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Thread: My Cancer Ango - 10 - Cancer is Nirvana

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    My Cancer Ango - 10 - Cancer is Nirvana

    Hey Guys,

    Well, looks like I will be going home this week, in time for the New Year. I do not get my final biopsy result for 3 more weeks (they do take their time!), and there is a possibility of chemo if there is a surprise with the lymph nodes, but the doctors think they got it all. I am grateful.

    My friend and old Treeleaf member Jim, who I mention in today's talk, has been through more bumps in life than about anyone I know, including cancer. He says that, when things like this happen, build a wall around it and move on. I think that resonates with Master Dogen's vision of time, in which each event is self-contained. Dogen might say, "when trauma happens, dive in." But, when the trauma is over "move on." I don't think that means that we ignore the past trauma. Far from it. But we recognize it, maybe seek to avoid a future repeat, then put it aside and move on to what is next in life. Learn from it, but do not become trapped by it.

    I read from a couple of writings by Dogen today that present his view on events, such as the Genjo Koan ("Life is an instantaneous situation, and death is also an instantaneous situation. It is the same, for example, with winter and spring. We do not think that winter becomes spring, and we do not say that spring becomes summer") and in his Shobogenzo-Shoji ("Life & Death"), where he writes (my mix and match translation):

    "Because in life and death there is buddha, there is no life and death. ... [But also,] if a person looks for buddha outside of life and death, that is like pointing a cart north and heading for [the south]. ... When we understand that only life and death itself is nirvana, there is nothing to hate as life and death and nothing to aspire to as nirvana. Then, for the first time, the means exist to get free from life and death. ....

    ... Birth is a state at one moment; it already has a past and will have a future. ... Extinction also is a state at one moment; it too has a past and a future. ... In the time called “life,” there is nothing besides life. In the time called “death,” there is nothing besides death. There is no reason for your resisting and being under their control. [As well,] don't wish for them. This life and death are the life of the Buddha. If we hate it and want to get rid of it, that is just wanting to lose the sacred life of buddha. If we stick in it, if we attach to life and death, this also is to lose the sacred life of buddha. ... If you neither deny nor seek, you enter the mind of the Buddha for the first time."
    When there is Cancer, there is just Cancer with its own before and after. When there is Healing, there is just Healing with its own before and after. Cancer is Nirvana. Cancer is Buddha. Likewise for Healing. Even as one seeks a cure, neither run toward nor run away, neither cling nor deny. Even as one seeks a cure, neither stick to Cancer nor want to lose Cancer. Do not run toward Healing nor away from Healing. Be free of Healing and Cancer. Only then is one truly free of Cancer.

    Dogen's Death Poem ("Yellow Springs" is a traditional Chinese symbol of death) ... Diving into the moment ...

    Fifty-four years lighting up the sky.
    A quivering leap smashes a billion worlds.
    Entire body looks for nothing.
    Living, I plunge into Yellow Springs.

    Gassho, J


    PS - I msispoke here: They attached my remaining stomach to the small intestine, not the large, with some fancy looping twist. I am glad that the doctors (at least) know the difference!
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-27-2017 at 01:49 AM.

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