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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 27

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 27

    Case 26 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 27: Hogen Points to the Blind

    Humans beings always think in terms of something gained and something lost. Roll up the blind, so light and openess is gained though shade and privacy is lost, up is gained while down is lost.

    Ask a physician to cure a disease, thus health is gained while sickness is lost. Time passes, so the present is gained while the past is lost. A leaf falls from a tree, so that its perch on the branch is lost but falling attained. Endless gain and loss.

    Yet, can we also encounter all life's circumstance, all gain and loss, as just as it is ... no mental calculations of gain and loss? Light is just light, shade simply shade ... each held in a Light which illuminates both light and dark. Same with up/down, sickness/health, life/death, past/present/future, holding on or falling.

    The monk who knows such "no gain no loss amid gain and loss" truly has gained Wisdom, which the other monk who knows but one or the other is lost in ignorance.

    Enlightenment is gained, and ignorance is lost ... a loss and gain by seeing through "loss and gain"!

    The Preamble states ...

    When doctors are numerous diagnosis is confused; when rules are set up trickery is born.

    Society presents a trillion opinions, diagnosis, standards and rules for what is win and lose, failure and success, hitting the mark and falling short. Many are necessary for society's smooth functioning, but can we see through all at the same time?

    The Verse states ...

    Pines are straight, briars are bent;
    Cranes are tall, ducks are short.


    We might say that the briar if straight or the pine if bent, the crane when short and the duck tall ... would be wrong. Same with each of us, missing or lacking something we wish we were or had ... fat skinny old young tall short rich poor.

    But should the pine be bent and the pine straight, the crane short and the duck tall ... would there truly be gain or loss? Each is just as it is.

    There is a Straight which holds both straight and crooked, a Measureless which contains both short and tall.

    QUESTIONS:

    - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?

    - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?


    - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

    Have you gained anything from this Koan, or just lost some time?

    Last edited by Jundo; 03-12-2013 at 12:16 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Had I not lost my hair I may not have gained the skin cancers. But, then my hair was never all that long that it covered my face and ears , so where did those cancers come from. Had I not gained the sun damage, I'd still look like I did at twenty?? If the cancers were gained ,where is the benefit? If the hair weren't lost, would I be contemplating leaving home to shave it?
    All events in one's life happened. As my father used to caution, "No need to cry over spilled milk." Accept what has happened and move on. If you don't, you'll probably miss the ten thousand miracles that are happening right now. One should be busy enough with what's happening now to be accounting for gains and losses;they exist but, do they?

    Thank you for this teaching

    gassho
    Last edited by Shokai; 03-12-2013 at 01:13 PM.
    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 Daido's Avatar
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    Interesting that this koan presents itself at this time

    - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?
    Due to a recent knee injury I have lost the ability to do zazen in a traditional way due to pain. I have being trying to still sit but my practice has fallen off a bit due to the pain I feel but there are other options (chair meditation) that I could take advantage of. The real issue may be my desire to keep sitting in the traditional way and my inability to do so comfortably has caused a little disconnect. This desire has made me feel a little bit like a prisoner as I have a strong connection to discipline and image projection. Thanks to the suggestions of a caring teacher I may be over the hurdle for this one.

    - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?
    I believe that there will be. In fact there already is even though I have not done zazen in a chair before I have written this.

    - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

    I believe that would feel like zazen.

    Gassho,

    Daido


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Daido View Post
    Interesting that this koan presents itself at this time

    - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?
    Due to a recent knee injury I have lost the ability to do zazen in a traditional way due to pain. I have being trying to still sit but my practice has fallen off a bit due to the pain I feel but there are other options (chair meditation) that I could take advantage of. The real issue may be my desire to keep sitting in the traditional way and my inability to do so comfortably has caused a little disconnect. This desire has made me feel a little bit like a prisoner as I have a strong connection to discipline and image projection. Thanks to the suggestions of a caring teacher I may be over the hurdle for this one.

    - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?
    I believe that there will be. In fact there already is even though I have not done zazen in a chair before I have written this.

    - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

    I believe that would feel like zazen.

    Gassho,

    Daido

    Yes, now sounds like you are ready for Zazen better than before.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Hi everybody,

    Here is my take on this case, offbeat as usual I fear :

    Hogen points to the blind and shouts, Attention!. He only points and calls for attention.

    Both monks immediately assume he wants them to take action and do something about the blind. They jump up like the good students that they are and quickly rol it up, trying to please the teacher and show their readiness to please and do what he wants. Thus gain or lose something. Hogen gets a bit cranky about their lack of insight and ironically comments "One gains , one loses" as in 'Oh well...... ill try this again some other time' i can see how he shakes his bald litle head and goes "tsssssskkk!"


    I wonder what Hogen would have said if one of the students would have answered: “If you think it’s that important, get up and do it yourself old man!” Like one would to a fellow student. No fear of gain or loss, just sincere and spontaneous as it should be.

    As for the questions dear friends, I will post the answers later on, if thats ok? ( Promise I will lol)

    Gassho

    Enkyo, Peter or orangepeal. Whatever you like to call me

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Enkyo View Post
    They jump up like the good students that they are and quickly rol it up, trying to please the teacher and show their readiness to please and do what he wants. Thus gain or lose something. Hogen gets a bit cranky about their lack of insight and ironically comments "One gains , one loses" as in 'Oh well...... ill try this again some other time' i can see how he shakes his bald litle head and goes "tsssssskkk!"
    Enkyo, Peter! Very Bad of you not to interpret the Koan as I do, so as to please me and do what I want. Your loss! Or maybe your gain!


    "tsssssskkk!" Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-13-2013 at 01:32 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    200px-Yin_and_Yang.svg.png
    When I read this Koan I thought a lot about the Yin-Yang Symbol (Taijitu) and its meanings.
    You cannot have the one without the other - winning and losing are not opposites, but different sides of the same coin.
    This symbol is in motion, it is in constant change. It expresses the saying "This too shall pass" - whether it is "good" or "bad".
    Yet both sides together form a whole, they belong to each other inseparably.

    In this way I have come to accept that it is natural to have at least some desires. Of course, I try not to be attached to my desires, but it is illusory to think I could lead a desireless life.
    How boring this would be!
    Likewise I need disappointments, so I can cherish good times more. (Good/Bad according to my subjective point of view)

    This symbol also embodies a dance, a circular motion, the wheel of samsara, the whole cosmic joke.
    We are all totally insignificant yet every life is sacred.
    What a tragedy life is, but what a hilarious ride.

    If I desire, I desire. As long as I recognize it as such, I can relax and let go - not necessarily the desire itself, but my attachment to it.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    You cannot have the one without the other - winning and losing are not opposites, but different sides of the same coin.
    This symbol is in motion, it is in constant change. It expresses the saying "This too shall pass" - whether it is "good" or "bad".
    Yet both sides together form a whole, they belong to each other inseparably.

    ...


    This symbol also embodies a dance, a circular motion, the wheel of samsara, the whole cosmic joke.
    Lovely. Laughing together at the whole cosmic joke!

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Greetings all,

    - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?

    Mine would be a lost. If i had a choice it would be to lose the notion of happy. Happiness is an idea that permiates every choice I've ever made in my life. But happiness is intangible, it can't be held or truly defined. Sure I can use it to label things which I perceive makes me "happy" but ultimately those things aren't happiness and thus ultimately cause unhappiness.

    - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?

    Absolutely.

    - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

    It is possible and Id have to say it would feel like when I sit zazen only quieter.

    Gassho,
    John
    Last edited by jgolds72; 03-13-2013 at 08:40 AM.

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Timo; thanks for sharing your interpretation of this hilarious ride.
    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.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Enkyo View Post

    I wonder what Hogen would have said if one of the students would have answered: “If you think it’s that important, get up and do it yourself old man!” Like one would to a fellow student. No fear of gain or loss, just sincere and spontaneous as it should be.

