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Thread: Seeing your true nature ?

  1. #1

    Seeing your true nature ?

    Hi dear teacher Jundo and other teachers and friends .

    When i read bodhidharma teaching he emphasize on seeing your true nature . Whatever you practice is go in vain Unless you see your nature .

    He said :
    And the mind is the Buddha. And the Buddha is the path. And the path is Zen. But the word Zen is one that remains a puzzle to both mortals and sages. Seeing your nature is Zen. Unless you see your nature, itís not Zen .

    And he said about our true nature :
    Your real body is basically pure. It canít be corrupted. Your real body has no sensation, no hunger or thirstí, no warmth or cold, no sickness, no love or attachment, no pleasure or pain, no good or bad, no shortness or length, no weakness or strength. Actually, thereís nothing here. Itís only because you cling to this material body that things like hunger and thirst, warmth and cold, sickness appear Once you stop clinging and let things be, youíll- be free, even of birth and death .


    My question :
    -Do i iust aware that i have the true nature and that is all ?
    -Or do i need to aware that i have true nature all the time . Like remind my self every day that i have true nature ?
    -Or just when i practice zazen ?

    Gassho

  2. #2
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    In my opinion, things like 'true nature' can not be fully understood in terms of thinking and philosophy. The must be felt, even if very hazily at first. I am not very familiar with the bodhidharma, but you should just let your true nature be your true nature. Just leave things as they are without adding judgements. Things just are. The more and more you sit zazen, the more and more this attitude will seep into your life. It is a very gradual process, but soon your whole life becomes like sitting (in a way).

    So, I will (tentatively) say that you should not grasp onto this true nature and instead let it just exist. Let everything just be where it is, without adding or taking away. Letting sad times be sad, times of anger be times of anger (of course, still try to avoid anger, but accept it). It just is. Then, you will have your true nature.

    Gassho and welcome,
    Heion

  3. #3
    Very good .
    Thank you very much Heion

    Gassho

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Heion said it well. The body Bodhidharma is talking about is probably the Dharmakaya, but like many concepts in Zen we can't "get it," by just contemplating it. Many concepts just kinda roll around in the conditioned mind, sometimes bringing insights that manifest in behavior. Sometimes they just cause confusion. The Dharma is like the memoir of zazen. Studying it is important, like looking at a trail map when hiking. But some of the squiggles on the map only make sense when actually walking the trail. Concepts like the Mind and Buddha-nature are like that.

    Can only suggest what I suggest to myself; when sitting.. sit. Let thoughts come and go without coming or going. Sometimes they quiet, sometimes they don't, sometimes there's no "you" there to think anymore. Only awareness. I'm no teacher though, this is just the experiences had along the way. Thank you for the question.

    Gassho, Foolish John

  5. #5
    Thank you very much John

    Gassho

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by John Cloud View Post


    My question :
    -Do i iust aware that i have the true nature and that is all ?
    -Or do i need to aware that i have true nature all the time . Like remind my self every day that i have true nature ?
    -Or just when i practice zazen ?

    Gassho
    I don't know. My favorite tv show is on. See you later. :-)

    Gassho, Jishin

  7. #7
    Just smile and be with the emptiness.



    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John Cloud View Post
    Hi dear teacher Jundo and other teachers and friends .

    When i read bodhidharma teaching he emphasize on seeing your true nature . Whatever you practice is go in vain Unless you see your nature .

    He said :
    And the mind is the Buddha. And the Buddha is the path. And the path is Zen. But the word Zen is one that remains a puzzle to both mortals and sages. Seeing your nature is Zen. Unless you see your nature, it’s not Zen .

    And he said about our true nature :
    Your real body is basically pure. It can’t be corrupted. Your real body has no sensation, no hunger or thirst’, no warmth or cold, no sickness, no love or attachment, no pleasure or pain, no good or bad, no shortness or length, no weakness or strength. Actually, there’s nothing here. It’s only because you cling to this material body that things like hunger and thirst, warmth and cold, sickness appear Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll- be free, even of birth and death .


