Opening the Hand of Thought - Chapter 7 Part 2

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39271

    Opening the Hand of Thought - Chapter 7 Part 2

    Dear Bodhisattvas,

    We continue with the closing portions of Chapter 7, "Living Wide Awake", beginning from "The Bodhisattva Vow" on page 116 until the end.

    Because there is much here, and the first portion of the Chapter stimulated much discussion, we will take a few extra days to be with this.

    - What do you feel about all of us being described as "Bodhisattvas", and the importance placed on living by Vow?

    - I am really not sure how I feel about Uchiyama's interpretation of the story of Guixing, Fayuan and the stolen flour. Was Guixing just a tightwad, and an SOB (Son of a Buddha ), or is there some Teaching behind it all on his part, as the end of the story implies? However we feel about Guixing, Fayuan seems like the real hero of the story, ready to pay the price for his actions and not quitting. But, anyway, what do you think?

    - I believe that the last sections of this Chapter, on "Magnanimous Mind" (as well as "Parental Mind" and "Joyful Mind"), the scenery of life, and "the self living out the self that is only self" are one of the real highlights of the book, worth the whole price of admission. Learning to take life as it is, without goals and weighing win and lose all the time is a skill lost on people, perhaps more in the modern West than even in China or Japan of centuries past. How does this section strike you?

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday

    PS - A reMINDer that, after the current book, we will return to the Koans of the Book of Equanimity, reading the wonderful "this worldly" commentary by Shishin Wick. We worked with the book last year and will come back. The book is available for purchase here, which is a good thing to do ...



    Until you receive the book, it is also available in portions 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.


    All of the Koans, but without Shishin's commentary, are available here ...



    For those new to Koans, some tips on reading the book can be found here ...

    Dear All, Well, the moment has come to begin our reflecting, dancing, living the 100 Koans of the Book of Equanimity ... We are going to try a great experiment, seeing how these Koans may be brought to life in our lives ... feeling how each resonates in our heart, and the Wisdom each carves into our bones. At the core
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-09-2016, 03:39 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Mp

    #2
    Thank you Jundo. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #justsat

    Comment

    • Kyotai

      #3
      Thank you Jundo.

      I really enjoyed this section. The descriptions of the Bodhisattva reminded me of the talk Koun Franz gave during a treeleaf zazenkai some years ago.

      Gassho, Kyotai
      sat today

      Comment

      • Byrne
        Member
        • Dec 2014
        • 371

        #4
        When I was 22 I got hired to play bass for a punk band and started my life as a touring musician. What struck me about life on the road was that when things went wrong (which they frequently do) you had nothing better to do with your time than deal with those problems. No home comforts to distract yourself. I loved the clarity and embraced the life. I also drove a delivery truck in NYC for several years. Same deal. When you have a 20 ft box truck in that kind of traffic you have no choice but to keep going no matter what happens. One memorable moment was loading out after the NYC Gay Pride Parade where some guy tried to steal my company's speakers off a float and I had to chase hm down through the thick (and largely intoxicated) crowd of glitzed up half naked people over cobblestones in the village where the parade ends. He couldn't shake me and gave up. (It was a pretty large speaker) I'm glad no one noticed that I forgot to take the keys out of my truck I had momentarily abandoned.

        I liked the story of Guixing and Fayuan. We have to be careful not to get too caught up in Guixing's character. I don't think that's the point of the story. Life brings us many difficult situations and people. Where I live in Pennsylvania there are a lot of Guixing's living there. Just last week our cat Kush wandered onto our neighbors property. He got 12 pieces of buckshot shrapnel in his head and lost his left eye. Since our town doesn't have a police force and is very remote, even though we are going through the proper channels to deal with it, anything resembling what we might call "justice" is uncertain and unlikely. Sometimes that's life. Fayuan accepted his suffering without remorse. This is a very powerful lesson. Animals who've lost limbs (or eyes) are a gentle reminder to us that life goes on despite adversity and what matters most is that we stay the course, just like Fayuan.

        Gassho

        Sat Today

        Comment

        • Rich
          Member
          • Apr 2009
          • 2596

          #5
          What happened to your cat is cruel and horrible. If your town doesn't have a police authority then check with the county or state. Wishing the best for your cats recovery.

          SAT today
          _/_
          Rich
          MUHYO
          無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

          https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

          Comment

          • Rich
            Member
            • Apr 2009
            • 2596

            #6
            Also you may want to contact the spca and local media so the investigation gets all the attention it deserves.

            SAT today
            _/_
            Rich
            MUHYO
            無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

            https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

            Comment

            • Jishin
              Member
              • Oct 2012
              • 4819

              #7
              - What do you feel about all of us being described as "Bodhisattvas", and the importance placed on living by Vow?

              If the Vows are these:

              To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

              To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible

              To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless

              To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

              Then I feel that Bodhisattvas are a bunch of ego-maniacs. It's all about them. I would feel very uncomfortable with being described a Bodhisattva and rather go by Jishin.

              To save all sentient beings, transform all delusions, perceive Reality and attain the Enlightened Way is a bunch of baloney. No attaining with nothing to attain. The path enlightens itself when distinctions are not made.

              Just chop wood and carry water. :-)

              - I am really not sure how I feel about Uchiyama's interpretation of the story of Guixing, Fayuan and the stolen flour. Was Guixing just a tightwad, and an SOB (Son of a Buddha ), or is there some Teaching behind it all on his part, as the end of the story implies? However we feel about Guixing, Fayuan seems like the real hero of the story, ready to pay the price for his actions and not quitting. But, anyway, what do you think?

              Guixing is just a tightwad and an SOB. Fayuan is the hero of the story. What else is there?

              - I believe that the last sections of this Chapter, on "Magnanimous Mind" (as well as "Parental Mind" and "Joyful Mind"), the scenery of life, and "the self living out the self that is only self" are one of the real highlights of the book, worth the whole price of admission. Learning to take life as it is, without goals and weighing win and lose all the time is a skill lost on people, perhaps more in the modern West than even in China or Japan of centuries past. How does this section strike you?

              This section is worth about one penny.

              Gassho, Jishin, ST
              Last edited by Jishin; 03-09-2016, 08:59 PM.

              Comment

              • Byrne
                Member
                • Dec 2014
                • 371

                #8
                Done all of that Rich. Received mostly apathy. Country livin.

                Gassho

                Sat Today

                Comment

                • Joyo

                  #9
                  Yes, I agree with Jishin, Guixing is a tightwad and an SOB. Good lessons to learn from the story, as others here have posted already, but I don't totally agree with Uchiyama's interpretation of the story.

                  I went to a church for quite a few years, the pastors there did a whole long list of bullying/abusive behaviour. And everyone took it because the pastors were considered the "people of God." When my husband and I finally had the courage to leave, we were looked at as the bad ones. My point is, I don't think that just because someone is a religious leader it gives them a free ticket to abuse that power by bullying vulnerable sentient beings. Guixing makes for a good story, but, sadly, this kind of stuff happens in real life all the time.

                  I'm really inspired by this book though. My copy has so many underlines and little notes on the side =)

                  Gassho,
                  Joyo
                  sat today
                  Last edited by Guest; 03-10-2016, 03:10 AM. Reason: typo

                  Comment

                  • Myosha
                    Member
                    • Mar 2013
                    • 2974

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jishin
                    - What do you feel about all of us being described as "Bodhisattvas", and the importance placed on living by Vow?

                    If the Vows are these:

                    To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

                    To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible

                    To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless

                    To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

                    Then I feel that Bodhisattvas are a bunch of ego-maniacs. It's all about them. I would feel very uncomfortable with being described a Bodhisattva and rather go by Jishin.

                    To save all sentient beings, transform all delusions, perceive Reality and attain the Enlightened Way is a bunch of baloney. No attaining with nothing to attain. The path enlightens itself when distinctions are not made.

