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Thread: The Zen Mind

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui Kyrillos's Avatar
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    The Zen Mind

    I was just sent this link and spent a wonderful 56 minutes watching a beautiful documentary about Zen. There is a piece at the beginning with Gudo Nishijima, although I do not know how long ago it was made. At the time he said he was going to be 85. I do not know if this has been noted here before, please forgive if it has.


    http://documentarystorm.com/the-zen-mind/


    Gassho,

    Seisjin Kyrill

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen Mind

    Hi Kyrillos,
    Thanks for that. Have only seen snippets of this on YouTube before. I will have a look.
    Gassho,
    Soen

  3. #3

    Re: The Zen Mind

    Thank you very much!!

    I am watching this now! Very interesting!


    Gassho

    Seiryu

  4. #4
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen Mind

    I have watched this several times. I love it, and I hope you all love it, too. Thanks for sharing it, Kyrillos. I used to have it saved on YouTube, but it was taken down. Now I know where to find it again!

    Gassho,

    Amelia

  5. #5

    Re: The Zen Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrillos
    I was just sent this link and spent a wonderful 56 minutes watching a beautiful documentary about Zen. There is a piece at the beginning with Gudo Nishishima, although I do not know how long ago it was made. At the time he said he was going to be 85. I do not know if this has been noted here before, please forgive if it has.


    http://documentarystorm.com/the-zen-mind/


    Gassho,

    Seisjin Kyrill
    Hi Fr. K.

    Thank you for the link.

    The documentary is a bit romanticized, of course. Very very few Japanese, businessmen or otherwise, practice Zazen. Most Japanese do not live in houses like that, do not have a particular respect for nature (quite the contrary ... one only has to see the trash dumped on Mt. Fuji), or cherish simplicity (as a recent other thread discussed) ...

    viewtopic.php?p=55449#p55449

    Also, some of the descriptions of Shikantaza (such as a "state ... in which no habitual thoughts rise up") are a misunderstanding. (Noda Roshi, an acquaintance of mine from Sojiji, even says so later in the video, when he states that Zazen is not about "mushin" or "no thought")


    Gassho, J

  6. #6

    Re: The Zen Mind

    Jundo brings everything into perspective. Living here has nothing Zen to it. Japan is a very modern country and most Japanese are stuck into the kawai ( cute) and oishi(delicious) culture. Fashion an food are running the show and television gives you a good idea of what it is all about. Of course, there are exceptions.

    I am not in Japan for Zen but for this je ne sais quoi.

    And many comments are here misleading.

    Nevertheless, if yo an give it a go, you are bound to not regret it (although some people can never ever appreciate Japan).

    gassho


    Taigu

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen Mind

    Hi All,

    Finally had the time to watch this today! Though slightly romanticized as Jundo Sensei says he makes some very good observations to point out the truth of the matter. Which was a nice addition. I really enjoyed it and even learned a few nifty tidbits.

    One thing that I would like to hear a little more on is the Kyosaku. At least in terms of it being used to hit an exact pressure point used in accupuncture. Is this correct and if so what is the pressure point which is struck supposed to do to the body? It was really interesting, and infact would be pretty cool if it were so, but I'm just not sure if I buy this one :?:

    Gassho,
    John

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen Mind

    John;
    Haven't watch the doc yet but will have to think about the pressure point. I've been Kyosaku-ed more than a few times but I'm still the same old dude.

  9. #9

    Re: The Zen Mind

    One thing that I would like to hear a little more on is the Kyosaku. At least in terms of it being used to hit an exact pressure point used in accupuncture. Is this correct and if so what is the pressure point which is struck supposed to do to the body? It was really interesting, and infact would be pretty cool if it were so, but I'm just not sure if I buy this one
    I found this interesting too, albeit somewhat IMHO....not based on real fact. However, "pressure points" on the body do correspond to nerves running along the body, as well as origins and insertions of muscle. A martial art that I practice and teach is based on traditional Japanese jujutsu, accupuncture and Shiatsu I don't buy the whole hitting a point to make someone energized or tired or whatever, but it does have some effect. I think its more physiological than energy lines running around the body. Just my 2 cents.

