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Thread: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

  1. #1

    3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Hello everyone,

    Reading through this chapter reminded me of a number of things at the same time.

    Dogen's wise counsel to realise fully our delusions instead of being deluded about our realisations seems to shine through some of Aoyama Sensei's lines.

    Our human tendency to create sterile notions of perfection in our hearts and minds is another theme IMHO.

    Once we manage to create something which we, with our limited human minds deem "perfect", it is often the case that all we have created is an expression of our own limitations, which cannot rise up to the occasion to fully embrace EVERYTHING as it is.

    Jundo often refers to things being perfectly the way they are, without necessarily being perfect in a limited conceptional sense.

    All talk aside, I had to think of a scene in the American comedy City Slickers, where the Jack Palance character talks about a most precious moment in his life, where he basically meets his "dream woman". Following conventional ideas of perfection, a smile would have led to a kiss maybe and that to some wonderful fun "in the hay".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1bTe54j6PQ&feature=related[/video]] ... re=related

    But Jack Palance realises that the true wonder of his most precious moment is being open to the way things are…and that really attaining his fantasy would surely miss the mark - at least in comparison to the wonder of the openness that is life as it is for a Cowboy.

    I myself was madly in love once as a late teenager…and my heart broke….and lo and behold, strange as it may seem, the fact that certain things did not change to accord with my puny ideas of perfection are what made all the past pain and joy perfect the way they were. Like a poem with a smudged character.

    When our dualistic views crash with reality as it is, the crunching noise that this process makes points directly at the heart of things.


    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?


    Thank you for your troubles and practice.

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  2. #2
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Once we manage to create something which we, with our limited human minds deem "perfect", it is often the case that all we have created is an expression of our own limitations, which cannot rise up to the occasion to fully embrace EVERYTHING as it is.
    _/_

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Some great cigarette-in-the-mouth-during-dialogue action. Almost as good as Samuel L. Jackson in "Jurassic Park". All joking aside, good clip. That is a movie that everyone's seen but me. There are a lot of movies under that category.

    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?

    Last weekend we were working on my family's cabin in Idyllwild. A thunderstorm interrupted us several times while trying to re-do the deck and front stairs. Running through the mud and dirt to get fresh lumber out of the rain and finding suitable coverage revealed how we were all helping each other out, and having a good time working even though it was hard. The building itself, when the rain had stopped for a while, was very time-consuming and messy, but we all diligently and happily worked at it.

  3. #3

    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Sometimes I cant see the beauty in front of my eyes. Sometimes the windows are just closed, and the curtains of thoughts and desires cover it all. A good reminder to put the curtains aside, lets see what can be seen, clearly. Its beautiful :lol:
    _()_
    Peter

  4. #4

    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Gassho, Hans, for your insightful OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?
    Just had one yesterday, sadly.

  5. #5
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?

    My mom recently move into a new house and bought all new furniture. The house has a little nook where you could either building something like shelves or put in a piece of furniture. My mom decided to put two pieces of furniture in the space. The pieces of furniture are different sizes and shapes and do not fit evenly within the space (my opinion). To me it looks uneven, not uniform, not...perfect. She on the other hand loves the way it looks. To be honest it was really pissing me off because I thought my mom just paid a lot of money for this new furniture and it is all wrong and jacked up and also bothered because my mom liked the way it was. It bothered me for about a day until I read the Aoyama passage and Hans post about perfect perfection and whatnot. I think I appreciate all aspects now a little deeper, a grander sense of understanding. A more perfect perfection through imperfection, not being perfect. ok I'm a little lost now :lol: Just a greater appreciation for my mom, perspective and perception.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?

    When I proposed to my wife on bended knee she replied, " Now call the priest!". :shock:

  7. #7

    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    This reminds me of an anecdote that I read once in a self-help book where the author ask the reader to imagine what their perfect desktop would look like. Then the author proceeded to ask a progressive series of questions, along the lines “If you moved the pencil holder an inch from where it is on your desk, is you desktop still perfect? If a sheet of paper was stacked slightly off, would it still be perfect?, etc. The point was that you could make quite a few changes in you ideal of perfection before the desktop no longer functionally “perfect” for you. I think Zen tries to go all the way with this line. Gassho, Grace.

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Thank you Hans, I can think of many. It happens every day with every sunrise, every time I pick weeds, evrytime I look at another being.

