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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 14

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 14

    Hello everyone,


    Jundo asked me to present the following Koan:


    Main Case:

    Attention! Attendant Kaku asked Tokusan, "Where did the holy ones of the past go?" Tokusan answered, "What? What?" Kaku said, "Give an imperial order for a fleet horse, and out comes a lame tortoise." At that, Tokusan desisted.The next day, Tokusan left his bath, and Kaku brought over tea and served it to Tokusan. Tokusan patted him once on the shoulder. Kaku said, "Old man, at last you're beginning to see." Tokusan once again desisted.




    Wearing a dinner jacket and metal-soled tap-shoes doesn't mean you can hear the music the other person is dancing to. Kaku vomits out a juicy question but doesn't have the ears to hear the resonance of Tokusan's crystal clear answer. We can disguise our ineptitude and hide it in front of others, but never in front of one who knows the traceless non-ground on which we all stand, the birthing place of non-other. No matter how watery the broth, if the gate is shut, no sustenance will ever enter.


    Questions:

    Can you recall an instance where looking back at past events revealed to you what should have been understood there and then by you?
    Who has more Buddha nature, your father, or your mother?


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-24-2012 at 01:27 PM.
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  2. #2
    Like Shishin Wick's comments, Steve Hagen has a nice section on the tangled vine relationship of teacher and student ... as well as Koans, confusion, paradox ...

    -------------------------------------


    Buddhist teachings and practice all have to do with this issue—
    this basic confusion, this problem we have with self.
    Thus Zen is a very no-nonsense practice.
    We can’t just go through the motions of Zen practice—
    sitting in meditation, reading books, attending classes, going
    to workshops and retreats—as if studying the Buddhadharma
    were just another self-help program. This practice is not about
    helping the self. It’s about seeing this so-called self for what it
    is—an illusion.
    This means that we have to actually deal with stuff, mull
    things over, look at what’s going on, and work at it. In short,
    we have to actually see what we ’re doing.
    Our problem is not out there in the world. It’s not a matter
    of straightening “them” out or fixing a particular situation.
    It’s a matter of observing our own cast of mind.

    There’s a story of a Zen teacher who particularly praised one
    of his students. Several people were bewildered by this and
    wanted to know what was so special about him.
    “Come with me,” the teacher said and led them to where
    the student was living. The teacher knocked on the door. From
    within they heard a pen being tossed down, papers being
    shuffled, a book being closed, and then footsteps. The door
    opened and a young man said, “Yes?”
    “Sorry, wrong room,” said the teacher.
    They proceeded to the next room, where the teacher again
    knocked. Immediately they heard footsteps. The door opened
    and a young man said, “Yes?”
    “May we come in?” asked the teacher. The student obliged.
    Inside the room, on a table, was a sheet of paper with a
    drawn circle, begun but abandoned halfway. The student was
    still holding a calligraphy brush in his hand. He had obviously
    started drawing a circle but had been interrupted midway by
    the knock at the door.
    The teacher then turned to his guests and said, “You can
    teach someone like this.”
    This teacher knew that it’s much easier to teach someone
    who is willing to drop his own plan, her own agenda. This was
    why the teacher found the student so refreshing. Such a person
    can quickly learn from a true teacher, if they are fortunate
    enough to find one.

    Much of Zen may at first seem baffling or contradictory to us.
    But over time, with effort and attention, these seeming contradictions
    will begin to clear up. I certainly ran into this repeatedly with my own teacher. He
    often said things that at first struck me as bizarre, ridiculous, or
    just plain wrong. But I gave him the benefit of the doubt, though
    I kept my eyes open, and gradually I learned what he had to
    show me. After a while, I started to see that many of the apparent
    ambiguities, contradictions, paradoxes, and enigmas of Zen
    weren’t really contradictory or ambiguous. They only seemed
    that way because of the presumptions and unexamined leanings
    of my own mind. It wasn’t easy for me, after meeting Katagiri Roshi. I almost
    quit Zen three times—twice because I got to thinking that Zen
    Buddhism is not what you think was nuts, once after I’d been with him awhile because I thought
    I wasn’t up to it. But I didn’t quit. And while there may have
    been a few things about my training that were less than ideal
    (how could there not be?), he pointed out everything I needed
    to see. Still, whether I learned anything from him or not was
    up to me. He didn’t interfere. He was a very good teacher.
    And I would never have learned from him had I not willingly
    set aside my own notions and predilections at a few
    critical junctures. With his guidance, I was able to hold my
    opinions and beliefs loosely in one hand while turning over
    and freely examining what he was showing me with the other.
    It’s essential that we loosen our grip on our cherished ideas,
    attitudes, and approaches, in the same way that the calligrapher
    student left off with drawing his circle. If you hold tight
    to some particular notion—about the world, about what’s fair,
    about Buddhism, about who you are—there will be interference
    and resistance to what a teacher points out, and you’ll not
    really see. Or else you’ll just get another idea, which you’ll exchange
    for some idea you believed before. If you do this, you’re
    just eating Zen candy. There ’s no transformation of heart and
    mind, and the background confusion remains unaltered.
    At the same time, however, we need to realize that the opposite
    approach—swallowing whole whatever a teacher gives
    you without examining it critically, openly, carefully, fairly,
    and respectfully—will prove just as barren. Blind, mindless
    acceptance isn’t openness; it’s simply another form of grasping—
    in this case, clinging to the notion that whatever your
    teacher tells you must be true.

