BOOK OF EQUANIMITY. Case 12

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  • Taigu
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
    • Aug 2008
    • 2710

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY. Case 12

    Case 12

    Dizang asked Xiushan, “Where do you come from?”
    Xiushan said, “From the South.”
    Dizang said, “How is Buddhism in the South these days?”
    Xiushan said, “There’s extensive discussion.”
    Dizang said, “How can that compare to me here planting the fields and making rice to eat?”
    Xiushan said, “What can you do about the world?”
    Dizang said, “What do you call the world?”
    The Verse
    Source and explanation variously are all made up;
    Passing to ear from mouth, it comes apart.
    Planting fields, making rice—ordinary household matters;
    Only those who have investigated to the full would know—
    Having investigated to the full, you clearly know there’s nothing to seek.
    Zifang after all didn’t care to be enfeoffed as a marquis;
    Forgetting his state he returned, same as fish and birds,
    Washing his feet in the Canglang, the hazy waters of autumn.*

    Attending to the matter at hand , dealing with this body- mind and this body mind only, sitting living being and relinquishing past and future, unleashing here and there: that is the making of a rice ball, the planting of a field. Because Buddha is real and alive in a single handful of soil, a cup filled with water. In our understanding-*
    practice, shu sho i shi nyo, practice and awakening are one, countless sentient beings are displaying the treasure in full view.

    The second aspect addressed by this koan is the need *To take care. Take care of the relative. Only through the relative can the absolute be. Don t be drunk with the absolute. Don t be sick with emptiness. Pay attention to weeding, *sewing, planting, watering. Today, it is grocery shopping and commuting and family life. Today, the relative shows the true value of mystical powers.

    Concepts, words are manyfold, stitching your day, mending the fabric of reality now, giving yourself to the robe of everyday life is way beyond words of wisdom, way beyond discussions and philosophy.

    This koan invites everyone to Plough her/his own field not *somebody elses. Cultivating the empty field.

    What is the true world?*
    So how do you plough the field of your own practice?
    Can you catch yourself at over doing, over thinking?
    How to forget one s state and return same ad fish and bird? Does this take a special effort?

    Last edited by Jundo; 07-05-2020, 07:25 AM.
  • Shokai
    Treeleaf Priest
    • Mar 2009
    • 6391

    #2
    I just sit the answers come, hopefully I listen
    合掌,生開
    gassho, Shokai

    仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

    "Open to life in a benevolent way"

    https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

    Comment

    • Mp

      #3
      Originally posted by Taigu
      ... Attending to the matter at hand , dealing with this body- mind and this body mind only, sitting living being and relinquishing past and future, unleashing here and there ...
      Wonderful, thank you Taigu.

      Gassho
      Michael

      Comment

      • RichardH
        Member
        • Nov 2011
        • 2800

        #4
        Originally posted by Taigu
        What is the true world?*
        So how do you plough the field of your own practice?
        Can you catch yourself at over doing, over thinking?
        How to forget one s state and return same ad fish and bird? Does this take a special effort?

        There is only the true world.. only these bones. However, there is also this habit, with no discernible beginning, of trying to step aside from these bones. It is an impossible thing to do, of course, but in the reaching ......heaven and earth seem to separate, and “I” seem born into the world, stranded, as a thing among things. It is a bewilderment, a confusion, a melodrama. It doesn't matter if this confusion is a baseless illusion, and that heaven and earth, and every movement made, are nothing but the life of these bones.... because the suffering experienced all around is real enough to matter. Working with bewilderment in this world, this is the matter at hand. .... there is need to be met.

        Maybe it endlessly returns, but the habit of rejecting these bones burns off like mist in just sitting.
        Through practicing just sitting, needs are met freely, with no hook, and no melodrama. That is a life well lived, and an aspiration.

        Gassho, kojip
        Last edited by RichardH; 08-16-2012, 02:19 PM.

        Comment

        • Shohei
          Member
          • Oct 2007
          • 2854

          #5
          Heh, I know that priest Xiushan all to well !
          I spin my wheels quite often on What I have to do, how to do it and how well it needs to be done.
          I am figuring out I spend/spent more time worrying about doing, than the actual proceeding. Fear is a factor here.
          Worried I might miss something/make a mistake so I do not move and yet I still manage to make even more mistakes and miss stuff this way

          Sitting is not a cure or an antidote for this just a great view into who wants to run this show.

          do what needs done when its met, though I am guilty of making it much more complicated.

