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Thread: SPLIT THREAD: Zen & Catholicism

  1. #51
    hahahhahah, nice John

    I do believe Zen and Christianity are compatible.. well because I practice Zen and I'm a Christian

    I've always been a Christian who didn't take beliefs for granted. I'm not going to argue magic or heaven and hell. I might as well argue about unicorns and leprechauns. To me the point is how we live this life now.

    I'm a man of reason and science, which is why I really really like Zen. It's very scientific in the sense that you put your money where your mouth is and test and verify the Buddhis tenets through your practice.

    So even in Zen there are beliefs. You have to have faith in the path and let it unfold. Really that faith is important. I can't tell you how many times I've had to kick myself in the ass to continue practicing and just letting myself have faith in this to keep going. Faith is just part of being human. No matter what we do, there is just a deep element of belief.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Hans View Post
    Hello,

    here are a few ramblings of mine...please take them with a pinch of salt
    Thank you for your talk Hans. Not ramblings at all.

    Gassho, John

  3. #53
    Thirty years ago I was friend with a young Christian monk and we used to sit in complete harmony beyond sameness and differences.

    We are still sitting now.


    Maezumi roshi used to say that God and Buddha were one
    So did Deshimaru roshi
    Trungpa insisted on the non theistic nature of Buddhist practice
    You ll find Jesuit roshi
    Zen catholics

    Great variety under the sun


    Who is right?

    I am not my beliefs ( and I have many just like everybody else)I am not my thoughts about this and that
    Throwing everything away
    What is left?

    Part of me is not very keen on Catholicism for I remember the of abuse by a priest as a child when I was brought up as a catholic, another part of me feels gratitude remembering the sweet and warm stories an old priest used to tell us.

    In shikantaza, all of this vanishes.

    If you want to run a crusade against catholics, this is definitely the wrong place. No crusades or holy war here.

    If you d like a mix of Christianity and Buddhism to be taught here, wrong place too.

    If you want to leave Treeleaf, you are certainly deluded for you cannot leave THIS. Nobody can.

    Are you upset about this thread, rather than going up and about in your usual style, fuming and furious, STOP. LOOK at your inner irritation. Question it. Where does it come from? Why do you make such a big deal? Who is making such a big deal? Are you sure this is worth it? How would you be without that thought?


    Take care and good practice

    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.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post

    If you want to leave Treeleaf, you are certainly deluded for you cannot leave THIS. Nobody can.
    hahahah that is so true!!!

  5. #55
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    To leave or not,
    where would I go,
    but here.

    Thank you Jundo and Taigu for Treeleaf.

    Gassho,
    Heishu

    p.s. Never was considering a departure but was only echoing Taigu that I cannot leave this.

  6. #56
    Let me present a little parable to explain my too simple feeling on this. (Symbol Hint: The "Golden Chair" represents "God")

    Imagine sitting Zazen on a Zafu resting upon a Golden Chair, which holds and supports us.

    Now, imagine sitting Zazen on a Zafu with the Chair sitting across the room, somewhat distant.

    Imagine sitting Zazen on a Zafu with the Chair outside the room in the garden, hard to see.

    Imagine sitting Zazen on a Zafu with no Golden Chair, never was one and never will be. (Atheism)

    Or maybe you have doubts about whether the Golden Chair is there or not there. (Agnosticism, Jundo's approach)

    Or, imagine that there is Only the Golden Chair, and everything ... you, the Zafu, the room, the garden ... rests comfortably inside it, in fact, IS the Chair.

    Well ... where is there not sitting? How is sitting Zazen in any way prevented by where the chair is, or is not, or never ever was?

    Someone might believe that the chair is all, or under us, or far away or never was here at all ... and such is just what is. Sitting. We Zen folks are fine where or however the Chair is, or there being no Chair at all.

    Anyway ... while any of the above may or may not be true ... simultaneously, in the dance of Wholeness ... what separate you? what zafu? what room? what garden? what distance? what gold? what Chair?

    I hope that helps. Big Theological Debates on the imminence or existence of God are no more important to Zazen than whether there is a chair in the room or not while sitting is sat.

    Quote Originally Posted by jus View Post
    ... id be more interested in learning about stuff like working with universal energy (chi?), raising vibrations, etc. is stuff like this found in the tao or any other eastern thought that would be compatable with zen practice?
    Hi,

    I will tell you that, personally, I think that things like "universal energy/chi" and "raising vibrations" are a bunch of pseudo-scientific fooey and poppy-cock right up there with the Lock Ness monster. Having lived in Japan and China for much of 30 years, and experienced many so-called demonstrations of "chi/ki", I do not believe that "chi" actually exists, but that it is a traditional belief from before the time that there was an understanding of modern physiology, and people convince themselves that they can "really feel it". So, I do not teach such here at Treeleaf.

