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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Dear All,

    Well, the moment has come to begin our reflecting, dancing, living the 100 Koans of the Book of Equanimity ...

    We are going to try a great experiment, seeing how these Koans may be brought to life in our lives ... feeling how each resonates in our heart, and the Wisdom each carves into our bones.

    At the core of the experiment, I would like to ask each member joining in this book club to post something each week ... some message ... just to signal to the others that we are all together. However, in posting your message ... you do not necessarily need to say anything (even a blank space as your posting is fine if that is what is sincerely felt), or a photograph, a poem, a song lyric, a cartoon, a story. The only requirement is that your posting be sincere, and honestly expresses how the Koan resonates in you and your life, and you in the Koan. Don't post simply because you feel you have to "sound Zen, sound Wise" ... and it is okay to say "I don't really get it" or "This Koan does not do anything for me". Most highly treasured would be some story from your own life describing a moment ... perhaps your life now, or some event you recall many years ago ... in which the insight of the Koan served as a kind of "turning word" to let you see, experience or handle an event in your life differently (This week, our Case 1, will ask for such an example).

    Give it a try, take a chance ... don't be scared. We will not be judgmental, and all sincere responses are welcome. What pops up for you when you reflect on this Koan?... either immediately or after a few days?

    Although we will not be judgmental, at the same time it is certainly true that some responses will ring the bell, flower, fly in the sky, and some will clunk, wilt on the vine or never get off the ground! Some may be very much "up in the head" ... all words and philosophy, no real heart. Some may "stink of Zen" but be rather hollow. That's okay, don't be afraid to clunk or stink or crash & burn! You see ... Koans are a lot like trying one's hand at art in a rather free form art class. Some paintings may come out as works of great insight and power, and some may not. Oh, sure, some creations may show "the knack" and some may "lack" something ... but the most important thing is to keep on making art!

    So, be brave!! We are all going to be supportive of each other here, and all of us will flower sometimes, wilt sometimes, a bit of both sometimes.

    I suggest that you read the "MAIN CASE" first, then read the "PREFACE TO THE ASSEMBLY" next and the "APPRECIATORY VERSE", then Shishin Wick's Commentary. The reason I suggest you read the "PREFACE TO THE ASSEMBLY" and "APPRECIATORY VERSE" after the main case is that they are usually playful puns, jokes, poetic reflections and such on the MAIN CASE. Don't be worried if they are hard to understand. Often, the PREFACE and VERSE are based on inside jokes, old Chinese slang, long forgotten poetic references that are now hard to understand. Shishin will explain some of the meaning.

    In fact, take the whole ... the entire Koan ... as like a painting, scenery, a poem, a song ... and let the "lyrics" or images or little tale sink into you. For example, if you visit and look at the Grand Canyon ... you may think a bit about the Grand Canyon, about the majesty, the forces which went into its creation, the pioneers and cowboys, history ...

    ... but ultimately, one just lets the Grand Canyon wash through one and one through the Canyon. So it is with these Koans.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    CASE 1 - The World-Honored One Ascends the Platform

    Most days, for years and years, the Buddha would ascend the platform to deliver a lecture on some aspect of Buddhist Teachings. Today, he goes up ... he comes down without saying a word. Or, did his "without words" speak volumes? Some truths about the Grand Canyon can be described in words, and some vital truths about the Canyon ... best without words. Such is even so much more so in the Buddha's Truths!

    Suggested Question:

    Shishin says, "Don't add anything extra. Just let everything be as it is. That's liberation. But letting everything be as it is, is difficult for us because we are always trying to fiddle around with things, always adding something, wishing something were taken away. ... [But if you think] everything is perfect as it is, that is [also] an erroneous view."

    Can you describe a problem or incident in your life, now or in the past ... a situation that is/was very hard ... that your head was filled with thoughts and emotions about, and that you resisted or hated very much ... but would have/did/might experience very differently by just being "without words", just allowing and not fighting?

    Gassho, J

    PS - Some portions are available online, pending purchase ...

    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=fjtE ... &q&f=false

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Equanimi ... 0861713877

  2. #2

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Ok. So everything, as-is, is “perfect” as-such, including my very natural need to fix things. But there isn't some kind of winking going on when something is “wrong”... it isn't pretend wrong. Stepping on a nail sucks. That nail in my foot is perfect suchness alright... but it hurts and I have to get it out.
    I'm not going to sprinkle non-dual fairy dust on the situation and say the nail in my foot sucks, but doesn't really suck on an absolute level. It just plain sucks. The crappiness of the crappiness is crappy.. So all that is left is living it whole heartedly... and then letting go ..

