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Thread: All the trees in the yard are speaking

  1. #1

    All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Since this is a Zen Sangha I thought I'd share my experience.

    It has nothing to do with sitting cross legged on a cushion. It has everything to do with just noticing. Thoughts constantly come and go. The thing is, is that most of the time we are not even aware of them. We follow them and do what they say, but they are actually only something that comes and goes. They are one part of this experience. Body and Mind are one. When mind is overly concerned with something it shows itself through body as well. Those times when you smell a flower and feel the sun on your back without worrying about this or that. Without thinking about the next Toy you have to buy or worrying about the Bills so much that you become flush, and tense. Fear comes up, anger comes up, craving comes up. But they also go aswell. To study the self. This is not restricted to the cushion. Noticing what this is, is not restricted to an idea of sitting down and dropping this or that. It can happen anywhere any time. What happens when you don't try to do anything but you just sit and notice. Let things come and go. Where does stupidity come from?

    This morning a bed was the cushion and it is snowing outside. Snow blankets the ground. It is slightly cool by the window, and breakfast awaits. Where does it come from and where does it go? Who am I? What am I? What is thinking? What is the moment? What is all this like? How does it happen? What happens? Keep practicing.

    Gassho

    Will

  2. #2
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Wonderful Will! Your voice has a very different texture . And what you say is so vivid and true in my life. Just a very little suggestion if I may, do not rush any answer, keep the questions as is, allow your life to bloom and blossom without giving a particular taste to the experience, which is of course the very nature of answers. And thank you so much for sharing.


    Taigu

  3. #3

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Will...

    what it is??? :lol:

    ................................................

    Gassho for you, Mujo

  4. #4
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    hi Zenchat!...Just a few questions from Taigu, the monk sick with the uncurable disease of stupidity...

    With what kind of heightened awareness do we eat our vegetables with and s... them? When does the moment of now doesn t come? Why not dropping the I in I sit? Why do you call it hard work? Or even meditation? My words may not catch it quite right..., do you think it has anything to do with words or with the basic expectation patterns underlying them? Don t you think that rhetoric is great, that flowers do turn the Dharma wheel and that you may even eat a painted cake? :wink:

    Loving Gassho


    Taigu

  5. #5
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Thank you Zenchat...

    I don't think "ordinary mind" means "ordinary mind" - at all. I think that our consciousness, even in ordinary mind, is a seed-form of an infinite experience. In that sense, it is the same "essence." But it is quite a different thing to drink a drop of that essence....and to become an ocean of that essence.
    Well, to me, this is real hubris. Please, read again what you wrote in the light of just sitting.


    not so sure we are speaking the same language
    It doesn't really matter. What matters is where words arise from. If you are talking about my poor understanding of English, let me apologize. If you are talking about a linguistic issue, well, that's pretty obvious, isn't?

    Can I write a poem like Shakespeare? If not, then I am clearly not the greatest poet.

    Can I write music like Beethoven? If not, then I am clearly not the greatest musician.
    Sitting Zen, zazen, is precisely to sit-Buddha, to Buddha-sit or being Hakuin or whoever.

    No need to be the greatest, No need at all.

    Ordinary mind? Closer to you than you think.

    What is missing? Nothing. What is extra? that is the real question to answer. Don't you think?

    Your real self and mine are empty of any pretentious and romantic thoughts. So soft, so gentle. Is it expert's mind or beginnner's mind? Why do you see a ladder where just this can only be found?

    Loving gassho

    Taigu

  6. #6
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Emperor Wu of Liang asked the great master Bodhidharma,

    "What is the main point of this holy teaching?"

    "Vast emptiness, nothing holy," said Bodhidharma.

    "Who are you, standing in front of me?" asked the emperor.

    "I do not know," said Bodhidharma.

    The emperor didn't understand. Bodhidharma crossed the Yangtze River and went to the kingdom of Wei.

    Just a reminder. It happens now. We are all both, Wu and Daruma. The I don't know is so beautiful, so true, so simple. To my taste, so true. There, I don't care if I am not the ocean, I don't mind about drops. There, no infinite neither limits. No more can(materialistic ) or
    become
    (idealistic).
    Please, Zenchat don't be Wu and don't let me be Bodhidharma: I really hate crossing rivers...

    Love

    Taigu

  7. #7

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenChat99xyz

    I think it is hubris to assume that I can meditate and have the same experiences while meditating that Buddha or Hakuin had.

    I think that is a misinterpretation of what "ordinary mind" means. I don't think "ordinary mind" means "ordinary mind" - at all. I think that our consciousness, even in ordinary mind, is a seed-form of an infinite experience. In that sense, it is the same "essence." But it is quite a different thing to drink a drop of that essence....and to become an ocean of that essence.
    Thanks Taigu. A couple of postings by you today, here and elsewhere, where very helpful.

    Well, I believe that the meaning of ordinary mind is ordinary mind. Ordinary means ordinary, everyday, just this.

    Of course, if you are looking for some infinite experience, some essence, then ordinary mind truly is just plain and ordinary. If you see it as just a drop while searching for the ocean, then it is just an unsatisfying drop compared to the other.

    But if you drop all thought of seeking some more profound essence, of tasting some infinite experience, and just savor the ordinary mind ... the ordinary is a jewel, perfectly what it is. Contained in each ordinary moment is all we need, and a single drop will quench one's thirst. The ocean -is- each drop.

    I believe that, by merely crossing the legs and straightening the back, we are Buddha and Hakuin combined, having the same experiences. Ordinary experience seen as anything but ordinary. Now, whether you come to realize that is completely up to you.

    Gassho, J

  8. #8

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I believe that, by merely crossing the legs and straightening the back, we are Buddha and Hakuin combined, having the same experiences. Ordinary experience seen as anything but ordinary. Now, whether you come to realize that is completely up to you.

    Gassho, J
    Hi.

    Why only when we cross our legs?
    And what about the legless?

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  9. #9

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen

    Hi.

    Why only when we cross our legs?
    And what about the legless?

    Mtfbwy
    Tb
    Oh, you thought I meant only the legs attached to your feet.

    A "Bodhidharma" doll from Japan. Most people in Japan actually do not associate it with Zen, and it is just a kind of good luck charm. It is based on the idea that he sat so long that his legs vanished, his eyelids cut off so he no longer closes his eyes. But I like to think that his legs are limitless and his eyes always open.


  10. #10

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Why do you see a ladder where just this can only be found?
    Spot on Thanks Taigu.

    Also, I think sometimes there is an artifical separation between 'spirituality' and everything else, 'spiritual people' and other people, 'spiritual places' and other places etc. But for me, ALL is 'spirit', if you want to use that word, so ALL activities, people, and places are 'spiritual', which is not to say that on the level of form it doesn't manifest as diversity ('not one not two. One AND two').

    Maybe I've gone too far and it would be better to leave the questions unanswered and avoid explanations/interpretations...

    But anyway, this from Huineng seems relevent somehow:
    Bodhi is no tree,
    nor is the mind a standing mirror bright.
    SINCE ALL IS ORIGINALLY EMPTY,
    where does the dust alight?

    Translation from wikipedia. Maybe someone has a more accurate one?

    Also The Heart Sutra's 'All things are expressions of emptiness...not stained not pure..'

    Gassho,
    David

  11. #11

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Borsuk

    But anyway, this from Huineng seems relevent somehow:
    Bodhi is no tree,
    nor is the mind a standing mirror bright.
    SINCE ALL IS ORIGINALLY EMPTY,
    where does the dust alight?

    Translation from wikipedia. Maybe someone has a more accurate one?

    Also The Heart Sutra's 'All things are expressions of emptiness...not stained not pure..'
    Hi David,

    The Huineng poem is probably part of a fictional story (we are actually looking at that this week in our book club), but the perspective behind the poem is certainly not a fiction.

    In talking about "dust" or "things" ... why need you reject that "dust" and "things" as impure once your realize that they are not stained not pure?

    Kick up some dust, even as you know to keep much of it out of your eyes!

    Releated to this, someone just wrote me to say that they found my teaching style "watering down Buddhism into a kind of self-help psychology mixed in with a bit of Ethical Humanism".

    I respectfully disagree. My philosophy is more this:

    I am just one of those fellows who thinks, after you taste the mountain top, you pretty much just get back to the marketplace of ordinary life. The mountaintop is nice, but not a place to live. Anyway, where is the mountain top and where is the town?

    Not to mention, lots of teachers out there teaching "transcendent spiritual" this or that. I just teach nose scratching.

    Gassho, Jundo

    Ps- How do you taste that mountain top? Shikantaza

  12. #12

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen

    Hi.

    Why only when we cross our legs?
    And what about the legless?

    Mtfbwy
    Tb
    Oh, you thought I meant only the legs attached to your feet.

    A "Bodhidharma" doll from Japan. Most people in Japan actually do not associate it with Zen, and it is just a kind of good luck charm. It is based on the idea that he sat so long that his legs vanished, his eyelids cut off so he no longer closes his eyes. But I like to think that his legs are limitless and his eyes always open.

    Hi.

    Not really, but sometimes you have to poke the teacher, so that he explains so that all (not just some of us) can tag along for the ride...

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  13. #13

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Hi Jundo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    In talking about "dust" or "things" ... why need you reject that "dust" and "things" as impure once your realize that they are not stained not pure?

    Kick up some dust, even as you know to keep much of it out of your eyes!
    Come again? :? :lol:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I am just one of those fellows who thinks, after you taste the mountain top, you pretty much just get back to the marketplace of ordinary life. The mountaintop is nice, but not a place to live. Anyway, where is the mountain top and where is the town?
    I feel this might be straying into dualism. They are the same place, aren't they? Standing in the market place we can taste the mountain top. If we can't, we are seeing things only one-sidedly, say I (tentatively). I think non-dualism really means that all places are the mountain top.

    Gassho,
    David

  14. #14
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Hi Borsuk,

    Very clever observation. The market place and the mountain top exists simultaneously and yet one may experience them seperately. Each moment as it is are both of them but the way you experience the moment makes the difference. Shopping in your local supermarket or driving your car (modern versions of chopping wood, carrying water) are indeed Buddha's true body, but you may get trapped there, caught in a way. This is known as Sunnyata dead end: ku, emptiness can be a big, a very big trap, a kind of poison.?So coming back to ordinary life is not dualism, it is just simplicity, the fact we don't need to maintain anything special or really Big to live . So your definition of non dualism is still very dualistic. Saying that
    every place is the mountain top
    only is off the mark. In our tradition we have the neither...nor... Neither market place nor mountain top. Then what is left? This live, as it is. In Nishijima roshi 's way to put it it could sound like this neither idealist existence nor materialistic existence but real existence :wink: .
    This is the point Jundo made.
    Take care

    gassho


    Taigu

  15. #15

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Borsuk
    Hi Jundo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    In talking about "dust" or "things" ... why need you reject that "dust" and "things" as impure once your realize that they are not stained not pure?

    Kick up some dust, even as you know to keep much of it out of your eyes!
    Come again? :? :lol:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I am just one of those fellows who thinks, after you taste the mountain top, you pretty much just get back to the marketplace of ordinary life. The mountaintop is nice, but not a place to live. Anyway, where is the mountain top and where is the town?
    I feel this might be straying into dualism. They are the same place, aren't they? Standing in the market place we can taste the mountain top. If we can't, we are seeing things only one-sidedly, say I (tentatively). I think non-dualism really means that all places are the mountain top.

    Gassho,
    David
    Hi,

    I think Taigu said it all, but I will pour some words on top of words.

    Dogen Zenji said in Genjo Koan, " when one side is illumined the other side is dark" Yes, all are one ... one beyond one ... yet we must live in this dualistic world sometimes seeing more of one face than the other.


    Kick up some dust, even as you know to keep much of it out of your eyes!
    Come again? :? :lol:
    We must live in this day to day world of delusion and dualism. We must, by necessity, play amid the dust and mud. Hopefully, we can keep most (not all) out of our eyes.

    I think, perhaps, you are looking for someone who always sees and lives in some perfection where he experiences only that there is no dust at all (not perfection -in- and despite the dust), and hope for someone who never gets his shoes dirty with dust?

    You know, many people look at Huineng's famous poetry debate as not an either/or statement. It is not that the poem about "wiping away" the dust was wrong, while the poem about "no dust ever to alight" was right. It is that there is no dust, even as we are constantly covered with dust and do as we can to wipe dust away. Please understand this point.

    Gassho, J

    PS- A fitting topic, given the recent "dust up" at Dogen Sangha. :?

  16. #16

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Dogen Zenji said in Genjo Koan, " when one side is illumined the other side is dark" Yes, all are one ... one beyond one ... yet we must live in this dualistic world sometimes seeing more of one face than the other.
    Hi.
    Yes, but it is also important to remeber in darkess there is light, and in light there is darkness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    PS- A fitting topic, given the recent "dust up" at Dogen Sangha. :?
    What "dust up"?
    And what happened to
    I always avoid intra-Buddhist disputes.
    ? :twisted:

    And remember "The Ox will kick up lots of dust while clearing the field"

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  17. #17

    Re: All the trees in the yard are speaking

    Thanks Jundo and Taigu. I think enough's been said for now and I'll mull it over. Much appreciated as always.

    Just for the record, Jundo, I've experienced your compassion, kindness, wisdom, and sincerity first hand, and I think these are the qualities of a great teacher. Glad to know you.

    Deep gassho,
    David

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