    On the other hand, beliefs about Chakras, Chi and all that have been a part of Indian and general Asian culture for a long time, and were believed in by many old Zen folks (because they were old Asian folks). Many modern teachers still believe in that stuff, and talk about it. So, yes, it can be another chair in the room I suppose. I think it is hooey, but there are people who speak about it. I believe that this "Shinzen Young" fellow is such a guy, but I am not so impressed by him or his "new agey" approach and (to me anyway) semi-silly talk.



    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-11-2013 at 02:47 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #57
    Awesome.

  8. #58
    Thank you Jundo and Taigu for not falling in the one and the other trap of the mind. You both show the way with great patiance as ususal. A Swedish zen priest/ protestant minister sent me something I use in my practice and think bridges some obstacles made by the mind. Taigu formulated what is in my heart in a more mature way then I ever could. Thank you.
    Just to be sure: there is a great difference between having faith in the Church as an institution and having a Christian faith. But that is a whole topic all together.

    I very much want to leave the topic now because it DOES NOT MATTER! For me this is only an interesting exploration of a phenomenon. That is all it should be.

    Here is something id like to share with you that I use daily thanks to Gustav Ericcson sensei:

    My prayers before and after zazen goes like this:


    God, you are the whole.
    In you, I live and move and have my being.
    Let me sit firm in your love,
    upright in your forgiveness,
    and still in your peace.
    Amen.


    // bell //
    The first sound of the bell is my prayer for peace in me.


    // bell //
    The second sound of the bell is my prayer for peace in my family and friends.


    // bell //
    The third sound of the bell is my prayer for peace in all living beings.


    // zazen //


    // bell //
    The sound of the ending bell calls me to bring my practice into everything I do, in order to serve those in need.


    God, we are all one body in you.
    Let my practice be an open vessel
    for your love, forgiveness and peace.
    Amen.

  9. #59
    Thank you, Enkyo, for quoting my Dharma Brother (fellow student of Nishijima Roshi) Gustav Ericcson, who is a Zen Teacher and a Lutheran priest with the Church of Sweden ...



    Now, someone wrote with an interesting question: Why would I write that, in my opinion, "energy vibrations" and such are hooey that I will not teach at Treeleaf, but not call some of the doctrines of the Catholic Church "hooey" and "poppy-cock". Well, the fact of the matter is that I do think that many of the claims of Judaism, Christianity ... and Buddhism ... are "hooey" and unbelievable if taken literally. Walking on water (Buddhist stories have that too) is not believable to me if taken literally. I have less problem with such things if taken as allegory, symbol, myth capturing some greater lesson etc. So, I do not teach Catholicism, Judaism at Treeleaf any more than I teach "energy vibrations" or some of the (to me anyway) silly and superstitious stories and beliefs of Buddhism (here is an example from yesterdays "Onions and Garlic" thread) ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post100772

    In my personal view, ANY exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims of miracles and magic by anyone is likely "hooey and poppy-cock" if taken literally, so I do not teach them here as literal truths. (I also do not teach these things here because they are irrelevant to our Shikantaza practice, much they same as "auto-mechanics" is irrelevant, so I do not teach carburetor tuning here either! ). However, I am not the final word on such things, and someone else may find great value in such teachings, from transmogrification of wine to the blood of Christ to "energy vibrations" to something else. One man's "baseless myth" is another man's "wise teaching".

    In the end, belief in each is just another "chair in the room" to move around as one wishes. Nothing about believing or not believing in such things which ultimately impacts Shikantaza one bit.

    Gassho, J

    PS - I am hoping the Gustav will be a guest speaker here, and lead a short Zazenkai at Treeleaf, this summer. Maybe he can speak on these themes.
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-11-2013 at 02:37 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #60
    God, Budhha, Allah, Catholic, Protestant, Soto, Rinzai, Theravada, Pure Land, Gelugpa, Nyingma, Sunni, Shiite, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, Hindu, Democrat, Republican, Communist, Capitalist......all are just piss in the wind. What counts is being at peace with yourself & the world & being kind to those around you.

    _/\_
    Ade

  11. #61
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jus View Post

    id be more interested in learning about stuff like working with universal energy (chi?), raising vibrations, etc. is stuff like this found in the tao or any other eastern thought that would be compatable with zen practice?
    Hi Justin, I thought I would add just a little to Jundo's assessment of chi. Not only do I agree with him, but I would also like to add that I think the pursuit of such things is a little bit dangerous. Not for the reasons people may normally tell you. To get my point across, I will tell one more personal story (I may have shared this before, but I forget.)

