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Thread: No gain - or what can I gain from posting this?

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    No gain - or what can I gain from posting this?

    The deeper I get into Zen the more I bump up against the non-concept of "no gain." As I examine my life I am amazed at how almost everything I do seems to be for some sort of gain, or at the very least to minimize loss, which is to try and maintain what I've previously gained. Gain as motivation for behavior seems so very human, yet I am told my motivation needs to be more pure, more for others gain than my own, but I can still gain by helping another gain, so where does it end?

    But anyway, it's like human nature (gain) vs. buddha nature (no gain) even though I know that duality is not the right way to look at it. So I just thought I would throw this out there so that I (oops, I meant to say you ) could gain some insight into "no gain."
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  2. #2
    Hi Alan,

    We live both ways, experiencing life both ways like two sides of a no sided coin ...

    Needing to gain to live and move forward ... setting your eye on the goals and things necessary to "get the job done" in life ...

    ... and dropping thoroughly all thought of anything to gain or in need of gaining ... no place to go or in need of going in a Buddha's Eye ...

    ... At Once, As One. Gain-No-Gain. One can non-gain, in Shikantaza, this way of the Gainless Gain.

    Also, in doing so, do not fall into excess and become a prisoner of the greed for excess gain, or gain of hurtful things. All things in Moderation, and travel a healthful path.

    Work for the needs and good of others sometimes, work for the needs and good of oneself sometimes ... self and other ultimately not two.

    It ain't rocket science.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Maybe I am completely missing the point, but I think I just explained myself poorly, so let me try again by keeping it much more personal. When I look at my motivations for behavior, they are almost always centered on gain in some way. It's subtle, but there is a "what can I get out of this?" process I go through, and if I won't get much then I won't do that behavior. I don't consider myself a selfish person, but I think I am self-ish in the sense of gain as a subtle but powerful motivating force. I doubt I am alone in this, but when I look around I see myself surrounded by people WAY more self-less, way more giving, way more motivated by no gain than I am. It's like I am an only child, but my "me, me, me-ness" is less overt and quieter. My practice has taught me to not be attached to the results of my actions for gain, for which I am very grateful, but when I look deeper into what motivates my actions I bump into gain again and again.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  4. #4
    disastermouse
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    Alan,

    The thoughts are not problematic, it's identifying with the thoughts as 'mine'. Actually, it's not even identifying per se, it's not being able to NOT identify.

    Identifying in a somewhat compassionate gaining idea (I want my son to grow up to be a good man) or a rather harmless one (Cheetos would be AWESOME right now) is not necessarily problematic, but being trapped in harmful gaining ideas IS problematic. It's the inability to forego identification that's the problem.

    It's a very delicate dance, IMHO. Complete dis-identification, while freeing, can be somewhat passionless and dry. There are times for that, but not everyone wants to live on such a 'cold mountain'. On the other hand, the temptation to justify harmful attachments and identification can absolutely poison a spiritual path (IMHO).

    Just a few thoughts from a guy who has advocated the former and lived far too much of the later (Sometimes in the deluded defense of the former - ain't irony grand?)

    Chet

  5. #5
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Oh Chet, I am sooo glad you chimed in here. I knew you could cut through this. Thank you! Very helpful.

    I was exaggerating a bit above to make a point. My life is pretty much dedicated to the benefit of people with disabilities, but I do get gain from those activities, and that's where I was trapped. I will sit with this some more. Thanks again.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  6. #6
    disastermouse
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    Alan,

    Being able to respond in a discussion allows me to clarify things for myself. So I also have to thank you for prodding us into thinking about it. A well-asked or timed question is often more powerful than several educated answers, IMHO.

    Chet

  7. #7
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    You are very kind.
    Gassho
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  8. #8

    I’ve never understood this concept that because you feel good doing something, then you are doing it for gain. Phrasing it that way, of course we do everything for some level of gain! And so what? Just a trick of phrasing. If you do something and feel nothing, or if you do something and feel bad, is that somehow better? Just a trick of phrasing. The phrasing that works for me is: if you do you something, do you necessarily expect something (an outcome or otherwise) in return from those people or things that you’ve done something for or with, and if you don’t get what you expect, are you upset, or do you have an equanimity about it? Gassho, Grace.

  9. #9
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    No gain is in itself its own reward.
    as soon as it is manifested, snow flakes whirl in the furnace
    the steel of cities and the glass of tower sing along
    nobody is left to see it
    for no gain is when
    doing is just doing
    going is just going
    undoing just as is
    no doer, goer, undoer
    no seeker
    not even the shadow of it all

    Sawaki Kodo used to say: we don't eat to take a shit.

    to expect, to be upset, same old songs.
    Nothing comes, ok. Something comes, ok.
    You see, Grace, in our practice-understanding the giver, the gift and the person receiving it are exactly one.

    the giver,the gift and the person receiving it are exactly one:


    Buddha-Dharma-Sangha


    gassho

    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 08-11-2012 at 04:22 PM.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    No gain is in itself its own reward.
    as soon as it is manifested, snow flakes whirl in the furnace
    the steel of cities and the glass of tower sing along
    nobody is left to see it
    for no gain is when
    doing is just doing
    going is just going
    undoing just as is
    no doer, goer, undoer
    no seeker
    not even the shadow of it all
    Ha! A hell of a lack of drive for a guy who works so hard!

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post

    For the guys wanting to catch up with me here is one of my typical day: up at 5:30, practice till 6:10, leave home at 6:30, in the train to Osaka, JR line, change in Osaka Umeda to catch up the 7:10 train to Kita Senri. Arrrives at Kita Senri at 7:40. then a 25 minutes walk to my school. I get there around 8:00 when I am lucky. Work with a single lunch pause of 20 mimutes until 16:30 or 17:30. Walk back to the station and catch the train for Osaka to teach in Alliance Francaise. Lessons start at 18:30 or 19:30 and last two hours. By the time I finish I have been either commuting half asleep or teaching half awake all day. When I come home, it is between 21:30 or 22:00, if nobody commited suicide on the JR line ( which slows down everything)...I have then to do Dokusan three evenings a week until very late...And no time to eat, read, socialize. Trains are places where I catch up with sleep, as most Japanese do. When I arrived in Japan, I could not believe it, they were all sleeping in trains!!!Now, I am one of them.
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...portant-update
    But, from what I heard about your pay check, I get the "no reward" part.

    Gasshoooooooo, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-11-2012 at 04:45 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    gasshooooooooooooooooooooooo,


    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    the giver,the gift and the person receiving it are exactly one:

    Buddha-Dharma-Sangha

    gassho

    Taigu
    I love and can understand this phrasing! I've heard it here before, of course, but didn't apply it to the concept of gain (more to the concept of one), but it is perfect to me. Perhaps incorrectly, I would say from this perspective, it's all for gain, which is the same as no gain. Gassho, Grace.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    This kind of reverses the impact of the phrase, " No pain, no gain" !!
    Heisoku
    平 息

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    This kind of reverses the impact of the phrase, " No pain, no gain" !!
    Well, the motto "All the pain, none of the gain!" doesn't really put people's butts on the zafus.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho View Post
    Originally Posted by HeisokuThis kind of reverses the impact of the phrase, " No pain, no gain" !!


    Well, the motto "All the pain, none of the gain!" doesn't really put people's butts on the zafus.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Heisoku and Dosho,

    I love your wit! I'm still smiing five minutes later! Gassho, Grace.

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