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Jundo
01-15-2015, 05:40 PM
Case 48 never ends, yet now comes ...

Case 49: Tozan Offers to the Essence

https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=ijhXoKc95nUC&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=Case+49:+Tozan+Offers+to+the+Essence&source=bl&ots=C_Ug9nq2rq&sig=GCk6DbCaUZv0oXEyr-dskx3n1Nc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=APW3VJTWK8v58QXKnoDADA&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Case%2049%3A%20Tozan%20Offers%20to%20the%20Essen ce&f=false

As we have been discussing on another thread this week ...

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?13087-Thoughts-and-not-thoughts

... "Just This" does not mean "just only this".

And when it comes to "Just This", "Not Knowing" does not mean "simply not having a clue". "Not Knowing" is profound "Knowing", but not in the ordinary way. Thus Tozan speaks what need not and cannot be spoken, and is heard loud and clear.

As Katagiri Roshi once said, "Ya gotta say something".

Returning from Ungan's place (can we even speak of "going" and "returning"?), Tozan looked in a mirror-like mountain stream and saw his own reflection. A "reflection" requires two, yet in this mirror there is one or (to be specific) "not one, not two". He realized that "finding" one's True Face is not a matter of looking someplace distant, or even searching at all. He wrote this poem (here are two translations I found, also not one not two) ...


Do not seek him as an object. The object you seek will not be you.
As I proceed, at one with myself, I meet him everywhere I go.
He is what I am, yet I am not him.
If your understanding reaches here you have your true way.

Here's another translation:

Do not seek him anywhere or he will run away from you.
Now that I go on all alone, I meet him everywhere.
He is even now what I am, I am even now not what he is.
Only by understanding this way can there be a true union of the self.

Non-seeking, thus Finding Everywhere. Where does the mirror look to find the mirror? So, where should you look to find you?

Later, Tozan was asked, "What instruction did you receive at your late master's place?" Tozan said, "Although I was there, I didn't receive his instruction". What is there to give, what is there to receive? Obviously, Tozan received the Treasure that cannot be given!

Question - What do you receive from a Koan such as this?

Gassho, J

12th Century Drawing of Tozan crossing the stream, seeing his reflection ...

https://jakuenzen.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/tozan.jpg?w=500



ReMINDer - Our next book in the Treeleaf "Beyond Words & Letters" Book Club will be Inside the Grass Hut: Living Shitou's Classic Zen Poem by Ben Connelly ... beginning in a few short weeks ...

Jika
01-15-2015, 06:42 PM
What I receive is, that I had a very good math teacher.

He loved math and of course, explaining was his duty. He could have talked for decades, I'm sure. But he didn't.
He always adjusted his explanations to the level of the student. He gave you a hint, kept you interested, and suddenly, sometimes after a while of frustration, you'd go "Aaaaah!".

Good teachers teach you a lot.
Better teachers teach you to learn, to find out for yourself.
So the best teachers make you honour them for teaching you they were unnecessary from the beginning?

Ah, no!!! That's like saying parents should not help their kid learn to walk, it will walk anyway.
Facilitators, sure. And teachers, Teachers for those who cry "I'll NEVER learn math!!".

Gassho,
Danny
#sattoday

Myosha
01-15-2015, 07:50 PM
*smile*


Thank you for the lesson.


Gassho,
Myosha sat today

Shingen
01-15-2015, 08:31 PM
Thank you Jundo for these teachings. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat today

Nameless
01-15-2015, 09:35 PM
I can't really say what it is, and what it isn't. Am I the object in the mirror? The mirror? The reflection or the reflecting? Odds are I'm all of them and none of them. How can words describe? The moment I say I know what It is, I'm only pondering concepts. When I think it can be conceptualized, I'm pondering a black and white photo of me, the mirror and the reflecting. Guess the most that can be said about It, is that nothing can really be said about It hahaha. We just know It, when we don't know it.

Gassho, John
Sat Today

Ishin
01-15-2015, 10:56 PM
I find it hard to improve upon anything Tozan said in his poem. For me this not only calls into question self nature, but indeed the nature of everything. Form and formless. What are we that is not reflected? What reflected is not us?

Gassho
Ishin

Sat Today

Troy
01-15-2015, 11:09 PM
I am thinking about buying the book and joining the conversation. How many cases will we be studying? If there are only one or two left, I might hold off on buying the book.


_|sat2day|_

Jishin
01-16-2015, 12:59 AM
Question - What do you receive from a Koan such as this?


Since ya gotta say something...

Don't make anything. It's already here. :)

Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

Risho
01-16-2015, 01:19 AM
Yes and No.

I'm finding with most things in Zen, and in life it's Yes. And it's No.

Words are funny things. Zen is also a humorous practice. From one perspective I find it
hilarious that I would actually attempt to comment on such a deep and powerful koan, or write
answers to other peoples questions, or comment on Zen practice given that I'm rather inexperienced
compared to a lot of other practitioners, the Unsui and Jundo.

At the same time, this practice is about seeing through the ego, so I think that commentary is important. It's impossible.
In the face of knowing my inexperience, and knowing that I have a limited view, and knowing that my answers,
are likely pretty shallow, I still have to express my points to grow; I think that is a powerful practice, and I think it's a real strength of
practicing in a Sangha.

It's just like the 4 Bodhisattva vows. Each day I say them, it's like who the hell am I to say I'm going to save all
sentient beings. But that's a very powerful vow. It reminds me of when I was a short, overweight, highschool freshman. Sometimes
you don't want to go to school; the other kids being mean and all that. But you trudge along and never
quit.

So this koan is giving me something, but it's also not giving me something. It's shining a light so that I can see something
that I already know.

I think it's an invitation to practice.

A lot of times I'm reticent to write about Zen or talk about it. I don't know how Zen teachers do it. I think it has
to be very difficult expressing the Dharma; from one perspective any words have to be off the mark. But they are also important
because they help guide students like me to practice. So I'm indebted to all the ancestors who gave me this practice.

I think this koan is about taking care of that practice. "Just this" can be spoken of, it has to be, to help, but the "Just This"
that is spoken of is not "Just This."

"Just This" is something that must be realized through practice again and again and again.

There is no end to practice, and I'm finding that my practice just deepens. After each year of Ango, for instance, I find that
my practice grows. One year I added the Meal Gatha to my everyday routine. Now I'm starting to chant the Heart Sutra more regularly.

It's just like once you start practicing, it opens something up that keeps growing. It feels natural and it feels right.

"Just This" is beyond words, but of course I've just typed a lot of them. lol

I came into this practice with an agenda; I think that brings us all here, which is a good thing, or we wouldn't have found it.

Then slowly but surely, by chanting the Heart Sutra, the vows, by bowing, by zazen-ing.... we learn to let go little by little, and this
practice starts to become less about ourselves and truly about others... not one, not two.

"Just This" is a little like that, but this "Just This" is very, very deep; it cannot be completely expressed this way.

That's the beauty of this endless practice and realizing "Just This" in every moment.

Gassho,

Risho

-sattoday

Meishin
01-16-2015, 03:02 AM
Hi,

A photographer friend has a way of speaking about images that seems apropos: Gesture. An image can be described in many technical ways, but gesture stands apart from these descriptions. It's the "it is" in an image, the whatever-it-is that makes it art instead of a snapshot. He says you can't really say anything other than that an image presents gesture as the "only real" aspect. The whatever that takes our breath away.

gassho
meishin/john
sat today

Jundo
01-16-2015, 03:04 AM
I can't really say what it is, and what it isn't. Am I the object in the mirror? The mirror? The reflection or the reflecting? Odds are I'm all of them and none of them. How can words describe? The moment I say I know what It is, I'm only pondering concepts. ....

Ha! We sure can analyze and think about what it means not to analyze and think about. :encouragement:

Definition of "analyze": to separate a material or abstract entity into constituent parts or elements in order to determine the elements, causes, results or essential features of

Separating into parts and elements and contemplating their distance and relationships is exactly the problem! (That is how I analyze the situation!) gassho1


I am thinking about buying the book and joining the conversation. How many cases will we be studying? If there are only one or two left, I might hold off on buying the book.



