Results 1 to 27 of 27

Thread: 11/9-16-Relationship Not Each Other/True Suffering and False

  1. #1

    11/9-16-Relationship Not Each Other/True Suffering and False

    Hi,

    Okay, everything is somehow off schedule. Let's see what happens if we post two topics at once!

    11/9 - Relationship Is Not to Each Other p.97
    11/16 - True Suffering and False Suffering p.105

    Or, we might call this "Relationship is Not Falze Suffering" and "True Suffering is Not to Each Other"

    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2
    I'm way off schedule myself. I've been taking a little unplanned break, I'll try and get myself caught up here.

    take care gang!

  3. #3
    Double homework this week, groan....

    On the first section, I can relate to the squid that squirts ink. That's what I do as soon as I get up in the morning - that's when I seem to get the most depressing thoughts over anything that isn't going too well in my life. Or maybe it's the news I hear on my clock radio. Maybe that's not a good way to start the day - it's too like 'Groundhog Day' :-) I should start with a period of Zazen instead of waiting until after breakfast.

    Gassho
    John

  4. #4
    Hi John,

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    That's what I do as soon as I get up in the morning - that's when I seem to get the most depressing thoughts over anything that isn't going too well in my life.
    Yep, I can relate to that too. Usually when I wake up in the morning my mind is very quiet, and sometimes I can observe how one thought after another successively appears. Sometimes those thoughts are worries, sometimes they're things to look forward to, sometimes they're just things which need to be done that day, etc. Those thoughts used to have the potential to make or ruin my day, depending on how I looked at them and what weight I attached to them. Through my Zazen practice I've come to realize that there's really no difference between my mind in the quiet state upon awakening and the state approx. 10 minutes later when my mind is filled with thoughts. Those thoughts can only be worrying, troublesome, etc. if I fail to recognize them for what they really are, namely just thoughts. I'm perfectly free to attach weight to them and let them influence the rest of my day ... or just let them go.

    Gassho
    Kenneth

  5. #5
    I really liked the bit on page 110:

    Quote Originally Posted by Joko
    Now, sometimes people say, "It's too hard." But in fact, not practicing at all is much, much harder. We really fool ourselves when we don't practice. So please be very clear with yourself about what must be done to end suffering; and also that by practicing with such courage we can enable others to have no fear, no suffering.
    Or perhaps Mensch said it better (he left out the semicolon at least!) on another thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mensch
    The only thing I hate more than zazen is my state of mind when I don't do it for too long.
    Like John, I also related to the image of the squid. What it brings to mind for me was living in student housing. It was amazing how the house sparkled in the week leading up to exams. We'd rather do anything else - even clean the 'fridge and toilets! - besides study! In the same way, I'll try just about anything to distract myself from zazen.

  6. #6
    For me the most difficult part of this first section is the discussion about ‘true self’. I presume that by true self she means no self? The first time I read this section I thought how unrealistic and alien that unselfish way of living seems in today’s society where we tend to be focused all or at least most of the time on looking after or manipulating the world to suit the needs and desires of the small-self and being judged successful or not by how well we achieve this task. It’s just so hard to escape the conditioning that makes us want to humour the small self all the time. I don’t think I have got very far with it, but I suppose that that is what practice is all about. But like Kenneth, I think I am starting to attach far less weight to my thoughts, especially the bad ones - so that they become less important, less substantial, and thus easier to let go of,

    Gassho,
    John

  7. #7
    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    The first time I read this section I thought how unrealistic and alien that unselfish way of living seems in today’s society where we tend to be focused all or at least most of the time on looking after or manipulating the world to suit the needs and desires of the small-self and being judged successful or not by how well we achieve this task.
    Yeah, that doesn't help does it? It's difficult enough for most of us to overcome our own selfishness, and, as you say, to make matters worse we're frowned upon by society if we don't play along with the selfishness game. :cry:

    I'm not sure if it's correct, but I tend to think of the 'true self' as that which remains when we're free of greed, hate and ignorance, when we don't view ourselves and everything else as separate entities, and most importantly, when we act in accordance with that view. In general though, I think 'true self' is also just a concept which can cause a lot of confusion if interpreted incorrectly. I get the impression that there's more emphasis on it in Rinzai-Zen, since I don't recall Dogen Zenji ever explicitly mentioning it. Perhaps others here know more about that?

