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Thread: A Picture of the Ocean

  1. #1

    A Picture of the Ocean

    .
    Often folks interested in Eastern and other religions speak of things like "(Cosmic) Consciousness" or "God" or "Ultimate Reality." Zen folks should avoid pondering such concepts. We sometimes mumble words like "Buddha" (with a big "B") or "the Universe" or "Original Face," but best do so with resignation and chagrin. It is really better to leave such things be, without trying to stuff them as manageable ideas into the little stupid box between our ears. Why do we silly humans think that we could ever hold something as vast and strange as a "God" or "Buddha" or "the Universe" within a tiny package held inside our narrow skulls? Foolish humans have no more chance of defining these things than a child, seeing a storybook drawing of a blue sea, might know the true oceans, capturing the uncountable waves, every single grain of sand and twist of coral, each bend of shore along beaches near and far, all the life and death held there, the patterns of chemistry and biology, the salty tastes and smells, all calm and storms, the darkest mysteries of the deepest deep, the endless expanses beyond the horizons and through time.

    So, best not to define ... and best to drop all names, images and categories, as well as the sense of these things as one more outside "object" apart from ourselves ... whereby "Consciousness" or "God" or "Buddha" etc. are made small and separate, defined and finite, another piece of life's furniture, like a glass fish bowl on a table in our room that we can point to, keep in the corner and hold distant from us.

    AND YET ... by one's very dropping so, just perhaps, one actually gets as close as one can (for there never was any separation to start with!) to what "God" or "Consciousness" or "Buddha" or "Universe" or "Reality" and such might feebly be trying to capture. Rather than trying to name or paint "the ocean," and to hold the entire "ocean" as an idea in one's head ... best to jump in, get all wet and merge with the waters, for we are waters of these waters, brine of the brine. Then, one is no longer like a child, just reading books and standing on the shore. We are the ocean's very flowing itself, every fish swimming, every wave rising and falling, endless complexity yet as simple as simple can be, timeless and boundless, near and far, every grain on every shore.

    Last edited by Jundo; 07-08-2021 at 09:28 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Lovely.

    Gassho
    Sat, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  3. #3
    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    ----
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  4. #4
    So full of wonder. Thank you.

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

  5. #5

    義道 冴庭 / Gidou Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

  6. #6
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Thank you.

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  7. #7
    Thank you Jundo. Beautiful

    Gassho, Yokai sat/lah

  8. #8
    Lovely...Thank you

    Gassho
    SatTodayLah

  9. #9


    Doshin
    St

  10. #10

  11. #11
    Great yet Siddhartha himself said god was not the business of the dharma. Jundo in
    the past you have allowed those of us in this Zendo who have peaceful ways such as Christian, these beliefs of eons upon eons, and knowing Zen, I accept this body of dharma.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  12. #12
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    Great yet Siddhartha himself said god was not the business of the dharma. Jundo in
    the past you have allowed those of us in this Zendo who have peaceful ways such as Christian, these beliefs of eons upon eons, and knowing Zen, I accept this body of dharma.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    Nothing has changed. We have many members who have Christian beliefs, and that is beautiful for those folks who are so. Please go to church should you wish, read the "Good Book," ponder Christian doctrines and think about God.

    But in the time of sitting Zazen, please place the "Good Book" down and all thinking about things, "God" or "doctrines" or otherwise.

    You can pick them up again afterwards and, perhaps, the time of putting down will illuminate and clarify somehow the doctrines and pages.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  15. #15
    So I will do sit zazen and Shikantaza, or.. then I treat others as I wish to be treated. Most mornings 8:30 CDT US.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  16. #16
    Someone asked me if in my little essay I am telling folks not to study, not to read and learn from what the physicists and astronomers discover about things like time and the origins of the universe, and never to ponder the "Big Questions."

    NOT AT ALL!

    Recently, while sitting under the Milky Way and countless stars in a national park by night I also thought about such questions. Then, I sat Zazen among those stars, all separation and time dropped away.

    It is excellent and natural to ponder the "Big Questions" such as why are we here, what or who made the universe, what is "time" etc. As to study, it is just that when sitting Zazen, one puts down the books in the time of sitting. And in reading any books at other times, one learns not to be prisoner of spinning intellectual wheels. It is good, rewarding and (frankly) TOTALLY! to be encouraged (lest one falls into ignorance, so common now as in the past) to study history, science, economics, literature and art, society and many subjects. Of course, maybe after sitting, when we pick those books up again, we can have some clarity that also lets us see some Wisdom through the words on the pages (e.g., the wars and changes of human history seem very different to a student of Buddhism. Someone like Dogen had some insights on the fluidity and relativity of time, and existence in a truly vast universe-s, that the physicists seem only to have caught up to centuries later.)

    Although we might contemplate some "Big Questions," we Zen folks also know that the best answers to some of those questions may come from our dropping those questions, and the dichotomies and assumptions they entail, in the manner I describe in the essay. Yes, the physicists have certain truths to tell us, but perhaps we in turn have certain truths to convey even to the physicists and others, presenting certain answer that come when we radically rephrase or drop certain questions and ordinary perspectives altogether. Then, through our quiet sitting, asking "why we are here" and "who/what made the universe" and "what is time" may prove to have been in subtle ways our intellectually having asked the "wrong questions" in the wrong way, and the best and clearest answers may come from the silent Clarity and Timelessness we nurture in this Practice. Physicists may ask where the universe came from, the source of the Big Bang, and how long it all has been. This is important to know, and precious information. However, Zen folks savor how to jump right through all "coming and going," finding our source in this present moment, dropping all measures of time.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    Last edited by Jundo; 07-09-2021 at 02:30 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17

    A Picture of the Ocean

    “Two or three well placed encouraging sentences positioning so as to encourage Tai Shi, Begin with a Christian prayer, end with a Christian prayer. In between count your breath.” One last time. Be good to yourself and be good to others.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 07-09-2021 at 01:57 AM.
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    So I will do sit zazen and Shikantaza, or.. then I treat others as I wish to be treated. ...
    That is enough real practice right there, nothing more needed!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Beautiful write up emphasizing on both the importance of the practice and the importance of learning.

    Gassho,
    Sat today ,
    Lah,
    Guish.


    Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk

  20. #20

  21. #21
    Gassho1
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  22. #22
    I've found it useful to use such words before, but I understand they were crutches.

    I like to use them when speaking to others who aren't especially familiar with these matters, even though I warn them these are conceptual crutches and not the truth of things.

    It's good to encourage us to let go of them; we can walk without our crutches just fine.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  23. #23
    That rock formation looks like two hands coming together in Shasho as the earth silently walks Kinhin through the universe.

    Gassho,
    Juki

    sat today and lah
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  24. #24
    Jundo, you have given me great joy. Thank you for your words though I know these are words. For years, 39 June 12th, Marjorie has never said, “Love.” But to be love. For me I have hung on to Sobriety as my reward.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  25. #25
    Member Hokin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Ixtlahuacan De Los Membrillos, Mexico
    Simply beatiful, Jundo.
    Thank you.

    Gassho.
    Hokin
    SAT.

  26. #26

    A Picture of the Ocean

    My joy in good friendship. I don’t have to tell her I love her. That’s not what she wants. Thank you Jundo.
    Gassho
    great bows
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 07-17-2021 at 10:05 AM.
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

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