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Thread: Questions to the unsui

  1. #51
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: Questions to the unsui

    I am very happy that we disagree a little bit (we are almost always speaking each other s mind).
    Thank you anyway Anista for making people think about their practice.

    Gassho


    Taigu

  2. #52
    disastermouse
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    Re: Questions to the unsui

    It looks like some non-unsui have responded to the questions, so I wondered if I could also submit answers as a means of correcting any misunderstandings I might have.

    1. I think that neither option presented offers a right view. Does life end and that's it or is there rebirth? My answer is '"Yes". As Dogen says, "Firewood becomes ashes, ashes do not become firewood." And yet when there are ashes, where did the firewood go (My question, not Dogen's)? As Dogen says, it's not correct to think that ashes are the future of firewood. To me, this teaching by Dogen illuminates the truth of not-self. Ashes are not the future of firewood, but if there had been no firewood, there would be no ashes. Does that seem odd?

    2. Awakening. I don't think awakening is something to be thought of as an end point. Are you awake now? Are things clearly as they are RIGHT NOW without the need to see them as one or many? Awakening isn't something attained, IMHO - when the sun shines on you, have you attained it or is it just that there are no clouds obscuring the sun in this moment?

    3. If you say mind-only, it's just speculation, since in order to observe mind, there must be two. Once split in two, doesn't mind then become form, as now there are two things with distinctions between them? If this isn't form, it's not far off. Better not to say mind-only, if for no other reason than to avoid causing the illness you're trying to cure by saying 'mind-only'.

    4. Can there be an enlightened butcher or bartender? Certainly. How about an enlightened mass murderer? Not likely. Both a bartender and a mass murderer could be viewed as precept-breakers, but they are hardly similar. The precepts are guides to avoid grievous harm to ourselves and others, but observing them doesn't prevent all harm.

    5. I don't feel adequate to the task of defining prajna.

    Gassho

    Chet

  3. #53

    Re: Questions to the unsui

    As a brand new unsui I don't know if it's really the right time to fill out this questionnaire, but I guess I'll just consider it part of my application.

    1. What is your take on rebirth? To simplify in absurdum: only moment-to-moment, or previous lives?
    Our karma changes every moment. Eventually, we all come to a moment where one lifetime ends and the next begins. That moment is no more special than any other.

    2. What does awakening mean? How do you view that concept? How is that view comparable to the wider Mahayana corpus (does it differ or not for example)?
    Awakening is seeing reality clearly without the haze of our perceptions, biases and stories. When the layers between us and reality are peeled away, we're no longer separate "selves."

    3. Mind-only. Is this a teaching you follow, or not? That is, is it applicable to your practice?
    N/A

    4. How strict are the precepts? Can they be altered to fit different conditions? Can you be part of a trade, for example by selling meat, liquor, guns, and still follow the precepts? Can you drink, kill or abuse, and still follow the precepts? How does this tie into the concept of karma-vipaka?
    I think the precepts follow a sort of mountains as mountains approach.

    And yet another master said, “Thirty years ago, before I had studied Zen, I saw mountains as mountains and rivers as rivers. And then later, when I had more intimate knowledge, I came to see mountains not as mountains and rivers not as rivers. But now that I have attained the substance, I again see mountains just as mountains, and rivers just as rivers.”

    At first it seems like the precepts have to be kept very strictly. Then after awhile it's easy to see all sorts of actions and their consequences that are technically outside the precepts but still fit within the spirit of the precepts. And then later the precepts are just the precepts again, expanding and contracting based on subject and circumstance.

    5. What is your definition of prajna? Is this concept applicaple to your own practice?
    Prajna is wisdom. Prajna can flow from teachers/environment and can be actively cultivated on the cushion.

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