BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 27

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39441

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 27

    Case 26 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 27: Hogen Points to the Blind

    Humans beings always think in terms of something gained and something lost. Roll up the blind, so light and openess is gained though shade and privacy is lost, up is gained while down is lost.

    Ask a physician to cure a disease, thus health is gained while sickness is lost. Time passes, so the present is gained while the past is lost. A leaf falls from a tree, so that its perch on the branch is lost but falling attained. Endless gain and loss.

    Yet, can we also encounter all life's circumstance, all gain and loss, as just as it is ... no mental calculations of gain and loss? Light is just light, shade simply shade ... each held in a Light which illuminates both light and dark. Same with up/down, sickness/health, life/death, past/present/future, holding on or falling.

    The monk who knows such "no gain no loss amid gain and loss" truly has gained Wisdom, which the other monk who knows but one or the other is lost in ignorance.

    Enlightenment is gained, and ignorance is lost ... a loss and gain by seeing through "loss and gain"!

    The Preamble states ...

    When doctors are numerous diagnosis is confused; when rules are set up trickery is born.

    Society presents a trillion opinions, diagnosis, standards and rules for what is win and lose, failure and success, hitting the mark and falling short. Many are necessary for society's smooth functioning, but can we see through all at the same time?

    The Verse states ...

    Pines are straight, briars are bent;
    Cranes are tall, ducks are short.


    We might say that the briar if straight or the pine if bent, the crane when short and the duck tall ... would be wrong. Same with each of us, missing or lacking something we wish we were or had ... fat skinny old young tall short rich poor.

    But should the pine be bent and the pine straight, the crane short and the duck tall ... would there truly be gain or loss? Each is just as it is.

    There is a Straight which holds both straight and crooked, a Measureless which contains both short and tall.

    QUESTIONS:

    - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?

    - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?


    - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

    Have you gained anything from this Koan, or just lost some time?

    Last edited by Jundo; 03-12-2013, 12:16 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Shokai
    Treeleaf Priest
    • Mar 2009
    • 6391

    #2
    Had I not lost my hair I may not have gained the skin cancers. But, then my hair was never all that long that it covered my face and ears , so where did those cancers come from. Had I not gained the sun damage, I'd still look like I did at twenty?? If the cancers were gained ,where is the benefit? If the hair weren't lost, would I be contemplating leaving home to shave it?
    All events in one's life happened. As my father used to caution, "No need to cry over spilled milk." Accept what has happened and move on. If you don't, you'll probably miss the ten thousand miracles that are happening right now. One should be busy enough with what's happening now to be accounting for gains and losses;they exist but, do they?

    Thank you for this teaching

    gassho
    Last edited by Shokai; 03-12-2013, 01:13 PM.
    合掌,生開
    gassho, Shokai

    仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

    "Open to life in a benevolent way"

    https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

    Comment

    • Jiken
      Member
      • Jan 2011
      • 753

      #3
      Interesting that this koan presents itself at this time

      - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?
      Due to a recent knee injury I have lost the ability to do zazen in a traditional way due to pain. I have being trying to still sit but my practice has fallen off a bit due to the pain I feel but there are other options (chair meditation) that I could take advantage of. The real issue may be my desire to keep sitting in the traditional way and my inability to do so comfortably has caused a little disconnect. This desire has made me feel a little bit like a prisoner as I have a strong connection to discipline and image projection. Thanks to the suggestions of a caring teacher I may be over the hurdle for this one.

      - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?
      I believe that there will be. In fact there already is even though I have not done zazen in a chair before I have written this.

      - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

      I believe that would feel like zazen.

      Gassho,

      Daido

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39441

        #4
        Originally posted by Daido
        Interesting that this koan presents itself at this time

        - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?
        Due to a recent knee injury I have lost the ability to do zazen in a traditional way due to pain. I have being trying to still sit but my practice has fallen off a bit due to the pain I feel but there are other options (chair meditation) that I could take advantage of. The real issue may be my desire to keep sitting in the traditional way and my inability to do so comfortably has caused a little disconnect. This desire has made me feel a little bit like a prisoner as I have a strong connection to discipline and image projection. Thanks to the suggestions of a caring teacher I may be over the hurdle for this one.

        - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?
        I believe that there will be. In fact there already is even though I have not done zazen in a chair before I have written this.

        - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

        I believe that would feel like zazen.

        Gassho,

        Daido

        Yes, now sounds like you are ready for Zazen better than before.
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • MyoHo
          Member
          • Feb 2013
          • 632

          #5
          Hi everybody,

          Here is my take on this case, offbeat as usual I fear :

          Hogen points to the blind and shouts, Attention!. He only points and calls for attention.

          Both monks immediately assume he wants them to take action and do something about the blind. They jump up like the good students that they are and quickly rol it up, trying to please the teacher and show their readiness to please and do what he wants. Thus gain or lose something. Hogen gets a bit cranky about their lack of insight and ironically comments "One gains , one loses" as in 'Oh well...... ill try this again some other time' i can see how he shakes his bald litle head and goes "tsssssskkk!"


          I wonder what Hogen would have said if one of the students would have answered: “If you think it’s that important, get up and do it yourself old man!” Like one would to a fellow student. No fear of gain or loss, just sincere and spontaneous as it should be.

          As for the questions dear friends, I will post the answers later on, if thats ok? ( Promise I will lol)

          Gassho

          Enkyo, Peter or orangepeal. Whatever you like to call me
          Mu

          Comment

          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39441

            #6
            Originally posted by Enkyo
            They jump up like the good students that they are and quickly rol it up, trying to please the teacher and show their readiness to please and do what he wants. Thus gain or lose something. Hogen gets a bit cranky about their lack of insight and ironically comments "One gains , one loses" as in 'Oh well...... ill try this again some other time' i can see how he shakes his bald litle head and goes "tsssssskkk!"
            Enkyo, Peter! Very Bad of you not to interpret the Koan as I do, so as to please me and do what I want. Your loss! Or maybe your gain!


            "tsssssskkk!" Gassho, Jundo
            Last edited by Jundo; 03-13-2013, 01:32 AM.
            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

            Comment

            • Daitetsu
              Member
              • Oct 2012
              • 1145

              #7
              200px-Yin_and_Yang.svg.png
              When I read this Koan I thought a lot about the Yin-Yang Symbol (Taijitu) and its meanings.
              You cannot have the one without the other - winning and losing are not opposites, but different sides of the same coin.
              This symbol is in motion, it is in constant change. It expresses the saying "This too shall pass" - whether it is "good" or "bad".
              Yet both sides together form a whole, they belong to each other inseparably.

              In this way I have come to accept that it is natural to have at least some desires. Of course, I try not to be attached to my desires, but it is illusory to think I could lead a desireless life.
              How boring this would be!
              Likewise I need disappointments, so I can cherish good times more. (Good/Bad according to my subjective point of view)

              This symbol also embodies a dance, a circular motion, the wheel of samsara, the whole cosmic joke.
              We are all totally insignificant yet every life is sacred.
              What a tragedy life is, but what a hilarious ride.

              If I desire, I desire. As long as I recognize it as such, I can relax and let go - not necessarily the desire itself, but my attachment to it.

              Gassho,

              Timo
              no thing needs to be added

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39441

                #8
                Originally posted by LimoLama
                You cannot have the one without the other - winning and losing are not opposites, but different sides of the same coin.
                This symbol is in motion, it is in constant change. It expresses the saying "This too shall pass" - whether it is "good" or "bad".
                Yet both sides together form a whole, they belong to each other inseparably.

                ...


                This symbol also embodies a dance, a circular motion, the wheel of samsara, the whole cosmic joke.
                Lovely. Laughing together at the whole cosmic joke!

                Gassho, J
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • jgolds72
                  Member
                  • Feb 2013
                  • 6

                  #9
                  Greetings all,

                  - What, if you gained or lost it in your life today, would make you happy? Please describe that desire. Do you feel yourself a prisoner of that desire, or do you clutch it (and let it clutch you) lightly?

                  Mine would be a lost. If i had a choice it would be to lose the notion of happy. Happiness is an idea that permiates every choice I've ever made in my life. But happiness is intangible, it can't be held or truly defined. Sure I can use it to label things which I perceive makes me "happy" but ultimately those things aren't happiness and thus ultimately cause unhappiness.

                  - Is there a certain peace and freedom that might come to you by dropping that need for gain or loss?

                  Absolutely.

                  - Is it possible to be all of the above at once ... seeking loss or gain, while free of loss and gain? What would that feel like?

                  It is possible and Id have to say it would feel like when I sit zazen only quieter.

                  Gassho,
                  John
                  Last edited by jgolds72; 03-13-2013, 08:40 AM.

                  Comment

                  • Shokai
                    Treeleaf Priest
                    • Mar 2009
                    • 6391

                    #10
                    Timo; thanks for sharing your interpretation of this hilarious ride.
                    合掌,生開
                    gassho, Shokai

                    仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

                    "Open to life in a benevolent way"

                    https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

                    Comment

                    • andyZ
                      Member
                      • Aug 2011
                      • 303

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Enkyo

                      I wonder what Hogen would have said if one of the students would have answered: “If you think it’s that important, get up and do it yourself old man!” Like one would to a fellow student. No fear of gain or loss, just sincere and spontaneous as it should be.

                      Gassho

                      Enkyo, Peter
                      Hi Peter,

                      I liked your take on the koan, but I don't think that "get up and do it yourself" remark escapes from gain or loss. I see a lot of arrogance and a someone who has a lot to "loose" if he just gets up and rolls up the blind.
                      Gassho,
                      Andy

                      Comment

                      • RichardH
                        Member
                        • Nov 2011
                        • 2800

                        #12
                        I experience relative freedom from gain and loss when things are not held tightly. Then the ups and downs are not extreme. I also experience relative bondage to gain and loss when things are held tightly. Then the ups and downs are more extreme. Relative freedom and relative bondage are a matter effort and maturing, doing and change. It is a work in process.

                        I experience absolute freedom from gain and loss by gaining and losing, in both relative freedom and relative bondage. This can't be grown into, or gotten to. It reminds me of the wild fox koan (which really strikes home for some reason, not sure why). No escape from karma, no escape from gain and loss. Just self-same karma, self-same gain and loss.


                        just blabbing, Gassho

                        Daizan

                        Comment

                        • Oheso
                          Member
                          • Jan 2013
                          • 294

                          #13
                          are profit and loss like deck chairs?
                          now warm in the sun, now cool in the shade -
                          discerningly shuffled as the sea-day wears on
                          and of no concern to navigation?
                          Last edited by Oheso; 03-16-2013, 12:19 AM.
                          and neither are they otherwise.

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39441

                            #14
                            Like moving the deck chairs on a sinking ship?

                            Gassho, J
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • RichardH
                              Member
                              • Nov 2011
                              • 2800

                              #15
                              are profit and loss like deck chairs?
                              now warm in the sun, now cool in the shade -
                              discerningly shuffled as the sea-day wears on
                              and of no concern to navigation?
                              Only within my comfort zone.


                              Gassho, Daizan

                              Comment

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