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Thread: Being at Ease with the Self

  1. #1

    Being at Ease with the Self

    I was at my Monday evening sit with the Ch'an group - in the break the leader spoke of something John Crook used to speak of - "Being at ease with the self". This had a huge impact on the subsequent session.

    The mind arises from Emptiness and appears, I see being at ease with it as acknowledging it, but not needing to do anything about it.

    Question of course is....who sees it arise?

    Sat today

  2. #2
    That's a great question that brings you back to what is. Being at ease with this is such a gift.

    Master sueng Sahn said 'cut off all thinking'.

    Sat today
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

  3. #3
    Hi,

    The mind is emptiness.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  4. #4
    Hello !

    As Jishin said above and as your last question shows, I don't think the mind "appears" or "disappears" or whatever. There is nothing special to look for or to acknowledge, and there is no self to be at ease with, and no "who" that can be at ease with "it".

    Just relax and sit, as always, i guess !

    Gassho,

    Ugrok
    Sat Today

  5. #5
    Hi Tony,

    Quote Originally Posted by dharmasponge View Post
    The mind arises from Emptiness and appears, I see being at ease with it as acknowledging it, but not needing to do anything about it.
    Hmm.

    The mind (please define mind) arises from Emptiness (does it?) and appears (where is it?), I (who?) see being at ease with it (here is separation, yes?) as acknowledging it (why?), but not needing to do anything about it (why not?).

    --or--

    The wave arises from the ocean and appears. Does the water need to be at ease with it, acknowledge it, or decide whether or not to do anything about it?

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  6. #6
    Intentionally not participating in this thread ... except to say that.

    Now here is the question: Am I participating or not participating?

    Last edited by Jundo; 04-02-2015 at 02:34 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Hi all,

    In my beginning-less study of the Heart Sutra I have come at peace with the idea that all is Emptiness. No formations of mind.

    It's just us watching our thoughts and holding onto them.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Tea anyone?

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_
    I take mine with a little sweetener


    ..sat2day•

  10. #10
    Wonderful. Lately, zazen has taken on a new flavor for me. Just effortless silence, no thoughts at all, not even the thought about how silent it is. Seems that so much of my suffering lives only in my thoughts. When they evaporate, dukkha joins them. Even though there are no thoughts, it doesn't feel like Dead Zen (Lobotomy Zen). There's still something, just can't quite say what it is ya know?

    Gassho, John
    Sat Today

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless View Post
    Wonderful. Lately, zazen has taken on a new flavor for me. Just effortless silence, no thoughts at all, not even the thought about how silent it is. Seems that so much of my suffering lives only in my thoughts. When they evaporate, dukkha joins them. Even though there are no thoughts, it doesn't feel like Dead Zen (Lobotomy Zen). There's still something, just can't quite say what it is ya know?

    Gassho, John
    Sat Today
    Best not try to say - let's just all enjoy

    Gassho

    Willow

    sat today

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by raindrop View Post
    Hi Tony,



    Hmm.

    The mind (please define mind) arises from Emptiness (does it?) and appears (where is it?), I (who?) see being at ease with it (here is separation, yes?) as acknowledging it (why?), but not needing to do anything about it (why not?).

    --or--

    The wave arises from the ocean and appears. Does the water need to be at ease with it, acknowledge it, or decide whether or not to do anything about it?

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    Hi Lisa,

    The mind, definition...? The conventional appearance I am talking about. The base of consciousness. The platform of awareness. Either way, you know what I mean

    Yes it does arise out of emptiness as does everything - see Heart Sutra.

    Where is it? Nowhere...its a formless phenomena not bound by time or space.

    Who? Me, the generic image I have of myself. Illusory but existent.

    Acknowledging it because it is the root of my delusions.

    Not doing anything as isn't that the point of Shikantaza?

    Finally, the sea and wave don't posses a mind and therefore aren't sentient.

