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Thread: Sisyphus

  1. #1

    Sisyphus

    We are Sisyphus.



    Some folks think the point of this practice is to get to a place where we can put the stone down for good (perhaps by realizing that the stone is just a dream). Perhaps we might see Sisyphus's (?) pushing that boulder (of ignorance and delusion) as his practice, his striving, to finally be free of the boulder of delusion by reaching (attaining) that place where the boulder will rest at the top of the mountain permanently, his practice accomplished, Sisyphus free once and for all of the burden of delusion and need to practice.

    (or if trying to fix the world ... to get to that place where all of the world's problems are solved once and for all, and Planet Earth becomes Candyland or the Garden of Eden)

    It may be so for Perfect Buddha. However, so long as Sisyphus is a human being, we know that Sisyphus will likely never reach that stopping place ... perhaps not for countless lives, if ever ... The "Promised Pure Lotus Land" is very far away. I mean ... when we are dead, then we can put the rock down!

    What is more, if Sis' gives up his efforts to push the boulder of ignorance up that hill (practice), he will be quickly crushed by ignorance and delusions which will roll over him ... so he cannot and must not stop practicing.

    (and in trying to fix the world ... if we completely surrender and quit trying, this world will be a much worse place.)

    What is Sisyphus to do? Or not do? A Koany dilemma!

    Well, by realizing "Just This" total accomplishment in every step-by-step of effort he thus constantly arrives, is finally free of the boulder, attains that place of rest and ever and always accomplishes what there is to accomplish ... in the very act of constant practice with rocky delusion! "The earth where we stand is the Pure Lotus Land, and this very body the body of Buddha", to quote Hakuin.

    What is more, as he keeps pushing that boulder, he actually gets better at it ... learns to handle it better, keep control better ... he loses control and suffers the boulder rolling over him less often (although maybe still sometimes, until he is a 'Perfect Buddha'). The Practice is truly less of a burden!

    He finds that he is Buddha pushing Buddha up Buddha, that the very pushing is 'Buddha'.

    BUT (AND THIS IS MY MAIN POINT) ... every second, he must keep pushing because, if he stops, he will be run over ... and every second he risks tripping up and being crushed by that boulder! Practice never ends during this life! There is no guaranty ... even if you have been doing a glorious 'smashing' job of pushing that boulder 30 years ... that you will not stumble in the next step and be smashed!

    Still, the burden is not just "carrying a burden" ... but is the whole voyage of living life, and the "burdens" are our walking shoes!

    And that was Master Dogen's point of Practice is Enlightenment Itself ...

    (and in trying to save this world and its sentient beings ... step by step ... we might actually get something done!)

    It all ... mountain and stone and rolling and roller ... just Perfect Buddha all along.

    By the way ... I rather prefer this image of sisyphus as the rock as the mountain as sisyphus ... each causing and effecting the other in this thing we call "living" and "practice" ...



    Gassho, Sisyphus
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-28-2014 at 12:52 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Sisyphus

    That is why I return to my cushion everytime, ... even if I think I have reached the top

    Gassho

    Ensho

  3. #3

    Re: Sisyphus

    Thats why I'm still doing it after 43 years, if I looked for a goal to start with, any such notions dropped away years ago, now I just sit, sometimes the boulder still gets the better of me - but I just start pushing again.

    Thanks again for a good teaching, nice to see a classical education coming in useful ocassionally.

    Gassho

    Joe

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    He finds that he is Buddha pushing Buddha up Buddha, that the very pushing is 'Buddha'.
    I really appreciate this statement. Could we also substitute this phrase 'He finds that he is dukkha pushing dukkha up dukkha, and that the very pushing is dukkha' because this is what I feel like when the boulder rolls over me, like it did a few days ago when I boiled over so fully with anger that I suddenly realized I was dukkha and I immediately went and sat.
    gassho
    -Lou

  5. #5
    Hi Lou,

    Yes, Buddha is Dukkha and Dukkha is Buddha precisely. Anger too.

    Nonetheless, one had best see through Dukkha and Anger to be free thereof, finding Buddha.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    A great analogy! Thank you Jundo

    Jundo, can we say Sis' would 'achieve' something, if he realized pushing the rock is just what he does? That the pushing is t and it's ok? That the rock defines him, the steep mountain defines him and the pushing defines him. Without these there would be no Sis'. So Sis' is everything and everything in the story is Sis'. The activity and the subjects in the story is a whole, like us and life?

