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Thread: Practice

  1. #1

    Practice

    Hi everyone,
    It is 2:30AM and I can't sleep until I attempt to get this all out. I apologize ahead of time if this is long and appears as though it is the rantings of a madman, I am not positive as to where this is going to go, but anyway. You have been warned, close your browser now if you don't want opinions and the mess of chaos in my head. :twisted:

    Alright, I want to talk about Practice. We talk a lot here at Tree Leaf and the vast majority of it is great, but I don't feel like we directly discuss practice enough, maybe we do and I am so stupid that I missed them. One thread that we touched on practice is Jundo's discussion of "Great Awakening -- Dropping Mind and Body" and it was great. I enjoyed it, but I want to discuss practice and this non-goal of awakening from a different angle. In the thread that Stephanie or Chet started some months back about a Shobogenzo Study Group (which is a topic I would like to re-open) Jundo posted a link to this article http://www.buddhistethics.org/7/zelinski001.html That article, as you probably already see, is entitled "Ceaseless Practice" and after I read it I felt as though I had a much greater understanding (although I probably do not) about what Dogen was on about. About what Satori experience may or may not be. Kensho, the big WOW!

    There has been controversy here as of late about what Kensho is, whether or not it really even exists and if it does exist should we completely dismiss it. My answers are all Yeses. Yes. Kensho is. Yes, it is does. Yes, it does not. Yes, we should dismiss it. Yes, it is important. I'm sorry to bring this up again as it may appear that I am flogging the dead monk, but honestly I think we have gone at this from the wrong angle or maybe I have been reading from the wrong angle and in that case I apologize ahead of time, again.

    Everyday since I began my practice just 4 years ago, while I was living in another Middle Eastern country, temporarily, I have seen direct results from my practice. Without having any goals, I can see every day some result. Even if that result is feeling as if I have not "progressed." It is a result and I am happy with the impermanence that I have experienced. This to me is a WOW moment. Even when I fail to sit and I feel it in my marrow that I should have. I am in awe of how such a small or trivial (by appearances) thing can have a dramatic impact on me moment to moment. Every day that I recognize that I had/have compassion for someone that maybe 3 days ago I might not have had. I smile and say WOW. Last night I sat and thought for awhile about Robert Aitken Roshi who died the other day. I have a connection to Diamond Sangha in Tucson, I sat with them once and they were all lovely people and when i am in AZ I sit with their "Sister" Sangha in the small artsy town of Bisbee, AZ. I thought about Aitken Roshi and his passing while listening to a band called Mogwai. I had a very heavy feeling in my chest and was saddened. I came to the realization that this is another perfect example of beautiful impermanence and was pleased with myself for feeling sadness for this man and his community. I recognized this and said WOW. You want more examples, you say?! Well ok, I have lots more. I stepped outside the doorway to my prison cell I call a room the other day. I looked out at the horizon with my eyes all squinty because it was bright and almost 100 degrees at not quite 9am. A good 1/4 of the sky all around me was a dense greyish brown smog not unlike LA. It was disgusting and is caused from all the dust in the air. A moment later I looked up and saw the most beautiful section of blue sky I had ever seen in my life. In contrast and comparison to the grey brown mess on the horizon it was bluer than any other patch of sky in the world. It was literally so amazing that I almost fell over. All I could say was WOW!

    I have not in my opinion had a Kensho or Satori experience, I haven't because I honestly don't care for these words. I don't care for your definitions of anything that I have not seen, because they are meaningless to me. But at the same time, I find the subject interesting and worth discussing. As long as we don't fail to forget that this practice is ceaseless, no matter how many dead monks or blue skies we happen across that change our views on life as we know it. I say again I have not had Kensho. But, I practice every day and without goal or agenda strive to be a better person and live a life that has maybe just a little less suffering than the day before. Because of my experiences, because of my blue skies and because of dead people. Believe me there have been a lot of both in my life. The thing is this, it does lead to something, to somewhere. It isn't a goal, we are not attaining. But I want to hear from my teachers and from my peers about their experiences directly with practice. With those moments that bring them closer, that give them a taste of less suffering and a more fulfilling life. Because, Kensho is just a meaningless word. But moments are what this practice is about and it is why we are all here. I don't just sit on my ass, to just sit on my ass.

    I apologize again if I haven't entirely made sense, believe me up here it makes sense (points to empty melon). Just because my mess of thoughts up here make sense to me, doesn't make them right. They are opinions and thoughts about my practice and where it will one day head/not head.

    Thank you for reading, yours in practice,
    Deep Gassho, and all that...

    Still just Rob.

  2. #2

    Re: Practice

    Interesting post Rob. My response--and I'm not a teacher--is the response that I've read in many books. Wow what an experience, but don't be attached to it. Simply continue to sit on the mat. I feel that this is an encouraging response. I think that we all become attached to certain experiences or a good sit. And we hold on to them. Where in reality, we must simply go on sitting without expectation. Easier said than done of course.

    Rehn

  3. #3

    Re: Practice

    Be careful what you ask for - you may get it (my opinion). So here it goes: I like your comment on kensho and satori - you aren't interested in definitions of something you haven't experienced. I agree. I am also less and less interested in even discussing kensho or satori, as they are neither goals of mine nor something I can hope to speak intelligently on at this time. Based on reading (and not first-hand experience), I'm guessing I will be even less interested in talking about kensho or satori if it ever happens to me.

    Have I had interesting experiences since I began practicing Zen? Yes. I've been surprised by the look of things I have walked by every day for the last 25 years. I have a subtly different point of view on most everything I do every day. I have had a genuine change in my pace of life, and a subtle shift in my priorities. Do any of them seem remarkable or spectacular? Occasionally (at the time of occurence), then they seem to be "the new normal." Sesshin was the exception, a taste of freedom that gave me a glow that lasted for days after.

    Is that why I practice? Who knows why anyone REALLY does anything, but I don't think so. My experiences and understandings so far have led me to believe that there is truth to be experienced in Zen. So I sit.

  4. #4

    Re: Practice

    Thank you for this, Rob.

    I see the WOW in the pile of dishes sitting in the sink. Years ago, it would be a battle; either with the dishes themselves, or with whoever was "supposed" to do the dishes. Practice helps me just do the dishes.

