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.

Zen <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
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 



--- In, Phillip Rogers <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 
> 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
> ---------------------------------
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