    Looking at the picture I'd wish he could have a short rest, and I would get the guy a glass of lemonade. By thinking this I now too am pushing the rock!

    Gassho

    Enkyo/Peter/ poata peal

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Pushing the boulder up is the perfect analogy for practice... and life.

    We may suffer pushing upwards and get tired of it. We may find little stations where we rest, but if we stay there too long, we won't reach the top.

    But then again, the top is far and hidden in the clouds.

    Must keep on.

    Thank you, Jundo. I haven't had the chance to read this post, but it came in a wonderful time.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Daido's Avatar
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    Again this was a great analogy for me as well. Really rang true for me. Something i will read often.

    Thanks Jundo

    Gassho

    Daido


  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    So in the cross-cultural mythical analogy / metaphor department, how are we to interpret the eagle eating Prometheus' liver while he is chained to the rock? :-D

    It seems in Greek mythology nice things do not happen around rocks or stones. Managing life's burden = suffering I suppose.

    'O alithestatos dromos pantote faneros einai. (sorry no classical greek script on my iphone)
    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 03-18-2013 at 05:00 PM.
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    I confess I have trouble with this sometimes, always rolling the stone, never reaching anything. I don't know if it's because I'm part of a culture that is so, so goal-driven, or if it's just because I'm coming up on middle age. (Shouldn't i have achieved this by now? Shouldn't I have done that? Shouldn't I be . . . etc.) Sometimes it's hard for me to sit with this being IS all it is . . .

    . . . but what was that old song? Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that's all there is, my friend, then let's keep dancing .. .

    Gassho

    Jen
    The result is not the point; it is the effort to improve ourselves that is valuable. There is no end to this practice. --Shunryu Suzuki

  11. #11
    I have a vague memory of writing an essay on Camus's ' Myth of Sisyphus - something about revolt, freedom and passion in the face of 'the absurd' - and why suicide is not an answer to a world devoid of meaning and purpose.

    Mm.... and in a more cheerful vein:

    'One must imagine Sisyphus happy'
    - Albert Camus


    Willow

  12. #12
    Interesting thing is that Cammus also used a Sisyphus as a metaphore. Though I haven't read it, I've heard that his solution was to "picture Sisyphus as happy."
    When I heard about that, I thought at first (remember, I haven't read it) "What the hell should he be happy about? He's pushing a big friggin' boulder for nothing!". But, then again, why shouldn't he be happy? What makes pushing the rock such an inherently worthless work? Could it be that "worthines" of some work is, like beauty, in the eyes of a beholder? And there is no beholder without Sisyphus.
    So, he pushed a Rock Buddha (YEEEEEAAAAAH! :need some kind of a rock 'n' roll smiley over here over the edge, and then went back down the hill so that he may roll him up and push him again.
    These are my curent thoughts about this parable
    "Stone by stone- a pallace!"
    Serbian proverb

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    I have a vague memory of writing an essay on Camus's ' Myth of Sisyphus - something about revolt, freedom and passion in the face of 'the absurd' - and why suicide is not an answer to a world devoid of meaning and purpose.

    Mm.... and in a more cheerful vein:

    'One must imagine Sisyphus happy'
    - Albert Camus


    Willow
    Great minds think alike
    "Stone by stone- a pallace!"
    Serbian proverb

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    So in the cross-cultural mythical analogy / metaphor department, how are we to interpret the eagle eating Prometheus' liver while he is chained to the rock? :-D

    It seems in Greek mythology nice things do not happen around rocks or stones. Managing life's burden = suffering I suppose.

    'O alithestatos dromos pantote faneros einai. (sorry no classical greek script on my iphone)
    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Seem to be having a day of book synchronicity! Moving swiftly on from Camus's take on Sisyphus to Ihab Hassan's take on
    Prometheus in his experimental book 'The Right Promethian Fire' where Prometheus's fire is re-figured as the pain of mind - the torment of the vulture.

    '... what premonitions of a new order did Prometheus glimpse there, chained to his rock? His answers riddle time'

    sounds like a Koan

    Gassho

    Willow

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    '... what premonitions of a new order did Prometheus glimpse there, chained to his rock? His answers riddle time'

    You 'posthumanist' you! I might settle for deconstructionist myself....

    Cheers Willow!

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  16. #16
    Thank you for this post. Good timing as I struggle with keeping my practice a routine and find myself tonight finally revisiting this wonderful forum and sangha.

    Gassho,
    Yutai, lindsayk

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Nenka View Post
    I confess I have trouble with this sometimes, always rolling the stone, never reaching anything. I don't know if it's because I'm part of a culture that is so, so goal-driven, or if it's just because I'm coming up on middle age. (Shouldn't i have achieved this by now? Shouldn't I have done that? Shouldn't I be . . . etc.) Sometimes it's hard for me to sit with this being IS all it is . . .

    . . . but what was that old song? Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that's all there is, my friend, then let's keep dancing .. .

    Gassho

    Jen
    Hi Jen,

    One might sometimes get the impression that Buddhism in general, Zen in particular, is about how pointless and meaningless life is. I mean, the Buddha seemed to be talking about how unpleasant the world can be, and Zen folks are always going on about being "goalless" or "accepting things as they are". However, nothing can be farther from the truth, and this Way is all about finding Worth and Meaning ... and (in my view) an optimistic and positive way of living. (To put it in philosophical terms, the Buddha was constantly counseling again what he termed "nihilism").

    In the constant moving forward of daily life, we find peace, freedom and fertile possibility!

    It is not Sartre's "No Exit" ... but rather, a path and doorway to healthful, positive, fruitful UNION with "the other" that is this world and the people in it, and which is ultimately no "other".

    Life is chock full of meaning, purpose and value. It has all the meaning, purpose and value that your little heart can give it. In fact, life is so much what your heart makes of it, whether peace or friction, goodness or bad. We may even feel, deep in our hearts, that this whole reality is like a river flowing somewhere ... and we are that very flowing. Swim well! The feeling that we are, for example, "unimportant" "without meaning" "just dust in a vast cosmos" or the like is not correct from a Buddhist perspective. Rather, all is Wholesome Whole when we drop all such silly judgments and self imposed value scales of big/small, diamonds or dust, important or unimportant. All are links in Indra's Net. When we drop our small human judgments of "meaning" vs. "no meaning" ... and thus discover something (here all along) which swallows whole all human ideas, a Meaning beyond small "no meaning/meaning".

    In the end, Dogen was a mystic. So are all Buddhist writers of whom I can think.

    There is an old Zen saying ... Nichi nichi kore kōnichi (日々是好日), Everyday is a good day, said by Yunmen, Kodo Sawaki and others. Here is some caligraphy by Kodo Sawaki with it:




    Nonin Chowaney from Nebraska Zen Center has a simple, clear comment on this (Nonin, by the way, is a cancer survivor with one lung, a host of other health issues and a heck of a lot of fight) ...

    As Taigu once reminded us above when this came up, "everyday is a good day" is not some simple bumper sticker, but includes the ugly, the sad, even the most terrible of days. Taigu says ...

    A famous statement, thunderous, breaking through our beliefs that tomorrow will be great and yesterday was better, something not for the faint hearted, something for what has courage in us, not for the victim, the abused, the oppressed, the destitute, the jobless soul, the lonely one, the bored, the angry guy, the weeping eye... For all these guys that we can sometimes be, a statement that says that As it is, raw, complete and intense, it is just good. It is good and we may cry, shout, beg, giggle, kick, strike or fly way...It is bigger than us, bigger than anything we can think of.

    ------------------------


    Everyday is a Good Day - by Nonin Chowaney


    A couple of years ago, it snowed in Omaha on April 29th. I had wanted to work in the garden that day and when I looked out the window, my heart sank.

    Later, I walked downstairs and mentioned that it was snowing to Albert, one of our group. "Yes," he responded, "there's something quite beautiful about these late Spring snowstorms."

    Indeed there is, if you can approach them with an open mind; if you approach them with complaint because there'll be no gardening, they can be a real pain.

    Lama Govinda writes that, "All suffering arises from attitude. The world is neither good nor bad. It is solely our relationship to it which makes it either one or the other." Snow on April 29th, or any weather condition on any other day, for that matter, is neither good nor bad. Good and bad is a question of mental attitude.

    Moment-by-moment, we create the world in the mind. We can look out and create a gloomy, depressing world on any day by the condition of mind we bring to it. A depressed mind can make a bright, sunshiny day black and dreary, and a contented mind can create heaven out of rain and storm.

