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Thread: Any comments?

  1. #1

    Any comments?

    Hi.
    Came across this.
    Any comments?

    http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/criticism/makyo.htm



    The Zen concept 'Makyo' or 'Makkyo' is often translated into English as either the "ghost cave" or "devil's cave." It is meant to refer to a chimera, illusion or hallucination, which is believed to lead to a demonic state or region. The term, 'makyo' is Japanese. It is written in Kanji as two characters. The first of these (Jap) 'ma' is understood to mean "demon, devil or evil spirit," which is the sense of this character when it is taken as an independent word in Japanese. It is synonymous with akuma (aku+ma). The Chinese version of this concept is 'mo-jing.' In Chinese 'mo' means 'demon,' much like 'ma' does in Japanese. It should be noted that this character 'mo' is a character that was also used in the translation of the Pali term 'Mara'. If you recall 'Mara' is the "evil one" in early Buddhist literature. Thus things that are 'mo-jing' or 'makyo' are of or relating to 'Mara' who leads us away from enlightenment, and is thus evil,

    The term 'mo-jing,' 'makyo' or 'makkyo' is most often in reference to seated meditation with one's eyes closed. In Ch'an, Son and Zen meditation with the eyes closed is not considered the preferred method because they believe when one's eyes are closed it is too easy to be drawn into hallucinations without the material world being present as a reference point to discriminate the illusive from the real.

    The point however, is not whether the eyes should be open or closed during meditation, which this contemplative believes is purely a cultural and personal one, however, the issue is that the phenomena of meditative absorption is also often called 'mo-jing,' 'makyo' or 'makkyo' within a Ch'an, Son or Zen context. It is this conflation of the phenomena of meditative absorption (Jhana-Nimitta) with evil that is typical of how religions, even Buddhist ones, demonize gnosis. And, this is the reason why this contemplative points to the concept behind the terms 'mo-jing,' 'makyo' or 'makkyo' as evidence that Ch'an, Son and Zen may very well have lost the art of meditative absorption (jhana).

    In support of this premise we can also look to the literature of Ch'an, Son and Zen and find little reference to the meditative absorption states other than in the Dogen Zen JI. If there is no dialog on or about the meditative absorption states (jhanas) within a contemplative tradition, then it seems reasonable to say that contemplative tradition has lost the art of meditative absorption (jhana).

    While I have a great deal of respect for all contemplative traditions, especially the various Zen schools, it does not appear that any of them practice "sensitive" to a pleasant abiding (jhana). This is very unfortunate, especially when one considers that the Japanese term 'Zen' came from the Korean term 'Son', which came from the Chinese term 'Ch'an' which came from the Sanskrit term 'dhyana' which came from the Pali term 'jhana'. So, it appears only the word arrived in Northern Asia from China to Japan, through five layers of interpretation, not its meaning.

    The loss of the ecstatic meaning from Jhana to Zen may be due in part to the many layers of translation and interpretation that the Buddha dhamma had to go through to get to Japan. However, if we consider how the Buddha's discourses were exported to the rest of Asia we may find a clear source of the origin of how the ecstatic component of the Buddha's message was left out in most Mahayanist literature.

    If you recall the non-Theravadan Buddhist schools look to a Sanskrit translation of the Buddha's discourses instead of the Pali version. There are no doubt many differences in the Sanskrit translation that do not reflect the Pali version of the suttas/sutras. The most relevant to our point here is in the translation of the Pali term 'jhana' into the Sanskrit term 'dhyana.'

    If you are familiar with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, then you will know that the Sanskrit term 'dhyana' is not related to the term 'samadhi.' In the Yoga Sutras, 'dhyana' is the practice of meditation techniques, through which one arrives at meditative absorption (samadhi). Thus the term 'dhyana' is closest to how the Buddha used the term 'sati' which is the cultivation of concentration, through various cognitive techniques, leading to absorption (samadhi). Thus in the first century BC translation of the Sutta Pitaka to Sanskrit the ecstatic component of the Buddha's message was simply extracted via a bad translation, that has been compounded by 2 millennia of erroneous dogma.

