( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XXXIII FINALE)

As we close this year 2009 ... all is truly but a constant beginning, ever new ...

And as we conclude our reading of the Tenzo Kyokun, there remains ongoing life and practice ...

In these final passages, Master Dogen reminds us to be joyful, to take care of our responsibilities like a parent for a child, and to embody "Great Mind and Vast Heart" ...

For the first, he writes (as we saw yesterday)

Now we have the good fortune to be born as human beings ... Let us be joyous.

For "Mother Mind" he writes ...

So-called [motherly heart] is the spirit of fathers and mothers. ... Without regard for their own poverty or wealth, [parents] earnestly turn their thoughts toward raising their child. Without regard for whether they themselves are cold or hot, they shade the child or cover the child.


And for "Great Mind, Vast Heart", he states [in a good reminder for the turning year],

This vast heart ... does not follow the sounds of spring or try to nest in a spring garden; it does not darken with the colours of autumn. See the changes of the seasons as all one movement,  [all] in relation to each other within a view which includes both."

He then concludes with three famous Koan stories which exemplify the point.


*   *   *   *  *


And so, from tomorrow, January 1st, we depart Beliefnet and move our home for this daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcast to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines.

I want to thank so much Beliefnet, their editors and staff, for this past wonderful year and all their assistance and support ...

... and wish them ... and everyone ... a most content and peaceful 2010.


___________________________


  This life we live is a life of rejoicing, this body a body of joy which can be used to present offerings to the Three Jewels. It arises through the merits of eons and using it thus its merit extends endlessly. I hope that you will work and cook in this way, using this body which is the fruition of thousands of lifetimes and births to create limitless benefit for numberless beings. To understand this opportunity is a joyous heart because even if you had been born a ruler of the world the merit of your actions would merely disperse like foam, like sparks.

  A "motherly heart" is a heart which maintains the Three Jewels as a parent cares for a child. A parent raises a child with deep love, regardless of poverty or difficulties. Their hearts cannot be understood by another; only a parent can understand it. A parent protects their child from heat or cold before worrying about whether they themselves are hot or cold. This kind of care can only be understood by those who have given rise to it and realized only by those who practice it. This, brought to its fullest, is how you must care for water and rice, as though they were your own children.

  The Great Master Sakyamuni offered to us the final twenty years of his own lifetime to protect us through these days of decline. What is this other than the exertion of this "parental heart"? The Thus Come One did not do this hoping to get something out of it but sheerly out of munificence.

  "Vast heart" [or "Great Mind"] is like a great expanse of ocean or a towering mountain. It views everything from the most inclusive and broadest perspective. This vast heart does not regard a gram as too light or five kilos as too heavy. It does not follow the sounds of spring or try to nest in a spring garden; it does not darken with the colours of autumn. See the changes of the seasons as all one movement, understand light and heavy in relation to each other within a view which includes both. When you write or study the character "vast," this is how you should understand its meaning.

  If the tenzo at Jiashan had not thus studied the word "vast," he could not have woken up Elder Fu by laughing at him [from a story in which a monk's laughter spurred Elder Fu on to great practice].If Zen Master Guishan had not understand the word "vast," he would not have blown on dead firewood three times.[from a story in fascicle 6 of the Jingde Record: Once when the teacher [Baizhang] was working with Guishan he asked, "Have you any fire, or not?" Guishan said, "I have." The teacher said, "Where is it?" Guishan took a stick of wood, blew on it two or three times, and passed it to the teacher.] If the monk Dongshan had not understood the word "vast," he could not have taught the monk through his expression, "Three pounds of flax."[from case 18 of the koan collection Gateless Barrier (Wumenguan):A monk asked Dongshan, "What is buddha like?" Dongshan replied, "Three pounds of flax."]

  All of these and other great masters through the ages have studied the meaning of "vast" or "great" not only though the word for it but through all of the events and activities of their lives. Thus they lived as a great shout of freedom through presenting the Great Matter, penetrating the Great Question, training great disciples and in this way bringing it all forth to us.

  The abbot, senior officers and staff, and all monks should always maintain these three hearts or understandings.

 

Written in the spring of 1237 for those of coming generations

who will practice the Way by Dogen, abbot of Kosho-(Horin-)ji temple

From: Tenzo Kyokun - Instructions for the Cook by Eihei Dogen -

Translated by Yasuda Joshu and Anzan Hoshin [with additions from T. Griffith Foulk]




(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


Between Heaven and Hell

(And, in case you have not heard ... after a lovely year here at Beliefnet.com, our daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcasts will be moving home on January 1st to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, where we will be a daily featured Buddhist blog ... sitting there just as we do here. !)


( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XXXII)




This world and life into which we find we were born is far from perfect, often difficult ... yet how fortunate we are that this life is as it is ... neither heaven nor hell (though we can help make it a little bit of each) ... but a place to care, to practice, to live ...


___________________________

In general, the various stewards and prefects, including the cook, should maintain a joyful mind, [a motherly heart], and a great [and vast] mind whenever they perform rituals or engage in work.

So-called joyful mind is the spirit of happiness. You should consider that if you were born in a heaven, you would be attached to pleasures without cease and would not be able to arouse the thought of enlightenment. Practice would not be feasible. Even less would you be able to prepare meals as offerings to the three jewels [Buddha, Dharma and Sangha]! Among the myriad dharmas, the most revered and precious are the three jewels. The most superior things are the three jewels. Indra cannot compare. A wheel-turning king does not equal them. The Rules of Purity says, "Revered by the world, it is an excellent space outside [worldly] things; pure and detached, the assembly of monks is best." Now we have the good fortune to be born as human beings and to prepare the food that these three jewels receive and use. Is this not of great karmic significance? We should thus be very happy.

Again, you should consider that if you were born into the realms of hell, hungry ghosts, animals, anti-gods, and the like, or born in circumstances where you suffered from one of the eight difficulties [such as being born in a place or time where the Dharma is not practiced or taught, being born without the faculties that would allow us to practice or locked into the views of social conventions], even if you sought to cover yourself in the power of the sangha, your hands would naturally be unable to prepare pure meals as offerings to the three jewels. Relying on that painful physical form you would receive pain and be bound in body and mind. Now, in this life, you have already prepared those meals. How happy a birth! How happy a body! It is the good karmic result of kalpas vast and great. It is merit that cannot decay. When you prepare food and cook it you should do so with the aspiration of taking tens of thousands of births and concentrating them into this one day, this one time, that you may be able to bind together in good karmic result the bodies of millions of [past] births. A mind that contemplates and understands things in this way is a joyful mind. Truly, even if one takes on the body of a wheel-turning holy king, if one does not prepare meals as offerings to the three jewels, in the end it has no benefit. It is only of the nature of water, froth, bubbles, or flames.

From: Tenzo Kyokun - Instructions for the Cook by Eihei Dogen -

Translated by T. Griffith Foulk [with additions by Yasuda Joshu and Anzan Hoshin] 




(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


Life Is Our Temple

( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XXXI)


Right here, right now ... this is the time and place of realization  ... awakening and making it real ...


___________________________

When I observed accomplished people in the past who held the position of cook, their personal qualities were naturally in accord with their official roles. The Great [Teacher Guishan Lingyou (771-853)] awakened to the way when he was a cook. Dongshan's [famous saying] "Three pounds of hemp" [in response to the question, "What is Buddha"] was also when he was a cook. If there is a matter that can be valued, you should value the matter of awakening to the way. If there is a time that can be valued, surely you should value the time of awakening to the way! The result of cherishing that matter and being addicted to the way is attested especially by the [story of] "grasping sand and making a jewel" [a traditional story with a meaning such as "whatever is available at hand can be turned into something wonderful]. We can often see the effect of making an image [of the Buddha] and worshipping [before it]. The position of cook is similar [in its karmic results], but even more so. Its name is the same [as in the past]. If the cook is someone who can transmit its character and its practice, how could its beauty and its fulfillment fail to appear?

From: Tenzo Kyokun - Instructions for the Cook by Eihei Dogen -

Translated by T. Griffith Foulk




(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)



A new year ... no expectations ...


