Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 51 to 81 of 81

Thread: Informal Reading Group: REALIZING GENJOKOAN 2021 Edition Begins Week of 11 April 2021

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Nengei View Post
    2. Is my individual practice different from community practice? Should it be? How does Okumura answer this question?
    Okumura roshi uses the example of the Tenzo. When the cook is in the kitchen preparing the meals, that's his practice and his responsibility alone. No other person can do it for him. And yet, his practice affects all other members of the community since meals are for people to consume. That way his practice becomes the community's practice.
    As I see it, that's how it should be. My life is mine to live and no one can do the 'living' for me. But I am a social animal too. I live for others and others live for me. I am there to support people and I expect people to support me. I only wish I could see the more subtle ways of this truth. I feel one aspect of the self is hidden in it too. But then, that's why we practice zazen every day!

    Gassho, Nikolas
    Sat/Lah

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Nikos View Post
    Okumura roshi uses the example of the Tenzo. When the cook is in the kitchen preparing the meals, that's his practice and his responsibility alone. No other person can do it for him. And yet, his practice affects all other members of the community since meals are for people to consume. That way his practice becomes the community's practice.
    As I see it, that's how it should be. My life is mine to live and no one can do the 'living' for me. But I am a social animal too. I live for others and others live for me. I am there to support people and I expect people to support me. I only wish I could see the more subtle ways of this truth. I feel one aspect of the self is hidden in it too. But then, that's why we practice zazen every day!

    Gassho, Nikolas
    Sat/Lah
    I like that Nikolas

    Doshin
    St

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Nengei View Post
    1. Okumura offers a few different interpretations of kōan, and focuses most of his discussion on this portion of the word Genjōkōan. He suggests that Dōgen's choice of kanji implies meaning. Still, I wonder whether there was an individual meaning that was Dōgen's intention, or whether the collective meanings of this word are important. Or, maybe none of that matters because the greater meaning comes from context. Thoughts?
    While searching for Dogen's meaning is certainly one approach to a text, I'm not sure the fact an interpretation fits Dogen's meaning is ultimately the most important criteria. Interpretations are layered on the text by different commentators, and it seems that multi-layered approach creates both a poetic richness and many fingers pointing at the moon.

    2. Is my individual practice different from community practice? Should it be? How does Okumura answer this question?
    SN 47.19
    Trans by Bhante Sujato
    At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Sumbhas, near the town of the Sumbhas called Sedaka. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants:
    “Once upon a time, mendicants, an acrobat set up his bamboo pole and said to his apprentice Medakathālikā, ‘Come now, dear Medakathālikā, climb up the bamboo pole and stand on my shoulders.’
    ‘Yes, teacher,’ she replied. She climbed up the bamboo pole and stood on her teacher’s shoulders.
    Then the acrobat said to Medakathālikā, ‘You look after me, dear Medakathālikā, and I’ll look after you. That’s how, guarding and looking after each other, we’ll display our skill, collect our fee, and get down safely from the bamboo pole.’
    When he said this, Medakathālikā said to her teacher, ‘That’s not how it is, teacher! You should look after yourself, and I’ll look after myself. That’s how, guarding and looking after ourselves, we’ll display our skill, collect our fee, and get down safely from the bamboo pole.’
    That’s the way,” said the Buddha. “It’s just as Medakathālikā said to her teacher. Thinking ‘I’ll look after myself,’ you should cultivate mindfulness meditation. Thinking ‘I’ll look after others,’ you should cultivate mindfulness meditation. Looking after yourself, you look after others; and looking after others, you look after yourself.
    And how do you look after others by looking after yourself? By development, cultivation, and practice of meditation. And how do you look after yourself by looking after others? By acceptance, harmlessness, love, and sympathy.
    Thinking ‘I’ll look after myself,’ you should cultivate mindfulness meditation. Thinking ‘I’ll look after others,’ you should cultivate mindfulness meditation. Looking after yourself, you look after others; and looking after others, you look after yourself.”

    3. What are our particular struggles with "put[ting] aside our uniqueness" and "find[ing] the middle way" as discussed by Okumura, in our time and in our Sangha?
    Uniqueness has a dreary sameness. Toss it out with dirty dishwater, self, and other things that you are finished with.

