Discussions of Zen Buddhism in all shapes and sizes.
The students! If they have the balls.
Kill a cat, with a dried shit stick, under a cypress tree in the courtyard, while eating three pounds of flax! Only a cow goes Moooo!
Dear Guo Gu,
thank you for this piece.
What is meant by "killing methods" and "life-giving methods"?
I get the basic idea, but I´d like to clarify, if possible.
And what about Chan vs. Japanese Zen - is there a culture-based difference in the use of methods? It might seem that in Japanese Zen, "killing methods" have become the main means of teaching. Is that true or a mis-perception?
Thanks in advance for your reply
Or the ovaries
"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andrè Gide
TELL us about your teacher(s), please? tnx,
How about you tell us about your balls? Please? tnx, P
sorry jojo, been busy for the past few days.
thanks for your question. well, the killing and giving life methods mean different things to different teachers and students. there's no fixed formula. what is the killing method (for a student) may mean giving life to another. on the surface, they may actually look the same. also, it's not a calculated thing that the teacher is doing. nor is it something that a student can anticipate or fake. all i can say it's the wondrous working of causes and conditions. this may not be the answer you're looking for... but it is what it is.
the inner dynamic, however, is that when the teacher is in the flow of selflessness (for lack of better term), s/he actually responds to students naturally but with great precision, giving exactly what the student needs without anticipation, calculation--just responding--and in that state the teacher may say something that builds up a student's sense of wonderment, drawing out their curiosity, and suddenly in that moment of vulnerability where the attachment is the weakest (on the part of the student) the teacher snatches away the student's attachment and the latter experiences noself. again this is not calculated, and the situation happens impromptu. the teacher and the student's minds meet. this may be considered the killing method.
i'll give you an example. one time i was in uk with my teacher. i was the attendant to my teacher, as usual. but the organizer of the 7-day retreat gave me--the attendant--an attendant! mind you, this never happens. he was the attendant of the attendant. yet clearly, that was how it was meant to be. there was a clear karmic resonance btn us. he was sincerely, practicing hard in the retreat--which means, he was on the method, without seeking for anything. one night in my teacher's dharma talk he talked about buddha-nature or no-mind or something like that. that drew out the curiosity within him. after the talk, the next day, he interviewed with me. because this sense of questioning about what the buddha-nature or no-mind was drew out within him a natural sense of wonderment, questioning, and he was practicing hard--bordering on the unified nonconceptual state. when he asked me innocently "what is no-mind?" in that instant, i said, "do you really want to know what it is?" he said, "oh yes, yes!" just in that instant, i snapped my finger, "here it is!" he dropped everything; saw his self-nature (albeit a shallow awakening experience). this is what i call, "drawing out and go for the kill." my teacher drew him out, and i went in for the kill. there was nothing anticipated, no games or props. he asked, and it was the right timing, and i responded. is the snapping of the finger "no-mind"? of course not. that's not the point. but--for lack of better term--it was my response. this was simply the wondrous workings of causes and conditions.
as for the giving life method, one time on this forum i said to a member something like, "you've already come a long way... but there's one thing you lack." he was puzzled. "what is it?" he responded, but i would not say. from his perspective, he feels he's "already got it" though deep inside there's still uncertainty. that was a giving life method. i drew him out for a while out of his comfort zone (perhaps) and there was the fire again in him. but it only lasted for a short while, i fueled it in all my posts responding to him. had he been with me (physically practicing with me), perhaps i could have done more. but causes and conditions are simply not there. i believe now he's back to his comfort zone again. his emptiness is not alive. well, it doesn't matter. i've planted a seed. it will ripen eventually. what had transpired btn us is btn him and i. matters to no one else.
how does a teacher know what's going on with students? frankly, i don't know! and i don't care. one just knows. all i need to do is practice. the workings of causes and conditions naturally takes care of things. in all this, there's noself. when the slightest self-reference enters the situation, obstructions everywhere, arrows don't meet. teachers say something, and goes right over the student's head, or vice versa.
this is already more than what i should say, but anyway, there you go. talking about this won't help a bit. analyzing it, creating all kinds of notions, bring one further away from practice. one must do the work of practice.
in the japanese tradition, the inner dynamic (of noself) would be the same. but i'll let other teachers do the talking (if they choose to).
Thanks for the kind + very open answer. Good I finally asked, I must admit that I had assumed it was a matter of rather bluntly discouraging or encouraging the student
Oh yes, OK *sigh*
you're welcome jojo.
pls let it stand that there are folks here who don't have teachers but have benefited from and appreciate them. my original thread was to encourage those who don't understand or appreciate the role of teachers to seek out teachers.
should be a "not" is there, as in: you're not the type.
just noticed the typo! the outcome is completely different... or is it?
someone raised a question in this thread so i went back and read it and noticed the missing "not." sorry partofit22
Thank you Guo Gu!
A teacher showed up close to my house. Good karma!
He studies with Okumura roshi and I just tag along. Manolo is a dedicated practitioner, body and mind to the core. I just watch in amazement at his joy and presence, and care for me. Imagine that, cares more than I ever did.
Before him I had little idea of what the teachre-student relation meant. Now it seems a part of me is openning beyond my control, beyond my understanding, way beyond my expectations.
Well, gassho teacher.
Nine bows for the teaching.
IT SPEAKS IN SILENCE
IN SPEECH YOU HEAR ITS SILENCE
I can appreciate both takes-
I've not been on the forum for a while.
This thread is still something like unfinished business for me I suppose. Might as well give it a go.
Maybe because I never stated that I disagree(d) there was/is anything wrong with the people of the forum appreciating the role of teachers.
So, I disagree
Also, I don't think it's OK to discredit views of other people with such harsh language.
If you take yourself seriously at all as a spiritual practitioner then those are just bad insults. If you have a disagreement about the views of other people, then you should just state what they said and what you think about it argumentally and not disparage them.
It's probably best to not take those things literally at all, but there was something meant by it and I don't think it's OK. How can you respond to such a thing?
But it happens .. and when it does sometimes the best thing to say is "Ok"- Other times may call for deeper conversation- I guess it all depends on the situation .. If the rock is still the rock after two decades, and seen as still the rock after two decades, maybe something is amiss .. ? With the rock? With the eye looking at the rock? Both? Or neither?
Guo Gu has seen a lot of attitudes and habits and characters of students, and has heard many opinions of others in his decades of practice and teaching, in many varied parts of the world. In Chan practice, as well as in Academia. This is called experience. Of course, he is also a master practitioner and teacher as well, and a lineage-holder in a true lineage.
I welcome Guo Gu's saying things as he sees them. It's for our benefit, and it is also so that we can in fact know the true heart of Guo Gu. In other words, he is honest and compassionate to tell us what he sees manifest among some in the present forum, and elsewhere. Kudos, Gassho, and ...gracias!
I feel weird talking about people specifically, and yet see it may be beneficial to mention that teachers have past lives, lives where they themselves may have engaged in the very behavior they point to .. .. which could be viewed as part of a teacher's job too ..
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