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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 34

  1. #1


    Case 33 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 34: Fuketsu's Speck of Dust

    (Just a reminder ... here is the book we are working from ... )

    William Blake wrote ...

    To see a World in a Grain of Sand
    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour.

    If the mind is raised in activity, the Wholeness of the Whole is broken into countless broken pieces, round and sharp ... life and death, me and you, peace and war, good and bad.

    When the mind is put down, the Wholeness of the Whole again.

    Picking up and putting down, picking up and putting down again and again ... life and death, me and you, peace and war, good and bad are just the Wholeness of the Whole all along.

    In fact, what "picking up" and "putting down" when ultimately "up is down" transcending "up or down"! Put down even "up vs. down", then pick them up again! The broken is the Whole, the Whole shining in each broken shard.

    In the Preface it says open the hand of thought, the fist empty ... and the myriad things of the world, all life's twists and turns, transformation, ups and downs, are held comfortably within.

    In the famous old Chinese story, The Monkey King and Buddha, to teach the egotistical Monkey a lesson, Buddha challenges him to a task -- to leave Buddha's hand.Monkey agreed to the bet. He immediately cloud-flew at a terrific speed to the end of the universe, where he saw five pink pillars. These he took to be the end of the world. On the middle pillar he wrote, bragging "A Great Sage Equal of Heaven reached this place", to prove beyond any doubt he had reached this spot. To drive home the point, he also urinated at the base of the first pillar.

    Then he returned to the Buddha, and told him of his accomplishment. To Monkey’s shock, the Buddha informed him he had never left Buddha's hand after all. To prove it, Buddha showed Monkey the writing on his middle finger. Then he made Monkey smell the bottom of his smallest finger and smell his own pee.
    In the Appreciatory Verse: Life is about being young and getting old, like the gray haired fellows fishing on the river.

    Life is good days and bad ... so the reference to Hakui and Shukusei, the sons of a king of the In dynasty. When the In was conquered by the Shu dynasty, they hid themselves in Mt. Shuyo, finally starving to death.

    All events upon a spinning ball of dust, this earth. Can we even "put down" divisive thoughts of young vs. old, win and lose?

    Ecclesiastes 1:2
    Proverbs 31

    Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
    “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

    What advantage does man have in all his work
    Which he does under the sun?

    A generation goes and a generation comes,
    But the earth remains forever.

    Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
    And hastening to its place it rises there again.

    Blowing toward the south,
    Then turning toward the north,
    The wind continues swirling along;
    And on its circular courses the wind returns.

    All the rivers flow into the sea,
    Yet the sea is not full.
    To the place where the rivers flow,
    There they flow again.

    All things are wearisome;
    Man is not able to tell it.
    The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    Nor is the ear filled with hearing.

    That which has been is that which will be,
    And that which has been done is that which will be done.
    So there is nothing new under the sun.

    Is there anything of which one might say,
    “See this, it is new”?
    Already it has existed for ages
    Which were before us.

    There is no remembrance of earlier things;
    And also of the later things which will occur,
    There will be for them no remembrance
    Among those who will come later still.

    "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” Yet, "Treasure of Treasures! All is Treasure!" to one who can see.

    Even a single grain of dust, Treasure.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-07-2014 at 04:42 AM.

  2. #2
    I think that there was an exchange between the first and second patriarch in China that what went like this:

    Bodhidharma sat facing the wall. The second patriarch, standing in the snow, cut off his arm and said, “Your disciple’s mind is not yet at peace. I beg you, Master, give it rest.” Bodhidharma said, “Bring your mind to me and I will put it to rest.”

    The patriarch said, “I have searched for the mind but have never been able to find it.” Bodhidharma said, “I have finished putting it to rest for you.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    All events upon a spinning ball of dust, this earth. Can we even "put down" divisive thoughts of young vs. old, win and lose?

    Gassho, J
    What divisive thoughts to put down of young vs. old, win and lose? Where are they? In the mind? If I could only find my mind...

    Gassho, Jishin
    Last edited by Jishin; 02-07-2014 at 12:24 PM.

  3. #3
    A bit of a coincidence.....Been away from Treeleaf for a bit and the most current thread Jundo relates to William Blake's poem, which my wife and I each have a segment on our wedding rings. She has "To see a World in a Grain of Sand" and I have "And a Heaven in a Wild Flower." After reading Case 34 I thought about the connection and I thought that at one time the "Wholeness of the Whole" would be a state that eventually become more and more apparent and the "broken pieces" would become less so. But this is an incorrect assumption and it is the fact that the "Wholeness of the Whole" is present, even with the "broken pieces"...Perhaps I am error on my thinking here, which would not surprise me, but it seems this is what we are after or not after...or just knowing that it is the case. I know .. I need to ponder some more on this...

  4. #4
    Did anyone else have a profound sense of unease in contemplating this one, particularly, from this: "When a speck of dust is raised, the nation prospers. When a speck of dust is not raised, the nation is destroyed," combined with Setcho's challenge to his students, which seems to ask so very much from us?


  5. #5
    Hi Cliff,

    I believe that the reference to "the nation prospers" is just an old Chinese colloquial expression, like saying "the whole enchilada is cooked", "the picnic is packed", everything, the whole world appears.

    Sometimes Koans seem more mysterious because of the old slang that is now forgotten. If we said "the whole enchilada", someone in a few centuries might be confused why we were talking about Mexican food!

    Gassho, J

  6. #6
    Thanks for the explanations, Jundo. I has some time to sit with the feeling of uneasiness and I believe I mischaracterized it. If it was uneasiness, it was uneasiness brought about by being overwhelmed with the profundity of what Fuketsu said: 21 words that capture and communicate so much, I'm unable to adequately process it all, let alone write about it here. I just understood. A speck of dust can change everything, is everything.

    Sorry. I'm oddly emotional about this one. And suddenly hungry for queso.

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