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Buddhadharma : Fall 2008
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 08 22 metaphysician, and one of Japan’s leading spiritual figures. He was also a lover of nature. Dogen built his primary monastery, Eiheiji, deep in the mountains, preferring the unspoiled forested hills, crags, and roaring streams of Echizen Province to the high society of Kyoto. So it should not come as a surprise that Dogen wrote beautifully and eloquently about the landscape that surrounded him. Yet we must remember that he was first and foremost a Zen Buddhist master, so the mountains and rivers he speaks of are not to be simply understood as the mountains and rivers of metaphor, but as the mountains and rivers of the true dharma eye, the realized truth of the universe. It can be said, in fact, that the Mountains and Rivers Sutra is not about mountains and rivers at all, but that the mountains and rivers themselves are the sutra, the true buddhadharma. Becoming the Mountains and Rivers When we know something intimately, taught Dogen, it ceases to exist — and so do we. John Daido loori Roshi examines this quintessential teaching from Dogen’s Mountains and Rivers Sutra. THIrTEEnTH-cEnTurY ZEn maSTEr DogEn is known to us as an outstanding poet, photogRaphs by John DaiDo looRi