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Thread: How to attain enlightenment ...

  1. #101

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    "1. Step away from the computer." SERIOUSLY!!! Where do you people find the time?

    Btw, that soup nazi pic literally made me "LOL".

  2. #102
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by mahakalaugh
    "1. Step away from the computer." SERIOUSLY!!! Where do you people find the time?

    Btw, that soup nazi pic literally made me "LOL".
    I always find it lame when people imply that you have "no life" or have "too much time" because you spend time on a computer.

    I enjoy the things I can do on my computer in my leisure time, and I find Treeleaf just as valuable--if not 'moreso'--than any sangha I've ever participated in. To me, it's worth getting invested in. I'm a nerd who enjoys studying literature, playing video games, and following the latest screwed up Jersey City news stories on Twitter. I've been an avid Internet user since Compuserve and 14.4 modems. It's an endless source of information and discovery. It's not like I do these things because I don't have options. This is what I choose to do.

    I care about what happens here because it's a real thing in my life. If this was just a hobby or a boredom buster, of course I wouldn't bother.

    The most important thing in my life is this spiritual path I have embarked upon. I'm still struggling to fully engage with practice again after losing all of the illusions that tied me to practice for so many years. Coming here inspires me to sit. I learn a lot about people here and I care about what happens to them. I don't see this as any less valid than my "real life" friendships. One cannot substitute for the other, but I don't do it to substitute. I do it for its own unique virtues.

    So neener.

  3. #103

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    :roll:

  4. #104
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista
    Have a spouse / family that tells you "Are you on the computer, AGAIN?! :evil: Have you mowed the lawn or gotten the groceries?! Look. Jundo or Chet aint gonna get our lawn mowed. Git!"

    :wink: :mrgreen:
    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Okay, how about we all go back to the topic of "how to attain enlightenment?"

  5. #105
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    I care about what happens here because it's a real thing in my life. If this was just a hobby or a boredom buster, of course I wouldn't bother.

    The most important thing in my life is this spiritual path I have embarked upon. I'm still struggling to fully engage with practice again after losing all of the illusions that tied me to practice for so many years. Coming here inspires me to sit. I learn a lot about people here and I care about what happens to them. I don't see this as any less valid than my "real life" friendships. One cannot substitute for the other, but I don't do it to substitute. I do it for its own unique virtues.

    So neener.
    Yes, one thing that led me to joining Treeleaf despite my initial reservations was the realization that online human interaction was no less real than face-to-face interaction. Maybe the methods for communicating are different, but it's no less real.

    Now, back to enlightenment.

  6. #106

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by pinoybuddhist
    Now, back to enlightenment.

    I agree!

    Gassho,

    Adam

  7. #107

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Can I just...please, say something.

    I came to Treeleaf to learn from Jundo and then now together with Taigu. I came here to learn about Zazen ever since that first day when an old zen monk pointed me to a cushion in his temple with the command, and it was a command: Sit! And I've been sitting ever since. I don't know about Kensho but I've been sitting ever since.

    I came to Treeleaf to learn. I ask questions and I make my comments, not often but from time to time. If one or two are helped by my questions or comments or sharings, thank Buddha!

    Jundo and Taigu are ultimately the ones I listen to because When I came here I acknowledge them as the ones to lead me on this path. They are not the only ones I consult. I go to other Teachers but they really don't diverge much from the Soto school which is the one that seems to appeal to me.

    I cannot teach Soto Zen. I'm not an expert on it. Now if you want me to teach you about the mystical tradition of the Catholic Church or about pastoral practice, well that I can do gladly, ably, and confidently. But then we're already in a different forum.

    For example, Father Kyrillios and I share a common Tradition but of different Rites. I cannot teach his Rite anymore than he can teach mine. Yet we honor and respect each other nonetheless--I hope.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I'm here at Treeleaf to learn Soto Zen....from Jundo and Taigu. And to the rest "Thank you and gassho for your companionship...and your compassion to accept me in your company."

    Thank you for listening.

    James.

  8. #108

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    I would speak as one of the "new members" mentioned in the drama. I had an exchange with Chet just before this started, so I feel part of it. I never complained of him to Jundo or Taigu and I did not feel that he bothered me. He came through as arrogant and as people probably saw, I questioned what I perceived as an attempt by him to "teach" me, but it was sort of clear to me he was "just" another student and not speaking with any sort of authority, and I do not feel what he said made me confused about what Jundo and Taigu teach.

    Which, while I might not consider it to be THE TRUTH ABOUT EVERYTHING or any such thing, I nevertheless consider what passes as The Thing on these forums. If you willingly go to someone else's school or church, yes, you can question what they teach, you can ask for explanations, you can discuss the teaching with others and you can respectfully disagree with them, but in the end, it's their effing school, and what they teach matters more than what you think they should teach. Don't like it? It's a free Internet, go found your own.

    I am not here so that Jundo and Taigu can tell me how things really are. But I am here to learn what Jundo and Taigu think about it and how they practice. If I wanted a general Buddhism forum where everyone is equal, there's plenty in the internet. I did not choose to go to any of those. I value comments from others (yes, Chet too), but I think we should all be respectful and make it clear when we speak where our interpretation disagrees from J&T's, and to simply say "we disagree" instead of "they are wrong". Not because we should in general respect them any higher than any other being -- but because we should respect them in their own zendo.

    Chet seems to share a very human tendency to polarize matters. I hope he will get over it and come back.

    And now I am really really curious about the Story About Brad.

  9. #109

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana

    And now I am really really curious about the Story About Brad.
    If you search enough this forums and Brad's own web page, you will get the gist of it. Or you can always fork over $$ to Brad for his last book and get the one side of the story.

    But.

    Certain things have passed and maybe Jundo will PM you if he chooses. :wink: 8)

  10. #110

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    Quote Originally Posted by mahakalaugh
    "1. Step away from the computer." SERIOUSLY!!! Where do you people find the time?

    Btw, that soup nazi pic literally made me "LOL".
    I always find it lame when people imply that you have "no life" or have "too much time" because you spend time on a computer.

    Just to clarify since I was quoted. My comments were not to tsk-tsk members about their time spent in the internet. My comments were regarding that we sometimes get into arguments and become like tumbleweeds riding on the winds of emotions.




    Be it in person or in forums (flame wars, trolling, etc), we need to stop being tumbleweeds. And maybe more like a nopal. :mrgreen: :wink:

  11. #111
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    I didn't take your post that way at all, Erik.

    mahakalaugh's post, on the other hand... :roll:

  12. #112

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    i think you may have projected something or at least overreacted... you pretty much answered my question though. you apparently MAKE the time (and the effort)to contribute a significant amount because of how much you truly care about this forum/community... i think that's what you were saying.

    relax...

  13. #113

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    I have a syllabus for my courses. It clearly explains the rules. I, and only I, decide when those rules are bent and when they are enforced rigidly. There is no other effective way to run a classroom. Students are not my equals in certain regards. They are equal on a human level, but not on an educational one. There are many times that students truly have no idea what would be the logical next step in their studies. Sometimes they do. I have to figure out when that happens, and take responsibility when my students either excel or fail.

    Taigu and Jundo are teachers. Not saints, not without faults, but teachers nonetheless. This is their classroom. They will run it the way they think best. It is not hypocrisy for me to chastise a student for chastising another student. It is not their place to do so. It is mine. Them's the breaks. We all want teachers who will lead us exactly where we are comfortable going, but that isn't good teaching. Good teaching steers us where we need to go, whether we want to go there or not.

    Men and women cannot always live by the same rules. Children and adults cannot either. Students and teachers cannot. There is a great burden carried by teachers that is not carried by the student. Part of that burden is "classroom management." Making sure that the class behaves in a way that fosters learning AND is in accord with the teaching style of the educator. So, two teachers may be equally effective but may have VERY different ideas about what is appropriate classroom behavior. The students who talk during class rarely like it when they are reminded that it is disruptive to others. Other profs may have teaching styles that can accommodate the same amount of chatter.

    This is no big deal for either party. This is not abuse of power as some might say. What power? The power to turn off access to an internet forum? If you can't tolerate the idea of leaving a thing, you are too attached to it.

    Sometimes a teacher reprimands a student after class . . . tells them not to do it anymore. OK. No one was abused here. Some curt talk certainly shouldn't discourage someone as tough as Chet (I don't say this sarcastically either. Chet strikes me as a pretty tough dude). So, why all the fuss?

    Just my bit,

    Eika

  14. #114

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    I just listened to a blog that I must have missed in the past.
    I think it is relevant here. It really meant alot to me and I
    hope it will to you too. I am going through some "stuff" right
    now (as we all are, ah life :| ) and this talk really cut to the
    heart. I hope it's okay to post it here.

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... do-ev.html

    Thank you Jundo.

    gassho

  15. #115

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    I think the local library carries Brad's latest so I might get it without spending my money. :P (The need to own the books I read is something I am sort of proud to have been able to give up, incidentally.)

  16. #116

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    I didn't take your post that way at all, Erik.

    mahakalaugh's post, on the other hand... :roll:
    Gassho.... :wink:

  17. #117

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana
    I think the local library carries Brad's latest so I might get it without spending my money. :P (The need to own the books I read is something I am sort of proud to have been able to give up, incidentally.)
    Think of it as two musicians (Jazz, Blues, Conjunto, etc), Jundo and Brad, having a bit of give and take on styles, riffs, etc. :mrgreen:

  18. #118
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Fear not! I come not to prolong the sadness in this thread. Just the opposite!

    Frankly, I'm glad I missed all the ruckus, though sorry about the outcome. Chet is a voice to be missed. But I am a process guy, so I move on (and I assume he will too, maybe even back here), and the thing I like about soto zen is the process stuff. So this late-comer to the firestorm tread his way through all the above posts to try and cull out some of the process wisdom, at least as I see it. There is value in all this open struggle, though sometimes hard to find, and below is my attempt to find it. I quote it here because I am afraid that the outcome may have derailed or detracted from what I view as the truly worthy original intent, with a little of the extra stuff that seemed appropriate. I apologize to all that I do not quote if you felt your comments were worthy of quoting, and I apologize to those I do quote if you don't approve of my editing. Zen process teaches to let it go, so that is all I can ask you to do.

    Jundo: And, yes, finally ... this practice makes me happy, joyful, deep down and pervading. It is an abiding happiness and joy at a life in which I do not need to, and will not, feel happy and joyful all or much of the time. And that makes me happy! It is a Peace which sweeps in all peace and war, is at home with all ... at peace in, as and with a life that is oftimes anything but peaceful, thus True Peace.
    Jundo: And thus we sit Zazen ... as a sacred act, as natural whole holy ... as a flower reaching for the sun.
    In Zazen, we learn to see and penetrate the deep interpentration and interbeing of all things, all time, all events, all beings. Phenomena on worlds countless light years away, and the dew on the nearest blade of grass are each as much "you" as the winking and blinking of your own eye.
    In that way ... the mystery of life and death is no mystery at all ... for the simple reason that there never was a separate self to be born, thus no separate self to die. Where is the air when the wind stops to blow? Where does the sea "go" when the single wave vanishes? We are as the little wave, looking for the water and afraid of what lies ahead when it crashes on the beach.
    Christopher: Our practice is to realize when, how, and why delusion leads us away from true understanding. This is the work that we need to do to get to a point where we realize that the act of living free from these ideas is Nirvana. This is why we say that even though there is no attaining and nothing to attain, that we still need to work toward something, because we are working on ourselves to realize that our “selves” are standing in our way, blocking the view. When you can accept the perfection of a rainy day as effortlessly as a walk on a tropic beach, or when you can accept the sadness and emotional pain of the loss of a friend or loved one as completely as accepting that water is wet and the sun rises in the East, this is true enlightenment….
    I feel that this could be enlightenment. The though that no matter where I am (physically, emotionally, mentally, Zen-ally) that this is home, this is where I belong, because I could not possibly be anywhere else, the whole time I am continuing to walk, always moving forward in a direction that is both East and West, forward, backward, side-to-side, and always arriving Home. This is my practice, and I struggle with this concept often because my attachments still dog me at times, but I am constantly trying to improve in my practice, while always trying to being content where I am.
    Christopher: I’m saying that the student / teacher relationship is indispensable, from my own personal experience. A person may study the Dharma from a book, but I think that unless you are an exceptionally realized person, the likelihood is that you will have “filler” thoughts, and they will be barriers on the path. I believe that I can safely say that the only reason that I understand what little of the Dharma that I do now, is because of this sangha, its members, and Jundo and Taigu’s teachings.
    Rich: Some of the scriptures talk about 'speaking little' but forums bring out the 'speaking much'. Its not a middle way thing in the sense of a huge amount of talking on one side and silence on another but the fact that most of us probably speak far too much and alot of that is useless.
    I am finding more and more that speaking about the practical things in life- the nuts and bolts, plus kind words and supportive talk make a better and more pleasant day than endless discussions, disagreements on philosophies and debates on this and that.
    Sometimes the poison of anger just wouldn't arise if we didn't speak unnecessarily..some of the simple stuff Thich Nhat Hahn talks of but I have ignored well in the past...
    I really do think that the restrictions of the eightfold path are something many of us Westerners into Zen (at least) miss often even though they are perhaps easy and practical ways to avoid much suffering. We might think the idea of healthy anger is real or being able to freely express our opinion is good. I challenge those things. Sure if we are angry then be angry, don't deny. However, if we truly are that anger it'll fade quickly..it may well be our resistance that keeps it going...but if angry we can accept it and then go off and sit, or "take care of our anger-TNH", or watch it pass just like the clouds we often talk about.
    Eric (chicanobudhista): we sometimes get into arguments and become like tumbleweeds riding on the winds of emotions.
    Elka [as close as I care to come on a comment regarding the whole issue this thread became]: I have a syllabus for my courses. It clearly explains the rules. I, and only I, decide when those rules are bent and when they are enforced rigidly. There is no other effective way to run a classroom. Students are not my equals in certain regards. They are equal on a human level, but not on an educational one. There are many times that students truly have no idea what would be the logical next step in their studies. Sometimes they do. I have to figure out when that happens, and take responsibility when my students either excel or fail.
    Taigu and Jundo are teachers. Not saints, not without faults, but teachers nonetheless. This is their classroom. They will run it the way they think best. It is not hypocrisy for me to chastise a student for chastising another student. It is not their place to do so. It is mine. Them's the breaks. We all want teachers who will lead us exactly where we are comfortable going, but that isn't good teaching. Good teaching steers us where we need to go, whether we want to go there or not.
    Men and women cannot always live by the same rules. Children and adults cannot either. Students and teachers cannot. There is a great burden carried by teachers that is not carried by the student. Part of that burden is "classroom management." Making sure that the class behaves in a way that fosters learning AND is in accord with the teaching style of the educator. So, two teachers may be equally effective but may have VERY different ideas about what is appropriate classroom behavior. The students who talk during class rarely like it when they are reminded that it is disruptive to others. Other profs may have teaching styles that can accommodate the same amount of chatter.
    This is no big deal for either party. This is not abuse of power as some might say. What power? The power to turn off access to an internet forum? If you can't tolerate the idea of leaving a thing, you are too attached to it.
    I also found these two quotes from the "Odd thought" thread to be especially beautiful and quite relevant here.

    Dosho [I though this especially beautiful]: I comment very little lately because I don't think I know squat about zen, Soto or any other kind. I can see one part of what Chet and Stephanie are saying...that without the existence of "enlightment" or flashes of kensho, there is no "something" to make what we study more than a temporary escape from reality. But I also think that Chet and Stephanie spend a lot of time reading about that "something" and desperately want it. They have an emptiness the same as the rest of us do...that is no different. But speaking only for myself, I know that "something" is there, but if I think about it too long I will get trapped in the feeling and will never give up my quest to find it. But that "something" is not the sustenance of my life...it is the candy.
    I once heard a comic talking about watching his son while driving and seeing him stare out of the backseat window smiling, lost in thought. The comic asked, "What are you thinking about?" The son replied with a gleeful smile, "Candy." The comic said that as a child he could do what his son was doing 24/7, but as an adult there is the reality of cavities and the fact that candy has no nutritional value. The metaphor is crude since I'm not saying that enlightment causes cavities, but I think the seeking of it can. If that "something" is there, fine. If that "something" is not there, fine. I think we have to be ok with either one, even if those who come to zen do so because we really do believe that "something" is there. We come here for the enlightment, we stay for the non-attainment. We practice to let that desperate seeking go.
    If there is enlightment, I go to the grocery store to feed my family. If there is no enlightenment, I go to the grocery store to feed my family. In either case I might pass by the candy aisle every few trips, perhaps think about it for a bit, but then I walk away...and live.
    Jundo [I found this so profound I wrote it down word for word in my journal, because, yeah, this is my Path]: Rather, if someone is experiencing all life ups and downs and tears and disappointments and stresses and struggles ... and is not struggling with all that ... is at home to the marrow in this crazy life ... ... not struggling in the least with the fact that we all must struggle in life sometimes ... taking all conditions as they come ... up down smiles and tears, the whole catastrophe YIPPEE! ... that is Enlightenment, being wholly "at one" with life as it is, the "self's" demands and "should be's" on this life-world dropped away, all the walls to life knocked down.
    And that quote brings us right back to where the thread started, so gassho and goodnight,
    AL

  19. #119

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Just a note:

    I've been reading Brad's book, and I've been reading some random stuff on the internet about The Incident.

    I think it was just about what I needed: an example of how these zen circles are just human circles; nothing more and nothing less.

    Does not make me respect anyone involved any less. Just a bit differently, and in a way that is probably better in line with how things are, rather than how I'd like to imagine them to be.

    It's all good practice.

    Jaana

  20. #120

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana
    Just a note:

    I've been reading Brad's book, and I've been reading some random stuff on the internet about The Incident.

    I think it was just about what I needed: an example of how these zen circles are just human circles; nothing more and nothing less.

    Does not make me respect anyone involved any less. Just a bit differently, and in a way that is probably better in line with how things are, rather than how I'd like to imagine them to be.

    It's all good practice.

    Jaana
    Ah, don't believe half the stuff you read out there, on the web or on tv. Did you know that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim born in Africa?

    The only part you can be sure of is the "human beings are just human" part.

    Gassho, J

  21. #121

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    Ah, don't believe half the stuff you read out there, on the web or on tv. Did you know that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim born in Africa?

    The only part you can be sure of is the "human beings are just human" part.

    Gassho, J
    Hi.

    And not even that sometimes...


    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  22. #122

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    I've got to admit, these dramas have had the tendency to suck me in.
    What is important, I think is how we react to them.

    Do we add to it?
    This to me, is like throwing gasoline on a fire.

    Do we try to block it out, walk away?

    I did this for a while to, and lost a feeling of connectedness I had enjoyed for a while.

    Observing it again, I find an increased level of bodily tension.

    Maybe I care too much?

    Dont know. I think I'll sit with that... again.

  23. #123

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    I don't believe quarter of it, Jundo. I've been in similar sort of dramas elsewhere and I know how they play out. It is impossible for an outsider to judge what is (was) true (at the time of the incident), and it's not very important either.

    I was not reading on it to "find out the truth", "make a call on who was right" or "pick a side". I was just interested on what it was about. It is obviously(*) impossible for a stranger to act as a judge, especially after the matter. Lucky for me, I am not interested in doing so. These dramas are human. It's useful for me to be reminded that you zen folks are still human. Who is somehow more human is not of interest at this point. I'll make my own calls as I get to know you better.

    (*) Alright, calling it obvious is snobbish of me. It is not obvious to most people, judging based on how many want to publicly do so.

  24. #124

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Ah, don't believe half the stuff you read out there, on the web or on tv. Did you know that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim born in Africa?

    The only part you can be sure of is the "human beings are just human" part.

    Gassho, J
    This "human beings are just human beings" is mildly confusing.

    Does this mean that there is no need for a bodhisattva anymore? If humans are just humans, who consistently err, is there no way to rise above? To actually live in accordance with the eightfold path? Isn't that the reason we're on this path in the first place?

    If we consistently refuse to change, if we consistently make the same misjudgments, then there is no real need for a Way anymore. Everything can be Buddhism: slander your neighbor, cheat on your wife, hit your kids, kill. It's all good practice, and it's all very human.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it's a sentiment that I heard from different people from different places. Humans are just humans. That simple sentence can be used in defense of virtually everything.

    To err is obviously human, but mustn't we learn from our errors and see to that it doesn't happen again? If we are all Buddhas, maybe it's time to act that way. All of us, me included.

    Perhaps I'm just confused. That's human too

  25. #125

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Ah, don't believe half the stuff you read out there, on the web or on tv. Did you know that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim born in Africa?

    The only part you can be sure of is the "human beings are just human" part.

    Gassho, J
    This "human beings are just human beings" is mildly confusing.

    Does this mean that there is no need for a bodhisattva anymore? If humans are just humans, who consistently err, is there no way to rise above? To actually live in accordance with the eightfold path? Isn't that the reason we're on this path in the first place?

    If we consistently refuse to change, if we consistently make the same misjudgments, then there is no real need for a Way anymore. Everything can be Buddhism: slander your neighbor, cheat on your wife, hit your kids, kill. It's all good practice, and it's all very human.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it's a sentiment that I heard from different people from different places. Humans are just humans. That simple sentence can be used in defense of virtually everything.

    To err is obviously human, but mustn't we learn from our errors and see to that it doesn't happen again? If we are all Buddhas, maybe it's time to act that way. All of us, me included.

    Perhaps I'm just confused. That's human too
    I have felt exactly this way too. But it is important to keep in mind that this practice, while yes it is about those Bodisatva vows to save all sentient beings, is about also you. I have also been gawking at the actions of others but that isn't at all what this practice is about for me. It is as Master Dogen admonishes: Put aside the intellectual practice of investigating words and chasing phrases, and learn to take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward.

  26. #126

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuken
    I have felt exactly this way too. But it is important to keep in mind that this practice, while yes it is about those Bodisatva vows to save all sentient beings, is about also you. I have also been gawking at the actions of others but that isn't at all what this practice is about for me. It is as Master Dogen admonishes: Put aside the intellectual practice of investigating words and chasing phrases, and learn to take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward.
    Oh, don't get me wrong, I wasn't talking about anyone else but me. In that you're absolutely correct. But since the path is for ourselves (and by changing ourselves, we can positively contribute to the lives of others) it's imperative that there actually is a path, which will be of benefit (even though we're not striving to get there - I'm not saying this from a dualistic now-then perspective). If I'm consistently the same rotten collection of skandhas that I call "me" that I've always been, what's the use of this practice? If I can reach the place where I am now by practicing wing chun, or ballet, well ... you get my point.

  27. #127

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Oh, don't get me wrong, I wasn't talking about anyone else but me. In that you're absolutely correct. But since the path is for ourselves (and by changing ourselves, we can positively contribute to the lives of others) it's imperative that there actually is a path, which will be of benefit (even though we're not striving to get there - I'm not saying this from a dualistic now-then perspective). If I'm consistently the same rotten collection of skandhas that I call "me" that I've always been, what's the use of this practice? If I can reach the place where I am now by practicing wing chun, or ballet, well ... you get my point.
    Well, your in luck! You can never be consistently the same rotten collection of skandhas.
    In fact, every moment the entire universe is on the move, constantly changing.

    Thing is, there are parts that take a lot longer to change than others. I suppose it is kind of like belly fat in that way.

    For me studying and the eightfold path http://asuradharma.blogspot.com/2008...fold-path.html has been helpful and informative as I have stumbled along the way, a great work out routine if you will.

    I think I would recommend revisiting it over and over again to anyone. But don't pay attention to my thought doodles too much, make your own!

  28. #128

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuken
    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Oh, don't get me wrong, I wasn't talking about anyone else but me. In that you're absolutely correct. But since the path is for ourselves (and by changing ourselves, we can positively contribute to the lives of others) it's imperative that there actually is a path, which will be of benefit (even though we're not striving to get there - I'm not saying this from a dualistic now-then perspective). If I'm consistently the same rotten collection of skandhas that I call "me" that I've always been, what's the use of this practice? If I can reach the place where I am now by practicing wing chun, or ballet, well ... you get my point.
    Well, your in luck! You can never be consistently the same rotten collection of skandhas.
    In fact, every moment the entire universe is on the move, constantly changing.

    Thing is, there are parts that take a lot longer to change than others. I suppose it is kind of like belly fat in that way.

    For me studying and the eightfold path http://asuradharma.blogspot.com/2008...fold-path.html has been helpful and informative as I have stumbled along the way, a great work out routine if you will.

    I think I would recommend revisiting it over and over again to anyone. But don't pay attention to my thought doodles too much, make your own!
    Well, that's a bit of semantics right there, but sure, your are right . I'm perfectly aware of the meaning of anicca, but anicca doesn't mean that the changes automatically are for the better, does it?

    However, I am more interested in the "anything goes because we're human" approach, and how far we could stretch this. We can't take our western individualism too far - there is always the collective, the interdependence, as well, to keep in mind.

    Is it up to me to make my own definitions of the eightfold path, or is a joint understanding from the students and teachers of this sa?gha, as well as from the wider buddhist community?

  29. #129

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by anista
    Well, that's a bit of semantics right there, but sure, your are right . I'm perfectly aware of the meaning of anicca, but anicca doesn't mean that the changes automatically are for the better, does it?

    However, I am more interested in the "anything goes because we're human" approach, and how far we could stretch this. We can't take our western individualism too far - there is always the collective, the interdependence, as well, to keep in mind.

    Is it up to me to make my own definitions of the eightfold path, or is a joint understanding from the students and teachers of this sa?gha, as well as from the wider buddhist community?
    I think that things won't likely change for the better on their own. I think that way leads to nihilism and entropy. And I think things are interdependant wether we keep it in mind or not. :wink:

    For me, it is not a matter so much of making up my own definitions for the eightfold path, as taking ownership of the eightfold path. By that I mean to integrate those things into daily life. As far as the joint understanding, a teacher whose name I forget said something like "The sangha is like a rock tumbler, rough stones bouncing around in the tumbler and polishing each other as they go through the spin cycle. Kind of like what we're doing now.

  30. #130

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by anista

    This "human beings are just human beings" is mildly confusing.

    Does this mean that there is no need for a bodhisattva anymore? If humans are just humans, who consistently err, is there no way to rise above? To actually live in accordance with the eightfold path? Isn't that the reason we're on this path in the first place?
    Hi,

    I think you did not get what was meant by "human beings are just human beings".

    Yes, this practice is a path ... and we do as we can to live in accord with the Bodhisattva way. We try to be better. And we do, in fact, get better and better.

    But it is a "path" ... and Bodhisattvas (even Buddhas) are ultimately human beings. That means that, as on any path, there might be chances to stumble, regress, lose one's balance and fall. That is to be human.

    However, surely, the more we practice this practice ... and walk this path ... the better we get at it, keeping our balance more, overcoming obstacles more. We can become like finely trained athletes, perhaps, in our skill.

    Still, even the greatest champion may sometimes miss a shot, trip over her own feet.

    There is the ideal of the "Buddha", and that is perhaps someone who never makes a mistake, never is un-Buddhalike, never fumbles the ball. But until we are all "Buddha" like that, we must just keep walking this path ...

    ... avoiding the obstacles as best we can. Picking up and dusting off when we fall.

    Gassho, Jundo

  31. #131

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    We had a sit-a-long related to this just a couple of months ago ...

    A few days ago, an excellent article by Lewis Richmond appeared here on SunSpace entitled “‘What If?’ Guidelines for Choosing a Buddhist teacher”. I would really like to recommend that article to everyone. If I may add my own “test” for finding a teaching, I would say find a man or woman who sometimes falls down, makes mistakes, makes a donkey’s ass of him or herself… and observe closely what happens, watch how he or she does it. Oh, don’t get me wrong… probably you do not want as a teacher someone who falls down each and every day, nor someone who falls down too BIG (robbing banks, lying profusely and intentionally starting fires, for example). No, I mean someone who… every so often, now and then, like everyone… makes a fool of him/herself, loses his Zen Master cool, over-indulges, does a real face-flop, says something she regrets, breaks some (hopefully not too big) Precepts in some very human way.

    How does this person recover their balance? With what grace do they fall or, at least, get back up on their feet? Do they profoundly reflect on their mistakes, learn from them, apologize sincerely to anyone hurt (hopefully not too badly) … and move on? As a matter of fact, since this crazy practice is greatly about living with some grace in this imperfect, often disappointing, trap and temptation filled world, a teacher with a couple of serious imperfections may be a good guide on how to avoid, lessen or escape the worst of it!
    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=15407

    The Buddhist stories are filled with characters who, in the writer's idealized imagination, act like robots. This practice, I feel, is for human beings of flesh and blood who can be better in being human, even transcending it all.

    Gassho, J

  32. #132

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Say Chet, travel light and be well. Stay with us and be silent for a while. It can be a great experience not to be taken lightly. THIS requires no commentary. Zak

  33. #133

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Hi,

    I think you did not get what was meant by "human beings are just human beings".
    For sure.

  34. #134

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Lecture by Suzuki-r?shi

    Wednesday, March 22, 1967

    [Suzuki-r?shi read a rendition of "J?shu's Mu." He said J?shu began serious study, including travel and visits to various masters, after the age of 60. Before that he spent most of his time caring for his old Zen teacher.]

    “Has a dog Buddha nature?” Everyone knows that Buddha nature is everywhere and includes everything. (It is so stated in a sutra). But if we all are Buddha, i.e., if buddha-nature is everywhere, why practice zazen? Consider the air; it too is everywhere; but until we use a fan, we are not aware of it. Zazen may be likened to the fanning. However, awareness of Buddha nature, or the solution to mu are not our only problems. So there is no need to be narrowly over-concerned with what Buddha nature refers to. You should not strain too hard to know what Zen is. One cannot study Zen in the usual manner. The way to study Zen is to be always aware of yourself, to be careful, to be sincere with yourself. Awareness means that when reading (including Zen materials), your mind should not get caught by any idea. It should remain open. Similarly with sights and sounds… don’t allow your mind’s self-awareness to get lost or absorbed. In other words, always remain conscious of what you are doing, of what is going on. In all our activities we should have “inward eyes.” This is especially so during physical actions, because then our minds are not as full of activity. When we are reading or thinking, our minds are not as full of activity. When we are involved in physical activity, then the mind is at full operation…it is open. When we are thus attentive and one with our activity, we can deepen our understanding. When we practice this way, everything that happens is within our mind and everything we are involved in is the content of our practice. Such awareness of body-mind means that sounds, for example, arise from within the mind. Here (in body-mind) there is no duality. Body-mind arises when practice is within yourself-Zen conduct is occurring when there is no duality.


    Though most people desire birth and avoid death, if death is included in our non-dualistic body-mind, then it cannot be an outside occurrence which we need fear. Death is not something outside of us.

    In Zen practice, mountains are not “over there,” but instated are here within our mind. If we pursue such practice continuously, action and non-action are not distinct phenomena. When our mind is river, the whole world is river. When this “non-arising” of outside phenomena is attained, inflexibility is cast off. When we feel that phenomena is outside of us, then the mind loses its flexibility i.e., is inflexible. When mind includes all things, e.g., rivers and mountains, then it is big and flexible. The various things we are aware of are temporary forms and colors of our mind.

    [From D?gen]—Those who study Zen can gain awakening if they reflect on themselves at the halfway mark. And we should not stop when we have attained enlightenment. “Do not stop it when you have it.” This means that when the mind is constantly active in various ways, i.e. is always open, we are then enlightened. The instant we believe or say the idea that we are enlightened-at that instant our mind stops, freezes, no longer is open. So we have it (an awakened, open mind) as long as we are open i.e.; seeking it. Thus when we have it we should not stop, or enlightenment ends and becomes a static impurity.

    Even though we should not be caught by the ideas of Buddhism, there are plenty of good reasons for studying it. The Zen way is to know ourselves through and through, each moment to moment.


    gassho

  35. #135

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    The original post was great, thank you! The rest was interesting. BTW, your video for the rakusu was very helpful for me. After a couple of years of daily sitting, I will have ordination in a couple of months. I hope to become more active in the forums, if my 'dual citizenship' would not create a problem. Though, the more I sit, the less I find to say.

    I wish you a pleasant day.


    Love,

    Hobbie

  36. #136

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Hi all.

    I arrived in Afghanistan a few weeks back, I have had decent internets for a few days now but have delayed saying anything in this thread for fear of speaking too soon, before I truly gathered my thoughts. I did send a few messages/emails to a couple of people. I may have spoken to them too soon to be honest, I spoke to them from an emotional state of mind and I now wish I had waited on sending those messages as well.

    I had a wonderful conversation with a very wonderful and grounded individual yesterday, about the things that have been "happening" over the last few weeks. This is something I said to them and I still feel it is important, 24 hours later...
    Sila. Is an opportunity for Jundo to provide wisdom, broken ethics are great talking points. I don't think members should be expected to be held to any sort of specified conduct.
    This is slightly out of context so I will explain further. Members of this website should be expected to adhere to wise "speech" or communication, I agree. HOWEVER, compassion is far more important a concept to remember than ethical speech. If someone fails in "wise speech" then I guess we all need to accept it and maybe ask why they said what they said. After all, at the end of the day no matter how many lessons are learned through words, whether positive or negative, they are still just words and ultimately meaningless. But, Teachers....use those words uttered to your advantage, provide wisdom through them. That is why we are here, to learn from you.
    Censorship, however, is NEVER appropriate. Telling someone that their statements or comments are not constructive is ALWAYS a lie. Everything positive or negative can be learned from, therefore everything is constructive.
    Do people sometimes need to learn the lesson of STFU!!! Yes, but it is not appropriate for us to say directly. Even from a teacher's standpoint. In my opinion, I might add.
    Oh yeah, this is my opinion and noone elses. Take it or leave it, use my words or ignore them. My opinion DOES NOT matter, and neither does yours. Not even Jundo's opinions matter. They only matter if you want them to.

    Jundo. I want to officially say that I have the utmost love and respect for you and your words. Even the shit recently that I simply do not agree with. This is because I chose to love and respect. I would never suggest that I should censor things you have said. I want to say more but honestly I am running out of words...whatever that means...

    Oh yeah, and back to the subject of Enlightenment. You are all wrong. Enlightenment is a mouth full of Lemonheads. Take it or leave it.

  37. #137

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Censorship, however, is NEVER appropriate.
    Without this being a commentary on the past events, I take objection on the above statement in this context.

