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Thread: "Simple Living" - Chapters 83 and 84

  1. #1

    "Simple Living" - Chapters 83 and 84

    Just jump in if joining, no "catch up" ... just today is today ...

    I will include chapter headings, as we discovered some differences between the US and UK editions regarding chapter order.

    Chapter 83 - Recognize That You Are Protected - Some people (I am one) may wish to take this section a bit less literally than it is described by Rev. Masuno. In such case, if feeling a little worried and anxious about something this week, just picture yourself figuratively being held in the palm of the universe, and try to trust that things will turn out well. Whether or not you take "being held by Buddha" literally, we Zen folks do know that we are ultimately protected.

    Chapter 84 - Be Positive - As an experiment, try to change your thoughts about the above worrying situation 180 degrees, directly opposite, if thinking negatively about some situation. Even do so as an actor acting if it seems unrealistic, and if it seems hard, try to do it anyway. If worried, resistant and sad about the situation, try to feel confident, accepting and happy about it ... even if it seems completely unrealistic to do so. See what happens as an experiment.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    PS - MY SPECIAL COMMENT ON CHAPTER 83, which some folks have some resistance to:

    Well, let me play the devil's ... or the Buddha's ... advocate a bit on that. I also found the good Rev. Masuno's description a bit hard to swallow if we mean a big "Buddha in the sky with pie when we die" who literally has hands to hold us and eyes looking down to see us.

    However, if taken to mean the concept of "Buddha" which is "Emptiness" or the "Dharmakaya" which is "holding us" (because such is our True Nature), and in which there is ultimately no death (no birth either ... like the wave on the sea which appears to rise and fall, but is just the water all along), no loss (because nothing left out) etc. ... then we are "protected" and "sheltered" and safely "held" by such (by such suchness).

    Such "Buddha" and "Emptiness" is basic Zen Buddhism 101, and our whole point in being here and practicing. If we are not "protected" in such way, then there is no point in being here to practice (and, trust me, there is a point to our being here and practicing).

    The folks who believe in "Amida Buddha" and the "Pure Land" who sometimes also are Zen Practitioners often blend the two ideas of "self power" and "other power" by noting that Amida/Pure Land is merely symbolic for Enlightenment and Emptiness. They also note that "self" and "other" are both dropped away in Emptiness, so in that way "our hands" or the "universe's hands" which reach out to rescue us are really where we have been (and what we have been) all along ... and further, there is no place in need of reaching, and ultimately, nobody in need of rescue!

    Perhaps the Buddha "sees" our suffering and rescues us when we "see" the Truth of Enlightenment, Emptiness, non-death etc. Heck, I even entertain that "our eyes" and "our hands" and "our brains" are "the universe" as much as are the stars and planets, seas and every other darn thing. So, when our eyes see, and our brains manifest compassion, that is precisely the universe seeing and manifesting compassion. When our heart is wise, it is not other than a wise universe or "Buddha."

    That's how I might approach the description. Does that help a little?
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-15-2020 at 02:41 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    I will try to do this.
    Thank you, Jundo.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  3. #3
    I have to admit I had a negative reaction to the wording of Chapter 83. Nevertheless Iíll try to take the spirit of this chapter with me.

    Chapter 84 is a great one.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  4. #4
    chapter 84 is a bit like the Hokey Pokey; turn yourself around and that's what it's all about.

    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

  5. #5
    Thank you Jundo, I enjoyed both chapters, in particular the reminder that while we may not have the power to change certain things we can control how we react.

    Gassho, Guille,
    Sat today


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    I have to admit I had a negative reaction to the wording of Chapter 83. Nevertheless I’ll try to take the spirit of this chapter with me.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Agree with this. #83 doesn't fly with me either because that is where belief comes into play. To me, assuming that I am protected by the Buddha or by the universe seems like a psychological effect to make someone feel safer, and I do recognize it can be powerful and helpful to someone. No offense to anyone believing but this protection idea is also found in several monotheistic belief systems, and I like to keep things tangible

    #84 is a wonderful exercise and I feel I can link it to Chapter 10 we discussed in Okumura's Realizing Genjokoan.

    Gassho
    Seibu
    Sattoday/lah

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Seibu View Post
    Agree with this. #83 doesn't fly with me either because that is where belief comes into play. To me, assuming that I am protected by the Buddha or by the universe seems like a psychological effect to make someone feel safer, and I do recognize it can be powerful and helpful to someone. No offense to anyone believing but this protection idea is also found in several monotheistic belief systems, and I like to keep things tangible
    Well, let me play the devil's ... or the Buddha's ... advocate a bit on that. I also found the good Rev. Masuno's description a bit hard to swallow if we mean a big "Buddha in the sky with pie when we die" who literally has hands to hold us and eyes looking down to see us.

    However, if taken to mean the concept of "Buddha" which is "Emptiness" or the "Dharmakaya" which is "holding us" (because such is our True Nature), and in which there is ultimately no death (no birth either ... like the wave on the sea which appears to rise and fall, but is just the water all along), no loss (because nothing left out) etc. ... then we are "protected" and "sheltered" and safely "held" by such (by such suchness).

    Such "Buddha" and "Emptiness" is basic Zen Buddhism 101, and our whole point in being here and practicing. If we are not "protected" in such way, then there is no point in being here to practice (and, trust me, there is a point to our being here and practicing).

    The folks who believe in "Amida Buddha" and the "Pure Land" who sometimes also are Zen Practitioners often blend the two ideas of "self power" and "other power" by noting that Amida/Pure Land is merely symbolic for Enlightenment and Emptiness. They also note that "self" and "other" are both dropped away in Emptiness, so in that way "our hands" or the "universe's hands" which reach out to rescue us are really where we have been (and what we have been) all along ... and further, there is no place in need of reaching, and ultimately, nobody in need of rescue!

    Perhaps the Buddha "sees" our suffering and rescues us when we "see" the Truth of Enlightenment, Emptiness, non-death etc. Heck, I even entertain that "our eyes" and "our hands" and "our brains" are "the universe" as much as are the stars and planets, seas and every other darn thing. So, when our eyes see, and our brains manifest compassion, that is precisely the universe seeing and manifesting compassion. When our heart is wise, it is not other than a wise universe or "Buddha."

    That's how I might approach the description. Does that help a little?

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-09-2020 at 12:39 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    However, if taken to mean the concept of "Buddha" which is "Emptiness" or the "Dharmakaya" which is "holding us" (because such is our True Nature), and in which there is ultimately no death (no birth either ... like the wave on the sea which appears to rise and fall, but is just the water all along), no loss (because nothing left out) etc. ... then we are "protected" and "sheltered" and safely "held" by such (by such suchness).

    ....

    That's how I might approach the description. Does that help a little?
    This is more consistent with my view so yes this helps.


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

  9. #9
    Thank you Roshi, that approach makes much more sense to me.

    Gassho
    Seibu
    Sattoday

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