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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY- case 20

  1. #1
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY- case 20

    Not knowing is most intimate...

    As long as you are standing in front of the mountain, knowing the mountain, seeing the mountain, admiring its landscape, is but removing yourself from the mountain. As you climb, as you go you become part of the mountain, the mountain beneath your feet is not seen,perceived as such, rather experienced fully, the mountain have swallowed you, you have embraced the mountain to become it.

    This is the relationship between self and sitting. From a distance there is Zen, zazen, as you take the shape and form of the mountain state, this state and this form vanishes, as you wear the kesa, you cannot see it. Not knowing is total intimacy with the source, the origin.

    So not knowing is not ignorance or behaving like an idiot or a fool. Not knowing is living fully out of the expanse- space before thoughts arise, hishiryo.beyond thinking

    In zazen shin, a needle for zazen, Dogen starts like this:

    While Great Master Yakusan Kōdō1 is sitting, a monk asks him, “What are you thinking in the still-still state?” The master says, “Thinking the con- crete state of not thinking.” The monk says, “How can the state of not think- ing be thought?” The master says, “It is non-thinking.” Experiencing the state in which the words of the great master are like this, we should learn in practice “mountain-still sitting,” and we should receive the authentic transmission of “mountain-still sitting”: this is the investigation of “mountain-still sitting” that has been transmitted in Buddhism. “Thinking in the still-still state” is not of only one kind, but Yakusan’s words are one example of it. Those words are “Thinking the concrete state of not thinking.

    Hishiryo, non thinking, beyond thinking, is the essence and secret of our treasury house. And again in this, thoughts may arise as clouds in the vast blue sky, not knowing is the sky- like, sea- like, state like the sea state as Dogen puts it. But collapse into a thought, believe your thought, become your thought , identify with it and you enter instantly the world of knowing. Entering the word - world of knowing you end up smelling like a dead cat, good for universities and lecturing, writing brilliant stuff or recipe books, useless for cooking your life. You d better be good for nothing. as Santoka puts it,

    in the embrace of mountains
    I am naked.





    A common misconception of Zen ractice is that it should lead to a state without thoughts. Of course not! Thoughts making is a natural process of he brain, the point is not to be brain dead but stepping back, taking the backward step, to appreciate Big mind, to live in and out the Big reality that we are, not merely a few inches of flesh and a collection of random thoughts. As some Zen words say: Born from a hole and ending thrown into another one,
    ...really???is it really what life is?

    IT is as-it-isness, original face, not knowing, call it pepsi or fake plastic gimmick, it IS.

    When in the dokusan moment you appear on the screen or enter the room, It comes just with- as- you.

    When you wake up and do things and not do things, It radiates. Not before or after. Exactly, precisely as you do. Thoughts? An aftermath effect.

    Not knowing, knowing not.

    This is the not knowing thing that makes lecturers and writers and philosophers so shallow and vain.

    Not knowing is raw, undiluted. Kind of straight to the point, razor blade like, juicy, meaty, not wrapped in much fuss.

    As is.

    Doesn t mean Zen teachers should indulge in rawness.

    They pick up whatever works to help you to unload.

    In the mountain state, no need for much. It is all complete and full and ripe. The chase has stopped, blossoms and leaves collide, snow and furnace cuddle, the old and new have one face.

    This cae is very close to ordinary mind is the way , case 19 of the Gatelss Gate.

    Please consider these questions:

    When you get up, what happens then?

    Does not knowing has a colour or shape?
    Does it speak?
    How big are the legs?
    How far its arms can reach out?
    How to know not knowing?
    How can it be known?
    Where are you in this knowing?
    Still there?


    Gassho in not knowing

    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.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    When you wake up and do things and not do things, It radiates. Not before or after. Exactly, precisely as you do. Thoughts? An aftermath effect.
    Beautiful! Thank you Taigu.

    Gassho
    Michael
    倫道 真現

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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Until the recent past, I had faith in some sort of narrative for myself. I started somewhere, and was clearly going somewhere else. I couldn't always articulate the destination, but that didn't seem to diminish my belief.

