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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 19

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 19

    Case 18 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 19 - Ummon Mt. Sumeru

    A monk asks, when there is not a single thought, is there any fault in this life-self-world? In fact, what is "fault" or "faultless" apart from our human judgments, each just a human thought? When thinking stops, the human judgment of "fault" or "flawless" must stop too. Mountains (as far as I know) do not judge themselves too tall or too short, as dangerous volcanoes or majestic peaks, or any other way we might see and rank them. Rocks do not call themselves "sharp pebbles in our shoe" or "great boulders". Birds do not judge the beauty or harshness of their own song ... and simply sing as they must sing. Cancer cells do not call themselves a "deadly disease", but grow as they grow. Only humans rate these things by human standards.

    Ummon responds, "Mt. Sumeru" ... the traditional point at the center of the universe in Buddhist and Hindu cosmology, around which worlds upon worlds, all beings, heavens and hells circle and spin. In traditional Indo-Asian belief (long before humankind came to speak of solar systems, galaxies and big bangs), reality was modeled something like this (from a Tibetan painting), the still axis of Mt. Sumeru at the core.



    Like the eye at the center of a storm, it is quiet, still and windless though chaos and calm, tragedy and comedy, birth and death and all events in between turn all around it.



    However, we cannot live a life without thought. We must judge mountains as volcanoes to get out of the way (when we can), judge a peak's height to climb it, hear the bird song as sometimes sweet and sometimes a harsh screech, fight the cancer for a cure, get soaked in the storm, experience and think about and live life. We are not rocks which pass through cold or heat or hurricanes without a care.

    We cannot live merely still and unmoving at the center of the storm, but must come out to where life is ... with all its chaos and complexity. What to do?

    Can one find "not a single thought" even in/as/through-and-through all the many thoughts and judgments we need to live?

    Can one sit in the center of the storm, even in/as/through-and-through all of the tumult of life in the bands of the storm, battered by whatever the weather throws our way?


    You are not merely a speck on one world circling Mt. Sumeru, but rather, Mt. Sumeru is within you, fills you, and you fill it and all things! The Whole Catastrophe, the Perfect Storm, the howling wind is your very breath. The center of the storm IS its farthest outer bands and everything in between. Heavens and hells are so much your own creation!

    The Preface and Verse say: Sounds simple ... but takes Practice! Have confidence, do not be unsure.

    QUESTION: Please describe a thought without a thought, a fault without fault, a problem without a problem, a deadly storm band that is simultaneously eye, that you have or are encountering in your life.

    Today's Koan is dedicated to Jim (LORAX), a friend and an old volcano hunter (truly, that was his job in Hawaii!) who constantly teaches how to find the center in the direct hit of life's storm or lava flow, finding one's footing even as the earthquake knocks us down again and again. Jim knows both Kīlauea and Sumeru, from foot to summit, as here and 100 other stories. When the volcano or storm erupts, sometimes one must take cover as one can, then just let 'er blow. Even at the hottest, most liquid point of Kilauea is the firm footing of Sumeru.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post89540
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-14-2012 at 04:14 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    QUESTION: Please describe a thought without a thought, a fault without fault, a problem without a problem, a deadly storm band that is simultaneously eye, that you have or are encountering in your life.
    Right now.. laying here with this laptop on my lap, after a long day of over-concentrating and wrecking a painting .. with a gallery owner driving into town tomorrow to pick it up.. ... and nothing to pick up. And a relative leaving messages all day about being depressed and needing me. ..and a sore foot ... and the dog having a seizure and.. and..

    Right now. just like this. Gassho. kojip.
    大山

  3. #3
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ...Cancer cells do not call themselves a "deadly disease", but grow as they grow...
    Though it is basic Buddhist practice, I have never thought of cancer this way before. It comforts me. When there is trouble with my body, it manifests in my consciousness as something I have neglected to take care of. It manifests as guilt. Though I try my best to care for my teeth, for example, I still have a lot of cavities. I know, genetically, that my teeth are not bound to be very strong, but in my mind I see it as me failing to take care of my teeth properly. They are just cavities, though, being cavities, and my teeth are just being my teeth. If I do my best to take care of them, though they still break, what need is there for guilt? All this aside, it would help to visit the dentist when I am able to afford it or the insurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ...Can one sit in the center of the storm, even in/as/through-and-through all of the tumult of life in the bands of the storm, battered by whatever the weather throws our way? ...


    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ...QUESTION: Please describe a thought without a thought, a fault without fault, a problem without a problem, a deadly storm band that is simultaneously eye, that you have or are encountering in your life...
    Waking up for work in the morning!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ...The Preface and Verse say: Sounds simple ... but takes Practice! Have confidence, do not be unsure...

    ...Today's Koan is dedicated to Jim (LORAX), a friend and an old volcano hunter (truly, that was his job in Hawaii!) who constantly teaches how to find the center in the direct hit of life's storm or lava flow, finding one's footing even as the earthquake knocks us down again and again...
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    Right now.. laying here with this laptop on my lap, after a long day of over-concentrating and wrecking a painting .. with a gallery owner driving into town tomorrow to pick it up.. ... and nothing to pick up. And a relative leaving messages all day about being depressed and needing me. ..and a sore foot ... and the dog having a seizure and.. and...
    迎 Geika

  4. #4
    Problem without problem?
    A short story came to my mind: A Guy was returning from visit late at night carrying a lamp in his hand. On his way back home he bumped into some other guy not seeing him and shouted at him: "Why don't you look where your're going.Can't you see the light of my lamp?!"- or something like that

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Posted by Jundo;
    Please describe a thought without a thought, a fault without fault, a problem without a problem, a deadly storm band that is simultaneously eye, that you have or are encountering in your life.
    There is no thought without a thought, no fault without fault, no problem without a problem, etc., etc. whatever
    Everything is interrelated as in the net of Indra (and Mt. Sumeru) just as Shozan has related; Why do bad things happen to good people?

    I could go on to say, "Shit happens", "Lie down with dogs you get fleas", "Que sera, sera" or as the Christians, "We each have our cross to bear"
    but I won't

    While doing Shikantaza, it sometimes occurs to "me", how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to have lived and experienced

    May all beings have the certainty and courage to pass through the barrier

    And may i someday not be perturbed at having to re-sign-in after such a short period of typing
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  6. #6
    Sitting with a busy mind.
    no thing needs to be added

  7. #7
    Mount Sumeru!
    An image of the greatest of all mountains. Its roots reaching unfathomably deep into the waters of the vast and ever-changing ocean. Its top protruding endlessly into the boundless blue sky. Facing the moon on one side and the moon on the other. A sun-faced, moon-faced mountain sitting. Sitting unperturbed by the heavy waves hitting it from all sides, by the scorching sun and ice cold blizzards. Sitting in the center of the universe, in the midst of creation, bowing to all sentient beings. The whole universe, all of creation, just sitting, bowing.

    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

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    Sitting with a busy mind.
    I second that ... busy mind likes to visit me as well.

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

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

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    We cannot live merely still and unmoving at the center of the storm, but must come out to where life is ... with all its chaos and complexity. What to do?

    Can one find "not a single thought" even in/as/through-and-through all the many thoughts and judgments we need to live?

    Can one sit in the center of the storm, even in/as/through-and-through all of the tumult of life in the bands of the storm, battered by whatever the weather throws our way?
    I very much agree that we cannot live merely still and unmoving, but must come out to where life is. Bodhidharma sat for nine years gazing at a wall in a cave. I'm not so impressed. Did realization make him sit for nine years? Or did realization make him get up, pick up the hoe and get his empty hands dirty again? Escaping into emptiness can become a sickness that would make one as useful to the world as a bump on a log. True, there are no sentient beings in need of saving from the beginning. But that's only half of the truth. Find Mount Sumeru, but don't stay there. Throw yourself back into the chaos of Samsara and start saving all sentient beings! But don't let yourself be dragged down by chaos either. Stay mindful of the mountain. Always keep Mount Sumaru in the background, and there's calm in the eye of any storm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shishin Wick
    The verse says, "Be unsure and you'll not pass through the barrier." Maezumi Roshi used to say, "I want you to be confident in yourself." That confidence is nothing but Mount Sumeru.
    True, but how can you be sure until you have passed through? Only after you have passed through are you completely confident, because you have seen it yourself, been there, been Mount Sumeru. Proven to yourself that the ancestors weren't all full of crap. And you know that whatever happens, you always were and you always will be Mount Sumeru (even though there will be days when it's not so obvious). So what to do until you are sure? Well, a good start would be to practice letting go of the unsureness!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 11-15-2012 at 11:05 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

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    I very much agree that we cannot live merely still and unmoving, but must come out to where life is. Bodhidharma sat for nine years gazing at a wall in a cave. I'm not so impressed. Did realization make him sit for nine years? Or did realization make him get up, pick up the hoe and get his empty hands dirty again?
    Well, he also (or so the legend goes) came from the West, walking from India and over half of China, met with the Emperor, trained students, then did a lot more perhaps sufficient enough to anger folks and be assassinated ... creating tea leaves and founding Kung Fu too (although farcical tales http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post57601 )

    True, but how can you be sure until you have passed through? Only after you have passed through are you completely confident, because you have seen it yourself, been there, been Mount Sumeru.
    Yes, but we do need a kind of trust and confidence in the Teachings and Practice before seeing any results (I hesitate to use the word "faith" because it is such a loaded term in the west), much like one must trust and have confidence in the doctor and the medicine prescribed even before the cure. In fact, that trust and confidence is a vital part of the cure, so much so that even a placebo can often work on trust and confidence alone.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-16-2012 at 02:27 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Yes, I agree.

    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

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who have posted. Presently, I'm studying for an aptitude exam for grad. school. The fear of failure, extra hours away from family, seem to play a secondary role to my constant critique of the last ten years of my life. Nothing substantive has changed, only this mindset. Of course this mental narrative is not the least bit productive. And yet, here it is.... Mt. Sumeru.

    Gassho,
    Shujin

  13. #13
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    This body has already taken my wife to work, fed the chickens, set the washing off and must remember to do shopping, fuel a car, write an email to a sick family member, plan my work for next week, take and watch my son play football, cook lunch, finish a rakasu after buying some silk and dark thread, pick up my wife after work and then remember that I have been doing this for twenty one years today(!), yet all this activity is just life into which I have throw myself without hesitation, doubt or thought. Life gets done it, just depends how you do it. I 'know' I will get these things done, I know that Mount Sumeru is all this, I know that Buddha mind is all this, and that all this includes me. There is no gap between my activity or your activity or the activity of Mount Sumeru and I celebrate this in zazen.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  14. #14
    Last night I was talking with a friend. Both he and I, coincidentally, quit drinking alcohol earlier in the year. We both also stopped drinking caffeine. I'm not an ascetic, but I found that I was too attached to those things; I used them (or vice versa) to escape from unease in my life.

    About a year after sitting regular zazen (in 2010) I had a pretty significant panic attack from work. Nothing like going to the hospital, but I was afraid. I was extremely afraid of failure. I missed a big bug in my code. I never realized how much stress played a role in my life and decision making, and after I gave up drinking (at that point just for Ango) and caffeine, I had 2 less toys for my ego to grasp onto to avoid the situation. It wasn't just that alone; this practice revealed the stress that was there, and welled up because I never learned to just be with it. I only knew how to run from it by grasping at other things. When you start listening to your thoughts, it can get a little crazy when you aren't used it. Sometimes when I sit before I go to work, I can feel stress. Or sometimes anger rises up, or whatever else.

    In hindsight the stress wasn't that big of a deal.. I sort of made it a big deal by being afraid to just experience it. It can be hard to sit through the feelings, but that's also the great power of zazen.

    This practice is really interesting... I've made changes in my life. Nothing forced, just natural changes I think that are very informed by zazen, e.g. not drinking anymore or trying to eat more balanced (I've eaten good in the past, but I've just noticed an easier approach to certain things). Then some days I feel like I'm going to rip out of my skin if I don't get off that cushion, like during last nights sit. lol But that goes away too if I can just sit with it. It's all just part of it. Sometimes Mt. Sumeru is hard to experience; most of the time, I have to get out of my own way.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Last edited by Risho; 11-17-2012 at 03:07 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Hi Risho

    I replaced coffee during the day with peppermint tea or plain water and the change over time is amazing...more energy, less irritation and more balance overall!

