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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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zoe light

Soto Zen founder Dogen Zenji on self-actualization

In today's Nondual Highlights, Gloria Lee posted the following excellent excerpt from the great 13th-century Zen master Dogen Zenji:
When buddhas are truly buddhas they do not necessarily notice that they are buddhas. However, they are actualized buddhas, who go on actualizing buddhas.

When you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you grasp things directly. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illuminated the other side is dark.

To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no trace continues endlessly.

When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs. But dharma is already correctly transmitted; you are immediately your original self.

--from Genjo Koan: Actualizing the Fundamental Point, by Dogen Zenji
If this quote interests you, you might like reading this short biography of Dogen Zenji by The Wanderling. From that bio, the following comments by Dogen Zenji regarding his own enlightenment experience are a good read:
Mind and body dropped off; dropped off mind and body! This state should be experienced by everyone; it is like piling fruit into a basket without a bottom, like pouring water into a bowl with a pierced hole; however much you may pile or pour you cannot fill it up. When this is realized the pail bottom is broken through. But while there is still a trace of conceptualism which makes you say 'I have this understanding' or 'I have that realization', you are still playing with unrealities.
(x-posted to nonduality)

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kumaraka October 11th, 2005
Who is the little girl in the icon?

Did you ever end up reading anything by Eckhard Tollen? I remember mentioning him to you about three years ago.

iamom October 11th, 2005
That little girl is my daughter Zoë. She's three and a half now, but that pic was taken a year ago.

I thought I'd replied to you about Eckhart Tolle, but I guess not. Yes, I have read his books, and I think they're great. He writes in a very clear and easy-to-understand manner about profound enlightenment. Very cool. I'd love to meet him sometime, or at least see him speak in person.

kumaraka October 11th, 2005
She's SOOO pretty! Reminds me of a girl who used to come to our day care. I also liked the "zoe is sad" icon.

Why do I remember your daughter being indian? I have this vague memory of a video file someone uploaded of their daughter.. I've been smoking too much crack.

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