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Thread: The Guru's Cat

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  1. #1

    The Guru's Cat

    THE GURU'S CAT

    Each time the guru sat for worship with his students the ashram cat would come in to distract them, so he ordered them to tie it when the ashram was at prayer.

    After the guru died the cat continued to be tied at worship time. And when the cat expired, another cat was brought into the ashram to make sure that the guru’s orders were faithfully observed at worship time.

    Centuries passed and learned treatises were written by the guru’s scholarly disciples on the liturgical significance of tying up a cat while worship is performed.

    ~ Anthony de Mello ('Song of the Bird')
    Last edited by Seiryu; 11-30-2012 at 01:54 AM.
    Humbly,
    Seiryu

  2. #2
    Thank you, Seiryu. Yes, that is how so many ancient traditions and sacred practices originate.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Great story. And my cat is in trouble...
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Seiryu,
    Thank you for this teaching.
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

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

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Thank you, Seiryu.

    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

  6. #6
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Gassho
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    It reminds me of a story about an Okinawan martial arts dojo in the united states where the instructor taught his advanced students a certain kata then suddenly passed away without explaining it. For years it was handed down and students faithfully reproduced it, thinking it to contain the "hidden Secrets" of the lineage. Finally one of the students travels to Okinawa and goes to local festival where he notices all the villagers performing the "kata." It turns out that it was a local dance with social, not martial importance. An urban legend as far as I know, but with the same teaching point.

    That being said, I'm not untying the cat. He will come in and distract me.
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  8. #8
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    Wow, that is really silly!

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  9. #9
    Seiryu, 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
    I found it, I found it!

    Bottom half of page 52 here ...

    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=y...hinese&f=false

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    I cannot recall where I first read this originally ... but ...

    Back in the 14th century a Chinese teacher was invited from the mainland to be the Abbot of one of the Kamakura monasteries. It was the custom of the Japanese to invite noted Chinese teachers back then. But when he arrived, nobody could make out his words in a heavy regional Chinese dialect. So, thinking that his pronouncements must be profound, they had a scribe write them down phonetically and kept them as a temple treasure. Centuries later, scholars were finally able to track the words back to the original dialect and translate them ... and they were found to be full of mundane comments like "has anyone seen my missing socks?" and "where can I get good Tofu around here?". Something like that. Granted, those are "profound teachings" too ... but not what the transcribers thought they were.

    I need to track down where I read that.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-30-2012 at 03:57 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Priceless.
    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.

  13. #13
    I have been to so many Soto Zen Temples in Japan that have their own "way of doing things" which, they insist is "the way things have been in Zen for hundreds of years" ... yet which are often rather different from how the Soto Zen Temple across town "does things as they have been in Zen for hundreds of years".

    So, the only thing to do is roll with the local customs and traditions and, "when in Osaka, do as the Osakans do".

    One best find the universal, simple Truths that shine behind/in/out/through-and-through all the little different forms and varied packagings.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-03-2012 at 04:28 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    One of the things i learned to do as an internal auditor was to always ask, " Why do you do that?" and The Answer was invariably, "That's the way we've always done it !"

    gassho, shokai
    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.

  15. #15
    awesome!

    Come in, come in! I have something to say to you = no delusive thoughts, no delusive thoughts. It is you who are from the very beginning buddha!

    Sometimes the most mundane things are barbed to catch you when your ripe... this was not one of those times

    Gassho
    Shohei

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Im allergic to cats, but our 2 rat terriers have been known to require some attention during Zazen.
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, I. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."
    寂道

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