Welcome admin !

It is currently Thu May 25, 2017 9:32 am
Pathway:  Board index Zen Discussion Forum Zen Practice & Philosophy Practicing Zen Buddhism Without a Teacher

Grandfaher dies, Father dies, Son dies.

A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practicing without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.
Forum rules
A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practising without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.

Grandfaher dies, Father dies, Son dies.

Postby Quiet Heart on Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:11 am

I think this may be a Taoist story ..... but it has a interesting point anyhow.

There was a shop owner who wanted a carved display with a saying he could post in the entrance in the entrance to his shop to impress his customers.
He went to a locally well known monk, who was respected for his wisdom to make such a sign for him.
"What would you like it to say," he was asked by the monk?
"Oh anything you think appropriate", was his answer to the monk.
A few days later he was told the display was ready, so he sent a servant to pick it up.
When he got it, he was aghast at what it read.
it said:,
Grandfather dies, Father dies, Son dies.
He went back to the monk to complain.
"How can I display such a that sign" he asked the monk?
"I wanted you to give me something that my customers would see and understand as wisdom. But what you have given me is me is nothing but a curse, and my customers will be appalled at such a thing"
"I will lose all my customers", he complained.
"I gave you no such thing:, said the monk" Indeed, what I gave you is great wisdom"
"Wen I wrote Grandfather dies, I meant that no man should die unless he had at least one Grandson to carry on after him.
And when I wrote Father dies, I meant that no Father should die unless he also had a son.
Then when I wrote Son dies, I meant that no son should die before his Father and Grandfather also.
This is the natural order of things", the monk replied," and indeed, it is a great wisdom to understand that fact."
Thinking about this, the merchant came to understand. He thanked the monk or the knowledge he had given him.
Then he returned to his shop, and placed the sign in a prominent place where his customers could see it when they entered his shop.
When they asked him about the sign, he told them the story of

Grandfather dies, Father dies, Son dies.
In Quietness is the beginning of all Things
User avatar
Quiet Heart
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:12 am

Re: Grandfaher dies, Father dies, Son dies.

Postby Chrisd on Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:01 pm

What do you get out of it? :heya:
Chrisd
 
Posts: 2293
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:49 pm

Re: Grandfaher dies, Father dies, Son dies.

Postby Meido on Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:13 pm

Actually an anecdote about the Rinzai monk Sengai Gibon (1750-1837), who was the abbot of Shofukuji and a noted artist.

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
compiled by Reps and Senzaki has it as follows:

A rich man asked Sengai to write something for the continued prosperity of his family so that it might be treasured from generation to generation. Sengai obtained a large sheet of paper and wrote: 'Father dies, son dies, grandson dies.'

The rich man became angry. 'I asked you to write something for the happiness of my family! Why do you make such a joke as this?'

'No joke is intended,' explained Sengai. 'If before you yourself die your son should die, this would grieve you greatly. If your grandson should pass away before your son, both of you would be brokenhearted. If your family, generation after generation, passes away in the order I have named, it will be the natural course of life. I call this real prosperity.'


D.T. Suzuki wrote a nice book about Sengai and his art, published posthumously.

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
User avatar
Meido
Teacher
 
Posts: 878
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:22 am
Location: Madison, WI - USA

Re: Grandfaher dies, Father dies, Son dies.

Postby Kojip on Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:30 am

It does feel like the natural order. The death of your child has an unthinkable quality. A person who is self-centered and afraid of his own death gets transformed by parenthood, and would give his life for his child without a second thought. The death of a child can break you, the love is so deep. richard
User avatar
Kojip
 
Posts: 2906
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:38 pm

Re: Grandfaher dies, Father dies, Son dies.

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:41 am

Comparing stories is very interesting and revealing.

I would not presume that either of the stories is the "true" story, or even the earliest version of the story without much more information.

Nyogen Senzaki Is notorious for how he changed text to make "free" translations based on his belief in the importance of making the story accessible to the Western audience. My personal pet peeve is his changing the name of the 無門關Wumen Guan or Mumonkan, i.e., "The Gateless Checkpoint," to 無門門 Wumen Men or Mumonmon by translating it as The Gateless Gate.

There is another story in the "101 Zen Stories" section of Zen Flesh, Zen Bones that Senzaki erroneiously attributes to Zen Master Hakuin. This is the 3rd story titled "Is That So?" That story is more correctly attributed to another monk who lived before Hakuin. Right now I don't remember the name. But that is another example of how Senzaki can't be relied upon for exactness.

_/|\_
Gregory
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: Grandfaher dies, Father dies, Son dies.

Postby Meido on Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:43 pm

Nice point about "Gateless Gate". It certainly seems to be the most widely used translation at this point. "Checkpoint"or "barrier" are much more useful, I think. Or perhaps we could use (in its original sense) "turnpike" :)

Many bows to you and others who take it up this messy business of translation on our behalf.

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
User avatar
Meido
Teacher
 
Posts: 878
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:22 am
Location: Madison, WI - USA


Return to Practicing Zen Buddhism Without a Teacher

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