Chasing Enlightenment

Discussion of Zen Buddhism, Soto Zen, Rinzai Zen, Chan, Seon and Thien.

Moderator: Spiritual Do-gooder

User avatar
jundocohen
Posts: 604
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:30 pm

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by jundocohen » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:20 am

michaeljc wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:02 am
Mmm - so more support for shikantaza being a state resulting from practice - not a method
Yes, so many people quoting Master Sheng-yen or some Rinzai interpretations (or White Plum or like Rinzai in Soto clothing) interpretations of what they call "Shikantaza" as just a state or stage resulting from Practice. It simply shows that they really don't understanding what was Master Dogen's radically goalless Shikantaza ... and try to say it is "just what we do in our Tradition" instead. It is a shame that people look at all these other Practices which they want to call their version of "Shikantaza" but do not really understand what is Shikantaza. If they truly understood, they would not make such narrow statements, I feel.

However, it is a free world, and someone can take anything and call it anything.

Unfortunately, in the Buddhist library, anyone can write an essay or book and say anything (such and such is "Shikantaza") and it gets treated all alike, all just one more "What is Zen" book that people do not realize is just the author's own Traditions and personal views sometimes. All manner of ideas of deep Samadhi states so that one "become one with the urinal in one's urination (as Master Sheng-yen said)," or attains Kensho experiences, or has intense "free of the body and senses" experiences, or merely feeling ordinary small human peace and oneness like "mindfulness" meditation, and any number of other "miss the mark" interpretations get tossed on as "Shikantaza." Yes, those would be very different medicines, which may be why Dan says that people quit or don't get it.

Don't ask a football coach how to play tennis. Especially when the "tennis" is Shikantaza, in which the game is won before the first serve, and there are no nets ... yet we keep on playing and getting better at hitting the ball over the net.

I am sure that everyone's Practice is beautiful, and there is a place for it. I criticize nobody's Practice. But most of the descriptions I read in this thread subtly miss Shikantaza by all the distance of heaven and earth.

Gassho, Jundo
Last edited by jundocohen on Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:17 am, edited 4 times in total.
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

User avatar
clyde
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by clyde » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:41 am

jundocohen wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:20 am
But most of the descriptions I read in this thread subtly miss Shikantaza by all the distance of heaven and earth.
I thought Brad Warner summed it well:
Sit Down and Shut Up.jpg
Sit Down and Shut Up.jpg (71.38 KiB) Viewed 327 times
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

User avatar
jundocohen
Posts: 604
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:30 pm

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by jundocohen » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:53 am

clyde wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:41 am
jundocohen wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:20 am
But most of the descriptions I read in this thread subtly miss Shikantaza by all the distance of heaven and earth.
I thought Brad Warner summed it well:
Sit Down and Shut Up.jpg
Well, there is a bit more to it than that ... Such is a book title, not the book.

Shikantaza is sitting as both the words and the space of the page, where every word is space and all space is words ... and reading just one space or shutting up only one word is the only sound (Aum) that can be spoken or need be spoken-unspoken in the whole universe ... there is not one more thing to read or say ...

... and so we get up and sort through the library, and write books and increase human knowledge (because we need Shakespeare and Einstein and silly comic books too to make us human), however hopefully this time finding all the words and all the silence of all the world ever spoken or written or left unsaid is each and all just that same One Word Silence.

That's All.

Gassho, J

Sa
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 884
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:14 am

James,
[james] wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:45 am
Warm greetings Dhamma brother. I hope that you are well and happy and that your bodhisattva spirit is peaceful and undiminished.
Thanks, all's pretty well. Keeping-on with a Soto sangha and teacher here, just marked three years together with them myself, though they've been established about 5 or 6. My practice is shikantaza.

Reading Meido Roshi's wonderful book, The Rinzai Zen Way -- A Guide to Practice (2018), which arrived at my place on March 29. Enjoyed Meido's post on samadhi, and the book includes much more on this. Generally these days, enjoying other people's expert descriptions of familiar things. Also reading some neuroscientists on their studies of brains and influences of various practices. Enjoying physical practices just about as usual and there's a little bump-up in this with the onset of warmer weather (never too cold in the desert anyway, though), and with the lengthening days in the northern (hemisphere) Spring.

Very best wishes!, to you there with practice and life in general.

--Joe
"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

User avatar
michaeljc
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:15 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by michaeljc » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:40 am

Further, if we can teach them this "no goal" and "nothing to fix" even as they also continue to live in a world where we also have goals (the crops in the field still need to be grown, and we have children to raise) and problems to fix ... thus a way of life of goals without goals, fixing with nothing to fix simultaneously (thus free of the frustration calling for excess consumer purchases, drugs to fill the holes inside and the the rest)
My own limited belief is that many if not most of the practitioners on this forum will have experienced (at a moment in time) the mind-state where everything is just perfect as it is and there is nothing that needs changing or fixing. They seek nothing more while in this mind-state. I observe others in the midst of intensive sesshin. At times it is clear that there is no thought processes at play. They are simply one with what they observe. I do not believe that they need teaching that there is "no goal" and "nothing to fix"

Why do many teachers project an attitude that the mere student can have never have experienced even for the briefest moment the enhanced states of awareness that are associated with intensive zen training?

My reaction at this moment in time. I reserve the right to change my views at any time without notice :)

m

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 884
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:53 am

Hi, Michael,
michaeljc wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:40 am
Why do many teachers project an attitude that the mere student can have never have experienced even for the briefest moment the enhanced states of awareness that are associated with intensive zen training?
Well, Meido doesn't. See his chapter (Nine) on "Samadhi (Meditative Absorption)". He mentions "athletes, artists, and craftsmen" (p. 69, et seq.) ...who are not even necessarily students training in Zen at all, or practicing.

Of course, to have cultivated a secure base in samadhi (through routine correct practice) is another matter, and hardly serendipitous.

best,

--Joe
"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

User avatar
jundocohen
Posts: 604
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:30 pm

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by jundocohen » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:59 am

michaeljc wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:40 am
My own limited belief is that many if not most of the practitioners on this forum will have experienced (at a moment in time) the mind-state where everything is just perfect as it is and there is nothing that needs changing or fixing. They seek nothing more while in this mind-state.
That is 80% at best, not a baked cake. This is a life practice. The fact that you say this indicates that you miss the message that it must be brought off the cushion.
I observe others in the midst of intensive sesshin. At times it is clear that there is no thought processes at play. They are simply one with what they observe. I do not believe that they need teaching that there is "no goal" and "nothing to fix"
...
Why do many teachers project an attitude that the mere student can have never have experienced even for the briefest moment the enhanced states of awareness that are associated with intensive zen training?
It is not a "moment(s) of enchanced states of awareness". Further, it is much more encompassing than merely some experience of "in the Zone" "no thought processes at play" or only those times of some other "encanced state of awareness" (it is those times but not just those times. It is the complete absence of such times too, like the moon present even when hidden by clouds or when shining faintly through the clouds). Another misunderstanding of what is Shikantaza. You are confusing Shikantaza (like some other folks here) with such a "no thought process at play" or like mind state. It shows that perhaps you were never really taught Shikantaza no matter what your fine teachers called what they were teaching. If it were merely that, I would just recommend all my students to take up jogging or just losing themself in ballroom dancing or metal working.

Gassho, Jundo
Last edited by jundocohen on Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:10 am, edited 8 times in total.
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 884
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:03 am

Another example.

Hand-chased metal bowl. See? nothing wrong with that... .

Indo_Persian_19th_Cent.jpg
Indo_Persian_19th_Cent.jpg (154.15 KiB) Viewed 302 times
"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 884
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:11 am

Absolutely, "brought off the cushion".

This is what our formal training includes right from the beginning. A smart and wise system and tradition.

I take my hat off to the compassionate geniuses of our lineages, as well I should.

