Shobogenzo Zuimonki

Book 3


Dogen also said,

Students of the Way often say that if they do such and such people in the world will reproach them. This is totally wrong. Even though people criticize you, if it is the activity of the buddhas and patriarchs and in accordance with the sacred teachings, you should follow and practice it. Even if people in the world praise you, if it is not prescribed in the sacred scriptures nor what the patriarchs have done, you should not practice it. [This is because] even if people in the world, be they intimates or strangers, praise or criticize you and you follow their opinions, when you face death and fall into the evil-realms pulled by your own evil deeds, none of them can save you. Moreover, even if you are reproached and hated by everyone, if you practice relying solely on the Way of the buddhas and patriarchs you will surely be saved. So do not refrain from practicing for fear of being slandered by others. Furthermore, those who slander you or praise you are not necessarily those who have penetrated and attained the practice of the buddhas and patriarchs. How is it possible to judge the Way of the buddhas and patriarchs by worldly values of good and evil?

Therefore, do not depend on the sentiments of worldly people. If an action should be carried out according to the Buddha-Way, practice it wholeheartedly.