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Astride the Highest Mountain: Dogen's Being Time (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 8/21

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Shinshu Roberts
The Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series 2014
with Shinshu Roberts
in the City Center dining room

Thursday, August 21, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm

"Uji," Eihei Dogen’s difficult and famous text on the nature of being-time is foremost a guide to entering Buddha’s Way. It is an exploration of a Soto Zen practitioner’s spiritual journey. Dogen poses questions and offers pointers to the practitioner which indicate how we should think about and meet our life. He explores our mistaken views. We think we know time, but we don’t. Practice and realization are not two separate stages. Time does not just fly past. Realization is not something we wait to acquire over time.

Dogen presents a series of problems, questions and statements about being-time as it relates to our daily lives. In this lecture, we will discuss the various aspects of Dogen’s teachings on being-time:
  • What is the nature of all being’s time?
  • Is there anything missing in your present moment?
  • How can this moment be an independent time and also the preceding being-time, as well as the moments that come after?
  • How is it that this moment of our practice swallows up the goal of practice?
  • How can we expect to come to some realization when we think enlightenment is “out there” rather than “right here, right now”?
Dogen writes that we should see the Buddha’s golden light in every hour of our day. We must cultivate doubt about our view of time and being. We need to investigate how it is that our particular being-time co-exists with all being-time. We must come to know that practice-realization is right now. He encourages us to find our original face as being-time. As we follow these teachings and questions, we see that Dogen has offered a concise and comprehensive guide to following the Bodhisattva Path.

Reading: "Uji" from The Heart of Dogen’s Shobogenzo translated by Norman Waddell and Masao Abe.

Other lectures in this series

Fees: $15; $13.50 current SFZC members; $12 limited income. (About Registration, Scholarships, and Cancellations.)

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Related Bio(s):

Shinshu Roberts

Rev. Shinshu Roberts is the co-founder (with Daijaku Kinst) of the Ocean Gate Zen Center located in Capitola, CA. She also teaches a monthly Dogen seminar at City Center in San Francisco. Shinshu was ordained in 1988 and trained for 17 years (4 at Tassajara) at the San Francisco Zen Center holding various leadership positions during that time.