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Thread: July 1-2nd, 2022 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour Treeleaf ZAZENKAI - Ho-i - 法位 - Dharma Position

  1. #1

    July 1-2nd, 2022 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hour Treeleaf ZAZENKAI - Ho-i - 法位 - Dharma Position

    Our talk today is on 'Dharma Position.'
    (text below in this thread)

    Please sit our Monthly 4-Hour Treeleaf Zazenkai netcast LIVE 8am to noon Japan time Saturday morning (that is New York 7pm to 11pm, Los Angeles 4pm to 8pm (Friday night), London midnight to 4am and Paris 1am to 5am (early Saturday morning)), and also sitable any time thereafter:

    However, "one way" live sitters are encouraged to come into the Zoom sitting, and just leave the camera and microphone turned off: Join live (with or without a camera & microphone) on Zoom at: TREELEAF Now OR at DIRECT ZOOM LINK, password (if needed): dogen

    Dharma Talk Audio / Podcast Episode:

    The Sitting Schedule is as follows:

    00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN
    01:00 - 01:30 ZAZEN
    01:30 - 01:50 KINHIN

    01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
    02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN & HOKEY-POKEY RITUAL

    02:40 - 03:15 ZAZEN
    03:15 - 03:30 KINHIN
    ATTENTION: Everyone, when rising for Kinhin or Ceremonies after Zazen, get up slowly, don't rush, hold something stable, you won't be "late," so TAKE YOUR TIME! Make sure you are careful getting up!

    Gassho, Jundo


    PS - There is no "wrong" or "right" in Zazen ... yet here is a little explanation of the "right" times to Bow (A Koan) ...

    Chant Book is here for those who wish to join in: CHANT BOOK LINK

    The other video I mention on Zendo decorum is this one, from our "Always Beginners" video Series:

    Sit-a-Long with Jundo: Zazen for Beginners (12) - Basic Zendo Decorum At Home

    I also recommend a little Talk on why small rituals and procedures are so cherished in the Zendo:

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Small Things in the Zendo

    Last edited by Jundo; 07-01-2022 at 06:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Today's talk is on a seemingly arcane bit of Buddhist Teachings, positioned well to aid us in living. I posted elsewhere today:

    Dogen developed the Tendai and Lotus Sutra view of the "Dharma Moment" ("dharma" here meaning something like "event" or "happening" or "phenomenon"), each "fully exerting" as itself. The things and events of this world and our life, from the stars to smallest blade of grass or atom, all the changes and happenings of our life, are each a "Dharma Moment" in its own "Dharma Position" into which all space and time and Buddha pours and "comes to life" as that thing or moment. The result is that (together with the usual Mahayana Buddhist teaching that all the separate "selves" and things and happenings of this world are like dreams that are swept away in a vision of their "emptiness" of separate selfness), the whole of reality is reaffirmed and blossoming as each self and thing and moment ... which is thus each and all made sacred, each thing or moment now known as boundless and complete, as real as real can be, encountered as just the whole of this life and world happening, each timeless yet just this moment of its happening, each Buddha and each a shining jewel in its way that fully contains the "Whole Thing," the "Whole Catastrophe" that is our world.

    In other words, you have had some happenings in this world (now, as in Buddha's time or Dogen's time), some ups and downs, welcome or unwelcome, happy or so sad this week ... each Buddha, each Sacred, each Whole.


    But ... although each problem in this world can be honored and bowed to as a sacred jewel, whole and complete, just as it is ...

    ... that does not stop us in any way from getting busy to fix the problems that we can, stopping the wars, fighting the diseases, ending poverty, etc. etc. etc.

    We bow to each, honor each, see each as the whole world happening ... then get busy to fix what we can.
    Dharma Position is mentioned in the Lotus Sutra, "The Dharmas Dwell in their Dharma Position"(shown in the calligraphy below). It is an important teaching of Japanese Tendai Buddhism, from which Master Dogen first came, and seems to have been cherished by Dogen in his Zen teaching as well. An historian of Tendai (J. Stone) describes it as "meaning that the particular spatiotemporal events constituting a given moment are seen as the total manifestation of nondual reality." A famous Tendai teaching states, "The defilements and samsara, bodhi and nirvana, all [abide] in their inherent dharma position."

    Often, in Buddhism, it is thought that the phenomena of this material world are false, like a dream or mirage, when known in Emptiness. They might be compared to the optical illusion of seeing flowers floating in the Sky. However, Dogen said that the fake flowers in the sky are also real as our dream, a real dream:

    [Those who misunderstand the Buddha's message] say, “the sky originally has no flowers.” How pitiful, that such types know nothing of the occasion, from beginning to end, of the sky flower spoken of by the Tathagata. ... they do not know that the vessel world “abides in its dharma position” because of the dharmas. They hold the view only that the dharmas exist because of the vessel world. (SZTP - Kuge)
    In Sansuikyo, Dogen writes of mountains and waters, but could also mean any moment or things or happening in the world (Bielefeldt/Tanahashi/Nishijima):

    These mountains and rivers of the present are the actualization of the word of the ancient Buddhas (are the actualization of the ancient buddha way). Each, abiding in (its own) dharma state (dharma position), completely fulfills its virtues (realizes completeness, each realizing ultimate virtue). Because they are the state prior to the kalpa of emptiness (before the beginning of time, before the sprouting of creation), they are living in the present. Because they are the self before the germination of any subtle sign (even before form arose), they are liberated in their actualization (emancipation realization, they are real liberation).
    Josho Pat Phelan describes it this way:

