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Thread: Opening the Hand of Thought - Chapter 8 Part 3 (FINALE)

  1. #1

    Opening the Hand of Thought - Chapter 8 Part 3 (FINALE)

    Dear All,

    We come to the end of Uchiyama Roshi's 'Opening the Hand of Thought' ... although, does it truly end or continue on and on? As he writes "we should continue to practice as long as we live".

    Today, we read from Point 5 (page 164) to the end in the last Chapter"The Wayseeker" .

    - Do you you understand his "sit silently for 10 years, then for 10 years more, then another 10 years" and "One inch of sitting -- one inch of Buddha"?

    - What do you think of his description of retirement and even the end of his life? Good attitude? Important to develop such an attitude, or not for you?

    - What did you feel about the book in general? A classis, worth what many folks say? Didn't speak to you so much? Mixed? Mu!?

    Gassho, J
    SatToday

    PS - A reMINDer that, after the current book, we will return to the Koans of the Book of Equanimity, reading the wonderful "this worldly" commentary by Shishin Wick. We worked with the book last year and will come back. The book is available for purchase here, which is a good thing to do ...

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Equan.../dp/0861713877

    Until you receive the book, it is also available in portions here ...

    https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=...page&q&f=false

    All of the Koans, but without Shishin's commentary, are available here ...

    http://terebess.hu/zen/shoyo-roku.html#wick

    For those new to Koans, some tips on reading the book can be found here ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ANIMITY-Case-1
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Thank you Jundo and will place my order for the Book of Equanimity. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today

  3. #3
    Practice sinks into your bones slowly... although one inch of sitting is indeed one inch of Buddha... ten years of sitting is ten years of Buddha!

    I think of retirement often. My small self always wants to make it the answer to all of life's problems, even as the buddha inside me laughs and shakes his head at such a notion. I'm sure I will take this grasping, dissatisfied, comfort-seeking mind with me into retirement the same way I take it everywhere I go now. So yes it is important to practice with the notion that whatever my current "role" in life is, as Uchiyama Roshi puts it, it is what it is supposed to be right now and there should be no wishing for it to be different.

    As for my general impression of the book, I still think of it as a classic and learn something new from it every time I open its pages, or at least come across something I should probably work on!

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  4. #4
    1) Do you you understand his "sit silently for 10 years, then for 10 years more, then another 10 years" and "One inch of sitting -- one inch of Buddha"?

    I think so.

    2) What do you think of his description of retirement and even the end of his life? Good attitude? Important to develop such an attitude, or not for you?

    I liked that section a lot. I particularly liked the part where he wrote about the passion to teach as being more important than any teaching technique. In terms of retiring itself, I am not near that stage yet so it is hard to imagine, but the words made sense. I guess I will see how I think about them if I am fortunate enough to make it there.

    3) What did you feel about the book in general? A classis, worth what many folks say? Didn't speak to you so much? Mixed? Mu!?

    I enjoyed the book very much. For me, this book also represents the first book that I read and followed the threads each week, so it has special significance for me. I am ready for the next one!

    Gassho,
    Rick
    Sat Today

  5. #5
    I'm retired but still working some time. It's given me more time to practice, study and play. Also having a base income that covers necessities is nice. Very grateful for my health
    .
    Sat today

    Sent from my LG-LS720 using Tapatalk
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  6. #6
    Certainly a classic. I reread it every few years. The image of the squabbling pumpkins is as pointed and sticky as Jundo's "blender" talk. Yay!
    _/st\_

  7. #7
    It was a good read, thank you Jundo.

    I really liked the book and think it's worth rereading every once in a while since it contains
    many practical advices to a student. Similar to the ZMBM of Suzuki and Sawaki's Zen Teachings.
    Yes, perhaps a classic as already said above.
    As for the retirement passage, although I'm not at that stage yet, the Uchiyama's attidute to all this
    resonates with me..

    Thank you everyone for their comments too.

    Gassho
    Washin
    sat-today
    Last edited by Washin; 04-15-2016 at 06:42 AM.

  8. #8
    Hi.

    Thank you all for contributing to an book worth keeping and reading again and again.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

    #Sat2day

  9. #9
    Greetings!

    Thanks again for sharing this book. It has served as a wonderful foundation for practice for me.

    1) Do you you understand his "sit silently for 10 years, then for 10 years more, then another 10 years" and "One inch of sitting -- one inch of Buddha"?

    I think so. I enjoyed this, in particular for daily practice. I must admit I took solace in the statement, "Beginner's zazen and zazen after ten years of practice are not two different things." There is hope!

    2) What do you think of his description of retirement and even the end of his life? Good attitude? Important to develop such an attitude, or not for you?

    Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am not close to retirement. However, Uchiyama's description of how each phase in our life is just different roles of the same life really spoke to me.

    3) What did you feel about the book in general? A classic, worth what many folks say? Didn't speak to you so much? Mixed? Mu!?

    Loved this book. It was exactly what I needed at this point. I have The Book of Equanimity and cannot wait!

