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Thread: Book of equanimity case 5

  1. #1
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Book of equanimity case 5

    'What is the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma?'
    Seigan replied : 'what does the rice cost in Roryo?'

    Most of the time we have an over idealized perception of the path with flying boddhisatvas and great awakening feasts. We are waiting for the Disney-Buddha land show, the cosmic parade, the Barnum Dharma freak show.
    Rice, guys. Just food. plain food. Its price. Just that. Nothing less, nothing more.

    'Go and wash your bowl.'
    'The tree in the garden'.
    'A shit stick.'

    Answers pointing atthe ordinary mind. Ordinary life, ordinary activity.
    The nothing special you should not make special ( that s why mindfulness is nt necessary, no need for a watcher, just do and don t make a spiritual fuss about it)

    How not to fall into this smell, this stench of Zen?

    How do you get carried away by expectations and dreams?how and to what could you pay more attention?
    How can shopping be the unfolding of the Buddhadharma? What do we add or take away to these simple things we do in our life? How not to?

    How to live the uncomplicated?


    Gassho


    Taigu
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-22-2012 at 01:37 AM.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  2. #2
    I must admit I already read this chapter last weekend.

    The first thing coming to my mind when reading this case was ..."don't intellectualize, just do" which seems to be the message. Coming to this view, I put aside the book and prepared lunch for the family, no longer moving this in my head. But there was still that "watcher", seeing me reading this and then preparing lunch. What really hits me in your comment Taigu, is "...no mindfulness necessary." because if I would have to give someone a one word instruction to buddhism it would be Mindfullness or Awareness. So I went wrong :-D

    How to live uncomplicated ? Just do! But to just do one needs to omit adding all kinds of thoughts and drama, to omit it needs awareness until "just doing" has become a habit. No ? Well, I see awareness can be something added, but maybe its not ? I dont know :-D

    Gassho
    Myoku

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    'What is the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma?'
    Seigan replied : 'what does the rice cost in Roryo?'

    Most of the time we have an over idealized perception of the path with flying boddhisatvas and great awakening feasts. We are waiting for the Disney-Buddha land show, the cosmic parade, the Barnum Dharma freak show.
    Rice, guys. Just food. plain food. Its price. Just that. Nothing less, nothing more.

    'Go and wash your bowl.'
    'The tree in the garden'.
    'A shit stick.'

    Answers pointing atthe ordinary mind. Ordinary life, ordinary activity.
    The nothing special you should not make special ( that s why mindfulness is nt necessary, no need for a watcher, just do and don t make a spiritual fuss about it)

    How not to fall into this smell, this stench of Zen?

    How do you get carried away by expectations and dreams?how and to what could you pay more attention?
    How can shopping be the unfolding of the Buddhadharma? What do we add or take away to these simple things we do in our life? How not to?

    How to live the uncomplicated?


    Gassho


    Taigu
    Hi.

    _/\_

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    Treeleaf Unsui
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    No mindfulness necessary

    Like Myoku, I was struck when reading that mindfulness is not necessary. But yes, that is one of the common tales of Disney-Buddha-Land: the uberbeing that is able to keep awareness 24 hours day, from drinking coffee to farting, nothing scapes his all-mighty awareness.
    And I've been so attached to that tale, dreaming of one day to become something like that...

    Time to wake up. Time to live the uncomplicated life

    Gassho
    Rimon Barcelona, Spain
    "Practice and the goal of practice are identical." [i:auj57aui]John Daido Loori[/i:auj57aui]

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    'What is the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma?'
    Being able to post this very message.
    Gassho,
    Andy

  6. #6
    Watch yourself swing in both directions. Do not become so reverent toward the cracks, the tree outside the window, or the muddy step that you forget to offer reverence to Buddha, to ceremony, and to peace.

  7. #7
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    I read this and I found myself trying extremely hard to craft a proper, enlightened zen response. Caught! (this is not my clever response i'm just being honest haha) Now I stop.

    Thank you for the teaching
    Jiken Daido - Unsui at Treeleaf's Brother Sangha, the Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage.

    Do not just accept what I say. Decide for yourself if it rings true for you

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Daido View Post
    I read this and I found myself trying extremely hard to craft a proper, enlightened zen response.
    Wonderful ...
    _()_
    Myoku

  9. #9
    Member Thane's Avatar
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    Hi Taigu

    I really enjoyed your remarks about this koan. They were straight to the point. When i first read case 5, i felt a bit stumped by it. Perhaps i was looking for the flying Bodhisattva kind of answer. But no, nothing mystical, just rice, nothing more, nothing less. Ah how my monkey mind can hope for more! Great teaching in this short koan. Thank you.

    Gassho

    Thane

  10. #10
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    How to live the uncomplicated?

    Still practising this..... Zazen helps!

    An old man of 105 years was asked the secret of a happy life. His reply was, 'be good'...simple!
    Heisoku
    平 息

  11. #11
    Senior Member Daisho's Avatar
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    Maybe the guy who came up with the Alcoholics Anonymous slogan "Keep It Simple" was a Buddhist!
    Gassho,

    Daisho


    (Jack K.)

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    How do you get carried away by expectations and dreams?how and to what could you pay more attention?
    How can shopping be the unfolding of the Buddhadharma? What do we add or take away to these simple things we do in our life? How not to?

    How to live the uncomplicated?

    There is nothing I can do to drop dreams and live uncomplicated.... because anything I do is a contrivance of dropping dreams and living uncomplicated. The stink of simple. All I can do is dream and be complicated, and fall down over and over..... until these bones give up dreams on their own.

    Gassho, kojip.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    No path,no wisdom and no gain.
    No gain thus bodhisattvas live this Prajnaparamita with no hindrance of mind.
    No hindrance therefore no fear.

    Uncomplicated.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  14. #14
    water flows
    water goes
    pay attention
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Myoku View Post
    I must admit I already read this chapter last weekend.

    The first thing coming to my mind when reading this case was ..."don't intellectualize, just do" which seems to be the message. Coming to this view, I put aside the book and prepared lunch for the family, no longer moving this in my head. But there was still that "watcher", seeing me reading this and then preparing lunch. What really hits me in your comment Taigu, is "...no mindfulness necessary." because if I would have to give someone a one word instruction to buddhism it would be Mindfullness or Awareness. So I went wrong :-D

    How to live uncomplicated ? Just do! But to just do one needs to omit adding all kinds of thoughts and drama, to omit it needs awareness until "just doing" has become a habit. No ? Well, I see awareness can be something added, but maybe its not ? I dont know :-D

    Gassho
    Myoku

    I don't feel you went 'wrong' Myoku - I see practicing mindfulness (Thich Nhat Hahn makes sense to me) as a way of 'undoing' all that we pick up through life that gets in the way of our natural ability to 'just be'. Perhaps it is a little self conscious at the start but hopefully it becomes more natural over time.

    Regarding the koan - asking the ultimate meaning of anything is problematic. 'What is the ultimate meaning of life' or 'what is the ultimate meaning of truth'. We have no secure answers for these questions - and all is relative.

    Gassho

    Willow

  16. #16
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    The meaning of Buddhadharma is life. Just that.

    The hard part comes when we let the mind attach ideas, hopes and fantasies to facts.

    "When I graduate I'll get a nicely paid job. I'll get rich in no time!"

    "Only he can save me"

    "I'll be happy only if I get the new product"

    And we often miss life as it is.

    Just rice, really.
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    I find myself appreciating little things more. How to do that without getting too attached? How to enjoy without making a conscience effort?

    I also find myself playing with "Buddha's Spit" during Zazen. "It's okay if I follow this thought stream for a little while, it's about Buddhist stuff".

    So funny how the mind works.

    Ron


    Shugen
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  18. #18
    yes kyonin, when I was at the university ,I was thinking how the world would me mine with this succes, I felt so clever, after my success I realised that there is nothing special, my illusions vanished, and I felt lost because of my illusions about how life would be.


    Gassho

    Yang Hsin

  19. #19
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Hi Yang Hsiin..my son is expecting to start university soon and has all these expectations as we all had, but ..... Only he will/ can learn this lesson, as we have all had to...by him/ourself. His world is not my world no matter how much I show him. Only he can find out how much rice costs in Roryo!
    Heisoku
    平 息

  20. #20
    Thank you for your post Heisoku, great success to your son. It's good to ear that, I thought I was the only one lost in life at this time feeling unnecessary to the world, not knowing the new place life was showing me.

    Gassho

    Yang Hsin

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by rculver View Post
    I also find myself playing with "Buddha's Spit" during Zazen. "It's okay if I follow this thought stream for a little while, it's about Buddhist stuff".

