Tugas Gunadarma Gunadarma Tutorial VB.NET Download OST Anime Soundtrack Anime Opening Anime Ending Anime OST Anime Japan Download Lagu Anime Jepang

Results 1 to 31 of 31

Thread: The Point of Focus

  1. #1

    The Point of Focus

    While sitting tonight I had a bit of an epiphany which led to much confusion (then thought, then monkey-mind ops: ). I realized that when I sit I tend to place my focus somewhere; usually it is on the coming and going of thoughts. Arise, observe, drop, etc... but in doing this, I do not "drop" the mind. The body? Yes. I become absorbed in watching my thoughts come and go and thus drop the body. It works in the reverse as well. When placing all my concentration and mindfulness on the body, the mind seems to drop but, again, not the body.

    So my question is: Both or Neither? Pardon the following intellectualization but this is how I see it: The mind cannot simultaneously think two thoughts at once, because that would mean that two minds exist. Thus, if one were to "focus" on both body and mind, neither could be focused on. A cancelation of sorts. OR! Are we "supposed" to not focus on anything at all?

    A sheet the body and a clothesline the mind.
    Seeing the sheet flutter, there is no line,
    Seeing the line shake, there is no sheet.
    Seeing both flow, are there are no longer two?
    Seeing neither, is there no ground to stand upon?

    (My capping verse of sorts)

    Gassho
    Taylor

  2. #2

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Hi Taylor,

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    ... I realized that when I sit I tend to place my focus somewhere; usually it is on the coming and going of thoughts. Arise, observe, drop, etc...
    In riding a bike, if you think to much of what the legs should do .... "now I will move the left leg, now right, now left again, now right" ... you will fall off. Just relax and ride.

    The mind cannot simultaneously think two thoughts at once, because that would mean that two minds exist.
    Master Dogen said that our way is to "think not thinking. How do we 'think not thinking'? By 'non-thinking'"

    What is that?

    Please look here in our Beginner's series of sit-a-longs ...

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=14430

    I often use the analogy of clouds (of thought and emotions) drifting in and out of a clear, blue spacious sky (a mind open and clear of thoughts).Our mind in Zazen may be compared to the sky. The clouds of thought and the clear blue are not two, are simultaneously functioning and whole … a single sky. This is our way in ‘Just Sitting’ Shikantaza Zazen. When you see the clouds, be as if you are thereby seeing the clouds as blue. When you see the blue, you may also see the blue as clouds. In fact, as you advance in this practice, you will find that the blue sky illuminates, shines through the clouds… and we can come to experience both together… both thoughts and silence… as one. Thinking not thinking.

    Are we "supposed" to not focus on anything at all?
    In the particular flavor of Shikantaza I teach here, I encourage "focusing on everything and nothing in particular" or "placing the mind everyplace and no place at all". It is an open awareness, silent and illuminated, on an objectless object.

    Let me explain a little more ... Here is something I post from time to time ...

    There are many small variations in Shikantaza, teacher to teacher. One has to place and focus (and simultaneously not place/focus) the mind somewhere!

    So, for example, Uchiyama Roshi was a "bring your attention back to the posture" guy. Nishijima Roshi is a "focus on keeping the spine straight" fellow, and there are others who emphasize focusing on the breath or the Hara (also called the "Tanden", the traditional "center of gravity" of the body, and a center of Qi energy in traditional Chinese medicine) ...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dantian

    Some recommend following the breath for a lifetime, others for just a time.

    All are forms of Shikantaza ... so long as the objectless nature of sitting is maintained even if focused on an object.

    In fact, all forms of Shikantaza have an "object of meditation", a place to focus or place the mind to build concentration and quiet the thoughts (hopefully to soften the border and pass through "object" and "subject"), while dropping all effort to attain and releasing all judgments. At Treeleaf, I teach counting the breaths, or observing the breath, merely as a way to settle the mind for beginners or to settle down on particularly cloudy, stormy days. As our central "objectless" object of meditation, I recommend open, spacious sitting centered on everything and nothing at all ... sitting with open, spacious awareness ... sitting with the whole world but without being lost in trains of thought (which I also sometimes describe as having the mind focused on "no place and everyplace at once"). That open stillness is our "object of concentration". My reason for that is simply that I believe it makes it a bit easier to take this practice off the Zafu and out into the world.

    If you need a place to feel you are "placing the mind", I recommend on the top of the palm in the left hand while in the Mudra (another traditional place for the focus in Shikantaza). Yet, keep that "spacious, unobstructed, everywhere and no one place" emphasis.

    If you have not read it before (or even if you have), Uchiyama has one of the most elegant "diagrams" of Shikantaza's way in his book "Openning the Hand of Thought". Lovely.

    Please go here, search the word "line", find page 52, entitled "Waking Up To Life", and read to page 60 (about the diagram drawing on page 54) ... notice especially the part where he says "Zazen is not being glued to line ZZ'" (what I might call "returning to the clear, open, blue sky 10,00 times and 10,000 times again")

    http://books.google.com/books?id=fOU_1v ... ne&f=false

    Whether you focus on the posture, the breath, the top of the left hand, the Hara, or the sensation of clear, open blue sky (with clouds drifting out) that I recommend ... one should eventually sometimes attain to an open, unobstructed, holding everything without discrimination or division feeling ... What Uchiyama calls "line ZZ" in his essay, and what I call clear open sky.

    However, I say "sometimes" (and Uchiyama says "don't stay glued to ZZ") because the whole thing is the trip, reject nothing ... not the thoughts and emotions that drag you away from ZZ", not the clouds which sometimes block the clear blue sky. It is all life, all perfectly what it is. Sometimes it will be "bare awareness", sometimes awareness of this or that. Drop all judgments, drop all goals and need to get someplace else or to be any other way.

    Yet, nonetheless, return again and again to ZZ, to the clear blue sky (allowing the thoughts and emotion clouds to drift away). If you notice you are engaged in trains of thought, release them, drop them, and return to ZZ. Repeat endlessly.

    All that, at once, is "Shikantaza".
    Gassho, J

  3. #3
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    So my question is: Both or Neither? Pardon the following intellectualization but this is how I see it: The mind cannot simultaneously think two thoughts at once, because that would mean that two minds exist. Thus, if one were to "focus" on both body and mind, neither could be focused on. A cancelation of sorts. OR! Are we "supposed" to not focus on anything at all?
    "If you direct your mind toward the bodily movements
    of your opponent, your mind will be taken by the bodily
    movements of the opponent. If you direct your mind to
    the opponent's sword, your mind will be taken by the
    sword. If you direct your mind toward trying to strike
    your opponent, it will be taken by waiting to strike.

    If you direct your mind toward your own sword, it
    will be taken by your sword. If you direct it toward
    not being struck, it will be taken by the desire not
    to be struck. If you direct it to the opponent's
    attitude, it will be taken by his attitude. In short,
    there is no where to direct your mind." (Takuan)


    Gassho

    Chet

  4. #4
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Point of Focus

    The biggest problem with trying to explain shikantaza is that, invariably, the mind struggles to find a technique or a task to perform, an activity to direct.

    Shikantaza is undirected awareness. This is not the same thing as daydreaming. Daydreaming is the mind skipping from one hook to another. Shikantaza is unhooking. It is nonlocal awareness.

    There can be techniques for unhooking, but they are not as direct as shikantaza. You may, for instance, notice that you cannot locate the boundaries of perception. You may notice that there is no 'place' where the sense of self abides. This isn't shikantaza, though.

    If you confuse yourself by thinking shikantaza is something 'you' do, there will always be subtle duality in your practice. 'Focus', as you seem on the verge of realizing, is the directing of awareness to the inclusion of something and the exclusion or de-emphasis of other things. Shikantaza is not focusing.

    When you say that you direct your focus to your body, what part of the activity separates body from 'not body'? In reality, body and mind never arise separately. Likewise, you cannot discern mind with mind - you have simply staked out a corner of mind (the observer) from which to monitor activities of mind considered to be 'not observer'.

    Shikantaza is a radical restraint from these arbitrary separations and attendent identification. In shikantaza, one does not identify even with the subtle sense of 'observer'.

    Chet

  5. #5
    Senior Member Silva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cook Islands
    Posts
    109

    Re: The Point of Focus

    It amazes me how clever my mind is at distracting me: thoughts dreams, itches, pains seem to succeed each other continuously.
    In my case I seem to come up with different ways of resuming "focus"according to what I become of aware of is "unfocusing" me.

    I recommend open, spacious sitting centered on everything and nothing at all
    Would that be close to what I practice : I have an "aquarium" way of dealing with thoughts : awarenes of thoughts like fish in a aquarium, they pass through the the space of awareness but I don't follow them. Of course I often do end up following a fish but when I'm aware of that I let go and leave it to go it's way.
    I also concentrate on my posture,Nishijima Roshi way, when I'm aware of going "limp" (or nodding off!). An awareness of my senses helps also when I'm drifting into a daydream.
    I have "absent" moments too, weird, no sense of time, body, I don't think that's right at all, the idea is to be present here and now, isn't it ? I suddenly become aware that Iv'e been gone altogether for a couple of minutes.
    I'll try the focusing on the Mudra and read the Uchiyama link and look some more of your sunspace recordings Jundo.
    Perhaps too many ingredients spoil the broth?
    Oh, and another thing, I have been aware of thinking two or three thoughts simultaneously (Sibyll!)!

    gassho,

    Sylvie

  6. #6

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    The biggest problem with trying to explain shikantaza is that, invariably, the mind struggles to find a technique or a task to perform, an activity to direct.

    Shikantaza is undirected awareness. This is not the same thing as daydreaming. Daydreaming is the mind skipping from one hook to another. Shikantaza is unhooking. It is nonlocal awareness.

    There can be techniques for unhooking, but they are not as direct as shikantaza. You may, for instance, notice that you cannot locate the boundaries of perception. You may notice that there is no 'place' where the sense of self abides. This isn't shikantaza, though.

    If you confuse yourself by thinking shikantaza is something 'you' do, there will always be subtle duality in your practice. 'Focus', as you seem on the verge of realizing, is the directing of awareness to the inclusion of something and the exclusion or de-emphasis of other things. Shikantaza is not focusing.

    When you say that you direct your focus to your body, what part of the activity separates body from 'not body'? In reality, body and mind never arise separately. Likewise, you cannot discern mind with mind - you have simply staked out a corner of mind (the observer) from which to monitor activities of mind considered to be 'not observer'.

    Shikantaza is a radical restraint from these arbitrary separations and attendent identification. In shikantaza, one does not identify even with the subtle sense of 'observer'.

    Chet
    Hi Chet,

    It is a beautiful description of Shikantaza, I feel ... but maybe a bit too extreme and absolute. For example ...
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    In shikantaza, one does not identify even with the subtle sense of 'observer'.
    Sometimes we don't, not even observing an observer. Sometimes we do. Sometimes, both at once ...

    All is still Shikantaza
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    Shikantaza is a radical restraint from these arbitrary separations and attendent identification.
    Sometimes there is not the least separation or identification ... sometimes there are ... sometimes more one than another ... sometimes all at once ....

    All is still Shikantaza

    Shikantaza (on the cushion and off) is not a stagnant experience. It changes moment to moment, like life.

    I recently used the "swimming whole" to awkwardly make this point. Although I was talking more about deep Jnana like states, the same can apply just as well to any description over-focusing on any one shade or state of the constantly changing, flowing panoply of Zazen ....

    viewtopic.php?p=35395#p35395

    I wrote:

    I feel that our practice is to sometimes be in the deep water, sometimes in the middle water or shallow water, sometimes frolicking on the beach ... but feeling up to our gills that it is all the "boundless water" and we are always swimming free all the time (even when, as often happens, we cannot always feel free, or wet, or even damp). Thus, we realize, that the shallow is not "shallow" at all, and is in fact the deep water whole
    In other words, sometimes we swim here ... sometimes there ... sometimes we are over our head, sometimes floating easily like a dream ... sometimes it is very smooth swimming, sometimes we can barely catch our breath. Yet, the water is ever everywhere, and the swimming is life.

    Master Dogen said the swimming/living/practce is enlightenment itself.

    (if swimming is not working for you as a metaphor ... we can say that the "bike ride" changes with each mile .... or the sky is always changing, cloudy and blue, both at once in varying degrees, or more one than the other, or wholly one not the other, the clouds taking many forms)

    Thus "unhooking" is Shikantaza. Being unable to unhook despite our best intentions is Shikantaza. "Unhooking" 20% is Shikantaza. "Unhooking" 35% is Shikantaza.

    And, perhaps most at the heart of this practice ... learning to be "unhooked" even when life hooks your fish ... is Shikantaza.

    As well, learning to be hooked hooked hooked, perfectly hooked by something worth being hooked to, is Shikantaza.

    Something like that.

    Gassho, J

    PS - oh, and Sylvie ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvie
    I'll try the focusing on the Mudra and read the Uchiyama link and look some more of your sunspace recordings Jundo.
    Perhaps too many ingredients spoil the broth?
    You are the cook in your own kitchen. Only by trial and error do you find what works, not by reading the cookbook. Zazen on the cushion is where we cook. What is more, what works one day may not work the next ... the souffle which was perfect the day before may fall into a liquid mess today. All is Shikantaza. All is life.

  7. #7
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Point of Focus

    I get what you're saying, Jundo - and I didn't write my post in order to differentiate 'right' from 'wrong' practice, but to identify the non-local mode of awareness that is, perhaps, uniquely present in shikantaza. I didn't mean to imply that the presence of a sense of observer was not shikantaza, but that sometimes in shikantaza, the presence of the observer fades away. This does not normally happen outside of shikantaza practice, although it can.

    Chet

  8. #8

    Re: The Point of Focus

    You are the cook in your own kitchen. Only by trial and error do you find what works, not by reading the cookbook. Zazen on the cushion is where we cook. What is more, what works one day may not work the next ... the souffle which was perfect the day before may fall into a liquid mess today. All is Shikantaza. All is life.
    Thank you for that, you must be inside my head today. While I was sitting I started putting my attention on my posture and thought something like "Wait! Jundo said blue sky! Not posture!" Duality, duality, duality. One may take instruction from one person but, ultimately, one knows oneself, and what is required at one particular moment, best. After some groundwork is laid down, though

    It's becoming clearer and clearer to me why this is a life-long practice. By getting rid of the goal it becomes both the most simple and challenging of practices. I admit to scrambling for something to work towards, something to grasp onto, and then judging myself for doing so :? But! All in time with practice!

    Gassho
    Taylor

  9. #9

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Shikantaza is a practice that is geared toward reacquainting you with your essential nature. Like Jundo says, it’s focusing on everything and nothing at once. Sort of like picturing your “self” as a particular area on a pure piece of white paper. You are part of that piece of paper, but you can’t tell where you end and the rest of the paper begins. You are completely a part of it, irremovable, indefinable. If you look at a piece of white paper that has no marks on it and try to just pick a spot, you might be able to focus on the general area of it, but there is nothing to really define it as separate from the rest of the paper. No clear borders, no boundaries, nothing to individualize that spot. Another way I kind of think of it is like standing on the far side of a road that winds along the side of a cliff. If I look over the road, I see the clear blue sky. Sometimes a thought will come in to view, like a car driving down the road. It passes me, I recognize it, but as soon as it goes past, I see the clear blue sky again. That thought, like the car on the road, hasn’t disappeared. I haven’t refused its existence or tried to deny or force myself away from acknowledging it. That car still exists on the road somewhere, just not right in front of me. I know that those cars will come sometimes, and they will probably obscure my view for a moment, but just like errant thoughts while meditating, they can’t hurt me unless I grasp them.

    When you try to concentrate on one thing or another, you admit a separation. You say, “I will focus on my breathing.” Separating “I” from everything else, creating the delusion that there is a “you” somewhere, a static and unchanging representation of your “self”. When you say “my breathing” you create ownership, both reinforcing the idea of this “self” and claiming ownership of the air that comes in and out of the lungs. Shikantaza is a way of remembering that “I” is not separate from the zafu under you, that the air you are breathing in Spain or France, Japan or America, is not separate from the air that stirs the leaves of the palm trees in Abu Dhabi and Hawaii. That the act of you sitting on the cushions, breathing, and focusing on the clear blue sky of the mind, is not separate from saving all sentient beings. It’s like lighting a candle in a dark room and trying to find the exact point at which the shadows and the candle’s light touch, and realizing that without the candle’s flame, you couldn’t have the shadows, and without the shadows, you couldn’t realize the flame. Two things, seemingly wholly opposite, are actually deeply connected.

