Monday, June 4, 2012

Study Hall

Having not settled on a new book to read since my return, I picked up Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community, and while I read Fushukuhanpo, The Dharma for Taking Food, this morning, it is mostly a little specialised in its setting out of guidelines for oryoki. So, instead, from the same book, one of the sections from the Tenzo Kyokun that we studied in Totnes as couple of weeks ago:
"When you take care of things, do not see with your common eyes, do not think with your common sentiments. Pick a single blade of grass and erect a sanctuary for the jewel king; enter a single atom and turn the great wheel of the teaching. So even when you are making a broth of coarse greens, do not arouse an attitude of distaste or dismissal. Even when you are making a high-quality cream soup, do not arouse an attitude of rapture or dancing for joy. If you already have no attachments, how could you have any disgust? Therefore, although you may encounter inferior ingredients, do not be at all negligent; although you may come across delicacies,  be all the more diligent. Never alter your state of mind based on materials. People who change their mind according to ingredients, or adjust their speech to [the status of] whoever they are talking to, are not people of the Way."


Sierra said...

Hmm, interesting. It seems like it is saying in this text to maintain a state of equanimity when interacting with all things. So for example, don’t “arouse an attitude of distaste” when making course greens. Partially because this might make one be negligent with this thing we see as inferior. This applies to people as well. Hmm, it seems this would be hard to remain impartial, especially since judgement is a natural human tendency. It seems like a quote in Zen Mind Beginners Mind says it is best to let our feelings of aversion about these things be aroused, rather than try to remain impartial:
“Dogen-zenji said, "Although everything has Buddha nature, we love flowers, and we do not care for weeds." This is true of human nature. But that we are attached to some beauty is itself Buddha's activity. That we do not care
for weeds is also Buddha's activity. We should know that. If you know that, it is all right to attach to something. If it
is Buddha's attachment, that is non-attachment. So in love there should be hate, or non-attachment. And in hate there should be love, or acceptance. Love and hate are one thing. We should not attach to love alone. We should accept hate. We should accept weeds, despite how we feel about them. If you do not care for them, do not love them; if you love them, then love them.”

I’d like to find out what it means, in practice, to: “accept weeds despite how we feel about them”? Just responding out loud no need to answer, thanks for the post!

Shundo said...

We were talking about similar issues in our small group last night, Sierra. Usually what I say is that it is a good idea to be in accord with reality, so in this case, be equally intimate with flowers and weeds, like and aversion.