I think the fundamental meditation practices of both zen and
Buddhism are the same. There is a zen saying that when you're
and thoughts appear, you should treat them like you would treat a
knocking on your door while you are busy doing some important task.
should answer the door and acknowledge the visitor, tell him that
busy right now but assure him that he is welcome to come back later
above all, no matter how tempting, you DO NOT invite them in for
'Non-verbal' transmission has to do with the way zen is taught. It
especially concerns how the actual experience of Buddha Mind is passed
between teacher and student. The basis for it comes from the story
Siddhartha Buddha passed on his enlightenment to one of his
a teaching session at Vulture Peak. Instead of preaching to the
assembled, Siddhartha only held up a flower. Mahakashyapa smiled and
Siddhartha knew that he now understood. The point of the story and
is that experience of Buddha Mind cannot be transmitted via words,
written. The act of understanding words and the concepts they
will not lead you to experiencing Buddha Mind. The actual
indescribable and any attempt to do so is not only ineffectual, but
misleading and can in fact be counterproductive.
That leads me into the last sentence of your post. Zen is not
head', as some eclectic knowledge that you can't understand. Zen in
very, very simple, so simple that it exists everywhere all the time
unnoticed. Zen has nothing to do with your head at all, as in your
intellect or any type of rational thinking. Zen is unfiltered,
unadulterated, direct and immediate experience of reality, which
can only be
done in the ABSENCE of your intellect which creates all dualism,
the concept of self. When you stop your intellectual (rational)
you will lose your sense of self and all dualism. It is then and
that you will be able to experience Buddha Mind, which has been
along hidden behind all the rational static. Zazen is the only
thing I know
that can help you do that, although there are other techniques such as
bowing or chanting that can reportedly bring you to the same place.
I think all religions were initially established to bring you to
point. Unfortunately all religions I know of have lost sight of
instead have fallen back to stress rules and rituals. This is a good
example of the saying 'Can't see the forest for the trees.'
Enough for now. Thanks for your post. Please respond and let me
you see things. In the meantime, JUST SIT!
From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Of Sean Lukens
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 3:32 AM
Subject: [Zen] zazen
I agree with your description of the two practices. Yes, I do
non-grasping and repressing or avoidance, although when I find myself
avoiding something I will sometimes label it as such - "avoidance"
then let go of that internal process.
I am new to the conceptual practices of Zen, so ideas such as "non-
transmission" are still above my head. Maybe some things Zen will
"above my head." Thanks for your input.
----- Original Message ----
From: Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 10:53:17 PM
Subject: [Zen] Re: zazen
Sean, Sorry for the tardy reply, but I did not get your posting via
email as I normally do. I logged into the site today and saw your
I am not an expert in Vipassana, but I do live in Thailand where
Vipassana is widely practiced and have spent a short time at a
Vipassana training center and believe I do have some knowledge of it
and its teachings.
Your description of Vipassana meditation, '...sitting and not grasping
any thoughts, emotions, experience, etc,...', is also completely
applicable to zazen. I think it is important, however, to emphasis
that 'not grasping' does not mean 'rejecting' or 'avoiding'. 'Not
grasping' means 'not holding onto', or 'not forming attachments to'
thoughts, emotions, experience, etc...
From my experiences and observations the major differences between
Vispanna and zen are in the rites and rituals, rather than the
meditation. Also, as far as I can tell Vipassana does not recognize
mind-to-mind (non-verbal) transmission which goes to the core of zen
Hope this helps. Let me know what you thnk.
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