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Thread: A few thoughts about recurring threads

  1. #1
    disastermouse
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    A few thoughts about recurring threads

    As people float in and out of here, I see a few repeating themes come up that I thought we might discuss. Feel free to add and comment.

    Vegetarianism vs omnivorism:

    I feel this is something we have to sort out for ourselves. Much of the energy in this debate comes from the vegetarian side insisting that the only way to observe the precepts is to refrain from meat, but omnivore proponents (myself included) can be equally vociferous in defense of our own views. And that's maybe part of the problem. We are defending OUR views and sometimes there's a bit of a "God is on my side" aspect so that the real issues and opportunities to hear one another are clearly lost in the "I'm right, you're wrong" back and forth of the debate. Honestly, I think this is the part of the debate that is most instructive - not the resolution to the disagreement so much as the energy with which we interject our views as the Truth - full-stop.

    Rebirth:

    This is another area where I've seen a "You're not a real Buddhist unless you agree with me" attitude. I'm a re-birther (see what I did there?), but I've got no real beefs with rebirth agnostics - right up until I see the argument that mind=brain. I think my biggest problem with this is that, if true, then aren't we all just practicing Buddhism as a stop-gap until the right pill/surgery/genetic treatment can manipulate our brains into brains of perfect expressions of enlightenment? There are a lot of problems with both these views (rebirth vs non-rebirth) - but neither side seems to want to acknowledge the ontological problems with BOTH views. If we can acknowledge these problems with BOTH views, maybe we can have some more productive conversations!

    Challenge the teacher!

    Ooh, this one's fun, isn't it? There's plenty of crazy to go around here. The original instinct is aggressively egoic, but the group dynamic thinking that goes with it is just as or maybe even more screwed up. What causes this constant dynamic? Person questions teacher(s) in an attacking way, sangha responds defending teacher for underlying reasons arguably as questionable as the attacker's, attacker senses that and seizes on it and now we're in high school again. There has to be a more intelligent way to enter these threads but I'm not sure I know what it is. I know that I often do not have the objective awareness to not get sucked into the dynamic.

    I NEED an answer!!/Just sit!

    I think a lot of people think that Zen practice is some sort of final answer to life, the universe, and everything - an ancient Eastern "42" that magically solves all problems. So they seek that answer as a philosophical structure - even when they don't think they are. The flip side of this is "just-sit-ism". Both are attempts to solve or escape the discomfort of the sense that something isn't right, IMHO. Looking for an escape is what I think is problematic here. Seeing the problem without an agenda helps. Still, we get the 'Solve my problem!/Just sit!!' dynamic a lot. Why is that?


    Chet

  2. #2

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Great collection Chet,
    you pretty nailed it and I find myself clearly in your description. Nothing to add from my side, besides a

    Gassho

    Peter

  3. #3
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Very interesting topic. I like to notice and build patterns.

    Gassho,

    Amelia

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Great post, Chet.

    Maybe it could be a good idea to have a Treeleaf FAQ for this? Not sure, since all cases and situations are differente, but I also have noticed that some common answer is: just sit!

  5. #5
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by chocobuda
    Great post, Chet.

    Maybe it could be a good idea to have a Treeleaf FAQ for this? Not sure, since all cases and situations are different, but I also have noticed that some common answer is: just sit!
    There's nothing wrong with 'just sit', really - but 'just sitting' isn't exactly what you think of when someone says 'just sit', IMHO. It's shorthand for 'attend to your practice' - the whole thing - Sangha, precepts practice, etc., also IMHO.

    I didn't start this thread to criticize, I just saw the same things coming up. Anista had a 'challenge the teacher' thread ... and that other guy had one recently. The vegetarian one is perenial. Rebirth as well - so I wondered if we could advance the dialogs instead of rehashing them nearly verbatim when they come up, we might be aware of them and dig a little deeper. Just a thought though.

    Chet

  6. #6

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Well, I think they try to address this with the "Talks for new people" section and whenever someone rehashes a topic, Jundo or Taigu usually post a link to the previous post and such. I think that as new people cycle in and out of Treeleaf, or for those who don't really know where the threads for the previous talks are, they will always come up. But again, there is a lot of that Western Dynamic in this sangha, which isn't all bad, but we have been taught to push back on the ideas of others instead of opening our mind to the other person's way of thinking. My wife is fond of saying that people can't tell her how she feels is wrong, it's how she feels. I know she means to say that her way of feeling is acceptable to her, and should be at least recognized as valid even if you don't agree, but the sound of "you can't tell me I'm wrong, that's how I feel" should be obvious. Many people are racist, that's how they feel, but that's still wrong. They remain racist when they won't accept the validity of the oppinion that people of other ethnic origins are not less then them.