    4. What is the self?
    What we threw out with uniqueness and dirty dishwater.

    5. Is enlightenment within this one word?
    Enlightenment is not found in words. Words are not found in enlightenment. But it's a devil of a challenge to give directions without words.

    Gassho, Jim
    ST/LaH

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by JimInBC; 04-21-2021 at 05:16 AM.
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  4. #54
    1. Okumura offers a few different interpretations of kōan, and focuses most of his discussion on this portion of the word Genjōkōan. He suggests that Dōgen's choice of kanji implies meaning. Still, I wonder whether there was an individual meaning that was Dōgen's intention, or whether the collective meanings of this word are important. Or, maybe none of that matters because the greater meaning comes from context. Thoughts?
    I think the various interpretations are important in highlighting what Dogen meant; of course, we'll never know for sure but I feel Okumura Roshi provides a very compelling case.

    2. Is my individual practice different from community practice? Should it be? How does Okumura answer this question?
    I don't think so; I like Jim's answer above. When we practice we aren't just practicing for ourselves. We must do the practice but it is not our own. When we truly practice zazen and try to live in accord with our precepts and bodhisattva vows, we automatically include everyone - not two; I know it sounds cliche but it's not. I was thinking about a daily gatha I started reciting during last ango when I make coffee, and it's a pattern I see in gathas in general. "Making morning coffee, I vow with all sentient beings..." or whatever it is, we vow with all sentient beings because we're all here together. I like Okumura's answer to this, we can't do whatever we want willy nilly. Although we can never fully uphold our vows, precepts or sit zazen properly, when we do try to do those things (by not separating from others) then we are doing them right even as we miss the mark and try again. So by necessity, all practice involves the sangha.

    3. What are our particular struggles with "put[ting] aside our uniqueness" and "find[ing] the middle way" as discussed by Okumura, in our time and in our Sangha?
    I would say if I don't understand something, I try not to just go along. I need to make sure I'm not giving up my responsibility in understanding the dharma by just agreeing; at the same time, I don't need to disrupt the sangha. It's a balance; old ego's die hard

    4. What is the self?
    The self can be viewed as our individual selves. It's real in a sense, but it's also something we create in our minds so we can make sense of the world. But it is only real in relationship to everything else; without anything to compare it against, it doesn't exist. So it is both real and not real in a way.


    5. Is enlightenment within this one word?
    Like any word or concept (including a "self") it's a pointer; it points to something, but it's much more than that and not contained within it or anything really. When you say a word, it has a definition, and definitions implicitly rely on comparison to explain the limits of what it is that is being defined. Without everything that it is not, it could not be said what it is. This is sort of related to the idea of a self. The idea of me, although I am here, only makes sense with relationship to everything else. I have no idea if that makes sense.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  5. #55
    Member Seikan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Massachusetts, United States
    Apologies for not commenting as of yet. Life has simply been a bit overwhelming as of late, but I am now caught up with the reading and ready to jump in.

    The various interpretations of "Koan" posed by Okumura are fascinating, but I feel that they ask more questions of me than they answer. I want to sit with this one a bit longer. I suspect that Dogen did not have one, narrow meaning of the term in mind when he used it. With Dogen, there always seems to be multiple sides to his words/teachings, which is what makes them so wonderfully simple and rich at the same time.

    Regarding individualism vs. collectivism, etc., I was floored by Okumura's hand analogy. I'm certain that I've heard/read that analogy before, but reading it again in this moment, it resonated far more deeply at this point in my practice. This is likely due to my having been spending more time as of late reading the Sandokai and considering the whole concept of the relative vs. the absolute. Okumura's hand analogy is a wonderful way to demonstrate how neither side of the coin is any "better" or any more "real" than they other. Reality is equally both (and neither) at the same time. I often simplify this to "not one, not two, both, and neither" (I definitely stole this from someone, but I can't recall where I may have seen it first).

    Using that same lens, I consider the "self":

    self = not one
    Self (capital "s") = not two
    self + Self = Self - self

    To truly understand, perhaps we need to take the square root of self.

    Thank you Nengei and all for the discussion so far. This is a wonderful opportunity to read and reflect with you all.

