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Thread: Uchiyama Roshi: Right now, right here, I live simply

  1. #1

    Uchiyama Roshi: Right now, right here, I live simply

    On another thread, we have been discussing being both too loose and negligent ... and too obsessive and driven by some desire ... in Zen Practice. Uchiyama Roshi tells one of the most amazing stories I have come across about being desirous in one's Zazen. Too much Zazen misses the mark as much as no Zazen. Desiring enlightenment drives right past what one searches for.

    (Perhaps this is also one of the clearest descriptions of what Dogen expressed as "Body-Mind Dropped Off" too.)

    It is from Uchiyama Roshi's portion of the book "Dogen's Genjo Koan - Three Commentaries". It mentions a "Zenpan", a special wooden support to hold the chin up so that one may sleep in the Lotus Posture (I have done that too, although it is discouraged these days most times).



    "Zenpan" description here:
    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=s...0zazen&f=false

    It also mentions a "kyosaku/keisaku", a stick used (not in our Sangha or among most of Nishijima Roshi's students however) to strike a dozer on the shoulder for a "wake up".



    ===========================

    Too many people believe that this world exists to satisfy desires,
    which are based on their self-centered thoughts. In reality, this world
    does not exist to fulfill our desires. In fact, things do not proceed in
    accordance with our expectations. And yet, somehow, we don't accept
    this. Consequently, we often complain that things do not go well, and
    we struggle and make a great fuss.

    When we reflect on ourselves, we understand that this way of living
    In samsara is caused by our own incompIeteness. So then, we want to
    practice to go beyond ourselves and attain enlightenment. I think many
    people who practice zazen originally had this thought.

    And yet, there is a problem here. In the desire to go beyond our-
    selves and attain enlightenment, we want to make ourselves into the
    people we want to be. What will actually happen when we seriously
    practice the Buddha Way with such a desire? This is not [just]someone
    else's problem; I also began to practice the Buddha Way with exactly
    this attitude.

    I wanted to throw myself into the Buddha Way and practice zazen.
    I was ordained by Sawaki Roshi in 1941. Following Sawaki Roshi's
    instruction, I started to walk the path of real zazen practice at Daichuji
    Temple in Tochigi Prefeture. At the time, we had two five-day Sesshins
    each month. One sesshin was led by Sawaki Roshi,and we had [chanting] services,
    lectures, and so on. But in the other sesshin we simply repeated fifty
    minutes of zazen and ten minutes of kinhin (walkng meditation) from
    two in the morning until midnight. We had three meals a day, and right
    after each meal we had thirty minutes of kinhin. We sat twenty-two
    hours a day. Even the two hours from midnight to two, we sIept in sit-
    ting posture, putting our chin on a support called a zenpan. We were in
    the sitting posture for almost twenty-four hours a day. Except for the
    two hours of sleep, someone walked around with the kyosaku (Wake-up
    staff).

    We had this type of sesshin once a month. In December, we also had
    a seven-day session with the same schedule. During such a sesshin, espe-
    cially at its end, I could not keep awake. No matter how hard we were
    hit when we fell asleep, we could not wake up. Sometimes my shoulder
    would be swollen.

    Even though I practiced Zazen undergoing such extreme difficult
    sesshins, during that time l settled down into the life of the Buddha
    Way and practiced wholeheartedy expecting that l would improve
    myself and have a good result sometime in the future. …
    When I practiced at Daichuji, I thought that if l kept
    Practicing zazen in that way somehow I would become a better person。
    After several years of practice, the only clear thing l found was that no
    matter how many years l kept practicing zazen, I would not produce
    any desirable results.

    Consequently, I began to wonder why l would spend my life doing
    such a thing. … Once l wrote a detailed letter to Sawaki Roshi about my
    question. In response, Sawaki Roshi sent a letter with Dogen Zenji’s
    poem included in Eiheikoroku [Extensive Record of Eihei Dogen, Man-
    zan‐bon vol.10,#65]:

    Forgetting all dichotomies
    My mind is peaceful.
    Within Buddha dharma
    All things appear at the same time in front of me.
    From now on, my mind is settled,
    I leave everything to causes and condtions.


