Zen: More Dogen

Today we talked more about Dogen. You know, the guy who started the soto school of zen, lived around 1200, that guy. Or at least that’s what we were supposed to talk about.
In reality the discussion ranged from power point presentations to a recap on koans from last week. Speaking of which, I like koans.
They seem to have the ability to subtly change my thought patterns, the good ones anyway. Kind of calming.
Kenney wanted to spend the first bit of class discussing koans. So, I guess it really was not that off topic. But, we spent the first half of the class talking about them. Then add to that the fact that our reading for the day is itself ‘genjo koan’ by Dogen. Which, I must admit I haven’t read yet.
One of the interesting things Kenney talked about was the untranslatability of Dogen. Not that you can’t translate him into other languages, just that his words are difficult to rephrase and retain their specialness. There is something about how he lays out his ideas that cannot be restated. It’s like there is something there when you use his words, some underlying current, that is lost when paraphrasing.
Interesting idea.

Comments are closed.