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Thread: The Zen Master's Dance - 2 - How To Read Dogen (to p. 12)

  1. #1

    The Zen Master's Dance - 2 - How To Read Dogen (to p. 12)

    Hi Dogenites,

    We will continue our Dance this week with the chapter called "How To Read Dogen," up to the middle of page 12 (for our e-readers, stopping before the section "And Thus This Book").

    In this section, I describe how it is necessary to understand some basic Buddhism or Mahayana Buddhist teachings, and then how Dogen wilds up the language and images to express the teachings in new light, never leaving the teaching but bringing forth new dimensions through his playful game (sometimes with intended results, but with sometimes unexpected revelations that just pop out of his words). I give an example from the Lotus Sutra in the book, about a flying Pagoda (I know that some people don't care for the fancifulness of the Lotus, but I often tell folks that, like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or Willy Wonka's tale of good and bad kids, the wild imagery is just a vehicle to describe something fantastically fantastic!).

    Here is another section of the Lotus Sutra, a pretty straight parable about someone who has a wonderful treasure within (his "Buddha Nature" or original enlightenment) but just does not know it:


    Suppose there were a man who came to the house of a close friend and went to sleep after becoming intoxicated with wine. The
    intimate friend, having to go out on official business, sews a priceless jewel into the inside of his friend’s garment and, giving it to him, leaves. But the man who was drunk and asleep is totally unaware of this. After getting up he leaves and roams around until he arrives in another country. Although he diligently seeks for food and clothing they are very difficult to obtain. He is satisfied if he just obtains a very meager amount. Later on the intimate friend happens to meet this man. Seeing him, he says: O poor fellow! How have you come to this state through lack of food and clothing? Once, on such-and-such a day in such-and-such a month and year, I sewed a priceless jewel into the inside of your garment, wanting to make things easier for you and to let you enjoy the desires of the five senses as much as you wished. It is still there, although you aren’t aware of it, and you seek your livelihood with great effort and hardship! You have been very foolish. Sell this jewel and use it to buy what you need. From now on you will know neither poverty nor want and can live as you wish.
    Inspired by Dogen's kind of word games, mixing and matching images and phrases, going for double-entendres or turning things up-side-down, rewrite the above in something like Dogen's style of writing to bring out this point of our Buddha Nature already being with us, we are already enlightened but just don't know it. Rather than being too rational about it, let the sound and feeling and chance "whatever pops out of the word play" convey the feeling for that message. Look at the Lotus Sutra passage quoted in my book, and Dogen's rewriting of it, for examples of the kind of word play you should do.

    Oh, and try not to look at the examples of what others have done in this thread before posting your own example. After, you can look at the others, however, nobody is graded on this! Just have fun.

    I may assign a "bonus" track or two later in the week to try too.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    PS - Now, there has been a little confusion about what is the assignment. It is not to write something really original this time. The point of the exercise is to get a little feel for Dogen's style and manner of expression by mimicking his style. So, please be sure to try this:

    Go back to the chapter, please, and look at the original "Lotus Sutra" passage. Then, look at what D.J. Dogen did with it in his remix passage, what he did with the elements of the story such as "treasure stupa" "sitting inside the stupa" "springing out of Vulture Peak" "two hundred and fifty yojanas" and the like, and how he stirred that all up. Study his grammar, and how he mixed or reinterpreted the various elements, and do something like that with the passage I assigned. If you are not sure what to do, just borrow Dogen's sentence structure, and just switch the elements from the old story with the elements of the new story that I assigned.
    THE POINT IS TO WRITE AND SOUND LIKE DOGEN, not to write your own interesting story!
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-08-2021 at 04:58 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    I'll take a stab at it.

    There exists in each of these ten directions a dragon black of scale who sews jewels inside of jewels, and robes inside of robes. In this way every man with a robe finds himself with infinite wealth as he pulls from inside another garment. And every man with wealth finds himself in the possession of the black dragon's jewel. In this way every man with a robe finds himself with the jewel.

    And yet, a man with wealth cannot find himself in possession of any jewels, let alone the black dragon's jewel. For it is impossible to see through the true dharma eye when your treasury is full. This is what it means to take an oath of poverty.
    When you find your robes lined with robes you find the path is lined with the path. Stumbling through a strange land you are already wrapped in the way.
    Bodhidharma crosses mountains to come from the west, and finds not the boundary of those mountains. The mountains surely move just as the sky does, but travelling down the hill before the mountain does not discredit your progress. In moving downwards you also move forwards; the summit grows closer even as it climbs higher into the sky.
    And while jewels could hire sherpas to lead you to the summit, the Black Dragon Jewel can hire sherpas which lead you where you are.


    I feel like this got away from me, and I need a nap. Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho,
    William
    SatToday
    Last edited by Shinshin; 09-26-2021 at 01:22 AM. Reason: Spelling

  3. #3
    Okay here's my attempt. Scout's Honor that I didn't peek at others'! I was struggling at first, trying to be too analytical in my approach. But then I just tried to let that sweet dharma jazz flow through me, channelling Dogen as best I could, letting whatever came forth hit the keys. This is my result:

    "Buddha Nature is like the red jewel sewn into a coat, the wearer too drunk on the wine of ignorance to realize it.

    But do not think that when I say Buddha Nature is a red jewel sewn into the lining of a coat, that it means Buddha Nature is a red jewel sewn into a coat.

    Buddha Nature is nothing but the jewel, the coat, the thread, the wearer, a friend, a bottle of wine, ignorance, falling asleep, and waking up; both finding and not-finding the jewel, no jewel to find or not-find, no not-finding nor not-not-finding. The jewel sews the wine and the wearer finds the coat fast asleep. The wearer wears, the jewel jewels, and the wine wines.

    This means nothing other than Buddha Nature is a red jewel sewn into a coat"

  4. #4
    Suppose there were a man who came to the house of a close friend to go hiking the next day and went to sleep early in order to get a good start the next morning. The man said that he wouldn’t bother to take a packed lunch but buy something on the way. After he’d gone to bed, the friend put a candy bar into his backpack, which the man picks up and leaves before his friend gets up the next morning. But the man is totally unaware of the candy bar. He leaves and roams around until he realizes he is a bit lost. Eventually, he finds his path but when he comes down the mountain, the few shops have closed and he has missed the last bus out of the valley. He walks for a long time and only has some ditch water to drink. Later on he sees his friend in the distance. Catching up with him, he asks why he’s so miserable since he put some food in the bottom of his bag. It is still there, so he eats it and they walk home together to a big home cooked meal.

    Stewart
    Sat

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
    Suppose there were a man who came to the house of a close friend to go hiking the next day and went to sleep early in order to get a good start the next morning. The man said that he wouldn’t bother to take a packed lunch but buy something on the way. After he’d gone to bed, the friend put a candy bar into his backpack, which the man picks up and leaves before his friend gets up the next morning. But the man is totally unaware of the candy bar. He leaves and roams around until he realizes he is a bit lost. Eventually, he finds his path but when he comes down the mountain, the few shops have closed and he has missed the last bus out of the valley. He walks for a long time and only has some ditch water to drink. Later on he sees his friend in the distance. Catching up with him, he asks why he’s so miserable since he put some food in the bottom of his bag. It is still there, so he eats it and they walk home together to a big home cooked meal.

