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blue mountains constantly walking

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In his exquisite classic, The Practice of the Wild, American poet Gary Snyder introduces us to the 12th century Zen Buddhist monk, Dōgen Kigen, who gives us the expression "The blue mountains are constantly walking" in an essay translated as "Mountains and Waters Sutra." Dōgen Kigen himself was quoting from the earlier 11th century Chan master Furong. As Snyder says: " Dōgen is not concerned with "sacred mountains"–or pilgrimages, or spirit allies, or wilderness as some special quality. His mountains and streams are the processes of this earth, all of existence, process, essence, action, absence; they roll being and non-being together. They are what we are, we are what they are. For those who would see directly into essential nature, the idea of the sacred is a delusion and an obstruction: it diverts us from seeing what is before our eyes: plain thusness. Roots, stems, and branches are all equally scratchy....

So the blue mountains walk to the kitchen and back to the shop, to the desk, to the stove....The blue mountains march out of the sea, shoulder the sky for a while, and slip back into the waters."

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