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Jundo
03-29-2019, 04:14 PM
Hello Everyone,

As part of their training, some of our Priests (Kyonin, Shugen and Shingen) will be offering a series of talks and written essays here on a famous and difficult text that is cherished in Soto Zen ....


THE SONG OF THE JEWEL MIRROR SAMADHI (Hōkyō Zammai / 宝鏡三昧)


The Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi (in Japanese: Hōkyō Zammai; also translated as Song of the Jeweled Mirror Samadhi and Sacred Mirror Samadhi) is a Zen poem in Classical Chinese that appeared during the Song Dynasty. The work is often traditionally attributed to Dongshan Liangjie (Japanese: Tōzan Ryōkai; 807-869), the founder of the Caodong/Sōtō branch of Zen Buddhism, although the actual author is questioned by some historians. Dongshan is the 38th Zen Ancestor and the 10th generation after Bodhidharma in our line.

According to tradition, Dongshan wrote the Hōkyōzanmai in verse style.Its rhythm and tonal qualities make it easy to chant, and it is regularly recited in morning and evening readings in Soto temples. In this work Dongshan made use of the divination techniques that flourished in his days and worked out the theory of the Five Ranks (go-i). Through these devices the Hōkyōzammai systematized Zen theory and a phase of Zen practice. The Hōkyōzammai points to a state of mind in zazen when, like a jeweled mirror, it reflects all things as they are. It is the Buddha Mind that has passed untarnished from master to disciple since the days of the Buddha. It is the true law -- the actual state of all things and the inborn life of man. It tells us to embrace all things in their suchness with the impartiality of a polished mirror -- and adapt ourselves to them. It tells us also to avoid destroying ourselves or harming others, to transcend the dualism of love and hate, and to express ourselves as we really are in altruistic social action. In this work Dongshan gave expression to a major feature of Sōtō Zen -- creative thoroughness in daily life. [adapted from Masunaga Reihō: The Sōtō Approach to Zen]

Since these talks and written essays are practice for the priests in offering talks and essays on difficult material, they are going to cover the same sections (but promising not to listen to the others before giving their own talks). Some talks and essays will be long, some very short and sweet. So, it should be interesting to see what they come up with, and their unique approaches to the same material. Kyonin has had a head start, so his talks to this point are below. Shugen and Shingen will be joining in this month, starting from the beginning.

It is a wild ride, with many strange images and hidden meanings, twists and turns. I hope you will enjoy the trip as guided by our priests. The full text is below, and each priest will include the specific lines they are addressing with each talk. You can download the full study of the text we will be using here:

