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Thread: Homeless Kodo's "TO YOU" - Chapters 18, 19 & 20

  1. #1

    Homeless Kodo's "TO YOU" - Chapters 18, 19 & 20

    Dear All,

    Moving on, although no place to go ...

    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 18, 19 and 20.

    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
    Chapter 18
    "How many illusions does a person create in their lifetime? it's impossible to calculate. Day in, day out, "I want this, I want that." A single stroll in the park is accompanied by 50,000... 100,000 illusions. So that's what it means to be "busy."

    This made me think of my last seshin. I had been in silence for 3 days and then it dawned on me how many thoughts I actually had that came and went. It was almost like the thoughts turned into words. 4th day I didn't notice the difficulty with all the thoughts anymore.

    Chapter 19
    "When you´re dead and you look back at your life, you´ll see that none of this mattered in the least."

    Don't take things so seriously. It doesn't matter if you unconsciously make a few mistakes sometimes. Do as much as possible of what makes you good.

    Gassho.

  3. #3
    Fortune and misfortune, good and bad—not everything is how it looks to your eyes. It’s not how you think it is either. We’ve got to go beyond fortune and misfortune, good and bad.
    Something I have to remind myself of daily.

    Gassho,
    koushi
    ST
    理道弘志 | Ridō Koushi

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

  4. #4
    A year from now, think back to the illusions you had yesterday during zazen
    This was a good one for me. It simultaneously recognizes that even during zazen we wander through illusions in our head sometimes, and that these illusions are so quickly lost.
    Something so easily lost should not be worth worrying over. So instead of being frustrated that you're thinking when you should be thinking of not thinking, just shrug the illusion off again and sit.

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

  5. #5
    Some underpants are hanging to dry on a branch. Somebody sees them and thinks they've seen a ghost. Maybe you're thinking that something like that hardly ever happens in reality, but when we think, "I need money," "I want to become minister," "I want to get ahead"-aren't we all taking a pair of underpants for a ghost?
    I had a little chuckle when I read this one.


    A year from now, think back to the illusions that you had yesterday during zazen:
    Two bulls made out of mud have disappeared fighting into the sea.
    No one has seen or heard from them since. (Tözan Ryokai)
    For a while now I’ve been using something like this to remind myself about how fleeting thoughts, concerns and feelings can be. I might be feeling stressed thinking about some event that is coming up tomorrow but guaranteed come a week from now I might forget and wonder what all the fuss was about.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  6. #6
    There were some good quotes in chapter 19 (for those tumbling down the career ladder). I liked this quote a lot:

    When you’re dead and you look back at your life, you’ll see that none of this mattered in the least.
    We spend so much time when we are younger chasing after promotions and status in our careers, maybe losing sight of what is really important. In my experience as we get older we begin to go the other way, and want less responsibility and an easier life! We seem to be obsessed with careers and the status it apparently gives us in society. But as the quote says - it’s all meaningless when we come to die. There are more important things.

    Gassho
    Paul
    Sat, LAH

  7. #7
    Chapter 18:
    “I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do that, I haven’t got any time!” This is how some people go completely crazy. What should they do? The best thing would be nothing at all. They just got to calm down.
    To someone like me who is always chaising and increasing the things to do, to commitments to have, the goals to acheive, this is a much needed reminder: just calm down!


    Chapter 19:
    You’re worried about death? Don’t worry - you'll die for sure.
    This is the kind of truth transmitted with humor and directedness that I love in Sawaki Roshi. Why be worried for something that is a certainty? And yet, worried we are.


    Chapter 20:
    Wandering around inside your own illusions means living your life like a sleepwalker.
    Another great quote by Sawaki Roshi. And another thing we have so much difficulty leaving behind.

    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Satlah

  8. #8
    I found there weren't as many that struck me in these three chapters, although I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's my state of mind today?

    Anyway, chapter 19:
    When you're dead and you look back at your life, you'll see that none of this mattered in the least.
    This is a good one to bear in mind, particularly when I'm worried over something small and/or inordinately proud of an accomplishment.

    Also chapter 19:
    Because you relate everything to yourself, everything looks like a huge problem. Where there is no mind, there are no problems.
    I really like this reminder that what's "big and important" for me is really no more than a raindrop hitting the surface of the ocean. There and gone, absorbed.

