S: What are you doing, for heaven sake? H: Isn’t it obvious, I’m searching for Nirvana, for enlightenment. S: You silly fool, it’s right behind you! H: (turning suddenly) It is not, I would certainly see it. S: You might think so, but it is still right behind you! H: But why, tell me, can’t I see it? S: Because you’re looking for it always peering outward, but if you look inward behind your eyes, you won’t be able to miss it.
If you think about it, it will suddenly disappear, if you do not think about it, it will reappear, but do not try and understand for understanding can only come from the final surrender of understanding. It is the back of your head in a mirrorless world which others see but you can not.
A reflection on case 76 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
I think therefore I am. I think therefore you are. You think therefore I am. If either of us stops thinking, does the other cease to be? If I see you as Buddha you are Buddha. If you see me as Buddha I can be Buddha, but if I see myself as Buddha Buddha and I are mountains and rivers apart.
A reflection on Case 86 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
If you ask who I am I will have you close your eyes and walk behind you, or I may step to your left and take your right hand. If you are perplexed, I will ask you, do the four gates open into the city or out to the world beyond, and if I stand still sideways under a gate in which direction am I headed?
A reflection on case 46 of Dogen’s True Dharma Eye (Shobogenzo).
He spends considerable time looking in the mirror trying hard to see what is there, to see inside himself, to truly see himself as he imagines others see him. The mirror denies him a static image, it is always shifting, and try though he might to grasp one single image he finds it impossible and always gives up in frustration. Still he tries again the next day, and the next after that, never attaining his desired objective. Ask yourself, what is his failure? If he would become the mirror, then, and only then, he might see himself, rather than a mere image on glass.
A reflection on case 125 of the Shobogenzo (True Dharma Eye)
Wherever you stand still you can see the rainbow but walk to find its end this one or that one and it will be gone on your arrival. Sit in the fine mist and look at the earth – how many colors do you see?
A reflection on Case 42 of the Shobogenzo (The True Dharma Eye)
They sat on the bench in the park looking out on the small lake, two ducks swimming slowly in circles. “Dawn is the most beautiful moment of the day, the sun chasing the moon and setting the sky ablaze, orange, crimson, flame, there is simply nothing,” he said, “in the world quite like it.”
“It is that, but it pales compared to the beauty of dusk and the setting sun retreating, the clouds painted by the master in orchid, fuchsia, and a depth of pink only the sun and clouds know,” she replied, “and each day is different.
An old monk walking by bowed, nodded and softly said, “but look to the sky on a cloudless night, see the moon reflect all the sun has to offer, all the colors in the spectrum are there if you only close your eyes and see them.”