behind the obvious

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  • Taigu
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
    • Aug 2008
    • 2710

    behind the obvious

    The thief left it behind:
    the moon
    at my window.
    Reading these three lines, most people and myself, would be touched by the gentle heart and compassion of the monk-poet and find this very cute and kind and...

    Yes, of course, it is about a night where Ryokan woke up very cold as his blanket was stolen by a thief.

    And yet, it is an extraordinary poem about the consciousness during Zazen and the relatioship between sitting and living. Let me explain. The thief is the ego, willing to make use of Zazen, to milk practice, to take something from shikantaza into the life out there. Meanwhile , it misses the selfless brightness of the moon which stands for awakening, original and open shikantaza, which shine on phenomenas too. When zazen, zazen.When life, life. And of course, nothing but zazen for life is fully embraced. Do and create a bound or separation, a river to cross, some stuff and goods to smuggle, one shore to the next and... you end up with a blanket when you own the whole brightness of the universe...Attached to a single experience, we end up being the thief of a few rags . The moon, the window and and the fool waking up are always possible, always available every single moment of our life.

    gassho

    Taigu
  • Risho
    Member
    • May 2010
    • 3179

    #2
    Re: behind the obvious

    I've been thinking about the pointlessness of zazen a lot. I catch myself doing practice sometimes in the hope of attaining something better. Sometimes I whisper to myself before sitting that this is pointless just as a reminder. The ego is powerful, and I find it challenging to just let go to let the zazen take care of itself.

    Thank you for this Taigu sensei

    Gassho

    Risho
    Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

    Comment

    • Taylor
      Member
      • May 2010
      • 388

      #3
      Re: behind the obvious

      Very cute indeed :P

      I appreciate the new perspective. Sometimes I forget the profoundness of Ryokan's poems. And sometimes I forget the simplicity.

      Thanks for the moon,
      Myoken
      Gassho,
      Myoken
      [url:r05q3pze]http://staresatwalls.blogspot.com/[/url:r05q3pze]

      Comment

      • Omoi Otoshi
        Member
        • Dec 2010
        • 801

        #4
        Re: behind the obvious

        Thank you Taigu Sensei!
        I have a small collection of blankets, rags really, myself. I will put them down now. Next time I'll just sit with the moon shine.

        Gassho,
        Pontus
        In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
        you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
        now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
        the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

        Comment

        • Taigu
          Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
          • Aug 2008
          • 2710

          #5
          Re: behind the obvious

          Pontus,

          You can make a kesa out of these rags and blankets...That's what we do...

          gassho

          Taigu

          Comment

          • Keishin
            Member
            • Jun 2007
            • 471

            #6
            Re: behind the obvious

            Taigu, on this cold evening,

            as I am about to prepare my hotwater bottle for my feetzies tonight you turn my thoughts to Ryokan, a thief, a window and the moon.

            Could I convince a would-be thief to join me under Ryokan's covers? I think I have--and they took the roof, the floor, the walls and the window!

            Comment

            • Taigu
              Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
              • Aug 2008
              • 2710

              #7
              Re: behind the obvious

              the thief left her behind
              Keishin
              in the moonlight


              gassho


              Taigu

              Comment

              • Rimon
                Member
                • May 2010
                • 309

                #8
                Re: behind the obvious

                Can't find any words now...

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

                Comment

                • Omoi Otoshi
                  Member
                  • Dec 2010
                  • 801

                  #9
                  Re: behind the obvious

                  Originally posted by Taigu
                  You can make a kesa out of these rags and blankets...That's what we do...
                  The thief
                  In threads of moonlight
                  left behind

                  Gassho,
                  Pontus
                  In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                  you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                  now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                  the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                  Comment

                  • disastermouse

                    #10
                    Re: behind the obvious

                    Originally posted by Taigu
                    Pontus,

                    You can make a kesa out of these rags and blankets...That's what we do...

                    gassho

                    Taigu
                    This is gonna sound like a kid's question, but why make anything?

                    Chet

                    Comment

                    • Omoi Otoshi
                      Member
                      • Dec 2010
                      • 801

                      #11
                      Re: behind the obvious

                      Sawaki Roshi said:

                      "When somebody asks me what zazen is good for, I say that zazen isn’t good for anything at all. And then some say that in that case they’d rather stop doing zazen. But what’s running around satisfying your desires good for? What is gambling good for? And dancing? What is it good for to get worked up over winning or losing in baseball? It’s all good for absolutely nothing! That’s why nothing is as sensible as sitting silently in zazen. In the world, “good for nothing” just means that you can’t make money out of it."

                      Making a Kesa can be Zazen, wouldn't you say? What would be more sensible than making a Kesa? Maybe sitting Zazen, I don't know.
                      One could perhaps put it all down instead, but if that seems impossible, making a Kesa may seem more feasible?

                      Kid's questions are sometimes the hardest... :wink:

                      Gassho,
                      Pontus
                      In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                      you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                      now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                      the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                      Comment

                      • Hans
                        Member
                        • Mar 2007
                        • 1853

                        #12
                        Re: behind the obvious


                        This is gonna sound like a kid's question, but why make anything?

                        Chet

                        Hello Chet,

                        although I'm not a qualified teacher, please allow me to offer you my two cents worth.

                        Making something is the perfect conscious expression of things as they are. Form is not just emptiness, but emptiness is the perfectly expressed form as well. Once we are beginning to see through the "looseness" of a reality previously considered firm and definite, it seems odd to see any worth in the "relative". But to stop there would mean to miss the mark. We affirm the deep truth of Sunyata, the marrow of the Prajna Paramita through actively expressing it, through e.g. making something.

                        Gassho,

                        Hans

                        Comment

                        • disastermouse

                          #13
                          Re: behind the obvious

                          Kesas into rags, rags into kesas - each moment is it's action.

                          I didn't mean to imply that nothing should ever be done, nonetheless 'nothing' is also an option.

                          Not to chant a verse,
                          Not to make a kesa,
                          Not to post a reply,
                          Oops,
                          Too late.

                          Comment

                          • Taigu
                            Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
                            • Aug 2008
                            • 2710

                            #14
                            Re: behind the obvious

                            Making a kesa is a full expression of what is said to be : bonno soku bodai, illusions become awkening. Rags become kesa. Chet becomes Buddha. Action. Gautama even without a word toys with a flower on Vulture peak. Out of non doing, doing bossoms. If nothing comes to nothing to nothing, this is a sunyata hangover which sticks and traps, It is one of the pitfalls that Nagarjuna points out. So making a kesa which is perfectly rags and yet Buddha's body at the same time is the practice of the guys that follow as much as they possibly can Sawaki 's Zen. Dogen's Zen ( read the shobogenzo and the capters about the kesa, consider the many kesa Dogen sewn). Mongen, deep bows. Chet, deep bows.

                            gassho


                            Taigu

                            Comment

                            • disastermouse

                              #15
                              Re: behind the obvious

                              Originally posted by Taigu
                              Making a kesa is a full expression of what is said to be : bonno soku bodai, illusions become awkening. Rags become kesa. Chet becomes Buddha. Action. Gautama even without a word toys with a flower on Vulture peak. Out of non doing, doing bossoms. If nothing comes to nothing to nothing, this is a sunyata hangover which sticks and traps, It is one of the pitfalls that Nagarjuna points out. So making a kesa which is perfectly rags and yet Buddha's body at the same time is the practice of the guys that follow as much as they possibly can Sawaki 's Zen. Dogen's Zen ( read the shobogenzo and the capters about the kesa, consider the many kesa Dogen sewn). Mongen, deep bows. Chet, deep bows.

                              gassho


                              Taigu
                              My posts were not criticisms. And I have nothing against the kesa, Dogen, or you.

                              Is a Buddha's body made or found? A glimpse of a question from Western philosophy.

                              Comment

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