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Thread: The mind itself is buddha

  1. #1

    The mind itself is buddha

    "The Mind Itself is Buddha" is a chapter on Shobogenzo.

    Does Dogen mean mind and body are one and not two? Body dies and mind/spirit are not reincarnated into a new body? If so, what about Karma? Where is the cause effect relationship transmitted to? If nothing is permanent, where Karma fit in? There is nothing for Karma to be transmitted to. Confusing. I am just a dummy. Thoughts anyone?

    Gassho, John

  2. #2
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    Rene Descartes postulated that the mind and body were separate entities, a school of thought which became known as dualism. Over time, the dualists were challenged bythe materialists, who argued that the mind was a part of the body. In 1949, British philosopher Gilbert Ryle scored a victory for the materialists when he ridiculed the dualist theory as "ghost in the machine" (which later became the title of an album by the band the Police).


    I'm rambling here, but this is what your question reminded me of. My two cents? Mind is Buddha. Body is Buddha. Mindbody is Buddha.


    Gassho

    William

  3. #3
    I guess my question is regarding Karma. Effect=cause=effect=cause=all one, not two, all one and two at once, etc. Where does cause and effect of Karma play into all of this? Be good (or bad) in each cycle of birth and death until Nirvana? Where is is the good or bad of Karma posited if there is no self abiding self, just emptiness? Just a dummy asking.

    Gassho, John

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    I guess my question is regarding Karma. Effect=cause=effect=cause=all one, not two, all one and two at once, etc. Where does cause and effect of Karma play into all of this? Be good (or bad) in each cycle of birth and death until Nirvana? Where is is the good or bad of Karma posited if there is no self abiding self, just emptiness? Just a dummy asking.

    Gassho, John
    Uh, I think you're conflating universal and relative perspectives here. Karma is universal law, but only for the relative or little self. When Buddha became Buddha, it is my understanding he broke his karmic chain (or saw through it or was no longer subject to it or whatever). So, on the one hand (relatively), there is karma which we are subject to, and on the other hand (universal no-self), we are free from karma. On the one hand, we live in samsara, on the other hand, we are already in nirvana. So, again, the question seems to be conflating universal and relative stuff.

    More directly though: we carry our Karma b/c we haven't let go of it. In other words, we carry our Karma b/c we believe it is our Karma, our stuff, it is actually our Self. Also, just as a body scars when a knife cuts deeply enough, the mind also scars and tracks are driven when we repeatedly get angry, greedy, etc.

    I don't know. It's a tough question, but just look at your life. For me, my own habits are clearly the result of obvious cause and effect type stuff.

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by alan.r View Post
    Uh, I think you're conflating universal and relative perspectives here. Karma is universal law, but only for the relative or little self. When Buddha became Buddha, it is my understanding he broke his karmic chain (or saw through it or was no longer subject to it or whatever). So, on the one hand (relatively), there is karma which we are subject to, and on the other hand (universal no-self), we are free from karma. On the one hand, we live in samsara, on the other hand, we are already in nirvana. So, again, the question seems to be conflating universal and relative stuff.

    More directly though: we carry our Karma b/c we haven't let go of it. In other words, we carry our Karma b/c we believe it is our Karma, our stuff, it is actually our Self. Also, just as a body scars when a knife cuts deeply enough, the mind also scars and tracks are driven when we repeatedly get angry, greedy, etc.

    I don't know. It's a tough question, but just look at your life. For me, my own habits are clearly the result of obvious cause and effect type stuff.

    Gassho
    Thanks for your imput. Just started to study a little more about Dogen and Buddhism. Hope to get it right-wrong one day.

    Gassho, John

  6. #6
    Hi John,

    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    "The Mind Itself is Buddha" is a chapter on Shobogenzo.

    Does Dogen mean mind and body are one and not two? Body dies and mind/spirit are not reincarnated into a new body? If so, what about Karma? Where is the cause effect relationship transmitted to? If nothing is permanent, where Karma fit in? There is nothing for Karma to be transmitted to. Confusing. I am just a dummy. Thoughts anyone?

