2010.10.28 - Bodhidharma and the Emperor(koan)

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    (Eliza breaks the general 'no comments' rule of this particular log to explain that, spilling over from a few pab sessions, a group of us arrived as boxbot avatars)

    Bruce Mowbray is amazed at Eliza's resemblance to Alfred.
    Eliza Madrigal: be careful Bruce... Alf will get you too
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: oh dear!
    Eliza Madrigal: heheh...
    Bruce Mowbray: Hello, Dao.
    Eliza Madrigal: you may want to read the morning session when it is posted :) If Dao had stayed longer this may have happened to her tooo...
    Eliza Madrigal: hehehe
    Dao Yheng: :) I look forward to catching up!
    Eliza Madrigal giggling wildly at the site
    Mickorod Renard: helloo
    Bruce Mowbray: Oh nonooooooooo!
    Dao Yheng: oh my!
    Agatha Macbeth: Da box posse is in da house
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm laughing so hard
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey everyone
    Agatha Macbeth: (It's okay, we're no griefers)
    Dao Yheng: (laugh)
    Eliza Madrigal: :) yet... this box makes me feel full of mischief
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Agatha Macbeth: Thinking inside the box
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel is Online
    Eliza Madrigal: yay here comes gaya :)
    Dao Yheng: hide and surprise her!
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Gaya :)
    Dao Yheng: (here she comes!)
    Eliza Madrigal: this gives everyone time to write homework...
    Wol Euler: heheheh
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello everyone :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Wol Euler: hello gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: heh
    Gaya Ethaniel: You all look very cute :)
    Eliza Madrigal: now we know why alfred acts like he does...
    MathBear Cyberschreiber: Wow! We got quite a gathering here!
    Eliza Madrigal: it comes with the box :)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Mickorod Renard: thats what they all say
    Wol Euler: really.
    Calvino Rabeni: I like to think inside the box
    Wol Euler: thre's a nice echo :)
    Agatha Macbeth: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Calvino Rabeni: O
    Agatha Macbeth: Whoa
    MathBear Cyberschreiber: MathBear brings out his "Cliche Away!" spray and starts applying it liberally
    Eliza Madrigal: =P~
    Eliza Madrigal: Okay... putting on my serious face to be studious and focused :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I've been working on my boxing combinations - like a left hook followed by a right jab -
    Mickorod Renard: Math,,where were we in the discussion?
    Agatha Macbeth: Float like a butterfly
    MathBear Cyberschreiber: ? not sure
    MathBear Cyberschreiber: i take things easy as thery come
    Mickorod Renard: supperior etc
    Mickorod Renard: vs inferior
    Calvino Rabeni: Lately I have a kind of hollow feeling - anyone else have that too?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: heheh
    Wol Euler: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I think that comes with meditation too...
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Now that the rains have started, I'm just a little soggy too
    Calvino Rabeni: Seasonal change - I feel it in my corrugations
    Eliza Madrigal: Dao, I guess Zen is running late, but thank you so much for this week's homework...
    Eliza Madrigal: hoped to see more entries but I loved reading the story several times
    Mitsu Ishii: why does everyone look like cardboard
    Eliza Madrigal: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/Homework_Ideas/Bodhidharma_and_the_Emperor
    Gaya Ethaniel: What a bunch we are ... :P
    Mickorod Renard: I am just a bit stiff
    Calvino Rabeni: It is a seasonal meme, Mitsu - we caught it
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Board stiff
    Dao Yheng: :))
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hollow-wee-n?
    Agatha Macbeth groans
    Calvino Rabeni: I can see you out of the "corner" of my eye, Mitsu
    Eliza Madrigal: and also Bleu's art exhibit...
    MathBear Cyberschreiber: the economy is not "recovering" we are locked into a deadly deflatyinary spiral that is probably going to lead to wholesale economic collapse worlwide in a year or two. that may be what you sense
    Mickorod Renard: yes, i was thinking that too
    Calvino Rabeni: I myself am the product of a deflationary spiral
    Gaya Ethaniel: The emperor probably wanted to consult on economy with Bodhidharma then :P
    Calvino Rabeni: They threw away the contents and just kept the container ... how typical
    Mickorod Renard: I think the economy of small arms will be good in a year from now
    Eliza Madrigal: I have small arms right now...
    Mickorod Renard: :))
    Agatha Macbeth: :DDDDDD
    Calvino Rabeni: The emperor asked bodhi - hey, what do you have in the box? "Nothing" he said
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: "Don't know"
    Eliza Madrigal: "looks"... can't find anything...no emperor there...
    Dao Yheng: also, don't know why I didn't do my homework ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Zen :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Zen :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Top o' the evening Zen :)
    Mickorod Renard: that was a great story btw,,I struggled with the meaning until I looked it up
    Dao Yheng: Hi Zen!
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Zen
    Zen Arado: Hi all
    Calvino Rabeni: Now if Bodhi had appeared as a box with a nice red ribbon tied around it ... history may have been different
    Eliza Madrigal: did you guys talk about it at homework group yesterday? Sorry to miss that
    Gaya Ethaniel: Mine was one-liner so didn't write it ... - how far can one separate messages from messenger/images.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I waited about 10 mins then left.
    Dao Yheng: I liked the link Zen provided -- seems there are many ways to interpret the story, and this one was lovely
    Calvino Rabeni: maybe it's boxes all the way down? All container, no content?
    Eliza Madrigal: appreciated it very much, yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes thanks Zen :)
    Eliza Madrigal: turtles in boxes...
    Dao Yheng: the weird thing is that the "no content" is most interesting!
    Mickorod Renard: yeaaa,,turtles
    Zen Arado: np - evryone disappeared so quick Dao and I had to come up with something
    Agatha Macbeth: I like turtles
    Eliza Madrigal: most interesting and "most intimate" as Zen mentioned in homework too
    Dao Yheng: and turtles
    Calvino Rabeni: Children like empty boxes because the no-content invites them to provide their own
    Wol Euler nods.
    Mickorod Renard: good point Cal
    Zen Arado: and they still have some imagination :)
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: that may be what we're unpacking and setting free
    Dao Yheng: not knowing what's inside
    Zen Arado: the emptiness
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: So if we mistaked some concepts for empty boxes and threw them away, maybe the imagination went out onto the rubbish heap
    Eliza Madrigal: nothing is lost