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  6. #56
    Thank you Seikan - your post jogged something about the community part of practice. In a way, all of life truly is a practice. We have to constantly do things in the face of the unknown. From that perspective, as I type on my computer and look around my apartment, all of me is here now because of community (the universe); I forgot where I read this (it is certainly not my original thought), but if you pay close attention it's as if the universe has intentionally conspired to bring me to this moment as I am now. This practice constantly takes me back to Gratitude; this is such a miracle, there is no other way I can put it. I certainly do not deserve any of it, so all I can do is take care of my piece (or "keep my lot" from Senne's translation of koan).

    One thing that I've noticed as a direct benefit of practice is that I sometimes feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude. I know I said it above, but practice has made me realize how miraculous it is that we are here at all. Just incredible.

    So maybe it's not like intentionally practicing to help others (although helping others isn't a bad thing); because we are so interrelated by taking care of ourselves we take care of everyone so the universe can conspire to bless them as well.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Last edited by Risho; 04-23-2021 at 06:57 PM.

  7. #57
    .1. Okumura offers a few different interpretations of kōan, and focuses most of his discussion on this portion of the word Genjōkōan. He suggests that Dōgen's choice of kanji implies meaning. Still, I wonder whether there was an individual meaning that was Dōgen's intention, or whether the collective meanings of this word are important. Or, maybe none of that matters because the greater meaning comes from context. Thoughts?
    First of all : deep bows of gratitude and hats off to all involved in translating Shobogenzo to English. Apparently it is rare in this world to come across Dharma teachings, how more rare to be able to read Dogen. As someone who grew up speaking only Polish, I'm reminded of my great fortune of being able to learn other languages and read good translations of Ancestors' works.
    Which brings me to a question : has Senne's and Kyogo's Gosho been translated into English or other languages? It would be a treasure.
    . 2. Is my individual practice different from community practice? Should it be? How does Okumura answer this question?
    Okumara's and Dogen's examples of individual and community practice is based on a Sangha that practices the same Dharma. Not only I don't have that experience but also I live in a mega city where the community is not as strong. I never really belonged anywhere, always felt like an outcast so here's the problem of uniquness and individuality. What I've noticed though is that my individual practice reflects on my immediate environment that has became more peaceful. Triggers, anger, stress that previously would have blown into something big, don't carry so much weight anymore and are easier to exstinguish before a spark becomes a flame. I also notice beauty in random people, where previously there often would be some sort of judgment. That little shift affects how I relate to others and I find those exchanges more valuable. Through my personal practice I am finding ways of how to be of service to others. Step by step, smile by smile.
    .4. What is the self?

    I only know what it's not.

    . 5. Is enlightenment within this one word?
    I think it's one of the best descriptions of enlightenment expressed in one word. Genjokoan. Not a particular state to achieve but an action, a practice that deepens with the realisation of Dharma, be it gradual or sudden. Expressing the absolute within and through the relative. Expressing timelessness through impermanence. A practice - enlightenment that seems impossible, yet we sit, chop the wood and carry the water.

    Gassho
    Sat

  8. #58
    Thanks Nengei for your questions, they made me go back and clarify my understanding of this chapter.

    Okumura's parsing of "genjokoan" provided a succinct shorthand of the meaning of both the term itself, and the work as a whole. I like that he opens the book this way, getting straight to the fundamental point of what Genjokoan is all about.

    One surprise for me is that I tend to think of form and emptiness, relative and absolute, in slightly grandiose terms - almost like cosmology and metaphysics; but Okumura adds that these can also be seen at a very personal level, in how our actions affect not only ourselves but others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Onkai View Post
    4. I’ve thought of the self as what is contained in my body and mind, but I’m learning to see that what I am is shaped by environment and circumstances and that what I do changes what is around me, becoming an extension of me, in a way. I trust the idea that I am the universe expressing itself as me, and that I express the universe, but I only get glimpses of that.
    I really liked Onkai's comment. I think maybe this is what is meant by "To study the Buddha Way is to study the self". That the "the self" extends out to encompass, and to be encompassed by, everyone and every thing. One of the most arresting parts of Genjokoan for me is the idea that enlightenment is not a mental state or an intellectual grasp of philosophical ideas, but rather a dynamic moment to moment living or manifesting of this middle way.

