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Thread: Grass Hut - 13 - "Everything's Included"

  1. #1

    Grass Hut - 13 - "Everything's Included"

    Today, "Chapter 9 / Everything's Included" ... Though the hut is small, it includes the entire world.

    Some seed questions ...

    Has Zen Practice helped you get a feel (beside some intellectual understanding) of statements such as the following, and why this means YOU!?

    ... each thing is intimately connected to every other thing, each thing is an expression of the interdependence of everything else, the whole universe is an expression of each individual thing, and each thing is exactly itself. In other words: everything is interdependent; you are just the universe expressing itself; your actions have infinite impact; and each thing is simply itself, you are you.
    How is experiencing this helpful to you or (if you still do not have a sense of the above yet), how do you imagine it would be helpful to experience?

    Gassho, Jundo (aka, the universe expressing itself and an expression of each individual thing).
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Another way to express this ...


    A frequently cited expression of this vision of reality is the simile of Indra’s Net from the Avatamsaka Sutra, which was further elaborated by the Huayan teachers. The whole universe is seen as a multidimensional net. At every point where the strands of the net meet, jewels are set. Each jewel reflects the light reflected in the jewels around it, and each of those jewels in turn reflects the light from all the jewels around them, and so on, forever. In this way, each jewel, or each particular entity or event, including each person, ultimately reflects and expresses the radiance of the entire universe. All of totality can be seen in each of its parts.

    Another time, Fazang illustrated the Huayan teachings for Empress Wu by constructing a hall of mirrors, placing mirrors on the ceiling, floor, four walls, and four corners of a room. In the center he placed a Buddha image with a lamp next to it. Standing in this room, the empress could see that the reflection in any one mirror clearly reflected the reflections from all of the other mirrors, including the specific reflection of the Buddha image in each one. This fully demonstrated the unobstructed interpenetration of the particular and the totality, with each one contained in all, and with all contained in each one. Moreover, it showed the nonobstructed interpenetration of each particular mirror with each of the others.

    ...

    A frequently cited expression of this vision of reality is the simile of Indra’s Net from the Avatamsaka Sutra, which was further elaborated by the Huayan teachers. The whole universe is seen as a multidimensional net. At every point where the strands of the net meet, jewels are set. Each jewel reflects the light reflected in the jewels around it, and each of those jewels in turn reflects the light from all the jewels around them, and so on, forever. In this way, each jewel, or each particular entity or event, including each person, ultimately reflects and expresses the radiance of the entire universe. All of totality can be seen in each of its parts.
    More here ...

    http://www.lionsroar.com/the-phenome...rnament-sutra/

    Gassho, J

    SatToday, one Jewel of Indra's Net expressing all of reality.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Every morning I go outside and start appreciating the sun and moon, the air and water, the plants and animals, my internal organs that function effortlessly. Then I go about my business of doing the things life requires. Knowing I will go down with this ship is kind of strange but forgetting the self is joyous.

    SAT today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  4. #4
    Hello,

    Realizing life with human experiences is ok.




    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Myosha View Post
    Realizing life ...
    Through Zen practice and mindfulness, what's 'real' reveals itself. It's here, now - the visual field which includes the wardrobe door which faces this body when sitting Zazen; the soundscape of traffic, birds, central heating; the thoughts which arise and fall away (thoughts about the past, the future, imaginary conversations, other places). This is what's real. This is the whole world. Perhaps.

    Here's another description of "Everything's included" from wikipedia on the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty:
    The object of perception is immanently tied to its background—to the nexus of meaningful relations among objects within the world. Because the object is inextricably within the world of meaningful relations, each object reflects the other... Each object is a "mirror of all others."
    Gassho,
    Jeremy

    Sat Today
    Last edited by Jeremy; 05-31-2015 at 11:23 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Through Zen practice and mindfulness, what's 'real' reveals itself. It's here, now - the visual field which includes the wardrobe door which faces this body when sitting Zazen; the soundscape of traffic, birds, central heating; the thoughts which arise and fall away (thoughts about the past, the future, imaginary conversations, other places). This is what's real. This is the whole world. Perhaps.