    Just a few thoughts, (Jundo or Taigu will be better suited to answer) the following is just my interpretation of Zen/Buddhism:

    There is no self, just synapses firing and thus creating thoughts. The thoughts create the illusion of an "I". There is just oneness/wholeness.
    Like your right hand and your left foot - they are different, but they are not separate, they are just parts of a whole thing.

    Furthermore, we must distinguish between rebirth and reincarnation. IMHO we are not reborn as another sentient being - after all there is no "I" that can be reborn.
    However, reincarnation is like using a burning candle to light up another candle. Is the flame of the new candle the same of the first candle or different? (neither one nor the other)
    When we die we dissolve into water, air, and all kinds of other stuff, so nothing disappears - we remain in the circle of everything. Perhaps we create a cloud that causes rain that will help to grow vegetables...
    On the other hand we "die" and are "reborn" with every new moment. With everything you do, read, say, etc. you change something in your body (creating new synapses, forming new opinions, etc.), it's just constant change. Cells dying, new cells forming.

    IMHO "karma" is just the everyday cause and effect - with my behavior I kind of create my environment. The reaction might not come right away, but some day. There is nothing magical about this. The karma might show its effect as a bad conscience for example.

    Just some spontaneous thoughts...

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    Thanks for your imput. Just started to study a little more about Dogen and Buddhism. Hope to get it right-wrong one day.

    Gassho, John
    No problem, and by no means am I right about this. As another says, Jundo and Taigu will know better.

    As a side note: I tend to not worry about rebirth, self, etc. Seems like worrying about whether God or a Spaghetti monster exists.

    Also, though, about mind and body: when something happens in the mind, body responds, too. Angry mind, angry thoughts, there will be a tense, rigid, angry body - this will color one's world. Let-go mind, calm, let-go body - and thus the world is this way. That, to me, is Karma. Also, happens to be basically the first verse of Dhammapada, I think

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  8. #8

    The mind itself is buddha

    I am pretty ignorant, but is the point of this chapter "the mind itself is Buddha" is that everything is one undivided enchilada and mind cannot be separated from anything else? He brings this up on this chapter just to correct people who feel that mind/spirit go on when body dies? Just want to make sure I am understanding this chapter.

    Gassho, John
    Last edited by Jishin; 03-21-2013 at 11:34 PM.
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    I guess my question is regarding Karma. Effect=cause=effect=cause=all one, not two, all one and two at once, etc. Where does cause and effect of Karma play into all of this? Be good (or bad) in each cycle of birth and death until Nirvana? Where is is the good or bad of Karma posited if there is no self abiding self, just emptiness? Just a dummy asking.

    Gassho, John
    Mind and body are not two. Cant have one and not the other. But mind isn't body, and body isn't mind. But try to find where one ends and the other begins. A car with no driver is merely a chunk of lifeless metal, but the car doesn't take the karma of a hit-and-run to the junkyard.
    Gassho,
    "Heitetsu"
    Christopher

  10. #10
    I understand it as one, body-mind, but I want to make sure I understand that's what dogen is teaching in this chapter, body-mind vs a separate body from mind. He is one confusing fellow.

    Gassho, John.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    "Too many mind."
    迎 Geika

  12. #12
    Hello,

    we can never know what Dogen meant, because he's dead and we can't ask him anymore. What we can do is actualise his teachings in our life. Depending on our capacity and perspective as practitioners we might find road-maps using concepts like Karma etc. extremely helpful, and due to our body hardware we have to operate in dualistic terms, but that doesn't necessarily mean something is just body, just mind or just bodymind.

    It's all in the Genjo-Koan

    And the Genjo-Koan is no other than your life.

    Looking at our tiny garden in a suburb of Cologne it is clear that some flower buds have yet to open, since the temperature is still too cold.
    One cannot force any kind of realisation either. The egg of ignorance will crack from the inside when the chick hatches.

