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Proposed group

Postby flutemaker on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:09 pm

I would like to create a group dedicated to the discussion of technicalities of the various meditation methods. Irrespective of such a group being able to make a sufficient learning medium or not I would like the contributors to offer their advice to the best of their experience and knowledge. I would like to see the teachers and those who have been practicing in a serious way for sufficient time applying various types of methods and would be willing to share what they see appropriate. I would like the group to be formed by invitation only.

Is this a good idea or not?
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Re: Proposed group

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:43 pm

In the interests of safety, and with honor and respect to the millennias-old wise and established protocols and tradition of face-to-face teaching in the Zen Buddhist way, I'd advise against any such particular invitational discussion group forming and lodging here, outside of the publicly-available general discussion which as we know is most welcome and already encouraged at this forum.

To me this latest proposal smells badly of yet another (!) attempt to circumvent Zen Buddhist ways by trying to substitute that for which there is no substitute: the face-to-face teaching available with a 3-dimensional teacher and sangha.

So, I'd be against it.

rgds,

--Joe

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Re: Proposed group

Postby [james] on Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:28 am

flutemaker wrote:I would like to create a group dedicated to the discussion of technicalities of the various meditation methods. Irrespective of such a group being able to make a sufficient learning medium or not I would like the contributors to offer their advice to the best of their experience and knowledge. I would like to see the teachers and those who have been practicing in a serious way for sufficient time applying various types of methods and would be willing to share what they see appropriate. I would like the group to be formed by invitation only.

Is this a good idea or not?


What is your motive to create a private group? Will the discussion be publically visible? How will participation in this group be determined?

Will the merits, obstacles and pitfalls of "technique" and "method" as applied to meditation be a possible topic of discussion?

I have very little knowledge of meditation technique or method, other than that many people attach great importance to this. I would like to understand why.

Might the discussion be erased at some point, at your discretion?
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Re: Proposed group

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:07 am

flutemaker,

Hmm, I may have misunderstood you! :eek:

Perhaps you want to set up such a discussion group "under separate cover", or under private auspices, or in a different residence (meeting; gathering) place.

Perhaps you mean that you just wish to invite some people from ZFI (ZFI members, I mean) to join you there, at a URL or listserve of your eventual independent making. If that's what you mean, that sounds great! And I don't think this should impact ZFI, except neutrally. Perhaps some ZFI-ers would join you there if invited. ;)

Part of my concern about hosting such a cabal here at ZFI instead is that I wouldn't like to see ZFI as the Internet's "go-to" place for subterfuge and circumvention of the wisdom and safety of Zen Buddhist way(s) of face-to-face teaching and practice. Another reason is that I disagree that there is much "technicality" to well-working and suitable methods ...and such as there ARE, I'd offer, ...are for working out with one's teacher, face-to-face.

I'd still urge caution anyway, if one does not work with a 3-(or more) dimensional teacher and sangha, in-person.

--Joe
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Re: Proposed group

Postby macdougdoug on Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:24 am

The best techniques are those that we can most easily let go of - they are used because we do not trust our natural ability of awareness.

However we are habit forming creatures, and I usually use my old breath and posture technique for a few instants every time I sit.
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Re: Proposed group

Postby jundo on Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:55 pm

flutemaker wrote:I would like to create a group dedicated to the discussion of technicalities of the various meditation methods. Irrespective of such a group being able to make a sufficient learning medium or not I would like the contributors to offer their advice to the best of their experience and knowledge. I would like to see the teachers and those who have been practicing in a serious way for sufficient time applying various types of methods and would be willing to share what they see appropriate. I would like the group to be formed by invitation only.

Is this a good idea or not?


Isn't this already what ZFI is? Of course, the focus here should remain the various flavors of Zazen.

Gassho, Jundo

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Re: Proposed group

Postby Meido on Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:53 pm

jundo wrote:Isn't this already what ZFI is?


I had the same thought. And the same limitations we see here would of course apply to a new group.

As some know, I am one of those already in the habit of openly discussing practice methods here, as much as may be done. I don't mind doing so. This only goes so far, though, because practice instructions are necessarily prescribed, or tweaked, to suit individuals in a process that is ongoing over time. If they are not, it is not Zen practice at all.