    Stewart
    Sat
    Well, not so Dogen-ish, but I did please my sweet tooth.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    I hope I have understood the assignment:

    “The foolish one and the sage, the one exerting himself in the Lotus posture and the one marching to war are not different and not more or less rich in the dharma than each other. Each having had jewels bestowed upon them, they go on about their work and effort, losing sight and memory of the hiding place of the precious gem.
    Upright in the stillness of zazen, one effortlessly uncovers the precious jewel, for how can it remain hidden in the inner garments when its light shoots out like an arrow towards the mark? What worth is there in a jewel kept hidden and what poverty can there be when it is easily found? And yet, men live cursing their fate, and die with their hands reaching out for alms. “

    Sorry for running a bit long and for probably completely misunderstanding the task

    SatToday
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
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  7. #7
    Not long ago, a pothead passed out on his friend's couch after a long night of cheetos and blunts. The friend, being an economic theorist and Bitcoin maximalist, had been talking about the future of cryptocurrency despite his friend's general lack of interest. Despite this, the theorist created for his unknowing friend a hardware wallet and deposited a substantial amount of bitcoin, at the time worth less than the storage device they were kept on. Upon awaking, the stoner found his friend had left, took the wallet he found left for him and put it in the glove box of his '97 Ford Taurus.
    Years passed, and the stoner came upon hard times. He lost what little he did have other than his vehicle and its contents. He also wasn't keen on keeping up with current events. There were days he was happy to find a half eaten box of chicken McNuggets and a blunt roach lying around. Parked in a gentrified area of town, he thought about where he would drive off to next with the liter of gas still remaining in his tank. Suddenly, there was a knock on his window. It must be the cops, he assumed, and hastily put out the trash-weed he had been puffing on. But instead of police, he saw the concerned look of his economist friend from years ago. His friend asked what had happened and how he had turned out this way, and the conversation turned to the bitcoin of years past, still sitting in a wallet in his glove box. That night they had quite a party.

  8. #8
    Stewart, Bion, and Mr. Clark ...

    I am going to ask you three to try again, although what you each wrote was fascinating. The point is to get a handle on Dogen's writing style, and what he was doing, although you are all very creative and witty writers.

    Go back to the chapter, please, and look at the original "Lotus Sutra" passage. Then, look at what D.J. Dogen did with it in his remix passage, what he did with the elements of the story such as "treasure stupa" "sitting inside the stupa" "springing out of Vulture Peak" "two hundred and fifty yojanas" and the like, and how he stirred that all up. Study his grammar, and how he mixed or reinterpreted the various elements, and do something like that with the passage I assigned. If you are not sure what to do, just borrow Dogen's sentence structure, and just switch the elements from the old story with the elements of the new story that I assigned.

    Bion, yours was nice, but I really want you to mimic Dogen's style for this exercise. Stewart, yours made me hungry. Mr. Clark, yours reminded me of my misspent youth growing up in Ft. Lauderdale in the 70s, combined with elements of Neuromancer cyberpunk SF.

    So, no grades but ... pass/fail.

    Kaishin, maybe you can also add a bit more to what you wrote, maybe wild things up a bit more, mixing and matching and stretching those story elements musically. I think you have it about right, but expand for a few more sentences, adding on to what you already wrote. Even wilder mixing and matching elements, please, for another 3 or 4 lines. You can copy Dogen's grammar structures too.

    Shinshin, I think you got the general feel of it, yeah.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-27-2021 at 11:41 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    I didn't get to look at this thread in depth before, but Jundo your post has me really curious. It almost sounds like a challenging word game(?) with Dogen. I love word games, and I'm trying to understand Dogen. So, I will attempt this, if I may. =)

    Gassho2, meian stlh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest
    Clearing out old energy is good for the mind.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Meian View Post
    I didn't get to look at this thread in depth before, but Jundo your post has me really curious. It almost sounds like a challenging word game(?) with Dogen. I love word games, and I'm trying to understand Dogen. So, I will attempt this, if I may. =)

    Gassho2, meian stlh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    Yes, it is a kind of word game ... with profound meanings ...



    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes, it is a kind of word game ... with profound meanings ...


    Great -- my favorite kind, patterns, codes and all! I want to try.

    Just will take some time.

    gassho meian stlh
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest
    Clearing out old energy is good for the mind.

  12. #12
    Jundo,

    Here's my expanded attempt. You're really challenging my limited creativity on this one! So I will definitely borrow some grammar this time ...

    "Buddha Nature is like the red jewel sewn into a coat, the wearer too drunk on the wine of ignorance to realize it.

    But do not think that when I say Buddha Nature is a red jewel sewn into the lining of a coat, that it means Buddha Nature is a red jewel sewn into a coat.

    The red jewel is within the coat, and the coat is within the red jewel. The jeweled coat is a coat of red jewels abiding in wine, and wine opens wine for the jeweled coat.

    Buddha Nature is nothing but the jewel, the coat, the thread, the wearer, a friend, a bottle of wine, ignorance, falling asleep, and waking up; both finding and not-finding the jewel, no jewel to find or not-find, no not-finding nor not-not-finding. The jewel turns the coat inside out and the inside out jewel abides in the Dharma. The jewel sews the wine and the wearer finds the coat fast asleep. The wearer wears, the jewel jewels, and the wine wines.

    This "within the coat," "Buddha Nature," "the jeweled coat," and "wine" are not limited to the realm of things This means nothing other than Buddha Nature is a red jewel sewn into a coat"
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  13. #13
    There is a teaching of a good friend. The universe is a good friend. The universe places the valuable treasure of Buddha nature within the seams of sentient beings intoxicated with ignorance. Our drunken state moves the universe to compassion, and the awareness of enlightenment is in each of us but as sentient beings, we bumble along, thinking we are spiritually impoverished until we find a teacher who uncovers our Buddha nature and lets us see the beauty of the Dharma that always surrounds us.

    Thank you, Jundo, for this thread and assignment. It's adding to an already wonderful read.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/lah
    Last edited by Onkai; 09-28-2021 at 12:52 AM.
    On (Warm)
    Kai (Sea)
    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post

    Buddha Nature is nothing but the jewel, the coat, the thread, the wearer, a friend, a bottle of wine, ignorance, falling asleep, and waking up; both finding and not-finding the jewel, no jewel to find or not-find, no not-finding nor not-not-finding. The jewel turns the coat inside out and the inside out jewel abides in the Dharma. The jewel sews the wine and the wearer finds the coat fast asleep. The wearer wears, the jewel jewels, and the wine wines.

    This "within the coat," "Buddha Nature," "the jeweled coat," and "wine" are not limited to the realm of things This means nothing other than Buddha Nature is a red jewel sewn into a coat"
    Yeah. Groovy.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Onkai View Post
    There is a teaching of a good friend. The universe is a good friend. The universe places the valuable treasure of Buddha nature within the seams of sentient beings intoxicated with ignorance. Our drunken state moves the universe to compassion, and the awareness of enlightenment is in each of us but as sentient beings, we bumble along, thinking we are spiritually impoverished until we find a teacher who uncovers our Buddha nature and lets us see the beauty of the Dharma that always surrounds us.

    Thank you, Jundo, for this thread and assignment. It's adding to an already wonderful read.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/lah
    Lovely. But see my message to Kaishin .... same for you too:

    Kaishin, maybe you can also add a bit more to what you wrote, maybe wild things up a bit more, mixing and matching and stretching those story elements musically. I think you have it about right, but expand for a few more sentences, adding on to what you already wrote. Even wilder mixing and matching elements, please, for another 3 or 4 lines. You can copy Dogen's grammar structures too.
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    There is a teaching of a good friend. The universe is a good friend. A good friend is the universe. Sentient beings are the universe.The universe places the valuable treasure of Buddha nature within the seams of sentient beings intoxicated with ignorance. Buddha nature is found in intoxication. Enlightenment is in the midst of ignorance. The universe covers us in our worn coat. The jewel is the universe. Our drunken state moves the universe to compassion, and the awareness of enlightenment is in each of us but as sentient beings, we bumble along, thinking we are spiritually impoverished until we find a teacher who uncovers our Buddha nature and lets us see the beauty of the Dharma that always surrounds us. We are the universe we are the jewel in each facet of Indra's Net. Friendship saves us. We save the friendship. We are all giving jewels to each other. We all are in ignorance of the jewels. The jewels are ignorance not thinking. Not thinking we are shown hidden jewels.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/lah
    On (Warm)
    Kai (Sea)
    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Onkai View Post
    There is a teaching of a good friend. The universe is a good friend. A good friend is the universe. Sentient beings are the universe.The universe places the valuable treasure of Buddha nature within the seams of sentient beings intoxicated with ignorance. Buddha nature is found in intoxication. Enlightenment is in the midst of ignorance. The universe covers us in our worn coat. The jewel is the universe. Our drunken state moves the universe to compassion, and the awareness of enlightenment is in each of us but as sentient beings, we bumble along, thinking we are spiritually impoverished until we find a teacher who uncovers our Buddha nature and lets us see the beauty of the Dharma that always surrounds us. We are the universe we are the jewel in each facet of Indra's Net. Friendship saves us. We save the friendship. We are all giving jewels to each other. We all are in ignorance of the jewels. The jewels are ignorance not thinking. Not thinking we are shown hidden jewels.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/lah
    Dig it!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    One day a person, heavy-laden with worries and fears, walked in a forest and sat on a rock. Overcome with fatigue and drunk with anxiety, they lay down in the grasses, felt the cool earth beneath them, and sunk down in misery as their mind raced away with their troubles.