    Dao Yheng: nothing is in the box, and then when you get in, there's still nothing in the box

    Mickorod Renard: can we presume that the more stuff we have the less satisfied we are cos we are drowning our chances of imagination?
    Zen Arado: could be Mick
    Zen Arado: we want answers too much
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,I noticed that recently
    Zen Arado: but each 'answer' closes us up
    Eliza Madrigal: I couldn't read this story enough... felt that it resonated with our last several weeks as well...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes we stop exploring for ourselves.
    Mickorod Renard: and often when we have the answers we discard them for another question
    Eliza Madrigal: and I particularly related to how he was able to fully get into tasks when not concerned with the merit/gain... beautiful
    Eliza Madrigal: like each moment became 'enough'
    Zen Arado: what about 'nothoing holy'?
    Mickorod Renard: btw,,I got them 2 books from farther o donaho
    Coffee Mug whispers: Ahh! Fresh Hot Coffee
    Eliza Madrigal: nothing because everything Zen?
    Mickorod Renard: or however he is spelt
    Zen Arado: John O'Donahue?
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Mick, Donahue?
    Mickorod Renard: thats him
    Mickorod Renard: on the beautiful
    Zen Arado: I tried to read Anam Caram but didn't loike it
    Mickorod Renard: I havnt started that one,,but it looks too like the other
    Zen Arado: it's my Protestant prejudice I guess
    Hot Cocoa Jug: This'll warm you up!
    Zen Arado: will try reading it again
    Mickorod Renard: can you remind me what we are talking about please?
    Zen Arado: vast emptiness
    Eliza Madrigal: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/Homework_Ideas/Bodhidharma_and_the_Emperor
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mickorod Renard: ahh yes
    Zen Arado: everything empty
    Mickorod Renard: ty
    Zen Arado: even us
    Zen Arado: empty of self
    Mickorod Renard: me too much i think
    Zen Arado: empty of essence?
    Eliza Madrigal: hm..
    Mickorod Renard: what should it have in the emptiness?
    Zen Arado: what does the 'holy' mean?
    Zen Arado: ust energy fields
    Bruce Mowbray: Perhaps the story is about non-separation . . .
    Mickorod Renard: can u say more bruce?
    Eliza Madrigal: say more Bruce?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Zen Arado: yes
    Bruce Mowbray wonders if we observe the "dropping" bell here....(?)
    Eliza Madrigal: 'empty' of separation?
    Zen Arado: " We see a river and we are flowing without pause.
     We see the sky full of stars and we become it all.
     We dive into the suffering of all people, into society's miseries.
     Within this is a true person of no rank. " - from Eliza's report
    Eliza Madrigal: I didn't hear it... if others do, apologies for running through
    Mickorod Renard: staying in the emptiness?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm sure you can use own on your machine - small free programme online for mindful bell ...
    Bruce Mowbray: np. In the koan (I interpret it as a koan), perhaps all the people in the kingdom could not bring Bodhi back because he never separated himself.

