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Thread: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

  1. #1

    Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Hi,

    I feel that the following topics are so important, that I want to have them as their own thread, and not just part of others ... So, I repost them here ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuken
    Every chapter begins by talking about how so and so experienced a great awakening.

    I would like to know how it is that nowadays awakenings seem so taboo.
    Oh, Great Awakenings are not 'taboo', never where and are not now. Where would you get such a narrow idea?

    But what is truly "Great" about these Awakenings?

    Where in the Zen literature does one see someone running around after their "Great Awakening" yelling "Eureka Eureka" at the top of their lungs, tears streaming down their eyes, all mysteries of the universe revealed and all one's personal problems and hang ups washed completely away????

    NO WHERE!

    (except perhaps in certain Kensho-fetishist book like "Three Pillars of Zen" and similar farces. Remember: "After the Ecstacy ... the Laundry!") There are so many Buddhist people with story book images of "Great Awakening fairy tales" in their mind ... and not the slightest idea what the true "Greatness" of "Great Awakening" is and where truly found. Such people have never experienced a True "Great Awakening" ... True Kensho ... True Satori ... Not a one has truly experienced "Great Awakening" ... for "Great Awakening" is a Buddha's soft and sublime smile.

    Great Awakening is profound yet subtle, mundane but a miracle, the clearing up of mysteries yet the allowing of others (as the Buddha taught that some questions are not relevant to the quest), the solving of all problems through and through even as so many of life's problems remain.

    I am so tired of folks who talk of "Great Awakening" without the slightest idea what is so "Great" about it! They are naive, children.

    Nothing is more precious than to be a man who has nothing further to seek. Just do not give rise to any fancies, and be your ordinary selves.


    I am so tired of those children who write that the Zen masters of old, based on some "they lived happily ever after" image of "Great Awakening, were thereafter "perfect people without a fault or a flaw." How ridiculous! (save that none of us have a "fault" or "flaw" from the start ... including all the faults and flaws we must labor day by day to repair. Read and reread this sentence three times and three times again, until it is completely pierced ... for it is at the very Heart of "Great Awakening").

    After Keizan had his "Great Awakening", and Dogen ... and all the others ... what changed?

    Do you know? Do you truly know?

    So many folks mouthing the words "Great Awakening" would not know "Great Awakening" if it was right before their own eyes (which is precisely where it is ... and one's eyes too).

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick B
    The first thing that comes to mind is that Micchaka practices sorcery. Sorcery boils down to cause and effect thinking.
    Oh, there is a "magic" to this realization ... more ordinary yet spectacular than any dime store trick. People do not realize the spectacular realization of the most ordinary (for who judge's the "ordinary" to be "ordinary"??) This is the Greatest of Great Awakenings!

    Quote Originally Posted by sittingzen
    Craig,

    A favorite passage of mine. In each Zazen, I try, although there really is no trying, the dropping of body and mind.
    Most folks do not know what is this "dropping of body and mind" They feel that it must be the attaining of some state of disembodied consciousness. (In fact, there are forms of meditation which attain such disembodied states, but Shikantaza is not so).

    To "drop away body and mind" is to simply and thoroughly drop the mind-body's demands/wishes/aversions-attractions/hard categorizing between the self and all that body-mind consider 'not the self'. Thereby, the "self" is put out of a job ... the hard walls between self and other soften or fall ... body and mind thus dropped away as the resistance and separation to "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" vs. "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" and "other" dropped away.

    The way there is radical non-demanding, non-seeking, just sitting ... the way of no way.

    Please be clear on this point.

    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Hi,

    I feel that the following topics are so important, that I want to have them as their own thread, and not just part of others ... So, I repost them here ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuken
    Every chapter begins by talking about how so and so experienced a great awakening.

    I would like to know how it is that nowadays awakenings seem so taboo.
    Oh, Great Awakenings are not 'taboo', never where and are not now. Where would you get such a narrow idea?

    But what is truly "Great" about these Awakenings?

    Where in the Zen literature does one see someone running around after their "Great Awakening" yelling "Eureka Eureka" at the top of their lungs, tears streaming down their eyes, all mysteries of the universe revealed and all one's personal problems and hang ups washed completely away????

    NO WHERE!

    (except perhaps in certain Kensho-fetishist book like "Three Pillars of Zen" and similar farces. Remember: "After the Ecstacy ... the Laundry!") There are so many Buddhist people with story book images of "Great Awakening fairy tales" in their mind ... and not the slightest idea what the true "Greatness" of "Great Awakening" is and where truly found. Such people have never experienced a True "Great Awakening" ... True Kensho ... True Satori ... Not a one has truly experienced "Great Awakening" ... for "Great Awakening" is a Buddha's soft and sublime smile.

    Great Awakening is profound yet subtle, mundane but a miracle, the clearing up of mysteries yet the allowing of others (as the Buddha taught that some questions are not relevant to the quest), the solving of all problems through and through even as so many of life's problems remain.

    I am so tired of folks who talk of "Great Awakening" without the slightest idea what is so "Great" about it! They are naive, children.

    I am so tired of those children who write that the Zen masters of old, based on some "they lived happily ever after" image of "Great Awakening, were thereafter "perfect people without a fault or a flaw." How ridiculous! (save that none of us have a "fault" or "flaw" from the start ... including all the faults and flaws we must labor day by day to repair. Read and reread this sentence three times and three times again, until it is completely pierced ... for it is at the very Heart of "Great Awakening").

    After Keizan had his "Great Awakening", and Dogen ... and all the others ... what changed?

    Do you know? Do you truly know?

    So many folks mouthing the words "Great Awakening" would not know "Great Awakening" if it was right before their own eyes (which is precisely where it is ... and one's eyes too).

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick B
    The first thing that comes to mind is that Micchaka practices sorcery. Sorcery boils down to cause and effect thinking.
    Oh, there is a "magic" to this realization ... more ordinary yet spectacular than any dime store trick. People do not realize the spectacular realization of the most ordinary (for who judge's the "ordinary" to be "ordinary"??) This is the Greatest of Great Awakenings!

    Quote Originally Posted by sittingzen
    Craig,

    A favorite passage of mine. In each Zazen, I try, although there really is no trying, the dropping of body and mind.
    Most folks do not know what is this "dropping of body and mind" They feel that it must be the attaining of some state of disembodied consciousness. (In fact, there are forms of meditation which attain such disembodied states, but Shikantaza is not so).

    To "drop away body and mind" is to simply and thoroughly drop the mind-body's demands/wishes/aversions-attractions/hard categorizing between the self and all that body-mind consider 'not the self'. Thereby, the "self" is put out of a job ... the hard walls between self and other soften or fall ... body and mind thus dropped away as the resistance and separation to "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" vs. "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" and "other" dropped away.

    The way there is radical non-demanding, non-seeking, just sitting ... the way of no way.

    Please be clear on this point.

    Gassho, Jundo
    I agree with this, Jundo. There seems to be this feeling that to be awake is to change somehow. Like we will look different, be able to read minds, or fly. I have been victim to this feeling too, but I have needed to remind myself that there is nothing to obtain and no where to go. I am Adam before awakening, I am Adam after awakening (not Adam, too). But I still catch my ego entertaining magical powers or somehow being better than those beings around me. I have to laugh and chalk it up for living in the video game age, but it's important for me not to be attached to these images in my mind. I have found that when I laugh these images off and do not have any expectations, judgements, or goals in my sitting, I actually sit with more confidence. I can sit in peace, in a sense. I don't have this "something extra" with me when I sit. It's just sitting. I still have the images and thoughts sprout in my mind, but it's easier for me to watch them enter my mind and exit on the other side. Of course, there are times when I find myself lost in a tangent, but more and more, I have been able to let the images and thoughts drift by like incense smoke. Thank you so much for the post!

    Gassho,

    Adam

  3. #3

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Oh, we CHANGE RADICALLY, Adam ... through and though ... upon Great Awakening ...

    ... by awakening to that never in need of change even amid all change ... with not a thing to add or take away, even as we add or take away ...

    That paradox is right at the Heart of "Great Awakening"

  4. #4

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Oh, we CHANGE RADICALLY, Adam ... through and though ... upon Great Awakening ...

    ... by awakening to that never in need of change even amid all change ... with not a thing to add or take away, even as we add or take away ...

    That paradox is right at the Heart of "Great Awakening"
    Thanks for this, Jundo. I just meant that I will not somehow be 10 feet tall a bullet proof. Mentally, yes. Physically, no. I will look the same whether or not I am awake.

    Gassho,

    Adam

  5. #5

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Remember: "After the Ecstacy ... the Laundry!")
    Too funny!!! And probably all too true.

    I have read "The Three Pillars of Zen" and I found it interesting that the descriptions of the kensho experiences were just that - singular experiences, with no commentary (one way or another) on any lasting impact on the person. I wonder if having one of these experiences could actually get in the way of your practice (if the experience is "as advertised", I could see this being something we might try very hard to hold onto).

    On the other hand, a strong experience of awakening would (I think) go a long way to encouraging people to continue their practice. However, as I was re-reading Suzuki's ZMBM just this morning, I ran across him quoting Dogen as saying something like "don't be so sure you will know it when you have an enlightenment experience." Doesn't sound like Dogen thought much of fantastic kensho experiences...

  6. #6

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    People do not realize the spectacular realization of the most ordinary (for who judge's the "ordinary" to be "ordinary"??)
    I am often struck by the wonder of ordinary life, clay has mixed with water and sunshine and has given birth to countless phenomena. At some point this phenomena became self aware, the universe seeing itself, but beings get lost in there self importance and crave after new stimulations that promise happiness. Some beings see through this and return to the ordinary wonder of the universe reflecting the universe. In the end it is truly amazing that any of this takes place at all, each moment is a living dynamic miracle.

    Most folks do not know what is this "dropping of body and mind" They feel that it must be the attaining of some state of disembodied consciousness. (In fact, there are forms of meditation which attain such disembodied states, but Shikantaza is not so).

    To "drop away body and mind" is to simply and thoroughly drop the mind-body's demands/wishes/aversions-attractions/hard categorizing between the self and all that body-mind consider 'not the self'. Thereby, the "self" is put out of a job ... the hard walls between self and other soften or fall ... body and mind thus dropped away as the resistance and separation to "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" vs. "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" and "other" dropped away.

    The way there is radical non-demanding, non-seeking, just sitting ... the way of no way.

    Please be clear on this point.
    Thank you very much Jundo for saying this so clearly.

    In trying to be clear on this point I find the idea of a mirror is a good way to express the way I am sitting shikantaza. A mirror is not a living thinking thing, so it does not grasp at anything, it does not have a sense of self nor does it seek anything, it just reflects whatever is before it, and while it reflects it does not project anything onto the reflections that arise within it nor does it become attached to the reflections that arise and pass away.There is no experience of self and other, there is just this moment reflected as it is and the next moment and the next moment and so on.

    I find that this no self no other arises on its own when I am off the cushion without me trying to do anything. When it happens there is just walking, or just gardening, or just watering, or just sitting. Even when I recongnize this, the recognition itself is like a cloud that comes and gos on its own, it does not disturb me in any way and it seems very natural when it takes place.

    As for change, what I find changes is my experience of life, for instance if I am going down to the garden to pull weeds, there is walking with the whole world, a butterfly moves amongst the flowers, the wind blows the grass and the summer sun hides behind a cloud. The whole thing is alive and dynamic, an unfolding from moment to moment.

    This is contrasted with "oh man I gotta go pull weeds", there is some walking "this is going to suck, man its hot out here, that little pathetic cloud ain't gonna last long". "Why the hell aren't the kids out here with me, why should they be in the air conditioned house?". Stumble over a piece of wood feeling both stupid and angry and finally reaching the garden and pulling weeds hating each one "dam weeds".

    I don't know but thats a pretty big change in my book.

  7. #7

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    I am going to move this here from another thread ...
    viewtopic.php?p=38864#p38864

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuken
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Where in the Zen literature does one see someone running around after their "Great Awakening" yelling "Eureka Eureka" at the top of their lungs, tears streaming down their eyes, all mysteries of the universe revealed and all one's personal problems and hang ups washed completely away????
    The Buddha saw the morning star and proclaimed, I along with all sentient beings have awakened!
    Ah, I rather prefer those translations of the Buddha's expression whereby he saw the morning star as perfectly just the morning star, as himself, as all things, just as the are ...

    Nothing more need be done to make the morning star more the morning star ... to make the morning star all of reality ...

    "Buddha exclaimed on achieving enlightenment, "How wonderful! All beings are already enlightened, just as they are!"


    Sakyamuni-Buddha said, when he saw the morning star and had his enlightenment experience or daikensho, "how wonderful! How wonderful! Everything just as it is, is enlightened, but because of our upside down view we don't realize it" so we all must go on this long journey to find out that all along we were enlightened anyway. ...

    [In the end, in] the return to the world we see that oneness and manyness, are the same thing. The mundane world is the world of enlightenment. The everyday ordinary world is holy. And now we return to the marketplace to share the good news with others who are ready to make that shift. But since this is not easy to grasp we must each make our own long arduous journey to right here... this very moment.
    http://www.zenpeacemakers.org/zps/dharm ... -intro.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuken
    While I do agree that there is no need to get hung up on a momentary experience, what exactly is an awakening?

    How do we define it?

    How do we articulate it?
    That simple "ah ha" moment, felt throughout one's being ... ""How wonderful! All beings are already enlightened, just as they are!"

    But do not be complacent:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuken
    Would it be wrong then to understand that there is continuous awakening?
    Not at all ... for though the house is perfectly just what it is ... we must put that perfect acceptance into practice ... even as, hand and hand, we may repair the broken windows and creaky doors. Such action is total awakening.

    this is the subject of another thread today ...
    viewtopic.php?p=38871#p38871

    One should not just sit there complacently saying "all things are just what they are, and I need do nothing but sit here on my rump" ... for we must make that fact real in our lives.

    "Complete, Perfect, Supreme Realization" is both to realize that all things are completely, perfectly and supremely as they are ... and to realize that Truth by our actions which make it all real in this life. It is "continuous practice" because ... although there is nothing to attain and no place to go ... we must constantly make non-attaining real in each changing moment.

    That is Great Awakening and Great Realization.

    Gassho, J

  8. #8

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick B
    In trying to be clear on this point I find the idea of a mirror is a good way to express the way I am sitting shikantaza. A mirror is not a living thinking thing, so it does not grasp at anything, it does not have a sense of self nor does it seek anything, it just reflects whatever is before it, and while it reflects it does not project anything onto the reflections that arise within it nor does it become attached to the reflections that arise and pass away.There is no experience of self and other, there is just this moment reflected as it is and the next moment and the next moment and so on.

    I find that this no self no other arises on its own when I am off the cushion without me trying to do anything. When it happens there is just walking, or just gardening, or just watering, or just sitting. Even when I recongnize this, the recognition itself is like a cloud that comes and gos on its own, it does not disturb me in any way and it seems very natural when it takes place.

    As for change, what I find changes is my experience of life, for instance if I am going down to the garden to pull weeds, there is walking with the whole world, a butterfly moves amongst the flowers, the wind blows the grass and the summer sun hides behind a cloud. The whole thing is alive and dynamic, an unfolding from moment to moment.

    This is contrasted with "oh man I gotta go pull weeds", there is some walking "this is going to suck, man its hot out here, that little pathetic cloud ain't gonna last long". "Why the hell aren't the kids out here with me, why should they be in the air conditioned house?". Stumble over a piece of wood feeling both stupid and angry and finally reaching the garden and pulling weeds hating each one "dam weeds".
    Ah, but do not fall into either extreme view.

    Do you know the perfectly serene mirror that is still present, though and though, as humans think (as we are prone to do) ... "oh man I gotta go pull weeds" ... "this is going to suck, man its hot out here"?

    Do not think that one is only doing this practice "right" when feeling like a clear and polished mirror, pulling weeds in contentment with undisturbed mind. Instead, find the undisturbed mind that is always present ... even as the mind thinks "man, it is hot and there are so many damn weeds". The mirror is always there, so let it just reflect that too.

    We can fully accept and embrace the weeds and heat, even as we pull them and sweat and do not accept them.

    We can accept that we do not accept the weeds and heat, even as we thoroughly accept and embrace them.

    Can you see right through "not accepting" even as, as humans are prone to do, there are things we do not like and accept?

    Gassho, J

  9. #9
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
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    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Thank you Jundo, all.

    In Little Gidding T S Eliot wrote

    "We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time".

    I like that, and perhaps it's the same notion.

    Gassho (I see, btw, that elsewhere on the web, in places where it's apparently terribly important to have an [i]opinion[i] about Treeleaf, we are criticised here for too much "Gasshoing". Perhaps they think it's just a word, not an action or an attitude).

    Martin

  10. #10

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    Gassho (I see, btw, that elsewhere on the web, in places where it's apparently terribly important to have an [i]opinion[i] about Treeleaf, we are criticised here for too much "Gasshoing". Perhaps they think it's just a word, not an action or an attitude).

    Martin
    Hi.

    Do you have any links? :roll:

    And i must say you can't have to much "gasshoing"..

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  11. #11

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Do not think that one is only doing this practice "right" when feeling like a clear and polished mirror, pulling weeds in contentment with undisturbed mind. Instead, find the undisturbed mind that is always present ... even as the mind thinks "man, it is hot and there are so many damn weeds". The mirror is always there, so let it just reflect that too.
    Perhaps that even with our negative emotions there is at the core, or at some deep level, clarity and peace?

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  12. #12

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Nothing is more precious than to be a man who has nothing further to seek. Just do not give rise to any fancies, and be your ordinary selves.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    To "drop away body and mind" is to simply and thoroughly drop the mind-body's demands/wishes/aversions-attractions/hard categorizing between the self and all that body-mind consider 'not the self'. Thereby, the "self" is put out of a job ... the hard walls between self and other soften or fall ... body and mind thus dropped away as the resistance and separation to "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" vs. "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" and "other" dropped away.
    Thank you for this Jundo.

    gassho
    Greg

  13. #13

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    ([i]except perhaps in certain Kensho-fetishist book like "Three Pillars of Zen" and similar farces.
    hahaahah :mrgreen: , you should put that as your review on Amazon. There were some things I liked about the book, but the desperation of chasing after Kensho experiences wasn't one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    After Keizan had his "Great Awakening", and Dogen ... and all the others ... what changed?

    Do you know? Do you truly know?
    I don't know :?: Maybe it strengthened their commitment on the path. But I do know personally, I practice this practice because I'm sick of adding on and adding on. I add on fear, or other crap, that is not real. I add on a lot of background noise because I'm bored. Oh I have nothing to fidget with or worry about, I'll worry about having nothing to worry about. It's insane!

    In any case, the last thing I need in my practice is the pursuit of false ideals (I guess that's redundant because all ideals are false). Realization and actualization is the practice, not idealization. I don't know if I'm making sense, but that's why I'm here, and I find Treeleaf a great sangha to help me stay on the path.

    From Mountain Record of Zen Talks by Daido Roshi, "How will we create that archive of sanity on top of a mountain peak, stuck in oneness? What will we do about the environment? What will we do about the starving millions, nuclear holocaust, the pollution of hte environment? What will we do about the twenty-first century if we are sitting alone on some mountain peak contemplating our navels while the world goes by? That is not our practice." p. 120

    This is the Mahayana.. seeking enlightenment for oneself is a bs crap understanding of what this is. It's another medal to tack on to the ego's resume. I'm arguing in my mind about kensho; in the meantime, an old woman (to use a cliche') needs my help crossing the street. Hey, you cut me off and I gave you the finger. Where's the entry point to practice? Right here. Instead of reacting with those old habits, I need to feel that anger, and find out what is at the root of it. What did that person harm on me? What did they take from me? Who did they take it from? I mean most of my anger or fear is fake, protecting the ego. I mean have legitimate fears and anger, but most of the time it's from drama I'm creating to protect my position, whether that is physical (like where I'm at on the road in relationship to another driver taking "my spot") or mental (my status). But none of it is real.

    And dammit! Practice is compassion and wisdom (nod to the Buddha Basics sit-a-longs ). We may study the eight fold path, but how is that actualized in our lives? That's the whole point, not if we got some fantastic hallucination while sitting on our cushion. I'm a newbie and my position may change the more I learn, but this is what I've experienced so far and what I've learned while being here.