    We need to take to heart these words of the Buddha:

    Don’t believe me because you see me as your teacher. Don’t
    believe me because others do. And don’t believe anything
    because you’ve read it in a book, either. Don’t put your faith
    in reports or tradition or hearsay or the authority of religious
    leaders or texts. Don’t rely on mere logic or inference or
    appearances or speculation. Know for yourselves that certain
    things are unwholesome and wrong. And when you do, then
    give them up. And when you know for yourselves that certain
    things are wholesome and good, then accept them
    and follow them.


    Another way of looking at this is through the Buddha’s teaching
    of avoiding of extremes. Don’t be a hundred percent gullible;
    don’t be a hundred percent scornful and dismissive, either.
    The Buddhadharma urges each of us to be good skeptics—in
    the classical Greek sense. A good skeptic is slightly gullible:
    willing to consider and examine any evidence or argument being
    raised, at least temporarily. They neither swallow it whole
    nor reject it outright. They continuously observe it, test it, and
    engage it with interest, curiosity, and openness.
    To dismiss something as bunk before you examine it is the
    hallmark of a believer, not a skeptic. Those who won’t even
    examine something are operating out of an agenda, are shut
    down to actual experience, and are so full of ideas that they
    can’t see what’s coming at them. For them the world is structured
    and fixed, and they’re often caught up in their own form
    of bunk: an insistence on dismissing and devaluing certain
    propositions or attitudes. This is not skepticism but cynicism.
    Buddhism is not what you think
    In order to cultivate a pure mind, we need to set aside our
    personal agendas. But this doesn’t mean taking up the personal
    agenda of someone else—a teacher, for example. No true
    Dharma teachers would ever direct you to follow their personal
    agenda. In fact, they really don’t have much of a personal
    agenda regarding you. Their only concern for you is that you
    awaken. (As my teacher used to say, the final job of a teacher is
    to free the student of the teacher.)


    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19518538/B...What-You-Think
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-14-2012 at 09:10 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Hans, you almost sound like a koan! ; ) Grace.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    We need to take to heart these words of the Buddha:

    Donít believe me because you see me as your teacher. Donít
    believe me because others do. And donít believe anything
    because youíve read it in a book, either. Donít put your faith
    in reports or tradition or hearsay or the authority of religious
    leaders or texts. Donít rely on mere logic or inference or
    appearances or speculation. Know for yourselves that certain
    things are unwholesome and wrong. And when you do, then
    give them up. And when you know for yourselves that certain
    things are wholesome and good, then accept them
    and follow them.


    Another way of looking at this is through the Buddhaís teaching
    of avoiding of extremes. Donít be a hundred percent gullible;
    donít be a hundred percent scornful and dismissive, either.
    The Buddhadharma urges each of us to be good skepticsóin
    the classical Greek sense. A good skeptic is slightly gullible:
    willing to consider and examine any evidence or argument being
    raised, at least temporarily. They neither swallow it whole
    nor reject it outright. They continuously observe it, test it, and
    engage it with interest, curiosity, and openness.
    This is the teaching that first brought me to Buddhism! Gassho, Grace.

  5. #5
    Thank you for postung that Jundo! That examination is why I love Zen. Its fun to get to know my quirks. It's deeper than that but it is definitely an exploration.

    Gassho

    Risho

  6. #6
    Jundo




    Willow

  7. #7
    Thank you Hans and Jundo ... these are great examples.

    ... In order to cultivate a pure mind, we need to set aside our
    personal agendas ...
    Wonderful!

