BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 30

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39456

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 30

    Case 29 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 30: Daizui's Kalpa Fire

    The same question asked twice, each time seemingly contradictory responses ...

    When all of space and time are someday destroyed, when all the universe or universes (if there are universes upon universes as some scientists theorize) finally vanish ...

    ... does that beyond small human thoughts of "creation" and "destruction", "appearing" or "vanishing" disappear or not, vanish or not?



    First the teacher answers "destroyed, vanished", then the teacher answers "not destroyed, not vanished". Why?

    For this "not destroyed, not vanished" ... is ... the very dance of creation and appearance, destruction and disappearance.

    For this "not destroyed, not vanished" ... is ... free of creation and appearance, destruction and disappearance.

    For this "destroyed and vanished" ... is ... precisely not destroyed, not vanished.

    For this "destroying and vanishing" ... is ... always thoroughly destroying and vanishing.




    Sit beyond and escaping all human judgments of birth and death, start and finish, temporary and permanent, separate and connected, this and that, near and far ...

    Sit through-and-through, right in the raging fires of constant birth and death, starts and finishes, temporary and permanent, separate and connected, this and that, near and far ... where you cannot escape, no need to escape, no place to run.

    Then (as the Preface sings) all relativities and dualities are extintinguished. Far off Choan (an ancient city in far off, long ago China) is both on the other side of the world and long ago, and beyond all near and far, now and then. Taizan (Tozan) once described Buddha as three poinds of flax cloth, the ordinary thing as Holy Buddha, but one can sit beyond and through and through their being different or the same, sacred or profane ... and then they are exactly, differently Sacred-Profane!

    QUESTION 1:

    Is God the same as Buddha? As three pounds of flax? As Mount Sumeru? In ancient China? In your living room? In a Catholic Church or a Buddhist Temple? At the start of the universe or at the finish? Big or small? Permanent or Impermanent? One or Many? Black or Red? Yes? No? Beyond and through-and-through all Yes-No?

    QUESTION 2:

    In Zen Practice, we learn to be completely free of dualities right in and as a world of dualities ... birth/death, sickness/health, young/old etc. etc. Having practiced Zen for awhile, are you getting the hang of that?

    Note: I feel that Shishin Wick's commentary this week does a good job on describing how everything is impermanent beyond permanence, but I feel he could have done a little better job describing how to drop both "permanence" and "impermanence" permanently. For those without a book, the Koan and commentary can be read here ...

    The Book of Equanimity contains the first-ever complete English language commentary on one of the most beloved classic collections of Zen teaching stories (koans), making them vividly relevant to spiritual seekers and Zen students in the twenty-first century. Continually emphasizing koans as effective tools to discover and experience the deepest truths of our being, Wick brings the art of the koan to life for those who want to practice wisdom in their daily lives. The koan collection Wick explores here is highly esteemed as both literature and training material in the Zen tradition, in which koan-study is one of two paths a practitioner might take. This collection is used for training in many Zen centers in the Americas and in Europe but has never before been available with commentary from a contemporary Zen master. Wick's Book of Equanimity includes new translations of the preface, main case and verse for each koan, and modern commentaries on the koans by Wick himself.
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-16-2013, 08:17 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39456

    #2
    Here is the Koan, by the way, for those without the book ... (A chilicosm is a very very very long time, the lifetime of the universe) ...


    Daizui's kalpa fire

    Preface to the Assembly


    It extinguishes all relativities and cuts off duality. To break off the ball of doubt what phrase can be adopted! Choans not more than a tiny step away. Taizan's weight is only three pounds. Tell me, according to what principle does one speak thus?

    Main case

    Attention! A monk asked Daizui, "In the raging of kalpa fire, chiliocosms are together destroyed. I wonder if this is destroyed or not destroyed?' Daizu replied "destroyed". The monk asked, "If so, does everything go with it?" Daizui said, "Everything goes with it."

    The monk asked Ryusai, "In the raging kalpa fire, chiliocosms are destroyed. I wonder if this is destroyed or not destroyed?" Ryusai replied, "It's not destroyed." The monk asked, "Why is it not destroyed?" Ryusai said, "Because it's the same as the chiliocosm."

    Appreciatory verse

    Destroyed and not destroyed, everything goes with it -- chiliocosms.
    The phrase didn't function as hook and chain at all;
    The feet with brambles are hindered greatly.
    Understood and not understood.
    The crystal-clear matter -- so long-winded!
    Those who know when taking it up shouldn't barter;
    In my story whether to buy or sell is up to you.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Shokai
      Treeleaf Priest
      • Mar 2009
      • 6391

      #3
      Thank you Jundo;

      It's like you are always saying,
      an open Zafu is waiting. When we drop all thought of 'here' 'there' 'now' 'then' ... we are sitting all together!
      gassho, Shokai
      合掌,生開
      gassho, Shokai

      仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

      "Open to life in a benevolent way"

      https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

      Comment

      • MyoHo
        Member
        • Feb 2013
        • 632

        #4
        Thank you Jundo

        First reaction:
        When I'm sitting and the end of this world comes, good.
        when I'm sitting and the end of this world does not come, also good.
        We will all soon find out at the end of this one breath.
        Where do we go after death? Ask the dead


        Question 1: I was told once Nishijima Roshi answers dualistic questions about God and/or Buddha, Buddhism or Christianity with "Both true" I'd like to stay with that. Sit, chop wood and fetch water.

        Question 2.

        I think the question is about the fear of death and what the use of Zazen is in all of this?
        My answer? It's not up to me and even understanding it all with all the wisdom of the ages, will not change it one bit. This “I” will end someday and with it “my” world will be destroyed. No great big epic fire needed, just the end of this one breath and the world will continue on its way. And that is the way things are. What does it matter if it is an epic kalpa fire from the gods? How long? How far? What wil remain? Why? How do you know? Why should I take your answer? etc. etc. The pit of questions is without a bottom. Maybe Daizui's answer is in the lines of whatever you choose to believe is fine. He gives you both. Take your pick and good luck with it. Both true!! Will it change your practice to know the answer? Or have any bearing on shikantaza? Nope.

        Where will I go after physical death? I don't know. Why was I here? I don't know. To completely lose the self while sitting and accomplishing total letting go, in itself already is taking a plunge in that what remains after this kalpa fire. So yes, it get's destroyed and no it cannot be destroyed. This is why no one is out there searching for the reincarnation of Dogen Zenji I guess?

        So, I try to live this life to the fullest, serve God and you all right here right now because that is enough for me. Practice to mature, ease suffering for myself and others. Have a laugh whenever I can and leave the stage silently one day, without leaving too big of a mess. What happens after death? Ask the dead.

        Another thought on this koan if you all don’t mind?
        There is great patience in the answers. I think maybe the monk wanted to pose an impressive question showing the depth of his intellectual understanding of scriptures and testing the Master. Daizui could have scolded him but decided to answer on the level the monk was simulating to be, showing how knowledge will not give any insight in this. I wonder what Jundo or Taigu would have written if one of us would have asked that question? Oh I know:


        TROW IT ALL AWAY!
        TROW IT ALL AWAY!
        TROW IT ALL AWAY!
        TROW IT ALL AWAY!



        Gassho

        Enkyo
        Mu

        Comment

        • Shokai
          Treeleaf Priest
          • Mar 2009
          • 6391

          #5
          Sorry, i missed the questions on the first go-through;

          So here's my take;

          1- Is there?

          2- I like to tell the story of Minnie; my inherited 93 yr old charge in the form of my dead uncle's sister. She once told me, "I don't know what my death will be like but I think it will be a wonderful experience. If it isn't; who cares?" She lived another 10 years kicking and screaming, hating every minute. That's when I learned that some people only tell you what they think you want to hear.

          gassho, Shokai
          合掌,生開
          gassho, Shokai

          仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

          "Open to life in a benevolent way"

          https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

          Comment

          • Daitetsu
            Member
            • Oct 2012
            • 1145

            #6
            Originally posted by Jundo
            QUESTION 1:

            Is God the same as Buddha? As three pounds of flax? As Mount Sumeru? In ancient China? In your living room? In a Catholic Church or a Buddhist Temple? At the start of the universe or at the finish? Big or small? Permanent or Impermanent? One or Many? Black or Red? Yes? No? Beyond and through-and-through all Yes-No?
            I don't care, it makes no difference whether there is a Golden Chair inside my room, outside my room or no Golden Chair at all.
            In (za)zen I lose (things) and don't gain. I let go and don't attach. So the problem is not the Golden Chair, but other additional stuff if one wants to keep one's place clutter free. And this stuff includes even the Buddha.

            It is as it is. How is it?
            Socrates said "I know that I know nothing."
            The Pyrrhonian skeptics commented this with "You can't even know that you know nothing."
            I answer: "I don't care."



            Originally posted by Jundo
            QUESTION 2:

            In Zen Practice, we learn to be completely free of dualities right in and as a world of dualities ... birth/death, sickness/health, young/old etc. etc. Having practiced Zen for awhile, are you getting the hang of that?
            Is the glass half empty?
            Is the glass half full?
            - Dunno, I just drink it.



            Gassho,

            Timo
            no thing needs to be added

            Comment

            • Nengyo
              Member
              • May 2012
              • 668

              #7
              Is God the same as Buddha? As three pounds of flax? As Mount Sumeru? In ancient China? In your living room? In a Catholic Church or a Buddhist Temple? At the start of the universe or at the finish? Big or small? Permanent or Impermanent? One or Many? Black or Red? Yes? No? Beyond and through-and-through all Yes-No?
              Oh Shariputra, form is emptiness, and emptiness is of course form. That's what I hear anyways.

              In Zen Practice, we learn to be completely free of dualities right in and as a world of dualities ... birth/death, sickness/health, young/old etc. etc. Having practiced Zen for awhile, are you getting the hang of that?
              hmmmmmm, I don't know. I'll have to sit on it.
              If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?

              Comment

              • Nameless
                Member
                • Apr 2013
                • 461

                #8
                Originally posted by Jundo


                QUESTION 1:

                Is God the same as Buddha? As three pounds of flax? As Mount Sumeru? In ancient China? In your living room? In a Catholic Church or a Buddhist Temple? At the start of the universe or at the finish? Big or small? Permanent or Impermanent? One or Many? Black or Red? Yes? No? Beyond and through-and-through all Yes-No?
                Yes and no.

                QUESTION 2:

                In Zen Practice, we learn to be completely free of dualities right in and as a world of dualities ... birth/death, sickness/health, young/old etc. etc. Having practiced Zen for awhile, are you getting the hang of that?
                It's definitely getting the hang of me! Duality has always been a sour stone in my stomach.

                Gassho,
                John

                [/QUOTE]

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39456

                  #9
                  Originally posted by LimoLama

                  Is the glass half empty?
                  Is the glass half full?
                  - Dunno, I just drink it.

                  Sometimes life's glass is half full, sometimes half empty, sometimes bone dry so we choke with thirst, sometimes spilling over ready to drown us ...

                  ... yet the flowing liquid always clear until the mind makes it turbid.
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • Jishin
                    Member
                    • Oct 2012
                    • 4820

                    #10
                    QUESTION 1:

                    Is God the same as Buddha? As three pounds of flax? As Mount Sumeru? In ancient China? In your living room? In a Catholic Church or a Buddhist Temple? At the start of the universe or at the finish? Big or small? Permanent or Impermanent? One or Many? Black or Red? Yes? No? Beyond and through-and-through all Yes-No?


                    "The buddha way is, basically, leaping clear of the many and the one; thus there are birth and death, delusion and realization, sentient beings and buddhas."


                    There is and there isn't, at once. We transcend yes and no.

                    QUESTION 2:

                    In Zen Practice, we learn to be completely free of dualities right in and as a world of dualities ... birth/death, sickness/health, young/old etc. etc. Having practiced Zen for awhile, are you getting the hang of that?

                    "Yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread."


                    Lets just sit, not worry/attach to what flowers and weeds do, as to whether there is a God or not, destruction or not, compatibility between Zen or Catholicism, etc. Its all good and bad, at once.

                    Gassho, John

                    Comment

                    • RichardH
                      Member
                      • Nov 2011
                      • 2800

                      #11
                      This is my favorite koan... not sure why.

                      It makes me weepy... not sure why.


                      There is a lot of "no words" tossed around in Zen, but no words feels right here.

                      Gassho, Daizan/Richard.

                      Comment

                      • Mp

                        #12
                        Thank you for the mouthful Jundo ... I am needing to chew this one for a bit.

                        Gassho
                        Shingen

                        Comment

                        • Jinyo
                          Member
                          • Jan 2012
                          • 1957

                          #13
                          Second question first - about being 'completely' free of dualities.

                          Sort of getting the hang of it but as to being completely free - I'm beginning to feel that being a buddhist means to aspire to the impossible and to live in equanimity with the impossible.

                          First question -Is Buddha the same as God ? Maybe - maybe not. I don't know and I don't mind. Now for me - that's progress

                          Gassho

                          Willow

                          Comment

                          • Daitetsu
                            Member
                            • Oct 2012
                            • 1145

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jundo
                            Sometimes life's glass is half full, sometimes half empty, sometimes bone dry so we choke with thirst, sometimes spilling over ready to drown us ...

                            ... yet the flowing liquid always clear until the mind makes it turbid.
                            Thanks Jundo, that's a nice allegory!

                            Gassho,

                            Timo
                            no thing needs to be added

                            Comment

                            • Myoku
                              Member
                              • Jul 2010
                              • 1487

                              #15
                              Is God the same as Buddha
                              Ultimately, yes. And yes, yes, yes ... so it goes on to your question. Of course I could also say: No, No, No, but I like Yes more.
                              Gassho and thank you everyone
                              Myoku

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