    I know you guys and gals articulate it better, but this just gets me fired up to continue my practice

  14. #14
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    I don't know anyone right now who claims or believes that an enlightenment experience is a "happily ever after" that forever erases all problems and difficulties.

    One of my central personal koans for a long time has been, "How can realized teachers still be so flawed and have so many problems?" Because I've worked with, had my life touched by, and read transformative teachings from people who I either already knew or later found out had secrets, skeletons, and demons in their closets.

    What I've realized since can be encapsulated in the sentence, "We can't escape the world." We are conditioned beings and that conditioning is exactly what blocks our ability to see clearly. And while we can have moments of seeing through the conditioning, we can't drop conditioning forever. We can't function without it. Even the greatest masters still have all the baggage that got piled on them growing up. The only difference is that they have moments--not continuously, but moments--where they see baggage as baggage, and don't identify with it.

    For me, Zen practice is not at all about becoming a "fitter, happier" me. It's not about becoming a nicer person, or learning how to peel carrots with more focused attention. It's not about acting like people want or expect "good Buddhists" to act. It's about seeing what is true, what is real, to the extent it is possible, no matter what that reality or truth happens to be, pleasant or unpleasant.

    In my experience, Zen practice--zazen--is the only way to do this. Because I've learned, through personal experience, that truth and reality are not thoughts and cannot be known with or through thoughts. But most of our "understanding" is thought based, to the extent we don't even see that it is.

    We have to see clearly that our thoughts are not it, no matter how lovely they are, and that practice is never going to get us what we want. I've been reading Charlotte Joko Beck and Toni Packer, and both are very clear that true practice requires going through an uncomfortable process of seeing the futility of the way we normally approach life. We have to see how self-centered we are, how we are trying to work every situation to our advantage, how we are trying to get peacefulness or happiness or love or security for ourselves and how futile this ultimately is. This isn't some trick where we say, "Oh, it's futile," and then by saying that get what we want. We never get what we want.

    Seeing this, seeing through the self, whether totally in an instant, or gradually over time, requires a huge paradigm shift. This is radically different from cultivating an attitude of "acceptance" or even of "presence." Toni Packer says, "Rather than trying to seek solutions, overcome the self, or be of genuine service to the world, can we as human beings, caught in the midst of endless confrontation and fighting or weary acceptance of things, begin with a completely different approach: listening quietly and feeling inwardly all that's going on in and around us, without either acceptance or rejection?"

    Joko Beck says, "It's natural to be selfish, to want what we want, and we are inevitably selfish until we see an alternative. The function of teaching in a center like this is to help us see the alternative and to disturb us in our selfishness. So long as we are caught in the first viewpoint, governed by wanting to feel good or blissful or enlightened, we need to be disturbed. We need to be upset. A good center and a good teacher assist that. Enlightenment is, after all, simply an absence of any concern for self. Don't come to this center to feel better; that's not what this place is about. What I want are lives that get bigger so that they can take care of more things, more people."

    I started out this practice path a lot "nicer" than I am now. More "self-sacrificing." I took on crap in relationships that was truly unbelievable. I was a lot more saint-like! Except I wasn't. Except it was all rooted in a supremely distorted vision and understanding. It was rooted in deep self-loathing and a belief, rarely conscious, that I didn't deserve to be the one receiving, I had to prove myself as the giver first before I could ever deserve even a simple kindness.

    When I started seeing this distorted view and dropping it, a lot of people started liking me a lot less. Because I didn't just give and give endlessly. I said "no."

    But the danger in swinging away from that one extreme is swinging back toward the extreme that I think most of us spend our lives operating from, the belief that "I deserve something." I think probably that belief was even buried underneath my previous view and approach, and I was trying to prove to the universe that I was good enough to deserve something.

    All of this is crap. And most of us bring this crap to practice, and practice this crap the rest of our lives, and thus never wake up.

    Waking up to see through our delusions is not a pleasant ride. It is going to be deeply uncomfortable at times because the reason we hold on to our beliefs and distorted views in the first place, even though they cause us to suffer, is that they comfort us. They are like a carrot we dangle in front of ourselves to justify all the suffering we go through. And facing that the carrot may not exist means facing the possibility we don't get any reward or any relief from all the suffering we've done to try to prove to the universe we are good enough to deserve and get some goodness back.

    The self that we center all of this distorted thinking on is an illusion. As long as we are operating from that sense of self, there is a fundamental distortion in our view, whether that distortion is that the self is deserving or undeserving, whether that distortion is the self is good or bad, whether that distortion is that I need to give more or I need to get more. The self doesn't fucking exist, so anything we try to do to it or make it into is like laboring over what color we need to dye a unicorn's mane.

    I think maybe why the Internet peanut gallery criticizes Treeleaf as having a "faux nicey nice" vibe is maybe that it does sometimes. Maybe we should examine our strong reactions to that accusation? Maybe we should examine why we're practicing and what we're trying to get? Is anyone here willing to be uncomfortable? Or is our effort to make this place as comfortable as possible for everyone like switching the radio dial from Jim Morrison bellowing "WAKE UP!!!" to a nice lullaby?

    I've not had a kensho and yet over the course of my practice I've seen through one delusion after another. And each time, the new delusion that sets in doesn't go quite as deep as the last one. Maybe one day, the last layer of the onion will come off. Maybe it won't. But at least, thank goodness, enough of the first few layers have come off that my practice is no longer adding any new layers over top of the ones I put on in my usual moments of non-practicing awareness. I know this because of the feeling of recognition that happens on the cushion, and off of it in moments when I catch myself furiously caught up in a delusion. That ability to drop the thinking mess is the fruit of practice. And for me, with a practice in its infancy, it only happens in very brief bursts of time before the whole delusional system boots back up.

    I sincerely believe that Chet had a kensho, and that this was a vital and powerful experience. Why? Because of his ability to hone in on my delusion and point it out. No one else was able to. No one else could see the basis of my spiritual illness. To everyone else, such suffering must mean I have a psychological sickness and need medication. But I didn't. I had entered a certain painful phase of practice in which I could no longer find a life support system for a huge mass of idealistic delusions I'd been laboring under for years.

    Chet is an incredibly flawed human being who doesn't do and isn't capable of a lot of the things "nice" people do. This has made trying to engage with him in a relationship like repeatedly throwing myself against a wall. But for that very reason, it's been good for my practice, because I've had to face how much I still want to get what I want, and how much I still have a very clear story about those things. And I don't think any of this has to do with Chet's intentions, by the way. He's legitimately "difficult." And, of course, people who think practice is about getting what you want and becoming a nicer person that other people like more are going to see that and assume he has no realization.

    I still haven't quite worked out this koan of mine I mentioned in the beginning. How can people whose force of clarity has had such a transformative impact on my life still get caught in their delusions so much of the time? How can they still be so selfish? I honestly don't know. But what I do know is that the impact of wisdom on my life is immediate and clear, and many times deeply flawed, even delusional people have said or done things that immediately opened up that space of clarity in my life.

    I think the fact of the inevitable hypocrisy of our teachers is something we will all see eventually if we look clearly enough. Honestly, Jundo, you fail to meet the criteria you put forth as evidence of realization, and are just as capable of acting stupid, stubborn, and mean as anyone else. Your recent lapse was above and beyond anything I've seen Chet do or say. The feeble justification is, "Well, I don't do it that often." Is that what this practice is about? Doing it less often? There's a lot of people who never sat a day in their lives who do it less often than you. Just like people probably roll their eyes at me, another legitimately "difficult" person perhaps, when I talk about what I've seen or realized. Because I'm clearly no blinking advertisement for "human perfection."

    So what does that mean? Does that mean we need to find a better teacher who's more "realized"? Does that mean we need to make our practice about becoming more perfect? No, I don't think so. I think we just need to see clearly that this matter of practice isn't what we think it is and it doesn't get the results we're after and doesn't give us what we want or think we want. As long as we're looking to make our worldly situation better or make ourselves more likable we've missed the point entirely.

    The point is realization. And realization doesn't mean "perfect wisdom and behavior for the rest of one's life hereafter." It means seeing clearly enough that when we inevitably fall back into our conditioning--which none of us can escape--that we can exit out of that program or pause that process for a moment, and see that it's a process or a program, not Reality itself. If our will and vision are very strong and clear, we may be able to shut that program down completely. It will boot back up again at some point when our attention wavers, and then we see it again, hopefully.

    We each arrive where we are right now with a different set of experiences behind us. Different conditioning, different programming. It is our conditioning and programming that determines what our personalities are like and how "difficult" or "pleasant" we are. Practice will never erase and reset our conditioning. This huge reference system is the basis of our ability to function in the world at all. The best we can do is learn to see it for what it is and not identify with it completely.

    We make a mistake when we judge a person's wisdom on how their particular conditioning manifests in the world. Some people are naturally "nice" and "easy to get along with" because they've either suffered very little, had good childhoods, or were conditioned to repress their true feelings so as not to upset whatever monster might come to life if they said what they really thought or felt. This has fuck-all to do with waking up, and as long as we're chasing after how to make us into nicer versions of ourselves we've totally missed the point.

    The awakening experience is real, and vital in Zen, and not even Rinzai treats it like an end point. It is always treated as a beginning. Years of practice afterward are required to mature and refine and integrate that moment, or series of moments, of seeing. But until we see clearly that the self doesn't exist, that practice will never get us what we want, and that worldly results--such as being nicer or more likable--aren't what it's about, there is a fundamental distortion that inevitably distorts what we're doing when we sit our asses on the cushion.

  15. #15

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    "What I want are lives that get bigger so that they can take care of more things, more people."

    thank you joko beck, I think I am going to be OK with this and that.

    /Rich

  16. #16

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    One of my central personal koans for a long time has been, "How can realized teachers still be so flawed and have so many problems?" Because I've worked with, had my life touched by, and read transformative teachings from people who I either already knew or later found out had secrets, skeletons, and demons in their closets.
    Because realized or not, we're all human.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    For me, Zen practice is not at all about becoming a "fitter, happier" me. It's not about becoming a nicer person, or learning how to peel carrots with more focused attention. It's not about acting like people want or expect "good Buddhists" to act. It's about seeing what is true, what is real, to the extent it is possible, no matter what that reality or truth happens to be, pleasant or unpleasant.
    I agree with this, but in our practice we should realize that we are all connected and that the way I treat you is the way I treat myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    I think maybe why the Internet peanut gallery criticizes Treeleaf as having a "faux nicey nice" vibe is maybe that it does sometimes. Maybe we should examine our strong reactions to that accusation? Maybe we should examine why we're practicing and what we're trying to get? Is anyone here willing to be uncomfortable? Or is our effort to make this place as comfortable as possible for everyone like switching the radio dial from Jim Morrison bellowing "WAKE UP!!!" to a nice lullaby?
    For the short time I've been on this planet, 34 years, I've realized that life will make sure you're not comfortable even though you try to behave otherwise, and I do fall into that trap a lot.