    Although Sawaki Roshi sent the poem, since my struggles were
    exacty because I wanted to attain that state of mind, it didn't help me
    at all. …

    For about five years, I was in the midst of a very deep and serious distress.
    While l was at Teishoji Temple in Saku,Shinshu (Nagano Prefec-
    ture) from 1948 to 1949, I was really in the dark as to my zazen practice.
    I could not do anything about it. I had to throw everything away: my
    doubts and thinking. One evening l sat alone in the zendo and l felt a
    release. After this experience, I wrote something like a waka poem:

    Under the blazing sun,
    Hearing a command, “Cease fire!''
    I ceased fire.
    Cool refreshing breeze.


    Since young people today have little experience of military drills [like in school in Japan before the war],
    they probably don't understand this poem. When we had mock war-
    fare, during the daytime in mid-summer, we had to wear heavy equip-
    ment, carry guns, and run over a vast field. We were covered with
    sweat. In such a situation, when the drill instructor gave a command
    for cease fire, I felt relieved from the hard exercise, and suddenly felt
    a cool breeze. I experienced this during my school years. While I was
    sitting alone in the zendo, I again experienced this exact feeling. At the
    time, I didn't understand why l felt such a release. But, I thought, zazen
    is probably like this.

    In the Fall of1949, after l moved to Antaiji in Kyoto, Sawaki Roshi
    Said in his teisho [Dharma Talk] “Buddha Dharma is immeasurable and boundless; it
    cannot be something which fulfills your desire for satisfaction.” Upon
    hearing this, I felt heaven and earth turn upside down. Until then, I had
    been fussing and struggling with a desire to improve myself and attain
    enlightenment . …
    … [S]everal years ago, after I moved to Kohata, I wrote
    a poem for my New Years greeting card titled “A Letter.” I found l had
    settled down a bit.


    A LETTER

    I struggled in many ways
    ln my youth.
    Moving here and there
    Like a leaf blown in the wind.
    Finally I drifted to a sunny spot
    By the [statue of] Jizo Bodhisattva in Kohata,
    Being satisfied with dissatisfaction.
    Right now, right here
    I live simply.
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-12-2013 at 02:03 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Truly great read. How old (young) was Uchiyama Roshi when he describes his "dark" years? It seems like something many of us go through and one of the things that has always drawn me to this zen stuff is that there have always been moments when some release was experienced: either in a race, in study, in a relationship, just some giving up was what was needed. I think when we're young we tend to want to control and fight everything, even if it means fighting to get enlightenment, fighting to become better, and at some point there is that moment when the fight is given up.

    Hope these words don't needlessly muddle up clear ones.

    gassho
    Shōmon

  3. #3
    Given the events described were during and right after WWII, he was in his early to mid 30's.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    it seems a most delicate line to discern and follow. so hard to have the right direction pointed out and believed in, without wanting it.

    not looking for Christian parallels, but raised in the tradition, it puts me squarely back into the cloud of unknowing as the only possible ground of awareness.

    or as Taigu Sensei put it, the Dharma is utterly useless, even as an aspiration. hard to fathom purposefulness independent of and even impeded by desire.

    gassho,

    Robert
    Last edited by Oheso; 04-12-2013 at 07:38 PM.
    “The snow is so beautiful, each flake lands in the same place.” - layman P'ang, 8th cen CE

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, Jundo.
    From memory, Uchiyama's student Okumura also speaks out against too much Zazen in his Living By Vow. He seems to feel that there was too much Zazen at Antaiji, where their sittings are 45 to 50 mins each ... and in three five hour blocks on five-day Sesshins. I think he indicates that this amount of Zazen is simply not needed to have a full practice.

    That said, intensive practice on Sesshin does deepen practice no end, in my experience ... even if there is no "improving", and no good or bad practice.

    Gassho
    Myozan
    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."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    Thank you. In a way, this reminds me of something I read in an article about Kobun Chino Otagawa. Apparently, he often cautioned students against the practice of over sitting, which he called "sitting hard." He knew the importance of Zazen, obviously, but urged students to take their practice into the world, a practice they began to refer to as "Guerrilla Zen."

    Gassho, William

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
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    Hi , thank you for this!
    Only you know truly if you are too loose or too tight (though sometimes it helps to have a second opinion!). I have gone too tight and too loose often and each leads to the other. I found it took practice and awareness of it happening to settle it some and it still happens (its a very fine line and I often look at just "who" is saying im too tight or too loose - ego tends to be a slippery devil!)

