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Thread: Oneness

  1. #1

    Oneness

    Not sure if the title is the right way to frame this concept, but I think you all know what I'm talking about.

    If it's ok, I'd like to check my understanding here.

    So, the basic idea is that everything is really one whole . . . . however, even that is not correct because saying one implies the possibility of 2.

    Everything is interdependent. Our mind creates a strong sense of being separate from others and the rest of the world. This is the root of suffering, or the sense that "things aren't right", or "not satisfactory."

    So, everything is really part of a greater whole, the same way Jundo said all the parts of a plane, the people in the plane, and even the flying, is all one.

    So, here is my question about it. While we are all one, this does not seem to mean that person A is literally person B. For example, I am not my wife and she is not me. It is more like we are of the same stuff and parts of a greater whole that includes everything.

    Am I in the ballpark here?

    <Gassho>

    klb

    sat today

  2. #2
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
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    Hi Kevin,

    I think your in the ballpark. Someone more knowledgeable than me will hopefully correct me if Iím wrong.

    I think the take away is that just having a conceptual understand oneness or unity or what have you is similar to understanding the mechanics of swimming but yet not knowing how to swim. Thereís no escaping the Zafu!

    You have to feel in your bones so to speak. That said, I would add that Iím a very poor swimmer but this is my understanding.

    Gassho
    Sattoday/lah
    Hoseki


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  3. #3
    Every thing is one.

    Yet, our language causes us to hear this and think that Object A must therefore be Object B

    Instead, we can see it as an ocean and it's waves.
    One ocean. Many waves. Each wave beautiful individual, beautiful distinct from every other wave that has ever been waved by the ocean, yet never at any point being anything other than the ocean.

    I am a movement of this entire universe...a wave is a movement of the entire ocean....

    This oneness is not about disregarding distinctions but about seeing that these distinctions are simply a part of One universal movement.

    In that I can be me...you can be you.

    A wave can wave it's own way....

    Yet, this me is non different from your you....


    Sat

    Seiryu


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    Humbly,
    清竜 Seiryu

  4. #4
    Thanks Hoseki and Seiryu.

    Gassho

    klb

    sat today

  5. #5
    So, here is my question about it. While we are all one, this does not seem to mean that person A is literally person B. For example, I am not my wife and she is not me. It is more like we are of the same stuff and parts of a greater whole that includes everything.

    Am I in the ballpark here?
    Yes, in Zen we say "Not one, not two."

    We are both a wave on the ocean and the entire ocean itself, the whole enchilada as Jundo sometimes says!

    You may have heard of the Zen koan "Show me your face before your mother was born!" or "Show me your original face!". This points to that oneness. Our original face is all things, the vast interdependent interplay of form.

    So, yes we do not deny the unity, but neither do we deny the beauty of each individual part of the whole.

    Shitou Xiqian (700-790) is talking about this in his teaching poem, The Identity of Relative and Absolute (Sandokai), which we recite in our long monthly Zazenkai. Here, darkness refers to the absolute oneness of all things, brightness is the individual parts of that wholeness.

    The mind of the Great Sage of India
    Is intimately conveyed west and east.
    While human faculties are both wise or dull
    In the Way there are no northern or southern ancestors.
    The subtle Source shines clear in the light;
    The branching streams flow in the dark.
    To be attached to things is primordial illusion;
    To encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment.
    All spheres, every sense and field intermingle even as they shine alone,
    Interacting even as they merge,
    Yet keeping their places in expressions of their own.
    Sights differ primally in shape and character
    And sounds in harsh or soothing tones.
    The dark makes all words one;
    The brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases.
    The four elements return to their true nature
    As a child turns to its mother.
    Fire is hot, water is wet,
    Wind moves and the earth is dense.
    Eye and form, ear and sound, nose and smell,
    Tongue and taste, the sweet and sour:
    Each independent of the other
    Like leaves that come from the same root.
    And though leaves and root must go back to the Source
    Both root and leaves have their own uses.
    Light is also darkness,
    But do not think of it as darkness.
    Darkness is light;
    Do not see it as light.
    Light and darkness are not one, not two
    Like the foot before and the foot behind in walking.
    Each thing has its own being
    Which is not different from its place and function.
    The relative fits the absolute
    As a box and its lid.
    The absolute meets the relative
    Like two arrow points that touch in mid air.
    Hearing this, simply perceive what is,
    Make no criterion.
    If you do not see the Way,
    You do not see it even as you walk upon it.
    Walking forward in the way
    You draw no nearer, progress no farther.
    One who fails to see this truth is mountains and rivers away.

    Listen, those who would perceive this subtle matter:
    Live well your time by night and day!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  6. #6
    Kokku, you given me some things to sit with here.

    Gassho

    Kevin

    sat today

  7. #7
    Itís a great mystery how we are each completely unique yet all made of the same substance from the same wholeness

    Sat/lah


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    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  8. #8
    Member brucef's Avatar
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    Something Charlotte Joko Beck once wrote in Nothing Special really resonates with me...

    We are rather like whirlpools in the river of life. In flowing forward, a river or stream may hit rocks, branches, or irregularities in the ground, causing whirlpools to spring up spontaneously here and there. Water entering one whirlpool quickly passes through and rejoins the river, eventually joining another whirlpool and moving on. Though for short periods it seems to be distinguishable as a separate event, the water in the whirlpools is just the river itself. The stability of a whirlpool is only temporary. The energy of the river of life forms living thingsóa human being, a cat or dog, trees and plantsóthen what held the whirlpool in place is itself altered, and the whirlpool is swept away, reentering the larger flow. The energy that was a particular whirlpool fades out and the water passes on, perhaps to be caught again and turned for a moment into another whirlpool.

    We'd rather not think of our lives in this way, however. We don't want to see ourselves as simply a temporary formation, a whirlpool in the river of life. The fact is, we take form for a while; then when conditions are appropriate, we fade out. There's nothing wrong with fading out; it's a natural part of the process. However, we want to think that this little whirl- pool that we are isn't part of the stream. We want to see ourselves as permanent and stable. Our whole energy goes into trying to protect our supposed separateness. To protect the separateness, we set up artificial, fixed boundaries; as a consequence, we accumulate excess baggage, stuff that slips into our whirlpool and can't flow out again. So things clog up our whirlpool and the process gets messy. The stream needs to flow naturally and freely. If our particular whirlpool is all bogged down, we also impair the energy of the stream itself. It can't go anywhere. Neighboring whirlpools may get less water because of our frantic holding on. What we can best do for ourselves and for life is to keep the water in our whirlpool rushing and clear so that it is just flowing in and flowing out. When it gets all clogged up, we create troublesómental, physical, spiritual.
    Gassho
    Bruce
    sat today

  9. #9
    Here . . .then gone!

    <gasho>

    klb

    sat today

  10. #10
    Some lovely comments, by Kokuu and others.

    I just offer a few "cautions" as Zen folks tend to do ...

    - Do not get lost in needing to feel a feeling of "Oneness" because what is just is, whether one feels so or not (much as the moon is always shining, whether seen or unseen, in daytime or night, in clear skies or hidden behind clouds). To the enlightened, feeling "Oneness" is enlightenment, and not feeling "Oneness" is also enlightenment. Thus Dogen wrote ...

    Those who have great realization of delusion are buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about realization are sentient beings. Further, there are those who continue realizing beyond realization, who are in delusion throughout delusion. When buddhas are truly buddhas they do not necessarily notice that they are buddhas. However, they are actualized buddhas, who go on actualizing buddhas.
    - Don't think that there is anything wrong with all the separate, broken things of the world ... for they are the moon too, and each fully contains the moon. As Dogen wrote:

    Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water. Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long of short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky.
    The 10,000 things (individual phenomena) of the world are the "One," the "One" is the 10,000 things, each of the 10,000 things fully contains the 10,000 things all together (as if each grain of sand of the moon held the whole moon within completely), as well as every other single thing individually one by one (as if each grain or sand of the moon held each and any other grain of sand) and the "One" too.

    - I am pretty sure that science will someday find soon that we are each and all the universe somehow manifesting in the sentience of each one of us ... but don't let that go to your head, because each blade of grass, dog and dog poop, star and rusty tin can is also the universe somehow manifesting.

    - Yes, you are your wife, and you are the dog and the postman ... and the postman fully embodies the dog, you and your wife, and your wife sweeps in the postman dog and you ... yet we cannot live so. Who would deliver the mail, who would the dog have to bite? How can we make babies if husband and wife are just "one"? Why is the postman eyeing you wife when you are not home!?

    - Each piece of dog shit shines as a shining jewel because it is precisely the total embodiment of the Whole, the Shining Moon, Buddha! Bow to the dog shit. Now, go clean it up ... because it is dog shit and a mess. Likewise for all the ugly things of this world.

    - Feeling separate is the root of suffering. However, to live as human beings, we must stay separate too even if we realize something beyond separation. So, we say that we and all things are "Not One (nor) Not Two) Figuring out how this "not one not two" fits together in this day to day beautiful ugly mess of a life is our Practice!

    - Now, FORGET ABOUT this "One." This is a wholeness so whole that we MUST NOT "REIFY" "it" (turn it into a mental concept of a thing or "it"). There is no "One," only the swirling dance of "Emptiness" in which the whole is the swirling pieces and the swirling pieces just the whole ...

