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Dear Teachers, What are your 'values'?

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Dear Teachers, What are your 'values'?

Postby zenJazzist on Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:46 am

Would you be happy to describe this for me? When I practice, Zen takes away everything, and I feel I don't know, so I become totally suspicious of everything - of saying 'I am' this or that, I have these values or these beliefs. But if I don't practice zen for a while, for whatever reason, I get confused because there is no point of reference - values! Values are attachments no?

I would guess that YOUR values, as zen teachers are something like:
1 - all beings are originally good
2 - the purpose of life is awakening
3 - we should always be mindful of the environment and eachother
4 - we are obliged to do what we feel is right
5 - (the precepts?)

and so on...

How can I clarify my values in order to help me stay true to myself? How can values be useful, and when are they just getting more caught up in philosophy?

ありがとうございます!
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Re: Dear Teachers, What are your 'values'?

Postby Judy Roitman on Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:00 am

Dear zenJazzist,

What you are calling values are actually ideas. "All beings are originally good" is an idea, not a value. Anyway, values aren't important. Direction is important — for whom do you live your life? Also, cutting through delusions is important. That's why we practice Zen. But I think you are intellectuatlizing your practice, yes? If you truly attain don't know you are deeply grounded in reality, in something more fundamental than speech or thinking. But you glimpse this mind and then become somewhat confused. Which is easy to do — our culture doesn't exactly support not knowing! Do you have a teacher? It seems from what you say that it would be very good for you to have a teacher who can reflect what you are doing right back at you right in the moment.

Best,

Judy
Judy Roitman (Zen Master Bon Hae), Kansas Zen Center, Kwan Um School of Zen
www.kansaszencenter.org
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Re: Dear Teachers, What are your 'values'?

Postby Guo Gu on Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:00 am

zenjazz,
you're just going through a phase with the questioning of everything, especially when you're such a sensitive young man. know that this phase will pass, like all states. this phase is not a zen practice phase; you are still finding yourself, your voice in the world, etc. with all the issues of life choices, music, career, etc.
questioning things is good, in general. but at this point, you need to have a strong, congruent self (with various values you hold firm) before getting caught up with zen notions of let go of self. "staying true" to yourself is something you need to find and discover--don't confuse it with other ppl's values (i.e. a teacher's values), learned notions like zen teachings.
what is valuable/useful for you is to cultivate kindness, practice virtue (i.e., the precepts), and learn to recognize vexations (including indecision, which is a vexation) and not give in to them. this is the foundation of being human.
hope this helps.
be well,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.com/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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Re: Dear Teachers, What are your 'values'?

Postby zenJazzist on Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:05 am

Dear Judy and Guo Gu

Thank you for your replies, as always. I appreciate what your saying.

If I may, Guo Gu, would you mind explaining a bit more about why indecision is a vexation?

Guo Gu, you mentioned that first one needs to have a congruent self before getting caught up in notions of letting go of self in Zen. How do you have a congruent self?

Best
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Re: Dear Teachers, What are your 'values'?

Postby Guo Gu on Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:37 am

dear zenjazzist,
indecision, if one is afflicted by it, tends to lead one to wrong decisions or prevent one from having certainty about whatever one's engaged in, thus resulting in ineffective outcome.
that said, questioning things/world, etc is useful. it can lead one to a more accurate understanding of it. the key here is afflicted.
to be congruent is to face yourself, be honest with yourself, and accept yourself; knowing what you can do and what you need to do in different circumstances. on this basis, what you say and what you do correlate to each other. this is what i mean by being true to yourself.
be well,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.com/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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