On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 05:55:31 -0800, Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>  

>> 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
>> thought.
> 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
>> cultivation
>> is based on our thoughts and actions.  Despite your adherence to some
>> schools
>> of Zen and Dzogzen, there is fundamental error in believing that Zen
>> occurs of
>> 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,
>> just as
>> it would be to say that we don not learn words, they just come out of  
>> our
>> mouths.
> 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
>> Path, which
>> 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!
>> Furthermore,
>> Zen is most closely akin to the resting state between thoughts and
>> actions,
> 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.
> Also, it
>> is an
>> error of intellect to suppose that "I" "You" "they" have no distinction  
>> --
>> as from
>> 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
>> quite
>> independently.
> 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
>> applied
>> in very non-local event times.  Since we do measure time (yes we do,  
>> don't
>> make any
>> funny arguments here) and our body locations in space-time in order to
>> function and
>> realize that you and I do not occupy the same space at the same time,  
>> then
>> we functionally
>> 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
>> us new
>> experiences.
> 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
>> the process...
>> 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
>> discussed --
> 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.
>> otherwise
>> 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
>> illusion --
> 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
> notwithstanding.
>> Only the mad
>> argue futiley
>> with themselves...
> 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.

You are most welcome.  Methinks you protesteth too much to be in the heart  
of Zen.
No one practices Zazen without prior art, without teachers, without  
study.  No Zen Master
arises in the vacuum.  That is my entire point.  And I am neither pointing  
at fingers or the moon.
I am merely sending out words that stir you to protest.  Why is that?   
What so kindles you?
Where does that spark arise from?  Neither you nor I have totally killed  
the Buddha along the
road, and we never will.  Stop making such an effort of making "no  
effort."  Harmony comes
 from relaxation, not from opposition.  You judge me, you misjudge  
me...where does that error
come from?  I am only a pond that reflects...

Even if someone cries that there is no reality, that all is illusion, they  
are still part of the illusion...
and part of what must be the ultimate reality...

Your effortfullness intrigues me.  There is only one universe...words are  
not the universe...but you
keep using them as protests...and we first learn words then learn to put  
them together to make
sentences which constitute speech...some never really learn the meaning of  
the things they say,
and some believe they know, but do not...I gently suggest that neither you  
nor I have total comprehension...
we merely experience what we experience...and like broken clocks, we can  
be dead on twice a day...
humility is breaking dogma...killing the buddha...and being open to  
learning from any source...
So, having come this far, enjoying this sharing, I now relax once more  
into non-effort as you remind me
that effort is useless where there is no change...

There is no season
Yet spring follows each winter
Autumn cries for spring...

(I will let you complete the Tanka, if you like, with the 7,7 couplet)



> ...Bill!
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