https://terebess.hu/zen/HokyoMirror.pdf

Gassho, J
STLah


Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi

The teaching of thusness has been intimately communicated by buddhas and ancestors.
Now you have it, so keep it well.
Filling a silver bowl with snow, hiding a heron in the moonlight -
Taken as similar they're not the same;
when you mix them, you know where they are.
The meaning is not in the words, yet it responds to the inquiring impulse.
Move and you are trapped; miss and you fall into doubt and vacillation.
Turning away and touching are both wrong, for it is like a massive fire.
Just to depict it in literary form is to stain it with defilement.
It is bright just at midnight, it doesn't appear at dawn.
It acts as a guide for beings, its use removes all pains.
Although it is not fabricated, it is not without speech.
It is like facing a jewel mirror; form and image behold each other –
You are not it, in truth it is you. Like a babe in the world, in five aspects complete;
It does not go or come, nor rise nor stand.
"Baba wawa" – is there anything said or not?
Ultimately it does not apprehend anything
because its speech is not yet correct.
It is like the six lines of the illumination hexagram:
relative and ultimate interact -
Piled up, they make three, the complete transformation makes five.
It is like the taste of the five-flavored herb, like a diamond thunderbolt.
Subtly included within the true, inquiry and response come up together.
Communing with the source, travel the pathways,
embrace the territory and treasure the road.
Respecting this is fortunate; do not neglect it.
Naturally real yet inconceivable,
it is not within the province of delusion or enlightenment.
With causal conditions, time and season, quiescently it shines bright.
In its fineness it fits into spacelessness,
in its greatness it is utterly beyond location.
A hairsbreadth's deviation will fail to accord with the proper attunement.
Now there are sudden and gradual in which teachings and approaches arise.
Once basic approaches are distinguished, then there are guiding rules.
But even though the basis is reached and the approach comprehended,
true eternity still flows.
Outwardly still while inwardly moving, like a tethered colt, a trapped rat -
The ancient sages pitied them and bestowed upon them the teaching.
According to their delusions, they called black as white;
When erroneous imaginations cease, the acquiescent mind realizes itself.
If you want to conform to the ancient way,
please observe the sages of former times.
When about to fulfill the way of buddhahood,
one gazed at a tree for ten eons,
Like a battle-scarred tiger, like a horse with shanks gone gray.
Because there is the common, there are jewel pedestals, fine clothing;
Because there is the startlingly different, there are house cat and cow.
Yi with his archer's skill could hit a target at a hundred paces.
But when arrow-points meet head on,
what has this to do with the power of skill?
When the wooden man begins to sing, the stone woman gets up dancing;
It’s not within reach of feeling or discrimination –
how could it admit of consideration in thought?
Ministers serve their lords, children obey their parents;
Not obeying is not filial and not serving is no help.
Practice secretly, working within, like a fool, like an idiot.
Just to continue in this way is called the host within the host.

Jundo
03-29-2019, 04:23 PM
Kyonin's Talks to Date:


Kyonin Talk 1


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=wfx_NNvAcm8

Kyonin apologizes for being a little excited about this first Talk, and going maybe a little fast this time, and he said that he will slow down a bit in coming Talks. I am excited too.

He also says:


I suggest you sit zazen with me after each talk

Please accept my apologies in advance. My English has never been good and sometimes it's hard for me to find the right words. If you ever feel I don't make any sense, please ask and I'll gladly explain. ... Thank you for taking the time to study with me.



Kyonin Talk 2

This time we'll take a look at the first four lines:

The teaching of thusness has been intimately communicated by buddhas and ancestors.
Now you have it, so keep it well.
Filling a silver bowl with snow, hiding a heron in the moonlight -
Taken as similar they're not the same;
when you mix them, you know where they are.

We go about our lives dissecting reality in order to understand the universe around us. We take this imaginary knife and cut reality into bits, which is what humans do and it's fine, but it the process we tend to over think and bypass the concept of Thusness.

Please watch the talk and sit with me. And share your thoughts :)

https://youtu.be/4YItrf5ORo0

Gassho,



Kyonin Talk 3

Hello everyone,

Here is the third talk on the Hokyo Zanmai. I discuss the following lines:

The meaning is not in the words, yet it responds to the inquiring impulse.
Move and you are trapped; miss and you fall into doubt and vacillation.
Turning away and touching are both wrong, for it is like a massive fire.
Just to depict it in literary form is to stain it with defilement.


What is it all about? Fire? What fire? Lets discover together :)

https://youtu.be/cTiC11IEQNg

Gassho,

Jundo
03-29-2019, 04:25 PM
.
Kyonin Talk 4

Hi guys,

Here is the new talk for this series. This time we only read a couple of deep and beautiful lines that give us a lot to ponder and, at the same time, to let go of.

Just to depict it in literary form is to stain it with defilement.
It is bright just at midnight, it doesn't appear at dawn.
It acts as a guide for beings, its use removes all pains.

https://youtu.be/tliza0fVAzE

What do you guys think of these lines? Any insight?

Gassho,


Kyonin Talk 5

Hello everyone,

Here is our next video on this series. Today we will discuss the lines:

Although it is not fabricated, it is not without speech.
It is like facing a jewel mirror; form and image behold each other –
You are not it, in truth it is you.

Please come sit with me :)

https://youtu.be/OggbehP5wy0

Gassho,

Gero
04-20-2019, 07:25 PM
Thank you Kyonin for these talks!
I have really enjoyed them and am looking forward to see / hear more on the H˘ky˘ Zanmai.
This text and your interpretation seem much more accessible to me than D˘gen's Chapter "Eternal Mirror" in Sh˘b˘genz˘ ... though they seem to be related.

gassho1
Gero (sat and lah)

Jundo
05-01-2019, 12:46 PM
Here is Shingen's first offering, in which he discourses on the meaning of the title and the significance in life of the Hokyo Zammai ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIPL6vqNp_s

Kyonin
05-01-2019, 09:45 PM
Such a beautiful talk, brother. Thank you.

Gassho,

Kyonin
Sat/LAH

newby_x86
05-02-2019, 05:45 AM
Thank you for the talk, Shingen. :)

Gassho
Anant
SaT

Kotei
05-02-2019, 12:12 PM
Thank you Shingen.
Looking forward to deepen my understanding.

Gassho,
Kotei sat/lah today.

Washin
05-02-2019, 03:15 PM
I enjoyed listening to the above. Beautiful talks having nice and graspable explanations.
Thank you both Kyonin and Shingen.

Gassho
Washin
sat-lah

Geika
05-02-2019, 05:40 PM
Thank you, Shingen. You and Kyonin make it look easy. :) I am grateful to have such eloquent and skillful dharma friends.

Gassho

Sat today, lah

Tairin
05-10-2019, 01:28 PM
Wonderful talk Shingen. I’ve really been enjoying Kyonin’s talks on this poem. I think it is wonderful to hear you both applying your perspectives.

Thank you

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Kyonin
08-22-2019, 02:23 PM
Kyonin Talk 6

Hi guys!

It's finally here! My new talk on the Hokyo Zanmai. Please join me to read the lines:

It is like a babe in the world in five aspects complete.
It does not go or come, nor rise nor stand.
"Baba wawa" – is there anything said or not?
Ultimately it does not apprehend anything
because its speech is not yet correct.

A few questions come to my mind...

Why are we so lost on our own discurses? Granted, we need them to understand the world, but why do we allow words and judgment to control us?

What happens when you let go of even language?

Come sit with me today :)

https://youtu.be/vfpG2-ynymY

Gassho,

Kyonin
Sat/LAH

Kevin M
08-23-2019, 04:18 AM
What happens when you let go of even language?


Thank you for this insightful and touching talk Kyonin.
PS 1:17 I don't think your talks are too long.


Gassho,
Kevin
SAT

newby_x86
08-23-2019, 04:36 AM
Thank you for the talk, Kyonin. gassho1

Gasho,
Anant
SaT

Washin
08-23-2019, 09:06 AM
I'm enjoying these talks very much.
Thank you for the teaching brother Kyonin gassho1

Gassho
Washin
st-lah

Kyotai
08-23-2019, 12:11 PM
Baby eve and I, sitting on the bed and enjoying your talk.

Thank you Kyonin

Gassho Kyotai


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Tairin
08-23-2019, 10:05 PM
Thank you Kyonin. That was a wonderful talk. I appreciate your insights into these passages.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Shingen
08-27-2019, 01:01 AM
Hey folks,

Here is my second talk on the Hokyo Zammai. Below is the section I will be covering ...

The teaching of thusness has been intimately communicated by buddhas and ancestors.
Now you have it, so keep it well.
Filling a silver bowl with snow, hiding a heron in the moonlight -
Taken as similar they're not the same;
When you mix them, you know where they are.

As you can see, there is a lovely hidden teaching the beauty of thusness. Thank you for listening and I hope my talk is intimately comminicated. =)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbX4d_l6Kxc&feature=youtu.be

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Kevin M
08-27-2019, 12:45 PM
Wonderful talk and insight on the Hokyo Zammai. Thank you Shingen.

gassho1

PS I agree about the human connection that is possible online. I can watch a Zazenkai recording and still feel I'm there. I even wave at the camera if the situation calls for it. So the Zazenkai experience is being transmitted across space and time and yet I still feel present and connected to the attendees at some level. Cool. Also, yes dogs in particular seem to embody pure trust, loyalty, joy. Given evolutionary and cosmological context, animals like cats and dogs truly are just brothers.

Gassho,
Kevin
ST

Kyotai
08-27-2019, 03:13 PM
I found this talk very helpful in breaking things down in a way I could clearly understand. Thank you Shingen.

Gassho Kyotai
ST

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Kyonin
08-27-2019, 04:02 PM
Thank you Shingen. I'll watch it tonight.

Gassho,

Kyonin
Sat/LAH

Washin
08-30-2019, 10:37 AM
So beautiful and insightful. Thank you, Shingen gassho2

Gassho,
Washin
sat-lah

Tai Shi
08-31-2019, 08:40 PM
I am an old man. I am 68 on September 11, and I was born this year-- 1951. My body falls away, the five senses diminishing. What I have is "mind" so freedom withstands nothing. I sit in freedom from mind-- I am nothing. Young people, Buddhist, Christian, Chang, Zen, Daoist, Muslim, Jew, Zulu, no one sees, hears, feels, smells, tastes an old man-- Young pass him by-- they do not see the old man thinking he is used up, his body worthless, his writing, thought nothing. What he has left is far beyond his bones, his lips, his classical Japanese flute, his Bali dancing high atop young volcano which he left behind at age 50, so my body no longer makes sound because marks of mathematics, poetry, wisdom in careful thought out is what I have left-- mind is nothing to young who wish to jot their passions, this old man lingers in the doorway inviting the young to visit his, his old partner, who they may lose at any step, living with death, sickness of body, loneliness, this young the young stammer in any language bound by custom, so with babes request in nothing, this the old see, hear, feel, smell, taste, but these fail as body fails, so death we make as friend, not birth. This is not the young wisdom of losing, wisdom of loss, this is the sixth-- mind. This I thus, body in moon light with bird above, upon, beneath, all around earth and water. We all grow old, even earth in black galaxy. We are all one as we pass through babe, child, young, mid- mid age, old man and death, all as Our teachers show us, we are one coming ultimately even mind falls, "the center cannot hold." "An old man" is but a paltry thing-- Yeats said it, unless soul clap it's hands and sing. Even then, jottings in air, all of us, even rocks fall apart, leaving dust-- we are all together.
Tai Shi
calm poetry
sat/lah
Deep Bows to Kyonin, Shingen
For your excellence.
Gassho

Tairin
09-17-2019, 04:20 PM
Thank you Shingen. I was finally able to sit down and listen to your talk.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Kyonin
06-09-2020, 05:43 PM
Hi my dear sangha!

Finally here is part 7 of my series of talks on the Hokyo Zanmai. Today we'll be talking about these lines:

It is like the six lines of the illumination hexagram:
relative and ultimate interact -
Piled up, they make three, the complete transformation makes five.
It is like the taste of the five-flavored herb, like a diamond thunderbolt.
Subtly included within the true, inquiry and response come up together.

The I Ching hexagram we will be talking about is Li:

https://www.iching-online.com/images/hexagram30.png

Please take a moment to contemplate it and then in the talk I'll explain what it means.

Also, please forgive my bad English. That morning my coffee hadn't done its glorious caffeine thing with my mind :D

https://youtu.be/EIu1hOOuSsI

Gassho,

Kyonin
Sat/LAH

Tairin
06-11-2020, 02:27 AM
Thank you Kyonin. I was fascinated with the I Ching when I was in my twenties and your talk had me dig out my books. Turns out I have 3 different translations of the I Ching. Still fascinates.

Your comments on the taste of the five flavoured herb struck a chord with me.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Kotei
06-11-2020, 08:08 AM
Thank you Kyonin,
again, I am amazed, how much you're able to deepen my understanding.
Gassho,
Kotei sat/lah today.

Jakuden
06-17-2020, 02:43 AM
Deep gratitude dear brother, I now see how the pieces and the whole are just the same.

Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


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