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Thread: The Zen Master's Dance - 3 - How To Read Dogen (p. 12 to end of 'How to Read Dogen')

  1. #1

    The Zen Master's Dance - 3 - How To Read Dogen (p. 12 to end of 'How to Read Dogen')

    Dear All,

    We will continue with the rest of the chapter now, from "And Thus This Book" to the end.

    Please consider our previous lesson to have been like musical or language study, in which we are trying to mimic the solos of a master musician, or the expressions of a native speaker, in order to get an ear and feel for the same.

    In this section, however, I remind folks that Dogen's jazz was not merely wild sounds and interesting wordplay. He was working from, and seeking to express, the standard Zen and Mahayana teachings. Thus, it is necessary to have some sense and understanding of what those teachings are, and what they wish us to understand, in order to get what Dogen is trying to express.

    One example would be the Hua-yan (Flower Garland) vision of the inter-identity, inter-penetration and inter-manifestation of all phenomena, people, things, times, places and spaces. Soto Zen priest and historian, Taigen Leighton, has an article here for anyone who wishes to probe deeper:

    https://www.lionsroar.com/the-phenom...rnament-sutra/

    One Hua-yan model is of the Golden Lion. There is a logic to it, but a bit unlike our ordinary daily sense of what is logical (although a physicist friend of mine attempted to explain to me once that there is an amazing similarity to certain holographic models of the universe). In a nutshell, imagine that there is a lion statue made of gold, with many distinct parts such as countless single strands of fur, each claw and eye, the tail, etc. etc.


    Usually, most "common sense" folks would say that each strand of fur is separate from each other strand, and different from claw, eye and tail. As well, claw is not eye, eye is not tail, tail is not claw. Furthermore, all are just parts of the whole lion, and not the whole thing itself.

    However, Hua-yan philosophers had another vision, experienced in Zazen, that goes something like this:

    Since each strand of fur is the same gold of the lion, and each claw, eye and tail is the same golden lion, each hair is each/all of the other hairs, and each hair is each/all of the claws, eyes, head to tail, thoroughly, because "golden lion = golden lion." It is something like saying that "Paris" is precisely ​"New York City" located in France, and that the "Amazon river" is the "planet Mars" flowing in Brazil!



    Furthermore, each single hair is and holds within and fully expresses the whole lion. It is something like saying that each tiny hair physically contains the whole lion within it, and every other hair, eye or claw within it individually and as groups, rather than just the lion having the hair on part of its hide, or the lion just being a place where the hair, eye, tail and claw share a common home. The claw, eye and tail, of course, also fully embody all the others, and the whole lion too! It is something like saying that every hair on Stewart's head is Stewart, and Stewart's left big toe is Stewart, so every hair of Stewart is simply the big toe growing on Stewart's head, and each and all thoroughly contain and are all of Stewart. Stewart is not just a fellow with hair and toes. Stewart is nothing more nor less than a single strand of hair on his own head which embodies all of him with nothing remaining, and which also happens to be his big toe!



    That is the case even though, from another angle, a claw is obviously not an eye, and the tail is different from a claw. Hair is not toe. All these perspective(s) are true at once.



    This realization is a key medicine for our human Dukkha, in which we feel just like a separate self, here today, dead tomorrow, tiny forgotten dust particles in this amazingly vast universe.

    In my book, I write this:

    [I]n our ordinary experience of life, a mountain is not a cup of tea, and neither a mountain nor a cup of tea are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, mountains are mountains and also cups of tea. Tiny teacups hold great mountains within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Mountains quench our thirst, mountains walk and preach the Dharma, and mountains are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see a nearby mountain reflected on the liquid inside a cup, or painted on its side, or reflected like a kaleidoscope in each poured drop, but that the mountain and the whole universe is truly poured and held in every drop of tea to be tasted, and is contained in the cup itself. The teacup, though held in our hands, is also huge, boundless, as big as a mountain and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great vessel which is also the vessel in our hands—a vessel that cradles our hands as we cradle it. (If this is hard to get your mind around, it is fine to approach it in a poetic sense until, on the zazen cushion, one can actually realize such truths.)

    When we drink tea, as it enters our mouth and we taste it on our tongue and it merges with our body, we too enter the tea, are tasted by and merge with it. Likewise, in drinking tea we enter the mountains and the whole universe. The tea swallows us as we swallow the tea, and the mountain/universe drinks us as we drink the mountain/universe—all in the simple action of tasting a cup of tea. The tea steeps all time and space as you steep tea; the mountain pours the universe as the universe moves with your hands when pouring a cup. Each drop of tea, each inch of the mountain or atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel, each unique and whole unto itself, yet each is also the all. That is the kind of world vision that Dōgen is usually expressing.
    Your Assignment:

    Take two (2) seemingly very unrelated things (or people, times, places) of the universe ... you choose, but the more unrelated the better, e.g. (don't use these examples, please choose your own!) "baseball cap" and "dog" or (even better, because the apparently more unrelated the better) "Taj Mahal ticket booth at 5:16 pm" and "squeaky rolling shopping cart wheel" and ... following the basic content and grammar patterns of my two paragraphs above ... express their intimate identity in the same manner that I do for "cup of tea" and "mountain."

    I hope this assignment is your cup of tea, and not too high a mountain.

    Good luck!



    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-10-2021 at 12:57 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    I chose a lake in Wilson, North Carolina and the New York City subway. I don't know if this is what you had in mind, Jundo:

    [I]n our ordinary experience of life, a lake in Wilson, North Carolina is not the New York City subway system, and neither the lake nor the subway are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, lakes are lakes and also subways. Placid lakes hold roaring subways within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Lakes transport us, lakes walk and preach the Dharma, and lakes are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see a nearby lake reflected on the windows of a subway car, or painted on its side, or reflected like a kaleidoscope in each rushing car, but that the lake and the whole universe is truly poured and held in every car of the subway you can ride, and is contained in the car itself. The lake, though held in our hands, is also huge, boundless, as intricate as the subway tunnels and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great subway which is also the subway we ride—a subway that rocks us as we rock it. (If this is hard to get your mind around, it is fine to approach it in a poetic sense until, on the zazen cushion, one can actually realize such truths.)

    When we walk around the lake, as it enters our sight and we see it with our eyes and it merges with our body, we too enter the lake, are seen by and merge with it. Likewise, in walking around the lake we enter the subway and the whole universe. The lake reflects us as we reflect the lake, and the subway/universe gaze at us as we gaze at the subway/universe—all in the simple action of seeing the lake. The lake reflects all time and space as you reflect lake; the subway covers the universe as the universe moves with your feet when walking around the lake. Each drop of the lake, each inch of the subway or atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel, each unique and whole unto itself, yet each is also the all. That is the kind of world vision that Dōgen is usually expressing.

    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.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Onkai View Post
    I chose a lake in Wilson, North Carolina and the New York City subway. I don't know if this is what you had in mind, Jundo:


    Gassho, J

    PS - Alas, the N.Y. subway is a lake for other reasons these days, when it rains.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    For some reason the Huayan material reminded me strongly of the Mitch Hedberg (RIP) joke "Mitch All Together":
    https://www.azquotes.com/picture-quo...129-5-0553.jpg

    In our ordinary experience of life, my arm is not a corncob, and neither my arm nor a corncob are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, arms are arms and also corncobs. An ear of corn holds my arm within, as well as the whole world and all of time. My arm walks and preaches the Dharma, and my arms are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see our arms reflected on the butter on some corn on the cob, or painted on the ear holders, or reflected like a kaleidoscope in each kernel, but that our arms and the whole universe are truly poured and held in every niblet of corn to be tasted, and contained in the cob itself. The corncob, though held in our hands, is also huge, boundless, as big as a mountain and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great ear of corn which is also the ear of corn in our hands—a snack that cradles our hands as we cradle it.

    Max
    Sat today
    Last edited by Max Andrew; 10-09-2021 at 11:09 PM.
    おつかれさまです

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Max Andrew View Post
    In our ordinary experience of life, my arm is not a corncob, and neither my arm nor a corncob are you or me.
    Are you sure you are not from Nebraska?

    Last edited by Jundo; 10-10-2021 at 12:46 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    The Tale of Yam (the Purple Pomeranian) and yam (the root vegetable he is named after.)

