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Jundo
05-05-2012, 05:15 PM
Dear EQUANIMIOUS FRIENDS ...

We are beginning our non-work, sitting and living with The Book of Equanimity, Illuminating Classic Zen Koans, commentary by Gerry Shishin Wick.

www.amazon.com/Book-Equanimity-Illuminating-Classic-Koans/dp/0861713877

www.wisdompubs.org/pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=32899&-Token.Action=&image=1

I begin today with a rather longish essay and talk, given during our monthly Zazenkai, on some common misunderstandings, biases and the like about the Koans and Koan Practice found in the modern Zen world ... and I ask all to have a read and listen ...

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?9652-SIT-A-LONG-with-Jundo-Koan-Misunderstandings-Koan-Dogma

I apologize for both the length of the talk, and what may be a rather arcane topic to some folks.

In a few days, I will offer a shorter "how to" talk on how we are actually going to undertake and read the Koans and Rev. Wick's commentary.

Then, I hope to dive into the first Koan together perhaps next Saturday.

May you find it all thoroughly ENLIGHTENING! 8)

Gassho, Jundo

PS - Some portions are available online, pending purchase ...

https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&q=editions:Al10wbPkbbcC&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizsaqi-ZzbAhVFi5QKHQoPAjMQmBYILTAA&biw=1920&bih=949&dpr=1

www.amazon.com/The-Book-Equanimity-Illuminating-Classic/dp/0861713877

Jinyo
05-05-2012, 07:30 PM
Thanks Jundo - for a very informative and interesting introduction.

I bet everyone is feeling :D 8) to be starting on the book.

Hope your head cold clears soon.

Gassho

Willow

Risho
05-05-2012, 09:26 PM
Yay! :). I really enjoyed the talk. These koans are so controversial. I remember reading in Daido roshi's book " Sitting with koans".that some schools would have students use canned answers. I am looking forward to integrating these into my life-practice. That is, if I can understand them. But that is part of the fun too. :)

Heisoku
05-06-2012, 08:58 AM
I really appreciated the talk. I used to think that koans were something other than the direct challenge to apply our understanding of Dharma into our life now. That was before I really knew anything about Buddhism let alone Dharma. So I am really looking forward to this 'different' approach to our study.

Myoku
05-06-2012, 09:25 AM
Having a conceptual understanding is not sufficient. You need to experience it. Experiencing your Budhha Nature eliminates attachments to self-grasping ignorance.

Though this is from the introduction, this seems like a koan already to me; because, dont we always experience our buddha nature ? What else would there to experience if not our true nature ? Or seen from a wider perspective, what could be experienced that not is buddha nature ?
_()_
Myoku

andyZ
05-06-2012, 12:57 PM
Having a conceptual understanding is not sufficient. You need to experience it. Experiencing your Budhha Nature eliminates attachments to self-grasping ignorance.

Though this is from the introduction, this seems like a koan already to me; because, dont we always experience our buddha nature ? What else would there to experience if not our true nature ? Or seen from a wider perspective, what could be experienced that not is buddha nature ?
_()_
Myoku

Myoku,

I think your question is smth along the lines "if we're already enlightened, why practice?"
I think what we experience most of the time is the workings of our conditioned mind which mostly operates in our own self interest. That's why Rev. Wick refers to "eliminating attachments to self-grasping ignorance". Like in those 2 famous poems from the Platform sutra: "we need to polish that mirror all the time even though the mirror is originally bright and pure."

Jundo
05-06-2012, 03:02 PM
Having a conceptual understanding is not sufficient. You need to experience it. Experiencing your Budhha Nature eliminates attachments to self-grasping ignorance.

Though this is from the introduction, this seems like a koan already to me; because, dont we always experience our buddha nature ? What else would there to experience if not our true nature ? Or seen from a wider perspective, what could be experienced that not is buddha nature ?
_()_
Myoku

Myoku,

I think your question is smth along the lines "if we're already enlightened, why practice?"
I think what we experience most of the time is the workings of our conditioned mind which mostly operates in our own self interest. That's why Rev. Wick refers to "eliminating attachments to self-grasping ignorance". Like in those 2 famous poems from the Platform sutra: "we need to polish that mirror all the time even though the mirror is originally bright and pure."

Yes... we are all always already Buddha ... but blind to the fact, acting the fool. We may be Buddha, but we don't know it (like the fellow in the Lotus Sutra with a jewel hidden in his pocket which he doesn't know about). We are always the Buddha ... but we act filled with greed, anger and ignorance. We are always already the Buddha (that is free of anger greed and separation/ignorance) ... but so filled with anger greed and separation/ignorance that it is not experienced.

So, though we are all always already Buddha ... we have to act more Buddha-like ... and less like the blind greedy fool ... to realize (meaning "to make real, bring to life") Buddha. Act like a fool, you are a Buddha who is a fool. But act like Buddha, and you are a Buddha who is Buddha. :shock:

Kind of a reverse "Catch-22".

Gassho, J

Myoku
05-06-2012, 04:17 PM
Thank you Andy, Jundo,
I think you both gave me the right hint: to experience it, we need to bring it into life, act appropriate. By acting like a Buddha, we experience the being-detached-from-greed/anger/ignorance. I think this way the statement I originally quoted fits into my "world view". Thank you again and Gassho
Myoku

Hans
05-06-2012, 06:06 PM
Hello Jundo,

yeeehah! Thank you for your efforts.


All the best and gassho,

Hans Chudo Mongen

Hoyu
05-06-2012, 07:58 PM
Thank you Jundo Sensei for a most inspiring pep talk!

Gassho,
Hoyu

mr.Lou
05-06-2012, 09:00 PM
Like in those 2 famous poems from the Platform sutra: "we need to polish that mirror all the time even though the mirror is originally bright and pure."
What's the second poem say?

Rich
05-06-2012, 10:02 PM
Fundamentally there is not a single thing
Where could any dust alight

mr.Lou
05-06-2012, 11:02 PM
Fundamentally there is not a single thing
Where could any dust alight
Thank you for that.

The other reference that illustrates one's pre-existing perfect nature that I am fond of is the example that we are all like the bright shinning moon. We are always burning bright, even if clouds sometimes obstruct the view of that brightness. Zazen practice simply blows away the clouds, it isn't what makes us shine bright.

Rich
05-07-2012, 12:29 AM
Oh, those are clouds? :D
Koan study will be fun, interesting and a great way to strengthen practice, I hope.
thanks lou

andyZ
05-07-2012, 08:29 AM
Like in those 2 famous poems from the Platform sutra: "we need to polish that mirror all the time even though the mirror is originally bright and pure."
What's the second poem say?

Sorry for the confusion. I meant to combine those 2 poems into one.
Thank you Rich for quoting the second poem correctly.

Here are the two poems from Taigu's talk:


The body is a Bodhi [Perfect Wisdom] tree,
the mind a standing mirror bright.
At all times polish it diligently,
and let no dust alight.

and Huineng answers:

Bodhi is no tree,
nor is the mind a standing mirror bright.
Since all is originally empty,
where does the dust alight?

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4784 (http://http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4784)

Kyonin
05-07-2012, 10:43 AM
Got the book and ready to rock some koans!

Taigu
05-09-2012, 11:53 AM
Hi Mr Lou,

this is what I read:


The other reference that illustrates one's pre-existing perfect nature that I am fond of is the example that we are all like the bright shinning moon. We are always burning bright, even if clouds sometimes obstruct the view of that brightness. Zazen practice simply blows away the clouds, it isn't what makes us shine bright.

You may be fond of that moon, and surely that moon is in love with you, as it is with anybody, anyone. Not just in love, not just fond of, same essence, one body. Moon-self, self-moon.

Zazen doesn't make you shine?!!!

This is the last time I take the time to write to you. You ignored my clumsy stuff before. Please, take your sentence back and try to swallow it:


Zazen practice simply blows away the clouds, it isn't what makes us shine bright.

