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View Full Version : Homeless Kodo's "TO YOU" - Chapters 9, 10 & 11



Jundo
09-05-2022, 04:07 AM
Hey Guys,

I will put a catch up week in here this time, so nobody feels that they need to rush ...

~~~~~~~~~



As it is a fairly easy read, and chapters are rather short, consisting mostly of small quotes, we will take a few chapters at a time. This week, Chapters 9, 10 and 11.

The rules of the game are pretty easy: Just mention here, in our discussion, any quotes (none, one or many) that ring your bell and resonate with you, and briefly say why.

That's it!

If you need a version to "cut and paste" a quote, there is one here. However, PLEASE PURCHASE THE ACTUAL BOOK! I ask everyone to use the following only for ease in cutting and pasting a quote or two into this discussion, not for purposes of reading the entire book. Thank you!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13v2mybc4y3kiro9cIny5rnkWOVaVAXf_/view?usp=sharing

What trips your trigger, strikes your fancy, inspires and makes your day? Try to say why it does so for you. (You can also feel free to disagree with Ol' Kodo too, but be prepared to say why!) :encouragement:

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Mokuso
09-05-2022, 04:20 PM
Chapter 9
“You've got to stand on solid feet, no matter what direction the wind might blow”

If you have no solid ground to stand on or something to support yourself against, sooner or later you will still fall over. Regardless of whether you believe that your way, thought and action is good. Which in and of itself happens sometimes in life anyway. But the case won't be as hard or heavy if you have a firm foundation or something supportive.

Chapter 10
“Eat in order to do zazen, sleep in order to do zazen. This means that eating and sleeping are also part of zazen.”

Zazen is not just sitting. You can do zazen in almost anything you do. Cleaning, walking, when you meet other people in conversation. For me it is being present in what I do. Not rushing in thought and thinking, what should i do next.

Gassho, Mokuso

Heiso
09-05-2022, 05:42 PM
"In zazen, the hips are rooted in the earth, the top of the head pierces the sky"

Beautiful stuff.

Gassho

Heiso

StLah

Sent from my RMX2001 using Tapatalk

paulashby
09-05-2022, 10:28 PM
"Only when you stop thinking'I do zazen' are you doing true zazen. page 61,chapter 11
Self-consciousness is the most persistent distraction from reality.
peace,Paul

Onrin
09-06-2022, 09:20 AM
"If you don't have a clear, Buddhist approach to life, it would be better if you kept away from zazen practice."

This could be understood in a few ways I think. Brad Warner's latest book is about the importance of ethics in zen practice, and goes into some possible pitfalls of zazen or meditation practice without also studying and taking Buddhist precepts/ethics to heart.

But I can also see Zazen practice as a gateway to the study of Buddhist ethics, as it was for me.

Soka
09-06-2022, 10:34 AM
When you sit, you’ve got to be one with Truman, Stalin and Mao. One person sits for everyone, everyone sits as one.

A timely one when there are many people I know getting upset about Liz Truss. But it also reminds me of the importance of practicing compassion for those who I disagree with or who do awful things, and recognising that I am not so different to them.

Gassho,
Sōka
sat

Nengyoku
09-07-2022, 05:29 PM
In zazen, the hips are rooted in the Earth, the top of the head pierces the sky.

The first time I sat meditation was with a guided meditation recording.
I remember the instructor saying to be aware of your surroundings. Not just the things in front of you, but to try and expand your awareness to the room around you. The sounds, the smells, the sensations.
And then to try and expand that further, listen to the cars on the street, or birdsong out the window.
And then further, to try and visualize for a moment the whole world as one seamless object, and to feel as though it were part of your awareness.
And then, to go even further, and try to visualize the entire universe. Everything. With nothing left out.

I remember trying to think "What does EVERYTHING look like?" And I couldn't do it. I just pictured myself, sitting in that room, trying to do it.

Now, looking back, maybe that was exactly me picturing everything. Trying to think of the universe just brings me back to me. Like Jundo says, I am just the Universe Nengyoku-ing, and the universe is just me universing.

To me, that's what I think of when I read "The top of the head pierces the sky".

Gassho,
Nengyoku
Sat

Heikyo
09-08-2022, 07:01 AM
You go swimming every morning in cold water. So what? A goldfish does that all the time.
Youíve quit smoking? Yeah so what? A cat doesnít smoke either.
However proud you are of how well you run after this and run away from that, itís nothing more than wandering around in the world of impermanence.

This made me chuckle. These are achievements in the every day world, but they mean nothing to the universe. I think we can all be guilty in having excessive pride in our achievements and measuring them against other people. But at the end of the day we are all one, so what do those achievements actually mean?

Gassho
Paul
sat, LAH

Geika
09-08-2022, 09:27 PM
"Life doesn't run on tracks."

I should probably remember this more often.

