Doing Buddha’s Work

Nine talks on Shōbōgenzō Genjōkōan

Nine Talks on Genjokoan

Photo by Shodo Spring

In this present moment, we are each one with the Way.

How do we reveal and express the reality of this?

Our Zen practice is said to be “a special transmission outside the teachings.” In keeping with that idea, we hear zazen is our “true teacher.”

Well, what about our lives outside the zendo? What about all the endeavors that engage us away from the temple? Are we any less people of the Way out and about in our communities?

Shōhaku Okumura points us toward the answers in the following bandcamp audio excerpt. We hear him illuminate two of Dōgen Zenji’s teachings regarding our day-to-day practice. One comes from Tenzo Kyōkun (Instructions for the Tenzo) and the other from a Dharma Hall discourse on Genjōkōan (Actualization of Reality).

In this segment, Roshi uses a couple of terms to listen for. One, from Master Dōgen, is zenki, or total function. The other is shōhō jisō, the true form of all beings.

Listen as though you’re at Sanshinji during a Genzo-e retreat. Hojo-san extends his insight to us just as Dōgen did to his disciples at Koshoji. Right here, you can become as intimate with the teachings as on the day they were recorded.

How about the way that track concludes? Okumura-rōshi brilliantly gives us something we can take with us. He explains how  Dōgen shows his disciples what, exactly, our practice transmits outside the teachings. And we learn how such intimacy with our own lives expresses the reality of Buddha’s work.

Do you see it?

We offer this excellent teaching to you at no cost. But just as Dōgen did, we encourage you to “all join with and practice this excellent genjōkōan.” Please follow this link to Sanshin’s bandcamp page for the entire digital album.

Won’t you?

— • —

Translation and commentary by Shōhaku Okumura-rōshi

> Other albums by Shōhaku Okumura

Copyright 2017 Sanshin Zen Community

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