BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 91

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  • Inshin
    Member
    • Jul 2020
    • 557

    #16
    Originally posted by Kotei
    Well, maybe I am one of those "people (who) nowadays see these flowers as if in a dream.".

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today
    Dreams always fascinated me and I like Tibetan approach to investigating daily reality as if it was a dream. What if all our insights, and even
    Awakening is a kind of a dream too?

    Gassho
    Sat

    Comment

    • Risho
      Member
      • May 2010
      • 3179

      #17
      Originally posted by Jundo
      You said quite enough.

      Gassho, J

      STLah
      This is actually true - I think Nansen's statement is so succinct anything added is completely unnecessary. That being said, I have to express something on it as part of my practice.

      I love koans too, so there's that

      I have never read this koan before, and I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first. But I really do like it; it really resonates with me.

      I came to Zen looking for something, some way out, some permanent fix for instability mainly with work stress. It's funny, when I first read Nansen's statement "people nowadays see this flower as if in a dream" as a description of a problem. And that is how I approached my practice in the beginning; I had a problem and Zen could solve it.

      Similarly, I thought Nansen was saying something akin to these lay people, so self-absorbed, they don't really see the flower.

      Now he may have been pointing a bit to that, but I also think that (and to echo what Jundo posted ) we don't ever see the "real" flower. In some sense we do have a view of reality, but it is filtered through processes far outside of our control that allows us to function in the world. So I feel that we get enough of reality as to allow us to live.

      It's not to say that there isn't something real in what we perceive; simultaneously, we create the world in our minds based on the limits of what we can take in.

      And I think we do this not only with perceiving (what we think is outside of us) but with how we create our own identity.

      Again, it's not that we don't exist, but we are not who or what we think we are exactly. And that is really what makes this practice fun in a way.

      There is so much depth in this koan, but I really want to stop myself from rambling too much. I think it is just a statement of fact that we see a curated form of reality - in a way it is like a dream in that we imagine something that we construct to bring pattern and sense to things that may not really fit inside a neat box.

      But that doesn't mean practice is worthless. Quite the contrary. I think practice points us to a way of acknowledging our limitations in some sense while allowing us to really not necessarily see a flower fully but to see it in a better way based on the inherent limitations of a human being.

      Just like practice isn't about getting rid of a self or getting rid of delusion or getting rid of attachments. It's about realizing a new perspective of self, delusion and attachment to live a better life, a more caring life. We are humans, we will get attached, and some attachments to friends, family are very healthy, but we have to be careful to not get over-attached or get attached to the wrong things.

      So we will always see a flower in a dream - maybe "flower" is limited to how our minds construct the world, and we will not know what a "flower" is in all of reality - but the point isn't to dismiss the dream - it's to live a good dream. Maybe there is so much more to the mystery of this life - I mean it's incredible that we can convey concepts by symbols, and that we can use framework of thought to communicate all over the world. The world is full of so much wonder and awe.

      Coming to Zen to solve a problem is useless; rather it's almost like a perspective shift that happens if you let it that makes you realize there will always be problems but look at all of this. THIS! To highly paraphrase Dogen in Genjokoan, when looking at the world from a myopic view, we try to get something, but if we let the world come to us, if we acknowledge the dream we put together and stop following in the incessant story telling and mental world building, there is nothing but overwhelming awe and gratitude at the majesty of it all.

      This life is incredible with it's ups and downs, twists and turns. What a miracle.

      Ok Jundo said it more tersely but this is the book club and I'm allowed to go over

      Gassho

      Risho
      -stlah
      Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39270

        #18
        Risho, now you said too much.
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39270

          #19
          Originally posted by Inshin
          Dreams always fascinated me and I like Tibetan approach to investigating daily reality as if it was a dream. What if all our insights, and even
          Awakening is a kind of a dream too?