    Gassho
    Kenneth

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John
    I presume that by true self she means no self?
    I think Joko's probably talking about this story from the Platform Sutra, also told as a famous koan in the Gateless Gate:

    Case 23: Think Neither Good Nor Evil

    The Sixth Patriarch was pursued by the monk Myõ as far as Taiyu Mountain.

    The patriarch, seeing Myõ coming, laid the robe and bowl on a rock and said, "This robe represents the faith; it should not be fought over. If you want to take it away, take it now."

    Myõ tried to move it, but it was as heavy as a mountain and would not budge. Faltering and trembling, he cried out, "I came for the Dharma, not for the robe.

    I beg you, please give me your instruction."

    The patriarch said, "Think neither good nor evil. At this very moment, what is the original self of the monk Myõ?"

    At these words, Myõ was directly illuminated. His whole body was covered with sweat.

    He wept and bowed, saying, "Besides the secret words and the secret meaning you have just now revealed to me, is there anything else, deeper still?"

    The patriarch said, "What I have told you is no secret at all.

    When you look into your own true self, whatever is deeper is found right there."

    Myõ said, "I was with the monks under Õbai for many years but I could not realize my true self.

    But now, receiving your instruction, I know it is like a man drinking water and knowing whether it is cold or warm.

    My lay brother, you are now my teacher."

    The patriarch said, "If you say so, but let us both call Õbai our teacher.

    Be mindful to treasure and hold fast to what you have attained."

    Mumon's Comment

    The Sixth Patriarch was, so to speak, hurried into helping a man in an emergency, and he displayed a grandmotherly kindness.

    It is as though he peeled a fresh lichi, removed the seed, put it in your mouth, and asked you to swallow it down.

    Mumon's Verse

    You cannot describe it; you cannot picture it;
    You cannot admire it; don't try to eat it raw.
    Your true self has nowhere to hide;
    When the world is destroyed, it is not destroyed.
    I'm pretty sure that "Original mind," "True self," "Your fundamental face before your parents gave birth to you," &c all mean pretty much the same.

  9. #9
    Hi,

    Sometimes, in my perspective, these words can be a bit misleading. I must comment on that.

    For example, since there is this 'True Face', we may think, logically, there must be a 'False Face', which is probably your "ordinary, human face" right now. And some schools of Buddhism and other Eastern philosophy might imply that, accordingly, your "ordinary face" is but a filthy lie, and filthy lies must be fully rejected. So, as Ken says, if there is a 'True' perspective that "remains when we're free of greed, hate and ignorance, when we don't view ourselves and everything else as separate entities, and most importantly, when we act in accordance with that view" (I like that very much, Ken, by the way), the opposing face of greed, hate, ignorance, separation, is just a fraud, to be wiped out and stamped out.

    And they are right! Our 'ordinary face' must be seen right through, seeing the face behind a mask. We must rip off the mask and see the face of no separation, lacking greed, hate, ignorance ... They are absolutely right, and there is a way to live in such way.

    And they are wrong! Absolutely wrong! Your face of separation, complete with human weaknesses of greed, hate and ignorance, is just your face and is True ... as True as True can be. It is truly your human face. Without that human face ... without separation and a 'self' to bump into all the 'not self' things .... you could not live, and there would be no world to live in. They are wrong wrong wrong.

    So, how can we live with two faces at once???

    Our Zen practice is, I believe, much like learning to see life as perhaps a bit of theatre, and ourselves as actors on the stage, reading the lines that are our life, wearing actors' masks (our ordinary face). The play is one of greed, anger, jealously, drama and comedy ... but it is our life.

    Now, sometimes, when the play gets too hot and heavy, too ugly or violent, when we forget that it is just a story, we can take off our mask, step back stage behind the scenery and view the performance as just the fiction it is. Ah, the scenery is just made of paper and glue!

    Yet, if we stay off stage, where is our life? Where is the world? Are we to abandon this story in the middle (even if not always to our liking, and perhaps just the Theatre of the Absurd)? So, we must replace our mask, and enter again stage left. We must pretend it is real. We have lines to read and a mask to wear.

    That masked play is True! It is truly the play that it is!!

    _________________

    I want to make a similar comment about "Original Face" or the "Face before your mother & father were born". Sounds like something in the past, doesn't it? Like where we "originally came from but not where we are now". Like something so old it is even before "mom and dad".

    So, I think that term is misleading too. How about we think of it more as the "Foundation" or "Stage" on which your life is built (not always visible, but always present)? In keeping with our earlier analogy (why bring in a new one?), the stage and theatre within which the play of our life must be performed. Then, it is right here and now ... even when, focusing on our little dramas, we forget the theatre we are sitting in and only see the play.

    _________________


    The patriarch, seeing Myõ coming, laid the robe and bowl on a rock and said, "This robe represents the faith; it should not be fought over. If you want to take it away, take it now."

    Myõ tried to move it, but it was as heavy as a mountain and would not budge."
    Speaking of true and false, this whole tale of suspended gravity sounds a little fishy to me. Did he use super glue? Yes, I know, it is just a literary symbol just like my little "theatre", and not necessarily "literally true". Still, in my moral tales of "Truth" and "Falsity", I kinda hate to see such obvious fiction merely for dramatic effect!

    In fact ...


    Modern scholars now agree that many of the stories surrounding Huineng are “mythical” reconstructions and elaborations by later generations of Chan writers. ... As with many legendary figures, it is difficult to sort fact from fiction when it comes to Huineng. We have many sources of information on him but most were written long after his lifetime. Most scholars of Buddhism now consider the story of Huineng’s life and his role in establishing Chan as a direct line going back to Sakyamuni (the historical Buddha, ca. 6th to 5th centuries BCE) to be little more than pious fiction. While there may be a kernel of historical truth to them, all of the accounts of Huineng’s life (particularly as recorded in the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch) show evidence of later expansion and elaboration. In fact, scholars cannot even agree on the location of Dafan, the temple in which Huineng allegedly recited the Platform Sutra.

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/h/huineng.htm

    So, Huineng himself may be fiction! As fictional as the anti-gravity bowl! The man telling us to see past the fiction is himself a fiction!!


    And, you know what!? It matters not in the least because the fictional story is true in its view and truly what it is!!!!!!

    See past the actors mask of fiction, then live the play, live the story!

    Gassho, Jundo the Thespian

    PS- Our lives may truly be a "Theatre of the Absurd" by the way, for no way of knowing if there is a point to the story, if it is heading somewhere ... or even if there was a playwright behind it at all!

    No matter ... read your lines, read your lines.

  10. #10
    I'm sorry Jundo, but you've lost me! *scratches head*

    I tend to view koans more as parables than as accounts of true events. I find the exchange concerning the robe very interesting. We should all choose the Dharma rather than the robe!

    I posted Case 23 because (AFAIK) it's the most popular "original mind (/face/ self)" story. But I don't think that the Hui Neng story is really any different from Lin-chi's "True man of no rank" or Nansen's "Ordinary mind" or Dogen's "Direct transmission (of the face through the face)."

    PS - With regards to the hua tou, I was told that the same character is used for both "to be born" and "to give birth," which created some confusion for the translators. So instead of "your fundamental face before your parents were born," it should be "your fundamental face before your parents gave birth [to you]." I don't know Chinese, so I'm just taking my teacher's word for it!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by paige
    I'm sorry Jundo, but you've lost me! *scratches head*
    Surely, not the first time nor the last. ;-)

    I posted Case 23 because (AFAIK) it's the most popular "original mind (/face/ self)" story. But I don't think that the Hui Neng story is really any different from Lin-chi's "True man of no rank" or Nansen's "Ordinary mind" or Dogen's "Direct transmission (of the face through the face)."
    “The Master Lin Chi took the high seat in the hall. He said ‘On your lump of red flesh is a True Person of No Rank who is always going in and out of the face of every one of you. Those who have not yet proved him, look, look!’ Then a monk came forward and asked ‘What about the True Person of No Rank?’ The Master got down from his seat, seized the monk and said ‘Speak! Speak!’ The monk faltered. Shoving him away, the Master said, ‘The True Person With-out Rank, what kind of shit-wiping stick is he?’ Then he returned to his quarters.”

