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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 75

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 75

    reMINDer: Our Next Book Selection: A New Buddhist Path by David Loy ... we will startlessly start that in a couple of weeks. Details HERE.

    But for now ... Case 74 never ends, and so we concentrate on Case 75, Zuigan's Permanent Principle ...

    This seems like a really dandy Koan to briefly turn from the Book of Serenity (we will come back sometime soon).

    What is the permanent whatever that holds all together? It is moving and changing.

    How can something moving and changing be called "permanent" then? Sometimes we do not recognize how timeless it is for all its passing time. How changeless is the change itself!

    Anyway, we do not see it, yet the seen and seer are not two. It is always seen right before your very eyes (and is the eyes too).

    The Master asks, "Do you agree?" (This is one of those 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' Zen guy questions). It is perhaps not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, naming or not naming, mentally defining or not defining, for only then is one free of the senses and dust, life and death, even when buried up to one's neck in all life's dust!

    The one caution I have about Shishin Wick's commentary is that some of the language may seem to point to Shikantaza as a form of deepened concentration in order to conduct some analysis or introspection about how the mind works and all the stuff that comes up. We naturally become aware of all the games of the "mind theatre" in Zazen, but it is not a matter of sitting there analyzing our psyche. I don't think he meant to imply that.

    Anyway ... this is a Practice that pointlessly points (how can you point to something when it is the finger too?) to that which is real, permanent, solid ... that is also all human dreams and errors, changing impermence and as fluid as water or air. Don't try to nail it down, don't try to fix it into a set image, don't seek to label, rigidly categorize or know too much about it ... and you may have your best chance of knowing.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-16-2017 at 04:07 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Thank you Jundo. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Thank you Jundo. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    Shingen's Thank You Sir May I Have Another Permanent Principle:

    Jundo gives a Koan to Shingen. Shingen says thank you sir. May I have another.

    Jundo gives another Koan to Shingen. Shingen says thank you sir. May I have another.

    Jundo smacks Shingen and demands him to say something. Shingen says thank you sir. May I have another.

    Jundo kicks and body slams Shingen. Shingen says thank you sir. May I have another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    What is the permanent whatever that holds all together? It is moving and changing.

    How can something moving and changing be called "permanent" then? Sometimes we do not recognize how timeless it is for all its passing time. How changeless is the change itself!

    Thus Shingen is the permanent whatever that holds all together. Yet he must move and change to make sure that he hears enough to be permanent. So, Shingen is unchanging change! There is only One thing that is unchanging and that is change itself. Pure Shingen!



    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  4. #4
    Thank you, Jundo. 🙏

    There are no absolute absolutes; no impermanent permanents and yet, take all that away and it's always just this.

    Gassho,
    Hōkō (nee K2) 😉
    #SatToday



    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
    法 Dharma
    口 Mouth

  5. #5
    Permanent came to us from the Latin words per (through) and manere (to remain). It is glossed by the ever (?!?!)- helpful Google etymologists as "remaining until the end. Doesn't sound quite so impressive now, does it? By that definition, the coffee I am drinking is permanent, as is my drinking of it, as am I. And you. All of us remaining until the end.

    Zuigan had potatoes growing in his ears. Now he may very well be a potato.

    Ganto lived up to the expectations that his students had of him. Teachers find it hard to resist the temptation to teach. But where is Ganto now? Leading an online sangha?

    Like all teachers, Ganto was wrong. Of course Zuigan could see the everlasting principle. Why else would he ask about it?

    The key words in this koan, for me, are If and if. Could one rewrite the koan? One already has!

    Zuigan told Gantô: What is the intrinsic, everlasting principle.
    Gantô said: Plus ca change...
    Zuigan said: ...plus c'est la même chose
    Gantô said: The entomologist's pin is powerless against a butterfly.
    This made Zuigan stop for a moment.
    Ganto made the best of the prolonged silence and said: When people say What, they usually think there must be an answer. But if they never say What, you should check for a pulse.

    Gassy
    Diarmuid

    #About2Sit

  6. #6
    Ditto


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

  7. #7
    A friend of mine sitting a ten day vipassana retreat was asked by her teacher "What is the one thing that is permanent during your sitting?"

    My friend's reply was "The ability of my mind to produce utter nonsense!"

    I don't think that was the answer she was looking for!


    There seems to be a lot in common between this koan and Case 74, at least to my mind.

    In physics we say that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it just changes form. Is it then permanent or impermanent? We kick the ball and it moves then stops. Energy is transferred to heat and movement in the air and ground. The energy has not been destroyed or created yet it changes and neither the movement of the ball or heat in the air is permanent.

    In addition, our attention is always there (at least from the first breath to the last). One moment it is on the breath, the next on music from a passing car, a bird call or neighbour's shouting. It switches, switches back, finds another object and only takes a break during sleep or unconsciousness (even then it seems to be aware of something even if not consciously).

    Neither attention nor energy and matter has a fixed form. The only way to be aware of them is to be aware as they change and not to hold onto any one thing. This is how life is presenting itself to us now. And now. And now.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  8. #8
    Jundo gives a Koan to Shingen. Shingen says thank you sir. May I have another.

    Jundo gives another Koan to Shingen. Shingen says thank you sir. May I have another.

    Jundo smacks Shingen and demands him to say something. Shingen says thank you sir. May I have another.
    There is room in the world for the good student just as there is for the coyote.

    Some people express through words, others through silent action.

    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    There is room in the world for the good student just as there is for the coyote.

    Some people express through words, others through silent action.

    I drove 8 hours this weekend. Hurt my back bad. Sitting sometimes helps it go back in place. Hope so, got lots of patients to see today. About to find out.

    Good day Kokuu.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  10. #10
    I drove 8 hours this weekend. Hurt my back bad. Sitting sometimes helps it go back in place. Hope so, got lots of patients to see today. About to find out.
    The coyote can be the good student just as the good student can be the coyote!

    Good day to you also, Jishin. I hope your back holds.

    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    In physics we say that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it just changes form. Is it then permanent or impermanent? We kick the ball and it moves then stops. Energy is transferred to heat and movement in the air and ground. The energy has not been destroyed or created yet it changes and neither the movement of the ball or heat in the air is permanent.
    Is there any energy there to change though? Is there any change? The minute we use our entomologist's pins, the whole thing falls apart. Does the ball move or does the earth move? Does it matter if you are a giddy chocolate labrador? For them, the game's afoot until it's no longer afoot. The Romans would -apparently- have thought this permanence! If all that there is is all that there is, there is no change other than the change created by small mind. And every tiny slice of time is permanence. Again and again and again.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Diarmuid1 View Post
    Permanent came to us from the Latin words per (through) and manere (to remain). It is glossed by the ever (?!?!)- helpful Google etymologists as "remaining until the end. Doesn't sound quite so impressive now, does it? By that definition, the coffee I am drinking is permanent, as is my drinking of it, as am I. And you. All of us remaining until the end.

    Zuigan had potatoes growing in his ears. Now he may very well be a potato.

    Ganto lived up to the expectations that his students had of him. Teachers find it hard to resist the temptation to teach. But where is Ganto now? Leading an online sangha?

    Like all teachers, Ganto was wrong. Of course Zuigan could see the everlasting principle. Why else would he ask about it?

    The key words in this koan, for me, are If and if. Could one rewrite the koan? One already has!

    Zuigan told Gantô: What is the intrinsic, everlasting principle.
    Gantô said: Plus ca change...
    Zuigan said: ...plus c'est la même chose
    Gantô said: The entomologist's pin is powerless against a butterfly.
    This made Zuigan stop for a moment.
    Ganto made the best of the prolonged silence and said: When people say What, they usually think there must be an answer. But if they never say What, you should check for a pulse.

    Gassy
    Diarmuid

    #About2Sit
    "The entomologist's pins are powerless against a butterfly"

    I like that!

    Gassho,
    Hōkō
    #SatToday

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
    法 Dharma
    口 Mouth

  13. #13
    Permanent means a lot of things, but nothing really is.

    But who knows, perhaps this koan is?

