This post was not sent to me via email as most posts are.  I don't 
know why.  That happens sometimes.  Since I hadn't received any 
postings recently I logged in to the Forum and found your post.  

Thank you for your post.  I always find your posts thought-provoking 
(which I guess is not really a good thing from a zen perspective), on 
point and enjoyable.  Below are my responses and comments:

'Wash your bowls' is not a non-logical statement.  It's a logical, 
metaphorical statement admonishing you to 'empty your mind'.  'Dried 
shit on a stick' or 'Mu' (the very best one in my opinion) are 
examples of non-logical 'statements'.

An 'ordinary' human mind does support logical thought.  It also 
supports illusions, self-awareness, dualism, hate, love, envy, joy, 
etc..., so just because something is supported by the 'ordinary' mind 
doesn't mean that it is an approriate means to 'show the Truth'.  In 
fact I beleive these are the very things that occlude the 'Truth', 
and must be discarded or at least recognized for what they are: 

Buddhist sutras do use logical statements, stories and teachings 
to 'point to the Way.'  First of all, that is Buddhism, not zen.  
However, zen also uses these techniques to 'point to the Way', but it 
must be emphasized that these are only POINTING to the Way - they are 
not the Way, they are not the 'Truth'.  They are the finger pointing 
to the moon - not the moon.  It's easy to get obsessed with the 
finger - I certainly know about that one.  I was obsessed with zen 
writings and philosophy and robes and insence and bells and 
understanding, etc... for a long time.  Many of the fingers are very 
deceptive and appear to the moon, like the reflection of the moon in 
the water.

Zen does use koans (you called them 'logical questions' - I would not 
use that description because many of them are not logical) to help 
stop (or at least temporarily suspend) the dualistic mind, the mind 
that produces logic.

I also beleive, as you do, that zen and Buddhism are not the same.  I 
beleive Buddhism is a religion and is a sub-set of zen, and so are 
most other religions - like Christianity.  Zen is so closely 
associated with Buddhism because we primarily use Buddhist terms to 
describe zen, but I think you could just as easily describe zen using 
Christian terms.

I use to think often about this and even started developing a matrix 
to cross-reference Buddhist/Christian terms.  I abandoned that years 
ago realizing that's just an effort to correlate the pointing fingers 
and doesn't really get you any closer to the moon - in fact it would 
probably just be more confusing and serve only to place even more 
emphasis on the fingers.  I think if any changes in the language we 
use to describe zen are warrented, it would be an adoption of more 
simple, religion-free words.  This is not a new concept.  If you 
notice many of the zen adepts in a lot of the koans and mondos 
refrain from using Buddhist-based language and rely on just plain, 
everyday, ordinary words, or even only yells (katz!), or non-verbal 
actions.  I think they do this to move beyond the boundries and 
preconceptions the religion-based words convey.

See you later, alligator...Bill!     
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, mike brown <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Bill and Chuck,
> "Wash your bowls" is as good as any non-logical statement, I 
guess. However, `ordinary mind is the Way` seems to allow for logic 
to be used as a means to showing the Truth. Furthermore, the gates 
to the Dharma are "countless" which also seems to imply that nothing 
(including logic/knowledge/science) should be rejected as a means to 
illustrating the Truth. Indeed, the Buddhist sutras use many logical 
statements/stories to point to the Way. That`s why I prefer the Zen 
`method` of asking someone a logical question and just before they 
give an answer cup your hand over their mouth. I think the 
space/silence just before we speak transcends logic and directly 
connects us to our Original Face. In a nutshell, I believe this is 
what (somewhat) separates Zen from Buddhism - the direct over the 
(sometimes) conceptual. Mike.


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