    I see the WOW in my kids when they're in the midst of a tantrum. Not so long ago as the dishes, it too would be a battle. At their worst, practice helps me be able to deal with it kindly and calmly. (well, most of the time )

    I see the WOW in walking down the street. I used to keep my eyes down, focused on the destination or my own 1,000 thoughts racing through as thoughts do. Practice helps me walk with a smile and pay attention to the world as it passes, and it amazes me every day how many people -- there all those years as I looked downward -- have been waiting to smile back.

    The "results" of my practice go on and on (quoted because it's a clumsy word to use, I know). Sitting on the cushion, sitting on the bus, sitting in my office chair, sitting in the box seats at a ballgame... it truly is all practice. When I can keep that thought in my mind 100% of the time, perhaps I will have gotten somewhere. For now, I'm not too hung up on destinations.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Practice

    Beautiful post Rob.

    I too believe in and have been enlivened by this "ceaseless practice" of everything-is-the-path.

    But I think it is easy to hide in a shallow understanding of "ceaseless practice" and "everything-is-the-path."

    When any of us struggle to justify our practice, we inevitably come up with worldly reasons--"I'm a more patient father," or "I'm a better milkmaid," or "The flowers look brighter."

    But yet we nod when someone asserts "Zen is not self-help" or "Zen is not self-improvement."

    We don't understand the contradiction.

    Some people misunderstood my points before. I think being kind is important, I think moral practice, and more importantly, moral questioning, is important. But the transmission of Zen through the centuries has not been rooted in the transmission of moral guidelines. Unlike in the Christian tradition, the heroes and saints of Zen are not considered heroes and saints due to their moral perfection. Again, this is not because Zen Buddhism is anti-morality or non-moral. It is because morality is not the central focus. Awakening is the central focus.

    What is awakening?

    Dogen expressed a deep and profound realization when he expressed the "answer" to his long-burning personal koan of "Why practice, if we are already perfect?" His "answer": "Practice is enlightenment totally realized." This does not mean because you planted your ass on a cushion for thirty minutes that you have the same clarity as the realized Zen teachers who transmitted the Way!!! It means you were sitting in and with the same substance that the ancestors did and had. It's all here. But do you see it? There is this koan: "The nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?"

    I think the danger of what seems to happen at Treeleaf is that people say, "Ah, there is no place the wind does not reach," but they are not fanning. They think they are fanning, but the roots of delusion are still deep. If you want the proof, see how well the "Ah, the fields are so green" realization functions when your wife leaves you or your house burns to the ground. It's harder to have a pastoral scene in your heart when the view out your window is a fugly broken-down cityscape, when you're all alone and your nice little stories are falling apart.

    Wanting kensho is just a delusion of the self--one I have to drop all over again every day. The self says, "I want kensho!" The self wants another spiritual trophy to put on the shelf. As Taigu said once, the self is a collector of glimpses.

    But even when I can drop this ego-driven quest for whatever-I-think-it-is, there is still something there... I have had moments where I felt "on the verge" or like I got very close... maybe more delusions... but even those tiny half-glimpses are like fucking missiles that blow the shit out of some pretty well-fortified delusions! I know from my personal experience that there is a difference between a sort of peaceful equanimity with things and a razor-sharp clarity. The peaceful "sky is blue" equanimity means you're still inside the illusion, just with better ballast. Waking up is like Truman opening up the door in the wall, stepping off the ship and out of the movie.

    I was raised in a pretty intense family where psychological warfare was constantly breaking out, so I developed a taste for intensity that not all folks have. And one of the benefits of that otherwise unfortunate background is that I've never been troubled by a search for calm and security. I thrive in intense situations. I get a feeling of strength from weathering discomfort that is almost like a high. This "life training" has bred courage in me. And I'm grateful for it. I know that you know that same courage too.

    So my Zen practice has never been about making my life calmer or more comfortable. It's been out of an inexplicable, primeval desire to know the truth. And I still have doubts and a feeling that something isn't quite clear, so I know I haven't fully pierced the truth... and yet, it has broken through enough that I know what it feels like. It is sharp, ruthless, and powerful, immense and unstoppable like a glacier eroding everything in its path. It obliterates delusions decisively. When it functions, there is nothing left over.

    I would imagine that anyone that sticks with this Zen practice over the long term... through the periods when you're sitting through tears and loss and bleakness... through the times when your early ideals crumble to dust... starts to get a feel for what truth feels like. And that it is not soft or comforting, but it does not need to be, because it blasts away the brittle branches of delusion like a fierce, icy wind, and when they are gone, so is the pain that needed comfort. And, standing alone in that icy wind, you realize that the scenery of the moment, and your appreciation or lack thereof, don't matter at all. Just a few specks of dust blowing into formation for a brief moment, before they blow apart again. How can you ever be afraid again? All you have to fear is the loss of what never existed in the first place.

  6. #6

    Re: Practice

    Craig,
    My experiences and understandings so far have led me to believe that there is truth to be experienced in Zen. So I sit.
    Exactly, truth. I like that line a lot.


    Stephanie,

    Thank you, exactly. I may not have made it entirely clear initially but this is what I am saying. I practice for one reason, to make life more....Lifelike. But I don't see that as an attachment or goal. I see results. I am not saying I AM a better person than previously, maybe I am, maybe I'm not. But to open myself up to life as a whole and take it all in.
    You of all people know just how I feel about the things you written, the things I have read and loved. I think I found an area where your words might be a bit alienating to people who are just beginning this path...

    But I think it is easy to hide in a shallow understanding of "ceaseless practice" and "everything-is-the-path."

    When any of us struggle to justify our practice, we inevitably come up with worldly reasons--"I'm a more patient father," or "I'm a better milkmaid," or "The flowers look brighter."
    I would disagree with the use of the words "hide in a shallow understanding" You are right, it would be easy, but we have to back away from the assumption that anyone is hiding or has a shallow interpretation of these concepts. It isn't for us to say, even if it is BLATANTLY evident at times. Another thing, people may inherently fall back on short quick explanations like "I'm a more patient father," or "I'm a better milkmaid," or "The flowers look brighter." Simply because they lack the overall ability to express their experience, again it isn't for us to judge.
    I want to add, that I am pretty sure I completely understand what you are saying, I am just afraid of you alienating people off the bat and that because of that alienation might not understand your words clearly. Again, thank you for your prose. Reading your words have become a daily delight, and an attachment I may have to take a long look at soon and learn to drop

    Yours in practice,

    Still just the same ol' Rob.

  7. #7
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_Heathen
    I would disagree with the use of the words "hide in a shallow understanding" You are right, it would be easy, but we have to back away from the assumption that anyone is hiding or has a shallow interpretation of these concepts. It isn't for us to say, even if it is BLATANTLY evident at times. Another thing, people may inherently fall back on short quick explanations like "I'm a more patient father," or "I'm a better milkmaid," or "The flowers look brighter." Simply because they lack the overall ability to express their experience, again it isn't for us to judge.
    No, you're exactly right.

    As soon as I judge others, I am indulging in a fantasy...

    As always, I appreciate your kind feedback, and more importantly your own words, your own practice.

    Gassho

  8. #8

    Re: Practice

    Nice to peer into your head :P Many bows. Indeed, Kensho to me means about as much as "clouds" or "butter" or "tadpole". I catch myself looking for it now and then, then I catch myself catching myself :roll:

    What's the difference between blue sky and an anxiety attack? That's the koan of the week. Three rings of a bell, I suppose. Speaking of blue sky, I try not to look for that either, even when I'm looking for it. Just watch the scenery go by, don't worry if the forest suddenly is set ablaze.

    Practice shows itself in many ways, some unexplainable, unseen, unexpected. But it is also late here, a much calmer, cooler, and collected Taylor is off to bed after a terribly tiring week at the beach :mrgreen:

    Gassho
    Taylor

  9. #9

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_Heathen
    Hi everyone,
    It is 2:30AM and I can't sleep until I attempt to get this all out. I apologize ahead of time if this is long and appears as though it is the rantings of a madman, I am not positive as to where this is going to go, but anyway. You have been warned, close your browser now if you don't want opinions and the mess of chaos in my head. :twisted:

    Alright, I want to talk about Practice. We talk a lot here at Tree Leaf and the vast majority of it is great, but I don't feel like we directly discuss practice enough, maybe we do and I am so stupid that I missed them. One thread that we touched on practice is Jundo's discussion of "Great Awakening -- Dropping Mind and Body" and it was great. I enjoyed it, but I want to discuss practice and this non-goal of awakening from a different angle. In the thread that Stephanie or Chet started some months back about a Shobogenzo Study Group (which is a topic I would like to re-open) Jundo posted a link to this article http://www.buddhistethics.org/7/zelinski001.html That article, as you probably already see, is entitled "Ceaseless Practice" and after I read it I felt as though I had a much greater understanding (although I probably do not) about what Dogen was on about. About what Satori experience may or may not be. Kensho, the big WOW!

    There has been controversy here as of late about what Kensho is, whether or not it really even exists and if it does exist should we completely dismiss it. My answers are all Yeses. Yes. Kensho is. Yes, it is does. Yes, it does not. Yes, we should dismiss it. Yes, it is important. I'm sorry to bring this up again as it may appear that I am flogging the dead monk, but honestly I think we have gone at this from the wrong angle or maybe I have been reading from the wrong angle and in that case I apologize ahead of time, again.

    Everyday since I began my practice just 4 years ago, while I was living in another Middle Eastern country, temporarily, I have seen direct results from my practice. Without having any goals, I can see every day some result. Even if that result is feeling as if I have not "progressed." It is a result and I am happy with the impermanence that I have experienced. This to me is a WOW moment. Even when I fail to sit and I feel it in my marrow that I should have. I am in awe of how such a small or trivial (by appearances) thing can have a dramatic impact on me moment to moment. Every day that I recognize that I had/have compassion for someone that maybe 3 days ago I might not have had. I smile and say WOW. Last night I sat and thought for awhile about Robert Aitken Roshi who died the other day. I have a connection to Diamond Sangha in Tucson, I sat with them once and they were all lovely people and when i am in AZ I sit with their "Sister" Sangha in the small artsy town of Bisbee, AZ. I thought about Aitken Roshi and his passing while listening to a band called Mogwai. I had a very heavy feeling in my chest and was saddened. I came to the realization that this is another perfect example of beautiful impermanence and was pleased with myself for feeling sadness for this man and his community. I recognized this and said WOW. You want more examples, you say?! Well ok, I have lots more. I stepped outside the doorway to my prison cell I call a room the other day. I looked out at the horizon with my eyes all squinty because it was bright and almost 100 degrees at not quite 9am. A good 1/4 of the sky all around me was a dense greyish brown smog not unlike LA. It was disgusting and is caused from all the dust in the air. A moment later I looked up and saw the most beautiful section of blue sky I had ever seen in my life. In contrast and comparison to the grey brown mess on the horizon it was bluer than any other patch of sky in the world. It was literally so amazing that I almost fell over. All I could say was WOW!

    I have not in my opinion had a Kensho or Satori experience, I haven't because I honestly don't care for these words. I don't care for your definitions of anything that I have not seen, because they are meaningless to me. But at the same time, I find the subject interesting and worth discussing. As long as we don't fail to forget that this practice is ceaseless, no matter how many dead monks or blue skies we happen across that change our views on life as we know it. I say again I have not had Kensho. But, I practice every day and without goal or agenda strive to be a better person and live a life that has maybe just a little less suffering than the day before. Because of my experiences, because of my blue skies and because of dead people. Believe me there have been a lot of both in my life. The thing is this, it does lead to something, to somewhere. It isn't a goal, we are not attaining. But I want to hear from my teachers and from my peers about their experiences directly with practice. With those moments that bring them closer, that give them a taste of less suffering and a more fulfilling life. Because, Kensho is just a meaningless word. But moments are what this practice is about and it is why we are all here. I don't just sit on my ass, to just sit on my ass.

    I apologize again if I haven't entirely made sense, believe me up here it makes sense (points to empty melon). Just because my mess of thoughts up here make sense to me, doesn't make them right. They are opinions and thoughts about my practice and where it will one day head/not head.

    Thank you for reading, yours in practice,
    Deep Gassho, and all that...

    Still just Rob.
    Hi Rob
    Stop "Thinking" about practice and start "Allowing" it. Each time I bow a little slice of my ego stays on the floor. Gassho zak

  10. #10

    Re: Practice

    After the wow, have a good laugh at life.

    /Rich

  11. #11

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    I would imagine that anyone that sticks with this Zen practice over the long term... through the periods when you're sitting through tears and loss and bleakness... through the times when your early ideals crumble to dust... starts to get a feel for what truth feels like. And that it is not soft or comforting, but it does not need to be, because it blasts away the brittle branches of delusion like a fierce, icy wind, and when they are gone, so is the pain that needed comfort. And, standing alone in that icy wind, you realize that the scenery of the moment, and your appreciation or lack thereof, don't matter at all. Just a few specks of dust blowing into formation for a brief moment, before they blow apart again. How can you ever be afraid again? All you have to fear is the loss of what never existed in the first place.
    Stephanie,

    Another beautiful post. I always feel like I am "cheating" because I'm not paying to read your prose! Quit whatever you are doing and become a writer 8)

    So, please don't take this wrong, but given what I have read of your Zen experience, what makes you think the description above bears any relationship to reality? I'm not saying I have the slightest idea whether it does or does not - but your previous posts seem to imply that you are similarly "unawakened." If this is true, is your description above any more than what you hope awakening will be like? If you have direct experience, I would love to hear about that. If not, please don't stop writing because of that - I would just like to know whether I am reading spectacular fiction or unforgettable memoir :wink:

    Thanks again for your posts,

    Craig

  12. #12
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    I would just like to know whether I am reading spectacular fiction or unforgettable memoir :wink:
    Ha! Well, you know in Zen they say that any statement we make is fiction :wink:

    And thanks for the praise, I love to write, and who knows, may get the inspiration to write something and publish it someday. For now, I'm happy to get future material for story writing from my work as a social worker :wink:

    My experience very well could be singular. I have a bad habit of judging and making assumptions about others. This weekend's Treeleaf Skype chat really kickstarted some reflection on that for me.

    I don't feel awake because I have lingering doubts and confusions, and that vague sense of looking for some kind of answer, though it is a lot less strong than it once was. I used to think about different possible "answers" all day long, and now such thoughts seem bizarre. What answer could my thought come up with that is any more real than a story about a dragon?

    That said... while I have by no means "clarified all doubt" I've clarified some. There are things that used to catch me up and send me spinning that don't even register any more. I've had many experience of suffering deeply, and then seeing what I was doing and the suffering just going away completely. This certainly doesn't happen all the time, but it's happened enough that I've experienced that--at least for me--true release is not comfort, but its opposite. I spent a long time looking for some kind of comfort or reassurance, some sort of God or higher realm or law that would make sense of and justify this crazy business of life... but I no longer look for those things, because I've seen that they are not necessary, and that it is actually our looking and grasping for them that maintains our suffering. There I go again, talking about "we"... in the end, I only know what is true for me. I can have assumptions it is true for others, but I can't really know.

  13. #13

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_Heathen
    We talk a lot here at Tree Leaf and the vast majority of it is great, but I don't feel like we directly discuss practice enough, maybe we do and I am so stupid that I missed them.
    Truly, we talk about little else.

    This thread ... really, every thread ... is the example.

    Everyday since I began my practice just 4 years ago, while I was living in another Middle Eastern country, temporarily, I have seen direct results from my practice. Without having any goals, I can see every day some result. Even if that result is feeling as if I have not "progressed." It is a result and I am happy with the impermanence that I have experienced. This to me is a WOW moment. Even when I fail to sit and I feel it in my marrow that I should have. I am in awe of how such a small or trivial (by appearances) thing can have a dramatic impact on me moment to moment.
    REALIZATION (in the meaning of both realizing/understanding/grocking in one's marrow's marrow's marrow the Buddha's Teachings ... and "making real" these though one's life actions) is what this path is truly pathing ... and is the real Truth and Oneness and Original Face.

    "REALIZATION" is a process of moment by moment continuous practice, manifesting profound understanding, on the cutting edge of enlightened activity and delusion. "KENSHO" is a moment(s)' piercing of emptiness, interconnection, no-self ... and thus a very useful insight, base, stepping stone, and not much more. REALIZATION is the real deal. That is one point stated very soundly in the fine explanation of the Zekinski article. REALIZATION without KENSHO is very much possible and still REALIZATION. On the other hand, KENSHO without REALIZATION is a trap.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    But the transmission of Zen through the centuries has not been rooted in the transmission of moral guidelines. Unlike in the Christian tradition, the heroes and saints of Zen are not considered heroes and saints due to their moral perfection.
    Stephanie, this statement is so historically, well, wrong ... I don't even know what evidence you can muster to support it. Even someone like Ikkyu, the Zen Master who openly hung out in brothels and had a main squeeze, was very much the exception in his day ... and may overall have been a pretty conservative fellow. You should look at Faure's "The Red Thread". What is more, sex and love is not "immorality" and there was something very loving and pure in Ikkyu's relationship with his lady. He was the rule as much as the exception.

    Again, this is not because Zen Buddhism is anti-morality or non-moral. It is because morality is not the central focus. Awakening is the central focus.
    Yes, "awakening" is and has always been the central foxus ... and is known as "awakening" through moral behavior it will manifest. Awakened beings generally do not rape, steal, rob banks for financial gain, get in fist fights etc.

    And if there was ever a "moralist" it was Dogen.

    I think folks like Maezumi Roshi and Trungpa, who drank to excess and (in some cases) slept around in ways which abused students, were enlightened on some points ... severely deluded individuals in other ways.

    When any of us struggle to justify our practice, we inevitably come up with worldly reasons--"I'm a more patient father," or "I'm a better milkmaid," or "The flowers look brighter."

    But yet we nod when someone asserts "Zen is not self-help" or "Zen is not self-improvement."

    ...

    They think they are fanning, but the roots of delusion are still deep. If you want the proof, see how well the "Ah, the fields are so green" realization functions when your wife leaves you or your house burns to the ground.
    I think you confuse two kinds of practice with fatherhood and flowers here. One is just "buji" Zen, and should be considered lightweight stuff ... as you rightly condemn. The other sees fatherhood, milking cows and being flowers as the whole universe realized (see definition of "realization" above) ... and is enlightenment itself. That is the kind of fatherhood, cow milking and flowers we emphasize in this Sangha (although not necessarily incompatible with just living life).

    This practice is precisely about getting old, getting sick, facing death, wives leaving and houses burning down. WHAT DO YOU THINK WE ARE PRACTICING WITH? Are you the kind of person who thinks it cannot be "serious" and "real life" unless it looks like an addict in the gutter with a needle in his arm? You think that "real life" is not what the people in this Sangha are living and struggling with every day? The people around here are dealing with, practicing with "Life" ... divorces, cancer, war, aging, bankruptcy, you name it.

