--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Smart" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> On Saturday, August 12, 2006 Donald wrote:
> >I was often asked this question in the US, "Is there spirituality 
in Zen?
> If so, what is your experience?"
> >
> >Chinese do not ask such question, because there is no word equal to
> "spirituality".  I suspect this is an English >question or a 
> question.
> >
> >What can you share with me?
> You don't need to know what 'spirituality' means to respond to these
> questions.  You don't need to know anything.  The response should 
flow from
> you like water flows from a spring.  In fact the more you 'know' 
about zen,
> and the more you think about these questions, the farther from the 
mark you
> will be.
> Let me rephrase the first question to illustrate my point:
> "Is there spirituality in zen?"
> Is there logistic regression in zen?
> Is zen blue?
> Does zen have a flat bottom?
> Is zen smooth like peanut butter?
> Is zen crunchy like peanut butter?
> How would you respond to these questions?  They're all the same as 
> question about zen having spirituality.  They are attempting to 
have you
> define zen by asking you to confirm or deny that zen has some 
> quality.  They are exactly the same as what might be the most 
famous zen
> question of all: Does a dog have a buddha nature?
> You response would be a part of the entire situation which only you 
> know, and would change from moment to moment: Who is it that is 
asking?  How
> serious of a question is it? What is your relationship with the 
> What is his perception of you?  Does he think you are an expert in 
zen and
> speaking for all zen?  ...and so on.
> I'm not saying you run over all these scenarios before you respond, 
in fact
> it is just the opposite.  I am saying that you are immersed in that 
> and all of these things come together to create the moment - and the
> response is just an effortless continuation of that moment - like a 
gust of
> wind coming through an open window.
> The second question is a conditional follow-on question; but in 
English the
> conditionality of the question is not expected to be acted upon and 
> a response unconditionally.
> "If yes, ..."  This is the conditional part.  Ignore it unless this 
> is followed with another question starting with "If no, ...".  Then 
> two question-pairs are truly conditional and you would respond only 
to the
> appropriate one.  In this case neither would be appropriate since 
you are
> HOPFULLY not going to answer 'yes' or 'no' to the first question.
> "...what is your experience?"  Alright!  He's opened the door wide 
open and
> invited you in.  He's thrown you in the briar patch! (A reference 
one of the
> wonderful fables of Uncle Remus.)  He has now asked you to share 
your zen
> experience.  In other words he has invited you to demonstrate your 
> nature.  What a nice thing for him to have done!
> The first question is like shaking up an unopened bottle of soda 
water.  The
> second question is like popping the cap!  Whooosh!  Buddha nature is
> revealed.
> As for the sharing part of my post, following is my attempt (with 
some help
> from some online dictionaries) of defining 'spirituality' for you:
> Spirituality usually refers to a connection with God or the 
> although it can also refer to a connection with a universal force - 
like the
> tao.  It usually refers to the 'spirit' as opposed to the 'body' or
> something 'physical'.
> It is important to note that Western culture has always seen man as 
> two separate and in fact opposing facets:  physical (the world; 
humans; our
> body; material goods like money, food, cars; bad emotions like 
greed, hate,
> fear; etc...) and spiritual (heaven/paradise; God or Universal 
Force; other
> supernatural beings; spiritual goods like blessings; good emotions 
> fulfillment, love, courage; etc...).  Spirituality is the link or 
> between the physical and the spiritual. 
> >Namaste,
> >Donald
> See you later, alligator...Bill! 


Is there spirituality in Zen?


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