Does it make it through your throat?

What makes you-him-her-me shine bright???



Just curious.


take great care


gassho


Taigu

mr.Lou
05-09-2012, 08:29 PM
What makes you-him-her-me shine bright???
Zazen reveals the shine of our original and true nature by removing that which would conceal it. Zazen is not the source, it is the catalyst.


This is the last time I take the time to write to you. You ignored my clumsy stuff before.
I assure you it was not my intention to ignore your previous words, and I am sorry you feel I have. My sincerest apologies. Any ignorances I have made have been the result of oversight and not contravention.

Jiken
05-09-2012, 08:49 PM
What makes you-him-her-me shine bright???
Zazen reveals the shine of our original and true nature by removing that which would conceal it. Zazen is not the source, it is the catalyst.

Hi mr. Lou

Just my opinion but im not sure I agree with this. Zazen reveals nothing because there is nothing to reveal. The source and the catalyst are the same.

Gassho to you and this thread. Interesting

Daido

Taigu
05-10-2012, 12:19 AM
Thank you Mr. Lou. You write about sitting as a tool to remove confusion, a device to let the original face appear, and I cannot follow you on that one. The act of sitting is the original face itself, shikantaza is not a gateway. The pearl is not hidden in the dark and moist flesh of the oyster, as we drop inside and outside, the very activity of sitting is nothing but the pearl itself. The pearl is the whole oyster, as is.

Gassho

Taigu

Jundo
05-10-2012, 12:46 AM
Hi Guys,

Does Zazen blow away the clouds to reveal the light? Or is Zazen what makes you shine? Do you make Zazen shine? Does Buddha shine? Or is Zazening polishing the shining light?

In the light, can "you" and "I" be seen in the glare? Or are we lit up and standing bright in the spotlight? Is there even "you" or "zazen" or "light and darkness" in the Light? Or, are there all of these, light and dark, clearly seen in the Light?

Is Shining found in the Light, or in the Eyes, or in the Mind, or in the Shining ... or everywhere and no where at all?

Is it the light of the moon? A flickering street light? A cop car light?

Is the light shining even on the darkest day hidden by clouds? Do we need to clear away the clouds to see the light? Or are the clouds themselves ever clear, light, shining when seen with Bright Buddha Eyes?

This Light is neither light nor dark ... nor is it ever anything but the darkness and the light.

It is not even "Light".

So ... DON'T BE BLINDED BY THE LIGHT! SEE THE LIGHT!

Just Sit, Just Shining Polishing Shining!

Gassho, J

RichardH
05-10-2012, 01:24 AM
Hmm. Got the book .. better join in.

Shohei
05-10-2012, 04:34 PM
Exciting lets Get R Done! >:)

Gassho
Shohei

Nenka
05-10-2012, 05:51 PM
Hi Guys,

Does Zazen blow away the clouds to reveal the light? Or is Zazen what makes you shine? Do you make Zazen shine? Does Buddha shine? Or is Zazening polishing the shining light?

In the light, can "you" and "I" be seen in the glare? Or are we lit up and standing bright in the spotlight? Is there even "you" or "zazen" or "light and darkness" in the Light? Or, are there all of these, light and dark, clearly seen in the Light?

Is Shining found in the Light, or in the Eyes, or in the Mind, or in the Shining ... or everywhere and no where at all?

Is it the light of the moon? A flickering street light? A cop car light?

Is the light shining even on the darkest day hidden by clouds? Do we need to clear away the clouds to see the light? Or are the clouds themselves ever clear, light, shining when seen with Bright Buddha Eyes?

This Light is neither light nor dark ... nor is it ever anything but the darkness and the light.

It is not even "Light".

So ... DON'T BE BLINDED BY THE LIGHT! SEE THE LIGHT!

Just Sit, Just Shining Polishing Shining!

