Treeleaf Zen

( Dogen’s Instructions for the Cook – XXXI)

Right here, right now … this is the time and place of realization  … awakening and making it real …


When I observedaccomplished people in the past who held the position of cook, their personalqualities were naturally in accord with their official roles. The Great [TeacherGuishan Lingyou (771-853)] awakened to the way when he was a cook. Dongshan's [famoussaying] "Three pounds of hemp" [in response to the question, "What isBuddha"] was also when he was a cook. If there is a matter that can be valued,you should value the matter of awakening to the way. If there is a time thatcan be valued, surely you should value the time of awakening to the way! Theresult of cherishing that matter and being addicted to the way is attestedespecially by the [story of] "grasping sand and making a jewel" [atraditional story with a meaning such as "whatever is available at hand can beturned into something wonderful]. We can often see the effect of making animage [of the Buddha] and worshipping [before it]. The position of cook issimilar [in its karmic results], but even more so. Its name is the same [as inthe past]. If the cook is someone who can transmit its character and itspractice, how could its beauty and its fulfillment fail to appear?

From: Tenzo Kyokun - Instructions for the Cook by Eihei Dogen -

Translated by T. Griffith Foulk

(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

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