July 1./ Flowers will die and weeds will flourish

Over the last couple weeks I’ve been reading collections out of Zen Master Dōgen’s book Shōbōgenzō (The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye). Dōgen was a 13th century monk who brought Zen Buddhism from China to Japan. One line out of the Genjōkoan chapter really stuck out to me, and it’s been stuck in my head lately. It’s translated to:
“Yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread” (Robert Aiken/ Kazuaki Tanahashi).
Even though we like some things, they come to an end. Even though we dislike other things, they continue to be. It’s also been translated to “flowers, while loved, fall; and weeds, while hated, flourish” (Nishijima Roshi / Chodo Mike Cross) or “whilst we adore flowers they wither; weeds grow strong whilst we long for their destruction” (Jiyu-Kennett).
Just because we love something, or have favorable feelings for something, doesn’t mean it will last. Good things end. Everything ends. Even if you dislike something, it doesn’t mean it will go away or weaken. Unfavorable things happen too.
But you know what, it’s okay. This line is nothing new. We all know it. I think sometimes we just forget. We want to make the good stuff last a little longer and forget that it won’t last forever. We want to push away the bad stuff and hope it ends quicker.
“…flowers, though we love them, still die, and weeds, though we hate them, still grow all over the place” (Brad Warner).

I don’t know, this had just been on my mind lately.
(Translations were found in “Moon in a Dewdrop; writings of zen master dōgen” edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi and “Don’t be a Jerk” by Brad Warner)

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