BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 21

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39392

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 21



    Case 20 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 21 - Ungan Sweeps The Ground

    The Moon, in traditional Zen imagery, symbolizes Reality, Wholeness, Oneness. However, when we look at the moon high in the far off sky, if we feel so distant and apart down here on earth, we create a "second moon" in our eye. That feeling of distance and separation is our making a "second moon". In the Surangama Sutra, for example, the Moon is reality, and the second moon is our perception of reality, one step removed from the first moon as we impose ideas and judgments such as "here" "there", "one" or "two", "beautiful" or "ugly pockmarked wasteland", "full" or "half" or hidden (the moon is always present, even when hidden behind the thickest clouds of our ignorance). There is only One Moon, even when we make it divided.

    Ungan is sweeping, working hard. Dogo asks why bother if a Buddha is free of judgments of "clean" or "dirty"? Why work so hard if "nothing to attain"? A Buddha needs no sweeping, is ever free of dust. Ungan has pierced this fact, yet does not remain in a realm where there is no work to do. Rather, holding up the broom he affirms that "no clean or dirty" is found in the very action of constant cleaning, that "no hard at it" is in being "hard at it", and the Buddha is holding the broom, the Buddha is the broom, the Buddha is the sweeping and (when seen with clear eyes) the Buddha is even the dust and filth which must be made clean.

    There is only One Moon, even when we make it divided. But to the keen eye, even the divisions are always the One Moon too!

    Some folks think that the point of Buddhism is only to realize the "One Moon", free of all dirt and effort. That is something we must realize, but also, we must realize that One Moon and Two Moons are truly Not Two. In Fact, the One Moon is fully two moons, three moons, ten million moons, countless moons. When seen with a Buddha's eye, the Moon shines and illuminates in countless ways and every reflection of the moon is also just the Moon. Dogen has a lovely image of this in Genjo Koan ...

    Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water.
    Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky.


    Sweeping is the Moon, is Buddha. Our hard effort is the Buddha free of hindrance and striving.

    In the comments, Gensha reminds us that even a monk's talk about "One Moon" or "two moons" is also making "two moons" (although, don't forget, even "two moons" are the One Moon too). The butler watches the maid, yet both have their cleaning chores to get on with.

    The Preface reminds that, even when we drop away all categories such as "clean" or "dirty" (and likewise, "enlightened" or "deluded", "holy" and "ordinary"), we still need a talent to recognize that clean is not dirty, that enlightenment is not delusion (host and guest are traditional Zen codewords for that), and that what is good is not the same as what is harmful and bad. All things are beyond distinction, yet we must be discerning hosts of good taste!

    The references to "same branch" and "Elephant Bone Crag" and "youngsters" seems to refer to Ungan and Dosho being brother students of the same teacher, a bit of rivals and still rather immature and filled with some callow "showiness" and "oneupmanship" in their Zen understanding.

    Question: Discuss a fault or failing in your personal life or in this world, and how you might work to make it better ... but how there is no fault to make better, and no effort ... and how that fact of "no fault and no fixing and no effort" is found right in fixing the fault and the hard effort.

    Gassho, Jundo

    Last edited by Jundo; 07-21-2020, 01:31 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • RichardH
    Member
    • Nov 2011
    • 2800

    #2
    Question: Discuss a fault or failing in your personal life or in this world, and how you might work to make it better ... but how there is no fault to make better, and no effort ... and how that fact of "no fault and no fixing and no effort" is found right in fixing the fault and the hard effort.
    I'm laying here sick in bed from burning the candle at both ends.... there is fault in getting into this state, and it is a faulted karmic state. It needs fixing....through rest and pacing. Yet it is faultlessly so. This does not mean it is faulted while really.. wink wink... being faultless. ....it is not faulted/faultless. It is faulted /faulted. In being faulted faulted, it is faultless. So just being faulted and in need of fixing,.. complete, no game.



    Gassho, kojip.

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39392

      #3
      The pinnacle of health!
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Mp

        #4
        Question: Discuss a fault or failing in your personal life or in this world, and how you might work to make it better ... but how there is no fault to make better, and no effort ... and how that fact of "no fault and no fixing and no effort" is found right in fixing the fault and the hard effort.
        I know for myself I have a tough time saying "No" sometimes, thus my plate gets way too full. But I am learning that when my plate is too full I am not much good for anyone, including myself.

        Gassho
        Michael

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39392

          #5
          Originally posted by ecoist
          I know for myself I have a tough time saying "No" sometimes, thus my plate gets way too full. But I am learning that when my plate is too full I am not much good for anyone, including myself.

          Gassho
          Michael
          What is the plate that is always Empty Fullness whether empty or full?

          What is the No (MU) that is also YES YES YES whether "yes" or "no"?
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • Daitetsu
            Member
            • Oct 2012
            • 1145

            #6
            I think there is only one moon - it has a lit side and a dark side. We can't have a moon with just one side or a moon that is entirely lit or dark.
            Both sides are the moon.

            Since this is a public area I cannot go too much into detail, but I'll try:
            A person close to me is behaving in a harmful way (to herself) lately. My initial tendency was to get too resolute/determined/eager to make her realize it.
            "Can't you see how foolish you are? How you damage yourself?"
            However, I am foolish, too. I must remind myself to accept the facts. Sometimes we see others do foolish things and we just can't do anything about it. Sometimes we are the one doing something foolish.
            I have learnt to trust in the flow of life, and I had to remind myself of it. Eventually, many things just take care of themselves if we just relax and take things more easy, and now in this example I think finally there will be a learning effect.
            The things we find out ourselves are mostly the best teachings. And by letting go of my intention to change things, the person I was talking about has the chance to learn by herself and grow.

            I know without further details it might be hard to understand what I wanted to say...

            Gassho,

            Timo
            no thing needs to be added

            Comment

            • Mp

              #7
              Originally posted by Jundo
              What is the plate that is always Empty Fullness whether empty or full?

              What is the No (MU) that is also YES YES YES whether "yes" or "no"?
              Thank you Jundo ... Once I read that, I got it.

              Gassho
              Michael

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39392

                #8
                Originally posted by ecoist
                Thank you Jundo ... Once I read that, I got it.

                Gassho
                Michael
                When one comes to the hard moments in life, one will know for sure whether one had "got it" or not, and how profoundly. Like one who knows for themself, on their own tongue, whether water is hot or cold. That's the real life test.
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • Nengyo
                  Member
                  • May 2012
                  • 668

                  #9
                  Question: Discuss a fault or failing in your personal life or in this world, and how you might work to make it better ... but how there is no fault to make better, and no effort ... and how that fact of "no fault and no fixing and no effort" is found right in fixing the fault and the hard effort.
                  When I get busy I tend to be inconsistent in my sitting. I may not skip a sitting, but unlike my workout which I tend to stick to closely, I will tend to modify my sit time and duration around my life. I would like to consistently sit early in the morning, but it seems that life often conspires against my plans (either I don't feel motivated upon awakening, I get distracted, the toddler wakes up early too, or the wife needs a hand with something). But I guess as I struggle to make sitting a habit as strong as exercising, there is no struggle. It seems, that according to Jundo and Taigu all life is zazen if approached that way... hopefully even when it doesn't feel that way!

                  Also I have a simple question that I'm sure has been answered already, but what exactly is the Book Of Equanimity?
                  If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?

                  Comment

                  • Mp

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jundo
                    When one comes to the hard moments in life, one will know for sure whether one had "got it" or not, and how profoundly. Like one who knows for themself, on their own tongue, whether water is hot or cold. That's the real life test.

                    So true Jundo ... I know for myself I used to (sometimes still do) feel guilt when someone asked for help and I was not able to help at that time. Now, even though I want to help and cannot, I know it is not the true reflection of who I am.

                    Gassho
                    Michael

                    Comment

                    • Ed
                      Member
                      • Nov 2012
                      • 223

                      #11
                      Becoming increasingly more aware of the two sides that are not two, living in the dual mind seems easier, like an old pair of shoes. It is through zazen and reading that the "backward step" pivot becomes part of the on going discourse.
                      There is a lot of ancient karma to smash.

                      My wife keeps a butterfly garden but she needs help. I begrudge it out of pure laziness. More and more without too much regret I help. The garden looks better reflecting my calm. I just bought a Kwan Yin to place there.

                      It all comes together here, dog shit and butterflies...only it is better with poo picked up and thrown away.

                      Had a Dharma Combat for a sangha member. Came up with this question:

                      Dunk a donut in coffee
                      Take a bite
                      Dunk the Moon in the Atlantic
                      Who bites that?


                      Response was underwhelming. Gassho to all here.
                      Last edited by Ed; 12-13-2012, 03:00 PM.
                      "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
                      Dogen zenji in Bendowa





                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39392

                        #12
                        Originally posted by catfish
                        ... but what exactly is the Book Of Equanimity?
                        Now THAT sounds like a Koan, Charles!



                        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. www.amazon.com/Book-Equanimity-Illuminating-Classic-Koans/dp/0861713877 www.wisdompubs.org/pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=32899&-Token


                        Gassho, J
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • Shugen
                          Treeleaf Unsui
                          • Nov 2007
                          • 4535

                          #13
                          I assume the worst of a situation. Someone is going to screw up - I'm going to have to fix it - I can do it better - blah, blah, blah. I'm wrong.


                          Shugen
                          Meido Shugen
                          明道 修眼

                          Comment

                          • Jishin
                            Member
                            • Oct 2012
                            • 4820

                            #14
                            Question: Discuss a fault or failing in your personal life or in this world, and how you might work to make it better ... but how there is no fault to make better, and no effort ... and how that fact of "no fault and no fixing and no effort" is found right in fixing the fault and the hard effort.

                            I want a recreational vehicle. I am very impulsive and am on a mission to get one. I don't need one. I know this. If I struggle with right and wrong, should or should not, etc., the effort that it takes to analyze and not to act keeps the idea of the purchase alive. Not thinking about the pink elephant in the room keeps him in the room. But, if I don't struggle, then If I get a toy, then I get a toy, and If I don't, I don't. If I didn't, I did not need it. If I did, I did. No effort. No fault. Just right.

                            Gassho, JC
                            Last edited by Jishin; 12-14-2012, 03:27 AM.

                            Comment

                            • Daitetsu
                              Member
                              • Oct 2012
                              • 1145

                              #15
                              Hi John,

                              That's exactly what I needed to read right now - thanks for this!
                              (I've had to struggle with a pink elephant in the last days... decisions can be so hard and yet so easy)

                              Gassho,

                              Timo
                              no thing needs to be added

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