                    Just chop wood and carry water. :-)

                    - I am really not sure how I feel about Uchiyama's interpretation of the story of Guixing, Fayuan and the stolen flour. Was Guixing just a tightwad, and an SOB (Son of a Buddha ), or is there some Teaching behind it all on his part, as the end of the story implies? However we feel about Guixing, Fayuan seems like the real hero of the story, ready to pay the price for his actions and not quitting. But, anyway, what do you think?

                    Guixing is just a tightwad and an SOB. Fayuan is the hero of the story. What else is there?

                    - I believe that the last sections of this Chapter, on "Magnanimous Mind" (as well as "Parental Mind" and "Joyful Mind"), the scenery of life, and "the self living out the self that is only self" are one of the real highlights of the book, worth the whole price of admission. Learning to take life as it is, without goals and weighing win and lose all the time is a skill lost on people, perhaps more in the modern West than even in China or Japan of centuries past. How does this section strike you?

                    This section is worth about one penny.

                    Gassho, Jishin, ST
                    Hello,

                    No, seriously, how do you feel?

                    j/k



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

                    Comment

                    • Jishin
                      Member
                      • Oct 2012
                      • 4819

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Myosha
                      Hello,

                      No, seriously, how do you feel?

                      j/k



                      Gassho
                      Myosha sat today
                      Give me a penny and I will tell you.

                      Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

                      Comment

                      • Mp

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Jishin
                        Give me a penny and I will tell you.

                        Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
                        We don't have pennies in Canada anymore. =)

                        Gassho
                        Shingen

                        #sattoday

                        Comment

                        • Kyotai

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Shingen
                          We don't have pennies in Canada anymore. =)

                          Gassho
                          Shingen

                          #sattoday
                          Not true. I have several under my couch cushions

                          Gassho, Kyotai
                          Sat today

                          Comment

                          • Jinyo
                            Member
                            • Jan 2012
                            • 1957

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Joyo
                            Yes, I agree with Jishin, Guixing is a tightwad and an SOB. Good lessons to learn from the story, as others here have posted already, but I don't totally agree with Uchiyama's interpretation of the story.

                            I went to a church for quite a few years, the pastors there did a whole long list of bullying/abusive behaviour. And everyone took it because the pastors were considered the "people of God." When my husband and I finally had the courage to leave, we were looked at as the bad ones. My point is, I don't think that just because someone is a religious leader it gives them a free ticket to abuse that power by bullying vulnerable sentient beings. Guixing makes for a good story, but, sadly, this kind of stuff happens in real life all the time.

                            I'm really inspired by this book though. My copy has so many underlines and little notes on the side =)

                            Gassho,
                            Joyo
                            sat today
                            I feel as you do Joyo.

                            I'm not very comfortable with the distinction between an ordinary human being and a bodhisattvas - on the whole we're just all ordinary human beings trying to do our best. I'm also not interested in becoming someone's disciple so I find some of the language uncomfortable.

                            If a fellow human being's cold give them a blanket - if you're cold yourself take a blanket. I'm not on board with the notion of putting up and shutting up. Isn't that how abuse has taken place? Being committed doesn't mean not discriminating or making a judgement call.

                            Apart from glimpses I'm not sure I'm a believer in 'absolute peace' as a goal or state of mind. Absolute peace sometimes feels like a strange desire to have in a world where people do 'merely rise and fall' - often not of their own fault. I understand this is Uchiyama criticising our competitive world - and rightly so - but perhaps he generalises too much.

                            Anyway - my obsolete pennies worth

                            Gassho

                            Willow/Jinyo

                            sat today
                            Last edited by Jinyo; 03-10-2016, 11:54 AM.

                            Comment

                            • Rich
                              Member
                              • Apr 2009
                              • 2596

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Myosha
                              Hello,

                              No, seriously, how do you feel?

                              j/k



                              Gassho
                              Myosha sat today

                              Sometimes we are egomaniacs and that's ok. Having the vow or direction to see or cut through that is most important. The bodhisattva ideal is just you living moment to moment. Consciousness is always trying to save itself.

                              Will sit soon
                              _/_
                              Rich
                              MUHYO
                              無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                              https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                              Comment

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