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Thread: Hishiryo

  1. #1

    Hishiryo

    I’ve seen the Japanese word “hishiryo” come up a few times when Zen teacher’s are talking about the “think not thinking”” passage in Master Dogen’s Fukanzazengi. Is this a special word that Zen folks should know? No one clearly defines “hishiryo” except to say that it is something like “big mind” or “cosmic consciousness”but what I gather is it’s just the non-gaining, non-seeking mind, happening when judgements, comparisons, desires, aversions etc... are dropped and there is a sense of ease like you can see through the thoughts that arise as they pass away leaving no trace in Zazen (to paraphrase Jundo in ‘The Zen Master’s Dance.’)

    Edit: I think I found something that answers my question https://www.sotozen.com/eng/library/...ey_terms08.pdf

    Edit 2: Jundo mentions “hi-shiryo or not-thinking” in his book but doesn’t make a big hub-bub about it by calling it something lofty like “big mind” or “cosmic consciousness” like I saw two other teachers do.

    Gassho,
    Tom

    SatLah
    Last edited by StoBird; 06-04-2021 at 09:39 AM.

  2. #2
    From A Concise Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen (Fischer-Schreiber, Ehrhard, and Diener, 2010, Shambala):
    Hishiryō Jap., lit. "that which is immeasurable by thought"; Zen expression for --> enlightenment, which is experienceable but cannot be grasped in concepts; it is thus unthinkable.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

  3. #3
    Ha, when all divisions are dropped from mind, all categories and boxes of this and that, all measures and judgements of this versus that, all inside and outside, "me" vs. not me ... this is "FU-shiryo" (The Kanji for FU 不 ... no ... is not the same as HI 非 ... non) ... as Master Dogen says in Fukanzazengi,

    ... Cast aside all involvements and cease all affairs. Do not think good or bad. Do not administer pros and cons. Cease all the movements of the conscious mind, the gauging of all thought and views ... beyond hearing and seeing - ... a principle that is prior to knowledge and perceptions ...

    ... then all is the flowing Wholeness which sweeps in and is all.

    Fushiryo stands in contrast with our usual mental life of thoughts, shiryo, the world of categories and boxes of this and that, measures and judgements of this versus that, all inside and outside, "me" and not me in contrast and conflict. A world divided.

    Then, in this Practice of Zazen reveals that "shiryo" and "fushiryo" are not two, like two sides of a no sided coin. Hishiryo is thinkable AND not AT ONCE! One masters the art of "thinking-non-thinking" ... as Dogen says,

    Think (shiryo) of not-thinking (fushiryo). How do you think of not-thinking? Nonthinking (hishiryo). This in itself is the essential art of zazen

    Then this world of broken pieces, round and sharp, some welcome and some not, and all this Flowing Wholeness, are not two. All divisions remain as before, yet are not at all as before ... and there is no "before" vs. "present" vs. "after" too.

    Such is vast BOUNDLESS cosmic ... and as small and ordinary as a tiny grain of sand, a rusty soup can or a dog's fleas.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    PS - Tom, please fix your avatar photo with a human face. It helps us keep things human around here. I will PM you.
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-20-2021 at 02:42 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Then, in this Practice of Zazen reveals that "shiryo" and "fushiryo" are not two, like two sides of a no sided coin. Hishiryo is thinkable AND not AT ONCE! One masters the art of "thinking-non-thinking" ... as Dogen says,
    Would a good metaphor be that of water in its different states of solid and liquid? we thought it was ice (shiryo-thinking) but then realize it can be the state of liquid (fushiryo-not thinking) but it’s ultimately recognized as both solid and liquid (H2O- both fushiryo and shiryo) because nothing is actually sought to be gained or lost like ice doesn’t gain anything when it changes to water or lose anything when it changes back to ice? I suppose Zazen would be an above freezing temperature in this metaphor that I’m now realizing might be helpful or might be overthinking things

    Gassho,
    Tom

    SatLah
    Last edited by StoBird; 06-05-2021 at 02:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by StoBird View Post
    Would a good metaphor be that of water in its different states of solid and liquid? we thought it was ice (shiryo-thinking) but then realize it can be the state of liquid (fushiryo-not thinking) but it’s ultimately recognized as both solid and liquid (H2O- both fushiryo and shiryo) because nothing is actually sought to be gained or lost like ice doesn’t gain anything when it changes to water or lose anything when it changes back to ice? I suppose Zazen would be an above freezing temperature in this metaphor that I’m now realizing might be helpful or might be overthinking things

    Gassho,
    Tom

    SatLah
    This is, perhaps, thinking too much about what is "non-thinking." When thoughts, categories, divisions and frictions drop away, it is more an experience that an idea, like trying to think about what is "sweetness" rather than just tasting the ice cream!

    So, we usually say "Just Sit" and taste the ice cream.

    This Sweetness of Buddha manifests as all things of this world, both ice cream and candy, chocolate and taffy, but also is a Sweetness which sweeps in the bitter things of life too. This is a Sweetness so sweet that sometimes it manifests as all the flavors and seasonings of the world, both those welcome and those not so much.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    This is, perhaps, thinking too much about what is "non-thinking." When thoughts, categories, divisions and frictions drop away, it is more an experience that an idea, like trying to think about what is "sweetness" rather than just tasting the ice cream!

    So, we usually say "Just Sit" and taste the ice cream.

    This Sweetness of Buddha manifests as all things of this world, both ice cream and candy, chocolate and taffy, but also is a Sweetness which sweeps in the bitter things of life too. This is a Sweetness so sweet that sometimes it manifests as all the flavors and seasonings of the world, both those welcome and those not so much.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    Gassho,
    Tom
    SatLah

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