:bow2:

(ah, found the prostrating emoticon; don't know how I missed it when I was searching for it to include in my reply to Keith; everything here is new, tho')

--Joe
"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

User avatar
michaeljc
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:15 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by michaeljc » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:36 am

In the interests of cordial continuity I will rest my case :)

m

User avatar
clyde
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by clyde » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:39 am

My understanding is ‘just sitting’ isn’t about the position or the breath; those are tools. My understanding is ‘just sitting’ is about being attentive and seeing clearly - and when one notices that one has been “lost”, one returns to attentiveness.

There have been times when my 'just sitting' seems stale and occasionally devoting some period of time to other meditation practices has been beneficial to me - or so I believe.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

User avatar
jundocohen
Posts: 604
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:30 pm

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by jundocohen » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:47 am

Clyde said:
My understanding is ‘just sitting’ isn’t about the position or the breath; those are tools. My understanding is ‘just sitting’ is about being attentive and seeing clearly - and when one notices that one has been “lost”, one returns to attentiveness.
If that were all it was, I would go take a "Mindfulness" course.

I today happen to be working on my new book (I have a "What is Zen" book too :-) ) on Dogen's famous words on "Polishing the tile into a mirror" which are right on point. There is nothing in need of practicing, so we practice to realize this "nothing in need of practice" right in a life where we also have so much polishing (of ourself, of the world, not two) we must not neglect.

=================

Master Dogen relates a famous Koan story to teach this lesson:

Zen Master Daijaku of Kōzei, after receiving the intimate transmission of the mind-seal when he was practicing under Zen Master Daie of Nangaku, always sat in zazen [i.e., Daijaku still continued to sit Zazen even after receiving Dharma Transmission as a Master]. Nangaku oneday went to Daijaku's place and asked him, “Virtuous monk! What are you aiming for, sitting in zazen?” We should quietly consider and investigate this query. That is, we should consider closely whether Nangaku is asking: Is there an aim that might be superior to sitting in zazen? Beyond the bounds of sitting in zazen, has there ever yet been a state of truth to aim for? Should there be no aiming for anything at all? Or, just in the moment of sitting in zazen itself, what kind of aim is being realized just so?

Jundo Note – This is the question: Should we aim for something in Zazen? Or not aim? Perhaps we might say that Zazen is the aiming in the very act of not aiming that thus hits the mark.

More than we love a carved dragon, we should love the real dragon. In fact, we should learn that both the carved dragon and the real dragon both possess the potency of clouds and rain. Do not simply value what is far away distant, but neither hold the distant in low regard. Just become completely intimate and familiar with it as the distant. Likewise, do not hold the close in high regard or low regard, and just become completely intimate and familiar with it as the close.

Jundo Note – This is Master Dogen’s vision of Zazen as transcending near or far, here and there, distant goals and present attainments. This action is the distant Buddha, and the distant Buddha is intimately this action of just sitting here. Do not prefer one to the other, but just know each as each, and both as the other and as one. The reference to dragons is about a man who collected small toy dragons, but did not really know the power of a real dragon. In fact, Master Dogen teaches us that the simple act of sitting embodies the power of both toy and real dragons, of Buddhas near and far, and is as real as real can be. The simple act of sitting, emulating a Buddha sitting in some distant Buddhaland or long ago, makes Buddha come to life here and now.

...

Daijaku says, “Aiming to become buddha.”

Dogen then comments with much wordplay:

... Please recognize that the words of Daijaku mean that to sit in zazen is, inevitably and in all cases, just “aiming to become buddha.” To sit in zazen is, in every case, “becoming buddha” as “aiming.” The “aiming” thus must be prior to “becoming buddha,” after “becoming buddha” and just the very moment of “becoming buddha.” What I ask is this: How many ways and instances of “becoming buddha” does this one instance of “aiming” entangle? These entanglements are themselves further entwining with entanglements. At such time, all entanglements are each individual yet total “becoming buddha” in separate instances, are each always direct expression totally “becoming buddha” exactly as itself, as all individual instances of “aiming.” We cannot escape from a single instance of such “aiming.” Were we to escape even a single instance of this “aiming,” we would lose our body and life.” But even when we lose body and life, that is an instance of entanglement of “aiming.”

