Dogen Zenji: When buddhas are truly buddhas, they are not necessarily aware of themselves as buddhas

When buddhas are truly buddhas, they are not necessarily aware of themselves as buddhas.

– Dogen Zenji in Genjo Koan

In some cases, the oneness we are recognizes itself and lives its life through and as a human being, and there is no awareness of it being unusual or having a name. It may not ever have heard about it, or it has heard about it but doesn’t apply it to itself. It’s just a natural and uncontrived living from and as itself as oneness.

In some cases, the oneness we are recognizes itself and there is an awareness of it as having a name, but it’s not a focus, and it’s mostly forgotten. The metaphorical center of gravity is mostly in oneness, it knows full well about labels and perhaps maps of the process, and labels are not important in daily life.

It’s mostly when the oneness we are has a tenuous conscious grasp on its own nature that it feels a need to hold onto labels and to remind itself about those labels. And that’s not wrong. It’s natural and innocent and a part of the process.


INITIAL DRAFT

When the oneness we are recognizes itself and lives from that recognition, it’s the most natural thing in the world. It doesn’t need any labels or even reflection. (And labels and reflection may happen.)

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