    Gassho,
    Kevin
    Sat Today

  9. #59
    “Heart Sutra emptiness is considered to be absolute truth in which there is no separation between the things of this world. For living beings, there are no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no hand, no nothing because this reality is just functioning without any fixed entity; it is empty. And as living beings we are interconnected completely, living with all other beings; we are all one whole, all living the same life. In this way the whole universe is just one thing, as five fingers are just one hand. Yet, eyes are eyes, a nose is a nose, a tongue is a tongue, and this person, Shohaku Okumura
    I don’t know how I missed this before. We chant The Heart Sutra regularly and we’ve studied it. I’ve struggled with the concept of “emptiness “ but now that I see emptiness as an expression of the absolute it suddenly all fell into place for me.

    Like many people here Tenzo Kyokun is an important text I revisit regularly

    In Tenzo-Kyōkun (Instructions for the Cook), for example, Dōgen said that as the cook of the community we have complete responsibility for the way we work, since our cooking is our own personal practice. Yet this personal practice is more than just a personal activity since it also has a function within the community.
    I reflect on this as I go about my daily tasks.

    Thank you all for your thoughts on this section. I really enjoy reading Okumura’s writing and your thoughts


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

  10. #60
    In Chap. 2, I was struck by how equality/universality and inequality/uniqueness were presented as complimentary versus conflicting, and how reality is really a combination of the two. I perceive the world through MY senses and therefore, see things as they relate to "me", the natural center of the universe. Yet, emptiness tells us that the "me" is only a construct of my mind, and dependent origination show how everything is connected. Seeing these seemingly opposing views as the Two Truths , and as simply different ways of looking at reality was a very powerful observation. It is definitely helping me to better understand the concept of "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" as a "merging of oneness and uniqueness". The hard part, for me, will be, as Dogen says "seeing the two sides as one action". I think the starting point here, again for me, is seeing my actions like the cook in the chapter - acting not only as an individual in preparing food, but also as a part of the community - namely, the middle way.

    Gassho

    Dick

    Sat/lah

  11. #61
    Informal Reading Group: REALIZING GENJOKOAN 2021 Edition WEEK 3, 25 April-1 May

    Dear Sangha, so many good ideas on the text of Realizing Genjōkōan so far. Thank you, and please keep up the good work. I am grateful for every one of your responses, but am refraining from commenting individually. My opinion on your work is like the opinion of an art critic: worthless!

    This week we are reading through page 46 in the paperback version. This includes chapter 3, Buddhist Teachings from Three Sources.

    Next week's portion will be the following chapter, through page 55 in the paperback, which is Chapter 4, Flowers Fall, Weeds Grow.

    Once you have read and considered this week's portion, please come back to this thread and comment. I will list some question ideas below. Again I will stress that these questions are not an assignment, and there are no certificates or gold stars for answering them. They are meant to evoke discussion, and you may (hopefully!) have your own questions.

    1. From reading Genjōkōan and Okumura's commentary, how does practice relate to dharma?

    2. Reflect on and discuss impermanence and emptiness as described by Okumura.

    3. Both Genjōkōan and the Heart Sutra could be considered fundamental to the paradigm of Sōtō Zen Buddhism. How does Okumura reconcile the seeming contradictions in these texts? How does Dōgen's statement about the nature of the Buddha Way help our understanding?

    4. What is practice?

    I look forward to your thoughts about Buddhist Teachings from Three Sources.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

  12. #62




    aprapti

    sat

    Let silence take you to the core of life (Rumi)


    Aprāpti (अप्राप्ति) non-attainment

  13. #63
    Thank you, Nengei, for continuing this discussion and moving it along. I think this reading shows how practice itself can become samsara, but also, whatever we throw ourselves into can be an attachment or seen as illustrating the nature of impermanence and no fixed being. In Treeleaf, especially, it is emphasized that all of life is our practice. Re-reading this chapter put that in a new perspective for me.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/lah
    On (Warm)
    Kai (Sea)

  14. #64
    Thank you! This has been a very good discussion.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  15. #65
    4. What is practice?

    What is Practice
    Practice is What
    What's That?
    That's What!