Gassho, J

What light?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX5tfRdkoY0&feature=related


Apologies . . . this conversation really brought that scene to mind, appropriate or not. :twisted:

Also the Sandokai: "light is also darkness / but do not think of it as darkness / darkness is light / do not see it as light / light and darkness are not one, not two / like the foot before and the foot behind in walking."


Gassho

Jen

Koshin
05-10-2012, 06:03 PM
:mrgreen:

Omoi Otoshi
05-10-2012, 06:08 PM
The truth is in the moonshine?
I knew it! :D

/Pontus

Omoi Otoshi
05-10-2012, 08:48 PM
You write about sitting as a tool to remove confusion, a device to let the original face appear, and I cannot follow you on that one. The act of sitting is the original face itself, shikantaza is not a gateway. The pearl is not hidden in the dark and moist flesh of the oyster, as we drop inside and outside, the very activity of sitting is nothing but the pearl itself. The pearl is the whole oyster, as is.

I agree that Zazen is not a tool, not a device.
Just Buddha sitting. Just being Buddha. Realizing Buddha completely, without trying, without needing to do anything.
I was always Buddha, from the beginning. In my sleep walking through life, I tend to forget that and instead believe in the story my small mind is telling me about who I am. But in my heart, I always knew. And my heart's innermost desire is to live according to that truth of who I am, so I practice, not because a Zen teacher is telling me to, but because my heart is longing for it (at least on the days when I am able to pay attention to that quiet little voice of my heart).
In my view, the original face can't ever disappear. The pearl is never hidden, it is there in all its suchness. Just not always noticed.
The act of sitting is the original face. The act of shitting is also the original face.
Why is it that on the Zafu, I open the hand of thought and let my self be enlightened, but on the toilet I do not?
To me, Shikantaza can be a gateway. Just not one that I can use to get somewhere. A gateless gate through imagined barriers, leading to nowhere but here. Not blowing any clouds away, just seeing the clouds for what they are. The boundless sky as it is. Shikantaza is not learning meditation, but the Dharma gate of effortless ease, in Dogen's words.

Gassho,
Pontus

mr.Lou
05-11-2012, 09:12 AM
The sun and moon are always bright, yet if they are covered by clouds, although they are bright, below they are darkened, and the sun, moon, stars, and planets cannot be seen clearly. But if suddenly the wind of wisdom should blow and roll away the clouds and mists, all forms in the universe appear at once.

Since the imagery of the obscured moon has been so frequently referenced here in this thread, and my choice of words addressed as so semantically flawed, I believe it is probably best to address further contemplation and analysis of this analogy to the source rendition.

Rich
05-11-2012, 10:42 AM
Whatcha gonna do when hulkamania runs wild on you?

The 6th patriarch and the hulk are two of my favs.
Can't. Talk anymore. All I can do is sit and a million other things to stay alive and get ready for hulkamania and the book of serenity.

Risho
05-11-2012, 03:21 PM
OK, I dont' want to derail this thread, but Rich brought up the Hulk! I love the Hulk; I'm still a Hulkamaniac. lol

Jigetsu
05-11-2012, 08:54 PM
I've been eagerly awaiting to start this book! :D

Kaishin
05-14-2012, 05:31 PM
_/_

Looking forward to it!

AlanLa
07-01-2012, 01:31 AM
Latecomer alert. I can't get the video to work. When I click on it above it says that the server cannot be found, so maybe that's a Treeleaf 2.0 issue? I have heard Jundo talk about koans in our Soto tradition before so I have an idea of the content, but it would be good to be on the same first page, so I tried another way. That first post mentions it is part of a zazenkai, but I went back to those and click on any of the videos I get a message saying they are private. So I am not sure what all is going on there.

As for why I am such a latecomer, as if anyone cares.... When the announcement came out about koan study with this book, I thought about, thought about it, and thought about it some more. I decided that I wasn't interested, wasn't interested, and wasn't interested some more. I think enough as it is, too much and too often (Jundo and Taigu remind me from time to time about this), as just my thinking about the possibility of koan thinking aptly demonstrates. So I kept dismissing it, but it kept nagging at me. Then I happened to check one of the threads and it reminded me of the dharma transmission books we read, which I really liked and got a lot out of, so I changed my mind and here I am. Maybe I can learn to think differently, or maybe it will help my practice, or both, or neither. See, thinking too much already :)

I fully and completely understand and support the closing if old threads so that latecomers like me don't distract from the progression of the chapters. I will read and catch up to those on my own, as instructed.