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  8. #8
    I have for quite a while worked in a print shop and for a lot of that time I did pre-press and design work etc for offset printing. I would take folks unusable files for press printing and make the useable. I had done just that for a client who, despite me explaining the limitations of the technology, insisted I proceed with what they wanted. I said F&*k it and did so. The job came out unsatisfactory and my "point" was proven... thing is we do not make money off of a failed printing and so I had to explain this all out to my boss then. I had my boss stare me in the eye as I expressed in a very aggressive manner (i was pissed off) why the mistake I MADE was another problem. He never said boo. Satisfied I made my point with him (cuz he never said boo) I left... and then a few weeks later had to redo that very job, for free and I had to deal with the customer all over again...UGH. Just recounting this makes me laugh, I am still friends with my old boss and I thanked him not long ago for his approach as anything in that old moment other than what he did would have just drove me even further past seeing the big picture.

    Currently I am "the boss" and I handle less of the clients but do a lot of the pricing. VERY shortly after a tumultuous time at work that saw old management get the boot and me become in charge, I had worked out a quote for a client, processed the job handed it off and priced it out. I was later approached by an employee who came in angry and hard at me over the numbers worked out. They were certain I had undercharged, was sinking the place even further etc and showed me where they thought I went wrong.

    The math was right, the cost correct and I knew this but I sat and listened to the rant. I was boiling inside a bit as the tone was absolutely horrid, disrespectful and worst of all they did not see the mistake they made (3 times as they explained why I was wrong) and so I sat with no expression nodding.
    When they finished and noticed my lack of expression (think that made it even more maddening for them) they added "you are wrong, are you so dumb you cant even see it now? 3 times, do I need to show you a fourth??"

    I smiled instead of what I wanted to do, and said no, I am sure you will see your mistake before that happens and handed them my short hand notes on the quote, got up and went back into my office.
    An hour later they came in red faced and apologetic. I told them I understood as I had been there too.


    Like any good comedy, timing and delivery are EVERYTHING.

    Gassho
    Shohei

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Shohei View Post
    I have for quite a while worked in a print shop and for a lot of that time I did pre-press and design work etc for offset printing. I would take folks unusable files for press printing and make the useable. I had done just that for a client who, despite me explaining the limitations of the technology, insisted I proceed with what they wanted. I said F&*k it and did so. The job came out unsatisfactory and my "point" was proven... thing is we do not make money off of a failed printing and so I had to explain this all out to my boss then. I had my boss stare me in the eye as I expressed in a very aggressive manner (i was pissed off) why the mistake I MADE was another problem. He never said boo. Satisfied I made my point with him (cuz he never said boo) I left... and then a few weeks later had to redo that very job, for free and I had to deal with the customer all over again...UGH. Just recounting this makes me laugh, I am still friends with my old boss and I thanked him not long ago for his approach as anything in that old moment other than what he did would have just drove me even further past seeing the big picture.

    Currently I am "the boss" and I handle less of the clients but do a lot of the pricing. VERY shortly after a tumultuous time at work that saw old management get the boot and me become in charge, I had worked out a quote for a client, processed the job handed it off and priced it out. I was later approached by an employee who came in angry and hard at me over the numbers worked out. They were certain I had undercharged, was sinking the place even further etc and showed me where they thought I went wrong.

    The math was right, the cost correct and I knew this but I sat and listened to the rant. I was boiling inside a bit as the tone was absolutely horrid, disrespectful and worst of all they did not see the mistake they made (3 times as they explained why I was wrong) and so I sat with no expression nodding.
    When they finished and noticed my lack of expression (think that made it even more maddening for them) they added "you are wrong, are you so dumb you cant even see it now? 3 times, do I need to show you a fourth??"

    I smiled instead of what I wanted to do, and said no, I am sure you will see your mistake before that happens and handed them my short hand notes on the quote, got up and went back into my office.
    An hour later they came in red faced and apologetic. I told them I understood as I had been there too.


    Like any good comedy, timing and delivery are EVERYTHING.

    Gassho
    Shohei
    Wonderful story Shohei, been there! ... thank you.

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  10. #10
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    It seems the best teaching is when said teacher meets the student where he is, not where the teacher wants him to be...

    A talent for, or realization of, anotherís true essence is the Way. In this way, sometimes the student is the better teacher, if a teacher is capable of putting his ego aside and listening intuitively with true feeling. A bodily sense, a feeling of what is really going on emotionally with ones capable of being taught, brings light to both and less meaning to who is the teacher or the student..... Ďwhat happens when something soft encounters strength?í

    Tokusan in his later years learned through the hard knocks of teaching that sometimes for the hard headed, its easier to meet them where they were instead of pushing it down their throats or physical violence. Let the student be their own best teacher by letter them hit their heads against the wall a few times and be there to pick them up with true understanding, seems to be a teaching that hits home with the best understanding. Let the student whip himself and do the fight, not bringing the fight to them, which only slows the process, seems to be the highest best teaching.
    Last edited by galen; 09-17-2012 at 02:38 PM.
    Nothing Special

  11. #11
    Hello folks,

    thank you for sharing your impressions.

    What would a student be without a teacher, what would a teacher be without a student? And don't they both come from where questions are born? So who is meeting whom?


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    What would a student be without a teacher, what would a teacher be without a student? And don't they both come from where questions are born? So who is meeting whom?
    They are meeting each other ... one in the same.

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  13. #13
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Koans make my head hurt.


    Shugen
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  14. #14
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rculver View Post
    Koans make my head hurt.


    Shugen

    They make my ase hurt, but probably the same diff . They are twisters for sure, esp spoken in the 8th century Zen jargon.
    Nothing Special

  15. #15
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    I like this story and Shohei's. It's like when you are driving down a narrow road with a small passing place but the other driver just wants to get by you without stopping or slowing, or even seeing passed the 'my view' and 'your view' of the situation. There's usually a third way which both parties can access if they are not pressing their own view, however, if only one party can see this and the other can't, then waiting in silence is pretty much all you can do. Sometimes it can be a long wait ..... And don't they both come from where questions are born? So who is meeting whom? ..... the answer my friend is blowin' in the wind the answer is blowin' in the wind.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  16. #16
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Can you recall an instance where looking back at past events revealed to you what should have been understood there and then by you?
    Oh yes, I can see a lot of instances in my past where I should have understood the value of silence and discipline. At some point I even slapped me in the head for not payed enough attention to life at the time.

    Thanks, Mongen.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  17. #17
    Thank you Hans, everyone,

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Can you recall an instance where looking back at past events revealed to you what should have been understood there and then by you?
    Who has more Buddha nature, your father, or your mother?
    Last weekend I had a sarcastic comment on someones action. What a disaster, it took us a day to get that straightened out again. Its just a moment, just a second of unawareness and you can destroy a lot. Words are as sharp as a knife and the moment I forget it I cut myself. Buddha nature, yes, yes, we all are (or have) Buddha nature, but what does it help if I cannot maintain awareness when its needed most ? So many opinions that sound so sweet, hard to withstand.
    Gassho
    Myoku

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    What would a student be without a teacher, what would a teacher be without a student? And don't they both come from where questions are born? So who is meeting whom?
    I like this one Mongen, we always meet ourselves, from morning to night. There will be times when Questions are valued and there will be times when Questions are not valued; its all good as long as we stay aways from answers.
    _()_
    Myoku

  19. #19
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myoku View Post
    Thank you Hans, everyone,



    Last weekend I had a sarcastic comment on someones action. What a disaster, it took us a day to get that straightened out again. Its just a moment, just a second of unawareness and you can destroy a lot. Words are as sharp as a knife and the moment I forget it I cut myself. Buddha nature, yes, yes, we all are (or have) Buddha nature, but what does it help if I cannot maintain awareness when its needed most ? So many opinions that sound so sweet, hard to withstand.
    Gassho
    Myoku


    Myoku,

    In that moment of an unconscious slip, was that not also Buddha nature? Was not the lesson well served, even when `seemingly some harm was done? Aren’t you a better person because of it, and didn’t this disruption in the end bring you closer to the injured person or persons? Sometimes these slips (Freudian, if you will) are our true buried feelings and once exposed, yes they are hard to reel back in, but in the end, are not all parties better for it? Was this not also Buddha nature in action, being part of the process to more discovery `our own true nature? Sometimes its not pretty, but beauty comes in all colors. Thank you for sharing this.
    Last edited by galen; 09-21-2012 at 04:48 PM.
    Nothing Special

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Can you recall an instance where looking back at past events revealed to you what should have been understood there and then by you?
    Not sure if it's just the wording, but taken at face value the answer to this question can only be no. Past understanding can't be separated from its moment. There is no “should have”. That is just present understanding being cast back. There is only present understanding. There is regret for past actions and choices, and lessons learned, but that is different.



    Who has more Buddha nature, your father, or your mother?
    No answer. ... and that is not a clever answer. It evokes too many off-the-shelf Zen books maybe. and is not related to waking up an hour early with a dry mouth and typing in the dark.



    Gassho, kojip
    大山

  21. #21
    Are these supposed to be trick questions? If yes, I don't see the point.

    The first question is very hard to understand. I very much agree with Kojip that there is no "should have". Then again, we don't always see clearly and in our delusion we sometimes feel like we "should have" understood something. But then the first part of the question "revealed to you" doesn't make any sense. Is the meaning similar to "Can you recall an instance where looking back at past events you regret that you didn't understand there and then what you now know? Or perhaps "Can you recall an instance where looking back at past events you blamed yourself for not understanding there and then what you could potentially have figured out if causes and conditions in that moment would have been different"? I just don't understand the question. I thought perhaps it had to do with my limited grasp of the english language, but since Kojip doesn't get it either, I guess that's not the case.

    The second question is silly.

    1) Mu
    2) No of no no
    3) Who is asking?
    4) An oak tree in the garden
    5) What? What?
    6) KWATZ!
    7) *slap in the face*
    8) What did your face look like before your parents were born?
    9) *desists*
    10) My dog doesn't have any

    /Pontus

    PS. Please explain the meaning of the questions if you see any and I might be able to share something a little more useful. DS.
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 09-19-2012 at 03:35 PM.
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  22. #22
    I didnt really understand the first question either, but I'm used to that and thought it would just again be my limited English


    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    Myoku,

    In that moment of an unconscious slip, was that not also Buddha nature? Was not the lesson well served, even when `seemingly some harm was done? Arenít you a better person because of it, and didnít this disruption in the end bring you closer to the injured person or persons? Sometimes these slips (Freudian, if you will) are our true buried feelings and once exposed, yes they are hard to real back in, but in the end, are not all parties better for it? Was this not also Buddha nature in action, being part of the process to more discovery `our own true nature? Sometimes its not pretty, but beauty comes in all colors. Thank you for sharing this.
    Wow, so many additional questions. Lets see ... Yes, Yes, No and probably Yes. Seriously, what you say makes sense, and I think I generally agree, except for me being a better person now, I doubt that, but it does not really bother me either.
    _()_
    Myoku

  23. #23
    Hello,

    regarding the first question:


    "Can you recall an instance where looking back at past events revealed to you what should have been understood there and then by you?"

    I personally tend to have quite a few very distinct memories of situations that, when I recall/ed them in great detail years later, made/make me want to smack myself hard...because they suddenly make sense on a different level. "How could I not have understood then? How could I not have seen XYZ?" and similar questions arise. Everything points to the fact that I really really should have understood it there and then.

    The odd thing is that even when all the lego pieces seem to be out there in the open, other conditions beyond our immediate understanding come into it as well...and though we might think that we have a certain capacity for understanding...all the right lego pieces....we and "it", the situation, might not be ripe enough yet.

    Tokusan was no fool, but the harvest time had not yet come. And now we can do our best to bring the harvest in...thanks partly to his behaviour towards Kaku.

    If my questions don't mean anything to you, just forget about them and just enter the Koan in any way that doesn't lead to too much analysing btw.

    As for:
    "Who has more Buddha nature, your father, or your mother?"

    Well, no secrets there really. Just pointing out the obvious, all you have to do is to enjoy the view from where this really silly question leads to.



    Gassho,


    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  24. #24
    Thanks Hans,
    I somehow thought the questions were from the book... in hindsight "I should have realized" they were yours. I blame lack of sleep lately!

    I removed the part in my post about poor wording and apologize if the tone of my post was a little harsh.

    The second question is still silly!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  25. #25
    Every day I can look back and see foolish, ignorant mistakes I've made. But that's much ado about nothing. All I can do is keep sitting and hope that I can approach any situation with all the wisdom I can muster.


