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  1. #1

    Hail to the Maha Leprechaunavana

    .
    I am an unabashed and avowed 'Buddhist modernist' who is in favor of getting rid of superstitious beliefs in Buddhist practice ...

    ... BUT ONLY for those of us who wish to be rid of superstitious beliefs, let alone view them as "superstitious."

    It is vital to understand the distinction, and that while 'my way' may be right for me and those who feel the same way, it may not be right in other ways for everyone going their own way.

    I may not believe in leprechauns (or the equivalent within the Zen and other Buddhist traditions to belief in leprechauns), but others may find great value and inspiration in leprechauns. Good for them, and let us celebrate their right to do so, and the beauty and power they find in such beliefs. The others may not see leprechauns as leprechauns at all, but as wondrous beings or miraculous sages, and that is their precious perspective too. They may be right, those of us who do not believe may be wrong.

    But I also speak for the beauty and power and right of interpretation of those of us who do not wish to believe in leprechauns, or to have leprechauns as a part of our practice. Leprechauns are not crucial to Zen practice (others may disagree in their view of Zen practice however, and let us celebrate their beliefs too. Cheers to those who believe and search for the pot of gold!)

    As well, even a leprechaun skeptic like me will make room for some leprechauns --if-- I find reason in my heart in terms that make sense to me. Sorry, I cannot believe in something that seems silly to me like leprechauns (silly to me anyway, even if not silly to others), yet I can also find many reasons why what seems silly at first is not so silly. For example, I may conclude that leprechauns are just symbols for something without being literally true, such as the "pot of gold" at the end of enlightenment's rainbow or the "lucky charms" that work no actual magic yet help us realize life as "lucky" just by being life. Thus I still keep some statues and pictures of leprechauns (or their Buddhist equivalents) around our Zendo, and recount leprechaun legends in some of my books for the wise lessons they express. Or, I might see how belief in leprechauns may bring comfort to somebody's heart in times of struggle, so that belief in leprechauns helps people who need. However, short of that, I personally will not believe in leprechauns, Buddhist or otherwise.

    I do think that Stephen Batchelor went too far in his way of rejecting leprechauns, modernizing Buddhism, trying to recast the historical Buddha as merely an ethicist and modern thinker, stripping away any belief that the Buddha happened to share with another Indian religion or philosophy. For Batchelor, if the Brahmans also believed in leprechauns in some way, then the Buddha could not believe in leprechauns (simply because, somehow, the Buddha had to be a completely original thinker), even though it seems quite likely that the Buddha believed and taught about leprechauns. (Granted, there is much about the magical stories and wondrous claims regarding the Buddha too that seem themselves quite "leprechauny," so who can know even a totally leprechaun-free Buddha!?) Batchelor is as much a fundamentalist in some ways as the people he criticizes. For me, there is no reason to think that the historical Buddha had to agree with all modern interpretations of Buddhism or reject leprechauns. That is fine, but I am still going to maintain my stance as an "open minded" agnostical skeptic about such things, including whether there is a Deva-realm of leprechauns (even if the Buddha is quoted as saying just that in the Maha Leprechaunavana Sutra).

    Maybe leprechauns exist in the world, playing their tin whistles, and not just in our hearts or peoples' imaginations. It could be. I am open to it, but I am rather doubtful.

    In any case, leprechauns or no leprechauns ... chop wood, fetch water, live gently, sit Zazen. In Zazen, one sits as what is. If there are leprechauns, then sit as leprechauns. If there are no leprechauns, then sit as no leprechauns. In any case, Just Sit. If there are leprechauns, they are sitting on this Zafu too.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah

    Last edited by Jundo; 03-12-2021 at 09:58 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Someone commented elsewhere that I was being rude to Irish folks, especially so close to saint Patrick's Day. I assure everyone that such was not my intent and it was a chance selection. Please choose and substitute the mythological character of your choice and it works as well. I was going to use "minotaurs," but some ancient Ionians complained.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-12-2021 at 10:03 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Someone commented elsewhere that I was being rude to Irish folks, especially so close to saint Patrick's Day. I assure everyone that such was not my intent and it was a chance selection. Please choose and substitute the mythological character of your choice and it works as well. I was going to use "minotaurs," but some ancient Ionians complained.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Canít take a breath without someone getting offended... It must be exhausting for these people.
    I appreciated your take on this issue.

    SatToday
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
    Join me on Insight Timer
    Help me feed those in need by joining my Share The Meal team HERE

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Please choose and substitute the mythological character of your choice and it works as well. I was going to use "minotaurs," but some ancient Ionians complained.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah


    We could always play it safe and choose a Soto Zen myth/superstition: Hail to Buddha Nature!



    Gassho, Jim
    ST/LaH

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  5. #5
    I was going to use "minotaurs," but some ancient Ionians complained.
    That is probably because the minotaur was part of Minoan culture rather than Ionian

    I was last in rural Ireland in the 2000s and a farmer there told me that they still plough around certain stands of trees believed to be fairy forts. Like you, Jundo, I do not believe in actual fairy folk, but can see how something like that might foster a connection with and reverence for the land.

    While I was there, I also witnessed a Stations of the Cross blessing on a house done by a quite scary Catholic priest. No offence intended to our Christian members, but to me there was no difference to me with the belief in the fairy fort, it was just a different and newer set of beliefs and symbolisms.

    That said, I am not superstition free and have a bit of an animistic world view. Even people who toss away older belief systems can find themselves picking up new ones.

    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.

  6. #6
    I am offensive and I find this Irish.

    Gassho
    ST
    Shoki

  7. #7
    In any case, leprechauns or no leprechauns ... chop wood, fetch water, live gently, sit Zazen. In Zazen, one sits as what is.
    Thank you Jundo. That would sum up my views on this topic.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  8. #8
    I'm Irish and I approve of this message.

    Gassho,

    Ryūmon

    sat
    -----

    流文

    I know nothing.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Inshin View Post
    There's always someone who can get offended.

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3658897090862805

    Gassho
    Sat
    Thank you for the smile today

    Doshin
    St

  11. #11
    hahhahaahahah Ryumon

    Thank you Jundo

    So true so true

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    In any case, leprechauns or no leprechauns ... chop wood, fetch water, live gently, sit Zazen. In Zazen, one sits as what is. If there are leprechauns, then sit as leprechauns. If there are no leprechauns, then sit as no leprechauns. In any case, Just Sit. If there are leprechauns, they are sitting on this Zafu too.

    Gassho, Jundo


    SatTodayLAH
    Gassho,
    Bobby


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
    Shunryu Suzuki

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    .
    In any case, leprechauns or no leprechauns ... chop wood, fetch water, live gently, sit Zazen.
    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho,
    Kevin
    Sat

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    .
    I am an unabashed and avowed 'Buddhist modernist' who is in favor of getting rid of superstitious beliefs in Buddhist practice ...

    ... BUT ONLY for those of us who wish to be rid of superstitious beliefs, let alone view them as "superstitious."

    It is vital to understand the distinction, and that while 'my way' may be right for me and those who feel the same way, it may not be right in other ways for everyone going their own way.

    I may not believe in leprechauns (or the equivalent within the Zen and other Buddhist traditions to belief in leprechauns), but others may find great value and inspiration in leprechauns. Good for them, and let us celebrate their right to do so, and the beauty and power they find in such beliefs. The others may not see leprechauns as leprechauns at all, but as wondrous beings or miraculous sages, and that is their precious perspective too. They may be right, those of us who do not believe may be wrong.

    But I also speak for the beauty and power and right of interpretation of those of us who do not wish to believe in leprechauns, or to have leprechauns as a part of our practice. Leprechauns are not crucial to Zen practice (others may disagree in their view of Zen practice however, and let us celebrate their beliefs too. Cheers to those who believe and search for the pot of gold!)

    As well, even a leprechaun skeptic like me will make room for some leprechauns --if-- I find reason in my heart in terms that make sense to me. Sorry, I cannot believe in something that seems silly to me like leprechauns (silly to me anyway, even if not silly to others), yet I can also find many reasons why what seems silly at first is not so silly. For example, I may conclude that leprechauns are just symbols for something without being literally true, such as the "pot of gold" at the end of enlightenment's rainbow or the "lucky charms" that work no actual magic yet help us realize life as "lucky" just by being life. Thus I still keep some statues and pictures of leprechauns (or their Buddhist equivalents) around our Zendo, and recount leprechaun legends in some of my books for the wise lessons they express. Or, I might see how belief in leprechauns may bring comfort to somebody's heart in times of struggle, so that belief in leprechauns helps people who need. However, short of that, I personally will not believe in leprechauns, Buddhist or otherwise.

    I do think that Stephen Batchelor went too far in his way of rejecting leprechauns, modernizing Buddhism, trying to recast the historical Buddha as merely an ethicist and modern thinker, stripping away any belief that the Buddha happened to share with another Indian religion or philosophy. For Batchelor, if the Brahmans also believed in leprechauns in some way, then the Buddha could not believe in leprechauns (simply because, somehow, the Buddha had to be a completely original thinker), even though it seems quite likely that the Buddha believed and taught about leprechauns. (Granted, there is much about the magical stories and wondrous claims regarding the Buddha too that seem themselves quite "leprechauny," so who can know even a totally leprechaun-free Buddha!?) Batchelor is as much a fundamentalist in some ways as the people he criticizes. For me, there is no reason to think that the historical Buddha had to agree with all modern interpretations of Buddhism or reject leprechauns. That is fine, but I am still going to maintain my stance as an "open minded" agnostical skeptic about such things, including whether there is a Deva-realm of leprechauns (even if the Buddha is quoted as saying just that in the Maha Leprechaunavana Sutra).

    Maybe leprechauns exist in the world, playing their tin whistles, and not just in our hearts or peoples' imaginations. It could be. I am open to it, but I am rather doubtful.

    In any case, leprechauns or no leprechauns ... chop wood, fetch water, live gently, sit Zazen. In Zazen, one sits as what is. If there are leprechauns, then sit as leprechauns. If there are no leprechauns, then sit as no leprechauns. In any case, Just Sit. If there are leprechauns, they are sitting on this Zafu too.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah

    Hi Jundo,

    I think the human mind is obsessed with analyzing and finding logic while things are just as they are.

    Last night a friend called me and said that she had a dream about a person giving her sweets in her dreams. She thought it was a sign that she could get diabetes. I said maybe it's a sign of kindness. I said why do you even need to find a reason?

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Geerish.

    Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Guish View Post
    Hi Jundo,

    I think the human mind is obsessed with analyzing and finding logic while things are just as they are.

    Last night a friend called me and said that she had a dream about a person giving her sweets in her dreams. She thought it was a sign that she could get diabetes. I said maybe it's a sign of kindness. I said why do you even need to find a reason?

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Geerish.
    In any case, she should get an annual blood test, as we all should.

    In any case, she should be kind and accept kindness, as we all should.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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