    Gassho

    Enkyo, Peter
    Hi Peter,

    I liked your take on the koan, but I don't think that "get up and do it yourself" remark escapes from gain or loss. I see a lot of arrogance and a someone who has a lot to "loose" if he just gets up and rolls up the blind.
    Gassho,
    Andy

  12. #12
    I experience relative freedom from gain and loss when things are not held tightly. Then the ups and downs are not extreme. I also experience relative bondage to gain and loss when things are held tightly. Then the ups and downs are more extreme. Relative freedom and relative bondage are a matter effort and maturing, doing and change. It is a work in process.

    I experience absolute freedom from gain and loss by gaining and losing, in both relative freedom and relative bondage. This can't be grown into, or gotten to. It reminds me of the wild fox koan (which really strikes home for some reason, not sure why). No escape from karma, no escape from gain and loss. Just self-same karma, self-same gain and loss.


    just blabbing, Gassho

    Daizan
    大山

  13. #13
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    are profit and loss like deck chairs?
    now warm in the sun, now cool in the shade -
    discerningly shuffled as the sea-day wears on
    and of no concern to navigation?
    Last edited by Oheso; 03-16-2013 at 12:19 AM.
    only saps buy vowels

  14. #14
    Like moving the deck chairs on a sinking ship?

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    are profit and loss like deck chairs?
    now warm in the sun, now cool in the shade -
    discerningly shuffled as the sea-day wears on
    and of no concern to navigation?
    Only within my comfort zone.


    Gassho, Daizan
    大山

  16. #16
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Like moving the deck chairs on a sinking ship?

    Gassho, J
    drowning, I think, Sensei

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=SgJxp...%3DSgJxpr_8eOY
    only saps buy vowels

  17. #17
    Iceberg? What iceberg? Oh, You mean that 'No-Iceberg' that just tore a hole the size of a skyscraper in the hull of our ship? It's not realy there you know.

    Enkyo

  18. #18
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    I was taught (in the context of art history) that as art has followed the arrow of time, each change came about by letting something go and grasping something new. like swinging from branch to branch in the jungle, or like trapeze acrobats, from one to the next. if one was to move (as life certainly seems to insist upon), -evolve, progress or even go retrograde, something had to be let go of in order to grasp something else, in order to move, as compelled by time. is this a correct way of thinking? shikantaza feels like a "dynamic stillness", setting in place some radical changes by letting go of delusion and grasping enlightenment, but also by stopping absolutely. is this related uji, time-being?


    I feel I grasp my desires pretty darn tightly (or vice-versa) and often at arm's-length, which usually means freezing in place, -dead in the water, so to speak. maybe loosening (loosing?) my grip a bit would make me happier. at least, like Hsiang-yen's hanging man, it would get me off this branch = artistic accomplishment, wisdom, spiritual contentment, etc.-

    I think a certain peace and freedom would almost certainly ensue.

    I think Daido is right - it would feel a lot like shikantaza.



    gassho,

    -Robert
    Last edited by Oheso; 03-15-2013 at 02:45 AM. Reason: nervousness
    only saps buy vowels

  19. #19
    Well - to regain my health would be amazing. But I hold this thought lightly because I have accepted that it's most unlikely to
    happen. I also accept that loss of health happens to everyone eventually so there's no point in being too attached to the notion
    of perfect health.

    Would re-gaining good health make me happier - more content. No - I don't think so. The way I see my situation is that the loss
    was also a gain. I've been blessed with the space to lead a contemplative life - I've been able to focus on my writing and I've discovered
    new creativity as an artist.

    I would add though - I can't make universal statements from whatever I'm learning/experiencing through Zen. I see people in tragic circumstances
    and would never want to counsel what constitutes loss/gain in another person's life.

