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Thread: A tidbit

  1. #1

    A tidbit

    I'd like to post a quote from a bio that I was reading on Dogen that stuck out at me:


    "The teacher 'Sakyamuni handed down this unexcelled method of enlightenment. And the Tathagatas of the past present, and future and the patriarchs in India and China have also attained enlightenment through zazen." Thus beginning with the historic Buddha, all the patriarchs and masters have experienced enlightenment through zazen. At the time of his enlightenment, the Buddha is said to have declared: "Together with me the Great Earth and all beings have become enlightened. The grass, the trees, the very soil have achieved Buddhahood." Mankind was saved by the enlightenment of the Buddha. So in Dogen's view there is absolutely no need for us to practice asceticism by imitating Buddha. In Gakudo Yojinshu, he says, "Those who practice the way of the Buddha must first have faith in the way of the Buddha. This means to believe that we are in enlightenment already and have neither illusion nor error." We are already on the path to enlightenment and are filled with the wisdom of the Buddha. Bodhidharma, the First Patriarch of Chinese Zen, said: "We deeply believe in accordance with the teachings of our master that all mankind is endowed with an identical Buddha-nature." Our true nature reveals it self only when we have thoroughly understood the doctrine of the non-existence of the ego.

    My interpretation:

    This basically means. Although we already are Buddha, Shakyamuni still had to sit under that tree to realize it, as did Dogen, as did Bodhidharma, as did all the other Buddhas. We know we are Buddha, but we don't yet understand it. For that we have to sit.

    The doctrine of the non-existence of ego is not a piece of paper, or a book, or even words (I think). It's what we discover when sit down on the Zafu and make room for everything else. Not following our thoughts or feelings, or sensations but just sitting in the midst of them eventually dropping Bodymind.

    Together with me the Great Earth and all beings have become enlightened. The grass, the trees, the very soil have achieved Buddhahood."
    This quote has always eluded me. Shakyamuni discovered that we are already Buddha, so everything is already enlightened. The Earth is what it is. The grass, trees, and soil are what they are. Everyday Mind. Ordinary Mind. Right Now mind. Not convinced or focusing on our commentary or sensations mind.

    When I read this previously I always thought "The grass is enlightened?" "What?" So like when we become enlightened then other things around us might magically absorb our energy or something and become enlightened too?" ops: :lol:

    Such a very simple thing.

    There's no need to go chasing after this or that for enlightenment, we need to just sit quietly and realize it for ourself. To sit Zazen is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to just be here and now perfectly what you are. You don't get smarter. you can't fly. You don't shine bright golden rays from your head. You don't know everything. You won't necessarily be able to cook well or you won't have bad habits. You just are what you are. Then if you want to learn how to cook, you can. It also doesn't mean you won't slip now and then. That's what the Zafu, practice and precepts are for.

    I think a key thing here is our ability to be able to sit quietly, calm and open.


    A big ordinary Gassho to you

    Will

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Re: A tidbit

    This basically means. Although we already are Buddha, Shakyamuni still had to sit under that tree to realize it, as did Dogen, as did Bodhidharma, as did all the other Buddhas. We know we are Buddha, but we don't yet understand it. For that we have to sit.
    We have to sit to understand that we are Buddha, but that leads to the next question: why do we need to understand such thing?

    (this is a good moment for the banana and the kiwis, so I'll just plagiarize Harry)


    The toilet bowl attained buddhahood along with Shak, as he realized that he and the toilet are the same Self. Maybe we need to understand that such discovery is not a hideous as it sounds. So we sit to understand our buddhahood, and we need to undertand our buddhahood just to be able to live our life fully, without fear of the world shitting on us.

  4. #4

    Re: A tidbit

    why do we need to understand such thing?
    Exactly.

    Gassho Will

  5. #5

    Re: A tidbit

    and we need to undertand our buddhahood just to be able to live our life fully, without fear of the world shitting on us.
    And we still keep sitting after that I think.

    W

  6. #6

    Re: A tidbit

    Thought I'd just post the Heart Sutra here:

    I'd like to point out a part that is similiar to what you said Alberto:

    No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;
    No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;
    No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,
    No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;
    No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;
    No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.
    No/ gain/ thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*
    With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/
    No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.


    A/vo/lo/ki/tes/va/ra/, A/wa/kened/ One/ of/ Com/pas/sion/,
    In/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/, the/Deep/ Prac/tice/ of/ Per/fect/ Wis/dom/*
    Per/ceived/ the/ emp/ti/ness/ of /all /five /con/di/tions/,
    And/ was/ free/ of/ suf/fer/ing/.
    O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,
    Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;
    Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.
    Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.
    O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,
    Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;
    Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.
    Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,
    not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.
    No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;
    No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;
    2
    No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;
    No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;
    No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,
    No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;
    No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;
    No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.
    No/ gain/ thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*
    With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/
    No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.

    Far/ be/yond/ all/ de/lu/sion/, Nir/va/na/ is/ al/rea/dy/ here/.
    All/ past/, pre/sent/ and/ fu/ture/ Budd/has/
    Live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*
    And/ re/al/ize/ su/preme/ and/ com/plete/ en/light/en/ment/.
    There/fore/ know/ that/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/
    Is/ the/ sac/red/ man/tra/, the/ lu/min/ous/ man/tra/,
    the/ sup/reme/ man/tra/, the/ in/com/pa/ra/ble/ man/tra/
    by/ which/ all/ suf/fe/ring/ is/ clear/.
    This/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ Truth/.
    There/fore/ set/ forth/ the/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/ man/tra/.
    Set/ forth/ this/ man/tra/ and/ pro/claim/:*
    (1x) Gate! Gate! (Already Gone, Gone)
    Paragate! (Already Gone Beyond)
    Parasamgate! (Already Fully Beyond)
    Bodhi! Svaha! * (Awakening, Rejoice)
    Gassho Will

  7. #7

    Re: A tidbit

    Thanks for the thread Will... :wink:

    Yes, I agree, that we sit to realize that we are already the Buddha.

    So, we can say, "we sit to find that nothing is needed to find". In my opinion, that's shikantaza (just-sit).

    Gassho, Shui Di

  8. #8

    Re: A tidbit

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    through zazen
    What IS zazen? WHAT is doing it?
    THATS the questions...

    May the force be with you.
    Tb

  9. #9

    Re: A tidbit

    Will, when you make quotes like that will you please do us the additional service of providing details of the source?
    Sure. No problem.

    Bodhidharma, the First Patriarch of Chinese Zen, said: "We deeply believe in accordance with the teachings of our master that all mankind is endowed with an identical Buddha-nature." Our true nature reveals it self only when we have thoroughly understood the doctrine of the non-existence of the ego.
    The doctrine of the non-existence of ego could probably be translated a few ways. However, I think that Bodhidharma and Dogen would have had some understanding of the source of craving, attachment, and dillusion.

    Taken from Prof. Masunaga book 'Soto Approach to Zen, the chapter: The place of Dogen', pages 203-214)

    http://www.zenki.com/AboutDogen.htm

    Gassho

  10. #10

    Re: A tidbit

    It doesn't really matter whether Dogen had a concept of ego or not. That was my own understanding at that moment. Whoever said it. Misquoted or not.

    The important thing is that you just get the point. We can spend all day running around talking about it, but in the end we have to get our butt on the Zafu, and I think that phrase is in relation to doing just that.

    We know when we get the point. No need to reference it.

    Have fun

    Gassho

  11. #11

    Re: A tidbit

    a designation describing the function of a percieved part of the mind which is often discussed like it was some 'thing' or other. It's not a thing.
    Thank you for the post Harry.

    Gassho

  12. #12

    Re: A tidbit

    Quote Originally Posted by HezB

    The source of "craving, attachment, and dillusion" is not a 'thing' and it is not seperate from some other implied 'part' of the mind, and the mind is not seperate from the body. So Dogen repeatedly uses the term like 'body-mind' to empasise this fact. This 'ego' distinction simply didn't exist in Buddhist thought.

    "Ego" is, in the way that it is generally used in pop Western Buddhism and psycho babble, a designation describing the function of a percieved part of the mind which is often discussed like it was some 'thing' or other. It's not a thing.

    What's more, if the author is using the term in the way it was employed by Freud he's in error as well.

    The source of "craving, attachment, and dillusion" is reality; "one bright pearl". This is what Dogen understood and practiced.

    Regards,

    H.
    Hi Harry,

    As you know, "Anatta" ("no self", ?? or "muga" in Sino-Japanese) is among the oldest and most fundamental of Buddhist doctrines, expounded by the Buddha and about every Buddhist teacher of every sect I know since then ... Dogen and all the rest. You know that.

    Now, I grant you that it can me misleading, and thus sloppy translating, to use the word "ego" in place of "a sense of selfness" or better words, but almost all Buddhists using the term would understand what was being said, and not mean anything close to Freud's "ego" or a "thing" (in fact, the very point of the teaching is that it is rather an illusion to see a "self" as some self-existent "thing" even though we think it is).

    And, as Dogen pointed out many times, dropping this sense of "self" is to find the "Self", "one bright pearl". (Although Dogen might also say that our small "self" is just the self/Self too, and our practice is not merely about losing the self and staying there in that self-less view ... so finding the "self" is "one bright pearl" too).

    Anyway, I don't want to ramble on here, but I think that Will was clear in what he wrote, and the writings he cited were clear even if using the term "ego" instead of "self", so I am thinking your criticism was directed at an issue that was not really what was being said.

    Gassho, Jundo

  13. #13

    Re: A tidbit

    Quote Originally Posted by HezB
    I think the point needed making regardless of what was being said and I'm not one to hang around and be led by the nose on such things.
    Quite so.

    May the force be with you.
    //Tb

  14. #14

    Re: A tidbit

    Quote Originally Posted by HezB
    "Ego" is, in the way that it is generally used in pop Western Buddhism and psycho babble, a designation describing the function of a percieved part of the mind which is often discussed like it was some 'thing' or other. It's not a thing.
    The concept of "ego" is just one of those "words" that need to be always put on proper context or understood w/i the historical context of Western psychology/philosophy.

    After reading some of the posts at e-sangha, I can see Harry's concern. The usage of the word "ego" is freely used w/o context and mixed with Buddhism that really some folks end up not with Buddhism but a Freudian-Buddhism.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: A tidbit

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista
    Quote Originally Posted by HezB
    "Ego" is, in the way that it is generally used in pop Western Buddhism and psycho babble, a designation describing the function of a percieved part of the mind which is often discussed like it was some 'thing' or other. It's not a thing.
    The concept of "ego" is just one of those "words" that need to be always put on proper context or understood w/i the historical context of Western psychology/philosophy.

    After reading some of the posts at e-sangha, I can see Harry's concern. The usage of the word "ego" is freely used w/o context and mixed with Buddhism that really some folks end up not with Buddhism but a Freudian-Buddhism.
    I think this is getting blown out of proportion. Let me paste here some definitions for the word from dictionaries on my computer:
    ego
    noun
    (plural~s )
    Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, I more at i
    Date: 1789
    1. the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world
    2.
    a. ~tism 2
    b. self-esteem 1
    3. the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality compare id , super~
    Note that the first definition is nothing Freudian...

    Here's another:
    ego |??g?|
    noun ( pl. egos)
    a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance : a boost to my ego.
    Psychoanalysis the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. Compare with id and superego .
    an overly high opinion of oneself : some major players with really big egos.
    Philosophy (in metaphysics) a conscious thinking subject.
    I've seen the third definition used in philosophic texts, without it having Freudian connotations.

    Finally:
    ego
    ['i]
    n , pl egos
    1) the self of an individual person; the conscious subject
    2) psychoanal the conscious mind, based on perception of the environment from birth onwards: responsible for modifying the antisocial instincts of the id and itself modified by the conscience (superego)
    3) one's image of oneself; morale
    to boost one's ego
    4) egotism; conceit
    Ditto for definition one.

    So, it's clear that the word ego is _not_ used only in a "psycho-babble" meaning. While that may be the case in some forums, I think it's important to distinguish that Freud did not invent the word; it was in use a hundred years before him.

    Kirk

  16. #16

    Re: A tidbit

    Quote Originally Posted by kirkmc
    So, it's clear that the word ego is _not_ used only in a "psycho-babble" meaning. While that may be the case in some forums, I think it's important to distinguish that Freud did not invent the word; it was in use a hundred years before him.
    True. But, I think for the forums most part, like e-sangha, use of the concept "ego" w/i the context of Freud or rather the popular understanding of what people think Freud wrote.

    FWIW, Freud's German terminology is translated into "Ego". He used the term "the I."

    BTW, I have nothing against Freud. It's just that I have seen folks write about the "ego" in Buddhist forums in ways that Freud or psychologists don't use.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: A tidbit

    Maybe they use it the way philosophers do? I'm just saying... I haven't seen the writings you're talking about.

    Kirk

  18. #18

    Re: A tidbit

    Quote Originally Posted by kirkmc
    Maybe they use it the way philosophers do? I'm just saying... I haven't seen the writings you're talking about.
    Maybe. I just saw one post today and really, at least for me, doesn't make sense vis a vis ego, Buddhism, and psychology. I'll look it up. Maybe I am wrong, but, IMHO, the way s/he used it just didn't jive with Buddhism.

    BTW, my comments are not meant as a critique on Will's op.

    gassho to both of you....I am still learning and meditating.

  19. #19

    Re: A tidbit

    We could just do away with the whole thing if we wanted and just hold up a finger.

    G,W

  20. #20

    Re: A tidbit

    :lol:


    G,W

  21. #21

    Re: A tidbit

    This post reminds me of the Peter Weller "Buckaroo Bonzai" movie: "Always remember, no matter where you go, there you are."

  22. #22

    Re: A tidbit

    Quote Originally Posted by HezB
    Holding up certain fingers is very "un-Buddhist", Will. Take that shit to Hardcore Zen.

    Regards,

    H
    Hi
    Isnt there a story about a zenmaster holding up his finger?
    Or was that his student?

    No, got it. Juzhi was a zenmaster who held up a finger in answer to his student questions, and when one student did the same back, he cut it off.
    To make the story shorter the student got enlighted in seeing a whole finger and "no finger".

    May the force be with you.
    Tb

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