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Thread: Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 5 - First Portion

  1. #1

    Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 5 - First Portion

    Hello All Constantly Deluded Buddhas!

    We will read the first pages of Chapter 5, stopping just before "Buddha Actualizing Buddha Without Thinking So."

    This week's passage is one of Master Dogen's most profound. l like to say that we are all originally Buddha, yet we live in this body and life of delusion ... greed, anger and divided thoughts. The folks who can see through that fact, and not be so bound by those circumstances, doing one's best to turn the delusion in Buddha-like directions, are actualizing Buddha even if our life in this world always has to be up to our necks in delusion.

    On the other hand, the fellow who claims or convinces herself that she is perfectly enlightened and beyond any possibility of mistake or flaw is deluded and flawed, almost as much as the person who is deluded by being a prisoner of greed, anger and division. (That is true, by the way, although all of us ... saint or sinner ... or beyond all possibility and flaw in an "absolute" sense. lf we claim that it is so down here in the trenches of life, we may be missing the point and at great risk of misunderstanding too. Lots of folks out there with Guru complexes may do this in the spiritual world.)

    As well, the process never ends so long as we are alive, and each moment is a crossroads. We can act with wisdom and compassion one moment, fall on our asses and act like asses the next.

    So, please relate a story about how this practice has helped you, in a real life situation, see through delusions of excess desire, anger and divided thinking, and be a bit freer of such turning the same in directions of peace and wholeness ... even as you still were up to your neck in the muck.

    Also, feel free, of course, to discuss anything else about this section and the book too.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-05-2019 at 12:06 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Wow!! That is one of the best collection of words I’ve read about whatever the heck I am doing sitting on a cushion and staring at a wall every day.

    I definitely need to read this chapter again.


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

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    Wow!! That is one of the best collection of words I’ve read about whatever the heck I am doing sitting on a cushion and staring at a wall every day.

    I definitely need to read this chapter again.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    I'll second that, thank you Jundo Roshi.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  4. #4
    So, please relate a story about how this practice has helped you, in a real life situation, see through delusions of excess desire, anger and divided thinking, and be a bit freer of such turning the same in directions of peace and wholeness ... even as you still were up to your neck in the muck

    It’s not much of a story but 2 1/2 years ago I was laid off from work. This was a good paying job that I had worked very hard at. This job had put me in a position where I was the lead technical person on several large accounts. There was a lot of stress but I think I was handling it very well. Then one day, while my wife was in surgery, I got a call from my manager telling me he needed to talk that day. That’s when I found out that I had lost my job, as my wife was recovering from surgery. We were (and still are) a one income family. Prior to this Practice I likely would have fallen apart. Luckily I was able to face the situation with some grace and equanimity. For sure there were moments of anger and stress and uncertainty but I also kept coming back to the thought of impermanence of things. It helped realizing that the moment I was in would pass and fade. Four months later I had a new job with a lot less stress. I refer to those four months between work as my trial retirement. My wife and I had an entire summer to spend together. It turned out to be very lovely.


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

  5. #5
    I have found it very helpful to constantly remind myself that I cannot fully rely on my sense to perceive reality. My perspective is always distorted by misleading perceptions and thoughts. No matter how accurate they may seem, or even how accurate they may actually be, they are not complete. While I need my senses to stay alive and navigate through the world, I can find refuge from this problem through practice. While my practice is not necessarily perfect either, understanding the limits of my temporal vessel helps me slowly let go of unhelpful feelings as they run their course through my mind and nervous system.

    I had an interesting experience a few months ago. I rarely have panic attacks, but I most certainly did have one. It was triggered unexpectedly. In the heat of the moment, despite the rush of adrenaline that was making my heart pound, I was able to consciously tell myself that I was having a panic response and the rational my brain was assembling was not to be trusted. I looked at my wife and said, "I'm panicking. My heart is pounding. I'm going to have to breathe through this for a minute." My wife was having a sympathetic nervous response to me and was very amped up. But we were able to both calm down and were able to efficiently hash out what had happened and why it happened. I was fortunate to be in a space where it was easy to remove myself which made it a bit easier. It taught me a lot about how my brain and body work. It also served as a great reminder that proper effort and practice over a long period of time have the most amazing liberating effects on our sense of self and being. In the past I may have clung to the experience, as well as the rush of thoughts that went through my head during the experience, and only clouded my judgement and well being further.

    Gassho

    Sat Today

  6. #6
    Some pretty big concepts in this chapter. Thank you Jundo for you introduction to the chapter and to Rev. Okumura for his commentary as well. There are several teachings that seem central to Dogen which I find myself revisiting because they are so different from our usual discriminating way of seeing reality. The first of these is that our karmic self has a position within absolute reality and the source of our delusion is the limited view that our self sees and experiences the world. This isn't necessarily bad in and of itself as long as we recognize this delusion and can keep from getting caught up in experiencing life this way. Applying this teaching to zazen, we are able to let our 'self' fall away and absolute reality manifest itself. This was a new way to think about zazen the first time I heard it, 'universal reality practicing and actually manifesting reality'... Profound.

    Gassho,

    Ryoku
    ST/LAH

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    Wow!! That is one of the best collection of words I’ve read about whatever the heck I am doing sitting on a cushion and staring at a wall every day.

    I definitely need to read this chapter again.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Nothing more to add

    Gassho,
    Jack
    Sattoday

  8. #8
    Dharma as the pole of life and "self" as the pole dancer. _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat today
    特別な人ではない

  9. #9
    I just got the book and am trying to catch up to everyone. Nothing to add yet. I'm excited to start reading!

    Gassho,
    Tyler

    SatToday/LAH

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TyZa View Post
    I just got the book and am trying to catch up to everyone. Nothing to add yet. I'm excited to start reading!

    Gassho,
    Tyler

    SatToday/LAH
    Take your time, as we have paused reading until after Jukai. No need to rush the Buddha.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Comrades
    Just a short post to let you know that after taking some pressure off of myself and my Ango and Jukai prep commitments I have been able to reconnect with the Okumura reading in a way that I wasn't able to prevously. I was rushing in order to keep up with my own expectations driven by ego.
    Thank you for being here Treeleaf.
    Gassho
    Anna
    stlah

  12. #12
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Kakedashi View Post
    Nothing more to add

    Gassho,
    Jack
    Sattoday
    I cannot really add more either. This whole book and especially this chapter so far is very profound to me. I really resonated with page 59 "So in a sense, our delusions, our view that we are separate from universal reality and our desire to change, is very important because it is a motivating force in our lives that enables us to practice." I've always liked the Carl Sagan quote that we are the universe experiencing itself. However, what Rev. Okumura is helping me understand is that this is only part of the picture because as he later states on the same page "[Absolute reality] already includes everything, this absolute reality does not exclude our relative views and discriminating minds, including our deluded relative views." So maybe in the grand scheme of things, we are the universe experiencing itself (itself as in all interconnected things), but that "universe" includes our delusions and those delusions help us have that desire to change. I think this chapter so far (and the book up to this point) has really helped me on my path to maybe understanding the absolute and the relative and how they are the same. Overall, I feel I am finally beginning to understand Dogen Zenji's emphasis on practice being enlightenment.

    Gassho,
    Tyler

    SatToday

  14. #14
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

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