    So funny how the mind works.

    Ron


    Shugen
    Thank you Ron, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who does this.

    Gassho
    Gary
    Drinking tea and eating rice.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Daido View Post
    I read this and I found myself trying extremely hard to craft a proper, enlightened zen response. Caught! (this is not my clever response i'm just being honest haha) Now I stop.

    Thank you for the teaching
    thank you Daido! exactly

    How not to fall into this smell, this stench of Zen?
    Humbleness, honesty and proceeding with out care - no not reckless carelessness but with out agenda?

    on being carried away that happens, I just have to practice coming back, noticing the slope I was slipping on and Not expecting this practice to be fixed, and a cure, but on going medicine... sweet sometimes, Buckleys mixture another. (nasty cold medicine that simply states "it tastes awful, but it works")

    Gassho
    Shohei

  23. #23
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    The answer that is sought changes, fluctuates, and differs according to time and place...just like the cost of rice. An answer would not only be impossible, but unfortunate...for it would fix one's focus on a goal, a time, and a place to reach...when there is nowhere to go but here.

    Enjoy the rice...no matter what it costs, you gotta eat.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Ah how my monkey mind can hope for more!
    Thanks thane
    AND thank you Taigu for such an uncomplicated explanation of uncomplicatedness
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Jen
    The result is not the point; it is the effort to improve ourselves that is valuable. There is no end to this practice. --Shunryu Suzuki

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    'What is the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma?'
    Seigan replied : 'what does the rice cost in Roryo?'

    Most of the time we have an over idealized perception of the path with flying boddhisatvas and great awakening feasts. We are waiting for the Disney-Buddha land show, the cosmic parade, the Barnum Dharma freak show.
    Rice, guys. Just food. plain food. Its price. Just that. Nothing less, nothing more.

    'Go and wash your bowl.'
    'The tree in the garden'.
    'A shit stick.'

    Answers pointing atthe ordinary mind. Ordinary life, ordinary activity.
    The nothing special you should not make special ( that s why mindfulness is nt necessary, no need for a watcher, just do and don t make a spiritual fuss about it)

    How not to fall into this smell, this stench of Zen?

    How do you get carried away by expectations and dreams?how and to what could you pay more attention?
    How can shopping be the unfolding of the Buddhadharma? What do we add or take away to these simple things we do in our life? How not to?

    How to live the uncomplicated?


    Gassho


    Taigu
    Before reading anyone else's posts, I want to answer these. So if what I say has been already said, I apologize.

    I read about zen for years and years before I actually started doing the practice. I didn't even know that practice was central to it. I know it's odd, but I was introduced to Zen by way of what I read when I was practicing martial arts. So it was superficial zen with an end of being more proficient in martial arts; eventually it became a path to become more proficient at my job. In any event, a couple of years back I was reading The Power of Now. There were zen quotes in it, and for some reason it piqued my interest and I read a book by Daido Roshi. I eventually read book about sitting practice (although counting the breaths was the focus), and when I came here Zazen was all about Shikantaza, and it really felt right.

    I'm sorry for the life story. lol The point is that I read about zen a lot. It was exciting, like a new toy or piece of candy. I think it's natural; if we aren't drawn to it, then we won't start the search, the practice. But as practice becomes more ingrained it isn't like that. I'm passionate about it, but it's in a deeper sense. Saying the meal gatha or practice isn't done because it's esoteric or cool; it's done as a true expression of gratitude for my life.

    When I started practice I wondered what would a zen buddhist do? Now I don't think like that. We are human beings, not Buddhists. In some sense we are Buddhists, but I don't like holding so tightly to it. Identifying with Buddhism is another way of trying to exert our ego's idea of a separate, independent self. Sewing the Rakusu, the Kesa is not sewing for ourselves. It is sewing for all beings. We practice for to save all beings. I say that vow every time after zazen to remind "myself" that this practice isn't about "myself". Every aspect of practice is like this I'm finding. I'm thankful for Treeleaf, the sangha and the teachers for sharing these valuable lessons.

    So for me in the beginning (not that I'm advanced by any means) when I was in the beginning, beginning I couldn't get enough of "zen". The stench, not the real deal. I was grasping for Zen wisdom to fix what was wrong with me. I was reaching out, grasping the ten thousand things.... not letting the ten thousand things express me.

