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Thread: Homeless Kodo's "TO YOU" - Chapters 33, 34 & Epilogue

  1. #1

    Homeless Kodo's "TO YOU" - Chapters 33, 34 & Epilogue

    [B]ATTENTION: See information on next readings here --


    Dear All,

    We come to the end of this book of the wit and wisdom of Kodo.

    Any final impressions?

    Personally, I always find the old boy a mixture of incredible wisdom, social insight and ... grumpy grandpa griping. That's why I love him. He had a lot of good points to make about how we fool ourselves in life. He's right about how we can buy too easily into what society is selling, and have our ideas of happiness all backwards.

    He definitely was a product of his time and generation, but I feel that much of what he had to say can speak to us today.

    How about you?

    Gassho, Jundo


  2. #2
    i love his
    ... grumpy grandpa griping
    maybe my age



    hobo kore dojo / 歩歩是道場 / step, step, there is my place of practice

    Aprāpti (अप्राप्ति) non-attainment

  3. #3
    When you try to grasp the buddha-dharma, you only end up constipated.
    This one made me laugh out loud.

    Thank you Jundo and to all those that read along. I really enjoyed this book and will reread it again.

    Yes Sawaki is a gruff and a bit crude but something about his style speaks to me. His lineage, including Uchiyama and Okumura, is a treasure and their teachings all really resonate with me. Clearly that is true here as well given the prevalence of their teachings in our readings.

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  4. #4
    I finally got caught up and finished the book. A lot of great stuff in there. The epilogue sticks with me as a great reminder - again- (I can never get enough of this reminder) that the coming back to Zazen between thouts and distractions and falling asleep is the practice .


  5. #5
    Page 197: Peace of mind means not running after anything.

    Reflection: How many people when you ask how they are doing will answer-life is busy!
    What is all this running? Where are they going? What is keeping us so stuck on busy?
    Is it some type of justification for the right to exist? Would not running make us useless,
    marginal, less important in a capitalist measure of value? December is crazy with running,
    driving, shopping,rushing- where is all this traffic going? And what am I missing?
    Homeless Kodo preaches being as an alternative to busy. Perhaps that is how you get to
    be homeless. More importantly it is how you get to be Kodo.
    Kodo is my buddy he tells the hard truth and then sticks out his tongue if we take offense.
    I see him as the Lenny Bruce and George Carlin of Soto.
    peace,Paul SATLAH ANANDA

  6. #6
    Chapter 33:
    A peace of mind that is totally at peace would be nothing more than something readymade. Real peace of mind only exists within unpeaceful mind.
    This is the blue sky with or without clouds and storms; the mirror with or without something blocking it; the mind, with or without thoughts and defilements.

    Chapter 34:

    Practice means asking with your whole being the question, “What can I do right now for the Buddha way?”
    What’s the buddha-dharma about? It’s about having every aspect of your daily life pulled by Buddha.
    These quotes reminded me of the first precepts readings we had for Jukai preparation. Where are we seeking refuge? In the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha or elsewhere?

    And also reminded of our discussions about bringing monastic life to household life this week. How can we let every aspect of our lay household life be pulled by the Buddha? How can we integrate life with Buddha-Dharma?

    Epilogue (Uchiyama Roshi):

    The reason why I can interpret it like this is because I don’t read the Shōbōgenzō as a Buddhist scholar who is only concerned with bringing order to the labyrinth of Chinese characters. Nor do I read it as a sectarian to whom every single word is so holy that he puts it on a pedestal, like a tin of canned food that will never be opened, and throws himself to the ground before it. Instead, I read it with the eyes of a person who seeks the way, who is concerned with getting to the bottom of an entirely new way of life. I believe that is exactly what is meant by “seeing the mind in light of the ancient teachings” or “studying the Buddha way means studying the self.”
    For some reason, this quote reminded me of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and his emphasis on beginner's mind. Someone with a beginner's mind is not trying to find the original meaning of the sutras and ancient master's texts (although there is great value in searching for it); nor is s/he deifying the words of the Buddha and the Ancestors as it they were some divine beings that have to be revered and whose words have to be put in a pedestal in front of which we should prostrate ourselves (although bowing and prostrations are great practices in themselves). The sutras and ancestor's texts are to be read as a beginner who is seeking "an entirely new way of life".

    So for me too, true zazen naturally means shikantaza – just sitting. That is to say that we do not practice zazen to have satori experiences, to solve a lot of kōans or receive a transmission certificate. Zazen just means to sit.
    Zazen means awakening from distraction and confusion and from dullness and fatigue, awakening to zazen billions of times. The zazen of living out this fresh and raw life means awakening the mind, certifying through practice billions of times. This is shikantaza.
    So, dropping off body and mind means opening the hand of thought and returning to zazen a billion times. Dropping off body and mind is not some sort of special mysterious experience.
    Here, Uchiyama Roshi presents the essence of the practice of shikantaza zazen; something we have to remind ourselves over and over again, in and out the zafu.

    怠努 (Tai Do) - Lazy Effort
    (also known as Mateus )

    禅戒一如 (Zen Kai Ichi Nyo) - Zazen and the Precepts are One!

  7. #7
    There's something about "grumpy grandpa griping" that I find strangely compelling ... or maybe not so very strangely, since I am arguably a grumpy grandpa myself.

    I adore this book; I've been carrying it everywhere with me for a couple of months now, and just dipping into it at odd moments, and coming up with more gems of wisdom and ... grumpy grandpa griping.

    Best wishes to all for the New Year.


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