    Gassho
    Meishin
    SatTodayLAH

  16. #66
    Chap3. gave me a lot to chew on. The concept of “samsara” has always troubled me, because it quickly evolves into the difficult concepts of rebirth and the associated realms of rebirth. Okumura provides a different view on this by seeing samsara as simply daily emotional ups and downs, moment by moment, and by seeing the realms of rebirth as simply momentary emotional states – sometimes we are in heaven, sometimes we are in hell. This makes me see rebirth as not an “after death” event, but rather as a moment-by-moment change. The idea of “opening the hand of thought” was especially powerful to me. It lets me see zazen as not attempting to achieve anything, but rather just observe things as they are. The phrase “scenery of life” is staying with me as a reminder to simply accept the ups and downs of life. Dogen’s “Buddha’s Way” seems to say the same thing with simple acceptance of what is happening in life without any analysis or judgement. What most struck me in Chap 3. Was the statement “… When we just open the hand of thought and face whatever we are facing, we can truly find peace. We don’t need to escape and go somewhere else; we just live right now, right here, with mindfulness. This is how we can find a way to live in nirvana within samsara.”

    Gassho

    Dick

    Sat/lah

  17. #67
    I'm still going through this chapter, it's dense.
    A question for you : has practice helped to bring to light your own delusions, projections, certain patterns? How did that feel to you?
    I'm constantly discovering unpleasant things about how I function in relation to others, and this annoying need to Know, that only creates concepts and more delusions...

    Turns out that I don't understand Zen. I thought that "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" and even "form is form, emptiness is emptiness" means inseparable play of matter and consciousness. But apparently according to Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu the only thing that exists is consciousness and matter is delusion. A hermit's quote from the movie "Among the white clouds" struck me hard. When asked if nature supports his practice he replied something in those lines: "There's no nature. Nature is delusion, delusion is nature."
    Now I'll be digging in Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu, so expect some silly questions soon on the forum

    Gassho
    Sat
    Last edited by Inshin; 04-30-2021 at 01:57 PM.

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Inshin View Post

    Turns out that I don't understand Zen. I thought that "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" and even "form is form, emptiness is emptiness" means inseparable play of matter and consciousness. But apparently according to Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu the only thing that exists is consciousness and matter is delusion. A hermit's quote from the movie "Among the white clouds" struck me hard. When asked if nature supports his practice he replied something in those lines: "There's no nature. Nature is delusion, delusion is nature."
    Now I'll be digging in Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu, so expect some silly questions soon on the forum
    Been avoiding to jump in here, but perhaps this has a few misunderstandings.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #69
    Okumura writes “…often we fear the loss of everything that our happiness depends upon. And since other people want to have happiness or success, life becomes a competition with others. If we are happy, others may try to take our happiness from us in order to gain their own happiness. Competition makes society a realm of the fighting spirits (asuras) in which some people are happy and some are unhappy.”

    Capitalism, at least American-style Capitalism is based on competition. The question becomes – Is Buddhism compatible with American-style Captailism? Is Buddhism compatible with American culture? If not, how do we live a Buddhist life within a Capitalist society? Perhaps, that is the challenge.

    Gassho

    Dick

    Sat/lah

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Dick View Post
    Okumura writes “…often we fear the loss of everything that our happiness depends upon. And since other people want to have happiness or success, life becomes a competition with others. If we are happy, others may try to take our happiness from us in order to gain their own happiness. Competition makes society a realm of the fighting spirits (asuras) in which some people are happy and some are unhappy.”

    Capitalism, at least American-style Capitalism is based on competition. The question becomes – Is Buddhism compatible with American-style Captailism? Is Buddhism compatible with American culture? If not, how do we live a Buddhist life within a Capitalist society? Perhaps, that is the challenge.

    Gassho

    Dick

    Sat/lah
    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcas...=1000490050932

    gassho

    risho
    -stlah

  21. #71
    For the past 1/2 year or so I have made reciting the Heart Sutra a key part of my daily practice. I end up reciting it several times a day. I am certainly very glad to have built up that familiarity with it given the focus Okumura puts on it in the chapter.

    Too many good little nuggets in this section to quote any one as key.

    What is practice?