    Same with challenge the teacher. Not to say that it is wrong, it can be good, but when done constructively, and with a genuine motivation to understand the other's point. But to question, just to question, or to try to prove another wrong (not teach them, but "one up" them) to question to satisfy one's ego, that's a different matter. As to things like rebirth, I never understood arguing over things that one either can't prove or can't do something constructive with. If I say "no we are not physically reborn" and you say "yes we are" best case scenario for you is that if we both die, both get reborn, both remember our previous lives and everything in them, and both somehow manage to meet again, well then you can say "I told you so!" but that's about it.

    It's like majoring in philosophy, only good to become a teacher of philosophy. :twisted:

  7. #7

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Chet,
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    right up until I see the argument that mind=brain
    Well we can start right there. Unless you have seen something I haven't, the only direct reference to this debate is your claim that they are not. If you want to discuss this particular aspect, we can start a new thread and see where it goes. The only thing I recommend remembering is that it should be taken for fun rather than an opportunity to shove a right view down someone's throat. Deal?

    an ancient Eastern "42" that magically solves all problems.
    My reading of St. Douglass was that "42" actually created more problems than it solved.

    R

  8. #8

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Well, when some one finds a better solution than just sit, let me know. Meantime ..........
    m

  9. #9

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Actually, maybe my most useful role around here is as "air traffic controller", making sure that all the new folks get the information they need when a subject comes up, and linking new threads to old. I am the one who always remember "the thread we had back in 2007 right on that point!" :wink:

    I am sure it has been the same for thousands of years ... with brand new monks in the Buddha's Sangha in India coming up to the old boy again and again, year after year, "So, what were the Four Noble Truths again?"

    It was probably enough to drive the Buddha batty! :?

    In the new Forum reorganization we will have, we will probably have a section with key threads on perpetual or basic topics.

    Gassho, J

  10. #10

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Oh, and by the way ...

    "Just Sit" is a Total, Complete and Thorough Answer to All Things, Leaving No Doubt Unresolved ... I kid you not ...

    ... even though it may not be the answer to all one's little questions and all life's mysteries, nor the fixer of all problems. Zazen is useless ... and won't even fix a flat tire or tell you what to have for lunch. 8)

    Funny how that works.


    Gassho, J

  11. #11

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Hello,

    an interesting topic.

    Please excuse a bit of internet-cynicism and let me add that (according to my gut) 15% of people just can't be bothered to do even the slightest bit of forum searching but would much rather have everybody else do the work for them.

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

    P.S. And YES, I might be projecting because of years of experiences in other forums

  12. #12

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Hi Chet, good to see you around Treeleaf again.... Hope things are going well with you. I think Hans has nailed it, we have travled the same trails over the last few years, however I think we are still shaking out the challanges of an on line sangha. We all need to use the search option and take a look at our own footprints from time to time.

    Take care,

    Jim

  13. #13
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Well said, Chet. I don't spend a lot of time here any more because it's become pretty repetitive of those themes you listed. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but when "been here, read that" became so common I started tuning quite a bit of it out. I assume I do this because I have been here for a number of years now, but there was a time when everything here was new and those themes were fresh and fertile ground for experience and study. It's not the forum's fault; it's me that's gone stale.

  14. #14

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    I didn't start this thread to criticize, I just saw the same things coming up. Anista had a 'challenge the teacher' thread ... and that other guy had one recently.

    Chet
    Hello Chet,

    You must have me confused with someone else. No biggie!

    Nice to see you, by the way, and great thread! It reminds me of an old poem:

    "Those who grow tired
    of the dharma
    see everything
    as the same shade
    of grey"

    /anista

  15. #15

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    I think we should maybe add a new topic called BASHING THE TEACHERS. It would be really useful especially for days when I need to vent. :mrgreen:

    Gassho,

    Risho

    P.S. I'm in a very sarcastic mood by the way, and I have a devious sense of humor, so no hate mail from any of you's. hahahhaha :mrgreen:

  16. #16

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Risho
    I think we should maybe add a new topic called BASHING THE TEACHERS. It would be really useful especially for days when I need to vent. :mrgreen:

    Gassho,

    Risho

    P.S. I'm in a very sarcastic mood by the way, and I have a devious sense of humor, so no hate mail from any of you's. hahahhaha :mrgreen:

    oooh yeah of course

    /me deletes 4 hour rant...


    :twisted:

    Gassho
    Shohei

  17. #17
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Oh, and by the way ...

    "Just Sit" is a Total, Complete and Thorough Answer to All Things, Leaving No Doubt Unresolved ... I kid you not ...

    ... even though it may not be the answer to all one's little questions and all life's mysteries, nor the fixer of all problems. Zazen is useless ... and won't even fix a flat tire or tell you what to have for lunch. 8)

    Funny how that works.


    Gassho, J
    I'm not saying it's a bad answer - not at all - I'm saying that without a more thorough understanding of Shikantaza and our Treeleaf practice, a relative newcomer may hear the admonition without really hearing it and also without examining the motivation for the question. Also, when a teacher says 'Just sit' it can be good advice. When we all start parroting it because we've heard the teacher say it, maybe it doesn't help so much for the person parroting it.

    Also, my point wasn't that we shouldn't have these conversations. These are perfectly good conversations and debates. What I'm saying is that if we look at our reactions to the conversations - the recurring and sometimes cantankerous ones - well, we may learn more from that than the actual debates!

    These are just thoughts. No offense or engagement in the mentioned debates was necessarily intended.

    Chet

  18. #18
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev R
    Chet,
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    right up until I see the argument that mind=brain
    Well we can start right there. Unless you have seen something I haven't, the only direct reference to this debate is your claim that they are not. If you want to discuss this particular aspect, we can start a new thread and see where it goes. The only thing I recommend remembering is that it should be taken for fun rather than an opportunity to shove a right view down someone's throat. Deal?

    an ancient Eastern "42" that magically solves all problems.
    My reading of St. Douglass was that "42" actually created more problems than it solved.

    R
    There's the immediate problem of access to knowledge of externals. That is to say, the 'myth of the given'. External 'reality' is accessed only through subjective and inter-subjective processes. This doesn't explain why I'm in the rebirth camp, but it might explain my aversion to scientific materialism.

    Chet

  19. #19

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Risho
    I think we should maybe add a new topic called BASHING THE TEACHERS.
    Just remember that it is only fair for the teachers to bash right back. (and they have sticks and fly swatters)


  20. #20
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Just to be clear, the dharma here has not gone stale. It is forever fresh, for how can the dharma be otherwise? I just seek other springs these days. It can be good to taste different waters sometimes. I know J and T agree.

    I kind of envision myself like Will, as you old-timers may recall, a guy that shows up once in a while with a point, though I try to be less obtuse. (Sorry, Will).

    The dharma remains the same, and peoples' slow discovery of it follows similar paths, yet everyones' story is unique, and this wonderful place provides a great Path for those stories. But my struggle with those familiar stories is my struggle with the Path.

    I am forever grateful for having this place of sharing, and I will continue to share my Path when it seems worthwhile or I feel the need. There are better teachers here than me, as ordinations make clear. Listen to them while allowing my occasional pokes, please.

  21. #21

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Hi. If I may say, what else is a Buddhist forum but reoccurring threads? For folks new to the Buddhadharma the subjects are new, and for those who have an established practice there probably isn't anything here that hasn't been heard before, in one form or another. I am a new person to this forum, and did not come here to find a novel post . I came for Sangha, and to share practice.

  22. #22

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Heya Chet,

    Before I get started, I wanted to ask if you were completely healed up from your accident.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    There's the immediate problem of access to knowledge of externals. That is to say, the 'myth of the given'. External 'reality' is accessed only through subjective and inter-subjective processes. This doesn't explain why I'm in the rebirth camp, but it might explain my aversion to scientific materialism.
    I do agree with you here and have made similar arguments in the past. The reductionist model of mind works perfectly for what it is used for, but problems arise when the model is taken as reality itself or pieced in to another model. This is the problem I see with "scientific materialism"- the confusion of the ever-changing model with an objective reality. With that said, we shouldn't take the other extreme and lean toward spiritualism either.

    You have teased me though, why are you in the "rebirth camp"? (I didn't really know there were camps)

  23. #23

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Well, the "fruit" of zazen isn't found in the "talk" but in the "walk."

    That being said, this is a discussion board. So, we have to talk.

    So you get a bunch of people together, and everyone is viewing this thing we label REALITY from their own limited perspective. There are differences of opinion. It's only natural that someone new to Zen would want to talk about rebirth and vegetarianism and whatever else. These things interest the thinking mind. But those who have sat for some time have seen through this thinking mind. They have put it down. They use it when necessary, but for the most part they just regard all that noise in the same way they might regard the sound of traffic outside the window. It doesn't get them anywhere. So why bother?

    Let people talk.

    Test. Which of these two statements are more wise?

    1. Let us discuss the theory behind The Twelve Links of Interdependent Co-Arising."

    2. I shit my pants.

    They're both just noise.

    Sitting makes us more simple.

    More walk, less talk.

    gassho
    Greg

  24. #24

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Hello Greg,

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    These things interest the thinking mind. But those who have sat for some time have seen through this thinking mind. They have put it down. They use it when necessary, but for the most part they just regard all that noise in the same way they might regard the sound of traffic outside the window. It doesn't get them anywhere. So why bother?

    Test. Which of these two statements are more wise?

    1. Let us discuss the theory behind The Twelve Links of Interdependent Co-Arising."

    2. I shit my pants.

    They're both just noise.
    If I may, I respectfully disagree.

    Discussions on vital Buddhist subjects are not pointless, and these kinds of discussions have come up for over two thousand years, by experienced masters of the way, as these discussions show the way Buddha pointed out that will lead to awakening. So, question number one 1 (Let us discuss the theory behind The Twelve Links of Interdependent Co-Arising) is more urgent to discuss since it will help people get to right understanding, which is a necessary component in realizing the Buddha way. The karmic effects of a false understanding of questions like these will potentially lead you in a direction of more duhkha. A discussion, at it's best, will at least lead some people to ponder the different ways and to experience right understanding by their own efforts. Granted, not all discussions are quite to the point, and may in some cases add to the confusion.

    On a cloudy day
    without the finger pointing to the moon
    we wouldn't know where to keep our gaze
    when the clouds finally disperse

    Be well,

    /anista

  25. #25

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    2. I shit my pants.
    I must interject an off topic comment here. WELL DONE!

  26. #26
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    ..."Just Sit" is a Total, Complete and Thorough Answer to All Things, Leaving No Doubt Unresolved...
    I'm not saying it's a bad answer - not at all - I'm saying that without a more thorough understanding of Shikantaza and our Treeleaf practice, a relative newcomer may hear the admonition without really hearing it and also without examining the motivation for the question.
    As I have seen it, and sometimes felt, a lot of aspects of Buddhist practice produce this effect on the newcomer. It is all fine and good until the student comes across some aspect they don't agree with-- or think they don't agree with-- or don't understand. The language of Buddhism is a little hard for Westerners sometimes. For example, they hear that "there is no abiding soul" and immediately jump to the conclusion that all Buddhists are Atheists, or something to that effect. Only with time and their own continued exploration, do they come to realize the finer aspect of the meaning behind "no abiding soul", which I, personally, have not quite unwrapped the meaning of, but I keep studying. Some will simply lose interest and abandon study, and that is their karma.

    It is not up to us to make sure that the newcomer continues study when they misunderstand something. It is up to them. There is a point that must be crossed that is the difference between making assumptions about Buddhist practice based on superficial study, and actually studying and applying the teachings to life.

  27. #27

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    ..."Just Sit" is a Total, Complete and Thorough Answer to All Things, Leaving No Doubt Unresolved...
    I'm not saying it's a bad answer - not at all - I'm saying that without a more thorough understanding of Shikantaza and our Treeleaf practice, a relative newcomer may hear the admonition without really hearing it and also without examining the motivation for the question.
    As I have seen it, and sometimes felt, a lot of aspects of Buddhist practice produce this effect on the newcomer. It is all fine and good until the student comes across some aspect they don't agree with-- or think they don't agree with-- or don't understand. The language of Buddhism is a little hard for Westerners sometimes. For example, they hear that "there is no abiding soul" and immediately jump to the conclusion that all Buddhists are Atheists, or something to that effect. Only with time and their own continued exploration, do they come to realize the finer aspect of the meaning behind "no abiding soul", which I, personally, have not quite unwrapped the meaning of, but I keep studying. Some will simply lose interest and abandon study, and that is their karma.

