View Full Version : 3/26 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 4-6 to 4-10

03-27-2010, 06:29 AM
Perhaps the theme of fame, reputation, money, success, power ... and how we use and misuse them, for what ends ... runs through many of these talks as well....

http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/common_ ... 04-06.html (http://http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/common_html/zuimonki/04-06.html)

Gassho, J

03-29-2010, 04:22 PM


Even among lay people, the wise are like this
You don't have to wear a robe or sit in a monastery to "do the right thing".

Students today, even if you are suffering from physical pain or mental anguish, you should force yourselves to practice the Way.
First, i'm pondering the word force.
I think the meaning is misinterpreted, force is a strong word to use, i rather use "not give up" or "do the practice anyway".
But nonetheless, there will be hard days.
And you have to endure them.
Because if there were no hard days, there would be no other ones...


Students of the Way, the reason you do not attain enlightenment is because you hold onto your old views.
Thus, if you reform your attachment, you will be able to attain the Way.

The meaning is "no clinging".
No clinging to old views, no clinging to new.
Just being.


Students of the Way, as beginners, whether you have bodhi-mind or not, you should thoroughly read and study the scriptures, sutras, and ?astras
Some understanding of the text is good.
Some need it, some don't.
But good nonetheless.

n a Precepts text4, it is said, “Knowing that home is not home, abandon home and become a homeless monk.”

An ancient said, “Do not be arrogant and consider yourself equal to superior wise people. Do not deprecate yourself and think of yourself inferior.”

This means that both are [a kind of] arrogance

Again, no arrogance, no clinging.


An ignorant person thinks and speaks of senseless things.

What is senseless things?
That which is senseless to one is sensefull for another.


There is an old saying, “Reflect three times before speaking.” This means that prior to saying or doing something, you should reflect on it three times.

Today with the internet and blogs and forums, this is a more imminent saying.
When writing/speaking i try to reflect on whether it will be good/right to say/write it.
I would also like to add, that you should reflect in what is written/said three times.
and when doing do it with a smiley "attached" to the text/saying.


03-29-2010, 07:00 PM

This passage seemed to stick with me for some reason.

Students of the Way, the reason you do not attain enlightenment is because you hold onto your old views,. Without knowing who taught you, you think that "mind" is the function of your brain - thought and discrimination. When I tell you that "mind" is grass and trees, you do not believe it. When you talk about the Buddha, you think the Buddha must have various physical characteristics and a radiant halo. If I say that the Buddha is broken tiles and pebbles, you show astonishment.

Dogen points to the danger in clinging to views and holding on to "knowledge", which we believe to be irrefutable and perhaps even common sense. A softening of what we believe to be "mind" and what we expect to be the "Buddha" aligns more closely with the Way. I like to think of zazen causing a "softening" of who "I" am and what is included in my sense of "I". The "I" seems to dissolve a bit and it becomes apparent that "grass and trees" are in fact "mind". The boundaries between me and not me seem to lessen and old views fall away replaced by a more fluid state of awareness.


04-21-2010, 10:43 PM
Hi all,

4-6 -- In passges like this I wonder if it comes close to saying you should purposefully seek out painful experiences rather than not avoiding them. Perhaps it is merely metaphor, but heading into the cold woods without shelter or food seems more like something the buddha rejected himself. The section does point to the fact that even the "giants" of zen were merely people who make mistakes like everyone else. I especially like the last line:

Students today, even if you are suffering from physical pain or mental anguish, you should force yourselves to practice the Way

Words to live by, although I do agree with Fugen that "force" seems a bit harsh.

4-7 -- This one resonated with me since I think I often cling to old views and for me it is like a tangled web of things you were taught to believe, often not by your own experiences. As children we rely on our parents, siblings, family, and friends to help send us in the right direction and such things become hardwired to the brain. As a result you can easily overlook the simplest of things or overload them with unecessary meaning. Allowing once "set in stone" views to become pliable again is a very scary thing for me and at times many of those beliefs seem so integral to who I am. But buddhism and zen teach us to let those preconcptions go and I am trying.

4-8 -- Gaining fame is something I was never very concerned about, although to say you don't want to have the esteem of others whatsoever seems unlikely. It is a trap that can easily snare you along the path and the stories in this passage illustrate that well. I thought it was especially interesting to consider arrogance to be considering yourself below others in addition to thinking you are above them. To be so self involved can only lead to a great imbalance and will distract you from the path. Lastly, is it really good to always think of death as right at your feet? Avoiding such thoughts would be bad, but again it's almost like it is being suggested that we seek them out explicitly.

4-9 -- Being caught up in the status of your former life never leads to much good. Be here.

4-10 -- Think first, speak second...a lesson that I wish I had heeded more as a youth. But mistakes are par for the course at that age and those "errors" shape much of what we become. I will admit that the stories in this passage were not as clear to me as in other sections...so much "fire and brimstone" telling of life in a very different time. I understand the importance of the Way as much as anyone can, but would it literally be better to die?