Book of Equanimity Case 25

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

    Book of Equanimity Case 25

    How could we discuss
    This and that
    Without knowing
    The whole world is
    reflected In a single pearl



    This verse from Ryokan and translated by Kaz Tanahashi provides the best way to enter this case.

    The teacher or if you prefer, life itself, always asks us to present, display, show our realization- being rather than talk about it.

    When Enkan asks his student to fetch the Rhinoceros- horn fan, he is asking for the instantaneous presentation of the field of realization- being. The attendant displays humbly his inadequacy, his lack of ability, the fan, it as well as he ...are broken. Then, Enkan leaps further, asking for the real thing, the rhinoceros itself.

    Here the attendant is totally fooled by his own idea of the Dharma..."I have to display the real thing, I as a person, should be able to get that and present it to the teacher." What Ensan is teaching is so profound and radical, he is implying that no matter who you are, how inadequate you are, the real thing can still be displayed. Even better, a broken fan is the way to manifest the real thing. How come?

    In a famous chapter of Shobogenzo, only a Buddha and a Buddha, Dogen starts saying: "Buddha Dharma cannot be known by a person" please, read this chapter and you will understand that only birds can read the traces of birds, that to follow the way, the person has to disappear, the fan has to be thrown away. It is very much like in my pet- poem from Li Po:


    The birds have vanished into the sky,
    and now the last cloud drains away.

    We sit together, the mountain and me,
    until only the mountain remains.


    This is the real meaning of the appreciatory verse, the ox within the moon- circle is prior to everything else. Please read the Ten Oxherding pictures, or listen to my stupid talks:




    How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?

    Thank you for your patience

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-10-2013, 03:03 AM.
  • Mp

    #2
    And thank you for these teachings Taigu.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Comment

    • Jishin
      Member
      • Oct 2012
      • 4820

      #3
      Originally posted by Taigu


      How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?

      Thank you for your patience

      Gassho


      Taigu
      I am not my story. I am not the self that I tell myself that I am. I am not the sum of my career, marriage status, number of children, etc. Only change is unchanging, I think. Any idea of myself is not fixed and not me. Without me there is no person to throw anything away.


      "To study the self is to forget the self."


      I study myself best when I don't study myself, when there is nothing to study, during Zazen.


      Something like that.


      Gassho,


      John

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      • Jiken
        Member
        • Jan 2011
        • 753

        #4
        Gassho,

        Daido

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        • Risho
          Member
          • May 2010
          • 3179

          #5
          Originally posted by Taigu

          How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?
          I really love Ryokan; the simplicity of his poetry is so elegant. I have to read it over and over, and I always get something new. Such a free spirit.

          I think to throw away the fan, you have to not try to throw away the fan. As Shishin talks about Zen. We are there not to cover up our flaws or try to become like some perfect vulcan, robot practitioner. If we come to zen with those expectations, we are just running from ourselves and grasping at new forms of bullshit in the form of a fantastical, elevated spiritual practice.

          Zazen is about paying attention to who we are...all those thoughts, and fears and highs and lows and good and bad emotions that swirl around in us.. to face those things, to truly embrace ourselves, to learn about ourselves. And by doing that and allowing those emotions and thoughts to play out without being played by them, they will eventually fade out by themselves. And then there is a spaciousness that appears. I feel it from time to time during zazen.

          Trying to drop the fan would by like trying to put out a fire by fanning the flames.

          Gassho,

          Risho
          Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

          Comment

          • Myoku
            Member
            • Jul 2010
            • 1487

            #6
            Ultimately there is no fan, no head, hand and nothing to throw. We know that, have heard this. But echoing it is just being a parrot, talking about it just letting the entertainer appear. The mind is the entertainer. I would put it this way: To truly throw away the fan is to drop thinking, just sitting, just being in this moment, and this, this, this. But maybe thats just another appearance of the entertainer.
            Gassho
            Myoku

            Comment

            • Heisoku
              Member
              • Jun 2010
              • 1338

              #7
              How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?
              Throwing away the fan is 'when the myriad dharmas actively practice and experience ourselves'. We are practised in our practising, living is lived in through our living. I don't show up!
              The whole world is reflected
              In a single pearl

              Thank you Taigu. Gassho.
              Heisoku 平 息
              Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

              Comment

              • Shugen
                Treeleaf Unsui
                • Nov 2007
                • 4535

                #8
                You don't throw away the fan. The fan throws away you.


                Shugen
                Meido Shugen
                明道 修眼

                Comment

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

                  #9
                  Great answers here, wise elephants in the Dharma hall !

                  Palm to palm

                  T.

                  Comment

                  • andyZ
                    Member
                    • Aug 2011
                    • 303

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Taigu
                    How do you throw away the fan? Because as long as there is a person to throw away something, the fan is still there. How do I throw away the fan without hands and head?
                    When the body and mind drops away the fan, the pearl and the rhinoceros are found!
                    Gassho,
                    Andy

                    Comment

                    • Daitetsu
                      Member
                      • Oct 2012
                      • 1145

                      #11
                      How can you lose something you've actually never had?
                      Breathe out.
                      no thing needs to be added

                      Comment

                      • AlanLa
                        Member
                        • Mar 2008
                        • 1405

                        #12
                        I am the fan.
                        I am broken.
                        To throw me away is to let go...
                        Of me
                        Of the fan
                        Of brokenness
                        Of everything...
                        All the way down,
                        And then go back to the marketplace.
                        AL (Jigen) in:
                        Faith/Trust
                        Courage/Love
                        Awareness/Action!

                        I sat today

                        Comment

                        • Heisoku
                          Member
                          • Jun 2010
                          • 1338

                          #13
                          That's great Al. It seemed to flow out of a song that is playing on my PC...You have the world in your arms (Idlewild).
                          Heisoku 平 息
                          Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

                          Comment

                          • Omoi Otoshi
                            Member
                            • Dec 2010
                            • 801

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Taigu
                            to follow the way, the person has to disappear, the fan has to be thrown away.
                            Maybe to follow the way, the person has to let down the guard, show himself openly, all faults exposed, broken pieces shown to the world, without fear.
                            Maybe to follow the way, the person has to forgive himself, accept that the fan may forever be broken, find the beauty in a broken fan.
                            Maybe to follow the way, the person has to learn to trust the way, have faith that there is something whole shining through all the broken pieces.
                            Maybe when the brokenness of the fan is fully accepted, the person gives up trying to throw it away. And instantly disappears, fanned away by grace.
                            No more way to follow. No need for a way. Already home. Always whole.
                            Maybe to follow the way, the person has to reappear, mindful of who he is, confident in who he is, not knowing who he is.

                            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

                            • Rich
                              Member
                              • Apr 2009
                              • 2602

                              #15
                              Sun rising from ocean
                              Noisy fan for music
                              Home at last.
                              _/_
                              Rich
                              MUHYO
                              無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                              https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

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