    The sun was shining in the clear sky and a light breeze wafted over the fragrant meadows, and soon, the person's scattered mind drifted up with the breeze and the sun, towards the sky, up to the stratosphere, out, out into space. The mind, still dreaming turbulence of worries and tasks and what-ifs, floated to the Buddha Nebulae, and a precious star of the Buddha twinkled into the mind. A local star cluster brightened and shimmered. The mind sparkled with the stars and the energy expanded.

    Space debris floated by, distant stars of various colors and massive sizes, and awareness of emptiness, in nothingness, in all-ness as the mind expanded, opened, moved through, around, and was all things. The mind, the stars, the nebulae, the planets, the galaxies, no limits, in everything and all things breathing, moving, pulsing, existing in the same space, no space, and all space – timelessness, where time and space do not exist.

    gassho, meian st lh
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest
    Clearing out old energy is good for the mind.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Meian View Post
    One day a person, heavy-laden with worries and fears, walked in a forest and sat on a rock. Overcome with fatigue and drunk with anxiety, they lay down in the grasses, felt the cool earth beneath them, and sunk down in misery as their mind raced away with their troubles.

    The sun was shining in the clear sky and a light breeze wafted over the fragrant meadows, and soon, the person's scattered mind drifted up with the breeze and the sun, towards the sky, up to the stratosphere, out, out into space. The mind, still dreaming turbulence of worries and tasks and what-ifs, floated to the Buddha Nebulae, and a precious star of the Buddha twinkled into the mind. A local star cluster brightened and shimmered. The mind sparkled with the stars and the energy expanded.

    Space debris floated by, distant stars of various colors and massive sizes, and awareness of emptiness, in nothingness, in all-ness as the mind expanded, opened, moved through, around, and was all things. The mind, the stars, the nebulae, the planets, the galaxies, no limits, in everything and all things breathing, moving, pulsing, existing in the same space, no space, and all space – timelessness, where time and space do not exist.

    gassho, meian st lh
    Meian, that piece is amazing! You are one heck of a beautiful writer. BUT it is not the task: I want you to dive into Dogen's style so that we can get a sense of Dogen's ways.

    So, I will ask the same of you that I asked of the others, and give it another shot:

    Go back to the chapter, please, and look at the original "Lotus Sutra" passage. Then, look at what D.J. Dogen did with it in his remix passage, what he did with the elements of the story such as "treasure stupa" "sitting inside the stupa" "springing out of Vulture Peak" "two hundred and fifty yojanas" and the like, and how he stirred that all up. Study his grammar, and how he mixed or reinterpreted the various elements, and do something like that with the passage I assigned. If you are not sure what to do, just borrow Dogen's sentence structure, and just switch the elements from the old story with the elements of the new story that I assigned.
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post290650
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    I have only read this tip and the first post Jundo; I had some confusion too, so thank you; hopefully this cleared up but I'll post in a couple of days and we'll see. hahaha

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  21. #21
    Diving headlong into the Dogen Ocean and will swim as many laps as necessary.

    Gassho2, meian stlh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest
    Clearing out old energy is good for the mind.

  22. #22
    Hi everyone

    Here is my attempt. I have resisted the urge to look at this thread. I wanted to give this exercise an honest go but I am not good at creative writing and I may have missed the point of this entirely but it was a lot of fun to write.


    The jewels are not lost and found.
    The jewels are given and received freely.

    The man gives the jewels freely to his friend.
    The friend receives the jewels and yet they are not found.

    The friend wanders ceaseless
    Traveling great distances and seeks endlessly for treasures
    Like a dusty mirror, like the cloud covered moon.
    He looking for what is not lost.

    After many months the man encountered the friend who is a sorry state
    The man says:
    Why do you search so for what you already have?
    Do you not already carry the jewels with you?
    With the jewels, you and all sentient beings are sheltered
    What additional refuge do you seek?

    Like the cloudy sky
    Nothing is lost although it may not be in view
    Stop polishing the tile and realize it was a mirror all along



    Jundo…. I think what you are doing here is a fantastic way for us to try to internalize and personalize both Dogen and your writing.

    Now to look at what others have written


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Last edited by Tairin; 09-28-2021 at 08:14 PM. Reason: Added a line I missed
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    Hi everyone

    Here is my attempt. I have resisted the urge to look at this thread. I wanted to give this exercise an honest go but I am not good at creative writing and I may have missed the point of this entirely but it was a lot of fun to write.


    [I] The jewels are not lost and found.
    The jewels are given and received freely.

    The man gives the jewels freely to his friend.
    The friend receives the jewels and yet they are not found.
    Beatnik finger snappin' lovely.



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  24. #24
    Not at all certain I understood the directions or that what I did was correct, so my apologies if I missed the mark, but here is my attempt...

    "Suppose there was a visitor who came to the house of his friend and went to sleep after becoming drunk with wine. The visited friend, having to go out to work, sews a priceless jewel into the inside of his visiting friend’s garment and, giving it to him, departs. But the visiting friend who was drunk and asleep is totally unaware of this. After getting up, the visitor friend leaves and visits around until he arrives in another country. Although he is eager to seek for food and drink they are very difficult to obtain. He is satisfied if he just obtains a very meager amount. Later on the visited friend happens to meet this same visitor friend. Seeing him, he says: O poor fellow! How have you come to this state through lack of food and drink? Once, on the day of our visit, in a month and year of our visit, I sewed a priceless jewel into the inside of your garment, wanting to make things easier for you and to let you sow the desires of the five senses as much as you wished. It is still there, although you aren’t aware of it, and you seek your livelihood with great effort and hardship! You have been very foolish. Sell this jewel and use it to buy what you need. From now on you will not need to whine for wine nor anything else..."


    st/lah/rj

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by nefertiti120 View Post
    Not at all certain I understood the directions or that what I did was correct, so my apologies if I missed the mark, but here is my attempt...

    "Suppose there was a visitor who came to the house of his friend and went to sleep after becoming drunk with wine. The visited friend, having to go out to work, sews a priceless jewel into the inside of his visiting friend’s garment and, giving it to him, departs. But the visiting friend who was drunk and asleep is totally unaware of this. After getting up, the visitor friend leaves and visits around until he arrives in another country. Although he is eager to seek for food and drink they are very difficult to obtain. He is satisfied if he just obtains a very meager amount. Later on the visited friend happens to meet this same visitor friend. Seeing him, he says: O poor fellow! How have you come to this state through lack of food and drink? Once, on the day of our visit, in a month and year of our visit, I sewed a priceless jewel into the inside of your garment, wanting to make things easier for you and to let you sow the desires of the five senses as much as you wished. It is still there, although you aren’t aware of it, and you seek your livelihood with great effort and hardship! You have been very foolish. Sell this jewel and use it to buy what you need. From now on you will not need to whine for wine nor anything else..."


    st/lah/rj
    It is lovely, but I would encourage you to try again. Rewrite the passage following closely the grammar structure of the Stupa example, how Dogen mixes and matches elements (like "stupa" "yojanas" "space" "Vulture Peak" in the first, and do the same with things like "friend" "jewel" "garment" "lack of food" and such in the second.)

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    So, not sure. Experimenting!
    ___________________________________

    There is a priceless jewel in the heart of a friend who sits in the Treasure Stupa.

