RMC Zen ONline – I tried to choose just one koan to sit with but I couldn’t manage to separate them. They vied for my attention. As I’ve been sitting with them, I’ve been realizing they flow together to reflect two aspects of my noticing/attention/meditation practice.
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There is an alternate translation for this word “ungrateful” which is, “standing alone with my back to you.” What does ‘standing alone’ have to do with being ungrateful? The words attributed to the baby Buddha, spoken at birth come to mind, “I alone, the world honored one.” Rather than being an inflated statement coming from a place of ego, it is referring to the ‘aloneness’ of disappearing into a piece of music, a sunset, your lover’s eyes. Not alone at all. What if ‘ungrateful’ is like that?
A good reminder about the “separate” in the midst of the “one”. Especially when I find myself overly concerned about the way others are running their circus and monkeys. Or, for that matter, about the way that I am running my own circus and relating to my own monkeys.
I am one of the ones whose words I can’t get it from, but I keep asking the question, letting go of the responses that come from not only outside, but from inside too and keep asking the question.
So, what is all this multiplication about? Actually, it is not about multiplication, it is about division. The way we divide the world up into little pieces, separating ourselves from each other and ourselves and what happens when we don’t. It is about multiplication in the sense that our delusions about the way things are, multiply exponentially as we continue to divide.
These were the words that had run through my head as the 2016 election was decided. Words I did not know the origin or meaning of. Words that seemed so entirely appropriate to the moment. Why? Where did they come from?
RMC Zen Online: Discipline and Zen seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Images of shaved head monk sitting ramrod straight, not moving, inside or out, were certainly in my mind when I heard about Zen. Also there are stories about encounters between Zen Masters and the world that reinforce the image.
RMC Zen online: I want to add that I did not hear what preceded this koan—that it was Yunmen responding to a student, who
asked, “What is meditating and just seeing things as they are?” “A coin lost in the river is found in the river,” said Yunmen.
RMC Zen Online- The experience of putting down the burden we carry is one of relief. The greater the burden, the greater the relief. The diminishing of the burden that we have carried for a long time can bring tears of joy.