Homeless Kodo's "TO YOU" - Chapters 9, 10 & 11

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  • Tairin
    • Feb 2016
    • 2733

    Many quotes caught my eye but I really liked this one

    Birds don't sing in a major or minor key. Bodhidharma's teaching doesn't fit on lined paper.

    The buddha-dharma is wide and unlimited. When you try to hold it still, you've missed it. It isn't dried cod, but a live fish-and living fish have no fixed form.
    As a musician I appreciate the comment about major and minor keys. Basically what I like about this quote is the notion that Buddha-Dharma is not constrained to a set of rules and there is no formula to follow. We each have to find our own way. Now someone might challenge that by pointing to the Precepts or our practice of sitting but we know the Precepts are not prescriptive and we know that only each of us can sit our Zazen.

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods


    • Dogukan
      • Oct 2021
      • 144

      "The buddha-dharma isn’t about making average people into special people."

      Very good reminder.

      When I was a little boy, I wanted to be a prophet. There was even a time when I thought I was Noah himself and naturally, it resulted in a child psychologist. Then I came to the conclusion that most probably I would not be a prophet. However, this childish desire to be someone special remained strong, albeit by changing shape. The buddha-dharma, though, is not about it and the Way is not for building a "spiritual career".

      I really admire that Old Kodo has such an ability to easily express some things that are almost impossible to express. Just a few words from him can make your jaw drow, slap you, or stroke your hair.



      • Mark-us
        • Apr 2021
        • 38

        Originally posted by paulashby
        "Only when you stop thinking'I do zazen' are you doing true zazen. page 61,chapter 11
        Self-consciousness is the most persistent distraction from reality.
        I like your reading into the quote. I am a self-conscious person myself and I find it hard to be my true self when I am self-conscious about it. I can also see the quote meaning that when you divide yourself from reality/ the universe, your efforts to break away from suffering are in vain.

        Last edited by Mark-us; 09-12-2022, 01:02 AM. Reason: forgot ending Gassho ect.


        • Mark-us
          • Apr 2021
          • 38

          Actually, “studying” used to mean gaining insight into life, but now it’s turned into just getting qualifications for a job.
          As a student who is pretty deep in schoolwork, this quote called out to me. I aim to study this week as in gaining insight, not to pass a class or get a job.



          • Shinchi

            From chapter 10:

            "If you eat in the evening in order to break into a house afterwards, you are eating a "robbery-meal". If you eat in order to go to the prostitutes, you are eating a "prostitute-meal." If you eat to practice zazen, then it is a meal of the Buddha way.

            The question is why do you eat?"

            This made me think of a meal time gatha I found recently, which ends with: "May I be nourished, that I may nourish life." In also reflecting on the 2nd article by Josho Pat Phelan this week, I may change this for now to: "May I be nourished, that I may be one with Buddha, Dharma, Sangha" (with the understanding of Dharma as "the teaching of how to come back to our true self" (Buddha), and Sangha as "the kinship of all things").

            I also loved the story of the monk, Yakuzan, and Master Sekito on page 67 (chapter 11). "...the meaning of simply sitting, shikantaza".


            Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk


            • Chikyou
              • May 2022
              • 569

              "As a human being, you can walk freely in any direction you choose."

              - I needed this reminder today, lately I've felt like my life is out of control.

              "When you practice Zazen, completely renew yourself."

              - My experience is that this is exactly what happens... Zazen is like hitting a "reset" button.

              "If you practice Zazen when you are overwhelmed by feelings of pleasure, anger, sorrow and contentment, these feelings will haunt your Zazen like a terrible ghost."

              - This is also true, in my experience.

              Chikyō 知鏡


              • Onkai
                Treeleaf Unsui
                • Aug 2015
                • 2840

                From Chapter 9:
                Birds don't sing in a major or minor key. Bodhidharma's teaching doesn't fit on lined paper.

                The buddha-dharma is wide and unlimited. When you try to hold it still, you've missed it. It isn't dried cod, but a live fish-and living fish have no fixed form.
                That seems to poetically express the nature of life and understanding to me

                From Chapter 10:
                When you practice Zen, it has to be here and now, it has to be about yourself. Don't let Zen become a rumor that has nothing to do with you.
                It is about the immediacy of the experience of Zazen.

                Also from Chapter 10:
                The body that takes a nap can also practice zazen.

                The body that practices zazen can also take a nap.
                I feel re-affirmed by this quote.

                From Chapter 11:
                Whatever it is you're trying to grasp, even if you get it, sooner or later you'll lose it again.

                True wealth is not grasping for anything. It's shining our light inwards and reflecting upon ourselves. When we take a step back, we see that there's nothing to grasp, nothing to run after and nothing to run away from. Reality doesn't arise and doesn't pass, it's neither pure nor impure, it neither increases nor decreases.
                Although I have goals and ambitions, this reminds me to hold those things loosely, and drop them when practicing zazen.

                Sat lah
                美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
                恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

                I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.


                • Onki
                  Treeleaf Unsui
                  • Dec 2020
                  • 672

                  There are a few quotes that struck me:

                  “In a soldier’s handbook it says that in war you must be prepared for a thousand different possibilities. That doesn’t just go for war. There’s no rule book for life either. When you try to live your life according to a manual, you’re sure to fail.”

                  “Eat in order to do Zazen. Sleep in order to do Zazen. This means that eating and sleeping are also part of Zazen.”

                  “Zazen means practicing that which cannot be explained.”

                  I am a perfectionist. This is not a good thing. I have to do things a certain way according to the lies that I tell myself and that I believe to be true. I would always wonder, “Why can’t there just be a book for life. Just tell me exactly what I’m supposed to do!!!” I would get so frustrated with myself. Obviously there was something wrong with me. Logically I know this is not the case. Life doesn’t have a handbook. Life has its ups and downs just like everything and that’s okay. I’m not a perfect person; far from it. That in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s just life.
                  I’m learning that life is simply and complexly life. It just is.



                  Sat today
                  “Let me respectfully remind you
                  Life and death are of supreme importance.
                  Time swiftly passes by
                  And opportunity ist lost.
                  Each of us should strive to awaken.
                  Awaken, take heed,
                  Do not squander your life.​“ - Life and Death and The Great Matter