BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 35

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39454

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 35

    Case 34 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 35: Rakubo's Acquiescence

    I feel that this Koan is another caution regarding students who have had a taste of Emptiness, some Opening or the like, and think they are fully Enlightened beings. Thus, in the story, the fellow comes with a lot of ego and pride, yet is all tongue tied when asked to truly manifest Wisdom. He makes some of the cliche moves and sounds that Zen folks sometimes do to manifest the unspeakable ... a shout, a circle in the air ... but the Teacher is unimpressed at his act.

    Real mastery of this Way, I feel, is shown in how we apply Wisdom and Compassion in life, where the rubber meets the road. That is the best demonstration of one's Insight and Mastery, far beyond any shout or grand gesture or poetic quoting in the Dokusan room. If one does want to demonstrate one's Insight through poetry, gestures or shouts ... well, one must certainly bring some originality and heart into it, not merely copying Zen stereotypes that one has read about in some old Zen stories. Make the Teachings one's own. A person with True Understanding knows it too, because he cannot even have his head turned by praise or criticism ... because he is beyond praise or criticism in his conviction about his understanding.

    Question: How do you think you will feel, and how will you know for sure when you have become, "Enlightened"? What do you imagine that will be like? How will you know when you have got it?

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-23-2014, 06:25 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Myosha
    Member
    • Mar 2013
    • 2974

    #2
    Hello,

    ,

    ,

    ,


    Gassho,
    Myosha
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

    Comment

    • Nengyo
      Member
      • May 2012
      • 668

      #3
      I thought I was already enlightened and now I'm just practicing to be good at it

      Either way; study, sweep the floor, and wash the dishes...
      If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?

      Comment

      • Kokuu
        Treeleaf Priest
        • Nov 2012
        • 6785

        #4
        That is the best demonstration of one's Insight and Mastery, far beyond any shout or grand gesture or poetic quoting in the Dokusan room.
        Is this one of the reasons we attach less significance to Dokusan encounters in Soto? Presumably a teacher would judge a student more on how they comport themselves around the Zendo and in everyday life more than those brief meetings?

        As regards the question, I am reminded of this passage from The Diamond Sutra:

        "Tell me, Subhuti. Do those who are free from rebirth think, 'I have attained freedom from rebirth'?"

        Subhuti replied, "No indeed, Bhagavan. Those who are free from rebirth do not think, 'I have attained freedom from rebirth.' And why not? Bhagavan, there is no such dharma as 'freedom from rebirth.' Thus are they said to be 'free from rebirth'. If, Bhagavan, thsoe who are free from rebirth should think, 'I have attained freedom from rebirth,' they would be attached to a being, a life and a soul."
        Gassho
        Andy

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        • Tiwala
          Member
          • Oct 2013
          • 201

          #5
          Probably just sucking it up and going through a particularly difficult day. I don't know. Sometimes people just get tired and pissed off. Eh...

          Gassho, Ben
          Gassho
          Ben

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          • Mp

            #6
            When I am chopping wood and carrying water ... I will want to just chop wood and carry water - whether in the sun, rain, or snow. =)

            Gassho
            Shingen

            Comment

            • Geika
              Treeleaf Unsui
              • Jan 2010
              • 4980

              #7
              I think I will feel like I am no longer caught. I will know for sure when there no longer is a reeling in, I guess.

              How could I know, unless I can be sure that I have tasted it already, or if my brief, few moments of kensho truly were that and are anything like enlightenment?

              I imagine it will be like discovering a day during which the small things that catch me or get my thoughts spinning too fast no longer do so.
              求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
              I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

              Comment

              • Jishin
                Member
                • Oct 2012
                • 4820

                #8
                My ego loves to to read and play with dead words in zen books but it does not know what enlightenment is. Knowing not knowing is good. Admitting not knowing is even better. Not chasing "enlightenment" I think is peace. I just try to do good and in most cases get good karma in return. :-)

                Gasho
                Jishin

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                • RichardH
                  Member
                  • Nov 2011
                  • 2800

                  #9
                  Yesterday I heard an old friend is very sick, and wanted to say goodbye. I went to the hospital. We hugged and looked into each others eyes. His eyes were clear and silent. He said "I love you". I said " i love you". We said goodbye, and I left. Got home and had a brief cry, not a sad cry, just a cry. Then carried on with making dinner. Can't say it was an "Enlightened" day, but it wasn't a benighted one.

                  Gassho Daizan

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                  • Rich
                    Member
                    • Apr 2009
                    • 2601

                    #10
                    Enlightenment is not something I normally think or dream about. Just continuing to practice will take care of it.



                    Kind regards. /\
                    _/_
                    Rich
                    MUHYO
                    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                    Comment

                    • Geika
                      Treeleaf Unsui
                      • Jan 2010
                      • 4980

                      #11
                      The things that seem hardest to do often bring an uplifting relief. Metta and gassho, Daizan.
                      求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
                      I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

                      Comment

                      • Troy
                        Member
                        • Sep 2013
                        • 1318

                        #12
                        BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 35

                        I believe those moments that we feel like we have some sort of unique wisdom is the moment we don't get it at all and when we realize we don't get it at all is when we have most wisdom.
                        Last edited by Troy; 02-25-2014, 03:15 AM.

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                        • Troy
                          Member
                          • Sep 2013
                          • 1318

                          #13
                          Wishing peace to you Daizan

                          Comment

                          • Risho
                            Member
                            • May 2010
                            • 3179

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jundo
                            Question: How do you think you will feel, and how will you know for sure when you have become, "Enlightened"? What do you imagine that will be like? How will you know when you have got it?
                            Practice is enlightenment; practice never ends. It can't.

                            I don't believe in the sort of enlightenment that solves all of one's problems. Meaning that there is some point along a linear timeline that one is considered "enlightened" and then everything becomes "better" afterward. I think part of that drew me to practice. I wanted to find a way out of anxiety on some level.. uncertainty.

                            But things aren't fixed.

                            Could you imagine that?

                            If one had the answer to all things in life, then that would not be living.. Fixed, static answers only apply to dead things, things that don't change. Contrastingly, life is vibrant, changing, and by its very nature, things are not what we may expect if we have a fixed idea of them... which is what lends itself to dukkha.

                            So that being said, I believe there is enlightenment, that does make everything ok even if it's not what we expect. In a deep, deep level we are ok with things as they are because we no longer have to fit them into our limited shape of what ok is. Instead we "shikantaza-ize" them. lol We drop our judgements, grasping, greedy, ignorant, angry mind, and just let them be... allow them to be us.

                            But the practice never ends because the conditions of our life always change, so we always have to keep sweeping as Taigu would say.

                            Now that being said, my practice is shit. I look at the picture of Sawaki roshi's sewing, or how Jundo or Taigu present the dharma, how they practice, and my practice is nothing compared to that.

                            So I sit.

                            Thoughts of enlightenment or delusion, drop, sit.

                            Zazen feels great; drop it, sit.

                            Zazen feels like crap; drop it, sit.

                            Just sit.

                            But not just sitting, isolated.. giving to charity, volunteering, atoning, chanting, sitting... all just sitting in a sense.

                            Living life from a perspective of open responsiveness instead of closed off resentment, wishing things were the way I wanted them. And a lot of times I feel that heartache; it reminds me of how attached I am to my imagined ideals.

                            So again I practice. Coming back again and again to now, dropping it all.. coming back.

                            Gassho,

                            Risho
                            Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

                            Comment

                            • Ongen
                              Member
                              • Jan 2014
                              • 786

                              #15
                              After my first kensho I imagined it to be like that, but times thousand. That was a long time ago. Now I don't really care anymore, honestly.
                              I feel it to be the same as growing up. It never ends, does it? Until the end that is :P

                              When can we say we're finally grown up? At the age of 90 we're all still small boys and girls really.

                              I do like this story though

                              gassho

                              Vincent
                              Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

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