Welcome admin !

It is currently Sun May 28, 2017 12:12 am
Pathway:  Board index Zen Discussion Forum Zen Practice & Philosophy Practicing Zen Buddhism Without a Teacher

What is Zen?

A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practicing without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.
Forum rules
A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practising without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.

Re: What is Zen?

Postby Linda Anderson on Fri May 29, 2015 6:24 am

desert_woodworker wrote:Fuki,

fukasetsu wrote:Emptiness is not the absence or zero of anything, rather it's full of service.

By golly, I believe that reply deserves a gold star! 22 karats!

You've done a service.

--Joe

carrots_22.jpg


oh yes! :hugs:

But, Joe... it's 24 karats, isn't it... pure gold!!! I need some carrots for my soup.

Fuki is starting to sound like Sasaki Roshi... plus, minus and the integration of plus minus... it whips a mind
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
User avatar
Linda Anderson
 
Posts: 3617
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:14 pm
Location: Forestville, CA

Re: What is Zen?

Postby Michaeljc on Fri May 29, 2015 10:39 am

A Zen student adopts aids

We can have great confidence in aids that have been documented since the beginning of our history

If any of the aids are not available on a daily basis we use whatever others that are

We do this for the remainder of our life

IMHO any practice that does not include daily Zazen is not legitimate Zen Buddhist practice

Legitimate practice influences mind and body in ways that cannot occur without Zazen

It is NOT an easy path as it requires discipline

Sitting in the sun getting warm fuzzy feelings from reading scripture or writing ones own profound understanding is NOT it!

Zazen is available every day. It only needs a cushion and a mat. If we cut down on sleep hours to sit it does not matter as we need less sleep

If it means setting an alarm clock an hour earlier it the morning this is what the student does

Its not a sideshow of fun and fancy

m
User avatar
Michaeljc
 
Posts: 3591
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Raglan New Zealand

Re: What is Zen?

Postby fukasetsu on Fri May 29, 2015 1:51 pm

chankin1937 wrote:Fukasetsu said
At first glance that statement appears controversial. How can emptiness be full?

Emptiness is not like anything one imagines it to be, you are using opposite logic because you haven't realized that duality is void.
You are referring to nihilistic (absence etc) emptiness, which has no function and does not correspond to the dharma.
But lets turn it around, on what does your question (in bold) depend?

Fukasetsu said;
That’s going to take some backing up! After all, you are using your conceptual mind to write your posts. (See my post to another being.
Colin


How come? Everything I ever say is false, everything the Buddha tells you is a lie, you should know that by now, otherwise it's back to basics.
It's like I said earlier (in another thread possibly) it's using a thorn to remove a thorn, and them throwing them both away.
The dharma is medicine, that's all, your understanding of emptiness is like that second thorn, due to wrong diagnose and wrong tools one thorn replaces another. Why not trust the doctors? (qualified teachers) When you wallet is empty (of money) there is still a wallet, when your wallet is free of dirty money there is no-wallet, but it does not mean there is no wallet! You have misunderstood the old text, of "no-thought" "no this and no that" in a similair matter, it's just logic, not Zen. That you experience bliss is no proof of anything, it's just a transient mode of consciousness, Nothing to do with awakening or the Authentic Mind of Zen. You are mistaking appearances for Source.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6460
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: What is Zen?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 29, 2015 1:58 pm

Linda,

Linda Anderson wrote:But, Joe... it's 24 karats, isn't it... pure gold!!!

Yes, I think you're right. Thanks! I guess I can't hide that I really know nothing about jewelry.

There may only be 22 carrots in that bunch of carrots in the photo, though. ;)

Wishing you a good soup!

I think I'll have non-suffering succotash... .

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Fri May 29, 2015 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6253
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: What is Zen?

Postby fukasetsu on Fri May 29, 2015 1:59 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:Fuki is starting to sound like Sasaki Roshi...


Darn Linda, I just express whatever pops into this silly mind, but I'm not comfartable with such comparisements (with any teacher that is)
But in this case I've had many private talks with Sir Bob about his Mt Baldy time, I can tell you he's nothing like me, conduct wise. :PP:

Nevermind though. :daisy:
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6460
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: What is Zen?

Postby fukasetsu on Fri May 29, 2015 2:05 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Yes, I think you're right. Thanks! I guess I can't hide that I really know nothing about jewelry.


I just sold all my gold jewelry yesterday from dad's inherintance (I'm more of a silver guy)
Not my field of expertism too, but thanks to my father I'm kind of being schooled in that field now.
Not that I have much use of money, I trust all of it to universal functioning whatever it may be.

Though I'm sure Joe can school me in the supernova creation of elements field, I just pick up the leftovers.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6460
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: What is Zen?