    How to not fall,is to come back again and again. I see the grasping, instead of grasping to stop grasping, just watch it. Expectations leads to grasping, controlling an outcome, which is impossible. We give ourselves to what do wholeheartedly, as we do our sitting, and thats all we can do. Let what comes, come... And practice when whatever comes comes so that we aren't so devastated when things don't "work out".

    I like the question about shopping; because I like shopping I love electronics, video games, books. It can become a collector's addiction. So shopping is a great practice ground. I sense the arising desire and the disappointment. But practicing and watching that grasping mind really really is freeing.

    Living the uncomplicated... I'm just practicing and trying to figure it out

    Gassho,

    Risho

  27. #27
    Member Thane's Avatar
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    case 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Before reading anyone else's posts, I want to answer these. So if what I say has been already said, I apologize.

    I read about zen for years and years before I actually started doing the practice. I didn't even know that practice was central to it. I know it's odd, but I was introduced to Zen by way of what I read when I was practicing martial arts. So it was superficial zen with an end of being more proficient in martial arts; eventually it became a path to become more proficient at my job. In any event, a couple of years back I was reading The Power of Now. There were zen quotes in it, and for some reason it piqued my interest and I read a book by Daido Roshi. I eventually read book about sitting practice (although counting the breaths was the focus), and when I came here Zazen was all about Shikantaza, and it really felt right.

    I'm sorry for the life story. lol The point is that I read about zen a lot. It was exciting, like a new toy or piece of candy. I think it's natural; if we aren't drawn to it, then we won't start the search, the practice. But as practice becomes more ingrained it isn't like that. I'm passionate about it, but it's in a deeper sense. Saying the meal gatha or practice isn't done because it's esoteric or cool; it's done as a true expression of gratitude for my life.

    When I started practice I wondered what would a zen buddhist do? Now I don't think like that. We are human beings, not Buddhists. In some sense we are Buddhists, but I don't like holding so tightly to it. Identifying with Buddhism is another way of trying to exert our ego's idea of a separate, independent self. Sewing the Rakusu, the Kesa is not sewing for ourselves. It is sewing for all beings. We practice for to save all beings. I say that vow every time after zazen to remind "myself" that this practice isn't about "myself". Every aspect of practice is like this I'm finding. I'm thankful for Treeleaf, the sangha and the teachers for sharing these valuable lessons.

    So for me in the beginning (not that I'm advanced by any means) when I was in the beginning, beginning I couldn't get enough of "zen". The stench, not the real deal. I was grasping for Zen wisdom to fix what was wrong with me. I was reaching out, grasping the ten thousand things.... not letting the ten thousand things express me.

    How to not fall,is to come back again and again. I see the grasping, instead of grasping to stop grasping, just watch it. Expectations leads to grasping, controlling an outcome, which is impossible. We give ourselves to what do wholeheartedly, as we do our sitting, and thats all we can do. Let what comes, come... And practice when whatever comes comes so that we aren't so devastated when things don't "work out".

    I like the question about shopping; because I like shopping I love electronics, video games, books. It can become a collector's addiction. So shopping is a great practice ground. I sense the arising desire and the disappointment. But practicing and watching that grasping mind really really is freeing.

    Living the uncomplicated... I'm just practicing and trying to figure it out

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Hi Risho

    Thanks for your honest post. I enjoyed reading it and i could identify with a lot of what you said.

    Gassho

    Thane

  28. #28
    Member Thane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai View Post
    Thanks thane
    AND thank you Taigu for such an uncomplicated explanation of uncomplicatedness
    Thanks Shokai _/l\_

  29. #29
    Thanks Thane

    P.S. the new emoticons are neat! I could see using them in a passive-aggressive way; for instance, insulting someone then popping a "" emoticon in. hahahhahah

  30. #30
    Too often I get mired in the study of Zen books or sutras. Too much attention to scholarly tail chasing. In other words, fussing about the finger instead of beholding the moon to which I points.

    I need to remember that zazen is the center of practice--everything else is just scaffolding. Not the other way around.

    _/\_
    Gassho, Kaishin
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    Too often I get mired in the study of Zen books or sutras. Too much attention to scholarly tail chasing. In other words, fussing about the finger instead of beholding the moon to which I points.

    I need to remember that zazen is the center of practice--everything else is just scaffolding. Not the other way around.