Dosho
07-01-2012, 01:41 AM
Alan,

I believe the 2.0 conversion added an extra "http" in the link address. If you get rid of that, perhaps that will help. Take out "http//" and leave the "http://"

As for the video, I get the same message, so I'm as in the dark on that one as you.

Gassho,
Dosho

Jundo
07-01-2012, 01:48 AM
Hi Al,

See if the links are linking now. Yes, a "technical non-difficulty" with longer links not working after the move here.

Also, the threads for Koans earlier than our most recent two are closed, simply to keep everyone focused on about the same Koans, and not have the threads jumping back and forth due to late folks like you! ;)

However, one is never early or late! Jump in! Feel free to reflect on the earlier Koans privately, or you can write Taigu and me if you wish.

Gassho, Jundo

AlanLa
07-01-2012, 04:40 AM
Now the link above directs me to a page that says the Treeleaf forum is at the new address but that's all. Also, I cannot get zazenkai video for 6/9 and back ("This video is private."), but the most recent ones from that date do work. So progress in a non-progress sort of way has been made.


Also, the threads for Koans earlier than our most recent two are closed, simply to keep everyone focused on about the same Koans, and not have the threads jumping back and forth due to late folks like you! Yeah, I get it and support it. But, just to be difficult, wouldn't it be sort of a koan to have people jumping from koan to koan? Sort of like the ultimate koan? ;)

Speaking of the ultimate koan, it seems to me that maybe the purpose of koans is to help us to accept that not everything has to make sense. But isn't logic a form of conditioned thought? Thus the purpose of koans is to break us out of such conditioning. For example, disability (my specialty) is often viewed as the result of bad karma and reincarnation issues to evil demons and such, even in today's modern times. But that's just a faulty logic system to replace the much harder to understand, "It is what it is, nothing more nothing less, dharma as dharma" characteristic that is constructed into existence by social conditioning. By the way, this would be my answer to case #1 (see how this latecomer snuck that in there [piratepatch]). I'll post something about that legless issue in case #6 in the appropriate place ;)

Jundo
07-01-2012, 06:47 AM
Speaking of the ultimate koan, it seems to me that maybe the purpose of koans is to help us to accept that not everything has to make sense. But isn't logic a form of conditioned thought?

Hi Alan,

Koans "make sense" and are "logical". Otherwise if they truly meant nothing, were simply a rejection of things having to make sense, and were simply absurdest, folks would not have bothered to write them, work with them, comment on them for hundreds of years. However, it is simply not our ordinary sense and divided logic, but a Sense and Logic that must be pierced.

Here is the broken link, now fixed. Please have a listen and let it listen.

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?9652-SIT-A-LONG-with-Jundo-Koan-Misunderstandings-Koan-Dogma

Gassho, J

Shingen
07-01-2012, 03:54 PM
Thank you for this teaching Jundo. I have ordered the book The Book Of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans and will drive into it when it arrives. :)

Gassho,
Michael

AlanLa
07-01-2012, 03:59 PM
Yes, the link works now, and yes I understand that koans make sense in their own way. My point, poorly expressed, was that koan sense might just be another form of conditioned thought, a zennie form of conditioning, and that one of the purposes of koans is to help us let go of that traditional sense of logic that we have. In other words, they can help us see the other side of the logic coin, so to speak. Anyway, I will shut up now and go explore that working link.

Daitetsu
10-30-2012, 02:01 PM
Just loved the introduction, thanks a lot for all your effort!
This really gave me a new perspective on this topic, as I had only known the typical Rinzai koan work.
I am going to order the book and give it a try...

Gassho,

Timo