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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 43

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 43

    Case 42 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 43: Razan's Arising and Vanishing

    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=i...ishing&f=false

    Shishin's Commentary sets it straight, so no need to explain much.

    I was living with the Koan the last few weeks. One night, bad chest pains and shortness of breath sent me to the emergency. There was no sign of a heart attack, but the doctor considered heart problems or (if I understood correctly) liver cancer. Sent me for a Cat Scan, and I was left waiting a week for the results.

    All these years of Zen Practice, yet my mind turned to images of my wife a widow and my kids fatherless. Watching the Chemo-therapy scenes on 'Breaking Bad', I imagined myself sitting there. A few years ago, I was a hospice worker, and considered that maybe it was my turn. OH, THE MIND DOES TEND TO RUN AT SUCH TIMES!!

    But such is to be human ... until we are all Buddhas Beyond All I suppose.

    Yet also, there was Such beyond and right through coming and going. No Arising No Vanishing as nothing less than all arising and vanishing. Timeless that washes through words like "infinite" or finite" ... Timeless and all time heard in each passing tick of the clock.

    By the way, the test came out okay ... so, seems I have a little more time in this world (assuming I don't get hit by a bus in the meantime!)

    QUESTION: Has Zen Practice allowed you to experience the Timeless amid the change, impermanence and endings of your life ... meeting "No Arising No Vanishing" right at the heart of a moment of arising and vanishing in your life?



    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  2. #2
    Yet also, there was Such beyond and right through coming and going. No Arising No Vanishing as nothing less than all arising and vanishing. Timeless that washes through words like "infinite" or finite" ... Timeless and all time heard in each passing tick of the clock.
    On my birthday in 2009 the phone rang. My father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and given 2 months to live. To make a long story short, Iíll just say we had a difficult and strained relationship. After many years of practice, I had finally come to peace with our relationship in my own mind and heart, and no longer suffered because of it. Acceptance and compassion had flowered where once there was only pain.

    But although we had spoken very briefly on the phone a few times, I had not seen him in 20 years. In a move that surprised everyone including me, I quit my job and moved back home to take care of him. I arrived on his doorstep with a little fear. I asked myself if the peace and equanimity I felt was real. Would it fall apart in the presence of sickness, old age and death? Would the old pain and anger return if I spent time with him?

    We went through a lot of changes dealing with his cancer and all that came with it. And my Dad was still the same guy, not especially kind to me. This is not a Hollywood story where everyone gets redeemed and all issues are neatly wrapped up. But I felt compassion arise instead of anger and pain. I found that there was a very still and timeless space available to me that was beyond our individual problems, at the same time as it encompassed all that had happened between us. The old issues arose but they had little substance, they did not hook me like before. Because of my practice, I was able to do what needed to be done, take care of him, express the compassion I felt for him and for myself, and be grounded in a way I didnít even know I was capable of. In short, my practice was put to the test, and it held up.

    My Dad died peacefully a year and a half later, at home, with me holding his hand. I am filled with gratitude and honored that I was able to offer him service, comfort and companionship on his way out of this world. That year and a half was harder than I could ever say, and also beautiful, and terrible, and precious. This gift to my Dad and to me came from the practice.

    Gassho
    Lisa

  3. #3
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Dear Lisa,

    With gratitude, and thank you.


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

  4. #4
    Myosha

    p.s. sorry everyone to start our discussion off with cancer and death!! Can't understand why I don't get invited to more parties

    Gassho
    Lisa

  5. #5
    I do not think the story was about cancer and death alone, but about life and living. Lovely.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I do not think the story was about cancer and death alone, but about life and living. Lovely.

    Gassho, J
    Yes!!!

    Hello Lisa ... I too have related stories to cancer as my mother fought that battle, thankfully she is still here with me. =)

    I so agree and connect with what Jundo has said that death shows us life! Through the struggle of sickness, sadness, and fear of death life has taught me so much on loving and accepting each moment as a true treasure.

    I too have faced many deaths in my life with people who I have loved ... and in their death they taught me how to live and I will always be grateful for those moments!

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

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

  7. #7
    Hi Jundo. I'm just glad you don't have cancer and that you probably won't die soon. It would be very sad and I would miss you.

    QUESTION: Has Zen Practice allowed you to experience the Timeless amid the change, impermanence and endings of your life ... meeting "No Arising No Vanishing" right at the heart of a moment of arising and vanishing in your life?
    yes. sometimes, just like that. At other times I get dragged up and down by beginnings and endings. ..It alternates.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    大山

  8. #8
    Hi all,

    What I am noticing is how, if I wait just a little, the impulse to say an unkind word floats across the mind and just drifts away. Being somewhat ADHD this is not easy. It's easier to let the thought potentiate action. But given awareness and patience, it does dissipate. And even when it reappears, same thing.

    Gassho,
    John

  9. #9
    Senior Member Kantai's Avatar
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    I'm glad you're OK Jundo.

    Gassho
    Kantai

  10. #10
    to all these posts.

    When my wife's mom passed, my soon to be brother-in-law (and I by the way) just felt helpless. He looked at me and asked, "What can I do?" I said, "Just be here." That's all we can ever do I suppose, well unless we are running from things we don't like, as I often do.

    This koan really slapped me with some things.. like "where can we ever be?" "Of course, just here!" I felt like this koan just helped me see things clearer in a way.. .like a lot of times, I fall into the traps that these old Zen masters are setting... I feel like they are saying, "OK I can shoot you in the foot, or I can stab your hand. Which would you like?" Or the koan (and I'm going to butcher this), a zen adept is holding onto a branch with his mouth, and a teacher says, "how do you respond?". If the zen student responds, and opens his mouth he falls to his death. If he says nothing, he covets the teachings and kills his vows. What should you do?

    It's the same thing.... there isn't a perfect answer... but we must answer, we must act and be here. But consciously act and be here. Of course we're here, but this practice is about really, really being here and living. And how can one express more gratitude than by truly living this life and accepting it (not passively of course) instead of blindly running from what we don't like and grabbing after what we do?

    It's like WWKD? What would Kannon do? hahaaha had to add that. lol

    Gassho,

    Risho

  11. #11
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    When I took on a new job years ago, it put me in a position of having to speak in front of people, and think on my feet. Filled with thoughts of what people thought of me, I began to see myself through my colleagues eyes. I became a seperate observer commenting on my own briefing. I was really causing myself a lot of grief.

    One day, I decided to pay attention to all the anxiety. I looked around the room simply as it existed in that moment. Commentary dropped off. Anxiety dropped off, that space was replaced by feeling compassion. I delivered my briefing.

    Sort of my first tastes of zazen off the cushion during a moment of change in my life.

    Gassho, Shawn
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

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