The wisdom of Dogen

by Michael Kilman,, Nov 18, 2008

Denver, CO (USA) -- Dogen Kigen (1200-1253) was a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher born in Kyoto, and the founder of the Soto school of Zen in Japan. He was a leading religious figure of his time, as well as being an important philosopher. Zenji is a title meaning " Zen master", while the name Dogen means roughly "Source of the Way". (From Wikipedia)

The school of Zen Buddhism that Dogen found taught that meditation is in itself enlightenment. He realized that the very practice of meditation brought peace and mindfulness to the mind of the practitioner. He saw the power that meditation brought into his life and to the lives of those he taught.

When I read some of his teachings I was astonished. I realized that everything I was seeking was already in my meditation. In my meditation practice, I am peaceful, mindful, and patient, as well as many other qualities that I sometimes forget. As I read this I realized that achieving enlightenment only means making your everyday life a form of meditation.

A passage from Dogen's writings states, " Yet this is not all that zazen (meaning sitting in meditation) does. It is like the hammer striking emptiness, the bell's melodious sound continues to resonate as it echoes, endlessly before and after. It is not limited to this moment. Not only that, but all things are endowed with original practice within the original face, which is impossible to measure. You should know that even if all the Buddhas in the ten directions, as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, together engage the full power of their Buddha wisdom, they could never reach the limit, or measure or comprehend the virtue, of one person's zazen."

Each time we meditate we drop something, thus we are striking the bell. Each time we meditate we open the door to become the peace that is meditation. Dogen tells us that all we need to do is sit in meditation to understand the profound wisdom we can find hidden within our everyday life. Practicing meditation is nothing more then training for the everyday world.

What does this mean? Anyone can sit in meditation. Anyone can open the door to a world of peace that has been hidden inside of them all along. What you believe in does not matter, meditation has no agenda other then bringing peace and stability to our lives. One could meditate on the teachings of Jesus by asking themselves during meditation if they really were trying to show love and compassion to their neighbor. One could meditate on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, or The Tao Te Ching.

It does not matter what you meditate on. The focus of meditation is letting go of the self and realizing our own flaws in a mindful way, so that we can attempt to fix them the next time we are given the opportunity to do so. If we pay attention to how we are living our lives, and our actions, if we focus every moment on how we can better ourselves the world will naturally begin to follow.

Just take time to sit and open yourself. All you need do is sit and breathe and patiently watch our own thoughts. If you do so, you open the doors to peace entering your heart.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: