Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

What does this mean?

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran
edited January 5 in General Banter

Hi All,
In Bankei's teaching at URL https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/bankei.html of 'Do not get born', what does this mean? For example, if I see my toothbrush, then I should think that - 'This is a toothbrush.' and I should not think that - ' This is my toothbrush.' - is this the meaning of 'not to identify'? But thinking of a toothbrush as a toothbrush is also identification - is it correct? How to live life with this teaching of 'Do not get born'? Please suggest. Thanks.

Comments

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    I read somewhere that in Tibet the way they say it would not be "I have a toothbrush" but instead "To me, there is a toothbrush".

    Not sure if that's helpful.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    I believe it's referring to self-identification, a process by which the sense of 'I am' is born in relation to our experience, conditioned by, and further conditioning, craving and clinging. It's saying that using a toothbrush and calling it by its conventional designation can be done without clinging to it as 'my' toothbrush and the multiple narratives that this I-making and my-making can create. In essence, "these are the world's designations, the world's expressions, the world's ways of speaking, the world's descriptions, with which the awakened one expresses themselves but without grasping to them" (DN 9).

    lobsterCarlitaSnakeskin
  • This seems like Sunyata teaching. Emptiness of absolute individual identity. A teaching whose understanding is an extraordinary attainment of extreme difficulty and isn't easily answered online as a how-to. When Bankei advised "Don't get born" he warned about believing our egoic story about our illusory identity. And of course, identifying, quantifying, qualifying, intuiting, judging and assessing, among others are all necessary mind/brain functions that persist after enlightenment.......

    misecmisc1lobsterSnakeskinpaulyso
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited January 5

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Hi All,
    In Bankei's teaching at URL https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/bankei.html of 'Do not get born', what does this mean? For example, if I see my toothbrush, then I should think that - 'This is a toothbrush.' and I should not think that - ' This is my toothbrush.' - is this the meaning of 'not to identify'? But thinking of a toothbrush as a toothbrush is also identification - is it correct? How to live life with this teaching of 'Do not get born'? Please suggest. Thanks.

    The toothbrush is "real". You can touch, see and feel it. It's the same with the body. All part of the ephemeral burning house.

    The "I" only feels real but you cannot see or touch it. It too is without any essence: Sabbe dhamma anatta

    Conditioned things arise and pass like temporary guests. What stays is the"original mind". It is nothing special or unique. Everyone has it whether they are aware of it or not. It was there all along not noticed underneath all the noise. The practice is to not get caught up in ephemeral things.

    Unborn and imperishable
    Is the original mind
    Earth, water, fire and wind
    A temporary lodging for the night

    Attached to this
    Ephemeral burning house
    You yourselves light the fire, kindle the flames
    In which you're consumed

    Keep your mind as it was
    When you came into the world
    And instantly this very self
    Is a living "thus-come" one

    lobstermisecmisc1SnakeskinJeffrey
  • In actual Ch’an practice, there are two approaches we use to dissolve the self-center. The first is the sudden approach, which is an intense, explosive approach where one keeps pounding at the self-center until it breaks apart. This approach uses a huatou(Japanese, koan), such as continuously asking yourself, “What is my original face?” The purpose of huatou practice is to give rise to a sense of doubt which grows bigger and bigger until, when it finally explodes, one realizes sudden enlightenment.

    The second method is silent illumination, which slowly calms the mind until it is completely settled. This is a gradual method where one allows wandering thoughts and vexations to slowly dissipate. You can liken this method to a pool of very muddy water. If there is no wind or activity to disturb the pool, the mud will gradually settle to the bottom, allowing the water to become clear. Like the clearing of the pond, silent illumination seeks stillness and clarity. One keeps letting the mind-dust settle until all of it has reached the bottom. Ultimately, there is no mud, no water, and no bottom. This will be when one realizes enlightenment.

    In silent illumination you start with being aware that you are sitting. As you focus on being aware of yourself sitting, and the body sensation itself disappears, you should still maintain the thought that you are sitting. While you maintain this thought, be clearly aware of the environment around you. Be aware that the environment is also sitting with you. After that, you even put down the thought of “I am sitting” so that there is no “I” who is sitting. There is just a clarity that you maintain, but the “I” is not there.
    If there comes a moment when you ask, Where am I? Is my “self” still there?, you have left your method and are involved with wandering thoughts. Just go back to the method, being acutely aware of yourself sitting.

    Master Sheng-yen presented this introduction to the practice of silent illumination at the start of a ten-day intensive retreat at the Dharma Drum Retreat Center in Pine Bush, New York.

    lobstermisecmisc1Snakeskin
  • jwredeljwredel Albuquerque Veteran

    The mind is ...
    now quiet, now noisy, now quiet, now noisy, now quiet, now noisy ...

    And because the noisy mind creates so many problems for ourselves, we naturally tend to attach to the quiet mind. And in framing all of this more familiarly, the sages have associated this cycle to unborn and being born ... continuously. (Samsara anyone?)

    So, what would it mean to not be born?

    Early on in practice, the attempt is, quite reasonably, to then try to quiet the noisy mind. (Spoiler alert!) But the inevitable result of practice (which often takes years or many, many years - depending on how stubborn one is), is the realization that, while the mind will quiet down, it will simply never be quiet.

    So, with a mind that will never, ever be quiet, how then do we reconcile not being born?

    Well, what if there is no difference between a quiet mind and a noisy mind - that it is all a part of a natural continuum (original mind)? What if the mind has been just doing it's thing all along, and it's only that a part of us that has gotten convinced otherwise? Would it be the mind that has changed or just our beliefs?

    misecmisc1SnakeskinJeffrey
  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited January 5

    Hi All,
    Yesterday while browsing internet, on youtube, I came across the below video URL https://youtube.com/watch?v=cZ6cdIaUZCA which I found insightful, so thought of sharing with you all. From last 2 days, I am studying Diamond Sutra from a book, which I got from a public library and the title of the book is - The Diamond Sutra by Ven. Cheng Kuan. The Diamond Sutra seems to be insightful.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    I think it means you put all that stuff down and just brush your teeth. =)

    ShoshinSocairDavidJason
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:
    Hi All,
    In Bankei's teaching at URL https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/bankei.html of 'Do not get born', what does this mean? For example, if I see my toothbrush, then I should think that - 'This is a toothbrush.' and I should not think that - ' This is my toothbrush.' - is this the meaning of 'not to identify'? But thinking of a toothbrush as a toothbrush is also identification - is it correct? How to live life with this teaching of 'Do not get born'? Please suggest. Thanks.

    It would seem that you are relying too heavily on the intellect for understanding @misecmisc1 and this could well lead you astray...that is, up the garden path and not the Eightfold Path ....
    These couple of pages may shed some light for you...

    From ~"You have to say something" By [Dainin] Katagiri Roshi~

    misecmisc1Fosdick
Sign In or Register to comment.