    Here's another description of "Everything's included" from wikipedia on the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty:

    Gassho,
    Jeremy

    Sat Today

    Life as it is.


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    1 . Has Zen Practice helped you get a feel (beside some intellectual understanding) of statements such as the following, and why this means YOU!?



    2. How is experiencing this helpful to you or (if you still do not have a sense of the above yet), how do you imagine it would be helpful to experience?

    ]
    1. Does a bear shit in the woods?

    2. Yes.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  8. #8
    Sat today.
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  9. #9
    I'm full of inner peace to bursting point since a couple of days. And there's a new and very weird feeling sometimes, like, when I walk, I'm walking and not walking, there's no distance or border or how you may call it between my body and the surroundings. There's the function of the senses, like feeling and hearing the feet stepping on the ground, seeing the grass, the trees, the clouds and so on, but there's no "I have this feelings, I am perceiving this", there is no I at all.
    And, yes, I'm pretty sure that Zen practice is the cause for that.
    Gassho
    Hen
    Hi Hen,

    Well, sometimes we feel so, sometimes we feel perfectly ordinary, somedays we might get up on the wrong side of the bed.

    Sometimes we feel as if all things are one without border, sometimes we feel like there are sharp edges everywhere and we just bumped our knee on life's table corner.

    Enjoy the experience, but do not chase after it ... neither grieve and mourn and long when (and it certainly will) it passes.

    I sometimes describe the Shikantaza Way as a hike through the mountains, and how we handle such peak experiences as you describe ...

    A perspective of our Soto tradition which many seem unusual compared to the emphasis in many other schools of meditation is that we do not necessarily take such experiences as something to run toward, or run away from for that matter. Better said, we cherish and welcome and learn from such moments when there ... then cherish and welcome the moments when something else is there. There are profound insights to be gained in such experiences, but we do not remain there nor seek such "peak experiences" out. It is all part of life's mountain hike ... with vistas constantly changing ...

    In our Soto Zen Practice, such states and experiences are but one perspective, one observation point, on a long hike on the mountain. In our philosophy, such experiences are not the "goal", just a precious and useful reference. Some folks reach it in deep experiences on the Zafu, some in small tastes and step by step realization, some in a bit of both, some while literally hiking through the mountains! It is all a lifelong hike up a mountain where, every so often, we get to a vantage point where the trees and rocks clear away and we can see the wide valley and how all is connected and whole. Perhaps we get to a peak where all is visible in all directions, and even the mountain drops away. You know the old saying: "In the beginning, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers; later on, mountains are not mountains and rivers are not rivers; and still later, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers again.”

    I will use another example ... In fathering a child, there is nothing to compare with those "peak" moments when you first hear of the pregnancy, or first hold the newborn child in your arms. Yet, the true riches and lessons of parenthood are to be found in the whole, long trip, the ups and downs of what is to come ... all sacred, each a jewel in its way.
    If today is a day with sharp corners, keep on walking, keep on sitting!

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    1) Has Zen Practice helped you get a feel (beside some intellectual understanding) of statements such as the following, and why this means YOU!?

    2) How is experiencing this helpful to you or (if you still do not have a sense of the above yet), how do you imagine it would be helpful to experience?
    1) Honestly, after sittting or some time I've started to feel a suspicion (not a thought) that something like that could be how things actually are. Not yet a conviction or something deeply rooted.

    2) I believe that to fully experience it could help to actually feel at-oneness as you like to say, Jundo. Getting that feeling for real, could help arising a natural compassion.

    Until now, many times for me compassion is kind of self imposed, like a discipline, because I have a tendency to be always reacting and defending and seeing others as competitors or even enemies. Zazen practice is gradually helping me to let go of those unskillful, negative feelings. And when they are totally gone I believe I will be able to act whith compassion naturally, without having to think and decide.


    Gassho,
    Daiyo

    Sat today
    Gassho,Walter

  11. #11
    Intellectually the teachings of Buddhism have always made sense to me, but applying those teachings into daily life has always been problematic. Daily sitting absolutely has helped shift my perspective on the nuances of the riddles of Zen.

    Believing the connectedness of everything is easy. Understanding is hard. Seeing the self destructive ego in myself has been illuminating. Seeing those negative traits in others is tempting, but can backfire real fast. Leaning to live with my thoughts and feelings has been wonderful. This year has been very difficult for me and my wife. Sitting with disappointment, frustration, anger and letting them be what they are has made things a lot better. I don't get sad the way I used to. I mean, I still get sad exactly the same way I used to but it's not the same as it used to be. Giving other people the space to feel their own feelings without judgement has been a focal point for me recently and while I doubt I will always do the right thing in every situation I am communicating better with other people, especially about very difficult stuff. If someone else is upset, someone is upset. Not me or them. Someone.

    Gassho

    Sat Today

  12. #12
    I tend toward extended ADHD -- become obsessed with something for a while then lose interest. This is the first time that when the disinterested part came, I just stayed present. The idea that it's all part of the same river, rapids and still water... the highs followed by the lows and all is what-is. So I sit each morning, I check in here, and I let it play out. It's different. A work in progress (which I guess is a description of this life).

    Gassho
    Meishin
    Sat today

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Meishin View Post
    I tend toward extended ADHD -- become obsessed with something for a while then lose interest. This is the first time that when the disinterested part came, I just stayed present. The idea that it's all part of the same river, rapids and still water... the highs followed by the lows and all is what-is. So I sit each morning, I check in here, and I let it play out. It's different. A work in progress (which I guess is a description of this life).
    What an excellent description, Meishin.
    I think that applies to me to, the obsession has almost vanished, yet I sit everyday, seeing how it plays out.

    A kind of anxiety is still left, in my case, but gradually vanishing into an observation attitude.

    Gassho,
    Daiyo

    Sat Today.
    Gassho,Walter

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Has Zen Practice helped you get a feel (beside some intellectual understanding) of statements such as the following, and why this means YOU!?
    ... each thing is intimately connected to every other thing, each thing is an expression of the interdependence of everything else, the whole universe is an expression of each individual thing, and each thing is exactly itself. In other words: everything is interdependent; you are just the universe expressing itself; your actions have infinite impact; and each thing is simply itself, you are you.
    At first glance, a list like this is quite seductive, but if you read it carefully, it's giving another four (or is it three? two? one?) views of reality. The first three are quite extravagant, while the fourth comes back down to earth with a bump.

    ...As I was driving home the other night, pondering this and other mysteries such as what happens when Darwinism meets Zen, I saw the moon and all the arguments about the finger pointing at it vanished

    Gassho,
    Jeremy
    Sat Today
    Last edited by Jeremy; 06-03-2015 at 02:52 PM.

  15. #15
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    Has Zen Practice helped you get a feel (beside some intellectual understanding) of statements such as the following, and why this means YOU!?



    How is experiencing this helpful to you or (if you still do not have a sense of the above yet), how do you imagine it would be helpful to experience?
    I've always had a sense that we are all connected, but Zen practice has definitely given me a greater understanding and appreciation for this.

    This experience is helpful to me as it makes everything become more alive, more vibrant. It has also helped me be able to take care of disabled children as a job. We are all connected, what we do for others we do for ourselves. Perhaps that is what Jesus meant by "do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  16. #16
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota
    How can things not be interconnected? Feeling my feet on the Forest floor, I imagine the ground stretching out and reaching every other place, and then through the medium of space, the planet, itself, touching other worlds. But back to the particular and these two feet on the ground. No matter how I try, the connection cannot be broken. Relationship is the fact of living. Try as we might, we cannot be out of relationship. The nature of relationship is influence and impact, one thing upon another. Due to this, we are responsible not only for ourselves, but for each other. It’s a fact that can’t be helped. That means we get the opportunity to decide how we will influence and impact self and others. It’s probably a good thing we are mostly unaware of the “myriad things” that converge to move us every time we make a choice. It would drive us crazy. Every time we move/act, we are expressing the influence of countless connections between us and everything else. And that is a wondrous and beautiful fact of living every moment. ^^forestsattoday^^ CatherineS/Forest Dweller