    My point was only that there is nothing wrong with lumps of red flesh and shit-wiping sticks. They are Truth too.

    And so for Master Dogen who, upon his return from China said ... ""I have come back empty-handed. I have realized only that the eyes are horizontal and the nose is vertical."

    And Nansen who said that just your regular, 'ol “ordinary mind is the Way” [yet] "The Way is not a matter of knowing or not knowing. Knowing is delusion; not knowing is confusion. When you have really reached the true Way beyond doubt, you will find it vast and boundless as outer space."


    So instead of "your fundamental face before your parents were born," it should be "your fundamental face before your parents gave birth [to you]." I don't know Chinese, so I'm just taking my teacher's word for it!
    What's the difference? Seems a "not-6 or a not-half a dozen."

    Gassho, Jundo

  12. #12
    Jundo

    That masked play is True! It is truly the play that it is!!
    Just a question. Doesn't this go against the precept of telling lies? I know I know the precepts are guidelines, but this seems like a big one.

    I think a good point would be: not to be convinced by the lines that you are given and to be able to shatter those lines into a million pieces at any time without worry.

    Gassho

    Ps. I might have to read your post again.

  13. #13
    Hi Will,

    But I don't think that life is a lie. It is truly your life.

    Anyway, a novel, play, movie or other bit of theatre is not a 'lie' even in ordinary meaning. That being said, Leon, Mina and I are now off to see the 'Bee Movie'

    Gassho, Jundo

  14. #14
    Jundo
    a novel, play, movie or other bit of theatre is not a 'lie'
    It could be, if you've convinced yourself that it is something other than what it is.

    That being said, Leon, Mina and I are now off to see the 'Bee Movie'
    Seen it. It's great. Have fun.

    Gassho Will

  15. #15
    Hi Jundo,

    I like your theatre analogy -- thanks for putting that into perspective. I guess what generally bothers me about concepts like the 'true self' is that they're typically presented as being cloaked in mystery or somehow mystical, in any case something only a very few ever manage to catch a glimpse of. For example, in 'The Sixth Patriarch Comes to Manhattan' by Sokei-An, he repeatedly talks about his struggle to find his true self and incites his students to also take up that search and never give up. Like the works of D.T. Suzuki, P. Kapleau, E. Herrigel, A. Watts etc., that kind of carrot-and-stick-Zen seem to be typical of the time in which they were written. Instead of embracing the present moment, they're urged so constantly seek, grasp, attain...

    Gassho
    Ken

  16. #16
    Hi Ken,

    I read somewhere (William Jamaes' 'Varieties of Religious Ecperience'?) that there exists a dichotomy among Christians too. There are those who are constantly struggling to find God, to know God, to measure up to His expectations (yet, perhaps, never quite meeting the mark). The are filled with such doubt and feelings of sin that it must be washed clean in a great struggle and final "born-again" breakthrough.

    Then there are those who simply see God in every window pane, insect's humm, blade of grass. No need to look or measure.

    Perhaps it is the same variety of human types, this time found among Buddhists?

    Gassho, J

    ** I can only find the first page of this book review, but it applies William James ideas, above, to Zen. I think it makes the distinction clear.

    http://<br /> <a href="http://http:...CO%3B2-Q<br />

  17. #17
    Hi Jundo,

    I'm not sure which of those two human types I fit into but I suspect, the former! Just looking through the Mumonkan it seems to abound in examples of exhortations to find one's true self or nature. Like this koan about Tosotu's three barriers:

    Tosotsu Juetsu Osho set up three barriers for his disciples.
    First barrier:
    Monks, you leave no stone unturned to explore the depths, simply to see into your True Nature. Now I want to ask you, just at this moment: where is your True Nature?
    Second barrier:
    If you realize your True Nature, you are free from life and death. Tell me, when your eye sight deserts you at the last moment, how can you be free from life and death?
    Third barrier:
    When you set yourself free from life and death, you should know your ultimate destination. So when the four elements separate, where will you go?"
    Sorry to pull in another analogy, but I want to check my understanding. Like your on-stage, off-stage analogy is it also like water and waves? Our small ego-centred self is the particular form of the wave but our true essential self is the underlying water?

