“Self Receive Use Oneness” is one translation of the
characters that make Jijuyu Zanmai.
It is sometimes translated as “Self-fulfillment Samadhi” or
“self-fulfillment and enjoyment Samadhi” or “Samadhi of receiving and using the
self”. This is the middle section
of the Bendowa by Dogen in Shobogenzo.
This section is an incredibly poetic expansive description
of interdependence. It is really
an intoxicating section of what it feels like in human consciousness to know giving
and receiving as one gesture and to know inside and outside as one continuous
seamless reality. It is
interesting to note that this fascicle was written when Dogen was young, 31
years old. It is seen as a
companion piece to the Fukanzazengi which he wrote when he was 28 years old. In his later years, it would be very
unusual to find such an expansive piece.
I think, as he got older, Dogen’s spirituality became very down-to-earth. His main writing centers on how our
understanding is expressed through the moments and events of daily life. He died at 53. What would his writing have become if
he had lived to 80, I wonder?
The implication of this translation is that we have to use,
employ or put to work our spiritual life in terms of our everyday, historic
life. There is a oneness of
subject and object and of the absolute and relative which can be used through
our work and by life itself. In the Tenzo Kyokun, Dogen writes ”Put your awakened mind to work…..The
Way-seeking Mind of a tenzo is actualized by rolling up your sleeves.” What good to the world is transcendence
or a spirituality that is regarded as an escape from reality?
Dogen’s Way is to receive your self as a Whole. You receive your historic, karmic self
in this 24 hours, intimately coordinated with the universal source, eternity. They
exist simultaneously together.
This Oneness of the sacred and ordinary is how we find self-fulfillment
and enjoyment. As long as we live
in this human body, we can never escape Samsara, the endless arising of greed,
anger and ignorance. BUT, if we
can knead each moment with the understanding that this very moment is ALSO the
eternal source point, complete unto itself, then we begin to understand that
samsara and nirvana are in an intimate dance with each other. Within this dance, we find
self-fulfillment and enjoyment that goes beyond the ups and downs of our
ordinary lives. In this
understanding, we find spiritual stability. It seems pretty clear to me now that without this spiritual
perspective on life, I am constantly riding the roll-a-coaster of my samsaric
life. Self-fulfillment can come
only through the spiritual perspective in life. The material world of desire is constantly dissatisfying.
I really appreciated Uchiyama Roshi translating Samadhi as
Right Acceptance. Wow! It has such a different slant than the
word “concentration”. It means at
every moment, we are accepting this moment as whole and complete. We accept this moment as the only
moment. This very moment is received regardless of our likes and dislikes. With
this type of acceptance, we can find true Samadhi. It excludes nothing and we are present for it.
So this Samadhi of oneness is not a “state” that we can find
and hold on to. It is not simply a
peak experience, though we have peak experiences. This Samadhi of Right Acceptance is a continuous seamless
practice and realization. Perhaps
at some moments deep in sesshin, deep in the mountains, we fully realize this
oneness but that is not the whole of it.
That is a wonderful and inspirational peak experience. What I find is true practice is trying
to understand every moment, high or low, as a part of this seamless continuum
of sacredness. It is as Dogen
writes in Jijuyu Zanmai:
“The melodious sound
continues to resonate as it echoes, not only during sitting practice, but
before and after the fall of the hammer.”
Sometimes, we can hit emptiness right on its head. That is the fall of the hammer. But this melodious sound is always
resonating. Before our experience,
after our experience, whether we know it or not, the sound of oneness is
continuing forever. If we are
conscious with this understanding, we can actualize this awareness in “the enlightenment at hand”. This enlightenment is right in
front of our noses or at hand, it is the opening of this very moment.
Labels: absolute and relative, Bendowa, Dogen, jijuyu zanmai, Judith Ragir, Oneness, Right acceptance, Self-fulfillment Samadhi, the sacred and ordinary, Uchiyama roshi