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Thread: Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 4 -

  1. #1

    Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 4 -

    Yes, it is the end of summer, and our garden is filled with weeds and flowers. (Mostly weeds!)

    This time, we will read all of Chapter 4. We will stay with this chapter one week (although I may extend up to three weeks due to Ango/Jukai activities).

    If i were to summarize this chapter in a couple of sentences, it is this: If you impose on the world how you want it to be, expect it to always bend to your will, resist when it does not go as you wish or meet your expectations, you suffer. When you allow the world to be the world, drop the demands and judgments, dropping the resistance and separation between your and things, flowing along as the flowing along of life, no separation of oneself and outside conditions ... one is free. We stop imposing ourself on life, and expecting it to bend to our will, and instead merge and become one (quite literally) with conditions as they are.

    The first section of the chapter continues discussion of the relationship of the "self" and the separate "things" of the world. It also makes the point that "enlightenment" is not a fixed state, but is the constant moment by moment dropping of resistance between self and things all through life. Like the weeds in my garden, they are never ending, and must be encountered one by one.

    The second section, "Self and All things," quickly presents the traditional Buddhist model (very close to the modern scientific model of how the brain and senses work) regarding how data from the outside world flows into the senses, is processed in the brain to become our experience of a world of things (and our "self" as solid and separate from those outside things). Even the senses and brain (or, rather, the idea "senses" and "brain") are names and images of things created in the brain. So, all is "empty," and all flows together in the big merging.

    Each thing then re-emerges from this wholeness, thus becoming its own "just as it is" shining jewel in its individual thingness. Emptiness and form/thingness are not two, just two ways to experience the world and all it contains. Then, flowers are just flowers, weeds are just weeds (including the weeds of life like sickness and loss) ... and that is okay.

    And the things of the world-life are just us, and we are the things of this world-life. "Buddha" is another name for this interflowing Wholeness.

    And better to experience the above, or just have faith in the fact, rather than to merely think about it as another idea. It is like the difference between actually tasting the soup rather than merely thinking about the recipe and ingredients for cooking soup.

    A moment of Zazen is our cooking and tasting and being this wonderful soup!

    I think that most of what Rev. Okumura says in this Chapter consists of variations, said different ways, of the above.

    It is basically the same views as we have been discussing in earlier chapters. Any questions or new impressions?

    Can you give some examples of how the same objective, potentially frustrating situation in your life would be very different between when you (1) demand circumstance fit your standards and demands, or (2) let the circumstances just be the circumstances and flow along with (and be one with) you? Any real life examples?

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    PS - This is not my back field, but just to give you an idea what the weeds can be like here just after a few weeks of rain ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 09-15-2019 at 03:47 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Member Anna's Avatar
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    For me because I'm Autistic and have ADHD I can be pretty particular about how things are done and when they are done. My brain wiring is literally unable to comprehend that my way of doing something is not the best. I visit a Psychiatrist every 8 weeks to help me negotiate the world with less frustration. Only through being blessed with a half decent reflective capacity and Psychiatric assistance have I been able to achieve all that I have. So with this in mind simple things like a morning routine for me can go completely off the rails if something small is not quite right. Anything from sleeping in to not having enough leafy greens for breakfast can ruin a whole day. Sounds silly but this is reality that CAN BE out of my control. I've mentioned elsewhere I'm sure that I've fluffed around the fringes of Buddhist teachings for years, perhaps 25 or so. I've also seen a great number of counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists in my life, some by choice, others not so much. Some OK, a couple were great but most just pissed me off. By mixture of psychobabble, Buddhist teachings and a capacity to reflect I have often been able to keep the metaphorical beast under control. The game changer has been Zen and trying to isolate things so I can be completely present and acknowledge my frustrations while also understanding that my immediate experience and actions can and often will inform many other moments in my day. Verbosity is obviously a thing for me but I'm honestly just trying to communicate my thoughts with clarity and without frustration.

    Gassho
    Anna
    ST
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  3. #3
    Thank you for the great summary Jundo,

    i felt the chapter clearly and simply presented a different phenomenology to the one which operates in our everyday Western perspective as an implicit assumption, our undisclosed ‘given’. “The world we live in is the world we create based on how our mind encounters the myriad dharmas.” We must “…realise that the world of our creation does not reflect true reality.” There are profound implications in this for our intimate self-other-world relationships.

