Testing the teachings of the Zen masters

Good friends, Master Dogen was very aware that even the simplest guidelines could be turned into dogmatic formulas or commandments. He often warned students about the dangers of becoming attached to the teachings, which he called “the carved dragon,” that are used to point to reality, and thereby miss that reality itself, which he called “the real dragon.”
    Learned audience, Dogen, more than many masters, recognized the essential role of the teachings or “carved dragon,” nevertheless, he urged us to “love the real dragon more.” Arguing semantics about minor differences between the terms used by Dogen, Baso, Obaku, Hyakujo, and other Zen ancestors, not only demonstrates a failure to “love the real dragon more,” it demonstrates a disdain for the “carved dragon,” which is the teaching transmitted by the buddhas and Zen ancestors…
    [W]ith a little effort, you can personally discover the true meaning of authentic meditation. Once you become familiar with the actual practice of meditation, you can apply and compare Dogen’s method of nonthinking and Obaku’s method of cessation of conceptualization for yourselves. Then you will discover on your own that the actual experience is identical. This is how you should test all the teachings: try them and discover for yourself if they work.

~The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing

2 thoughts on “Testing the teachings of the Zen masters”

  1. Hi Pete,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Dogen says, “Take a bite.”
    Someone says, “But it’s not cooked!”
    Dogen says, “When you are truly hungry, raw potatos are very delicious (especially with a dash of salt)!”

    Thanks again!


  2. Dear Ted
    The old song goes ” You say pOtato and I say potAto, Let’s call the whole thing off”

    Dogen says ” Take a bite!”
    Somebody will say ” but it’s not cooked!”
    To which the reply could be ” So get cooked, then bite”



Comments are closed.