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ForestDweller View Post
    How can things not be interconnected? ...
    Thank you.
    Your perspective is like a breath of fresh air

    Gassho
    Jeremy
    Sat Today
    Last edited by Jeremy; 06-03-2015 at 10:29 PM.

  18. #18
    I would offer that Hua-yen Buddhism is speaking of not only interconnection ... although there is that too.

    There is, in such way of knowing reality, truly interpenetration and intra-identity (I may have made up that last word just now as I can't find it by a quick search on google, but I believe you get the point).

    Beyond that, all truly flow into each other, are expressions of each other and, what is more, truly ARE each other in most intimate sense.

    What would be a quick example?

    Well, suppose a hair in Jeremy's lovely moustache were to wake up and become sentient, with a sense of independent existence. It would feel that it is it, apart from all the other moustache hairs and the rest of Jeremy. That is true. It is just that one moustache hair.

    But from other perspectives, it is all just the moustache, and all the moustache, and all the hairs, and all of Jeremy's face, and all of Jeremy's body and organs which nurture its life ... in fact, all of Jeremy and all of Jeremy's life ... flows into that tiny hair as it flows outward to be an integral part of Jeremy's face, most distant organs and all the rest of Jeremy.

    We might also say that the little hair holds the heart and smallest toes on his distant foot.

    We might also say that all of Jeremy flows into and is fully contained and expressed in every single hair, and each tiny hair flows to contain and be all of Jeremy. The hair is Jeremy thru and thru, not just as a part, but as Jeremy The Whole. In fact, all of Jeremy, all of his life, all the Universe and all of Time and Space are held, fully expressed and are nothing but that one hair. That tiny hair truly speads out to encompass all, and all is held within. There is no two.

    It would be the same if your nose, your brain, any single cell of your heart, your breath ... any aspect of "Jeremy" became conscious and said "I am me".

    Something like that. That hair might resist, and feel it is just "a single part of Jeremy". But it is Jeremy and the whole of reality, as is all the rest.

    And more than a thing, nouns, truly a verb: Jeremying!

    In fact, I had to write this real quick as I run out the door for my annual checkup where I will be poked and prodded to see if all the "Jundo Parts" which are Jundo are functioning up to spec.

    Yes, it is kinda intellectual, but more vitally, is meant to be intimately experienced and tasted as the hard borders of "self" become soft, permeable and sometimes fully drop away in Zazen.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-04-2015 at 04:13 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    All things truly flow into each other, are expressions of each other and, what is more, truly ARE each other in most intimate sense.
    Thank you Jundo, all of me likes this. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday

  20. #20
    ... each thing is intimately connected to every other thing, each thing is an expression of the interdependence of everything else, the whole universe is an expression of each individual thing, and each thing is exactly itself. In other words: everything is interdependent; you are just the universe expressing itself; your actions have infinite impact; and each thing is simply itself, you are you.

    Zazen certainly gives a "taste of this" and lately I seem to be feeling a strong temporal flavor of interdependence....perhaps it's a consequence of getting older.

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

    Sat2day

  21. #21
    Mr Moustache says "Delighted to make your acquaintance, Jundo" (he's very polite), and so do I. Thank you

    I can't honestly say that I can get this Hua-yen stuff into my head, but I can ask what kind of a mind would allow it in.

    When the intra-identity stuff is read with a soft, pliable mind, the result is an amorphousness taking shape then reverting to amorphousness and back again. The rhythm of the universe. Perhaps.

    Then I look out of the window and all's right with the world. Phew!

