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Thread: Sympathy for the awakened...

  1. #1
    disastermouse
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    Sympathy for the awakened...

    If they could tell you, they would.

    If you haven't seen it, no amount of talking will do anything but confuse you - except the admonition to sit, relax, and stop looking for something.

    If you have seen it, there's really no reason to talk.

    Every (good) book written about it is just another clever obstacle or admonition.

    A message-less message - always the same, yet manifested in near infinite variety.

    Chet

  2. #2

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Very good one Chet,


    If you have seen it

    Still watching?


    gassho


    Taigu

  3. #3

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Hi.

    Who watches the watchmen?

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  4. #4

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    If they could tell you, they would.

    If you haven't seen it, no amount of talking will do anything but confuse you - except the admonition to sit, relax, and stop looking for something.

    If you have seen it, there's really no reason to talk.

    Every (good) book written about it is just another clever obstacle or admonition.

    A message-less message - always the same, yet manifested in near infinite variety.

    Chet
    That's funny because I think Buddhists have done more talking and writing about it than any other group in the history of mankind.

  5. #5
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Very good one Chet,


    If you have seen it

    Still watching?


    gassho


    Taigu
    The limits of language, mon ami, not the limits of practice.

  6. #6
    Member miheco's Avatar
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    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Agree,

    Talk doesn't cook rice. (Chinese Proverb)


    Gassho

  7. #7

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Thank you for your patience, Chet. Yes, of course, everbody's limit.
    Sure Miheco.
    And yet, everybody here seems trap in the thinking that language has to represent something and fails to represent what is beyond its limit, namely the ineffable. If you are ready to be patient with the mumbling of an ex University lecturer ( one of my old masks) This idea that language mirrors the world is somehow old fashioned, and since post-modern philosophy, works of Derrida and the likes, we know that language is a world of its own. it doesn't just succeed or fail at mimicking reality. It is a a body of reality too.

    In short, and welcome back the priest, when guys like Dogen or Wanshi write their stuff, they are not just writing about the ineffable or expressing something or pointing at something that would exist outside the letters, the ineffable is writing itself, the letters are as real as mountains or rivers, in our world, towers, supermarkets, highways, name it. Nothing missing. You may eat the painted rice-cake.
    You may cook rice in words. For language is not separated from what it is supposed to stand for.

    Than you all for your patience, and read again if you have time the chapter gabyo of shobogenzo.

    Only a few have heard that "painted rice cakes do not satisfy hunger" and none have really understood what it meant. I've asked several of these skin bags about it and everybody was quite certain about it without even bothering to look into it. They were like someone overhearing a conversation that they were not involved in. You should understand that this "painted rice cake" is the face that you were born with and the Original Face you had before your parents were even born. A rice cake, although made of rice, is neither born nor unborn, neither exists nor does not. As a rice cake, it is the moment displaying itself as impermanence; and yet what it is as such never moves. It cannot be understood if it is only understood as something that comes and goes.

    In painting a rice cake you use the same materials as you would to paint a landscape. You can use blue pigment to paint mountains and rivers and powdered rice to paint a rice cake. The work of composition is the same. This being so, sesame cakes, vegetable cakes, milk cakes and so on are all this "painted rice cake." There is no difference between paintings, rice cakes, or any thing6 at all and you should understand that these rice cakes in front of you that you are about to eat are all "painted rice cakes." If you are looking for these "painted rice cakes" anywhere else you still don't know how to eat a rice cake. Sometimes they appear as rice cakes, sometimes not. However, they completely transcend any coming or going, old or new and it is in this7 that the realm of "painted rice cakes" reveals itself.
    "Hunger" which is "not satisfied" means that, although we are not bound to the conditions of contingent existence, somehow we do not know that we are encountering "painted rice cakes" and so, even though we eat these "painted cakes" we are still "hungry." "Hunger" means that we have distanced ourselves from "painted cakes" but there is no need to try to satisfy this "hunger" because there is really nothing lacking. This "hunger" is what presents itself as all of the changing manifestations of confused experience. But "painted rice cakes" display themselves as this whole bodymind; blue, yellow, red, and white; long, short; round, and square.

    enjoy your meal!

    Gassho


    Taigu

  8. #8
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    It takes more than I have at the moment to over-run the limits of my language. All I can do is talk or be silent and hope it helps.

    Derrida went to extremes, reducing everything to sliding chains of signifiers - which isn't really true either.

    All conception is an attempt to freeze in place something that is not actually graspable.

    Awakening is not a matter of getting, but a matter of letting.

    IMHO.

    Chet

  9. #9

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Awakening is not a matter of getting, but a matter of letting.
    If you're not awakened, how could you possibly know what awakening is a matter of?

    Not you particularly; generally speaking.

  10. #10
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Awakening is not a matter of getting, but a matter of letting.
    If you're not awakened, how could you possible know what awakening is a matter of?

    Not you particularly; generally speaking.
    It's not an on/off switch. Sometimes I'm awake, sometimes I'm asleep.

    As for how I'd know...better to wonder how you'll know.

  11. #11

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Awakening is not a matter of getting, but a matter of letting.
    If you're not awakened, how could you possible know what awakening is a matter of?

    Not you particularly; generally speaking.
    It's not an on/off switch. Sometimes I'm awake, sometimes I'm asleep.

    As for how I'd know...better to wonder how you'll know.
    Me? I don't know.

    But you're right. Better to wonder how I'll know.

  12. #12
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by anista

    Me? I don't know.

    But you're right. Better to wonder how I'll know.
    Even better to wonder if you don't already know.

    Chet

  13. #13

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by anista

    Me? I don't know.

    But you're right. Better to wonder how I'll know.
    Even better to wonder if you don't already know.

    Chet
    One will not necessarily be aware of his/her own enlightenment. Or so I've been told . . .

    Gassho,
    Eika

  14. #14
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    This is where I get, and stay, stuck--looking for something. It's an addiction! I don't know how to stop! I think I've stopped looking for something, think I'm just sitting with what's right here, but then I find that on some subtle level I'm still looking, still waiting... don't even know what I'm waiting for... waiting for Godot... ops:

  15. #15

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Expect nothing, get everything.

    I waited so long for a waitress to return, I forgot what she looked like.

    Why does waiting seem so boring? I have more important things to do than wait

    How dare you make me wait, do you realize how valuable my time is? :x

    waiting is just being. :wink:

    The big problem is thinking when doing and doing when thinking. :roll:

  16. #16

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    This is where I get, and stay, stuck--looking for something. It's an addiction! I don't know how to stop! I think I've stopped looking for something, think I'm just sitting with what's right here, but then I find that on some subtle level I'm still looking, still waiting... don't even know what I'm waiting for... waiting for Godot... ops:
    Yes, it is an addiction and people do not know how to stop. Truly STOP. They have no clue that "true stopping, true stillness" is vibrant moving and ever arriving.

    However, our Shikantaza way of stopping is -not- to give up in resignation, shrug our shoulders in frustration, conclude that practice is pointless and so we might as well surrender to ignorance, or reach for whatever religion seems to promise some "answer".

    Rather, our way is truly stopping because there was never need to go anywhere. (Please see my description of Shikantaza below ... the kind of description by me that old timers around here have heard before, but which apparently is hard to get into our thick skulls).

    Many do not realize that truly yielding, allowing, being at one with and "not knowing" (because there is nothing in need of knowing) give rise to the most profound knowledge.

    Many an old Zen Koan arises from the phrase "Not Knowing" ... which also seems the antithesis to what our Zen Practice is all about. They do not know that true "Not Knowing" is the doorway to "Knowing".

    Simple example (true story): In my youth, I once stood on a mountain and tried to "know" the mountain I was standing on, to really "get into" my hike, to "be one with the moment", to find the "reasons" for my being there, and "the source" of my being alive and the wind against my cheek. The more I searched and searched, and thought and thought, the more distant the mountain, wind and life became from me. As I dropped all that ... suddenly all was clear in surprising (yet obvious all along) ways. Mountain, walking, moment, each weed and blade of grass, wind, life and me one beyond one all along ... just the mountain walking. Practice is enlightenment itself, the mountains walking you and me through the mountains is life. From the Sansuikyo ...

    Priest Daokai of Mt. Furong said to the assembly, "The green mountains are always walking ... " Mountains do not lack the qualities of mountains. Therefore they always abide in ease and always walk. You should examine in detail this quality of the mountains walking. Mountains' walking is just like human walking.


    Something like that.

    Gassho, J


    Let me riff for a second ...

    Strange as it sounds, Shikantaza is not a matter of trying to do something nor of trying not to do something, nor is it a matter really of not trying either of those (although the latter is closer to the mark). It is not a matter of mindfulness, good concentration or some deep Samadhi or Jyana state attained during Zazen, nor is it a matter of the absense of any of those. It is not about attaining Kensho, seeking to attain Kensho, not attaining Kensho or not seeking to attain Kensho. It is just-what-is, and just-what-comes.

    On the other hand, it is not a matter of sitting doing nothing., idly letting anything that happens happen.

    Instead, it might be termed sitting energetically, sincerely, fully dropping all of that ... beyond trying and beyond not trying. It is dedicatedly seeking nothing to seek. Pursuing the goalless goal, shooting the arrow wherein the target was already hit before the arrow was first pulled from the quiver (and at every moment after too, through stringing, release and flying). It is just-what-is, and just-what-comes. It swallows whole subject and object. It is subject and object separately and fully united (beyond even such words as "subject" and "object"). That is why I often compare Zazen to a hike or race up and down a mountain in which the mountain is everything (in fact, it is only the mountain itself which is doing the racing and hiking up the mountain), in which all of the mountain itself -is- the destination, there is no distant "finish line" to "get to", and thus each step is instantaneously a perfect arriving at the winner's tape. Despite that, we do not give up, do not sit down at the starting line, do not jump out of the race (our life) early, do not turn back or waste time.

    It is just the dharma gate of great ease and joy. It is undefiled practice-realization. We simply entrust everything to Zazen (be it to the posture, the breath or to the action itself), as a perfect act ... all that needs to be done in that place and time, the only place to be in that time. We consider simple sitting as no more or less than all the Buddhas and Ancestors, and as all the rest of Reality too, sitting in that moment in/through/perfectly as our sitting. There is not one thing to add to a moment of Zazen, not one thing that needs to or can be taken away.

    And when Zazen is known in this way, the description is true! ... much as seeing the "Venus de Milo" as complete and perfect in her beauty makes it so by the seer's eyes despite (and perhaps because of) her missing limbs and imperfection. On the other hand, the unrealized or unawakened eye, seeing her as merely incomplete and broken makes it so too. Eye of the beholder (an eye that before awakening seems to be just subject, yet is always subject, object, and swallows subject and object too).

    And when all of life is known in this way (for all of life is "Zazen" in its wider sense), then each second of life is a perfect arriving, there is no place to go or to which we need go. Yet, despite having ever and always arrived, we keep living nonetheless, moving forward diligently ... energetically, sincerely, with great dedication and meaning . We are not complacent, self-satisfied, do not think we are wandering in meaningless circles, spinning our wheels. More than "frustrated or numb, with no place to go to", it is better to say, "always right at home" (even when a bit frustrated with life and wandering in its circles, happy or sad).

    Just as life holds everything in it, the sea holds everything in it, the universe holds everything in it, time holds everything that happens in it ... the good the bad, the beautiful the ugly ... Zazen holds all, because a moment of Zazen is this very life, ocean, world, time, God (should we use that name) too ... when truly seen as such.

    Now, if someone were to think I am saying, "All you need to do in Zazen is sit down on one's hindquarters, and that's enough ... just twiddle your thumbs in the 'Cosmic Mudra' and you are Buddha" then, respectfully, I believe they do not get my point. But if they understand, "There is absolutely no place to be, where one needs to be or elsewhere where one can be, than on that Zafu in that moment, and that moment itself is all complete, all-encompassing, always at home, the total doing of All Life, Time and Space fully realized" ... they are closer to the flavor.

    Zazen seeks no change, needs no change, is complete and whole ... and that realization works a revolutionary change.

