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Thread: Help

  1. #51

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    Is "turning the light inward" the same as just returning to "this?" Is it something special we do with our awareness during zazen, such as putting special emphasis on "watching" our thoughts? Or is it just simply coming back to the bare bones awarness of the fact that I am a body, sitting in this place, not seperate from what is happening?
    Hi Greg,

    I would not overly analyze this, as it is more a knowing in the doing. Otherwise, it is like asking what the experience of "eating ice cream" is ... which is something to be known in experience, not words.

    However, I would say that "turning the light inward" is to just sit vibrantly, yet unattached to conditions within or without (not two). Dogen wrote in Fukanzazengi "learn the backward step that turns your light inwardly to illuminate your self." Another translation is "allow the external seeking of your mind to collapse upon itself and light up your own nature".

    The Ancestor Shitou wrote, "Turn around the light to shine within, then just return. . . . Let go of hundreds of years and relax completely."

    Our senses are usually pointed outward, grasping and judging. Even when we think about our selves, our lives, we judge it as an object (we judge our life like we judge everything, with aversions, attractions. We have attachments.). Withdraw all that looking and judging outward. turning the light around. Let that light just shine.

    Does that shed some light on the question?

    Gassho, Jundo (written from the road)

  2. #52

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick B

    I choose to share my experience not to belittle Christians or Christianity or to judge, but to show that one can be free from the shackles of the Christian religion if they are willing to make the conscious choice to do so and at the same time accepting the consequences of that choice, whatever they may be.

    Best wishes

    Edited one to many thens.
    Please consider that you may also be free of all the shackles that the human mind is capable of creating and this is also a conscious choice - a kind of will to the truth.
    /Rich

  3. #53

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Does that shed some light on the question?
    It does. Thanks for the answers.

    gassho
    Greg

  4. #54

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich

    Please consider that you may also be free of all the shackles that the human mind is capable of creating and this is also a conscious choice [emphasis added]- a kind of will to the truth.
    /Rich
    This may be the most optimistic post I have read. I'm counting on you being right!

  5. #55

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick B
    I was raised a protestant Christian and I have formally renounced Christianity for about ten years now.

    When it was all said and done it was not whether or not there is a God that informed my decision. It came down to the central message of Christianity, which is that we are all born with a fundamental flaw, an original sin and nothing can remove that sin except a perfect human sacrifice. This perfect human sacrifice is the new covenant as opposed to the old covenant of a perfect animal sacrifice used to remove sin. It is here that I found the fundamental error of Christianity for me, even Paul points out that this is the essence of the religion and no one can rightly call themselves a Christian without accepting this human sacrifice as there own. A sacrifice given to God and in which one is washed in the blood of this sacrifice for the removal of sin, which in turn grants one eternal life in paradise.



    Edited one to many thens.
    I was thinking that this original sin may symbolically be the same as 'being in delusion' as Buddhists like to say. Accepting the existence and causes of suffering goes a long way in washing away original sin and I guess letting go of the self is a kind of sacrifice to have eternal life in this paradise right now.


    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich

    Please consider that you may also be free of all the shackles that the human mind is capable of creating and this is also a conscious choice [emphasis added]- a kind of will to the truth.
    /Rich
    This may be the most optimistic post I have read. I'm counting on you being right!
    Yea, I'm an eternal optimist but not always right

  6. #56

    Re: Help

    Hello Rich,

    with all due respect, original sin and karmic delusions are two completely different concepts, whether you see it symbolically or not.

    Whether you're looking at the Catholic church's, Martin Luther's or Calvin's take....original sin means we as humans are flawed from the beginning. We are inherently not completely good.

    Buddhadharma has it the exact opposite way around, there is delusion etc., but we ourselves are pure and perfect Dharmakaya reality as it manifests itself. The bottom of "We" (no matter how provisional a notion of "we" as individuals might be) is inherently pure and good.

