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Thread: 4/16 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-5 to 5-11( interesting find)

  1. #1

    4/16 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-5 to 5-11( interesting find)

    We will have 6 short sections this week ... 5-5 to 5-11 ...

    http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/common_ ... 05-05.html

    I often believe that I can hear Master Dogen, between the lines in these short talks, dealing with real "human to human" issues in the monastery. A lack of donors and hard economic times, rough food and no money to fix the roof (he was pretty dependent on one wealthy donor in those days) .... offer a talk on Poverty as a Virtue. Quarreling monks getting hot under the collar about doctrine, or who has the best seat in the Zendo ... offer a talk on not fighting. Someone feeling a bit guilty about leaving mom or dad or a good career, thinking about heading back home ... offer a talk about the Virtue of the Way and sticking it out.

    For all the high, moralistic tone of many of these talks ... we cannot separate the great Enlightened Master Dogen from the Temple Head and General of the Troops who was just trying to keep up morale and hold his monastery from falling apart. (In other words, both "Dogens" can be heard in these words).

    If he had had more lay folks around, and been concerned with their practice more (instead of hungry and grumpy monks hanging out in tight quarters, in a monastery isolated in the deep snowy boondocks), I do not think he would have phrased things quite the same (and when he was speaking to lay folks ... he did precisely that).

    Just a thought.

    Anyway ... I particularly like 5-7, about not quarreling about Buddhism, or anything else. (and don't argue with me on that point!) :twisted:

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - An interesting document I stumbled on today, a translation of fundraising letter that Master Dogen mailed out in 1235 ... Somebody had to pay the rent ...

    http://www.sofii.org/active%20site/Memb ... Basic.html

    And some interesting information on Dogen's main sponsor in his creation of Eiheiji ... Lord Hatano Yoshishige ... and monk complaints over living conditions at Eiheiji ... read pages 30 and 31 here ...

    http://books.google.com/books?id=BnLOFw ... ge&f=false

  2. #2

    Re: 4/16 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-5 to 5-11( interesting find)

    "To learn the Way, just be poor. In both Buddhist and non-Buddhist texts, we find people who were so poor that they did not have a fixed place to live... There were also those who were so wealthy that they built palaces painted with vermilion lacquer, and adorned them with gold and jewels. Both kinds of people are found in the texts. However, those who were poor and without possessions were praised as models for later generations. When admonishing about evil deeds, the texts criticized those who were wealthy with abundant possessions as being people of extravagance and arrogance.”

    Wealth has always gotten a bad rap in religion, unless you are King Solomon who made Donald Trump look like a small business owner! Good news for me!!! But I think the point is that it is very difficult to recongnize your need for "The Way" or "God" or "Buddha" if you place the source of your security in the things you possess. Then your possessions begin to posses you.

    It's interesting to me that Dogen mentions even non-Buddhist texts. I wonder what he had read. I think of a passage in the New Testament (please don't throw rocks! :mrgreen: ) when a rich young ruler asked Jesus how he could enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus told him to sell what he had and follow Him. I don't think his possessions were the point. It is our attachment to things that is our problem. It could be a gold ring. It could be an enormous bank account. But it could also be an addiction or a bad relationship or even a false belief.

    gassho
    ghop

  3. #3

    Re: 4/16 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-5 to 5-11( interesting find)

    Hi.

    5-5
    To learn the Way, just be poor.
    What does it mean to just be poor.
    Can you have lots of money, a grand house and so forth and still just be poor?

    5-6
    What we should bear in mind on this point is that the offerings are not to ourselves, but to the Three Treasures (buddha, dharma, and sangha). So, in acknowledging thanks, you should say, “The Three Treasures will surely accept your offerings.”
    It's not you they are giving their offering to, how can you say thanks them?

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  4. #4

    Re: 4/16 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-5 to 5-11( interesting find)

    What we should bear in mind on this point is that the offerings are not to ourselves, but to the Three Treasures (buddha, dharma, and sangha). So, in acknowledging thanks, you should say, “The Three Treasures will surely accept your offerings.
    For me this is a great way to "cognitively frame" receiving a gift or having someone do something nice, as I sometime have trouble accepting a gift without guilt....of course we should use such occurrences as reminders to make a contribution ourselves.

    To depart from your ego means throwing your body and mind into the great ocean of the buddha-dharma, and practicing by following the buddha-dharma no matter how much pain or anxiety you may have.
    Not much to add to this...just liked this statement and thought it was inspirational for times we are troubled.

    Nowadays, when people are given gold and jewels, they consider them valuable and refuse them. But if they are given wood or stone, they consider such things cheap, so they accept them and hold attachment to them. Gold and jewels have been taken from the earth, wood and stone also come from the earth. Why do people refuse one because it is expensive and covet the other because it is cheap? When I inquire into such a mind, it would seem that if they obtained something expensive they would worry about building attachment to it. However, even if they acquire something cheap and love it, they will be guilty of the same fault. Students should be careful about this.
    We can become attached to anything.

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

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