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  1. #1

    How to attain enlightenment ...

    .
    ... by dropping all need and effort to attain enlightenment ...

    ... thus, enlightenment immediately attained!


    It is often said that our Shikantaza way is about "not seeking", being "goalless", abandoning the need and search for "enlightenment" ...

    It is also said sometimes that, in "just sitting," we best drop all desire to be peaceful ... happy ... and just allow the world "as it is" (which includes our quite often being anything but feeling peaceful and happy) ...

    But let me get on my soapbox and makes some things clear, set all straight:

    Who ever said that there is "nothing to find" in, through and as this practice of "not seeking", no place to "get", no treasure to snare at the end of the rainbow?

    Not me. I never would say such a thing. Then why pursue this path?

    Who ever said there is no "enlightenment" to be achieved? I never would say that. It would not be Buddhism in that case.

    What's more, this practice lets us be happy, joyful. Who said not? Not me.

    Ya really got to pay attention to what is being said. You see:

    Just because we are "not seeking" does not mean we are "not seeking" ... nor that there aren't wondrous marvels thus to find!

    Enlightenment!

    To the marrow sitting free of seeking ... is a dandy way thus to find that which can only be found by sitting radically free of seeking. Realizing that there is no where to "get to", and no place you can get or need get ... is finally getting somewhere that will revolutionize life, and put your "you" out of a job. One gets very far, one finally arrives ... by sitting still.

    Being the "Buddha" all along, and having not a thing about you that is in need of change ... DOES NOT mean you don't have some work to do to realize truly that you are the Buddha without need of change ... and quite of few bad habits to change in order to realize so. To realize that you are never, from the outset, in need of change is a VERY BIG CHANGE! There is absolutely nothing about you and the universe (not two) to add or take away, and tasting that there is "nothing to add" is an irreplaceably important addition! (Nonetheless, without washing away the muck of greed anger and divisive ignorance in our life, "Buddha" is obscured and we will fail to live wisely. So, even though there is nothing to change, that does not mean we must not change some things about us to realize so. )

    By being "goalless" we hit the goal ... a goal which is hit by being thoroughly goalless.

    In seeing the ordinary as sacred ... we find (as Hakuin Zenji wrote) "this earth where we stand is the Pure Lotus Land, and this very body the body of Buddha". This very life is it! However, in our usual way of living this life, we do not see so, and this life becomes anything but it!

    Yes, the key is "not me" ... because that "me" is a trouble maker of frictions with the "not me" world. But depriving the "me" of its fuel, dropping body-mind, the friction vanishes. The way to "drop body-mind" is to drop all thought of achievement of "dropping body-mind" and all other need for achievement ... which results in a very major achievement, namely, the "dropping of body-mind."

    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.

    See how that all works?

    For more details on this wacky, crazy, Koany, Zenny way of inside out, Alice through the looking glassness ... the BRILLIANCE of our path of silently-illuminated "Non-attaining" ...

    HEED CLOSELY THE FOLLOWING!

    "Shikantaza" Zen practice is a radical, to the marrow, dropping of the self's demands that something needs to be attained to make this world "right", that something must be added or removed from our lives to make life complete, that something is defective and needs to be changed., that we need to get some place to find our "True Home".

    HOWEVER, radically dropping, to the marrow all need to attain, add, remove, or change in order to make life right and complete --IS-- A WONDROUS ATTAINMENT, ADDITION and CHANGE TO LIFE! Dropping all need to "get somewhere" is truly finally GETTING SOMEWHERE! The True Home is here and everywhere! Abandoning all need in life's race to cross some finish line over a distant hill, is simply arriving at the finish line which is our every step!

    ALL THAT, even as we continue to move forward, make choices, have preferences ... LIVE! Moving forward, yet as still and unmoving as a mountain or a stone ... having choices and preferences while choices and preferences are fully dropped, and we drop all demands to get somewhere ... living passionately, yet not a prisoner of passions ... at once, the still mountains walking, the stone women dancing ...

    We fix what needs to be fixed .. in this world, in our life ... all without thought of something to repair. We clean what needs to be cleaned ... the messes and disasters and filthy oil spills, the greed anger and ignorance in our own lives that creates ugliness and harm to us and those around us ... yet there is no "clean" or "dirty".

    GOT HOW THAT WORKS?

    All the conflict and division is dropped from mind ... with other related clutter and clatter like thoughts of this and that, self and other ... and, in doing so, the body-mind of self (being out of a job) drops away too!

