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Thread: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

  1. #1

    Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Hello friends,

    In this forum, there is much good discussion about Emptiness, Suchness, Shikantaza, Gathas, and other very good topics for discussion. However, it seems that the "beginner" or "number" topics do not surface as much, i.e.,

    4 Noble Truths,
    Noble 8-fold Path,
    6 Perfections,
    12-fold Chain of Dependent Origination,
    16 Bodhisattva Precepts.

    While discussion of Emptiness, Suchness, etc. can lead to very good and fruitful discourse, I am considering taking a sabbatical from these discussions in order to focus on some of the less spoken of topics here; a sort of "Beginners Retreat," if you will, for this perennial beginner. What I am wondering is whether any of you would be inclined to join me, to discuss the material and explain where my thoughts or interpretations are misguided or just wildly inaccurate.

    Please let me know. I will be using this thread to post any musings or insights that come up as I go through the teachings here, starting with the "Buddha Basics" section of the "Talks and Teachings..." forum.

    Metta,

    Saijun

  2. #2

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Saijun,please do so...

    4, 8,6, 12, 16...Numbers.
    Drawing life by numbers...or letters...
    By the way the so called suchness (not even a word, once you don't care) contains all numbers.

    Back to basics...Sure!

    The real basic is nameless, wordless and numberless.

    Forget even your name and why and what you came for
    SHIKANTAZA
    Forget numbers, words and letters


    sometimes things have to be explained
    Sometimes things have to be silenced and kept unsaid


    Do as you wish, and spare us the lesson about this being better than that

    In suchness


    gassho



    Taigu

  3. #3

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Don't forget the Jukai Forum for the Precepts

    viewforum.php?f=7

  4. #4

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu

    Do as you wish, and spare us the lesson about this being better than that
    Hello Rev. Taigu,

    I'm sorry if my message was interpreted as a "lesson about this being better than that." Really, it was just meant to say that I as a practitioner feel that I need to get "back to basics" for a short while, and inviting others to join me if they choose.

    Not better, not worse, not even really different.

    Just a refresher course for an always-deluded always-beginner.

    Metta,

    Saijun

  5. #5

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    And..don't forget that every inch of this unniverse is Kannon

    if it is not so, what is it?

    Glass? edge? car? newspaper? boy? Girl?


    it is both an neither nor.

    kannon's body.

    Watch.

    Listen.

    You can challenge, Saijun.
    You may not.
    Open. Open.

    Kannon



    beyond

    so much beyond

    it is here and now.


    gassho



    Taigu

  6. #6

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    Don't forget the Jukai Forum for the Precepts

    viewforum.php?f=7
    Hello Mike,

    That was actually what sparked the thought in the first place; for a practitioner as weak as I am, the more I can study and work toward personifying the precepts, the better, and most of the activity in the precept study forum happens during Ango and the months before Jukai.

    Metta,

    Saijun

  7. #7

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    You are not weak, not weaker than I am
    And all this sounds sooooooooooooooooo spiritual :roll:


    Read what I wrote with care. Be gentle to yourself. See kannon in your life and let it go.

    No big deal, really.

    Taigu

  8. #8

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Hello Saijun,

    I'm always in for a good discussion. I will contribute in any way I can. Hopefully, many others in our samgha will join in too.

  9. #9

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Saijun
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    Don't forget the Jukai Forum for the Precepts

    viewforum.php?f=7
    Hello Mike,

    That was actually what sparked the thought in the first place; for a practitioner as weak as I am, the more I can study and work toward personifying the precepts, the better, and most of the activity in the precept study forum happens during Ango and the months before Jukai.

    Metta,

    Saijun
    It sounds like a good idea. I think intellectually understanding and working with these topics can be helpful, only after that can we truly be able to let it go and embody it.

    I too wanted to go back to the precept to deepen my shallow understanding of it...

    Four noble truths are a good place to start. Buddha's first discourse. Let's see how it goes...

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  10. #10

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    I'm with you Saijun (Can I call you Perry, or do you prefer Saijun?). I understand what Taigu is getting at, but for those of us particularly with short backgrounds in Buddhism/Zen, I don't think it's such a bad idea.

    So where do you want to start? I'm game!

    Gassho,
    Matt

  11. #11

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    I'm with you Saijun (Can I call you Perry, or do you prefer Saijun?). I understand what Taigu is getting at, but for those of us particularly with short backgrounds in Buddhism/Zen, I don't think it's such a bad idea.

    So where do you want to start? I'm game!

    Gassho,
    Matt
    Hello Matt,

    Oh, Saijun, Perry, Foolish, Idjit (that's an Arkansas word :wink; call me whatever you'd like--it's all beating around the bush anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    It sounds like a good idea. I think intellectually understanding and working with these topics can be helpful, only after that can we truly be able to let it go and embody it.

    I too wanted to go back to the precept to deepen my shallow understanding of it...

    Four noble truths are a good place to start. Buddha's first discourse. Let's see how it goes...

    Gassho

    Seiryu
    Hello Seiryu,

    Does there have to be a dichotomy between understanding and letting go? Where does one start and the other end?

    After re-reading Rev. Taigu's remarks a few times, I think I have an inkling into what he was saying, and it was sage guidance for me, for sure. Perhaps he will be kind enough to give us additional perspective on occasion, with his decades of experience and insight.

    Perhaps taking the discussion slowly, with a day or two for reading and reflection, and a few days for discussion of each point?

    Maybe we could find time for an occasional Skype conference call to discuss "face to face (or voice to voice)" on occasion?

    Just thoughts.

    Metta,

    Saijun

  12. #12
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Saijun wrote:
    In this forum, there is much good discussion about Emptiness, Suchness, Shikantaza, Gathas, and other very good topics for discussion. However, it seems that the "beginner" or "number" topics do not surface as much, i.e.,

    4 Noble Truths,
    Noble 8-fold Path,
    6 Perfections,
    12-fold Chain of Dependent Origination,
    16 Bodhisattva Precepts.

    While discussion of Emptiness, Suchness, etc. can lead to very good and fruitful discourse, I am considering taking a sabbatical from these discussions in order to focus on some of the less spoken of topics here; a sort of "Beginners Retreat," if you will, for this perennial beginner. What I am wondering is whether any of you would be inclined to join me, to discuss the material and explain where my thoughts or interpretations are misguided or just wildly inaccurate.
    Hi Saijun,
    I think this is a great idea. A good refresher for veterans and learning opportunity for the newer folks like me.

    Gassho,
    John

  13. #13

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Saijun
    Does there have to be a dichotomy between understanding and letting go? Where does one start and the other end?
    Of course not, they both feed off each other. there is no end to one and beginning to the other.

    But someone I feel that understanding things in the head is often looked down upon since it is not yet an experience. (maybe thats just my wrong view on it) so I wanted to sort of bring them both back into light.

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  14. #14

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Just some food for non-thoughts...

    Real understanding has nothing to do with our head.
    There is nothing wrong with our head.
    No need to be headless chicken or man.
    What is really wrong is how attached we are with what 's going on up there.

    This thread is great, a good refresher. Go on, bring the notions and potions. Let's have a look at this.

    gassho


    Taigu

  15. #15

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Just some food for non-thoughts...

    Real understanding has nothing to do with our head.
    There is nothing wrong with our head.
    No need to be headless chicken or man.
    What is really wrong is how attached we are with what 's going on up there.

    This thread is great, a good refresher. Go on, bring the notions and potions. Let's have a look at this.

    gassho


    Taigu
    But didn't Dogen argue that only painted rice cakes could satisfy hunger? Yes, there is nothing wrong with our head, but as Jundo always notes, we are human and need to let our minds work on ideas, too. Are discussion of the four noble truths, paramitas, et al not useful for everyone, but especially for those new to Buddhism/Zen? Why do we spend so much time studying for Jukai when real understanding has nothing to do with our head?

    Maybe we need a bit of thinking along with our thinking-non-thinking? It seems perspectives are different for those who've been practicing for decades as opposed to a few years!

