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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 22

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 22

    Case 21 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 22 - Ganto's bow and shout

    A good one for finishing the year here at Treeleaf, where many folks come and go.

    A student, with her own opinions and eye for appraisal, shows up at a Sangha and demands, "Is this place common or special? Is it what I think I want from the Zen I picture? Is it 'Real Zen' or fake Zen, and are the Teachers enlightened as I want 'enlightened' to look or be?"

    The Teacher demonstrates Dharma with a Shout ... perhaps a GREAT Wordless Teaching in that Shout or perhaps just a cliche clunker ... and the student bows down, uttering "You are so wonderful, Teacher!" Is the student correct in the appraisal, or even in a position to judge at such an early date? Or perhaps the gesture of bowing is insincere, mere flattery, with fingers crossed behind the back? Even if sincere, flattery is really not called for by any Teacher, especially if the "yes man" kind. Some few students might stay for years, finding value in the Practice there, illumination, a life ... and that is really the only thing needed by a Teacher. But, after a time, some students are disappointed and go away, thinking "there is no True Dharma here". That always breaks the Teacher's heart, who always wishes he could have done better.

    For what the Teacher, like an old friend, wants to help any Student find is This which is Common-Holy, Specially Unspecial, fulfilling all desires ... both with what is wanted and what is not. Can one know the Real that sweeps in and sweeps through 'real' or 'fake'? Can the Great Teaching be heard that shouts at the Unbreakable Heart of both the sparkling talks or thrilling moments and the dull or dumb, the Timeless both in the 'time well spent' and so-called 'waste of time'? Can one find that True Way from which there is no way to "go away"? Helping the student find so is the only "compliment" a Teacher requires.

    There are two kinds of Sangha or Teacher that, I feel, do a disservice to students. One is a place or person that is too lax, too careless, which fails to provide beneficial opportunities for Practice, or (in some fortunately very few cases) where real abuse and other bad acts occur. But, counter-intuitive as it may seem, a Sangha or Teacher which meets all the student's expectations, golden dreams, ideals and desires too would be a disservice (not to mention unlikely to ever truly appear, at least over the long haul when the rose colored honeymoon is done). Why? Because as with all of this life, all this world, one must come to see through personal judgments of both "sacred" and "ordinary", good and bad, flashy or dull, entertaining or painful, satisfying and disatisfying, true vs. fake ... thus to find a Truth beyond selfish expectations, disappointments, dreams, ideals and failings to meet a mark, thus to find the Mark Always Met. The best Teacher or Community, as strange as it sounds, may be one that ... like the universe ... sometimes inspires and sometimes frustrates, sometimes energizes and sometimes bores, sometimes astounds and sometimes leaves cold ... all so that one might find Astounding Energetic Inspiration even right at the heart of the frustratingly, dully cold.

    Our Sangha is a wonderfully imperfect place. Our Teachers here are well-meaning but mediocre clods and fools. No flattery is needed (sincere or insincere ... although anyone appreciates a sincere, kind encouraging word, even Zen Teachers), no criticism welcomed (except the constructive kind to let us do things better). This Place, This Dharma, This Buddha, sits beyond all human weighing and rating.

    - Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.

    - I wonder if this presentation of Koan 22 is a "keeper" or a "clunker". Did I do a good job?
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-30-2012 at 01:57 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.


    This sangha sucks or glows depending on whether it feeds my need to feel special/smart/insightful/wise ...or not. In other words, it depends on how it feeds my self image. When just sitting, there is no self image.. and sangha/zen is a non-issue. But when I get full of myself.. Treeleaf gets judged.

    edit. actually that is not entirely true.. feeling connected/needed.. or estranged, counts for a lot in sangha.

    I wonder if this presentation of Koan 22 is a "keeper" or a "clunker". Did I do a good job?


    It's a keeper, but I liked the one you posted from the busy Tokyo intersection better.



    Gassho, kojip.
    Last edited by Daizan; 12-29-2012 at 02:07 PM.
    大山

  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo ... it's a keeper for sure.

    I wonder if this presentation of Koan 22 is a "keeper" or a "clunker". Did I do a good job?