    My question :
    -Do i iust aware that i have the true nature and that is all ?
    -Or do i need to aware that i have true nature all the time . Like remind my self every day that i have true nature ?
    -Or just when i practice zazen ?

    Gassho
    Hi John,

    All we do (and non-do) around this place, and in any Zen Sangha, is about "seeing the nature" ... seeing what cannot be seen, of course (any more than your eyes see your eyes when looking out) ... and seeing what is always seen in all that the eye sees as well ... seeing a Beauty and Light in both the beautiful and the ugly, dark & rainy or sunny & bright scenery.

    Most folks may go through life without truly seeing in such way.

    Even after years of practicing Zazen, sometimes one may see more clearly, some days less so ... some days the scenery may change ... yet it is always present. It is much as the sun is always shining and lighting all, even on cloudy days when unseen or when their are clear skies, even at night when all seems darkest. The Eye is always present, seen or unseen, asleep or awake. Buddha Nature is so, seen or unseen, lighting all the changing scenery night and day.

    But one does not merely philosophize about it, one practices and "realizes" (meaning, to recognize) and "realizes" (meaning, to make real in living life) so. Otherwise, it is like a fish philosophizing about swimming and water, asking "where does the sea end and I begin?" for example. The fish may sometimes think about swimming and the sea ... but maybe just more important to swim swim swim, thus realizing the swimming-fish-sea. Like Nameless John said, one does not just look at the map, but must walk the mountain trail ... all to realize that walking-mountain-man are one.

    The lines you quote from Bodhidharma, from the "Bloodstream Sutra" are probably "apocraphyal" (meaning that Bodhidharma himself did not really write them, and the author is someone centuries later, probably from something known as the Oxhead School. No matter, it is good stuff. The only writing in the collection that scholars now think has an actual chance of being the words of Bodhidharma is the so-called "Outline of Practice", better known as the "Two Entrances and Four Practices").

    Next, just one more word of caution about the danger of "reifying" (another big vocabulary word today!). Throughout the history of Zen and Mahayana Buddhism, there were folks who tended to talk about stuff like "True Nature" "Original Mind" "Dharmakhaya" "the Unborn" "Big B Buddha" "Buddha nature" (those words are fairly interchangeable, by the way) as if it was a "thing" just an "object out there somewhere". That is to "reify".

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reify

    But other Zen Teachers (sometimes the very same Zen teacher ... see the Koan below) will warn that to think of a "thing" can be misleading. Same with Emptiness (we are often reminded that "even Emptiness is empty!"), meaning that it is not some "thing out there" ... reminding us rather that it is both in and out, beyond inside or outside, and all things, nothing, this thing, you thing, and whatever is the next thing. I sometimes refer to it as the Dance of Wholeness in which dancer-dance-dancefloor-dancing are one ... not some frozen thing, but a living dance always leading to the next step. We encounter this Thing-Not Thing when we stop measuring and judging the world as this and that, good things and bad, starts and finishes, me and not me etc ... and simply swim-hike-dance-Just Sit. Zazen is how we realize such.

    Anyway, I hope that helps. Have a good dance-swim-hike-sit!

    Gassho, Jundo

    Master Baso [Mazu] knew that Taibai was doing solitary sitting in the mountains, so he sent an attendant to examine him. The attendant asked Taibai, “What did you realize at Baso’s before you came to the mountain?” Taibai replied, “Once I asked Baso, ‘What is Buddha?’ He answered, ‘Mind is Buddha.’ The instant I heard those words I attained deep realization. After that, I came to the mountain.”
    The attendant said, “Recently Baso’s teaching has changed.”
    “In what way?” asked Taibai.
    “Nowadays Master Baso says, ‘No mind, no Buddha.’”
    Taibai said, “The great master Baso perplexes many Zen students. He may say ‘No mind, no Buddha’ if he wishes to, but for me it will be, ‘Mind is Buddha’ until the end of the world.”
    The attendant returned and reported this to Baso, who commented, “The plum has ripened.”

