söndag 17 januari 2010

A short snap!


This is from an entry i made in Zen forum international about the importance on treating people's questions rightly.

First of all, thanks everybody for your answers, i'll pass them along (somehow...).

Secondly, the belief in rebirth is manyfold.
is there rebirth from this second to the next, or just between lives?
Is it just a figure of speech or something "real"?

Thirdly, realms and other stuff, are they for real and does it matter if they are?

Fourthly, can we believe in that the Buddha said what he did, and does it matter if he did or not?

Fifthly, religion? Do i need to say more or have i already thrown enough s--t in the fan?

Sixthly, what about nirvana?

All the above questions matter to people.
So they are important.
Treat them rightly.

As for me, i'll just sit here saying "when this happens do this, when that happens do that".

All questions are important.
Why would they otherwise be asked?
Treat them accordingly.


tisdag 12 januari 2010

Bookreview: Daily wisdom & more daily wisdom


I like these little quaint books full of quotes and reminders from a little of everywhere, and these are a great example of that.
Daily wisdom & More daily wisdom are both collections of quotes out of books published by wisdom publications and edited by Josh Bartok.

The book's blend of useful insights for daily reflection, from a variety of different of buddhist schols, make them an good read and gives some good moments of thought.


söndag 10 januari 2010

Hyakujo's fox, cause & effect, enlightenment and Dogen...


When Baizhang would give teachings to the assembly an old man would often appear and listen to his Dharma talks.
The old man usually left after the talks, but one day he remained behind.
Baizhang asked, “Who are you?”
The old man said, “I am not actually a human being. In ancient times, at the time of Kashyapa Buddha, I lived and taught on this mountain. One day a student asked, ‘Does a person who has cultivated great practice still fall into cause and effect?’ I said to him, ‘No, such a person does not.’ Because of this I was reborn as a wild fox for five hundred lifetimes. Venerable Master, please say a turning word and free me from this body of a wild fox.”
Then he asked Baizhang, “Does a person who has cultivated great practice still fall into cause and effect?”
Baizhang said, “Do not ignore cause and effect.”
Immediately the old man had a great realization.

The famous koan Hyakujo's fox is perhaps the most cited koan in the works of Dogen. It appears in the Shinji Shobogenzo, Eihei koroku, Zuimonki and is discussed at length in the chapters Jinshin inga and Daishugyo of the shobogenzo.

I've read an interesting statement regarding the name Dai-shu-gyo that led me to this blogarticle.
It is not an bad attempt, and it shines some light into the story.
He, Dosho mike port, explains the name as great-conduct oneself well-action.
This goes somewhat in line with what Dogen says about the story

When we thoroughly investigate the "great cultivation" (Daishugyo), we find that it is already "Great Cause and Effect" (dai inga).(110) This "Great Cause and Effect" is the completeness of cause and completeness of effect. Therefore, it is not a question of falling or not falling, or of obscuring or not obscuring.
even though he errors, there is falling into rebirth as a fox, and there is release from rebirth as a fox.

All of those who have not yet seen and heard the Buddha Dharma say that after the end of his rebirths as a fox the "old master" attained supreme enlightenment (daigo) and that the fox body was completely absorbed into the ocean nature of original enlightenment (hongaku no shogai).
This meaning implies the erroneous notion of "returning to an original self" (honga ni kaeru).
This has never been a Buddhist teaching.
Moreover, if we say that the fox had no original nature (honsho), that the fox was not originally enlightened (hongaku nashi) : this [also] is not the Buddha Dharma.

- Daishugyo

On a side note, the last quotation is also the most used when trying to explain Dogen's view on enlightenment...
The Koan brings to light such things as Cause & effect and enlightenment.
And we have seen somewhat what Dogen had to say about them.
He also says that Cause & Effect arise at the same time and is an inevitable fact of the human existence.
You can't have one and not the other, or?


lördag 9 januari 2010

The posture of meditation


What significance does the posture of body have for the meditation and the experience of meditation?
The author of the book, Will johnson, shows that when it comes to meditation practices, the body is as important as the mind.
This is a fact that may come as a surprise to the many people who regard meditation as a strictly mental activity, and as Will Johnson shows, the physical aspect of the practice is far too often underemphasized.
He goes to some lenghts at showing the importance of the relationship between the body and the mind.

In this book johnson offers guidance and exercises for working with the posture of meditation and also gives advice on how to carry its benefits on into all the rest of life.
An almost "new agey-feeling" creeps in on the text, but if you can see past that this one of the best books i've read on meditation and how to get it right.


Who's your teacher?


Two friends sat down discussing buddhism and things in general.
Suddenly one tells the other "you should speak to your teacher about that one".
The other tells him "I'm doing that".
The first one turns around calling the name of the person the first one had done the Jukai with.

The question is, what did he miss?


fredag 8 januari 2010

Fugen's poke

In zen you have expression's like Joshu's bowl and Huineng's flag.
Apparantly we now also have "Fugen's poke", which is what you get when you get on a forum with me...

Now, Don't expecting something out of me, as all you'll get is nothing...


torsdag 7 januari 2010

Bookreview: Jake fades


Have you read ”tuesdays with morrie” by Mitch albom?
Then you’ll love this one.
It’s the sequel novel to that one.
Although written by another writer, it touches the topic started in Albom’s book, death, impermanence and the joy of life.
It all starts out with the standard relationships, father-son, teacher-student, life-death in a way you might not suspect. The teacher says to his student that he’ll leaving some of his teaching in the upcoming retreat to the reluctant student.
What then follows is an magical journey through the space and time.

This book opens a somewhat different look on zenpractice, commitment, relationships, and it shakes the foundation of some of the most fundamental concepts the “hamsterwheel-human of today” might have.
A book for everyone to read and ponder upon.

The author, David Guy, teaches at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He is the author of numerous books, including The Autobiography of My Body and The Red Thread of Passion. His book reviews appear regularly in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other papers, and he is a contributing editor to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.


söndag 3 januari 2010

Your own thinking


On the importance of doing your own thinking Dogen says the following

“Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Your body and mind will become clear and you will realize the unity of all things.”

- Inmo (it, that)

But who's thinking are you doing?

“When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves.”

-Genjo koan


lördag 2 januari 2010

Moving, but always here...


A couple of friends of mine have moved their videoblog to here.

But they're always here.


Nanquan's sickle capping verse


Due to a discussion with a great friend of mine, and his wanting to keep everything public, i am posting this here, for all to ponder.

Don't be deluded by the words
"the great way."
Realize that it is nothing other
than what you do from morning till night.

- dogen,the true dharma eye, case 154 "Nanquan's sickle"

If it is not other than what you do from morning till night, what is left?


fredag 1 januari 2010

A motherly heart...


So-called "motherly heart" is the spirit of fathers and mothers. ... Without regard for their own poverty or wealth, "parents" earnestly turn their thoughts toward raising their child. Without regard for whether they themselves are cold or hot, they shade the child or cover the child.


A "motherly heart” is a heart which maintains the Three Jewels as a parent cares for a child. A parent raises a child with deep love, regardless of povertyy or difficulties. Their hearts cannot be understood by another; only a parent can understand it. A parent protects their child from heat or cold before worrying about whether they themselves are hot or cold. This kind of care can only be understood by those who have given rise to it and realized only by those who practice it.

-Dogen, Tenzo kyokun

You are not a mother/father just by giving birth to a child, it goes deeper than that. It is not until you give yourself up in favour of the child that you become a mother/father.
When you think of your childs wellbeing before yours, when shading him in the sun, giving him your coat when cold, thats when you go from being parent to being a mother/father.


Happy new moment!?


Master Dogen wrote on Time (in Being-Time, Uji):

See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time.
Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one another. …
Each moment is all being, is the entire world.
Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.

Master Dogen wished to convey that each moment of time and being is not anything apart from you. It is your existential time-and-being. So, he wrote in Uji:

Because real existence is only this exact moment, all moments of Being-Time are the whole of Time, and all existent things and all existent phenomena are moments of Time …
If Time does not take the form of leaving and coming, [a task done in the past] is the present as Being-Time.

If Time does take the form of leaving and coming, you yet have this present moment of Being-Time, which is just Being-Time itself.

So each moment is in itself the whole, but is it new?

Happy new moment?