Who is it that hears?

Who is it that hears?

Postby Ethan » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:16 pm

Hello, if it is appropriate, I am hoping for some guidance and I will try to stay to the point.

I am working on the koan, "Who is it that hears?"

When I hear, the thought "I hear" no longer arises but only the thought "hearing". I am aware of the five aggregates. I am aware that when I say, "I am aware of the five aggregates" that the "I" that is aware is interdependent, impermanent and subject to causes and conditions. I do not feel as though I understand anything I have described until the thought "I understand X" appears.

I am unsure about how to proceed from here. All responses are welcome.

With love,
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby oushi » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:22 pm

You know too much about this koan.
If I tell you that you got it all wrong, you will return to the koan.
If I tell you that you got it right, you will feel dissatisfied after awhile, and you will return to the koan.
So, I will simply say, return to the koan. :smile:
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Ethan » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:49 pm

:D
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Gwenn Dana » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:15 am

Who is it that tries to understand hearing?
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Osho » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:27 am

Say what?

:smile:
More about Mindfulness here
http://bemindful.co.uk/

" A Zen master's life is one continuous mistake."
(Dogen).
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:06 am

Ethan wrote:Hello, if it is appropriate, I am hoping for some guidance and I will try to stay to the point.

I am working on the koan, "Who is it that hears?"

When I hear, the thought "I hear" no longer arises but only the thought "hearing". I am aware of the five aggregates. I am aware that when I say, "I am aware of the five aggregates" that the "I" that is aware is interdependent, impermanent and subject to causes and conditions. I do not feel as though I understand anything I have described until the thought "I understand X" appears.

I am unsure about how to proceed from here. All responses are welcome.

With love,


Do you have a Rinzai/Seon teacher you are working with, Ethan? It's generally not a good idea to do this with no reliable guide (and internet ain't reliable - with no offense to the posters above).
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Lindama » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:41 am

The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.

Matsuo Basho
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby dude » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:45 am

excellent
thank you
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Gwenn Dana » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:17 am

@lindama: Apparently that bell caused him tinnitus :rolling:
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby seeker242 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:03 pm

A monk asked a master, “I just became a monk and would like to know how to enter Buddhahood.”

The master said, “Do you hear the waterfall?”

“Yes I do” replied the monk.

The Master said, “Enter there.”
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Ethan » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:26 pm

Dan74 wrote:Do you have a Rinzai/Seon teacher you are working with, Ethan? It's generally not a good idea to do this with no reliable guide (and internet ain't reliable - with no offense to the posters above).


I unfortunately do not have access to a teacher and rely primarily on books and my limited years of practice in Zen. I do not believe a teacher is necessary to find what I am looking for, though I do understand the benefit of having reliable guidance. Until I am able to work with a teacher, do you have a suggestion?

Thank you, everyone.
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby dude » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:39 pm

Just keep trying.
If you really want to practice, a way will open up and your teacher will appear in time.
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Ethan » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:46 pm

dude wrote:Just keep trying.
If you really want to practice, a way will open up and your teacher will appear in time.


That is something I do not doubt =D Either way, I strive to keep my effort strong.
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Astus » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:23 pm

Now, there are many points at which to access the principle. I will point out one approach that will allow you to return to the source.

Chinul: Do you hear the sounds of that crow cawing and that magpie calling?
Student: Yes.
Chinul: Trace them back and listen to your hearing-nature. Are there many sounds there?
Student: At that place, all sounds and discriminations are unascertainable.
Chinul: Marvelous! Marvelous! This is Avalokiteśvara’s method for accessing the principle. Let me ask you again. You said, “At that place, all sounds and discriminations are unascertainable.” But since they are unascertainable, at such a time isn’t the hearing-nature just empty?
Student: Originally it is not empty. It is always bright and never benighted.
Chinul: What is this essence that is not empty?
Student: As it has no form or shape, it is ineffable.
Chinul: This is the life force of all the buddhas and patriarchs—have no further doubts. Since it has no form or shape, how can it be either large or small? Since it is neither large nor small, how can it have any boundaries? Since it has no boundaries, it cannot have either inside or outside. Since there is no inside or outside, there is no far or near. As there is no far or near, there is no here or there. As there is no here or there, there is no coming or going. As there is no coming or going, there is no birth or death. As there is no birth or death, there is no past or present. As there is no past or present, there is no delusion or awakening. As there is no delusion or awakening, there is no ordinary person or sage. As there is no ordinary person or sage, there is no purity or impurity. Since there is no impurity or purity, there is no right or wrong. Since there is no right or wrong, names and words do not apply to it. Since none of these concepts apply, all sense-bases and sense-objects, all deluded thoughts, even forms and shapes, names and words are all inapplicable. Hence how can it be anything but originally void and calm and originally no-thing?

(From "Moguja’s Secrets on Cultivating the Mind" in Collected Works of Korean Buddhism, Vol. 2, 221-222)
A topic with links to two translations of the text: Zen is No Secret.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:49 am

Nice Astus!
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Ethan » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:05 pm

Astus wrote:Chinul: Marvelous! Marvelous! This is Avalokiteśvara’s method for accessing the principle. Let me ask you again. You said, “At that place, all sounds and discriminations are unascertainable.” But since they are unascertainable, at such a time isn’t the hearing-nature just empty?
Student: Originally it is not empty. It is always bright and never benighted.
Chinul: What is this essence that is not empty?
Student: As it has no form or shape, it is ineffable.


Can anyone elaborate on the student's comment, "Originally it is not empty"?
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby LastLegend » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:02 pm

Ethan wrote:

Can anyone elaborate on the student's comment, "Originally it is not empty"?




"Because it is always bright and never benighted." Mind is always empty. Words to describe mind make it not empty. Paradoxical.
NAMO AMITABHA
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby oushi » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:43 pm

Ethan wrote:Can anyone elaborate on the student's comment, "Originally it is not empty"?

Chinul was a very good teacher.
If you drop intention for descriptive and differentiating thinking, reality will remain clear, sharp and alive. Since it will be empty of concepts, there will be no way to grasp it, buy it will be full of vivid experience. In this way, it is originally not empty, but rather full and complete.

There is something else in this teaching, that is very interesting.
Chinul: Do you hear the sounds of that crow cawing and that magpie calling?
Student: Yes.
Chinul: Trace them back and listen to your hearing-nature. Are there many sounds there?
Student: At that place, all sounds and discriminations are unascertainable.
Chinul: Marvelous! Marvelous! This is Avalokiteśvara’s method for accessing the principle.


This method looks quite simple, and powerful at the same time.
I personally favor those short, but potent teachings style.
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Ethan » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:58 pm

Oh!
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Re: Who is it that hears?

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:12 pm

Ethan wrote:Can anyone elaborate on the student's comment, "Originally it is not empty"?


Emptiness is not nothingness, that's what it means. Awareness is the function of emptiness, the substance. Function and substance are not two different things. Awareness itself is empty, emptiness itself is awareness. And awareness is the countless phenomena experienced all the time.

"Simply knowing that there is nothing you need to understand is in fact seeing the nature." (Moguja’s Secrets on Cultivating the Mind, p 218)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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