    Gassho,
    Jeremy
    Sat Today

  22. #22
    Hello,
    My name's Ian and I'm new to Treeleaf so I'm a bit late to be joining you in your discussion of The Grass Hut, but I listened to a Dharma talk given by Ben Connelly that was posted on the Dharma Field website. Perhaps this link has already been posted, but I thought it was an interesting talk.
    http://www.dharmafield.org/Audio/Audio_Online/Talks_for_Members/Guest_Talks/G174%20Inside%20the%20Grass%20Hut.mp3


    Take care!
    Gassho
    Ian
    Sat today

  23. #23
    Hello, all,

    Just joined the book club and have started reading Inside the Grass Hut, playing catch-up. It's lovely. I appreciate all of the wisdom I'm seeing in your discussions.

    L.

    _/\_

    st

  24. #24
    One of the issues this thread has raised for me is the question of whether some schools of Buddhism can be characterised as varieties of mysticism. I've just checked Paul Williams on Hua-yen in "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations" and it's very interesting:

    Huayan thought is, perhaps, less philosophy than the systematic explanation of the dharmadhatu, the world of visionary experience and magic...

    ...The Gandavyuha Sutra (a chapter of the Flower Garland Sutra) views the world not from the point of view of ontology but from inside the Buddha’s – or an advanced Bodhisattva’s – experience. As such, the world of the Gandavyuha is one of magic and the visionary (Beyer 1977). It is a world where things happen at a distance through working on one’s own mind simply because things lack intrinsic existence and therefore (it is urged) lack concrete difference. Or, put another way (a way which may be philosophically different, but is not different for the sutra), things happen at a distance according to the Bodhisattva’s will, or he can pass through walls, because there is no real distance, no mural hardness, since all is a continuum of consciousness. This is experienced through meditation. The world of the Avatamsaka (Flower Garland) Sutra, the world of the Buddha, is a world of vision, of magic, of miracle.
    Now it makes sense! Being a mere wordling, it's no wonder I can't get this Hua-yen stuff into my head

    Gassho,
    Jeremy
    Will be sitting this evening

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    One of the issues this thread has raised for me is the question of whether some schools of Buddhism can be characterised as varieties of mysticism. I've just checked Paul Williams on Hua-yen in "Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations" and it's very interesting:



    Now it makes sense! Being a mere wordling, it's no wonder I can't get this Hua-yen stuff into my head

    Gassho,
    Jeremy
    Will be sitting this evening
    Hi Jeremy,

    The Huayen/Flower Garland Sutra itself is a very fantasy filled, sometimes very silly and extreme piece (also VERY long ... it took me half a year to read at a few pages a day). Yes, lots of magic and hocus pocus. However, the Huayen School of Buddhist Philosophers who were inspired by it were a much more serious, well presented and profound exposition of these views. In fact, I would say that they were only inspired by the Sutra as a starting point. Here is a wonderful book about the Huayen School if you are interested in going further.

    http://www.amazon.com/Hua-Yen-Buddhi...sap_bc?ie=UTF8

    Here is a pretty good summary of some of their views ...

    https://www.academia.edu/1349994/Hua...enetration_SW_

    But let me take a quick stab:

    Imagine the fingers on your hand as individuals. They are each convinced that they are separate individuals. However, every once in awhile, that sense may soften and they may come to identify themselves as the hand (For example, they may come to feel that there body encompasses the whole hand). Then they might sense that the other seemingly separate "finger" individuals are just who they are too. For the others are the hand, and you are the hand ... so the others are you.

    Carry this forward to all of reality, and everything in it, and you may get a sense!

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-06-2015 at 11:23 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Thanks Jundo

    Very interesting stuff! I will follow up on reading about Hua-Yen Buddhism. I've just started reading the summary you referenced and it's good food for thought. Just a short quote from early on:
    For the Mahayana Buddhists, there is no fixed stage upon which the cosmic drama is enacted because the entire cosmos is permeated by a continuity of alterations. Or we could say that the stage is itself a character in the play.... Existence is therefore best characterised not by 'being' but 'becoming'.
    The first part brings Einstein's theory of General Relativity to mind, where mass and spacetime continuously shape and move one another. Going down this path of finding parallels with science, the last sentence brings elements of quantum theory to mind, where particles literally continuously appear out of nowhere and disappear in less than the blink of an eye. Or as Myosha said earlier in this thread, that's "Life as it is".
    Carry this forward to all of reality, and everything in it, and you may get a sense!
    Absolutely. Even though you talk of fingers, it's not fingers that matter


    Gassho
    Jeremy
    Sat Today
    Last edited by Jeremy; 06-06-2015 at 07:20 PM.

  27. #27
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota
    Much gratitude coming your way, Jundo, for your additions of interpenetration and interidentity. I'll have to study my Dogen more closely because I'm sure he talks about the former if not exactly the alter. Thank you for your enhancements. Every needle on every pine bough in the Forest not-so-suddenly bursts with no brilliance.
    ^^ForestSatToday^^ Forestweller/CatherineS

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Jeremy,

    The Huayen/Flower Garland Sutra itself is a very fantasy filled, sometimes very silly and extreme piece (also VERY long ... it took me half a year to read at a few pages a day). Yes, lots of magic and hocus pocus. However, the Huayen School of Buddhist Philosophers who were inspired by it were a much more serious, well presented and profound exposition of these views. In fact, I would say that they were only inspired by the Sutra as a starting point. Here is a wonderful book about the Huayen School if you are interested in going further.

    http://www.amazon.com/Hua-Yen-Buddhi...sap_bc?ie=UTF8

    Here is a pretty good summary of some of their views ...

    https://www.academia.edu/1349994/Hua...enetration_SW_

    But let me take a quick stab:

    Imagine the fingers on your hand as individuals. They are each convinced that they are separate individuals. However, every once in awhile, that sense may soften and they may come to identify themselves as the hand (For example, they may come to feel that there body encompasses the whole hand). Then they might sense that the other seemingly separate "finger" individuals are just who they are too. For the others are the hand, and you are the hand ... so the others are you.

    Carry this forward to all of reality, and everything in it, and you may get a sense!

    Gassho, J
    I've always been partial to Jundo's "butterfly sermon" For some reason that metaphor in particular "clicks" for me (hence why I have it bookmarked!)

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post86307

    -satToday
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (Open Heart aka Matt)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Hello,
    My name's Ian and I'm new to Treeleaf so I'm a bit late to be joining you in your discussion of The Grass Hut, but I listened to a Dharma talk given by Ben Connelly that was posted on the Dharma Field website. Perhaps this link has already been posted, but I thought it was an interesting talk.
    http://www.dharmafield.org/Audio/Aud...rass%20Hut.mp3
    Thanks Ian. I listened to this yesterday and enjoyed it very much. I'd swear at one point Ben called Hua Yen Buddhism "Hawaiian Buddhism" (don't they make skirts out of grass, not huts?) - probably just a case of English ears listening to an American voice

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    I've always been partial to Jundo's "butterfly sermon" For some reason that metaphor in particular "clicks" for me (hence why I have it bookmarked!)
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post86307
    Thanks Matt. Butterflies, hairs, fingers, golden lions. All are Buddha nature

    Gassho,
    Jeremy
    Will sit later
    Last edited by Jeremy; 06-08-2015 at 07:50 AM.

  30. #30
    I've always been partial to Jundo's "butterfly sermon" For some reason that metaphor in particular "clicks" for me (hence why I have it bookmarked!)

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post86307
    Thank you, Jundo and Kaishin!
    The butterfly reminds me a bit of Terry Pratchett, while being more elegant than a turtle in space.
    I like the butterfly sermon a lot.

    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday

  31. #31
    It is hard to say if such an experience is helpful. it is free and that freedom includes the walls. I think the best words I can come up with is self-same. Everything is relative and co-arising, but every thing is self-same. These french fries and bottle of diet coke on the diner table are golden-ness, with tiny salt crystals. It is just like this. it is not a symbol of something else. It represents itself. These are french fries. The Heinz bottle is filled with cheaper ketchup, and vinegar has been added... vinegar tastes like vinegar and that is an expression of everything just right there.

    French fry zen I guess.

    Gassho

    Daizan

    sat today

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    .. each thing is intimately connected to every other thing, each thing is an expression of the interdependence of everything else, the whole universe is an expression of each individual thing, and each thing is exactly itself. In other words: everything is interdependent; you are just the universe expressing itself; your actions have infinite impact; and each thing is simply itself, you are you.
    Hi Jundo,

    Going back to where we started, I just finished reading the article you linked "Emptiness, Identity and Interpenetration in Hua-yen Buddhism" by Atif Khalil

    https://www.academia.edu/1349994/Hua...enetration_SW_

    Thanks for the link - I have to say I loved it. Before reading this, statements such as "the rafter is the building; the building is the rafter", "one can find the entire desert contained in a grain of sand; each moment contains every other moment" sounded like nothing more than the inscrutable utterances of someone who'd been doing too much meditation . Now I at least get what they're talking about intellectually, even if I haven't yet had a taste of this Hua-yen sauce through practice!

    Many thanks
    Jeremy
    Sat Today
    Last edited by Jeremy; 06-10-2015 at 05:56 PM.

  33. #33
    Man, it has been crazy -- lots chopping water and carrying wood :P, so I haven't had time to post. But I have been sitting.

    I do get glimpses of this. This practice allows me to see that this life is really important, to drop the pettiness, to drop the filtering. What I mean is that when I focus on problems or solutions at work, I have to really focus and filter down on the "problem space". Since I do that so much, life can begin to feel like a task or a series of problems to accomplish. But zen is this utter freedom from that.

    Sure we still have to chop the wood, pay the bills, take care of the kids, etc, but each one of those things is really important not to be rushed through... wholeheartedness is a zen word for this and it really fits. From one perspective, this idea of "I am the universe" could be taken down a bad path; I'm the universe so you serve me, but since we are all the universe we are all important. Everyone is important, deserving of love and respect, deserving of food, education, healthcare... not a commodity to be exploited.

    I've been thinking about that a lot. Even 2500 years later, this practice is absolutely revolutionary and transformational simply because we are responsible for all of this (from a perspective of course). We are all responsible for each other. I think that is an awesome way to live life. No matter what you do: raking leaves, taking out the garbage, smiling, zazen, you are living a full life.

    When we harm others, we are harming ourselves. When we live (and I know I don't always do this; but Buddhism is so hopeful and optimistic, which is one of the reasons I love it) with purpose, practicing the precepts, trying not to harm, when we realize that all of this is also us, also our responsibility to take care of, it's just wonderful and beyond words. It gives me a reason to live frankly. It gives me something to practice and do that I know is worthwhile, something that is needed so desperately in this world. I forgot who said this, but not only is our life an amazing gift; I mean the fact that we are here right now, with this consciousness is simply mind blowing. It's even more spectacular that we have found this practice, this opportunity on how to give, on how to be less harmful. It's a privilege to be able to practice right now.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Daiyo View Post
    Until now, many times for me compassion is kind of self imposed, like a discipline, because I have a tendency to be always reacting and defending and seeing others as competitors or even enemies. Zazen practice is gradually helping me to let go of those unskillful, negative feelings. And when they are totally gone I believe I will be able to act whith compassion naturally, without having to think and decide.
    I feel the same way! Especially when it comes to compassion towards myself. But remembering the interconnectedness of all of us helps with compassion all around. I remember that we are all part of this world together and that helps.

    This chapter and Jundo's metaphors have given me a better understanding of this, especially with the explanation that we are "the universe expressing itself." In a way, it reminds me of learning about Christianity when I went to church as a kid--"Jesus is in all of us." As a kid, I didn't understand, but it makes sense now.

    Gassho,
    June

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