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Question about stuff

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Question about stuff

Postby noorcasta on Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:04 pm

All is a dream, delusion as much as enlightenment, thinking as much as not-thinking, dim-sightedness as much as illumination - and the only "reality" is delusions, forms (shapes, concepts, forms, phenomena, events, things, thoughts, people etc...). We are prone to thinking because the cosmic karmic net has given us the capacity to think, see, feel, touch, smell, hear. Human thinking is one consequence of being dependently-arisen. Thinking itself as an activity is delusionary because we think about stuff which in itself is not thinkable, it just is, and thoughts are forms of delusion because they are dependently-arisen beings too.
The way i see it, there is no way out of this dream. Dealing with particularities is all we can do. The only absolute is Void, but of course it is "not". So all we have is all things and us, with all our senses and intuitions, playing with and being played by every other thing in the universe.

Why is there then so much emphasis in zen practice on no-mind, not-thinking, non-abiding, non-attachment .... Isn't this another attempt at escaping, the eternal search for yet another Absolute, a sign of uneasiness with something.

I am confused on this point because i think (heh) that if we "see" what is happening, how delusions arise, how every event or thing is delusion - ishouldn't this be liberating? Yet in my practical life - even while thinking like this - i do not feel myself particularly liberated .... what am I missing?

From nothing all beings as beings come to be. (Heidegger)
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby Avisitor on Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:27 pm

One has the capacity to over think everything and on every level.
Please relax and get comfortable
One's life is going on ...

Practice is where all things can arise
Thoughts, imagination, insights, enlightenment, void, self, selfless, compassion, wisdom, illusions, foolishness
What is the method again?
Sitting and focus attention on the breath
Let thoughts come and let them go
Return to breath if one notices one is not on breath
It is not complex but can take a lifetime to master
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:05 am

n.c.,

noorcasta wrote:Why is there then so much emphasis in zen practice on no-mind...

See your teacher, and sangha.

There's no escapism involved. Samsara is Nirvana! Zen Buddhist practice is medicine to regain or establish this understanding.

Strong practice,

("Got Practice?")

--Joe
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby Chrisd on Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:21 am

Well! fun questions.

noorcasta wrote:The way i see it, there is no way out of this dream. Dealing with particularities is all we can do. The only absolute is Void, but of course it is "not". So all we have is all things and us, with all our senses and intuitions, playing with and being played by every other thing in the universe.


There's only ever a need to get out when you're in a negative state. That's the whole purpose of negative states, to tell you something is wrong. If you change, it's fine. If you have a perspective that makes you unhappy, change it. When you're in joy, you're not asking yourself how do I get out of this.

noorcasta wrote:Why is there then so much emphasis in zen practice on no-mind, not-thinking, non-abiding, non-attachment .... Isn't this another attempt at escaping, the eternal search for yet another Absolute, a sign of uneasiness with something.


All depends on what you make of it :) you can also see the Absolute as always present, abiding peace. Nothin' wrong there! You're just abiding in peacefulness. Nice taking a nap into yourself now and then. It's not inherently better than going "out" so a genuine spiritual teaching will not use it as an escapism.

noorcasta wrote:I am confused on this point because i think (heh) that if we "see" what is happening, how delusions arise, how every event or thing is delusion - ishouldn't this be liberating? Yet in my practical life - even while thinking like this - i do not feel myself particularly liberated .... what am I missing?


It's designed in a certain way. Think negatively and out of alignment with yourself, your passion, your joy, get a painful and unpleasant experience. The purpose of that is to alert you and get you thinking into alignment with yourself again, with your passion, with your joy.

Learn to operate your system the way it's designed.
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:14 am

Chrisd wrote:Learn to operate your system the way it's designed.

Chris, dang it, dang it!, you are a TREASURE.

Did I mention, that you are a treasure? And even moreso, ...what you have said (well, yours-truly opines).

(but, keep seeing your teacher, and practicing intensively, when you have the opportunity),

:Namaste:,

--Joe
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby TigerDuck on Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:42 am

Actually thinking is very important.

The drawback of thinking is because thinking involves concepts, the conclusion itself is therefore a concept.
So thinking cannot bring you out of concept.

But that assumption is actually not correct, because it really depends on how you think.

You play with poison doesn't mean you will get poison. It depends on how you play with that poison.

If you see the teachings from Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti, their teaching demands a lot of thinking.
But when you follow their teaching, you will not end up with a conclusion, which is a concept.