    After sitting for a short time, I am able to admit that I am less the mountain and more the weather around it. I don't know (in the most mundane way) where this leads, and I've mostly stopped wondering. Amidst all this uncertainty, there is this practice. For me, for now, that is enough.

    Incidentally, I feel I'm missing something of the appreciators verse: "The matter of thirty years' pilgrimage -- a clear transgression against one's pair of eyebrows." Perhaps someone could explain.

    Gassho,
    Shujin

  4. #4
    Wonderful words, aimed for the heart.

    Thank you,
    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

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Please consider these questions:

    When you get up, what happens then?
    Whatever comes

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Does not knowing has a colour or shape?
    The colour of my shirt

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Does it speak?
    The sound of white noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    How big are the legs?
    As big as the ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    How far its arms can reach out?
    From me to you and back again

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    How to know not knowing?
    I don't know

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    How can it be known?
    I don't care

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Where are you in this knowing?
    Everywhere and nowhere

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Still there?
    Yes and no

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  6. #6
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Hi Timo,

    Not too bad and yet your answers are still a bit zenny to me, they stinck good old answers and some are obviously processed through over thinking.
    I give you the credit to give it a real go when mostDragons and Elephants, a famous opening of the sussho ceremony, behave lile scared rabbits, rushing into holes but without a watch this time.

    Gassho


    Taigu

    Ps: your answers, the colour of my shirt/i don t care come the closest, the space where they are spoken from, is very free and clear and crisp.
    Thank you again.
    Last edited by Taigu; 11-25-2012 at 07:41 AM.
    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.

  7. #7
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Oh yes, some might think here comes this bossy-arrogant-provocative-abusive French guy.
    And for sure I am , and yet, and yet...

    gassho

    T.
    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.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Oh yes, some might think here comes this bossy-arrogant-provocative-abusive French guy.
    And for sure I am , and yet, and yet...

    gassho

    T.
    ... a mirror to my own 'self'


    ..... 'the cuddle of snow and furnace' all embracing words - but when I get up the intimacy is often lost.

    (If I might just say - the philosopher/writer in me is the part most unsure/afraid. I've always felt philosophy is the activity of the mind quivering over the dark abyss of doubt - possibly shallow and vain - but also afraid. Out on the cold mountain - half asleep - not fully awake)

    Thank you for your teaching

    Gassho

    Willow

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    When you get up, what happens then?
    In getting up, it sometimes seems like delusion rushes in and this Buddha becomes a seeker again. Not knowing turns into knowing. Resting turns into carrying a burden. The path that had ended reappears. But it's OK. I know the seeker a little better by now. He's me and mostly harmless. And I'm still Buddha.

    Does not knowing has a colour or shape?
    No colour or shape in particular. 10000 colours, 10000 shapes.

    Does it speak?
    No. It doesn't need to. Yes. It speaks the truth. Constantly speaking wordless Dharma through all, to all. And sometimes speaking living words through arrogant Frenchmen!

    How big are the legs?
    In not knowing, big or small, here or there is not so important. But sometimes it seems like they are as big as the world.

    How far its arms can reach out?
    Not knowing can embrace everything, hold the universe in its arms.

    How to know not knowing?
    How can it be known?
    No matter how hard you try, you can't. You can just stop trying, give up, accept not knowing. Give the seeking, judging mind a rest. And in not knowing, you know, in the sense that the true nature of all things becomes clear. But as soon as the thought "I know!" is identified with, the true knowing is gone. A bit of a bummer that. It would be nice to be able to tell others. But there's really no need to. It's the ego that wants to keep its imagined treasure, retain it, show it off. The ego isn't doing this out of spite. It's making a simple mistake, a misunderstanding that is not so surprising given the nature of ego. It has a hard time accepting that the treasure is not something to cathegorize, seek, find and keep forever. It doesn't understand that the treasure belonged to everyone and everything from the beginning, that it can't be cathegorized, can never be found by searching, is not a thing to be found and can't be kept because it can never be lost.

    Where are you in this knowing?
    Gone completely. Home completely.

