Saturday, February 17, 2007

(4) Enlightenment

“Enlightenment,” for our purposes, means the awakening to the very bottom of which our great teacher Sakyamuni got, through his practice and experience of sitting-meditation under the bodhi tree.

Metaphorically speaking it was an evolutionary leap, the bridging of a gap, a crossing over, a kind of somersault. But as a historical fact, it was only a human being sitting upright with his feet on opposite thighs while stars shone, worms dug the earth, the sun came up, grass waved in the breeze and birds sang.

Sitting-meditation (even that of a non-buddha) is the practice and experience that gets to the very bottom of Sakyamuni’s enlightenment.

So said Dogen in his Rules of Sitting-Meditation for Everybody. Wasn’t that a truly remarkable statement? Wasn’t Dogen’s writing of his Rules of Sitting-Meditation for Everybody a truly momentous event? I tend to forget just how remarkable and momentous.


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