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Thread: How to attain enlightenment ...

  1. #51
    There seems to me, to be something about Zen, that encourages or attracts intellectualism. Partly, this is encouraging, as I find my fellow sangha members are some pretty sharp people, who have come to Zen and Buddhism having done some sincere and in depth thinking about it. On the other hand, sometimes it seems that this approach, the intellectual seeking, has it's limits. Buddha's invitation to us to try and see, test for ourselves, reinforces that this is a practice. Practice and test, both nouns, but also verbs. Isn't there something strange about turning our practice into discussion and debate? At first I had many questions, and admittedly still do, however, dwelling on these can give rise to something altogether different. Jundo, once posted something about how people in some study would rather die than just sit. WHO is it that has all these questions? Is it really about learning, or is it the little us, avoiding the verbal part of practice, giving into speculation rather than the actual work. Are we wanting to understand enlightenment because we want a POINT to practice? Are we afraid of getting fooled? Or is it that there is just some part of our ego that really is wildly insecure about loosing the "self".

    Gassho
    Ishin

    Sat Today

  2. #52
    I don't know much but I do know this:

    My enlightenment is bigger than yours.

    Gassho, Jishin, ST
    "The Great Way is not difficult. It only excludes picking and choosing. Once you stop loving and hating, It will enlighten itself." - Xin Xin Ming

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    I don't know much but I do know this:

    My enlightenment is bigger than yours.

    Gassho, Jishin, ST
    whoa, tmi

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Ishin View Post
    On the other hand, sometimes it seems that this approach, the intellectual seeking, has it's limits. Buddha's invitation to us to try and see, test for ourselves, reinforces that this is a practice. Practice and test, both nouns, but also verbs. Isn't there something strange about turning our practice into discussion and debate?
    There is also this fact: An aspect of our practice is to encounter and embody such in which there are no "two sides", no "topic", and each and all are what it are. How can one "debate" about "that" when no "this," when debate and "sides" and debaters is impossible? Thus, no "enlightenment" in contrast to "ignorance" is possible too.

    All this-thatless simultaneously "not one not two" and intimately whole with our world of sides and right/wrong and ideas and opinions and debates and "me and you" debaters and this and that.

    If we must say something to express this reality, it cannot neglect to somehow (it ain't easy!) capture all of the above reality(s) at once, as one.

    As well, this "Practice-Enlightenment" is something to be embodied, lived and breathed. So, that is much more the field of "Enlightenment" action than some debate room.

    To realize (in the bones) and realize (in how we make it "real" in life) is "Enlightenment" in my book.

    That is the problem with overly intellectual approaches to expressing Zen Truth(s).

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-15-2016 at 12:36 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Ishin View Post
    There seems to me, to be something about Zen, that encourages or attracts intellectualism. Partly, this is encouraging, as I find my fellow sangha members are some pretty sharp people, who have come to Zen and Buddhism having done some sincere and in depth thinking about it. On the other hand, sometimes it seems that this approach, the intellectual seeking, has it's limits. Buddha's invitation to us to try and see, test for ourselves, reinforces that this is a practice. Practice and test, both nouns, but also verbs. Isn't there something strange about turning our practice into discussion and debate? At first I had many questions, and admittedly still do, however, dwelling on these can give rise to something altogether different. Jundo, once posted something about how people in some study would rather die than just sit. WHO is it that has all these questions? Is it really about learning, or is it the little us, avoiding the verbal part of practice, giving into speculation rather than the actual work. Are we wanting to understand enlightenment because we want a POINT to practice? Are we afraid of getting fooled? Or is it that there is just some part of our ego that really is wildly insecure about loosing the "self".

    Gassho
    Ishin

    Sat Today
    Ishin, I grok your post. Lol. I was drawn to Zen in my 20's because I suffered and my quest to end suffering led me there, along with curiosity and the tendency to "think outside the box." But it was as you describe, "intellectual seeking," and I was convinced that there was an intellectual answer to every question for a long time. And I was definitely "wildly insecure about losing the self," as you put it... it didn't seem possible to let go of all those personal goals for happiness, comfort, success! It took over 20 years of on-off sitting and off-the-cushion cultivation of mindfulness to finally result in the realization that This Was It, meaning my butt on the cushion, not reading another Zen book or having another philosophical discussion with myself or others. Treeleaf has reinforced this wonderfully, not in the least because for every intellectual discussion thread posted, there's usually a member that will admonish us to "throw it all away and just sit."

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    serene
    ​field

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    Ishin, I grok your post. Lol. I was drawn to Zen in my 20's because I suffered and my quest to end suffering led me there, along with curiosity and the tendency to "think outside the box." But it was as you describe, "intellectual seeking," and I was convinced that there was an intellectual answer to every question for a long time. And I was definitely "wildly insecure about losing the self," as you put it... it didn't seem possible to let go of all those personal goals for happiness, comfort, success! It took over 20 years of on-off sitting and off-the-cushion cultivation of mindfulness to finally result in the realization that This Was It, meaning my butt on the cushion, not reading another Zen book or having another philosophical discussion with myself or others. Treeleaf has reinforced this wonderfully, not in the least because for every intellectual discussion thread posted, there's usually a member that will admonish us to "throw it all away and just sit."

