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

  1. #101
    I really liked Charity's comment "...by seeking we are trying to control things, but our sense of being a fixed person who controls a changing world is a delusion..." You are right - I often see myself as a fixed being in a changing universe, as the fixed point around which everything changing revolves. This reminds me how delusional this is. Thanks

    Gassho

    Dick

    Sat/lah

  2. #102
    What is the importance of "the concrete life experience of practice?"


    It's crucial, isn't it? The embodiment of Buddha's teachings. He showed us the path, and we only can use his teachings as signposts. The true practice is us embodying the Dharma, through our bodies.

    Is enlightenment dependent on recognizing delusion (On the philosophical level of: Are we born having sinned? Do the ultimate rewards of faith come from faith alone, or are good works required?)?
    I think that enlightenment is dependent on realising our true nature, and that delusion exists within this true nature - they are not separate. We are born with true nature and delusion, I don't believe in original sin.
    Faith is not enough, we need to cultivate compassion and good deeds are required to dissolve chains of self absorption.

    Why do you do Zazen?
    After sitting every day for nearly a year I have actually stopped doing zazen for about 2 weeks (with occasional sitting here and there as opposed to aiming for 2 hrs per day) to see what happens, to check if I haven't become a bit to preoccupied with the practice, attached somehow and to re-evaluate my motivation.
    I can't put it into words but in that period it felt sometimes like if Zazen was seeking Zazen during my daily activities. I would sometimes naturally fall into this accepting, observing spaciousness. I'm back to my regular routine now, I've missed it. I thought I knew why I did Zazen before, now I'm not sure anymore. It just feels right, even if the stuff arising during Zazen is "not right".

    Does the bell make the sound, or does the wind make the sound?
    "Ding-dong-a-ling ding-dong"
    "Does the sound exist even if no one hears it?"


    Gassho
    Sat

  3. #103
    Onkai and Seikan nailed it. I find it hard to comment on the readings because there are many ďah haĒ moments that I just canít even begin to express in better words than those Okumura used. Plenty to sit with.

    Why do I sit Zazen? No question that initially it was to gain something. Enlightenment? Peace? Calm? Yes and more. Now? Well honestly I am not so sure anymore why I sit. It has become a habitual part of my day. Having said that it is also a (usually) enjoyable part of my day that I look forward to.

    Thank you all for your thoughts.

    Side note: I like the pace we are reading the book at. Not too fast and not too slow.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  4. #104
    Great discussion happening here, folks! You are going to get a couple of extra days before the next chapter post as I am working ten days in a row, long shifts. I'm off on Tuesday so should have your next set of discussion questions sometime on that day.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

  5. #105


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

  6. #106
    Informal Reading Group: REALIZING GENJOKOAN 2021 Edition WEEK 8, 20 June - 26 June


    Dear Sangha, okay, break's over. My apologies for the delay in continuing our discussion of this excellent text. I have been overwhelmingly busy as I am retiring from a 30-year career in nursing today, and preparing to open an art school in a couple of months.

    This week we will move on to Chapter 8: Past and Future are Cut Off. This will take us through page 126 in the paperback; all of chapter 8 if you are using the ebook. The section of Genjōkōan being consider has a heavy message of now-ness: As the firewood never becomes firewood again after it has burned to ash, there is no return to living after a person dies.

    Once you have read and considered this week's portion, please come back to this thread and comment. Below are some ideas for questions to think about as your read, and perhaps to stimulate the conversation and posts. These are questions that came to me while reading the chapter; perhaps other ideas will come to you and you will share them with us. Even if you don't comment about the text, it would be nice to simply post that you are reading along.

    Questions for Chapter 8:Past and Future are Cut Off:

    1. What are your thoughts about past, present, and future after reading this chapter?

    2. What transmigrates? Should we care?

    3. What are we assured of, when our practice is facing our own life and death?

    I look forward to your thoughts about Past and Future are Cut Off. Next week, we will continue with the following chapter, through page 142 in the paperback, which is Chapter 9, The Moon in Water.


    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

  7. #107
    Thank you, Nengei, and everyone here. I tried jotting down notes about what this chapter brought up for me and my associations, but my notes read like the gibberish of trying to write down the contents of a dream. The only thing I noted that really made sense was that the last part, "Life, Death, and Time" was a lesson in for me and changed my focus. The best I can express it is that it made me see how immediate practice and the present moment are, and yet how ungraspable. I want to dwell on it more, including Uchiyama Roshi's poems.

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

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