It is not that it is impossible to "get" a method of practice receiving only verbal instruction from a distance. It is that for most people such an approach is much riskier, less likely to fit, more difficult, and infinitely slower...if successful at all. Also, when someone practices they will change, and the method must therefore sometimes also change. Practice is a dynamic, living process, done in relationship and with ongoing communication. It is not formulaic, and it is not something to be done according to one's own preferences, feelings, fears, and so on.

If a group were formed as described, and I were invited to participate, you wouldn't really get anything more from me there than you would by asking questions here. In fact, if someone here does take any of the limited advice I give, I want to say caveat emptor: remember that you don't know me and I don't know you. At most what you're getting is an educated guess from a stranger. It might be good advice that works for you. It might not. And that's the most one can hope for, asking for advice about one's path from strangers, isn't it?

Of course, on many forums nearly everyone posting will be happy to give advice regarding practice; it seems like everyone has somehow become a teacher...how wonderful :lol2:

You know, I recently wrote a book in which I do describe, in detail, some foundational practices. A person wanting to begin practicing could take that and start working with the instructions. But the practices described therein might not fit them at all; they were chosen for the book simply because they are safe to try, and so could serve as an entrance to the path for someone who is looking for a teacher but hasn't found one yet. There is even a chapter regarding how to find a teacher. But that's the most I could do even in that kind of dedicated, many-paged format: talk a bit about motivation and vows, give some basic instruction, and then try to boot the readers our their own doors to connect with a teacher.

I think it's also the most anyone could do here, or in any other group under consideration.

~ Meido
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Re: Proposed group

Postby flutemaker on Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:54 pm

Meido-sensei:

Yes, when someone practices, they do change, and likewise the method(s) used.

Further, as one's practice deepens, a number of unexpected issues can arise, a number of new observations follow, a number of existing questions are getting resolved, a number of new questions are in turn raising.

Sometimes, sharing all this makes little sense in general public area, as the number of people who could potentially understand these matters, based on limited ability of language (written communication, to be specific), would be too small. When the majority of participants cannot properly contribute (based on experience), such a discussion is quickly becoming useless, and full of mutual misunderstanding.

I am very much grateful when someone here is, like you, discussing openly various practice methods. But your "as much as may be done" could possibly be a little bit extended, in case the audience were limited to those for whom such deepening/extending would make no harm.

Is there a well defined line for you, beyond which there is absolutely no substitute for "face-to-face" communication? Is there a space somewhere in between the "public area on an Internet forum" and the "private meeting"? Please advise.
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Re: Proposed group

Postby flutemaker on Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:03 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:To me this latest proposal smells badly of yet another (!) attempt to circumvent Zen Buddhist ways by trying to substitute that for which there is no substitute: the face-to-face teaching available with a 3-dimensional teacher and sangha.

I am very sorry to hear about the bad smell that is emanating from your computer screen, and the bad taste threby issuing from my written words. No attempt to circumvent Zen Buddhist ways, nor substitute them, is being thought, but rather an attempt at a proposal to enrich the limited possibilities of those few -- whose possibilities are thus limited for a reason (due to the "causes and conditions", as you name it).
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Re: Proposed group

Postby flutemaker on Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:10 pm

[james] wrote:What is your motive to create a private group? Will the discussion be publically visible? How will participation in this group be determined? Will the merits, obstacles and pitfalls of "technique" and "method" as applied to meditation be a possible topic of discussion?

My motive is seeking additional sources potentially helping to resolve all that which has to be.

The discussion would not be publicly visible -- but only to the members (to avoid any sort of potential harm to those who could be negatively affected in any way by reading it).

Any member will be able to invite new members.

The merits, obstacles and pitfalls of "technique" and "method" as applied to meditation would most certainly be a possible topic of discussion, and especially so when members with years of experience applying, following or discarding the various "methods" would be there to contribute.

This entire forum is an experiment, and thing "non-traditional", strictly speaking, and so are a number of it's parts. Is this not true?
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Re: Proposed group

Postby flutemaker on Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:25 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:flutemaker,

Hmm, I may have misunderstood you!

Joe:

Yes you do. And I am presently feeling you have been thoroughly misunderstanding (to the best of my reading of your replies to me) the most of what I was trying to communicate in the past. Therefore, as this mis-communication seems to be with little perspective of being resolved, a number of my remarks directed at you could sound less than polite and respectful.

Please accept my sincere apologies for me, and also for all and everything in this Universe that goes misunderstood, is missing the mark, is falling on the wrong side, etc. etc. etc. ... /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ """"""""""" ######### ......... .... .. . . .

The stars in the sky, however, can never be untrue, and this would be the only thing we could possibly, sometimes, agree upon.
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Re: Proposed group

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:43 pm

yes, f.,

flutemaker wrote:...those few -- whose possibilities are thus limited for a reason (due to the "causes and conditions", as you name it).

Yes, exactly as I do indeed see it.

I'd suggest for those who see themselves handicapped -- in such ways as they and you describe -- to start working with stubborn persistence on the causes and conditions that constitute your/their perceived handicaps, so as to lighten them, to loosen them, to assuage them, so that you and others can, as soon as practicable, place yourselves as a free person in the hands and care and in the midst of a suitable Zen Buddhist teacher and sangha, for plenty of practice together (at least to make a start there). This is my wish for all.

As you know, deficiencies or faults are not in methods, or tools: they are in the practitioner, and the crafts-person. So, a teacher is needed.

Q.E.D.

No use beating characteristically around the bush, looking in the wrong place, or denying that there is essential preliminary work to be accomplished and done, although it may involve the Law, international visas, etc., in order to travel, etc., etc. There may be proper help available for this, too. Methods enabling that work could be most beneficial to master. Best wishes! (All).

--Joe
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Re: Proposed group

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:46 pm

fl.,

flutemaker wrote:The stars in the sky, however, can never be untrue, and this would be the only thing we could possibly, sometimes, agree upon.

I won't say.

Vizcachas.

--Joe

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Re: Proposed group

Postby Meido on Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:44 am

flutemaker wrote:Sometimes, sharing all this makes little sense in general public area, as the number of people who could potentially understand these matters, based on limited ability of language (written communication, to be specific), would be too small. When the majority of participants cannot properly contribute (based on experience), such a discussion is quickly becoming useless, and full of mutual misunderstanding.

I am very much grateful when someone here is, like you, discussing openly various practice methods. But your "as much as may be done" could possibly be a little bit extended, in case the audience were limited to those for whom such deepening/extending would make no harm.

Is there a well defined line for you, beyond which there is absolutely no substitute for "face-to-face" communication? Is there a space somewhere in between the "public area on an Internet forum" and the "private meeting"? Please advise.


FM,

Good questions.

On what basis would some persons be invited to such a group, and others not? Who decides?

There is not always a way to tell who, even in a private group that is somehow vetted, could understand and benefit, or what experience they actually have. But if I meet the person and see the body, I could know more dependably, and intuit more clearly what is appropriate. There are many people who can talk and write as if they have realization even when they do not; in person, however, it is very hard for any of us to hide what is lacking.

So there is no further line, really, than what I've mentioned. To me, distant communication carries limitations if the person(s) in question are not well known to me. It has nothing to do with public or private, or who thinks they might or might not be qualified to join a sort of private group.

Speaking of specific practice methods, sure, I could say there is a line beyond which I think it not useful to discuss things except in a general way. But in any case, our concern is not for practice methods only; it is for spending our time in such a way as to realize Zen for ourselves. We should be careful of fetishizing "methods." In my understanding of Zen teaching and practice, the face-to-face contact with a teacher is instrumental and basic, not optional...much more so than methods. It is the teacher's realization that we must encounter, enter, and surpass, and it is in relationship with the teacher that the full energetic transmission of Zen occurs.

It could be possible for someone to do all of that with no specific method. But with very, very few exceptions - so rare as to not be worth mentioning, really - I think it not possible to do all of that without a teacher.

Of course my understanding is not too deep, and all of this unavoidably reflects my own limitations. Again: caveat emptor.

