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Falling Apart Versus Dropping Away of Body and Mind

I was finishing the draft of my notes to post on our FSZS website, Facebook, and Email to all of you when I deleted all I had written. Soooo, for two hours I have tried to recover the draft, reach a human at Google, and lookup; and use information to recover a deleted file.

I even got a quote of $325 from a firm that would recover it for me. I have paused and realized I have been experiencing the very topic I had, and am, now rewriting! Ah, Dharma acts in mysterious Ways. When we fall apart it is for some shift in variables that change the form of our condition. For example a sleepless night, trying to do this while anticipating that, and then there goes my mindfulness doing what it can but without my support. I punched the wrong darn computer key!

The anger arose to a 3-4 and stayed there as I thought I could fix the situation (see the above paragraph for that folly- rose to 6-7) and everything would be back to normal. Then I realized I had a new normal where conditions have changed and I don’t do many things as well as used to count the ways:

  1. I do not hear well

  2. I do not see well

  3. I do not have as much umph as I I think I had

  4. I do not have a painless body (aches and pains hangout longer)

  5. I do not remember as quickly as I “think” I used to…

  6. I do not sleep well (I use a CPAP)

  7. I do not go all day without a nap

  8. I do not go medication free (some 9 meds per day)

  9. I do not have a heart that beats (well) without a pacemaker

  10. I do not get much the exercise

  11. I do not always feel compassionate

  12. I do not complete much without increased time and effort being needed

  13. I do not ask for help when needed

  14. I do not juggle as many balls and what I do jungle I drop often

  15. I do not “enjoy” like I think I used to…

  16. I do not hold my tongue as I think I used to..

  17. I do not like being told I a second time what I have already forgotten three

  18. I do not remember appointments, names, and earlier actions as I think I used to…

  19. I do not work as smoothly with others as I wish I could…

  20. I do not think I can list the other 103 things…

The falling apart is not just age related as its genesis seems to be more in stress from overload.

I connect stress to the aging process through fearing one can no longer do things. This stress of eventual loss produces premature reactions. This comparing parts that work and others that don’t keep us off balance and in aging falling (loss of balance) can become a major concern. Yet this awareness of balance is also at the center of our practice in Zen.

Notice the awareness of balance, not balance. For in the absolute (truth or sense) nothing is static. In using a bicycle as a metaphor for life, it is always slightly out of balance, then as variables of condition of parts of the bike, weather and state of the rider vary, so does the whole kit and caboodle. Our being aware of these interconnected energies enables us to know we will need to adjust. This compensation may produce hilarious attempts to keep bicycling even at the expense of un-seating the driver. Yet in the course of riding the subtle changes in variables may slowly increase in magnitude of compensation required and bring an end to the journey.

It is the coming to awareness that composes master Dogen’s Genjokoan the second part of these notes:

“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self.

To study the self is to forget the self.

To forget the self is to be verified by all things.

To be verified by all things is to let the body and mind of the self and the body and mind of others drop off.

There is a trace of realization that cannot be grasped. We endlessly express the ungraspable trace of realization.”

The article above addresses the Buddhist definition of self differently than the personal idea of the West. In Mahayana the “self” is described as an “activity,” that of the five skandhas in interconnection with the dynamic system of simultaneous interpenetration of all phenomena, as set forth in the Huayan doctrine of Indra’s Net. This practice allows our view of reality (relative truth) to hold the fluctuation of the Cosmos as a given and in so doing we can move to a day-to-today life.

To study the Buddha way it must begin with us that necessitates probing senses and sensation, body and thinking. In so doing we are being as I compared us to cycling earlier. In process or motion we stop distinguishing the parts from the whole, the bicycle from the rider, and the person from the whole of existence. In so doing, everything is indeed everything.The next part is transcendental– the dissolution of parsing, through all things (The Ten Thousand Things) being One. Then realization must be dropped off. Loori-Roshi speaks to this:

Joseph Campbell said the last step may never be taken because we think it has. He likened this to theists stopping at the word God- Campbell encouraged the next step . I suggest that falling apart and dropping off are the same, one relative and the other absolute, and thus, we return to where we never left with no things to know:

Please join us Tuesday night October 3, 2023 at 7:00/ET as we free fall together!

108 Bows,


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