Concerning Social Problems

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
Concerning Social Problems

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This chapter considers what are Dōgen's reflections about social problems. Dōgen does not try to alleviate the social unrest of the secular world by means of secular excellence, since the root of social unrest arises from craving. The only salvation from this unrest is the way of the patriarchs, who cut away the root of this unrest. Accordingly, Dōgen only made efforts toward manifesting the way of the patriarchs. This manifestation is that which allows a disciple to embody Buddhism to the utmost. Dōgen emphasized that to be a monk is to abandon greed for wealth and live a beggar's life. He tells his monks to be absolutely penniless. This chapter expounds on Dōgen's assertion that separation from the desire for the basic necessities of life was a necessary condition for following the way to the truth, along with his disapproval of orthodox Buddhism in Japan.

Keywords: social problems; Dōgen; social unrest; craving; patriarchs; Buddhism; monks; truth

Chapter.  1532 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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