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Thread: Book of Equanimity Case 25

  1. #1
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Book of Equanimity Case 25

    How could we discuss
    This and that
    Without knowing
    The whole world is
    reflected In a single pearl



    This verse from Ryokan and translated by Kaz Tanahashi provides the best way to enter this case.

    The teacher or if you prefer, life itself, always asks us to present, display, show our realization- being rather than talk about it.

    When Enkan asks his student to fetch the Rhinoceros- horn fan, he is asking for the instantaneous presentation of the field of realization- being. The attendant displays humbly his inadequacy, his lack of ability, the fan, it as well as he ...are broken. Then, Enkan leaps further, asking for the real thing, the rhinoceros itself.

    Here the attendant is totally fooled by his own idea of the Dharma..."I have to display the real thing, I as a person, should be able to get that and present it to the teacher." What Ensan is teaching is so profound and radical, he is implying that no matter who you are, how inadequate you are, the real thing can still be displayed. Even better, a broken fan is the way to manifest the real thing. How come?

    In a famous chapter of Shobogenzo, only a Buddha and a Buddha, Dogen starts saying: "Buddha Dharma cannot be known by a person" please, read this chapter and you will understand that only birds can read the traces of birds, that to follow the way, the person has to disappear, the fan has to be thrown away. It is very much like in my pet- poem from Li Po:


    The birds have vanished into the sky,
    and now the last cloud drains away.

    We sit together, the mountain and me,
    until only the mountain remains.


    This is the real meaning of the appreciatory verse, the ox within the moon- circle is prior to everything else. Please read the Ten Oxherding pictures, or listen to my stupid talks:

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...08-8th-picture


    How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?

    Thank you for your patience

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-10-2013 at 02:03 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.

  2. #2
    And thank you for these teachings Taigu.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post


    How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?

    Thank you for your patience

    Gassho


    Taigu
    I am not my story. I am not the self that I tell myself that I am. I am not the sum of my career, marriage status, number of children, etc. Only change is unchanging, I think. Any idea of myself is not fixed and not me. Without me there is no person to throw anything away.


    "To study the self is to forget the self."


    I study myself best when I don't study myself, when there is nothing to study, during Zazen.


    Something like that.


    Gassho,


    John

  4. #4
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    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

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post

    How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?
    I really love Ryokan; the simplicity of his poetry is so elegant. I have to read it over and over, and I always get something new. Such a free spirit.

    I think to throw away the fan, you have to not try to throw away the fan. As Shishin talks about Zen. We are there not to cover up our flaws or try to become like some perfect vulcan, robot practitioner. If we come to zen with those expectations, we are just running from ourselves and grasping at new forms of bullshit in the form of a fantastical, elevated spiritual practice.

    Zazen is about paying attention to who we are...all those thoughts, and fears and highs and lows and good and bad emotions that swirl around in us.. to face those things, to truly embrace ourselves, to learn about ourselves. And by doing that and allowing those emotions and thoughts to play out without being played by them, they will eventually fade out by themselves. And then there is a spaciousness that appears. I feel it from time to time during zazen.

    Trying to drop the fan would by like trying to put out a fire by fanning the flames.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  6. #6
    Ultimately there is no fan, no head, hand and nothing to throw. We know that, have heard this. But echoing it is just being a parrot, talking about it just letting the entertainer appear. The mind is the entertainer. I would put it this way: To truly throw away the fan is to drop thinking, just sitting, just being in this moment, and this, this, this. But maybe thats just another appearance of the entertainer.
    Gassho
    Myoku

  7. #7
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?
    Throwing away the fan is 'when the myriad dharmas actively practice and experience ourselves'. We are practised in our practising, living is lived in through our living. I don't show up!
    The whole world is reflected
    In a single pearl

    Thank you Taigu. Gassho.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    You don't throw away the fan. The fan throws away you.


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

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  9. #9
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Great answers here, wise elephants in the Dharma hall !

