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Buddhadharma : Winter 2017
52 Buddhadharma: The PracTiTioner's QuarTerly IF YOUR INABILITY to cut off ceaseless thought has ever left you feeling hopeless or inadequate, you’re not alone. Anyone who has practiced earnestly for any length of time has likely wrestled with the thinking mind, motivated by a desire to evolve away from delu- sion and toward awakening or enlightenment. We may wonder what we’re missing, always searching for the secret code we believe will unlock the door to enlightenment. We read endless dharma books, which might lead us to that door but ultimately leave us standing outside, desperate to get in. Perhaps we even take our deluded selves to a Buddhist teacher or center to receive guidance, hoping to fix whatever it is that prevents us from seeing the light. But what if our deluded minds aren’t a barrier to enlightenment at all? What if they are the very path to it? Several years ago, I stum- bled upon the term shinzo, or “ever-intimate,” used by Dogen Zenji. Perhaps due to the lack of intimacy I so often felt in my personal life, I felt an immediate connection with the phrase in my own prac- tice. So, I made an effort to learn more about Dogen’s teachings on shinzo. In his book Dogen on Meditation and Thinking: A Reflec- tion on His View of Zen, Buddhist scholar Hee-Jin Kim wrote that What If Our Delusions Aren’t a Barrier to Enlightenment? Zenju Earthlyn Manuel opposite | Moon in snow by Kikuchi Hobun (1862–1918) 112.3 cm x 41cm Ink on silk (OPPOSITE)WithperMissionoFBrianharKinsltd.