BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 98

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39270

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 98

    Today's Koan is _ Case 98 Tozan's Heed ...

    If I may explain this Koan, it concerns the fact that, as we draw to a close of the 100 Koans of the Book of Equanimity, one should not try to explain, debate, intellectually categorize and understand some Buddhist teachings and Koans in order to truly know the FULLNESS and FULFILLMENT which the Koan and teachings seek to convey.

    Here, someone asks in the Main Case an intellectual question about categorizing the "Three Bodies of Buddha" (basically, (1) the nirmanayaka historical Buddha in India, who was a man, (2) the dharmakaya buddha, which is the reality beyond all names, divisions and concepts including the concept "buddha," and (3) the sambhogakaya, which is the buddha as represented in all the perfected ideals of goodness, wisdom, compassion, that a buddha can represent. However, the student asks how to leap through all these ideas and categories. The question concerns how NOT to categorize these. Tozan replies "Always take heed" (something like, "always have your eyes open and just see the answer.") In some translations, this expression in Chinese by Tozan (吾常於此切) is rendered “I am always most intimate with it.” That sounds different, but it really can be the same, namely, stop making ideas and categories, and just open one's eyes, and there is not the slightest separation from the real meaning, and all are most intimate together. Is this the Buddha that is beyond all names, divisions, concepts and categories, yet is precisely each and every name, division, concept and category too?

    The Preface speaks of priests who, in the face of this question about categorizing the Buddhas, just stood silent and dropped intellectualizing, thus cutting off tongue and head. Even though we must sometimes say something to convey all this for the sake of people trying to understand (like I am doing now with this post), we should never forget that we need to drop the names, divisions, ideas, categories to really pierce these buddhas who are, yet totally leap through, all names, divisions, ideas, categories.

    The Appreciatory Verse has some lines about emptiness, not falling into the world (of names, divisions, ideas, categories). This is the secret which leaps through time (kalpas) and ideas of emptiness. The final poem is a rather cliche image, in Zen poetry, of separate things like boat and reeds made whole in the quiet midst.

    Question: There are times we need to use names, divisions, ideas, categories in order to live in the world. There are times in Zen to understand something by dropping all names, divisions, ideas, categories. But is it also possible to drop and know a world free of names, divisions, ideas, categories which --IS -- this world of names, divisions, ideas, categories? Can one answer the question without falling into names, divisions, ideas, categories to do so?

    Take heed, a prophesy of fulfilment, fulfilment has got to be ... unity realized. ("Uhuru" means freedom, independence) Take Heed! So many years, Kalpas of time have gone, and we just can't see. So open one's eye's and see!


    Gassho, J

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-08-2023, 02:35 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Veronica
    Member
    • Nov 2022
    • 124

    #2
    I am learning... We use the relative categories in daily life as a convenience and because this is part of our experience and the categories are real in one way. But we can also experience the absolute interconnectedness, wholeness and emptiness of everything, at the same time. A mountain is a mountain, and also a cup of tea...

    Sat today
    Veronica

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    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39270

      #3
      Originally posted by Veronica
      I am learning... We use the relative categories in daily life as a convenience and because this is part of our experience and the categories are real in one way. But we can also experience the absolute interconnectedness, wholeness and emptiness of everything, at the same time. A mountain is a mountain, and also a cup of tea...

      Sat today
      Veronica
      See, it's not so hard. It's as simple as riding a bicycle (a Zen bicycle, with no wheels and all wheels).

      Of course, talking about how to ride a bicycle is not the same as actually riding the bicycle (and in Zen, being the bicycle and the rider at once!)

      Gassho, J

      stlah
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Veronica
        Member
        • Nov 2022
        • 124

        #4
        Originally posted by Jundo
        See, it's not so hard. [emoji14] It's as simple as riding a bicycle (a Zen bicycle, with no wheels and all wheels).

        Of course, talking about how to ride a bicycle is not the same as actually riding the bicycle (and in Zen, being the bicycle and the rider at once!) [emoji14]

        Gassho, J

        stlah
        Lol thank you for the "clarification non-clarification" of this super interesting path. As I was sitting zazen today, a thought popped into my head... why am I sitting zazen? And I actually laughed because I couldn't think of an answer right away, and couldn't remeber why I had started all this. So I told myself... for every reason and for no reason. And carried on, although the smile remained for a few minutes lol.
        Veronica
        Sat today

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        • Tairin
          Member
          • Feb 2016
          • 2731

          #5
          Words and language attempt to relay concepts. Even if I wordlessly answer undoubtably someone will try to interpret my actions.

          As Veronica says, categories and concepts have their place. If a bus is bearing down on me you could stop to explain the situation or you could just push me out of the way.



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

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          • Shokai
            Treeleaf Priest
            • Mar 2009
            • 6391

            #6
            Let's just sit with that "oh wo, wo, wo eh hey"

            gassho, Shokai
            stlah
            合掌,生開
            gassho, Shokai

            仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

            "Open to life in a benevolent way"

            https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

            Comment

            • Daiman
              Treeleaf Unsui
              • Apr 2022
              • 679

              #7
              Originally posted by Jundo
              Today's Koan is _ Case 98 Tozan's Heed ...


              Question: There are times we need to use names, divisions, ideas, categories in order to live in the world. There are times in Zen to understand something by dropping all names, divisions, ideas, categories. But is it also possible to drop and know a world free of names, divisions, ideas, categories which --IS -- this world of names, divisions, ideas, categories? Can one answer the question without falling into names, divisions, ideas, categories to do so?





              Gassho, J

              stlah
              Today is Thursday and the Sun is shining. The sound of the keyboard goes click, click, click.

              Gassho,

              Bill (Daiman)

              Stlah
              Last edited by Daiman; 01-12-2023, 09:04 PM.

              Comment

              • Kantai
                Member
                • Jul 2017
                • 69

                #8
                When travelling to a friend, I have to remember what to bring, when the train departs and how to find my friend's house.
                That said, me and my friend where never separate, no need to travel, nothing to bring, no house to look for.
                But I still travel.

                Gassho
                Kantai
                SatLah

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                • Onsho
                  Member
                  • Aug 2022
                  • 100

                  #9
                  Have you ever been laying down on the couch in a darkish room with one eye covered? If someone were to turn out the light, you’re resting eye sees perfectly and the eye that was looking around the low lit room may need a minute to adjust. The eye you couldnt see out of, can now see, and the eye you could see out of is blind.
                  This koan makes be me feel this way. Both views make perfect sense, and no sense.
                  Keith
                  Satlah

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                  • Chikyou
                    Member
                    • May 2022
                    • 568

                    #10
                    Of late I have been learning to experience the world without describing, narrating, categorizing everything in my head 24/7. As someone who has a constant inner monologue going, this is a challenge! I may have missed the point, however this koan and the discussion has brought it to mind.

                    Gassho,
                    SatLah
                    Chikyō 知鏡
                    (KellyLM)

                    Comment

                    • Onki
                      Treeleaf Unsui
                      • Dec 2020
                      • 672

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Tairin
                      If a bus is bearing down on me you could stop to explain the situation or you could just push me out of the way.



                      Tairin
                      Sat today and lah
                      I absolutely love this quote. Thank you.

                      Gasshō,

                      Onki

                      Sat today
                      “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

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