    The following seemed to put things in a nutshell: “For Dōgen, when we see a flower and think, ‘this flower is empty’, we separate ourselves from the flower. Prajna is not a way of thinking or understanding; it is the flower itself, and the flower revealing actual emptiness” - this direct experiencing of the flower took me straight back to Mahākāśyapa.

    As a personal example, i look back at a time when i was really struggling with a job, really ‘trying hard’ to change/alleviate/improve ‘my’ situation (lots of weeds); it was only when ideas about how the situation ‘should be’ were dropped, and the reality of the situation was left to be ‘as it is’ (eventually, after much suffering…) that it began to slowly free-up and evolve into something akin to what Aitken Roshi speaks about – “the peace of the self forgotten, doing the work of the world”. It took a long time – self really had its ‘ideas-about-reality’ hooks firmly set.


    _()_
    sosen
    stlah

  4. #4
    I know we are asked to bring our own thoughts, but for me, authors of sutras and texts are part of "my" sangha, because they speak to us across the years and distances. Their thoughts, once imbibed, come to me when I'm asked a question (sometimes it's a snatch of song instead). The first thing this section led me to think of was the Hojoki by Chomei:

    The current of the flowing river does not cease, and yet the water is not the same water as before. The foam that floats on stagnant pools, now vanishing, now forming, never stays the same for long. So, too, it is with the people and dwellings of the world. (Chambers)
    Then the Diamond Sutra:

    All conditioned phenomena
    Are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow,
    Like dew or a flash of lightning;
    Thus we shall perceive them. (Chung Tai Translation Committee.)
    How not to be crushed by the millstones of my preferences? First, I am learning to breathe, sitting still ... in lots of about half an hour, often in the company of others ... if the rest follows, great! _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    Last edited by Doyū; 09-16-2019 at 03:17 AM.
    特別な人ではない

  5. #5
    Member Anna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doyū View Post
    I know we are asked to bring our own thoughts, but for me, authors of sutras and texts are part of "my" sangha, because they speak to us across the years and distances. Their thoughts, once imbibed, come to me when I'm asked a question (sometimes it's a snatch of song instead). The first thing this section led me to think of was the Hojoki by Chomei:



    Then the Diamond Sutra:



    How not to be crushed by the millstones of my preferences? First, I am learning to breathe, sitting still ... in lots of about half an hour, often in the company of others ... if the rest follows, great! _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    You have an absolutely beautiful way about you Doyu. I sincerely wish we'd met long ago.
    Deepest bows to you.
    Gassho
    Anna

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

  6. #6
    Member Getchi's Avatar
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    Thankyou jundo!

    Weeds being weeds, flowers just flowers, everything is growth.

    Maybe it was I who was empty, all along.

    Gassho very much
    Geoff

    SatToday
    LaH
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  7. #7
    Member brucef's Avatar
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    The other day I had the thought that I won’t make much more progress until I start forgiving the world for not being what I want it to be. That might sound strange, but it makes sense to me. I’ve always been a perfectionist. I don’t handle imperfections well (especially the imperfections that come with getting old!). And really, that’s dukkha there in a nutshell, wanting the world to be something it isn’t.

    Just to be at peace with the way things are, without imposing ideas and expectations, fears and hopes and desires, to live without the endless projections of self...to forget the self..that seems so wonderful.

    I like this book a lot. Okumura Roshi inspires me not to give up.

    Gassho,
    Bruce.

    ST/LAH

  8. #8
    Thanks Jundo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    If you impose on the world how you want it to be, expect it to always bend to your will, resist when it does not go as you wish or meet your expectations, you suffer.
    Most of my adult life has been spent with "self help" in one form or another - trying to find the system, philosophy, technique that would let me fix myself once and for all. It is interesting to ponder that it was the quest for perfection itself that was my suffering, and not the parts of me that I wanted to fix that were causing the distress.

    And better to experience the above, or just have faith in the fact, rather than to merely think about it as another idea. It is like the difference between actually tasting the soup rather than merely thinking about the recipe and ingredients for cooking soup.
    I think this is how I want to approach taking the precepts, "becoming a Buddhist" (so to speak). Not another system I am pursuing for self perfection, but a simple truth I am continually turning to face through practice. (Also the moral dimension of focusing on helping others rather than trying to help myself all the time. I didn't expect that to appeal as much as it does. New Treeleaf motto: "Come for the Jedi mind control - stay for the compassion" haha).

