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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by SNPII View Post
    Shinshi I am curious as to your reasons for resisting the ritualistic aspects. I am in a similar place and yet open minded for sure!

    Shane

    Sattoday
    Well, it is kind of a long answer but here goes.

    You have to know two things about me. One I din't come to Zen through religion or belief - I came to Zen through Martial Arts - which led me to Kung Fu - which led me to the Shaolin Temple - which led me to Bodhidharma - which led me to Zen. The other thing is that I was a punk at that same time (well I still am <g>), played punk music, very straight edge - so I was very anti a lot of stuff.

    The Zen I found on my path I liked. The whole "If you meet the Buddha on the road kill him" - Zen masters as tricksters, and non-linear thinkers, as rule breakers - really appealed to me. But the more I learned the more I realized that there were all the rituals in Zen that seemed very stylized and pointless to me. In fact I wandered away from Zen to a more Vipassana - Mindfulness version of Buddhism.

    Probably the best example of my change of view wasn't in Zen so much as the ceremony of marriage. I told my girlfriend at the time that I was never going to get married. Because if you loved someone and wanted to be them you would just be with them. What did a piece of paper have to do with anything. But over time my view started to change.

    I came to see marriage in a different light. I came to believe that marriage wasn't so much about the couple. Marriage was a ritual that served an important purpose.

    First marriage integrates the couple into the the group that had gone before. It connects them to the experience that they share with their parents, and friends, and culture. It bonds them to a greater whole. Even more marriage allows friends and families to reconnect. And in reconnects them to something sacred, reminding them as to what is important in life. It reconnects them to the values and beliefs that they share in common with their cohort. It is a process that re-bonds people and reminds them who they are and where they come from. It is a great bringing together of old friends and new. It strengthens old bonds and forges new ones. It has an important place in community.

    We move from the mundane and reconnect to the sacredness of life.

    And that is how I have come to see the Zen rituals as well. It brings us all back together - to a common place. It reconnects us to those the have come before and and integrates us into the flow that is our shared existence. When we do a ritual we never do it alone - even if we are alone - because when go through the ritual we do it with everyone has have ever done it in the past, and everyone who will do it in the future.

    And when we engage in ritual it helps to diminish just a bit our strong sense of self, and strengthens our sense of oneness. We are one as we behave as one. And we can move on from there to follow our path, but we start from a place of groundedness and community.

    That is how I have come to see it.

    Now of course, people can get narrow minded and absorbed in the ritual - and loose that connection to something greater than themselves. Ritual can be trap that becomes all about the ritual and nothing more.

    Roshi eddiebear talked about this in his talk last Sunday. My take away was that talked about how Vispassina does away with the ritual but tells you exactly how to evaluate your thoughts when you meditate. Zen has a bunch of ritual but in Zen your mind is free to be. Or something to that effect.

    His talk s is well worth a listen:

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ajara-Tenzo%29


    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Last edited by Shinshi; 05-10-2018 at 12:20 AM.
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

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