Dogen Sangha Blog


Japanese / German

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chapter INMO, IT

Dear Sensei,

thank you very much for your explanation about “Flowers In Space”, Kuge. That helps me much.
Now I want to ask: What are the main principles and what is the meaning of the chapter 29, Inmo, or “IT” and in German “ETWAS” oder “ES”. I have the impression that this chapter is very important in Buddhism and that there is not much very similar to this in the Western culture.

Thank you so much and with best wishes
Yudo Juergen

Dear Ven Yudo Juergen,

Thank you very much your important question on Inmo. Inmo is a Chinese common word, which is used in their daily life, and the word is a common demonstrative pronoun, which means "it", or "that."
And in Chinese Buddhism they use the word Inmo as a symbolical word, which suggests Reality itself. But at the same time if they use the word "Reality" directly, the word is a abstract simple word, therefore it is impossible for them to express the so profound and so complicated situations of Reality exactly.
In such a meaning in Chinese Buddhism, people sometimes use the Inmo to express the complicated and profound contents of Reality. And avoiding usage of the word Reality, Chinese Buddhists expect to express much more profound meaning of Reality by utilizing Inmo.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima


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