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Koans


Forums Forums General Discussion Koans

This topic contains 16 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Xain 2 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #303392

    Xain
    Participant

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/zen-buddhism-koan_n_563251dce4b0631799115f3c

     

    So apparently Koans aren’t these statements that are “open to interpretation”, they do have an answer and supposedly the answer given shows how far one is on the path.

    Looking at a few of these, some of the conclusions seem………off. Like about there not being a world “out there”, or how we take too much for granted because……….something. One mentioned that a common regret they heard from people dying is that they weren’t “there” for most of their life. I don’t know who he talked to because the most common regrets that I hear are the things that people never got to do or say because they never went for it or assumed they would always have the time for. Things left undone would be the most common, not “not being there” for most of their life, never heard that one.

    #303394

    I don’t know who he talked to because the most common regrets that I hear are the things that people never got to do or say because they never went for it or assumed they would always have the time for.

    Things left undone would be the most common,

    not “not being there” for most of their life,

    never heard that one.

    Hmmm, sounds to me like they are two sides of the same coin.  Why didn’t they ever do what they wanted?

    Because they were never “There” enough to jump on that pony.  Or weren’t “There” enough to appreciate the difference between doable and dreams, so they could sort that out all that while still were vibrant and living with time on their hands.

    #303395

     

    … so they could sort that out all that while still were vibrant and living with time on their hands …

    #303397

    Xain
    Participant

    I don’t think it’s a matter of not being there. It’s more like a matter of not taking the step to act on it

    #303400

    They seem like the basically the same thing, to me.

    How do you think they are different?

    #303405

    Xain
    Participant

    Because you can be “there” but not take the plunge. It’s different. It’s like the difference between going to an amusement park but not going on the coasters. You’re there, but you don’t have the nerve to do it. It’s not the same.

    #303406

    For me it’s more about having all my senses open as best I can and absorbing the moment best I can.

    To me whether you’re in the roller coaster or watching the roller is secondary – because which you are depends on all sort of different things beyond your control.  How you deal with the moments life dishes out to you, now that is the secret to dancing life’s wild stair steps.

    I’ve been a poor boy, only by accepting my situation and “that” job or another and then by doing ‘that’ one as good as I could, did I open up the potential for experiences I could never hoped for, or achieved, if that’s what I was preoccupied with some bucket list.

     

    {It’s not the job that’s important, it’s how well you are doing that job, that’s most important.  No matter what that job may be.}

     

    It’s not about the golden ring or clicking off some preconceived bucket list.  It’s about life happening to YOU and suddenly you finding yourself with this thing that was totally unexpected, couldn’t have been planned for.  Yet there you are with this little infant entrusted into your arms and it’s like, okay dude, do the best with this you can, soak in the blessing and experience with all your heart and awareness.  It’s happened to me before with unbelievably fantastic cascading consequences.  Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans.  Not that we shouldn’t make plans, just don’t take them too seriously – there may be a great surprise beyond the corner.   ;- }
    But the point is, this situation (lover, job, living situation, vulnerable human, unexpected adventure, whatever) is what providence handed to you, don’t overlook it, don’t waste it by paying more attention to what you fantasize others have and you are missing.  That’s the sure way to miss the profound blessings life offers each of us as we dance our way across life’s stage and back into nothingness.

    #303407

    At least for me that’s what it’s about.  They who die with a life full of experiences and having positively touched the most people along way, is the winner.

    If you want a reason for living that works for me.  Having a good code of ethics living up to it.  Learning and looking back from a ripe old age with a smile, contentment, even satisfaction.  That is the secret to life and dying with dignity.

     

    Actually now that I mention it, at times the goal in a man’s life was to die a heroic death.

    Or on a personal level, shall you die cringing and scared – or will you be able to move forward into it ready for what comes.

    Which I myself am sure is black silence, eternal blessed sleep.