    When I was young I was pretty small and very weak. I was the ultimate book reading nerd. I could read several books in a day easily. I read the entire set of encyclopedias in middle school, but I couldn't fight, couldn't do a pull up, and couldn't run fast... you get the idea. So, after reading a black belt magazine I decided to study martial arts. My first teacher was a big believer in this internal energy "chi" stuff. I wanted to believe so badly. It was a short, skinny nerd's dream. I threw myself into practicing my chi/ki exercises. I did all kinds of whackaloon crap for way too long chasing that dream.Then one day I sparred a friend who was learning kickboxing. Guess what? All my ki training didn't do one god damn thing. Nothing. It was the same as if a had practiced the ancient art of voice throwing in preparation for fighting. I didn't make me stronger, faster, or better. I didn't heal faster, I couldn't read my opponents, nothing. Before that sparring session I though I had achieved all of those things. I had deluded myself. I tricked myself into thinking I was doing something while doing nothing. All of that time would have been better spent exercising, meditating, doing kata, juggling, or reading. I would later study jujitsu, where we would occasionally meet people pandering these "secret" skills. But in juijitsu and judo, if it doesn't work on the mat it is rapidly ignored. I once watched my instructor choke out a kung fu guy while still standing up (he didn't even have to drag him down to the ground). The guy attempted to incapacitate him with chi. It NEVER worked.

    Please, spend your time reading science books, doing zazen, working out, or doing samu. It will all be better than chasing that chi dream.

    Much metta
    Charles
    "You yourself must strive. The Buddhas only point the way." - Shakyamuni Buddha

  12. #62
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    I feel more free of labels since practicing Zen - not totally free because we're forever trapped within language...... and yet - there are those fleeting moments in zazen when this seems not to be the case. Those rare moments of 'interbe' fly free of dogma, ritual, doctrine.Be free - don't stress about difference - lead a good life - everything follows naturally from following the precepts.

    Gassho


    Willow

    Thank you Willow, you have summed up my sentiments nicely. I was brought up as a United Protestant (a very sombre, strait backed kind of church). My wife and children are Catholic and we were married in a Catholic church. I used to feel uncomfortable at Mass with all the ritual, kneeling and such but have found my Zen practice helped my feel more at ease.
    Gassho, Jakudo.
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, “I”. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."
    寂道

  13. #63
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Just found this thread. I think Dokan spoke my mind, interesting but too much for me.

    For those who are considering leaving, I believe you are too attached to your views of the world and how things work. Consider dropping those strong opions unless you want to continue in the cycle of samsara. I am just a priest in training and have no background in any Christian religion, so I am not qualified to comment. But I know attachment when I see it and I hope you will take a breath and see it too.

    As Taigu mentioned, there is nothing to leave. JUST THIS.

    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.

  14. #64
    Oh, good story Charles. I really liked that.

    I also really enjoyed Hans' talk, too. Very nice. I'm going to watch it again right now.

    I'm reminded of a story about Suzuki Roshi. It's something about vegetarians. The anecdote goes something like this: Suzuki Roshi smashed a finger while doing some work. He had to go to the hospital and so had one of the students drive him. This particular student was a very strict vegan, I believe. He hadn't eaten any meat product in a couple years. Suzuki Roshi was aware of this and I think even asked the student about it a couple times. The student was very serious about the whole vegan thing. Anyway, after the hospital, Suzuki Roshi was hungry and told the student to stop for some food. There were only fast food places. The student said this and Suzuki Roshi just said, Stop here at this one. The student ordered a grilled cheese and Suzuki Roshi got a double hamburger. Already the student was studying the grilled cheese with great disgust and annoyance, frustrated that after a couple years of not eating animal products, he was now going to consume CHEESE! Suzuki Roshi took a bite of his hamburger and said something like, I'm not in the mood for this, let's trade. He took the grilled cheese and ate it and waited until the student finished his sandwich. The student never took the whole food thing so seriously again, so the story goes.

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho View Post
    ... I believe you are too attached to your views of the world and how things work. Consider dropping those strong opions unless you want to continue in the cycle of samsara ...
    Just this point alone is so very important not only in this thread, but life on and off the zafu. I remember way back in the day when I started on the path of Zen and I had so many questions, I felt I need to understand the meaning of all things ... why is this "is" and why is that "that". In the end I found too much of that sort of thinking created too much frustration and confusion for myself. Embracing more of the, this is just this, that is just that ... opening my heart and mind to acceptance of things as they are.

    Gassho
    Shingen



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

  16. #66
    Why both?
    Gassho, Kaishin
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  17. #67
    About the Chi thing...

    I do Tai-Chi, Ba Duan Jin and some other Qigong practices, but no, I don't believe in the concept of Chi either!
    I practice these things for health reasons.
    The movements stretch your body (a bit like yoga) and since you "synchronize" them with your breathing you relax at the same time.
    And when you have the mindset of shikantaza while you practice, you have something like zazen in motion...
    Due to my job I sit at least 8 hours per day in front of a computer. This means potential problems for the back.

    Since I practice these techniques I have never had back problems again, my body posture improved dramatically (I used to have a very bad posture), my breathing became healthier, and I am more relaxed.
    Sometimes I get a tingling and very warm feeling in my body. However, while some people call that chi, I think this phenomenon can be explained scientifically, but I am no expert in biology.

    So I say yes to Qigong practices for health reasons, but building up Chi? I think this is concept that was used in the past in order to explain processes in the body that could not be explained otherwise back then.
    I'd really, really like to do yoga as well, but well, I tried - I guess I am basket case when it comes to this...

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  18. #68
    I have only done Tai Chi a couple of times, but I know what you mean with that tingly feeling. Chi or no Chi I do remember it was a really, really cool art. Yoga is really fun too; I like how it kicks your ass because you just have to stay there in those deep bended lunge postures (aka warriors) etc. It's like a strength and stretch exercise all in one.

    Now I could teach you the mystical secrets. Please email me and I will tell you them for 4 payments of $30. haahhhah just kidding

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    I have only done Tai Chi a couple of times, but I know what you mean with that tingly feeling. Chi or no Chi I do remember it was a really, really cool art. Yoga is really fun too; I like how it kicks your ass because you just have to stay there in those deep bended lunge postures (aka warriors) etc. It's like a strength and stretch exercise all in one.

    Now I could teach you the mystical secrets. Please email me and I will tell you them for 4 payments of $30. haahhhah just kidding
    Can I pay by PayPal? But, hey wait a minute, 30 bucks?

    BTW: You also get this tingly feeling with some relaxation techniques like "Progressive Muscle Relaxation" - I guess you get this when the body relaxes really deeply.
    When people ask me whether they should practice zazen (or meditation in general) in order to relax I always tell them there are much more effective methods for relaxing.
    But well, this is one of those cliches that we must live with, I guess...

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  20. #70
    I am going to respond to Timo's post from the other thread here, just to keep everything together ...

    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    I know people who call themselves Catholics, but don't believe in a personal god, or don't believe in Jesus being the son of god or don't believe in Mary being a virgin - but I would not call them Catholics anymore (although they themselves still do).
    So as soon as someone during zazen drops one of those dogmas issued by the Pope, I would not call them a Catholic anymore - that's what I meant with you cannot practice both.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post100943
    I want to be clear that I believe that someone --CAN-- believe in a personal god, that Jesus is the son of god, that Mary was a Virgin and follow every pronouncement of the Pope and still practice Zen without conflict.

    Or, you can not believe and do those things (like me) and still practice Zen without conflict.

    There can be no conflict in Zen Practice with such beliefs ... all chairs that are in or not in the room while we Practice Zen.

    Gassho, Jundo

    By the way, commenting on the concept of "Buddha" in the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra (the same is found in other Mahayana Sutras traditionally cherished by Zen folks like Dogen such as the Lotus and Flower Garland), Dr. Guang Xing writes:

    'One of the main themes of the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra is that the Buddha is eternal, a theme very much in contrast with the Hinayana idea that the Buddha departed for ever after his final nirvana. The Mahayanists assert the eternity of the Buddha in two ways in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra. They state that the Buddha is the dharmakaya, and hence eternal. Next, they re-interpret the liberation of the Buddha as mahaparinirvana possessing four attributes: eternity, happiness, self and purity. In other words, according to the Mahayanists, the fact that the Buddha abides in the mahaparinirvana means not that he has departed for ever, but that he perpetually abides in intrinsic quiescence. The Buddha abiding in intrinsic quiescence is none other than the dharmakaya ... This dharmakaya is the real Buddha. It is on this doctrinal foundation that the Mahaparinirvana Sutra declares:"the dharmakaya has [the attributes of] eternity (nitya), happiness (sukha), self (atman) and purity (subha) and is perpetually free from birth, old age, sickness, death and all other sufferings ... It exists eternally without change ..."



    This Dharamakaya Buddha took form as the Nirmanakaya, the flesh and blood Buddha, Gautama Buddha. This is Mahayana Buddhism 101. I put forth to you too that Mahayana perspectives like that (and Amida the Savior, etc.) are only a hop, skip and a jump from the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It is not my particular interest ... because to me it is all just placing chairs in the room ... but there is ample common ground for those who wish.


    http://www.misterdanger.net/books/Bu...e%20Buddha.pdf
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-12-2013 at 02:15 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #71
    It's interesting (to my tiny little mind ) but when I first came to Buddhism (or at least Zen) I remember saying to a friend I was overjoyed at finding a faith/practice which didn't force a belief in an interventionist God.

    After reading Thich Nhat Hahn's 'The energy of prayer' and 'Living Buddha, Living Christ' and opening my mind to the input of TreeLeaf's Christian Buddhist members I began to see things very differently.

    I now see Buddhism as the ground beneath everybody's feet and it doesn't really matter which direction we walk in with other faiths/beliefs etc - we are all fundamentally standing on the same ground.

    Gassho

    Willow

    (Timo - I have left a comment in reply to yours over on the 'I am leaving' thread )
    Last edited by willow; 05-12-2013 at 08:17 AM.

  22. #72
    I said in the other Thread I don't want to start the discussion anew, and I really want to adhere to this.

    Just wanted to add that Willow's comment above which is in brackets could give the impression I want to leave - that is not the case, I just tried to dissuade people from leaving in said thread.

    @Jundo:
    I see, understand, and accept your point of view. I could give you arguments against your last post as well, but I am pretty sure nobody will totally convince the other completely. And that's fine for me - these are just different opinions for me.
    It takes up too much energy for me, and especially time that I'd like to invest otherwise (especially for my familiy and sitting).

    For me Zen practice is enough in itself - other dogmas are an unnecessary addition that could become an obstacle.
    Anyway, time to move on to other topics (for me).

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  23. #73
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    About the Chi thing...

    I do Tai-Chi, Ba Duan Jin and some other Qigong practices, but no, I don't believe in the concept of Chi either!
    I practice these things for health reasons.
    I'm all for this. I would actually like to study tai-chi one day too. Not because it is magical, but because scientist have figured out that getting up and moving around is really good. Tai-chi seems like it would be the perfect thing for off days or slow days when ALL my joints hurt (like today for instance)


    I'd really, really like to do yoga as well, but well, I tried - I guess I am basket case when it comes to this...
    That makes two of us! I purchased two different yoga dvds only to find out that me and yoga don't mix (except for downward dog. I have that move down)
    "You yourself must strive. The Buddhas only point the way." - Shakyamuni Buddha

  24. #74
    me and yoga don't mix (except for downward dog. I have that move down)[/QUOTE]

    I've got corpse pose down pretty well.

  25. #75
    catfish, jundo, thank you. ive always been interested in metaphysics and abstract stuff, but im not on that new age bandwagon. i guess more "ancient"- vedas, kemet, stuff like that. i think i was just at a point the other day where i was begining to think of my practice as becoming "too cerebral". and i know its just an idea, but like the idea of this "supreme being" that were all part of, or aspects of. and the chakra thing, though i hate to admit it, im curious of that too. i guess fascinated by all things i cant physically sense, maybe thats part of trying to escape samsara. and maybe so, maybe not. how would i know. i just need to worry less and sit more. thank you for the replies.
    gassho,
    justin

  26. #76
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    Last night, I was starting into Shunryu Suzuki's portion of the "Three Commentaries" on the Genjo Koan, when I ran into this passage right at the beginning:

    The Buddhist way is beyond being and non-being. We know each colorful thread and we know the whole woven cloth. We observe things in two ways without any contradiction. But when we are not sincere enough, we may say. "This is Buddhism, and this is another religion. We are monks, and they are laymen, that's all." You don't understand the whole beautiful cloth.


    I have been one of the people who are referred to by Dogen as being ignorant of their own ignorance. My apologies.


    Gassho,

    William

  27. #77
    Hi William,

    If you like a look at it from the other side of the no sided coin, and if you don’t mind the Christian Catholic terminology have a look at Hugo Enomiya Lasalle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Enomiya-Lassalle.
    He devoted much of his life building bridges between these two worlds. He even goes so far as to say both ‘religions’ need one another to survive and has a great understanding of both views and manages to write in an understandable way about it.

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  28. #78
    The Catholic Authorities were not amused btw:

    To quote from Enkyo's Wikipedia link about Lassalle:
    "In 1958, he published Zen: A Way to Enlightenment, but the Holy See ordered him not to continue publishing on the subject."

    Pretty much the same with Willigis Jäger, a Benedictine Zen Teacher. The following is from the German Wikipedia (which has more details on him, since he is a German):
    "In 2001 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which was lead by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) at that time accused him [Willigis Jäger] of subordinating Catholic religious truths and thus issued a ban on speaking, a ban on writing, and a ban on public appearances."

    [bold highlighting by me]


    That's what I meant with problems to bring everything under one roof. There is not much tolerance to be expected from the Vatican in these matters...

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  29. #79
    Hi Timo,

    Very true. But later in his life Catholic Church lifted that ban and a lot of good work was done since then I think. Lasalle wrote a lot of good stuff on the matter.

    Arthur Schopenhauer once said:

    "All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally it is accepted as self-evident."

    Seems to be the case here but only time will tell don't you think? I for one am sure the 21st century will bring great changes in the way religion and it's definition is perceived. Not in the least because of the emancipation of people’s minds through internet and other media. Look at both Zen monks serving cappuccino and Karaoke and Christian church doing very similar things in order to reach people. The church does not make people anymore but rather people make the church and peoples views of the world are changing, rapidly!

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  30. #80
    Hi Enkyo,

    I agree and I am fully on your side with this.
    I know lots of Catholics who desperately want to see changes in the Vatican.
    So let's hope the "ordinary believers" (i.e. non-clerics) - who are actually supposed to be the base of the church - will eventually succeed in convincing the Vatican to be more tolerant.
    I think they must create and be the change in order to make the Vatican loosen some dogmas.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  31. #81
    Interfaith and interbeing is the only way forward - lets hope that times really are ' a-changin'

    Gassho

    Willow

  32. #82
    william and willow, "amen"!

  33. #83
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    I once watched my instructor choke out a kung fu guy while still standing up (he didn't even have to drag him down to the ground). The guy attempted to incapacitate him with chi. It NEVER worked.

    Please, spend your time reading science books, doing zazen, working out, or doing samu. It will all be better than chasing that chi dream.
    This is pretty close to what happened to me. I used to believe in all the mysteries of the Chi and I drank the Kool-Aid that said that ancient Chinese culture had it right.

    So when training Karate-Do (age 13), I got my ass kicked hard because all my woowoo techniques didn't work. At all.

    In time I learned that science, physics and hard training are better than Chi.

    Chi is great for new age guys that want to either sell or consume magic methods for doing magical stuff, like getting in touch with totems and such.

    Thanks for your comment, Charles

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    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

  34. #84
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Just to add the Anglican point of view, Rowan Williams, the then archbishop of Canterbury, described his faith as; "a silent waiting on the truth, pure sitting and breathing in the presence of the question mark".
    Does that sound familiar?
    .....not to Anglicans it didn't.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  35. #85
    right on, kyonin. ive been let down by new age philosophies, big time. luckily nobody has ever choked me out because of them, only choked myself out. anyway, i think this is what the DH would have to say about this, "dont try to use what you learn from buddhism to be a buddhist, use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are!" -dalai lama. i think that was a quote aimed towards Christians, possibly? ive heard him say it to theravadans in Thailand when being questioned about Buddhism in the west, in particular those already involved in a relationship with god. the quote sounds extreme at face value, but i know what hes getting at. gassho, justin

  36. #86
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    As usual will take time to read the whole thread later. So I'm answering by the original post. I agree that the two are in a way irreconcilable. But, at the same time I had a recent experience with the Catholic Church in the form of the funeral for my recently departed Grandmother.
    I am one who is usually extremely uncomfortable in Christian settings in general, and admittedly usually see the differences NOT the similarities. So , at first, I was a bit tense and uncomfortable. As the ceremony continued,i found that the passage read by the priest was actually quite Zen like.It warmed my heart and changed my view on Christianity in general and Catholicism specifically. Also of note was the priest mentioning the common practice of meditating on the Virgin Mary. Just the fact the he said meditation made me more comfortable. But the entirety of the service I didn't feel " excluded" or alone in my beliefs. I was seeing right before my eyes the vast similarities in the message. The way things were phrased didn't set off any of the usual "alarms" aka differences that make me feel uncomfortable.
    As for active/versus passive deities. I think that's a point we disagree on. But that's a whole different topic.
    Just my two cents ( feel free to convert to any form of international currency at current exchange rates).

    Dave _/\_

  37. #87
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Jus, what you say reminds me of a Zen story I once read. I don't remember all the specifics or even who to quote. But I believe it has a valid point. and I'm total paraphrasing but you'll see what I'm saying. Basically it was a Zen teacher talking about how he practiced Feng Shui , and it worked. But it was a distraction of the Way so he left it behind.He then follows this with how he later practiced the I-Ching ( a form of divination if you are unfamiliar) and stated that it too worked. But he found it was a distraction of the Way so he left it behind.
    That being said, for many years I was a non denominational neo-pagan primarily interested in cross-cultural shamanism. So i'm not against any form of energy work or the beliefs of such things. And do regularly take the time to practice Usui Reiki Ryoho ( a form of healing involving ki originating from Japan). But frankly, in my experience. Zen cuts right down to what all of that is truly about. It is in the end, the whole point of all that energy work. If you're looking to be able to perform cool magick tricks, squash that right out of your head because you are approaching it with the entirely wrong mindset. Question why you have an interest in these things and what you seek to gain from them. What are you prepared to sacrifice( not meaning sheep or your soul/that of others, if one is even to agree that such a thing exists) to receive what are holy teachings requiring many hours of practice not a simple recitation of some chant in the latest fad book written by Witch X. And also keep in mind that in every form of energy work there seems to be one huge common denominator. The absolute most basic foundation ( and simultaneously most profound) is...guess what....meditation.
    So just sit.

    Dave _/\_
    Last edited by Shonin; 05-26-2013 at 09:24 AM.

  38. #88
    The other week, through no fault of Jesus and all to his credit, I was in my local Catholic Church during Happy Hour or Holy hour, I think it was . . . sitting about as if the last judgement was never going to happen.
    Nobody will ever know I was doing 'just sitting' Buddhist meditation. The next time I see a Catholic contemplative at a temple, I will not be too concerned if they are secretly conversing with Yahweh. Atheists may even be ignoring the Flying Spaghetti Monster for all I know or care.

    May Christ be with us. Allah Akbar. All hail His Supreme noodliness . . .

  39. #89
    I had (and I am still struggling, though much less now) with a somewhat same dilemma, but with an Orthodox Christianity. And I realized that this struggle I feel is not because Orthodox Christianity itself is incompatible with Zen itself (there are certain potent parallels, but they are not stressed out enough in Orthodox, or any other Christian theology, it seems to me), but because I see that Orthodox Christians, the Orthodox Church and it's priests are not compatible with Zen.
    But that just means those people are being d#cks. At least, that is how I see it at the moment.
    I realise that I am not yet in the state where those differences have faded away, but I know it will come to me one day.
    "Stone by stone- a pallace!"
    Serbian proverb

  40. #90
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    How about the Desert Fathers? I too come from a Greek Orthodox background. It's ironic, I have learned more about the religion of my family as a Zen Buddhist than in endless hours of church and lectures as a child. While I am very hard on my faith of birth, I have also learned to be more circumspect. There are monastic and contemplative traditions in the Greek Orthodox faith as well .... the spiritual struggles of monks on Mount Athos and Mt St Catherine tend to be very similar to those of Buddhist monastics in remote locations. The dogma of course is very different, but it's as important to look for areas of connection as it is to find difference ....

    I agree with you that the areas of similarity are not stressed enough in Orthodox Christianity.... let me know what you think of the Desert Fathers and the Philokalia (14th/15th century). There are certainly differences, but also....

    I remember at Sunday dinners when I was a kid in Greece, my great Uncle (a senior priest and dogmatist) would come to dinner in a grey suit - when he came in the door my mother and grandmother had all the kids kiss his hand in greeting...... I had some proud and rebellious streak in me...... a hand would appear out of nowhere to push my head downward towards his hand..... ahhh... childhood in a religious home! What part of it was the church? The people? In combination they are fire!

    I'm glad you are here - look forward to practicing with you.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 06-01-2013 at 09:09 PM.
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  41. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post

    I agree with you that the areas of similarity are not stressed enough in Orthodox Christianity.... let me know what you think of the Desert Fathers and the Philokalia (14th/15th century). There are certainly differences, but also....
    Indeed, when I talked about parallels i thought about Dessert Fathers and Hesychasm. I wrote an essay about Hesychasm for my class in Psychology of religion. I haven't read Philokalia, but I have it in my personal library and consider it for a future reading.
    I'm actually Serbian Orthodox. Mostly the same thing, only we pretend that New Year's Eve is on Janyary 13-th .

    It seems to me that, in order for two religions to be reconciled, one must find a way of reconciliation from both religions independently. I do believe that apophatic theology is the most promising way of that reconciliation from the point of view of Christians who follow the dogma. But then again, I do not follow the dogma. So there

    I am also glad that you are here and I look forward to practicing with you

    Gasho
    Nikola
    "Stone by stone- a pallace!"
    Serbian proverb

  42. #92
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Nikola,
    Apologies for my careless oversight.... of course you are Serbian Orthodox. Interestingly enough, my family celebrates the holiday in January as well.... tradition has a powerful draw!

    Perhaps see you for zazen sometime -

    Gassho
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  43. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by jus View Post
    "IMHO Zen is not something that can be combined indiscriminately with everything - there is no use to say otherwise just out of fear to get on the wrong side of somebody..."


    but id be more interested in learning about stuff like working with universal energy (chi?), raising vibrations, etc. is stuff like this found in the tao or any other eastern thought that would be compatable with zen practice?

    thank you..

    gassho,

    justin

    I know that Reddit/meditation discusses this quite often (chi and life force). As a Reiki practitioner (which started in buddhism, not zen, but buddhism non the less) I can discuss a little about the foundations and answer questions if you have any. Its the Japanese version of Chi simply called Ki. I could point you in a couple directions if you want.

    Just a few suggestions

    Gassho,

    James

    (btw if discussing anything I have talked about here is against the rules I am sorry and I will delete this comment if needed.)

  44. #94
    Hi James,

    Discussing Reiki and such is not against the rules at all. But I personally am very skeptical of many of the claims about it and related practices of manipulating ki.

    http://www.skepticblog.org/2011/10/1...t-work-either/

    By the way, Reiki itself is nearly unknown here in Japan where its founder lived. It became much more well known overseas.

    Nonetheless, effective or not, there is nothing to prevent someone from practicing Reiki or the like with Zen Practice. And of course, a kind and gentle touch and laying on of hands is always welcome, even if just a friendly embrace, with or without ki.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-02-2013 at 04:17 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #95
    Yes I know the skepticism behind it, and I am not here to shove it down anyones throat. Quite honestly I believe every "age" has had their spiritual healing techniques. Weither it be shamanism, medicine men, or what not. I believe Reiki is a new take on an ancient practice. But this talk if for another time. I just thought I would offer my assistance is anyone is willig to talk about universal life force. Since it is something that is taught threw out any form of energy healing.