Jundo Note – This passage, so complicated at first glance, is actually not so complicated at all, and the height of simplicity, when we have insight into Master’s Dogen’s sense of the total interpenetration and mutual support and embodiment of all things by all things, including here most especially, the buddha distant and the buddha fully manifested in your own act of sitting. Maybe one could say such things as that “all of the above” are simultaneously true, yet held smoothly and easily in the Buddha which embodies and actuates each and all that, all embodied in a moment of sitting. Sitting is the act of making buddhas by buddhas, buddhas which do not need to be made yet are made in the very act of sitting, where we aim by not aiming such that every inch of sitting is our aiming which hits the mark.

So, for example (paraphrasing and summarizing some of Dogen’s points), “becoming buddha” is being done to a buddha to make a buddha by a buddha. Imagine a clay sculptor working hard to make a clay buddha statue he aims to create, when in fact the clay itself is buddha and everything made of clay is already buddha. Even the sculpting and aiming to make the buddha is buddha. Nonetheless, the sculptor must keep sculpting to bring the clay buddha to life.

Likewise, “becoming buddha” is various aspects of buddha emerging in each inch of sitting, yet each aspect is completely all of buddha all along. As well, the dropping off of body and mind, where one drops away all need to attain and to realize (and thus drops away all the frictions of our divided way of encountering the world when known only as split up so that there is “something to aim for” and attain), is itself “aiming to become buddha” and the “realizing of buddha” all as one. In fact, each thing and action in the universe, and all moments of time are all entangled and mutually supporting, such that there is endless makings of buddha all entangled and embodying endless instances of aiming. Perhaps we might see the whole universe as a great clay sculptor sculpting a clay buddha, but also as countless clay sculptors planning and sculpting myriad clay buddhas in endless acts of planning and sculpting, all mutually interpenetrating and supporting each other, and all just the same buddha clay all along already so. Yet, although the buddha is present all along such as things will never become more “buddha” than they are now and have been all along, if the planning and sculpting stops, the universe would freeze and grow lifeless.

Thus, sitting in Zazen is always “becoming buddha” and “aiming” and “without aiming or becoming” all at once. Aiming is realizing buddha and buddha is realizing aiming. One usually thinks that one aims at a target first, then succeeds in becoming by hitting the goal later, but in Dogen’s world of full integrated and interflowing time and phenomena, the aiming happens before/during/after the “becoming,” and is just beyond all time too. Yes, each entanglement in life is thoroughly itself aiming and becoming buddha entangled with endless entanglements of aiming and becoming buddha, all tied up with a pretty ribbon in each moment of zazen. And because zazen is the total embodiment of all that, there is nothing to aim for apart from zazen! We cannot escape entangled life in this life (until we leave this body and life), but even then, that leaving this body and life is also an entanglement and also buddha all along!

This vision by Dogen can only be understood if we develop a rather special way of looking at things (for ordinary people are just used to seeing only a world of separate things). In this new and special way, all things of the world, and the whole enchildada too, fully pour into, embody and express all other things completely. It is very much like a lively, living “Indra’s net” in which every jewel in every link of the net holds within all the others in a great dance. Your every second of Zazen –is- that dance. All things are all things and each other, and all pour into Zazen.

Nangaku then picks up a piece of tile and rubs it on a stone, as if to polish it. Eventually, Daijaku asks, “Master, what are you doing?”

...

Nangaku then says, “"I'm polishing this to make a mirror." We should be clear about the meaning of these words. There is definitely a reason to “polish to make a mirror,” in which the Buddhist truths are always present and the realized universe is present, and it is not some empty endeavor. Although tiles are tiles and mirrors are mirrors, we should know that when we are striving to master the principle of “polishing,” we shall find that this polishing possesses a limitless abundance of distinguishing features. It may be that even the “eternal mirror” and the “clear mirror” are made mirrors by polishing a tile. If we do not realize that mirrors come from “polishing a tile,” then the buddhas and ancestors have nothing to say, do not open their mouths, and we do not perceive the exhaling of the buddhas and ancestors.

