Results 1 to 44 of 44

Thread: Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 3 to P 31

  1. #1

    Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 3 to P 31

    Dear Selfs (who are not Selfs),

    We will read Chapter 3 up until the middle of P. 31 (stopping at "WHEN THE TEN THOUSAND DHARMAS ... ). However, I think we will spend a couple of weeks here before moving on, in order to let folks catch up. Also, because this part is rather important stuff and a little heavy, man.

    There is no "self" to read this week's chapter! (But, in that case, who is gonna read it!?)

    I happen to think that the teaching this week is --the-- central teaching of Buddhism. It is right at the heart of what the Buddha is believed to have realized under the Bodhi Tree according to about all the various schools of Buddhism from Thailand to Tokyo to Tibet (although, of course, folks quibble abut the exact meaning somewhat).

    There is no "self." All things are impermanent. Sounds scary, but it is actually the key to Liberation for Zen folks and others. In a nutshell, "no self" sounds bad ... until you realize that, by dropping the hard borders between your small "me, myself, i" and the rest of the world outside you, all the friction between you and the world vanishes too. The little "self" is always judging the world, running from the things it fears, worried about this or that. So, when the borders between self and other drop, so does all that judging, fear, worry etc.

    "Impermanence" sounds bad, because the things we love (including our life) are all impermanent, until we learn to totally "go with the flow" of that impermanence. When we find that we are just the world flowing ... and are ready to allow it to flow ... we flow too. In fact, when we realize the world is us and we are the world ... we are the flow, and have been all along!

    I have a simple definition for Dukkha as follows ...

    No one English word captures the full depth and range of the Pali term, Dukkha. It is sometimes rendered as “suffering,” as in “life is suffering.” But perhaps it’s better expressed as “dissatisfaction,” “anxiety,” “disappointment,” “unease at perfection,” or “frustration” — terms that wonderfully convey a subtlety of meaning.

    In a nutshell, your “self” wishes this world to be X, yet this world is not X. The mental state that may result to the “self” from this disparity is Dukkha.
    .
    Shakyamuni Buddha gave many examples: sickness (when we do not wish to be sick), old age (when we long for youth), death (if we cling to life), loss of a loved one (as we cannot let go), violated expectations, the failure of happy moments to last (though we wish them to last). Even joyous moments — such as happiness and good news, treasure or pleasant times — can be a source of suffering if we cling to them, if we are attached to those things.
    The sickness, the apparent death (of the part that feels separate from the world anyway), the other events by themselves are not "Dukkha." They are what they are. Our reaction between the ears is "Dukkha."

    As you notice, that includes the happy if we cling to the happy. Obviously, dropping the self/other friction ... and learning to totally "go with the flow" of impermanence ... is a big treatment or cure for such Dukkha.

    Questions -

    In Zazen, have you experienced the hard borders between self and not self (the rest of the world) soften a bit or drop away?

    Have you ever had times when you stopped resisting, and totally "went with the flow" of events ... thus dropping the "Dukkha" from a hard time in your life? Even felt that you were the flow and the flow just you?

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-28-2019 at 10:54 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Looking forward to this section but collecting my thoughts over Chapter Two, while my no mind recovers from a Kanji explanation overdose.

    Sat /LAH


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  3. #3
    Me too!

    Gassho

    MyoHo
    stitch by stitch....

  4. #4
    Thank you Jundo. I got a bit carried away and read right past the stopping point.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  5. #5
    Thank you Jundo. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  6. #6
    Question 1: yes.

    Question 2: yes.

    I used to be a wildland firefighter, way back in the day. There is such a thing as becoming "one with the fire," without a thought (at least any thought that can be recalled later) or much in the way of concern for self for hours at a time. The trick, though, is to be able to sustain the worry-free or whine-free zone somewhat, yes? This has continued to elude, though it comes and goes. _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah
    特別な人ではない

  7. #7
    Thank you Jundo. This is a wonderful book and discussion.
    In Zazen, have you experienced the hard borders between self and not self (the rest of the world) soften a bit or drop away?
    I feel this happen when I'm engrossed with doing something whole-heartedly. I don't know if that is the same thing as what is being talked about here. It could be just focusing on the breath, or it could be housecleaning, or it could be working on a project. Time and space and self are forgotten or let go.
    Have you ever had times when you stopped resisting, and totally "went with the flow" of events ... thus dropping the "Dukkha" from a hard time in your life? Even felt that you were the flow and the flow just you?
    When the bottom falls out from beneath me, and I don't resist, I don't get upset, and eventually I land back to home and family and Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat

  8. #8
    Onkai, that is well said. _()_ _()_ _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat lah
    特別な人ではない

  9. #9
    To the first question: yes but I dont wish to discuss it woth words.
    To the second question the same but this is the best I can do:
    When listening to the trees,
    they speak of this.
    When looking to the sky,
    the clouds show it.
    Even the ever patient stone,
    that mostly has very litle to say,
    speaks of this flow no end.
    About time and place and timeless things
    just the way they are, just so.

    Gassho

    MyoHo
    stitch by stitch....

  10. #10
    Just added one sentence to my top post ...

    The sickness, the apparent death (of the part that feels separate from the world anyway), the other events by themselves are not "Dukkha." They are what they are. Our reaction between the ears is "Dukkha."

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    In Zazen, have you experienced the hard borders between self and not self (the rest of the world) soften a bit or drop away?
    This has happened for me at times. Oddly enough it has also happened on occasion when I am doing something completely random. Felt it strongly once shopping in a mall. Once while I was walking in the BLM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Have you ever had times when you stopped resisting, and totally "went with the flow" of events ... thus dropping the "Dukkha" from a hard time in your life? Even felt that you were the flow and the flow just you?
    Don't really have an example from a hard time in my life. But I have experienced this many times - mostly either doing a sport or working/riding the horses. Often times in sport you completely drop any evaluation of good/bad, right/wrong. There is just the flow of the game unfolding around you. If you stop to think/evaluate for even a moment then you are a step behind. I also often experience this state when I am running. You are the run, you are the race. You don't think, you just are. Personally I am always shocked when people listen to music when running.

    Same thing with horses. When you really connect with your horse. When you are really communicating with them it is if they are connected to you. You drop all cues and it just becomes intention - faster, slower, turn and it all happens. It as if you and the horse are one being. Self drops away and you are just in the flow of riding.

    As I write this I realize that I have had this when playing music a handful of times. Where sense of self just drops away and you seem to become a conduit for the music. It doesn't come from you it comes through you.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  12. #12
    Hi,

    Question 1. Yes in most sessions.

    Question 2. Yes. Doctors must be fully focused (self and other join to become one) on their work because mistakes can be very costly. So it's second nature at work. It is much more difficult outside of the office.

    Gasho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  13. #13
    I just want to thank you for a couple of weeks grace in this discussion, I'm catching up ok on the reading, but finding it hard to put what I feel into words - at least any that make sense.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  14. #14
    Hello,

    I enjoyed reading the clear description of the four seals. The source of relief from suffering.

    Regarding the questions...
    Crossing the border of self/no-self to me is more like knowing that it happened and feeling it reverberating, than actually experiencing itself.
    There where times in the past, where it felt a bit strange and uncomfortable, loosing grip of the self and there are times where the self, that becomes conscious again, recognises that it wasn't there a moment ago.

    Merging with the things I do. Creating things. Samu in the house and garden. Moments in making music... Are circumstances, where I feel the self dropping away. Just being the action that is done.

    I was suffering from anxiety and panic attacks in the past more than I do now.
    Every time this happened, it was because of thinking too much and got worse, the more I got away from 'just going with the flow'. Dukkha.
    It softens when finding the switch and flowing along.
    It's a very bodily experience of what Dukkha is and how stopping resistance can bring immediate relief from suffering.

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

  15. #15
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Apologies comrades. I'm still catching up but am trying to keep abreast of insights gained and generously shared.
    Gassho
    Anna

    Sat today
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  16. #16
    I have come to realize that when you teach about "not resisting, going with the flow" you probably are meaning more than what we think of as "flow" in the mindfulness way that became a catchphrase for a time, and mostly referenced absorption in an activity. I can become absorbed in an activity or in work and concentrate for hours without distraction, even when things are chaotic or even catastrophic. However, when I am at large in the world and responding or reacting to all the random jostling and unwanted disturbances that fly at me, I have to consciously come back to the flow of the moment and remind myself not to resist, because it appears as though I have a choice in those times. Of course I always have a choice how to process and react, just in the work situation my mind has been trained to drop all extraneous thinking. Slowly I am learning to do this all the time, not just while working. The more one practices the dropping away of all resistance and boundaries during Zazen, the stronger the memory of this one can carry into the rest of life.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    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).

