—Dogen Kigen, as translated by Norman Waddell and Masao Abe, The Heart of Dogen's Shobogenzo (2002); an excerpt from the "Genjokoan" fascicle or essay.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Dogen's Genjokoan, an essay from Shobogenzo
The attainment of enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, and the surface of the water is not broken. For all the breadth and vastness of its light, the moon comes to rest in a small patch of water. The whole moon and the sky in its entirety come to rest in a single dewdrop on a grass tip—a mere pinpoint of water. Enlightenment does not destroy man any more than the moon makes a hole on the surface of the water. Man does not obstruct enlightenment any more than the drop of dew obstructs the moon or the heavens. The depth of the one will be the measure of the other's height. As for the time—the quickness or the slowness—of enlightenment's coming, you must carefully scrutinize the quantity of water, survey the extent of the moon and the sky.