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.
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.
Well, thanks, sir, it's good to know you, too.
The rakusu I sewed for the Diamond Sangha Jukai is black, not yellow. The ornate yellow or brocade rakusus are for teachers. From my teacher Sheng Yen, where the rakusu is not part of the tradition (although Aitken Roshi says the rakusu originated in China), I have a black layman's robe (again, not yellow).
Hmm, I wonder where you encountered a yellow robe in your formal practice. Theravada? Vajrayana?
Rather hot for robes at this season in the desert, now.
Thanks Lao_Z, I also wasn't thinking in that region. I tend to forget where I'm located at times, well I tend to forget just about anything.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
Remembering youth ...
Yellow robes have always been associated with Buddhist and its formal ceremonies
Red was considered happiness and special days (like Lunar New Year and lucky money)
Black was more for ninjas and assassins and funerals
That is just my cultural color bias
Thank you for your reply. I was probably waiting for an opportunity to jump on, after reading some previous messages at the forum since April.
But back in my mind, I was weighing the benefit versus damage I could have done.
Anyway, enough has been said.
I am prepared to give it a go though
Hello LAO Z,
The “lucky person” I mentioned may have been lawfully married and committed to one partner. We will never know. The point I intended to make was that although Zen may be the best way to profound peace-of-mind (because the way is so clearly delineated in the written records of the Masters) it is not the only way. The entire human race wants happiness (contentment – peace-of-mind) but finding it is not intuitive. They think of conscious mental activity (all aspects of thinking) as an end in itself when it is only a means to an end. The role of CMA is strictly limited to the satisfaction of our appetites. It plays no part in our being happy. The vast majority of people are reluctant to abandon conscious mental activity so are never truly happy – in that sense they “suffer” the tyranny of thought. Zen is the psychology of happiness - the common human gaol. It can – with practice and understanding – release them.
The lucky one certainly had plenty of lust – the reprobate! But I’m surprised that ordinary sex between married couples is frowned upon in Zen. That’s echoed in the Catholic Church with disastrous results. And what future for the human race if we all stop reproducing?
I'm fascinated that you may have a cultural connection with Buddhism where Buddhism has been "in place" and influential on culture and society for a long time. Is that right?
It's early-days, here. But thanks (!) to pioneering teachers coming to the States (and maybe to all 'the West"), and to their transmitted successors, we have the Dharma, now.
I think of the Saffron-colored robes of the Theravadins of Sri Lanka. Are those the yellow robes you know?
Sorry to disappoint.
Only from HK originally (when under British rule)
Wonderful. No disappointment! Quite the opposite. Delighted!
A good friend is from there. He was Ven. Master Sheng Yen's first translator (Chinese-English, and vice-versa) in New York at the Ch'an Meditation Center, in the late 1970s and early 1980's. I knew him then: "Ming". Mr. Wang Ming-Yee. I think he's in California, now. Guo Gu knows him very well, too. Ming was not a monk, but a Mathematics PhD candidate at NYU.
Ha!, I'm surprised you love coffee so much. Had enough of good ginseng tea?
I like the long-leaf Oolongs these days.
And pea-berry coffees.
Don't want to throw this off topic
So only quick answers
Coffee because of the rich roast flavor
Ginseng ... too bitter (wife forces me to drink sometimes)
The other teas are fine
Have Oolong tea all the time with Dim Sum (Yum Cha - drink tea)
Although not too much Dim Sum since moving from NYC
Don't know Ming, sorry.
Thanks, Av. Point well-taken about not going OT.
NYC, yes, I miss the old stomping-grounds since moving to the desert to stomp, 27 years ago. And the Broadway Local (No. 1 IRT train) no longer goes by my house -- that's downright inconvenient! The sacrifices we make, to see the stars... .
The one I read was about a married man coming back home after three years intensive meditation. Interested in working on this Gong-an?
How much luck have you had promoting your restraining from CMA on people? Wouldn’t that be disastrous for the human race if we all stop CMA? This kind of arguments can go on forever: “If everyone strives to be a doctor, then there are no farmers left”, “If everyone becomes a Buddha, then there is no human, animals etc left ”. (BTW, wouldn’t that be wonderful?)
But people have their own choices: Outer Path, secular, ordinary …
There is a poem
expressing an idea of following the Buddha’s path while at same time keeping a lover (spouse). But, I am afraid this is not The Path.
Sila is not a rigid dogma, with exceptions allowed. It was explained extensively in The Mahanirvana Sutra (northern version) where you will see words Nirvana, happy and bliss. Restraining sex itself does not lead to Bodhi. And ordinary people may have problems without it. Buddha Dharma should not be stripped off as rigid Sila only. Sila, through correct practice, gives rise to Samadhi where Prajna is based upon.
Be happy and remain healthy.
Last edited by LAO_Z on Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Hello LAO Z.
If we all stop it in meditation the world would be saved. I am very careful in my posts to stress the value of CMA in solving our problems and satisfying our appetites, realising our goals and achieving our ambitions. It has no part to play in our being happy. The key statements are :
when a problem etc is solved, CMA has fulfilled its role.
There is no point in persisting further with it.
Simultaneously we feel a little happier.
The link is established. Less CMA results in more happiness.
If every one became a Buddha (understood theoretically and practically the psychology of the common human goal) they would get their just and proper rewards for their successful actions. They would lead extremely happy lives as doctor or farmer.
(The windows translator could not cope with this!)
I cannot for the life of me see any advantage in that.
(Mind you, at my age, that has occurred quite naturally. )
Buddhism seems to have split into so many warring factions these days. Perhaps it would benefit the world if the original very simple idea was re-expressed in the modern vernacular.
“In meditation, Nirvana (bliss) results from the extinction of dukkha (the tyranny of CMA).”
Be happy and remain healthy
And the same to you.
I am glad to hear that from you!
You see, I am not surprised to hear that from you. But do take care yourself!
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