Teachings of Dogen

“Flowers in the Sky (Kuge)” by Zen Master Eihei Dogen (1200-1253)

from “Flowers in the Sky (Kuge)” by Zen Master Eihei Dogen (1200-1253), trans. Thomas Cleary

Zen Master Reikun, when he first called on Zen Master Kiso, asked, “What is Buddha?” Kiso said, “If I tell you, will you believe?” Reikun said, “How dare I not believe the true words of the teacher?” Kiso said, “You are it.” Reikun said, “How can I preserve it” Kiso said, “When there is a single cataract in the eye, flowers in the sky shower every which way.”

This saying of Kiso, when there is a single cataract in the eye, flowers in the sky shower every which way, is an expression of preserving Buddha. Therefore, know that the showering every which way of cataract flowers is the manifestation of Buddha. The flowers and fruits in the eye-sky are the preservation of the Buddhas. By means of cataracts the eye is caused to manifest; manifesting sky flowers in the eye, it manifests the eye in the sky flowers. Because of this, cataracts too are the manifestation of the whole works, the eye too is the manifestation of the whole works, the sky too is the manifestation of the whole works, the flowers too are the manifestation of the whole works. Showering every which way is a thousand eyes, it is eyes throughout the body. In whatever time and place there is an eye, there are inevitably flowers in the sky, there are flowers in the eye. Flowers in the eye are called flowers in the sky–the expression of flowers in the eye must be open and clear.

Shared by James Arthur Eliott on Dogen Studies FB

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