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Thread: The Dharma is utterly useless

  1. #1

    The Dharma is utterly useless

    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
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Taigu, thank you for this teaching
    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.

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Teacher,
    So lucky to have you still with us. Thank you for your teachings.
    Gassho
    Myozan

    "Often people ask me how many years they have to practice zazen before it shows results. Zazen has no results. You won’t get anything at all out of zazen."
    Last edited by Myozan Kodo; 02-27-2013 at 12:47 PM.
    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."

  4. #4
    Hello Taigu,

    thank you for this teaching. If people want something useful, they should get themselves a Leatherman multi-tool

    Zen is a boring way to spend one's life, if one still wants to achieve something in particular. Better to go dancing until one's shoes bleed.


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  5. #5
    Yes, very thankful for your teachings Taigu.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

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

  6. #6
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Thank you for this teaching Taigu.

    Gassho
    Matt

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Thank you Taigu. So good to see you back.

    Gassho.
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  8. #8
    “Letting the space open the space.” More and more (or, what a lie, more like: sometimes) when I sit, this is it, an opening. I like to call it in my self-important way a blossoming. And it is equally me opening and the world opening, blossoming, both blossoming at once, no separation. Sitting is sitting; sitting is opening into sitting. Opening is opening, blossoming is just being openly open, always open, but often forgotten. Blossoming into just sitting. Just sitting.

    But the above is just my bullshit (as long as we’re cursing). Most of the time I’m a useless dog chasing his tail.

    Thank you for the talk.

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  9. #9
    Good to see you Taigu

    Gassho
    Kia

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kent's Avatar
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    Taigu, thank you for the invitation.


    Gassho

    Kent

  11. #11
    Senior Member Daisho's Avatar
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    Thank the lord I had no expectations when I got into this!!!!!!!!!! And whether or not zazen prepared you for the tumble down 40 stairs, Taigu, I'm glad you turned yourself into rubber for the ride.

    Gassho,

    Daisho


    (Jack K.)

  12. #12
    The rubber realy met the road the hard way! There must be a poem in there somewhere. I wonder what Ryokan would have sayd about that heh?( forgive me, can't help myself now I know you are allright). You sayd when you wen't down your mind was very composed. Can you, if you don't mind, elaborate on that?

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  13. #13
    Not much to say... Much to my surprise as I lost balance I felt suspended in the air, time froze, and I remember thinking with all these stairs ahead : " how not to die here? " no panic , just a quiet question to which my mind answered: " turn your body into rubber, relax" I also thought in English before hitting the first stair: " just enjoy the ride!". Ad I went down, totally relaxed, my mind was focused on my body bouncing down in complete acceptance.

    Nothing extraordinary in there, similar experiences can be made by everybody in those circomstances. What felt unsual was the level of acceptation and gratitude I felt in the hospital when the surgeon was busy stitching up my open wound. Almost no pain. A joyous moment. Jocking away with the bloke snd the lovely nurses but not out of being nervous at all. Just feeling great and...alive!

    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.

  14. #14
    I See. Dharma is useless, you just stopped and gave it up and everything ended well. I think thats wondrous!

    Pondering on the teaching this came to mind:

    Dharma is easy.
    Experiance going down the stairs
    One, two, three...



    Enough fooling arrond about this on my part. I am very gratefull you are OK. I feel knowing you well from watching all those teachings you post online and I can make a joke or two about this poentialy serious event. Hope you don't mind?

    Thanks for the lesson

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  15. #15
    ... Much to my surprise as I lost balance I felt suspended in the air, time froze, and I remember thinking with all these stairs ahead : " how not to die here? " no panic , just a quiet question to which my mind answered: " turn your body into rubber, relax" I also thought in English before hitting the first stair: " just enjoy the ride!". Ad I went down, totally relaxed, my mind was focused on my body bouncing down in complete acceptance.
    Taigu, your description of your falling reminds me of my aikido practice where we're being taught to relax and try to be soft when falling and accept falling naturally as it comes so the landing wont hurt much or at all...just another resemblance between aikido and shikantaza and maybe of some everyday practical use since Dharma is utterly useless

    Gassho, Memo

  16. #16
    Thank you Taigu!!


    Gassho.

    Gene

  17. #17
    Sharing that is intimate. Thank you.
    In gassho.
    "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






  18. #18
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    I have tried to reply to this invitation on several threads but have cancelled each attempt. All I want to say ends up as a silent shout of YES!! Not a lions roar but a chicken's squawk and no egg!
    Gassho.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  19. #19
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    I'm happy to see you again and well, Taigu.

    Thank you for this teaching.

    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

  20. #20
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I was thinking about this video on my way to work this morning. Thank you.

    Gassho
    迎 Geika

  21. #21
    Good to see you Taigu and thank you very much,
    _()_
    Myoku

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Wonderfully useless, and I wouldn't want it any other way.
    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

  23. #23
    Thank you Taigu. I'm glad you are getting better.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  24. #24
    In gratitude

    Gassho

    David

  25. #25
    Thanks a lot for this video, Taigu!

    When I say to someone that this practice is useless, I often get the common follow-up question "Then why do you practice?"
    I used to answer that I practice in order to practice, but today I explain that for me sitting is the most honest thing you can do:
    If people watch TV they do so to be entertained.
    If people gamble they want to have excitement.
    If you sit (Zazen), however, you just sit. You just are. There is just pure being. No addition at all. And nothing needs to be added - because it's the most honest thing you can('t) do.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  26. #26
    Thank you Taigu - glad to see you back on form



    Willow

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    ...If people watch TV they do so to be entertained.
    If people gamble they want to have excitement.
    If you sit (Zazen), however, you just sit. You just are. There is just pure being. No addition at all. And nothing needs to be added - because it's the most honest thing you can('t) do.
    I like this Timo,
    I also think that while practice is useless, it is not without effect, which is quite a difference. I understand it so that its useless in respect of - exactly as you say - all worldly entertainment, distractions, personal targets including spiritual aims ("I want enlightment") etc.
    _()_
    Myoku

  28. #28
    Thank you Taigu for this teaching.

    Gassho,

    Dokan

    PS - Up on podcast. Or on iTunes.
    Last edited by Dokan; 03-09-2013 at 12:03 PM.
    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
    ~Anas Nin

  29. #29
    Senior Member Seizan's Avatar
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    Thank you, Taigu.

    Gassho

  30. #30
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Nice teaching Taigu, although I'm a little bummed that the Dharma won't keep me from getting sick!
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  31. #31
    This was a useless talk and the teaching i was needing right now!

    Thanks so v much taigu and pleased to c u r better

    Gassho

  32. #32
    Thank you, Taigu. A very good reminder.

    Gassho
    Andy

  33. #33
    Thank you for this teaching, Taigu.
    The Dharma is precious, because it is useless... like everything else we do.
    Life is utterly useless!

    Gassho
    Shinka
    Last edited by Marla567; 04-04-2013 at 08:20 AM.

  34. #34
    I was listening to a podcast by Okamura Roshi today & it struck a chord with me with Taigu's talk. Okamura talks about when he was a child he wanted to be a 'good boy' but as a teenager he turned out to be a 'bad boy' a bit of a rebel, not doing what his parents wanted of him. It was only he found his teacher Uchiyama, who said zen is 'good for nothing' that he found his place.
    This experience kind of mirrors my own. I was known as a 'clever kid' passing scholarship and such. But in my teens I rebelled 'dropping out and tuning in' as the saying goes. This is also when my parents attitude changed towards me, referring to me as 'useless' & 'good for nothing. I didn't stay a rebel, at least not to external judgement. Eventually got an education and a career and a 'good job'. But I've never quite bought into these things - although my parents were placated - feeling more comfortable doing the 'useless, and the 'good for nothing'. And then I found zen, zazen and finally my teacher, and, like Okamura, I feel I've come home in not doing (tho' I wonder, if my parents were still alive, what they would make of it.

    Gassho

    David
    Last edited by Taikyo; 05-24-2013 at 07:32 PM.

  35. #35
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Two near-death: drowning at the bottom of a swimming pool (age 9) and driving a tractor through the rear wall of a dairy barn; falling 12 ft. (age 12).

    Blessed that perfect calm, even curiosity, prevailed. Hopefully most humans can experience and survive near-death to realize that, like a lot of Supreme things: it's nothing special.

    Gassho,
    Edward

  36. #36
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Thank you, Edward.
    迎 Geika

  37. #37
    dont make any sense human beings do nothing without reward or results. even the result of emptiness would be a result.. or needing to be enlightened.. this statement to me is nonsense.. why do anything if you dont see results.. you wouldnt do it.. results are one with Spirit.. *to me*

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Marj Spiritdragon View Post
    dont make any sense human beings do nothing without reward or results. even the result of emptiness would be a result.. or needing to be enlightened.. this statement to me is nonsense.. why do anything if you dont see results.. you wouldnt do it.. results are one with Spirit.. *to me*
    Hi Marj,

    Does the moon do its shining for results? To be a "better moon"? Does the mountain do its "mountaining" to be the greatest mountain?

    We human beings are achievers, and have done great things ... gone to the moon ... climbed mountains ... and built great civilizations because we are go driven and seek results. That is wonderful and what makes us human.

    But at the same time, can we know how to be as round as the moon just shining, and as solid as the mountain just resting? There is a Wholeness and Completeness in just shining as simply as the moon, sitting as solid as a mountain, all goals and thoughts of achievement, all judgments and mental weighing dropped away.

    And then perhaps "Enlightenment" may be knowing how to work for goals with all goals dropped away as one, climbing the mountain up up up yet with each step a total arrival and "no place in need of going".

    If this does not yet make sense to you, please watch our little "We're All Always Beginners" talks ... especially these on how we run races ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...s-%28Part-V%29

    ... and climb mountains around here ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-%28Part-IV%29

    Anyway, please have the goal of watching all those talks anyway, whether it makes sense yet or not!

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - This is a just brilliant talk above by Taigu, not to be missed.
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-07-2014 at 03:19 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Marj Spiritdragon View Post
    dont make any sense human beings do nothing without reward or results. even the result of emptiness would be a result.. or needing to be enlightened.. this statement to me is nonsense.. why do anything if you dont see results.. you wouldnt do it.. results are one with Spirit.. *to me*
    Hello Marj,
    thank you for this, I sometimes wonder about this as well. However, I believe if we look closer, results are happening anyway, if we do or not. Result is just life going on. Only in our analyzing mind we put things into some relation, like: If I do zazen I become calm, in example. To me, due to the law of karma, everything we do or not do has results. What I believe is the point, is that we might want to control, something like: if I do zazen, I MUST become calm. I believe its human to have a wish to control, but in my experience, the more we want to control, the more we expect a certain result, the more pain we gain overall. Hope this makes some sense.
    Gassho
    Myoku

  40. #40
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    thank you for this Taigu
    Gassho
    Clark

  41. #41
    Plans and goals and results are made in the abstract, reality is just action to preserve life. If you don't like the results of your life would your body stop breathing?😊

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  42. #42
    Taigu, thanks. Always enjoy your talks.

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

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