Waterfall verticle.jpb     Gyobutsuji (Practice Buddha Monastery) is a small mountain monastery devoted to the practice of zazen.  Located in the Ozark mountains of Northwestern Arkansas, practice at Gyobutsuji aims to realize the spirit of the ancient teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and Eihei Dogen Zenji through the contemporary Soto Zen practice styles of Kosho Uchiyama Roshi and his Dharma heir, Shohaku Okumura Roshi.

     The inspiration for Gyobutsuji's name is found in Eihei Dogen Zenji's Shobogenzo Gyobutsu Igi (True Dharma Eye Treasury: Dignified Behavior of Practice Buddha):

     All buddhas without exception fully practice dignified conduct: this [practice] is Practice Buddha.  [...] Sharing one corner of the Buddha's dignified conduct is done together with the entire universe, the great earth, and with the entire coming-and-going of life-and-death.  [...] This is nothing other than the dignified conduct of the oneness of Practice and Buddha.

     Rather than a means for individual spiritual attainment, practice at Gyobutsuji is approached as the actualization of boundless "truth", done together with "all things".  It is in this actualization, this sincere practice of the present moment, that we are released from suffering.  Dogen Zenji expressed this attitude in Gyobutsu Igi by presenting genuine practice as the universal buddha he called "Practice Buddha"(Gyobutsu).  At Gyobutsuji we aspire to honor our practice as Practice Buddha, the boundless "reality" beyond concepts of self and other, existence and nonexistence, and time and space. Practice at Gyobutsuji is the actualization of our trust that genuine practice is the greatest offering we can make to ourselves and to the whole of life.

     At this time, earth, grasses and trees, fences and walls, tiles and pebbles, all things in the dharma realm in ten directions, carry out buddha work. Therefore, everyone receives the benefit of wind and water movement caused by this functioning, and all are imperceptibly helped by the wondrous and incomprehensible influence of Buddha to actualize the enlightenment at hand.  — Dogen Zenji in Bendowa (Wholehearted Practice of the Way)

     It is through this practice of universal offering that we find our individual paths.  Personal development through study, work practice, interpersonal interactions and meditation, allows us to nurture our vow to awaken to universal life as we allow it to blossom through our individual activities.

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