gassho2
sat, lah

Shokai
09-09-2022, 02:19 AM
If you prefer to believe in this or that other sect, go and follow them. Only those
who really want to practice zazen should do so.
What is zazen good for? Zazen is good for absolutely nothing!
Zazen is the buddha that we form out of our raw flesh.
When you practice zazen, completely renew yourself.

Oh, that I had heard these words twenty years ago [monk]

gassho, shokai

JudyE
09-09-2022, 04:59 AM
These stand out for me this week (both from Chapter 10):



Eat in order to do zazen, sleep in order to do zazen. This means that eating and sleeping are also part of zazen.

Our zazen is like waking up from hibernation to a completely new world.



I’m reminded of how zazen brings me back to reality— even if it’s just for a moment. When that happens, even the most ordinary parts of life look new.

Gassho,
Judy
sat/lah

ZenKen
09-09-2022, 03:05 PM
I found two that have really resonated with me in these chapters:

Chapter 9

However much you accomplish in this life, in the end you won't have anything to show for it. You will die naked.
I found this one reassuring in a way, that it's okay to not strive for material goods or a fancy job title. I've never been hugely ambitious in that way, which has led to previous managers telling me that "I'll never get anywhere". Maybe I should have thanked them for the lesson when they said that!

The other one is from Chapter 11:

If it's even the slightest bit personalised, it isn't pure, unadulterated zazen.
We've got to practice genuine, pure zazen , without mixing it with gymnastics or satori or anything. When we bring in our personal ideas - even only a little bit - it's no longer the buddha-dharma.
I like this one as a reminder that we can spend time looking for the perfect zafu or the best loose cotton trousers that won't cut off our circulation or our personal little rituals to get ready to sit, but none of them are as important as 60 seconds of true, focused zazen. And that we'll get more (without getting) from those 60 seconds than from all the dedicated preparation that is nonetheless as far from zazen as it's possible to get. 'Getting ready' for zazen is not sitting zazen. Stop fussing!

Gassho
Anna
sattoday

Zenkon
09-09-2022, 09:10 PM
I was struck by the saying
The phenomenal world isn't something that same God made. It arises through interdependent causation . This reminds me that we are all connected to each other and to our world.

I was also struck by the saying
Apart from zazen, all of your "good deeds" come out of your ego-consciousness, because you're always thinking, "I do good.". Here, I disagree. Many times, when we act out of generosity, we do so because we expect a "reward" - a "thank you". But, when we act out of true altruistic generosity, such as anonymous contribution, we are truly acting to benefit others and not get any ego reward.

Gassho

Zenkon
sat/lah

Tai Do
09-09-2022, 09:44 PM
In our practice, thereís nothing sacred besides zazen. Itís zazen that saves us ordinary beings by taking our raw flesh and molding it into zazen.


Nenbutsu practiced with a peaceful mind is true nenbutsu. Zazen practiced with a peaceful mind is genuine zazen.
Nenbutsu practiced in order to get peace of mind isnít true nenbutsu. Zazen practiced in order to get peace of mind isnít true zazen.

It reminds me to not over-ritualize things and focus more on zazen than in rituals
Gassho,
Mateus
Satlah

Nengyoku
09-10-2022, 03:04 AM
'Apart from zazen, all of your "good deeds" come out of your ego-consciousness, because you're always thinking, "I do good."'

I was also struck by the saying . Here, I disagree. Many times, when we act out of generosity, we do so because we expect a "reward" - a "thank you". But, when we act out of true altruistic generosity, such as anonymous contribution, we are truly acting to benefit others and not get any ego reward.

Gassho

Zenkon
sat/lah

While I agree that this quote seems quite pessimistic I think the argument would be that even with the most altruistic, anonymous contribution there is still something there that can feed your pride.
Making a donation to charity isn't inherently good, we just as a society have drawn the distinction that action is good.
But our practice is to drop even those distinctions.

And that zazen, which does not come from our ego-consciousness, comes from the understanding that we are all one seamless whole. And there is no "I" to do the good.

Thank you for this food for thought, as I kind of just brushed over this quote. gassho2

Gassho,
Nengyoku
SatLah

Tairin
09-10-2022, 02:27 PM
Many quotes caught my eye but I really liked this one


Birds don't sing in a major or minor key. Bodhidharma's teaching doesn't fit on lined paper.

The buddha-dharma is wide and unlimited. When you try to hold it still, you've missed it. It isn't dried cod, but a live fish-and living fish have no fixed form.

As a musician I appreciate the comment about major and minor keys. Basically what I like about this quote is the notion that Buddha-Dharma is not constrained to a set of rules and there is no formula to follow. We each have to find our own way. Now someone might challenge that by pointing to the Precepts or our practice of sitting but we know the Precepts are not prescriptive and we know that only each of us can sit our Zazen.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Dogukan
09-10-2022, 03:31 PM
"The buddha-dharma isnít about making average people into special people."

Very good reminder.

