Thursday, October 19, 2006

Expansion on the upward tendency

Without water grass cannot grow. Under water grass does not grow. Our physical body is like a blade of grass holding up a dew-drop, for a little while.

Fukan-zazen-gi says SORO no GOTOKU. SO means grass. RO means dew. GOTOKU means like.

The Buddha’s teaching is SHOYOKU CHISOKU, having small wants, know satisfaction.

A person might be mistaken who was so hungry for the truth of Zazen that he neglected his own thirst. Without a moderate amount of water, nothing grows.

Again, Fukan-zazen-gi says ONJIKI SETSU ARI. ON means drink. JIKI means food. SETSU means economy. ARI means there is. There is economy in drink and food -- food and drink are taken in moderation.


Blogger Michael Tait said...

'Our life is like a dewdrop on a blade of grass' is quite different from 'our life is like a blade of grass holding up a dewdrop.' Both are interpretative of life/dewdrop/grass although perhaps there is more in the grammar and context. Would you translate it as the latter now? There is the impermanence and fragility of the former versus the natural dynamism of the latter. If, as I suspect, both views contribute to a whole picture then no single definitive reading of Fukan-zazengi can be made. Examining the literal translation utilising this deconstructive vision may be like three-dimensional chess but revealing, it would appear. I have relied on your original translation and my teacher's interpretations but I am caught by your exhortation to study the original. Why would I not do it?

Pierre has kindly directed me to recordings and the beat structure of the chant.

Thanks to you both.

Thursday, October 19, 2006  

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