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View Full Version : INTERNATIONAL BLASPHEMY DAY: Make Room for the Misfits!



Jundo
09-29-2015, 10:26 PM
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-l9lp-PlgiKg/Vgsky1sAtAI/AAAAAAAAEY4/3lJql4z28CE/w519-h456/Deletecropblasphemy.png

When SweepiingZen asked for a talk on International Blasphemy Rights Day (September 30th) (http://www.centerforinquiry.net/cfe/international-blasphemy-rights-day/), I joked that I do that with most of my posts! [evil2]

A nice thing about Buddhists is that we rarely kill, burn at the stake or imprison our critics, dissenters, heretics and the doctrinally different (although we have our scattered extremists too, the same as any religion). We are pretty non-violent, but even we aren’t totally immune from forbidding and punishing blasphemy and unwelcome voices.

Keep room in Zen Buddhism for the misfits, square pegs, tradition breakers and “original non-thinkers” on the edges. Learn to distinguish the con artists, shysters, abusers and predators from those who have simply walked their own path, attended the “monastery of hard knocks”, are doing something good even if not how you would do it. Having “set standards” and “required training paths” is useful and generally necessary for helping to assure substance, experience, dedication and ethics in our teachers. Someone can do a lot of harm when falling down in those things, like an untrained doctor or a drunken lawyer. However, keep room for exceptions and “special cases” too. Look at who the priest has become, not so much only how she or he got there.

What often happens in the Zen world is that the standards are made by one kind of priest, with a particular background, to keep out those who are unlike him or her on the road traveled. Organizations like the AZTA and SZBA are guilds keeping some fine people excluded. As a result of the desire of the old guard “establishment” for uniformity, some “con artists, shysters, abusers and predators” get let in or let be … even shielded and protected because they are “one of us inside the tent” … while many real Zen folks with substance, experience, dedication and ethics are locked out.

Throughout its history, there has been a tension in Buddhism and Zen between more conservative folks, keeping their authority, monastic jurisdictions, priestly pomp, required training paths, “orthodox” traditions and narrow views of what is possible, and those on the edge doing something unorthodox, rule breaking, new. Fall to either extreme, and it is not good … dusty “church-ism” and tired procedures on one end … crime, cults and chaos on the other. In fact, we need both new and old, keeping each other timelessly real.

I rant about this for awhile, step on some more toes, call out some folks, say a few (to some) outrageous things, blaspheme. Enjoy.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmDgdGRoWkY


https://ddppchicago.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/all_misfit_toys_welcome_here-1.jpg

This talk (minus the raised pinky hand gestures and rolling eyes) is available at TREELEAF PODCAST:

Click for Podcast or Audio Download (http://treeleaf.podbean.com/e/september-2015-talk-make-room-for-the-misfits/)

RichardH
09-29-2015, 11:38 PM
Blasphemer!!!

Just always wanted to yell that at someone. [morehappy]

Deep bows
Daizan
sat today

Shingen
09-30-2015, 12:07 AM
Thank you Jundo. =)

Gassho
Shingen

#sattoday

Kaishin
09-30-2015, 12:12 AM
Thank you, Jundo.

-satToday

Byokan
09-30-2015, 01:05 AM
Blasphemer!!!

Just always wanted to yell that at someone. [morehappy]

Deep bows
Daizan
sat today

Yeah, and not only that, Jundo Cohen, you’re a heretic too. Heretiiiiic !!!


(From the ancient Greek word, “hairisthai,” which means “choose”. To the not so ancient Greek, “hairetikos,” which means “able to choose.” Through the Latin of ye olde Christian Church and then into Old French, “heretique,” and then into Middle English. And straight to Treeleaf.)

Deep bows
Lisa
sat today

Theophan
09-30-2015, 01:41 AM
Jundo
Thank you.

Gassho
Theophan
Sat Today

Myosha
09-30-2015, 06:20 AM
Hello,

Jundo, it must be said: you are a practicing homo-sapien and enjoy philately. (i feel so dirty)


Gassho
Myosha sat today

Kokuu
09-30-2015, 08:06 AM
Thank you, Jundo.

It is a problem of any religion that once it becomes organised into institutions rules are set out. Some of these arise for obvious reasons to set standards and ethical codes for a group but others in terms of what is accepted as regards clothing and other arbitrary ways of doing things can become sticks to beat non-conformers with.

