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So the question arise

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So the question arise

Postby organizational on Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:27 pm

Should we read before experience (it some)
or after experience about Zen?
(This is also valid for every affair

thnks,
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Re: So the question arise

Postby [james] on Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:09 pm

What experience are you referring to?
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Re: So the question arise

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:09 pm

org'l

organizational wrote:Should we read before experience (it some)
or after experience about Zen?
(This is also valid for every affair

If you mean before you ("we") engage in formal practice with a Zen Buddhist teacher, I'd say (but I am not a teacher... ), "Whatever you like". Then, take the teacher's suggestion once you establish a connection.

I think there's no "should", no "must".

Anyway, you're already contaminated, by reading what's posted at the Forum.

Strong practice!,

--Joe
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Re: So the question arise

Postby Avisitor on Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:56 pm

Basic human curiosity .. to learn about stuff we are interested in
But, the most important part is to have a teacher guide your practice.
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: So the question arise

Postby jundo on Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:41 am

Hi,

If I understand the question ...

No problem to read Zen Teachings at the start of becoming a Zen Practitioner. The words are like guides pointing in the right direction. Zen Practice can be like unformed clay, and these teachings and good spiritual friends help give shape and direction to what is as nebulous as the sky or clouds.

They are like guides to a mountain hike, not the hike itself. While the experienced hiker will realize that the whole mountain is the hike and there is no place to be "lost", in fact without a good guide the inexperienced hiker may wander in circles, fall into poison ivy or off a cliff. While one may say that there is no place to get lost or trip and fall on "Buddha Mountain", a guidebook is handy to point out good and fruitless directions because we can become very very lost and fall to our death (A Koan). Nonetheless, the very best guidebook is not the hiking itself ... and so we must put the book down after a time and hike ... realizing hiker, trail and the walk as one beyond one. As the hiker hikes the mountain, the mountain hikes the hiker, and all is just hikering hikering hikering with each step total arrival.

Nonetheless, good to rest and pull out the guides again and again. No problem to read later in Practice for the same reasons. When I pick up the book I may have read 100 times, still there is new juice. We forget that the great Zen masters of the past, before they "burned the books" had usually read them and taken the marrow into the bones before burning.

During sitting we put the books down. Sometimes we burn the books, sometimes we glue to ashes together and read them again.

However, at no time do we become prisoners of the books, or bind ourselves in chains of overthinking and armchair philosophy. They are merely guides to the mountain, not the mountain hike nor the mountain itself. That must be walked.

Gassho, J
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
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Re: So the question arise

Postby organizational on Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:18 am

Thanks all for the answers.

jundo
mountain hike

james
what experience

desert_woodworker
teacher's help

avisitor
curiosity

and the question is
After or before the experience
should we read?

For ex: I am at the A side of the mountain and have experiences there with my curiosity and the teacher is talking about the B side of the mountain.
I think B side is about the experience and A side is the reading.
Don't want to lengthen.What i want to emphasise is experience should be always one foot further.There are things to learn in further experiencing
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Re: So the question arise

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:07 pm

org'l,

organizational wrote:Thanks all for the answers.

desert_woodworker
teacher's help

For ex: I am at the A side of the mountain and have experiences there with my curiosity and the teacher is talking about the B side of the mountain.

I don't know if I fully understand.

Important thing is to practice with the teacher and sangha. Sometimes the "talking" about practice is helpful; sometimes, only practice-itself can clarify elements of (or questions about) practice.

The late Robert Aitken Roshi (1917-2010) said:

    "Zazen teaches zazen."
(But, be careful (!) of any isolated statement about anything (in your reading, say; as here, and including this statement): usually there's more to 'the picture' than just one aphorism -- or one story -- can convey!: Caution!) :)

But because you mention the "A" side of a mountain (and "B"), I wanted to share with everyone here a photo of a mountain in my desert town (where there are at least five Zen Buddhist sanghas and teachers, by the way... ).

This town is the home of The University of Arizona © :

University students many decades ago built a structure of mountain-stone on a side of a volcanic mountain in the shape of the letter "A", for "Arizona". Every year, they re-paint the "A" white. This side of the mountain with the "A" on it faces the town, the populated side of the City, so everybody can see it: the city is Tucson (Arizona).

