The last in a series of three videos on
Dōgen’s waka inspired by The Lotus Sutra
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Shōkaku Okumura tells us The Lotus Sutra provides an indispensable key to studying Dōgen. He says, “throughout space and time, each and every thing is connected with everything.” With that foundation, we can grasp what Dōgen Zenji expresses in his five waka poems on the Lotus Sutra.
Going a step further, Okumura-roshi believes what’s true for us today has been true since the “big bang.” By just being, each of us participates in the interconnectedness of all beings. But all it takes is to think about interconnectedness to create a separation. That’s why only a buddha together with a buddha can fathom the true reality of all beings.
That might sound to some as a rather hopeless condition. However, in this final video clarifying Dōgen’s waka on the Lotus Sutra, Hojo-san shares the good news that zazen provides a remedy.
A benefit of preparing these materials for posting is the opportunity to “handle the merchandise” more than once. Each new exposure reveals another aspect of the teaching. We’re grateful for the truths each rewind provides.
Translation and commentary by Shōhaku Okumura-roshi
— Video is an excerpt from a September, 2016 talk at Great Tree Zen Temple of Asheville, North Carolina.
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