    Definition of reify
    transitive verb

    : to consider or represent (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing : to give definite content and form to (a concept or idea)
    - From one angle, there IS NO "ONENESS" in the least, and ONLY SEPARATE THINGS! However, from another angleless angle, there ARE NO SEPARATE THINGS in the least, and ONLY ONENESS!! THERE IS ONENESS which is precisely the SEPARATE THINGS. THERE ARE THE SEPARATE THINGS which is PRECISELY ONENESS! There is/are the SEPARATE THINGS which is/are precisely each/all the SEPARATE THINGS. Now ... PLEASE FORGET ALL ABOUT "ONENESS" and/or "SEPARATE THINGS" too!!!! Go chop wood and fetch water!

    - Forget the word "One" ... and also "two, three, four, 10,000 and infinity" too. DO NOT create some mental idea of a "One" or even some "wholeness." If you turn it into some idea you can hold in the stupid space between your ears, you limit it ... like trying to keep the whole Grand Canyon as a thought between your ears. One does not think that a dance is "One" thing, or "individual steps" ... but simply GETS UP AND DANCES!

    - So, Just Sit, then GET UP AND DANCE!

    Capiche?

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    PS - Most of the classic Koan stories are trying to express the above in one way or another. That's why they are so weird.
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-08-2019 at 07:33 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11

  12. #12
    Gassho

    Thank you Roshi,



    Gassho
    Ben

    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Thank you Jundo for this great explanation. And thanks also for the reference to dog shit. So many explanations in zen make reference to mountains, oceans, animals, and nature which is fine but I always remember the filth and chaos which is always there too and I think should be acknowledged.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James

  14. #14
    Thank you Jundo. That was fantastic. I sure hope your post above is somehow captured in your upcoming book.


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

  15. #15
    Jundo thatís what Iím talking about!!! thank you

    I mean even if we feel separate or one or whatever feelings arenít reality; our perception is flawed. In the end Iím not sure I even comprehend what it means that I am my wife, or that we are are all waves in the ocean. I can conceptually understand it and it sounds kind of neat, but who of us actually understands the underlying nature of reality? That would be us kidding ourselves

    All I can say is I donít know if Iím being honest; everything being one sounds like a good fairy tale but from personal experience I donít know so I would be reticent spouting out doctrines that are above my paygrade so to speak

    gassho

    Rish
    -st

  16. #16
    In Why Buddhism is True the author looks at Buddhism through the lens of evolutionary psychology to show why our feelings are unreliable indicators of reality. Millions of years of evolution have ensured that we are in bodies with biological imperatives that can sometimes conflict with our wish for liberation. For this reason, the author says that Buddhism is a "rebellion" against our very biology, which is why it's truly revolutionary.

    In trying to see reality clearly, in trying to see through what evolution compels us to think and feel, we come to rely on conceptual thinking and Jundo has skillfully recommended against this. We can't rely on a deluded mind to see through delusion - this is why we rely on the Triple Gem instead. It's not good for us to get too caught up in our concepts of One-ness or Emptiness or Buddhahood. We end up becoming preoccupied with things we've imagined and so we miss out on reality. The reality of Buddha isn't what we imagine Buddha to be; the reality of Emptiness isn't what we imagine Emptiness to be. Anything we can imagine, anything we can conceive of - it will all be marked by our own ignorance. It can be tricky, though, because at the same time we also have to trust in our own intelligence in order to navigate the teachings and do the practices.

    I believe this is why we are encouraged to not hold onto things like the Precepts too rigidly or too loosely. Because they're conceptual we shouldn't hold onto them too rigidly since we'll make the mistake of clinging to something that is marked by our own ignorance. At the same time, we shouldn't hold onto them too loosely because then they can't benefit us. So it is that we try to be more "natural" with our approach.

    Gassho
    Sen
    Sat|LAH
    "Air stays fresh when itís moving."

  17. #17
    Member Anna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Jundo thatís what Iím talking about!!! thank you

    I mean even if we feel separate or one or whatever feelings arenít reality; our perception is flawed. In the end Iím not sure I even comprehend what it means that I am my wife, or that we are are all waves in the ocean. I can conceptually understand it and it sounds kind of neat, but who of us actually understands the underlying nature of reality? That would be us kidding ourselves

    All I can say is I donít know if Iím being honest; everything being one sounds like a good fairy tale but from personal experience I donít know so I would be reticent spouting out doctrines that are above my paygrade so to speak

    gassho

    Rish
    -st
    I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but for me this interconnectedness and oneness stuff comes down to basically reminding us that we're not special. Humans, particularly westerners have been bought up to believe the nonsense of the individual and that individual being somehow top of the food chain or whatever. Anyway...
    Gassho
    Anna
    st

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

  18. #18
    weíll agree to disagree group think is a dangerous thing in our psychology; there is something in us with the mob mentality that allows us to ignore our personal responsibility; groups are members of individuals, and it is our personal responsibility to do whats right. thatís probably a sidetopic: I was just questioning this notion of oneness; i think you are right; interconnectedness is probably a better word for it

    I donít think Western thought is nonsense; it annoys me when Western ideals get broadbrushed into being something negative; there is a lot of wisdom in Western thought.

