March 2008 Archives

SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Buddha for Sale

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At auction this past week, a newly discovered wood sculpture of Dainichi Nyorai Buddha (Mahavairocana) attributed to the artists Unkei (d. 1223) achieved a sale price of $14,377,000, a new world auction record for Japanese art



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The first sitting in our "Sitting Room" ... with lots of familiar faces ...


... but how to turn the mike on?

I'll figure that out by next week!



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Master Dogen's great vision of the interconnected wholeness of your being "you" at a certain space & time in this universe might be termed (by me anyway) "beingyouniversaspacetime" ... singular, intimate, whole, ever expressing itself, alive.

To get across this idea, Master Dogen spoke of the fish and bird ...


I'm going to try a yellow dump truck.



_________________________

A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. However, the fish and the bird have never left their elements. When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm. If the bird leaves the air it will die at once. If the fish leaves the water it will die at once.
Know that water is life and air is life. The bird is life and the fish is life. Life must be the bird and life must be the fish. You can go further. There is practice-enlightenment which encompasses limited and unlimited life.
[Aitken & Tanahashi]

When fish swim in water, though they keep swimming, there is no end to the water. When birds fly in the sky, though they keep flying, there is no end to the sky. At the same time, fish and birds have never left the water or the sky. The more [water or sky] they use, the more useful it is; the less [water or sky] they need, the less useful it is. Acting like this, each one realizes its limitations at every moment and each one somersaults [in complete freedom] at every place; but if a bird leaves the sky it will die at once, and if a fish leaves the water it will die at once. So we can conclude that water is life and the sky is life; at the same time, birds are life, and fish are life; it may be that life is birds and life is fish. There may be other expressions that go even further. The existence of practice and experience, the existence of their age itself and life itself can also be [explained] like this. [Nishijima]

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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Genjo Koan XXXV

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flying-life-universe



_________________________

A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. However, the fish and the bird have never left their elements. When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm. If the bird leaves the air it will die at once. If the fish leaves the water it will die at once.
Know that water is life and air is life. The bird is life and the fish is life. Life must be the bird and life must be the fish. You can go further. There is practice-enlightenment which encompasses limited and unlimited life.
[Aitken & Tanahashi]

When fish swim in water, though they keep swimming, there is no end to the water. When birds fly in the sky, though they keep flying, there is no end to the sky. At the same time, fish and birds have never left the water or the sky. The more [water or sky] they use, the more useful it is; the less [water or sky] they need, the less useful it is. Acting like this, each one realizes its limitations at every moment and each one somersaults [in complete freedom] at every place; but if a bird leaves the sky it will die at once, and if a fish leaves the water it will die at once. So we can conclude that water is life and the sky is life; at the same time, birds are life, and fish are life; it may be that life is birds and life is fish. There may be other expressions that go even further. The existence of practice and experience, the existence of their age itself and life itself can also be [explained] like this. [Nishijima]

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swimming-life-universe




_________________________

A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. However, the fish and the bird have never left their elements. When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm. If the bird leaves the air it will die at once. If the fish leaves the water it will die at once.
Know that water is life and air is life. The bird is life and the fish is life. Life must be the bird and life must be the fish. You can go further. There is practice-enlightenment which encompasses limited and unlimited life.
[Aitken & Tanahashi]

When fish swim in water, though they keep swimming, there is no end to the water. When birds fly in the sky, though they keep flying, there is no end to the sky. At the same time, fish and birds have never left the water or the sky. The more [water or sky] they use, the more useful it is; the less [water or sky] they need, the less useful it is. Acting like this, each one realizes its limitations at every moment and each one somersaults [in complete freedom] at every place; but if a bird leaves the sky it will die at once, and if a fish leaves the water it will die at once. So we can conclude that water is life and the sky is life; at the same time, birds are life, and fish are life; it may be that life is birds and life is fish. There may be other expressions that go even further. The existence of practice and experience, the existence of their age itself and life itself can also be [explained] like this. [Nishijima]

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... right underfoot ...


