Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

  1. #1

    5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    Heading into the home stretch (although ... in Zen, that is the "always home" stretch) ...

    We come to the ELEVENTH TALK in Suzuki Roshi's talks on the Sandokai ... "We Should Not Stick to Words or Rules Too Much", pages 153 to 160.

    There is an extra talk by Zoketsu Norm Fischer on the Sandokai, not necessarily about his section in particular. Of course, all things are connected, so please have a listen ...

    http://www.everydayzen.org/index.php?It ... io-602-384

    Remember to consider a donation to Zoketsu if you have benefited from these talks.

    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    Hello all
    This was a great lesson that Im still learning. I came to realize this through practice and some examination of my own thoughts and behavior that i was sticking to much to my own rules and to other rules as well. When i realized that doing so was actually causing more separation and grief than they were helping i changed my attitude and let my tight grip on them go completely.

    So the most important thing is not the rules but finding the true source of the teaching with your eyes and ears wherever you are. This is a direct way to know the source of the teaching, without trying to establish some particular way for yourself.

    So with that in mind i read this chapter and as this book has done almost every chapter, it struck clear and bright. Sticking to the words themselves and examining them only we can miss the root of where they began; the original source of the words are the teaching and the words and ways the teachings are put forth will vary with the individual and thus the seemingly black and white and sometimes gray areas in the different schools. But they all spring from the same source and should be seen in that way.

    Should not versus good and and bad - "should not" leaves room for the ever present "other side of the coin". Prevents us from steadfastly holding on to our rules and ideas. Not Always So - a great rule that is subject to its own guidence sometimes not aways so isnt always so! niffty.

    This is rather difficult - to have a very strict, strong confidence in your own practice and to be flexible enough to accept anther's way too.
    And with that we see how very deep "should not stick to words or rules" is, and it can be quite tricky(I have found it to be!)

    In everyday life there is dao, the way, and if you do not practice in the midst of everyday activity, there is no approach to the true way. That is what Sekito means. Don't stick to words.

    I will have to check out the extra talk by Zoketsu Norm Fisher from work as its rainy to day and that coupled with light wind unveils the poor quality of the communications lines out in my neck of the woods :C on the up swing it motivated me to search, discover and subscribe to a new isp - come my 15th i will have highspeed connection(via 2 way satellite) that will allow me to see more of the media and links provided and particpate more! (Sorry for the O/T)

    Gassho Shohei

  3. #3

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    Hi,

    If there is one part of the Sendokai that it always worth remembering then I think the line "Hearing the words, understand the meaning" is it. Words are at best useless and at worst very dangerous if taken at face value with all the subtle and sometimes not so subtle general fuzz around them. We have to try and get to the meaning, especially so in Buddhism IMHO.

    Take the word 'emptiness' - what does it mean? I mis-understood this for years, I know I was mis-understanding as I tried to explain to my non-Buddhists friends and they thought it wasn't right. I continued to investigate it and now I have a little knowledge of emptiness, at least now I know I can't explain it. I can say that 'emptiness is the fact that everything is conditionally co-produced' but that's a whole bunch of words too, doesn't explain it and could become my own standard. The best thing I could say is to do zazen and then you can investigate it, experience it and understand the meaning.

    Cheers,

    Paul

  4. #4

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    The main themes in this chapter seemed to be pretty straight forward. The point of not sticking to words brought the Diamond Sutra to mind in which it is stated that the Buddha’s teaching has no inherent reality in itself and is like a raft; the teachings are a vehicle for moving from ignorance to wisdom.

    When the well-traveled one, in teaching, uses conceptions
    and ideas, people should remember the unreality of all such
    concepts and ideas. They should recall that the well-traveled
    one, in teaching spiritual truths, always uses such notions in
    the way that a raft is used to cross a river. The raft is of no
    more use when the river has been crossed, and should be
    discarded. So these arbitrary conceptions of and about spiritual
    things should be given us as one attains enlightenment. How much
    more should one give up conceptions of non-existent things?"
    Gassho,
    BrianW

  5. #5

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    I really enjoyed this chapter as I've felt that I have been floundering w/ the previous chapters. Brian W is right; this is a very straightforward chapter but with a lot of meaning.

    Some key points:

    ---Suzuki Roshi promotes the Middle Way by offering that we should follow rules but not follow them blindly

    ---the phrase hearing the words and understanding the meaning is so relevent.

    I especially enjoy Suzuki Roshi's analogy of the fish living in the water and the bird flying in the air as related to living the dharma. It just is without barriers or boundries. We are immersed within it.

    Jeff

  6. #6

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    Hi,

    S Suzuki says that words suggest the real meaning of the truth but they are a poor representation. This quote is a nice summary of how we try to communicate these ideas.
    Quote Originally Posted by in Zen, C Humphreys
    Words are sounds or marks of agreed meaning in terms of ideas or thoughts or feelings. ... When, therefore, we wish to transmit to another some spiritual experience, we must descend to the level of thought and wrap our discovery in the opaque material of thought and feeling in order to hand it to our friend. The friend must unwrap the symbol and extract for their own understanding whatever is left of the actual experience... Will any symbol suffice to transmit the experience of being in love, or the fear of imminent death, or satori? ... The unit of communication is the concept, or thought, wrapped up in agreed symbols. As such it is second-hand, and dead, as a bucket of river water is dead in relation to the flow that is the river...
    JohnH

  7. #7

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    Hi.

    We should remember that words are just words, and rules are there for the conveniency of things.

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  8. #8

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    I found this week's teaching really profound and beautiful. Fischer is really worth listening to on this I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suzuki
    Don't make your own rules and force rules on others. It is not possible to force rules on others anyway, because each person has his own way and should have his own way.
    My own views have changed so much on this during the last few years since I have been practicing Zen. Lately I listened to Fischer's talks on Tibetan lojong practice and find the slogans to be great teaching, even if they are not Zen. And I love where he comments on this passage by saying that we tend to go by ideas of what our experience is, not the experience itself, and that practice is a way of undoing that and allowing us to live more simply - to appreciate our daily life more deeply. Our lives are so perfect just as they are - even if they are such a mess!

    I think I am also starting to appreciate this idea of the need for strictness and precision, especially at Zen retreats, and also being able to see that it isn't totally necessary either, and that we shouldn't get too enamoured and rigid about the rituals.

    Gassho,
    Doshin

  9. #9

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    I found this week's teaching really profound and beautiful. Fischer is really worth listening to on this I think.
    ...And I love where he comments on this passage by saying that we tend to go by ideas of what our experience is, not the experience itself, and that practice is a way of undoing that and allowing us to live more simply - to appreciate our daily life more deeply...
    Gassho,
    Doshin
    Hi John,

    I've been pondering your post all morning and I think that's a very important point.

    many thanks,

    John(H)

  10. #10

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    Thanks John - and I have been getting carried away by my ideas again this morning

    Gassho,
    Doshin

  11. #11

    Re: 5/1 - Branching Streams: 11th Talk - We Should Not Stick

    Hi.

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Lately I listened to Fischer's talks on Tibetan lojong practice and find the slogans to be great teaching, even if they are not Zen.
    Is that so?

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    And I love where he comments on this passage by saying that we tend to go by ideas of what our experience is, not the experience itself, and that practice is a way of undoing that and allowing us to live more simply - to appreciate our daily life more deeply. Our lives are so perfect just as they are - even if they are such a mess!
    A perfect mess, no less.

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    I think I am also starting to appreciate this idea of the need for strictness and precision, especially at Zen retreats, and also being able to see that it isn't totally necessary either, and that we shouldn't get too enamoured and rigid about the rituals.
    We'll written and perfectly true.
    I would say "there's a hat for everyone", but that would be to put another ratdropping in the soup.

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

Similar Threads

  1. 4/24 - Branching Streams - A Short Talk During Z
    By Jundo in forum "BEYOND WORDS & LETTERS" BOOK CLUB
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 05-08-2009, 01:55 PM
  2. 3/6 - Branching Streams: 4th Talk - The Blue Jay
    By Jundo in forum "BEYOND WORDS & LETTERS" BOOK CLUB
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 04-24-2009, 08:13 AM
  3. 3/27 - Branching Streams: 7th Talk - Without Any Idea
    By Jundo in forum "BEYOND WORDS & LETTERS" BOOK CLUB
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 04-12-2009, 11:48 AM
  4. 2/27- Branching Streams: 3rd Talk - Buddha is Always Here
    By Jundo in forum "BEYOND WORDS & LETTERS" BOOK CLUB
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 03-17-2009, 10:51 AM
  5. 2/13 Branching Streams: 1st Talk - Things-As-It-Is
    By Jundo in forum "BEYOND WORDS & LETTERS" BOOK CLUB
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 02-20-2009, 09:52 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
  •