    Tony...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sat today

  13. #13
    Tony,

    Don't put legs on a snake.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  14. #14
    Hi Tony,

    I know some people really dislike these discussions, and words do tend to lead us in circles! But “I” don’t “mind” discussing it. Shikantaza is the essential thing to do, no question. But I also think sometimes it’s ok to wonder and chatter like curious little monkeys. Sometimes sounding it out really helps to clarify things. It does for me, anyway; maybe it’s a “beginner” thing.

    If you view the mind as an entity with a discrete existence, then yes, I suppose you would need to deal with it in some way, acknowledging, or doing something about it or not. But I think this view is an illusion that brings you into a hall of mirrors, with “I” reflecting off of “Mind”, and no end to it.

    I was using the sea as a metaphor: the wave arises, but where is the boundary between the wave and the sea? There is no separation. In this metaphor the water has no need to acknowledge or do anything about the ocean or the wave... because they are all one, the same thing, just manifesting as their “water-ness”. I was trying to point to the idea that the mind may “arise from” Emptiness, but is not a separate thing from it.

    I think you are saying that because you are sentient, you must respond to your perceptions of self and reality? The primary task, as I see it, is -- not to acknowledge or do anything about “mind” -- but rather to realize this fundamental nature, the real essence of mind, I, being, etc... They are all the same “stuff”. Realizing the nature of the water rather than cataloging oceans, waves, rivers, clouds, raindrops, etc.

    The mind is not the root of your delusions. The idea of mind, self, or I, as a separate thing, is the delusion.

    Anyway that’s how I see it. Today. Is there cake to go with our tea?

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    Last edited by Byokan; 04-03-2015 at 09:12 PM.

  15. #15
    There is no cake.

    "Realising the nature of the water rather than cataloging oceans, waves, rivers, clouds, raindrops, etc. "

    Wonderful. Thank you

    Gassho

    Ongen
    Camped in my new tent today


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by raindrop View Post
    Hi Tony,

    I know some people really dislike these discussions, and words do tend to lead us in circles! But “I” don’t “mind” discussing it. Shikantaza is the essential thing to do, no question. But I also think sometimes it’s ok to wonder and chatter like curious little monkeys. Sometimes sounding it out really helps to clarify things. It does for me, anyway; maybe it’s a “beginner” thing.

    If you view the mind as an entity with a discrete existence, then yes, I suppose you would need to deal with it in some way, acknowledging, or doing something about it or not. But I think this view is an illusion that brings you into a hall of mirrors, with “I” reflecting off of “Mind”, and no end to it.

    I was using the sea as a metaphor: the wave arises, but where is the boundary between the wave and the sea? There is no separation. In this metaphor the water has no need to acknowledge or do anything about the ocean or the wave... because they are all one, the same thing, just manifesting as their “water-ness”. I was trying to point to the idea that the mind may “arise from” Emptiness, but is not a separate thing from it.

    I think you are saying that because you are sentient, you must respond to your perceptions of self and reality? The primary task, as I see it, is -- not to acknowledge or do anything about “mind” -- but rather to realize this fundamental nature, the real essence of mind, I, being, etc... They are all the same “stuff”. Realizing the nature of the water rather than cataloging oceans, waves, rivers, clouds, raindrops, etc.

    The mind is not the root of your delusions. The idea of mind, self, or I, as a separate thing, is the delusion.

    Anyway that’s how I see it. Today. Is there cake to go with our tea?

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    Hi Lisa,

    I'm not sure discussing such deep philosophies as Emptiness and the nature of the mind is something 'chattering monkeys' would be capable of. But I agree some people dislike these types of discussion, personally I think they fear them - it's often a direct challenge to old fixed Memes. I suggest those that feel this way are beginners - though I appreciate its a very difficult subject.

    A little understanding of Emptiness is worse than none at all.

    I think Emptiness should be excluded for the Zen tradition at times as its only ever danced around and inferred to. Never debated or discussed. Those who do debate and discuss are, if experienced, also aware of the Emptiness of Emptiness etc...

    Anyway, my OP was meant to be much less of a philosophical statement and more a discovery of an helpful tool I'd discovered in my sitting.

    Tony...

    Sat Today


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    Sat today

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by dharmasponge View Post
    Hi Lisa,

    I'm not sure discussing such deep philosophies as Emptiness and the nature of the mind is something 'chattering monkeys' would be capable of. But I agree some people dislike these types of discussion, personally I think they fear them - it's often a direct challenge to old fixed Memes. I suggest those that feel this way are beginners - though I appreciate its a very difficult subject.

    A little understanding of Emptiness is worse than none at all.

    I think Emptiness should be excluded for the Zen tradition at times as its only ever danced around and inferred to. Never debated or discussed. Those who do debate and discuss are, if experienced, also aware of the Emptiness of Emptiness etc...

    Anyway, my OP was meant to be much less of a philosophical statement and more a discovery of an helpful tool I'd discovered in my sitting.

    Tony...

    Sat Today


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Hello,

    Amazing. Thank you.


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  18. #18
    But I agree some people dislike these types of discussion, personally I think they fear them - it's often a direct challenge to old fixed Memes. I suggest those that feel this way are beginners - though I appreciate its a very difficult subject.
    Hi Tony

    I think that might be more than a little presumptive. Many people avoid these kinds of discussion because they do nothing for them. No fear, it just doesn't add anything to their practice. Some beginners love them, some advanced people don't and vice-versa. Personally, I don't mind discussing emptiness as my Gelug training was steeped in doing so. The one major problem is that many people take emptiness to be a thing, rather than the notion of anatta. Things don't arise from emptiness, they are empty. And that doesn't mean a vast field of emptiness but rather an interpenetrating field of causes and conditions that give rise to other things. As this arises, that arises. As this ceases, that ceases. Never think of emptiness without considering dependent-arising. They are two sides of the same coin. Because everything is dependently arisen, so it is empty of inherent self.

    I have seen much discussion of emptiness and interdependence in Zen. Maybe not so much here but that is probably because a lot of Treeleaf folk are more interested in practice than philosophy. And there is probably a great deal of wisdom in that. Which is not to deride those who do have an interest in Buddhist philosophy but many come to Zen with a view to put it down in a box marked 'Here Be Dragons' and sit on their zafu instead.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday (well, more sort of laid down and breathed)
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  19. #19
    Yugen
    Guest

    Being at Ease with the Self

    Wait, it gets better.

    Two things come out for me here....

    Delusion ..... Is not separate from enlightenment. There is delusion within enlightenment and enlightenment within delusion. They are not separate while our minds, or the idea of our minds may make them so. Seeking enlightenment and viewing delusion as something to be avoided misses this. Practice = realization and all things arise here ..... The marrow of Dogen. Thank you Lisa...!

    The big joyful opening for me in practice is that I have come to see no distinction between sentience and insentience. Contemplating the meaning of sentience may be a teaching vehicle as we move towards the understanding of the unity of all things. Dogen's Mountains and Rivers Sutra really helped me with this.

    Deep bows
    Yugen


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Yugen; 04-04-2015 at 02:18 PM.

  20. #20
    Practice and philosophy are separate?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sat today

  21. #21
    Yugen
    Guest

    Being at Ease with the Self

    Our actions are a manifestation of our personal beliefs. Philosophy is intended to support a "virtuous" life via action - or so Aristotle intended. Our personal narratives may vary from the truth behind our choices (Jung's Shadow lurks here)

    Nishijima believes something similar to Aristotle by the way. Buddhism is very practical - it's a philosophy of action. Practice=realization

    We have the precepts and the eightfold noble oath to guide us.

    My view only -

    Deep bows
    Yugen


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Yugen; 04-04-2015 at 04:25 PM.

  22. #22
    Tony,

    Why do you practice?

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  23. #23
    Practice and philosophy are separate?
    Of course, they inform each other but philosophy tends to be rather conceptual so can get in the way of direct experience, in my opinion.

    By intellectually understanding something, we may think we know it, yet sitting with things as they are brings us face-to-face with life.
    Philosophy is only useful in that it aids practice. Otherwise it is just game for the mind.

