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Thread: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

  1. #1
    disastermouse
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    Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Something I've been noticing lately is how we each define Zen through our individual identity. Brad is punk, therefore the best Zen is punk also. Jundo treasures balance, even-ness, and nice-ness - hence to him Zen is balanced, even, and nice. I do it too... of course.

    But this isn't really Zen, is it?

    Chet

  2. #2

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Yeah but everyone returns to the cushion when descending from the soapbox.

  3. #3

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Something I've been noticing lately is how we each define Zen through our individual identity. Brad is punk, therefore the best Zen is punk also. Jundo treasures balance, even-ness, and nice-ness - hence to him Zen is balanced, even, and nice. I do it too... of course.

    But this isn't really Zen, is it?

    Chet
    It seems like the first paragraph is dealing with "Zen" from an individual (subjective) perspective. We are individual beings, singular, isolated, unique personalities, with egos however large or small.

    The second question seems to come from the universal (objective) side of things. How can a the subjective be Zen? The question might as well be How is an ego (subjective) part of the universal (objective) process?

    We are both. We have individual uniqueness, like a flower, but are part of the whole, actually are the universal process.

    Think back to Dogen: the moon reflected in a dewdrop.

    If a flower blooms yellow and not pink, do you question it's zen-ness?

  4. #4

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    But this isn't really Zen, is it?
    Does it really matter what Zen is or is not? Either which way, we are still trying to define something that needs no defining. You can define life in so many ways, have many different philosophical views about it, but what good is it if you are not living, breathing and actually entering into life as it is.

    Punk Zen, balanced zen, Koan zen, esoteric zen, all are good and useful. But all are just tools. Pointers. See where this is all pointing to and go to that place....


    Of course this is all just rambles from a highly deluded being....

  5. #5
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    I just think there's a bit of self-deception going on and thought that maybe we can look at that. It all started when I thought about Chugai's posts - first the Rinzai references and then the shock photos. It reminds me how much we need the sangha to help keep us honest.

    Chet

  6. #6

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    But this isn't really Zen, is it?

    Punk Zen, balanced zen, Koan zen, esoteric zen, all are good and useful. But all are just tools. Pointers. See where this is all pointing to and go to that place....
    Again, thanks Seiryu. Chet, I don't know what you mean: the shock photos and rinzai reminds you we need to be honest? The self-deception reminds you?

  7. #7
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by alan.r
    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    But this isn't really Zen, is it?

    Punk Zen, balanced zen, Koan zen, esoteric zen, all are good and useful. But all are just tools. Pointers. See where this is all pointing to and go to that place....
    Again, thanks Seiryu. Chet, I don't know what you mean: the shock photos and rinzai reminds you we need to be honest? The self-deception reminds you?
    The Rinzai post about what's-his-name criticizing Soto as 'do nothing' zen made me realize that for a certain type of person and a particular viewpoint, it may indeed be that way. So for him, Zen was Rinzai - all other Zen was 'improper'. The shock photos reminded me that maybe for Chugai, shock is the test of one's practice - so for him, he thinks immunity to shock or aversion is the best Zen. Seeing all these points of view and thinking about how they may be correct and yet incomplete in their ways - that reminds me that my own view is also likely incomplete and should not be held so firmly. Without the sangha, such realization would likely not happen.

    Chet

  8. #8

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    Seeing all these points of view and thinking about how they may be correct and yet incomplete in their ways - that reminds me that my own view is also likely incomplete and should not be held so firmly. Without the sangha, such realization would likely not happen.

    Chet
    These two sentences are right on (for me (heh). We're practicing alone-together and learning and sharing alone-together.

    So, was your initial question ironic?

    Isn't really zen? Everything is; nothing is; just practice, alone-together.

  9. #9

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Damn, I should have said "unlearning."

    Minus one zen point.

  10. #10

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Something I've been noticing lately is how we each define Zen through our individual identity. Brad is punk, therefore the best Zen is punk also. Jundo treasures balance, even-ness, and nice-ness - hence to him Zen is balanced, even, and nice. I do it too... of course.

    But this isn't really Zen, is it?
    This question reads like a koan.

    Here's my answer:



    gassho
    greg

  11. #11

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Jundo treasures balance, even-ness, and nice-ness - hence to him Zen is balanced, even, and nice.
    Bullshit!

    Where would you get a bunch of crap like that!? :twisted:

    It's like sailing life's seas ... some rare days flat and sunny without a care, but oftimes stormy, sometimes a Tsunami to wash us away! All the sailing, fella! Always on the cutting edge of life and death even when deceptively still ... cause the winds can blow up in a second.

    Sometimes it is all "balanced and even and nice" ... sometimes we have to latch ourself to the wheel so as not to be swept over ... sometimes we vomit over the side ... sometimes, finally, we are swept away into the deep ...

    ALL THE SAILING! You think this Practice is like a rowboat in the park? It is a vessel to the other shore.

    But know the Balance that sweeps in and out all that, for the waves ... no matter how terrifying ... are just the Sea all along. There is a Stillness at the eye of the storm, a Silence in the screams of the terrified, a Calm in the cancer ward, a Peace amid all the broken and bloody pieces!

    Don't you put words in my mouth, fella! Obviously, you have not learned a damn thing since coming here. Crap, spoken without any sense in life of what is "even" and "uneven". Maybe that's why you keep falling off the deck. :twisted:

    Gassho, J

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    I just think there's a bit of self-deception going on and thought that maybe we can look at that. It all started when I thought about Chugai's posts - first the Rinzai references and then the shock photos. It reminds me how much we need the sangha to help keep us honest.

    Chet
    I disagree. I understood what Chugai was referring to and his points on non-dualism but giving links to horrific photos and videos without any warning to Sangha members on what they will see if they click on those links is just disrespectful and rude. There are plenty of others ways on keeping us honest and helping each other see the truth instead of showing us very disturbing images. I was really bothered by those links especially since my 2- year old sits on my lap sometimes when I am on the forum. He does not need to see violent images and quite frankly, neither do I. Luckily, he did not see those images since he was playing. Keeping the Sangha honest involves communicating with mindfulness, truth, wisdom and compassion. I agree we need to show tough love to express a point we feel strongly about but it can be done more appropriately with respect to others.

    Gassho,
    Ekai

  13. #13

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Something I've been noticing lately is how we each define Zen through our individual identity. Brad is punk, therefore the best Zen is punk also. Jundo treasures balance, even-ness, and nice-ness - hence to him Zen is balanced, even, and nice. I do it too... of course.
    Exactly, a tomato tastes like a tomato and acts like a tomato, a cherry tastes and behaves different, we all have our place and function,
    even though some tomato might look like a cherry at times
    _()_
    Myoku

  14. #14

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Hello,

    interesting topic. Just my two unenlightened Unsui cents coming up....as long as we have a radical and no holds barred will towards truthfulness at the center of our practise, it's perfectly okay for each and everyone to have their own individual "garnish". We are all telling stories to ourselves and others all the time anyhow...that's okay, we just shouldn't believe those stories


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mognen

  15. #15

    Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    It depends on what you mean by Zen. What does Zen mean to you? There is Zen buddhist practice and Zen buddhist practitioners. Since people are different, their practices are different too. And Zen buddhist practice is different from Theravadin practice. Zen buddhist practice is the direct pointing path. All these practices point to the same moon, but they are not the moon. Zen is not the moon. Brad is Brad and Jundo is Jundo. None of them flawless and both of them perfectly what they are. Zen masters. Nothing holy.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  16. #16
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    I didn't mean anything derogatory, Jundo. Perhaps it's only because I'm often so unbalanced that I interpret your teachings as promoting balance. It's all a matter of perspective. Personally, sometimes I am too committed to my perspective and I wonder if others aren't the same.

    As for why I keep falling off the deck, it's mostly a matter of inertia, I'd guess.

    As a measure of support to Chugai - Tibetan Buddhists often meditate in charnel grounds surrounded by the rotting and scavenged corpses of dead friends and family.

    Chet

  17. #17

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Pontus wrote

    It depends on what you mean by Zen. What does Zen mean to you? There is Zen buddhist practice and Zen buddhist practitioners. Since people are different, their practices are different too. And Zen buddhist practice is different from Theravadin practice. Zen buddhist practice is the direct pointing path. All these practices point to the same moon, but they are not the moon. Zen is not the moon. Brad is Brad and Jundo is Jundo. None of them flawless and both of them perfectly what they are. Zen masters. Nothing holy.

    I do agree Pontus - and as Jundo often teaches - many ways up the mountain.

    I think what concerns me a little is the notion that we can draw a veil of simplicity over what it is to live a good life, the essence of practice, etc. No - it isn't all that complicated - but the difficulties that we humans have in living a good life that is marked out by simplicity ( for that - I think I might want to read 'love') seems to floor every one of us.

    I may need correction on this - but my understanding is that in this sangha the emphasis is on Zazen - as laid out by Dogen - who clearly believed that his formulation of 'meditation' moved on the understanding of what it is to express Buddha nature. Because there is a school of thought grounding Soto Zen (and therefore an ideology of sorts) I personally feel I need to explore this more.

    That in itself may not have any fundamental impact on how I experience/practice Zazen. It has been suggested that the whole of Dogen's work (writings/teachings) are merely footnotes to Zazen. I can understand that some may feel that the footnotes can be bypassed (I think even Dogen would say that - as all that really matters is to sit with a beginner's mind).

    But how many of us are graced with such innocence - because grace it surely is?

    For myself - if I'm going to be authentic - I feel I need to hack away at the pit face of written information/thought. Will it make any difference to the destination? I very much doubt it. Will it slow me down - possibly impede? Yes - it may do so. There's a very fine balance between over thinking and abandoning thought all together.

    Now - I could have been sitting Zazen instead of writing this - and perhaps that would have been a better use of my morning - but in all our questioning we're maybe writing our own footnotes - and I kinda think that Ok (most of the time).

    Gassho

    Willow

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    As a measure of support to Chugai - Tibetan Buddhists often meditate in charnel grounds surrounded by the rotting and scavenged corpses of dead friends and family.

    Chet
    Yes but they make a choice to meditate in those surroundings and that's fine. I did not expect to see those images and if I knew what to expect, I would have made a choice to not view them. I am completely aware of violence in the world but I don't want to see actual footage. Viewing these horrific images does not add any insight to my practice in any way. I don't want to censor anyone's point of view or way of expressing themselves, but I just think if someone wants to post something that might shock or adversely effect others in the Sangha, a warning beforehand on what they will see is not asking too much. While we teach other truth and reality, let's not forget that the Sangha is also a place we take refuge.

    Gassho,
    Ekai

  19. #19

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ekai
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    As a measure of support to Chugai - Tibetan Buddhists often meditate in charnel grounds surrounded by the rotting and scavenged corpses of dead friends and family.

    Chet
    Yes but they make a choice to meditate in those surroundings and that's fine. I did not expect to see those images and if I knew what to expect, I would have made a choice to not view them.
    Hi Ekai,

    At our home too, with a 9 year old child, we have the child filters on the computer, and don't want to expose him to anything too shocking. As well, I certainly prefer to look at flowers and pleasant scenery than a car crash or battle field.

    But the heart of the matter is that we Practice, and sit Zazen, right in the middle of a bloody car crash or battle field. Yes, even that is swept through and dances as Emptiness, and is the very place for Kannon to extent her merciful hands. Nothing is hidden.

    I do not have a battle field or charnel ground to sit in, but I do sit Zazen at a crematorium and on a cancer ward with folks in pain. I have sat when I stumbled over a car accident with people seriously hurt (after offering aid, of course!), holding a dying child in a hospice, at a garbage dump, in a nuclear accident, and at a recent murder house. I sit the very Shikantaza I sit in my comfortable home or on a pretty beach ... dropping all thoughts of this or that or how I wish things would be.

    If you want to know the true POWER of Emptiness, it is not only to sit in a cozy warm room or on some Himalayan mountain top right out of a postcard. The POWER of this Way is that it sweeps in and hold gently all these places ... the good and the bad.

    So, there is no reason perhaps to go running every day after gory and horrible images in order to sit Zazen, yet often there is no reason to run from them either when they appear. Run neither toward nor away from any facet of life at the Heart of Sitting.

    This Practice is always "sweet" and "nice" my ass!

    Gassho, J

  20. #20

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Jundo speaks my mind...The world is pretty dark. Leave the computer and televison screen, take a stroll in Africa, the Middle East, South America...Blood, blood, blood.
    Airy fairy? balanced? Chet...Did you live in Syria? I did. Did you witness killings? I did. Did your dad wanted to kill you with his sweet gun? Mine did. Have you been there?
    The outcome? I have no taste for watching people's suffering.
    Chugai, please get your hood off and seek for help.
    Chet, just ..., for you don't know what you are talking about.

    No need for this.

    I sit with people in pain, breathe with people in pain.
    The obscene, the pornographic use of people dying to make a would be philosophical point is ...

    gassho

    Taigu

  21. #21

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    I just added this to Chugai's graphic photo posting ...

    Quote Originally Posted by chugai
    WARNING FROM JUNDO: CHUGAI CHOSE TO POST GRAPHIC IMAGES OF VIOLENCE IN THE FOLLOWING POST. While I usually like to keep our community a safe, warm, peaceful place, it is also part of life to look violence and ugliness in the eye. I can understand Chugai's point in linking to the images. However, I also believe it best to give a warning on the materials for the more sensitive among us. I understand why he posted the bloody and ugly images, even as I think he could have made the point in a better way, and even as I ask Chugai, what's up with you today my friend? Gassho, Jundo
    I had not seen them until several folks mentioned them here.

    I simply can't talk about someone's personal issues because of confidentiality, but in this case Chugai already mentioned the matter himself a couple of places on the Forum, so I have just a little more leeway. Let me just sat that he is undergoing some health issues and chemotherapy right now, so I ask all members of this Sangha to approach him and each other with some understanding of someone's state of mind right now.

    Gassho, Jundo

  22. #22
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Wow. Lots of anti-Chet from the teachers. I can't seem to voice any thought without provoking that response.

    Time to move on.

  23. #23
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Jundo speaks my mind...The world is pretty dark. Leave the computer and televison screen, take a stroll in Africa, the Middle East, South America...Blood, blood, blood.
    Airy fairy? balanced? Chet...Did you live in Syria? I did. Did you witness killings? I did. Did your dad wanted to kill you with his sweet gun? Mine did. Have you been there?
    The outcome? I have no taste for watching people's suffering.
    Chugai, please get your hood off and seek for help.
    Chet, just ..., for you don't know what you are talking about.

    No need for this.

    I sit with people in pain, breathe with people in pain.
    The obscene, the pornographic use of people dying to make a would be philosophical point is ...

    gassho

    Taigu
    Taigu,

    You act as though you are the only one who has suffered or seen horrors. Work in a cancer unit or with someone slowly dying of heart failure. Until then, politely refrain from telling people they don't know what they're talking about - for you also don't know what they're talking about.

    Or would you have that we throw a pity-party for poor old defenseless Taigu? When you repeatedly bring up your traumatic past to try and trump actual discussion, you lose legitimacy in my eyes. Your past may explain your current viewpoint, but it does not allow you to over-ride all others.

    I'm tired of fending off the reflexive hostility from you and Jundo whenever I speak up and post a topic I want to explore more thoroughly. Clearly, I need a sangha, but not one where the teachers are so reflexively toxic to any topic I bring up. This sangha is actually probably harmful for me.

    Good luck overcoming your issues Jundo and Taigu - and I hope whatever teachers you produce will not create too much harm.

    Chet

  24. #24

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Wow. Lots of anti-Chet from the teachers.

    Time to move on.
    Something must be in the water this week.

    Oy vey! ... The Jewish sound of one hand clapping ... :shock:



    Gassho, J

  25. #25
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Wow. Lots of anti-Chet from the teachers.

    Time to move on.
    Something must be in the water. Oy vey! The sound of one hand clapping ... :shock:



    Gassho, J
    Jundo,

    No need to be an asshole about it, is there?

    Chet

  26. #26

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    At the risk of sounding naive and stupid and/or arrogant, I thought this little story, about myself, might be of use:

    I'm a fiction writer, so some people consider me an "artist." Whatever, I don't care for labels anymore, but about eight years ago I cared quite a bit. I entered a PhD program to learn more about literature and art and to become a better writer. I didn't care about a PhD, I want to make art. At the same time, I already thought I was a good writer, a real artist, you know. A maker of art. I entered this PhD program and in the first workshops read stories and thought, This isn't art; soon they'll see my writing and what real art is. So, my time for workshop came up, and not only did all the students rip my work, the teacher did too. This happened the entire year: "the writing style is fine, but the story is paint-by-numbers." Holy shit, paint by numbers? There couldn't be anything worse. I started trying to writer better and better, worked harder and harder. In my second year, still floundering, the teachers were coming down even harder, destroying all the new work, and I was seriously considering quitting; they didn't know shit, anyway, they were assholes, they were old and didn't know what new things were going on, they only cared about a certain kind of fiction, art, dickheads. So, I fought them and fought their ideas and threw out their ideas and got pissed off and got even more pissed off and one day when one of my teachers gently confronted me about my attitude and asked why I was so unhappy, I could barely contain my anger (though, yeah, I remained calm on the outside). So, with all this shit swirling in me, there I was, unable to even know what to do: quit, keep going and keep hating where I was, keep writing shit, because apparently that's all I could write. Then, as if in dream, at a break in the semester, I started writing because I was so fucking sick of thinking about how poorly I was doing; I totally lost myself in the writing of a new thing and thought, when it was finished: They'll just trash this, too. We happened to have a fairly famous (if you're in the lit world) writer visiting at the time and I thought: Not only is this going to get reamed, it's going to reamed by a famous writer I love a lot (I liked the writing of my teachers, too). But instead, what happened was: "Yep, you got this one. This is it." I was shocked to some degree. And I began to realize that I was in my own fucking way. Trying to become a great writer? What bullshit. That's what my teachers were trying to tell me, to show me. They were saying, over and over: "this is just a bunch of ego junk, why aren't you just writing?" I couldn't see it, then I suddenly saw it. I began letting go when I wrote, and while there were ups and downs, there were much more: "yep, you're grooving on this one." Things loosened, some publications came in, and I slowly, ever so slowly, began to understand how to work without getting in my own fucking way. My teachers were there to teach me some about craft, but mainly they were there to help me get out of the way of myself, and sometimes the only way to that can happen is if we get beat up a little, or even a lot.

    Looking back, was I beat up a lot? Yeah. But those fists had love in them. I love those teachers now, am so grateful for them. And sometimes I still need a good hard right cross.

    Maybe this isn't the kind of thing I should be posting here. But, to paraphrase Amy Hempel, the thought that finally occurred to me in grad school, and that I think about often now: how do we know that what happens to us isn't good?

    Gassho,
    Alan

  27. #27

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    I so rarely speak up any more, but sometimes I feel I must.

    This thread seems so far away from the original question. Such an innocent question that I interpreted to mean "Do even our teachers bring their own delusions into their practice, and does this affect the teaching?" To which the answer should truthfully be a resounding yes! Are the delusions Zen? No, they are merely a result of the human condition. The Zen part is when we practice in spite of and to overcome those delusions.

    Suffering is also human, and it affects all of us, Zen master and student alike. Suffering is not a pissing contest. What is a tragedy to one can barely affect another. So the question becomes : Because I suffer should I not show mercy to those that also suffer, or should I withhold said mercy except from those that have suffered only as much as I?

    Pondering, as always~
    Jen

  28. #28
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by alan.r
    At the risk of sounding naive and stupid and/or arrogant, I thought this little story, about myself, might be of use:

    I'm a fiction writer, so some people consider me an "artist." Whatever, I don't care for labels anymore, but about eight years ago I cared quite a bit. I entered a PhD program to learn more about literature and art and to become a better writer. I didn't care about a PhD, I want to make art. At the same time, I already thought I was a good writer, a real artist, you know. A maker of art. I entered this PhD program and in the first workshops read stories and thought, This isn't art; soon they'll see my writing and what real art is. So, my time for workshop came up, and not only did all the students rip my work, the teacher did too. This happened the entire year: "the writing style is fine, but the story is paint-by-numbers." Holy shit, paint by numbers? There couldn't be anything worse. I started trying to writer better and better, worked harder and harder. In my second year, still floundering, the teachers were coming down even harder, destroying all the new work, and I was seriously considering quitting; they didn't know shit, anyway, they were assholes, they were old and didn't know what new things were going on, they only cared about a certain kind of fiction, art, dickheads. So, I fought them and fought their ideas and threw out their ideas and got pissed off and got even more pissed off and one day when one of my teachers gently confronted me about my attitude and asked why I was so unhappy, I could barely contain my anger (though, yeah, I remained calm on the outside). So, with all this shit swirling in me, there I was, unable to even know what to do: quit, keep going and keep hating where I was, keep writing shit, because apparently that's all I could write. Then, as if in dream, at a break in the semester, I started writing because I was so fucking sick of thinking about how poorly I was doing; I totally lost myself in the writing of a new thing and thought, when it was finished: They'll just trash this, too. We happened to have a fairly famous (if you're in the lit world) writer visiting at the time and I thought: Not only is this going to get reamed, it's going to reamed by a famous writer I love a lot (I liked the writing of my teachers, too). But instead, what happened was: "Yep, you got this one. This is it." I was shocked to some degree. And I began to realize that I was in my own fucking way. Trying to become a great writer? What bullshit. That's what my teachers were trying to tell me, to show me. They were saying, over and over: "this is just a bunch of ego junk, why aren't you just writing?" I couldn't see it, then I suddenly saw it. I began letting go when I wrote, and while there were ups and downs, there were much more: "yep, you're grooving on this one." Things loosened, some publications came in, and I slowly, ever so slowly, began to understand how to work without getting in my own fucking way. My teachers were there to teach me some about craft, but mainly they were there to help me get out of the way of myself, and sometimes the only way to that can happen is if we get beat up a little, or even a lot.

