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Thread: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

  1. #1

    What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Anyone else read this?

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=16810

    Of course, I disagree. I know that my understanding has improved BECAUSE of
    my ONLINE teacher and ONLINE sangha. Where would I be without it? Does
    she take into consideration those of us who live in remote areas where there are
    NO teachers? What are we supposed to do, pack up our lives and hit the road with
    our families in search of a teacher? Oh, but then the Dharma would be unpractical
    and no longer the living dharma. Ok, so I'm flapping at the mouth now. But I
    would be interested to hear others' opinions about her statement and about how
    Treeleaf has improved, wait, not the right word, enriched their practice
    and understanding of the dharma.

    gassho,
    ghop

  2. #2
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Thanks for the heads up, I don't usually visit Shambhala Sunspace from work. Just posted several comments there :mrgreen:

    I went on at length there, but in short here: she's reacting to an idea in her head about what an Internet sangha might be, rather than the actual reality or experience. Same error we all make again and again. Same error this practice helps us see and free ourselves from.

    The actual experience of Treeleaf is that it changes lives, inspires devotion and dedication to Dharma and zazen, and helps people past stuck places in practice.

    I think Jundo knows me better than any teacher I've met face to face.

    There's always going to be pundits with opinions and people vying for status. Fortunately, none of that has anything to do with realization, or freedom.

  3. #3

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I have not been here long, so I cannot speak of Treeleaf directly as to what goes on here (so far, so good!). But I do have a few humble opinions. First of all, a Sangha is important. It allows you the support that you are, in fact, not in this alone. So in that sense, have a sangha and a teacher at ready access is a good thing; we never have to go without!

    But that may be an issue. If we never go without a teacher only a click away we may never take the opportunity to search for a teacher we can meet face to face. Sometimes it is impossible, yes, and no one is asking anyone else to pack up and move for the sake of a teacher (You may as well ordain if doing that ) but sometimes that quest, that adventure can allow us to have a greater sense of the journey. That is was Shikantaza is all about, right? Not the goal, the journey.

    I also think that there is something to be said about the difference in a face-to-face meeting rather than one over video chat. Whenever I had an interview with a teacher face to face there is a certain amount of wonderful terror that occurs because that person is able to feel your emotions and your "vibe" I suppose. Smell the sweat, the fear, or the joy that pervades your body while interacting. The same goes with the student, the teacher's vibe must also be felt. To get anywhere we need to feel that, IMHO, we need to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable with a teacher because we've spent too much time already with the "I know that, I know this, I am this person, etc..." A new face to face encounter can uncover deeper feelings that we ever knew existed. But I digress...

    I truly respect those who have created and participated in this community. It has proved thus far to be a great resource and community for support in the practice of Soto Zen when, really, there isn't a community nearby that offers the same resources. But! I cannot, so far, see this as being my only form of a Sangha because I see myself falling into stagnation, returning to this over adventure to find a face to face teacher. Adventure is important I feel.

    Fundamentally though, life and Zazen are the true teachers

  4. #4

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    she's reacting to an idea in her head about what an Internet sangha might be
    Hi!
    Yep! I think it is difficult for people to understand what is really going on in here... but they think they don't need to know... they can imagine it *sarcastic voice* ! And finally, they just don't know!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    The actual experience of Treeleaf is that it changes lives, inspires devotion and dedication to Dharma and zazen
    Yes, it does! :wink:
    edit: I just wanted to add a word about the fact that Treeleaf is more open and transparent than most Sanghas I know.
    I mean, the totality of our discussion is being freely accessible to ANYONE via the Internet. We accept discussion about every subject with everyone, and the threads resulting from these discussions are open and accessible to anyone on the forum. ...
    What about that...
    What if most Sanghas had a place where every word said publicly by their members are kept?


    gassho,
    Jinyu

  5. #5
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    This is one of those things that seems like it shouldn't work, but does.

    Treeleaf has inspired me to:

    Actually converse about Zen with other people who are not starting at rock bottom.

    Begin a regular daily practice again after 12 years off.

    Allowed me to regularly interact with transmitted teachers.

    Get some major misunderstandings (of mine) corrected.

    Stay in a place where I'm accepted even though I'm sometimes disruptive.

    Thank Sidd for Treeleaf.

