On Thu, 27 Dec 2007 16:54:11 -0800, mike brown <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>  
wrote:

> Notice there is a complete absence of CHOOSING.  To make sure of that I  
> would change the word DETERMINING in the third sentence to REALIZING or  
> ACCEPTING.

I am deeply familiar with Zen, as a practitioner for more than 30 years.   
It is neither correct nor incorrect to
state that if one "practices Zen" that one does not "make choices."  As  
humans, we make choices, and practicing Zen is a choice.
If we then choose to practice Zen, then our Zen Mind, and Zen Bones,  
follow that perspective, if we remain in that state of
being.  However, being human, means to drift in and out of states of  
varying consciousness..we must remind ourselves
that the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon, and that the moon is  
actually unknown..the image of the moon on the retina is
no more "real" than our sketch of the moon on paper.  Yet, there is a  
world, even if only intuited, and we must find ways to
function within it...the Zen approach is Buddhist at its foundation, so  
right thought, etc., is a starting point first, and not trying to
force the world into a preconceived illusory set of rultes is the next  
step.  We can agree that a door is just a series of info-packets and
spinning electrons, etc., but it hurts to run into one, nonetheless.   So,  
we refine our knowing of the world, moment by moment,
until we begin to "ride the bicycle without thinking...without conscious  
choosing"  and this gets us close to Zen for a bit.  Then we
"fall off the bike" and scratch our sore heads and try to get back on and  
ride again...hoping that we learned enough to understand what
caused our fall and do not repeat the mistake.

A lot of Zen is conveyed in far too mystical terms, I think...and yet, it  
cannot be explained, nor simplified to the point of absurdity...
this is most correct.  Both of us, I think are pointing at something we  
share in common to our experience, and seem to share a common
foundation with...we must allow Zen to happen, we cannot force it...but we  
also cannot expect it to occur without some choices of our
own day by day.  Allowing the tea to taste great still requires that we  
brew it in some "right" fashion, even if you or I brew it by
different methods!  In the end, we each must be satisfied or enjoy the cup  
of tea that we end up with.  When I use the word "choice"
of choosing, I mean to suggest not the process of "choosing a specific act  
with the intent of making Zen occur" as that is silly, but
I mean the aspects of the Eightfold Path, as I began with in my earlier  
post.  I am also not trying to be doctrinaire or absolutist with
that, only, again, suggesting a basis for developing a broader foundation  
that leads to "better results."  What else can one do? :)

Our own inner transoformation is gradual and often surprising.  Zen does  
just happen, but it never happens to the person who
has not cultivated the nature of Zen within his or her own mental garden  
first.  The mental reminders are the gentle rain that
allow the seeds of Zen to germinate and eventually blossom, seemingly  
without any "choice" or "action" of our own.  But we
have been instrumental in their creation, nonetheless.

Really enjoyed the discussion, recently!  Thank You!

Zenbob

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