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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On the nature of "second enlightenment"

Dear Nishijima:

I remember on Brad's first book when he mentioned something like "second enlightenment".
I understand that the Soto sect does not make distinctions on enlightenment and not-enlightenment, which I suppose is so because all that exists is inherently enlightened in nature.
So, because of this, the Soto sect does not gives any emphasis on attaining enlightenment, since it is already our nature and doing so would be like trying to achieve the quality of having two eyes.
So, first enlightenment is when one is in zazen, but also when one eats, one sleeps, one breathes.

Having that in mind, what do you mean when you refer to "second enlightenment" ? Are you refering to whether one is currently aware of this "already enlightened" state or not ? Does one "attain" the "second enlightenment" when he sees with his own eyes that he always "had" enlightenment in the first place ?

Thank you very much for your being here with us !


Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Daniel San,

Thank you very much for your very interesting question. And my answer is as follows.

By reading Shobogenzo I recognize clearly that in the case of Master Dogen he insists that to practice Zazen itself is just enlightenment.

But at the same time in "Keisei-sanshiki" (9), Master Dogen describes another kind of enlightenments on Master Kyogen Chikan and Master Reiun Shigon.

Therefore I recognize the two kinds of enlightenmeht to exist, and so I indicate the practice of zazen as the first enlightenment, and the latter one as the second enlightenment.

The second enlightenment is the perfect understanding the whole Buddhist philosophical System completely.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

6:00 PM, February 22, 2008  
Blogger ZenCodeMonkey said...

Dear Nishijima,

Thank you for your very interesting response !

How can one perfectly and completely understand the whole buddhist philosophical system ? By zazen alone ?

Thank you for your time and will to respond,

4:36 AM, February 29, 2008  

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