~ Meido
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Re: Proposed group

Postby Michaeljc on Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:44 am

Yes, it occurred to me too that as much could be achieved through starting a topic on each method for general discussion here

A lot of discussion has taken place on various methods e.g. koan practice and (of late) shikantaza. But what of others, such as breath practice? There must be others too that have emerged throughout Chan/Zen history - not to mention other Buddhist streams

Our motto around my abode is, "Do the best we can with what we have got". I have a similar attitude towards those practicing alone, who - for what ever reason - have not made contact with a formal group. Everyone has to start somewhere and I cannot see that any harm coming from someone sitting the normal sort of time-frames on a daily basis. IMO this should NOT be belittled. Should someone get really serious and start sitting for - say - 3 hours/day then yes things may go awry. Even then, should that same person not consider their practice as Chan/Zen then where lies the argument? BUT - in spite of this they COULD be practicing pure Chan/Zen without even needing to know it. The name of the practice is of no importance (IMO)

If we cannot discuss various methods in depth what is the use of this forum? Seeing it purely as a stepping stone to the 'essential' dogma (as interpreted be individuals) compromises the driving force behind this forum (IMO)

The moment a rank learner takes to a cushion with intent: whoever, whatever, or wherever they my be, the ten thousand Buddhas rejoice

Being told that one is wasting one's time by simply trying, is a wonderful doorway. One is completely alone with this great matter

If and when the time has come, the teacher will arrive. Meantime, try

As I'm seeing right now

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Re: Proposed group

Postby jundo on Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:09 am

My personal view ... ZFI should be more focused on traditional, standard Japanese Rinzai and Soto, Chan, Son and Thien styles and teachings. This is, after all, "Zen Forum International."

Somehow it seems to have drifted from that mission, and here this also seems like the emphasis is on a whole variety of types of meditation. Furthermore, instruction in forms should generally be under the supervision of experienced and qualified teachers of those forms. A lot of half baked quasi-Buddhist new agey mediation and other advice is bandied about on the more or less Buddhist interwebs by unqualified (although often well meaning) folks. For example, I am not qualified as a teacher of Koan Introspection Zazen in any way and you would be a fool to listen to me about that, but you should listen and receive guidance from someone like Meido who is.

I would not study Karate from someone who had awarded themself a blackbelt, why would I study Zazen from such a person? There are some excellent self-trained individuals, and some priests who are basically bad news, but we have to be discerning and have some way to distinquish who is who,

I would disagree a little bit with Meido on one point, and this is because I am completely biased on the topic! :) Dogen called his instructions for Shikantaza "Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen."

https://www.google.co.jp/url?sa=t&rct=j ... 0iJUURi23A

I actually believe that, in this modern (perhaps more now than even the 13th Century) day to day rat race of people chasing after this and that with no ability to sit silent and know what is right in from of their nose (and the nose itself), Shikantaza can benefit the vast vast majority of people who would jump into it without too much "fine tuning" to the individual.

That being said, even I don't want to overstate things because not everyone has the temperament for it, I believe that some people might benefit more in both their meditation and spiritual needs from Koan Introspection, Vipassana, chanting to Amida or even a religious path completely outside Buddhism such as praying to Jesus or playing golf if that is what helps them more in their present Karmic capacity. Also, even within Shikantaza, I am constantly advising people on such matters as how to find the sitting postureS (often more than one) right for them ...

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthre ... post197828

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthre ... post197110

... or to deal with sitting with special worries or issues ...

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthre ... post192565

However, within that framework, I think that Shikantaza is basically like water or apples. Simple, nutritious and helpful for most people without much to add. Also, water and apples hold the whole universe.

As I said, I am completely biased and opinionated on this Way of "Dropping all bias and opinions". :PP:

Gassho, J

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Re: Proposed group

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:57 pm

If Nonin Roshi were still active at this board, I feel he'd have choice and spare words to answer the OP. ;)

May Master Nonin be blessed in his retirement! That is, I think he may have retired from teaching. I hope too that he is still finding lots of fulfillment and expression in the arts he practices. And I hope he'll from time to time -- or more often -- join discussions at ZFI, or chime-in with some helpful answers to questions as he has so often before.

:Namaste:,

Many blessings,

--Joe
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Re: Proposed group

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:45 pm

howdy, Michael,

Michaeljc wrote:If we cannot discuss various methods in depth what is the use of this forum? Seeing it purely as a stepping stone to the 'essential' dogma (as interpreted be individuals) compromises the driving force behind this forum (IMO)

I agree that we already discuss methods at this forum.