    Gassho

    Willow

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Oheso View Post
    I was taught (in the context of art history) that as art has followed the arrow of time, each change came about by letting something go and grasping something new. like swinging from branch to branch in the jungle, or like trapeze acrobats, from one to the next. if one was to move (as life certainly seems to insist upon), -evolve, progress or even go retrograde, something had to be let go of in order to grasp something else, in order to move, as compelled by time. is this a correct way of thinking? shikantaza feels like a "dynamic stillness", setting in place some radical changes by letting go of delusion and grasping enlightenment, but also by stopping absolutely. is this like uji, time-being? .

    ...

    gassho,

    -Robert
    I believe that Zen allows us a "Buddha-Cake and Eat It Too" way of experiencing reality. I think that a good thing because I like to see progress in science and society (fixing some of the world's problems), in our personal lives (fixing where we can our personal problems, harmful habits and weaknesses), not to mention enjoying change and creativity in art ...

    ... while at the same instant, hand in hand, experiencing "no place in need of going, nothing to fix" ... a satisfaction of all hunger before that cake is even eaten! All At Once, As One. We can experience "dynamic stillness" as both "still movement" or "moving stillness". Life's creativity and fertility is also "nothing to change". Every single work of art is a universe unto itself, with no before or after.

    Even Buddhism has evolved through the centuries, not the same in many forms now as 500 years ago, nor both from 2500 years ago. Yet, the timeless at its heart is beyond all change and time.

    There is no change, nothing to fix ... yet, in the morning we roll the blinds up, in the evening roll them down.

    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post

    I see people in tragic circumstances and would never want to counsel what constitutes loss/gain in another person's life.

    Gassho

    Willow
    This is so. I have a friend in a wheelchair who counsels me that, once he got over the adjustment physically and emotionally, it opened new vistas to him and, in some ways, made his life better. For others, however, who might be in truly horrible situations, we cannot say that "everything in the world has a silver lining", because perhaps not everything does.

    As human beings and Buddhists, all we can do is keep trying to fix what we can of the world's problems, and accept what we cannot. That is grandmother's wisdom.

    But at the same time, as Buddhists, we have one more extra-ordinary lesson to convey: That there is a view encompassing yet fully transcending loss and gain, up or down, sitting or standing, anyone to suffer and anything to be suffered. Zazen sits and is sat in order to taste such.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-15-2013 at 08:18 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    doumo arigatou gozaimasu, Sensei
    only saps buy vowels

  22. #22
    These are excellent questions as gain and loss are experienced by us all, and rarely live up to expectations.

    This discussion to some extent mirrors one we are currently having on a chronic illness forum I am part of. One woman, unable to bear the thought of living without recovering her health made the decision to either get better or kill herself. A friend of hers challenged her, instead, to see if she could spend six months trying to live with the idea of happiness without recovery. As you can imagine, once she let go of the idea of gain and loss, she felt happier and, incidentally, her health improved too. Many of us there admitted to going through a similar process at some point. Even with the improved health, though, it was the acceptance that was generally viewed as the greatest breakthrough.

    This year I have experienced much loss through a relationship breakdown and worsening health. Through that there have also been gains. Is there a balance? No. Yet to throw one part away would be to toss the whole book into the fire.

    Gassho
    Andy

  23. #23
    Hello,
    The interpretation of Sishin Wick means a lot to me; I felt he wrote it just for me. Always trying to gain something here, always looking for applause on what I do. More or less. Also I cling a lot to health, which creates some trouble when you get older What would really make me happy would be to be free from needing anything to be happy. I guess that pretty much nails it, thank you everyone for contributing,
    Gassho
    Myoku

  24. #24
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    To borrow very loosely from physics (and elsewhere), gain/loss can neither be created nor destroyed, just shifted around like deck chairs on a sailing (not sinking) ship. Thanks to my practice, I find the more I lose the more I gain. The unexpectedness of it all, those ever new deck chair arrangements as life sails on into ever new waters, is what keeps me going. The change in scenery is neither gain nor loss; it is just life.
    AL (Jigen) in:
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  25. #25
    - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?