_________________________

When dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you think it is already sufficient. When dharma fills your body and mind, you understand that something is missing. For example, when you sail out in a boat to the middle of an ocean where no land is in sight, and view the four directions, the ocean looks circular, and does not look any other way. But the ocean is neither round nor square; its features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is like a jewel. It only looks circular as far as you can see at that time. All things are like this. Though there are many features in the dusty world and the world beyond conditions, you see and understand only what your eye of practice can reach. In order to learn the nature of the myriad things, you must know that although they may look round or square, the other features of oceans and mountains are infinite in variety; whole worlds are there. It is so not only around you, but also directly beneath your feet, or in a drop of water. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

When the Dharma has not completely filled our body and mind, we feel that the Dharma is abundantly present in us. When the Dharma fills our body and mind, we feel as if something is missing. For example, sailing out into the ocean, beyond sight of the mountains, when we look around in the four directions, [the ocean] appears only to be round; it does not appear to have any other form at all. Nevertheless, the great ocean is not round and it is not square, and there are so many other characteristics of the ocean that they could never be counted. [To fishes] it is like a palace and [to gods in heaven] it is like a necklace of pearls. But as far as our human eyes can see, it only appears to be round. The same applies to everything in the world. The secular world and the Buddhist world include a great many situations, but we can view them and understand them only as far as our eyes of Buddhist study allow. So if we want to know the way things naturally are, we should remember that the oceans and mountains have innumerably many characteristics besides the appearance of squareness or roundness, and we should remember that there are [other] worlds in [all] four directions. This applies not only to the periphery; we should remember that the same applies to this place here and now, and to a single drop of water. [Nishijima]

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Like the endless patterns of a Kaleidoscope ...





_________________________

When dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you think it is already sufficient. When dharma fills your body and mind, you understand that something is missing. For example, when you sail out in a boat to the middle of an ocean where no land is in sight, and view the four directions, the ocean looks circular, and does not look any other way. But the ocean is neither round nor square; its features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is like a jewel. It only looks circular as far as you can see at that time. All things are like this. Though there are many features in the dusty world and the world beyond conditions, you see and understand only what your eye of practice can reach. In order to learn the nature of the myriad things, you must know that although they may look round or square, the other features of oceans and mountains are infinite in variety; whole worlds are there. It is so not only around you, but also directly beneath your feet, or in a drop of water. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

When the Dharma has not completely filled our body and mind, we feel that the Dharma is abundantly present in us. When the Dharma fills our body and mind, we feel as if something is missing. For example, sailing out into the ocean, beyond sight of the mountains, when we look around in the four directions, [the ocean] appears only to be round; it does not appear to have any other form at all. Nevertheless, the great ocean is not round and it is not square, and there are so many other characteristics of the ocean that they could never be counted. [To fishes] it is like a palace and [to gods in heaven] it is like a necklace of pearls. But as far as our human eyes can see, it only appears to be round. The same applies to everything in the world. The secular world and the Buddhist world include a great many situations, but we can view them and understand them only as far as our eyes of Buddhist study allow. So if we want to know the way things naturally are, we should remember that the oceans and mountains have innumerably many characteristics besides the appearance of squareness or roundness, and we should remember that there are [other] worlds in [all] four directions. This applies not only to the periphery; we should remember that the same applies to this place here and now, and to a single drop of water. [Nishijima]

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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Waka-chan

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My 10 year old niece joins me for Zazen,

her first time trying ever ...
... I'm pretty impressed!



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Sunlight

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Love and Compassion shine forth

Like heat and light from the sun




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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Roller Coaster

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Oh baby you know what I'm talking about
Rollercoaster of Love
oh yeah it's Rollercoaster time



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Today, we discuss other sexual topics that folks often write me about ...

including painful memories of the past ...

and temptations for the future.



An image from the temptation of the Buddha by Mara the Deceiver



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: More Sex!

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The camera froze, but the sound is still good, for today's sitting and talk ...


BEASTIALITY,

BONDAGE

& BUDDHISM ??!!??




This book is an excellent history of sex & Buddhism, and is a required read for anyone who will be taking Jukai at Treeleaf ...



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Sex!

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The Art of Zen Sex !

(finding stillness in the motion)




Statue at right is a Tibetan Yab-yum



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: No Sex!

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I was going to talk about sex today ... but I am too tired for sex. So, no sex today. We will have sex tomorrow!

Please be sure to sex-a-long with my series of talks, starting tomorrow, entitled

SEX SEX SEX !!!!


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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Child's Play

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As serious as our Practice can be ...



... just a reminder to keep it light, fun, child's play!


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Incomplete enlightenment feels complete.


Complete enlightenment feels incomplete.





_________________________

When dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you think it is already sufficient. When dharma fills your body and mind, you understand that something is missing. For example, when you sail out in a boat to the middle of an ocean where no land is in sight, and view the four directions, the ocean looks circular, and does not look any other way. But the ocean is neither round nor square; its features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is like a jewel. It only looks circular as far as you can see at that time. All things are like this. Though there are many features in the dusty world and the world beyond conditions, you see and understand only what your eye of practice can reach. In order to learn the nature of the myriad things, you must know that although they may look round or square, the other features of oceans and mountains are infinite in variety; whole worlds are there. It is so not only around you, but also directly beneath your feet, or in a drop of water. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

When the Dharma has not completely filled our body and mind, we feel that the Dharma is abundantly present in us. When the Dharma fills our body and mind, we feel as if something is missing. For example, sailing out into the ocean, beyond sight of the mountains, when we look around in the four directions, [the ocean] appears only to be round; it does not appear to have any other form at all. Nevertheless, the great ocean is not round and it is not square, and there are so many other characteristics of the ocean that they could never be counted. [To fishes] it is like a palace and [to gods in heaven] it is like a necklace of pearls. But as far as our human eyes can see, it only appears to be round. The same applies to everything in the world. The secular world and the Buddhist world include a great many situations, but we can view them and understand them only as far as our eyes of Buddhist study allow. So if we want to know the way things naturally are, we should remember that the oceans and mountains have innumerably many characteristics besides the appearance of squareness or roundness, and we should remember that there are [other] worlds in [all] four directions. This applies not only to the periphery; we should remember that the same applies to this place here and now, and to a single drop of water. [Nishijima]

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Enlightenment = "something missing"??


(I was also happy to see my son, Leon, sit with me all through for the first time ... although, I think, he was asleep for the last part)



_________________________

When dharma does not fill your whole body and mind, you think it is already sufficient. When dharma fills your body and mind, you understand that something is missing. For example, when you sail out in a boat to the middle of an ocean where no land is in sight, and view the four directions, the ocean looks circular, and does not look any other way. But the ocean is neither round nor square; its features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is like a jewel. It only looks circular as far as you can see at that time. All things are like this. Though there are many features in the dusty world and the world beyond conditions, you see and understand only what your eye of practice can reach. In order to learn the nature of the myriad things, you must know that although they may look round or square, the other features of oceans and mountains are infinite in variety; whole worlds are there. It is so not only around you, but also directly beneath your feet, or in a drop of water. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

When the Dharma has not completely filled our body and mind, we feel that the Dharma is abundantly present in us. When the Dharma fills our body and mind, we feel as if something is missing. For example, sailing out into the ocean, beyond sight of the mountains, when we look around in the four directions, [the ocean] appears only to be round; it does not appear to have any other form at all. Nevertheless, the great ocean is not round and it is not square, and there are so many other characteristics of the ocean that they could never be counted. [To fishes] it is like a palace and [to gods in heaven] it is like a necklace of pearls. But as far as our human eyes can see, it only appears to be round. The same applies to everything in the world. The secular world and the Buddhist world include a great many situations, but we can view them and understand them only as far as our eyes of Buddhist study allow. So if we want to know the way things naturally are, we should remember that the oceans and mountains have innumerably many characteristics besides the appearance of squareness or roundness, and we should remember that there are [other] worlds in [all] four directions. This applies not only to the periphery; we should remember that the same applies to this place here and now, and to a single drop of water. [Nishijima]

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We may know that the moon is reflected the water ...

... but do we know that the water reflects the moon?


___________________

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

A person getting realization is like the moon reflected in water: the moon does not get wet, and the water is not broken. Though the light [of the moon] is wide and great, it can be reflected in a foot or an inch of water. The whole moon and the whole sky can be reflected in a dew-drop on a blade of grass or in a single drop of rain. Realization does not reshape a man, just as the moon does not pierce the water. A man does not hinder realization, just as a dew-drop does not hinder the sky and moon. The depth [of realization] may be the same as the concrete height [of the moon]. [To understand] its duration, we should examine large and small bodies of water, and notice the different widths of the sky and moon [when reflected in water].
[Nishijima]

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Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

A person getting realization is like the moon reflected in water: the moon does not get wet, and the water is not broken. Though the light [of the moon] is wide and great, it can be reflected in a foot or an inch of water. The whole moon and the whole sky can be reflected in a dew-drop on a blade of grass or in a single drop of rain. Realization does not reshape a man, just as the moon does not pierce the water. A man does not hinder realization, just as a dew-drop does not hinder the sky and moon. The depth [of realization] may be the same as the concrete height [of the moon]. [To understand] its duration, we should examine large and small bodies of water, and notice the different widths of the sky and moon [when reflected in water].
[Nishijima]

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We do not call winter as 'the beginning of spring'. For winter is just winter, it is not spring.

Thus, we should not think of 'life' as the beginning of 'death', nor 'death' as the 'end of life'.

What is more, is there not something timeless behind the passing seasons? Likewise, dropping all thought from mind of 'birth' and 'death' ... what remains?