Jundo Note: I feel that Dogen here points out to us the dual edged sword of Zazen: There is nothing to attain, a tile cannot be made into a mirror, and we sit Zazen totally in the awareness of that fact. We are already Buddha, the mirror is already shining. Nonetheless, unless we sit in Zazen realizing in our bones that “nothing to attain” fact … i.e., unless we polish the tile … the mirror never shines. There is definitely a reason to sit, which is to realize this. The very action of sitting, and all the other aspects of our Practice with all their diverse features, are just this “nothing to attain.” So, we strive diligently.

The “eternal mirror” and “clear mirror” are very traditional symbols in Mahayana Buddhism for the timeless clarity of the Buddha nature or Buddha mind, which are by nature unproduced and thus not a matter of polishing. However, Dogen seems to say here that our very practicing, our very actions of sitting and living life, are in fact the “eternal mirror” and “clear mirror” brought to life. Thus, while the mirror cannot and need not be made, the mirror does not come to life apart from our practicing and living (polishing) to realize that fact of “cannot and need not be made.”
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 884
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:31 am

On a technical note, I sense long obsolescence in certain pronouncements.

I myself have personally made mirrors from tiles (ceramic substrates). And, I have used tiles in the making of mirrors.

(for the off-topic details, just PM me).

These have all been for telescopes, small and large, in 20th Century and 21st.

Somebody, please update the clocks and calendars of folks who just re-mouth the sayings of predecessors.

:roll:

--Joe
"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

User avatar
bokki
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:31 pm

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by bokki » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:16 am

Jundo Quoted Dogen:
... Please recognize that the words of Daijaku mean that to sit in zazen is, inevitably and in all cases, just “aiming to become buddha.” To sit in zazen is, in every case, “becoming buddha” as “aiming.” The “aiming” thus must be prior to “becoming buddha,” after “becoming buddha” and just the very moment of “becoming buddha.” What I ask is this: How many ways and instances of “becoming buddha” does this one instance of “aiming” entangle? These entanglements are themselves further entwining with entanglements. At such time, all entanglements are each individual yet total “becoming buddha” in separate instances, are each always direct expression totally “becoming buddha” exactly as itself, as all individual instances of “aiming.” We cannot escape from a single instance of such “aiming.” Were we to escape even a single instance of this “aiming,” we would lose our body and life.” But even when we lose body and life, that is an instance of entanglement of “aiming.”
sir, may i observe, there are about 10 "aiming" there, and no mention of "non aiming".
Nangaku then says, “"I'm polishing this to make a mirror." We should be clear about the meaning of these words. There is definitely a reason to “polish to make a mirror,” in which the Buddhist truths are always present and the realized universe is present, and it is not some empty endeavor. Although tiles are tiles and mirrors are mirrors, we should know that when we are striving to master the principle of “polishing,” we shall find that this polishing possesses a limitless abundance of distinguishing features. It may be that even the “eternal mirror” and the “clear mirror” are made mirrors by polishing a tile. If we do not realize that mirrors come from “polishing a tile,” then the buddhas and ancestors have nothing to say, do not open their mouths, and we do not perceive the exhaling of the buddhas and ancestors.
sir, here only polishing is mentioned, not nonpolishing, and only mirrors are mentioned, not nonmirrors.
If we do not realize that mirrors come from “polishing a tile,” then the buddhas and ancestors have nothing to say, do not open their mouths, and we do not perceive the exhaling of the buddhas and ancestors.
how does that equate with the following?>
Jundo Note: I feel that Dogen here points out to us the dual edged sword of Zazen: There is nothing to attain, a tile cannot be made into a mirror, and we sit Zazen totally in the awareness of that fact. We are already Buddha, the mirror is already shining. Nonetheless, unless we sit in Zazen realizing in our bones that “nothing to attain” fact … i.e., unless we polish the tile … the mirror never shines. There is definitely a reason to sit, which is to realize this. The very action of sitting, and all the other aspects of our Practice with all their diverse features, are just this “nothing to attain.” So, we strive diligently.

