Wonderful, No Place to Go

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Larry
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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by Larry » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:11 pm

jundocohen wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:39 pm
PS - Larry, sorry about your friends. I have no idea their background, who their teacher was or what they were practicing as "Shikantaza."

Let me add that Rinzai ways are better for some people, Soto for others, maybe some other path for still others.
We have discussed those friends in detail before. Probably on Zen Space 1.0. Might even have been ZFI. I understand your perspective. And very much agree with your final sentence :hatsoff:

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by Larry » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:18 pm

Turtle Clan wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:44 pm
Larry wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:50 pm
This is a perspective from Meido. From his excellent “Rinzai Zen Discussion” Facebook group....

“Rinzai Zen also has the equivalent of shikantaza, though it does not use that term. This is the hidden practice of hokkyo zanmai, the jewel mirror samadhi. But this is something one must arrive at with assistance from one's master, who embodies the qualities of that experiential realization, provides kuden (oral instruction) revealing it, and can confirm that one's direction of practice is correct. "Just sitting" as an idea of not-doing for beginners is not going to approach that fruition, and in fact most beginners benefit more from other methods to first integrate the body-mind and give rise to the basic samadhi that is the foundation of all Zen practice. In this regard Hakuin, quoting Bodhidharma, warns about the kind of false practice for which we have to be on guard. Though it can feel clear and calm, it in fact is really just a sitting and stewing in one's deeply habituated, subtle delusion:"If someone without kensho tries constantly to make his thoughts free and unattached, he commits a great transgression against the Dharma and is a great fool to boot.He winds up in the passive indifference of empty emptiness, no more able to distinguish good from bad than a drunken man. If you want to put the Dharma of non-activity into practice, you must bring an end to all your thought-attachments by breaking through into kensho. Unless you have kensho,you can never expect to achieve a state of non-doing." Traditionally Soto Zen has held the same view, that Shikantaza is not so much a practice but the very embodiment, fruition, and manifestation of realization, and that a master was absolutely essential for one to actualize this (and incidentally right there is the place that Rinzai and Soto paths become one). RE the kind of practice Hakuin warns about, some modern takes on meditation that stress "observing the observer," or "resting in one's fundamental awareness," fall into the same trap: what is forgotten is that that basic fundamental awareness, and that observer, are precisely the seat of dualistic delusion, and they are exactly what has thrown one into the cesspool of samsara again and again.”
And yet, it seems to me, the Rinzai school is constantly trying to make. Shikantaza is not about doing anything with one’s thoughts so how is that a useful point of criticism?
Just thought you might find the quote interesting to compare the perspectives.

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jundocohen
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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by jundocohen » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:31 pm

Since I made the statement that Meido's words are prejudiced and ill-informed, I should be specific about my objections. He writes:
“Rinzai Zen also has the equivalent of shikantaza, though it does not use that term. This is the hidden practice of hokkyo zanmai, the jewel mirror samadhi. But this is something one must arrive at with assistance from one's master, who embodies the qualities of that experiential realization, provides kuden (oral instruction) revealing it, and can confirm that one's direction of practice is correct.
He assumes that whatever they are practicing in his tradition is the essence of shikantaza, and that "jewel mirror samadhi" is some state of seemingly concentrated depth to "arrive at" rather than sitting as the simple and easy embodiment of the mirror. The mirror does not have to concentrate itself to hold the whole world within without resistance or judgement, and is at ease.
"Just sitting" as an idea of not-doing for beginners is not going to approach that fruition, and in fact most beginners benefit more from other methods to first integrate the body-mind and give rise to the basic samadhi that is the foundation of all Zen practice.
"Just Sitting" is not "not doing," but rather, is radical sitting in wholeness and completion of sitting itself with nothing more in need of doing. It is the Buddha's embodying the morning star shining. Sitting is fruition itself, just as the star shining is the fruition of shining star. There is nothing to "approach" or "give rise to," but rather the radical dropping of anywhere else to approach or anything to fall or rise.
In this regard Hakuin, quoting Bodhidharma, warns about the kind of false practice for which we have to be on guard.
Like Meido, Hakuin has never been known as an unbiased commentator on Soto practice. Nonetheless, I celebrate and honor Hakuin's ways if beneficial for Hakuin and those who chose to follow his ways.
Though it can feel clear and calm, it in fact is really just a sitting and stewing in one's deeply habituated, subtle delusion:"
Shikantaza is not about feeling clear and calm, although often it is. Sometimes, like the weather, it could be dark and stormy. However, the student sits in such radical equanimity in the face of both clear vs. dark, calm or stormy, that the Clear Boundless which manifests as both human visions of light/dark calm/stormy is known, and dichotomies are no longer an issue. Remember, the moon is still shining both on clear nights and on cloudy or evens stormy nights, and the very clouds, no matter how dark, are rendered gossamer by its presence.

