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ONE Fukanzazengi 普勧坐禅儀 (Universal Promotion of the Principles of Zazen) Fukanzazengi is Dôgen’s first work. It was written in 1227, the year he returned from China. It is influenced by and in many ways resembles a number of similar tracts on zazen that existed in China, such as the one by tenth-century priest Chang-lu Tsung-tse. All are compos
  1 ONE Fukanzazengi  (Universal Promotion ofthe Principles of Zazen) Fukanzazengi  is   Dôgen’s first work. It was written in 1227, the year he returnedfrom China. It is influenced by and in many ways resembles a number of similartracts on zazen that existed in China, such as the one by tenth-century priestChang-lu Tsung-tse. All are composed in a highly rhetorical, easily memorizedstyle of Chinese prose.Dôgen declares that he considered his master Ju-ching “the only personsince the T’ang master Po-chang who truly understood the significance of zazen.” He praises Ju-ching for teaching that “sitting (zazen) is the BuddhaDharma and the Buddha Dharma is sitting.” Fukanzazengi is Dôgen’s firstattempt to transmit this teaching to his countrymen. Fukanzazengi has been recited at the regular night sitting and on otheroccasions in Sôtô Zen temples down through the centuries. Although it is nota part of the Shôbôgenzô  collection, we have included it in the present bookbecause of the important place it occupies in Dôgen’s Zen.In Fukanzazengi senjutsu yurai [Reason for Composing Fukanzazengi ] , Dôgen explains why he wrote the work: Since in Japan it has never been possible to learn about the “special trans-mission outside the scriptures” or the “treasure of the right Dharma eye,”  2THE HEART OF DÔGEN’S SHÔBÔGENZÔ much less the principles of zazen, they are not transmitted here. So as soonas I returned home from the land of the Sung [China], and students begancoming to me for instruction, I was obliged for their sakes to compile thiswork [ Fukanzazengi ] on the principles of zazen. Long ago, the Chinese Zenmaster Po-chang constructed a monastery with a hall set aside especiallyfor zazen practice. In so doing he effectively transmitted the true style of the First Zen patriarch Bodhidharma. This style was distinct from thebriars and brambles of word-attachment [of the Buddhist schools] thathad preceded him. This is something that students should know and notbe confused about.There is a Tso-ch’an i (Japanese, Zazengi ) by the priest Chang-luTsung–tse included in the Ch’an-yüan ch’ing-kuei [Pure Regulations forthe Zen Gardens] . For the most part it follows Po-chang’s srcinal intent,but it also contains some additions made by Tsung-tse himself. This hasresulted in errors of various kinds, as well as an overall lack of clarity. Noone who does not already know the meaning behind the words can fullyunderstand what he is trying to say. For that reason, I have now gatheredtogether and written down the true principles of zazen that I learned [inSung China] in hopes that they will transmit the inexpressible heart of the Buddha-patriarchs. ( Ôkubo , vol. 2, 3–4) A comparison of the Fukanzazengi with the Tso-ch’an i by Tsung-tse showsthat while Dôgen often merely appropriated the text of the earlier work, healso changed and added portions to rectify what he regarded as mistakes orambiguities in Tsung-tse’s work. FUKANZAZENGI The Way is srcinally perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingentupon practice and realization? The Dharma-vehicle is utterly free and un-trammeled. What need is there for our concentrated effort? Indeed, the WholeBody is far beyond the world’s dust. Who could believe in a means to brush itclean? 1  It is never apart from you right where you are. What use is there goingoff here and there to practice? 1. The Whole Body [ of reality ]   ( tathata¯  ) refers to the totality of things in their suchness; theBuddha-nature. The world’s “dust,” giving rise to illusions, defiles the srcinal purity of the Buddha-nature.  A means to brush it clean  is an allusion to the famous verse contest by which the Sixth ZenPatriarch Hui-neng received the Dharma transmission from the Fifth Patriarch Hung-jen. Theverse of Shen-hsiu, Hung-jen’s chief disciple, was: “This body is the Bodhi tree; the mind like abright mirror on a stand. Constantly strive to brush it clean. Do not allow dust to collect.” Hui-neng responded with the verse: “Basically, Bodhi is not a tree. Neither does the mind-mirror havea stand. From the first there is not a single thing, so where can dust collect?” (CTL , ch. 5).  FUKANZAZENGI 3 And yet if there is the slightest discrepancy, the Way is as distant asheaven from earth. If the least like or dislike arises, the mind is lost in confu-sion. 2  Suppose you gain pride of understanding, inflate your own achievement,glimpse the wisdom that runs through all things, attain the Way and clarifyyour mind, raising an aspiration to escalade the very sky. You are making aninitial, partial excursion through the frontiers of the Dharma, 3  but you are stilldeficient in the vital Way of total emancipation.Look at the Buddha himself, who was possessed of great inborn knowl-edge—the influence of his six years of upright sitting is noticeable still. OrBodhidharma, who transmitted the Buddha’s mind-seal—the fame of his nineyears of wall sitting is celebrated to this day. Since this was the case with thesaints of old, how can people today dispense with negotiation of the Way?You should therefore cease from practice based on intellectual under-standing, pursuing words and following after speech, and learn the backwardstep that turns your light inward to illuminate