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Thread: When the bell sounds.

  1. #1

    When the bell sounds.

    Ummon said, "The world is vast and wide; why do you put on your seven-piece robe at the sound of the bell?"

    I love this Koan, because I feel it is pointing at a fundamental and beautiful point. Why do we practice?

    Just why is it do we sit? Why do we face the wall? What drives us? What motivates us? What brought us here in the first place? What was the trigger? Was there a trigger? Does there need to be one? Why do we vow to save all beings? What does that actually mean? Are we sincere when we vow this? Or are we just flapping our lips? Is it actually possible to do? Why did we take the precepts? Who was the one who actually took them? Who are you? Who am I? Who sits? Who breaths? Who vows? Who asks? Who cares? Is an answer necessary? Is there one at all?

    Just sitting. Facing a wall. Just this. Cool breeze coming through the window. sounds of sirens sneaking in. Dog barking. Smell of incense. Just this. Just on a cushion. Facing a blank wall. Questions and answers dissolve. Whats left? Sitting on a cushion. Facing a blank wall. Not just me sitting. Life sitting. Every being sitting.
    Sitting with the horrors of the world, tears arises. Sitting with the beauty of the world. Smiles appear. Sitting with you. You sitting with me. Me sitting with me. You sitting with you. All answers and all question merge.

    Bell sounds. Bows. Rises. Each step. Each breath. Each action. Complete and perfect. Yet, within it, so much room for improvement. Even more room for more sitting. Never ending action.


    Gassho


    P.S
    This is just my ramblings. Please disregard it.
    Last edited by Seiryu; 10-27-2013 at 06:46 PM.
    Humbly,
    Seiryu

  2. #2
    Yeah.

    Who? Who! Why? Why!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    That is a beautiful koan, Seiryu. Thank you. I know we don't do formal koan practice here but sometimes they really hit the spot.

    "The world is vast and wide; why do you put on your seven-piece robe at the sound of the bell?"


    Why, out of all the activities we could be doing, and all the places we could be, do we choose to sit facing the wall?

    Where else could we be but here and what is lacking in this moment, at this spot, with all beings sitting with us?

    Whether sitting facing the wall, walking the dog, planting flowers or sweeping the path, we wear the seven piece robe whether we wear it or not. Or it wears us.
    Which part of life is not zazen?

    Gassho
    Andy

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu View Post
    Ummon said, "The world is vast and wide; why do you put on your seven-piece robe at the sound of the bell?"

    I love this Koan, because I feel it is pointing at a fundamental and beautiful point. Why do we practice?

    Just why is it do we sit? Why do we face the wall? What drives us? What motivates us? What brought us here in the first place? What was the trigger? Was there a trigger? Does there need to be one? Why do we vow to save all beings? What does that actually mean? Are we sincere when we vow this? Or are we just flapping our lips? Is it actually possible to do? Why did we take the precepts? Who was the one who actually took them? Who are you? Who am I? Who sits? Who breaths? Who vows? Who asks? Who cares? Is an answer necessary? Is there one at all?

    Just sitting. Facing a wall. Just this. Cool breeze coming through the window. sounds of sirens sneaking in. Dog barking. Smell of incense. Just this. Just on a cushion. Facing a blank wall. Questions and answers dissolve. Whats left? Sitting on a cushion. Facing a blank wall. Not just me sitting. Life sitting. Every being sitting.
    Sitting with the horrors of the world, tears arises. Sitting with the beauty of the world. Smiles appear. Sitting with you. You sitting with me. Me sitting with me. You sitting with you. All answers and all question merge.

    Bell sounds. Bows. Rises. Each step. Each breath. Each action. Complete and perfect. Yet, within it, so much room for improvement. Even more room for more sitting. Never ending action.


    Gassho


    P.S
    This is just my ramblings. Please disregard it.
    Beautiful Post. Really beautiful.

    Sam

  5. #5
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Beautiful...thank you.

    Gassho

    Sent from Tapatalk 2
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  6. #6
    Beautiful Seiryu ... thank you for your ramblings.

    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.

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Thank you Seiryu. Please ramble on.

    Gassho
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Not just rambling, beautiful words, thanks for sharing.

    Gassho,
    Treena

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Karasu View Post
    That is a beautiful koan, Seiryu. Thank you. I know we don't do formal koan practice here but sometimes they really hit the spot.
    [I]
    Hi,

    Just a point of small correction here. We do engage in Koan Practice here, formal and informal and all other ways. I believe that people sometimes confuse the fact that Soto folks usually sit Shikantaza and do not engage in Zazen focused on a Koan or Koan phrase with the belief that Soto folks do not honor, learn from, pierce and embody Koans. Such is not so. Just open about any page of Dogen's Shobogenzo, for example, and he is riffing on some old Koan.

