For constructive feedback and support questions concerning ZFI.
I'd say, as the awakened state is not even imaginable, there's definitely no use in trying to engineer it.
If you (we... ) try to "engineer" it, we may get what we tried to engineer, but we will not "get" awakening.
Best, yes, is to align with teacher and sangha, and pitch-in with each other to practice. Then, what will come will come. Or, may come.
If there are obstacles to aligning with teacher and sangha, then that's what to work on in the interim.
IMO! (and probably for the 10th repetitive time; apologies).
thank you flutemaker,
but why cant you reconcile with "no thread"?
maybe i misunderstood
so if my ? is of point, sry
Joe: flutemaker will NOT start such a group at some other private URL (as you for some unknown reason think he means to).
Meido: I've heard as someone said, "first, get realization, then, you are free to be creative in selecting (or even engineering) tools, means, and methods that seem helpful for the others (as it is seen from where you sit)".
What if some teacher invited to such a group doesn't decline the invitation, but rather -- not only accepts it, but uses their skills to convert an imperfect, half-baked or useless idea into something better?
Can you put together a long "manifesto", merely in writing, just on a forum, that can however wound someone's heart deeply, almost to the level of physical pain? Yes you can.
Can the likes of you, when put in circumstances new, bad, or unfavorable, be anyway creative and transfer them into the ground where seeds can grow? I'd guess they can.
What if a video question is posted and then a video-answer is posted in reply, would it be a little bit more beneficial?
And who the hell is trying to engineer what? I have no slightest idea of what the awakened state is, and therefore no inclination to engineer any product of my [or anything else's] fantasy. Nor recommend it to others. If you're not getting me, you possibly cannot, and won't, whatsoever, and so what is the use of such exchanges for the reader. I am just curious.
That would be wonderful. As I said, I'll watch with interest to see this idea defined and developed.
Not my intent, certainly.
Now this IS precisely my intent, in this thread or any other at ZFI. Posting here really is my best attempt to meet somewhat more than halfway. Apologies in advance for times that I fail; this may be one of them.
Can you imagine something to the likes of the complete Koan Curriculum, but accompanied by the embodiment of the variety of that, which the Curriculum is thought to work with?
Can you imagine the "practice-enlightenment" model, where the entire process is neither the cause, nor the outcome, nor just the instrument, but an undivided unity?
When speaking of the "effects", or "meaning", of certain postures in Indian Yoga the majority of people are in the position of someone who have never heard about Zen training at all, yet judging about the significance of certain subtleties of advanced "post-awakening" work. Or someone judging about one heart's rate based on the manner their shoestrings are tied.
An external form of postures in Indian Yoga, as perceived by the majority, accompanied by all the absurdity of their "inner meaning" interpretation, is not the proper way to base one's views upon.
I am not an expert on Yoga, and am not going to go into more detail.
Disregard at will.
Re specific group: My reservation relates to what I have observed on what has worked on ZFI and what has not.
According to my interpretation, ZFI was created primarily to assemble very committed practitioners from various formal training systems. A special group was created for them. Should one not have received a degree of formal training one could not join. It was poorly subscribed and gave way to the open discussions we now find.
The idea of a selective group is fine but I suspect it would go the same way as the founding concept. The perception of a degree of elitism does not go down well either.
In reality, we have 3 active teachers here and a 4th that contributes to “Ask a Teacher”. They all respond to a PM. We can also create a topic on any subject we desire. I sense, FM, that you feel more truth may come out of a less publicly exposed setting. I am not sure that this will occur.
My observation is that the deeper the experience of a student the less likely they are to talk about it directly. It defiles the waters. Therefore, open discussion - even within a group - can only go so far.
An awful lot of stuff has emerged from this very topic. I could spend days digesting it all. What is behind the the teachers' words? Is this someone I would like to train under? What are their methods? For me this is enough. The door is wide open.
All the answers are found on the cushion anyway
Just one view
Whatever outcome you dream is possible, and which you have for long and consistently here lamented as being evasive, and which you suppose might not be evasive if only you had more info about "technicalities" of 'methods'.
Whereas, what is needed is teacher and sangha. These constitute (causes and) conditions, not technicalities. So it's been for 2000-plus years of this path, and it's right to be dubious that the needed causes and conditions cannot be circumvented nor engineered-around by "technic". No use clouding the waters further.
I'd say that if you understand this, and others reading understand this, then very good.
Seeing one's way clear to such condition is what's useful as enabling steps on the Way, certainly, for all.
Hmmm. I have never met a teacher who just let a student slouch (although, actually, on the continent, many slouch ... and I have discovered, especially with older and other people with certain rounding of the spine, that is actually quite comfortable for them). Here is video of a Retreat I participated in at the "6th Ancestors Temple" in Guangzhou, and if you look around the 4:30 to about 8:00 marks, you can see monks and lay folks sitting in a variety of slouches (I am in there somewhere too, doing my upright Japanese way. I make a little cameo as the lost waiguoren in the inside slow lane at the 00:20 and 02:50 marks ). Maybe Guo Gu has a comment? I am sure that this is not universal, and some put more value on an upright spine than others.
What I have seen the few times I have been to Thailand and Laos, and also Tibetan regions ...
Well, the Middle Way. No two bodies just alike. Generally, don't slouch, but don't be rigid. Generally, upright spine is important for most folks. Be balanced, stable and comfortable!. Some folks perhaps make be "balanced stable and comfortable" with a curved back due to their own body needs. I do recommend that Will Johnson book on 'listening' to one's own body.
One fellow who I am slightly critical of is Rev. Issho Fujita, the present head of the Soto Shu International Center in San Francisco, who is a marvelous and wise teacher. He advocates the "Alexander Technique" as part of sitting, which has also helped many folks. However, I feel that he sometimes makes extreme claims, and also quotes some questionable science in an over-emphasis on posture. For example, he advocates:
"Cranial Sacral Therapy" is a bit of quackery that is popular in some circles.
https://www.painscience.com/articles/cr ... herapy.php
Mixing in Zazen posture with these kinds of extreme and unsubstantiated physiological claims is wrong, I feel. Folks seem to make similar extreme claims for posture all the time, however.
Founder Treeleaf Zendo, Japan. Member SZBA. Treeleaf is an online Sangha for those unable to commute to a Sangha, w/ netcast Zazen, interaction with other practitioners and teachers & all activities of a Soto Sangha, fully online without charge (http://www.treeleaf.org) Nishijima/Niwa
Yessirree, Michael, thanks (I see the need also):
Working on the steps to see one's way clear to having the conditions of teacher-and-sangha is more useful than supposing that there's something like "a tweak of 'technique' " which could possibly be as enabling, or more enabling. These steps to make oneself presentable overseas (or to a Master in Chile) are Dharma steps, as important as any element of the canonical Buddhadharma. So, I suggest working steadily and stubbornly on making oneself fit to travel to a teacher's place. That is to be taken as one's key practice. No matter how impossible you draw the situation (that's illusion; delusion)... . If Dogen did it, well ...so can thee.
Or/and, form and develop a practice-circle there of your peers (the basis of a sangha), and invite a teacher to travel to your group there, to teach and to hold retreat, or sesshin. After that, invite a different teacher. See who you may most like to establish a long-term practice relationship with (we've done just this here in S. Arizona, BTW, and I can offer some history, if wanted).
No more whining. It's juvenile and tiresome, already (not you, Michael).
Let there be ... ,
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
According to the description offered it seems experience in the mentioned area/s- Whoever meets that criteria will be invited- Invited members could then invite other members if they wish to- That's the gist of it, I think -- a somewhat private discussion between people with similar experiences-
Years back, a member on this site suggested to accept all invites-
"Hearing" such an appreciation from another really gladdens my heart (a Buddhist-yoga teacher, and zen-practitioner).
This surprises me too, C., and I'm dubious, as I've never experienced such deficits in teaching.
In the several sanghas I've formally been a part and member of since Feb., 1979, posture was always properly taught, and enforced in communal gatherings (daily sits; retreats; lectures; study classes; etc.). This includes a Ch'an sangha (of the late Ven. Sheng Yen), the Diamond Sangha (Aitken Roshi; Patrick Hawk Roshi; Leonard Marcel, Roshi), and two sanghas of teachers who inherited Maezumi Roshi's dharma (Bernie Glassman, Roshi; and John Daido Loori, Roshi). I've also been a sporadic visitor at other places with other teachers, and zazen-suitable posture was always properly embraced and "supported" as fundamental.
I suggest that the deviations you witnessed may be just unfortunate and errant aberrations, unaccountably (perhaps... ) disconnected from proper teaching and practice. I can't imagine how that happens.
People of Earth, take note!: you will indeed find proper zazen posture in the US of A.
(if not, pul-ease always exemplify it, for others to emulate).
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Further on the lovely reminder you tender there,
...I saw a pictorial ad for water-saving and efficient-cleaning and drying front-loading washing machines, and just had to spread it around, as a reminder of, "Zen practice is entirely for everyday-life". And, well, so is Yoga of all sorts for everyday-life.
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