    My approach to this topic seems to be different from a lot of people's here. And I do not consider this to be pure intellectualising btw. but rather crucial points regarding what does and what does not constitute "right view". Buddhism is designed to "self-destruct",once the other shore is reached. We know that the -ism in Buddhism is just skillful means in a way. Christian and most other monotheist approaches do not work that way. At no point is one to abandon Jesus/Jahveh/Allah etc.


    Gassho,

    Hans

  7. #57

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Whether you're looking at the Catholic church's, Martin Luther's or Calvin's take....original sin means we as humans are flawed from the beginning. We are inherently not completely good.

    Buddhadharma has it the exact opposite way around,
    I dunno. I like Rich's take on it. I mean, in Christianity
    we are created in the image of God, and later flawed by
    the fact that we act otherwise. Isn't this the same? We
    are Buddha, but we behave like bastards? I do, at times.
    I have no doubt that you do too. It's called being human.
    Samsara makes us one. Sin makes us one. We deserve
    hell because that's what we act like we want. We deserve
    Samsara because that's what we act like we want. But in
    the end, we are children of God. In the end, we are Buddha.
    In fact, if we encounter any other Buddha than the one right
    now, which is just ourself, we should kill him. Isn't this the
    same as "Christ in you...?"

    gassho
    Greg

  8. #58

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Hello Rich,

    with all due respect, original sin and karmic delusions are two completely different concepts, whether you see it symbolically or not.

    Whether you're looking at the Catholic church's, Martin Luther's or Calvin's take....original sin means we as humans are flawed from the beginning. We are inherently not completely good.

    Buddhadharma has it the exact opposite way around, there is delusion etc., but we ourselves are pure and perfect Dharmakaya reality as it manifests itself. The bottom of "We" (no matter how provisional a notion of "we" as individuals might be) is inherently pure and good.

    My approach to this topic seems to be different from a lot of people's here. And I do not consider this to be pure intellectualising btw. but rather crucial points regarding what does and what does not constitute "right view". Buddhism is designed to "self-destruct",once the other shore is reached. We know that the -ism in Buddhism is just skillful means in a way. Christian and most other monotheist approaches do not work that way. At no point is one to abandon Jesus/Jahveh/Allah etc.


    Gassho,

    Hans
    Hey Hans,

    Well, I would suggest that we drop all thought of "flawed" or not, "from the beginning" or not, "opposites" or not, "deluded" or not, "pure and perfect" or not and all the rest. All should be dropped away, and thus the Flawless, Pure and Perfect realized which realizes both that flawed/flawless, pure/pureless, perfect/imperfect which the mind imposes on life. Same with that Dharmakaya which sweeps in all human conception of dharmakaya or sin, jesus and buddha, beginnings and origins and "self destructs".

    In any case, what is most important is the sin/harm/karma we bring about through our volitional words, thoughts and acts in this life.

    I would not be so sure what common ground can or cannot be found. It is only that very same mind which can or cannot find "other shores" and "common ground".

    Gassho, J

  9. #59

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I would not be so sure what common ground can or cannot be found. It is only that very same mind which can or cannot find "other shores" and "common ground".
    Shunryu Suzuki...

    "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."

    gassho (and thanks Jundo!)
    Greg

  10. #60

    Re: Help

    Hello,

    I have no problem with a "we agree to disagree" situation, I get the feeling from this thread however, that there is a tendency in many of the posts to ultimately want to arrive at a conclusion that negates true differences in order to arrive at a slightly perennialist outcome. Countering "relative" arguments with "ultimate" viewpoints to me kills off any wish to actually have a meaningful argument based on relative, hitorical or conventional facts.

    Jundo, just for the record, do you think that an acceptance of Anatta is crucial for to right view, or not?

    Do you think that right view is essential for Zazen to actually be Zazen and not just a great meditation technique?

    Gassho,

    Hans

    P.S. I won't post in this thread anymore, for Ithink that all I wanted to say has been said.

  11. #61

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Jundo, just for the record, do you think that an acceptance of Anatta is crucial for to right view, or not?
    Yes. But the perspective(s) on self/no self are not so simple, especially in the Mahayana. In fact, view little is cut & dried, black/white, yes/no, 'this but not that' in the Mahayana.

    Do you think that right view is essential for Zazen to actually be Zazen and not just a great meditation technique?
    Yes, right view is essential.

    There is no doubt that some folks define the tenets of Christianity and the tenets of Buddhism so that they cannot be harmonized. I think the point that several folks are making here is that the tenets need not be so limiting, can be viewed in ways which find common ground, and can be seen otherwise from both sides. Call it Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya or Father, Holy Ghost and Son ... common ground can be found.

    Gassho, Jundo

  12. #62

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Hello Rich,

    with all due respect, original sin and karmic delusions are two completely different concepts, whether you see it symbolically or not.

    Hans
    I didn't say karmic delusion, I meant the delusion one has right now is like original sin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Whether you're looking at the Catholic church's, Martin Luther's or Calvin's take....original sin means we as humans are flawed from the beginning. We are inherently not completely good.

    Hans
    Yes, flawed from birth just like Buddhists who haven't attained enlightenment or awakening. But the good news was that this original sin could be washed away and you were made in the image of God or Christ or whatever - I'm not a theologian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Buddhadharma has it the exact opposite way around, there is delusion etc., but we ourselves are pure and perfect Dharmakaya reality as it manifests itself. The bottom of "We" (no matter how provisional a notion of "we" as individuals might be) is inherently pure and good.

    My approach to this topic seems to be different from a lot of people's here. And I do not consider this to be pure intellectualising btw. but rather crucial points regarding what does and what does not constitute "right view". Buddhism is designed to "self-destruct",once the other shore is reached. We know that the -ism in Buddhism is just skillful means in a way. Christian and most other monotheist approaches do not work that way. At no point is one to abandon Jesus/Jahveh/Allah etc.


    Gassho,

    Hans
    My point was not to prove that Buddhist and Christian doctrine was the same but to point out there are faith based similarities because we all have the same mind.

    /Rich

  13. #63
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Help

    I have no doubt that people can find good things in the Christian religion. The basic teachings of Jesus are pretty solid, and many of his sayings come up in my life from time to time like koans. The Christian Church has done and continues to do good things, just as it has done and continues to do bad things. Local churches often support social aid programs and can be especially vital in areas where there is not as much government support for people suffering from homelessness and poverty. AA and NA meetings take place in church basements everywhere. People find solace, support, and community at church.

    The problem is when you get to the doctrines and dogmas. I love the aesthetics of the Episcopal Church services, but the most recent one I went to, about a year ago at my grandmother's funeral, was a bit of a disappointment, as the dogma made it impossible for me to fully appreciate the beautiful aesthetics and ritual. I love the sound of the language and some of those prayers are beautiful poetry, but when it comes to things like reciting the Nicene Creed... you'd have to do a lot of intellectual gyration to rectify those sort of dogmas with a Zen practice, IMO.

    And that is exactly the problem... for most people I've known who are Christian, their religion is mainly about what they believe. And those beliefs are based on tradition and fear and formed blindly. My maternal aunt is a wonderful woman, kind and wise and funny, and a die-hard Baptist. Her religion supports her in her natural kindness, and helps her not be as troubled by life events... but a lot of the comfort comes from belief in "being saved" and "going to Heaven." And being saved and going to Heaven depends not on works, or practice, but in accepting a very particular belief system. A "meme," as Susan Blackmore might put it.

    I have no mission to strip people on the street of their comforting beliefs. But my Zen practice is all about stripping me of mine. My faith, as a Zen Buddhist, is that life is ultimately better without beliefs, when I don't put so much faith and energy into my ideas and philosophies and suppositions about how things work and what will happen in the future and when I die. I'm not going to go around proselytizing that, but in my own zendo, my own sangha, I see no place for dogmas and belief systems, and I believe one of our vital roles as sangha members is to challenge one another's beloved beliefs and ideas. In the workaday world, I am respectful of people's different beliefs and practices, but in the zendo I hold Christian dogma in no reverence and see it as no different than any of the other beliefs we cling to, like "this new job is going to make me happy." IMO, all need to be under the gun.

  14. #64

    Re: Help

    Please consider that you may also be free of all the shackles that the human mind is capable of creating and this is also a conscious choice [emphasis added]- a kind of will to the truth.
    /Rich
    Interesting, when one makes the choice to let go of all dwelling places, the choice is the first thing to go, then there is just non-dwelling.

    Those with non-dwelling minds have Buddha minds or so says Hui Hai.

    This non-dwelling leads to Nirvikalpa Samadhi A.K.A. Nirvana, the question then arises for us Mahayana folk who take the road of the Bodhisattva, How far out of the mind stream do we go?

    At what point do we re-enter the mind stream, what do we take up, what do we let go by, what do we cultivate, what do we abandon?

    What is to be our guide, how we feel in the moment or the precepts and the bodhisattva ideal?

    There is cultivation and abandoning other wise our practice would be no different than just letting Samsara take us where ever it happened to go.

    Truly it comes down to our choices and being in a Soto Zen Buddhist Sangha it raises the question of what choices are in harmony with S.Z.B.?

  15. #65

    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    I have no mission to strip people on the street of their comforting beliefs. But my Zen practice is all about stripping me of mine. My faith, as a Zen Buddhist, is that life is ultimately better without beliefs, when I don't put so much faith and energy into my ideas and philosophies and suppositions about how things work and what will happen in the future and when I die. I'm not going to go around proselytizing that, but in my own zendo, my own sangha, I see no place for dogmas and belief systems, and I believe one of our vital roles as sangha members is to challenge one another's beloved beliefs and ideas. In the workaday world, I am respectful of people's different beliefs and practices, but in the zendo I hold Christian dogma in no reverence and see it as no different than any of the other beliefs we cling to, like "this new job is going to make me happy." IMO, all need to be under the gun.
    is it the attachment to your beliefs that is a problem. if you have zen beliefs and philosophies that motivate you to meditate but you are able to let them go when meditating then they would be no hindrance (zenspeak) or you would be just doing it. In general I agree with you that too much thinking and believing is unecessary and even dangerous but buddhists and christians are both very good at it


    Quote Originally Posted by Nick B
    Please consider that you may also be free of all the shackles that the human mind is capable of creating and this is also a conscious choice [emphasis added]- a kind of will to the truth.
    /Rich
    Interesting, when one makes the choice to let go of all dwelling places, the choice is the first thing to go, then there is just non-dwelling.

    Those with non-dwelling minds have Buddha minds or so says Hui Hai.

    This non-dwelling leads to Nirvikalpa Samadhi A.K.A. Nirvana, the question then arises for us Mahayana folk who take the road of the Bodhisattva, How far out of the mind stream do we go?

    At what point do we re-enter the mind stream, what do we take up, what do we let go by, what do we cultivate, what do we abandon?

    What is to be our guide, how we feel in the moment or the precepts and the bodhisattva ideal?

    There is cultivation and abandoning other wise our practice would be no different than just letting Samsara take us where ever it happened to go.

    Truly it comes down to our choices and being in a Soto Zen Buddhist Sangha it raises the question of what choices are in harmony with S.Z.B.?
    I think the main choice is shikantaza but Jundo seems to accept other zen flavors as valid even tho not taught here. I think we always abandon thinking cause it just gets in the way of doing but that does not mean thinking is not useful and valid, it just means we have to be able to put it down.

    /Rich

  16. #66

    Re: Help

    I think we always abandon thinking cause it just gets in the way of doing but that does not mean thinking is not useful and valid, it just means we have to be able to put it down.

    /Rich
    I agree.

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