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Buddhadharma : Winter 2011
81 WINTER 2 01 1 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY Reviews long before the turn of the millennium. In the context of Buddhist literature, which stretches back 2,500 years, this should not be a problem, and of course Buddhist American literature is still very young. It will take time for scholars to catch up, so perhaps I am just being impatient. Still, though I’m a fan of these writers, I would have liked to see a more inclusive representation of con- temporary Buddhist writing, and even more important, a greater amount of critical analysis of non-Buddhist writers’ work as seen through a Buddhist lens. Though the bandwidth is still nar- row, the emerging field itself is wide, and this is a good thing. What comes to mind is the Buddhist adage: If you want to control a cow, give her a wide pas- ture. Buddhist American literary schol- arship requires a wide cross-disciplinary field that can encompass history, race, gender, politics, philosophy, and cultural and religious studies, as well as literary criticism and theory. The essays in this book represent small patches of clover, a rock or a stone, bunches of sweet grass, and a flower or two, scattered widely about this broad and fertile field. And if Writing as Enlightenment did not pro- vide the practical or spiritual answers I was hoping for, it certainly provoked many more questions, and in the end, isn’t that what any reader, or scholar, or writer, or dharma practitioner would hope for? Back in 1240, Dogen Zenji bemoaned the pitiful fellows “who are unaware that discriminative thought is words and phrases and that words and phrases lib- erate discriminative thought!” Of course Dogen was talking about monastic koan study, and the faithful, dogged practice of thoroughly penetrating the words and phrases of the buddha-ancestors to achieve liberation. True. Though they are not monastics, perhaps the scholars and contributors to Writing as Enlightenment are engaged in a similar practice. AVAILABLE FOR SCREENINGS — VIEW THE TRAILER ONLINE www.festivalmedia.org ZEN NEW FEATURE FILM FROM JAPAN Starring Kantarou Nakamura as Zen Master Dogen Directed by Banmei Takahashi A Kadokawa Pictures Release SPECIAL BONUS FEATURE The Zen of Dogen with Kazuaki Tanahashi, editor of the new complete Shobo Genzo