    It is not up to us to make sure that the newcomer continues study when they misunderstand something. It is up to them. There is a point that must be crossed that is the difference between making assumptions about Buddhist practice based on superficial study, and actually studying and applying the teachings to life.
    Hi.

    _/_

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  28. #28

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Hellos to all posting here!

    Redundancy in the topics threads in the forums...
    These are perennial topics and they regularly arise: for the curious with patience and time looking through the beginning Treeleaf forum pages it would be possible to pick up these topics and add to a discussion which would transcend place and time....the newest members adding to the thoughts of the first members to ever post.
    My guess is most of us do not have much time or patience: there is barely enough time to come here
    So we start threads for what's on our minds...

    Rev. Bob McNeil (soto lineage/Zengaku Soyu Matsuoka roshi) of The Sangha of the Compassionate Heart in Lakewood said there were some phrases you could pretty much use exclusively in most if not all interactions with others:
    'Is that so?' 'We'll see.' ''I don't know' and 'Thank you.'

    But then Matsuoka roshi had that sign in the hallway leading to the zendo which said ' no talking, no lingering, no discussion'
    Rev. Bob had a different personality: at the end of sitting there was always a 'Buddha cafe' afterwards with tea or coffee served to all. He chopped wood and we sat around a fire pit while he answered any questions and discussed all manner of subjects--Rob Zombie movies, the Big Bang theory, rolling tobacco, etc.

    It was (still is as far as I know) a good place to practice.

    He frequently told us that listening to the sound of the water fountain was the same as listening to the discussion.

    He would ask us 'what's important' and when we would say 'everything' he would say 'if everything is important, then nothing is important.'

    These phrases 'Is that so?' 'We'll see.' ''I don't know' and 'Thank you' don't keep a discussion going: they are not verbal logs to add to the burning issue. They are discussion limiters if not discussion enders.
    When the disscussion ends? The sound of the water fountain returns. (it never left, it was there all along)

  29. #29

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    To Keishin, Thank you for sharing. I really liked your post!

    On another note, in bringing up recurring threads, I wanted to share this about reincarnation. I think rebirth is a fascinating topic. Here is a video I found of Brad Warner discussing his views on it. And I wanted to hear thoughts and what he said: Especially the part that Dogen held strongly the idea that their was no reincarnation. Sorry if this was posted before.

    [youtube] [/youtube]

  30. #30
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    I want to reiterate that there's nothing wrong with recurrent threads. I was just noticing that they were happening and I was speculating about what was going on and thinking about how our reactions to those threads might be worth looking into.

    This is especially true about the divisive debates - rebirth, vegetarianism, teacher challenges, etc.

    Chet

  31. #31

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    I do not know why Chet decided to raise so many topics in a single thread ... because any discussion of so many separate themes at once becomes difficult. I would ask folks to take discussion on vegetarianism, rebirth, Sangha policy and "Just Sit" Shikantaza to threads on those topics, and not discuss them all at once here! :shock:

    Chet, next time, how about starting a thread on the subject of "Korean cooking, football, global warming and Lady Gaga"? :twisted:

    However, I am going to yell a few things here ...

    1 - IT IS GOOD TO RETURN TO 'THE BASICS' even if sitting for years and lifetimes. Thus, I think it wonderful that 'New Folks' keep bringing up basic matters ... for we are all always beginners. What is more ... folks always want more more more, new new new intellectual stimulation. Instead, in Buddhist practice ... it is often good to go deeply and profoundly into same old, same old, same old. (That is one reason that so many of my Dharma Talks, year in year out, touch on basic themes again and again.).

    2 - SOME 'BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY' IS NECESSARY FOR ZEN PRACTICE ... NOT TOO MUCH. Both intellectual and "put into practice" familiarity with many basic teachings ... such as the 'Four Noble Truths', Impermanence, Non-Self, Emptiness and other examples (all discussed around our Sangha day in and day out) ... are needed in order to give form and direction to Zen Practice. However, not too much philosophizing, and the the teachings must be put into practice (not just talked about). To offer a silly example, today I took my son bowling ... a sport that requires some (not very much at all) familiarity with the general rules, score keeping, strategy, balls, finger holes, shoes and pin setting machines. If one, however, spends all one's times discussing and debating "the best shoes" or "how to grip the ball" without getting out there and actually shooting ... one is not bowling! One does not need too much extra detail, which may actually distract from the heart of the game. Same with Zen Practice. 8)

    3 - BUDDHA IS "SHIT IN PANTS". Yes indeed! A piercing of that Truth is as necessary as an understanding of "Interdependent Co-Arising". Both are vital, both are one.

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - I will address this one point ... about Brad's video on "reincarnation". I am with Brad on most of what he says there, but I do not think the comments about Dogen are complete. In many of his writings, Dogen shows himself pretty traditional on matters of Karma and Rebirth. Like many Zen Masters, Dogen says that we can be freed from that through our Practice. Dogen also made some distinction, apparently, between "rebirth" and "reincarnation" as many Buddhists do.

    For more on Rebirth and Karma, please see these threads ...

    viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1281

    viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1429

  32. #32

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    I want to take a rare step ... maybe one of the few times I have ever done this ... of locking this thread. I will take a leaf from Matsuoka Roshi and say there is too much babble ... on the subject of babble. 40 whacks.

    Gassho, Jundo

  33. #33

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    But I decided not to lock the topic cause we so rarely do that around here. However, I challenge everyone to discuss these things without getting lost in words and tangles of ideas. Silence is also good discussion on many such questions.

    Gassho, Jundo

  34. #34

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Vegetarianism vs omnivorism ..... Dietary self-control comes and goes... depends. Can't speak for others.

    Rebirth ....... All the time. ..doh.! ... born again.

    Challenge the teacher! ......teachers bug me sometimes, I imagine I bug them too, but mostly I bug myself. Sometimes I imagine teachers snickering at me, ....sometimes I imagine them thinking I'm a special Enlightened case. There seems to be no limit to silliness in this head.. In this head.

    I NEED an answer!!/Just sit! ........ No question, no answer. At once.

  35. #35

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    So I re-read my post and it seems kinda crass. Sorry. It all sounded such much better in my head.

    I do think thinking leads to more thinking, never to enlightenment. I can't name anyone who ever arrived at the truth by thinking about it. Even Buddha dropped all thought and sat under a tree...and realized.

    But we should study, of course. Maybe our own enlightenment is built upon the wisdom of those who woke up before us. I just meant that at some point we transcend our own beliefs. To me, this is what the path is all about. Filling the cup, emptying the cup. Not even the greatest teaching of Shakyamuni has the power to liberate a human being, as a set of thoughts/beliefs.

    If I eat meat, it is Buddha eating meat. If I am reincarnated, it is Buddha being reborn. If I poop my pants, it is Buddha's underwear. That's all I mean. Transcendence. All thought is in the field of ignorance. The truth is something else (not that thoughts aren't truth too though). We think, it's present. We are silent, it's present. We win the lottery, it's present. We get diagnosed with cancer, it's present. It's beyond the beyond. Where does enlightenment begin, in the zafu or in the butt?

    There I go again. If I knew anything, would I be talking?

    gassho
    Greg

  36. #36

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    I am glad this locked thread was unlocked

    I didn't want to start a new thread with the title 'for the record: this comment belongs to the thread " A Few Thoughts About Recurring Threads"'

    For the record I wanted to say that I never was under the impression that Matsuoka roshi ever considered discussion to be 'babble'. I can't speak for him and speculation is, well...speculation.
    I reported the sign posted in the hall. This was my first real life zendo, my first real life zen teacher.
    I was a know nothing, it seems I was comfortable (enough) with not knowing.
    I do not think speculating about Matsuoka Roshi's hallway sign is helpful. I do think reporting this sign in the hallway might be helpful. It was and is to me. I don't speculate on it, I just report it. To speculate on it is to push it pull it lop part of it off or graft something on it.
    I leave his words as his words. I leave them in their context.
    What is the size, the shape of the impression of these words on me? Two and a half decades later there they are.
    And I also reported a zen priest ordained by Matsuoka: Rev. Bob McNeil whose nature was different held (still holds) Buddha cafe discussions sometimes lasting hours: the fire's sparks flying up to join the night's stars.

    My remarks were not meant to disparage silence or disparage discussion.
    One is not more valuable than another.
    Both of these teachers of mine: Matsuoka Roshi and his dharma son Rev. Bob McNeil each with their different personalities...serving, serving it up, big steaming ladles of dharma.

  37. #37

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Then hear my words if not Matsuoka Roshi's. Jundo says ...

