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Thread: "Zen Students Today"-Thoughts from a teacher

  1. #1

    "Zen Students Today"-Thoughts from a teacher

    Hello All,

    Posting these thoughts below by Hyon Gak Sunim:

    "Zen students of today: It's mostly just about stress-reduction. Even the best students have in their mind to reduce the amount of stressful collision with thinking, not transcending "good" and "bad" up to a place which can be much more morally challenging than the traditional categories they lived with until now. Zen Master Seung Sahn said, "Zen students with just a little experience can be most difficult: They think they have sight of the way, and then unconsciously just use the Dharma to justify prolonging their own subtle karmic paths."

    Zen Master Seung Sahn regularly offended and even brutalized his closest students' thoughts and actions, pointing every action toward thwarting their habit-filled reactions. His intense verbal beatings of the thoroughly hapless Mu Shim Sunim are legendary in the monks' corps. My second teacher, Zen Master Bong Cheol, used to yell and throw things at students who remained attached to their habits of conceptual thinking -- the "good" ones as well as the "bad" ones. There are the moldy stories of Chinese masters beating students with their shoes when they remained attached to provisional views.

    Zen is the practice of completely letting everything go -- it has never been simply a teaching of some sleepy and soft peace. "How do you take a step off a 100-foot flagpole?" This is a central koan (kong-an) of Zen. In the KUSZ, you can answer it with an acted-out gesture, and some weekend-teacher will tell you that you are correct; in real life, where my teachers fuctioned, it can take an entire lifetime to truly pass this. And yet how many Zen students really pass this gate?

    Zen, nowadays, has fallen into the hands of so many with so little intensive practice. It is becoming an arm of psychology. SO, so many are being allowed to KEEP their psychology while being waved through the gate of the gate of the kong-ans. How sad! Like allowing some deluded bomb-strapped Taliban-type to enter the gates of the most sacred base -- today's Zen students (especially in the KUSZ) are not so different.

    Opposing the ignorance and habit-energies of our students has always been the most vital business of Zen. It has never been -- and should never be -- a popularity contest. The ongoing failure of the teaching level of the KUSZ and like-minded movements -- apart from the EXCELLENT, unsurpassable teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn -- is that there is a general weakness on the part of teachers to genuinely offend and piss off their students, by not fronting them with the tools which show them the negative habits of their students' own karmic tendencies.

    So, it is stress reduction, nowadays. There are few teachers willing enough to confront the students. If the teacher does that, the "student" can check the Internet and go off and find a "teacher" who will pet and praise their karma.

    I practiced in the Zen halls of Northeast Asia for 20 years -- in China, Korea, and Japan. I was challenged and confronted by people as illustrious as Zen Master Seung Sahn, Ven. Harada Roshi of Sogenji, and Bong Cheol Sunim. And I even received "inka" (formal recognition) from Zen Master Seung Sahn. Yet it is rare, and rare, and rare indeed enough to find a student in the West truly worthy of shouldering the real and genuine work that Zen really represents. (Especially in Germany, where there are so many tight and highly-restrictive, hyper-rational categories and definitions of what is "right" and "wrong.")

    The thing that first attracted me to Zen was its danger, its unrelenting, sharp edge. Its Zen teachers who were willing to let go of any facade to embrace the impossible of our before-thinking nature.

    This is what attracted me. But it is not what attracts today's doyens of Zen. They are often just simplistic, book-heavy types who want the technology of meditation to give them a temporary respite from their stress, their memories of suffering and the abuse we all receive. They want a teaching which will help them to figure out a relationship for them, a path they are too timid to take for themselves, a clean and nice way to a more comfortable acceptance of their karma.

    But they do not want fundamerntal challenge.

    Zen students of today. They accomplish a partial Kyol Che -- not even the full 90 days!! -- and they think they have a view of what is a teaching or a teacher. They are all not worth the cushion they sit on. For them, Zen is a high-class form of stress-reduction -- nothing more, no matter how well they describe it in Dharma talks.