Soto folks should not "stew," for we disentangle from all thoughts which pass through like clouds across the boundless sky.
If someone without kensho tries constantly to make his thoughts free and unattached, he commits a great transgression against the Dharma and is a great fool to boot.
I would argue about where the foolishness is to be found, and who is committing "great transgression against the Dharma" So self-righteous! Alas, he needs to get the log out of his own eye.

Kensho as he defines it is to be honored and celebrated, and many people cherish such turnings as life changing. (Many people here in this forum seem to cherish such, and that is to be celebrated!) What he forgets, however, is that such is not the only way to know the moon when the moon is already and always shining everywhere. One can enter a house through the door or, if already in the house, by radically stopping all effort to find the house, thus realizing that one has been in the house all along ... better, that one is the house and the house just one. Shikantaza is radical, diligent putting down of the search for the house, thus to embody one's True Home.
He winds up in the passive indifference of empty emptiness, no more able to distinguish good from bad than a drunken man.


Baloney.

For the student of Master Dogen, emptiness is never empty, but is the fullness and richness of every thing, person, space and moment that is this whole show. We just develop the ability to look at any blade of grass, no matter how straight or broken, and see the whole moon shining within.

Then we live, doing as we can to do good, and avoid the harmful bads of our greed, anger and ignorance.
If you want to put the Dharma of non-activity into practice, you must bring an end to all your thought-attachments by breaking through into kensho. Unless you have kensho,you can never expect to achieve a state of non-doing."


Perhaps we are speaking of a rather different way of "non-activity," in which one knows stillness both when sitting still or in life's greatest motion. Non-doing is never done from the start. There is no need to "end thought-attachments" when we know that they never "began" and are like a dream, a cloud, passing theater, not to be bought into or stirred up.
Traditionally Soto Zen has held the same view, that Shikantaza is not so much a practice but the very embodiment, fruition, and manifestation of realization, and that a master was absolutely essential for one to actualize this (and incidentally right there is the place that Rinzai and Soto paths become one).
He is correct, our way of "Practice-Enlightenment" is the very embodiment, fruition and manifestation of realization. It is total exertion and total embodiment, however, the universe is always totally exerting and totally embodying in each square inch. When we stop struggling to exert ourselves and embody, we realize that the universe is already doing all the heavy lifting for us, and is embodied as us. Our effort is truly the dropping of all effort, and our realizing embodiment is our realization of what has been all along. (It reminds me of those folks who want to "be in the moment," and think that they are only "in the moment" when they feel "in the moment." On the other hand, the wise realize that we are ALWAYS "in this moment" for there is no being-time elsewhere where we can be, and when we simply realize that fact of this moment being thoroughly this moment ... it is and we are!)
RE the kind of practice Hakuin warns about ...
Him again! :lol:
... some modern takes on meditation that stress "observing the observer," or "resting in one's fundamental awareness," fall into the same trap: what is forgotten is that that basic fundamental awareness, and that observer, are precisely the seat of dualistic delusion, and they are exactly what has thrown one into the cesspool of samsara again and again.”
Fortunately, Shikantaza is neither "observing the observer" or "resting in one's fundamental awareness." That sounds more like those pesky Dzogchen folks who sometimes try to conflate their ways and Just Sitting.

One escapes from the "cesspool of samsara" by punching one's way out or, no less, by radically giving up the fight or entanglement with things samsaric, just slipping out like Chinese finger cuffs: When one stops pushing, they fall right off.

