“When one displays the buddha mudra with one’s whole body and mind, sitting upright in this samadhi even for a short time, everything in the entire dharma world becomes buddha-mudra, and all the space in the universe completely becomes enlightenment”
-Dogen Zenji, Bendowa
Bendowa (the Wholehearted Way) is a short fascicle written in 1231 by Dogen Zenji (founder of Soto Zen in Japan) after returning to Japan from China, often considered a general introduction and summary of the 95 fascicles of Dogen’s masterpiece,Shobogenzo (Treasury of the True Dharma Eye).
While Dogen’s first work, Fukanzazengi (Universal Recommendation for Zazen) describes basic instructions for Zen meditation, Bendowa is where Dogen clarified the meaning and practice of original enlightenment and describes Zen training as manifesting Practice-Enlightenment throughout all aspects of one’s human life.
This mind and practice of Zazen does not strive for enlightenment but is itself the living form of the Buddhas and Ancestors. It is a zazen of no attainment and no seeking. Enlightenment dwells naturally in practice, and practice freely embodies enlightenment. In this class we will embark on a personal and collective exploration of Wholeheartedness in Zen Practice through textual study, meditation, group discussion, interactive exercises, and embodiment in Zen forms of training.
Rev. Unzan Doshin, Mako Voelkel began her Zen Buddhist practice in 1997 at the San Francisco Zen Center and entered into formal monastic practice at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in 2002. She received priest ordination in 2004, became a practice leader in 2009, and served in a wide variety of temple positions until she left the monastery in 2012. She currently serves as the Head Priest at the Austin Zen Center.
As always, AZC is committed to making the teachings available to everyone. To request financial assistance from our Scholarship Fund, or if you would like to donate to the Fund for others to be able to participate, please call Susan Hansen at 512-452-5777.