    ZAZEN ANSWERS GREAT QUESTIONS AND MYSTERIES

    You bet your sweet kind of non-existent ass it does!

    For the first time in our sentient lives ... perhaps since the womb ... life is without the division of "self" and "other". The intimate wholeness and interpenetration of all this life=self=world is just who we are. We are as whole and complete and unbroken as raindrops are falling rain, a breeze is just the gently moving air. All barriers and resistance tumbled away.

    Like all warm blooded animals, humans feel we must hunt, improve, capture life, attain goals and reach "success" ... yet, for the first time, this practice allows us to experience life as the stones and trees and stars and mountains. Do stones feel that they must get somewhere, achieve something to be more "stoney"? Does little Mt. Tsukuba feel some sense of lack and inferiority when it considers and compares its life to tall Mt. Everest? Is there a star in the sky that thinks "I do not belong in this universe, and this is not my place and time"? Do birds move through the sky leaving traces?

    Can we be more as the flowers and trees which, naturally sprouting from the ground, growing, reaching for the sun, seeding life generation to generation ... also toil not, have no goal or thought of achievement? Flowers achieve, yet without thought of achieving!

    Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

    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 manifest 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!

    The human mind imposes judgments on the life=self=world ... it is "good" it is "bad" ... it is "starting here" and "ending there" ... it is "originating in the past" and "rolling toward the future" ... etc. etc. Instead, our Zen practice gives rise to a reality without judgment, destination, here vs. there ... past future --or-- present (for by what measure is "now" without any other time to compare it to?). What remains is alive and very GOOD!

    For the first time perhaps we experience reality in what, to ordinary minds, is typically considered contradictory ways ... moving forward in actively living, yet always right here.

    It might even allow us a glimpse of the "non-origin" of all reality ... beyond small human ideas of "created vs. uncreated" "finite vs. infinite" "beginning vs. what was before the beginning?" "ending vs. what comes after the ending?" "purpose vs. no purpose". What is one's foundation, original face without all thought of source, here/there, coming and going?

    What remains when all that is dropped away? SPEAK! SPEAK!

    Yet the wind blows, the star shines, the flower reaches for the sun.


    Oh, sure, there are some mysteries that this practice won't tell you much about, such as God's favorite ice cream flavor, whether Big Foot really exists, whether Clapton or Santana or Page is the greater guitar player, whether a circle is just a round square.

    However, those other resolved and dissolved mysteries are enough.

    CAUTION: Of course, this must NOT be understood merely intellectually, and instead actually made the living practice of our life ... thus, all that Zazen! Chasing that which cannot be chased, attaining that which need not and cannot be attained.

    Now, someone has also rightly pointed out that Zen is not a solution to many of life's problems. Zazen is not a "self help tool". It will not let you avoid growing old, cure your cancer, repair your broken marriage, or even fix your flat tire. It will not add one thing to your life, nor make any improvement in it whatsoever.

    And realizing that is instantly a solution to all your problems ... because they are not problems when you do not resist them as problems, and when all separation of "me" from "them" drops away.

    ... body-mind is dropped away when all resistance to life is dropped away ... putting the self on the shelf ...

    Enlightenment.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-15-2014 at 05:26 AM.

  2. #2
    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.

  3. #3
    Attain no attaining with nothing to attain. Attain this.

    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

  4. #4
    What remains when all that is dropped away? SPEAK! SPEAK!


    Yet the wind blows, the star shines, the flower reaches for the sun.


    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat today

    p.s.
    Spumoni.
    Bigfoot lives about 30 miles from me.
    Page.
    Not at all, but ultimately, yes.
    Last edited by Byokan; 05-04-2016 at 05:21 PM.

  5. #5
    The wind blows gently propelling the sailboat guided by the night stars and daytime sun. The flower is plucked and handed to Byokan by Buddha.

    What else is there? Speak! Speak!



    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

  6. #6


    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    serene
    ​field

  7. #7
    Thank you for this, Jundo
    And thank you to FB page admins for pulling it out of treasury.
    Now it's a cushion time.

    Gassho
    Washin
    ST

  8. #8

    How to attain enlightenment ...

    Thank you Jundo, as yet I have some expectations. So Will I drop behind? I think not as Shikantaza seems okay, and I sit wit other forms and teachers on You Tube: Jack Kornfield. And Jon KABOT-Zinn. Yet I just sit often. I seek relief with Kabot-Zinn,and Loving Kindness with Dr. Kornfield. Thus, much metta seems important, so as I continue with Zanzenkai videos and Treeleaf Coffee Shinkantaza is very important to me. Instruction is helpful.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Elgwyn Tai Shi sat today- Shikantaza, Gasho
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 05-29-2016 at 10:36 AM.
    The end is to know the beginning for the first time, and to know the beginning is to know the end.

