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23 July 2011

Dogen said it best...

I really do like the quote as written below by Dogen. He was born 19 January 1200...just a day before me and a few hundred years prior I should add...in case you hadn't figured that out. 


"Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky."

Dogen Zenji (1200 - 1253)
I can't recall where I first read it and would hate to atribute wrongly...but I do know that I read it tonight in Brad Warner's, Hardcore Zen. He didn't quote the entire thing, but I read it in entirety somewhere else. It could have been in Dharma Road by Brian Haycock. Or it might have even been in one of the other books I read by Brad Warner. Needless to say (is it needless? why am I going to type it out then?) I have been reading a lot of Buddhist material lately. I started with Taoism what feels like a hundred years ago (because clearly I can remember 100 years ago) and more recently...the last twelve months, give or take, I started with Thich Nhat Hanh. I'll continue to read his stuff, but right now I'm interested in reading stories written in a way that I have an easier time relating to. I appreciate what "Thay" has to say, but he kind of seems like the monk for my grandmother or little sister. 

Where was I going with this? I quite nearly fell asleep just before 2200hrs. It is now 0006hrs and sleep appears to have alluded me for the time being. I hope to fall again soon into that slumber that will carry me an entirely too short a time to the alarm song at 0505hrs. Why am I still up? :) 

As I was in the - thoughts are taking over - place my mind so comfortably finds itself my common sensibilities lost the battle and I chose to get up. I had a thought I needed to write down - Here it is: Our memories (our past) are like little riddles I ponder and shuffle in an attempt to figure out who I am in this moment and who I will become in my future (does it really matter NOW?). The only problem with this angle of attack is the riddle is not riddled in the past, but in the moment and the memories are just merely distractions and illusions. The answer lies in the now (if there really is a now that is tangible). I guess to me I believe the past to be like those crazy annoying riddles I have read ... maybe that's what the koans are about...'if a tree falls in the forest' kinda thing. I'm curious about so much and Brad Warner seems to be presenting ideas presented  by Dogen originally (he got this from his teachers, not from Dogen himself...in case you hadn't figured that out) and my mind is totally blown...which brings me full circle...my brain/thought sense (patience, I'm new to this) is just as vast as the dewdrop that can handle the entire moon. I'm okay. Maybe now with thoughts laid out I can get cozy in bed and sleep away a few hours before I get up once again. Not that I think I've hit some kind of 'enlightenment' or anything, just a neat little realization I felt the desire to share.

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