    Trying to understand what Dogen is pointing to with our intellect is like trying to describe three dimensional structures in a 2D space....it might seem helpful, but then again it might make us think we've met the real dragon when we're really still "just" in our heads.

    Gassho,

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

  13. #13
    Thanks a lot, Hans!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post

    Trying to understand what Dogen is pointing to with our intellect is like trying to describe three dimensional structures in a 2D space....it might seem helpful, but then again it might make us think we've met the real dragon when we're really still "just" in our heads.
    I agree, it is not possible to describe this with our intellect/concepts/language alone. With our models/pointers there is always something missing.
    Your statement made me think about the opening of the Tao te Ching:

    The tao that can be told
    is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named
    is not the eternal Name.

    The unnamable is the eternally real.
    Naming is the origin
    of all particular things.

    Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
    Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

    Yet mystery and manifestations
    arise from the same source.
    This source is called darkness.

    Darkness within darkness.
    The gateway to all understanding.


    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  14. #14
    "That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening."

    I will sit on my arse, burn my books, and realize the fundamental point!

    "
    When dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you think it is already sufficient."

    I will not sit on my arse and realize the fundamental point, but I will sit on my arse AND study to realize the fundamental point!

    "If can be spoken, that's not it!" - Paraphrase of Dao # 1 (something like that)

    Go figure, so confusing this business of being a Zen student, if that's what I am.

    Thank you all for your kind input.

    Gassho, John



  15. #15
    The Old Masters would say that "this mind is the Buddha" or something like that to people who are looking for Buddha elsewhere. A lot of people look for Buddha here and there, traveling all around the world, meeting many masters and different people, reading books, all looking for Buddha.

    Here is master Ma Tsu babbling on about it:

    http://www.dailyzen.com/zen/zen_reading0807.asp
    Gassho,
    Matt

    Attaining the Great Way is easy, if only there is no picking or choosing. --- Xin Xin Ming

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt J View Post
    The Old Masters would say that "this mind is the Buddha" or something like that to people who are looking for Buddha elsewhere. A lot of people look for Buddha here and there, traveling all around the world, meeting many masters and different people, reading books, all looking for Buddha.

    Here is master Ma Tsu babbling on about it:

    http://www.dailyzen.com/zen/zen_reading0807.asp
    Thank you Matt. Very helpful.

    Gassho, John

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    I understand it as one, body-mind, but I want to make sure I understand that's what dogen is teaching in this chapter, body-mind vs a separate body from mind. He is one confusing fellow.

    Gassho, John.
    Oh, well, first, don't try to figure out what Dogen means. I once wrote a post about this, called something like Reading Dogen From a Nobody and a Newbie; something like that, I can't remember what I called it anymore. In any case, yes, he's very very confusing - but that's the point. Jundo often calls Dogen a jazz player and while there is an underlying melody, there are many notes of discord and much playful improvising. I agree. And I would add that to read Dogen is to be Dogen is to be Buddha is to read you. Reading Dogen is reading you - you know yourself so clearly, so perfectly, but can't figure out Dogen? No, that's not it. Read yourself openly without fully understanding and read Dogen in the same way and then, what meaning comes through comes through. Dogen's words, to me, aren't only some representational words pointing at some truth (though they are this); Dogen's words are truth, reality itself.

    When sitting next to a river, do you pull your hair out trying to figure out what it means?

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  18. #18

    The mind itself is buddha

    Quote Originally Posted by alan.r View Post

    When sitting next to a river, do you pull your hair out trying to figure out what it means?

    Gassho
    Just seek dharma from the river. No hair to pull out (in my case). :-)

    Deep bows, John
    Last edited by Jishin; 03-22-2013 at 06:00 PM.
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    No hair to pull out (in my case). :-)
    Nice. Right on!
    Shōmon

  20. #20
    'When sitting next to a river, do you pull your hair out trying to figure out what it means?'