    [I]n our ordinary experience of life, Yam is not a yam, and neither Yam nor yam are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, Yam is a Purple Pomeranian and a root vegetable. Little yams hold dogs within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Dogs feed us, walk and preach the Dharma, and dogs are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see a nearby dog in the color and shape of a root vegetable, but that the dog and the whole universe is truly present and tasted in every piece of roast yam, and is contained in the yam itself. The root vegetable, though held in our hands, is also huge, boundless, as big as a constellation of stars shaped like a dog and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great big dog which is also the cute little dog in our arms.

    When we eat yam, as it enters our mouth and we taste it on our tongue and it merges with our body, we too enter the yam, are tasted by and merge with it. Likewise, in eating yams we enter the dogs and the whole universe. The yam swallows us as we swallow the yam, and dogs/universe eats us as we consume the dogs/universe—all in the simple action of tasting a piece of steamed yam. The yam has all time and space as you steam it; the yam smells the universe as the universe moves with your hands when holding a hot baked yam. Each piece of yam, each inch of the dog or atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel, each unique and whole unto itself, yet each is also the all. That is the kind of world vision that Dōgen is usually expressing.


    Stewart
    Sat
    Last edited by Stewart; 10-11-2021 at 09:45 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
    The Tale of Yam (the Purple Pomeranian) and yam (the root vegetable he is named after.)
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    When a Gudgeon Pin is not Gudgeon Fish is just a Gudgeon


    [I]n our ordinary experience of life, a Gudgeon Pin is not a Gudgeon Fish, and neither a Gudgeon Pin nor a Gudgeon Fish are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, Gudgeon Pins are Gudgeon Pins and also Gudgeon Fish. Tiny Gudgeon Pins hold great Gudgeon Fish within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Gudgeon Pins provide mobility, Gudgeon Fish swim and preach the Dharma, and Gudgeon Pins are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see a nearby Gudgeon Fish reflected on the Gudgeon Pin within a piston, or painted on its side, or reflected like a kaleidoscope each drop of oil that lubricates, but that the Gudgeon Pin and the whole universe is truly held in every Gudgeon Fish in all the fresh water rivers, and is contained in the Gudgeon Pin itself. The Gudgeon Fish though held in the water, is also huge, boundless, as big as a Gudgeon Pin and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great fish which is also the pin in our piston—a piston that cradles our fish as we cradle it.



    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  9. #9
    These are the kind of reading assignments I really dislike doing, am really resistant to. And so I'm learning: all the more valuable, all the more reason to do them!



    In our ordinary experience of life, a pair of socks is not a tornado, and neither a tornado nor socks are you or me. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dogen, tornadoes are tornadoes and also socks. Inside each sock is found violent tornadoes, as well as the whole world and all of time. Tornadoes keep our feet warm, tornadoes stand still and preach Dharma, and tornadoes are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that a crashing tornado might rip off our socks, pulling them into its void, but that the tornado and the whole universe is truly pulled into and held in every fiber of the sock. The sock, though held in our hands, is also ginormous, as big and wild as a tornado and the whole universe. A sock spins in our hands and a tornado clothes us in its warmth.

    When we put on a pair of socks, as we place our foot inside and we feel the soft warmth of the cotton, we too enter not just the inside of the sock but the outside as well, the whole sock becomes us and as we become the sock. Likewise, in putting on a sock we step into the vortex of a tornado and the spinning of the entire universe. The sock embraces us as we brace the sock, and the tornado/universe puts us on as we put on the tornado/universe--all in the simple action of putting on socks. The sock cushions all time and space as you unfold the sock; the tornado cushions the universe as the universe moves with your hands when unrolling the socks. Each fiber in the sock, each gale of the tornado or atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel.
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  10. #10
    [I]n our ordinary experience of life, a forest is not painting, and neither a forest nor a painting are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, forests are forests, and also paintings. Even paintings as small as a postage stamp hold grand forests within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Forests quench our thirst, forests walk and preach the Dharma, and forests are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see a nearby forest reflected in a painting, or painted upside down, or reflected like a kaleidoscope in each brushstroke, but that the forest and the whole universe is truly painted and held in every bit of paint that we see, and is contained in the paint, the canvas, the frame, and the nail that holds the painting on the wall. The painting, though small when hanging before us, is also huge, boundless, as big as a forest and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great canvas which is also the canvas on our easels—a canvas that paints our hands as our hands cover it in paint. (If this is hard to get your mind around, it is fine to approach it in a poetic sense until, on the zazen cushion, one can actually realize such truths.)

    When we paint, as our brush applies paint to the canvase and we see the image unfold with our eyes and experience it with our being, we too become part of the painting, are seen by it and become it. Likewise, in painting a picture we enter the forests and the whole universe. The painting takes us in as we see it emerge, and the forest/universe paints us as we paint the forest/universe—all in the simple action of creating a bit of art. The painting is made from all time and space as you paint; the forest paints the universe as the universe moves with your hands when mixing your paints. Each brush stroke, each leaf and needle and twig of the forest or atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel, each unique and whole unto itself, yet each is also the all. That is the kind of world vision that Dōgen is usually expressing.

    ---

    In my daily metta practice, I am realizing that each person I say the gatha for--the person I love, the one I saw in passing, the one who is hard to see with compassion--is me.

    ---

    When I was reading about the tea and the mountains, I wondered whether we are trying to understand this conceptually, to recognize it as truth, or to change how we experience reality.

    ---

    I liked the clear explanation in the section Dōgen's Musical Themes: 1) sit, 2) see the sacred, 3) act with dignity, 4) live gently.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post
    These are the kind of reading assignments I really dislike doing, am really resistant to. And so I'm learning: all the more valuable, all the more reason to do them!
    I feel you Kaishin

    Here is my version:
    In our ordinary experience of life, a pine forest is not a bag of garbage, and neither pine forest nor a bag of garbage are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, pine forests are pine forests and also bags of garbage. Small garbage bags hold great pine forests within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Pine forests carry our waste, pine forests walk and preach the Dharma, and pine forests are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see a nearby pine forest reflected on the juices inside a garbage bag, or painted on its side, or reflected like a kaleidoscope in each poured drop of juice, but that the pine forest and the whole universe is truly poured and held in every bag of garbage to be carried, and is contained in the bag itself. The bag, though held in our hands, is also huge, boundless, as big as a pine forest and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great container which is also the container in our hands—a container that cradles our hands as we cradle it.

    Probably I should stop here and not do the next paragraph with garbage juices …
    Gassho, Nikolas
    Sat/Lah

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishin View Post


    In our ordinary experience of life, a pair of socks is not a tornado, and neither a tornado nor socks are you or me.
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-14-2021 at 01:12 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Nikos View Post
    I feel you Kaishin

    Here is my version:
    In our ordinary experience of life, a pine forest is not a bag of garbage, and neither pine forest nor a bag of garbage are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, pine forests are pine forests and also bags of garbage. Small garbage bags hold great pine forests within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Pine forests carry our waste, pine forests walk and preach the Dharma, and pine forests are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see a nearby pine forest reflected on the juices inside a garbage bag, or painted on its side, or reflected like a kaleidoscope in each poured drop of juice, but that the pine forest and the whole universe is truly poured and held in every bag of garbage to be carried, and is contained in the bag itself. The bag, though held in our hands, is also huge, boundless, as big as a pine forest and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great container which is also the container in our hands—a container that cradles our hands as we cradle it.
    I will make the same aesthetic point that I raised in a previous lesson: Although, absolutely, from a Zen perspective, there is no difference at all between the beautiful and ugly, weeds and flowers, trash can and tall trees, rusty old cars and pristine rivers, nonetheless you will notice that the Zen folks like Dogen, in picking their imagery, usually go for the natural and beautiful rather than the ugly or violent. Not always, but usually. Why?

    It is my belief that the natural, peaceful and beautiful more easily impart the balance, peace, harmony, stoic equanimity of a mountain, clear oceanic feeling, flowing like a river attitude that one is to develop in Zen practice. So, there is a tendency to go with such symbols. The ugly and violent is just the same, but takes a wise eye to see beyond appearances.

    I once put a picture of Osama Bin Laden on the Buddhist Altar, after 9-11, making the point that ... somewhere deep in there, we believe there is still Buddha. However, it is hard to see in all the violence and hate. It is easier to see in a Buddha that looks like a Buddha. So, we have a bias toward such images.

    Gassho, J

    STLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-14-2021 at 03:01 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I will make the same aesthetic point that I raised in a previous lesson: Although, absolutely, from a Zen perspective, there is no difference at all between the beautiful and ugly, weeds and flowers, trash can and tall trees, rusty old cars and pristine rivers, nonetheless you will notice that the Zen folks like Dogen, in picking their imagery, usually go for the natural and beautiful rather than the ugly or violent. Not always, but usually. Why?

