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[永平] 道元希玄 [Eihei] Dōgen Kigen

Title page of an 1811 edition of Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō



Végh József:
PDF: Dógen zen mester élete és művei

PDF: Dógen Zen mester magyarul elérhető írásai
Összegyűjtötte: Végh József

Hrabovszky Dóra:
Dōgen Kigen és a Fukan Zazengi

Általános javallatok a zen meditációhoz
Címet fordította: Terebess Gábor;
szövegford. Mák Andrea és Fábián Gábor

PDF: Fukan-zazen-gi Hakuun Yasutani mester magyarázataival
Fordította: Hetényi Ernő

Dógen versei

Dógen holdbanéző önarcképe

A zazen dicsérete
Fordította: Végh József

Az ülő meditáció szabályai (Sóbógenzó zazengi)
Fordította: Végh József

A zazen ösvénye
Fordította: Szigeti György

A szívében a megvilágosodás szellemével élő lény (bódhiszattva) négy irányadó tevékenysége
(Sóbógenzó bodaiszatta sisóbó)
Fordította: Végh József

Életünk kérdése (Gendzsókóan 現成公案)
Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt (2006)

PDF: Az Út Gyakorlásában Követendő pontok
Fordította: Barna Mokurin Gyula

真字正法眼蔵 [Mana/Shinji] Shōbōgenzō

仮字正法眼蔵 [Kana/Kaji] Shōbōgenzō

普勧坐禅儀 Fukan zazengi

学道用心集 Gakudō-yōjinshū Advice on Studying the Way

永平清規 Eihei shingi Eihei Rules of Purity

永平廣錄 Eihei kōroku Dōgen's Extensive Record

宝慶記 Hōkyō-ki Memoirs of the Hōkyō Period

傘松道詠 Sanshō dōei Verses on the Way from Sanshō Peak

DOC: The Zen Poetry of Dogen - Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace
by Steven Heine

孤雲懷奘 Kōun Ejō (1198-1280)
Shōbōgenzō zuimonki

修證 Shushō-gi, compiled in 1890
by Takiya Takushū (滝谷卓洲) of Eihei-ji and Azegami Baisen (畔上楳仙) of Sōji-ji
as an abstract of Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō

Dōgen founded this temple in 1233


Dōgen's Zen Ancestors Chart

PDF: The Life of Dōgen Zenji
Eiheiji published an illustrated version (with 71 full-page woodcuts) of Menzan‘s annotated chronicle,
the Teiho Kenzeiki zue 「訂補建撕記図会」 (preface dated 1806, but actually published 1817).


Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma

Bodaisatta shishōbō

Eihei Dogen Zenji
The 28th Chapter of Shobogenzo: Bodaisatta-Shishobo
The Bodhisattva’s Four Embracing Actions

Draft Translation
By Shohaku Okumura and Alan Senauke

First is Giving or dana. Second is Loving-Speech. Third is Beneficial-Action. Fourth
is Identity-Action.

Giving or Offering means not being greedy. Not to be greedy means not to covet. Not
to covet commonly means not to flatter. Even if we rule the four continents, in order to
offer teachings of the true Way we must simply and unfailingly not be greedy. It is
like offering treasures we are about to discard to those we do not know. We give
flowers blooming on the distant mountains to the Tathagata, and offer treasures
accumulated in past lives to living beings. Whether our gifts are Dharma or material
objects, each gift is truly endowed with the virtue of Offering or dana. Even if this gift
is not our personal possession, our practice of offering is not hindered. No gift is too
small, but our effort should be genuine.
When the Way is entrusted to the Way, we attain the Way. When we attain the Way,
the Way unfailingly continues to be entrusted to the Way. When material treasures
remain as treasures, these treasures actually become dana. We offer ourselves to
ourselves, and we offer others to others. The karma of giving pervades the heavens
above and our human world alike. It even reaches the realm of those sages who have
attained the fruits of realization. Whether we give or receive, we connect ourselves
with all beings throughout the world.
The Buddha said, “When a person who practices dana comes into an assembly, other
people watch that person with admiration.” We should know that the mind of such a
person quietly reaches others. Even if we offer just one word or a verse of Dharma,
it will become a seed of goodness in this lifetime and other lives to come. Even if we
give something humble—a single penny or a stalk of grass—it will plant a root of
goodness in this and other ages. Dharma can be a material treasure, and a material
treasure can be Dharma. This depends entirely upon the giver’s vow and wish.
Offering his beard, a Chinese emperor harmonized his minister’s mind. Offering
sand, a child gained the throne. These people did not covet rewards from others. They
simply shared what they had according to their ability. To launch a boat or build a
bridge is the practice of dana paramita. When we understand the meaning of dana,
receiving a body and giving up a body are both offerings. Earning a livelihood and
managing a business are nothing other than giving. Trusting flowers to the wind, and
trusting birds to the season may also be the meritorious action of dana. When we give
and when we receive, we should study this principle: Great King Ashoka’s offering of
half a mango to hundreds of monks was a boundless offering. Not only should we urge
ourselves to make offerings, but we must not overlook any opportunity to practice
dana. Because we are blessed with the virtue of offering, we have received our
present lives.
The Buddha said, “One may offer and use one’s own gift; even more, one can pass it
to one’s parents, wife, and children.” Therefore we should know that giving to
ourselves is a kind of offering. To give to parents, wife, and children is also offering.
Whenever we can give up even one speck of dust for the practice of dana we should
quietly rejoice in it. This is because we have already correctly transmitted a virtue of
the buddhas, and because we practice one dharma of a bodhisattva for the first time.
The mind of a sentient being is difficult to change. We begin to transform the mind of
living beings by offering material things, and we resolve to continue to transform them
until they attain the Way. From the beginning we should make use of offering. This is
the reason why the first of the six paramitas is dana-paramita. The vastness or
narrowness of mind can not be measured, and the greatness or smallness of material
things can not be weighed. But there are times when our mind turns things, and there
is offering, in which things turn our mind.

Loving-Speech means, first of all, to arouse compassionate mind when meeting with
living beings, and to offer caring and loving words. In general, we should not use any
violent or harmful words. In society, there is a courtesy of asking others if they are
well. In the buddha way, we have the words “Please treasure yourself,” and there is a
disciple’s filial duty to ask their teachers “How are you?” To speak with a mind that
“compassionately cares for living beings as if they were our own babies” is
Loving-Speech. We should praise those with virtue and we should pity those without
virtue. From the moment we begin to delight in Loving-Speech, Loving-Speech is
nurtured little by little. When we practice like this, Loving-Speech, which is usually
not known or seen, will manifest itself. In our present life we should practice
Loving-Speech without fail, and continue this practice through many lives. Whether
subduing a deadly enemy or making peace, Loving-Speech is fundamental. When a
person hears loving-speech directly that person’s face brightens and their mind
becomes joyful. When a person hears of a someone else’s Loving-Speech, that person
inscribes it in their heart and soul. We should know that Loving-Speech arises from a
loving mind, and that the seed of a loving mind is compassionate heart. We should
study how Loving-Speech has power to transform the world. It is not merely praising
someone’s ability.

Beneficial-Action means creating skillful means to benefit living beings, whether they
are noble or humble. For example, we care for the near and distant future of others,
and use skillful means to benefit them. We should take pity on a cornered tortoise and
care for a sick sparrow. When we see this tortoise or sparrow, we try to help them
without expecting any reward. We are motivated solely by beneficial action itself.
Ignorant people may think that if we benefit others too much, our own benefit will be
excluded. This is not the case. Beneficial-Action is the whole of Dharma; it benefits
both self and others widely. In an ancient era, a man who tied up his hair three times
while he took a bath, and who stopped eating three times in the space of one meal
solely intended to benefit others. He never withheld instructions from people of other
Therefore, we should equally benefit friends and foes alike; we should benefit self and
others alike. Because beneficial actions never regress, if we attain such a mind we
can perform Beneficial-Action even for grass, trees, wind, and water. We should
solely strive to help ignorant beings.

Identity-Action means not to be different—neither different from self nor from others.
For example, it is how, in the human world, the Tathagata identifies himself with
human beings. Because he identifies himself in the human world, we know that he
must be the same in other worlds. When we realize Identity-Action, self and others are
one suchness. Harps, poetry, and wine make friends with people, with heavenly beings,
and with spirits. People befriend harps, poetry, and wine. There is a principle that
harps, poetry, and wine befriend harps, poetry, and wine; that people make friends
with people; that heavenly beings befriend heavenly beings, and that spirits befriend
spirits. This is how we study identity-action.
For example, “action” means form, dignity, and attitude. After letting others identify
with our “self,” there may be a principle of letting our “self” identify with others.
Relations between self and others vary infinitely depending on time and condition.
Guanzi says, “The ocean does not refuse water; therefore it is able to achieve vastness.
Mountains do not refuse earth; therefore they are able to become tall. Wise rulers do
not weary of people, therefore they form a large nation.”
That the ocean does not refuse water is Identity-Action. We should also know that the
virtue of water does not refuse the ocean. This is why water is able to form an ocean
and earth is able to form mountains. We should know in ourselves that because the
ocean does not refuse to be the ocean, it can be the ocean and achieve greatness.
Because mountains do not refuse to be mountains, they can be mountains and reach
great heights. Because wise rulers do not weary of their people they attract many
people. “Many people” means a nation. “A wise ruler” may mean an emperor.
Emperors do not weary of their people. This does not mean that they fail to offer
rewards and punishments, but that they never tire of their people. In ancient times,
when people were gentle and honest, there were no rewards and punishments in the
country. The idea of reward and punishment in those days was different. Even these
days, there must be some people who seek the Way with no expectation of reward.
This is beyond the thought of ignorant people. Because wise rulers are clear, they do
not weary of their people. Although people always desire to form a nation and to find
a wise ruler, few of them fully understand the reason why a wise ruler is wise.
Therefore, they are simply glad to be embraced by the wise ruler. They don’t realize
that they themselves are embracing a wise ruler. Thus the principle of Identity-Action
exists both in the wise ruler and ignorant people. This is why identity-action is the
practice and vow of a bodhisattva. We should simply face all beings with a gentle
Because each these Four Embracing Dharmas include all the Four Embracing
Dharmas, there are Sixteen Embracing Dharmas.