your self. Body and mind willdrop away of themselves, and your srcinal face will manifest itself. If you wishto attain suchness, you should practice suchness without delay.For the practice of Zen, a quiet room is suitable. Eat and drink moder-ately. Cast aside all involvements, and cease all affairs. Do not think good, donot think bad. Do not administer pros and cons. Cease all the movements of the conscious mind, the gauging of all thoughts and views. Have no designs onbecoming a Buddha. The practice of Zen ( sanzen ) has nothing whatever to dowith the four bodily attitudes of moving, standing, sitting, or lying down.At the place where you regularly sit, spread out a layer of thick mattingand place a cushion on it. Sit either in the full-lotus or half-lotus posture. Inthe full-lotus posture, you first place your right foot on your left thigh and yourleft foot on your right thigh. In the half-lotus, you simply press your left footagainst your right thigh. You should have your robes and belt loosely boundand arranged in order. Then place your right hand on your left leg and your leftpalm facing upwards on your right palm, thumb-tips touching. Sit upright incorrect bodily posture, inclining neither to the left nor the right, leaning nei-ther forward nor backward. Be sure your ears are on a plane with your shouldersand your nose in line with your navel. Place your tongue against the front roof  2. From the Zen verse Hsinhsinming  : “If there is the slightest discrepancy, the Way is as distantas heaven from earth. To realize its manifestation, be neither for nor against. The conflict of likesand dislikes is in itself the disease of the mind.... Do not dwell in dualities, and scrupulouslyavoid pursuing the Way. If there is the least like or dislike, the mind is lost in confusion.”3. Dharma ( hô    ): Truth, Law, the doctrine and teaching of the Buddha, Buddhism. Through-out this translation, “Dharma” refers to Truth, and “dharma(s)” refers to things, the elements of existence, phenomena.  4THE HEART OF DÔGEN’S SHÔBÔGENZÔ of your mouth, with teeth and lips both shut. Your eyes should always remainopen. You should breathe gently through your nose.Once you have adjusted yourself into this posture, take a deep breath,inhale, exhale, rock your body to the right and left, and settle into a steady,unmoving sitting position. Think of not-thinking. How do you think of not-thinking? Nonthinking. 4  This in itself is the essential art of zazen.The zazen I speak of is not learning meditation. It is simply the Dharma-gate of repose and bliss. It is the practice-realization of totally culminatedenlightenment. It is things as they are in suchness. No traps or snares can everreach it. Once its heart is grasped, you are like the dragon when he reaches thewater, like the tiger when he enters the mountain. You must know that whenyou are doing zazen, right there the authentic Dharma is manifesting itself,striking aside dullness and distraction from the first.When you arise from sitting, move slowly and quietly, calmly anddeliberately. Do not rise suddenly or abruptly. In surveying the past, we findthat transcendence of ignorance and enlightenment, and dying while sittingor standing, have all depended entirely on the strength gained through zazen. 5 Moreover, enlightenment brought on by the opportunity provided by afinger, a banner, a needle, or a mallet, the realization effected by the aid of a flywhisk, a fist, a staff, or a shout, cannot be fully comprehended by humandiscrimination. 6  It cannot be fully known by the practice-realization of super-natural powers. 7  It is activity beyond human hearing and seeing, a principleprior to human knowledge or perception. 4. These words appear in a dialogue that Dôgen makes the subject of SBGZ Zazenshin : A monkasked Yüeh-shan, “What does one think of when sitting motionlessly in zazen?” Yüeh-shan replied,“You think of not-thinking.” “How do you think of not-thinking?” asked the monk. “Nonthinking,”answered Yüeh-shan.5. According to the Zen histories, Bodhidharma and the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Chinesepatriarchs died while seated in zazen. The Third Patriarch died standing under a large tree.6. These are allusions to the means that Zen masters use to bring students to enlightenment.Chü-chih’s “One-finger Zen” is the subject of Case 3 of the Wu-men-kuan. When Ananda askedKashyapa if the Buddha had transmitted anything to him besides the golden surplice, Kashyapacalled out to him. When Ananda responded, Kashyapa told him to take down the banner at thegate, whereupon Ananda attained enlightenment. The Fifteenth Indian Zen Patriarch, Kanadeva,paid a visit to Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna, without saying a word, instructed an attendant to place abowl brimming with water before his guest. Kanadeva took up a needle and dropped it into thebowl. As a result of this act, Nagarjuna accepted him as his disciple. One day when Shakyamuniascended to the teaching-seat, the Bodhisattva Monju (Manjushri) rapped his gavel to signify theopening of the sermon, declaring, “Clearly understood is the Dharma, the royal Dharma. TheDharma, the royal Dharma, is thus,” words usually uttered at the close of a sermon. Shakyamuni,without saying a word, left the teaching seat and retired.7. The supernatural powers (  jinzû  ) are possessed by beings of exceptional spiritualattainment, enabling them unrestricted freedom of activity, eyes capable of seeing everywhere,ears of hearing all sounds, and so on. Dôgen says that the means used by a master in bringing
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