    There is a friend in the heart of a precious jewel sitting with a man in need, as they gaze upon Vulture Peak from the stupa.

    Before the Buddha, sits a man who lacks within. He receives a flower of the priceless jewel from his friend with a heart of the Seven Treasures.

    There sits a man with a precious jewel, whose friend has a heart full of Abundant Treasures.

    They sit with the Buddha, inside the Treasure Stupa. 14,000 miles above the sky, they gaze upon Vulture Peak and sit in silence.


    , meian stlh
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest
    Clearing out old energy is good for the mind.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Meian View Post
    So, not sure. Experimenting!
    ___________________________________

    There is a priceless jewel in the heart of a friend who sits in the Treasure Stupa.

    There is a friend in the heart of a precious jewel sitting with a man in need, as they gaze upon Vulture Peak from the stupa.

    Before the Buddha, sits a man who lacks within. He receives a flower of the priceless jewel from his friend with a heart of the Seven Treasures.

    There sits a man with a precious jewel, whose friend has a heart full of Abundant Treasures.

    They sit with the Buddha, inside the Treasure Stupa. 14,000 miles above the sky, they gaze upon Vulture Peak and sit in silence.


    , meian stlh
    You actually mixed the two section of the Lotus Sutra, the Hidden Jewel parable and the Flying Stupa ... and it works! Dogen would sometimes do that kind of mixing and melding too.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #28
    I really wanted to put a contemporary spin on the parable by taking an example from my life. I tried to reach for the core meaning of the Lotus Sutra section and find an example of it in real life. This is what I got.


    Out shopping one day my wife said to me, "which pasta we should buy". Her dilemma at the time a myriad choices, an ocean of possibilities ahead.

    What a puzzling question I said, “dear wife they’re one and the same, the food won’t change should we pick one over the other so throw whichever one you fancy into the kart and let’s go!”. Alas, met was I with a perplexing look as she gazed at the two bags of pasta, certain she was in her conviction that they’re as different as night and day.

    Unable to see the trees for the forest, overloaded was she with options. Looking at me dead in the eyes she spoke almost in whimper at her wits end, “I wish I could be as care free as you”.

    I hollered, what a joke I thought, “Dear wife” I said, “the calmness is as much in you as it is in me, if only you could look past your rambling thoughts”, “Take a deep breath, throw whichever one speaks to you more into the kart and then let’s go buy some ice-cream”.


    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

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingIntrospection View Post
    I really wanted to put a contemporary spin on the parable by taking an example from my life. I tried to reach for the core meaning of the Lotus Sutra section and find an example of it in real life. This is what I got.


    Out shopping one day my wife said to me, "which pasta we should buy". Her dilemma at the time a myriad choices, an ocean of possibilities ahead.

    What a puzzling question I said, “dear wife they’re one and the same, the food won’t change should we pick one over the other so throw whichever one you fancy into the kart and let’s go!”. Alas, met was I with a perplexing look as she gazed at the two bags of pasta, certain she was in her conviction that they’re as different as night and day.

    Unable to see the trees for the forest, overloaded was she with options. Looking at me dead in the eyes she spoke almost in whimper at her wits end, “I wish I could be as care free as you”.

    I hollered, what a joke I thought, “Dear wife” I said, “the calmness is as much in you as it is in me, if only you could look past your rambling thoughts”, “Take a deep breath, throw whichever one speaks to you more into the kart and then let’s go buy some ice-cream”.


    Gassho
    Mark
    ST
    Lovely, and funny.

    Yet, not the assignment. Please try again:

    Go back to the chapter, please, and look at the original "Lotus Sutra" passage. Then, look at what D.J. Dogen did with it in his remix passage, what he did with the elements of the story such as "treasure stupa" "sitting inside the stupa" "springing out of Vulture Peak" "two hundred and fifty yojanas" and the like, and how he stirred that all up. Study his grammar, and how he mixed or reinterpreted the various elements, and do something like that with the passage I assigned. If you are not sure what to do, just borrow Dogen's sentence structure, and just switch the elements from the old story with the elements of the new story that I assigned.
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  30. #30
    What are the elements? A man, the house of a close friend, intoxication, a priceless gift, the friend's garment, suffering.
    What are the lessons/themes? Living in intoxication, a friend with an amazing gift that you already have, life's struggles ease when you recognize what you have within.

    And Nengei's poor revision with apologies to Dōgen Roshi and Jundoshi:
    A kami (origami paper) unfolds bringing "a man" to visit "the house of a close friend" and to become "intoxicated with wine." A kami unfolds and "[t]he intimate friend" "sews a priceless jewel" into "his friend's garment." A kami unfolds and the man leaves the home of his friend and sets out on a journey. A kami unfolds and the man struggles in his existence, unaware that he carries with him the means to enlightenment.
    The value of the jewel is enlightenment, and enlightenment is in the jewel. The jewel contains awareness of the Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The man's friend lives in the jewel and is the Bodhisattva of Compassion. When the man crosses paths with his friend, Kannon guides the man to realization of what he carries with him. When the man goes on his journey, he begins following the path of the bodhisattva. He unfolds the kami of enlightenment and is able to help others with the priceless jewel. This "priceless jewel" is not only present in the man's clothing, and the man is not taking a trip to some limited "other country." The jewel exists in all sentient beings. The man is all sentient beings and the "other country" is all places.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

  31. #31
    Ok, take two...

    Suppose there was a young child who had been gifted a toy by a stranger. He did not know what the toy was but enjoyed playing with it for hours on end and for many years did so, even as he became a man picking his way through life. He loved gently strumming each string the toy contained and the sounds it produced...

    One day the same stranger (not recognized by the now young man) returned and hearing the young man playing, proceeded to ask him where he had learned to play the guitar. The young man asked what a guitar was, and the stranger explained that the toy he held in his hands was a guitar and that the young man had played so beautifully that he had struck a chord within the man's heart bringing him much joy. The stranger then explained that he had given the young man the toy a score ago, and that he had never heard of anyone with such talent. Within a short period of time after that, the stranger plucked the young man from obscurity, and made him the star of his concerts.




    st/rj

  32. #32
    There is the turning of the flower of dharma in the appearance of the house of a close friend, and even in becoming intoxicated with wine to the point of going to sleep. The close friend sews a priceless jewel into the inside of his friend’s garment and, giving it to him, leaves; this is the turning of the flower of dharma, but it is also the case that the priceless jewel and the drunken man's garment are not two things, and the priceless jewel, the drunken man's garment, and the close friend's house are all a treasure stupa which is five hundred yojanas tall and two hundred and fifty yojanas across.
    There is the turning of the flower of dharma in leaving the house; there is also the turning of the flower of dharma in staying put. But the man who was drunk and asleep is totally unaware of this; the mind that was drunk, the mind that was asleep, the mind of ignorance itself, are all nothing other than the priceless jewel, which is also unaware that it has been sewn into a garment.
    After getting up, he leaves and roams around until he arrives in another country. Why didn't he stay put and wait for his friend to return? Actually, though, wandering and remaining both lead us to Vulture Peak if we do them with diligence. Vulture Peak is the place that is neither hot nor cold.
    He diligently seeks for food and clothing, though they are very difficult to obtain. He is satisfied if he just obtains a very meager amount. What profound good fortune he had! If we are satisfied with a very meager amount, in what sense is it meager? All the treasures and jewels in a treasure stupa five hundred yojanas high and two hundred and fifty yojanas across are meager if we make distinctions between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, between poverty and wealth, preferring cold and disliking hot. What profound good fortune to arrive at Vulture Peak and be satisfied with what we find there.
    Later on, the close friend happens to meet this man. Seeing him, he says: "O poor fellow! How have you come to this state through lack of food and clothing?" But what lack could there possibly be in the turning of the flower of dharma? He does not know his friend is satisfied. Perhaps he should have kept the jewel for a little while longer himself.
    He continues, "Once, on such-and-such a day in such-and-such a month and year, I sewed a priceless jewel into the inside of your garment, wanting to make things easier for you and to let you enjoy the desires of the five senses as much as you wished." The way to enjoy the desires of the five senses is to guard the five senses from desire, to move beyond desire and take the five senses as the five senses. Does the close friend really understand the nature of the priceless jewel? Which of them really understands what is meant by "priceless" in a world without distinctions? Both men stand at Vulture Peak, but do both men know where Vulture Peak is?
    The close friend goes on, "It is still there, although you aren’t aware of it, and you seek your livelihood with great effort and hardship! You have been very foolish. Sell this jewel and use it to buy what you need. From now on you will know neither poverty nor want and can live as you wish." To seek our livelihoods with great effort and hardship, in accordance with the dharma, is to possess the priceless jewel, to know neither poverty nor want, and to live as we wish. To sell the jewel for a lot of money to spend on ourselves is to misunderstand the jewel. Only a person who really understands how to sell the priceless jewel and how to keep the priceless jewel can use it to benefit all sentient beings.

