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Thread: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

  1. #1

    11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    The hour is late, and not much time to play with this ...

    But ...

    You see a star. You become conscious of seeing a star.

    Why do we --only-- cut things up into pieces that way? Is that the only way to see "seeing"?? Can you see "you seeing" in other ways too?

    Why not also ...

    You-seeing-star or (even more intimately) completely youseeingstar ... just one big dance with no clear border where star and starlight and eye and mind end or begin, one apart from the other.

    How about (to play the kind of games Dogen sometimes does with language) ...

    starseeingyou ... youseeingyou which is just starseeingstar ...

    Seeing-stargazing-you ... staryouingseeing

    Anyway ... what "you" and what "star"?? ... such that there is just seeingseesseeing

    On the other hand, Keizan cautions, don't think that there is no "you" too to see the very real "star".

    The star is giant and distant, but is it not right in the eye? Is not the star filling the eye which swallows the star without blinking? It swallows all the sea and stars.

    Buddha, sitting under a tree, saw the morning star and was awakened, You see the morning star 2500 years later. Is that the same star? Is Buddhaseeingyou? Is that youseeingBuddha. Can "youseeyou" for who you are? Perhaps Buddha-buddhaing-buddha?

    As the Beatles sang the song (or as thesongsangthebeatles)

    Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy.

    Cook from p126
    Hixon from p115

  2. #2

    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    If you don't make anything then emptiness is alive and dynamic. As Keizan Roshi says perception is like a living ocean merging blissfully with a living ocean. Zen practice is a deconstruction of partitions, barriers, concepts so that you can experience Total Awakeness.

    Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy. All you need is Love.

    Jundo, is love too loaded a word and did the old guys talk about it or did they just stick with the shunyata and Total Awakeness gig?

    /Rich

  3. #3

    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    Keizan, Hixon, not two, not one. Without thinking about it, there clearly is no object, no eye, no consciousness.
    _()_
    Peter

  4. #4

    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    This one reminded me of three things as I was working through it:
    1. the moon and reflection text (which I can't find now, but goes something along the lines of, 'when the moon and water are present, the moon-in-the-water appears - the moon doesn't wait to cast its light, and even the smallest bit of water can contain the reflection'), because it also seems to be demonstrating the idea that the universe is not composed of separate entities.
    2. Keizan's warning of not understanding this reminded me of Housman's:

    Good creatures, do you love your lives
    And have you ears for sense?
    Here is a knife like other knives,
    That cost me eighteen pence.

    I need but stick it in my heart
    And down will come the sky,
    And earth's foundations will depart
    And all you folk will die.

    I know it's not a great analogy but when I read the bit about, "you people may think that sounds and forms are empty, false things to be located in unreality", that's what popped into my head.

    3. and finally I was thinking of the meal gatha. I started saying this again during ango and for a while it was just something I did by rote whenever I finished preparing food: I knew I had to say it, I'd struggle for a while to remember the words occasionally and then I'd get through it. Great, mission accomplished. But later on during ango something of the aspiration in the words and something of the gratitude and the love too, (whether it's talked about by the old guys or not), was there. So when I was about to eat I felt all that, and it did became like Hixon's description of a bow in which sense organ, sense object and sense consciousness form a continuum.
    I wouldn't have become aware of that without initially separating-out and concentrating on the words, (despite being a beginner, there's not enough 'beginner's mind' in me), but at some stage the words became just another facet of what was going on, and not the be-all and end-all of it.

    gassho, Monkton

  5. #5

    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy. All you need is Love.

    Jundo, is love too loaded a word and did the old guys talk about it or did they just stick with the shunyata and Total Awakeness gig?

    /Rich
    What I was poking at is that Hixon and Keizan don't mention love and compassionate action as the fruit of this Total Awakeness which is also the Bodhisattva ideal of saving all beings. But maybe I just missed that part or don't understand.

  6. #6

    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy. All you need is Love.

    Jundo, is love too loaded a word and did the old guys talk about it or did they just stick with the shunyata and Total Awakeness gig?

    /Rich
    What I was poking at is that Hixon and Keizan don't mention love and compassionate action as the fruit of this Total Awakeness which is also the Bodhisattva ideal of saving all beings. But maybe I just missed that part or don't understand.
    Hi Rich,

    I might make the observation that, in traditional cultures (ancient India, China and medieval Japan), where life and death and physical hardship were perhaps a bit more present than for us today ... and social values and customs were different (for example, in the warring "samurai culture" in which Keizan was living) ...

    ... that ideals of love and compassion were quite different. I know, for example, that there was not even a Japanese word for "love" in a romantic sense between a man and a woman until the late 19th century when western influence came to Japan (a Japanese husband still will rarely say "I love you" to his wife, and only "I like you", nor kiss or hold hands in public ... no matter how he truly feels inside).

    http://www.hanamiweb.com/topstory22052009.html

    The same for other forms of non-romantic love and compassion, not viewed then as they are now.

    Traditionally, in the Buddhism of centuries past, "Compassion" and "Saving All Sentient Beings" did not mean necessarily running out and building hospitals (modern medicine not yet existing) or schools for peasants (educating the peasants was against the king's law, and perhaps the law mandated by heaven) or speaking out against social inequality (hard to do in a society where social inequality was said to be mandated by heaven's will and "the natural order of things"). It was not much different in medieval Japan than in medieval Europe!

    However, Buddhist priests ... from the Buddha on down to Dogen and Keizan ... were revolutionaries. The Buddha banished all distinctions of Caste in the Sangha (absolutely revolutionary in India), and taught his message of freedom from suffering, greed, anger, ignorance to --anyone-- willing to listen and live in such way. That was his "Saving All Sentient Beings". Dogen and Keizan viewed the monastery as a kind of "Kibutz", an ideal social community that would serve as a model for an ideal Buddhist world. Other Buddhists spread among the ordinary folks the vision of "Amida Buddha" and the like who, much as for negro slaves singing hymms in the cotton fields, promised a better world in the one to come. They all thought of "compassionate action" and "Saving All Sentient Beings" as teaching Buddhism! For me, all Dogen's and Keizan's words of the 1260's are filled with "compassionate action", although it might rarely be wrapped in the "peace and love and social justice, hug your brothers and sisters" language of the 1960's.

    (they also knew the Buddhist view that, from the first, "there are no separate beings to save" ... but that is not necessarily separate from their work to save beings by teaching).

    Perhaps Buddhists through the ages have, when viewed through modern sensibilities, spent too much time just sitting in meditation, or chanting, or whatever ... thinking the world an illusion ... thus doing little to help their fellows. It is really only with the idea of "Engaged Buddhism" that has developed primarily in the West in recent decades (and then actually been re-imported back to Asia) that many Buddhist teachers have started to propose that Compassion requires them to take some action in this world. Now, with great teachers such as Aitken Roshi and the like, we know that current times call us to get out there, build hospitals, schools and soup kitchens, stop wars ... all while still "saving all sentient beings" via spreading the teachings of Buddhism ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/with ... merit.html

    I am not sure if that responded to your point, Rich.

    Gassho, Jundo

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
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    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    Wow!
    This transmission of the light to us, to Manorhita, we are invited to see clearly the invisible divisions the mind makes, moreover the idea of the separate mind, separate consciousness.
    When we stop construction of our illusions in Zazen, practicing Shikantaza in our -be it us vs them, Enlightened vs otherwise, then all are enlightened, engaged in enlightened activities. With this, the merit of one instant of zazen, is immeasurable!
    One sits, the universe sits and all sits us!

    Swallowed whole, Master Keizan's words knock down illusions of separation!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  8. #8

    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    Quote Originally Posted by Shohei
    Wow!
    This transmission of the light to us, to Manorhita, we are invited to see clearly the invisible divisions the mind makes, moreover the idea of the separate mind, separate consciousness.
    When we stop construction of our illusions in Zazen, practicing Shikantaza in our -be it us vs them, Enlightened vs otherwise, then all are enlightened, engaged in enlightened activities. With this, the merit of one instant of zazen, is immeasurable!
    One sits, the universe sits and all sits us!

    Swallowed whole, Master Keizan's words knock down illusions of separation!

    Gassho
    Shohei
    This is flat out good stuff. I think you captured the essence and shared it. gassho zak

  9. #9

    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I am not sure if that responded to your point, Rich.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Yes, thank you. Viewing Dogen and Keizan from a historical cultural perspective puts a new light on them that I had not seen before. AS Dogen said 'we see and understand only as far as our eyes of learning in practice are able to reach'

    I think that being present for the situations of our everyday life helps with love and compassionate action. Judging others is a useless bad habit. Total awakeness without helping the situation is probably not a realistic view.

    /Rich

  10. #10

    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    Wow...been under the weather for the last few weeks and now must catch up in the book club. What struck me in this reading is the way shunyata is framed. Hixon points out that it is the "emptiness of division or boundary" and how shunyata is dynamic....possible to experience in our daily perception of the world. It is our direct experience not "any intense state of yogic concentration or absorption" that we experience realization. What "we" "experience" is difficult to talk about, however. As Jundo points out at the beginning of this thread we may play with words to try to express the paradox of a dissolving of the one who perceives and what is perceived, while both the one who perceives and the object of perception still remain.

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  11. #11
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: 11/26 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Manorhita

    Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-te-buddhaseeingbuddha word games are fine. I like them. But they are all nothing but words. The Buddha way is unknowable and unseeable with no form and no standpoint, thus nameless and wordless.

    As I read this I kept thinking of the Heart sutra: no eyes, no ears, no taste, etc. because things merge, thus making it all boundless, limitless, division-less emptiness = shunyata.

    I liked this from Hixon:
    The sense organ is like the downward movement of a deep bow, the sense object like the upward or return movement of the bow, the sense consciousness like the gassho, palms touching, that constitutes the whole movement as a bow.
    The last thing that struck me was how Hixon pointed out what made Manorhita's really simple question so good was his asking it with the whole of his being. "[N]o superficiality, mechanical thinking, arrogance, or ambition...." Thus he asked the question from the position of shunyata.

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