a question for Jundo or anyone else

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  • lora
    Member
    • Jun 2008
    • 122

    a question for Jundo or anyone else

    Hello, Jundo and Everyone,

    I came across this quote by Dogen:

    Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment.

    Whaat!?

    How could Buddha not be aware that he was enlightened? Or anyone else for that matter who is enlightened.

    Many blessings,
    Lora
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39272

    #2
    Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

    Originally posted by lora
    Hello, Jundo and Everyone,

    I came across this quote by Dogen:

    Do not think you will necessarily be aware of your own enlightenment.

    Whaat!?

    How could Buddha not be aware that he was enlightened? Or anyone else for that matter who is enlightened.

    Many blessings,
    Lora
    Hi Lora,

    Well, you are not necessarily aware of your breathing each moment, but it is always there. Something like that. The most natural thing.

    I sometimes compare our Practicing of "to-the-marrow non-seeking" as one's looking for the missing eyeglasses that are always perched right on top of one's head. Or looking for your own nose. Or, to remove the least possibility of dualistic thinking ... the eye looking for the eye.

    A fundamental belief of Zen Buddhism is that we are all originally enlightened ... and just need to work very very hard to "non-realize" that Truth.

    Does that help?

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • lora
      Member
      • Jun 2008
      • 122

      #3
      Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

      Thanks, Jundo,

      Yes, it helps. I, at least intellectually, understand "the eye looking for the eye". Dogen phrases it in a different way though. Words sure get in the way though! Need to shed some more concepts.

      Thanks again. I need to go now, it seems I've misplaced my glasses...

      Many blessings,
      Lora

      Comment

      • lora
        Member
        • Jun 2008
        • 122

        #4
        Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

        Hello again,

        Is it a case of "that which you are seeking is always seeking you". (Anon)

        The seeker is the sought.

        ?

        Many blessings,
        Lora

        Comment

        • AlanLa
          Member
          • Mar 2008
          • 1405

          #5
          Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

          My all-time favorite zen parable seems appropriate here:

          Enyadatta was a beautiful maiden who enjoyed nothing more than gazing at herself in the mirror each morning. One day when she looked into her mirror she found no head reflected there. The shock was so great that she became frantic, rushing around demanding to know who had taken her head. "Who has my head? Where is my head? I shall die if I don't find it!" she cried. Though everyone told her, "Don't be silly, your head is on your shoulders where it has always been," she refused to believe it. "No, it isn't! No, it isn't! Somebody must have taken it!" she shouted, continuing her frenzied search. At length her friends, believing her mad, dragged her home and tied her to a pillar to prevent her harming herself.

          Slowly her close friends persuaded her that she had always had her head, and gradually she came to half-believe it. Her subconscious mind began to accept the fact that perhaps she was deluded in thinking she had lost her head.

          Suddenly one of her friends gave her a terrific clout on the head, upon which, in pain and shock, she yelled "Ouch!" "That's your head! There it is!" her friend exclaimed, and immediately Enyadatta saw that she had deluded herself into thinking she had lost her head when in fact she had always had it.

          When this happened to Enyadatta she was so elated that she rushed around exclaiming, "Oh, I've got it! I have my head after all! I'm so happy!" As her joy subsided Enyadatta recovered from her half-mad state.
          AL (Jigen) in:
          Faith/Trust
          Courage/Love
          Awareness/Action!

          I sat today

          Comment

          • Gautami
            Member
            • Aug 2008
            • 19

            #6
            Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

            hi...
            Problem: if one is a sleep one can not see the glasses perched on the top of one's head (thanks Jundo), not aware of being enlightened.
            Discussion: 1)There is an argument re: is enlightenment gradual or sudden and complete? 2) There is a description of 'stages' of enlightenmen in Sutras (have to look up which one), ex: stream enterer. 3)Everyone experience moments of a sudden increased awareness and changed perception, or times or moments of grater transformation, and there is an awareness of a change and memory of one's experience of 'self' before and after. Also shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment was gradual (although little quicker than most of us :wink: ) and he was aware of waking up and then being awake.
            Question: If we take Dogen's statement as literal there is a mistake in the above reasoning. Is it possible that he is addressing the issue on the level of ultimate reality (different from our common, consensual one)?
            This confusion confuses me all of the time... :lol: :lol: :lol:
            Gautami

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39272

              #7
              Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

              Originally posted by Gautami
              hi...
              Problem: if one is a sleep one can not see the glasses perched on the top of one's head (thanks Jundo), not aware of being enlightened.
              Discussion: 1)There is an argument re: is enlightenment gradual or sudden and complete? 2) There is a description of 'stages' of enlightenmen in Sutras (have to look up which one), ex: stream enterer. 3)Everyone experience moments of a sudden increased awareness and changed perception, or times or moments of grater transformation, and there is an awareness of a change and memory of one's experience of 'self' before and after. Also shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment was gradual (although little quicker than most of us :wink: ) and he was aware of waking up and then being awake.
              Question: If we take Dogen's statement as literal there is a mistake in the above reasoning. Is it possible that he is addressing the issue on the level of ultimate reality (different from our common, consensual one)?
              This confusion confuses me all of the time... :lol: :lol: :lol:
              Gautami
              Hello Guatami,

              Our Soto Zen perspective(s) on the above are very special, I believe.

              In our Way's seemingly contradictory & conflicting, yet perfectly whole & harmonious simultaneously experienced view(s):

              ... there is absolutely nothing to attain, not a thing about "Guatami" to add or take away, no time but this very instant ... so to realize that is "realization", the realization that there is nothing to realize.

              And attaining that realization of no attaining/no realization/no time may take much time, and may come in stages, yet always comes in an instant. In fact, while Guatami is just Guatami, there is no "Guatami" at all to do any of it.

              I describe our Zazen practice sometimes this way ...

              So, we have to work very diligently to sit every day, and strive with great effort, all to realize that there is nothing to attain ... It is the way of effortless effort. We must aim carefully for the goalless goal!

              Being the "Buddha" all along, and having not a thing about you that is in need of change ... that does not mean you don't have some work to do to realize truly that you are the Buddha without need of change. To realize that you are never, from the outset, in need of change is a VERY BIG CHANGE! There is absolutely nothing about you and the universe (not two) to add or take away, and tasting that there is "nothing to add" is an important addition!

              And how do you realize that non-realization?

              By Just sitting to-the-marrow, radically dropping all goals, judgments, attempts to get somewhere or to achieve some realization. That gets you somewhere, and a revolutionary realization!

              Get how that goes? :shock:
              So, "enlightenment" gradual and sudden and complete, comes in single moments -- yet takes a lifetime to live.

              We say that there is so much "nothing to attain", that practice -is- enlightenment itself ... merely straightening the back, and crossing the legs in Zazen is a perfect act, satori itself.

              We have moments of great awareness, moments of small awareness, moments of great and small ignorance. All are our lives, all are "enlightenment" when perceived rightly ... which means, beyond judgments of "wrong" or "right", "great" and "small". For example, when we drop all thought of "good" or "bad, there are no "bad" moments in life ... even the really bad ones! It is the same with "enlightenment" and "ignorance", "nirvana" and "samsara" ... for "samsara" is precisely "nirvana" when we drop all thought of either/or.

              And this "awareness of a change and memory of one's experience of 'self' before and after" takes time. Realizing that there is not an atom to change about the universe, and not an instant to change in your life ... is truly life changing, like an atomic explosion!

              Realizing that there is no permanent "self" truly marks a permanent change to your 'self''s experience of itself.

              Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment was gradual, and we believe that what he realized was beyond all thoughts of "sudden" or "gradual". In this way, a sudden event is just gradual, and all things gradual are sudden! We believe that he found how to get "to the other shore" by realizing it is ever underfoot.

              This confusion confuses me all of the time... :lol: :lol: :lol:
              Drop all thought of "clarity" and "confusion", and the result is Crystal Clear.

              And that, Guatami, is how we (non-)do Zen Practice! Welcome!

              Gassho, Jundo

              PS- Harry, simplify your ideas a bit. Good conclusions though, but too many notes in your tune.
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • Jinho

                #8
                Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

                Originally posted by Jundo
                Originally posted by Gautami
                hi...

                Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment was gradual, and we believe that what he realized was beyond all thoughts of "sudden" or "gradual". In this way, a sudden event is just gradual, and all things gradual are sudden! We believe that he found how to get "to the other shore" by realizing it is ever underfoot.

                This confusion confuses me all of the time... :lol: :lol: :lol:
                Hi Jundo,

                So on what do you base "Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment was gradual"?

                rowan

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39272

                  #9
                  Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

                  Originally posted by ros
                  Hi Jundo,

                  So on what do you base "Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment was gradual"?

                  rowan
                  Hi Row,

                  Please read what I wrote more closely.

                  It was not "gradual", and thus took him a whole lifetime, and weeks under the Boddhi tree to realize ... then a whole lifetime to wander around India, developing and teaching his understanding, gradually making it a part of life.

                  Yet, it happened in an instant that is all instants. No past, present or future instants.

                  And now ... I'm off to bed. (places cat on top of his head)

                  Gassho, J
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • Gautami
                    Member
                    • Aug 2008
                    • 19

                    #10
                    Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

                    ... thanks every one... it seems to be:
                    Problem: confusion of meaning of words. Language necessarily reflects dualistic view, therefore it is impossible explain non-dualistic reality using language/logic. It can be only expereinced.
                    Discussion: 1) if we remember that we (or anything else) are a process (no-self as an enduring consistent and permanent entity), if we use the word ‘self’ as a verb instead of noun, 2) if we replace the word ‘realization’ with a word ‘recognition’ (this sometime occurs, to different degrees, in the process of meditation, a recognition of increasingly empty ‘spaces’ between thoughts and emotions, occasional experience of a resolution of physical body, occasional experience of disappearence of a sense of ‘I’ but awareness of being a part of an environment), in other words recognizing reality of how things really are when we are just a bit more awake, then yes, there is nothing to be changed or atchieved. There is no need to change anything or any one, just “realize or recognize the true nature” of how it really is…
                    Question: If training in maintainning clear awareness of the present moment (in the sitting meditation or in every day tasks (I call it meditation-in-action), which seem to be the emphasis in Zen practice, then, eventually, the practice leads to the recognition, or “Realization” or “waking up” to our true nature, the realization of how things really are.
                    So there is nothing to change, only recognize the true nature of all...
                    Thanks with gassho
                    Gautami

                    Comment

                    • will
                      Member
                      • Jun 2007
                      • 2331

                      #11
                      Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

                      What sets out to become enlightened, is not necessarily what realizes enlightenment.

                      Gassho
                      [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                      To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                      To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                      To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                      To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                      [/size:z6oilzbt]

                      Comment

                      • Gautami
                        Member
                        • Aug 2008
                        • 19

                        #12
                        Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

                        will... do you mean Gautami who set out to become enlightened, set out to recognize her true Buddha nature a moment ago is not Gautami who continue? There is no continual identity of Gautami only (historical continuation) process? This is the only way I inderstand your words... My understanding is within the no-self 'seal' of Buddhism...
                        Thanks...
                        G.

                        Comment

                        • Gautami
                          Member
                          • Aug 2008
                          • 19

                          #13
                          Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

                          Jundo sensei... some of my notes have a tag "edit". Does it mean the text contains mistakes? How do I detect them? What can I do about it?
                          With apologies...
                          Gautami

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39272

                            #14
                            Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

                            Originally posted by Gautami

                            Discussion: 1) if we remember that we (or anything else) are a process (no-self as an enduring consistent and permanent entity), if we use the word ‘self’ as a verb instead of noun, 2) if we replace the word ‘realization’ with a word ‘recognition’ (this sometime occurs, to different degrees, in the process of meditation, a recognition of increasingly empty ‘spaces’ between thoughts and emotions, occasional experience of a resolution of physical body, occasional experience of disappearence of a sense of ‘I’ but awareness of being a part of an environment), in other words recognizing reality of how things really are when we are just a bit more awake, then yes, there is nothing to be changed or atchieved. There is no need to change anything or any one, just “realize or recognize the true nature” of how it really is…
                            Question: If training in maintainning clear awareness of the present moment (in the sitting meditation or in every day tasks (I call it meditation-in-action), which seem to be the emphasis in Zen practice, then, eventually, the practice leads to the recognition, or “Realization” or “waking up” to our true nature, the realization of how things really are.
                            So there is nothing to change, only recognize the true nature of all...
                            Thanks with gassho
                            "Gautami
                            Hi Again, Guatami,

                            I like your formulation very much, especially of seeing our "self" as a verb, so long as we simultaneously see that (in our Soto view):

                            1- there is no need or benefit from"maintaining clear awareness of the present moment" for every single timeless moment, 24/7. Awarenesses of this and that, and "no this/that", all come and go, even during Zazen. Sometimes we will have a "non-dualistic" experience of "no this/that", and that is insightful and vital to our Practice. It is why we sit Zazen, dropping all judgments, "likes" and "dislikes", categories, names, thoughts of "this" and "that". We experience a reality before all that mental "stuff". Sometimes we can even drop the "I" away.