    Banning someone from an internet forum is not "censorship". We do have a right to free speech, but we do not have the right to say anything anywhere. If you come to my home and behave in ways that are not acceptable, I am fully within my rights to ask you to leave. You have a right to peaceful mass demonstration, but you cannot expect to hold one in a hospital ward or a church without being asked to go elsewhere. You have the right to be religious, but if you go to an atheist society's meeting and disrupt it by trying to convert the people present, you are being a righteous asshole and will, again, be asked to leave.

    Internet forums are no different. They are spaces kept up by someone (a private person, an association, an organization) and whoever is that someone has the right to decide who gets to say what. Even if their decisions of blocking words and people are completely arbitrary (from your point of view), it's still their space and they make the calls. As long as you can easily set up a web forum of your own (and in the current internet, you can), banning you from those in existence is not censorship, and it is perfectly appropriate. You can argue it is not kind or wise or honest or sensible or whatnot in the particular instance, but that's a different issue altogether.

  38. #138

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Maybe my idea of Non-Censorship is borderline Anarchy and a little extreme in some people's view. But, I stand by what I said. You are right about "asking people kindly to leave your area" if you are offended. I would rarely put up with obnoxious behaviour in my own house, as well. I think you read too much into my point though. THIS is the "forum" to put forth what is on your mind, hopefully using SILA as your guide in expressing yourself. If not, if you act like an out'n'out jackass...well then I think that creates learning and hopefully wisdom for others and maybe you will see the error in your ways. Simple as that. Maybe I am overly simplifying the situation so as to justify my own opinions, but maybe not remember they are just mine and are utterly meaningless. :wink:

    "Do No Harm"

    ~Rob

  39. #139

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    So when I sit and manage to drop everything else. Am I enlightend that moment?
    /Ola

  40. #140
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
    Join Date
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    2,905

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Ola,

    As you sit and drop everything, any question like: Am I enlightened? ... has gone too.
    it is funny to see how the ego always want to be the witness of it all, included its vanish.

    when I do gassho, no more feeling-consciousness of a particular hand, when I practice, realization and practice are the same, Theis boundless universe and I too...



    Taigu

  41. #141

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Taigu Roshi, I did not know you were Deshimaru lineage also. I am a student of Tony Bland, whose teacher is Robert Livingston, whose teacher was Deshimaru.

  42. #142
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
    Join Date
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    2,905

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    HI hobbie,

    Please don t call me roshi or anything fancy. Taigu is enough, it means great fool, big stupid head, and believe me it suits me very much...As to the Deshimaru lineage, I don t belong to it anymore, I am a great grand son of Niwa Zenji abbot of Eiheiji and Nishijima Roshi. I received Dharma transmission from Mike Chodo Cross. And all I do is to sit, study the kesa and deepen my practice everyday. I also work a lot and have a family.

    Thank you for your kindness

    gassho

    Taigu

  43. #143

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Will do. Thank you for clarifying and sharing.

    Gassho!

  44. #144

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Thanks, loosing the ego its not easy... Everytime that my mind is blank, and I feel at peace.. I start to think about it..

    Ola

  45. #145

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ola Nelsson
    Thanks, loosing the ego its not easy... Everytime that my mind is blank, and I feel at peace.. I start to think about it..

    Ola
    Don't worry about it. Blank doesn't always mean peace, sometimes it means dead :P I rarely find my mind blank, in "blue sky". But I am becoming more "at peace" with that. The striving for the blank slate, white wall only left me frustrated and angry as to why I wasn't doing it right. Now I try to be less like a rock, and more like a leaf, landing and blowing when I do for however long I do. Then again, maybe a bit of trash floating in the river is a better analogy, but less scenic I suppose :mrgreen:

    Gassho
    Taylor

  46. #146

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    Jundo,
    With joyful, tear-filled eyes I watch my fingers tap this meager response into the keys of my net-book.

    Thank you, for this talk. Thank you for opening my mind to the fact that by not-being me, I can allow myself to be ME.

    With renewed conviction and joy I can state, Zazen is my way.

    Gassho!

    _/_

    Bradley.

  47. #147

    Re: HOW TO ATTAIN ENLIGHTENMENT ...

    How to attain enlightenment: This topic fascinates me. Here are my two and a half cents

    An eager student walks into the Dokusan room scared and slightly nervous, being it will be his first time in front of the Teacher. He rehearsed his question again and again feeling his palms becoming moist with sweat. When the bell rings he quickly runs into the Dokusan room, quickly goes through the bows and faces the golden smiling face of his Teacher. The teacher, sitting in a silence that beckoned the student to speak, simply smiled. “Teacher", said the student in a low voice. "You have an index finger. No, you have two index fingers. You can point people in the right direction. What can I do to attain the Index finger that can point people in the right direction?” “It is impossible to attain the index finger that points people in the right direction” replied the teacher keeping his eyes fixed on his student. “Then what should I do?” “Simple, open your eyes and see that you already have what you seek.” With that, the teacher rang the bell singling the end of the Dokusan.

    Gassho and Happy New Year!!!!!

    Rafael

  48. #148
    We are like small waves at the sea ... they move in so fascinating ways, don't they?

    But it's so beautiful!

    Despite the impermanence, I hope this Sangha remain active for many years for the benefit of all.

    Gassho.

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