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 What teachings do you carry with you?

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Lise
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PostSubject: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri May 28, 2010 9:07 pm

I thought it might be fun to talk about which teachings have stuck with us since we first heard of them, whether from the OBC or elsewhere. Sometimes I'm surprised at the small random thoughts guiding me through the day.

"First, put your shoes straight." For years I've been taking my shoes off before entering my house (like twenty years, literally, long before my Abbey days), but now I poke them into place with my foot and make sure they're straight before going inside. I take the time to do it, I don't begrudge doing it, and for some reason it gives me a small moment to rest and regroup mentally. I'm no longer able to overlook a pile of jumbled-up shoes outside the door; there's peace in seeing them straight.

"I could be wrong." I may not agree with everything Jiyu-Kennett wrote or did, but some elements of her teaching made a deep impact. I'm much more likely to take a second, third and fourth look at things, especially those I react to with a lot of emotion. It makes sense to me that strong feelings might cloud my thinking and so it's good to slow down and reflect. Maybe I'm not wrong, that's possible too, but I want to consider all the options together.

"Look at what your mind is doing." I'm a believer now, that we can stop certain patterns and mind-tracks from endlessly replaying in our heads and causing suffering. This one sentence -- "look at what your mind is doing" -- has been a tremendous help to me in understanding that our thoughts are not "who we are" or "what we are". To me, they are mostly habits and patterns, and if they're not good, we can change them.

Anybody else?
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun May 30, 2010 10:33 pm

More:

"If you meditate, there will be enough time for whatever else you need to do". I used to think this was hooey -- didn't think I could spare precious minutes in everyday life to sit around. Meditating was like a weekend indulgence. Then I found that meditating more often lets me see the important things more clearly. And I can let go (for that day at least) of the rest.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Mon May 31, 2010 12:22 am

Lise--WELL DONE!!--keep going!!!
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Mon May 31, 2010 10:56 am

“Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist. Use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.” - His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

This caught my attention after I left the OBC. I was stressed for a while, thinking “what am I supposed to be now? Any of these other traditions could have problems too.” Then it dawns on me, I don’t have to choose, and things got much easier – I’m no longer seeking a label for whatever-I-am. I would like to be better at it, as His Holiness encourages people to do.

I think my spiritual practice works more like a Roomba now, which happens to be roving around in the Buddhist section at the moment. Random movements, bumping into things, sucking up some things, missing others . . . maybe seeing them again later . . .
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PostSubject: Teachings...   Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:21 pm

I really do appreciate the practice. I think it helps me to keep a good perspective on things, as well as live a more balanced life. It's also helped me to be more compassionate and understanding of human beings in general, including myself. My only regret is getting involved in spiritual counseling, which resulted in a lot of strange (really only good for a monastic) ideas and internal conflict. And even then, while I wouldn't return to the priory I had been attending, I would go to a different one where I think the prior is a little more objective and less devotional in nature.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:30 pm

The thing I still carry from Buddhist practice are the precepts. I find my life works a lot better when I try to follow them.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:22 pm

I honestly never thought I would ever be enlightened, still don't. What I do believe, with as much reason as I possess, is that meditation does not hurt anyone and it just may help me. It seems to fill some of my existential vacuum.... soooo a meditating I will go....
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PostSubject: practice vs. teaching   Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:30 pm

I've noticed that most OBC dharma talks seem almost Christian in nature. They repeatedly talk about: having faith, finding "the Eternal," keeping the precepts, knowing the "unborn" etc. I was wondering if this is typical for Zen Buddhism?
I recently started re-reading some of my more secular books on applying mindfulness to everyday life, having awareness of our thoughts, and living more in the present moment etc. I realize that these ideas and practices are what drew me to Zen Buddhism in the first place (every minute Zen), but somehow seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle. Any thoughts?
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:53 pm

I think I am probably pretty simple minded when it comes to the Zen philosophical stuff. The precepts, 10 commandments, old adages to live by, whatever it takes for people to get along seems okay by me. I try to live a decent life and meditate...I don't delve to deeply into the meaning of it all. I read a fair amount about Zen and have gone to a variety of temples; and looked into different traditions but in the end it is just me looking at a wall.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:27 pm

June--I would say (well, actually, I always say), that mindfullness and awareness itself, are what meditiation and spiritual practice are all about. This was always the case with the OBC for the first 20 years. I do not know if, or how, this might have changed over the last 20 years.

Perhaps the critical missing link is the rather important teaching that "faith", the "Eternal", and the "unborn", are just different ways of talking about what it means to allow our own awareness to relax back into the transcendent ground of Awareness itself. The words may get complex--but the principles and process are simplicity itself! (And there's the rub!!)

Sugin--you may not think of yourself as very philosophical--but I'd say that you just nailed the crux of the matter!
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:06 am

Waiting for the dawn drum
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:23 pm

Lise wrote:
“Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist. Use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.” - His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

This caught my attention after I left the OBC. I was stressed for a while, thinking “what am I supposed to be now? Any of these other traditions could have problems too.” Then it dawns on me, I don’t have to choose, and things got much easier – I’m no longer seeking a label for whatever-I-am. I would like to be better at it, as His Holiness encourages people to do.

I think my spiritual practice works more like a Roomba now, which happens to be roving around in the Buddhist section at the moment. Random movements, bumping into things, sucking up some things, missing others . . . maybe seeing them again later . . .

In the early years at Shasta Abbey RMJK said to a few of us once (and i paraphrase)

We are not Buddhists. By practicing Buddhism we are using delusion to eradicate delusion.

I understood her to mean that the concepts and practices of Buddhism are the finger pointing at the moon, not the moon itself. She was not trying to conform to any particular orthodoxy or worried about legitimacy in those days. She was flexible and trying new things. She wanted Buddhism to be more accessible to the West, so she translated all the Chinese and Japanese scriptures into English and eventually set them to plain chant to make their recitation more interesting. RMJK was a music major in university and worked as a professional organist before becoming a monk. She always loved music and tried to incorporate it into the practice when possible. Most of the monks were not musicians and singers so our choir produced mixed results (as some have painfully noted), but we were sincere. She and the OBC are sometimes criticized for seeming Christian as a result of these changes, but that wasn't her intent. It was more that she wanted the community to be more mainstream and taken seriously instead of being seen as weird and isolated. It's debatable how well it worked, but that was the intent.

The devotional element is not for everyone. Zen literature is generally devoid of devotional content and instead speaks to the warrior types who want to be quiet and stern and climb spiritual mountains. The practice of the OBC is somewhat anomalous in that regard and it's understandable that it puts some people off. There's nothing wrong with "Bakti yoga" (devotional practice) though. It's a matter of different strokes for different folks.

We also went through a comparative religions phase. We read books from the Jewish and Christian mystical traditions to better understand the universality of religious experience.

I realize I'm rambling - just trying to speak to the Dalai Lama's words that we can use what we learn to be a better whatever we already are...
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:37 am

I really enjoy your ramblings Isan, feel free to continue!

Re. this,
Isan wrote:
It was more that she wanted the community to be more mainstream and taken seriously instead of being seen as weird and isolated.
It really struck me how, having kept their form since the 1970s, because 'the world' has moved on they're now seen as weird and isolated. If they want to stay true to the original intent, the form must shift.

All best wishes for the conclave again.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:07 am

A very good point Mia. Since the 1970's formal Christian practice has become a minority interest in England and few under 40(?) have any experience of church services and so liturgy, hymns etc. So the Anglo-Catholic ritual etc seems very weird to many. This may be less true in the USA and even NI and Scotland. However, Japanese Zen ceremonial would seem strange too, I suppose. There is a mindfulness training aspect to it and the framework for expressing gratitude etc. "Different strokes for different folks" is agreat favourite point of mine, tho, Isan.

I found the Dalai Lama's "If you can't help others at least try not to harm them" very helpful an memorable and helpful as a variation on "cease from evil". Interesting that that is the first precept.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:13 am

June99 wrote:
I've noticed that most OBC dharma talks seem almost Christian in nature. They repeatedly talk about: having faith, finding "the Eternal," keeping the precepts, knowing the "unborn" etc. I was wondering if this is typical for Zen Buddhism?

First let me briefly intoduce myself. I been a member of the congregation at Throssel for about thirty years and I am an OBC Lay Minister. I'm now retired from my primary career and most of my time is spent doing formal academic research and in helping to teach young Japanese students English in a rural area in Kanto.

Living in Japan I get to visit Soto-shu temples, and occasionally make the trip over to Sojiji where Rev. Master Jiyu trained with Koho Zenji.

In my own experience the content of Dharma talks I hear at Throssel and in Japan have pretty well exactly the same focus. Although there are some obvious cultural differences I also find that attending Japanese temples for zazenkai and for sesshins and ceremonies also has a very similar feel to the UK counterpart. My personal opinion is that Rev. Master Jiyu did a very good job of transmitting the essence of the practice to Shasta and Throssel.

I think that there are two significant differences between being Throssel and at a Japanese temple. The first is the matter of gender; as far as I know there are still no mixed monastic communities in Japan although both lay men and women typically attend zazenkai sessions. The more significant one perhaps is that I think in the OBC the lay congregation plays a far more central role. Centres like Sojiji are essentially functioning as training seminaries for young priests usually looking to take over family temples. Lay training is very much a secondary focus, and opportunities for lay people to train there are limited.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:22 am

Iain wrote:
Centres like Sojiji are essentially functioning as training seminaries for young priests usually looking to take over family temples. Lay training is very much a secondary focus, and opportunities for lay people to train there are limited.

Iain, are the large temples in Japan as dependant on lay donations for their survival, or are they primarily funded through the family temples of monks training there? Given we don't have the same tradition of family temples, could that be why lay trainees are more involved in the West? The large Japanese temples have often sounded to me rather like large universities for priests somehow, but I'm sure that's not the case!
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:16 pm

Iain wrote:

In my own experience the content of Dharma talks I hear at Throssel and in Japan have pretty well exactly the same focus. Although there are some obvious cultural differences I also find that attending Japanese temples for zazenkai and for sesshins and ceremonies also has a very similar feel to the UK counterpart. My personal opinion is that Rev. Master Jiyu did a very good job of transmitting the essence of the practice to Shasta and Throssel.

I experienced the gradual transition of the practice during which aspects of Asian culture were replaced with Western (some might say Christian) culture and generally I would agree that the essence didn't change. On the other hand, forms and perceptions are important. At least initially it can make a big difference to people what a practice looks and feels like. One of the more controversial changes RM Jiyu made was requiring monks to wear clerical collars which are generally associated with Roman Catholic priests. I found this to be quite problematic on occasion. Before we started wearing the collars many people didn't recognize that we were Buddhist priests and didn't know what to make of us. When we began wearing the collars people at first assumed we were Catholic priests and were then confused to find out otherwise. There was sometimes a perception that we were misrepresenting ourselves and this situation was worse than simply being unrecognized in my opinion. RM Jiyu changed the forms of the practice because she wanted it to appear more legitimate and accessible to westerners, but it didn't always have that effect. I expect it was a situation where no matter what she did some people would be displeased.

More important than this is the matter of people perceiving the practice as disingenuous because the walk doesn't match the talk. That problem is not caused by differences in form and unfortunately it tends to give the practice in general a black eye.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:30 am

On “What teachings do you take away with you?”

 Meeting “Roshi” (Master Jiyu) herself (in 1972): such a relief from intimidating impressions and inferences drawn from Zen stories and koans;
 Her teachings of non-judgementalism, compassion, taking spiritual responsibility for ones psychological (and other) actions, of gratitude and willingness to change;
 Her teachings of letting-go obstructive clinging to past understanding (not that it has been necessarily wrong) and of always being willing to be a beginner;
 The example of Master Jiyu herself – very very important, as sometimes words can give the wrong pictures;
 Her teaching of the importance of continuing training after any kensho;
 Her upfront statements that she (as with other Zen masters) was not infallible: a gift of fearlessness to other fallible beings, and some protection against “the emperor’s new clothes” syndrome;
 Master Jiyu’s books, in different ways – there’s an understatement! (Zen is Eternal Life (Selling Water by the River), Wild White Goose, How to Grow a Lotus Blossom (1977 and 1993 editions), The Book of Life);
 Her teaching on the sadness underlying and at the heart of anger;
 Cumulative benefit of many articles, by various contributors, in The Journal and early newsletters (some of these I keep for what benefit they may be to others). Also, other news that has emerged from the Order from time to time, clarifying a situation;

I am sure there is much more –

Thank you, Master Jiyu and others, monastic and lay.
_/\_
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:01 pm

Meditation and the precepts.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:34 pm

When I took lay precepts from RMJK in 1980 she asked me to "look up" I was kneeling before her at the time. I did, and saw her smiling face beaming down at me.

That's the teaching I have kept and carried all these years.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:54 am

During the last two years that I was at the Abbey, I worked at editing RM Hubert's translation of the Shobogenzo. I knew that I would not be staying at the Abbey much longer, and that this was going to be not only my last, but also my most important monastic job. As I was preparing that manuscript, I was also internally preparing for my imminent return to lay life. I soaked up every page of the teaching I was editing, looking for the words that might transform the suffering of my failed monastic vocation into the lifeline of the Dharma. And I found them. I found those words over and over again, in many different chapters, voiced in many different ways. The phase that stands out the most clearly and which always brings me joy and a peaceful heart is:

All the Buddhas and Ancestors have nothing upon which they rely.
When looked at from the point of view of losing something that you previously relied upon, these words are words of despair. When looked at from the point of view of finding the root cause and the end of suffering, these words are absolute liberation. At least, they have been for me.

May all beings find the end of suffering. May all beings be peaceful and happy.

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone.

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:39 am

Lovely phrase Laura encapsulating much, as you say difficult for some.

As I remember it the original buddhist rule was that you could be ordained a monk up to seven times., by then presumably you made you've made your mind up! But it does show that the traditional view of the ordained sangha was much softer than our western view of religious who have to take vows for life.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:11 pm

Yes, in the monastery I went to, there were monks who had earlier returned to lay life and then, when the sweet wind changed quarter, had returned to be re-ordained.

At the entrance to my home's sitting room, there is a very battered and ragged patchwork monk's winter overcoat that I brought back with me to America. I am afraid to wash it for fear it will disintegrate! That is the monastic vocation sitting there folded and I unfold it every morning at 2 or 3am when I sit down. It fits on lay or ordained equally well and is the entirety of the Three Treasures...

If it could speak, I think it would affirm that there are no failed vocations so long as the loving heart, the journeying heart, remains...

Best wishes, Laura
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:01 pm

When I left Shasta Abbey, I took the only thing that really mattered, my name [Houn Myogetsu].

The complete Dharma has been encoded in our religious names; it's custom made, custom fitted to us. It's similar to human life being encoded in a double helix: it's who we are and everything that we can be: namarupa. The Dharma has been transmitted to each of us so that we can see that all things (dharmas) are continually expressing the Dharma.

The gate of the temple, which stands open wide, is always revealing to all who pass through it, that it is both an entrance and an exit. Coming and going are the same: just passing through the gate.

You are free to come and go as you please when there is no more coming and going.

Descending the mountain and coming into town, I observed the animals that live in harmony with us beyond the need and plight of restraints. And, like the ancient Hebrews, I refuse to speak my name and will never take it in vain.

Over the decades, I have come to see the uselessness, the falseness, of the soul. I prefer the term humanity: it is both singular and plural simultaneously. My humanity; our humanity. It is both our being and buddha nature.

I travel with a light heart; I travel with a heavy heart. The pain I feel: sometimes it's mine, sometimes it's not mine. This joy I feel: sometimes it's mine, sometimes it's not mine.

Now, as I observe the body slowly withering, death seems like another cloud sitting on a horizon. What does it matter; it will be another brother who will treat me as a stranger.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:43 am

albertfuller wrote:
When I left Shasta Abbey, I took the only thing that really mattered, my name [Houn Myogetsu].

The complete Dharma has been encoded in our religious names; it's custom made, custom fitted to us. It's similar to human life being encoded in a double helix: it's who we are and everything that we can be: namarupa. The Dharma has been transmitted to each of us so that we can see that all things (dharmas) are continually expressing the Dharma.

The gate of the temple, which stands open wide, is always revealing to all who pass through it, that it is both an entrance and an exit. Coming and going are the same: just passing through the gate.

You are free to come and go as you please when there is no more coming and going.

Descending the mountain and coming into town, I observed the animals that live in harmony with us beyond the need and plight of restraints. And, like the ancient Hebrews, I refuse to speak my name and will never take it in vain.

Over the decades, I have come to see the uselessness, the falseness, of the soul. I prefer the term humanity: it is both singular and plural simultaneously. My humanity; our humanity. It is both our being and buddha nature.

I travel with a light heart; I travel with a heavy heart. The pain I feel: sometimes it's mine, sometimes it's not mine. This joy I feel: sometimes it's mine, sometimes it's not mine.

Now, as I observe the body slowly withering, death seems like another cloud sitting on a horizon. What does it matter; it will be another brother who will treat me as a stranger.


Hey Albert, regarding your words: take out the best bits, slash them up and arrange them in a column down the middle of the page and you have yourself one helluva beautiful poem sunny
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:28 pm

This morning I thought this was a simple question. I started to answer it and then work required me to drop it and run.

Lise, mentioned something that I liked on another thread about a question becoming a lens through which one viewed one's day. Mulling this over made the former answers that had come up become less believable as the day wore on.



My Ego says that I've chewed up a considerable amount of the Tripitaka over the last 36 years. Am I a Buddhist library? Do I carry these teaching?

I've had teachings that are favourites of mine. Do I hold them in my heart? Do I carry these?

Expressions about making a teaching your Blood & Bones may be a common zen teaching but today it seems way too contrived and all my other questions still come back as "No".



So it seems that I don't have any teachings to carry; except

In a given life situation, when I can get myself out of its way, only the teachings remain. I think worthy teachings point this out. Teachings are like sign posts on the path. If they are picked up and carried, they lose their validity in the unearthing for their worth was in being moored in something so much bigger than any of us.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:25 am

Laura

When I read your post above, I imagined you editing the Shobogenzo, and "soaking up" as much as possible of it while you were at it, already knowing you would not be at the Abbey too much longer. How painful that must have been and perhaps some of that pain still lingers now, as it does for me, because somehow I also failed in my practice, or so I thought. When I read your above quote, which in some part could have been written by me, (exept that I could never edit such a work as The Shobogenzo), I thought of how much I also loved the quote "All the Buddhas and Ancestors have nothing upon which they rely", which just emphasizes the impermanence of everything, and when you train, that knowledge I think is what keeps you from complete and utter despair . as you say it can become a lifeline. I believe I had a definite sense of Impermanence early even in childhood, I knew how everything discintegrated, and I mean everything, but finally rebelled against this, and tried to "did in my heels" and find some permanence somehow, somewhere, yet al the while knowing this would not work. What a lot of suffering. Then I met up with the practice and nothing worked for me there in the long run either, but that very saying is so wonderful. And if you soaked up the Shobogenzo, you will know that you have it laid out again in Uji too. ( "So, do not be upset over what is not, and do not be pressured by what is." ) I don't know anyone that was able to get the message across quite like Dogen.

With Bows

Brigitte

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:58 am

Brigitte what a lovely post so innocent and so full of your love of the Dharma, and of course how can the here and now be anywhere else but here and now
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:23 pm

Ah Brigitte thank you for reminding me! Uji one of my favourite bits of scripture, along with the much misunderstood Ecclesiastes. They both play to Laura's lovely quote 'All the Buddhas and Ancestors have nothing upon which they rely', Ecclesiastes in a rather more downbeat way. I shall go back and read them both again.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:31 pm

So happy to know there are others feel the same about Uji as I do. I know people here have varying opinions about Dogen, but Uji, when I read it, grabs one "deep in the gut", and I don't know if my personal interpretation of it is as that of others,or if there even should be an interpretation on any level at all, it is just so very subtle and fine.
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:43 pm

Hey Brigitte
I share your lovely "Deep in the gut" response to Uji.
And
If Uji parts the ego's veil to expose the unconditioned, then it's
interpretation is only the sound of those veils falling back into place.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:29 pm

Nicely put Howard, and good to know there are Uji admirers up north too, I still need to check out about Marks mention of the Ecclesiastes, never would have thought of that.

Greetings from So Cal too
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:31 pm

"All the Buddhas and Ancestors have nothing upon which they rely".

This is the big stumbling block for me with Buddhism. Either I do not understand it or I cannot accept it. It seems unequivocal. Nothing, period. Nothing to trust? What about love? Truth? Does Dogen mean that we are unnecessary to the universe? That nothing is necessary to the universe? I don't think that's what he means but it sure sounds like it.

Perhaps I will get out my Shobogenzo and re-read Uji, and Ecclesiastes while I'm at it. But would anyone care to comment in the meantime? I'd love to be enlightened (yuk yuk). Because this statement just doesn't ring true for me.
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Kyogen

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:10 pm

Hi Polly,

You can read it as "have no thing upon which they rely." Any "dharma" or "thing" is transient, arises and passes away. Love itself, as a quality, is not a thing. A particular love, for a particular person for example, is a thing, a dharma. It arises and passes away, with the people themselves if not before. There is something just beyond all "things" that is marked by emptiness that makes all dharmas luminous, so the Lotus Sutra tells us. This is "no thing." Ultimately, that is what we all rely on. At the same time, because dharmas are transient, we can appreciate them all the more. Trying to hold them too tightly, however, is futile.

With palms joined,

Kyogen
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polly

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:33 pm

Dear Kyogen,

Oh that helped. I do thank you. Just that little shift in perspective that brings the thing into focus. I'll spend some time with what you have said.

Cool.

Polly
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:56 pm

Polly

I am certainly not qualified to give any advice on Uji (or anything else for that matter) , Kyogen has already been kind enough to do that, but just want to mention that when you do read Uji it might be helpful to also read the translators Introduction (Rev. Hubert Nearman) , paying particular attention to the second paragraph in which he talks about staying away from philosophical speculation of sorts and all that.

Greetings

Brigitte
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polly

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:07 am

Thanks Brigitte, I will be sure to read that first.
Polly
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:39 am

Polly
When awareness shifts from you being aware of some thing to just awareness itself, wherein your thoughts are no more "you" than clouds drifting by (and they are both you, albeit a you of a very different sort--you as undifferentiated awareness), then individual things cease to exist and you as a separate entity ceases to exist. At this point there is no "thing" on which to rely.
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polly

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:29 pm

Henry, That is a very helpful analogy. I'm so glad I asked about this because you folks are giving me some understanding of something that has really bugged me for a long time. And worried me.

Thanks, Henry.
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Ilo



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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:54 pm

Some superfluous observations after the beautiful wisdom posted above:

I personally don't read Dogen much anymore, so I don't rely on him, ditto the ancestors and contemporaries: all humans with foibles like we read on the pages of this site. So I guess I don't rely on the ancestral line either. Though their books line my shelves.

My sutras, shelved high, are quietly gathering dust: I have forgotten almost everything I read so much in past years. So I don't rely on the scriptures. And my memory has faded with age, faded, washing away all those structures it once retained.

My gender, race, nationality, religion, era, mean nothing to me any longer, I neither identify with any of them or rely on any of those dreams as well.

My perceptions, meditative states, insights, are like clouds and sun motes, I have forgotten most, and don't rely on them or cling to them. On awakening I don't rely.

In the end "vast emptiness nothing holy" OR "great fullness everything holy"; but neither side can be counted on, best to throw that coin away.

Hand in hand with my old teacher, one set of footprints in the drenching rain.
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polly

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:24 pm

Ilo, what a wonderful state to find yourself in. I'm not there yet. What Henry described is a place I recognize and so I have seen things as "great fullness,everything holy." That is why I couldn't accept that there would be nothing to rely on. (I begin to see now what that means though, thanks to all of the above.) In the past I have (sometimes) thought of myself as a kitten in the lap of the universe, but I still stick my claws in when I feel things begin to shift.
I love what you said.
Polly
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:29 pm

Ilo

Not superfluous by any means. I can picture it, sutras shelved high, gathering dust. Mine are mostly still packed, since I'm in the habit of moving around a lot for some reason. There is a haiku there somewhere in your post, but I'm too scattered right now to try and make one up, may be someone else can. On top of everthing, your last line got me hard, real hard.
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Ilo



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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:25 pm

Dear Polly & Breljo,

I am not there yet either!!

So many things on which to happily rely...as Albert Fuller says, "so many wonderful days ahead of us" Smile

Ilo
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Ilo



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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:13 am

Breljo,

But that wasn't the last line...
sunny
Ilo
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:22 am

Hi Ilo

Actually what I was referring to when I read that line was a garden tile of the Buddha's footprints outside of the temple I had trained at for many years , that the teacher, which I am no longer with, had made, and which I pictured in my mind lying outside with the depression of the feet being filled with rain.

Greetings

Brigitte
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Ilo



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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:40 pm

Hi Breljo,

Our practice is, in the end, kind of a love story...... Smile
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:57 am

Well said, Ilo.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:34 am

I would like to read a poem again by I think Genkaku or Bill
It was called Not yet Zen
It was pertinant at the time and pertinant again now for me, does any one have a copy,Kozan..Isan..Anne
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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:13 am

When I left the Abbey, I left my kesa there. I never returned, and after all these years I'm sure it has found a new owner.

With all the symbolism tied up in that object, I'm sorry I didn't keep it. I may have changed course in life. I did not surrender my Buddha Nature to The Abbey.

There's something here I want to reclaim. I want to sew another kesa- black like the original.

Does anyone on this forum have instructions for sewing one?
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Diana



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PostSubject: Re: What teachings do you carry with you?   Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:25 am

Here's a link to sewing a rakusu:

http://www.upaya.org/teachings/jukai-book.php

If you contact Upaya they might be able to help you out with other sewing projects :-)

~Diana
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