My landlord has lent me a dinghy. The lake is covered in pond weed and I had started pulling it where I could reach around the edge, but the lake is 15ft deep and shelves pretty steeply so I can’t reach far. Now I can float around and pull up weed as I go. The silt attached to the roots is black and smelly and it doesn’t take long to fill the boat with weed, but it is still quite a fun job.
A couple of days ago I was recommending some books on Dogen to C who was here for a day retreat, and he thought other people might be interested so I said I’d post details:
First recommendation, which has already appeared in this blog, is Realizing Genjokoan by Shohaku Okumura. If you don’t find Dogen easy (does anyone!) this is the most accessible work I have found. Okumura has also written Living by Vow, which is a commentary on eight of the scriptures and verses recited daily in Zen temples, including the mealtime verses and the Scripture of Great Wisdom. Very worth a read.
Second recommendation is two books by Hee-Jin Kim. Eihei Dogen Mystical Realist is described by Taigen Dan Leighton in his foreword as “the best overall general introduction to Dogen’s teaching.” The second book is Dogen on meditation and thinking: a reflection on his view of Zen. I needed a dictionary next to me to look up words such as teleology, desideratum and hermeneutics. These books are pretty dense and written in more scholarly language, so if that’s not your cup of tea go for Okumura.
Do please leave a comment if you have any other Dogen books to recommend, or something to say about these ones.