    Bruce Mowbray: He never "left" in other words.

    Dao Yheng: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Nice
    Eliza Madrigal: Like Stim? hehe
    Mickorod Renard: its a thought
    Zen Arado: good point Bruce

    Dao Yheng: he also never arrived, you could say

    Bruce Mowbray scratches head.
    Gaya Ethaniel: [side note - we can do a short practice before Wednesday voice meeting if enough of us want to do that ... ]
    Dao Yheng: nice idea Gaya!
    Mickorod Renard: but I felt that the story did mean he had left
    Zen Arado: sure Gaya
    Eliza Madrigal: (sorry.. this box is making me crazy... will change) And I"d love that Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: Like at the beginning I guess.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Bruce Mowbray: He "left" for those still abiding in the illusion of separation.

    Zen Arado: ha ha didn't even notice you were a box Eliza :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Zen
    Dao Yheng: To be honest, the first time I heard this story, I thought that Bodhidharma was a real cad. And I think there is a bit of that samaurai style tough love in the story
    Zen Arado: the box gang
    Mickorod Renard: Bruce,,can we be definitive that that was the message?
    Bruce Mowbray: Oh no -- please let's not be "definitive."
    Zen Arado: in the commentary I have it says he went and sat in front of a wall for 9 years
    Bruce Mowbray: I prefer infinitive -- not splitting them.
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Zen Arado: and if you understand the koan you know why he did that
    Eliza Madrigal: that's an interesting perspective Dao...
    Zen Arado: he is an ornery Zen master :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Funny I must have read a totally different koan >.<
    Zen Arado: not interested in worldly glory
    Wol Euler muses on what it really means, to "sit in front of a wall for nine years."
    Dao Yheng: How so gaya?
    Dao Yheng: (and wol?)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just listening ... I don't quite see some of the comments.
    Mickorod Renard: I can understand the perspective of the non seperation in it,,but am unsure that I sould just swallow that one aspect
    Wol Euler: because I'm a pedant :)
    Eliza Madrigal: the word 'koan' says it all, Mick... that there is a 'definitive'
    Eliza Madrigal: more unknown than known :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: The emperor would only listen to 'gurus' so to speak ... that was the story I saw.
    Eliza Madrigal: at first, when he could only see 'emperor'? ... but then every situation became 'guru' ?
    Mickorod Renard: perhaps its multi layered?
    Zen Arado: yes Gaya and he expected Bodhidharma to behave a certain way
    Gaya Ethaniel: A common tendency even now of course ...
    Zen Arado: assigned him a role so to speak
    Dao Yheng: so, bodhidharma is reminding the emperor that he's not a guru and he's not an emperor
    Zen Arado: he is not a person even
    Dao Yheng: so from that perspective, it's also a story about student teacher relations?
    Eliza Madrigal: and that compassion is always available? Might we talk a bit about Avilokitesvara?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well putting lables on each other can apply to many relationships I suppose.
    Dao Yheng: yes! I did like that part
    Eliza Madrigal: indeed Dao, and indeed layers there...hm
    Mickorod Renard: and perhaps a link to what Pema mentioned in his article the other day
    Zen Arado: he really disturbed the Emperor didn't he?
    Dao Yheng: (ie, Avelokiteshvara)
    Eliza Madrigal: I've felt that... "You just missed him..."
    Zen Arado: yes
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Zen Arado: but you can't ever really know anyone ?