Written on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month in the 4th year of Ninji (1243)
By Monk Dogen who went to Sung China and transmitted the Dharma.



Bodhisattva's Four Methods of Guidance

Translated by Lew Richmond and Kazuaki Tanahashi

The Bodhisattva's four methods of guidance are giving, kind speech, beneficial action,
and identity-action.

"Giving" means nongreed. Nongreed means not to covet. Not to covet means not to
curry favor. Even if you govern the Four Continents, you should always convey the
correct teaching with nongreed. It is to give away unneeded belongings to someone you
don't know, to offer flowers blooming on a distant mountain to the Tathāgata, or, again, to
offer treasures you had in your former life to sentient beings. Whether it is of teaching or
of material, each gift has its value and is worth giving. Even if the gift is not your own,
there is no reason to keep from giving. The question is not whether the gift is valuable,
but whether there is merit.

When you leave the way to the way, you attain the way. At the time of attaining the
way, the way is always left to the way. When treasure is left just as treasure, treasure
becomes giving. You give yourself to yourself and others to others. The power of the
causal relations+ of giving reaches to devas, human beings, and even enlightened sages.
When giving becomes actual, such causal relations are immediately formed.

Buddha said, "When a person who practices giving goes to an assembly, people take
notice." You should know that the mind of such a person communicates subtly with
others. Therefore, give even a phrase or verse of the truth; it will be a wholesome seed for
this and other lifetimes. Give your valuables, even a penny or a blade of grass; it will be a
wholesome root for this and other lifetimes. The truth can turn into valuables; valuables
can turn into the truth. This is all because the giver is willing.

A king gave his beard as medicine to cure his retainer's disease; a child offered sand to
Buddha and became King Ashoka in a later birth. They were not greedy for reward but
only shared what they could. To launch a boat or build a bridge is an act of giving. If you
study giving closely, you see that to accept a body and to give up the body are both
giving. Making a living and producing things can be nothing other than giving. To leave
flowers to the wind, to leave birds to the seasons, are also acts of giving.

King Ashoka was able to offer enough food for hundreds of monks with half a mango.
People who practice giving should understand that King Ashoka thus proved the greatness
of giving. Not only should you make an effort to give, but also be mindful of every
opportunity to give. You are born into this present life because of the merit of giving in
the past.

Buddha said, "If you are to practice giving to yourself, how much more so to your
parents, wife, and children." Therefore you should know that to give to yourself is a part
of giving. To give to your family is also giving. Even when you give a particle of dust,
you should rejoice in your own act, because you correctly transmit the merit of all
buddhas, and for the first time practice an act of a bodhisattva. The mind of a sentient
being is difficult to change. You should keep on changing the minds of sentient beings,
from the first moment that they have one particle, to the moment that they attain the way.
This should be started by giving. For this reason giving is the first of the six paramitas.

Mind is beyond measure. Things given are beyond measure. Moreover, in giving,
mind transforms the gift and the gift transforms mind.

"Kind speech" means that when you see sentient beings you arouse the mind of
compassion and offer words of loving care. It is contrary to cruel or violent speech.

In the secular world, there is the custom of asking after someone's health. ln Buddhism
there is the phrase "Please treasure yourself" and the respectful address to seniors, "May I
ask how you are?" It is kind speech to speak to sentient beings as you would to a baby.

Praise those with virtue; pity those without it. If kind speech is offered, little by little
virtue will grow. Thus even kind speech which is not ordinarily known or seen comes into
being. You should be willing to practice it for this entire present life; do nor give up,
world after world, life after life. Kind speech is the basis for reconciling rulers and
subduing enemies. Those who hear kind speech from you have a delighted expression and
a joyful mind. Those who hear of your kind speech will be deeply touched-they will never
forget it.

You should know that kind speech arises from kind mind, and kind mind from the
seed of compassionate mind. You should ponder the fact that kind speech is not just
praising the merit of others; it has the power to turn the destiny of the nation.

"Beneficial action" is skillfully to benefit all classes of sentient beings, that is, to care
about their distant and near future, and to help them by using skillful means. In ancient
times, someone helped a caged tortoise; another took care of an injured sparrow. They did
not expect a reward; they were moved to do so only for the sake of beneficial action.

Foolish people think that if they help others first, their own benefit will be lost; but this
is not so. Beneficial action is an act of oneness, benefiting self and others together.

To greet petitioners, a lord of old three times stopped in the middle of his bath and
arranged his hair, and three times left his dinner table. He did this solely with the intention
of benefiting others. He did not mind instructing even subjects of other lords. Thus you
should benefit friend and enemy equally. You should benefit self and others alike. If you
have this mind, even beneficial action for the sake of grasses, trees, wind, and water is
spontaneous and unremitting. This being so, make a wholehearted effort to help the

"Identity-action" means nondifference. It is nondifference from self, nondifference
from others. For example, in the human world the Tathāgata took the form of a human
being. From this we know that he did the same in other realms. When we know identityaction,
others and self are one. Lute, song, and wine are one with human being, deva, and
spirit being. Human being is one with lute, song, and wine. Lute, song, and wine are one
with lute, song, and wine. Human being is one with human being; deva is one with deva;
spirit being is one with spirit being. To understand this is to understand identity-action.

"Action" means right form, dignity, correct manner. This means that you cause
yourself to be in identity with others after causing others to be in identity with you.
However, the relationship of self and others varies limitlessly with circumstances.

The Guanzi says, "The ocean does not exclude water; that is why it is large. Mountain
does not exclude earth; that is why it is high. A wise lord does not exclude people; that is
why he has many subjects."

That the ocean does not exclude water is identity-action. Water does not exclude the
ocean either. This being so, water comes together to form the ocean. Earth piles up to
form mountains. My understanding is that because the ocean itself does not exclude the
ocean, it is the ocean, and it is large. Because mountains do not exclude mountains, they
are mountains and they are high. Because a wise lord does not weary of people, his
subjects assemble. "Subjects" means nation. "Wise lord" means ruler of the nation. A
ruler is not supposed to weary of people. "Not to weary of people" does not mean to give
no reward or punishment. Although a ruler gives reward and punishment, he does not
weary of people. In ancient times when people were uncomplicated, there was neither
legal reward nor punishment in the country. The concept of reward and punishment was
different. Even at present, there should be some people who seek the way without
expecting a reward. This is beyond the understanding of ignorant people. Because a wise
lord understands this, he does not weary of people.

People form a nation and seek a wise lord, but as they do not know completely the
reason why a wise lord is wise, they only hope to be supported by the wise lord. They do
not notice that they are the ones who support the wise lord. In this way, the principle of
identity-action is applied to both a wise lord and all the people. This being so, identityaction
is a vow of bodhisattvas.

With a gentle expression, practice identity-action for all people.

Each of these four methods of guidance includes all four. Thus, there are sixteen
methods of guiding sentient beings.

This was written on the fifth day, fifth month, fourth year of Ninji (1243) by Monk
Dōgen, who transmitted dharma from China.



Four Elements of a Bodhisattva's Social Relations

Volume III (Taishō Volume 82, Number 2582)
Translated from the Japanese by Gudo Wafu Nishijima and Chodo Cross
Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research

[Chapter Forty-five]

Translator’s Introduction: Bodaisatta means “bodhisattva,” a person who
is pursuing the Buddhist truth; shi means “four”; and shōbō means “elements
of social relations” or “methods for social relations.” The four are
dāna, free giving; priya-ākhyāna, kind speech; artha-carya, helpful conduct;
and samāna-arthatā, identity of purpose, or cooperation. Buddhism puts great
value on our actual conduct. For this reason, our conduct in relating to each
other is a very important part of Buddhist life. In this chapter Master Dōgen
preaches that these four ways of behaving are the essence of Buddhist life.
He explains the real meaning of Buddhism in terms of social relations.

[71] First is free giving. Second is kind speech. Third is helpful conduct.
Fourth is cooperation.1
[72] “Free giving”2 means not being greedy. Not being greedy means
not coveting. Not coveting means, in everyday language, not courting favor.3
Even if we rule the four continents, if we want to bestow the teaching of the
right truth, we simply must not be greedy. That might mean, for example,
donating treasures that are to be thrown away to people we do not know.
When we offer flowers from distant mountains to the Tathāgata, and when
we donate treasures accumulated in our past life to living beings, whether
[the gift] is Dharma or material objects, in each case we are originally endowed
with the virtue that accompanies free giving. There is a Buddhist principle
that even if things are not our own, this does not hinder our free giving. And
a gift is not to be hated for its small value, but its effect should be real. When
we leave the truth to the truth, we attain the truth. When we attain the truth,
the truth inevitably continues to be left to the truth. When possessions are left
to be possessions, possessions inevitably turn into gifts. We give ourselves to
ourselves, and we give the external world to the external world. The direct
and indirect influences of this giving pervade far into the heavens above and
through the human world, even reaching the wise and the sacred who have
experienced the effect. The reason is that in becoming giver and receiver,
the subject and object of giving are connected; this is why the Buddha says,
“When a person who gives comes into an assembly, others admire that person
from the beginning. Remember, the mind of such a person is tacitly
understood.”4 So we should freely give even a single word or a single verse
of Dharma, and it will become a good seed in this life and in other lives. We
should freely give even a single penny or a single grass-stalk of alms, and it
will sprout a good root in this age and in other ages.5 Dharma can be a treasure,
and material gifts can be Dharma—it may depend upon [people’s] hopes
and pleasures. Truly, the gift of a beard can regulate a person’s mind,6 and
the service of sand can gain a throne.7 Such givers covet no reward, but just
share according to their ability. To provide a boat or to build a bridge are
free giving as the dāna-pāramitā.8When we learn giving well, both receiving
the body and giving up the body are free giving. Earning a living and
doing productive work are originally nothing other than free giving. Leaving
flowers to the wind, and leaving birds to time,9 may also be the meritorious
conduct of free giving. Both givers and receivers should thoroughly
learn the truth which certifies that Great King Aśoka’s being able to serve
half a mango10 as an offering for hundreds of monks is a wide and great service
of offerings.11 We should not only muster the energy of our body but
should also take care not to overlook suitable opportunities. Truly, it is because
we are originally equipped with the virtue of free giving that we have received
ourselves as we are now. The Buddha says, “It is possible to receive and to
use [giving] even if the object is oneself, and it is all the easier to give to
parents, wives, and children.” Clearly, to practice it by oneself is one kind
of free giving, and to give to parents, wives, and children may also be free
giving. When we can give up even one speck of dust for free giving, though
it is our own act we will quietly rejoice in it, because we will have already
received the authentic transmission of one of the virtues of the buddhas, and
because for the first time we will be practicing one of the methods of a bodhisattva.
What is hard to change is the mind of living beings.12 By starting with
a gift we begin to change the mental state of living beings, after which we
resolve to change them until they attain the truth. At the outset we should
always make use of free giving. This is why the first of the six pāramitās is
dāna-pāramitā.13 The bigness or smallness of mind is beyond measurement,
and the bigness or smallness of things is also beyond measurement, but there
are times when mind changes things, and there is free giving in which things
change mind.
[78] “Kind speech”14 means, when meeting living beings, first of all to
feel compassion for them and to offer caring and loving words. Broadly, it
is there being no rude or bad words. In secular societies there are polite customs
of asking others if they are well. In Buddhism there are the words “Take
good care of yourself!”15 and there is the disciple’s greeting “How are you?”16
Speaking with the feeling of “compassion for living beings as if they were
babies”17 is kind speech. We should praise those who have virtue and should
pity those who lack virtue. Through love of kind speech, kind speech is gradually
nurtured. Thus, kind speech which is ordinarily neither recognized nor
experienced manifests itself before us. While the present body and life exist
we should enjoy kind speech, and we will not regress or deviate through
many ages and many lives. Whether in defeating adversaries or in promoting
harmony among gentlefolk, kind speech is fundamental. To hear kind
speech spoken to us directly makes the face happy and the mind joyful. To
hear kind speech indirectly etches an impression in the heart18 and in the
soul. Remember, kind speech arises from a loving mind,19 and the seed of a
loving mind is compassion. We should learn that kind speech has the power
to turn around the heavens; it is not merely the praise of ability.
[80] “Helpful conduct”20 means utilizing skillful means21 to benefit living
beings, high or low; for example, by looking into the distant and near
future and employing expedient methods22 to benefit them. People have taken
pity on stricken turtles and taken care of sick sparrows.23When they saw the
stricken turtle and the sick sparrow, they did not seek any reward from the
turtle and the sparrow; they were motivated solely by helpful conduct itself.
Stupid people think that if we put the benefit of others first, our own benefit
will be eliminated. This is not true. Helpful conduct is the whole Dharma.
It universally benefits self and others. The man of the past who bound his
hair three times in the course of one bath, and who spat out his food three
times in the course of one meal,24 solely had a mind to help others. There
was never a question that he might not teach them just because they were
the people of a foreign land. So we should benefit friends and foes equally,
and we should benefit ourselves and others alike. If we realize this state of
mind, the truth that helpful conduct naturally neither regresses nor deviates
will be helpfully enacted even in grass, trees, wind, and water. We should
solely endeavor to save the foolish.
[82] “Cooperation”25 means not being contrary.26 It is not being contrary
to oneself and not being contrary to others. For example, the human Tathāgata
“identified”27 himself with humanity. Judging from this identification
with the human world we can suppose that he might identify himself with
other worlds. When we know cooperation, self and others are oneness. The
proverbial “harps, poems, and sake”28 make friends with people, make friends
with celestial gods, and make friends with earthly spirits. [At the same time,]
there is a principle that people make friends with harps, poems, and sake,
and that harps, poems, and sake make friends with harps, poems, and sake;
that people make friends with people; that celestial gods make friends with
celestial gods; and that earthly spirits make friends with earthly spirits. This
is learning of cooperation. “The task [of cooperation]”29 means, for example,
concrete behavior, a dignified attitude, and a real situation. There may
be a principle of, after letting others identify with us, then letting ourselves
identify with others. [The relations between] self and others are, depending
on the occasion, without limit. The Kanshi30 says: “The sea does not refuse
water; therefore it is able to realize its greatness. Mountains do not refuse
earth; therefore they are able to realize their height. Enlightened rulers do
not hate people; therefore they are able to realize a large following.” Remember,
the sea not refusing water is cooperation. Remember also that water has
the virtue of not refusing the sea. For this reason it is possible for water to
come together to form the sea and for the earth to pile up to form mountains.
We can think to ourselves that because the sea does not refuse the sea it realizes
the sea and realizes greatness, and because mountains do not refuse
mountains they realize mountains and realize height. Because enlightened
rulers do not hate people they realize a large following. “A large following”
means a nation. “An enlightened ruler” may mean an emperor. Emperors do
not hate the people. They do not hate the people, but that does not mean there
is no reward and punishment. Even if there is reward and punishment, there
is no hatred for the people. In ancient times, when people were unaffected,
nations were without reward and punishment—at least inasmuch as the reward
and punishment of those days were different from those of today. Even today
there may be people who seek the truth with no expectation of reward, but
this is beyond the thinking of stupid men. Because enlightened rulers are
enlightened, they do not hate people. Although people always have the will
to form a nation and to find an enlightened ruler, few completely understand
the truth of an enlightened ruler being an enlightened ruler. Therefore, they
are glad simply not to be hated by the enlightened ruler, while never recognizing
that they themselves do not hate the enlightened ruler. Thus the truth
of cooperation exists both for enlightened rulers and for ignorant people, and
this is why cooperation is the conduct and the vow of a bodhisattva. We should
face all things only with gentle faces.
[85] Because these four elements of sociability are each equipped with
four elements of sociability, they may be sixteen elements of sociability.

Shōbōgenzō Bodaisatta-shishōbō
Written on the fifth day of the fifth lunar
month31 in the fourth year of Ninji32 by a monk
who went into Song China and received the
transmission of the Dharma, śramaṇa Dōgen.


On the Four Exemplary Acts of a Bodhisattva
(Bodaisatta Shishōbō)
translated by Rev. Hubert Nearman

Translator's Introduction: The four exemplary acts are also known as the four wisdoms: charity, tenderness, benevolence, and sympathy.

The first is offering alms.
The second is using kindly speech.
The third is showing benevolence.
The fourth is manifesting sympathy.

Offering alms means not being covetous. Not being covetous means not being greedy. Not being greedy, to put it in worldly terms, includes not currying favors by groveling or flattery. If we want to bestow the Teaching of the Genuine Way, even if it were upon someone who rules over the four continents, we must do it without wanting anything in return. Offering alms, for example, is like bestowing upon strangers wealth that we freely part with. Were we to offer to the Tathagata flowers from a far-off mountain or give to some sentient being a treasure coming from a previous life—be it Dharma or something material—in either case, the act would be endowed with the merit that accords with the offering of alms. There is the principle that even though such things are not something that we personally own, it does not hinder our offering them as alms. 1 And the humbleness of such offerings is not to be despised, for it is the sincerity of these meritorious deeds that counts.

When we leave the Way to the Way, we realize the Way. When we realize the Way, the Way will invariably continue to be left to the Way. When treasures are left to being treasures, such treasures will invariably end up as alms offerings. We bestow ‘self ' on ourselves, and we bestow ‘other' on others. The influence of this offering of alms not only penetrates far into the realms of those in lofty positions and of those who are ordinary people, but also permeates the realms of the wise

1. This refers to the giving of something that does not have any owner, such as the Dharma, or the grains of sand on a beach which a child once offered. These types of offering are beyond the concept of ‘ownership'.

and the saintly. This is because when people have become capable of accepting an offering of alms, they have therefore already formed a link with the donor.

2. During the T'ang dynasty, when an officer in the court of Emperor T'ai-tsung fell ill and needed the ashes from a beard for medicine, the emperor burnt his own beard and offered the ashes to the officer. Once when the Buddha was on an alms round, a child who was playing in the sand put a few grains in the Buddha's alms bowl as an offering, and, due to this act, the child was later reborn as King Ashoka.

The Buddha once remarked, “When a donor comes into a monastic assembly, others admire that person right from the start. You should realize that they have tacitly understood the heart of that person.” As a consequence, should we offer only one sentence or one verse of the Dharma as alms, it will become a good seed in this life and in future lives. Should we offer the gift of even a single coin or a single blade of grass as alms, it will sprout good roots in this generation and in future generations. Dharma can be wealth and wealth can be Dharma—which it is depends on our wish and our pleasure.

Truly, bestowing one's beard on another once put someone's mind in order, and an offering of a few grains of sand once gained someone the rank of king. 2 These people did not covet some reward, but simply shared what they had. Providing a ferry or building a bridge as an alms offering creates a way to the Other Shore. When we have learned well what the offering of alms means, then we can see that accepting oneself and letting go of oneself are both offerings of alms. Earning a living and doing productive work have never been anything other than an offering of alms. Leaving flowers to float upon the wind and leaving birds to sing in their season will also be meritorious training in almsgiving. Upon his deathbed, the great King Ashoka offered half of a mango to several hundred monks as alms. As persons who are capable of accepting alms, we need to explore well the principle that this great alms gift points to. Not only should we make physical efforts to give alms, but we should also not overlook opportunities to do so. Truly, because we have inherited the merit from having given alms in past lives, we have obtained the human body that we now have. “Even if you give alms to yourselves, there can be merit, and how much more so were you to give alms to your parents, spouse, or children!” As a consequence of this statement, I have realized that even giving to oneself is a part of almsgiving, and giving to one's parents, spouse, or children will be almsgiving as well. Should we let go of a single dust mote of defiling passion as an alms offering, even though it is done for our own sake, we will feel a quiet, heartfelt gratitude because we will have had one of the

3. A paramita is a practice that Buddhas and bodhisattvas employ to help sentient beings reach the Other Shore. The six are almsgiving, observance of the Precepts, patient forbearance, diligence, being well-seated in one's meditation, and wise discernment.

meritorious deeds of Buddhas genuinely Transmitted to us, and because, for the first time, we will be practicing one of the methods of bodhisattvas.

What is truly hard to turn around is the heart and mind of sentient beings. By making one offering, we begin to turn their mental state around, after which we hope to keep turning it around until they realize the Way. From this beginning, we should by all means continue to assist them by making alms offerings. This is why the first of the Six Paramitas is the Almsgiving Paramita. 3 The size of any mind is beyond measure: the size of any thing is also beyond measure. Be that as it may, there are times when the mind turns things around and there is also the practice of almsgiving, whereby things turn the mind around.


Kindly speech means that when we encounter sentient beings, we first of all give rise to feelings of genuine affection for them and offer them words that express our pleasure in knowing them. To put it more broadly, we do not use language that is harsh or rude. Even in secular society there are respectful customs for asking others how they are; in Buddhism there is the Master's phrase, “May you take good care of yourself,” and there is the disciple's greeting, “I have been wondering how you've been doing.” To speak with a feeling of genuine affection for sentient beings, as if they were still new-born babes, is what kindly speech is. We should praise those who have virtue and pity those who do not.

Through our having fondness for kindly speech, kindly speech gradually increases. Thus, even kindly speech that goes unrecognized or unnoticed will still manifest itself right before us. While our present life persists, we should become fond of speaking kindly, so that we do not regress or turn away from it for generation after generation and for life after life. Kindly speech is the foundation for overcoming those who are angry and hostile, as well as for promoting harmony among others. When we hear kindly speech that is spoken directly to us, it brightens our countenance and delights our heart. When we hear of kind speech having been spoken about us in our absence, this makes a deep impression on our heart and our spirit. Keep in mind that kindly speech arises from a loving heart, and a loving heart makes compassion its seed. You should explore the idea that

4. There is a classic Chinese story in which a man rescued a trapped turtle. As the turtle swam off, it looked back over its shoulder to its benefactor, as if to acknowledge its indebtedness. Later, the man rose to a high official position, and, when the seal of his office was cast, it miraculously appeared in the form of a turtle looking over its back. No matter how many times the seal was recast to remove the form, it would nevertheless reappear on the seal. Finally, the man realized that somehow the turtle had played a part in his having received his appointment, so he kept the strange seal out of gratitude.
In another classic Chinese story, there was a boy who helped a sick sparrow recover and to whom the sparrow gave four silver rings as recompense, which ultimately led to the boy's being appointed to three high government positions.

5. A Chinese ruler once advised his son that if three guests were to come calling in succession while he was bathing, he should bind up his hair each time and go to greet them, and if three guests were to come calling in succession while he was dining, he should stop eating each time in order to greet them.

kindly speech can have the power to turn the very heavens around, and it is not merely a matter of praising someone's abilities.

❀ *

Showing benevolence means working out skillful methods by which to benefit sentient beings, be they of high or low station. One may do this, for instance, by looking at someone's future prospects, both immediate and far-ranging, and then practicing skillful means to help that person. Someone once took pity on a stricken turtle and another once tended to a sick sparrow. 4 Neither of these people was seeking a reward; they simply acted from a feeling of benevolence.

Some people may foolishly think that if they were to put the welfare of others first, their own benefits would be reduced. This is not so. Benevolence is all-encompassing, universally benefiting both self and others. A person long ago bound up his hair three times during the course of his taking a single bath, and thrice spat out what he had in his mouth during the course of a single meal. And he did so solely from a heart that would benefit others. He was not reluctant to instruct his son to do so, if his son should encounter guests from a foreign land. 5 So, we should act to benefit equally both those who are hostile and those who are friendly, and act for the benefit of both self and other alike. When we attain such an attitude of mind, our showing of benevolence will neither retreat nor turn away from anything, and this benevolence will be shown even towards grass and trees, wind and water. And, in all humility, we should engage ourselves in helping those who are given to foolishness. Shōbōgenzō: On the Four Exemplary Acts of a Bodhisattva 575

6. A multi-volumed Chinese Taoist work.

❀ *

Manifesting sympathy means not making differences, not treating yourself as different and not treating others as different. For instance, the Tathagata was a human being just like other human beings. From His being the same as those in the human world, we know that He must have been the same as those in any other world. When we really understand what manifesting sympathy means, we will see that self and other are one and the same. Music, poetry, and wine have been companions for ordinary people, companions for those in lofty positions, and companions for the hosts of celestial beings. And there is the principle that ordinary people have been companions for music, poetry, and wine. And music, poetry, and wine have been companions for music, poetry, and wine. And ordinary people have been companions for ordinary people. And those in lofty positions have been companions for those in lofty positions. And celestial beings have been companions for celestial beings. This is what studying ‘manifesting sympathy' means.

In particular, what the ‘manifesting' in manifesting sympathy refers to is our ways of behaving, our everyday actions, and our attitudes of mind. In this manifesting, there will be the principle of letting people identify with us and of letting ourselves identify with others. Depending on the occasion, there are no boundaries between self and other.

It says in the Kuan-tsu, 6 “A sea does not reject water, and therefore is able to bring about its vastness. A mountain does not reject soil, and therefore can bring about its height. An enlightened ruler does not despise ordinary people, and therefore can bring about a large populace.” You need to realize that a sea's not rejecting water is its being in sympathy with water. Further, you need to realize that the water has the complete virtue of not refusing the sea. For that reason, it is possible for waters to come together and form a sea, and for earth to pile up and form a mountain. And you certainly know for yourself that because one sea does not reject another sea, it forms an ocean, which is something much bigger. And because one mountain does not reject another mountain, it forms a larger mountain, which is something much higher. And because an enlightened ruler does not despise ordinary people, he creates a large populace. A large populace means a nation. An enlightened ruler means an emperor. An emperor does not despise people. And even though he does not despise people, it does not mean that there are no rewards and punishments. And even though there are rewards and Shōbōgenzō: On the Four Exemplary Acts of a Bodhisattva 576

punishments, they do not come about because he despises people. Long ago, when people were submissive, nations were without rewards or punishments—at least to the extent that rewards and punishments then were not the same as those of today. Even today, there may be people who seek the Way without expecting any reward, but this is beyond what foolish people concern themselves with. Because an enlightened ruler is clear-minded, he does not despise people. Although people invariably form nations and try to seek out an enlightened leader, nevertheless those who completely understand the principle of what makes an enlightened ruler ‘enlightened' are rare. As a result, even though they are happy enough about not being despised by an enlightened ruler, they do not comprehend that they mutually should not despise their enlightened ruler. As a consequence, there is the principle of manifesting sympathy which is for both enlightened rulers and unenlightened people. This is why bodhisattvas vow to practice manifesting sympathy. And to do so, they need but face all things with a gentle demeanor.

Because each of these four exemplary acts completely encompasses all four exemplary acts, there will be, all told, sixteen exemplary acts.

Written down on the day of the Tango Festival in the fourth year of the Ninji era (May 24, 1243).

Written by the mendicant monk Dōgen
who entered Sung China and received
the Transmission of the Dharma



Shōbōgenzō Bodaisattva Shishōbō: four dimensions of a living bodhisattva spirit
By Eihei Dōgen Zenj
Translated by Daitsu Tom Wright

Shobogenzo: Bodaisattva Shishobo (正法眼蔵 ・ 菩提薩 四摂法): Four Dimensions of a Living Bodhisattva Spirit

When first reading Eihei Dogen Zenji’s Bodaisattva Shishobo, it appears that this chapter is his explication of ethics or morality. To be sure, reading the text in this way is not a mistake. However, to see it only as a text on ethics or morality means to fail to understand it as a religious text. What is the difference? Reading the Bodaisattva Shishobo as a moral treatise is to view it as a writing by a 13th century Zen Buddhist monk in Japan on how human beings should treat one another—a lovely thought. However, to read this text as a religious text means, first of all, to understand that Dogen was writing to us personally, but not as a moralist. And, that his advice was not just some ideal for human behavior in general, but rather a blueprint for how we, personally, as bodhisattvas, can act in this world to liberate (and be more liberated), and to be more fully ourselves. While ethical or moral treatises deal with specific cultures and times, religious texts deal with universal themes that transcend local cultures or periods of time. Naturally, Dogen certainly did live in a certain period of time, the 13th century. Moreover, he lived in Japan, not Europe or America. To be sure, he lived in the context of time and culture. Nonetheless, the themes he deals with in the Shobogenzo are not applicable to 13th century Zen monks of Japan alone. Granted, there will be examples he used which do not apply to the world we live in today. That is precisely why we have to struggle to understand both the context of Dogen’s writing and as well as the spirit of those statements that shine like bright lights for us 750 years later.

[ASR] Aoyama Shundo roshi
[DTW] Daitsu Tom Wright
[ZGDJ] Zengaku dai jiten (Complete dictionary on Zen)
[BDJ] Bukkyo dai jiten (Complete dictionary on Buddhism)

Daitsu Tom Wright
December 8th, 2005

Bodaisattva Shishobo, part one
Bodaisattva Shishobo (1): four dimensions of Bodhisattva action
[Four ways for a bodhisattva to act include] unconditional giving, compassionate words, [carrying out deeds that] benefit all beings and union with [or, identity with] the action (2). Unconditional giving means to not be covetous. To be uncovetous may be more commonly understood as not currying favor. Even though we may rule over vast domains (3), to offer the Way directly and with certainty is simply not to be covetous (4). It is like offering something we are about to throw away to a person we do not know (5). An offering of flowers to the Tathagata one after another without cessation (6), or offering something of value from a former lifetime to all sentient beings, whether it be something spiritual or material, the virtuous functioning of unconditional giving is commensurate with and inherent in each individual act (7). Although there is nothing that we possess by nature, this is no obstacle to unconditional giving. We should not look lightly on something we are about to give away, even though it may seem trivial to us, as the [inherent] virtue of that gift will surely bear fruit (8).