    I had a teacher once say,
    We have sees to see others, but we need a mirror to see ourselves ... yet most times, it is the eyes that only see.
    I know we can all get caught in the trap of the mind theatre ... just because one has a view/opinion, does not make it so. I have been know in the past to go into something with good intentions, but with a set intention none the less. I feel that having that set intention can cloud our perception/understanding of what is being shown/taught.

    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.

  4. #4
    Hi.

    All teachers/practices/sanghas can be horseshit, but horseshit is great fertilizer used right.

    Thank you for your practice.

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

  5. #5
    It's a keeper.

    Its the only place I know that lets blind baboons like me stumble my Way to the banana tree and allows me to eat the right number of bananas so that I neither get sick from fullness (most of the time) or get hungry (most of the time) and keep my lovely baboon figure healthy, physically and mentally.

    Gassho, John
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  6. #6
    Thank you Jundo,

    It's a keeper. I'm always looking for that encouraging shout from teacher! Simply accept the shout if it helps. As a newcomer to Treeleaf, yes, I did come in with ideas that have fallen away or changed. From that perspective, the newcomer might get a little lost at some of the responses, or when they don't get what they want. Keep one hand down. This is a special place, with absorbing discussions on what it means to be 'Mindful' from all who have shared their interpretations from life. Where else?

    Gassho,
    Santosh.
    Last edited by santosh; 12-31-2012 at 03:00 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    I agree with Santos's and have nothing further to add. As a non newcomer, been here 18 months, I get lost in the responses all the time. However most of the honeymoon stage has dropped away and I'm still here active as ever.

    Ok, maybe a few things to add.

    Gassho

    Shawn.L

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    What can i say except Thank You. Except of course, please keep on producing these keepers
    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member YuimaSLC's Avatar
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    An acquaintance of mine, musician and yoga instructor, said recently that he has an acoustic guitar hanging on a wall in his music room. Sometimes when he practices his clarinet, certain notes create
    complimentary vibrations of the guitar string.

    This presentation, Jundo, brought some tears to my eyes. I am trying to figure out why. Maybe because it strikes some very familiar harmonics in my day to day experiences.

    Thanks.

    Richard

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    - Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.
    I'm not sure it is possible to find a golden egg, however, I am quite content just to have found an egg.

    Also, I think you forgot part of the koan... is this real zen or fake zen and do we get a certificate?
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  11. #11
    Thank you everyone,
    my reply is my sitting, just neither is mine
    Gassho
    Myoku

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    Hi Jenell. I will leave it to more experienced members to answer that. But sitting zazen everyday is where you start. The rest just points you in the right direction.

    Gassho

    Shawn.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenell View Post
    I don't know how I can judge whether or not the shout was good for the student because that student isn't me. I don't know how I can determine if the bow was subtle mockery or subtle flattery because I can't know that student's mind.
    I do know that this is a well-told tale for my mind.

    I'm very new and not sure if I'm supposed to answer this, but I don't really know where to start with this sangha.
    Jenell
    A good start, Jenell!

    Shawn is right. Also, be sure to have some sits with our "No Beginners Beginners" series ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...-FOR-NEW-FOLKS

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    I tend to believe that "well-meaning but mediocre clods and fools" are the ones that do all the real work. After a certain point, they stop caring about the glory and just do what needs to be done.


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

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    A student, with her own opinions and eye for appraisal, shows up at a Sangha and demands, "Is this place common or special? Is it what I think I want from the Zen I picture? Is it 'Real Zen' or fake Zen, and are the Teachers enlightened as I want 'enlightened' to look or be?"
    If it is the image of Zen my mind has created then it is fake Zen

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.


    My practice is both golden and sucks eggs, they are inseparable. If I have an idea of what the golden egg is then maybe it is possible to find it, but not desirable.

    Thank you Jundo!