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    I have come to realize that when you teach about "not resisting, going with the flow" you probably are meaning more than what we think of as "flow" in the mindfulness way that became a catchphrase for a time, and mostly referenced absorption in an activity.
    No, I am not speaking of being "in the Zone" or just absorbed in some activity, as pleasant as that can be.

    I think the the old Zen Masters would mean truly becoming "one with the universe, and its constant change, as if the hard borders between inside and outside you dropped away.

    If birth and death and life's ups and downs start to feel more like theatre, or just one way to view who you are and what's going on, then you get a clue to being on the right track.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Just joining and catching up. (From the previous chapter I loved, even in abbreviated form, the story of Dogen's life. Note to self: would like to read a fuller biography of Dogen, if it exists)

    So far mostly I'm still confused. I'm going to demonstrate my ignorance of basic Buddhism now so please don't kick me out. I enjoyed the discussion of impermanence and suffering and the four seals. In popular books I always see the four noble truths and the noble eight-fold path. But while I'm aware of the centrality of impermanence in Buddhism I don't know where this was actually "said" by the Buddha (in the same sense that as the 4NT and the 8NP).

    I don't understand the intent of the three lines from the Genjokoan - like why the three of them together? Is it an argument with QED at the end? And if so, what is the final conclusion? The lines call to mind that saying "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is a mountain". But I'm still not clear of the overall point. Also, why "all dharmas" vs "ten thousand dharmas" vs "Buddha Way"?

    Gassho,
    SAT

  19. #19
    Hi Kevin,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
    Just joining and catching up. (From the previous chapter I loved, even in abbreviated form, the story of Dogen's life. Note to self: would like to read a fuller biography of Dogen, if it exists)
    Well, as with many saints, many later elaborations ... some quite fantastic and miracle oriented ... were added to his story by later writers in the centuries that followed. However, if you would like a fun version, the Soto-shu has a manga comic!

    https://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng...ics/index.html

    Also, there is the movie, which is pretty good (except for the one scene with the pink flying lotus ... ). My review ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ll=1#post20686

    It is available, with permission of the producers, on Youtube ...



    So far mostly I'm still confused. I'm going to demonstrate my ignorance of basic Buddhism now so please don't kick me out. I enjoyed the discussion of impermanence and suffering and the four seals. In popular books I always see the four noble truths and the noble eight-fold path. But while I'm aware of the centrality of impermanence in Buddhism I don't know where this was actually "said" by the Buddha (in the same sense that as the 4NT and the 8NP).
    Oh, we won't kick you out. Your being here is quite permanent! I believe it is taught many places ...

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/.../wheel186.html

    I think that the Buddha said some things around the topic in the old Suttas (and is certainly quoted as teaching so in the later Sutras such as the Diamond). One of the most famous phrases is only attributed to him sometimes, and other times is said by others about him: "Impermanent are all component things, They arise and cease, that is their nature: They come into being and pass away" ...

    I don't understand the intent of the three lines from the Genjokoan - like why the three of them together? Is it an argument with QED at the end? And if so, what is the final conclusion?
    The books looks more closely at those lines in the coming sections.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-31-2019 at 09:33 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    I feel very grateful to be participating in this discussion.

    Okamura-sensei has a wonderful ability to render the conceptually ‘heavy stuff’ in simple and very accessible language. He condenses dukkha to one fundamental point – that we don’t ‘get’ impermanence and emptiness. The ideas in this section are very familiar, they will be to many people, but the deep challenge embedded in them is ongoing. I understand the concepts of impermanence and emptiness intellectually, as ‘objects of knowledge’, but still have to work constantly (practice) to try to live from them as a ‘felt knowings’. Knowing about something (abstract/intelletual objects) is radically different from felt-knowing from lived experience. I think this section encapsulates the challenge at the very heart of our practice – to live from a felt knowing of impermanence and emptiness, and allow that to form the basis of consciously living the two-truths (relative and absolute).

