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Thread: September 11th-12th Treeleaf Weekly Zazenkai - 消災妙吉祥陀羅尼

  1. #51
    I was just able to sit this Zazenkai today Thanks to all and thank you Jundo for the talk. Good sense makes sense.

    Gassho
    ST-lah
    Shoki

  2. #52
    Thank you everyone!
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  3. #53
    Thank you for Zazenkai, thank you for teaching .

    Gassho,
    eva
    sattoday and LAH

  4. #54
    Thank you everyone.

    Sat today,
    Adam

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  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    My personal opinion is that superstition, magical hocum and such does more harm than good. We can see that today in this world where scientists and the sane have to fight for equal ground with folks selling crystals, making bogus medical claims, selling fortune telling, decrying conspiracies in which vaccines contain the devil.

    Yes, there might be some psychological benefits, but the harms caused by ignorance and old wives tales far outweigh the benefits.

    Anyone can choose to chant what they wish on their own time, but ignorance and superstition have no place in this Zen Sangha or on the lips of its priests, and the list of hocus-pocus and hooey starts with Dharani.

    A bit long, pardon.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLAH
    I finished sitting with the recording yesterday- very interesting topic! Apologies in advance for running long.

    Your resident Buddhist witch chiming in with some thoughts - I think there's a difference between hocus pocus/superstition and magic/ritual.

    The definition of magic in a pagan context is the art of changing consciousness through will. Magic in this sense can take the form of a song, a poem, any other symbolic way of engaging with the world through which we come out changed (note I say we come out changed- not that we are changing the world, though inevitably the two are connected).

    I agree that it is dangerous to think we can control or prevent disasters or unforseen events by chanting or any other ritual - in fact part of the magic and beauty of life is recognising the chaos we are all subject to, and accepting with serenity those things we cannot change.

    I think those who advocate that positive thinking/crystals/meditation/etc can get rid of any illness or unfortunate circumstance are engaging in an atrocious form of victim blaming, and also deluding themselves.

    I'm grateful and understand that magic is not practiced here in this sangha, but I will still do it in my own time same as I do with playing violin, writing, dancing, etc. And I do not find it harmful, as long as it is approached as I described above (ie. with surrender and understanding we cannot, nor should we desire to, control everything)

    Apologies again for running long.

    Gassho,
    Dee
    ST

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  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetde View Post
    The definition of magic in a pagan context is the art of changing consciousness through will. Magic in this sense can take the form of a song, a poem, any other symbolic way of engaging with the world through which we come out changed (note I say we come out changed- not that we are changing the world, though inevitably the two are connected).

    I agree that it is dangerous to think we can control or prevent disasters or unforseen events by chanting or any other ritual - in fact part of the magic and beauty of life is recognising the chaos we are all subject to, and accepting with serenity those things we cannot change.

    I think those who advocate that positive thinking/crystals/meditation/etc can get rid of any illness or unfortunate circumstance are engaging in an atrocious form of victim blaming, and also deluding themselves.

    I'm grateful and understand that magic is not practiced here in this sangha, but I will still do it in my own time same as I do with playing violin, writing, dancing, etc. And I do not find it harmful, as long as it is approached as I described above (ie. with surrender and understanding we cannot, nor should we desire to, control everything)
    Hi Dee,

    You explanation makes a lot of sense, and it sounds very good for you. However, I wonder if that is a very modern interpretation of the spells meant to explain them psychologically, or the traditional way they were understood. Further (and the more dangerous part in my heart), I wonder if, even today, the vast majority of people encountering a Buddhist or pagan engaging in these spells would think about them like you explain, or would they still think that the spell is being invoked to cure illness, put a curse, remove a curse, help bring good luck, etc.?

    Knowing this world in which we live, in which all kinds of wild beliefs. doubts about science and medicine, and conspiracy theories thrive, I doubt that most people are as sophisticated in their thinking about these things as you are, so I still reject their use here.

    (Sorry, I ran a little long)

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #57
    Just caught up with this, thank you everyone.
    Superstition, doing daft things to ward off the evil eye, selling fortune telling, curses etc are still very much part of life here, and actually seem to go hand in hand with religious beliefs like trusting the curative power of holy water and 'crying' or 'bleeding' statues instead of medicine. Huge profits can be made from very vulnerable people who can least afford to lose anything else in their lives because they don't just lose money, they are stripped of hope and trust. However I wouldn't connect this form of hocus pocus with what Dee is talking about.
    Dharani and such were part of why I moved away from the Tibetan tradition - donating 10,000 chants is less likely to benefit the victims of an earthquake or fire than donating €20 in my opinion.
    So sorry for an extra sentence.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Dee,

    You explanation makes a lot of sense, and it sounds very good for you. However, I wonder if that is a very modern interpretation of the spells meant to explain them psychologically, or the traditional way they were understood. Further (and the more dangerous part in my heart), I wonder if, even today, the vast majority of people encountering a Buddhist or pagan engaging in these spells would think about them like you explain, or would they still think that the spell is being invoked to cure illness, put a curse, remove a curse, help bring good luck, etc.?

    Knowing this world in which we live, in which all kinds of wild beliefs. doubts about science and medicine, and conspiracy theories thrive, I doubt that most people are as sophisticated in their thinking about these things as you are, so I still reject their use here.

    (Sorry, I ran a little long)

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    If I may... I think it’s important to always remember that Buddhism and Zen in particular are focused on understanding our own place within reality and on understanding and accepting our personal responsibility in absolutely everything.

    It’s a tricky thing when we take away from our responsibility and cast it on external factors like gods, saviors, messiahs, spells etc ..

    More often than not we find ways to escape the reality of things like the unpredictable and violent nature of the universe, the lack of “fairness” of life and death, our inability to control the outcome of everything and the impermanence of everything.

    SatToday lah
    Jake

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  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by jakeb View Post
    If I may... I think it’s important to always remember that Buddhism and Zen in particular are focused on understanding our own place within reality and on understanding and accepting our personal responsibility in absolutely everything.

    It’s a tricky thing when we take away from our responsibility and cast it on external factors like gods, saviors, messiahs, spells etc ..

    More often than not we find ways to escape the reality of things like the unpredictable and violent nature of the universe, the lack of “fairness” of life and death, our inability to control the outcome of everything and the impermanence of everything.

    SatToday lah
    I hear you Jake, however to me magic goes hand in hand with recognising our individual responsibility.

    Everyone's practice will differ, so I think it is important to have nuance when speaking about people who participate in the occult and magical practices. Otherwise it is like being back in the Catholic Church and hearing them ranting about pagans

    Gassho,
    Dee
    ST

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

  10. #60
    I sat this today. The fires talk was very good and I have never heard of the dharma talked of as extinguishing fires. On the other hand I will say with magic it is something as a pagan/multi faith practitioner I have some regard for but can see how it may be harmful in a practice space.

    I apologize for the many sentences ahead of time.

    Edit: I will say, after reviewing many comments in the thread, that modern witchcraft/magical practice is leaning more to blending responsibility with faith. Responsibility in that it isn't just the woo/universe/spirits etc doing the work but you putting through the effort and taking responsibility for doing all you can to make things happen. I.E. practice fire safety and don't be lax with checking your stove is safe. The other bit where faith is concerned is leaving in the hands of the universe/higher power/chant/spell what you can't control.

    This is not a traditional folklore perspective of cast a spell and be lazy on the topic but one that sees personal responsibility as a necessary thing and is commonly taught in many circles.
    That being said not all practice in this manner and lean on stones and other curios to do things. I can see how the snake oil salesman and the miracle cure doctor can harm so I am not saying anyone is remiss but I did want to voice a perspective that might be missed.

    And, I appreciate the limits set with the Sangha and shall do my pagan practices on my own time as I do with all else.

    Gassho
    Lah Sat

    Chelsea

    P.s. I also apologize to anyone who caught me between edits as I attempted to speak kindly and with regard.

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    Last edited by SeaChel; 09-23-2020 at 05:31 AM.

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