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Thread: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

  1. #1
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes life is a real bitch. And there is no escape. Jundo and his beloved wife are doing all they can for their sweet little girl in hospital, many treeleafers are now going tough time: unemployement,cancer, breakdown, I am struggling to carry one living in Japan as my job is seriously threatened and things don't look good at all.

    In this situation, no need to dress it up and make it cheerful. No need to flee and avoid the problem. We are all invited to participate with joy to this, because it is the very nature of life, fleeting, changing, fragile, the very nature of what is given to us, sooner or later taken back. In front of this, we invite the unknown, throwing body and mind into it, trusting a process beyond thoughts, feelings and fears. As Dogen says in what he left us as a death poem:

    Fifty-four years lighting up the sky.
    A quivering leap smashes a billion worlds.
    Hah!
    Entire body looks for nothing.
    Living, I plunge into Yellow Springs.


    What a remarkable way to live! Leaping into the unknown, life and death merged and both totally transcended. Every single moment is an opportunity for all of us to exactly do that, that this body of thirty, fourty, fifty years and a few days and throw it into the amazing unknown reality.

    entire body looks for nothing
    living, I plunge into the Yellow Springs


    Nothing left, no traces, no shadow. Just the taste of what is as it is. That's our way to live, far from the hopes and consolations found in so many religions and belief systems.

    Life sucks and it is OK!

    gassho


    Taigu

  2. #2

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    If life sucks and its OK then I should probably stop worrying so much.

  3. #3
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    indeed

    gassho

    Taigu

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Gassho.

    -Shujin

  5. #5

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Gassho!

  6. #6

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thank you Taigu.


    Gassho, kojip.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    ...Jundo and his beloved wife are doing all they can for their sweet little girl in hospital, many treeleafers are now going tough time: unemployement,cancer, breakdown, I am struggling to carry one living in Japan as my job is seriously threatened and things don't look good at all...
    Metta for all of us, then. Gassho, Taigu.

  8. #8

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    deleted.

  9. #9

    life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Life is a bitch and then you die.
    Life is beautiful, including death and bitching.

    Thank you Taigu,
    Pontus

  10. #10

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    "Life sucks and it is OK!"
    thX taigu for those beautiful words

    gassho
    gilles

  11. #11
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Life does suck.

    Interestingly, I've recently been reading Cioran. I suspect that most of you have never heard of him, but that Taigu has. He is a delightful cynic. This post made me think of him.

  12. #12

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Hello,

    thank you for this reminder Taigu.

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  13. #13

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thanks Taigu

    that is a wonderful poem.

    .... and I feel not a word or intonation of cynicism - just courage and joy

    life is as it is - so we try to embrace it fully - tears and smiles - and everything inbetween,

    that's what makes us human

    Gassho

    Willow

  14. #14

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thank you Taigu.
    Great poem from Dogen.

  15. #15
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Hi Taigu,
    Even though it is ok, I still hope things work out for you in Japan, and for little Sada and the Cohens, and for everyone else.
    Don’t we have to accept reality while trying to change it?
    A contradiction, yes ... like many things that are true and beyond duality.
    Gassho
    Myozan

  16. #16
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thank you

    Shawn

  17. #17

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Life sucks indeed. Yet within all that craziness and suffering that is life, is beauty, happiness, everything perfect just the way it is.

    Life sucks because we put ourselves in the way. Our little "I" doesn't like wants happening and begins to complain and get scared when the floor begins to be taken away from it. This is where our gentle practice really begins to manifest itself in the world. To allow ourselves to just be with what is, and be OK with it, while at the same time looking for a "better" moment to live in.

    just my useless thoughts...

  18. #18
    Senior Member Marek's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Life sucks and it is OK!
    I'm gonna sit with these words today.

    _/_

  19. #19
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    If life sucks and its OK then I should probably stop worrying so much.

    Awesome and to the point. Don't add more suck to it since there is nothing more to add. It can suck enough on its own sometimes

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    I don't know why but this thread made me smile.

    Ron

  21. #21
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thank you for this teaching Taigu.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  22. #22

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Gassho...

  23. #23

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Taigu,

    Much thanks for this. I faintly remember hearing this poem, but your presentation seems to have made an impression. Sometimes things just don't stick and you hear them again with a bit of a twist and bang!

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  24. #24
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thank you so much Taigu. THis really resonates with me at the moment. My two-year-old son is down with a urinary tract infection and a respiratory tract infection, and there's a possibility that he has dengue fever (we're waiting for the results as I type). What's more, my wife is down with what seems to be the flu as well. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!! LIFE SUCKS! AND IT'S OKAY! I don't actually feel ok BUT THAT'S OKAY TOO! _/|_ and now that I've typed this I feel more like this :lol: Ahh, life...

  25. #25

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thank you Taigu for the beautiful teaching, a timely reminder for me also …" we are fleeting, changing, fragile " remembering this helps me see through my constructions … at the same time the issue of trust makes itself felt .... I take it to the zafu.
    Deep bow.
    Nadi

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    To accept and embrace that life sucks sometimes (without being fatalistically resigned to it), to accept the passions and emotions as part of life rather than something to be rejected..... I have been doing a lot of reading of Nikos Kazantzakis (author of Zorba the Greek, The Last Temptation of Christ, and Report to Greco, among others) - here is something from Zorba the Greek:

    "[Y]ou must sometimes rejoice that the dark forces of destruction are so numerous and invincible: for thus your aim to live almost without hope becomes more heroic and your soul acquires a more tragic greatness."

    Now, rejoicing in my own "dark forces of destruction" may be a bit much for me, but to accept sickness, illness, death, sadness, anger, and events in my life as friends, or companions.... then life indeed becomes full in its richness... or at least grounded in reality...

    Kazantzakis' words to me have a great significance. I am only beginning to understand the complexity of his work on Bergson, Nietsche, Buddha, Christ....

    Gassho,
    Yugen

  27. #27

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Both dramatic and so simple. Thanks so much to each of you and all of the sangha.

    Gassho,

    Ann (Josho)

  28. #28
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Ah, my initial reaction to Dogen's death poem was to laugh out loud,
    Honest.
    Make that leap! If you are caught, wonderful.
    And if you die
    Find out for yourself
    And live accordingly afterwards, as such I have tried
    As best I can, honest.
    Yet what is happening to Sada and others with life threatening illness is sad,
    Very sad.
    So what is our role as Buddhists in such a situation?
    Attention.
    Metta.
    But change (as in death) is the leap we are all attending to,
    The leap we are all wishing well,
    As in better
    As in LIFE
    Others and ours
    Ours and others
    How dare we sort it out.

  29. #29

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thank you

  30. #30
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thank you.
    Yes life sucks. Boredom, sadness, fear, depression of a loved one, pain ... And then - the stars, a hug, a phone call, laughter, coyotes running on the frozen river ... life humming along, just as it is. Catching whenever we want it to be different ... and coming back - here - now. One breath. And another one.

  31. #31

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Gassho
    Shohei]

  32. #32

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Just out of interest - who here feels they know what the real-life component of the metaphor ‘yellow springs’ is? I believe I may. This is no big deal both, rather interesting. Does anyone know what time of year that he died? This has significance.
    m

  33. #33

    life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    I dunno, but my friend mr Google tells me there's a Shinto association between death and pollution, so yellow springs could probably mean pollution in the real world.

  34. #34

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Hey, just dance the night away.


    Gassho & blessings

  35. #35
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Have faith that the Middle Way will prevail my friends. It did for me, just not the way 'I' expected! And yes life can suck and spit but it can also bless and care....and when it does suck and spit I hear Bob Marley singing...'Everyting gonna be alright, everyting gonna be alright!'

  36. #36

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    I dunno, but my friend mr Google tells me there's a Shinto association between death and pollution, so yellow springs could probably mean pollution in the real world.
    Well now – My interpretation is that it relates to geothermal pools which are common throughout Japan. One type of activity precipitates sulfur around the pool fringes which become bright yellow. They are treasured to this day for winter bathing. But, some are far too hot to bath in. What I suspect is that Dogen is diving into such a pool without knowing its temperature – ie it maybe scald him to death – or – be of perfect temperature.

    m

  37. #37
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Thank you Sensei. I was just thinking how wonderful life is, even amid a few tumultuous things in my life. I look at what others are going through and I have to just shut my mouth and sit.

    Metta,

    Dokan

  38. #38

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeljc
    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    I dunno, but my friend mr Google tells me there's a Shinto association between death and pollution, so yellow springs could probably mean pollution in the real world.
    Well now – My interpretation is that it relates to geothermal pools which are common throughout Japan. One type of activity precipitates sulfur around the pool fringes which become bright yellow. They are treasured to this day for winter bathing. But, some are far too hot to bath in. What I suspect is that Dogen is diving into such a pool without knowing its temperature – ie it maybe scald him to death – or – be of perfect temperature.

    m
    Yellow springs is a symbol for the underworld, death realm, Yomi.
    I thought you were wondering if there was another symbolic meaning in our normal life, hence death = pollution! ops:
    But I like your explanation!

    /Pontus

  39. #39
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    A wonderful reminder on how reality is and how we need to embrace it to fully live and understand.

    Thanks, Taigu.

    Metta to all sangha and those who are going through tough times.

  40. #40
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Yes, yes ... life sucks, but it is because in reality life is perfect as-it-is, and those who suck are us when we are unaware of its perfection, no matter how harsh it turns to be to our little egos or desires... and I am particularly skilled at not notice such perfection :roll:

  41. #41

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem


  42. #42
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Life sucks and it IS...OK.

    That's a useful reminder, thank you.

  43. #43

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Some things in life are bad
    They can really make you mad
    Other things just make you swear and curse.
    When you're chewing on life's gristle
    Don't grumble, give a whistle
    And this'll help things turn out for the best...

    And...always look on the bright side of life...
    Always look on the light side of life...

    If life seems jolly rotten
    There's something you've forgotten
    And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
    When you're feeling in the dumps
    Don't be silly chumps
    Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

    And...always look on the bright side of life...
    Always look on the light side of life...

    For life is quite absurd
    And death's the final word
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.
    Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
    Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

    So always look on the bright side of death
    Just before you draw your terminal breath

    Life's a piece of shit
    When you look at it
    Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
    You'll see it's all a show
    Keep 'em laughing as you go
    Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

    And always look on the bright side of life...
    Always look on the right side of life...
    (Come on guys, cheer up!)
    Always look on the bright side of life...
    Always look on the bright side of life...
    (Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
    Always look on the bright side of life...
    (I mean - what have you got to lose?)
    (You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.
    What have you lost? Nothing!)
    Always look on the right side of life...

  44. #44
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    A ha ha ha Monty Phyton very Zen

  45. #45

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Taigu,
    Easy to talk the talk harder still to walk the walk. You are walking well. Gassho, Shogen

  46. #46

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Taigu, thanks for the reminder. It's a very to-the-core post. Life plays itself and we paly our made up roles as we are supposed to, the best we can or know how; then, at the end of the day, we tally the sheet and cry or smile as we crash or soar. It's all so fleeting and unreal but it does not feel made up. Humm?

    This quote is attributed to Zen master LInji:

    There is no stability in the world; it is like a house on fire.
    This is not a place where you can stay for a long time.

    The murderous demon of impermanence is instantaneous,
    it does not chose between the upper and lower classes, the young or old.

    If you want to be no different from the Buddhas and Zen masters,
    just do't seek externally.


    It is the children we love that we have a harder time objectifying. My heart goes out to good Judo and his wife hoping for the very best for them.

    In gassho,

    Seido

  47. #47
    Senior Member murasaki's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    The fact that life sucks really opens my eyes, I am learning.

    In moments where life doesn't suck, I am lulled to a falsely comforting sleep, neglecting to take care of things that become big problems as I slumber, and cause life to suck.

    Gassho
    Julia

  48. #48

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Life sucks fantastically

  49. #49

    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Quote Originally Posted by threethirty
    Life sucks fantastically
    That's why its worth trying to keep.

  50. #50
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: life sucks and Dogen's death poem

    Life i's the only game in town, so you might as well play.

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