Chapter

The Method and Meaning of Self-Cultivation

Steve Bein

in Purifying Zen

Published by University of Hawaii Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780824835101
Published online November 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780824868505
The Method and Meaning of Self-Cultivation

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This chapter discusses the method and meaning of self-cultivation according to Dōgen. At the heart of Dōgen's teachings is the manifestation of eternal values. Therefore, the destruction of all worldly values must be the starting point of his project. Dōgen expressed this destruction of worldly values through the traditional Buddhist expression “You should contemplate impermanence.” The destruction of the values of this world is nothing but a reversal of values in order to attain this ideal life right away. This reversal of worldly values gave birth to the search for the eternal value of truth. The chapter talks about Dōgen's advocacy of single-minded zazen as the core of Buddhist practice and reveals that the proper attitude of Dōgen's self-cultivation is strictly defined in terms of self-power and enlightenment. It also considers the difference between Pure Land Buddhism and Dōgen's Buddhism.

Keywords: self-cultivation; impermanence; Dōgen; eternal values; worldly values; zazen; self-power; enlightenment; Pure Land Buddhism; Buddhism

Chapter.  3828 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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