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Thread: Homeless Kodo's "TO YOU" - Chapters 3, 4 & 5

  1. #1

    Homeless Kodo's "TO YOU" - Chapters 3, 4 & 5

    Dear All,

    We are off to a good start!

    As it is a fairly easy read, and chapters are rather short, consisting mostly of small quotes, we will take a few chapters at a time. This week, Chapters 3, 4 and 5.

    The rules of the game are pretty easy: Just mention here, in our discussion, any quotes (none, one or many) that ring your bell and resonate with you, and briefly say why.

    That's it!

    If you need a version to "cut and paste" a quote, there is one here. However, PLEASE PURCHASE THE ACTUAL BOOK! I ask everyone to use the following only for ease in cutting and pasting a quote or two into this discussion, not for purposes of reading the entire book. Thank you!

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/13v2...ew?usp=sharing

    What trips your trigger, strikes your fancy, inspires and makes your day? Try to say why it does so for you. (You can also feel free to disagree with Ol' Kodo too, but be prepared to say why!)

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Again lots I could quote so I picked just one
    The question isn't who's right. You're simply seeing things from different points of view.
    I try to keep this in mind. Not easy sometimes when emotions run hot.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Nengei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Minnesota's Driftless Area
    It seems like Kōdō Sawaki Roshi lived with negative observations of relationships, and with some of what he said, focused on that. However,
    Stop trying to be something special and just be what you are.
    and
    It all begins when we say "I." Everything that follows is an illusion.
    both were meaningful to me. So much emotion is tied to ego, and these quotations spoke of that for me.

    I also liked
    Satori means creating your own life. It makes waking up from group stupidity.
    This quotation nicely supports some from the first couple of chapters that to me suggests Master Kōdō placed emphasis on intellectual and emotional independence as a part of seeing one's Buddha nature. Also:
    Reality: getting a handle on this must be our goal. Don't get stuck in categories.
    infers the importance of seeing each thing's individual truth. We humans have a strong tendency to want to group things, and to draw conclusions from how we categorize.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

  4. #4
    Again, a good mix of humour and insight, always cutting the point in two with a double-edged sword!

    A man who understands nothing marries a woman who understands nothing, and everyone says, “Congratulations!” Now that’s something I cannot understand.
    Although this sounds bad, I wonder if he is getting at the importance of a marriage being a place of growth, rather than delusion compounding delusion!

    Everybody talks about marrying for love, but isn’t it really just marrying for sex? In the end isn’t it really only about a penis and a vagina? Why doesn’t anybody simply say that he’s fallen in love with a vagina?
    Similarly, this seems brutal and demeaning of marriage, but are we truly honest about what needs we are trying to have met in a relationship? Remember, no sex - no Buddhists

    This is a good book choice

    Gassho, Tokan (satlah)

  5. #5
    I thoroughly enjoy Sawaki Roshi's bluntness, in these chapters.

    Isn't it clear from the start that life is good for nothing? It is simply coming and going, that's all. Your problem is that there's something in you that just can't accept that.
    I've spent a large portion of my life trying to find a "meaning" to hold onto, to drive ideations and the like away, etc. It wasn't until I shifted focus away from my own self worth being dependent on some grand "meaning" or "reason" that things finally came into focus. Most of all, when I focus on others instead while I'm here for this blip in universe-time, the reality of things being "as they are" isn't horrible at all. Rather freeing, in fact.

    Some think that they're important because they have money. Others think they're important because they have "satori." But no matter how much you puff up your personal sack of flesh, you won't end up becoming anything besides a monster.

    That which can't be made into an individual possession fills the entire universe. Where personal thoughts come to an end is where the buddha-dharma begins.
    Doesn't matter what we humans try to use on each end of the spectrum, material or spiritual, to boost our ego—ego is still ego. I like to be reminded of this.

    Gassho,
    koushi
    STLaH
    理道弘志 | Ridō Koushi
    ó
    Please take this novice priest-in-training's words with a grain of salt.

  6. #6
    There are lots of great quotes in these chapters. A couple that stand out are:

    If you arenít careful, youíll spend your whole life doing nothing besides waiting for
    your ordinary-person hopes to someday be fulfilled.
    I think this says a lot about today's modern society, which can often be one long road of striving towards endless goals, always looking to the future instead of focussing on the present. And when you do achieve a goal, there is something else to go after, and so it goes on...

    I have mixed feelings about the quote below (and some of the others) about money.

    Donít be so helpless that you start saying you need money to live. In this world
    you can lead a fine life without savings.
    In the modern world, and as a non-monastic, you DO need money to live, for basic needs like food and a place to live. From the introduction to the book, it seems that Sawaki did have jobs, or was studying in monasteries where I assume basic needs like food and accommodation were provided for him. However, I agree with the general idea - that you do not need a lot of money to live a good and happy life.