    Good for you in making these changes...keep it going!

    Gassho
    Heisoku
    平 息

  16. #16
    Hi Risho,
    Just wanted to tell you I enjoy reading your posts!

    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

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    Hi Risho

    I replaced coffee during the day with peppermint tea or plain water and the change over time is amazing...more energy, less irritation and more balance overall!

    Good for you in making these changes...keep it going!

    Gassho
    Hi Risho,

    Thank you for your post ... great job for taking those steps. During Ango I too have removed coffee from my daily life and have replaced it with Peppermint tea and a concoction of honey/lemon/ginger. I have to say that, I find I have more energy and crash less through out the day.

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

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

  18. #18
    Thanks guys! But I have a secret. At first I got completely away from coffee, but I discovered 2 things: 1. decaf coffee tastes really good and 2. Kyonin is absolutely correct about the French Press. Wow! I've never had coffee taste so good; you get all the oils!

    Pontus, I always enjoy your posts too man, thank you

    Gassho,

    Risho

  19. #19
    "The Book of Equanimity" is available from IBooks for about $10.

    JC

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    "The Book of Equanimity" is available from IBooks for about $10.

    JC
    Please make sure that this is the version with commentary by Rev. Shishin Wick, as there are other translations.

    http://www.amazon.com/Book-Equanimit.../dp/0861713877

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    QUESTION: Please describe a thought without a thought, a fault without fault, a problem without a problem, a deadly storm band that is simultaneously eye, that you have or are encountering in your life.
    I am that.

    Gassho,

    JC

  22. #22
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    No thought, Mt Sumeru.

    Coming to that acceptance or attainment gives you a double handful. Paradoxical in that, you also get to keep thought. It seems a one sided view lets the coin fall flat.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  23. #23
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    I very much agree that we cannot live merely still and unmoving, but must come out to where life is. Bodhidharma sat for nine years gazing at a wall in a cave. I'm not so impressed. Did realization make him sit for nine years? Or did realization make him get up, pick up the hoe and get his empty hands dirty again? Escaping into emptiness can become a sickness that would make one as useful to the world as a bump on a log. True, there are no sentient beings in need of saving from the beginning. But that's only half of the truth. Find Mount Sumeru, but don't stay there. Throw yourself back into the chaos of Samsara and start saving all sentient beings! But don't let yourself be dragged down by chaos either. Stay mindful of the mountain. Always keep Mount Sumaru in the background, and there's calm in the eye of any storm.



    True, but how can you be sure until you have passed through? Only after you have passed through are you completely confident, because you have seen it yourself, been there, been Mount Sumeru. Proven to yourself that the ancestors weren't all full of crap. And you know that whatever happens, you always were and you always will be Mount Sumeru (even though there will be days when it's not so obvious). So what to do until you are sure? Well, a good start would be to practice letting go of the unsureness!

    Gassho,
    Pontus


    It could be said, we cannot pass through without being sure (totally). The cart seemingly must follow the horse. If the horse is kept on course (confidence) most assuredly he will pass through unscathed.

    Suzuki points to this in reference to a sutra which is basically something like this... everything is emptiness, thus he forsakes all suffering. Then follows that with "It was not 'after' he realized this truth, that he overcame the suffering---to realize this fact is itself relieved from suffering." "It is not after we practice zazen that we realize the truth; even before we practice zazen, realization is there."

    This seems to make the point we already have it and once we are confident in that regard, we easily pass through the gate/no-gate to pass through (at that point).


    Gassho
    Last edited by galen; 11-19-2012 at 06:07 PM.
    Nothing Special

  24. #24
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Geika... not sure if this will help.