    Sorry (not really) to keep emphasizing the same things ... but "getting non-getting" is so hard to get. The vitally important purpose of Zazen is that Zazen needs none, for it functions for all purposes.

    Gassho, J

  17. #17
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    This is where I get, and stay, stuck--looking for something. It's an addiction! I don't know how to stop! I think I've stopped looking for something, think I'm just sitting with what's right here, but then I find that on some subtle level I'm still looking, still waiting... don't even know what I'm waiting for... waiting for Godot... ops:
    Yes, it is an addiction and people do not know how to stop. Truly STOP. They have no clue that "true stopping, true stillness" is vibrant moving and ever arriving.

    However, our Shikantaza way of stopping is -not- to give up in resignation, shrug our shoulders in frustration, conclude that practice is pointless and so we might as well surrender to ignorance, or reach for whatever religion seems to promise some "answer". .

    Rather, our way is truly stopping because there was never need to go anywhere. (Please see my description of Shikantaza below ... the kind of things that old times around here have heard before, but which apparently is hard to get into our thick skulls).

    Many do not realize that truly yielding, allowing, being at one with and "not knowing" (because there is nothing in need of knowing) give rise to the most profound knowledge.
    Beautiful explanation, IMHO.

    Many an old Zen Koan arises from the phrase "Not Knowing" ... which also seems the antithesis to what our Zen Practice is all about. They do not know that true "Not Knowing" is the doorway to "Knowing".
    Or being, but yeah...

    Chet

  18. #18

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Many do not realize that truly yielding, allowing, being at one with and "not knowing" (because there is nothing in need of knowing) give rise to the most profound knowledge.

    Many an old Zen Koan arises from the phrase "Not Knowing" ... which also seems the antithesis to what our Zen Practice is all about. They do not know that true "Not Knowing" is the doorway to "Knowing".
    But it is a strange kind of "Knowing" and "Being One With" that our Zen Practice allows, one I described last year in this "ice cream" post in our Beginners" Series (and am planning to reprise for the new series in the coming days). Please take a look ...

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... -fo-3.html

    Being born alive, as a sentient being, is a bit like suddenly finding a lucious ice cream cone in one's hand. Our practice may not tell us much about the name of the president of the "universal" ice cream company that made it, his wife's favorite color, the make and license number of the truck that brought it, the road by which it came, or the chemical composition of its ingredients, or even why it is in our hand (in other words, many of the facts about the universe that science and thinkers are searching for, and about which various religions and philosophies offer their creative explanations ... some perhaps right, most probably not or incomplete, as the mystery continues).

    (the Buddha usually avoided speculation on such "Big Questions" of the universe and, while I like to speculate in my armchair as much as the next fellow ... these speculations are not central to Zen Practice)

    Instead, our Zen Practice will allow us to thoroughly "Know" and be completely "At One" with the cool sweetness of life's taste on our tongue. AHHHH! Delicious!! (even if it gives us an 'ice cream headache' sometimes). The reason and proof of the ice cream is in the very tasting and eating, and so it is for our tasting and living of all of life. That is the best way to truly 'Know' the ice cream through and through ... by the instant taste on one's own tongue.

    What more do you truly need to know and experience in enjoying ice cream than the sweetness and flavor that is the ice cream itself????

    Something like that.

    Gassho, Jundo

  19. #19
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Many do not realize that truly yielding, allowing, being at one with and "not knowing" (because there is nothing in need of knowing) give rise to the most profound knowledge.

    Many an old Zen Koan arises from the phrase "Not Knowing" ... which also seems the antithesis to what our Zen Practice is all about. They do not know that true "Not Knowing" is the doorway to "Knowing".
    But it is a strange kind of "Knowing" and "Being One With" that our Zen Practice allows, one I described last year in this "ice cream" post in our Beginners" Series (and am planning to reprise for the new series in the coming days). Please take a look ...

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... -fo-3.html

    Being born alive, as a sentient being, is a bit like suddenly finding a lucious ice cream cone in one's hand. Our practice may not tell us much about the name of the president of the "universal" ice cream company that made it, his wife's favorite color, the make and license number of the truck that brought it, the road by which it came, or the chemical composition of its ingredients, or even why it is in our hand (in other words, many of the facts about the universe that science and thinkers are searching for, and about which various religions and philosophies offer their creative explanations ... some perhaps right, most probably not or incomplete, as the mystery continues).

    (the Buddha usually avoided speculation on such "Big Questions" of the universe and, while I like to speculate in my armchair as much as the next fellow ... these speculations are not central to Zen Practice)

    Instead, our Zen Practice will allow us to thoroughly "Know" and be completely "At One" with the cool sweetness of life's taste on our tongue. AHHHH! Delicious!! (even if it gives us an 'ice cream headache' sometimes). The reason and proof of the ice cream is in the very tasting and eating, and so it is for our tasting and living of all of life. That is the best way to truly 'Know' the ice cream through and through ... by the instant taste on one's own tongue. What more do you truly need to know and experience in enjoying ice cream than the sweetness and flavor that is the ice cream itself????

    Something like that.

    Gassho, Jundo
    I'm with ya, really.

    Sometimes I just wish people would trust the practice. Reality is a floor so wide, you can't fall off.

