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Thread: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

  1. #1

    5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    To close the Sandokai (although we drop all thought of "open" and "close" too) ...

    .. "We Are Just A Tiny Speck Of Big Being", pages 177 to ...


    We may begin our new book next week ... although maybe there will be a break of a week or two for some transition ...

    Thank you all for reading and participating in "Branching Streams". I hope you got some insights here and there ... the light and the dark.

    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2

    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    Hi,

    I have to say that it has been a phenomenal experience studying this book with everyone here.

    Before reading this I had no idea of light and dark and was incorrectly under the impression that the spiritual life was about moving from the light into the dark (although not so clearly in those terms). I was wrong and this last chapter sums up the necessity to both be in the light but know the dark.

    Thanks again to everyone who made this possible.

    Cheers,

    Paul

  3. #3

    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    Quote Originally Posted by prg5001
    Hi,

    I have to say that it has been a phenomenal experience studying this book with everyone here.

    Before reading this I had no idea of light and dark and was incorrectly under the impression that the spiritual life was about moving from the light into the dark (although not so clearly in those terms). I was wrong and this last chapter sums up the necessity to both be in the light but know the dark.

    Thanks again to everyone who made this possible.

    Cheers,

    Paul
    Hi all!
    thank you paul - i would say i thought the same thing... leaving my dualistic, discerning self behind in favor of a "Better, enlightened" self... I see the light now (hehe couldnt resist) and we have to accept living in the light and dark, trying to do other wise leads us to suffering.

    I also must say its been a pure pleasure studying this book and sharing/learing with all of you I think i got the "good" end of this stick though... all of the insights brought to the table have been invaluable.

    So on with the overview i give that shows just how little i know!! lol. my kind of ...this is how i took it or sometimes just something that struck me.

    Only when you respect yourself as a learned person or an ignorant person will you find true equality.
    Self respect and understanding our selves in the light, our strengths and weaknesses will help us to respect others. Sometimes, i dont think i respect myself enough and in doing so cause imbalance in our house...heh my wife would certainly agree here!

    When we are sincerely involved in good practice, we should not dream of something impossible. We should work for something that is possible to realize.
    That makes sense but i would say improbable ...its quite improbable that i will be come a movie start, get rich and handsome and grow my hair back on my receding hair line. but it could happen...its not impossible. it would be senseless to sit and daydream of it non stop unless i was going to make the effort. I think that doing so wouldn't be the best use of my efforts and instead of selfish pursuits i could simply accept certain aspects of my being and use that energy to help others.

    Starting a sitting group, sharing the Dharma with people here and providing service here is something i could realize here and would be a much better use of effort and is far more probable than the first scenario.

    These are just words. We shouldn't be caught by words
    in practice and in life(really not separate) very good advice!

    Wonderful book that i know i will revisit!

    Gassho, Shohei

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    Hi all,

    Like others have said, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and contemplating with all of you during these past weeks. I haven't posted very much during the past few chapters because much of the reading gave me so much to think about that coming to any conclusions seemed very elusive. I don't mean that every time I must have some brilliant insight, but words have failed me the last few weeks and I don't think that's anything to be concerned about. Quite the contrary, I think much of what we read (the book and the comments from this sangha) is seeping down into the marrow of my bones (thanks ZNF) and I may never fully understand what it all means. But to keep up with all of you isn't a bad accomplsihment for a newbie.

    On to the next book I may never fully understand!

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    I don't post here very often (someone always seems to say what I'm thinking better than I could ), but I do very much enjoy reading everyone's posts. So thank you very much and I am looking forward to the next book.

    Ron

  6. #6

    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    Hi,

    Some notes from the final chapter:

    * Equal doesn't mean "the same". Things are "equal" in the sense that they follow their true nature (like water and a cup)
    * We should understand the other side of each event or thing.
    * Things we think are on the 'outside' are really 'inside'. There are things outside but what we think about them is always inside.
    * Analysis is important but it is just the shadow of practice.
    * There are things we can understand and things that are beyond understanding.
    * Many beings exist as part of one whole being. There is a connection between all sentient beings and that is... (what?) Jundo uses the analogy of the fingers and the hand. S Suzuki talks about darkness that envelopes everything within it. Today I noticed that the individual plants in a garden were all connected by the soil in which they grow.
    * We should respect the world of form and colour.

    Thanks to everyone.

    JohnH

  7. #7

    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    I would also like to thank everyone who participated in the discussion of this book and thank Jundo for picking it. I can see why it such a fundamental work for the Soto tradition.

    As many have stated, I too gained a great deal of insight from the conceptual uses of light and dark….nicely summarized in this last chapter by Suzuki Roshi. Lightness is our usual dualistic understanding of the world. Darkness represents what is beyond our intellectual understanding, what we experience in zazen, and the “whole”, which we are but a small part.

    One of the most helpful principles I got from the book is the importance of bridging lightness and dark. The idea that San (light) and Do (dark) are not complete in and of themselves and must be integrated (Kai). This point seems so aptly put in the phrase,

    Grasping at things is surely delusion, according with sameness is still not enlightenment.
    I posted this in reference to an earlier chapter, but after finishing the book I have a deeper appreciation for Fisher Roshi statement that the integration of San and Do in our lives can be seen as a “koan of life.”

    Gassho,
    BrianW

  8. #8

    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    Hi,

    I'd also like to thank everyone for their participation. I think it's great to have this kind of opportunity for us to deepen our understanding through discussion and mutual support. Deep bows to all.

    Gassho
    Bansho

  9. #9

    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    Hi.

    It is good to read all your comments on the book.
    And very well written they are.
    Many times i found that i had nothing to write, because it was already written (or being wrote).

    Thank you.

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  10. #10

    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    Hi !
    I just ask myself what is the next book for the "book club"? :roll:

    Hope to share a book soon

    Luis

  11. #11

    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    Quote Originally Posted by Luis
    Hi !
    I just ask myself what is the next book for the "book club"? :roll:

    Hope to share a book soon

    Luis

    Hi Luis the next book is the Shobogenzo-zuimonki. Here is a link to the post where we were discussing it.
    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1526

    Gassho, Shohei

  12. #12

    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    Thank you Dirk! :P

  13. #13
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: 5/15 - Branching Streams: Closing - Tiny Speck of Big Being

    What a great book!!! My appreciation for this practice has grown immensely from reading this book and listening to the Norman Fischer talks and reading the comments here. I have been able to take many practical things from all of this and apply it to my life for the better. Both the greatness and the simplicity of that are beyond words.

    I have been reading along about a month behind the club here. Sorry for the lurking, but by the time I got to reading the chapter and the comments here pretty much all i wanted to say had been said. This was my first book club experience here, and I liked to soooo much I am going to backtrack and read Opening the Hand of Thought next, and maybe some of the new one also.

    Everything is also a Buddha. Man, I love that!!!!! Along with a whole LOT of other stuff!!!

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