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Thread: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

  1. #1

    8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Welcoming Words to All,

    This week's section seems very anti-words and ideas. Master Keizan spills a lot of words to make the point that none of that is Truth.

    But what is his real point?

    All of the statements he mentions and seems to criticize are basic "Buddhist & Zen Philosophy 101" ... and I do not think that Master Keizan is saying that any of those are "wrong" (no Zen teacher would say that any of those statements are wrong ... even if some of them are partial or only one side of truth, ... because they are each classic descriptions of the Zenny view of the world). Keizan's point was something more subtle ... not some crude view of Zen as "without words".

    It is simply that the idea alone ... the words alone ... discussion and debating them alone ... is not their true Truth.

    Keizan even criticizes the most well known classic example of silence as "Truth" ... the roaring silence of Vimalakirti ... to say that even that is not "Truth" ... not Truth enough about silence when we try to describe the silence as a story of words and images about the silence.

    Take, for example, how I often speak of "dancing" to describe Emptiness ... and the experience of losing (and rediscovering) our separate self as dancers of the dance.

    viewtopic.php?p=39172#p39172

    Universes of dancers (including you and me) danced up in this dance ... each dancer seemingly standing apart on her own two feet ... yet each dancer simultaneously seen as just the dance-dancing-the-dance (for what would we think a 'dancer' without a dance to dance her and her to dance? There is no dancer apart from her dance.) There is nothing but the dance and the motion, the separation lost in a lively, enlivening, living blur .
    Well, my best descriptions ... although not wrong ... cannot capture the actual experience of dancing. The way to truly know this dance is to lose (and find) yourself in the actual dancing.

    A simpler example is sweet, vanilla ice cream on a hot summer day. No name, chemical formula, prosaic or poetic description can capture the Truth found on one's own tongue as you lose yourself in the sweetness and coolness.

    Something like that.

    Master Dogen, Keizan's Dharma Grandpa, was never as "anti-language" as many think (in their own mental ideas and images about "Zen") all Zen Masters need to be. It is common to say that words can never capture Truth even if a Zen teacher's well chosen words might serve as 'a finger pointing at the moon'. However, Dogen went farther by saying that the finger is not apart from moon if well formed, and words can be the moonlight. Certainly, Zen teachers thoughout history have spilled pages and pages of words and ideas trying to convey Zen Truths ... and they succeed if the moon can be heard through them.

    For Dogen it is much like saying that the Truth of the garden is not found when we rip out all the flowers and weeds and reduce things to the bare soil. Far from it! Well chosen word-flowers are the expression and total actualization of the garden itself, the "Truth" of the garden realized in its life and flowering. Of course, it is vital that we perceive it as such ... and live so as to nurture the flowers and avoid the verbal and other weeds.

    Something like that.

    There ... more words spilled! 8)

    This week Cook from 63, Hixon from 65

  2. #2

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Through these eyes it seems that the idea of Truth is dispelled, in a way. Let me explain: I have a mug of tea. Green tea with lemongrass to be specific. It's warm-ish, slowly cooling as I write this. Now you have your picture, your sensation, your opinion of my tea. Exactly how warm it is, the general idea of a mug and this and that. Right?

    WRONG! :P Even if you were to take out my tongue to taste this tea you would never taste is as I have. This tea is purely me and I am purely this tea. If you were to taste it it would be purely you and so on and so forth. If you say you agree with me on it's taste, well, you may be partially right, but good luck getting inside my head when it comes to the taste 8)

    So yes, there is tea out there, but each person gets a different experience, even from the same cup. Am I following the correct road?

    Gassho
    Taylor

  3. #3

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    Through these eyes it seems that the idea of Truth is dispelled, in a way. Let me explain: I have a mug of tea. Green tea with lemongrass to be specific. It's warm-ish, slowly cooling as I write this. Now you have your picture, your sensation, your opinion of my tea. Exactly how warm it is, the general idea of a mug and this and that. Right?

    WRONG! :P Even if you were to take out my tongue to taste this tea you would never taste is as I have. This tea is purely me and I am purely this tea. If you were to taste it it would be purely you and so on and so forth. If you say you agree with me on it's taste, well, you may be partially right, but good luck getting inside my head when it comes to the taste 8)

    So yes, there is tea out there, but each person gets a different experience, even from the same cup. Am I following the correct road?

