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Thread: Only Go Straight

  1. #1

    Only Go Straight

    "Only Go Straight"

    The saying was popularized by Seung Sahn, a Korean Zen master that was quite prolific around the world. Reading this, I always just sort of skimmed over it, "well isn't that a cute phrase", and moved on. But it hit a bit harder last night during sitting. The random thought comes up and WHAM!

    There is nowhere to go but straight. We think we can go left-right-up-down-back-forward but we can only go straight. I think the phrase means something like Uchiyama Roshi's "everything I encounter is my life". You can only go straight and face life. Turning this way and that, thinking that by going down a side alley you can somehow avoid what life gives is a delusion. Even then, you are only going straight. By embracing this fact, by realizing that life meets us every moment of the day, you can see life as it is, rather than how you think it should be. So, when your directions say "turn here, turn there", only go straight.

    A few thoughts.

    Gassho,
    Myoken

  2. #2

    Re: Only Go Straight

    ... I think ...

    Only go straight!

    and when it hits you: Wham ! Not think about it, so you not loose it

    _()_
    Peter

  3. #3
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Only Go Straight

    Hi Myoken,

    My version is something like: only this, whatever.

    Anyway, anyhow... your teaching is well appreciated.


    gassho


    Taigu

  4. #4

    Re: Only Go Straight

    Myoken, thank you for your excellent explanation of, only go straight. This expression reminds me not to attach to my thinking and feeling so much. At the same time denial is not it either. Kind of like returning to the moment which is just going straight like driving a car.

  5. #5

    Re: Only Go Straight

    Very true, we can only go straight whether we want to or not, just like we can only live in the present, whether we realize it or not.

    Gassho


    Seiryu

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Only Go Straight

    A little over twenty years ago i worked with a fellow named John, who when asked for directions to somewhere would sit you down and draw a map. After a few weeks i realized that every map he drew was a straight line. he would start at the bottom of a pge and draw a line up to a point where he would write "turn left (or right)" continue up the page to the next turn, etc., etc. And, you begin to realize that where ever you go, you are always looking forward; in a straight line.
    Myokan wrote;
    "Only Go Straight"
    Seiryu wrote;
    just like we can only live in the present,
    Thank you John, Thank you Taylor, Thank you Raphael

  7. #7

    Re: Only Go Straight

    I really enjoyed Seung Sahn's books. His famous phrase, I always keep it in mind.

    "Only go straight... don't know!!!"

    Gassho,
    Matt

  8. #8

    Re: Only Go Straight

    Thank you very much for this teaching. I've made some decisions over the past month and a half that have not been in keeping with the precepts. Now, I have to be faced with their consequences. Big surprise? Not so much. Big consequences none the less, my fiance asked me to leave. Over the past month I've been in a haze trying to somehow bypass feeling the sadness, lonliness, and contempt for my own actions. Delusion is only sweet when you can't see it. "Only go straight," where ever that will be, it will be.

  9. #9

    Re: Only Go Straight

    Quote Originally Posted by jonhinkson
    Big consequences none the less, my fiance asked me to leave.
    Very sorry to hear that... I hope that things work out for you!

    Gassho,
    Matt

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Only Go Straight

    That is bad news
    Hopefully with a little time apart she will come to reconsider. Sending much Metta your way in the mean time!

    Gassho,
    John

  11. #11

    Re: Only Go Straight

    Thank you! Trying to sit with this is challenging. I'm wondering if anyone has some advice to help.

    Gassho

    Jonathan

  12. #12

    Re: Only Go Straight

    Quote Originally Posted by jonhinkson
    Thank you! Trying to sit with this is challenging. I'm wondering if anyone has some advice to help.

    Gassho

    Jonathan
    Then don't sit with it and don't try to run away it. There is nothing I can tell you which you don't already know.

    Gassho

  13. #13
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Only Go Straight

    Hi Jonhinkson,

    As i went through many rough patches and losses, this pratice always remained a blessed territory not owned or claimed by anobody. Neither Buddha or the idea of what a Buddha is like nor the many demons of the black mountain could rule this land-space. In the midst of confusion and chaos, this non judgemental space embraces and go beyond everything. As Will pointed out, no need to take anything and sit with it, no need to run away or chase it .Agendas can be dropped here, no big deal. Just sit. This is where our practice can be so difficult, what is difficult is not to sit regulary on a cushion or a chair, what is difficult is to do something without adding or taking away anything. What we call shikan, just Is difficult, the bare bones practice, stripping the old beliefs in the self, to live without the stories that poison or enchant our life.
    For this there is no recipe. No trick of the trade or secret instruction.

    There is nothing I could tell you already don t know.

    The doing of it is the gate, the path and the traveler himself.

    Gassho

    Taigu

  14. #14

    Re: Only Go Straight

    Thank you, again! I don't know why, but when I read Taigu's post I wept. To just sit. Beginner. How new? Refresh.


    LOVE

  15. #15

    Re: Only Go Straight

    Thank you Myoken for a great reminder that living in the moment is never an option. Everything else just dreams and fairy tales. Gassho, Shogen

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