    We can also look at the practice method of Zen to see how it is constructed to avoid the meditative absorption states (jhanas). Most Zen meditation practice is expressed in the form of a 20 to 30 minute sit followed by a vigorous and regimented walking "meditation." The problem with this strategy is most people who have experience with meditative absorption states (jhanas) find that meditation sits of an hour or more are required for the subjective states of absorption to emerge. Thus the Ch'an, Son and Zen practice of the short sit duration may have been intentionally constructed to avoid the meditative absorption states.

    The question that begs now to be answered is: Why would Ch'an, Son and Zen choose to avoid the meditative absorption states? The obvious answer lies in reflecting upon other religions, such as the Abrahamic religions, which have been demonizing the absorption states for thousands of years. Many of the martyrs of the Abrahamic religions, such as Jesus and al Hallaj were essentially martyred for their ecstatic message.

    In conclusion we can see how the Mahayanist Buddhist schools, such as Ch'an, Son and Zen were never given the essential instruction set of the Buddha regarding meditative absorption (jhana). We can also see how every religion has contributed to the subversion of the ecstatic message of the mystics.
    May the force be with you
    Fugen

  2. #2

    Re: Any comments?

    very interesting article. however, my eyes tend to glaze over when traditions start to critique other traditions. what's the point? you're not gonna change any minds. in addition, the whole idea of jhanas seems as mythical as the idea of enlightenment.

    what do you think jedi master?
    peace
    craig

  3. #3

    Re: Any comments?

    jhanas arent that hard to attain

    this guy on the other hand, jeffrey s. brooks, just seems to have a problem with everybody who doesnt think he's the bestest stuff around

  4. #4

    Re: Any comments?

    Hi Tb,

    I do not think that the description of Zazen practice in the article is quite accurate. I could find very little information about the author's group, but their stated philosophy on their webpage may explain the author's theme ...

    We are an ecstatic contemplative tradition because we recognize the meditative absorption states, which are what the Christian mystics called “ecstasy,” and what the Buddha called “jhana,” and what Patanjali called “samadhi.” We find the meditative absorption states are one and the same from culture to culture, and are the very definition of a correctly executed contemplative life, and they are also the defining quality of the 8th fold of the Noble Eight Fold Path. Thus all of the teachers of the GWV are committed to cultivating the ecstatic states, and teaching how one can cultivate those states.

    ...

    Sotapanna (stream winner) Jhanananda (Jeffrey S. Brooks) is the founder of the Great Western Vehicle. He is a self-ordained Western Buddhist monk, who has maintained a daily contemplative life that has born the fruit (phala) of meditative absorption (jhana/samadhi) and has become saturated and suffused with the phenomena of meditative absorption (jhana-nimitta).
    It is incorrect, in my view, that the author should say at one point that "we can also look to the literature of Ch'an, Son and Zen and find little reference to the meditative absorption states other than in the Dogen Zen JI." Well, actually, Dogen Zenji (who, as most here know, brought Soto Zen to Japan) was less about the importance of "absorbtion states" in practice than many other Ch'an/Son/Zen teachers, and they were all, for the most part, a pretty down to earth bunch.

    Let me cut to the chase: In Shikantaza Zazen, we sit with the eyes open because we never leave this world and life behind. Our mind is caught by nothing,, yet shuts out nothing. Oh yes, we learn to see through this life and world, as real yet a dream, a phantasm, a dew drop. And, yes, in our Zazen we will often encounter various tastes of deep absorbtive Samadhi, each its own. However (and this is the point of divergence from the article), we do not make the attaining of deep absorbed states, ecstatic states, bliss states, visions, trances or the like the central point or goal of practice. We are not looking for a trippy trip, but to be fully at home, at one. That is why we usually consider any strange sounds, sights, etc. during Zazen as just "Makyo" (amusing, sometimes even educational ... but then we move on). If you want wild states, I know a guy on the corner who will sell you a little blue pill that will get you there faster than meditation.

    If you have read Dogen's Shobogenzo, you will know that, in his vision, just acting and living in this life, just sitting a moment of Zazen by crossing the legs and straightening the back, is the trippiest trip, the highest Samadhi realized. Nothing more to attain. The most "pleasant abiding" (jnana) is also abiding in this world. Enlightenment brought to life.

    Gassho, J

    PS - I am not saying that meditation and like practices that pursue blissful states and such are wrong for people who wish that. It is just that I practice and teach what I think is a good path and recommend.

