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Thread: The Zen Master's Dance - 1 - Introduction

  1. #1

    The Zen Master's Dance - 1 - Introduction

    Hello Fellow Dancers,

    Thank you for reading and dancing "The Zen Master's Dance" together.

    https://wisdomexperience.org/product...masters-dance/

    This Sangha is a dance ensemble, as is all the world. I wrote the book in order to make Master Dogen's teachings more approachable, trying to help folks understand why his style may sometimes seem so strange and hard to penetrate, all while staying faithful to the Buddhist teachings and feelings they contain without making things too simple. Like any dance, Dogen's ballet takes some learning and practice to get the hang of, but then we can all join in the movements like second nature. I hope that I can help everyone get a sense for Dogen's fabulous dance.

    Today, and for the next couple of weeks, we are going to focus on the "Introduction" to the book.

    I am going to try a couple of experiments in this group to help us share in the sense of wild, creative rhythms and not commonly seen perspectives that Dogen was seeking to express, and the visions of reality that other Zen fellows certainly share. Dogen had a way with and appreciation for words and wordplay that was quite unique in the Zen world, even when compared to all the word games and bending of ordinary language that Zen folks have been famous for throughout the centuries. Although Zen is known as a "Way Beyond Words & Letters," there are so many words written by Zen masters of old to express this "Beyond Words" Zen, even as they could be quite creative in the use of words to do so. Zen is not "beyond understanding" or "illogical" ... rather, it calls for new forms of intimate understanding, and has a logic of its own that is often far removed from what we might consider ordinary "common sense."

    What I am going to ask you to do today is to rewrite a couple of paragraphs from the "Introduction," but replacing the image of "dancing" with some other activity that is vital in your life. For example, let's say that you love "bowling" more than "ballet." In such case, let us see the whole universe as a "Great Bowling Alley" rather than a "Great Ballet." I would ask you to rewrite for us (and to post here in this thread) some sentences from the Introduction like this:

    "[Dogen] experienced reality as a great dance moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special dance, for it is the dance that the whole of reality is dancing ... "
    would become

    "[Dogen] experienced reality as a great bowling tournament moving through time, hitting its strikes and coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings, the bowlers. It is a most special bowl, for it is the rolls that the whole of reality is rolling ..."

    or

    "Although we may feel as if we are separate dancers—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the dance itself dancing through us. A universe of dancers that are being danced up in this dance that the whole universe is dancing ... "
    becomes

    "Although we may feel as if we are separate bowlers—finite individuals in a grand alley of lanes spanning all of time and space—we are also the frames and games itself, every strike and spare and gutter ball, pin and pair of shoes, bowling through us. A universe of bowlers that are being bowled up in this bottomless bowl that the whole universe is bowling ... "

    Like that,

    All I ask is that you pick some activity that means something to you, rather than a frozen thing or object. For example, child-rearing as a parent in a nursery, horse riding as a horse rider, doing dentistry as a dentist, washing dishes as a dish washer etc. etc.

    Let's see what happens!?

    For your convenience, I am copying below some lines from the book for you to copy and paste in your rewriting. You can rewrite all of these or just a few. Have fun.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great dance moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special dance, for it is the dance that the whole of reality is dancing, with nothing left out, that you and I are dancing, that is dancing as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the dance “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this dance began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being danced now in each step and breath we take, much as a dance unfolds and constantly renews with every turn or leap of its dancers.

    You and I are dancers in this dance, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is dancing this dance together. And although we may feel as if we are separate dancers—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the dance itself dancing through us. A universe of dancers that are being danced up in this dance that the whole universe is dancing. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a dance so vigorous and vibrant that its countless actors seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single dancers becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual dancers can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains
    the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every step of
    each dancer somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every step by all the other dancers on the stage, past, present,
    or future, and fully contains the entire dance too. Dōgen experienced the time of the dance as the overall movement that is fully held and
    expressed in each individual move itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past,
    as the present fully holds the past and future of the dance.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this dance has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the dance that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next leap and gesture. The dance is always right underfoot, so just
    dance, without thought of any other place.
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-08-2021 at 04:57 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Thank you! I think that is a really neat idea to internalize this; I will give it a shot tomorrow

    gassho

    risho
    -stlah

  3. #3
    I agree with Risho, this sounds like such a good and valuable exercise! You need to know the content well to rephrase it in a new way so this will involve some thinking! I look forward to spending some time contemplating this.

    Gassho
    Mark
    ST
    "We may hear and understand as well, yet in our daily lives still be subject to our habitual ways. And so we do zazen to cut all of this habitualization away. If we don’t cut, we end up carrying more and more burdens around."
    Finding Our Essence of Mind

  4. #4
    I chose one of my favorite hobbies in honor of the optional book this season, How to Cook Your Life:

    "What would a cookout be without some grilling lessons? Each cook can find herself--find her identity in the cookout knowing her life as a grill too (a personal grill within the great cookout), and that her shopping, chopping herbs, seasonings, the choices she makes in each step of the recipe, help create the cookout as she goes. In his many writings, Master Dogen, our master instructor, shows us how to grill with skill and taste. His secret recipe comes down to a few fundamentals."

    Gassho
    Max
    Sat today
    おつかれさまです

  5. #5
    My choice is obviously not that far from dancing 😄

    "Everything in reality, no matter how loud or quiet, no matter how talented or out of tune, is singing this song together. And although we may feel as if we are separate singers—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the song itself singing through us. A universe of singers that are being sung up in this melody that the whole universe is singing. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a concert so vigorous and vibrant that the singers sound like a single instrument, in perfect tune and harmony: single voices becoming harmonies, then chords, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall tune that, from a distance, individual singers can no longer be seen. ... "


    🙏🏼 SatToday
    Bion
    美音

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  6. #6
    like Bion i take singing..