    Still there?
    I trust that I am. But it doesn't always seem that way.

    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

  10. #10
    Hi Taigu,

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post

    Ps: your answers, the colour of my shirt/i don t care come the closest, the space where they are spoken from, is very free and clear and crisp.
    Thank you again.
    Thanks for your response - this "PS part" was very helpful, as actually these two answers were those that came up totally spontaneously, while the others took several seconds.
    One thing: There was another spontaneous answer, that I dismissed though: My original (spontaneous) answer to "Does it speak" was "It has my voice", but when I saw this I thought it sounded totally contrived (although it wasn't) and thus I deleted it...

    Thanks again for your useful feedback!

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  11. #11
    Hi
    They pick up whatever works to help you to unload.
    And I cannot thank you enough for doing so!


    I woke up today and sat on the back deck sneaking a forbidden cig (tisk tisk I know) while I drank my coffee, cold air blowing throw the rip in my pants, and making me cringe.
    Standing to butt my bad habit, I saw a then shiny (melted frost) absolutely imperfectly perfect water washed and shaped rock sitting there in the dead grass.
    I picked it up and inspected it and pondered how it got there. I had no clue. Silly thought, I was about to drop it again and realized in that instant I could not tell it from me with the raw wind on my hand. I had lost, for a moment, my arms and hands fingers and sense...the rock was as much me as I was it. The grass the bare tree limbs the cold wind the clouds blowing by making me dizzy as I stared off. I dawned on me for a second, I could not put it into words, but it dimmed my need find an answer. Shit who cares how it got here... amazing that its here in the grandest sense.

    I was a bit shocked and looked up from it, here I sat on a rock, holding a rock wondering how it got here. I laughed out loud and put it back where it found me, and pulled the last drag and put the but in a the stinking tin.

    This not knowing scared me for I felt I lost for a lifetime in that moment... it all fell away. I did not stop thinking I just let those thoughts be and realized that any answer I can come up with is just a me grabbing at something to ground this self.

    Anywho, how big are the legs, big enough! Everything is in arms reach when I stop trying to get a handle on things. Not knowing was the very colour of that moment. I cannot wrap the right words around to convey it and its already long gone.

    I do not have answers really for these questions.

    photo.jpg

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Shohei View Post
    Anywho, how big are the legs, big enough! Everything is in arms reach when I stop trying to get a handle on things. Not knowing was the very colour of that moment. I cannot wrap the right words around to convey it and its already long gone.

    I do not have answers really for these questions.
    Who does?

    I like your answers for what it's worth.

    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

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Shohei View Post
    Hi


    And I cannot thank you enough for doing so!


    I woke up today and sat on the back deck sneaking a forbidden cig (tisk tisk I know) while I drank my coffee, cold air blowing throw the rip in my pants, and making me cringe.
    Standing to butt my bad habit, I saw a then shiny (melted frost) absolutely imperfectly perfect water washed and shaped rock sitting there in the dead grass.
    I picked it up and inspected it and pondered how it got there. I had no clue. Silly thought, I was about to drop it again and realized in that instant I could not tell it from me with the raw wind on my hand. I had lost, for a moment, my arms and hands fingers and sense...the rock was as much me as I was it. The grass the bare tree limbs the cold wind the clouds blowing by making me dizzy as I stared off. I dawned on me for a second, I could not put it into words, but it dimmed my need find an answer. Shit who cares how it got here... amazing that its here in the grandest sense.

    I was a bit shocked and looked up from it, here I sat on a rock, holding a rock wondering how it got here. I laughed out loud and put it back where it found me, and pulled the last drag and put the but in a the stinking tin.

    This not knowing scared me for I felt I lost for a lifetime in that moment... it all fell away. I did not stop thinking I just let those thoughts be and realized that any answer I can come up with is just a me grabbing at something to ground this self.

    Anywho, how big are the legs, big enough! Everything is in arms reach when I stop trying to get a handle on things. Not knowing was the very colour of that moment. I cannot wrap the right words around to convey it and its already long gone.

