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Flowers Fall: A Commentary on Zen Master Dogen's Genjokoan Paperback – May 1, 2001
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About the Author
Yasutani Hakuun (1885-1973) was born in Japan during the Meiji era. Born into a poor family, he was adopted at the age of five and went to live in a country temple. He trained in many temples before starting a family at the age of thirty. At forty, he returned to the priesthood again, and eventually came to study with the Soto priest Harada Sogaku. Under this teacher, Hakuun's practice deepened, and he went on to teach monks and lay practitioners. He authored almost one hundred volumes of writings.
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Top customer reviews
Once there was a time of being when mountains were mountains, but that memory is gone and mountains are not mountains. And so flowers fall. Hours or eons later, coursing without obstruction in the wisdom that has gone beyond, a flower suddenly appears as light, as a mountain, and now a river. Flowers are flowers and mountains are mountains, but what are these flowers that come and go?
Yasutani really delivers on his promise to unpack Genjokoan. As he says, "Dogen Zenji's sentences are brief and to the point, and also the style is elevated, so unless one with a clear dharma eye fleshes them out appropriately, lowers the style and re-phrases them for a spoon-feeding, they won't be understood by beginners. To read and chew on the original texts as they are is best, but as a temporary foothold I'll add a little padding." He makes the tough sledding enjoyable as he brings out Dogen's pointers to Zen practice.
Hey, get a clue as to why cushion time (zazen) is needed, in spite of the fact that we have Buddha Nature - are Buddha Nature - already. And then there's the side trips into scolding the Soto folks and ripping the Rinzai. Actually, it's more like Yasutani was taking my own lax and misdirected practice to task. Not exactly grandmotherly, but I didn't lose too much blood.