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time being and dogen

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time being and dogen terry 1/17/18 9:08 PM
RE: time being and dogen Chris Marti 1/18/18 7:32 AM
RE: time being and dogen terry 1/18/18 12:56 PM
RE: time being and dogen seth tapper 1/18/18 3:49 PM
RE: time being and dogen alguidar 1/19/18 7:08 AM
RE: time being and dogen Stirling Campbell 1/19/18 12:56 PM
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RE: time being and dogen Change A. 1/19/18 7:10 PM
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RE: time being and dogen Change A. 1/18/18 8:26 AM
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time being and dogen
Answer
1/17/18 9:08 PM
aloha,

   I have been thinking a lot about time, especially time as dogen saw it, "uji" or "being-time." Dogen thought deeply into being, which is the fact of (human) existence in time. That is "be" combined with "-ing" - or, that which "is" in its aspect of changing. Impermanence. Ultimately, "buddha-nature is impermanence."

   Dogen's view of time was nearly unique. The western idea of time as an extension of space into duration - newtonian, measured time - belongs to the naive pretense of objectivity. The buddha shows us this sort of time as suffering: birth, sickness, old age, death as a progression "in" time. Time as chronos the destroyer, devouring his offspring. The buddha dhamma assumes the view that time is a human projection, like space; an 'a priori' framework for verbal explanation of experience. A false projection acquired due to the need to communicate via conceptual, linear thinking. While in truth there are no objects, no birth, no death, no time.

   I want to briefly try to get at what I think is dogen's view, and solicit comments from anyone who thinks deeply about time and impermanence.

   Time in buddhism is subjective, it is an aspect of experience; it is "being-time," the experience of life from "moment to moment." Dogen's essential lifelong quest was for an answer to the question: "If buddha nature is always present, why do we need to practice?" He eventually discovered that buddha nature is identical with practice. While practicing, we are enlightened; not otherwise. Thus he enjoined "incessant practice" as the true nature of enlightenment, and nirvana. (The paradox, spoiler alert, involves the realization that buddha nature is always who we are if we are being mindfully here and now, but we can imagine all sorts of nonsense which seems more desirable at a given moment, and we generally do, and thus we identify with whatever pleasant fantasy or unpleasant fear that occurs to us, and are in time, unenlightened.)

   If we think of time as external and measurable, we are "stuck" in (concepts of) time. If we are simply present, here and now, without desire for change, at this moment we are enlightened. For the practicioner of the buddha dhamma, every moment is the present moment, every moment is a "dharma situation." Time is cyclic and granular, not continuous; we are not "in" time, impermanence is our nature, it is who we are as a be-ing. One dharma situation succeeds another, enlightenment proceeds like a string of pearls, from moment to moment, life to life. Without desire, no objects appear; if a (desire-) object appears, it is "such" that the object-and-its-environment are all of dependent co-arising phenomena. A shitstick, yes, but what a shitstick! 

   Time does not pass, in dogen's view, it is we who pass. Sub specie aeternitas, we are afloat in the river of time, imagining orselves as permanent and the scenery as passing by, when actually we are passing by and the scenery is relatively fixed. Though in another sense, "mountains flow and rivers stay still." Dogen is diverse, presenting views right and left so that we see they are only views. Only impermanence is permanently real, and that transcendentally.

  "Impermanence is buddha nature" (credit to joan stambaugh). If we in our practice find ourselves in the here and now, counting breaths or whatever, and experience a temporal expanse of infinite space, or endless consciousness, or beyond-perception-and-nonperception, we are out of time, in a "place" of birthlessness and deathlessness, of purified awareness. In the "dharma situation" of sitting meditation, we may maintain this presence, in this continuous Present, a present which combines past and future in one timeless infinite whole. We arise from the dharma situation of sitting into the dharma situation of whatever is next: mindfully eating, sleeping, preparing for work, whatever. Each arising situation is an opportunity to practice, to overcome obstacles; a new "dharma situation." Obviously this is easier to practice among the sangha, or in solitude. It is dhamma at any time. Each moment, each dhamma situation is complete in itself, a total revelation of the universe in all its glory from darkness to light. And again. And again. (Breathe in, breathe out.)

   Since "the passions are enlightenment," samsara is nirvana, each arising impediment to realization, including the tendency to slip back into clock time, is simply an opportunity to realize the buddha dhamma; that is, part of the arising new dharma situation. Every attachment, every irritation we feel is a wakeup call to get back to practice. As we practice, "incessant practice" comes easier and easier, each emotion, each "object" is unpacked in discrete "dharma moments" and realized to be empty of any meaning or significance. Emptiness becomes established, no new karma is created. The lion's roar is an expression of impermanence, as an end of all becoming takes place again and again at each consecutive dharma situation "moment." Roaroaroaroaoroaroar... the buddha is heard even yet.  Measuring such moments by clock time is absurd. Without here and now "being-time" we live in a dream world/fantasy world displaced by "the thickness of a hairsbreadth" from the true world of being present in reality in the world we all know and love right here in front of us in this moment now current. We are here, or we are not. Awake, or asleep. We string together our moments of wakefulness into a "presence" like a twirling torch makes a ring of fire. We don't recall the moments we 'spend' asleep, so our consciousness appears to us seamless. Try counting your breath for an hour, just being present, and see how awake you really are from moment to moment; it is humbling. I think dogen would agree with spinoza who said "all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare." Being enduringly enlightened takes constant, wakeful effort, that is, incessant practice. "Trying" doesn't matter; just practice. What matters is maintaining continuous non-attachment - actual wakeful being there is the only success.

   So as I imagine dogen seeing it, each "moment" of time is a complete "dharma situation," a lesson leading from confusion or doubt to clarity, or a lesson leading from clarity to clarity - cautionary tales or hero stories. Every individual we meet is caught up in their current dharma situation, as we are caught in ours; we are all joined in one dharma situation, "all beings" being equivalent to dogen to "all being." Dogen's solution to his koan of whether buddha nature is always present or not is achieved by making the individual responsible for "being there," for being *awake*. For the person who practices incessantly, being-time (impermanence) becomes permanent. That is, the individual is able to be completely free each moment, with no residue from the last moment, no anticipation of the next moment. Each current dharma situation is all-absorbing, and we know just when to go on to the next, free from attachments (karma).

   It is easy enough to realize we must "be here now" and live in the current moment, but in order to actually do so we need to know what a "moment" actually is, and how to handle the changes. I think of the yi jing, and its approximately 10,000 different possible permutations of "dharma situations." Each situation may go slow or fast by clock time, but the significance is in incessant practice. Of dealing with each dharma situation patiently and thoroughly; a "mind like dead ashes." Time (impermanence, buddha nature) is our friend, our 'self,' our reality. It takes more than faith in the truth of the buddha dhamma, it takes faith that we can safely retire our conniving egos and let the world go its own way without our active meddling. To give all our attention to the moment is to be free from remorse or worry, thoughts of success or failure, winning or losing: it's all one.

   Any thoughts about the nature of time, in relation to the buddha dhamma and impermanence? Or thoughts about dogen's views?


aloha, terry

   
  
   

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/18/18 7:32 AM as a reply to terry.
Hi, Terry.

My meditation practice has brought me to the insight/realization that both time and space are deeply held mental constructs that allow us to make sense of our moment to moment experience. Time and space are not absolutes. My guess is that this is more or less what Dogen and Dzogchen masters are getting at when they talk about time.

FWIW

emoticon

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/18/18 8:26 AM as a reply to terry.
You may want to try knowing time and space exercises starting on page 117 of MMC guide:

http://www.mahamudracenter.org/mmcmembermeditationguide.pdf
If you like them, then you'll find Time, Space and Knowledge by Tarthang Tulku to be good too.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/18/18 12:56 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
mahalos, bra,

   This was kant's view, that time and space are a priori mental constructs. Dogen takes this view further, surely, devoting 100s of pages of the shobogenzo to discussions of time. What he called "being-time" (uji) is a view which takes into account the subjective experience of time in relation to enlightenment. Enlightenment is out of time: the mirror does not get rusty, nor does dust alight on it.

   Time begins when we get stuck and ends when we get free.

terry

 
  

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/18/18 12:59 PM as a reply to Change A..
aloha,

   I clicked on your link: they wanted money for their tracts. 

   (Must be the season of the witch.)

terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/18/18 3:49 PM as a reply to terry.
Terry, 

In my view, time is a by product of change.  Absent change, time cannot be measured and does not exist.  In my view, nothing ever changes.  This is here all the time and all the meaning we project onto This is actually meaningless.  We made it up.  With no meaning in reality, there is nothing to change and time is moot.   Just being.

 Cool thing for me is that there is nothing to do or change or worry about. 

Seth

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/18/18 8:51 PM as a reply to terry.
Check out this link:


http://www.mahamudracenter.org/MMCMemberMeditationGuide.htm#_Toc420995693

Check out Knowing Time section.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 7:08 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Terry, 

In my view, time is a by product of change.  Absent change, time cannot be measured and does not exist.  In my view, nothing ever changes.  This is here all the time and all the meaning we project onto This is actually meaningless.  We made it up.  With no meaning in reality, there is nothing to change and time is moot.   Just being.

 Cool thing for me is that there is nothing to do or change or worry about. 

Seth

this is pretty much my take on it also.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 12:56 PM as a reply to alguidar.
alguidar:
seth tapper:
Terry, 

In my view, time is a by product of change.  Absent change, time cannot be measured and does not exist.  In my view, nothing ever changes.  This is here all the time and all the meaning we project onto This is actually meaningless.  We made it up.  With no meaning in reality, there is nothing to change and time is moot.   Just being.

 Cool thing for me is that there is nothing to do or change or worry about. 

Seth

this is pretty much my take on it also.

This also describes my seeing quite eloquently. Thanks Seth. emoticon

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 2:07 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Terry, 

In my view, time is a by product of change.  Absent change, time cannot be measured and does not exist.  In my view, nothing ever changes.  This is here all the time and all the meaning we project onto This is actually meaningless.  We made it up.  With no meaning in reality, there is nothing to change and time is moot.   Just being.

 Cool thing for me is that there is nothing to do or change or worry about. 

Seth

aloha seth,

   In my view, "change" and measured time are not the same thing. We measure the rotation of the earth, moon and sun, and use fractions of those measurements as the common currency of time. This is undoubtedly useful for coordinating events, but it doesn't explain change, which is the same as impermanence. The nature of change is the great way itself, the tao. Impermanence is buddha nature, in other words.

   Truth is more closely approached, perhaps, by paradox. We may see the world as in flux (heraclitus), or as still (parmenides). This is the nature of impermanence, which is at once the still principle of the cosmos, and the flux of events. Such is the dependent co-arising of phenomena, the understanding of which is equivalent to understanding the dhamma.

terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 5:04 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
nothing ever changes. 


  Think, my friend, of the ambiguity of the statement, "nothing ever changes." You no doubt mean that there are no changes, that changes amount to nothing. The statement could be read that "nothing" - the actual "substance" of the world of sunyata, or emptiness - "ever changes" or is changing constantly. If you look at the ocean, you may see the waves (the energy) or you may see the water (the substance). The waves are empty of substance, but real enough in their own way. The substance transmits the waves, but is itself unchanged by them. Waves arise, and then move off and disappear.

   When dogen said that mountains are flowing and rivers are still, he referred to those sitting meditation as "mountains" and ordinary activities as "rivers," thus the enlightened (mountains) have "supple" and flexible minds and their activities (rivers) involve keeping still. As well as meaning that rivers only exist in the singular moment ("you can't step in the same river twice" - heraclitus), and that mountains erode quickly in geologic time, and show the fact of their continual erosion at any given moment.

   Any view is bound to be one-sided. Mind, I don't disagree with what you've said - my second paragraph of the original post said that in truth time did not exist. Even two views side by side are just views. Still...


   The tao te ching says:

chapter 16 (feng/english trans)

Empty yourself of everything. 
Let the mind become still. 
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. 
They grow and flourish and then return to the source. 
Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature. 
The way of nature is unchanging. 
Knowing constancy is insight. 
Not knowing constancy leads to disaster. 
Knowing constancy, the mind is open. 
With an open mind, you will be openhearted. 
Being openhearted, you will act royally. 
Being royal, you will attain the divine. 
Being divine, you will be at one with the Tao. 
Being at one with the Tao is eternal. 
And though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away.


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 5:26 PM as a reply to terry.
Why bother chasing shadows when no one cares? This here is all there is or ever was or ever will be.  Accepting that does end craving in the human mind.  

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 5:43 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Why bother chasing shadows when no one cares? This here is all there is or ever was or ever will be.  Accepting that does end craving in the human mind.  


   Because: "no one cares." And this "no one" cares a great deal.

   
"Although from the beginning
I knew
the world is impermanent,
not a moment passes
when my sleeves are dry.”

~ryokan

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 6:06 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Why bother chasing shadows when no one cares? This here is all there is or ever was or ever will be.  Accepting that does end craving in the human mind.  

aloha seth,

   This is from the 'shobogenzo' (treasury of the true dharma eye) by dogen:

"It is not that simple. At the time the mountains were climbed and the rivers were crossed, you were present. Time is not separate from you, and as you are present, time does not go away. As time is not marked by coming and going, the moment you climbed the mountain is the time-being right now.

"This is the meaning of the time-being.

"Does this time-being not swallow up the moment when you climbed the mountain and the moment when you resided in the jeweled palace and vermillion tower? Does it not spit them out?"


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 6:14 PM as a reply to terry.
I gave a pretty reasonable and rational answer to the question.  I will try to say it better.  I do not exist.  There is no seperate character in the universe named seth.  Instead, I am a process that is following the laws of cause and effect - whether you want to call it newtonian physics or karma.  Even me writing this is occurring because of the series of stimuli I have been exposed to and how I was born, etc.  

If you look at existence as empty of seperate beings then there are no stories.  It is always just happening meaninglessly.  You cant really slice happening meaninglessly into time slices and you wouldnt really want to.  So as I look at it, This is happening meaninglessly and time is moot.  It is a very relaxing point of view. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 7:10 PM as a reply to terry.
19.  Investigation of Time

1.  If the present and the future were contingent on the past, then the present and the future would have existed in the past.

2.  If the present and future did not exist there, then how could the present and the future be contingent on it?

3.  Without being contingent on the past neither can be established. Hence the present and the future times also do not exist.

4.  These very stages can be applied to the other two. Superior, inferior, middling etc.,  singularity and so on can also be understood .
a-b: this means that you could say the same about past and future in relation to the present and present and past in relation to future as you can of present and future in relation to past as Nagarjuna has just done in v.

5.  Non-dwelling time cannot be apprehended.  Since time which can be apprehended, does not exist as something which dwells, how can one talk of unapprehendable time?

6.  If time depended on things, where would time which is a non-thing exist? If there were no things at all, where would a view of time exist?

From:


https://www.stephenbatchelor.org/index.php/en/verses-from-the-center

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 7:12 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
I gave a pretty reasonable and rational answer to the question.  I will try to say it better.  I do not exist.  There is no seperate character in the universe named seth.  Instead, I am a process that is following the laws of cause and effect - whether you want to call it newtonian physics or karma.  Even me writing this is occurring because of the series of stimuli I have been exposed to and how I was born, etc.  

If you look at existence as empty of seperate beings then there are no stories.  It is always just happening meaninglessly.  You cant really slice happening meaninglessly into time slices and you wouldnt really want to.  So as I look at it, This is happening meaninglessly and time is moot.  It is a very relaxing point of view. 

   Who said you weren't reasonable and rational? For a non-existent, relaxed guy. Whilst I am drunk on metaphysics, a more intoxicated point of view. One appollonian, one dionysian; ideally, the truth arises like an aroma from our discourse.

   As omar khayyam said:


You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse 
I made a Second Marriage in my house; 
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed 
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse. 

and

Ah, Love! could Thou and I with Fate conspire 
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire, 
Would not we shatter it to bits--and then 
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire?

   
   Have you any poetry in your soul, partner? Aloha?

   Or a sense of humor? Will your karma run over your dogma? (try smile, like they say on kauai)

   Ryokan fills my heart mind this day:

"Before listening to the Way, don't forget to wash your ears.
Otherwise it will be impossible to listen clearly.
What is washing your ears?
Do not hold on to your view.
If you cling to it even a little bit,
you will lose your way.
What is similar to you but wrong, you regard as right.
What is different from you but right, you regard as wrong.
You begin with ideas of right and wrong.
But the way is not so.
Seeking answers with closed ears is
like trying to touch the ocean bottom with a pole.”

~ryokan

and


"How could we discuss
this and that
without knowing
the whole world is
reflected in a single pearl?”

~ryokan



and 

"Seeing you,
my dear,
intoxicates me.
What regret shall I leave behind
in this world?”

~ryokan



and

"I play pulling weeds with children,
having fun with one, another, and another.
After my companions have gone,
a bright moon overwhelms the naked autumn night.”

~ryokan



for this one, you must remember that mumon, compiler of zen classic "the gateless gate" (the 'mumonkan'), "praised" the buddha in the zen fashion as being an old huckster who "sold dog's head for mutton."


"I carried my begging bowl and arrived in the city of Niigata, where I saw Elder Ugan giving a dharma discourse at a layperson’s house. I wrote this verse to him.
 
"Your talk is like chopping cheap dog meat
and selling it as a slice of sheep.
I am as stinky as you are.
May the pleasure of your company not go away!”

~ryokan


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 7:42 PM as a reply to terry.
 I'll try: 

Like a lava lamp I bubble
Posting nonsense on the net
All I crave is love
All I find is trouble
All along a member of a null set. 

What is this love I feel
An Ocean, poised to consume me
All I am is love
All I am is real 
All along is was we. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 9:43 PM as a reply to Change A..
Change A.:
19.  Investigation of Time

1.  If the present and the future were contingent on the past, then the present and the future would have existed in the past.

2.  If the present and future did not exist there, then how could the present and the future be contingent on it?

3.  Without being contingent on the past neither can be established. Hence the present and the future times also do not exist.

4.  These very stages can be applied to the other two. Superior, inferior, middling etc.,  singularity and so on can also be understood .
a-b: this means that you could say the same about past and future in relation to the present and present and past in relation to future as you can of present and future in relation to past as Nagarjuna has just done in v.

5.  Non-dwelling time cannot be apprehended.  Since time which can be apprehended, does not exist as something which dwells, how can one talk of unapprehendable time?

6.  If time depended on things, where would time which is a non-thing exist? If there were no things at all, where would a view of time exist?

From:


https://www.stephenbatchelor.org/index.php/en/verses-from-the-cent

----------------------------

  Thanks for your quote and interest.

 Speaking strictly only of apprehendable time, of course...

   Dogen said:

"The time-being has the quality of flowing. So-called today flows into tomorrow, today flows into yesterday, yesterday flows into today. And today flows into today, tomorrow flows into tomorrow."


   In this view, the future does indeed depend on the past and present, the past depends on the present and future, etc - each depends on the others in one omnipresent totality. That is, It is All Here, Now. I don't mean to shout, but we are transcending space and time here (and now). 

   There is no past separate from now, no future separate from now. We bring all to mind now, memory and expectation and presence. Through wisdom, that is clear seeing, and practice, that is (wakefully, mindfully) paying attention, we can keep our focus on the One Point of Impermanence, which is always Now. Not the "now" of a tightly defined "present" moment, but the Now of an everything-has-led-up-to-this-one-moment-and-nothing-will-ever-be-remotely-the-same-after-this moment. Our "enlightenment" is always Now, always with us, always the central pivot of life. A vibrant, resonant Moment of Eternity; a dharma situation whose focus is always enlightenment as "a turning word" (shout, slap, whatever) - as blake said:

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour."

   Yeats Irish Airman had his Moment, if a story poem can illustrate:

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
(william butler yeats)

I know that I shall meet my fate 
Somewhere among the clouds above; 
Those that I fight I do not hate, 
Those that I guard I do not love; 
My country is Kiltartan Cross, 
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor, 
No likely end could bring them loss 
Or leave them happier than before. 
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, 
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds, 
A lonely impulse of delight 
Drove to this tumult in the clouds; 
I balanced all, brought all to mind, 
The years to come seemed waste of breath, 
A waste of breath the years behind 
In balance with this life, this death.

The embrace of one's own finitude is zen; knocking, being opened to, and entering in the same moment. Allatonceness, mcluhan would call it. The airman had what even his contemporaries might have called "a heightened state of awareness" caused by the acute (but chronic) perception of his own impermanence.


terry









RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/19/18 10:18 PM as a reply to terry.
thomas merton's Way of Chuang Tzu is available here:  https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/MertonChuangTzu.pdf

a sample, which seems appropriate...(this is one of the most valuable texts ever written, imho)



*the pivot*
(chuang tzu, trans merton)

Tao is obscured when men understand only one of a pair of opposites, or concentrate only on a partial aspect of being. Then clear expression also becomes muddled by mere word­ play, affirming this one aspect and denying all the rest.

Hence the wrangling of Confucians and Mohists; each denies what the other affirms, and affirms what the other denies. What use is this struggle to set up "No" against "Yes," and "Yes" against "No"? Better to abandon this hopeless ef­fort and seek true light!

There is nothing that cannot be seen from the standpoint of the "Not-I." And there is nothing which cannot be seen from the standpoint of the "I." If I begin by looking at any­ thing from the viewpoint of the "Not-I," then I do not really see it, since it is "not I" that sees it. If I begin from where I am and see it as I see it, then it may also become possible for me to see it as another sees it. Hence the theory of reversal that opposites produce each other, depend on each other, and complement each other.

However this may be, life is followed by death; death is followed by life. The possible becomes impossible; the im­possible becomes possible. Right turns into wrong and wrong into right - the flow of life alters circumstances and thus things themselves are altered in their turn. But disputants continue to argue and to deny the same things they have always affirmed and denied, ignoring the new aspects of reality presented by the change in conditions.

The wise man therefore, instead of trying to prove this or that point by logical disputation, sees all things in the light of direct intuition. He is not imprisoned by the limitations of the "I," for the viewpoint of direct intuition is that of both "I" and "Not-I." Hence he sees that on both sides of every argument there is both right and wrong. He also sees that in the end they are reducible to the same thing, once they are related to the pivot of Tao.

When the wise man grasps this pivot, he is in the center of the circle, and there he stands while "Yes" and "No" pursue each other around the circumference.

The pivot of Tao passes through the center where all affirmations and denials converge. He who grasps the pivot is at the still-point from which all movements and oppositions can be seen in their right relationship. Hence he sees the limitless possibilities of both "Yes" and "No." Abandoning all thought of imposing a limit or taking sides, he rests in direct intuition. Therefore I said: "Better to abandon disputation and seek the true light!"

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/20/18 2:05 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
 I'll try: 

Like a lava lamp I bubble
Posting nonsense on the net
All I crave is love
All I find is trouble
All along a member of a null set. 

What is this love I feel
An Ocean, poised to consume me
All I am is love
All I am is real 
All along is was we. 


   Bravo!

   I love you, bra (but don't cling).  :-)


*Reading the Words of Eihei Dogen*
(ryokan)
 
On a somber spring evening around midnight,
snow sludge sprinkled the bamboo in the garden.
I wanted so desperately to ease my loneliness.
My hand reached behind me for the Words of Eihei Dogen
beneath the open window at my desk.
I offered incense, lit a lamp, and quietly read.
Body and mind dropping away is simply the upright truth.
In one thousand postures, ten thousand appearances, a dragon toys with the pearl.
Beyond ordinary thinking the precious tiger is captured.
Thus, Dogen’s writings reflect the Buddha’s teaching.
 
I remember the old days when I lived at the Entsu Monastery
And my late teacher lectured on *The True Dharma Eye" 
It was then that I had a breakthrough.
I was granted permission to read it and studied it intimately.
Until then I had depended solely on my own limited understanding.
Soon after, I left my teacher and became a wanderer.
What is my relationship to Dogen?
Everywhere I went, I devotedly practiced the true dharma eye.
How many years have passed since then?
Forgetting myself, I returned home and now live in leisure.
 
I take this book and examine it quietly.
Its tone is not in line with the teachings of others.
No one has asked whether it is a jade or a pebble.
For five hundred years, it’s been covered with dust
simply because no one has an eye for dharma.
For whom was all of his eloquence expounded?
Longing for ancient times and grieving for the present, my heart is exhausted.
 
As I was sitting by the lamp one evening, my tears wouldn’t stop.
They soaked into the book of the ancient buddha Eihei.
In the morning an old man living nearby came to my thatch hut.
He asked me why the book was damp.
I wanted to speak but didn’t, as I was embarrassed.
Deeply distressed, I could not explain.
I dropped my head for a while before 
finding my words.
“Last night’s rain drenched my basket of books.”


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/21/18 12:52 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Why bother chasing shadows when no one cares? This here is all there is or ever was or ever will be.  Accepting that does end craving in the human mind.  


aloha seth,

   I still like this question, a koan of sorts, "why bother...when no one cares." It is the bodhisattva way, of course.

from robert thurman's "the holy teaching of vimalakirti" (1976):


"“Householder, whence came this sickness of yours? How long will it continue? How does it stand? How can it be alleviated ?”

