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Thread: Practicing many things

  1. #1

    Practicing many things

    I deleted this post because I wasn't that clear at the time of writing it. I think it is an important teaching and I don't want to see anyone making the same mistakes I have, so I rewrote it with a little clearer mind.
    ------
    If this life is so short then why not practice only one thing? Know that thing through and through. Anything less is only half way there.

    Siddhratha Guatama spent his time going from teacher to teacher. He gave everything he had to a school or practice. So much so that he became a teacher of that particular school. Somehow those schools weren't doing it for him, so he moved on to the next.

    Our life is like this. If we do not fully practice one thing, then our time is wasted. How can we truly understand anything if we don't even understanding one thing. Choose your practice and do it. Do it day in and day out. Whatever your practice is.

    You see, we can't stand around wondering or discussing it. We have to do it (practice is enlightenment). Let the wisdom that you gain from giving your heart to one thing, guide your decisions in the future.

    We like to think that the grass is always greener on the other side, but just stick with the grass you have now. Understand it through and through. If you are still left guessing after that, then do as Siddhartha did. It is important that you don't waste your time.

    There is a teacher for every school. There is a guide for every practice.

    G,W

  2. #2

    Re: Practicing many things

    However, if we haven't gained some amount of intelligence, then we are bound to be blown any way the wind takes us. I guess things are not as black and white, and there are many people who take advantage. Seems like a lost cause these words. Perhaps I'll just quote Dogen again:

    Impermanence is swift; life-and-death is a vital matter. For the short while you are alive, if you wish to study or practice some activity, just practice the Buddha-Way and study the buddha-dharma.
    G,W

  3. #3

    Re: Practicing many things

    I like that Dogen quote too. It's what I strive to do.

    Peace bro,
    Bill

  4. #4

    Re: Practicing many things

    I've got mixed feelings about this.

    On the one hand, I don't have a lot of patience for cafeteria-style religion -- take a little of this practice, a little of this practice, some philosophy from over here, some theology from over there, and patch together...what? A franken-religion? No. Religious paths are the way they are for a reason. When you try to 'distill' what you think is the most important part of them and leave the rest behind, you inevitably miss the mark, because all of the 'extraneous' things aren't actually extraneous.

    On the other hand -- if the idea is that we should avoid exposure to, or learning about, other ways, then I'm skeptical. There are many expressions of the truth in the world, and I think there are good reasons to encounter and understand them. Aside from the personal insight one can draw from such learning, it's important to understand how other people think and what they believe. You can't have a good appreciation for why people do what they do, engage in certain kinds of politics, etc., without studying their beliefs and practices. So, I go out of my way to read philosophy and theology of other religions, to attend religious services from different traditions on occasion, and to cultivate friendships and have discussions with people who are serious about their own religion. I don't do this because I'm unsatisfied with where I am, or because I'm looking for another path to follow; I do it because I see it as an important way to explore the world, just like learning about music, art, and literature.

    Even Dogen refers to Taoist concepts and books in Shobogenzo. He was obviously familiar with at least some of the philosophy of other groups. I think that was probably an asset for him.

    --Charles

  5. #5
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Practicing many things

    Jesus loves you, will.

    :lol:

  6. #6
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Practicing many things

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles
    Even Dogen refers to Taoist concepts and books in Shobogenzo. He was obviously familiar with at least some of the philosophy of other groups. I think that was probably an asset for him.
    Zen - especially that of Dogen - is strongly inspired by Taoism (Daoism), so that's no surprise. But Daoism was much closer to Zen in Dogen's time and prior to that.

    Kirk

  7. #7

    Re: Practicing many things

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles
    I've got mixed feelings about this.

    On the one hand, I don't have a lot of patience for cafeteria-style religion -- take a little of this practice, a little of this practice, some philosophy from over here, some theology from over there, and patch together...what? A franken-religion? No.
    On the other hand -- if the idea is that we should avoid exposure to, or learning about, other ways, then I'm skeptical. There are many expressions of the truth in the world, and I think there are good reasons to encounter and understand them.

    You know. I could post your text in a Unitarian Universalist discussion forum and would blend easily. :mrgreen:

  8. #8

    Re: Practicing many things

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista
    You know. I could post your text in a Unitarian Universalist discussion forum and would blend easily. :mrgreen:


    I've never been a Unitarian, but that doesn't upset me in the least.

    --Charles

  9. #9

    Re: Practicing many things

    Jesus loves you, will.
    :lol:

    Yeah. That post was a little off. I could have just quoted Dogen and be done with it.

    50 years of Zazen is 50 years of Buddha.

    Shunryu Suzuki and Keizan Zenji were of a similiar thought. Keizan(from my memory) "Although building temples is a good practice, those who are dedicated to the way should not get involved." He also mentions one shouldn't practice too many things. And poetry "Although poetry can be an aid to practice, we shouldn't take it too seriously."

    Shunryu mentions that he ran a temple and learn't many things but goes on to say that someone who practices the way should not get involved in such things (Zen mind beginners mind).

    G,W

  10. #10

    Re: Practicing many things

    deleted

  11. #11

    Re: Practicing many things

    And Dogen read another way is not.

    Where do you guys congregate anyway? I heard some fishy stuff about that place.

    G,W

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