And it's also true that some people here in addition encourage interested people to connect with the reservoir of the actual, only, source, and green growing-tip, of Zen Buddhism and Zen Buddhist teaching and practice, which is, lineage-holding-teachers and their surrounding practice-sanghas.

As for "methods", you know I like to say that our zazen is "the indispensable one-thirteenth-part" of Zen/Chan/Son/Thien practice. Now, it may be the indispensable one-twenty-third part, or so, instead, ...or some other odd number.

A list of various of our synergistic traditional practices which I recited here once is still located at:

viewtopic.php?f=64&t=11265

Of course, "discussion" goes only so far (thankfully), and is only ever intended to go "so far"... .

The best that is ever done here is to encourage:

A little information and spirited enthusiasm transmitted through these pages can go a long way to bolster inquirers with hope or faith, and with energy and initiative to seek further engagement with our topic by seeing a qualified teacher (and sangha) at a practice-place, and engaging there with true Zen Buddhist practice at the core, together.

Not bad, for a mere "chat-room". :tongueincheek:

--Joe
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Re: Proposed group

Postby Meido on Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:38 pm

jundo wrote:However, within that framework, I think that Shikantaza is basically like water or apples. Simple, nutritious and helpful for most people without much to add. Also, water and apples hold the whole universe.


I think this is fine. I would say the same thing about susokukan (breath counting): having given rise to bodaishin and expressed vows (intent), one sits down to practice the method but dropping all concept of intent, gain, attainment. Shikantaza as you have described, and susokukan as I would teach openly even here, are indeed things anyone can do, and may well benefit greatly from.

I am not sure if we disagree a bit on the fruition of what you call shikantaza (also existing in Rinzai practice though with a different name...it is what I would call the practice of hokkyo zanmai). Regarding that, I would agree with this view expressed in a thread at DharmaWheel, which applies also to that Rinzai practice:

Probably problem appears from fact, that most people think of shikan taza as a way of practice. But in fact shikan taza is rather a state -one may say it is state of realisation.. therefore a teaacher is most crucial since he has to manifest or show to disciple this state of shikan taza in the process of passing key instructions... actually for most teachers will describe something like 'conditions' of shikan taza for beginners and intermidate practitioners, not exactly the state itself. However they should show the state. And when understanding arises, then one has to be examined meticulously by experienced teacher... difficult koan might be used or anythhong what teacher decides... shamatha/vipassana is far away from it.


[from: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f ... 40#p385098]

In other words, I agree there is a practice called "shikantaza," which it may be possible for anyone to do in a particular manner. There are practices called "susokukan" and "koan kufu" in Rinzai tradition, which anyone reading some instructions might be able to try. But really, in their fruition, all these things are not "methods." They are themselves the seamless manifestation of awakening. And about this fruition, I will strongly hold to what the traditions themselves say: that it is necessarily through transmission from the teacher - close contact and direct instruction - that the state of fruition itself is grasped, thereby animating those vessels that we call "methods."

This approach is what we may call the mainstream of practice. It is the mainstream because it works, and because it has been observed that success is unlikely outside of it.

Which is not to say, again, that there is no benefit practicing without such contact with a teacher. I am belittling no one, nor have I ever, in this regard. But I hope I will be forgiven for affirming the mainstream view regarding practice taken up with oneself and one's own intuitions/preferences as the primary guide: it can be an entrance gate, a beginning step, but to become statically frozen there - or to go completely off the rails in a mistaken direction - are real dangers if one continues to go it alone.

Everyone is certainly free to do what they like, and if someone comes to me wanting to learn breath-counting yet with no intent of ever connecting to a teacher beyond that, I still teach them the method. It won't generally hurt, and they may benefit. The connection may at least be a seed. The same goes for using a wato.

But if that wato starts to ripen, the teacher is often the one helping to trigger awakening. After awakening, the teacher is the one to guide the student at the crucial moment of "what next." Sometimes, there are important things that must be looked to at that moment, that if neglected may cause long-term problems. And this is a crucial, oft-forgotten fact: you don't find all of Zen in writings online or elsewhere. There is a huge amount of very practical, pivotal instruction that is given orally. If no teacher, or if the relationship with the teacher is broken at the wrong time, what happens lacking that pivotal, personalized instruction? I have seen the answer to that question too often, and it can be tragic.

