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Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 83

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 83

    Case 81 never ends, yet now we turn to CASE 83: DOGO'S NURSlNG:

    The case and Shishin's commentary can be found on pages 262-264 at these two links ...

    https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=...20sick&f=false

    and

    https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=...20runs&f=false

    Are they speaking of physical illness? The spiritual illness of our excess desire, anger, jealousy, dissatisfactions of all kinds based on our divided thinking? Both?

    Who is the "doctor" that can cure this illness, and if there is no body or mind, what is there in need of cure?

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    In reading this myself it seems as if he is talking about perceived sickness that is pain's effects upon our minds . Like during my sitting I have noticed how much I focus on my foot falling asleep and how the pain of it bothers me so much but after a point I notice it doesn't like my body becomes self-regulated.

    Another observation the theme of suffering plays out a lot in the passage and I have pondered myself is everything really suffering? More and more I feel this might be fact but maybe the illness he is talking about has no label as physical,mental,perceived or otherwise but is suffering itself ?

    As far as the doctor I think Dogen would have went with Zazen as the cure because that seems like his go-to answer but this is just my perspective here.

    Gassho,

    Karl

    St,LAH

  3. #3
    I didn’t get much out of my reading of this Koan and I found Shishin’s commentary unusually unclear. I think the gist I got out of this really that the Koan is addressing more on the side of a spiritual illness born of our excess desire, anger, jealousy, dissatisfactions etc. It is the baggage we seem to carry around with us.

    I really liked the subtle turn of “there are those who are sick while being healthy and those that are healthy while being sick”.

    I need to sit with this one some more.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  4. #4
    This was a difficult koan. I don’t get much either, but I think, like Karl, that the illness is suffering, unsatisfactory feelings, dukkha, and the poisons of hate, greed and ignorance.
    The doctor and the remedy seems to be prajna paramita, emptiness.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    I really liked the subtle turn of “there are those who are sick while being healthy and those that are healthy while being sick”.

    I need to sit with this one some more.
    I am reminded of Dogen's lines in Genjo Koan ...

    Those who have great realization of delusion are buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about realization are sentient beings. Further, there are those who continue realizing beyond realization, who are in delusion throughout delusion.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Member Getchi's Avatar
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    My first thought is "after searching, I cannot find my sins (evils)".

    Was the Doctor the process of administration, like Zazen, the "sick" are those who feel seperated from teh rest, and the "not-sick" just urges in line with BuddhistDharma? HArd to say....

    I assume that he means the "cure" is recognising Mind as beyond karmic retribution, and so the "cure" is delivered?


    I will come back to this later


    Geoff.

    SatTOday
    LaH.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  7. #7
    Let me do a bit of putting this in modern lingo thing, see if I can offer a way to approach this ...

    Preface:

    The whole body is ill, and not just the human body, but the whole body of the world because peoples' minds are ill. Vimalakirti was a brilliant lay teacher who tried to teach something about this illness when he pretended to be ill in bed one day as a ruse to get some of the Buddha's students to stop by, and Manjusri Bodhisattva came over to visit. Upon arriving, Manju asked Vim where he was ailing. In reply, Vimalakirti said, “Because all living beings are subject to illness, I am ill as well. ... When all living beings are no longer ill, my illness will come to an end.” So long as we are all suffering Dukkha, feeling divided from the world, resistant to how things are, there is this Dukkha, the illness of Buddhist suffering. Being physically sick is not illness alone, but resisting to be sick is the illness of Dukkha.

    In the Flower Garland Sutra, one day, Manjusri ordered Sudhana to pick medicinal herbs. Sudhana said, “Upon searching the great earth, I can find nothing that one could say is not medicine.” In other words, the whole world is also the cure for this DIS-ease when that mind of division and judging is dropped away, and wisdom and clarity appears. Sudhana plucked a blade of grass and brought it to him. Manjusri held it up and showed it to everyone, saying, “This medicine can kill people and it can also bring people to life.” Depends how one views things, in wisdom or in ignorance.

    So, what could be better than consulting a person of the highest realization and obtaining the place of great peace? (In other words, nice to have somebody like Vim or Manju or Sudhana to point this truth out to us).

    Main Case:

    Isan asked Dogo, "Where ya been?" Usually, when a Zen guy asks a question like that, he means in a normal way, "where have you been?" But he also means something like, "Do you know the place that you can't come from or go to," i.e, the "absolute"?