    Can you give some examples of how the same objective, potentially frustrating situation in your life would be very different between when you (1) demand circumstance fit your standards and demands, or (2) let the circumstances just be the circumstances and flow along with (and be one with) you? Any real life examples?
    It's a slightly trivial example, but at work I constantly have people coming to my desk to ask questions. This can bug me at times, because I'm busy and don't want to be interrupted. This causes me to be short with them, even rude. Sometimes I'll impatiently half-listen to them while still typing to show how busy I am. It's amazing how different the interaction is when instead of resisting their questions I just accept them fully, turn to face the person as they get to my desk and give them my full attention. The time taken is the same, but the feeling (for both of us) is completely different.

    Another is my young daughter (just three months). Yes she's the proverbial bundle of joy, but ... she also cries and fusses a lot and we don't get much sleep and we spend a lot of time worrying about her. Obviously you can't ignore crying because it can be symptomatic of problems, but once it's been safely chalked up to "colic" then it's so much better to just accept her and the crying and fussing without resistance.

    Gassho
    Kevin
    Sat

  9. #9
    Thank you Jundo for explaining that Buddha means interflowing wholeness in this context. I had a hunch it referred to something like that but wasn't sure. My real life example: we have a cat and I suffer from cat allergies. I could get frustrated because I really love cats but it isn't easy living with them because of the wheezing and the runny nose I experience regularly. Zazen has really helped me with this and nowadays, I accept my allergy to a far greater extent than I used to. I just love our cat and for a long time we didn't have any pets because of my allergies. My wife is happy, and so am I. One thing in chapter four that really caught my attention aside from all the wisdom found is how Kanji illustrates its meaning. I just love how in this case the confusion is symbolized in the Kanji by expressing all these directions.


    Gassho,
    Jack
    Sattoday

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kakedashi View Post
    Thank you Jundo for explaining that Buddha means interflowing wholeness in this context. I had a hunch it referred to something like that but wasn't sure. My real life example: we have a cat and I suffer from cat allergies. I could get frustrated because I really love cats but it isn't easy living with them because of the wheezing and the runny nose I experience regularly. Zazen has really helped me with this and nowadays, I accept my allergy to a far greater extent than I used to. I just love our cat and for a long time we didn't have any pets because of my allergies. My wife is happy, and so am I. One thing in chapter four that really caught my attention aside from all the wisdom found is how Kanji illustrates its meaning. I just love how in this case the confusion is symbolized in the Kanji by expressing all these directions.


    Gassho,
    Jack
    Sattoday
    l have since outgrown it, but when we adopted our cat a few years ago, l had very bad allergies.The doctor explain that my choice was to move out of the house, take a rather pricey medicine or get rid of the cat. When l explained the situation to my wife and kids, they unanimously voted for me to either take the medicine or move out of the house (my choice). The cat was staying.

    Fortunately, l eventually grew out of the allergy, and did not have to live in the garage.

    Gassho, J

    STlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    I think I've spent most of my life going 'out there' looking for the answer, trying to force it through practice or some other action but once again, Dogen teaches us to drop our expectations and desires of perfection and see how perfect reality is now, as it really is.

    I loved the description of the Buddha as the interconnected wholeness of reality.

    Perhaps of relevance, I have been following a fascinating lecture series on Youtube given by a professor of psychology and cognitive science by the name of John Vervaeke called 'Awakening from the Meaning Crisis' - in this week's lecture he makes the distinction between 'The Sacred' and 'Sacredness'. He talks about the cognitive science behind the fact that Sacredness is a constant, inexhaustable process or realisation of 'nothingness' whereas The Sacred is something of a mistaken concept as there is no absolute destination for us to arrive at - seemed very Dogen to me.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
    Believe this was meant for the simple living thread.
    Gassho
    Kevin
    Sat


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I've copied and pasted Jundo's post into the Simple Living thread, I hope that's ok!
    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  13. #13
    Hello all,

    I've been following the discussion of the book since it began but have yet to feel the need to say something; however, one of my Ango commitments is to participate more. Thus my late appearance here.

    Jundo said: "Can you give some examples of how the same objective, potentially frustrating situation in your life would be very different between when you (1) demand circumstance fit your standards and demands, or (2) let the circumstances just be the circumstances and flow along with (and be one with) you? Any real life examples?"

