BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 45

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39065

    BOOK OF EQUANIMITY - Case 45

    NOTE: I HAVE DECIDED TO AGAIN CLOSE KOAN THREADS AFTER A FEW WEEKS LEAVING THEM OPEN. I WOULD LIKE FOR FOLKS TO BE FOCUSED ON THE SAME PASSAGES, AND NOT BE JUMPING HERE AND THERE. IF YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN THESE KOANs, PLEASE MAKE AN EFFORT TO DROP IN AND KEEP UP!

    Case 44 never ends, yet now comes ...

    Case 45: The Sutra of Complete Awakening

    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.


    As Shishin Wick notes in the commentary, today's Koan presents a prescription for Zazen ... both Zazen on the cushion, and Zazen that is all of life.

    How can one be "at all times without deluded thoughts arising", yet simultaneously not bothering to extinguish deluded states of mind? How can one be free of deluded thoughts right amid and while encountering deluded thoughts? That sounds like a complete contradiction!

    While dwelling in a world of delusion, do not add discriminating judgments on top ... which would be adding delusions to delusion, actually creating delusion. Rather, being free of judgments and discriminations, one becomes free of judgments and discrimination right amid a world of judgments and discriminations (free of delusion while still in a world of delusion). That sounds like an instruction to do two opposite things, like turning left and right at once!

    Do not make gradations and intentionally strive, all while simultaneously living a life in which we must daily make gradations and strive! What is the trick?

    I often describe this as living as if from two perspectives at once, so intimately that they are "not two" ... as if seeing the world one way with the right eye, a very different way with the left eye, both together producing Clear Vision ... judgments simultaneously without judgments, fear without fear, disappointments coupled with total satisfaction at how things are win or lose, having goals while (as if seeing life two ways at once) not having any goals ... etc. etc.

    Thus, says the Preface, is tranquility achieved. Then, says the Verse, one is perfectly free in bustling places.

    QUESTION: Can you describe life situations where you have become very good, through Zen Practice, at living free of delusion, discrimination, personal judgements all while living in a world of delusion, division and discrimination, with a head full of judgment ... doing both at once, seeing and living both ways at once as one?
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-31-2014, 03:33 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Myosha
    Member
    • Mar 2013
    • 2974

    #2
    Hello,

    "QUESTION: Can you describe life situations where you have become very good . . ., seeing and living both ways at once as one?"


    (gratefully) The practice of Shikantaza.


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

    Comment

    • Jishin
      Member
      • Oct 2012
      • 4819

      #3
      Originally posted by Jundo

      QUESTION: Can you describe life situations where you have become very good, through Zen Practice, at living free of delusion, discrimination, personal judgements all while living in a world of delusion, division and discrimination, with a head full of judgment ... doing both at once, seeing and living both ways at once as one?
      Get up, have caffeine while feeding dogs, exercise for a few minutes, Zazen for a few, shower and get dressed, take kids to school, go to work, come home, have dinner, relax with family, read a bit and go to sleep. Do the precepts while awake. That's it. The sky is blue. The grass is green. Clouds come and go. Not one thing missing.

      Gassho, Jishin

      Comment

      • Daiyo
        Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 819

        #4
        Sorry for jumping in, I'm not studying trhe Koans.
        I've arrived late to Treeleaf for this thread and couldn't catch up.

        But what Jishin said is a wonderful summary of many lay householders' life.

        So simple yet so hard to have always in mind. Like almost everything in zen practice.

        Gassho,
        Walter.
        Last edited by Daiyo; 09-01-2014, 12:07 AM.
        Gassho,Walter

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39065

          #5
          Originally posted by walter
          Sorry for jumping in, I'm not studying trhe Koans.
          I've arrived late to Treeleaf for this thread and couldn't catch up.
          There is no place to jump in (how can one jump in what one is already in ... and what one is already?)

          Likewise, there is no arriving late or catching up. (Yes, also a Koan).

          Jump in, the water's fine!

          Gassho, J
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • Daiyo
            Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 819

            #6
            Thanks Jundo.
            I appreciate your consideration.

            I'll try the water then.

            Gassho,
            Walter.
            Gassho,Walter

            Comment

            • Geika
              Treeleaf Unsui
              • Jan 2010
              • 4971

              #7
              At work! Customers can be a handful, all waiting to be potentially disappointed. I can usually serve with a genuine feeling of goodwill even while receiving sometimes blatant disrespect.

              Gassho
              求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
              I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39065

                #8
                Originally posted by Amelia
                At work! Customers can be a handful, all waiting to be potentially disappointed. I can usually serve with a genuine feeling of goodwill even while receiving sometimes blatant disrespect.

                Gassho
                Yes, yes ... just this life. Sometimes disappointing and sometimes not. Sometimes we get respect and sometimes we get the back of the hand.

                Also know the Customer that is the Whole Universe, filled with nothing but Respect, Goodwill and Never Disappointed! Buddha fills the Hand and Overflows!

                Gassho, J
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • Geika
                  Treeleaf Unsui
                  • Jan 2010
                  • 4971

                  #9
                  求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
                  I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

                  Comment

                  • Jika
                    Member
                    • Jun 2014
                    • 1337

                    #10
                    QUESTION: Can you describe life situations where you have ... through Zen Practice, at living free of delusion, discrimination, personal judgements all while living in a world of delusion, division and discrimination, with a head full of judgment ... doing both at once, seeing and living both ways at once as one?
                    Not good, no. Starting to grow a second eye

                    Sitting with a sad friend.
                    One eye: How terrible, I really should do more, I suck at this...
                    Second eye: sadness being, holding hands, all is good

                    Fighting an episode of disease.
                    One eye: Don't want! Not now, fear, rotten bodily feeling.
                    Second eye: Being this body-mind, win or lose.

                    Gassho,
                    Danny
                    治 Ji
                    花 Ka

                    Comment

                    • Kantai

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jundo
                      QUESTION: Can you describe life situations where you have become very good, through Zen Practice, at living free of delusion, discrimination, personal judgements all while living in a world of delusion, division and discrimination, with a head full of judgment ... doing both at once, seeing and living both ways at once as one?
                      When I'm making music, playing drums, I'm free to do whatever I want, play whatever rythm or sound that I feel like.
                      Yet, while being free to do that, I can not just play whatever I feel like all the time. I have to listen to what the others in the band play and what the audience like to hear.

                      I have to make judgements about whats appropriate to play in any given moment and circumstance. Even a small change can make a big difference in how the music is going to sound. But if the drummer gets stiff, afraid of ruining the music if she takes some daring leaps and experiment with the music, it can begin to sound boring.

                      But one has to know when to do what and at the same time relax and be dynamic and flexible, open to the music and what comes in ones way.
                      When given a sheet of music with notes saying what you should play, you're not supposed to play what's on it. You are making the score, putting the notes on the sheet while playing it.

                      Gassho
                      Kantai
                      Last edited by Guest; 09-01-2014, 10:34 PM.

                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39065

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Kantai
                        When I'm making music, playing drums, I'm free to do whatever I want, play whatever rythm or sound that I feel like.
                        Yet, while being free to do that, I can not just play whatever I feel like all the time. I have to listen to what the others in the band play and what the audience like to hear.

                        I have to make judgements about whats appropriate to play in any given moment and circumstance. Even a small change can make a big difference in how the music is going to sound. But if the drummer gets stiff, afraid of ruining the music if she takes some daring leaps and experiment with the music, it can begin to sound boring.

                        But one has to know when to do what and at the same time relax and be dynamic and flexible, open to the music and what comes in ones way.
                        When given a sheet of music with notes saying what you should play, you're not supposed to play what's on it. You are making the score, putting the notes on the sheet while playing it.

                        Gassho
                        Kantai
                        Do you know the sound of the One Drum that Cannot be Hit?

                        A couple of versions of Case 44 from the Blue Cliff Record ...

                        Hekiganroku - Case 44: Kasan's "Beat the Drum"

                        Kasan, giving instruction, said,

                        "Practicing and learning -- it is called 'hearing' (mon);

                        completing learning -- it is called 'being next to the fact' (rin).

                        When you have passed through these two, it is called 'true passing'

                        (shinka). "

                        A monk stepped forward and asked,

                        "What is the 'true passing'?"

                        Kasan said,

                        "Beat the drum."

                        He asked again,

                        "What is the true Reality?"

                        Kasan said,

                        "Beat the drum."

                        He asked again,

                        "I do not ask about the sentence, 'Mind itself is Buddha.'

                        But What does 'Neither Mind nor Buddha' mean?"

                        Kasan said,

                        "Beat the drum."

                        He asked once more,

                        "When someone who knows the ultimate Truth comes, how should we receive him?"

                        Kasan said,

                        "Beat the drum!"
                        Kasan instructed saying, "To study is called 'hearing.' To complete study is called
                        'neighboring.' That which transcends these two is 'true passing.'" A monk stepped forth
                        and asked, "What is 'true passing?'" Kasan said, "Knowing how to beat the drum." The
                        monk asked again, "What is the true reality?" Kasan said, "Knowing how to beat the drum."
                        The monk asked again, "I do not ask about 'Just mind, just Buddha'; what is "not mind, not
                        Buddha?' Kasan said, "Knowing how to beat the drum." The monk asked again, "When a
                        perfectly enlightened person comes, how should I treat him?" Kasan said, "Knowing how
                        to beat the drum."
                        A Talk by Katagiri Roshi on this Koan ...



                        Gassho, J
                        Last edited by Jundo; 09-02-2014, 02:48 AM.
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • RichardH
                          Member
                          • Nov 2011
                          • 2800

                          #13
                          QUESTION: Can you describe life situations where you have become very good, through Zen Practice, at living free of delusion, discrimination, personal judgements all while living in a world of delusion, division and discrimination, with a head full of judgment ... doing both at once, seeing and living both ways at once as one?

                          The whole mess rolls along. Except I'm not very good at it....and the whole mess including that rolls along just the same. There is a ground though.. a simple non-mess ground that is always ok..

                          This past weekend we (partner, son, and I) spent time up at a cabin by a lake. My son, Will, really opened up about feeling like life is passing him by because he could not be fully present with the lake and sky. He was struggling. He just needed a little help...so I just said "that too" .. meaning the whole struggle, the whole "not being fully present" too, is ok. That settled him down, and his breathing changed gear automatically. We just sat there..until he needed to get up and jump around for a while. Then he sat again for a few minutes. There was no pressure, no compulsion, and he was so relieved to hear that he is ok. He wants to practice.

                          Gassho
                          Daizan
                          Last edited by RichardH; 09-02-2014, 01:09 PM.

                          Comment

                          • Ed
                            Member
                            • Nov 2012
                            • 223

                            #14
                            Not growing another head on top of my head.
                            Supervisor sees a good funny man.
                            If she only knew!
                            Law library, full of lawyers wannabees, Ed is here, always the same: funnyman, sweet, present; ready to help, encourage.
                            If they only knew.
                            Tell a lie to get Friday off. Tell another to keep cash in the bank. Nescessary.
                            All harmful karma eve committed by me....change the water on the altar
                            A balanced life mine. Sort of.
                            Being on the ground of being.

                            Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate
                            BOHI SVAHA!!!!
                            Last edited by Ed; 09-02-2014, 02:05 PM.
                            "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
                            Dogen zenji in Bendowa





                            Comment

                            • Myoku
                              Member
                              • Jul 2010
                              • 1487

                              #15
                              Thank you Jundo,
                              and everyone contributing. For me this actually happening many times each day, unfortunately usually it sums up to 1% of the daytime. Its all the small things, in example when my wife is for a day at home, not at work, like today and she makes some lunch for us. This is nice, no questions, I appreciate it, but usually she is ate, so whenever we tried to have lunch it takes 15...20 minutes longer, until we can. Sounds like a small thing, but let come up some angry thought like "why so late, again!". Sometimes I get caught by that, usually not, but usually I then judge myself, "why such negative thought, she just does something for you". Today however, no 2 was missing, no1 was there, but I smiled at it, at my wife and all was good.
                              Gassho
                              Myoku

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