From nine talks on Shōbōgenzō Ikka no Myōju
When Spring, 2009 rolled around, Shohaku Okumura was just back from Japan. The Genzo-e retreat was set to begin at Sanshinji in Bloomington, Indiana. And he would spend five days lecturing on Dōgen Zenji’s Shōbōgenzō Ikka no Myōju. He’d arrive with seven translations of that single chapter.
As you’ll hear in the excerpt below, Hojo-san unequivocally states, “In English, Ikka no Myōju is One Bright Jewel.” Then he shares that six of the seven translations he brought render the title as “One Bright Pearl.” In his understated way, Roshi assesses the muddle with, “To me, this is a problem.”
This anecdote beautifully demonstrates that Okumura’s lectures for the retreat — like his translations — don’t necessarily rely on conventional wisdom. The entire 13 hours of teaching deliver his original scholarship and personal understanding. In that regard alone, these recordings provide an invaluable tool for an exploration of Zen practice that conveys true Dharma.
Determine its value for yourself with the free sample below. It also traces Dogen’s path from 13-year-old Tendai monk in Kyoto to body and mind dropping off in China.
Enjoy this introduction to the sort of analysis and applicability to our practice unavailable anywhere else.
You’ll find the full digital album here.
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Translation and commentary by Shōhaku Okumura Roshi
Copyright 2017 Sanshin Zen Community