Saturday, March 15, 2014

'forget enlightenment'

In "The Life of Zen Master Dogen," noted a couple of posts back, Dogen's teacher is depicted in one scene of the movie as he confirms Dogen's enlightenment ... and then says approximately, "forget about enlightenment."

Dogen was one of the notable expositors of Japanese Zen Buddhism, which, like other forms of Buddhism, places some emphasis on "enlightenment" -- a word denoting an ineffable, unlimited and experienced understanding. If there were a brass ring in Buddhism, "enlightenment" would probably be it.

I don't know whether Dogen's teacher actually did encourage him to "forget enlightenment," but I certainly like to think he did.

After all, if anyone could remember enlightenment, how could that possibly be enlightenment?

On the other hand, I suppose the same could be said for forgetting it.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the unmemorable things, and then...the unrememberable! "Enlightenment," maybe, as well as torture.