1) The title Bodaisattva Shishobo refers to four aspects of bodhisattva actions—shishobo 四摂法 actions intimately connected toward being/becoming one on the way-seeking path of a bodaisattva or bodhisattva (Japanese, bosatsu) 菩提薩多. These should not be understood as some sort of moral imperatives. Rather they should be understood as principles or truths that are already working within us, if we only open our eyes to them. In Sanskrit, catuh-samgraha-vastu. They are mentioned both in the Hoke-kyo or Lotus Sutra and the Avatamsaka or Garland Sutra. The shishobo are sometimes called shishoji 四摂事. Also, shishoshomon 四摂初門.
2) In Japanese, the four kinds of actions mentioned are fuse 布施, aigo愛語, rigyo 利業, and douji 同事.
3) In Japanese, shi[dai]shu 四「大」洲, or the four continents. Dogen is using this expresssion as a metaphor for suggesting that even if we were to control the whole world ~.
4) It is interesting to note Dogen’s use of offer or in Japanese, hodokosu 施す, one of the characters in the word I translated as unconditional giving or fuse 布施. In these opening sentences, Dogen translates the original two-character Chinese word into a more understandable Japanese expression for his Japanese readers, musaborazu, that is, the negative form of covetous and then, further, he defines it with the word hetsurau, that is, to curry favor with or flatter.
5) [ASR] Perhaps a concrete example of what Dogen is saying here is giving up our seat on a train to a complete stranger without particularly being conscious that we are “giving up” anything. Waiting to be thanked or being miffed at not being thanked is not the spirit of fuse or unconditional giving. An invisible but concrete example of such giving might be the wind which gives us the air and oxygen we breathe. Unconditional giving is inherent in the wind itself, but the wind is not thinking it is giving us anything. [DTW] In this and the succeeding sentence, Dogen takes the word unconditional giving or fuse out of the simply moral or charitable realm and shows the inherency or naturalness, of unconditional giving prior to our awareness of it as a conscious act. [Text note] An illustration of not being possessive of things nor expecting thanks from the person we’ve given something to. This is also the practice of ‘not gaining’ or mushotoku 無所得.
6) [ZGDJ] The original phrase, enzan no hana 遠山の花, literally means flowers from the mountain Enzan, but in this case, implies doing something again and again without stopping. The flower is being used metaphorically for any gift that might be given. Here, Enzan is not referring so much to a particular place as it is suggesting the frequency of something, in this case, repeated action of giving. Enzan is used elsewhere in Zen to suggest enlightenment piled on enlightenment, that is, enlightenment is not a one shot thing, but rather must be experienced again and again more deeply. In our daily lives, it means that no matter how careful we are with our lives, there are still many things which we do not see and need to awaken to in order to live out our lives more fully.
7) What Dogen is emphasizing here is that unconditional giving is present before any conscious or even sub-conscious thought of our giving something arises.
8) [Text note] Do not “offer” something because you no longer need it or care for it and merely wish to throw it away. The value of the gift will be recognized by the receiver.

Bodaisattva Shishobo, part two
When the Way is entrusted to the Way, the Way has been attained. On gaining the Way, the Way has been entrusted to the Way (9). Only when a gift is entrusted to the [inherent qualities of the] gift does that treasure become an unconditional gift (10). Self is being offered to self, and other is being offered to other (11). The virtuous power of unconditional giving that is present in the conditions and characteristics of all things is transmitted to those living in the heavenly and human realms; it is felt as well by those at various levels in their practice (12). This is because the giving [inherent in the gift] serves to connect all things—the giver [actually becomes one] with the receiver. The Buddha has said that when a new entrant who is well known for having offered freely comes into the assembly, everyone greets him/her with warm anticipation (13). You should understand that such a spirit [of giving] becomes transmitted deeply and without fanfare. In that same way, one word or one verse of the Dharma teaching becomes an offering as well. Such becomes a seed for carrying out good (14) in this and other lives. A trifling sum, even a blade of grass, should never be withheld; this, too, possesses giving, it becomes the root that functions as a power engendering good (15) in any age (16). The Teaching of the Dharma is a treasure; material treasures are also dharmas, either one depending on the fervency of our vow (17).

9)Entrust. [ASR] Yogo Suigan roshi was abbot at Saijoji Temple, famous for being a gokito temple. Gokito are somewhat shamanistic or exorcistic prayers. He had one prayer for peace in the home, another for aborted fetuses, another for the safety of your automobile, another for a happy marriage and another for success in the university entrance exams. However, the first thing he told those who came to him was, “If you’re going to pray, then don’t just ask for one or two things, ask for everything!” In saying such, his “ask for everything” is the same as entrusting. Sawaki Roshi expressed it with his sweeping statement: “Take everything. Just don’t select!” So, entrusting is the same as accepting everything that is on your plate and dealing with it. Uchiyama roshi called this deau tokoro waga seimei 出逢うところわが生命, that is, “whatever we encounter is our life”.
10)“To entrust” is the key word here. I have chosen to translate it literally in accord with basically the same meaning as the Japanese word makaseru 「任せる」. However, to trust or makaseru should not be thought in any way to imply a giving up of one’s personal responsibility. It is because of this implication in English or, more broadly, in Western thought, that I hesitate to use the word ‘entrust’ here. The sense of the passage suggests that when we set aside our ego and become one with the encounter or situation, then offering or giving, that is, fuse or dana, truly manifests or functions of itself. [ASR] When we try to exert our own narrow way as to what is valuable or how I think a thing should be used, it is no longer an offering. I bought a calligraphy I particularly wanted to give to my teacher. When he responded that he didn’t particularly care for it but would find use for it as a gift to someone else, I told him that I bought it for him and if he wasn’t going to use it, I didn’t want to give it to him. This was a big mistake on my part.
11)[Note in text] Self is offered to self as it is, other is offered to other as it is.
12)[BDJ] sangen juuji 「三賢十地「聖」, another way of saying ‘bodhisattvas’. Readers of this text should substitute them selves and their own practice as little bodhisattvas in this passage.
13)The Japanese word here is nozomimiru which can be written with two different characters which means to look on from a distance「臨む」, or「望む」to have hope for or have expectation in regard to someone. In the context of the original text, the Zoitsu Agon-kyo, Chap. 24, it would seem to be the latter, though some scholars prefer the former sense of the word.
14)”Seed for carrying out good (deeds)”: zenshu 「善種」.
15)To function as a power for good zengon「善根」. Here, Dogen is using the words zenshu and zengon which are virtually the same in meaning in this context. The former literally means ‘seed’, while the latter means ‘root’.
16)In this life and the next…in this realm and others. Here, Dogen is referring to time (in this life and the next) and place (in this realm and others).
17)Here the Chinese character for vow is 「願楽」, gangyo. The character「楽」has several readings. It can be read raku implying doing something with pleasure. In that case, the Japanese reading would be tanoshimu. It can also be read gaku having to do with music, either of an instrument or perhaps of a bird. Combining the character with gan, however, the reading changes to gyo and the meaning changes to vow but implies that vow, in this case, is the pleasurable pursuit of the highest truth, that is, pursuit of buddhadharma.

Bodaisattva Shishobo, part three
It is true that when it is called for, even the offering of one’s beard [as medicine for healing] can bring health into another’s life (18). One child’s offering of sand enabled him to become king in a later generation (19). These examples show unsparing gratefulness, they were people willing to share their strength [wealth] freely, of their own will. Unconditional giving is crossing over (20); it is like providing a boat or building a bridge. We truly practice (21) giving when we use the life we have been given [for the benefit of all]. Fundamentally, there is nothing in making a livelihood or in producing various things for our daily lives that is not giving (22). Entrusting the flowers to the wind and the birds to time, the results of freely giving is the manifestation of unconditional giving (23).
King Asoka gave half a mango to several hundred monks with all his heart. To clarify the truth of his act as a great offering is something for those who are on the receiving end of the giving should emulate through their own practice. It is not just a matter of physically exerting ourselves, we must be constantly looking out for opportunities to offer [ourselves]. Truly, it is due to inherent unconditional giving that we are who we are today.
The Buddha said, “Unconditional giving functions through oneself; of course, when such giving is directed towards one’s family, that is all the better”(24). So, the functioning of unconditional giving for the benefit of oneself is the full functioning of such giving and, unconditional giving to one’s family is also the totality of unconditional giving. Even when our action is one we would normally be expected to perform, if for the sake of unconditional giving, though it involves the loss of only a trifling to oneself, we should be deeply pleased at another’s joy (in receiving the benefit), because it shows that one virtue of all buddhas has been directly transmitted. Moreover, it reflects the practice of one dimension of the bodhisattva spirit.

18) [Note in Japanese text] Emperor Taiso during the Tang dynasty is said to have shaved off his beard and, after searing it, presented the ashes to his disgruntled General who secretly had despised the emperor. The ashes of an emperor were considered to be a miraculous medicine. General Li was so struck by the generosity of the emperor that he entirely forgot about his obsession with acquiring power for himself.
19) The second example refers to a child who gave sand to the Buddha when he was out on takuhatsu and became King Asoka 100 years later.
20) Originally, in Sanskrit, paramita meant crossing over. Later, during the To dynasty in China, however, it was translated as ‘having arrived or having crossed over to the other shore’. That is, the perfect tense was used. It came to mean absolute or complete. Practicing the paramitas came to mean the completion of practice. Or, ‘the practice of satori’ or ‘way of satori’. Or, ‘the bodhisattva practive for arriving at satori’. All of the paramitas are practiced for the purpose of living out one’s life more fully while benefitting others.
21)Practice, in Japanese gakusu 「学す」. As a Buddhist term, gakusu or manabu means to practice, not merely to learn in an intellectual sense, but rather to do or function with our bodies.
22) The Japanese expression is chishou sangyou 「治生産業」.
23) The key word ‘entrusting’ here means to desist in abnormally trying to control our life, but rather entrust more to the natural order of things. Rather than tring to prevent this from happening because it might make us look bad or trying to posses this or that because it might give us a foot up on our rivals, etc. There is a lot of room for misunderstanding here. Entrusting should not be interpreted as encouraging irresponsibility or a naïve leaving things to fate. Moreoever, Dogen takes fuse—unconditional giving, out of the realm of human intention. This is something we have to think about carefully. Why is the wind fuse, why is the water fuse?
24) From: the Zoagon-kyo 24 「増阿含経24」There may be times when in order to benefit those around us, we need to take care of something within our own life first. [Alternate translation: “The Buddha said, ‘We ourselves constantly receive the power of unconditional giving. And that giving can be directed towards our family as well’.”]

Bodaisattva Shishobo, part four
It is most difficult to change the rigid, habitual mind of sentient beings. Still, from the first, you should aspire to work with the [narrow and biased] mind like the change involved in planting a treasure seed that will grow until one has completely gained the Way. In the beginning, that seed is the seed of unconditional giving. That is why the first of the six paramitas is that of unconditional giving—fuse. Do not try to measure the magnanimity or pettiness of mind, nor endeavor to figure out whether a thing is large or a small. Sometimes, [our frame of] mind moves things; at other times, things have an influence on our [frame of] mind (25).
Aigo or compassionate words means to arouse a loving or benevolent attitude, offering words of care and concern for all beings. Surely, using rough or violent language will naturally decline. In any civil society, people inquire of each other as to how everything is going as a simple courtesy. In Buddhist circles, we part with words to the affect of taking care of the preciousness of the life we have been given (26). Inquiry as to the health of those who are older or above us is also an expression of devotion (27). Bearing in mind the words of the Lotus Sutra in which it is mentioned that taking care of sentient beings is like taking care of one’s children is an example of aigo (28). Give credit to and praise those with excellent character and show compassion towards those lacking in such a virtue. From the time one first seeks to employ compassionate words, those words will gradually abound (in one’s speech). Therefore, as the days pass, in ways you will not see [yourself] and without realizing it, aigo will appear more and more through your words. While life continues to flow through your body, foster a spirit to use compassionate words at various times and in your various lives without backsliding. Compassionate words are fundamental to defeating any outrageous or malicious enemy or to reconciling with someone in high position.
Compassionate words directly bring joy to the hearer and great inner pleasure. To hear such words even indirectly, they become engraved on one’s heart and soul. Compassionate words arise from a benevolent mind, and a benevolent mind engenders the seed of love and affection. You should realize that compassionate words have the power to change the direction of the times (29). They are not merely used to praise the emperor.

25)How we look at the various things or people around us determines our perception of them. For example, when a third grader goes outside to play and run around on the playground, she might think how small it is. On the other hand, when the same child has go out on that same playground for cleaning up the area, she might very well imagine it to be huge! [Aoyama Roshi]
26)The Japanese expression is anpi or anpu 「安否」which is literally an inquiry concerning another’s welfare and chinchou 「珍重」 which by itself refers to something rare or precious, in this case, and in the buddhist sense, what is precious or valuable is the very life we have received.
27)The Japanese words kookoo 「孝行」 means piety or devotion and is used in such expressions as oya kookoo 「親孝行」 or filial piety. Here it could be a student inquiring about the health of his or her teacher; more broadly, any inquiry of those older or in higher position than ourselves.
28)In the Devadatta chapter of the Lotus Sutra, where Bodhisattva Wisdom Accumulated is questioning Manjushri about anyone who might have been able to attain Buddhahood quickly just by practicing the Lotus Sutra, “Manjushri replied, ‘There is the daughter of the dragon king Sagara, who has just turned eight. Her wisdom has keen roots and she is good at understanding the root activities and deeds of living beings… Her eloquence knows no hindrance, and she thinks of living beings with compassion as though they were her own children.” The Lotus Sutra, [trans.] Burton Watson, Columbia University Press, 1993, p. 187.
29)The Japanese phrase is kaiten no chikara aru 「廻天のちからある」; the sense of the expression is used to indicate that good advice had the power to move even the emperor.

Bodaisattva Shishobo, part five
Rigyou or actions benefiting all beings means to act in a sensitive and skillful way toward all living beings; regardless of whether they’re rich or poor, in high position or low; to carry out such actions in a way that will be of great worth and help to all. Concretely speaking, skillful means that benefit others is carefully considering and focusing on the enactment of such deeds for the near and distant future. Releasing a caged turtle, nourishing a sick sparrow—in both instances, there was no consideration for reward [on the part of those who carried out the deeds] (30). They simply felt moved to act in a beneficent way [by the power of rigyou]. There are some people who foolishly think that if they put benefitting others ahead of themselves, they will surely lose out; however, benefitting others is not like that. Beneficial actions are actions that include everyone and all things including oneself. There is the legendary example of an emperor who reset his hair three times before taking a bath and who vomited up his dinner on three different occasions [in order to hear those who came to him for advice]. He acted in this way in order to devote his efforts to benefiting those who brought him their entreaties. He couldn’t help but try to benefit even the people of other countries in any way he could despite the inconvenience to himself. Therefore, we should try to benefit equally both those with whom we are close as well as those we may despise, as benefitting others benefits oneself. If we are able to acquire such an attitude, then naturally we will benefit without ever backsliding or turning away in the same way the grasses and trees or the wind and rivers [never turn away], and manifest the principle of beneficial action. Endeavor to help those who are foolish or mistaken. Douji refers to acting in correspondence without any difference. Identity of action never adversely affects oneself, nor does such an action [run counter to the best interests] of others. A human being as a tathagata is saying that a tathagata identifies with every human being. In the same way the tathagata identifies with the human world, there is identification with the other worlds (31) When we understand identity of action, there is no difference between self and other. Those things which are familiar and well-known—music, poetry, spirits (32)—become companions among human beings and deities above and on earth. Likewise, human beings become intimate with music, with poetry and literature and with spirits. Music becomes intimate with music, poetry with poetry and spirits with spirits. Human beings identify with human beings, the same for heavenly and earthly deities. This is the internalization of douji—identity of action. For example, douji consists of deportment, of behavior, of attitude. Other identifies with us, and we identify with other. What is ‘self’ and ‘other’ has no boundary and is dependent on the situation. Kanshi wrote, “The sea never turns away water and for that, it can do great things. A mountain never turns away more soil and for that, it performs feats of greatness. The emperor never loathes anyone and for that, he can lead the people” (33). Know that the sea ‘s never refusing water is [an example of] identity of action. Neither does water turn away from the sea. Because of this, the water gathers into a sea; soil piles up to form a mountain. The sea knows itself intimately, so it does not reject itself and is able to do great things. Likewise, a mountain attains to great heights because it does not refuse itself. Precisely because the ruler does not loathe the people, he is able to govern well. The people form the country. The ruler refers to an emperor, and the emperor does not loathe the people. Though he does not loathe them it is not as though there were no reward and punishment. There is reward and punishment, but this does not derive from a loathing of the people. In ancient times when the country was at peace, there was no [need for] reward and punishment. Or if there was, it was not the same sort of reward and punishment as that of today. Even now, there are some who pursue the Way oblivious to any reward they might receive, although this is totally beyond the comprehension of the foolish. Precisely because the ruler is perfectly clear [in his ways], he does not loathe the people. And the people carry out the activities of the country willingly. Because it is highly unusual to know entirely the reasoning of a gifted ruler, people are happy just to think they are not despised by him. Because they identify with him, the people do not know that they are not disliked by him. For both the emperor and the blind, because of [this truth of] douji or identity of action, douji is one of the bodhisattva vows (34), although surely, both face all things with a softer countenance. All four of these attitudes are contained in each bodhisattva attitude thereby making sixteen.
Recorded: May 5th, 1243 by Shamon [Dogen], having received transmission of the teaching of the buddhadharma in Sung, China

30)This is a reference to two legendary tales in Chinese history, one in which a caged turtle is released into a large pond, the other is of the nurturing of an injured sparrow resulting in great rewards for the families of the those who most willingly gave of themselves without any expectation of personal reward or benefit.
31)This is a reference to either the “six worlds” rokkai 「六界」or “ten worlds” jukkai 「十界」
32)Hakkyoi’s three friends— music, poetry and sake.
33)Kanshi 管子, in Chinese, Guan-tzu.
34)Here Dogen is using the word gangyou 「願行」 interchangeably with shoubou 「摂法」.



de Maître Dôgen
Les quatre conduites du Bodhisatta


Bodaisatta ou Bodhisattva c'est le nom donner à une personne qui cherche à mener sa vie selon l'enseignement [ la vérité ] bouddhique ; shi signifie quatre et shobo agissement. Agir pour le bien des être humains, c'est la relation qu'entretient un boddhisattva avec son entourage immédiat. Pour maître Dôgen nos attitudes, nos agissements devraient être le juste reflet de notre conduite de tous les jours. Ainsi la pratique vraie devient actions dans notre ordinaire. C'est l'essence du Bouddhisme.


Les quatre actions du Bodhisattva pour le bien des êtres humains sont : fuse, aigo, rigyo et doji.

Le FUSE c'est le contraire de l'avidité, de la convoitise et de la quête de faveurs. C'est partager ce que l'on a de plus précieux avec un inconnu. C'est en oeuvrant avec l'esprit du partage que l'on instaure la paix dans le monde. Nous devrions montrer ce qui est juste, même aux puissants de ce monde. Offrir une fleur provenant d'une lointaine montagne au Tathagata, comme partager nos richesses dans cette vie-ci, tant spirituelles que matérielles, est digne d'estime.

Il est vrai que rien ne nous appartient, mais cela ne devrait pas nous dispenser du partage. La valeur du fuse importe peu, c'est la sincérité du geste qui est essentielle.

Si nous abandonnons la volonté de disposer de la Voie pour nous y adonner totalement, il nous sera possible de parvenir à la compréhension. Si nous ne percevons pas nos richesses comme une propriété, le fait d'en posséder est un présent. En partageant, nous donnons à autrui l'opportunité d'en faire autant. Le fuse a une répercussion tant sur les êtres humains que sur les saints. Ceci est dû à la fonction réunificatrice du partage.

Le Bouddha disait que lorsqu'un généreux donateur vient rendre visite à l'assemblée des moines, ces derniers lui montrent parfois de l'intérêt. Nous ne devrions pas être troublés par la nature du fuse. Parfois, il suffit de vouloir partager une seule phrase ou un simple texte pour qu'ils deviennent la semence du bien, autant dans cette vie-ci que dans une prochaine vie. Nous pouvons partager ce que l'on a de plus précieux, une seule piécette, un seul brin d'herbe et ce fuse prendra racine maintenant et dans l'avenir. Le Dharma est un trésor et inversement. Cela est dû à la compassion des Bodhisattvas. Sachez que le partage repose sur notre seule volonté.

Prenez par exemple cet empereur respecté par ses sujets qui, voulant guérir son ministre malade, lui donna en guise de potion les cendres de sa propre barbe. Et cet enfant qui jouait sur un tas de sable qui offrit une poignée de sable à Bouddha en guise de repas et qui plus tard, en récompense de ce geste, devint roi. Dans les deux cas, ils n'ont fait que ce qu'ils pouvaient sans attendre quoi que ce soit en retour.

Fournir un bateau ou construire un pont pour permettre la traversée de la rivière est un aussi faire fuse. Dès que nous comprenons le sens véritable de ce qu'est le fuse, nous nous apercevrons qu'obtenir ou perdre un statut social pour le bien d'autrui est aussi un acte de générosité. Nous recevons en gage un mode de vie, afin de produire le bien, comme en accord avec les saisons les fleurs se répandent au vent et les oiseaux chantent.

Ceux qui donnent et ceux qui reçoivent devraient prendre exemple sur le roi Asoka qui, un jour, a partagé une demi mangue en guise d'offrande à cent moines , et faire en sorte de ne jamais manquer d'en faire autant

Bouddha disait que le fait de payer de sa personne était aussi un fuse. D'ailleurs, nous devrions faire le don de soi à nos parents, nos femmes et à nos enfants. Bien que nous puissions le faire pour nous-mêmes, le bien qui en résultera sera un don pour nos parents, nos femmes et nos enfants. Si nous pouvons offrir ne serait-ce qu'une petite chose, nous devrions être discrets, car en agissant ainsi, nous transmettons cet esprit aux autres comme une facette du Bouddha. De plus, cela vaut la peine de pratiquer une des actions du Bodhisattva.

Nous ne pouvons pas changer l'état d'esprit des êtres sensibles, mais si nous leur offrons quelque chose de concret, nous aurons la possibilité de leur montrer ce qu'est le véritable esprit de la Voie du Bouddha et leur donner la possibilité de changer en faisant l'expérience de la pratique, pour qu'ils parviennent à la compréhension. Agir ainsi, c'est faire un premier pas vers la pratique du partage. C'est pour cette raison que le fuse figure en tête des six paramitas. La grandeur et la petitesse de l'esprit ne peuvent être évaluées, comme d'ailleurs les dimensions d'un objet, car il y a un moment où l'esprit change la valeur des choses comme il y a des dons qui parviennent à changer l'état d'esprit.

AIGO veut dire que lorsque nous rencontrons des êtres sensibles, notre élan de compassion nous mène naturellement à nous adresser à eux avec gentillesse. Ainsi, rien ne nous pousse à être grossier. En société, nous faisons usage de la politesse pour nous enquérir de la santé d'autrui. Dans le bouddhisme aussi, nous usons de formules comme «prenez soin de vous» ou «comment allez-vous ?». Aigo veut dire que nous nous adressons à tous les êtres avec circonspection comme s'ils étaient nos propres enfants. Avec un tel esprit, il nous est possible d'avoir un parler vrai. Si quelqu'un avait quelque aptitude, nous devrions en faire l'éloge et si c'était le contraire, nous devrions lui montrer notre compassion. Plus nous pratiquons aigo, plus nous en userons, plus ses bienfaits seront grands et dans notre quotidien ce parler vrai qui se terre en nous émergera naturellement. Durant toute notre vie et tout particulièrement la présente, nous devrions nous adonner au parler vrai. Que cela soit dans ce monde ou dans un autre, n'oublions jamais qu'il est le fondement de notre vie future. Il est fondamental d'en faire usage si l'on veut se réconcilier avec son ennemi, ou faire la promotion de l'harmonie entre belligérants. Entendre des propos plaisants à son sujet nous procure de la joie et du bonheur. Ils nous vont droit au cœur. Nous devrions savoir que le parler vrai, c'est «témoigner» de l'affection dont la source est la compassion. Il a le pouvoir de changer les situations et il a un impact positif sur autrui. Ce n'est ni de la condescendance, ni de la complaisance, ni de la flatterie.

RIGYO c'est être bienveillant à l'égard des gens sans distinction, et peu importe s'ils occupent une position importante ou non. Nous devrions seulement l'être, afin qu'ils puissent eux aussi développer leur qualité présentement et dans le futur.

Il y a fort longtemps en Chine, vivait un homme répondant au nom de Koyu qui avait acheté à un pêcheur une tortue fraîchement capturée pour ensuite la remettre à l'eau. Durant la période Gokan, il y avait un homme nommé Yoho du mont Kain qui sauva un moineau à la patte brisée. Quand ils ont vu la tortue et le moineau, ils ont été touchés et ils ont agi sans attendre quoi que ce soit en retour. Ils ne pouvaient agir différemment; leur état d'esprit les amené à le faire tout simplement.

Les sottes gens s'imaginent que se préoccuper du sort d'autrui nuit à leurs intérêts, mais cela n'est pas vrai. Rigyo est l'entièreté du Dharma et cela fait du bien autant à soi-même qu'aux autres.

Il y a cette vieille histoire du roi Shu. Si quelqu'un venait à lui rendre visite et qu'il était dans son bain ou en train de manger, il sortait de son bain et se nouait les cheveux ou cessait de manger pour le recevoir. Il faisait de son mieux pour venir en aide aux autres, sans faire de distinction. Il traitait avec la même déférence les personnes hostiles ou amicales.

Par conséquent, nous devrions faire en sorte de traiter nos ennemis, nos amis et nous-même avec respect. Si nous agissons avec un esprit de bienveillance, nous pourrons nous apercevoir que le vent, l'eau les arbres et les herbes l'ont aussi. Nous devrions nous efforcer tout particulièrement de protéger les sottes gens.

DOJI veut dire ne pas se dissocier des autres, à l'instar de Shakyamuni qui est né et a passé toute sa vie en étant un être humain. Toute sa vie il a œuvré dans la voie de doji, autant dans ce monde-ci que dans les autres mondes. Quand nous faisons l'expérience de doji, nous ne faisons plus qu'un avec nous-même et avec les autres. Il y a un adage qui dit : être ami avec le keito, avec la poésie et le saké. Toutefois, dans le bouddhisme, le keito, la poésie et le saké se lient d'amitié avec les êtres humains, les êtres célestes et les dieux. Cela veut tout simplement dire que les êtres humains se lient d'amitié avec le keito, la poésie et le saké, comme le keito, la poésie et le saké avec le keito, la poésie et le saké, les êtres humains avec leurs semblables, les êtres célestes avec les êtres célestes et les dieux avec les dieux. C'est de cette façon qu'il nous faut étudier doji.

DOJI veut aussi bien dire comportement, qu'attitude digne, qu'harmonie avec soi-même et avec les autres. De ce fait, les autres peuvent être assimilé à soi et par la suite soi avec les autres. La relation que nous entretenons avec les autres est infinie, comme notre relation avec le temps.

Dans le Kanshi, il est écrit : «l'océan ne refuse aucune eau, c'est pour cette raison qu' il est si vaste; les montagnes ne refusent aucune terre, c'est pour cette raison qu'elles parviennent à être si grandes . Un excellent roi accepte tout le monde et tous les pays, c'est ainsi qu'il peut régner sur un grand nombre de sujets et de pays. Un excellent roi qui agirait ainsi ne peut que devenir un empereur».

Un empereur ne déteste pas ses sujets, il les récompense, mais cela ne veut pas dire qu'il ne sévit pas. Il y a fort longtemps, quand les gens étaient simples et honnêtes, sévir n'était pas nécessaire, à présent c'est différent. Il y a des personnes, aujourd'hui, qui recherchent la Voie sans attendre de récompense et encore moins de remontrance. Il n'y a que les sots qui peuvent imaginer cela.

Un excellent roi a une grande connaissance de la nature humaine, il ne juge et ne rejette personne. C'est pour cette raison que le peuple s'amasse autour de lui, c'est ainsi que naissent les pays et les états. Ils recherchent tous un excellent roi. Ils sont tout simplement heureux de ne pas être exclus. Parfois, ils n'y pensent même pas et le soutiennent. En quelque sorte, un excellent roi et un sot peuvent vivre en harmonie. C'est ainsi que le peuple [les êtres sensibles] demande au roi [le bodhisattva] de les aider.

C'est avec un grand respect que les Bodhisattvas font en sorte de sauver les êtres sensibles. Il est important que nous abordions chaque chose avec un esprit ouvert et bienveillant. Fuse, aigo rigyo et doji se contiennent mutuellement , ce qui donne un total de seize.


5 mai 1243

Fuse vient du terme sanskrit dana. Nous avons parfois traduit par partage ou par don.

Aigo vient du terme sanskrit priya-akyana, le parler vrai, le parler intentionné.

Rigyo vient du terme sanskrit artha-carya, la bienveillance.

Doji vient du terme sanskrit sama-arthata, que l'on pourrait traduire par empathie, ou tout simplement aussi coopération.

Original archive JK-2000-2002


Dōgen: Shōbōgenzō / Bodaisatta shishōbō
A szívében a megvilágosodás szellemével élő lény (bódhiszattva) négy irányadó tevékenysége
Végh József fordítása

A bódhiszattva módszere az adás, a kedves beszéd, a jótett és az önmagához hű cselekvés.


Világi értelemben adni azt jelenti: nem vagyunk zsugoriak. A nem-zsugori: nem-kapzsi. A nem-kapzsi azt jelenti, nem töri magát senki és semmi kedvéért. Mégha valaki mind a négy világrészt kormányozná, akkor is a megfelelő tanítást csak zsugoriság nélkül lehet átadni (vagyis nem szabad visszatartani). Ez az, amikor azokat az értékeinket, amelyekre már nincs szükségünk odaadjuk egy ismeretlennek.

Ez az, amikor egy távoli hegytetőn nyíló virágokat ajánlunk fel a Tathágatának; vagy az is ennek számít, amikor valamelyik előző életünkben kincseket osztottunk szét az érző lények között. Legyenek bár az ajándékok, akár tanítások, akár anyagi javak, mindegyiknek megvan a maga értéke, amiért érdemes odaadni. Mégha az ajándék nem is a saját tulajdonunk, akkor sincs semmi okunk, hogy visszatartsuk magunkat az odaadásától. A kérdés nem az, hogy értékes-e az ajándék, hanem hogy érdemes-e.

Amikor az ember elhagyja az utat az (igazi) útért, akkor megtalálja az (igazi) utat. Amikor eléri az utat, mindig elvéti az utat az útért. Amikor a kincset kincsként hagyjuk el, akkor a kincs ajándékká válik. Önmagunknak adjuk magunkat, mások másoknak.

Az okok és feltételek hatalmánál fogva az adás gyümölcse eléri az isteneket, az embereket, de még a mevilágosodott bölcseket is. Amint az adás megtörténik, a fent említett feltételek megteremtődnek.

Buddha azt mondta: “Amikor egy olyan személy, aki az adást gyakorolja, egy gyűlésen megjelenik, az emberek azonnal észreveszik. Tudnunk kell, hogy az ilyen ember tudata egy magasabb szinten közli másokkal jelenlétét. Ezért aztán, mondjunk bár csak egy sort el az igazság verseiből, ez akkor is teljességre vivő magként fog szolgálni erre vagy egy eljövendő életünkre. Adjuk tovább értékeinket, mégha csak egy darab aprópénz vagy egy szál szalma is lennének azok, akkor is teljességre vivő magként fognak szolgálni erre vagy egy másik eljövendő életünkre. Az igazság (világi) értékre váltható, a világi érték igazsággá változhat. Ez minden, amit egy adakozó akarhat.

Egy király a szakállát adta orvosságként egyik beteg követőjének, hogy meggyógyuljon; egy gyermek, homokszemeket ajánlott fel (Buddhának) és egy későbbi létesülésében Asóka királyként uralkodhatott. Ők nem vágyták mohón a jutalmat, csak azon osztoztak, amijük volt. Csónakot kölcsönözni, vagy hidat építeni: adás. Ha közelebbről szemügyre vesszük az adást, akkor beláthatjuk, hogy ha elfogadjuk a testünket, és azután odaadjuk, nekiszenteljük magunkat valaminek, akkor mindkettő adománynak számít.

Asóka király képes volt több száz szerzetest jóllakatni egy fél szem mangóval. Aki gyakorolja az adást, az megértheti, hogy Asóka így bizonyította az adakozás nagyszerűségét. Nem csak az odaadásra tett erőfeszítéseinket kell tudatosítanunk, hanem minden lehetőségét annak, hogy adhassunk, ugyanis korábbi adakozásaink gyümölcseként születünk meg ebbe a létesülésünkben.

Buddha azt mondta: “Ha az adást önmagunk kedvéért gyakoroljuk, akkor mennyivel inkább kell gyakorolnunk szüleink, testvéreink és gyermekeink kedvéért?” Ebből következik, vagyis tudnunk kell azt, hogy az önmagunkért adás csak egy része az adás (tökéletes cselekedetének). A családunknak, és a családunk kedvéért adni szintén az adás (tökéletes cselekedete). Mégha csak egy mákszemnyit adunk, akkor is örvendezhetünk cselekedetünk végzésekor, mert éppen a buddhák érdemeit közvetítjük ezáltal,vagyis ekkor gyakoroljuk először életünkben a bódhiszattvák cselekedetét. Az érző lények tudatát nehéz megváltoztatni. A tudatot a változás folyamatában kell tartanunk, a legelső pillanattól kezdve, egészen addig a pillanatig, amíg rálép a megszabadulás útjára. Ezt az adással kezdhetjük. Ezért az adás az első a hat tökéletes cselekedet közül.

A tudat mérhetetlen. Az odaadott dolgok is túl vannak minden mértéken. Ezek közül a tudat teszi az ajándékozást, de az adás is teszi a tudatot (olyanná, amilyen).


A kedves beszéd azt jelenti, hogy amint meglátjuk az érző lényeket, szívünkben együttérző szeretet ébred, és szeretetteljes (gondoskodó) szavakat ajánlunk fel a számukra. Ennek ellentéte a kegyetlen vagy erőszakos beszéd. A világi életben szokás mások egészsége iránt érdeklődni. Buddha követőinél ez így hangzik: “Érezd magad drága kincsnek!” – a tiszeletteljes megszólítás az idősebbek felé pedig a következő: “Megkérdezhetem, hogyan érzi magát?” Ez a kedves beszéd az érző lények felé, mintha csak a gyermekeinkkel beszélgetnénk.

Dicsérd, dicsőítsd őket erénnyel, és sajnáld őket, ha nincsenek meg bennük az erények. Ha kedves beszédet kínálunk fel, akkor az erény apránként megnő, így rendkívüli, a mindennapi tudat előtt láthatatlan kedves beszéd is létre jön. Ezt kell gyakorolnunk egész hátralévő életünkben, nem szabad feladnunk világról világra, életről életre. A kedves beszéd megbékíti vezetőinket, meghódítja ellenfeleinket. Azok, akik hallgatják a kedves beszédünket, azok elégedettségüknek adnak majd hangot, és örömük telik majd benne. Akik hallják kedves beszédünket, azok mélyen megérintetnek, és így soha nem feledik szavainkat.

Tudnivaló, hogy a kedves beszéd kedves tudatból fakad. A kedves tudat együttérző szívben ébred. El kell gondolkodnunk azon, hogy a kedves beszéd nemcsak dicséri mások erényeit, hanem képes a nemzet sorsát megfordítani.


A jócselekedetek gyakorlása a lények minden fajtájának a javára szolgál, ez pedig a közeli és távoli jövőjükkel való törődést jelenti, hogy segítsük őket az ügyes eszközökkel. A régi időkben valaki elengedett egy fogoly teknőst, más valaki egy sebesült verébbel törődött. Ők nem vártak jutalmat, csak a jócselekedet kedvéért indultak meg e tettekre.

A gyermeteg emberek úgy gondolják, ha ők segítenek először a másikon, akkor a saját javuk csorbul. De ez nem így van. A jócselekedet az egységet teszi: egyszerre szolgál a javára egyiknek is, másiknak is.

Egy régi uralkodó a tiltakozók üdvözléseképpen háromszor abbahagyta fürdőjét, megfésülködött, illetve háromszor felállt az asztaltól, hogy köszöntse őket. Ezt pusztán azért tette, hogy jót tegyen másokkal. Nem utasítgatott más urakat. Ekként lehetünk jók barátainkkal és ellenségeinkkel egyaránt. Ekként tehetünk magunk is mások javára.

Ha így gondolkodunk, akkor még a füvek, a fák, a víz és a szél iránt is lehetünk önkéntelenül és lankadatlanul jók. Ez így teljes szívvel tett erőfeszítés a tudatlanok segítésére.


Az «önmagához igazodó cselekvés» azt jelenti: nem kölönbözni. Nem különbözni önmagunktól, nem különbözni másoktól. Például, az emberi világban, a Beérkezett (tathāgata az emberi lények alakját ölti magára. Ebből tudhatjuk azt is, hogy más világokban is ugyanígy tett. Amikor mi tudjuk, hogy igazodunk önmagunkhoz, mások és magunk azonosak lesznek. A lant, a dal és a bor azonosak a lanttal, a dallal, és a borral. Az emberek azonosak az emberekkel, az istenek az istenekkel, a lelkek a lelkekkel . Ezt mégérteni: az önmagához hű cselekvés megértése.

A «cselekvés» azt jelenti? «megfelelő forma», méltóság, helyes viselkedés. Ez azt jelenti, hogy önmagunkat másokkal azonossá tesszük, másokat pedig önmagunkkal teszünk azonossá, noha ez az önmagunk és mások közti kapcsolat a legmesszebb menőkig a körülményektől függ.

A «Guanzi»-ben ez áll: «A tenger nem veti ki magából a vizet, ezért olyan nagy. A hegy nem löki ki magából a földet, ezért olyan magas. ís bölcs vezető nem zárja ki országából az embereket, ezért olyan sok az alattvalója.

Amikor a tenger nem veti ki magából a vizet, az az önmagához igazodó cselekvés. A víz sem veti ki magát a tengerből. Ez így van, a víz a tenger alakjában egyesül. A föld a hegyben magasodik fel. Mivel a tenger nem zárja ki magát a tengerből, mivel maga a tenger, így nagy is. Ez világos, a hegy sem veti ki magából a hegyet, mivel maga a hegy, és magas is. Mivel a bölcs uralkodó sem sanyargatja a népét, az ő alattvalói összegyűlnek. Az alattvalókból nemzet lesz. A bölcs uralkodó pedig a nemzet kormányzója. Aki kormányoz, az nem sanyargatja a népet. A «nem sanyargatja a népét» nem jelenti azt, hogy nem jutalmaz és büntet. Noha az uralkodó jutalmaz és büntet is, mégsem sanyargatja népét.

A régi időkben, amikor az emberek még nem bonyolították túl életüket, még nem volt az országokban törvényes jutalmazás vagy büntetés. A jutalmazás és büntetés fogalma eltért a maitól. Még ma is vannak olyan emberek, akik anélkül, hogy bármiféle jutalmat várnának el járják az útjukat. Ezzel túlmennek a tudatlan emberek megértésén. Mivel ezt egy bölcs uralkodó megérti, ezért nem sanyargatja népét.

Az emberek népet alkotnak, és keresnek egy bölcs uralkodót. De mivel nem tudják pontosan, mitől bölcs egy uralkodó, csak remélhetik, hogy egy bölcs uralkodót támogatnak. Eképpen a következetes cselekvés elvét egyformán alkalmazhatjuk a bölcs uralkodóra és a népre is. Az önmagához hű cselekvés a bódhiszattvák fogadalma.

Emelkedetebben kifejezve: az önmagához igazodó cselekvés minden ember számára (követendő / követhető) gyakorlat. Mindegyik fenti irányadó tevékenység magában foglalja mind a négyet. Így összesen tizenhat módon lehet az érző lényeket vezetni.

Mindezt az ötödik hónap ötödik napján vetette papírra, Ninji negyedik évében (1243) Dógen szerzetes, aki a Kínából hozta a Tanítást.