Edgar brings up a good point, and that is 'what is zen'? In the post below Edgar informally defined zen as 'unfiltered/raw experience' and a 'way of life'. It is indeed both of those.
I (and most other people) also use the word 'zen' to refer to a PROCESS - the process of learning (unlearning really) or transitioning out of the illusory world created by our rational mind into the unfiltered/raw world of our Buddha Mind. This process, according to different schools, has techniques such as meditation, koans, chanting, bowing, fasting, taking vows, (and maybe visualizations? - YUK!), etc... As Edgar and JMJM have suggested, once the transition has been accomplished, these techniques are no longer necessary - and in fact were never really necessary. They are like the training wheels you put on the back of a bicycle. They help you in the beginning, but can be discarded after you learn to ride. (And could be constraining your ability to ride very well.) They never were really necessary, but hopefully were helpful. ...Bill! From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Edgar Owen Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 6:47 PM To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [Zen] Test of Character Bill and Jody, I have no problem at all with Bill's excellent description of a useful technique. I would like to point out though that ultimately Zen doesn't depend on any technique and has nothing to do with zazen or sitting. True zen is just experiencing things as they actually are no matter what one is doing, or where one is. You can be sitting in zazen or doing anything whatsoever in your daily life. As I think Bill would agree zen is 24/7, it is always present no matter what one is doing, it's just a matter of looking around and seeing and directly experiencing. Likewise zen is not something to be found just within the gates of a zen temple. There is no gate to enter to find zen. Thus mumon, the gateless (nonexistent) gate. Zen is everywhere in the universe. It is always right where you are right now. Edgar ------------------------------------ Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are reading! Talk about it today!Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zen_Forum/ <*> Your email settings: Individual Email | Traditional <*> To change settings online go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zen_Forum/join (Yahoo! ID required) <*> To change settings via email: mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/