Not Betraying Others

Ron Hogen Green, Sensei

Broadcasted from Hogen Sensei’s home in Pennsylvania, 11/18/2020

Case 47 from Dogen’s 300 koan Shobogenzo, Guishan’s “Do Not Betray Others”:

One day after sitting Guishan pointed at the straw sandals and said to Yangshan, “All hours of the day, we receive people’s support. Don’t betray them.” Yangshan said, “Long ago in Sudatta’s garden, the Buddha expounded just this.” Guishan said, “That’s not enough. Say more.” Yangshan said, “When it is cold, to wear socks for others is not prohibited.”

In today’s talk, Hogen sensei invites us to reflect on the nature of self and other. When giving, who is it that is receiving, and who is it that is giving? Hogen reminds us to be wary of dualistic thinking. We might also ask what is being given when nothing is physically exchanged? In other words, what is exchanged when we are in a state of ignorance? Or what is exchanged when we practice wholeheartedly? Hogen draws upon modern studies published in the Scientific Journal to point to the teachings of the old Zen Masters, that we are deeply interconnected. Showing us that the self does not end at the tip of our nose.

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