    I do not have answers really for these questions.

    photo.jpg
    This is great Shohei, thank you. I could actually feel the cold as you described it.

    Gassho
    Michael
    倫道 真現

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

  14. #14
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Who is such a person? a person who `thinks they know. Lead by the head and not the heart.

    Not knowing is the most intimate because it seems to embody true feelings of being open to knowing through dichotomy. Both sides of one coin, the wholeness of what Is. How can you know, without not knowing? How can you find east without west?


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  15. #15
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shohei View Post
    I do not have answers really for these questions.
    I keep coming back to this thread. Thinking about the questions, thinking about my answers, thinking about what to write and eventually writing nothing because every time I try to answer them my words drive me so far away from what I am actually feeling. I think about the questions and let them go. For me the realization of the moment where my thought arises and the point where I let it go is precious...useful. The same goes for PPE 9 as to why I practice zen. Constantly changing and flowing non-answers. This is my answer right...now. gone!

    Gassho,

    Daido
    Jiken Daido - Unsui at Treeleaf's Brother Sangha, the Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage.

    Do not just accept what I say. Decide for yourself if it rings true for you

  16. #16
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daido View Post
    I keep coming back to this thread. Thinking about the questions, thinking about my answers, thinking about what to write and eventually writing nothing because every time I try to answer them my words drive me so far away from what I am actually feeling. I think about the questions and let them go. For me the realization of the moment where my thought arises and the point where I let it go is precious...useful. The same goes for PPE 9 as to why I practice zen. Constantly changing and flowing non-answers. This is my answer right...now. gone!

    Gassho,

    Daido
    Thanks for this response, Daido. I feel it encompasses the object of my clumsy post above.

  17. #17
    Spontaneously, joyfully, playfully the flag is flying.
    Who could hang a name on me.
    Trust not knowing with your life.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  18. #18
    Don't really know
    says this scared rabitt
    just trembling because of being slapped by these questions

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Memo View Post
    Don't really know
    says this scared rabitt
    just trembling because of being slapped by these questions
    What do you have to lose?

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  20. #20
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Not knowing is living fully out of the expanse- space before thoughts arise, hishiryo, beyond thinking.
    Where are you in this knowing?
    There is so much space in each moment, around each thought. Where indeed are you in this spaciousness?....In 'not knowing'.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  21. #21
    I find myself often trying to think my way into a state of Before Thinking. Pretty dumb. But it keeps happening. Even though it seems that zazen is the only real gateway.


    Gassho, Kaishin / Matt
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    When you get up, what happens then?

    Does not knowing has a colour or shape?
    Does it speak?
    How big are the legs?
    How far its arms can reach out?
    How to know not knowing?
    How can it be known?
    Where are you in this knowing?
    Still there?
    I don't know

  23. #23
    Thank you Taigu and everyone contributing (in this thread or just by following),

    a couple of years ago when I engaged in several buddhist forums I though of a signature that goes "Not knowing. No opinion. Seeing what is.". While this is a bit stupid in some sense in contains something I still believe is pretty ... vital to practice, at least for me: Not knowing. I feel that Knowing often means having made my mind on what I cannot grasp, it often means an over-simplification of the wondrous. It often means I shut the door and not being open anymore. It more or less means anything but living practice (or practicing life). And no, I cannot tell you any answer
    _()_
    Myoku

  24. #24
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Spontaneously, joyfully, playfully the flag is flying.
    Who could hang a name on me.
    Trust not knowing with your life.


    Nice. Thanks for this, it is Rich!


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  25. #25
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shujin View Post
    Until the recent past, I had faith in some sort of narrative for myself. I started somewhere, and was clearly going somewhere else. I couldn't always articulate the destination, but that didn't seem to diminish my belief.

    After sitting for a short time, I am able to admit that I am less the mountain and more the weather around it. I don't know (in the most mundane way) where this leads, and I've mostly stopped wondering. Amidst all this uncertainty, there is this practice. For me, for now, that is enough.