    _/\_
    Gassho, Kaishin
    It was a pretty brutal tactic, but a very powerful facing of "the knower" came with my first teacher , who was a strict character. One evening before practice he gathered us around and just asked.. " Who is Avalokiteshvara?"" Everyone was quiet, so I piped up.. and he just blazed at me, like lasers coming from his eyes.. and screamed... "YOU!! SHUT UP!!!". It felt like being dowsed in water that was freezing cold and boiling hot at the same time.. After when we met in the hallway.. he just gave me the sweetest smile like nothing happened. That kind of tactic is not a good idea, and could really mess with some people, but it was the first time, as a kid, that I truly dropped knowing and just sat.

    Gassho, kojip

  32. #32
    Wow, wild! Thanks for sharing, Kojip!
    Gassho, Kaishin
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  33. #33
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    I have a lot of passions that I truly enjoy doing with the energy to back it up. If I allow it, this can complicate my life. The times when I let go of my expectations and just be with whatever passion I am doing, I feel less overwhelmed. I used to think that I should have only a couple passions to keep things simple, but that's not me. If I take care of my family's needs and wants first while accepting that I am eclectic with many different interests instead of resisting it, that brings me more peace, harmony and less complications. It's about being honest with myself.

    Gassho,
    Ekai
    Last edited by Ekai; 06-20-2012 at 01:28 AM.

  34. #34
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I don't know the cost of rice in that place. Hell. I don't even know where that place is.

    That said, I don't even know the cost of rice in the Asian Market in Dublin. But I know how to eat it. And when I'm hungry, I do.

    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  35. #35
    About 15 bucks for a five pound bag.

  36. #36
    To find out the cost of rice in Roryo we have to go there,
    To find out the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma we have to go there.
    Last edited by Gary; 06-21-2012 at 09:14 AM.
    Drinking tea and eating rice.

  37. #37
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    To find out the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma we have to go there.
    how true !
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  38. #38
    Trying to find the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma is like trying to find the price of rice in a place that may not even exist. While we can spend all our lives in such pursuits we miss this very moment itself. I lived in NYC some time ago and to this day I check the weather there from time to time. While there's nothing wrong with that activity – it's absolutely useless to my work or my family or my day to day life where I am right now. Unfortunately in this day and age of the Internet it's very easy to find out the actual price of rice in Roryo, Beijing or Antarctica and while it's very interesting and educating it's useless unless you're directly involved in selling/buying rice in those places.
    Gassho,
    Andy

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    To find out the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma we have to go there.
    So true, so true.

    Quote Originally Posted by andyZ View Post
    Trying to find the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma is like trying to find the price of rice in a place that may not even exist.
    So true, so true.

    Gassho
    Myoku, apologizing for this superfluous comment

  40. #40
    If we don't cherish our opinions and a realization will come, it's mushotoku. When I stop asking what will be the results, what is the sens of, and instead I really practice, so I can see the value of rice, of zezen merits
    Gassho

    yang Hsin

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by andyZ View Post
    Unfortunately in this day and age of the Internet it's very easy to find out the actual price of rice in Roryo, Beijing or Antarctica and while it's very interesting and educating it's useless unless you're directly involved in selling/buying rice in those places.
    I don't think it's unfortunate at all. There's nothing wrong with being able to find out the price of rice in Roryo. There's nothing wrong with all this information on the interwebs; we probably get the same amount of information coming at us if we step outside. If a person just constantly looks up rice prices and stuff and neglects family and treats people badly, now maybe that's unfortunate. But looking up the price of rice? Naw. Finding the price of rice in Roryo online and calling it useless is like calling reading a book of fiction useless. Or like saying taking a stroll is useless. What's useful about going on a walk? What's wrong with it again? I think I'd rather be useless, just wandering, no use at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    To find out the cost of rice in Roryo we have to go there,
    To find out the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma we have to go there.
    Or maybe: not go anywhere.

    Also, I meant to say earlier: I think rice is about 15 bucks for 5 pounds at walmart,. Which of course is also where they sell the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma, I think.

  42. #42
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    A spider descending by a silk thread.

    During a Zazenkai a week or so ago I I observed a spider descending from a ceiling beam in the Zendo, on a silk thread that faintly shimmered in a shaft of light. It was descending right over the altar, descending onto the statue of Kannon. I had been searching for some significance or breakthrough in my practice, and saw a spider going about its life as spiders do - Kannon or no Kannon, altar or not, silent practice and aspiring practitioners notwithstanding. Nothing special and life goes on. I will never forget that spider.

    Gassho
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  43. #43
    Gasho Yugen.

    The more I've really just let this koan be, the more I realize that it's the questioning not the answering that matters. If we have an answer, then that thing is "dead". But everything is alive, living, cannot be contained by our conceptual thinking. Of course we need concepts to function, but there is a completely other side as well, where things are just "screaming" their vivid aliveness. It's not one or the other, it's where they both meet in mid-air. The question, what is the rice in Roryo?, is just a slap in the face to all of what I want answered now.

    Is my zazen ok? Is my Kesa ok? Am I normal? On one level, Jundo and Taigu can advise on some points (except the last question, which is a resounding no), but in the end its our practice that must be continual...moment from moment. It is both absolute practice with everything right now and also our personal practice. The answer is not going to be given to us (not that there's an it, but...), we have to keep doing, and doing and doing... It does not end. There is no point; if there was, this practice would be truly Useless, not just useless. At the same time, we must commit to find out for ourselves! It's our job, not anyone else's. No one can do it for us.

    What's the meaning of all of this? Who's asking? The ego that likes things wrapped up in nice little digestible packages. That question brought me here right now; it's why I sit. I don't know the answer! Keep on questioning and find out. Even though I don't know the answer does not relieve me of the responsibility of finding out. That's the important thing. Taigu sensei mentions in his latest talk Fukanzazengi 6, "You sit and you THINK you've got it. Wow. You're deluding yourself baby!" I love it

    I want answers to my questions. I solve problems for a living, but living life like it is a problem is a pretty shitty way to live frankly. The answer to me is to not settle for some bullshit sound byte self-help answer to this that's going to make me feel good or stress free. This is a question that never ends for the rest of my life.... that keeps on going while I sit within the stressful times or the good times. It doesn't matter... we must practice, we must sit. I'm not being a fundamentalist.. I'm just saying consistently with each other.

    Things may be stress free and happy for us, but somewhere far or near, beings are starving, suffering, hurting. What about them? We sit for them too. If I think it's ok because today my zazen was calm, I've lost the point of practice right there.

    Sorry for the rambling,

    Gassho,

    Risho

  44. #44
    Hello,

    thank you all for such a great collection of very varied and insight-provoking observations.

    The grass is always greener on the other side they say,
    and they are right.
    Drop body and mind,
    stop and open.
    Deeply entering into this you will see that there is no fence at all,
    and that the green is truly the same.
    Catch that thief again and again,
    who steals green and erects fences.
    You.


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  45. #45
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    1,025
    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post

    The grass is always greener on the other side they say,
    and they are right.
    Drop body and mind,
    stop and open.
    Deeply entering into this you will see that there is no fence at all,
    and that the green is truly the same.
    Catch that thief again and again,
    who steals green and erects fences.
    You.


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen


    Jen
    The result is not the point; it is the effort to improve ourselves that is valuable. There is no end to this practice. --Shunryu Suzuki

  46. #46
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    2,906
    Eloquent and right to the point teaching, Mongen. A man writing such words has truly caught a glimpse of the ineffable.

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  47. #47
    Dharma as the plumes of smoke
    its value is its inconstancy
    when the mind sees it forms
    he dazzles and disappears.

    Gassho

    Yang Hsin

  48. #48
    'What is the ultimate meaning of the Buddhadharma?'
    Seigan replied : 'what does the rice cost in Roryo?'

    I free associated on this a bit and what I keep coming back to is me, as a child, asking one of my parents, “How much does that toy cost?” Having no real understanding of money, the answer was meaningless, yet I thought if I got that toy I would be happy….forever. As an adult, do I really understand any more what something costs? What about the human suffering that may go into the manufacturing of my smart phone? I still do not really understand what things cost, but on some level I think if I have it I will be happy.
    More directly related to practice I think, “Oh my not too long ago I often had time to do 40 mins of zazen in the day and 20 to 30 mins. at night….doing much reading on the Dharma.” Wow that was perfect! If only I had time for that now….I could make great progress in my practice! So easy to slip into delusion….no different than me asking, “How much does that toy costs?” OK I think everyone gets the idea, but will I ever just stop and get it?

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  49. #49
    Isn't the question posed more as a 'keep your heads out of the clouds, or focus on this' sort of thing like what you are asking is highly speculative and cannot be answered for you by anyone else. Instead, here's a question that is much more practical and useful.

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