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Thread: Goaless Goal

  1. #1

    Goaless Goal

    I wanted to throw out my thoughts on this and hear what everyone has to say in return.

    The idea of the goaless goal has often confused me and others but from what I've been able to understand thus far, it is important to have both. We had to have a goal to find Buddhism, for most of us, we weren't raised Buddhist but are converts to the Way, and we went looking because something was lacking from our understanding before. Even Buddha went looking for something when he left his palace, he too had a goal in mind. Deshimaru Roshi has said that it is necessary to have, at least at first, a little selfishness in begining the practice of the Way, because without attending to our own suffering, how can we help others with theirs? I think that this "initial" goal is almost a requirement. It's after we've been practicing a while and learning to follow the Way that we learn that the missing thing we were searching for in the first place, was a kind of understanding. We created the "missing element" to life when we said, "something's missing". It is only after practicing the Way that we understand that what was missing was the understanding that nothing is missing. All the masters agree, Deshimaru, Suzuki, Dogen, that this life is without "too much" or "not enough", but I think that this isn't saying that our practice couldn't help what is already there grow into a new pattern, one that is beneficial to all beings. That is a kind of goal too, but one that doesn't say that something is missing, rather that all the pieces of the puzzle are already in front of us, so let's put it together and see what the picture is.

    I would be greatful for your thoughts on this.

  2. #2

    Re: Goaless Goal

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    I wanted to throw out my thoughts on this and hear what everyone has to say in return.

    The idea of the goaless goal has often confused me and others but from what I've been able to understand thus far, it is important to have both. We had to have a goal to find Buddhism, for most of us, we weren't raised Buddhist but are converts to the Way, and we went looking because something was lacking from our understanding before. Even Buddha went looking for something when he left his palace, he too had a goal in mind. Deshimaru Roshi has said that it is necessary to have, at least at first, a little selfishness in begining the practice of the Way, because without attending to our own suffering, how can we help others with theirs? I think that this "initial" goal is almost a requirement. It's after we've been practicing a while and learning to follow the Way that we learn that the missing thing we were searching for in the first place, was a kind of understanding. We created the "missing element" to life when we said, "something's missing". It is only after practicing the Way that we understand that what was missing was the understanding that nothing is missing. All the masters agree, Deshimaru, Suzuki, Dogen, that this life is without "too much" or "not enough", but I think that this isn't saying that our practice couldn't help what is already there grow into a new pattern, one that is beneficial to all beings. That is a kind of goal too, but one that doesn't say that something is missing, rather that all the pieces of the puzzle are already in front of us, so let's put it together and see what the picture is.

    I would be greatful for your thoughts on this.
    There are many things missing in this world that I wish it had, less bad stuff and more good stuff.

    There is nothing missing from this world, which is fully and completely this world with not a blade of grass or shard of glass to add or take away.

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