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Buddhadharma : Spring 2012
30 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY SPRING 2 0 1 2 fool can become a wise person and a wise person can become a fool.” But that’s foolish; however you crumble a mountain, it will never move. A mountain is like a long piece of iron and can- not be moved. However you fill an ocean, it can never be moved. An ocean is an ocean, which is a long piece of iron. Not only a mountain or an ocean but everything is like this. Those who are deluded are deluded and those who are enlightened are enlightened. This is koan. To turn delusion into enlightenment is not koan. If we go along the road of delusion, we will certainly be deluded. This is Genjo koan. If we go along the road of enlightenment, we will certainly be enlightened. This is Genjo koan. There are ways for us to be deluded today. We cannot say that it is not so. For that reason, delusion and enlightenment are natural things that we can never change. There is only the fact that those who are deluded are deluded and those who are enlightened are enlightened. This is Genjo koan. Not only delusion and enlightenment but appearance and reality as well as essence and form are like this. To hold the dharmas of genjo as genjo, without contriving, without causing increase or decrease, throughout past, pres- ent, and future, without changing or turning, is Genjo koan. It is nothing but “All dharmas themselves are ultimate reality.” Priest Honko says about Genjo koan, “Study with your hands in shashu over your chest.” Honko was an outstanding person in the ances- tral Soto lineage, a person with complete practice and comprehension. He summarized the essence in this way. The fact is that Genjo koan is not something speech can reach. It is just shashu upon your chest, just this total activity. There is no other way but to understand it as it is and accept it as it is. Speech and reasoning promote discrimination; where there is discrimination, there are picking and discarding. What is confined by picking up and discarding is in the realm of construction. It is not koan. Nonconstruction is Genjo koan. In order to accept [things as they are], within the realm of nonconstruction, there is no other way than shashu upon your chest. Honko was a master indeed. If we knead it like this, Genjo koan reveals all things as ultimate reality. And all things as ultimate reality are shashu upon your chest. It is, “Stop asking for discourse. My dharma is wondrous and impossible to think about.” If we examine the right aspects of all dharmas, they are all like that. If we raise the thought of a hungry ghost, we take the path of the hungry ghosts. If we raise the thought of an asura, we take the path of the fighting spirits. It is not that the Buddha hand- made the path of the hungry ghosts or fighting spirits. It is not that hell was created by King Yama in his court. You put yourself on trial and send yourself to where you choose to go. Water goes down and fire goes up. When you are deluded you become an ordinary person, and when you are enlightened you become a buddha. This is Genjo koan. A mountain is high from the beginning, and there is no construction. Likewise, Genjo koan cannot be constructed. It is hot in summer and cold in winter. When the conditions are right, there is birth. When the conditions are spent, there is death. This is Genjo koan. A wholesome cause brings forth a wholesome effect, and an unwholesome cause brings forth an unwholesome effect. This is Genjo koan. This is an elevated point of view. It’s a big mistake to try to construct enlight- enment with your own hands. This cannot be understood unless you have a penetrating eye, free from delusion and enlightenment. Regardless of delusion or enlightenment, the actual aspect of all dharmas is Genjo koan. Even though at present you may be deluded, you should make an effort to step outside of delusion and enlighten- ment and see straight forward. Now it is a shame that so many people view the essential teaching of Dogen Zenji with small eyes. Be more expansive! Be like the roof cover- ing the monks’ hall! Look up there! It doesn’t concern itself about whether you are a deluded person, an enlightened person, a sleeping monk, or a great priest. It glares at you with baggy eyes. Your every day should be like the state of that roof. If you are stuck on your desire to be enlightened, you will never get to the essential teaching of Dogen Zenji. From Dogen’s Genjo Koan © 2011 by Mel Weitsman, Michael Wenger, and Shohaku Okamura. Reprinted by permission of Counterpoint.