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

Postby fukasetsu on Tue May 30, 2017 3:11 pm

:lol2: :lol2: :lol2:

Very funny about the Hollander Joe.

Thanks Joe, I know the feeling, I constantly miss myself wherever I go
perhaps a case of "non-mindedness" :lol2:
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby organizational on Wed May 31, 2017 9:16 am

"Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

:Namaste:
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby organizational on Wed May 31, 2017 10:24 am

I wish i could go japan.and find a place

to rest in peace

but i have a family here which i can't leave for now.

I'm looking forward to go there in the future.

if by any chance.

i believe there are things to learn from there.


just a passing thought
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:00 am

org'l, Enver,

organizational wrote:I wish i could go japan.and find a place
to rest in peace
but i have a family here which i can't leave for now.
I'm looking forward to go there in the future.
if by any chance.
i believe there are things to learn from there.
just a passing thought

Zen Master Dogen famously wrote, "Why travel to other dusty countries?"

But he himself went from Japan to China, and then back.

He was interested in being rid of certain dust which prevented him (and us) from opening the eye of Wisdom.

There is a time for rest; every day, every night. Despite duties and doings. I doubt the "grass is greener" elsewhere, even in a desert like mine with no grasses.

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

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:23 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Zen Master Dogen famously wrote, "Why travel to other dusty countries?"

But he himself went from Japan to China, and then back.

He was interested in being rid of certain dust which prevented him (and us) from opening the eye of Wisdom.

There is a time for rest; every day, every night. Despite duties and doings. I doubt the "grass is greener" elsewhere, even in a desert like mine with no grasses.

--Joe


I like the elephant metaphor, (footprints outside, elephant at home)
But for the "non-dwellers and non-seekers" any place is fine, any seeking too :daisy:
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby organizational on Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:32 pm

fukasetsu wrote:I like the elephant metaphor, (footprints outside, elephant at home)


I didn't know that what is it?
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:46 pm

organizational wrote:
fukasetsu wrote:I like the elephant metaphor, (footprints outside, elephant at home)


I didn't know that what is it?


I can't remember the passage or author sorry, I'll post it when I stumble upon it.
The sentence was "it's like looking for tracks (or footprints) outside whilst you have an elephant at home"

Just as one can say "don't look for Buddha outside your own mind"
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:50 pm

another example;

There is a story in the tantric meditative tradition of Mahamudra about a farmer who owns a buffalo. Not realizing that the buffalo is in its stable, the farmer goes off in search of it, thinking the animal has strayed from home. Starting on his search, he sees many different buffalo footprints outside his yard. Buffalo footprints are everywhere! The farmer then thinks, “Which way did my buffalo go?” He decides to follow one set of tracks and they lead him up into the high Himalayas, but he doesn’t find his buffalo there. Then he follows another set of footprints that lead way down to the ocean. However, when he reaches the ocean, he still doesn’t find his buffalo. It is not in the mountains or at the beach. Why? Because the buffalo is back home in the stable in his yard.

In the same way, we search for enlightenment outside ourselves. We search for freedom high up in the mountains of the Himalayas, at peaceful beaches, and in wonderful monasteries, where there are footprints everywhere. In the end, we may find traces of the great Tibetan yogi Milarepa’s enlightenment in the caves where he meditated, or hints of the Indian pandit Naropa’s enlightenment at the bank of the River Ganges. We may find signs of the enlightenment of many individual masters in different towns, cities, or monasteries. What we will not find, however, is the one thing we are looking for: our own enlightened nature. We may find someone else’s enlightenment, but it is not the same as finding our own.
~Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
http://wearebuddhamind.blogspot.nl/2009 ... inous.html

Sorry about the E word Joe :lol2:
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:39 pm

Marcel,

fukasetsu wrote:Sorry about the E word Joe :lol2:

Funny!

No, whatever's cast in print stays in print.

I only suggest that it's misconstrued, and that English-speakers can do better -- and smile a half-smile while they say -- "Undarkening".

Maybe "Undarkenment" works, too, and can possibly be shoehorned into the lexicon in time, dunno.

;)

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

Postby organizational on Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:08 pm

fukasetsu wrote:another example;

There is a story in the tantric meditative tradition of Mahamudra about a farmer who owns a buffalo. Not realizing that the buffalo is in its stable, the farmer goes off in search of it, thinking the animal has strayed from home. Starting on his search, he sees many different buffalo footprints outside his yard. Buffalo footprints are everywhere! The farmer then thinks, “Which way did my buffalo go?” He decides to follow one set of tracks and they lead him up into the high Himalayas, but he doesn’t find his buffalo there. Then he follows another set of footprints that lead way down to the ocean. However, when he reaches the ocean, he still doesn’t find his buffalo. It is not in the mountains or at the beach. Why? Because the buffalo is back home in the stable in his yard.

In the same way, we search for enlightenment outside ourselves. We search for freedom high up in the mountains of the Himalayas, at peaceful beaches, and in wonderful monasteries, where there are footprints everywhere. In the end, we may find traces of the great Tibetan yogi Milarepa’s enlightenment in the caves where he meditated, or hints of the Indian pandit Naropa’s enlightenment at the bank of the River Ganges. We may find signs of the enlightenment of many individual masters in different towns, cities, or monasteries. What we will not find, however, is the one thing we are looking for: our own enlightened nature. We may find someone else’s enlightenment, but it is not the same as finding our own.
~Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
http://wearebuddhamind.blogspot.nl/2009 ... inous.html

Sorry about the E word Joe :lol2:


thnks, I hope you enjoy it.
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Re: "Mindedness" as Mentality; "mindfulness" as fakery

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:51 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Funny!

No, whatever's cast in print stays in print.

I only suggest that it's misconstrued, and that English-speakers can do better -- and smile a half-smile while they say -- "Undarkening".

Maybe "Undarkenment" works, too, and can possibly be shoehorned into the lexicon in time, dunno.


How about uncloakment? I like that too, or is it too Star Warish?

"shoehorned into the lexicon"
That's the most beautiful combination of words I read in a decade, and I learned a new word "lexicon" so thanks
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