Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One Way

Dogen said,
"It is not possible to study extensively and obtain wide knowledge. Make up your mind and just give up trying to do so. Focus your attention on one thing. Study the things you have to know and the traditional examples of them. Follow the way of practice of your predecessors. Concentrate your efforts on one practice Do not pretend to be a teacher or a leader of others."
That's Zuimonki, Book 1, Chapter 5, the reading for Monday night's group, as well as the focus of the conversation after sitting with the Kennesaw group tonight. To choose one practice and concentrate on it is a characteristic of Japanese Buddhism. For Dogen, that one practice was zazen; for Honen and Shinran it was chanting the nenbutsu (names of the Buddha); and in Nichiren, it is the daimoku (namu-myoho-renge-kyo).

But choose one path, Dogen advises, and focus your attention on one practice.

1 comment:

Uku said...

Very clearminded and wonderful post. Thank you very much.