Posted inArt and Poems, Dogen, Koans, Other Teachings

Man in a Boat at Sea, from Genjokoan

June 17, 2016

9695281354_81e7c24cc5_zWhen a man is in a boat at sea and looks back at the shoreline, it may seem to him as though the shore is moving. But when he fixes his gaze closely on the boat, he realizes it is the boat that is moving.

In like manner, when a person tries to discern and affirm thoughts with a confused notion of his body and mind, he makes the mistake of thinking his mind, his own nature, is permanent and unchanging.

If he turns back within himself, making all his daily deed immediately and directly his own, the reason all things have no selfhood becomes clear.

From The Heart of Dogen’s Shobogenzo, Suny Press, 2002
Norman Waddell and Masao Abe, translators

Image: Man in Peace, by Salva Graziano, CC BY 2.0, from

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