    Well 2 things came to mind, neither one was too serious: 1. my hair: I lost it in my mid-twenties, and 2. our cable went out today. In both cases, I haven't clutched either one. I have to admit I do care more about the cable than my hair Also, another is youth i guess related to my hair in a way. Last night at dinner, a bunch of teens were celebrating a birthday, and for a moment I felt a little nag of youth lost in my life. I remembered that time in my life fondly. but then I remembered how much I love my life now as well. It's funny though how thoughts can lead to that desire and grasping.

    I think I mostly grasp at outcomes.. for example, if tasks on the weekend don't go as smoothly as I'd like; I did my taxes today, and I hate doing taxes. Well I hate doing my taxes when I let the thought of not wanting to do them take control. But by dropping that, it turned out to be fun. Another big one is in traffic when someone is driving too slow or cuts me off. I catch myself in these situations and just let the thoughts drop away. I try to remain patient. Or at work, when programming is not working out as well as I want it. Again, opening to that, and finding out why is actually a big source of fun.

    - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?
    There is a big feeling of relief that comes with just dropping the wants. It allows you to just live and adjust with what's actually happening. Grasping at things, specific outcomes or trying to hold onto the past makes me feel like the life is being choked out of me. The wonder of life is the change. It's actually pretty awesome that I'm different now than I was before, from my teens. That's a miracle, that change, that growth.

    - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like? yes it's absolutely possible. I've felt it at times and it's wonderful. It feels like being a child in some ways.. wondrous and curious at what will happen in life without worrying if something doesn't happen exactly to plan. Nothing ever happens exactly as planned.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Last edited by Risho; 03-17-2013 at 05:35 PM.

  26. #26
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Is there really such a thing as gain or loss, ultimately? What is there to gain, and what is there to lose, relatively?

    Balancing seems to be in seeking, when what is there to seek?


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    Is there really such a thing as gain or loss, ultimately? What is there to gain, and what is there to lose, relatively?

    Balancing seems to be in seeking, when what is there to seek?


    Gassho
    Ultimately, nothing to gain or lose perhaps ... but so much to gain and lose. On this Buddhist Path, we gain so much, and can lose so much by wrong choices.

    Nothing to seek perhaps ... but so much to find.

    I posted an old "Sisyphus" essay on another thread today, and it might work here too. Don't slip and get rolled over! Anyway, nothing to lose by posting it again.
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...?7902-Sisyphus

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #28
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    QUESTIONS:

    - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?

    - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?


    - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

    Since it's Monday, I would like to lose so much time at work and so little time at home. I feel I am missing "something". And yet, sometimes when I am home, I am thinking of work. Sometimes I am a prisoner, sometimes I am not. On good days, wherever I am, I remember to just be there. On bad days...



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

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  29. #29
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Like most people, I suspect, I read this koan as opening the blind to light equals in some way enlightenment, and, conversely, the dark is representative of delusion. But my bedtime reading these days is Zen Questions these days, and last night Leighton reminded me that Uchiyama said that gain is delusion and loss is enlightenment. Ah, the light bulb above my head went dark on that, by which I mean I turned off the light and went to bed.
    AL (Jigen) in:
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    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  30. #30
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karasu View Post
    These are excellent questions as gain and loss are experienced by us all, and rarely live up to expectations.

    This discussion to some extent mirrors one we are currently having on a chronic illness forum I am part of. One woman, unable to bear the thought of living without recovering her health made the decision to either get better or kill herself. A friend of hers challenged her, instead, to see if she could spend six months trying to live with the idea of happiness without recovery. As you can imagine, once she let go of the idea of gain and loss, she felt happier and, incidentally, her health improved too. Many of us there admitted to going through a similar process at some point. Even with the improved health, though, it was the acceptance that was generally viewed as the greatest breakthrough.

    This year I have experienced much loss through a relationship breakdown and worsening health. Through that there have also been gains. Is there a balance? No. Yet to throw one part away would be to toss the whole book into the fire.

    Gassho
    Andy


    Sorry for your worsening health, Andy.

    The nice piece you shared about this ill women seems to show a balance can be found, no matter how dire it seems. Seemingly, its the clinging and attachment that keeps us unbalanced.


