BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 17

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

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 17

    kaizokusen3rd-img600x549-13381274182cly3t39937[1].jpg
    Case17: Preface to the assembly:

    Paired geese beating the ground with their wing tips fly up high. A pair of wood ducks stands alone at the edge of a pond. Leaving aside the matter of arrow points meeting head on, what about sawing on a steel counter weight?

    Main case:
    Attention! Hogen asked Administrator Monk Shuzan, “If there's even a hair’s breadth of difference, heaven and earth are clearly separated. How do you understand this?" Shuzan replied, "If there's even a hair’s breadth of difference, heaven and earth are clearly separated." Hogan said, "If that's so, how could you understand it?" Shuzan answered, "I am just this. How about you Osho?" Hogan remarked, "If there is even a hair’s breadth difference, heaven and earth are clearly separated." At that, Shuzan bowed low.

    Appreciatory verse:
    A fly settles on a balance pan and it tilts.
    The ten-thousand-generation scale illuminates unevenness.
    Pounds, ounces, pennyweights, grains – measure exactly as you will. In the end you’ll lose to my fixed indicator
    Paired geese, freely flying and high or*wooden ducks by the pond: *always a great practice where relative and absolute, student and teacher, self and Buddha meet. You' think that majestic geese are better than worned out wooden fake ducks...beware! Two arrows meeting in mid air is the traditional take on the perfect-spontaneous dynamic interaction between the student and the teacher.*

    The hair's breadth difference is found in the Shinjinmei , faith-mind poem, of master Sozan:*

    depart from an hair breadth, and heaven and earth ar set apart

    The same words will be found in dogen 's *Fukanzazengi.

    Words of caution here, and words of compassion. Give a single taste to this practice and it is tainted, add the slightest, tiniest goal or greed, and all things are set apart. Of course, heaven and earth, absolute and relative, Buddha and self, are neither one nor two, non dual in their play, their dance is fully realized every moment at every single step. But once we choose, pick up, add, manipulate and we will simply fail to live this and the let this live us. As long as we want to live Buddha, we live nothing but a mistake, still a take. Something extra. Once the agendas are dropped, the goals forgotten, the dance is starting to really freely live in ever inch of our body-mind.

    Shuzan's words miss the mark because they are extra, they fail to express the whole reality because they just don't come from the right and free place. Witty, thoughtful, careful words but out of tune. The answer cannot be found in words but in the body breath that utter them, you could say: spoon, shitbag, rotten rat or blue flower, that would still be a perfectly acceptable answer when it comes from the right place. One of my first teachers once told me:

    Don't be abused by words, when people speak, listen to the being- living where these words come from
    Understanding is living, understanding is alive, not a processed fllow of sounds but a spit, a hit, a flash, a shout ( why do you think our Zen stories are filled with these sudden stirs and moves? Because they give no room to making,fabricating or processing) as Dogen writes in the Fukanzazengi:

    Iwan ya mata shi kan shin tsui o nenzuru no tenki,
    Moreover, changing of the moment through the action of a finger, a pole, a needle, or a wooden clapper;

    hokken bô katsu o kosuru no shôkai mo,
    and exact experience of the state through the manifestation of a whisk, a fist, a staff, or a shout,

    imada kore shiryô funbetsu no yoku gesuru tokoro ni arazu,
    can never be understood by thinking and discrimination.
    Zen is not ready made pizza or junk food but raw stuff full of flavours cooked on the spot!

    Gassho!

    Taigu.

    Last edited by Jundo; 07-07-2020, 03:13 AM.
  • Omoi Otoshi
    Member
    • Dec 2010
    • 801

    #2
    No clinging. No aversion. Not even clinging to life or aversion to death. No idea of gaining anything or finding some treasure. Not even gaining enlightenment or wisdom. No judging. Not even judging our egocentric selves. No goal. Just vow. And practice.

    This is riding the jade elephant backwards. This is the wind bell not caring which way the wind blows.

    Until I have something to contribute I'll just post the Shin Jin Mei:

    Verses On the Faith Mind
    Translated by Richard B. Clarke

    至道無難 The Great Way is not difficult
    唯嫌揀擇 for those who have no preferences.
    但莫憎愛 When love and hate are both absent
    洞然明白 everything becomes clear and undisguised.
    毫釐有差 Make the smallest distinction, however
    天地懸隔 and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
    欲得現前 If you wish to see the truth
    莫存順逆 then hold no opinions for or against anything.
    違順相爭 To set up what you like against what you dislike
    是爲心病 is the disease of the mind.
    不識玄旨 When the deep meaning of things is not understood
    徒勞念靜 the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

    圓同太虚 The Way is perfect like vast space
    無欠無餘 where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
    良由取捨 Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
    所以不如 that we do not see the true nature of things.
    莫逐有縁 Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
    勿住空忍 nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
    一種平懷 Be serene in the oneness of things
    泯然自盡 and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
    止動歸止 When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
    止更彌動 your very effort fills you with activity.
    唯滯兩邊 As long as you remain in one extreme or the other
    寧知一種 you will never know Oneness.

    一種不通 Those who do not live in the single Way
    兩處失功 fail in both activity and passivity,
    遣有沒有 assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things
    從空背空 to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.
    多言多慮 The more you talk and think about it,
    轉不相應 the further astray you wander from the truth.
    絶言絶慮 Stop talking and thinking,
    無處不通 and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
    歸根得旨 To return to the root is to find the meaning,
    隨照失宗 but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
    須臾返照 At the moment of inner enlightenment
    勝卻前空 there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
    前空轉變 The changes that appear to occur in the empty world
    皆由妄見 we call real only because of our ignorance.
    不用求眞 Do not search for the truth;
    唯須息見 only cease to cherish opinions.

    二見不住 Do not remain in the dualistic state
    慎莫追尋 avoid such pursuits carefully.
    纔有是非 If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong,
    紛然失心 the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
    二由一有 Although all dualities come from the One,
    一亦莫守 do not be attached even to this One.
    一心不生 When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
    萬法無咎 nothing in the world can offend,
    無咎無法 and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.

    不生不心 When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
    能隨境滅 When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes,
    境逐能沈 as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
    境由能境 Things are objects because of the subject (mind);
    能由境能 the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
    欲知兩段 Understand the relativity of these two
    元是一空 and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
    一空同兩 In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
    齊含萬象 and each contains in itself the whole world.
    不見精麁 If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
    寧有偏黨 you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

    大道體寛 To live in the Great Way
    無易無難 is neither easy nor difficult,
    小見狐疑 but those with limited views
    轉急轉遲 and fearful and irresolute: the faster they hurry, the slower they go,
    執之失度 and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited;
    必入邪路 even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.
    放之自然 Just let things be in their own way
    體無去住 and there will be neither coming nor going.

    任性合道 Obey the nature of things (your own nature),
    逍遙絶惱 and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
    繋念乖眞 When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden,
    昏沈不好 for everything is murky and unclear,
    不好勞神 and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.
    何用疏親 What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?

    欲取一乘 If you wish to move in the One Way
    勿惡六塵 do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
    六塵不惡 Indeed, to accept them fully
    還同正覺 is identical with true Enlightenment.
    智者無爲 The wise man strives to no goals
    愚人自縛 but the foolish man fetters himself.
    法無異法 This is one Dharma, not many: distinctions arise
    妄自愛著 from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
    將心用心 To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind
    豈非大錯 is the greatest of all mistakes.

    迷生寂亂 Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
    悟無好惡 with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
    一切二邊 All dualities come from
    妄自斟酌 ignorant inference.
    夢幻虚華 They are like dreams of flowers in the air:
    何勞把捉 foolish to try to grasp them.
    得失是非 Gain and loss, right and wrong:
    一時放卻 such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.

    眼若不睡 If the eye never sleeps,
    諸夢自除 all dreams will naturally cease.
    心若不異 If the mind makes no discriminations,
    萬法一如 the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence.
    一如體玄 To understand the mystery of this One-essence
    兀爾忘虚 is to be release from all entanglements.
    萬法齊觀 When all things are seen equally
    歸復自然 the timeless Self-essence is reached.
    泯其所以 No comparisons or analogies are possible
    不可方比 in this causeless, relationless state.

    止動無動 Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion,
    動止無止 both movement and rest disappear.
    兩既不成 When such dualities cease to exist
    一何有爾 Oneness itself cannot exist.
    究竟窮極 To this ultimate finality
    不存軌則 no law or description applies.

    契心平等 For the unified mind in accord with the Way
    所作倶息 all self-centered straining ceases.
    狐疑盡淨 Doubts and irresolution's vanish
    正信調直 and life in true faith is possible.
    一切不留 With a single stroke we are freed from bondage;
    無可記憶 nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
    虚明自照 All is empty , clear, self-illuminating,
    不勞心力 with no exertion of the mind's power.
    非思量處 Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination
    識情難測 are of no value.
    眞如法界 In this world of Suchness
    無他無自 there is neither self nor other-than-self

    要急相應 To come directly into harmony with this reality
    唯言不二 just simply say when doubt arises, 'Not two.'
    不二皆同 In this 'no two' nothing is separate,
    無不包容 nothing excluded.
    十方智者 No matter when or where,
    皆入此宗 enlightenment means entering this truth.
    宗非促延 And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space;
    一念萬年 in it a single thought is ten thousand years.

    無在不在 Emptiness here, Emptiness there,
    十方目前 but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.
    極小同大 Infinitely large and infinitely small;
    忘絶境界 no difference, for definitions have vanished
    極大同小
    不見邊表 and no boundaries are seen.
    有即是無 So too with Being
    無即是有 and non-Being.
    若不如此 Don't waste time in doubts and arguments
    必不相守 that have nothing to do with this.

    一即一切 One thing, all things:
    一切即一 move among and intermingle, without distinction.
    但能如是 To live in this realization
    何慮不畢 is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
    信心不二 To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,
    不二信心 Because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

    言語道斷 Words! The Way is beyond language,
    非去來今 for in it there is
    no yesterday
    no tomorrow
    no today
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 10-14-2012, 05:11 PM.
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

    Comment

    • pinoybuddhist
      Member
      • Jun 2010
      • 462

      #3
      I have a feeling I will keep coming back to this over and over again. Sometimes I think I have it. Then I realize that once again I have departed an inch.



      Raf

      Originally posted by Taigu

      Words of caution here, and words of compassion. Give a single taste to this practice and it is tainted, add the slightest, tiniest goal or greed, and all things are set apart. Of course, heaven and earth, absolute and relative, Buddha and self, are neither one nor two, non dual in their play, their dance is fully realized every moment at every single step. But once we choose, pick up, add, manipulate and we will simply fail to live this and the let this live us. As long as we want to live Buddha, we live nothing but a mistake, still a take. Something extra. Once the agendas are dropped, the goals forgotten, the dance is starting to really freely live in ever inch of our body-mind.

      Shuzan's words miss the mark because they are extra, they fail to express the whole reality because they just don't come from the right and free place. Witty, thoughtful, careful words but out of tune. The answer cannot be found in words but in the body breath that utter them, you could say: spoon, shitbag, rotten rat or blue flower, that would still be a perfectly acceptable answer when it comes from the right place...

      Understanding is living, understanding is alive, not a processed fllow of sounds but a spit, a hit, a flash, a shout ( why do you think our Zen stories are filled with these sudden stirs and moves? Because they give no room to making,fabricating or processing)...


      Zen is not ready made pizza or junk food but raw stuff full of flavours cooked on the spot!

      Gassho!

      Taigu.

      Comment

      • Shugen
        Treeleaf Unsui
        • Nov 2007
        • 4535

        #4
        Zen practice is impossible and never ending. And, thats what makes it so great.
        Meido Shugen
        明道 修眼

        Comment

        • Mp

          #5
          Originally posted by rculver
          Zen practice is impossible and never ending. And, thats what makes it so great.
          Nice!

          Gassho
          Michael

          Comment

          • galen
            Member
            • Feb 2012
            • 322

            #6
            My first post to a new koan, if I seem to have any feeling for it, I try to do it without reading the opening, other posts and in this case, also holding off reading Jundos new thread on Taigus opening here.

            This one seems to be just another lesson of many in these koans, that Jundo built a whole thread around. That being, it uses being totally present like animals always are, in another pointing to the moon lesson. No thinking and mentally weighing our view through opinions and judgements, just being who we Are through being `present, not giving a hairs deference between heaven and hell, which seemingly would be relativity, a gap.
            Last edited by galen; 10-17-2012, 03:20 PM.
            Nothing Special

            Comment

            • galen
              Member
              • Feb 2012
              • 322

              #7
              Well done Taigu. Thank you for this lesson.
              Nothing Special

              Comment

              • galen
                Member
                • Feb 2012
                • 322

                #8
                Thank you for the book, OO , it was pointedlessly very good.
                Nothing Special

                Comment

                • AlanLa
                  Member
                  • Mar 2008
                  • 1405

                  #9
                  Practice is never ending, indeed, and I am such a failure at it, which is why I keep practicing. Lots of hair's breadth here.
                  AL (Jigen) in:
                  Faith/Trust
                  Courage/Love
                  Awareness/Action!

                  I sat today

                  Comment

                  • Rich
                    Member
                    • Apr 2009
                    • 2601

                    #10
                    If you leave here, please come back.
                    _/_
                    Rich
                    MUHYO
                    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                    Comment

                    • Omoi Otoshi
                      Member
                      • Dec 2010
                      • 801

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Taigu
                      Words of caution here, and words of compassion. Give a single taste to this practice and it is tainted, add the slightest, tiniest goal or greed, and all things are set apart.
                      For me, this is the most difficult part of practice, giving up trying to accomplish something, giving up trying to meditate. Giving the conscious mind a rest, without trying to shove it away. In the back of the head, there is the wish for the pure awareness of no mind to arise. Sometimes it's the easiest thing in the world to be a beginner, to sit down with only "what is this?" and then letting what is be. These days, the gateless gate is wide open. Sometimes though, there is a clear idea or memory of what it is, what to look for, and how and where to find it.

                      By attaching to and trying to reexperience memories of clarity and blissful peace, the gateless gate is shut, the ego, the observer, the second moon, cemented in place. It's impossible to reproduce a certain state by trying to reproduce the conditions that were present when it last appeared. And not only impossible, but also a sign of being stuck, clinging to an idea of what should be, and aversion to what is.

                      No judging, no prefering, no good and bad Zazen. Sitting with what is is always good Zazen, even when it doesn't seem profound at all. Angry feelings towards your boss, if that is what arises, is Buddha nature too. Think of this as failed Zazen, and peaceful boundlessness as successful Zazen, and heaven and earth are indeed wide apart.

                      Gassho,
                      Pontus
                      In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                      you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                      now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                      the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                      Comment

                      • AlanLa
                        Member
                        • Mar 2008
                        • 1405

                        #12
                        Honestly, reflecting on this koan for the past few days or so has been sort of depressing, or maybe disappointing is the better word. Depressed that it points out the failure of zen, disappointment in my failure at zen. But that's sort of the whole point, to not be so secure that you can't see past all the duality in life.

                        I get in my way in life far, so very far, more than other things get in my way. My day to day existence is filled with self-ish dualities that I spend many of my waking hours nurturing. Zazen keeps me from getting stuck there, but it does not keep me from visiting there extensively, nor should it. Ignorance is bliss, and zazen wakes you up to your ignorance, and that puts you on the Path, and the Path is hard, and that hardness, that difficulty, is what makes the Path good.

                        When I think about the hair's breadth I look backward
                        At mistakes
                        At my self getting in the way.
                        But I should be looking forward.
                        No, that's not right.
                        That's just more hair's breadth.
                        I need to look at the present
                        Do what's in front of me
                        Be who I am
                        That "raw stuff full of flavors cooked on the spot!"
                        Only then does the hair's breadth (begin to) diminish.
                        AL (Jigen) in:
                        Faith/Trust
                        Courage/Love
                        Awareness/Action!

                        I sat today

                        Comment

                        • AlanLa
                          Member
                          • Mar 2008
                          • 1405

                          #13
                          I thought an image might be an appropriate accompaniment to my above entry, so here it is:
                          AL (Jigen) in:
                          Faith/Trust
                          Courage/Love
                          Awareness/Action!

                          I sat today

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39419

                            #14
                            For some reason, this brought to mind Uncle It from the Addams Family ...

                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • AlanLa
                              Member
                              • Mar 2008
                              • 1405

                              #15
                              He's from my mom's side of the family. Wink. Nod.
                              AL (Jigen) in:
                              Faith/Trust
                              Courage/Love
                              Awareness/Action!

                              I sat today

                              Comment

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