    Gassho,
    John

  18. #18
    Hi John,

    Both hard, direct, aggressive Karate and passive, flowing Ai-ki-do (receiving forces and turning circumstance as you turn) have the same objective of self-defense. Both work quite well. In like fashion, most Koans can be read with a hard, direct, violent inner voice ("Find Your True Nature, Damn You!")... or a flowing, soft style ("Please Find Your True Nature, my firend). It is still the same exhortation, same Koan ... heck same 'True Nature' (Paige once set me straight that, in the Linchi Chan meditation she is doing, they are not as militaristic with the Koans as the Rinzai Japanese).

    In Soto Zen, Shikantaza, we are still "Looking for our True Nature", just as the Koan says, just as the Rinzai/Linchi folks are ... and its the same 'True Nature'! Yes, we must find it.

    It is just that, in 'Just Sitting' Shikantaza, there was discovered a very shrewd, backdoor way to find our True Self via 'Not Looking!" We attain the Goal by radical Goalessness!! We find what is right here by going nowhere else. Got it?

    Reminds me of an old joke ..

    A guy is walking his dog down the street when he spots a guy on his hands and knees under a streetlight. The dog walker asks the man if he's lost something. Man says, 'Yeah, I dropped my contact lens (old version said "glasses")"' So the dog walker ties Fido to a phone pole and gets down on his hands and knees to help. They search up and down, back and forth, beneath that light. Fifteen minutes later the dog walker says, 'Buddy, I can't find it anywhere. Are you sure it popped out here?' The man says, 'No, I lost it over in the park.' 'The park?' the dog walker yells. 'Then why the hell are we looking in the street?'

    The man points to the streetlamp and says, 'The light's better here.'
    Yes, it is necessary for us to break down the stone wall of separation between the Self and all that is not the Self ... whereby all need for the words "Self" and "Other" vanish. Perhaps the hard, Rinzai, Karate people do it by pounding and kicking on the wall until a hole is punched through and both side merge. In Soto, we are more like the air, which naturally passes through and around all gaps between the stones, embracing and surrounding the whole wall, flowing and shaping itself to circumstances, thus one with the wall while spreading on in all directions ... the air is everywhere even without moving.

    Does that image help for the difference between the Rinzai/Karate and Soto/Ai-ki-do approaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by John

    Sorry to pull in another analogy, but I want to check my understanding. Like your on-stage, off-stage analogy is it also like water and waves? Our small ego-centred self is the particular form of the wave but our true essential self is the underlying water?

    Absolutely! It is a classic image. Pretty stereotypical. I wrote a book chapter on co-dependent arising using just that image, filled with cheesy, off-the rack lines like ...


    As the waves on the sea, just the Sea

    ...


    Sickness and death are no more than eddies in the waters of the world, the flowing passage of time, flowing back into the Sea.


    ...

    When the wave does arise, the ocean has no loss;
    when the wave does fall, the ocean has no gain.


    ...

    A Sea which no name can hold, holding all namelessly


    The only caution I offer, John, about that "Sea" analogy is that silly people (and silly religions) then try to impose all kinds of judgments, characteristics, assumptions and names (Brahma, God, Stanley) on the Sea, to think of the Sea as a thing which the pea-brained human can grasp. In our Zen Practice, we are not so presumptuous and recognize our state of Not Knowing. We Know some things (we are that Sea) but not some others (where exactly, if anywhere, the sea is flowing, to what shores it extends, its contours, how long it has flowed ... ) We can, however, know its warmth, saltiness and wetness right here, by tasting and feeling it ourselves.

    In our Zen Practice, it is more that, finding ourselves mysteriously alive atop this sea, we cast out our arms and float, float ... letting it take us where the currents will.

    We trust the Sea, as a child trusts its mother ... one that became two.

    Something like that.

    Is the Sea even aware of its waves? We cannot know. Still, flow, flow along.

    To where will it carry us? We cannot know. Still, flow, flow.


    Gassho, Jundo

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    My point was only that there is nothing wrong with lumps of red flesh and shit-wiping sticks. They are Truth too.
    Well... sure. I mean, it doesn't make a lot of sense to think of this "true self" or "original mind" or what-have-you as something outside of our day-to-day lives. That's like "putting a head on top of the one you already have," if you'll forgive the cliche.

