“Ordinary”

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[james]
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“Ordinary”

Post by [james] » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:03 pm

Larry wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:17 am
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:40 pm
Last week a Buddhist told me the reason why Buddha came was to preach that we just go about our ordinary lives, and continue to live as we already do.
I guess “ordinary” could be open to definition.
Dan74 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:27 am
Indeed!

"Ordinary' and 'effortless' are the most misunderstood words in online Zen.
My own understanding/definition of ordinary is exactly the present experience sufficient and complete as it is, which doesn’t necessarily imply continuing “to live as we already do”.

Is this a misunderstanding?

What other understandings are there?

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Dan74
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Re: “Ordinary”

Post by Dan74 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:33 pm

[james] wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:03 pm
Larry wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:17 am
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:40 pm
Last week a Buddhist told me the reason why Buddha came was to preach that we just go about our ordinary lives, and continue to live as we already do.
I guess “ordinary” could be open to definition.
Dan74 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:27 am
Indeed!

"Ordinary' and 'effortless' are the most misunderstood words in online Zen.
My own understanding/definition of ordinary is exactly the present experience as it is, which doesn’t necessarily imply continuing “to live as we already do”.

Is this a misunderstanding?

What other understandings are there?
What is the present experience as it is? Do we even know it, distracted as we are with gain and loss, me and mine, my precious opinions and reputation? How can we speak of it "as it is" if we don't know anything "as it is"? For as long as there is the knower and the known, there are just stories, narratives and fantasies..

Here's a teisho on it in the Soto tradition:

https://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/li ... erms16.pdf

And one in Rinzai:

https://beingwithoutself.files.wordpres ... y-mind.pdf

Both are worth reading, IMO.

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lindama
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Re: “Ordinary”

Post by lindama » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:15 pm

Ordinary is open to definition, as the master of subtlety says. Most misunderstood in zen as the two teishos reveal. I don't attribute it to a difference of tradition, ie, Soto, Rinzai. It's a diff in understanding. "Ordinary mind is the way" works well as a koan.

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Larry
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Re: “Ordinary”

Post by Larry » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:41 pm

lindama wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:15 pm
Ordinary is open to definition, as the master of subtlety says.
If you mean me, you must be referring to my banana jokes :lol:

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: “Ordinary”

Post by Great Sage EofH » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:11 pm

[james] wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:03 pm
Larry wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:17 am
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:40 pm
Last week a Buddhist told me the reason why Buddha came was to preach that we just go about our ordinary lives, and continue to live as we already do.
I guess “ordinary” could be open to definition.
Dan74 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:27 am
Indeed!

"Ordinary' and 'effortless' are the most misunderstood words in online Zen.
My own understanding/definition of ordinary is exactly the present experience sufficient and complete as it is, which doesn’t necessarily imply continuing “to live as we already do”.

Is this a misunderstanding?

What other understandings are there?
Ordinarily, most people suffer. This is dukkha. The word "ordinary" as it's used in Zen has some specific mean, and I don't try to unscramble that. When I used "ordinary" in my sentence I meant merely "ordinary". I thought it might stir up some questions, which it has. Thanks, Dan for these sources....
“Know from the rivers in clefts and in crevices: those in small channels flow noisily, the great flow silent. Whatever’s not full makes noise. Whatever is full is quiet.” - Gautama Buddha, Nālakasutta

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[james]
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Re: “Ordinary”

Post by [james] » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:56 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:33 pm
What is the present experience as it is? Do we even know it, distracted as we are with gain and loss, me and mine, my precious opinions and reputation? How can we speak of it "as it is" if we don't know anything "as it is"? For as long as there is the knower and the known, there are just stories, narratives and fantasies..

Here's a teisho on it in the Soto tradition:

https://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/li ... erms16.pdf

And one in Rinzai:

https://beingwithoutself.files.wordpres ... y-mind.pdf

Both are worth reading, IMO.
We can deny it but we can’t not know it.
As Jeff Shore says above (your Rinzai link) ... “As plain as the nose on my face”.
“Distracted as we are ...”; “For as long as there is a knower and a known ...”
Stories and narratives. The present experience exactly as it is, sufficient and complete, be it simple, complicated or ... whatever comes before you.

Quoting Dogen (from your Soto link above):

“There is nothing which is not “ordinary”. It is simply that it must not be defiled.”
“There must not be the slightest defilement or forceful endeavoring toward a goal.”

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Dan74
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Re: “Ordinary”

Post by Dan74 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:16 am

[james] wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:56 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:33 pm
What is the present experience as it is? Do we even know it, distracted as we are with gain and loss, me and mine, my precious opinions and reputation? How can we speak of it "as it is" if we don't know anything "as it is"? For as long as there is the knower and the known, there are just stories, narratives and fantasies..

Here's a teisho on it in the Soto tradition:

https://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/li ... erms16.pdf

And one in Rinzai:

https://beingwithoutself.files.wordpres ... y-mind.pdf

Both are worth reading, IMO.
We can deny it but we can’t not know it.
As Jeff Shore says above (your Rinzai link) ... “As plain as the nose on my face”.
“Distracted as we are ...”; “For as long as there is a knower and a known ...”
Stories and narratives. The present experience exactly as it is, sufficient and complete, be it simple, complicated or ... whatever comes before you.

Quoting Dogen (from your Soto link above):

“There is nothing which is not “ordinary”. It is simply that it must not be defiled.”
“There must not be the slightest defilement or forceful endeavoring toward a goal.”
I don't know.

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Larry
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Re: “Ordinary”

Post by Larry » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:46 am

“There must not be the slightest defilement or forceful endeavoring toward a goal.” - Dogen

“Not always so.” - Shunryu Suzuki

“I don’t know.” - Dan

“The universe is a funny place.” - Keith

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desert_woodworker
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Re: “Ordinary”

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:26 pm

Ordinary is my Sawdust, as I produce it nowadays.

Ordinary was also our Stardust, when I was still active as a working observational Astronomer.

James, ordinary

is the rain
on your windowpane.

(I miss the animated-raindrops on window-glass that used to be your "avatar" image, years ago. But life is change... ). ;)

"Ordinary" is also what Sheng Yen's youngest dharma heir Guo-Jun heard from Sheng Yen after Guo-Jun's awakening:
  • "Finally, you have returned home. Nothing special, nothing extraordinary. It's just so ordinary".
:bow2:

Below, that particular moment is visited in Guo-Jun's video at elapsed-time of 9:48.



Rgds,

--Joe (Guo-Xiang)

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