When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a prophet. There was even a time when I thought I was Noah himself and naturally, it resulted in a child psychologist. Then I came to the conclusion that most probably I would not be a prophet. However, this childish desire to be someone special remained strong, albeit by changing shape. The buddha-dharma, though, is not about it and the Way is not for building a "spiritual career".

I really admire that Old Kodo has such an ability to easily express some things that are almost impossible to express. Just a few words from him can make your jaw drow, slap you, or stroke your hair.

Gassho,
Doğukan.
Sat.

Mark-us
09-12-2022, 12:56 AM
"Only when you stop thinking'I do zazen' are you doing true zazen. page 61,chapter 11
Self-consciousness is the most persistent distraction from reality.
peace,Paul

I like your reading into the quote. I am a self-conscious person myself and I find it hard to be my true self when I am self-conscious about it. I can also see the quote meaning that when you divide yourself from reality/ the universe, your efforts to break away from suffering are in vain.

Gassho,
Markus
SatLah

Mark-us
09-12-2022, 01:01 AM
Actually, “studying” used to mean gaining insight into life, but now it’s turned into just getting qualifications for a job.

As a student who is pretty deep in schoolwork, this quote called out to me. I aim to study this week as in gaining insight, not to pass a class or get a job.

Gassho,
Markus
SatLah

Shinchi
09-12-2022, 02:59 AM
From chapter 10:

"If you eat in the evening in order to break into a house afterwards, you are eating a "robbery-meal". If you eat in order to go to the prostitutes, you are eating a "prostitute-meal." If you eat to practice zazen, then it is a meal of the Buddha way.

The question is why do you eat?"

This made me think of a meal time gatha I found recently, which ends with: "May I be nourished, that I may nourish life." In also reflecting on the 2nd article by Josho Pat Phelan this week, I may change this for now to: "May I be nourished, that I may be one with Buddha, Dharma, Sangha" (with the understanding of Dharma as "the teaching of how to come back to our true self" (Buddha), and Sangha as "the kinship of all things").

I also loved the story of the monk, Yakuzan, and Master Sekito on page 67 (chapter 11). "...the meaning of simply sitting, shikantaza".

Gassho,
Steve
STLah



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KellyLM
09-12-2022, 02:06 PM
"As a human being, you can walk freely in any direction you choose."

- I needed this reminder today, lately I've felt like my life is out of control.

"When you practice Zazen, completely renew yourself."

- My experience is that this is exactly what happens... Zazen is like hitting a "reset" button.

"If you practice Zazen when you are overwhelmed by feelings of pleasure, anger, sorrow and contentment, these feelings will haunt your Zazen like a terrible ghost."

- This is also true, in my experience.

Gassho,
SatLah
Kelly

Onkai
09-15-2022, 01:40 AM
From Chapter 9:

Birds don't sing in a major or minor key. Bodhidharma's teaching doesn't fit on lined paper.

The buddha-dharma is wide and unlimited. When you try to hold it still, you've missed it. It isn't dried cod, but a live fish-and living fish have no fixed form.
That seems to poetically express the nature of life and understanding to me

From Chapter 10:

When you practice Zen, it has to be here and now, it has to be about yourself. Don't let Zen become a rumor that has nothing to do with you.
It is about the immediacy of the experience of Zazen.

Also from Chapter 10:

The body that takes a nap can also practice zazen.

The body that practices zazen can also take a nap.
I feel re-affirmed by this quote.

From Chapter 11:

Whatever it is you're trying to grasp, even if you get it, sooner or later you'll lose it again.

True wealth is not grasping for anything. It's shining our light inwards and reflecting upon ourselves. When we take a step back, we see that there's nothing to grasp, nothing to run after and nothing to run away from. Reality doesn't arise and doesn't pass, it's neither pure nor impure, it neither increases nor decreases.
Although I have goals and ambitions, this reminds me to hold those things loosely, and drop them when practicing zazen.

Gassho,
Onkai
Sat lah

Onki
10-29-2022, 08:41 PM
There are a few quotes that struck me:

“In a soldier’s handbook it says that in war you must be prepared for a thousand different possibilities. That doesn’t just go for war. There’s no rule book for life either. When you try to live your life according to a manual, you’re sure to fail.”

“Eat in order to do Zazen. Sleep in order to do Zazen. This means that eating and sleeping are also part of Zazen.”

“Zazen means practicing that which cannot be explained.”

I am a perfectionist. This is not a good thing. I have to do things a certain way according to the lies that I tell myself and that I believe to be true. I would always wonder, “Why can’t there just be a book for life. Just tell me exactly what I’m supposed to do!!!” I would get so frustrated with myself. Obviously there was something wrong with me. Logically I know this is not the case. Life doesn’t have a handbook. Life has its ups and downs just like everything and that’s okay. I’m not a perfect person; far from it. That in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s just life.
I’m learning that life is simply and complexly life. It just is.

Gassho,

Finn

Sat today