To Realize Your Self is to Forget Your Self – Zazen: The Keystone of Zen

The Keystone of Zen

To realize your self is to forget your self.  Shobogenzo, Genjokoan, Eihei Dogen (1200-1253)

Learning the Buddha’s truth (your truth) is to forget your self. Forgetting your self is what occurs when you truly achieve mustering your whole body-and-mind, which is zazen, the keystone of Zen. In his works, Dogen uses a number of terms and phrases to refer to this forgetting; besides ‘mustering your whole body-and-mind’ he uses ‘casting off body-and-mind’, ‘no-mind’, ‘nonthinking’, ‘the still-still state’, and a variety of similar terms.

This is why he said that in the experience of Buddhahood, there is no sense of being Buddha. When you forget the self, grasping and aversion no longer bind you to abstract notions and conceptualizations. Theories, concepts, and knowledge are then seen and utilized within their proper sphere and context, not as unbending metaphysical laws, but as rational and dynamic methodological principles for living in the real world.

The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing