> On Fri, 28 Dec 2007 ZenBob wrote:
>No, absolutely no. You fail to understand the manner of human thinking.
>We cannot say "don't think of an elephant" and not think of an elephant --
>even the act of attempting to negate that thought is the formation of that
Understanding the manner of human thinking is not the point here, but would
be a good topic for another thread. I would gladly participate in that.
More to the point here, understanding ANYTHING is not the province of zen,
if you mean by 'understanding' applying rational thought.
>Zen does not spring into being unbidden. It is cultivated. Such
>is based on our thoughts and actions. Despite your adherence to some
>of Zen and Dzogzen, there is fundamental error in believing that Zen
>itself independent of the mind or that if we are "choosing" or "thinking"
>that we have negated Zen.
The Buddha mind is omnipresent and does not 'spring into being' at all. You
could say Buddha mind is 'cultivated' as long as you don't mean 'help grow',
like water and fertilize. If you mean 'weed', as in clearing out everything
that is NOT Buddha mind, then you could say cultivate.
>That is a fundamental error. Period. A clever sylogism, a mental trick,
>it would be to say that we don not learn words, they just come out of our
We don't learn words. We learn to speak. Later, after we've learned to
speak, we are taught there are such things as 'words', sentences,
adjectives, adverbs, grammar, etc... These are logical constructs put
around speech after-the-fact. Impromptu sounds or extemporaneous speaking
COULD be an expression of the Buddha mind. Rhetoric, or awareness of words
and grammar while speaking is not.
>The distinction is that with the Buddhist foundation of the Eightfold
>stipulates "right thought, right action, etc." Zen comes into being.
Zen doesn't come into being; and the Eightfold Path has nothing to do with
zen. Take it to the bank!
>Zen is most closely akin to the resting state between thoughts and
This is as close to an agreement that we're probably going to get, although
I would state it the other way around: Thoughts and actions, if done while
you are self-aware, are an interruption of the manifestation of Buddha mind.
They occlude Buddha mind like clouds covering the sun.
>, but [zen]
>cannot manifest unless those thoughts and actions have occurred.
This statement is an anathema to the zen I have practiced. Nothing is a
pre-requisite, or a requirement, or a creating force for Buddha mind.
>error of intellect to suppose that "I" "You" "they" have no distinction --
>the relative level, we could not otherwise have a discussion, nor could I
>step on your
>foot or vice-versa. Sure, we are all part of a greater unity, but like
>being paint on a vase,
>we each have our own separate domain, and can be chipped off or polished
Errors of intellect do not bother me at all, no more than stumbling while
walking. Shit happens. Intellect is not a prerequisite for manifesting
Buddha mind. In fact, in my opinion, intellectualism can be a very serious
detriment. Intellect is the activity that deceives you into thinking the
pointing finger is the moon.
>For me, Zen must always remain harmonious with physics,
>especially Quantum physics, and the arguments of non-duality can only be
>in very non-local event times. Since we do measure time (yes we do, don't
>funny arguments here) and our body locations in space-time in order to
>realize that you and I do not occupy the same space at the same time, then
>have duality, even as we are "one in a non-local universe." Therefore,
>Zen does not merely
>"happen" of itself, it is part of who we are, and who we are depends
>totally on what we
>learn, experience, and that depends on our choices and actions that bring
This paragraph explains all I need to know about your understanding of zen.
It is a much, much different zen than mine, and I'm very glad of that.
Quantum physics is a dream, a very attractive illusion built up by our
intellect to try to explain things we've observed, first by creating an
illusion of 'subject' and 'object', and then it snowballs to include other
illusions like numbers, logic, physics, AND TIME, etc... I'm not saying all
these mental constructs are not useful. They're very useful and practical,
but they are not the Truth. They are fingers pointing to the Truth, or
actually only pointing to a very small sub-set of Truth.
>This is not merely important as doctrine or theory, but is fundamental to
>suggesting otherwise obfuscates and leads astray the willing student. No
>one can claim
>that they became enthusiastic adherents to Zen but never read or heard
>about it, did not
>attempt to study it, practice Zazen, engage in studious effort or simply
>enjoy the literature
>for its own sake. That being said, we did not merely form ourselves, nor
>come into full
>nature of Zen without a teacher, a learning process, a gradual
>understanding of the Way.
>So to suggest that we do not plant our own seeds is erroneous, our very
>nature guides our
>curiosity and our desire (yes, even when one seeks to renounce desires!)
>for something else in
>our life guides us to seek out this path. We recognize a truth in these
>teachings, practice and
>come to a greater knowing or experience of Zen. And it is the individual
>who benefits and comes by
>this knowing...not some other entity in some other place. We exchange
>these words only because
>we ultimately believe that we are communicating information to another
>person and that each of
>us may benefit or improve our total understanding of the ideas being
You're still just talking about the fingers. Yes, all these things you
mention MIGHT lead us closer to zen. If they eventually do, it will be only
after we've discarded, sometimes painfully, all those things that initially
drew us to zen. Worst case, they often give us a false sense that we
'understand' zen, or have 'figured out' a koan. There is only one activity
needed for zen, and that is zazen, and zazen is just sitting, not thinking,
not deciding, no time, no subject/object, just sitting.
>we would merely abide in the silence of the infinite and smile, knowing
>that everything was
>everything and there is no duality and thus, such discussions merely silly
If you hadn't have said this in irony, I would have congratulated you on
your 30 years of zen practice.
>We don't do that, so that underscores my point completely.
I do that, and yes that does underscore your point completely, lack of merit
>Only the mad
Only the mad argue, with anyone.
Thank you again for your interesting posts. They have prompted me to think
about many things I have not thought about for a long time. I appreciate
your giving me that opportunity.
Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are
reading! Talk about it today!
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