    P.S. Pontus--your English is probably better than that of most native speakers!
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  26. #26
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Can you recall an instance where looking back at past events revealed to you what should have been understood there and then by you?
    Just recently my practice has become different in that my mind and body feel...well, clear. I don't mean that they are stress free, just that stresses are not having the same impact. Even the aches disappear after a hot shower, even if for a few minutes.
    This feeling of being 'clear' reminded me of what I usually felt in my youth, except with more vitality perhaps! Anyway back then there was always the question of what do I do with this energised clear feeling? It really was something that nagged. If I had followed this 'nagging' through I may well have looked more closely at what I could be doing rather than what I thought I should be doing!
    Nowadays what I am doing and what I should be doing are not an issue as what I am doing is 'my practice' and although it is a small practice it is valuable to me and to the small number of people it impacts on. It actually doesn't even feel like a practice, it is just what I do...nothing special. I spent so many years going around the world in a big circle to get back to this, it is almost laughable. If only..... Gassho
    Heisoku
    平 息

  27. #27


    That's a very good reply to Hans' question!

    But if someone told you today that you are in the same situation now that you were in then, that many years from now you will laugh and shake your head at how blind you were back in 2012, could you somehow make yourself see, make yourself understand?

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  28. #28
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Hi Pontus
    There is also the fact that I have forgiven myself for not realising what was in front of my face and for the pride that made me look elsewhere and didn't see the edge that tripped me up!
    They were not wasted years as I used to think, as I am doing something now I enjoy and all that doesn't matter anymore!
    Zazen is great!!!
    Heisoku
    平 息

  29. #29
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Last week at the tea party we were discussing our "favorite" koans...I believe it was brought up partly as a joke, partly as a prelude to discussing ones that struck us. I remember having the thought, "Favorite? Why would I have a favorite? Koans are neither good or bad, happy or sad, they just are." At the time it bothered me a little to think that because it felt like I was saying they aren't very useful...but I didn't mean that at all. Hmmm. So, after reading this koan's copmmentary where Shishin discussed the idea that every teaching has a place, a time, and an audience to which it can be applied. It is in some ways a toolbelt for the teacher to use when the time is right. As a student that's awesome because I have so much to be taught if I listen carefully. As a possible future teacher, yikes! I have to keep all those on my toolbelt?

    I obsessively look back at what I should have done in various circumstances, but my wife is my best teacher in this reagrd. It has happened, you can't change it, why go to a "should have"? Remember the lesson, learn from the lesson, don't overthink the lesson and move on.

    As for who has more buddha nature, definitely my Dad. But also my Mom. What a silly question! And that's entirely the point!

    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.

  30. #30
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    I have been on both sides of this sort of exchange many times, both as a teacher and as a student. Questioner asks a question that gets quickly answered, and then some time later the answerer goes, "Oh, that really wasn't the question, was it?" and finally addresses the real question. The point in these situations is not that the answerer misses the original point, but that they finally get the point at all. It takes patience on both sides; the teacher needs to let the question settle in, and the student needs to let the true answer bubble up.

    I cannot count how many times (not so much because it was so many as much because it's too hard to look back on) I have spouted off only to find out later I was just plain Wrong. OOPS, but I learned from those experiences, and so they were painfully valuable.

    As for the buddha nature question:
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  31. #31
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa View Post
    I have been on both sides of this sort of exchange many times, both as a teacher and as a student. Questioner asks a question that gets quickly answered, and then some time later the answerer goes, "Oh, that really wasn't the question, was it?" and finally addresses the real question. The point in these situations is not that the answerer misses the original point, but that they finally get the point at all. It takes patience on both sides; the teacher needs to let the question settle in, and the student needs to let the true answer bubble up.

    I cannot count how many times (not so much because it was so many as much because it's too hard to look back on) I have spouted off only to find out later I was just plain Wrong. OOPS, but I learned from those experiences, and so they were painfully valuable.

    As for the buddha nature question:

    Well done. Always good to hear from you, Alan.

    Thus helping to make the point, there is No wrong, only a perception of that moment in time.
    Last edited by galen; 09-27-2012 at 03:40 PM.
    Nothing Special

  32. #32
    Can you recall an instance where looking back at past events revealed to you what should have been understood there and then by you?
    Who has more Buddha nature, your father, or your mother?
    Hello all,

    First off...nice job Shohei in keeping your cool. It is difficult sometimes, but a patient response can sometimes do wonders.

    Looking past I can see many times in my practice when I should have understood, but was clueless. Nevertheless, sometimes things just have to soak in. When I started practice at Treeleaf I was really after experiencing "a different kind of mind" to quote the Beatles. (Of course that's not what zazen is all about, but my quest created an interest. All this talk of samu and all was nice and happy talk and I agreed we should help others and such, but I didn't really pay much attention to it all. Now samu if a daily concern and I just do it....not a "thou shalt" but something just soaked in and bang!

    As for the mother/father question....I'll let that soak in a bit.



    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

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