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Buddhadharma : Spring 2012
SPRING 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 29 “One Bright Pearl,” as spoken by Xuansha, are like this. The conclusion of the Shobo’s lifetime teaching is “All dharmas are ultimate reality.” The Genjo koan spoken here is the expression of the meaning of this ultimate reality as spoken by the Shobo. Now, in what sense is Genjo koan the dharma road of the entire world? I will now talk about each separate ideogram of the words Genjo koan. As for gen, it usually refers to an appear- ance that has been hidden as in genzen (surface appearance) or genzai (present being). But that is not how it is meant here in Genjo koan. The gen spoken of here is not the gen that is related to hiding or appearing, remaining or perishing. There is neither hiding nor appearing in the true genjo. When we say that a hidden thing appears, it usually refers to the appearance or gen that is relative to hiding. In this dualistic sense, it is the phenomenon of birth and death. But actually, in the realm of the true genjo, there is no hiding. Thus there is no appearing. The “eyes horizontal and nose vertical” of every person is bright and clear. There is noth- ing to hide, so there is nothing to reveal. The genjo that is meant here is like this. A great secret is greatly apparent. What is greatly apparent is a great secret. What can be merely hidden or revealed is not true genjo. When we say there is no hiding or appearing, it means that there is no arising or perishing, no increasing or decreasing. The dharma realm of heaven and earth, as it is, extends from the Kashyapa Buddha in the past to Maitreya Buddha in the future, unceasingly through past, present, and future, regardless of the creation or destruction of the world. This is gen. Next, jo means completion. Usually when something is given its form, we call it completion. But that is not what is meant here. That which is not confined to integration and disintegration is called complete here. That which is immediately present is itself completion. The reason is that all dharmas that appear and fulfill themselves are essentially beyond birth and death, or coming and going. In the Heart Sutra it says, “There is no birth, no death, no defilement, no purity...” No dharmas have been created by buddhas, devas, human beings, or asuras. All dharmas are com- plete of themselves in the original face. They are free from integration or disintegration. Ko means impartiality and fairness. Large is not small. Long is not short. A plateau is high and flat. A plain is low and flat. All dharmas dwell in their dharma positions. They do not hin- der one another; things are as they are and their original nature is nirvana. This is ko. The three characters gen, jo, and ko, although their meanings are different, refer to one thing. Because of genjo, things are originally complete; because they are originally complete they are level and equal. An means to hold, or to bear the three quali- ties—gen, jo, and ko— without losing them. This is the meaning of these characters, but among them koan means law or government. A nation has a government, as does a region or a village. Where there is government, there is law. When the law is established it cannot be reversed. No one can change it. This is koan. It is important that it cannot be moved or changed. Then what is koan? The dharmadhatu has nothing to do with large or small, superior or inferior. Even a single particle of dust cannot be removed. Why not? Because the dharmadhatu is as it is. Since it is as it is, it never moves. Think of a mountain; a mountain cannot be moved. Think of an ocean; an ocean cannot be moved. All dharmas are like this. They can never be changed. This is called koan. Upon hearing this, you might say, “No, you can change a mountain if you crumble it; an ocean can be a plain if you fill it with earth; a Dogen sees straight through the world of the ten directions as Genjo koan, which are his words of iron. When this phrase is cracked, the ninety-five fascicles of Shobo genzo appear here and there as branches of it.