I took a hiatus from Treeleaf for a while and during that time the book club and its study of koans moved on without me. Ah, I came back and have been trying to catch up. Back when I left the koan chapters moved slowly, a lazy river of zen contemplation, but now Jundo is cranking them out once a week or so, a damn Zen white water rapids. Anyway, I got stuck on a rock and he closes off those discussions stranding folks like me on lonely boulders, so I am here to throw out a line (ok, actually a couple lines) to any passing stranger on the Zen path alongside those rapids.
A man of no rank (#38) seems to me a lot like the precept about humility. If I am equal to you (whoever you are), then our rank is equal, and since I am equal to all then I (nor you) have any rank. True? I watched the dharma talk and when you asked for questions I raised my hand, violently. Hey Jundo, apparently your Zen mastery could not see me. What kind of rank is that?
Also, I have been trying to catch up to the current koan, but I like to read one and think about it a while, write about it a bit in my own journal after reading others' thoughts, and then proceed when I am ready. I know I could just skip ahead, but I want to do them in order, and then it hit me that maybe by doing them in order I was trying to "rank" them as accomplishments, which that koan says to drop. The need to finish a koan seems like its own koan, I know, and same with they must be done in order. I guess it's just another example of delusions we unknowingly carry around with us (37, 38, 39, 40…). Anyway, being a solutions oriented guy, I just flagged the ones I have missed and will try to get back to them when I can.
Rafting along on a rapidly moving boulder, I gassho to you all