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Thread: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

  1. #1

    Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    We all remember the good old story of master Bodhidharma meeting the emperor WU, it goes roughly as follows:"What is the highest meaning of the holy truths?" asks the emperor, Bodhidharma says: "Vast emptiness, nothing holy"The angry monarch asks: "Who is facing me?"Bodhidharma answers: "I don't know".

    There is, in my limited opinion, nothing more relevant to the actual debate. These two voices can be heard now, in you-me-everybody. They arise in the same being. One is the voice eager to get a good catch, to fish a good answer or a good zen teacher, that voice is led by the sole agenda of comforting itself, it is looking for anything that will just legitimate it. The voice of blind reaction. Arrogant, and when challenged, angry. Sounds familiar to me. The voice of the preacher or the sinner. The voice that makes a choice. Even repeating and hammering the teaching of Buddha can be just deluding ourselves. If we play lions, why not turn into cats? ( you should have met me twenty years ago full of myself and my understanding of Zen! I can still catch myself at it :mrgreen: ) And what about the other voice? The other voice is not trying to serve a plan, play a part,folllow a pre-established pattern, "nothing holy" means nothing can be taken for granted. Nothing to claim, no past to worship, no idol to carve in space and time, no posture cast in stone. The emptiness is also the space that allows reality to arise. This is the voice of action, humble, open, dynamic as opposed to the voice of reaction full of itself. And as soon as we hear and notice in our life-sitting the voice of Wu, the other voice is not far away. Quite close actually. One gob, two voices. But it is not up to us to decide to catch it, otherwise, we instantly kill its freedom, freeze its natural spring and flow. As soon as we think:" I am getting close" the patriarch crosses the river and sit without us.As long as we keep an eye on Wu (who), we don't have to worry about the other guy. True action takes place when these feet cross the Yangtse and this body-mind faces the wall.
    In other words, let us not pay much attention to this bearded barbarian in rags, let him do his own thing. Without us. Keep an open eye on Wu, the preacher, the saint, the hollow holy. See through the veil of our delusion and let the Buddha do its business.

    gassho

    Taigu

  2. #2
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
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    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    The voice of blind reaction. Arrogant, and when challenged, angry. Sounds familiar to me.
    Taigu
    Sounds familiar to me too.

    Ron

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
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    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    Thank you so much Taigu Sensei! and you too Ron Sensei - alot of those description seem to fit me like my old jacket! ill save the long post i had written up as its just fuel for my pissy emperor.

    Gassho, Shohei

  4. #4

    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    This story means a lot to me. This 'don't know' cuts thru all the bullshit and allows just doing. Time to go, thanks.
    /Rich

  5. #5
    disastermouse
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    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    In other words, let us not pay much attention to this bearded barbarian in rags, let him do his own thing.
    It took me a while to realize that the thing in me trying to stop the 'barbarian in rags' was just another aspect of the barbarian.

    Chet

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    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?


  7. #7

    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    Will, Rich, Dirk, Ron, Chet...






    Attached files

  8. #8

    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    Thank you. When I first read that quote many years ago, I was the emperor. I was so eager to understand it's meaning but did not; so ironic. You've helped me see through it.

    Cam

  9. #9

    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    Gassho, Cam. Seing Wu is enough.

    Read Genjokoan of Dogen.
    As Sodo Yokoyama says in a famous letter to Yuno, a master of the sword...


    "
    According to this teaching, simply the awareness that you are deluded, which comes from practising zazen, makes you, in reality, a Buddha. It's zazen that teaches us that we too are deluded, and hence delivers us from this delusion. When we actually practice zazen and look carefully at all the deluded ideas that keep popping up, we realize how ordinary we are and how little we have to be proud of or to brag about; nothing to do other than quietly hide away. This is, after all, what we truly are.

    "Satori is being enlightened to the fact that we are deluded. There is then the desire, however small, to stop these deluded acts. That is how ordinary people are saved by zazen. So we realize, beyond a doubt, our ordinariness through our zazen practice, and any departure from zazen (Buddha) will give rise to the inability to deal with these delusions and hence we will lose our way. We can say that the world has gone astray because it can't deal with its delusions...All the troubles in this world, political, economic and so forth, are created from situations in which the awareness of one's ordinariness is absent.
    Sodo Yokoyama was an incredible guy . He was known as the leaf-flute Zen master and lived and sat in the open, in a park of Kyoto.
    Check this article from Braveman.

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?o ... 1&Itemid=0



    Taigu

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
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    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    Again Thank you!
    amazing story. Amazing person.

    "ill be happy when..." and the idea of letting it all go, mostly, running around wild in the back of my mind. Thinking that living in seclusion in some beautiful remote area would be some solution, soothe that sore spot. The reality being - iodine, alcohol and some peroxide is what that spot needs(double disinfectant and something to bring the dirt to the surface). I do not need to leave anything behind to do this, I have it all right here right now, every wheres. Hope i remember this. Now what is it :? ?

    Gassho, Shohei

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    Senior Member Kent's Avatar
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    Re: Bodhidharma and Wu, Who?

    When we actually practice zazen and look carefully at all the deluded ideas that keep popping up, we realize how ordinary we are and how little we have to be proud of or to brag about; nothing to do but quietly hide away. This is after all what we truly are.
    May I add , this what we truly hope to realize. Gassho Kent

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