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Tree Zen

Tree Zen

Postby partofit22 on Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:18 pm

Over the years, I have noticed how the non-human world is diminished in modern Zen. It often seems like merely a backdrop for human awakening, or reduced to a "place" - "nature" - where we humans "go" to let go of our worries and perhaps find some inspiration. Exploring the commonplace narratives of the human mind around the non-human world, including "nature as a resource" or nature as "brutish, nasty realm," just isn't on the plate. Beyond this, though, there's the duality at the core that seems almost threatening to consider. Namely, the human/non-human divide.

What if Zen Master Joshu's response in the old koan was mainly about pointing away from human-centric thinking? Let's go further than that. What if Joshu was demonstrating being so wide open that he and the tree could speak with each other, communicate their respective wisdoms across the relative body divide?


From Dangerous Harvests - For the rest of the blog post: http://dangerousharvests.blogspot.com/2014/06/tree-zen.html
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Re: Tree Zen

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:02 am

Hi,

I think the fellow may just be giving voice to passing thoughts.

Also, a person's view of "modern Zen" is conditioned by where one practices, and is conditioned, too, by the nature of one's relationship with the teacher, and the sangha.

I think students also expect a sort of more "psychologized" zen practice than people of the past knew about. I even think that some Zen Buddhist teachers in the West are influenced by pop-psychology. Some teachers are also Jungian analysts professionally: so, how can their emphasis NOT be on the human world?

I feel blessed that my main teacher was considered and honored as "The Environmental Monk" by the President of Taiwan. There were many things very elemental and very, well, "natural" about him. I think his 6-year solo retreat in an isolated hut in the mountains of central Taiwan was of great influence on him, and that he was also suited for this. But then, he found himself able to live homeless in poverty on the streets of New York City when he first came to New York to teach, even without a place to stay. Remarkable. And remarkably resourceful.

I'd say that when a person awakens, his/her relationship and identification with all the natural world takes a new birth. So does the relationship with beings. So, I think the blogger-fellow will be OK, if he keeps practicing. Anyway, I'm encouraged that he's somewhat dissatisfied. He says he's only been on board with Zen practice and Yoga for ten years, anyway. Early days.

Joshu's tree -- and dog -- preached the Dharma "24-7". So do my trees. I have no dog, but I can hear the neighbors' dogs preaching (luckily, not "24-7").

--Joe
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Re: Tree Zen

Postby Linda Anderson on Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:43 am

the blogger wrote: What if Joshu was demonstrating being so wide open that he and the tree could speak with each other, communicate their respective wisdoms across the relative body divide?


.... just omit the words "WHAT IF"
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: Tree Zen

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:39 pm

Linda,

So fine. This makes my day. And maybe my tomorrow, too. Thanks! --Joe

:O:

Linda Anderson wrote: .... just omit the words "WHAT IF"
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Re: Tree Zen

Postby partofit22 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:50 pm

Made my day too!
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Re: Tree Zen

Postby kong zen on Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:29 pm

partofit22 wrote:
Over the years, I have noticed how the non-human world is diminished in modern Zen. It often seems like merely a backdrop for human awakening, or reduced to a "place" - "nature" - where we humans "go" to let go of our worries and perhaps find some inspiration. Exploring the commonplace narratives of the human mind around the non-human world, including "nature as a resource" or nature as "brutish, nasty realm," just isn't on the plate. Beyond this, though, there's the duality at the core that seems almost threatening to consider. Namely, the human/non-human divide.

What if Zen Master Joshu's response in the old koan was mainly about pointing away from human-centric thinking? Let's go further than that. What if Joshu was demonstrating being so wide open that he and the tree could speak with each other, communicate their respective wisdoms across the relative body divide?


From Dangerous Harvests - For the rest of the blog post: http://dangerousharvests.blogspot.com/2014/06/tree-zen.html



My English is not very good,
So can only read a little,
You mentioned the relationship between zen and the modern civilization,
Also talked about the relationship between zen and animals and plants,
Your idea is very good,
But to get the answer,
Must practice the truth,
Must be obtained from the practice,
Otherwise, the answer, just a kind of speculation,
Is a kind of imagination,
Not true,
Is not a zen,

我的英语不是很好,
所以只能看懂一点点,
你提到了禅和现代文明的关系,
也谈到了禅和动植物的关系,
你的想法非常好,
但要想得到答案,
必须如法实修,
不然,所得出的答案只是一种推测,
只是一种想象,
不是事实,
不是禅,
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