    ...

    A monk asked Mazu [Baso], “Master, why do you say that Mind is Buddha?”
    Mazu said, “To stop babies from crying.”
    The monk asid, “What do you say when they stop crying?”
    Mazu said, “No mind, no Buddha.”
    The monk asked, "Without using either of these teachings, how would you instruct someone?"
    Mazu said, "I would say to him that it's not a thing."
    The monk asked, "If suddenly someone who was in the midst of it came to you, then what would you do?"
    Mazu said, "I would teach him to experience the great way."
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-22-2014 at 03:20 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Very great
    Thank you very much dear teacher Jundo

    Deep bow

  10. #10
    Dear John Cloud( I just love this name)

    Shift a letter, please, seeing is being true nature. In there, anything to see?

    Gassho

    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.

  11. #11
    This is the ultimate meaning of killing Buddha, no witness needed
    This is your face before your parents 's birth
    A scoop of sea water
    Eyeballs into eyeballs
    And yet don' even say this
    When it is made real
    Two bulls enter the stream
    To vanish


    Gassho


    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.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    But one does not merely philosophize about it, one practices and "realizes" (meaning, to recognize) and "realizes" (meaning, to make real in living life) so.
    Thank you Jundo, yes! =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

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

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    This is the ultimate meaning of killing Buddha, no witness needed
    This is your face before your parents 's birth
    A scoop of sea water
    Eyeballs into eyeballs
    And yet don' even say this
    When it is made real
    Two bulls enter the stream
    To vanish


    Gassho


    T.
    This is the ultimate meaning of enlivening Buddha, no witness needed
    This is your parents' face after your birth
    And yet don't even say this
    When it is made real
    Two clay bulls emerge from the stream
    To reappear
    They splash seawater
    Right in our eyeballs



    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-23-2014 at 06:14 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    That's it, Bro.

    Gassho

    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.

  15. #15
    GASSHO!

    Dokan

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
    ~AnaÔs Nin

  16. #16
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Great stuff!
    Gassho
    Myozan


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

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

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    We sit. We let go of stuff.

    And then we sit again.

    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

  19. #19
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about all this true nature stuff, but I did pet a dog today. So, I have that going for me.

    Well, that's enough philosophy for the day. I guess I should get the old zafu all fluffed up and ready for tonight's sit.

    _/\_
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  20. #20
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heion View Post
    In my opinion, things like 'true nature' can not be fully understood in terms of thinking and philosophy. The must be felt, even if very hazily at first. I am not very familiar with the bodhidharma, but you should just let your true nature be your true nature. Just leave things as they are without adding judgements. Things just are. The more and more you sit zazen, the more and more this attitude will seep into your life. It is a very gradual process, but soon your whole life becomes like sitting (in a way).

    So, I will (tentatively) say that you should not grasp onto this true nature and instead let it just exist. Let everything just be where it is, without adding or taking away. Letting sad times be sad, times of anger be times of anger (of course, still try to avoid anger, but accept it). It just is. Then, you will have your true nature.

    Gassho and welcome,
    Heion
    This is very good, Heion. I have nothing to add, already much good advice given.

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  21. #21
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nengyo View Post
    I'm not sure about all this true nature stuff, but I did pet a dog today. So, I have that going for me.

    Well, that's enough philosophy for the day. I guess I should get the old zafu all fluffed up and ready for tonight's sit.

    _/\_
    awesome!!

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  22. #22
    Member Nandi's Avatar
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    Like Nameless John said, one does not just look at the map, but must walk the mountain trail ... all to realize that walking-mountain-man are one.

  23. #23
    Hi Jundo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    But other Zen Teachers (sometimes the very same Zen teacher ... see the Koan below) will warn that to think of a "thing" can be misleading.
    This reminds me of an Alan Watts lecture where he said that it might be better to say "no Thingness" instead of nothingness.

