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Thread: beutiful vs. ugly

  1. #1

    beutiful vs. ugly

    I struggle a little with the idea of "not judging". What happens with the very, very beautiful things like listening to the sun bear concert from Keith Jarrett after 50 years doing zazen?
    I listened yesterday after my evening sitting to that and I felt wounderful and connected with everything. It was taking me in a sort of happyness I often feel when I listen to certain records. My "one eye" enjoyed.
    The second eye.......
    Without judging there is no ugly and no beauty?


  2. #2
    Hi Ernst

    Ah, there is plenty of beauty in the world. This morning a chaffinch was picking at seeds on my doorstep and there are flowers springing up everywhere just now with their own blend of beauty. Humanwise, there is beauty in art and music. I found it the other day in The Velvet Underground.

    I wonder, though, if part of practice is not just to see the beauty and interconnectedness in the obviously beautiful but in the other parts of life we often shy away from? Maggot picking at a roadkill also have beauty and interconnectedness, breaking down that which is dead to recycle into new plants and animals. Rotting wood, a burnt-out building, even the dying, is there beauty in all of those things?

    We all have artistic preferences, favourite seasons and ideas of areas of the world we would prefer to be and live. I guess the challenge is in finding the beauty in the other parts too.


  3. #3
    Hello Ernst,

    through dropping all judgements we may awaken to a different kind of beauty underneath, within and expressed as everything around us. That beauty is not born, nor does it die, does not rely on anything and is not a thing, nor is it non-existent. Even the most beautiful melody can end, but that which is the one taste of suchness expressed as every- and anything, such a taste is the nectar of Buddhas.

    Follow your enjoyment of a particular concert to its source, and I don't mean that in an intellectual way. One way of cultivating this is Zazen. Let the non-source shine forth. There you will find the non-place whence all music in all the worlds originates.


    Hans Chudo Mongen

  4. #4
    I wonder, though, if part of practice is not just to see the beauty and interconnectedness in the obviously beautiful but in the other parts of life we often shy away from? Maggot picking at a roadkill also have beauty and interconnectedness, breaking down that which is dead to recycle into new plants and animals. Rotting wood, a burnt-out building, even the dying, is there beauty in all of those things?
    Yes and thank you. I have the same idea. But it is still a judgement, isn't it?

    Hans, sorry. But I didn' get it. How does my judgement look like?

  5. #5
    I have the same idea. But it is still a judgement, isn't it?
    Then just drop all ideas of beauty and ugly and be with things as they are. If you enjoy, enjoy, if not, don't. No need to add anything extra.

    Hans' sense of underlying beauty and connectedness is what I was trying to point to as well. If you just take things are they are, that may arise. Or it may not.


  6. #6

    beutiful vs. ugly

    Hi Ernst,

    I think that as individuals we must make judgments. Should I wear clothing to go to work today or not? Should I take my kids to school or not? Should I tell my kids to study hard so they can go to college? Is the death of my dog sad or not? Is the...? I think the trick is not being attached to our judgements as everything is impermanent except change. When we drop the attachment to our opinions then we can truly appreciate beauty in our world. Music becomes more beautiful as it won't be as disappointing when it ends. Pain will be less painful because it's impermanent. :-)

    Gassho, Jishin
    Last edited by Jishin; 04-03-2014 at 11:36 AM.

  7. #7

    drop all words, drop all concepts. Drop body and mind. Shut up and just sit, relaxed yet wide open and present. With humility, radical humility. After a couple of years with your teacher, or even after a few moments, there is a good chance you can allow yourself to arrive where you already are.

    Judgments are not the issue.

    Words can never fully express what the teachings are pointing to (also a bad excuse for my unskillful writings, but true IMHO), yet the words themselves are perfect expressions at the same time.


    Hans Chudo Mongen

  8. #8

    gassho, Jindo Shokai, an itinerant monk emeritus still learning the way and knowing nothing.
    gassho, Shokai

    仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

    "Open to life in a benevolent way"

  9. #9
    In my judgement, one should not judge. Trash and flowers. Both are perfect reality. No judgement added. Ask me to judge which one I'd rather smell and I'll pick flowers. Because beyond matters of judgement, just being perfectly myself, an ordinary human being, I don't like the smell of rotten trash.
    ...Although sometimes I have to smell trash, too. Indeed, there will always be trash to smell...

