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Shobogenzo Comments

  1. DEN-E. The Transmission of the Robe
  2. SANSUIGYO. The Sutra of Mountains and Water
  3. BUSSO. The Buddhist Patriarchs
  4. SHISHO. The Certificate of Succession


13   Transmission of alien costumes


Stupefying costumes may reflect an inner drive or need for stupefying living, a decadent living. A stunning garb may not be shown to all and sundry, like lingerie.

LoSome transmissions are not even correct

THE BEST transmission is not of a stupefying costume and a robe.

LoA master in common clothes inside a human hide, is perhaps completely unknown because it's best in such a case. That is a teaching of India too

Ask an Eskimo about what suits he prefers, and he will perhaps show you what costume he wears on a common, regular basis to be fit for living. ◊

LoBe wary and weary of decadent business, including too fragile clothing, the sooner the better for you

GET WEARY of alien costume. The same holds good for many sorts of business, including exploiting enterprises when the time is ripe.


You need to get suspicious of great doctrines if they become international and hailed as the best in the West. For what people hail, reflect themselves. And who says a celebrity-focused, whim-led Western public has what it takes to judge Awakened Ones and what they say? It takes one to know one, remember. So be suspicious at its best of what is in vogue, for your own good. IN SUM

  1. Some transmissions are not skin deep, and for the best of all hearts involved.
  2. A Buddha or genuine yoga master in common clothes might be completely unknown internationally and never appear in a bestseller.
  3. Be weary of decadent business and relax more for living.

IN NUCE Skin deep yoga teachings get popular first, at any rate. Accompanied by relaxation techniques, the results may be good too.

fig There are often two sides to an issue, if not three, four, five or a hundred. We should stick to the most rewarding ones among the relevant ones, for our own good at any time, and perhaps tidy them a little bit: The guru Yogananda went to the west and became popular and not married. The tenor of his teaching is that in India the right sort of Hindu begging can be a sign of being above others, cultivated also. Many monks or strongly spiritually bent personalities are told to conform to that sort of living. Some wear a loincloth, others nothing [See Pa: Index] Ramakrishna was initiated into Advaita Vedanta by such a wandering monk - a naked man that he called Nangta. Seeing is believing. [See Gra, introduction]

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14   Verses of mountains and water

Personally evolved moral could make a difference


There is a connection between basic science and carefully applied science and technology, if there is a difference. Technology tends to get linked to abusive and often exploitive market deals. A fit motto may be: "To implement what seems largely excellent for ducks and geese could also work for the good of future's little children - lots of them." This spells a dire need for better environmental protection and much else.

Transcend to adapt fair enough

Parts of us that transcend outward Nature, are capable of ascertaining a lot, maybe also gauge the fairly good adaptations fit for tomorrow's much debased earth.


  3. ENDANGERED SPECIES SHOULD BE GIVEN BACK SOME LAND - AND MANY A FIELD RESTORED. We live by Nature's help, a Nature that is seriously troubled and alarmed these days.

IN NUCE Buddha succeeded in forming gist to make good people run a fine business too.

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15   Warn against psychopaths in power

Expert warns of dangers of the corporate psychopath


Many are the plots and intrigues of regents and royalty, historically speaking. As the mercanile class rises and dominates on the world scene, be prepared for uncanny sides to it too. Let us entertain ourselves a little. Below are excerpts from an enlighening article by Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press, Thursday, August 29, 2002:

Corporate executives should be screened for psychopathic behaviour disorders, a leading Canadian researcher says.

"Why wouldn't we want to screen . . . people who are going to handle hundreds of billions of dollars?"

Dr. Robert Hare, a world-renowned expert on psychopaths, [has] turned his attention to a little-known subset of psychopaths: the corporate kind.

"The average psychopath has no trouble moving through [the] process (of standard face-to-face interviews)," says Dr. Hare, who teaches at the University of British Columbia. "That's not even a hurdle."

Through his research, he has found psychopaths share a cluster of personality traits, which are reflected in their relationships, emotions and way of life.

"As well as having no hint of a conscience, psychopaths have a barren emotional life marked by few close relationships . . . and an inflated sense of self. They are deceitful, short-tempered and display early behavioural problems . . .

"The deceptive accounting practices and fraudulent dealings of . . . companies in the United States and Canada have led to huge losses on the stock market, massive layoffs and a string of court cases.

"These are callous, cold-blooded individuals. They don't care that you have thoughts and feelings. They have no sense of guilt and remorse.

"But the arrogant, manipulative behaviour of psychopaths often makes them prime candidates for promotion within large corporations built on ruthless competition. As well, psychopaths have been known to excel as politicians and lawyers . . .

"Their utter lack of empathy makes them perfect for carrying out budget cuts and layoffs . . . A psychopath flourishes in that atmosphere."

Widespread business norms demand compliance


Seemingly good people sell their work time to corporates that exploit a lot, and show little social responsibility - going for profit with shortsighted ends too. They operate "on the backs" of the "good people" that work for them and say they do not share responsibilities with the capitalist bosses that flourish in our time, and still are in the same boat, more or less. Alas for all that.

LoAccepted in the large society, but what is the hidden cost and murky side to it?

When nature has been depleted, stop hoping for idyls and paradisic welcomes. Besides, half of all American physical diseases are stress-related. [Hi 505]. Accommodations to urban ways of life may hinder health more than they help, in the long run, that is.

