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Thread: Equanimity and a Grandmother's Heart.

  1. #1

    Equanimity and a Grandmother's Heart.

    I offer this beautiful teaching from Roshi Joan Halifax about how to encourage equanimity and the Grandmother's Heart we all have inside. While I was unaware of the phrase 'Grandmother's Heart', I've long considered equanimity to be one of the greatest gifts that this path has to offer.
    https://www.upaya.org/2020/09/equani...eid=0d48757f37

    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    I offer this beautiful teaching from Roshi Joan Halifax about how to encourage equanimity and the Grandmother's Heart we all have inside. While I was unaware of the phrase 'Grandmother's Heart', I've long considered equanimity to be one of the greatest gifts that this path has to offer.
    https://www.upaya.org/2020/09/equani...eid=0d48757f37

    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah


    Gassho Sat

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    I offer this beautiful teaching from Roshi Joan Halifax about how to encourage equanimity and the Grandmother's Heart we all have inside. While I was unaware of the phrase 'Grandmother's Heart', I've long considered equanimity to be one of the greatest gifts that this path has to offer.
    https://www.upaya.org/2020/09/equani...eid=0d48757f37

    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    Thank you, Meitou. This is very timely and beautiful. I’ve heard of this reference once before but would like to know more about it. The tea cake lady is a wonderful image. (Sorry-extra sentence.)
    Gassho,
    Krista
    st

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by KristaB View Post
    Thank you, Meitou. This is very timely and beautiful. I’ve heard of this reference once before but would like to know more about it. The tea cake lady is a wonderful image. (Sorry-extra sentence.)
    Gassho,
    Krista
    st
    Krista if you are interested in stories of old ladies of no rank selling rice cakes by the side of the road giving young monks something to think about, I can recommend The Hidden Lamp ed by Florence Caplow, it's a great book https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Lamp-T...bb_marketplace
    In the meantime, I'm hoping a more knowledgeable Dogenist than me can point to some of his references to Grandmother's Heart.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  5. #5
    Thanks for that, Meitou.
    No Dogenist here, but I came across "robai-shin", grandmother mind in an article by Susan Moon after you made me google about it ;-)
    https://www.lionsroar.com/grandmother-mind/

    and also on an AZA page:
    With Grandmother's Mind

    As told by Taisen Deshimaru Roshi

    Tetsu was taught by Master Dogen. He was young, intelligent, good zazen, good samu. Later he became the third Patriarch of Eihei-ji. Tetsu was "perfect" and very capable: sutra, posture, zazen, comportment, everything was very good.

    But he had one week point: he didn't yet have robai-shin ("grandmother-mind"), the mind of grandmotherly compassion, and so he could not truly follow the cosmic order.

    Dogen, just a little while before his death, told him this:

    "You understand all of Buddhism, but you cannot go beyond your abilities and your intelligence. You must have robai-shin, the mind of great compassion. This compassion must help all of humanity. You should not think only of yourself."

    We have in us this mind, neither rare nor special, of Buddha. We should believe in it, unconsciously, naturally, automatically. This is true faith. Ourselves and Buddha are not separate.

    It is necessary to go beyond the power of Buddha or God. This is to lose one's ego and have the mind of compassion. But this doesn't come from intelligence, ability or knowledge.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    Krista if you are interested in stories of old ladies of no rank selling rice cakes by the side of the road giving young monks something to think about, I can recommend The Hidden Lamp ed by Florence Caplow, it's a great book https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Lamp-T...bb_marketplace
    In the meantime, I'm hoping a more knowledgeable Dogenist than me can point to some of his references to Grandmother's Heart.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    Wonderful! Thank you!
    Gassho,
    Krista
    st

  7. #7
    The more common expression that Dogen used is "ro-shin," or "parental mind."

    In his “Instructions to the Cook,” Dogen, the Japanese founder of the Soto Zen school, wrote that someone working to benefit others should maintain three minds: magnanimous mind (daishin), parental mind (roshin), and joyful mind (kishin).

    Magnanimous mind (or “big mind”) means, according to Dogen, “being unprejudiced and refusing to take sides.” In other words, magnanimous mind is not swayed by biases or preferences. Cooks with magnanimous mind work with the ingredients they have, not the ones they wish they had. What’s there is always enough.