(After a lovely year here at Beliefnet.com, our daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcasts will be moving home on January 1st to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, where we will be a daily featured Buddhist blog ... sitting there just as we do here. )

  


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


Service to Others ... as Oneself

( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XXX)




The value of service to others ... as oneself, not two



___________________________

In the many monasteries of the mountains of Song China that I have seen, the monks holding the various offices train in these posts for a year at a time, each of them in each moment practicing by three standards. Firstly, to benefit others benefits yourself. Second, make every effort to maintain and renew the monastic environment. Third, follow the standards set forth by the examples of excellent practitioners of past and present and come to stand with them.

You should understand that foolish people hold their practice as if it belonged to someone else, wise people practice with everyone as themselves.

An ancient teacher said,


"Two-thirds of your life has passed

without clarifying who you are.

Eating your life,

muddling about in this and that,

you don't even turn when called on.

Pathetic."

 

From this verse we can see that if you have not met a true teacher, you will just follow the lead of your tendencies. And this is pathetic. It's like the story of the foolish son who leaves his parent's home with the family treasure and then throws it away on a dung heap. Do not waste your opportunity as that man did.

From: Tenzo Kyokun - Instructions for the Cook by Eihei Dogen -

Translated by Yasuda Joshu and Anzan Hoshin 




(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


A Merry Buddhist Christmas!

I would like to wish each and all members of Treeleaf, and our "Sit-a-Long" family, a Very Merry Christmas ...

.... as well as All the Happy Holidays of Peace and Goodwil, whenever and whatever they are ...

 ... and a Very Tranquil and Content 'Just This Very Moment' too, ever new and changing ...


buddhasanta.jpg

Gassho and Ho Ho Ho, Jundo


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

And, in case you have not heard ... after a lovely year here at Beliefnet.com, our daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcasts will be moving home on January 1st to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, where we will be a daily featured Buddhist blog ... sitting there just as we do here. !

  


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


Second Jundo


Well, I am tickled to present my recent talk in Second Life ...

The elaborate golden robes were chosen for me ... as was the body complete with 6-Pack abs! It truly is a fantasy world! 

But my son is thrilled that Papa is now a Anime character.

The talk took place at the pretty amazing Kannonji meditation hall, with 1,300 members, from all Buddhist traditions ... some of whom are pirates, golden fairies, meditating dogs, flying dragons and .... the imagination is the only limit!

Click Here to visit Kannonji in Second Life
(although requires viewer software install)

The talk was called "Second Life, First Life, No Birth No Death Life" ... and is in 7 parts (a talk of about a half hour, a Q&A and then a sitting). Please enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=A6947E5CADEEB33F 



... and the rest of the parts are here ...



And ... A reminder that, after a lovely year here at Beliefnet.com, our daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcasts will be moving home on January 1st to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, where we will be a daily featured Buddhist blog ... sitting there just as we do here. )
        Continuing our glimpse at ...


... catching a glimpse, the watcher

oxherding glimpse.gif


(After a lovely year here at Beliefnet.com, our daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcasts will be moving home on January 1st to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, where we will be a daily featured Buddhist blog ... sitting there just as we do here. )

  


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


In The Hospital


In the hospital for a little touch of pneumonia ,,, for a few days, doctor says.

So, please sit around the bed with me today.

When one coughs, just cough ... that too is Zazen.

Wheeze wheeze is Buddha's Teaching.

And isn't it wonderful to have a Sangha where all can sit together when one of us is in bed sick? (I received notes from a couple of folks who sit with our Sangha all the time in bed due to health) 

(A silent sitting today, and no bell, so please turn the sound down,as the air machine next to the bed is a bit noisy ... )

...... oh, and we'll not be able to have a Saturday Zazenkai this week (I will post an older recording) ... but please know we will be sitting together anyway ... as always ...

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

And to say again ... after a lovely year here at Beliefnet.com, our daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcasts will be moving home on January 1st to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, where we will be a daily featured Buddhist blog ... sitting there just as we do here. !

  


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)



catching a glimpse, the watcher

oxherding glimpse.gif


(After a lovely year here at Beliefnet.com, our daily "Sit-a-long with Jundo" Zazen netcasts will be moving home on January 1st to SHAMBHALA SUNSPACE, the webpage of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, where we will be a daily featured Buddhist blog ... sitting there just as we do here. )

  


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)