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Thread: Practice-Enlightenment

  1. #1

    Practice-Enlightenment

    Vital to Master Dogen, vital to Soto Practice, as vital as Zazen and, truly, just Zazen in motion all through life ...

    Practice-Enlightenment: We are already enlightened, yet we must manifest this on and off the cushion. It is NOT that "since we’re already enlightened, there’s no need to practice." Rather, since we are already enlightened, we must put that fact into practice, make it appear and shine, or else it is hidden under greed, anger and ignorance. A Buddha cannot help but put such fact into practice.

    Dogen might say that the enlightened know that this world of greed anger and ignorance is ALREADY Buddha, already enlightened, always has been and is right now, but to know that fact one must free oneself of greed anger and ignorance in living. Samsara is Nirvana, but one must manifest a Buddha's acts words and thoughts in our own acts words and thoughts. It is like in the Lotus Sutra, having a jewel sewn into one's pocket all along, but thinking oneself poor. For those who know, the jewel is present and shines, always has been.

    On the other hand, although this world of greed anger and ignorance is already Buddha, already enlightened, always has been and is right now, the ignorant do not know such fact because they are covered in greed anger and ignorance. Nirvana is Samsara, but most do not know because lost in Samsara, failing to manifest Buddha in their twisted acts words and thoughts. They are the jewel too, as much as the others, but do not know and do not see, thus hiding it further in their excess desire, anger, jealousy and all the rest. The jewel is present and shines, always has been but they do not know or show it.

    When we act with the dignified behavior of a Buddha, we realize that all the trees and stars, all other sentient beings, all the days of ups and down, all the world and the kitchen sink and then some, all of this is also flowing with the dignified behavior of Buddha.

    Nor is this true simply in Zazen on the cushion. Dogen was about the "dignified behavior of a Buddha" in all of our day, from waking to sleeping, cooking to shitting. One the cushion, however, Buddha manifests in the simple act of crossing the legs, not one more thing to say or do.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-21-2021 at 04:04 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Gassho

    Horin

    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi BLA-L29 mediante Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo


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

  4. #4
    Member Hōkan's Avatar
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    Please forgive my ignorance but what is the "dignified behavior of a Buddha"?

    Googling the phrase produced only two hits, both very interesting and both Dōgen related but, other than suggesting "continuous practice" didn't clarify the meaning for me.

    One of the hits was the Roberts book "Being-Time" and it referenced Shobogenzo Gyōbutsu-yuigi so I read that.

    There was this:
    “My original practice,” even if one track of iron for ten thousand miles, is also to abandon [all things] for a hundred years, letting them be vertical or horizontal.
    But then,
    We should not utilize consideration by the mind to grope for or to analogize dignified behavior...
    I get the impression that he doesn't want to tell me, that I should figure it out myself.

    Dōgen is hard for me to dance with. Rather than dancing with me, he just wants to take me out back and beat me up.


    I sat this morning.
    --
    Hōkan at the Crooked House by Wonderland Park in Longfellow, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Hōkan = 法閑 = Dharma Serenity
    To be entirely clear, I am not a hōkan = 幇間 = taikomochi = geisha, but I do wonder if my preceptor was having a bit of fun with me...

  5. #5
    Thank you Jundo

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Last edited by Risho; 05-21-2021 at 08:25 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hōkan View Post
    Please forgive my ignorance but what is the "dignified behavior of a Buddha"?
    Hi Hokan,

    Off the cushion, Dogen prescribed an attitude toward daily behavior for his monks where ordinary actions are known as sacred doings, done with balance and grace, free of greed, anger and ignorance. His Tenzo Kyokun on cooking is an excellent example, but he wrote likewise about little rituals and attitudes for waking and going to sleep, washing and going to the toilet, and really all a monk's day. Zazen does not end on the cushion. I summarize this as "the dignified behavior of a Buddha" from his essay Gyöbutsu-ligi (The Dignified Deeds of the Buddhas). Dogen scholar Yuho Yokoi summarizes it like this:

    The gyöbutsu mean the practising Buddhas. They are true men who practise the Way with the whole body and mind. True men are enlightened persons who behave themselves freely in the realm beyond enlightenment and practice. In this sense, the butus (Buddhas) are the gyö (practice) and vice versa. The iigi mean the dignified behaviors. However, behaviors are deeds. Therefore, the gyöbutsu-iigi mean the dignified gyöbutsu. It is because they practise the Way endlessly in their daily life, that they maintain their dignity ... in the eternal 'now' this function penetrates not only the whole universe but also our daily deed, such as a sound of breaking wind or a smell of excrement. But the whole universe includes all things, so the meditation hall, the Buddha hall, the temple kitchen and the main gate are all the glorious light of the gyöbutsu ... .
    Examples are this statement from Tenzo Kyokun on cooking ...

