51/57 Menju



The Face-to-Face Transmission

Men means face, and ju means transmission. Menju means the transmission of the Dharma from a master to a disciple face to face. In Buddhism, what is transmitted from a master to a disciple is not only abstract theory, but also something real, including actual conduct, physical health, and intuitional wisdom. Therefore the transmission of this real something cannot be actualized solely through explanations with words, or simply by passing on some manuscript. For this reason, the Dharma that Gautama Buddha taught has been transmitted in person from master to disciple since the days of Gautama Buddha. Without this personal contact, the Buddhist Dharma cannot be transmitted. In this chapter, Master Dogen praises the transmission of the Buddhist Dharma and explains its importance.