54/7 Senjo




Sen means “to wash,” and jo means “to purify.” So senjo means “washing.” Buddhism is neither idealism nor materialism, but belief in reality, which has both a spiritual side and a material side. So Buddhism insists that to clean our physical body is to purify our mind. Therefore, in Buddhism, cutting our fingernails, shaving our head, and washing our body are all very important religious practices. In this chapter Master Dogen expounds the religious meaning of such daily behavior, and preaches the importance in Buddhism of cleansing our physical body.