    And in chapter 20:
    Wandering around inside your own illusions means living your life like a sleepwalker.
    Again, I enjoy this reminder that the world is so much bigger than us - while also being us - and that being absorbed in "our" problems blinds us to reality and the universe. When we are the universe and also ourselves - and even our problems - then where is the problem? This is something I need to remember to work on, however, so a timely reminder from Sawaki Roshi.

    Gassho

    Anna
    satlah

  9. #9
    page 111: Not carrying out any human activity-that's zazen

    Reflection: What this zazen cannot be done like a crossword puzzle with answers in every box?
    It cannot be conquered with the speed of video game thumbs?
    It cannot be raked and bagged up with a little sweat?
    Baseball bats cannot hit it even in the playoffs?
    Just Sit.
    No games on the schedule.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by paulashby View Post
    Baseball bats cannot hit it even in the playoffs?
    And yet, every sitting seems to be a homerun.

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

  11. #11
    I am feeling called out by these chapters..."to you who are complaining all the time that you haven't got any time" and xto you who like to hear ghost stories" (in my defense, it IS spooky season! )

    ""I've got to do this, I've got to do that, I haven't got any time!" This is how some people go completely crazy. What should they do? The best thing would be nothing at all. They've just got to calm down."

    I'm reminded of the time I spent two weeks in Hawaii, staying with locals. I clearly remember being amazed at how much different the cultural attitude towards time is there, as opposed to the East coast of the US where I grew up. Everything is slower there, and yet, everything gets done. Have a full day of work planned? Relax, have a meal, get started after lunch. Still it all got done. It boggled my mind really.

    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly

  12. #12
    A year from now, think back to the illusions that you had yesterday during zazen:

    Two bulls made out of mud have disappeared fighting into the sea. No one has seen or heard from them since.(Tōzan Ryōkai)
    This is what happened with lots of 'big issues' in my life..


    aprapti


    sat

    hobo kore dojo / 歩々これ道場 / step, step, there is my place of practice


    Aprāpti (अप्राप्ति) non-attainment

  13. #13
    Member SteveG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
    Ch. 19:
    "You suffer because you don't want to accept what has to be accepted."
    I like this. It is a simple and yet profound reminder about the cause of suffering.

    Ch. 20:
    "Everyone is talking about 'reality', but this is only a dream. It's nothing more than the reality inside a dream.

    When people are talking about revolution and war, we think that something really special is going on, but what is it besides struggling inside a dream?

    When you die, you recognize your dream. Someone who doesn't put an end to dreaming before then is an ordinary person."
    I don't think I understand this. To me, it seems as though he is saying that a revolution is no big deal, which is causing me to get stuck on a few things...

    If this is only reality inside a dream, is not something like revolution from an oppressive regime still incredibly "special" and important to the many in that very "reality"? Is the implication then that we ought to stand by in the face of oppression, recognizing that the struggle is merely a "dream"?

    Or is it more that we ought not celebrate "victory"/"liberation" over oppression, as both oppression and victory/liberation are illusions, yet illusions worth striving against/for? In the same way that there is no life, and no death; yet we do not kill.

    Or maybe something else entirely? I may be "missing the forest for the trees"... I would be curious to hear other people's understanding of this.

    Gassho,
    Steve
    STlah

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-25-2022 at 12:45 AM.

  14. #14
    I'm also puzzled by this passage, Steve, but I tend to interpret this way: we ought to fight against oppression, without losing our compassion for all sentient beings, as usually happens in violent uprisings. We could celebrate victory and liberations, but don't let our fight become one that will bring a new dream, a new oppression against our "enemies". In other words, I read it as a call for non-duality; if not so, the revolution and the war will only become another form of bringing suffering to this dreamworld.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Satlah.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveG View Post
    Ch. 19:
    "You suffer because you don't want to accept what has to be accepted."

    I like this. It is a simple and yet profound reminder about the cause of suffering.

    Ch. 20:
    "Everyone is talking about 'reality', but this is only a dream. It's nothing more than the reality inside a dream.

    When people are talking about revolution and war, we think that something really special is going on, but what is it besides struggling inside a dream?

    When you die, you recognize your dream. Someone who doesn't put an end to dreaming before then is an ordinary person."

    I don't think I understand this. To me, it seems as though he is saying that a revolution is no big deal, which is causing me to get stuck on a few things...

    If this is only reality inside a dream, is not something like revolution from an oppressive regime still incredibly "special" and important to the many in that very "reality"? Is the implication then that we ought to stand by in the face of oppression, recognizing that the struggle is merely a "dream"?

    Or is it more that we ought not celebrate "victory"/"liberation" over oppression, as both oppression and victory/liberation are illusions, yet illusions worth striving against/for? In the same way that there is no life, and no death; yet we do not kill.

    Or maybe something else entirely? I may be "missing the forest for the trees"... I would be curious to hear other people's understanding of this.

    Gassho,
    Steve
    STlah

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

    First, of course, there is no reason to always agree with everything old Kodo says. However, it is best not to look at this quote only one way:

    For the Zen fellow, from one absolute perspective, there is no sickness, no death, no "me vs. you," no hunger for nothing lacking, no oppression or oppressor, etc. etc. Yes, all this world is as a dream.

    And yet, in this dream of a world, there is sickness and death, hungry children, oppression, war, etc. etc.

    It is our real dream, what Dogen called a "dream within a dream" which we should dream well, lest it becomes a nightmare. There is no sickness and death, yet there is ... so take your medicine. There is nothing lacking ... yet there is, so feed the hungry children.

    That said, a lot of what we fight for is simply things we create in our own desire and delusion ... as foolish as marching into the holy land on a crusade to punish the infidels. These things are fights of our own making, our own false flags that we ourselves fight for without reason. So, is a particular battle or campaign truly necessary to save lives and bring peace, or is it just foolishness that leads us to battle for phantom causes? We have to be discerning. Right now, in much of the world, it seems that people are making wars and violence for things that may not be necessary to fight for, and they should instead learn to live together in peace (the South Asian Buddhist ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya come to mind, as one example), while other battles may be needed (e.g., to rescue people from concentration camps). And, even though there is no death from the absolute perspective ... yet there is death here in the relative world, so we should avoid killing and mourn those who are killed.

    Yes ... the whole world is a dream. But it is our dream of life, so dream it well.

    Does that help a bit?

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-25-2022 at 12:47 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    Member SteveG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Steve,

    First, of course, there is no reason to always agree with everything old Kodo says. However, it is best not to look at this quote only one way:

    For the Zen fellow, from one absolute perspective, there is no sickness, no death, no "me vs. you," no hunger for nothing lacking, no oppression or oppressor, etc. etc. Yes, all this world is as a dream.

    And yet, in this dream of a world, there is sickness and death, hungry children, oppression, war, etc. etc.

    It is our real dream, what Dogen called a "dream within a dream" which we should dream well, lest it becomes a nightmare. There is no sickness and death, yet there is ... so take your medicine. There is nothing lacking ... yet there is, so feed the hungry children.

    That said, a lot of what we fight for is simply things we create in our own desire and delusion ... as foolish as marching into the holy land on a crusade to punish the infidels. These things are fights of our own making, our own false flags that we ourselves fight for without reason. So, is a particular battle or campaign truly necessary to save lives and bring peace, or is it just foolishness that leads us to battle for phantom causes? We have to be discerning. Right now, in much of the world, it seems that people are making wars and violence for things that may not be necessary to fight for, and they should instead learn to live together in peace (the South Asian Buddhist ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya come to mind, as one example), while other battles may be needed (e.g., to rescue people from concentration camps). And, even though there is no death from the absolute perspective ... yet there is death here in the relative world, so we should avoid killing and mourn those who are killed.

    Yes ... the whole world is a dream. But it is our dream of life, so dream it well.

    Does that help a bit?

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    Hi Jundo,

    Thank you for this response. Yes, this is helpful. I agree with you that much of what is fought for is done so out of desire and delusion, and therefore the importance of discerning whether a particular path towards peace is the "right" or most appropriate path. I think part of my struggle in understanding many of these things also might come from only a surface level understanding of non-duality. But I will continue to sit, read and listen.

    I do really like what you wrote here too: "Yes... The whole world is a dream. But it is our dream of life, so dream it well."

    Thank you again. Much appreciated.

    Gassho,
    Steve
    STlah

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

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