Sat Mar 28

Spring, week 2
"Bowing is a very serious practice. You should be prepared to bow, even in your last moment. even though it is impossible to get rid of our self-centered desires, we have to do it. Our true nature wants us to." - Shunryu Suzuki
Saturday Zen Service, Mar 28: 10:00am - 11:45am.

Reading for this week: "Bowing" from Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. (For Amazon, ORDER HERE.)

This week's case: Gateless Gate #16, "The Sound of the Bell and the Seven-Panel Robe"

Yunmen said, "The world is vast and wide like this. Why do we put on our seven-panel robe at the sound of the bell?"

Wumen's Commentary:
Generally speaking, in practicing and studying Zen, it is most detestable to follow sounds and pursue colors. Even though you may become enlightened through hearing sounds and come to realize mind by seeing colors, that is the ordinary way of things. People do not know that for real Zen monks, when they are riding on sounds and becoming one with colors, everything is clear, moment by moment, everything is full of wonder, action after action. When you hear a sound, however, just tell me, does the sound come to the ear or the ear go to the sound? Even though you have extinguished both sound and silence, what will you realize here? If you hear with the ear, you cannot realize it. When you hear with the eye, for the first time it will become intimate.

Wumen's Verse:
With realization, all things are of one family
Without realization, everything is separate and different;
Without realization, all things are of one family
With realization, everything is separate and different. [1]

Guishan's Verse:
The formal vestment goes on at the sound of a bell;
The whole world cannot hide the appearance of a monk.
But if you see by way of form, or seek by way of sound,
The Budddha's successor, our teacher, was a fake.

Hotetsu's Verse:
One day I watched a videotape of some people who were totally liberated.
They were utterly free, without the slightest fetter or constraint.
I watched the tape over and over
And each time they were just as free.

Yunmen (864-949, "Ummon" in Japanese) was a 13th-generation Zen master on the Shitou side:
Shitou -> Tianhuang -> Longtan -> Deshan -> Xuefeng -> Yunmen

1. Or, "With realization, you belong to the family; / Without realization, you are a stranger. / Without realization, you belong to the family; / With realization, you are a stranger." (Senzaki)
Low inserts explanatory brackets in the third and fourth lines: "If you are not enlightened [it makes no difference because] all things are as of one family. / And if you are enlightened; [it also makes no difference because] every single thing is different from everything else."

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