The Zen path, the homeland of the self

The path to authentic liberation is not complicated, mystical, esoteric, or difficult to understand. You do not require supernatural power or some special ability to access it. It is functioning perfectly within each one of you at this very moment. It is the infinite and unnamable, fathomless void, sometimes called buddha-nature; it is the true nature of your own mind. It includes the whole of time and space; it is nothing less than the homeland of the self.

~The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing

6 thoughts on “The Zen path, the homeland of the self”

  1. Hello Barry,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Hahahahha!!! Yes! I have that tape with Snyder reading too… That was when I decided Shobogenzo was not the kind of work that was well adapted to audio.

    Moon In A Dewdrop is an awesome collection however. Dust that old thing off at check out the Kasuaki Tanahashi/Dan Welch translation of “Gabyo” (Painting of a rice-cake). It is a supurb translation of a fascinating essay–and its only about 4 pages long. That book also has a much better than usual glossary (which is combined with the index).

    Sipping a cup of tea, stop the glacier meltdown…


  2. My wife would tell you that I need “more hard training.” (Which, of course, she’s happy to contribute.)

    As for Dogen – everything I know about Dogen I’m blaming on you. I have an old copy of Moon in a Dewdrop, which I’ve never read. And I used to have a cassette tape (remember those?) of Gary Snyder reading excerpts from Moon which I listened to while commuting 20 years ago. Maybe some of it sunk in…but I doubt it!

  3. Hello Barry,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Yes! I stole “the homeland of the self” from Gudo Nishijima & Mike Cross’ translation of Zen Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo, Gyobutsu Yuigi. Assuming you are unfamiliar with the passage, it is remarkable how closely your comments match up with Dogen’s own. Check it out, the passage runs:

    “[To research] this truth of moment-by-moment utter entrustment, we must research the mind. In the mountain-still state of such research, we discern and understand that ten thousand efforts are [each] the mind being evident, and the triple world is just that which is greatly removed from the mind. This discernment and understanding, while also of the myriad real dharmas, activate the homeland of the self. They make immediate and concrete the vigorous state of the human being in question.”
    Shobogenzo, Gyobutsu Yuigi, Gudo Nishijima & Mike Cross

    You, like Dogen, have clearly been spending too much time in meditation. Ha!


  4. Hi Yamakoa,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Speaking of the fire, some Zen master said that there was a snowflake in its midst. I wonder if there is also a flame inside the snowflake…


  5. I really like the image of “homeland of the self.” Of course, no one lives there… But, still, it’s the place where the work of liberation occurs.

  6. Hola Ted,
    True, True, but…
    It requires unflinching courage, genuine and single minded aspiration, and the perseverance/endurance that would make a triathlete loose his cookies.

    The dog has been barking the three barriers constantly. Have also been learning to go into the hearth to face and become the fire!


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