    But I honestly do not care what the internet has to say about this Sangha. We are offered a lot of advice and teachings by people who we do not accept as our teachers. It is our responsibility for the path we take.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    I sincerely believe that Chet had a kensho, and that this was a vital and powerful experience.
    Should we send him a trophy or plaque? This is sarcasm.. I just couldn't help it. :mrgreen:

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    Chet is an incredibly flawed human being who doesn't do and isn't capable of a lot of the things "nice" people do.
    I don't know Chet. But here's the deal, zen or not. We're all adults here. We should all be able to treat each other with a modicum of respect. To put a concrete example, I wouldn't walk into Shunryu Suzuki's house and call him out in front of the entire Sangha because he didn't have Kensho or wouldn't validate my Kensho. That's not respectful, and if I'm a namby pamby because I believe in treating others with respect, well then that's how it will be.

    I don't need a watchdog to save me from false teachings. As I said earlier, I'm a grown up and I'm responsible for the beliefs I have and teachings I follow. Just because someone offers a teaching, doesn't exempt me from responsibility from testing the validity of said teaching in my life. Didn't the Buddha say that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    I think the fact of the inevitable hypocrisy of our teachers ...
    Everyone is a hypocrite, every single one of us. We are human, we are flawed. Just because we know better, should never prevent us from teaching others the correct way from our mistakes, or trying better, although we often times fail. We just do, it's a human thing.

    When I take Jundo or Taigu to be my teachers, I do so, not with the assumption that Jundo never does stuff he regrets, or never swears when he stubs his toe. I do so because I realize personally, (this is a personal decision that I've made based on my life experience), that the teachings they offer have something to offer me personally. I learn something from it. And I fail. I mean damn, I don't always uphold these teachings, but I strive to. That's why it's called practice after all.

    If I waited to find a perfect human being, then I would never find a teacher.

    And the same goes the other way. Jundo and Taigu realize that their students won't always practice zazen consistently and make mistakes like I do, but they don't come out and lambast us, and swear at us. They acknowledge the lifestyles of their students and flow with it.

    Those are the responsibilities of the teacher and the student. It can't be all give, give, give by the teacher and take, take, take by the student. It must be give and take. If Jundo offers teachings, and I blast back at him, then why should he want to be my teacher? Obviously, I'm telling him (if only by my attitude) that I don't want him as my teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    We make a mistake when we judge a person's wisdom on how their particular conditioning manifests in the world.
    It's not just realization. It's also actualization of what one has realized in the world... in the marketplace... otherwise this practice is a waste of time.

  17. #17
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    Should we send him a trophy or plaque? This is sarcasm.. I just couldn't help it. :mrgreen:
    My point in saying that was that Jundo has come out arguing that kensho experiences are meaningless, especially if the person who had them still has notable personal flaws on display. I disagree based on what I've experienced with Chet--that this flawed person has nonetheless had a clarity and focus on these matters that has helped me see some of the ways I've been asleep and continue to go to sleep. His ability to do that has nothing to do with how nice or pleasant he is to get along with otherwise.

    The point isn't really Chet... it's this general argument that realization amounts to how nice or pleasant a person is to get along with. I disagree, and my experience with Chet is my basis for disagreement.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    I don't know Chet. But here's the deal, zen or not. We're all adults here. We should all be able to treat each other with a modicum of respect. To put a concrete example, I wouldn't walk into Shunryu Suzuki's house and call him out in front of the entire Sangha because he didn't have Kensho or wouldn't validate my Kensho. That's not respectful, and if I'm a namby pamby because I believe in treating others with respect, well then that's how it will be.
    You're using the word "respect" here where I would use "civility." To me, respect is exactly being 100% honest with someone. I don't equate deference with respect. The people I placate aren't people I respect that much. The people I'm honest with are the ones I respect.

    I think truth is more important than hurt feelings. And I think the matter of awakening and realization is important enough to hurt feelings over in order to clarify.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    I don't need a watchdog to save me from false teachings. As I said earlier, I'm a grown up and I'm responsible for the beliefs I have and teachings I follow. Just because someone offers a teaching, doesn't exempt me from responsibility from testing the validity of said teaching in my life.
    Of course. The problem is that we all deceive ourselves so easily. We tend to go more with what is pleasant by default, even if the pleasant things that are said are not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    Everyone is a hypocrite, every single one of us. We are human, we are flawed. Just because we know better, should never prevent us from teaching others the correct way from our mistakes, or trying better, although we often times fail. We just do, it's a human thing.
    I agree completely with this statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    When I take Jundo or Taigu to be my teachers, I do so, not with the assumption that Jundo never does stuff he regrets, or never swears when he stubs his toe. I do so because I realize personally, (this is a personal decision that I've made based on my life experience), that the teachings they offer have something to offer me personally. I learn something from it. And I fail. I mean damn, I don't always uphold these teachings, but I strive to. That's why it's called practice after all.
    I agree completely with this also.

    But the irony here is that by saying, "I am here because I believe Jundo and Taigu have something to teach that I want or need to learn, not because they are well behaved," we are contradicting Jundo's assertion that personal manners of speech is the basis of judging another person's realization. If we judge Jundo by the standard he applied to Chet, that harmful and insulting speech is illustrative of a lack of realization and an indication Chet wouldn't know realization if it "bit him on the ass," then we would have to judge Jundo as lacking any sort of realization because of the extremity of his own wrong speech.

    But that's just it. I don't judge a teacher by their behavior, niceness, or lack thereof. I judge them by whether their teachings, when tested, are true in my own experience and have an impact on my experience. The way Jundo and Taigu present the Soto path is in accord with my recent experiences on the path, and continues to help me let go of the delusions that block me from being with things as they are, so I trust and continue to learn from them as teachers. I could find out that they each have 20 girlfriends and owe millions to bookies and steal ice cream from children and it wouldn't make a bit of difference. Because I've learned that someone can talk it who may not be walking it 24/7 themselves. And that maybe what I judge as "walking it" really isn't because I'm judging based on my own limited view. The only test or criteria worth examining, as far as I'm concerned, is, "Do these teachings function in my life?"

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    And the same goes the other way. Jundo and Taigu realize that their students won't always practice zazen consistently and make mistakes like I do, but they don't come out and lambast us, and swear at us. They acknowledge the lifestyles of their students and flow with it.
    Maybe lambasting students from time to time wouldn't be such a bad thing. A lot of people would leave, but IMO those people weren't that serious about it in the first place. Most "in person" centers where I've practiced have had teachers who aren't afraid to call students out on their b.s. It's like Joko Beck said... a teacher's job isn't to keep you comfortable, it's the opposite. To shake up your self-centered view system.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    Those are the responsibilities of the teacher and the student. It can't be all give, give, give by the teacher and take, take, take by the student. It must be give and take. If Jundo offers teachings, and I blast back at him, then why should he want to be my teacher? Obviously, I'm telling him (if only by my attitude) that I don't want him as my teacher.
    Not necessarily. I build trust with people through conflict and conflict resolution. And in the arena of Zen practice... students have long challenged teachers. Maybe there should be some sort of protocol around it--I'm not justifying Chet's behavior, but I don't think that challenging a teacher is an indication that a student doesn't want to learn. It often is quite the opposite, as if a student is saying, "I don't quite trust you, show me that I can trust you by meeting my challenge." Many of the greatest Zen stories and koans have come out of students challenging a teacher or one another, and being bested by the teacher or fellow student, whose response shows his/her deeper realization.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    It's not just realization. It's also actualization of what one has realized in the world... in the marketplace... otherwise this practice is a waste of time.
    Well, having a moment of seeing is definitely not the whole shebang. The whole system of Zen practice as it has developed over the years is put in place to help mature, integrate, and actualize a student's realization. For most people in the historic Zen records, the training began with a realization, not ended with one.

    The problem is when you are trying to get a student to actualize a realization that hasn't happened yet. Then it becomes parroting. If someone hasn't seen clearly this great matter, they might be able to parrot and act and put on a show on how they think they are supposed to act. That is neither realization nor actualization.

    And this practice is a waste of time, as far as the "self" is concerned. As long as you think you're going to get something out of it, your practice is operating out of a distortion. Which I think is probably true for most of us most of the time... that we still have our "secret practices" of wanting to become better, kinder, etc.

  18. #18

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    My point in saying that was that Jundo has come out arguing that kensho experiences are meaningless
    Just a quick question. Why all the fuss about Kensho? I'm being serious...does it really matter if one experiences Kensho, or not?

    Gassho,

    Adam

  19. #19
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    My point in saying that was that Jundo has come out arguing that kensho experiences are meaningless
    Just a quick question. Why all the fuss about Kensho? I'm being serious...does it really matter if one experiences Kensho, or not?

    Gassho,

    Adam
    That's a good question that I can't answer.

    As far as I'm concerned, the jury is out when it comes to "kensho" as a sudden, singular awakening experience, in terms of whether awakening has to come in this form or whether it can come gradually. I know I have not had such a singular experience because doubts remain. But I do know that over time, I've seen through delusions and have a much clearer sense of this path and this practice now than I did when I first started. I still labor under "happily ever after" delusions about my personal life but I have a lot fewer delusions about practice and know it will not get me any of this stuff I want.

    Even with my limited understanding, I know that awakening is important and that it is not the same as having greater acceptance or a nicer manner. It is a very private matter and it has to do with what one experiences when one's nose is to the grindstone. Are you clear on this great matter of life and death? Or are you still haunted by a sense that something is missing? Are you still trying to get something or get somewhere? Have you really seen that perfection is beyond conditions, that the content of your thoughts and of your life is ultimately irrelevant, or are you comfortable only when things are a certain way?

