The World-Honored One said, ‘When one person opens up reality and returns to the source, all space in the ten directions disappears.’

Eihei Dogen said,

When one person opens up reality and returns to the source, all space in the ten directions opens up reality and returns to the source.

EK 2.179

To suppose that practice and realization are not one is a view of those outside the way; in buddha-dharma they are inseparable. Because practice within realization

[translator’s note: Japanese, shojo no shu; literally, ‘realization on top of practice’]

occurs at the moment of practice, the practice of beginner’s mind is itself the entire original realization.
When giving instruction for zazen practice, we say that you should not have any expectation for realization outside of practice, because this is the immediate original realization. Because this is the realization of practice, there is no beginning in practice.

— Dogen, Bendowa (Tanahashi 2010, 12)

(For an alternate translation of this passage, see Okumura and Leighton 1997, 30.)

Starting now

Whether the object of your quest is the source of inspiration, the origin of language, the origin of life, or the origin of the universe, the origin of wholehearted inquiry is here in the time you are now living.

It is so difficult to find the beginning. Or, better: it is difficult to begin at the beginning. And not try to go further back.

— Wittgenstein (1969, #471)


Turning word: in Dogen‘s Japanese, 轉 語 [tengo], ‘Statement that crushes delusion and leads to liberation’ (Tanahashi 2010, 1152). Who is this turning the dharma wheel? Who is this turning the page?

Entering is the basis. The basis is from beginning to end.

— Dogen, ‘Bukkyo’ (Tanahashi 2010, 286)

God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages.

Thoreau, Walden, chp. 2