    I don't know...

  16. #16

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Just some food for non-thoughts...

    Real understanding has nothing to do with our head.
    There is nothing wrong with our head.
    No need to be headless chicken or man.
    What is really wrong is how attached we are with what 's going on up there.

    This thread is great, a good refresher. Go on, bring the notions and potions. Let's have a look at this.

    gassho


    Taigu
    But didn't Dogen argue that only painted rice cakes could satisfy hunger? Yes, there is nothing wrong with our head, but as Jundo always notes, we are human and need to let our minds work on ideas, too. Are discussion of the four noble truths, paramitas, et al not useful for everyone, but especially for those new to Buddhism/Zen? Why do we spend so much time studying for Jukai when real understanding has nothing to do with our head?

    Maybe we need a bit of thinking along with our thinking-non-thinking? It seems perspectives are different for those who've been practicing for decades as opposed to a few years!

    I don't know...

    Study the self, and then drop it. When we are this, then things are whole. Nothing to gain. All is fine, but where does that leads us? Does it lead us down a path of continual consumption or want, or does it lead us to a more rightous direction. Playing with Karma.

    Let's put it this way. I could sit Zazen all day, and then the next perhaps I may revert to the same old same old. It's a matter of just being you. Through and through. So, If you want to study Buddhism, then please, go ahead. If you want anything at all, it's not Zen.

    Gassho (and part of our practice. Bright illumination, and pain. All the same)

    _/_ W

  17. #17

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    We are all beginners, Matto. And I totally agree with you. To study is important and precious as long as it takes us to the cushion where what we have studied is alive and lived. I always invite people to sit and let Buddha do the job. in challenging ( a bit) the will to understand, I am pointing at a real tendency in alll of us to turn fresh water into concepts. But of course study is very important, NOT SEEN AS SEPARATE FROM SHIKANTAZA. As to Shobogenzo 's painted cake, please help yourself...
    Will puts it in a very good way:

    if you want to study Buddhism, then please, go ahead. If you want anything at all, it's not Zen.

    That being said, yes, it is a very good idea.

    gassho


    Taigu

  18. #18

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Life is suffering
    If you follow your thinking and emotions
    Just being and returning tojustbeing is nirvana, is peace, is the balanced state
    But we don't stay in any one state or place
    We go to work helping ourselves and others.
    getting all caught up in this
    Wehave to practice returning to just this

    What's the 2nd one?

  19. #19

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    One thing.. As Taigu noted Don't thing less of yourself, that you are weaker, less informed, etc. Daido Roshi said, "self deprecation is the sign of a big ego."

    I'm not trying to be provocative.

    In any case thank you all for your thoughtful responses and this topic.

    Gassho

    Risho

  20. #20

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Don't worry Risho, I am not :twisted: . teachers are all different, they talk about the same mountain from a slight different viewpoint. In this case could you be more precise? What does Daido say that I did not?

    Thank you

    gassho


    T.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Hi All,

    This discussion reminds me of the post Edward started a while ago titled "Study Buddhism?".
    Many of the same thoughts and ideas are playing out here. Seems like a hot topic as there still is many opinions on it!

    Gassho,
    John

  22. #22

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    Hi All,

    This discussion reminds me of the post Edward started a while ago titled "Study Buddhism?".
    Many of the same thoughts and ideas are playing out here. Seems like a hot topic as there still is many opinions on it!

    Gassho,
    John
    Very true.

    I just came to realize just how important a steady sitting practice is in conjunction with study. If we just sit just because someone tells us to with no study, that might not be so beneficial since we won't really know why are what we are doing, and if we just study without sitting, then we will never get to experience what is being studied and the whole thing we just remain an idea. ....ah the middle way

    I just came from a class taught by a Tibetan monk, the whole class was engage in a debate over what does it mean that something is lacking inherent existence. And it went back and forth, arguing over definitions, karma, rebirth, the whole nine yards. I wondered if debating like that was going too far off...maybe a short sit would have brought everything back down to a calmer state.

    interesting though...