Vimalaklrti replied, “Manjusri, my sickness comes from ignorance and the thirst for existence and it will last as long as do the sicknesses of all living beings. Were all living beings to be free from sickness, I also would not be sick. Why? Manjusri, for the bodhisattva, the world consists only of living beings, and sickness is inherent in living in the world. Were all living beings free of sickness, the bodhisattva also would be free of sickness. For example, Manjusri, when the only son of a merchant is sick, both his parents become sick on account of the sickness of their son. And the parents will suffer as long as that only son does not recover from his sickness. Just so, Manjusri, the bodhisattva loves all living beings as if each were his only child. He becomes sick when they are sick and is cured when they are cured. You ask me, Manjusri, whence comes my sickness; the sicknesses of the bodhisattvas arise from great compassion.”


  In the same (wonderful!) scripture, vimalakirti indicates that the bodhisattva makes himself "the slave and disciple" of all living beings.

   I thought, what an aid for encouraging the desire for solitude - be the slave of all living beings.  :-)

terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/21/18 4:33 PM as a reply to terry.
When all the motivations of the mind are revealed as self deception, compassion remains.  We cannot transcend love, because we cannot want to. 

Empty of meaning and purpose and consequence, the mind acts as biology determines.  As mammals, we see god in each other and act.  It is beyond our control. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/21/18 10:38 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
When all the motivations of the mind are revealed as self deception, compassion remains.  We cannot transcend love, because we cannot want to. 

Empty of meaning and purpose and consequence, the mind acts as biology determines.  As mammals, we see god in each other and act.  It is beyond our control. 

   Love is full of meaning and purpose and consequence.

   Actions take place and mind observes (and makes up stories!).

   "This very mind is buddha." It is in the mind that all biology takes place. The body is an aspect of Mind, a projection of what we know. It is for the sake of the Mind that the body is cared for.
  
   The buddha speaks of his disciples forming a mind body (majjhima nikaya, 77:30), likening it to pulling a sword from a scabbard. This "mind body" is presumably freer of biological determination than the physical one.

   Control of the mind and body is what the buddha calls "training."

(grins)

terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/23/18 1:50 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
When all the motivations of the mind are revealed as self deception, compassion remains.  We cannot transcend love, because we cannot want to. 



   I've turned this around and around and can't find a flaw in it. Well said.

terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/23/18 2:03 PM as a reply to terry.
We should make t shirts

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/23/18 3:48 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
We should make t shirts


gotta be briefer for t-shirts... how about dogen's concise formula:

"inch time foot gem"

I'd wear that


t

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/23/18 6:27 PM as a reply to terry.
How about: 

"I can't believe I made the whole thing up!" 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/24/18 11:42 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
or just wear a nirvana t-shirt and be done...

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/24/18 12:28 PM as a reply to terry.
 "Venerable Ones, get to know the one who plays with these configurations. He is the original source of all the Buddhas. Knowing him, wherever you are is home. Your physical body, formed by the four elements, cannot understand the Dharma you are listening to; nor can your spleen, stomach, liver or gall; nor can the empty space.

"Who then can understand the Dharma and can listen to it? The one here before your very eyes, brilliantly clear and shining without any form — there he is who can understand the Dharma you are listening to.

"If you can really grasp this, you are not different from the Buddhas and patriarchs. Ceaselessly he is right here,
conspicuously present.

"But when passions arise, wisdom is disrupted; and the body separates from the changing pictures. This is the cause of transmigration in the Three Worlds with its concomitant suffering.

"But as I see it, there is nothing that is not profound, nothing that is not deliverance."

~rinzai (trans schloegl)

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/26/18 11:59 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
seth tapper:
We should make t shirts


gotta be briefer for t-shirts... how about dogen's concise formula:

"inch time foot gem"

I'd wear that


t


   Actually, "inch time foot gem" is one of the stories in paul reps classic "zen flesh, zen bones," available here:
https://terebess.hu/zen/101ZenStones.pdf

terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/26/18 3:20 PM as a reply to terry.
These are great, thanks. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/28/18 1:07 PM as a reply to terry.
the following is typical of dogen's dharma talks recorded in 'the treasury of the true dharma eye' - it is long but conversational in style...

 
Shōbōgenzō: On ‘The One Bright Pearl’ 

One time, a monk inquired of him, "Reverend Monk, I have heard you say that the whole universe throughout the ten directions is One Bright Pearl. How am I, as a trainee, to understand the meaning of this?"

 Shibi answered, “Since the whole universe throughout all its ten directions is the One Bright Pearl, what use is there in trying to understand this with the intellect?”

However, the next day the Master asked this monk, “The whole universe throughout all its ten directions is the One Bright Pearl, so what do you think this means?”

The monk responded, “Since the whole universe throughout all its ten directions is the one bright pearl, what use is there in my trying to understand this with my intellect?”

Shibi replied, “It is indeed clear to me that, even though you are blindly looking into the demon’s cave within the pitch black mountains of ignorance, you are doing your training.”

Shibi was the first to voice the statement, “The whole universe throughout all its ten directions is the One Bright Pearl.” Its basic idea is that the whole universe throughout all its ten directions is not to be thought of as vast and grand or minute and insignificant, nor as made up of angles and curves, nor as the center or core of something else, nor does it act like some lively fish darting about in a sea of space or like dewdrops brightly whirling in the wind. Moreover, because it is not something that was born and will die, not something that is coming or going, it is being born and dying, coming and going all the time. Because of its being just what it is, it is from here that the days of yore have forever departed and from here that the present arises. By thoroughly doing one’s training, who will say, once he has looked deeply, that the universe is just something fluttering about. Or who will say, once he has fully investigated the matter, that the universe is merely a motionless thing?

In speaking of ‘throughout all its ten directions’, Shibi was referring to our ceaselessly creating a ‘self ’ by chasing after things or creating ‘things’ through our pursuit of a self. In response to a disciple’s statement, “When we give rise to delusory feelings, we alienate ourselves from Wisdom,” Shibi affirmed that there was such a separation by a turn of his head or a change of expression on his face. This was his hitting the nail on the head through word or gesture; it was the trainee presenting his understanding and the Master agreeing with it. Because we create ‘things’ through the pursuit of a self, the universe is ever restless throughout all its ten directions, unceasing in its arising, but since this causal principle is one that exists prior to the arising of anything, its operation is beyond our intellect to control.

This ‘One Pearl’ is still not Its name, but It can be expressed so, and this has come to be regarded as Its name. The ‘One Pearl’ is what refers directly to That which is beyond the measurement of years, for in Its extending endlessly over the past, It also extends over the present and into the future. Even though we have a body and mind at this very moment, they are the Bright Pearl. They are not some vegetation sprouting up here or there, nor are they ‘mountains and rivers that arise from a duality like that of Heaven and Earth’. They are the Bright Pearl.

By his question, “How am I, as a trainee, to understand the meaning of this?” the monk seems to be operating from his delusory karmic consciousness, yet, as a manifestation of the functioning of That Which Is Reality, this consciousness is the Absolute Principle of Reality. Further, you need a foot of water to make a one-foot wave rise up, which is to say that a ten-foot high pearl will give off a ten-foot high light.

Shibi’s way of stating this was to say, “Since the whole universe throughout all its ten directions is the One Bright Pearl, what use is there in trying to understand this with the intellect?” This saying is the way of speaking which Buddhas inherit from Buddhas, Ancestors inherit from Ancestors, and Shibi inherited from Shibi. Even if you were to try to evade being Their heir to this way of speaking, there is ultimately no place where you can go to completely evade It. Even were you able to evade the obvious for a while, sooner or later there will be some remark that will occasion Its manifesting before your very eyes.

However, the next day the Master asked this monk, “The whole universe throughout all its ten directions is the One Bright Pearl, so what do you think this means?”

On the previous day Shibi had given voice to the Dharma of Certainty; now he was giving voice to the Dharma of Uncertainty. By voicing the Dharma of Uncertainty on this day, he was saying just the reverse of what he had said the previous day, as he smiled and nodded his head approvingly.

The monk, parroting Shibi, responded, “Since the whole universe throughout all its ten directions is the one bright pearl, what use is there in my trying to understand this with my intellect?”

One could say that the monk was riding the robber’s own horse in pursuit of the robber. Shibi has taken a completely different approach, whereby the Old Buddha explains the Matter for you. Just turn your light around and return to That which shines within, for how much use is there in trying to understand This through the intellect? When someone gives voice to It, it will be a matter of ‘seven sweet dumplings and five savory dumplings’; even so, it will be instructive guidance that is ‘south of the Hsiang River and north of the Liu’, that is, two different ways
of designating the same area.

Shibi said, “It is certainly clear to me that, even though you are blindly looking into the demon’s cave within the pitch black mountains of ignorance, you are doing your training.”

You must realize that the faces of the sun and the moon have never yet at any time changed places. The face of the sun always rises as the sun’s face; the face of the moon always rises as the moon’s face. Therefore, even if we say that the season right now is mid-summer, we should not say that it is our Original Nature that is sweltering. This is why this Bright Pearl exists not only without a beginning but also without an end. It is ‘One Bright Pearl as the whole universe throughout all its ten directions’: It is not said to be two or three. Your whole being is your pair of eyes of the True Dharma; your whole being is the embodiment of Truth; your whole being is a single line of Scripture; your whole being is luminosity; your whole being is your whole heart and mind. When your whole being exists, your whole being has no impediments: it is perfect in its completeness and is ever- turning, like the rumbling on of cart wheels. Because the merit of the One Bright Pearl takes some ‘visible’ form like those stated above, Avalokiteshvara and Maitreya exist right now, seeing Its forms and hearing Its sounds. And there are old Buddhas and there will be new Buddhas who manifest in bodily form in order to give voice to the Dharma.

When the time is right, you will find the Dharma enfolded in empty space or enfolded within the lining of that which clothes you; or you will find It stored in the folds of the dragon’s chin or stored in the folds of the king’s headdress, and all are the One Bright Pearl that is the universe throughout all the ten directions. Keeping It enfolded beneath your robes is proper deportment: do not talk about displaying It on the outside. Enfolding It in your headdress or underneath your chin is proper deportment: do not imitate those who would playfully display It upon their headdresses or around their necks. Whenever you are drunk on delusion, there will be a Close Friend who will present you with this Jewel, and you must, without fail, present this Jewel to your Close Friend. Come a time when you take to hanging the Jewel around your own neck, you are, beyond doubt, drunk with delusion. Because this is the way things are, the world in its entirety is the One Bright Pearl.
          
 This is why, even though it seems that, on the surface, things are either fluctuating or still, everything is the Bright Pearl. To know that this is precisely how the Jewel is, is what the Bright Pearl is. In this manner we can perceive the sounds and forms of the Bright Pearl. Because this is the way things can be, even though you may be uncertain about whether or not something is the Bright Pearl, you should have no doubt about whether or not there is the Jewel. Whether you actively pursue your doubts, cling to them, or let them go, they are simply momentary observations of little significance, fleeting images of small weight.

Do we not cherish the Bright Pearl with Its infinite variety of shades and hues like this? Its multifaceted, brilliantly hued sparkling is the merit of the universe throughout all its ten quarters; who can take this from you by force? After all, there is no one in any of the market places of this world who throws away a roof tile, so do not worry about which of the six worlds* of existence you will fall into due to causality. Never hidden, It is, from the first, synonymous with always doing one’s training, and doing it consistently as well as thoroughly. The Bright Pearl is your Original Face: the Bright Pearl is your very Eye in all Its brightness.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
1/28/18 11:55 PM as a reply to terry.
another take on dogen's view, by latter-day buddha ancestor suzuki roshi:

(from "zen mind, beginner's mind," shunryu suzuki)

It is a kind of mystery that for people who have no experience of enlightenment, enlightenment is something wonderful. But if they attain it, it is nothing. But yet it is not nothing. Do you understand? For a mother with children, having children is nothing special. That is zazen. So, if you continue this practice, more and more you will acquire something— nothing special, but nevertheless something. You may say "universal nature" or "Buddhanature" or "enlightenment." You may call it by many names, but for the person who has it, it is nothing, and it is something.

When we express our true nature, we are human beings. When we do not, we do not know what we are. We are not an animal, because we walk on two legs. We are something different from an animal, but what are we? We may be a ghost; we do not know what to call ourselves. Such a creature does not actually exist. It is a delusion. We are not a human being anymore, but we do exist. When Zen is not Zen, nothing exists. Intellectually my talk makes no sense, but if you have experienced true practice, you will understand what I mean. If something exists, it has its own true nature, its Buddha nature. In the Pari-nirvana Sutra, Buddha says, "Everything has Buddha nature," but Dogen reads it in this way: "Everything is Buddha nature." There is a difference. If you say, "Everything has Buddha nature," it means Buddha nature is in each existence, so Buddha nature and each existence are different. But when you say, "Everything is Buddha nature," it means everything is Buddha nature itself. When there is no Buddha nature, there is nothing at all. Something apart from Buddha nature is just a delusion. It may exist in your mind, but such things actually do not exist.

So to be a human being is to be a Buddha. Buddha nature is just another name for human nature, our true human nature. Thus even though you do not do anything, you are actually doing something. You are expressing yourself. You are expressing your true nature. Your eyes will express; your voice will express; your demeanor will express. The most important thing is to express your true nature in the simplest, most adequate way and to appreciate it in the smallest existence. While you are continuing this practice, week after week, year after year, your experience will become deeper and deeper, and your experience will cover everything you do in your everyday life. The most important thing is to forget all gaining ideas, all dualistic ideas. In other words, just practice zazen in a certain posture. Do not think about anything. Just remain on your cushion without expecting anything. Then eventually you will resume your own true nature. That is to say, your own true nature resumes itself.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/1/18 5:02 AM as a reply to terry.
suzuki roshi explains dogen in another dharma talk from "zen mind, beginner's mind""

*Attachment, Non-attachment*

Dogen-zenji said, "Even though it is midnight, dawn is here; even though dawn comes, it is nighttime." This kind of statement conveys the understanding transmitted from Buddha to the Patriarchs, and from the Patriarchs to Dogen, and to us. Nighttime and daytime are not different. The same thing is sometimes called nighttime, sometimes called daytime. They are one thing.

Zazen practice and everyday activity are one thing. We call zazen everyday life, and everyday life zazen. But usually we think, "Now zazen is over, and we will go about our everyday activity." But this is not the right understanding. They are the same thing. We have nowhere to escape. So in activity there should be calmness, and in calmness there should be activity. Calmness and activity are not different.

Each existence depends on something else. Strictly speaking, there are no separate individual existences. There are just many names for one existence. Sometimes people put stress on oneness, but this is not our understanding. We do not emphasize any point in particular, even oneness. Oneness is valuable, but variety is also wonderful. Ignoring variety, people emphasize the one absolute existence, but this is a one-sided understanding. In this understanding there is a gap between variety and oneness. But oneness and variety are the same thing, so oneness should be appreciated in each existence. That is why we emphasize everyday life rather than some particular state of mind. We should find the reality in each moment, and in each phenomenon. This is a very important point.

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.

Usually you criticize yourself for being unfair to your surroundings; you criticize your unaccepting attitude. But there is a very subtle difference between the usual way of accepting and our way of accepting things, although they may seem exactly the same. We have been taught that there is no gap between nighttime and daytime, between you and I. This means oneness, But we do not emphasize even oneness. If it is one, there is no need to emphasize one.

Dogen said, "To learn something is to know yourself; to study Buddhism is to study yourself," To learn something is not to acquire something which you did not know before. You know something before you learn it. There is no gap between the " I " before you know something and the " I " after you know something. There is no gap between the ignorant and the wise. A foolish person is a wise person; a wise person is a foolish person. But usually we think, "He is foolish and I am wise," or "I was foolish, but now I am wise." How can we be wise if we are foolish? But the understanding transmitted from Buddha to us is that there is no difference whatsoever between the foolish man and the wise man. It is so. But if I say this people may think that I am emphasizing oneness. This is not so. We do not emphasize anything. All we want to do is to know things just as they are. If we know things as they are, there is nothing to point at; there is no way to grasp anything; there is no thing to grasp. We cannot put emphasis on any point. Nevertheless, as Dogen said, "A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it." Even though it is so, this is our life.

In this way our life should be understood. Then there is no problem. Because we put emphasis on some particular point, we always have trouble. We should accept things just as they are. This is how we understand everything, and how we live in this world. This kind of experience is something beyond our thinking. In the thinking realm there is a difference between oneness and variety; but in actual experience, variety and unity are the same. Because you create some idea of unity or variety, you are caught by the idea. And you have to continue the endless thinking, although actually there is no need to think.

Emotionally we have many problems, but these problems are not actual problems; they are something created; they are problems pointed out by our self-centered ideas or views. Because we point out something, there are problems. But actually it is not possible to point out anything in particular. Happiness is sorrow; sorrow is happiness. There is happiness in difficulty; difficulty in happiness. Even though the ways we feel are different, they are not really different, in essence they are the same. This is the true understanding transmitted from Buddha to us.




"What was right yesterday
is wrong today.
In what is right today,
how do you know it was not wrong yesterday?
There is no right or wrong,
no predicting gain or loss.
Unable to change their tune,
those who are foolish glue down bridges of a lute.
Those who are wise get to the source
but keep wandering about for long.
Only when you are neither wise nor foolish
can you be called one who has attained the way.”

~ryokan


"Won’t you sing?
I will get up and dance.
How can I sleep
with the timeless
moon this evening?”

~ryokan


"Were there someone
in the world
who feels as I feel,
we would talk all night
in this grass hut.”

~ryokan


"Old pond.
A frog jumps in.
Sound of water.”

~basho


"New pond.
No sound of a frog
jumping in.”

~ryokan

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/1/18 7:21 AM as a reply to terry.
The human mind tries to create identity and permanence (the subject/object duality) - the mind of duality is like a whirlpool in a fast flowing river. It only appears to exist unmoving and separate but it's really all the same water, also moving.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/2/18 11:55 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
The human mind tries to create identity and permanence (the subject/object duality) - the mind of duality is like a whirlpool in a fast flowing river. It only appears to exist unmoving and separate but it's really all the same water, also moving.

aloha chris,

   I totally agree. And yet, when I read the words about identity and permanence, the subject object-duality, there is a gain in freedom and clarity. To read, write, and study such words is *practice.* "Wonderful is he who hears It, wise is he who teaches It; wonderful is he who knows It when taught." (katha up.)

   I've been reading "advaita vedanta and zen buddhism, deconstructive modes of spiritual inquiry" (2010) by davis -  it is phenomenal what you can get on p-bay -  a brief quote:

"Experience structured and explained in dualistic categories appears self-evident, the non-dual claims of Advaita Vedānta and Mahāyāna Buddhism ‘feel’ counterintuitive and require explanation. The point seems to hinge on what we take as real and what we take as appearance. Gauḍapāda illustrates this point when he asserts that there is no real conflict between dualists and non-dualists, it is merely a matter of correct recognition of the ‘real’: 'Although dualists may think that they disagree with us, there is no real conflict; we both admit duality, but we, unlike them, hold that duality is confined to the realm of appearances and is not found in reality.' (GK III, 17–18)"

   When gaudapada's dharma heir govinda was approached by shankara, who was eight at the time, govinda wasn't taking disciples, especially children. Shankara knocked at his door, and govinda said, "who is there?" Shankara said, "I am you" and was admitted. 

   "I am you." (silent commentary - just think about it)

   This "realm of appearances" is indispensable in social life. It is created and sustained by language. My four yeard old granddaughter enjoys being told she is a girl and I am a boy, and she will go around the room pointing out the genders. "Silly grandpa" has long hair, which always requires explanation. Language is unquestionably a human attribute: no matter how unintelligent, literally everyone learns language in some sense and to some degree, and thus acquires a dualistic outlook/standpoint. To my mind, in the course of human evolution, if we don't destroy ourselves, children will learn non-dualism as a transition to maturity and adulthood. Imagine! Children being taught anti-competitive games, and meditation; "sitting in the corner" in timeout could be a reward for displaying maturity and wisdom. The only competition favored would be in virtue.

   Truth is always paradoxical in appearance, as expressed in dualistic terms. Sitting still is an activity; activity is sitting still. Thoughts and objects are real; thoughts and objects are empty. 

   The "two views" have been around at least since nagarjuna. He pointed out that the dharma itself can be reified, made an object, and treated dualistically. If we practice for the sake of becoming enlightened, we will stay stuck in dualism. Dogen's solution was "practice is enlightenment" (nondually here) and "incessant practice" (nondually now).

   Lately it has occurred to me that ants and bees, trees and grass, probably know themselves as individuals. It is easy for us to look at their collective behavior and assume that some sort of hive mind is working, but how do they see it as individuals? Much the same way we look at our society, I imagine. It seems likely that all of life has some sort of hive mind, call it tao or god; life-and-its-environment are the nondual reality.

   Nietzsche once inquired about how the universe would appear if the human head was cut off, and It wasn't smelt, tasted, felt, seen, heard or thought about.

   I always thought that the only modern myth worth mentioning was that of frankenstein, but lately I have added the sorceror's apprentice and am making a list.

   Thanks for playing chris, tell me more, tell me more.  


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/2/18 1:42 PM as a reply to terry.
Where do you draw the line between one individual and another and why?  I can't find a way.  

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 11:24 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
Think perspective.


emoticon

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 11:38 AM as a reply to terry.
... tell me more.

I agree with Davis. Both duality and non-duality are "true."  They appear to be two sides of the same "coin" that we call reality or experience. Which we see at any point depends on our POV. Most human beings don't see the choice, so they're stuck in the mind's construction of self/other, subject & object. Some of us, for varying reasons, feel the tug of inaccuracy and tension this dual POV creates. I'd call that suffering, or maybe dis-satisfaction. So we start a journey to figure out what's causing that tension.

Why did you get started on your journey, terry?


RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 11:50 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
See, I think both are fiction.  I really can not find any ground to any of it.   Upon inspection, as far as I can tell it is all just made up.    Just occuring meaninglessly.  Weirdly, accepting that makes happiness and love arise in my mind.  Like a huge load is off my back. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 12:02 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Made up or not, you perceive it. I think there are useful distinctions we can make that help us navigate whatever "this" is. I don't frankly think we perceive any reality other than what our senses can sense and what our minds can intrepret, so in that view yes, it's all "made up." Regardless, there is a shared sense of things that the vast majority of us operate on in our daily lives. We can distinguish between a rational/sane human being and one who we believe isn't sane because the non-sane human being can have a very different set of perceptions - hallucinations that the rest of us don't percieve or share, for example.

It's undeniable that we humans perceive both the dual and the non-dual, whichever we choose to believe in or deny. I think the ability to percieve both is a wonderful human trait. We typically have to work hard to get to the perception of both (the journey I mentioned), but it's certainly worth the effort.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 12:04 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
When I thought about myself, I used to think of the story of my life as an important story and I was the director and when I did good things I felt good and when I did badly I felt bad.  As I have examined my mind I have learned that "I" am not in control of my body or my thoughts or my emotions or my intuitions or anything.  "I" do not even own them or have to pay any attention to them of give them any meaning.  When I try to define what individuals are, I have to leave out their bodies, their minds and their stories because ascribing control or ownership of these is false.  With out those things, I cannot find a place to draw the lines of distinction. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 12:08 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
And then there's the laundry  emoticon

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 12:09 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
We crossed comments.  For me, accepting the radical emptiness of it all has opened my mind and nervous system to states of deep relaxation and ease that I couldn't access when i was holding the two "real" world model.  I used to understand that the dual world was real in some sense and that the non dual world was really really real in some sense.  This caused me a lot of confusion and concern, because as soon as something is real then there can be real problems and there is some consequence to making mistakes or failing to act. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 12:11 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
If the laundry happens, it happens. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 12:29 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Where do you draw the line between one individual and another and why?  I can't find a way.  
aloha seth,

   Who is drawing lines? "I am you" erases lines. Denying that there are lines is different from denying that anyone sees lines (as I write these lines).

   As to why: "others" see dualistically, and a bodhisattva (dogen's "Close Friend") wants feel their dualism and return with it to nonduality, as a practice. An offering of love to "One Bright Pearl." (I have a friend, quite a character himself, whose neurotic, chubby little black dog is named "pearl." Here pearl, good girl; tell me, do you have buddha nature? woof!)

   As for not finding the way, well...  (smiles encouragingly) (laughs)  Perhaps it is your way not to find a way to see that most people see lines where there aren't any really. There might be something slightly disingenuous about self-consciously speaking rationally and reasonably and claiming to be unable see duality. Like stephen colbert is racially color-blind; 'they' tell him he is white and he believes it.

   Even so, I assume your utterances are pure; I am your disciple. I consider your words very carefully.  Keeping in mind, of course, that all words are dualistic in nature, and that nothing spoken can be True. Your words, whether self-conscious or unself-conscious, point to what is True. Mahalo.

   All existence is ureal; worse, it is deeply misleading. I understand your concern that I am somehow reifying the dhamma here. Perhaps I am, I don't know; I am just "a flower thief."

   Existence is unreal because it is "ex"-istent, the ex-isting object is torn from the solid matrix of unity and made into a separate thing. By creating, sustaining and proliferating thoughts and objects we maintain dualistic thinking and karma. Every word or phrase is a weird little orphan, a red-headed stepchild - a broken and weathered shard of The One Pearl. In this "foul rag and bone shop of the heart" - not excluding "that raving slut who keeps the till" - we need ladders to rise up. 


*The Circus Animals Desertion*
(w b yeats)

I

I sought a theme and sought for it in vain, 
I sought it daily for six weeks or so. 
Maybe at last being but a broken man 
I must be satisfied with my heart, although 
Winter and summer till old age began 
My circus animals were all on show, 
Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot, 
Lion and woman and the Lord knows what. 