    Gassho
    Taylor
    Hmmm, though experienced uniquely by each, I stilled really enjoyed your tea!
    Thank you Taylor!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  4. #4

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    Through these eyes it seems that the idea of Truth is dispelled, in a way. Let me explain: I have a mug of tea. Green tea with lemongrass to be specific. It's warm-ish, slowly cooling as I write this. Now you have your picture, your sensation, your opinion of my tea. Exactly how warm it is, the general idea of a mug and this and that. Right?

    WRONG! :P Even if you were to take out my tongue to taste this tea you would never taste is as I have. This tea is purely me and I am purely this tea. If you were to taste it it would be purely you and so on and so forth. If you say you agree with me on it's taste, well, you may be partially right, but good luck getting inside my head when it comes to the taste 8)

    So yes, there is tea out there, but each person gets a different experience, even from the same cup. Am I following the correct road?

    Gassho
    Taylor
    Uchiyama Roshi had a similar image in opening the hand of thought. One of the best books for folks new on the Zen trail, always highly recommended to everyone ... new beginners and old beginners ...

    http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Hand-Thou ... 0861713575

    I cannot find the image from that book online ... but there is this famous tea cup story ...

    THE MASTER Nan-in had a visitor who came to inquire about Zen. But
    instead of listening, the visitor kept talking about his own
    ideas.

    After a while, Nan-in served tea. He poured tea into his visitor's
    cup until it was full, then he kept on pouring.

    Finally the visitor could not restrain himself. "Don't you see
    it's full?" he said. "You can't get any more in!"

    "Just so," replied Nan-in, stopping at last. "And like this cup,
    you are filled with your own ideas. How can you expect me to give
    you Zen unless you offer me an empty cup?"


    Another good tea cup story ...

    THE MASTER Ikkyu showed his wisdom even as a child. Once he broke
    the precious heirloom teacup of his teacher, and was greatly
    upset. While he was wondering what to do, he heard his teacher
    coming. Quickly he hid the pieces of the cup under his robe.

    "Master," he said, "why do things die?"

    "It is perfectly natural for things to die and for the matter
    gathered in them to separate and disintegrate," said the teacher.
    "When its time has come every person and every thing must go.

    "Master," said little Ikkyu, showing the pieces, "it was time for
    your cup to go.


    And this is not about tea, but it is a damn good story and mentions a cup and a cupping ...

    SEKKYO said to one of his monks, "Can you get hold of Emptiness?"

    "I'll try" said the monk, and he cupped his hands in the air.

    "That's not very good," said Sekkyo. "You haven't got anything in
    there!"

    "Well, master," said the monk, "please show me a better way."

    Thereupon Sekkyo seized the monk's nose and gave it a great yank.

    "Ouch!" yelled the monk. "You hurt me!"

    "That's the way to get hold of Emptiness!" said Sekkyo.


    Gassho and a Cup of Tea, J

  5. #5

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Thank you Taylor, your cup of tea is sweet. Be careful though, going down that road so enthusiasticaly you clearly run the risk of loosing the path of the non dual. You see, the non dual is just not the negation of the dual( cup of tea and you) or the statement of oneness ( his tea is purely me and I am purely this tea) which has a definite mind only flavour to it...it is the ability to hold both at the same time, and let go of both of them.

    gassho


    Taigu

  6. #6

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    As Lex Hixon writes:

    leave aside marketplace and monastery.
    Drop body-mind. This is the path of non dwelling, non-abiding. The bright full moon is bigger that all this petty drama-Dharma, stuff about teachers and students, awakening or not, and yet, the bright full moonlight ripples on muddy waters and soiled puddles. It shines from neither without nor within, and the full samsara is a blossoming flower of emptiness.

    Please stand, live, breathe, laugh and cry out of this. The full blown moon. Return again and again. This is what Dogen called the backward step.

    Dont be misled by Buddhas and taught by demons. Just enjoy their company, join the party for a while and return to the source.

    take care

    gassho


    Taigu

  7. #7

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    As Lex Hixon writes:

    leave aside marketplace and monastery.
    Drop body-mind. This is the path of non dwelling, non-abiding. The bright full moon is bigger that all this petty drama-Dharma, stuff about teachers and students, awakening or not, and yet, the bright full moonlight ripples on muddy waters and soiled puddles. It shines from neither without nor within, and the full samsara is a blossoming flower of emptiness.

