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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
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  17. #17
    Member Onka'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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    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  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
    自己を忘れ、他人のために生きる

  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

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    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

  27. #27
    It seems like some people have been reading their Dogen. I am a wave, I am the ocean, I am the sturgeon, I am the stream in that mountain valley, I am the wavicle in physics, I am the vapor rising into air the bird flies into sky, I am electricity in cloud from vapor that once supported fish. I am rain into field from water into cloud, that came from stream into ocean, and bird, fish who collapse at end of life span, into stream, for life in worm that becomes food for fish, becomes food for bird, who flies through oxygen, nitrogen, into field where farmer grows grain from dead bird living again in soil, which becomes food for women, for children, they become farmers, doctors, teachers, monks, priests, people, all can give ashes to worms, who become food for insects, and birds come again into sky, and sky becomes bird and rain becomes sturgeon who lay eggs for life. And mountain is washed be it by rain to the sea, and yet some becomes soil, and so on into infinite mater and energy, wavicle into physical explanation of what we do not know.
    Someone has been reading her Thich Nhat Hanh, his physics, her biology, there is so much more and that is why it takes all of us.
    Taishi
    deep bows
    sat
    Gassho
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 12-29-2019 at 10:53 PM. Reason: spelling
    My apology for presumptions. I am human seeking Buddha, like/ Christ, like behavior, and I welcome all in Treeleaf who wish to walk beside me.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    It seems like some people have been reading their Dogen. I am a wave, I am the ocean, I am the sturgeon, I am the stream in that mountain valley, I am the wavicle in physics, I am the vapor rising into air the bird flies into sky, I am electricity in cloud from vapor that once supported fish. I am rain into field from water into cloud, that came from stream into ocean, and bird, fish who collapse at end of life span, into stream, for life in worm that becomes food for fish, becomes food for bird, who flies through oxygen, nitrogen, into field where farmer grows grain from dead bird living again in soil, which becomes food for women, for children, they become farmers, doctors, teachers, monks, priests, people, all can give ashes to worms, who become food for insects, and birds come again into sky, and sky becomes bird and rain becomes sturgeon who lay eggs for life. And mountain is washed be it by rain to the sea, and yet some becomes soil, and so on into infinite mater and energy, wavicle into physical explanation of what we do not know.
    Someone has been reading her Thich Nhat Hanh, his physics, her biology, there is so much more and that is why it takes all of us.
    Taishi
    deep bows
    sat
    Gassho


    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    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
    Hey Risho,

    Nice post. I just came back from a monastery and there were many questions for the monks. It's interest because ALL the monks answers came back to ONE theme: take personal responsibility. It wasn't until Buddhism and practice that I realized the importance of focusing on my own development over worry about others. It's so much easier to point the finger away instead of inwards. Interestingly I also taught a facilitation workshop last week and the BIG topic was group think and how to avoid it.

    Gassho,

    Brad

    SatToday

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    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
    Hey Jundo,

    I have been meaning to ask you this so I figure this is the right place . Thich Nhat Hanh often talks about 'seeing the clouds in tea', 'the father in the flower'. Things like this sound poetic and beautiful. In my experiences I've never 'seen the clouds' in my tea. However I don't think he means this literally. I may be off in my experiences but I have felt, on many occasions the 'feeling' of the clouds in the tea. It's more of a feeling in my experience, kind of an implicit realization.......

    Is this more or less along the lines of what he means by this? I have read your post I just don't want to assume your conclusion without asking .

    Thank you in advance

    Gassho,

    Brad

    SatToday

  31. #31
    Hello,

    I am obviously not Jundo (and at the same time, of course, I am Jundo, and the tea and the clouds and the father and the flower),
    but I was just reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Diamond Sutra "The Diamond that cuts through illusion" and thought I'd like to comment here.

    Zazen teaches us how we can transcend the illusion of an independent existence, called the Self.
    When dropping the world of contradictions and judgements... good vs. bad, me vs. you, in vs. out... how to differentiate between the clouds and the tea and me?

