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Thread: When I say, Zen,...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    When I say, Zen,...

    An experiment:

    When you think of the word, "Zen", what images pop up in your mind's eye? This is aside from all of our philosophical or "nothingness" thoughts. Just, what do you see?

    I'll go first, of course.

    I usually think of gardens and water.

  2. #2

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    I think of cherry blossoms

  3. #3

    Re: When I say, "Zen,"...

    The video from Bush.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Bruce Lee! 8)

    "I do not punch, it punch all by itself."

    "Be water my friend."

    "It is like a finger pointing to the moon." *Student looks at Bruce's finger* WHACK! "Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!"

    "WHAYAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!"

  5. #5

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    One robe, one bowl

  6. #6
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    sitting

  7. #7

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Zen comes from the word "Chan", which is what the monks used at Shaolin, to describe what Bodhidharma was doing. When I hear Zen, I think practice. Depends on the context. Sometimes it's an iphone, or console game.

    Gassho

    W

  8. #8
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    A zafu.

    This said, I have visited a couple of very impressive Japanese gardens - not in Japan - so your "gardens and water" definitely resonates with me.

  9. #9

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    First there was an image of someone dressed in a Kesa sitting cross legged on a zafu. Immediately after though, I started thinking about my two-year-old son. Good exercise! :wink:

    /Pontus

  10. #10

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Yesterday nothing came to mind. Today in no particular order its brushing my teeth, leaf floating on pond, bodhidharma sitting facing wall, Buddha sitting under tree..............

  11. #11
    disastermouse
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    This is personal so it won't mean much to anyone else.

    I think of winter in the woods and a very particular corner in the country near where I grew up. It's a corner at the bottom of a hill. Frequently when I think or talk about Zen, this image flashes in my mind.

    Chet

  12. #12

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Interesting!

    I think on those "gardens" made of sand at first (we find most of those as decorating pieces on some houses here in Brasil), then on a Zafu.

    Gassho!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    When you think of the word, "Zen", what images pop up in your mind's eye?
    No images in the mind's eye. More like a feeling in the mind's heart.

    Gassho,
    Hoyu

  14. #14

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    I just asked my wife and she said the first thing she thinks of is the new Chinese Buffet that just opened up down the street. It's called, if you can believe it, ZEN HIBACHI GRILL. Seriously. I have no idea what Zen has to do with buffet, but hey, if it brings in the $$$ :mrgreen:

    There used to be a store in town that sold flooring. It was called Carpets For Christ. I've really got to move to a new town.

    Anyway...

    When I hear Zen I think mountains. Just a lone mountain with the wind blowing through the trees. No place to go. Nothing to do. Just me and the sky and the mountain. Freedom. Kinda like biting into a York Peppermint Pattie :lol:

    gassho
    Greg

  15. #15

    When I say, "Zen,"...

    When I think about Zen, there is often water involved.

  16. #16

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Sometimes a circle of white light - nothingness - or gardens with water, or a figure sitting in the lotus position in a tranqil space (that one's
    wishful thinking !

    Gassho

    Willow

  17. #17
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    :lol: I can see the sign now: ZEN HIBACHI GRILL! When hungry, just eat!

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    I just asked my wife and she said the first thing she thinks of is the new Chinese Buffet that just opened up down the street. It's called, if you can believe it, ZEN HIBACHI GRILL. Seriously. I have no idea what Zen has to do with buffet, but hey, if it brings in the $$$ :mrgreen:

  18. #18

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    a "hmmmmm" sound

  19. #19
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    When I say, "Zen,"...

    An empty white room.


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  20. #20
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    Seriously. I have no idea what Zen has to do with buffet
    No taste! :lol:

    When I think of the word Zen--I can't help it, but I always think of some pretty person sitting cross-legged on a mountain in an advertisement for something, anything.

    Gassho

    Jen

  21. #21
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    I usually bounce between " YAAAYYY" , " Who am I ?" and " Here, let me help you with that.". Kind of depends on what is going on around me when the word comes up or pops into my brain. And of course some days it's samurai defending helpless villagers.

  22. #22
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Hello all,

    I think of a beach (with no people). Sometimes I think of this waterfall park we went to in WV - beautiful.

    Sometimes I think of a meditating turtle (must be Oogweh from Kung Fu Panda) .

    Today, my Zen will look like my boys and me, huddled under blankets with hot chocolate and enjoying a snow day!

    _/_

    Kelly/Jinmei

  23. #23

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    You mean now?

  24. #24
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    It is so interesting to see what you guys see! Now I have this interesting mash of images in my mind that together make up our sangha of images.

    Quote Originally Posted by chugai
    You say,"How High?"
    _/_

  25. #25
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    sitting
    OK, I feel a need to explain this a little more.
    When I say "sitting," I am referring to all of my existence, which includes zazen but goes way beyond such sitting form.
    When I sat "sitting," I am referring to my perspective on the world, which is from a wheelchair that places me waist high in the world, which gives me a unique (zen) perspective, I believe.
    When I say "sitting," I am referring to a position from which I do all my activities of daily living as well as zazen. Thus, for me, there is no "off the cushion" except when I am quite literally off my wheelchair cushion. This does happen from time to time, both literally and figuratively, but I always end up back on both types of cushion, sitting.

  26. #26
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Some scene from the NZ sangha; i.e their zendo or sesshin or the monk bowing during service.

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    When I think of zen I think about river rocks for some reason. I guess it must be that I associate them with tranquility.

    Sometimes a monk in zazen.

  28. #28

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Had to drop in here once to remind everyone to drop all thoughts of "Zen" ... Zen tires, Zen cosmetics, Zen monks and Zen Temples ... and Just Sit.

    ... But ya'all know that already! 8)

    Gassho, J

  29. #29

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Had to drop in here once to remind everyone to drop all thoughts of "Zen" ... Zen tires, Zen cosmetics, Zen monks and Zen Temples ... and Just Sit.

    ... But ya'all know that already! 8)

    Gassho, J
    Yes!
    I found Amelia's little exercise interesting though. I have to admit I almost felt embarrassed to admit the first image that popped into my head was someone sitting Zazen dressed in a Kesa. It somehow felt better when I thought of my kid playing happily in the living room. More like Zen should be. Was the first image unconsciously shushed away, as judged too boring and uninventive..? :shock: Was it perceived by my ego as something too mundane, as something my wife who knows next to nothing about Buddhism could have said? :shock: Did I think it was too superficial, too fixed at the external? :shock: I'm not sure, but this whole little thought process helped reveal something about the nature of my mind and my thoughts, lead to a little "aha!"-moment. Now I think both of these images are Zen, yet neither are Zen. Both are very real, yet both are just empty clouds passing over a boundless clear blue sky. Both dropped, passed away, without clinging. Other images continuously take their place as I continue to experience the motion picture that is my life. Funny thing, the mind.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  30. #30
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...







  31. #31

    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Z
    Seriously.. i see a red Z. Red Zed (or Zee depending on where you are geographically )

    Then I see fugen with an oven mitt, Kodo Sawaki's face (in that colour photo thats got a lot of orange and black in it???) and then My kid bowing to god in gassho(did you know IT resides on the moon and the sun so IT can keep its eye on you day and night?? her words not mine o_O)

    In that order. The first time. Different each time

  32. #32
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: When I say, Zen,...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Had to drop in here once to remind everyone to drop all thoughts of "Zen" ... Zen tires, Zen cosmetics, Zen monks and Zen Temples ... and Just Sit.

    ... But ya'all know that already! 8)

    Gassho, J
    Of course! I realized that my idea is a bit backward from practice, but I was hoping that noticing the things we associate with zen might make them easier to drop. Like, "Oh, I know that thought/ image, so now I can set it down." Probably should have mentioned that. I kind of think of gardens and water as the "stereotype" that my mind associates with zen, though still beautiful-- still zen and not zen.

    Shohei, the red z is an interesting and unique one.

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