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  23. #23
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Seiryu wrote:
    If we just sit just because someone tells us to with no study, that might not be so beneficial since we won't really know why are what we are doing, and if we just study without sitting, then we will never get to experience what is being studied and the whole thing we just remain an idea. ....ah the middle way
    Your words here are like music to my ears! _/_

  24. #24

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Yes, very wise words Seiryu.
    Cursing the sky, the dragon bites his tail.
    tales fall apart. One, two, three ...


    The Middle way...it is not the in-between. It is the one with. Practice as study, study as practice. When ractice and study cannot be differenciated. Somethig along that line.


    gassho


    Taigu

  25. #25

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    I like Thich Nhat Hanh's interpretation of the Four Noble Truths.

    Suffering is real and cannot be avoided.

    Suffering gives us a chance to look into the cause of suffering. Very important step!

    And the Third Noble Truth is my favorite. That although there is suffering, joy is possible.

    Like suffering, joy too has a cause.

    Too often we get stuck in our suffering without realizing what a tremendous opportunity it gives us to realize freedom and joy. Suffering is not the end-all-be-all of this path. Joy is. Freedom is. Thich actually thinks that we should reverse the order of the Four Noble Truths. This is an interesting idea. Any thoughts?

    gassho
    Greg

  26. #26
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Taigu wrote:
    The Middle way...it is not the in-between. It is the one with. Practice as study, study as practice. When ractice and study cannot be differenciated. Somethig along that line.
    Thank you Taigu Sensei for the reminder that practice and study are inseparably one and the same!

    Gassho,
    John

  27. #27

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    I like Thich Nhat Hanh's interpretation of the Four Noble Truths.

    Suffering is real and cannot be avoided.

    Suffering gives us a chance to look into the cause of suffering. Very important step!

    And the Third Noble Truth is my favorite. That although there is suffering, joy is possible.

    Like suffering, joy too has a cause.

    Too often we get stuck in our suffering without realizing what a tremendous opportunity it gives us to realize freedom and joy. Suffering is not the end-all-be-all of this path. Joy is. Freedom is. Thich actually thinks that we should reverse the order of the Four Noble Truths. This is an interesting idea. Any thoughts?

    gassho
    Greg
    I think that would go along way to helping people see that Buddhism is not morbid or obsessed with suffering! "Suffering is real and cannot be avoided" sounds so much better than the "Life is suffering" I've heard elsewhere.

    You bring up an important distinction, that it's not so much an escape from suffering (running in fear), but an embrace, to see that the way out is through. I know that my perspective on suffering--any unpleasant experience, really--is quite different since I started practicing. I no longer dwell on it, but question it, try to get to the heart of it. And often I do find joy on the other side. But then not to get attached to joy!

    Gassho,
    Matt

  28. #28

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Joy has no cause.
    The meaning of Nirvana is cessation.
    The causeless is Nirvana.

    Joy comes, as flowers, simple or big things, a morning shower, a friend's face. Sitting. Laughing.
    cannot split this into cause and effect ( the very big Buddhist trip), cause and effect so true, all along.

    but here, but now
    Joy has no cause


    Does it ring a bell???

    gassho


    Taigu


    PS: Great stuff from the guy though. I quite like the idea of ending in the way it starts.
    For you and me, very true.

  29. #29

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    I like Thich Nhat Hanh's interpretation of the Four Noble Truths.

    Suffering is real and cannot be avoided.

    Suffering gives us a chance to look into the cause of suffering. Very important step!

    And the Third Noble Truth is my favorite. That although there is suffering, joy is possible.

    Like suffering, joy too has a cause.

    Too often we get stuck in our suffering without realizing what a tremendous opportunity it gives us to realize freedom and joy. Suffering is not the end-all-be-all of this path. Joy is. Freedom is. Thich actually thinks that we should reverse the order of the Four Noble Truths. This is an interesting idea. Any thoughts?

    gassho
    Greg
    Hello Greg,

    I've gradually learned to see them sort of differently:

    1.) There is stress (or dissatisfaction, if you prefer--they mean the same to me) inherent in life.
    2.) This stress comes from a deep craving for things to be as we want them to be, rather than as they are.
    3.) There is a Way to the let go of this craving, and end stress/dissatisfaction.
    4.) This Way is comprised of the Noble Eightfold Path.

    I think that the whole of the Dharma can sort of be boiled down into that old joke:

    "Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this! [does it] Ow!"
    "Well, then, stop doing that."
    (See viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2926 for more detailed and entertaining exploration)

    And "this" refers to clinging, and the whole of the practice is learning how to "stop doing that." When I (we?) sit Shikantaza, it provides us a chance to let go of everything, good and bad and whatever is in between. Suffering and joy are concepts that define each other. When we sit, and let go of all of our definitions and concepts, what is left?

    For this reason, I'm not sure that I agree with Rev. TNH's view on this (though I'm sure that it is much more informed by experience than mine is). And as far as reversing the order, I don't necessarily think it's quite that simple; I, at least, came to the Dharma after having deeply, deeply experienced the first Noble Truth, and began working on the Noble Eightfold Path. I'm rather dubious of the notion that people come to work on suffering when everything is peachy (at least initially).

    As I work with the Eightfold Path, it consistently shows me the validity of the 3rd Truth, and allows me to experience the freedom of the 2nd.

    Just initial thoughts.

    Metta,

    Saijun

    EDIT: Just saw Rev. Taigu's post after hitting "Submit," and it raised a question--do you think that it is possible to not get attached to even causeless joy? Would that be the end of the path, or is there something beyond?

  30. #30
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    I think that would go along way to helping people see that Buddhism is not morbid or obsessed with suffering! "Suffering is real and cannot be avoided" sounds so much better than the "Life is suffering" I've heard elsewhere.
    Hi All,
    Something I had heard before is that life is suffering is a translation different from how the Buddha actually worded it. It was said to be something more along the line of life is not having contentment. I can't remember exactly how it was put but the speaker stressed the difference. Perhaps someone here may shed some light on this?

    Gassho,
    John

  31. #31

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    I think that would go along way to helping people see that Buddhism is not morbid or obsessed with suffering! "Suffering is real and cannot be avoided" sounds so much better than the "Life is suffering" I've heard elsewhere.
    Hi All,
    Something I had heard before is that life is suffering is a translation different from how the Buddha actually worded it. It was said to be something more along the line of life is not having contentment. I can't remember exactly how it was put but the speaker stressed the difference. Perhaps someone here may shed some light on this?

    Gassho,
    John
    To my knowledge the Buddha did not say "Life is suffering" He said "Life is Dukkha" Dukkha meaning more along the lines of unsatisfactoriness, dissatisfaction, discomfort,stress, and frustration. And the cause of this "Dukkha" is our grasping mind, on wanted to have a permanent something to hold on to.
    I think the translation of dissatisfaction is better than suffering. We are dissatisfied with life because it is not the way we want it to be.

    "Life is Dukkha"

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  32. #32

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Causeless joy is so easy, like clear water, things beautiful..getting attached or not is not an issue anymore.

    going to bed...

    joy


    gassho


    Taigu

  33. #33

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Freedom has to be lived in the world, and living in the world means identifying oneself with everything for the sake of experience and activity. Even suffering. Especially suffering.

    I once heard Nirvana described this way. Our ego is like a tire inflated with hot air. Nirvana, which means "to blow out," is when all the hot air is let out of our tire, leaving only emptiness.

    Suffering only exists on the level of thought. When we sit, who suffers? But when we rise we start the game all over again. Cause and effect. Taigu, I really like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Joy has no cause.
    The meaning of Nirvana is cessation.
    The causeless is Nirvana.
    It tastes like emptiness. Refreshingly beautiful.

    gassho
    Greg

  34. #34

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Causeless joy is so easy, like clear water, things beautiful..getting attached or not is not an issue anymore.

    going to bed...

    joy


    gassho


    Taigu
    Thank you, Rev. Taigu.

