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Ryugin, “Dragon’s Song”

The TRZC Autumn Dogen Studies Series will begin with Ryugin, “Dragons Song” (Moan or Roar)

Ryugin: Glossary of Terms

Terms are listed in the order that they appear in the text

Withered Trees- Sitting in stillness, “vivid state of non-emotion,” Sitting non-attached

Dragon’s Moan (Howl, Song)- Expression of enlightenment

Inside the Skull- Sitting in stillness

Lion’s Roar- Buddha’s preaching, “vibrant awareness.”

Dead Ash- Sitting in stillness

Meet Spring- “Total experience of reality,” Realization

Sea Dried Up- Realization

Horns Growing out of the Head- Becoming realized or enlightened

Mountain Trees- Still, still state of sitting in zazen

Ocean Trees- Sitting in the depths of being

Sky Trees- Sitting in the realization of emptiness

Gourd- The gourd refers to a Master as a vessel for the Water of the True Dharma Eye, which is passed on through mind-to-mind transmission rom ancestor to ancestor.

Many of these images are connected and synonymous. Dogen writes:

“The sea having dried up is the tree having withered and the tree having withered is meeting spring.” (Nishijima & Cross). Nishijima also notes that the character for withered and dried is the same.

Ryugin, “Dragon’s Song” Two Translations

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