    Incidentally, I feel I'm missing something of the appreciators verse: "The matter of thirty years' pilgrimage -- a clear transgression against one's pair of eyebrows." Perhaps someone could explain.

    Gassho,
    Shujin

    Shujin... in first reading your post here, it seemed very real, insightful and a somewhat courageous take on yourself, but then landing softly in 'for me, for now, that is enough' (how true!). Then your lower post seemed to call out yourself to this one being messy. You may not be as messy here as you might think.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  26. #26
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    I find it curious that we are asked to not know, yet we rely on those that do know (not knowing), namely Jundo and Taigu, to help us in our not knowing. One thing I do know is that the more I pay attention to what I know up in my head the less my heart hears the cries of the world. It's knowing that seems to create separation, which means less intimacy.

    Going back to Mt. Sumeru for a moment, I picture a Native American and a geologist on the same mountain. The Indian experiences the mountain as sacred ground while the geologist can tell you all about the make up of the mountain, how it came to be, etc. Both see the mountain clearly and deeply, yet each sees it through their own respective ego lens. Which of them is most intimate with the mountain? The non-knowing answer would seem to be the Indian, because of sacredness over knowledge, but I think the answer is none of the above. I think there is a place for both because there is plenty of room on Mt. Sumeru. But maybe there needs to be a third person in the story, some singular traveler that wanders onto the mountain and sees it as just that, lives on it and with it as just a home, a place of shelter and source of provision. Or maybe this wanderer sees the mountain not as a sacred or geologic or home object, but rather just as a part of himself.

    I don't know.
    Last edited by AlanLa; 11-29-2012 at 02:19 PM.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  27. #27
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Thanks Al that is a really wonderful image.

    I don't know either.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  28. #28
    Please consider these questions:

    When you get up, what happens then?

    Does not knowing has a colour or shape?
    Does it speak?
    How big are the legs?
    How far its arms can reach out?
    How to know not knowing?
    How can it be known?
    Where are you in this knowing?
    Still there?


    Gassho in not knowing

    Taigu
    Thank you, Taigu.
    大山

  29. #29
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    This is one of those "right on the tip of my tongue", "I had it and then lost it" maddeningly close, "I can almost touch it" feeling things.

    For me, "don't know" can change to "don't care because it isn't important to ME" if I'm not careful.

    Gassho


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

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  30. #30
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rculver View Post
    This is one of those "right on the tip of my tongue", "I had it and then lost it" maddeningly close, "I can almost touch it" feeling things.

    For me, "don't know" can change to "don't care because it isn't important to ME" if I'm not careful.

    Gassho


    Shugen


    Intriguing post, Shugen.

    You seem to be all over It.

    It may be that this feeling thing, right on the tip of your tongue, had it and lost it, is the voice of the intuition, that can't quite fight through the ego that we all have come accustom to being The voice. Could it be the 'don't know' (but is the Knowing), changing to the 'don't care' when the 'me takes over if I'm not careful' (giving in to the ego [me]), the same tip of the tongue situation of the ego once again winning or over powering the softer Knowing that can only be known by sitting with it? It might be you are so close, just a little more patience and 'a nudge of just letting go a little more', without clinging to this feeling that is so close it gets chased away, the Way? It does not seem to be something that can be thought of or figured but, sitting with feeling and letting the body do the rest.

    You seemingly are right there, so close, not only is it on the tip, you can taste it. One blink of the eye, one breath, one heart beat away, but not away all the time or gone, but right here and now. You seem so close Shugen. You may even 'feel' some relief by sharing this here, something that could open to the profoundness of the real you.

    Thanks for sharing this.


    Gassho
    Last edited by galen; 11-30-2012 at 02:29 PM.
    Nothing Special

  31. #31
    Did a lot of practice with the local Kwan Um group a couple of years back. They had a great little Zendo that was shared with the Dharma Drum folks. There wasn't much talk and they were very disciplined. It's not everyone's cup of tea but I felt at home with that style. Two things frequently repeated.. "Don't check, just do" and "Only don't know" . I always found the term "Don't check" very direct . No checking, no being sure.... not sure what's what... haven't "got it"......no getting. Arms swinging around looking for something to hold? ....nothing to hold. Don't get it, don't know, no reaching, no getting.
    大山

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    "Don't check, just do" and "Only don't know" .