    Sorry to run long!
    Max
    Sat today
    おつかれさまです

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by nefertiti120 View Post
    Ok, take two...

    Suppose there was a young child who had been gifted a toy by a stranger. He did not know what the toy was but enjoyed playing with it for hours on end and for many years did so, even as he became a man picking his way through life. He loved gently strumming each string the toy contained and the sounds it produced...

    One day the same stranger (not recognized by the now young man) returned and hearing the young man playing, proceeded to ask him where he had learned to play the guitar. The young man asked what a guitar was, and the stranger explained that the toy he held in his hands was a guitar and that the young man had played so beautifully that he had struck a chord within the man's heart bringing him much joy. The stranger then explained that he had given the young man the toy a score ago, and that he had never heard of anyone with such talent. Within a short period of time after that, the stranger plucked the young man from obscurity, and made him the star of his concerts.




    st/rj
    You writing is beautiful, but now look at some of the other examples that tracked Dogen's grammar and style a little more closely. Guitar is lovely and creative, but the elements in this story are things like "jewel" and "friend" and "clothing" and "food" and "official business" etc. etc. mentioned in the Lotus Sutra passage. You skipped all that. Just follow Dogen's sentence structure.



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Max Andrew View Post
    There is the turning of the flower of dharma in the appearance of the house of a close friend, and even in becoming intoxicated with wine to the point of going to sleep. The close friend sews a priceless jewel into the inside of his friend’s garment and, giving it to him, leaves; this is the turning of the flower of dharma, but it is also the case that the priceless jewel and the drunken man's garment are not two things, and the priceless jewel, the drunken man's garment, and the close friend's house are all a treasure stupa which is five hundred yojanas tall and two hundred and fifty yojanas across.
    There is the turning of the flower of dharma in leaving the house; there is also the turning of the flower of dharma in staying put. But the man who was drunk and asleep is totally unaware of this; the mind that was drunk, the mind that was asleep, the mind of ignorance itself, are all nothing other than the priceless jewel, which is also unaware that it has been sewn into a garment.
    After getting up, he leaves and roams around until he arrives in another country. Why didn't he stay put and wait for his friend to return? Actually, though, wandering and remaining both lead us to Vulture Peak if we do them with diligence. Vulture Peak is the place that is neither hot nor cold.
    He diligently seeks for food and clothing, though they are very difficult to obtain. He is satisfied if he just obtains a very meager amount. What profound good fortune he had! If we are satisfied with a very meager amount, in what sense is it meager? All the treasures and jewels in a treasure stupa five hundred yojanas high and two hundred and fifty yojanas across are meager if we make distinctions between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, between poverty and wealth, preferring cold and disliking hot. What profound good fortune to arrive at Vulture Peak and be satisfied with what we find there.
    Later on, the close friend happens to meet this man. Seeing him, he says: "O poor fellow! How have you come to this state through lack of food and clothing?" But what lack could there possibly be in the turning of the flower of dharma? He does not know his friend is satisfied. Perhaps he should have kept the jewel for a little while longer himself.
    He continues, "Once, on such-and-such a day in such-and-such a month and year, I sewed a priceless jewel into the inside of your garment, wanting to make things easier for you and to let you enjoy the desires of the five senses as much as you wished." The way to enjoy the desires of the five senses is to guard the five senses from desire, to move beyond desire and take the five senses as the five senses. Does the close friend really understand the nature of the priceless jewel? Which of them really understands what is meant by "priceless" in a world without distinctions? Both men stand at Vulture Peak, but do both men know where Vulture Peak is?
    The close friend goes on, "It is still there, although you aren’t aware of it, and you seek your livelihood with great effort and hardship! You have been very foolish. Sell this jewel and use it to buy what you need. From now on you will know neither poverty nor want and can live as you wish." To seek our livelihoods with great effort and hardship, in accordance with the dharma, is to possess the priceless jewel, to know neither poverty nor want, and to live as we wish. To sell the jewel for a lot of money to spend on ourselves is to misunderstand the jewel. Only a person who really understands how to sell the priceless jewel and how to keep the priceless jewel can use it to benefit all sentient beings.

    Sorry to run long!
    Max
    Sat today
    Okay, lovely. You also mixed the two Lotus Sutra passages, the one in the example and the one to rewrite. Dogen also sometimes mixed separate things like that, so it is good to try that. Or you could have just rewritten the new passage in the example style.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Nengei View Post
    What are the elements? A man, the house of a close friend, intoxication, a priceless gift, the friend's garment, suffering.
    What are the lessons/themes? Living in intoxication, a friend with an amazing gift that you already have, life's struggles ease when you recognize what you have within.

    And Nengei's poor revision with apologies to Dōgen Roshi and Jundoshi:
    A kami (origami paper) unfolds bringing "a man" to visit "the house of a close friend" and to become "intoxicated with wine." A kami unfolds and "[t]he intimate friend" "sews a priceless jewel" into "his friend's garment." A kami unfolds and the man leaves the home of his friend and sets out on a journey. A kami unfolds and the man struggles in his existence, unaware that he carries with him the means to enlightenment.
    The value of the jewel is enlightenment, and enlightenment is in the jewel. The jewel contains awareness of the Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The man's friend lives in the jewel and is the Bodhisattva of Compassion. When the man crosses paths with his friend, Kannon guides the man to realization of what he carries with him. When the man goes on his journey, he begins following the path of the bodhisattva. He unfolds the kami of enlightenment and is able to help others with the priceless jewel. This "priceless jewel" is not only present in the man's clothing, and the man is not taking a trip to some limited "other country." The jewel exists in all sentient beings. The man is all sentient beings and the "other country" is all places.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.
    Jundoshi

    Oh, please leave the "shi" off of my Jundo!

    This is nice, and you decided to add your own original elements (e.g., origami paper) too. Cool.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  36. #36
    Attempt two A fun but difficult task!

    There is the turning of the flower of Dharma in the appearance “a man” who “came to the house of a close friend” while being “intoxicated”.
    There is the turning of the flower of Dharma in the intimate friend, who having urgent business to attend to, upon seeing his close friend asleep in his house, “sews a priceless jewel into the inside of his friend’s garment” before leaving.
    There is the turning of the flower of Dharma in the wayward once intoxicated friend destitute in life at the mercy of the sun and the moon seeking respite, only to be found by his intimate friend. The intimate friend saddened and confused by his friends conditions expounded upon his previous actions, “Once, on such-and-such a day in such-and-such a month and year, I sewed a priceless jewel into the inside of your garment”, seeing his conditions his own makings, knowing salvations’ in reach and wanting him to uncover the hidden jewel, “it is still there”, set yourself free.

    The priceless jewel is within the garment, the garment adorning the friend always accompanies him, both in his intimate friends’ house or during his wayward travels. The intimate friend shared his wealth in order for his friend to experience it in body, mind and all things, so that he may also enter the state of turning of the flower of Dharma. This sharing of wealth and wayward journey is not limited to the intimate friend and his friend, to the house and the road, to the realm of phenomena. They are not some half-way stage; neither are they the whole world. Nor are they matters of others or thought experiment, they are simply “non-thinking”.

    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

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingIntrospection View Post
    Attempt two A fun but difficult task!