    Cool - I really like that!

    Thankyou

    Gassho

    Willow

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by alan.r View Post
    When sitting next to a river, do you pull your hair out trying to figure out what it means?

    Thank you so much for this!



    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    "The Mind Itself is Buddha" is a chapter on Shobogenzo.

    Does Dogen mean mind and body are one and not two? Body dies and mind/spirit are not reincarnated into a new body? If so, what about Karma? Where is the cause effect relationship transmitted to? If nothing is permanent, where Karma fit in? There is nothing for Karma to be transmitted to. Confusing. I am just a dummy. Thoughts anyone?

    Gassho, John
    Boy, a few BIG Questions there!

    Dogen and most Mahayana Buddhists would see that body and mind are "not two". All are so intimately whole and intertwined and single that there is just bodymind, yet body is body sometimes and mind is mind sometimes. Thus "not one, not two". Same for you and me and the whole world, by the way.

    As a matter of fact, when Buddhists use "mind" most Buddhists will not distinguish "in" from "out" so easily. So, for example, in our typical way of experiencing and defining "our own mind", light (which is not you) comes from the sun (also not you) bounces off of outside objects and other people (not you) into your eye (your senses, gateway to the mind) to be reprocessed in the brain into "our mind" which divides "me myself" from "everything and everyone not me and outside me". The "mind" in our ordinary way of thinking perhaps starts at the border of the senses. But Buddhists (like Matsu in the sermon linked to by Matt) might re-Mind us that by dropping the hard division between "self" and "not self", one might then find that our self identity can come to include everything ... the light, the sun, the objects, the eye, the brain, all things seen and experienced like the trees and stars and me and the other guy ... the Whole Enchilada as "True Self"/Mind/Buddha. In fact, both matter and consciousness, the whole world and the kitchen sink, matter and energy and whatever else there turns out to be ... the Whole Enchilada. All Buddha, All Mind. Like Indra's Net (or gravity), pushing on any one place on the net impacts all other places in big and small ways. The border of inside/outside "mind" is dropped away, or redrawn to include all.

    Nonetheless, you are here, I am another place, the tree is over there. Not one, not two too.

    That is pretty much standard, Mahayana Buddhism 101.

    And as mentioned, Dogen, like a good Jazz man, will just riff on and syncopate such a "Buddhist Standard tune" to try to bring out the deep interpenetration, entangling, unentangling and reunentangling, of this "not one, not two" into a living composition of Whole Enchilada. Thus, he plays like this (I will use the Shasta Abbey version here)...

    The so-called ‘mind which has been correctly Transmitted’ refers to the whole mind being synonymous with ‘all thoughts and things’, and all thoughts and things are what constitute ‘the whole mind’. This is why someone in the past once said, “When a person fully realizes what his mind really is, not an inch of solid ground will exist upon the earth.” ... An ancient one of great virtue once said, “And just what is this wondrously pure, bright mind? It is the great earth with its mountains and rivers, along with the sun, the moon, and all the stars.”

    Now you know clearly: what is called ‘mind’ is the great earth with its mountains and rivers; it is the sun, the moon, and the stars. Even so, when you take what is being expressed here one step further, something is lacking; when you draw back from what it is saying, something has gone too far. The mind that is the great earth with its mountains and rivers is simply the great earth with its mountains and rivers: there are no surging waves nor is there any wind-driven spindrift to disturb or upset it. The mind that is sun, moon, and stars is simply sun, moon, and stars: there is no fog nor is there any mist to obscure its clarity. The mind that is the coming and going of birth and death is simply the coming and going of birth and death: there is no ‘being deluded’ nor is there any ‘realizing enlightenment’. ... Since this is the way things are, “Your very mind is Buddha” means, pure and simply, that your very mind is Buddha; all Buddhas are, pure and simply, all Buddhas.

