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Yesterday came across Bankei's teachings in this web-page: https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/bankei.html
Copy-pasting an insightful portion from the above web-page for easy reading:
"No special practices
If one is truly natural and innocently spontaneous, the Unborn will appear.
As we have seen throughout this course, the idea of the Unborn or the Unborn Buddha Mind is a central theme running through Zen teachings. Bankei brought a fresh vitality to this by urging people not to see the Unborn as something to attain or even something to try to be. Rather, Bankei taught, the Unborn is already present, perfect and complete. It is, in fact, the core of one's being.
Instead of struggling to do or become something, one needs to cease struggling entirely. If one is truly natural and innocently spontaneous, the Unborn will appear. The key to realization is not some method or practice, however helpful these may be, but letting go of everything which is not the Unborn. This involves no special method as typically understood; it involves the total openness of one who has no presumed goal, intention, desire or wish. Letting go is possible because of the nature of the mind.
When your study
Of Buddhism is through
You haven't anything new.
Not attaching to any practice included Bankei's rejection of a narrow or formalized notion of zazen meditation. Bankei neither repudiated nor insisted upon zazen practice. Focus on a particular posture or concentration practice was beside the point.
As for zazen, since za (sitting) is the Buddha Mind's sitting at ease, whilst Zen (meditation) is another name for Buddha Mind, the Buddha Mind's sitting at ease is what is meant by zazen.
And meditation "shouldn't be limited to the time you sit meditating" in the meditation hall.
When you are abiding in the Unborn, all the time is zazen."
Heart Sutra doesn't really say there is nothing. True wisdom is found only when we decontruct all the things we think hold us and our lives together. There is still wisdom, however, once that happens. Prior to that, wisdom peeks through like a sun behind the clouds but it is clouded much of the time. The clouds being our belief systems, our ideas, our thoughts about what reality it and how we hold it together with all of our ideas and beliefs.
My understanding says that the Heart Sutra really says there is no thing - no suffering, no wisdom, no samsara and no nirvana - but this is from Ultimate Reality point of view. But from Conventional reality point of view - there is suffering, wisdom, samsara and nirvana.
My current understanding says: Even though Heart Sutra says there is no thing, but after all things are negated, may be there is still something, just that it cannot be called as a thing and may be this is what is called as suchness or just thisness of the present moment. So @karasti may be your understanding was correct.
I was reading the pdf file of The True Dharma Eye - Zen Master Dōgen’s 300 koans with commentary and verse by John Daido Loori and translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi and John Daido Loori. In this pdf file, the 17th koan is below:
Zen master Zhixian of Mount Xiangyan [Xideng] was bright in nature. Being at the assembly of Guishan, he was well learned and had extensive memory.
Guishan one day said to Xiangyan, “Everything you say is what you’ve memorized from commentaries. Now I am going to ask you a question. When you were an infant—before you could even distinguish east from west—at that time, how was it?”
Xiangyan spoke and presented his understanding, explaining the principle, but could not get approval. He went through the texts he had collected and studied, but he could not find an answer that would satisfy the master.
Deeply grieved and in tears, he burned all his books and commentaries. Then he said to himself, “I will never understand Zen in this lifetime. I will become a hermit monastic and enter a mountain and practice.”
Thus he entered Mount Wudang and built a hut near the grave site of National Teacher Nanyang. One day while he was sweeping the path, a pebble struck a stalk of bamboo and made a cracking sound. At that moment he suddenly had a great enlightenment experience. He wrote a poem expressing his understanding:
"One crack and all knowledge has dissolved.
The struggle is over.
I follow the ancient Way, not lapsing into doubt.
Dignified bearing and conduct
that is beyond sound and form;
no trace remains of my passing.
Those who have mastered the Way
call this the unsurpassable activity."
He presented this poem to Guishan, who said, “This fellow has penetrated it completely.”
I cannot become a monk, since I have a family and I have a contract job through which I earn money to take care of my family, but in whatever little time I get, if I remember to sit in zazen, then I can try to sit in zazen for that little time. I think it all comes down to suchness - just thisness of the present moment, which is just what is happening in here and now. That is why in Zen I think it is said when sit, just sit. When walk, just walk.
Thanks @person . But the eggs, which I will get will be from supermarkets and the food products which have eggs as an ingredient (I don't know from where those eggs would be coming from, but since it is a factory which is making that finished food product and then packing and selling it - so I think I can assume that those eggs used would be also from some supermarket or some shop, rather than from any individual who is having hens in his house and selling its eggs) - So then, if we consider this scenario of eggs from supermarkets, can we be sure that these eggs from supermarkets involve some hurting to hens? Any thoughts here please. Thanks.
I think it's a good intention that you want to reduce the harm you contribute to in the world. You're never going to eliminate that harm entirely so the question you need to ask yourself isn't how can you entirely eliminate harm to others, but instead I think it's about keeping that intention in mind while also balancing the need you have as an individual to maintain a healthy, happy life. If you're weak and miserable you'll be less effective at directly helping others.
Thanks. I think it comes down to this portion of your above post - balancing the need you have as an individual to maintain a healthy, happy life. If you're weak and miserable of your above post.
Am I really depriving myself and leading myself to not being healthy? I don't think so. Just that my mind keeps on thinking about food and creating dramas in my mind saying that - 'look, I am only having a bowl of cornflakes with milk and tea in morning, in lunch 3 slices of bread and may be 1 fruit occasionally and then in evening 3 pieces of a dark chocolate with some nuts like almonds and coffee - this seems to be having taking less food on a daily basis - see that is why I am looking more skinny, more bony - my collar bone seems to be emerging more etc.' - But who knows this may be my mind just creating stories for me to worry about. Afterall, I am going to office daily and even though I have been continuing this food routine for the last 3 weeks nearly, I do not feel weak in health in office - there sometimes is a slight headache, but it can be due to the fact that since I have low blood pressure, so because of less salt intake that headache is occurring, so when I feel this headache, I take some salt in tea or coffee to have some extra salt in my body through drinking that tea or coffee.
In this web-page https://terebess.hu/zen/baizhang.html found the insightful teachings of Baizhang. Below copy-pasting some portion of it:
A monk once asked – How can a person gain freedom?
Baizhang said – If you realize it in this moment, then you've realized it. If you instantly cut off the emotional clinging of the self, all cravings and attachments, the greed and grasping, the notions of degraded and pure, in other words, all delusive thoughts; then you'll be like the sun or the moon hanging free in space, shining clearly...(You'll be like) a great elephant crossing a raging river – engulfed in the rapids but not loosing your footing. Neither heaven nor hell can pull you in. When you read a scripture or hear a teaching, the words all return to yourself...You'll see that all verbal teachings are only a reflection of the immediacy of self-nature and are just meant to point the way. Letting go of all sound and form, but not dwelling in the notion of detachment, and not holding any intellectual comprehension – this is the true practice of reading scriptures and hearing teachings. If you let everything be as it is, always acting with clarity according to the situation, this is truly dropping off all fetters.
You may also find the above web-page URL insightful containing teachings of Baizhang.
May all sentient beings be peaceful, happy, safe, protected, healthy, strong, have ease of well-being and accept all the conditions of the world.