The Raft Is the Shore

"The Raft Is the Shore" number 42 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Warning! Mixture of metaphors ahead.
"Even the most productive fishermen get hungry again."

Robert Aitken uses this metaphor to debunk the popular Buddhist metaphor about the raft and the other shore and the abandoning of the said raft. If one see the raft as one's practice, it seems odd to consider abandoning it. Below, Dogen has a thing or two to say about this.

...In many traditional branches fo Buddhism, meditation practice may eventually lead to enlightenment. Dogen states that some people even practice "like having crossed over a great ocean on a raft, thinking that upon crossing the ocean one should discard the raft. The zazen of our Buddha ancestors is not like this, but is simply Buddha's practice." In this common Buddhist simile of the raft, once one reaches the other shore of liberation, the raft (e.g. of meditative practice) is no longer needed. But Dogen implies that the practitioner should continue to carry the raft, even while trudging up into the mountains or down into the marketplace.

Zen Ritual by Steven Heine & Dale S. Wright

Another sunny Saturday at the Farmer's Market.

Sharp Shined and Barn Owl.
WSU Rapter Rehab and Education