    From the above mentioned book from Thich Nhat Hanh:
    Practicing Nonself
    All the media around us encourage us to focus on ourselves.
    What is self? It is our imagining. The barrier between self and non self is created by deluded mind. How do we remove that barrier and liberate ourselves from the notion of self?
    The Buddha advises us to meditate on the non self nature of things. Whenever we look at a leaf, a pebble, a cloud, a river, a baby, a society, or a human being, we look deeply into it to see its non self nature, so we can liberate ourselves from the notion of self.
    The meditation of non self needs to be practiced every day, in every moment of our daily lives.
    Whether we're eating, walking, sitting, working in the garden, whenever we look at other people, the clouds, the grass, we see that we are in those elements and those elements are in us; we are not separate.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  32. #32
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradR89 View Post
    Hey Jundo,

    I have been meaning to ask you this so I figure this is the right place . Thich Nhat Hanh often talks about 'seeing the clouds in tea', 'the father in the flower'. Things like this sound poetic and beautiful. In my experiences I've never 'seen the clouds' in my tea. However I don't think he means this literally. I may be off in my experiences but I have felt, on many occasions the 'feeling' of the clouds in the tea. It's more of a feeling in my experience, kind of an implicit realization.......

    Is this more or less along the lines of what he means by this? I have read your post I just don't want to assume your conclusion without asking .

    Thank you in advance

    Gassho,

    Brad

    SatToday
    Hi Brad,

    I'm also not Jundo (or am I?... No I'm not) but I had some thoughts on this as well and hopefully he can comment on it. I think Thay is tracing the connections between us or things. So hes drawing relationships between the different jewels in the net if Indra if that makes sense? Or maybe another way to look at it is tracing the causal relationships between "things." And here I mean things like what we refer to when we use nouns. Its almost like a science class when we're explaining to children about things like community or food chains. Everything that is is connected to everything else. Our usual way of thinking about things has us see "things" removed from the causes that brought it about. So for contemporary western folks many of the goods and services we avail of are the product of a division of labor that's so extensive that we don't really know about their creation. Who made my pants? for example.

    But this is still at the level of individual objects. If we look deeper we can see that "things" can be broken down into other things each with their relationship to the other parts and in a sense the whole. Lets say I burn my hand and I call to me wife saying I've burned my hand. In that scenario I refer to the hand the way I would refer to my tv. Its "mine." Is it really something I own? Or is the word "mine" or "my" mean something different? I think it does and in this case I've abstracted my hand from the rest of my body. Does that make sense?

    But and I think this is the big but (pun not intended.) The very things that we see as things aren't really things. That's to say they are more like currents in a stream they are real but they are not separate the way we usually thing of things. Its something like my hand but with out the nerves providing feedback to the brain?

    So I don't have much of an answer but writing this out was helpful to organize my thoughts. Does this make sense?

    Gassho
    Hoseki
    Sattoday

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoseki View Post
    I think Thay is tracing the connections between us or things... Or maybe another way to look at it is tracing the causal relationships between "things." And here I mean things like what we refer to when we use nouns. Its almost like a science class when we're explaining to children about things like community or food chains. Everything that is is connected to everything else. Our usual way of thinking about things has us see "things" removed from the causes that brought it about.
    I think he's getting us to see the inter-being of all things in a natural, poetic way that doesn't rely on over-analyzing or intellectualizing matters. The water in our tea came from clouds, so clouds are in our tea ... but were they ever really clouds in the first place? The mind that separates and names things sure thinks so and this way of viewing the world is useful for human survival, but it's not a very clear picture of reality. Clouds aren't clouds - they're water vapor in the air which was brought there through evaporation (likely by the Sun), and then viewed by our minds who see them as distinct objects, separate from the sky and ocean and sun when, in reality, they can't exist without the sky and ocean and sun so there is no real meaningful distinction between clouds and the ocean and the sky and the sun and the mind that observes them.

    When we look into our tea, can we see the clouds that condensed into rain to become the water that's now in our tea cup? Can we see the ocean or the sky or the sun? They're all in there because if they weren't, there'd be no tea in our tea cup.

    Hoseki is exactly right, I think, in writing "Our usual way of thinking about things has us see "things" removed from the causes that brought it about."

    We sit zazen to allow things to be exactly as they are - not removed from their causes or conditions.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  34. #34
    It reminds me of this funny, but very good video:-)




    Gassho,
    Ben


    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

  35. #35
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
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    San Diego County, California
    Quote Originally Posted by hishiryo View Post
    It reminds me of this funny, but very good video:-)




    Gassho,
    Ben


    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk
    I really liked this video! Thank you. I should add a slight language warning, but very funny and worth a watch!

