BOOK OF EQUANIMITY- case 20

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

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY- case 20

    Not knowing is most intimate...

    As long as you are standing in front of the mountain, knowing the mountain, seeing the mountain, admiring its landscape, is but removing yourself from the mountain. As you climb, as you go you become part of the mountain, the mountain beneath your feet is not seen,perceived as such, rather experienced fully, the mountain have swallowed you, you have embraced the mountain to become it.

    This is the relationship between self and sitting. From a distance there is Zen, zazen, as you take the shape and form of the mountain state, this state and this form vanishes, as you wear the kesa, you cannot see it. Not knowing is total intimacy with the source, the origin.

    So not knowing is not ignorance or behaving like an idiot or a fool. Not knowing is living fully out of the expanse- space before thoughts arise, hishiryo.beyond thinking

    In zazen shin, a needle for zazen, Dogen starts like this:

    While Great Master Yakusan Kōdō1 is sitting, a monk asks him, “What are you thinking in the still-still state?” The master says, “Thinking the con- crete state of not thinking.” The monk says, “How can the state of not think- ing be thought?” The master says, “It is non-thinking.” Experiencing the state in which the words of the great master are like this, we should learn in practice “mountain-still sitting,” and we should receive the authentic transmission of “mountain-still sitting”: this is the investigation of “mountain-still sitting” that has been transmitted in Buddhism. “Thinking in the still-still state” is not of only one kind, but Yakusan’s words are one example of it. Those words are “Thinking the concrete state of not thinking.

    Hishiryo, non thinking, beyond thinking, is the essence and secret of our treasury house. And again in this, thoughts may arise as clouds in the vast blue sky, not knowing is the sky- like, sea- like, state like the sea state as Dogen puts it. But collapse into a thought, believe your thought, become your thought , identify with it and you enter instantly the world of knowing. Entering the word - world of knowing you end up smelling like a dead cat, good for universities and lecturing, writing brilliant stuff or recipe books, useless for cooking your life. You d better be good for nothing. as Santoka puts it,

    in the embrace of mountains
    I am naked.





    A common misconception of Zen ractice is that it should lead to a state without thoughts. Of course not! Thoughts making is a natural process of he brain, the point is not to be brain dead but stepping back, taking the backward step, to appreciate Big mind, to live in and out the Big reality that we are, not merely a few inches of flesh and a collection of random thoughts. As some Zen words say: Born from a hole and ending thrown into another one,
    ...really???is it really what life is?

    IT is as-it-isness, original face, not knowing, call it pepsi or fake plastic gimmick, it IS.

    When in the dokusan moment you appear on the screen or enter the room, It comes just with- as- you.

    When you wake up and do things and not do things, It radiates. Not before or after. Exactly, precisely as you do. Thoughts? An aftermath effect.

    Not knowing, knowing not.

    This is the not knowing thing that makes lecturers and writers and philosophers so shallow and vain.

    Not knowing is raw, undiluted. Kind of straight to the point, razor blade like, juicy, meaty, not wrapped in much fuss.

    As is.

    Doesn t mean Zen teachers should indulge in rawness.

    They pick up whatever works to help you to unload.

    In the mountain state, no need for much. It is all complete and full and ripe. The chase has stopped, blossoms and leaves collide, snow and furnace cuddle, the old and new have one face.

    This cae is very close to ordinary mind is the way , case 19 of the Gatelss Gate.

    Please consider these questions:

    When you get up, what happens then?

    Does not knowing has a colour or shape?
    Does it speak?
    How big are the legs?
    How far its arms can reach out?
    How to know not knowing?
    How can it be known?
    Where are you in this knowing?
    Still there?


    Gassho in not knowing

    Taigu

    Last edited by Jundo; 07-21-2020, 01:06 PM.
  • Mp

    #2
    Originally posted by Taigu
    When you wake up and do things and not do things, It radiates. Not before or after. Exactly, precisely as you do. Thoughts? An aftermath effect.
    Beautiful! Thank you Taigu.

    Gassho
    Michael

    Comment

    • Shujin
      Treeleaf Unsui
      • Feb 2010
      • 977

      #3
      Until the recent past, I had faith in some sort of narrative for myself. I started somewhere, and was clearly going somewhere else. I couldn't always articulate the destination, but that didn't seem to diminish my belief.

      After sitting for a short time, I am able to admit that I am less the mountain and more the weather around it. I don't know (in the most mundane way) where this leads, and I've mostly stopped wondering. Amidst all this uncertainty, there is this practice. For me, for now, that is enough.

      Incidentally, I feel I'm missing something of the appreciators verse: "The matter of thirty years' pilgrimage -- a clear transgression against one's pair of eyebrows." Perhaps someone could explain.

      Gassho,
      Shujin
      Kyōdō Shujin 教道 守仁

      Comment

      • Omoi Otoshi
        Member
        • Dec 2010
        • 801

        #4
        Wonderful words, aimed for the heart.

        Thank you,
        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

        • Daitetsu
          Member
          • Oct 2012
          • 1145

          #5
          Originally posted by Taigu
          Please consider these questions:

          When you get up, what happens then?
          Whatever comes

          Originally posted by Taigu
          Does not knowing has a colour or shape?
          The colour of my shirt

          Originally posted by Taigu
          Does it speak?
          The sound of white noise

          Originally posted by Taigu
          How big are the legs?
          As big as the ground

          Originally posted by Taigu
          How far its arms can reach out?
          From me to you and back again

          Originally posted by Taigu
          How to know not knowing?
          I don't know

          Originally posted by Taigu
          How can it be known?
          I don't care

          Originally posted by Taigu
          Where are you in this knowing?
          Everywhere and nowhere

          Originally posted by Taigu
          Still there?
          Yes and no

          Gassho,

          Timo
          no thing needs to be added

          Comment

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

            #6
            Hi Timo,

            Not too bad and yet your answers are still a bit zenny to me, they stinck good old answers and some are obviously processed through over thinking.
            I give you the credit to give it a real go when mostDragons and Elephants, a famous opening of the sussho ceremony, behave lile scared rabbits, rushing into holes but without a watch this time.

            Gassho


            Taigu

            Ps: your answers, the colour of my shirt/i don t care come the closest, the space where they are spoken from, is very free and clear and crisp.
            Thank you again.
            Last edited by Taigu; 11-25-2012, 08:41 AM.

            Comment

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

              #7
              Oh yes, some might think here comes this bossy-arrogant-provocative-abusive French guy.
              And for sure I am , and yet, and yet...

              gassho

              T.

              Comment

              • Jinyo
                Member
                • Jan 2012
                • 1957

                #8
                Originally posted by Taigu
                Oh yes, some might think here comes this bossy-arrogant-provocative-abusive French guy.
                And for sure I am , and yet, and yet...

                gassho

                T.
                ... a mirror to my own 'self'


                ..... 'the cuddle of snow and furnace' all embracing words - but when I get up the intimacy is often lost.

                (If I might just say - the philosopher/writer in me is the part most unsure/afraid. I've always felt philosophy is the activity of the mind quivering over the dark abyss of doubt - possibly shallow and vain - but also afraid. Out on the cold mountain - half asleep - not fully awake)

                Thank you for your teaching

                Gassho

                Willow

                Comment

                • Omoi Otoshi
                  Member
                  • Dec 2010
                  • 801

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Taigu
                  When you get up, what happens then?
                  In getting up, it sometimes seems like delusion rushes in and this Buddha becomes a seeker again. Not knowing turns into knowing. Resting turns into carrying a burden. The path that had ended reappears. But it's OK. I know the seeker a little better by now. He's me and mostly harmless. And I'm still Buddha.

                  Does not knowing has a colour or shape?
                  No colour or shape in particular. 10000 colours, 10000 shapes.

                  Does it speak?
                  No. It doesn't need to. Yes. It speaks the truth. Constantly speaking wordless Dharma through all, to all. And sometimes speaking living words through arrogant Frenchmen!

                  How big are the legs?
                  In not knowing, big or small, here or there is not so important. But sometimes it seems like they are as big as the world.

                  How far its arms can reach out?
                  Not knowing can embrace everything, hold the universe in its arms.

                  How to know not knowing?
                  How can it be known?
                  No matter how hard you try, you can't. You can just stop trying, give up, accept not knowing. Give the seeking, judging mind a rest. And in not knowing, you know, in the sense that the true nature of all things becomes clear. But as soon as the thought "I know!" is identified with, the true knowing is gone. A bit of a bummer that. It would be nice to be able to tell others. But there's really no need to. It's the ego that wants to keep its imagined treasure, retain it, show it off. The ego isn't doing this out of spite. It's making a simple mistake, a misunderstanding that is not so surprising given the nature of ego. It has a hard time accepting that the treasure is not something to cathegorize, seek, find and keep forever. It doesn't understand that the treasure belonged to everyone and everything from the beginning, that it can't be cathegorized, can never be found by searching, is not a thing to be found and can't be kept because it can never be lost.

                  Where are you in this knowing?
                  Gone completely. Home completely.

                  Still there?
                  I trust that I am. But it doesn't always seem that way.

                  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

                  • Daitetsu
                    Member
                    • Oct 2012
                    • 1145

                    #10
                    Hi Taigu,

                    Originally posted by Taigu

                    Ps: your answers, the colour of my shirt/i don t care come the closest, the space where they are spoken from, is very free and clear and crisp.
                    Thank you again.
                    Thanks for your response - this "PS part" was very helpful, as actually these two answers were those that came up totally spontaneously, while the others took several seconds.
                    One thing: There was another spontaneous answer, that I dismissed though: My original (spontaneous) answer to "Does it speak" was "It has my voice", but when I saw this I thought it sounded totally contrived (although it wasn't) and thus I deleted it...

                    Thanks again for your useful feedback!

                    Gassho,

                    Timo
                    no thing needs to be added

                    Comment

                    • Shohei
                      Member
                      • Oct 2007
                      • 2854

                      #11
                      Hi
                      They pick up whatever works to help you to unload.
                      And I cannot thank you enough for doing so!


                      I woke up today and sat on the back deck sneaking a forbidden cig (tisk tisk I know) while I drank my coffee, cold air blowing throw the rip in my pants, and making me cringe.
                      Standing to butt my bad habit, I saw a then shiny (melted frost) absolutely imperfectly perfect water washed and shaped rock sitting there in the dead grass.
                      I picked it up and inspected it and pondered how it got there. I had no clue. Silly thought, I was about to drop it again and realized in that instant I could not tell it from me with the raw wind on my hand. I had lost, for a moment, my arms and hands fingers and sense...the rock was as much me as I was it. The grass the bare tree limbs the cold wind the clouds blowing by making me dizzy as I stared off. I dawned on me for a second, I could not put it into words, but it dimmed my need find an answer. Shit who cares how it got here... amazing that its here in the grandest sense.

                      I was a bit shocked and looked up from it, here I sat on a rock, holding a rock wondering how it got here. I laughed out loud and put it back where it found me, and pulled the last drag and put the but in a the stinking tin.

                      This not knowing scared me for I felt I lost for a lifetime in that moment... it all fell away. I did not stop thinking I just let those thoughts be and realized that any answer I can come up with is just a me grabbing at something to ground this self.

                      Anywho, how big are the legs, big enough! Everything is in arms reach when I stop trying to get a handle on things. Not knowing was the very colour of that moment. I cannot wrap the right words around to convey it and its already long gone.

                      I do not have answers really for these questions.

                      photo.jpg

                      Comment

                      • Omoi Otoshi
                        Member
                        • Dec 2010
                        • 801

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Shohei
                        Anywho, how big are the legs, big enough! Everything is in arms reach when I stop trying to get a handle on things. Not knowing was the very colour of that moment. I cannot wrap the right words around to convey it and its already long gone.

                        I do not have answers really for these questions.
                        Who does?

                        I like your answers for what it's worth.

                        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

                        • Mp

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Shohei
                          Hi


                          And I cannot thank you enough for doing so!


                          I woke up today and sat on the back deck sneaking a forbidden cig (tisk tisk I know) while I drank my coffee, cold air blowing throw the rip in my pants, and making me cringe.
                          Standing to butt my bad habit, I saw a then shiny (melted frost) absolutely imperfectly perfect water washed and shaped rock sitting there in the dead grass.
                          I picked it up and inspected it and pondered how it got there. I had no clue. Silly thought, I was about to drop it again and realized in that instant I could not tell it from me with the raw wind on my hand. I had lost, for a moment, my arms and hands fingers and sense...the rock was as much me as I was it. The grass the bare tree limbs the cold wind the clouds blowing by making me dizzy as I stared off. I dawned on me for a second, I could not put it into words, but it dimmed my need find an answer. Shit who cares how it got here... amazing that its here in the grandest sense.

                          I was a bit shocked and looked up from it, here I sat on a rock, holding a rock wondering how it got here. I laughed out loud and put it back where it found me, and pulled the last drag and put the but in a the stinking tin.

                          This not knowing scared me for I felt I lost for a lifetime in that moment... it all fell away. I did not stop thinking I just let those thoughts be and realized that any answer I can come up with is just a me grabbing at something to ground this self.

                          Anywho, how big are the legs, big enough! Everything is in arms reach when I stop trying to get a handle on things. Not knowing was the very colour of that moment. I cannot wrap the right words around to convey it and its already long gone.

                          I do not have answers really for these questions.

                          [ATTACH=CONFIG]783[/ATTACH]
                          This is great Shohei, thank you. I could actually feel the cold as you described it.

                          Gassho
                          Michael

                          Comment

                          • galen
                            Member
                            • Feb 2012
                            • 322

                            #14
                            Who is such a person? a person who `thinks they know. Lead by the head and not the heart.

                            Not knowing is the most intimate because it seems to embody true feelings of being open to knowing through dichotomy. Both sides of one coin, the wholeness of what Is. How can you know, without not knowing? How can you find east without west?


                            Gassho
                            Nothing Special

                            Comment

                            • Jiken
                              Member
                              • Jan 2011
                              • 753

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Shohei
                              I do not have answers really for these questions.
                              I keep coming back to this thread. Thinking about the questions, thinking about my answers, thinking about what to write and eventually writing nothing because every time I try to answer them my words drive me so far away from what I am actually feeling. I think about the questions and let them go. For me the realization of the moment where my thought arises and the point where I let it go is precious...useful. The same goes for PPE 9 as to why I practice zen. Constantly changing and flowing non-answers. This is my answer right...now. gone!

                              Gassho,

                              Daido

                              Comment

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