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"Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

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"Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon May 15, 2017 10:18 pm

.
Just as in the "Undarkening" thread (q. v.), http://zenforuminternational.org/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=11803

...where I make the case to substitute that good word for the mistaken translation, "Enlightenment" -- with which we have suffered in English for 250 years -- I wish to state the case for yet another update and upgrade of English representation and naming of a second fundamentally-central Buddhist tenet and topic.

And that is, "Mindfulness" (as given in the improper translation, as I suggest).

In the Eightfold Path, "Right Mindfulness" is one of the eight "Right" features that must be right or must be made right in a practitioner before, well, "Undarkening" can eventuate.

I suggest this "Mindfulness" is the wrong English word entirely. It's caused a lot of trouble. And, enough! (already... ). ;)

The better -- the correct -- sense is given instead by the word I suggest today: "Mindedness".

"Mindedness" is like "mentality". It is a rather more persistent condition and status than just "mindfulness". Mindfulness can come and go, depending on how much hot-air one puts into it, and is subject to intentional faking-up by what some call "Mindfulness-practice". That "practice"- bit should be sufficient warning to indicate to all that "Mindfulness" is wishful-thinking, a put-on, an applique over out-and-out dullness. Its supposed accumulation washes-away as soon as a fellow takes a good, hearty drink. Or, learns that his car has been stolen.

"Mindedness", by stark contrast, is persistent, and is worth building-up. It's built-up by ...tearing down, dissolving, or evaporating the (fake... ) "mind" that would otherwise intentionally practice "Mindfulness" (which never existed, except in the translators' errant imagination).

This is not a slight to The Buddha! It's a slap at the translators. But, now, in our Undarkened Age, I can offer my gatha of clemency:

    Right Mindedness is key
    May the translators R.-I.-P.;
    It's not quite their fault
    They couldn't grasp the Gestalt.
Ask a Zen Buddhist practitioner. Or a Zen Buddhist teacher:

The only mindfulness worthy of the name is "mindedness" (a mentality, not an exercise). It's not a put-on, nor an exercise.

It's what The Buddha had: Mindedness.

My modest-proposal, for May 15, 2017.

:Namaste:,

signed,

--Joe
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby Guish on Sun May 21, 2017 6:48 pm

Hi Joe,

That's a nice way of putting it. The inner work is very important and the mind set is not created nor controlled. It just comes out on its own. :Namaste:
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun May 21, 2017 7:26 pm

G.,

Guish wrote:That's a nice way of putting it. The inner work is very important and the mind set is not created nor controlled. It just comes out on its own.

Thank you very kindly.

Most of what I say is 100 percent serious. But, 5-10 percent is also meant to be at least a little bit humorous. ;)

Edward Conze, the American Buddhist scholar and practitioner of the 20th century (1904 - 1979), wrote that:

    "Zen is Buddhism with jokes."
(bless Conze's heart -- may he R.I.P.).

On various issues, I do take issue with the translators, and can, I think, suggest suitable and serviceable words ...not because I am a translator, but because of some experience with the practice, and metabolism of the older writings in daily life.

This is what I think must happen in Buddhism's new place(s) in the West: the best "translators" are not necessarily those who are only language scholars, it's better if they are also thorough-practitioners.

Descriptions for each generation, too, must inevitably also be made, as different generations have the irrepressible exuberance to express things a bit differently by using helpful close-to-home metaphors that their forebears could not have been informed about, yet (as, society and culture are always changing).

This, too, is why, perhaps, the Zen Buddhist school has the largest accumulation of writings of any school of Buddhism, despite the fact that Zen Buddhism has been claimed to be a special transmission of (true-) mind, "Independent of words and letters". ;)

It seems that each generation throughout history and on into the future acts upon on the urge to say / write / teach, in its own terms, that:

"Zen Buddhism is a special transmission of mind, independent of the scriptures, and not dependent on words and letters".


"Said" (compassionately... ) by some 85 generations, so far! No wonder the writings are mounting up... !

Viewed by the different generations, I'd say that the written interpretations and descriptions are usually backwardly-compatible -- except in cases of certain Buddhist tantra, where the thread may have been lost -- but not necessarily forward-compatible (in terms of understanding -- or agreement -- by successive generations). We understand a lot of the older writings, but it's more uncertain if the old deceased cadres would understand much of our recent or modern parlance (well, naturally). Admittedly, half of this would be hard to prove, since the venerable departed folks are not known to do any reading of modern texts, neither from the grave, nor from the cremation urn.

The Zen Buddhist school claims to be "radical", in getting at the root, not at the branches and leaves. As such, radical honesty about the situation regarding "enlightenment" and "mindfulness" in Zen Buddhist practice circles ought to freely express the facts, as mutually-shared, in those circles. To wit, there is no emphasis on "mindfulness", but instead the value upon an original "mindedness" is paramount.

And, "enlightenment" is not a phenomenon that is directly descriptive in Zen Buddhist practice circles. But, I'd say, "Undarkening" is, or could be, starting today, or a few weeks ago. :tongueincheek: (e.g., see: http://zenforuminternational.org/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=11803 ).

--Joe
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby Guish on Tue May 23, 2017 6:35 pm

This is a very interesting conversation, Joe. How you would in this mindedness state? Regular zazen and a selfless lifestyle?
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue May 23, 2017 7:53 pm

G.,

Guish wrote:How you would in this mindedness state?

Hmm, there may be some syntax missing there in the question. Typo? But, I'll try to do the best I can.

Guish wrote:This is a very interesting conversation, Joe. How you would in this mindedness state? Regular zazen and a selfless lifestyle?

If you practice with a teacher, the teacher may emphasize that it's extremely valuable to one's life-long practice if one will realize one's true nature. In realizing one's true nature, all of one's original inheritances are suddenly active, and uncovered. One is "awake" to them, and they can operate freely and unopposed. Previously, they were present, but covered-up!

When one's nature is realized, correct-mind is fully operational. One dwells in this correct-mindedness for a long while, perhaps, as one's practice and the causes and conditions in one's life can remain to be sufficient to support it. Otherwise (and I think this happens inevitably), the original mind becomes covered again, even as one continues to practice.

To enable this development of seeing one's nature, and further developments, one really needs a teacher (and sangha). What I mention here is just some description, and definitely not a "how-to" (go about it). That is, the only practical thing I can suggest is, "See a teacher!" ;) If you are interested in Zen Buddhist practice... .

best,

--Joe
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby Guish on Thu May 25, 2017 5:31 pm

Thank you for the feedback, Joe.
I have joined Jundo's Sangha and it feels right.

Warm regards,
Geerish.
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 26, 2017 2:59 am

Strong practice, best wishes, Guish.

--Joe
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby fukasetsu on Sun May 28, 2017 10:35 am

Thanks Joe, I'll use it :)

Now we have 3 words never to be spoken or written, mindfulness, enlightenment, and holland :lol2:
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun May 28, 2017 2:57 pm

f.,

fukasetsu wrote:Thanks Joe, I'll use it :)

Now we have 3 words never to be spoken or written, mindfulness, enlightenment, and holland :lol2:

Fuki, where have you been? One could really begin to miss you around here. :heya:

"Holland", eh? By the way, I learned a joke that was popular in Elizabethan times in England:

    Q.: "What is the difference between a tube and a silly Dutchman?"

    A.: "One is a hollow cylinder, and the other is a silly Hollander."
--Joe

p.s. Another Elizabethan joke I heard is:

    Q.: "What would Neptune say if all the seas were to dry up?"

    A.: "I really haven't got a notion!"
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