We will take a break at Koan 50 (although the Koans themselves are endless), and turn to a couple of other books such as "Inside the Grass Hut". I hope to come back to them after (although what and when is to come back to?). :p

Gassho, J

SatToday

Troy
01-16-2015, 03:46 AM
We will take a break at Koan 50 (although the Koans themselves are endless), and turn to a couple of other books such as "Inside the Grass Hut". I hope to come back to them after (although what and when is to come back to?). :p

Gassho, J

SatToday

Thanks Jundo. I read "Inside a Grass Hut" a couple weeks ago. Swallowed it whole, lol. Great book. Look forward to the discussion :)


_|sat2day|_

Shingen
01-16-2015, 03:58 AM
Thanks Jundo. I read "Inside a Grass Hut" a couple weeks ago. Swallowed it whole, lol. Great book. Look forward to the discussion :)


_|sat2day|_
I agree Troy wonderful book and too look forward to the discussion. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat today

Nameless
01-16-2015, 04:01 AM
Haha! Breaking them apart is indeed problematic. An interesting thing I learned in cultural psych is that Americans and Japanese process information differently. Americans tend to use a top-down or bottom-up style of analysis. Japanese utilize a "holistic analysis." Meaning they perceive wholes in context, and pay just as much attention to what's in the background as to what's in the foreground.

Gassho, John
Sat Today

Kokuu
01-16-2015, 01:41 PM
Question - What do you receive from a Koan such as this?

Nothing. And yet everything.

With many koans I get the same thing as with this one - a dropping away of intellectual questions and feeling of intimacy with my present experience.
Sadly it doesn't last!

Gassho
Kokuu
#sattoday

Jakugan
01-20-2015, 01:30 PM
To me the teaching at first seems simple but the more I think about it with my inadequate understanding the more it seems to slip away. Maybe that's the point? There is nothing more to this, I add anything and I have already lost it, caught up in the delusion of my own thought process. Even saying 'just this is' is too much. That is my basic understanding anyway.

Gassho,

Simon.

Sat today

michaeljc
01-21-2015, 07:36 AM
He is even now what I am, I am even now not what he is

Right now, I am what he means but cannot be what he means

Too much self

m

Sat 2-day

AlanLa
01-25-2015, 07:34 PM
"There's a zen saying that if a student is only as good as his teacher, then the teaching will decline." That's what I took from this koan, although it was from the commentary, so maybe it doesn't count :D

I teach my students so that they can be better than me. That's what I believe teaching to be about, to advance others beyond myself. I hate when my students just spit back answers that are my words or book words, the stuff they think you want to hear but isn't really honest. I love it when they are honest. I love when they struggle to find their own words. I tell them that if this assignment meant nothing to you, then just say so. Show me some insight or your struggle to find meaning and you will get credit; just recite and you will lose credit. If you honor the struggle with something you will learn from that something. That's what I believe. I had a long talk with one of our graduates on Friday and was just amazed at her awesomeness. She had taken our teaching and incorporated it into her professional practice in wonderful ways. Experiences like that are what teaching is all about it was termendously gratifying because it was so beyond myself.

If I could rewrite this koan I would have it be something like this: At the memorial of my teacher I was asked what he taught me. My answer was that he taught me more than what to do; he taught me how to be what I do, and on his shoulders I gladly stand reaching up. Because that's how I honor my teachers.

Risho
01-26-2015, 03:25 PM
gassho2

Gassho,

Risho
-sattoday

PS -- It's good to see you around the boards Jigen!

Heisoku
02-01-2015, 11:52 AM
Hello all. I like Myosha's smile though I can't see it. Makashyapa saw it in a flower. Seeing your true face is the gift of the universe ( no k!).
Gassho
Heisoku
Sat today.

Risho
02-02-2015, 04:00 PM
How do you see it?

Gassho,

Risho
-sattoday