  5. #5

    Re: Any comments?

    Sotapanna (stream winner) Jhanananda (Jeffrey S. Brooks) is a self-ordained Western Buddhist monk in the Great Western Vehicle, a 4th Wheel Buddhist tradition
    Given that J.S Brooks does not belong to a particular school his opinions and teachings are of his own experiences which he so states on his website. He seems nice enough.

    Just wanted to share some thoughts that came up because my background in practice is from the Theravadin school and these are some points that arose to me as I was reading.

    The vast majority of ordained monks do not state on their website what their level of "achievement". Run away very fast if they do. Only very few monks in the Theravadin school might state what their stage is and those are generally the better known (in Asia), widely respected ones and even so, it's still not special anyway. If at all, in the very rare instances it is only communicated, it is done only to very long term students after knowing them for years and not as a point of saying anything speacial, because it isn't.

    Eyes open, eyes closed, breath meditation or Shikantaza. It's up to each of us what best aids us in our practice and on the path.

    The theravada path within itself has great variation. Most teachers and the good ones advocate a balanced approach which includes mettha, anapanasati and vippasanna practices. Some practices of vipassana are the same as shikatanza. I know this because one of the monks I learnt from taught shikatanza way before I came into contact with Soto Zen as do other some Theravadin teachers. Other monks teach vipassana only. So it's mainly trying out techniques, giving them an honest effort and see what works the best.

    The Theravadin monks I personally know and follow advocate practice should be balanced and I assume students will take their own path as suits them using the three techniques (mettha, anapanasati and vippasanna) as appropriate to them.

    And although the ordained monks that do teach breath meditation teach about states of absorption (if possible for the student) they quite deliberately say that trying to hold onto the
    ecstatic states, bliss states
    are a big big mistake and that's not the point of it all. In fact amongst the ajahn chah forest school it is a common mistake they emphasize students not to make. And at the same time Vipassana is taught as well.

    Just my opinions and observations.

    Mettha/Gassho.

  6. #6

    Re: Any comments?

    Let me cut to the chase: In Shikantaza Zazen, we sit with the eyes open because we never leave this world and life behind. Our mind is caught by nothing,, yet shuts out nothing.

    we also sit with them half open so we don't fall asleep either, right?

    That is why we usually consider any strange sounds, sights, etc. during Zazen as just "Makyo" (amusing, sometimes even educational ... but then we move on).

    Would one of these sounds be the wake up stick!

    i am just curious...what does samadhi feel like...to the one who said it was easy.

    peace
    craig

  7. #7

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcsuperstar
    jhanas arent that hard to attain

    really? what's it take?


    this guy on the other hand, jeffrey s. brooks, just seems to have a problem with everybody who doesnt think he's the bestest stuff around

  8. #8

    Re: Any comments?

    aswini-

    thanks for your insight. there's always more to the story.

    craig

  9. #9

    Re: Any comments?

    there are different jhanas i havent experienced them all, just the 1st.

    all it takes is meditation, single pointed concentration. it's something anyone can learn and something the buddha spoke of very often (it's right there in the 4nt so it's in the basics of buddhism)
    it's simply one of the fruits of the contemplative life, a deep calm a sense of peace, a joy in sitting, really why shouldnt these be things one should enjoy?
    but Aswini is right there are no learned monks teaching that is the end of the path in buddhism (right samadhi is only 1 of the 8fp after all), and i'm sure it could be a hinderence to some if they got hung up on them, whether its doing them too much, extending too much effort in trying to achieve them, or by the same token expending effort railing against them.

    when i read Brad Warner talking about being frustraited in zazen etc, i didnt get it, why would anyone be frustraited while on the zafu? does he not want to be there? does he lack contentment?

    personally i think one should aproach the zafu with a sense of joy. you should be happy to practice! and one last note about jhana, theyre great, but theyre just like shikantaza, if you go off thinking and not just sitting you'll lose jhana too, it takes the same opened hand of thought as just sitting. you just come back to the present over and over. a good way to demystify the jhanas would be to see them as simply the joy that comes from being present right now, not some far off trippy crap, the buddha never taught that, he did teach jhana though.