    I am reminded of the old Zen saying, "Every day is a good day." What determines this? The mind that dwells nowhere; the mind that accepts everything. This is nirvana.

    Nirvana may be understood as the absence of greed, anger (or aversion), and delusion. In other words, it's a state of mind. If we can approach whatever life brings us with the mind free from greed, aversion, and delusion, or accept things as they are without grasping for more or turning away from what's there, we cultivate the mental state known as nirvana, quiescence, or, heart-mind at peace with what is.

    This does not mean passivity. It does not mean that we lay back and not move. What it means is that we start from zero, from acceptance of our lives as they are, and move from there. In that way we are not kept from or hindered in our living by complaining, grousing, or blaming others for the conditions of our lives. Every moment, then, affords us the opportunity to practice awakening, nirvana, enlightenment. When we sit zazen, we cultivate this practice.

    The instruction for zazen is to cultivate the mind that abides nowhere, the mind of non-attachment. We are to allow thoughts to come and go, to arise without denial or suppression and to pass away without clinging. Angry thoughts about the boss? Let them come and let them go. Contentment with a lover? Let it come and let it go. I can't garden because it's snowing? Let it come and let it go. This practice does not aim for any particular state of mind; it is in and of itself the awakened state; sometimes it is called "cultivating the natural condition of mind."

    Buddha, the awakened one, taught the Way to end human dissatisfaction, and nothing more. He taught that the end to suffering is non-attachment, non-clinging. This is the practice of zazen. Gradually, we are able to also cultivate this practice when standing, walking, or lying down; our life itself is enlightenment.

    A mind that can abide anywhere is always content, even when suffering greatly. This is liberation; suffering is gone through. We accept what comes, live it, and move on.

    ...

    ... One moment, pain and suffering; the next, joy and relief. This all occurs in the mind; we create the world we live in. We sometimes cannot change the circumstances we live in, but we can always change our attitude. If we can learn to let go, it will change by itself.

    As Lama Govinda said, "All suffering arises from attitude. The world is neither good nor bad. It is solely our relationship to it which makes it either one or the other." So, even if it's a bad day, "every day is a good day."

    http://www.prairiewindzen.org/everyd..._good_day.html
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-19-2013 at 04:11 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Thank you Jundo, I really enjoyed that post.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  19. #19
    As Lama Govinda said, "All suffering arises from attitude. The world is neither good nor bad. It is solely our relationship to it which makes it either one or the other." So, even if it's a bad day, "every day is a good day."

    I do struggle with the above - partly because it's a teaching that has (IMHO) been extrapolated and used in so many other contexts - particularly New Age therapy, etc. to not particularly good effect. Attached to in a limited way it becomes a philosophy that produces many forms of relativism, can be nihilistic and spawns mind-numbing techniques of 'blaming'. Self blame - and blaming others - for somehow not getting it, not having a positive attitude, failing to turn things round, etc.

    What does ''the World'' refer to? Is it all the dharmas - the many thousand things? Is it a neutral entity from which we fashion our lives - creating good and evil in the process?

    The stumbling block I come up against is that for a teaching to feel valid (for me - at the level of inner integrity) it has to have a universal essence. I want to find the universal essence in this teaching - because it carries great wisdom - but I'm not 100% there.

    There is just too much tragedy and heart ache in the world to apply the teaching in a universal context. At the level of the particular it is true that we create the world we live in in our mind - our own singular minds - but our singular minds connect to other minds. If I witness another person in a hell state - in circumstances beyond their control - I need to register 'bad'. Something 'bad' is happening for that person.

    I really worry about the 'turn arounds' - say in the teaching of Byron Katie. Sometimes a 'turn around' is a negation of a person's reality and can be very damaging. Sometimes its the route to a negation of ethics.

    Does it mean I can't be a buddhist if I don't agree that good and bad is always a question of mental attitude?


    I come back to this question often

    Gassho

    Willow
    Last edited by willow; 03-19-2013 at 11:06 AM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    I do struggle with the above - partly because it's a teaching that has (IMHO) been extrapolated and used in so many other contexts - particularly New Age therapy, etc. to not particularly good effect. Attached to in a limited way it becomes a philosophy that produces many forms of relativism, can be nihilistic and spawns mind-numbing techniques of 'blaming'. Self blame - and blaming others - for somehow not getting it, not having a positive attitude, failing to turn things round, etc.