    Chet

  20. #20
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    I feel like on some level I've realized that it's not to be found elsewhere, that whatever I have been looking for has always been right here. That it is not to be found in the perfect teacher, the perfect situation, the perfect temple on the most perfect mountain, the most perfect state of mind... it never goes anywhere... and yet I can't see it. I know it is right there, in front of me, around me, in me, with me, but I still can't see it or feel it. So the strange situation is that even though I know there is nowhere to find it, because I cannot see it, I keep looking for it. Is it here yet? What about now? Maybe if I can calm my mind, maybe if I can let go completely, stop striving, just sit... but of course, I cannot "just sit" as long as I am "just sitting" in an effort to find something, see something, make something happen. I see this, I understand it, but it is not enough to break the compulsion. Because I cannot see it, I keep looking for it. I want to see it. Maybe I could let go if I did not want to see it? But I cannot play a game with myself where I pretend I do not want something I want. So here I am stuck with my tail in my mouth, going around and around in a circle, like an ourobouros or this ridiculous dog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-r4OGt9bms[/video]]


  21. #21

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    I feel like on some level I've realized that it's not to be found elsewhere, that whatever I have been looking for has always been right here. That it is not to be found in the perfect teacher, the perfect situation, the perfect temple on the most perfect mountain, the most perfect state of mind... it never goes anywhere... and yet I can't see it. I know it is right there, in front of me, around me, in me, with me, but I still can't see it or feel it. So the strange situation is that even though I know there is nowhere to find it, because I cannot see it, I keep looking for it. Is it here yet? What about now? Maybe if I can calm my mind, maybe if I can let go completely, stop striving, just sit... but of course, I cannot "just sit" as long as I am "just sitting" in an effort to find something, see something, make something happen. I see this, I understand it, but it is not enough to break the compulsion. Because I cannot see it, I keep looking for it. I want to see it. Maybe I could let go if I did not want to see it? But I cannot play a game with myself where I pretend I do not want something I want. So here I am stuck with my tail in my mouth, going around and around in a circle, like an ourobouros or this ridiculous dog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-r4OGt9bms[/video]]

    Yes, you are a dog chasing its tail. Just stop, truly come to a rest, and the tail will be caught.

  22. #22
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    What about this obsession that there is something to see, that I am not seeing? How do I drop it? I try, but "trying" seems worse than useless. I do not know how to let go other than to try to let go, which isn't working very well

  23. #23

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    What about this obsession that there is something to see, that I am not seeing? How do I drop it? I try, but "trying" seems worse than useless. I do not know how to let go other than to try to let go, which isn't working very well
    First, there --is-- something most special to "see" ... although "see" is not quite the right word for it, because it implies that there is a "something" apart from "you" to see. What I describe is so "whole", that it is not "you" tasting the "ice cream" ... but just "icecreaming" (something like that). A perfect lick licking lick.

    Second, the way is just to change your perspective on how this game is played, how the race is run (and where the finish line truly is). See if this description helps (I will also reprise it during our Beginners talks in the coming days) ...

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... fo-24.html

    There is just running a race with no finish line to cross and no place to get to or, said a better way, the finish line fully crossed again and again with each step by step. We do not sit still, do not quit living and moving forward ... yet now with a sense that each step is a total arriving.

    Develop such an attitude, and one is already ever home even while still creeping along the rocky road back to your house. Savor such a perspective, and this imperfect trip is ever perfectly what it is.

    Does that make sense (in a Zenny way)?

  24. #24
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    The longer I'm here, the more I feel I'm in the right place.

    Chet

  25. #25
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
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    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    As Stephanie said, we can't help looking for and chasing something. Or, at any rate, I can't, and I guess the same may be true for others. Something "beyond", some "meaning". That urge, I suspect, is part of who we are. The human animal evolved that way, and the urge to survive and improve one's position was / is presumably useful in the evolutionary struggle for survival, driving us ever on to secure a better food supply, a safer place to sleep, a better mate, a bigger car with shinier bits on, and so on. And, faced with what we perceive as our own impending extinction, that urge doesn't just give up, but carries on looking for a way out, a form of survival, a surer place in heaven, a better awakening (also with shinier bits on) and so on.

    I'm not sure that this urge will ever "go" somewhere, though as I get older and more tired it maybe gets a bit less urgent (leading to the temptation to mistake tiredness for wisdom!). Any more than the urge to eat when I need food will go away; again, we evolved that way. Or at least I did, especially when faced with chocolate. Sometimes I think that the urge to find "meaning" or "awakening" is just that, an urge to find meaning. It's not "right" or "wrong". It's no more to be "let go" of or fought against than the urge to eat when hungry. It's just part of the landscape, of what "I" call "me". Perhaps the thing is not to mistake that urge for anything real, or to make the mistake of thinking that because we have evolved with that urge this somehow tells us anything about whether there is or is not a "meaning", or that it could either lead us to or stop us awakening. The urge is there, so one accepts it and enjoys the ride, but one doesn't therefore fall into the trap of thinking that there's a destination to be reached at the end of the ride, because in fact the whole of the ride is the destination, starting right here, starting with that urge even.

    Gassho

    Martin

  26. #26

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    This urge is the universe itself as manifested thru your view of life and death. Even this has to be dropped. But I don't know, I just try to keep a just sitting mind all the time. Everything else seems to be speculation.
    /Rich

  27. #27

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    The urge is there, so one accepts it and enjoys the ride, but one doesn't therefore fall into the trap of thinking that there's a destination to be reached at the end of the ride, because in fact the whole of the ride is the destination, starting right here, starting with that urge even.
    Thank you for joining us on the ride, Martin.

  28. #28
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    As Stephanie said, we can't help looking for and chasing something. Or, at any rate, I can't, and I guess the same may be true for others. Something "beyond", some "meaning". That urge, I suspect, is part of who we are. The human animal evolved that way, and the urge to survive and improve one's position was / is presumably useful in the evolutionary struggle for survival, driving us ever on to secure a better food supply, a safer place to sleep, a better mate, a bigger car with shinier bits on, and so on. And, faced with what we perceive as our own impending extinction, that urge doesn't just give up, but carries on looking for a way out, a form of survival, a surer place in heaven, a better awakening (also with shinier bits on) and so on.
    Reducing it to biology or evolution does not eliminate it as being at the core of our fundamental misunderstanding of reality. Natural /= 'correct'.

    I'm not sure that this urge will ever "go" somewhere, though as I get older and more tired it maybe gets a bit less urgent (leading to the temptation to mistake tiredness for wisdom!). Any more than the urge to eat when I need food will go away; again, we evolved that way. Or at least I did, especially when faced with chocolate. Sometimes I think that the urge to find "meaning" or "awakening" is just that, an urge to find meaning. It's not "right" or "wrong". It's no more to be "let go" of or fought against than the urge to eat when hungry.
    It will be there whether you drop it or not - the question is, are you investing your identity in it? And is it an accurate perception of what you actually experience?


    It's just part of the landscape, of what "I" call "me". Perhaps the thing is not to mistake that urge for anything real, or to make the mistake of thinking that because we have evolved with that urge this somehow tells us anything about whether there is or is not a "meaning", or that it could either lead us to or stop us awakening. The urge is there, so one accepts it and enjoys the ride, but one doesn't therefore fall into the trap of thinking that there's a destination to be reached at the end of the ride, because in fact the whole of the ride is the destination, starting right here, starting with that urge even.

    Gassho

    Martin
    And here's where you redeem yourself, IMHO!

    Gassho.

    Chet

  29. #29

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Thanks for this, guys.

    Don't have anything mindblowing to say, just thanks.

    Mandy

  30. #30
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Manatee
    Thanks for this, guys.

    Don't have anything mindblowing to say, just thanks.

    Mandy
    Holy shit, Mandy - you're alive.

    Wondered what happened to you.

    Chet

  31. #31

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Just lurking over here

    Lurking and sitting.

    M

  32. #32
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
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    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...


    Thank you for joining us on the ride, Martin.
    Thank you for having me on this ride with you, Jundo.

    Gassho

    Martin

  33. #33

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Thank you for this teaching! I have experienced something like this myself. There is a large park in WV called Coopers Rock and it has many trails that you can hike. There have been one or two occasions when walking with my wife and kids, that I just sort of stopped walking and closed my eyes, took a deep breath and felt whole. I felt together and whole with the trail, the woods, the rocks, the air, the insects, my wife and kids, the world at large. It was a very profound moment. I think it was probably the first time that I understood that getting to the other end of the trail was missing the trail itself. Not only that it was missing everything while on the trail. The goal I had in mind of "get to the end of the trail" stopped me from "just being on the trail at that moment". I heard it once exclaimed as "be here now." And I try to follow that when ever possible, good or bad, non-good or non-bad, being-there-then, or not-being-anywhere-anywhen" No matter what, I try to remember back to those moments on those trails where everything was always just as it was meant to be.

  34. #34
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    Thank you for this teaching! I have experienced something like this myself. There is a large park in WV called Coopers Rock and it has many trails that you can hike. There have been one or two occasions when walking with my wife and kids, that I just sort of stopped walking and closed my eyes, took a deep breath and felt whole. I felt together and whole with the trail, the woods, the rocks, the air, the insects, my wife and kids, the world at large. It was a very profound moment. I think it was probably the first time that I understood that getting to the other end of the trail was missing the trail itself. Not only that it was missing everything while on the trail. The goal I had in mind of "get to the end of the trail" stopped me from "just being on the trail at that moment". I heard it once exclaimed as "be here now." And I try to follow that when ever possible, good or bad, non-good or non-bad, being-there-then, or not-being-anywhere-anywhen" No matter what, I try to remember back to those moments on those trails where everything was always just as it was meant to be.
    Yesterday's realization is about as useful as yesterday's newspaper.

    How about now? And now?

    Chet

  35. #35

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Chet,

    Well, that's the thing. The knowledge stayed with me, and the memory has stayed with me, but the experience, I find, is often few and far between. Perhaps it is due to the stress I am typically under, and in those moments I was more able to shrug it off. Now, I have super briefly experienced it again while sitting zazen, which is more than I could say before I started practicing. So, while the information in yesterday's news paper might no longer be relevent, now that I am familiar with the layout and format, perhaps I will be better able to recognize it in the future.


    Gassho,
    Christopher

  36. #36

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    Thank you for this teaching! I have experienced something like this myself. There is a large park in WV called Coopers Rock and it has many trails that you can hike. There have been one or two occasions when walking with my wife and kids, that I just sort of stopped walking and closed my eyes, took a deep breath and felt whole. I felt together and whole with the trail, the woods, the rocks, the air, the insects, my wife and kids, the world at large. It was a very profound moment. I think it was probably the first time that I understood that getting to the other end of the trail was missing the trail itself. Not only that it was missing everything while on the trail. The goal I had in mind of "get to the end of the trail" stopped me from "just being on the trail at that moment". I heard it once exclaimed as "be here now." And I try to follow that when ever possible, good or bad, non-good or non-bad, being-there-then, or not-being-anywhere-anywhen" No matter what, I try to remember back to those moments on those trails where everything was always just as it was meant to be.
    ..........
    Well, that's the thing. The knowledge stayed with me, and the memory has stayed with me, but the experience, I find, is often few and far between. Perhaps it is due to the stress I am typically under, and in those moments I was more able to shrug it off. Now, I have super briefly experienced it again while sitting zazen, which is more than I could say before I started practicing. So, while the information in yesterday's news paper might no longer be relevent, now that I am familiar with the layout and format, perhaps I will be better able to recognize it in the future.


    Gassho,
    Christopher
    A perspective of our Soto tradition which many seem unusual compared to the emphasis in many other schools of meditation is that we do not necessarily take such experiences as something to run toward, or run away from for that matter. Better said, we cherish and welcome and learn from such moments when there ... then cherish and welcome the moments when something else is there. There are profound insights to be gained in such experiences, but we do not remain there nor seek such "peak experiences" out. It is all part of life's mountain hike ... with vistas constantly changing ...

    In our Soto Zen Practice, such states and experiences are but one perspective, one observation point, on a long hike on the mountain. In our philosophy, such experiences are not the "goal", just a precious and useful reference. Some folks reach it in deep experiences on the Zafu, some in small tastes and step by step realization, some in a bit of both, some while literally hiking through the mountains! It is all a lifelong hike up a mountain where, every so often, we get to a vantage point where the trees and rocks clear away and we can see the wide valley and how all is connected and whole. Perhaps we get to a peak where all is visible in all directions, and even the mountain drops away. You know the old saying: "In the beginning, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers; later on, mountains are not mountains and rivers are not rivers; and still later, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers again.

    I will use another example ... In fathering a child, there is nothing to compare with those "peak" moments when you first hear of the pregnancy, or first hold the newborn child in your arms. Yet, the true riches and lessons of parenthood are to be found in the whole, long trip, the ups and downs of what is to come ... all sacred, each a jewel in its way.

    So, as Chet said ...

    Yesterday's realization is about as useful as yesterday's newspaper.

    How about now? And now?
    This is true. Every moment is a realization, but it may not seem like the kind of "revelation" that we sometimes revel in in those peak experiences.

    Is my point clear? I have a little flu today, so a little fuzzy in the head. Gassho, J

  37. #37

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    Thank you for this teaching! I have experienced something like this myself. There is a large park in WV called Coopers Rock and it has many trails that you can hike. There have been one or two occasions when walking with my wife and kids, that I just sort of stopped walking and closed my eyes, took a deep breath and felt whole. I felt together and whole with the trail, the woods, the rocks, the air, the insects, my wife and kids, the world at large. It was a very profound moment. I think it was probably the first time that I understood that getting to the other end of the trail was missing the trail itself. Not only that it was missing everything while on the trail. The goal I had in mind of "get to the end of the trail" stopped me from "just being on the trail at that moment". I heard it once exclaimed as "be here now." And I try to follow that when ever possible, good or bad, non-good or non-bad, being-there-then, or not-being-anywhere-anywhen" No matter what, I try to remember back to those moments on those trails where everything was always just as it was meant to be.
    Hi CM
    All of life is just Coopers Rock, not just in the Spring, but Summer, Fall and Winter, too. In each of the seasons the perfections remains even in the frigid days of a West Virginia winter morning. Your experience was just that but now you must move on or stay in the frozen frame of your special moment. This frozen frame may become your delusion or ideal so let it go, it's over with. What's is very important on this special journey of yours is to pay heed to something very, very important, Jundo had to say. Some things said are like popsickle sticks in a raging sea storm, always finding a way to rise to the top. Anyway Jundo said, " EACH SECOND OF LIFE IS A PERFECT ARRIVING, NO PLACE TO GO OR NEED TO GO." Stay with this and sit with this for a while. Look between, around, under, and behind the words. Gassho Shogen

  38. #38
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    Chet,

    Well, that's the thing. The knowledge stayed with me, and the memory has stayed with me, but the experience, I find, is often few and far between. Perhaps it is due to the stress I am typically under, and in those moments I was more able to shrug it off. Now, I have super briefly experienced it again while sitting zazen, which is more than I could say before I started practicing. So, while the information in yesterday's news paper might no longer be relevent, now that I am familiar with the layout and format, perhaps I will be better able to recognize it in the future.


    Gassho,
    Christopher
    There was nothing 'special' about the experience you had. Enlightenment is THIS experience right now, no matter how confused you are about it.

    Chet

  39. #39

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by zak

    Hi CM
    All of life is just Coopers Rock, not just in the Spring, but Summer, Fall and Winter, too. In each of the seasons the perfections remains even in the frigid days of a West Virginia winter morning. Your experience was just that but now you must move on .....
    Oh, I care for that image. Thank you, CM.

    Heck, I go so far as to say that the life-self-world hiking trail is wondrous and a miracle when it looks like this ...



    or like this (where did the hiker go?) ...



    ... and when it looks more like this ... all the trail, reject none of the trip ...



    Of course, on can still learn to see through to the river and mountain which are always ever still there, never truly hidden .. no place for the dust and trash to alight ...

    As well, one can and should do a bit of this, at each moment as one can ... to help reveal the trail in our lives ...



    Though river and mountain and you may be hidden in a pile of trash, they are never hidden.

  40. #40

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    " Joy for the awakened" Gassho Zak

  41. #41

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    There was nothing 'special' about the experience you had. Enlightenment is THIS experience right now, no matter how confused you are about it.
    I think Chet might have just "Koan-ed" me. I'm begining to see that I've been trying to put a square peg in a round hole, trying to make enlightenment or peace or wholeness fit into a idea I had of what enlightenment or peace or wholeness should be. But it's allways right there, isn't it? Where ever or what ever I'm doing, that's really it. That's what you meant by "stop looking for it", right? By looking for it, I keep thinking it's something particular. But when I stop looking for it and I am just wholey there in the moment, it will find me, and even if it's completely not what I thought it was it will be completely clear to me. Even if it changes every moment of every day, in that moment in that way, that's what it is. Even if that moment is, say, having a meeting with my boss over my processes, that experience, being there in that moment is all I really need to be. It's all I really can be.

  42. #42

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    There was nothing 'special' about the experience you had. Enlightenment is THIS experience right now, no matter how confused you are about it.
    I think Chet might have just "Koan-ed" me. I'm begining to see that I've been trying to put a square peg in a round hole, trying to make enlightenment or peace or wholeness fit into a idea I had of what enlightenment or peace or wholeness should be. But it's allways right there, isn't it? Where ever or what ever I'm doing, that's really it. That's what you meant by "stop looking for it", right? By looking for it, I keep thinking it's something particular. But when I stop looking for it and I am just wholey there in the moment, it will find me, and even if it's completely not what I thought it was it will be completely clear to me. Even if it changes every moment of every day, in that moment in that way, that's what it is. Even if that moment is, say, having a meeting with my boss over my processes, that experience, being there in that moment is all I really need to be. It's all I really can be.
    CM
    YES without the "Me" and its attachments. Zak

  43. #43

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    By looking for it, I keep thinking it's something particular.
    One finds things by finding them, not by looking for them. (Another of those kind of ideas I thought I would never say)

    Gassho,
    Bill

  44. #44
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Rochester, NY, USA
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    4,878

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eika
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    By looking for it, I keep thinking it's something particular.
    One finds things by finding them, not by looking for them. (Another of those kind of ideas I thought I would never say)

    Gassho,
    Bill
    Indeed...that thought is contained in my signature line (from Aitken Roshi) just below this post.

  45. #45

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    But when I stop looking for it and I am just wholey there in the moment, it will find me,
    Yes, and sometimes it won't.

    (which doesn't mean it is not always 'there' by the way ... just that sometimes it will not come to your mind and eyes when you want it to come).

    Where did this idea start that once someone got "Enlightened", the "Lights" had to stay on 24/7 for all the rest of timeless time? And where did the idea come that "Enlightenment" is a fixed state, and not a constantly changing dance to fit each moment and circumstance (a dance in which sometimes we stand tall, and sometimes we fall, sometimes we are graceful and sometimes not ... even though always there is reality and ultimately no place to fall)?

    Perhaps part of really getting "Enlightenment" is not needing to "feel enlightened" in every situation (free of that need as much as any desire) ... and just sometimes, somehow getting on with life, even when life is a pure pain in the ass (as life will be sometimes, guaranteed ... even for Buddhas and Ancestors, I believe). THAT strikes me as True Freedom, and a realistic "at homeness" and "oneness beyond oneness" with life. One is so "In Tune", so "Happy & At One With" life As-It-Is ... that one does not even require any longer to always feel, every day "happy" "in tune" and "at one with life"! Being fully in tune, harmonious, copacetic, undivided and A-ok with sometimes feeling each of those ways, sometimes not. It is like some Wise inner sense laughing at the small self when and as that small self feels thoroughly "blue and broken-hearted". It is like being so in love with something or someone, so content and in union with some person or situation, that we no long demand anything from it than that it be "just as it is". And that is Beautiful (even when beautiful sometimes, old and cantankerous and ugly sometimes)!

    Yes, there will be times of bliss and joy and union and harmony ... and we savor those. And there will be times of pain and craziness and confusion and more life craziness ... and (now free of any demands) we can savor those too, dropping all thought of what "me, myself and I" demands of the situation.! When up to your neck in the trash pile, "Just Be There"! When the garbage stinks, do not pretend it is perfume ... but neither demand perfume (even as you might try to take it outside ... acceptance-without-acceptance, at once!). Even the stinky garbage is just what it is, a jewel in its way (even as we work to clean it where we can ... cause it stinks.)

    Now, if you think I am saying "just resign yourself to life", you miss my point. If you hear me saying, "just allow life on its own terms, and let life be life", you are closer to my meaning. Dance with life.

    Look, a Buddha or any Ancestor, Jesus or any Saint dies and ... century by century ... those in the religion (looking from afar at what those attainments actually were on the part of their "religious heroes") start to imagine and fantasize and exaggerate their wonderful nature into something super-human. What was merely "Great, Profound and Wonderful" must become "Miraculous, Wondrous and Ridiculous". The result is called an "hagiography"

    A hagiography is a biography, usually of a saint or saintly person, and usually written to idealize their life or justify their sainthood. In other words, a hagiography is usually a positive presentation of a life, rather than an objective or critical biography. When using a hagiography as a research source, the purpose and style must be taken into consideration, as the writer probably omitted negative information and exaggerated or even created positive information about the subject of the hagiography. Lives of the saints are typically hagiographies.
    Now, I have no doubt that Buddha and the Ancestors, Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi too, were stupendous human beings. But, Jesus, give me people who were flesh and blood, which is who and what they probably were! I very much appreciate the scattered stories where Buddha suffered from a backache or diarrhea from something he ate for lunch, like the rest of us ...

    Speaking of life being a "pain in the ass", the Buddha had a bloody big pain just before he died ...
    The Mahaparinibbana Sutta, from the Long Discourse of Pali Tipitaka, ... paints two conflicting personalities of the Buddha, one overriding the other. The first personality was that of a miracle worker who beamed himself and his entourage of monks across the Ganges River (D II, 89), who had a divine vision of the settlement of gods on earth (D II, 87), who could live until the end of the world on condition that someone invite him to do so (D II, 103), who determined the time of his own death (D II, 105), and whose death was glorified by the shower of heavenly flowers and sandal powder and divine music (D II, 138 ).

    The other personality was that of an old man, who grumbled about his failing health and growing senility (D II, 120), who almost lost his life because of a severe pain during his last retreat at Vesali (D II, 100), and who was forced to come to terms with his unexpected illness and death after consuming a special cuisine offered by his generous host. These two personalities take turns emerging in different parts of the narrative.

    http://www.lankalibrary.com/Bud/buddha_death.htm
    How truly Glorious it is to be at Fathomless, Abiding Peace with a life which is sometimes peaceful, sometimes turbulent and chaotic! Letting it all be, allowing the "self's" demands for "peace and joy" to drop away! How Joyous to be One with a life sometimes joyful, sometimes heartrending and filled with ordinary human loss and grief. At one with life as-it-is, on life's terms (not yours ... although when the barrier come down on "self" and "other", it no longer is a difference). If one reads between the lines of the Nirvana Sutra, one can find such a Buddha ...

    Not very appealing to me is the part of the story wherein the Buddha claims the ability to live forever (and not merely in a way we all can, all of us, beyond small concerns and thoughts of "life" and "death") ...
    3. And the Blessed One said: "Whosoever, Ananda, has developed, practiced, employed, strengthened, maintained, scrutinized, and brought to perfection the four constituents of psychic power could, if he so desired, remain throughout a world-period or until the end of it. 21 The Tathagata, Ananda, has done so. Therefore the Tathagata could, if he so desired, remain throughout a world-period or until the end of it."
    Instead, I appreciate the Buddha resigned to his human fate ... at Peace with it all ...

    "Now I am frail, Ananda, old, aged, far gone in years. This is my eightieth year, and my life is spent. Even as an old cart, Ananda, is held together with much difficulty, so the body of the Tathagata is kept going only with supports. It is, Ananda, only when the Tathagata, disregarding external objects, with the cessation of certain feelings, attains to and abides in the signless concentration of mind, 19 that his body is more comfortable.

    33. "Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.


    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    and even if it's completely not what I thought it was it will be completely clear to me.
    It may be completely clear to you that it need not always and ever be completely clear.

    Sometimes, we can appreciate the sweetness of the rose, and of this life, without fully comprehending its origins ... and despite the frequent thorns.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    Even if it changes every moment of every day, in that moment in that way, that's what it is.

    ... that experience, being there in that moment is all I really need to be. It's all I really can be.
    And you will always be there "in that moment" ... even without always feeling so (heck, where else could one be?). But being with how one feels "in that moment", and not needing that moment to be some other way is truly being at one with that moment, being "in the moment". Feeling 'out of the moment' in a certain moment, yet wishing to instead feel some other way (such as "in the moment") is truly being out of the moment, out of your life.

    Does that make sense in a Zenny way?

    Get your "self" out of the picture, and let life just be life ... no gap, no you apart from life.

    Gassho, Jundo

  46. #46

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Someone over at ZFI (where I also posted part of the above) wrote a wondrous response, I believe, to the portion that says ...


    "Now, if you think I am saying "just resign yourself to life", you miss my point. If you hear me saying, "just allow life on its own terms, and let life be life", you are closer to my meaning. Dance with life."


    He wrote ...
    accord, accredit, admit, approve, authorize, be big, be game for, bear, brook, certify, commission, consent, empower, endorse, endure, favor, free up, give a blank check, give carte blanche, give leave, give permission, give the go-ahead, give the green light, go along with, grant permission, hear of, hold with, indulge, let, license, live with, oblige, okay, pass, pass on, put up with, recognize, release, sanction, sit still for, stand, suffer, support, take kindly to, tolerate, warrant

    instead of

    abandon, abdicate, bail out, bow out, capitulate, cease work, cede, demit, divorce oneself from, drop, drop out, end service, fold, forgo, forsake, give notice, give up the ship, hand in resignation, hand over, hang it up, leave, quit, relinquish, renounce, retire, secede, separate oneself from, sign off, stand aside, stand down, step down, surrender, terminate, throw in the towel, turn over, vacate, waive, walk out, wash hands of
    Yep in deedy!

    "Allowing" does not mean we must be passive and, as a matter of fact, how we dance that dance with each step and turn makes how it goes.

  47. #47

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    And I want to simplify my whole essay above just to this ...

    Be completely, thoroughly, unresistingly to-the-marrow at one with the whole hike one is on... all the ups and downs ... including the poison ivy and the mosquitoes and the times one wishes one were anywhere but on that damn trail.

    (How? Shikantaza! Getting the self out of the way of one self.)

  48. #48

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Does that make sense in a Zenny way?
    It does. I am starting to see. It is tough, though. When the kids go nuts and the wife is frazzled and I am stressed, I find it hard to just be there with it, instead of becomming distracted by the negative aspects of it. I know that they will be there, and stress is part of life, and that the stressfull part of life is perfect the way it is, when it is, and when things are mellow and nice that that is also perfect, when it is, and that when things change that's perfect too, because how else could it be? but I tend to get caught up in the emotion of being stressed. I'll need to sit some more, lately I haven't been because I am sick, and since I have the immune system of a lab rat, when I get sick, I get the plague, so I am a tad misserable (which is perfect the way it is, as it is, when it is). I know that all of life, in each moment is the most complete when-where-why-how it can be, no matter what that is. And I know that experiencing that completeness is sacred (even when it sucks) and perfect too, but I will need to practice the non practice of getting over my self which doesn't exist. I don't expect that I will reach some plane of existance where I am blissful all the time, but the idea of being in harmony with the now that I am experiencing, whether happy or sad, pleasent or rainy-Wednesday-in-November-with-no-jacket unpleasent, is sometimes very difficult.

  49. #49

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    Does that make sense in a Zenny way?
    It does. I am starting to see. It is tough, though. When the kids go nuts and the wife is frazzled and I am stressed, I find it hard to just be there with it, instead of becomming distracted by the negative aspects of it.
    This is why what we follow is called "Practice" ... Kids going nuts are Buddha, frazzled wife is a Great Teacher.

    We live/sit with things "just as they are" ... and that is Freedom.

    I know that they will be there, and stress is part of life, and that the stressfull part of life is perfect the way it is, when it is, and when things are mellow and nice that that is also perfect, when it is, and that when things change that's perfect too, because how else could it be? but I tend to get caught up in the emotion of being stressed.
    You might just find that being so "allowing" of life that you can even "just be" with stressful situations truly helps your stress! Being so at ease that one does not even worry about being stressed some of the day or about some things is the ultimate Peace! :shock:

    As I often say, Zazen will not fix your flat tire, cure your cancer or even your acne or broken marriage (although it may help you deal with each better). What our way will surely do is help you embrace each, go with the flow, allow and be ok with those parts of life (even though still sometimes scary, sometimes stressful, sometimes hard). We "Go With The Flow".

    In fact, we can lose our small self to such a degree ... there remains just the Flowing ...

    I'll need to sit some more, lately I haven't been because I am sick,
    When sick, just be sick. Cough cough.

    And I know that experiencing that completeness is sacred (even when it sucks) and perfect too, but I will need to practice the non practice of getting over my self which doesn't exist.
    Just Sit ... (or when sick, recline) ... dropping all demands, likes and dislikes, resistance, judgments (all the demands of the "self" on the world). Just Sit ... putting the "self" out of a job for a time.

    That is our Practice.

    I don't expect that I will reach some plane of existance where I am blissful all the time, but the idea of being in harmony with the now that I am experiencing, whether happy or sad, pleasent or rainy-Wednesday-in-November-with-no-jacket unpleasent, is sometimes very difficult.
    Yes. If it were easy, there would be no reason for places like this Sangha. 8)

    But, ya know, it is surprisingly not so hard when it sinks in. Kind of like riding a bike ... looks hard before you can.

    Look ... there are many kinds of meditation and religions that promise Everlasting Bliss, Health, Psychic Powers, Love, Money In Your Bank Account, a life never disturbed ... no acne, cancer, flat tires. If you want bliss, I know a pusher on the corner who will get you there quick.

    Go there is you want that.

    Here, all that is offered is is Oneness, Wholeness with life As It Is. That's a Peace Sublime, Total Flowing.

    (but, hey, realistically ... I ask you not to even need that 24/7) 8) Sometimes we flow with circumstances ... sometimes we kinda get knocked our of our boat. :roll:

    (ever read my alligator story? True story.)

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... r-zen.html

    Gassho, J

  50. #50

    Re: Sympathy for the awakened...

    I used to live in N.C. where we had plenty of the little beasties. Awesome story, great parable. I will remember it. Thank you.

    Gassho,

    Christopher

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