In volume 9 of Dogen’s Eihei Kōroku, at paragraph 25, there’s a poem (derived from the poem “Mount Lu” by Su Shi),
A person in the mountains should love the mountains.
With going and coming, the mountains are his body.
The mountains are the body but the body is not the self.
So where can one find any senses or their objects?Dogen, Eihei Kōroku
Dogen isn’t talking literally about mountains, or not just. In this poem the mountain signifies everything – the whole of dependent origination. And quintessentially for Dogen he’s always in some sense alluding to our experience in Zazen.
When we talk about dependent origination, the exemplar is our thoughts and emotions, which we usually regard as encumbrances, something to get rid of. But we’re mistaken. The instruction is often given that when thoughts arise in Zazen we should neither love them or hate them but just allow them to come and go freely.
I don’t think that’s an entirely helpful instruction. Certainly we shouldn’t try and push thoughts and emotions away and we shouldn’t attach to them. But I think primarily we should not attempt to fix these butterflies on the needle of our certainty. If we do, they are like ghosts caught in the suddenly appearing echo chamber of the self. They cannot manifest, or change, or live. Nor us.
For further information and references on this kusen, please click this link.