    The term ‘all Buddhas’ means Shakyamuni Buddha: Shakyamuni Buddha is synonymous with one’s very mind being Buddha. At that very moment when all the Buddhas of past, present, and future have become, do become, and will become Buddha, without fail, They become Shakyamuni Buddha. This is what “Your very mind is Buddha” means.
    Now, as to Karma and Rebirth and all that: Well, I usually say that I do not know about future lives, and leave them to the future. My attitude, and that of many other Buddhist teachers (though a hotly debated topic), is that ...

    If there are future lives, heavens and hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.

    And if there are no future lives, no heavens or hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.


    Thus I do not much care if, in the next life, that "gentle way, avoiding harm" will buy me a ticket to heaven and keep me out of hell ... but I know for a fact that it will go far to do so in this life, today, where I see people create all manner of "heavens and hells" for themselves and those around them by their harmful words, thoughts and acts in this life.

    And if there is a "heaven and hell" in the next life, or other effects of Karma now ... well, my actions now have effects then too, and might be the ticket to heaven or good rebirth.

    In other words, whatever the case ... today, now ... live in a gentle way, avoiding harm to self and others (not two, by the way) ... seeking to avoid harm now and in the future too.

    Yes, it is true that from some "absolute" perspective ... there is no separate "you" to do harm, no other people to be harmed ... and no harm possible. However, we harm people each day with our bad actions! (Both perspectives true). So, we should avoid to do so ... even though no harm is possible from an ultimate perspective perhaps.

    The subjects of Karma and Rebirth are complex and much debated. I tried to summarize the various views, and express my own, in a couple of threads in our "Jundo Tackles the BIG Questions" series.

    Jundo Tackles the 'BIG' Questions - VI (Karma)
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...VI-%28Karma%29

    Jundo Tackles the 'BIG' Questions - VII (Life After Death?)
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...fter-Death-%29

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-25-2013 at 06:07 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    Thank you Jundo for your explanations. It will take me a couple of Kalpas to digest the info.

    Gassho, John

  24. #24
    Yes, it is true that from some "absolute" perspective ... there is no separate "you" to do harm, no other people to be harmed ... and no harm possible. However, we harm people each day with our bad actions! (Both perspectives true). So, we should avoid to do so ... even though no harm is possible from an ultimate perspective perhaps.

    I seem to have had a week of grappling within myself over certain key notions in Zen. There was a discussion on the 'We are Sisyphus' thread where I attempted to explain that I find it hard to accept the dissolving of the distinction between good and bad within the absolute.


    Reading through Jundo's new post on this thread something seemed to suddenly click into place - like a huge ball of prejudice/misunderstanding disintegrating.


    A word that has begun to leap out at me is perspective . Zen teaching/teachers don't regulate laws - they offer persectives. Perspectives allow for fluidity of mind - they allow us to hold different views - they even allow us to hold differents views at the same time without conflict/division (the heart- mind in its non-dual expansive state?).

    Coming to Zen from a particular background (psychodynamic therapy) the I-thou perspective is central to how I view and relate within the lived world of human relationships - and to the planet as well. Working with individuals who have a deep need to connect with their sense of self, because that has been destroyed by painful life/developmental events, means I'm attached and invested in this dimension. Having said that I have always had a close relationship to the natural world and have a deep belief in the interconnectness of all dharmas.


    I think - thus far - my commitment to Zen has wavered because I don't want to see one dimension subsumed by the other. By feeling this I think I've perpetuated a distinction that underscores a dualistic tension. Sometimes - I feel that the way in which a teaching is worded fortifies rather than dissolves this tension. I am an admirer of Thich Nhat Hhan but sometimes his writing sets up this tension in me because I have this stumbling block. I also feel it here from time to time.

    The way I began to re-configure this morning is that the absolute is possibly more compassionate than the I-thou realm. I will try to explain why - because holding this thought simply wasn't possible for me before now. If we hurt another from within the I-thou realm we do not necessarily hurt our selves. All acts of cruelty stem from this possibility. From within the absolute realm - even though we may still be discreet dharmas we are inextricably interconnected - each plays an equal position - I is thou and thou is I without distinction. From this perspective if we hurt another we also hurt ourselves - this way our volitional action (our karma - good and bad) ripples through the entire planet. With this realisation the ultimate perspective is wholly compassionate and perhaps this is what is meant by 'no separate you to be harmed - no other people to be harmed'.