    IME, awakening is seeing how much of what we think matters so much really doesn't matter at all. As long as we are practicing in a way that we think "matters" in some sense of who we can become or what the world can be like, we are still stuck in ideas. Others would argue... and they should... I am not the teacher here. I can only speak from my own personal experience. And my experience is that it is possible to wake up and that it has nothing to do with changing any worldly conditions--either inside or outside of yourself--whatsoever.

  20. #20

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    My point in saying that was that Jundo has come out arguing that kensho experiences are meaningless
    Just a quick question. Why all the fuss about Kensho? I'm being serious...does it really matter if one experiences Kensho, or not?

    Gassho,

    Adam
    I dont think it matters very much but if I did experience kensho I wouldnt make it into something special but would view it as an opportunity to strenghten my practice.


    I think awakening is something we do over and over again

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    Even with my limited understanding, I know that awakening is important and that it is not the same as having greater acceptance or a nicer manner. It is a very private matter and it has to do with what one experiences when one's nose is to the grindstone. Are you clear on this great matter of life and death? Or are you still haunted by a sense that something is missing? Are you still trying to get something or get somewhere? Have you really seen that perfection is beyond conditions, that the content of your thoughts and of your life is ultimately irrelevant, or are you comfortable only when things are a certain way?

    IME, awakening is seeing how much of what we think matters so much really doesn't matter at all. As long as we are practicing in a way that we think "matters" in some sense of who we can become or what the world can be like, we are still stuck in ideas. Others would argue... and they should... I am not the teacher here. I can only speak from my own personal experience. And my experience is that it is possible to wake up and that it has nothing to do with changing any worldly conditions--either inside or outside of yourself--whatsoever.
    Are you clear on this great matter of life and death? --- If Im not thinking about it then its clear
    Are you still trying to get something or get somewhere? --- Most of the time
    Have you really seen that perfection is beyond conditions, that the content of your thoughts and of your life is ultimately irrelevant, or are you comfortable only when things are a certain way? --- I can accept things as they are but often things turn out the way I thought they would.
    And my experience is that it is possible to wake up and that it has nothing to do with changing any worldly conditions--either inside or outside of yourself--whatsoever.--- You are right, I have no idea what this is.

    /Rich

  21. #21

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    I know I come off a little crazy at times.
    One week I'm confused about Christian beliefs,
    the next week I think I'm Bodhidharma reincarnated... :shock:
    but...
    isn't kensho just a word?
    isn't kensho just a concept?
    isn't the point of Zen the dropping of all concepts?
    doesn't it really come down to how you drive your car in traffic,
    how you wash your dishes, mow the lawn, pay your taxes, love
    your spouse, etc...?
    if it is anything other that what is going on right now it ain't Reality...
    and if it ain't Reality, then what is it?
    POOF :!:

    If I'm learning anything at all from sittin on my good ol zafu
    it's this...
    DON'T SEEK ANY EXPERIENCE OTHER THAN THE ONE YOU ARE HAVING RIGHT NOW.
    be happy with THIS (even if you ain't happy with it)
    now that's enlightenment!

    just my 2 cents

    gassho
    Greg

  22. #22

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Hi, Stephanie.

    Maybe this should be in the other thread about morality,

    As I do my practice, I am more often able to be less attached (hoked, overcome) to/by anger, hatred and other feelings of not getting something I want, negative thoughts or whatever. Clearly this results in less anger, hatred and so on as I am not feeding, holding on to them as tightly. Doesn´t that make me a "nicer" (a word of your choice, maybe not a the better choice, but it will do) and a happier person, more at peace?

  23. #23

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    I am new here, though aware of the Chet controversy. It isn't my place to discuss that end of things, so I won't.

    As far as Kensho, I think the problem is simply that if there is much talk of it, people, especially people largely practicing on their own, might end up worrying that they haven't had one, and begin sitting with some expectation that they better get one of them there Kenshos...and then are not "just sitting", but their sitting now becomes just another activity of craving, and striving to attain something.

    At least that is my noob feeling on it ops:

    Daniel

  24. #24

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Do not think that one is only doing this practice "right" when feeling like a clear and polished mirror, pulling weeds in contentment with undisturbed mind. Instead, find the undisturbed mind that is always present ... even as the mind thinks "man, it is hot and there are so many damn weeds". The mirror is always there, so let it just reflect that too.
    Perhaps that even with our negative emotions there is at the core, or at some deep level, clarity and peace?

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW
    Oh, this is another example of seeing/tasting things from many views and tastes at once, sometimes seemingly contradictory views and tastes. Resistance and total peace at once, "attractions and aversions, likes and dislikes" while simultaneously dropping to the marrow all "attractions and aversions, likes and dislikes" ... as discussed on that other thread ...

    viewtopic.php?p=38871#p38871

    Now, sometimes we are through and through at home and 'one' with the rain pouring down on our picnic, the cancer diagnosis, the flat tire while late for work, the war in the news. No resistance at all, embracing all, undivided from any of it. That is enlightenment, just the mirror.

    And, sometimes we are at home and 'one' with the rain, cancer, flat, war etc. even when a little sad, afraid or ticked off by each ... thus totally at home and 'one' with conditions including the human states of being "a little sad, afraid or ticked off". That is enlightenment too ... no resistance even amid resistance, embracing while pushing away, undivided amid this world of division ... ultimately nothing to resist, embrace or push, run toward or away from, divide or not divide (now THAT is Wholeness!) ... the dust seen as precisely the mirror, and the mirror the dust.

    We can fix the flat, fight to stop the war or take our chemotherapy ... even as we allow each "just as it is".

    The thing to avoid is to have the mirror so covered with dust of delusion that the mirror is lost to view ... only aversion, pushing away or running toward, only division. That is delusion.

    Of course, ultimately, there is no mirror and no place for the dust to alight.

    Gassho, J

  25. #25

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    For me, Zen practice is not at all about becoming a "fitter, happier" me. It's not about becoming a nicer person, or learning how to peel carrots with more focused attention. It's not about acting like people want or expect "good Buddhists" to act. It's about seeing what is true, what is real, to the extent it is possible, no matter what that reality or truth happens to be, pleasant or unpleasant.

    In my experience, Zen practice--zazen--is the only way to do this. Because I've learned, through personal experience, that truth and reality are not thoughts and cannot be known with or through thoughts. But most of our "understanding" is thought based, to the extent we don't even see that it is.
    Dear Stephanie,

    I feel that your writings and posts about freedom from thoughts and mental baggage are becoming longer and longer ... more filled with thousands of thoughts and tangled mental stuff. You are a little lost again in complexities and problems of your own creation, I feel.

    Simplify! Some "Truths" are found in the simplest Simplicities.

    This practice will make us "fitter and happier" ... although a rather ironic and profound "Happiness" that is "happy" with sometimes being sad and sometimes being happy and sometimes whatever life is, embracing all. It is a Happiness not dependent on being la la happy all the time, at one with both smiles and tears (thus, a profound Happiness).

    I stand by my characterization that it is human to stub our toes and mumble "shit" without much worry about falling into Karmic hells, thus cutting our 'self' some slack. However, someone who is every day exhibiting a failure to be at one with this life, resistant to this life-self-world ... caught in tangled emotions and ego ... has not had a "Kensho" or any other realization about the nature of life-self-world worth very much. They do not see what is "real and true", for they are lost in their own mind. They would not know "Kensho" if it "bit them on the ass".

    One of my central personal koans for a long time has been, "How can realized teachers still be so flawed and have so many problems?"
    NO truly "realized" teacher will be "so flawed and have so many problems". That is someone with a robe, and perhaps some insight in some things ... but not someone who truly is realized. One cannot be a "truly realized teacher" if a child molester, wife abuser, starter of bar fights, active cocaine user, or sexual predator on students, for example (as sometimes found in the clergy). One, however, can be a truly "realized teacher" ... and, in fact, a better teacher for being human ... for sometimes yelling "shit" when stubbing one's toes on a chair leg, being afraid when getting a cancer diagnosis, overcoming an addiction, grieving when one's wife dies or who sometimes gets "hot under the collar" and "loses his cool" on a hot day.

    Know the difference! It is an important difference, and no mere excuse for someone's behavior. One is human flesh and blood wrestling and overcoming human weakness ... one is humanity at its worst or succumbing to human weakness.

    One is a human being/buddha who sometimes falls into deluded behavior. One is lost in delusion.

    Thus, we do not, as you say, "make a mistake when we judge a person's wisdom on how their particular conditioning manifests in the world."

    You also said, " ... Jundo has come out arguing that kensho experiences are meaningless, especially if the person who had them still has notable personal flaws on display." ...

    I never said the former ... that Kensho is meaningless ..., only that we should not put too much weight on passing insights. I did say the latter, to wit, there is a vital difference between someone with insight who in some moments or passing instances acts reeking of delusion, and someone who is just deluded in much of their life.

    I started out this practice path a lot "nicer" than I am now. More "self-sacrificing."
    Human beings, being human, may not always act "nice". However, people progressing on this path will tend to be "nicer, more peaceful" people because the war with the "self-world-life" is over. They realize that to be filled with anger and nastiness is not the way.

    Charlotte Joko Beck and Toni Packer, and both are very clear that true practice requires going through an uncomfortable process of seeing the futility of the way we normally approach life. We have to see how self-centered we are, how we are trying to work every situation to our advantage, how we are trying to get peacefulness or happiness or love or security for ourselves and how futile this ultimately is. This isn't some trick where we say, "Oh, it's futile," and then by saying that get what we want. We never get what we want.
    Yes, Joko and Toni would probably tell you now, as I tell you, that Stephanie must see the futility in how she normally approaches life. It is NOT, however, that Joko and Toni are saying that there is no "peace, happiness, love and security" in this life.

    Joko and Toni would not be Buddhist teachers if preaching that (and whether or not they would call themselves so).

    It is that Joko and Toni believe that the way we go hunting for "peace, happiness, love and security" is all wrong ... and that we must find by giving up the chase for these things ... and that the ultimate "Peace, Happiness, Love and Security" sweeps in and fully holds "peace/war, happiness/sadness, love/hate/neutrality, security and insecurity".

    Joko and Toni are Buddhist teachers for preaching that.

    As you rightly quote Toni ...

    Toni Packer says, "Rather than trying to seek solutions, overcome the self, or be of genuine service to the world, can we as human beings, caught in the midst of endless confrontation and fighting or weary acceptance of things, begin with a completely different approach: listening quietly and feeling inwardly all that's going on in and around us, without either acceptance or rejection?"[EMPHASIS ADDED]
    I am sorry, Stephanie, but I think you must "begin with a very different approach" on this. You are chasing your own tail.

