Shobogenzo Zuimonki

Book 5


Dogen instructed,

In learning the Way, you must depart from your ego. Even if you have been able to study a thousand sutras or ten thousand commentaries, if you do not free yourself from ego-attachment, you will eventually fall into the hole of demons.

An ancient master said, “If you lack the body and mind of the buddha-dharma, how is it possible to become a buddha or a patriarch?” To depart from your ego means throwing your body and mind into the great ocean of the buddha-dharma, and practicing by following the buddha-dharma no matter how much pain or anxiety you may have.

You might think that if you beg for food, people will think ill of you. As long as you think in this way, you will never be able to enter the buddha-dharma. Forget all worldly sentiments, and just practice the Way, relying only on Reality.

Underestimating yourself, thinking that you are not capable of practicing the buddha-dharma is also due to ego-attachment. To be concerned with the views of others and to care about human sentiments is the root of self-attachment. Just study the buddha-dharma; don’t follow worldly sentiments.