II 

What can I but enumerate old themes, 
First that sea-rider Oisin led by the nose 
Through three enchanted islands, allegorical dreams, 
Vain gaiety, vain battle, vain repose, 
Themes of the embittered heart, or so it seems, 
That might adorn old songs or courtly shows; 
But what cared I that set him on to ride, 
I, starved for the bosom of his fairy bride. 

And then a counter-truth filled out its play, 
`The Countess Cathleen' was the name I gave it, 
She, pity-crazed, had given her soul away 
But masterful Heaven had intervened to save it. 
I thought my dear must her own soul destroy 
So did fanaticism and hate enslave it, 
And this brought forth a dream and soon enough 
This dream itself had all my thought and love. 

And when the Fool and Blind Man stole the bread 
Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea; 
Heart mysteries there, and yet when all is said 
It was the dream itself enchanted me: 
Character isolated by a deed 
To engross the present and dominate memory. 
Players and painted stage took all my love 
And not those things that they were emblems of. 


III 

Those masterful images because complete 
Grew in pure mind but out of what began? 
A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street, 
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can, 
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut 
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone 
I must lie down where all the ladders start 
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.



 
One day Ryokan cut a chrysanthemum stalk from someone’s garden in Yamada Town. Finding him out, the owner drew a painting of Ryokan as a flower thief and said to him, “Only if you write a poem on this painting will I forgive you.” Ryokan took a brush and wrote:
 
"May the figure of
Monk Ryokan
running away with a flower
this morning
remain for generations to come.”




terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 12:44 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
... as soon as something is real then there can be real problems and there is some consequence to making mistakes or failing to act.

Seth, I really don't want to argue about this because you're more than within your rights to see things as you choose to see them. I'm just wondering if your need or desire to not feel anything negative might be getting in the way of acknowledging the nature of human perception.




RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 1:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
... tell me more.

I agree with Davis. Both duality and non-duality are "true."  They appear to be two sides of the same "coin" that we call reality or experience. Which we see at any point depends on our POV. Most human beings don't see the choice, so they're stuck in the mind's construction of self/other, subject & object. Some of us, for varying reasons, feel the tug of inaccuracy and tension this dual POV creates. I'd call that suffering, or maybe dis-satisfaction. So we start a journey to figure out what's causing that tension.

Why did you get started on your journey, terry?



   I posted a recapitulation of my initial awakening experience in the recent thread on psychedelics, at some length. Basically I was nuked and completely transformed by the process. I was not a seeker prior to that event. It was not a "drug experience" - I hadn't taken any drugs for months and had been spiralling down emotionally during the few months prior to my rebirth or conversion.

   My initial experiences with lsd enabled me to view my ego objectively. I always thought that it was the ugliness of my ego and the disgust that I felt which initiated the nausea (as in sartre) or revulsion - "tension" - but perhaps it was really the split between the observer and the ego. Without consciously realizing it, there was a tension between the observing awareness "self" and the "self" it was observing. I had always thought of myself as that self I was now observing with dismay and apprehension. The tension was resolved by an over-powering experience of nonduality. I was very happy after that, for a really long time, many years.

   I'm not sure but that my view isn't as close to seth's as it is to yours. "Appearances" are not simply "the other side of the coin" to Reality; if the details on a coin wear off, you still have a coin. They are related more like the menu and the dinner: you can't eat the menu. A mere description is by its nature unsatisfying (dukkha). Words and appearances are the means and nonduality is the end; speaking dualistically. Nondualistically, appearances are no more real than a mirage or a delusion; they won't quench your thirst. Faced with a dreamer who is genuinely afraid of dream tigers, killing the dream tigers will not actually help. The apparent snake is truly only a rope, and nothing to fear. When ramana maharshi was faced with the bodhisattva ideal, in the form of: "I refuse to be liberated until all beings are liberated" he laughed out loud and said, "that is like saying I refuse to wake up until all the other dreamers have awakened." 

   This said, "awake" and "unawake" are another dualism. "More awake" and "less awake" are a single continuum, like the passions and enlightenment. Without unawakeness, how could we awaken, and stay awake? Wakefulness preceded our arrival and continues after our departure; there is no coming and going in awareness. Awareness is continuous; it is the ego, the self, that strutting fool/false construct, who comes and goes, sleeps and arises. A delusion and mirage; not truly separate. Knowing one is not truly separate, as seth says, eliminates a lot of worry, as there is no I to want anything, no one to be disappointed or suffer.

   How about you, bra, what brings you here?


terry
   

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 1:34 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, 

I am interested in having the conversation because I think about it most of my waking hours and have no one else to verbalize it with.  If it is annoying you, I am sorry! 

Rationally I do not see any reason to believe that there are flaws in existence.  When aversion to anything arises in my mind, I have practiced long enough to watch it occur and see how the mind fabricates it.  The aversion experience itself, the one I used to call suffering, is in my mind a sequence of sensations in my conscious and unconsious mind.  I practice body awareness, so I can pinpoint those sensations to particular nerves or nerve areas in my body.   I have watched this cycle a zillion times, so I just do not believe in my own suffering any more.   I can see that my mind is conditioned to produce the "suffering" sequence when confronted with certain stimuli that will negatively effect  my position or the position of something I love in some narrative I am subconsciously or consciously holding onto as real. 

As I watch my mind fabricate suffering and aversion I have been able to catch the cycle earlier and earlier so I am left with not much that I label aversion or suffering arising in my mind.  I practice to end that silly habit once and for all. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 2:36 PM as a reply to terry.
How about you, bra, what brings you here?

I've been here posting on the DhO for many years and you can read a history of my meditation practice that has been posted here:

http://awakenetwork.org/magazine/cmarti/70

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 1:46 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Made up or not, you perceive it. I think there are useful distinctions we can make that help us navigate whatever "this" is. I don't frankly think we perceive any reality other than what our senses can sense and what our minds can intrepret, so in that view yes, it's all "made up." Regardless, there is a shared sense of things that the vast majority of us operate on in our daily lives. We can distinguish between a rational/sane human being and one who we believe isn't sane because the non-sane human being can have a very different set of perceptions - hallucinations that the rest of us don't percieve or share, for example.

It's undeniable that we humans perceive both the dual and the non-dual, whichever we choose to believe in or deny. I think the ability to percieve both is a wonderful human trait. We typically have to work hard to get to the perception of both (the journey I mentioned), but it's certainly worth the effort.

aloha chris and seth,

   I am deeply gratified to see you guys airing out these subtle differences. May we all grow in wisdom.

   Anything is "deniable," that is the nature of dualism. Some perceive only the dual, and don't know anything of nonduality. And I believe that some know only non-duality. Some beings can use words and thoughts and at the same time have no awareness of actually doing so, they speak the same as eating or breathing, because it is human to do so, and they do not think at all. Some are consciously lost in the ocean of nonduality: gate, gate, paragate. Chuang tzu said: "A snare is used to catch rabbits; once you have caught the rabbit, you can forget the snare. A fishtrap is used to catch fish; once you have caught the fish, you can forget the trap. Words are used to catch meaning; once you have caught the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words, so that I might have a word with him?" This is the essence of words and nonduality: words between those who have forgotten words, forgotten their meanings even.  

   "Working hard" to achieve perfect ease will keep a person stuck in dualism. Using perfect ease to attain perfect ease is the Way. Regarding dualism as different from nondualism will keep a person stuck in dualism. Reading the menu is nothing; one can point at the food. Appearances are not Reality, they only have use in communicating with "others" and even then, they're not something to be believed in.  "Awakening" means realizing the true nondual nature even of the duality-nonduality duality.

   I imagine this is similar to what seth is getting at.


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 2:01 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
If it is annoying you, I am sorry! 

Seth, this is not annoying me at all. I'm sorry you got that impression. I was afraid you'd take umbrage at my comment and I just don't want to have an argument about this.

As I've gone through the years since awkening I've experienced an evolution in my perception of what we call "reality." We have no choice but to perceive what we perceive. Those perceptions are undeniable. How we interpret them and what we believe them to represent are choices we make. All of "this" is involuntary. It's just what we get from the perceptual machinery we have as humans. I've held various points of view. Once I had access to nondual perceptions I really believed they were the ultimate truth. Before that I believed my duality based perceptions were "true." I think now the actuality of the human condition is that we are able to experience both the dual and non-dual. It's not a matter of having to choose one or the other. We get both. We can't help but have both.

I've come to see my emotions and thoughts as the source of beauty, wonder and yes, suffering. I wouldn't want it any other way. I can love my children and my wife, and I can be sad at the death of my parents. That's what human life is like, and without those perceptions and emotions I wouldn't be human. It makes me sad when meditation practioners deny their humanity. But I think doing so may be part of the process for some people, so I've become more tolerant of that view, even though I don't subscribe to it.

I hope this makes sense. It's just my view of things. No one else need believe it or adopt it.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 2:17 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Why hang onto suffering and meaning or any of that if you know it isnt real?  Love is right there in everything, why pretend it isn't?  In my experience, it really just makes me happier and more relaxed and more loving  - more human - the less I subscribe to that nonsense. 

Do you think there is some good reason to not just let it all go? 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 2:35 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
I don't hang on to suffering. I know exactly what it is and how it works - that's what awakening is. It's not about denying that suffering "really" exists or trying to rid my experience of it. It's about exploring the nature of mind, eventually realizing that suffering isn't something we need to fear and run away from to be free of it's grasp. If we know what it is, how mind creates it, it loses its power over us.

YMMV, of course.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 2:47 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
If it is annoying you, I am sorry! 

Seth, this is not annoying me at all. I'm sorry you got that impression. I was afraid you'd take umbrage at my comment and I just don't want to have an argument about this.

As I've gone through the years since awkening I've experienced an evolution in my perception of what we call "reality." We have no choice but to perceive what we perceive. Those perceptions are undeniable. How we interpret them and what we believe them to represent are choices we make. All of "this" is involuntary. It's just what we get from the perceptual machinery we have as humans. I've held various points of view. Once I had access to nondual perceptions I really believed they were the ultimate truth. Before that I believed my duality based perceptions were "true." I think now the actuality of the human condition is that we are able to experience both the dual and non-dual. It's not a matter of having to choose one or the other. We get both. We can't help but have both.

I've come to see my emotions and thoughts as the source of beauty, wonder and yes, suffering. I wouldn't want it any other way. I can love my children and my wife, and I can be sad at the death of my parents. That's what human life is like, and without those perceptions and emotions I wouldn't be human. It makes me sad when meditation practioners deny their humanity. But I think doing so may be part of the process for some people, so I've become more tolerant of that view, even though I don't subscribe to it.

I hope this makes sense. It's just my view of things. No one else need believe it or adopt it.

   I'd rather annoy you than make you sad, but that's just me. I'm not speaking for seth, at all; I'm sympathetic to both views, as far as I understand.

   The term "nondual perceptions" bothers me; how can you have perceptions without a perceiver? And the contrast between nonduality and duality, which is dualistic. If "nonduality" means anything at all, it must be transcendent, containing everything without remainder.

   I can be sad at the death of my parents, and I can be not sad. I can love my wife and children, and I can not love them. Even strong, stable emotions change over time. It is more human to change with changing circumstances than it is to adhere to some ideal of human-ness. 

   Perhaps hard work and suffering are unnecessary attachments. I spent the last few days fabricating silver jewelry, a batch of twenty rings, and then three chains. I "worked hard" at this but because I am skilled and meditative, I was never aware of "working hard." I  thoroughly enjoyed what I was doing, in peaceful solitude. Stamping the rings "aloha" and "mana" - and knowing they sell well to tourists and locals alike -was itself elevating (more so than stamping them "sterling" which I also did).

   If you think it is "human" to suffer, that suffering is inevitable and cannot be gotten rid of, that is *not* the dhamma. It is the gateless gate - there is no greater barrier to liberation than the firm belief that it is impossible. Only in nonduality is suffering eliminated.

   The Way is a human path. No one is wise who wasn't once foolish, and will probably be foolish again. Nonduality comes down to simply being present. Seth says that he accepts that he loves, accepts that he hates, and doesn't think about how bad he is and how he needs to improve by worrying and working hard. He's been through it all a zillion times, and isn't getting caught any more. This sounds like wisdom to me. That he may live that way doesn't change my way, but the words and ideas are inspiring even so. They're just words. But thinking inspiring words of nonduality is *practice*, and we may help each other practice by sharing them.


"If I say it
it’s easy,
yet my diarrhea stomach
is indeed
hard to bear.”


"Father and Mother,
be there
in paradise
in case I join you
today.”

   


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 2:51 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:


"If I say it
it’s easy,
yet my diarrhea stomach
is indeed
hard to bear.”


"Father and Mother,
be there
in paradise
in case I join you
today.”

   


terry

poems were by ryokan...

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 3:09 PM as a reply to terry.
Perfect ease is actually the only thing there is.  That experience on LSD that blew open the mind, is now.  Everything else is just muscle tension. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 4:55 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Perfect ease is actually the only thing there is.  That experience on LSD that blew open the mind, is now.  Everything else is just muscle tension. 

aloha seth,

  Perfect ease is the only thing, ok. Enlightenment "experience" is present now, ok. These ideas I have already agreed with. Nonduality eternally present.

   "Everything else is just muscle tension" throws me. First of all, what is "everything else" in the light of nonduality, of One Jewel? If nonduality is everything without remainder, there is no "everything else." If there is an "everything else," it is the phenomenal world-illusion, maya; "the other side of the coin." And, you have mentioned several times about the body somehow being the controlling factor in all of this. I don't know what you mean. The body is just another idea with which the Mind, how do you say, "makes up" reality. Body-mind dualism is a common trap.

   Please expand on your ideas. I think you are on to something, but it's not altogether clear in expression, to me. 

terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 5:03 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I don't hang on to suffering. I know exactly what it is and how it works - that's what awakening is. It's not about denying that suffering "really" exists or trying to rid my experience of it. It's about exploring the nature of mind, eventually realizing that suffering isn't something we need to fear and run away from to be free of it's grasp. If we know what it is, how mind creates it, it loses its power over us.

YMMV, of course.

aloha chris,

   This sounds very wise as well.

   If suffering loses its power, can it be said to exist? Like salt which loses its savor. I don't know. Things change.

   I think we may be getting tangled in words to some degree. Perhaps we are a wee bit attached to our own views? I have learned from you and seth already, and I think a bit differently than before. Yay.

   I hang on to suffering like crazy. That's why I have to practice all the time.

(wink)
terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 5:27 PM as a reply to terry.
"If someone asks
about the mind of this monk,
say it is no more than
a passage of wind
in the vast sky.”

~ryokan

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 6:32 PM as a reply to terry.
*Sailing to Byzantium*
(w b yeats) 


I

That is no country for old men. The young 
In one another's arms, birds in the trees, 
—Those dying generations—at their song, 
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, 
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long 
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies. 
Caught in that sensual music all neglect 
Monuments of unageing intellect. 


II 

An aged man is but a paltry thing, 
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless 
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing 
For every tatter in its mortal dress, 
Nor is there singing school but studying 
Monuments of its own magnificence; 
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come 
To the holy city of Byzantium. 


III 

O sages standing in God's holy fire 
As in the gold mosaic of a wall, 
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, 
And be the singing-masters of my soul. 
Consume my heart away; sick with desire 
And fastened to a dying animal 
It knows not what it is; and gather me 
Into the artifice of eternity. 


IV 

Once out of nature I shall never take 
My bodily form from any natural thing, 
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make 
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling 
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake; 
Or set upon a golden bough to sing 
To lords and ladies of Byzantium 
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/3/18 9:28 PM as a reply to terry.
I could write a long piece, but basically I can see that the state of Nirvana is just the regular human mind free of anxiety.  I can see that the experience of anxiety in my mind is always actually muscle tension occuring in the body and being misinterpreted by the mind.  This is reductionist and one can see it all in different metaphors, but the body one always works and I already have confidence in it and it allows me to remain sane and centered in any situation, so I choose it.  It is alot easier to try to relax than it is to try and see through reality like it is teh matrix. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/4/18 4:04 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:


As I've gone through the years since awkening I've experienced an evolution in my perception of what we call "reality." We have no choice but to perceive what we perceive. Those perceptions are undeniable. How we interpret them and what we believe them to represent are choices we make. All of "this" is involuntary. It's just what we get from the perceptual machinery we have as humans. I've held various points of view. Once I had access to nondual perceptions I really believed they were the ultimate truth. Before that I believed my duality based perceptions were "true." I think now the actuality of the human condition is that we are able to experience both the dual and non-dual. It's not a matter of having to choose one or the other. We get both. We can't help but have both.

I've come to see my emotions and thoughts as the source of beauty, wonder and yes, suffering. I wouldn't want it any other way. I can love my children and my wife, and I can be sad at the death of my parents. That's what human life is like, and without those perceptions and emotions I wouldn't be human. It makes me sad when meditation practioners deny their humanity. But I think doing so may be part of the process for some people, so I've become more tolerant of that view, even though I don't subscribe to it.

I hope this makes sense. It's just my view of things. No one else need believe it or adopt it.

aloha chris, seth,


   The more I reflect on this, the more impressed I am with it; it sounds like good zen to me. Consider this original version of a well known zen story:

(the following is taken from the essay "Zen and its Elucidation" in masao abe's "Zen and Western Thought")


  "The following discourse given by the Chinese Zen master Ch'ing-yuan Wei-hsin (Ja. Seigen Ishin) of the T'ang dynasty provides a key by which we may approach Zen philosophy. His discourse reads as follows:

 'Thirty years ago, before I began the study of Zen, I said, "Mountains are mountains, waters are waters."

  'After I got an insight into the truth of Zen through the instruction of a good master, I said, "Mountains are not mountains, waters are not waters."

   'But now having attained the abode of final rest [that is Awakening], I say, "Mountains are really mountains, waters are really waters."

   "And then he adds, 'Do you think these three understandings are the same or different?' This question is crucial to his whole discourse."


   Abe goes on to comment extensively on these different understandings. His "elucidation" of the understanding in which mountains and rivers are not mountains and rivers sounds a good deal like what seth's expressed. It might be worth going into this in some depth, having come this far. 

   Perhaps you would like to  describe for us how you transitioned from one understanding to the next.

   The "crucial" question is, "'do you think these three understandings are the same or different?'" 


terry
   

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/4/18 5:21 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
I could write a long piece, but basically I can see that the state of Nirvana is just the regular human mind free of anxiety.  I can see that the experience of anxiety in my mind is always actually muscle tension occuring in the body and being misinterpreted by the mind.  This is reductionist and one can see it all in different metaphors, but the body one always works and I already have confidence in it and it allows me to remain sane and centered in any situation, so I choose it.  It is alot easier to try to relax than it is to try and see through reality like it is teh matrix. 

aloha seth,

   I have a condition called paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. On occasion I suffer from attacks of tachycardia - rapid heart rate - on top of the arrhythmia. The effect of the heart racing compounded by shortness of breath is very easily misinterpreted by the mind. I had to learn to avoid confrontation, not to mention anger and hatred, or die, it was stark. Wisdom helped but was not enough. Practice, and lots of it, plus a concomitant radical change in lifestyle, saved my life. So I understand in practical ways how the body and mind affect each other, and have perhaps like yourself acquired a measure of control on the basis of physical feedback. 

   I also think I understand what you mean by different "metaphors," or modes as spinoza called them. There is no essential difference between a nondualism based on everything being material and a nondualism based on everything being made of mindstuff. Both know that the universe that exists in our minds and the universe that exists "out there" are "not two."

   In the pali canon, when householders told the buddha that it was wife and sons that brought a man happiness, the buddha replied, it is wife and sons who bring a man suffering. The buddha named his son "Fetter"; when he left home for good he thought of kissing the child good-bye, bur reasoned that it would just bring him more suffering. The buddha clearly understood that extinguishing suffering also meant extinguishing delight. Mahayanists may call this 'the lesser vehicle,' but a person's capacity for enduring suffering varies, as well as their craving for delights. The buddha's most profound capacity was his ability to preach to anyone at any level; thousands of pages of suttas attest to this.

   I suppose there must be a lot of compromises involved in being 'no-self' - or does it come naturally? 


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/4/18 8:58 AM as a reply to terry.
I want to thank you both for this conversation.

<bow>

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/4/18 9:11 AM as a reply to terry.
'Do you think these three understandings are the same or different?'

emoticon

... extinguishing suffering also meant extinguishing delight. 

emoticon

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/4/18 9:18 AM as a reply to terry.
In the words of my Guru: 

Don't worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be all right.  

There is no downside.  Love is what we want and love is what we are.  

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/4/18 9:24 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
back at ya

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/5/18 12:32 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
I could write a long piece, but basically I can see that the state of Nirvana is just the regular human mind free of anxiety.  I can see that the experience of anxiety in my mind is always actually muscle tension occuring in the body and being misinterpreted by the mind.  This is reductionist and one can see it all in different metaphors, but the body one always works and I already have confidence in it and it allows me to remain sane and centered in any situation, so I choose it.  It is alot easier to try to relax than it is to try and see through reality like it is teh matrix. 

aloha seth,

   I was making bread early yesterday morning and had youtube on my laptop. I searched for "zen" and got a variety of alan watts tapes; I punched up the one which said "ego" across the screen. It was brief, less than 5 mins, but he said in this video that the roots of the ego are in muscle tension! I suppose this is why yogis do exercises. For me, my heart is a very sensitive indicator, if I listen to it. I could learn to recognize muscles tensing too, I imagine. I've been thinking of doing some physical exercising anyway. (I once told a physical therapist that I worked so hard I didn't need exercise, and she told me hard workers need the most exercise, to correct overuse injuries.)

   I see a lot of concern on this website for what stage a person might be at. If I were enlightened, I wouldn't worry about which stage it was. Like being in love, it is a roller-coaster and going faster is not my first instinct.

   "Every day is a good day."


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/5/18 12:42 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
We crossed comments.  For me, accepting the radical emptiness of it all has opened my mind and nervous system to states of deep relaxation and ease that I couldn't access when i was holding the two "real" world model.  I used to understand that the dual world was real in some sense and that the non dual world was really really real in some sense.  This caused me a lot of confusion and concern, because as soon as something is real then there can be real problems and there is some consequence to making mistakes or failing to act. 

aloha seth,

   This reminds me of a story about ryokan.


”Ryokan would write down “Mine” or “Really mine” on his straw hat and other belongings. In the Kera family, there is still a copy of Journal of Dream Playing (Muyu Shu) by Chomei Kamo, an essayist who lived in the twelfth to thirteenth century. On the book, Ryokan wrote “Really mine.”


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/5/18 11:51 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I want to thank you both for this conversation.

<bow>

<return bow>


and the usual small gifts...


"Pass the mountain
where white clouds
linger,
I will share with you
a song about young bracken.”

~ryokan


"In the dream world
there is dozing.
Further within,
speaking and dreaming
of the dream as it is.

~ryokan


 
"Renouncing the world, renouncing the body, I have become a person of leisure.
Keeping company with the moon and blossoms, I spend my remaining life.
So clear—rain, clouds, and spirit.
I am awake, as are all things in the world.”

~ryokan

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/6/18 12:18 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
In the words of my Guru: 

Don't worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be all right.  

There is no downside.  Love is what we want and love is what we are.  

*redemption song*
(bob marley)

Old pirates, yes, they rob I
Sold I to the merchant ships
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
'Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look? Ooh
Some say it's just a part of it
We've got to fulfill the Book

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/6/18 12:34 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
'Do you think these three understandings are the same or different?'

emoticon

... extinguishing suffering also meant extinguishing delight. 

emoticon
(from "anecdotes of zen master ryokan")

A messenger delivered a letter to Ryokan and waited for his reply. Ryokan went to another room but did not return for a long time. When the messenger heard laughter coming from the room, he took a peek inside and discovered Ryokan spinning his iron bowl on the end of the handle of his ceremonial whisk. Every time the bowl fell, Ryokan laughed.”

"Annoyed, the messenger reminded Ryokan of the reply he was awaiting. Ryokan came to and gave his written reply. The messenger went back, telling his master the story. Amused, the master opened Ryokan’s reply:
 
"When I turn
my iron bowl, it goes
round and round.”


(smiles)
terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/11/18 3:36 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
'Do you think these three understandings are the same or different?'

emoticon

... extinguishing suffering also meant extinguishing delight. 

emoticon


aloha chris,

   Another view - or is it? - about the reality and unreality of the phenomenal world, by fra thomas merton, from "the ascent to truth":


"There are pages in the works of Saint Gregory of Nyssa - as there are also in those of Saint John of the Cross - which might easily  fit into a context of Zen Buddhism or Patanjali's Yoga. But we must remember that when a Christian mystic speaks of the created world as an illu­sion and as "nothingness," he is only using a figure of speech. The words are never to be taken literally and they are not ontological. The world is metaphysically real. Creatures can lead us efficaciously to the knowledge and love of their Creator and ours. But since the created world is present to our senses, and God as He is in Himself is infinitely beyond the reach both of sense and of intelli­gence, and since the disorder of sin gives us a tendency to prefer sensible goods before all others, we have a way of seeking the good things of this life as if they were our last end.

"When Creation appears to us in the false light of concu­piscence, it becomes illusion. The supreme value that cupidity seeks in created things does not exist in them. A man who takes a tree for a ghost is in illusion. The tree is objectively real: but in his mind it is something that it is not. A man who takes a cigar coupon for a ten-dollar bill is also in illusion. It is a real cigar coupon, and yet, considered as a ten-dollar bill, it is a pure illusion. When we live as if the multiplicity of the phenomenal universe were the criterion of all truth, and treat the world about us as if its shifting scale of values were the only measure of our ultimate good, the world becomes an illusion. It is real in itself, but it is no longer real to us because it is not what we think it is."


terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/15/18 10:49 PM as a reply to terry.
 
   The follwing is from masao abe's "a study of dogen, his philosophy and religion" (1992), pp32-33:
 

The Understanding of the Present and Future

   In our individual and social lives we tend to set up an end or purpose in the future and think about how to live in the present in order to attain that end. This aim-seeking, or teleological, approach has been quite prevalent throughout history, but it is most evident in the modern West. In the West, the notion of “progress” has been strongly emphasized, and the progressionist view has been predominant. (Even Marxism may be regarded as a sort of progressionism.) In this view of history, and in the aim-seeking approach, the present is regarded simply as a step toward a future goal. This implies at least the following three points:

   1. The present is not grasped as something meaningful in itself, but as something significant only as a means to arrive at the end projected into the future.
   2. We are always “on the way” to the attainment of a goal and, though we may approach the projected goal, we cannot completely arrive at it. Thus we are not free from a basic restlessness.
   3. This restlessness stems from the fact that in the aim-seeking approach we objectify or conceptualize not only the future but also the present, and thus are separated from reality.

   In contrast to the aim-seeking approach, the realization of the oneness of means and end implied in Dogen’s idea of oneness of practice and attainment provides an entirely different view of the present and the future. In the realization of the oneness of means and end, each and every step of the present is fully realized as the end itself, not as a means to reach the end.  And yet, at the same time, each and every step of the present is totally realized as a means toward a future goal, because we are living at the dynamic intersection of the temporal-spatial dimension and the transtemporal-transspatial dimension. In this way, firmly grounding ourselves on reality, we can live our lives creatively and constructively toward the future.

   To realize the oneness of means and end, and the dynamic intersection of the temporal-spatial and the transtemporal-transspatial dimensions, we must turn over the aim-seeking progressionist approach from its base. Only when we clearly realize the unrealistic, illsusory nature of the aim-seeking, progressionist view of life and history do we come to the realization of the dynamic oneness of means and end. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/24/18 7:06 PM as a reply to terry.
from "the last medtations of anthony demello":


THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN HAS SUFFERED VIO­LENCE, AND MEN OF VIOLENCE TAKE IT BY FORCE.
- MATTHEW I I:I2

Compare the serene and simple splendor of a rose in bloom with the tensions and restlessness of your life. The rose has a gift that you lack: It is perfectly content to be itself. It has not been programmed from birth, as you have been, to be dissatisfied with itself, so it has not the slightest urge to be anything other than it is. That is why it possesses the artless grace and absence of in­ner conflict that among humans is only found in little children and mystics.

Consider your sad condition. You are al­ways dissatisfied with yourself, always wanting to change yourself. So you are full of violence and self-intolerance which only grows with ev­ery effort that you make to change yourself. So any change you achieve is always accompanied by inner conflict. And you suffer when you see others achieve what you have not and become what you are not.

Would you be tormented by jealousy and envy if, like the rose, you were content to be what you are and never aspired to what you are not? But you are driven, are you not, to be like someone else who has more knowledge, better looks, more popularity or success than you. You want to become more virtuous, more loving, more meditative; you want to  find God, to come closer to your ideals. Think of the sad history of your efforts at self-improvement, that either ended in disaster or succeeded only at the cost of struggle and pain. Now suppose you desisted from all efforts to change yourself, and from all self-dissatisfaction, would you then be doomed to go to sleep having passively accepted every­ thing in you and around you? There is another way besides laborious self-pushing on the one hand and stagnant acceptance on the other. It is the way of self-understanding. This is far from easy because to understand what you are re­quires complete freedom from all desire to change what you are into something else. You will see this if you compare the attitude of a scientist who studies the habits of ants without
the slightest desire to change them with the atti­tude of a dog trainer who studies the habits of a dog with a view to making it learn something. If what you attempt is not to change yourself but to observe yourself, to study every one of your reactions to people and things, without judg­ment or condemnation or desire to reform your­ self, your observation will be nonselective, com­prehensive, never  fixed on rigid conclusions, always open and fresh from moment to mo­ment. Then you will notice a marvelous thing happening within you: You will be flooded with the light of awareness, you will become trans­parent and transformed.

Will change occur then? Oh, yes. In you and in your surroundings. But it will not be brought about by your cunning, restless ego that is for­ever competing, comparing, coercing, sermon­izing, manipulating in its intolerance and its am­bitions, thereby creating tension and conflict and resistance between you and Nature - an ex­hausting, self-defeating process like driving with your brakes on. No, the transforming light of awareness brushes aside your scheming, self­ seeking ego to give Nature full rein to bring about the kind of change that she produces in the rose: artless, graceful, unself-conscious, wholesome, untainted by inner conflict.

Since all change is violent she will be violent. But the marvelous quality of Nature - violence, unlike ego-violence, is that it does not spring from intolerance and self-hatred. So there is no anger in the rainstorm that carries everything before it, or the  fish that devour their young in obedience to ecological laws we know not, or body cells when they destroy each other in the interest of a higher good. When Nature de­stroys, it is not from ambition or greed or self­ aggrandizement, but in obedience to mysterious laws that seek the good of the whole universe above the survival and well-being of the parts.

It is this kind of violence that arises within mystics who storm against ideas and structures that have become entrenched in their societies and cultures when awareness awakens them to evils their contemporaries are blind to. It is this violence that causes the rose to come into being in the face of forces hostile to it. And it is to this violence that the rose, like the mystic, will sweetly succumb after it has opened its petals to the sun and lives in fragile, feeling loveliness, quite unconcerned to add a single extra minute to its allotted span of life. And so it lives in blessedness and beauty like the birds of the air and the  flowers of the  field, with no trace of the restlessness and dissatisfaction, the jealousy and anxiety and competitiveness that characterize the world of human beings who seek to control and coerce rather than be content to flower into awareness, leaving all change to the mighty force of God in Nature.



a couple of orphan poems I would like to share... I'm beginning to think that emotions are compact ideas, and that they can be uncompacted and read conceptually, like books...but who has the time to read all of those books, in the turbulence of emotions? so we have poetry, which semi-uncompacts emotions and reveals universal feelings...



the rainbow
(william wordsworth)

MY heart leaps up when I behold     
A rainbow in the sky:     
So was it when my life began;     
So is it now I am a man;     
So be it when I shall grow old,             
      Or let me die!     
The Child is father of the Man;     
I could wish my days to be     
Bound each to each by natural piety.    




for everyman
(jackson browne)

Everybody I talk to is ready to leave
With the light of the morning
They've seen the end coming down
Long enough to believe
That they've heard their last warning
Standing alone
Each has his own ticket in his hand
And as the evening descends
I sit thinking 'bout Everyman
Seems like I've always been
Looking for some other place
To get it together
Where with a few of my friends
I could give up the race
And maybe find something better
But all my fine dreams
Well thought out schemes
To gain the motherland
Have all eventually come down
To waiting for Everyman
Waiting here for Everyman
Make it on your own if you think you can
If you see somewhere to go I understand
Waiting here for Everyman
Don't ask me if he'll show, baby I don't know

Make it on your own if you think you can
Somewhere later on you'll have to take a stand
Then you're going to need a hand
Everybody's just waiting to hear from the one
Who can give them the answers
And lead them back to that place
In the warmth of the sun
Where sweet childhood still dances
Who'll come along
And hold out that strong
That gentle father's hand
Long ago I heard someone say
Something 'bout Everyman
Waiting here for Everyman
Make it on your own
Make it if you think you can
If you see somewhere to go I understand
I'm not trying to tell you
That I've seen the plan
Turn and walk away if you think I am
But don't think too badly
Of one who's left holding sand
He's just another dreamer
Dreaming 'bout Everyman




dream within a dream
(e a poe)

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep 
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/25/18 12:49 AM as a reply to terry.
from "the last medtations of anthony demello":
Thanks, this helped me. Am unsure if I am going the right way to deal with the hurt, angry child in me. I suppose all I can do is to just be patiently watching it.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/25/18 12:25 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
from "the last medtations of anthony demello":
Thanks, this helped me. Am unsure if I am going the right way to deal with the hurt, angry child in me. I suppose all I can do is to just be patiently watching it.


aloha yilun, 

  It is not a matter of "all I can do." By "patiently watching" we can step back from the "hurt, angry child" and see him with compassion and love, aka patient watching. When we can do that, we can see the hurt angry child in others with patience and affection, as though he were our own child, and had plenty of time to grow out of his tantrum, and realize everyone (everything) is smiling at him.

  We all know anger and hurt; it is the arrow in our chests. What causes anger and hurt is attachment, not letting life flow into its forms without trying to change it in favor of what always ends up being petty and one-sided interests. "The world is sacred; you cannot improve it." (ttc) Just let it go and be yourself, if only a flower in a cranny, or on a dungheap. "Just be yourself" is quite effortless and at the same time the hardest thing to "do."  (I said before that "effort is no-effort, therefore it is truly effort" but what I should have said was "no-effort is effort, therefore it is truly no-effort.") Enlightenment is just a little trick of the mind.

   In masao abe's "a study of dogen" the following story, extensively commented upon by dogen in shobogenzo, is related:

[this conversation took place at the first meeting between the sixth patriarch hui-neng and nan-yueh huai-jang as recorded in the keitoku dentoroku]

"Whence do you come?"

"I come from Tung-shan."

"What is it that thus comes?" 

Nan-yueh did not know what to answer. For eight long years he pondered the question, then one day it dawned upon him, and he exclaimed, "Even to say it is something misses the mark."


terry


   Here's another of "The Last Meditations of Anthony Demello":


*Don't Look Back*

No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.  - Luke 9:62

  God's kingdom is love. What does it mean to love? It means to be sensitive to life, to things, to persons, to feel for everything and everyone to the exclusion of nothing and no one. For ex­clusion can only be achieved through a harden­ing of oneself, through closing one's doors. And the moment there is a hardening, sensitivity dies. It won't be hard for you to  find examples of this kind of sensitivity in your life. Have you ever stopped to remove a stone or a nail from the road lest someone come to harm? It does not matter that you will never know the person who will benefit from this gesture and you will receive no reward or recognition. You just do it from a feeling of benevolence and kindness. Or have you felt pained at the wanton destruction in another part of the world, of a forest that you will never see and never benefit from? Have you gone to some trouble to help a stranger find his way though you do not know and will never meet this person again, purely from a good­ heartedness that you feel within you? In these and so many other moments, love came to the surface in your life signaling that it was there within you waiting to be released.

How can you come to possess this kind of love? You cannot, because it is already there within you. All you have to do is remove the blocks you place to sensitivity and it would sur­face.

The blocks to sensitivity are two; Belief and Attachment. Belief - as soon as you have a be­lief you have come to a conclusion about a per­son or situation or thing. You have now become fixed and have dropped your sensitivity. You are prejudiced and will see the person from the eye of that prejudice. In other words, you will cease to see this person again. And how can you be sensitive to someone you do not even see? Take just one or two of your acquaintances and list the many positive or negative conclusions you have arrived at and on the basis of which you relate to her/him. The moment you say so-and­ so is wise or is cruel or defensive or loving or whatever, you have hardened your perception and become prejudiced and ceased to perceive this person moment by moment, somewhat like a pilot who operates today with last week's weather report. Take a hard look at these be­liefs, for the mere realization that they are be­liefs, conclusions, prejudices, not reflections of reality, will cause them to drop.

Attachment - how is an attachment formed? First comes the contact with something that gives you pleasure: a car, an attractively adver­tised modern appliance, a word of praise, a per­son's company. Then comes the desire to hold on to it, to repeat the gratifying sensation that this thing or person caused you. Finally comes the conviction that you will not be happy with­out this person or thing, for you have equated the pleasure it brings you with happiness. You now have a full-blown attachment; and with it comes an inevitable exclusion of other things, an insensitivity to anything that isn't part of your attachment. Each time you leave the object of your attachment, you leave your heart there, so you cannot invest it in the next place you go to. The symphony of life moves on but you keep looking back, clinging to a few bars of the mel­ody, blocking your ears to the rest of the music, thereby producing disharmony and conflict be­tween what life is offering you and what you are clinging to. Then comes the tension and anxiety which are the very death of love and the joyful freedom that love brings. For love and freedom are only found when one enjoys each note as it arises, then allows it to go, so as to be fully receptive to the notes that follow.

How does one drop an attachment? People try to do this through renunciation. But to re­nounce some bars of the music, to blot them out of one's consciousness creates exactly the type of violence, conflict and insensitivity that cling­ing does. Once again you have hardened your­ self. The secret is to renounce nothing, cling to nothing, enjoy everything and allow it to pass, to flow. How? Through many hours of observ­ing the rottenness, the corrupt nature of an at­tachment. You generally concentrate on the thrill, the flash of pleasure that it brings. But contemplate the anxiety, the pain, the un­freedom; simultaneously contemplate the joy, the peace and freedom that are yours each time an attachment drops. Then you will stop look­ing back and allow yourself to be enchanted by the music of the present moment.

Finally take a look at this society we live in - rotten to the core, infected as it is with attach­ments. For if anyone is attached to power, money, property, to fame and success; if anyone seeks these things as if their happiness depended on them, they will be considered productive members of society, dynamic and hardworking. In other words, if they pursue these things with a driving ambition that destroys the symphony of their life and makes them hard and cold and insensitive to others and to themselves, society will look upon them as dependable citizens, and their relatives and friends will be proud of the status that they have achieved. How many so­ called respectable people do you know who have retained the gentle sensitivity of love that only unattachment can offer? If you contem­plate this long enough, you will experience a disgust so deep that you will instinctively fling every attachment away as you would a serpent that has settled on you. You will revolt and break loose from this putrid culture that is based on acquisitiveness and attachment, on anxiety and greed and on the hardness and in­ sensitivity of nonlove.

 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/26/18 1:26 AM as a reply to terry.
That is beautiful, I've copied them to my notes; thank you so much for explaining Terry... ,)
The moment you say so-and­ so is wise or is cruel or defensive or loving or whatever, you have hardened your perception and become prejudiced and ceased to perceive this person moment by moment, 
I suppose even looking at the good points of another being is to be prejudiced and should be dropped for this moment to moment appreciation of the truth of every wave-like being? This is hard to achieve for me but if it is the gold standard, then it is worth rearranging my tracks to point towards it... The end point does seem to achieve true equanimity and divorce attachment to loved ones like family to truly love all like one, and one like all.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/26/18 11:04 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
That is beautiful, I've copied them to my notes; thank you so much for explaining Terry... ,)
The moment you say so-and­ so is wise or is cruel or defensive or loving or whatever, you have hardened your perception and become prejudiced and ceased to perceive this person moment by moment, 
I suppose even looking at the good points of another being is to be prejudiced and should be dropped for this moment to moment appreciation of the truth of every wave-like being? This is hard to achieve for me but if it is the gold standard, then it is worth rearranging my tracks to point towards it... The end point does seem to achieve true equanimity and divorce attachment to loved ones like family to truly love all like one, and one like all.

aloha yilun,

   Good points or bad points, making judgments leads to prejudice. Suspending judgment empowers people and frees them from the pressure of expectations.

   Even the good points. Praise and blame fix and promote ego. Words by "authorities" taken to be "wise" are worshipped and preserved, not understood and applied.

   Judging things as good and bad is dualistic and partial. Heraclitus said, "To God all things are fair, good and just, but to men some things are unjust, some just." When we can see the divine justice even in injustice, our eye is single.

   Besides, wisdom is overrated. Often wisdom comes out of the mouths of fools, drunks and babes. In the upanishads, to teach is "wise," but to learn is "wonderful." Better to be the one whose ears are open than whose mouth is open. It is hard to learn while talking. The true goal is realization, not wisdom: once the stream is crossed, the raft is abandoned. Once the trap or snare has served its purpose, it is forgotten. None of these words is important. Ten thousand million years of explanation aren't worth five seconds of pondering, "what is it that thus comes?"

terry


a couple of chapters of the tao te ching to ponder...




Nineteen

Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom, 
And it will be a hundred times better for everyone.

Give up kindness, renounce morality, 
And men will rediscover filial piety and love.

Give up ingenuity, renounce profit, 
And bandits and thieves will disappear.

These three are outward forms alone; they are not sufficient in themselves. 
It is more important 
To see the simplicity, 
To realize one's true nature, 
To cast off selfishness 
And temper desire.

 


Twenty

Give up learning, and put an end to your troubles.

Is there a difference between yes and no? 
Is there a difference between good and evil? 
Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense! 
Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox. 
In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace, 
But I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am. 
Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile, 
I am alone, without a place to go.

Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing. 
I am a fool. Oh, yes! I am confused. 
Others are clear and bright, 
But I alone am dim and weak. 
Others are sharp and clever, 
But I alone am dull and stupid. 
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea, 
Without direction, like the restless wind.

Everyone else is busy, 
But I alone am aimless and depressed. 
I am different. 
I am nourished by the great mother.

 
and a couple of poems...


"Written in my hut on a snowy evening
 
"Reflecting over seventy years,
I am tired of judging right from wrong.
Faint traces of a path trodden in deep night snow.
A stick of incense under the rickety window.”

~ryokan



"The persimmon picker’s
testicles look frozen
in the autumn wind.”

~ryokan

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/27/18 11:31 AM as a reply to terry.
When this thread began, it just happened that I was in a cycle of taking apart Dogen's work on time, and pulling in some other sources. On awakening I got a glimpse into how it works, but it is the one thing about that "moment" I can describe to myself in an intelligible manner, or crack when I look at things as they are now. 

What I can see now: When looking from MIND with attention, time starts to stutter. Reality boils in a snow of "pixels". Objects in vision jump around and can't be kept still. There are obviously large numbers of "transitions" from "moment" to "moment", like frames in a movie played back in a faulty projector.  

How things were on awakening: There was no time. Moments were passing but the experience was gone. All moments were present, including birth and death.

I am aware that time, space, and illusory things/people are all aspects of the "empty of separateness"/"advaita" that this is.

Some other material worth considering that I am quite sure is 100% correct:

The idea of discreet separate moments in time is like the belief in discreet separate individuals in space. Just as the separate entities in space are seen not to exist as such, as separate entities, but rather simply as appearances in Consciousness, or as the way Presence manifests: so the separate moments in time can be seen not to exist as such, as sequential moments, but rather simply as appearances in Consciousness, or as the way Present manifests. There are no separate entities: only what can be called This. There are no separate moments: only what can be called Now. There are no individual entities relating to one another: there is only One Presence, and it is All. There are no individual moments following one another: there is only One Present. and it is Eternal. 

And yet even this method of explaining' temporal Oneness' by comparing to 'spatial Oneness' is false. These are not other, not two. Of course. They are a single point. Infinite/ Eternal. One Infinite Presence is One Eternal Present. There is no thing called Presence which is being present. There is not really 'This' and 'Now'. They are the same; the suchness, the is-ness of This, Now.

In essence, the illusion of time is exactly the same as the illusion of space, which is exactly the same as the illusion of the individual self. They are part of each other, depend on each other, and prop each other up to form samsara, the objective manifestation brought about through the agency of perception. This is why the illusion of the individual self, or even simply the illusion of the self as an individual 'doer' of anything, can be used as a focal point toward the Understanding. When this illusion dissolves, the illusions of space and time go with it.

- From "Perfect Brilliant Stillness, by David Carse

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/27/18 3:39 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
What is changing moment to moment?  

It is sort of like- sitting in a movie theater and watching saving private ryan in IMAX.   A whole lot seems to happen, but actually you have just been sitting there the whole time. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/28/18 2:55 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
What is changing moment to moment?  

It is sort of like- sitting in a movie theater and watching saving private ryan in IMAX.   A whole lot seems to happen, but actually you have just been sitting there the whole time. 

You're fuckin' rockstar Seth, even though no-one else seems to get it. I suppose therein lies the rub, eh? WHO else? emoticon

Didn't crack it BUT that last sentence has the taste. It's one thing, like Dogen's work, and Carse's explanation that give that exhilarating feeling of standing on the precipice waiting the insight to crack wide open.

I'm probably at the point where I need to let go of it and let it do it's thing. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/28/18 3:41 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
accepting that it has just been doing its own thing the whole time is the crux.   Really hard to maintain that model as you go through life. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
2/28/18 10:42 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
When this thread began, it just happened that I was in a cycle of taking apart Dogen's work on time, and pulling in some other sources. On awakening I got a glimpse into how it works, but it is the one thing about that "moment" I can describe to myself in an intelligible manner, or crack when I look at things as they are now. 

What I can see now: When looking from MIND with attention, time starts to stutter. Reality boils in a snow of "pixels". Objects in vision jump around and can't be kept still. There are obviously large numbers of "transitions" from "moment" to "moment", like frames in a movie played back in a faulty projector.  

How things were on awakening: There was no time. Moments were passing but the experience was gone. All moments were present, including birth and death.

I am aware that time, space, and illusory things/people are all aspects of the "empty of separateness"/"advaita" that this is.

Some other material worth considering that I am quite sure is 100% correct:

The idea of discreet separate moments in time is like the belief in discreet separate individuals in space. 

snip

And yet even this method of explaining' temporal Oneness' by comparing to 'spatial Oneness' is false. These are not other, not two. 

- From "Perfect Brilliant Stillness, by David Carse

aloha stirling,

    Sounds like you and I are studying the same things. My interest in dogen comes from my interest in time. I started with henri bergson's "Time and Free Will," which I found very convincing and beautifully written (nobel prize for literature). Bergson was the first western philosopher I had run across who knew (as did buddhism) that time and space have subjective qualities. Clock time was not all there was, it was a convention; what we actually experience is subjective time, where events overlap and inter-relate.

   We perhaps here get into what is real, what is really real, and what is ultimately real as different categories. Ultimately there are no things. Apparently, there are things. When "things" are seen in the light of dhamma, they are really real, things-in-themselves, each "suchness" the whole Pearl by virtue of being "thing-and-its-environment." Thus in zen we have guest (object, thing) and host (subject, environment). Dogen says "The donkey sees the well, the well sees the donkey, the well sees the well, the donkey sees the donkey." Donkey is self/subject/host, who sees himself reflected in the well which is other/object/guest. Subject and object interpenetrate in One Pearl. While interchangeable, subject remains subject and object remains object; thus "the well sees the well, the donkey sees the donkey." Guest and host are not lost or fused, their reciprocity is based on their distinctness. This is called "the spontaneous manifestion of being" as a nondualistic expression. When beings come into existence, they bring time with them, as "manifestation."

   From bergson I went to st augustine, via paul ricouer ('time and narrative," vol 1), who therein gives a wonderful exposition of augustine's very interesting and advanced ideas about time from his 'confessions' chapter 11. Thence to heidegger's "being and time," one of those deep places it takes some time to fill up. Deeper than heidegger, though, is dogen. (And dogen wasn't a nazi, a plus in my book.)

   I began this thread in hope of airing out dogen's views, to see if I have actually plumbed their depths and perhaps gone beyond. When I get my teeth into an investigation like this, at some point I think I know what is what, but it would take dozens or even hundreds of pages to relate. Eventually, as the investigation winds down, the result often becomes a paragraph, sentence, or phrase. At this point I am still at seek.

   Preliminary results: I have no idea how to summarize but lets see what comes out... The absolute view is that time does not exist at all, subjectively or objectively. The ordinary materialist-positivist scientistic view is of "objective" time, where we divide the cycles of the sun, moon and earth into convertible units, quanta. We are all familiar with quantized time, but subjective time refers to what we really experience, as opposed to what we act out socially so as to be understood as common sense folks. As social conditioning proceeds, we quantize whatever we can and see only what serves our goal-directed egos. Without goals, we don't judge good and bad; without judging, we see what is there.

   Bergson observes that experiences overlap and feed back. He saw time as looping back on itself, in the sense that we first act and then reflect, after reflection moving forward again with more experience and a more mature view.  He took from augustine the insight that everything we see as object is composed not only of its current form but also of our memories of similar forms. Thus we see "a tree" by virtue of all the other trees we have seen (think of plato's forms as another way of seeing this). If we quantize "trees" we lose their individual qualities and see only a forest of blurred "ideal" units. Bergson talks about how a child sees, or an expert or artist sees, as opposed to ordinary perception. If someone's car is stopped on the road by a flock of sheep, that person will see only the flock. The shepherd, who knows the sheep intimately, recognizes every face and knows the sheep qualitatively as individuals, as well as exactly how many he has. A child, too, will see individual sheep, or an artist; anyone seeing in the present moment, without shortcuts, laziness or bored disinterest.

   However we idealize the present moment - dogen called it "nikon," the eternal now - "things" change from moment to moment. And this is the crux, the point of my investigation, the nature of these changes. Specifically, the nature of the unit "moment," which dogen calls a "dharma situation." Dogen saw change as the succession of moment to moment to moment. What differs from the ordinary birth and death view is the nature of the moment as a dharma situation. I still need more study to clear up for myself the actual extent of dogen's views on time. I'm not sure what he means by "dharma situations" or how one transitions from one to another. From bergson (and the buddha) and my own views, I would suspect that dharma situations overlap and interpenetrate.

   As a long time student of the yi jing (I Ching), it is easy to imagine that the 64 hexagrams each indicate a "dharma situation" and the changes between them provide the transitions. Bergson's sense that time "loops" applies in the sense that each dharma moment in itself progresses from complete ignorance to complete enlightenment, from the depths of the earth to the heights of heaven. Zen koans are in themselves emblematic of dharma situations; there are innumerable illustrations, pick a koan. (How about the one where the prince is walking with the master, and sees a worm cut in half by a plow. He says to the zen master, "Both halves are wriggling; which half contains the buddha nature?" The master said, "have no illusions.") Each "moment" of life being the whole situation relating to "turning" (or returning) to the tao, the undifferentiated state, the "uncarved block" or True Self. Daisetz suzuki (who introduced zen to the west) saw the True Person as being the seer of genesis. When god created the world in six days, suzuki asks, who was it who observed and recorded the events for the biblical narrative? Your True Self, your original self. Rinzai's True Person without Rank, "un homme sans affaires." Hui-neng's "what" that "thus comes."

  Our life proceeds from one dharma situation to another, one complete learning and growing cycle to another though the cycles may overlap and not have neat, tidy margins. Thus the "roller coaster" I have spoken of, the exhiliration of release and the dissatisfaction of attachment, often in rapid and violent succession.  Think of the difference between the narrative in a novel or story, in which a persons thinks and act rationally, logically and in sequence, and compare it to the way you can actually observe yourself think and act. Each human being, each sentient being, each dharma or object is in (or is in itself) a "dharma situation," a turning to the Real. "Everything in the heavens and in the earth serves god" (qu'ran). Each organ, each cell, each organelle, each molecule and atom, all ends in themselves, cycles upon cycles, turning from ignorance to the bliss of pure knowledge. Born, flowers, fruits, dies; repeat - the phenomenally real, samsara. The "really real" is the succession of dharma situations, the unfolding of the rose from the bud, the maturing of the living spirit. Heraclitus says, "character is destiny."

   It is in this light that I think of time now as "granular," which is my addition (I think it is original, but I am no scholar, and hardly care) to these ideas. Time is composed, nondually, of cycles, and our "objective time" represents fractions of cycles; there is nothing to non-absolute time but cycles. Dogen says a being cannot exist without time, that time is a feature of being, that beings create time by their existence: thus "being-time."  Dogen says: "All beings in the entire universe are linked together as time's occurence at each and every moment."

   The basic unit of time is the complete cycle; "parts" of a cycle are subjectively determined and variable depending on the view. Only the cycles are really real (though in absolute terms, not-really real, that is, empty), as units which, though empty, cannot be divided.

   Think of the cycle of a star, from its birth to death. Compare to the life of a higgs boson, ten to the minus umpteen seconds. Our life from birth to death, the life of a leaf, a blade of grass, a fruit fly, a hummingbird - each complete cycle happening at a different rate. We can use time-lapse photography to slow down hummingbirds and insects, we can speed up plants and watch a vine groping around like a blind person with sensitive, probing fingers. Adjusting our minds to these different rates can free us from the grip of clock time, and allow us to see greater and smaller cycles as the granularity of time, interdependent and simultaneous but at different rates.

   It is important in zen to see each individual distinct being as the entire One Bright Pearl, not as emptiness only. Each cycle is a reflection of the Great Cycle; each hub reflects the Great Hub, and all being(s) find their center Here in the Now. When any person is liberated, all being is liberated. Dogen says:

"When even just one person, at one time, sits in zazen, he becomes, imperceptibly, one with each and all of the myriad things, and permeates completely all time, so that within the limitless universe, throughout past, future and present, he is performing the eternal and ceaseless work of guiding beings to enlightenment. It is, for each and every thing, one and the same undifferentiated practice, and undifferentiated realization."

   Each cycle or dharma situation from birth to death or ignorance to bliss has its stages, same as in "birth, sickness, old age and death." Of course each stage is empty, but the stages nonetheless succeed each other, as "time goes on." Dogen emphasizes that firewood is not a stage of ash, that spring does not turn into summer. Firewood is uniquely firewood, ash is ash. "Spring" is when flowers bloom and it is the fact of flowers blooming that makes us call it spring, not spring that makes the flowers bloom. All the flowing events of a complete cycle are implied by objectiying the individual thing as a cycle. As a person-cycle, I am the child I was, the man I am and the cadaver I will become. A mountain is what it is, it is the process of uplifting which formed it and the process of erosion which will flatten it again to a plain; all these conditions implied by the concept "mountain". At any instant of time we can only refer to an object as the cycle it represents, in its current aspect in relation to all other cycles. Dogen also saw time as reversible, considering that all time is present at once. Thus the future is now present, the future is in the past, etc.

  Bergson's subjective view of time alone is a radical shift in perception; dogen's even more so. Dogen's views are sublime but as yet unfinished or inadequately translated, or I need more study of sources. Particularly, what is his actual view of the moment, what consitutes the dharma situation? Perhaps his view is like what I have represented, perhaps not.

   The above is a very rough, brief view of the highlights of my current project. Rereading this I see I still am unable to separate my view from bergson, and am very far from seaparating my view from dogen's. And I didn't even try to present heidegger, though I am influenced by him. I would be happy to elaborate where there is interest, and would also be glad to hear anyone's views on these matters. I'm not obsessed with knowing the answers  and don't expect that resolving my questions will make much of a difference, but I dearly enjoy the process. There is plenty of work left before I am done with this subject.

   Apologies in advance for disjointed and half-digested ideas, and whatever unclarity of expression I am no doubt guilty of. This was the most difficult of my posts to write. I usually like to know what I am talking about! 

mahalo,
terry




"If my life
is still together,
I will occupy this hut
under the tree
next summer.”

~ryokan


  

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/1/18 1:41 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
What is changing moment to moment?  


aloha seth,

   Your question, "What is changing moment to moment?" is its own answer:

What is changing moment to moment.

My question is this: what is a moment?

Could be its answer, similarly, is: What is a moment.

Perhaps it comes down to: the question, What is what? and the answer, What is what.

What?

terry


one of my favorite zen stories, this translation from burton watson's 'zen teachings of master lin-chi' (j. rinzai), p123-124:


When the Master arrived at Feng-lin's place, Feng-lin said, "There's something I'd like to ask about, may I?"

The Master said, "How can you gouge out the flesh and inflict a wound?"

Feng-lin said, "The sea moon shines, no shadows anywhere, yet the swimming fish by themselves manage to lose their way."

The Master said, "Since the sea moon is without shadow, how can the swimming fish lose their way?"

Feng-lin said, "Watch the wind and you'll know what kind of wind will rise up. Sporting on the water, a country boat spreads its sail."

The Master said, "The solitary moon shines alone, river and mountains hushed. I give one shout of laughter and heaven and earth take fright."

Feng-lin said, "It's all right for you to use your three inch tongue to dazzle heaven and earth. But try saying one phrase about the situation we face right now."

The Master said, "If you meet a master swordsman on the road, you have to give up your sword. But when the other person is not a real poet, never present him with a poem."

Feng-lin at this point gave up.

The Master then wrote a poem:

The Great Way knows no like or different;
it can go east or west.
Sparks from a flint can't overtake it,
streaks of lightning would never reach that far.

   Wei-shan asked Yang-shan, "If 'sparks from a flint can't overtake it, streaks of lightning would never reach that far,' then how have all the wise men from ages past been able to teach others?"

   Yang-shan asked, "What do you think, Reverend?"

   Wei-shan said, "It's just that no words or explanations ever get at the true meaning."

   Yang-shan said, "Not so!"

   Wei-shan said, "Well, what do you think?"

   Yang-shan said, "Officially not a needle is allowed to pass, but privately whole carts and horses get through!"

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/1/18 6:47 AM as a reply to terry.
If you were alone in a universe where nothing ever changed, how would you measure the flow of time? 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/1/18 7:57 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
This is JMHO, but a high level of comfort with the ultimate uncertainty (paradoxical and indeterminate nature) of our situation and mind processes in regard to both time and space is a tremendously helpful and freeing view to hold.

The very second you try to define this you have conceptualized it and you have started down the wrong path emoticon

Also JMHO, but this is why Dogen wrote the way he did - he's attempting to get us to break through the conceptual to the fuly experiential.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/1/18 11:50 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I agree that it is ok to just not know, but try stopping my mind from trying. 

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/1/18 1:59 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
If you were alone in a universe where nothing ever changed, how would you measure the flow of time? 




aloha seth,

   The question is, technically, absurd. "If you were in a universe where nothing ever changed," there would be no "flow of time." It is indeed to explain "the flow of time" (in the light of eternity, as a means to eliminate dualities) that dogen writes. Also, "measuring" time is quantizing it, and that is not what I am attempting to get at.

   Dogen says:

"You should not only learn that flying past is the property inherent in time. If time were to give itself to merely flying past, it would have gaps. You fail to experience the passageless-passage of being-time and hear the utterance of its truth, because you are learnng only that time is something that goes past. The essential point is: every entire being in the entire world is, each time, an (independent) time, even while making a continuous series. Inasmuch as they are being-time, they are my being-time. Being-time has the virtue of passageless passage."

   Why do I bother investigating time? It passes the time.emoticon

   It seems to me you are trying to get at something else here. I am still puzzling over some of the things you say, so I don't feel I could summarize your views in any way. You keep talking, I'll keep listening and maybe I will get it, in the fullness of time. Rock on, bra.

terry


   Let me share just a portion of seung sahn's (brief) commentary on the heart sutra, which can be found here: http://www.openbuddha.com/2011/07/04/the-heart-sutra-commentary-by-zen-master-seung-sahn/ and is very worth reading.


If you just attain true emptiness, this is only nirvana. It is an experience of complete stillness and bliss: there is no subject or object, no good or bad, no coming or going, no life or death. There is nothing to attain. But Mahayana means your practice continues “beyond” this point, so that you attain no-attainment. You must find nirvana’s function in the world. The name for that is unexcelled perfect enlightenment. If you attain no-attainment, then you attain truth. Your mind is empty and clear like space. This means your mind is clear like a mirror: If a mountain appears before the mirror, there is only mountain; water appears, and there is only water; red comes, red; white comes, white. The sky is blue. The tree is green. A dog is barking, “Woof! Woof!” Sugar is sweet. Everything that you see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and think is the truth, just as it is. Nirvana means attaining emptiness, which has nothing to attain. Anuttara samyak sambodhi means using the experience of emptiness to attain truth. With an empty mind, reflect this world, just as it is. That is Mahayana Buddhism and the Great Bodhisattva Way.

Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha!

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/1/18 2:00 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
I agree that it is ok to just not know, but try stopping my mind from trying. 

exactly...

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/1/18 2:46 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
This is JMHO, but a high level of comfort with the ultimate uncertainty (paradoxical and indeterminate nature) of our situation and mind processes in regard to both time and space is a tremendously helpful and freeing view to hold.

The very second you try to define this you have conceptualized it and you have started down the wrong path emoticon

Also JMHO, but this is why Dogen wrote the way he did - he's attempting to get us to break through the conceptual to the fuly experiential.
yes x 3...

from seung sahn's commentary on the heart sutra...


 When you attain true emptiness, there is no speech or words. Opening your mouth is already a big mistake. So words and speech cannot describe our original nature. But to teach people still caught in words-and-speech delusion, sometimes words-and-speech medicines are necessary.

 and


The Heart Sutra says, “All dharmas are marked with emptiness.” But all dharmas are already empty and nonexistent even before you say this. Name and form are already empty. How can you even mention dharma, and then say it’s empty? That is a big mistake! In the true experience of emptiness, there are no words and no speech, so there is also no dharma. When you open your mouth to say “All dharmas are marked with emptiness,” that is already no longer emptiness. So be careful. The point of this is that if you just understand words and speech, and keep only an intellectual understanding, this sutra and any other sutra cannot help your life. Some actual attainment of what these words point to is necessary.


and


Attaining truth alone is not enough. If someone is thirsty, give them something to drink. If someone is hungry, give them food. When a suffering person appears before you, you only help, with no thinking or checking. The early part of this sutra has no “do-it,” just good speech about attainment and no-attainment. But if you attain something, you must do it. That is the meaning behind Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha. Step by step, we attain how to function compassionately for others, to use truth for others, spontaneously, from moment to moment. This is the whole point of the Heart Sutra.From moment to moment, when you are doing something, just do it.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/2/18 7:23 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
I agree that it is ok to just not know, but try stopping my mind from trying. 

Yes, the mind will continue on down the conceptual path. But you know it will. You know your mind. So you can deal  emoticon

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/2/18 11:00 AM as a reply to terry.
This is one of the fronts my practice seems to throw up over and over. I also finally deeply dug into Dogen (even though my affiliation is Soto Zen, my background is mostly Dzogchen) for this reason. There ARE some things in there, but what I am actually looking for is getting some of the initial "awakening" insight back - getting "time" to loosen up the way separatness with things/space has in my everyday view. I can "break" time in some interesting ways, but they lack the flavor of the initial insight, which is: there is a movement of time happening, this, the only "moment" becomes eternal - an awareness that time isn't separate from anything else, that all moments are also present (as possibilities/fictions?). Seth definitely gets what I am talking about based on his suggestions. They sound like something "I" would say if I was "him". emoticon

I have found a university-hosted (where I work) digital copy of Bergson. I'll check it out. for sure.

I began this thread in hope of airing out dogen's views, to see if I have actually plumbed their depths and perhaps gone beyond. When I get my teeth into an investigation like this, at some point I think I know what is what, but it would take dozens or even hundreds of pages to relate. Eventually, as the investigation winds down, the result often becomes a paragraph, sentence, or phrase. At this point I am still at seek.
As you are probably aware, no amount of intellectual thought gets you there, and the distillation of the idea once enlightened to it can be very simple, but likely untranslatable to others. 

Preliminary results: I have no idea how to summarize but lets see what comes out... The absolute view is that time does not exist at all, subjectively or objectively. The ordinary materialist-positivist scientistic view is of "objective" time, where we divide the cycles of the sun, moon and earth into convertible units, quanta. We are all familiar with quantized time, but subjective time refers to what we really experience, as opposed to what we act out socially so as to be understood as common sense folks. As social conditioning proceeds, we quantize whatever we can and see only what serves our goal-directed egos. Without goals, we don't judge good and bad; without judging, we see what is there.
It is true that time does not exist at all, since it also is "not separate", and has no delineation in reality. It is contiguous and without divisions, AND not separate from any other aspect of reality, and thus it is not a thing on it's own. It only appears when we think about it, like everything else. 

...without judging, we see what is there.
Precisely this. 

We might differ in our quest here, as I am looking for a trigger. I have seen how time is, but only briefly. I'm am looking for a deepening of insight to see its non-separate quality in this moment. I see... something... but it isn't what I know CAN be seen. 

Even as you read this you are out of sync with this moment. You hear the voice in your head, the narration, as you read. You consider the possiblities of it. Yet, you are surrounded by and ignorant of NOW blossoming and happening in this moment. What is time really? What I saw was that it is like catching a wave on a surfboard. The wave comes along and suddenly you are balanced in it's travel, entirely present. You are moving with the wave, trapped in the amber of the present moment in a strange stillness. There is movement/change in the color/light, but you are entirely non-dual with it, not separate from it, and empty of the thought that would conjure duality again. Before the wave there is anticipation, worry and conjecture about the future - in short, the thinking mind owns the moment. After the wave there is evaluating the "experience", thinking about how to catch the next wave. On the wave, there is only the quality of "happening" and "now", nothing that ever completes or has a boundary of ending. 

Actually, just this exercise of expressing it feels like it is bearing fruit. emoticon


However we idealize the present moment - dogen called it "nikon," the eternal now - "things" change from moment to moment. And this is the crux, the point of my investigation, the nature of these changes. Specifically, the nature of the unit "moment," which dogen calls a "dharma situation." Dogen saw change as the succession of moment to moment to moment. What differs from the ordinary birth and death view is the nature of the moment as a dharma situation. I still need more study to clear up for myself the actual extent of dogen's views on time. I'm not sure what he means by "dharma situations" or how one transitions from one to another. From bergson (and the buddha) and my own views, I would suspect that dharma situations overlap and interpenetrate.
"Things" indeed. In fact, there are no things, and thus nothing changing. It appears that way to the thinking mind. I still observe that there is "change", and this is also what I wonder at. What is there to appear to be different if there are no separate things to change? The succession of moment to moment to moment is incorrect. It is just "ONE" as everything else is. One moment. This one. No-one is born or dies - who is there be to do so? I DO trust that Dogen gets it. There is too much in there that is absolutely spot on to dismiss. Translation? My feeling would be that "dharma situations" only appear to be separate events in consciousness, but are contiguous and empty in absolute reality.

As a long time student of the yi jing (I Ching), it is easy to imagine that the 64 hexagrams each indicate a "dharma situation" and the changes between them provide the transitions. Bergson's sense that time "loops" applies in the sense that each dharma moment in itself progresses from complete ignorance to complete enlightenment, from the depths of the earth to the heights of heaven. Zen koans are in themselves emblematic of dharma situations; there are innumerable illustrations, pick a koan. (How about the one where the prince is walking with the master, and sees a worm cut in half by a plow. He says to the zen master, "Both halves are wriggling; which half contains the buddha nature?" The master said, "have no illusions.") Each "moment" of life being the whole situation relating to "turning" (or returning) to the tao, the undifferentiated state, the "uncarved block" or True Self. Daisetz suzuki (who introduced zen to the west) saw the True Person as being the seer of genesis. When god created the world in six days, suzuki asks, who was it who observed and recorded the events for the biblical narrative? Your True Self, your original self. Rinzai's True Person without Rank, "un homme sans affaires." Hui-neng's "what" that "thus comes."
I have wondered about the hexagrams myself and if they are akin to the bardos in Tibetan Buddhism. One of my old teachers told me that bardos are not just transitions that happen close to death, but happen all the time, in micro and macro levels - every "seam" in the continuity between moments is one. It feels sometimes that we can be continuously "waking up" in every bardo transition if we are aware, in a finer and finer way. Good stuff, Terry!

Our life proceeds from one dharma situation to another, one complete learning and growing cycle to another though the cycles may overlap and not have neat, tidy margins. Thus the "roller coaster" I have spoken of, the exhiliration of release and the dissatisfaction of attachment, often in rapid and violent succession.  Think of the difference between the narrative in a novel or story, in which a persons thinks and act rationally, logically and in sequence, and compare it to the way you can actually observe yourself think and act. Each human being, each sentient being, each dharma or object is in (or is in itself) a "dharma situation," a turning to the Real. "Everything in the heavens and in the earth serves god" (qu'ran). Each organ, each cell, each organelle, each molecule and atom, all ends in themselves, cycles upon cycles, turning from ignorance to the bliss of pure knowledge. Born, flowers, fruits, dies; repeat - the phenomenally real, samsara. The "really real" is the succession of dharma situations, the unfolding of the rose from the bud, the maturing of the living spirit. Heraclitus says, "character is destiny."

Right. I have heard this duality we live in described as being entirely comprised of dharma - of teaching - and all of it pointing back to the core non-dual nature of itself. I think this implied in many traditions and religions, and it's quite obvious to me that it is true. All strangenesses, coincidences, etc. point back to the central truth of it, and of course themselves are empty of any intrinsic reality and are constructs of mind, which is itself non-dual.

The basic unit of time is the complete cycle; "parts" of a cycle are subjectively determined and variable depending on the view. Only the cycles are really real (though in absolute terms, not-really real, that is, empty), as units which, though empty, cannot be divided.

Absolutely, agree - as I said above!

We can use time-lapse photography to slow down hummingbirds and insects, we can speed up plants and watch a vine groping around like a blind person with sensitive, probing fingers. Adjusting our minds to these different rates can free us from the grip of clock time, and allow us to see greater and smaller cycles as the granularity of time, interdependent and simultaneous but at different rates.
OR meditation. I can see the granular nature of how things are fabricated/time passes, though it hasn't yet led me back to seeing it as a whole yet.

All the flowing events of a complete cycle are implied by objectiying the individual thing as a cycle. As a person-cycle, I am the child I was, the man I am and the cadaver I will become. A mountain is what it is, it is the process of uplifting which formed it and the process of erosion which will flatten it again to a plain; all these conditions implied by the concept "mountain". At any instant of time we can only refer to an object as the cycle it represents, in its current aspect in relation to all other cycles. Dogen also saw time as reversible, considering that all time is present at once. Thus the future is now present, the future is in the past, etc.

Yes, I saw this too. All moments pregnantly present in the single moment. Not visible, but present in consciousness. I reject that is not possible to see past the illusory world and into this in this moment.

Bergson's subjective view of time alone is a radical shift in perception; dogen's even more so. Dogen's views are sublime but as yet unfinished or inadequately translated, or I need more study of sources. Particularly, what is his actual view of the moment, what consitutes the dharma situation? Perhaps his view is like what I have represented, perhaps not.
I agree. I feel like there is something I am missing there, or that isn't coming across. 

This was the most difficult of my posts to write. I usually like to know what I am talking about! 
And my apologies for not replying earlier for the same reason. A lot of writing, and much I wanted to properly respond to. Really enjoyed your thoughtful post. _/\_

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/5/18 11:02 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
seth tapper:
If you were alone in a universe where nothing ever changed, how would you measure the flow of time? 

The question is, technically, absurd. "If you were in a universe where nothing ever changed," there would be no "flow of time." 
And yet, this IS the case. Nothing ever DOES change - it is illusory. emoticon

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/4/18 5:27 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
[quote=]OR meditation. I can see the granular nature of how things are fabricated/time passes, though it hasn't yet led me back to seeing it as a whole yet.

All the flowing events of a complete cycle are implied by objectiying the individual thing as a cycle. As a person-cycle, I am the child I was, the man I am and the cadaver I will become. A mountain is what it is, it is the process of uplifting which formed it and the process of erosion which will flatten it again to a plain; all these conditions implied by the concept "mountain". At any instant of time we can only refer to an object as the cycle it represents, in its current aspect in relation to all other cycles. Dogen also saw time as reversible, considering that all time is present at once. Thus the future is now present, the future is in the past, etc.

Yes, I saw this too. All moments pregnantly present in the single moment. Not visible, but present in consciousness. I reject that is not possible to see past the illusory world and into this in this moment.

Bergson's subjective view of time alone is a radical shift in perception; dogen's even more so. Dogen's views are sublime but as yet unfinished or inadequately translated, or I need more study of sources. Particularly, what is his actual view of the moment, what consitutes the dharma situation? Perhaps his view is like what I have represented, perhaps not.
I agree. I feel like there is something I am missing there, or that isn't coming across. 

This was the most difficult of my posts to write. I usually like to know what I am talking about! 
And my apologies for not replying earlier for the same reason. A lot of writing, and much I wanted to properly respond to. Really enjoyed your thoughtful post. _/\_
aloha stirling,

   Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

   Like dogen, I feel there is a place for dharma talks in our Way. Rinzai's version of "who is it that thus comes" was to ask, "Who is it who is listening to the dharma before us right now?" It is "us" in its greatest possible sense - we are the One Great Pearl. To the bodhisattva, the universe is composed of living beings. Dogen's nondual twist is to say the universe is composed of *living being* as one-wthout-a-second - "all being" meaning absolutely everything.

   I often/always think of the world I see as complete illusion. When I had a stroke I lost vision in the upper temporal quadrant of the left eye and the upper nasal quadrant of the right eye. For six weeks or so I had none to diminished visual input to the upper left. The mind somehow filled in all that missing data with its own interpolations. I found making left turns very dangerous until the condition resolved. Everything in the bad quadrant seemed dim, as if in low light. I came away viscerally convinced that what we see is strictly "mind-created."

   Words may take you to the abyss, where you may jump in. But words can't provide that leap of faith. "Experience" of nonduality is not a reward, not a prize, not an attainment. It is always there. As it says in the tao te ching, "If you want to use this thing, then use it; if you want to leave it alone, leave it alone." Lao-tzu said (famously in a book of 5000 characters) "those who speak do not know; those who know do not speak." It is one's intention to elighten "what is thus come" which is what the words are meant to express. I speak to myself when I speak to others; "we all are One, we are the same Person" (jimmy cliff). 

   Once it is all One, then becoming One with it isn't important any longer. The fishtrap is forgotten. Words are used, and forgotten. 

   As for missing something, that is what I am on the track of. Dogen says, if you think you have got It, you are missing something. If you think you are missing something, you have got it. Eventually I want to hook up dogen with the yi jing, zen with daoism. I'm living on being-time, not clock-time. Resolving doubt where there is no doubt; erasing lines wherethere are no lines. We are us. Perhaps our "rebirth" is in the past, a rebirth into the deathless, and thus a raft no longer needed, nor to be clung to and dragged around. Climbing back into the birth canal and re-experiencing birth again is not the way; been there, done that. When we look at the past in desire we see its wonders and delights and we project them onto the future as goals. The present is where all the frustration is felt most keenly, which is why we like to be entertained and diverted from "reality." It was in realizing the futility of wanting that we had our nondual "experience." The "coming down" from this "experience" is the ego re-arising and embracing desire once again, the desire for ecstasy and bliss perhaps, or even to be "wise," causing division and attachment. In realizing our essential nature, desire subsides and disappears, and the one bud unfolds like a rose. It is fine, even wonderful, to "want" to experience nonduality. If you recognize that this desire alone is enough, is the truth, you are golden.

