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Thread: Reminder: Wheel Turning and Wheel Spinning ...

  1. #1

    Reminder: Wheel Turning and Wheel Spinning ...

    I posted this on a couple of threads today, and feel it deserves its own highlighting ...

    .............

    I wish a little ... that some of this conversation [and others like it] had an "off switch".

    It would be fine to discuss some of these topics in a forum about artificial intelligence or scifi, ethics or philosophy or the like ... but in a Zen Forum, we often find the clearest clarity by keeping things simple and avoiding questions. My job is often to toss cold water on good discussions. It is not because I am anti-intellectual and don't enjoy such dorm room and coffee shop ruminations (I do!!). It is just that, for Zen Practice, we generally find our "answers" by stilling the debating mind.

    For example, on the subject of the chicken-or-egg question of "mind" and "brain", please see this other thread where the question is side stepped.

    Brain, Mind ... NEVER MIND!
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post89592

    On the subject of "free will", Buddhists generally believe that ... imagined or not ... we seem to choose our next step, are ever at a crossroads, and certainly pay a good deal of the consequences of our volitional actions. Apart from that, we are happy to avoid the chicken-egg debate. More here:
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post19537

    I offered this today on violent video games, and feel it may apply to this topic too ... and am not going to go much further.

    I would think that it is not good to hurt sentient beings, even if they are imaginary sentient beings and "simulated" violence.

    I am sorry if we sometimes sound like the "just stop it" fellow that was posted on another thread today ...
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...ll=1#post89657

    ... but we are, although with an important twist. That twist is that we are more just "let it be" people when it comes to certain points of mental wheel spinning and debate. Is there free will, do robots have Buddha nature, is vanilla better than chocolate (and countless other such questions) ... just sit, live gently.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-15-2012 at 04:49 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    From someone who is often carried away by thought, thank you Jundo.

    Gassho.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    ... just sit, live gently.

    Gassho.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  4. #4
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Sometimes we over think things,
    Sometimes we talk to much,
    Sometimes we need to be quite,
    Sometimes we need to just sit.

    Gassho,
    Alan

  5. #5
    disastermouse
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    Sometimes we don't think enough,
    Sometimes we remain silent because we're uncomfortable with the topic,
    Sometimes we need to speak up,
    Sometimes we need to get up from our cushion and do something that needs doing.

    Gassho,

    Chet

  6. #6


    /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

  7. #7
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post
    Sometimes we don't think enough,
    Sometimes we remain silent because we're uncomfortable with the topic,
    Sometimes we need to speak up,
    Sometimes we need to get up from our cushion and do something that needs doing.

    Gassho,

    Chet
    My thoughts are my thoughts and I put them here in response to the OP. If it offended you I do not understand why. BTW I think that I was actually doing just what you said in your reponse to my post. I was thinking and therefore I spoke up. I no longer remained silent.

    Gassho,
    Alan

  8. #8
    disastermouse
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanIn View Post
    My thoughts are my thoughts and I put them here in response to the OP. If it offended you I do not understand why. BTW I think that I was actually doing just what you said in your reponse to my post. I was thinking and therefore I spoke up. I no longer remained silent.

    Gassho,
    Alan
    Alan,

    I apologize - that post was completely not meant as a rebuff. I wasn't offended in the slightest and I have no problem with what you wrote - I merely thought that the corollary would be fun to post.

    No offense intended! Sorry.

    Chet

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post
    Sometimes we don't think enough,
    Sometimes we remain silent because we're uncomfortable with the topic,
    Sometimes we need to speak up,
    Sometimes we need to get up from our cushion and do something that needs doing.

    Gassho,

    Chet
    This is a very very very important point, Chet, and I am glad you said it. You are exactly right, and I agree. However, in Zen Practice, there is a certain way to think-non-think, silently-speak and stilly-actively do-not-do. If such is lacking, then something is just a divisive debate between two opposing sides, or merely goal driven doing ... but not really Zen Practice.

    The internet and airwaves are filled with disagreeing folks arguing this or that. Our heads are no better, filled with 1000 opinions and judgments of this life-self-world. We are always planning how to attain some targets, judging success or failure along the way. That is fine, that is to be human. I like a good debate or discussion, and have many opinions (some very strong) about things in this life and world, and lots of goals I work hard for big and small.

    But Zen Practice is about not becoming lost and tangled in all that.

    When the conversation become too dense, the opinions too strong, and the goals to one-sided and all encompassing ... we become caught in Delusion. Thus, all those famous Koans ...

    Two monks were watching a flag waving in the wind. One said to the other, "The flag is moving."
    The other said, "The wind is moving."
    Sixth Ancestor Huineng overheard this. He said, "Not the wind, not the flag. Your mind is moving."


    Of course, it is perfectly fine to argue and debate the relationship of wind and flags ... on an internet Forum or classroom devoted to aerodynamics for example. Likewise, for our discussions on robots and relationships and "what is a Buddhist" and the like. All fine to discuss ... so long as Huineng is also heard to say "Your mind is moving".

    We should not fall into either the trap of words/opinions/thoughts/emotions or the trap of dullness/disconnectedness/passivity/emotionlessness.

    In Zen Practice, we have a certain "Wu-Wei" Way (http://www.zencalligraphy.com/worksh...tyID=2782&t=dg) ... It is a "saying-not-saying" that, while sometimes involving the mouth being open or the mouth being closed, ALWAYS involves a certain Silence (big "S") heard even at the heart of words and opinions. It is a "doing-not-doing" that, while sometimes involving hard work toward a goal and sometimes sitting still, ALWAYS embodies a certain Stillness (big "S") in the heart of it all free of all need and goals.

    So, for that reason, in a Zen Forum, we do not close down all conversations on politics, opinions, philosophy, film criticism or favorite ice cream flavors. Not at all! I am filled with personal opinions on each of those subjects (I voted in this election, Lawrence of Arabia and the Godfather are at the top of my film list, and cookies and cream is my flavor! ) However, in a Zen Forum, we need to toss water on those times which become so tangled merely in opinions and floods of words that the "Silent Stillness" can no long be heard.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-16-2012 at 04:09 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I'm glad you mentioned Wu Wei. I haven't given it much thought since I was studying Daoism.
    迎 Geika

  11. #11
    Alan's and Chet's posts reminded me of Huineng's verse from the Platform sutra that he wrote on the wall in reply to the verse of the head monk. None better than the other. Both equally important.

    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

  12. #12
    Still stuck on wether vanilla is better than chocolate... now craving ice cream...

    Really though, thank you Jundo.

    Gassho
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  13. #13
    Thank you for the clarity Jundo.

    Gassho
    Michael



    If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
    ~ Dogen Zenji

  14. #14
    This is why I keep my words to the bare minimum, most of us are far too wordy and the job of teachers here is to help you to express living words from stilness and utter living words that return to stillness.

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 11-16-2012 at 03:54 AM.
    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.

  15. #15
    disastermouse
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    This is why I keep my words to the bare minimum, most of us are far too wordy and the job of teachers here is to help you to express living words from stilness and utter living words that return to stillness.

    Gassho


    Taigu
    This reminds me of the Buddhist teacher who repeatedly insists that written words can't capture the dharma.












































    (Who nonetheless writes books.)

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post
    This reminds me of the Buddhist teacher who repeatedly insists that written words can't capture the dharma.

    (Who nonetheless writes books.)
    As Taigu said ... it is not a matter that words always get in the way, though they often do ... nor that silence is always the appropriate thing to say, though sometimes so ... but rather:


    the job of teachers here is to help you to express living words from stilness and utter living words that return to stillness.


    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-16-2012 at 06:06 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    disastermouse
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    As Taigu said ... it is not a matter that words always get in the way, though they often do ... nor that silence is always the appropriate thing to say, though sometimes so ... but rather:


    the job of teachers here is to help you to express living words from stilness and utter living words that return to stillness.


    Gassho, J
    My criticism wasn't serious...

    I've been taking adaptogens and feel so cheerful that my mood is a bit....goofy. I kind of got on the wrong foot with Alan the same way earlier in the thread and although I know there's always a risk of misunderstanding, this goodwill feeling is so unusual that I'm having a hard time not expressing it - even in the treacherous waters of the written word and internet forum posts.

    I don't mean for it to be intrusive and I fully understand the wisdom of Taigu's admonition.

    And with that, I'll shut up for a while.

    Gassho,

    Chet

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