Posted inArt and Poems, Dogen, Other Teachings

Birth and Death 4

November 14, 2016


This birth and death is the life of buddha. If you try to exclude it you will lose the life of buddha.  If you cling to it, trying to remain in it, you will also lose the life of buddha, and what remains will be the mere form of buddha. Only when you don’t dislike birth and death or long for them, do you enter buddha’s mind.

However, do not analyze or speak about it. Just set aside your body and mind, forget about them, and throw them into the house of buddha; then all is done by buddha. When you follow this, you are free from birth and death and become buddha with effort or calculation. Who then continues to think?


Translated by Arnold Kotler and Kazuaki Tanahasi

From Moon in a Dewdrop, Writings of Zen Master Dogen, Editor Kazuaki Tanahasi, San Francisco: North Point Press, 1985. Image: Stillness, and more Stillness by nik gaffney, CC by-SA 2.o, from

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