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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 35

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 35

    Case 34 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 35: Rakubo's Acquiescence

    I feel that this Koan is another caution regarding students who have had a taste of Emptiness, some Opening or the like, and think they are fully Enlightened beings. Thus, in the story, the fellow comes with a lot of ego and pride, yet is all tongue tied when asked to truly manifest Wisdom. He makes some of the cliche moves and sounds that Zen folks sometimes do to manifest the unspeakable ... a shout, a circle in the air ... but the Teacher is unimpressed at his act.

    Real mastery of this Way, I feel, is shown in how we apply Wisdom and Compassion in life, where the rubber meets the road. That is the best demonstration of one's Insight and Mastery, far beyond any shout or grand gesture or poetic quoting in the Dokusan room. If one does want to demonstrate one's Insight through poetry, gestures or shouts ... well, one must certainly bring some originality and heart into it, not merely copying Zen stereotypes that one has read about in some old Zen stories. Make the Teachings one's own. A person with True Understanding knows it too, because he cannot even have his head turned by praise or criticism ... because he is beyond praise or criticism in his conviction about his understanding.

    Question: How do you think you will feel, and how will you know for sure when you have become, "Enlightened"? What do you imagine that will be like? How will you know when you have got it?

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-23-2014 at 05:25 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Hello,

    ,

    ,

    ,


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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    I thought I was already enlightened and now I'm just practicing to be good at it

    Either way; study, sweep the floor, and wash the dishes...
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  4. #4
    That is the best demonstration of one's Insight and Mastery, far beyond any shout or grand gesture or poetic quoting in the Dokusan room.
    Is this one of the reasons we attach less significance to Dokusan encounters in Soto? Presumably a teacher would judge a student more on how they comport themselves around the Zendo and in everyday life more than those brief meetings?

    As regards the question, I am reminded of this passage from The Diamond Sutra:

    "Tell me, Subhuti. Do those who are free from rebirth think, 'I have attained freedom from rebirth'?"

    Subhuti replied, "No indeed, Bhagavan. Those who are free from rebirth do not think, 'I have attained freedom from rebirth.' And why not? Bhagavan, there is no such dharma as 'freedom from rebirth.' Thus are they said to be 'free from rebirth'. If, Bhagavan, thsoe who are free from rebirth should think, 'I have attained freedom from rebirth,' they would be attached to a being, a life and a soul."
    Gassho
    Andy

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Probably just sucking it up and going through a particularly difficult day. I don't know. Sometimes people just get tired and pissed off. Eh...

    Gassho, Ben
    Gassho
    Ben

  6. #6
    When I am chopping wood and carrying water ... I will want to just chop wood and carry water - whether in the sun, rain, or snow. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I think I will feel like I am no longer caught. I will know for sure when there no longer is a reeling in, I guess.

    How could I know, unless I can be sure that I have tasted it already, or if my brief, few moments of kensho truly were that and are anything like enlightenment?

    I imagine it will be like discovering a day during which the small things that catch me or get my thoughts spinning too fast no longer do so.
    迎 Geika

  8. #8
    My ego loves to to read and play with dead words in zen books but it does not know what enlightenment is. Knowing not knowing is good. Admitting not knowing is even better. Not chasing "enlightenment" I think is peace. I just try to do good and in most cases get good karma in return. :-)

    Gasho
    Jishin

  9. #9
    Yesterday I heard an old friend is very sick, and wanted to say goodbye. I went to the hospital. We hugged and looked into each others eyes. His eyes were clear and silent. He said "I love you". I said " i love you". We said goodbye, and I left. Got home and had a brief cry, not a sad cry, just a cry. Then carried on with making dinner. Can't say it was an "Enlightened" day, but it wasn't a benighted one.

    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  10. #10
    Enlightenment is not something I normally think or dream about. Just continuing to practice will take care of it.



    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  11. #11
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    The things that seem hardest to do often bring an uplifting relief. Metta and gassho, Daizan.
    迎 Geika

  12. #12
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 35

    I believe those moments that we feel like we have some sort of unique wisdom is the moment we don't get it at all and when we realize we don't get it at all is when we have most wisdom.
    Last edited by Troy; 02-25-2014 at 02:15 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    Wishing peace to you Daizan

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Question: How do you think you will feel, and how will you know for sure when you have become, "Enlightened"? What do you imagine that will be like? How will you know when you have got it?
    Practice is enlightenment; practice never ends. It can't.

    I don't believe in the sort of enlightenment that solves all of one's problems. Meaning that there is some point along a linear timeline that one is considered "enlightened" and then everything becomes "better" afterward. I think part of that drew me to practice. I wanted to find a way out of anxiety on some level.. uncertainty.

    But things aren't fixed.

    Could you imagine that?

    If one had the answer to all things in life, then that would not be living.. Fixed, static answers only apply to dead things, things that don't change. Contrastingly, life is vibrant, changing, and by its very nature, things are not what we may expect if we have a fixed idea of them... which is what lends itself to dukkha.

    So that being said, I believe there is enlightenment, that does make everything ok even if it's not what we expect. In a deep, deep level we are ok with things as they are because we no longer have to fit them into our limited shape of what ok is. Instead we "shikantaza-ize" them. lol We drop our judgements, grasping, greedy, ignorant, angry mind, and just let them be... allow them to be us.

    But the practice never ends because the conditions of our life always change, so we always have to keep sweeping as Taigu would say.

    Now that being said, my practice is shit. I look at the picture of Sawaki roshi's sewing, or how Jundo or Taigu present the dharma, how they practice, and my practice is nothing compared to that.

    So I sit.

    Thoughts of enlightenment or delusion, drop, sit.

    Zazen feels great; drop it, sit.

    Zazen feels like crap; drop it, sit.

    Just sit.

    But not just sitting, isolated.. giving to charity, volunteering, atoning, chanting, sitting... all just sitting in a sense.

    Living life from a perspective of open responsiveness instead of closed off resentment, wishing things were the way I wanted them. And a lot of times I feel that heartache; it reminds me of how attached I am to my imagined ideals.

    So again I practice. Coming back again and again to now, dropping it all.. coming back.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  15. #15
    After my first kensho I imagined it to be like that, but times thousand. That was a long time ago. Now I don't really care anymore, honestly.
    I feel it to be the same as growing up. It never ends, does it? Until the end that is :P

    When can we say we're finally grown up? At the age of 90 we're all still small boys and girls really.

    I do like this story though

    gassho

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

  16. #16
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Practice is enlightenment; practice never ends. It can't.

    I don't believe in the sort of enlightenment that solves all of one's problems. Meaning that there is some point along a linear timeline that one is considered "enlightened" and then everything becomes "better" afterward. I think part of that drew me to practice. I wanted to find a way out of anxiety on some level.. uncertainty.

    But things aren't fixed.

    Could you imagine that?

    If one had the answer to all things in life, then that would not be living.. Fixed, static answers only apply to dead things, things that don't change. Contrastingly, life is vibrant, changing, and by its very nature, things are not what we may expect if we have a fixed idea of them... which is what lends itself to dukkha.

    So that being said, I believe there is enlightenment, that does make everything ok even if it's not what we expect. In a deep, deep level we are ok with things as they are because we no longer have to fit them into our limited shape of what ok is. Instead we "shikantaza-ize" them. lol We drop our judgements, grasping, greedy, ignorant, angry mind, and just let them be... allow them to be us.

    But the practice never ends because the conditions of our life always change, so we always have to keep sweeping as Taigu would say.

    Now that being said, my practice is shit. I look at the picture of Sawaki roshi's sewing, or how Jundo or Taigu present the dharma, how they practice, and my practice is nothing compared to that.

    So I sit.

    Thoughts of enlightenment or delusion, drop, sit.

    Zazen feels great; drop it, sit.

    Zazen feels like crap; drop it, sit.

    Just sit.

    But not just sitting, isolated.. giving to charity, volunteering, atoning, chanting, sitting... all just sitting in a sense.

    Living life from a perspective of open responsiveness instead of closed off resentment, wishing things were the way I wanted them. And a lot of times I feel that heartache; it reminds me of how attached I am to my imagined ideals.

    So again I practice. Coming back again and again to now, dropping it all.. coming back.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Thank you for this post

    Gassho, Ben
    Gassho
    Ben

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Practice is enlightenment; practice never ends. It can't.

    I don't believe in the sort of enlightenment that solves all of one's problems. Meaning that there is some point along a linear timeline that one is considered "enlightened" and then everything becomes "better" afterward. I think part of that drew me to practice. I wanted to find a way out of anxiety on some level.. uncertainty.

    But things aren't fixed.

    Could you imagine that?

    If one had the answer to all things in life, then that would not be living.. Fixed, static answers only apply to dead things, things that don't change. Contrastingly, life is vibrant, changing, and by its very nature, things are not what we may expect if we have a fixed idea of them... which is what lends itself to dukkha.

    So that being said, I believe there is enlightenment, that does make everything ok even if it's not what we expect. In a deep, deep level we are ok with things as they are because we no longer have to fit them into our limited shape of what ok is. Instead we "shikantaza-ize" them. lol We drop our judgements, grasping, greedy, ignorant, angry mind, and just let them be... allow them to be us.

    But the practice never ends because the conditions of our life always change, so we always have to keep sweeping as Taigu would say.

    Now that being said, my practice is shit. I look at the picture of Sawaki roshi's sewing, or how Jundo or Taigu present the dharma, how they practice, and my practice is nothing compared to that.

    So I sit.

    Thoughts of enlightenment or delusion, drop, sit.

    Zazen feels great; drop it, sit.

    Zazen feels like crap; drop it, sit.

    Just sit.

    But not just sitting, isolated.. giving to charity, volunteering, atoning, chanting, sitting... all just sitting in a sense.

    Living life from a perspective of open responsiveness instead of closed off resentment, wishing things were the way I wanted them. And a lot of times I feel that heartache; it reminds me of how attached I am to my imagined ideals.

    So again I practice. Coming back again and again to now, dropping it all.. coming back.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Funny, I was just contemplating this question yesterday, wondering how I really understood it and here it is. For me enlightenment is a little enlightenment, and the Big E enlightenment. When we sit dropping all thoughts, all notions of good/bad this is enlightenment. Shikantanza itself when doing IS enlightenment. The moments when we sit are like experiencing the enlightened state in that moment. Satori and kensho are little glimpses of what enlightenment can be like, similar to when we learn a new word, it doesn't really mean we have mastered the whole language. The Big E , is no different than what we experience as Shikantanza except that all we do has become practice. We have taken the "enlightenment" off the cushion, so to speak, and have incorporated that into our lives fully. Sitting as enlightenment, working as enlightenment, dealing with loss. etc., fully in harmony with all that is, the self merges with the infinite.

    I do wonder about enlightenment in the sense of what happens when we die, is there really an end to rebirth, is there rebirth, what is the state of consciousness in death, etc. But maybe I will adopt Gudo Wafu Nishijima Roshi's thought that maybe humans being simply cannot understand such things.

    Gassho
    C

  19. #19
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    When I am chopping wood and carrying water ... I will want to just chop wood and carry water - whether in the sun, rain, or snow. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    I agree, and couldn't say it any more clear or simple than this. To chop wood and carry water, free of the mental theater, that, to me, is enlightenment.


    Gassho,
    Joyo

  20. #20
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Practice is enlightenment; practice never ends. It can't.

    I don't believe in the sort of enlightenment that solves all of one's problems. Meaning that there is some point along a linear timeline that one is considered "enlightened" and then everything becomes "better" afterward. I think part of that drew me to practice. I wanted to find a way out of anxiety on some level.. uncertainty.

    But things aren't fixed.

    Could you imagine that?

    If one had the answer to all things in life, then that would not be living.. Fixed, static answers only apply to dead things, things that don't change. Contrastingly, life is vibrant, changing, and by its very nature, things are not what we may expect if we have a fixed idea of them... which is what lends itself to dukkha.

    So that being said, I believe there is enlightenment, that does make everything ok even if it's not what we expect. In a deep, deep level we are ok with things as they are because we no longer have to fit them into our limited shape of what ok is. Instead we "shikantaza-ize" them. lol We drop our judgements, grasping, greedy, ignorant, angry mind, and just let them be... allow them to be us.

    But the practice never ends because the conditions of our life always change, so we always have to keep sweeping as Taigu would say.

    Now that being said, my practice is shit. I look at the picture of Sawaki roshi's sewing, or how Jundo or Taigu present the dharma, how they practice, and my practice is nothing compared to that.

    So I sit.

    Thoughts of enlightenment or delusion, drop, sit.

    Zazen feels great; drop it, sit.

    Zazen feels like crap; drop it, sit.

    Just sit.

    But not just sitting, isolated.. giving to charity, volunteering, atoning, chanting, sitting... all just sitting in a sense.

    Living life from a perspective of open responsiveness instead of closed off resentment, wishing things were the way I wanted them. And a lot of times I feel that heartache; it reminds me of how attached I am to my imagined ideals.

    So again I practice. Coming back again and again to now, dropping it all.. coming back.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Hmmmm, I think you understand enlightenment, and this practice pretty well. I learned a lot from this post, thank you.

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  21. #21
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Gassho,



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

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Practice is enlightenment; practice never ends. It can't.

    I don't believe in the sort of enlightenment that solves all of one's problems. Meaning that there is some point along a linear timeline that one is considered "enlightened" and then everything becomes "better" afterward. I think part of that drew me to practice. I wanted to find a way out of anxiety on some level.. uncertainty.

    But things aren't fixed.

    Could you imagine that?

    If one had the answer to all things in life, then that would not be living.. Fixed, static answers only apply to dead things, things that don't change. Contrastingly, life is vibrant, changing, and by its very nature, things are not what we may expect if we have a fixed idea of them... which is what lends itself to dukkha.

    So that being said, I believe there is enlightenment, that does make everything ok even if it's not what we expect. In a deep, deep level we are ok with things as they are because we no longer have to fit them into our limited shape of what ok is. Instead we "shikantaza-ize" them. lol We drop our judgements, grasping, greedy, ignorant, angry mind, and just let them be... allow them to be us.

    But the practice never ends because the conditions of our life always change, so we always have to keep sweeping as Taigu would say.

    Now that being said, my practice is shit. I look at the picture of Sawaki roshi's sewing, or how Jundo or Taigu present the dharma, how they practice, and my practice is nothing compared to that.

    So I sit.

    Thoughts of enlightenment or delusion, drop, sit.

    Zazen feels great; drop it, sit.

    Zazen feels like crap; drop it, sit.

    Just sit.

    But not just sitting, isolated.. giving to charity, volunteering, atoning, chanting, sitting... all just sitting in a sense.

    Living life from a perspective of open responsiveness instead of closed off resentment, wishing things were the way I wanted them. And a lot of times I feel that heartache; it reminds me of how attached I am to my imagined ideals.

    So again I practice. Coming back again and again to now, dropping it all.. coming back.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Amazing. I'll admit to reading it twice and then thinking "I want to understand life as well as this!" But then I think "There's 'I' and 'want' again."

    Long way to go yet.

    Gassho
    Joe

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Question: How do you think you will feel, and how will you know for sure when you have become, "Enlightened"? What do you imagine that will be like? How will you know when you have got it?
    Thank you Jundo and everyone contributing,

    I dont know what enlightenment ist. I used to read a couple of books on it. I found some phrases about it that made sense to my understanding. I asked a zen teacher and got a reply I found useful. I remember Dogen said something along the line that there is only enlightened activity. That s makes sense too. But I dont know what enlightenment is, and I'm happy to say I dont care. What matters to me, so it seems, is to walk on the path which cannot be attained, just going on day by day, moment by moment. Learning from you, the sangha and readying a book and watching what goes on throughout the day. Returning to what matters. Finding out what matters. I will most likely never know for sure anything, but getting used to that takes time. Its all good.
    Gassho
    Myoku

  24. #24
    Making a cup of tea for Mara.

  25. #25
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    Does Enlightenment cure allergies? If it does, that would be really nice. In any case, looks like I still need to take my medication.

    I think that Enlightenment is good to think about and imagine how it might be to feel it. I mean, I do meditate and practice, so I suppose there's a possibility that it might happen to me someday. It sounds like something cool to dream about on a warm summer day. On the other hand, it scares me. What would happen if I just fell away? Where would I go? If I fell away, would I then feel everything even more deeply, like other people's pain and suffering? If I fell away and became what really is, what everything really is, wouldn't I feel overwhelmed? Would I go crazy? If one sees things how they really are, where does Samsara go? How is it possible to be Enlightened and in the world at the same time? I don't think I'll ever get it. I just go from one end to the next.

    Thanks to everyone on this thread!

    Bowing (in my mind, cause I'm really typing),
    Diana
    Last edited by moondance; 03-15-2014 at 03:32 PM.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by moondance View Post
    Does Enlightenment cure allergies? If it does, that would be really nice. In any case, looks like I still need to take my medication.

    I think that Enlightenment is good to think about and imagine how it might be to feel it. I mean, I do meditate and practice, so I suppose there's a possibility that it might happen to me someday. It sounds like something cool to dream about on a warm summer day. On the other hand, it scares me. What would happen if I just fell away? Where would I go? If I fell away, would I then feel everything even more deeply, like other people's pain and suffering? If I fell away and became what really is, what everything really is, wouldn't I feel overwhelmed? Would I go crazy? If one sees things how they really are, where does Samsara go? How is it possible to be Enlightened and in the world at the same time? I don't think I'll ever get it. I just go from one end to the next.

    Thanks to everyone on this thread!

    Bowing (in my mind, cause I'm really typing),
    Diana
    Perhaps, searching for the nose that knows, you are missing the nose right on your own face?

    What if one could sneeze one's sneeze, experiencing that each AH CHOOOO is whole and complete? What if one could experience that your allergy is Allergy Buddha, and the drip in your tissue is Kleenex Buddha Wiping Dripping Buddha, tossing Used Buddha in the Buddha Dust Bin?

    Buddha takes her medicine and is cured, Buddha does not get cured ... the nose on Sun Face Buddha, Moon Face Buddha (see next Koan 36). Your sneeze is the whole universe sneezing ... the whole universe sneezing out you! Yippee!

    We had a similar AH CHOOO moment recently.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post122818

    And the old Koan ... when Diana gets an allergy, Bodhidharma sneezes!

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

    Something like that.

    Is that Enlightenment? Smellightenment? Who cares! Such a wonderful way to live ... to Sneeze Complete!

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 03-15-2014 at 03:52 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  27. #27
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    Thank you Jundo.

    I don't remember the last time I met a True Master.

    With Bows,
    Diana

  28. #28
    I don't think you need a True Master, but maybe a good allergist would help.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #29
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    See, there you go again.


  30. #30
    Question: How do you think you will feel, and how will you know for sure when you have become, "Enlightened"? What do you imagine that will be like? How will you know when you have got it?

    Gassho, J

    Living this life, here and now, with all the trials and tribulations is "Enlightment." No imagination required just reality! Gassho Shogen

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Shogen View Post

    Living this life, here and now, with all the trials and tribulations is "Enlightment." No imagination required just reality! Gassho Shogen
    And yet, and yet ... also not the same nor different.

    Is that "enlightenment"? Here is my answer: Time to head to Tokyo to retrieve our new cat. An animal rescue charity found her living in a park.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-16-2014 at 03:46 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    And yet, and yet ... also not the same nor different.

    Is that "enlightenment"? Here is my answer: Time to head to Tokyo to retrieve our new cat. An animal rescue charity found her living in a park.

    Gassho, J
    The eternal dance Life/Enlightenment. An Ox Chaser has returned home with compassion for strays. Enjoy your new cat but you may have denied many a meal. Gassho, Shogen ( Not 1/Not 2)

  33. #33
    Enlightenment without love and compassion is meaningless.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Enlightenment without love and compassion is meaningless.
    I might say that enlightenment without love and compassion is not enlightenment!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #35
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    What is love, what is compassion?

    Gassho, Ben
    Gassho
    Ben

  36. #36
    What a wonderful question! I don't know crap, but for some reason your question really resonated with me, and I feel compelled to answer it. I think it's something we all should ask/answer over and over; it's the core of this practice in my humble opinion.

    Dogen said compassion is like grasping for a pillow in the dark.

    Joshu said go wash your bowl.

    There are stories of asking why Bodhidharma came from the west. It's the same question.

    When you sit zazen that is the same question, and a way of answering it.

    Conventional, and contemporary views of compassion, can be very overbearing and drippy.

    If there is a homeless person on the street, give him a dollar or don't. But don't go doing it thinking you are special because you gave someone something. Don't get a hero complex.

    That was my problem as a teen, young adult. I had a hard time adjusting to the "real world" after college (1997/1998). I used to practice martial arts in college, and I taught kids. I loved it. I felt it was my "passion". I didn't want to get a job at all. I wanted to be just like Bruce Lee.

    But there came a point when I got into the working world, soon after college, where I got my heart broken by someone I loved at the time. A year before my grandma, my best friend died, one of my cats and dog died (also my best friends).

    I don't say this to curry pity. I say this because it is only through those lessons that I stopped being as selfish, although I'm not kidding anyone; I still am. But I grew up, I started being genuine. There was a turning point where I no longer had the energy to put on this show anymore.

    It was around that time I started getting heavily involved in Eastern thought (maybe not so coincidentally); there's something about the way of thinking that spoke to me.

    I don't know what it is about suffering, but it is a great teacher; it opens you up and I realized a lot, but 2 of the main lessons were:

    - I didn't give a shit about anyone but myself
    - I needed to stop trying to be like someone and just be who I am; there is only 1 of me and I can't waste time.

