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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 31

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 31

    Some folks asked about the long silence since our last Koan. But is not the silence also speaking? If you do not think so, please go back to Koan 1 ... where the Buddha gave up on his talk and went back to bed ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ANIMITY-Case-1

    So ...Case 30 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 31: Ummon's Free Standing Pillar

    Another Koan on the dance of Relative and Absolute ... Ummon sings of Buddha and a stone pillar mingled, one. In response to the rhetorical question "what level of insight am I expressing", the Koan is filled with many images just the most natural happening, conveying how natural it all is ... . This is not the first time that Ummon (aka Yumen) responded with a very concrete worldly object, for in other Koans he described Buddha as "a garden of flowers", "the five senses and the mind", "the hedge surrounding the privy", and of course, a "dried shit stick".

    The Verse sings ...

    It has never been concealed ... it's affirmed without affirmation (for what affirmation is needed or possible when we transcend relative views and opinions) ... it is adequacy without adequacy ... it is three feet or sixteen feet (or any feet at all), according and fitting all kinds, sizes and situations.

    Questions:

    - Tell me about somebody or something in the world that you have a very hard time experiencing as "Buddha". Next, tell me why you are mistaken!

    - Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give an example from your life.

    - Now, express what is both and neither adequate or inadequate, fully transcending yet holding all adequate and inadequate human views and stone pillars.

    Gassho, J

    PS - I will be in Korea for the next two weeks, but will still be checking into the Forum daily.
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-09-2013 at 01:49 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    It's hard to see anything as strictly "not Buddha". I might be stuck in emptiness. If I encounter something that deeply upsets me, the word I may think is, "misguided".

    I wonder if I'm being honest with myself? There has got to be something out there that, when I meet it, completely dissolves my zen filter. I will have to watch myself.

    Inadequacy,
    Adequacy,
    Say them enough and they no longer make sense.
    They no longer sound like words
    One becomes the other
    Or they both become the same

    I do dishes slowly at work:
    Inadequacy
    But I do dishes well at work:
    Adequacy

    There is a hard-to-see picture in my mind
    Of inadequacy bleeding into adequacy
    Oozing into inadequacy again
    But I can't really look at it because it is always changing,
    And I can't show it or explain it

    Adequacy, inadequacy:
    Neither of them look like real words anymore.
    迎 Geika

  3. #3
    The old Buddha, teaching while lying down
    still expounded the Dharma while dying.
    The pillar of the teachings stands forever erect.
    So the number of activities is one.
    The last and the first,
    Only one and all the same.

    The inevitable reality of life is death.
    Clouds gather in the South Mountain
    Rain fall over the north Mountain
    In this lifetime, in this great opportunity,
    there is no time to waste.


    When doing something as a true human being, with all your attention, being and hart. How could it ever be inadequate? A tea bowl made by a master, holds perfection because of it's imperfections. It is beautifully because of it's flaws. Zen teacher Jundo with makeup and Mickey Mouse ears on Beautiful.

    Working on this way of looking at the world, is my practice. And in this I am very inadequate sometimes .

    A toilet paper is hardly Buddha, not until you have been a long way from a toilet for way too long. The the stick is close Buddha supreme!

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    On a bad day, I see Buddha in nothing. On a good day, I see Buddha in everything. They are both wrong. It's not the everything or nothing, it's the I.

    Sometimes the size of my house is inadequate. There will always be something or someone better off. There will always be someone or something worse off. I have a house.


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

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    "When doing something as a true human being, with all your attention, being and hart. How could it ever be inadequate? A tea bowl made by a master, holds perfection because of it's imperfections. It is beautifully because of it's flaws. Zen teacher Jundo with makeup and Mickey Mouse ears on Beautiful." - Thank you Enkyo, very very true.

    To answer the other question, I have in the past held raw hatred toward my uncle, who is a narcissistic, psychologically abusive drug addict who has caused those in my family immense amounts of suffering, especially my Grandmother. Throughout practice and Meta meditation after Shikantaza, I have begun to realize that he is suffering like the rest of us. In fact, he has caused such pain to others because he is in agony himself. Bound by negativity, cynicism and a closed mind. Never happy, never satisfied. Though I have loathed him, he has Buddha-nature just as well do. He is a slave to his attachment and cravings as many of us are. How can I be angry, how can I hold such hatred for him especially when the hatred is only causing me harm and has prevented me from realizing the Buddha within me in the past?

    This man is not a narcissistic, psychologically abusive drug addict, these are merely labels, not part of his true nature or his true self.

    Gassho, John

  6. #6
    Thank you for carrying this study on, Jundo,
    knowing time is tight I much appreciate it.

    I generally not have a hard time seing someone as buddha, in fact the most difficult persons I perceive as my teachers,
    they challenge me and my understanding, they test how much its in my bones and not just my mind. However, I loose
    the clear view pretty easy when something frightens me, when fear comes up my view is not so clear anymore.

    I'm not sure if we are mistaken at all, a view is always a more or less deluded view.

    - Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give an example from your life.
    I feel like not knowing is a good inadequacy to our world of having answers all around; picking up any kind of magazine and you got many answers to many questions, and its all inadequate to life. In my life I always carry answers with me, like: When my son drops his glass with orange juice I have to tell him to be more careful. Buts that might not be adequate. An adequate response might be to show understanding that the glass just slipped through his fingers. But once again even this might be inadequate. The only adequate response is the one that comes up naturally from a "buddha mind" right in each moment.

    Btw, I feel this koan much emphasizes our interconnectedness, so thank you Jundo for broadening my horizon when visiting Korea,

    Gassho & Thank you everyone
    Myoku

  7. #7
    ... wonderful Amelia, really like it, especially

    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    There is a hard-to-see picture in my mind
    Of inadequacy bleeding into adequacy
    Oozing into inadequacy again
    But I can't really look at it because it is always changing,
    And I can't show it or explain it
    _()_
    Myoku

  8. #8
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Q1 The probation officer. Mistaken because there is nothing in need of fixing or changing.

    Q2. Two sides of one "coin" e.g. living and death.

    Example: Saving a drowning woman's life who then commited suicide two weeks later.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Last edited by Myosha; 08-05-2013 at 09:53 PM.
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajŮa from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Q - Tell me about somebody or something in the world that you have a very hard time experiencing as "Buddha".
    People who are nit picking and controlling.
    Next, tell me why you are mistaken!
    Then I see how selective memory can be.

    Q - Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give an example from your life.
    Two sides of the same mouth; but I give what i can.
    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.

  10. #10
    Tell me about somebody or something in the world that you have a very hard time experiencing as "Buddha". Next, tell me why you are mistaken!
    Someone who is very insightful, who points out an intimate personal fault, but it does not last. There is no one who can't be experienced as Buddha after stepping out for a stroll. Taking things personally is a mistake, but there it is. It happens less.

    Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give an example from your life.
    No painting is adequate. It is never perfectly balanced. Yet that inadequacy is adequate because a perfectly balanced painting would be a dead painting. The imbalance is its life.


    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    - Tell me about somebody or something in the world that you have a very hard time experiencing as "Buddha".
    An employee at work, one of my staff members. Very hard to experience this person as the Buddha right now.
    Next, tell me why you are mistaken!
    I can't accept being mistaken...not yet...maybe never..

    - Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give an example from your life.
    Well...I'm here. I am quite inadequate in many ways. But adequate enough to be here, practicing, walking the path as best I can.
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    - Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give an example from your life.
    I just noticed that my question above was a bit inadequate. I meant to add ...

    Now, express what is both and neither adequate or inadequate, fully transcending yet holding all adequate and inadequate human views and stone pillars.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-09-2013 at 01:49 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    ​Zen



    Gassho,
    Edward







    Last edited by Myosha; 08-09-2013 at 09:27 AM. Reason: good manners
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajŮa from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  14. #14
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give anexample from your life

    I cannot do it all. I cannot solve every problem. I cannot provide enough. I cannot do life for other people. But thatís OK. I can do all that I can and in this doing know that it is enough and in truly living my life as me, know that I am living it to the fullest.
    Express what is both and neither adequate or inadequate,fully transcending yet holding all adequate and inadequate human views andstone pillars.
    Steadfastly sitting zazen.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  15. #15
    Thank you Heisoku,

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    I cannot do it all. I cannot solve every problem. I cannot provide enough. I cannot do life for other people. But thatís OK. I can do all that I can and in this doing know that it is enough and in truly living my life as me, know that I am living it to the fullest.
    this is awesome. Thank you &
    _()_
    Myoku

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    I cannot do it all. I cannot solve every problem. I cannot provide enough. I cannot do life for other people. But thatís OK. I can do all that I can and in this doing know that it is enough and in truly living my life as me, know that I am living it to the fullest.
    Wow, yes, this is awesome, thank you Heisoku. I too was like that and for so many years of my life. I am thankful that this practice has and is showing that balance can be created and maintained.

    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.

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    What is both and neither adequate or inadequate, fully transcending yet holding all adequate and inadequate human views and stone pillars?
    Me and that person I don't think of as a buddha but who really is a buddha, except that I am wrong about us both. This happens pretty rarely, and when it does happen it is very temporary. A student got on my almost non-existent shit list recently for her abusive and threatening behavior towards another student, among other things, behavior very unbuddha-like. I am getting over it, and in its place is concern and compassion for the future of that student in how she can find a way in life to be more buddha-like. We are both quite flawed, perfectly so, which brings me to...

    Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give an example from your life
    There are parts of my job I do quite adequately, and there are other parts that I do quite inadequately. The parts that I do inadequately are the parts that I don't like. Actually, when I do those tasks I do them adequately, but my avoiding them is the inadequacy. It's all just my job, this whole package of work that nests within the whole package of life that nests within form and emptiness. When I am in the moment of any task, work or otherwise, adequacy and inadequacy disappear. When I am doing any task half-assed, adequacy and inadequacy reappear.

    There are parts of my life that I feel could be better, that are judged to be inadequate, and so I strive to find a way to make them better, adequate. But doing so just feeds the hungry ghost inside me. My inadequacy is perfectly adequate, and peace reigns during the times in my life when I realize this, but that hungry ghost is persistent, so the battle ebbs and flows. Lately, there is lots of ebbing, but I know change is inevitable and that flow will happen in due time. Just doing this exercise brings flow closer.

    One of the things this practice has helped me with is that even in the midst of feelings of great inadequacy, I rarely feel stuck in it the way I used to. Now, thanks to this practice, even if I feel lost and out of control in my search for adequacy, I know, deep down, that it will pass and that I will once again regain my sense of perfectly adequate inadequacy. And the same goes in the other direction when I feel that way, I know it won't last either. But with each cycle I get a little better, a little further along the Path.

    I study and practice the dharma = clouds rising in the south mountains
    I occasionally realize my perfectly adequate inadequacy = scattered showers in the north mountains

    I've missed this koan stuff.
    Last edited by AlanLa; 08-12-2013 at 03:33 PM.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

  19. #19
    hearing word buddha certain concept arises and when i walk this world i see people that don't fit into concept and that's also why i'm mistaken of what buddha is because it certainly ain't a concept instead i should let go of concepts and accept whatever comes

    inadequacy is quite adequate-killing and grilling other sentient beings

    what's both adequate and inadequate and neither adequate and inadequate- whatever i get in touch with and evaluating it with my thoughts

    gassho, Memo

  20. #20
    Questions:

    - Tell me about somebody or something in the world that you have a very hard time experiencing as "Buddha". Next, tell me why you are mistaken! 
    I have a hard time experiencing myself as "Buddha". I usually see the "Buddhaness" in others, but I notice my faults such as being quick to anger, or buying into paranoia about losing my job or not feeling good enough. But I realize those deluded thoughts are just as Buddha as the serene thoughts. They are good grist for the mill and helped bring me to this practice in the first place. Sun Faced Buddha, Moon Faced Buddha. Sometimes Buddha is scared, sometimes angry, sometimes serene, sometimes Buddha doesn't listen too well when his wife is talking to him. lol

    - Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give an example from your life.
    A good example of when I feel inadequate is at work. Sometimes I feel threatened if someone knows more than me. But when I drop that, it just is and it's fine. It's a gift because it gives me the chance to learn something new. And when you can find something new and exciting and you can learn that is an awesome, awesome gift.

    - Now, express what is both and neither adequate or inadequate, fully transcending yet holding all adequate and inadequate human views and stone pillars.
    Today when sitting zen, I had a feeling of bliss. Sometimes I get these, and I think they can be more dangerous than other "negative" feelings because I tend to want to hold onto those. I feel more prepared for negative feelings for some reason, like I know to be watchful of them and not fall into those. But promises of paradise are a lot more tricky for me.

    Then I straightened up and dropped it, and it just subsided. There is no adequacy or inadequacy any more.. There is just this, just sitting. It's like that off of the cushion too. These judgements that I put on my life can be like a prison, but if I just drop those and do, be then poof just doing ,just being, no issues.

    But this dropping can be misleading. Sometimes it may seem like oh just drop, practice is adequate, but then I am trapped again. As it says in Genjokoan,
    When dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you may assume it is already sufficient. When dharma fills your body and mind, you understand that something is missing.
    So I could say "oh my practice is sufficient or adequate" and go on with my little bullshit story. But life and practice are both.. at times they feel adequate, at times they do not. But this is neither.. it is beyond those judgments, no matter how I might want to contain it.

    In a way those clouds that we grasp on to are a good thing. I don't think I should look for them but they are blessing because they give me an opportunity to practice. All life is like this to me. Practice is active and something to be engaged in. Feeling that practice is not adequate, not sufficient, is good because it helps me to keep going and not rest on my laurels. But it's important that I not become attached to that idea. The important point for me is to keep on sitting, keep on practicing, keep on learning… the middle way beyond those grasping thoughts and boundaries.

    But I'm just barely scratching the surface. As Bokusan Nishiari says in Dogen's Genjokoan: Three Commentaries" (p. 61).
    You had been busily running around like thirsty person looking for water. But now, when you become your original person, what will you think? You understand that even before taking one step there was already the original face and eye and the complete Buddha dharma, abiding where bodhi-mind first arose. This cannot be understood with our twenty or thirty years of endeavor in the face of extreme hardship.
    To me that is inspiring, not daunting. Adequate, inadequate.. I need to find out by daily practice… It never ends, always something new to practice. This practice is a gift!

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Last edited by Risho; 08-18-2013 at 04:37 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Thank you so much Risho, you articulate what I cannot and with such insight. Gassho.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9790 using Tapatalk
    Heisoku
    平 息

  22. #22
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Awesome Cyril, always enjoy your posts

    gassho,
    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.

  23. #23
    Thank you guys.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  24. #24
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Questions:

    - Tell me about somebody or something in the world that you have a very hard time experiencing as "Buddha". Next, tell me why you are mistaken!
    - Express how, in life, inadequacy is quite adequate. Give an example from your life.
    - Now, express what is both and neither adequate or inadequate, fully transcending yet holding all adequate and inadequate human views and stone pillars.

    Apologies in advance: I keep trying to not to rant in my post but it keeps turning out rant-like.

    Who I have difficulty experiencing as Buddha: Me, when I'm not sitting zazen. Other people, when I'm not sitting zazen. Kids on the street, young women in rags carrying their babies wading through traffic to knock on car windows and often turning away empty-handed. My mother stuck in the hospital dying and in need of money that I can no longer give. It's not simply that it's hard to experience them as Buddha - it's that it hurts to even think of them as Buddha. Kannon must be in a lot of pain. How does it feel to hear the world's cries and know it's your own cries you're hearing? To think of all those sentient beings, yourself included, crying out - and then there's that vow we take to liberate us all: and that hurts too.

    And I guess that's my answer to Question Number 2 as well: this practice, my efforts to keep the Bodhisattva Vows, everything are all inadequately adequate/adequately inadequate. When I tell people of my mother's situation and how I can no longer financially support her (at least not without dipping into the funds for my children's education and future, which my wife and I agreed we wouldn't touch), everybody seems to be of the opinion that I've given enough. And that's true. After all, I am also a sentient being.

    But on the other hand, it's not enough and it will never be enough. And I'm not talking about just money here. The love and compassion I have - it will never be enough. You think not? Try liberating even just one sentient being and you'll see this not-enough clearly. At the same time, this not-enough is enough. It is because it is not enough that the practice is never-ending. What is it that Dogen said in Genjo Koan? "When Dharma fills your whole being you know something is missing." I know that something's missing and so I keep practicing. And that's enough.


    Rafael

  25. #25
    Yes, Rafael, yes. You bring tears. Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing all that pain Rafael; but we must let go of it as well. It is what it is and we can only do what we can do. When we say ,"All the evil committed by me ..." we include the quilt and atone/at-one for it all; and we sit with(out) it

    gassho,
    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.

  27. #27
    Thank you Raf and yes, this practice is never ending, as the suffering of all sentient beings is never ending.

    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
    Thank you Raf.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  29. #29
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Rafael

  30. #30
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Gassho and metta.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  31. #31
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Thank you Raf and yes, this practice is never ending, as the suffering of all sentient beings is never ending.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    thank you for raising this point, Shingen, it's a point I'd never thought about.

    is it so, can it be said that the suffering of all sentient beings is never ending?
    Last edited by Oheso; 10-07-2013 at 12:34 PM.
    "- and neither are they otherwise."

  32. #32
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    "No suffering, No problem, No Buddhist!"

    To paraphrase: Gautama Buddha, when asked his life purpose - To recognize suffering and remove suffering.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajŮa from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Oheso View Post
    thank you for raising this point, Shingen, it's a point I'd never thought about.

    is it so, can it be said that the suffering of all sentient beings is never ending?
    Like Edward just said, "No suffering, No problem, No Buddhist!" But, that is an ultimate state of being - because I am still in a relative state of being, I will continue to sit, support, care for, and work towards ending suffering for all sentient beings.

    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.

  34. #34
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    yes, of course, obviously so-

    gassho
    Last edited by Oheso; 10-07-2013 at 01:54 PM.
    "- and neither are they otherwise."

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