Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dogen's Genjo Koan: Section Two

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.

A practice based on the notion of a continuous self that through personal effort awakens to the multitude of phenomena is a delusion. A self-centred, egotistical practise is founded on the deluded, dualistic notion of a separate self. Awakening is seeing through the delusion of self. So, awakening then can be expressed as the multitude of phenomena lighting up the self. The realised perspective is that the whole universe awakens to us.

Those who shine light on or penetrate delusion are called 'buddhas'. Those who form deluded notions about enlightenment are called 'ordinary beings'. Realisation is not a static state but unfolds endlessly. Likewise delusion builds on delusion.

One who is enlightened is not self-conscious of being a Buddha. This doesn't mean that someone who knows they are enlightened (such as Shakyamuni Buddha) is in fact not enlightened, it means that manifesting Buddhahood is beyond limited concepts of Buddha and non-Buddha.

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