A Special Note to Stephanie ...
I am going to make this its own thread, split from the discussion of Jo's Panic Attack ...
Originally Posted by Stephanie
This may be fine for you, and I wish you the best in walking your Path.
However, you may have noticed that Buddhism, from the outset, has been centered on Liberation, freedom from and amid the the existential suffering of Dukkha. Same in Zen Buddhism in all its flavors, finding one's Original Face, Mu, Koans, Shikantaza and all the rest. There are times when one is advised to go deeply deeply into the fear, the darkness, the doubt, anger, greed, confusion and ignorance, the war and child abuse and broken dreams and pain ... but the point is to emerge through it, and as it, transcendent of fear, darkness, doubt, confusion, jealousy, anger, greed, confusion and ignorance, war, childhoods and the whole dream. The point is not to befriend or urge on one's Mara or Dark Passenger, but rather, to not be enslaved by all that.
Now, you often come here and very rudely and one-sidedly insist that a Buddhist's doing so must be turning all of us into tranquilized, emotionless mannequins, quietly desperate ... "dead-in-life". Bull. You fail to see that this Practice is truly a kind of existentialist philosophy ... better said, existential LIVING ... allowing us to fully live and exert in every breath, step and gesture ... crying tears with all our hearts at the sad times, smiling with all openness at the happy times ... At Peace with all the peaceful AND the totally unpeaceful shattered pieces of life ... while a Buddha's Smile shines as and through all of it, happy, sad and in between.
We do not escape from fear, happiness, worry, love, glumness, depression, "what if's", the greatest joys, passion, warmth, panic attacks, addictions, grief at loss, the thrill of new love ... but run right in it, dance with it all, embody all, become FREE! This is LIFE! At the same time, we see through the passing puppet show of the theatre of mind and emotions, do not get trapped and caught by any one, find the Buddha's Wisdom in all of it ... are no longer enslaved by the theatre of mind. The Stillness we find is not standing still, is both rock solid and the swirl of the greatest storm.
We are not afraid of the fire dragon, nor kill it, nor chain it down, nor turn it into a pussycat ... but RIDE the son-of-a-bitch ... ARE the Real Dragon with not an ounce of separation.
You are always welcome here, but the above is the medicine we prescribe here. If you do not get this point, I wish you would peddle your drugs elsewhere. It may be right for you, and I wish you well by it. You will find more than a couple of Zen Teachers and folks out there who seem to lack complete center and clarity and peace themself, and thus try to sell that lack of center and clarity and peace as what Zen and all Buddhism is about. They look for fellow travelers.