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.


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.



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