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    Your thoughts and experiences are so similar to my own. And I still need the reminders from others here at Treeleaf as well to throw it all away and just sit. It sure makes for a nice way to live, doesn't it.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat tody

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    How can one "debate" about "that" when no "this," when debate and "sides" and debaters is impossible? Thus, no "enlightenment" in contrast to "ignorance" is possible too.

    Nicely put. Thank you.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    "The Great Way is not difficult. It only excludes picking and choosing. Once you stop loving and hating, It will enlighten itself." - Xin Xin Ming

  8. #58
    Hi all,

    sorry to interfere with Ishin's observation.

    I just thought I'd read a thread Jishin has answered to, because Jishin's answer feel to me like something I might enjoy to read.

    I'm not posting this to diminish other answers, but because I feel my current situation fits into this thread:
    Zenny Zen gives me headaches.
    (Sorry, Jishin, of course you are very Zen, too. But sometimes a good read.)

    I know this is not being "done" by anything or anyone, just my perception.

    My situation now is, I can't read books or focus on longer posts.
    I can't sew.

    I CAN sit.
    And while this felt like really enough when I joined Treeleaf, I now feel there is so much more to know, much more work to do.
    I feel I'm failing standards.

    I have no idea what enlightenment is, and I don't really care.
    Only, how can I support this Sangha when I have so little understanding?

    Maybe Jundo's post above has answered my question, but unfortunately I don't get one sentence.

    Byokan, you onve suggested "Overthinkers Anonymous".

    Anyone in for a "Sitting for Dummies"-group?

    Gassho,
    Jika
    #sattoday
    治 Ji
    花 Ka

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Jika View Post
    Hi all,

    sorry to interfere with Ishin's observation.

    I just thought I'd read a thread Jishin has answered to, because Jishin's answer feel to me like something I might enjoy to read.

    I'm not posting this to diminish other answers, but because I feel my current situation fits into this thread:
    Zenny Zen gives me headaches.
    (Sorry, Jishin, of course you are very Zen, too. But sometimes a good read.)

    I know this is not being "done" by anything or anyone, just my perception.

    My situation now is, I can't read books or focus on longer posts.
    I can't sew.

    I CAN sit.
    And while this felt like really enough when I joined Treeleaf, I now feel there is so much more to know, much more work to do.
    I feel I'm failing standards.

    I have no idea what enlightenment is, and I don't really care.
    Only, how can I support this Sangha when I have so little understanding?

    Maybe Jundo's post above has answered my question, but unfortunately I don't get one sentence.

    Byokan, you onve suggested "Overthinkers Anonymous".

    Anyone in for a "Sitting for Dummies"-group?

    Gassho,
    Jika
    #sattoday
    Just sit. There is nothing more or less.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Jika View Post
    Hi all,

    sorry to interfere with Ishin's observation.

    I just thought I'd read a thread Jishin has answered to, because Jishin's answer feel to me like something I might enjoy to read.

    I'm not posting this to diminish other answers, but because I feel my current situation fits into this thread:
    Zenny Zen gives me headaches.
    (Sorry, Jishin, of course you are very Zen, too. But sometimes a good read.)

    I know this is not being "done" by anything or anyone, just my perception.

    My situation now is, I can't read books or focus on longer posts.
    I can't sew.

    I CAN sit.
    And while this felt like really enough when I joined Treeleaf, I now feel there is so much more to know, much more work to do.
    I feel I'm failing standards.

    I have no idea what enlightenment is, and I don't really care.
    Only, how can I support this Sangha when I have so little understanding?

    Maybe Jundo's post above has answered my question, but unfortunately I don't get one sentence.

    Byokan, you onve suggested "Overthinkers Anonymous".

    Anyone in for a "Sitting for Dummies"-group?

    Gassho,
    Jika
    #sattoday
    Jika I will gladly be in your "Sitting for Dummies" group. I miss you when I don't see you around here, so you must be supporting this Sangha whether you think you have enough understanding of the Dharma or not. At this point in time, it is not feasible for me to intensively study any topic and I am often too tired or brain-fried to read Zen literature with a clear mind or even understand the posts here. But, I like to be here and give stuff the chance to either soak in or roll off, and I trust what Jundo says that it is all OK as long as we Just Sit. You are an important part of this Sangha and I am grateful to take this journey with people like you.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    serene
    ​field

  11. #61
    I am often too tired or brain-fried
    Like.

    Thank you all.
    I'll be around.

    Gassho,
    Jika
    #sattoday
    治 Ji
    花 Ka

  12. #62
    Anyone in for a "Sitting for Dummies"-group?
    Count me in as well

    Gassho
    Washin
    st

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Jika View Post
    Hi all,

    sorry to interfere with Ishin's observation.

    Anyone in for a "Sitting for Dummies"-group?

    Gassho,
    Jika
    #sattoday
    I observed something? Pretty sure I already am in the sitting for Dummies group.

    Jika, I think Jundo's post ( if I might paraphrase in a sad attempt to explain) encourages us to the action, but not JUST sitting either. Living enlightenment, enlightened actions, what we do off the cushion is important too. How much worse for us who have deep understanding of the Dharma and still act like jerks. I think you are far from "failing" my friend.

    Gassho
    Ishin

    #Sat Today

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    Ishin, I grok your post. Lol. I was drawn to Zen in my 20's because I suffered and my quest to end suffering led me there, along with curiosity and the tendency to "think outside the box." But it was as you describe, "intellectual seeking," and I was convinced that there was an intellectual answer to every question for a long time. And I was definitely "wildly insecure about losing the self," as you put it... it didn't seem possible to let go of all those personal goals for happiness, comfort, success! It took over 20 years of on-off sitting and off-the-cushion cultivation of mindfulness to finally result in the realization that This Was It, meaning my butt on the cushion, not reading another Zen book or having another philosophical discussion with myself or others. Treeleaf has reinforced this wonderfully, not in the least because for every intellectual discussion thread posted, there's usually a member that will admonish us to "throw it all away and just sit."

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    Thank you Jakuden. I confess my need for intellectual stimulation forced me to google "grok".

    Gassho
    Ishin
    #Sat Today

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    There is also this fact: An aspect of our practice is to encounter and embody such in which there are no "two sides", no "topic", and each and all are what it are. How can one "debate" about "that" when no "this," when debate and "sides" and debaters is impossible? Thus, no "enlightenment" in contrast to "ignorance" is possible too.

    All this-thatless simultaneously "not one not two" and intimately whole with our world of sides and right/wrong and ideas and opinions and debates and "me and you" debaters and this and that.

    If we must say something to express this reality, it cannot neglect to somehow (it ain't easy!) capture all of the above reality(s) at once, as one.

    As well, this "Practice-Enlightenment" is something to be embodied, lived and breathed. So, that is much more the field of "Enlightenment" action than some debate room.

    To realize (in the bones) and realize (in how we make it "real" in life) is "Enlightenment" in my book.

    That is the problem with overly intellectual approaches to expressing Zen Truth(s).

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    You raise an excellent point/ non-point!

    Gassho
    Ishin
    #Sat Today

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Ishin View Post
    There seems to me, to be something about Zen, that encourages or attracts intellectualism.
    Zen is a venus flytrap. It looks like a riddle, so those of us who are attached to mind are drawn in. We suffer when we can't think our way to the answer. It doesn't yield to our well-honed problem-solving techniques, but we keep trying. For those of us who have constructed our "selves" around our thoughts, put our egos into our nimble thinking, we feel like we need to think our way to the answer. Many of us give up when we start to glimpse the truth that it's impossible to think your way to the heart of Zen. We're afraid of losing our selves. If I'm not the smartest guy in the room then who am I? Zen is stupid. What do you mean there is no "smartest" or "room" or "I"? That's nonsense. Our brains try to make sense of things. It's just one of the things that brains do whether we like it or not.
    Also Zen's just fun to think about. Insights into the true nature of reality? The deepest inner workings of our minds? How to connect with other beings in a real way? It's like brain candy. There's something there for every kind of thinker. Or there's the illusion that something's there. I don't know. I don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying the study and speculation, as long as we see it for the mental masturbation it often is, and don't cling to it or believe that it's what's going to get us there (no-where).

    Gassho,
    Dudley
    #SatDownToWatchASitALongWithJundoAndEndedUpThinkin gAboutThinkingForHalfAnHour

  17. #67
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    San Diego County, California
    Over thinking my way to the "answer to the riddle of Zen" reminds me of taming the ox. There's no need to force thinking or non-thinking because if we keep up the practice, eventually we may know how to handle the ox without needing to lay a hand on it.

    Gassho, sat today
    迎 Geika

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    Over thinking my way to the "answer to the riddle of Zen" reminds me of taming the ox. There's no need to force thinking or non-thinking because if we keep up the practice, eventually we may know how to handle the ox without needing to lay a hand on it.

    Gassho, sat today
    Nice!

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    Over thinking my way to the "answer to the riddle of Zen" reminds me of taming the ox. There's no need to force thinking or non-thinking because if we keep up the practice, eventually we may know how to handle the ox without needing to lay a hand on it.

    Gassho, sat today
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  20. #70
    So I said I have pain, and so what--sit--put the end to my sitting cushion (and they make one for chairs--a Buddha cushion!) I sit--I look for others to sit with, and mostly I just sit, now I am reading two books Jundo suggested--more I want to read, but basically I wish to cut through my narcissism, sit, know a little of interbeing, and a little of the cloud, earth, human, animal coexistence. So I find sometimes I don't want to sit, and on those days 15 min. Other days more, and I listen to videos about clouds, form, sitting; these are helpful when I sit, and I've been turning out for some of the Zazenkai, feel connected when I do, sit with others on hang out when I can find them, and mostly I sit alone at my homemade alter, pay homage to a man who 2500 years ago found compassion, and other stuff I'm just beginning to get. And mostly, when I have my mouth open, I comment, and I sit alone.

    Tai Shi
    std
    Gassho
    The end is to know the beginning for the first time, and to know the beginning is to know the end.

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