    Years back I got behind on dental work, and once I came into more monies I decided to catch-up. It cost around $5k. So I decided better maintenance was in order. I kept it simple, because we all can be lazy and since I have always loved the tooth pick (not to suggest this works for you) that became my main weapon in the battle. So know matter what I eat, morning or night, in my car or what ever (even one piece of candy... esp sugar) I grab a pick, which I always keep handy all over the place . My plan was to pick when ever I ate anything, and brush once in the morning after breakfast to get me through the day, and then the last thing before I hit the sack, so there is nothing sitting in my mouth overnight which causes the damage. I replace flossing for the pick, but do floss a couple times a month. Soooooooooooo after almost 5 years I decided it was time to get a cleaning and exrays, bite the bullet for that cost vs $4 or 5k. My doc saw me and got this big huge smile, and his teeth seemed to shine like dollars bills, and I was quite apprehensive because it had been so long. The end of that tale is, I did not have one cavity (and I have 3 bridges), and even the lady cleaning my teeth was amazed on how there was very little build-up of tar, which is what causes cavities. She asked me how I did it and I told her, and she added, when using floss to also floss the backs of the molars. Tooth picks may not seem to women-like or good manners, if not, then I would at least use floss at the bed time brushing......... good luck, its not something to be take lightly, genetics or not, that is sometimes used as an excuse or a rationalization for laziness (not that you are at all).
    Last edited by galen; 11-19-2012 at 06:09 PM.
    Nothing Special

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    No thought, Mt Sumeru.

    Coming to that acceptance or attainment gives you a double handful. Paradoxical in that, you also get to keep thought. It seems a one sided view lets the coin fall flat.


    Gassho
    Thank you Galen,
    I think I know what you mean.

    I personally prefer no mind, because many years ago I used to practice no thought as in thought suppression and it only led to a very desolate place. Mount Doom instead of Mount Sumeru. That's why I'm sometimes a little itchy around "no thought", because it can easily be misunderstood. I thought I was quite good at meditation. Sometimes my concentration was flawless. I'm glad I found a better way!

    No mind is far from desolate, quite the opposite. It's what the mind is like when it's off the leash. When the hand of thought lets go completely. The free, unfettered mind is crystal clear and very, very active, not like a sleepy trance, but fully awake, in full action. There is no discussion. Attention is not jumping from place to place like it usually does. But there is full, stable, attention, full brain activity.

    Huineng said that freedom from thought means having no thought in the midst of thought. To me, this state of no mind is one example of when that is completely true. But there are of course other such moments of freedom from thought in the midst of thought, in everyday life. Mount Sumeru.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 11-19-2012 at 06:17 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

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    This seems to make the point we already have it and once we are confident in that regard, we easily pass through the gate/no gate to pass through (at that point).
    Yes, it's seemingly a paradox. Yet, somehow, by grace or my accident, it is possible to drop all doubt and pass through. For a split second you forget you're on top of a 100-foot-pole and just step off it into thin air, with no fear of dying. And the next time you try to do the same thing, that pole seems so high again and you are convinced that if you let go you will surely die. So you keep clinging...

    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

  27. #27
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Thank you for the tips, Galen. I also use a toothpick between snacks and have the same regimen as you, though I sometimes brush my teeth a third time after I get off work. Sometimes, I also swish some oil in my mouth after brushing. Good for the gums, I've heard.
    迎 Geika

  28. #28
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Well said, Pontus.

    Over 20 years ago, I spent around 3 years in a home study of Yogananda (people already have heard this) and Kriya Yoga. I did not have a clue and no one-on-one, or a group. I was just coming off a very emotional divorce and went on a hard search to keep from blowing totally up. I got weekly booklets and studied this new thought form and after about a year and a half of meditating this way, by accident, naively fell deep inside, also noticing I was barely using any breath, but could feel out side body parts, but felt fully engulfed. This they called super-consciousness or early stages of Samadi. I could `fall-in at the drop of a pen, sitting or laying, no special positioning needed. I used the direct will power not to think, and stayed with it over quite a period till I arrived in this very beautiful state, and noticed it was there with me out `there with other. By the same accident and naivety, at that time my life was changing with much more abundance on all levels, and not realizing it I had gradually I let all this realization go. I did not realize this till years later at what I had attained, and gradually have gotten back to sitting more and more. Our teachers probably would not approve, and with out a goal to get back `there (its back `there but I am not clinging to it, because that makes it much harder, an accident will happen again at one point), but just recently I am doing what I did then and with eyes closed, this seems to be my most comfortable path for now. I sit and I lay , and it is getting better and better.



