Greetings, The gasho that I gave you is a Zen bow that is a sign of respect among Zen practitioners. The practitioners on the site mean to be warm and welcoming. And I am sorry that you have had some unpleasent experiences with other Zen practitioners; I am sure that they do not mean to be that way. They were not trying to argue but to speak. They saw something to comment on and they commented on it; they did not mean to be cold. Also, everyone that exists is already enlightened, they are already the Tao; Zen masters have been doing things in specific ways for over a thousand years and alot of practitioners use their methods and the methods of other Masters to see their Buddha-nature. Because of this it can seem formal. Also, the statements here are not intended to be lofty, but to make points and to show things as they really are. Remember that Zen seeks to see that which is beyond duality and to touch true reality. Also, a Zen practitioner is just as concerned about your enlightenment as he/she is his/her own enlightenment. Because of this concern about seeing through delusion it can make some people seem very stiff and formal, but in reality this formality is a sign of great respect, for your Buddha-nature as well as their own. This is why in a sitting we bow to the other practitioners, because they are Buddha too. Remember that Zen helps us to see through the everyday illusions that we have created, some practices help us do this, others do not. When someone makes a statement against that practice, they do not mean to make you feel unwelcome, but to open up a discussion; or they have perceived something that could harm you. Remember, some practices can be harmful to you, it does not take a Master to see this. When a practice is questioned by other members of this group it is out of compassion, not arrogance. We are all Buddha. We are already enlightened. We just have to realize it. Peace, Allen
Zen <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: Allen I am pleased to hear your new encounters to the path of Zen have been warm and the people receptive and friendly. I understand the feelings behind Mayka statement. My granted small amount of time reading here, from my limited sight, have seen to be honest not a lot of friendliness. A lot of bowing, formality & lofty statments about the "correct" term or correct bow or some other formality but it IMHO seems, "stiff". Bickering over some small use of a word or how a virtual bow is persived (sp) seems petty to me. But perhaps that is because I am unelightened and there is some great underlying purpose to being "right", being "correct" Is that the true Tao? I am but a child and do not know. Respect is respect, truth is truth, The Tao that is named is not the True Tao. My words, my expression of it, is just that mine. Many rivers flow to the sea, but it is all water. No mater if it is called a creek, stream, river, or brook. When I was at one time following the way of being a Born Again Christian, everyone was so happy and welcoming. At least so it seemed, but once inside they are still doing their people thing, politics, discrimations, etc. Here on the Zen path, mostly those I have encountered are solemn and formal. Seemly more envolved with their own "enlightenment" and the rituals of it than being, warm traveling companion spirits, classmates on the path. The other end of the spectrum. I have been to several Zen Centers, none of them felt, particularly warm or inviting. They were not repeling, but not warm either. Few smiled, few even knowledged anothers presence. However bowed to an empty room, cushion, alter, wall. Out of 420 members here only 2 offered a greeting. I wrote to a priest who is on the list here and received no answer or acknowlgdement. My wife left a note to a visiting Priest, from Japan who was lecturing at a center here. She had a couple of questions about Zazen she did not understand in English the explainations. She received no answer, or acknowlgdement. As a Sifu from time to time I receive mails and questions from others. Even if I do not have the time to answer the question I at least achknowledge them. My point here is that many many seem to me, to be so caught up in being formal, following some set ritual, their own "enlightenement" or the show of it, that some forget, we are people, we all share the same life force. To "blowoff" another, disrespect another, is to do the same to ourselves. Is that the way of enlightenment? I am but a child and do not know. Please do not think I am saying everyone is like this I have met. I wrote to a Zen Master in Japan who I had never met he took the time to reply to me, though he had many responsiblities. This same master has also agreed to meet with my wife and I on our upcoming visit to Japan, even though it meant him staying after hours at his business to wait for us. Many are the people we encounter traveling the Tao. We do know not the reasons until later. Impressions of those encounters carry on. What are the foot prints you are leaving in the Tao? Mayka's statements though perceived ungrounded by some, where real to her and based on her feelings. Which should not just be blown off or aplogized for as unfounded. Maybe her expectations were too high, or maybe those in the forest can not see the path for the trees. Perhaps balance is still forthcoming in the Tao of this board. This has just been my unenlighten observing opinion of my observations. peace Z --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Phillip Rogers <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > Alright, > > I attended my first Zen sitting this Sunday in Charlotte, NC. I could not keep concentration, my right leg fell completely asleep, my arms and back started to give me a fit and my butt ended up killing me. I could not remember when to gasho or how to effectivly do Kinhin. However, amidst all of that I had a wonderful time. The people were great and nice. We had a very lovely dharma talk. And what is more: when I was most uncomfortable in my sitting I found the strength to continue, even though it was so distracting. I am a real quitter, but the atmosphere and the dedication of the people kept me going. It has truly strengthened me in my endeavor to realize true mind. I look forward to next Sunday's sitting. > > May we all be well, > and may we all be happy, > Allen > > Mayka <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > Friends you seems so solemn and strict in your all practice that you > have nothing to share!. > Love from > Mayka > > > > > > > --------------------------------- > Never miss an email again! > Yahoo! Toolbar alerts you the instant new Mail arrives. Check it out. > --------------------------------- Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.