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?
    My entire life, until quite recently, has always been about a deep subconscious urge to achieve perfection. What's ironic and humorous about that is the fact that I've known such was impossible the entire time! However, that didn't ever seem to deter my attempt at reaching the unreachable. In all honesty, I still feel that perfectionistic streak in my bones, but my mind has seemed to finally accept to a degree that I must just try to sit and be with that feeling instead of trying to run from it. That's what led me here to Treeleaf...a deep seated fear...and I thought sitting might help me escape it. It was difficult to come to grips with the idea that sitting meant accepting that it might always be with me, but that realization has come with a lot of relief.

    Shikantaza won't make your problems go away and it might actually bring them closer in a sense. But I think you'll find they really weren't so scary and before you know it you'll be exchanging Christmas cards.

    Thank you Hans.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  10. #10

    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?
    In many ways all our human relationships are brocades woven with many colors. We often project our expectations on to both friendships and romantic relationships. Take marriage, for example, sometimes an individual’s preconceived idea about marriage can prove to be a barrier. Of course there are many reasons why people get divorces and certainly in cases of abuse or major incompatibility it may be the best option. Nevertheless, I being married for many years I take great pride in the brocade my wife and I have created over the years.


    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?

    My living room floor filled with toddler toys. It may be messy but it shows the vitality and energy of my 21-month old. I love watching him play and making a mess with his toys, he loves it. Sure we cleanup the toys in the evening before bed to teach responsibility but a super tidy home with a toddler would feel constrained. We like to let him play like a toddler should by allowing him to explore & discover in a safe and secure environment. Who cares if it get messy, as long as it is safe for him to play in.

    Thanks
    Jodi

  12. #12

    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?

    I used to think that I was a great judge of people at a first glance. However, it did not take much time to realize how much a suck at it. Now, I just let people be, and do not worry much about foreseeing how a person who I just met may come to behaves in the future. I smell the perfume and avoid the thorns. A rose is a rose that is a rose.

  13. #13

    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Quote Originally Posted by jodi_h
    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?

    My living room floor filled with toddler toys. It may be messy but it shows the vitality and energy of my 21-month old. I love watching him play and making a mess with his toys, he loves it. Sure we cleanup the toys in the evening before bed to teach responsibility but a super tidy home with a toddler would feel constrained. We like to let him play like a toddler should by allowing him to explore & discover in a safe and secure environment. Who cares if it get messy, as long as it is safe for him to play in.

    Thanks
    Jodi
    I must agree ... With a 3- and 1-year-old in the house, chaos reigns. I used to favor order, perfection, neatness. But with little kids, that's just not possible. So maybe now I understand that things as they are, whether messy or neat, is OK. Let it be messy, then clean it up, but know it will be messy again. Something like that.

  14. #14

    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto

    I must agree ... With a 3- and 1-year-old in the house, chaos reigns. I used to favor order, perfection, neatness. But with little kids, that's just not possible. So maybe now I understand that things as they are, whether messy or neat, is OK. Let it be messy, then clean it up, but know it will be messy again. Something like that.
    I have to join this thread. My son is very active, curious, always trying to reach up for something, to open a case, to jump from the table... First it just turn me mad, but then I realise how horrible it would be to have the perfect child that always sits properly, never shouts or cries, and puts his toys in perfect order before going to sleep

    Gassho

    Rimon

  15. #15

    Re: Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    I'm rereading this chapter because it really grabbed me, spoke to me. Part of it is what Brian brought up:

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW
    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?
    In many ways all our human relationships are brocades woven with many colors. We often project our expectations on to both friendships and romantic relationships. Take marriage, for example, sometimes an individual’s preconceived idea about marriage can prove to be a barrier. Of course there are many reasons why people get divorces and certainly in cases of abuse or major incompatibility it may be the best option. Nevertheless, I being married for many years I take great pride in the brocade my wife and I have created over the years.


    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW
    As my wife and I travel into our second decade together, this insight (and to be honest my inability to recognize it for a while) had been central to our relationship's maturity. Aoyama captured that perfectly...

    Or, perhaps, perfectly because not perfect! I admit that I have at times felt the book was more clouds than moon, so this chapter helped me to see that bias I was bringing....

  16. #16

    Re: 3/9 Zen Seeds: Pgs 31-34

    I like to garden, and as of late, despite my current educational course in environmental biology I believe that I'll open up a farm soon after graduation.

    Nothing is perfect in gardening. Not one d**n thing! Your tomatoes are bruised, your eggplant gets eaten by a rabbit, the kale is full of caterpillar holes and if it were any other way it wouldn't be gardening. A clean, orderly garden producing perfect produce is a factory, not life.

    And it's wonderful to realize that. Thank you so much Hans, your words are touching.

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