    #303419

    Xain
    Participant

    Sounds a lot like Kōan number 4:

     

    Out of nowhere, the mind comes forth.
    — The Diamond Sutra

    “Working with this koan alters how I might meet the world in two ways. In one twist, it opens life up in a way where I can’t expect anything to happen outside of the now, and in another, the koan takes my attention to my thoughts and opinions about what I come into contact with each moment. For example, I might see a tree and think ‘out of nowhere the tree comes forth.’ Deepening into understanding the present in this way gives an object a sudden miraculous quality. For a moment, the tree is mind-boggling and I begin to touch on something innate – beyond the confines of what I can conceive of or label. The fact that I take mundane shrubs, trees, stray cats, and rain squalls for granted or even consider them to be inconvenient nuisances at times is something the koan quietly forces me to examine more closely. What would life be like without these images, moments, and experiences? Do I create an inner world in which only some of what is present makes it through my ingrained mental filters? If yes, what would happen if I deconstructed these borders and removed them? Maybe everything that graces my life has a subtle extraordinariness and that allowing this connection to blossom on its own is a practice that takes place naturally when I just begin to notice.”

    Though to be honest it sounds like someone is making these things meaningful rather than realizing they are extraordinary. Outside our minds nothing is special or extraordinary.

    In your case people have been “their” all their lives, but just existing isn’t enough. I know most of the regrets people have when they die are all the things they left undone or grudges that weren’t buried. They took life for granted and assumed there would be time, and when the end comes they realize they were wrong. It’s not a matter of being there but what you do while there, because everything is already here and everyone is “there” but not all DO.

    #303460

    “Being there”

    “What shall you be present to?”

     

    What shall you decide to focus your attention on?

    If you spend your life wishing the next moment will arrive – you may well feel cheated when you’ve run out of time.

    If you spend your life after a tough day working plugged into the BooB Tube of your choice and turning off your stressed out mind – – you may well feel cheated when you’ve run out of time.

    If you spend your time giving and sharing and receiving from your partner and kids and friends and events you are involved in and given full attention to while you are with them – when your time is up, bet you won’t be worried about the u fulfilled grand daydreams your head  conjured up.  At least that’s what it looks like from my vantage point.     ; – )

     

    Peace be with you!

    #303461

    To be “present”  means a hell of more than physical being there.

     

    that reminds be of one of my  Stock Jokes in them server days:

    No matter where you go.

    There you are!

    #303463

    stick that into you “Koan” pipe and puff on.

     

    #303490

    Xain
    Participant

    But technically you are still being there, and as for your third example that only applies if you find value and meaning in such things and I know that Buddhism tends to go with value being an imaginary metric and not something that actually exists.

    #303502

    So you see “Being There” as a physical thing?

    I see it as a mental state of mind.

    As for

    “if you find value and meaning in such things”

    We’re human, we’re born premature and finish our gestation in the care of our mother and other close humans.  It’s been shown baby and children need touch, hell human need touch, look at how adults love kissie face and hugs.  To deny such seems like denying our humanity.  Of course, I know some despise all that, but upon deeper investigation, bet you’ll usually find a defense mechanism at work.

    Just like if you are scared in a tough crowd, you better puff up and at least pretend not to be as scared and vulnerable as you may be feeling.  So too if you feel abandoned you’d better puff up and at least pretend it doesn’t matter to keep going – rather than admitting it matters, folding up and giving up.

    _________________________________

    Out of curiosity this thread started with

    Things left undone would be the most common, not “not being there” for most of their life, never heard that one.

    You know reading that, to me “things left undone” fits right in with “not being there” hand in glove – so guess I’m working at a disadvantage here.

    Xain, can you take it back to definitions and explain why you think they are so different?

    #303545

    Xain
    Participant

    I think you still “find meaning in such things”, but personally I do them because there isn’t an option to do otherwise. WE play nice in society and with others and (for me) pretend it’s meaningful and whatever. I personally have a complex relationship with being touched.

     

    Being here, is impossible not to be. Because no matter what we do we are always “here” the main thing is whether or not you go forth to partake in what you wish to do. Most don’t do so out of fear, security, etc.

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