Shobogenzo Zuimonki

Book 2

2-23

One day Dogen said in his instructions,

Many monks these days say that they should follow worldly customs. I don’t think this right. Even in the secular world, wise people say that it is impure to follow the way of the world. For example, Kutsugen1 said “Everyone in the world is drunk; only I am sober.” He refused to go along with the ordinary ways of people and finally threw himself into Soro River  and drowned.

Much more even, does the buddha-dharma go entirely against worldly ways. Lay people eat in abundance; monks eat once a day. Everything is contrary. And finally, monks become people of great peace and joy (Nirvana). For this reason the way of monks is totally opposed to the way of the secular world.

  1. Kutsugen (343?–227?B.C.) was a politician and a poet in China. He lived in the Period of the Warring States.