View Full Version : September 18th Recommended Threads

09-18-2014, 03:27 PM
I encourage looking at these threads, topics and posts today ...

We are all always beginners ... Beginner's question on "what to do with the mind" ...

A discussion that works ... About Samu ...

To wear robes or not ... Lay robes: playing house? ... including other aspects of "Turning Japanese" ...

And, of course, Jukai and Ango continue ...


In a Zen Monastery, SILENCE or A FEW WISE WORDS are cherished over MANY WORDS. Thus, I advise folks to restrain the need to speak unless the heart truly calls. If you find yourself posting many times each day, maybe consider what truly needs to be said ... and when it is best just to answer with silence and an inner Gassho.

SILENCE OR A FEW HESITANT WORDS OF FRIENDSHIP AND SUPPORT OFTEN SPEAK MOST PROFOUNDLY. Post when it is truly important to you and needs to be spoken from the warm heart.

(too much silence or shyness can also be excessive ... so take the Middle Way!)

Also, to those who may get lost among the many threads and conversations in our Forum, please think of a monastery made of wood or brick, with 100 monks holding 10,000 conversations in the hallways, kitchen, Abbot's rooms and library (I assume no chatting in the Zendo where people sit Zazen).

Would you need or want to hear or join in all or most conversations? Of course not! You would, at best, pick and choose the conversations relevant and helpful to you.

So here too in our Sangha, NO NEED TO READ EVERY CONVERSATION: Try to note the ones that seem helpful to your Practice or interests, leave the rest. The above threads are a few suggestions.

Gassho, Jundo

09-19-2014, 01:23 AM
I am going to also "recommend" this thread with some hesitancy. Although the book about his Buddhist Practice by the noted Atheist Sam Harris (the original subject of the thread) sound very interesting, the thread itself quickly moved into discussion of whether one can Practice Zen as an "atheist", and what is an atheist and what not, or believing in God or not.

For me, it is a bit like asking whether one can Practice Zen while believing that the Red Sox are better than the Yankees or not (an equally controversial subject! :p ), or whether one can practice Zazen if there is a blue table in the room or no table. We sit as what is, so what ever is ... and debating the subject, while lovely and perfectly welcome while sitting around a cup of tea, can also get us tangled in many opinions and much mental wheel spinning that can obfuscate the clarity of "just what is" Zen Practice. As I have written there and many time ...

If there is a "God" ... whether in the Judeo-Christian way or some other, whether named "Allah" "Jehovah" "Thor" "Brahma" or "Stanley" ... I will fetch water and chop wood, seeking to live in a gentle way, avoiding harm to self and others (not two, by the way).

If there is no "God" "Allah" or "Stanley", or any source or creator or point to the universe at all, I will fetch water and chop wood, seeking to live in a gentle way, avoiding harm to self and others (not two, by the way).

I do not know if, in the next life, that "gentle way, avoiding harm" will buy me a ticket to heaven and keep me out of hell ... but I know for a fact that it will go far to do so in this life, today, where I see people create all manner of "heavens and hells" for themselves and those around them by their harmful words, thoughts and acts in this life.

And if there is a "heaven and hell" in the next life, or other effects of Karma now ... well, my actions now have effects then too, and might be the ticket to heaven or good rebirth.

In other words, whatever the case ... today, now ... live in a gentle way, avoiding harm to self and others (not two, by the way) ... seeking to avoid harm now and in the future too.

However, with some hesitancy, I "recommend-non-recommend" this thread for those interested ... Waking Up Sam Harris ...