   Dogen says that the desire to realize our essential nature and the realization itself are the same; to have the one is to have the other. Look deeply into the Self which desires realization, and you will be at nikon, the sweet spot, the consummate athlete's complete concentration on the moment with all thought of the prize gone, utterly gone. A simple grasp of this simple thought, that the desire for realization is itself realization, shows us the dharma gate as clearly as words can say. If the words induce us to practice, or confirm us in practice, they are skillful.

  I want to respond some more, but will let this go for now with some rinzai stories, and a brief piece from dogen's genjo koan:


from burton watson's translation, "the zen teachings of master lin-chi:


31. The Master was entering an army encampment to attend a dinner when he saw one of the officers at the gate.He pointed at the bare wooden gatepost and said, "A common mortal or a sage?"

The officer had no reply.

The Master struck the gatepost and said, "Even if you had managed a reply, it would just be a wooden post." With that he entered the camp.



64. When the Master arrived at Ming-hua's place, Ming-hua said, "Going and going, coming and going - what is it all about?"

"Just tramping around wearing out my straw sandals," said the Master.

Ming-hua said, "In the end, what is it for?"

"This old man doesn't even know how to talk!" said the Master.


 
"Fellow believers, don't get so taken up with the robe! The robe can't move of itself - the person is the one who can put on the robe. There is a clean, pure robe, there is a no-birth robe, a bodhi robe, a nirvana robe, a patriarch robe, a buddha robe. Fellow believers, these sounds, names, words, phrases are all nothing but changes of robe. The sea of breath below the navel stirs itself into motion, the teeth batter and mold it and it comes out as the statement of an idea. So we know for certain that these are mere phantoms.

"Fellow believers, the karma of sounds and words finds outward expression, the objects of the mind are manifested within. Because of mental processes thoughts are formed, but all of these are just wearing robes. If you take the robe that the person is wearing to be the person's true identity, then though endless kalpas may pass, you will become proficient in robes only and remain forever circling around in the threefold world, transmigrating the realm of birth and death. Better to do nothing, to meet someone but not recognize him, talk with him but not know his name."



"Fellow believers don't mistake me! I don't care if you whether you understand the sutras and treatises. I don't care whether you are rulers or great statesmen. I don't care if you can pour out torrents of eloquence. I don't care whether you can display brilliant intellects. All I ask is that you have a true and proper understanding.

"Followers of the Way, even if you can understand a hundred sutras and treatises, you're not as good as one plain monk who does nothing. As soon as you acquire a little of such understanding, you start treating others with scorn and contempt, vying and struggling with them like so many asuras, blinded by the ignorance of self and others, forever creating karma that will send you to hell. ...Better to do nothing, to leave off all that.

"When you get hungry, eat your rice.
When you get sleepy, close your eyes.
Fools laugh at me, 
But wise men will know what I mean."



"Followers of the way, you who are now here listening to the Dharma are not the four great elements in you, but something that can make use of the four great elements in you. If you can just see it in this way, then you will be free to go or stay.

"A man of old said, "If along the road you meet a master of the Way, don't talk to him about the Way." Therefore it is said, "If a person practices the Way, the Way will never proceed. Instead, ten thousand kinds of mistaken enviironments will vie in poking up their heads. But if the sword of wisdom comes to cut them all down, then before the bright signs manifest themselves, the dark signs will have become bright.Therefore a man of old said, 'The every day mind, that is the Way.'

"Fellow believers, what are you looking for? The man of the Way who depends on nothing here before my eyes now listening to the Dharma - his brightness shines clearly, he has never lacked anything. If you want to be no different than the patriarchs and the buddhas, learn to see it this way and never gve in to doubt or questioning. While your mind [>>>] moment by moment [<<<] never differentiates, it may be called the living patriarch. If the mind differentiates, its nature and manifestations become separated from one another. But so long as it does not differentiate, its nature and manifestations do not become separate."


and one small bit from dogen's shobogenzo, from the genjo koan, one of the finest bits of spiritual literature ever composed:


"To be sure, having once realized the Place, you must not analyze It in order to understand It through discriminatory thought and, thereby, reduce It to fit your own opinions. When you have bored through to certainty, It all at once manifests before your very eyes, yet That which is the most intimate will not necessarily take some visible form. ‘Manifesting before your very eyes’ may or may not have a literal meaning.

"Meditation Master Mayoku Hōtetsu, one summer day, sat fanning himself when a monk came up to him and said, 'It is said that the nature of the wind always abides and that there is no place where it does not circulate, so why does my reverend monk fan himself?'

"The Master replied, 'You are merely aware that the Nature of the Wind always abides, but you have not yet grasped the principle that there is no place where It is not present and active.'

"When the monk then asked, 'What is this underlying principle of Its being universally present?' the Master simply continued to fan himself.

"The monk respectfully bowed to the Master.

"Unequivocal and genuine experiences of the Buddha’s Dharma, which is the living Path of the genuine Transmission, are just like this. Since It always abides, the Master did not need to use a fan; yet, even when it is not used, the Sound of the Wind—that is, the voicing of the Dharma—can be heard. Not to know That which is ever-abiding is not to know the Nature of the Wind. Because the Nature of the Wind is always abiding, the winds of training for our Buddhist family bring about the manifesting before one’s very eyes of That which is the True Gold of the Great Earth, and bring to maturity the nourishing waters of the Greatest River."



terry

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/7/18 4:11 PM as a reply to terry.
It is "us" in its greatest possible sense - we are the One Great Pearl. To the bodhisattva, the universe is composed of living beings. Dogen's nondual twist is to say the universe is composed of *living being* as one-wthout-a-second - "all being" meaning absolutely everything. 
This without any doubt is absolutely true. What this is is "ONE". All appearances in consciousness are the same. All appearances in consciousness are teaching, are dharma, and all dharma points toward enlightenment - and, of course, all of it already enlightened in this moment. So - deep bows from this still somewhat filtered perspective of the dharmakaya. emoticon
I often/always think of the world I see as complete illusion. When I had a stroke I lost vision in the upper temporal quadrant of the left eye and the upper nasal quadrant of the right eye. For six weeks or so I had none to diminished visual input to the upper left. The mind somehow filled in all that missing data with its own interpolations. I found making left turns very dangerous until the condition resolved. Everything in the bad quadrant seemed dim, as if in low light. I came away viscerally convinced that what we see is strictly "mind-created."
The imaginary landscape of it's separateness, or our separateness from it are certainly illusory. Without mind, which of our distinctions exist? None. If we needed a relative reality-based excuse to doubt that the world as we see it exists (I don't), I find these compelling:

Anil Seth: Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality | TED Talk ...


Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? | TED Talk | TED.com

   
Words may take you to the abyss, where you may jump in. But words can't provide that leap of faith. "Experience" of nonduality is not a reward, not a prize, not an attainment. It is always there. As it says in the tao te ching, "If you want to use this thing, then use it; if you want to leave it alone, leave it alone." Lao-tzu said (famously in a book of 5000 characters) "those who speak do not know; those who know do not speak." It is one's intention to elighten "what is thus come" which is what the words are meant to express. I speak to myself when I speak to others; "we all are One, we are the same Person" (jimmy cliff). 
I have the experience - it is the deepening I find myself drawn to. While aspects of "empty of separateness" are obvious to me, it is only time that has been somewhat reluctant to see in this moment. Just this thread, dialoguing about it, and where it has led me to read or reread has pushed things along. 

   Once it is all One, then becoming One with it isn't important any longer. The fishtrap is forgotten. Words are used, and forgotten. 

   As for missing something, that is what I am on the track of.
I understand. I HAVE seen, but in this case don't completely. Stabilzation is still missing, but close.
Dogen says, if you think you have got It, you are missing something. If you think you are missing something, you have got it.
Of course. In the space between thoughts it's there all along! emoticon
Eventually I want to hook up dogen with the yi jing, zen with daoism.
It's all the same stuff - just different perspectives on the same picture, just as "advaita" and "madyahmaka" are.
Perhaps our "rebirth" is in the past, a rebirth into the deathless, and thus a raft no longer needed, nor to be clung to and dragged around.
Who is there to be reborn or die? No-one.
The present is where all the frustration is felt most keenly, which is why we like to be entertained and diverted from "reality."
...and yet the real present, the space between thoughts, is empty and perfect. Boredom and the need for diversion have never set foot there.

It is fine, even wonderful, to "want" to experience nonduality. If you recognize that this desire alone is enough, is the truth, you are golden. Dogen says that the desire to realize our essential nature and the realization itself are the same; to have the one is to have the other.
Yes, if you can proclaim it, then no longer grasp at it, or look for an "experience" that will reveal reality, since no person will ever experience it... 
  I want to respond some more, but will let this go for now with some rinzai stories, and a brief piece from dogen's genjo koan:


I love Dogen. Who wouldn't? By way of exchange, I'll share some of the text of a lecture given by Rupert Spira at a conference that I think may be the best I have seen it explored:

Rupert Spira -

Let me give you an alternative model (of time): In just the same way that this is always the same space, yes? Our meetings here have taken place always in the same space. We come in and out of it, but the space is always the same. We think that our meetings take place at a different time, but always in the same place. What about if time was like space?

NOW was like space, but without the 3 dimensions (no past or future). In other words, the NOW is the only NOW there is, and that, like space, isn't  going anywhere. Instead of time being spread out in a long line from the infinite past to the infinite future, with us moving along a little segment of it, what about if time was ever-present, in other words, what about if there isn’t really time, there is just eternity which means the everlasting now, the ever-present now, the only NOW there ever is, and that thoughts and sensations appear in it, just like objects appear in the same space here. What about if all the objects of our experience, thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, all arise in the same not-going-anywhere NOW, and then a thought then arises, collates all these different experiences and remembers them, and, in order to house them all, imagines a line of time in which it can place all of these objects that creates the idea of linear time, but actually experience doesn’t appear in linear time - all experience appears now. 

If I were to ask you, is the now moving along a line of time, how fast exactly is the now going? Is it motionless? It is not moving from the past to the future at a particular speed. It is ever present. This, the only NOW there ever is. Everything appears in that, and it is only a thought. Thought can’t see the space of the now in which experience arises, because it is invisible to thought. Thought thinks, “Ah - objects are coming and going, they must come and go in something. What do they come and go in?” The “I” thought looks around, “I can’t find the NOW anywhere, I can’t find awareness anywhere - I know, I’ll make up this substance called time, and as soon as I make up this substance then I can populate it with all of these events.

So, then, time is what eternity looks like when viewed by the mind.




RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/8/18 3:23 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
A better, more intelligible (IMHO) translation of Dogen's "Uji":

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/Dogen_Teachings/Uji.htm

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/12/18 10:51 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
[quote=Stirling Campbell

I have the experience - it is the deepening I find myself drawn to. While aspects of &#034;empty of separateness&#034; are obvious to me, it is only time that has been somewhat reluctant to see in this moment. Just this thread, dialoguing about it, and where it has led me to read or reread has pushed things along. ]
   Once it is all One, then becoming One with it isn't important any longer. The fishtrap is forgotten. Words are used, and forgotten. 

   As for missing something, that is what I am on the track of.
I understand. I HAVE seen, but in this case don't completely. Stabilzation is still missing, but close.



Dogen says, if you think you have got It, you are missing something. If you think you are missing something, you have got it.
Of course. In the space between thoughts it's there all along! emoticon
Eventually I want to hook up dogen with the yi jing, zen with daoism.
It's all the same stuff - just different perspectives on the same picture, just as "advaita" and "madyahmaka" are.
Perhaps our "rebirth" is in the past, a rebirth into the deathless, and thus a raft no longer needed, nor to be clung to and dragged around.
Who is there to be reborn or die? No-one.
The present is where all the frustration is felt most keenly, which is why we like to be entertained and diverted from "reality."
...and yet the real present, the space between thoughts, is empty and perfect. Boredom and the need for diversion have never set foot there.

It is fine, even wonderful, to "want" to experience nonduality. If you recognize that this desire alone is enough, is the truth, you are golden. Dogen says that the desire to realize our essential nature and the realization itself are the same; to have the one is to have the other.
Yes, if you can proclaim it, then no longer grasp at it, or look for an "experience" that will reveal reality, since no person will ever experience it... 
  I want to respond some more, but will let this go for now with some rinzai stories, and a brief piece from dogen's genjo koan:


I love Dogen. Who wouldn't? By way of exchange, I'll share some of the text of a lecture given by Rupert Spira at a conference that I think may be the best I have seen it explored:

Rupert Spira -

Let me give you an alternative model (of time): In just the same way that this is always the same space, yes? Our meetings here have taken place always in the same space. We come in and out of it, but the space is always the same. We think that our meetings take place at a different time, but always in the same place. What about if time was like space?

NOW was like space, but without the 3 dimensions (no past or future). In other words, the NOW is the only NOW there is, and that, like space, isn't  going anywhere. Instead of time being spread out in a long line from the infinite past to the infinite future, with us moving along a little segment of it, what about if time was ever-present, in other words, what about if there isn’t really time, there is just eternity which means the everlasting now, the ever-present now, the only NOW there ever is, and that thoughts and sensations appear in it, just like objects appear in the same space here. What about if all the objects of our experience, thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, all arise in the same not-going-anywhere NOW, and then a thought then arises, collates all these different experiences and remembers them, and, in order to house them all, imagines a line of time in which it can place all of these objects that creates the idea of linear time, but actually experience doesn’t appear in linear time - all experience appears now. 

If I were to ask you, is the now moving along a line of time, how fast exactly is the now going? Is it motionless? It is not moving from the past to the future at a particular speed. It is ever present. This, the only NOW there ever is. Everything appears in that, and it is only a thought. Thought can’t see the space of the now in which experience arises, because it is invisible to thought. Thought thinks, “Ah - objects are coming and going, they must come and go in something. What do they come and go in?” The “I” thought looks around, “I can’t find the NOW anywhere, I can’t find awareness anywhere - I know, I’ll make up this substance called time, and as soon as I make up this substance then I can populate it with all of these events.

So, then, time is what eternity looks like when viewed by the mind.




aloha stirling,

   I think we have two things still under discussion: the nature of time, and how deepening and living the primal insight is the Way.

   The two are related. In the ordinary, linear space-based concept of continuous time, we see practice as a progression terminating in the permanent experience of nirvana. This is naive, ego-based thinking. "Enlightenment" is a paradigm-changer, very like the copernican revolution: the universe becomes god-centered as opposed to ego-centered, which compares with the sun-centered and earth-centered celestial views. We may now see time as extended to eternity, our body as extended to the infinite universe. This eternal universe is our dharmakaya; beyond time and space.

   These people who write about time often seem confused to me; or they confuse me. They begin speaking of time as analogous to space, and then demolish that idea, leaving you to fill in the blank, more or less. They don't even see that time is relative to the frame of the observer, which science at least does. And beyond that, there is the fact that each being has its time, and each being-time is relative to each other being-time (this is actually just another way of looking at dependent co-origination).

   To begin with, time is discontinuous. It doesn't flow along from second to second; it "flows" along bumpily from moment to moment, curling and eddying. The confusion arises because people use the word "moment" very differently, sometimes meaning "a second" or "a minute" of clock time and sometimes - more correctly - referring to an event. A baby is born: it is an event. A sandwich is made: it is an event. Various amounts of clock time go into making a baby, or a sandwich; many different factors are involved depending on point of view and ultimately it is one coarising interdependence. A sandwich has wheat, produced by the sweat of someone's brow, perhaps peanut butter; there is sunshine in the sandwich, and rain and chemicals and carbon that used to be part of someone's uncle charlie, and before that was from a star in the spiral arm. Elements of the sandwich are brought from all over the universe and combine in the sandwich's brief life to make a nourishing meal, perhaps half-eaten and discarded, thence to feed innumerable generations of smaller creatures until the elements are caught up again into other apparent units. The sandwich could be given a birth certificate, it was made at an exact time and place and meant to be consumed by a certain time: its "shelf life."

   Each sandwich is an unique event. Some have tomato, some mustard, and so on. Each unique event has its own time, which is to say it is cycling from beginning to middle to end. Time is created by the event, is unique to the particular, unique event: being-time. Dogen says, when a bird needs a lot of sky, he takes a lot of sky; if he needs only a little sky, he takes only a little; if a fish needs a lot of water, she takes a lot of water, and if she needs only a little she takes a little. They take what they need. Sentient beings take the time they need to develop; it is their development that we call "time," just as we call the time of flowers blooming "spring." Beings flow, thus we say time flows; but uniquely for each being and in each relation it has.

   If the flow of being-time and the flow of clock-time were the same, we wouldn't need to distinguish them. Every cycle - every "thing" without exception - follows rules: they "cycle." This is karma at its most basic level. The universe is both Real (One Bright Pearl) and becoming more real (Empty) as a process; unchangingly changeful; impermanent as a condition. We might say change doesn't change. Heraclitus said: "The Truth both agrees and doesn't agree to be called God."

   You are perhaps familiar with russian mystic georges gurdjieff and his institute for the harmonious development of man. He would take an event, it could be a life, or a project or a composition, and he related the succession of efforts which it took to create this event to the succession of notes in the musical scale (he called this the law of octaves). The first three notes, do-re-mi, indicate a phase in which the plans are made, materials gathered, and the first assembly process is well under way. At this point, murphy's law, something always goes wrong, and it takes conscious effort to get the project on track again. (I don't know the notes that well, but apparently there is an extra half tone after the third and seventh notes, or something like that.) After the difficulties at fa, the creative process again seems to possess momentum and the event proceeds through sol, la, ti and then another glitch occurs, where again conscious effort is needed to save the day and get things completed. (As in the tao te ching, where it is said that things generally go wrong right when they are on the verge of completion.)

   When I built my cabin, it seemed to go that way. My nephew richard the third flew out from phoenix and helped me construct my shop with the overhead apartment and balcony (I dreamed the design many years ago). We had to build the whole thing in our heads to be able to order the wood, which had to be delivered, as many pieces were long. Everything is delayed in hawaii, if you are lucky it is only delayed, but we finally got the wood. We were building fast to get out of the wind, got the entire structure completed except for one roof panel - I never did figure out how I ever would have gotten that last panel up. It was only in existence one day: disaster struck, the wind came up like a giant fist and blew the tall two story structure right over, separating the top and bottom from the piers. Richard the third was distraught, though fortunately unhurt. We took a week off, went surfing, then came back and surveyed the damage (I have every bit of this in pictures). We consulted with people who thought big machines could pick up the pieces and set them right, more or less - it depended on how much time we had. By this time I had realized that the journey was quite possibly more important than the arrival, as my health and outlook had radically improved over the course of construction, so I said, "we have all the time in the world." My nephew was heart-broken, we had worked hard and cut corners to finish fast. I started taking apart the old building piece by piece, and after a while he began helping again. We completely disassembled the structure top and botttom and managed to save vrtually all of the wood. We reassembled it better, with lots of redundant fasteners, and a plywood roof which solved the "last panel" problem. (It was like when your mom puts your legos away, she pulls them apart in chunks to fit in the box; it was all in chunks, so not that hard to reassemble.) As we were getting the last of it together, the big 4 x 4s holding up the balcony (which balcony was ill-advisedly only cantilevered the first time around), richard III got sick, might have been and likely was dengue fever, and never regained interest in the project. With a lot persuasion he managed to stick around for the last of the necessarily two man jobs, so at the end there was some difficulty getting it finished and I did most of the work myself (doors, windows, paint, etc; we had just gotten up the shell). I enjoyed the work a great deal and wouldn't mind building another cabin, I have a spot picked out. I did build a one story "meditation hall" (wherein I worship my round idols by striking them with sticks and regularly reform them under the triangle...).

   Time as it related to that project was much more that what clocks measure. I was using "the building blocks of life" (plywood) to impose my square, flat, level will on a'a lava. We struggled with wind, rain, and extremes of temperature (that's a joke: in the two years I have lived here I have recorded highs and lows "all time"  - night and day, summer and winter - and the highest temp I have recorded is 89, the lowest 58... for this reason alone I couldn't live anywhere else - it is too hot and cold and dry and damp out there). We mostly struggled with each others attachments, it being a rather difficult time of life for both of us. This one example of an "event," the construction of terry's cabin, is somewhat typical of starting a project from scratch about which you don't know much and bringing it to completion knowing a good deal more. A life is like that; a sandwich is like that. A cycle. A stream of bubbles, perhaps, signify passage of time better than a string or chain; I'm trying to get completely away from linear, "space"-like views of time - when they say, "time is like space," I immediately see difficulties. And "cause and effect" is too mechanical, too reductionist; too obvious. Causes contain their effects, and effects their causes; it takes reasoning mind to abstract moral lessons, to restrain what can be restrained.

   Building a cabin is a "moment," as is making a sandwich, and bearing a child. There is no real way we can isolate the margins of these events by clock time, though we attempt to do it all the time (birth cert, death cert, menu says breakfast until 11 am). A moment is a cycle, like inbreath, outbreath; or systole, diastole; or life and death, with all the stages in between. There is no difference between a moment and an event, or an object; time once again inheres in being(s). Who I am is *what and when* what I am happens. Bucky fuller said, "I seem to be a verb." Language can't capture it but vigorous pointing may get some to look and see.

   In sum, we are not "in time," we *are* time. Where we are, time is; as much as we need, all the time in the world, there is no end of time, just as there is no end of space if we need space. Time and space do not limit us. Gurdjieff's view of cycles following the tonal scale is only offered here as an example of how different non-linear views of time might work. The yi jing is just too extensive and too dear to try to explain as here such a method, but all divination from cards and tea leaves and rune stones and anything else - astrologies of various sorts - all actually work on the original basis of "as above, so below," that is the nature of cycles. Yes, holy men don't need these things, they can tell the weather without a chart and the way without a map, kill tigers with their bare hands and cross the ho without a boat, but until we are that holy, these maps and charts, dhammas or rafts of the mind may be useful, if only to shake the cold dead hands of reason and its superstitions from our necks.


   Now in terms of deepening and strengthening primal insight: as change is related to enlightenment, we can take enlightenment also as a cycle, as a process, from bliss to ignorance to bliss. As dogen points out, time goes in both directions. As babies and little children we were more enlightened than we were as adults. We slowly lost our innocence, took up bad habits, and sold our birthrights for beans. A rare "taste" of grace and we Remember who we were when we loved everyone and everything and everyone and everything loved us. Before we learned to deceive, favor and resist. Can we take this our renewed Child's vision of the kingdom of heaven and make it more real for the liberation of all sentient beings? (Why bother when the wind flows everywhere and is always unimpeded?) Can we be kind beings who know how bad people really are and love them anyway, in their real guilt for their imaginary taints? According to dzogchen, the passions are "self-extinguishing"; and confucius said, "a fault that induces remorse no longer exists.". Guilt itself may be seen as a matter of clinging to the past in attachment to a self we have proven not to be; being 'in the moment' is being free from guilt. Free from sin. 

   One way of attempting to be free of the pains of duty and responsibility is to pretend that we have no responsibility, because we don't exist; and that we don't suffer, for the same reason. This is nihilism, not to mention patently false when we all have these arrows sticking out of our chests. The other extreme is where we see ourselves as reincarnating forever, and so there is no need to make an effort for what will come in due time regardless; whatever we do is forgiven so why be good? (Eternalism.) Either way is saying to ourselves, 'go back to sleep.'

   The Way unconsciously practiced by the infant and small child, and by animals and plants and inorganic nature, is brought to conscious fruition by means of effortful effortlessness. This means having an openness to change. (! ! !) That is the "missing" part. If we are always "open like  valley" we will always be open to change, to love. To take that leap.

   The wind blows and the grass bends. We look into the well, and the well knows the donkey as the donkey knows the well, guest and host. The Union is ongoing, constant, ceaseless practice.  Both here and becoming, being and nothing. Enlightenment is *always* a dialectic, always a mondo, always a dharma situation; the "holy life" is always made manifest as the sangha. When it resolves in wondrous beauty it recoils itself up into a seed and begins again, looping its bubbly way. Gurdjieff said, if you want to advance up the ladder of being, you have to set someone on the step (now) below you. The tao te jing says: 


Chapter 27. (feng/english trans)

A good walker leaves no tracks; 
A good speaker makes no slips; 
A good reckoner needs no tally. 
A good door needs no lock, 
Yet no one can open it. 
Good binding requires no knots, 
Yet no one can loosen it.

Therefore the sage takes care of all men 
And abandons no one. 
He takes care of all things 
And abandons nothing.

This is called "following the light."

What is a good man? 
A teacher of a bad man. 
What is a bad man? 
A good man's charge. 
If the teacher is not respected, 
And the student not cared for, 
Confusion will arise, however clever one is. 
This is the crux of mystery.


and in wilhem's commentary on the yi jing, hexagram 13 (fellowship with men), line 5:



Nine in the fifth place means:

Men bound in fellowship first weep and lament,
But afterward they laugh.
After great struggles they succeed in meeting.

Two people are outwardly separated, but in their hearts they are united. They are kept apart by their positions in life. Many difficulties and obstructions arise between them and cause them grief. But, remaining true to each other, the allow nothing to separate them, and although it costs them a severe struggle to overcome the obstacles, they will succeed. When they come together their sadness will change to joy. Confucius says of this:

Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings.
Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again.
Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words,
There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence.
But when two people are at one in the inmost hearts,
They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.


   Really, this is what is the missing piece, and I am afraid I won't be satisfactorily buttoned up on this one either. It is the bodhisattva thing that ultimately we are only going to be happy, free and enlightened only when everyone is, all sentient beings, even non-sentient being. That it is going to take a great deal of willing conscious suffering just to keep up with our dues. 'You have to run as fast as you can to keep up,' the red queen said. 'What if you want to get somewhere?' asked alice. 'Then,' said the queen, 'you have to run even faster.' It takes everything we have just to keep body and soul together, and take care of our families. It will taken even more to push this old dhamma wheel around one more time.

   However futile it may sound, 'spinning wheels got to go round.' Nature produces millions of seeds for every one that grows. Still, I wonder if there isn't a crop here. I haven't seen this many people who appear to have "tasted" since the days we were eating psychedelics by the handful. I always wondered why such people (us) couldn't manage to put aside their differences in order to work together. Imagine what a band of dharma misfits might accomplish. (laughing) I'm sure if I knew you all better I wouldn't even entertain the notion. What, us?

   It is well known that if you think you are enlightened, you are deluded. The self cannot be enlightened, it can only be understood and forgotten. (Where can I find a man who has forgotten self, so, uh...I forget...   heheh.) Without the self, "what" still remains is "the whole of the holy life," fellowship." The person we want to enlighten is the One we want to return with to the tao; and the process is the Tao itself, "the Way Waying the Way." There is no personal achievement here; the highest is barely known, and an entity called "the people" to which all belong is able to accomplish things "all by ourselves."


tao te ching (mitchell trans)

17.

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don't trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!"


   When we can see ourselves as unreservedly part of a community, a sangha, without separate aims of our own... Only in this context could a being be said to have attained, but then there would be no one aware of it.

   The whole business of enlightenment is only significant because we are all separated. If people are caught in a disaster, they don't congratulate themselves on their personal escape from injury, they turn to and help the less fortunate. Compassion, not love, is the hallmark of enlightenment. Everyone likes love, but only the compassionate really have it. No matter how much people imagine that all they want is to be loved, it is only in loving and in being love itself that we can experience it. This experience is only found in community: solitude is enabling, but community is fulfilling. To really live in peace, loving your neighbor, you have to really live in peace, and love your neighbor.


   The last thing I would like to get at here in this post - I want to post some more dogen but I think I'll do that separately - has to do with what is real, and what is more real and less real. Some words can rivet you with the laser focus of poetry, while others lead off into meaningless abstraction. Some words are just words, some come from the heart, some indicate action. What gives words substance - makes them "alive" - is what they mean in terms of character. 
 
   When we have a taste of the primal insight, we know what to do. We can even advise others, and maybe be right. But it is like the zen koan about being at the top of a hundred foot pole and required to take a step. You can't grab a hold of this thing and you can't let it go, like the sufi who jumped into the river to get what he thought was a bearskin coat floating by but which actually turned out to be a sodden, angry bear. They shouted from the bank, let go of the coat, and he replied, i'm trying but the coat won't let go of me. Enlightenment is like that; all you can do is wrestle with it, like jacob at peniel; you can't win, only hope not to take too many lumps. It'll take everything you have, sooner or later; best to be a gracious giver.

   I hope I still have your attention, my friend. I'm not wandering, but I can go on and on.


terry



"You see the moon by pointing your finger.
You recognize the finger by the moon.
The moon and the finger
are not different, not the same.
In order to guide a beginner,
this analogy is temporarily used.
When you have realized this,
there is no moon, no finger.”

~ryokan

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/14/18 5:01 PM as a reply to terry.
the promised dogen quotes, all from the shobogenzo (trans nearman):



Mountains are of time: oceans are of time. Were there no time, neither mountains nor oceans could be. Do not think that time does not exist for the mountains and oceans of the present moment. Were time to cease to exist, so would mountains and oceans cease to exist: if time does not become extinct, then mountains and oceans too will not become extinct. This is why the morning star arose, the Tathagata emerged, his clear Eye of Wise Discernment manifested, and the raising of the udumbara flower came about. These are times: were they not times, there could not be any ‘being with It’ here and now.



The transiting of time and being is not to be thought of as wind blowing the rain from east to west. And it would be inaccurate to say that the whole world is unchanging, or that it is motionless: it is in transition. The flow of time and being is like spring, for instance. The spring has an appearance of being abundant in its burgeoning, and we refer to this as its ‘passage’. We should consider well that the spring ‘passes’ without excluding anything within it. In other words, the passing of spring is, to be sure, a passing of what we humans call ‘spring’. ‘Passing’ is not what spring is, but refers to the passage of the springtime; hence, it is a transition that is now being actualized during the time of spring. You would do well to consider and reflect on this very carefully, for in speaking of ‘transiting’, some may think of it in reference to some place physically apart from themselves, which can be reached by turning eastward, say, or by traveling past myriad worlds over millions and millions of eons. But such people are not concentrating simply on the study of the Buddha’s Way.




Should you reckon one-sidedly that time only goes by, you will not comprehend time as something that has not yet arrived. Although we can say that comprehending something also constitutes a time, there is no connection that can link the one to the other. No one with a human carcass who looks on time merely as ‘something that rolls on by me’ can have any insight into the ‘time being’ that persists just for a while, not to even mention the time when the barrier gate to realizing enlightenment is penetrated.

Even if we comprehend that It is what persists, who can express in words what This is that we have realized? Even if, over a long time, we have found ways to express It in words, there is no one yet who has not groped for ways to make It be manifest before your very eyes. Were we to leave the matter of what ‘being for the time being’ means to the way in which ordinary persons understand the phrase, it would be a ‘being for the time being’ in which enlightenment and nirvana were, at best, merely passing characteristics. The ever-present ‘time being’ of which I am speaking cannot be snared like some bird by net or cage: it is what is manifesting before us. It is a time when the heavenly lords and the other celestial inhabitants are now manifesting right and left of us, and are making every effort to do so, even at this very moment. In addition, it is a time when beings of water and land are making every effort to manifest. Beings of all sorts, who are visible or invisible for the time being, are all making every effort to manifest, making every effort to flow on. If they did not make every effort to flow on, not even a single thought or thing would ever manifest: nothing would continue on. You would do well to consider this point.



In short, everything whatsoever that exists in the whole universe is a series of instances of time. Since everything is for the time being, we too are for the time being.




Since we human beings are continually arranging the bits and pieces of what we experience in order to fashion ‘a whole universe’, we must take care to look upon this welter of living beings and physical objects as ‘sometime’ things. Things do not go about hindering each other’s existence any more than moments of time get in each other’s way. As a consequence, the intention to train arises at the same time in different beings, and this same intention may also arise at different times. And the same applies to training and practice, as well as to realizing the Way. In a similar manner, we are continually arranging bits and pieces of what we experience in order to fashion them into what we call ‘a self’, which we treat as ‘myself’: this is the same as the principle of ‘we ourselves are just for a time’.

Because of this very principle of the way things are, the earth in its entirety has myriad forms and hundreds of things sprouting up, each sprout and each form being a whole earth—a point which you should incorporate into your study of the Way, for the recognition of the coming and going of things in this manner is a first step in training and practice. When you reach such a fertile field of seeing the way things really are, then the earth in its entirety will be ‘one whole sprouting, one whole form’; it will be comprised of forms that you recognize and forms that you do not, sproutings that you recognize and sproutings that you do not. It is the same as the times we refer to in ‘from time to time’, which contain all forms of existence and all worlds. So take a moment to look around and consider whether there is any form of being, that is, any ‘world’, that does or does not find expression at this very moment of time.



the above are from the 'being-time' fasicle; the following from 'the rippling of a valley stream':



In short, when you put into practice your intention to seek enlightenment, you should not concern yourself with letting worldly people know that you have given rise to the enlightenment-seeking mind and are practicing the Way. Rather, you should conduct yourself so that they may not know it; even more, you should not speak of it openly. People today who seek Truth are rare; as a result, the majority do not engage themselves in spiritual practice and have not awakened in their hearts. Desirous of praise from others, they seek for someone who will tell them how integrated their practice and understanding are. This is just what ‘being deluded within delusion’ means. You should immediately toss out such ridiculous notions.

When training in the Way, the most difficult thing to experience is the mental attitude of the True Dharma. That attitude of mind is something that Buddhas come to Transmit to each Other. We call this the mutual Transmission of a Buddha’s Light and of a Buddha’s Heart and Mind.
From the time when the Tathagata was in the world up to this very day, the number of fellows who appear to be paying heed to training in the Way with the sole purpose of seeking personal fame and gain have been many. But even in such cases, if they encounter the instructions of a genuine Master, turn themselves around, and seek the True Dharma, they will naturally realize the Way. You who are now training in the Way today need to know that a spiritual illness such as this seeking after fame and gain exists. It can occur, for instance, in those with a beginner’s attitude of mind who have just begun to train, as well as in those, whether Transmitted or not, who have trained and practiced for a long time.

There will be those who dote on what has passed and try to mimic that, and there may even be demons who slander those above them and refuse to learn from them. Do not be attracted to either type or feel resentment towards either. Why do I say not to feel sorry for them or resent them? Because it is said that people who recognize the three poisons of greed, hatred, and delusion to be what they are, are rare enough, so there is no need to feel resentment towards those who do not. Even more importantly, you should not lose sight of the intention that arose when you first took delight in seeking the Way of the Buddhas. It is said that when we first give rise to this intention, we are not seeking the Dharma so that others will praise us, but are discarding thoughts of fame and gain. Without seeking fame or gain, we should simply be persons who hold to the true course of realizing the Way, never concerning ourselves with expectations of recognition or support from rulers or other officials.

Even though this is the ideal, there are some people today who, alas, are devoid of any fundamental spiritual aspirations, having no spiritual goal that they seek, and are not the least concerned over their delusive entanglements with both ordinary people and those in lofty positions. On the other hand, there are some befuddled people who once did have a heart intent on the Way, but have all too quickly forgotten about their original intention and have fallen into error, anticipating offerings from ordinary people and those in lofty positions, which offerings they joyfully consider to be merit accruing to them from the Buddha’s Teachings. If they secure the confidence of some ruler or official, they fancy that they have succeeded in seeing what our Path is. This is one devil of an impediment to training in the Way. Even though you must not lose sight of the heart filled with pity for all beings, you must not delight in forming entangling relationships with them. Look! The Buddha once deigned to express it with His golden words, “Even in the present day, the Tathagata is greatly vilified and envied.” Those who are foolish do not recognize what is bright and wise, which is why little brutes envy and resent great saints.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/16/18 5:14 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:

Rinzai's version of "who is it that thus comes" was to ask, "Who is it who is listening to the dharma before us right now?" It is "us" in its greatest possible sense - we are the One Great Pearl. To the bodhisattva, the universe is composed of living beings. Dogen's nondual twist is to say the universe is composed of *living being* as one-wthout-a-second - "all being" meaning absolutely everything.
Absolutely. There is happening in this moment, and everything, which is one, is what is happening. That is all.

I often/always think of the world I see as complete illusion. When I had a stroke I lost vision in the upper temporal quadrant of the left eye and the upper nasal quadrant of the right eye. For six weeks or so I had none to diminished visual input to the upper left. The mind somehow filled in all that missing data with its own interpolations. I found making left turns very dangerous until the condition resolved. Everything in the bad quadrant seemed dim, as if in low light. I came away viscerally convinced that what we see is strictly "mind-created."
It IS illusion, though the illusion is much simpler than we imagine - just that none of it is apart from what we are. 

The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me: my eye and Gods eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love." - Meister Eckhart

The limits of it's resolution seem possible to fathom. As my separateness unravels, the pixelated quality of both time and how things looks seems to increase. It does not seem to suggest any particular conclusions that weren't seen at Stream Entry, however.

In the Relative layer:

https://www.ted.com/talks/anil_seth_how_your_brain_hallucinates_your_conscious_reality/up-next

https://www.ted.com/talks/donald_hoffman_do_we_see_reality_as_it_is/up-next

IMHO, the entire relative reality is constantly pointing out it's own illusory nature, if you pay attention. Two examples, though the actual nature of how it is illusory is not hinted at.

Once it is all One, then becoming One with it isn't important any longer. The fishtrap is forgotten. Words are used, and forgotten. 
Yes. But it isn't the end of the path. There is seeing. Then there is stabilizing that seeing. I am working in that space. The understanding is always present - but the nondual seeing is not always present, or rather, I don't yet realize that it IS always present. I'm somewhere around 75% to 80%. Those who are stabilized, including a few colleagues, confirm that there is still deepening of insight after non-separateness is complete. Seemingly the path never ends. emoticon
Eventually I want to hook up dogen with the yi jing, zen with daoism. 
You won't have to work hard at it. I use all of that material interchangeably with Buddhism in my teaching. They are just different ends of the telescope, where both ends look at the same thing. The thing that unites them is the mind in between thoughts. Flow in Taoism is achieved perfectly when action is perfected without the thinking mind in Beginners Mind. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, no-one to do, just doing without doing.
   
IPerhaps our "rebirth" is in the past, a rebirth into the deathless, and thus a raft no longer needed, nor to be clung to and dragged around. Climbing back into the birth canal and re-experiencing birth again is not the way; been there, done that. When we look at the past in desire we see its wonders and delights and we project them onto the future as goals. The present is where all the frustration is felt most keenly, which is why we like to be entertained and diverted from "reality." 
The present is always liberation lies. Seeing that this moment is the only one where there is "happening". The key I am realizing is just the same as for all issues. Rest in the nature of mind. Stop practicing. Actualize enlightenment, as Robert Thurman commonly exhorts his listeners.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/16/18 5:30 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
the promised dogen quotes, all from the shobogenzo (trans nearman)

There is definitely some mileage to be had in comparing the translations. The link I posted earlier in the thread has a variety. Cracking Dogen's subtleties was easier once I had a few of them to hand, though Dogen didn't have everything I was looking for. What cracked it was realizing that time has the same "emptiness of separateness" that everything else has, and what that means exactly. Seems obvious now. emoticon

Here is my current best stab at it. I'm still going to edit it, but I'm pretty satisfied with it. 
How Time Is

As we’ve said, things are empty of separateness. 

Just as there are no things, there is no space between these illusory things. Just as there are no things with no space between them, so there are no separate moments, only the illusory space between memories. Memories are not NOW, just as imagined events in the future are not now. Both have the same amount of reality, despite our years of conditioning to the contrary… none. Neither can be interacted with NOW. 

What is real in this moment is a continuous NOW that is always in a flow of happening. 

What makes it appear that there are separate moments, or a past and future? The same thing that makes things appear to be separate with space around them - cognition, or thought. 

When thoughts appear there is the creation separate things to act or interact with that exist in space and move in time. The world of separateness pops into view. 

Time is what eternity looks like when viewed by the mind. - Rupert Spira

When the mind is quiet there is no need to explain or understand anything. There is nothing to explain or understand present. There are no separate things to act on, or actions to take. Similarly, there is no future to be concerned about doing in, or past to review and worry about. Time dries up and becomes irrelevant. There is just the beautiful, quiet pageant of light and color, happening. 

What is time?

Time is a box of collected ideas we group together of cognized characteristics around the idea of “when” things happen. It is assembled from our misunderstandings about the illusion of separateness. 

Using these misunderstandings we create past and future based on memory and attach permanence to them when neither are present in the singular moment of NOW. We gather up all of our thoughts, memories, etc. around the past and future and create a context and artificial timeline for them. We make basic assumptions about when things must have happened based on the conditions we remember in each of the memories. We construct elaborate connecting moments where none are remembered. We depend on mnemonic cues from our environment to construct our false reality. 

Imagine time existing like an arrow, with it’s point (the future) on one end and it’s fletching (the past) on the other. We travel inexorably along the past of the shaft, always in one direction from the remembered past to the imagined future - both constructions of the thinking mind.

What if, instead, time was an eternal and ever present NOW. Imagine that the matter we construct our experience from - the thoughts and sensations - appear in it, just as illusory objects appear as separate things in space. When the thinking mind appears, it catalogues all of these thoughts and sensations and organizes them into a structure that creates a seemingly logical, but entirely fictional order that reinforces it’s tightly held ideas about the arrow of time and the linearity of its nature.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
3/22/18 7:32 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
terry:
the promised dogen quotes, all from the shobogenzo (trans nearman)

There is definitely some mileage to be had in comparing the translations. The link I posted earlier in the thread has a variety. Cracking Dogen's subtleties was easier once I had a few of them to hand, though Dogen didn't have everything I was looking for. What cracked it was realizing that time has the same "emptiness of separateness" that everything else has, and what that means exactly. Seems obvious now. emoticon

Here is my current best stab at it. I'm still going to edit it, but I'm pretty satisfied with it. 
How Time Is

As we’ve said, things are empty of separateness. 

Just as there are no things, there is no space between these illusory things. Just as there are no things with no space between them, so there are no separate moments, only the illusory space between memories. Memories are not NOW, just as imagined events in the future are not now. Both have the same amount of reality, despite our years of conditioning to the contrary… none. Neither can be interacted with NOW. 


What is real in this moment is a continuous NOW that is always in a flow of happening. 

aloha stirling,

 Thanks, bra.

   It can be difficult to separate one topic from another. We keep running into speaking about "space," and have had little discussion of what space actually is. From studying time, I am starting to see space as being like time, rather than the reverse.

   But how can we even speak of space and time if they do not exist? If we begin with the absolute view that "there are no things," we first need to be consistent. There are no things, there are no beings, there are no thoughts; no subjects, no objects. Nada, nada, limonada. No memories, no Now, no you and me having a discussion. It's kind of like using the language appropriate to one onversation and applying it to another based on different assumptions.

   One conversation might be, 'how do super-adept beings, who have been living for many years in isolation with only very high beings for company, absorbed in meditation twenty hours a day, to proceed to final, complete, total realization?' Note that we are not actually like these beings, but we can obtain scriptures, perhaps dzogchen, very high stuff, and we can imagine being like them. We can read about the fine interface between moments, in which we cognize and let go simultaneously (see "old man basking in the sun" by dowman, great stuff). We may think of this as a very high level of consciousness, worthy of our attempts to grasp it, however beyond us. Inspiring to think about.

   Another conversation might be about how we actually perceive time and space, as opposed to the dualistic fictions that we routinely use to navigate through social situations involving herd mind(s). I think even very high beings about to enter final nirvana still know at some level the nature of relativistic time and space.

   You speak of the continuous "NOW" that is always in a flow of happening. The "eternal now" of the fleeting moment is well known to both eastern and western philosophy and literature. I would suggest the idea is fatally flawed by misunderstanding, at best. The now of fleeting instances generally papers over an underlying sense of time passing second by second, minute by minute, in uniform flow. I have been trying to suggest that we can get around this problem of confusing linear clock time with subjective "being time" by defining a "moment" as something thus far unspecified which includes enough data to be recognized as a moment regardless of clocktime duration.

   A "moment," to be cognizable has to include the recognition of objects and thoughts. It has to include the memories of other, similar objects in order to classify and categorize in the normal way that leads to recognition. (No cognition without recognition.) Any object we view is comprised of desire and memory. Memory like a hall of mirrors, reflecting on anything that seems relevant; even, dream-like, on puns and meaningless associations which we can hardly be aware of without paying close attention. We would drown in meningless detail if we didn't do a lot of forgetting.

   One of the things about dialogue, as opposed to monologue, is that your partner will rarely let you proceed at your own pace, in your own time; it's good though, moves things along. I find I need to come up with some sort of more solid notion of what a moment is, in this context. A moment of "being time." A moment could be defined as a period of minimal cognizable change; this definition is generally used in a reductionist way, even by zennists, to come to the absolute minimum unit of cognizable change. There is a point to that sort of reduction. Augustine pointed out that the more we smear our attention across longer periods of time - his example was a long memorized liturgy which had to be performed exactly - the more we suffer anxiety and attachment. To reduce attention to the tiniest portion of time possible would seem to be closer to complete non-attachment. Perhaps breath meditation accomplishes this kind of thing, reducing the moment to a bare minimum of awareness of its passage, or of its continuous passage. (Dogen speaks of "passageless passage." This is beyond reductionism, I think.)

   I'm not concerned with reducing a moment to its smallest part, my interest is to see a moment as a whole, as a complete cycle. Divisions of a cycle are arbitrary, while the cycles themselves, indivisible, are wholes (koestler's "holons" - each a complete whole in a hierarchy of wholes, little holons subsumed by hierarchically greater holons). The universe is a whole; ram dass used to say, "the smallest particle in the universe is the universe." We might say, the universe has its cosmic moment, its own being-time. Science tells us the big bang happened at noon on a tuesday, 13.8 billion years ago; they surmise it will end on a friday, when the energy entropically runs out. That would be a universal moment, from explosion to motionless dust. One of an infinite number of such moments, perhaps. Every black hole could be another universe, from beginning to end. Each "whole," - star, human, dust particle, etc - has its moment, its complete, indivisible cycle.

   Within the cycle which is our complete moment, we know there is change. These changes may be perceived by human consciousness. Everything we "see" is a change from what we "just saw." The moment of cognizable change is the moment I am trying to grasp here. It is a "subjective" moment in the sense that it is not tied to "objective" clock time. It is not repeat not linear - the subjective moment overlaps with other subjective moments, and interpenetrates with them. For example, we may be angry at some recent event, and then something else occurs and because we were already angry, we react especially badly. There is feedback, feed forward and every other thing; as dogen says the future affects the present and the past, and so forth. If we observe ourselves it is easy to see how events and our emotional reactions to them are deeply interactive and motives are very complex if not downright murky. Yet, if we describe our behavior, even to ourselves, we think of specific motivation and reasoned action, and lay this fiction over what we actually experience so effectively that if often becomes our predominant memory of the event. Nietzsche said, “I have done that', says my memory. I cannot have done that—says my pride and remains unshakeable. Finally—memory yields.” More than that, we impose a rationalized, sanitized version of events over our reality as actually perceived, to the point of deep anxiety and confusion.

   This is why I am concerned with the area of the "really real" between the absolute reality of One Bright Pearl and the phenomenal reality of the lower realms. You may think, there is no crack between heaven and earth, they are continuous, so what realm of the really real is he speaking of? The realm of the desire for nirvana.

   You stated that thoughts and cognition create illusion, but that begs the question of where thoughts come from; it also implies getting rid of thoughts will correct the situation. Dogen's idea was that thoughts and objects were the same stuff, nama-rupa. The dhamma indicates that desire generally is what prevents liberation, but that it is all right to desire the dhamma and want to live the Way. If we understand how desire creates thoughts and objects, that the worldly see and think about what gratifies the senses, and the means to get what can gratify the senses, then from this insight we may proceed to think about what we see if our only desire is to attain the buddha dhamma.

   Lets say we have given up all wanting for fame and gain, for ourselves or anyone we care about. All we want for anyone - everyone - is buddha dhamma. Prajna, vipassana (wisdom, insight): it is all we care about, our delight. We want these with a profound thirst, "like a tiger with an insatiable craving" (yi jing). All we see, if this is our condition, is the means for enlightenment. All we care about is practice, suttas, fellowship - dhamma, buddha, sangha. All being(s) is our sangha, and our buddha and dhamma, too. (May all beings be happy.)

   Dogen says that, in the buddha dharma, the aspiration, the practice and the attainment are all one. That is, they are all one moment. From the instant we hold the aspiration to attain  in the buddha way, we are in that enlightenment Moment. Every time we sit down to sit, we focus on the desire to attain, and we are There. Here, Now, we are It. The aspiration itself is known as Beginner's Mind, the realization Zen Mind; both Minds know they are One Mind. (This is host vs host to rinzai, and the buddha enlightening the buddha to dogen.) All satori or kensho experiences are in This Moment. All self-awareness as an aspirant is in This Moment. All practice is ceaseless practice in the immediate moment. Our whole lives are one enlightenment moment, from birth to parinibbana. Our whole existence as One Bright Pearl, a complete universe, a string of universes, is actually This Moment.

   And as we grandly arrive at the culmination of the Moment, the cycle continues past its beginning and ending ('riverrun, past eve and adam's" opens joyce's FW) and suddenly we are in the dark again, striking a light and saying, what have we here? Something new always arises and requires new insight to stay free of attachment, or get free of attachment. As soon as we try to grasp at something, we have erred, there is no pause in the unfolding moment, and there are always other moments going on at the same time. The most profound insight, a vision of shiva - and the next moment you have to pee. (I love "voiding" urine; like "emptying" the bowels, it is a pungent metaphor for enlightenment.)

   Time as we actually experience it, then, involves our consciousness dealing with emergent problems while at the same time trying to deal with other ongoing problematic situations. Heidegger discusses how we mediate reality through the use of tools. He sees the world as technological (post-biological; really new thinking relative to the insights of nietzsche, freud and bergson) and points out that we surround ourselves with tools (look around). A tool is an object about which you can say we use it "in order to," as we use a pen to write. These tools are completely forgotten by consciousness as long as they work; they are just extensions of our body and mind. When they don't work, it is a pain, dissatisfying, dukkha. For heidegger, this human way of engaging the world is singularly "inauthentic." Without meaningful projects of our own, all we are aware of is broken tools and dissatisfaction. Our increasingly technological environment creates a great deal of stress in dealing with "tools" (everything, and everybody as well, to a materialist) which do not perform as we expect. Even heidegger's "authenticity" seems rather hopeless; you appear to end up being only authentic to yourself, so the line between this sort of satisfaction and delusion might be hard to discern. He also missed the desirablility of minimizing and optimizing the tools in our lives and living a simple life with no more stress than is healthy (our capacity to enjoy stress varies by person, experience, condition and age). 

  Martin buber speaks of the sef-sufficient self as opposed to the engaged self: I-and-it vs I-and-thou. If we see the world as simply our environment, we are the central being and the world appears to exist for our benefit; we can help ourseves to whatever we want - everything we see - and that will make us happy. Alternatively, if we see ourselves as a part of the world and the world as part of us, we can relate to Other, to Thou, to you, as "being" of equal worth and value, co-arising and mutually creative. We are One in dialogue, in relatedness; separate as opposing points of view, but one in undertatnding each other, in being grounded in the tao. Each related to the Absolute One as imaging mirror; each related to each other similarly, the one moon reflected in each (apparently separate) drop.

   Summing up, there is a third sort of time - dogen called it "being-time" - besides the absolute changelessness of the One Bright Pearl and the clock time of the phenomenal world which we construct for social purposes. There is a special sor of time for enlightenment, for way-seeking people, which involves seeing each individual moment of time as a "dharma situation," a movement from ignorance to enlightenment, from aspiration to attainment. Dogen's repeated insistence that these "times" are real in themselves but are also  "one moment" indicates this.

   Let's say we are practicing buddhists (or a reasonable facsimile), somewhere on the path between enlightenment and nirvana. That is, we have seen the truth like a lightning flash showing the entire landscape, but it gets dark again until the next flash; maybe there is moonlight but sunlight has not appeared. We find ourselves feeling bad, or sad, or guilty, and know we are attached, and usually the attachment is right there, making itself felt by all means. We search our hearts, find the desire causing the attachment, see through the ignorance and insignificance of the desire, and don't feel bad anymore - that, is a "moment," one that could be great or small, long or short. In the absence of judging beings, of wanting things, we feel absolutely free, until the next attachment. These "attachment/enlightenment" situations overlap and we may have many going on at once, so many it may be hard to see the ground beneath all those attachments, hard to keep faith. All you can do then is let the mud settle.

   Alice asked the hookah-smoking caterpillar, "Which way should I go, sir?' He replied, after a thoughtful puff, "That depends on where you want to get to." Alice said, "I don't know right now, I'm so confused; it is so wretched being six inches tall." The caterpillar, raising himself up to his full six inches of height and turning to go, said, "Then it doesn't matter which way you go." People ask, where do I go from here? and the answer is, there is nowhere to go from here, here is the only place there is. The ttc says, "The tao means return." It is always a coming, never a going; it "thus comes."

   The only way to see what I am talking about is to look inside one's own mind, and see for oneself that time as we actually experience it and time as we describe it and (usually) think of it are very different. If we can bring our actual experience into line with what we think we are doing, we may have less anxiety and more self-awareness (not to mention the ability to predict the future, that is to see the present more largely). Like meditation practice, this sort of insight into our attachment situations or dharma situations becomes an accumulating force after awhile, and we may become less and less attached, and more capable of dealing with emergent situations as they arise without losing it, not being already preoccupied by numerous other entanglements and at our wits end, unable to cope. Each of us as individuals is somewhere on that line between aspiring and realization, and this "line" is a single Moment of ignorance-changing-to-enlightenment. Each karmic situation we are involved in is a mircrocosm of freeing-from-attachment, "self-extinguishing passions" doing their thing.

  Or at least, that is how I see it today. Since you are pushing me (wink).

   Thanks for the discussion, my friend, please don't mind if I take a little time between posts; I do other stuff sometimes.

   The more I think about space, I think that it could be called "being-space" and is more like time as I redefine it that it is like space in the phenomenal world or in scientism. I take exception to "continuous flow" in either time or space.

   Lastly you are right about the translations; in truth, none of the ones I have seen seem adequate. I wish I knew medieval japanese. I found a lot of good comparison in joan stambaugh's "impermanence is buddha nature; dogen's view of temporality," plus the book is right on what I want to study. Joan also is the major translator of heidegger in english, so brings deep study and insight to the time question from that work. Marvelous stuff. It does point out the inadequacy of the  translating and scholarly understanding of dogen currently, but lots of work is being done, perhaps new translations will come along to help.

terry



"See and realize
that this world
is not permanent.
Neither late nor early flowers
will remain.”

~ryokan


   

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
7/5/18 5:00 AM as a reply to terry.
aloha,

   We have been told and may believe or even intuitively know that time is an illusion. But how are we to understand such an assertion? Dogen would have us take this article of faith and examine it closely, study it deeply, and come to understand for ourselves how it is.

   The following excerpt is from hannah arendt's "the life of the mind" (1971).

terry

   


(from) 20. The gap between past and future: the nunc stans

In the hope of finding out where the thinking ego is located in time and whether its relentless activity can be temporally determined, I shall turn to one of Kafka’s parables, which, in my opinion, deals precisely with this matter. The parable is part of a collection of aphorisms entitled “HE.”
 
He has two antagonists; the first presses him from behind, from his origin. The second blocks the road in front of him. He gives battle to both. Actually, the first supports him in his fight with the second, for he wants to push him forward, and in the same way the second supports him in his fight with the first, since he drives him back. But it is only theoretically so. For it is not only the two antagonists who are there, but he himself as well, and who really knows his intentions? His dream, though, is that some time in an unguarded moment—and this, it must be admitted, would require a night darker than any night has ever been yet—he will jump out of the fighting line and be promoted, on account of his experience in fighting, to the position of umpire over his antagonists in their fight with each other. 
 
   For me this parable describes the time sensation of the thinking ego. It analyzes poetically our "inner state" in regard to time, of which we are aware when we have withdrawn from appearances and find our mental activities recoiling characteristically upon themselves - cogito me cogitare, nolo me velle, and so on. The inner time sensation arises when we are not entirely absorbed by the absent non-visibles we are thinking about but begin to direct our attention onto the activity itself. In this situation past and future are equally present precisely because they are equally absent from our sense; thus the no-longer of the past is transformed by virtue of the spatial metaphor into something lying behind us, and the not-yet of the future into something that approaches us from ahead (the German Zukunft, like the French avenir, means, literally, What comes toward). In Kafka, this scene is a battleground where the forces of past and future clash with each other. Between them we find the man Kafka calls "He," who, if he wants to stand his ground at all, must give battle to both forces. The forces are "his" antagonists; they are not just opposities and would hardly fight with each other without "him" standing between them and making a stand against them; and even if such an antagonism were somehow inherent in the two and they could fight each other without "him," they would have long ago neutralized and destroyed each other, since as forces they clearly are equally powerful.
   In other words, the time continuum, everlasting change, is broken up into the tenses past, present, future, whereby past and future are antagonistic to each other as the no-longer and the not-yet only because of the presence of man, who himself has an "origin," his birth, and an end, his death, and therefore stands at any given moment between them; this in-between is called the present. It is the insertion of man with his limited life span that transforms the continuously flowing stream of sheer change - which we can conceive cyclically as well as in the form of rectilinear motion without ever being able to conceive of an absolute beginning or an absolute end - into time as we know it.
   This parable in which two of time’s tenses, the past and the future, are understood as antagonistic forces that crash into the present Now, sounds very strange to our ears, whichever time concept we may happen to hold. The extreme parsimony of Kafka’s language, in which for the sake of the fable’s realism every actual reality that could have engendered the thought-world is eliminated, may cause it to sound stranger than the thought itself requires. I shall therefore use a curiously related story of Nietzsche’s in the heavily allegorical style of Thus Spake Zarathustra. It is much easier to understand because it concerns, as its title says, merely a “Vision” or a “Riddle.” The allegory begins with Zarathustra’s arrival at a gateway. The gateway, like every gateway, has an entrance and an exit, that is, can be seen as the meeting-place of two roads.

   "Two paths meet here; no one has yet followed either to its end. This long lane stretches back into eternity. And the other long lane out there, that is another eternity. They contradict each other, these roads; they offend each other face to face - and it is here, at this gateway, that they come together. The name of the gateway is inscribed above: "Now" ["Augenblick"].... Behold this Now! From this gateway Now, a long lane leads backward; behind this lies an eternity [and another lane leads forward into an eternal future]."
   
   Heidegger, who interprets the passage in his Nietzsche, observes that this view is not the view of the beholder but only that of the man who stands in the gateway; for the onlooker, time passes in the way we are used to think of it, in a succession of nows where one thing always succeeds another. There is no meeting-place; there are not two lanes or roads, there is only one. “The clash is produced only for the one who himself is the now.... Whoever stands in the Now is turning in both directions: for him Past and Future run against each other.” And, summing up in the context of Nietzsche’s doctrine of Eternal Recurrence, Heidegger says: “This is the authentic content of the doctrine of Eternal Recurrence, that Eternity is in the Now, that the Moment is not the futile Now which it is only for the onlooker, but the clash of Past and Future.” (You have the same thought in Blake—“Hold infinity in the palm of your hand/And eternity in an hour.”)
   Returning to Kafka, we should remember that all these instances are dealing not with doctrines or theories but with thoughts related to the experiences of the thinking ego. Seen from the standpoint of a continuously flowing everlasting stream, the insertion of man, fighting in both directions, produces a rupture which, by being defended in both directions, is extended to a gap, the present seen as the fighter's battleground. This battleground for Kafka is the metaphor for man's home on earth. Seen from the viewpoint of man, at each single moment inserted and caught in the middle between his past and his future, both aimed at the one who is creating his present, the battleground is an in-between, an extended Now on which he spends his life. The present, in ordinary life the most futile and slippery of the tenses - when I say "now" and point to it, it is already gone - is no more that the clash of a past, which is no more, with a future, which is approaching and not yet there. Man lives in this in-between, and what he calls the present is a life-long fight against the dead weight of the past, driving him forward with hope, and the fear of a future (whose only certainty is death), driving him backward toward "the quiet of the past" with nostalgia for and remembrance of the only reality he can be sure of.

   It should not unduly alarm us that this time construct is totally different from the time sequence of ordinary life, where the three tenses smoothly follow each other and time itself can be understood in analogy to numerical sequences, fixed by the calendar, according to which the present is today, the past begins with yesterday, and the future begins tomorrow. Here, too, the present is surrounded by past and future inasmuch as it remains the fixed point from which we take our bearings, looking back or looking forward. That we can shape the everlasting stream of sheer change into a time continuum we owe not to time itself but to the continuity of our business and our activities in the world, in which we continue what we started yesterday and hope to finish tomorrow. In other words, the time continuum depends on the continuity of our everyay life, in contrast to the activity of the thinking ego - always independent of the spatial circumstances surrounding it - is always spatially determined and conditioned. It is due to this thoroughgoing spatiality of our ordinary life that we can speak plausibly of time in spatial catgories, that the past can appear to us as something lying "behind" us and the future lying "ahead."
   Kafka’s time parable does not apply to man in his everyday occupations but only to the thinking ego, to the extent that it has withdrawn from the business of everyday life. The gap between past and future opens only in reflection, whose subject matter is what is absent—either what has already disappeared or what has not yet appeared. Reflection draws these absent “regions” into the mind’s presence; from that perspective the activity of thinking can be understood as a fight against time itself. It is only because “he” thinks, and therefore is no longer carried along by the continuity of everyday life in a world of appearances, that past and future manifest themselves as pure entities, so that “he” can become aware of a no-longer that pushes him forward and a not-yet that drives him back.
  Kafka’s tale is, of course, couched in metaphorical language, and its images, drawn from everyday life, are meant as analogies, without which, as has already been indicated, mental phenomena cannot be described at all. And that always presents difficulties of interpretation. The specific difficulty here is that the reader must be aware that the thinking ego is not the self as it appears and moves in the world, remembering its own biographical past, as though "he" were a la recherche du temps perdu or planning his future. It is because the thinking ego is ageless and nowhere that past and future can become manifest to it as such, emptied, as it were, of their concrete content and liberated from all spatial categories. What the thinking ego senses as "his" dual antagonists are time itself, and the constant change it implies, the relentless motion that transforms all Being into Becoming, instead of letting it be, and and thus incessantly destroys its being present. As such, time is the thinking ego's greatest enemy because - by virtue of the mind's incarnation in a body whose internal motions can never be immobilized - time inexorably and regularly interrupts the immobile quiet in which the mind is active without doing anything.
   This final meaning of the parable comes to the fore in the concluding sentence, when “he,” situated in the time gap, which is an immovable present, a nunc stans, dreams of the unguarded moment when time will have exhausted its force; then quiet will settle down on the world, not an eternal quiet but just lasting long enough to give “him” the chance of jumping out of the fighting line to be promoted to the position of umpire, the spectator and judge outside the game of life, to whom the meaning of this time span between birth and death can be referred because “he” is not involved in it.
   What are this dream and this region but the old dream Western metaphysics has dreamt from Parmenides to Hegel, of a timeless region, an eternal presence in a complete quiet, lying beyond human clocks and calenders altogether, the region, precisely, of thought? And what is the "position of umpire," the desire for which prompts the dream, but the seat of Pythagoras' spectators, who are "the best" because they do not participate in the struggle for fame and gain, are disinterested, uncommitted, undisturbed, intent only on the spectacle itself? It is they who can find out its meaning and judge the performance.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
7/6/18 3:07 AM as a reply to terry.
aloha,

   The above excerpt from hannah arendt has nothing on emily dickinson's brief poem.

terry


I DWELL IN POSSIBILITY
BY EMILY DICKINSON

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
7/7/18 8:29 AM as a reply to terry.
Aloha, terry.

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
10/9/18 5:14 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
aloha chris and all,

   I just reread my original post in this thread, and your original reply, which went like this:



My meditation practice has brought me to the insight/realization that both time and space are deeply held mental constructs that allow us to make sense of our moment to moment experience. Time and space are not absolutes. My guess is that this is more or less what Dogen and Dzogchen masters are getting at when they talk about time.

FWIW
(chris marti)

    I'd like to wrap up my contribution to the understanding of time as expressed in this thread...

    I agree with chris, with the caveat that wht is "deeply held" may yet be uprooted. "Time" as it is signified and understood is an abstract idea; as such it is essentially meaningless. Consider (with berkeley) the abstract idea of "motion." To think of motion we must think of an object or objects actually in motion. We can universalize the capacity of objects to move, and we can manipulate the abstract concept of motion, but when we get away from perceivable fact of moving objects into the abstraction of motion, we only wind up in paradox and confusion, or in obscurity (with aristotle).

   Also, the idea of "time" is an extension of the idea of "space," which is equally abstract and unreal. Mere extension along cartesian lines. Even science has abandoned the concept of newtonian time, if only into the equally unreal einsteinian (space-) time.

   So what remains for us to understand, once we have abandoned the conventional, conditioned "objective" view?

   The actual experience of impermanence can be known as "temporality," the aspect of being which allows us to distinguish earlier and later. Similarly, the reality (perception) of space, that is, "extension," is the aspect of being which allows us to distinguish nearer and farther.

   Thus, temporality is a nondual continuum of before and after, history and destiny. Extension is a nondual continuum of nearer and farther. The dhamma, dependent co-arising of phenomena, is the only Real.

   So I understand. I need to say something about understanding, I want to start another thread on nonduality but it has to be understood that understanding itself is a weak reed. It is a small subset of consciousness and consciousness itself is a tiny subset of the "whole human being." (Cf freud, "the ego and the id," where the ego is a tiny epiphenomenon of the id...the sufis tell a story of a man who grows a beard so large and full that eventually it was mistaken for his head.)

    Understanding is "a painted ship upon a painted ocean" (coleridge, of course). Walter benjamin speaks of reading a faded text upon which is written a script outlining and explaining the text in more vivid ink. We have to read the script before we can penetrate the text. Idries shah recommends we examine our assumptions, and then examine the assumptions behind our assumptions.

   If we manage to penetrate to the truth, we find it empty of words and full of meaning. In the nirvana sutra, the buddha  speaks for fifty years and never says a word. From idries shah's "learning how to learn" comes the following:


SILENCE AND SPEECH

One good example is found in Hujwiri's Revelation of the Veiled (Nicholson's translation, 1911):
'I have read in the Anecdotes that one day when Abu-Bakr Shibli [one of the most eminent of the ancient Sufis] was walking in the Karkh quarter of Baghdad he heard an impostor saying: "Silence is better than speech".

'Shibli replied: "Thy silence is better than thy speech, but my speech is better than my silence, because thy speech is vanity and thy silence is an idle jest, whereas my silence is modesty and my speech is silence." '


   In silence the polarities are resolved. The mind of the sage and the mind of the fool are one mind, one continuum: we are sage-like and foolish by turns. The best seem quite enlightened, the worst seem hopeless, but as the koran says, "I am but a man like yourselves, to whom it has been revealed that your god is One god...". Hui-neng returned to teaching with the observation that "Neither flag nor wind is moving, it is mind that is moving." Neither the sage nor the ignorant is True; the One Mind, pure and luminous for sage or fool, always underlies all experience and can be realized, though not through understanding, but through thoughtless meditation. There are no sages, there are no fools, there is just "us." One mind, in nonduality resolving all opposites in one all-illuminating light.

   That's about it for this topic. I would like to speak more about nonduality, and the limits of understanding, and the hermeneutical circle, but elsewhere.

terry


I want to leave this with an excerpt from the encomium to the platform sutra by qisong, the great master mingjiao of the song, from mcrae's "the platform sutra of the sixth patriarch":


The Way of heaven resides in change, the Way of earth resides in selection, and the Way of the sages resides in the essential (yao). [!!!!!] The essential is a term for the most wondrous. The essential is the Way of the sages, and is therefore the hingepin of the gate of the dharmadhātu, the meeting of the immeasurable doctrines, the unembellished vehicle of the Mahayana. How could the Lotus not but say, “You should understand that the wondrous Dharma is the essential secret (miyao) of the buddhas.” How could the Flower Garland not but say, “With a bit of expedient means, quickly does one achieve bodhi.” The essential, then—how great is its benefit in the Way of the sages!

Therefore, the central doctrine (zong) of the Platform Sutra is the honoring of the essential of the mind (xinyao). The mind is as if bright, as if dark, as if empty, as if numinous, as if serene, as if awakened. It possesses things and is without things. Say it is a single thing, and it originally extends over the ten thousand things. Say it is the ten thousand things, and it is originally unified in a single thing. A single thing resembling the ten thousand things, the ten thousand things resembling a single thing: such descriptions [imply that the mind] is conceivable, but it can neither be thought of nor conceived of.

The world (tianxia) calls it the mysterious understanding (xuanjie), they call it the divine comprehension (shenhui), they call it beyond relativities (juedai), they call it the silent essence (moti), they call it the obscure penetration (mingtong). Transcend all of them, do away with them, do away with them, and away again! Furthermore, how could one reach such [a state]? Were it not ultimately attained by solitary transmission from the Perfected Man, who could sincerely embody it? Inferring, he explicates it, and there is nowhere he cannot go. Probing, he resolves it, and there is nowhere he is not correct.

Applying it to realization of the nature, his views are perfectly intimate. Applying it to cultivation, his proceedings are perfectly correct. Apply- ing it to the elevation of virtue and the discrimination of illusions, the true and the false are easily manifested. Applying it to transcendence of the world, the enlightenment of buddhahood is quickly achieved. Applying it to saving the world, the enervating defilements are easily ended. This is the central doctrine (zong) of the Platform Sutra, which may be disseminated throughout the world without opposition [from anyone].
Those who say [the dictum] “the mind is buddhas” is shallow do not know the extent [of their own minds]! It is as if they were to measure the earth with a broken auger and call the earth shallow; it is as if they were to probe heaven through a hole in the back corner of a roof and call heaven small. How could heaven and earth be so! Therefore, although the [masters of the] hundred houses may be a little better than this, they are not like [the perfection of the Platform Sutra]. The Perfected Man penetrates and permeates it, and his determination [of the truth] is seen to be in accord with the scriptures. The Perfected Man transforms and penetrates it, being unembodied in names (i.e., words) and inscrutable.

Therefore, there is moral and meaning in [Huineng’s] manifest preaching; there is no beginning or end of his secret preaching. Those whose natural abilities are sharp will attain it profoundly; those whose natural abilities are dull will attain it shallowly. Could it be described? Could it be expressed? If one were constrained to approximate it, then it is equivalent to the perfect and sudden teaching, the Supreme Vehicle, the Pure Chan of the Tathāgata, the Correct Doctrine of the Bodhisattvas’ Storehouse. Those who discuss it call it the Learning of the Mystery (xuanxue), and is this not exactly the case? The world refers to it as a school (zongmen), and is this not appropriate?

When the Platform Sutra says, “Meditation and wisdom are the fundamental,” [it is because] these are the beginning of one’s progress to enlightenment (dao, the “Way”). Meditation is tranquility, and wisdom is illumination (ming). Illuminating, one contemplates; tranquil, one pacifies. Pacifying the mind, one understands the mind (tixin). Contemplating the Way, one may speak of the Way.

The “samādhi of the single practice” (yixing sanmei) is a term for the one characteristic of the dharmadhātu ( fajie yixiang). Although the ten thousand forms of good are said to be different, they are all within the single practice.

“The formless is the essence” (wuxiang wei ti) is to honor the great precepts. “Nonthought is the doctrine” (wunian wei zong) is to honor the great meditation. “Nonabiding is the fundamental” (wuzhu wei ben) is to honor the great wisdom. Precepts, meditation, and wisdom constitute the Way penetrated by the three vehicles. The wondrous mind (miaoxin) is the great source of precepts, meditation, and wisdom; with the single wondrous mind one unifies the three Dharmas. Therefore, it is called great.


and playing in the background, from nobel laureate bobby zimmerman (via nina simone):


I SHALL BE REALEASED

They say every thing can be replaced
They say every distance is not near
So I remember every face
Of every man who put me here
I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
They say every man needs protection
They say every man must fall
So, I swear I see my reflection
Somewhere inside these walls
I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
Yonder standing next to me in this lonely crowd
A man who says he's not to blame
All day long I hear him hollering so loud
Just crying out that he's not to blame
I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

RE: time being and dogen
Answer
10/26/18 3:33 PM as a reply to terry.
aloha,

   I thought I was finished with this, but my project of reviewing western philosophy for eastern ideas in general and my focus on time in particular has led me back to dogen.

   One of the challenges of studying ancient and medieval philosophy is that the texts can only be understood in their contexts. To understand a philosopher one must know both the contemporary culture and the previous thinkers whose ideas were influential. One conventional hobbyhorse for budding western philosophers has been the "question" of "free will vs predestination." This is a question deeply bound up with (mis)conceptions of time. As these misconceptions were not shared by medieval japanese thinkers, they did not concern themselves with predestination vs free will.

   Where dogen comes into this actually refers to what is taken for granted in dogen's intellectual legacy. It was a commonplace in those days to refer to the "three worlds" or "triple world." By this they meant past, present and future. Consider that by "three worlds" they actually meant, three distinct worlds. According to dogen, the past penetrates the future, the future penetrates the past, and both penetrate the present, and the present penetrates both. A clue from the work of duns scotus (which I got from hannah arendt's excellent "life of the mind") may open this up to deeper understanding.

   The error of pre-destination comes from using the past as one's view of time, and extrapolating it into the present and future. The past we presume to be fixed and unchanging, though it is hardly that, memory being what it is. If we take the past as fixed and unchanging, and there is nothing we can do about it, it is easy to project the past on the future, and regard the future as what is destined to happen, stemming from causes implicit in the past. This is the way histories are written, as though what occurred was inevitable and could be read in the testimonies of the past. Thus we understand the great war to be started by kings or by generals or by economic forces, while in fact some schlep (putz?) stumbled across an oblivious archduke and almost accidentally managed to kill him. By one contingency after another events proceeded to war, as "for want of a shoe a kingdom was lost."

   So this was duns scotus' contribution, unique among western philosophers, according to arendt, who knew them all: that we can view the past in terms of contingency, as well as view the future in terms of the fixity of the past. Instead of looking at the flow of time as fixed events occurring inevitably, we may look at the past as a concatenation of individual choices made by creatures whose "free will" (a redundancy, as will implies choice) is always active. As behaviorist b f skinner formulated "the harvard law of animal behavior": "when stimulations are repeatedly applied under precisely controlled conditions the animal behaves as it damn well pleases." Real history is a result of all of the contingencies which occur as creatures - indeed all of the cosmos - act in accordance with their "own sweet will."

   No one understood better than dogen that multiple views liberate us from attachment to the assumptions inherent in believing in a singuar view. To see the present informed by the future, is one view, that of contingency, chance events and individual decisions. To see the present informed by the past, is another view, one of fate or destiny. These views are available to us when the past is informed by the future, and the future is informed by the past. I think this sort of thinking was implicit in dogen, taken for granted in his elevated culture, and he didn't necessarily have to spell it in detail. (If he did, I haven't seen it; he may well have.)

   Western ideas can help illuminate profound eastern texts, but the eastern texts are so much more advanced than western thought has yet to reach, they often remain obscure in western terms, and take some attention and care to bring them out into the light.

terry


what hardly occurs to the philosopher may be well known to the poet:


COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 3, 1802
BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

Earth has not anything to show more fair: 
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by 
A sight so touching in its majesty: 
This City now doth, like a garment, wear 
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, 
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie 
Open unto the fields, and to the sky; 
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. 
Never did sun more beautifully steep 
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill; 
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! 
The river glideth at his own sweet will: 
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; 
And all that mighty heart is lying still!