    Gassho,

    Matt

  10. #10

    Re: The Zen Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by MJU
    One thing that I would like to hear a little more on is the Kyosaku. At least in terms of it being used to hit an exact pressure point used in accupuncture. Is this correct and if so what is the pressure point which is struck supposed to do to the body? It was really interesting, and infact would be pretty cool if it were so, but I'm just not sure if I buy this one
    I found this interesting too, albeit somewhat IMHO....not based on real fact. However, "pressure points" on the body do correspond to nerves running along the body, as well as origins and insertions of muscle. A martial art that I practice and teach is based on traditional Japanese jujutsu, accupuncture and Shiatsu I don't buy the whole hitting a point to make someone energized or tired or whatever, but it does have some effect. I think its more physiological than energy lines running around the body. Just my 2 cents.

    Gassho,

    Matt
    I was hit once (I requested to be) at a zendo, and I don't know if it was pressure points or not, but it did keep me awake. Probably since hearing a loud smack in a quiet room is something that is hard to just doze by. But it does take some tension out of the shoulders in long sits, so...I guess it is ok...

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen Mind

    Seiryu wrote:
    I don't know if it was pressure points or not, but it did keep me awake.
    This is good to know, given the location of where the Kyosaku lands! Every time I've seen that area of the body manipulated in Star Trek it never ends well. Rather, it puts you to sleep. Sorry but everything I know about pressure points I learned from Spock!

    Gassho,
    John

  12. #12

    Re: The Zen Mind

    Hi,

    I have both administered and been administered the Kyosaku (Rinzai folks call it "keisaku"; literally "warnng/waking stick", sometimes "incense board" which may have been its origin ??/??) many times ... had my ear accidently clipped a few times too. Sometimes hard, sometimes more gently.

    In Nishijima Roshi's Lineage, we tend to not use it ... it sits on the altar in our Zendo. Why does my lineage not use it? Nishijima and others in the lineage (not sure this applies to all teachers in the lineage ... also other teachers in the west like Norman Fisher are moving away from it) are not into the superficial violence of the thing (it is like spanking your child ... yes, it is done with love and the noise is worse than the pain itself, but still ...) , not into the sudden slapping noise during the middle of Zazen. There are other ways to wake someone up or the like during Zazen. In Rinzai Zen (with many exceptions), generally more punching and yelling and kicking than in Soto practice. I have been beaten semi-silly with a Keisaku during a Rinzai sitting in Japan. (Why do I keep it on the altar? Someone explained: "Today we have "maku mozo, no illusions please", or some such phrase written on it, and it is highly respected. Its considered to be the sword of Monju, the sword which cuts through torpor and ignorance, and it is treated as such.")



    Anyway, I go either way on the issue. At the Maezumi lineage group where I used to help out teaching, it is used for "Special" times (like retreats), and used pretty gently. At Soji-ji, where I sat for about 10 years before I was ordained, it was used at the Start of EVERY sitting for everybody in the room, then upon request.

    Let me add that some recent research shows that it is not all so traditional. In the Buddha's time, maybe even when Dogen went to China, they used more of a stick with a soft ball on the end to gently prod or nudge the person who was dosing off. Dogen recounts the image of his teacher hitting a monk on the back with a slipper for sleeping, and we try to not fall asleep when sitting (not so easy sometimes, as the brainwaves during Zazen are very close to crossing over into sleep), and I am not totally against it if used without anger and violence, but I generally do not like the way of hitting someone during Zazen.

    If you want, I could work up a machine where, with a click of the mouse, I can Kyosaku folks over the internet. Or, doing our retreats, people can Kyosaku themselves! :-)

    Gassho, J

  13. #13
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen Mind

    Doesn't a good, not cruel, thwak! release a few endorphins as well? Or am I misinformed? ops:

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen Mind

    Amelia;
    Not sure if endorphins or adrenalin, certainly the sound alone breaking silence, stirs the senses. To me it is a part of the zendo experience and never was I clipped on the ear. Jundo-oso's experience however,convinces me that not too many zen priests are trained to pick out that acupuncture point you all are concerned about.

    I thinking I might try to train Billie (our cat ) to wield a kyosaku :lol: Although I'm not sure she stays awake very long herself during our sitting.
    ( you may say she has no opposable thumbs but miracles are what it's all about )

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia
    Doesn't a good, not cruel, thwak! release a few endorphins as well? Or am I misinformed? ops:
    Nope, not endorphines but adrenaline. It's bound to wake you up and return you into alert mode. It's the same effect when you get slapped when freaking out. Saw it in Mythbusters. heh

  16. #16

    Re: The Zen Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by chocobuda
    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia
    Doesn't a good, not cruel, thwak! release a few endorphins as well? Or am I misinformed? ops:
    Nope, not endorphines but adrenaline. It's bound to wake you up and return you into alert mode. It's the same effect when you get slapped when freaking out. Saw it in Mythbusters. heh
    Hi.

    Cool, an kyosaku on mythbusters...
    Can't wait t see that, or the effects of meditation, and different stances...

    But i must say, Mythbusters i a very good show, and i sometimes use it in my teaching, as there are some good bits in there...

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  17. #17

    Re: The Zen Mind

    Hello,

    I guess that for some I'm going to come across as being not very laid back and likeable because of this post. So be it

    To cut the long story short, I will restate what I have written before regarding copyright infringement: It literally, not metaphorically, destroys jobs, especially when you are talking about documentary filmmaking, which is very hard to get funding for to begin with.

    Am I pretending to always check 150% whether content I am looking at is actually part of the public domain? No, I am no perfect angel either..,it just strikes me as funny however that with so many technophiles around here (since we're all using the internet to begin with) and notions of interdependence etc. being repeatedly discussed by a lot of people, that I end up being the party pooper again

    Bottom line: It seems documentary storm is using legal gray areas surrounding questions like "where does the actual server stand" to show complete documentaries which they have no right to show. Legal? barely. Legitimate. BIG NO.

    "All videos and documentaries featured on DocumentaryStorm are not hosted on our own servers or uploaded by us, but are embedded from a variety of video hosting servers including, but not limited to, YouTube, YouKu, Mega Video, Google Videos, etc.. These documentaries are publicly available, and we do not own or imply ownership of any of the documentaries featured All documentaries are assumed to be either in the public domain or uploaded with the consent of their copyright owners.

    Should any visitor have any copyright issues or questions regarding the documentaries featured, please contact the respective video host or those responsible for uploading it."

    So basically, if someone uploads something on youku in China, they will stream it.


    Gassho,

    Hans (whose job depends on the fact that people don't just the download my company's proprietary software for free somewhere)

  18. #18
    Treeleaf Unsui Kyrillos's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen Mind

    Oh dear! Hans, I am so sorry. I suppose that I believed something posted from a source like "DocumentaryStorm" would be publicly available. The Zen priest who sent in to me must also have belivved the same. It is very difficult these days with all the available internets sites for those of us who are very "savvy" to this issues to know which sites or items are valid or invalid. If you feel that what I have posted will in any way compromise Treeleaf, then please feel free to delete the entire thread.

    Perhaps you might give some consideration to setting up a "vetting board" for those of us who do not know such things, so that we can submit a Url or picture or cartoon before we post it in the Forum. I know that may be cumbersome but I certainly do not wish any individual or Treeleaf in general to be party to some legal process for what they thought was an innocent post. This whole internet/cyber. electonic world is becoming very complicated and in some cases rather frightening when one sees how easily one's identity can be cooped. I know this is much faster in our impatient world, but it gives pause to consideration of pen and paper and good old letter-writing.

    Gassho,

    Seishin Kyrill

  19. #19

    Re: The Zen Mind

    Dear Fr. Kyrillos,

    don't you worry too much. It's not like it's the end of the world. I have no intention to delete this thread or anything of the kind, I'd just like to use this opportunity to raise a little bit of awareness regarding these issues. Basically content has to be paid for by someone. In cases of well known artists and big movie studios there is indeed a lot to be said for free PR to be had by freely distributing clips etc. (IMHO however that is always the studio's call to make - not ours) . In the case of most documentaries however, people really have to sell the one product they have...every unit counts....because there are next to no people who will search for particular production companies on a regular basis (meaning the PR effect won't really help them too much). So Empty Mind films (or whatever they are called), really need to charge for every individual copy of their product, otherwise the numbers seriously don't add up and they can shut down their little enterprise.

    If they had made a 2000% profit and wanted to share the film for free from then on...great....but again that'd be their call to make, not ours.

    There is no way a small to medium sized production company is going to take somebody to court in China btw. The legal fees alone would just be too much to handle.

    For all I know I could be wrong about your particular website, but then again it was a great opportunity to let everyone see what a hypocritical puritan I can be

    So please folks, if you really like the documentary, look up who made it and just buy a copy.


    Gassho,


    Hans

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