Okay life has finally settled enough so I could begin reading. Sorry for coming in so late.
1-1: As with others , I saw the theme of attachment here. I think this talk a warning against being to externalized in practice. Everything is internal and external. Don't get so trapped in the external things that we forget our inner growth and understanding.
A value I agree with that I see here is to respect tradition and to honor it for the right reason, but do not cling to it or expect that by praising statues and appealing to universal beings we are going to just up and become enlightened or wise. But of course, do not forget the place of such things or make light of them either.
1-2: I think this section speaks not only of shikantaza as a primary practice, but as a reminder that to cling too much to the precepts is still a form of attachment. As with section 1-1 I believe the Precepts to be like the material things. They alone are not the cornerstone of practice. BUT, they do coincide with other aspects of practice and work synergistically with them, each practice helping to reinforce the other practices.
As with with open box in 1-1, watch for snakes!
1-3: Okay, I have to admit, this one threw me for a loop and not so sure what to make of it, even after reading it a few times. If eating the meat is feeding demons then why is it allowed when one is sick? Isn't that aiding a demon possessing a monk and therefore detrimental to the monk? Perhaps it is a reflection of the fact that eating meat is not in line with compassionate living but the master is accepting because the situation is what it is and it is the illness causing the monks to live in this fashion?*shrug* I do feel dim with this one.
1-4: This one kind of hits home for various reasons. To me, it is a reminder to not get a big head about the Way. Expect changes! And don't play a Jack-of-all-trades.
When we dedicate ourselves to a smaller area of expertise we become much better at this smaller area than if we try to learn and develop every bit of information or skill that life offers.
It is also a lesson that in order to improve we have to let go of the idea we have no room for improvement.If your cup gets too full...empty it.
Practice to practice, not to impress others or recieve some kind of acknowledgement or reward. Don't seek to be the next great Zen Master, just practice and whatever praise comes comes, what ever praise doesn't come doesn't come. Be okay with that. It's not a pissing contest of who is wiser than who. Or who is more impressive to others.
Don't be resistant to change, if we are resistant to change then we can't learn or grow. Let go of our stubborness in thinking we have the answers. And always remember we don't know it all and can always improve.Coming to practice is different from life before practice. So go with the flow instead of trying to stay where you are.
1-5: This is to me another warning of over-extending one's self in the quest for knowledge and wisdom. Too much is just too much. Reading is one thing but experience is the real teacher. Don't get a big head in thinking of making changes to the practice. Do as you are told to do because that is the only way you will learn the value of doing it in that fashion.