          Gassho
          Sat
          One problem is, however, that one might confuse a Buddhist declaration such as "life is like a dream" (or even the neuroscientist pointing out something very similar) with the belief, so common to the human race, that whatever foolish idea I dream up (e.g., the pyramids were built by space aliens, Covid vaccines are Bill Gates nefarious plot, etc. because '"Q" says so) is thus true if I think it hard enough. That is not the case.

          Yes, we experience a mind created simulation of the world that, in many ways, exists only between the ears as a theatre production, but that does not mean that the moon is actually made of green cheese, or that the Dalai Lama can levitate, just because we dream so at night or believe so during the day. Many religious folks overstep that line.

          Gassho, J

          STLah
          Last edited by Jundo; 08-27-2021, 01:32 AM.
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • Risho
            Member
            • May 2010
            • 3179

            #20
            Originally posted by Jundo
            Risho, now you said too much.
            I both own and recognize that fact.

            I will revert to my pumpkin flower statement.

            Gassho

            Risho
            -stlah
            Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

            Comment

            • Suuko
              Member
              • May 2017
              • 405

              #21
              Originally posted by Jundo
              In the science thread, Naiko posted a link to a review about a book by a neuroscientist who also posits that sentient beings live in a dream (sorry, I have only read the review, not the book yet):



              Based only on the article, much of this is basic Buddhism 101:



              Of course, a central tenet of our Zen way is that "self" is just a useful illusion, and also a trouble maker, and our task is to soften or drop the "self/other" divide which causes so many frictions and tensions as our "self," and its desires, bumps into the "other" from which the "self" has divided itself. Likewise, the "flower" we think we see and smell outside is, well, really between our ears, as our nose and eye interacts with some data from "out there."

              I cannot comment on the book's theory of the source of consciousness, which the article does not explain in detail (I look forward to reading it.) I suspect, if pressed, that consciousness is also something which arises, not merely in the neurons between our ears, but as an entire interaction of "outside" and "inside" in which the brain actually eliminates extraneous data, and does create that artificial self/other - inside/outside divide and visions of all the other "things" of the world, from something more basic before all those divisions.

              In any case, our life is, in whole or part, like a mental dream ... but it is our life, our VERY REAL dream, so let's dream the dream well.

              Gassho, J

              STLah

              Sorry to dream long.
              Hi Jundo,

              Thanks for the reminder on the illusion of the self and the friction it creates.

              The brain has to filter information for the human brain to comprehend. Otherwise, it'd not cope. The RES in found in the brain and eliminates unnecessary data for the mind to process. The problem I see with such claims is that I see a lot of Spiritual people not taking their lives seriously because they believe that there's another plane where they should be living in.

              Gassho,
              Sat today,
              Guish.

              Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk
              Has been known as Guish since 2017 on the forum here.

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39270

                #22
                Originally posted by Guish
                The problem I see with such claims is that I see a lot of Spiritual people not taking their lives seriously because they believe that there's another plane where they should be living in.
                Soto Zen folks tend to avoid that. Yes, we believe in this "another plane" or way of knowing things, but we also know that this "another plane" is precisely "this plane" when known as such, like two wings of a no sided jet, so best to cherish, respect and wisely tend to our life in "this plane" so the plane flies well and does not crash.

                Gassho, J

                STLah

                Last edited by Jundo; 08-28-2021, 04:24 PM.
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • Suuko
                  Member
                  • May 2017
                  • 405

                  #23
                  Originally posted by Jundo
                  Soto Zen folks tend to avoid that. Yes, we believe in this "another plane" or way of knowing things, but we also know that this "another plane" is precisely "this plane" when known as such, like two wings of a no sided jet, so best to cherish, respect and wisely tend to our life in "this plane" so the plane flies well and does not crash.

                  Gassho, J

                  STLah

                  Indeed, Jundo. We call any metaphysical experience, Makyo, right? And we focus on our sitting and bring the practice to the ordinary life which is not that ordinary after all.

                  Gassho,
                  Sat today,
                  Guish.