    Dogo said, "been nursing." (Himself, others ... or does it matter?)

    Isan said, "How many are sick?" Dogo answered, "Some are sick, some are not?" But is this just a matter of bodily illness? I used to work in a Hospice with dying people, but some were very wise and free and very much alive right on their death bed. Some "sick" people can see beyond the illness, and even beyond "life vs. death" (isn't our Zen practice a training in how to do that now, without waiting to be on our death bed?) On the other hand, I used to work in an office with some people who were very healthy in body, but kind of sick in their excess desire, anger and divided thinking. So, one can be sick while sick, yet healthy while sick. One can be sick while healthy, or healthy while healthy!

    Isan said to Dogo, "Isn't it you who is not sick?" Dogo, do you realize that "health" of Buddha beyond division, beyond sickness and health, life and death, even when you are physically ill?

    Dogo responds "sickness and nonsickness have nothing to do with it." Isan retorts, "Even being able to say it misses it entirely." Maybe something like saying that the "health" of Buddha is so whole, that we should even drop from mind words of contrast like "sick vs. healthy, young vs. old, live vs.dead." That's how incredible healthily whole it is! Yet, this incredible healthy whole is found here always, even at times when the human body is healthy and even at time when the human body is sick! It is like a Sweetness (Big S) found both in ordinary sweetness or bitterness tasted by a human tongue.

    Appreciatory Verse:

    This is a marvelous medicine that is everything and everywhere, so never needs to be swallowed and pass the lips. The Buddha doctor is everywhere, not just some person who comes to take your pulse. Yet, we don't realize this, so this Koan and the Buddha, Manjusri and Co. are the medicine and doctors to help us realize this fact. You are already "Buddha healthy" and are from the startless start, but you don't always know it.

    We live in a world that exists (like a human body) but also is utterly empty (of independent self-existence, birth and death etc.). Thus we are born, yet not. Die, yet not. All the Kalpas (great eras) of time are empty too, even as we live in this world of passing time, getting old and sick.

    In between the time and timeless, we live between the ground and the sky above, serenely supported like in Zazen. Then getting up, we get on with life, running around like rabbits and flying here and there like busy crows.

    Something like that. (I checked with a couple of commentaries on this Koan by other Zen teachers, and the above is more or less the standard interpretation I see).

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-16-2019 at 11:32 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Thank you Jundo. I am trying to catch up with these. Tomorrow, I will go to work and try to make the sick healthy, and keep the healthy from getting sick, even though there is nobody sick and nobody healthy...

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    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).

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    Thank you Jundo. I am trying to catch up with these. Tomorrow, I will go to work and try to make the sick healthy, and keep the healthy from getting sick, even though there is nobody sick and nobody healthy...

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    EXACTLY!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    It seems that to this is saying there is no difference in being sick or being healthy, they are just phenomena (which are ultimately empty) or differing aspects of things as they really are but that aren't to be judged or labelled. Some people with illness understand this and they are healthy while being 'sick', others don't understand it and so are sick while 'healthy'.

    Zazen in the marvellous medicine that helps us see that while we may be sick in the relative we can still be healthy in the absolute.

    We don't have a one finger emoji, do we?

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLaH

  11. #11
    I appreciated the modern translation Jundo.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  12. #12
    Member Getchi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    It seems that to this is saying there is no difference in being sick or being healthy, they are just phenomena (which are ultimately empty) or differing aspects of things as they really are but that aren't to be judged or labelled. Some people with illness understand this and they are healthy while being 'sick', others don't understand it and so are sick while 'healthy'.

    Zazen in the marvellous medicine that helps us see that while we may be sick in the relative we can still be healthy in the absolute.

    We don't have a one finger emoji, do we?

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLaH

    Only thing id add is, what is "understand?" Can one achieve Peace without "understanding"?.



    Peace,
    Geoff.

    Gassho
    SaTtoday
    LaH.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  13. #13
    Jakuden, I like your answer and the (in it's positive meaning) simplicity in it.

    Tasting the Absolute, acting in the Relative.
    Guided by the compassion and the precepts, derived from it.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    Jakuden, I like your answer and the (in it's positive meaning) simplicity in it.

    Tasting the Absolute, acting in the Relative.
    Guided by the compassion and the precepts, derived from it.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    That is beautiful, Kotei, thank you

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