    Gassho,

    Saijun

  35. #35

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    I think the translation of dissatisfaction is better than suffering. We are dissatisfied with life because it is not the way we want it to be.
    I agree. Kinda. Dissatisfaction is just a well dressed way of saying suffering. We have to call it what it is. There are degrees to it, but it's still suffering. NOT LIFE. Life is not suffering. Dukkha is like a finger that is out of joint. Nothing wrong with the finger. It just needs to be restored to its natural state. We suffer when we expect Mexican food then at the last minute our wife says she would rather have Chinese. There are physical changes that take place in the nervouse system when we don't get what we want. I think it goes deeper than dissatisfaction. If not, then freedom could be called satisfaction. I've never experienced any lasting satisfaction, or dissatisfaction for that matter. They come and go. But suffering, suffering is always with me, in thoughts I want to go away, in thoughts I want to cling to, in experiences, in everything. It's not bad. Nobody is punishing us. It's just Reality. Without suffering we would never have a chance to develop compassion.

    gassho
    Greg

  36. #36

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    I agree. Kinda. Dissatisfaction is just a well dressed way of saying suffering. We have to call it what it is. There are degrees to it, but it's still suffering. NOT LIFE. Life is not suffering. Dukkha is like a finger that is out of joint. Nothing wrong with the finger. It just needs to be restored to its natural state. We suffer when we expect Mexican food then at the last minute our wife says she would rather have Chinese. There are physical changes that take place in the nervouse system when we don't get what we want. I think it goes deeper than dissatisfaction. If not, then freedom could be called satisfaction. I've never experienced any lasting satisfaction, or dissatisfaction for that matter. They come and go. But suffering, suffering is always with me, in thoughts I want to go away, in thoughts I want to cling to, in experiences, in everything. It's not bad. Nobody is punishing us. It's just Reality. Without suffering we would never have a chance to develop compassion.

    gassho
    Greg
    Wow! I really like this!

    Although I will not call dissatisfaction a well dressed up way of saying suffering. only because, when these words such as Dukkha get translating into our culture and language they take on all the connotations and ideas our language has on the word. Every time I thought of the word suffering, I would think of war, starving children, and all the horrors that unfortunately or a part of life. But I wouldn't call life that. Life is not exempt from that, but that is certainly not the sum total of it.

    But you are right; without some degree of suffering, dissatisfaction, or whatever, we would not have to chance to develop compassion.

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  37. #37
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    I will keep this short since I am on a quick lunch break.

    I have viewed it simply as clinging leads to suffering. Letting of clinging leads to the release of suffering. I heard a Thervada teacher once say "Nothing is worth is clinging to". Sometimes I will say this to myself when I feel an attachment and it helps to let it go. Clinging is like a domino effect that leads to aversion, greed, ignorance, selfishness and anger. But letting of clinging can domino effect that leads to mindfulness, clarity, peace, compassion, lovingkindess and wisdom.

    Thanks,
    Jodi

  38. #38
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Seiryu wrote:
    To my knowledge the Buddha did not say "Life is suffering" He said "Life is Dukkha" Dukkha meaning more along the lines of unsatisfactoriness, dissatisfaction, discomfort,stress, and frustration. And the cause of this "Dukkha" is our grasping mind, on wanted to have a permanent something to hold on to.
    Hi Seiryu,
    Thanks. This is more of the translation that was being expressed in the Dharma talk I had heard. The point was that using the phrase Life is Suffering really gives Buddhism a depressive view. The concern was that Buddhist, from the outside observer, would seem to have a negative perspective of existence. At least that's feeling of the individual giving the Dharma talk. I could understand the concern to an extent.

    Gassho,
    John

  39. #39

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Don't worry Risho, I am not :twisted: . teachers are all different, they talk about the same mountain from a slight different viewpoint. In this case could you be more precise? What does Daido say that I did not?