    You and I are singers in this choir, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is singing this song together. And although we may feel as if we are separate singers—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the song itself singing through us. A universe wide choir that is being singing up in this song that the whole universe is singing. Picture in your mind a listener hearing a song so vigorous and vibrant that its countless singers seem to vanish in the swirl of sound: single singers becoming pairs, then a choir, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual singers can no longer be heard. ...





    aprapti

    sat

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


    Aprāpti (अप्राप्ति) non-attainment

  7. #7
    Thank you, Jundo for writing this book and choosing it for this year's study. I am looking forward to reading it again. I will choose hiking for mine and work on my paragraphs when I get the chance to spend some more time on it later.

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    Sat

  8. #8
    Hmm, I considered not posting this after rereading...
    Well, here it is ;-)

    Gido Kotei, a Zen student from far away… experienced reality as a great garden developing through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts, coming and going, growing and decaying of all beings and things.
    It is a most special garden, for it is the garden, that the whole of reality is designing and cultivating, with nothing left out.
    The garden demands what work to do and we fulfill just our role, take a place within.
    It is a growing, merging and emerging, fading, composting and reviving unity that Buddhists sometimes call „emptiness“,
    as working with this garden, merging with this ever changing world, empties our sense of only being separate beings.
    It fills and reaffirms us as the whole.
    Watching, working, raking leaf by leaf, with every breath we take - spring, summer, autumn, winter- spring again…
    We don’t know where or when this garden sprouted once or finally will decay.

    You and I are gardeners in this special garden, as is every plant and creature, speck of dust and mountain, waterdrop and sea.
    Culture, Nature - all the same - just stardust growing our Universe.
    Although we think we shape this garden, it’s also the garden shaping us.
    Where is this line I draw between the tree and me. I grow, I eat its flesh, its leaves and fruits - breathing carbon, it eats mine.
    Made of one another, together with all the creatures and things, we shape this special garden.
    Where does „I“ start, where does „I“ end? I am failing to decide.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidō 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.

  9. #9
    Eihei "Ahnold" Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great workout moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special workout, for it is the exercise that the whole of reality is doing, with nothing left out, that you and I are exercising, that is working out as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the workout “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this workout began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being exercised now in each step and breath we take, much as a workout unfolds and constantly renews with every repetition, push or pull of its participants.

    You and I are participants in this workout, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is working out this workout together. And although we may feel as if we are separate participants—finite individuals in a grand gym spanning all of time and space—we are also the workout itself exercising through us. A universe of exercisers that are being exercised up in this exercise that the whole universe is exercising. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a workout so vigorous and vibrant that its countless participants seem to vanish in the swirl of pushups: single fitness enthusiasts becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual exercisers can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains
    the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every repetition of
    each lifter somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every repetition by all the other lifters in the gym, past, present,
    or future, and fully contains the entire workout too. Dōgen experienced the time of the workout as the overall movement that is fully held and
    expressed in each individual repetition itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past,
    as the present fully holds the past and future of the workout.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this workout has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the exercise that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next pushup and pullup. The exercise is always right underfoot, so just
    exercise, without thought of any other place.


    I am going to pump you up; even though you and I don't exist :P

    Also, it's not a tumor!

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  10. #10
    I always see a good sparring session or a good fight as a little like a dance. Combat sports may be competitive but they're also collaborative - there cannot be a bout without the combatants; neither fighter can fight in isolation, independent of the other. And when you are in the ring, you have to be completely in the ring, just in that moment. So here's my attempt:

    Can we truly say that there are separate boxers in this all-encompassing bout? Endless bouts are going on within each boxer, each cell and each atom, each bond and reaction just battling within and with each other... battling within battling. We can experience all boxers and all reality absorbed in the constant motion of the fight. As the borders that separate our sense of self from the ring soften or drop away, we see that there is no fight outside, no "me" and "you" inside the fight. There is only that which flows from inside to outside, outside to in - all borders, all barriers dropped away and the whole surface having no edge.

    Please don't understand the concept of this bout merely intellectually. Instead, join in, truly feel what it is to be swept up in this fight as this fight. Master Dogen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this fight has come from, where it is going, is not as important as the fight that is truly realised - made real - right here, in your next leap and gesture. The fight is always right underfoot, so just fight, without thought of any other place.


    Gassho,
    Sōka
    sat

  11. #11
    Goodness, my brain hurts a little after that exercise! Ok here's my attempt at replacing with "reading"...

    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a reading containing knowledge, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special read, for it is the telling that the whole of reality is a reading, with nothing left out, that you and I are the reading, that it is reading you and me. It is a detailed, enlightening, entertaining, telling and retelling of the readings that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the volumes and tomes as we read “empty” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fill and reaffirm us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this reading began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being told now in each page that we read, much as reading teaches and shows us with every turn of the pages.

    You and I are readers of this read, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is reading this read together. And although we may feel as if we are reading separate stories—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the readings themselves. A universe of readers that are being read up in this read that the whole universe is reading.


    st/rj

  12. #12
    Even the introduction to this book is medicine!


    So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that the work of each veterinarian somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses all the other veterinarians in all the other cultures, past, present, or future, and fully contains the entire field of veterinary medicine too. Dōgen experienced time as fully held and expressed in each individual healing action itself, with the past not only flowing into the present and future, but future flowing into the present and past, as the present fully holds the past and future of their healing actions.

    We human beings are always chasing goals, feeling our lack, judging good and bad, and feeling friction between our wants and reality. But when we sit in shikantaza — in “just sitting that hits the mark” — we stop chasing goals for a time. Sitting is its own goal and completion. When we sit this way, the division between us and the world drops away and we feel the profound wholeness of our work, and the boundaries between sickness and health, work and life drop away. That is the first lesson.


    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/Danced
    Last edited by Jakuden; 09-11-2021 at 07:09 PM.
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    She/her.
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  13. #13
    Zen and the Art of Software Development?

    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great codebase moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special codebase, for it is the code that the whole of reality is writing, with nothing left out, that you and I are coding, that is coding as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the bits and bytes of the app “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this codebase began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being written now in each click and clack of the keyboard as we type, much as a codebase unfolds and constantly renews with every null check and bitshift of its programmers.

    You and I are programmers in this codebase, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is coding this app together. And although we may feel as if we are separate programmers—finite individuals on a grand codebase spanning all of time and space—we are also the codebase itself programming through us. A universe of coders that are being coded up in this code that the whole universe is coding. Picture in your mind a project manager witnessing a sprint so vigorous that its countless coders seem to vanish in the commit log of a new feature build: single programmers becoming pairs, then mobs, pull requests being revised, branched off, and squashed, yet so merged that, from a distance, individual coders can no longer be seen.

    Some of these words may not make a whole lot of sense in the context without being familiar with software development (especially the last sentence). Apologies!

    Gassho,
    Steven
    stlah

  14. #14
    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese surfer of long ago ... experienced reality as a great swell moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all surfers. It is a most special swell, for it is the swell that the whole of reality is surfing, with nothing left out, that you and I are surfing, that is surfing as you and me. It is a pulsing, peaking, breaking, barreling and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the ocean “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as surfers, can’t be sure when or where this swell began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being surfed now in each paddle and breath we take, much as a wave unfolds and constantly renews with every turn or tube-ride of its surfers.

    Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this swell has come from, where it is going, is not as important as the wave that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next cut-back and re-entry. The surfboard is always right underfoot, so just surf, without thought of any other place.

  15. #15

    Zen Master’s Jam Session

    I love creating and playing music both on my own and with others. Generally my most rewarding experiences involve getting together with other like minded musicians and just improvising in a jam session. Not knowing what each player is going to do but needing to listen to add or not add to the emerging sound.

    What a great exercise and way to personalize the Introduction. I did struggle a bit with the “dancer” metaphor but know I will see this in a new light. Thank you a Jundo.

    Respectfully submitted

    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great jam session playing music through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special jam session, for it is the jam session that the whole of reality is playing, with nothing left out, that you and I are playing, that is playing as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the sound and silence of the music “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this jam session began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being played now in each step and breath we take, much as a jam session unfolds and constantly renews with every sound or note of its players.

    You and I are musicians in this jam session, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy, the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is playing this music together. And although we may feel as if we are separate musicians —finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the music itself playing through us. A universe of musicians that are being played up in this jam session that the whole universe is playing music. Picture in your mind a listener listening to music so vigorous and vibrant that its countless musicians seem to vanish in the swirl of sounds: single musicians becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall music that, from a distance, individual musicians can no longer be heard. ...





    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Last edited by Tairin; 09-12-2021 at 11:39 AM.
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
    Zen and the Art of Software Development?

    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great codebase moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special codebase, for it is the code that the whole of reality is writing, with nothing left out, that you and I are coding, that is coding as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the bits and bytes of the app “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this codebase began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being written now in each click and clack of the keyboard as we type, much as a codebase unfolds and constantly renews with every null check and bitshift of its programmers.

    You and I are programmers in this codebase, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is coding this app together. And although we may feel as if we are separate programmers—finite individuals on a grand codebase spanning all of time and space—we are also the codebase itself programming through us. A universe of coders that are being coded up in this code that the whole universe is coding. Picture in your mind a project manager witnessing a sprint so vigorous that its countless coders seem to vanish in the commit log of a new feature build: single programmers becoming pairs, then mobs, pull requests being revised, branched off, and squashed, yet so merged that, from a distance, individual coders can no longer be seen.

    Some of these words may not make a whole lot of sense in the context without being familiar with software development (especially the last sentence). Apologies!

    Gassho,
    Steven
    stlah
    Was that last sentence alluding to Bit Bucket? Also, software development brings a whole new meaning to the "Platform" sutra.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Was that last sentence alluding to Bit Bucket? Also, software development brings a whole new meaning to the "Platform" sutra.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    For the most part! I suppose any hosted git service could be alluded to here, but we do use bitbucket at work.

  18. #18
    I drive my car a lot and it has taken me to both wonderful and dreadful places. So, here's to the road, car, driver and passenger.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this road has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the road that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next turn and gas stop. The road is always right underwheel, so just
    drive, without thought of any other place.


    Gassho
    Kantai

    SatLah

  19. #19
    Member KathyW's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, USA (close to Philadelphia)
    I think that this exercise really helped me to understand Jundo's introduction - I had to really think about the meaning of each word. I also found it to be fun!


    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great act of continuous painting with ever vanishing brush strokes on a canvas moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special act of painting, for it is the canvas that the whole of reality is painting, with nothing left out, that you and I are painting, that is painting as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the act of painting “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where the painting of this canvas began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being painted now in each brush stroke and breath we take, much as a painting unfolds and constantly renews with the application of each of its brush strokes.

    You and I are painters of this canvas, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is painting this canvas together. And although we may feel as if we are separate painters—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the canvas itself painting through us. A universe of painters that are being painted up in this canvas that the whole universe is painting. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing acts of painting so vigorous and vibrant that its countless brush strokes seem to come and go in the swirl of motion: single painters whose brush strokes merge with those of other painters becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, the brush strokes of individual painters can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains
    the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every brush stroke of
    each painter somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every brush stroke of all the other painters of the canvas, past, present,
    or future, and fully contains the entire canvas too. Dōgen experienced the time of the painting as the overall act of painting that is fully held and
    expressed in each individual brush stroke itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past,
    as the present fully holds the past and future of the canvas.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this canvas has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the painting that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next brush stroke. The painting is always right now, so just
    paint, without thought of any finished canvas.