  3. #3

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    The koan itself I took this one as one eager beaver wanting so much to "help" he inadvertently verbally built a cage to trap the dharma in and anything Buddha could have said after this to the assembly would be caught there too in the minds of others so best to shut it get down and leave it at that.

    To the question posed. Big yes!
    at work I had up set a person who, while in the wrong, Had I given the space to explain, would have simply had me explain what needed to happen next time that situation arrived and all would have been sunshine and lollypops.

    Instead I gave them an instant blast of shit upon sight - before even asking for an explanation -as I had already sat fuming over the
    "wrong" for a half an hour. When there reasons were given back to me, it was something that could have been a 2 min conversation, some compromise and that would have been it.

    Too late now the ears were closed and any attempt there after was a loss.

    Were they in the wrong? Yep.
    Did they need to be reminded of their responsibility? Yep
    Did their reason fail in the face of office protocol yep.
    Did i blow it all to hell with one sentence and a sour look. Oh yeah.

    Still feeling the blow back from my lack of tact and opening my trap
    I usually wait until all are settled, my own emotions checked at the door and THEN approach it more open ended (leaving lots of rope of course)

    Im sure my wife an those around me have much more than that

    Gassho
    Shohei

  4. #4

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Kojip - Yes, as Shishin says "[But if you think] everything is perfect as it is, that is [also] an erroneous view". Having a nail in your foot is not ideal. It causes unnecessary suffering and infection leading to a premature death. But the situation after you have stepped on the nail is perfectly what it is. It happened. In this moment, it couldn't be any different. It is thus, such, as it is. In a way, perfect, because it couldn't be any different, but at the same time not perfect. The wisest action would be to do something about it. Not because we "should", but because it's the natural thing to do, the only sane thing to do. There's no need to add anything extra (Oh no! Why did this happen to me? Things like this always happen to me! I hate the idiot who left a board with a nail in it on the ground!) or wish things were different. Instead, with the right mind, we can accept that now there's a nail in my foot, it sucks, it hurts as hell, it's dangerous. Give the anger space, give the fear space, give the pain space. And take action. Pull it out and clean the wound or go to the doctor. Talk to the person who left the nail on the ground, or if it was you, forgive yourself and promise to be more careful in the future. To me, Zen is not about resignation, but about accepting what is, the suchness of things, and adapting to the circumstances you find yourself in, ie taking action, changing things.

    I was going to comment on the koan and on the question posted by Jundo, but the two-year-old is demolishing the house, so I have to adapt to the circumstances and take action! :lol:

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  5. #5
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Being without words is easy. Allowing without fighting is a whole other matter. Sometimes it is good to let things be but you need to assess the roots of a situation. I guess we have all found ourselves between a rock and a hard place in our lives..a situation perhaps of our own making which we just have to live through. In this instance then we just have to live through it! I remember my salvation being the simple routines of each day..getting up ( really important), making food ( just as important), keeping the place and yourself clean ( yup important) doing little things, just doing them...no words required.. A kind of mindfulness. Sometimes it takes a lot of nerve and focus to keep things on the level ...but sometimes there are situations where again you have no control, such as those defined by the boss or work team, when fighting the situation (in your head I mean) can bring you around to discovering where delusions are really working. Keeping wordless can solve the issue whereas getting angry and closed off from others can damage relationships and yourself.
    Buddha got down to let Manjushri's words be. There was no need at that moment to say more....another time, well who knows?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi

    I was going to comment on the koan and on the question posted by Jundo, but the two-year-old is demolishing the house, so I have to adapt to the circumstances and take action! :lol:

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Sounds like my 2-year old! :lol:

    Gassho,
    Ekai

  7. #7

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    I've heard a saying that goes something like "Speak only if it improves on silence."
    I think that this refers not only to verbal speech but also includes mental speech. "Think only if it improves on silence."

    These are the first thoughts from my beginners mind, these are subject to change over the next few days.

    Gassho
    Gary

  8. #8

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Gary wrote

    I've heard a saying that goes something like "Speak only if it improves on silence."
    I think that this refers not only to verbal speech but also includes mental speech. "Think only if it improves on silence."


    thanks Gary - the above is my biggest challenge.

    When I woke this morning my head was immediately racing with worrying thoughts concerning my mother - who is living in less than ideal
    circumstances but refusing help. I know what needs doing - and all the dead ends - so the endless mind theatre is 'adding more' with no good
    purpose.