I hope that makes my objections clearer, and underlines why that kind of narrow minded and self-righteous (non-self righteous?) shit talk ain't shikantaza. :namaste:

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by Larry » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm

jundocohen wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:31 pm
RE the kind of practice Hakuin warns about ...
Him again! :lol:
:lol:

I demand a statistical count. Zen Space 3.0 Mentions of Hakuin versus mentions of Dogen :lol:
jundocohen wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:31 pm
Dzogchen
Now we’re talking 🙂

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fuki
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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by fuki » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:50 pm

Larry wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm

I demand a statistical count. Zen Space 3.0 Mentions of Hakuin versus mentions of Dogen :lol:
Most Earthlings aren't here to 'awaken' anyway, but to learn how to behave.
So I vote for the teacher who promotes "vegan-thingies" and "non-harm" thingies (though I like a consensual grudge match)
Sorry for the hijack, carry on... :D

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by fuki » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:01 pm

So we're talking memory now, tops and bottoms
Waiter there's a superfluous fly in my soup....

Larry
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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by Larry » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:09 pm

fuki wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:50 pm
I vote for the teacher who promotes "vegan-thingies" and "non-harm" thingies (though I like a consensual grudge match)
Sorry for the hijack, carry on... :D
:D

Where did Theresa put that book on human anatomy? :lol:

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by fuki » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:12 pm

Larry wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:09 pm


Where did Theresa put that book on human anatomy? :lol:
:lol:

You say the H word/letter :shock: ...and I don't mean "Holland" :D

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by Larry » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:16 pm

fuki wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:12 pm
You say the H word/letter :shock: ...and I don't mean "Holland" :D
:D

That’s the biggest dispute so far. Only one person can resolve it :D

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by fuki » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:21 pm

Larry wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:16 pm
fuki wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:12 pm
You say the H word/letter :shock: ...and I don't mean "Holland" :D

That’s the biggest dispute so far. Only one person can resolve it :D
Speaking of drunk men.... :D

Jesus said, "I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.

But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways."
http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html

Ok I promise to stop now... too much "I am" fluids perhaps :lol:

avisitor
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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by avisitor » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:25 pm

jundocohen wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:31 pm
Since I made the statement that Meido's words are prejudiced and ill-informed, I should be specific about my objections.
Copy and paste??
Haven't seen Meido here for a very long time??

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by Turtle Clan » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:55 pm

Larry wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:18 pm
Just thought you might find the quote interesting to compare the perspectives.
Ok, thanks. The more I read it the more it seems lacking.

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by fuki » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:06 pm

Larry is a naughty boy.... :D

his next move will be luring Jundo into saying something about rebirth.
:117: :100: :117:

Bodhisattvic fishing in a pond which contains no fish? :lol:

Excuse me while I'll return to observing free from the lure of interpretation, forgiving each trace as it goes on its way :geek:

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by jundocohen » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:23 pm

fuki wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:06 pm

his next move will be luring Jundo into saying something about rebirth.
I will save you the time. :hatsoff:

I neither run toward rebirth, or run away from rebirth, nor have much opinion about rebirth (although I am quite skeptical of most of the more detailed and literal descriptions). In any event, rebirth or no rebirth, what is most important is how we live now, and the choices we make now in act, word and thought to avoid harm in this life. I do not know or much care about future hells, but I see enough made in this life for people and those around them by greed, anger and ignorance. Liberation is possible in this life too.

I also feel that we are born in each instant, constant, past and future too, and with every child or grain of sand or breeze everywhere.

Ok. That is done. Not much more to say. :D

Gassho, J

STLah

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by fuki » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:16 am

Thanks Jundo I have my 'own' views relating to rebirth (of karma) Or the various of beings/phenomena encountered in various dimensions/frequancees (yes a very weird childhood) including earth btw as there are beings right now which no human brain could perceive since they don't have the right instrument (but you can hop to a cat's brain) but are still natural to this realm/planet. That being said it's not interesting nor beneficial in relation to practise, I agree it's not important, only this moment, and we know in this allotted time span where moments can lead to. (ask the billions slaughtered in factory farms about that, or ourselfs rather) Nor are the uncountable "hells" and "heavens" and "earths" anything like in recorded religion, since they paint a picture in reference to what human brains can relate to, (like pig slaughter with human demons) it's mostly like that with expedients including that "animals can't awaken" but most ppl are literalists :P
shape shift....nose to the wind :D

ps message to the literalist or any reader, as usual I'm not opposing any buddhist doctrine here, it's just how it might appear to thee. :P

Also, not a "fixed view" :geek:

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by avisitor » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:28 am

Larry wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:50 pm
This is a perspective from Meido. From his excellent “Rinzai Zen Discussion” Facebook group....

“Rinzai Zen also has the equivalent of shikantaza, though it does not use that term. This is the hidden practice of hokkyo zanmai, the jewel mirror samadhi. But this is something one must arrive at with assistance from one's master, who embodies the qualities of that experiential realization, provides kuden (oral instruction) revealing it, and can confirm that one's direction of practice is correct. "Just sitting" as an idea of not-doing for beginners is not going to approach that fruition, and in fact most beginners benefit more from other methods to first integrate the body-mind and give rise to the basic samadhi that is the foundation of all Zen practice. In this regard Hakuin, quoting Bodhidharma, warns about the kind of false practice for which we have to be on guard. Though it can feel clear and calm, it in fact is really just a sitting and stewing in one's deeply habituated, subtle delusion: "If someone without kensho tries constantly to make his thoughts free and unattached, he commits a great transgression against the Dharma and is a great fool to boot. He winds up in the passive indifference of empty emptiness, no more able to distinguish good from bad than a drunken man. If you want to put the Dharma of non-activity into practice, you must bring an end to all your thought-attachments by breaking through into kensho. Unless you have kensho,you can never expect to achieve a state of non-doing." Traditionally Soto Zen has held the same view, that Shikantaza is not so much a practice but the very embodiment, fruition, and manifestation of realization, and that a master was absolutely essential for one to actualize this (and incidentally right there is the place that Rinzai and Soto paths become one). RE the kind of practice Hakuin warns about, some modern takes on meditation that stress "observing the observer," or "resting in one's fundamental awareness," fall into the same trap: what is forgotten is that that basic fundamental awareness, and that observer, are precisely the seat of dualistic delusion, and they are exactly what has thrown one into the cesspool of samsara again and again.”

As I’ve mentioned before, my personal quibble with Soto is based on two friends. One gave up Zen altogether after 18 years because he didn’t feel he was getting anywhere. The other switched from Soto to Rinzai after 30 years for the same reason.

My root teacher was a Taoist Master who flipped me over with a live koan. Hence my personal affinity with Rinzai.
Thanks for bringing this up.
It actual brings to life the words of what I believe is true"
"That Shikantaza is not so much a practice but the very embodiment, fruition, and manifestation of realization, and that a master was absolutely essential for one to actualize"

But, you know that others do have their own opinions based upon their own experiences.

I have been doing this on and off for nearly 40 plus years.
And, I still don't know why I am doing this.
Maybe in the next life?????

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by michaeljc » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:50 am

avisitor wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:25 pm
jundocohen wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:31 pm
Since I made the statement that Meido's words are prejudiced and ill-informed, I should be specific about my objections.
Copy and paste??
Haven't seen Meido here for a very long time??
For good reason, I conclude
:namaste:
M

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by fuki » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:10 am

avisitor wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:28 am
Maybe in the next life?????
Good luck finding a teacher who doesn't think his shit stinks the best :lol:

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by el gatito » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:11 am

Hi, M. How is the weather? Cold and rains here, under military curfew 22 - 5, plus quarantine with 2 weekly police permits to go out to buy food.

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Re: Wonderful, No Place to Go

Post by fuki » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:07 am

"That Shikantaza is not so much a practice but the very embodiment, fruition, and manifestation of realization,
Nothing new, everyone knows this, though sectarian bullshit keeps on going round, samsara?

There can be no causal connection between practice and Wisdom. But the obstacles to Wisdom are deeply affected by practice. ~Sri Niz

How many of the ways (disciplines, exercises, practices) recommended as helpful, or even necessary, for the attainment of Satori are not in fact consequences of that state erroneously suggested as means? ~Wei wu wei

Talking for ever if shikantaza it's a practise or not. All words refer to a state of mind. So there's your 'answer' whether shikantaza or whatever is a practise or not.
Is pooping a practise or the very embodiment of stink?

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