Wondrous Suchness

Dogen Zenji Wrote:

“Appearing before my eyes is wondrous suchness.

Outside of this reality, why trouble dividing true from false?

Seeing colors, hearing sounds, both fully verify it.

Stepping forward and turning within both softly cry out the way.”

Shinshu s Commentary:

Dogen is addressing a monk named Wondrous Suchness. But don’t stop there, aren’t you with all beings wondrous suchness as well?

Is there anything outside of this very moment? If this is true, what is false? [The tricky part of this line is that we often understand a statement like this to to mean that we do not need to discern what is right and wrong action. It is exactly this discernment that is within the realm of the Way. This is not an invitation to do whatever you feel like or to put up with another’s harmful actions. Be skillful! Be skillful!]

In line three, I believe Dogen is verifying our human state as part of this whole world. And the whole world verifies each and everything thing. The true nature of no-self is to understand one’s place in and with the whole world.

What or who steps forward? What or who turns within? Isn’t this the yin and yang of each being? Do we step forward? Or turn inward? Both? What do you see? Who or what verifies and joins us? Like Kannon, who hears the cries of the world, the world cries out the Buddha Way.

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