    Gassho
    Shohei
    Ordained Zen Priest in training
    http://dirkinstitches.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this.

    Uchiyama Roshi's Opening The Hand Of Thought is one of my favorite books. I've just started reading it again.

    Gassho
    Matt

  9. #9
    Thank you Jundo ...

    I really like this:

    ...
    Being satisfied with dissatisfaction.
    Right now, right here
    I live simply.
    Gassho
    Shingen



    If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
    ~ Dogen Zenji

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    I have been thinking about how we complain about everything, most of the time, all the time.

    We want the universe to work exactly as we see it in our imagination. When things don't come out as they should, we suffer.

    Zazen is no different. I've met people who will complain about the zafu, the teacher, the zendo, the weather, but they forget about the simplicity of life. Which is beautiful and very satisfying when you realize it.

    So they sit for hours and hours a day, expecting something magical to happen.

    But then again, there's Nothing Special about sitting.

    It's just life.

    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

  11. #11
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    So many threads converging here to this one leaving a wonderful feel to Friday night. Gassho everyone!
    Heisoku
    平 息

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post

    Zazen is no different. I've met people who will complain about the zafu, the teacher, the zendo, the weather, but they forget about the simplicity of life.
    Yes, that is true. But the complaints about the teachers are usually justified!

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    That was really awesome.

    Gassho

    Risho

  14. #14
    awesome
    Jessica

    “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet." Thich Nhat Hanh



  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Myozan Kodo View Post
    Thanks for that, Jundo.
    From memory, Uchiyama's student Okumura also speaks out against too much Zazen in his Living By Vow. He seems to feel that there was too much Zazen at Antaiji, where their sittings are 45 to 50 mins each ... and in three five hour blocks on five-day Sesshins. I think he indicates that this amount of Zazen is simply not needed to have a full practice.

    That said, intensive practice on Sesshin does deepen practice no end, in my experience ... even if there is no "improving", and no good or bad practice.

    Gassho
    Myozan

    I can't speak for Okumura roshi re: what might be too much zazen, but I think you may have misinterpreted what you read in Living By Vow. We follow the same sesshin schedule (14 50 minute periods/day) in our practice with him at Sanshinji that existed (exists) at Antaiji. Of course it's not necessary to practice in that way, but in our lineage we do.

    Best,
    Doan Brian

  16. #16
    Many thanks for sharing this, Jundo!

    About "too much vs. not enough practice":
    I think this is probably an individual thing as well.

    What is - for me personally - most important about Zazen:
    - To sit every day. Sitting regularly for say 20 mins is more imporant than to sit an awful lot of time on one day and then don't sit at all for several days.
    - To incorporate zazen in my daily life
    - To sit in order to sit, i.e. no goals.
    - To sit with a sincere attitude. Otherwise there is a great danger of shikantaza actually becoming nothing more than daydreaming.
    - Not to be attached to sitting: I sit very regularly (hardly missing a day, even when I'm sick), but on those rare days that I cannot sit, I neither feel bad about it nor do I have a bad conscience. If that were the case I would have to change my attitude towards my practice as this would be a sign of attachment. And being attached is one of those things I try to avoid in my life as good as I can.

    When it comes to this practice I also love Kodo Sawaki's books. In the German edition of "The Zen Teaching of 'Homeless' Kodo" there is a speech by Uchiyama Roshi called "About Kodo Sawaki Roshi's Zazen" that is simply brilliant. Perhaps Jundo or Taigu have this speech in English somewhere and can share it...


    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  17. #17
    Thank you for sharing, Jundo. It is so easy to forget that the world is not here to entertain us.
    Gassho, Kaishin
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  18. #18
    This really is brilliant. It seems to me that Dogen's

    "From now on, my mind is settled,
    I leave everything to causes and condtions."

    and Uchiyama Roshi''s

    "Being satisfied with dissatisfaction.
    Right now, right here
    I live simply."

    Really touch the heart of our practice; our lives. So many of the comments here do so as well. Thank you Jundo. Thank you everyone.

  19. #19
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    I think some of what Uchiyama describes in terms of long sitting might be culturally located in the sense that the culture in Asia believes in the value of persevering through all obstacles without complaining, thus they come up with a tool, the zenpan, in order to do that. Here in the west we don't believe in that the same way at all (plus we place a lot more value on complaining), so we have different forms and varieties of practice unique to us, like Treeleaf for example.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  20. #20
    I want to clarify some things.

    Let me mention that Taigu and I strongly encourage folks to go for retreats for intensive sittings, Sesshin, of many days ... even a week or two or longer ... waking early in the morning, sitting late into the evening. All Zen Teachers that I know do. Why? I usually write this:

    Now, someone might ask too, "if each moment is all time and space, and Zazen is 'good for nothing', what is the purpose of an intensive Sesshin?" Well, I often say that, sometimes, we need to practice a bit long and hard, morning to night ... sitting and wrestling with 'me, my self and I' ... all to achieve nothing to attain, and taste the good of 'good for nothing'! Going to Retreats, Sesshin and such is a powerful facet of this Practice and not to be missed.
    Most Sesshin I know are not quite as long in length or amount of Zazen as at Antaiji, but most sit many times a day, for 30, 40 or 45 minutes at a time, two or three times back to back, in many sets each day. Most intersperse work periods, lecture periods, eating periods, break periods, sleep period, chanting periods ... but all are one, continuous flowing Zazen in its wider meaning. Most still have lots and lots of sitting on the Zafu sitting (especially in Soto Zen). Furthermore, sitting a Sesshin of 14 periods of 50 minutes each will teach one a lot about one's self and this "no gain".

    It is really not a matter of long or short, start or finish ... and thus it is very good to sometimes sit perhaps 14 periods of 50 minutes each per day such as at Antaiji! If you can get to a Sesshin were one sits long and hard for days on end (even if not quite as much as Antaiji or the like), I truly recommend it as integral to this Practice. We sit long and hard sometimes because it truly is not a matter of quantity or the clock or anything to gain!

    Strange, huh!?

    It is also not a matter of place ... and we should "sit Zazen" too in the hospital bed, death bed, nursery room, grocery line, city bus. Nonetheless, we go to the Retreat at the Zen Center or temple or monastery to sit in a room on a Zafu, precisely because it is not a matter of "where" or "place."

    Strange, huh!?

    However, if people can't go to a Sesshin because of a physical limitation or other impossibility, that is okay too! If really it is not possible, sit right where one is (or if in that hospital bed, have one's sesshin reclining right there!)

    Strange, huh!?

    If one sits with greed and desire to attain, than it does not matter if it is 5 seconds or 50 hours or 5000 years ... a waste of time.

    If one sits free of greed and desire to attain, than a second is a second of Buddha, 5000 years just 5000 years of Buddha.

    This we sit each day ... beyond and right through-and-through the ticking clock. If done with greed, 50 minutes 14 times a day is much too long and much too short AT ONCE! ... what Sawaki Roshi called "sitting with a thief's mind".

    In his book Living By Vow, Okumura Roshi tells the following story, very much like Uchiyama Roshi's. This is the same Okumura Roshi who leads the "14 periods of 50 minutes each per day" at his own Zen Center, but he says this:

    After graduation l had practiced with Uchiyama Roshi at Antaii-ji until
    1975 when he retired. There our practice was focused on sitting. We sat
    nine Periods daily for more than a year. We had a five-day sesshin each
    month except February and August. During sesshin we sat fourteen
    periods a day for five days. We had no ceremony, no chanting, and no
    lecture. We just sat.

    In 1975 I went to Massachusetts [to build Valley Zendo, a new practice center in the woods
    with two other Japanese monks from Antaiji]. … We sat four periods daily. We had a
    one-day sesshin every Sunday and a five-day sesshin each month.We cut
    trees, pulled out stumps,and made a green garden, all with hand tools.
    We dug a well with shovels. We used a huge amount of firewood for
    cooking and heating. ... After five years, I had pain in
    my neck, shoulders, elbows, and knees from the hard physical labor. I
    couldn't work, and sitting sesshin was very difficult. I had no health
    insurance or money for medical treatment. I had to return to Japan.
    When l got back l was completely alone. My body was half broken.
    I had no money, no job,and no place to live or practice. I stayed at my brother’s
    apartment in Osaka for several months while he traveled in
    the United states. Then l moved to Seitai-an, a small temple in Kyoto
    where I lived as a caretaker for three years. Seitai-an is near Antaiji’s
    original site. There l had a monthly five-day sesshin with one of my
    Dharma brothers and cotranslator, Rev. Daitsu Tom Wright, and a few
    other people. I couldn't practice as l had before because of my physical
    condition. This was the first time l had lived and practiced alone after
    ten years at Antaiji and Valley Zendo. I had to give up medical treat-
    ments. Initially l did takuhatsu (begging) to raise money for them.
    But during takuhatsu, we hang a zudabukuro (a bag) from our necks.
    This aggravted my neck injury and my chiropractor said it wouldn't
    get better if l continued to do takuhatsu. It was a vicious circle. Finally
    I gave up both takuhatsu and the treatments. I did takuhatsu only a
    few times a month to survive. When l had extra income l spent it on
    books.

    I had a hard time for several months while l was staying at my broth-
    ers apartment before moving to Seitai-an. I was bewildered and didn't
    know what to do. My biggest problem was that l couldn't practice as
    I had for the last ten years because of my physical condition. In my
    twenties l had committed my entire life-energy to practice. Nothing
    else had seemed important to me. I didn't know how to live outside
    that way of Practice.

    While in this situation, I read a Japanese translation of Buddha-carita,
    a biography of the Buddha written by the famous lndian Buddhist Poet
    Asvaghosa. When describing the Buddha’s experience of seeing the old,
    sick and dead outside the gates of his Palace, the author refers to the
    “arrogance of youth and health.” This expression hit me. I realized that
    my belief that practice was the best and most meaningful waγ of life
    was nothing more than the "arrogance of youth and health." That’s why
    I was at a loss when l could no longer practice that way because of my
    health. My previous practice had been an attempt to satisfy a need for
    status and benefit. I wanted to live a better life than ordinary people.
    Ever since l read Uchiyama Roshi’s book as a high school student and
    began practicing according to Dogen Zenji’s teachings, I knew that I
    should not practice zazen for gain. Sawaki Roshi, Uchiyama Roshi’s
    teacher, said that zazen is good for nothing. Dogen Zenji says that we
    should practice Buddha Dharma only for the sake of Buddha Dharma,
    with no expectations. That is shikantaza, or just sitting. I knew all of
    this and thought l had been practicing with the correct attitude.
    Now, when I found myself unable to continue that practice, I was
    perplexed and depressed. I didn’t know what to do. I discovered that
    I had relied on practice that was possible only for the young and healthy.
    I used the teachings of the Buddha, Dogen Zenji, Sawaki
    Roshi, and Uchiyama Roshi to fulfill my own desires. This discovery
    completely broke my "arrogance of youth and health” I saw cleary that
    my practice had not been for the sake of Buddha Dharma but for
    my own self-satisfaction. I knew l couldn't continue to practice with this
    attitude. Nor could l stop practicing and go back to an ordinary life.
    I was stuck in this situation for some time.

    One day something made me sit on a cushion. I had no desire, no rea-
    son, no need to sit, but found myself sitting at the apartment by myself. It
    was very peaceful. I didn't sit because of the Buddha’s teachings. I
    didn't need a reason to sit; I just sat. There was no need to compete
    with others or with myself. Thereafter, I did not need to sit as often as I
    had before. I could sit just as much as my physical condition allowed.
    Finally, I felt free of my understanding of the Buddhas teachings and
    my desire to be a good monk. I felt free to be myself and nothing more.
    I was still a deluded, ordinary human being with ignorance and desires.
    But when l just sat and let go of thoughts, I was ― or more precisely, my
    zazen was ― free of ignorance and selfish desires.
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    In the German edition of "The Zen Teaching of 'Homeless' Kodo" there is a speech by Uchiyama Roshi called "About Kodo Sawaki Roshi's Zazen" that is simply brilliant. Perhaps Jundo or Taigu have this speech in English somewhere and can share it...
    Yes, Okumura Roshi discusses this very section, and expresses more of this in the Talk that was posted on another thread today ...

    Zazen is Good For Nothing
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...hi-Dharma-Talk

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - For those who are really really limited in there ability to get to Sesshin in a Zen Center or the like made of bricks and wood, we have our Annual "All Online" two-day Retreat too (each December, via live netcast) at Treeleaf Sangha ... traditional (yet "fully online") ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/w...reeleafat.html

    ... but this is a case where it is actually good to go to a retreat center and practice with folks for a time (if at all possible ... which it ain't for everybody).