    How can someone lose their "original face?" To where can it really go?

  20. #20
    Hi Jundo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    ** I can only find the first page of this book review, but it applies William James ideas, above, to Zen. I think it makes the distinction clear.

    http://<br /> <a href="http://http:...CO%3B2-Q<br />
    That's interesting - thanks. I did a further search for Conrad Hyers and also found this:

    ONCE-BORN ZEN, TWICE-BORN ZEN
    Today, the method of Soto and that of Rinzai seem to be quite opposed. 'Rinzai, the general; Soto, the farmer' is the popular image. Conrad Hyers makes an interesting study of these contrasts in his 'Once-born, Twice-born Zen' (4). Rinzai Zen is all fight and struggle, doubt and questioning. Hakuin's advice is typical:

    ".... at all times in your study of Zen, fight against delusions and worldly thoughts, battle the black demon of sleep, attack concepts active and passive, order and disorder, right and wrong, hate and love, and join battle with all things of the mundane world. Then in pushing forward with true meditation and struggling fiercely, there unexpectedly will come true enlightenment."(5)

    Dogen on the other hand:

    "The way is essentially perfect and exists everywhere. There is no need either to seek or to realize the way. The Truth which carries us along is sovereign and does not require our efforts... Essentially the Truth is very close to you; is it then necessary to run around in search of it ?....That which we call zazen is not a way of developing concentration. It is simply the comfortable way."(6)

    Hyers uses William James's expression of once-born people and twice-born ones to explain the different mind-sets. The once-born grow serenely, are naturally good-natured, optimistic and accepting of the world; whereas, the twice-born personalities are filled with guilt, anxiety, dread, doubt, despair and melancholy --- they are restless seekers, for whom conversion, and born-again breakthroughs are characteristic modes of liberation. Hyers thinks that the first one tend to Soto Zen, the second to Rinzai Zen. So it is the psychology and temperament of the practitioners which make different Zens. Hyers upholds the gentle way of Soto Shikantaza as equally valid as Rinzai koan and kensho, and he tends to prefer the Soto way as superior. He ends his slim volume with an example of one who, reading Rinzai Zen books, gets into Zen and gets addicted to manic-depressive mood swings, traumas, and apocalyptic expectations. Finally, coming to Soto Zen, he sees the futility of all the dramatics, and settles down into peace and self acceptance. "The lotus rises from the bottom of the pond; the flower unfolds to the light."(7)

    Source: http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin...dharmaCome.htm
    I guess that's one of the reasons why I ended up in the Soto camp. :wink:

    Gassho
    Ken

  21. #21
    Thanks Jundo, Paige and Ken. I find myself a bit fascinated by koans but I don't think I would take to the Rinzai way of approaching them. I always imagine myself going in for an interview with someone fierce like Yasutani and having him ring his bell even before I had managed to stutter out a few words.

    John Loori says in his 'Eight Gates of Zen. that he gives koan study to the more intellectually aggressive of his students. But he also says that there is a danger that the students who practice shikantaza can lapse into quietism so he asks them questions from the Fukanzazengi every now and then to stir them up.

    The koan books also keep talking about this 'great doubt' you're supposed to feel, especially when working with Mu, but I have never felt that so I guess I'd better stick to my 'farmer' Zen :-)

    Gassho
    John

  22. #22
    Re: True and False Suffering. There is very little in this chapter that I could disagree with. I have seen the core teaching of this section put in the simple formula - suffering = pain x resistance. I didn’t get the bit that says ‘a 10th of an inch of difference, and heaven and earth are set apart’ the first time I read it but I think I see it now. The less we complain or wish to be someone or somewhere else other than who or where we are now; the more we can align ourselves with what is, or in other words ‘go with the flow’, the happier we will be. A big source of discontent for me lies in comparing myself unfavourably with others,

    Gassho,
    John

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by John
    John Loori says in his 'Eight Gates of Zen. that he gives koan study to the more intellectually aggressive of his students. But he also says that there is a danger that the students who practice shikantaza can lapse into quietism so he asks them questions from the Fukanzazengi every now and then to stir them up.
    Hi John,

    Well people get confused on this, and Daido Loori's comment can be quite misleading. We work with Koans too, in Soto Zen. Master Dogen's Shobogenzo is wall to wall Koans, as we shall see when we start looking at Genjo Koan in a few days. Koans are important statements of Buddhist Philosophy, meant to throw a monkey wrench in our normal way of looking at things.

    However, we just don't focus on Koans during the sitting of Zazen itself. They are for study (although with "Zen Mind") outside Zazen.

    Daido's lineage, which is really a Rinzai lineage in Soto clothing, tends to say things like that comment which mischaracterize the situation (it is probably what he was told growing up, by his teachers under the influence of Yasutani Roshi and such, and he has never quite shaken it But there are so many quotes like that from his line ... the RInzai influence is always giving precedence to Koan centered Zazen and 2nd class treatment to Shikantaza.). In fact, in Soto Practice, our "Just Sitting" will rarely lapes into quietism, and we are constantly studying Koans, the writings of Master Dogen, the Genjo Koan (Koan of Ordinary Life) etc. I hope that what we are doing around here, at Treeleaf, does not stike anyone as quietism.

    Zen Philosophy without Zazen never gains life; Zazen without Buddhist Philosophy is a ship without a rudder.


    Gassho, the Koan Cohen

  24. #24
    Hi all.
    Related to the chapter on False/True Suffering, I have a little story. Today I took my 3 year old son to the doctor. They had to do a finger prick test of his blood to see if he had a form of walking pneumonia that is going around currently (it turns out he does have it). When he found out that he would have to get his finger poked he started to cry and said he didn't want it. I tried to tell him that it was important to know so that we could help him get better--that didn't work. But, then I told him that I knew personally that being afraid of shots makes the shot/needle hurt worse and that just letting it happen without being afraid would make it not hurt much at all. I was really surprised that he could understand this. He immediately stopped crying and said that he would brave and let her stick his finger. When she did he was smiling and watched attentively while she got a few drops of blood for the test. He said "that didn't hurt" and he meant it, he didn't even wince or flinch. The nurse then said something like "wow, I wish everyone else took this as well as he did." He is way better at handling his fear than his old man.

    Bill

    PS--He seems to be getting better.

  25. #25
    Bill,

    Thank you for that and the smile it brought. :-) Glad your boy is on the mend too.

    I am often surprised by the innate wisdom of our kids. Children teach parents too.

    Gassho, J

  26. #26
    Daido's lineage, which is really a Rinzai lineage in Soto clothing, tends to say things like that comment which mischaracterize the situation (it is probably what he was told growing up, by his teachers under the influence of Yasutani Roshi and such, and he has never quite shaken it But there are so many quotes like that from his line ... the RInzai influence is always giving precedence to Koan centered Zazen and 2nd class treatment to Shikantaza.). In fact, in Soto Practice, our "Just Sitting" will rarely lapes into quietism, and we are constantly studying Koans, the writings of Master Dogen, the Genjo Koan (Koan of Ordinary Life) etc. I hope that what we are doing around here, at Treeleaf, does not stike anyone as quietism.
    Thanks again Jundo for those enlightening comments. That post has cleared up a lot of my doubts and misperceptions regarding John Loori's teachings and other books like 'The Three Pillars of Zen',

    Gassho,
    John

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by DontKnow
    I was really surprised that he could understand this. He immediately stopped crying and said that he would brave and let her stick his finger. When she did he was smiling and watched attentively while she got a few drops of blood for the test. He said "that didn't hurt" and he meant it, he didn't even wince or flinch. The nurse then said something like "wow, I wish everyone else took this as well as he did." He is way better at handling his fear than his old man.
    What a brave little guy! That's a really touching story, Bill. I wish I'd had a Zennie daddy

    Gassho,
    John

Similar Threads

  1. False Expectation of Zen Practice?
    By Madrone in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 04-25-2012, 02:11 PM
  2. False Teachings
    By disastermouse in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: 12-26-2011, 11:49 AM
  3. 9/21 - False Fear p.64
    By Jundo in forum "BEYOND WORDS & LETTERS" BOOK CLUB
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-25-2007, 05:56 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •