Koans of the Way of Reality
In the poetic teachings of master Dogen, the plum tree occasionally represents the Buddhadharma. The plum tree withstands storms and winds, scorching heat and rain. It endures harsh winters, but even under three feet of snow and ice, in its frozen branches there is eternal spring. When the time is right it sprouts leaves and flower buds, filling the air with pure fragrance, eventually bearing fruit. It blooms in the brilliant midday sun and under the hazy moon. Its various stages--seeds, branches, flowers, and plums--can't be separated from one another. Its blossoms are not proud of their all-pervading aroma and iridescent color.
In this discourse, Abbot John Daido Loori brings to life the exhortations of Dogen's teacher, Master Tendo Nyojo--to appreciate and realize our life and practice as this 2500-year-old plum tree.
Volume 14 of the Mountain Light Video Library. DVD