    Chet

  6. #6

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    :lol: I defended Karen when she was attacked by a real Zen demon on the net - lets hope that demon doesn't get hold of Treeleaf!
    After a brief chat where I was disappointed that compassion for the world didn't enter into her way of thinking, I reflected that for many Zen is a pursuit of the comfortable middle classes, or at least relatively financially secure folks. While this is by no means limited to Zen, I think many of these folks don't want to throw themselves into reality in its totality. They get to some stage and then build a model of "how it should be" and then live even more comfortably with that new nice belief set.

    Having met a number of people that have had kensho like experiences (similar to one of Stephanie's friends) who had never sat meditation in any form I find it startling that everybody gets so defensive over "how things should be". We say that reality is always here- it just needs to be seen. Zen practice is therefore a skilful means to help in that quest. Similarly a book, or word, a scene can all lead to awakening. A sangha might be a more fruitful place for many tho....online or face to face.

    That post just shows how we need to keep throwing everything away :lol:

    BTW Nice responses Stephanie

    All the best and long live Treeleaf and other experiments in new forms of community.

    Rich

  7. #7

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    To be sure, online teachings can inspire and provoke. But they do not teach, except in an intellectual way. The point of our practice is to literally move beyond limited and ego-bound intellectual understanding, to follow the pointer outside words and letters. Only then do we enter true mind and see our inherent Buddha nature.
    But all teaching is intellectual if the student is only listening at a zendo. All teachers teach at an intellectual level. I think the point she may be missing is that the PRACTICE is up to us. A teacher can NOT practice for you even if he standing on your shoes or sitting on your cushion.

  8. #8

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    As far as TL, the closest "real" sangha (teacher, zendo, etc) is about five hours from me. TL is the closest to me to being in an actual building in Austin visiting a teacher. TL has been a great source and w/o it would make my Buddhist practice hard to follow-through. I still thank the day that I saw the ad & thought "This is crazy! What's that all about??"....... :mrgreen:

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I read the article a couple of days ago. I can only speak for myself. Before Treeleaf, I read lots of books, thought about sitting and didn't sit, now I sit regularly. I feel I've learned more here in the last 2 or 3 years then I did in the previous 10 years of reading. It's not for everyone but neither is anyplace else.

    The online sangha debate seems to crop up every so often, cause a bit of a stir and then just kind of go away until the next time. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide whether or not it works for them.

    Ron

  10. #10

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Hi.

    She says it the best herself, quoting in the beginning:
    A special transmission outside the scriptures;
    No dependence on words and letters;
    Direct pointing to the mind of man;
    Seeing into one’s nature and attaining Buddhahood.
    – Bodhidharma
    What else than that are we doing here?
    And (in a weird way quoting myself)

    Whether it's a teacher in the real-virtual or virtual-real world, does it matter?
    If we drop all concepts of i/you, here/there, real/virtual where is the teacher?

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

    I am here as is my teacher

  11. #11

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Well said, Fugen.

    Gassho
    Taylor

  12. #12

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I just watched the most recent "Sit-a-long". Jundo, you must be inside my head! Your words were to the point, inspiring, and beautiful. I occasionally find myself skeptical of things like this, then I am hit with a feeling that transcends skepticism and thought. Experience. Just an experience of openness and peace. As I said before, I have respect for this sangha and faith in the teachers. Thank you for not letting walls stand because of tradition but also for not "tossing the baby out with the bath water" Thanks to all!

    Gassho

    Taylor

  13. #13

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    But that may be an issue. If we never go without a teacher only a click away we may never take the opportunity to search for a teacher we can meet face to face. Sometimes it is impossible, yes, and no one is asking anyone else to pack up and move for the sake of a teacher (You may as well ordain if doing that ) but sometimes that quest, that adventure can allow us to have a greater sense of the journey. That is was Shikantaza is all about, right? Not the goal, the journey.
    Learn from many teachers, learn from each other, learn from oneself, sit with many Sangha. I do.

    I mean, one can have a main group of "homies" that one hangs with, and a certain "way we roll" on the Zafu (How's the 'J-Masters'' attempt to be down with the lingo? :roll: ), but learn from many Sangha and teachers ... from the rocks and trees. Sit in a building, sit online, sit on a mountain ... sit as a mountain.

    Each experience is different, each day is different and changing even in the "same place" (it is never the same place as just a moment before).

    I think it is important to sit in a room with someone and smell the sweat! I think it is also good to sit here and have contact and intimacy with the other senses ... transcending the senses too.

    This is not an "either/or" proposition.

    Gassho, J

  14. #14

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Hi.

    The question everybody seem to circle here is "what is a teacher?"
    Answer that one first.

    Here's one answer
    I often get the question "What is a teacher?"

    A teacher is "something that teaches something to something".

    It can be a teacher teaching a student how to read or sit.
    It can be a stone teaching you not to kick it because it will hurt if you do.
    It can be nothing teaching nothing to nothing.
    It can even be me teaching you what a teacher is.
    http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/w ... acher.html

    But what's your answer?

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  15. #15
    Senior Member Silva's Avatar
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    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Karen Maezen Miller sounds like a kitten that has got herself mixed up in a ball of wool!
    Bravo Stéphanie for your comments you really said everything that had to be said!
    I feel deeply sorry for the
    ridiculous straw man to knock down
    , poor man, getting knocked down for his not complying to her deluded ideas of a teacher, whislt she ignores or perhaps has clumsily ommited to talk about his acts. Was he good or bad we will never know.
    What we do know now is how the lady is struggling with delusions, how she's fundamentally in the same bag as us all, good teacher or no good teacher. It would be a good idea to invite her to the Sangha so that together we can unravel this ball.
    I learn so much from all your experiences, because your all talking about life here: how you sit, what you do during the day, what you read, what you feel, what you worry and so much mre...but all in the awareness of Dharma...
    I learn from Jundo and Taigu that zazen is not just a sitting experience but can be extended to a 24hr whatever I'm doing, including sleep, experience.
    Nobody told me or taught me that before and Iv'e not yet read it in a book.
    But how would I know anything anyway as I haven't got a teacher!!! ( I'm open to offers!)
    I don't think my learning anything depends on a teacher but on my own will to be taught, to observe, to listen, to taste...

    Madame Karen Maezen Miller, it would be lovely to meet you, won't you come over here and have a cup of tea ?

  16. #16

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I imagine Miller makes a healthy living with all her traveling around the USA doing retreats and talks and book signings, etc.. If everybody had access to a teacher (or teachers) as we do at Treeleaf, no one would need to show up to those things.

    I hate to assign that sort of motivation without understanding more, but the whole thing strikes me as disingenuous and self-serving. Otherwise, what's the point of spouting about this in the first place? On a blog, no less (the irony in that made me chuckle).

    This is like the CEO of Coca-Cola telling us we're all going to die of thirst if we keep drinking water from the tap in our kitchen.

  17. #17

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I think it not something serious or to get worked up about.

    Please, folks .... Metta ...

    I never "metta" man I didn't like!

    Also, I hear from the editor at Shambhala Sun that it is a misunderstanding ...

  18. #18
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Well it is self-serving, but not in the way you might think.

    Our delusions are always self-serving - it's what makes them delusions.

    If Ms. Miller was honest, I think she'd admit that she has no idea who she is. Realizing that, how much further off must our own ideas of her be?

    She said something stupid - if that's a crime, then I am most certainly a fugitive from justice.

    She has ideas and opinions. We have ideas and opinions. There's really no need to convert her to our way of thinking, nor is there any reason for her to convert us to her way of practicing.

    When people tell us that our way of being is invalid - some part of us reacts to that. What is that? Is the reaction appropriate or helpful? Going to war over this to somehow prove that our way is indeed valid would be the ultimate demonstrative contradiction.

    The best way to demonstrate the validity of our practice is to simply wake up from all this 'us and them' nonsense. Same thing with Jundo vs Brad. We don't smite our enemies because they're our enemies, we create enemies because smiting them is pleasurable to our sense of self.

    She said something ill-informed - perhaps she believes it. The Zen authorities in Japan probably thought much the same of Westerners trying to practice Zen. Internet sanghas aren't really better or worse - they are just a new tool for propagating the Dharma.

    I suspect that Ms. Miller reveres her teacher and sangha and is offended that anyone would suggest that our way of interacting here is as special as her relationship with her teacher and sangha - it just doesn't register, most likely. She's invested in an idea - committed to a view. Simply put, she's caught. Holding too fast to an idea will frequently lead to not being able to see evidence that contradicts your opinion - and this likely is doubly so when we're talking about something so cherished as a teacher-student-path situation.

    But we're caught too. We too revere our teachers and many of us have come to cherish our path and the unique interactions that our sangha provides. Clinging to this view, we may tend to see criticism as having ulterior motives and to infuse mere ignorance with malignant intent that it may or may not have. Sure, Brad's probably got some unconscious malignant intent when he says that internet sanghas are not real sanghas - but even that malignancy is simple ignorance. How could it be otherwise?

    This is why it's very important when we undertake new steps, such as the embarking of three of our members on a possible priest path, that we proceed with diligence and circumspection. All of our stumbles and triumphs are a matter of public record. Some may say it's easier to hide our true selves on the internet - but I think that anyone who attempts to do that here will find it very unfulfilling and not very helpful to their practice. But the flip side of honest disclosure in so public a way is that we can't really hide from ourselves. This may be the most powerful aspect of this new sort of sangha! Also, we have whole conversations here that are recorded and can be responded to without the interference of personal schedules, or the limitations of teachers' individual time, or the necessity of being privileged enough to share BOTH time AND location with our fellow members. Teachings can be posted to, responded to, and further developed in a way that is not really possible with a meat-world sangha. Because of this, we may see rapid progress along this path of no progress - but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking we're progressing farther or faster (on this path to right here) than we really are, either.

    I think that extending a sincere invitation to Ms. Miller to join us on whatever limited basis she can - that's a great idea. Is there any better proponent of a new idea than one who once had a contrary opinion but now holds a new view? Perhaps that's not possible, in which case - c'est la vie. That too can be a powerful lesson on our path.

    Chet

  19. #19
    Senior Member Silva's Avatar
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    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I'll put the kettle on!

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui Kyrillos's Avatar
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    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    There is no sense to getting into a pissing contest with anyone over our practice. No one ever "wins" such a thing. I like to try to recall that the historical record mentions there are 84,000 Dharma teachings uttered by the Buddha, so that there is a possible Way for every type of person in every type of situation. No one way is the right way, believe me I know this from the history of my Church, which used to be "One" for about 1,000 years and then began a slow disintegration into thousands of churches all claiming to BE THE ONE TRUE CHURCH. Get over it. Truth is omnidirectional. There are many gates to the field of happiness and truth and we can enter by any and all gates as long as we respect everyone else's right to do so too.

    Gassho,

    Seishin Kyrill

  21. #21

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Of course, if we refrained having opinions about other people's opinions.....forums would come to a grinding halt...People would just post pictures of cats and call it a day.


    :twisted:

  22. #22

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I appreciated the article.

    I happen to agree with the fundamentals.

    I also appreciate the cyber 'here'; new ground to break.

    can 'zen' be grown here?

    remains to be seen

    a life time is a long time. Most people have varied influences, sitting with different people, different places as circumstances require (moving away, change in job shifts, having a baby and no sitter, etc. etc) As pointed out in another thread these zen-influences shape practice.

    You have to start somewhere, then you have to find a way to continue despite the various ups and downs

    Is Treeleaf a place to start? Good! Is Treeleaf a place to continue? Good!
    Is Treeleaf a place which encourages some to seek out live in the flesh and blood brick and mortar incense and tea places Good!
    Is a live flesh and blood brick and mortar incense and tea place leading some to come seeking a place like Treeleaf? Good!

    Is there someplace else? Good! Is there no other place? Do you not have a choice in the matter? Is it as plain as the nose on your face? Do you not have a clue?

    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good

  23. #23
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keishin
    I appreciated the article.

    I happen to agree with the fundamentals.

    I also appreciate the cyber 'here'; new ground to break.

    can 'zen' be grown here?

    remains to be seen

    a life time is a long time. Most people have varied influences, sitting with different people, different places as circumstances require (moving away, change in job shifts, having a baby and no sitter, etc. etc) As pointed out in another thread these zen-influences shape practice.

    You have to start somewhere, then you have to find a way to continue despite the various ups and downs

    Is Treeleaf a place to start? Good! Is Treeleaf a place to continue? Good!
    Is Treeleaf a place which encourages some to seek out live in the flesh and blood brick and mortar incense and tea places Good!
    Is a live flesh and blood brick and mortar incense and tea place leading some to come seeking a place like Treeleaf? Good!

