Great Ocean of Meditation

The chapter of the Shobogenzo On the Meditative State That Bears the Seal of the Ocean (Kaiin Zammai) is a line by line analysis of a poem attributed to Shakyamuni Buddha. This chapter is thought to be the most subtle discourse in the entire Shobogenzo.

The Buddha once said in verse,
Simply of various elements is this body of Mine composed.
The time of its arising is merely an arising of elements;
The time of its vanishing is merely a vanishing of elements.
As these elements arise, I do not speak of the arising of an ‘I’.
Previous instants and succeeding instants are not a
series of instants that depend on each other;
Previous elements and succeeding elements are not
a series of elements that stand against each other.
To give all this a name, I call it ‘the meditative
state that bears the seal of the Ocean’.

In essence, and quoting my Master, …within this very arising and vanishing is the stillness of the Great Ocean of Meditation.

This posting is for those who came to the Sunday Dharma Talk at the Priory when we talked about a small section of this chapter. It is also a call to all of us to accept, and know, that the arising of our humanity is within the Great Ocean, never apart.

This chapter
can be read on-line at the Shasta Abbey website.

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