Dogen, Zen & Creativity

The second aspect of Dōgen’s view of Buddha Nature has to do with us personally, as its realization requires a commitment on our part as Zen practitioners. Dōgen states: 

Unless we risk ourselves to choose to act the Buddha nature never becomes visible, audible, tangible. Buddha Nature and becoming a Buddha always occur simultaneously.

For Dōgen, Zen practice is not simply a matter of seeing things differently: his   concern is with transforming our life.  This transforming work takes the form of moral activity and the creativity of daily life. Buddha Nature is not to be conceptualized or contemplated; rather it is to be actualized in our lives. 

Dōgen says, 

Unless you are the active Buddha, you will never be liberated from the bonds of Karma. Activity is the primal property of functional interdependence itself.

Dōgen taught that our ability to attain the Way depends entirely on our resolve and attitude for practice. It is like becoming a musician, or a dancer, it requires resolve and constant practice. While some may have more talent than others, and so progress faster, all can attain if they resolve to do so and practice regularly.

This Teisho was given by Paul Maloney, roshi on day 5 of the Winter sesshin