Let's say you have concept A. If you follow their teaching, you can finally find out concept A is wrong.
If you then go to concept B, then you will also find out concept B is wrong.

100000 concepts you analyse, 100000 concepts are wrong.

So you start with concept, but end of your analysis you become naked. You cannot hold that concept because it is wrong.

It is then here, Shantideva said that:

When you realise all concepts are wrong, you then rest with the mind that does not rest on anything.
From this naked resting, the truth of reality becomes obvious.

So, thinking are actually very useful depending on how you think.

Although Zen approach may not employ much thinking, this is just an approach.
There are many other approaches that involve thinking to go beyond thinking.

We shall follow what is suitable for us.
Everybody has different sickness.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

[Nagarjuna]
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:52 am

TigerDuck wrote:Everybody has different sickness.

Be well, TD.

Keep us up to date, please.

--Joe
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby noorcasta on Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:00 am

Thanks for all the responses and several good "leads".

A thought is a being that arises due to conditions. That's why it is void. A flower of emptiness. So thoughts (or metathoughts) should be seen as an exemplar of emptiness, its demonstration, its happening, its incarnation. Just like all somethings are. Applying thinking – and also other senses, refined intuition, even perhaps no-thought – and seeing it as what it is (its arbitrariness, its unavoidably contitioned birth and void content) – should probably strengthen zen living. This is the reason why I don't quite understand the emphasis on non-thinking in meditation. Maybe it has to do with helping the practitioner to see what it is, to slow down and take the time to observe it, become acquainted with the (structural) position thoughts and thinking have in the universe of everything.

What more do we have then senses in the broad sense of the word (including all the ways in which we perceive anything)? We can probably learn to not abide in valutational thinking and we can develop subtler perceptory tools, but they are all equally conditioned - but also illuminating. (Maybe even illuminating precisely because conditioned, not in spite of.)

Thanks for reading, and, sorry, English is not my first language.

From nothing all beings as beings come to be. (Heidegger)
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby Chrisd on Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:13 pm

haha thanks Joe :lol2: you're a treasure too.

I'm not too bothered about the (traditional) teacher thing. Just follow your highest joy and excitement and you will naturally come into contact with every lack belief you have about yourself and the world. And every support you do need :) But by definition, you don't need somebody else to be yourself.

If you want to enjoy the ride with company, that's fine. Enjoy the spiritual family, but remember it's a family, it's not a hierarchy in any way. They're there to support you if you need it and when you need it with no strings attached. That's my experience anyway :heya: enjoy!


desert_woodworker wrote:
Chrisd wrote:Learn to operate your system the way it's designed.

Chris, dang it, dang it!, you are a TREASURE.

Did I mention, that you are a treasure? And even moreso, ...what you have said (well, yours-truly opines).

(but, keep seeing your teacher, and practicing intensively, when you have the opportunity),

:Namaste:,

--Joe
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby Chrisd on Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:18 pm

noorcasta wrote:Thanks for all the responses and several good "leads".

A thought is a being that arises due to conditions. That's why it is void. A flower of emptiness. So thoughts (or metathoughts) should be seen as an exemplar of emptiness, its demonstration, its happening, its incarnation. Just like all somethings are. Applying thinking – and also other senses, refined intuition, even perhaps no-thought – and seeing it as what it is (its arbitrariness, its unavoidably contitioned birth and void content) – should probably strengthen zen living. This is the reason why I don't quite understand the emphasis on non-thinking in meditation. Maybe it has to do with helping the practitioner to see what it is, to slow down and take the time to observe it, become acquainted with the (structural) position thoughts and thinking have in the universe of everything.


I don't think there's a particular way in which thought needs to be seen. There may be particular ways in which it shouldn't be seen :lol2: as something which it is not. The only way you can do that is by using your intellect in a destructive way :PP:

noorcasta wrote:Maybe it has to do with helping the practitioner to see what it is, to slow down and take the time to observe it, become acquainted with the (structural) position thoughts and thinking have in the universe of everything.


Yeah I think so too :)

noorcasta wrote:What more do we have then senses in the broad sense of the word (including all the ways in which we perceive anything)? We can probably learn to not abide in valutational thinking and we can develop subtler perceptory tools, but they are all equally conditioned - but also illuminating.


Well from my view in the way you're using it here, "conditioned" is a particular interpretation that you impose on the senses. Only humans would imagine something to be conditioned. Like you know if you look at it with quantum physics it's all vibrating alive energy, where's the boundary?

We appear to develop a "sense" of trust in the universe when we open up spiritually. Or maybe you can say we re-find it. We find out we don't have to do everything ourselves.