  9. #9
    Thanks, Jundo.

    Would the paragraph below be in the ballpark of concisely stating in a short paragraph roughly what you have said above?

    Life isn’t perfect. It never will be, but you can always try to make it better. It’s like an asymptote in algebraic geometry. Your can always get closer to it but never reach it. Trying to reach it can take you further away since your calculator will start giving errors. Knowing this makes life a lot less frustrating. Sometimes getting closer will happen naturally as we practice Zazen, other times it will take much effort and perhaps therapy and other things.

    Sat today and went through a lot of threads in this Zendo.
    _/\_
    Paul

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitty-san View Post
    Trying to reach it can take you further away since your calculator will start giving errors.
    Hi,

    Before punching numbers there were zeros. After punching numbers, there will be zeros. Where do the numbers and zeros come from? Likewise, where does "enlightenment" come from?

    Best to just sit.

    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

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post

    Best to just sit.
    Yuppers! =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today


    Sent from my mobile, cause I am out & about! =)
    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.

  12. #12
    Wonderful teaching. Thank you, Jundo.

    Gassho
    Lucy
    Sat today
    "the turning of the great dharma wheel is contained inside a single particle of dust" - Dogen

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitty-san View Post
    Thanks, Jundo.

    Would the paragraph below be in the ballpark of concisely stating in a short paragraph roughly what you have said above?

    Life isn’t perfect. It never will be, but you can always try to make it better. It’s like an asymptote in algebraic geometry. Your can always get closer to it but never reach it. Trying to reach it can take you further away since your calculator will start giving errors. Knowing this makes life a lot less frustrating. Sometimes getting closer will happen naturally as we practice Zazen, other times it will take much effort and perhaps therapy and other things.

    Sat today and went through a lot of threads in this Zendo.
    Ahhh, hmmmm ... this is when the Zen guy would tell you to drop all that and just sit.

    Life is never perfect, yet just sit and drop all thought of "perfect" and "imperfect", algebra and asymptotes, getting closer and getting farther way. Then, you might finally be arrive at getting some place perfectly, so far that it is always as close as close can be!

    That being said, we try to do the best we can.

    This week's Koan is about just that ...

    Attention! A monk asked Master Seirin, "How about when a student proceeds on the trail?" Seirin replied, "The dead snake hits the great road. I advise you not to bump into it." The monk said, "When it's bumped into, then what?" Seirin answered, "You lose your life!" The monk continued, "When it's not bumped into, then what?" And Seirin said, "There's no place to dodge to." The monk said, "At that very moment, then what?" Seirin replied, "It has been lost." The monk then said, "I wonder where it's gone." And Seirin responded, "The grass is so deep there's nowhere to seek." The monk replied, "Shield yourself, Osho! Then you'll be alright!" Finally Seirin clapped his hands and exclaimed, "Your poison is equal to mine!"
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...NIMITY-Case-59

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-11-2016 at 10:40 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  14. #14
    Thank you all for this wonderful thread.

    Jundo, you really need to write a book about Zen practice so we don't have to keep sifting through reams of posts to find such gems.

    Gassho
    Sat Today

    Ishin

  15. #15
    Thanks Jundo and everyone.

    I’ve just sat today and now returned.

    How about this below?

    An intellectual understanding is not enough, experience is needed. Even so, there’s time to forget your experience and intellectual understanding, instead looking at things from the perspective of someone beginning. There’s a time to drop all thought of intellectual understanding and experience.

    Even an enlightened master must at times pick up distinguishing between perfect and imperfect or at least better and worse. How else could they choose who among their students is worthy of becoming a teacher? Where should they build their Zendo (or which domain name to choose for it)? Yet there a there’s a time to drop such thoughts of better and worse, perfect and imperfect. There’s a time to drop all thought of there being a time and a time to drop all thought of dropping and picking up.

    I’ll look at the book club stuff too. I do enjoy a good book.

    Sat today.

    Gassho,
    Paul
    _/\_
    Paul

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitty-san View Post
    Thanks Jundo and everyone.

    I’ve just sat today and now returned.

    How about this below?

    An intellectual understanding is not enough, experience is needed. Even so, there’s time to forget your experience and intellectual understanding, instead looking at things from the perspective of someone beginning. There’s a time to drop all thought of intellectual understanding and experience.

    Even an enlightened master must at times pick up distinguishing between perfect and imperfect or at least better and worse. How else could they choose who among their students is worthy of becoming a teacher? Where should they build their Zendo (or which domain name to choose for it)? Yet there a there’s a time to drop such thoughts of better and worse, perfect and imperfect. There’s a time to drop all thought of there being a time and a time to drop all thought of dropping and picking up.

    I’ll look at the book club stuff too. I do enjoy a good book.

    Sat today.

    Gassho,
    Paul
    Hi Paul,

    It is not so easy to express music in words, is it? Or the experience of being swept up in a Mahler symphony. If one tried to express such in words and ordinary language, one might miss the mark entirely. Even poetic descriptions and metaphor can only point the way.

    Imagine that the universe as the great Symphony, and Zazen allows us to experience ... to lose and find ourself again as ... this wondrous Orchestral Harmony that dances all small harmonies and disharmonies, a Sound that is all silence as a Silence which sings all sounds, Timeless fast and slow and in between ... For sentient beings, this Symphony is birth and death, sickness and health, war and peace and the whole world too. Zazen allows this.

    So, your words kinda miss the beat.

    That being said, you speak one truth: Although this Harmony sweeps in and away all choices and differences, this Symphony is simultaneously all choices and differences. We must live in a world of choices and differences, although simultaneously there are no choices and differences. Like a good maestro, the Master should have an ear for who knows and can play this Music or not.

    Anyway, that's how my tin ear hears things.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday

    PS - Perhaps some have known this Music and Balance in a kind of spinning Zazen ... Their music sounds like cacophony to me, but my ear is untrained. They don't go anywhere in their spin, or do they go everywhere?

    Last edited by Jundo; 07-12-2016 at 08:08 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  17. #17

    How to attain enlightenment ...

    Hi Paul,

    What is enlightenment and what would you do with it if you got enlightenment?

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Last edited by Jishin; 07-12-2016 at 05:10 AM.
    "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

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hi Paul,

    What is enlightenment and what would you do with it if you got enlightenment?

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    This question to me seems to almost be the answer in a way. Hard to explain so I won't. Regarding what I'd do with enlightenment if I got it? I'd probably throw it away (Though just like the snake in Koan 59, I probably can't avoid not throwing it away at the same time).

    Gassho,
    Tyler

    SatToday
    Last edited by TyZa; 07-12-2016 at 06:19 AM. Reason: I have no concept of grammar

  19. #19
    How do they do that without falling down??

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    serene
    ​field

  20. #20
    Thanks, Jundo. I feel now the need to sit on your words and study your aforementioned koans to let everything you’ve said sink in.

    Jakuden, I wonder the same.

    Jishin, that’s a deep and interesting question. In regard to what it is, there’s this old thread Jundo posted about eight different types of enlightenment. Leaving aside the paradoxical/metaphorical/allegorical speech for a moment, I’m honestly not sure which of these are correct, or if all, none, or somewhere in between are correct. At some point people have somewhere labelled them all as “Enlightenment” and perhaps even labelled them all as “not Enlightenment”.

    Furthermore, in the Pali Canon, people were getting enlightened left and right. These days, I think it’s hard to say for sure if anyone is fully enlightened. Perhaps some people are or are at least close. It can be hard to tell for sure.

    In regard to what I’d do with enlightenment, I’d have to decide what to do with enlightenment once I understand what it is. Until that time comes, if it comes, words are just words, but perhaps one way it could be said is I follow the Kalama Sutta until then:
    Buddha: Does absence of [greed, hatred, and delusion] appear in a man for his benefit or harm?"
    Kalamas: "For his benefit, venerable sir."
    Buddha: "Undertaken and observed, do these things lead to benefit and happiness, or not? Or how does it strike you?"
    Kalamas: “Undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness. Thus it strikes us here."

    I know that’s not the most Zen way to phrase it but all my Zenergy ran out in the last few posts and needs to re-charge.

    Gassho, Paul.

    Sat today.
    _/\_
    Paul

  21. #21

    How to attain enlightenment ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitty-san View Post
    Thanks, Jundo. I feel now the need to sit on your words and study your aforementioned koans to let everything you’ve said sink in.

    Jakuden, I wonder the same.

    Jishin, that’s a deep and interesting question. In regard to what it is, there’s this old thread Jundo posted about eight different types of enlightenment. Leaving aside the paradoxical/metaphorical/allegorical speech for a moment, I’m honestly not sure which of these are correct, or if all, none, or somewhere in between are correct. At some point people have somewhere labelled them all as “Enlightenment” and perhaps even labelled them all as “not Enlightenment”.

    Furthermore, in the Pali Canon, people were getting enlightened left and right. These days, I think it’s hard to say for sure if anyone is fully enlightened. Perhaps some people are or are at least close. It can be hard to tell for sure.

    In regard to what I’d do with enlightenment, I’d have to decide what to do with enlightenment once I understand what it is. Until that time comes, if it comes, words are just words, but perhaps one way it could be said is I follow the Kalama Sutta until then:
    Buddha: Does absence of [greed, hatred, and delusion] appear in a man for his benefit or harm?"
    Kalamas: "For his benefit, venerable sir."
    Buddha: "Undertaken and observed, do these things lead to benefit and happiness, or not? Or how does it strike you?"
    Kalamas: “Undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness. Thus it strikes us here."

    I know that’s not the most Zen way to phrase it but all my Zenergy ran out in the last few posts and needs to re-charge.

    Gassho, Paul.

    Sat today.
    Hi Paul,

    Everyone is attached to something, big or small. That said, you are attached to enlightenment. Big stuff.

    The Heart Sutra says no attaining with nothing to attain.

    Originally there is no enlightenment. It is a product of our minds. Don't make enlightenment with your mind and you won't have to look for it. Kind of like trying to catch your shadow. What is the best way to do that? Stand still.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Last edited by Jishin; 07-13-2016 at 01:32 PM.
    "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

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hi Paul,

    Everyone is attached to something, little or small. That said, you are attached to enlightenment. Big stuff.

    The Heart Sutra says no attaining with nothing to attain.

    Originally there is no enlightenment. It is a product of our minds. Don't make enlightenment with your mind and you won't have to look for it. Kind of like trying to catch your shadow. What is the best way to do that? Stand still.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Nice Jishin. =)

    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.

  23. #23
    Jundo, teacher

    I have learned much of the everlasting pain which is always there, which stays like a spoiled child, demanding, which I cannot ignore, and substitution with not distraction, and like all impediments, will be as I will let be, always in the background--so the leaving is possible with acceptance. Then and only then, the tantrums subside--is not exactly enlightenment, more sitting with this younger brother born in 1992, and I was born in 1951, neither was pain born but came into existence on that early spring morning I could not get out of bed--so I live with it as a teacher, insidious, fateful, and determined. Always giving in, in the letting it exist.

    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.

  24. #24
    Hi Jishin,

    Hmmmm. Enlightenment is one of my many attachments, both big and small.

    In the Pali Canon, enlightenment was the last attachment to get rid of, although the Pali Canon isn’t used in Zen usually.

    Back to Zen, in my understanding, Dogen said Zazen and enlightenment are the same. I suppose that might help people give up attachment to enlightenment, perhaps myself included, in time. In Jodo Shinshu, which arose around the same time as Soto Zen, practitioners gave up attachment to enlightenment by believing they’d be reborn in the Pure Land where they’ll get enlightened pretty much automatically, all the while reciting the Nembutsu, which technically isn’t a mantra, but is practiced in way similar to one. For both they practice without a goal, at least in a sense. As you said, enlightenment is a product of our mind. Perhaps both sects try to achieve the same non-goal using different products of mind.

    Or maybe I’m just rambling a bit.

    Perhaps it’s time to drop everything and sit some more.

    , Paul

    Sat today.
    _/\_
    Paul

  25. #25
    Hi Paul,

    There is no such thing as enlightenment. It's just a carrot teachers wave in front of students to encourage them to practice.

    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

  26. #26
    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

  27. #27
    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!

  28. #28
    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

  29. #29
    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

  30. #30
    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

  31. #31
    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

  32. #32
    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

  33. #33
    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

  34. #34
    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

  35. #35
    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

  36. #36
    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

  37. #37
    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!

  38. #38
    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

  39. #39
    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

  40. #40
    I am often too tired or brain-fried
    Like.

    Thank you all.
    I'll be around.

    Gassho,
    Jika
    #sattoday
    治 Ji
    花 Ka

  41. #41
    Anyone in for a "Sitting for Dummies"-group?
    Count me in as well

    Gassho
    Washin
    st

  42. #42
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    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

  43. #43
    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.

  44. #44
    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!

  45. #45
    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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