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Thread: Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 6 - P 81 to End

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  1. #1

    Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 6 - P 81 to End

    We will pick up where we dropped off ... from "Dropping Off Body and Mind."

    I think that what Okamura Roshi and Dogen's Teacher are talking about is not so hard to understand when we remember the completeness of Just Sitting with nothing to attain, all desires wrapped up and satisfied just to be sitting without wanting to be doing something else. Usually our self wants and desires, judges and demands. But in Zazen, all judgments and demands are put aside. All we want and desire is to be sitting this sitting. The body and mind are satisfied. Hopefully, the body is in a comfortable and balanced posture where we can "pay it no nevermind" (or, if we have some health issue, we can meet it with great equanimity). Denied its usually role of judging and complaining, the "self" is put out of a job for awhile.

    The result is that "Body and Mind drop from mind."

    There is also a wholeness and clarity in sitting such way, where the desires, frustrations, anger, dullness, distraction and doubt can be dropped away in the wholeness and ease of Just Sitting.

    Oh, there will be times that we are tired or distracted, frustrated or upset too ... and that is okay as well. Funny as it may seem, Zazen is so "complete" that we don't even demand to have some particular psychological experience from it each time. As I sometimes say, some days are clear ... some are cloudy, or even rainy ... but the sun is always shining, and the sky is clear, seen or unseen.

    As to the last lines he discussed about "a trace of realization that cannot be grasped," let me present a few alternative translations by other translators ...

    No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly (Tanahashi)

    [Then] we can forget the [mental] trace of realization, and show the [real] signs of forgotten realization continually, moment by moment. (Nishijima-Cross)

    All trace of enlightenment disappears, and this traceless enlightenment continues on without end.(Waddell & Abe)


    I take it to mean something like that this illumination and enlightenment becomes so natural and part of one, that one does not even need to notice.

    Anyway, please post any impressions of this section.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Not too much to add. I found Okamura Roshi's clothing analogy of interdependent origination and letting go of the clothing when sitting to be a good analogy for me.

    Gassho,
    Tyler

    SatToday

  3. #3
    Reading through the quote from Hokyoki I am struck by the comments about the Sravakas who are criticized for practicing only to improve themselves. I suspect that most everyone comes to this practice initially to improve themselves. It would be a truly unique individual who decides with no prior initiation to just sit believing it benefits others. I certainly came to this practice with an intention of being some better version of me. It is largely due to practice here that I’ve come to realize that I am not just here for selfish reasons.

    The whole discussion on clothes and the identification as an “American” or “Japanese”, “Buddhist” or “Christian” is interesting too. I was born and live in Canada. Canadians have a natural tendency to identify ourselves as “not American”. Particularly since Trump I have been trying to dissuade myself from thinking of us and them. It is an interesting exercise because we seem to be so very programmed to see the world through an us (whoever we are) vs them (who ever they are) lens. Cornavirus is a good example. It isn’t a Chinese problem. It is our problem. The virus doesn’t discriminate and neither should we.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    Reading through the quote from Hokyoki I am struck by the comments about the Sravakas who are criticized for practicing only to improve themselves. I suspect that most everyone comes to this practice initially to improve themselves. It would be a truly unique individual who decides with no prior initiation to just sit believing it benefits others. I certainly came to this practice with an intention of being some better version of me. It is largely due to practice here that I’ve come to realize that I am not just here for selfish reasons.
    I suppose it is a matter of not remaining so, and eventually turning toward helping all the other Sentient Beings, and oneself, as a good Bodhisattva.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    Reading through the quote from Hokyoki I am struck by the comments about the Sravakas who are criticized for practicing only to improve themselves. I suspect that most everyone comes to this practice initially to improve themselves. It would be a truly unique individual who decides with no prior initiation to just sit believing it benefits others. I certainly came to this practice with an intention of being some better version of me. It is largely due to practice here that I’ve come to realize that I am not just here for selfish reasons.

    The whole discussion on clothes and the identification as an “American” or “Japanese”, “Buddhist” or “Christian” is interesting too. I was born and live in Canada. Canadians have a natural tendency to identify ourselves as “not American”. Particularly since Trump I have been trying to dissuade myself from thinking of us and them. It is an interesting exercise because we seem to be so very programmed to see the world through an us (whoever we are) vs them (who ever they are) lens. Cornavirus is a good example. It isn’t a Chinese problem. It is our problem. The virus doesn’t discriminate and neither should we.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Hi,

    I think the nationality and identity stuff is part of thinking mind. We have to put labels on things so we can talk/think about them. But which labels are useful depends on the situation. to the American I'm a Canadian but to the Albertan I'm a Newfoundlander and to the townies I'm ... who cares what they think! (j/k) I'm pretty sure I recall you mentioning Wittgenstein one time and I think hes think of language as a set of tools analogy is very helpful here. When someone asks who or what I am I respond in the fashion I've been trained for. So when I ask myself who am I I'm trying to play that game by myself. In Zazen we stop playing language games and just kind of be with what is.