    And I still have doubts and a feeling that something isn't quite clear, so I know I haven't fully pierced the truth... and yet, it has broken through enough that I know what it feels like. It is sharp, ruthless, and powerful, immense and unstoppable like a glacier eroding everything in its path. It obliterates delusions decisively. When it functions, there is nothing left over.... I would imagine that anyone that sticks with this Zen practice over the long term... through the periods when you're sitting through tears and loss and bleakness... through the times when your early ideals crumble to dust... starts to get a feel for what truth feels like. And that it is not soft or comforting, but it does not need to be, because it blasts away the brittle branches of delusion like a fierce, icy wind, and when they are gone, so is the pain that needed comfort. And, standing alone in that icy wind, you realize that the scenery of the moment, and your appreciation or lack thereof, don't matter at all. Just a few specks of dust blowing into formation for a brief moment, before they blow apart again. How can you ever be afraid again? All you have to fear is the loss of what never existed in the first place.
    I believe that Craig's spider senses were right on this as he wrote ...

    So, please don't take this wrong, but given what I have read of your Zen experience, what makes you think the description above bears any relationship to reality? I'm not saying I have the slightest idea whether it does or does not - but your previous posts seem to imply that you are similarly "unawakened." If this is true, is your description above any more than what you hope awakening will be like?
    Stephanie, after you "realize" this "ruthless truth" ... and the "icy wind" ... there will be a pile of dust and tin cans. Stephanie, to use the kind of language you like ... I think there may something here and there, but this is largely angst filled crap and a solid dose of self delusion, not real understanding. Patty Smith lyrics, not Buddhist practice.

    Gassho, Jundo

  14. #14

    Re: Practice

    Jundo,
    Thank you, this is exactly the sort of candidness I was hoping to get. I was looking for a different angle on this topic and I feel that you have given it to me. Maybe I just wanted it this way because I feel like I got it on my terms. Thanks again.

    Gassho,

    Rob.

  15. #15

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie

    true release is not comfort, but its opposite.
    Much food for thought in just this one short line. Between you and Taigu my brain hurts.

  16. #16

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_Heathen
    Jundo,
    Thank you, this is exactly the sort of candidness I was hoping to get. I was looking for a different angle on this topic and I feel that you have given it to me. Maybe I just wanted it this way because I feel like I got it on my terms. Thanks again.

    Gassho,

    Rob.
    Hi Rob,

    I am not jumping on Stephanie to be mean. There is tremendous Wisdom and Compassion in her words. However, I truly feel that her description of this "awakening" she imagines is just angst filled rehashed Camus via some college indy band ... not Buddhist Practice. This practice is supposed to bring about Peace, Stability amid Chaos, freedom from Suffering, Oneness with the Universe, seeing beyond life's battlefields ... milking cows and seeing flowers as the Buddha and the whole universe ... and that's it's TRUTH!

    Sometimes folks searching for "Truth" and "the Real" remind me of the guy peeling away the onion layer by layer until there is nothing left and nothing at the core ... all the while missing the pungent "Truth" of the real onion that was there all along, in each layer.

    I am just being blunt ... 40 whacks.

  17. #17

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_Heathen
    Jundo,
    Thank you, this is exactly the sort of candidness I was hoping to get. I was looking for a different angle on this topic and I feel that you have given it to me. Maybe I just wanted it this way because I feel like I got it on my terms. Thanks again.

    Gassho,

    Rob.
    Hi Rob,

    I am not jumping on Stephanie to be mean. There is tremendous Wisdom and Compassion in her words. However, I truly feel that here description of this "awakening" she imagines is just angst filled rehashed Camus via some college indy band ... not Buddhist Practice. This practice is supposed to bring about Peace, Stability amid Chaos, freedom from Suffering, Oneness with the Universe, seeing beyond life's battlefields ... milking cows and seeing flowers as the Buddha and the whole universe ... and that's it's TRUTH!

    Sometimes folks searching for "Truth" and "the Real" remind me of the guy peeling away the onion layer by layer until there is nothing left and nothing at the core ... all the while missing the pungent "Truth" of the real onion that was there all along, in each layer.

    I am just being blunt ... 40 whacks.
    I know you aren't being mean Jundo, and I won't speak for Stephanie, but I think she understands as well. There is a very dark angst ridden piece to both of us and again I am not speaking FOR Stephanie but based on our conversations with one another I think we are learning a lot from each other. Being blunt is good, I am very blunt with most people that I encounter. I had a very interesting discussion tonight here in Afghanistan with someone who wis SGI and someone who is Nichiren, both (especially the SGI member) seemed very put off when I discussed Soto Zen and Shikantaza. I was very blunt with them about what I thought yet very open to hearing about their schools. It is my hope that you will always be very blunt with me about the things I say and my delusions. I know I don't have anything figured out and that the things I say mostly come out as vomit. I am here to learn from you and being blunt is the preferable method as far as I am concerned. Thank you.

    Gassho,

    Rob

  18. #18

    Re: Practice

    Jundo,
    I also want to add that I wanted this thread to sorta coincide with your last two sit-a-longs. A discussion of as you said "every step of the journey is a constant arriving at a place that was never left." My blue sky and my dust filled brown/grey smog clouds are perfect as they are. I love the "at one piece" I have begun using it quite often. These last few sit-a-longs have been fantastic and along with your candid/blunt replys in this thread are exactly what I think I was asking you for. I seem to be thanking people a lot lately. I say it almost too often, can you say thank you too often? Thank you. Again.

    Gassho,

    I might not be Rob after all, but in all honesty probably am...

  19. #19
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Practice

    No worries Jundo, I need the poke, it's what I'm here for :wink:

    Yes, I am quite prone to "angst" and "darkness" and all that jazz... but you must understand I'm not currently wallowing in sadness. Right now I am filled with an amazing sense of peace and contentment, even as I lose my grip on some of the fairy tales I've been chasing for a while. I still gravitate toward the darker places in life because I find them to be the more beautiful ones, and strangely life-affirming. I know that is just my particular twisted conditioning, and I do need to be reminded sometimes that's all it is ops:

    I also love words, and get carried away by them... often. And my love of language sometimes causes me to go with something that sounds poetic to me instead of trying to express my points as clearly and concisely as possible.