    To respond to Jundo’s questions, yes, there have been a few experiences of no-self, both in Zazen, and on a couple of other occasions (usually after prolonged physical and/or psychological suffering), where there is not really a ‘Self’ to go with the flow - there is just ‘flow’. These experiences provide an experiential reference point for that felt knowing, but that doesn’t mean I find it possible to live from that felt knowing. At times, having had those experiences poses a further challenge – they become objects to cling to, and needing to let go of the ‘idea of’ those experiences (i.e. abstraction ‘about’ the experience) can be another hurdle. Sometimes when I suffer, I exacerbate my own suffering because I know (intellectually) that there is no enduring ‘me’ that should/can suffer – ‘I’ get in ‘my’ own way. Such a subtle and ‘profoundly wonderous’ challenge.

    _()_
    sosen
    stlah

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by sosen View Post

    To respond to Jundo’s questions, yes, there have been a few experiences of no-self, both in Zazen, and on a couple of other occasions (usually after prolonged physical and/or psychological suffering), where there is not really a ‘Self’ to go with the flow - there is just ‘flow’. These experiences provide an experiential reference point for that felt knowing, but that doesn’t mean I find it possible to live from that felt knowing. At times, having had those experiences poses a further challenge – they become objects to cling to, and needing to let go of the ‘idea of’ those experiences (i.e. abstraction ‘about’ the experience) can be another hurdle. Sometimes when I suffer, I exacerbate my own suffering because I know (intellectually) that there is no enduring ‘me’ that should/can suffer – ‘I’ get in ‘my’ own way. Such a subtle and ‘profoundly wonderous’ challenge.

    _()_
    sosen
    stlah
    Yes, don't cling or chase after.

    I now feel that my ability to access the "softening of borders" is like a reservoir that I can now access when I want, like hitting a switch. I need self and goals to survive and get by in the world like we all do, but sometimes when I want ... like hitting a switch ... I can soften those borders, drop the goals and frictions with the world. Sometimes it is like one of those "dimmer" switches in which I can soften or drop "self" to various degrees. It is also possible to have the switch both "on" and "off" at the same time (a very Zen Koany way). So, there is self but no self ... goals but no goals ... frictions but no frictions ... life and death but no life and death ... etc. etc.

    It is just a skillless skill that we develop in our Zen Practice and Shikantaza.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    I think I will be re-reading this bit and chapter two, since we will be spending some time. I really wanna get it in the brain, you know?

    Gassho

    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  23. #23
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    A little advice sought. My Kindle App on PC and Tablet is not showing page numbers and I can't find an option to display them. Can some one confirm where Page/No Page 31 stops or begins. Thank you.

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Seishin View Post
    A little advice sought. My Kindle App on PC and Tablet is not showing page numbers and I can't find an option to display them. Can some one confirm where Page/No Page 31 stops or begins. Thank you.

    Sat
    I too am using a kindle and missed this in Jundo's post the first time I read it: "stopping at "WHEN THE TEN THOUSAND DHARMAS ...". That is location 691 on my kindle.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Last edited by Shinshi; 08-01-2019 at 02:28 PM.
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  25. #25
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    I too am using a kindle and missed this in Jundo's post the first time I read it: "stopping at "WHEN THE TEN THOUSAND DHARMAS ...". That is location 691 on my kindle.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Thank you Shinshi, I must have been having a senior moment as its as clear as the nose on my face ............................can't see that either

    SAT


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Seishin View Post
    Thank you Shinshi, I must have been having a senior moment as its as clear as the nose on my face ............................can't see that either

