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Thread: SPLIT THREAD: Zen & Catholicism

  1. #101
    Hi Mike,

    Actually I wanted to forget this thread as I feel there was a lot of misunderstanding involved...
    You can look for and list as many parallels as you like - I never said there are no parallels to be found.
    But well, I could even tell you parallels between satanism a la La Vey and Zen. You can *always* find parallels.
    There is a decisive difference though that cannot be explained away:
    To use the concept of God: In Catholicism god is something external, separate from you and the universe. In Zen God is you and in fact everything there is... (one could argue though whether it makes sense to use this word in the first place, but I guess you know what I mean.)


    Quote Originally Posted by toshiro_mifune View Post
    You sit zazen, and are supposed to believe you are Buddha and there is no duality between you and the world outside you. Do you really believe it? You are told there is no need to believe in anything, but then you are told you are Buddha and always have been. Unless you have had this realization (I have not, yet), this is a mere belief and a very bold one.
    I can't remember I have said that Zen does not involve some kind of belief or trust, so actually I could consider this as a strawman argument and leave it as that.

    I prefer to keep my answer on a general level (there are things I am only willing to talk about with my teachers):
    It is not about believing for everyone. And everyone has at least a chance to find out.

    But forget about Kensho/Satori/Enlightenment/etc. This practice is not about these things.
    Perhaps for Rinzai practitioners.
    Maybe you might check out the stuff from Kodo Sawaki...

    Gassho,

    Timo
    Last edited by Daitetsu; 09-15-2013 at 09:10 PM.
    no thing needs to be added

  2. #102
    .. and even more between La Vey's satanism and Catholicism No, I am not arguing for Catholicism. Just pointing out that you can't expect a religion or a spiritual path to be rational. External or pantheistic God, little difference when the rubber hits the road.
    And, also that, even though everyone denies it, there is an element of belief in Zen (you didn't say that and I don't claim you did). Non-dualism and inherent Buddha nature is very hard to swallow, at least for me, and I have to actually have some level of trust that Dogen and others acquired this kind of experiential knowledge and are trying to point us to it.

    Gassho,
    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    Hi Mike,

    Actually I wanted to forget this thread as I feel there was a lot of misunderstanding involved...
    You can look for and list as many parallels as you like - I never said there are no parallels to be found.
    But well, I could even tell you parallels between satanism a la La Vey and Zen. You can *always* find parallels.
    There is a decisive difference though that cannot be explained away:
    To use the concept of God: In Catholicism god is something external, separate from you and the universe. In Zen God is you and in fact everything there is... (one could argue though whether it makes sense to use this word in the first place, but I guess you know what I mean.)




    I can't remember I have said that Zen does not involve some kind of belief or trust, so actually I could consider this as a strawman argument and leave it as that.

    I prefer to keep my answer on a general level (there are things I am only willing to talk about with my teachers):
    It is not about believing for everyone. And everyone has at least a chance to find out.

    But forget about Kensho/Satori/Enlightenment/etc. This practice is not about these things.
    Perhaps for Rinzai practitioners.
    Maybe you might check out the stuff from Kodo Sawaki...

    Gassho,

    Timo

  3. #103
    Quote Originally Posted by toshiro_mifune View Post

    Now, in Zen, you train under a Teacher from an unbroken lineage. Like a priest, the teacher is not always perfect (Shunryu Suzuki liked to drink, now I am hearing about another Japanese Zen priest in the US who liked to have a good time with female disciples). You sit zazen, and are supposed to believe you are Buddha and there is no duality between you and the world outside you. Do you really believe it? You are told there is no need to believe in anything, but then you are told you are Buddha and always have been. Unless you have had this realization (I have not, yet), this is a mere belief and a very bold one.
    Just a few words on misconceptions of misconceptions ...

    The "unbroken lineage" is likely not historical, is filled with names of people who could not have been connected, many who had little to do with "Zen", could not have lived at the times indicated, or were completely fictional. The "unbroken lineage" was created by men in China to draw a symbolic link back to Buddha, but was a kind of religious fable or propaganda.

    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenBookRev...hrough_zen.htm

    Nonetheless, the "unbroken lineage" stands for somebody, somewhere ... nameless man and women who have kept the flame of this Way burning over the millenia back to the source.

