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Koan Eshun's departure

Discussion of Japanese Rinzai Zen (臨済宗) including Obaku Zen (黄檗宗).

Koan Eshun's departure

Postby Nick Bea on Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:58 pm

This koan really puzzles me. Other koans mentioned Eshun, said to have been a rather pretty nun who was not always treated nicely by male monks, so I wonder if a knowledge of Eshun's life is required to know why she decided to burn herself to death. Say, without the context of Eshun's life there is no way one can understand the koan. Anyone can help with this?
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:15 pm

Nick Bea wrote:Anyone can help with this?


Understanding what kind of an guy Mujū Dōkyō was, might be of more interested then to dwelling on the nun or monks in this koan.
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby Meido on Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:27 pm

Mislabeled as koan. In fact, taken from a collection of tales (setsuwa) intended for popular consumption. See here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setsuwa

If interested in a general but very useful description of how koan are actually used in Zen training - i.e. not primarily as literature to be analyzed and understood, but as practice method for the purpose of arriving at and clarifying awakening - please read this:

http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/en/files/201 ... uction.pdf

If interested in using this story as a koan within your practice, speak to the teacher with whom you are doing it (since koan practice is done in sanzen, i.e. mutual investigation of Zen with a teacher, rather than alone).

Then, enter the samadhi of Eshun and feel the heat.

~ Meido
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby macdougdoug on Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:31 pm



When Eshun, the Zen nun, was past sixty and about to leave this world, she asked some monks to pile up wood in the yard.
Seating herself firmly in the center of the funeral pyre, she had itset fire around the edges.
"O nun!" shouted one monk, "is it hot in there?"
"Such a matter would concern only a stupid person like yourself", answered Eshun.
The flames arose, and she passed away.


This seems to be about some guy asking a stupid question, whats the fuss?
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:31 pm

Meido, so it's not from a collection of koans by Mujū Dōkyō?

ps do you know what a wawa is too?
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:32 pm

macdougdoug wrote:This seems to be about some guy asking a stupid question, whats the fuss?


To me about every koan or story points to non-dwelling but that could be me :lol2:
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby Meido on Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:42 pm

Fuki, it is from Shaseki-shu by Muju. But that is not a collection of koans...my understanding is it was a compilation of parables and miracle stories (setsuwa). Labeling these stories as koans is, as far as I can tell, something that happened in the West when some were included in works like 101 Zen Stories and Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, which also do include koans. Perhaps the most famous of these is the "empty your cup" story (though I seem to recall that one comes from a much later source than Muju).

As for wawa, yes, I am very familiar as I am from New Jersey.

wawa.jpg



~ Meido
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby macdougdoug on Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:45 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
To me about every koan or story points to non-dwelling but that could be me :lol2:



I'm currently reading 'The zen teachings of master Lin-chi' for the first time. I used to find koans pretty funny or mysterious, but I don't get Lin-chi at all : in the first part of the book all he seems to say is "stop getting bogged down in stupid stuff" and then he hits you with a stick.
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby bokki on Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:13 pm

i had 2 log in again cant forget cant stop laughing...
I used to find koans pretty funny or mysterious, but I don't get Lin-chi at all : in the first part of the book all he seems to say is "stop getting bogged down in stupid stuff" and then he hits you with a stick.

lol u made my day,lol c u tmrw
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burst into flames

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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby bokki on Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:58 am

When Eshun, the Zen nun, was past sixty and about to leave this world, she asked some monks to pile up wood in the yard.
Seating herself firmly in the center of the funeral pyre, she had itset fire around the edges.
"O nun!" shouted one monk, "is it hot in there?"
"Such a matter would concern only a stupid person like yourself", answered Eshun.
The flames arose, and she passed away.
lol lol zfi! lol lol and i juzt awoked lol u r rich! thnx gg2!thnx!
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10,000 frogs singing in the rain
burst into flames

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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby Dan74 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:02 pm

Are you high on something, bokki? Don't say 'life', please.

'cause without a chemical as an excuse, I just can't see how you figure these posts are useful to the discussion?

_/|\_
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby bokki on Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:40 pm

lol,dan, thnx 2 adding qualifications 2 me. iv been offered meta b4..
now u ask if im sincere, u think im playing, wonder if im seriously ill, and now call me high, addicted 2 chemicals.....lol
would u preffer, would it b 2 ur pleasure, if i ceased to adress u? have i done something wrong? by u?

i totaly understand Meido Roshi. its a parable, a story, a beautiful 1 that shows the zen spirit.
its not a koan.
and dan, sry 4 expressing my pleasure 4 zfi posts
b
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby Dan74 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:07 pm

Bokki, these questions are my attempts to understand you and your communication here. I have no idea and ask to get a response and a little more clarity. I'm a simple guy and when I don't get something, I ask. You either oblige or not. And we go from here.
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby Spike on Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:01 pm

Dan74 wrote:Are you high on something, bokki? Don't say 'life', please.

'cause without a chemical as an excuse, I just can't see how you figure these posts are useful to the discussion?

_/|\_


Not to worry if you judge bokki's posts not to be useful. I do (find them useful).

I regard bokki as an artistic persona who is entitled to be an example of free expression, just like any other persona or person, including so-called "dan74".

The lightheartedness and understanding, sometimes hidden, his words convey could even be beneficial (useful) to some. Maybe even to bokki.
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow. --R.H.
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:21 pm

Meido wrote:Fuki, it is from Shaseki-shu by Muju. But that is not a collection of koans...my understanding is it was a compilation of parables and miracle stories (setsuwa). Labeling these stories as koans is, as far as I can tell, something that happened in the West when some were included in works like 101 Zen Stories and Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, which also do include koans. Perhaps the most famous of these is the "empty your cup" story (though I seem to recall that one comes from a much later source than Muju).

As for wawa, yes, I am very familiar as I am from New Jersey.

wawa.jpg



~ Meido


:lol2:

Allright thanks Meido.
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:22 pm

macdougdoug wrote:
fukasetsu wrote:
To me about every koan or story points to non-dwelling but that could be me :lol2:



I'm currently reading 'The zen teachings of master Lin-chi' for the first time. I used to find koans pretty funny or mysterious, but I don't get Lin-chi at all : in the first part of the book all he seems to say is "stop getting bogged down in stupid stuff" and then he hits you with a stick.


I understand everything I read, which probably means I haven't been paying attention :lol2:
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Re: Koan Eshun's departure

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:23 pm

Meido, et al.,

Meido wrote:As for wawa, yes, I am very familiar as I am from New Jersey.

I've never known a "Wawa" store, although I am from New Jersey, too. But I've been away (no, not in prison) for a long time, and may have missed their establishment if it's more recent than about 40 years ago.

Where I worked in Chile, everyone there knew a "wawa" as a newborn infant baby (quite a euphonious onomatopoeic appellation). There, it was spelled "guagua", where the "gu" takes the sound of "w". The gender is feminina, so the word is "la guagua".

In Hawai'i, la guagua is "keiki".

--Pepe
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