    Thank you

    gassho


    T.
    Nothing. I thought you worded it great! It just reminded me of something I read. This point struck me deeply because I use self deprecation to elevate myself. Well I catch myself doing it now at least

    Gassho Risho

  40. #40
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Blessed are they that expect nothing; for they shall not be disappointed

    This morning i forgot to put the carafe in the coffee maker. result is, lots of coffee grounds running around on the counter in a sea of concentrated coffee water; a rather disconcerting scenario :cry:. (Not what I wanted but it was what it was) Before zen? or rather sometime since starting practice (measured in years) I would have been quite upset. Now, I took a breath, cleaned up the mess and brewed another pot; got on with life without getting hung up on my lapse in awareness. 8)

    It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
    Epictetus

  41. #41
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Hi Everyone,

    I have a suggestion for this post since this will probably get really long. Maybe we can have separate posts for each of the subjects: 4 Noble Truths, Noble 8-fold Path, 6 Perfections, 12-fold Chain of Dependent Origination, 16 Bodhisattva Precepts. We can have a consistent label to differentiate it from the other posts that starts with something like Treeleaf's Buddha Basics: ....

    Just an idea to simply.

    Thanks,
    Jodi

  42. #42
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Hi Jodi,

    I like your idea!

    Gassho,
    John

  43. #43

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Thanks Jodi.

    Saijun, where do you want to start???

    gassho

    Taigu

  44. #44

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Thanks Jodi.

    Saijun, where do you want to start???

    gassho

    Taigu
    Hello Rev. Taigu,

    I suppose we should start with the Four Noble Truths; I'll set up the thread, and perhaps a moderator/admin would be kind enough to move the already-submitted-posts regarding them to the new one.

    Metta,

    Saijun

  45. #45

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    [quote]The Middle way...it is not the in-between. It is the one with. Practice as study, study as practice. When ractice and study cannot be differenciated. Somethig along that line./quote]

    Changing the topic a little Taigu, or other treeleafers, could you expand on this idea for me.

  46. #46

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Great idea, Jodi, and thanks again, Saijun, for getting this going!

    Gassho,
    Matt

  47. #47

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    yes Mike, i often bumped into people thinking that the middle way meant somewhere in betwwen, not too much this or that, a fine balance between opposites, a form of tuning etc. This is not what the Buddha originally meant, Katagiri roshi states somewhere that what is rendered in English by "right" as opposed to "wrong" is not a satisfactory translation of the original wording of Buddha that meant "one with". When you live, you are involved in an undivide activity of living, fully, utterly living. That's what I meant.

    I am sick to the back teeth with morality in letters ( my heavy and bumpy catholic background with abuses and lies...). We study the precepts to understand what arises from the activity of shikantaza, not to follow rules and laws coming from above, nothing like Judaism and the Christian way ( And I am sure true Judaism or Christianity have little to do with the hypocritical moralistic preaching you will find almost everywhere). So if we happen to manifest generosity or compassion, or if we manifest a balanced state, it doesn't arise from the reading of texts but it is blossom of living practice.

    That's why I like Rumi. Words of wisdom flow out of his bouncing heart and whirling dance.



    gassho


    Taigu

  48. #48

    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Thank you for the clarification. Interesting when you say, "We study the precepts to understand what arises from the activity of shinkantaza". It felt like you poked me with a stick. Haha

  49. #49
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Today, I was struggling with an idea. A nagging voice inside kept saying, "Let it be," whenever the question arose, but it wasn't Mother Mary.

    I read something Taigu posted:

    "sometimes things have to be explained
    Sometimes things have to be silenced and kept unsaid"

    I felt confirmation of a new understanding.

    Thank you, Taigu
    A bow for you
    Gassho

    / Amelia

  50. #50
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: Precepts and Perfections and Other Lowly Things

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    yes Mike, i often bumped into people thinking that the middle way meant somewhere in betwwen, not too much this or that, a fine balance between opposites, a form of tuning etc. This is not what the Buddha originally meant, Katagiri roshi states somewhere that what is rendered in English by "right" as opposed to "wrong" is not a satisfactory translation of the original wording of Buddha that meant "one with". When you live, you are involved in an undivide activity of living, fully, utterly living. That's what I meant.
    I also needed "enlightening" on the subject.

    Gassho.

    / Amelia

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