    Often in Zen readings we encounter the conjunction life-practice. There isn’t any obvious English word that covers this concept. Okumura and Dogen really stress this. Life is practice and practice is life. Not two. Sitting is Zazen is practice but so is cutting the grass, going to the toilet, talking a walk, sitting with a sick friend etc. I try to keep this in mind throughout my day.

    Thank you all for your thoughts on this chapter


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

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Nengei View Post
    This week we are reading through page 21 in the paperback version. This includes chapter 2, "The Meaning of "Genjōkōan." For me, the first paragraphs of this chapter set me up to think that the chapter will be as dry as sand in a desert. It's not that way at all, though! Okumura's exploration of the meaning of the word Genjōkōan is rich with teaching. Parts of this chapter are some of my favorite in the book. I hope that you find it so, as well.
    I am joining this reading late. I'm currently reading chapter 2 and enjoying the discussion on the meaning of the kanjis in Genjōkōan. I did not expect to find this part of the book so interesting at all, like Nengei said, it is not dry but very fascinating. Then, I look forward to reading through your discussions on the topic, as I did for chapter 1. I hope to catch up to where you are all at, but if I don't catch up, I just want to say now I'm happy to have been inspired by this group to start this reading


    Charity
    sat

  23. #73
    Informal Reading Group: REALIZING GENJOKOAN 2021 Edition WEEK 4, 2 May - 8 May

    Dear Sangha, it is enriching to be able to read your insights on this text. Thank you for participating in this endeavor, no matter where you are in your reading. As I enjoy your comments, my old
    and burdensome teacher habits start kicking in. "Right or wrong?" "Did they read the text or are they commenting from some other position?" Recognizing my teacher-self, I smile and sit back. Not today, professor. The only journey for me to reflect on is my own. I give no As. I give no Fs. I learn from you. I can chase after the 10,000 things, or I can immerse myself in them as they float toward me.

    This coming week we will read through page 55 in the paperback version, chapter 4, Flowers Fall, Weeds Grow. What a rich chapter this is! I hope that you are able to savor it slowly, and to gently contemplate its ideas. It can be like hammering a nail, or like a flower unfolding, opening up to reflect the soft light.

    Once you have read and considered this week's portion, please come back to this thread and comment. I will list some question ideas below. These questions are not an assignment, and there are no certificates or gold stars for answering them. They are meant to evoke discussion, and you may (hopefully!) have your own questions. I liked some of the questions that were posted in the last week.

    Questions for Chapter 4: Flowers Fall, Weeds Grow

    1. What are weeds? When is the weeding finished? What makes one flower a weed, and another something to cultivate and invest in?

    2. What baggage am I carrying when I hear or see the word emptiness? In other words, what am I assigning to this term before I begin to consider this concept in the context of Zen?

    3. Okumura goes to great lengths to get us all on the same page with the concept of mayoi, delusion, and there is a lot of great advice in this section. Apply this to Master Dogen's words: Conveying oneself toward all things... ...through the self is realization. What do you find in these two, brief sentences?

    4. Practice and enlightenment are one, says Dogen. What is practice?

    I look forward to your thoughts about Flowers Fall, Weeds Grow. Next week, we will continue with the following chapter, through page 73 in the paperback, which is Chapter 5, Realization Beyond Realization.


    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

  24. #74
    Member Seikan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Massachusetts, United States
    Thank you Nengei and all for keeping this excellent discussion moving along. I've fallen behind in the reading due to an unexpectedly busy couple of weeks, but I'll do my best to catch up this week as I am very much enjoying the reading/discussion.

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  25. #75
    I'm still back on last week. That was a big and pretty amazing chapter. I don't even know where to start so I'm not going to say much - just mention a couple of personal impressions (I don't claim to be accurately presenting Okumura's views here):
    * Enlightenment and practice as moment to moment living (action or manifestation) - not a state of mind, not obtained by study, not a cure for life's ups and downs
    (tension here, since Okumura's presentation is extremely good and the feeling of "getting it" from his words could in fact be an impediment to practice?)
    * The morality of "emptiness" (specifically, "lack of independent existence") - the need to live well with others because of being both a product of and a creator of our environments

    Gassho,
    Kevin
    ST

  26. #76
    Friendships and community are flowers. Sickness and dying are weeds. In reading this chapter, it occurred to me that as I am a part of everything and everything is a part of me, I will be carried on through the myriad things regardless of what I do and it may be misguided to strive to leave a legacy I control. "All things coming and carrying practice-enlightenment through the self is realization," may be a key source of creativity. These are what this chapter leads me to reflect on.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/lah
    On (Warm)
    Kai (Sea)

  27. #77
    "as long as we are alive, we exist only within relationship to everything that we encounter in our lives."