    -Jeff

  16. #16
    I come looking for gold, let the rest go. Can't say that I have found sucky things here, or maybe I just glanced over it never noticing.
    Taking in both makes for a good mixture, I suppose, gold can carry sucky a long way.
    Having three sanghas now: a traditional sangha 60 miles away, a smaller, closer to home group of commited (not as in institutionalized, but a real golden find for me of a serious practitioner whom just showed up in my life,) and now I have this e-sangha that I love to come and visit and sit with in Goole plus, I feel spoiled after years of dharma draught in Miami.
    I look for keeper stuff let the rest go.
    Same philosophy for life is working well for me.
    I keep most of it, thankfully.
    Gassho all.
    Last edited by Ed; 01-02-2013 at 02:31 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






  17. #17
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    As soon as I say it is either keeper or clunker, haven't I missed the greater teaching? With all due respect, Jundo (is "due respect" flattery?), whether it is a keeper or clunker depends in some respect on what I bring to the lesson, and those labels are what I take from the lesson. What happens in between? Well, that's interesting and worth studying. So, what is my answer on this keeper/clunker questions? I dunno, I'm still straddling the fence. I would say it is definitely not a clunker, but I am unsure how long I will keep it. If I let it go later, does that make it a clunker? Silly questions making sillier points.

    Dropping dualities, let me move on to my first reaction to this koan and commentary. Common or holy depend on what we bring to the situation, as I said above. Every situation has the potential for both, or neither, or one or the other. Asking the teacher if it is one or the other is a silly question. First of all, they are biased. Secondly, and more importantly, who is he or she to decide what you consider to be common or holy? For example, I teach one course that students not in my field are required to take. Because of that, I spend a whole day answering this common or holy question. Of course, the student version is more like if the course is good or bad, worth their while or not, etc. My answer is that I will do the best I can to make the course content meaningful to them, but ultimately what they get out of the course (or any course, or sangha, etc.) is up to them.

    Thus, this koan is just the beginning of a much longer story. Did Ganto find Tokusan's place common or holy? I bet he decided it was both, or maybe neither. What happened while he made that decision is worth our own study.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  18. #18
    Take what you need and leave the rest. Of cause this is real but sometimes that just sucks eggs.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  19. #19
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Here zazen is the Golden Egg and what hatches is up to the practice I do!

    As for the teachers... well what can I say?
    Every time I sit zazenkai (usually recorded) or watch a sit-a-long and some familiar face smiles and says 'Hi guys....' I can't help smiling back thinking YES!

    One Bright Pearl.
    Last edited by Heisoku; 01-04-2013 at 10:10 AM.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  20. #20
    - Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.
    I usually find that my practice feels great when I am in a good mood or I appear to be getting something from it. It can suck when it doesn't live up to my expectations. Like when I measure incorrectly for the Kesa and I have to recut, or throw out a piece of fabric that I completely messed up. It can also suck to sit when I don't feel like sitting. Or sometimes I might want a drink because I miss drinking. Now I personally feel that not drinking is the way that I need to practice the precept, so it's important to me. When I drop those judgements, practice is just practice.

    I can't trust my judgements a lot of the time with Zen; my mood will drive how I feel about it. So to keep on practicing I literally have to just keep practicing despite what tricks my mind has in store for me. In that sense, the Sangha and teachers are extremely important. I have to trust in Taigu and Jundo for guides along the way; otherwise, I wouldn't stick with practice. or I could transform practice into something that simply suits me and meets my expectations, which wouldn't be real practice. Or it could be some form extreme asceticism that also misses the middle.

    Sometimes I still don't sit if I don't feel like it, but the Sangha helps keep me going, or else I'd quit.

    Sitting for myself is not right.
    Sitting for others is not right.
    Just Sit (the middle)


    - I wonder if this presentation of Koan 22 is a "keeper" or a "clunker". Did I do a good job?
    You're not trapping me in that one! hahahahhah

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Last edited by Risho; 01-04-2013 at 05:49 PM.

  21. #21
    As stated in the Dylan quote alluded to in the reading “That he not busy being born is busy dying” but “If you are born when the sun is on the horizon how would you know if it is a sunrise or a sunset?”

    But I’m down…I’ll be sticking around here at Treeleaf….

    Gassho,
    BrianW/Jisen

  22. #22
    The experience at Treeleaf has been like a journey lead by two old trail guides. A journey to where pristine perception and complete integration into "what is" takes place. The one True Way that won't go away,"what is." Gassho Shogen

  23. #23
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shogen View Post
    The one True Way that won't go away,"what is."
    Thank you Shogen
    Gassho.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  24. #24

  25. #25
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Upon reading this koan this morning I was struck by how close Ganto represents myself. One foot in, one foot out of Trealeaf, with a touch of arrogance thrown in for good measure . "Is this place holy or ordinary (and/or does it matter?)?" As Ganto is checking it out to see if its a place he wants to study. And as Wick points to... "if you don't experience it, your understanding is just a projection." Getting to the embodiment of that experience tells all. Thank you everyone!


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  26. #26
    Galen, thank you! The way you pointed that out (about the one foot in/one foot out) rang a bell in my mind to this koan so to speak.

    Ganto's question is the same question I ask myself.. which I bet is the same question we all ask ourselves. Why do I do this? Should I stay? oh yeah, sometimes I get discouraged with practice and Treeleaf, and I think I'm not cut out for this. But it is bullshit. Really, it is. I'm discouraged with myself. I'm not meeting expectations, which is my fault for creating any and, further, is the source of my suffering. But it's good that there is suffering; that is always a constant reminder of the necessity of practice in my life.

    In the Identity of Relative and Absolute (Sandokai), this same point is being addressed;

    from that poem:

    In the Way there are no northern or southern ancestors.
    The subtle Source shines clear in the light;
    The branching streams flow in the dark.
    To be attached to things is primordial illusion;
    To encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment.
    Mundane is not it.
    Holy is not it.

    I tend to grasp onto one or the other, but this practice is about going beyond either half. Some teachers talk about walking the edge. The Sandokai says when "two arrows meet in mid-air". Think about how precise that is... how thin it is to walk on the middle path, which is why i atone. I'm always slipping off to one side or the other, putting myself before others, or idolizing some person, creating a separation that I'm not a Buddha (an ego-mechanism to distract me from the Path). But I took the Bodhisattva vows and I took Jukai, another set of vows to stay on this path.. this impossible path.

    Zazen and my practice here, for you all, with you all, supported by everyone here, all helps me to drop that thinking.. to go beyond the relative and the absolute, to not grasp one or deny the other. To go beyond, which is a full functioning of both.

    On a side note, I find myself reaching a limit when talking about these koans.
    Writing about this is so hard, and I feel silly talking about this practice (as if I'm some authority) when I've only been doing this for a couple of years, when others here have been doing this for decades. (I know that is part of delusion that I'm not good enough) Yet, if I don't say something here (with my full conviction behind it), and present my understanding (even if it is wrong or what have you), no one will know my understanding as it is now... and my practice can't grow. I would be deceiving myself, my sangha and my teachers. I've been thinking about this, and I'm sorry to sound corny, but if I come across as arrogant, it is not my intent. I just need to express this the best way I can and the most truthful way I can so that I can learn from my mistakes.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  27. #27
    Thanks Galen and Risho for your clarifying thoughts.

    I think that even if there is no grasping the practice life is sometimes not that great. But experiencing the not so greatness is the correct choice instead of living in a dream or denial. imho

    Like Ganto everyone wants a quick fix, a right answer - but that's not how it works. Its more like brushing your teeth every day
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Like Ganto everyone wants a quick fix, a right answer - but that's not how it works. Its more like brushing your teeth every day
    Boom! The hammer!

    Gassho,

    Risho

    Edit: I just thought I better clarify. "Boom! The hammer!" is a funny slang idiom I say when something hits the target for me.

  29. #29
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    It was with great pleasure Risho, if in any way you needed help in expressing your ego in such an eloquent way.

    Does anyone come across arrogant intentionally?

    In `essence is there a difference in what could be called arrogant and what might be considered humble?

    In all-knowing, does it take a higher seat then in what looks or sounds like the fool? Can there be anything other then a beginners mind?

    Well done, Risho.


    Gassho

    galen
    Nothing Special

  30. #30
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Thanks Galen and Risho for your clarifying thoughts.

    I think that even if there is no grasping the practice life is sometimes not that great. But experiencing the not so greatness is the correct choice instead of living in a dream or denial. imho

    Like Ganto everyone wants a quick fix, a right answer - but that's not how it works. Its more like brushing your teeth every day


    Do you mean these teeth ? That was `rich!


    Gassho

    galen
    Nothing Special

  31. #31
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Boom! The hammer!

    Gassho,

    Risho

    Edit: I just thought I better clarify. "Boom! The hammer!" is a funny slang idiom I say when something hits the target for me.


    What makes you `think a clarification was needed? Boom, another hammer!
    Nothing Special

  32. #32
    "clarification"..... In my own practice a clear understanding has been very helpful. Sitting is not an understanding, it is direct, kinesthetic, im-mediate,.. but "Right Understanding" has really counted. The first factor of the Eightfold Path.."Right understanding", facilitates letting go, and a "wrong understanding" can hamper it. For instance the "Right Understanding" that all things, internal, external, subtle, and gross, are impermanent... when deeply reflected on, shines a light on the inner sense of a persisting or changeless experiencer. That sense is a subtle object of clinging, even when the mind is clear and silent. It hinders letting go.. as change, and sits there like a rock in the stream. "Right understanding' falls away along with "wrong understanding" in just sitting... but it still counts. Maybe that is an eccentric way of putting things, but it has been my experience.

    Gassho, kojip

    edit. just noticed that this post isn't that relevant... just riffing on the need to clarify.
    Last edited by Daizan; 01-11-2013 at 01:16 PM.
    大山

  33. #33
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    "clarification"..... In my own practice a clear understanding has been very helpful. Sitting is not an understanding, it is direct, kinesthetic, im-mediate,.. but "Right Understanding" has really counted. The first factor of the Eightfold Path.."Right understanding", facilitates letting go, and a "wrong understanding" can hamper it. For instance the "Right Understanding" that all things, internal, external, subtle, and gross, are impermanent... when deeply reflected on, shines a light on the inner sense of a persisting or changeless experiencer. That sense is a subtle object of clinging, even when the mind is clear and silent. It hinders letting go.. as change, and sits there like a rock in the stream. "Right understanding' falls away along with "wrong understanding" in just sitting... but it still counts. Maybe that is an eccentric way of putting things, but it has been my experience.

    Gassho, kojip

    edit. just noticed that this post isn't that relevant... just riffing on the need to clarify.


    Then just let go!

    Is not water stronger... what rock?

    How clear is That?


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    Then just let go!

    Is not water stronger... what rock?

    How clear is That?


    Gassho
    Hi Galen. It's not for me to tell you to let go. It's definitely not for you to tell me. Besides, such talk usually amounts to blessing ingrained, unconscious, self-view.

    Thanks for the thought though. Gassho, kojip.
    大山

  35. #35
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    Hi Galen. It's not for me to tell you to let go. It's definitely not for you to tell me. Besides, such talk usually amounts to blessing ingrained, unconscious, self-view.

    Thanks for the thought though. Gassho, kojip.


    And thank you, Kojip, for this method of letting go and sharing what amounts to what, besides.

    It was addressed to your post, but not necessarily just to you as yours wasn't to me. If you felt that way, those are your feelings and that is fine. It was my direct statement to just letting go, nothing added, nothing special, unless...

    Are you really thankful for the thought, though?

    I appreciate your psycho analysis.


    Gassho
    Last edited by galen; 01-11-2013 at 06:53 PM.
    Nothing Special

  36. #36
    Galen. I do not know you, but going by your posts, I think you play games and are not straight. Treeleaf is mainly where I practice... with less posting... I am not interested in engaging.
    Gassho, kojip.
    Last edited by Daizan; 01-11-2013 at 08:28 PM.
    大山

  37. #37
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    Galen. I do not know you, but going by your posts, I think you play games and are not straight. Treeleaf is mainly where I practice... with less posting... I am not interested in engaging.
    Gassho, kojip.


    Kojip... this is my main place to practice, not sure how that is meaningful.

    I also think you play games. Does that make your game of higher order then what you might call my game !? What is straight and what is crooked, is there a difference. You seemingly took what I first said personal, whos problem is that, if seemingly it is one?

    With all that being said, I feel I know you after this many months.


    Gassho
    Last edited by galen; 01-11-2013 at 11:34 PM.
    Nothing Special

  38. #38
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Flapping mouths/minds
    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

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hinton View Post
    Flapping mouths/minds
    This is a forum attached to a Sangha. I expressed a personal experience, and received a silly Internet Zen comment. Now another. Spare it , Shawn.
    大山

  40. #40
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    This is a forum attached to a Sangha. I expressed a personal experience, and received a silly Internet Zen comment. Now another. Spare it , Shawn.

    What ever.
    Nothing Special

  41. #41
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    My apologies Kojip, my reply was supposed to be a question, not a statement or judgement. I honestly don't understand banter of this type. Is this some kind of "Dharma combat" I have heard of?
    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

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hinton View Post
    My apologies Kojip, my reply was supposed to be a question, not a statement or judgement. I honestly don't understand banter of this type. Is this some kind of "Dharma combat" I have heard of?
    Hi Shawn. It isn't Dharma combat. It is just the way message boards go sometimes.

    Deep bows. Kojip.
    大山

  43. #43
    Having spent weeks eyeing this Sangha after a fortuitous series of search engine queries I feel like I've had one foot in the gate (lurking, more precisely) and the other out (questioning what I want; confronting my golden-dipped Dharma ideals). Unsaid I have asked, “Holy or common, truth or rubbish, worthy or unworthy, keeper or clunker.” Even stepping through the gate I have kept this asking. Tokusan has shouted; blowing away old shadows. I don’t know Truth. I don’t know if a word of This Place is Truth. But at least I hope I have bowed sincerely, if that is possible.

    I think I’ll just sit.

    Gassho,
    -Jeff

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff_u View Post
    I don’t know Truth. I don’t know if a word of This Place is Truth. But at least I hope I have bowed sincerely, if that is possible.

    I think I’ll just sit.

    Gassho,
    -Jeff
    Oh, the sitting certainly is Truth! It must be! That is because we simply sit in/as/through-and-through What Is. What Is is us, and us What Is ...

    So, since we simply sit What Is, such must be True!

    But, some may ask us ... precisely what is this What Is we are sole wholly One with?

    Well (while we certainly have some feelings and suppositions about What Is and what aint) ... We are so at home as What Is, so Wholly What Is, so simply What Is, that we are not really so concerned about What What Is Is or Is Not. What Is Is What Is, and that's Just What's What (we do not even ever really demand it be a "What" ... or even an "Is" ... )

    So, since we simply sit in/as/through-and-through What Is, how can such fail to be Truth?

    Gassho, J (having a little fun)
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-13-2013 at 07:19 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #45
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    And so we are back to "Just sit!". I love it..
    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

  46. #46
    I should have returned a long time ago and not being so much time idle.

    Why sitting? Well... It's truth.

    Big gassho

    Rimon
    Rimon Barcelona, Spain
    "Practice and the goal of practice are identical." [i:auj57aui]John Daido Loori[/i:auj57aui]

  47. #47
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Hope this does not come across as to zenny, Shawn. I just wanted take the time to thank you for speaking the truth here. Short and very much to the point! To bad you were made to feel some guilt here and then bowing down to that. We all have our way to communicate, and at some level it is our `game or personalities we post through. Your post was ever bit as real and experiential as any others on this thread. Look forward to seeing you out >>>there! Be sure not to do the Zen-Sin by being to zenny.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  48. #48
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Case 21 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 22 - Ganto's bow and shout

    A good one for finishing the year here at Treeleaf, where many folks come and go.

    A student, with her own opinions and eye for appraisal, shows up at a Sangha and demands, "Is this place common or special? Is it what I think I want from the Zen I picture? Is it 'Real Zen' or fake Zen, and are the Teachers enlightened as I want 'enlightened' to look or be?"

    The Teacher demonstrates Dharma with a Shout ... perhaps a GREAT Wordless Teaching in that Shout or perhaps just a cliche clunker ... and the student bows down, uttering "You are so wonderful, Teacher!" Is the student correct in the appraisal, or even in a position to judge at such an early date? Or perhaps the gesture of bowing is insincere, mere flattery, with fingers crossed behind the back? Even if sincere, flattery is really not called for by any Teacher, especially if the "yes man" kind. Some few students might stay for years, finding value in the Practice there, illumination, a life ... and that is really the only thing needed by a Teacher. But, after a time, some students are disappointed and go away, thinking "there is no True Dharma here". That always breaks the Teacher's heart, who always wishes he could have done better.

    For what the Teacher, like an old friend, wants to help any Student find is This which is Common-Holy, Specially Unspecial, fulfilling all desires ... both with what is wanted and what is not. Can one know the Real that sweeps in and sweeps through 'real' or 'fake'? Can the Great Teaching be heard that shouts at the Unbreakable Heart of both the sparkling talks or thrilling moments and the dull or dumb, the Timeless both in the 'time well spent' and so-called 'waste of time'? Can one find that True Way from which there is no way to "go away"? Helping the student find so is the only "compliment" a Teacher requires.

    There are two kinds of Sangha or Teacher that, I feel, do a disservice to students. One is a place or person that is too lax, too careless, which fails to provide beneficial opportunities for Practice, or (in some fortunately very few cases) where real abuse and other bad acts occur. But, counter-intuitive as it may seem, a Sangha or Teacher which meets all the student's expectations, golden dreams, ideals and desires too would be a disservice (not to mention unlikely to ever truly appear, at least over the long haul when the rose colored honeymoon is done). Why? Because as with all of this life, all this world, one must come to see through personal judgments of both "sacred" and "ordinary", good and bad, flashy or dull, entertaining or painful, satisfying and disatisfying, true vs. fake ... thus to find a Truth beyond selfish expectations, disappointments, dreams, ideals and failings to meet a mark, thus to find the Mark Always Met. The best Teacher or Community, as strange as it sounds, may be one that ... like the universe ... sometimes inspires and sometimes frustrates, sometimes energizes and sometimes bores, sometimes astounds and sometimes leaves cold ... all so that one might find Astounding Energetic Inspiration even right at the heart of the frustratingly, dully cold.

    Our Sangha is a wonderfully imperfect place. Our Teachers here are well-meaning but mediocre clods and fools. No flattery is needed (sincere or insincere ... although anyone appreciates a sincere, kind encouraging word, even Zen Teachers), no criticism welcomed (except the constructive kind to let us do things better). This Place, This Dharma, This Buddha, sits beyond all human weighing and rating.

    - Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.

    - I wonder if this presentation of Koan 22 is a "keeper" or a "clunker". Did I do a good job?


    Thank you Jundo. This is my first read of your opening to this koan and felt it was one of your best. Short and to the point of trying to find the middle ground. Sometimes you can be rather long with these and seemingly cumbersome. For me, it again touched on my idealistic personality, which you have insinuated in the past, and may be my toughest lesson. It touches close to home with me personally, as it is used on-self the hardest.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  49. #49
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Hi Kojip..... hopefully our little disrupt served a lesson for all; you, me and those who were made to feel discomfort by peering in. Sometimes its more about how we react then the actual act itself. Is not this also about practice, life? It has served me well, with all respect and gratitude, it is time to let go and I thank you for that!


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    So, since we simply sit in/as/through-and-through What Is, how can such fail to be Truth?

    Gassho, J (having a little fun)
    This is a fun case Thanks for spinning my head around!

    Reading this reminds me of math. Specifically the debates around the turn of the 19th century where everyone was obsessed with finding a system that encompassed absolute mathematical truth—given the right starting truths (axioms), they said, we could generate all true mathematical statements. Greatly simplified, it turns out that this is impossible to do. However, studying math or logic even today feels like being asked to categorize every snowflake as beautiful or ugly, or with any other arbitrary dualistic distinction. This is as if Ganto goes to every teacher and categorizes their Dharma as ordinary or holy.

    In math and science we like to know what’s true and what isn’t. Separating the wheat from the chaff. In proving a theorem (true statement) you also carve out falsehoods. But these falsehoods are not, not real or meaningless. They are locked in a dance with the truths. They can’t exist separately. One implies the other. They are both Truth.

    We get so obsessed with dividing what is from what isn’t we forget that what isn’t is, and what is, isn’t.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cBOyx1sNIc...ssellation.jpg


    What does it mean for something to not be true?

    Gassho,
    -Jeff

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