desert_woodworker wrote: ↑
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:58 pm
Body and Mind fell away for the fellow(s) (Dogen. And, the Roshi, I presume).
Sure, anything they say, recommend, instruct, or criticize after this is bound to be true when seen from the point of view
of "Body and Mind fallen away".
It's disingenuous of them to leave this fact out of what they say, what they recommend, what they instruct, and what they criticize. Dogen, and all his apologists and want-to-be apologists, uniformly leave this out.
Joe, I believe that I too will offer (as Dan said) "general criticism
" and suggest that you do not understand the non-method in the madness of Shikantaza. You think like a human (usually good, but not in this case). You say that the horse ("body and mind fallen away") must come before the cart of Zazen's realization, that time runs in a sequence front to back, from past to present to future for those having such a realization.You say that this realization is something to be had (although, of course, the realization is to realize that there is no realizer apart from realizing to be had at all) before Shikantaza makes sense to the students. Most students meditating think that way too. That's their problem, I feel.
In fact, Shikantaza is a way to disabuse students of such deluded ideas.
It is very simple actually:
By inspiring students to sit in the faith and trust that "just sitting is already Buddha, that there is nothing more to attain beyond this perfect act of total fruition in the universe,
" thereby that faith and trust and "just this, no other place
" manifests as the satiation of all desire, the release and liberation from all other demands, that is "Body and Mind Fallen Away." Students are taught that, in the time of sitting, there is no before or after to sitting, that future flows into past that flow into just this. They may not be able to understand it at first, and it might be a matter of faith ... but like the Tibetan practitioner who becomes Taira by visualizing oneself as already Taira ... faith becomes truth. This is Kensho, the Nature seeing the Nature.
Instead, when you try to induce the students to chase and attain some experience first as an prior necessity, well, it may be a beautiful practice for someone, but it is not Shikantaza. It is just my opinion, but you do not understand Shikantaza Joe. You are putting the horse before the cart, but missing the trip. How does the eye see the eye? By misleading the student into thinking that they must see something first? Or by letting them sit in the faith, conviction and embodiment that mere sitting is the eye eyeing eye from the start, the eye which never sleeps? The eye looking for the eye simply sits with faith that it is already the eye, which then is immediately realized as the truth that eyeness always was beyond mere faith.
Dogen wrote this on carts and horses (oxen actually, and the question of whether one realizes Zazen by beating the ox or beating the cart). It is from his masterful guide to Shikantaza called "Zazenshin," and the commentary is by me from my book [BOLDFACE
is Dogen's words]: ...
Nangaku says, “When a person is driving a cart, if the cart does not move, is it right to prod the cart, or is it right to prod the ox?”
Now, when he says, “if the cart does not move,” what is a a cart moving and what is a cart not moving? For example, is water flowing the cart moving? Is water not flowing the cart moving? We can say that flowing is water not moving. And it may also be that water moving is beyond “flowing.” Thus, when we investigate the words, “if the cart does not move,” we may find that there is “not moving,” and we may find that there is no “not moving”— because it is time. The words “if it does not move” are not saying only that it does not move.
Jundo Note: This passage expresses Dogen’s vision of getting something done (making a Buddha) in the instantaneous world of time to a Buddha. Normally, we think that time flows and gradually something happens. However, Zazen is instantaneously “Buddha made,” immediately as right as right can be. It is immediately true and complete, even as the process keeps moving and flowing (this is Dogen’s vision of “Practice-Enlightenment” in which every step of Practice is complete even as we keep moving forward). In fact, Zazen and “making Buddha” is really a happening beyond all measure of time. Nonetheless, we take the time to sit Zazen each day, and it takes time for such fact to get into our bones. In this passage, Dogen shows us that experiencing the time of Zazen – as instantaneous and timeless, yet also as a gradual daily practice – are all true at once.
For this, he uses the image of a cart next to a flowing stream. The observer can’t be sure of the optical illusion by which the cart may be moving, or whether the water is moving but the cart is still, or both are moving, or perhaps neither. Movement and time are relative. Dogen takes this image a step further, pointing to an aspect of Zazen and all reality that is stillness in moving, moving in stillness. Perhaps we may say that there is a certain “flowing” to the universe that is thoroughly in, yet also beyond, all moving or not moving.
If I may change the words, when is “Zazen” just sitting still, not moving when time continues moving on? The hands of the clock keep moving on even as one sits still as a mountain. In such case, is Zazen truly not moving or is it also moving with time? If we then stopped the clock, would it appear that sitting Zazen is now moving? We can say that time’s flowing also has a timeless, unmoving aspect beyond all measure of time, and that Zazen is truly both moving and not moving.
In this way, it seems to take time to make a Buddha. Nonetheless, sitting Zazen is instantaneously and timelessly a Buddha made. Thus, we take the time each day to sit for a time, making this already timeless Buddha which need not be made.
[Nangaku] says, “Is it right to prod the cart, or is it right to prod the ox?”
Can there be both prodding the cart and prodding the ox? Are prodding the cart and prodding the ox the same or not the same? In the common world, there is no method of prodding the cart. Although ordinary people have no method of prodding the cart, we see that in the way of Buddha there is a method of prodding the cart. Such method is the very eye of learning in Practice. And although we learn that there is a method of prodding the cart, it cannot be the same as prodding the ox. We should consider this point in detail. Even though the method of prodding the ox exists in the common world, we should go on to investigate and learn the practice of prodding the ox in the way of Buddha.
Jundo Note: Dogen continues to play with the fact that, although one cannot “get to” Buddha by Zazen, nonetheless Zazen arrives at Buddha. Buddha is already present, so how can one “get” there? Nonetheless, we must keep practicing to realize this, and keep practicing to keep arriving. In ordinary terms, Zazen will not move one toward Buddha any more than beating a cart will get the cart to move. However, since Zazen is always moving, and always getting where it’s going even as we sit still, beating this cart arrives at the destination of Buddha.
Joe's "before and after" is precisely the disease for which Shikantaza is the medicine, I feel.