can zen be separate from buddhism?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by cole grey, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. dan74 Registered Senior Member

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    Duendy brings us (repeatedly) an important point: that often religions, or the way people have interpreted them, have a patriarchal quality to them.

    Firstly, they tell you what is the right way, which is a specific way prescribed by them and what the destination is, otherwise they judge you and condemn you.

    And secondly, they condemn your "natural self", the self that desires, wants sex, pleasure, recognition, success, etc. And with it (duendy says) they condemn nature and its "messiness" (body, material things, moods, swings. our human foibles, etc) and exhalt spirit and its "purity" (self-denial, ascetism, detachment, celibacy, serenity, peace). Did I understand you correctly?

    I don't believe that anyone who has gone deeply into Buddhism or Zen Buddhism, would be ignorant of this. "What is Zen? When hungry- eat, when tired - sleep." Teachers make a big point of being grounded, disspelling any ideas we might have of spiritual enlightenment and diving into the now, with its desires, its self that shits and sleeps and eats and feels inadequate and guilty for a host of reasons or without any.

    It's an deep investigation into what is really going on. What is you mind? What is reality? Lets leave ideas aside and really listen in on what's going on. That's meditation.

    As for the end point, enlightenment isn't an endpoint, it's a Western concept that is an endpoint, because we are so used to having goals, without them it would be meaningless to sit for hours. Or would it?

    Like VossistArts said, "free of concepts and distictions", but a lot more than that. It is inclusive, not prescriptive. Whatever you really do, do it with the whole YOU behind it, fully present, aware of what is. It's about engaging more and deeper, including environmental causes that are especially important now, your body, your "natural self".

    There is no destination apart from nature. Anyway you look at it.
     
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  3. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

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    I guess I'm still thinking that zen can't be "about" sitting meditation. You can learn to sit all day, but then what? Perhaps the meditation is a release from the stress of daily life which allows you to think clearly enough to realize that there is less, and more, to life than we think, but it can't be the moon.
    So if sitting meditation is the finger, what is the zen moon?
     
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  5. suzukisfrog Registered Senior Member

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    'we are not even zen buddhists. we are just buddhists.' -- shunryu suzuki
     
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  7. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    i dont think there is a zen moon. its like the small dot at the top of the OM symboled. it represents Thatness, i think, which is void. its not a thing. the only reason there is a dot there is because thats the least that can be used to depict it. as far as calling It something, any word is as good as another. also i dont think zen is "about" zazen. zazen is a way to practice in order to quiet the mind and stop internal dialog. when the internal dialog stops, the world is reborn. i have had only one extended experience with nearly no thought. there was a faint skeletal thinking way way in the background i cant really describe. but on that day, i had an amazing day i wont go into much detail about., at one point i drove my car to a used tool store i liked to visit. it was 95 degrees here and the shop was in the middle of the noisy concrete jungle. i hadnt become removed from this special processing i had been experiencing the entire day in a stream of thought. like unwinding the mandala of my life from the present to my birth and back to the present. i saw myself learning to put the world together and organize it as a small child being taught word replacements for all the things ii was experiencing. then i saw myself string words into concepts.. and layering concepts on top of experiences and then attaching memory to those experiences along with their accompanying emotions. i saw how i was chained to my past this way, and how it has weight and how i had recreated my entire world out of language and concepts and how this was a blatant corruption of experience potential. i was already parking in the parking lot by then, in the process of getting out of the car while seeing what i had become in the way of managing my world with words.. when the words just stopped. its hard to describe the next 10 minutes or so. it was an experience of my immediate world without words and concepts to bring back to describe it. i do remember basic sense perceptions. when it stopped.. all the noise around me changed into like silence.. but it was still present. the heat of the day disappeared to what seemed like an entirely neutral presence.. and i could see from a place that seemed like a 100 feet above where i sat, but i gained no advantage in seeing distance or height. it just seemed like i was elevated and in that position i could hear a soft sound that sounded like wind blowing thru the pines at the top of the mountain. it rained from my face. it was like a machine of some sort in my body had been charged with some kind of momentum, and as the momentum subsided.. i came back to my normal consciousness.

