Book of Equanimity - Introduction

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39450

    Book of Equanimity - Introduction

    Dear EQUANIMIOUS FRIENDS ...

    We are beginning our non-work, sitting and living with The Book of Equanimity, Illuminating Classic Zen Koans, commentary by Gerry Shishin Wick.





    I begin today with a rather longish essay and talk, given during our monthly Zazenkai, on some common misunderstandings, biases and the like about the Koans and Koan Practice found in the modern Zen world ... and I ask all to have a read and listen ...

    Our Treeleaf Sangha is about to begin dancing - and living - the 100 Koans of the treasured “BOOK OF EQUANIMITY”. So, it’s a good time to look at some all too common MISUNDERSTANDINGS, NARROW VIEWS, BIASES, SECTARIAN DOGMAS, “MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY-isms”, PARTIAL TRUTHS and PREJUDICES that plague


    I apologize for both the length of the talk, and what may be a rather arcane topic to some folks.

    In a few days, I will offer a shorter "how to" talk on how we are actually going to undertake and read the Koans and Rev. Wick's commentary.

    Then, I hope to dive into the first Koan together perhaps next Saturday.

    May you find it all thoroughly ENLIGHTENING! 8)

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - Some portions are available online, pending purchase ...



    Last edited by Jundo; 05-23-2018, 11:06 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Jinyo
    Member
    • Jan 2012
    • 1957

    #2
    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

    Thanks Jundo - for a very informative and interesting introduction.

    I bet everyone is feeling 8) to be starting on the book.

    Hope your head cold clears soon.

    Gassho

    Willow

    Comment

    • Risho
      Member
      • May 2010
      • 3179

      #3
      Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

      Yay! . I really enjoyed the talk. These koans are so controversial. I remember reading in Daido roshi's book " Sitting with koans".that some schools would have students use canned answers. I am looking forward to integrating these into my life-practice. That is, if I can understand them. But that is part of the fun too.
      Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

      Comment

      • Heisoku
        Member
        • Jun 2010
        • 1338

        #4
        Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

        I really appreciated the talk. I used to think that koans were something other than the direct challenge to apply our understanding of Dharma into our life now. That was before I really knew anything about Buddhism let alone Dharma. So I am really looking forward to this 'different' approach to our study.
        Heisoku 平 息
        Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

        Comment

        • Myoku
          Member
          • Jul 2010
          • 1487

          #5
          Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

          Originally posted by Gerry Shishin Wick
          Having a conceptual understanding is not sufficient. You need to experience it. Experiencing your Budhha Nature eliminates attachments to self-grasping ignorance.
          Though this is from the introduction, this seems like a koan already to me; because, dont we always experience our buddha nature ? What else would there to experience if not our true nature ? Or seen from a wider perspective, what could be experienced that not is buddha nature ?
          _()_
          Myoku

          Comment

          • andyZ
            Member
            • Aug 2011
            • 303

            #6
            Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

            Originally posted by Myoku
            Originally posted by Gerry Shishin Wick
            Having a conceptual understanding is not sufficient. You need to experience it. Experiencing your Budhha Nature eliminates attachments to self-grasping ignorance.
            Though this is from the introduction, this seems like a koan already to me; because, dont we always experience our buddha nature ? What else would there to experience if not our true nature ? Or seen from a wider perspective, what could be experienced that not is buddha nature ?
            _()_
            Myoku
            Myoku,

            I think your question is smth along the lines "if we're already enlightened, why practice?"
            I think what we experience most of the time is the workings of our conditioned mind which mostly operates in our own self interest. That's why Rev. Wick refers to "eliminating attachments to self-grasping ignorance". Like in those 2 famous poems from the Platform sutra: "we need to polish that mirror all the time even though the mirror is originally bright and pure."
            Gassho,
            Andy

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39450

              #7
              Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

              Originally posted by andyZ
              Originally posted by Myoku
              Originally posted by Gerry Shishin Wick
              Having a conceptual understanding is not sufficient. You need to experience it. Experiencing your Budhha Nature eliminates attachments to self-grasping ignorance.
              Though this is from the introduction, this seems like a koan already to me; because, dont we always experience our buddha nature ? What else would there to experience if not our true nature ? Or seen from a wider perspective, what could be experienced that not is buddha nature ?
              _()_
              Myoku
              Myoku,

              I think your question is smth along the lines "if we're already enlightened, why practice?"
              I think what we experience most of the time is the workings of our conditioned mind which mostly operates in our own self interest. That's why Rev. Wick refers to "eliminating attachments to self-grasping ignorance". Like in those 2 famous poems from the Platform sutra: "we need to polish that mirror all the time even though the mirror is originally bright and pure."
              Yes... we are all always already Buddha ... but blind to the fact, acting the fool. We may be Buddha, but we don't know it (like the fellow in the Lotus Sutra with a jewel hidden in his pocket which he doesn't know about). We are always the Buddha ... but we act filled with greed, anger and ignorance. We are always already the Buddha (that is free of anger greed and separation/ignorance) ... but so filled with anger greed and separation/ignorance that it is not experienced.

              So, though we are all always already Buddha ... we have to act more Buddha-like ... and less like the blind greedy fool ... to realize (meaning "to make real, bring to life") Buddha. Act like a fool, you are a Buddha who is a fool. But act like Buddha, and you are a Buddha who is Buddha. :shock:

              Kind of a reverse "Catch-22".

              Gassho, J
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • Myoku
                Member
                • Jul 2010
                • 1487

                #8
                Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

                Thank you Andy, Jundo,
                I think you both gave me the right hint: to experience it, we need to bring it into life, act appropriate. By acting like a Buddha, we experience the being-detached-from-greed/anger/ignorance. I think this way the statement I originally quoted fits into my "world view". Thank you again and Gassho
                Myoku

                Comment

                • Hans
                  Member
                  • Mar 2007
                  • 1853

                  #9
                  Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

                  Hello Jundo,

                  yeeehah! Thank you for your efforts.


                  All the best and gassho,

                  Hans Chudo Mongen

                  Comment

                  • Hoyu
                    Member
                    • Nov 2010
                    • 2020

                    #10
                    Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

                    Thank you Jundo Sensei for a most inspiring pep talk!

                    Gassho,
                    Hoyu
                    Ho (Dharma)
                    Yu (Hot Water)

                    Comment

                    • mr.Lou
                      Member
                      • Apr 2012
                      • 61

                      #11
                      Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

                      Originally posted by andyZ
                      Like in those 2 famous poems from the Platform sutra: "we need to polish that mirror all the time even though the mirror is originally bright and pure."
                      What's the second poem say?
                      thank you
                      -Lou Sat Today

                      Comment

                      • Rich
                        Member
                        • Apr 2009
                        • 2601

                        #12
                        Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

                        Fundamentally there is not a single thing
                        Where could any dust alight
                        _/_
                        Rich
                        MUHYO
                        無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                        https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                        Comment

                        • mr.Lou
                          Member
                          • Apr 2012
                          • 61

                          #13
                          Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

                          Originally posted by Rich
                          Fundamentally there is not a single thing
                          Where could any dust alight
                          Thank you for that.

                          The other reference that illustrates one's pre-existing perfect nature that I am fond of is the example that we are all like the bright shinning moon. We are always burning bright, even if clouds sometimes obstruct the view of that brightness. Zazen practice simply blows away the clouds, it isn't what makes us shine bright.
                          thank you
                          -Lou Sat Today

                          Comment

                          • Rich
                            Member
                            • Apr 2009
                            • 2601

                            #14
                            Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

                            Oh, those are clouds?
                            Koan study will be fun, interesting and a great way to strengthen practice, I hope.
                            thanks lou
                            _/_
                            Rich
                            MUHYO
                            無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                            https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                            Comment

                            • andyZ
                              Member
                              • Aug 2011
                              • 303

                              #15
                              Re: BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - INTRODUCTION (1)

                              Originally posted by mr.Lou
                              Originally posted by andyZ
                              Like in those 2 famous poems from the Platform sutra: "we need to polish that mirror all the time even though the mirror is originally bright and pure."
                              What's the second poem say?
                              Sorry for the confusion. I meant to combine those 2 poems into one.
                              Thank you Rich for quoting the second poem correctly.

                              Here are the two poems from Taigu's talk:

                              The body is a Bodhi [Perfect Wisdom] tree,
                              the mind a standing mirror bright.
                              At all times polish it diligently,
                              and let no dust alight.

                              and Huineng answers:

                              Bodhi is no tree,
                              nor is the mind a standing mirror bright.
                              Since all is originally empty,
                              where does the dust alight?
                              viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4784
                              Gassho,
                              Andy

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