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The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

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.
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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.

The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby christopher::: on Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:52 am

I've come across a lot of useful wisdom over the years but these few gems from Zengetsu have always shone bright. Challenging to put into practice at times, yet truly practical and helpful when we do. If you have any thoughts on these or feel like sharing other gems of Dharma wisdom, please go ahead.

Zengetsu, a Chinese master of the T'ang dynasty, wrote the following advice for his pupils:

Living in the world yet not forming attachments to the dust of the world is the way of a true Zen student.

When witnessing the good action of another encourage yourself to follow his example. Hearing of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to emulate it.

Even though alone in a dark room, be as if you were facing a noble guest. Express your feelings, but become no more expressive than your true nature.

Poverty is your treasure. Never exchange it for an easy life.

A person may appear a fool and yet not be one. He may only be guarding his wisdom carefully.

Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline and do not drop from heaven of themselves as does rain or snow.

Modesty is the foundation of all virtues. Let your neighbors discover you before you make yourself known to them.

A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are as rare gems, seldom displayed and of great value.

To a sincere student, every day is a fortunate day. Time passes but he never lags behind. Neither glory nor shame can move him.

Censure yourself, never another. Do not discuss right and wrong.

Some things, though right, were considered wrong for generations. Since the value of righteousness may be recognized after centuries, there is no need to crave immediate appreciation.

Live with cause and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful contemplation.


:Namaste:
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"You are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.” ~Pema Chodron
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby another_being on Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:58 pm

“You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.”

― Ajahn Chah


and from our friend bubuyaya:

So people ... easily think that there are teachers outside of them.

But eventually zen people need believe or understand to solve that whole teachers are inside of them.
"Some people think they are enlightened, some people think they are not enlightened." -- Denko
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby creature on Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:32 pm

Thank you!

Some of my favourites:

Dogen wrote:Just practice good, do good for others, without thinking of making yourself known so that you may gain reward. Really bring benefit to others, gaining nothing for yourself. This is the primary requisite for breaking free of attachments to the Self.


Dogen wrote:If he cannot stop the mind that seeks after fame and profit, he will spend his life without finding peace.


Shunryu Suzuki wrote:When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.


Gautama Buddha wrote:No one saves us but ourselves, no one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path but Buddhas clearly show the way.


Jiddu Krishnamurti wrote:Silence is difficult and arduous, it is not to be played with.


U.G. Krishnamurti wrote:I discovered for myself and by myself that there is no self to realize. That's the realization I am talking about. It comes as a shattering blow. It hits you like a thunderbolt. You have invested everything in one basket, self-realization, and, in the end, suddenly you discover that there is no self to discover, no self to realize.
"What is inherent in you is presently active and presently functioning, and need not be sought after, need not be put in order, need not be practiced or proven.
All that is required is to trust it once and for all."
- Foyan, Instant Zen, pg. 23
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby christopher::: on Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:03 pm

In seeking the essence of the Way, one should quiet the mind and penetrate to the depths. Silently wander within and clearly see the origin of all things, obscured by nothing.

The mind is boundless and formless, just as the pure water contains the essence of autumn. It is glistening white and lustrously bright in the same way that moonlight envelops the entire night.

~ Hung-chih ~



Remember always that you are just a visitor here, a traveler passing through. your stay is but short and the moment of your departure unknown.

Take small account of might, wealth and fame, for they soon pass and are forgotten. Instead, nurture love within you and and strive to be a friend to all. Truly, compassion is a balm for many wounds.

Treasure silence when you find it, and while being mindful of your duties, set time aside, to be alone with yourself. Cast off pretense and self-deception and see yourself as you really are.

Despite all appearances, no one is really evil. They are led astray by ignorance. If you ponder this truth always you will offer more light, rather then blame and condemnation.

You, no less than all beings have Buddha Nature within. Your essential Mind is pure. Therefore, when defilements cause you to stumble and fall, let not remorse nor dark foreboding cast you down. Be of good cheer and with this understanding, summon strength and walk on.

Faith is like a lamp and wisdom makes the flame burn bright. Carry this lamp always and in good time the darkness will yield and you will abide in the Light.

~ Dhammavadaka Sutra ~



Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

~ Lao Tsu ~



Here it Is - Right now,
Start thinking about it,
And you miss it.

~ Huang Po ~



:Namaste:
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby another_being on Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:25 pm

From a lofty summit
The panorama extends forever
I sit alone unknown
The lone moon lights Cold Spring
The moon isn't in the Spring
The moon is in the sky
I sing this solitary song
But the song isn't zen.

- Han shan



Children, I implore you
get out of the burning house now.
Three carts await outside
to save you from a homeless life.
Relax in the village square
before the sky, everything's empty.
No direction is better or worse,
East just as good as West.
Those who know the meaning of this
are free to go where they want.

- Han shan
"Some people think they are enlightened, some people think they are not enlightened." -- Denko
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:09 am

Old thread...
People drop in from time to time.
Plop!

--Joe
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby Quiet Heart on Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:58 am

:) In the forum topic "Ask a teacher" someone asked the question "How to deal with loss of reputation?".
Since I am not a teacher, and would rather not ever claim to be I can not answer that question there.
However, what I can do is post this small story here.... which might relate to answering that question that was asked.
The story is called:
---------------------
Is That So?

The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.
A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him.
Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.
This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.
In great anger the parents went to the master,
"Oh, indeed, "Is that so" was all he would say.
After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin.
By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child.
He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed.
A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth - that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fish market.
The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.
Hakuin was willing.
In yielding the child, all he said was: " Oh indeed, Is that so?"
:)
In Quietness is the beginning of all Things
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby another_being on Mon May 18, 2015 10:10 pm

Turn back on yourself to
Discover your self and
Never make another’s experience your own.
Nothing is accomplished by
Putting on another shirt
Because your father is chilled.

-- Wu Hsin
"Some people think they are enlightened, some people think they are not enlightened." -- Denko
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby Chrisd on Mon May 18, 2015 10:36 pm

:daisy:
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon May 18, 2015 11:03 pm

"The craft of loving-kindness… is the everyday face of wisdom
and the ordinary hand of compassion. This wisdom face, this hand
of mercy, is never realized alone but always with and through others
".

—-Roshi Joan Halifax
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby TTT on Tue May 19, 2015 4:42 am

Thaks christopher for posting thet.
Spring time
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby Ted Biringer on Mon May 25, 2015 12:01 am

In encountering these sayings and expressions of Theirs, do not treat them as something apart from the Buddha’s assembly, for They are Buddhas turning the Wheel of the Dharma. ~Shobogenzo, Muchu Setsumu, Hubert Nearman
Do not misunderstand Buddhism by believing the erroneous principle ‘a special tradition outside the scriptures.’ Zen Master Dogen, Shobogenzo, Bukkyo (trans. Hee-Jin Kim)
Ted Biringer Author The Flatbed Sutra
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby ed blanco on Fri May 29, 2015 1:44 pm

...this is going around as a "Zen Proverb":

LET GO

OR BE DRAGGED.

:O:
IT SPEAKS IN SILENCE
IN SPEECH YOU HEAR ITS SILENCE

Yongjia Xuanjue
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby fukasetsu on Fri May 29, 2015 2:10 pm

ed blanco wrote:...this is going around as a "Zen Proverb":

LET GO

OR BE DRAGGED.

:O:


Letting go is (also) a drag, friend.

It's raining clouds.
Differences are never in opposition.
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby Chrisd on Fri May 29, 2015 3:31 pm

you're a drag! :lol2:

fukasetsu wrote:
ed blanco wrote:...this is going around as a "Zen Proverb":

LET GO

OR BE DRAGGED.

:O:


Letting go is (also) a drag, friend.

It's raining clouds.
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby another_being on Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:42 pm

No masters, only you, the master is you.
Wonderful, no?

~ Ikkyu
"Some people think they are enlightened, some people think they are not enlightened." -- Denko
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby Chrisd on Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:00 pm

The no that includes the yes
is wonderful!
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:11 pm

Yes, Ikkyu!, the "Red Thread" fellow. I haven't thought about him in decades, but I remember a book of his collected bits that I once borrowed, RED THREAD ZEN (Covell, 1981).

Raised in a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monastery for his protection, Ikkyu's practice must have been rigorous under his own teachers. Then he left the monastery to teach, having gone independent. I recall he rejected the kensho certificate, because they didn't mean much at the time.

I like the "no master" quote. The lengths that compassionate teachers like Ikkyu will go to in their lives to encourage people under their care to practice!

And of course, the statement is (absolutely) true. But not relatively. Therein lay the only rub!

--Joe
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby another_being on Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:21 pm

Errant thoughts are fundamentally empty; the essence of mind is fundamentally pure. You suddenly realize this essence is originally free from afflictions; the essence of knowledge is inherently complete, no different from Buddha. To cultivate practice based on this is called the Zen of the highest vehicle, and it is also called the pure Zen of those who realize suchness.
- Master Chinul (1158-1210)
"Some people think they are enlightened, some people think they are not enlightened." -- Denko
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Re: The Wisdom of Zengetsu (and other Dharma Gems)

Postby ed blanco on Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:47 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
ed blanco wrote:...this is going around as a "Zen Proverb":

LET GO

OR BE DRAGGED.

:O:


Letting go is (also) a drag, friend.

It's raining clouds.



I wanna be IN drag, silky and soft.
Then tango all night with a short dude.
:heya:
IT SPEAKS IN SILENCE
IN SPEECH YOU HEAR ITS SILENCE

Yongjia Xuanjue
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