And he has got a finger bleeding...thank you so much for the link Venerable Will :wink:Although Venerable Taigu has hit the nail on the head, I'll post an excerpt from Sunryu Suzuki Rosh
And he has got a finger bleeding...thank you so much for the link Venerable Will :wink:Although Venerable Taigu has hit the nail on the head, I'll post an excerpt from Sunryu Suzuki Rosh
I have no idea if there is God in Zen, but after 2 going on 3 days of a forum with the Church of the Brethren (whom I work for), I can say there is Zen in God. They have been talking about sexuality and spirtitually. But what I am hearing is compassion, no self (god is neighbor, neighbor is self, self is god, neighbor is god...) causing no harm, and dealing with the fact that all of life is a paradox (life is not a paradox).
Sounds like Zen to me
What is your point with the videos and pictures
Well, perhaps I shouldn't speculate (or conceptualize), but it seems to be that Chugai is attempting to challenge the way we typically "see/think about/preconceive" ideas about brutality and death (thus, "if the mind is open, it is ready for anything" and "it" won't experience strong aversion to the pictures, etc). The (non)idea he is trying to convey is that a truly awakened person is not averse to these things/images. Further, he seems to be suggesting that these images could/should be added to Ekai's lovely list/poem.Originally Posted by Daido
Weeds/Flowers, not two.
How skillful the method of the post seems debatable.
I'll take Basho, instead (but this is only my little preference, which I see as a preference):
As I was plodding along the River Fuji, I saw a small child, hardly three years of age, crying pitifully on the bank, obviously abandoned by his parents. They must have thought this child was unable to ride through the stormy waters of life which run as wild as the rapid river itself, and that he was destined to have a life even shorter than that of the morning dew. The child looked to me as the flowers of bush-clover that scatter at the slightest stir of the autumn wind, and he was so pitiful that I gave him what little food I had with me.
The ancient poet
who pitied monkeys for their cries,
what would he say, if he saw
this child crying in the autumn wind?
How is it indeed that this child has been reduced to this state of utter misery? Is it because of his mother who ignored him, or because of his father who abandoned him? Alas, it seems that this child's suffering has been caused by something far greater and more massive...by what one might call the irresistible will of heaven. If it is so, child, you must raise your voice to heaven, and I must pass on, leaving you behind.
Thank you for clarification. Your opinion is valued. When I look at the pictures you posted I feel and see greed anger and ignorance. I also feel and see generosity compassion and wisdom. Sun faced Buddha moon faced Buddha all in one breath. The question for myself becomes less philosophical and I ask what do I do now? I think I know.
Thanks Alan.r. Forgot to say that
I think it is interesting to see how our (mostly) Judeo-Christian heritage shows through all this God talk, since nobody really asks half as often about Gods and Zen. Which again shows that the main "issue" lies with us, our culture and prejudices and not with the nature of reality itself IMHO.
Just two Unsui cents, feel free to ignore and always add a spoonful of salt
Hans Chudo Mongen
I've heard of sitting while walking, but how can you sit while you're on the internet .. ?? I don't understand ...Originally Posted by chugai
This is true. Everything is sitting. Its just that in the position of doing nothing, its more difficult to hide.
"Respect the gods and Buddhas. Do not rely on them."
Miyamoto Musashi Dokkodo
Not that I find all god concepts worthy of any sort of respect.
I only had to look at one of those posted pictures to know this: To look at the image of a man with his head split open and say that it is anything other than a cause for deep and abiding compassion, and a proof that evil exists in the hearts and minds of man, is a misdirection and, frankly, perversion, of the essence of Zen. The notion of ‘not two’ and the exhortation to drop the idea of duality is not to say that evil is not evil and good is not good. It is intended to remind the practitioner that one cannot exist without the other. This co-dependant existence is the joining of both sides of the concept into the ‘One’. Darkness cannot be without Light, if this is so, then Darkness cannot be divided from Light, indeed can you point to where Darkness empirically ends and Light precisely begins? This is the non-dual aspect of our way, the shining Net of Indra which has individual jewels that reflect the myriad other jewels connected to one another with the unbreakable bonds of co-dependant existence.alan.r nails it -- no duality ... God is either in all or nothing ... no picking or choosing, no attachment, no duality ... so where is God? In his heaven? In your mind? only in one and not the other? God is everywhere at once or nowhere at all ... no picking or choosing, no attachment, no duality ...
Riddle me this Batman --- Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
- Epicurus [341–270 B.C.]
Does God, evil,malevolence,ability,omnipotence,willingness. all morals, come from inner space or from outer space? Is it my perception of skanda or a cosmic wavelenghth of duality?
While the Buddha sat meditating beneath a tree, Brahma came and requested him to teach the Dharma. Did Buddha come from his skandas? Did he come from his mother's skandas? Did Brahma come from Buddha's skandas? Did Brahma come from Brahma's skanda's ? Did the Dharma come from Within or Without? Does Brahma come from the God realm or your skanda's?
The hungry ghosts that haunt you? How do you know them?
Not One, Not Two
I find it interesting, as Hans said, about the Judeo-Christian flavor of the conversations about God and so forth. Lately I’ve been reading what many consider to be ‘esoteric’ texts such as the Kybalion and the Corpus Hermeticum, and I’ve read many interesting things. For example, the older religions all point to the divinity of Man and the presence of the “God within us all” and how our thoughts and intentions (our ‘Will’) shape and change the physical world around us. These thoughts are not so different from our own Zen tradition. The Buddha exclaimed “All beings are the Tathagata, however their delusions keep them from attesting to the fact.” There is a passage in the Dhammapada that reads simply, “With our thoughts, we make the world.” The Buddha was just as much a sage and Master of the reality of this as was Hermes Trismegestus, a potent reminder of his own statement that “there were countless Buddhas before me, and shall be countless Buddhas after.” Not just a point in fact that many others understood the interconnectedness of all things, but the fact that this very body is the body of the Buddha, this very world is the Lotus Land.” We are all Buddhas, just as much as we are all “don’t know”, as Bodhidharma put it.
The rejection of the concept of duality must be taken carefully, like the medicine that it is. The correct amount to heal the sickness, too much is just as bad. The ancients also knew that all things in the world shared the aspect of polarity, but as with Zen, knew that things were circular in that the extremes of any one thing depended entirely on where one stood on that ever continuous circle, and that in fact that circle was a single unbroken ‘Whole”.
Need proof? For those who’ve received Jukai, look at the Bloodline chart you received. The Source is pure circle, which goes first to Shakyamuni Buddha our Master (also represented by a circle), then through all our ancestors, to the Venerable Taigu or Jundo, then to you and from you back to the Source…..in a big circle.
So from that stand point yes, it is not two in that the co-dependant, circular existence of all things is deeply interconnected and from that point of view, there is no difference between a corpse and a flower, but that in no way means that an image of a man with his head crushed is not a vision of brutality and evil. Non Duality is not meant to create people who don’t know the difference between good and evil, compassion and harm. A circle, when viewed from a particular vantage can appear to be a single line, and if stretched out far enough, a single point; the two opposing sides of the circle disappear. Not One, but also not Two.
Epicurus never really understood that. He required empirical proof on everything, which at first blush may resemble Buddha’s exhortation “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” But Epicurus, standing in his Garden, could have easily overheard those last few lines beginning with “But after observation” as they were spoken upon the Stoa. As far as I know, none of the 5 Good Emperors of Rome were Epicurian, but all were Stoics, and that philosophy, at the core of which was Compassion and Equality, were just as Buddhist as we Soto Zen practitioners are Stoics.
You know, I am glad you mentioned this. I was going to let this go but I feel I should add something here. I understand that some of us want to make their viewpoint clearly and loudly. That's fine, I think open expression is valued and encouraged here. However, the next time someone decides to post a link to very disturbing and horrific images, I ask that they at least give us a warning. I say this because there are many times my 2-year old sits on my lap while I am on this forum. He does not need to see those images and quite frankly, I don't want to see them either.Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
I agree with the above two posts. When I tried to interpret Chugai's intentions,I mentioned that the skillfulness of the methods seems debatable. To me, it's too extreme and a bit overcooked.
That being said, Johnson, Good and Evil is shaky ground. Evil, especially, sounds is so static sounding, unchanging. Much like trying to define God. Certainly the pictures Chugai posted are cause for concern and compassion. Like Daido mentions, one can see anger, greed, violence, etc, in those photos, but as soon as we start labeling some things as "evil," we limit the world. In Buddhism, we might say that the causes of suffering are evil: delusion, selfishness, hatefulness. But if we do that, if we say these things are evil, then we're pretty much all evil. This is meant to be only a slight disagreement. I see your point and agree in a general way: non-duality and the path we are on is certainly not meant to blunt or dull our moral compass, but to sharpen it and I would say, to make us more open: to not immediatley label "evil" and to not immediately label "good." Some things are morally transparent, clearly wrong, hateful, selfish, but evil?
As soon as we divide the world up, Good and Evil, we stick the universe in place and then we really have our hands full: that act is good, that one evil. How could one possibly figure this all out? For instance, what of the children who are taken by Kony and made to kill their parents, etc. Then later in life, they are killers? Are all their acts evil, or none of them, because someone else made them start on such a path? Or are only a few, the ones they do on their own as adults? To me, it is not evil that is the problem.
The human psyche is a fragile thing, and while bad deeds are done in the world, I think it stems from ignorance not evil.
When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.
It is not that there is good and bad in the world, it is that we see some things as good which in turn creates the bad. We create the fight between good and evil; this fight is in us, too. That is Zazen, letting the fight go. Ideally, if we can let go our views, like Good and Evil, an open, compassionate, freeness will open up and so-called evil will dissipate and there will be no one to worry about trying to be good.
This is true until you remember that good and evil are within us all just as shown by the Yin Yang. Non duality is also the acceptance that these and all things in every possible degree exist in ever heart and every mind. This is an aspect of karma which we have the choice of allowing to control us or not. If the causes of suffering and the three poisons were not evil then why do we have the bodhisattva vows? Why not simply have the vows rewritten to say "eh. Whatever "?
Hi Chris (sorry, I didn't see your name before). I see what you're saying and agree; perhaps we're only having a verbal disagreement about the word "evil." I'm not intelligent enough to figure that one out. I'm only suggesting that, positing it in the way you have above, one form of the trap then becomes this: I'm a bad/evil person and I need to get better and become good.Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding. Too often we assume that the light on the wall is God. But the light is not the goal of the search; it is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it! Similarly, someone who does not search, who does not bring a lantern with him, sees nothing. What we perceive as God, is the byproduct of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light, pure and unblemished, not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe. God looks astonishingly like we do! Or we turn to look at our shadow, and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose; which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty - and in all its flaws. And in so doing better understand the world around us.
~ G'Kar: Babylon 5
Here is the thing, if you took 100 people from every age of man and asked them to define evil you will have a million answers each somewhat different, but with similar underlying themes. This is true of all peoples and all continents. These commonalities are what enabled modern psychology to develop archetypes. Why do you suppose that is? Like our old friend the MU dog, all things have Original nature. Why should Good and Evil be different? The trick is having the proper understanding of it. Which, admittedly, I can't say I have or I would already have actualized the Buddha nature within me..
Hi Chris, I don't know the answer to your question. One thing I thought of: yin yang is not about good and evil. It is about light and dark, or male and female, or high and low, or empty and full. But look at it this way: what is good about light and bad about dark? What good about empty and bad about full or vice versa? Or, the polar thing you posted: what good about + and bad about -? For example, good and evil are not complimentary, whereas male and female are, and therefore good and evil have nothing to do with yin yang; that is my understanding of yin yang, etc, I could be wrong.
Looking at an terrible event and saying "that's evil or that's bad" is totally worthless. Looking at a terrible event and having compassion and saying "what can I do to help?" is much different.
In any case, I don't know. I'm probably way off on all this, and I'm fairly tired from a long day of work, so I'm going to call it quits with posting. I just wanted to let you know I'm bowing out for a time and not just not replying to you. I've enjoyed the discussion.
Much of modern Psychology is Behavioristic or Pharmacological - it doesn't deal much with Archetypes at all.Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
As for evil - all just a terrible misunderstanding, IMHO.
The problem with labelling something as evil is that we stop right there. We don't seek to understand. Why did terrorists fly two airplanes into buildings with thousands of innocent people in them on 9/11? Because they were evil. OK, that explains it.
If we could only see everything clearly, there would be a long chain of causes and effects behind behind these evil acts. Very few people if anyone come to this world naked and just plain evil. So just as strictly speaking there are no enlightened people, only enlightened acts, I don't believe in evil people either. Every evil-doer has probably had moments of kindness in his or her life. Almost all of us are all capable of evil acts. Psychologic experiments have shown this very clearly. Like the one in which an authority told the participant to give their victim electrical chocks until they screamed with pain and even turned silent. Almost everybody did it, just because an authority told them they must do it.
In Zen we practice actualizing Buddha in our lives, but every day people are also trained in the opposite way, in greed, hate and delusion, by parents, society, the army, their boss. What makes someone capable of putting a chainsaw to someone's throat while the victim has his hands tied behind his back? Training. During military training (at least some) you are broken down and then the broken pieces are put together again, but without the empathy that would make you useless as a soldier, a professional killer. Then war perfects the training. The killings and atrocities you are forced to carry out slowly grinds away all remaining traces of empathy. Seeing your comrades die feeds the fear, anger and hate.
So yes, there is evil in the world, but I believe we should always try to see the bigger picture, the karma behind it all. Change what we can, although in the ultimate sense, there is nothing in need of change. Compassion is about wanting to change what we know deep inside is wrong. And compassion is the heart of the Bodhisattva Way in my view.
Zen buddhist practice doesn't turn you into a cold-hearted indifferent bastard. It helps us see and accept things exactly the way they are, without adding all the extra. But it doesn't mean we have to resign. We can and should still endeavor to do good and avoid doing harm. To me, this is vitally important.
Yes, thank you so much. Exactly what I've been trying to say and utterly failing at saying. Again, thank you for these words.Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
Pontus, I appreciate the general sentiment of your post and your insight in general. As someone who comes from three generations of combat veterans, and works alongside them everyday, I am taken aback by your statement that the military trains men & women in greed, hate and delusion.
Of course there are criminals, miscreants, and malcontents serving in the armed forces. They're in every profession. The vast majority of veterans I know are quite compassionate, and empathetic. As hard as it is for some people to believe, most vets don't return from war as a psycopaths or curled into the fetal position.
Anyhow, as zen Buddhists let's not kid ourselves. We're a group of individuals, not some religious A-Team.
I second this. Pontus you paint your picture with too broad a brush on this one. Some of these greedy killers are some of the most compassionate are caring individuals I have ever met and worked with. All sides must be considered including things which seem like contradictions.Originally Posted by Shujin
Guys, read a bit closer. Some, not all. I read this as an echo to the Kony reference I made earlier.Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
I read it Alan. I still respectfully disagree...with just the opinion not the person
Shujin, Daido, sorry about that!
I come from a family of military officers too and I have served a short time in the army myself. It's not something I regret.
I didn't mean to paint every soldier as evil, not at all. I wouldn't want to live in a country with no military force.
Military training can make people less empathic, but not all people and not all kinds of training. Atrocities are carried out in every war as you know. War does that to (some) people.
Gassho, as well.Originally Posted by Daido
"I am God and you are God and all that groks is God."
Maybe the story of Al Mansoor is appropriate in this topic :Originally Posted by Amelia
From the osho transformation tarot :
When Shibli threw the rose
The first time Shibli's name became known was the time when Mansoor al-Hillaj was being murdered. Many people have been murdered in the past by so called religious people--Jesus was murdered--but there has been never such a murder as happened with al-Hillaj. First his legs were cut off--he was alive--then his hands were cut. Then his tongue was cut, then his eyes were taken out--and he was alive. He was cut in pieces.
And what crime had Mansoor committed? He had said, An'al Hak. It means "I am the Truth, I am God." All the seers of the Upanishads declare this, Aham Brahmasmi--I am Brahma, the Supreme Self." But the Mohammedans could not tolerate it.
Mansoor is one of the greatest Sufis. When they started cutting his hands he looked at the sky, prayed to God and said, "You cannot deceive me! I can see you in everybody present here. You are trying to deceive me? you have come as the murderer? as the enemy? But I tell you, in whatsoever form you come I will recognize you--because I have recognized you within myself. Now there is no possibility of deception."
Shibli was a companion, a friend to al-Hillaj. People are throwing stones and mud in ridicule, and Shibli is standing there. Mansoor is laughing and smiling. Suddenly he starts crying and weeping, because Shibli has thrown a rose at him. Somebody asked, "What is the matter? With stones you laugh--have you gone mad? And Shibli has thrown only a rose flower. Why are you crying and weeping?"
Mansoor said, "People who are throwing stones don't know what they are doing, but this Shibli has to know. For him it will be difficult to get forgiveness from God." He said, "Others will be forgiven because they are acting in ignorance; they cannot help it. In their blindness that's all they can do. But with Shibli--a man who knows! That's why I weep and cry for him. He is the only person who is committing a sin here."
And this statement of Mansoor's changed Shibli completely. He threw the Koran, the scriptures, and he said, "They could not make me understand even this: that all knowledge is useless. Now I will seek the right knowledge." And later on when he was asked, "Why did you throw the flower?" Shibli said, "I was afraid of the crowd--if I don't throw anything, people may think that I belong to Mansoor's group. They may get violent toward me. I threw the flower--just a compromise. Mansoor was right: he wept at my fear, my cowardice. He wept because I was compromising with the crowd." But Shibli understood. The crying of Mansoor became a transformation.
From Wikipedia :
Mansoor Al-Hallaj was condemned to hang by the neck for shouting in ecstasy Anal-Haq, Anal-Haq (I am the Truth, I am the Truth). The orthodoxy understood this to mean that he was claiming to be God himself, whereas he had proclaimed in his sublime spiritual ecstasy, simply a total annihilation of himself. Mansoor Al-Hallaj climbed the gallows with his head held high, not the least daunted by his imminent death. Nor could his shouts be drowned in the tumult of abuses which were hurled at him; they rose loud and clear and high Anal-Haq, Anal-Haq until his soul departed to the fountainhead of his life on high.
Basheer draws parallel between "Anal Haq" and Aham Brahmasmi the Upanishad mahakavya which means I am Brahman . Basheer uses this term to intend God is found within one's 'self'.
Enjoyed the stories ( and its sentiment) of the execution of Mansoor Al-Hallaj. However, can't help pondering the glaring contradiction; how was he able to hold his head up high and shout when his legs had been severed and his tongue cut out ?? :roll:
I can't see the point in believing in God, or indeed the point in disbelieving. :wink:Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
Well said.Originally Posted by Porpoise
The point is to have a place to anchor self. It's misguided, but that's the intent.Originally Posted by Porpoise
:lol: hahah yeah, I don't know if osho's story is 100% historically correct ... :lol:Originally Posted by Shokai
Today hsuyun.org displayed a quote about Al Hallaj :
So how to see Him?“I am He whom I love, and He whom I love is I,
We are two spirits dwelling in one body.
If thou seest me, thou seest Him,
And if thou seest Him, thou seest us both.”
- Al Hallaj (he was accused of claiming divinity and was eventually publicly scourged and crucified.)
By sitting zen.
My son's girlfriend has synesthesia- she sees colors associated with numbers and words. She didn't know this was different from how others experience things until she was a teenager, and it's hard for her to explain because its all she's ever known. She doesn't have the experience of non-synesthesia to compare it to.
I was raised in a Christian environment, and its similarly difficult for me to think about how the world and its inhabitants work without that religious frame of reference. What I have been able to do over many years of thinking about religion is to distill some of the lessons of Christianity out of the biblical context, and in the process I have discovered that one does not need God to make these lessons sensible. For instance, treating every other person as if he/she were Jesus is supposed to make Christians kind to everyone (doesn't work for most of them), but taken out of context, the practice still works. Treat everyone as if they were part of one's self (which they are in more ways than one) and you accomplish the same end. I think one of the root lessons of the bible is compassion, and when I stopped getting hung up on the biblical labyrinth, and instead focused on what compassion does for the world, it still made sense to practice it.
I'm getting along fine without a personal savior, and have settled into an agnostic frame of mind. As many others have already written here, it doesn't really matter if there is a supreme being or not. Just be.