    There is the turning of the flower of Dharma in the appearance “a man” who “came to the house of a close friend” while being “intoxicated”.
    There is the turning of the flower of Dharma in the intimate friend, who having urgent business to attend to, upon seeing his close friend asleep in his house, “sews a priceless jewel into the inside of his friend’s garment” before leaving.
    There is the turning of the flower of Dharma in the wayward once intoxicated friend destitute in life at the mercy of the sun and the moon seeking respite, only to be found by his intimate friend. The intimate friend saddened and confused by his friends conditions expounded upon his previous actions, “Once, on such-and-such a day in such-and-such a month and year, I sewed a priceless jewel into the inside of your garment”, seeing his conditions his own makings, knowing salvations’ in reach and wanting him to uncover the hidden jewel, “it is still there”, set yourself free.

    The priceless jewel is within the garment, the garment adorning the friend always accompanies him, both in his intimate friends’ house or during his wayward travels. The intimate friend shared his wealth in order for his friend to experience it in body, mind and all things, so that he may also enter the state of turning of the flower of Dharma. This sharing of wealth and wayward journey is not limited to the intimate friend and his friend, to the house and the road, to the realm of phenomena. They are not some half-way stage; neither are they the whole world. Nor are they matters of others or thought experiment, they are simply “non-thinking”.

    Gassho
    Mark
    ST
    Now you are starting to get it.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  38. #38
    Well, here goes nothing!

    Suppose there were a man who came to the house of a close friend and went to sleep after becoming intoxicated with wine. The intimate friend, being a businessman (I added businessman here so there would be less confusion regarding who was speaking) and having official matters to attend, notices something odd which was sewed in his friend’s clothing. Upon looking he is astounded to find a beautiful, priceless jewel. He considers whether to take such a precious item, since his friend is always seeking food, clothing and generally lives a meager life, he is worried that he will harm his friend by stealing it. But after much reflection, he concludes that the jewel should be possessed by someone who will use it to know neither poverty nor want and live as one wishes. He placed the jewel in his pocket and left his friend’s home, all while his friend was sound asleep.

    Once his business was concluded, he immediately endeavored to sell his newly acquired priceless jewel. However, he soon finds that no noble, artisan, or wealthy commoner will purchase his jewel. He tries to polish, and then break the jewel in order to increase its value, but nothing seems to work.

    After roaming far and wide, he resigned himself to failure and returned to his friend to give back the jewel. His friend declines his offer of the returned jewel and instead shows him another shimmering jewel. The businessman asked, “how could you possibly acquire two such priceless jewels in one lifetime?” The friend then proceeded to show him even more jewels. There were jewels in his garden, clothing, and even his food. The businessman asked how could this be? His friend replied, “this jewel you possess cannot be measured, polished or broken, because it includes all other phenomena. In other words, this jewel is priceless because it is beyond price, and this one precious jewel contains and reflects this whole precious universe, which is composed of incalculable jewels of infinite value. This jewel is no other than this moment, and all that is.”

    The businessman realized his foolishness, bowed to his friend and the jewel, and lived his life without poverty or want, just as he wished.

    Gassho,

    Shade

    ST

  39. #39
    OK here goes... as Jundo instructed, I have not yet looked at other people's posts.

    The man with the jewel in his garment already has all the food and clothing and supplies that he needs, as these have already been purchased with the jewel that is also still in his robe, if he will notice these jewels and food and clothing and supplies that he has. The jewel, which is one bright pearl, is also already in the garments of all the shopkeepers and suppliers who provide food and clothing and supplies, who all already have all that they need.

    Gassho,
    Charity
    ST

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
    Well, here goes nothing!

    Suppose there were a man who came to the house of a close friend and went to sleep after becoming intoxicated with wine. The intimate friend, being a businessman (I added businessman here so there would be less confusion regarding who was speaking) and having official matters to attend, notices something odd which was sewed in his friend’s clothing. Upon looking he is astounded to find a beautiful, priceless jewel. He considers whether to take such a precious item, since his friend is always seeking food, clothing and generally lives a meager life, he is worried that he will harm his friend by stealing it. But after much reflection, he concludes that the jewel should be possessed by someone who will use it to know neither poverty nor want and live as one wishes. He placed the jewel in his pocket and left his friend’s home, all while his friend was sound asleep.

    Once his business was concluded, he immediately endeavored to sell his newly acquired priceless jewel. However, he soon finds that no noble, artisan, or wealthy commoner will purchase his jewel. He tries to polish, and then break the jewel in order to increase its value, but nothing seems to work.

    After roaming far and wide, he resigned himself to failure and returned to his friend to give back the jewel. His friend declines his offer of the returned jewel and instead shows him another shimmering jewel. The businessman asked, “how could you possibly acquire two such priceless jewels in one lifetime?” The friend then proceeded to show him even more jewels. There were jewels in his garden, clothing, and even his food. The businessman asked how could this be? His friend replied, “this jewel you possess cannot be measured, polished or broken, because it includes all other phenomena. In other words, this jewel is priceless because it is beyond price, and this one precious jewel contains and reflects this whole precious universe, which is composed of incalculable jewels of infinite value. This jewel is no other than this moment, and all that is.”

    The businessman realized his foolishness, bowed to his friend and the jewel, and lived his life without poverty or want, just as he wished.

    Gassho,

    Shade

    ST
    Hi Shade,

    Yours is lovely, but maybe is too prosaic, a nice story, which is a bit different from Master Dogen's wild syncopation of elements and connecting things in interesting patterns. You are telling a tale, Dogen is going for a hot musical set.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-02-2021 at 10:27 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by coriander View Post
    OK here goes... as Jundo instructed, I have not yet looked at other people's posts.

    The man with the jewel in his garment already has all the food and clothing and supplies that he needs, as these have already been purchased with the jewel that is also still in his robe, if he will notice these jewels and food and clothing and supplies that he has. The jewel, which is one bright pearl, is also already in the garments of all the shopkeepers and suppliers who provide food and clothing and supplies, who all already have all that they need.

    Gassho,
    Charity
    ST
    Yours is short, so hard to really tell, but seems somewhere between getting the interesting pairings and amazing twistings of Dogen's style, and trying to tell a more prosaic and moralistic point ("everybody has all the food and clothing and supplies they need") in a rather straight way. I would say that, rather than Coltrane, you are playing Kenny G here.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yours is short, so hard to really tell, but seems somewhere between getting the interesting pairings and amazing twistings of Dogen's style, and trying to tell a more prosaic and moralistic point ("everybody has all the food and clothing and supplies they need") in a rather straight way. I would say that, rather than Coltrane, you are playing Kenny G here.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    I googled "Kenny G vs Coltrane" to check if I should try again. From what I found, e.g. this article, I'm having another go at it I've tried to mash up what I had already done with more phrases from the original and more parts of the story.

    Buddha Nature is the "priceless jewel" that has been sewn "inside of a friend's garment." The priceless jewel can purchase "the desires of the five senses." The priceless jewel is satisfied with "obtaining a very meagre amount." This jewel has been sewn into all the garments of all the friends, and friends of friends, who are intoxicated or not intoxicated, who have food and clothing, or who have a meagre amount. All those who have the jewel sewn into their garments can sew the jewel into the garments of others and still keep the jewel and purchase the five desires and the meagre amounts. How foolish to seek livelihood with great effort and hardship without being aware of this priceless jewel.

    Gassho,
    Charity
    ST/L

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by coriander View Post

    Buddha Nature is the "priceless jewel" that has been sewn "inside of a friend's garment." The priceless jewel can purchase "the desires of the five senses." The priceless jewel is satisfied with "obtaining a very meagre amount." This jewel has been sewn into all the garments of all the friends, and friends of friends, who are intoxicated or not intoxicated, who have food and clothing, or who have a meagre amount. All those who have the jewel sewn into their garments can sew the jewel into the garments of others and still keep the jewel and purchase the five desires and the meagre amounts. How foolish to seek livelihood with great effort and hardship without being aware of this priceless jewel.
    Yeah, that is jumpin'

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  44. #44
    You've heard the story of the man who struggled all his life to make a living and, one day hearing this, his friend told him he sewed a jewel in his robe, so he had everything he needed all along. He could have sold the jewel and have been set for the rest of his life.