  10. #10

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcsuperstar

    when i read Brad Warner talking about being frustraited in zazen etc, i didnt get it, why would anyone be frustraited while on the zafu? does he not want to be there? does he lack contentment?

    personally i think one should aproach the zafu with a sense of joy. you should be happy to practice!
    Hi JC,

    Well, I must differ with you ... as far as "Just Sitting" goes. It is all about dropping differences and resistance. Let me explain why I differ about differences ... for that is a subtle teaching ... at the heart of our practice:

    The highest Contentment, attained through dropping all thought of sameness or difference, is being Content with not being content all the time. I experience a deep, abiding Contentment ... fully present even in my daily pains and sometime discontent.

    The best way to be "at home in" and "at one with" life is by always being at home ... lacking all thought of somewhere else to go ... even when life takes us (to the Zafu or otherwise) places where we do not want to go. Drop all resistance to sometimes resisting (sometimes not resisting) ... and that is Deep Liberation.

    The True Peace sees right through this messy world we live in that is sometimes peace sometimes war.

    I approach the Zafu with great joy at the fact that I will not always be joyful to approach the Zafu (and that many, many days, I will resist). Yet, I go day after day ...

    To hope for one's experience on the Zafu to always be a joyful, blissful, happy time is ... in our view ... not the Highest Samadhi. We encounter, naturally and with time, plenty of moments in which we are blissful on the Zafu, small and large La La Lands, times when body and mind seem to go off somewhere ... yet many other moments when we are hungry on the Zafu, sleepy on the Zafu or bored on the Zafu. To favor only the blissful moments, and to reject the bored or painful moments is (in our view) not Enlightenment ... for Enlightenment is to understand the Bliss that is sometimes being amused, sometimes bored ... for that is wonderful life, no place other to be (or where you should be).

    Oh, for sure, our Zen practice will also teach us many ways to drop resistance to life we normally feel. So, very often, we can drop resistance, discontentment, pain and the like that is present in life and on the Zafu (we become "masters of the mind", who know 1000 tricks to change the mind). Yet, still, the Greatest Change is knowing that we flow with whatever comes.

    And also, we do taste a view where there is no birth, no death, no here or there ... thus Peace and Stillness. Yet, we return again and again to life, and put into practice that Peace and Stillness in a mixed up life that is anything but peaceful and still!!

    And how do we do this? "Just Sitting", moment by moment on the Zafu, dropping all thought of anything to add, anything to take away, all goals and ideas of other places to be, knowing that a pure moment of Zazen is the whole universe sitting Zazen in that moment (like the cosmos in a grain of sand), all the world living life as you live life. We come to observe our coming and going boredom, discontent or small resistances as if a spectator watching a bit of mental theatre, all while comfortably at rest in our True Seat. We "go with the flow" because we ARE the Flow!

    Those meditators who seek only bliss states, only joy, only peace as "right" meditation ... not only miss the complexity of this wonderous life, but overlook that Joy and Peace beyond some mere joy and peace.

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS- I may use this as the theme for today's netcast in a few hours. I have to crawl to the Zafu and get it done.

  11. #11

    Re: Any comments?

    I just revised the above a bit. Please read it again! It is kind of important to get this.

  12. #12

    Re: Any comments?

    one can not be frustrated and content at the same time. i would even go so far to say one can not be frustrated if one is truely just sitting cause then one is being frustrated not just sitting. frustration is a form of resistence, not of letting go. it is a form or attachment to ego, of how things sould be not things as they are.
    this is the 2nt, youre suffering because youre craving. youre craving for things to be different than life really is.

    the jhanas are NOT enlightenment, and i really hope i didnt come off as saying as much. one isnt enlightened cause one reaches a jhanic state. they are also not la la lands, as some are states of "neither perception nor non-perception" some are states of Equanimity
    its only the lower states that are what we'd think of as la lalands. and i think the very fact theyre positioned as the lower states shows these are to be transended.

    the jhanas are like exercize you dont do them so you can exercize you do them to get strong once youre strong you can do the tasks of a strong man. or in this case a strong meditator. if youve mastered the jhanas you should have no problem just sitting down on the zafu and doing shikantaza for long periods of time.
    and i mean really just sitting, opening the hand of thought and no thoughts being grasped for long periods of time. you dont have to learn this step first, but that is the point of this step, to prepare you for this sort of open awareness so youre not being "bothered" with thoughts and distractions. it's a matter of learning to walk before you run, though its not the only way to learn, and not the only way the buddha taught.