  10. #10
    Just finished my morning zazen, and I left the kitchen door open so the cats could come and go. As a result, I heard the nice sounds I tend to enjoy, smelled the humid air I don't want to turn my house into a mold factory, etc.

    Enjoyment of this, aversion to that. Drop them or just let them fall away after they've had a chance to hand around thanking me for feeding them?

    I sat with the door open, and they left when they were done hanging around. Then the bell rang.

    This all came off way more poetic than intended. Time to change the cat box.
    Diligently attain nothing. Sort of. Best not to over-think it.

  11. #11
    So, so appreciate each post here, it has been very helpful to me. I change a disabled child's diaper, I wipe the drool off another child's face, I go for a lovely walk in the rain, not until finding Treeleaf and Zen have I realized the interconectedness of all these things and learned to just be. (but I'm still working on it, so that's why I come back here so often lol!!)


  12. #12
    Great thoughts on this post, or maybe I just think they are


  13. #13
    Some lovely expressions above by so many folks here. Wonderful!

    One can find beauty and ugliness in this world. One can savor beauty, fully dive right in ... yet not be a prisoner of craving for beauty.

    One can also experience a certain Beauty (Big "B") that holds and is all this world's beauty and all too frequent ugliness ... found all along when one sits Zazen, dropping all our judgments, aversions and attractions.

    One then experiences and embodies Beauty which transcends beauty and ugliness ... and that even overflowing garbage cans are sacred and lovely ... yet can simultaneously witness and work to clean up all the ugliness of this world (cleaning up the stinking trash cans), while nurturing beauty. All at Once, as One. A world of judgments (lightly held. mind you) and No Judgments at once.

    The is a harmonious MUSIC (Big "M") that is all the lovely human music of Keith Jarett's guitar and the cacophony of banging trash can lids As One.

    What is so hard about that? It aint rocket science!

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-03-2014 at 06:02 PM.

  14. #14
    Thank you to all of you.
    With many words it got more clear for me. The point was, that I observed myself in the "normal" life, that I judge things very often (more than two years ago) as beautiful. So, I thought that it could be a mistake. And sometimes I have a kind of a little taste of the MUSIC. But very often I listen to music and get in this feeling. I do not think, that I am attached to that. I just wanted to get a little advise in that issue.


    p.s.: I do not have a teacher

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstguitar View Post

    p.s.: I do not have a teacher
    You are my teacher.

    Gassho, Jishin

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    One can find beauty and ugliness in this world.
    Thank you Jundo. =)


  17. #17

    Some people think that Zen is about not having preferences. They are absolutely right! At the same time (timeless time), they are absolutely wrong! In our way, we encounter life from various views (including viewless views) at once! So, I have likes and dislikes, appreciate the beautiful and detest the ugly or scary or painful ... yet, at the same timeless time, "I"(the I-less I) DO NOT IN THE LEAST. Like hearing life out of the right ear one way, and the left ear another all at once ... Buddha Ear.

    The result is like listening to a Beautiful, Flowing Emptiness Symphony (All Caps) which Harmoniously holds all the beautiful notes and off key noise, harmonies and disharmonies of the world, both the parts of life where our heart leaps with joy and the parts where we cover our ears and eyes and grit the teeth.

    Still, in playing our instrument (the gu-"I"-tar?), we try to avoid the bad note disharmonies (small "d") and be as harmonious and "on key" as we can ... all to better hear the Harmony (Big "H") that is Never Ever "Off Key".

    We think that we are a single instrument in the orchestra ... separate from all the other players and the notes on the page. One finds instead that the Orchestra is One and is Who We Are, And the Music Too! Far from being apart, WE ARE THE SYMPHONY! We truly "loose our 'self' and are swept up in the Music!" The Music has been playing us all along, not only the other way. Ernst is what is produced when the strings of the world vibrate.

    That is our guitar lesson for today.

    Sunday, I will be attending our local Tsukuba Symphony, and listening to the "Four Bs" ... Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Buddha.

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 04-04-2014 at 02:08 AM.

  18. #18
    Thank you, just again.
    I will exercise, so that I can get an idea of the guitar lesson.
    So, how can I be so deaf to the Music…...


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