    Individuality is not nonsense; having an imbalanced view of it is just like having an imbalanced view of group superiority is

    When I hear nonsense like the nail that sticks up gets hammered down, I think theyregoing to need a big hammer hahaha

    gassho

    rish
    -st

  19. #19
    Carlo Rovelli has spoken on this oneness in terms of the interactions that make up all matter as being like kisses.

    https://onbeing.org/programs/carlo-r...ction-apr2018/

    This is opposed to matter being something akin to a stone like Jundo describes as concepts or certainty.
    Therefore,
    Suchness, as-it-Isness, this, thusness can all be used to describe this non stop presencing and disappearing or dance of what we perceive of as reality.
    It makes every moment a magic , a loving , a kiss of a moment.
    Gassho
    Heisoku
    Stlah


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    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

  20. #20
    I can hear Jundo saying now children! lol I want to clarify I mean no disrespect; just ideas I play around with

    gassho

    rish
    -stlah

  21. #21
    Time and time again we ask ourselves and one another: is the painted rice cake breakfast or is it lunch? _()_

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

  22. #22
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna View Post
    I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but for me this interconnectedness and oneness stuff comes down to basically reminding us that we're not special. Humans, particularly westerners have been bought up to believe the nonsense of the individual and that individual being somehow top of the food chain or whatever. Anyway...
    Gassho
    Anna
    st

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    Hi Anna,

    For what itís worth I donít think itís not that weíre not special itís just everything is special. Everything that is, was and will be have, are and will continue to participate in themselves and each other. Everything that was is still here because everything that is is made from what was and everything that will be will be made of what is now.

    Does that make sense? Big thing is not to get stuck on any particular viewpoint. At the end of the day our views enable us to see by bringing some features of our experience into the forefront and by moving other features to the back. Kind of like how I can only look at one side of my tea cup. Using a mirror doesnít count

    Gassho
    Hoseki


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  23. #23
    I don't think Anna needs anyone to speak for her - but I think she's right from a perspective.

    From the perspective of self-aggrandizement and egoism, that individual is not special. That is what Dogen says in Genjokoan:
    Driving ourselves o practice and experience the myriad dharma is delusion.
    I was addressing individuality from a different perspective - that we are all actually very special - we don't need to do anything about it; I mean it's incredible that we have consciousness and everything else -->
    When the myriad dharma actively practice and experience ourselves, that is the state of realization.
    Hoseki, this is interesting how you put this:
    At the end of the day our views enable us to see by bringing some features of our experience into the forefront and by moving other features to the back. Kind of like how I can only look at one side of my tea cup. Using a mirror doesn’t count
    It reminds me of another part of Genjokoan, that's probably my favorite part of it just because of the poetry behind it
    When we use the whole body and mind to look at forms, and when we use the whole body and mind to listen to sounds, even though we are sensing them directly, it is not like a mirror's reflection of an image, and not like water and the moon. While we are experiencing one side, we are blind to the other side.
    Gassho,

    Risho
    -lahst

  24. #24
    Yes, humans are not special. Yet, everything is special. Ants and rusty tin cans and dog poop and galaxies are special. So, humans are special. You are special. All is as special as special can be.

    Living this special-not-special is a facet of our practice as the shining jewel which is this universe.

    We are totally dependent on some of those other special-not-special creatures and environments too, so we had better learn to recognize that. I will not say categorically for everyone that we should all not eat cows, but we should at least bow in gratitude before doing so.

    Also, rusty tin cans, dog poop, car emissions and bombs are also special-non-special and, believe it or not, also jewels on Indra's Net that keep this whole wacky universe tied together. However, they are also jewels that we can do without or less, replacing them with other jewels like flowers and clean air and peace. So, bow to the rusty cans and dog poop, then clean it up. Bow to the car emissions and bombs, but let us work to make them smaller or former jewels.

    This sense of interconnections and interpenetration is not merely intellectual. Dare I say, Zen is a "mystical" path of truly experiencing this Wholeness and Intra-flowing (I usually avoid the word "mystical" because it sounds like I am talking about sooth-sayers and oracle proclaimers, wizards and spirit channelers. However, it is a "mystical" path as I am speaking of a vital, visceral and boundlessly vast knowing of all this).

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-11-2019 at 01:59 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    yes yes; that is so important

    gassho

    rish
    -stlah

  26. #26
    This sums it up beautifully.


    Sat

    Seiryu

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    Humbly,
    清竜 Seiryu

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