    Gassho
    Paul
    Sat, LAH

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Nengei View Post
    It seems like Kōdō Sawaki Roshi lived with negative observations of relationships, and with some of what he said, focused on that.
    I noticed that too but I take it all with a gain of salt.

    1. He was never married so frankly his opinion about marriage is at best circumstantial. Anyone whoís been married (or long term equivalent) knows that marriage is a dance and sometimes we step on each otherís toes

    2. From reading his biography it is clear that when it came to relationships he did not have any positive role models.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    Again lots I could quote so I picked just one

    I try to keep this in mind. Not easy sometimes when emotions run hot.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    Love this.words to live by.
    Gassho, Margaret
    St

  9. #9
    Member Shinchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
    From chapter 4: "For ordinary people there is only love or hate, profit or loss, good or bad, victory or loss.

    In the end, we have to realize that none of that is good for anything, and in the end we come to the practice of zazen - simply practicing what isn't good for anything."

    And also, from chapter 3:

    "When you're fighting with your husband or wife, you don't realize that the argument is about an illusion. But in zazen, you recognize illusion as illusion. This is why it is important to look at life with the eyes of zazen."

    I appreciate both of these quotes, which feel connected in theme - zazen and the illusory nature of good/bad, victory/loss, etc. (as I think I've understood (?)).

    Gassho,
    Steve
    STLah

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Everyone believes that satisfaction doesn’t mean anything more than laying on the
    couch or dozing in a hot spring.
    No, satisfaction means being suffused with joy, stability and happiness. Only when
    you’ve fully arrived in the present instant will you experience true joy, stability and
    happiness.


    Gassho,
    Sara
    STLah

  11. #11
    Chapter 3 had me in stitches!

    Here are two quotes that are especially meaningful to me today:

    "Stop trying to be something special and just be what you are. Hold fire. Just sit!"

    "Life isn't so easy. Sometimes there's war and the sky is on fire, sometimes you take an afternoon nap by the stove. Sometimes you work the whole night through, sometimes you get drunk with friends.

    In the Buddha-dharma it is a question of how you can give direction to this life according to the Buddha's teaching."

    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly

  12. #12
    In Chapter 3:
    Whatever you were thinking just now, it's gone already.
    This is a good reason not to live in the head. It also expresses how fleeting each moment is.

    In Chapter 4:
    Birth, old age, sickness, and death: we can't fool around with these ultimate facts.
    This also has to do with the passage of time, as well as the suffering in this life. When these aren't getting me down, there is joy, yet these are facts of life. They are going to happen, and are happening constantly.

    In Chapter 5:
    In the world, it's always about winning and losing, plus or minus. Yet in zazen, it's about nothing. It's good for nothing. That's why it is the greatest and most all-inclusive thing there is.

    Dogen says:

    The flowers that bejewel the sky of my heart,
    I offer them to the buddhas of the three worlds.
    This is what practice is about. To let go of comparisons, gaining or losing. It is also about seeing the beauty in the world and hints at the interconnectedness of all beings and all existence.

    I'm glad to be reading this book, and seeing what others respond to and how.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    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.

  13. #13
    “We’ve gotten used to this life. That’s the only reason we find it normal.”

    This reminds me of discussions with friends during the COVID lockdowns. At first we couldn’t wait to get back to “normal,” and then we realized that much of “normal” wasn’t that great. It’s so easy to become desensitized to unhealthy situations when we are used to them.
    Loving this little book!

    Gassho,
    Judy
    sat/lah

  14. #14
    Whatever you were thinking just now, it's gone already.
    I read this and then realized I literally couldn't remember what I had been thinking just before reading this chapter.
    It took about five minutes to remember what it was.
    It was a good reminder of impermanence.

    Gassho,
    Nengyoku
    Sat
    Thank you for being the warmth in my world.

  15. #15
    So many good sayings, ranging from the profound to reminiscent of a Rodney Dangerfield stand-up comedy routine. The saying that struck me was:

    For ordinary people there is only love or hate, profit
    or loss, good or bad, victory or loss.
    In so many things, we seem incapable of finding a middle ground.

    Gassho

    Zenkon

    sat/lah

  16. #16
    Two that hit me are:
    Chapter 3
    The question isn't who's right. You're simply seeing things from different points of view.
    I found this to be very powerful as we are all so often stuck in our view of how we see the world and believing ourselves to have the correct opinion and have it 'all worked out.'

    Chapter 4
    If you aren't careful, you'll spend your whole life doing nothing besides waiting for your ordinary-person hopes to someday be fulfilled.
    I like this one as a gentle reminder that while there are things we 'need' to do to function and be productive members of society, there are other things we can choose not to do that detract from our awareness of life in the moment.

    Gassho
    Anna
    st

  17. #17
    When youíre fighting with your husband or wife, you donít realize that the
    argument is about an illusion. But in zazen, you recognize illusion as illusion.
    This is why it is important to look at life with the eyes of zazen.
    This truly resonates with me. I tend to only perceive the futility of our couple arguments only after the fact. Recently, Iíve being perceiving hour greed, anger and ignorance play the biggest role in all our disputes.

    Whatever you were thinking just now, itís gone already.
    So true!

    What a shame to have been born a human being and to spend your whole life
    worrying.

    You should reach the point where you can be happy to have been born a human.
    I coupled it with these other quotes:

    Itís no small matter to be born into this world as a human being.
    [Ö]
    Now that youíve been born as a human being, you should lead a life which is truly
    worth living.
    Buddhism teaches us that itís a joy to be born into this world as a human being.
    Samadhi means seriously asking yourself the question, ďHow must this life be
    lived?Ē
    This really puts all the weight and responsibility of existence in our shoulders. A great guarda teaching. A lot to think about how weíve been living and should livre from now on.

    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat LAH

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by mateus.baldin View Post
    This really puts all the weight and responsibility of existence in our shoulders. A great guarda teaching. A lot to think about how weíve been living and should livre from now on.
    This is one of the things I appreciate most about our practice.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  19. #19
    Treeleaf Unsui Onki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    London Ontario Canada
    Wow! Chapter 3… I wonder if Sawaki had any positive relationships as the tone of Chapter 3 seems somewhat negative.
    I really love this quote: “Whatever you were thinking just now, it’s gone already.”
    As someone with ADHD I can completely relate to this! I will be thinking of something and my brain shoots to the next thought and the next thought; never really holding onto the thought for very long.
    Another quote that I liked was “It all begins when we say “I.” Everything that follows is illusion.” This is so true. Once I put “I” I’ve already lost it. I’ve been thinking of the world as how “I” relate to it. Very interesting. Makes me think for sure.

    Gassho,

    Finn

    Sat today

  20. #20
    "That which can’t be made into an individual possession fills the entire universe. Where personal thoughts come to an end is where the buddha-dharma begins.

    "Dōgen says:
    The fowers that bejewel the sky of my heart,
    I offer them to the buddhas of the three worlds."



    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.

  21. #21
    I'm a bit late to the party but having just returned from a family holiday in a small mobile home, I feel this from chapter 3 in my bones and marrow:

    Family is the place where parents and children, husband and wife simultaneously all get on each other’s nerves.
    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  22. #22
    What a shame to have been born a human being and to spend your whole life worrying
    Don't be so helpless that you start saying you need money to live. In this world you can lead a fine life without savings
    I could almost pair these two together.

    Money still sometimes worries me, and while you can lead a fine life without savings, having a bit of a savings buffer would take that worry away. I think the main time I worry is when I have to buy something or pay to fix something on the van - which is usually what reminds me money is a thing. It can sometimes take a bit of effort to remember the above lessons. After all, even savings are an illusory safety net, banks could go bust, hyperinflation could occur. So, why worry?

    Gassho,
    Sōka
    sat

  23. #23
    We were simply born and we will simply die-and you ask about the meaning of life. (...) Isnít it clear from the start that life is good for nothing? It is simply coming and going, thatís all. Your problem is that thereís something in you that just canít accept that.
    In a large, grand scheme of things, I understand this. Everything ultimately changes, and even if you make a mark on this world (as I thought the meaning of life was initially), your accomplishments will fade away into history one day. And even more so, when you die, you "forget" about what you have done. But, I feel like even though, life is good for nothing, we all should still strive to help each other and make at least one person's world better. There is no separation between "self" and "the universe/reality" and "others" I still feel like the "goal" a person should have is to help others (or the universe/reality should help itself). Even though, it doesn't matter. If I helped one person for 5 seconds, that is worth it. Maybe I just can't accept that just yet!

    Sorry for running long
    Gassho,
    Markus (satlah)

  24. #24
    A brief journey through Chapter Four:

    ...

    Life in the floating world...
    Stupefied with boredom...
    Led astray by confusion...
    Misled by personal fabrication and karma...
    Our wobbly legs carrying us off track...
    What is beyond all of this is the absolute...
    Joy, stability, happiness...
    A Buddha is someone who untangles what is confused...
    Zazan - simply practicing what isn't good for anything.

    ...

    I feel like my mind is moving and chattering and moving and talking and moving and worrying all the time. So last Sunday, as part of my Ango commitments, I turned off all the devices and existed in the real world for an entire day. And during this day I chose to pick up Kōdō at Chapter Four - To you who have just begun brooding over life. It seemed perfectly appropriate for a mind that wants to find deeper layers of reality and quiet.

    And what a beautiful journey. And the perfect day to take exactly that path.

    With joy, gratitude and sometimes quiet,

    Gassho,

    Aimee
    sat lah this day
    Aimee B.

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