    Is there someplace else? Good! Is there no other place? Do you not have a choice in the matter? Is it as plain as the nose on your face? Do you not have a clue?

    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good
    Good
    LOL, Wut?

    Chet

  24. #24

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Thus arises an opportunity for teaching (and learning) for us all. Perhaps the benefit of a blog post isn't always contained within the text of the blog post itself, but in what it generates after the fact.

  25. #25

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I think all of this deciding whether the internet will "work" for the Dharma is really funny stuff. It must sell so many magazines (I'm guilty myself of buying all the issues with cybersangha this and digitaldharma that!)

    It's kinda like a bunch of people sitting around deciding whether the earth's rotation will cause day time and night time. Once we've come to a decision and stopped jibberjabbering and we finally look around and notice our surroundings, we might say look! Our decision was so meaningful - it's day time!

    The earth was spinning the whole time, of course. We just weren't mindful of it until now.

    Keep on spinnin', Treeleafers. I think it's working!

  26. #26

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Hi Guys,

    I feel that I should have stepped in here a little earlier and much more clearly.

    As Buddhists, I feel that we can speak our views, and we should work our work, sit the sit ... but we should avoid to get worked up or offended by life, by people's words or opinions.

    Work the garden, tend the flowers, till the soil and pull the weeds which you can pull ... but do not get angry at the weeds. They are just doing their weedy thing.

    Old Buddhist saying .... "Turn the other cheek". Well, actually, the Buddha didn't use exactly those words ...

    Brethren, if outsiders should speak ... against the Sangha, you should not on that account either bear malice, or suffer resentment, or feel ill will. If you, on that account, should feel angry and hurt, that would stand in the way of your own self- conquest. --- .Digha Nikaya i.3

    And if that doesn't get the point across ... this sure will!! :shock:

    Monks, even as low-down thieves might be carving you limb from limb with a two-handled saw, even then whoever sets his mind at enmity is not a doer of my teaching. Monks, you should train yourselves thus, "Our minds shall not be perverted, we will not utter evil words, we shall abide cherishing thoughts of good, with minds full of goodwill and with no hatred in our heart. Beginning with that thief, we shall abide suffusing the whole world with thoughts of goodwill that are extensive, exalted, and immeasurable, without hostility and malevolence." --- Majjhima Nikaya i.129


    In any case ... there are so many misunderstandings in this world. Here is a story I sometimes relate from my life, true story ...

    For several years, my wife and I volunteered at a Hospice for the terminally ill. I was late to get to work there one morning, and took the toll road ... but did not have any small change (I think it was 25 cents), and only a large $20 bill. The woman in the toll both could not take the large bill, refused to accept my promise to pay double on the return trip, gave me a hard time, filling out forms and blocking traffic too. I got a bit hot under the collar and told her off a bit. Jerk!

    Not two hours later, I run into the same woman, crying next to her dying mother's bed in the hospice ... True story.

    Everyone's life has many causes and conditions that brought them to that place. The fellow who cuts you off in traffic may be worried about losing his job, or the rude sales clerk may just be having a bad day. I try to keep that in mind now.
    Brother Kyrill speaks for me ...

    There is no sense to getting into a pissing contest with anyone over our practice. No one ever "wins" such a thing. I like to try to recall that the historical record mentions there are 84,000 Dharma teachings uttered by the Buddha, so that there is a possible Way for every type of person in every type of situation. No one way is the right way, believe me I know this from the history of my Church, which used to be "One" for about 1,000 years and then began a slow disintegration into thousands of churches all claiming to BE THE ONE TRUE CHURCH. Get over it. Truth is omnidirectional. There are many gates to the field of happiness and truth and we can enter by any and all gates as long as we respect everyone else's right to do so too.
    I believe in speaking out about our practice, speaking up honestly and sometimes "setting the record straight" loudly and clearly from one's own point of view ... but avoid to get worked up or to hurl angry stones back.

    I dig Keishin's post and several other tolerant words too ...

    Gassho, J

    PS - For those recently joined into our Sangha ... explanation of Metta Practice is here ...

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1199

  27. #27
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Maybe I'm especially hardheaded - in fact, I know I am. Simple admonitions to speak kindly or do good never seem to hit home for me until I see WHY my own justifications for the action are ridiculous.

