How Does a Persimmon Become Sweet?
How Does a Persimmon Become Sweet?
Tough act to follow.Patience.
I like what Uchiyama Roshi is saying here. I think that when you first start looking into it, Buddhism appears bitter, and our conventional notions about how the world works appear sweet. It takes some time and effort to recognize that it’s actually the other way around.
Wow goes hand in hand with what I just posted about my Grandmother's funeral.
I'm going to do the reading and post on it latter.
On its own, assisted by informed and diligent husbandry.Originally Posted by Jundo
I guess I am working my way through the same three approaches to life as Uchiyama, though it is taking me a lot longer! From materialism to belief in a monotheistic God which I lost when I began studying philosophy. But I also got disillusioned with philosophy. I got tired of all the arguments, distinctions and categories that just pile up in endless fashion that are built on a dubious assumption or have a weakness in some of the premises of the arguments. And as Uchiyama asks, is there any truth to be found? Do any of the statements we make about reality amount to anything very much? Reality just is the way it is. It doesn't have to correspond with statements we make about it. How do you divide reality into true and false statements about it? The best you could do along those lines, in my opinion, is to take a pragmatic view and adopt an approach that seems to yield results when applied, one that works. But that doesn't mean we have discovered the real nature of anything. We can only do that when we drop all these thoughts, when we drop body and mind in Zazen.
A persimmon, as well as Zen practice, becomes sweet with patient care and nurture. Patience is an important thing, especially in this society of instant gratification we are living in, but it is often hard to come by; and even more so when dealing with something where there are no immediate results at hand.
What both Uchiyama and John here wrote about the search for Truth really resonates with me as well. Lately I've been thinking a lot about how I can make my life meaningful and I guess zazen is the way to achieve that. My practice is still just beginning and I hope that I can continue it till it becomes ripe and sweet. Hopefully being here also helps.
The character "Hallie" in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors says "I guess in the end, all philosophies are incomplete." I think Woody is right . . . philosophies are OK, they are a finger pointing in the general direction of the moon, I suppose. But, I agree with John, all are ultimately lacking. The universe doesn't care if we understand it or not . . . it will still do what it does.John wrote:
I got tired of all the arguments, distinctions and categories that just pile up in endless fashion that are built on a dubious assumption or have a weakness in some of the premises of the arguments.
I particularly liked the following Uchiyama quote:
However much we become enlightened, it is not very much.
F&^*!ng brilliant! :lol: That is about the most directly I have ever heard this said and it really resonated with me.
My 2¢ for now,
I am not sure why this section made me feel so melancholy. I suppose it is somewhat related to the fact that, given our current society, we need a graft because, unlike the time of the Buddha, we do not have a lifestyle suited to the patient growing of the tree with the natural transformation from bitter to sweet.
Yet, I am so grateful for the grafting process which has allowed me, in this lifetime, to hear the Dharma so far from it's original home.
Personally, when the words of the Dharma are offered to me to be grafted onto my bitter trees of greed, anger and delusion, I often get impatient for the graft to take. Again, I am a product of my McGeneration...I want peace, serenity and wisdom and I want it NOW! Better to simply be patient and water the trees with compassion and allow the graft to take hold in it's own time so that it is strong and will not be knocked off by the storms that often rage.
I won't foul it with my words, lol.
By their fruits shall ye know them, eh? (sorry!)
My favourite bit was right in the middle of the chapter (pg 11):
I am really enjoying this book, thank you for bringing it to my attention!By accepting and properly understanding the true nature of both accidental and undeniable realities, and by living in accord with this understanding, the matter of living and dying will cease to be such a terrible problem.
On p. 14 Uchiyama asserts that "we must give life to, or vivify, our past experiences and face the future, while living fully in the present."Originally Posted by Jundo
This statement struck me as rather unusual among Zen teachings, which so often emphasize the present moment. Like many other teachers, Uchiyama admonishes us to live in the present, but in urging us to "vivify" the past, while living in the present. he is saying something fresh and provocative.
I'm left wondering how, exactly, we are to vivify the past. In my own experience, one of the best ways to do so is to write it down.
WOT??? :shock: Am I sorely missing something? Y'all are on pg 14? I thought our discussion of the section beginning on p.3 didn't even start til tomorrow???
Jundo, am I mis-reading your schedule? Where should I be in the readings?
*Lynn (the confuzzled)
I think that what you say about "Zen teachings so often emphasizing the present moment" is true, but is also a great misconception of "time" as taught by Master Dogen and in Zen teaching in general. It is not only about "being in the present moment". Here, again, we encounter a series of simultaneously true, yet apparently conflicting, statements that, Master Dogen instructs, we should hold all-at-once without the slightest conflict. For this reason, "Zen" is most certainly not only about "the present moment".Originally Posted by Shiju
Let me give you just a few of the many different ways that Dogen, and Uchiyama, use "time". For example, first, there is conventional time, what we all experience daily, in which past becomes present becomes future. But in Dogen's world, we can also drop all thought of the past (just a movie in our heads recreating a "present" that was then) and the future (another dream in our heads of what may or may not be the present when it happens, but exists currently no where but in our imagination). When you do so, we can even drop the concept of "present", because what is the use of the word "present" if there is no past or future to contrast it to??
Next, in Dogen's view, there was a past, and it was absolutely moments of the past, and each was perfectly that past and that moment. For examply, 7:15 am last Tuesday was absolutely real and absolutely 7:15 last Tuesday. It just was what it was. Same for moments of the future. Each stands alone and is perfectly self-sufficient, such that it does not flow into any other moment of time.
But next, each moment of time flows into every other moment of time. But, not only does past flow into present flow into future, but future flows into past, future flows into future, past into past, and the present flows into the past. They are all connected, much as the top of the river flows into the bottom of a river, but there can be no bottom without the top or top without the bottom.
Finally, Dogen spoke of "being-time" ... which is not all that unlike what Einstein meant by our each having our own relative time. Jundo time is Jundo's time, and Ben's time is Ben's time.
Anyway, I have not even begun to scratch the surface. We will encounter this again in a later section of the Genjo. But, yes, past is perfectly past and future is perfectly future.
Does that help?
And, as to Lynn's question:
Tomorrow (Friday Jan. Eighteenth) we start "The Significance of Buddhist Practice" on p.3.