    Looking back, was I beat up a lot? Yeah. But those fists had love in them. I love those teachers now, am so grateful for them. And sometimes I still need a good hard right cross.

    Maybe this isn't the kind of thing I should be posting here. But, to paraphrase Amy Hempel, the thought that finally occurred to me in grad school, and that I think about often now: how do we know that what happens to us isn't good?

    Gassho,
    Alan
    Used to be I could post something and it wouldn't get bashed. Then I had a schism with the sangha, and since then, it's been all-bashing. See, there's a point in time where it starts and it has nothing to do with the quality of my posts. If anything, they're less reactive and more thoughtful than they've ever been.

    So yeah....you sorta need to know the history better.

    Chet

  29. #29

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    you sorta need to know the history better.

    Chet
    The definitely makes sense. I really didn't think Jundo as picking on you though with his first response. I thought his post with the devil horns was just playing 'devils advocate' or whatever; playing with the idea, showing that a person can't be labeled so easily. In any case, probably better to stay out of things I don't know about.

    Best to all,
    Alan

  30. #30

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Alan wrote

    My teachers were there to teach me some about craft, but mainly they were there to help me get out of the way of myself, and sometimes the only way to that can happen is if we get beat up a little, or even a lot.

    Alan - I truly happy for you that you feel the above approach worked for you. Personally - I find all this talk of 'tough love' and people being needed to get out of the way of themselves, etc a bit macho.

    I was actually going to start a new thread on how women seemed to be outnumbered by men within buddhism and within this sangha. There are some very sensitive members here (male and female) but I do wonder if there's some imbalance that starts to show in subtle (and not so subtle) ways in the ethos. This is merely an observation.

    I don't understand what Chet has done to elicit the level of harsh responses in this thread - no matter what the past history. It's made me feel very uncomfortable and on edge.

    Like they say - if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen - right now I'm finding it uncomfortably hot and I'm not sure I want to stay in the kitchen.

    Gassho

    Willow

  31. #31
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Hey everyone,

    I genuinely care for the people in this dialogue, and I am aware of the history. With regard to the present thread -

    There are several conversations going on here -

    1) Chugai's posting links to stong and graphic material -

    2) Chet, Jundo, and Taigu going back and forth regarding Zen and individual identity, balanced view, displays of violence used to illustrate a point, etc.

    3) People trying to discusss the underlying substantive issues to defuse the emotional discourse/content, and the example of the "tough love" teaching method...

    I do not want to engage on the substance of the issues - (an unaccustomed position for me to take) - but rather - ask all involved to check themselves by asking a few questions:

    1) Is my speech skillful?
    2) Is my speech compassionate?
    3)Is my speech honest?
    4)How will my speech be received by the person I am addressing? What is the point I want them to hear?

    There are important issues in this thread that deserve to be discussed to everyone's benefit -

    This goes for all of us - in this case we are all teachers and all students - we are all here because we realize that suffering and pain exist in the world. I do not think we need to establish bona fides - Jundo and Taigu witness suffering in many venues, as priests and in their personal lives. Chet, in his work, sees plenty of suffering and pain. No need for one-upmanship. Street cred has been established by all parties.

    What is the intention behind the use of harsh words and "I'm taking my ball and going home" forms of speech to characterize one's own or the other's view? I hear what Chet is saying - he feels that that there is an institutional antipathy, or "immune reaction," so to speak, to his posts...

    What kind of response does one hope to evoke, or use to signal recognition of Chet's position (whether one agrees or disagrees) by using dismissive forms of speech? What type of outcome is envisioned? Listening and enquiry stop and accusations and finger pointing begin to take place.... (Jen and Willow, Thank you for your powerful posts)

    With regard to delusions influencing one's view, and practice, there is no question... no one is immune from the cycles of samsara. I like Kodo Sawaki's description here - "I am deluded with all the gold trimmings!" That certainly goes for me - and practice begins, as I understand it, with that recognition as a starting point..... To me, the important point is how one deals with delusion in the course of how we perceive and relate to life..... teachers, practitioners are humans... we do not look to one another to be perfect but to practice the way.... and we learn from the example, not from words..... we all look to and learn from one another, and learn together. We are people of "no rank"....

    The written medium furthermore, can lend itself to misperception - the well-intentioned use of humour to defuse an emotionally charged situation can sometimes be interpreted differently.....

    I implore you all to please reflect deeply on this.... we are a sangha - there will be disagreements and strong emotions - how we express them and handle them is the key to our practice in action.....

    A deep bow to everyone,
    Yugen

  32. #32

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    It seems like things went a bit too far after Jundo's post and maybe that's because it's difficult to read humor on the internet sometimes? I don't know. I completely thought he was being playful. Not that he was disregarding Chet's question, but that the question simply didn't need answered because the answer is obvious (if we take Jen's interpretation): of course we all bring our delusions to practice, teacher and student alike. I honestly wasn't sure what Chet's question was, but enjoyed asking him about it and talking with him.

    Still, I'm obviously I'm missing some big past here, so my apologies if I offended you, Chet.

    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    Personally - I find all this talk of 'tough love' and people being needed to get out of the way of themselves, etc a bit macho.
    Hi Willow. I can see it being macho, but again, I don't know: there are tons of threads and words on Treeleaf and I haven't seen this come up that often. Then again, I'm pretty much a newbie. There seems to be a lot of gentleness, though, too.

    Also, sometimes toughness is needed. Charlotte Joko Beck talks about this a lot: having the guts to look at oneself, to really see if one has the deep down toughness and gutsiness to be compassionate and to be gentle, not just with others flaws, but with oneself as well. It's a terribly difficult thing to really look at oneself. Sometimes there's some unpleasant stuff there.

    All in it's own place though: tough when tough and gentle when gentle.

    It's spring, let's all go outside.

  33. #33
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    What is tough? Who is tough? Sometimes tough is gentle. Sometimes gentle is tough. Gentle depends on tough, tough depends on gentle. They don't exist independently, but in relation to one another.

    Water in its course over time erodes stone and mountains.

    It is beautiful out. I'm right behind you Alan.

    Gassho,
    Yugen

  34. #34

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    This could all be due to a solar flare or something. Been a little snappy and unskillful the past 24.

    'What if God was one of us'

  35. #35

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Rich wrote

    This could all be due to a solar flare or something. Been a little snappy and unskillful the past 24.

    'What if God was one of us'


    Thanks Rich - so glad you're here.

    Alan - thanks for your reply. I appreciate what you say - don't have a problem with toughness as such - but that's another topic for another day I think.

    Yugen - your thoughtful response is always appreciated.

    Well - it's bedtime here in the UK - so whether you're stepping out into the sunshine or turning in to sleep on things -

    'Peace be to all beings
    May all beings be well and happy
    And free from fear'

    Gassho

    Willow

  36. #36

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Yes, Chugai is going through some rough times and we should give him some leeway.

    But the same goes for Chet in my opinion. He has been quite open about his own diagnoses and has a personality that he can't change that will continue to put him in trouble sometimes. He probably didn't realize that his post could easily be interpreted as "the Zen Jundo is teaching is not real Zen" and I don't think he meant it as an insult.

    I think this thread shows that Chet is really trying:
    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3461

    Chet did post a large number of really abrasive posts a while back. I was actually very surprised that Jundo and Taigu allowed him to stay during those times. I'm not sure I would have had the same patience. But the tone of his posts has improved greatly and this last year he has been as gentle as a lamb in my opinion.

    I don't think the Sangha turned against you Chet. Some people disliked the abrasive style of your posts, but so many people have expressed that they see you as a valuable member of this Sangha and that they appreciate your contributions. Don't get so hung up on the negative that you neglect the positive!

    I posted this in a another thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    You have come quite far with your own issues this past year too, haven't you? I wish I will be able to work as hard as you with my own issues!
    Take care,
    Pontus

  37. #37

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    I don't understand what Chet has done to elicit the level of harsh responses in this thread - no matter what the past history. It's made me feel very uncomfortable and on edge.

    Like they say - if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen - right now I'm finding it uncomfortably hot and I'm not sure I want to stay in the kitchen.
    You're a sensitive and honest person Willow. I appreciate that. It's a great quality.

    /Pontus

  38. #38
    disastermouse
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    None of what I posted was at all intended to insult anyone - and I got HUGE blowback. I'm a lot of things, but I'm not very sneaky. If I wanted to say that Jundo doesn't teach real Zen, I'd have said exactly that.

    My point wasn't to say that anyone wasn't teaching or learning real Zen, but rather that it's amazing how our perspectives of the clear blue sky of Zen get filtered through our own respective lenses. And I thought that maybe we should look at that.

    How that turned into the clusterfuck of this thread, I have no idea. And yeah, I'm a bit pissed that every thread I post is suspected to be one that stirs the pot when, in fact, most of my posts since returning have been anything but. I've grown to accept that I'll get nothing but dismissal and bullshit from Taigu, he holds grudges and doesn't let them go. But nonetheless his dismissiveness directs all the rest of the sangha to go along with it, and then pretty soon nothing I say is responded to without derision...and hence, this sangha holds nothing for me but derision. He is not conscious enough to see the effect he has on the entire sangha, because I don't think he's actually that mean-spirited - but it does nonetheless direct the entire sangha that it's open-season on Chet here.

    Which is why I gotta go - I'm just tired of getting shot at.

    Chet

  39. #39
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Hey Chet,

    You want to sit some zazen? I'm on G+ tonight at 900 PM ET. I'll be sitting. If that doesn't work, let me know when.

    Gassho,
    Yugen

  40. #40

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Ok. this has been running through my head this morning, so I'll guess I'll post it here:

    ther was a man who had a dog and ego was it's name o

    E-g E-g-o

    E-g E-g-o

    E-g E-g-o

    and ego was it's name O


    Gassho

    W

  41. #41
    disastermouse
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    Ok. this has been running through my head this morning, so I'll guess I'll post it here:

    ther was a man who had a dog and ego was it's name o

    E-g E-g-o

    E-g E-g-o

    E-g E-g-o

    and ego was it's name O


    Gassho

    W
    More of the same, Will? I don't know if I've ever seen a genuinely revealing post in the entire time you've posted here. It's always so .... distant. You're always at arms length, always responding with a quip or something undecipherably zenny. Sometimes I wonder who's behind the quips and the too-zen-for-zen posts. Surely a decent guy, but I'll be damned if I ever met him.

    Chet

  42. #42
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Too many flapping mouths, mine included .... blah blah blah :lol: . Time to go sit.

    Funny how at zazenkai time or looking for sitting partners no one has time, but these threads run on... is this a zendo or a social network?

    I hear my zafu calling me. Peace.

    Gassho,
    Yugen

  43. #43
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen
    Too many flapping mouths, mine included .... blah blah blah :lol: . Time to go sit.

    Funny how at zazenkai time or looking for sitting partners no one has time, but these threads run on... is this a zendo or a social network?

    I hear my zafu calling me. Peace.

    Gassho,
    Yugen
    I thought you were waiting until 9PM.

    Chet

  44. #44
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    I'll be there. Please join me.

    Gassho,
    Yugen

  45. #45

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    No grudge, Chet. I have my share of shit but not this one.
    I wish you peace and would like you to understand that you are not invited out. I really like what you bring here even if the style is sometimes a bit rough. I just disagree with some of your ideas, not with the man. That's all.

    Take care

    gassho

    Taigu

  46. #46
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    No grudge, Chet. I have my share of shit but not this one.
    I wish you peace and would like you to understand that you are not invited out. I really like what you bring here even if the style is sometimes a bit rough. I just disagree with some of your ideas, not with the man. That's all.

    Take care

    gassho

    Taigu
    I call bullshit, Taigu. I'm sorry, but every post to or regarding me since I got booted has been a negative one. So either all my posts are crap (a statistical improbability), or everything I say here is filtered through a grudge.

    Chet

  47. #47
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    I'm in for a 9PM sit (EST)...anyone else?

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  48. #48
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    I'll be on G+ to sit in a couple; looks like I just missed y'all. Happy to see it was a good turnout.

    gassho,
    Shujin

  49. #49

    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -- Philo of Alexandria

    All styles. All types. All rubbing against one another. Polishing. THIS IS OUR PRACTICE! Right here. The crazy non-sequiturs, the anger, the kindness and caring. All human, all practice. Teachers loving, guiding, and caring for their pupils. Teachers tripping over the right thing to say/do. Students dutifully minding, students mindlessly following. All human, all practice. The moment we pretend to move beyond our everyday, normal, confused lives is the moment we miss the point, I think. But even missing the point is practice.
    It took me a while to realize it, but I love Chet's posts. I love them not because I agree or disagree with them, but because they are often so brutally and self-reflectively honest. I love the pile of contradictions that each of us here at Treeleaf bring to our interactions. I learn so much from all of you. But, I'll say it again, all of this, ALL of it, students and teachers, brilliant insights, stupid ramblings, kindness and hatred, warts and all, is our practice as near as I can tell. How else can we do this if we pretend, repress, pose, etc.?

    With respect and sincerity,
    Eika

  50. #50
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: Even in Zen, God agrees with us.

    Eika,
    Brilliant post, Thank you.

    We brought all our differences, all our stuff, to the zafu tonight. It's great to practice together. What seemed so real in the heat of the moment evaporated and we shared zazen.

    Thank you Chet.

    Gassho,
    Yugen

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