    now ive been practicing., working with my internal dialog sine i was about 20 or so. im 37 now. not religiously, really casually, but persistently for about 18 years. i do zazen pretty regularly which for me is 4-5 times a week and up to about 10 times a week (very rarely) in about 10 -20 minute intervals. zazen has never been relaxing or pleasant for me exactly. its extremely challenging. sitting. and counting breaths. 10 breaths and start over, watching thought rise and fall, detaching from them as being myself. and breathing. for 2 years i could rarely get cleanly to 10 without chasing a thought around in my head. eventually i made progress to the point where in cases where there is not extreme emotion attached to my thoughts, i can let them go. i mean all but the few that are the object of concentration.. the single distraction point. so i started practing looking at things i was familiar with and rather than calling up their word substitutes and the vague but ever present memory of where i learned that thing to be what i call it, id look at it through my eyes. id just try to see it like i was taking a picture with my eyes. recognizing it with cognition rather than substitution i guess. ive gained a lot since then. my whole internal life is very very different from my youth. once a person is able to still their thoughts to some extent and minimize the distraction of internal dialog, mindfulness grows. that is being in the ever present, the only thing we ever have that could be considered in any way real. we spend most of our time elsewhere.. in memory, in projecting ourselves into our future and into sensory distractions like listening to music or v.,, and we are not present. and life flows by very quickly this way because we dont see it or experience it as it is.. and it escapes us and it is over like as soon as it starts.almost exactly like a dream. mindfulness, being present makes me feel slowed down and connected to my past but without needing to remember it to be connected. i was there .. i am still here/there? see how this all works?\

    dont misunderstand tho, i still have so far to go. i still find myself fucking off getting pissed off at the ex for 10 years ago, or fantasizing about what id like to be doing while my kids soundless voices talk to me. the extent to which we are all involved in self deception and distraction is outrageous. but if we work on it, make our partime fulltime job, we gain on it. and our life improves.

    ugh im going to stop now and im not going to edit this thing so forgive any freakouts or what3ever. peace
     
  8. suzukisfrog Registered Senior Member

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    the 'zen moon' is reality, things as they are.
     
  9. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    things are almost never just what they seem to be. there is always more.
     
  10. suzukisfrog Registered Senior Member

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    even though you say so, your comment is not perfect. lets have some tea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2005
  11. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    bows. im wearing a smile for that. ill take the chance to say hello with my cup of tea ! im august

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    i was wondering if im invisable here. happy to see im not.

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  12. suzukisfrog Registered Senior Member

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    bows. im david. did you kill the buddha?

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  13. dan74 Registered Senior Member

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    Wow, we seem to have a new couple here! Maybe you should take it somewhere more private, guys? Or is this forum a big enough world for you?
     
  14. suzukisfrog Registered Senior Member

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    atypical paranoia, afraid your territory has been invaded.
     
  15. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    dan feeling a little jealousy. tsk.
     
  16. dan74 Registered Senior Member

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    A good frog should stay in his well and keep the water clean. What good is one who jumps at the bucket - and suddenly he is out of the well and the water is all cloudy! This surely isn't the water that Shunryu drank from?

    Please set me straight, guys
     
  17. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Show me yourself, and I'll set it straight.
     
  18. suzukisfrog Registered Senior Member

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    yeah, with a body cast & a bullseye painted on his chest.
     
  19. dan74 Registered Senior Member

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    a bit disappointing.... well at least spidergoat is plagiarising from good sources.. The other turned out to be another gun-toting shikantaza-flirting or-so-precious human.

    Must be disappointing for cole-gray, whose thread is gone to the frogs...

    better luck next time, heh?
     
  20. suzukisfrog Registered Senior Member

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    i feel your pain.

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  21. jacob Registered Member

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    zen and buddhism in my opinion are just ideas in which we classify other ideas. truth is not subject to any school of thought. truth just simply is.
     
  22. VossistArts 3MTA3 Registered Senior Member

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    is is. truth is something else. anything we call anything, isnt it.
     

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