    “I don’t want to hear your philosophy if it doesn’t grow corn.” -- Sun Bear, Ojibwe elder

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday
    Last edited by Kokuu; 04-04-2015 at 06:12 PM.
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  24. #24
    Yugen
    Guest
    Well said Kokuu

    Deep bows
    Yugen


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  25. #25


    I agree some people dislike these types of discussion, personally I think they fear them - it's often a direct challenge to old fixed Memes.
    I’m sure that’s true for some, but not everyone has a love for words and debate. People learn in different ways and express their understanding in different ways. I have a fondness for the written word, and hopefully the words we write here can help us, and others too. (Even if all we show is the futility of words!) When I’m posting like I did here, I’m not trying to exhibit what I know... I’m saying, this is my current understanding, and I’m hoping someone will come along and challenge that understanding. I want to know where the weak spots are or what I’m overlooking. Am looking for clues, course corrections, turning words. For instance:


    Things don't arise from emptiness, they are empty. And that doesn't mean a vast field of emptiness but rather an interpenetrating field of causes and conditions that give rise to other things. As this arises, that arises. As this ceases, that ceases. Never think of emptiness without considering dependent-arising. They are two sides of the same coin. Because everything is dependently arisen, so it is empty of inherent self.
    Wowza! Thank you Kokuu, this totally closes a circuit for me. I tend to visualize Emptiness as a field of potentialities, but was not fully making the connection... I will never think of Emptiness again without considering dependent-arising.


    Philosophy is intended to support a "virtuous" life via action
    Yes, this is the only legitimate aim. Our actions, not our thoughts/beliefs, are the ground we stand on. The only reason to seek to understand is so that we may better know how to act.


    The big joyful opening for me in practice is that I have come to see no distinction between sentience and insentience. Contemplating the meaning of sentience may be a teaching vehicle as we move towards the understanding of the unity of all things.
    10,000 yeses, Yugen! This is an understanding that changes everything, throws doors and windows wide open, illuminates and clarifies the very nature of existence. Whether a thing “thinks” in a way we recognize, or has our particular brand of self-consciousness, is not at all a meaningful measure of it, in the bigger picture. My words can’t contain my understanding of this, but sentient or not, each thing expresses its own nature, and ultimately the nature of all is one. Which is, I think, the answer to Tony’s original question. Thank you Tony, for once again leading us into a very interesting discussion.


    There is no cake.
    Ongen, you wound me to the core. Hey, what are those crumbs on your jacket?

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  26. #26
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Hi Tony

    Many people avoid these kinds of discussion because they do nothing for them. No fear, it just doesn't add anything to their practice.
    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday (well, more sort of laid down and breathed)
    Yes, thank you!

    Perhaps my practice will change as I go along, but maybe it won't. For me, I just like to keep things simple...sit, chant, study the dharma, chop wood, carry water. No fear, as that is dropped as the above is practiced.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  27. #27
    Hi Tony

    Many people avoid these kinds of discussion because they do nothing for them. No fear, it just doesn't add anything to their practice.
    Gassho
    Kokuu
    And sometimes best to avoid this kind of discussion because some questions also vanish when one stops asking them and drops the whole question. "Would a horse with wings actually be a fish? Let's think about it!"

    If you really want to challenge people's "old fixed memes", don't merely get them to think about things in a new way, but sometimes challenge their way of thinking at all!

    Looking for "who sees it arise?" is a very different matter when one abandons "who" and "it" and simply lives the "arising". Asking the very question reifies a "who" and "you" and an "it" ... and creates the divisions between. There is just who, and that's it! ... So now, sit, chant, study the dharma, chop wood, carry water. No fear.

    Philosophy is sometimes helpful and fun ... and sometimes creates the mess, and gets in the way of true Understanding.

    By the way, "Emptiness" is not something to be neglected. Here is my best stab at expressing such ... as dance dancing ...

    Buddha-Basics (Part XVII) — The Dance of Emptiness
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...e-of-Emptiness

    But it is ultimately a losing effort: One cannot really describe a dance even with the finest poetry or detailed step diagrams, nor is the problem resolved by asking "who is truly dancing?" One just needs to throw oneself into the dance, two left feet and all.