    Palm to palm

    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.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?
    When the body and mind drops away the fan, the pearl and the rhinoceros are found!
    Gassho,
    Andy

  11. #11
    How can you lose something you've actually never had?
    Breathe out.
    no thing needs to be added

  12. #12
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    I am the fan.
    I am broken.
    To throw me away is to let go...
    Of me
    Of the fan
    Of brokenness
    Of everything...
    All the way down,
    And then go back to the marketplace.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    That's great Al. It seemed to flow out of a song that is playing on my PC...You have the world in your arms (Idlewild).
    Heisoku
    平 息

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    to follow the way, the person has to disappear, the fan has to be thrown away.
    Maybe to follow the way, the person has to let down the guard, show himself openly, all faults exposed, broken pieces shown to the world, without fear.
    Maybe to follow the way, the person has to forgive himself, accept that the fan may forever be broken, find the beauty in a broken fan.
    Maybe to follow the way, the person has to learn to trust the way, have faith that there is something whole shining through all the broken pieces.
    Maybe when the brokenness of the fan is fully accepted, the person gives up trying to throw it away. And instantly disappears, fanned away by grace.
    No more way to follow. No need for a way. Already home. Always whole.
    Maybe to follow the way, the person has to reappear, mindful of who he is, confident in who he is, not knowing who he is.

    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

  15. #15
    Sun rising from ocean
    Noisy fan for music
    Home at last.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Still sitting in the ice cave, off to read Shobogenzo.

    Gassho.

  17. #17
    How do we throw away the fan? Not anything to throw away except the need to throw something away. Some sorrow is blue sky. Listen to my eyes. No me and you, so let's sit here together.
    Shōmon

  18. #18
    Why the need to fetch what's already here?



    Gassho, Kaishin
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  19. #19
    We sit together, the mountain and me,
    until only the mountain remains.

    A million tons,
    yet weightless

    Gassho, Daizan
    大山

  20. #20
    The teacher or if you prefer, life itself, always asks us to present, display, show our realization- being rather than talk about it.
    My understanding of Enkan's Rhinoceros Koan is absolutely broken. Nothing left to fetch.

    Thank you for urging me with your teaching.

    Gassho,
    Santosh.

  21. #21
    The nature of fan is the nature of wind.
    The nature of wind is the nature of air.
    Air covers the world, fan is gone.
    Have a cup of tea.
    "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






  22. #22
    Senior Member Matt's Avatar
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    'How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?'

    Thank you for this question, and for the responses in this thread. I would echo some others re the dropping away thing. But know that the echoing is not the dropping away.

    Gassho,
    Matt

  23. #23
    There is a broken fan before me.
    Yet it is not broken, only my mind is broken.
    No mind, no fan. Empty.
    ...
    Drinking tea by the ocean.
    There is a broken fan before me.

  24. #24
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Some insightful posts here.

    Taigu... some confusion on my part. In your saying that the attendant (student) in showing his lack of ability, inadequacy and/or being totally fooled, does not seem to be Wicks take on this Main Case. He says the attendant was no slouch (page 79, third paragraph), by him stating that the horn is broken... ie, it wasn't broken till he brought it up and started talking about it, but that broke It; now its broken.

    Does that not also point to the question in the Preface... "Where is the fault?" (any attachment to pain or pleasure)


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  25. #25
    Thank you Jundo!
    Gassho.

  26. #26
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Hi Galen,

    Trying to put reality into words, the fan breaks. And yet, there s no other way. We have to say something.

    Take great care

    Gassho


    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.

  27. #27
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Hi Galen,

    Trying to put reality into words, the fan breaks. And yet, there s no other way. We have to say something.

    Take great care

    Gassho


    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.

  28. #28
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    How can something break when that something is the universe?

    Nothing to break. Nothing to throw away.

    Just the universe and all that is empty.

    Vacuum.

    Thank you for this teaching.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    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

  29. #29
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Hi Galen,

    Trying to put reality into words, the fan breaks. And yet, there s no other way. We have to say something.

    Take great care

    Gassho


    Taigu


    Well `said, Taigu.

    And sometimes both sides of the same coin is the something.

