Aug 4-5th 2023 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hr ZAZENKAI - Genjo Koan (II) - The Key to Dogen's Zen

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39211

    Aug 4-5th 2023 - OUR MONTHLY 4-hr ZAZENKAI - Genjo Koan (II) - The Key to Dogen's Zen

    We Continue our Series on
    Genjo Koan
    'Realizing the Truth Right Here,"
    the Key to Master Dogen's Zen

    (text below)

    Dear All,

    Please sit our Monthly 4-Hour Treeleaf Zazenkai netcast LIVE 8am to noon Japan time Saturday morning (that is New York 7pm to 11pm, Los Angeles 4pm to 8pm (Friday night), London Midnight to 4am and Paris 1am to 5am (early Saturday morning)), and also sitable any time thereafter:

    However, "one way" live sitters are encouraged to come into the Zoom sitting, and just leave the camera and microphone turned off: Join live (with or without a camera & microphone) on Zoom at: TREELEAF Now OR at DIRECT ZOOM LINK, password (if needed): dogen

    Dharma Talk Audio / Podcast Episode:
    Hello, Sangha Our Treeleaf Zendo Podcast begins a new series of talks, this time on master Dogen´s Genjo Koan, based on the modernized translation of the fascicle by our very own Jundo, found in his book ¨The Zen Master's Dance (¨ The first episode in the series,

    The Sitting Schedule is as follows:

    00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN
    01:00 - 01:30 ZAZEN
    01:30 - 01:50 KINHIN

    01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
    02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN & HOKEY-POKEY RITUAL

    02:40 - 03:15 ZAZEN
    03:15 - 03:30 KINHIN
    ATTENTION: Everyone, when rising for Kinhin or Ceremonies after Zazen, get up slowly, don't rush, hold something stable, you won't be "late," so TAKE YOUR TIME! Make sure you are careful getting up!

    Gassho, Jundo


    PS - There is no "wrong" or "right" in Zazen ... yet here is a little explanation of the "right" times to Bow (A Koan) ...

    Chant Book is here for those who wish to join in: CHANT BOOK LINK

    The other video I mention on Zendo decorum is this one, from our "Always Beginners" video Series:

    Sit-a-Long with Jundo: Zazen for Beginners (12) - Basic Zendo Decorum At Home

    I also recommend a little Talk on why small rituals and procedures are so cherished in the Zendo:

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Small Things in the Zendo

    A little talk about small customs and rituals in the Zendo (such as straightening our slippers, not taking a short cut across the room, keeping our hands a certain way), and why those are elements of practice. It applies mostly when sitting in a formal group, like our weekly Treeleaf Zazenkai, but it is good to incorporate

    Last edited by Bion; 08-03-2023, 06:34 AM.
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39211

    The text for our talk today, the second in a monthly series, is based on my modernized translation of the Genjo Koan, from my book ...

    A Guide to Understanding Dōgen and Who You Are in the Universe

    Other translations of of the Genjo can be found here for comparison: (LINK)

    ~ ~ ~

    Buddhas are those with great understanding of the nature
    of delusion. Alas, confused beings are those who are greatly
    deluded about the nature of enlightenment. Moreover,
    because life is not stagnant, so a Buddha must continue to
    realize realization upon realization, while ordinary folks
    just fall into delusion after delusion.

    Practitioners sometimes think that enlightenment is the endpoint of practice rather than an ongoing series of daily actions that are each an opportunity to manifest either ignorant or enlightened behavior. They think that they must get to a perpetually blissful place called “enlightenment,” removed from the pain and complexity of this world, and all their problems will disappear but their wishes and desires will be fully satisfied. Actually, that has never been the way Zen masters considered enlightenment, or, at least, a complete vision of it. While there is a state beyond self and problems—a place where all desires are satisfied in unbroken wholeness—human beings cannot live there. They cannot pay the bills and fall in love there. So, we should realize that instead we can experience a flawed world that is also flawless. We can have goals and expectations and demands, yet also accept life as it is, on its own terms. In other words, we can know a realm of endless peace, beyond all lack and ugliness, as one with this world of frequent disturbance, lack, and ugliness.

    * * *

    Buddha doesn’t need to note she is Buddha. Nevertheless,
    Buddhas are just living Buddhas who keep on living Buddha
    by bringing Buddha to life.

    When you manifest Buddha, you do so in each wise and compassionate thought, word, and deed, great or small, of your daily life. Buddha’s action is not a fancy gesture you need to stick a flag on, make a big show about, or hire a marching band to proclaim. Buddha is wondrous, yet quite ordinary. I personally see Buddha manifesting all around me, not with a golden body and a shining halo floating high in the sky, but in the simple acts of generosity, peace, love, kindness, and harmony carried out by ordinary people in this world each day. Whenever a human being acts with generosity and altruism rather than selfishness, when she offers peace where there was strife or sees though division to the unity of all things, then she is bringing Buddha to life in this world and time. The person so acting need not even note to herself that she is doing so.

    When one sees the forms or hears the sounds of the world
    fully and wholly with body and mind [free of judgment,
    free of mental categories, transcending “me, my, mine”],
    one intimately understands without separation. Then, it is
    not like some object and its reflection in a mirror, and it is
    unlike the moon and its reflection in distant water, whereby
    one side is illuminated and the other side is left in the dark.

    Most of us feel cut off from life much of the time, as if our self and the rest of the world were separate. Frictions and disappointments come out of this sense of separation. But there is a way to experience life so unified, so intimate, that such frictions and disappointments drop away. It takes a sense of separation to have tumult and trouble. So, let’s just stop feeling that separation! Give up sticking so stubbornly to this sense of our separate selves via our Buddhist practice. Then, one sees both sides at once, wholeness and separation, completion and lack, as two sides of a single no-sided coin, and all is illuminated.

    For to master the Buddha Way is to learn the self. To learn
    the self is to drop the separate self from mind. To drop the
    separate self from mind is to be actualized by the myriad
    things of the world. When actualized by the myriad things,
    one’s body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of
    others all drop away. In such intimacy, no trace even of
    “enlightenment” remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.

    The self is filled with all manner of drives and desires, as well as feelings of isolation from everything and everyone that is not itself. You are frustrated when the world fails to meet your terms and conditions. Please study that, then stop that! Then all the world comes to embrace you without terms and conditions, unifying all life. This “life-self-world” becomes so fluid, whole, and natural that there is no need to label it even with a term like “enlightenment.”

    Last edited by Jundo; 08-03-2023, 06:29 AM.


    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39211

      Our Dance this month, during O-Bon Season, has to be a traditional Bon Odori ... Here is a "How To" ...

      A Tanko Bushi Bon dance in Tokyo filmed this week (I am happy to see the dancing coming back after ... you know what ... ) ...

      Tankō Bushi (炭坑節) is a Japanese folk song ... the rhythm is in swung, ondo style. It is a song about coal mining, and it refers to old Miike Mine in Kyūshū (Tagawa City). It is a common song used in Bon dances during the Bon Festival, and the dance that accompanies it depicts actions in mines such as shoveling coal, throwing a bag of coal over the shoulders, wiping sweat from the brow or pushing a cart of coal.

      Excerpt from Tankō Bushi


      Tsuki ga deta deta
      Tsuki ga deta, a yoi yoi
      Miike Tankō no ue ni deta
      Anmari entotsu ga takai no de
      Sazoya otsukisan kemutakaro
      Sa no yoi yoi

      Rough English translation:

      The moon, has come out,
      Oh, the moon is out, heave ho
      Over Miike Coal Mine has the moon come out.
      The chimney is so high,
      I wonder if the moon chokes on the smoke...
      Heave Ho!

      The song was recorded in Japan in 1932.
      Last edited by Jundo; 08-03-2023, 06:46 AM.


      • Kiri
        • Apr 2019
        • 347

        Thank you everyone!
        Gassho, Kiri
        希 rare
        理 principle


        • Kotei
          Treeleaf Unsui
          • Mar 2015
          • 3924

          Uh, I forgot to thank you all for sitting together.
          Thank you!

          (p.s.: your German accent sounds strangely familiar, Bion :-) )

          義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
          Being a novice priest doesn't mean my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.


          • Bion
            Treeleaf Unsui
            • Aug 2020
            • 3716

            Originally posted by Kotei
            Uh, I forgot to thank you all for sitting together.
            Thank you!

            (p.s.: your German accent sounds strangely familiar, Bion :-) )
            Ah.. I do my best! [emoji1] I can only follow the best example I have !!

            [emoji1374] Sat Today
            "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi