.) was a connoisseur and collector
of paintings and sculptures of dragons. When a real dragon from heaven,
inspired by these works of art, one day visited his house, Yeh-kung fainted.
The story is usually construed as demonstrating the uselessness of painted
or engraved dragons. But Dogen appropriates it quite differently, as the
succeeding sentence [above] indicates. [...] The engraved and real
dragons refer to
the form and content of zazen respectively.