    Anyway just my thoughts on this when I read your post.

    An additional thought is about anatta. If everything that is pours into everything else then to work to improve your self is improving others as well.

    Gassho
    Hoseki
    Sattoday

  6. #6
    Would it be somewhat correct to say when we sit alone in a messy bedroom, or on a bus, or in a huge temple WE sit, i.e., all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas sit with us? (Yeah, and you, too, little jumping spider that I almost sat on)

    gassho
    doyu sat and lah today
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Doyū View Post
    Would it be somewhat correct to say when we sit alone in a messy bedroom, or on a bus, or in a huge temple WE sit, i.e., all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas sit with us? (Yeah, and you, too, little jumping spider that I almost sat on)
    When sitting down and when raising from the cushion, this is what I am bowing to.
    Dropping the boundaries of the Self, sitting as and with everything else.

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

  8. #8
    There's a commercial currently playing on UK TV asking where are you really from - is it where you were born? Where you grew up? Where your parents were from? The advertising agency seem to have unwittingly given us a good example of how the labels we give ourselves are relative and often random. It's actually a question I struggled to answer for many years as I moved around a lot as a kid then again as an adult with the army and the answer I gave really depended on the mood I was in.

    I struggled a little with the 'trace' section but I think Jundo's alternative translations make that a bit clearer. I think in my own practice I've had little glimpses of insight and have tried to chase them not understanding that the real practice is just sitting with whatever and opening the hand of thought. Have i got that right?

    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  9. #9
    Enjoyed this last chapter, although it has taken a couple of re-reads for things to sink in. I liked the analogy of having psychological 'clothing' that we remove during zazen. Can I just check my understanding? By not engaging with our thoughts during zazen we are no longer bound by the five desires and the six coverings. Removal of this 'clothing' is not the goal but the actual process of meditating. As soon as we think we are doing this, we are no longer free of the desires/coverings any more and no longer doing zazen. Any comments whether I've understood this correctly appreciated.
    Gassho
    Paul
    Sat today, lah

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulinLondon View Post
    Enjoyed this last chapter, although it has taken a couple of re-reads for things to sink in. I liked the analogy of having psychological 'clothing' that we remove during zazen. Can I just check my understanding? By not engaging with our thoughts during zazen we are no longer bound by the five desires and the six coverings. Removal of this 'clothing' is not the goal but the actual process of meditating. As soon as we think we are doing this, we are no longer free of the desires/coverings any more and no longer doing zazen. Any comments whether I've understood this correctly appreciated.
    Gassho
    Paul
    Sat today, lah
    I like this. When we are just sitting, untangled from thoughts, sitting in equanimity, with trust the wholeness and completion of sitting, we are naked and free from the five desires (for what we see, hear, taste etc.) and the five coverings (greed, anger, dullness. distraction, doubt). Sounds right.

    Of course, remember that we are always naked ... even inside our clothes! It is like I always say that "the sun is always shining and the sky clear and boundless, even on those days when hidden by clouds or stormy." There is no "bad Zazen," even on those days when the mind is messy and Zazen is bad!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    I would say that when we think we take off our "clothing" we actually put on a new label of "no clothing" and that needs to be dropped as well. Just my untrained thoughts on the matter.

    Gassho,
    Tyler

    SatToday

  12. #12
    There is no "Good Zazen" or "Bad Zazen" there's just "Your Zazen"

    kodo.jpg

    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    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
    Japanese, American, Canadian, police officer, nurse, construction worker. When we sit we sit as one.

    Different waves. Same ocean.


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

  14. #14
    I’ve been lurking lol, but I wanted to comment. I feel like this dropping body and mind and not trying to get something is a real deep principal of anything we do. I think we have to consciously decide to do something like sit or study something or workout or whatver, but after we set our intention toward whatever we do, we just go; we just do it; we just sit, we just lift or whatever it is. I feel if we try to attain something we may get what we set our sights on, but that is limiting; what if we just throw ourselves into it and not worry about anything other than the doing? that’s not only zazen on the cushion; I would argue that is the way of zen and life; we drop all of our thoughts and go wholehearted into whatever we do; just some thoughts from a lurker

    gassho

    risho
    -st

  15. #15
    Sometimes I feel that I have nothing more to add and just let the reading material (posts included) sink in.

    Gassho,
    Seibu
    Sattoday

  16. #16
    Okamura Roshi’s discussion of Zazen (dropping off of body and mind) and ignorance/wisdom really resonated with me. Zen always come back to Zazen when studying the Dharma and find the explanation of what interferes with Zazen (and life in general) very helpful. Gaining wisdom and eliminating ignorance, practicing Zazen for all beings and carrying that out into life, the point of my practice.

    Gassho,

    Ryoku

    ST/LAH

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