    Gassho
    Last edited by galen; 03-20-2013 at 02:51 PM.
    Nothing Special

  31. #31
    Thank you, Galen. Yes, balance can be found no matter how dire. Chogyam Trungpa said 'the present moment is always workable'.
    Gain and loss are only there through comparison with the past. In the present moment, there is no such thing.

    That said, understanding it is easy, living it quite a different matter!

    Andy

  32. #32
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    So true.

    Living It, is the matter at hand. It seems we have a choice; to concentrate `in the biggest mind we can fathom or fall to victimhood. It has been said... 'mind is host, body is guest'. Being a good host to the vehicle carrying us through this life, seems to be what matters most, even when the transporter is showing signs of weakness.

    My best, Andy.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  33. #33
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    So much gain and loss in life leads us to where we are. Analysing what to lose or gain now only distracts us from how we are living at the moment. We could all do with gaining some money and losing poor health, but isn't that just an academic exercise? What comes just arrives and what leaves just goes. We have to accept each karmic moment, it's what our practice teaches us in each sit.
    Sitting beyond the karmic moment, well that's something else but not elsewhere.
    Last edited by Heisoku; 03-24-2013 at 10:59 AM.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  34. #34
    - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?
    We're trying to build our schedule around our toddler. I'm sure there are parents out there who've had nights where the kids just won't go to sleep. I've been trying too hard to stick to a schedule and now I'm a prisoner to the effort. I clutch at the schedule as I'd like to get an early start and I believe I've linked many ideas with getting an early start. For instance, I like to get to Zazen first thing in the morning in getting ready to take on the day.

    - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?
    The moment the thought 'schedule' crosses my mind, I'm filled with images of how I got a late start, essentials got pushed around, or disorganized. If I were to drop the need to investigate and justify past failures, I'd be a lot lighter. Free to get up and go with the time as it were.

    - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

    That'd feel like I'd be ready to work at it refreshed. Ready to ask for help if I can get it. Ready to work at it now that I know it'll take a little longer to get there.



    Gassho,
    Santosh.
    Last edited by santosh; 04-01-2013 at 09:12 AM.

  35. #35
    What could I lose...oh about 30lbs would be nice, and THEN I'd finally be happy right!? Silly, I know this, but mental conditioning is hard to change. Working on accepting myself and life as-it-is, even as I work to improve my health and fitness. I put a little note on my bathroom mirror that I repeat aloud whenever I enter. It says, "I accept myself, unconditionally, RIGHT NOW." Slowly it is sinking in.
    Gassho, Kaishin
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    What could I lose...oh about 30lbs would be nice, and THEN I'd finally be happy right!? Silly, I know this, but mental conditioning is hard to change. Working on accepting myself and life as-it-is, even as I work to improve my health and fitness. I put a little note on my bathroom mirror that I repeat aloud whenever I enter. It says, "I accept myself, unconditionally, RIGHT NOW." Slowly it is sinking in.
    Gassho, Kaishin
    I also believe in the power of positive thinking, Norman Vincent Peale ... it really is powerful! I encourage this, try to practice this too. When I was a kid (even now quite often) my head often fills with pessimistic views of life and my self worth. I try to replace those thoughts when possible with more balanced, objective, positive, optimistic, accepting appraisals. (Sometimes the negative appraisals are right though! )

    Our Shikantaza way goes a bit further though. It is the "Power of Non-Thinking"! Dropping all thought of gain or lack, anything to change ... anything that can be changed ... dropping all thought of anything or anyone in fact! What remains is a very complete and content "Things Just As They Is", something that is a kind of subtly Positive which holds and contains within all little positives and negatives and neutrals of this world.

    Then, living in this world of gain and lack, things to change, place to go and people in need of seeing, beautiful and ugly ... we find that the whole catastrophe too is "Not Two". We can work to make things better ... sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing ... all while there is nothing ever in need of doing! All At Once, As One.

    That's Norman Vincent Buddha!

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-08-2013 at 03:45 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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