    Yes. Last spring, I had a falling out with my dean over "circumstances." I felt that she was treating me and several other faculty member unfairly. I was outraged, angry (that's the same thing, but I was really mad), and full of righteous indignation. I even considered looking for another position. That was me demanding that circumstances fit my standards and demands, and I found myself emotionally contorted and eventually completely spent. Then I did some lojong work, took a breath and a seat, and slowly realized--to my horror--that the entire situation was based on false assumptions that I had, and I intensified the situation by my actions. I immediately apologized to her and took full responsibility. We were buddies before and, fortunately, we are again. Since then, I have let circumstances "be thus" before I act, and the clarity this produces allows me a much greater freedom to function within those circumstances. This is me letting the circumstances be the circumstances, no sugar, no spice. Thanks for letting me share this. I've wanted to for months, but the time was never right.

    Gassho,

    Hobun

    STLAH

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    I've copied and pasted Jundo's post into the Simple Living thread, I hope that's ok!
    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltodaylah
    Thank you. Even I get lost wandering our temple halls sometimes.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Weeds being weeds, flowers just flowers, everything is growth.
    As a botanist, I might say that the distinction between weeds and flowers is one of perspective, and I think that also translates to Dogen's usage here.

    Whereas we might want flowers, the weeds of life have much to offer too once we take time to become intimate with them.

    Many of my favourite flowers are considered weeds but they are some of the most amazing plants we have. Among these are dandelions whose leaves and roots help strengthen the liver and provide potassium, nettles which are incredibly nutritious, chickweed which soothes inflamed skin and plantain that can be made into ointment for treating bits and stings.

    Likewise, the various unwanted parts of our lives such as illness, loss, not getting what we want, bring things into our lives that might not have otherwise been there.

    My life of illness is incredibly weed infested yet still beautiful and produces flowers and nourishment.

    In all life, weeds and flowers grow together, both valuable just as they are, as long as we don't ask a rose to be a dandelion or a dandelion a rose.

    Each time I read this book, I am incredibly grateful for Shohaku Okumura's understanding and words. Together with Uchiyama Roshi's 'Opening the Hand of Thought', and maybe 'How to Cook Your Life', I would consider Realizing Genjokoan to express the fundamental essence of our practice here.

    Parts of the final two paragraphs do this beautifully:

    "Our practice of Zazen enables us to see clearly that we are part of the world, part of nature and part of Buddha. It lets us see that we don't need to personally become a buddha, but rather we need to awaken to the reality that from the beginning we are living Buddha's life.

    By letting go of our thoughts, of our consciousness, we actualize the self that is connected with all dharmas. This is not the self awakening to reality, but zazen awakening to zazen, Dharma awakening to Dharma, and Buddha awakening to Buddha."


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Last edited by Kokuu; 09-20-2019 at 11:54 AM.
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  16. #16
    This is a wonderful chapter and once again Okumura does an outstanding job of providing his knowledge to Dogen’s original text.

    While I get the point of this section is really about the perspective we impose on the real world I also see a lot of discussion on the Absolute and Relative being implied in the writing (not two). I was surprised that Okumura didn’t delve there and use those terms but perhaps it is coming up.

    The discussion about flowers and weeds brought to my mind mushrooms. Mushrooms are just mushrooms yet some can be eaten and others will make us quite sick. While it is important to understand mushrooms as mushrooms (absolute) it is important to distinguish the difference (relative).

    As an adult I’ve acquired a seafood allergy. I used to love eating sushi but now if I eat it I will become extremely sick. Other people can eat seafoods without problems. Seafoods are just seafoods (absolute) yet again there is a distinction (relative) that is important.

    As I understand it this practice is being able to see that both absolute and relative are there at the same time and really one.

    Hopefully I’ve expressed myself well and this makes sense.

    Edit: to answer Jundo’s question Can you give some examples of how the same objective, potentially frustrating situation in your life would be very different between when you (1) demand circumstance fit your standards and demands, or (2) let the circumstances just be the circumstances and flow along with (and be one with) you? Any real life examples?

    Each year I grow a vegetable garden including to tomato plants. The squirrels in my neighbourhood take and eat quite a few of them. They take the tomatoes off the plant, partially eat them and then leave the remains in the lawn or on my deck for me to clean up. It is frustrating to see so many tomatoes go to waste but then I realize to the squirrel they aren’t my tomatoes they are just things to eat. They also don’t recognize the deck as mine or that they are making a mess to up cleaned up. They are just squirrels doing what squirrels do. Everything else - my tomatoes, my deck, the mess I have to clean up - is the story I am making up in my mind


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Last edited by Tairin; 09-22-2019 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Added my answer to Jundo’s question

  17. #17
    Hi all

    In answer to Jundo's question Can you give some examples of how the same objective, potentially frustrating situation in your life would be very different between when you (1) demand circumstance fit your standards and demands, or (2) let the circumstances just be the circumstances and flow along with (and be one with) you? Any real life examples?

    For me, the key thing I notice between the two approaches is the sense of separateness that comes with (1) and how we then 'fix' the situation into something concrete and immovable, compared to the sense of acceptance and understanding that develops with (2), and how situations then seem fluid, dynamic, and temporary.

    In the book this really stuck out for me: Delusion is not some fixed thing within our minds that, if eliminated, will be replaced by enlightenment. How many spiritual paths, including Buddhist ones, preach or teach this message - that enlightenment will replace your current defective deluded state of mind (in only 12 weeks and with only four low monthly payments - get your money back if not satisfied!!!). Dogen immediately illustrates: that zazen is not a practice meant to make human beings into buddhas; zazen is itself Buddha’s practice.

    You know, or you probably don't, that I used to be involved with OBC in the UK. I remember one priest telling me that attaining enlightenment was like climbing a glass mountain, and when you get to the top there is an inverted glass mountain to climb )i.e. impossible to achieve. Well I don't know if he was trying to be cute with me or not, but it was a demoralising message to hear - oh except that if I became a monk it greatly increased my chances of success! And yet they taught from Dogen, the same written material that the author of this book and Jundo both utilise. I guess it is a bit like baking - three bakers can use the same ingredients and still come up with different cakes. I'm grateful for your teaching Jundo, compared with OBC's. Not to get into the 'good, the bad, and the ugly' of Buddhism, but I think their emphasis on monasticism left them a little 'cold' in human terms. I could go on, but I will close with my favourite few lines from this chapter....

    This is not the self awakening to reality, but zazen awakening to zazen, Dharma awakening to Dharma, and Buddha awakening to Buddha. Zazen practices zazen; it is not that a separate individual practices zazen to become enlightened. This is the meaning of Dōgen Zenji’s expression “practice and enlightenment are one.”


    Gassho, Tokan (sat)

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    As a botanist, I might say that the distinction between weeds and flowers is one of perspective, and I think that also translates to Dogen's usage here.

    Whereas we might want flowers, the weeds of life have much to offer too once we take time to become intimate with them.

    Many of my favourite flowers are considered weeds but they are some of the most amazing plants we have. Among these are dandelions whose leaves and roots help strengthen the liver and provide potassium, nettles which are incredibly nutritious, chickweed which soothes inflamed skin and plantain that can be made into ointment for treating bits and stings.

    Likewise, the various unwanted parts of our lives such as illness, loss, not getting what we want, bring things into our lives that might not have otherwise been there.

    My life of illness is incredibly weed infested yet still beautiful and produces flowers and nourishment.

    In all life, weeds and flowers grow together, both valuable just as they are, as long as we don't ask a rose to be a dandelion or a dandelion a rose.

    Each time I read this book, I am incredibly grateful for Shohaku Okumura's understanding and words. Together with Uchiyama Roshi's 'Opening the Hand of Thought', and maybe 'How to Cook Your Life', I would consider Realizing Genjokoan to express the fundamental essence of our practice here.

    Parts of the final two paragraphs do this beautifully:

    "Our practice of Zazen enables us to see clearly that we are part of the world, part of nature and part of Buddha. It lets us see that we don't need to personally become a buddha, but rather we need to awaken to the reality that from the beginning we are living Buddha's life.

    By letting go of our thoughts, of our consciousness, we actualize the self that is connected with all dharmas. This is not the self awakening to reality, but zazen awakening to zazen, Dharma awakening to Dharma, and Buddha awakening to Buddha."


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    That's beautifully put, thank you Kokuu

    Gassho,
    Neil

    StLah

  19. #19
    Thank you Kokuu,

    I was thinking about my relationship with goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria?) in such a way, but you said it better, than I can.

    Gardeners know it as a pest, because of it's powerful rhizome.
    I am fighting it in my garden.
    I love the large, fresh green, flowering patches of it near the old gravel pit, I help renaturating.
    I put it's flowers in the altar vase.
    Like the cloisters in the medieval and the people during the wars, I welcome it's flavour of parsley and carrot raw as salad and the spinach like as cooked vegetable.
    It helps against gout, rheumatism and more and contains several minerals and vitamins.
    In a book about growing wild vegetables, the Reverend Mother of a cloister wrote about it's usage in the kitchen and fighting it as a weed.
    "The fight against goutweed shows the vainness of human struggle"

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

  20. #20
    Member brucef's Avatar
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    I was just reading this article by Shohaku Okumura on the Zen Site. I've said it before in this forum, but I really like the way he explains things.

    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin...an_Okumara.htm

    Gassho

    Bruce

    Sat today, twice, on this very long day that still has a few hours to go.

  21. #21
    I really enjoyed Rev Okamura’s synopsis of this section of Genjokoan. Dogen comments on so much of the human experience with each sentence in his writings. For me that is one of the challenging aspects of studying his teachings; they are so all-encompassing, much like the main sutras in Zen.

    Similar to the study of jazz piano where we talk about getting a tune or a style ‘into your hands’ by playing it many different ways at many different tempos using different scales, voicings, etc, reading different commentaries on various teachings helps to get the main point ‘into your marrow’.

    ‘Conveying oneself toward all things to carry out practice-enlightenment is delusion.’

    This frame of mind seems to be humanity’s usual state. We take our ideas, thoughts, beliefs, go out into the world, and start from there seeking truth and understanding. Already we’ve missed the point. We need to almost work backwards from where we think the starting point lies. The world comes to us. The world is us and we are the world and all the myriad dharmas. Profound.

    Gassho,

    Ryoku

    ST/LAH

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by brucef View Post
    I've said it before in this forum, but I really like the way he explains things.
    Yes!



    gassho
    doyu sat today/LAH
    特別な人ではない

  23. #23
    Member Getchi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    If i were to summarize this chapter in a couple of sentences, it is this: If you impose on the world how you want it to be, expect it to always bend to your will, resist when it does not go as you wish or meet your expectations, you suffer. When you allow the world to be the world, drop the demands and judgments, dropping the resistance and separation between your and things, flowing along as the flowing along of life, no separation of oneself and outside conditions ... one is free. We stop imposing ourself on life, and expecting it to bend to our will, and instead merge and become one (quite literally) with conditions as they are.


    Gassho, J

    STLah


    Thankyou for this Jundo :gassho:

    I have noticed that recently Ive had a lot less to say. I collected my wife from Hospital 3 days ago, as I have done many times before. It takes about 14hours because we do not have a car yet (will have one soon). Before I was a mess doing this - fretting about how we will afford it, what it is doing to my wifes health, blaming the stupid mechanic for not just picking up all the problems the first time, the neighbour for music playing while my wife needs to rest, the bus company for not having an easier timetable, my family for offering NO assistance(in any form at all)...

    It is that easy to be seperated from teh World as detailed in this chapter.

    This time, I simply reminded myself it was Ango time, and i am allowed to breathe, let go of the thinking and simply exist.

    I think this is the best Ive felt in years. Flowing through my own thoughts about the way things "should" be (because I know better, obviously lol) into an acceptance of how things are and then a kind of peace, knowing I couldnt change all these things anyway.


    Thats just my reflection thoguh.

    Gassho
    Geoff.

    SatToday
    LaH.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  24. #24
    Good evening everyone,

    Deep bows to our teachers across space and time who so kindly place this matter before us.

    I've not posted here before so must just say that it is a privilege to be here and to read people's heart-felt responses and experiences.

    I suppose that my entire life is ample enough demonstration to me that I make myself and others unhappy if I strive to make circumstances fit my desire. Holding the Precepts in mind, I reflect that in fact I ''kill'' both myself and others when I attempt to 'fix' the dynamic, relational openness of reality (circumstances) into something static (my desire).

    Work is a good place for me to see this in daily practice. I work in what many people might consider to be a fairly challenging environment. If I expect it not to be like this I simply cause myself frustration and anxiety and impede my ability to respond to others in a spontaneously compassionate way.

