Edgar, I half agree with you and half disagree with you. That statement is a tautology.
I agree that Joju certainly did directly address the question. I also believed he addressed it in a manner that was tailored specifically for that student, but in doing so gave Zen literature a koan that has worked for many, many others. I don't know if Joju intended that aspect, but it's there nonetheless. Zen mondos are ripe with tautologies. They are so because attempts to explain zen with any combinations of words are always fruitless, and maybe even misleading. It gives the impression that zen is something rational, something that can be understood, described and discussed rather than something that can only be directly experienced. ...Bill! From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Edgar Owen Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 7:51 AM To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [Zen] Nature? Bill, Just constantly repeating X=X tells us nothing about the truth of Zen. It does not address the monk's question. Joju addressed the question by invoking the answer, not stating a tautology. Edgar On Dec 21, 2008, at 4:39 PM, <billsm...@hhs1963.org> wrote: Edgar, I have no confusion about this koan. Mu is just mu. Mu is Just THIS! If you have never worked on this koan however then you are not fully appreciative of the subtlety of JoJu's teaching technique. Of course the koan happened between a teacher and a student with whom he was thoroughly intimate. Joju undoubtedly instinctively invoked the response tailored specifically to that particular student. The subtlety of this koan is that it can also address a wide range of beginning students, and that is why it is usually used in the both Soto and Renzai as the first koan. By the way, when I was given this koan over 40 years ago I was instructed to 'SHOW me Joju's Mu', not 'WHAT is Joju's Mu' as I've seen it represented in some of the books of koans. ...Bill! From: zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Edgar Owen Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 8:31 PM To: zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [Zen] Nature? Bill and Anthony, You guys' confusion stems from your lack of understanding that Mu = Buddha nature. Joju was simply invoking Buddha nature in response to the question of whether a dog has it. Edgar On Dec 21, 2008, at 5:19 AM, <billsm...@hhs1963.org> wrote: Anthony, In answering that student's question in the koan your 'no' is absolutely just as good as my 'whatever'. I'm not an Asian language expert (although I do speak Thai), but Zhaozhou must have actually said 'wu' since he was Chinese. Joju is ZhaoZhou's name rendered in Japanese, and he is reported to have said 'mu' since this was a retelling of the encounter in Japanese. Thai's use 'mai' which means 'negative'. It can mean no, it can mean not, it can mean 'nothing'. The whole koan stems from the 'fact' that Siddhartha Buddha is reported to have said 'all sentient being have Buddha Nature'. JoJu's student then asked Joju: 'Does a dog have a Buddha Nature?' To which JoJu reportedly replied his now famous 'mu'. Now that could have meant 'no', and since the student already knew Buddha said ALL SENTIENT beings have Buddha Nature, it set up a conundrum for him, an un-solvable puzzle - a koan. Why does Buddha say one thing and Joju say something different? BUT, in the absolutely sublime response Joju could have also meant 'who cares?', or 'moot', or 'go fish', or maybe today even 'fuck off'. He could have meant anything to get the student to concentrate so hard on solving the unsolvable that his mind finally gives up and STOPS - No Mind - and that is KENSHO - an initial breakthrough. That No Mind is meeting Joju and all the other Buddhas and teachers face-to-face. That No Mind is Buddha Nature. ...Bill! From: zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Anthony Wu Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 4:34 PM To: zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [Zen] Nature? Bill, I don't see a difference between my 'no' and your 'whatever'. Both mean 'stop bullshiting about Buddha nature'. Next time you meet Zhaozhou zen master, give him a better carrot. Anthony --- On Sun, 21/12/08, billsm...@hhs1963.org <billsm...@hhs1963.org> wrote: From: billsm...@hhs1963.org <billsm...@hhs1963.org> Subject: RE: [Zen] Nature? To: zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com Date: Sunday, 21 December, 2008, 11:32 AM I have met Zhaozhou face-to-face. His response 'mu' to his student's question on whether a dog (or duck or maggot) did not mean 'no'. In our vernacular it could be translated as 'whatever', or 'moot'. If you're spending all your time or posts speculating about Buddha Nature you're barking up the wrong tree, or swimming in the wrong pond, or gnawing on the wrong carrion. Back in Thailand and lurking no more...Bill! From: zen_fo...@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogrou ps.com] On Behalf Of Anthony Wu Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2008 3:42 PM To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou ps.com Subject: [Zen] Nature? Edgar, Your missed the point. On the one hand, everything has Buddha nature (your word 'innate' is correct). On the other, you should not attach to that idea. That is why Bill Smart's great grand father Zhaozhou zen master says, 'no', when asked 'does a dog have Buddha nature?'. Anthony --- On Fri, 19/12/08, Edgar Owen <edgaro...@att. net> wrote: From: Edgar Owen <edgaro...@att. net> Subject: Re: [Zen] Ducks Have Buddha Nature? To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou ps.com Date: Friday, 19 December, 2008, 11:56 PM Anthony, It is nonsense to think that humans could convey Buddha nature on to anything at all by thinking about them. Buddha nature is innate in all things. Your ignorant Zhaozhou master needs a duck to teach him about Buddha nature! Edgar On Dec 19, 2008, at 9:47 AM, Anthony Wu wrote: Karin, Ducks have Buddha nature when we have sympathy with them. When you think about them in general terms, they should have no Buddha nature. Otherwise, you would attach to them. That is a teaching from Zhaozhou zen master. Anthony --- On Tue, 16/12/08, Karin <tortillera77@ yahoo.com> wrote: From: Karin <tortillera77@ yahoo.com> Subject: [Zen] Ducks Have Buddha Nature? To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou ps.com Date: Tuesday, 16 December, 2008, 4:55 PM I work at a shopping mall and there is a canal nearby and there are lots of ducks in the area.. I feed them out of the back of the store sometimes, and they run towards me and I talk to them. That is fun. However, many people dislike the ducks because they poop a lot, and I have seen some people run them over with their cars when they are driving through the shopping center. They have contempt for the ducks and think that if the ducks are in the way of the car, it is OK to run over them. 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