    ' no talking, no lingering, no discussion'

    Is that so?' 'We'll see.' ''I don't know' and 'Thank you.'

    There is a time for discussion. We sure have enough of that around this Forum.

    But there are also certain threads, once in awhile, that end up in mental wheel spinning, shit shooting, fiddle faddle and arm chair philosophizing. This is one of them, and the reason I wished to close this thread.

    Truly, GO JUST SIT ... SIT DOWN, SIT QUIET! SIT NOW!

    Gassho, Jundo

  38. #38

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Then I hope that we can get back to the main topics:

    Lady Gaga's views on Rebirth.

    Korean cooking as Interdependent Co-Arising.

    Any comments and insights? :P

    Gassho, J

  39. #39

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Lady Gaga's views on Rebirth.
    Whatever gets her the most press coverage and record sales. [/cynicism]

  40. #40
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    I'm surprised so many people don't seem to realize where I'm going with this - I can only assume that I haven't been very clear. Sorry about that!

    My thoughts aren't really about those particular topics, but rather how certain recognizable patterns come up around those topics...certain log jams about these particular issues just keep coming up. Why do we have log jams here? What is it about these topics that seems to bring out a more combative set of voices? Why do we plant our flags here and battle for a point of view?

    Chet

  41. #41

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    I'm surprised so many people don't seem to realize where I'm going with this - I can only assume that I haven't been very clear. Sorry about that!

    My thoughts aren't really about those particular topics, but rather how certain recognizable patterns come up around those topics...certain log jams about these particular issues just keep coming up. Why do we have log jams here? What is it about these topics that seems to bring out a more combative set of voices? Why do we plant our flags here and battle for a point of view?

    Chet
    Why is it important to put up a red flag about log jams and planting flags?

    Next week in my trip to Canton (Guangzhou) China, I will be visiting the temple where this story actually is said to occur. A debate about flags ...

    Huineng went to Fa-hsin Temple in Canton. He entered the temple and found two monks disputing a waving flag. The following exchange in recorded in the koan collection The Mumonkan, case 29:

    Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, "The flag moves." The other said, "The wind moves." They argued back and forth but could not agree.

    The Sixth Ancestor said, "Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves." The two monks were struck with awe.
    Gassho, Jundo

  42. #42

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    questions make more questions
    answers make more questions and answers
    it spins endless around

    the wheel of dharma does not spin
    it stand still at this very moment
    and clears the mist around everything
    no more questions and no more answers
    just sit

  43. #43
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,907

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Hi Jiki,

    You write:
    the wheel of dharma does not spin
    it stand still at this very moment
    No way. It spins a big deal. Full of life and a dynamic spin.
    The very centre is still but the wheel moves.
    Motion generates stillness, stillness radiates into motion.

    Gassho

    Taigu

  44. #44

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Hi Taigu

    with much respect,

    an motion is in complete stop in the moment of a clear view
    and continue his spin afterwards like it's has to spin
    even if it spins faster than my eyes can see

    that is the way i see it
    maybe i did not write it correctly


    Gassho

  45. #45
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    I'm surprised so many people don't seem to realize where I'm going with this - I can only assume that I haven't been very clear. Sorry about that!

    My thoughts aren't really about those particular topics, but rather how certain recognizable patterns come up around those topics...certain log jams about these particular issues just keep coming up. Why do we have log jams here? What is it about these topics that seems to bring out a more combative set of voices? Why do we plant our flags here and battle for a point of view?

    Chet
    Why is it important to put up a red flag about log jams and planting flags?

    Next week in my trip to Canton (Guangzhou) China, I will be visiting the temple where this story actually is said to occur. A debate about flags ...

    Huineng went to Fa-hsin Temple in Canton. He entered the temple and found two monks disputing a waving flag. The following exchange in recorded in the koan collection The Mumonkan, case 29:

    Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, "The flag moves." The other said, "The wind moves." They argued back and forth but could not agree.

    The Sixth Ancestor said, "Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves." The two monks were struck with awe.
    Gassho, Jundo
    You disappoint me, Jundo. You don't think there's any point to considering why certain topics foster messed up group dynamics?

    I dunno...do you LIKE being the kindergarten cop? I'd never considered that possibility. With Brad, I can see how this could be the case, but I thought you were aiming....different. Maybe you're just having a bad day.

    Chet

  46. #46
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    I'm surprised so many people don't seem to realize where I'm going with this - I can only assume that I haven't been very clear. Sorry about that!

    My thoughts aren't really about those particular topics, but rather how certain recognizable patterns come up around those topics...certain log jams about these particular issues just keep coming up. Why do we have log jams here? What is it about these topics that seems to bring out a more combative set of voices? Why do we plant our flags here and battle for a point of view?

    Chet
    Why is it important to put up a red flag about log jams and planting flags?

    Next week in my trip to Canton (Guangzhou) China, I will be visiting the temple where this story actually is said to occur. A debate about flags ...

    Huineng went to Fa-hsin Temple in Canton. He entered the temple and found two monks disputing a waving flag. The following exchange in recorded in the koan collection The Mumonkan, case 29:

    Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, "The flag moves." The other said, "The wind moves." They argued back and forth but could not agree.

    The Sixth Ancestor said, "Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves." The two monks were struck with awe.
    Gassho, Jundo
    You disappoint me, Jundo. You don't think there's any point to considering why certain topics foster messed up group dynamics?

    I dunno...do you LIKE being the kindergarten cop? I'd never considered that possibility. With Brad, I can see how this could be the case, but I thought you were aiming....different. Maybe you're just having a bad day.

    Chet
    That last thing was unfair. I'll let it stand because I DID post it, but it was unfair.

    Chet

  47. #47
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev R
    Heya Chet,

    Before I get started, I wanted to ask if you were completely healed up from your accident.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    There's the immediate problem of access to knowledge of externals. That is to say, the 'myth of the given'. External 'reality' is accessed only through subjective and inter-subjective processes. This doesn't explain why I'm in the rebirth camp, but it might explain my aversion to scientific materialism.
    I do agree with you here and have made similar arguments in the past. The reductionist model of mind works perfectly for what it is used for, but problems arise when the model is taken as reality itself or pieced in to another model. This is the problem I see with "scientific materialism"- the confusion of the ever-changing model with an objective reality. With that said, we shouldn't take the other extreme and lean toward spiritualism either.

    You have teased me though, why are you in the "rebirth camp"? (I didn't really know there were camps)
    Yeah, eternalism is a pitfall as well. If I can't find anything that that carries from moment to moment, what merit is there to the idea of something eternal that moves from life to life?

    Chet

  48. #48

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    You disappoint me, Jundo. You don't think there's any point to considering why certain topics foster messed up group dynamics?
    Hi Chet,

    I simply do not believe that we are having any much "mess" with group dynamics around here, including with regard to the important topics you listed. Folks tend to have very civil and solid talks on those subjects, filled with much insight and wisdom and real life experience.

    In fact, your making this thread to say there is a "mess" created the issue where there is not much of one. Seemed to me a little that you were away for many weeks, then suddenly wanted to "stir up" something a bit? Am I wrong? Over the years, you have done that.

    Gassho, J

  49. #49

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Then I hope that we can get back to the main topics:

    Lady Gaga's views on Rebirth.

    Korean cooking as Interdependent Co-Arising.

    Any comments and insights? :P
    Well, according to Lady Gaga's latest song, (i don't listen to her, my wife does ops: ) she is "On The Edge Of Glory." So maybe she is the next Buddha?? Either way, I really wish she would put some clothes on and be quiet.

    As to Korean food and Interdependent Co-Arising, I don't know much about theory, but when I eat Korean food something does indeed arise, hemorrhoids. Ouch! Talk about faith in action :mrgreen:

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Motion generates stillness, stillness radiates into motion.
    gassho gassho gassho

    gassho
    Greg

  50. #50

    Re: A few thoughts about recurring threads

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    As people float in and out of here, I see a few repeating themes come up that I thought we might discuss. Feel free to add and comment.

    Vegetarianism vs omnivorism:
    Rebirth:
    Challenge the teacher!
    I NEED an answer!!/Just sit!
    Not trying to question the original intent of this thread, but....these repeating themes keep recurring because they are part and parcel of Buddhist thought/beliefs/etc. Some of these were even present at the time of the Buddha (Rebirth for example) or at the "foundation" of what we call Ch'an. Even if we step away from the historical context, visit any Buddhist forum and there they are. These themes not appearing on a Zen Buddhist forum is like the theme of the designated hitter not appearing in a baseball forum. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Heck, I would be surprised if these themes did *not* appear!

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