Mumonkan Case 5

Discussion of Zen Buddhism.
Spike
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Spike » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:15 pm

clyde wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:52 pm
Here is how Guo Gu explains “discriminating mind”:
“All of the teachings in Chan and buddhadharma expose the truth about delusion, which is fueled by the discursive, discriminating mind. The discriminating mind is not your intelligence—you need that. Nor does it refer to our ability to distinguish between this and that, which is a natural function of mind. The discriminating mind is self-referential thinking—the assumption that there is an abiding, separate, independent “I” residing within you”

- from Passing Through the Gatelss Barrier, Case 1 Zhaozhou’s Dog
Here is how another Rinzai teacher explains discriminating mind:

As human beings we all possess this wonderful tool called discriminating consciousness, or our rational mind. It is this aspect of consciousness that determines our likes and dislikes, separates subject from object, analyzes problems, discriminates between coarse and fine. This aspect of our mind often becomes so dominate that we confuse it with our own individual identity. Though it is a crucial tool essential for every human being, we often become so dependent on it that we are rarely able to put it down in favor of more subtle and profound tools. It is like holding a hammer so tightly in our hands that we can never pick up a tooth brush when we need it. In fact, it is often the case that we go around hammering everything with our discriminating consciousness, and we wonder why happiness is so hard to find after thoroughly banging on all that comes our way.

Caodemarte
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:51 am

Spike wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:15 pm
.....Here is how another Rinzai teacher explains discriminating mind:

As human beings we all possess this wonderful tool....

Good quote. Could you tell us where to find the rest of this quote and who you are quoting? Thanks in advance.

Spike
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Spike » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:17 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:51 am
Spike wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:15 pm
.....Here is how another Rinzai teacher explains discriminating mind:

As human beings we all possess this wonderful tool....

Good quote. Could you tell us where to find the rest of this quote and who you are quoting? Thanks in advance.
https://choboji.org/literature/discriminating-mind/

Caodemarte
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:04 am

Spike wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:17 am
Caodemarte wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:51 am
Spike wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:15 pm
.....Here is how another Rinzai teacher explains discriminating mind:

As human beings we all possess this wonderful tool....

Good quote. Could you tell us where to find the rest of this quote and who you are quoting? Thanks in advance.
https://choboji.org/literature/discriminating-mind/
Thanks.

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clyde
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by clyde » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:36 pm

Off-topic posts removed.

Please stay on topic.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Great Sage EofH » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:38 pm

I am neither voting on the best answer nor casting votes for the best answers. Everyone has to have their own answer, and not everyone's answer is relevant to anyone else's. Really that's the truth about Zen, what's the right answer for me might not be the right answer for you. Also I think it's a great disservice to up-vote and down-vote contributors, because that's how they will perceive it. I hate it when koans are lecture topics with a teacher fishing for the student who speaks forth the answer the teacher is looking for. If the teacher had the answer to begin with why is he wasting everyone's time?
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Great Sage EofH » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:39 pm

Great Sage EofH wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:38 pm
I am neither voting on the best answer nor casting votes for the best answers. Everyone has to have their own answer, and not everyone's answer is relevant to anyone else's. Really that's the truth about Zen, what's the right answer for me might not be the right answer for you. Also I think it's a great disservice to up-vote and down-vote contributors, because that's how they will perceive it. I hate it when koans are lecture topics with a teacher fishing for the student who speaks forth the answer the teacher is looking for. If the teacher had the answer to begin with why is he wasting everyone's time?
or She
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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bukowski
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by bukowski » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:29 pm

Thanks spike and Clive for those passages. Really helpful.

Metta, b.

Spike
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Spike » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:32 pm

I dont know what kind of teacher would be looking for an answer that suits him- or herself. A lecture or teisho, in my experience, just gives a context. A teisho prior to zazen or dokusan IME is a kind offering from a teacher that never reveals too much. Some students probably like to read all about koans, but that won't help with an answer face to face in dokusan at all, nor has anyone here tipped a response, only the context, as far as I understand the convo.
P.S. I believe the same (type of) acceptable, and therefore unspecial, response may be given by several students. Lindama was kind enough to confirm a context/method/path that points to that.

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:54 am

lindama wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 4:16 am
This crossed my path again this weekend. I have heard it many times. here u go:
The Gateless Gate, by Ekai, called Mu-mon, tr. Nyogen Senzaki and Paul Reps [1934], at sacred-texts.com

5. Kyogen Mounts the Tree

Kyogen said: "Zen is like a man hanging in a tree by his teeth over a precipice. His hands grasp no branch, his feet rest on no limb,
I think that a person would experience the neck vertebrae to become disassociated if all the body's weight were placed upon them. Especially these days.

Such a disjunction and failure would certainly stress or snap the spinal cord. End of koan.

What's of importance here? It's important to practice k'ung-ans (koans) with teacher and sangha, those who want to work that way.

--Joe

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Great Sage EofH » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:21 am

No use holding onto the tree when it's already dead, then.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:46 am

Better not to assume that ignorance can net any particular advantage, no.

--Joe

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Dan74
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Dan74 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:29 am

Cool thread and a koan that's stuck in my throat, no answer here.

avisitor
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by avisitor » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:38 am

What benefit comes from throwing a Koan at people?
It is neither theirs to wrestle nor theirs to answer
And where is the other end?
No teacher?

A man went to a doctor and said his brother thinks he is a chicken
Doctor asked if he tried to cure his brother of the delusion
The man said no because they need the eggs

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[james]
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by [james] » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:56 am

avisitor wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:38 am
What benefit comes from throwing a Koan at people?
It is neither theirs to wrestle nor theirs to answer
And where is the other end?
No teacher?
Oh come on ... if not a wrestle how about a wee tussle and tumble.
Go ahead, give it a squeeze.

However it came your way ... thrown, given, stumbled upon ... it’s yours, and if you allow the connection there may be no letting go. Teacher yes or teacher no, either way the match is on.

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fuki
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by fuki » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:58 am

avisitor wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:38 am
What benefit comes from throwing a Koan at people?
What benefit comes from birds flying and fish swimming?

Image

https://vimeo.com/341174461
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Great Sage EofH » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:14 pm

In the end, teachers return to dust, return to the sky, return to the sunflower always facing the sun. That's when you ask "where is the teacher?" Don't stand before the gateless gate, refusing to enter.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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lindama
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by lindama » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:25 pm

Well Joe, Posting a koan independently like this is not my style. snip, snip
desert_woodworker wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:54 am
lindama wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 4:16 am
This crossed my path again this weekend. I have heard it many times. here u go:
The Gateless Gate, by Ekai, called Mu-mon, tr. Nyogen Senzaki and Paul Reps [1934], at sacred-texts.com

5. Kyogen Mounts the Tree

Kyogen said: "Zen is like a man hanging in a tree by his teeth over a precipice. His hands grasp no branch, his feet rest on no limb,
I think that a person would experience the neck vertebrae to become disassociated if all the body's weight were placed upon them. Especially these days.

Such a disjunction and failure would certainly stress or snap the spinal cord. End of koan.

What's of importance here? It's important to practice k'ung-ans (koans) with teacher and sangha, those who want to work that way.

--Joe

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:53 pm

Hi, Linda. All's well, I think.

Do you mean that you did not post the text of the koan? Not sure how to interpret.

Plus, I don't know what your saying "independently" means, here/there.

Of course, koans can be discussed in terms of the moving-mind. But, that was never their purpose.

That's my point in mentioning for readers that their purpose was/is to be worked-with in closest consultation and closest accord with teacher, and even with sangha.

Nothing new, as always, from me,

yours,

--Joe

Spike
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Re: Mumonkan Case 5

Post by Spike » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:34 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:53 pm
Hi, Linda. All's well, I think.

Do you mean that you did not post the text of the koan? Not sure how to interpret.

Plus, I don't know what your saying "independently" means, here/there.
The recognition of irony is always a worthy pursuit.
desert_woodworker wrote: Of course, koans can be discussed in terms of the moving-mind. But, that was never their purpose.

That's my point in mentioning for readers that their purpose was/is to be worked-with in closest consultation and closest accord with teacher, and even with sangha.
Well, it is news to me that a student would work "in closest consultation" with other students about an assigned koan. I and all other students I knew always did our own work individually, as far as I know. Anything less would invalidate it. Also, for me, "accord" with the koan was always the consideration.

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