Postby chankin1937 on Fri May 29, 2015 3:04 pm

Linda Anderson said:
With no disrespect for teachers, it seems to me that they do not show us the quickest way to our destination... not their fault. There is no such thing. Teachers hold up the mirror. I could be wrong here, but I do not recall that I have ever heard that zen buddhism points the way to the destinaton. Zen may point the way, there is no destination.


Hello Linda,
However, there is a point to it all. We all aim to allow an extremely desirable state of mind to establish itself – Nirvana – perfect happiness. The historical Zen Masters gave us perfectly clear directions on how to do that. Those directions are in the public domain accessible to anyone.
But surely if those instructions give clues to a real state of mind, it should be attainable independently of them. And of course it was, many times and in many ages. There are references to it in writings over four thousand years old and the Christian mystics also described it, but referred to it as “sight of god”.
The constant message from all the above is: during meditation, allow your mind to empty of all conscious mental activity and it will automatically fill with bliss, for that is the mechanism of it in all creatures with our sort of central nervous system.
What amazes me is that some of the posters here dismiss the work of the great Zen masters as worthless. While other seem to dismiss rational thought as useful. Is that the result of listening to modern teachers? If so, I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusion.

Chankin... it's a bit ironic that this conversation seems eternal. This place (see pink disclaimer above) was originally created as a place to quell the debates about whether practicing without teachers is possible or desirable ... the history of debate is long on this forum. There is no answer IMO, we are all free to choose our path and practice.


I agree. We’ll never get agreement here.

Indeed, it may not conform to Zen Buddhism, or it may. Why in the world are we still trying to justify ourselves... it seems a case of choosing our way and respecting the way of others. If we stand tall, we listen to our inner calling and if we are lucky we can feel into the calling of our brothers and sisters whether we agree or not.



Well put. There must be many ways. Offer them all to those who are interested and allow them the freedom to choose the one that makes most sense to them. Let common sense prevail!

The potential folly of following one teacher is amply demonstrated by looking up the critics of this guy on the web:
Adi Da Samraj aka Da Free John aka Da Love-Ananda aka Franklin Jones.
Colin
chankin1937
 

Re: What is Zen?

Postby chankin1937 on Fri May 29, 2015 4:03 pm

Dear All,
Reading through some of the back posts it occurred to me one of the main bones of contention seems to revolve around what we get when we practice. Bliss? A great awakening? Whatever it is, it's nature is irrelevant. As long as we follow the instructions of the Patriarchs of Zen (which are crystal clear) the unparalleled treasure will be ours.
If, during meditation, we allow all conscious mental activity to abate, we will experience....something good.
We will only know what that is once we have it. It will be an experience that, by its very nature, is incommunicable to others, like pain. I can tell you what pain feels like well enough to enable you to recognise it when it occurs but you won't know what it feels like until someone jabs you in the eye with a pointed stick. :)
So, there's no point in debating the nature of Nirvana. Just lets say it's "something good" and leave it at that.
Colin
chankin1937
 

Re: What is Zen?

Postby Linda Anderson on Fri May 29, 2015 5:31 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Linda Anderson wrote:Fuki is starting to sound like Sasaki Roshi...


Darn Linda, I just express whatever pops into this silly mind, but I'm not comfartable with such comparisements (with any teacher that is)
But in this case I've had many private talks with Sir Bob about his Mt Baldy time, I can tell you he's nothing like me, conduct wise. :PP:

Nevermind though. :daisy:


Forgive the comparison Fuki, I was admiring what "pops into this silly mind". ofc, I'm now caught in admiration brother :lol2: If I pause, I'm not comfortable with comparisons either... no two snow flakes alike and all.
:Namaste:
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
User avatar
Linda Anderson
 
Posts: 3617
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:14 pm
Location: Forestville, CA

Re: What is Zen?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 29, 2015 7:51 pm

Colin,

chankin1937 wrote:So, there's no point in debating the nature of Nirvana. Just lets say it's "something good" and leave it at that.

If awakening is our true nature -- and let's say it is -- then we can't say it's something good, nor not (let's leave it at that). ;)

We know though that (some say!; some say not!) it's different from the state -- or condition -- of Samsara.

The word "Nirvana" is not really too meaningful nowadays, or not within Zen Buddhist circles (which is a very practical school). It's never been too meaningful.

Of course, a lot of false and flowery ideas about "Nirvana" were spread by the first translators of Buddhist sutras to English. So that, even soon before the start of the 20th Century, the American humorist Ambrose Bierce could still include this funny "definition" of it in his THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY:

"Nirvana, n. In the Buddhist religion, a state of pleasurable annihilation awarded to the wise, particularly to those wise enough to understand it."

Fortunately, if we're practitioners, we don't have to rely on translators, nor scriptures, nor writings of any kind, to awaken, and experience the restoration of all our original Human inheritances, in full flush of their richness. Correct practice, and cooperating-causes and -conditions are exactly what enable this. Certainly, to live in this condition is more revealing than reading anyone's attempted description of it.

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Fri May 29, 2015 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6253
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: What is Zen?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 29, 2015 8:20 pm

AB,

Yes, I observed this probable infraction too, and wrote about it in this thread.

However, with respect, I recommend you read the OP (original post) again. The OP (original poster) has obviously placed the post in the WRONG AREA! Because, in the post, one of the questions the OP asks, about "Zen", is:

"Can it be taught?"

That question, if nothing else, opens up the field to ...answers.

The post is still in the wrong place though, I'd opine. And its being in the wrong place puts us in a bind of sorts. But not such a bind that some haven't been able to use a free hand to type with.

--Joe

another_being wrote:
Forum rules
A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practising without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6253
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: What is Zen?

Postby Michaeljc on Fri May 29, 2015 9:05 pm

The constant message from all the above is: during meditation, allow your mind to empty of all conscious mental activity and it will automatically fill with bliss, for that is the mechanism of it in all creatures with our sort of central nervous system


Colin. I have experienced bliss during Zazen only twice since I started sitting 26 years ago. If I were able to achieve this on every sit I would be so addicted to it I doubt that I will be functional today. It is not Nirvana. It is not kensho. Its what the Christian mystics may well call the, 'Grace of God'

Zazen is a super-ordinary activity that is invariably unpleasant as well as being a tool that enhances contentment, Its a 'warts and all' practice. We should not search for bliss or any other pleasant feeling during Zazen. We cannot impose our own version of truth on Zen meditation

Why? because life is a 'warts and all' process. We embrace all of this

Zazen is ultimately about an encounter that some of us may experience in varying degrees of intensity. Nevertheless every sit is only what it is. Not good, not bad, and discarded as we move on in the mundane affairs of everyday life

I seldom become dogmatic on this forum. Nevertheless I must say that you have totally missed the core to Zen Buddhist practice. Delete your blog, Go back to your books and start again - this time backed it up with daily Zazen

Regards

Michael
Last edited by Michaeljc on Sat May 30, 2015 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Michaeljc
 
Posts: 3591
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Raglan New Zealand

Re: What is Zen?

Postby Chrisd on Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

:Namaste: :)
Chrisd
 
Posts: 2293
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:49 pm

Re: What is Zen?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 29, 2015 11:20 pm

Michael,

I support what you say, and I think teachers here also make the same observation about Colin's (mis-) understanding of "Zen", and of the recorded teachings or sayings of the historically important Zen Buddhist masters, and of the workings of meditation.

But Colin has explained (claimed... ) that our advice is "too late". On that note, we will of course lament, and even say in effect "It's never too late", as I have said, for example, suggesting that one can sit with others, even if not conveniently with a teacher, if a teacher is "too far" off.

To the extent that we wish all beings to be happy, I wish the same for Colin. Howdy, Colin! If there's reincarnation, then maybe Colin will find a beautiful practice-situation next time 'round -- or subsequently -- with a Zen Buddhist teacher, or Theravadan adept (which I think Colin's "spirit" is really closest to, with talk of "Nirvana", etc.), or, etc.

I support, too, Michael, your suggestion about backing up reading and study with daily zazen. That of course is the key.

Now, how to learn proper zazen? Why, from a living (!) Zen Buddhist Teacher, of course. Face-to-face.

Michael, shake this scratched record out of its groove!, ...if you're not in the same groove! We come full-circle, though, for good reason.

Scratchily but faithfully yours (you ALL),

--Joe (scratch... )

:O:

p.s. My first opening with my shifu, Ch'an Master Sheng Yen, was this week in May, on a 7-day Ch'an retreat, 36 years ago in 1979. Mister Ma I-Chang also "entered the door of Ch'an" on that same retreat, and thus we became disciples of Sheng Yen. I haven't seen I-Chang in too, too long! Guo Gu may know of his whereabouts.
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6253
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: What is Zen?

Postby Michaeljc on Sat May 30, 2015 8:09 pm

Yet Joe, we know that there is no value on anything. Ultimately, Colin's sanctuary in simply dropping thought, and at times finding happiness, is no small thing. At the very beginning I found great peace in reading Buddhist scripture, before even realising the importance of Zazen. I will never forget those days

Millions of dollars are now being made in mindfulness workshops. It is flavour of the month in business circles - for good reason as it works very well for many people. That is positive. some people believe that they are practicing Zen when doing this. Who can argue?

