Koun Franz (19?? - not dead yet)

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[james]
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Koun Franz (19?? - not dead yet)

Post by [james] » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:18 am

Part 1 of a series of talks about Keizan Jokin’s “Notes on What To Be Aware of in Zazen” (Zazen Yōjinki) given at Zen Nova Scotia ... “ a text I feel an impulse to uphold—not just because it’s so good but because it’s so rarely part of the dialogue around what zazen is (or isn’t).” (koun)

https://nyoho.com/2018/07/07/you-know-w ... ki-part-1/

Excerpt:

Keizan’s other really critical text, which we too often forget about, is called Zazen Yōjinki, “Notes on What To Be Aware of in Zazen.” These are his zazen instructions, and they are not the same as Dōgen’s—not in conflict, but definitely not the same. They don’t feel the same. Here’s the opening, just a taste (translation from The Art of Just Sitting: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza):

Sitting is the way to clarify the ground of experiences and to rest at ease in your Actual Nature.

Dōgen, in his instructions for zazen (Fukanzazengi), says, Zazen wa shuzen ni wa arazu: “Zazen is not learning Zen.”

Zazen is not some volitional practice. Whatever Zen it is, it isn’t Zen that you’re doing. And then he goes on to say: in fact, it is the Dharma gate of joyful ease. So they’re starting out on the same page. Here Keizan is saying: “Sitting is the way to clarify the ground of experiences”—that’s worth talking about—”and to rest at ease in your Actual Nature. This is called ‘the display of the Original Face’ and ‘revealing the landscape of the basic ground'”

So he’s beginning from this idea that there’s a starting point, a kind of home base for a human being. He calls this the ground of experiences, actual nature, the original face, the basic ground. And then he says we’re clarifying this and we’re revealing this, and we’re resting at ease in this.

When we encounter anything like this, it’s critical to not go where our mind automatically goes, which is to think of whatever this is as something other, or something lost, or something obscured.

When he says your actual nature, we think Oh, I have another nature that’s not my actual nature! And it can sound very exciting because I have a real one… I’m going to find it! I’m going to sit in zazen, and I’m going to reveal the thing that is true, and all the other stuff will just disappear! There’s adventure, there’s something you’re going to find. There’s a diamond, there’s a pearl.

That is not what he means. I’m sometimes hesitant to say something like that, because who knows what anyone actually meant? But I’m confident about this, because he’s coming out of a conversation, and the conversation is never that. The conversation is never that there is something that is the kernel of you, or that is an unformed part of you that should be formed because that would be somehow more true.

The conversation is that you, right here, right now, are one hundred percent—but also that it probably doesn’t feel that way. Why not? A lot of it has to do with this notion of resting at ease. We don’t rest at ease.


Part 2: https://nyoho.com/2018/07/25/do-nothing ... ki-part-2/
Part 3: https://nyoho.com/2018/08/06/no-back-or ... ki-part-3/
Part 4: https://nyoho.com/2018/09/02/like-a-foo ... ki-part-4/
Part 5: https://nyoho.com/2018/09/07/avoid-gett ... ki-part-5/
Part 6: https://nyoho.com/2018/09/15/no-struggl ... ki-part-6/


And if that is not enough ...


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lindama
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Re: Koun Franz (19?? - not dead yet)

Post by lindama » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:58 am

no, we don't all come in looking for something... and if we do, first thing we hear if we are lucky is that if we look for it.... it isn't it.

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Koun Franz (19?? - not dead yet)

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:42 pm

Cold ash. This takes some work.

But the result is very warming. For oneself and for all beings.

--Joe

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lindama
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Re: Koun Franz (19?? - not dead yet)

Post by lindama » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:00 pm

Koun talks about cold ash and a withered tree in the same way. My first encounter with zen was the withered tree image.... as I heard it "the golden wind revealing itself". Koun says "it's story is over". Thus, the withered tree is an old friend for me. If memory serves, the whole thing goes something like this:

what is zen
a withered tree
what does that mean?
still having joy

the shorter version:
what (happens) when the leaves fall
the golden wind revealing itself.

ha, I'm starting to forget the words, a good thing. work, if we need a job.

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