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Posted by jundo cohen at 8/31/2007 11:19:00 PM
Some folks have written recently to ask,
Hair of the head. The hair of the head should not be worn long. It should be shaved at least every two months or when the hair has grown to a length of two fingerbreadths — whichever occurs first, says the Commentary. In Thailand there is the custom that all bhikkhus shave their heads on the same day, the day before the full moon, so that the Community can present a uniform appearance. Although this is not obligatory, a bhikkhu who does not follow the custom tends to stand out from his fellows ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/30/2007 11:28:00 AM
Today, our most special guest 'sits-a-long' ...
The subject was the 'Kesa' (skt. kâshâya), the monk's outer robe. The 'Rakusu' is the shortened version that I wear most days. Nishijima Roshi always sits in a full Kashaya. He recently wrote this:
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/28/2007 01:54:00 PM
EMAIL IS OFF AGAIN!
The key to "Non-Attachment" is a loosening, or fading away, of a hard sense of 'self' ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/27/2007 10:22:00 PM
EMAIL IS BACK!
"Non-Attachment" is being mindful, yet not attached.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/26/2007 10:27:00 PM
EMAIL DOWN: OUR EMAIL HAS BEEN DOWN FOR A FEW DAYS, FOR FOLKS TRYING TO REACH ME.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/25/2007 04:06:00 PM
EMAIL DOWN: OUR EMAIL HAS BEEN DOWN FOR A FEW DAYS, FOR FOLKS TRYING TO REACH ME.
Yesterday's story of sadness, now this that comes from it ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/24/2007 02:44:00 PM
Yesterday, I described Buddhism as a positive, joyful, optimistic philosophy, with Zazen an experience pleasant and peaceful, filled with feelings of deep contentment. I was kidding around with my little nieces and son, shooting the garden hose, celebrating a child's birthday ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/23/2007 04:55:00 PM
Nishijima Roshi describes Buddhism as a positive, joyful, optimistic philosophy. It does not have that image to many people, who see it as a means of escape from all emotions, pleasing or not. It just is not so.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/22/2007 07:17:00 PM
In Asian legend, dragons are wonderous water dwelling creatures, a symbol of good fortune. Tigers live in their mountain lair. They are in their true element.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/21/2007 06:03:00 PM
A koan for people growing older ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/20/2007 06:29:00 PM
When a body is too old or sick, it dies. The remains are burned, or placed in the ground ... the life of that body is over. The mental realm held within its skull is, quite likely, stone-cold-dead and gone too.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/19/2007 11:28:00 AM
Today, I was going to explain how death is merely an illusion, that we truly live forever without end, that reincarnation is as real as the sunrise (just not in the simplistic manner often portrayed), that life is not at all as it seems ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/18/2007 11:38:00 PM
The two Buddhist perspectives mentioned yesterday, while seemingly contradictory, each dissolve the frictions between ourselves and the world ... our experience of the disagreeable, conflict, things bumping one into the other, life not going quite as we would wish ...
First, if the sense of a separate self softens, or is fully dropped, what 'separate things' remain to crash against each other? What "you" remains for events to "not go your way"? The friction is gone.
Second, if you -- and every other object in the universe -- exists perfectly as perfectly-just-what-it-is, what is there to criticize or resist? Everything is as it is. The friction is gone.
Each of these perspective, although seemingly quite different, is tasted in the goalless, objectless experience of "just sitting" Zazen. When our mind ceases its hard divisions and categorizations, the first. When we relax from imposing our judgments on ourselves and on the world as to how each "should be", the second.
"No friction", or better (since we still must live in a world of things that bump and crash, even as we simultaneously drop all resistance) ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/17/2007 08:43:00 PM
Two Buddhist perspectives on Reality, seemingly contradictory at first glance, are absolutely vital to understanding our True Nature:
First, you -- and every other object in the universe that the mind identifies as having separate self-identity -- are not so, do not truly exist in such way, are mental illusions created by our assigning labels and definitions, imagined as separate objects, merely sets of conditions and circumstances which come together temporarily in expressions of the various 'wholes' which hold them ...
A tree and mountain, for example, do not bother to call themselves 'tree' and 'mountain', or to define where the tree ends and the mountain that the tree sits upon begins. Only the mind does that. They, by themselves, are just their 'tree/mountain' whole, as it exists before a thought of tree or mountain.
Second, you -- and every other object in the universe that your mind identifies as having separate self-identity -- absolutely exists as itself, and is perfectly just what it is. There is nothing to add or take away from it to make it more itself ...
Much as each door and window, tile and brick that makes a house is not truly a separate thing but (when stepping back and seeing the whole) is just the house.
Yet each door and window, tile and brick, simultaneously, is perfectly itself, just that door, window, tile or brick as it is.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/16/2007 07:21:00 PM
Today was to be a father/son sit, quietly facing the kitchen wall. It was quiet sometimes.
The emergency 'potty' break in the middle was an unexpected part (our refrigerator led the Zazen for awhile).
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/15/2007 07:44:00 PM
'Zazen in a truck'. It should have been 'sleeping in a truck', but I didn't fall asleep after all. Falling asleep during Zazen is no shame or waste of time (nothing about Zen Practice involves shame or any waste) ... at least if just once in awhile. (Every time would be a big waste and a shame, I think). If you really need to sleep, just sleep. We've been driving this truck all day it seems.
Now, I feel great, like I can drive all night, and Zazen can substitute for quite a bit of sleep, in my experience.
However ... I think I'll let Mina take the next leg. Why take chances?
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/14/2007 09:19:00 PM
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/13/2007 04:12:00 PM
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/12/2007 03:33:00 PM
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/11/2007 11:12:00 PM
I went today to a special exhibit at the National History Museum called 'Let's Zen' ... old temple stuff, statues, portraits of great masters ....
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/10/2007 07:46:00 PM
'Genjo Koan' is also the title of one of the most famous sections of Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. The phrase has been translated many ways.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/09/2007 04:26:00 PM
Just sitting, in the universe as-it-is ... untouched by restrictions, hindrances, obstructions or distractions ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/08/2007 04:50:00 PM
Zazen is perfect enlightenment, the Buddha's enlightenment.
Just sitting, in the universe itself ... legs crossed and spine straight ... untouched by restrictions, hindrances, obstructions or distractions ... balance of body-mind ... no 'you' to resist the world, no 'world' to be resisted ... you are experiencing the Buddha's enlightenment ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/07/2007 05:16:00 PM
Like fine Japanese carpentry, Zazen is a learnable skill of body-mind. It is mastered through years of observing and practice.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/06/2007 07:00:00 PM
They say, "Practice makes Perfect".
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/05/2007 09:44:00 PM
Our first sitting from the Treeleaf Zendo ... the one made of wood and dirt.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/04/2007 03:00:00 PM
Nothing to clean from the start, no washer to run ...
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/03/2007 09:44:00 PM
Master Bodhidharma said of Zen:
"A special transmission beyond Scriptures,
Not depending on words or letters ... "
So is there nothing worth study? No place for books and learning? Why should we master an ancient philosophy and arcane teachings 'just to be' now?
Dogen says that Zazen is all that is required. Merely to cross the legs and straighten the back IS Enlightenment itself. Zazen is not about learning Zen, but about doing-non-doing Zen.However, the person who ignores the learned words and perspectives of old teachers like Bodhidharma, Hui Neng and Dogen is likely traveling blind.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/02/2007 04:34:00 PM
It's late at night. Mina and the baby are asleep already. We are moving from our temporary house tomorrow back to the Treeleaf.
Posted by jundo cohen at 8/01/2007 11:03:00 AM
Please visit our TREELEAF SANGHA HOMEPAGE HERE