    My second teacher, the famous Zen Master Bong Cheol, used to throw food at me when I expressed conceptual insights into Zen. By the time I met him, I had already accomplished some 30 ninety-day Kyol Ches. I had endured the most demanding Zen temples in Korea. On top of this, I had already attained "inka" from the great Zen Master Seung Sahn. I had already received deep praise from some of the "leading" Zen monks in Korea.

    But even this was not enough. He demanded a rigorous, point-to-point insight which lies outside the accepted categories of even my own root teacher. Needless to say, he was NOT interested that I received "inka" from someone. His job was only to push and throttle me until the real "me" presented itself.

    In the end, he gave his temple to me before dying.

    But Zen students today. They are usually seekers after a psychological "peace" which Zen never promises, and hardly really provides.

    Half-assed failed meditators who wish to be coddled, always wishing for "the next retreat" to solve their problems with their girlfriend or boyfriend, or their inability to take a step off a hundred-foot flagpole and become a monk (if that's required), or a man (if that's where they are), it is Zen as medicine, as cure.

    But Zen was never meant to be a cure, at least anywhere where I learned it.

    Zen is the TECHNOLOGY of INSIGHT into the DISEASE itself, and the teacher stands there ready to help the view -- sometimes pushing you further into the sickness to gain your own innoculation, and sometimes standing back to let you find your own fatality. It was always meant to be radical, but Zen students of today wish it to become as domesticated as Paris Hilton's puppy.

    Zen students of today, especially in the West, in Europe: A bunch of people standing around waiting for an ideal they will never see. Hyper-rationality, pure and simple. They get their Buddhism from YouTube, and they wish their Buddhism to remain as safe as that, too -- "I can delete when necessary."

    Thank GOD I met the banged-up and dangerous teachers I met. Thank GOD I met the wild animals who yelled and cursed and even BEAT me and other monks until we retreated from our habitual views into the greater freedom of our true self. My teacher once denied FOOD to a Western monk living in his temple, demanding that until that monk lived up to HIS practice regimen, there would be no other survival. Another teacher demanded one monk undergo a year of exile and TOTAL silence until he had faced his karmas. Zen Master Seung Sahn famously exiled my elder Dharma brother, Dae Bong Sunim, for one year, and would strongly hang up the phone whenever Dae Bong Sunim called in, whimpering and sad, from his one-year retreat. And my Teacher refused to even MEET one student -- for several years! -- because of that monk's choice to pursue a PhD, at age 67, instead of sticking to the cushion and looking into his nature in the few years remaining left to him in this life. (The separation nearly drove the monk to suicide, but it also drove him strongly to practice!)

    We cannot do that, in the West. In Germany, to radically fuck with a student's cozy hyper-rationalism will cost you the relationship.

    So be it. What a good thing and a relief that is. It gives a lot of job opportunities to the weekend-teachers who pet your psychologies.

    Better Zen practice to survive, than the sleepy pussy-footing of this weekend-teacher mutual-petting endure.

    Tomorrow is the four-week anniversary of the death of my second teacher, the great Zen Master Bong Cheol. This message is posted out of deep and abiding gratitude to him -- that he so rudely and irrationally challenged and abused my self-safe concepts of Buddhism and practice. May I meet you, dear Teacher, again and again, from life after life, receiving the rude swipes of food that you throw at my clean clothing, until the end of suffering is attained for all beings."

    Not-Two Zen Center

    Munich, Germany

    -hyon gak sunim
    Shinjin datsuraku, datsuraku shinjin..Body-mind drop off, mind-body drop off..

  2. #2
    Good article. Thanks for sharing

    I think Taigu sometimes throws food at students (through his posts) and he ignores 99% of my questions (PMs)

    Both of them gladly received. Thank you.


    Sam

  3. #3
    Yes, thank you very much for the share. Very interesting to ponder.

    While I agree to some extent that some Zen students may just fancy some peaceful workshops and making their mind a bit less stressy, hasn't it been so in the east that many monks wanted an easy life? Isn't it better to encourage people into the dharma with gentleness and then challenge them more forcefully when their practice has matured and trust has been established rather than scaring them away at the offset? Of course there is a limit to how much you should spoon feed students and indulge their egos but a good teacher shouldd be able to recognise the balance needed.

