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Thread: Jundo Tackles the BIG Questions - I (Whatsa BIG Question?)

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  1. #1

    Jundo Tackles the BIG Questions - I (Whatsa BIG Question?)

    Howdy,

    I am going to start a new series of threads on the Forum, because someone wrote me a list of 'BIG' questions that is so long, wonderful and thoughtful ... well, I thought I would try to respond to each question one by one, as I can.

    So, here is the first. I hope other folks write something too.

    QUESTION : "Does Satori provide the answer to the ‘big questions’?" I write you now Jundo because recently certain ideas, questions, and doubts have come to me which have, to be honest, shaken my faith in the Dharma painfully. ... these doubts really have me feeling lost... I now strongly feel the need to speak to a teacher. One who has trained in Zen and opened their 'mind's eye' in some degree. I'm not expecting miracle answers that will solve everything for me but I would just like the opinion and perspective of one who has developed their Zazen practice. Basically, I was hoping that I could run a few thoughts past you Jundo. [Please answer] one at a time. But these questions seem quite pressing to me right now.
    Hi Mr/Ms. X,

    "Does Satori provide the answer to the ‘big questions’?"

    You mention, as examples of some big questions, "what happens when we die", "whether there is a God and a 'Divine Plan'", "Why were we born, for what purpose" and the like. I will try to look at each of these in the coming days, one by one.

    For now, I just want to address your main question: "Does Satori provide the answer to the ‘big questions’?"

    Our Practice provides some very specific (and wonderful) answers to some 'big questions'. For example, Buddhism provides very clear guidance for and understanding of the origins of human suffering in this life. The "Four Noble Truths". for example, provide a formula that effectively describes the sickness and provides the medicine for its treatment or cure. (More about that here: http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...y-Dooby-Dukkha).

    Our Practice provides some very wonderful answers to other 'big questions' by instructing us to drop the questions as meaningless. Some questions are as pointless as our asking 'how many angels can gather on the head of a pin' or 'what color are the rabbits that live on the moon'. An example of such a question may be "where do we 'go' when we die, and where did we 'come from' before we were born" (I will talk about that in another posting later this week).

    Hand in hand with the above, many questions we regularly ask may just be phrased poorly, biased by our narrow, anthropocentric human understanding. An example of that may be "why do 'bad things' happen in the world". When we change the way the question is asked, answers begin to present themselves (I will talk about that too in the coming days). Hitting the "reset button' on so many of our misguided questions are what most of those old Koans are on about, by the way.

    And sometimes, Buddhism provides no answer to some 'big questions' (although that may be a kind of 'answer' too!). One such question may be whether or not there is actually a 'God' in the Judeo-Christian sense (and whether, for example, Jesus was 'His Son'). To such questions, our Zen Practice allows us to believe what we wish, or to take no stand at all. I often say:

    Is there a "God named 'Jehovah'"? .......... If so, live human life, fetch wood and carry water.

    Is there not some "God named 'Jehovah'"? .......... If not, live human life, fetch wood and carry water.


    I will also examine that, and related matters, in future postings.

    Oh, and I will also talk about what that word 'Satori' means in the coming days.

    So, my response for today: Sometimes YES! Sometimes NO! Sometimes WHAT QUESTION?!?!

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-09-2014 at 03:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Hi,

    my english is not very good, my brain neither.
    I want to make a Statement, becourse my silly brain thinks to know the feeling to your question,
    which is not a good feeling.

    And I just want to focus on the question:

    "Does Satori provide the answer to the ‘big questions’?"

    and I think, there is no reason to discuss Judeo-Christian or Buddhism issues.
    There is no difference in intention, just in form and culture.
    All of them want to tell you the answer to the question of:where do I come from, who am I, where do I go.
    I got an answer from Muho about zazen and Buddhism: you do not need any ...ism for zazen.

    The very important questions: "where do I come from, who am I, where do I go" are the guiding questions for everything on the way, and important.
    If I want to get the answer from a leader or Roshi (in the Guru-way) than it leads to fear, power, violence.......
    If I want to find the answer in another way, I will realize, that my thoughts are not able to answer this questions. That part is easy in my opinion. The thoughts are made from experiences and are not able to create something new in the same way.
    But I can realize here and now without a Guru or Religion (they cannot answer, becourse than it would be possible to intellectualize the truth), that if I can be quiet in my brain the answer is here. And the questions disappeared. Or so.

    I do not know anything about Satori. So, I cannot give an answer. (and I think, that I looked a long time for this answer)

    But if I am able for short moments in my life to be in the "now", I get always the answer (but not intellectually).

    just a very simple thought on the question.

    Ernst

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstguitar View Post
    I do not know anything about Satori.
    Ernst
    I don't know much about satori either. But I do know that if I don't get back to work I won't get a paycheck.

    Gassho, Jishin

  4. #4
    Hello, it seems I might be after the fact of questions, and yet I am a member since October 2014. Buddhism as given to me at Treeleaf is entirely different from what I might have expected when I was 22 years old, and now I am 63. I have approached death three times in the last four years--In May of 2011 one of my medicines poisoned me, and for a short time, I lost my mind--my memory was all but destroyed. About five months later my intestines burst. Doctors had to give me 10 units of blood, and 4 unites of platelets; about 6 months later my kidneys shut down. Doctors had to give literally gallons of fluid to bring my blood levels of waste back to an acceptable range. I began sitting on my own sometime after my GI bleed, and I have continued until today, and I will continue to practice. The Big Questions for me have to do with Gratitude, living each day as if it is my last. If I can be grateful for finding Treeleaf, that's enough for right now. In approaching death, my heart became malleable, and I have found a depth of purpose that did not exist until it was nearly snatched away. Life is a gift, and before I learned about death, I had no idea, no real concern for others. I said that I cared, but I really had no idea what that meant. Now I have heart, I have true concern for others, and I believe I know what the word love actually means, not satori and not salvation, but a true concern for others, and with this comes at the core of my being gratitude, gratitude for the people in my life, gratitude for simple things, and most of all gratitude that I have a second chance to make "it" right;" to love my family and my friends, and to go on in caring ways because life matters. I have some time, time to do what is really important, to live in response to others. So today may I say that life is a gift, and I almost wasted my life, I almost left without saying "thank you," Thank you for letting me live, thank you for teaching me responsibility--the ability to respond to and for others, for this is all I have, meaning in how I treat others, that people are at the center of my life, and my life is there for others. I do not live in a vacuum, for today I have found meaning, and with that meaning comes a deep appreciation for a little more time to make it right. For this everyday I am forever grateful.

    Gassho
    Elgwyn

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Elgwyn View Post
    ...In approaching death, my heart became malleable, and I have found a depth of purpose that did not exist until it was nearly snatched away. Life is a gift, and before I learned about death, I had no idea, no real concern for others. I said that I cared, but I really had no idea what that meant. Now I have heart, I have true concern for others, and I believe I know what the word love actually means, not satori and not salvation, but a true concern for others, and with this comes at the core of my being gratitude, gratitude for the people in my life, gratitude for simple things, and most of all gratitude that I have a second chance to make "it" right;" to love my family and my friends, and to go on in caring ways because life matters. I have some time, time to do what is really important, to live in response to others. So today may I say that life is a gift, and I almost wasted my life, I almost left without saying "thank you," Thank you for letting me live, thank you for teaching me responsibility--the ability to respond to and for others, for this is all I have, meaning in how I treat others, that people are at the center of my life, and my life is there for others. I do not live in a vacuum, for today I have found meaning, and with that meaning comes a deep appreciation for a little more time to make it right. For this everyday I am forever grateful.
    Hi Elgwyn,

    This is so heartfelt, so beautiful, thank you for sharing and teaching.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  6. #6
    Simply beautiful, Elgwyn.

    Gratitude all around.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  7. #7
    Thank you, Elgwyn. That was great.

    Gassho,
    Rick
    Sat Today

  8. #8
    Thank you Elgwyn.

    Perhaps satori is as simple yet deep as realizing what you did.

    But I don't know, I could be speaking big nonsense.

    Gassho,
    Daiyo

    #SatToday
    Gassho,Walter

  9. #9
    Thanks elgwyn. Your expression of love and gratitude is appreciated and a great reminder. At 67 I have been blessed with good health and am grateful to continue this journey one step at a time.

    Sat today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  10. #10
    Jundo, I believe you care about others. May I call you teacher?
    Elgwyn
    sat today
    Gassho

  11. #11
    That you for sharing Elgwyn. That was wonderful.



    Simon sat today

  12. #12
    Regarding the "questions" and "answers." The "count of" "I"s, "you"s, and "we"s seemed a bit high. What happens to the questions and answers if those words are removed?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Joshin View Post
    Regarding the "questions" and "answers." The "count of" "I"s, "you"s, and "we"s seemed a bit high. What happens to the questions and answers if those words are removed?
    There is no "I" no "you" no "we" and never has been. There are thus no questions, all is resolved and always has been.

    And yet ...

    Where did "I" come from and where do "I" go when "I" die? How should "you" act, why do "we" do such cruel things to each other? Etc. Etc. There are many BIG questions.

    Gassho, J

    PS- Joshin, would you might putting a human face as your avatar that is not a drawing? It is one of the little ways we have to look each other in the eye around here. "YOU" can read more here, Item 4.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...Sangha-Members
    Last edited by Jundo; Yesterday at 04:28 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

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