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Thread: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

  1. #1

    8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Hi All,

    One theme running through several of this week's passages may be the need for fund-raising and the appropriateness of prostheletizing or "spreading the teachings" and the like by a Zen teacher.

    Obviously, funds are necessary to feed and clothe the monks ... but Dogen says not to run after them, even as he sometimes seems to need to tap his lay supporters for construction funds and such.

    Dogen is also very careful about what are proper and not propers ways to make the teachings available.

    Also, notice in the first talk (2-5) that lay practitioners, at home, have been a vital part of Buddhism since the beginning ... and during Dogen's time as well.

    Gassho, J

  2. #2

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    2-5
    "The late Sojo Koin2 said, “Bodhi-mind is studying the dharma-gate (teaching) of ‘the three-thousand worlds in a single moment of thought,’ and keeping them in one’s mind. This is called bodhi-mind. "

    All phenomena exist in a single moment. When keeping bodhi-mind there is no gap between cause and effect.

  3. #3

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    2-6
    "Without chasing after it or worrying over it, we are sure to receive as much as we need. Even if we chase after and secure a great fortune, what will happen to it when impermanence suddenly comes? Therefore, students must not be concerned with extra matters. Simply practice the Way wholeheartedly."

    The world has enough resources to support all living beings. It's just that man is unfair and disorganized. But he's right, no point in worrying about it.

  4. #4

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    2-7
    “If someone aspires to practice the buddha-dharma, he will come and study it even if he has to cross mountains, rivers, and oceans. If he lacks such resolution, there is no certainty that he will accept it, even if I go and urge him (to practice it). Shall I fool people merely for the sake of material support? Isn’t this just greed for wealth? Since it would just tire me out, I feel no necessity to go.”

    Without the will to the truth, one may not accept the truth. It's just these simple actions.

  5. #5
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Hello all,

    Here's my take on the readings this week:

    2-5
    It is especially important for lay people to study the "fundamental teachings" and keep them in mind while living outside monastery walls.

    2-6
    I really liked this one...From birth, each of us is given everything we need to live our life. There is no need to want for more, or go searching for more, or worry about not having enough. Just trust in what you have, and trust that you will be provided with all that you need.

    If you come to practice with no worries of food, clothes, money, or beautiful temples and offerings...than your heart is pure and you can find the truth.

    2-7
    I realize at the time, Dogen was saying that he didn't feel the need to lobby for support of the government to maintain his practice or teachings. But for me, a lay person, I hear it as follows:
    The Buddha-Dharma is always there for those of us who truly wish to practice it, learn from it - it is up to us to find the way to get there. If it is thrown at us, dropped into our laps; we couldn't appreciate it's depth or beauty. The journey of truly grasping (even though there is nothing to grasp :wink: )it is the experience, it defines our practice.

    2-8
    Keep track of your thoughts as you practice - write them down even if they may seem clumsy. You don't always need pretty words to express was is true in your heart. This is advice that I need to remember...in my clumsiness.

    2-9
    hmmm...you don't have to read other's words in order to identify with this path...it is a path that must be realized on one's own to some extent. This is done through sitting zazen...

    Gassho,
    Jinmei (Kelly)

  6. #6

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    2-6
    "Without chasing after it or worrying over it, we are sure to receive as much as we need. Even if we chase after and secure a great fortune, what will happen to it when impermanence suddenly comes? Therefore, students must not be concerned with extra matters. Simply practice the Way wholeheartedly."

    The world has enough resources to support all living beings. It's just that man is unfair and disorganized. But he's right, no point in worrying about it.
    (Matthew 6:25-34, from “The Sermon On The Mount”) on a similar topic:

    Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

    Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

    So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

  7. #7

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Jundo, That's nice that you quoted from Matthew. No religion has a monopoly on wisdom

    2-9
    "Later, I pondered his remarks. Learning the deeds of the ancient masters by reading the recorded sayings or koans1 in order to explain them to deluded people is ultimately of no use to my own practice and for teaching others. Even if I don’t know a single letter, I will be able to show it to others in inexhaustible ways if I devote myself to just sitting and clarifying the great matter2. It was for this reason that the monk pressed me as to the ultimate use [of reading and studying]. I thought what he said was true. Thereupon, I gave up reading the recorded sayings and other texts, concentrated wholeheartedly on sitting, and was able to clarify the great matter."

    I think a moderate amount of reading is OK. It's good for motivation and learning correct thinking but sitting has to be main action.

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Hi all,

    2-5 -- As other folks said, the mention of lay practice here is interesting and for me surprising. I made the assumption (you know what they say...) that such did not exist, but I stand corrected. I found the passage "scholars forget their own bodies" to be of note since I was never sure when I was a scholar if that was a good thing or not and getting in touch with my body again was one of the benefits of leaving academia behind. I suppose the most notable outcome from reading this section is once again being reminded of how much I have to learn.

    2-6 -- Much of this section discusses the idea of not seeking objects, even those we need to survive, and not dwelling on thoughts of the same for too long. My mind perceives this initially as leaving such things to fate or luck, but I don't think that's what Dogen means. I certainly spend too much time thinking about where food and clothing will come from, but does that mean we shouldn't think about it at all? He seemed to be saying that we didn't need fancy places to sit because the dharma is free...so why build a temple at all? Same lesson as last time...I have much to learn.

    2-7 -- This one seems clearer and makes the point that no sugar coating of the path's difficulties will result in anything positive. Followers of the Way must come of their own accord...anything else is pointless because the motivation must come from within.

    2-8 -- No leisure reading? Seems to come down to that, but also the idea that form isn't as important as meaning. Put in a better way, I suppose it's saying not to get caught up in form as you look for meaning. So, does this suggest keeping a journal is a good idea as long as it doesn't stray into "fancy" writing?

    2-9 -- As we often discuss here on the forum, if given the choice of reading about shikantaza or actually doing it, there is no dilemma.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  9. #9

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Hi.

    2-5
    For ordinary people, working for the government and social intercourse are their primary concerns; they study on the side. Although there have been some eminent people, there have been mistakes in their writings.
    First up, the writing of ordinary people are not lesser than those of the scholar, just that there might be some mistakes.
    Second up, how important is someone else's writing?

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  10. #10

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Hi.

    2-6
    I merely play the role of distributor. Also, each one of you is fully endowed with the necessities for your lifetime. Do not run around seeking after them. Do not think that I feed you or that you have to be grateful to me.
    This is why i don't like it when people call me sensei or something like that.
    I'm no some high and fancy guru you have to follow and admire, or seek praise of.
    I know there are people out there seeking such titles, but that's not for me.
    Untenshu (busdriver) is just fine, i just get people where they want to go.
    If they get off or not is not my thing.

    But on the other hand, if you speak to someone saying something nice, or even praising, and doing this sincerely, thats an whole another matter.

    Mtfbwy
    Untenshu Fugen

  11. #11

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Hi.

    2-7

    If someone aspires to practice the buddha-dharma, he will come and study it even if he has to cross mountains, rivers, and oceans. If he lacks such resolution, there is no certainty that he will accept it, even if I go and urge him (to practice it).
    "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”
    Other sayings are just as good, "you can lead an horse to the water, but not make it drink", "the teacher may open the door, but you must enter yourself".

    How true is not this?
    It's all about you.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  12. #12

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Hi.

    2-8

    People who study the Way should not read the scriptures of the teaching-schools, nor study non-Buddhist texts. If you wish to study, read the collections of sayings [of the ancient Zen masters]. Put aside all other books for the time being.
    When do you study?
    And what is an non-Buddhist text?
    They may seem like silly questions, but they are vital for the understanding.

    People without bodhi-mind will not read it if it is not polished. Such people would only play with words without grasping the reality [behind them], even if the style were embellished and there were excellent phrases in it.
    Sadly, this is too often true.

    I have been fond of studying literature since childhood, and even now I have a tendency to contemplate the beauty in the words of non-Buddhist texts. Sometimes I even refer to Monzen or other texts; still, I think it is meaningless and should be completely abandoned.
    Even if something is meaningless it still has a meaning in it's meaninglessness.
    And abandon what?

    2-9

    Yes, but ultimately, what is the use?
    As often stated (and stated above), reading about or doing - no dilemma which to choose to do.

    Thereupon, I gave up reading the recorded sayings and other texts, concentrated wholeheartedly on sitting, and was able to clarify the great matter.
    Here i wonder on the word "sitting".
    Translation/original word available or maybe an explanation?
    But the heart of the matter is don't read about it, DO it.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  13. #13

    Re: 8/8 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 2-5 to 2-9

    Hello all,

    Just coming back to internet access and thus have gotten behind in my postings on the book club. For some odd reason I picked up the Reeves book on the Lotus Sutra. (I note that Jundo you have been reading this as well…perhaps the ideal book to take to an island? I have been on an island too). In any event, I have read that Dogen was influenced by the Lotus Sutra. Taigen Dan Leighton states that Dogen “quotes the Lotus Sutra more than any other sutra.” Nevertheless, Dogen seems to downplay the devotional aspects of Buddhism that seem so prevalent in the Lotus Sutra. From the Lotus Sutra…..

    And if there are those who heap up earth
    In open fields to make a mausoleum for the Buddha;
    Or even little children in their play
    Who gather sand and make it into stupas,

    All such beings
    Have fulfilled the Buddha way.

    If anyone, for Buddha’s sake,
    Designs and erects images
    Carved with appropriate features,
    They have fulfilled the Buddha way.
    Whereas Dogen states,
    Many people mistakenly think that constructing Buddha-images and building stupas helps the Buddha-dharma flourish. Even though we might erect huge temples adorned with polished jewels and gold, we cannot attain the Buddha-way through these works.
    Just my observation.

    Gassho,
    BrianW

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