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-15-2013 at 04:00 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Thanks Jundo.

    Hi Brian,
    I'll go back and check Living By Vow when I have it to hand. As I was saying, I'm working from memory.

    I think he says sometime about sitting long and hard for years, and then feeling that burden lift, as he realised that he did not have to sit that way.

    I'll see if I can get the exact quote and post it.

    Gassho
    Myozan
    Last edited by Myozan Kodo; 04-15-2013 at 09:10 AM.
    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."

  22. #22
    Thanks a lot, Jundo - somehow not strange at all! (And thanks for the link to the other thread)


    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Myozan Kodo View Post
    Thanks Jundo.

    Hi Brian,
    I'll go back and check Living By Vow when I have it to hand. As I was saying, I'm working from memory.

    I think he says sometime about sitting long and hard for years, and then feeling that burden lift, as he realised that he did not have to sit that way.

    I'll see if I can get the exact quote and post it.

    Gassho
    Myozan
    Hi Myozan,

    Isn't that the same section I just posted??

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi Jundo,
    I have to check. It probably is. I remember making a few comments in the margins of the book when I read it on this point. But I'm not sure if it's the same quote as you cite above. Does he only touch on this once in the book? If he does, then your citation above must be the one I'm thinking of. I remember a much shorter quote ...

    I'll check tonight.

    Gassho and thanks,
    Myozan
    Last edited by Myozan Kodo; 04-15-2013 at 10:36 AM.
    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."

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    When it comes to this practice I also love Kodo Sawaki's books. In the German edition of "The Zen Teaching of 'Homeless' Kodo" there is a speech by Uchiyama Roshi called "About Kodo Sawaki Roshi's Zazen" that is simply brilliant. Perhaps Jundo or Taigu have this speech in English somewhere and can share it...


    Gassho,

    Timo
    I have this essay in English in a book that may be out of print now. I'll check - If it is OOP, I can try to scan it and post a PDF if people would like to have it.

  26. #26
    Ok. It is OOP - I'm pretty sure it is in the book 'The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo'. My copy is out on loan right now so I'm working from memory here, but a new edition of that book will be published in less than a year. Hopefully this essay will still be included!

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Dublin, Ireland
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    2,025
    Hi,
    I've gone through Living By Vow. I cant find another similar reference. The one Jundo posted must be the one that came to my mind. But somehow I thought it was different. My old head isn't what it used to be!

    Will have to get that book when its back in print, Brian.

    Gassho
    Myozan
    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."

  28. #28
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo

    Gassho
    Matt

  29. #29
    I keep coming back to this passage again and again. I can't believe how often I slip into this very line of thinking. Thank you, again.
    Too many people believe that this world exists to satisfy desires,
    which are based on their self-centered thoughts. In reality, this world
    does not exist to fulfill our desires. In fact, things do not proceed in
    accordance with our expectations. And yet, somehow, we don't accept
    this. Consequently, we often complain that things do not go well, and
    we struggle and make a great fuss.
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  30. #30
    thank you Jundo. i really ties up with what I was talking about earlier. It's what I ment by just living. I think that being greedy with the practice snd trying to attain something is something I still sometimes catch myself fighting the desire to be a "good Buddhist"

    Gassho, Dojin.
    I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment
    - the Buddha

  31. #31
    Senior Member YuimaSLC's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    Salt Lake City Utah
    Posts
    111
    Thank you Jundo. Living by Vow is one of the texts I've been reading daily, after morning zazen, for a 15-20 minute period, and then try to re-read the same section, again, midday.
    It becomes the "thought of the day" or re-focus; instead of becoming an exercise of searching for intellectual, knowledge gathering.

    Of course, it takes a long time to get through a book this way; short segments, day after day after day. And I've forgotten when I even started. If that ever mattered.

    And thanks for the kindly advice about sesshin. It's my plan to do Jukai in 2013 and do the 2-day TreeLeaf sesshin.

    Now that Salt Lake's Kanzeon Zen Center has been "dismantled" after the unfortunate Genpo Merzel issues and related organizational breakup, local sesshins aren't available, though
    a couple of Genpo's dharma-heirs have started up a new center in southeastern Utah (beautiful red rock desert region near a national park) with a satellite center in SLC.

    In gassho

    Richard

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