    So, while I acknowledge that I do tend to sometimes not see past my own 'angsty' preferences, I want to make clear what the points I'm trying to make actually are, so we can examine them:

    1. "Icy wind" is not meant to convey something bleak or painful or sad. It's mean to convey something crisp and clear and piercing, sort of like the concept of "vajra" in Tibetan Buddhism. And Zen is full of talk of "withered trees" and the like, I don't think the Zen teachers using such terms were prone to moody contemplations in cafes while wearing black turtlenecks. They were just trying to convey a lack of something... a lack that is freeing and exhilarating, not depressing or forlorn. And maybe even that sounds a bit like Camus, but I respect Camus as a wise person. Even Camus said, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." That's one of the most bizarrely optimistic statements ever made, wouldn't you say? And I think it resonates with the Zen perspective and Zen practice.

    2. For the love of Buddha, I'm not saying that Zen masters and teachers were not moral people or that they did not teach morality! Can we stop picking apart this strawman?? What I'm saying is that while morality is an important part of the path, it is "secondary" to awakening. Now that is something of a fallacy because, of course, morality and awakening are not separate things. But there is a reason that in the stories of all the Zen ancestors, we don't read about how many orphans they bathed or the dramatic ways they martyred themselves. We read stories about how they expressed their piercing clarity of mind and woke their students up to Reality. That central awakening was the nexus of all moral training and practice, not the other way around. I make that point not to say we shouldn't practice morality, but that moral practice alone is not the whole enchilada, and that if morality and moral practice is our only concern, we are missing a huge piece of Buddhist practice and awakening.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Silva's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Cook Islands
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    Re: Practice

    hello Rob, hello everyone,

    thank-you for this most nourishing post Rob.
    Typically as i'm French I relate evrything to food. The latest dramatic events in my life have not deterred from this vein!
    Jundo's words
    This practice is supposed to bring about Peace, Stability amid Chaos, freedom from Suffering, Oneness with the Universe, seeing beyond life's battlefields ... milking cows and seeing flowers as the Buddha and the whole universe ... and that's it's TRUTH!
    My answer is Mayonnaise!
    I feel that my practice, especially recently has led me to peacefully live chaos, somehow to be One with the Universe I have to reconcile the constantly arising contradictions in my life rather than try to free myself from any of them. Awareness comes in to find the appropiate subtle touch that mixes totally unmiscible ingredients to create a stable peaceful whole where all can "inter-be" exactly as they are and yet just absolutely,completely,simply be mayonnaise...
    gassho,

    Sylvie

  21. #21

    Re: Practice

    I'll deludedly wade in here:

    One of the most striking points I got from a book called "The Wild White Goose" by Jiyu Kennett Roshi was her account of struggles with trying to separate enlightenment and everything else. Her teacher warns her several times that she is "trying to split enlightenment." In the Soto-shu I take this to mean that as much as we might want to, we cannot separate enlightenment from delusion any more than unmixing paint colors once they are stirred. Life is practice: delusion and enlightenment tangled into a big fine mess. We practice everyday, for a while on the zafu and the rest of the time in the world. 24hrs a day. What is not practice? So, yes we talk about zazen as if it could be separated from daily life, but it really can't be. Morality is practice. Zazen is practice. Sleep is practice.

    Shikantaza is the motor of the car, but morality, ritual, etc, are the frame, chassis, etc. It is all part of the path. Inseparably so. That is NOT to say that morality is a fixed entity, existing as some absolute set of rules. But there is a middle way where morality is important without falling into nihilism or fundamentalism.

    I went to a sesshin a few weeks ago. One with oryoki at every meal, etc. And it forced me to begin to see things this way. I intellectually sort of knew it before, but by the end of the sesshin, it was clear to me that every event in the day was practice.

    No separation.

    Gassho,
    Eika

  22. #22

    Re: Practice

    Another damned solid thread! I learn so much here, thank you everyone

    I just wanted to add my "Wow" moment that I just had yesterday.

    My wife and I ordered food from a local Vietnamese place, and I went in the restaurant to pick it up.

    I went up to the counter, and I waited, credit card in hand ready to pay for my order. Up comes an older man.

    Well this sob, goes over to the right of me and talks to the woman behind the register, and asks about his takeout order.

    What the hell???!!!!! I was there first, what the hell does this guy think he's doing??!!!! I exhale and look over. I'm literally fuming. Then I just stand there with that anger. Why am I so mad? It's not like he going before me is going to cause me to starve to death. I mean it was rude, but it's not really that big of a deal. Then I start getting angry again.

    Then the woman looks at me to ask me what my order # was. "My enemy" looks at me and apologizes because he had no idea that I was waiting to talk to her. In the meantime, I had been waging mental WW3 with this man.

    So in any case, my wow moment was to realize that I'm often times a completely self-centered a-hole.

    I'm often times easy going when things go my way, but when they don't I really throw temper tantrums... mostly internal but they are there.

    But now there is a shift. I still get pissed, but I focus on that anger.

    I also notice that I want to fix that anger, or feel guilty, but it's all my ego playing more delusion games. So I feel that temptation of turning zen into self help. I catch myself wanting that from practice a lot.

    But I do like I do in zazen, sit (or stand or drive with it) and let it pass. It doesn't always work. lol

  23. #23

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    But I do like I do in zazen, sit (or stand or drive with it) and let it pass. It doesn't always work. lol
    BOOM!

    The bold is my favorite part. It's the act of being aware that is amazing. We have a way off the crazy train of thoughts, sweeping sweeping sweeping, but still we get caught now and then. I find it is really best to literally "lol" after this, maybe you'll look crazy, but who really cares?

    Gassho for the teaching,
    Taylor

  24. #24

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    No worries Jundo, I need the poke, it's what I'm here for :wink:

    Yes, I am quite prone to "angst" and "darkness" and all that jazz... but you must understand I'm not currently wallowing in sadness. Right now I am filled with an amazing sense of peace and contentment, even as I lose my grip on some of the fairy tales I've been chasing for a while. I still gravitate toward the darker places in life because I find them to be the more beautiful ones, and strangely life-affirming. I know that is just my particular twisted conditioning, and I do need to be reminded sometimes that's all it is ops:.
    I think this important enough, so started another thread ...

    viewtopic.php?p=39122#p39122

  25. #25
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Wherever the next mediation is. Every now and then I make it back to Norfolk, England.
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    Re: Practice

    A great thread, thank you all.

    Near the top of the thread, Stephanie said “See how well the "Ah, the fields are so green" realization functions when your wife leaves you”.

    Well, I’ve had both of those. And, no, when my wife left me the field wasn’t green. Or rather, it probably was, but I wasn’t looking. It wasn’t a “field is so green” moment, more of a “Shit-my-wife-has-left-me-it-hurts-I-didn’t-know-emotional-pain-could-hurt-like-physical-pain-and-how-am-I-going-to manage-the-job-with-3-boys” kind of moment. Not much room for grass being green. And yet. I’ve experienced both and at the risk of sounding more than usually incoherent, whilst there was nothing of the “grass is green” moment when my wife left, they were and are somehow of the same substance. Both were equally, well, empty (can’t think of a better word, sorry, because it's a bit of a cop out) and precisely because of the emptiness, vibrant and, just, alive. Life living itself. Does that make sense? No, probably not. But what I wanted to say was that I can’t see (though not having had kensho maybe I wouldn’t know) that an enlightened person would be all “grass is green” in the “my wife has left me” moment – wouldn’t that be precisely a delusion in that moment? Whatever kensho / realisation may be, maybe it’s not an opt out from suffering?

    Gassho

    Martin

  26. #26

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    But what I wanted to say was that I can’t see (though not having had kensho maybe I wouldn’t know) that an enlightened person would be all “grass is green” in the “my wife has left me” moment – wouldn’t that be precisely a delusion in that moment? Whatever kensho / realisation may be, maybe it’s not an opt out from suffering?
    Martin and Don, thank you for sharing your personal experiences with suffering.

    I tend to agree with this. On one side you could completely be like oh crap and reject what's happening and freak out, and freak out about freaking out, and on the other hand you can pretend like everything is ok... But I think what you are saying is that don't go to the extreme, accept the suffering and find tranquility with it.

    After all, the Buddha said Life is dukkha. But he also provided a way to be at one with it, not to escape (ok that's my understanding, waiting humbly for my whacks. hahaha)

  27. #27

    Re: Practice

    Hello Cyril,

    please allow me a question (and please keep in mind I am not the type who thinks that scriptures have to be great only because some people consider them to be holy), just out of interest. Where does the Buddha ever say that his path is not about escaping suffering? (Pali or Sanskrit scripture references will both do). Obviously it depends on what you mean by "escaping". I think there is a slight danger in the wording "being at one"...dropping delusion, opening up to dynamic suchness is IMHO a very valid approach to resolving the problem of suffering...but the term "being at one" can also lead one astray along the road of eternalism, because it sounds as if there was a) someone who could be at one with: b) a something.

    Now of course we should keep in mind that historically speaking, early Buddhism was much more about soteriological goals....salvation from the round of rebirths (that was not seen metaphorically like a lot of westerners do, but was mostly perceived as a fact...in the same way people consider it a fact that they have a soul IMHO)....in later Buddhist schools, particularly Dogen's teachings seem to focus a lot more on the ontological side of things...in their quest to realize enlightenment.

    It's always a tightrope walk...ya gotta say something... and depending on the reader's/listener's perspective eternalism/nihilism just wait round the corner to bite us in the butt


    Gassho,

    Hans

  28. #28

    Re: Practice

    "On one side you could completely be like oh crap and reject what's happening and freak out, and freak out about freaking out, and on the other hand you can pretend like everything is ok... "

    Cyril, may I ask with all respect, are there really only two choices; reject or pretend? If so, are you rejecting Buddha's prescription for suffering/misery/unsatisfactoriness or are you pretending it is not there?
    There is a path proposed. Did you try it and it did not work for you?

    Gassho,

  29. #29

    Re: Practice

    Hello again,


    reading the last posts again made me feel like adding another two cents. We should distinguish between "suffering" as in "I broke my leg" and suffering as in " I still can't get over a particular fact." Certain kinds of suffering are just what they are, and yes, it seems good to accept the "brokenness" of this world (or your leg) to a certain degree. However the major Big-Kahuna share of suffering in this world is due to greed, hatred and above all delusion. And yes, we can dispel these through practice (through seeing through them).

    Realising delusions can shatter the foundation on which they are built, simply accepting however can also mean one falls into the trap of teaching oneself to be OK with things one shouldn't be okay with. One doesn't have to accept anything ultimately, because reality does a great job of being what it is without our likes and dislikes. Truly dropping likes and dislikes however is something completely different and much more radical than well intended acceptance.

    Jundo likes to say Acceptance without Acceptance.

    Words are mine fields. and flower gardens.

    We should just sit with radical honesty, so radical that we have to allow ourselves to scare ourselves (because we all have so much baggage), if that means we come closer to see things as they are.

    Gassho,

    Hans

  30. #30

    Re: Practice

    Thank you very much, Hans.
    To be more clear and expand, I was referring to Buddha's description of suffering:
    "Suffering, as a noble truth, is this: Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; association with the loathed is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering — in short, suffering is the five categories of clinging objects." (Dhammacakkappavatthana Sutta)
    Gassho,

  31. #31

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    Where does the Buddha ever say that his path is not about escaping suffering? (Pali or Sanskrit scripture references will both do). Obviously it depends on what you mean by "escaping". I think there is a slight danger in the wording "being at one"...dropping delusion, opening up to dynamic suchness is IMHO a very valid approach to resolving the problem of suffering...but the term "being at one" can also lead one astray along the road of eternalism, because it sounds as if there was a) someone who could be at one with: b) a something.
    Hi Hans and Don,

    When I say (as I do so often) that we can be "at one" with this whole life-self-world ... and "at one" with the good days and bad for example ... I am always referring to our being "at one" with all conditions in/as/through ...

    the dance of EMPTINESS.

    I am not referring to some "stiff upper lip" stoicism, nor to some idea of "eternalism" in which we merge with the "Great Unchanging Cosmic Eternal One" (whether existing or not ... that is not the crucial point of 'the dance of emptiness'). No, I mean that you and me can lose our separate self (and find it again) in the constantly changing, dependently arising dance of emptiness.

    Emptiness is the particularly Mahayana path to the "escape" from suffering ... for we dancers dance with all the ups and downs of life in this dance, as well as find that there is no "up or down" in this dance ... and no dancers. The dancers are dancing with whatever comes, taking all that life can throw at us in the dance ... while in emptiness, simultaneously, there is not even separate dancers ... just the ongoing dance itself. EMPTINESS!.

    Perhaps earlier Buddhism emphasized more the quelling and denial of desire as the means to the cessation of suffering. In contrast, the Mahayana ... while also believing that we need to moderate our desires and avoid excess and harmful desires ... also saw that we can live life by "seeing through" our remaining desires via the lens of the dance of emptiness. Likes and dislikes, something to attain or place to get to is all dropped away in this dance ... even as we keep moving, trying to go where we like (both perspectives ... going/no place to go .... at once). This "emptiness" dance must be seen and realized to truly get the point about what this life-self-world-no life-no self-no world dance is all about.

    We dance as seemingly separate dancers with sickness, with health, with birth, with death ... and let the dance go on ...

    As well, we find that there were never separate dancers, no sickness, no health, no birth or death ... just the dancing going on and on ...

    Here is how I describe it ...

    How 'bout we try .... 'The Dance' ... 'The Dancing' ... just 'Dancing' to capture "emptiness" (Sunyata)?

    Universes of dancers (including you and me) danced up in this dance ... each dancer seemingly standing apart on her own two feet ... yet each dancer simultaneously seen as just the dance-dancing-the-dance (for what would we think a 'dancer' without a dance to dance her and her to dance? There is no dancer apart from her dance.) There is nothing but the dance and the motion, the separation lost in a lively, enlivening, living blur ...




    The whole universe dancing ... whole universes dancing with universes ...

    All of reality swirling and twirling in partnership with all of reality, constantly changing partners, such that nothing and nobody is truly sitting still ... such that all is caught up and spun up by all ... such that there is nobody and nothing remaining but the dance ... this Ballet of Inter-being ...

    The dancers each are there seemingly as individuals, yet swept up in the dance ... moving, ever changing ... the separate dancers may be forgotten such that only the dancing remains. Soon in the spin and twirling, the individuality of the dancers can barely be seen ... there yet not ...

    Can we truly say that there are dancers, so encompassing is that dance? And endless dances are going on within each dancer, each cell and each atom just dancing, ultimately beyond that ... just dancing inside dancing ...




    That is why I am turning more and more to the "Dance" image for some feeling of "Emptiness" ... all of reality engaged and engaging in one great jazzy, creative, non-stop, powerful dance ... dancers and all reality absolutely absorbed in the constant motion of the Dance --- no distinction of dancers and dance remains.

    Yet it is not chaos (though we sometimes trip and fall or bang into each other ... yet that too becomes just part of the life of the dance!). Something wonderful is created from it all, which we call this world ... which we call this world and all it contains ... which we call you and me ...

    Each Sentient Being 'loses herself' in the power of dance ... truly loses her little self as the dance ... thus to find herself again ... to find their True Self as The Dance itself, as the Dancing itself ... as a unique and precious Dancer ...

    You are just a dancer, a lonely dancer. You are just the whole start to finish dance. Both ways of experiencing the dance, and your life as a dancer, are precious and vital.

    But where is "it", this thing you call a "dance"? It is just an ongoing swirl ... just dance-dancing-the-dance ... nothing to "nail down" ... There is not a "thing" there, only the constant swirling and twirling and naked interconnected motion and expression .. all fully exerting ...

    Dancers dancing each for themselves, sometimes bumping into other dancers, tripping on their own feet ... yet sometimes able to see beyond themselves to the great harmony of the total Dance ... such grace is there, such balance ... this dance has gone on and on for all time ... timeless dance ...


    We feel as dancers in a dance, across a stage we run,

    each dancer dancing solo, our connection nearly none.

    But when our steps are flowing, as leaves in wind a’frenzy spun,

    it’s not hard to see that dancers, stage and dance are truly one.



    It is free, yet it is not chaos. It is not nothing, not a vacuum or meaningless vibration. There may be some rules to the dance, some choreography ... but much of it seems up to us, free will, how we choose to go with each step. LIFE DANCE! It all changes and turns with your every chosen step and gesture.



    Lose your self in that, lose your "self" in that great Dancing which is your Self Dancing. It's going is your going.

    Anyway ... something like that.

    Don't just understand the concept of this dance intellectually. Instead, truly feel what it is to be swept up in this dance. Truly lose and find yourself in this very step-step-stepping now.

    Where this dance has come from, where it is going ... we may not know be fully informed. No matter, for the dancing is not there but only here. It has always been right here. The dance is ever right underfoot ... so just dance, right here and now, without thought of any other place to go or which you can go.

    A Zendo is a kind of dance school ... and our task to be graceful dancers (even when we fall). Our way is to go with the flow of the dance, and just let the dance ... its up and it downs ... just be the dancing.

    ... something like that.
    And one last point:

    Although there are "no separate dancers, and no good and bad" from one perspective ... from another perspective, THERE MOST CERTAINLY ARE! And, thus, what this dance becomes ... and what we make of this life and world, or how we muck them up ... is greatly up to how we dance this dance (with skill or not). Thus, even though there is "Emptiness" ... we all still should try our best to be graceful, balanced, cooperative dancers and make a beautful dance.

    Gassho, J

  32. #32

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Don
    "On one side you could completely be like oh crap and reject what's happening and freak out, and freak out about freaking out, and on the other hand you can pretend like everything is ok... "

    Cyril, may I ask with all respect, are there really only two choices; reject or pretend? If so, are you rejecting Buddha's prescription for suffering/misery/unsatisfactoriness or are you pretending it is not there?
    There is a path proposed. Did you try it and it did not work for you?

    Gassho,
    I was just illustrating a duality with respect to suffering between over-reacting on the one hand and denial on the other.

    Hans, soteriological is one hell of a word.

  33. #33

    Re: Practice

    For those of you (like me) who had no idea what this word means:

    Soteriology is the study of religious doctrines of salvation

  34. #34

    Re: Practice

    "I was just illustrating a duality with respect to suffering between over-reacting on the one hand and denial on the other." - Cyril
    My apologies.
    Gassho,
    Don

  35. #35

    Re: Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    For those of you (like me) who had no idea what this word means:

    Soteriology is the study of religious doctrines of salvation
    I had to look it up too... sorry for not posting the def

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