Just to give an example: in some cases a student may have an experience that, though legitimately an awakening of sorts, is accompanied by a type of energetic imbalance. There are specific signs of this. At such a moment, the student must be made to go sleep for a while. A little alcohol - sake with sugar, or port - and heavy/oily foods will also help a great deal. This advice is not in a book anywhere that I know of, and even if it were it is unlikely the students themselves experiencing such a condition would be able to follow it. If such intervention is not made, however, there can be lasting negative effects.

What we are doing should be approached lightly, joyfully, yes. But it is serious business. As is commonly said about Zen practice: "the field is littered with skulls."

Apologies if this thread has become a sounding board for the tired old "practice with a teacher vs without a teacher" argument. It is not my intent, and I actually have little interest in that argument. But in this thread it seems there is a focus on methods of practice that misses the point. I wanted to address that.

Methods don't carry awakening. They don't lead to awakening (though it is a convenient way of speaking to say so, and we often talk that way). Humans manifest awakening, and so awakening is realized within human relationship. That is the thing not to be forgotten.

Our reading each other's words here is, indeed, a kind of relationship, and it has its place. The kind of community building that Jundo is doing online has its place. But this does not negate the function of (at least periodic) eye to eye, body to body relationship with a living, breathing teacher.

It is true: you may not have to leave your home, country, or job to meet a teacher. What to do? Find one or several that you feel a connection with, and go to retreats once or twice a year. Reach out to them. If you cannot travel, then organize a few interested people to pitch in with you, and invite a teacher to visit where you are...I know of no teacher who wouldn't go to do that, if expenses could just be covered (and in many cases even if they aren't). If you live alone someplace and so can't swing that approach, well, then you might indeed need initially to go where humans are if you are interested in the very human transmission of Zen. You might have to change your life. You may have to leave your home, your job, your family: the fact that such change is not always necessary for Zen practice does not mean it never is.

And as for our online communities, if we are really serious about helping Zen practititioners, then all of us - with or without teachers - should be in the habit of organizing, donating, and encouraging one another to do just those kinds of things as I mention above. If we could do that, then we might see Zen communities springing up everywhere. Our online communities will indeed serve as useful supplements to them, and connectors for them, to share viewpoints, advice, and teachings from around the world.

I see I have penned a rather tedious manifesto here. Apologies for the lengthy post.

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: Proposed group

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:17 pm

Jundo and Meido, thank you! both for your really quite wonderful and delightful posts, above.

in replying to Jundo, Meido wrote:I am not sure if we disagree a bit on the fruition of what you call shikantaza (also existing in Rinzai practice though with a different name...it is what I would call the practice of hokkyo zanmai).

Meido, I've always felt (and said) that my feeling about shikantaza is that it is as much a result as it is a "practice".

I mean here "result" in the way that my teacher Sheng Yen used "result". Granted, English was not his first (nor even "strong") language, but he spoke through great interpreters for those needing a translation (in the early days, one in particular, Wang Ming-Yee, who had wonderful Hong Kong English. I had no Mandarin at all, but what I learned in Ven. Sheng Yen's circle).

Now, Sheng Yen was heir to both Ts'ao-tung and Lin Chi streams, and so he would have no interest in misrepresenting either tradition. A most wonderful versatility and resourcefulness! And, a colorlessness of "style" with no particular sectarian shade, all with which to help the student, and thus not merely incessantly preach or reiterate a particular party-line.

How lucky I was/am! What was useful to be dished-out in the moment was what the student "got".

And I agree, Meido, that, again, as I feel about it, it may be that shikantaza-thus-called is a type of samadhi: "zanmai" (J.), as you write.

Of course, shikantaza may (prob.) therefore admit of degrees, or depths (depending on how far or how deeply and literally we take or care to go-with the "samadhi" connection).

Granted, "It's all practice". But it can also be "result", of other practices which put one in a condition to "practice" ...shikantaza. So it continues to seem to me, decades on, and so it goes.

--Joe

ps hmm; maybe all states are states of "samadhi", ...very broadly interpreted! And, why not. ;) :heya:
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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