                  Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk
                  Has been known as Guish since 2017 on the forum here.

                  Comment

                  • Jundo
                    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                    • Apr 2006
                    • 39270

                    #24
                    Originally posted by Guish
                    Indeed, Jundo. We call any metaphysical experience, Makyo, right? And we focus on our sitting and bring the practice to the ordinary life which is not that ordinary after all.
                    No, I would not say that. We definitely do not call every metaphysical experience as "Makyo" (a harmful delusion). Not at all. We have many extraordinary experiences on the Zafu, from mild hearing sensitivities (e.g., we hear small sounds very loudly) or visual hallucinations (e.g., I once saw a little Buddha jump out of the wall, and he chatted with me for several minutes, during a long Sesshin). Sometimes an old memory will pop up, or an emotion (like a touch of anger) will pop up very strong. These we term "Makyo" as just a kind of mental amusement or distraction, usually passing and temporary, and not something to get caught in or to chase after. We learn from them about the incredible creativity of the mind, and how our senses construct reality ... but then, we move on.

                    On the other hand, sometimes there are experiences which are truly astounding, such as the separate self softening or fully dropping away, time dissolving, all phenomena flowing in and out of all phenomena (and our self along with it all). There may even be great moment of bliss and peace and such. Reality and its reason may suddenly be clear to the heart, like a great 'Ah ha!' moment. This is not Makyo at all, but rather our experiencing this "another plane" of the wingless wing I spoke about. Very good, not Makyo at all. In fact, such is the fruits of this Practice. The Ma 魔 of Makyo means "bad/evil," but this is GOOD!

                    However, even that can become Makyo if we cling to it, chase after it, over-emphasize it or use drugs to "get there" or for experiencing other intense, mind-bending experiences (drug hallucinations which we confuse with experience some "deeper reality").

                    Then, when the little self drops away, we come to realize as well that both wings of the wingless plane are not two, and that this so-called "ordinary life" is "not ordinary at all."

                    I hope that is clear now.

                    Gassho, J

                    STLah
                    Sorry to run long

                    PS - 魔境 literally means something like "Bad Places" or "Dark Side" ...
                    Last edited by Jundo; 08-29-2021, 12:15 AM.
                    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                    Comment

                    • Suuko
                      Member
                      • May 2017
                      • 405

                      #25
                      Originally posted by Jundo
                      No, I would not say that. We definitely do not call every metaphysical experience as "Makyo" (a harmful delusion). Not at all. We have many extraordinary experiences on the Zafu, from mild hearing sensitivities (e.g., we hear small sounds very loudly) or visual hallucinations (e.g., I once saw a little Buddha jump out of the wall, and he chatted with me for several minutes, during a long Sesshin). Sometimes an old memory will pop up, or an emotion (like a touch of anger) will pop up very strong. These we term "Makyo" as just a kind of mental amusement or distraction, usually passing and temporary, and not something to get caught in or to chase after. We learn from them about the incredible creativity of the mind, and how our senses construct reality ... but then, we move on.

                      On the other hand, sometimes there are experiences which are truly astounding, such as the separate self softening or fully dropping away, time dissolving, all phenomena flowing in and out of all phenomena (and our self along with it all). There may even be great moment of bliss and peace and such. Reality and its reason may suddenly be clear to the heart, like a great 'Ah ha!' moment. This is not Makyo at all, but rather our experiencing this "another plane" of the wingless wing I spoke about. Very good, not Makyo at all. In fact, such is the fruits of this Practice. The Ma 魔 of Makyo means "bad/evil," but this is GOOD!

                      However, even that can become Makyo if we cling to it, chase after it, over-emphasize it or use drugs to "get there" or for experiencing other intense, mind-bending experiences (drug hallucinations which we confuse with experience some "deeper reality").

                      Then, when the little self drops away, we come to realize as well that both wings of the wingless plane are not two, and that this so-called "ordinary life" is "not ordinary at all."

                      I hope that is clear now.

                      Gassho, J

                      STLah
                      Sorry to run long

                      PS - 魔境 literally means something like "Bad Places" or "Dark Side" ...
                      Thank you, Jundo. It couldn't have been more clear.

                      Gassho,
                      Sat today,
                      Guish.

                      Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk
                      Has been known as Guish since 2017 on the forum here.

                      Comment

                      • Bion
                        Treeleaf Unsui
                        • Aug 2020
                        • 3731

                        #26
                        Originally posted by Jundo
                        No, I would not say that. We definitely do not call every metaphysical experience as "Makyo" (a harmful delusion). Not at all. We have many extraordinary experiences on the Zafu, from mild hearing sensitivities (e.g., we hear small sounds very loudly) or visual hallucinations (e.g., I once saw a little Buddha jump out of the wall, and he chatted with me for several minutes, during a long Sesshin). Sometimes an old memory will pop up, or an emotion (like a touch of anger) will pop up very strong. These we term "Makyo" as just a kind of mental amusement or distraction, usually passing and temporary, and not something to get caught in or to chase after. We learn from them about the incredible creativity of the mind, and how our senses construct reality ... but then, we move on.

                        On the other hand, sometimes there are experiences which are truly astounding, such as the separate self softening or fully dropping away, time dissolving, all phenomena flowing in and out of all phenomena (and our self along with it all). There may even be great moment of bliss and peace and such. Reality and its reason may suddenly be clear to the heart, like a great 'Ah ha!' moment. This is not Makyo at all, but rather our experiencing this "another plane" of the wingless wing I spoke about. Very good, not Makyo at all. In fact, such is the fruits of this Practice. The Ma 魔 of Makyo means "bad/evil," but this is GOOD!

                        However, even that can become Makyo if we cling to it, chase after it, over-emphasize it or use drugs to "get there" or for experiencing other intense, mind-bending experiences (drug hallucinations which we confuse with experience some "deeper reality").

                        Then, when the little self drops away, we come to realize as well that both wings of the wingless plane are not two, and that this so-called "ordinary life" is "not ordinary at all."

                        I hope that is clear now.

                        Gassho, J

                        STLah
                        Sorry to run long

                        PS - 魔境 literally means something like "Bad Places" or "Dark Side" ...
                        Speaking of “distractions” .. years ago, when I started sitting facing the wall in my home zendo, I started seeing a Buddha face in the pattern of the wall paint and I’d instantly spot it as soon as I sat on the zafu. It took me a long time to get it to fade back into the wall. The difference now is that I can just find it if I choose to, which I don’t [emoji1]

                        [emoji1374] SatToday
                        "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

                        Comment

                        • Jundo
                          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                          • Apr 2006
                          • 39270

                          #27
                          Originally posted by Bion
                          Speaking of “distractions” .. years ago, when I started sitting facing the wall in my home zendo, I started seeing a Buddha face in the pattern of the wall paint and I’d instantly spot it as soon as I sat on the zafu. It took me a long time to get it to fade back into the wall. The difference now is that I can just find it if I choose to, which I don’t [emoji1]

                          [emoji1374] SatToday
                          I can do Abraham Lincoln. There is a name for this ... Pareidolia.



                          If you find Buddha in the burnt toast, let me know.


                          Gassho, J

                          STLah
                          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                          Comment

                          • Bion
                            Treeleaf Unsui
                            • Aug 2020
                            • 3731

                            #28
                            Originally posted by Jundo
                            I can do Abraham Lincoln. There is a name for this ... Pareidolia.



                            If you find Buddha in the burnt toast, let me know.


                            Gassho, J

                            STLah
                            Ah, it has a name… Fascinating! As soon as Buddha comes to my toast I’ll let you know, (though I am too careful with food to burn toast [emoji1] )

                            [emoji1374] SatToday
                            "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

                            Comment

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