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Buddhadharma : Spring 2018
SHINSHU ROBERTS 67 When does this practice happen? It happens within a particular dharma position as one, all, and everything as it is right now. As Dogen writes in Gyoji, “The time when continuous practice is mani fested is what we call ‘now’” (Francis Dojun Cook, How to Raise an Ox: Zen Practice as Taught in Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo). Line-by -Line ReaDing Again, the opening verses are presentations of being–time as dharma positions. The occasion of the verses themselves are being–time. They are the being–time of Dogen, Yaoshan, the reader, and all beings. As soon as we read these words, the connection comes forward: For the time being, I stand astride the highest mountain peaks. For the time being, I move on the deepest depths of the ocean floor. The top of Mount Everest as the world’s highest peak and the deep est point of the ocean in the Mariana Trench seem very far apart. Since the verses are written in couplets, it is understandable that we would interpret them as being in opposition to and separate from each other. They seem to be linear in time and position, an idea fur ther strengthened by the phrase “for the time being,” as if this were just a temporary state, definable in a dualistic scheme. Nevertheless, from the viewpoint of being–time, although they may appear to be different, they are not. Perhaps we think the high est peak is some rarefied place and the deepest ocean is mysterious and unknowable, but both of these states are within the realm of our experience. Nothing is left out. The mountains are our world, and the oceans are our world. When we stand on the highest peak, it is just this moment, and when we stand on the ocean floor, it is just this moment.