    Acts of reverence, in each such instance of serving offerings, are polite and sincere. Beings in the heavens above and in the human world, by employing the most respectful courtesies and by showing their reverence with the most honorific words, are well able to make preparations for the service of meals and other offerings. This has profound meaning. Now, even though we are deep in remote mountains, we should directly receive the authentic transmission of the polite manners and words of a temple kitchen. This, in the heavens above or in the human world, is to learn the Buddha-Dharma.

    ...


    When the midday meal or morning gruel has been properly prepared and placed on the table, the cook dons his kesa [formal Buddhist robe], spreads his sitting cloth, faces the sangha hall [where the monks eat], burns incense and makes nine prostrations. Upon finishing his prostrations, he sends the food [to the monks’ hall].
    ... or this on going to the toilet, washing the face and brushing the teeth [they used a willow twig back then]:

    In the place of truth of a Buddhist patriarch, this dignified behavior is always done, and people in the place of truth of a Buddhist patriarch are always equipped with this dignified behavior. It is not our own intentional effort; it is the natural expression of dignified behavior itself. It is the usual behavior of the buddhas and the everyday life of the patriarchs. It is [buddha-behavior] not only of buddhas in this world: it is buddha-behavior throughout the ten directions; it is buddha-behavior in the Pure Land and in impure lands. People of scant knowledge do not think that buddhas have dignified behavior in the toilet, and they do not think that the dignified behavior of buddhas in the sahā world is like that of buddhas in the Pure Land. This is not learning of the Buddha’s truth. … The buddhas have toilets, and this we should remember.

    ...


    [ ] use the willow twig [as your toothbrush to scrub the teeth]. … Taking up a willow twig in the right hand, make a vow. The “Pure Conduct” chapter of the Flower Garland Sutra says:

    Holding this willow twig in hand, I vow
    That all living beings
    Shall attain True Dharma,
    And experience Original Purity.

    ...

    So, chewing the willow twig and washing the face are the True Dharma of timeless buddhas and all people who are devoted to practicing the Way should practice and experience so.
    I'm writing a sequel to my earlier book on this ('The Zen Master Dances On ... '). Of course, we do not live in monasteries, so it is difficult to turn every action of our day into a ritual like this, or to always remember how special it is to just take out the trash or cook dinner. However, we can bring our practice off the cushion by doing that some during our days at various times, a little bit. It reminds us that, in Dogen's vision, when we cook dinner or wash the face, it is really the whole universe cooking the whole universe, Buddha washing Buddha. Like that.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-22-2021 at 12:01 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Member Hōkan's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Crooked House by Wonderland Park in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Timely for me to investigate because I've been working on developing just such attitudes (and gathas) around daily activities.

    Thank you!

    I sat this morning.
    --
    Hōkan at the Crooked House by Wonderland Park in Longfellow, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    Hōkan = 法閑 = Dharma Serenity
    To be entirely clear, I am not a hōkan = 幇間 = taikomochi = geisha, but I do wonder if my preceptor was having a bit of fun with me...

  8. #8
    Thank you Jundo!

    Gassho
    SatToday

  9. #9
    Wonderful, thank you Jundo.

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat

  10. #10
    Thanks Jundo,

    Interesting, just what I needed to read!

    Gassho,

    Ippo

    SatLah

  11. #11
    The buddhas have toilets, and this we should remember
    Recently I began bowing on entering the bathroom/toilet. It's quickly become a wake up bell for the sacredness of the ordinary.

    Gassho, Yokai

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Yokai View Post
    Recently I began bowing on entering the bathroom/toilet. It's quickly become a wake up bell for the sacredness of the ordinary.

    Gassho, Yokai
    I do this too. I picked up this practice when we went through the “Simple Living” book. Bow to the toilet before and after, then bow to the sink before and after washing my hands. It is my reminder that even the ordinary is a sacred practice


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

  13. #13
    Member Seikan's Avatar
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    Apr 2020
    Location
    Massachusetts, United States
    Ditto. I started bowing a lot more during Ango last year, and it just became such a habit that I still do it. It also provides a valuable opportunity to pause and re-align in the present moment—kind of a nano-insta-zazen, if you will.

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    ... Bow to the toilet before and after ...
    But be careful about bowing during, as it can be tricky.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    But be careful about bowing during, as it can be tricky.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  16. #16
    And, don't let your phone drop out ofyour pocket

    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

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