    in my case i didnt come to zen learning jhana though, i came and i sat. my teacher Tozen told me "we dont meditate. we sit. just sit." and thats how i learned. i didnt learn other styles till traveling in asia 1/2 a decade later.

    since then i've learn a lot about meditation under different teachers. the one thing i've found is no matter what they start off at, pretty much every buddhist meditation tradition ends up with a method that is just like shikantaza. dogen's method ("methodless method") was nothing new. it's his philosophy behind the method that makes him special this idea that zazen is buddhahood the oneness of practice-enlightenment (shush?-itt? / shush?-ichinyo)
    from the bendowa
    Thinking that practice and enlightenment are not one is no more than a view that is outside the Way. In buddha-dharma [i.e. Buddhism], practice and enlightenment are one and the same. Because it is the practice of enlightenment, a beginner's wholehearted practice of the Way is exactly the totality of original enlightenment. For this reason, in conveying the essential attitude for practice, it is taught not to wait for enlightenment outside practice

    but i'd also like to bring up this from the fukanzazenji:

    Zazen is not "step-by-step meditation". Rather it is simply the easy and pleasant practice of a Buddha, the realization of the Buddha's Wisdom. The Truth appears, there being no delusion. If you understand this, you are completely free, like a dragon that has obtained water or a tiger that reclines on a mountain. The supreme Law will then appear of itself, and you will be free of weariness and confusion

    this the easy and pleasant practice Dogen speaks of doesnt sound like something one should find frustrating....

  13. #13

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcsuperstar
    one can not be frustrated and content at the same time.
    OH YES YOU MOST CERTAINLY CAN!!

    And if you do not know that you can, that nothing ever lacks, something vital is lacking in one's practice.

    i would even go so far to say one can not be frustrated if one is truely just sitting cause then one is being frustrated not just sitting. frustration is a form of resistence, not of letting go. it is a form or attachment to ego, of how things sould be not things as they are.
    this is the 2nt, youre suffering because youre craving. youre craving for things to be different than life really is.
    So, stop craving for your sometime frustration to be other than it is (I am sure you are not frustrated all the time ... for THAT would be a terrible way to live life!). Do not crave for life to be different than life is. That is Liberation beyond petty freedoms or bondage.

    In Zazen, we sometimes experience state with "No Ego", sometimes with both ego and No Ego (and, yes, quite a few days when little ego seems in charge and NO EGO no place to be found!)... but to live life, day to day, you are not going to leave that little ego behind fully (at least not until you kick the bucket). You could not live as a human being,!

    Remember, the Buddha did not say that old age, sickness and death are "suffering". They are an unavoidable part of life. The Buddha got old, sick and died. What the Buddha (we believe) discovered is that resistance to old age, sickness and death is suffering ... resistance to life is suffering. (We also believe that he tasted a view in which the there is no young/old, birth/death, health/sickness).

    Life is sometimes a pain in the butt (both literally and figuratively in sitting on a Zafu)! The Buddha learned to see and experience a world without all that ("no-butts-about it" pun intended) even in a world that is often a pain in the butt .... while feeling the pain in the butt-ness of it all, without resistance - just-ass-it-is (pun intended too)! :lol:

    azen is not "step-by-step meditation". Rather it is simply the easy and pleasant practice of a Buddha
    It always is easy and pleasant ... even if we do not always feel or demand that it be so easy and pleasant all the time. Ah, that is Truly "easy and pleasant"!

    some are states of Equanimity
    True Equanimity is Equanimity among either equanimity or no-equanimity (or whatever the word is for the opposite of "equanimity!" VERY FRUSTRATING to me right now that I cannot remember the word! )

    Gassho, Old Guy Having "Senior Moment"

    PS- I just remembered! "disequanimity" :P

  14. #14

    Re: Any comments?

    i think non-Equanimity would be "picking and choosing"

    and we all know what Sosan said about picking and chooseing....

    i'm still not with you that being frustrated can go hand in hand w/ comtentment. one is only frustrated because one is craving for life to be different than life is... this is a lack of contentment...

    i dont know, take your example of the buddha. we know from the suttas he got headaches, yet he never gets upset about it. he's never frustrated over his headache, instead he uses it to teach a little story. thats liberation, contentment, letting go etc.

    maybe we're talking past each other... language is tricky on pointing out the subtle things

    Tozen used to say "theres no good or bad, people make good and bad"

    frustration is making bad. the tv not working or your knees hurting on the zafu these are things as they are. not good not bad, nothing to get frustrated about.

    thoughts come, thoughts go. just dont attach and you'll be fine.

  15. #15

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcsuperstar
    i'm still not with you that being frustrated can go hand in hand w/ comtentment.
    I am going to drop in the old Zen teachers cop out: Keep sitting until you do taste this (and then keep sitting more).

    i dont know, take your example of the buddha. we know from the suttas he got headaches, yet he never gets upset about it. he's never frustrated over his headache, instead he uses it to teach a little story. thats liberation, contentment, letting go etc.
    Yes, well, they do build folks up in hagiographic stories over 2500 years. The guy farted stars and lotus blossoms, whole universes too. Never had a bad day, never got up on the wrong side of the bed. Hmmm.

    I am reading sections of Dogen's Eihei Koroku right now and, one of the nice things about it (it is very long) is that, between all the lines, one can catch a glimpse of Dogen, the rather grumpy human being.. The book is rather long, but I will try to dig up an example when I have time.

    (Which brings me to that Dogen movie that is out in the theatres ... some American Zen teachers were rather amused by reports of one scene in the movie, done in cheezy animation, where "his enlightenment [is] shown in a whimsically animated shot of Dogen sitting on a cartoon lotus, soaring blissfully into space". Yeah, "cartoon lotus blossums". That wasn't enlightenment! He just must have farted!) :shock:

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS- In checking something for this, I came upon a nice Haiku, not inappropriate:

    a frog farting -
    this too is the
    voice of Buddha

  16. #16

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by jcsuperstar
    i'm still not with you that being frustrated can go hand in hand w/ comtentment.
    I am going to drop in the old Zen teachers cop out: Keep sitting until you do taste this (and then keep sitting more).
    i'll do that but i'll ask this one piece of advice then.
    how do i just sit, or let open the hand of thought, if i'm holding tightly to the thing that is causing me frustration?

    see, as it is now, if i'm frustrated ,say about the phone bill, then i deside to go sit, i let go of the phone bill. once i let go of the phone bill i'm not frustrated.

  17. #17

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    PS- In checking something for this, I came upon a nice Haiku, not inappropriate:

    a frog farting -
    this too is the
    voice of Buddha
    Hi.

    Where does the wind come from? :lol: :wink:

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  18. #18

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig
    very interesting article. however, my eyes tend to glaze over when traditions start to critique other traditions. what's the point? you're not gonna change any minds. in addition, the whole idea of jhanas seems as mythical as the idea of enlightenment.

    what do you think jedi master?
    peace
    craig
    Hi.

    Don't separate, and pay attention to the precepts ( no disparaging, no selfpraise, etc.)

    And for the masterpart, anyone calling me master (higher/better than anyone else) I'll beat with a dried shitstick!
    I may be a jedi, but i'm still just a part of the force, as are you.
    But dont separate.

    May the force be with you
    Tb

  19. #19

    Re: Any comments?

    i have a deep respect for the force and the jedi.

    http://jedisanctuary.org/pages/traits/meditate.htm

    ........if only i could train to be one. Actually i think George Lucas base Yoda on a Zen Master or something like that.

  20. #20

    Re: Any comments?

    Hi Jundo, and JC...

    I just want to give my opinion....?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcsuperstar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by jcsuperstar
    i'm still not with you that being frustrated can go hand in hand w/ comtentment.
    I am going to drop in the old Zen teachers cop out: Keep sitting until you do taste this (and then keep sitting more).
    i'll do that but i'll ask this one piece of advice then.
    how do i just sit, or let open the hand of thought, if i'm holding tightly to the thing that is causing me frustration?

    see, as it is now, if i'm frustrated ,say about the phone bill, then i deside to go sit, i let go of the phone bill. once i let go of the phone bill i'm not frustrated.
    contentment will come if you get what you like.

    frustration will come if you get what you dislike.

    But if we drop "like" or "dislike", then frustration and contentment will no longer exist

    just like the light and the shadow, contentment and frustration create each other.

    if you attach to the light, then darkness will make you suffer. but if you don't attach to the light, darkness will not make you suffer.

    When there is no light, everything will be 100% dark. And without the light, the darkness cannot be call as darkness. And without darkness, the light cannot be called as light.

    Zen is beyond content or frustration.

    Frustration and contentment just like the wave of the sea. Sometimes up sometimes down. But if we just let it go, and back to our original form that is the water. Up and Down is nothing.

    Just Flow...

    Gassho, Shuidi / Mujo

  21. #21

    Re: Any comments?

    Man, Mujo Shui Di,

    You never fail to wow me! 20 years old, and you seem to know what many of us old guys are still wrestling with!

    If there is rebirth, you might be old Hui Neng himself!

    Quote Originally Posted by jcsuperstar
    i'll do that but i'll ask this one piece of advice then.
    how do i just sit, or let open the hand of thought, if i'm holding tightly to the thing that is causing me frustration?

    see, as it is now, if i'm frustrated ,say about the phone bill, then i deside to go sit, i let go of the phone bill. once i let go of the phone bill i'm not frustrated.
    That's right. If phone bill comes to mind during Zazen, let it go ... just sit. If phone bill comes back during Zazen, let it go again ... just sit. Find that silent place between phones' ringing ... 10,000 times and 10,000 times again. If phone bill will not leave some days ... just sit with that. Sound of phone ringing is Buddha!

    I put this a bit to the test today, after our discussion here. Nothing serious happened, but I encountered two computer crashes, a minor catastrophe at work, and many red lights as I was late to pick Leon up at school. All very annoying, very FRUSTRATING! ERRRRRR!

    But they weren't too!

    If one can also taste that "Empty" place where there are no red lights to stop us, no stopping or going (no computers to crash or not to crash too) ...

    So, the "frustration" now is simply not the same as "frustration" before Buddhist Practice. Now, it is just like a silly dance, life's up and downs like Shui Di's sea. Sea waves sound like this: ERRRRR!

    Gassho, Jundo

  22. #22

    Re: Any comments?

    Hi,

    I gave the talk today on the "sit-a-long" about what we were discussing here.

    But I basically repeated and rehashed a lot of what I said above, so if your listen to it ... you might find it kinda FRUSTRATING! :twisted:

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... fo-29.html

    Gassho, J

  23. #23

    Re: Any comments?

    Interesting discussion. I was just reading Jack Kornfield book "The Wise Heart" and he talks a lot about jhanas in one of the chapters. I was beginning to think I was missing out on the states of rapture he describes. He seems to believe they are a way of purification, but at the end of the chapter he quotes Ajahn Chah "When blissful and extraordinary states arise from your meditation, use them but do not cling to them." And he says himself "the real blessing appears when we can bring the experiences of the transcendental to illuminate the miracle of the ordinary."

    Gassho,
    John

  24. #24

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Interesting discussion. I was just reading Jack Kornfield book "The Wise Heart" and he talks a lot about jhanas in one of the chapters. I was beginning to think I was missing out on the states of rapture he describes. He seems to believe they are a way of purification, but at the end of the chapter he quotes Ajahn Chah "When blissful and extraordinary states arise from your meditation, use them but do not cling to them." And he says himself "the real blessing appears when we can bring the experiences of the transcendental to illuminate the miracle of the ordinary."

    Gassho,
    John
    Hi.
    Hey, thats on my table too...
    funny world sometimes..
    How do you find it?
    I haven't gotten that far in it, but it seems ok, maybe something for the bookcircle i'm holding here in Tibro?...

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen (still can't decide on name to put here, but a name is a name is a name, or as the famous arne anka said: a beer is a beer is a beer)

  25. #25

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aswini
    i have a deep respect for the force and the jedi.

    http://jedisanctuary.org/pages/traits/meditate.htm

    ........if only i could train to be one. Actually i think George Lucas base Yoda on a Zen Master or something like that.
    Hi.

    Yes, i was told once that he stated in one of the books about star wars, that he did base them on something similar.
    And for the record, i was wondering if my dharmaname would be Yoda, whatever that means in japanese...

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  26. #26

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by jcsuperstar
    one can not be frustrated and content at the same time.
    OH YES YOU MOST CERTAINLY CAN!!

    And if you do not know that you can, that nothing ever lacks, something vital is lacking in one's practice
    From a decisively non-Buddhist take, you can be frustrated and content at the same time. Ask a musician or an athlete when they hone their craft. When I used to play tennis or practice with my guitar. I would feel frustrated for not keeping the ball on a certain height or not attaining that proper chord change, but....I felt content for being alive and being here & now to feel moment. When I hit the ball with the racket or strummed the chords with my finger nails, you feel that moment. Frustration and contentment in one spot. It's a ...strange state for lack of a better phrase, but yes can have both at the same time. Of course, this is not zazen...but.... :mrgreen:

  27. #27

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista

    From a decisively non-Buddhist take, you can be frustrated and content at the same time. Ask a musician or an athlete when they hone their craft. When I used to play tennis or practice with my guitar.
    Hi,

    I am not sure that is what I mean ... if what you mean is just contentment at some things, and frustration at various other things running through our minds, separately but in parallel (an "its not all bad" attitude). That's not the meaning. Nor is it "making lemonade when handed lemons" or the like.

    I am speaking of a deep, abiding, to-the-marrow, Contentment with a world/life that is sometimes contentment (small c) sometimes frustration. A Contentment that washes up both contentment and frustration.

    Where does that arise from?

    I believe from the tasting, (as 'not two') of the 'sameness & absolute' and 'self no self' and 'thinking nothinking=nonthinking' perspective that is at the heart of Shikantaza. For example, even as my self (small s) bumps up and collides with all the other 'stuff' of the world ... I taste a reality by which self-stuff is dropped away. The result is a kind of Peace beyond peace or friction (in fact, it is a being at Peace with peace or friction).

    For example, part of me (on Channel 1) goes into "Life's Ice Cream Store" and wants chocolate, but life gives me lemon. The self is discontent with that, rather disappointed or even sad. But (on Channel 2) "dropping all likes and dislikes" (even dropping all thought of me, ice cream, chocolate and lemon), there is an abiding stillness. BOTH experiences exist at once, and for that reason the experience of life on (Channel 1), although still "frustrating", is NOT THE SAME experience of (Channel 1) that would be experienced by me if (Channel 2) were not also simultaneously present.

    Get what I mean?

    I am very much looking forward to Suzuki Roshi's book on 'sameness and absolute', our next book club selection ...

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1266

    Gassho, Jundo

  28. #28

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    Get what I mean?
    I'll just sit.


    I am very much looking forward to Suzuki Roshi's book on 'sameness and absolute', our next book club selection
    Me too!

  29. #29

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen
    Hi.
    Hey, thats on my table too...
    funny world sometimes..
    How do you find it?
    Hi Fugen,

    Hey, I see you are all using Japanese names now -- I'll have to start using mine! I think Jack Kornfield is good when it comes to dealing with emotional issues. Sometimes I think that is a bit lacking in Zen. Many of the great Zen masters who were enlightened beings and came to America seemed to also have a lot of emotional problems that made them go off the rails into alcoholism etc.

    Saying that, I think he gets a bit too mystical sometimes, for me anyway, and I don't like the visualisation practices. Overall I think I prefer the more down-to-earth Zen approach ,

    Gassho,
    Doshin (John)

  30. #30

    Re: Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen
    Hi.
    Hey, thats on my table too...
    funny world sometimes..
    How do you find it?
    Hi Fugen,

    Hey, I see you are all using Japanese names now -- I'll have to start using mine!
    Hi.
    A name is a name is a name. good for some puposes.
    Having troubles about what to use as my signature, Tb is my "Name", Fugen is what "I am"...
    Many here know me as Tb, it might get confusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    I think Jack Kornfield is good when it comes to dealing with emotional issues. Sometimes I think that is a bit lacking in Zen. Many of the great Zen masters who were enlightened beings and came to America seemed to also have a lot of emotional problems that made them go off the rails into alcoholism etc.

    Saying that, I think he gets a bit too mystical sometimes, for me anyway, and I don't like the visualisation practices. Overall I think I prefer the more down-to-earth Zen approach ,

    Gassho,
    Doshin (John)
    Ok. just getting in to it so...
    And i think one of the issues of brad warners new book is about "zenmasters falling astray", at least that what i heard...


    mtfbwy
    Tb

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