February 2008 Archives

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: First Timer

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Today, for our last day in the U.S., I have the pleasure to sit with my cousin Jonnie. He's a complete Zen neophyte, never done this before.

It gives me a chance to explain 'everything you want to know about Zazen' in under 5 minutes!



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Roger & Me

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Another special guest today ...

Roger Shikan Hawkins began practicing Zen Buddhism at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1971, at the age of 22. He spent 10 years as a practicing residential student, spending 3 years at the Tassajara monastery, and Green Gulch Farm, as well as the City Center in San Francisco. He studied under Richard Baker Roshi, as well as Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi, who is one of the most widely known and respected Zen teachers in America. Roger began practicing with Taizan Maezumi Roshi in 1993, until his death in 1995. In the late 90's he also practiced with the Santa Monica Zen Center, and began teaching classes in a limited role.

In 1999, Roger and his family moved to Florida, where he continued his practice helping The Southern Palm Zen Group in Boca, and he met Lou Nordstrom, Mitsunen Roshi, in 2000. Mitsunen gave Roger the new dharma name, Shikan. Roger finished koan study with Lou, and received Dharma Transmission, meaning certification as a Zen teacher in 2004, receiving the title Shikan Sensei.




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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: White Mirage

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It's funny what we get attached to ...





'91 Mitsu. Mirage, but not as rusty as mine ...



Note: Signal was lost midway, one of the pitfalls of the outside ...

If sitting-a-long, please self time ...



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Room

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Our Zen Practice is like sweeping out an empty room ...







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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO:

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. . .

(30 minute sitting)







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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO & Dr. T

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Technical difficulties in Forum posting persist at our host provider ...
Please practice with those in the manner of Mushotoku and Muga,
as Master Deshimaru describes in the talk which Will posted ...

All "technical difficulties" are just life, are just Practice.


We have a special guest today, our resident biochemist ...

(Do we have more than one biochemist??) ...






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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Genjo Koan XXIII

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Is your 'True Self' very far away?



How many mountains must you climb to find it?




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To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly. When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs. At the moment when dharma is correctly transmitted, you are immediately your original self. [Aitken & Tanahashi]


To learn Buddhism is to learn ourselves. To learn ourselves is to forget ourselves. To forget ourselves is to be experienced by millions of things and phenomena. To be experienced by millions of things and phenomena is to let our own body and mind, and the body and mind of the external world, fall away. [Then] we can forget the [mental] trace of realization, and show the [real] signs of forgotten realization continually, moment by moment. When a person first seeks the Dharma, he is far removed from the borders of Dharma. But as soon as the Dharma is authentically transmitted to the person himself, he is a human being in his own true place.[Nishijima]

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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Genjo Koan XXII

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_________________________

To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly. When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs. At the moment when dharma is correctly transmitted, you are immediately your original self. [Aitken & Tanahashi]


To learn Buddhism is to learn ourselves. To learn ourselves is to forget ourselves. To forget ourselves is to be experienced by millions of things and phenomena. To be experienced by millions of things and phenomena is to let our own body and mind, and the body and mind of the external world, fall away. [Then] we can forget the [mental] trace of realization, and show the [real] signs of forgotten realization continually, moment by moment. When a person first seeks the Dharma, he is far removed from the borders of Dharma. But as soon as the Dharma is authentically transmitted to the person himself, he is a human being in his own true place.[Nishijima]


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Genjo Koan XXI

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... returning to Master Dogen's Shobogenzo ...



Bamboo shadows sweep the stairs,
Yet not a mote of dust is stirred;
Moonbeams pierce to the bottom of the pool,

Yet in the water not a trace remains.

Though the stream flows swiftly by, the scene is forever still.
While the flowers are wilting rapidly, my mind is cool.
Treats things this way and how at ease one would be.

_________________________

To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly. When you first seek dharma, you imagine you are far away from its environs. At the moment when dharma is correctly transmitted, you are immediately your original self. [Aitken & Tanahashi]


To learn Buddhism is to learn ourselves. To learn ourselves is to forget ourselves. To forget ourselves is to be experienced by millions of things and phenomena. To be experienced by millions of things and phenomena is to let our own body and mind, and the body and mind of the external world, fall away. [Then] we can forget the [mental] trace of realization, and show the [real] signs of forgotten realization continually, moment by moment. When a person first seeks the Dharma, he is far removed from the borders of Dharma. But as soon as the Dharma is authentically transmitted to the person himself, he is a human being in his own true place.[Nishijima]


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Haven

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Our Practice, the Zafu, a Sangha ...






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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Ah Choo

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Zazen with a little cold ... is perfect Zazen,

Just be sure to self-time, as I may lose track of the clock!






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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO:

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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Rightside Down

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Zazen is Enlightenment Itself ...



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Buddha-tine's Day

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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO:

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I AM ATTENDING A RETREAT WITH REB ANDERSON ROSHI OF THE SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER. PLEASE BROWSE THE ARCHIVES FOR A SITTING IN THE MEANTIME. HERE IS AN OLDIE BUT GOODIE ...




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..

... Just Breathing ... with all heart mind ...

This diagram (kindly provided by a temple in Japan) might seem pretty obvious ... but what more do you want to know about 'just breathing'?











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Zazen ...

... for when life is a pain in the butt ...






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Buddhist Practice nourishes non-attachment (especially to things and material happiness) ...

... and encourages Dana, generosity and self-less giving.

In Buddha's Mall, an empty shopping bag is truly full!





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Some nice advice came up during a chat with Hans.

Thought to talk about it for a couple of days .







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Dokusan (called 'Sanzen' in the Rinzai School) is a face-to-face, heart-to-heart meeting of student and teacher for private instruction and questions ...

(you can read a little more here)










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The 1st Zen Patriarch in China, Master Bodhidharma, is reputed to have described Zen this way ...

A special transmission outside the scriptures;

Not dependent upon words and letters;

Directly pointing to the human mind

Seeing into one's own nature

and Buddhahood



The series of sittings on the theme of the 'Four Noble Truths' and 'Eightfold Path' begins HERE



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The 'Precepts' are at the heart of our Practice. Not hard and fast laws or 'Commandments' from heaven, each is an arrow pointing out a good path.


All basically come down to this ...


Seek, as you can, not to do harm ... and to live in a way healthful and helpful to yourself and others ... (that is not two)


Living by the Precepts supports and sustains the Practice of Zazen. The Practice of Zazen supports and nurtures Living by the Precepts. In fact, Zazen is living by the Precepts, Living by the Precepts nothing besides Zazen.

(Precept Poster available from ZMO Store]



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Today, the 'secret of secrets'
at the heart of Zazen
is revealed!





(I don't know why they look closed ... just my long and lovely eye lashes ... but my eyes are 2/3rds open and looking downward at 45 degrees during Zazen)

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The Buddha is quoted in the Kalamas Sutra:

Do not put faith in traditions, even though they have been accepted
for long generations and in many countries. Do not believe a thing
because many repeat it. Do not accept a thing on the authority of one
or another of the sages of old, nor on the ground of statements as
found in the books. Never believe anything because probability is in
its favor. Do not believe in that which you yourselves have imagined,
thinking that a god has inspired it. Believe nothing merely on the
authority of the teachers or the priests. After examination, believe
that which you have tested for yourself and found reasonable, which is
in conformity with your well being and that of others.

Zoketsu Norman Fisher Roshi also tells this version of a tale from the Malunkyaputta Sutta.

It's about a monk named Malunkyaputta who one day was meditating, and in the midst of his meditation he got really mad. He started thinking, "Gee, you know, the Buddha never said anything about who made the world. And the Buddha never said anything about whether the world is eternal or not. And the Buddha never said anything about what happens to Buddhas after they die." And a whole bunch of other things like that that the Buddha never said anything about. He said, "I want to know about those things, and I'm really pissed that the Buddha didn't say anything about that. Now if the Buddha didn't know anything about that, that's one thing, then he could just admit it, and that would be fine. But he didn't say that either, so I'm really angry about this , and I don't feel like I can go on with this meditation period until I get to the bottom of it."
...

Well, the Buddha said, "Malunkyaputta, did I ever promise you when you came that I was going to tell you about these things?" Malunkyaputta said, "No, actually, you didn't." The Buddha said, "You know, it really doesn't have anything to do with whether I know the answer to these things, or I don't know the answer to these things. Imaging someone who gets shot with an arrow, and who is lying there mortally wounded, with the last moments of life ebbing away. A surgeon comes along to pull the arrow out, and the man weakly looks up at the surgeon and says: 'Before you pull the arrow out can you tell me to what clan belongs the person who shot this arrow? Would you find out for me, please, before you pull the arrow out, whether the person who shot me was a tall person or a short person? Would you mind inquiring, before you pull this arrow out, the colour of skin of this person: was it light skin, dark skin, medium skin? What was the profession of the person who shot this arrow? Could you tell me, please, was it an artisan, or a physician, or a scholar? And furthermore, what sort of arrow is this anyway? Was it made from a cherry tree, or an oak tree, or a pine tree? And what about the feathers on the end of this arrow? Were they made from goose feathers, or are they eagle feathers, or vulture feathers? And what about the tip of the arrow, how is that made?'"

The Buddha said, "If the person who was shot were to seek the answers to all these questions, definitely, he would be dead before he found the answers to these questions. So Malunkyaputta, it's not that I know the answers to these questions and I'm not telling you, or that I don't know the answers to these questions. It's just that I know for sure that speculating on these questions does not help to live the life that we want for practice. Malunkyaputta, I have not been silent. There is something that I have told you. I have spoken of suffering, and the cause of suffering, and the end of suffering, and the path. Suffering and the end of suffering, that is what's important. About that I have spoken."


NOTE: SIGNAL WAS LOST TOWARD END OF THE SITTING.

PLEASE SELF-TIME IF SITTING ALONG.



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Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' is profound 'Non-seeking' ...

... to attain that which cannot be attained.

The way to 'attain that which cannot be attained' is to drop, right to the marrow, the search for all attainments.

Thus, our teachings are of a different flavor from forms of Buddhism, and 'Koan'-centered Zazen (as taught by the Rinzai School), that speak of attaining special states, struggling for mind-bending 'Kensho' experiences, or gaining 'Enlightenment'

For, in our Way, the special-special state, mind-bending-est experience and true 'Enlightenement of Enlightenments' is ...


Non-Attainment!



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In our Soto Zen perspective, Zazen is enlightenment itself ...

... just crossing the legs, stretching the back, gazing at a wall, and all's done!

Like saying that merely running a race --is-- the finish line crossed.

In this race, there is nothing to gain or attain, nothing to win or lose ...





... yet, attaining non-attaining is the prize!




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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Mean Buddhas

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Don't be mean.


Be fiery.









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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Angry!

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Yesterday, I got angry.





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