18-Nov Zen Seeds Pg 83-86

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  • Dokan
    Friend of Treeleaf
    • Dec 2010
    • 1222

    18-Nov Zen Seeds Pg 83-86

    A Monk's Mouth Is Like A Stove's

    "Though you say "it is," there's nothing which "is" can confirm. Though you say "it is not," there's nothing that "is not" can negate. When "is" and "is not" are left behind and gain and loss are forgotten, then you are clean and naked, free and at ease." ~Daido Roshi

    Dropping dualistic thinking is to be wide open.


    How are you operating in a world of dualism? What challenges do you find most daunting?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    A Cheerful Attitude

    I found this passage challenging. The phrase "All work is good." hit me hard. The application of this to the cleaner's work was wonderful, and tying it in to Tenzo Kyokun was also nice. However, I couldn't help but feel that seeing all work as good was a mistake. In many ways I believe that all work is work is maybe more apt. Having a positive attitude, while pleasant, is not something I feel needing to be striven for. From this passage two quotes came to mind from Uchiyama's book on Tenzo Kyokun.

    "A fool sees himself as another, but a wise man sees others as himself." ~ Tenzo Kyokun, Dogen
    "Live the Self that fills the whole Universe." ~ Kodo Sawaki Roshi

    When have you done something that negatively impacted another's work? What steps can you do to help others know when they are impacting your work environment?
    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
    ~Anaïs Nin
  • Myoku
    • Jul 2010
    • 1487

    Re: 18-Nov Zen Seeds Pg 83-86

    A Monk's Mouth Is Like A Stove's. I like this, especially in the wider sense it is presented in this chapter. I feel its true, we eat all as it comes, not matter if we dont like it or like it, it forms us, influences all our further life. We burn it all to this particular life of ours.

    Shawn's question is difficult, to me. How do I operate in a world of dualism ? How do I live in a dream ? I dream it, and thus, in this dualistic world I try to go with the flow. Most daunting are maybe my frequent fall-backs deep int this dream, the getting lost in a dualistic dream.

    All work is good work. As I understand this chapter this makes perfect sense to me. To me it seems to be a reminder not to refuse to do certain work, or maybe even wider, not to refuse to fill the place that life has choosen for us. Not to resist. Not to value low whatever we are going to do. To do it fully. Being self employed I can only say that those times are the worst where you don't work with such attitude. When I resist to do what has to be done, pick the raisins, I can be sure the trouble comes later on. Doing what has to be done, and fully engaging can make even a low-valued task a very pleasing experience. You see - I work on my attitude :-D

    Shawns question: Oh, I tend to critizise other peoples work more than my own, and that has some pretty negative impact. The second part of the question is pretty for me, I tell them. I found that when you politely inform others about making you trouble in your work, its the best one can do. Just have a talk (or as I do, write an email), being sincere and kind. I think your question, Shawn, already is a wonderful guide to solve a problem: helping others to know how they influence your work.

    Thanks Shawn, and everybody reading along


    • Heisoku
      • Jun 2010
      • 1338

      Re: 18-Nov Zen Seeds Pg 83-86

      Thanks for the questions Shawn. I have sat and started a few times but each time I find a different tangent. Anyway for A Monk's Mouth Is Like A Stove's the duality for me lies somewhere between Rocky Balboa;

      ‘The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!’

      and Dogen…

      ‘Next get ready the following morning’s breakfast. Select the rice and prepare the vegetables by yourself with your own hands, watching closely with sincere diligence. You should not attend to some things and neglect or be slack with others for even one moment. Do not give a single drop from within the ocean of virtue: you must not fail to add a single speck on top of the mountain of good deeds.’

      As for the second question this from Haim Ginott answers for me;

      “I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humour, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanised or de-humanised.”

      I have made my vow.
      Heisoku 平 息
      Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)


      • Geika
        Treeleaf Unsui
        • Jan 2010
        • 4980

        Re: 18-Nov Zen Seeds Pg 83-86

        Originally posted by shards
        How are you operating in a world of dualism?
        With Buddhism.

        Originally posted by shards
        What challenges do you find most daunting?
        Society is built on "right" and "wrong," so it is often hard to deal with the built-in notion that people have that certain things are always "right" and certain other things are always "wrong." I find myself challenged to try to open the channel within people that might see the openness of non-dualistic thinking.

        Originally posted by shards
        What steps can you do to help others know when they are impacting your work environment?
        To be honest, I usually just deal with it. I've never had a major problem, though.
        求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
        I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.


        • Rimon
          • May 2010
          • 309

          Re: 18-Nov Zen Seeds Pg 83-86

          How are you operating in a world of dualism?
          A very good question. Like one of these proverbial slaps from a Zen Master that helps you to awake.
          So now I realize that I keep processing the world in a dual manner. Besides very few lucid moment, I don't question that there is myself and then the rest of world, and look for ways to either take the maximum profit or to avoid dangers.

          I really need to work on that. Thanks for pointing it out for me/us, Shawn.

          What steps can you do to help others know when they are impacting your work environment?
          Being a professor I find plenty of "opportunities" impact other people's work, specially my students, but also colleagues. The most complex task, and the one that that is also key, is to get real feedback on how I'm doing. Students and colleagues tend to be polite, either because they fear the results of a sincere opinion in their degrees (students) or because a false sense of being peers that imply never say to a colleague what he or she is doing wrong (Other professors).
          When trying to collect feedback I realize now that this is one of those few moments in which I go beyond dualism and try to think of the teaching business as a whole, not me versus them but really trying to produce a way of working together in which everyone is better off and concern is only about the community as a whole.

          So, it is not really "seeing reality as it is" neither "walking with the feet a few inches over the ground" but it is certainly something.

          "How are you operating in a world of dualism" he mumbled to himself before hitting the submit button...


          Rimon Barcelona, Spain
          "Practice and the goal of practice are identical." [i:auj57aui]John Daido Loori[/i:auj57aui]