Edgar,

Thank you for your post.

I disagree with several points of the first paragraph of your recent post
attached below.

First of all I DO include intellect in the category of maya - illusion/not
real.  Intellect arises AFTER experience of reality, and creates dualism
which then distorts and misrepresents all experiences.  I DO NOT, however,
believe emotions are illusory.  They are real, they are reality.  They do
not distort experience.  They are experience.  Sad is sad.  Happy is happy.
This is not illusion.  Sad just is.  I do however agree with you (in your
last two difficult but important sentences in that first paragraph) that
both rationality (the product of intellect) and emotions need to be taken
'as is',  and not given undo importance.  They just are.  They're no big
deal, and certainly not the be-all and end-all of reality.    

Second of all I don't equate zen and satori.  I define 'satori' as a 'small
or first breakthrough', a first glimpse of reality unfiltered through
intellect.  It is short-lived and temporary.  I believe there is more to zen
then just that.  I do include satori as part of zen, but believe zen
practice starts before satori, continues on after satori as cultivation and
complete integration of buddha mind into your life (or you could say
becoming completely absorbed into buddha mind), and culminates in the
realization that zen practice, satori, buddha mind, and everything else
associated with this is all maya - illusion.  There is after all only THIS!

I do agree however with the second paragraph of your post which correctly
calls me on my use of the word 'transmission'.  I am guilty of just
regurgitating popular, but inaccurate, terms used in describing zen.  As
you've pointed out there is nothing transmitted.  There is only a
realization or discovery.  I agree with the all the rest of that paragraph.

Thanks...Bill!

From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf
Of Edgar Owen
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 6:25 PM
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Zen] zazen

Bill,

Good post with which I'm pretty much in agreement. Zen, or satori, is
certainly nothing above anyone's head as it is the natural state of all
being. Satori is simply a matter of looking and seeing what is actually
there right now unmediated by intellect or emotion - but that is with a
caveat since one also must realize that intellect and emotions are part of
that reality. The trick is to see them for what they are rather than seeing
the world through them. In other words satori involves recognizing that
illusion is part of reality, but seeing the illusion as illusion rather than
taking it for reality.

I do have a little quibble with the notion of 'transmission' however. In
reality enlightenment is never transmitted from a teacher to a student. The
realization of the student is always entirely his own, the teacher merely
directs his attention to that realization which he already had but hadn't
yet realized. The only really legitimate use of the term 'transmission' in
Zen is the transmission of the worldly authority to head a sect or temple
from one head to the next, but that is politics not Zen.

Edgar


On Aug 12, 2008, at 11:01 PM, <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:


Sean,

I think the fundamental meditation practices of both zen and Vispassana
Buddhism are the same. There is a zen saying that when you're meditating
and thoughts appear, you should treat them like you would treat a visitor
knocking on your door while you are busy doing some important task. You
should answer the door and acknowledge the visitor, tell him that you are
busy right now but assure him that he is welcome to come back later - but
above all, no matter how tempting, you DO NOT invite them in for tea and
conversation.

'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 of how
Siddhartha Buddha passed on his enlightenment to one of his disciples during
a teaching session at Vulture Peak. Instead of preaching to the multitudes
assembled, Siddhartha only held up a flower. Mahakashyapa smiled and
Siddhartha knew that he now understood. The point of the story and the term
is that experience of Buddha Mind cannot be transmitted via words, spoken or
written. The act of understanding words and the concepts they represent
will not lead you to experiencing Buddha Mind. The actual experience is
indescribable and any attempt to do so is not only ineffectual, but usually
misleading and can in fact be counterproductive.

That leads me into the last sentence of your post. Zen is not 'ABOVE your
head', as some eclectic knowledge that you can't understand. Zen in fact is
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, including
the concept of self. When you stop your intellectual (rational) processes
you will lose your sense of self and all dualism. It is then and only then
that you will be able to experience Buddha Mind, which has been there all
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. IMNSHO,
I think all religions were initially established to bring you to this very
point. Unfortunately all religions I know of have lost sight of that and
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 know how
you see things. In the meantime, JUST SIT!

...Bill!

From:[EMAIL PROTECTED]:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf
Of Sean Lukens
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 3:32 AM
To:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: [Zen] zazen
Hi Bill,

I agree with your description of the two practices. Yes, I do differentiate
non-grasping and repressing or avoidance, although when I find myself
avoiding something I will sometimes label it as such - "avoidance" - and
then let go of that internal process.

I am new to the conceptual practices of Zen, so ideas such as "non-verbal
transmission" are still above my head. Maybe some things Zen will always be
"above my head." Thanks for your input.

Sean

----- Original Message ----
From: Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To:[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 post.

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 
teaching.

Hope this helps. Let me know what you thnk.

...Bill! 

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