    What does ''the World'' refer to? Is it all the dharmas - the many thousand things? Is it a neutral entity from which we fashion our lives - creating good and evil in the process?

    The stumbling block I come up against is that for a teaching to feel valid (for me - at the level of inner integrity) it has to have a universal essence. I want to find the universal essence in this teaching - because it carries great wisdom - but I'm not 100% there.

    There is just too much tragedy and heart ache in the world to apply the teaching in a universal context. At the level of the particular it is true that we create the world we live in in our mind - our own singular minds - but our singular minds connect to other minds. If I witness another person in a hell state - in circumstances beyond their control - I need to register 'bad'. Something 'bad' is happening for that person.
    Hi Willow,

    I am not describing some naive, feel good "don't worry, be happy" "think positive thoughts" optimism. I am discussing a radical wholeness with life that is positive and optimistic in a way that sees this world head on, with all its beauty and ugliness, pain and war as much as pleasure and peace. It is much the same as saying that one sees a certain positive beauty and wholeness in the ocean ... even with the sharks and Tsunami and deadly storms and oil spills. It is much as I might find great harmony and beauty in my garden, right as the spiders trapping flies, weeds and flowers with thorns. The fly and the spider and weeds are just doing their natural dance ... and only the human might judge it cruel or ugly or out of place. We might have a higher perspective on what is going on that holds all that.

    When we drop all judgments, allowing all to be as it is, we sense that the world is flowing like the sea, growing and blossoming like the garden ... and us along with it. It is a "Positive" only encountered when we abandon all demands and sit right at the point where our human scale of "positive vs. negative" is dropped away.

    Buddhism does have a very definite sense of personal responsibility and "right vs. wrong" ... represented by the Precepts, and the guidance to be free from greed, anger and the like. However, we also sit beyond our small human sense of what we consider "right" and "wrong" ... and thus somehow taste something Right. It is not "neutral" ... but vibrantly Right and Alive.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-19-2013 at 04:08 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jundo. And Willow. This is a really useful thread!

    Gassho

    Jen
    The result is not the point; it is the effort to improve ourselves that is valuable. There is no end to this practice. --Shunryu Suzuki

  22. #22
    Hi Jundo - not meaning at all to negate the teaching here - and I think I understand that when we sit, we sit at one with the wholeness that is ever present, along with the fragmentation and chaos. I think this is difficult - perhaps impossible to describe/fully express in words.

    But I do struggle to drop all demands - to let go of a human scale of positive and negative. Doubts and questions - an inevitable part of the process?

    Thank you for your teaching,

    Gassho

    Willow

  23. #23
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    To drop judgments is so hard, yet comes naturally sometimes.

    Thank you for this beautiful teaching.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    I am discussing a radical wholeness with life that is positive and optimistic in a way that sees this world head on, with all its beauty and ugliness, pain and war as much as pleasure and peace.
    Everything is one and the same even though everything is different?
    gassho
    -Lou

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by mr.Lou View Post
    Everything is one and the same even though everything is different?
    Different, but not separate
    no thing needs to be added

  26. #26
    Maybe look at it this way? Darkness can only be known in light and the light can not be without darkness. Together they are one, separate they do not exist. This is the same with nothing and everything. Wet or dry, high or low, me and you, how else could we see the differance? Just don't go look for good or bad.

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by mr.Lou View Post
    Everything is one and the same even though everything is different?
    Hi Lou,

    Well, I am not going to say this is actually "wrong", but to put it so simply really misses how it must be lived and profoundly realized in one's bones and the richness of what is entailed.

    Otherwise, it is like describing our whole planet as "just a revolving dustball on space", love and marriage as "a vehicle to pass on genes to future generations", the Atlantic Ocean as "a lot of salty water". The statement is accurate in its way, but misses the mark nonetheless for leaving out the life and richness and full implications.

    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    Hi Jundo - not meaning at all to negate the teaching here - and I think I understand that when we sit, we sit at one with the wholeness that is ever present, along with the fragmentation and chaos. I think this is difficult - perhaps impossible to describe/fully express in words.
    Well, I experience the "wholeness" as the very "fragmentation" and "chaos" ... especially when I stop indulging in words and labels like "whole" "fragmented" and "chaotic".

    But I do struggle to drop all demands - to let go of a human scale of positive and negative. Doubts and questions - an inevitable part of the process?
    That struggle is our Practice. Doubts and questions are at the very heart, and can be celebrated. There is a saying, "Great Doubt, Great Awakening", and the Korean Teacher, Seung Sahn, spoke of just keeping "Don't Know Mind". I sometimes write like this:

    By "Great Not Knowing", I mean that there are so many questions we might have about this life ...

    ... and sometimes, in this Practice, those Big Questions are answered for us, very clearly and precisely. Our Practice provides some very specific (and wonderful) answers to some 'Big Questions' when we approach the problem differently from our usual ways.

    ... and sometimes, in this Practice, those questions drop away for the very question was of our own making all along (like "how many angels on the head of a pin"), also a very clear answer of sorts.

    ... and sometimes, in this Practice, there are things about life we small human beings still cannot know ... but that's cool. Some mysteries remain, but we yield to that, allow that, let the mysteries remain mysterious. That "allowing" is a very clear answer too in its way. I sometimes compare us to the young infant who cannot understand the shadows passing before its eyes as food is placed in its mouth ... like the husband who will never know every mysterious aspect of his own wife ... yet knows, yet trusts, yet fully understands somehow.

    ...

    Shikantaza is thoroughgoing, intense, to the marrow dropping of all searching (even as we search), whereby there can be no thought of doubt even as we doubt. Do we doubt or free ourselves of doubt? NO DOUBT! Sitting itself is Great Doubt Awakening realized, the mystery of the Genjo Koan come to life ... the great constantly answered-unanswered Koan that is right before our eyes.

    Who will win the World Series next year? What is God's shoe size? What is the cure for cancer? Not even a Buddha knows for sure. Why do bad things happen, why is life and this world the way it is? Some possible Buddhist answers, yet more questions. But what is the Answer shining in/as/through-and-through all the questions?

    Buddha (Big "K") Knows.

    When we get beyond our daily mind of analyzing, naming, and figuring out, there is just a Big Know ... much as one truly comes to merge into a love relationship or experiencing a sunrise (even if not knowing every aspect and mystery of one's lover or of the sun) when we stop "thinking about/critiquing/narrating" what we are doing as we are doing it, and Just Do, Just Allow, Just Be. Thus is the certain knowing of a breeze on the cheek, a raindrop, child's smile, a grain of sand ... each and all fully known to hold all time and space, and to shine like a jewel.
    You know, Master Dogen used to use interrogatives ... like "What?" ... as affirmatives ... like "What!" ... (For example, in one section of Shobogenzo, he takes a question by the sixth ancestor Hui-neng “ What is this that comes thus?” and changes it into an affirmation, something like "Yes, WHAT THUS COMES!")

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-20-2013 at 04:22 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #28
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    the Korean Teacher, Seung Sahn, spoke of just keeping "Don't Know Mind".
    FINALLY! Something in zen that I have down pat!

    This was an excellent teaching from everyone. I tried to add some personal thoughts on this "good and bad" business, but as happens frequently in zen, the words I came up with fell short. Today I will make an effort to look at the world as neither good nor bad, even as I notice all the good and bad in it. I'm also going to try to smile more. Hopefully, people won't think I've went crazy or something
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    BUT (AND THIS IS MY MAIN POINT) ... every second, he must keep pushing because, if he stops, he will be run over ... and every second he risks tripping up and being crushed by that boulder! Practice never ends during this life! There is no guaranty ... even if you have been doing a glorious 'smashing' job of pushing that boulder 30 years ... that you will not stumble in the next step and be smashed!

    Still, the burden is not just "carrying a burden" ... but is the whole voyage of living life, and the "burdens" are our walking shoes!
    I believe it goes against our way of wanting to achieve a goal in a gap of time. Generally we act to achieve something ... a good that satisfies us ... we walk to get some place, but the walk is the place itself, isn't it?

    Gassho.

  30. #30
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you teacher.

    BTW - Sisyphus is grateful to have a JOB!^^


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to praja from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  31. #31
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    Jundo,

    That was beautiful!

    Thank you so much for this.

    Gassho,
    Alex

  32. #32
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    This is wonderful Jundo - Dogen would enjoy Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus......

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

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