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Prince Loeffler
16th May 2003, 19:50
Has anyone here read the book by Shunryu Suzuki. There is a chapter that I still cannot understand. Can anyone help me ?

____________________________________________________________________
On page 31, CONTROL. The passage is:

"To give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him"

on Page 32 on the same Subject:

"The best way to control people is to allow them to be mischeivous"
___________________________________________________________________

Any help is greatly appreciated...Thank again !

Gene Williams
16th May 2003, 20:04
Prince, My absolutely favorite zen book...I keep it on my reading table right by the Bible and Shakespeare, and Dickens. Now, if I gave you the answer, that would not really be in the zen spirit, would it? What do the aikido people do when attacked? Look at that as a hint. Gene

Prince Loeffler
16th May 2003, 20:39
aaarrrgggg !:D :D Gene! I am gonna keel over from think too hard:p .
oops ! Wrong attitude...Must calm mind !


Seriously, I am starting to like this book. No matter how many times you read this, it seems to lose the insights.

Thanks Gene As always !
:D

CEB
16th May 2003, 20:41
Originally posted by Gene Williams
....What do the aikido people do when attacked? ...

Get beaten up?

Gene Williams
16th May 2003, 21:21
Ed, You can be very difficult...:D

Samurai am I
21st May 2003, 00:26
Ha Ha I get it....I think.

mech
21st May 2003, 03:19
What ever doubts you have, you yourself are giving your own answers

in this respectively two...

"aaarrrgggg ! Gene! I am gonna keel over from think too hard .
oops ! Wrong attitude...Must calm mind !"


"Seriously, I am starting to like this book. No matter how many times you read this, it seems to lose the insights.

Quite excellent!

mech
manuel chiquito anderson

captnigh
22nd May 2003, 04:19
I love this book. The picture of Suzuki on the back is great. Everytime I read it, I realize something new, not just about my meditation, but about my mind and spirit.
Truly an inspirational work.
And it makes a great gift!;)

wendy ongaro
23rd May 2003, 04:19
prince- a similar saying in our culture would be-

"Give him enough rope and he will hang himself."

I also think of the Tarantino film Jackie Brown when Deniro's character is asking Jackson's character why he trusts Bridgette Fonda.

LOUIS Do you trust Melanie?

Ordell stops unloading.

ORDELL If this is about you いいed Melanie, I don't give a damn. I ain't
a fool. I leave you alone with a bitch like Melanie, you're gonna be
いいin' that twenty minutes after I'm out the door. So say "thank you"
and I'll tell you, "you're welcome."

LOUIS That's not what I meant when I asked did you trust her.

Ordell looks at him.

ORDELL She tryin' to work your ass against me, ain't she?

LOUIS Yep.

ORDELL You didn't even hafta say it. I know the woman.

LOUIS Well, why the いい keep her around?

ORDELL (smiling) Cause she my fine little surfer gal. She can't do me
no harm. Fact she think she can play you against me shows how little she
knows. You could teach that bitch for days how it is tween me an you,
she never understand a damn word.

LOUIS Why do you let someone know your business you can't trust?

ORDELL I don't hafta trust her, I know her.

LOUIS What does that mean?

ORDELL You can't trust Melanie. But you can always trust Melanie to be
Melanie.

Louis starts unloading.

LOUIS I still don't understand why you keep her around.

ORDELL I told you, man. (smiling) She my fine little surfer gal.

Let people be true to their natures, and you can predict their actions with little effort. When you can predict their actions, you have control over them.

This is how I would interpret that Koan.

captnigh
23rd May 2003, 14:05
Exactly- you are in the best position when you know what the possibilities are.
Another good part of the book is early, when he's explaining Breathing, he touches on the pitfalls of dualism. It changed my life. I read it for the first time twelve years ago, and it still sits in my mind as boldly as the day I first read it.
Good, Bad, Right, Wrong are all concepts that exist solely in your mind.

Prince Loeffler
23rd May 2003, 16:45
Thanks Wendy,

Hmmmm..I didn't think about that. I liked your interpretation. I approached my sensei regarding its innterpretation and he just smiled at me ( much like Gene here ;) ) and told me to re-read it and stop trying to analyze it. I got so deep into trying to figure it out, that I was further and deeper away from what the book was trying to convey.

Captnight:

I just started reading this book about 3 weeks ago. From the looks of things I am gonna have to spend 30 years minimum:D

wendy ongaro
24th May 2003, 03:00
you and me both. I often like to read zen koan and the tao just before bed as a reflective practice. I just open the book to whatever page it happens to fall open at by chance, read it and reflect on it, sleep on it. sometimes the passage will provide direct insight into whatever problems I am dealing with at the time. sometimes it is just an interesting exercise.