    Gassho,

    Daitetsu
    no thing needs to be added

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Daitetsu View Post
    This reminds me of an Alan Watts lecture where he said that it might be better to say "no Thingness" instead of nothingness.
    Well, we can get lost in words and semantics here, but the Buddha warned against nihilism too (the belief that there is just nothing and no meaning), so we need to be careful here too. The world is like a dream, a bubble, a flash, yet there are all the things of the world too. So, many old Zen teachers might say that it is more "Thing No Thingness" (or "Non-thingness", which is not "no thingness" ... for there are all things of the world yet what thing there? ... form just precisely emptiness ... and not even that so do not even try to objectify it that much. Just Sit, pierce the Koan of Here Not Here. All just words, just scaffolding.

    I like to refer to the flowing dance ... nothing to nail down yet constantly appearing as each and all ... all interconnected and interflowing ... a Dance of Wholeness ... (Just my own scaffolding, for the dance is not merely to be intellectually understood or written down on paper ... but rather the dance is to be danced, losing oneself in the dance) ...

    These days, I like to try to explain the Buddhist concept of "Sunyata" (Emptiness) using the image of a .... 'Dance' ... 'Dancing' ... 'Dancers and Dancing' ...

    A universe of dancers (including you and me, all beings) are danced up in this dance that the whole universe is dancing ... each dancer seemingly standing apart on her own two feet ... yet each dancer simultaneously seen as just the dance-dancing-the-dance. It is important to envision this "dance of all things" as leaving nothing out, and so all encompassing that we cannot even speak ... from each dancer's perspective ... of "before" the dance or "after" (such that each dancer is always dancing, right from the moment of her seeming birth to death. There is no dancer who is not dancing from the moment of becoming a dancer ... there is not "off stage" and taking a break ... not so long as we live and breathe anyway ... and no dancer apart from the dance or who is not now dancing.). There is nothing but the dance and the motion, the separation lost in a lively, enlivening, living blur ...
    More here ...

    Buddha-Basics (Part XVII) — The Dance of Emptiness
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...e-of-Emptiness

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-30-2014 at 02:40 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Hi Jundo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Well, we can get lost in words and semantics here, but the Buddha warned against nihilism too (the belief that there is just nothing and no meaning), so we need to be careful here too. The world is like a dream, a bubble, a flash, yet there are all the things of the world too.
    Yes, I totally agree, actually both are true at the same time - we should neither make it into a thing nor think of it as non-existence. (BTW: Watts did not just refer to one perspective in his lecture, he spoke about both aspects as well.)
    Edit:
    I think that Watts did not mean it in a nihilistic way: his term "No Thingness" (to my understanding) means that it is neither a thing nor nothing. IMHO it is a good try to put both perspectives under one hat. But of course expressions that I find helpful might be understood in another way or be even confusing to others. When it comes to that which cannot be described, words must fail, of course.

    IMHO there is a great danger to see just one side/perspective - that's when people think that "anything goes" (or the other way round, that everything is meaningless anyway).

    Thanks for your Dancing Metaphor, it has always been one of my favorites.


    Gassho,

    Daitetsu
    Last edited by Daitetsu; 05-30-2014 at 04:01 PM.
    no thing needs to be added

  26. #26
    This famous line from Qingyuan Weixin (I know next to nothing about him ) is tossed around so much it is a cliche, but it still has a really intimate familiarity.


    Before I had studied Ch'an for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.
    ...and IMHE it is not just rivers and mountains, but every aspect of ordinary living and loving and measuring and moving, every little value... nothing is changed in practice, not a hair. At the same time it is a whole new world that is vivid and open and free. Just continuing practicing ...who know where it goes or doesn't? I have no idea.

    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  27. #27
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    This is the ultimate meaning of killing Buddha, no witness needed
    This is your face before your parents 's birth
    A scoop of sea water
    Eyeballs into eyeballs
    And yet don' even say this
    When it is made real
    Two bulls enter the stream
    To vanish


    Gassho


    T.
    Jesus, Taigu, this is brilliant.
    Gassho
    Ben

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