    I am not trying to paraphrase Jundo here - I may well have misunderstood - but for me this is one way in which I can connect authentically with the sense of the absolute as a compassionate gathering up of all the individual dharmas into a unified whole.

    There is no discrimination in the heart-mind - it is simply care and concern for all things.

    Gassho

    Willow
    Last edited by willow; 03-23-2013 at 11:13 AM.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    Coming to Zen from a particular background (psychodynamic therapy) the I-thou perspective is central to how I view and relate within the lived world of human relationships - and to the planet as well. Working with individuals who have a deep need to connect with their sense of self, because that has been destroyed by painful life/developmental events, means I'm attached and invested in this dimension. Having said that I have always had a close relationship to the natural world and have a deep belief in the interconnectness of all dharmas.
    Hi Willow,


    I think you and other members of the Sangha express yourselves beautifully via the written word, something I can not do. I am like a monkey swinging from trees and eating bananas. I can swing and eat bananas very well but can't talk about it with as much clarity as I am a monkey.


    There are a number of reasons for this I think. I have lived in different countries and am fluent in three languages but master of none. My literary world is very small. I have probably read less than 10 novels in the last 20 years. My reading has consisted of technical reading related to medicine, psychiatry and Zen (for the last couple of years). Oddly enough, I did not even graduate High School due to a troubled adolescence so I did not learn proper grammar. At work as a psychiatrist I mostly listen for a few minutes to each patient to come up with a summary of each patient encounter (a diagnosis) so that I can write a prescription for a pill that might help with their ailments. Little talking on my part goes on in spite of what some people may think. I usually like to keep my mouth shut so people don't know how really dumb I am. But, at the Sangha I feel that I need to just "Do something! Say something!" if I am going to be part of a community such as Treeleaf and so I try to "Say something!" in spite of my ignorance so that I can join the human race as a participant and not just a watcher of people.


    During my residency in psychiatry, I received training in therapy. I like a lot of Freudian stuff. Particularly, I like the defense mechanisms to explain life. I also like object theory, the theory that allows me to understand and predict how people treat and will treat objects now and in the future (if I understand this theory correct). I also am very fond of supportive therapy as my patients come to me in pieces and I am able to exercise great compassion by simply holding them together and helping them to get back together where they were prior to falling apart. I like cognitive behavioral theory because it works with everything and is simple to understand and works quickly. The way people feel is influenced by their thinking or behavior. Change thinking or behavior in a positive way and voila, feel better. I also like addiction psychology since I am a recovering alcoholic. Addiction psychology is basically common sense no non-sense street psychology that applies to everything with lots of correlates to Zen.


    In the very little time that I get with patients (1 hour for new patient evaluations and 15 minute follow up visits for medication maintenance), if I have time left after I write the prescription, I do eclectic therapy, some form of all, some, or none of the above.


    As a body mechanic focusing on the mind (psychiatrist), I have to have the "I" and the "patient" (two, not one) perspective at work so that I can treat the separate "thing" from "me" which is what the patients are coming in for. But, at the same time, I am so focused on my job that there is no patient, no me, just me-patient (one, not two).


    I stumbled upon Zen when I was referring my patients for therapy to therapists who use cognitive behavioral therapy with a focus on mindfulness. Be mindful to now and depression (being hung up on the past) and anxiety (being hung up on the future) go away. I looked into it and it appeared that this form of therapy had been around for a very long time, 2500 years or more used by a fellow named Buddha.


