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Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:02

The Buddha said:

“The Buddha’s true Dharma body

Is just like space

Manifesting its form according to things

It is like the moon in water”

 

In talking about Emptiness, visual metaphors are often used. The familiar world is like a mirage, or an image in the mirror, or like the moon in water. And similarly, visual metaphors dominate practice; we need to see through the veil of illusion, as if the world or our consciousness is like an obscuring fog which will clear. ‘Kensho’ means to see into one’s true nature.

 

This was not Master Dogen’s view. In his rendition, ‘like’ is re rendered as ‘thusness’, ‘in’ is re-rendered as ‘middle’, and the character he uses for moon also means ‘full dynamic functioning’.

 

So, his re-rendering of the line is something like

 

“It is/ thusness/middle/moon-in-water/total dynamic functioning”

 

It is important because it relocates Emptiness in this world, and re-conceptualises it as the vibrancy of the whole universe manifesting itself moment to moment. And our practice, rather than being a sustained exercise in disappointment, is giving all things life. Giving all things life.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:04