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    A friend of mine sitting a ten day vipassana retreat was asked by her teacher "What is the one thing that is permanent during your sitting?"

    My friend's reply was "The ability of my mind to produce utter nonsense!"

    I don't think that was the answer she was looking for!


    There seems to be a lot in common between this koan and Case 74, at least to my mind.

    In physics we say that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it just changes form. Is it then permanent or impermanent? We kick the ball and it moves then stops. Energy is transferred to heat and movement in the air and ground. The energy has not been destroyed or created yet it changes and neither the movement of the ball or heat in the air is permanent.

    In addition, our attention is always there (at least from the first breath to the last). One moment it is on the breath, the next on music from a passing car, a bird call or neighbour's shouting. It switches, switches back, finds another object and only takes a break during sleep or unconsciousness (even then it seems to be aware of something even if not consciously).

    Neither attention nor energy and matter has a fixed form. The only way to be aware of them is to be aware as they change and not to hold onto any one thing. This is how life is presenting itself to us now. And now. And now.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    Kokuu, this post clarified a lot for me. I appreciate it.

    Gassho,
    Onkai,
    SatToday

  15. #15
    Usually the preface doesn't resonate with me but this statement did “Even though you try to call it thus, it quickly changes.” To me this really speaks to the futility of trying to use words to know things. Words usually fail to fully express the thing and our natural instinct is to use more words. Perhaps part of the impermanence is the fact that words fail to capture all the nuances and so the thing appears changed. (Maybe I am using too many words)

    Diarmuid, this made me laugh and yet the rewrite pretty much summed up how I felt at the end of this koan.

    Gassho
    Warren
    Sat today

    Quote Originally Posted by Diarmuid1 View Post
    Permanent came to us from the Latin words per (through) and manere (to remain). It is glossed by the ever (?!?!)- helpful Google etymologists as "remaining until the end. Doesn't sound quite so impressive now, does it? By that definition, the coffee I am drinking is permanent, as is my drinking of it, as am I. And you. All of us remaining until the end.

    Zuigan had potatoes growing in his ears. Now he may very well be a potato.

    Ganto lived up to the expectations that his students had of him. Teachers find it hard to resist the temptation to teach. But where is Ganto now? Leading an online sangha?

    Like all teachers, Ganto was wrong. Of course Zuigan could see the everlasting principle. Why else would he ask about it?

    The key words in this koan, for me, are If and if. Could one rewrite the koan? One already has!

    Zuigan told Gantô: What is the intrinsic, everlasting principle.
    Gantô said: Plus ca change...
    Zuigan said: ...plus c'est la même chose
    Gantô said: The entomologist's pin is powerless against a butterfly.
    This made Zuigan stop for a moment.
    Ganto made the best of the prolonged silence and said: When people say What, they usually think there must be an answer. But if they never say What, you should check for a pulse.

    Gassy
    Diarmuid

    #About2Sit
    Last edited by Tairin; 01-21-2017 at 01:59 PM.

  16. #16
    Random thoughts from an unreliably fixed mind:

    Alive and frisky, my status is permanent change, or maybe it is impermanently fixed. I can't make up my mind.

    Zazen definitely helps smooth my rough edges, but I am still a curmudgeon with many snags.

    "... a real flower is beautiful because of its impermanence, which a plastic flower lacks," said Uchiyama in Homeless Kodo, #10.
    I have some plastic flowers in my house because I like the splash of color they give with no maintenance whatsoever.

    Here a koan from David Bowie:
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

    I sat today

  17. #17
    Oh man I wish I could claim to be smooth but then I'd have no need for practice to realize I am, so having snags is a fortunate state. One of my most popular ones is having to be right. Just tonight during sitting I was fantasizing about how I would justify myself at work for some other fantasy hahaha

    Seeing our tendencies in Shikantaza reminds me of Jundo's analogy of the Chinese finger puzzle. The more we try, the more trapped we become, but if we can find tgat balance to sit and not try to feed into or push away, there's the magic

    Thank you all! Your posts as always resonate deeply

    Gassho

    Risho
    -sattoday

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