BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 97

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39270

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 97

    Dear All,

    Marking the New Year, we return to the Koans of the Book of Equanimity. Even though we are near the end of its 100 Koans, feel free to jump in: There is no end or start.

    The book by Rev. Wick is lovely, and I recommend it to everyone. However, if you need a copy in the meantime, there is one here (PDF):



    Today's Koan is _ Case 97 Emperor Ko's Cap ...

    This lesson references several famous meetings between Zen fellows and Emperors, the basic point of all of which is that Zen realization is a treasure richer and more powerful than even what a King possesses.

    In the Preface to the Assembly, Bodhidharma famously told an Emperor that all the Emperor's "good works" filled with thoughts of personal gain were ultimately "without merit." Enkan had an eye to "size up" an Emperor even when that Emperor was disguised as a commoner (i.e., could see reality beyond surface appearances, high and low). The lines about "Great peace under heaven (on earth) ... long live the King" and "sun and moon shine softly ... the seasons are in harmony" refer to old stories that basically mean, "everything in the kingdom/world is in its proper place, carrying out its assigned role, and all is in balance and harmony." This reflects old Confucian values based on a belief that, if a ruler is just, all his kingdom will function smoothly and peace will fill the land. But here, it alludes to a Zen perspective something like that all things in the universe are in their own place, carrying out their own proper function in some ultimate peace, balance and harmony.

    The Main Case speaks of the Emperor having found a treasure that is beyond ordinary worldly value, thus most people miss its worth. He is speaking, of course, of the treasure found in Enlightenment. The Emperor's pulling on his own hat strings likely signifies, "It is just this, right here." Yet, this "just this, right here" is not limited to this that, here there and everywhere. It is beyond Emperors and Commoner, Sacred or Mundane, Zen Master and Student, and all things, yet is also each and all of them.

    The Appreciatory Verse says that this is a treasure that both Zen Master and Emperor share, so cannot be given or taken out. In fact, everyone shares this treasure, even if few realize so. It is not a treasure like jade or gold. This Verse repeats examples of the naturalness of this treasure, in which all things in the universe function like loyal subjects, or sunflowers which naturally turn to face the sun.

    Question: Do you feel that Zen Practice may offer some treasures that even Kings and Billionaires cannot know? What might they be?

    As the song goes, "diamonds on your timepiece, jet planes, islands ... it don't run in our blood. That kind of luxe just aint for us, we crave a different kind of buzz."


    Gassho, J

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-05-2023, 12:20 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Chikyou
    Member
    • May 2022
    • 568

    #2
    Question: Do you feel that Zen Practice may offer some treasures that even Kings and Billionaires cannot know? What might they be?
    Money can't buy enlightenment.

    I feel like I should say more but that's really all I have to say.

    Gassho,
    SatLah
    Kelly
    Chikyō 知鏡
    (KellyLM)

    Comment

    • Shonin Risa Bear
      Member
      • Apr 2019
      • 921

      #3
      Kings and billionaires must know,
      exactly as I do,

      the intake of breath, right? But
      kings and billionaires cannot know,

      have seceded from knowing,
      intake of breath is exactly equal,

      every atom equal, every every atom equal
      every breath is THIS breath

      cannot buy 'em low -- cannot sell 'em high
      as any dying hen coulda told 'em.

      gassho
      ds sat and breathed today
      Visiting priest: use salt

      Comment

      • aprapti
        Member
        • Jun 2017
        • 889

        #4
        Question: Do you feel that Zen Practice may offer some treasures that even Kings and Billionaires cannot know? What might they be?
        exactly that which is mentioned by the title of the book: equanimity..

        aprapti

        sat

        hobo kore dojo / 歩歩是道場 / step, step, there is my place of practice

        Aprāpti (अप्राप्ति) non-attainment

        Comment

        • Bion
          Treeleaf Unsui
          • Aug 2020
          • 3731

          #5
          BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 97

          Kings and billionaires rely on possessions to establish and elevate their status and that mistakenly makes it seem like they are something to be admired and respected. A zen practitioner finds in zazen the true treasure of seeing into the impermanence and emptiness of any possession or title, any status or praise, any sameness or distinction, thus gaining the wisdom of understanding the true nature of things and attaining the non-clinging state. The True Treasure of the Way-seeking-mind does not lose its value but rather multiplies with practice.

          [emoji1374] Sat Today
          Last edited by Bion; 01-01-2023, 08:02 PM.
          "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

          Comment

          • Veronica
            Member
            • Nov 2022
            • 124

            #6
            My impermanent thoughts of the day led me to this interpretation. The thing that Zen can offer is.... the cessation of craving praise, even praise related to gaining Zen wisdom.

            Emperor Doko seems happy that he has found enlightenment, but he wishes/craves for others to "prize" his wonderful accomplishment. Koke is wise, and says that no one would be able to give it a value or a price. No one could ever prize it "the right amount" because there is no right amount, so just stop needing it to be valued and appreciated. This is the cessation of craving and will stop the dukka that he is experiencing. And so the Emperor learns this, and follows the Golden Wheel of Buddhism and sets a very fine example for future generations.
            Gassho.
            Veronica
            Sat today.

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39270

              #7
              So out of touch am I, I had to google that the "Maybach" and "Grey Goose" (I had heard of Cristal) referenced in the "Royals" song are luxury cars and alcoholic beverages. The "Maybach" is apparently a model of Mercedes-Benz.

              Oh, and for point of disclosure, my car is a 5 year old orange Suzuki Ignis (this is not a brand endorsement, although seems like a very dependable car ) hybrid that looks kinda like this, but a little dustier (I let the rain do most of the washing, and it has not rained recently) and without the nice girl standing next to it.



              The Ignis happens to be (or was) one of the most popular cars in India!



              Gassho, J

              stlah
              Last edited by Jundo; 01-02-2023, 03:31 AM.
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • Veronica
                Member
                • Nov 2022
                • 124

                #8
                Originally posted by Jundo
                So out of touch am I, I had to google that the "Maybach" and "Grey Goose" (I had heard of Cristal) referenced in the "Royals" song are luxury cars and alcoholic beverages. The "Maybach" is apparently a model of Mercedes-Benz.

                Oh, and for point of disclosure, my car is a 5 year old orange Suzuki Ignis (this is not a brand endorsement, although seems like a very dependable car ) hybrid that looks kinda like this, but a little dustier (I let the rain do most of the washing, and it has not rained recently) and without the nice girl standing next to it.



                The Ignis happens to be (or was) one of the most popular cars in India!



                Gassho, J

                stlah
                Cute orange car! I drive a 5 year old colorful compact hybrid also. A teal Prius. Seen here with some beautiful yellow canola fields in Alberta Canada.
                ST lah

                Comment

                • Chikyou
                  Member
                  • May 2022
                  • 568

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Jundo
                  So out of touch am I, I had to google that the "Maybach" and "Grey Goose" (I had heard of Cristal) referenced in the "Royals" song are luxury cars and alcoholic beverages. The "Maybach" is apparently a model of Mercedes-Benz.

                  Oh, and for point of disclosure, my car is a 5 year old orange Suzuki Ignis (this is not a brand endorsement, although seems like a very dependable car ) hybrid that looks kinda like this, but a little dustier (I let the rain do most of the washing, and it has not rained recently) and without the nice girl standing next to it.



                  The Ignis happens to be (or was) one of the most popular cars in India!



                  Gassho, J

                  stlah
                  Nice!!!

                  This is off topic, feel free to PM me instead of clogging up this thread, but for those who drive hybrids, how do you like them? I've decided that my next car is probably going to be a hybrid.

                  Gassho,
                  SatLah
                  Kelly
                  Chikyō 知鏡
                  (KellyLM)

                  Comment

                  • Veronica
                    Member
                    • Nov 2022
                    • 124

                    #10
                    Originally posted by KellyLM
                    Nice!!!

                    This is off topic, feel free to PM me instead of clogging up this thread, but for those who drive hybrids, how do you like them? I've decided that my next car is probably going to be a hybrid.

                    Gassho,
                    SatLah
                    Kelly
                    Sent a PM. A hybrid is a great "middle path". [emoji851]

                    Comment

                    • Ryumon
                      Member
                      • Apr 2007
                      • 1693

                      #11
                      I had a few Toyota Yaris hybrids, and they were excellent cars. In August, I bought an electric car, a Peugeot e208. Since the UK where I live generates a lot if renewable electricity, it means that only about half the miles driven in this car burn dead dinosaurs. However, it’s not easy to drive electric in this country. We were able to get a home charger installed, but many people don’t have dedicated parking, and the charging network is still irregular. Plus, it costs almost as much per mile to charge at public chargers as it would to pay for petrol/gasoline.


                      Gassho,
                      Ryūmon (Kirk)
                      Sat
                      ---
                      Ryūmon (Kirk)
                      流文

                      SAT/LAH

                      I know nothing.

                      Comment

                      • Onki
                        Treeleaf Unsui
                        • Dec 2020
                        • 672

                        #12
                        Good choice with Lorde. Love her!
                        Billionaires and millionaires have money that is true. But can money buy enlightenment? I think it’s like eating an apple and describing an apple to someone. Yes the apple is crisp and juicy but you haven’t tasted an apple unless you actually bite into the apple.
                        It is nice having money. Money can buy you a lot of things; luxuries. This life is more than that. Unless the billionaire also sits Zazen

                        Gassho,

                        Finn

                        Sat today
                        Last edited by Jundo; 01-05-2023, 12:16 AM.
                        “Let me respectfully remind you
                        Life and death are of supreme importance.
                        Time swiftly passes by
                        And opportunity ist lost.
                        Each of us should strive to awaken.
                        Awaken, take heed,
                        Do not squander your life.​“ - Life and Death and The Great Matter

                        Comment

                        • Tairin
                          Member
                          • Feb 2016
                          • 2731

                          #13
                          It seems to me that the millionaires and billionaires that dominate our news cycle are busy obsessing and searching for something that is out of reach for them. Perhaps if they gave up the search they’d find what they are looking for.


                          Tairin
                          Sat today and lah
                          泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39270

                            #14
                            Apparently, Elon Musk has experimented with "meditation" ... but it is not exactly goalless, and he does not do so often ...



                            It might be helpful if he knew that other taste.

                            One can still be hard working, by the way, and have many creative ideas and goals AND know stillness and goallessness at once, as one.

                            One does not prevent the other: Goals and goallessness, as two sides of a no sided coin.

                            Gassho, J

                            stlah
                            Last edited by Jundo; 01-05-2023, 03:44 AM.
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • Jundo
                              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                              • Apr 2006
                              • 39270

                              #15
                              By the way, I think the Zen influence on Steve Jobs is a bit exaggerated, and he was not that committed a long term practitioner ... but he did have a period of some serious practice, and it remained an influence on him. Here is a little book about it, although it is largely fictionalized and re-imagined ...



                              The story of his contact with Buddhism, as I understand it ...

                              A 1974 trip sparked an interest in Buddhism that stayed with Steve Jobs for the rest of his life, evolving and emerging in unexpected ways.


                              Gassho, J

                              stlah
                              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                              Comment

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