    Gassho, Jundo

  26. #26

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Now, sometimes we are through and through at home and 'one' with the rain pouring down on our picnic, the cancer diagnosis, the flat tire while late for work, the war in the news. No resistance at all, embracing all, undivided from any of it. That is enlightenment, just the mirror.

    And, sometimes we are at home and 'one' with the rain, cancer, flat, war etc. even when a little sad, afraid or ticked off by each ... thus totally at home and 'one' with conditions including the human states of being "a little sad, afraid or ticked off". That is enlightenment too ... no resistance even amid resistance, embracing while pushing away, undivided amid this world of division ... ultimately nothing to resist, embrace or push, run toward or away from, divide or not divide (now THAT is Wholeness!) ... the dust seen as precisely the mirror, and the mirror the dust.

    We can fix the flat, fight to stop the war or take our chemotherapy ... even as we allow each "just as it is".

    The thing to avoid is to have the mirror so covered with dust of delusion that the mirror is lost to view ... only aversion, pushing away or running toward, only division. That is delusion.

    Of course, ultimately, there is no mirror and no place for the dust to alight.

    Gassho, J
    Good evening, friends,

    This reminded me of Kyuzo Mifune expounding on the philosophical side of Judo; know fully, understand fully, accept fully--even as your hips are turning to throw your uke, you become the throw, the uke, the mat, yourself. The whole universe and the three times are transcended in one motion. The power to change things (i.e., throw one's uke) comes not from fighting any conditions or opponents. Power comes from allowing all things to be just as they are, including (and this is what holds me up) the act of changing.

    I apologize for the nonsequeter. Please ignore my ignorant comments and continue with this wonderful exposition and discussion of Dharma.

    Metta,

    Perry

  27. #27

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Oh, this is another example of seeing/tasting things from many views and tastes at once, sometimes seemingly contradictory views and tastes. Resistance and total peace at once, "attractions and aversions, likes and dislikes" while simultaneously dropping to the marrow all "attractions and aversions, likes and dislikes"
    I think I am getting a little bit of a feel for experiencing reality from multiple perspectives....I will be posting an experience I recently had relating to time, which is related to a thread a while back on Being-time. Certain aspects of Zen seem to have a slight flavor of postmodernism...amazing so much of it was written so long ago. For example, Dogen's thought seems so contemporary at times, it shocks me to think he was writing in the 13th century!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Most folks do not know what is this "dropping of body and mind" They feel that it must be the attaining of some state of disembodied consciousness. (In fact, there are forms of meditation which attain such disembodied states, but Shikantaza is not so).

    To "drop away body and mind" is to simply and thoroughly drop the mind-body's demands/wishes/aversions-attractions/hard categorizing between the self and all that body-mind consider 'not the self'. Thereby, the "self" is put out of a job ... the hard walls between self and other soften or fall ... body and mind thus dropped away as the resistance and separation to "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" vs. "other" is dropped away ... thus "self" and "other" dropped away.
    Good to clarify this point as I know Dogen's phrase "drop away body and mind", for me anyway, is a bit confusing.....Easy to misconstrue this as some sort of disembodied consciousness, which of course is not the point.


    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  28. #28
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Wow, so busy here. Ok, here goes...

    As for kensho, let's say I am in zazen and I have this unique experience. I go, "wow, what was that?" and ask someone that might know. This authoritative person says something along the lines of, "Oh, that was kensho. No big deal. Just keep sitting." Then, some time down the road I meet another authoritative person and I tell him about my kensho, and he says, "Hmm, I don't think you really had a kensho. Nope, but that's ok, just keep sitting." Who of the three of us is correct? The one who didn't know in the first place, or the two he tells that disagree? Does it matter? To whom does it matter? Why bother with all these questions when everyone seems to agree that "just keep sitting" is the way to go?

    Stephanie, you are on an interesting journey. Thank you for sharing. Let me try to very briefly summarize it. You used to be nice to people for the "wrong" reasons, then you discovered there was no "self" and so now are not so nice to people for the "right" reasons. Maybe, just maybe, because I truly don't know, but it seems you are clinging really hard to this "no self" idea. You had a whole thread on it that I poked around in taking the other side, which you refudiated :mrgreen: each time. Might it be possible that by letting go of this "no self" idea and accepting more there is a "self" idea, finding a balance between the two, that you would act nice toward people for the "right" reasons? Maybe, just maybe, because I truly don't know, this is your journey into morality and wisdom.

    Lastly, an analogy. Let's just say that I am a professor that teaches at a university. I have attained all the realizations and "buddha" seals required by my profession (Ph.D. and tenure), so my job is secure. I've been in the profession a long time, grown up in it for years, matured in it in wisdom, and when I teach I teach the highest ideals of my profession. For the sake of the story, let's call those ideals "morality." My students respect me, try to emulate me, and I treat them well to the very best of my ability in all of my professional endeavors, and even out of class when those occasions arise. However, I have some old friends I went to college with that I just love, that I truly and deeply feel a bond with, and these guys are also college professors in the same subject I teach, but I don't approve of their behavior. They do not emulate the ideals and morality that I now do; they do not behave the way I feel is proper. But I love these guys and have a great weakness for them. Periodically I call them up, get together with them, and when I do they end up goading me into behaving like they do. I know it's my fault in many ways. I know I should leave them behind, but I love them. I know I should not let myself be goaded by them, but I love them to the point that maybe I hate them. And every time I act badly with them I feel terrible about it, even hating myself a bit about it. But these actions with my old cronies do not in any way truly reflect how I feel about or how I practice my profession. I always try to maintain that professionalism with my students in class and out. So one day one of my students sees me out with my old buddies doing some terrible things, things I have told this student to never do, things I don't really believe in but because of my weakness for these guys I end up doing. That student's faith is shaken, understandably so. That student confronts me about it, rightfully so. I apologize, admit my fault, try to explain as best I can that which I can't really explain. Still my student is unsure of what morality is in the face of this contradiction. Finally, I ask my student this question: Do those bad actions that you saw then, and these actions of confession and contrition you see now, fit into all the aspects of my teaching over all the time I have known you? If the students says "no," he is free to go, and I let him go freely. If he says "yes," he is free to stay, and I welcome him back freely. If he says "I don't know," then we hug and struggle together until we each figure it out.

  29. #29
    Stephanie
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    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    I enjoyed your response, Alan.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    As for kensho, let's say I am in zazen and I have this unique experience. I go, "wow, what was that?" and ask someone that might know. This authoritative person says something along the lines of, "Oh, that was kensho. No big deal. Just keep sitting." Then, some time down the road I meet another authoritative person and I tell him about my kensho, and he says, "Hmm, I don't think you really had a kensho. Nope, but that's ok, just keep sitting." Who of the three of us is correct? The one who didn't know in the first place, or the two he tells that disagree? Does it matter? To whom does it matter? Why bother with all these questions when everyone seems to agree that "just keep sitting" is the way to go?
    Hmm, I think bringing "kensho" into it has thrown off what I wanted to emphasize... I would argue, from what I've learned and seen from friends and past teachers, kensho can function as a "power generator" of practice and insight, though certainly not a cure-all (not that any of these folks I've encountered have argued that). And I'm a bit leery of Jundo's dismissive attitude about it. But "kensho" in particular is not really my personal concern, which is a more generic interest in "awakening" and what that means to people here. What does it mean to wake up?

    Some folks seem to define awakening as mere presence, that to be fully present to the moment is to be awake in that moment. In my experience, there is something deeper than merely having an undistracted moment... a recognition, a seeing, that has the power to completely dissolve a story or delusion that had completely taken over. This happens to me sometimes... a deep knowing, this is not true or this is not how it is. I've also had moments of being completely absorbed in the activity of the moment... concentration experiences when I used to do shamatha meditation... and as powerful as those were, they brought no lasting clarity or insight to illumine the delusional thought process that inevitably restarted once the concentration faded.

    While what degree of seeing I have had is small, nothing major or total, it is enough to understand the arc of the Buddha's story in which he mastered all the different states of meditation and still found his questions were not resolved. Not until he had the experience of seeing deeply and clearly, an experience of awakening, that forever altered his experience of life and removed his doubt and searching. It didn't chase away Mara for good... but the Buddha had resolved his question.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    Stephanie, you are on an interesting journey. Thank you for sharing. Let me try to very briefly summarize it. You used to be nice to people for the "wrong" reasons, then you discovered there was no "self" and so now are not so nice to people for the "right" reasons. Maybe, just maybe, because I truly don't know, but it seems you are clinging really hard to this "no self" idea. You had a whole thread on it that I poked around in taking the other side, which you refudiated :mrgreen: each time. Might it be possible that by letting go of this "no self" idea and accepting more there is a "self" idea, finding a balance between the two, that you would act nice toward people for the "right" reasons? Maybe, just maybe, because I truly don't know, this is your journey into morality and wisdom.
    Don't get me wrong... By challenging moral behavior as the sole mark and standard by which we judge wisdom, I'm not saying that morality is not an important part of Buddhist practice. And I've by no stretch of the imagination become a "mean" person. I do my best to practice patience and kindness every day. My work requires me to have the "caring faucet" turned on and to be able to be present and listen to others in pain no matter how exhausted or irritable I might be. And, though imperfect, I manage pretty well. The difference now with how I was some years ago is not that I'm no longer kind, but that I'm less concerned over whether others think I'm "nice" or "good enough." If a person who is a user and manipulator accuses me of not going far enough for them, I'm no longer troubled by this; I see what's going on. It doesn't mean that I'm not still kind to such people, I just have better boundaries.

    I also think that true kindness and compassion are very different beasts from conventional notions of "niceness." I have a friend who almost always starts out telling me about some asshole guy she's with by saying, "He's really nice." I know that word is meaningless in general and especially meaningless when she uses it. Being "nice" is just knowing how to act to gain social acceptance. Often, the "nice" people are the ones who fail to step to the plate when real courage or heroism is necessary, or even the simple courage of being honest and emotionally open in a relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    Lastly, an analogy.
    The analogy is well made but speaks little to me, as I think anyone who had the job of "moral professor" would ultimately have to be a hypocrite, and the wise student would do well to question such a person.