    Please stand, live, breathe, laugh and cry out of this. The full blown moon. Return again and again. This is what Dogen called the backward step.

    Dont be misled by Buddhas and taught by demons. Just enjoy their company, join the party for a while and return to the source.

    take care

    gassho


    Taigu
    Ahhhhh .... lovely. Thank you.

    Look forward to seeing you here for your visit to Tsukuba tomorrow, T.

  8. #8

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    As Lex Hixon writes:

    leave aside marketplace and monastery.
    Drop body-mind. This is the path of non dwelling, non-abiding. The bright full moon is bigger that all this petty drama-Dharma, stuff about teachers and students, awakening or not, and yet, the bright full moonlight ripples on muddy waters and soiled puddles. It shines from neither without nor within, and the full samsara is a blossoming flower of emptiness.

    Please stand, live, breathe, laugh and cry out of this. The full blown moon. Return again and again. This is what Dogen called the backward step.

    Dont be misled by Buddhas and taught by demons. Just enjoy their company, join the party for a while and return to the source.

    take care

    gassho


    Taigu
    I admit I was terribly confused at your comments, wonder what views I held, how they differed, what I was missing. Then the kicker: To hold any view, dual or non, is to still try and hold the moon in your hands. Jumping more and more, scooping at puddles and lakes to try to grasp it. Instead of just placing your hands down by your sides and enjoying the moon in the sky. Dropping ALL thoughts, likes and dislikes. Not just the ones we are constantly holding onto.

    999 bows,
    Taylor

  9. #9

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Bingo Taylor, but don't even hang there...

    Nagarjuna writes to sum up his work:

    I bow to Gautama
    who through compassion
    taught the true Law
    leading to the relinquishing of all views


    As you now clearly seem to understand: most people would choose to reject a body of beliefs and pick up another one, more refined with a Buddhist twist. A god chases another.
    Relinquishing all views is a beautiful way to describe the practice, space and reality of shikantaza.
    Let's not turn it into another view...

    0ne big gassholess gassho


    Taigu

  10. #10
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    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    ...To hold any view, dual or non, is to still try and hold the moon in your hands. Jumping more and more, scooping at puddles and lakes to try to grasp it. Instead of just placing your hands down by your sides and enjoying the moon in the sky. Dropping ALL thoughts, likes and dislikes. Not just the ones we are constantly holding onto.

    999 bows,
    Taylor
    The nun Chiyono studied for years, but was unable to find enlightenment. One night she was carrying an old pail filled with water and watching the full moon reflected in it. The bamboo strip that held the pail-staves broke, and the pail fell all apart. The water rushed out, the moon's reflection disappeared, and Chiyono found enlightenment. She wrote this verse:

    This way and that way
    I tried to keep the pail together
    Hoping the weak bamboo
    Would never break.

    Suddenly the bottom fell out:
    No more water:
    No more moon in the water:
    Emptiness in my hand!"

  11. #11

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    999 bows,
    Taylor
    Why not 1000?

  12. #12

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    999 bows,
    Taylor
    Why not 1000?
    The bow-less bow. If you wait for it, it never comes. Throw that in Shiji Shobogenzo and sit on it :P

  13. #13

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    It is simply that the idea alone ... the words alone ... discussion and debating them alone ... is not their true Truth.
    For me one sentence in Hixon seems to sum it all up for me. Hixon states:

    "Yet if we rush toward truth past all the wonderful expressions of truth, we may miss the most delicately seasoned dish."

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  14. #14
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    San Diego County, California

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW
    "Yet if we rush toward truth past all the wonderful expressions of truth, we may miss the most delicately seasoned dish."
    This one made me simultaneously visualize enjoying a beach at twilight with the taste of a really spicy and vibrant chicken breast in my mouth...

  15. #15

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Hi.

    "Dear friend, if we debate, it will not be the truth."
    Maybe i should put this up as my signature...

    But you know what?
    He's wrong!
    In a sense anyway...

    Since it's exactly the truth, no matter what they do with it.
    It's just the conception of it that is "wrong" (without there being a wrong/right) not the truth...

    THis blends perfectly with the master merging with the studentpicture later in the chapter.
    If you have no left-right what is up-down?

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen


    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  16. #16

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Hi folks,

    prodded by Taigu's stick out of lurk mode again....

    I got very lost in Cook this week, especially in the cranes in the distance part but I found Hixon very useful in extracting and re-presenting what was going on.

    It's weird that I've had this same sort of message crop up in my life from at least three different sources this week. Maybe the repetition is because I'm still not getting it!

    I was reminded of Elvis Costello's quote:
    "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture - it's a really stupid thing to want to do."
    Its pointlessness of course doesn't stop anyone from writing about music, (or discussing truth or flavours and all the rest), and to deliberately not write about it in protest against the act of music journalism, as if that was some sort of purer stance, equally falls short.

    Here's another thought that might need straightening out by others:
    When I hear music I almost immediately convert it into 'my' story: (I like/dislike this sound; I understand what the composer was doing; I know someone who would love this; now we're getting to the part where... ; this reminds me of... )
    I think probably everyone else does something similar too. Patterning experience is what we unavoidably do as humans. But where is the story, the pattern (the little 'I' that is busy making them)?
    But still, inevitably, the music reaches me and in fact there would be no music if I didn't hear it. Maybe to paraphrase Tung-shan: Certainly [it]is me, but the deaf, foolish listener that I am is not [it].

    Now, what was going on with all those cranes?

    gassho,
    Monkton

  17. #17

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    This guy cracks me up, all smart and arrogant, even has "Buddha" in his name already, wanting to be the great debater of Truth. Hah, what a fool :!: Reminds me of some people I know :twisted: Hell, reminds me of me :shock: Then he meets the current living Buddha, who basically tells him to "shut up and sit down." Cracks me up!

    Yeah, I like the don't rush past the truth and miss the seasoned dish line also. But what really rung my bell was the idea you can't debate the truth. As soon as you put words on it, it ceases to be the truth. As soon as you abide in anything, words, experience, whatever, it ceases to be the truth. Instead, "Simply be the truth! But do not imagine you are going to become a still pond or stainless sky!" from Hixon. Hah!

    And I don't get the cranes either, and that's the truth!

  18. #18

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    "Leave aside worldly opinions and religious opinions as well, no matter how strongly bastioned they may be by cultural expectation, by study of the scriptures, by meditation experience. Leave aside marketpalce and monastery. Evry thought, mo matter how sublime....remains in the ambiguous realm of opinion and discussion." Nixon

    ...And we have just read that debate and discussion of Truth is futile.

    Boy did this chapter sting, cause I think I know a lot of stuff and sometimes get puffed up about what I've seen, where I've been, who I know, what I've read, what letters are after my name! Someday I'll cross that stream wherein I'll see my reflection clearly, or perhaps find someone like Vasumitra who will gently snap me across the nose.

    Gassho,

    Seishin Kyrill

  19. #19

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    Without an adequate supply of oxygen and nourishment we would perish. What's left to debate?
    Silence, not having judgement nor intention, is the truth. Gassho zak

  20. #20

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    This was supposed to be posted for BUDDHAMITRA:


    How marvelous! The Master Buddhanandi, once a garrulous debater who traveled the world talking and even challenged his own master, finds his successor in one who has never uttered a word or taken a step outside of his house. And yet they shared the light of Transmission as equals.

    Cook says something of extreme interest when he says that the Living Buddha is seac=rching for a successor who is prepared to reincarnate them while they are still alive, as opposed to trying to find the reincarnation after the Master's death. He says that the Master and the "full incarnation of his or her awakened mind" are equals and best friends here on earth sometimes for a long time. So the Light of Transmission is not a jewel that is passed from one master to another, but rather something like a flowing body of water they both may bath in for some time, maybe along with others(?).


    Gassho,

    Seishin Kyrill

  21. #21

    Re: 8/13 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Buddhanandi

    My thought doodles on this reading:
    What kind of conversation is meaningful?
    I think Vasumitra's conversation with Buddhaanandi is quite meaningful.

    Do not be confused by selflessness! I have enjoyed nondual conversations and readings quite a bit, but in the end I wonder if those conversations are meaningful.

    Cast aside literalism. (That can be a tough one for this guy who has a pretty strong attachment to rules and regulations.)

    Ideas about the truth are not it.

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