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Thread: "'I' don't know" = True Knowing

  1. #1

    "'I' don't know" = True Knowing

    In the famous legend, Bodhidharma was asked by Emperor Wu, "Who are you?" Bodhidharma is reported to have answered, "I don't know."

    Be assured that Bodhidharma was not pleading ignorance, not confused in old age or otherwise forgetful of his own name and story. Sometimes, people mistake this "don't know" as some instruction or permission to be ignorant. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Rather, "'I' don't know" points to this Wisdom by which, dropping a separate 'I' as knower, and a separate something to be an object known, there is just radical "Knowing" which remains. And this which remains is who we are. In Zazen, one sits as this Knowing sitting. When knower and known are dropped away in Wholeness, Knowing knows no limits! There is no separate sitter, nothing separate to be sat ... Just Sitting, Just Knowing.

    Oh, Zen will not give you the answer to basic math problems, like "what is the square root of 1000?" (My calculator says 31.6227766017) It will not inform you about the number of feathers on a hummingbird's wing, the name of the capital of Uruguay (Ciudad Montevideo, by the way), whether it will rain or be sunny tomorrow (check the weather service for that), or whether there is life on planets circling stars in distant solar systems. It will not tell us what happens when we die. No, Zen "enlightenment" will not clarify any of those things ...

    ... except that, in fact, all such questions are answered, ended, put to rest.

    For all is 1,2,3,4,5, not 1 and not 2, infinity and the smallest fractions, each digit itself which embodies all other products, numerators, denominators, both the square root of 1000 and every other possible number, real or imagined ... thus, the math test is passed!

    One realizes that one's nature is every bird in the sky, and every feather on a bird's wing, and that their flying is our own. Every flap of a hummingbird's wing is you and me and all of us, and we are all that in flight, thus the number of feathers on the bird's wing is the number of you, the number of me, the number of anything and everything, and our numbers just that. The whole universe is a bird in the air, traceless, and our life is every inch from beak to tail to sky,

    Is there life on other worlds? Better said, where is life not? For other planets, though there and distant, are but this planet, and this planet is that planet there but found here. Every living pulse of a living heart is the whole universe flowing and living. If life is here, then it is every grain of sand, the mountains and most distant stars..

    What happens when we die? Well, if we never "came from," nor "return to," then what dies? The waters rise as wave, the wave eventually falls, yet the waters flow on and on. And as this wave is the sea, that wave and all waves are the sea, while sea is just sea, so sea flows on as waves come and go ... waves flow on as all the other waves, waves flow on as the very flowing. Waves fade, yet not a drop of sea is lost. When our "I don't know" is our realization of just flowing, the "I" may vanish, yet the flowing which we are keeps flowing.

    The capital city is here, and yet every inch of every inch is all of it, is you and me, and thus the capital is you and me as much as you and me is that. In fact, everything is everything.

    Will it rain tomorrow? If it does, every single drop of rain contains, within, you and me and the whole cosmos. It includes every mountain and lake, planet and star. Raining is sunny clear sky, sunny clear sky is raining. No matter how cloudy, stormy, the moon of clarity shines even when hidden to the eye.

    All this in the Zazen of this and that dropped away, when all things are encountered as all things, as each thing and each other ...

    ... "don't know" Knows,

    Shunryu Suzuki: The highest truth is daiji, translated as dai jiki in Chinese scriptures. This is the subject of the question the emperor asked Bodhidharma: "What is the First Principle?" Bodhidharma said, "I don't know." "I don't know" is the First Principle. Do you understand?

    Gassho, J


    Last edited by Jundo; 05-19-2022 at 02:01 AM.

  2. #2

    Sat today. LAH.

    Sent using Tapatalk.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Thank you Jundo. That is marvelous.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.
    E84I - JAJ

  5. #5
    Thank you Jundo
    Gassho, Kiri
    希 rare
    理 principle

  6. #6
    Thank you Jundo.

    Kotei sat/lah today.

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

  7. #7
    Thank you Jundo

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  8. #8
    Thank you for this, teacher






  9. #9
    Thank you, Jundo.


  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'.

  11. #11
    Thank you, Jundo.


  12. #12

    Thank you Jundo.



  13. #13
    Member Kaisui's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
    Australia (past username - coriander)


  14. #14
    Is there life on other worlds? Better said, where is life not?

    Tokan (satlah)

  15. #15
    Thank you, Jundo.


    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


  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Anchi View Post
    Thank you, Jundo.


    Hi Anchi!

    Gassho, J


  17. #17
    Thanks jundo. Very nice. When i began practicing donít know I didnít know it would become my whole life.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

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