    That was about 2 years ago. I began looking into Zen and my view on "I" vs "you" (two, not one) has changed to I-you (one, not two). This new (old) perspective on life is pretty cool. I wear various hats. Father, husband, doctor, zen student, recovering drunk, patient (yes, I have a psychiatrist and by the way, most psychiatrists are not right in the head and see other mental health professionals), monkey swinging from trees, none, some or all of these things. Zen has allowed me to see this.


    The bottom line is that I am very thankfully that this Sangha and Zen found me.


    Just babbling…


    Gassho, John
    Last edited by Jishin; 03-23-2013 at 04:14 PM.

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    I think my head just exploded!

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    Perspectives allow for fluidity of mind - they allow us to hold different views - they even allow us to hold differents views at the same time without conflict/division ...
    Beautiful and so true Willow. Perspective allows to have an open heart and mind ... To see and accept things as they are.

    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.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Ditto for me Dosho, but kudos to you John, I know first hand how hard it can be to have a successful career without the educational foundation for one. I did not finish high school due to similar reasons and it certainly limited my career choices. But I am very happy how things have turned out none the less, I feel very lucky.
    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

  29. #29
    Hi John,

    thank you for sharing - didn't come across as babbling to me.

    You have a tough job - 15 minutes with a patient is a tight schedule to say the least.

    All of the approaches you mention - absolutely yes. The divisions that get set up in the treatment of mental health need to dissolve away. I've just started reading a new book by Joseph Bobrow ' Zen and Psychotherapy - Partners in Liberation'. The synthesis of these two approaches seems natural to me now.

    Gassho - and I'm sure your patients are glad of you.

    Willow

  30. #30
    Hi John,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your interesting background!
    And you don't come across like a monkey swinging from trees at all!

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  31. #31
    I think the ancients are trying to get us to realize that every viewpoint is a valid viewpoint and at the same time a wrong view is a wrong view. Its a giant universal net of Indra where its all good practice but every practice isn't necessarily good or good right then. If it wasn't confusing we'd all be Buddha and dogen would be writing about us.
    Gassho,
    "Heitetsu"
    Christopher

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Hello,

    It's all in the Genjo-Koan

    And the Genjo-Koan is no other than your life.

    Looking at our tiny garden in a suburb of Cologne it is clear that some flower buds have yet to open, since the temperature is still too cold.

    One cannot force any kind of realisation either. The egg of ignorance will crack from the inside when the chick hatches.

    Trying to understand what Dogen is pointing to with our intellect is like trying to describe three dimensional structures in a 2D space....it might seem helpful, but then again it might make us think we've met the real dragon when we're really still "just" in our heads.

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    "To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion."

    Dragon spits fire. Flower buds warm, blossom. Chick hatches from warmth. Dragon meets us.

    "That myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening."

    Crazy dragon, spiting life with fire. No need to slay him.

    Gassho, John
    Last edited by Jishin; 03-24-2013 at 10:56 PM.

  33. #33
    Hi all,
    Just have to say wow what an interesting topic. Definitely a bit out of my depth here but heres my take on the question. The very mind is Buddha. To me the problem is labels and how we identify with those labels based on our perspective as defined by our accumulated experiences. I try to shut down that literal/analytical way of thinking when I study Buddhist teachings. To me that mind is the moment i understood and accepted the four noble truths. Thinking about mind and body and there relation or reincarnation and rebirth or the meaning of things only serves to distract me from where I'm supposed to be. Sitting zazen. When I try to comprehend an idea i fail, when i let go there is no need to comprehend. To me thats what "The very mind is Buddha" represents.

    Gassho,
    John

  34. #34
    John, you communicate very well! And I'm glad that you have shared with us.
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenell View Post
    I thought we all are (Buddha) and he (Dogen ) was. Darn, and here I thought I was learning.
    You are learning quite well. We are all Buddha and Dogen is writing about us! Unfortunately I still don't understand the old fellow perfectly , so while I am the Buddha himself, I find myself lifting the Buddha 's feet above my head because I am barely worthy to wash his robe.
    Gassho,
    "Heitetsu"
    Christopher

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