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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dogen's Hokyo-ki

Dear Master Nishijima,

I have been reading the Hokyo-ki, Record of the Baoqing Erea in the Book: Enlightenment Unfolds by Kazuaki Tanahashi, Chapter: Journal of My Study in China.

Master Tendo Nyojo, or Rujing is answering Dogen's questions.
But I'm surprised by many things Tendo Nyojo says. I wonder if Dogen or you teach the same as Tendo Nyojo?

1) For example Tendo Nyojo says about Kinhin:
"To do the slow walking practice you coordinate the steps with the breathing."

This is the same way many zen groups teach Kinhin. But I know you are not, and I don't know what Dogen said about that practice.

2) A few pages further, Tendo Nyojo says:
"When you are seated in the teaching chair to give a talk in the monks' hall during zazen, you should wear ceremonial socks."

This shows that Tendo Nyojo was giving Kusen, dharma talk during zazen?
Which is also practiced by many zen groups today.

3) Then this one:
"If after forty or fifty years of zazen practice you are accustomed to sitting without drooping or becoming drowsy, it is all right to close your eyes during zazen."


4) "In zazen it is possible to develop samadhi by placing the mind in various locations. However, I would say during zazen set your mind on the palm of your left hand. This is the way correctly transmitted by buddha ancestors."

Do you think Dogen's teaching is different from his Master ones in this points?
And what is your opinion about the citations?

Sorry for asking such an long and problematic question, but I think this points are important

Thank you


Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Markus San,

Thank you very much for your important questions. Generally speaking I have studied Buddhism relying upon Master Dogen, and Master Tendo Nyojo is the teacher of Master Dogen, and so I have also studied Master Tendo Nyojo's teachings.

1) In Hogyo-ki, Master Nyojo teaches us that the steps of Kinhin should be identified with our breathing, and so I think that it is an authentic method of walking in Kinhin to identify our breathing with the step.(28)

2) Today I have checked Hogyo-ki, which has been published by Iwanami Bunko, and the original text has been checked with the text in Zenkyu-in, being written by Master Dogen himself, but it has been impossible for me to find such a description in the text unfortunately.

3) It is true that Master Nyojo has expressed such an instruction in the book actually.

4) We can read such a instraction in Hogyuo-ki (48), but it is difficult for me to find the same instruction in Master Dogen's teachings.

So far it is impossible for us to find the same instruction in Master Dogen's books, and so it is impossible for me to decide whether Master Dogen's opinion to the problem is the same as Master Nyojo, or not.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

4:21 PM, March 02, 2008  
Blogger element said...

Master Nishijima,

thank you for your answer.

to 2) The english translation I read says that its source is: Doshu Okubo's Zenji Zenshu and also Dogen Zenji Zenshu by Tokugen Sakai.

to 1)
Can we do Kinhin automaticaly, intuitivly, and coordinate the steps with the breath?
I mean, we shouldn't concentrate to much on the breath or?
The breath gives just the rhythm, it's not an object to concentrate on, we follow the breath automaticly without concentrating on it, or?

6:31 PM, March 02, 2008  

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