    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  29. #29
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    Thank you for the tips, Galen. I also use a toothpick between snacks and have the same regimen as you, though I sometimes brush my teeth a third time after I get off work. Sometimes, I also swish some oil in my mouth after brushing. Good for the gums, I've heard.


    Good job, you seemingly are learning this at a much earlier stage then myself, and that is really cool and will save thousands and a hell of a lot of pain. I used to over-brush (to hard) and was brushing off the enamal cover of my teeth, so do the two-step approach and love those picks!
    Nothing Special

  30. #30
    These days I feel like a "fair weather Buddhist," hanging out in the Eye of the storm until it dissipates. Very distant from this koan. Not sure what to say.
    Gassho, Kaishin / Matt
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  31. #31
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    Yes, it's seemingly a paradox. Yet, somehow, by grace or my accident, it is possible to drop all doubt and pass through. For a split second you forget you're on top of a 100-foot-pole and just step off it into thin air, with no fear of dying. And the next time you try to do the same thing, that pole seems so high again and you are convinced that if you let go you will surely die. So you keep clinging...

    Gassho,
    Pontus

    Now you are getting to damn honest here, you like pole clinging, how about your wife !?
    Nothing Special

  32. #32
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    These days I feel like a "fair weather Buddhist," hanging out in the Eye of the storm until it dissipates. Very distant from this koan. Not sure what to say.
    Gassho, Kaishin / Matt

    Hi Matt... it seems your feelings are quite fair, and you might possibly be sitting right in the middle of this koan, as it seems you have said all that is needed (for now). Is not the eye where to be, forever surrounded by the howling outer forces, yet realizing them and their damage at the same time. Thanks for welcoming us into the Eye, I seem to need more of That.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  33. #33
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    Yes, it's seemingly a paradox. Yet, somehow, by grace or my accident, it is possible to drop all doubt and pass through. For a split second you forget you're on top of a 100-foot-pole and just step off it into thin air, with no fear of dying. And the next time you try to do the same thing, that pole seems so high again and you are convinced that if you let go you will surely die. So you keep clinging...

    Gassho,
    Pontus

    No pole, no stepping off....... masters knowing the paradoxes are the teachers of the middle ground of being totally immersed in the present moment of Now. Now. Now, nothing more needed.



    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    Well said, Pontus.

    Over 20 years ago, I spent around 3 years in a home study of Yogananda (people already have heard this) and Kriya Yoga. I did not have a clue and no one-on-one, or a group. I was just coming off a very emotional divorce and went on a hard search to keep from blowing totally up. I got weekly booklets and studied this new thought form and after about a year and a half of meditating this way, by accident, naively fell deep inside, also noticing I was barely using any breath, but could feel out side body parts, but felt fully engulfed. This they called super-consciousness or early stages of Samadi. I could `fall-in at the drop of a pen, sitting or laying, no special positioning needed. I used the direct will power not to think, and stayed with it over quite a period till I arrived in this very beautiful state, and noticed it was there with me out `there with other. By the same accident and naivety, at that time my life was changing with much more abundance on all levels, and not realizing it I had gradually I let all this realization go. I did not realize this till years later at what I had attained, and gradually have gotten back to sitting more and more. Our teachers probably would not approve, and with out a goal to get back `there (its back `there but I am not clinging to it, because that makes it much harder, an accident will happen again at one point), but just recently I am doing what I did then and with eyes closed, this seems to be my most comfortable path for now. I sit and I lay , and it is getting better and better.
    Thank you for sharing Galen,
    I don't know much about Samadhi, Jhana, No mind, Emptiness, but I do know that it is very easy to cling "special" states. But Zen is not about looking for special states. I have spent far too many hours on the cushion trying to relive some memory, and unconsciously, I sometimes still find myself trying to recreate the conditions that were present before some state or experience. But as you say, it doesn't work that way. Cling to an idea, and you can keep looking forever. Beginner's mind is Zen mind. Knowing nothing, looking for nothing. Just sitting, whole-heartedly hitting the mark, now, now, now. No pole indeed. No letting go. No Zen.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

