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Jundo
12-18-2016, 02:46 PM
Case 73 never ends, and so we mourn Case 73, Sozan's Requited Filial Piety ...

It is rare that I feel that Wick Roshi punts a bit, or is somewhat off key, in his comments. However, in this case, I thought his commentary a bit missing or skipping over the point, so I investigated some other comments and a bit of the history of many of the references that are quite different (including one by Wick Roshi's own Teacher), and I am not sure why they seem to focus so differently on this. Sometimes "Buddha Eye" of the beholder, I suppose.

The Preface to the Assembly is filled with traditional images of Chinese demons, who do such things as cling to trees and grass tips. We are like demons and unrequited ghosts of the dead when unfulfilled, haunted by our grudges and anger and lack of realization. This is our demons within before Realization. Then, says the poem, all the traditional things done in Asia to appease the spirits of the dead such as offerings of money or a horse to ride to the other world, purifications with sprinkled water or an amulet, are not the real cure. What is the real cure for the ghost that needs to be appeased in your house (in you)? Of course, it is then pointing to the real cure as Zen Practice. Most commentaries seem to approach this so. gassho1

At this point, other commentaries (and I concur) say the Main Case is talking about Practice and life (not two, by the way) after realization (after the period of mourning is over, and one has requited one's obligation as a child of one's Teacher, the Buddhist Ancestors and Buddha). In traditional Asian countries, mourning for one's parents might require perhaps a year of semi-withdrawal from the world by a son, wearing special clothes and restricting one's enjoyments, appeasing the spirits of one's deceased ancestor. A monk too is like this in the search for Realization, appeasing his spirit. After that period of mourning, one takes off one's mourning clothes and returns to daily life. After Realization, one returns to the world too. One is back in the world, yet in a state of freedom, having calmed the spirits within, one has taken off the shackles and sackcloth.

Of course, one should not (in China) get literally "stumbling drunk" and dance & joyously sing during a period of mourning or as a monk in training, or fall down intoxicated even after if a Buddhist priest (although, yes, Japanese Buddhist priests do tend to drink a bit in hopeful moderation, as Rev. Wick points out). The reference to that probably does not mean literal drunkenness, but spiritually drunk and forgetting of the self. Yamada Roshi says ...



One has shed all entanglements and is in a state of complete freedom, naked of all trappings ...

... A tipsy drunk totters along and even loses his hat somewhere as he sings a little off-key. He is perfectly at peace, without a care in the world. This drunken person is tipsy in a spiritual sense. It wouldn’t be very commendable to be really drunk and not care a whit about convention.
http://www.sanbo-zen.org/shoyoroku_73.pdf

The Appreciatory Verse begins with references to Realization of the Absolute, the Gateless Gate, or as put in one Translation, "The pure and white gate has no neighbors at all in four directions. " Some comments say that this is the state of Total Emptiness, not a thing in any direction. No mourners and nobody to mourn, nothing to Realize and nobody to Realize so. But the next sentence on sweeping for years means years of continued Practice nonetheless in which we must exercise care, live diligently, not to let in the dusts of greed, anger and ignorance (those ugly demons).

The following sentences are filled with references to the interpenetration of both ways of knowing this life ... empty of anything to sweep, yet dusts to sweep, full light yet partial moons. Traditionally, Zen Masters of old used the hexagrams of the I-Ching and Yin-Yang, or the different phases of the moon, to represent the different phases of interpenetrating absolute-relative(see below).

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/Miscellaneous/TheFiveRanksoftheHouseofTsaotung.htm

One translation closes the poem (again, speaking of the spiritual, not spirits in a bottle) ...


Freshly fulfilling filial piety, one encounters spring.
Walking drunk with crazy songs, losing the hat along the way,
With messy hair, staggering to and fro: who cares what?
A perfect drunkard in great peace, without any problems at all.


Anyway. I wonder why Wick Roshi left all that alone this time?

Gassho, J

SatToday

Onkai
12-19-2016, 03:42 AM
Thank you, Jundo. gassho1

Gassho,
Onkai
SatToday

Mp
12-19-2016, 12:04 PM
Thank you Jundo. =)

Gassho
Shingen

s@today

Tairin
12-22-2016, 03:04 PM
It is interesting how differently two commentators, in this case Jundo and Wick, provide insights into the same koan. I appreciate the contrast. gassho2

One statement in Wick's commentary really struck with me "sit well". That speaks volumes. Sitting is at the core of our practise. Sometimes we sit in relative peace and clarity (monkey sleeps). Sometimes we sit with the disturbed and cloudy mind with our monkey hopping all over the place. Important is our intent to "sit well".

Gassho
Warren
Sat today

Hoko
12-23-2016, 05:49 PM
Sometimes I wish my monkey had better taste in music. 😁
Gassho,
#SatToday

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Geika
12-23-2016, 07:13 PM
So true, kliff!

Gassho, sat today

AlanLa
12-25-2016, 03:15 PM
I loved this koan! My father died about a year and a half ago. He raised me to be very independent, maybe to a fault. When he died I mourned, but the best thing I could do, then or now, is to honor him by being the man he taught me to be: independent. I know to my soul that he would be proud that i became who I am as a result of his influence. Mourn the loss of your parents/elders/teachers, then honor them by your present and future actions descendant from them, and then move on to be free of them in order to help others. To see it as a cycle, so that honoring becomes being a parent/teacher to others who then will mourn you... and so on, is what I get out of this koan.

Today is Christmas morning, and tradition in our family has been to have some champagne while opening presents. This is a tradition taught to us by someone in our past, and we honor him every time we do this even as we mourn having lost touch with him. Does this tradition bind us or set us free? Does our little tradition represent illusion or truth? I don't know, nor do I care as long as it is part of a genuine expression of compassion to each other in the family and our teacher. Sozan's wine is what i will be thinking about this morning when the bubbly pours (in moderation).

Mp
12-25-2016, 04:16 PM
I loved this koan! My father died about a year and a half ago. He raised me to be very independent, maybe to a fault. When he died I mourned, but the best thing I could do, then or now, is to honor him by being the man he taught me to be: independent. I know to my should that he would be proud that i became who I am as a result of his influence. Mourn the loss of your parents/elders/teachers, then honor them by your present and future actions descendant from them, and then move on to be free of them in order to help others. To see it as a cycle, so that honoring becomes being a parent/teacher to others who then will mourn you... and so on, is what I get out of this koan.

Today is Christmas morning, and tradition in our family has been to have some champagne while opening presents. This is a tradition taught to us by someone in our past, and we honor him every time we do this even as we mourn having lost touch with him. Does this tradition bind us or set us free? Does our little tradition represent illusion or truth? I don't know, nor do I care as long as it is part of a genuine expression of compassion to each other in the family and our teacher. Sozan's wine is what i will be thinking about this morning when the bubbly pours (in moderation).
Lovely expression Alan, thank you for sharing. =)

Gassho
Shingen

s@today

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themonk614
12-27-2016, 04:04 AM
My Dad died quite suddenly many years ago. He was only 53 years old. A loving, kind, generous and compassionate man, I, too, realized that the best way to honor him is by being the kind of man he was and the kind of man he taught me to be.

Gassho,
Matt

SatToday



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