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Thread: Split Thread: Buddha's Runny Nose

  1. #1
    Member Ernstguitar's Avatar
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    Split Thread: Buddha's Runny Nose

    NOTE FROM JUNDO: I SPLIT THIS CONVERSATION FROM ANOTHER THREAD

    Thank you.
    This is a very clear description of the physical sensations during zazen.
    I very often have a runny nose after 30 minutes. I use the handkerchief.
    I wounder, if you could do the same description for the mental part.
    How would you describe the
    If the sky is clear of clouds and no thought arise,
    .....
    So, thinking is the itchy nose, what is the blue sky?
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-21-2014 at 09:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Blue sky. :-)

    Gassho, Jishin
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Blue sky. :-)


    Nice!

    Gassho,

    Daitetsu
    no thing needs to be added

  4. #4
    :-)
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  5. #5
    This is something that always comes up while sitting at one time or another. Good stuff, thank you for reminding us and for showing even very experienced practitioners still have to deal with these things.
    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho

    MyoHo

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Blue sky. :-)

    Gassho, Jishin
    Yes.

    In the blue sky, no nose, no place to run. Or better said, the blue sky is all the Buddha's nose running free.



    Nonetheless, our allergies remain, drive us nuts, and itchy nose is the clouds.

    But since clouds and sky were never two ... itchy nose is just blue sky, and we sneeze out clouds of Buddhas.

    Itchy nose remains itchy nose, but is Buddha's nose all along. It still itches and runs, yet now ... BuddhaaaaaaAHHHHCHOOOOOO!

    Something like that.

    **

    Gassho, J

    PS - Ernst, are you allergic to the incense? Zafu? carpet? Dust on the floor? Something must be causing that runny nose.

    **
    Priests at one of Japan's most famous temples have taken steps to block the sale of a sweet marketed as the "Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha".
    They have prevented the name being registered as a trademark at the patent office, but have been unable to stop vendors selling the sweets to hordes of tourists who flock to see the giant Buddha in the ancient capital, Nara, in western Japan.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-in-Japan.html
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-20-2014 at 03:20 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Hey Jundo,

    Question about Dogen:

    Emptiness is form and form is emptiness. Dogen went further and said that to say emptiness is form and form is emptiness is still duality because you have 2 concepts being used. He then said that emptiness=emptiness and form=form and this avoids duality. So when emptiness is mentioned, it includes everything including form=emptiness and emptiness=form and this expresses unity. So, blue sky is blue sky which includes everything including itchy nose. Is that what the first 3 paragraphs of Genjokoan is saying?

    Gassho, Jishin

  8. #8
    Oye. Jishin, that question gives even me a headache!

    In Shobogenzo Maka hannya haramitsu (Dogen's little riffing on the Heart Sutra) he says "form is empty, emptiness is form, form is form, emptiness is empty. It is the hundred grasses, it is myriad forms."

    I have a simple way to view this, but I feel it right. A chair is just completely emptiness ... while emptiness is totally chair ... yet a chair is thoroughly and perfectly chair with nothing else ... and emptiness is purely emptiness. Emptiness is all things in reality, emptiness is the chair, so the chair is all the myriad things in reality ...

    All true, just different angles (including angleless angles) (Stick whatever one wants in that sentence ... including oneself).

    Maybe now I give you a headache!

    My take on the first lines of Genjo is also about this dance of the "relative (form) and absolute (emptiness)".

    As all things are buddha-dharma, there are delusion, realization, practice, birth and death, buddhas and sentient beings. As myriad things are without an abiding self, there is no delusion, no realization, no buddha, no sentient being, no birth and death. The buddha way, in essence, is leaping clear of abundance and lack; thus there are birth and death, delusion and realization, sentient beings and buddhas. Yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread.
    First, a world of duality ... me and you, good and bad, birth and death, delusion and enlightenment, sentient beings and buddhas ... mountains are mountains. Itchy noses itch and we need to sneeze.

    Yet, beyond self (in emptiness) ... no me no you, no good vs. bad, no birth or death, no delusion opposed to enlightenment, no sentient beings becoming buddhas ... mountains are not mountains. No noses no running.

    But then we leap beyond and right through such Wholeness or division ... and once again there is me and you, good and bad, birth and death, delusion and enlightenment, sentient beings and buddhas ... mountains are mountains again, noses run again (but now things are not quite what they were perceived to be in duality for all is also emptiness.)

    And a Great Peace results which is and holds all of life's myriad broken pieces. Nonetheless, life is still sad sometimes even through we know this Great Peace ... the broken pieces can still cut us to the quick ... "Though all this may be true, flowers fall even if we love them, and weeds grow even if we hate them, and that is all." Itchy noses may be Buddha nose dripping Buddha, yet still can be something we hate. (Perhaps it is an allergy to all those flowers and weeds? )

    Anyway.... JUST SIT!

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-20-2014 at 03:22 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Thanks Jundo.

    JUST SIT! is good advice.

    Gasho, Jishin

  10. #10
    Lovely, Jundo!


    @Jishin:
    IMHO this is pretty similar to Seung Sahn's model of the "The Zen Circle":

    "Soen-sa then held up a book and a pencil and said, "This
    book and this pencil - are they the same or different? At 0°,
    they are different. At 90°, since all things are one, the book
    is the pencil, the pencil is the book. At 180°, all thinking is
    cut off, so there are no words and no speech. The answer is
    only ... " Here Soen-sa hit the table. "At 270°, there is per-
    fect freedom, so a good answer is: the book is angry, the
    pencil laughs. Finally, at 360°, the truth is just like this.
    Spring comes, the grass grows by itself. Inside it is light,
    outside it is dark. Three times three equals nine. Everything
    is as it is. So the answer here is: the book is the book, the
    pencil is the pencil. "


    Gassho,

    Daitetsu
    no thing needs to be added

  11. #11
    Maybe easier to follow:

    "One of the most important teachings is that form is emptiness and emptiness is form.
    So, from the very beginning Zen Master Seung Sahn always taught those very simple things:
    form is emptiness, emptiness is form; then no form, no emptiness; then form is form,
    emptiness is emptiness."

    Anyway, I need to JUST SIT!

    Gassho, Jishin

  12. #12
    Here is the whole enchilada about the Zen Circle:
    The Zen Circle:

    One evening, at the Providence Zen Center, Seung Sahn Soen-sa gave the following Dharma Speech:
    “What is Zen? Zen is understanding myself. What am I?
    “I explain Zen by means of a circle. There are five points marked on the circle: zero degrees, ninety degrees, one-hundred-eighty degrees, two-hundred-seventy degrees, and three-hundred-sixty degrees. 360° is exactly the same point as 0°.
    “We begin from 0° to 90°. This is the area of thinking and attachment. Thinking is desire, desire is suffering. All things are separated into opposites: good and bad, beautiful and ugly, mine and yours. I like this; I don't like that. I try to get happiness and avoid suffering. So life here is suffering, and suffering is life.
    "Past 90° is the area of the Consciousness or Karma I. Below 90° there is attachment to name and form. Here there is attachment to thinking. Before you were born, you were zero; now you are one; in the future, you will die and again become zero. So zero equals one, one equals zero. All things here are the same, because they are of the same substance. All things have name and form, but their names and forms come from emptiness and will return to emptiness. This is still thinking.
    “At 180° there is no thinking at all. This is the experience of true emptiness. Before thinking, there are no words and no speech. So there are no mountains, no rivers, no God, no Buddha, nothing at all. There is only …” At this point Soen-sa hit the table.
    “Next is the area up to 270°, the area of magic and miracles. Here, there is complete freedom, with no hindrance in space or time. This is called live thinking. I can change my body into a snake's. I can ride a cloud to the Western Heaven. I can walk on water. If I want life, I have life; if I want death, I have death. In this area, a statue can cry; the ground is not dark or light; the tree has no roots; the valley has no echo. “If you stay at 180°, you become attached to emptiness. If you stay at 270°, you become attached to freedom.
    “At 360°, all things are just as they are; the truth is just like this. ‘Like this’ means that there is no attachment to anything. This point is exactly the same as the zero point: we arrive where we began, where we have always been. The difference is that 0° is attachment thinking, while 360° is no-attachment thinking. “For example, if you drive a car with attachment thinking, your mind will be somewhere else and you will go through the red light. No-attachment thinking means that your mind is clear all the time. When you drive, you aren't thinking; you are just driving. So the truth is just like this. Red light means Stop; green light means Go. It is intuitive action. Intuitive action means acting without any desire or attachment. My mind is like a clear mirror, reflecting everything just as it is. Red comes, and the mirror becomes red; yellow comes, and the mirror becomes yellow. This is how a Bodhisattva lives. I have no desires for myself. My actions are for all people. “0° is Small I. 90° is Karma I. 180° is Nothing I. 270° is Freedom I. 360° is Big I. Big I is infinite time, infinite space. So there is no life and no death. I only wish to save all people. If people are happy, I am happy; if people are sad, I am sad.
    “Zen is reaching 360°. When you reach 360°, all degrees on the circle disappear. The circle is just a Zen teaching-device. It doesn't really exist. We use it to simplify thinking and to test a student's understanding.”

    Soen-sa then held up a book and a pencil and said, “This book and this pencil—are they the same or different? At 0°, they are different. At 90°, since all things are one, the book is the pencil, the pencil is the book. At 180°, all thinking is cut off, so there are no words and no speech. The answer is only …” Here Soen-sa hit the table. “At 270°, there is perfect freedom, so a good answer is: the book is angry, the pencil laughs. Finally, at 360°, the truth is just like this. Spring comes, the grass grows by itself. Inside it is light, outside it is dark. Three times three equals nine. Everything is as it is. So the answer here is: the book is the book, the pencil is the pencil.
    “So at each point the answer is different. Which one is the correct answer? Do you understand?
    “Now here is an answer for you: all five answers are wrong. “Why?” After waiting a few moments, Soen-sa shouted “KATZ!!!” and then said, “The book is blue, the pencil is yellow. If you understand this, you will understand yourself. “But if you understand yourself, I will hit you thirty times. And if you don't understand yourself, I will still hit you thirty times. “Why?” After again waiting a few moments, Soen-sa said, “It is very cold today.”

    Mitchell, Stephen (2007-12-01). Dropping Ashes on the Buddha: The Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn

    Gassho, Jishin

  13. #13
    Member Ernstguitar's Avatar
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    Thank you.
    I think, that my nose is o.k., it is just when I sit after about 30 min.
    no allergic reaction, just relaxation, I think.

    gassho, Ernst

  14. #14
    Member Ernstguitar's Avatar
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    Can I ask a very practical thing?
    I sit for about 60 minutes. I like the physical feeling. But…..would you suggest either two times 30 minutes or is that not so important?
    Both versions are o.k. for me, but I think, that maybe the break after 30 min. is helpful.

  15. #15
    Hi Ernst,

    60 minutes at one go is long, even here in Japan and even during an "intense" retreat. The body can use a Kinhin walk at least. I would put 10 minutes of Kinhin in between, or place the sittings at different times of day.

    But do you know that you must also sit beyond "long" or "short" and any sense of time or gain? If you are sitting for hours as if racking up points with each passing minute, or as if more time means you are getting "closer and closer" to some goal ... well, you are wasting your time.

    If you can sit an instant right through and beyond all goal and need, all gain and time ... well, that is Buddha sitting Buddha in this way of sitting.

    Do not misunderstand: If you feel right about sitting as long as you do, please continue! When I say "there is nothing wrong with long or short if beyond time counts" ... that also means that there is nothing wrong with sitting long!

    Here is something I wrote on time for sitting ...

    Sit-a-Long with Jundo: Zazen for Beginners (Part XXI)
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...%28Part-XXI%29

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    Member Ernstguitar's Avatar
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    Thank you again,

    I do not know much about kinhin. I did it on a sesshin long time ago.
    So, maybe I should learn that either.
    The second point of you is something, what changed my zazen. I do it - when I sit - pretty good without gain and so……
    I just felt fine most of the time and so it got longer and longer. Last week I sat 90 minutes, and time was fast.
    So I did not feel it as a long sitting. But I was like in a "cloud" (it is from german saying: I sit on clouds)
    If I get tired I stop it after about 30 minutes.
    The idea, that I get faster to whatever for me shows the foolishness of my ego. That appears sometimes during the day.
    But I do not have an idea of the goal, so I can stay till I know it.
    Gassho,
    Ernst

  17. #17
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Here is the whole enchilada about the Zen Circle:
    The Zen Circle:

    One evening, at the Providence Zen Center, Seung Sahn Soen-sa gave the following Dharma Speech:
    “What is Zen? Zen is understanding myself. What am I?
    “I explain Zen by means of a circle. There are five points marked on the circle: zero degrees, ninety degrees, one-hundred-eighty degrees, two-hundred-seventy degrees, and three-hundred-sixty degrees. 360° is exactly the same point as 0°.
    “We begin from 0° to 90°. This is the area of thinking and attachment. Thinking is desire, desire is suffering. All things are separated into opposites: good and bad, beautiful and ugly, mine and yours. I like this; I don't like that. I try to get happiness and avoid suffering. So life here is suffering, and suffering is life.
    "Past 90° is the area of the Consciousness or Karma I. Below 90° there is attachment to name and form. Here there is attachment to thinking. Before you were born, you were zero; now you are one; in the future, you will die and again become zero. So zero equals one, one equals zero. All things here are the same, because they are of the same substance. All things have name and form, but their names and forms come from emptiness and will return to emptiness. This is still thinking.
    “At 180° there is no thinking at all. This is the experience of true emptiness. Before thinking, there are no words and no speech. So there are no mountains, no rivers, no God, no Buddha, nothing at all. There is only …” At this point Soen-sa hit the table.
    “Next is the area up to 270°, the area of magic and miracles. Here, there is complete freedom, with no hindrance in space or time. This is called live thinking. I can change my body into a snake's. I can ride a cloud to the Western Heaven. I can walk on water. If I want life, I have life; if I want death, I have death. In this area, a statue can cry; the ground is not dark or light; the tree has no roots; the valley has no echo. “If you stay at 180°, you become attached to emptiness. If you stay at 270°, you become attached to freedom.
    “At 360°, all things are just as they are; the truth is just like this. ‘Like this’ means that there is no attachment to anything. This point is exactly the same as the zero point: we arrive where we began, where we have always been. The difference is that 0° is attachment thinking, while 360° is no-attachment thinking. “For example, if you drive a car with attachment thinking, your mind will be somewhere else and you will go through the red light. No-attachment thinking means that your mind is clear all the time. When you drive, you aren't thinking; you are just driving. So the truth is just like this. Red light means Stop; green light means Go. It is intuitive action. Intuitive action means acting without any desire or attachment. My mind is like a clear mirror, reflecting everything just as it is. Red comes, and the mirror becomes red; yellow comes, and the mirror becomes yellow. This is how a Bodhisattva lives. I have no desires for myself. My actions are for all people. “0° is Small I. 90° is Karma I. 180° is Nothing I. 270° is Freedom I. 360° is Big I. Big I is infinite time, infinite space. So there is no life and no death. I only wish to save all people. If people are happy, I am happy; if people are sad, I am sad.
    “Zen is reaching 360°. When you reach 360°, all degrees on the circle disappear. The circle is just a Zen teaching-device. It doesn't really exist. We use it to simplify thinking and to test a student's understanding.”

    Soen-sa then held up a book and a pencil and said, “This book and this pencil—are they the same or different? At 0°, they are different. At 90°, since all things are one, the book is the pencil, the pencil is the book. At 180°, all thinking is cut off, so there are no words and no speech. The answer is only …” Here Soen-sa hit the table. “At 270°, there is perfect freedom, so a good answer is: the book is angry, the pencil laughs. Finally, at 360°, the truth is just like this. Spring comes, the grass grows by itself. Inside it is light, outside it is dark. Three times three equals nine. Everything is as it is. So the answer here is: the book is the book, the pencil is the pencil.
    “So at each point the answer is different. Which one is the correct answer? Do you understand?
    “Now here is an answer for you: all five answers are wrong. “Why?” After waiting a few moments, Soen-sa shouted “KATZ!!!” and then said, “The book is blue, the pencil is yellow. If you understand this, you will understand yourself. “But if you understand yourself, I will hit you thirty times. And if you don't understand yourself, I will still hit you thirty times. “Why?” After again waiting a few moments, Soen-sa said, “It is very cold today.”

    Mitchell, Stephen (2007-12-01). Dropping Ashes on the Buddha: The Teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn

    Gassho, Jishin
    I always love how those Kwan Um folks express things.

    One of my favourite koans, case 16 from the Mumonkan:

    CASE 16. UN-MON'S SEVEN-FOLD ROBE

    Un-mon said, "The world is vast and wide; for what is it you put on your seven-piece robe at the sound of the bell?"

    Mumon's Comment:
    When one meditates and studies Zen, one extinguishes the attachment to sound and color. Even though some have attained enlightenment by hearing a sound, or an awakening by seeing a color, these are ordinary matters. Those who intend to master Zen freely master sounds or colors, see clearly the nature of things and every activity of mind. Even though this is so, now tell me: Does the sound come to the ear, or does the ear go to the sound? But when both sound and silence are forgotten, what would you call this state? If you listen with your ear, it is hard to hear truly, but if you listen with your eye, then you begin to hear properly.

    If you are awakened, all things are one and the same,
    If you are not awakened, all things are varied and distinguished.
    If you are not awakened, all things are one and the same,
    If you are awakened, all things are varied and distinguished


    Gassho, Ben
    Gassho
    Ben

  18. #18
    Emptiness is form and form is emptiness. Dogen went further and said that to say emptiness is form and form is emptiness is still duality because you have 2 concepts being used. He then said that emptiness=emptiness and form=form and this avoids duality. So when emptiness is mentioned, it includes everything including form=emptiness and emptiness=form and this expresses unity. So, blue sky is blue sky which includes everything including itchy nose.
    At the risk of muddying the waters further, I have just been reading about The Five Ranks in Dumoulin (Zen Buddhism: A History, p222-230) that seems to talk about this in a very straightforward way, to me at least!

    The five ranks are ways of seeing the world in terms of ji (appearance/form) and ri (absolute/emptiness).

    Rank 1 The Bent (form) within the Straight (emptiness): all things are seen as being empty (Form is Emptiness).
    Rank 2 The Straight within the Bent: all things are seen to arise from emptiness with their own individual character (Emptiness is Form)
    Rank 3 The Coming from within the Straight: emptiness is seen in its own aspect as the womb or potential from which all things come (Emptiness is Emptiness)
    Rank 4 The Arrival at the Middle of the Bent: all things are seen according to their own place and function as distinct and individual (Form is Form)
    Rank 5 Unity Attained: reality appears as interpenetrating phenomena beyond all notions of opposition and duality (No Emptiness, no Form).


    I don't know if this schema is ever used in Soto schools but it makes a lot of sense to me as I can fluctuate between 1 and 4 depending on how I am looking at things. Not achieved Rank 5 yet!

    Gassho
    Andy

  19. #19
    Hi Andy,

    The "Five Ranks" have been cherished by the Soto (and the Rinzai folks too), and are said to have originated with Dongshan, one of the founders of the Soto Lineage. Yes, it is basically a way to describe the interpenetration and mutual dance of the "Absolute" and "Relative".

    But a couple of cautions:

    Dogen is said not to have been a fan. Why? It is not that he (like most Soto folks) did not have a deep understanding of this dance of the Relative and Absolute, and (as we saw in the opening paragraph of the Genjo above) he also danced this dance. It is more that he did not like Zen being reduced to formuli. The dance needs to be danced and experienced, it is not something that is found merely in some formula or "fixed set of dance steps". For example, one pierces Salsa by dancing Salsa, not by studying the notations of foot steps ...



    Dogen made the point that our practice is so much more than just that, some simple model of absolute and relative. James Mitchell writes in Soto Zen Ancestors in China (he uses the Chinese term "principle" referring to the "absolute" and "phenomena" to mean "the relative"):


    In addition to the various statements regarding emptiness, Buddha-nature and thusness, which
    conform in every respect to the commonly accepted teachings of all the chan schools,
    Dongshan also develops the teaching of the Five Ranks, represented in the Sung histories as
    the characterizing philosophical doctrine of the emergent Cao-Dong School. The Five Ranks
    of Dongshan are a set of five modes in which apparent or phenomenal reality interacts with
    ultimate or absolute reality. In traditional Buddhist terms, the teaching demonstrates five
    possibilities for the construction of form and emptiness. In traditional Chinese terms, the
    Five Ranks show the interactive relations of li (principle) and shi (phenomena). The recorded
    teachings of Caoshan Benji likewise indicate the importance of the Five Ranks in the early
    years of Cao-Dong School. They contain extensive elaboration, through the systematic use
    of metaphor and symbol, of Dongshan's original theory.
    ...
    Its [the Five Rank's] popularity and employment as a teaching device seems to have varied
    enormously from generation to generation – Dogen Zenji seems to have been little
    impressed with it – but it is reasonable to say that it has always had at the very least a
    background presence throughout the later history of Cao-Dong School. Indeed the Sungperiod
    chan histories agree in emphasizing Dongshan's Five Ranks as the original teaching
    of the school, which alone probably would have precluded the possibility of its complete
    disappearance afterwards
    I would say that Dogen's vision of the intricated intimate dance of form-emptiness was much more than 5 or 50 or 500000 or 1/5th of a Rank.

    Another problem with the "Five Ranks" is that, as the centuries passed, many commentators and writers started to turn the thing into some complicated esoteric system of hidden meanings and symbols, almost to the point of turning it into Jewish Kabbalah. Even the language which Andy quotes above is starting to get that flavor. Here is an example of what it sometimes became, just some religious thinkers with too much time on their hands dreaming up some complicated mysterious system and symbolic diagrams ... and losing perhaps the lovely elegance in the process ...

    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin...ofTsaotung.htm

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-23-2014 at 05:17 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ... The dance needs to be danced and experienced, it is not something that is found merely in some formula ...
    Thank you Jundo ... I remember an Aikido seminar that I attended in Vancouver with Yamada Shihan and the thing I enjoyed the most was this same perspective. He would say, "Aikido is about finding your place in the movement. This movement or technic feels right to me, but may not to you ... each of us have our own body types, find yours." Similarly, zen practice gives us guides and pointers as we walk along this path, but we also need to find what works for us as individuals as well during that journey. =)

    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.

  21. #21
    Member Ernstguitar's Avatar
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    Such an ordinary question from me, and such a beautiful answer from you….
    Thank you.
    For me the Zen Circle is a good way to describe the path, but I immediately have a goal in mind during reading that.
    That is the problem with such mystic descriptions. And that makes me feel that I am away from what I
    would like to be. I hope, it goes away again….
    But I never read the path of Zen in this way. I read half of the Shobogenzo and liked the pictures Dogen uses.
    The idea, that if I would sit for years and years, that I could be everything and everybody sounds strange for me.
    It is as it is, I think.

    Gassho
    Ernst

  22. #22
    Another problem with the "Five Ranks" is that, as the centuries passed, many commentators and writers started to turn the thing into some complicated esoteric system of hidden meanings and symbols, almost to the point of turning it into Jewish Kabbalah. Even the language which Andy quotes above is starting to get that flavor. Here is an example of what it sometimes became, just some religious thinkers with too much time on their hands dreaming up some complicated mysterious system and symbolic diagrams ... and losing perhaps the lovely elegance in the process ...
    Thank you, Jundo. I greatly appreciate your knowledge on this, and countless other, subject(s).

    Gassho
    Andy

  23. #23
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    At the risk of muddying the waters further, I have just been reading about The Five Ranks in Dumoulin (Zen Buddhism: A History, p222-230) that seems to talk about this in a very straightforward way, to me at least!

    The five ranks are ways of seeing the world in terms of ji (appearance/form) and ri (absolute/emptiness).

    Rank 1 The Bent (form) within the Straight (emptiness): all things are seen as being empty (Form is Emptiness).
    Rank 2 The Straight within the Bent: all things are seen to arise from emptiness with their own individual character (Emptiness is Form)
    Rank 3 The Coming from within the Straight: emptiness is seen in its own aspect as the womb or potential from which all things come (Emptiness is Emptiness)
    Rank 4 The Arrival at the Middle of the Bent: all things are seen according to their own place and function as distinct and individual (Form is Form)
    Rank 5 Unity Attained: reality appears as interpenetrating phenomena beyond all notions of opposition and duality (No Emptiness, no Form).


    I don't know if this schema is ever used in Soto schools but it makes a lot of sense to me as I can fluctuate between 1 and 4 depending on how I am looking at things. Not achieved Rank 5 yet!

    Gassho
    Andy
    Is there any way we can turn this into a belt system? We could get a lot more people into zen if we had fancy uniforms with colored belts. Of course, I have no idea what stage I'm at. I'm probably still a zen white belt
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  24. #24
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    I think monks have some sort of fancy uniforms indicating rank.

    Gassho, Ben
    Gassho
    Ben

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Nengyo View Post
    Is there any way we can turn this into a belt system? We could get a lot more people into zen if we had fancy uniforms with colored belts. Of course, I have no idea what stage I'm at. I'm probably still a zen white belt
    I believe in our way that One Belt is all belts. All belts are all belts, and all belts are Non-Belt. You are already a Buddha Blackbelt, yet simply do not know so. In coming to know so, unlearning and dropping away "techniques" is just as vital as learning any new skills.



    And so we stay with this daily Practice, day by day ... no where to progress, nothing to gain, free of goals ... yet getting better at it, as our belt darkens with use. A new comer practicing 30 seconds or 30 days is as much a Buddha Blackbelt as someone practicing 30 years, but the 30 year fellow is probably better at it and realizes more.

    For a Master of this way, the greatest defense of "life and death" is thoroughly to drop away thoughts of "life and death". The place of victory is not tomorrow or yesterday, but just this match ... and this throw ... and this kick ... right now and now ...

    ... doing as one can to stay on one's feet and not fall ... all as we simultaneously realize that there never was any place to fall.

    Gassho, J

    (inspired by my first Zen Teacher) ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 02-24-2014 at 12:43 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I believe in our way that One Belt is all belts. All belts are all belts, and all belts are Non-Belt. You are already a Buddha Blackbelt, yet simply do not know so.
    And as Mr. Miyagi would say:



    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.

  27. #27

    yet getting better at it, as our belt darkens with use.
    That is called 'getting your belt dirty'

    I just love all those little things that happen, like runny noses, a fellow meditator suddenly snoring and hastily taking on the right posture again, or the birds that nest under the zendo's roof gutter every spring, making all kinds of noises.

    Gassho
    Vincent
    For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

  28. #28
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    nose running, blow it.

    thoughts? forget them.

    keep it simple, and simple...and simple.



    T.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    nose running, blow it.

    thoughts? forget them.

    keep it simple, and simple...and simple.



    T.

    C

  30. #30
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Back in the day I used to go to the Triratna Center in Mexico City for Tuesday night teachings and zazen. It was wonderful and I learned quite a bit with them.

    Now as you may know, part of Mexican food are tamales. There are several types of tamales. Pretty much every state of the country has its own tamale recipe. The state of Oaxaca has the very best tamales, so people sell them, buy them and eat them like crazy. Tamales Oaxaqueños (from Oaxaca) are very popular in Mexico City.

    The traditional way of selling those tamales is by going out on a bicycle and offer this delicacy.

    What does this have to do with zazen?

    Well, imagine a group of about 70 sitters. All in silence and deep in zazen. Incense fragrance fills the air. Controlled light sets the mood and a big Buddha statue sits in the altar, flowers and all.

    And then you hear this:



    The tamale guy shouting and selling tamales. Not only that, but he stops right in front of the Buddhist Center and stays there for about 10 minutes.

    Every single time zazen session was interrupted by laughter. After that zazen was resumed.

    So for a couple of years Tuesday nights were zazen-tamale night. I learned to just let go the noises, not minding how disturbing or funny.

    We sit with what we got. Runny nose, black belts, memories, thoughts, worries... and of course, tamales.

    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

  31. #31
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Hi all,

    Back in the day I used to go to the Triratna Center in Mexico City for Tuesday night teachings and zazen. It was wonderful and I learned quite a bit with them.

    Now as you may know, part of Mexican food are tamales. There are several types of tamales. Pretty much every state of the country has its own tamale recipe. The state of Oaxaca has the very best tamales, so people sell them, buy them and eat them like crazy. Tamales Oaxaqueños (from Oaxaca) are very popular in Mexico City.

    The traditional way of selling those tamales is by going out on a bicycle and offer this delicacy.

    What does this have to do with zazen?

    Well, imagine a group of about 70 sitters. All in silence and deep in zazen. Incense fragrance fills the air. Controlled light sets the mood and a big Buddha statue sits in the altar, flowers and all.

    And then you hear this:



    The tamale guy shouting and selling tamales. Not only that, but he stops right in front of the Buddhist Center and stays there for about 10 minutes.

    Every single time zazen session was interrupted by laughter. After that zazen was resumed.

    So for a couple of years Tuesday nights were zazen-tamale night. I learned to just let go the noises, not minding how disturbing or funny.

    We sit with what we got. Runny nose, black belts, memories, thoughts, worries... and of course, tamales.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Hola Kyonin,

    Hahaha! Thank you for sharing this story. Many times I sit and there are absurd things happenng all around me. The Philippines is a very loud place, with loud, simple people. A lot of times, vulgar, sometimes people try to cheat you, but underneath all that is just a wish to help the family. I used to really dislike all this loudness and vulgarity. I don't know about letting go, but I sure do end up smiling or even cracking a laugh nowadays.

    Gassho, Ben
    Gassho
    Ben

  32. #32
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiwala View Post
    The Philippines is a very loud place, with loud, simple people. A lot of times, vulgar, sometimes people try to cheat you, but underneath all that is just a wish to help the family. I used to really dislike all this loudness and vulgarity. I don't know about letting go, but I sure do end up smiling or even cracking a laugh nowadays.
    Tell me about it. Mexico is a very loud and rude country. My city is specially noisy and it's really hard to find a peaceful place.

    People love their loud music, loud conversations and they even modify cars to be extra noisy (for some reason I have yet to understand)

    But at the end we sit with what is. No point in resisting or trying to change a whole country.

    Just peaceful sitting. And tamales.

    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

  33. #33
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post

    Just peaceful sitting. And tamales.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Right!!!!

    Gassho


    Sent from Tapatalk 2
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    Kōshin / Leo



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

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