    I think this is the same as just sitting. I use to check myself constantly now I'm more into checking other people's speech and feelings and how best to respond (help the situation). No kind of checking would be the ideal. Failure is part of the landscape but 'don't know' leaves you open to success. Rambling of the day.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  33. #33
    Rich Thank you! When I answered "I don't know", I didn't know, but it wasn't the don't know that you and Kojip are talking about. This post just rang a bell: Beginner's Mind....

    Gassho,

    Risho

  34. #34
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    I do know this: The ability to admit to not knowing is a serious sign of maturity. Most of us go through this phase of late childhood where we think we have it all figured out, and then we spend of the rest of our lives learning that we really don't know all that much after all. I think this is especially true in terms of spiritual maturity. I also know that I am concerned about those that think they really do know. But what do I know?

    Zazen is about disengagement from the life narrative that I am constantly creating, even the buddhist narrative, and maybe especially from the zazen narrative; it's the dropping of knowing, the non-act of not-knowing, such a futile and beautiful non-exercise.
    Last edited by AlanLa; 12-06-2012 at 02:15 PM.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  35. #35
    Member Thane's Avatar
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    Hi everyone.

    This koan really spoke to me. I find it can be easy to be caught up in the mind and grasp after a state of not knowing of a feeling of i have cracked it now. I can remember coming back from sesshing thinking that i had cracked the practice. Time usually showed it wasnt as simple as that!

    This koan spoke to me as it reminded me,at a time of over thinking,

  36. #36
    Member Thane's Avatar
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    Sorry my response is continued i pressed reply by mistake.

    That not knowing is not an intellectual game but much more. In fact it is the most intimate. A lovely teaching and reminder.

    Gassho

    Thane

  37. #37
    Don't know. Sharp blade slices wart on tip of my nose. Understanding has ruined it.

    Gassho, sensei.
    Last edited by Ed; 12-04-2012 at 07:34 PM.
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  38. #38
    Please consider these questions:


    When you get up, what happens then?

    I say shit!


    Does not knowing has a colour or shape?

    No.


    Does it speak?

    No.


    How big are the legs?

    No legs.


    How far its arms can reach out?

    No arms.


    How to know not knowing?

    Don't know.


    How can it be known?

    Can not.


    Where are you in this knowing?

    Don't know.


    Still there?

    I think so.


    Gassho in not knowing



    Taigu

    Gassho back,

    JC

  39. #39
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Dear JC,

    Military.

    Your style is military style.

    It can be known... "by the Way"

    gassho as is

    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.

  40. #40
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Pretty close Samsara, too intimate? too close?

    Be simple

    and thank youfor your answer


    gassho


    T.
    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.

  41. #41
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    I like Al's good old voice, knowing is the separation.

    gassho

    T.
    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.

  42. #42
    Taigu,

    I was in the US Navy many moons ago.

    Gasho,

    JC
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  43. #43
    who knows here?
    above abyss, leaps back
    no trace


    _/\_
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  44. #44
    I stumbled upon the following passage from "The Complete Chuang Tzu" (Translation by James Legge).
    Actually, this is a Taoist text (I hope it is OK to post it), so please don't feel disturbed by the term "Tao" - I think it's the meaning that counts...