    In fact, "Zen" largely emerged when Indian Buddhist Teachings encountered Chinese-Taoist Sensibilities (and then Japanese Culture). ... yet the blending of flavors also emerged as something very rich and nourishing. It is quite the same, yet different ... sometimes quite different, while just the same with the historical Buddha's original formulations. Now, Western and modern spices are added too. I sometimes compare Buddhism to how the Model T became a Prius ... yet same basic 4-wheels with seats design on the road to not going.

    Zen Teachers are human beings. Most Buddhist Teachers I know are generally caring, devoted, wise, compassionate, well trained, illuminating, enlightening folks ... mixed in with a small number of bad apples. I speak about that quite often.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...Finger-Wagging

    and

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-Safe-Landings

    You are not supposed to "believe" that there is no duality between you and the world outside you. You are to experience and embody so. In fact, the silly belief that there are only two parts to reality ... "you" and everything else in the universe that is "not you" ... is kinda the silly belief. "Buddha" (not to be confused with the historical human being by the same title, although he was Buddha too as are you ...) is just a "code word" for that where all said divisions are dropped. Or, better put, the vision of life of divisions and things bumping into each other ... and without divisions and bumping ... are encountered as not two.

    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post

    But forget about Kensho/Satori/Enlightenment/etc. This practice is not about these things.
    Perhaps for Rinzai practitioners.
    Maybe you might check out the stuff from Kodo Sawaki...

    Gassho,

    Timo
    HUH!?! Where did this come from, Timo?

    I believe you confuse our "not chasing after, radically giving up the hunt" with "not finding". Who said that our Way ain't about Kensho-Satori-Enlightenment? Certainly not Kodo.

    Here, please, carve this in your bones ...

    Who ever said that there is "nothing to find" in, through and as this practice of "not seeking", no place to "get", no treasure to snare at the end of the rainbow?

    Not me. I never would say such a thing. Then why pursue this path?

    Who ever said there is no "enlightenment" to be achieved? I never would say that. It would not be Buddhism in that case.
    More here ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-enlightenment

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-16-2013 at 04:17 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #104
    A couple of Kodo Sawaki quotes on Satori ...

    We don’t practice in order to get satori. It’s satori that pulls our practice. We practice, being dragged all over by satori.

    You don’t seek the way. The way seeks you.

    You study, you do sports, and you’re fixated on satori and illusion. So that even zazen becomes a marathon for you, with satori as the finish line. Yet because you’re trying to grab it, you’re missing it completely. Only when you stop meddling like this does your original, cosmic nature realize itself.

    You say you’re seeking the way, but what does it mean if you’re seeking the way just to satisfy yourself?

    You want to become a buddha? There’s no need to become a buddha! Now is simply now. You are simply you. And tell me, since you want to leave the place where you are,where is it exactly you want to go?

    Zazen means just sitting without even thinking of becoming buddha.

    We don’t achieve satori through practice: practice is satori. Each and every step is the goal.
    Don’t take pride in your practice. It’s clear that any satori you take pride in is a lie.

    You’ve got it backwards if you talk about stages of practice. Practice is satori.

    Satori is like a thief breaking into an empty house. He breaks in but there’s nothing to steal. No reason to flee. No one who chases him. So there’s nothing which could satisfy him either.
    The buddha-dharma is immeasurable and unlimited. How could it ever have been made to fit into your categories.

    No matter what you are grasping for, it’s limited.

    In any case, only things for ordinary people can be grasped. Grasping for money, clinging to health, being attached to position and title, grasping for satori – everything you grasp only becomes the property of an ordinary person. Letting go of ordinary people’s property – that’s what it means to be a buddha.

    When peace of mind only means your personal satisfaction, then it’s got nothing to do with the buddha-dharma.

    The buddha-dharma teaches limitlessness. That which is measureless has to be accepted without complaint.

    You lack peace of mind because you’re running after an idea of total peace of mind. That’s backwards. Be attentive to your mind in each moment, no matter how unpeaceful it might seem to be. Great peace of mind is realized only in the practice within this unpeaceful mind. It arises out of the interplay between peaceful and unpeaceful mind.

    A peace of mind that is totally at peace would be nothing more than something ready made. Real peace of mind only exists within unpeaceful mind.

    When dissatisfaction is finally accepted as dissatisfaction, peace of mind reigns. It’s the mind of a person who had been deaf to criticism when he finally listens to others talking about his mistakes. It’s the mind of a person who, naked and begging for his life, suddenly dies peacefully. It’s the mind of a person who has suddenly lost the beggar who had been pulling at his sleeve, relentlessly following him around everywhere,. It’s the mind after the flood in which the make-up of piety has washed away.