As time goes by interest will wain and another system take its place. During the dot.com bubble it was riding motor cycles very fast and boxing with colleagues. Back when you and I could run up hills fast University professors were introducing Zen into classes. Koans became the rage

The problems emerge when the under-exposed feel "Eureka, If got it!" and cant help but shout their ultimate breakthrough to the world

Ted has just started another post on 'being time'. At any given time we are what we are and at where we'r are - nothing more. Many women instinctively understand this and wonder why thousands of word have to be written about it

You and I prescribe our medicine in accordance with our own experience. There is danger in this

Nevertheless - I still believe, given that the vast majority of people reading these posts are nowhere near a Teacher, a simple piece of advice should be given: "Just sit for over 30 minutes every day knowing that you already have it. There is nothing to understand. When you are ready, the Teacher will arrive"

No harm will come from this



m
User avatar
Michaeljc
 
Posts: 3591
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Raglan New Zealand

Re: What is Zen?

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat May 30, 2015 8:59 pm

Michael,

Oy?, what's that you say? No value on anything? I disagree instinctually, and otherwise. :lol2:

I agree that it's a fine thing (?) to find cold-storage sanctuary. JUST don't call it "Zen", nor "Zen Buddhism". That's where harm is to be done, to newcomers, seeing an old fellow's conceited reticence toward proper exertion, and consequent peremptory surrender to merely surrogate satisfaction.

Colin has explained that he will not sit with far-flung teachers. Nor, with local sanghas, because he prefers his own company. I don't see the Great Bodhisattva in this, but why should we, when there is none.

A wise friend once said to me about a pitiable old fellow, "Joe, if a guy can't be anything else, you've got to at least let him be RIGHT". I say, I've come to accept that. Easily. Readily. More easily and more readily as time has gone on. If a fellow says, "Too late", I now just let it go (after one or two exploratory exhortatory jabs). But I "let it go" only so far that it does not influence others! For whom it is (also!) not true!

:)

I'm not an Optimist. It's just that I disagree.

You take care of yourself, please, Old Man. ;)

--Joe

Quoting just a small fraction of what Michaeljc wrote:Yet Joe, we know that there is no value on anything. Ultimately, Colin's sanctuary in simply dropping thought, and at times finding happiness, is no small thing. At the very beginning I found great peace in reading Buddhist scripture, before even realising the importance of Zazen. I will never forget those days
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6253
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: What is Zen?

Postby Michaeljc on Sat May 30, 2015 9:29 pm

Joe :heya: - Colin is yet to satisfy me that he meditates regularly alone in spite of being experienced enough to write a blog on its' theory
User avatar
Michaeljc
 
Posts: 3591
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 3:36 pm
Location: Raglan New Zealand

Re: What is Zen?

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat May 30, 2015 9:51 pm

Dear Michael,
Practice pranayama, yes; but in general, I'd say, "Don't hold your breath". :tee:

Sorry, guys... . :blush:

--Joe

Michaeljc wrote:Joe :heya: - Colin is yet to satisfy me that he meditates regularly alone in spite of being experienced enough to write a blog on its' theory
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6253
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: What is Zen?

Postby chankin1937 on Sun May 31, 2015 12:36 pm

Hello Michaeljc,
-
Colin is yet to satisfy me that he meditates regularly alone in spite of being experienced enough to write a blog on its' theory.


The “blog” stands alone. It doesn’t need my experience to back it up. It either makes sense to you or it doesn’t. Its an explanation of why meditation works. Perhaps more importantly it grounds it in common human experiences – feelings of contentment, fulfilment and peace of mind. – collectively - happiness.
It reveals that what the Buddha originally taught was psychology rather than the religion into which it has grown – the psychology of the common human gaol. All the historical promoters of his message ( and those who have achieved the goal independently) have told us how to enhance those feelings through meditation. But, in my opinion, the most succinct have been the Great Zen Masters. Their message can be summed up as: during meditation, allow conscious mental activity to abate and the great treasure – perfect happiness will - manifest itself.
Of course cma includes all seeking, all wishing, all aiming for a specific event, all mental constructs of what the goal may be like, and every idea about it you might have.

As for myself, I can stare into the petals of a rose in full bloom (or a dirty ashtray) and feel the experience well up inside my mind. I don’t go for total wipe-out these days. Once you understand the nature of happiness you can get plenty of it.
I offer my understanding in the hope that it will help others along the way.

By the way, have you any idea how much being taught or attending a sang ha costs? I’m not a rich man and I’ve been wondering if I could afford to see a teacher? ;)
Colin
chankin1937
 

Re: What is Zen?

Postby chankin1937 on Sun May 31, 2015 1:07 pm

Hello Joe,
Joe said:
But Colin has explained (claimed... ) that our advice is "too late". On that note, we will of course lament, and even say in effect "It's never too late".


Perhaps I should have been clearer. By it being “too late” I meant I have understood Zen - directly through meditation - for more decades than I care to remember. I found I had no need to ask anyone else to put their interpretation on the event. I had a perfectly good one myself.
Colin
chankin1937
 

PreviousNext

Return to Practicing Zen Buddhism Without a Teacher

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
RocketTheme Joomla Templates

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 157 on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:44 am

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest