Monday, February 12, 2007

HI-SHIRYO, Non-thinking (4): One last question

Master Dogen asks: Just in the moment of sitting, what is the sitting itself? Is it a somersault? Is it a state of vigorous activity? Is it thinking? Is it beyond thinking? Is it effort? Is it effortlessness?

Gudo’s conclusion is that, Zazen being ineffable, the answer to all these questions is: No. And especially we should understand that the answer to the question "Is it thinking?" is most definitely, uniequivocally: NO!

I would like to ask Gudo whether he recognizes that, sitting-meditation being ineffable, the answer to all these questions might also be: Yes.

4 Comments:

Blogger MikeDoe said...

It might also be neither yes nor no.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

The question is what sitting is, what action is.

A person who thinks he knows the answer is not sincere in asking the question.

I think the Buddha’s parting instruction to us was, guarding against insincerity, to pursue the truth of freedom in action, to pursue the truth of spontaneity in sitting.

In practice, when we look for a clear dividing line between insincerity and true sincerity, effort and effortlessness, artificiality and spontaneity, it is very difficult to find it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007  
Blogger siapac said...

When you have the right answer, what is the need for the right question or any question? I just listened to a recorded interview with gudo. questions just get in the way of his answers.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Thank you, siapac, for your question.

I think the fact that you have regularly visited this blog and Dogen Sangha blog, and that you take the trouble to listen to a recorded interview with Gudo, shows that actually you are seeking something, and your intuition guides you to seek it in the teaching of Master Dogen as elucidated by Gudo Nishijima.

Should we who, out of not knowing, seek out and inquire into Master Dogen’s teaching, doubt ourself? Many people in the world today are drawn to the teaching of great living Buddhist teachers, for example, the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh, to name but two. But for some strange reason you and I are peculiarly drawn to the teaching of Zen Master Dogen as introduced to the 21st century by a not-very-well-known Japanese businessman/monk called Gudo Nishijima. Out of what kind of karma have we been so drawn?

On Dogen Sangha blog, Gudo seems to be selling, as the right answer to all questions, his idea about balance of the autonomic nervous system. I do not buy it. I received many gifts from Gudo -- for example, motivation, guidance in a certain direction, books, meals, bedding, cash, round black cushion, robe, bowls. But the most important and valuable thing I received from Gudo might be the transmission of the following questions, together with his encouragement to ask them, as a non-monk, four times a day. Confidence that one has the right answer is a state that comes and goes. Even when it comes, it is not always reliable. But the following questions are always available, to anybody.

Just in the moment of sitting, investigate whether the Universe is vertical, and whether it is horizontal. Just in the moment of sitting, what is the sitting itself? Is it a somersault? Is it the vigorous reflex activity of a flapping fish? Is it thinking? Is it beyond thinking? Is it doing? Is it spontaneity?

Do we sit inside the action of sitting? Do we sit inside the body-mind? Do we sit dropping off the inside of sitting, the inside of the body-mind, and suchlike?

Master Dogen wrote:

There should be investigation of thousands and tens of thousands of questions like these.

Bodily sit in the full lotus posture!

Mentally sit in the full lotus posture!

Dropping off body and mind, sit in the full lotus posture!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home