Filed in Zen (Chan)

Finding Your Place

By Eihei Dogen Zenji Translated by Robert Aitken and Kazuaki Tanahashi

Wisdom Collection

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A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the sky. However, the fish and the bird have never left their elements. When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm. If the bird leaves the air, it will die at once. If the fish leaves the water, it will die at once.

Know that water is life and air is life. The bird is life and the fish is life. Life must be the bird and life must be the fish.

Besides this, further steps can be taken. Thus there are practice and enlightenment, which encompass both eternal life and limited life.

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