    Most people these days think this story means that the friend should have explicitly told the man about the jewel in his robe so he could avoid all those years of struggle or they think, if he would have just been handed the jewel, all this suffering could have been avoided.

    But that suffering is nothing other than your life, nothing other than the jewel. Without facing the suffering, it's impossible to sober up and find the jewel. Everyone is so focused on the jewel and never focus on the intoxication. You can't find the jewel becuase you are intoxicated, but the intoxication is the jewel leading you to its place in the robe. Unless you follow this jewel, you'll run around in circles in a drunken haze looking for something you already have. This process unfolds in its own time, and it cannot be rushed. But if you wake up, you can become sober immediately, take hold of your natural inheritance and continue the great turning the dharma wheel.

    It's also not true that the jewel needs to be found because the jewel is you; the jewel is so much you that it is sewing you through countless kalpas. It has been sewing you since before you were born and before the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree; the Buddha twirling the flower on Vulture's peak; all those years ago was this sewing, and this sewing will continue until and after Maitreya makes his appearance in this earthly realm. This universe is nothing other than sewing.

    If you think you have to look for this jewel, you will be greatly off the mark, but if you think you don't have to search, you are like those non-Buddhists who are always spouting nonsense how practice is unnecessary because they already have it! Bah! Sewing and the jewel aren't something you have; they are something you are; and sewing sews; if it didn't sew, it wouldn't be sewing, but would be some dead, empty words written by a travelling monk 2500 years ago and have no significance.

    You sew by sitting. The jewel becomes you by sitting; all of this happens by following the path laid out for us by the great Patriarchs and Matriarchs. If they had to sew, what makes you think you do not? Do not be lazy, get to sewing; stop worrying about the sewing of others, take the backward step and let the sewing, sew your robe to reveal the treasure that you really are.

    But even if you aren't maintaining a sewing practice, you are still sewing, but you are unconscious of it; everything is this great sewing. Nothing is separate - but unless you unlearn how you are currently sewing, by really watching this sewing, you sewing, letting this jewel sew you, and drop all the sewing patterns you have been ignorantly following, you will not understand this jewel that is the real sewing. You would be like a blind man, trying asking for help so he can scratch an itch on head.

    So be warned and follow the pattern of all the great ancestors; after all, we reap what we sow.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    You've heard the story of the man who struggled all his life to make a living and, one day hearing this, his friend told him he sewed a jewel in his robe, so he had everything he needed all along. He could have sold the jewel and have been set for the rest of his life.

    Most people these days think this story means that the friend should have explicitly told the man about the jewel in his robe so he could avoid all those years of struggle or they think, if he would have just been handed the jewel, all this suffering could have been avoided.

    But that suffering is nothing other than your life, nothing other than the jewel. Without facing the suffering, it's impossible to sober up and find the jewel. Everyone is so focused on the jewel and never focus on the intoxication. You can't find the jewel becuase you are intoxicated, but the intoxication is the jewel leading you to its place in the robe. Unless you follow this jewel, you'll run around in circles in a drunken haze looking for something you already have. This process unfolds in its own time, and it cannot be rushed. But if you wake up, you can become sober immediately, take hold of your natural inheritance and continue the great turning the dharma wheel.

    It's also not true that the jewel needs to be found because the jewel is you; the jewel is so much you that it is sewing you through countless kalpas. It has been sewing you since before you were born and before the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree; the Buddha twirling the flower on Vulture's peak; all those years ago was this sewing, and this sewing will continue until and after Maitreya makes his appearance in this earthly realm. This universe is nothing other than sewing.

    If you think you have to look for this jewel, you will be greatly off the mark, but if you think you don't have to search, you are like those non-Buddhists who are always spouting nonsense how practice is unnecessary because they already have it! Bah! Sewing and the jewel aren't something you have; they are something you are; and sewing sews; if it didn't sew, it wouldn't be sewing, but would be some dead, empty words written by a travelling monk 2500 years ago and have no significance.

    You sew by sitting. The jewel becomes you by sitting; all of this happens by following the path laid out for us by the great Patriarchs and Matriarchs. If they had to sew, what makes you think you do not? Do not be lazy, get to sewing; stop worrying about the sewing of others, take the backward step and let the sewing, sew your robe to reveal the treasure that you really are.

    But even if you aren't maintaining a sewing practice, you are still sewing, but you are unconscious of it; everything is this great sewing. Nothing is separate - but unless you unlearn how you are currently sewing, by really watching this sewing, you sewing, letting this jewel sew you, and drop all the sewing patterns you have been ignorantly following, you will not understand this jewel that is the real sewing. You would be like a blind man, trying asking for help so he can scratch an itch on head.

    So be warned and follow the pattern of all the great ancestors; after all, we reap what we sow.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Lovely, nice lesson ... but no. Not the task.

    Try again the next exercise I am about to post.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  46. #46
    ha I followed the wrong pattern!

    gassho

    risho
    -stlah

  47. #47
    SECOND ASSIGNMENT

    Hmmm. I am surprised that folks struggled with this exercise so much. I am going to give another try. It is a bit "paint by numbers" Dogen, but the point is to get a sense of his style. See if the following helps:

    Here is another parable from the Lotus Sutra, The Apparitional City:

    “Suppose in a desolate, fearful place there were a dangerous road five hundred yojanas long. There is a large group that wants to travel along this road to reach a place where there is great treasure. They have a leader who is wise and penetrating and who knows the passable and impassable parts of this dangerous road very well. Although he wants to guide these people past the danger, they become exhausted along the way. Addressing the leader they say: We are extremely tired and frightened. We cannot go any further. We are still far away from our destination, and we want to turn back. “The leader, knowing many skillful means, thinks:
    These people are to be pitied. How could they want to turn back and abandon the great treasure? “After thinking this the leader, through his skillful means, magically creates a city three hundred yojanas away along the dangerous road. He addresses the people, saying: Do not be frightened. Do not turn back! You may now stay in this great city and be at your leisure. If you enter this city, you can be comfortable and at ease. Once you are able to go on and reach the treasure site, then you can depart once more. “Then the exhausted people rejoice greatly and praise this unprecedented experience, saying: We are now free of this evil road and will be comfortable and at ease. “Then they proceed to the apparitional city and enter it. They believe that their hardships are over and feel at ease. Then the leader realizes that they are rested and their fatigue has gone. He immediately makes the apparitional city vanish and says to the people: All of you, come along! The treasure site is near. I made that great apparitional city only in order to let you rest. “O monks! The Tathāgata is exactly like this. Now for your sake he has become a great leader who knows the long, dangerous, and evil road of birth, death, and desire’s confusion. You should leave it and be saved
    The above is a tale of Expedient Means, explaining how the Buddha made certain early Teachings promising rewards that are like treasures held before peoples' eyes so that they will not give up the path.