    Gassho,
    Kathy

    Sat today

  20. #20
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    But when we sit in shikantaza — in “just sitting that hits the mark” — we stop chasing goals for a time. Sitting is its own goal and completion. When we sit this way, the division between us and the world drops away and we feel the profound wholeness of the dance. That is the first lesson.
    But when we tune our guitar - in "just tuning each string and all strings" - we stop chasing goals and just listen. Tuning each string is its own goal and completion. When we tune this way, each string resonates across the whole universe, all things vibrating as one, as the division drops away. We feel the profound wholeness of being in tune with all things, in tune with all Dharma. That is the first lesson. Find the middle way, do not tighten the strings too much or leave them too slack. Always dance in the middle of the path.

    My two picks worth.

    Sat n plucked.
    Last edited by Seishin; 09-13-2021 at 10:48 AM.


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  21. #21
    You and I are diners at this buffet, as is every hungry creature great or small, the vast rice paddies and immense water reservoirs, every grain of wheat or massive granary,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is eating this buffet together. And although we may feel as if we are separate diners—finite eaters at a grand restaurant spanning all of time and space—we are also the dining itself dining through us. A universe of diners that are being dined up in this buffet that the whole universe is eating. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a buffet so vigorous and vibrant that its countless diners seem to vanish in the swirl of eating: single diners becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual diners can no longer be seen. ...

    (yes I like food...it's a problem :P )
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Seishin View Post
    But when we tune our guitar - in "just tuning each string and all strings" - we stop chasing goals and just listen. Tuning each string is its own goal and completion. When we tune this way, each string resonates across the whole universe, all things vibrating as one, as the division drops away. We feel the profound wholeness of being in tune with all things, in tune with all Dharma. That is the first lesson. Find the middle way, do not tighten the strings too much or leave them too slack. Always dance in the middle of the path.

    My two picks worth.

    Sat n plucked.
    Nicely done Seishin. Your paragraph reminded me of the book Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo which you might find interesting.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  23. #23
    I got around to this a bit later than I had planned.
    ---
    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great hike in the woods moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special hike, for it is the hike that the whole of reality is traversing, with nothing left out, that you and I are hiking, that is hiking as you and me. It is a vibrant, filled with ever changing scenery, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and challenge of the hike “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this great woodland hike began, or whether it even has a beginning or ending destination. But we can come to see that it is being walked now in each step and breath we take, much as a view on a hike unfolds and constantly renews with every turn or leap of its hikers.

    You and I are hikers on this hike, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy, the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is walking this hike together. And although we may feel as if we are separate hikers —finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the hike itself hiking through us. A universe of hikers that are being hiked up in this hike that the whole universe is hiking. Picture in your mind someone witnessing a group of hikers so vigorous and vibrant that its countless participants seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single hikers becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall group that, from a distance, individual hikers can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every step of
    each hiker somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every step by all the other hikers on the path, past, present, or future, and fully contains the entire hike too. Dōgen experienced the time of the hike as the overall movement that is fully held and
    expressed in each individual step itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past, as the present fully holds the past and future of the hike.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this hike started from, where it is going, is not as important as the hike that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next step on the path, and the next leap over a creek. The hike is always right underfoot, so just hike, without thought of any other place.
    ---



    Gassho,
    Kendrick
    Sat/Lah

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    Even the introduction to this book is medicine!


    So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that the work of each veterinarian somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses all the other veterinarians in all the other cultures, past, present, or future, and fully contains the entire field of veterinary medicine too. Dōgen experienced time as fully held and expressed in each individual healing action itself, with the past not only flowing into the present and future, but future flowing into the present and past, as the present fully holds the past and future of their healing actions.

    We human beings are always chasing goals, feeling our lack, judging good and bad, and feeling friction between our wants and reality. But when we sit in shikantaza — in “just sitting that hits the mark” — we stop chasing goals for a time. Sitting is its own goal and completion. When we sit this way, the division between us and the world drops away and we feel the profound wholeness of our work, and the boundaries between sickness and health, work and life drop away. That is the first lesson.


    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/Danced
    I always mean to reach out to you about being a veterinarian; sending metta your way; thank God for veterinarians. I know or have heard this is a very difficult profession; animals and pets are such a blessing, I can't even imagine the difficulty in caring for them; I also wish human physicians were more like veterinarians on so many levels. Many sincere bows to you.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  25. #25
    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great interplay between horse and rider moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special interplay, for it is the same interconnection between horse and rider that the whole of reality is engaged in, with nothing left out, that the rider and the horse are creating, that is also the interplay between you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of your communication “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this communication began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that that the interaction between horse and rider consists of each step and breath we both take, much as a dance unfolds and constantly renews with every turn or leap of its dancers.

    You and I and the horse all inter-are, we are all moving/communicating/flowing through space and time, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy, the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, flows together just as horse and rider do. And although we may feel as if we are separate beings —finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the manifestation of the communication itself flowing through us. A universe of riders and horses that are as one. Sometimes the horse is the leader, sometimes the rider is the leader in this constant interlay, and whole universe is moving with them and us. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a horse and rider working together , so vigorous, vibrant and in sync that they seem vanish in the swirl of motion: both two and one at the same time. And imagine more riders and horses joining, first in pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual beings can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that each movement of the horse and each movement of the rider somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every step by all other partners, past, present, or future, and fully contains the entire interplay too. Dōgen experienced the time of the of the ride as the overall movement that is fully held and expressed in each individual move itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past, as the present fully holds the past and future of the dance.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where the ride has come from, where it is going, is not as important as the ride that is truly realized—made real—right here, in the flow of communication between horse and rider. The ride dance is always in the moment, so just ride, without thought of any other place.

    I left in one dancing reference as I often think of the communication between horse and rider as a dance.


    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  26. #26
    Thank you, Jundo, for a book that really brings out the magic in the ordinariness of shikantaza, and for this assignment. And thank you to the people who posted clarifying variations for sharing. Doing this exercise helped me see the practice differently, and may change my approach to writing as well.

    ***
    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great story moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special story, for it is the story that the whole of reality is telling, with nothing left out, that you and I are writing, that is writing as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the story “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this story began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being told now on each page and paragraph we read, much as a story unfolds and constantly renews with every plot twist or character arc of its writers.

    You and I are writers in this story, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is writing this story together. And although we may feel as if we are separate writers—finite individuals on a grand page spanning all of time and space—we are also the story itself writing through us. A universe of characters that are being written up in this story that the whole universe is writing. Picture in your mind a reader experiencing a story so vigorous and vibrant that its countless characters and scenes seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single characters and scenes becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall plot that, from a distance, individual characters and scenes can no longer be separated. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains
    the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every page of
    each story somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every plot of all the other stories on the page, past, present,
    or future, and fully contains the entire story too. Dōgen experienced the time of the story as the overall story arc that is fully held and
    expressed in each individual scene itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past,
    as the present fully holds the past and future of the story.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in the page. Where this story has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the story that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next scene and plot point. The story is always right on the page, so just
    write, without thought of any other story.


    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/lah
    Last edited by Onkai; 09-13-2021 at 06:35 PM.
    On (Warm)
    Kai (Sea)
    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great interplay between horse and rider moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special interplay, for it is the same interconnection between horse and rider that the whole of reality is engaged in, with nothing left out, that the rider and the horse are creating, that is also the interplay between you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of your communication “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this communication began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that that the interaction between horse and rider consists of each step and breath we both take, much as a dance unfolds and constantly renews with every turn or leap of its dancers.

    You and I and the horse all inter-are, we are all moving/communicating/flowing through space and time, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy, the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, flows together just as horse and rider do. And although we may feel as if we are separate beings —finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the manifestation of the communication itself flowing through us. A universe of riders and horses that are as one. Sometimes the horse is the leader, sometimes the rider is the leader in this constant interlay, and whole universe is moving with them and us. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a horse and rider working together , so vigorous, vibrant and in sync that they seem vanish in the swirl of motion: both two and one at the same time. And imagine more riders and horses joining, first in pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual beings can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that each movement of the horse and each movement of the rider somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every step by all other partners, past, present, or future, and fully contains the entire interplay too. Dōgen experienced the time of the of the ride as the overall movement that is fully held and expressed in each individual move itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past, as the present fully holds the past and future of the dance.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where the ride has come from, where it is going, is not as important as the ride that is truly realized—made real—right here, in the flow of communication between horse and rider. The ride dance is always in the moment, so just ride, without thought of any other place.

    I left in one dancing reference as I often think of the communication between horse and rider as a dance.


    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Reminds me of your lovely talk during Rohatsu last year! was it that? Or maybe some other occasion? I have doubts now …

    SatToday
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
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  28. #28
    All of these different expressions contributed by everyone are wonderful to read. I enjoyed putting this together too.

    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great embroidered cloth being stitched through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special cloth, for it is one that the whole of reality is stitched into, with nothing left out. You and I are threads within the embroidery, appearing here and there stitch by stitch as you and me. It is a vibrant, overlapping, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the completeness of all threads together “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this cloth began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being stitched now in each step and breath we take, much as each fresh stitch in an embroidered cloth renews the scene being constantly created.

    You and I are threads in this cloth and we are embroiderers of the cloth, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy, the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is stitching and embroidering together. And although we may feel as if we are separate threads —finite individuals on a grand scene spanning all of time and space—we are also the whole embroidered cloth itself embroidering through us. A universe of embroiderers and threads that are being stitched together in this embroidery that the whole universe is embroidering. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a great cloth being stitched in motion so swift, detailed, colourful and vibrant that its countless threads seem to vanish into its imagery: single threads becoming pairs, then groups, pictures that come together and separate in different places across the cloth, yet so merged as the overall piece that, from a distance, individual threads can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every stitch of each thread somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every stitch of all the other threads on the cloth, far and wide, past, present, or future, and fully contains the entire cloth too. Dōgen experienced the time of the embroidery as the overall movement that is fully held and expressed in each individual stitch itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past, as the present fully holds the past and future of the whole piece.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this cloth has come from, where it is going, is not as important as the creation that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next stitch and gesture. The whole embroidered cloth is always right underfoot, so just stitch, without thought of any other place.

    Gassho,
    Charity
    satlah

  29. #29
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    Nicely done Seishin. Your paragraph reminded me of the book Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo which you might find interesting.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Tairin

    Thank you. That rings some distant bells (maybe triads) as I am sure I had a copy years ago that was only partially read. I will look it up.
    Deep bows my friend.

    Sat n played and danced the dance of all dances.


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  30. #30
    Member Hōkan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Crooked House by Wonderland Park in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, MN, USA
    I ride bicycles (and walk) for basic transportation -- don't own a car. I teach urban riding and I teach others how to teach urban riding. I advocate for cyclists at the local, county, state, and national level. I'm all about the journey -- alone and together.

    Can we truly say that there are separate drivers in this all-encompassing trip? Endless trips are going on within each rider, each cell and atom, each tire and bolt,, each bond and reaction, just driving within and with each other ... driving within driving. We can experience all drivers and all reality absolutely absorbed in the constant motion of the trip. As the borders that separate our sense of self from the rest of the world soften or drop away, we see that there is no trip outside, no "me" and "you" inside the trip. There is only that which flows from inside to outside, inside to in -- all boarders, all barriers dropped away and the whole having no surface or curb.

    Please don't understand the concept of this trip merely intellectually. Instead, join in, truly feel what it is to be swept up in this journey as this journey. Cycling Instructor Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this trip has come from, where it is going, is not as important as the trip that is truly realized -- made real -- right here, in your next signal and turn. The trip is always right before, so just drive, without thought of any other place.
    --
    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...

  31. #31
    Wonderful everyone! Thank you Jundo for making this so interactive

    Gassho, Yokai sat/lah

    ***

    You and I are diners in this pizza party, as is every creature from the manager's Great Dane in the back office to the unwanted pesky fly, the looming palms and the customers flowing by, every dropped fry or and gently circling fans above, every ingredient that makes up each pizza and the whole glitzy pizzeria itself. Everything in this buzzing restaurant, no matter how grease-stained or kitchen-mechanical, no matter whether anchovy, spicy chicken, miss-center-of-attention or window-gazing loner, is dining together. And although we may feel as if we are separate diners — finite consumers on this LED-lit stage, this tabled space, open 24/7/365 —we are also the party itself partying through us. A universe of diners that are being consumed in this banquet that the whole universe is partying. Picture in your mind a passerby witnessing through the glass panes a party so vigorous and vibrant that its countless diners seem to vanish in the swirl of conversation, color, kitchen-clatter, music and motion: each diner an ingredient, becoming paired, then grouped, bonding with stone-baked base and melting mozzarella, each moment separating yet melding, so merged as the overall symphony we call "pizza eating" that, from a distance, individuals can no longer be seen...[only the pizza of Life...haha! cheesy ]
    Last edited by Yokai; 09-14-2021 at 12:01 AM.

  32. #32
    What fun to both do and read what others have written. I loved this.

    I think I shall call my contribution, 'Valhala is Empty'.

    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great feast moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all. It is a most special feast, for it is the feast that the whole of reality is celebrating, with nothing left out, that you and I are celebrating, that is celebrating as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging party that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the celebration “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being celebrated now in everything we do, much as a party unfolds and constantly renews with every action of its participants.

    You and I are hosts, staff and guests in this feast, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is celebrating together. And although we may feel as if we are separate participants—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the party itself feasting through us. A universe of partygoers that are celebrating caught up in this party that the whole universe is celebrating. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a celebration so vigorous and vibrant that its countless actors seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single individuals becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individuals can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each holds all others, near or far, each miraculously fully contains all others, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every action of every partygoer somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses everything by all the others, past, present, or future, and fully contains the entire celebration too. Dōgen experienced the time of the feast as the overall movement that is fully held and expressed in each individual gesture itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past, as the present fully holds the past and future of the dance.

    Stewart
    Sat

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    I always mean to reach out to you about being a veterinarian; sending metta your way; thank God for veterinarians. I know or have heard this is a very difficult profession; animals and pets are such a blessing, I can't even imagine the difficulty in caring for them; I also wish human physicians were more like veterinarians on so many levels. Many sincere bows to you.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Aw thanks, Risho!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    She/her.
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  34. #34
    Oh Jundo,

    It's a great exercise, but unfortunately it brings out the "try-hard" in me, which always results in po-faced nonsense.

    So I apologise in advance, even I don't particularly like it but I decided to try the first paragraph in a kind of "write what's going on in your head way".

    So here it is:

    "Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as feeding the birds in his garden or writing stories, or perhaps it was feeding his stories and writing to the birds in his garden……I forget.

    But either way, it wasn’t a static thing; and it came to life through seeing the whole picture; his conversations with the birds, the growth of characters in his story, ever moving across time, developing across the whole eco-system; or simply filling the blankness of a page.

    It wasn’t about the feeder or the writer. Well it was about them, but also the reader and the plants that grew from seeds dropped by the birds.

    Everything moved together; harmonious.

    Birds wrote poetry in their song and the page was filled with ink-blotted outbursts of life. He read and he wrote, and he sang and he fed; he listened and was enriched and he saw the beauty in the small inconsequential things of the world. All of it merged into one, in the vibrancy of life, the story of the world and the song of the birds.

    But surely this was too much for the brain to discern?

    Perhaps….but it lived there anyway……ever-flowing, ever receding. A tide of infinite “emptiness”, nourishing the forms life.

    When did the birds start singing to him?

    When did he first start feeding their verse into the stories he wrote?

    Who wrote whom and who sang to whom?

    Who cares?

    The song and the story are still there; as are the feeders and the fed, endlessly singing and writing and listening and reading to each other without understanding what they do.

    Surfing on the empty currents"

    Gassho,

    Ryokudo
    Last edited by Ryokudo; 09-14-2021 at 04:27 PM.

  35. #35
    Since I am a teacher, I will go with teaching.

    So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains
    the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every teaching of
    each teacher somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every moment taught by all the other teachers, past, present,
    or future, and fully contains the entire teaching too. Dōgen experienced the time of the teaching as the overall movement that is fully held and
    expressed in each individual lesson itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past,
    as the present fully holds the past and future of the lesson.

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Guish.

  36. #36
    I thought of breathing, resulting in:

    Picture in your mind a breather witnessing a deep breath so vigorous and vibrant that its countless breaths seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single breaths becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual breaths can no longer be seen. It is like single raindrops vanishing in a distant storm. The deep breath is the ground below, the air that’s stirred, the light of moon and stars in the open sky above. We are such fragile drops in motion, but also the whole ground, the whole motion, every breath of air, the moon and all the stars, the entirety of sky that is deep breathing too — for the deep breath is the whole of everything. It’s a breath that leaves nothing out. Indeed, the swirling deep breath constantly spins out new shapes and creations, gives temporary form to each and all of the individual breaths. From this vantage point, each of us is no more solid or separate than eddies in swirling water, dust devils in the breeze, flashes of lighting casting momentary light and shadow, each there for a while before fading back into the breath. The breath of nature in motion seems to spin us out onto the stage, then spin us back in, giving the appearance of birth and death. But beyond those temporary appearances, we are also the whole deep breath itself — a deep breath which happens before, during, and after our limited sense of time. There are scenes during life of youth, health, love, joy, and beauty, as well as sickness and sorrow, violence and war. Yet all are outward appearances rippling across the surface of it all.

    Gassho

    Dick

    sat/lah

  37. #37
    You and I are notes in this melody, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is producing this song together. And although we may feel as if we are separate tones—finite harmonics in a grand composition spanning all of time and space—we are also the song itself playing through us. A universe of notes that are being harmonized in this piece that the whole universe is playing. Picture in your mind a listening hearing a beat dropped which is so vigorous and vibrant that its countless notes seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single notes becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, with the volume turned up, individual notes can no longer be heard.

  38. #38
    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese scuba diver of long ago ... experienced reality as a great dive moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special dive, for it is the dive that the whole of reality is diving, with nothing left out, that you and I are diving, that is diving as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the dive “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this dive began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being dived now in each step and breath we take, much as a dive unfolds and constantly renews with every turn or leap of its divers.

    Gassho
    Heitou
    SatToday
    Heitou
    平桃

  39. #39
    I used to skateboard as a teenager and I absolutely loved it, so it is fitting to use it here with this exercise:

    Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this skateboarding has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the skateboarding that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next ollie and kickflip. The board is always right underfoot, so just
    skate, without thought of any other place.

    Gassho,

    Shade

    ST

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
    I used to skateboard as a teenager and I absolutely loved it, so it is fitting to use it here with this exercise:

    Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this skateboarding has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the skateboarding that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next ollie and kickflip. The board is always right underfoot, so just
    skate, without thought of any other place.

    Gassho,

    Shade

    ST
    I love this - I also skated back in the day and even in my 40s it remains a big influence on me!


    But now I potter about in the garden so:

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting the whole garden in motion. Where this pruning has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the herbacious border is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next cutting back and mulching. The garden is always right underfoot, so just
    garden, without thought of any other place.

    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  41. #41
    I like NASCAR, so let’s try it.

    Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a race so vigorous and vibrant that it’s countless racers seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single racers becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual racers can no longer be seen. It is like single raindrops vanishing in a distant storm. The race is the ground below, the air that’s stirred, the light of the moon and stars in the open sky above. We are such fragile drops in motion, but also the whole ground, the whole motion, every breath of air, the moon and all the stars, the entirety of the sky that is racing too - for the race is the whole of everything. It’s a race that leaves nothing out.

    Gassho

    Nanto Sat/Lah

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by CK732 View Post
    I like NASCAR, so let’s try it.

    Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a race so vigorous and vibrant that it’s countless racers seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single racers becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual racers can no longer be seen. It is like single raindrops vanishing in a distant storm. The race is the ground below, the air that’s stirred, the light of the moon and stars in the open sky above. We are such fragile drops in motion, but also the whole ground, the whole motion, every breath of air, the moon and all the stars, the entirety of the sky that is racing too - for the race is the whole of everything. It’s a race that leaves nothing out.

    Gassho

    Nanto Sat/Lah
    I am more of an Indycar guy but love NASCAR as well. That was lovely.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  43. #43
    This is a fun exercise! My spouse and I love camping and hiking. It is one of those activities that is very special to us. I chose to focus on hiking for my rewrites:


    You and I are hikers in this journey, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy, the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is hiking this journey together. And although we may feel as if we are separate hikers—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the hike itself journeying through us. A universe of hikers that are being hiked up in this journey that the whole universe is hiking,

    ----

    Please don’t understand the concept of this hike merely intellectually. Instead, join in, truly feel what it is to be swept up in the hike as the hike. Master Dogen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this hike has come from, where it is going, is not as important as the hike that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next stride and climb. The journey is always underfoot, so just hike, without thought of any other place.

    Gassho,
    Ryan
    SatToday

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    I am more of an Indycar guy but love NASCAR as well. That was lovely.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH

    I watch Indy every now and then, but my heart has been in stock car racing since my teen years, even though I didn’t recognize it until later in life.

    Thank you for your kind words about my post. The words I belong to Jundo not me. I only substituted the dance with the racers. His writing is beautiful and his message was clear. No changes were needed

    Gassho

    Nanto

  45. #45
    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Traveller of long ago ... experienced reality as a great journey moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special journey , for it is the travel that the whole of reality is travelling , with nothing immovable, that you and I are travelling , that is journey as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the journey “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this journey began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being travelled now in each step and breath we take, much as a road unfolds and constantly renews with every turn or leap of its travellers.

    You and I are vagabonds on this journey , as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is travelling on this journey together. And although we may feel as if we are separate travellers—finite individuals on a vast road spanning all of time and space—we are also the journey itself travelling through us. A universe of vagabonds that are being travelled in this journey that the whole universe is travelling. Picture in your mind a passer by witnessing a road so vigorous and vibrant that its countless travellers seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single travellers becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual travellers can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains
    the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every step of
    each traveller somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every step by all the other travellers on the path, past, present,
    or future, and fully contains the entire journey too. Dōgen experienced the time of the journey as the overall movement that is fully held and
    expressed in each individual move itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past,
    as the present fully holds the past and future of the journey.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Whenn this journey has begun , where it is going, is not as important
    as the journey that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next leap and gesture. The journey is always right underfoot, so just travel through this wondrous world
    , without thought of any other place.

  46. #46
    Member Yuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Chicoutimi, Québec, Canada
    I have a passion for Djembe, African Drums, and when I’m playing this instrument, I’m all « Here and Now », cause it’s impossible to play percussion without being completely present to each hit and silence that realize the rythm.
    Here, my modest contribution:
    _______________
    A master Djembefola of long ago ... experienced reality as a great rythm moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special rythm, for it is the rythm that the whole of reality is pulsing, with nothing left out, that you and I are rythming, that is pulsing as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Djembefola sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the pulse “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this rythm began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being pulsed now in each step and breath we take, much as a rythm unfolds and constantly renews with every base, tone or slap of its drummers.

    You and I are drummers in this rythm, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is pulsing this rythm together. And although we may feel as if we are separate drummers—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the percussion itself pulsing through us. A universe of drummers that are being rythmed up in this goat skin that the whole universe is hitting. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing a rythm so vigorous and vibrant that its countless actors seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single drummers becoming pairs, then groups circle, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual drummer can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did the Djembefola see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every hit of
    each drummer somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every sound by all the other drummers on the stage, past, present,
    or future, and fully contains the entire rythm too. The Djembefola experienced the time of the rythm as the overall movement that is fully held and expressed in each individual sound itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past,
    as the present fully holds the past and future of the rythm.

    ... Master Djembefola spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this rythm has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the pulse that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next hit and gesture. The rythm is always right underhand, so just hit the skin, without thought of any other place.
    _________________
    Yuki 雪
    (Sat today)

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
    I have a passion for Djembe, African Drums, and when I’m playing this instrument, I’m all « Here and Now », cause it’s impossible to play percussion without being completely present to each hit and silence that realize the rythm.
    I like that one, Yuki.
    You remind me on the "FOLI" short film from Thomas Roebers and Floris Leeuwenberg about the "Tous les choses, c’est du rythme." of the Malinke (as the chief said in the video). Or as Jundo wrote "the dance that the whole of reality is dancing".
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=lVPLIuBy9CY
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidō 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.

  48. #48
    Member Yuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Chicoutimi, Québec, Canada
    Merci Kotei !
    I just watched « FOLI » and it makes me cry. It’s very moving and so close from the Great Pulse of the Dharma. Deep bows !
    Thanks again !

    Yuki 雪 ( or, as Ryokudo call me : Yuki bang-bang)
    (Sat today )

  49. #49
    Hello,

    Here is my attempt. I spent some time trying to get other activities to fit, as I don’t actually do any painting myself — but I really like sketching, which is close, and my mother paints every day so I talk about painting often. Future me is likely to be painting too...

    Gassho,
    Gareth

    Sat today, Lah

    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great painting, continually painted over through time, coming to life in the thoughts and brush strokes of all artists. It is a most special painting, for it is the painting that the whole of reality is painting, with nothing left out, that you and I are painting, that is painting as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the evolution and many brushes of the painting “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where this painting began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being painted now in each step and breath we take, much as a never ending painting unfolding and constantly renewing with every brush stroke or finger dab of its painters.

    You and I are painters in this painting, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy, the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is painting this painting together. And although we may feel as if we are separate painters—finite individuals on a grand canvas spanning all of time and space—we are also the painting itself painting through us. A universe of painters that are being painted up in this painting that the whole universe is painting. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing painting so vigorous and vibrant that its countless painters seem to vanish in the swirl of motion: single painters becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, individual painters can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every brush stroke of each painter somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every brush stroke by all the other painters on the canvas, past, present, or future, and fully contains the entire painting too. Dōgen experienced the time of the painting as the overall movement that is fully held and
    expressed in each individual move itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past,
    as the present fully holds the past and future of the painting.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this painting has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the painting that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next smudge of finger paint, your next brush, or your next line and wash. The painting is always right underfoot, so just paint, without thought of any other place.
    Last edited by bad_buddha_007; 09-20-2021 at 04:01 PM.

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by KathyW View Post
    I think that this exercise really helped me to understand Jundo's introduction - I had to really think about the meaning of each word. I also found it to be fun!


    Eihei Dōgen, a Japanese Zen Master of long ago ... experienced reality as a great act of continuous painting with ever vanishing brush strokes on a canvas moving through time, coming to life in the thoughts and acts of all beings. It is a most special act of painting, for it is the canvas that the whole of reality is painting, with nothing left out, that you and I are painting, that is painting as you and me. It is a vibrant, swirling, flowing, merging and emerging unity that Buddhists sometimes call “emptiness,” as the motion and sweep of the act of painting “empties” us of the sense of only being separate beings, and fills and reaffirms us as the whole. We, as human beings, can’t be sure when or where the painting of this canvas began, or whether it even has a beginning or end. But we can come to see that it is being painted now in each brush stroke and breath we take, much as a painting unfolds and constantly renews with the application of each of its brush strokes.

    You and I are painters of this canvas, as is every creature great or small, the mountains and seas, every grain of sand or massive galaxy,
    the atoms that make up the universe and the whole universe itself. Everything in reality, no matter how old or vast, no matter how unnoticed or small, is painting this canvas together. And although we may feel as if we are separate painters—finite individuals on a grand stage spanning all of time and space—we are also the canvas itself painting through us. A universe of painters that are being painted up in this canvas that the whole universe is painting. Picture in your mind a spectator witnessing acts of painting so vigorous and vibrant that its countless brush strokes seem to come and go in the swirl of motion: single painters whose brush strokes merge with those of other painters becoming pairs, then groups, coming together and separating moment by moment, yet so merged as the overall movement that, from a distance, the brush strokes of individual painters can no longer be seen. ...

    ... So united did Dōgen see that whole that, in his mind, each point holds all other points, near or far, each point miraculously fully contains
    the whole, and each moment of time ticks with all other moments of time, before or after. It is much like saying that every brush stroke of
    each painter somehow embodies, depends upon, and also fully expresses every brush stroke of all the other painters of the canvas, past, present,
    or future, and fully contains the entire canvas too. Dōgen experienced the time of the painting as the overall act of painting that is fully held and
    expressed in each individual brush stroke itself, with past not only flowing into present and future, but future flowing into the present and past,
    as the present fully holds the past and future of the canvas.

    ... Master Dōgen spoke of practice, putting it all in motion. Where this canvas has come from, where it is going, is not as important
    as the painting that is truly realized—made real—right here, in your next brush stroke. The painting is always right now, so just
    paint, without thought of any finished canvas.

    Gassho,
    Kathy

    Sat today
    Oh - snap! I thought I might not be alone with painting

    Gassho,
    Gareth

    Sat today, Lah

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