An increasing number of people on earth are living and pining in cities, in urban settings. Consolidations in the world at large counts on such trends, and may not be good for undeveloped countries either, and the two thirds of the human race that are poor and suffer from undernourishment and the like.

There are resources to help, but they are not put into and used so that earth may recover, and help the majority of the inhabitants to decent lives. There are many other sorts of stupidity around too.

LoBe wisely attuned to Buddha

Wisely attuned counts a lot.

LoThe perfect camouflage makes much difference

The good thinkers don't have to look formidable or spectacular. Only their thoughts need to function well. [Ap]MM IN SUM

  1. IT IS POSSIBLE OR LIKELY THAT "WELL-ADJUSTED", FIRM-LOOKING LEADERS HAVE NIGHTMARES AND UNCANNY DISEASES. A Canadian psychiatrist has analysed the multinational corporations and ascertained they have the standard marks of being psychopathic.
  3. It may seem the world loves to be deceived for what it's worth.

IN NUCE To be well-adjusted and culture-minded is still OK and not so very deceptful, methinks.

A little more

fig Pollution, worldwide dioxin contamination, acid rain, ozone depletion, and global warming, are all major problems today, and many companies do not help. "How can these companies do these things? Wouldn't it help to send a letter to their presidents and tell them about the problems? How can we convince them to stop?" you may ask.

Many people assume that leaders of multinational corporations think and act like they do themselves. They do not think of corporations - or their CEO's - as great evils. Even when a company is exposed as a major polluter, they do not ascribe evil intent. They are surprised, even astonished, when they find that the pollution was company policy, like its possible denial and cover-up.

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16   The Stripling's Fare

LoTo get well aware is useful for the trainee

GOOD PRACTICE doesn't get taming, and can lead to increasing proficiency as time goes by. Be less whimsical about it. Lack of autonomy is one of the secret prices to pay for being educated and trained outside one's family.

Some insights can pave the way for a more sagacious fare. ◊

LoFrom maestro to youth: "Truth has a scratched face." [Dp]

After a stripling (adolescent youth) has learned the master's handling routines and facets of his life and dealings and has understood what practical good customs seem to be in his sets of circumstances and interactions, (good customs of the trade and surrounding it), the master eventually gives a certificate to the stripling.

Lo Laughter is the hiccup of a fool (British)

TO HAVE TO is the basis of many certificates and diplomas hanging on the wall. Obligatory schooling is marked in this way, and certain forms of reverence - they are enjoined on us, but not all of them.

Certificates are usually held in high esteem by petty minds and conform ones too. They seldom and never act up to the fact that real competency is far better than merely formal competency. Real competency is to master things genuinely. Formal competency is to have a paper that says you are allowed to try. The best is probably to be really, truly competent in a field and have some certificate or diploma too, if needed. Most often it is needed in industrialised societies today.

The certificate is only cloth and ink on one level, but it speaks of admittance first and foremost.MM


  1. Getting well aware should look useful for the trainee.
  2. "Truth could have a scratched face." [British proverb] Some truths gladden. Perhaps those who laugh much and overdo it, feel threatened. Yet there are laughs and laughs. The jovial laugh counts. The laughing serf could be in danger. Keep an eye on the circumstances, then.
  3. "Laughter is the hiccup of a fool," is a denigrating British proverb. There may be a time for laughs, and a time for keeping silent. Judge it yourself.

IN NUCE Try to become aware of and attuned to jovial laughs above the other forms of laughter you come across.

Kigen Dogen Shobogenzo comments, END MATTER

Kigen Dogen Shobogenzo comments, LITERATURE  

Compare: ◦The complete Zhobogenzo◦Chapter surveys.

Dog: Masunaga, Reiho, tr. A Primer of Soto Zen. A Translation of Dogen's Shobogenzo Zuimonki. Honolulu: University Press, 1975.

Orh: Blyth, Reginald Horace: Oriental humour. Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1963.

Prz: Chang, Garma C. The Practice of Zen. New York: Perennial/Harper, 1970.

Shz: Cleary, Thomas, tr.: Shobogenzo: Zen Essays by Dogen. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986

Sth: Nearman, Hubert, tr. Shobogenzo: The Treasure House of the Eye of the True Teaching. Mount Shasta, CA: Shasta Abbey Press, 2007. On-line

Szd: Nishijima, Gudo Wafo and Cross, Chodo, trs.: Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. Book 1. Woking, Surrey (UK): Windbell, 1994.

Szi: Nishijima, Gudo Wafo and Cross, Chodo, trs.: Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. Book 2. London: Windbell Publications, 1996.

Szm: Nishijima, Gudo Wafo and Cross, Chodo, trs.: Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. Book 3. London: Windbell Publications, 1997.

Szp: Nishijima, Gudo Wafo and Cross, Chodo, trs.: Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. Book 4. London: Windbell Publications, 1999.

Tiy: Evans-Wentz, Walter Yeeling, ed. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.

Zazd: Blyth, Reginald Horace. Zen and Zen Classics, Vol 1. Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1960.

Zazi: Blyth, Reginald Horace. Zen and Zen Classics, Vol 2. Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1964.

Zazm: Blyth, Reginald Horace. Zen and Zen Classics, Vol 3. Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1970.

Zazp: Blyth, Reginald Horace. Zen and Zen Classics, Vol 4. Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1966.

Zazr: Blyth, Reginald Horace. Zen and Zen Classics, Vol 5. Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1966.

Zeb: Suzuki, Shunryu: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. New York: Weatherhill, 1971.

Zf: Reps, Paul: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971, updated 1997.

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