This chapter discusses Dōgen's views about moral excellence. For Dōgen, dominating one's innate desires was a necessary condition for embodying the truth. Once innate desires have been conquered, even the tiny world within each of us can reveal a state of limitless freedom. Whereas Shinran simply preached the possibility of forgiving evil, Dōgen emphasized strong self-discipline through the precepts. Japanese Buddhism used the idea of “innate desires as buddhahood” to create a certain harmony between everyday practices and Buddhist ideals. Dōgen makes a distinction between the excellences of the clergy and the excellences of laypeople. This chapter also considers what Dōgen has to say about filial piety, absolute truth, and following Buddha's way.
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