The text we’ve chosen to study this period and the subject of Enkyo Roshi’s weekly online talks at tricycle.com is Genjokoan (Actualizing the Fundamental Point), perhaps the best known section of Eihei Dogen’s masterwork, Shobogenzo (Treasury of the True Dharma Eye). As he does throughout his work, here Dogen focuses on the oneness of practice and enlightenment and on the expression of Buddha-nature through wholehearted practice free from dualistic thinking—including thoughts of attaining enlightenment.


As all things are Buddha-dharma, there are delusion, realization, practice, birth and death, buddhas and sentient beings. As myriad things are without an abiding self, there is no delusion, no realization, no buddha, no sentient being, no birth and death. The Buddha Way, in essence, is leaping clear of abundance and lack; thus there are birth and death, delusion and realization, sentient beings and buddhas. Yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread.

To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening.

Those who have great realization of delusion are buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about realization are sentient beings. Further, there are those who continue realizing beyond realization, who are in delusion throughout delusion. When buddhas are truly buddhas, they do not necessarily notice that they are buddhas. However, they are actualized buddhas, who go on actualizing Buddha.

When you see forms or hear sounds, fully engaging body and mind, you intuit dharma intimately. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illumined, the other side is dark.

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