    I think this slows my progress, but makes it more stable when it does come. Maybe there are others like me here?

    Chet

  28. #28

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I can relate to that, Chet. I think my initial reaction may have been due to the fact that I am "new" here. Joining was a matter of clicking a few buttons, but deciding to join was (is) a large step in my practice and something I didn't do lightly. A perceived slight to this sort of internet-centered practice felt unsettling, when it should have been an opportunity to practice dropping such perceptions. But now it is just such an opportunity -- maybe a few hours late for me. There is great and simple wisdom throughout this thread, thanks to Jundo and many others.

    I think I'll twist my legs into full lotus more often, maybe that will weaken my knees' ability to jerk so quickly.

  29. #29
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I'm not angry at Maezen Miller, nor am I offended. I enjoy challenging ignorance when I see it.

    The ironic thing is that a YouTube 'trailer' for her book and an excerpt from it put it on my wishlist. She seems like an interesting woman, with an interesting story.

    I don't really care if other people think my practice at Treeleaf is invalid--actually, I'm a bit of a contrarian by nature and like the idea of being in a sangha that the mainstream Buddhist culture dismisses or frowns upon. And I learned a long time ago that this is a path one walks alone, and that validation on the path from others is always suspect. You don't get a round of applause or public recognition for devoting yourself to the path, unless you seek such things, and then, they are always false. People always applaud and recognize what validates themselves, and do not always applaud what is virtuous or true.

    All that said, out of my gratitude for this path and practice, and out of my gratitude for the positive changes Treeleaf has wrought in my life, I want to make the presence and viability of Treeleaf visible to others. I most importantly want to challenge this notice that practice is only real or valid when done in as traditional a manner as possible. I believe that misconception blocks a lot of people from taking up a Zen/zazen practice, and/or produces self-doubt that results in a lot of energy being diverted into trying to find and adopt a practice that others rubber stamp as valid.

    Of course, many of the traditions are there for a reason. I believe people can wake up, or at least have a kensho, without a zazen practice or teacher, but I also believe that this is rare and can lead to problems and issues when a person is not grounded in a zazen practice and working with a teacher who knows the road and how one tends to get lost. I think a skilled teacher who knows how to guide a student in manifesting realization in day to day life is invaluable. I appreciate the value of most of the traditional forms and would not want to do away with them, but at the same time, believe a lot of people get caught up in the forms at the expense of freedom and realization. Zen practice becomes a matter of being part of an exclusive club, of 'getting it right' and mastering various disciplines. We shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, but nor should we allow the baby of realization to drown in the stagnant bathwater of attachment to forms.

  30. #30

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    Every single thing is a teacher. The wise and the ignorant and the infinite shades in between.

    I don't like the cold I have now, but it teaches me. Nor my broken toe, but it teaches me.

    I support Maezen's efforts, even as I disagree with her conclusions. She is teaching as she sees it, and no two teachers will agree on every thing.

    However, I also see nothing wrong with calling people on making judgments about experiences they have never had. We simply need to do so kindly and without being attached to a particular outcome. People may listen to us, people may not. So what is new?


    Gassho,
    Eika


    PS: I'm in no way chastising those who posted. Just reminding that maezen has probably done a great deal of good as a teacher and that we shouldn't diminish that simply because we disagree on one point. We're not 'single-issue' voters.

  31. #31

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I certainly didn't read into any of the posts a lack of metta.
    If someone says something, especially publically, then they can be called on that. I don't see a problem with this in any way at all.
    Also disgareeing on one point, however large, is not automatically an invalidation of anything else said by an individual.
    Rich

  32. #32

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    *shrug*

    Treeleaf is all the sangha I have. The nearest zendo is about an hour away, and I don't have reliable transportation to go that far. So I read and listen here, and occasionally pipe up. Offline, I read and I sit and try to be mindful in all I do. My practice may not be perfect, but it is what it is.

  33. #33
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: What Is The Sound Of One Teacher Flapping?

    I dig the Christian imagery of placing oneself among the scorned and outcast of society. Luckily for us, this game ain't got nothin' to do with status, or impressing other people. Unfortunately, many respectable students who have mastered traditional practice forms, get lost in all that, at the expense of the heart of the practice, which is as ordinary and unpretentious as blue jeans, daily bread, and surfing the Internet.

    "It lets horses cross, it lets asses cross."

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