Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 84

  1. #1

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 84

    Case 83 never ends, yet now we turn to CASE 84: GUTEI'S ONE FINGER:

    One finger, but no one to hold it up.

    A single fishing pole catches the whole world.


    The Koan and Commentary can be found here ...

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

    and

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

    (I do encourage everyone to get the book for their collection, as it is very good)

    Some stories say that Gutei did not actually do violence and cut off anyone's finger, and just merely gave it a sharp twist.

    I also heard some Zen jokester say that Gutei might have been holding up his middle finger. That also expresses a certain attitude toward the world, but I assure you that it did not have the same meaning in ancient China.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-16-2019 at 11:52 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    PS -

    i found the anime version online ...

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo.
    I am stuck with this one...
    Can't think beyond something like a gesture saying 'this is it', 'just this one whole thing', 'the only thing that's real is this moment, everything else is mindgames'.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  4. #4
    I'm glad it's not just me stuck on this one! I have similar thoughts to Kotei, or that he's holding one finger up to demonstrate there being only one Truth?

    Gassho,
    Neil

    StLaH

  5. #5
    Oh, please find that the whole entire universe is physically in that one finger tip, and in every atom of that one finger. Then, cut that finger off and toss it away, and all is still here.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    This one brings to my mind the Flower Sermon.
    Toward the end of his life, the Buddha took his disciples to a quiet pond for instruction. As they had done so many times before, the Buddha’s followers sat in a small circle around him, and waited for the teaching.

    But this time the Buddha had no words. He reached into the muck and pulled up a lotus flower. And he held it silently before them, its roots dripping mud and water.

    The disciples were greatly confused. Buddha quietly displayed the lotus to each of them. In turn, the disciples did their best to expound upon the meaning of the flower: what it symbollized, and how it fit into the body of Buddha’s teaching.

    When at last the Buddha came to his follower Mahakasyapa, the disciple suddenly understood. He smiled and began to laugh. Buddha handed the lotus to Mahakasyapa and began to speak.

    “What can be said I have said to you,” smiled the Buddha, “and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa.”
    I wonder if Gutei didn’t cut off the boy’s finger because rather than displaying his own understanding the boy was just parroting Gutei.


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

  7. #7
    This is a difficult koan. But it reminded me of Wittgenstein’s proposition:

    Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
    Gutei’s finger perhaps points to Reality, and of Reality itself nothing can be said, because to say something is to conceptualize and divide the world into categories. So the finger can be the reverent silent that we owe to Reality, the silence of zazen, the silence of non duality. The finger is perhaps the entire universe non categorized and non divided by our minds.

    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today

  8. #8
    You guys really feel that a fellow sticking his finger up in a "one" or "Just This" gesture is a hard Koan? I am surprised a bit. I would have felt that this is one of the easier (although subtle in its seeming ease) Koans.

    The "one" that is the single fishing pole that catches the whole world of stuff. The "thousands of lands and seas swallowed up on one hair tip."

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    You guys really feel that a fellow sticking his finger up in a "one" or "Just This" gesture is a hard Koan? I am surprised a bit. I would have felt that this is one of the easier (although subtle in its seeming ease) Koans.

    The "one" that is the single fishing pole that catches the whole world of stuff. The "thousands of lands and seas swallowed up on one hair tip."

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    I think we all tend to overthink the words and gestures of a Zen teacher. One of the by-products of their methods. Sometimes their meanings are as plain as the noses on our faces... or fingers on our hands.
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    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).

  10. #10

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 84

    Hi,

    He points at nothing. The kid points at something. Finger gets chopped for pointing at the wrong thing. That simple. Nothing more to understand.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Last edited by Jishin; 06-22-2019 at 01:21 PM.

  11. #11
    Hello all,

    These are just my thoughts on this but I see this as showing the struggle of the individual and community. Having tonight to help a friend I saw how hard it was for them to ask for help their finger was alone needing some strength just to push it up at the same time some individuals are like fishing poles they catch the whole world . Both of these kinds of people need community but how they relate happens at the expense or benefit of the others. Like I find it funny how much I read Zen is an individual effort but how much more by being in this sangha it has humbled my own practice and allowed me to articulate my own Buddhism and Judaism together . We need community but there are limits to i, we have to realize to if we are being the fishing pole that some are just a finger waiting to be lifted up too.

    Gassho,

    Karl

    STLaH

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •