4/10 - Branching Streams: 9th Talk - The Willow Tree

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  • prg5001
    • Apr 2008
    • 76

    Re: 4/10 - Branching Streams: 9th Talk - The Willow Tree

    Oh, and from a non-dual point of view don't forget there is no teacher, student or learning.




    • KellyRok
      • Jul 2008
      • 1374

      Re: 4/10 - Branching Streams: 9th Talk - The Willow Tree

      Hello all,

      This chapter was filled with so many bits of wonderful insight, it is hard to pick out any one thing. For me, I find that I will be coming back to these words time and time again. My need for a more thorough understanding of independency is now complete. Wonderful!

      Dirk, you summarized this chapter so well...thank you!

      JohnH - the same word came to my mind as I read this chapter..."balance". When our world is in balance, we can see both the light and the dark. We can see our strengths/weaknesses, as well as, others' strengths/weaknesses and we can accept them fully. We can be both the student and the teacher and feel content in both.

      I truly enjoyed and related to his words on finding our own moral standards or codes. In my life, before I had children, I thought I knew all that I stood for. Now that I have children, I feel I need to define things more clearly for myself, so that I can pass on to my children that which I find most important in this life.

      Thank you all for sharing and for teaching me on a daily basis!

      Kelly (Jinmei)


      • Kevin
        • Oct 2007
        • 113

        Re: 4/10 - Branching Streams: 9th Talk - The Willow Tree

        Though I'm still working through much of this chapter, one statement stuck out for me:

        Originally posted by Shunryu Suzuki
        But even though you read scriptures and observe precepts, without right understanding they will be precepts of either light or darkness, and when you are caught in this way or rely too much on precepts or scriptures, they will not be Buddhist precepts or scriptures anymore.
        This reminded me of something I found in Steve Hagen's Buddhism Is Not What You Think:

        Originally posted by Steve Hagen
        In the first view we find multiplicity and relativity; in the second, Oneness or Totality. Which view is correct? In Zen we understand that to take hold of either view is to miss the mark. Although both views are indispensable, neither offers us an accurate picture of Reality... What's necessary to complete the picture is to see these two views, A and B, as merged -- that is, a single view.
        Earlier in the Sandokai, we read the same sentiment:

        Grasping at things is surely delusion;
        according with sameness is still not enlightenment.
        I've taken lately to thinking of it sort of like a movie. When we watch a movie in a theater, we see the movie screen, blank and real. When the movie starts, light is projected onto the screen in shifting patterns. The light is just as real as the screen. However, when we focus on the patterns the light makes on the screen (both light and screen are necessary, and both appear as one), we get sucked into those patterns, so much so that we forget all about the screen and the light. Even if we were to think of them, chances are good that the patterns of the light would seem more real in that moment than either the screen or the light themselves.

        Are the patterns real? Yes. Are the patterns imitations? Yes. Is the screen real? Is the light real? Yes. And no. But the reality in that moment truly is screen, light, patterns, all distinct, all one, all real, all not real.

        Not to mention the thoughts and emotions we experience as we watch the film. Are they real? Have you ever left the theater after an intense movie that was wrenchingly sad and suddenly felt sad about your happy life, somehow, for a few minutes or hours? Is that sadness real? Yes. And no.



        • Dosho
          • Jun 2008
          • 5784

          Re: 4/10 - Branching Streams: 9th Talk - The Willow Tree

          Hi all,

          When we started this book some weeks ago I began with the idea that I needed to say something profound each week. It was much the same when I began sitting zazen...I thought every sitting had to hold some special meaning and reveal profound wisdom. In both cases, such an idea has fallen away and much of what I experience could be best described as a "warm and fuzzy" feeling and I think that's just fine.

          I will say that I think way too much about things and quite literally have found myself thinking about how to walk while I'm doing it. And as Suzuki Roshi alludes to in the chapter, if we do that we are likely to fall flat on our faces! All that we do in our lives is something we just feel as we go along, but zen reminds us also not to allow our daily lives to become too routine...it is about flow...moving, but not towards or away from anything in particular.

          Lastly, the discussion of being weak and strong has great relevance to my life since I previously believed that I was weak and not strong. However, since becomeing a stay at home dad I realize I do something everyday that many a "manly man" would feel powerless to do. And it is in those moments of weakness that I allow myself to show true strength because without them I wouldn't know what being strong was.