Creating the Path and Building the City

Creating a thriving and meaningful life depends on our willingsness to understand the basic human condition of being prone to suffering and of having to die at a certain point of our lives.

The 4-fold tasks outlined here in my talk are proofed and capable of not being conditioned by conditioning factors of our lives such as reactivity*. Not being conditioned let us experience a complete perspective shift in our understanding and experiencing what it means to be free and to be human.

The goal of the 4-fold task is to lead an integrated life

  • Embrace life – [comprehending suffering].
  • Let go of what arises – [letting go of reactivity].14463171_1178793292159302_7464590275283290175_n
  • See its ceasing – [beholding its ceasing].
  • Act! – [cultivating the path].

which leads to

  • Building the city

in a culture of awakened human beings.

The path is to be cultivated for building our cities and societies anew.

* Stephen Batchelor: after buddhism. Rethinking the dharma for a secular age. Yale University Press. 2015

The Four Processes of Liberation from Subjectivity and Objectivity


The Four Processes of Liberation from Subjectivity and Objectivity (ssu liao chien)
Hakuin's Daruma

adapted by Vladimir K. from the following sources:
Original Teachings of Ch’An Buddhism Chang Chung-Yuan Vintage Books 1971
*The Record of Rinzai by Irmgard Shloegle The Buddhist Society 1975 (p. 5)
Eloquent Zen; Kenneth Kraft; University of Hawaii Press; 1992; P.19

1. Tuo jen pu tuo ching:Take away the man but not his objective situation
Free from the attachments of subjectivity but to let objectivity remain

Under the moonlight are the towers and chambers of a thousand houses;
Lying in the autumn air are lakes and rivers of myriad li.
Blossoms blow in the reeds, differing not in the colours.
A white bird descends the white sandbank of a stream.

no mention of subjectivity; the actual situation, sheer objectivity
the subjectivity of man is liberated, freed from its attachments; only objectivity remains

* Lin-chi

“Sometimes I snatch away the man but not the environment.”

Warm sunshine covers the earth with a carpet of brocade.
The hair of the child is white like silken thread.

A poor man thinks about his unpaid debts.

2. Tuo ching pu tuo jen:

take away the objective situation but not the man
to be free from the attachments of objectivity, but let subjectivity remain

“There are some Buddhist learners who have already made the mistake of seeking for Manjusri at Mount Wu-t’ai. There is no Manjusri at Wu-t’ai. Do you want to know Manjustri? It is something at this moment working within you, something which remains unshakable and allows no room for doubt. This is called the living Manjusri.”

desist from seeking outside one’s self.
non-attachment to objectivity


“Sometimes I snatch away the environment but not the man.”

As the king’s command reaches everywhere,
The general at the frontier ceases to fight.

The foreign monk sits at Shao-lin.

3. Jen ching chu tuo:

take away both man and his objective situation
liberation from both objective and subjective bondage

The monk Ting came to the Master (Lin-chi) and asked, “What is the essence of Buddhism? ” The Master came down from his straw chair, slapped his face, and pushed him away. Ting, the questioner, stood there unmoved. A monk standing by said to him, “Ting! Why don’t you bow to the Master?” As the monk Ting started to make a bow he suddenly attained enlightenment.

unable to respond with subjective reasoning or traditional teaching (masters), Ting remains frozen,
unable to move forward or backward


“Sometimes I snatch away both man and environment.”

The provinces of Hei and Fu are cut off entirely,
Each alone in its own place

The old mouse drags raw ginger.

4. Jen ching chu pu tuo:

taking away neither man nor situation
subjectivity and objectivity perfectly identified with one another
the doer (subjectivity) is exactly identified with objectivity activity (the thing being done)

When you search outwardly you are a fool. What you should do is be master of yourself under any circumstances. The objective situation which you are in is sure to be a real one. Then when anything untoward happens, you are not turned around.

Carrying water and chopping wood—therein is the wonder of Tao.

Just carry on an ordinary task without any attachment….When you are tired, lie down. The fool will laugh at you, but the wise man will understand.


“Sometimes I snatch away neither man nor environment.”

When the king ascends the jewel-palace
The peasants in the fields burst into song.

General Li shoots a stone tiger with an arrow.

Chao-chou asked, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma coming from the West?” Master Lin-chi answered, “You ask at a time when I am bathing my feet! ” Chao-chou moved nearer and made a gesture of listening. Master Lin-chi said, “Do you want a second ladle of dirty water poured on you? ”

see also The Five Ranks of the House of T’sao-tsung