    Outside it's a beautiful morning - sun glistening on the dew soaked lawn - resonating (for me) with the words of the Appreciatory Verse
    'Mother Nature goes on weaving warp and wool'
    Looking out at the garden everything is just as it is - mother nature doing her thing. Inside my head - in my mind - I'm constantly adding to the
    'woven old brocade' - endlessly stitching over and over, perhaps stitching over, blocking, concealing - the images of spring.

    So everything just as it is - worried about my mum and a beautiful morning. Nothing to add and nothing to take away.

    But later we'll deliver shopping and check she's Ok - because right action matters too.

    Gassho

    Willow

  9. #9
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Blinded by Manushri's words. Deafened by his finger. The hazy moon is eclipsed. Eyes wide shut, what more could be seen?

    Gassho,

    Dokan

  10. #10

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    As far as I can remember myself I was always a dreamer in my younger years. I would day dream anywhere and anytime. Now as I'm getting older there isn't much dreaming going on but rather dwelling in the past, playing out different scenarios of what my life would be like have I not done this or that. However, thanks to the practice more of life "as is" appears and gets noticed. So this koan for me personally is about noticing and giving up the tendencies that have been part of my way of being for pretty much all of my life. It's about living right this moment which is just as is, even accepting my old way of thinking as is/was – no critique no judging, just accepting it and dropping it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    I recognise that Andy. Well put. Gassho.

  12. #12
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    So a couple of weeks ago my eight year old girl had a soccer game. It was the first game where they were keeping score. My kid is a pretty good player. She is also very sweet without the killer instinct for competition. The score was tied 1-1 for the whole game and emotions were high. The last quarter she was put in the position of goal keeper - a position she has no experience in - a high stress position for her, for me and my wife who played goalkeeper at the highest levels. The atmosphere with the parents on both sides was intense with lots of yelling and screaming. The referee for the game was a 15 year old kid volunteer. Of course a foul was called in the penalty box and the ref called for a penalty kick (one on one shot against the keeper at a short distance). The ref made a mistake. The rules state no penalty kicks at this age. I hadnt prepared her for it. My daughter wasnt ready. My wife wasnt ready. I wasnt ready. I was afraid for her. Would it crush her - the weight of losing the game-the pressure of the situation-worried for my wife-on and on and on in my head. I was yelling at the ref that he was wrong and needed to fix it. Needless to say the parents went crazy with several verbal fights breaking out including me yelling at a 17 year old boy who was swearing at and challenging my wife to a fight. There were worse arguments with other parents on the field as well. Things got out of control and the game was called.

    My daughter and all the kids saw the entire thing and how all the parents acted. I should have just let it go. It was just a soccer game. She would have learned more from the experience of the penalty kick - either good or bad and dealt with whatever situation that would have come about. It would have been hard to be quiet and let it just happen without resisting (just cheering her on) but the experience would have been better and my kid would have learned a better lesson than her parents and other parents are out of control. I did a lot of damage control to fix a problem I helped to create

    Daido

  13. #13

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    At the hotel I work at the front desk has a big laser printer, this printer takes a huge beating from over use all day, the back office likes to save money by buying the generic toner for this printer. I've told them countless times after fixing it that they must stop using this crappy generic stuff but to no avail. This used to infuriate me to no end I would kick and scream in my head, and then devise some plan to get them to understand why you must buy the actual brand name toner, but at the end of the day, the printer gets fixed fixed and still we had the generic ink regardless of my advice. Now when I am called to fix the printer, I still get angry, I still get upset, I am still disappointed that my advice goes unheeded but when that's done I fix the printer and move on, and I find that the periods of anger and disappointment don't last as long once I resolve to just fix the issue, but the longer I get caught up in the swirl of emotion, the longer it takes to fix the printer.

    Gassho,

    Jeff

  14. #14

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Glad for all the detail here, still waiting on my book, something happened with the amazon order.

    This case goes right to experiance/meaning of a Zen practice to me. I find that there is not much for me to say about it that adds much value. Silence, awareness, and acceptance seems to trump thoughts, words and striving.

  15. #15

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    Ok. So everything, as-is, is “perfect” as-such, including my very natural need to fix things. But there isn't some kind of winking going on when something is “wrong”... it isn't pretend wrong. Stepping on a nail sucks. That nail in my foot is perfect suchness alright... but it hurts and I have to get it out.
    I'm not going to sprinkle non-dual fairy dust on the situation and say the nail in my foot sucks, but doesn't really suck on an absolute level. It just plain sucks. The crappiness of the crappiness is crappy.. So all that is left is living it whole heartedly... and then letting go ..
    Does it suck? It's pain, but does it suck? Maybe right at that moment? But even then, who can say? Pain is pain.

    To riff off Daido's excellent soccer story (I've seen those fights and been part of them, sure!). Here is my ankle, sprained during soccer (futball, of course), in a boot a month, another month out, two more months of rehab. There was a lot of pain and anger at the pain at first, sure. But in those four months, I rehabbed, strengthened both ankles, and quite accidentally developed my left foot into a strength, and can now play off both sides. It took discipline and patience and working through pain. For my soccer game, this ankle injury, even this pain, ended up being one of best things to happen to my body and my mind state while playing. So, does this sprained ankle suck?

    ankle pictures (couldn't upload photo; some R-rated language in re-telling of story here): http://stories-like-stories-you-know.bl ... ankle.html.

    "nothing can be done about the Spring God's outflowing": I'm reminded of my over-analyzing, self-conscious mind. I used to always question what I was saying, how I was saying it, how it was coming off to other people, was I being too self-centered, too focused on being funny or intelligent, too focused on trying to create an impression, did others see this, did I hurt someone's feelings with a joke, an argument, a point of view. This drove me crazy, to the point of not being able to sleep nights, to depression, mood swings, serious doubt, disliking myself, etc. Over the past few years, sitting, just being with oneself, just being with everything, has really settled the "outflow" some.

    Gassho,
    Alan

  16. #16

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by alan.r

    Does it suck? It's pain, but does it suck? Maybe right at that moment? But even then, who can say? Pain is pain.
    ...and how is that panning out for you? For me sometimes pain is just pain.. alone in/as sheer, bright, presence.... all enlightenedish. Then sometimes it is pain-while-bank-refuses-interest-rate-lock-in-and-ass-of-pants-tears-while-kid's-tourette-syndrome-goes-ballistic. Now maybe that is unenlightened... all greed hatred and delusionish. But nonetheless.. that is the moment as-presents too. That too. If it is not that too.. then I might as well go find a kuti in the woods and kiss the world goodbye.

  17. #17

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Closing the gate, hitting the snooze button
    I vow with all beings
    to celebrate the idea of spring
    even as the persimmons are already falling

  18. #18

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    Quote Originally Posted by alan.r

    Does it suck? It's pain, but does it suck? Maybe right at that moment? But even then, who can say? Pain is pain.
    ...and how is that panning out for you? For me sometimes pain is just pain.. alone in/as sheer, bright, presence.... all enlightenedish. Then sometimes it is pain-while-bank-refuses-interest-rate-lock-in-and-ass-of-pants-tears-while-kid's-tourette-syndrome-goes-ballistic. Now maybe that is unenlightened... all greed hatred and delusionish. But nonetheless.. that is the moment as-presents too. That too. If it is not that too.. then I might as well go find a kuti in the woods and kiss the world goodbye.
    Damned right! When you are in pain, you don't say oh wait, hold on "Pain is Pain". No you hurt. Sometimes you hurt like hell depending on the injury. But the key is to not add to the pain with more mental chatter. Not that that works out well for me. A lot of the time I yell, and swear and get angry about it. But I do learn from it.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  19. #19

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    ...and how is that panning out for you? For me sometimes pain is just pain.. alone in/as sheer, bright, presence.... all enlightenedish. Then sometimes it is pain-while-bank-refuses-interest-rate-lock-in-and-ass-of-pants-tears-while-kid's-tourette-syndrome-goes-ballistic. Now maybe that is unenlightened... all greed hatred and delusionish. But nonetheless.. that is the moment as-presents too. That too. If it is not that too.. then I might as well go find a kuti in the woods and kiss the world goodbye.
    Oh I don't know. Not enlightened nor unenlightened nor whatever. I'm just saying, sometimes saying something sucks is the first little trip for me, the first little misstep. Not that I don't do it, I do all the time, but when I do: a little cave with just me. Weeds and flowers. And if I keep going in my mind, These weeds suck, well, they will, and there I'll be with all that sucks, my shit, mine; if I can simply see thing, well, maybe something else, I don't know. Just because something is unpleasant doesn't make it wrong. In any case, I didn't mean to be judgmental, just to look from some other spot at it.

    A nail in the foot!
    Take it out.
    But don't call it anything.

    PS: Shinkai, I love that.

    Gassho,
    alan

  20. #20

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Basically Not Speaking is a good thing. Much better than speaking most of the time; and as Gary said, this also applies to thoughts. For me it certainly does; especially those thoughts giving us and other trouble, thoughts which arise from greed, anger, ignorance.

    This week I had trouble with a business partner, big trouble. I wont go in all details, as its pretty complex, but during this "divorce" I needed to digest a lot of harsh and ugly comments from this former partner, he was very angry; and I felt very bad treated, especially as I think I played my part pretty fair.
    I was thinking about the situation, how to act (after all it was an important relation) and why he was so hart to me over and over again. I could not find sleep on last Wednesday. Lying in bed I did some "zazen", it was tricky as my mind wandered back to my trouble on and on. But then I had a couple of minutes free of that notorious thinking. And next even about 10 minutes, when suddenly I saw much clearer. By constantly working on it, fueled by my anger and greed, my pushing to solve it, I was stuck. By releasing it, it solved itself. To make it short: the separation was inevitable, but I could go into it with peace now.

    _()_
    Peter Myoku

  21. #21
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    I hope things are improving for you Myoku. I too have had many sleepless nights as confusion and anger generates an energy that just won't die down. I have tried zazen on these occasions but although thoughts are cleared it's the energy that I find a nuisance.It just keeps zinging around!

  22. #22

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    To accept life as it is and not be frightened it's hard, harder it's to accept that the Dharma is simple, it's humain to feel something missing from this simplicity, and when we realise it we can be frightened by this ultimate reality:even with the Dharma, nothing can and has to be grasped. Is a great liberty or a great prison of non sens of our life if we fell frightenend and alone. "to look life in the face, to know it for what it is, to love it for what it is, to cherish it, and to drop it"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMErdpA804Y[/video]] This movie talked to me a few years ago like Dalloway feeling her life incomplete.

    My little understanding and feeling

    Gassho to all

  23. #23

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    At work people often come to me with a question or worse a problem/crisis that needs to be handled. I'm trying to learn to move with a little less urgency and more quiet focus. Usually when we react from a place of panic or anxiousness the best choices are not made.

    Perhaps taking that extra moment to be silent and consider the next action or thing to say is what is in order.

    Even in my personal life I'd like to use this Koan to inspire me to take spme more time and allow space and silence between stimuli and response.

  24. #24

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Tried to post my photo response and got this message:
    "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached."
    Oh well. It is what it is.

  25. #25

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Boy, a lot of words for a Koan about not speaking! 8)

    What was spoken loud and clear by the Buddha, coming up ... going down the stairs?

    What was taught that might not be heard in a lecture of 10,000,000 words?

    Gassho, J

  26. #26

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Most highly treasured would be some story from your own life describing a moment ... perhaps your life now, or some event you recall many years ago ... in which the insight of the Koan served as a kind of "turning word" to let you see, experience or handle an event in your life differently (This week, our Case 1, will ask for such an example).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Boy, a lot of words for a Koan about not speaking! 8)
    _()_
    Myoku

  27. #27

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Boy, a lot of words for a Koan about not speaking! 8)

    But is it about not speaking?
    Was the Buddha always silent?
    Did he think a lot about when to speak and when to stay silent?
    In my view, silence is not generally better than speaking. But sometimes words are meaningless, extra.
    There can be just as much meaning communicated through silence, action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra
    Then the venerable Sariputra said to the goddess, "Goddess, how long have you been in this house?"
    The goddess replied, "I have been here as long as the elder has been in liberation."
    Sariputra said, "Then, have you been in this house for quite some time?"
    The goddess said, "Has the elder been in liberation for quite some time?"
    At that, the elder Sariputra fell silent.
    The goddess continued, "Elder, you are 'foremost of the wise!' Why do you not speak? Now, when it is your turn, you do not answer the question."
    Sariputra: Since liberation is inexpressible, goddess, I do not know what to say.
    Goddess: All the syllables pronounced by the elder have the nature of liberation. Why? Liberation is neither internal nor external, nor can it be apprehended apart from them. Likewise, syllables are neither internal nor external, nor can they be apprehended anywhere else. Therefore, reverend Sariputra, do not point to liberation by abandoning speech! Why? The holy liberation is the equality of all things!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    What was spoken loud and clear by the Buddha, coming up ... going down the stairs?
    What was taught that might not be heard in a lecture of 10,000,000 words?
    We were not there, so I don't believe we can know for sure. So much communication is going on all the time that can't be captured in a few lines. But my guess is that what was taught was the same truth that was taught in the flower sermon.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  28. #28

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by mr.Lou
    Tried to post my photo response and got this message:
    "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached."
    Oh well. It is what it is.
    I got that too.

    /Pontus

  29. #29
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    :lol:

  30. #30

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Jundo wrote

    Boy, a lot of words for a Koan about not speaking! 8)

    .... well Shishin Wick managed over a page

    Off or on the mark I really appreciate the level of sharing in this discussion.

    Gassho

    Willow

  31. #31

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    I just mowed the back yard lawn. Two and a half hours on the garden tractor. Pure meditation. My two-year-old was sitting in my lap with earmuffs and a cap on. Normally, he can't be still for two minutes, but now he was sitting completely still for two hours, with only short stops to empty the collector. The motor was humming in the background, but birdsong could still be heard through the noise and the earmuffs. There was the smell of cut grass and spring. Sheer greenery everywhere. I hadn't noticed that the cherry tree was in full bloom. Close to the blossoms, bees and bumblebees were buzzing around. Below the tree were tiny little pink flowers that I don't remember seeing before. Above, an airplane was making loops and rolls in the sky, not a common sight in these parts. When we emptied the grass for the last time, I was going to ask the kid if he enjoyed it. In that moment, he turned around and smiled, grinned. With his whole face, his whole body. I didn't say anything. Maybe because we still had the earmuffs on, maybe because no words were necessary. I just bent down and kissed him on the forehead. A beautiful day.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  32. #32

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Boy, a lot of words for a Koan about not speaking! 8)



    Gassho, J
    uh oh ... sorry.

    here......











    .. Gassho

    ... ahh it's too late.. already blew it.

  33. #33

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Yes, no gold star for you my friend!

    /Pontus

  34. #34

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    When we emptied the grass for the last time, I was going to ask the kid if he enjoyed it. In that moment, he turned around and smiled, grinned. With his whole face, his whole body. I didn't say anything. Maybe because we still had the earmuffs on, maybe because no words were necessary. I just bent down and kissed him on the forehead. A beautiful day.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Wonderful story. Like you Budddha was a wonderful father.

    Am looking forward to commenting on this first case but the responses have been so interesting and thoughtful that I get carried away by them.

  35. #35
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich

    Wonderful story. Like you Budddha was a wonderful father.

    Am looking forward to commenting on this first case but the responses have been so interesting and thoughtful that I get carried away by them.
    Ditto

  36. #36

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    I just mowed the back yard lawn. Two and a half hours on the garden tractor. Pure meditation. My two-year-old was sitting in my lap with earmuffs and a cap on. Normally, he can't be still for two minutes, but now he was sitting completely still for two hours, with only short stops to empty the collector. The motor was humming in the background, but birdsong could still be heard through the noise and the earmuffs. There was the smell of cut grass and spring. Sheer greenery everywhere. I hadn't noticed that the cherry tree was in full bloom. Close to the blossoms, bees and bumblebees were buzzing around. Below the tree were tiny little pink flowers that I don't remember seeing before. Above, an airplane was making loops and rolls in the sky, not a common sight in these parts. When we emptied the grass for the last time, I was going to ask the kid if he enjoyed it. In that moment, he turned around and smiled, grinned. With his whole face, his whole body. I didn't say anything. Maybe because we still had the earmuffs on, maybe because no words were necessary. I just bent down and kissed him on the forehead. A beautiful day.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    That's a lovely story (you have a big lawn Pontus :shock: ) - when we say back yard in the Uk it's usually the size of a postage stamp

    Willow

  37. #37

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Yes, it's in the country side. The grass was long and a little wet, so I couldn't go very fast. The lawn in front of the house takes an hour and a half and the back another two hours... But I don't consider it to be work. It's pure relaxation!

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  38. #38
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    I saw a great blue heron on a rooftop and a mallard duck in my neighbor's pool. Things I've never seen here. We had a group cuddle in bed, dogs and all!

    Happy Mother's day.


    Shugen

  39. #39
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    I am currently in a difficult situation with one of my clients. Following a change in direction, the company is totally changing its marketing approaches. My work creating content for this company is a large part of their marketing. In addition, this company is my largest client.

    I've been working for this company for more than 15 years, and my work has been instrumental in the way the company has built its reputation. but I cannot agree with the approach that they are taking, and have gotten to the point where I do not feel that I can work for them anymore.

    At first, I was fighting these changes, trying to explain what was wrong in their decisions. Some of the changes are certainly good, but the overall changes go against the way I want to work. In the past couple of weeks, I finally realized that fighting these changes is not beneficial for me. I've also realized that if I cannot continue to work with this company, well, then I just have to stop working with them. So I am at a point now where I am accepting both a major change — as my largest client, this represents more than half of my income — and the possibilities that this will open for the future. Instead of just seeing this as fully negative, I am seeing how this will both allow me and force me to find new clients to replace this one, and possibly moving in a different direction.

    So, in some ways I have reached the point where it seems much better to "just allow and not fight," as Jundo said above.

  40. #40

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    Yes, no gold star for you my friend!

    /Pontus
    ...oh boy.... maybe I really want a gold star..... :mrgreen:

  41. #41
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    I didn't get the feeling that Manjushri was 'outflowing' (after all he was quite wise), I felt he was preparing the gathered listeners for what Buddha was going to say about the Dharma King's Dharma and, he did this by descending the platform. Has this ever happened to me? Yes! A few times when what I prepared was said by speakers before me but, I would stupidly go on and try to patch it up. This happened a few times until I realized it is best to say what is on you mind 'in the moment.' If that happens to be nothing, say nothing; they'll never know what you are thinking

  42. #42

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Right now, my wife is visiting her mother in the hospital. I'm at home with the dogs. I miss my wife; I want to be with her and her family. I want to do something to fix this! I have to keep coming back to now, and let go, and now and let go. There is nothing I can do at this moment, but just relax and let it be. I can sit zazen, offer metta and pray. That is a form of letting things be. I can use this as an opportunity to practice.

    Also from a professional perspective, I'm a software developer. Lots of times I encounter problems that just blindside me. "Things should not be behaving like that!" That type of thinking is destructive. I have a problem or problems like that now. It scares me. I'm supposed to be the expert and know everything about the system, but that's not true at all. Still I have a responsibility to do my utmost to fix it. The best way I can do that is to not allow destructive emotions based on my desire about a situation to cloud my judgement. It's called computer science because we have to step back and observe and take correct action based on what the facts are showing us. When I get in the way of that, then I will never solve the problem. Hell I may not solve the problem anyway, but it is much more peaceful and balanced to act on what the reality of things are then how we want them to be. In that way, I can be blinded to what actually is; if I don't know what is, I can't fix it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Boy, a lot of words for a Koan about not speaking! 8)

    What was spoken loud and clear by the Buddha, coming up ... going down the stairs?

    What was taught that might not be heard in a lecture of 10,000,000 words?

    Gassho, J
    This teaching seems to be similar to what the daily practice of zazen teaches me.

    Words, thoughts, judgements are necessary to act in this world, but they are a filter or lens through which we see the world. If we hold to tightly onto words, we forget the reality. At the same time, I am a man of reason, and I think thinking is a wondrous thing (hahaha I didn't intend think thinking pun. lol). So we need both. The point of this is that nothing more can be said... reality doesn't need a description. This is it now; we need to see it. We need to keep on coming back and seeing it. We need to notice when we are grasping and clinging, then just watch that go and then see it again. That's what Shikantaza has taught me.

    There are always going to be thoughts; that is natural and human! However, when we cling or hold on, the 3 poisons of greed, anger and ignorance take place. This is my life! I make my own decisions! I don't care what you think! I will drink as much as I want to. I will smoke, I will hurt myself because it has no bearing on your life. Oh "they" aren't as smart as "us". "They" don't get "us". We must protect "our" stuff, and not let "them" take it.

    I guess I'm being melodramatic, but reality is not like that. We all impact each other. But in order to see reality, we need to stop adding to it. Not that we are really adding anything at all to what is. But I mean in our mind.

    Sorry for so many words. This not speaking seems to be at the heart of the teaching.

    Gassho,

    Risho

    P.S I also found it interesting that Shishin Roshi asked the question why do you practice zazen? Before I even knew zazen involved a mediation practice, I was an armchair Buddhist. I read the koans and other stories about 10 or so years ago because they comforted me in some odd way; I also liked the idea of gaining enlightenment.. another notch on my ego's resume. Perhaps this ascending and descending is a shattering of that wish to gain something. You already are this. You are here now! Trying to add or take away is like living life with training wheels on. You don't experience the ride. True zen to me.... why I practice, is to see directly without that lens or at least to note when I do. It's to stop feeling like I'm not good enough now if I have to lose weight or can't solve everything; but that's bs. This life is a damned gift! Practice is to try and see what is now and really act upon that naturally. But why is that important? Because I think true action without the lens of self-interest is true compassion. Acting without that lens is like the 4 Bodhisattva vows. It may be impossible, but it's a damned good thing to practice and aim for. I don't know.. .just some thoughts that came while I was washing the dishes.

  43. #43

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Boy, a lot of words for a Koan about not speaking! 8)

    What was spoken loud and clear by the Buddha, coming up ... going down the stairs?

    What was taught that might not be heard in a lecture of 10,000,000 words?

    Gassho, J
    I love how this is going!

    Time to play some Dogen word games:



    A "lot of words" is the Koan of "not speaking."

    The stairs, preaching loud and clear, go straight up Buddha and right down Manjushri.

    In a lecture of 10,000,000 words, the "not be heard" is taught "as it is".


    Printer jams, a partner leaves, soccer foul and parents too,

    mother sick, work don't work, hearts and legs broken ...

    A nail from old stairs pierces Buddha's foot ... OUCH!... Manjushri tumbles down ...

    Cutting grass, This Moment on 10,000 blades.

    A "PREFACE TO THE ASSEMBLY" and "APPRECIATORY VERSE" ... though I ain't much the poet.


    Gassho, J

  44. #44

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Gassho, I love that poem

    ok I hate cliche's and I hate parroting other zen stuff... But it seems sometimes like Zen is the art of falling and getting back up... It's always about getting back up. It's hard to state this without sounding too absolutist... but it's almost like who cares about the result? Follow your heart with good intent. Of course if the results are missing the mark, pick yourself back up, adjust course and keep on trying. But not try in a half-hearted way like Yoda told Luke, but just straight doing with all of your being following your heart. For example, saving all sentient is an impossible feat. Who cares? We are all in this together, let's do it! Let's shut up and clarify ourselves by trying to not add anything/ not take anything away and do this non-thing!

    I remember hearing a talk about a master of archery, and the master would follow a methodical process of setting the arrow, breathing calmly and releasing. No matter where it lands, he would say "bullseye"! No matter how we try and describe the Way, we will naturally miss the mark, but we must keep on doing it to save all sentient beings as words and ideas (although the finger) can point. case in point, we are all here sharing in this marvelous practice, brought here by word of mouth :mrgreen:

    Gassho,

    Risho

  45. #45

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    From time to time I got angry at people
    Because they are not doing the right thing, what they are supposed to do
    Then, a few times, I let silence sink in
    And I realize that "right" and "wrong" are just words
    And I laugh
    Rimon's Dharma is just as it is

    Thank you Taigu, Jundo, Treeleaf for showing it to me

    Gassho


    Rimon

  46. #46

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Hello,

    regarding Jundo's question: Can you describe a problem or incident in your life, now or in the past ... a situation that is/was very hard ... that your head was filled with thoughts and emotions about, and that you resisted or hated very much ... but would have/did/might experience very differently by just being "without words", just allowing and not fighting?

    This instantly reminds me of a time when I just started a new job many years ago which on some deep level just didn't feel right, although factually all should have been wonderful. Instead of just allowing myself to truly feel the emotions and thoughts - and to follow them to their source, I got caught up in my feeling miserable and complained to people close to me about my situation. Had I allowed myself to just feel the feeling, clarity might have been found much sooner, with the effect that I could have taken appropriate action earlier. Interestingly clarity doesn't lead to more options IMHO, but to less and less options. So the freedom I am talking about here is not one of unlimited choices, it is one of having a clear understanding of the way things are, followed by not being as caught-up by unnecessary fetters. Being free to do what really needs to be done..now that is freedom.


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  47. #47

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Printer jams, a partner leaves, soccer foul and parents too,

    mother sick, work don't work, hearts and legs broken ...

    A nail from old stairs pierces Buddha's foot ... OUCH!... Manjushri tumbles down ...

    Cutting grass, This Moment on 10,000 blades.


    Thanks Jundo

    Gassho

    Willow

  48. #48

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    'The Dharma-Kings Dharma is as is'

    When I first came to Buddhism I was just looking for another way to escape a life filled with pain, anxiety and fear. I believed that enlightenment would change me into a totally different person. Well, I'm still basically the same but I probably notice things sooner and more completely. Right now I'm a little anxious about the sale of my house. But its not growing into a monster. I acknowledge it and do what needs to be done on my part and put it down as much as necessary. Now some of the as is ness can be pretty nice and some can be pretty bad but you always acknowledge it and let it go - all just sitting - all good practice. So you are the Dharma-King ascending and descending the throne.

  49. #49
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Q: Is there any need to speak of as-is-ness once it is realized ?
    A: I don't know!

    Oops is this case 2 :lol:

  50. #50

    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    'The Dharma-Kings Dharma is as is'

    When I first came to Buddhism I was just looking for another way to escape a life filled with pain, anxiety and fear. I believed that enlightenment would change me into a totally different person. Well, I'm still basically the same but I probably notice things sooner and more completely. Right now I'm a little anxious about the sale of my house. But its not growing into a monster. I acknowledge it and do what needs to be done on my part and put it down as much as necessary. Now some of the as is ness can be pretty nice and some can be pretty bad but you always acknowledge it and let it go - all just sitting - all good practice. So you are the Dharma-King ascending and descending the throne.
    Thank you Rich,
    Buddha mind ascending, descending, outflowing.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

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