Dogen Sangha Blog


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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fukanzazengi: "Backward Step" & Intention.

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

I hope you are well.

Please could you explain your understanding of what Dogen had in mind in terms of intentional action when he wrote in Fukanzazengi:

Subekaraku ekô henshô no taiho o gakusubeshi,
Learn the backward step of turning light and reflecting.

In practice should there be any mindful intention in remaining aware of objects of mind, and/or should we remain aware of our perception of them?

The prevailing attitude, I believe, is that the practice of Zazen should be without intentional, cultivated awareness of mental objects as they arise in mind.

Our human condition generally seems to be that we accept 'light' (thoughts, perceptions, emotions...) as an exterior reality.

Keeping this in mind should not the 'backwards step' be an intentional, mindful step?

Best Regards,



Blogger Mysterion said...

I also saw this quotation HERE.

I relate this to:
'Be a light unto yourself;
be a refuge unto yourself;
there is no external refuge.

Work out your salvation in earnestness.'

Best regards,

10:02 AM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Harry said...

Hello Charles.

There is no internal refuge.

Thank-you, but I am not interested in my salvation.



10:31 PM, December 18, 2007  

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