    It is my belief that the natural, peaceful and beautiful more easily impart the balance, peace, harmony, stoic equanimity of a mountain, clear oceanic feeling, flowing like a river attitude that one is to develop in Zen practice. So, there is a tendency to go with such symbols. The ugly and violent is just the same, but takes a wise eye to see beyond appearances.

    I once put a picture of Osama Bin Laden on the Buddhist Altar, after 9-11, making the point that ... somewhere deep in there, we believe there is still Buddha. However, it is hard to see in all the violence and hate. It is easier to see in a Buddha that looks like a Buddha. So, we have a bias toward such images.

    Gassho, J

    STLAH
    Thank you Jundo I will try to keep this in mind for next time.
    Gassho, Nikolas
    Sat/Lah

    Στάλθηκε από το SM-A705FN μου χρησιμοποιώντας Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Nikos View Post
    Probably I should stop here and not do the next paragraph with garbage juices …
    Gassho, Nikolas
    Sat/Lah
    In addition to what Jundo said, I thought your use of garbage juice was wonderful because it provoked a physical reaction in me, thus helping me to feel and appreciate your imagery in many dimensions

    Here is mine... I already chose the flea (something unappealing) as one aspect, and now after what I have learned from Nikolas's post I am glad I did this and I will go over it and check I included something at least a little gross

    --
    We know from our day-to-day experience that we are not fleas or cats, and fleas on cats are not us, and fleas are not cats, and cats with fleas are not us, and cats are not fleas, and certainly none of us are the whole earth, or the atmosphere around the earth or the whole universe. And yet, in another way, Dōgen teaches us that we are all of those things. A flea is just a little flea, but it is also a cat, and it is also you and me. The tiny flea holds the entire earth's atmosphere within it it, and the whole universe and all of time. The vast atmosphere of the earth hungrily sucks blood from a cat through its proboscis, its millions of gas molecules walk and talk the Dharma, and they are other faces of you and me. Meanwhile, the flea grows sparser and sparser as it stretches all the way out to outer space, and it too is other faces of you and me, and we are other faces of the flea. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes see this, that we see the flea as a mirage shimmering in the atmosphere, or as our reflection in the mirror, but that indeed the whole vast atmosphere and the whole universe truly is within each flea that scurries between the furs on a cat, and each gas molecule of the atmosphere is contained also within the cat that is bitten and blood-sucked by the fleas, and within you and me. The little flea, though small enough to fit between our fingers and hide in the cats fur, is also huge, limitless, as expansive as the atmosphere and the entire universe. The universe is all encompassing, like the atmosphere hugging the earth like a huge blanket of varying denseness and sparseness, the universe is encompassing and hugging us just as we are encompassing and hugging the earth and the whole universe. (If this is hard to get your mind around, it is fine to approach it in a poetic sense until, on the zazen cushion, one can actually realize such truths.)

    When we snuggle with our cat and feel a flea jumping up from its furs, we too are merged with the flea and we bound with elastic stored energy. In snuggling with our cat we bound as the flea and we contract and expand as the varied elements of the atmosphere reacting to different conditions. We bite the fleas as the fleas bite the cats, and the atmosphere bites us and the universe bites the fleas, all of these are contained in the simple actions of fleas biting cats. Each molecule in the atmosphere in each atom of the flea and each atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel, each unique and whole unto itself, yet each is also the all. That is the kind of world vision that Dōgen is usually expressing.
    --

    Gassho,
    Charity
    sat/lah

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by coriander View Post
    We know from our day-to-day experience that we are not fleas or cats, and fleas on cats are not us, and fleas are not cats, and cats with fleas are not us,

    Lovely.

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    In our ordinary experience of life, a tree is not a piece of toast, and neither a tree nor a piece of toast are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, trees are trees and also pieces of toast. We climb the toast and satisfy our hunger with trees. Both trees and toast are endlessly preaching the dharma, expressing the totality of the entire universe, just as each of us is endlessly expressing the entire universe, trees expressing trees, humans expressing trees and toast expressing trees. All things flow into and out of each other, trees are in all things, toast is in all things and, correspondingly, all things are in trees and in toast.

    In eating toast, we swallow the toast and the trees, the mountains and rivers, the whole sky and the entire universe. Sometimes we eat the toast and sometimes the toast eats us. In climbing trees, we climb the mountains and sky, and the totality of existence.

    Bowing to the universe, we bow to the trees and bow to the toast. The universe bows to the universe, trees bow to trees and toast bows to toast. There is nothing which is not trees and nothing which is not toast. And yet, toast is clearly toast and trees are just trees. If we try to grill a tree or build a ship from toast, we show ourselves to be fools rather than followers of the tathagatha.


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  19. #19
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Last edited by Kokuu; 10-15-2021 at 04:37 PM.
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  21. #21
    Once again, not sure if I am hitting the mark in these assignments, or even close to it, but here it goes...
    ---
    In our ordinary experience of life, a painter is not the trunk of an old elephant, and neither the painter nor the old elephant's trunk are you and me. A is not B and neither is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dogen a painting is a painting and also an old elephant's trunk.

    The painter creates from colors that portray the artist's perception of reality. Each shade being mixed and matched by the painter's views and experiences; experiences shared with other beings, human, and otherwise, anywhere in the world. The elephant, old with age, has used his trunk to perceive his own reality... touching, feeling, sensing pleasure and dangers throughout its life... and these at times also shared with other beings, wherever he is in the world.

    As the old elephant uses his trunk to eat, drink, and fulfill its purpose in life, so does the painting fulfill its own purpose as the artist uses it to push us to think and appreciate the final product and life in general. Both utilizing elements from all around them to create perfection, in their own way, whether sticks and dirt, or clouds and flowers... Each one unique and whole into itself, yet each is also the all.

    ---

    st/rj

  22. #22


    Which is the painting elephant, which is the elephant painting?

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    "[I]n our ordinary experience of life, a flower is not a cell phone, and neither a flower nor a cell phone are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, flowers are flowers and also cell phones. Small flip phones hold giant flowers within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Flowers quench our thirst, flowers walk and preach the Dharma, and flowers are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see a nearby flower reflected on the liquid inside a cup, or painted on its side, or reflected like a kaleidoscope in each poured drop, but that the flower and the whole universe is truly poured and held in every cell phone to be seen, and is contained in the cell phone itself. The cell phone, though held in our hands, is also huge, boundless, as big as a mountain and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great vessel which is also the vessel in our hands—a vessel that cradles our hands as we cradle it. (If this is hard to get your mind around, it is fine to approach it in a poetic sense until, on the zazen cushion, one can actually realize such truths.)

    When we use our cell phones, as it enters our eyes and we hear it in our ears and it merges with our body, we too enter the cell phone, are seen by and merge with it. Likewise, using our cell phone we enter the flowers and the whole universe. The cell phone uses us as we use the cell phone, and the flower/universe drinks us as we drink the flower/universe—all in the simple action of using a cell phone. The cell phone calls all time and space as you call on the cell phone; the flower pours the universe as the universe moves with your hands when picking it up. Each cell phone, each inch of the flower or atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel, each unique and whole unto itself, yet each is also the all. That is the kind of world vision that Dōgen is usually expressing."

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

  24. #24
    Member KathyW's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, USA (close to Philadelphia)
    [I]n our ordinary experience of life, a Mars rover is not a sea urchin, and neither a Mars rover nor a sea urchin are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, Mars rovers are Mars rovers and also sea urchins. Tiny sea urchins hold great Mars rovers within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Mars rovers are attached to the bottom of the ocean, sea urchins walk and preach the Dharma, and Mars rovers and sea urchins are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might never see a Mars rover attached to the bottom of the ocean, or a sea urchin walking on Mars, but that the Mars rover and the whole universe is truly contained in the sea urchin itself. The sea urchin is also huge, boundless, as big as a Mars rover and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great sea urchin which is also the sea urchin on the surface of Mars—a sea urchin that walks on Mars as Mars walks on it. (If this is hard to get your mind around, it is fine to approach it in a poetic sense until, on the zazen cushion, one can actually realize such truths.)

    When the sea urchin walks on Mars, it merges with Mars. When we see the sea urchin on Mars, it merges with us just as we are merged with the sea urchin. Likewise, in seeing the sea urchin we enter the Mars rover and the whole universe. The sea urchin sees and merges with us as we see and merge with it, and the Mars rover/universe merges with us as we merge with the Mars rover/universe—all in the simple action of seeing a sea urchin walking on Mars. The sea urchin travels all time and space as you see the sea urchin; the Mars rover sees the universe as the universe moves with your eyes when seeing a sea urchin. Each cell of the sea urchin, each inch of the Mars rover or atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel, each unique and whole unto itself, yet each is also the all. That is the kind of world vision that Dōgen is usually expressing.

    Gassho,
    Kathy

    Sat today

  25. #25


    Sea Urchin-Inspired Crawler To Explore Mars
    https://www.eeworldonline.com/photos...s-exploration/



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-17-2021 at 12:54 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    I am a bit behind due to life, including dirty diapers, which is no other than mountains and cups of tea - here goes!

    [I]n our ordinary experience of life, a dirty diaper is not a slice of pizza, and neither a dirty diaper nor a slice of pizza are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, dirty diapers are dirty diapers and also slices of pizza. Tiny pizza boxes hold very full dirty diapers within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Dirty diapers keep us clean and healthy, dirty diapers walk and preach the Dharma, and dirty diapers are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see (or smell!) a nearby dirty diaper reflected on the shiny cheese topping a slice of pizza pie, or painted on its box, or reflected like a kaleidoscope in each poured drop of sauce or greasy pepporoni, but that the dirty diaper and the whole universe is truly put on top and held in every ingredient of pizza to be tasted, and is contained in the pizza itself. The slice of pizza, though held in our hands, is also huge, boundless, as big as a dirty diaper and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great vessel which is also the vessel in our hands—a vessel that cradles our hands as we cradle it. (If this is hard to get your mind around, it is fine to approach it in a poetic sense until, on the zazen cushion, one can actually realize such truths.)

    When we eat pizza, as it enters our mouth and we taste it on our tongue and it merges with our body, we too enter the pizza, are tasted by and merge with it. Likewise, in eating pizza we enter the dirty diaper and the whole universe. The pizza swallows us as we swallow the pizza, and the dirty diaper/universe eats us as we eat the dirty diapers/universe—all in the simple action of eating a slice of pizza. The pizza bakes all time and space as you bake pizza; the dirty diaper absorbs the universe as the universe absorbs with your baby's tooshy when eating a slice of pizza. Each piece of cheese, each inch of the dirty diaper or atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel, each unique and whole unto itself, yet each is also the all. That is the kind of world vision that Dōgen is usually expressing.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  27. #27
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #28
    hahahaha



    risho
    -stlah

  29. #29
    In our ordinary experience of life, a kitchen sink is not a tree, and neither a tree nor a kitchen sink are you or me. A is not B, and neither one is C nor D. However, for Mahayana teachers like Dōgen, trees are trees and also kitchen sinks. Kitchen sinks hold great trees within, as well as the whole world and all of time. Kitchen sinks quench our thirst, kitchen sinks walk and preach the Dharma, and kitchen sinks are also other faces of you and me. It is not merely that our ordinary eyes might see a nearby kitchen sink reflected on the dewdrops of a tree, but that the kitchen sink and the whole universe is truly held and is contained in the tree itself. The kitchen sink, which is big enough for our hands and dirty dishes, is also huge, boundless, as big as a tree and the whole universe. The whole universe is just a great vessel which is also the vessel in our hands—a vessel that cradles our hands as we cradle it.

    When we breathe a tree, as it enters our lungs and it merges with our body, we too enter the tree, are breathed by and merge with it. Likewise, in breathing a tree we recognize kitchen sinks and the whole universe. The tree breathes us as we breathe the tree, and the kitchen sink/universe breathes us as we breathe the kitchen sink/universe—all in the simple action of breathing. The tree breathes all time and space as you breathe the tree; the kitchen sink pours the universe as the universe moves with your hands when washing dishes in the kitchen sink. Each leaf of a tree, each inch of the kitchen sink or atom of the universe glitters as a unique and precious jewel, each unique and whole unto itself, yet each is also the all. That is the kind of world vision that Dōgen is usually expressing.

    Gassho,

    Shade

    ST

  30. #30
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  31. #31
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    And so it is, all is one. _/\_

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

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