Photo is below. The mountain is called " 'A'- Mountain"!

The mountain's true name is "Sentinel Peak". But most people call it "A" Mountain.

A_Mountain_Tucson_Arizona_USA_1024.jpg

I'm pretty sure this mountain has a "B"-side (like most 45 RPM vinyl records; "oldies"), but most residents or tourists don't go out to the desert, away from town to look at it. I've seen it, but it's not labeled.

:Namaste:,

"Howdy!", from the Old West,

    in the New World,
--Joe
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Re: So the question arise

Postby organizational on Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:04 pm

Thanks joe, :<3:

i would be happy to join Zen Desert Sangha if i were in Arizona.
well, i am at a distance far...in Turkey :oops!:
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Re: So the question arise

Postby [james] on Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:28 pm

organizational wrote:
and the question is
After or before the experience
should we read?

For ex: I am at the A side of the mountain and have experiences there with my curiosity and the teacher is talking about the B side of the mountain.
I think B side is about the experience and A side is the reading.
Don't want to lengthen.What i want to emphasise is experience should be always one foot further.There are things to learn in further experiencing


My question remains ... what experience are you referring to? When you say that there are things to learn in further experiencing I am reminded of your earlier post about "no time but now". If there is no time but now it follows that there is no experiencing further to this experiencing. Whatever we call it, whatever importance we attach to it ... "the" experience, reading, A side or B side, so called future or past ... it is always this that you/I/we are experiencing. When the teacher is talking about the B side of the mountain, the experience is not the B side of the mountain but the teacher talking about it and the student hearing and receiving. Speculating about before and after implies, I think, that this experience is somehow inadequate or incomplete.
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Re: So the question arise

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:08 pm

[j.],

[james] wrote:Speculating about before and after implies, I think, that this experience is somehow inadequate or incomplete.

Yes; and although that may be true, it's good for the "experiencer" to talk this (or that) thing all the way out, with one's teacher, if that's what occurs to one to do. Hit at it from the front, the side, the back, as one wants to work; there are no rules inside the dokusan room (well, not to speak of). :tongueincheek:

Even though "...another's Wisdom is just that, i.e., another's Wisdom!", our way (in Zen Buddhist practice) cognizes (etc. ... ;) ) multifarious (unlimited... ) skillful means. One person (or another... ) doesn't know what influence might "light one's Dharma candle". We have "no fixed Dharma", when it comes to ways of working, nor in painting a picture of what's-what (our Original Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha was silent on metaphysics, too: good man!).

(even Pharmaceuticals can be used skillfully by the Physician for certain "off-label" conditions or ailments, and can be found to be efficacious).

Well, so you may know.

A great tradition we have, we do, we do.

Friendly Greetings, All.

:Namaste:,

--Joe
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Re: So the question arise

Postby organizational on Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:50 pm

Hello james,

i'm so sorry if i caused any trouble or clouds in your mind.i've not any single intent to do so nor anyone have i guess.

About your question "what experience are you refering to?"
in my first question i used the experience word in the meaning of study or practice.
i couldn't think that it can mix up with the zen experience.it is my fault.or so called my bad english.

What i wanted to underline is working or studying zen is somewhat different from reading.was all my intent to. that's all.

[james] wrote:
organizational wrote:
and the question is
After or before the experience
should we read?

For ex: I am at the A side of the mountain and have experiences there with my curiosity and the teacher is talking about the B side of the mountain.
I think B side is about the experience and A side is the reading.
Don't want to lengthen.What i want to emphasise is experience should be always one foot further.There are things to learn in further experiencing


My question remains ... what experience are you referring to? When you say that there are things to learn in further experiencing I am reminded of your earlier post about "no time but now". If there is no time but now it follows that there is no experiencing further to this experiencing. Whatever we call it, whatever importance we attach to it ... "the" experience, reading, A side or B side, so called future or past ... it is always this that you/I/we are experiencing. When the teacher is talking about the B side of the mountain, the experience is not the B side of the mountain but the teacher talking about it and the student hearing and receiving. Speculating about before and after implies, I think, that this experience is somehow inadequate or incomplete.
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