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James Austin speaks about a brief awakening

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James Austin speaks about a brief awakening

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:03 pm

Here's the American neurologist and neuro-physiologist Dr. James Austin (1925- ), speaking for five minutes about a very brief state of awakening he experienced on travel once in London, while he was on his way to begin Day 2 of a formal two-day Zen sesshin there (I suppose he was residing off-site, that is, not sleeping at the zendo each night).

Jim Austin is the author of the books ZEN AND THE BRAIN (1998), ZEN-BRAIN REFLECTIONS (2006), and other works on brain-related phenomenology that he's noted during his formal Zen practice, plus of course a career's-worth of peer-reviewed scientific papers.


(music at the start is extremely LOUD -- save your hearing by turning the sound volume down before starting, I'd recommend!)

--Joe

ps There's some more background and amplification on this at:

http://www.dana.org/Cerebrum/2003/Your_ ... ,_and_Zen/
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Re: James Austin speaks about a brief awakening

Postby Avisitor on Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:12 pm

Guo Gu wrote:thorns around roses;
fish eyes mixed with pearls.
if you understand seung sahn's zen,
thirty-blows!

enjoy,
guo gu


Palm to palm

:coffee:
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: James Austin speaks about a brief awakening

Postby Chrisd on Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:15 pm

lol this threads name :PP: "brief awakening" as to distinguish from what? ;)

He's pretty good at putting the awakening experience into words.
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Re: James Austin speaks about a brief awakening

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:40 pm

Chris,

Chrisd wrote:lol this threads name :PP: "brief awakening" as to distinguish from what? ;)

Why, to distinguish it from deeper and long lasting awakenings, of course. Not laughing!

He mentions "a few minutes", and then a "diminuendo", and then a "residue" of two or three days.

See, awakening is always SUDDEN, but may last only briefly. Or, may last a long time, or a very long time. That is the distinction with a real difference. Plus, we can also talk about "depth" (well, let the teachers do that).

I didn't want to represent this good fellow's claim, and his report, as anything other than small fish, or small beer. I think teachers here will agree.

But, you see the importance of it, for the practitioner. It seems to spur him on toward his future practice.

I hope he sometime took occasion to attend longer than 2-day (weekend) retreats (sesshin), too. And... I hope we all do, those who would LIKE to.

(better to sleep on-site, I'd say, too, for fuller immersion. Leave the Subway, Metro, or Underground for AFTER retreat). ;)

(And go very carefully).

:Namaste:,

--Joe
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Re: James Austin speaks about a brief awakening

Postby Chrisd on Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:55 pm

OK but if your awakening becomes a measurement tool for other awakenings or experiences, then isn't that a new shackle?
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Re: James Austin speaks about a brief awakening

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:58 pm

Chris,

Chrisd wrote:OK but if your awakening becomes a measurement tool for other awakenings or experiences, then isn't that a new shackle?

Teachers do the assessment "all the time", because they must. I can't help it if some of it rubs-off, by a little exposure, and by walking-around familiarity with the territory (I don't mean London!).

No, it is not a shackle. Seeing clearly, and recognizing beings is not a "shackle". Do you think it is, in this specific instance? Or any other? Seeing clearly?

It's just noticing if another's hair is brown, golden, or green.

Now you know why Monastics shave their heads.

tnx,

--Joe
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