One can reasonably claim that our suffering stems directly from our beliefs and from delusions brought about when tricked by our thoughts.
But to abstain from thinking means to abstain from part of the miracle of life. Understanding is what is needed to live the life of a complete human being; not lines drawn in the sand.
Thinking that 'I must not think' is to have a method. Seeing one's thoughts as the bubbles of Karma is to be free.
It does not say to abstain from thoughts or mental activity
It says to cut thoughts off by the power of meditation
If you are practicing abstaining from mental activity then you are not meditating
And will never develop the power of meditation through abstaining from mental activity
Being without thought is different from abstaining from thought or mental activity
Abstaining is to actively resist thoughts or mental activity
That is like getting a good grade on a test by cheating
You got the grade but you didn't learn anything
So nothing was learned and nothing was accomplished
Being without thought is being free of thought
Again, the masters have admonished disciples from dwelling in silence
Do you understand??
If you read my previous post in this topic (on Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:08 pm – page 4) you may be better able to understand what I am saying. “ Thinking “is the indispensable tool awareness uses to solve our problems and satisfy our appetites etc. But it plays no part in our being happy. When you practice reacquainting yourself (during meditation) with the common human goal - that peace accessible to the original creature – you are learning the trick of abstaining from “thinking” and just being passively aware.
The definition of “abstain” is, ” to do without or to hold oneself back from”.
It’s not an action – more a retreat or withdrawal from action.
Great Dogen says: "Cut off thought by the power of meditation.”
and in the Zazen-gi: " Be without thoughts--this is the secret of meditation. Being without thoughts is the object of Zen meditation;”
He really knew what he was talking about.
No, it’s not. The definition of “abstain” is, ” to do without or to hold oneself back from”.
It’s not an action – more a retreat or withdrawal from any involvement with thoughts.
Yes, I do. The Masters warned against dwelling permanently in bliss.
Peace of mind is (ideally) the reward for successful action. You must act to deserve the reward. It’s a part of life modern man is missing out on. Zazen fixes that.
To abstain is to hold oneself back. Should I hold myself back from thinking? Or is that just a thought?
Thoughts that are considered truth, are known as beliefs or conclusions. Conclusions arise from causes and conditions past. And become themselves causes and conditions.
If I think : "I shall refrain, hold back, abstain from thinking", I am just being a slave to thought; a slave to the past.
If I think : "In order to be happy, I must do this" I am acting completely normally, just like the next guy. No wisdom here.
Thus said, Suffering is obviously due to confusion brought about by thought. But to say Therefore blah blah blah... here are the rules due to logical interpretation, is only going to create yet more conflict and confusion between the actual and the should be. Between me and myself. Between what I think I am, and what I think I should be. Between the observer and the observed. When they are not separate, nor are they as we define them.
Do you see your words "to do"? To do is an action.
You are creating an action ... but it is the wrong action because that is not what one is asked to do as meditation or Zazen
You only wish to believe in what you want to believe.
The masters did not say bliss. Nor did they say permanently.
Why should anyone tell you anything if you just wish to go on with your own beliefs??
You just aren't open to learning anything new or old
Have a good life.
Last edited by Avisitor on Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
That’s the advice we are given, then we have to acquire the trick of doing it. As thoughts fade away of their own accord as we patiently observe that happening ,we gradually become aware of what the mind at rest feels like. We entertain no hopes of reaching a particular goal or indulge in any method. We don’t do anything.
The goal is peace-of-mind – mind at rest after it has fulfilled its essential role of satisfying our appetites and solving our problems.
Try, “In order to be happy, I must not think of anything.”
On page 72 of D.T. Suzuki’s “Manual of Zen Buddhism” you will find the following at the end of the section on the Surangama Sutra:
“The yogin must be philosophically trained with all his experiences and intuitions to have a clear, logical, penetrating understanding of the Essence.”
Surely the observer and the observed are always separate.
But to do without is not. And the second part of what I wrote is unequivocal. The Zen goal is to experience awareness free of the encumbrances of mental activity.
I try to believe only what makes sense.
But, in my opinion, that is what they meant.
On the contrary. I’ve learnt a lot from posting here.
Thanks and the same to you.
ZFI "Fun and Games" area... .
I love this quiet and sweet area of the Board!
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From our friend Riverstone ...
Is Zen, a practice without thinking??
The awareness before and after thinking, this is the practice.
If your mind is chaotic with thought, your awareness of this .. is the practice.
A great effort to make your mind stop thinking is unnatural.
The practice facilitates the moments when thinking is practically not there, but it is organic, natural.
When you focus on an object so strongly, that you are no longer thinking this is called concentration practice.
The whole idea of concentration practice is to remain aware, but aware without the rejection of the flowing of the present moment.
Should that moment contain, irritation, chaotic thoughts, or pleasant feelings, it is your awareness which is the practice.
Attachment to discomfort or pleasure will cause you to spiral in many directions,
but acknowledgement and honoring what arises and falls away as you release it, this is the practice.
When your awareness is strong enough you will begin to see your karmic impulses and instead of running with them, you let them go.
When there is no awareness, you are controlled by your notions and will do much to protect the truth of your beliefs.
Awareness does not reject anything, it sees the arising thought, reflects the thought,
And it stops reflecting it when the thought is gone. Awareness is the mirror, undiscriminating in what it reflects.
You know when awareness is gone, that is when you remember to watch your breathing again,
And then, you are aware again. Breathing is incidental but it is a good lifeline when your mirror becomes clouded.
The mirror will reflect, emotion, thoughts, dreams, and everything else that comes and goes.
Eventually there is a slip that happens where thinking suddenly ceases. You can feel it, it feels like everything has gone quiet,
Even as it has not. This can not be made to happen, but there is something in the embrace of every thought,
Every fluttering and distracting imagining, and then letting it go as it arises, as you embrace it.
Eventually the well of your pent up mental animations, runs dry, and you are pure here, pure now, pure being.
And then you start thinking again. You can wash dishes being the pure act of washing dishes. You can walk to the bus stop,
Being the pure experience of walking to the bus stop.
And what thoughts arise, arise and fall away as part of the experience.
Sitting in the midst of the ocean, the illusion would be that all the world is one vast ocean and one vast sky.
Illusion though it may be, it seems very real. And in that space and time, it is real.
This is all that you can perceive with your senses, it is literally all that there is.
So while it is true that you are an illusion, it is also true, that "you are".
When you strike the surface of a pool of water, all sorts of forms take shape in the splash.
If you slowed that splash down, you could watch drops change in form along their linear path and destination.
For a moment, they are divided from the whole, seemingly independent, with its own momentum, trajectory and form.
Eventually it will re-merge with the body of water. So that it had its own singular existence for a time,
but all along it had been and always will be a part of the whole.
Some good stuff.
The pith from Riverstone (with minor alterations):
Riverstone has undersold that final experience!
That is not final experience.
Suppose you can be aware without any involvement with thoughts for 100 years and then literally experience no thoughts for 500 years.
That is still ignorance.
Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.
Actually there is no such thing as a final experience, experiences are quite addictive because folks become attached to them, they even give it names like "final" which is a sign one is stil misled by name and form. Experiences leave traces and give the illusion of moment-to-moment-existence, rather one must go beyond experience itself.
To me everything is an event it only becomes an experience when there's a 'personal' interest in them, which is ok as long as one understand the nature of each experience and does not grant it something it is not.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
Sorry Desertwoodworker been of for some time now.
Intresting a poem, how does it go?
And i to have knowtist that it i take numbers, for example, for to real, they becomme thet! Real in a sence that the numbers and the world to some extent seems more solid after a will, scary stuff. It is not like meditation on the breath or enything. Its just counting.
Its as you become extrem in the eternal sence and that you can almost see it.
Good to see you posting again.
Yes, not quite a "poem", but the "ditty" I posted in the OP (Original Post), on page one of this thread. Here it is again:
To sleep... ,
To wake up... ,
sort of like hamlets monolog
-To die, to sleep, sleep, maybe dream...
This is the original Buddha Vairadhara
he is supposed to be shakyamuni Buddha himself
Thanks for posting it Joe. Its Beautiful
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