    To me, shikantaza is the way to realize that. That’s how I’ve been able to understand it thus far anyway, though in truth, it’s hard to really explain it with the limitation of words. Jundo, Taigu, or some of the others will have to weigh in on whether or not I still have my eyebrows.
    :shock:

  10. #10

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    To me, shikantaza is the way to realize that. That’s how I’ve been able to understand it thus far anyway, though in truth, it’s hard to really explain it with the limitation of words. Jundo, Taigu, or some of the others will have to weigh in on whether or not I still have my eyebrows.
    :shock:
    Some so nice images here ... Thank you. Paper, candles ... I will be plagiarizing some of this as my own in the future ... 8)

    Bikes, swimming, clouds and sky, cars, candles, paper ... It is so hard to explain with the limitation of words. Yet, we have to try!

    The one thing I might say is that the cars are not really disturbances distracting from the sky ... for the sky is still there and, if ya look closely, can be seen clearly reflected in the windshield! (I think I just may have driven that particular metaphor right off the road! :roll: )

    Night to all ... off to bed ... midnight in Tsukuba ...

  11. #11

    Re: The Point of Focus

    I would be honored to be so plagiarized. That's true, it isn't so much a distraction as just another part of everything.

  12. #12

    Re: The Point of Focus

    The excerpt from "Opening the Hand of Thought" was outstanding. I just ordered the book.

    Jundo - you should get a commision on all these book sales

  13. #13

    Re: The Point of Focus

    I am going to run a bit more with a couple of these lovely images ... perhaps too far ...

    it’s focusing on everything and nothing at once. Sort of like picturing your “self” as a particular area on a pure piece of white paper. You are part of that piece of paper, but you can’t tell where you end and the rest of the paper begins. You are completely a part of it, irremovable, indefinable. If you look at a piece of white paper that has no marks on it and try to just pick a spot, you might be able to focus on the general area of it, but there is nothing to really define it as separate from the rest of the paper. No clear borders, no boundaries, nothing to individualize that spot. ... It’s like lighting a candle in a dark room and trying to find the exact point at which the shadows and the candle’s light touch, and realizing that without the candle’s flame, you couldn’t have the shadows, and without the shadows, you couldn’t realize the flame.
    Before we start Zen practice, our mental paper is so covered with tangled words and messy scribbles of thought and emotion, and our life story such a confusion, that we cannot even realize the paper is there. Zazen lets us clear all that for a time and just taste the pure, unadulterated paperness, pristine and unadulterated, filled with endless possibilities ...

    However, it is imperative not to stay there ... for the empty page lacks the creativity of life! Nice place to visit, but we truly cannot live there. A writer needs to write ... not just stare at a blank page!

    So, words, ideas and emotions that fill the page are not, in themselves, the problem. Through this practice we see that, even as they emerge, the paper remains ... as white as ever even when covered with words. The paper remains there all along! What is more, in Master Dogen's view, the words on the paper are the expressive point of paper ... for what is paper if not allowing life to express itself??! In some corners of Zen, "words" have an undeserved bad reputation ... but not with old Dogen!

    Of course, the words which emerge on the page after pursuing this practice for awhile shall likely not be quite as tangled and a scribbled confusion as they were before ... for the clarity of the open page is seen in/as/behind/right through/just as the words themselves. We no longer repeat endlessly the same old sad story! The words and emotions tend to simplify, become clearer .... the harmful words drop away more and more as we live by the Precepts ... The life story becomes the Buddha's Teachings!

    And in this book of life ... the story on the page is constantly changing, sometimes comedy and sometimes tears. The paper is just the paper nonetheless. Enjoy the story, live out the tale ... but do not get too caught up in it, to the point you cannot see the forest for the trees.

    So, in Shikantaza ... words of thought and emotion drift though the mind like clouds through a blue sky, like constantly changing lines of writing across a page. We do not get tangled in them or stir them up, just letting them come and go ... realizing the open page in/as/behind/right through/just as the constantly changing words of the writer. We lose it all and discover it all in the paper, always there too ... the story constantly emerging and returning to there.

    The paper needs it words, for that is the story of your life.Likewise, the candle makes it shadows, the shadows are the candle expressed ... do not forget one without the other. The Buddha is the Light!