    Gassho
    Sat today, lah

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by BradR89 View Post
    Hey Jundo,

    I have been meaning to ask you this so I figure this is the right place . Thich Nhat Hanh often talks about 'seeing the clouds in tea', 'the father in the flower'. Things like this sound poetic and beautiful. In my experiences I've never 'seen the clouds' in my tea. However I don't think he means this literally. I may be off in my experiences but I have felt, on many occasions the 'feeling' of the clouds in the tea. It's more of a feeling in my experience, kind of an implicit realization.......

    Is this more or less along the lines of what he means by this? I have read your post I just don't want to assume your conclusion without asking .
    Ah, a nice question to begin the Timeless New Year!

    All I can say is that this must be tasted and experienced, sometimes subtly within in the bones, and sometimes as a profound dropping of names and borders and categories and times. It is not an idea just to grasp intellectually or with a diagram of inter-connections among relationships in the world:

    All things and moments flow in and out of, and are, all other things and moments ... including you and me. Each thing and moment fully and easily contains all the things and moments within, much as if a single drop of rain held the entire rain storm within its borders. The single drop thus holds all the other single drops, and they likewise each contain comfortably all the other raindrops inside, and all are just the Rain Raining. Sometimes all thought of things and moments fully drops away, and there is just Raining, raining without thought of in or out.

    I sometimes compare this to a dance being danced by dancers (or which you are one), and one pours oneself (one self) into the dance such that one realizes that every step of the dance near or far, before or after, by you and all the other dancers (meaning every other thing or being engaged in this dancing) is just the dance dancing, is fully held and expressed in every leap and gesture by you, and you are just the whole spectacle! There is just the dancing.

    Brad thinks he ends at the skin line, but he is actually the Whole Dancing manifesting in a particular instant and place as Brad's steps and stumbles for a time, such that outside Brad and inside Brad are really not two (much as every hair and breath and gesture and thought of Brad's body is "Brad," but now leaping beyond the skin and carried outward boundlessly. However, don't get a big head and start thinking that the whole of reality is now just "Brad" because every other thing and being has just as much claim! ) Also, every instant and thing is the dance, and since you are the dance, and since dance is the dance, thus every instant and thing is you, and you are every instant and thing because dance is just dance dancing.

    Something like that.

    Why is it useful? Because we get too caught up in our "Bradness" with its wants and fears, regrets and frictions, sense of separation and death ... and forget our Whole Dancing face.

    Just a final note that Thich Nhat Hanh actually gets criticized sometimes for being a little "materialist" in his description of this (surprising because one would imagine him as some kind of mystical guy.). By this I mean that sometimes his descriptions of this interflowing, interindentity or "inter-being" as he calls it, is a little bit too much about parts and connections. For example, he might say something like "A car contains all the car parts, and each car part ... the tire, the rod, the axle, the piston ... contains all the other car parts, as does the road and the sky above, and we could not have a car without all of it." It is true, but somehow leaves out the sense that literally, the "Great Driving" flows in and out and as all this "stuff" and their interconnections. I (Jundo) consider myself a pretty down to earth guy, and I don't go in for a lot of the hoo hoo and hocus pocus, but even I get left with a bit of a dry taste by some of TNH's descriptions sometimes. Don't lose the actual "Great Driving" or "Whole Dance" that flows in and out ... and as ... all things in most radical meaning. The Great Driving is actually manifesting as the car and all its individual parts, and the car and parts being drivin on the road bring the Great Driving to Life! The Driving or Dance (Big "D") is so much in motion and action that it cannot be nailed down as some idea of a fixed "thing." You are just the Driving, and I am just the Driving in most literal and intimate sense, and the Driving is just Driving on and on ... and thus you and I Drive on and on (even long before and after we think we get out of the car at our personal exit) ... Our main task is just to drive or dance gracefully. as best we can, in our turn.

    And thus we sit Zazen ... to Drive the Drive and Dance the Dance ...

    Raindrop falling Zazen.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-03-2020 at 04:05 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Ah, a nice question to begin the Timeless New Year!

    All I can say is that this must be tasted and experienced, sometimes subtly within in the bones, and sometimes as a profound dropping of names and borders and categories and times. It is not an idea just to grasp intellectually or with a diagram of inter-connections among relationships in the world:

    All things and moments flow in and out of, and are, all other things and moments ... including you and me. Each thing and moment fully and easily contains all the things and moments within, much as if a single drop of rain held the entire rain storm within its borders. The single drop thus holds all the other single drops, and they likewise each contain comfortably all the other raindrops inside, and all are just the Rain Raining. Sometimes all thought of things and moments fully drops away, and there is just Raining, raining without thought of in or out.


    And thus we sit Zazen ... to Drive the Drive and Dance the Dance ...

    Raindrop falling Zazen.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Thank you very much Jundo. That clears the air on some things, as like you said, I always found TNH's descriptions a little materialistic and literal. This outlook for me is more 'tangible' in the sense that it's more of an experience...... as it let's go of things, bits, and truthfully, just encourages me to sit more and let go and notice things happening, no judgment.

    Also thank you to Hoseki and Kotei. Nice Sangha we have .

    Gassho,

    Brad

    SatToday

  38. #38
    I think TNH's descriptions are "literal/materialistic" on purpose in order to reach more people who would otherwise have a hard time understanding such Buddhist concepts (esp. Westeners).
    TNH's books are often aimed at people new to Buddhism or Non-Buddhists - so he tries to avoid to sound too confusing/mystical.
    However, even people practicing for a longer time can still enjoy his books IMHO.

    Gassho,

    Daitetsu

    #sat2day
    no thing needs to be added

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Daitetsu View Post
    I think TNH's descriptions are "literal/materialistic" on purpose in order to reach more people who would otherwise have a hard time understanding such Buddhist concepts (esp. Westeners).
    TNH's books are often aimed at people new to Buddhism or Non-Buddhists - so he tries to avoid to sound too confusing/mystical.
    However, even people practicing for a longer time can still enjoy his books IMHO.

    Gassho,

    Daitetsu

    #sat2day
    But folks, even some who have been practicing for many years, still get caught up in that mechanical, nuts and bolts, description of a hard physical "emptiness" and miss the Big Picture, if ya ask me.

    lt is something like describing the most moving symphony that one has ever heard, that swept one in and transported one to grand heights ...

    ... as just the metal of the trombones, the chair of the violinists and the ink of the notes on the paper in certain mathematical interrelationships. lt is all that for sure, yet something emergent that is wondrous and greater is lost.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-03-2020 at 12:46 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  40. #40
    Yes, I agree.
    That's why it is important to have a teacher who helps.
    Thank you for this!



    Gassho,

    Daitetsu

    #sat2day
    no thing needs to be added

  41. #41
    So, since we are both singular beings as well as simply part of a whole and made of many cells and organisms. Should we refer to ourselves as "I" or "we"? Is it ok to use plurals for ourselves in light of these truths?
    Gassho
    David
    Sat
    Last edited by serenewolf; 01-08-2020 at 06:34 AM.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by serenewolf View Post
    So, since we are both singular beings as well as simply part of a whole and made of many cells and organisms. Should we refer to ourselves as "I" or "we"? Is it ok to use plurals for ourselves in light of these truths?
    Gassho
    David
    Sat
    I and we and him and her and it and ... no pronoun or name at all ...

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Benbow View Post
    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.
    Hi Kevin.

    The way I understand this is by looking at our own human body. At any given time there are trillions of cells living, thriving and dying. Each of them are individual beings, but at the same time they form a human body.

    You are just you, but along with your wife, you both are 1 family. Several families form 1 community. And so on and so on.

    We have an individual life, but at the same time each of us are part of something bigger called Life. Through our Zen practice we can see through the illusion of self and finally come to terms with this very fact.

    Not sure if that makes sense. But the best way to understand this is to just sit zazen and allow Life manifests itself.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  44. #44
    Nice explanation, kyonin! Thank you

    I feel that we can either say oneness or emptiness. There's no self that can be seperated into you and me, yet, there's a feeling of individuality and some kind of self. When we have a deeper look into it, we can understand that this self is conditioned, it's the sum of different factors and conditions like the aggregates (skandhas)... No brain, no conciousness, no self... And the brain works because there is a body that functions, nurish itself with oxygen and so on... The conciousness can only be because there are the sense organs and the informations that are interpreted by the brain... So one thing depends on another, one thing influences another..very complex. And also it's not the body that is for it's own. It needs certain conditions to exist...food, sun, oxygen, the atmosphere and gravitation of the earth... And the earth can exist and have an atmosphere because there are certain conditions... In some billion years the sun may become bigger and bigger and destroys the earth... And the solar system will implode....and oof.... At least there's nothing we can put at the beginning of that complex chain of cause and effect. Also there's no real border of you and me, of this or that...just conditioned thoughts that arise and fade

    Gassho
    Ben


    Stlah
    Last edited by Horin; 01-08-2020 at 10:17 PM.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by hishiryo View Post

    I feel that we can either say oneness or emptiness ...
    Perhaps the reason that we tend to avoid the word "oneness" in Buddhism is that it too easily coagulates into a fixed idea, "one thing." Emptiness is moving, flowing and vibrant, cannot be nailed down. We sometimes also say "not one, not two" to express that there are all the separate beings, things and moments of the world ... yet not separate, all in motion, flowing together in and out.

    As I said, I tend to be a bit hesitant about these corporal body analogies because, well, something is missing. It always sounds to me more like a pieced together corpse more than a vibrant life that just cannot be nailed down in one place. They are not wrong but ... the "ocean" is far beyond rocks and coral, fish and H2O atoms, such that the one word "ocean" commits a gross injustice of universal magnitude. There is some emergent and wondrous more which sweeps it all in. Lovely Kyonin is not just cells living and dying, nor just a body, but something miraculous breathing and dancing, and Ben is much much beyond oxygen and gravity and functions and organs ... je ne sais quoi ... and yet one knows.

    Gassho, J

    STlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  46. #46
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    St. John's Newfoundland, Canada.
    Hi folks,


    I just finished reading Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness by Shunryu Suzuki so the idea of Oneness is kind of on my mind. So I thought it might be fun to chime in here. I actually wanted to offer some thoughts on "Oneness." Though in a way I'm sure its about my interpretation of Oneness.


    The idea of One (at least for me) suggests boundaries and what has boundaries is (mentally) graspable. So "the One" is something that can be grasped by the hand of thought. Because of this I see two issues.
    1. What exists outside the boundaries? Even if its empty space that's still something excluded by the One. So it can't be all there is in the ten directions if it doesn't include that empty space.
    2. "The One" as we think about it is just an idea. So its a thought and as a thought its kind of a discrete entity. One thought among others. At best its like a finger pointing at the moon at worst its a delusion likely to get us cast into a hell realm or just miss the point. This also means its something we experience so their is a kind of duality here. Observer and observed even if what's observed is a thought. All talk of oneness much include us and everything else. So if you want to see the buddhadharma you just need to open your eyes, smell the smells or feel the pain in

    For my own part I think these types of discussions can help set the stage for a kind of acceptance of our own intellectual limitations and encouraging a kind of surrender or "ceasing of struggling" or equanimity what have you. Just a kind of accepting the flow of the world. Its sort of like zazen where we just have to let things be. I don't think it means a kind of pessimism because we are part of the world as well so we can be a force for change. But it can help us to stop beating our heads against the wall and focus our energies on something that can help others.

    Does this make sense?

    When Thay offers a materialistic reading of interbeing its important to note that we occupy a relative size and duration to any other object. All the things we are connected to are also changing and "dieing" (or being undone.) But we don't notice it because the changes are usually very small in duration and size. We don't really notice it. I have more grey hair than I did 10 years ago. But I just kind of woke up one day and noticed then I forgot and probably noticed again at a later date. So the movement or change of buddha nature is always occurring but we don't see it because own brains are such that we see things are discrete entities. I'm pretty sure its how we can have abstract concepts like justice and "the state." Does this make sense to anyone?

    Anywho, these are some thoughts I had after I read the last few posts. If you have any criticism or comment I would appreciate it.

    Gassho,

    Sattoday
    Hoseki

  47. #47
    The Tao that can be told
    is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named
    is not the eternal Name.

    The unnamable is the eternally real.
    Naming is the origin
    of all particular things.


    [Tao Te Ching]

    Or in other words: Just sit


    Gassho,

    Daitetsu

    #sat2day
    no thing needs to be added

  48. #48

    Poetry, fiction, and essay. Out of the maddness of Pain

    What I shall assume, you shall assume, as every atom of me belonging to you. I sing of myself, I celebrate myself
    Walt Whitman

    Tai Shi
    sat lah Gassho
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 01-11-2020 at 01:32 AM.
    My apology for presumptions. I am human seeking Buddha, like/ Christ, like behavior, and I welcome all in Treeleaf who wish to walk beside me.

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