    The big joyful opening for me in practice is that I have come to see no distinction between sentience and insentience. Contemplating the meaning of sentience may be a teaching vehicle as we move towards the understanding of the unity of all things.
    That mountains, rivers and all the like things of the universe are "sentient beings" was not really a traditional idea of Buddhism, and was rather a later view of some Tendai folks. It came into Soto Zen through Dogen's years as a Tendai priest while young and through some other channels. Even so, Dogen used the term in a kinda mixed way, rather ambiguous on the idea that "non-sentient" beings are really "sentient" even though he called them such. So, splitting a rock in two with a hammer is not the same as taking a hammer to the head of the man next door.

    But it is a lovely sentiment that this universe is so interconnected, interdependent and interflowing that ... yes, the rivers preach with the Buddha's tongue. Dr. Kim, the great Dogenologist, presents a good short discussion of this from the bottom of page 196 here, discussing Dogen's "Mujo Seppo" ...

    https://books.google.com/books?id=bU...beings&f=false

    But, again, sometimes philosophy can get in the way of just hearing the "sentient insentient being non-beings" preach.

    A famous Koan on this from the Soto Ancestor, Dongshan, and his master, Yunyen (Master Dogen's Shinji-Shobogenzo, Case 148) ...

    Dongshan asked Yunyen, "Who can hear the teachings of the insentient?"

    Yunyen said, "It can be heard by the insentient."

    Dongshan asked, "Do you hear it, Master?"

    Yunyen said, "If I heard it, then you would not hear my teaching."

    Dongshan answered, "That being the case, then I do not hear your teaching."

    Yunyen replied, "You don't even hear my teaching, how could you hear the teachings of the insentient?"

    Dongshan was enlightened on hearing this and responded in verse:

    Wondrous! Marvelous!
    The teachings of the insentient are inconceivable.
    If you listen with the ears, you won't understand.
    When you hear with the eyes, then you will know.
    Now, I am off to chop wood, carry water. No fear.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-05-2015 at 08:57 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Tony,

    Why do you practice?

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Why not? ( Jishin answer )
    Sat today

  29. #29
    What would you do with the answer?



    Gassho
    Myosha sat today
    Last edited by Myosha; 04-05-2015 at 01:13 PM.
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  30. #30
    Grow a pair
    Bit harsh, dude.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  31. #31
    'Philosophy is sometimes helpful and fun ... and sometimes creates the mess, and gets in the way of true Understanding.'

    Have to agree

    (Please can someone instruct me how to put a quote in a green box - don't seem able to figure it out !)

    The problem with Philosophy is sometimes it makes one's head hurt before it clicks and could be thought of in any way as helpful and liberating. With certain writers you have to put the
    work in and wrestle with the text and ideas before you can actualize what's being conveyed in any practical/lived sense.


    I don't disagree with Tony because these difficult texts can arouse fear - for example, fear of thinking oneself lacking if the meaning isn't immediately or easily accessible. Dr Kim's book is a good example. It is not an easy text to grapple with. I'm on my second reading and was on the point of giving up when something 'clicked' towards the end of the third chapter. It's beginning to feel like worth the effort but I had to work through some negativity to reach that point.

    It's a matter of personal preference really.

    Joyo's words resonated for me,

    'Perhaps my practice will change as I go along, but maybe it won't. For me, I just like to keep things simple...sit, chant, study the dharma, chop wood, carry water. No fear, as that is dropped as the above is practiced. '

    I feel keeping things simple is an art - in a strange kind of way more difficult than grappling with philosophy. It involves an element of trust and faith and the ability to drop fear.

    Thank you for the teaching,

    Gassho


    Willow

    sat today
    Last edited by Jinyo; 04-05-2015 at 10:58 AM.

  32. #32
    I'm sorry but I don't respond to rude comments Myosha Particularly when such flippant and nonsensical comments as I gave back to Jishins question are oft looked upon as wise and deep. What's good for the Goose and all that. Or is Zen different?

