Discussions of Zen Buddhism in all shapes and sizes.
indeed, care must be taken. There is no such thing as custom in zen. Holding out a hand, never mind which one, is nothing more than responding to a koan.... like what is the sound of one hand. It goes deeper tho, least we get too clever, then we'll get our finger cut off. (according to the koans)
Zen is red. no question.
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
Wow. Egad. Seems they're gone from Chile, too, since early 1980s.
Imagine all that porcelain, in all those landfills, all around the world... .
"Pay-dirt" for future archeologists. They'll conclude that there was a time in the late 20th Century soon after the introduction of the Personal Computer, when, suddenly, ...well, who knows WHAT they'll conclude.
Well, in some countries, it is an insult to pass anything to another person while using the left hand.
Now, I am not sure what to think.
Did you know in some countries people don't use utensils but their bare hands to eat food?
what's this about bidets? focus guys.
taiwan is as hot as ever. these days i'm preparing for the pilgrimage trip. all's well.
good wishes to you all!
joe, fuki, and others who have bought a copy of the book, enjoy reading it.
Hopefully, one day. Ordered mine one month ago, and it already had slipped from my memory. Will be a nice surprise when it turns up one day out of nowhere ("hu, who ordered this for me???")
Thanks Guo Gu, it was delivered this afternoon, looking forward to start reading this evening.
The book is much thicker then I expected so it will take a time to digest it all, especially since I have little familiarity or experience with the gateless barrier. I've read most of them and know many from memory but never really studied or applied them, apart from a few which are/seem "natural" to "grasp intuitively" like the case of the 3 barriers, while others like "washing bowl" don't compute, so I look forward at reading your commentary on all cases so it can unfold and manifest in daily life instead of dry understanding.
Thanks for the oppurtunity and thanks to all who made the book possible.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
Venerable Guo Gu, your book arrived this past weekend. Just past the introduction and dipping into the first case, it has already been a treat. Simple and clear, perfectly and carefully presented, it's a book I will enjoy over many years. Thank you for the important work.
"Some people think they are enlightened, some people think they are not enlightened." -- Denko
thanks for the support, and thanks to those who made the book possible. also, it is due to the audience and their causes and conditions that the cases unfolded into dharma talks. otherwise i would have nothing to say.
yeah, john, it's not a book to read from cover to cover, though one could do that, as each case stands on its own. so one could pick up any case and read it.
the most important point is to make these cases come alive in your lives.
Your book arrived today. It is my third version of The Gateless Barrier although I must confess I'm not a reader of such things. It's never made sense to me to look up the answers. I'm very happy to have your book and to see that you have made this offering!!
I've heard many of these koans before. They seem to appear just at the right time. I know you have a diff term which I can't seem to find at the moment, gong-an perhaps?
I went to Case 40 because I heard it again about 2 weeks ago. Baizhang and Weishan (the cook) who kicks over the water pitcher. Ofc, there is much to see in your commentary and it is a beautiful offering. I'd have to agree imitation is useless and annoying... it could get your finger cut off.
You said that the cook (Weishan) has a most difficult job .... yes, if he is simply a cook, it would be hell .... especially in a monastery. Then, "The relatively easy job of being a cook".... ha, ha, yes.... and no. BUT, this man was no mere cook, he was a TENZO practicing the dharma in the kitchen. I suppose that it is relatively easy if we choose to compare it to other (jobs) in the monastery. I know from personal experience that I had a preference for the kitchen far from the politics, so I thought for as long as I could. Do you think that a Tenzo is not saving beings? Do you think that Weishan found it hard? I don't think so. He could not jump out of Baizhang's trap? That statement causes me to question Wumen. Maybe, or he could not refuse his destiny ... he could only be himself. I'm sure that he was not thinking about it. So goes the rhythm of easy and difficult... you are mysterious and subtle, something for everyone. The difficult thing is to leave practice for the sake of all beings.... and become a teacher... and it's not difficult at all unless we say so. Do you know that in the "mystical" tradition of Christianity, one of the 3 temptations of Christ was to become a master teacher? (The other two are having occult powers and freedom from personal pain and suffering.... thus, the fox) I doubt that a tenzo would consider his life of hardship in the forest as a problem.... it's just the next thing.... just like it's one meal after another, there is no time to edit or reflect or judge... that is the beauty of it.... it just keeps going and it's not easy to separate one meal from the next, and who wants to. It's like the concentration involved in speed reading. (I'm working now, I sell reading programs and talk often about the benefits of speed reading. lol) yup, if you're into it. there is no time for distraction in cooking or speed reading. It never ceased to amaze me how ppl helping in the kitchen could think of nothing more than getting back to the zendo. oy vey, ppl with 30 years of experience.... The most important job for the tenzo is to make a response to what is happening. I always said a good tenzo knows how to fix the mistakes with grace... ofc, then, it's hard to even use the word mistake.
I've heard this koan a few times ... this last time, there was a different piece. Before the public examination, Beizhang had already decided on Weishan to carry forward his work, but the head monk objected and forced a public inquiry. So, I have to wonder what the trap was except to invite ppl to present themselves. Personally, I wouldn't vote for the head monk's answer. Weishan prevailed in this encounter as you say. I think it's lovely that no matter how the story comes down, it carries the same wisdom which is never the same .... although we'll never know the answer. No two snowflakes are the same.
blessings to you, hope to see you again when causes and conditions present it.
I thought I would wait and analyze, but you've got the raw version and work starts tomorrow at 6am.
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
that's right, don't look up gong'ans for answers. gong'an practice is not about cracking a code or "decoding" some kind of secret knowledge. yet regrettably, it has come down to this. gong'an is your life. and being free in every aspect.
as for weishan, don't get stuck with easy or difficult, doing or nondoing, responding or nonresponding, wining or losing--this is precisely beizhang's trap. both weishan and the head monk took up baizhang's challenge--both deserve 30 blows, including myself who commented on that case.
yet weishan still went ahead and responded--putting on the cangue willingly. this is compassion!
what need is there for easy or difficult, doing or nondoing, responding or nonresponding, win or lose? why fall in baizhang's trap by choosing the head monk's response?
linda! pick up your ladle--cook!
pls make all those around you a delicious meal.
I don't know when I'll get the book but I will.
My night stand looks like a book store, or dump. Not my mind though, there is method in that piñata.
I do want to get FAITH IN MIND too, so yours will be in familiar company.
Sitting and a little study helps to glance over these questions and knots with a sort of 360 mind trying to replace the older 15 degree, like a dog doing the same 7 turns before laying down.
And that turning last a long long time and that is the Way.
IT SPEAKS IN SILENCE
IN SPEECH YOU HEAR ITS SILENCE
My mind looks like a dump so you are doing better than me!
To save on shipping I ordered Passing Through the Gateless Barrier together with Jeff Shore's new book,
Great Doubt: Practicing Zen in the World. The latter is due out July 26. So I was thrilled that Amazon split the shipment up and I received Guo Gu's book yesterday!
Now to read and practice!
Stay healthy my friend.
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