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Thread: Tools and Dropping

  1. #1

    Tools and Dropping

    You can't describe Zen. It's impossible. It's just there.

    On that note, we can use our faculties to get across a meaning.



    Taigu, Maybe a good idea, but I don't think creating a new language is necessary. Maybe. Try it out

    When we talk about Zen, we talk. That's it. Conveying a meaning for something that you already have but miss it here and now.

    Pointing to something that has no point.

    All that aside, I'll use language now to convey something: Dropping. Forgetting, and leaving be.
    .
    Sometimes we hold on to something someone said or we said. The best example is an argument. In an argument we try to convince the other person of our idea, opinion, or point of view. Zen is more of a taste of dropping. When we argue with someone that idea might hang there. It doesn't go away. We come back to it. We have an idea of "me" and "this other person". Zen is not argument. It's offering, and allowing. So if someone just won't listen, drop it. Forget about it. Our practice teaches us this.

    This is a good point because we are always holding on to something whether it be the idea that have to wash the frig, or pay the phone bill. We might hold an idea about Art, or a T.V. program. It keeps playing over and over continuously until there's a break for a second. Then it comes back.

    So, what I'm trying to say here is: Study it. Notice it. Drop it. Sounds impossible sometimes and that's fine. Just keep doing it. To study the self...you know the rest.

    Forget about it. Move on. Go on to your next task.

    So I'll post something here from Dogen the man:

    Shobogenzo Zuimonki

    Even if you are speaking rationally 1 and another person says something unreasonable, it is wrong to defeat him by arguing logically. On the other hand, it is not good to give up hastily saying that you are wrong, even though you think that your opinion is reasonable.

    Neither defeats him, nor withdraw saying you are wrong. It is best to just leave the matter alone and stop arguing. If you act as if you have not heard and forget about the matter, he will forget too and will not get angry. This is a very important thing to bear in mind.

    1. The original Japanese is dori, which means, (1) principle, truth, (2) reason, argument.
    Gassho

    W

  2. #2
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Thank you Will,

    So, what I'm trying to say here is: Study it. Notice it. Drop it
    Thank you. Very effective and true teaching.

    Then, please, Will, would you pick it up? Please, just pick it up.

    Kannon in Kannon.


    Gassho


    Taigu

  3. #3

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Then, please, Will, would you pick it up? Please, just pick it up.

    Kannon in Kannon.
    Pick what up?

    Gassho

  4. #4
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Hi Will,

    Dropping, allowing, forgetting. True. This is very important. But taking care, nurturing, picking up are also part and parcel of our way. And yes, the most important part was...Kannon in Kannon. Can you pick it up?

    Gassho


    Taigu

  5. #5

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Yes. Yes. Right. Pick it up.

    Again and again.

    Gassho

    W

  6. #6

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    as a half-ass mechanic of necessity, i'm semi-famous for dropping my tools all over, with total lack of awareness, of course, and then discovering them the following year, rusted solid, when i run over them with the lawn mower

    but seriously, it is a sad comment on my lack of awareness when off the cushion

    gassho, roky/bob

  7. #7
    disastermouse
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    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Quote Originally Posted by roky
    as a half-ass mechanic of necessity, i'm semi-famous for dropping my tools all over, with total lack of awareness, of course, and then discovering them the following year, rusted solid, when i run over them with the lawn mower

    but seriously, it is a sad comment on my lack of awareness when off the cushion

    gassho, roky/bob
    Bah, that's a story! You found them at the perfect time with the perfect tool (the lawn mower). Sure, it may be 'not to do' in the future, but if it has happened or is happening - producing counterfactual stories about how it SHOULD have been seems....unnecessary.

    IMHO.

    Chet

  8. #8
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Hi Will,

    Dropping, allowing, forgetting. True. This is very important. But taking care, nurturing, picking up are also part and parcel of our way. And yes, the most important part was...Kannon in Kannon. Can you pick it up?

    Gassho


    Taigu
    I have been pondering Taigu's response for days. Here is what I "pick up" from it.

    It's not always about dropping, dropping, dropping. It is also about picking up. My life requires that I pick things up in order to function. Dropping is functional for zazen, but for the rest of my life I need to pick things up. I am thinking of the sandokai, where there is light in darkness and darkness in light; you need to pick up in order to drop and dropping requires picking up. Right?

    Mindfully picking things up is the key. It helps to know what I have picked up in order to know what I need to drop. Honoring and valuing what I pick up leads to honoring and valuing it when I drop it. I am much better being able to drop stress, for example, once I know that I have picked up stress. Picking up, in and of itself, is not the problem, but holding on to it too long is. Right?

    To drop everything all the time leaves me as nothing more than a dead stone. So picking up is living the reality of life. Being alive requires picking up. Being with others in a meaningful and mindful way requires picking up. Right?

    Kannon, she who hears the cries of the world. As a counselor I know that those folks crying need to pick up those feelings in order to drop them. Just dropping feelings leads to denial. The more troublesome those feelings are the more they need to be picked up and examined so that they can later be dropped. So hearing the cries of the world means also picking up those cries of the world. Compassion requires picking up AND dropping in the company of others. Right?

    We practice picking up unmindfully all the time, so the practice of mindful dropping is often emphasized. But mindful picking up is just as important, and I think this gets overlooked a lot of the time. Right?

    OK, now that I have picked all this stuff up and dropped it here, maybe I can also drop it from in my head.

    Thanx for reading.

  9. #9

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    It's all about studying the self. Drop even dropping.

    Gassho

  10. #10

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    That post was for those who have trouble dropping things (like myself). Just getting an idea that they can be dropped. It is not a means to an end. It is just a something that might set you on your way a little more.

    Zazen is a method whereby, body and mind balance and we become absorbed in present experience. However, for those struggling moment to moment, I am saying "drop it" and move on. Forget about it. Even a little.

    Not all of us are blessed with to choosing the intelligent course in some situations, or even day to day. Getting a feeling of letting go of certain things can open up your practice so you can move on.

    Let me give you an example:

    I post something on this forum. After posting it, I think about. It's forefront in my thoughts. Well, notice how it comes about. Notice the movement of thought there and maybe the tension. Drop it. Forget about it. Move on. Then you can drop even the dropping and just do Zazen.

    That's it. Nothing spectacular.

    Gassho

    W

  11. #11

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    As a counselor I know that those folks crying need to pick up those feelings in order to drop them.
    The only way I found to ease the anger/stress I feel is not to ignore it or flee from it, but to pick it up by sitting with it. By sitting with it, I can drop it. But, when I am done sitting, I pick it up again with compassion. In this way, my anger is my teacher.

    Gassho,
    Kevin

  12. #12
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Thank you Alanla. Yes, Kevin, pretty good. My invitation is also to stimulate a very gentle approach to our path, in the same spirit of loving kindness, I hear so much about dropping this and that, here and there, that the whole Zen path would seem to me a big big pile of droppings!
    Just kidding. but if you only go in the direction of Manjuhri, the guy riding a lion and waving a sword in a theatening way, the very guy you will find to inspire people where they sit zazen Japanese temples, you just cut with the sword and drop, and end up pretty stiff and srewed up, I can tell you. Military and radical style. This is not complete. We also need to nurture, take care, listen...That is the pick up thing. Compassion.

    gassho


    Taigu

  13. #13

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    I was sitting in my truck yesterday waiting for someone and I rested and listened and felt happy. A neighbor came by and we engaged in a conversation and I learned of some of their needs and concerns. This is just the everyday life that you pick up on if you are paying attention. In one moment you can put it all down but sometimes if a storm appears you need more time.

  14. #14

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    You ever look at a sexy girl? Britney Spears maybe? Yeah? Well, how does the girl feel? People staring at her all the time. She just wants to get to work or whatever.

    Maybe none of you are used to this situation, but I live here in China. It is very common for people to stare at you. Anywhere you go, it's like that. People expect a lot from you. Depending on how you handle it or your reaction, it could just cause a lot of unnecessary commotion .

    Now, in my time living here/there that has caused me and others great suffering because 1. I didn't know shit. 2. Out of balance and lack of the ability to drop, and open. Inability to just be here.

    A habit that might come from that is "me" and "them". This me and them habit can further be developed causing all kinds of trouble. Well, the truth is it's not so (not two). Worrying about how one is behaving all the time, or analyzing one's behavior and others is not necessary. It's just habit.