    Gassho,

    James

  46. #96
    Actually, oddly enough, Reiki is what lead me to Zen Buddhism. After my first attunement i felt as though i had a different outlook on life. I wanted to find a spiritual practice that made more sense to me. I immediately picked up the book My Spiritual Journey by His Holiness The Dalai Llama. After reading that book I let it set in for a while, and found it to my liking. I then found a Buddhist group that had weekly sittings and started to attend. I had no clue what "Zen" Buddhism was at the time, but liked the sittings. The Priest who lead the sittings directed me here for when I couldn't make it to his sittings

    Just a fun story

    Gassho,

    James

  47. #97
    Thank you, James, for your open minded attitude.

    Just to be clear, I am not saying that a Practice such a energy healing is necessarily untrue, but only that I personally am rather skeptical to the point of not believing in many of the claims about it or descriptions of the mechanism. I am also not saying that there is anything wrong about it for some people if it brings them joy and a feeling of connection and healing. Good for them, and the world can use such.

    Even the medicine men and witch doctors of old were surprisingly effective and important in their villages. Whether their spells and potions actually cured is one thing, but they brought comfort to many and hope to those suffering, and even belief in the power of healing alone can often bring healing.

    So, I am a skeptic ... but an open minded skeptic. As Shakespeare said, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." I am not the last word, simply doubting and agnostic on certain claims. I may doubt based on controlled studies, but do not doubt the power of the mind to heal itself, and to have real physiological effects thereby, simply by its belief. What is more, maybe all the claims about Reiki or the like are true ... many things first doubted or unproven later prove true.

    If a person were to avoid seeing a medical doctor, for example, with simple reliance on "energy healing" to cure cancer in its early stages, I would be very concerned. But if one turns to "healing" in the final stages, because all else has failed and it brings peace and hope ... I would encourage so. In fact, I would encourage seeing the healer and the medical physician at once if it brings hope and comfort.

    There are certainly practices and vices in this world that one should avoid because they do harm. Laying on a caring and healing hand is not one of them.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-02-2013 at 03:08 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  48. #98
    There is much evidence on both sides of the fence. Its really up to the potential recipient. And in no way do I believe that I or any Reiki practitioner can cure cancer or any disease. I believe it can help calm the mind and the energies and alleviate the stress, allowing for energy to flow. Or at least, for the body to recuperate at a better speed. If i ever was to open up a practice (unlikely) in bold letter there would be NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR DOCTORAL MEDICINE. I believe it can work well WITH doctoral medicine. Furthermore, a broken bone cannot be healed from a Reiki practitioner. But the pain and energies can be soother to promote a better and possibly faster healing.

    My thoughts on my practice. Thanks for not completely shooting my practice down

    Gassho,

    James

  49. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    Nikola,
    Apologies for my careless oversight.... of course you are Serbian Orthodox. Interestingly enough, my family celebrates the holiday in January as well.... tradition has a powerful draw!

    Perhaps see you for zazen sometime -

    Gassho
    Yugen
    No need to apologize, I said it merely to clarify my religious background, not because I felt insulted or anything like that

    Gassho
    Nikola
    "Stone by stone- a pallace!"
    Serbian proverb

  50. #100
    I was raised as a Catholic, I never went through the formal Catholic education of your level, but even though my family was relatively liberal and neutral, it was a custom in my home country for every kid to undergo basic Catholic training. I was born after the Second Vatican Council, but the Church in my home country picked up the deformations very gradually and hesitantly. I left Catholicism at 13 years of age and have gone though the an angry anti-religious stage. I don't claim that Catholicism is compatible with Zen, also there is no way back, nor do I feel like going back.

    But after long years, some reading, some calming down, I realized that in 99% it was my anger talking.

    I could go on about every single point you listed (for example the belief in literal heavens and hells is an element in most of Buddhist sects, both Hina- and Mahayana, Self/Other power in Pure Land Buddhism vs Christ, and how they seem to merge into one Power in Jodo Shinshu and ultimately in Zen etc etc etc), but it's the "wafer" that is worth mentioning because it's what the entire Catholicism is about.

    The Sacred becomes embodied in the world of flesh and blood and makes you Sacred (moves you further along the Path). In the "authentic" version, you accept it kneeling and the entire thing takes place in Latin language, and you don't understand a word, which makes the moment even more extraordinary. The "transformation" is performed by priests of unbroken lineage (apostles->bishops, bishops->priests). Could there be a way in this?

    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.

    Gassho,
    Mike

    P.S. Rene Guenon and Fritjoff Schuon may be worth checking out (with a grain of salt)

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