Dogen Zenji was a Japanese Buddhist priest, writer and poet who lived in the early 13th Century.
Garry Snyder is a teacher, poet, essayist and travel writer who lives today in the United States.
The accompanying photo is of the Blue Mountains located around 50 km west of Sydney Australia.
All three speak to us of thusness, or the very special ordinariness of our life. Too often we completely miss the depth in this ordinariness as we try to fill our aching thirst for something more.
“The blue mountains are constantly walking.” Dōgen is quoting the Chan master Furong. — “If you doubt mountains walking you do not know your own walking.”
— Dōgen is not concerned with “sacred mountains” – or pilgrimages, or spirit allies, or wilderness as some special quality. His mountains and streams are the processes of this earth, all of existence, process, essence, action, absence; they roll being and non-being together. They are what we are, we are what they are. For those who would see directly into essential nature, the idea of the sacred is a delusion and an obstruction: it diverts us from seeing what is before our eyes: plain thusness. Roots, stems, and branches are all equally scratchy. No hierarchy, no equality. No occult and exoteric, no gifted kids and slow achievers. No wild and tame, no bound or free, no natural and artificial. Each totally its own frail self. Even though connected all which ways; even because connected all which ways. This, thusness, is the nature of the nature of nature. The wild in wild.
So the blue mountains walk to the kitchen and back to the shop, to the desk, to the stove. We sit on the park bench and let the wind and rain drench us. The blue mountains walk out to put another coin in the parking meter, and go down to the 7-Eleven. The blue mountains march out of the sea, shoulder the sky for a while, and slip back to into the waters.”
― Gary Snyder, Practice of the Wild.
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