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Thread: The Fence

  1. #1

    The Fence


    the following was inspired by all the wonderful comments dealing with a Book of Equanimity koan. May it in turn inspire clarity:

    The grass is always greener on the other side they say,
    and they are right.
    Drop body and mind,
    stop and open.
    Deeply entering into this you will see that there is no fence at all,
    and that the green is truly the same.
    Catch that thief again and again,
    who steals green and erects fences.


    Hans Chudo Mongen

  2. #2
    Wonderful...the walls we put up oft box us in. Great!



    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
    ~Anas Nin

  3. #3
    Brilliant, so clear thank you!

    Deep bows


  4. #4

  5. #5
    Great, thank you

    Thank you for your practice

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Yuba City, California, USA
    Thank you Hans.


  7. #7
    Thanks Hans. Love this new section.


  8. #8
    Bowing to the thief.

    Thanks, Mongen.
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  9. #9
    Wonderful Hans ... thank you.

  10. #10
    I like it! Question though, who catches the thief-catcher? It's something that's always puzzled me about a direct means of alertness and effort-ing. If you just sit back, that's ignorance. If you try to catch the thief, well, that's just a thief by a different name. It's very odd.

    Perhaps some insight into this - because I know I have at times expended a very subtle effort that erases itself like Suzuki would talk about, but it's very difficult to describe.

    Deep thanks for your teaching, Hans.

  11. #11
    Hi Chet

    Reading Shoaku Okumura's comment on the heart sutra from his latest book ( living by vow) would provide a glimpse of an answer. Skandhas seen as empty just ruin the whole ego show. In the open sitting, the noticing does not need a noticer. In a very nice way, Mongen used the verb catch, not steal or rob. It is quick, it flickers and vanishes.
    But I am always amazed at how deep and witty your points are.
    Thank you for being our Dharna combat veteran, Chet.



  12. #12
    Hello Chet,

    thank you for your very deep questions. Basically...what Taigu said

    I'll try to throw you an additional quick bone or two to chew on, not because I am in a rush, but because there is a danger of completely destroying that little dharma limerick through too many words about Buddhist philosophy. That's how this pseudo-poetry is pointing, not explaining. So I will stop after a few sentences in order to not go too much into the explaining.

    Please read the following only as one way among many to approach what I wrote at the beginning of the thread.

    When resting in open "awakeness", you might notice a knowing quality inherent in your experience of everything. Since thoughts and other sticky stuff arises constantly, we will at some point (unless we are a fully awakened picture book Bodhisattva) fall off the horse....which would be another way to describe the thief doing his work...we're back in full samsara mode, though we might still sit perfectly still like a frog.
    Practise means to get back on the horse again and again, to actually notice when one has been carried away... Please don't think I am advocating to change our Treeleaf style Shikantaza to something more akin to Joko Beck's is just a simple finger pointing to the fact that sometimes we have to guard ourselves against becoming ghost sitters.

    All this is effortless, because you do not have to create clarity, it is inherent. You just open and return to that wide open field. Another way of saying this would be (and now I am shamelessly adapting something from the Shangpa tradition of Mahamudra...because they have some great one liners): There is a knowing quality to your resting in Zazen, and there is a resting quality to that knowing.

    No effort necessary, just attention and willingness to drop off and drop off and drop off...

    Enough said!


    Hans Chudo Mongen

  13. #13
    I'm glad this jewel has gotten its own thread! It has given rise to many great questions and answers!
    Mongen wrote:
    there is a danger of completely destroying that little dharma limerick through too many words about Buddhist philosophy. That's how this pseudo-poetry is pointing, not explaining.
    Beautifully said!
    Ho (Dharma)
    Yu (Hot Water)

  14. #14
    Green side up, eh!
    gassho, Shokai

    仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

    "Open to life in a benevolent way"

  15. #15
    Clarity is inherent.



  16. #16
    Also...I wasn't trying to do Dharma combat....way outta my league. I just...the particular kind of effortless effort of shikantaza ties knots in any words that I try to use to describe it.


  17. #17
    I really like this Hans thank you. I meant to reply earlier but I couldn't find the Unsui's corner again. lol

  18. #18
    I love this one, thanks for posting Hans!


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