Question about Genjokoan / Dogen classic Koan

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MuggWortt
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Question about Genjokoan / Dogen classic Koan

Post by MuggWortt » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:53 pm

New member here, today. Thanks for having me! I'm interested in Mahayana and more likely from the Soto Zen perspective but still way new enough to entertain all views. Here's something I kick around ->

Does the following quote say something about - 1. Free will and also 2. Some kind of inherent responsive intelligence interacting with sentient beings as undivided universe? Yep, I know that is a mouthful of conceptual stuff... :) Thanks very much for your insights.

In the Genjokoan, Dogen quotes a student teacher koan interchange thus: "Finally Dogen quotes a classic Zen story alluding to the necessity of practical application even though truth, or enlightenment, is inherent in everyone. A monk asks his teacher why he uses a fan if the nature of wind is eternal and omnipresent; the teacher replies that the student knows the nature of eternity but not the principle of omnipresence, and to illustrate this principle the teacher just fans himself. As one of the Kegon philosophers said, "If not for practice flowing from reality, there is no means to merge with reality."

Quote is from the Zensite -> http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/ ... Cleary.htm
"It is too late to be ready." ~Dogen Zenji

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Astus
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Re: Question about Genjokoan / Dogen classic Koan

Post by Astus » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:57 pm

MuggWortt wrote:Does the following quote say something about - 1. Free will
No. Read this on free will.
and also 2. Some kind of inherent responsive intelligence interacting with sentient beings as undivided universe?
No. Such a concept is repeatedly refuted by Dogen (and by Buddhists in general). He calls it the Srenika heresy. See his Bussho and question 10 in Bendowa.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

MuggWortt
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Re: Question about Genjokoan / Dogen classic Koan

Post by MuggWortt » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:30 pm

I found this in my own dusty library. Already had found it in my own dusty mind. Dusts off my questions - precisely, and both of them. Poetry is such good dharma. Zen priests, such as they are, are such good drama.

JUST BOW
Putting my right and left hands together, I just bow.
Just bow to become one with Buddha and God.
Just bow to become one with everything I encounter.
Just bow to become one with all the myriad things.
Just bow as life becomes life.
~ Kosho Uchiyama Roshi - Death Poem


Thank you.
"It is too late to be ready." ~Dogen Zenji

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jundo cohen
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Re: Question about Genjokoan / Dogen classic Koan

Post by jundo cohen » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:53 am

MuggWortt wrote:New member here, today. Thanks for having me! I'm interested in Mahayana and more likely from the Soto Zen perspective but still way new enough to entertain all views. Here's something I kick around ->

Does the following quote say something about - 1. Free will ...
Hello MuggWortt,

The focus of the passage is not on whether free will does or does not exist, but on the need for realization to be realized (made real) in each moment of Practice. It is much like saying that the reality of mountain hiking is made real in each step by step of the hike, not some far off destination. Each step itself is a total arrival, the mountain walking. Your wisdom and compassion now realizes wise and compassionate Buddha now, by your wise and compassionate words, thoughts and actions now.

If you don't bring such to life now, the Buddha is not brought to life.
,,, 2. Some kind of inherent responsive intelligence interacting with sentient beings as undivided universe?
Most Zen folks avoid saying what Buddha or "the ultimate" is exactly or not, for to define such is but impose human categories and limitations. So, to be precise, Dogen would not say that it is an "inherent responsive intelligence" or not an "inherent responsive intelligence". He might tell you to drop from your thoughts the whole idea of "inherent responsive intelligence" or not "inherent responsive intelligence". In any case, he would tell you not to think of it as any kind of "inherent responsive intelligence", and I am certain that he would not care for the description.

Generally, Zen folks traditionally imply that the Dharmakhaya or "the ultimate" or however we provisionally call this is something far more subtle, and wonderful just by so. Delicious Cheese! Sweet Creme!
Master Ho-tetsu of Mt. Mayoku was using a fan. At that time, a monk came in and asked him, “[It is said that] the nature of air is to be ever-present, and there is no place that air cannot reach. Why then does the Master use a fan?”
The Master said, “You only know [the abstract idea] that the nature of air is to be ever-present, but you have not understood the fact that there is no place the air cannot reach.”
The monk said, “What is the meaning of the principle ‘There is no place the air cannot reach’?”
At this, the Master just [carried on] using the fan. The monk prostrated himself. The real experience of Buddhism, the vivid behavior of the Buddhist tradition, is like this. Someone who says that because [the air] is ever-present we need not use a fan, or that even when we do not use [a fan] we can still feel the air, does not know ever-presence, and does not know the nature of air. Because the nature of air is to be ever-present, the behavior of Buddhists makes the Earth manifest itself as gold, and ripens the Milky Way into delicious cheese.[Note: Some translate this as "sweet creme"]
Gassho, Jundo
Priest/Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha. Treeleaf Zendo was designed as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. The focus is Shikantaza "Just Sitting" Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. http://www.treeleaf.org

MuggWortt
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Re: Question about Genjokoan / Dogen classic Koan

Post by MuggWortt » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:17 pm

Here seems to be the real heresy. I have no interest in either pleasing or displeasing Dogen. I only begin with Dogen but I end up perhaps here for a while ->

JUST BOW
Putting my right and left hands together, I just bow.
Just bow to become one with Buddha and God.
Just bow to become one with everything I encounter.
Just bow to become one with all the myriad things.
Just bow as life becomes life.
~ Kosho Uchiyama Roshi - Death Poem

If I end up at Dogen as you seem to insist is required, then I sound like a Zen priest and that is all. Insinuations or even flat out declarations that I am on some 'wrong' path is to be ignorant of the heart of Zen and forgetful of the legacy of Dogen, the consummate heretic. Where, oh please, is the Zen priest who does not sound like one?

May you notice your good karma when that heretic comes along to break the oh-so-fragile Tradition Of Zen and expose the living heart once again. May you choose to just bow as life becomes life.

Thanks
"It is too late to be ready." ~Dogen Zenji

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jundo cohen
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Re: Question about Genjokoan / Dogen classic Koan

Post by jundo cohen » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:05 pm

MuggWortt wrote:Here seems to be the real heresy. I have no interest in either pleasing or displeasing Dogen. I only begin with Dogen but I end up perhaps here for a while ->

...

If I end up at Dogen as you seem to insist is required, then I sound like a Zen priest and that is all. Insinuations or even flat out declarations that I am on some 'wrong' path is to be ignorant of the heart of Zen and forgetful of the legacy of Dogen, the consummate heretic. Where, oh please, is the Zen priest who does not sound like one?

May you notice your good karma when that heretic comes along to break the oh-so-fragile Tradition Of Zen and expose the living heart once again. May you choose to just bow as life becomes life.

Thanks
Was Dogen a heretic? Actually, a pretty traditional, conservative guy by most standards.

But, anyway, he is dead. You are not, so no need to be like him. Find your own way. Dogen was just a wise fellow who pointed out some good Pathless Path to walk up the Mountainless Mountain. Take it or leave it.

There are no "right" or "wrong" paths in Zen, because there is no "right and wrong" .... HOWEVER, there are very definite right and clearly wrong paths, because it is so easy to go very wrong, in circles, a bad direction, right off a cliff. (If what I said sounds like a contradiction, then you are thinking wrong).

Sounds like perhaps you are not so sure of your footing.

Uchiyama was also a pretty traditional, conservative guy.

Gassho, Jundo
Priest/Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha. Treeleaf Zendo was designed as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. The focus is Shikantaza "Just Sitting" Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. http://www.treeleaf.org

MuggWortt
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Re: Question about Genjokoan / Dogen classic Koan

Post by MuggWortt » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:09 am

Yes, and thank you Jundo. Good call. Very good of you to notice that unsure footing is my daily practice.

"Just bow as life becomes life." ~ Traditional Kosho Uchiyama Roshi
"It is too late to be ready." ~Dogen Zenji

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