    Gassho,
    Jason
    SatThisDay

  10. #10
    - Do you you understand his "sit silently for 10 years, then for 10 years more, then another 10 years" and "One inch of sitting -- one inch of Buddha"?
    Yes I think so - I think it means that we don't give up. Practice is just a continuous thing without end. I notice here, and in a lot of different things; I do it too. Practitioners come in, they get really excited and passionate, they are posting something really inspirational one minute, then they leave.

    I'm not judging, I just think it's human nature. When we get what we are looking for or realize something is not what we are looking for we leave. But I think my practice got interesting when I just decided to do it no matter what. There's a deepness to practice that comes about once it's a consistent practice, done everyday.

    There are subtleties that start appearing but only if we let our practice mature by sitting without goal day after day. And we never figure it out. We just have to do it in the face of not knowing.

    - What do you think of his description of retirement and even the end of his life? Good attitude? Important to develop such an attitude, or not for you?
    It's an interesting attitude. I think it's a good attitude of distributing power to the next generation. That's really important. I think apprenticeship is a beautiful thing. And it's good not to overstay one's welcome.

    At the same time, I don't think I would ever "retire". I may not be doing my day job for the rest of my life, but I will always be engaged with some form of contribution to society. I do this now at work, I think mentorship is a really really good thing.


    - What did you feel about the book in general? A classis, worth what many folks say? Didn't speak to you so much? Mixed? Mu!?
    I think it's a really, really good book. This is only my 3rd read through, but I will definitely read it again. I'm sure I will have a different perspective once I re-visit after practicing. Funny how we see new things (well new to us) that have always been there but we were blind to them before. I think this is a book that is always worth a re-visit because it's practical and very informative.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Yes I think so - I think it means that we don't give up. Practice is just a continuous thing without end. I notice here, and in a lot of different things; I do it too. Practitioners come in, they get really excited and passionate, they are posting something really inspirational one minute, then they leave.

    I'm not judging, I just think it's human nature. When we get what we are looking for or realize something is not what we are looking for we leave. But I think my practice got interesting when I just decided to do it no matter what. There's a deepness to practice that comes about once it's a consistent practice, done everyday.

    There are subtleties that start appearing but only if we let our practice mature by sitting without goal day after day. And we never figure it out. We just have to do it in the face of not knowing.
    Ah Risho I think you said it best!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  12. #12
    10 years. I have been teaching at my current university for 10 years. There was even a nice dinner and ceremony here celebrating all the folks who have been here for 10, 20, 30, and even one for being here 40 years, a man who is one of my colleagues, and his passion is still quite strong. Has my passion gone after these 10 years? No, but it's not as strong as before, not at all. This form of practice gets harder over time. I may have gotten better at doing it over the years, but that doesn't mean I am a better teacher, especially if I'm not doing it with the same level of passion. The energy to sustain my passion grows dimmer each year I get older doing the same thing, but I expect to die before I retire. What will I do in the mean time? How will I handle the time between now and then? Well, I will find out as I go.

    10+ years. I have been sitting for more than 10 years. I feel that is about a quarter inch, a handful of centimeters, of Buddha. Unlike my experience described above, my passion for this practice continues to grow and mature. The deeper I go the less "self" I find, and that is an interesting journey. Uchiyama writes about how we are others, that universal self trumps the "I" we carry around and protect so carefully, and this rings true for me. During a faculty meeting yesterday we got some negative feedback from our students, complaints about us, and there were all sorts of defensive reactions amongst the faculty in our program, lots of "self" protecting behavior. But I found some of the complaints to be very true, that I was guilty of them, and so I owned them in front of the group; I confessed my teacher sins in public, and it was sort of liberating. I have nothing to protect. If I get in trouble for being open and honest about my transgressions, then I will suffer those consequences with equanimity. Why do I feel that way? How can I do that? Because 10+ years of sitting has taught me nothing, yet I need to learn so much more.

    This is a terrific book. I needed the refresher on it, and I am very grateful for this forum (and all its members) that helped to enrich this rereading of it.
    Last edited by AlanLa; 04-30-2016 at 03:01 PM.
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

    I sat today

  13. #13
    Well said Jigen.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -sattoday

  14. #14
    I'm looking forward to joining the discussions on The Book of Equanimity. Great stuff!

  15. #15
    The way I experience it, 'sit for 10 years, then 10 more, then 10 more' is a way of making the point of goalessness and perseverance. In a way, I think it helps to make these 'goals' which are measurable in time, but ultimately, what matters is that the endeavor is undertaken continuously for the sake of undertaking the endeavor. We can ask, what happens after sitting for these 30 years, and the answer would be to sit for 30 more. There is no "logical" reason for doing something for 30 plus years continuously, except for the experience of continuous experience.

    This brings me to "one inch of sitting--one inch of Buddha". I think this is a way of saying that every action taken towards sitting (either in measurements of time, or in correctness of posture (i.e., space/time)) is exactly that much of the experience of buddha-nature. Experientially speaking, you get what you put in, i.e., 30 years of sitting --30 years of Buddha, which means 30 years of transformative experience, which could use 30 more years, and so on, inexhaustibly.

    Loved this book very much, and after 10 years, myself, it was a real treasure reading this. Apologies for being largely absent on the forums! Looking forward to the upcoming book.

    Gassho

    John
    sat today

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