The opening lines of ‘Actualising the Fundamental Point’ (‘Genjo Koan’ – 現成公按), by Eihei Dogen

Keisaku and zafu in the dojo (in sesshin, 2016)

“As all things are buddha-dharma, there is delusion and realisation, practice, birth and
death, and there are buddhas and sentient beings. As the myriad things are without an
abiding self, there is no delusion, no realisation, no buddha, no sentient being, no birth
and death. The buddha way is, basically, leaping clear of the many and the one; thus
there are birth and death, delusion and realisation, sentient beings and buddhas. Yet,
in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread.

To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening. Those who have great realisation of delusion are buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about realisation are sentient beings. Further, there are those who continue realising beyond realisation, who are in delusion throughout delusion. When buddhas are truly buddhas they do not necessarily notice that they are buddhas. However, they are actualised buddhas, who go on  actualising buddhas.

When you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you grasp things directly. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illuminated the other side is dark. To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualised by myriad things. When actualised by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realisation remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.

When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs. But dharma is already correctly transmitted; you are immediately your original self. When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine myriad things with a confused body and mind you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. When you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that nothing at all has unchanging self.”

The opening lines of ‘Actualising the Fundamental Point’ (‘Genjo Koan’ – 現成公按), by Eihei Dogen

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