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March 19, 2012


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"Shobgezundheit" is pretty hilarious, I'll give you that.

HH wrote: "It's hard to understand the Shobogenzo. For some, it's a too difficult task. Dogs bark at everything they don't know/understand."

Son, I know sea turtles, a hundred years old, that would go ZZZZ if they read Shobgezundheit. It is that bad. What exactly do you find that is hard about it? If you have managed to enter the dark principle of the pure Mind and know the buddha nature of the One Mind as such and nothing else, what in Holy Matrieyas name is hard about it? I know chan masters that would use it as toilet paper, if offered the book as a gift from a dunce western student on temporary visit.

It is, has been, and will be useful for those of small virtue. But for those of great virtue it is pure crappola. Useless. If you find shobohonsho difficult then try the avatamsaka sutra (especially the last chapters).

Great virtue is not about good manners, like some visiting this blog seem to believe. It is not about good social behaviour, nor about some mother theresa work ad nauseam. It is about the instantaneous and singular spiritual ability to apprehend the supreme light of the buddhadharma when it is offered

K Grey, beautiful post, thank you. Great pointers.

It's hard to understand the Shobogenzo. For some, it's a too difficult task. Dogs bark at everything they don't know/understand.

Azanshi, you should try step-by-step. I know you think you're a genius of the highest sort, but at 20 year of age, such an intricate philosophical work is a bit hard to swallow.

Start perhaps by reading a commentary on the Shobogenzo by one of his student, such as Ejo’s Absorption in the Treasury of Light. A brilliant commentary on the Shobogenzo "Light" metaphor.

Just one thing to watch:


Buddha never wrote a word, and when he spoke he did so (reluctantly) as a teacher.

The canon you would have people so trust in, was written by other teachers who you rightly suggest may not be wholly worthy of such trust.

Time has not changed this aspect of writing/teaching/practicing.

Powerful words, given power by mind, form a powerful trap for mind.

Doubt clears the mind.

In Zazen, formal posture is a distraction as you note, but adherence to form is not the purpose of the form. It is done on purpose, to limit other distractions. This way is not for everyone.

With or without adherence to form, any introspection takes care of itself, as it must. There is a no forcing it, no certain way to do it. Just look. Without intention.

"Intention is Karma" ~ Buddha (SIHH).

With or without the dog & pony show of preachings and practices, the only way to realize the truth of Buddha's lessons is to realize this for yourself.

All forms, reveal as suchness.

Embracing some forms as true, rejecting others as false, same root error.

What 'teachers' often miss, or neglect to say:

All teachings - whether they offer words or works - are not to facilitate awakening, but to prepare us for it.

We cannot make the seed sprout, but we till and water to prepare for it.

Some, like Hui Neng, appear to backtrack by taking up practice/study after awakening (like a wild seedling transplanted from a rocky crevice to a fertile plain). A great pointer in this, showing us the teachings and practices are not vehicles to get anywhere, but clearly have another purpose.

So, a warning:

Awakening 'Buddha Mind' destroys ordinary mind. Practices are preparation for this calamity, not a way to attain this.

What in the canon addresses this? It must be there somewhere, as it's obvious (and ends the silly debates over sudden/gradual - as that refers to the apparent path only), but I'm not a scholar and so can't think of a relevant passage. Perhaps the Buddhists have largely weeded it out, like the Christian editors at Nicea, so they could administer the messages as best suits the institution.

This institutionalization, perhaps part of what drove Bodhidharma to head east and talk to the Taoists of a simpler way, and mostly sit and reflect...

Nothing is hidden. The Eightfold Path is just misunderstood as a prescription to cure delusion rather than a description of the natural state.

Many teachers have expounded on the prescriptions, offering their own formulas. Few simple give us their clear descriptions.

For me, this is the line between teacher and master, for those who insist on drawing such lines.

Yet, there is no separating this. All is mind.

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