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Thread: The Little 'self' is a Fiction, yet As Real As Real Can Be ...

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    The Little 'self' is a Fiction, yet As Real As Real Can Be ...

    There is an aspect to Master Dogen's vision of the little "self," and all things in reality, that may sometimes be forgotten by folks:

    Just as taught by all Mahayana Buddhists, the little "self" is a construct, created between the ears, and likewise, all things, people or moments of time are each empty of separate self-existence, and thus rather like "useful fictions." However, Dogen, like many other Zen and Mahayana folks, especially those inspired by the Hua-yan 'Flower Garland' teachings so influential on Zen, also finds all of reality then turning around, pouring back into and reaffirming, reinvigorating, making real again, each and every phenomena of reality, each person, place, thing, event, grain of sand or galaxy, as its own sacred and shining Jewel on Indra's Net ... as if each grain of sand and anything else were itself the whole universe containing within itself every person place, thing, event, grain of sand or galaxy ... the whole of reality fully held inside every big or small bit ...

    ... In other words, your self, all other selves, though still no less a dream ... nonetheless are also shining and as real as real can be ... each perfectly just what it is. All of reality is firmly held in each single inch and drop. Thus, though empty of self, you are THOROUGHLY your unique self, the only you in the universe, flawless for all your faults you still had best fix, perfectly your own shining self even with all the imperfections you still need to work on. And the whole enchilada, the whole kitchen sink and then some, is embodied in every atom of you.
    Don't ever forget that. ��

    The clearest image for such a universe is from Dogen's Genjo, whereby the clear, boundless, illuminated realm of the moon and open sky is not something apart from this world, is never apart from the world itself, even when such fact is hidden to us. Yes, we must beware the 'finger pointing at the moon,' never getting lost in mere words and ideas, but never forget that the moon is shining as our very finger tips!

    Our enlightenment is like the moon reflected in the water.
    The moon does not get wet, the water is not broken.
    Although the light shines wide and vast, the moon is
    reflected in a puddle a foot or an inch wide. The entire
    moon and the whole sky are reflected in countless dewdrops
    upon the grass, and even in a single drop of water.
    Enlightenment does not divide a person, just as the moon
    does not shatter the water. We cannot obstruct enlightenment,
    just as a drop of water does not obstruct the moon in
    the sky. The depth of each drop is the measure of the height
    of the moon. No matter how long or short the duration of
    each reflection, it expresses the largeness or smallness of the
    dewdrop, yet completely holds the boundlessness of the
    moonlight in the heavens.

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 12-20-2021 at 02:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Thank you for this

    Sat Today

    Please consider whatever I might say as my own ideas, experiences and understanding, and not zen doctrine.
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  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo

    Gassho, Tomás

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    理道弘志 | Ridō Koushi

    Please take this novice priest-in-training's words with a grain of salt.

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    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    日々是好日 【nichi nichi korego nichi】Every Day is a Good Day!!

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    The memories are shadows of what I have experienced, they are not the experiences.
    The experiences have gone, but the memories remain. - 安知 Anchi


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    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

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    It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

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    The Little 'self' is a Fiction, yet As Real As Real Can Be ...

    Logic only goes so far. What goes beyond logic? Thank goodness I have more than logic. Emotions give flesh to bones of logic. Fiction like myth is based in fact, bone of fact features form of muscle and sinew or emotions.
    sat/ lah

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 12-23-2021 at 04:31 AM.
    Lay member, be loving kindness; just a guy. sometimes Calm supportive and hopeful. Ubasoku

  10. #10
    Kaidō (皆道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything that I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

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    "useful fictions"

    浪省 - RouSei - Wandering Introspection

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    Thank you, ����

    Sat today Iah

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    Heidegger was almost on to this. . .

    "The self is entangled in the world it is in. . ."

    "A workman reaches out for a hammer, instinctively weighs it in his hand, and begins to work. Each blow is hammered out with tiny, imperceptible adjustments of velocity and trajectory – adjustments that the workman does automatically and is barely aware of making. In fact, the more competent the workman, the less aware he is of the hammer at all: he simply hammers away. The movements in his hand are realized in movements of the hammer in such a way that the hammer serves as an extension of the workman’s hand. In this way the hammer and the workman are together, entangled. The moment the workman begins to contemplate the hammer as a separate object or ‘thing’, something gets in the way: something doesn’t work properly, and the very Being of the hammer itself gets lost. To simply stare at the hammer, to think about it as a separate ‘thing’, does not reveal anything of the Being of the hammer. In this way, the Being of the hammer is disclosed in its utility, its use: it is with the workman, in hammering, that the Being of the hammer is revealed."

    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Gregor; 01-12-2022 at 12:30 AM.
    Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

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