​The opportune moment—Part II

Dogen said,

The Buddhas say, if you want to understand the true meaning of the Buddha-nature, you should correctly understand its momentary manifestations. When the right time comes, the buddha-nature will manifest itself.

Dogen continued:

Many seekers, both past and present, have believed that the phrase, ”when the right time comes,” means to wait for the Buddha-nature to manifest itself in the future. They think that if they continue training in the way, the Buddha-nature will naturally manifest itself at the right time. Until that time comes, they mistakenly conclude that the buddha-nature will not manifest itself, even should they visit a master in search of the dharma or train diligently. Based on this false conclusion, they meaninglessly return to the ordinary world and vainly wait for the right time to come.

The words,”when the right time comes,” means that the right time has already come. There can be no doubt about this. Even should doubts arise, they are nothing but the manifestation of the buddha-nature in ourselves. “The right time” means that we should make the most of every day. If the right time were something which came, the buddha-nature would not come. This is because the right time has already come; the buddha-nature has already manifested itself. This fact is quite clear, for there has never been a right time that has not come, nor a buddha-nature which has not manifested itself.

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