    You must understand that this ability to "drop" (as I say ) is just exactly that. What would you like me to call it? shedding? It's the ability to pull your self out and look at "this" or open up Bodymind and get on with it. It comes as a great relief and less trouble. Not "militaristic" but "realistic". Not caring so much about this or that and just being able to sit here/there etc.

    Just drop it. Drop even this. (The name of the topic is "Tools" dropping.)

    Study the self (you learn a lot)
    forget the self and so on.

    Gassho _/_

    W

  15. #15
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Ok Will, I ll explain in a different way, as Norman Fisher puts it somewhere, you can let go of the ego two ways: dropping it or turning it into everything. Your suggestion is very valid and perfectly OK and I just come up with another one, you may become and embrace others, pick them up rather than doing your own thing. You are right: we all waste far too much time and energy into stuff like: what does they think about me? Why?... And you may also listen to them like Kannon does and cultivate what Dogen calls grandmother Mind or heart. That is what Dogen told Gikai just before he passed away in Kyoto, as he was praising him for his understanding and practice he said: you still lack a grandmother heart. Your teaching, Will, is very precious for us all and I am often inspired by what you come up with. Thank you Will. Thank you so much for your posts. I know very little and have a very small experience of the path, I am just pointing out another possibility.
    me and them might vanish if you invite them all in, extend me to all and everything.
    Just another possibility. Would you pick it up, please?

    gassho

    taigu

  16. #16

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Just another possibility. Would you pick it up, please?
    Yes. Absolutely

    When I say I didn't know s***. Doesn't mean I know s*** now.

    I see Taigu, and Taigu is Taigu doing what Taigu do (not two). _/_

    "Anyway..." (said in the way that words can't say. If you were here I'd probably bow and say "I gotta go." with a smile that also has no expression)

    Gassho

    W

  17. #17
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Tank you, Will.


    Gassho


    Taigu

  18. #18
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Tools and Dropping

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Ok Will, I ll explain in a different way, as Norman Fisher puts it somewhere, you can let go of the ego two ways: dropping it or turning it into everything. Your suggestion is very valid and perfectly OK and I just come up with another one, you may become and embrace others, pick them up rather than doing your own thing. You are right: we all waste far too much time and energy into stuff like: what does they think about me? Why?... And you may also listen to them like Kannon does and cultivate what Dogen calls grandmother Mind or heart. That is what Dogen told Gikai just before he passed away in Kyoto, as he was praising him for his understanding and practice he said: you still lack a grandmother heart. Your teaching, Will, is very precious for us all and I am often inspired by what you come up with. Thank you Will. Thank you so much for your posts. I know very little and have a very small experience of the path, I am just pointing out another possibility.
    me and them might vanish if you invite them all in, extend me to all and everything.
    Just another possibility. Would you pick it up, please?

    gassho

    taigu
    This seems to be the difference between hinayana and mahayana; one is dropping everything and becoming one beyond one that way, and the other is picking up everything and becoming one beyond one that way, the Kannon way. Yes it is good to drop all those habits, as Will says, but that's small vehicle stuff that doesn't save the many beings. The bigger vehicle is to have that "grandmother heart" that picks up all the cries of the world in order to be with them as a means of saving them.

    I listened to a great dharma talk last night on the Houston Zen Center website. In one part the speaker was talking about how the symbol for humans in chinese calligraphy has them in between the heavenly realm and animal realm, in both worlds, the middle way. To be just about heaven would mean to leave everything else behind, and this sounds like dropping to me. To be just in the animal realm is to be picking everything up without wisdom (I'm sorta extrapolating on her point here). To be human is to have the potential to be a bridge between the two realms, a bodhisatva.

    I may not be getting the tools Will intended with this thread, and the tools I am getting don't seem to be for dropping, but they are valuable tools for me just the same. So thanks!!

  19. #19

    Re: Tools and Dropping

    What's important is "I". "I" gets in the way a lot of the time.

    I want to do this. I want to do that. I think this. I think that. In my opinion... And so on.

    However, we can't expect to drop "I" by normal means (by having an opinion about "I"). Practice without goal is essential.


    Gassho

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