    And, now that you have this image in your mind ... crumple up the whole metaphor of the paper ... burn it up in the candle ... blow out the candle ... just sit, just live.

    Something like that.

    Gassho, J

  14. #14

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Actually, more than "paper" I think this life-self-world is really a Grand Etch-a-Sketch. Anyone have one of those when a kid?

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6fmmw ... -morph_fun

    Now, whose hand is at the wheels? God? You? Both? Same? Who is the toymaker that built this etch-a-sketch of a universe which we find in our hands?

    Whatever the case, whatever the answer to that, each of us have tremendous power to shake shake shake and redo our life sketch in each moment, always changing and new.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Silva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cook Islands
    Posts
    109

    Re: The Point of Focus

    I'm uncertain about these images. Don't know if this makes sense.
    I feel that this vast open white page is in fact unlimited pure compassion and our confusion, delusions, restraints mistake this vast unlimited space for a white page.
    I have to work this out more,

    gassho,

    Sylvie

  16. #16

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Silva
    I'm uncertain about these images. Don't know if this makes sense.
    I feel that this vast open white page is in fact unlimited pure compassion and our confusion, delusions, restraints mistake this vast unlimited space for a white page.
    I have to work this out more,

    gassho,

    Sylvie
    I think that when my state is clear like space, like a white paper, may actions (including speech) are automatically more compassionate, can be described with that attribute, so compassion would just be correct or right action. But I have to tell you that in certain situations what is correct action by me is not perceived as correct action by another, so I just try the best I can and make adjustments along the way.
    /Rich

  17. #17
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    Quote Originally Posted by Silva
    I'm uncertain about these images. Don't know if this makes sense.
    I feel that this vast open white page is in fact unlimited pure compassion and our confusion, delusions, restraints mistake this vast unlimited space for a white page.
    I have to work this out more,

    gassho,

    Sylvie
    I think that when my state is clear like space, like a white paper, may actions (including speech) are automatically more compassionate, can be described with that attribute, so compassion would just be correct or right action. But I have to tell you that in certain situations what is correct action by me is not perceived as correct action by another, so I just try the best I can and make adjustments along the way.
    /Rich
    When a teacher gives you a metaphor, he's using a hook to dislodge a hook - in the hope that he can finally get you down to a hook that you can dislodge yourself. Like the Chinese philosophers of old, arguing about whether 'hard' and 'white' were actual qualities or not - we shouldn't get too hung up on the metaphors as if they actually described anything useful.

    They do not.

    Chet

  18. #18

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    When a teacher gives you a metaphor, he's using a hook to dislodge a hook - in the hope that he can finally get you down to a hook that you can dislodge yourself. Like the Chinese philosophers of old, arguing about whether 'hard' and 'white' were actual qualities or not - we shouldn't get too hung up on the metaphors as if they actually described anything useful.

    They do not.

    Chet
    That is for sure. Metaphors are just ways of expressing something with an image that never exactly fits, that cannot even really be expressed quite often.

    I feel that I ran with a couple of these images a bit further than they should be taken!

    I do not actually think that Buddha is made of paper (although paper is made of Buddha), or that the universe is an etch-a-sketch! 8) The universe is more a game of mousetrap ...**



    ** another reference perhaps only understood by North American children of a certain generation

  19. #19
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,906

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Brilliant...very good . I love you guys.

    Metaphors?

    Reality as a metaphor. Metaphor as real. Painted cakes and the likes. A good old guy called Dogen. Not even the shadow of a hook, there.

    Indeed, the work of a teacher is to...blablabla!!!

    And this blablabla happens to be mountains-rivers-surbubs-dirty-pillows-aching-feet

    this balabla and the real thing: not one, not two.


    Metaphors are not metaphors, there are just metaphors
    Dogen will write this in a near future-past.

    Thank you.



    gassho


    Taigu

  20. #20

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Brilliant...very good . I love you guys.

    Metaphors?

    Reality as a metaphor. Metaphor as real. Painted cakes and the likes. A good old guy called Dogen. Not even the shadow of a hook, there.

    Indeed, the work of a teacher is to...blablabla!!!

    And this blablabla happens to be mountains-rivers-surbubs-dirty-pillows-aching-feet

    this balabla and the real thing: not one, not two.


    Metaphors are not metaphors, there are just metaphors
    Dogen will write this in a near future-past.