    I spent many years looking for perfection and believing that Buddhist masters and teachers were more perfect people, the kind of people I wanted to emulate. My experience, however, was seeing that these people had just as many personal flaws as any average person, and the only thing that kept the whole dog and pony show of "perfect masters" going was people's desperate desire to believe in such, and to ignore anything that challenged their beliefs.

    What I've learned has been far more freeing... that this practice isn't about ascending to a perfect realm, but seeing Reality exactly as it is. I don't consider Zen teachers to be holy people with stainless morality, but teachers of a Way of awakening. I know whether to trust a teacher by what happens when I put what they teach into practice. Teachers' bad behavior does not create any sort of "crisis of doubt" in me for that reason.

    Again, as I have put it before... what I've seen is that we are conditioned beings, and our conditioning is what blocks us from seeing things as they truly are. But the paradox is, while we can see through the conditioning and not be so ruled by it, it does not go away altogether. Which is why Zen realization does not work as a cure-all therapy that eradicates all personal issues. We don't have the option of erasing and reformatting our mental hard drives. So a teacher who still falls victim to his or her conditioning is merely expressing the ultimate inescapability of the human condition, as far as I understand it. We can see it for what it is, and not be as immediately responsive to our programming, but that programming is still there.

  30. #30

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    Hmm, I think bringing "kensho" into it has thrown off what I wanted to emphasize... I would argue, from what I've learned and seen from friends and past teachers, kensho can function as a "power generator" of practice and insight, though certainly not a cure-all (not that any of these folks I've encountered have argued that). And I'm a bit leery of Jundo's dismissive attitude about it.
    I think that any kind of coach or teacher must have to repeat some things again and again before people start to hear ... Fortunately, patience is at the heart of this practice. So, let me say again:

    I do not have a "dismissive attitude" toward "Kensho".

    What I "dismiss" are fanciful images of "Kensho" by those who have never tasted that, yet are so ready to lecture on the subject. I am also rather dismissive of those who claim "Kensho" without manifesting in their life much of the insight they claim (yes, true mastery of this practice will show itself in how the person behaves over the long haul of life ... a Karate master may sometimes or quite frequently miss a kick or flub a punch but, overall, will not do so in most key matches on most days). I dismiss those, as you do, who claim a powerful "Kensho" and think that practice ends there ... for it is only a vista on a long, lifetime hike. I am also dismissive, as you are, of those who claim "Kensho" as more than it is ... as the "resolver of all problems and mysteries of every kind" (although it --is-- the complete resolver of all problems and mysteries of every kind, although just not in the way that most folks think it is).

    In Soto Zen, "Kensho" is vitally important and sacred, the source of insight. However, all of the journey is also tasted as vital and sacred, the source of insight. We do not "lower Kensho", but simply raise up everything else. We simply do not run toward Kensho .... but neither do we run away.

    We also see insight, Wisdom and Compassion, as able to creep into our marrow's marrow over time ... and, thus, a "one off" Kensho is not strictly necessary.

    Stephanie, I am also rather hesitant about how you describe your view of what you imagine "awakening" awakens. I agree that it is not "mere presence, being in the moment" as so often misunderstood (i.e., just doing one action at one time, without resistance and totally focused thereon). However, be careful if you define "awakening" as some sudden "seeing reality as it is". That may also be a misleading way to describe "awakening". Rather, I would point you towards "Great Awakening" as "experiencing and merging into reality as it is" ... allowing and dropping all separation from reality as it is. Do you pierce the subtle difference? It is not necessarily "being in the moment" ... nor "fully comprehending the right answer to every question and decision in any moment" ... but, rather, it is "being at peace and 'of one piece' with each moment, whatever that moment should contain up or down". (The latter is subtly different from the former two).

    We had a series on whether this practice answers all questions about "the meaning of life" .... and the basic conclusion of that is that, yes, it does answer some very important ones, answers others by allowing us to drop the questions as unimportant ... and does not address still others which were not the Buddha's concern in his quest for the cure to "Life is Dukkha".

    viewtopic.php?p=16814#p16814

    "Does Satori provide the answer to the ‘big questions’?"

    You mention, as examples of some big questions, "what happens when we die", "whether there is a God and a 'Divine Plan'", "Why were we born, for what purpose" and the like. I will try to look at each of these in the coming days, one by one.

    For now, I just want to address your main question: "Does Satori provide the answer to the ‘big questions’?"

    Our Practice provides some very specific (and wonderful) answers to some 'big questions'. For example, Buddhism provides very clear guidance for and understanding of the origins of human suffering in this life. The "Four Noble Truths". for example, provide a formula that effectively describes the sickness and provides the medicine for its treatment or cure. (More about that here: http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2008...a-xx-four.html).

    Our Practice provides some very wonderful answers to other 'big questions' by instructing us to drop the questions as meaningless. Some questions are as pointless as our asking 'how many angels can gather on the head of a pin' or 'what color are the rabbits that live on the moon'. An example of such a question may be "where do we 'go' when we die, and where did we 'come from' before we were born" (I will talk about that in another posting later this week).

    Hand in hand with the above, many questions we regularly ask may just be phrased poorly, biased by our narrow, anthropocentric human understanding. An example of that may be "why do 'bad things' happen in the world". When we change the way the question is asked, answers begin to present themselves (I will talk about that too in the coming days). Hitting the "reset button' on so many of our misguided questions are what most of those old Koans are on about, by the way.

    And sometimes, Buddhism provides no answer to some 'big questions' (although that may be a kind of 'answer' too!).
    Folks talk of "awakening" without much "awakening" ... mistaking some glimpses and a bit of insight for "awakening" ... thinking they nonetheless understand what "awakening" must be.

    Gassho, Jundo

  31. #31

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    Ah, but do not fall into either extreme view.

    Do you know the perfectly serene mirror that is still present, though and though, as humans think (as we are prone to do) ... "oh man I gotta go pull weeds" ... "this is going to suck, man its hot out here"?

    Do not think that one is only doing this practice "right" when feeling like a clear and polished mirror, pulling weeds in contentment with undisturbed mind. Instead, find the undisturbed mind that is always present ... even as the mind thinks "man, it is hot and there are so many damn weeds". The mirror is always there, so let it just reflect that too.

    We can fully accept and embrace the weeds and heat, even as we pull them and sweat and do not accept them.

    We can accept that we do not accept the weeds and heat, even as we thoroughly accept and embrace them.

    Can you see right through "not accepting" even as, as humans are prone to do, there are things we do not like and accept?

    Gassho, J
    Thank you for your teaching.

  32. #32

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick B
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    Ah, but do not fall into either extreme view.

    Do you know the perfectly serene mirror that is still present, though and though, as humans think (as we are prone to do) ... "oh man I gotta go pull weeds" ... "this is going to suck, man its hot out here"?

    Do not think that one is only doing this practice "right" when feeling like a clear and polished mirror, pulling weeds in contentment with undisturbed mind. Instead, find the undisturbed mind that is always present ... even as the mind thinks "man, it is hot and there are so many damn weeds". The mirror is always there, so let it just reflect that too.

    We can fully accept and embrace the weeds and heat, even as we pull them and sweat and do not accept them.

    We can accept that we do not accept the weeds and heat, even as we thoroughly accept and embrace them.

    Can you see right through "not accepting" even as, as humans are prone to do, there are things we do not like and accept?

    Gassho, J
    Thank you for your teaching.
    There is a difference between "man, there are so many damn weeds" spoken in ordinary resentment and non-acceptance before Zen Practice ...

    and "man, there are so many damn weeds" said during Zen Practice, thoroughly manifesting Acceptance even as/amid acceptance or non-acceptance.

    It is --not-- the same non-accepting and resenting "man, there are so many damn weeds" as before ... but is illuminated now by the mirror, clarity, embracing, wholeness.

    And as with the weeds in the garden ... so with all "weeds" of life (the fear from a cancer diagnosis, the grief from a lost loved one, the frustration of a flat tire, stubbed toe cussing, the distaste for a war) ... each the same, but very different from what was prior to this Zen Practice.

    Each seen now through the eyes of awakening.

    Thus, "man, there are so many damn weeds" is now no longer merely "man, there are so many damn weeds".

    Gassho, J

  33. #33

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    There is a difference between "man, there are so many damn weeds" spoken in ordinary resentment and non-acceptance before Zen Practice ...

    and "man, there are so many damn weeds" said during Zen Practice, thoroughly manifesting Acceptance even as/amid acceptance or non-acceptance.

    It is --not-- the same non-accepting and resenting "man, there are so many damn weeds" as before ... but is illuminated now by the mirror, clarity, embracing, wholeness.

    And as with the weeds in the garden ... so with all "weeds" of life (the fear from a cancer diagnosis, the grief from a lost loved one, the frustration of a flat tire, stubbed toe cussing, the distaste for a war) ... each the same, but very different from what was prior to this Zen Practice.

    Each seen now through the eyes of awakening.

    Thus, "man, there are so many damn weeds" is now no longer merely "man, there are so many damn weeds".

    Gassho, J
    In looking at my own mind, I think I understand, but I am having a hard time putting it into words.

    Clarity is like the sun which is always shinning during the day regardless of whether the sky is clear, cloudy or stormy. Before awakening there is a clear sky, a cloudy sky or a stormy sky, but the clarity of sky is lost to the things happening in the sky, even though it was never lost. After awakening there are still a clear sky, cloudy sky, and stormy sky but the clarity of the sky is not lost and it becomes obvious that it was never lost. That is why the Zen masters laugh when they come to see clarity.

    Its like when the Buddha falls off the altar and breaks, the falling and breaking is what it is, but for the awakened there was just falling and breaking and now super glue. For the unawakened there was falling and breaking and super glue. For one the clarity was never lost, for the other the Buddha will never be the same.

    Thank you for your teaching.

    edited: a

  34. #34

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Hi everyone!

    Thanks to everyone for this thread... much needed these days! :roll:
    Jundo and Taigu will never stop "exposing" this, at least I hope so... it is so important and yet so difficult for us to understand... but does it really need to be "understood"... I don't know, things seems some much "heady" these days! :twisted:

    Anyway, thank you for this! it was quite long to read but worth it!
    gassho,
    Jinyu

  35. #35
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Stephanie, it was your personal journey (a grand trip from one "place" to another over time that has great personal meaning) I was talking about, not your professional behavior (a thing you do now that may or may not relate to or be part of your personal journey).

    Anyway, I worked for a long time on my long post above, revised it a few times, then finally let it go by posting it. Then I went to bed. I was tired (and am even more tired today!). But as soon as I went to bed I picked it up again (attachments are sooooo sneaky!) and realized that I should have started the post with this comment:

    Gosh, for a thread supposed to be about dropping body-mind, we sure have picked up a lot of stuff :? Oh wait, that's zen!!

    Okay, now I can let it go.
    Sit time for some, sleep time for me..........

  36. #36

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick B
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    There is a difference between "man, there are so many damn weeds" spoken in ordinary resentment and non-acceptance before Zen Practice ...

    and "man, there are so many damn weeds" said during Zen Practice, thoroughly manifesting Acceptance even as/amid acceptance or non-acceptance.

    It is --not-- the same non-accepting and resenting "man, there are so many damn weeds" as before ... but is illuminated now by the mirror, clarity, embracing, wholeness.

    And as with the weeds in the garden ... so with all "weeds" of life (the fear from a cancer diagnosis, the grief from a lost loved one, the frustration of a flat tire, stubbed toe cussing, the distaste for a war) ... each the same, but very different from what was prior to this Zen Practice.

    Each seen now through the eyes of awakening.

    Thus, "man, there are so many damn weeds" is now no longer merely "man, there are so many damn weeds".

    Gassho, J
    In looking at my own mind, I think I understand, but I am having a hard time putting it into words.

    Clarity is like the sun which is always shinning during the day regardless of whether the sky is clear, cloudy or stormy. Before awakening there is a clear sky, a cloudy sky or a stormy sky, but the clarity of sky is lost to the things happening in the sky, even though it was never lost. After awakening there are still a clear sky, cloudy sky, and stormy sky but the clarity of the sky is not lost and it becomes obvious that it was never lost. That is why the Zen masters laugh when they come to see clarity.

    Its like when the Buddha falls off the altar and breaks, the falling and breaking is what it is, but for the awakened there was just falling and breaking and now super glue. For the unawakened there was falling and breaking and super glue. For one the clarity was never lost, for the other the Buddha will never be the same.

    Thank you for your teaching.

    edited: a
    Thank you, Nick.

    I often use the 'clear, stormy, cloudy sky' to describe it too, just as you said.

    I will now plagiarize the 'Buddha falls off the altar' too sometimes. Our Practice is 'super glue' for that which was never broken ... even when smashed and broken. 8)

    Gassho, J

  37. #37

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    When the self becomes greatly awakened and selfless, even for a moment, what acknowledgement or approval is required? If approval is sought how can it be great awakening? Body and mind dropped and dancing with and within "THIS" requires no approval. Gassho Zak

  38. #38

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by zak
    When the self becomes greatly awakened and selfless, even for a moment, what acknowledgement or approval is required? If approval is sought how can it be great awakening? Body and mind dropped and dancing with and within "THIS" requires no approval. Gassho Zak
    Thank you for this, Zak. If we seek approval for our natural flow of practice, then I believe that we are not experiencing anything to receive approval for. IMO, the perceived 'great awakening' would rather just be a ruse disguised as awakening by the ego in the attempt to become attached. Thank you, Zak! You have said so much in just a few lines.

    Gassho,

    Adam

  39. #39
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    martin wrote: (I see, btw, that elsewhere on the web, in places where it's apparently terribly important to have an [i]opinion[i] about Treeleaf, we are criticised here for too much "Gasshoing". Perhaps they think it's just a word, not an action or an attitude).
    To each our own reality/delusion
    "They" have too much opinion and "we" have to many gasshoes
    Dropping they/we
    Dropping opinion/gasshoe
    Jizo is discovered

    But that's just my opinion
    gasshoe
    :mrgreen:

  40. #40

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    Quote Originally Posted by zak
    When the self becomes greatly awakened and selfless, even for a moment, what acknowledgement or approval is required? If approval is sought how can it be great awakening? Body and mind dropped and dancing with and within "THIS" requires no approval. Gassho Zak
    Thank you for this, Zak. If we seek approval for our natural flow of practice, then I believe that we are not experiencing anything to receive approval for. IMO, the perceived 'great awakening' would rather just be a ruse disguised as awakening by the ego in the attempt to become attached. Thank you, Zak! You have said so much in just a few lines.

    Gassho,

    Adam
    Indeed, many a bow.

    If one looks for a trophy, you only throw yourself back into the sea after just crawling out. But then again, who needs to leave the ocean? :P

    Gassho
    Taylor

  41. #41

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    To "drop away body and mind" is to simply and thoroughly drop the mind-body's demands/wishes/aversions-attractions/hard categorizing between the self and all that body-mind consider 'not the self'.
    A wonderful explanation of "dropping away body and mind." It makes perfect sense. It's clear and to the point, while not sounding so other worldly. It is something that we can strive for while not striving for anything.

    Thank you Jundo.

    Rehn

  42. #42

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    Of course. The problem is that we all deceive ourselves so easily. We tend to go more with what is pleasant by default, even if the pleasant things that are said are not true.
    I think I get what you're saying. I've been reading Joko lately as well, and when I read this it clicked

    From Nothing Special Living Zen "All these are versions of the god we actually worship. It is the god of no discomfort and no unpleasantness. Without exception, every being on earth pursues it to some degree."

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    The problem is when you are trying to get a student to actualize a realization that hasn't happened yet. Then it becomes parroting. If someone hasn't seen clearly this great matter, they might be able to parrot and act and put on a show on how they think they are supposed to act. That is neither realization nor actualization.

    And this practice is a waste of time, as far as the "self" is concerned. As long as you think you're going to get something out of it, your practice is operating out of a distortion. Which I think is probably true for most of us most of the time... that we still have our "secret practices" of wanting to become better, kinder, etc.
    Agreed again.. I am personally very concerned about parroting because a lot of my practice I have to take on faith. I haven't had any great awakening, so I have to sit with faith in this moment just as it is is just as it is... not run from it. When I feel anger, just sit with that anger... Stop trying to avoid what I think is painful.. face it head on.

  43. #43

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    ...I've been reading Joko lately as well, and when I read this it clicked

    From Nothing Special Living Zen "All these are versions of the god we actually worship. It is the god of no discomfort and no unpleasantness. Without exception, every being on earth pursues it to some degree."
    I recently read Nothing Special also. On first read, I thought it she painted a very depressing picture. After digesting it and re-reading certain sections, I have changed my mind to a certain extent. For instance, when she says (and I paraphrase) "you won't get Zen until you have given up all hope in life" - on first reading, this said to me "until you are so depressed that you can't get out of bed in the morning, you won't get Zen." On second thought, I think giving up hope = having no expectations. Still difficult, but not as daunting. Very good book, IMO.

  44. #44

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    "giving up hope = having no expectations."
    CraigfromrAz,

    Thank you. I think that you have a perfect understanding. Think of how less stressed and disappointed we would be without expectations. I work on this daily, and it sounds so much easier than it actually is to do.

    Rehn

  45. #45

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Rehn,

    I am not sure that one has to work on having no expectations. As soon as you accept what is as full, complete and perfect, no expectations comes naturally. Live you life, sit and open yourself up to people and reality. When you notice expectations, let them pass. Do it again and again; 10 years then 30 more and 200 years more. In fact do not let your common idea of time lead your practice. That s all.

    gassho


    Taigu

  46. #46

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    In fact do not let your common idea of time lead your practice.

    Taigu
    My initial reaction to this line was to post the question "what does this mean?" But after listening to the first few installments of Taigu's "The Ten Oxherding Pictures", I think I will let it work on me a while instead.

    Gassho,

    Craig

  47. #47

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu

    When you notice expectations, let them pass. Do it again and again; 10 years then 30 more and 200 years more. In fact do not let your common idea of time lead your practice. That s all.


    Taigu
    Thank you so much Taigu. Want I'm working on is letting them pass and not holding on to them. Doing so, however, is a freeing experience.

    Peace,
    Rehn

  48. #48

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Talking about Awakening in general is something that kinda puts us in a catch 22. In this practice of shikantaza one moment of sitting is one moment of Buddha, so by sitting we do not need to seek awakening. But, the reason why a lot of us started practice is to seek that awakening. But to seek awakening is just another desire, and desires block our path. To not seek, we are not going to find anything because how can we find something without putting in the effort? So where do we stand?

    I see the whole awakening concept as a musician learning to play an instrument. Someone who starts to play the violin will, of course, not be so good in the beginning. But after hours of practice we make the shift between beginner and ‘Ok’ but when does that sift happen? Is there a moment when all of a sudden you go from beginner to ‘Ok’? No, instead it is more like a flow, we flow into the ‘Ok’ state without much awareness of it happening, but there is the awareness of us getting better at it. And then we reach the point when we can play a really difficult concerto, and we are thrilled, but just like before there is not a moment when we go from not being able to play to being able to play. Again it is a flowing from one state to another. But when we reached that state we want to go tell everyone, and let them hear us play. (Kensho) But in reality our concerto is still not that great. But as we continue to practice we get better at it, until we are no longer playing notes but are living the notes, understanding why each one has to be played. Then we reached the point where it becomes second nature to play, and it becomes no big deal. We understand more of the nature of music but it no longer becomes a big deal to us. (Great awakening)

    Gassho

    Rafael

  49. #49
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by unofficialsamurai
    In this practice of shikantaza one moment of sitting is one moment of Buddha, so by sitting we do not need to seek awakening. But, the reason why a lot of us started practice is to seek that awakening. But to seek awakening is just another desire, and desires block our path.
    I guess we seek to learn not to seek... but we don't think that is what we are seeking until it becomes plain to us in some way.

    I loved your musical metaphor. I've played flute for near fourteen years, and have started dabbling guitar. Everything you said was exactly like a conversation my boyfriend and I had about learning music, and how it takes an average number of hours to become "proficient" at each instrument.

  50. #50

    Re: Great Awakening - Dropping Body-Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by unofficialsamurai
    In this practice of shikantaza one moment of sitting is one moment of Buddha, so by sitting we do not need to seek awakening. But, the reason why a lot of us started practice is to seek that awakening. But to seek awakening is just another desire, and desires block our path.
    Don't seek and ye shall find!

    () josh

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