Gene Williams
24th May 2003, 11:22
Hi, I am glad that so many of you are reading Suzuki's, "Zen mind, Beginner's Mind." He has a second book, "Not Always So", which I like as well. For those of you in arts that do kata, read Zen Mind again and everywere he speaks of sitting, substitute kata for sitting. Now, bring that into your practice. Gene

captnigh
24th May 2003, 11:29
I did not realize he had another book. I can't wait to check it out. Thanks, Gene.

Prince Loeffler
24th May 2003, 17:40
Thanks Gene ! Your timing is great as I am on my way to Barnes and Noble. I hope they have this book !

captnigh
30th May 2003, 05:00
It's cool to see a conversation begin about this book.
In the part entitled "Negative And Positive", he says:
"Dogen-zenji said, ' When you say something to someone, he may not accept it, but do not try to make him understand it intellectually. Do not argue with him; just listen to his objections until he finds something wrong with them'".....
You teach yourself, given the chance.
In the expert's mind there are few possibilities.........
What do you think?

Gene Williams
31st May 2003, 03:17
We all like to argue. I do it and it is enjoyable as long as no one gets upset. But, when you think about it, it is never "big mind." People have to find their own way and we cannot intellectually persuade them which way that is. I think we are really arguing with ourselves when we argue. Now, we have to ask ourselves "why" are we arguing, then? Gene

Prince Loeffler
31st May 2003, 03:58
Good Point Gene ! In my personal view, often a friendly banter can often result in productive ideas. This works well in business, where a new product or concept is introduced, often you have the skeptics who will attempt to persuade you that the "product", concept or "Ideas" won't work or sell. Once you can persuade the nay- sayers, you are pretty much trying to persuade yourself.

wendy ongaro
31st May 2003, 04:26
It's not unusual in medicine to have a patient who is dead set against a treatment, even though it works, because of a misunderstanding or misinformation on the patient's part. If I suggest a treatment, and the patient shoots it down without even giving it consideration, I let it be (unless, of course, its a life threatening situation). Often another, less effective treatment is initiated, and I communicate clearly to my patient that I do not expect the treatment to be as helpful. In a couple weeks, the patient will often return with his problem unresolved, and will be open not only to my current recommendations, but the ones I make in the future about other problems.

Why do I choose this strategy- one, I don't have alot of time to argue, two, I am not going to gain the patient's trust by arguing, and three, why waste my emotional energy in conflict? ultimately, I'm not the one who has to be sick. I want to see my patients healthy and happy, but it amazes me how many people don't really want to be healthy and happy, so why should I throw effort after foolishness and get in the way of their ambitions?

So when I read this parable, this is what I think of.

dlm303
31st May 2003, 15:26
I bought the book and Barnes and Noble last night and am planning to start reading tonight. After reading this thread, I can't wait for the journey to begin.

gmellis
1st June 2003, 00:48
I'm not much into the whole answer a question with an all-knowing glistening-eyed question (although some aspects of zen are attractive, especially the lay variety), so I'll just give me interpretatins.

_______________________________________________
On page 31, CONTROL. The passage is:

"To give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him"
_______________________________________________
Basically, animals are naturally averse to confinement and closed spaces. If you have seen footage of chickens and pigs and other livestock packed into cages and 200% capacity or more, you know that they become deranged and very violently psychotic. Why? Because ALL animals need space to roam. But if you put those same animals on a free-range farm, they would calm down and be quite happy and cooperative, and probably wouldn't even notice that they were still confined to a designated area within fences. The same with humans. If you impose too many restrictions on them and dictate their behavior to the point of they feelinglike they have no freedons at all, they will become deranged and have to express those forbidden drives or desires in sociably unacceptable ways. A prime example would be the Victorian upper and middle classes in England. Intense levels of suppression of their own behavior to abide by extensive social norms created all those dodgy venues in the backstreets and the underbelly of society for them to release their desire to be more animalistic: brothels, SM parlors, opium dens, and more. The extremes of suppression cause extremes in the opposite behaviors when the person find the outlets (which will arise to capitalize on that very phenomenon). If you want people to be cooperative or passive without having to crush them down and risk a backlash with unpredictable consequences, make them feel like they are free, despite them bein in a fences in pasture designed to your own liking. This ties into the next quote below.


_________________________________________________
on Page 32 on the same Subject:

"The best way to control people is to allow them to be mischeivous"
_________________________________________________
This is an incomplete version of a well-known application of human psychology. The general law is much more expansive, in that it doesn't restrict freedom just to mischeivousness, but the freedom to be whatever the individual wants to be (within certain limits). The law is spelled out quite beautifully in Robert Greene's the 48 Laws of Power (a book I highly recommend for those who may not want to coerce people, but at least want to defend against control and coercion by schemers and plotters around office), the brief explanation of the law within the table of contents goes like this:

Control the Options: Get Others to Play the Cards you Deal-
The best deceptions are the ones thaat seem to give people a choice: your victims are in control, but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose.Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a dilemma: They are gored wherever they turn.

Now mind you, this person uses very powerful and sometimes offensive (to the white doves amongst us) language to describe very real laws applicable to controlling fellow humankind. Nonetheless his historical case studies are spot on in rvealing how these laws were effectively utilized.

Anyway, while there are a few nice things in zen, I have never liked the answer-question-with-question-thereby-not-really answering-anything-but-looking-like-I-could-if-I-wanted-to-thereby-making-myself-look-wise style of trying to help people actualize their lives. It's based on the premise that people have plenty of time just to sit around like cloistered monks and ponder questions to somehow create some kind of psychological serendipity. Life is short, and our lives will be over in a flash. Would you rather ponder sayings of wisdom that have been acknowledged as true through the ages or some question which may or may not really have any bearing on taking you further down the road of wise living. There is a quote in the bible that goes "It's better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Like I said, there are some things I like about Zen, but smart-assed (even if well intended) questions to questions should only be used sparing, bit exclusively, in my humble opinion. And their frequent use creates doubt in me whether the person knows jack-all about real wisdom and the real world. No intent to flame here. Just being frank.

Gene Williams
1st June 2003, 10:41
Greg, I think you are over-analyzing;) Gene

wendy ongaro
1st June 2003, 15:00
I do like just throwing out ideas when it comes to these parables. My interpretation or your interpretation may not be right, correct, or even close to the mark, but they all make us consider different aspects of the natural order of both man and the universe. I in no way feel I have THE ANSWER- just a perspective.

gmellis
2nd June 2003, 00:11
Gene,
I think you are under-analyzing.:D Greg

Gene Williams
2nd June 2003, 00:52
I'll add some if you'll subtract some:p Gene

joe yang
2nd June 2003, 03:10
I gave my sheep and my cow the whole outdoors. Now they can never run away. I can never find them, but they are there for me somewhere.

wendy ongaro
2nd June 2003, 03:21
sounds like ranching in Wyoming. hope the don't run into any lonely cowboys :D

you know why it's called "mountin' time" out here...where men are men and sheep are nervous...

El Guapo-san
2nd June 2003, 11:07
Try this interpretation out.

The cow and sheep only will see what is in front of them. They can't percieve anything else or go to a higher level of perception. Give them a wide field with lots of grass to eat, and they will always stay because they see no barrier. They have their desire.

If people are mischevious, then they are caught up in their own small thoughts and carrying out of their desires, looking at every blade of grass, clover and plant that is in front of them. People, who are capable of higher thinking, will often see barriers where they do not naturally exist.

Either way, both are trapped and can be directed, neither breaking out of their 'karmic habits' or going beyond the barrier of their own desires.

Neither group can see the wind rippling across the entire field, but even if you can, is it the grass moving or only your mind which causes the motion?

(This isn't entirely fair since I've been reading the Mumonkan.)

J. Vlach, Amsterdam

joe yang
3rd June 2003, 01:10
Does a cow have buddha nature?

Joseph Svinth
3rd June 2003, 02:17
California cheese is made by cows who say, "Aum."

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/110963_cheese05.shtml

http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2003/03/24/tidbits.html

joe yang
3rd June 2003, 02:41
Mu.

joe yang
3rd June 2003, 02:46
Oh master of internet dairy research, could you confirm Wisconsin's motto? Is it really "eat cheese or die"?

wendy ongaro
8th June 2003, 13:40
O.K. Here is a koan that gives me a little trouble.

Heaven and Earth are not humane. They regard the ten thousand things as straw dogs.
The Sage is not humane. He regards the common people as straw dogs.

The space between Heaven and Earth- is it not like a bellows?
It is empty and yet not depleted:
Move it and more always comes out.
Much learning means frequent exhaustion.
that's not so good as holding on to the mean.

Thoughts? Opinions? Interpretations? Bring them on....

Joseph Svinth
8th June 2003, 18:45
Joe --

That's actually from listening to the radio -- the California Cheese ads include talking cows saying "Aum." Honest.

Wendy --

Short version: Bliss happens. So does sh*t. Therefore, take the middle path.

Background? Straw dogs were used in sacrifices (e.g., given exaggerated devotion), and then discarded.

Long version: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Daoist_Text_Symposium/message/447 and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Daoist_Text_Symposium/message/18

Keyword search: "straw dogs" AND humane

wendy ongaro
9th June 2003, 02:22
The second stanza was the easier to understand. I had an instinctive idea about the first- that all things were to be used and manipulated according to their nature. As mentioned in the posts you quoted, to be humane is to consciously act against one's spontaneous inclination. It is akin to not being able to say "no." because you think of yourself as a 'nice person'. You therefore lose the ability to respond appropriately in a situation.

But the role of straw dogs in China I did not understand, and now I do. :)

Thank you.

Hancockhorse
19th January 2016, 15:14
Exactly- you are in the best position when you know what the possibilities are.
Another good part of the book is early, when he's explaining Breathing, he touches on the pitfalls of dualism. It changed my life. I read it for the first time twelve years ago, and it still sits in my mind as boldly as the day I first read it.
Good, Bad, Right, Wrong are all concepts that exist solely in your mind.

Hey! Confront the dualism hidden in " . . . exist solely in your mind." "Mind" is a function of brains, all brains. We do not live alone, no? Maybe: good, bad, right, wrong are "terms" that attempt to suggest entities that are not fixed or permenent . . . instead they are contingent, passing away, changing, limited, relative, USEFUL illusions (dangerous when allowed to become DELUSIONS) . . .

This guy walked accross India and climbed to the mountaintop ashram of a famous guru.
Plainly in need of solace, he begged for insight into the nature of reality and life.
"Your mind is all that is real," the guru told him.
Well. Without further consideration [hint, hint, double hint . . . ] Our dear seeker, feeling so much better, headed home.

On the way, on the narrow path through jungle surrounding a village, he saw an elephant heading towards him, its mahout asleep. "Well," he thinks, "Since I make reality with my mind. . . . I've no need to move out of the way; no elpehant can hurt me . . ."

Well. Six months later, after the healing ministrations of the villagers had reached a point where he could travel, very, very angry he made his way back to the guru.

"What they hell?" said he. "You taught me that my own mind makes reality; that it is all that is real."

"Sure!" said the guru, barely holding back his laughter. "Your own mind makes reality. But . . . so does the mind of an elephant, a mahout, a road, a jungle, a village . . . "

Thus have I heard!

Hancockhorse
19th January 2016, 15:52
O.K. Here is a koan that gives me a little trouble.

Heaven and Earth are not humane. They regard the ten thousand things as straw dogs.
The Sage is not humane. He regards the common people as straw dogs.

The space between Heaven and Earth- is it not like a bellows?
It is empty and yet not depleted:
Move it and more always comes out.
Much learning means frequent exhaustion.
that's not so good as holding on to the mean.

Thoughts? Opinions? Interpretations? Bring them on....

Try always the Heart Sutra . . . I go to it all the time.

Now, though: Only one universe--even if it is made up of multiverses; really only one. That is not some metaphorical notion but a solid principle to live with and by . . . more and more confirmed in contemporary science (brain and otherwise.)

Imagine a blade sharp enough and big enough to cut accross and through the whole thing and right through me too. Step back and look and it is the SAME everywhere, from the finest to the coarsest grain. Space is something too, it is a substance as in part of the universe, as in material reality, which is the only kind of fundamental reality, just as "mind" is a significant element of "reality" and has it roots in substance.

The cosmos is literally, inconceivably all one. It is NOT TWO.

Full and empty are passing states--useful illusions.

As you know the "mean" (the Greeks Golden Mean, too!) the Middle Way or Middle Path (Sanskrit: madhyamā-pratipad; Pali: majjhimā paṭipadā) suggests a non-extremist position. Not resting easy on some metaphorical fence but fully situated, incarnated, coordinated, and integrated (as ideals or perfections . . . can't be too goal focused . . .) right here and right now . . . as if this was and always will be just and only just It. Which it is and always has been and always will be . . .

BUT. Humane behavior is still good . . . again in the limited, passing, relative, and contingent sense of the terms good and bad. Su Zhe: "Heaven and Earth are not partial. They do not kill living things out of cruelty or give them birth out of kindness. We do the same when we make straw dogs to use in sacrifices. We dress them up and put them on the altar, but not because we love them. And when the ceremony is over, we throw them into the street, but not because we hate them." I also think of Straw Man Arguments which are informal logical fallacies which use a kind of verbal slight of hand to appear to "win" an argument .. THE 10,000 things and THE common people are misrepresented as general entities . . . they are more (and less) than that. This suggests a highly transcendant and conditional ethic . . . hence, again, the need to transcend but include notions of right and wrong in our daily lives without allowing them to become delusions.

Thus have I heard.

BudoPL
16th October 2017, 13:09
Meditation show You what You want. Choose carefully.