(By the way, a pretty good Zennish movie from Korea)

(And speaking of passing time, I will be shifting to Japan time from today for the netcasts ... that is about half a day after US time, a quarter day after Europe)

_________________________

Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet, do not suppose that the ash is after and the firewood before. You should understand that firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood, which fully includes before and after and is independent of before and after. Ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, which fully includes before and after. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death. This being so, it is an established way in buddha-dharma to deny that birth turns into death. Accordingly, birth is understood as no-birth. It is an unshakable teaching in the Buddha's discourse that death does not turn into birth. Accordingly, death is understood as no-death. Birth is an expression complete this moment. Death is an expression complete this moment. They are like winter and spring. You do not call winter the beginning of spring, nor summer the end of spring. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

Firewood becomes ash; it can never go back to being firewood. Nevertheless, we should not take the view that ash is its future and firewood is its past. We should recognize that firewood occupies its place in the Universe as firewood, and it has its past moment and its future moment. And although we can say that it has its past and its future, the past moment and the future moment are cut off. Ash exists in its place in the Universe as ash, and it has its past moment and its future moment. Just as firewood can never again be firewood after becoming ash, human beings cannot live again after their death. So it is a rule in Buddhism not to say that life turns into death. This is why we speak of “no appearance.” And it is Buddhist teaching as established in the preaching of Gautama Buddha that death does not turn into life. This is why we speak of “no disappearance.” Life is an instantaneous situation, and death is also an instantaneous situation. It is the same, for example, with winter and spring. We do not think that winter becomes spring, and we do not say that spring becomes summer.
[Nishijima]

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In the Dogen-think of 'simultaneouly true' perspectives ...

... new ways to think of time's flow, self and life-death



_________________________

Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet, do not suppose that the ash is after and the firewood before. You should understand that firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood, which fully includes before and after and is independent of before and after. Ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, which fully includes before and after. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death. This being so, it is an established way in buddha-dharma to deny that birth turns into death. Accordingly, birth is understood as no-birth. It is an unshakable teaching in the Buddha's discourse that death does not turn into birth. Accordingly, death is understood as no-death.
Birth is an expression complete this moment. Death is an expression complete this moment. They are like winter and spring. You do not call winter the beginning of spring, nor summer the end of spring.
[Aitken & Tanahashi]

Firewood becomes ash; it can never go back to being firewood. Nevertheless, we should not take the view that ash is its future and firewood is its past. We should recognize that firewood occupies its place in the Universe as firewood, and it has its past moment and its future moment. And although we can say that it has its past and its future, the past moment and the future moment are cut off. Ash exists in its place in the Universe as ash, and it has its past moment and its future moment. Just as firewood can never again be firewood after becoming ash, human beings cannot live again after their death. So it is a rule in Buddhism not to say that life turns into death. This is why we speak of “no appearance.” And it is Buddhist teaching as established in the preaching of Gautama Buddha that death does not turn into life. This is why we speak of “no disappearance.” Life is an instantaneous situation, and death is also an instantaneous situation. It is the same, for example, with winter and spring. We do not think that winter becomes spring, and we do not say that spring becomes summer.
[Nishijima]

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Our sense of an abiding, unchanging, permanent, separate 'self' ...



... is kind of an optical illusion.



By the way, the signal dropped today ... so, if sitting-a-long please (nonabiding-changing-impermanent-not separate) self-time!


_________________________

When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine myriad things with a confused body and mind you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. When you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that nothing at all has unchanging self. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

When a man is sailing along in a boat and he moves his eyes to the shore, he misapprehends that the shore is moving. But if he keeps his eyes on the boat, he can recognize that it is the boat that is moving forward. [Similarly,] when we observe millions of things and phenomena with a disturbed body and mind, we mistakenly think that our own mind or our own [nature] may be permanent. But if we familiarize ourselves with our actual conduct and come back to this concrete place, it becomes clear that the millions of things and phenomena are [without permanent self] [Nishijima]

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In Zen Practice (especially as taught by Master Dogen and at Treeleaf) ...


... if you can't experience it for yourself ...


,,, and if it oversteps logic (although perhaps a form of logic that takes some getting used to) ...




... REJECT IT!



_________________________

When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine myriad things with a confused body and mind you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. When you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that nothing at all has unchanging self. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

When a man is sailing along in a boat and he moves his eyes to the shore, he misapprehends that the shore is moving. But if he keeps his eyes on the boat, he can recognize that it is the boat that is moving forward. [Similarly,] when we observe millions of things and phenomena with a disturbed body and mind, we mistakenly think that our own mind or our own [nature] may be permanent. But if we familiarize ourselves with our actual conduct and come back to this concrete place, it becomes clear that the millions of things and phenomena are [without permanent self] [Nishijima]

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Posting a little early today due to our flight ...


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