                            1- And sometimes we have no such awareness during Zazen or during the rest of life (not two, by the way), and our minds are cluttered with Stuff and "I". But true "non-dualism", in our view, is to drop the dualistic separation even between "stuff" and "no stuff", "I" and "I-less"! :wink: We live in this world as much as we "see through" it and, most importantly, even when we don't "see through" it. We realize that there is nothing wrong even when we don't "see through" this world to the "no stuff".

                            1- Some folks in Buddhism and other Eastern Religions think that only the "no stuff/no I" is TRUE, while our world of "stuff/I" is FALSE. They try to get away from this world. We don't. All of it, when seen clearly, is "One's True Nature", even the crappy parts that we usually resist (you know, "sickness, old age, death" ... that "stuff" that set the Buddha off on his gradual search, war and poverty and all the rest). Thus, the most important Zen saying ever, I believe ...

                            When you first study Zen mountains are mountains. Then mountains are no longer mountains. Finally mountains are mountains again


                            So ordinary! Yet so extra-ordinary!

                            1- Thus, I describe our Zazen practice this way ...

                            ... and that is why there is no way to do Zazen "wrong" ... even when you are doing it completely "wrong":

                            There is no 'bad" Zazen, even the bad Zazen. So, we sit looking at the clear, open blue sky without clouds (clouds represent thoughts, the blue sky represents the mind clear of thoughts). Clouds drift in and out, while some days are very blue and some days completely cloudy without any blue sky visible. It is just the weather, which changes. The blue sky is there even when hidden by the clouds. Also, nothing "wrong" with clouds ... it is all the natural sky. Something like that. Blue sky and clouds are all the sky, do not wish to break up the sky. The sky and the weather are just the sky and the weather on any given day.

                            We do not try to "silence the thoughts before they arise" in Skikantaza. It is more that we allow the thoughts that naturally drift into mind to to naturally drift out of mind, much as clouds naturally drift in and out of a clear blue sky. In this way, return again and again to the open, clear blue sky.

                            One of the key points about Master Dogen's approach to Zazen is to allow the clouds (of thought) to drift naturally out of mind (our thoughts of this and that, likes and dislikes, judgments, events, etc) and we come back again and again to the clear blue sky. Do that again and again, 100 billion times and 100 billion times again. So, no need to "catch" the thoughts and chase them away, even as we seek during Zazen to find the open, blue sky.

                            HOWEVER, Dogen taught "non-thinking" (also called "thinking not thinking"). That means that there is nothing "wrong" with the clouds. It is not that blue sky is "good" while clouds are "bad" (some Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies imply that). We allow the clouds to drift out of mind, but neither do we resent the clouds when present or on very cloudy days. Even on those days when the sky is all cloudy, and not an inch of blue is present, the blue sky is still there behind the clouds. WE DO NOT SEEK TO BREAK UP OR RESIST ANY PART OF THE SKY, CLOUDS OR BLUE ... It is all the unbroken sky. Understand?

                            Thus, allowing things to just be the way they are, no judging, not resisting, being with the flow, allowing 'happy' days to be happy and 'sad' days to be sad, all while dropping all idea of 'happy' and 'sad', whether really enjoying or really not enjoying ... fully dropping away any and all thought of doing Zazen 'right' or doing it 'wrong' ... THIS IS DOING IT RIGHT. And when you are doing it right, it will usually feel like you are doing it right, for there is no resistance, and a great sense of balance.

                            Fighting things, wishing things were some other way that how they are, judging, resisting, going against the grain and the flow, wishing 'sad' days were happy or 'happy' days were happier ... filled with a sense of self bumping up against all the other 'selfs', with a mind held by thoughts of doing Zazen 'right' or doing it 'wrong' ... THIS IS DOING ZAZEN WRONG. And when you are doing it wrong, it will usually feel like you are doing it wrong, for there is resistance, and a sense of imbalance.

                            But as well, even at those times when Zazen feels 'wrong', when there is resistance or imbalance ... it is still 'right', still 'Zazen', still just what it is. IT CANNOT BE WRONG. This last point is vital to understanding.

                            Yes, that is a Koan. Is it clear? Please really really penetrate in your body and mind what I just wrote.
                            1- Hope that helps.

                            Gassho, Jundo

                            PS- I have no idea what a "tag edit" is. All I can do is tell you to seek to fix it, yet embrace it whether you can or not! :wink:
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • Dosho
                              Member
                              • Jun 2008
                              • 5784

                              #15
                              Re: a question for Jundo or anyone else

                              Gautami,

                              I believe it's just giving you the option of editing your post if you saw something that you wanted to change.

                              Gassho,
                              Scott

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