BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 22

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39474

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 22

    Case 21 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 22 - Ganto's bow and shout

    A good one for finishing the year here at Treeleaf, where many folks come and go.

    A student, with her own opinions and eye for appraisal, shows up at a Sangha and demands, "Is this place common or special? Is it what I think I want from the Zen I picture? Is it 'Real Zen' or fake Zen, and are the Teachers enlightened as I want 'enlightened' to look or be?"

    The Teacher demonstrates Dharma with a Shout ... perhaps a GREAT Wordless Teaching in that Shout or perhaps just a cliche clunker ... and the student bows down, uttering "You are so wonderful, Teacher!" Is the student correct in the appraisal, or even in a position to judge at such an early date? Or perhaps the gesture of bowing is insincere, mere flattery, with fingers crossed behind the back? Even if sincere, flattery is really not called for by any Teacher, especially if the "yes man" kind. Some few students might stay for years, finding value in the Practice there, illumination, a life ... and that is really the only thing needed by a Teacher. But, after a time, some students are disappointed and go away, thinking "there is no True Dharma here". That always breaks the Teacher's heart, who always wishes he could have done better.

    For what the Teacher, like an old friend, wants to help any Student find is This which is Common-Holy, Specially Unspecial, fulfilling all desires ... both with what is wanted and what is not. Can one know the Real that sweeps in and sweeps through 'real' or 'fake'? Can the Great Teaching be heard that shouts at the Unbreakable Heart of both the sparkling talks or thrilling moments and the dull or dumb, the Timeless both in the 'time well spent' and so-called 'waste of time'? Can one find that True Way from which there is no way to "go away"? Helping the student find so is the only "compliment" a Teacher requires.

    There are two kinds of Sangha or Teacher that, I feel, do a disservice to students. One is a place or person that is too lax, too careless, which fails to provide beneficial opportunities for Practice, or (in some fortunately very few cases) where real abuse and other bad acts occur. But, counter-intuitive as it may seem, a Sangha or Teacher which meets all the student's expectations, golden dreams, ideals and desires too would be a disservice (not to mention unlikely to ever truly appear, at least over the long haul when the rose colored honeymoon is done). Why? Because as with all of this life, all this world, one must come to see through personal judgments of both "sacred" and "ordinary", good and bad, flashy or dull, entertaining or painful, satisfying and disatisfying, true vs. fake ... thus to find a Truth beyond selfish expectations, disappointments, dreams, ideals and failings to meet a mark, thus to find the Mark Always Met. The best Teacher or Community, as strange as it sounds, may be one that ... like the universe ... sometimes inspires and sometimes frustrates, sometimes energizes and sometimes bores, sometimes astounds and sometimes leaves cold ... all so that one might find Astounding Energetic Inspiration even right at the heart of the frustratingly, dully cold.

    Our Sangha is a wonderfully imperfect place. Our Teachers here are well-meaning but mediocre clods and fools. No flattery is needed (sincere or insincere ... although anyone appreciates a sincere, kind encouraging word, even Zen Teachers), no criticism welcomed (except the constructive kind to let us do things better). This Place, This Dharma, This Buddha, sits beyond all human weighing and rating.

    - Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.

    - I wonder if this presentation of Koan 22 is a "keeper" or a "clunker". Did I do a good job?
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-30-2012, 02:57 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • RichardH
    Member
    • Nov 2011
    • 2800

    #2
    Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.


    This sangha sucks or glows depending on whether it feeds my need to feel special/smart/insightful/wise ...or not. In other words, it depends on how it feeds my self image. When just sitting, there is no self image.. and sangha/zen is a non-issue. But when I get full of myself.. Treeleaf gets judged.

    edit. actually that is not entirely true.. feeling connected/needed.. or estranged, counts for a lot in sangha.

    I wonder if this presentation of Koan 22 is a "keeper" or a "clunker". Did I do a good job?


    It's a keeper, but I liked the one you posted from the busy Tokyo intersection better.



    Gassho, kojip.
    Last edited by RichardH; 12-29-2012, 03:07 PM.

    Comment

    • Mp

      #3
      Thank you Jundo ... it's a keeper for sure.

      I wonder if this presentation of Koan 22 is a "keeper" or a "clunker". Did I do a good job?

      I had a teacher once say,
      We have sees to see others, but we need a mirror to see ourselves ... yet most times, it is the eyes that only see.
      I know we can all get caught in the trap of the mind theatre ... just because one has a view/opinion, does not make it so. I have been know in the past to go into something with good intentions, but with a set intention none the less. I feel that having that set intention can cloud our perception/understanding of what is being shown/taught.

      Gassho
      Michael

      Comment

      • Tb
        Member
        • Jan 2008
        • 3186

        #4
        Hi.

        All teachers/practices/sanghas can be horseshit, but horseshit is great fertilizer used right.

        Thank you for your practice.

        Mtfbwy
        Fugen
        Life is our temple and its all good practice
        Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

        Comment

        • Jishin
          Member
          • Oct 2012
          • 4820

          #5
          It's a keeper.

          Its the only place I know that lets blind baboons like me stumble my Way to the banana tree and allows me to eat the right number of bananas so that I neither get sick from fullness (most of the time) or get hungry (most of the time) and keep my lovely baboon figure healthy, physically and mentally.

          Gassho, John

          Comment

          • santosh
            Member
            • Nov 2012
            • 54

            #6
            Thank you Jundo,

            It's a keeper. I'm always looking for that encouraging shout from teacher! Simply accept the shout if it helps. As a newcomer to Treeleaf, yes, I did come in with ideas that have fallen away or changed. From that perspective, the newcomer might get a little lost at some of the responses, or when they don't get what they want. Keep one hand down. This is a special place, with absorbing discussions on what it means to be 'Mindful' from all who have shared their interpretations from life. Where else?

            Gassho,
            Santosh.
            Last edited by santosh; 12-31-2012, 04:00 AM.

            Comment

            • Kyotai

              #7
              I agree with Santos's and have nothing further to add. As a non newcomer, been here 18 months, I get lost in the responses all the time. However most of the honeymoon stage has dropped away and I'm still here active as ever.

              Ok, maybe a few things to add.

              Gassho

              Shawn.L

              Comment

              • Shokai
                Treeleaf Priest
                • Mar 2009
                • 6391

                #8
                What can i say except Thank You. Except of course, please keep on producing these keepers
                合掌,生開
                gassho, Shokai

                仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

                "Open to life in a benevolent way"

                https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

                Comment

                • YuimaSLC
                  Member
                  • Aug 2012
                  • 93

                  #9
                  An acquaintance of mine, musician and yoga instructor, said recently that he has an acoustic guitar hanging on a wall in his music room. Sometimes when he practices his clarinet, certain notes create
                  complimentary vibrations of the guitar string.

                  This presentation, Jundo, brought some tears to my eyes. I am trying to figure out why. Maybe because it strikes some very familiar harmonics in my day to day experiences.

                  Thanks.

                  Richard

                  Comment

                  • Nengyo
                    Member
                    • May 2012
                    • 668

                    #10
                    - Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.
                    I'm not sure it is possible to find a golden egg, however, I am quite content just to have found an egg.

                    Also, I think you forgot part of the koan... is this real zen or fake zen and do we get a certificate?
                    If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?

                    Comment

                    • Myoku
                      Member
                      • Jul 2010
                      • 1487

                      #11
                      Thank you everyone,
                      my reply is my sitting, just neither is mine
                      Gassho
                      Myoku

                      Comment

                      • Kyotai

                        #12
                        Hi Jenell. I will leave it to more experienced members to answer that. But sitting zazen everyday is where you start. The rest just points you in the right direction.

                        Gassho

                        Shawn.

                        Comment

                        • Jundo
                          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                          • Apr 2006
                          • 39474

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jenell
                          I don't know how I can judge whether or not the shout was good for the student because that student isn't me. I don't know how I can determine if the bow was subtle mockery or subtle flattery because I can't know that student's mind.
                          I do know that this is a well-told tale for my mind.

                          I'm very new and not sure if I'm supposed to answer this, but I don't really know where to start with this sangha.
                          Jenell
                          A good start, Jenell!

                          Shawn is right. Also, be sure to have some sits with our "No Beginners Beginners" series ...



                          Gassho, Jundo
                          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                          Comment

                          • Shugen
                            Treeleaf Unsui
                            • Nov 2007
                            • 4535

                            #14
                            I tend to believe that "well-meaning but mediocre clods and fools" are the ones that do all the real work. After a certain point, they stop caring about the glory and just do what needs to be done.


                            Shugen
                            Meido Shugen
                            明道 修眼

                            Comment

                            • Jeff
                              Member
                              • Dec 2012
                              • 37

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Jundo
                              A student, with her own opinions and eye for appraisal, shows up at a Sangha and demands, "Is this place common or special? Is it what I think I want from the Zen I picture? Is it 'Real Zen' or fake Zen, and are the Teachers enlightened as I want 'enlightened' to look or be?"
                              If it is the image of Zen my mind has created then it is fake Zen

                              Originally posted by Jundo
                              Please discuss how this Sangha or any part of Zen Practice sometimes is golden, and sometimes sucks eggs, and whether it is possible to find the Golden Egg.


                              My practice is both golden and sucks eggs, they are inseparable. If I have an idea of what the golden egg is then maybe it is possible to find it, but not desirable.

                              Thank you Jundo!

                              -Jeff

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