Saturday, December 19, 2009

7. Cultivating Wisdom

"Developing learning, thinking, and application, the realization is wisdom.

"Buddha said, 'O monks, if you have wisdom, you will have no greedy attachment. Always examine yourselves and do not allow any heedlessness. Then you will be able to attain liberation from ego and things. Otherwise, you are neither people of the Way nor laypeople -- there is no way to refer to you. True wisdom is a secure ship to cross the sea of aging, sickness and death. It is also a bright lamp in the darkness of ignorance, good medicine for all the ailing, a sharp axe to fell the trees of afflictions. Therefore you should use the wisdom of learning, thinking, and application, and increase it yourself. If anyone has the illumination of wisdom, this is a person with clear eyes, even though it be the mortal eye.' "

(From "The Eight Awarenesses of Great People," translated by Thomas Cleary in "Shobogenzo: Zen essays by Dogen.")

(Photo: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, last weekend)


  1. those are great images for wisdom - a sure ship and bright light

  2. Unadulterated wisdom is hard to come by these days. It's certainly something to aspire to though.