    I think this quote struck me most when I first read "Realising Genjokoan" and since then my concern is not who I want to be in life, but how do I relate to everything and everyone in my life. I don't think there is a single enlightened person in this world, rather there's enlightened activity unfolding through. If this "I" is what wants to practice, wants to sit Zazen, wants Satori then this "I" will always be in the way. It's only when this "I" lessens its grip on things, when it drops completely then the practice - enlightenment can unfold itself. That's how I understand "Conveying oneself toward all things to carry out practice - enlightenment is delusion. All things coming and carrying out practice - enlightenment through the self is realisation."
    Yet we root our practice in delusion and we continue even after we're able to realise the true nature of things, because
    "delusion is not some fixed thing within our minds that, if eliminated, will be replaced by enlightenment".


    Gassho
    Sat

  28. #78
    "All things coming and carrying out practice-enlightenment through the self is realization."

    Probably my favorite quote from this chapter. For a long time I thought I could "practice" life and zen alone, but lately I see again and again how wrong this idea is.

    Gassho, Nikolas
    Sat/Lah
    Last edited by Nikos; 05-07-2021 at 05:33 PM.

  29. #79
    Flowers fall even though we love them and weeds grow even though we dislike them
    is one of the classic quotes from Genjokoan and one I come back to often because it is such a vivid statement about how our preferences influence our perspectives and actions. I garden and because my house is on a corner lot I have large plot of land to care for. When I moved into the neighborhood 20+ years ago Canada still allowed for the use of harsh herbicides. Many people in pursuit of that ideal lawn used herbicides. More than 15 years ago the domestic use of herbicide was prohibited. Over time the lawns have all become more naturalized. Clover is one ground cover that is divisive. Some people don’t like it because it isn’t grass but others like me actually seed it into our lawns because it is beneficial to both the health of the lawn but also to the pollenating bees etc. For some clover is a weed to be eradicated. For others clover is desirable. It is just perspective. The clover is just clover. How we view it determines whether we see it as good or bad.

    Thank you all for your perspectives on this chapter.


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

  30. #80
    Inshin and Nikos beat me to those quotes. Here's another one in a similar vein that I really liked:

    Our lives are the intersection of self and all things
    Nengei, thanks for your questions:
    4. Practice and enlightenment are one, says Dogen. What is practice?
    At a mundane level it's just me sitting (and only sitting) in silence and remaining open (as Okumuru repeats here "Opening the hand of thought"). At a more sacred level (say) it is a moment of communion at that intersection point between my subjective self and all of reality.

    I'm still not all that clear on how the sense fields are "prajna" ("wisdom that sees wisdom" - seems to imply that truth is perceived through the sense but I thought elsewhere that enlightenment was not sensory or intellectual?)

    Also, curious as to why Dogen adds "in realization" to this (maybe it's because at some level we are already enlightened?)

    Those who are greatly deluded in realization are living beings
    Gassho,
    Kevin
    STLAH

  31. #81
    That's because we are already enlightened , but we have to manifest that enlightenment in our lives; these aren't my words - just paraphrasing; Dogen's hallmark is that all of our life is sacred because all of our life is an opportunity to practice; practice and enlightenment are the same thing. I'm currently reading "Circle of the Way" by Barbara O'brien - to reiterate Jundo and Kirk (from the podcast) it is very good. It seems Dogen got sick and tired of lazy practitioners and made the focus back on practice again, which really led to a revitalization of zazen, which is why Soto is so popular along with Dogen today.

    "nothing is hidden" and there is no where to seek for what you already have, but to realize that you need to really engage with your life to see that even dirty diapers (which I'm now very accustomed ) is the great matter itself. This is why I love zazen; it isn't an escape, it's a practical engagement with our miraculous, crazy short wild ride on this planet.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Last edited by Risho; Yesterday at 10:12 PM.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •