Thursday, November 9, 2017

Mountains Walking

Mountains at Lake Como, Italy

"Priest Daokai of Mt. Furong said to the assembly, "The green mountains are always walking; a stone woman gives birth to a child at night." Mountains do not lack the qualities of mountains. Therefore they always abide in ease and always walk. You should examine in detail this quality of the mountains walking. Mountains' walking is just like human walking. Accordingly, do not doubt mountains' walking even though it does not look the same as human walking. The Buddha ancestors' words point to walking. This is fundamental understanding. You should penetrate these words."

excerpt from Eihei Dogen's Mountains and Rivers Sutra,
Translated by Arnold Kotler and Kazuaki Tanahashi

Sometimes our beloved ancestor Dogen is hard to understand, but please don't try to understand him with your discursive mind.  Mountains walking?  It doesn't make sense.  But if we take this one phrase and let it sink into our sitting practice, carrying it along as we encounter all the many variations of external objects in our daily life, we begin to see something that is quite radical.  We realize that everything is alive, full of the energy of the Dharma.  Everything is completely itself, sometimes still and sometimes moving, separate from us and also part of us.  Everything is abiding in ease, just as itself.  And this, of course, includes you yourself.  

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