Donnerstag, 11. September 2014

The Realized Universe (Genjo kôan), Part 1)

The literal translation of the Japanese word Genjo kôan is the realized law of the world or of the universe and our life. That means Buddha´s teaching or the Dharma, the truth. Through this realization there is a unity of the law and true life in our world and in this way the whole of reality becomes true. This chapter is without doubt one of the most important ones in the Shôbôgenzô and in Zen Buddhism. It was the first in the edition of 75 chapters and this underlines its great importance. It is short but extremely meaningful.

On the Buddha Way it is important that we experience and trust both the teaching of the Dharma and the many things? objects? and phenomena in the world. And it is not beneficial, if we are too busy to realize enlightenment, pushing ourselves and feeling stressed as a result of our own activities and the goal of having a spiritually egoistical and maybe exotic adventure.

But if we do not pursue and practise the Buddha Way, it is impossible to reach the path of liberation. And we should be aware of our delusions, which are quoted in the following words of the Shôbôgenzô. We should see our delusions very clearly and try to refrain from making such errors or worse ones. If we don’t, it will be rather impossible to overcome these delusions. And we will distance ourselves  more and more from the Dharma, that means from the true law of the world.

Even if we have a very keen intellect and trained powers of observation and try hard with all our physical and mental faculties, it will be impossible to realize the truth of this world. Why? If we rely just on these areas, every kind of understanding and action will be one-sided and we will be blind to broader, true dimensions.

The following paragraph should be studied very precisely and I will follow the interpretation that was developed by Dôgen and Nishijima Roshi, the reliable practice and teaching of Gautama Buddha. This is necessary if we are not to be  trapped by contradictions and lost in its logical complexity. And Master Dôgen clearly underlines that Zen is logical and not irrational, but it needs a wholly intuitive mind. Normal western intelligence is not sufficient.

The teaching of Buddhism, especially in Zen, is never against reading the Sutras and if somebody claims they are useless, he has really not understood Zen Buddhism.