    The original intention behind my opening post was to share a positive and wholesome experience I had when sitting. I'm sorry it's been taken as some sort of intellectual challenge. It wasn't meant to be.


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    Sat today

  33. #33
    ....having said that. I can assure you my philosophical balls are big enough to debate with anyone - anyone who has ears that is.

    sat today

    #disappointed


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    Sat today

  34. #34
    Great, so you have just admitted what all women already presumed, guys think with their genitals



    Sat today

  35. #35
    I don't think it's out genitals we're supposed to think with.....but you're close (literally)


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    Sat today

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Bit harsh, dude.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    #sattoday
    Hello,

    True that. Thank you.


    Gassho
    Myosha sat today.
    Last edited by Myosha; 04-05-2015 at 01:34 PM.
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  37. #37
    Please keep it gentle and civil, everyone. One can still express the thoughts one wishes even so.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by dharmasponge View Post
    Why not? ( Jishin answer )
    Hi Tony,

    When you hurt I hurt. When I am happy you are happy. This is why I practice. I feel your (our) pain and restlessness when you engage in mental masturbation. It's a never ending cycle. After one question is answered another one comes up. Let's drop the why and why nots and enjoy life. Let's invite some sentient beings to enjoy the ride with us and have some fun! What do you say?

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  39. #39
    So many questions resolve themselves when I ask why I'm even asking why. Or we can just smile at them and move on. Philosophy is just entertainment in the long run, another form of play.

    Looking to the sutras, we stumble on many insights. There's something for everyone in there, because Buddha practiced skillful means. To one person, he may have spoken of emptiness, to another, virtue, to another Buddha nature. One of my favorite lines comes from the Nirvana Sutra "All things are like phantoms, the Tathagata lives in between. What he has is expediency; he does not cling."

    Often times he seemed to speak without saying anything because he was just presenting all possible views and claiming none as his own. He offers exceptions to everything he said, even anicca, anatta and emptiness. This is why the Dharma is both philosophy, ontology and ethics, yet also none of those things at the same time. And in debates, I always try to remember that my view is incomplete, no matter what it is or how beneficial it is. My perception is just like watching things through a window. Buddha encourages us to step outside and see things as they are, which involves seeing the way others see things as well.

    Thus, no need for me to cling to certainty or get angry during a debate. Actually, often times seems like were all saying the same thing in different ways

    Gassho, John
    Sat Today

  40. #40
    I say that works much better (for me) Jishin. Thank you and I agree. My personality does thrive on philosophical thought and always has. It's a play at times. Though I do think discussing and debating Emptiness, even as an intellectual exercise helps deepen our understanding and this bleeds into our practice. But maybe not for everyone, I do get that.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sat today

  41. #41
    Btw, if you're interested in an in depth look at the sentient/insentient Buddha nature/emptiness debate thats been going on for centuries, this was a great article. Picked through it for a few days.http://kr.buddhism.org/zen/koan/Robert_Sharf-e.htm

    Gassho, John
    Sat Today

  42. #42
    I don't know if you already did, but maybe everyone should really read Nagarjuna's Middle Way (don't know how it's called in English) while listening to John Dunne's podcasts "Revealing Nagarjuna" available on Upaya Zen Center's website. It's great to do both, because John Dunne is really funny and makes the whole thing quite light (while reading Nagarjuna on your own might be really difficult).

    For a guy like Nagarjuna, philosophy is definitely practice. It leads to the cornering and exhausting of the conceptual mind. John Dunne worked a lot on the links between philosophy and practice, and his approach would be that both are necessary (anyway we all do philosophy all the time without noticing it) ; but he also says that a good philosophy is one that leads to a kind of failure of the logical, conceptual mind, thus invalidating itself and revealing that any thought and concept is relative. It is Nagarjuna's aim in his book, and it works. It demonstrates, logically, that logical thought cannot allow you to represent "reality" correctly. It is really an experience of emptiness via thought processes. Really, if you are interested in emptiness and philosophy and practice, this should be a great read / listening.

    Gassho,

    Ugrok
    Sat Today

  43. #43
    "Cut off the mind road."

    Gassho, sat today
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

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