Shobogenzo Zuimonki

Book 2


Dogen also said,

Is the Way attained through mind or body? In the teaching-schools it is said that since body and mind are not separate, the Way is attained through the body. Yet it is not clear that we attain the Way through the body, because they say “since” body and mind are not separate. In Zen the Way is attained through both body and mind.

As long as we only think about the buddha-dharma with our minds we will never grasp the Way, even in a thousand lifetimes or a myriad of eons. When we let go of our minds and cast aside our views and understandings the Way will be actualized. One sage clarified True Mind (Reality) when he saw peach blossoms and another realized the Way when he heard the sound of tile hitting a bamboo.1 They attained the Way through their bodies. Therefore, when we completely cast aside our thoughts and views and practice shikantaza, we will become intimate with the Way. For this reason the Way is doubtlessly attained through the body. This is why I encourage you to practice zazen wholeheartedly.

  1. This refers to Reiun Shigon (?–?) and Kyogen Shikan (?–840) who were the disciples of Zen Master Isan Reiyu (771–853).