    The Lotus Sutra teaches that expedient means is appropriate to teaching the dharma and children are encouraged out of a burning house by being promised toys first before the real reason is explained.

    I am happy that the rigour of his teacher worked well for Hyon Gak Sunim, and maybe some western teachers could use a harder edge at times. However, I would be hesitant in recommending it as a universal remedy any more than I would the softly softly approach.

    Gassho
    Andy

  4. #4
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Some of the same themes here as in the thread on The Cult of Self. Thank you all for your teachings.
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

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

  5. #5
    Heard some of his talks and he sounded very wise and nice. Don't think he is still affiliated with KUSZ. He probably wouldn't. Like me because I only sit morning and evening and I don't like heights.




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

  6. #6
    Heard some of his talks and he sounded very wise and nice. Don't think he is still affiliated with KUSZ. He probably wouldn't. Like me because I only sit morning and evening and I don't like heights.



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

  7. #7
    Myozan,

    Your thread inspired me to post this

    _/\_
    Shinjin datsuraku, datsuraku shinjin..Body-mind drop off, mind-body drop off..

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I had some experiences in reserve training and my officers used to shout at us, demanding an explanation to our selfishness (even though we didn't particularly feel selfish), made us crawl vomiting from PT, and eat food while we watched OUR comrades suffer FOR OUR MISTAKES. No excuses, no care whatsoever to who we were.

    It was physically exhausting, emotionally turbulent, psychologically traumatizing.

    Even though they weren't Zen teachers, they taught me a valuable, valuable lesson. They shocked me from a comfortable life (I didn't even THINK it was comfortable before), and made me go through a ton of hardships just to beat into me that I am nothing without others. I was lucky that my officers stressed selflessness and unity, and placing others before yourself.

    I remember one of their happy looking advertisements before I signed up. It said, "I'm now more than just myself". They were smiling, who knew what dangers lay ahead! The stark contrast of my life before and during training made me realize how fickle life is.... living in the third world, it pulled open eyes that I already thought were open, to the immense hardships that people have to put up with every single day of their lives. Imagine how bad I felt that I was going through this 'training', while these people have to LIVE with it.

    Needless to say, I completely agree that while it's helpful until some point, ultimately, Zen is NOT about YOUR wants, YOUR needs, YOUR 'self'! It's going beyond this limitation, sitting through immense suffering, immense pain, and getting up to face this suffering world. You would need to suffer through a billion wounds and a thousand deaths before you intimately, intimately realize how, very, very, precious life is.... and I'm still on my way.... with no way in sight.


    May we all be free of suffering.

    Deep, deep, sincere bows,
    Ben
    Last edited by Tiwala; 10-22-2013 at 01:00 AM.
    Gassho
    Ben

  9. #9
    That's the beauty of this practice. How ever you wish to engage it; it is open. If you wish to engage it only for stress reduction, it can meet you. If you wish to just wear cool looking robes and consider yourself a "card carrying Buddhist" It can meet you there as well.

    But there so much more....and yet nothing at all.

    Just ramblings....
    Humbly,
    Seiryu

  10. #10
    Hmmmm. Some perspectives on this ...

    I so agree with the following:

    "Zen students of today: It's mostly just about stress-reduction. Even the best students have in their mind to reduce the amount of stressful collision with thinking, not transcending "good" and "bad" up to a place which can be much more morally challenging than the traditional categories they lived with until now. Zen Master Seung Sahn said, "Zen students with just a little experience can be most difficult: They think they have sight of the way, and then unconsciously just use the Dharma to justify prolonging their own subtle karmic paths."
    We have often spoken about the fact of many students just trying Zen for a bit of relaxation, even entertainment. Much of the modern "Mindfulness" movement is simply about a little "stress reduction" during people's busy work days in the corporate rat race. Well, a little relaxation or "stress reduction" is fine I suppose, but how sad that the True Power of the Way is missed when one fails to Pierce the Traditional Teachings such as Impermanence, Non-Self, Dukkha and its causes, the Precepts and all the rest ... the transcending of "good and bad" to embody Good. Some folks want an aspirin or a cold ice pack, which is mildly comforting I suppose, but what they truly require is a Heart (Sutra) Transplant!

    But different patients require finely prescribed medicines, expedient means. One Zafu does not fit all. Some require a firm hand, some a gentle encouragement. One may need to tightly rope and strike a wild bull, yet offer sugar to catch a bird.

    Taigu often has a tongue like a Kyosaku stick! He is not afraid to verbally slap all of us when we need to be set right. We don't physically slap around here, largely because our "beyond distance" format makes that impossible, but also because we believe that physical violence can be like playing with dynamite and easily abused. Even verbal chastising crossing into abuse and manipulation is a risk, so a firm tongue lashing should be carefully done.

    I prefer mostly positive encouragement and calm explanation, although I can be quite firm myself (just ask my son what happens when he doesn't feed the cat after reminding!) In fact, me, Taigu and most Teachers I know switch off according to the situation ... the same fellow sometimes offering a slap on the backside, sometimes a gentle hand on the shoulder, sometimes an embrace.

    There are times too when it is good to head to a monastic setting and, pushing hard and being pushed hard, one makes an all out effort! Sometimes a Zen Monastery is truly like Marine Boot Camp, both set on breaking and taming that "wild bull" of the "me myself and I". That is true of Soto Monasteries in Japan as much as Rinzai Monasteries.

    The essay by Hyon Gak Sunim comes from a Rinzai Perspective. Overall, they tend to be bigger yellers and slappers than Soto folks because the Koan Zazen Way is often to use dynamite to explode the mountain division between the subjective "me"/objective "not me". Soto folks generally accomplish the same by a different means, which I describe as flowing water and mist which soak through and are unobstructed by the mountain ... one with the mountainless-mountain ... so transcending the same division. A matter of our non-technique techniques, both can make a mess of things in unskillful hands.

    However, Soto Teachers can be quite "right up in one's Original Face" too when the situation calls for it. I am reading a short passage from Shobogenzo Zuimonki on waking each morning, and just read this advice from Dogen last morning by chance ... a reminder that even firm scolding must be without anger and only from concern, much as a child may be shown "touch love" if found playing with matches ...

    In an evening talk Dogen said,

    Do not use foul language to scold or slander monks. Even if they are bad or dishonest, do not harbor hatred against them nor abuse them thoughtlessly. First of all, no matter how bad they may be, when more than four monks gather together [the traditional number considered a Buddhist community], they form a sangha, which is a priceless treasure of the country. This should be most highly respected and honored. If you are an abbot or a senior priest or even a master or a teacher, if your disciples are wrong, you have to instruct and guide them with a compassionate and parental [grandmotherly] heart. In doing so, however, when you slap those who should be slapped or scold those who should be scolded, do not allow yourself to vilify them or arouse feelings of hatred.

    When my late master Nyojo [Dogen's Teacher in China] was the abbot of Tendo Monastery, while the monks were sitting zazen in the sodo (monks hall), he slapped them with his slipper or scolded them with harsh words in order to keep them awake. Yet each of them was thankful to be hit and highly respected him.

    Once in a formal speech he said, “I have gotten old. I should have retired from the monastery and moved into a hermitage to care for myself in my old age. Nevertheless, I am the abbot and your teacher, whose duty is to break the delusions of each one of you and to transmit the Way; therefore, I sometimes use harsh language to scold you, or beat you with the bamboo stick. I regret having to do this. However, this is the way to enable the dharma to flourish in place of the Buddha. Brothers, please have compassion on me and forgive me for my deeds.”

    Upon hearing these words, all of us shed tears. Only with such a spirit can you teach and propagate the dharma. Even though you may be an abbot or senior priest, it is wrong to govern the community and abuse the monks as if they were your personal belongings. Further, if you are not in such a position, you should not point out others’ faults or speak ill of them. You must be very, very careful.

    When you see someone’s faults and think they are wrong and wish to instruct them with compassion, you must find a skillful means to avoid arousing their anger, and do so as if you were talking about something else.
    Upaya means "Skillful Means" ... a well mixed prescription for each person and situation.

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - It is risky for anyone, even a Teacher, to praise their own worth. One can start to believe one's own press releases ...

    By the time I met him, I had already accomplished some 30 ninety-day Kyol Ches. I had endured the most demanding Zen temples in Korea. On top of this, I had already attained "inka" from the great Zen Master Seung Sahn. I had already received deep praise from some of the "leading" Zen monks in Korea.
    I think someone should give Hyon Gak Sunim a good wack on the head.
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-23-2013 at 02:44 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


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

  12. #12
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    PS - It is risky for anyone, even a Teacher, to praise their own worth. One can start to believe one's own press releases ...
    I think someone should give Hyon Gak Sunim a good wack on the head.
    Liked the article.
    Jundo, I don't think he is praising himself. He is saying ... I did all that BUT in the eyes of the second teacher it counted for nothing, and rightly so. He is building up to the next paragraph that you didn't quote.

  13. #13
    The sort of idea in my head when I see this is akin to a parent getting upset that their kid can't play baseball very well despite their interest and attempts to do better. Not exactly, but similar in feeling.

    Also, I feel that perhaps this is more about teachers letting students "pass" in Rinzai that traditionally shouldn't. I sort of feel that's more of a problem with the teachers themselves lowering the bar, especially if they're doing it just to keep students despite what they feel is really best. (Though I'm sure they do think the choice they made is correct)

    That's sort of the general idea in my head on reading all that.


    Gassho, Stacy
    Last edited by Stacy; 10-22-2013 at 10:46 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member JeffreyB's Avatar
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    I love the part about berating and throwing shoes at students. LOL It's an absurd and hilarious visual. Sometimes the feather is needed, other times the rod.

    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

  15. #15
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Very interesting article. It actually reminded me of my earlier years in the military, where they yelled at us, hit us, and physically punished us to wake us up from a different brand of delusions. A place where no one cared about your family, your education, your medals, patches, or anything else. Either you accomplished the mission or not. I hesitate to draw too many parallels between zen and military training, other than to say that sometimes hitting someone with a stick is the most compassionate thing you can do for them

    The rest of it is a lot to think about and thinking makes me tired now days... I'll probably just go for my morning sit.

    Metta to all who need a good whack with a stick today (including myself)
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  16. #16
    Emotionally charged, passively charged teaching or a combination thereof produces different results.

    1) Emotional teacher and passive student: Student is scared into awakening.

    2) Emotional teacher and passive student: Student is so scared that he only remembers that teacher is scary, nothing else.

    3) Passive teacher and emotional student: Student calms down and becomes more apt to pay attention and learn.

    4) Passive teacher and emotional student: Teacher is unable to reign in student’s emotions hindering students learning.

    5) Passive teacher and passive student: ………….? (and on and on)

    One shoe size does not fit all. I like the approach that Jundo and Taigu use here. I personally need different teaching styles at different stages of learning. When I first came to Treeleaf, my ego was very disturbed by the fact it did not know what it thought it did. It felt threatened, feared disintegration and assumed a highly defensive posture, which in my case is not conducive to learning. Gentle whacking (in my perception) helped to crack open my denial defenses just enough so that I become more teachable and so the Soto style began to sink in. I could have walked away from Zen altogether and just stuck to mindfulness psychology if skillful means had not been used. Rinzai and I would probably not mix well.

    Gassho, John

  17. #17
    Getting passed the self impressed air of the writing, ....is it true that students are less real now? We suffer just as much as always, we are just as stuck in our heads and lives, only the times and culture have changed. It is up to the teacher to have the skillful means isn't it? If a teacher can step out of his/her traditional repertoire there can be connections in surprising ways. If a teacher sits there like a living museum of Zen antics, fewer students are going to connect. I spent several years with a very traditional Korean teacher, who carried a staff, and who spoke and acted like any kid would imagine a Zen master should be, including shrieking and humiliating me, and being inscrutable. That time is appreciated because I learned to sit still, but I failed to connect with him, as he sat there with his staff. The article reads like teacher who has a particular style, expects the world to meet it, and then is disappointed when it doesn't.



    Gassho Daizan
    Last edited by Daizan; 10-25-2013 at 02:17 PM.
    大山

  18. #18
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Thank you for that perspective, Ben.
    迎 Geika

  19. #19
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    It is up to the teacher to have the skillful means isn't it? If a teacher can step out of his/her traditional repertoire there can be connections in surprising ways. If a teacher sits there like a living museum of Zen antics, fewer students are going to connect.
    I agree, Daizan. That article just makes me feel Hopeless and helpless to change it. What do I need, a smack or a talk? Nature knows, I've been shot down enough that I'm afraid to even venture an opinion on much, not that I know anything to be able to contribute anyway. But, how is it bad to "seek" peace if HOW you're doing it is to learn to drop everything and accept Reality as-it-is?

    *sigh*

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  20. #20
    I feel that Hyon Gak's article is more of a reaction towards the KUSZ in general than an 'attack' on Zen students across the board.

    As someone who was practice with the KUZS (a center was only a ten minute bus ride from where I am currently staying) I can understand where Hyon Gak is coming from.
    It is almost laughable how many koans I have "passed" within the KUZS system. And none of the answers were true in the sense that they came from insight or whatever....I was just answering in the way I was expected to answer and praised for it. And the was an air of being in a 'Zen Club' feeling to it more than anything else.

    Although I feel Hyon Gak is being a little, as Daizan was pointing at, wanting things to be a certain way for it to be classified as 'true zen' I also feel that some of the points he brings up are valid and in some places an issue...

    but maybe it would be better for me to just shut up and sit.
    Humbly,
    Seiryu

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ZenHarmony View Post
    I agree, Daizan. That article just makes me feel Hopeless and helpless to change it. What do I need, a smack or a talk? Nature knows, I've been shot down enough that I'm afraid to even venture an opinion on much, not that I know anything to be able to contribute anyway. But, how is it bad to "seek" peace if HOW you're doing it is to learn to drop everything and accept Reality as-it-is?

    *sigh*

    Gassho,

    Lisa
    Hi Lisa. I think it is up to teachers to develop the skillful means, but that does not mean every teacher must find a way to teach every student. Sometimes it is just the wrong match. That Korean teacher was a good teacher, but I was also proud and stubborn, still am... always will be, so he was also maybe exasperated. Personally I think there is a teacher, a style of teaching, for everybody in the big wide stream of Buddhadharma.


    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  22. #22
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    Oh, I hope so, Daizan, that would be nice.

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ZenHarmony View Post
    I agree, Daizan. That article just makes me feel Hopeless and helpless to change it. What do I need, a smack or a talk? Nature knows, I've been shot down enough that I'm afraid to even venture an opinion on much, not that I know anything to be able to contribute anyway. But, how is it bad to "seek" peace if HOW you're doing it is to learn to drop everything and accept Reality as-it-is?

    *sigh*

    Gassho,

    Lisa
    Lisa I have you firmly fixed in my mind as someone here who I learn from.

    I hope you can overcome your fear of being shot down. I have this fear too ( I know this isn't evident from the number of posts I make!) but I've learnt a valuable lesson in the process of how much I project this fear onto others.

    Every time I post I feel nervous, but I keep at it because I want to learn and understand. Sitting is no doubt more valuable than words - but an exchange of words is part of the teaching process here.

    Your words matter just as much an anybody elses.

    I don't much like the article because it feels so disrespectful towards the students - but I found Seiryu's post enlightening - putting the article in a clearer context.

    And now I feel nervous posting this

    Gassho

    Willow
    Last edited by willow; 10-27-2013 at 11:17 AM.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post

    Your words matter just as much an anybody elses.

    ...

    And now I feel nervous posting this
    You are both valued and cherished here.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  25. #25
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    I second (and third, and fourth) that.

    Deep bows
    Yugen

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    You are both valued and cherished here.

    Gassho, J
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    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

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