Zen and the Enlightened Mind Essay

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Zen and the Enlightened Mind

"I have forgotten everything. I don't remember a single word"(Masunaga 36). This is the mind of one who seeks the Way. In A Primer of Soto[JS1] Zen Dogen explains the Way of the Buddha and stresses the importance of "sitting in meditation" or zazen as a means of reaching the manifestation of wholeness. The manifestation of wholeness is a state in which one abandons both mind and body and empties oneself of ignorance, delusions, and dualistic modes of thinking. One who is free from dualistic modes of being enters a world in which both subject and object exist. This is a non-objective mode of being where "all self-centeredness has been emptied, where words and concepts are used not to divide but to unite, the
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In the practice of the Way, Dogen places a strong emphasis on zazen or "sitting in meditation." One who meditates properly realizes that the practice of meditation and Enlightenment are one in the same. In A Primer of Soto Zen, Dogen states that "zazen is the practice of the Buddha. Zazen is the ultimate practice. This is indeed the True Self"(Masunaga 44). In the practice of zazen one empties the self and enters a mode of being that is in itself Enlightenment. "The experience of Enlightenment within zazen reveals that the entire world is filled with Buddha-nature. This is something that the unenlightened eye does not see but the Enlightened eye is able to grasp immediately and intuitively"(Earhart 101). Thus, Dogen believes that life is most "real" when a person sits in meditation. He says; "Only when you sit straight and look into yourself, does it become clear that [you yourself are changing and] the objective world has a reality apart from you"(Tsunda 246). Therefore during meditation one is free from a individual-centered or egocentric position which distorts reality. The Enlightened being or the one who practices zazen will see things, including the self as they truly are. Dogen realizes the power of zazen thus, he teaches that students should devote all their efforts to this

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