46/53 Mujo-seppo



The Non-Emotional Preaches the Dharma

Mujo means the non-emotional and Seppo means to preach the Dharma. Originally, mujo means inanimate or insentient things, so mujo-seppo means inanimate things preach the Dharma. But Master Dogen’s usage of the word mujo was wider than the usual usage, as if the words cover the whole of nature — human beings as well as mountains, rivers, and so on. Master Dogen insisted that even inanimate things can preach the Dharma, and at the same time he insisted that human beings can preach the Dharma when they are not emotional. He insisted that any thing that is not emotional can preach the Dharma — a viewpoint that profoundly expresses the true nature of Buddhist preaching.