    SAT


    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  27. #27
    Dukkhu, one like me sometimes, I sometimes have found myself in so much pain that I slipped into anxiety and was this Dukku or was it me escaping Dukku? Self and selfish, when in level 10 pain, one, I feel the walls of life blurred, this might sometimes be compared to a runners high. I've had to learn in 30 years of pain the difference between anger and fear. Fear is so horrible the walls of self melt, heart rate increases, and I cannot run, bones you know, so I sit motionless not knowing exactly what's happening. Anger? What is anger? When my world collides with yours due to ignorance and I lash out (always verbally) and then you call and anger turns my stomach sick with fear of ignorance. These are negative states leading to a form of escape. This is Dukku. Then the melting blurring, when I emerge as trusted friend of five men who I've come to trust, this is when the walls come down I feel compassion because three have less than one year that they only now realize will come plodding one moment after one moment, and they reach for the intangible, and then they want what they themselves see in others,m again I'm flooded with compassion for all five because I see them finally reaching out to other men for the first time in their lives. And then compassion becomes brotherly love. This is when I feel only for such a little while one with all human kind. The four noble truths, these I understand as I am now in old age, and soon will come death. This is when I begin to ask am I ready. The Eight Fold Path, this is me reflecting back upon my life asking where have I skimped on honesty, and in the last 32 years, there was only one thing that I'd hidden away, now for Dogen he is a poet of the first magnitude. The measure of my search in the last three years has been the Heart Sutra which presents "the true teachings of the Buddha." I am body and mind, so what5 of emotion? Then my concepts of mind are torn out from the first part of the Heart Sutra frightens me, so if there is nothing? My whole adult life has in fact demanded that life of the "mind" was basis for my existence, WIFE, Daughter, Father, even brother and mom. I demanded that they read the books I read, or at least discussed the great works of literature and ideas. This the Buddha tears away, then gives it back. My question, what is being in Buddha world, please enplane five Shandas? Am I really getting old, or am I? Is there no death? Why what is meant?

    Tai Shi
    swimming int sea, flying into sky
    sat/lah
    Gassho
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 08-02-2019 at 12:46 AM. Reason: clarification.
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  28. #28
    I have to agree - 'getting' this intellectually is one thing - living what clarity/realisation we have is quite something else.
    I guess that's why daily practice is important - or at least to keep returning to the principle of it.

    The way I understand it - 'feel' it - is that dropping the hard borders is a place of empathy for other human beings and the planet.
    There is a way of individual development/insight - but if this doesn't encompass our relationship to others its a bit pointless.

    For the above reason I'm uncertain about the metaphor of things (good or bad) being a theatre - the scenery of our life. I think there's a
    danger that that could be misunderstood - a way to sooth ourselves into thinking 'well things don't really matter because it's all just theatre'.

    I know you don't teach the above Jundo - that you're very insistent that things do matter - and 'off the cushion' we must go into the world and
    work hard for change - but even so. I also think 'pure acceptance' in terms of one's own suffering is much easier to achieve than witnessing the
    suffering of others. My heart breaks on this many times over and meditating on the relative/absolute doesn't always help. I feel holding the two together is the paradox of our practice and hard to put into words but I do agree there is a 'reservoir ' we can dip into - and perhaps that becomes more natural after many years of practice. I like the metaphor of a dimmer switch (I once made a visual image for something similar when trying to track my emotional reactivity) - I think it's a very useful metaphor.

    Just some thoughts,

    Gassho

    Jinyo

    sat today
    Last edited by Jinyo; 08-03-2019 at 09:54 AM.

  29. #29
    The first three sections of the text describe a Buddhist teaching that took a long time for me to begin to understand. The teaching of 'no self' was referenced in so many sources yet to practice and live that truth seemed foreign. I appreciate Rev. Okumura's description of how the idea of 'self' is still useful as a 'tool, symbol, sign, or concept'. We still need to function in the world and it is of benefit, although viewing this 'self' and the skandas which comprise it as fixed and the only reality leads to 'dukka' or 'samsara'. Ultimately, I do feel the borders between myself and the rest of the world get a little softer when I recognize the small 'self' for what I need it for and not the only reality. When each component of what we think makes up the self is examined, it becomes easier to see that the 'self' is a concept our mind creates, its building blocks constantly changing and impermanent. I think part of our practice is observing both 'self' and 'no self', and keeping the difference between them in mind as we experience this life.

    Gassho,

    Ryoku

    ST/LAH

  30. #30
    It is not self nor Self! There is no concept because Master Dogen pushes the reader to rise above reading hand is only word for hand it is not hand nor is self self can be body or personality or reputation or in some religion soul, or ghost or God or deacon or gentile or Jew or Any nationality or dignitary or even nonentity or she or he or you or me. The list can seemingly be endless because language has limits so the list only seems endless and she as self represents humanity or what is human a human. See the list can be made to appear endless. And Master Dogen is Dogen the priest Dogen husband or she is his wife. These names for self are all labels so see language has limits so if we rise above labels there is no self and this is what Dogen a man an his name not him and maybe there are seemingly limitless human Dogens or no self! Language itself is slippery, Just like the word is only connector oh all we have is metaphor no real thing just comparison and non-comparison which is nothing or no self, Here an now is tangible not then when history then when never but here and now in this space made up of electricity and tiny circuits and glass and plastic no writing is anything except what we agree upon even Japanese kongi or American English or English English or all dialects and then all other languages so who is to say there is space and time so here and now is tangible and that’s all we have the past is just a good bye and future is but fiction.

    Tai Shi
    Sat/lah
    Gassho


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  31. #31
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    St. John's Newfoundland, Canada.
    Hi folks,

    So I can't say for sure if I've felt the borders soften or not. When I'm sitting I sometimes notice that things I'm experiencing are usually less vivacious and I tend to get less absorbed in them. I also noticed that I tend to do less active thinking. I'm not quite sure how to explain it but there's the kind of thinking I have to put effort into starting but there is also the kind of thinking where I get swept up in the ideas. Does that resonate with anyone else?

    When I was first reading this chapter I got the sense that Okumura was almost downplaying our usual way of being in the world. Sort of suggesting that the other way which we see sometimes when were sitting (lets call it Buddha-Vision.) But after having sometime to think about it I think that might just be him trying to emphasis the ephemeral nature of the world. Skillful means as it were. What do you guys think?

    as a side note, if anyone is interested in learning more about "being in the zone" they should look up the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Specifically his work on the concept of "flow."


    Gassho,

    Sattoday

    Hoseki

  32. #32
    To thoughtful with ideas. There is no I in ocean of breath Morning not there body speaks the drops to chewing tongue then blank white moist interval breath in breath out chew chew do not the comes rimless time no time 20 minutes compressed to nothing no Tim then bodily functions time drops away and pain drops away no pain this is center with no pain the three times ding ding ding eyes open dim light candle power small how much time to breakfast an mindful day then again tonight pain returns however slight.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  33. #33
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    In Zazen, have you experienced the hard borders between self and not self (the rest of the world) soften a bit or drop away?
    I cannot say that I have experienced this in my three years of sitting. I may have once felt grounded and was, I guess you'd say at one with the Zafu and Zabuton but that was one fleeting moment. Although I can open the hand of thought, my body always seems to make its presence felt. In my aching knees, cramping foot tendons and sometimes warming hands. None of these debilitating pain wise but enough to make me aware of their presence and in the same time letting them pass with the thoughts.

    Have you ever had times when you stopped resisting, and totally "went with the flow" of events ... thus dropping the "Dukkha" from a hard time in your life? Even felt that you were the flow and the flow just you?
    In general life events I am sure I've experienced this but not recently and can't recall any specific situations. I can relate to this occurring in focused activities, as others have mentioned, such as running, playing guitar or out motorcycling. Folks talk about a "runners high" but in this context I see it in a different way, almost an effortless effort, as if you a floating over the course for a few short moments, all atoms fused as one flowing mass. With the guitar playing a familiar piece that becomes again effortless and relaxed not thinking of what comes next, just going with the progression or melody. On the bike, forgetting the bike, the road, forgetting we are all separate but drinking in all the surroundings all at once and all encompassing. For me that represents the age old Biker Koan question of, " why do you ride a bike " and the response that if you are asking the question, you would not understand.
    No thinking just being.


    My general comments the sections, is one of understanding all of this at an intellectual level (yes I can finally say that) but still unsure of how to apply the acceptance of impermanence and interdependence to my daily life. But I am sure Dogen Zenji and Okumura Roshi will help this to become clearer.

    Sat / lah


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  34. #34
    I really enjoyed this chapter, Okumura Roshi definitely firmed up a few concepts for me, although no doubt when I try to explain them again I'll find my grip on the slippery eel that is Zen isn't quite as firm as I thought. I also really liked Uchiyama Roshi's phrase 'scenery of life', just as I like 'opening the hand of thought'.

    In Zazen, have you experienced the hard borders between self and not self (the rest of the world) soften a bit or drop away?
    Yes, I think I've felt this on several occasions and the first few times after I sat and didn't feel that softening or connection to everything I felt I'd failed but then I later realised that chasing those feelings is itself a delusion and there's no failing in zazen.

    I also try to apply this in daily life walking down the street, I try to kind of mentally rub out the lines that are me and those that are the person walking by me and remember that at it's most basic, we're just the same group of atoms clumped together.

    Have you ever had times when you stopped resisting, and totally "went with the flow" of events ... thus dropping the "Dukkha" from a hard time in your life? Even felt that you were the flow and the flow just you?
    I have a bit of a strange example which may be off the mark but - years ago in the army I had to walk straight up the side of a mountain in the pouring rain with a big pack on my back. At one point I sank to my knees and thought I can't go on. After a little while I had a lightbulb moment, realised nobody was going to come and pick me and my pack up so just got up and started walking again. I just accepted the situation and didn't worry about how far I'd come or how far I had to go, I just put one foot in front of the other. I knew I was exhausted and in pain but stopped attaching to the meaning of those terms and just concentrated on the moment. I guess that was very literal suffering but it seemed relevant - not 'in the flow' but not attaching to how I wanted things to be.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

  35. #35
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Unfiltered thoughts from the first couple of pages of ch3...

    Realisation that the acceptance of truth in the Buddha's teachings still requires the unpacking of 47 years worth of baggage, both negative and positive.

    Analogy of peeling back layers of an onion is apt but at the same time seems a wee bit dismissive of the struggle within that accompanies the journey.

    Finally the journey is not just mine to take. Without intent i am forcing anyone who knows me or thinks they know me along for the not always pretty adventure as I battle myself in order to find my Self or No Self.

    Gassho Anna

    Sat today/Lent a hand
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  36. #36
    Hello everyone. I’ve been a “listener” on Treeleaf for far too long and it’s about time I started contributing!
    I am really enjoying reading this book. I have found that Shohaku Okumura gives really clear explanations of things that I have found quite confusing in the past.

    Question 1
    This has happened although probably not as often as I think it has. As I think others have said, being absorbed in the flow of something (like awareness of the breath) I think is still having an idea of 'self'. It is very difficult to put into words what dropping away actually feels like. For me, the breath sometimes recedes into the background but nothing replaces that awareness. It seems it is more of an intuitive awareness. Really hard to articulate this!

    Question 2
    During hard times it can be quite difficult to drop the sense of self as it is needed to work through that difficulty on a day to day basis. But on the other hand when things are getting really tough, just accepting the universe for what it is - impermanent and interconnected – allows the problem to work itself out.
    Sat today, lah

  37. #37
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Hello all,

    I have finished the reading again. I'm glad I spent some time and went back to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    In Zazen, have you experienced the hard borders between self and not self (the rest of the world) soften a bit or drop away?
    Yes, but more often while out and about, many times on public transit. I have noticed a few times that people describe these experiences as often happening in public or crowded spaces. Shinshi mentioned being in a shopping mall.

    Once on the bus to work, it suddenly felt like a physical curtain went up from my eyes and mind, and I saw each person and object for what it was. It felt like none of us were strangers, and that we all forgot we are the same stuff. It forced a small fit of laughter, but I think I was quiet enough that no one noticed, and it only lasted for a few moments. It is best not to wish for it, and instead I am comforted that from what I can tell, Nirvana is ever-present, even if I am not always or never again in a perceived enlightened state.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Have you ever had times when you stopped resisting, and totally "went with the flow" of events ... thus dropping the "Dukkha" from a hard time in your life? Even felt that you were the flow and the flow just you?
    When I am doing paperwork or a task that I have put off for a long time. I just start. I feel like a hint for allowing this state is to just start something. When I have taken on something a little daunting, outside of myself, and suddenly I'm in the middle of the ocean, but if I panic I will drown, so I gotta snap back into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I now feel that my ability to access the "softening of borders" is like a reservoir that I can now access when I want, like hitting a switch.
    I have been learning how to use this switch. I like to use visualization (not during zazen). Knowing that the placebo effect is real, and that building habits is just a matter of time and consistency, I try to use it. Jundo's "Fake it 'Til You Make It" teaching really sticks with me.

    Gassho

    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  38. #38
    In Zazen, have you experienced the hard borders between self and not self (the rest of the world) soften a bit or drop away?