Just picked up on your sentence here :lol2:
noorcasta wrote: (Maybe even illuminating precisely because conditioned, not in spite of.)
:thumb l:

Maybe like we use a telescope, the universe has each of us as a way of seeing itself in detail?
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby macdougdoug on Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:26 pm

noorcasta wrote:
Why is there then so much emphasis in zen practice on no-mind, not-thinking, non-abiding, non-attachment .... Isn't this another attempt at escaping, the eternal search for yet another Absolute, a sign of uneasiness with something.




Thinking, abiding and attachment is the movement of the past turning into me. To react from me, me, me as we do, is karma, is continual conflict and separation. Can we breathe fully for just a moment, free from karma? If we set out to do it, we are, as you rightly say, only building more karma. The impossible trick is to be fearless and free right now. So everyday we practise our zazen.
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby macdougdoug on Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:34 pm

noorcasta wrote:I am confused on this point because i think (heh) that if we "see" what is happening, how delusions arise, how every event or thing is delusion - ishouldn't this be liberating? Yet in my practical life - even while thinking like this - i do not feel myself particularly liberated .... what am I missing?


If I say : "The first world war started because of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand." Or "Light is both a particle and a wave". Or "the universe is infinite".

Does this mean I have an understanding of these subjects? Understanding does not mean : coming to conclusions based on words. Or building up a belief system based on ideas or knowledge. Understanding is beyond words. Words are just what we use when attempting to communicate.
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby noorcasta on Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:15 am

Chrisd wrote:Well from my view in the way you're using it here, "conditioned" is a particular interpretation that you impose on the senses. Only humans would imagine something to be conditioned. Like you know if you look at it with quantum physics it's all vibrating alive energy, where's the boundary?


Exactly. For me, “conditioned” phenomena (thoughts included) is the particularization of the emptiness, the way everything is … … the beads on the indra's net of jewels … everything interpenetrating and conditioning everything else. Each separate thought as one of these beings (“shih” of Hua-Yen Buddhism).

Chrisd wrote:Maybe like we use a telescope, the universe has each of us as a way of seeing itself in detail?


I like the way you put this. Self-illuminating universe.

macdougdoug wrote:Thinking, abiding and attachment is the movement of the past turning into me. To react from me, me, me as we do, is karma, is continual conflict and separation. Can we breathe fully for just a moment, free from karma? If we set out to do it, we are, as you rightly say, only building more karma. The impossible trick is to be fearless and free right now. So everyday we practise our zazen.


Can we get rid of karma? Maybe karma is the condition that puts us into incarnated and particularized existence. Here and now as you say. Maybe seeing the impossibility of getting rid of it, or even the lack of a reason to do so, frees us in the sense that we see it for what it is, we see that everything is like this, accept our limitations as ultimately enabling (alas, for me, for now, only in theory). Your comment on temporalization reminds me of a great article by Rein Raud on Dogen: “Casting off the bonds of karma”. Dogen's time-being (uji) …

From nothing all beings as beings come to be. (Heidegger)
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby Chrisd on Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:31 am

noorcasta wrote:
Chrisd wrote:Maybe like we use a telescope, the universe has each of us as a way of seeing itself in detail?


I like the way you put this. Self-illuminating universe.


right! :) thx for sharings :)

noorcasta wrote:Can we get rid of karma? Maybe karma is the condition that puts us into incarnated and particularized existence. Here and now as you say. Maybe seeing the impossibility of getting rid of it, or even the lack of a reason to do so, frees us in the sense that we see it for what it is, we see that everything is like this, accept our limitations as ultimately enabling (alas, for me, for now, only in theory). Your comment on temporalization reminds me of a great article by Rein Raud on Dogen: “Casting off the bonds of karma”. Dogen's time-being (uji) …


I'm just going to connect and share my personal view of that idea.

Ultimately I see karma as the air we breathe, it's what we're made of in this life.
If we didn't have karma, which is the belief in that the physical reality is real, solid, that reality is the way we perceive it to be, there would be no self living possible.

That said, the great joy in human life is the casting off of our limitations. I see it as the universe's joke or play to pretend to be a small thing so it can realize the immensity of itself.
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby chankin1937 on Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:17 pm

noorcasta,
noorcasta wrote:. This is the reason why I don't quite understand the emphasis on non-thinking in meditation.

Hello noorcasta,
Zen is simply a method to enhance ordinary everyday feelings of contentment, fulfilment and peace of mind – conventionally called happiness - the common human gaol.
The method is simple: While meditating, allow all thinking [conscious metal activity] to melt away and become aware of the condition that then prevails – perfect happiness. (Although it is a virtually unrecognisable version of it!)
Why is this true?
Because that is the mechanism of happiness in all creatures with our sort of central nervous system.
If we wish to live we have to satisfy our appetites and solve the problems that crop up in our daily lives. The tool we use to do that is our intellect – all thinking – all conscious mental activity.
However, once a problem has been solved we [ideally] lay the tool aside.
Simultaneously, once a problem has been solved we feel a surge of contentment - fulfilment – happiness.
It is apparent that we have established a connection between the laying aside of the tool and a surge, no matter how slight, in the happiness we feel.
Extrapolating this connection to its logical conclusion we can say:
Perfect happiness would be experienced if we could allow conscious mental activity to fade away completely, while staying alert and passively aware.
That is what the Buddha meant when he said, “Nirvana is the extinction of dukkha.”
Colin
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:50 pm

noorcasta,

chankin1937 wrote:Zen is simply a method to enhance ordinary everyday feelings of contentment, fulfilment and peace of mind – conventionally called happiness - the common human gaol.

There is no "zen", as such. There is, however, Zen Buddhism, and Zen Buddhist practice. The practices are learned in-person from a living teacher, and practiced together with the group of people -- other practitioners -- associated with that teacher (say, your teacher).

I caution you and other readers that non-practitioners such as the one quoted above is not a teacher, and cannot help you.

He also writes of a "gaol", which, although it is an accidental misspelling he frequently makes, is also an English word which means "JAIL". Indeed, there is truth in the practice he suggests being a jail! One cannot realize one's true nature that way. A living, authorized Zen Buddhist teacher, representing a genuine lineage, is the teacher to learn from.

Note please too, that the so-called "meditation" that some poseurs speak of is not necessarily ZAZEN. Zazen is learned from Zen Buddhist teachers. Nothing written-down anywhere (book; internet) is of much use unless one first has a Zen Buddhist teacher and sangha to learn and practice with. Trying to practice from "written-teachings" can lead one to follow outer-paths, ways that are NOT Buddhist, and which, from the Zen Buddhist perspective, are NOT correct practice, and hence will not lead to a correct result (that of seeing one's nature).

These are my cautions. Other practitioners would caution much the same, and I note that some teachers here have also made such cautions.

Stay safe!

regards,

--Joe
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby Avisitor on Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:06 pm

It is truly suffering to come across such words as those presented here
That it is so necessary to cut a man down for his ideas
Wrong as they might be ... it is his understanding

The caution flag has been thrown into play
Wish that those who come here .. take heed
There are many paths
Some lead to where one wishes to go
Others lead to an outer path

Not everybody is right and not everybody is wrong
Learn to be open to new stuff
For that is the only way we can help others (and ourselves)

Yes, the third Jewel ... is the most precious ... sangha
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby noorcasta on Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:39 pm

Hello Colin,
thanks for your post.
It seems to drastical that we should (even if we could) eliminate such a big sensory organ, just to feel some relief from its mingling with our “happiness”. Also, it is dualistic to think that we (who?) could operate on something else, even if this operation is destructive (or deconstructive).

Thinking – not-thinking - I gather that not even one concept in zen buddhist history has remained solid, or uncontested, or without its opposite appearing as equally compelling. t's like liquid mercury or water. Hugely promising, enticing, seductive, but elusive like hell. It all auto-destructs – not necessarily a bad thing.

From nothing all beings as beings come to be. (Heidegger)
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby noorcasta on Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:44 pm

Hello Joe,

thanks for your post. Thanks also for your well-meaning advice. Yeah, I would like to have a proper teacher – but in a small provincial Spanish city I am probably the only pseudo-zennist.

But I practice every hour of the day, even when I don't. :)

From nothing all beings as beings come to be. (Heidegger)
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Re: Question about stuff

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:33 pm

nc,

noorcasta wrote:thanks for your post. Thanks also for your well-meaning advice. Yeah, I would like to have a proper teacher – but in a small provincial Spanish city I am probably the only pseudo-zennist.

But I practice every hour of the day, even when I don't. :)

Wishing you well! I hope you will find a true teacher when the time is ripe for that.

It can be very good not to neglect physical practice, in the meantime, and in addition. For example, yoga classes, and yoga practice at home, can be very helpful to anyone who will at some time practice zazen.

Buena suerte!,

y un abrazo,

--Joe
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