    Now, here are some elements of this story:

    "desolated, fearful place"
    "dangerous road"
    "reach a place"
    "great treasure"
    "wise leader"
    "passable and impassable parts"
    "far from our destination"
    "magically creates"
    "a great city"
    "enter the city"
    "free of the evil road"
    "Do not turn back!"
    "the city vanishes"
    "comfortable and at ease"
    "The Leader realizes"

    Now, here is the passage about the Great Flying Stupa from the Lotus Sutra in my book, with key words removed. Plug some (you need not use all, just as many as sounds good) of the above elements into the sentence structure. It is not a puzzle to find the right place for each, but rather, they should just have interesting sounds in juxtaposition and provocative relationships to each other:

    [Dōgen says:] There is the ( ) in the "( )” of the "( )" which is a “( ).” There is the ( ) that is the “( ),” whose breadth is “five hundred yojanas.” There is a ( ) by ( ), whereby ( ) is ( ) and ( ) is ( ). There is the ( ) in ( ), which is ( ). ( ) is ( ), and the ( ) is on ( ). ( ) is a ( ) , and ( ) opens ( ) for the ( ). The ( ) does ( ) with the ( ), and the ( ) does ( ) with the ( ). When the ( ) experiences this state of ( ), he also enters into the state of ( ). [. . .] This “( ),” “( ),” “( ),” and “( )” are not limited to ( ); They are simply “non-thinking.”
    The Original:

    [Dōgen says:] There is the turning of the flower of Dharma in the appearance “before the Buddha” of the “treasure stupa,” which is a “height of five hundred yojanas.” There is the turning of the flower of Dharma that is the “Buddha sitting inside the stupa,” whose breadth is “two hundred and fifty yojanas.” There is a turning of the flower of Dharma by springing forth from the earth and abiding in the earth, whereby mind is without obstructions and matter is without limits. There is the turning of the flower of Dharma in springing out of the sky and abiding in the earth, which is limited by the eyes and limited by the body. Vulture Peak is within the stupa, and the treasure stupa is on Vulture Peak. The treasure stupa is a stupa of treasure abiding in space, and space opens space for the treasure stupa. The timeless Buddha within the stupa shares a seat with the Buddha of Vulture Peak, and the Buddha of Vulture Peak shares the realization of the Buddha within the stupa. When the Buddha of Vulture Peak experiences this state within the stupa together with body, mind, and all things, he also enters into the state of the turning of the flower of Dharma. [. . .] This “within the stupa,” “before the Buddha,” “the treasure stupa,” and “space” are not limited to Vulture Peak; .... They are simply “non-thinking.”
    Please give "Paint By Numbers Shobogenzo" a try!

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah

    PS - And, yes, this reminds me of "mad libs," for anyone who remembers the kids' game. However, please don't do what I did when 11 years old, and put dirty words in all the blanks!

    Last edited by Jundo; 10-03-2021 at 03:54 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  48. #48
    There is the wise leader in the "dangerous road" of the "great city" which is a “great treasure.” There is the great treasure that is the "dangerous road,” whose breadth is “five hundred yojanas.” There is a desolated, fearful place by a great city, whereby great treasure is far from our destination and great treasure is free of the evil road. There is the great city in a dangerous road, which is free of the evil road. The great city is the dangerous road, and the dangerous road is on the wise leader. A dangerous road is a great city , and the wise leader opens a great city for the great treasure. The great city magically creates with the dangerous road, and the dangerous road magically creates with the city that vanishes. When the city that vanishes experiences this state of a desolated and fearful place, he also enters into the state of the great treasure. [. . .] This “dangerous road,” “great treasure,” "City that vanishes,” and “fearful place” are not limited to the city that vanishes; They are simply “non-thinking.”

    If I may be allowed to add a second portion (If not, I can remove this):

    Non-thinking is you, and you are non-thinking. When you enter into the state of the non-thinking you become totally the dangerous road, the great treasure, the city which vanishes, and the fearful place. You totally encounter the state of non-duality which must exist between both the city and the road. You climb the road on the wise leader, and also are the wise leader. You create the city for the many faces of yourself. You are the road that threatens the many faces, and so the many faces are no longer threatened. Without threat there is no city, and without the city there is no threat. This is peaceful abiding in oneself, and peaceful abiding in myriad things. You should penetrate deeply the understanding of non-duality to find peaceful abiding, and penetrate deeply peaceful abiding to find non-duality.

    I had to rearrange parts of the sentence structure some to allow the smooth jazz to flow, which I hope is alright.

    Gassho,
    William
    Sat

    P.S. I love these exercises Jundo. Keep the Dogen Cole-train chuggin'.

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshin View Post
    There is the wise leader in the "dangerous road" of the "great city" which is a “great treasure.” There is the great treasure that is the "dangerous road,” whose breadth is “five hundred yojanas.” There is a desolated, fearful place by a great city, whereby great treasure is far from our destination and great treasure is free of the evil road. There is the great city in a dangerous road, which is free of the evil road. The great city is the dangerous road, and the dangerous road is on the wise leader. A dangerous road is a great city , and the wise leader opens a great city for the great treasure. The great city magically creates with the dangerous road, and the dangerous road magically creates with the city that vanishes. When the city that vanishes experiences this state of a desolated and fearful place, he also enters into the state of the great treasure. [. . .] This “dangerous road,” “great treasure,” "City that vanishes,” and “fearful place” are not limited to the city that vanishes; They are simply “non-thinking.”

    If I may be allowed to add a second portion (If not, I can remove this):

    Non-thinking is you, and you are non-thinking. When you enter into the state of the non-thinking you become totally the dangerous road, the great treasure, the city which vanishes, and the fearful place. You totally encounter the state of non-duality which must exist between both the city and the road. You climb the road on the wise leader, and also are the wise leader. You create the city for the many faces of yourself. You are the road that threatens the many faces, and so the many faces are no longer threatened. Without threat there is no city, and without the city there is no threat. This is peaceful abiding in oneself, and peaceful abiding in myriad things. You should penetrate deeply the understanding of non-duality to find peaceful abiding, and penetrate deeply peaceful abiding to find non-duality.

    I had to rearrange parts of the sentence structure some to allow the smooth jazz to flow, which I hope is alright.

    Gassho,
    William
    Sat

    P.S. I love these exercises Jundo. Keep the Dogen Cole-train chuggin'.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  50. #50
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
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    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    OK folks this is my stab but I might be way off base here.

    Suppose there were a man who came to the house of a close friend and went to sleep after becoming intoxicated with wine. The
    intimate friend, having to go out on official business, sews a priceless jewel into the inside of his friend’s garment and, giving it to him, leaves. But the man who was drunk and asleep is totally unaware of this. After getting up he leaves and roams around until he arrives in another country. Although he diligently seeks for food and clothing they are very difficult to obtain. He is satisfied if he just obtains a very meager amount. Later on the intimate friend happens to meet this man. Seeing him, he says: O poor fellow! How have you come to this state through lack of food and clothing? Once, on such-and-such a day in such-and-such a month and year, I sewed a priceless jewel into the inside of your garment, wanting to make things easier for you and to let you enjoy the desires of the five senses as much as you wished. It is still there, although you aren’t aware of it, and you seek your livelihood with great effort and hardship! You have been very foolish. Sell this jewel and use it to buy what you need. From now on you will know neither poverty nor want and can live as you wish.


    Many kalpas past a old drunkard went to visit his long term friend, a businessman who he had know since the were but born. Arriving at his friends lodgings he could barely keep his eyes open. Dearest friend, I embark on a journey but before I go and before the wine induces sleep, I must offer you a gift. The old drunkard produced a jewel, so magnificent it was if it contained the whole Univesre such was its radiance. Bowing deeply the businessman accepted the gift and his old friend fell into deep stupor. While he slept the businessman fashioned an amulet in which he placed the jewel, such he hung around his old friends neck, who slept on in complete oblivion.
    The next morning the old drunkard awoke to find he was completely blind, thinking thus was his karma for his behaviour the previous evening, knowing his friends lodging intimately, he fled as his embarrassment enveloped him.
    For a decade he stumbled from tavern to tavern, in the ten direction and in many countries, always regretting that night and wondering what became of his lifelong friend.
    One desolate night in the depths of a gloomy tavern, he heard and old familiar voice and called out from the darknes, friend is that you, how have you found me. The business replied but I was always with, I never left your side. The old drunkard look confused but pressed on and asked, what became of the wonderous jewel I bestowed upon you, did you sell it to provide wealth and haven for your family ?
    The businessman replied, it was not mine to take and was not yours to give. But I have one just like it and have always possessed it, as you do. The amulet over the old drunkards heart, issued forth a intense heat and clutching the pouch and realising the content his blindness vanished in a flash and he was immediately sober.
    Now clutching his original jewel and comparing it to that of his friend, he immediately became enlightened. Why they are as identical as two grains of sand, he exclaimed.
    All grains of sand, responded his friend, and all sentient beings, like you posses such a jewel but like you were too blind to see.

    I'm more rock than jazz btw

    sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

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