    Here, for example, we are dancing with the classic Koan Collection known as the "Book of Serenity" ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...TERS-BOOK-CLUB

    (time for me to drop a Koan there, by the way) ...

    ... and Taigu recently invited some folks to a bit of "Koan 'rassling" in the Cave of Tigers ..
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ghlight=tigers

    Plus, of course, every instant of every moment is countless Koans presenting themselves as our very lives ... the Genjo Koan.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-28-2013 at 03:25 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Friends of Treeleaf Taikyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi,


    Plus, of course, every instant of every moment is countless Koans presenting themselves as our very lives ... the Genjo Koan.

    Gassho, J
    Thank you Jundo

    Deep bows
    David

  11. #11
    Just a point of small correction here. We do engage in Koan Practice here, formal and informal and all other ways
    Thank you for the correction, Jundo.

    It is true that Shobogenzo is full of Dogen's take on koans and our study of The Book of Serenity/Equanimity is greatly appreciated.


    Gassho
    Andy

  12. #12
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


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

  13. #13
    Funny you write this. I have been a bad Buddhist lately in that I have been laxed in my sitting and practice. But, that smell of Sandalwood last week smacked me right in the head and I fell directly onto my Zafu at just sat. It was much needed.
    Gassho,
    Onken

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    We sit.

    We live.

    As one.

    Thank you for this.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    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

  15. #15
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I find all these descriptions to be so far from what I experience. Theoretically, I may have some idea. But ultimately, theory is worth nothing if it can't be put to use.

    Anyway, when I sit.... sometimes it's really boring and I don't feel anything. Actually most days happen like this. I find it immensely boring. I can't wait to just jump off the cushion and go back to my usual routine. There's no oneness, there's no ecstatic transcendental feeling, no nothing. Just boring old sitting. Occasionally, sure, but mostly no. It's just the same old life I've led, nothing special. There must be something here if I keep pushing.... without actually pushing (?) how does that work? I dunno. This is my koan right now.

    Gassho,
    Ben
    Gassho
    Ben

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiwala View Post
    Hi,

    I find all these descriptions to be so far from what I experience. Theoretically, I may have some idea. But ultimately, theory is worth nothing if it can't be put to use.

    Anyway, when I sit.... sometimes it's really boring and I don't feel anything. Actually most days happen like this. I find it immensely boring. I can't wait to just jump off the cushion and go back to my usual routine. There's no oneness, there's no ecstatic transcendental feeling, no nothing. Just boring old sitting. Occasionally, sure, but mostly no. It's just the same old life I've led, nothing special. There must be something here if I keep pushing.... without actually pushing (?) how does that work? I dunno. This is my koan right now.

    Gassho,
    Ben
    Ah, boring is good! You are making progress!

    Now, ask yourself right this moment ... WHO is feeling boring or excited? WHO is deciding what is "ordinary" and what is "wondrous"? WHO but you has to the power to see that the most mundane and ordinary as whole and shining? It is the little self, never satisfied or at home, that wants to be entertained, to jump off the cushion and "get something to tickle its fancy".

    Yes, "nothing special" ... ecstatic experiences or no ecstatic experiences ... all Wondrous, all One! "Nothing special" is Everything So Special in a Buddha Eye! When Sitting, Just Sit ... right through boring, right through ecstatic, right through and through everything to the Wholly Holy Whole that is each and all such.

    One of the best books on Zen has just that title ... "Nothing Special" ...

    http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Specia.../dp/0062511173

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-30-2013 at 04:31 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Thank you, Jundo, for the words of advice. I'll try to apply them.

    I think I'll still need to sit through hell before I really get it though. Then there are a thousand other hells I have to sit through. Who's sitting.... WHO'S SITTING!?!

    Gassho,
    Ben
    Gassho
    Ben

  18. #18
    I like what Jundo wrote. "Boring is good. You are making progress."

    You don't need to sit through hell, you just need to sit. And in just sitting, the mind will create hells and heavens and it will throw everything at you, just to distract itself. Or in a sense to try to protect itself. The mind has had a hold on our short hairs for lifetimes after lifetimes. It doesn't want to let us go so easily.

    So when feelings of boring come. we sit. When feelings of bliss and enlightenment comes. We sit. Before anything appears. After everything disappears. There we are. Just sitting. Not boring. Not not boring. Just this. Before we add and comment on our situation, before we compare and try to assess the situation,
    how was it?
    Before we bring ourselves into the situation, how is it? How is it different from now?


    Forgive my words. As I do not know what I am talking about.

    In Gassho
    Humbly,
    Seiryu

  19. #19
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Wonderful post Seiryu. Gassho.
    Heisoku
    平 息

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