    Parental mind (literally “old mind”) takes great care with whatever, and whomever, one encounters, not distinguishing between self and other. Unforgettably, Dogen instructs cooks to handle ingredients “as if they were their own eyes.”

    Joyful mind is the mind of gratitude for what is. The cook sees the opportunity to feed and serve others not simply as a job but as an opportunity. With that view the cook finds a joy that is not conditional—it arises from the vow to benefit others and doesn’t depend on things going right or fade when things go wrong.
    He wrote in Tenzo Kyokun (Instructions for the Cook) ...

    A "motherly heart" is a heart which maintains the Three Jewels as a parent cares for a child. A parent raises a child with deep love, regardless of poverty or difficulties. Their hearts cannot be understood by another; only a parent can understand it. A parent protects their child from heat or cold before worrying about whether they themselves are hot or cold. This kind of care can only be understood by those who have given rise to it and realized only by those who practice it. This, brought to its fullest, is how you must care for water and rice, as though they were your own children.

    The Great Master Sakyamuni offered to us the final twenty years of his own lifetime to protect us through these days of decline. What is this other than the exertion of this "parental heart"? The Thus Come One did not do this hoping to get something out of it but sheerly out of munificence.
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Thanks Kotei and Jundo. I had just read about parental mind but didn't make the connection. I think Grandmother's heart probably spoke to me more.
    Graat info, thanks.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  9. #9
    Hi all

    That is a lovely article. Thank you for sharing, Meitou! And also for your link, Kotei.

    I am only a beginner Dōgenologist but a venerable researcher of internet information!

    As Kotei unearthed, it seems that this association with Dōgen talking about Grandmotherly Mind was recorded by his disciple Tettsū Gikai (1219–1309) in his own writing, Eihei Kaisan Gōyuigon Kiroku (Record of the Final Sayings of the Founder Eihei).

    This is from Taigen Dan Leighton's introduction to his translation (together with Shohaku Okumura) of Eihei Kōroku (Dōgen's Extensive Record):

    According to a work written by Gikai himself, Eihei Kaisan Gōyuigon Kiroku (Record of the Final Sayings of the Founder Eihei), Koun Ejō and Tettsū Gikai nursed Dōgen during his final illness. Dōgen considered giving transmission to Gikai, who was very capable and diligent, but Dōgen told Gikai a few times that he did not yet have sufficient compassionate “grandmotherly mind.” After Dōgen's passing, Koun Ejō did eventually give transmission to Gikai in 1255 after Gikai finally declared his realization of the truth of Dōgen's teaching that “the manners and dignified conduct in the monastery are exactly the true Buddha Dharma.” Dōgen's emphasis on attentive conduct in everyday activities is frequently expressed in his teachings to the monks in Eihei Kōroku. Apparently Gikai's “grandmotherly mind” could not be activated until he had thoroughly accepted the necessity for this attention to responsible conduct, superseding his previous Daruma shū understanding of all activity as already inherently Dharma.
    Apologies for needing more than three sentences to convey this.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Hi all

    That is a lovely article. Thank you for sharing, Meitou! And also for your link, Kotei.

    I am only a beginner Dōgenologist but a venerable researcher of internet information!

    As Kotei unearthed, it seems that this association with Dōgen talking about Grandmotherly Mind was recorded by his disciple Tettsū Gikai (12191309) in his own writing, Eihei Kaisan Gōyuigon Kiroku (Record of the Final Sayings of the Founder Eihei).

    This is from Taigen Dan Leighton's introduction to his translation (together with Shohaku Okumura) of Eihei Kōroku (Dōgen's Extensive Record):



    Apologies for needing more than three sentences to convey this.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    This is a nice accompaniment to our Precepts study!

    Thank you Meitou for this teaching

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  11. #11
    Thank you, Jundo and Kokuu!
    Gassho,
    Krista
    st

  12. #12
    I felt touched reading Dogen's description of parental mind in Tenzo kyokun. It can often seem that a female sensitivity is missing in these ancient accounts that are very patriarchal but I think the story goes that Dogen was very attached to his own mother who died when he was young - even if myth its refreshing to feel that the power and selfless love of a parent/grandparent and particularly mother/grandmother found its way into his teaching as metaphor for attentiveness.

    Gassho

    Jinyo

    Sat today

  13. #13
    Thank you for linking this article Meitou.

    I agree with your comment of equanimity being a wonderful gift from this practice.


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

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