    Gassho

    m

    Sat

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Getchi View Post
    Thankyou for this Jundo :gassho:

    I have noticed that recently Ive had a lot less to say. I collected my wife from Hospital 3 days ago, as I have done many times before. It takes about 14hours because we do not have a car yet (will have one soon). Before I was a mess doing this - fretting about how we will afford it, what it is doing to my wifes health, blaming the stupid mechanic for not just picking up all the problems the first time, the neighbour for music playing while my wife needs to rest, the bus company for not having an easier timetable, my family for offering NO assistance(in any form at all)...

    It is that easy to be seperated from teh World as detailed in this chapter.

    This time, I simply reminded myself it was Ango time, and i am allowed to breathe, let go of the thinking and simply exist.

    I think this is the best Ive felt in years. Flowing through my own thoughts about the way things "should" be (because I know better, obviously lol) into an acceptance of how things are and then a kind of peace, knowing I couldnt change all these things anyway.


    Thats just my reflection thoguh.

    Gassho
    Geoff.

    SatToday
    LaH.
    Still sitting for your wife and you, Getchi. Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    If i were to summarize this chapter in a couple of sentences, it is this: If you impose on the world how you want it to be, expect it to always bend to your will, resist when it does not go as you wish or meet your expectations, you suffer. When you allow the world to be the world, drop the demands and judgments, dropping the resistance and separation between your and things, flowing along as the flowing along of life, no separation of oneself and outside conditions ... one is free. We stop imposing ourself on life, and expecting it to bend to our will, and instead merge and become one (quite literally) with conditions as they are.
    Thank you for this teaching. I found this a very helpful chapter helping to put things into perspective,

    Examples ? While I don't want to harp on about Brexit for me its a prime example of me fighting the tide. Our main concern is our potential loss of healthcare in a non-deal scenario, I think we will be ok but cannot be 100% sure. Anxiety levels have been high since the Withdrawal Agreement was rejected earlier this year but matters have got worse in the last few months. So I follow developments or lack of them, get irate and angry at the news and worry some more. Last week the UK Health Minister announced that in the case of No Deal, the UK would only cover the first 6 months of healthcare (for UK citizens in the EU) and after that we'd be on our own. Effectively throwing all UK pensioners (that's old age and disability/health like my wife) under the bus. That's despite a reciprocal Treaty between France and the UK that goes way back beyond the UK joining the EU in fact 1958 !!! With a Deal our healthcare and pensions are covered for life. So again the blood pressure rises and I start to see red once more, knowing this and a pension freeze its just another way they will help finance No-Deal. I don't want this to sound like a political rant. I've got to the point where I don't care if the UK is in or out but the uncertainty of my wife's healthcare (and mine to agree as I'm fit and well) is a burden I carry everyday. I can't discuss it much with her as it usually triggers an angina attack, so I suffer in order that she does not. As I say I think we will be ok but nothing is certain, so this is my Dukkha and many of my friends here a in the same situation and face the same anguish, so much metta has been said on their behalf and for the politician creating the mess.

    I know I should try and let this all go and see how things pan out but that's easier said than done, as I need to keep a watchful eye in case I need to take some action. And so I suffer and continue to struggle through Ango. Sorry for the long windedness but that's where I am.

    Having said that my heart goes out to those less fortunate in under developed countries who have little no healthcare what so ever and start to think I am just being selfish..........................

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  27. #27
    Much metta, Seishin. I will add you and all in your circumstances to the morning service dedications. _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat today
    特別な人ではない

  28. #28
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doyū View Post
    Much metta, Seishin. I will add you and all in your circumstances to the morning service dedications. _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat today
    Thank you Doyu but there are others more deserving.

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  29. #29
    Aha, comparatives. I do it all the time myself ... Metta to anyone's worries is good practice as our hearts are under constant reconstruction to afford "room" for metta to all. _()_

    (isn't there a Kannon smiley around here someplace?)

    gassho
    doyu sat today
    特別な人ではない

  30. #30
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doyū View Post
    Aha, comparatives. I do it all the time myself ... Metta to anyone's worries is good practice as our hearts are under constant reconstruction to afford "room" for metta to all. _()_

    (isn't there a Kannon smiley around here someplace?)

    gassho
    doyu sat today
    Much truth in you words. Again many thanks.

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

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