    How could a human being ever have peace of mind? The real question is what you’re doing with this human life. What you’re doing with this stinking sack of flesh, that’s the issue.
    http://antaiji.dogen-zen.de/eng/kodo...i-to-you.shtml
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-16-2013 at 05:05 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #105
    Hi Jundo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    HUH!?! Where did this come from, Timo?

    I believe you confuse our "not chasing after, radically giving up the hunt" with "not finding". Who said that our Way ain't about Kensho-Satori-Enlightenment? Certainly not Kodo.

    Here, please, carve this in your bones ...
    I am sorry, this is another misunderstanding.
    I was indeed talking about chasing a single big boom satori experience.
    Kodo Sawaki mostly spoke about practice-enlightenment, but used for both the expression satori.

    So IMHO our practice is not about the goal of achieving a big satori experience (although having one is not bad and neither to belittled nor to be raised on a pedestal). As you have said several times, it is like hiking and coming across a beautiful scenery. But then it's time to move on.

    I referred to Kodo Sawaki, because in my opinion he explains the concept of practice-enlightenment (i.e. the actualizing of Buddha-nature when we sit or in other activities) in an excellent way. And practice-enlightenment is the thing that is at the core of our Soto tradition IMHO.
    Using the expression Satori for both a "unique peak event" and for practice-enlightenment can be tricky.

    Hope I could clarify my point of view with this.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    You are not supposed to "believe" that there is no duality between you and the world outside you. You are to experience and embody so. In fact, the silly belief that there are only two parts to reality ... "you" and everything else in the universe that is "not you" ... is kinda the silly belief. "Buddha" (not to be confused with the historical human being by the same title, although he was Buddha too as are you ...) is just a "code word" for that where all said divisions are dropped. Or, better put, the vision of life of divisions and things bumping into each other ... and without divisions and bumping ... are encountered as not two.
    Of course. But the entry level person who is drawn to zazen, usually does it with some belief, something they had read or had been told. Otherwise they wouldn't undertake this activity, which to a person from the street may not seem very exciting. So even without clining to or gaining, they "expect" in a way, and even "know" more or less what to expect. This is of course immaterial, I was just trying to point out the fact that a belief never plays any role in Zen seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    Gassho,
    Mike

  7. #107
    Hi Mike,

    Of course. One must trust or rely on what the folks are telling one about this Practice at the start. But, after a certain point, one comes to taste such for oneself.

    It is a bit like I believed my dad when he said I could ride a bicycle even though it looked so hard. It took some tries, but he was right!

    Gassho, J

    PS - I know what Timo actually meant to say. My comment was not for him really (I know he knows), but for the many folks new to Soto Zen who might have taken literally his comment that our Soto/Koda Sawaki Way is not about "kenshosatorienlightenment, that's the Rinzai fellows not us". That is very easy for newcomers to misunderstand.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #108
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajņa from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  9. #109
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    For anyone that has a connection to both Buddhism and Christianity, there is a lovely book by Paul F. Knitter called "Without Buddha, I Could Not Be a Christian" The author calls himself a Buddhist-Christian, which is a trend, I have been noticing among the liberal Christian movement.


    Treena

  10. #110
    WOW! great thread and subject! thanks all for sharing! Iīd like to share my view, briefly : If we live our dharma practice to the heart, dinamic and alive, not like a bunch of precepts, rules, recipes and rituals, it combines really well with catholic and christian religions, and maybe other religions too, of course there will be points where things donīt match perfect but is up to each one of us to decide how to combine our stuff. I donīt encourage "just brainless mixing" to anyone but a more aware, here and now and wholesome and view. But then, thatīs just me and my deluded mind.



    Gassho
    Dancing between stillness and motion I find peace.

  11. #111
    As a student of Comparative Religions I have found this conversation very interseting. Since I have nor read the whole thread I don't know if THomas Merton has been brought here. He was a ROman Catholic Trappist Monk who embraced Zen Buddhism. He believed that RC mediattion was very close to Zazen. I believe they are. Besides that, I could mention the ideas of the Saints and Boddhisatvas, the litanies and prayers of Tibetan Buddhism, the ideas of atonning for sin, and even the belief in purgatory and Samsara are very close one from the other.

    http://www.thomasmertonsociety.org/altany2.htm

  12. #112
    Senior Member JeffreyB's Avatar
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    I tend to find that people need religion to placate the ego's fear of death. The ego cannot accept that one day it will become as if it never were and creates all sorts of mythologies to calm it. Unfortunately it does anything but. I find the idea of personality survival beyond death absurd in the extreme. Why on earth would we want to hold on to the ignorant limitations of this human life? My only thoughts on life after death are- How can something that was never created cease to be? I was raised without religion so I fortunately escaped the mind f*ck that it can be on a person later in life when they lose it. All of my problems stemmed from my own creation and I am thankfully reworking that soil and planting better seeds.

    Gassho, Jeffrey
    "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  13. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffreyB View Post
    I tend to find that people need religion to placate the ego's fear of death. The ego cannot accept that one day it will become as if it never were and creates all sorts of mythologies to calm it.
    Gassho, Jeffrey
    Well put. :-)

    Gassho, John
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  14. #114
    Jeffery,

    I see your point but have to disagree a bit.

    Religion is not always and only about death and dealing with it. It's mostly about life and how you live it. Like most other religions, there are differences but also great similarities. Looking at the Precepts, we we quickly see the 10 commandments are not all that different. This among other similarities and the fact that Buddhism and Christianity compliment each other more often then not, make that I have no trouble both being both an observant Christian and a sincere student of Zen. The combination makes that I not only live life but work on living it well!

    What comes after life?

    Tree in the park
    blackbird calling on the roof
    raindrops in my begging bowl.

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  15. #115
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I practice to eventually accept death, not rationalize it, though I admit that the latter was my initial mindset.
    迎 Geika

  16. #116
    Senior Member JeffreyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    I practice to eventually accept death, not rationalize it, though I admit that the latter was my initial mindset.
    I mean thats why we are all here. One day everything we love will be taken from us and we will cease to be and we must somehow find a way to make that ok.

    Gassho, Jeffrey
    "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  17. #117
    Senior Member JeffreyB's Avatar
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    On the subject of Zen and Catholicism, I dont see a way to serve two masters. One can certainly use Zen practices and be part of any religion. I just see it as a "Jack of all trades, master of none" situation. I think many people straddle both paths in an attempt to hold onto a fallacious belief in a personal god that resides outside of ones self, yet really never commit to either path. I see it as trying to cover all bases in a "just in case" scenario. I find the god of the old testament to behave like a spoiled toddler, throwing tantrums, making absurd demands on "his" followers and displaying symptoms of a major psychotic disorder at best. I'm not trying to offend anyone here I am just being pointed about what I see as a major negetive force in our world at large.

    Gassho, Jeffrey
    "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  18. #118
    Seems to me you have some way still to go, but that is OK.

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  19. #119
    Every single thing is just the One Mind. When you have perceived this, you will have mounted the Chariot of the Buddhas.” (Huang Po)

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  20. #120
    The current pope is a very simple and humble man. He just fired a bishop for spending too much money on housing renovations. Very encouraging.

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  21. #121
    :d

    e.

  22. #122
    Hi Rich,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    The current pope is a very simple and humble man. He just fired a bishop for spending too much money on housing renovations. Very encouraging.
    I guess you mean that German bishop? Actually, the pope did not fire him, but only suspended him. AFAIK the vatican was even informed about the lavish bishop all the time (for those who don't know: he said the new residence would cost about 1 or 2 million EUR, but at the moment numbers have risen to almost 40 million EUR - quite some difference), but the public pressure here in Germany has been getting higher and higher. Lots of catholics here (and protestants strangely as well) are really upset by this.
    However, I have also read recently that it is quite normal that a bishop gets a residence in that price range around here - it's just not made public like in that case.

    Yes, I also think the new pope is of a different kind than the previous one (more down to earth), but it is hard to tell what really comes from his heart or what comes due to a reaction that is expected by public.
    Media are reporting on this every day here and they want to see something happen.

    Is the pope a simple and humble man? I don't know, but I do know he is not beyond dispute, especially because of some serious accusations made against him in the past, i.e. the role he might have played during the brutal military dictatorship in Argentina.
    Anyway, we will probably never find that out, and it really does not matter to our practice anyway.

    I just wanted to point out that we should be careful whether we call someone a simple, humble man or a bad man. What do we really know about him?
    However, I must admit that I'd not call the vatican a humble residence... (SCNR)

    Gassho,

    Timo
    Last edited by Daitetsu; 10-24-2013 at 10:48 PM.
    no thing needs to be added

  23. #123
    He doesn't live in the official papal residence in the Vatican. Thinks its too luxurious so he lives in a small apartment there, so I heard.

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  24. #124
    Here's what he said about non believers
    “[W]e also sense our closeness to all those men and women who, although not identifying themselves as followers of any religious tradition, are nonetheless searching for truth, goodness and beauty, the truth, goodness and beauty of God. They are our valued allies in the commitment to defending human dignity, in building a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in safeguarding and caring for creation"

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  25. #125
    Senior Member JeffreyB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enkyo View Post
    Seems to me you have some way still to go, but that is OK.

    Gassho

    Enkyo
    Everyone in this group does, it's why we are here. None of us has the answers, at best we can express opinions. Some opinions differ, so lets try to cease the finger wagging.

    Gassho, Jeffrey
    "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  26. #126
    Hi Rich,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Here's what he said about non believers
    “[W]e also sense our closeness to all those men and women who, although not identifying themselves as followers of any religious tradition, are nonetheless searching for truth, goodness and beauty, the truth, goodness and beauty of God. They are our valued allies in the commitment to defending human dignity, in building a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in safeguarding and caring for creation"
    Thank you for this quote. Yes, it is a huge step indeed, and AFAIK he also made an important step toward homosexuals.
    This gives me hope for a more tolerant and open Catholic Church. That's actually what lots of its followers are hoping, too.
    This is a chance for change, let's hope the rest of the church uses this opportunity!

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  27. #127
    Thanks, timo. I hope so. BTW what is Afaik. 😊

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  28. #128
    Hi Rich,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    BTW what is Afaik.
    Oh, sorry, I am a bit lazy sometimes... This is an acronym for "as far as I know".

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  29. #129
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffreyB View Post
    I tend to find that people need religion to placate the ego's fear of death. The ego cannot accept that one day it will become as if it never were and creates all sorts of mythologies to calm it. Unfortunately it does anything but. I find the idea of personality survival beyond death absurd in the extreme. Why on earth would we want to hold on to the ignorant limitations of this human life? My only thoughts on life after death are- How can something that was never created cease to be? I was raised without religion so I fortunately escaped the mind f*ck that it can be on a person later in life when they lose it. All of my problems stemmed from my own creation and I am thankfully reworking that soil and planting better seeds.

    Gassho, Jeffrey
    Yes, it is the ego (the little "self") that fears its own death. But please realize that Zen Practice ... and most of Buddhism ... is very much about this matter of "life and death". Every Zen Temple has this written near the Zendo Door ...

    Let me respectfully remind you, life and death are of supreme importance.

    Most Buddhists, traditionally, have believed that there are future Rebirths into other lives ... or maybe into a "Pure Land" where one may sit at a Buddha's feet. Not all modern, especially Western, Buddhists believe so (I am a skeptical agnostic on the issue, and it is not so vital to my "right here, right now in this life" Practice), but certainly the vast vast majority of Buddhists did ... and still do ... think so in Asia.

    But the interesting fact is that, whether one believes in "rebirth into future lifes" or not ... almost ALL Buddhists I know believe the following:

    That life and death are kind of a dream, a state of mind. In other words, "rebirth" (even if you believe in it) exists precisely because you believe in it! When you wake up from the dream, the dream vanishes. One is reborn until one stops thinking and acting like they will be reborn, thus causing rebirth! So, whether one believes or not ... WAKE UP!

    What is more, there is that transcendent of small human judgments of "start and finish, life and death, beginnings and endings". This is a fact that almost every present or ancient Zen Buddhist I know believed in ... both believers AND modern skeptics of post mortum rebirth, everyone. Namely, that we are "suchness", even after we "kick the bucket" when the bottom falls out of the bucket. (The best, but somewhat misleading, example is the "waves and sea" example ... where each of the waves worries about what will become of itself when it crashes on the rocky shore, not realizing that each wave was just the water and sea all along). We die, we crash on the beach ... yet roll on and on.

    Oh, we believe in a kind of "survival beyond death" too. Better said, we belief in a kind of "survival-non-survival" beyond all small human division of "life and death, starts and finishes".

    (By the way, I think one could still Practice "here and now just this life" Zen Buddhism just fine even if thinking the we are totally "kaput", dead and done with, when we go to the grave. No problem. Whatever the case ... rebirth or ocean or not ... just live gently here and now).

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-25-2013 at 05:40 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  30. #130
    Senior Member JeffreyB's Avatar
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    I think something survives death but not the individual personality, but it seems that this something goes back into the pool of energy from whence it came, into the non-dual whole, which we exist in anyway but are too ignorant to see it. In a way we are already dead. I fully agree with the dream analogy. At times consciousness is murky at best but one gets a distinct feeling that they aren't seeing the entire picture, that there is so much more beyond the illusion and limitations of the five physical sense fields. I'm a skeptic at heart so when the unicorns and fairies come out in any belief system I tend to cringe. And I'm just not a fan of mixing multiple belief sytems. I think one should do one thing and do it well. My first Zen teacher had us do a meditation where we would visualize the physical body peeling away, layer by layer until there was just our true existence left. I cant remember what it was called but I think it may have been from the Vajrayana tradition. He was a student of Chogyam Trungpa who later became a student of Kobun Chino Roshi so he tended to bring in aspects of both traditions but firmly seated in Soto Zen.

    Gassho, Jeffrey
    "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  31. #131
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Hi,

    wanted to share some insights.

    People may want to look at Jesuit spirituality... the parallels are surprising, even more than normal. The god of everyday life, detachment from our likes and dislikes ("to conquer oneself and to regulate one's life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment.), seeing God everywhere, even in despair or sin ("To see God in all things and all things in God") etc.

    St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus, once wrote.

    Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
    my memory, my understanding,
    and my entire will,
    All I have and call my own.

    You have given all to me.
    To you, Lord, I return it.

    Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
    Give me only your love and your grace,
    that is enough for me.
    In shikantaza, we also give up everything and simply sit. No issue of right or wrong, no issue of left and right, no issue of doing or not doing, no issue of outside and inside. To be still and know God. Who is he? Who is asking?

    I once had a Jesuit math teacher. A lot of people were failing in class and asked what the use of math was, especially to those who won't be needing it for their supposed career paths. He said that, like the enjoying a beautiful sunset, math does not particularly need a use, despite actually being useful.

    As a side note, one of the biggest zen groups we have here in the philippines is FILLED with the Catholic religious as zen teachers.

    And here's a short trailer of a doc bout Christian-Buddhist dialogue. The guy with the cool east coast (not really familiar with Americanaccents that well.) accent is Fr. Kennedy S.J. Roshi.


    Gassho, Ben
    Last edited by Tiwala; 10-25-2013 at 10:06 AM.
    Gassho
    Ben

  32. #132
    Thank you Ben. Maria Theresa used to sit in meditation much similar to our practice. Why similar? Because when she was asked what she was doing sitting like that she answered. "I'm listening to God and he is listening to me". I know it's not shikantaza ( Zen is different from meditation) but this story always amazes me.

    Jeffrey: The beauty of our Way ( and this sangha) is the fact that we do NOT discard or take a position against any other religion, belief or culture that gives guidance to people and make them try to live a good and productive life. Simply because we don't know anything for sure and are just fine with that. Is there a God? Maybe yes maybe no. My personal choice is yes but will respect any other standpoint just the same. Thinking or wagging a finger to anyone saying "I'm right and you are not" is the only real mistake we can make in this.

    My mother used to say that if you are doing something you can continue doing when Jesus returns, you'll alright. If i'm sitting and He comes, great! If I sit and He does not come yet, also fine. Does not matter in shikantaza. Nothing matters in shikantaza because it's all there. Whole and complete. As good a take on it as any. Of course, of Nazi Buddhist, Child molesting Christian, Mass murdering Mohammedan we can all safely say that is not so good. So will all people observing these and all other religions that make our world so interesting. Why crusading against religion? Yes, I am offended by you calling religion a Mind F*&% but you seem to feel very strongly about it, so it's OK. Why? Something to work with and all good practice

    Struggling to deny something forcefully and discarding someones belief system out of hand, is also a form of ego attachment and should be let go of AFAIK (lol) in my humble opinion. I'll always stick to what Nishijima Roshi used to say on this matter: "Both true!" Works for me. Shall we sit ?

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  33. #133
    Hi Enkyo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Enkyo View Post
    Yes, I am offended by you calling religion a Mind F*&% but you seem to feel very strongly about it, so it's OK.
    Please don't take the following personal, but when you feel offended when someone says religion is a Mind F*, than IMHO you are the one who feels very strongly about it.
    Don't misunderstand me, I don't want to attack you, but I think this is a sign of attachment or even of identification.
    If someone said to me "Zen is just huge pile of horse manure" I would not be upset in the least, because I don't identify with Zen, I just practice it.
    When you feel upset just because someone attacked religion, you might identify with it. Jeffrey attacked religion, not you as a person. So why feel offended?

    Moreover, I think Jeffrey referred to the religious indoctrination in early childhood. Thing is, this is a huge pilar of success for religions: the earlier you begin to plant seeds, the higher the success rate. Little children believe almost anything.

    I don't teach anything about Zen/Buddhism to my daughter, as I don't want to indoctrinate her. I let her ask. If she wants to know something, I try to explain it.
    If she someday wants to become a Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. - so be it!
    However, if I actively tried to make her become a Buddhist, I would do nothing else than indoctrination myself (I want to avoid the expression Mindf* here).

    Just to shed light from a different angle here. These kinds of discussions can be a chance to reveal our own attachments.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  34. #134
    Hi.

    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    Just to shed light from a different angle here. These kinds of discussions can be a chance to reveal our own attachments.
    Thank you.
    Very important teaching, and not only does it give us that chance but also to practice the precepts, for instance "right speech".

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

    Ps
    As a sidenote, the interfaith dialogues, especially between Buddhism and Chrsitianity, and practices are coming along strong here in sweden, especially with the Mindfulnessmovement and what it brought along, but how is it in other countries/places? (maybe start a new thread on this one... ) Ds
    Treeleaf Unsui
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  35. #135
    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen View Post
    Hi.



    Thank you.
    Very important teaching, and not only does it give us that chance but also to practice the precepts, for instance "right speech".

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

    Ps
    As a sidenote, the interfaith dialogues, especially between Buddhism and Chrsitianity, and practices are coming along strong here in sweden, especially with the Mindfulnessmovement and what it brought along, but how is it in other countries/places? (maybe start a new thread on this one... ) Ds
    That would be interesting.

    I have become far more open to this form of interfaith dialogue since joining Tree Leaf. To begin with I couldn't get my head round what I perceived as an incompatibility. I experience things very differently now.

    Gassho

    Willow

  36. #136
    Hi Fugen,

    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen View Post
    Thank you.
    Very important teaching, and not only does it give us that chance but also to practice the precepts, for instance "right speech".
    I agree, Jeffrey used strong language above, but I guess this can be due to things he might have experienced in the past.
    So IMHO it goes even deeper than "right speech" - it can go down to the roots of things.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen View Post
    As a sidenote, the interfaith dialogues, especially between Buddhism and Chrsitianity, and practices are coming along strong here in sweden, especially with the Mindfulnessmovement and what it brought along, but how is it in other countries/places? (maybe start a new thread on this one... ) Ds
    That would be interesting indeed. With the new pope there might be greater (positive) changes here in the future.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  37. #137
    Hello,

    as long as one still identifies as something (other than in a very playful sense) or someone, the bucket's bottom has not fallen out yet. Does one serve truth wholeheartedly, or identities and beloved ideas instead?


    I leave the rest to the scholars.

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  38. #138
    Senior Member JeffreyB's Avatar
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    Again I just want to reiterate it was not my intention to offend anyone. In this world and in this sangha I'm sure there are those of us who have been burned very badly by western religions and have very deep scars to heal due to that. Do I need to let that go, heal and move on? Maybe. Or maybe I just need to accept things exactly as they are and leave it at that. I sit for all whom have inflicted pain and suffering on me and other LGBT people in this world.

    Gassho, Jeffrey
    "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  39. #139
    Hello Jeffrey,

    it's all okay if we can take a deep breath once in a while and just acknowledge that communication itself is a very tough business.

    One person refers to religion and relates it to lots of structural and historical facts, others to their own life awareness shaped by certain wonderful individuals that belonged to a tradition, others again just mix and match to their heart's content and are too busy trying to be a good person to stop and wonder too much about definitions.

    Where I personally totally agree is that these days our individualist culture has led to the erosion of useful definitions.

    I am luckily in no position to tell anyone when they start/stop being a Catholic/Jew etc., but as a matter of personal opinion I am also a bit sad that basically Catholic/Buddhist can mean just about anything these days.

    However, in terms of Zen practise all those labels are just useful bullshit anyhow. Look at people walking their walk, not how they talk their talk


    Gassho,


    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

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