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Thread: Shobogenzo

  1. #1

    Shobogenzo

    In reply to a recent discussion on Shobogenzo:

    Practice, as a method, a path, a technique, something to be done, falls short of describing the Eye of the True Dharma.
    Yes. This is an important point. What Dogen is pointing to in the Shobogenzo is more than just method. He states that practice is enlightenment. So although one may attain insight, awareness, and Satori. We keep sitting day in and day out. We fold our clothes carefully, and do things with precision; manifesting the Buddha Dharma in each task.

    If there is the slightest separation, it's as if heaven and Earth are ripped a part.


    Much to talk about, but simple in form.

    .....

    Something else that pop up was the speculation or judgment of another's practice.

    We can't know what anyone is discovering for them self when they sit. Each one of us is Buddha and has the capabilities to manifest the Buddha Dharma in each moment. There is no greater or better. There is no judgment. There is only the manifestation of "this".

    Gassho

    Will

  2. #2

    Re: Shobogenzo

    Quote Originally Posted by Will
    We fold our clothes carefully, and do things with precision; manifesting the Buddha Dharma in each task.
    Is it precision with which we do things, or precise awareness of what we are doing? That is, even when we are imprecise, we are precisely aware of our imprecision. We can't always take the time to do things carefully, but we can bring a careful awareness to everything we do.

    This is a concept I have carried with me for a long time, that we can and should practice just as much off the cushion as we do on the cushion. For a long time, I foolishly used this as an excuse not to sit (and, not surprisingly, not to practice off the cushion, either), but the point remains that we can and do manifest the Buddha Dharma in each task, even when we are not aware of it. Even the most deluded person on the planet is still manifesting the Buddha Dharma in everything he/she does. It is simply impossible not to do so. Our practice helps us to see this fact and to manifest, perhaps, other aspects of the Buddha Dharma more regularly, to act with greater awareness and compassion. Yet, all the while, acting without acting, employing effortless effort.

    In fact, I suspect that "enlightenment" experiences are a letdown for many because enlightenment is so ordinary, but extraordinarily so. I once described it as struggling desperately to breathe and then realizing that one was holding one's breath the entire time, but really I think it's more like struggling desperately to breathe and then realizing that you already are breathing and have been breathing all along. What an extraordinary relief to see this, but what an ordinary thing to see!

    I finally have all four volumes of the Nishijima-Cross translation on my bookshelf (ordered before I knew they were available for free online :shock: ). Thank you, Will, for reminding me that it's time to dive deep.

    Gassho,
    Kevin

  3. #3

    Re: Shobogenzo

    Hi.
    Will answer in the text.

    Quote Originally Posted by will

    If there is the slightest separation, it's as if heaven and Earth are ripped a part.
    Very important point.
    Don't separate in hot and cold.

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    Something else that pop up was the speculation or judgment of another's practice.

    We can't know what anyone is discovering for them self when they sit. Each one of us is Buddha and has the capabilities to manifest the Buddha Dharma in each moment. There is no greater or better. There is no judgment. There is only the manifestation of "this".

    Gassho

    Will
    I prefer "it" or maybe "Thus".
    "This" implies an "that".

    And what matter does it what "others" have found if you have not?

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  4. #4

    Re: Shobogenzo

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    We fold our clothes carefully, and do things with precision; manifesting the Buddha Dharma in each task.

    If there is the slightest separation, it's as if heaven and Earth are ripped a part.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    Is it precision with which we do things, or precise awareness of what we are doing? That is, even when we are imprecise, we are precisely aware of our imprecision. We can't always take the time to do things carefully, but we can bring a careful awareness to everything we do.

    ...

    ... I once described it as struggling desperately to breathe and then realizing that one was holding one's breath the entire time, but really I think it's more like struggling desperately to breathe and then realizing that you already are breathing and have been breathing all along.
    I would just say that often in life we do things precisely with precision, often we do things precisely with imprecision.

    Sometimes we are the careful Zen students, picking weeds or washing the floors with great care, mindful of this very moment. Sometimes, we do a half-assed job while thinking about something we saw on T.V. We precisely do that, for all is precisely what it is. You don't even have to be "precisely aware" and can be "precisely distracted". Don't get caught up in having to be "Zen" your every waking moment. That is a kind of Zen disease.

    This is the middle way, this is the human condition. There is no way to be "imprecise" in this whole universe, even as sometimes we are precise and sometimes not ...

    Not realizing this is Heaven and Earth ripped apart.

    I learned this while doing Zen ceremonies when I was training at a temple: If I would try to think, during the ceremony, of every way I should move my hand, position my feet, properly bow and place the incense ... I looked like a robot at best, stumbled over myself and tripped over my robes at worst. If I would just relax and go with the flow, usually no problem (and even if I messed up, which we all do ... cause no ceremony can ever be done perfectly ... that was also NO PROBLEM, and all was precisely messed up!).

    But what is more, if we try to live our whole life as a Zen ceremony ... every step and turn precise and graceful, everything done "right", in the moment and mindful, never day dreaming about stupid things ... well, that is not living! That is to be very obsessed and uptight, removed from the fun and craziness of life. (I think they always write Zen stories about what the Buddha and Ancestors did when they were manifesting Wisdom & Mindfulness ... but not what they did after hours, or on their days off). 8)

    It is much like breathing ... sometimes it is smooth and , sometimes not and your nose whistles ... sometimes we are aware of our breathing, usually not ... but the important thing, while alive, is to just keep doing it! :shock: **

    Gassho, J

    PS - ** I do not mean either that to be always careless, irresponsible, distracted and forgetful is the "Zen Way" either. It is not. Ours is the middle way. When one needs to be careful, diligent and on time, be careful, diligent and on time.

  5. #5
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    Re: Shobogenzo

    *bumps head mid-bow*
    Gassho, Shohei

  6. #6

    Re: Shobogenzo

    *bumps into bowing Shohei 'cause he was dozing*
    Gassho
    tobi-ishi (formerly tobi-ah)

  7. #7

    Re: Shobogenzo

    You don't even have to be "precisely aware" and can be "precisely distracted". Don't get caught up in having to be "Zen" your every waking moment. That is a kind of Zen disease.
    ie. Acceptance of who and what we are.

    Gassho

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