    Thank you for your patience.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  30. #30
    Untouched perfection
    Words placed aside
    Allowing the radiance
    Of reality
    In a single pearl
    Gassho, Shogen

  31. #31
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    the fragment is broken,
    broken from the Whole-
    and yet the Whole remains intact,
    as can be seen by its entire reflection
    in each fragment.

    gassho,
    -O
    Last edited by Oheso; 03-09-2013 at 12:50 AM.
    only saps buy vowels

  32. #32
    Hey O. your poem is very butifull! It realy inspired me.
    What do you think about it, if we do this:

    There is no fragment to be broken
    there is no whole to be broken off
    What then could break the Whole?
    Since there is nothing to reflect on
    where does the light we see come from?

    Enkyo

  33. #33
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    very nice Enkyo! my Hui Neng!
    Last edited by Oheso; 03-11-2013 at 04:54 AM.
    only saps buy vowels

  34. #34
    Exactly! I just could not resist! Are you going to chase me into the mountains now? Maybe you cán pick up the robe and bowl?

    By the way, I never realy grasped why Hui Neng had to run away? Must have been quite the monastic snakepit then!


    Delighted

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  35. #35
    He ran away because the other monks were jealous that he received Dharma transmission. The senior monastic expected to get transmission and be the next teacher. The teacher held a competition about who could express the dharma best. The senior monk wrote his poem. No other monastics even attempted to compete because they accepted him as their next teacher. In swoops Hui Neng, he writes an even better poem, and he receives the seal. This really pissed off the other monks who regarded him as some illiterate guy just working the grindstone everyday. Anyway I'm paraphrasing quite a bit, but he had to take transmission in secret and get the hell out of dodge basically.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  36. #36
    Not what I meant Risho, but thank you . I’m familiar with the story. What I don't understand is why even the 5th Patriarch could not prevent all of this from happening? In the Sutra of Hui Neng we can see he wasn't even a monk, but a low lay servant at the time and had to have contact with the Master in secret. Also that the senior monk got very nervous because all other monks there expected him to deliver big time. In the end a five star general tuned monk caught up with Hui neng in the mountains. Must have been one dangerous place, both for Masters and the unassuming.

    Some say the whole story never happened, but is meant as a metaphor and there is a lesson in there. What do you guys think?

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  37. #37
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Honestly I don't think it matters if it really happened, as long as the teaching shines through. We can never know if anything really happens can we? (sorry for sounding so "zenny")
    Gassho, Jakudo
    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

  38. #38
    I think it points to the danger of greed,anger and ignorance. In one's job, for instance, it can be easy to let ego get in the way. If someone else has an idea that is perceived or really is better, that can perhaps get us very angry. Or if you are passed up for a promotion, then you might get angry or even jealous that someone else got what you feel you deserved. And maybe you did deserve it, but is it worth all of the negativity that would come from exploding over it? The other monk, in this case, was passed up for a promotion that he expected. I guess in the end, it goes to illustrate how even "serene Zen practitioners" are human after all, and practice is ceaseless, as Dogen said. Greed, anger and ignorance are always there for us, reminding us of how important it is to practice.

    Those are just a couple of thoughts. Sorry Enkyo, I read the earlier post literally, so I provided a paraphrased story. hahahah

    Gassho,

    Risho

  39. #39
    No problem Risho! I kinda got that, yeah!

    As for the story, I think there probably are several good lessons in it. As I understand, even the great Dogen wrestled with the question why human “mischief” does not vanish or totally disappears after enlightenment? I quite agree it does not really matter if all of it happened or not.

    I just like to try and imagine what and how things really happened, because time tends to dip things in *&# (pardon my language ) or in gold Common sense sometimes gives a whole new perspective on things. Like the detail that the monk that made the initial poem, and was expected to become the new Master, never joined the posse that went after Hui Neng. Maybe the guy didn't want to be boss anyway? Makes ya wonder....

    Are you familiar with the Sutra of Hui Neng? If not, I really can recommend it, because the man was ( and still is) well known for his common language and straight, simple explanations. The guy was initially a woodcutter, a simple working guy, like the most of us but nevertheless became the 6th patriarch! His way of explaining is very different (still very profound and hard to grasp though) from the deep, intellectual and polished prose of Dogen Zenji. Maybe we should ask to put it on the reading list someday?
    Anyway, I just love to talk and exchange ideas about these more practical sort of Zen things with you guys and enjoy your input very much! Thanks m8 .

    Gassho
    Enkyo

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