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Shobogenzo Comments

  1. HOKKE-TEN-HOKKE. The Flower of Dharma Turns the Flower of Dharma
  2. SHIN-FUKATOKU. Mind Cannot Be Grasped. A.
  3. SHIN-FUKATOKU. Mind Cannot Be Grasped. B.
  4. KOKYO. The Eternal Mirror


17     Hokke-ten-hokke and "High places often rob a minor of a good life"


A flowering emblem often helps artistry. And good-looking artistry should help the artist on and up. Prominence in a society gets emblems as accessories, in part to unify, in part for promotion service. Cars illustrate something of it in their way. Flags and country symbols likewise.

High places should be delightful to live in too


Like flowers in slow motion men should bloom to make the best out of it. Socially and traditionally high places could give scanty conditions for thriving, like high mountain tops. It depends on how high they are and the climate.

You can climb to socially high places by education and getting good jobs. After some years in a position the fight is over and you may retire and be happy.

LoHigh places may not allow for repeated or great blunders

VIEWS OF the universe are had from figuratively high places, originally. Your place of birth speaks of you, tells Rudulf Steiner. Where you first were able to walk on two legs, tells things too, according to him. We will not go into that subject here. You can read into Steiner here: [MORE]

"High places can have their precipices." [Dp 6, 7] The proverbs serves to warn against being careless in high places or positions. Behind the not so very high Capitoline Hill (also called Campidoglio) in Rome was a steep cliff. Some were thrown down there to meet their death on the dagger-sharp Tarpeian Rocks below. It was used as an execution site. [Dp 6,7]

LoA flowering emblem often helps artistry

Art expresses, portrays, simulates, and has room for much more. [MORE]

A flower stands out for a while and represents repeatedly. Some hold the the universe itself to be a flowering, emblematic thing, and call it the Great Symbol, Mahamudra. Zen and Mahamudra.

The Buddhist Lotus Verses say in part: "The universe is like flowers". It is included in the meaning of the term hokke.

LoLet a wonderful, wonderful custom back you up a bit

THE TERM hokke-ten-hokke means "the wonderful universe which is like flowers is turning (or moving) the wonderful universe which is like flowers itself."MM (7)



  1. You can climb and alter your status by good schooling. It should give good learning opportunities.
  2. Very high places seem to attract emblems to themselves. Universities strive for their own logo. A flag or pennant may seek to express the same - it depends.
  3. Emblems can reflect some climb where one learns higher stages as they appear in time. Benjamin Bloom et al discerned six stages of accessing-climbing. Sound and well-founded evaluation (judgement) can be expressed tersely, and at this point a pregnant image, even a symbol may appear. You can climb towards eminence and know some hallmarks of reaching it. [See Tece]

IN NUCEClimb by assessing and making good use of opportunities. One route is to learn to express in an "university way", by conforming to such standards. And higher climbs lead easily into imagery, which further climbing is to dissolve too, in a proper, non-alarming way.

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18-19     Deep Mind


Awakened Mind can be got by skilled and sound meditation. It may take some time to arrive, though. That varies too.

The reflective coverage

fig Servile persons could need a hobby.

LoRemain functional and practical anyhow

WITHIN variegated Buddhism there are divergent opinions on some subjects. Accept that, and go on meditating to your ability, considering your general conditions.

Inner, mental awareness of an outside world is structured deep inside, and causes us to sense an outer world. This is the Vedanta outlook of Adi (the first) Shankara.

Also consider, "A mind enlightened is like heaven; a mind in darkness is like hell." [Chinese]. Existentialism is nothing new. Mahayana Buddhism (of which Zen is a part), has many variants.

Progress with common-sense to help you on and up. Buddha's eightfold path (the Middle Way) serves solid progress, and Buddha does not ask for gullible beliefs either.

LoPerceived matter is in part of the mind

We understand matter through the mind, and happen to believe common sense is fit from somewhere in the mind too.

LoMinds function on deep levels and other, more mundane levels

Avoid confusion or being taken in: Study Buddha's Kalama Sutta. The nature of mind is explained by Padma-Sambhava, also called Guru Rinpoche. [MORE]


  1. Contemplation may whet the mind (improve the brain wave pattern) till that "sharpened axe" chops wood (thoughts) more and better. You may improve your creativity along with skills in meditating. [See Zazc]
  2. Mind analysis did not start with Sigmund Freud and Carl G. Jung. Daniel Goleman of Harvard sums up varieties of meditative approaches and seeks to compare various traditions. [Yy]. In theoretical physics some prominent men have reached similar outlooks as Mahayana Buddhism, and Soto Zen is at bottom the same as the Great Symbol teaching of Mahayana. [Cf. Tiy]

IN NUCEDedicate yourself to improve your mind as seen by brain wave studies. Mahayana contains further teachings - and Transcendental Meditation too, for example.

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20     The Mirror of Reflection


The West lacks sense in dealing with bosses. Most people get eager to buy things and stuff and adapt to a fare that is boss-ridden, of consumerism, and dominated by mercantile interests. Many seem to be naïve beginners in the art of living in a complex fabric. Good ideas are need to counteract degenerating influences. Good figure-forming capacity can be aided and schooled for it. Waldorf Education talks for this thing.

Some skills can be trained and can help you. Keeping a keen eye too. To learn to observe can be good help, and is trainable.

LoLet your mirror suggest one basis for a good fare among comrades - a good-looking face isn't to be discarded, nor is being tidy and loveably groomed

Kokyo, "the Old Mirror", is of the soul as a human mental faculty. Reflect, then. Reflecting well is desirable, an asset. Also reflect: a good fare is supposedly tactful and yet much natural.

LoWe have to suppose, guess and figure out in very many cultural settings. It cannot be done away with either

Seppo Gison remarks "Every monkey has the ancient mirror on its back." - symbol of the intuitional faculty, but perhaps "The best mirror is an old friend." (British proverb)

LoIntuitively rooted reckoning, is it good and correct?

SEPPO GISON said, "When the world is ten feet wide, the old mirror is ten feet wide. When the world is one foot wide, the old mirror is one foot wide." These words suggest the old mirror is the world itself.

Intuitive calibration of any complex thought-pattern appears to be much common inside anyone.

Many Zen monks have discussed the old mirror, as it is called.

Libido (natural zest, including lust) is the basis for mental associations, fit or otherwise, says psychoanalysis. Abraham Maslow found that persons who had attained a high level of self-actualisation saw clearer, with less distortions, and were good examples. He has written influental books about such people.

It pays to distort less, at least in the long run. Clarity is a great boon of Buddhist practice.



  1. A good-looking face is there for a good reason, and is not to be discarded, nor is being tidy and loveably groomed.
  2. More or less verbalised figures of mind are what we think and reflect on top of. Learn to suppose, guess and figure out to your own benefit. Heuristics should be trained.
  3. Correct prognostication can serve us too. Intuitively rooted reckoning, is it good and correct? It generally remains to find out (verify).

IN NUCE A good-looking face and figure - does it make us think correctly about the soul in question?

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.

Zazc: Kasamatsu, Akira, and Tomio Hirai. "An Electroencephalographic Study on the Zen Meditation." Psychologia, Vol 12: Kyoto, 1969, 205-25.

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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