          Gassho

          Shohei

          Comment

          • Myoshin

            #6
            Sometimes I see me thinking instead of living, fortunately less than before for example at the age of 20 when I rehashed everything makin me sad. This practice of shikantaza helped me to drop this vicious circle. Maybe it's only now with treeleaf, Taigu and Jundo, others zennies and after years of shikantaza that I begin my new journey. Even if some days I tell me it'd be better to do something else, it helps me to find that being bored or lazy is good for not hoping anything of my sitting, and after sitting I smile telling me I was right to sit feeling better.
            I don't know if my answer fits with the post or koan exactly

            Thank you Taigu

            Well said Shohei I'm not the only one with my thoughts now

            Gassho to all

            Yang Hsin

            Comment

            • Myoku
              Member
              • Jul 2010
              • 1487

              #7
              Gassho, Thank you Taigu,

              Getting up in the morning, breakfast and off to work. Zazen at 11:30, Eating, some more work. Taking care of the children,
              sometimes sports. Time to prepare dinner. Eat. Some time to hang around, or doing what needs to be done, some reading
              or a listening to a dharma talk. Maybe some more zazen. And yes it takes effort, especially getting up in the morning ;-)
              _()_
              Myoku

              Comment

              • Rich
                Member
                • Apr 2009
                • 2602

                #8
                In a 1000 years, nothing has changed.
                _/_
                Rich
                MUHYO
                無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                Comment

                • galen
                  Member
                  • Feb 2012
                  • 322

                  #9
                  Thank you, Taigu.

                  Nice questions to ponder, or not. Should be quite a nice set-up for some great discussions forth coming. Looking forward and backward to this right here!


                  _/\_

                  galen
                  Nothing Special

                  Comment

                  • AlanLa
                    Member
                    • Mar 2008
                    • 1405

                    #10
                    My initial (and remaining) reaction to this koan was this lesson: Drop all the talk; DO the work; BE your practice! Whether it be rice balls or scrambled eggs or zazen, or whatever, make it your practice. Too often we get trapped and distracted by words, and in the meantime the true-world passes us by. What is the true world? This world in front of me right now, only seen more clearly and with greater awareness. I surf my practice, going from wave to wave of life, sitting out occasionally, stumbling regularly, balance slowly improving as I challenge myself with bigger and bigger life-waves. A typical stumbling is over thinking, and it is often caught here by Jundo or someone else, for which and whomever I am always grateful. My effort is not special, for if it was then I think I would be overdoing it. if anything, I under do it.

                    I must confess that I thought of Treeleaf when I read this koan. One of the criticisms of here, I believe, is all talk and no action. You could perhaps rewrite Xiushan's part as a former Treeleafer, someone disillusioned with all the chatter in an online forum as zendo. But that's not fair. Just because someone can't see the work, the practice, does not mean it's not happening. And the chatter can be its own form of work as practice. When we look at a tree we tend to focus on all the leaves, but what we so often miss is the whole ecosystem that is the actual tree: branches, trunk, photosynthesis, bugs, birds, etc. all working together to sustain that tree-life/Treeleaf. Such is us,,, but we get distracted by words and debate, too.
                    AL (Jigen) in:
                    Faith/Trust
                    Courage/Love
                    Awareness/Action!

                    I sat today

                    Comment

                    • Rich
                      Member
                      • Apr 2009
                      • 2602

                      #11
                      See yourself in all sentient beings. Don't ya think the birds are sometimes chirping because they can. Or they are just being social which they are very much. They work together on a lot of things.
                      _/_
                      Rich
                      MUHYO
                      無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                      https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                      Comment

                      • galen
                        Member
                        • Feb 2012
                        • 322

                        #12
                        Beautiful, thank you Alan.


                        _/\_

                        galen
                        Nothing Special

                        Comment

                        • galen
                          Member
                          • Feb 2012
                          • 322

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Rich
                          See yourself in all sentient beings. Don't ya think the birds are sometimes chirping because they can. Or they are just being social which they are very much. They work together on a lot of things.
                          Hi Rich,

                          Thank you for your post. Just wanted to say I think your one-handed gassho is quite clever. It seems, when looking at it, you can see the other hand that is not there .


                          _/\_

                          galen
                          Nothing Special

                          Comment

                          • Rich
                            Member
                            • Apr 2009
                            • 2602

                            #14
                            Originally posted by galen
                            Hi Rich,

                            Thank you for your post. Just wanted to say I think your one-handed gassho is quite clever. It seems, when looking at it, you can see the other hand that is not there .


                            _/\_

                            galen
                            Actually not that clever. On my Droid virtual keypad, couldn't find the other hand -) and never fixed it from my laptop because as you said you can see the other hand that is not there.
                            _/_
                            Rich
                            MUHYO
                            無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                            https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                            Comment

                            • Shugen
                              Treeleaf Unsui
                              • Nov 2007
                              • 4535

                              #15
                              For whatever reason, this koan reminded me that "it's" not just on the cushion. In the words of Chet I believe, "you're soaking in it!"

                              Gassho


                              Shugen
                              Meido Shugen
                              明道 修眼

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