    PS. My wife always has to drag me off the pole! DS.
    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

  35. #35
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    Thank you for sharing Galen,
    I don't know much about Samadhi, Jhana, No mind, Emptiness, but I do know that it is very easy to cling "special" states. But Zen is not about looking for special states. I have spent far too many hours on the cushion trying to relive some memory, and unconsciously, I sometimes still find myself trying to recreate the conditions that were present before some state or experience. But as you say, it doesn't work that way. Cling to an idea, and you can keep looking forever. Beginner's mind is Zen mind. Knowing nothing, looking for nothing. Just sitting, whole-heartedly hitting the mark, now, now, now. No pole indeed. No letting go. No Zen.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

    PS. My wife always has to drag me off the pole! DS.


    The clinging to "special" states is your perception, no clinging here. The same could be said for your take on Zen or zazen, it comes down to perception, and whats relative. Like here you say "hitting the mark" is it Mark or Joe, what is this mark you are clinging to. I can sit my way and still be in the Sota Zen Way, thank you .



    Gassho

    good one on the wife!
    Nothing Special

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    The clinging to "special" states is your perception, no clinging here. The same could be said for your take on Zen or zazen, it comes down to perception, and whats relative. Like here you say "hitting the mark" is it Mark or Joe, what is this mark you are clinging to. I can sit my way and still be in the Sota Zen Way, thank you .

    Yes, I'm talking about my practice, my clinging, my perception here. What does not come down to perception, what's not relative, is difficult to talk about. But enough talking for tonight. Thanks for the chat though!

    Gassho,
    Pontus, hitting on Mark while clinging to a pole
    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

  37. #37
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Please make sure that this is the version with commentary by Rev. Shishin Wick, as there are other translations.

    http://www.amazon.com/Book-Equanimit.../dp/0861713877

    Gassho, J


    Your opening was great!



    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  38. #38
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post

    Yes, I'm talking about my practice, my clinging, my perception here. What does not come down to perception, what's not relative, is difficult to talk about. But enough talking for tonight. Thanks for the chat though!

    Gassho,
    Pontus, hitting on Mark while clinging to a pole


    Enjoyed it Pontus.



    Gassho
    Last edited by galen; 11-20-2012 at 06:39 PM.
    Nothing Special

  39. #39
    Thank you Jundo and everyone taking part in the koan study,

    What did Ummon say ? To me it sounds like he's pretty happy with the monk. When there is no selfish thought, when there is action in the moment with what is, then indeed there is not much fault to expect. We never know the outcome, sure. But when calculation, when planing for ones own (imagined) advantage not takes place, then we're right on track, I think. We not need so many thoughts, actually, I certainly not. A good 90% is just radio show in my head, imagined future for most of the time. Thats all good, as long as I have the chance to see its a show, and not what is. But I start babbling
    _()_
    Myoku

  40. #40
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    This body has already taken my wife to work, fed the chickens, set the washing off and must remember to do shopping, fuel a car, write an email to a sick family member, plan my work for next week, take and watch my son play football, cook lunch, finish a rakasu after buying some silk and dark thread, pick up my wife after work and then remember that I have been doing this for twenty one years today(!), yet all this activity is just life into which I have throw myself without hesitation, doubt or thought. Life gets done it, just depends how you do it. I 'know' I will get these things done.
    Got everything done! ...and guess what?....got to do it all over again and more!!! Lovin' life
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-21-2012 at 01:13 AM.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  41. #41
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    The cart or the horse, and what is relative...

    Suzuki in the chap Believing in Nothing... "we should begin with enlightenment and proceed to practice, and then to thinking." That seems to say that if we truely can accept the `fact that we are Buddha nature at our core, without just talking about it or meditating on it, that is already enlightenment itself. Most of us only have some `idea about That, read about it and talk about it. If we get beyond the chatter and noise there is a sense in our depths that something beautiful awaits us there. Its right there right here now, believe it to the bone, take off the secure little cover/blanket of the small minded delusions of the ego and Buddha awaits. Then sit (though sitting `now very much helps bring this forth), then think, without thinking!

    Later in that paragraph... "By enlightenment I mean believing in nothing, believing in something which has no form or no color, which is ready to take form and color." One would have to read this powerful chap to really get the full view.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  42. #42
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    So many words! But, that's "just this" also. Can I just read/listen without "yeah but.." hiding the message? Just rambling.

    Gassho


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

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  43. #43
    Mt sumeru is unmoving. When we swallow a hook and start flipping around we make the situation worse. Like hakuin a response of 'is that so' makes so much sense now. The big mistake is making the same mistake over and over. Loving the moral and immoral person is the best way. This koan was helpful in allowing me to see how one attachment caused so much pain.

  44. #44
    Hi.

    I wouldn't say that you always make the situation worse by moving.
    Sometimes the hook might let loose.
    The problem is when to move and when not to...

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    Treeleaf Unsui
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  45. #45
    Mount Sumeru to me is always resting in full, effortless activity. Sitting, bowing, walking, talking makes no difference. You could say that Mount Sumeru is always unmoving and unmoved, in both movement and stillness. No need to worry about going forward or standing still. We're always going forward, but at the same time, there's only one endless moment and one boundless place to be. I never left home. Can never leave home. (Yet, I sometimes feel so far away from home, so alone, so lost and confused.)

    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

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen View Post
    Hi.

    I wouldn't say that you always make the situation worse by moving.
    Sometimes the hook might let loose.
    The problem is when to move and when not to...

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    In this case the swallowing and flipping around was all in the mind. When the mind is not moving like Mt Sumeru or the eye of the storm then real action to help all beings is no problem as Hakuin demonstrated. But this stubborn, stupid bag of bones has made a habit of being lost in a dream so practice is necessary..
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  47. #47
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen View Post
    Hi.

    I wouldn't say that you always make the situation worse by moving.
    Sometimes the hook might let loose.
    The problem is when to move and when not to...

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

    It seems the problem is before thinking of 'to move or not to'. To think or dwell, seems only to continue the circle of being stuck. It may be best to move or not, without the pondering by feeling and embodying the moment. Just to flow from internal guidance of our intuition, not the egos thinking and spinning. Delusional self consciousness keeps the spin or flopping in tact, when it may be best stop and feel the moment, instead of considering options the ego presents. Was there a hook swallowed here?


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  48. #48
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    Mount Sumeru to me is always resting in full, effortless activity. Sitting, bowing, walking, talking makes no difference. You could say that Mount Sumeru is always unmoving and unmoved, in both movement and stillness. No need to worry about going forward or standing still. We're always going forward, but at the same time, there's only one endless moment and one boundless place to be. I never left home. Can never leave home. (Yet, I sometimes feel so far away from home, so alone, so lost and confused.)

    Gassho,
    Pontus


    Drinking some of what you have poured here, feels warm and filling. While 'feeling' so far away, seems to be the enlightenment. When there is no recognition of this lost feeling, there is no momentary awakening, until no awakening is needed.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  49. #49
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    In this case the swallowing and flipping around was all in the mind. When the mind is not moving like Mt Sumeru or the eye of the storm then real action to help all beings is no problem as Hakuin demonstrated. But this stubborn, stupid bag of bones has made a habit of being lost in a dream so practice is necessary..

    Thank you Rich. Nice bagging .



    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    Drinking some of what you have poured here, feels warm and filling. While 'feeling' so far away, seems to be the enlightenment. When there is no recognition of this lost feeling, there is no momentary awakening, until no awakening is needed.
    Hi Galen,
    To me, awakening is always present, always ongoing. In our hearts we want to be free. I think all people sometimes hear the call of the cuckoo calling them home, but very few people heed that call and let it guide us. Many of us try to, but in our eagerness transform this very simple thing into something else, a spiritual search for something outside ourselves, some idea called enlightenment. I can't say I'm innocent...

    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

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