    Gaya Ethaniel: And the other thing I realised is that these labels don't exist independently ...

    Zen Arado: can you?
    Zen Arado: say more Gaya?
    Eliza Madrigal: great point gaya, go on?
    Mitsu Ishii: There's another version of the koan in which the emperor first asks "I have built many temples and fostered Buddhism. What merit have I accumulated thereby?" And Bodhidharma answers "None whatsoever."
    Zen Arado: yes Mitsu
    Mitsu Ishii: that's important also
    Eliza Madrigal: yes that's part of this story... 'no merit' 'no gain' 'no credit'
    Zen Arado: Bodhidharma pulls the rug out from under the Emperor on that too

    Gaya Ethaniel: Well ... Bodhidharma didn't enter into feeding those special identities I mean ... without him feeding 'emperor' lable, the emperor felt a bit lost.

    Eliza Madrigal: lost and yet also a bell went off... light went on..
    Zen Arado: should we act like that if we had to go in front of the Queen Mick?
    Zen Arado: or the president
    Mickorod Renard: I would like to be myself
    Gaya Ethaniel: oh nice version Mitsu
    Dao Yheng: well, maybe not, unless you're prepared to then scoot and face a wall for 9 years
    Zen Arado: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: if someone else would do the dishes...
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen Arado: I do that anyway Dao :)
    Eliza Madrigal: heheh (kidding)
    Wol Euler: that's what I muse about, eliza
    Zen Arado: lol Eliza
    Mitsu Ishii: My opinion, also, is that the implication is that when the Emperor asks "Who are you?" he's not merely asking a question, but is somewhat perturbed by the other answers, so it's more like "Who do you think you are, to come here saying this stuff?"
    Mickorod Renard: I guess much is to do with labels,,or pretenses
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, understood Wol... at the heart actually of much of what we talk about (in all seriousness to an extent)
    Zen Arado: yes - his credential after giving the first strange answer
    Eliza Madrigal: hm, yes I didn't read it that way Mitsu but yes.... 'who do you 'think' you are?"
    Mitsu Ishii: this is partly why I think Bodhidharma leaves.
    Zen Arado: people still do that - give money to churches in hope God will regard them favourably
    Eliza Madrigal: because he isn't heard?
    Mickorod Renard: that was the thought I had,,he was disrespectful in that value was attached to label
    Zen Arado: do we need respect?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I bet the emperor didn't really enjoy building temples and donating money :P
    Mickorod Renard: shouldnt need it
    Eliza Madrigal: pearls before swine? and yet.... the emperor does hear... begins to work it out...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Why would he remember all the details of them otherwise.
    Mickorod Renard: or rather it shouldnt be a precpt
    Calvino Rabeni: Stories resonate with many layers of meaning at once - for me this has an in-the-moment meaning meaning, about how quick one has to be to catch concept-formation as it occurs, and the loss of opporrtunity if one lets the moment go by ungrasped
    Zen Arado: yes Cal
    Eliza Madrigal: and his never having left, is perhaps nothing ever lost or wasted ultimately
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's not about quickness ... more about openness perhaps?
    Mickorod Renard: true Cal,,I wish I could turn a clock backwards
    Zen Arado: Bodhidharma's answers left the Emperor breathless
    Bruce Mowbray: Carpe momentum.
    Mickorod Renard: oppenness and without judgement
    Zen Arado: the openness would give quickness maybe
    Eliza Madrigal: but that can sound like 'ordinary' effort... determination to catch "look what I caught"
    Zen Arado: our thinking slows us down

    Calvino Rabeni: maybe not quickness, but certainly, a seize the moment idea rather than the idea of "someday enlightenment" is suggested by this story
    Mickorod Renard: a naturalness?
    Zen Arado: spontaneity

    Zen Arado: we are so unused to living in the moment - alwasy planning things
    Mickorod Renard: Stim mentioned a naturalness
    Zen Arado: or is that just me?
    Eliza Madrigal: living where Avilokitesvara is conversed with... in a sense?
    Mickorod Renard: can u remember?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Can someonen rezz Stim here? :P
    Zen Arado: :)
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Mick wants to talk to him :)
    Mickorod Renard: he he
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Mickorod Renard: I do miss him
    Zen Arado: he might say' Don't know' :)
    Eliza Madrigal: naturally...
    Agatha Macbeth: Where is Stim these days?
    Gaya Ethaniel: San~ Fran~cisco
    Agatha Macbeth: Ah
    Agatha Macbeth: Oscar Wilde was right then
    Mickorod Renard: I have to leave folks,,thanks for a fun evening
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good night :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Mick, nite :)
    Agatha Macbeth: C ya Mick
    Zen Arado: keep thinking Alf is here :)
    Mickorod Renard: nite,,and be well
    Agatha Macbeth: Alfs plural
    Zen Arado: nite Mick
    Wol Euler: bye mick
    Eliza Madrigal: ALf's 'present's is here...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Next week topic ... shall we continue with this koan?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Or something different?
    Zen Arado: don't know
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think Bruce suggested something last week too.
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh?
    Bruce Mowbray: ?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thought so ... am I wrong?
    Bruce Mowbray: I don't remember suggesting anything . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: Maybe I misremembered ...
    Bruce Mowbray: Maybe I'm having a "senior moment."
    Zen Arado: what about doing the four immeasurables?
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Nice idea
    Zen Arado: starting with loving kindness
    Gaya Ethaniel: Maybe it was Calvino ... was it beauty?
    Zen Arado: Metta
    Eliza Madrigal: ohhh beauty....
    Bruce Mowbray: Oh -- The Four Immeasureables would be great -- Loving Kindness. . . Good!
    Zen Arado: aesthetics
    Gaya Ethaniel: oh Cal poofed ... :(
    Bruce Mowbray: Beauty would also be great.
    Eliza Madrigal: loving kindness is beautiful
    Zen Arado: I don't mind - was only a suggestion
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes that's nice also.
    Zen Arado: so - what is beauty?
    Bruce Mowbray wait for someone to DEMAND a topic.
    Zen Arado: philosophical question
    Eliza Madrigal: okay... thank you everyone... have to call to my meet my daughter's new boyfriend on skype now... times have changed
    Dao Yheng: :))
    Agatha Macbeth: OMG
    Bruce Mowbray: wow! heh. heh.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: tell me about it
    Wol Euler: :)))
    Zen Arado: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hahaha
    Dao Yheng: You're very accomodating
    Wol Euler: bye eliza, good luck
    Zen Arado: interrogation proceeds ?
    Wol Euler: give him a proper grilling
    Gaya Ethaniel: aw
    Bruce Mowbray: Make him face a wall for 9 years.
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Yes... first item of business that he has to come to see me
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Eliza Madrigal: hahahahha Bruce
    Zen Arado: at least :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes that's it
    Dao Yheng: think of bodhidharma
    Eliza Madrigal guffaws
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks everyone. Good day/night :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks so much, bye for now
    Zen Arado: poor guy
    Bruce Mowbray: Time for me to fetch supper. May all be well and happy -- Boxed or not.

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