The “eternal mirror” and “clear mirror” are very traditional symbols in Mahayana Buddhism for the timeless clarity of the Buddha nature or Buddha mind, which are by nature unproduced and thus not a matter of polishing. However, Dogen seems to say here that our very practicing, our very actions of sitting and living life, are in fact the “eternal mirror” and “clear mirror” brought to life. Thus, while the mirror cannot and need not be made, the mirror does not come to life apart from our practicing and living (polishing) to realize that fact of “cannot and need not be made.”
Thank you Jundo Roshi.
b
:namaste:
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
- Linda Anderson

User avatar
Crystal
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:40 pm

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by Crystal » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:57 am

.

Thank you for your posts and for your patience , Jundo.

I hope your health is continuing to progress well after your operation.

_/|\_


Image



.

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 1705
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Zandvoort, The Netherlands

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by fuki » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:15 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:22 pm
Sheng Yen taught, as one of the 7 or 8 "methods" that he taught, "Silent Illumination". This is similar to shikantaza. One could also work koans with him. Or employ practices based on the body, or breath.
I always let my cats pick a tally. :D
http://www.fodian.net/world/0842/08_sound.htm
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

User avatar
jundocohen
Posts: 604
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:30 pm

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by jundocohen » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:44 am

bokki wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:16 am
]
sir, may i observe, there are about 10 "aiming" there, and no mention of "non aiming".
,,,
sir, here only polishing is mentioned, not nonpolishing, and only mirrors are mentioned, not nonmirrors.
Hi Bokki,

That is a very good point, although perhaps not looking close enough. One should take the "can't polish a tile into a mirror, nor make a Buddha by Zazen" message and Dogen's play with it as a whole. One cannot make a Buddha by Zazen, so Zazen is the aiming and becoming of that which can neither become nor be aimed for. As well, the aiming is the becoming and the becoming already aiming.

For a fellow, Bokki, who is an amazing wordplayer yourself, I am surprised to see you so bound by words.

At the start of the essay, Dogen asks a few rhetorical questions, and his response throughout is something like "all of the above":
... we should consider in detail whether [Nangaku] is asking: Is there an aim that might be superior to sitting in zazen? Beyond the framework of sitting in zazen, has there never yet been a state of truth to aim at? Should we not aim at anything at all? Just in the moment of sitting in zazen, what kind of aim is being realized?

...

Nangaku says, "How can sitting in zazen make you into a buddha?" Clearly, there is a truth that zazen does not expect to become buddha. The principle is evident that to become buddha is irrelevant to zazen. ...
It is basic Mahayana Wisdom that the “eternal mirror” and the “clear mirror” cannot be made or polished (and are truly thus "non mirrors"), so we sit diligently polishing and making what cannot be polished or made. Very simple.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 884
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:59 pm

Jundo, et al.,
jundocohen wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:44 am
It is basic Mahayana Wisdom that the “eternal mirror” and the “clear mirror” cannot be made or polished (and are truly thus "non mirrors"), so we sit diligently polishing and making what cannot be polished or made. Very simple.
That old saw is spawned from (conditioned by, say) from the view from the awakened state, or condition.

Of course the author or proselytizer of that view (E. Dogen) himself awakened using another "method" entirely, under the care of a compassionate master.

To "take good care of" his realization (otherwise attained, or arrived-at, as explained above), of course, afterwards, Dogen was well advised to just sit. Nothing else to do.

Very simple.

Kudos to Ru Jing.

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

User avatar
jundocohen
Posts: 604
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:30 pm

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by jundocohen » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:01 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:59 pm
Jundo, et al.,
jundocohen wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:44 am
It is basic Mahayana Wisdom that the “eternal mirror” and the “clear mirror” cannot be made or polished (and are truly thus "non mirrors"), so we sit diligently polishing and making what cannot be polished or made. Very simple.
That's old saw is spawned from the view from the awakened state, or condition.

And of course the author or proselytizer of that view (E. Dogen) awakened using another "method" entirely, under the care of a compassionate master.

Very simple.

--Joe
Of course. What's surprising about that?

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 884
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: Chasing Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:12 pm

Oh, good.

They say that the only thing new under the sun is the History that you don't know... .

Some readers here may not yet have known that history ...and how Dogen actually came to realization.

Thanks for the opportunity to let this light in.

--Joe
"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

Post Reply