So, sure, point out when someone has transgressed an ethical code (although nicely please!) but being down on someone because their choice of kesa fabric is not what tradition dictates hardly has a bearing on how devoted someone is to their practice.

Glad to be on the side of the rebels. All traditions need poking with a stick from time to time to make sure they are still alive. Where would we be without the Buddhist iconaclasts? Shakyamuni, Dogen, Ryokan, Ikkyu, Hakuin - rebels one and all!

Thank you for making a space for some of us misfits and heretics to rub along together.


Gassho
Kokuu
#satatsomepoint

Kotei
09-30-2015, 08:09 AM
Thank you.
I like it the varicolored way, even if it's more exhausting.

Gassho,
Ralf sattoday.

Jakuden
09-30-2015, 03:42 PM
"Normal people don't come to Zen"--love it. No wonder it feels like home here.
Gassho,
Sierra
SatToday

Shinzan
09-30-2015, 04:08 PM
I wondered when you were gonna get around to the Sixth Ancestor.

Hui-Neng Rocks!!! ​

He was just a laborer, a wood cutter and a rice pounder. Who knows whether he ever sat sesshin. It's not the going-thru-the-motions that counts. It's whether the heart-mind is transformed. It's whether the self is dropped in favor as seeing all beings as the self. It's whether compassion arises in one's acts and speech. It's whether the world is a little better for one having been a part of it. It's warm hand to warm hand.

_/st\_ Just another misfit sitting, Shinzan [grouphug]

Jundo
09-30-2015, 04:39 PM
I wondered when you were gonna get around to the Sixth Ancestor.



I should clarify something I said in the video. I do believe that the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Ancestor is recommending seating Zazen at many points in the text. It is only some scholars who argue maybe not. The passage at the end is very clear and, if I may say, resonates of Shikantaza ...


After I am gone,
do not weep worldly tears, nor accept condolences, money, and silks
from people, nor wear mourning garments. If you did so it would -
not accord with the sacred Dharma, nor would you be true disciples of
mine. Be the same as you would if I were here, and sit all together in
meditation. If you are only peacefully calm and quiet, without motion,"..
without stillness, without birth, without destruction, without coming, .
without going, without judgments of right and wrong, without staying
and without going-this then is the Great Way. After I have gone -
just practice according to the Dharma in the same way that you did on
the days that I was with you. Even though I were still to be in this
world, if you went against the teachings, there would be no use in my
having stayed here."

http://ww.satrakshita.com/Books/Platform_Sutra_Yampolsky.pdf

Another passage is not speaking against seated Zazen, but only against Zazen to stop all thinking ...


Only practicing straightforward mind, and in all things having no attachments whatsoever, is called the samadhi of oneness. the deluded man clings to the characteristics of things, adheres to the samadhi of oneness, [B][thinks] that straightforward mind is sitting without moving and casting aside delusions without letting things arise in the mind. This he [falsely] considers to be the samadhi of oneness. This kind of practice is the same as insentiency and the cause of an obstruction to the Way. The Way must be something that circulates freely; why should he impede it? If the mind does not abide in things, the Way circulates freely; if the mind abides in things, it becomes entangled

Notice in the following that the problem is --not-- that "successive thoughts stop", but only that we do not cling to them. We do not throw aside the things of the world, but see through them. Furthermore, do not become lost in 'Emptiness' without seeing the phenomena of this world, good and bad, beautiful and ugly:


Do not sit with a mind fixed on emptiness. If you do you will fall into a neutral kind of emptiness. Emptiness includes the sun, moon, stars, and planets, the great earth, mountains and rivers, all trees and grasses, bad men and good men, bad things and good things, heaven and hell; they are all in the midst of emptiness. The emptiness of human nature is also like this.

... Although you see all men and non-men, evil and good, evil things and good things, you must not throw them aside, nor must you cling to them, nor must you be stained by them, but you must regard them as being just like the empty sky.

Gassho, J

SatToday (and feel the 6th Ancestor SatToday too)

Jinyo
09-30-2015, 05:38 PM
Just been reading Dogen's Daigo (Great Realisation).

'Still, human beings are of many kinds' ...... 'There are people of intelligence which has no teacher, they neither rely on good counsellors
nor rely on sutras, they neither rely on nature nor rely on forms ....... but still they disclose a commanding presence.'

Like Junda says - look for the substance.

Dogen goes on to discuss innate verification and innate training.

Often struggle to understand Dogen but this seemed to chime with the spirit of Jundo's talk.
And we know it makes sense anyway :encouragement:

Gassho

Willow

Sat today

Heisoku
09-30-2015, 05:48 PM
Thank you Jundo. You have just answered, or at least pointed the finger to, an issue that has been bothering me for some time now.
Gassho Heisoku
Sat today

Risho
09-30-2015, 08:11 PM
Thank you Jundo! This may be my favorite, or one of my favorite teisho's that you have given.

What you say here is why I love this place, why I'm thankful for your teaching. You speak as a human being. You speak from the heart; you don't wear a veil of "spirituality" and speak in a certain way that a "spiritual" person should speak. You say, "Hey, zen has weirdo's." I love it, and consider me a weirdo like Sierra said :) We are weird. There is an aspect of us that is counter-cultural, doing things for no goal, thinking about and studying what it means to truly live, to not avoid the thoughts of death - to understand them, to feel what it is to want things and not necessarily allow our habits to control us, to atone, to be grateful and have gratitude for things that a "normal" person would not be grateful for.

There is so much stuff to discuss here, but I love what you say about iconoclasts, breaking the mold is important, but it's not the breaking the mold itself. It's not like "hey we don't need zazen, just priest me up". Just as you said, we have a different path, but we're cracking open a different way to express and pursue the Way. It's real work, it's real practice. Just reading what Byrne wrote in the Jukai Precepts stuff; I mean there are some awesome practitioners here that simply enrich my practice in ways that I don't even fathom at times.

We are misfits, and I think again as you said way better than I am here (I'm just a little impassioned right now. lol) that there is I think even more responsibility that comes with it. We are treading a new path, unknown to anyone, so we have to forge ahead amidst the naysayers and figure things out in new ways.

Just being a lay practitioner here, we sit, we practice, we partake in liturgy, we study and discuss the Buddha dharma. We have access to the sangha every day for questions and discussions. My practice has deepened by virtue of Treeleaf; if there weren't Treeleaf, my practice would have withered a couple of months after I started or who knows what would have happened.

But Ango, the sewing, the Jukai, the book club, the zazenkai's. The emphasis on practice and the dharma here is amazing. This may be a misfits club, but I think anyone with a keen eye for zen would be proud of all the work we do, and that's just the lay part of it.

Gassho,

Risho
-sattoday

Kokuu
09-30-2015, 08:35 PM
Ango, the sewing, the Jukai, the book club, the zazenkai's. The emphasis on practice and the dharma here is amazing. This may be a misfits club, but I think anyone with a keen eye for zen would be proud of all the work we do, and that's just the lay part of it.

gassho2

Seido
09-30-2015, 09:29 PM
Thank you Jundo,
What you say here is why I'm here. Depending solely on special organizations and teachers, following "have to do this and that" type non-sense defeats the non-point of Zen. Just sit.

If you NEED someone to give you a pat on the back, to tell you you made it, you've lost the Tao of Zen, you've lost your beginner's mind.

"You have to leave room for people who travel a different road." Does this make you the Elvis of Zen?

Gassho,
Ken
SatToday

Rich
10-01-2015, 02:14 AM
It's the organizations that feel a need to certify teachers that is a blasphemy. This is a mind to mind , teacher to student direct transmission. That's the only event to be verified and maybe some lineage history. All the education and personal practice history is irrelevant and none of their concern. We don't need a Zen church to certify teachers.

AZTA is a teachers club and it needs act like a teachers club and not like a religious organization.

The opinions expressed above are solely those of the rebel and anti church zealot that I am. 😊 -)

SAT today

Kyotai
10-01-2015, 02:56 AM
Thank you.

Gassho, Kyotai
sat today

Jundo
10-01-2015, 03:43 AM
Hello Fellow Blasphemers,

This talk (minus the raised pinky hand gestures and rolling eyes) is also now available for audio download at TREELEAF PODCAST:

http://treeleaf.podbean.com/e/september-2015-talk-make-room-for-the-misfits/

Gassho, J

SatToday

Ishin
10-01-2015, 05:47 PM
I always knew my non-self was better than everyone else's non-self. Now if I could just find someone else to confirm that for me.

Thank you Jundo. And thank you all you misfit blasphemer wierdos that make this place great.

Gassho
Ishin
Sat Today

Ishin
10-01-2015, 09:08 PM
I feel compelled to add to this. I sat and watched a Zen teaching today by someone whose name and sangha shall remain un-named, but I couldn't help but feel that the person giving the talk was missing the mark a bit about the "benefits" of Zen practice. It then occurred to me, perhaps one thing you can say about an online sangha is that much of what we do is out there for the whole Zen world to see and critique. It seems to me that this kind of format makes it LESS likely that the dharma being taught is abusive or misguided. Not only this, but I must say I admire the teachers here who put themselves out there in this regard, not hiding in some small little sangha somewhere with sycophants who don't know any better. Could online dharma have some aspects that are perhaps "better" than other traditional methods?

I feel very grateful to be part of this sangha, real life, online, or in the matrix.

Gassho
Ishin
Sat Today

Kyonin
10-01-2015, 11:32 PM
Hi Jundo,

This talk really hit home with me. I'm a like a mutant, misunderstood by the world I swore to protect :)

And I'm happy with that.

Thank you for this teaching.

Gassho,

Kyonin

Byrne
10-03-2015, 05:57 AM
Thank you for the most important teaching.

Phish.

Meh...

Gassho

Sat Today

Byrne
10-04-2015, 07:00 AM
Jundo,

What is meant by the term "ancestor" or "patriarch" when referring to guys like Hui Neng? Is that just a matter of lineage or does it mean something else as well?

Gassho

Sat Today

Jundo
10-04-2015, 12:56 PM
Jundo,

What is meant by the term "ancestor" or "patriarch" when referring to guys like Hui Neng? Is that just a matter of lineage or does it mean something else as well?

Gassho

Sat Today

Hi Byrne,

These days, it is pretty clear that "Bodhidharma" and "Hui-neng" and some of the others were not historical figures or, at least, a large part of the legend is from someone's religious imagination ...

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Philosophical/Bodhidharma_as_Paradigm.html

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/HistoricalZen/Legends_in_Chan.html

However, each does represent someone somewhere stretching back generation by generation,

And each and all do teach Timeless wisdom.

Therefore, we might say that each represents an archetype, a paradigm, standing for and embodying Truth.

By the way, we prefer "Ancestor" these days, because "Patriarch" is such a sexist term. One aspect of the Timeless Truth is that there is no "male" or "female" about this.

I hope that helps.

Gassho, J

SatToday

Byrne
10-04-2015, 04:19 PM
Thank you. That makes much more sense.

Gassho

Sat Today

Joyo
10-05-2015, 12:30 AM
From one social misfit, backslider, black sheep I will say thank you for this teaching. gassho1

Gassho,
Joyo
sat today

Joyo
10-05-2015, 12:35 AM
https://www.google.ca/search?q=the+road+less+travelled+quote&es_sm=122&biw=1242&bih=606&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CCYQsARqFQoTCJD0zuWKqsgCFYGXHgode2sCHA#imgrc= l3gj1O2jd14vUM%3A

Jundo
10-05-2015, 01:59 AM
Thank you. That makes much more sense.

Gassho

Sat Today

"Moses" and the story about the Exodus from Egypt may not be quite "historical fact" according to independent scholars ...

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/nov/30/moses-man-versus-myth-ridley-scott

... (I always had my doubts myself about Charlton Heston parting of the Red Sea :) ) ...


http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-FW401_redsea_G_20141204152204.jpg

... yet the story remains timeless for all of us, a symbol pointing the way to Liberation of the oppressed, all religious beliefs aside.

So with Bodhidharma, Hui-neng and others as guides to our Liberation.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43cfPgZ8cU8

Gassho, J

SatToday

Onkai
03-23-2016, 02:47 AM
Thank you, Jundo, for this teaching. I enjoyed the talk.

Gassho,
Onkai
SatToday

Daijo
03-23-2016, 03:36 PM
Thanks!

Sat today

Daijo

Jakuden
03-23-2016, 04:19 PM
I nominate this for one of Treeleaf's 10th anniversary teachings :-) :-)

Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday