Usually associated with passions and desires,
entwined vines (katto) is Dogen's favorite image
in his analysis of striving. Along with others—
"the vast and giddy karmic consciousness,"
"dim-sightedness," and "the nevertheless deluded"—
it highlights the complex and elusive existentiality of
the entwined human/cosmic condition.
In this context, sho ("enlightenment")
is typically coupled with shu ("practice")
as in shusho ("practice and enlightenment").
Enlightenment is, in Dogen’s favorite phrase,
“ever-intimate” (shinzo) with, and transparent as, delusion.
This intimacy (mitsu; shimmitsu) suggests the nonduality of
delusion and enlightenment.
"Ever-intimate” delusion and enlightenment inform,
challenge, negotiate and transform one another
in a dialectical interplay of nonduality.
Excerpted with permission from Dogen On Thinking and Meditation: Reflections On His View of Zen by Hee-jin Kim
Entwined Vines 2007 acrylic on linen 58 " x 58"