    "Dogen taught that each thing, when it is completely and fully what it is, when it "attains its self," it manifests the absolute. ... Dogen’s understanding of dharma position is that it respects the uniqueness and individual characteristics of each thing while, at the same time, recognizing its inherent emptiness, which is the same for everything. Again, sometimes this is referred to as the intersection of the horizontal and vertical or the merging of difference and unity. Horizontal refers to the boundless, empty nature that characterizes all things. Again, this is to experience everything as Buddha, and maybe the way everything is experienced by Buddha. Whereas vertical refers to each thing’s individual features and uniqueness, which is expressed through its particular function. The ideal in Zen is to be able to move freely between these two perspectives. ("
    In Moon in a Dewdrop, Kaz Tanahashi states, "The dharma position or state of being itself (hoi) at each moment ... carries entire time."

    In several writings by Dogen, "life/birth" is said to occupy its own Dharma Position, and death occupies its own Dharma Position. For example, in Genjo Koan, Dogen writes, "Life is a position in time; death is also a position in time. This is like winter and spring. We don’t think that winter becomes spring, and we don’t say that spring becomes summer." In a memorial to Dogen's deceased friend and teacher, Myozen, Dogen offered this teaching:

    Here is a story. An ancient Buddha said, “Our body received birth from the formless, just like conjured shapes and images. The body and consciousness of phantoms originally do not exist. Actions leading to punishment and fortune are both empty, not abiding anywhere.” The teacher Dogen said: Put aside for now receiving birth. What is the meaning of this formlessness? Do you want to hear it? This Dharma abides in its dharma position, and the form of the world constantly abides. This is the principle that only a buddha together with a buddha can thoroughly fathom. ... Eihei-koroku 7-504]
    Taigen Leighton comments on ...

    "Dogen’s frequent teaching about abiding in, or totally exerting [Gujin - Gu 窮 means “to penetrate thoroughly or completely,” and jin 功 is “to exhaust completely with nothing lacking”], one’s own Dharma position (ho-i), which is the totality of the present circumstances, including the multiplicity of effects of previous causes and conditions ... Dogen often emphasizes ordinary, everyday reality, such as the activities of daily monastic practice, as the locus of awakening and of the sacred, and the importance of not seeking liberation outside of the grounding of immediate everyday circumstances."

    "The Dharmas Dwell in their Dharma Position" [是法住法位] by Ishikawa Sodo, a noted Soto Zen priest of the 19th Century
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-02-2022 at 06:40 AM.

  3. #3
    Today's Hokey Pokey goes Czech and Polish and Slovenian, with America's Polka King, Frankie Yankovic And His Yanks (no relation, it turns out, to "Weird Al" Yankovic) ... with 1950's the Hokey Pokey Polka ...

    For anyone who wanting a little more Yankapolka in their day ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 07-01-2022 at 01:57 PM.

  4. #4
    I will see you all in a bit! Mokugyo and bells ready!

    Sat Today

    Please consider whatever I might say as my own ideas, experiences and understanding, and not zen doctrine.
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  5. #5
    I won't be there this evening. Hopefully I will catch up with the recording later this week.

    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  6. #6
    Having connection issues with Zoom. I will finish with recorded version.



  7. #7
    Thanks everyone! See you next week

  8. #8
    Hey all - great to share a dharma position with you all today!

    I remember Metallica, perfect in their dharma position, and the San Fran Symphony Orchestra, also perfectly in their dharma position, creating harmony out of difference, and this is how I interpret working with the sad and painful things that happen in this world or my thoughts. Though I guess, their own dharma positions became a unified dharma position in that moment. Metallica were perfectly Metallica, the SFSO perfectly the SFSO, and Metallica and the SFSO perfectly just that. Metallica did not become Metallica and the SFSO just as the SFSO did not become the SFSO and Metallica.

    Gassho, Tokan (satlah)

  9. #9
    Sorry I had to leave early; finished sitting with you today. Thank you all and thank you, Jundo, for the teaching.
    st lah

  10. #10
    Lovely Zazenkai.
    That was lovely, Bion, thank you. Thank you everyone.

    Always powerful to listen to You Jundo.
    Great wisdom.
    Thank you so much for every word You share.


    安知 Anchi

  11. #11
    Thank you everyone. I sat with you this morning

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  12. #12
    Wonderful dharma talk. I love the puzzle piece analogy. This was very helpful. I have not participated in Zazenkai in a long time so I didn't finish entire thing this morning. I will have to work my way up to four hours!



  13. #13
    Thank you. Koushi - sending metta brother. I have faced some loss this year as well; I'm not saying that to say "Oh look at me". I mean it to say that I'm thankful I can share that with you all here if that makes any sense.



  14. #14
    Lovely! Thank you all very much!

    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.

  15. #15
    Sat with recording this week and even danced to the hokey pokey polka! Wonderful dharma talk. Thank you everyone!


  16. #16
    Thank you all for this beautiful Zazenkai. Thank you, Jundo, Bion and everyone.
    The Dharma Talk really resonated with me.

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