Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment
Talks given from 25/07/88 pm to 01/08/88 pm
English Discourse series
To study the way ... to forget the self ...
25 July 1988 pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
TO STUDY THE WAY IS TO STUDY THE SELF. TO STUDY THE SELF IS TO FORGET THE SELF.
TO FORGET THE SELF IS TO BE ENLIGHTENED BY ALL THINGS. TO BE ENLIGHTENED BY
ALL THINGS IS TO REMOVE THE BARRIERS BETWEEN ONE’S SELF AND OTHERS. THEN
THERE IS NO TRACE OF ENLIGHTENMENT, THOUGH ENLIGHTENMENT ITSELF CONTINUES
INTO ONE’S DAILY LIFE ENDLESSLY.
THE FIRST TIME WE SEEK THE LAW, WE ARE FAR AWAY FROM THE BORDER OF IT.
BUT SOON AFTER THE LAW HAS BEEN CORRECTLY TRANSMITTED TO US, WE ARE
Maneesha, this is the first day of a new series of talks, devoted to the full moons. The moon is
an ancient symbol of transforming the hot rays of the sun into cool, peaceful, beautiful rays. It has
nothing of its own. When you see the moon, you are seeing only a mirror which is reflecting the rays
of the sun. Those reflected rays are just like the ones you can see when the sun is reflected in a
The moon is a mirror but not only a mirror, it is also a transforming agent. It changes the heat rays
into cool, peaceful rays. That is the reason why the moon has become the most significant symbol
in the East.
CHAPTER 1. TO STUDY THE WAY ... TO FORGET THE SELF ...
This series is dedicated to the full moons. In the series itself we are going to discuss one of the
most unique masters, Dogen.
Before I enter into the sutras, it will be good for you to know something about Dogen. That
background will help you to understand his very condensed sutras.
Apparently they look
contradictory. Without the background of Dogen’s life pattern they are like trees without roots, they
cannot bring flowers. So first I will talk about Dogen’s life structure.
DOGEN WAS BORN INTO AN ARISTOCRATIC FAMILY IN KYOTO, EIGHT HUNDRED YEARS
AGO. HIS FATHER WAS A HIGH-RANKING GOVERNMENT MINISTER AND HE HIMSEL