    I used to have a vision that my job in the world had to be so important, that I had to be some sort of hero; but that is just the fantasy of an immature and ego-driven person. I realized that my infatuation with martial arts was a fantasy, and although I still really have a fascination (and I do love it) with martial arts, it's not my identity any longer. I don't need it to be who I am. I just am who I am.

    I also knew I wanted to be married to my wife when I met her. That is an uncanny feeling; you start getting to know yourself, and you know when something is right intuitively.

    This relates to your question because compassion is dropping the false self. Or at least that was a major part of it for me. All these steps in our lives, this suffering, brings about compassion, allows us to empathize with others, allows us to realize other people are going through stuff and we can relate. This suffering also led me to zazen, to start becoming more introspective, to not disregard others feelings.

    So the love I feel for my wife and family and friends. That is constant. It's not a grasping controlling love like my first love was. It's a deep, deep love where I feel like I can truly be myself.

    That's how compassion is. It doesn't have to be this type of heroic, I'm going to save the world type thing. Clean your bowl. If you see litter, pick it up. Don't ditch work; go to work, do your best creative work. Pay your bills on time. Fulfill your obligations. Simple stuff; it's all in the basics.

    Listen... seriously listen when someone is talking, give them your full concentration.

    Offer a smile to someone. Say how are you doing. Don't allow emotions to take over during driving. Brush and floss your teeth. Are these mundane everyday things or is this your life?

    So compassion and love... that's what zazen is all about to me. It's about dropping the facades and just being.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Last edited by Risho; 03-18-2014 at 03:52 PM.

  37. #37
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    I would just like to say that compassion and love aren't just nouns, they are verbs. I agree with what Risho said about not trying to make yourself a hero. You help others you care for others, not because you are trying to make yourself into something you are not, but because you see yourself in others. It's not a show, or a means of getting attention for yourself, its just naturally responding to a call to care for others.
    Nothing wrong with role-models, to a point, though.

    I really do NOT like hornets. Their creepy, they sting, they have no business on my back deck near my kids and pets. Yet, from this practice I can't just solve this problem by simply killing them anymore. I trapped the last one in cups and let it go. Some part of me just couldn't kill it needlessly anymore.

    Gassho
    C
    Last edited by Clark; 03-18-2014 at 05:51 PM.

  38. #38
    Man, Risho, I wish I could articulate as well as you do. Good comments, as always. Going back to your original post, you said:

    ...I believe there is enlightenment, that does make everything ok even if it's not what we expect. In a deep, deep level we are ok with things as they are because we no longer have to fit them into our limited shape of what ok is
    With that idea of enlightenment, how would you answer Jundo's questions:
    ...how will you know for sure when you have become, "Enlightened"?...How will you know when you have got it?
    We have dismissed the idea of enlightenment being some idealized state of perfection, free from suffering. I think your alternative description is apt, but wonder--can we ever attain even this type of enlightenment? Does it matter if we don't? (I don't pretend to know the answers).

    Thank you
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  39. #39
    Kaishin,

    Thank you for your kind words... To be honest, I've only been practicing for a couple of years (I just took Jukai in 2010); I have no idea

    Right now a lot of my practice is in good faith and trust with what Jundo and Taigu say, along with very limited experience (based on practice) that corroborates their teachings which strengthens that faith. So from my limited perspective, I would say I don't know; I sort of have an idea that there is nothing to be gotten, we already have what we need, it's ok as it is.... it's that realization which is what we "get".. but it has to be practiced because personally, I look for stuff outside of myself all the time; then I just have to drop it and come back, again and again. Sometimes I feel that relief, the stop of chasing, but most of the time that grasping mind is so present; sometimes when I sit I have to do all I can to stay put. Then at other times it's great. That's the mind... it's nice to be able to observe it doing it's thing and not controlling me.

    So I dont' think there's anything to get; I understand that intellectually but my personal action belies that intellectual understanding a lot. When I get angry or greedy I'm trying to get something I feel is lacking, I'm trying to protect myself. So I just have to come back again and again. So these words I write sound good, but you can't rush experience. Me trying to answer that question would be like a virgin trying to give you sex advice hahahaha (sorry for the coarseness, but it's true).

    Gassho,

    Risho

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    And yet, and yet ... also not the same nor different.

    Is that "enlightenment"? Here is my answer: Time to head to Tokyo to retrieve our new cat. An animal rescue charity found her living in a park.

    Gassho, J
    Precisely where the rubber meets the road.

    Gassho, Shogen

  41. #41
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    My understanding has always been that as soon as I feel "enlightened" I am not enlightened, so my practice is to (non)try to drop enlightenment.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

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