Opening the Hand of Thought - Chapter 8 Part 1

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39237

    Opening the Hand of Thought - Chapter 8 Part 1

    Dear All,

    We will take the final chapter "The Wayseeker", in three parts as the content is quite rich. Today, we will read Points of Practice 1 and 2, halting at page 151. Here are some suggested questions, or you can write on what strikes you:

    What is the meaning to you of "No gaining, no knowing" and "The expansive sky does not obstruct the floating white clouds"?

    How is awareness of "impermanence" and that all phenomena without "independent substance" a key to Liberation? It sounds like it they would be quite the opposite.

    Do you believe that observance of the Precepts are also a key to Liberation?

    What do you make of "practicing Buddhadharma only for the sake of Buddhadharma"?

    Gassho, J
    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Mp

    #2
    Thank you Jundo ... thoughts to ponder on this readings. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday

    Comment

    • Eishuu

      #3
      I've only read it once so far but I loved this chapter - there's so much in it. I was particularly struck by the phrase "no gaining, no knowing", and took it as an instruction not to grasp during Zazen. I've been really struggling with wanting to get something out of meditation, and this phrase feels like an invitation to let go and open up. So I've written it on a card to remind myself to keep this attitude during Zazen.

      Also, I'm aware that I don't know the meaning of the phrase really so its something to reflect on.

      Gassho
      Lucy
      Sat today

      Comment

      • Jinyo
        Member
        • Jan 2012
        • 1957

        #4
        Hi all,

        I am away just now but read the chapter before I left. I think it's really clear and expresses the intention/attitude within Zazen well.
        There is a lot to recall but I do remember thinking that it set out clearly the difference between utilitarian Zen and practicing Buddhadharma for the sake of Bhuddadharma. I feel the latter is a great 'release' - not to be fretting about feeling more relaxed, healthy or whatever - to just sit - without all these expectations - and to live the best we can by the precepts.

        Gassho

        Willow

        sat today

        Comment

        • ForestDweller
          Member
          • Mar 2015
          • 39

          #5
          “No gaining, no knowing. The expansive sky does not obstruct the floating white clouds.”
          Sometimes we may think we have gained something; other times we imagine we know something. Both beliefs are illusions. Since everything is impermanent, it is impossible to “gain” anything, for as soon as the “gain” occurs, it is already fading away. Best not to believe in gain. Even more so, we humans get caught in the illusion that we know something. It is our way to try to stop the movement of time, make it sit still, and tell us the meaning of our lives. Not possible. Best not to believe in knowing. But we are like Daowu, aren’t we? – asking, “Can you say anything further?” We are obsessed with knowing and understanding. Such obsessions are the white clouds in our pure sky mind. All too often, we clutter up our minds with concepts, beliefs, and ideas. Allowing these abstractions to “drop away” creates primordial clarity with which to receive experience just as it is. This is not so easy to do. We so want to use these abstractions to make sense of our lives, but all they do is obscure the truth of emptiness and impermanence. We are often proud of our ability to discriminate, but all discrimination does is cause the misconception of separation as opposed to connection. Yawata no yabushirazu.
          ^^ForestSatToday^^
          Last edited by ForestDweller; 03-23-2016, 06:06 PM.

          Comment

          • Rich
            Member
            • Apr 2009
            • 2596

            #6
            Thanks Forrest dweller

            Sat today

            Sent from my LG-LS720 using Tapatalk
            _/_
            Rich
            MUHYO
            無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

            https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

            Comment

            • Mp

              #7
              Originally posted by ForestDweller
              “No gaining, no knowing. The expansive sky does not obstruct the floating white clouds.”
              Sometimes we may think we have gained something; other times we imagine we know something. Both beliefs are illusions. Since everything is impermanent, it is impossible to “gain” anything, for as soon as the “gain” occurs, it is already fading away. Best not to believe in gain. Even more so, we humans get caught in the illusion that we know something. It is our way to try to stop the movement of time, make it sit still, and tell us the meaning of our lives. Not possible. Best not to believe in knowing. But we are like Daowu, aren’t we? – asking, “Can you say anything further?” We are obsessed with knowing and understanding. Such obsessions are the white clouds in our pure sky mind. All too often, we clutter up our minds with concepts, beliefs, and ideas. Allowing these abstractions to “drop away” creates primordial clarity with which to receive experience just as it is. This is not so easy to do. We so want to use these abstractions to make sense of our lives, but all they do is obscure the truth of emptiness and impermanence. We are often proud of our ability to discriminate, but all discrimination does is cause the misconception of separation as opposed to connection. Yawata no yabushirazu.
              ^^ForestSatToday^^
              Lovely! Thank you. =)

              Gassho
              Shingen

              #sattoday

              Comment

              • Jakuden
                Member
                • Jun 2015
                • 6142

                #8
                "If a bill collector comes around demanding his money, it's very convenient if you can shout "Katsu!" to drive him away." So much for what "Katsu!" is good for. Sorry, the image made me giggle.

                Yes, the practice of the Precepts, impermanence, practicing the Buddhadharma for the sake of the Buddhadarma... all liberation from the discriminating, craving, seeking, grasping mind. Definitely can't say it better than Forestdweller above!

                Gassho,
                Jakuden
                SatToday

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39237

                  #9
                  Some folks may wonder what it Katz ... Here is a beautiful Katz by Rinzai Teacher Shodo Harada as the coda to a short poem. It is a powerful practice which expresses something from deep within that shouts out into the universe, breaking down in and out.

                  Kind of a Zen "YEAH!" ...



                  Gassho, J
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • Byrne
                    Member
                    • Dec 2014
                    • 371

                    #10
                    I usually sit first thing in the morning. Sometimes I wake up in a bad mood. Usually because something is stressing me out. Maybe it's trivial or maybe it's a very serious problem that must be dealt with. Sometimes I wake up in a great mood. Maybe it's because good things are happening to me and the people around me or maybe that's just how I feel at the moment. Either way, I sit the same and those feelings never ever last. Sometimes I'm feeling really profound and deep. Sometimes I'm feeling foolish. Neither feeling ever amounts to much on its own. Through Zazen I get to be there while it happens for whatever it's worth. The more I do it the less I become concerned about what happens next.

                    I'm wrestling with how I understand observing the precepts. Taking refuge in the three treasures is absolutely key to liberation. It is clearly the foundation. Past that things get a little abstract. Over the last jukai period I felt truly blessed to wrap my head around some of these ethical concepts and hear so many different perspectives. But are they keys to liberation or are they clues to what liberation is like? And which precepts are we talking about? 5? 10? 16? 300? To quote the book, "If we’re not careful, we are apt to grant ultimate value to something we’ve just made up in our heads."

                    Gassho

                    Sat Today

                    Comment

                    • Byokan
                      Treeleaf Unsui
                      • Apr 2014
                      • 4280

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jundo
                      Some folks may wonder what it Katz ... Here is a beautiful Katz by Rinzai Teacher Shodo Harada as the coda to a short poem. It is a powerful practice which expresses something from deep within that shouts out into the universe, breaking down in and out.

                      Kind of a Zen "YEAH!" ...



                      Gassho, J

                      Wow! Powerful!

                      Gassho
                      Byōkan
                      sat today
                      展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
                      Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

                      Comment

                      • Jishin
                        Member
                        • Oct 2012
                        • 4819

                        #12


                        :-)

                        Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_




                        Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

                        Comment

                        • Rich
                          Member
                          • Apr 2009
                          • 2596

                          #13
                          Now that's what I'm talking about. -)

                          Sat today

                          Sent from my LG-LS720 using Tapatalk
                          _/_
                          Rich
                          MUHYO
                          無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                          https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                          Comment

                          • Mp

                            #14
                            Nice one Jishin .... and thanks for the flashback! =)

                            Gassho
                            Shingen

                            s@today

                            Comment

                            • Chiko
                              Member
                              • Oct 2015
                              • 72

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Jundo

                              Do you believe that observance of the Precepts are also a key to Liberation?


                              [/B]
                              Gassho, J
                              SatToday
                              Thank you for these readings, Jundo. I appreciate the notion that the precepts are observed traits of the realized, to be taken as prescriptions for awakening, but also the behavior modeled naturally by the Buddhas and ancestors. Really the same thing, one being less (seemingly) dogmatic. Or maybe not!

                              Gassho,
                              Chiko
                              SatToday with all the chirping birds

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