    Yes although I am not sure I can really put it into better words than “soften”. After a few years of practice I am definitely realizing that there are changes in my approach to .... well .... many things actually. I am finding my egocentric tendencies being less dominant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoseki View Post
    Hi folks,

    So I can't say for sure if I've felt the borders soften or not. When I'm sitting I sometimes notice that things I'm experiencing are usually less vivacious and I tend to get less absorbed in them. I also noticed that I tend to do less active thinking. I'm not quite sure how to explain it but there's the kind of thinking I have to put effort into starting but there is also the kind of thinking where I get swept up in the ideas. Does that resonate with anyone else?
    Yes! What a great way to describe it. I’ve been finding that I been having the same tendency to do less active thinking. I am not even sure it is thinking with any sort of purpose or goal. Maybe the best way to describe it is a natural tendency for thoughts to come and go. On the cushion there is still some effort but I find that off the cushion sometimes it seems to just happen naturally. Maybe it always has but now I am more aware of it.

    Have you ever had times when you stopped resisting, and totally "went with the flow" of events ... thus dropping the "Dukkha" from a hard time in your life? Even felt that you were the flow and the flow just you?

    Definitely. Several people have mentioned this in relation to music. I totally get that. I create my own music (solo or in groups). I find that if I go into that creative session with a lot of preconceived ideas about what to create then there can be struggles. Without a doubt the best music I’ve done has been when I just go with the flow and go where the music takes me. It isn’t necessarily being “in the zone” although that happens too. Of course the absolute best is when the “flow” and the “zone” both happen simultaneously


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Last edited by Tairin; 08-10-2019 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Combined my two posts
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  39. #39
    Let's see what the rest of the book has to say about these questions. We might say that the whole Genjo Koan is about this.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  40. #40
    I have only gone into chapter 2 and shall make it up today with being ready after three for 3 and more, and I sit now with Eggmont Overture of Beethoven who in his last Four String Quartets of brilliance looking toward death did pave his way for TS Eliot to seek Buddha hood and lasting everlasting "All Shall be well./ And, all things shall be well..." "As the dove descending in 'flames'" of everlasting fire, and "pyre" of our Buddha in wings of St. John brought promise he could not guarantee.

    Tai Shi
    ever calm poetry
    sat/lah
    Gassho
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  41. #41
    To question 1: What I experience regularly albeit for a short time during my sitting sessions is an extremely high level of clarity dawning upon me. It feels as if everything is good as it is, as if everything is perfect just the way it is, and this usually happens when there are no thoughts at all. Then I start realizing this and the thoughts come back, especially about the experience I just described.

    To question 2: Yes, absolutely. Ever since I joined Treeleaf, started sitting daily, following your lessons, reading the recommended books, and applying all in practice I feel that I can accept things as they are much easier than before, even situations or discussions where I used to show resistance or opposition. It feels as if everything starts to fall in place without becoming passive in life. It's not easy to describe but our practice has changed the way I deal with anything profoundly, people around me noticed it too, and I am deeply grateful for this .

    Gassho,
    Jack
    Sattoday/lah
    Last edited by Kakedashi; 08-13-2019 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Spelling

  42. #42
    My occupation with knees and feet forced me to be in the now of walking. I will read more today of this masterful in the now book— today!
    Tai Shi
    Gassho
    sat


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  43. #43
    Two minutes were as nothing and so with this writing this morning.
    Tai Shi
    sat/lah
    Gassho


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  44. #44
    Self or no self-- as I experience pain, this that haunts my very breath, ribs, diaphragm, invisible in neck as I sit, is there no self? NO. There is a self that experiences suffering, dissatisfaction at the physical universe which is me. I am the physical universe as so is every being, "Ah, I hurt!" Is this Dukkha? OR, is it sensation of arthritic bones crushing again. Only one who experiences the pain of living can assume the joy of living. So, without Dukkha, there is no suffering in dissatisfaction, but body, mind suffer without end! So, what is Dukkha? Are we to be satisfied with incurable diseases? Do diseases undermine the Buddha with one who made lots of Lemonade. Or does the Compassionate Buddha allow for caring, entering again level 8 pain today, two weeks before my next biological.

    Tai Shi
    sat/lah
    Gassho
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

Posting Permissions

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