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Thread: The non prefix in Zen

  1. #1

    The non prefix in Zen

    Is "non-" usually prefixed to something to indicate the middle path of something? It's like getting our baggage or ideas of ourselves out of the way to just let that thing happen through us. For example, non-compassion.. is not being apathetic and not being overly showy about love (not real compassion) but truly being compassionate (like reaching for a pillow in the dark as Dogen would say)?

    I don't know if I asked this clearly

  2. #2

    Re: The non prefix in Zen

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    Is "non-" usually prefixed to something to indicate the middle path of something? It's like getting our baggage or ideas of ourselves out of the way to just let that thing happen through us. For example, non-compassion.. is not being apathetic and not being overly showy about love (not real compassion) but truly being compassionate (like reaching for a pillow in the dark as Dogen would say)?

    I don't know if I asked this clearly
    Hi,

    I have never heard of "non-Compassion" ... that is a new one on me. Not to say that some Zen teacher somewhere didn't come up with such a thing. I see the point of what you describe about it.

    Usually, the "non" is used in Buddhism for something that is X and Y (when X and Y are seemingly opposite or contradictory), but also not just both X and Y ... and is something more altogether. That sounds complicated, but let me give a couple of examples.

    You were born, that's a fact. Like President Obama, you have a birth cerificate to prove it.

    But also, you were not born because nothing is born (see our recent discussions on "no self" ... that the born, abiding, rather independent self is rather a dream). That's true too.

    viewtopic.php?p=37383#p37383

    But you can't just deal with these subjects intellectually, and they must truly be tasted and lived. The reality is thus so much more than "self v. no self", or "both self and no self" ... Thus, self and no self = non-self ... birth and no birth = non birth. (It gets a little confusing, because some folks sometimes use "no self" and "non self" interchangeably, but "non self" is usually this reality that is both "self" and "no self" and, thus, so much more).

    Something like that.

    Dogen spoke of Zazen as thinking not thinking = non thinking.

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: The non prefix in Zen

    Gassho Jundo

    I just spouted out non-compassion because I couldn't think of anything else... I guess non-thinking would have been a good one. lol

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: The non prefix in Zen

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    You were born, that's a fact. Like President Obama, you have a birth cerificate to prove it.
    8)

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