    […]
    We look for it, and there is no form; we hearken for it, and there is no sound. When men try to discuss it, we call them dark indeed. When they discuss the Tao, they misrepresent it.'
    Hereupon Grand Purity asked Infinitude, saying,
    'Do you know the Tao?'
    'I do not know it,' was the reply. He then asked Do-nothing, who replied, 'I know it.'
    'Is your knowledge of it determined by various points?'
    'It is.'
    'What are they?'
    Do-nothing said,
    'I know that the Tao may be considered noble, and may be considered mean, that it may be bound and compressed, and that it may be dispersed and diffused. These are the marks by which I know it.'
    Grand Purity took the words of those two, and asked No-beginning, saying,
    'Such were their replies; which was right? and which was wrong? Infinitude's saying that he did not know it? or Do-nothing's saying that he knew it?'
    No-beginning said,
    'The "I do not know it" was profound, and the "I know it" was shallow. The former had reference to its internal nature; the latter to its external conditions.
    Grand Purity looked up and sighed, saying,
    'Is "not to know it" then to know it? And is "to know it" not to know it? But who knows that he who does not know it (really) knows it?'
    No-beginning replied,
    'The Tao cannot be heard; what can be heard is not It.
    The Tao cannot be seen; what can be seen is not It. The Tao cannot be expressed in words; what can be expressed in words is not It. Do we know the Formless which gives form to form? In the same way the Tao does not admit of being named.'
    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  45. #45
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Is there a difference between Tao and Dharma?
    迎 Geika

  46. #46
    Hi Amelia,

    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    Is there a difference between Tao and Dharma?
    In order to answer the question I would have to define both terms and compare them. And thus would be on the wrong track.

    I don't want to leave it like that though...
    The following is my very personal opinion:
    For me Dharma, Tao, etc. speak more or less about the same thing. The same thing Hinduism talks about (and other religions) or the Sufis or the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart.
    Taoism, Zen, etc. are different fingers pointing to the moon.
    Different Buddhists will define Dharma differently and different Taoists will define the Tao differently.

    Before I came to Zen I was very much into Taoism, and when I became acquainted with Zen, I was totally surprised by the parallels.
    Actually, Taoism had a considerable influence on Buddhism when it came to China, and later Zen had a huge influence on Taoism.
    Alas, the philosophical Taoism developed into a superstitious religion. However, there is a so-called "New Taoism" nowadays (especially in the West) that goes "back to the roots". They even use Zen anecdotes/stories.
    However, there are several clear differences between Zen (Buddhism) and Taoism. E.g. Taoism has no precepts, because according to Taoism deep inside people know by themselves what is right or wrong.
    Taoism also lacks a clear methodology like the 8th fold Path, etc.

    Actually, I don't want to make a Taoist thread out of this (sorry Taigu!), so if someone has questions/answers/feedback about this, you can send me a PM if you want.

    As a final quote - this time from Tao Te Ching (Translation by Stephen Mitchell)
    The tao that can be told
    is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named
    is not the eternal Name.

    The unnamable is the eternally real.
    Naming is the origin
    of all particular things.

    Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
    Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

    Yet mystery and manifestations
    arise from the same source.
    This source is called darkness.

    Darkness within darkness.
    The gateway to all understanding.
    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  47. #47
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Thank you, Timo.
    迎 Geika

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    However, there are several clear differences between Zen (Buddhism) and Taoism. E.g. Taoism has no precepts, because according to Taoism deep inside people know by themselves what is right or wrong.
    Taoism also lacks a clear methodology like the 8th fold Path, etc.
    These are two really good points... (sorry to extend the Taoist thing on this thread) . The Tao Te Ching always seemed like an expression of realization with no methodology. It is so beautiful and simple.

    The (overly simplified) story goes that there was vanilla Buddhism in India.. then Padmasambhava took it to Tibet where it fused with Shamanism, and Bodhidharma took it to China where it fused methodology and the Boddhisattva commitment with Taoist immediacy.
    I think it is safe to say in Buddhism it is also true that people know by themselves what is right or wrong. The difference being it just needs to be uncovered.

    Gassho , kojip
    大山

  49. #49
    Dear All,

    I would ask our members to hold, as much as possible, all Forum discussion and chit-chat during our Rohatsu Retreat the next two days, except as related to the Retreat.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...U-RETREAT-2012

    Now is a day for sitting, not talking.

    Thank you.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  50. #50
    Dear All,

    I would ask our members to hold, as much as possible, all Forum discussion and chit-chat during our Rohatsu Retreat the next two days, except as related to the Retreat.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...U-RETREAT-2012

    Now is a day for sitting, not talking.

    Thank you.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-09-2012 at 12:10 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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