Beginning with the passage studied in this podcast episode, Dōgen describes the most important point in the attitude of the tenzo. The meaning of Dōgen’s admonition is very clear: don’t complain. The tenzo receives food ingredients from storage, and whatever the tenzo receives, they don’t complain, they just accept things as they are and work together with those things to make them into the best food or dish possible.
But if we carefully read the expressions and sentences, what Dōgen is saying is not so simple. Of course, the meaning is to avoid “like and dislike.” But the reason for that attitude is very deep and important within the essence of Buddhist teaching. In the English translation alone, we cannot see that connection.
Listen to the podcast for more.
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This talk continues Shohaku Okumura Roshi’s commentary on Dogen Zenji’s Tenzo Kyokun – Instructions for the Zen Cook (covering the second paragraph on page 37).
This talk was originally given at Sanshinji in Bloomington, IN on September 12, 2007.
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