Friday, May 16, 2008
"There are mountains hidden in treasures. There are mountains hidden in swamps. There are mountains hidden in sky. There are mountains hidden in mountains. There are mountains hidden in hiddenness. This is complete understanding.
"An ancient buddha said, 'Mountains are mountains, waters are waters.' These words do not mean mountains are mountains; they mean mountains are mountains.
"Therefore investigate mountains thoroughly. When you investigate mountains thoroughly, this is the work of the mountains.
"Such mountains and waters of themselves become wise persons and sages."
Zen discourse sounds contradictory and convoluted, but if you let it in, it makes perfect sense. If all things are interrelated, as Dogen supposed, then investigating mountains means investigating ourselves, and the other way around. The last of Dogen's sentences above indicates the relation between, indeed the sameness of, places and people.
(Photo: Snapfire Images.)