Welcome admin !

It is currently Tue May 23, 2017 12:28 am
Pathway:  Board index Zen Discussion Forum Zen Practice & Philosophy Zen Buddhism Sanbo Kyodan Zen

Koan practice and everyday life

Discussions of Zen stemming from the Sanbyo Kyodan School founded by Yatsutani Roshi.

Koan practice and everyday life

Postby island on Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:16 pm

I'm finding that the koan practice I'm engaged in now is integrated with everyday life since the teacher pushes for those aspects. Now I'm finding what feel like "koans" all over the place and wondered if others have had this experience. For instance, I came across a quote from Ursula Le Guin: People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.

This also has psychological implications, and my teacher compared it to a koan about drifting into the land of demons.
The way is to get out of the way of the way.
User avatar
island
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Santa Cruz CA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Linda Anderson on Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:39 pm

oh yes! With the same sangha back in the day. Glad you are finding this. I had the same experience..... it's alive! It has left it's mark on my being.
best wishes
linda
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
User avatar
Linda Anderson
 
Posts: 3617
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:14 pm
Location: Forestville, CA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby island on Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:25 am

Thanks, Linda. I always appreciate your comments. Question. When you say the same sangha, do you mean where I practice now or something else? Just curious since I see that you have a California town listed. I'm relatively new to this sangha. I have practiced in Diamond Sangha with koans, but they were more about dharma and less involved with daily life. I then had to switch to other sanghas that did not use koans. Now that I'm back fully into it, I feel at home again. You said it perfectly: "It's alive!" Exactly.

It's a bit of a trek for me to do this plus I just had surgery so a long drive is a bit difficult and as you may be aware the roads here have had downed trees and mudslides so it is a risk sometimes. Still I intend to continue. I really enjoy this, even if sometimes it's painful. Not that I like pain, but awareness of pain helps prevent suffering about pain. The pain is inevitable; the suffering optional, that is if you can get there.
The way is to get out of the way of the way.
User avatar
island
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Santa Cruz CA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Linda Anderson on Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:14 am

yes, that very sangha.... David and John. My heart essence for many years. I'd say take it at your pace if distance, etc. are issues, it's always with you, as you said. Hopefully, you will find your way to sesshin.
linda
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
User avatar
Linda Anderson
 
Posts: 3617
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:14 pm
Location: Forestville, CA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Jok_Hae on Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:23 am

Hi folks,

I had a conversation with someone who was amazed that I made a connection between koans and life. I thought that was that point of them! He thought they just were some kind of Zen riddle, I guess.

I see parallels on a daily basis with koan practice.

Seventh Gate: Ko Bong’s Three Gates

1. The sun in the sky shines everywhere. Why does a cloud obscure it?

2. Everyone has a shadow following them. How can you not step on your shadow?

3. The whole universe is on fire. Through what kind of samadhi can you escape being burned?

Commentary: The sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains and waters – everything is complete. One mind appears, big mistake. One mind disappears, then seeing and hearing become the truth. Don’t make anything. Just see, just hear, just do it.


The third question is a good one for our times. :peace:

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith
You make, you get

New Haven Zen Center
User avatar
Jok_Hae
 
Posts: 4062
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:53 am
Location: CT, USA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Michaeljc on Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:12 am

Nice to see you back Kieth :heya:
User avatar
Michaeljc
 
Posts: 3591
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Raglan New Zealand

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Jok_Hae on Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:38 am

Michaeljc wrote:Nice to see you back Kieth :heya:


thanks, Michael..I never really left. I pop in from time to time, mostly just a lurker. Sometimes i have something to say. :)
You make, you get

New Haven Zen Center
User avatar
Jok_Hae
 
Posts: 4062
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:53 am
Location: CT, USA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby lobster on Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:04 am

As dragon fodder :tee:

... it is great to know koans are alive and well. :lool:

or to put it another way, a dead give away :peace:

Personally I find everything is a potential riddle, revelation, unfolding koan or relative understanding ... :>.>:

So in a sense a koan is a tool of breaking but also a building of the broken ...

Seems like everything is proceeding well :)X

:daisy:
User avatar
lobster
 
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:01 am

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby partofit22 on Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:51 am

Jok_Hae wrote:Hi folks,

I had a conversation with someone who was amazed that I made a connection between koans and life. I thought that was that point of them! He thought they just were some kind of Zen riddle, I guess.

I see parallels on a daily basis with koan practice.

Seventh Gate: Ko Bong’s Three Gates

1. The sun in the sky shines everywhere. Why does a cloud obscure it?

2. Everyone has a shadow following them. How can you not step on your shadow?

3. The whole universe is on fire. Through what kind of samadhi can you escape being burned?

Commentary: The sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains and waters – everything is complete. One mind appears, big mistake. One mind disappears, then seeing and hearing become the truth. Don’t make anything. Just see, just hear, just do it.


The third question is a good one for our times. :peace:

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith


Nobody's hair is really on fire .. :)


banksyrestnotquit.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
partofit22
 
Posts: 4517
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:36 pm

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Jok_Hae on Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:12 pm

partofit22 wrote:
Jok_Hae wrote:Hi folks,

I had a conversation with someone who was amazed that I made a connection between koans and life. I thought that was that point of them! He thought they just were some kind of Zen riddle, I guess.

I see parallels on a daily basis with koan practice.

Seventh Gate: Ko Bong’s Three Gates

1. The sun in the sky shines everywhere. Why does a cloud obscure it?

2. Everyone has a shadow following them. How can you not step on your shadow?

3. The whole universe is on fire. Through what kind of samadhi can you escape being burned?

Commentary: The sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains and waters – everything is complete. One mind appears, big mistake. One mind disappears, then seeing and hearing become the truth. Don’t make anything. Just see, just hear, just do it.


The third question is a good one for our times. :peace:

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith


Nobody's hair is really on fire .. :)


banksyrestnotquit.jpg


I definitely see your point, Teresa. It's possible to push too hard. Zen folks struggle with that sometimes.

And yet.

We are all dying. It might be wise to check your hair! ;)

Keith
You make, you get

New Haven Zen Center
User avatar
Jok_Hae
 
Posts: 4062
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:53 am
Location: CT, USA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby partofit22 on Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:52 pm

Jok_Hae wrote:
partofit22 wrote:
Jok_Hae wrote:Hi folks,

I had a conversation with someone who was amazed that I made a connection between koans and life. I thought that was that point of them! He thought they just were some kind of Zen riddle, I guess.

I see parallels on a daily basis with koan practice.

Seventh Gate: Ko Bong’s Three Gates

1. The sun in the sky shines everywhere. Why does a cloud obscure it?

2. Everyone has a shadow following them. How can you not step on your shadow?

3. The whole universe is on fire. Through what kind of samadhi can you escape being burned?

Commentary: The sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains and waters – everything is complete. One mind appears, big mistake. One mind disappears, then seeing and hearing become the truth. Don’t make anything. Just see, just hear, just do it.


The third question is a good one for our times. :peace:

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith


Nobody's hair is really on fire .. :)


banksyrestnotquit.jpg


I definitely see your point, Teresa. It's possible to push too hard. Zen folks struggle with that sometimes.

And yet.

We are all dying. It might be wise to check your hair! ;)

Keith


Yes- :) And with that truth comes the responsibility to sit and to rest and observe how fire spreads-

Image



ps .. good to see you again- :heya:
partofit22
 
Posts: 4517
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:36 pm

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Jok_Hae on Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:36 pm

partofit22 wrote:
Jok_Hae wrote:
partofit22 wrote:
Jok_Hae wrote:Hi folks,

I had a conversation with someone who was amazed that I made a connection between koans and life. I thought that was that point of them! He thought they just were some kind of Zen riddle, I guess.

I see parallels on a daily basis with koan practice.

Seventh Gate: Ko Bong’s Three Gates

1. The sun in the sky shines everywhere. Why does a cloud obscure it?

2. Everyone has a shadow following them. How can you not step on your shadow?

3. The whole universe is on fire. Through what kind of samadhi can you escape being burned?

Commentary: The sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains and waters – everything is complete. One mind appears, big mistake. One mind disappears, then seeing and hearing become the truth. Don’t make anything. Just see, just hear, just do it.


The third question is a good one for our times. :peace:

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith


Nobody's hair is really on fire .. :)


banksyrestnotquit.jpg


I definitely see your point, Teresa. It's possible to push too hard. Zen folks struggle with that sometimes.

And yet.

We are all dying. It might be wise to check your hair! ;)

Keith


Yes- :) And with that truth comes the responsibility to sit and to rest and observe how fire spreads-

Image



ps .. good to see you again- :heya:


yes..responsibility indeed!

It's good to see you, as well. :peace:
You make, you get

New Haven Zen Center
User avatar
Jok_Hae
 
Posts: 4062
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:53 am
Location: CT, USA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Jok_Hae on Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:44 pm

The universe always provides. This just appeared in my mailbox:

Nobody guarantees our life. So if there is anything that you think may be useful, just now is the time to use it. In our life, past mind cannot be attained. Present mind cannot be attained. If you say “present,” it is already not present, already gone. If you lose this moment, you can never regain it.

We follow Buddha’s example. Buddha means awakened. If you are going to awaken, tomorrow is too late. One hour from now is also too late. Even one second from now is too late. Just this moment, wake up. I hope each of you will make correct practice in your life and attain this wake-up. Then one more step is most important: use this wake-up to help all beings.



By Zen Master Wu Bong


Bringing koan practice to our daily lives brings them to the realm of live words. Otherwise, they are just an exercise in solving puzzles. Thanks for the post, Island...it's an important point to make.

_/|\_
Last edited by Jok_Hae on Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
You make, you get

New Haven Zen Center
User avatar
Jok_Hae
 
Posts: 4062
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:53 am
Location: CT, USA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Linda Anderson on Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:59 pm

Keith ... :heya:
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
User avatar
Linda Anderson
 
Posts: 3617
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:14 pm
Location: Forestville, CA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Jok_Hae on Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:57 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:Keith ... :heya:


Howdy Linda! :heya:
You make, you get

New Haven Zen Center
User avatar
Jok_Hae
 
Posts: 4062
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:53 am
Location: CT, USA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby island on Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:41 pm

When I first started with koans for real practice with a teacher, not just reading and thinking myself, I thought they were like puzzles designed to make a breakthrough. I was given almost no instructions about this practice and advised not to read about it. I had no idea what to do when I met with my teacher. Then I started getting the basic idea and moved along. I think too fast now, looking back. I didn't as I put it to myself "dwell suspended in the question." The presentations were mainly about points of dharma, neither good nor bad, still not engaging everyday life to the degree that I'm doing now. Indeed, those early exchanges were nearly completely silent and short, formal, with bowing and bells.

I still learned through this process so I'm not putting it down. I now prefer the more talkative elaboration that happens in my current practice. The points about dharma seem to be almost secondary to the lived experience of the koan, that is, taking it inside and allowing it to manifest as it does, however it does, and make changes, whatever they may be. This is still dharma, still Zen, still meditation. Its flavor is different; its ways of working different. And there is a celebration of difference inherently in it that I appreciate. I also like the informality. It's a serious undertaking to be sure; often painful and deep, yet handled with a light touch, humor, and humbleness.

As a side note, the saying about dragons was used as a koan for the sit this week. So it in fact did become a koan.
The way is to get out of the way of the way.
User avatar
island
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Santa Cruz CA

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby lobster on Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:52 am

island wrote:I'm finding that the koan practice I'm engaged in now is integrated with everyday life since the teacher pushes for those aspects. Now I'm finding what feel like "koans" all over the place and wondered if others have had this experience. For instance, I came across a quote from Ursula Le Guin: People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.

This also has psychological implications, and my teacher compared it to a koan about drifting into the land of demons.


I luvs demons.

Trump, Buddha road kill, YH WAY HEY!, Shaiten, Draco the Impaler etc.
:hugs:

Not quite sure if they are on the far, near or underwater shore ... :hide:

Being eaten or regurgitated by Uroborus is always a challenge unless independent of the tale/tail. :tee:

The important thing is to stay grounded and not indigestible ... :<.<:

Look at the skinny guy :buddha: consumed by effort ... amazing he ever got to lift a flower :daisy:

There is hope for all of us :ghug:
User avatar
lobster
 
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:01 am

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:09 pm

Yes, that is how koans work on us.
I like the quote where the Wizard Ged explains what a Dragonlord is, to paraphrase, "A Dragonlord is not someone who slays dragons, but is someone who can talk to a dragon and get away alive." That is a pretty good quip that applies to emptiness too.
_/|\_
Gregory

island wrote:I'm finding that the koan practice I'm engaged in now is integrated with everyday life since the teacher pushes for those aspects. Now I'm finding what feel like "koans" all over the place and wondered if others have had this experience. For instance, I came across a quote from Ursula Le Guin: People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.

This also has psychological implications, and my teacher compared it to a koan about drifting into the land of demons.
Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
User avatar
Gregory Wonderwheel
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:07 am
Location: Santa Rosa, California

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:18 pm

Jok_Hae wrote:
partofit22 wrote:Nobody's hair is really on fire .. :)


I definitely see your point, Teresa. It's possible to push too hard. Zen folks struggle with that sometimes.

And yet.

We are all dying. It might be wise to check your hair! ;)

Keith


LOL, I'm saying everybody's hair is really on fire. Maybe not literally, but really.
I agree it is possible to push too hard, but not very possible or very likely to happen. I see people using the "possibility" of pushing too hard as a rationalization to not push hard at all. It is not called the "Great Death" because people are namby pamby and afraid of pushing too hard. If you get "bed sores" on your butt from sitting too long, or your stomach won't keep food down for days, then you can think that you are pushing too hard. Carl Jung said when he was in emotional or physical turmoil from pushing his inquiry too hard, that he did yoga until he felt rested, and then pushed again. Many Zen teachers say the same.

_/|\_
Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
User avatar
Gregory Wonderwheel
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 4238
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:07 am
Location: Santa Rosa, California

Re: Koan practice and everyday life

Postby Jok_Hae on Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:44 pm

Gregory Wonderwheel wrote:
Jok_Hae wrote:
partofit22 wrote:Nobody's hair is really on fire .. :)


I definitely see your point, Teresa. It's possible to push too hard. Zen folks struggle with that sometimes.

And yet.

We are all dying. It might be wise to check your hair! ;)

Keith


LOL, I'm saying everybody's hair is really on fire. Maybe not literally, but really.
I agree it is possible to push too hard, but not very possible or very likely to happen. I see people using the "possibility" of pushing too hard as a rationalization to not push hard at all. It is not called the "Great Death" because people are namby pamby and afraid of pushing too hard. If you get "bed sores" on your butt from sitting too long, or your stomach won't keep food down for days, then you can think that you are pushing too hard. Carl Jung said when he was in emotional or physical turmoil from pushing his inquiry too hard, that he did yoga until he felt rested, and then pushed again. Many Zen teachers say the same.

_/|\_


Thanks Gregory. It's wonderful to some of the "old timers' chiming in...round and round. I don't disagree with one word of what you said. There is a time for pushing hard and and a time for backing off. I have yet to reach the point of the latter.

This hits it for me, though. It's a yoga piece, but it has parallels with Zen practice:

Not Too Tight, Not Too Loose

warm regards,
Keith
You make, you get

New Haven Zen Center
User avatar
Jok_Hae
 
Posts: 4062
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:53 am
Location: CT, USA

Next

Return to Sanbo Kyodan Zen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
RocketTheme Joomla Templates

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 157 on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:44 am

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest