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Thread: Blah, Blah, Blah.

  1. #1

    Blah, Blah, Blah.

    Sometimes I find myself talking for the sake of talking, no content conveyed. No content in the action of talking and no content in the words spoken, just discursive thought, expressed in words. I think my ego does this to affirm that it exists. As long as I can engage myself with thought or engage others in my thoughts, I distract myself from the idea of nothingness or the idea of death. Fear of a wave disappearing into the ocean when it always has been the ocean.

    May I cultivate through Zazen the need to talk only when I have something to say.

    JC
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  2. #2
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    And in doing and wishing so, JC, you do excatly the opposite: perfect bla blah blah.

    gassho

    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  3. #3
    Yes, sometimes I like a good chat ... about something "serious" or complete nonsense. Sometimes I like to blather just to blather.

    And sometimes is the timeless time for silence.

    What is wrong with any of that, if in the proper measure and time?

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Sometimes it's a good idea to shut up. Zazen is easier when we are quiet!
    Sometimes we feel the need to calm the mind and giving the blah blah blah a rest can help us open the hand of thought.
    But it's natural for humans to talk, so there's no point in staying silent all the time.
    No need to force ourselves to talk, no need to force ourselves to stay quiet.
    When the mind is quiet, the mouth will be quiet. When the mind is discursive, the mouth will be discursive too.
    Don't worry, even the most profound words are mostly blah blah blah anyway.

    Gassho,
    /Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  5. #5
    I agree with all these great points! I find it is all about balance, but sometimes that balance can be a bit lopsided, but that too is ok. We are naturally social creatures, so I think it is ok the blah blah blah once in awhile even thought the blah blah blah is just that ... it might be more of just connecting and being a part of something.

    Gassho
    Michael
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  6. #6
    A really beautiful talk can be like silence. A really beautiful talk highlights silence and plays with it and often points to it. A conversation in which two people share (instead of thinking about what one is going to say and waiting to talk) and really give to one another and play with one another and leave space for one another - that is not two. For me (and this coming from a writer who talks a bunch of nonsense) words aren't only a way to say or communicate, they are a way to be: one can be selfish or selfless through them; one can be separate or together through them.

    Gassho,
    alan

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    And in doing and wishing so, JC, you do excatly the opposite: perfect bla blah blah.

    gassho

    Taigu
    Taigu,

    Little mind says 'thank you for affirming that I am alive by talking to me.'
    Big Mind I am not sure.

    May I find out more through Zazen.

    Thank you all for your imput.
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    Sometimes I find myself talking for the sake of talking, no content conveyed. No content in the action of talking and no content in the words spoken, just discursive thought, expressed in words. I think my ego does this to affirm that it exists. As long as I can engage myself with thought or engage others in my thoughts, I distract myself from the idea of nothingness or the idea of death. Fear of a wave disappearing into the ocean when it always has been the ocean.

    May I cultivate through Zazen the need to talk only when I have something to say.

    JC
    Hello John,

    As someone who often says far, far more words than are needed, I would like to offer a little of my own experience grappling with the so-called Great Question.

    Make a cup of tea (or coffee if that is your wont; I'm going to proceed with tea). Then consume it. Then wash the cup.

    Where does "tea" become "tea"? Does it lose it's "tea-ness" when you drink it? Is the tea-cup really a tea-cup when there's no tea to go in it?

    Take all the questions, bundle them up tightly, and toss them in the fire under the kettle. Then, just be with the tea as you sip it.

    It's more "helpful" than you would think, and even if it isn't, you get a few quiet moments and a cup of tea out of the deal.

    Thank you for your practice.

    In Gassho,

    Saijun
    Last edited by Saijun; 10-30-2012 at 05:46 PM.
    To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity. --RBB

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    John,

    Nothing wrong with a little chit-chat in my opinion...we all wrestle with our ego in different ways and the fact that you have observed this behavior really is the most import thing, at least in my experience. Others differ I'm sure.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  11. #11
    disastermouse
    Guest
    You won't get anywhere trying to strangle your discursive mind. Even if you can shut it up through sheer force of will for a little while, you can bet it's going to have a lot to say when you take your hand off its throat.

    It seems that you think that the Buddhist path requires becoming different than you are- a new egoic occupation. However, acting more Buddhist or trying outwardly to be a 'good Buddhist' will likely backfire. Buddhism - especially Mahayana - is not a path of ruthless cutting.

    Take your analytic mind and set it on the pure interrogative. Ask intensely who it is that your chatter is talking about - with genuine curiosity and compassion.

    Chet
    Last edited by disastermouse; 10-30-2012 at 08:15 PM. Reason: spelling

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post
    You won't get anywhere trying to strangle your discursive mind. Even if you can shut it up through sheer force of will for a little while, you can bet it's going to have a lot to say when you take your hand of its throat.

    It seems that you think that the Buddhist path requires becoming different than you are- a new egoic occupation. However, acting more Buddhist or trying outwardly to be a 'good Buddhist' will likely backfire. Buddhism - especially Mahayana - is not a path of ruthless cutting.

    Take your analytic mind and set it on the pure interrogative. Ask intensely who it is that your chatter is talking about - with genuine curiosity and compassion.

    Chet
    This brought up a deep smile of recognition.

    Thank you Chet,

    Gassho

    Willow

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    I recently read a short story on robots, future life, etc. In the book they talk about how they would one day implant a device in the brain stem that would allow people to voluntarily cut off all their senses allowing for an uninterrupted and instant deep meditation. Everyone would become a zen master according to the story. All I could think about is how crazy my thoughts would go without the "real" world to distract it occasionally. I hope that losing all your senses isn't the "true" zen path!

    Either way blah, blah, blah or not our true selves just keep on ticking.
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    All I could think about is how crazy my thoughts would go without the "real" world to distract it occasionally. I hope that losing all your senses isn't the "true" zen path!
    Zen is everyday life, not some fancy trance-like state of mind. So you can keep all your senses, I'd say.
    You just should avoid attachment...
    Post edit: We need our "ego" in order to exist in everyday life - there is no way and no reason to switch it off entirely.


    BTW: Even if you did self-hypnosis (which I used to do, but has nothing to do with Zen), you'd keep all you senses during "trance".
    Last edited by Daitetsu; 10-30-2012 at 09:12 PM.

  15. #15
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    It seems that you think that the Buddhist path requires becoming different than you are- a new egoic occupation. However, acting more Buddhist or trying outwardly to be a 'good Buddhist' will likely backfire. Buddhism - especially Mahayana - is not a path of ruthless cutting.

    Take your analytic mind and set it on the pure interrogative. Ask intensely who it is that your chatter is talking about - with genuine curiosity and compassion.
    These words Chet are really spot on.

    JC, don't worry about small and Big mind. Don't try to find more, please. And take care.

    gassho


    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post


    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Thanks for the video, very cool and appropriate.

    JC
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post

    Take your analytic mind and set it on the pure interrogative. Ask intensely who it is that your chatter is talking about - with genuine curiosity and compassion.

    Chet
    Chet,

    I don't really know what is underneath all the chatter. Thus far, I have uncovered the fear of death as the big motivator of who I am. I have a facility with academic acquisition of knowledge, but have a tougher time putting what I learn into action (learn to unlearn?).

    I appreciate your thoughts.

    JC
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    These words Chet are really spot on.

    JC, don't worry about small and Big mind. Don't try to find more, please. And take care.

    gassho


    Taigu
    Thanks.
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  19. #19
    disastermouse
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    Chet,

    I don't really know what is underneath all the chatter. Thus far, I have uncovered the fear of death as the big motivator of who I am. I have a facility with academic acquisition of knowledge, but have a tougher time putting what I learn into action (learn to unlearn?).

    I appreciate your thoughts.

    JC
    You have a fear of dying, but you've never really examined what it is that (lives and) dies? This is a common problem.

    Chet

  20. #20
    I know that its unknowable. Being ok with it is the problem.
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  21. #21
    disastermouse
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    I know that its unknowable. Being ok with it is the problem.
    Forget that you know anything. Is it unknowable or merely inexpressible? Who is this? Aren't you curious? Throw it all out and start right here in this moment. As Lin Chi said, "What at this moment is (read: could be) missing?"

    Chet

  22. #22
    Allowing oneself to be silent can be very rewarding. To see just how much junk wants to spew out of our mouth when left on its own can be alarming when we take notice of it....
    Humbly,
    Seiryu

  23. #23
    disastermouse
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu View Post
    Allowing oneself to be silent can be very rewarding. To see just how much junk wants to spew out of our mouth when left on its own can be alarming when we take notice of it....
    "If Control's control is absolute, why does Control feel the need to control?" - William S. Burroughs

    When I sit most silently (not an experience that happens often, not an experience I chase), right before that - the mind babbles even more nonsense than usual - and I let it. I am not it. And the rushing river sometimes quiets. It doesn't quiet by trying to shut it up, that just pulls me into the game and a mistaken 'I' is born in that moment. That's the wheel of Samsara - chasing yourself through memory and worry and various set-pieces of dream theater. Pushing this way and that, I am lost in a constructed self and have forgotten to just look at what this is.

    Realizing that I've been hooked, I smile inwardly and release the hook. Over and over. Perfect zazen practice.

    Perfect life practice. (When I'm forgetful, my sangha helps wake me up).

    Chet

  24. #24
    One comes to that Point of one's Practice where one hears, smells, tastes and fully embodies Silence (Big S) that is/as/shines through-and-through total silence (small s) or the loudest noise, words, gestures or being still. Sometimes we must be very quiet to perceive such, so quiet-still sitting is emphasized. But eventually, such Silence rings through all of life.

    So, one need not have one's mouth shut to be Silent, and the quietest quiet can be noise to a confused mind.

    There is a time for talking, time for blah blah, times for silence and leaving words aside. .. and Silence (Big S) speaks all.

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - Once Silence is found, it will change much of what and how you choose to say some things or not, and all one's way of living and experiencing the events of life.
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-31-2012 at 10:20 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu View Post
    Allowing oneself to be silent
    I think it's important to sometimes allow silence.

    can be very rewarding
    The word rewarding always makes me itch a little!
    I don't think you mean we should expect a reward for shutting up, but I know from personal experience how sneaky these little end-gaining ideas can be.

    To see just how much junk
    How can you be sure it's junk? Did anyone tell you it was junk? Could it be that you are overly judgemental towards the words that emerge spontaneously, without first being checked by the ego? Maybe the words that you are most proud of are the most contrived, and the spontaneous and sometimes silly stuff is what is most honest and true? (I don't know, just asking.)

    wants to spew out of our mouth
    To me, a natural function of the mouth is to spew out words.

    when left on its own can be alarming
    My ego is always alarmed when I leave the body and mind to do its own thing. But it doesn't fight back as strongly as it used to. Maybe because I don't try to fight it to begin with (in analogy with what Chet says).

    when we take notice of it....
    Brad recently commented on his blog that thoughts and attention is not the same thing. We don't have to pay attention to our thoughts. When you don't take notice, when you don't control, when you don't check back, when you let go and let Seiryu be Seiryu, let the words spontaneously emerge from the heart, perhaps you are preaching the true Dharma all day long without knowing?

    Just thinking out loud,
    It may be complete junk.

    Gassho
    Pontus
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 10-31-2012 at 09:38 AM.
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    So, one need not have one's mouth shut to be Silent, and the quietest quiet can be noise to a confused mind.
    Alan already touched on the first part, but the second part is just as important. It's very, very true in my experience!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  27. #27
    disastermouse
    Guest
    Does this thread make anyone think of this?


    http://bobloblawlawblog.ytmnd.com

  28. #28
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Kyonin, thanks for posting that Depeche Mode video. I'm surprised I've never seen it.

    Chet, you know YTMND as well, huh?
    迎 Geika

  29. #29
    Silence is always there, we are just so go at avoiding at, at running away from it.

    The word rewarding always makes me itch a little!
    I don't think you mean we should expect a reward for shutting up, but I know from personal experience how sneaky these little end-gaining ideas can be.
    Why does the word make you itch? Avoiding end-gaining ideas can sneaky-ly become just another reward we are seeking for ourselves...

    For me, many many junk floats around my mind....but whats junk for me, is priceless gold for someone else...
    Humbly,
    Seiryu

  30. #30
    disastermouse
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu View Post
    Silence is always there, we are just so go at avoiding at, at running away from it.


    Why does the word make you itch? Avoiding end-gaining ideas can sneaky-ly become just another reward we are seeking for ourselves...

    For me, many many junk floats around my mind....but whats junk for me, is priceless gold for someone else...
    Unhelpful relativism is unhelpful.

    The rewarding itch is only itchy if you can't see through it. There is no exact language for Zen, and yet Zen activity can be VERY exact. It's strange, no? Keep on your practice and these quibbles will either disappear or become amazing teachers.

    IMHO.

    Chet

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