    Thank you.



    gassho


    Taigu
    Notice all the open space in/as/behind/right through/just as Taigu's words ...

  21. #21
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    A good old guy called Dogen. Not even the shadow of a hook, there.
    Are you crazy? Hooks all over the place - you just can't see 'em because you're caught. Nothing Dogen ever said has anything to do with this moment.

    Chet

    *forgive the speaking style - I'm quitting smoking and my whole body is a mass of irritation...*

  22. #22

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Metaphores.....

    Well, I think that metaphores are a good thing and are helpful as long as you don't become attached to them. They, like anything else, can be a tool in the Zen toolbox. Metaphores can be a trail of breadcrumbs leading you out of the forest, as long as you realize them to be what they are. Words, meant to convey an image, that hopefully will resonate enough with the person who heard it to direct their thinking in a way that will help them along the Zen path. Hopefully to a place that no longer needs metaphores, and where realization becomes primary. That's the kicker about this whole shin-dig, we need to use words, images, metaphores, etc because that's how we operate, that's how we start learning; but we do it to try and express something that needs to be exerienced and is "beyond words". We can only play with the toys we've got, and try to make the best of it.

  23. #23

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    Metaphores.....

    We can only play with the toys we've got, and try to make the best of it.
    Indeed. Zen gives few toys, no mantra, no visualization. Being humans, creative humans at that, we jump at the chance to grasp onto something we can ponder and relate to. Shikantaza, to me, seems like something we can never relate to and yet are all to familiar with.

    To paraphrase a koan: We keep our teeth clamped tightly around the branch in order to try to save our life, to avoid falling into the abyss. Little do we know that the ground is right below us, we've just been looking up towards the sky, assuming we hang over a precipice. Clenching, grasping further. To look down would be to let go, to let go to die; and so we die, and are born in every moment on and off the cushion.

    Just a thought

    Gassho
    Taylor

  24. #24
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,906

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Hi Chet,

    Soooooo glad you are kicking the habit! I did it 5 years ago, it turned me into a bit of a bear but it was worth it.

    Everything Dogen speaks about has to do with this moment.
    And yes, you are right about "hooks" but your truth was lacking something. Not quite ripe.
    In shikantaza we are invited to live beyond this hooking-hiking business.
    In this, reality and metaphors are just the same.

    The fish fishes itself . No fishing hook needed.

    take it easy

    gassho


    Taigu

  25. #25
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Hi Chet,

    Soooooo glad you are kicking the habit! I did it 5 years ago, it turned me into a bit of a bear but it was worth it.

    Everything Dogen speaks about has to do with this moment.
    And yes, you are right about "hooks" but your truth was lacking something. Not quite ripe.
    In shikantaza we are invited to live beyond this hooking-hiking business.
    In this, reality and metaphors are just the same.

    The fish fishes itself . No fishing hook needed.

    take it easy

    gassho


    Taigu
    Interesting the way you put it - yes, everything he speaks about has to do with this moment, but nothing he says does.

    He speaks about, around - but never of.

    IMHO.

    Rivers. Not Rivers. Rivers again. There are no unskillful words in what Dogen says, but a mind not yet abruptly present will make a hook out of anything.

    Yeah, the first 48 hours had been hard, but it got REALLY easy all of a sudden.

    Something odd about quitting smoking...it was/is exquisitely difficult....that is, I feel really alive with this craving - as if awakened from being very, very numb.

    Chet

  26. #26

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Hi Chet,

    Soooooo glad you are kicking the habit! I did it 5 years ago, it turned me into a bit of a bear but it was worth it.

    Everything Dogen speaks about has to do with this moment.
    And yes, you are right about "hooks" but your truth was lacking something. Not quite ripe.
    In shikantaza we are invited to live beyond this hooking-hiking business.
    In this, reality and metaphors are just the same.

    The fish fishes itself . No fishing hook needed.

    take it easy

    gassho


    Taigu
    Interesting the way you put it - yes, everything he speaks about has to do with this moment, but nothing he says does.

    He speaks about, around - but never of.

    IMHO.

    Rivers. Not Rivers. Rivers again. There are no unskillful words in what Dogen says, but a mind not yet abruptly present will make a hook out of anything.

    Yeah, the first 48 hours had been hard, but it got REALLY easy all of a sudden.

