but I wonder whether Leighton would accept this way of tying together several of the facets of suchness that Dongshan lifts up and Leighton so skillfully discusses. Leighton’s success at stimulating my own questions and reflections generates the one quibble I might add to this review to ensure that it does not simply sing the praises of this important volume. Leighton devotes the last section of the book to exploring Dongshan’s complex doctrine of the five degrees or, as other translators would have it, the five ranks. He unpacks Dongshan’s verses on the five degrees and summarizes how later Chan/Zen teachers, including Dōgen, have expounded on the five degrees. Then, in the final two pages of the book, titled “The Five Degrees and the Practice of Suchness,” Leighton offers some closing comments on how one might practice and live out each of the five degrees and on how we can “meet” suchness vertically through engagement with traditions of teaching and culture and horizon- tally through open-hearted engagement with other people to “support mutual benefit and creative, sustainable livelihoods and communities” (p. 238). As I read the last section of the book and savored Leighton’s masterful treatment of Dongshan’s five
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Apr 25, 2017
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