    Something odd about quitting smoking...it was/is exquisitely difficult....that is, I feel really alive with this craving - as if awakened from being very, very numb.

    Chet

    I don't know about Dogen, but I know quitting smoking ... I did it thousands of times! :shock:

    Actually, I did it once and for all 20 years ago, not one cigarette since ... although, even now, I still get a small craving once a year or so, usually after a good meal of when with friends who are smokers.

    The first 48 hours is the hardest, as all the poison washes out of the system. This is simply DETOX. Then the first week is easier, but still craving will come --very strongly-- several times every day. Then the first month ... even the first year ... cravings will still come now and then, sometimes very strong.

    Two things ...

    "Insta-Zazen" through the cravings! If you can hold on ... ride it out ... for 15 or 20 minutes, it will vanish. Just do not give in for that 20 minutes, and it will go away.

    Second ... do not put a cigarette in your mouth, let alone take EVEN ONE PUFF ... not EVER! Not even "just one" six months from now. Just do not do the physical action of putting a cigarette in your mouth.

    This is the "BIG UNHOOKING!" :P

    (Oh, and PS ... I think the patches help too)

    PPS - Once I checked into Sesshin at a Japanese Monastery ... Sojiji ... for a week, with the intent to quit. That lasted the first day, until I found the cigarette machine at the monastery, and that all the "smoker monks" were hiding out grabbing a quick one behind the Zen Hall between sittings. True Story.

  27. #27
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Point of Focus

    It helps that I've only been smoking regularly for about a year.

    Chet

  28. #28

    Re: The Point of Focus

    I smoked a pack a day for somewhere near 7 years, but quit cold turkey before the birth of my first son. Hard, hard business quitting. The way I see it, you just have to bide your time through the cravings. This was ten years ago and I still get a twinge in my chest when I smell cigarette smoke, but the desire to have one only lasts about a second.

    You can do it.

  29. #29
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Davao City, Philippines
    Posts
    457

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Any of you former smokers have the cigarette dreams? 'Cause I sometimes do. I dream of smoking cigarettes, sometimes joints. I smoked for ten years. I'm glad I stopped. It just feels so good to breathe now.

  30. #30

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by pinoybuddhist
    Any of you former smokers have the cigarette dreams? 'Cause I sometimes do. I dream of smoking cigarettes, sometimes joints. I smoked for ten years. I'm glad I stopped. It just feels so good to breathe now.
    Yes, most recovering addicts will have dreams relating to their addiction. A friend of mine calls hers Drunk Dreams and like myself and others said they felt a bit guilty in dream and for a short while after for giving in in there dream to what ever their addiciton (as well she said she felt hung over when she woke up... which i thought was very interesting). For me 2.5 years of quitting and i still have em and i still awake going WHEW just a dream. I used to smoke about a pack to a pack and a half a day. Weed I smoked a plenty (half an oz a week) but never had any issue besides a couple of reaaaally boring parties with friends that kept it up... and like 2 restless nights. that was er 6 years ago ish.

    Glad you kicked it Chet- well and the rest of us Good job!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  31. #31

    Re: The Point of Focus

    Indeed. Zen gives few toys, no mantra, no visualization. Being humans, creative humans at that, we jump at the chance to grasp onto something we can ponder and relate to. Shikantaza, to me, seems like something we can never relate to and yet are all to familiar with.
    This is one of the great issues with our current understanding. We do grasp onto something we can ponder and relate to, but all too often, we end up miss-pondering and un-relating to. This type of grasping and pondering of things leads us into delusion because we attempt to understand things as though there were an answer. Pondering things like the meaning of life and the space time continuum, we forget to simply experience them. Trees, wind, space, life, these are not problems to be solved; simply Jewels in Indra's Net to be experienced, whether good or bad (though there is no good or bad, only what it is).

Similar Threads

  1. Zen Seeds - My Turning Point (Pg 141)
    By Dokan in forum "BEYOND WORDS & LETTERS" BOOK CLUB
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-30-2012, 03:15 PM
  2. Focus in Zazen (one person's oppinion)
    By JohnsonCM in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-23-2010, 01:01 AM
  3. Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey + Changing my Focus in Life
    By undeceivable in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-28-2008, 09:26 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •