I too have enjoyed these latest threads, even though I'm afraid some 
of the intended meanings may go over my head.  I believe the 
connection to God is reached through strict meditation (sure there 
are other ways, but this is the ZEN_Forum)... We still have our 
individual personalities that will shape what we do when we are 
within our practice. No matter how close to a Buddha one may be, we 
still have our Ego. If one chooses, he may use his new-found 
awareness to help others, somewhat like a bodhidarma. A Zen 
practitioner can still be a contributing member of society, we still 
must live our lives. I do still enjoy hearing of Chan from JM. 
Although I do now feel that JM may want to start a Chan_Forum. I see 
the two practices are quite different. It is admirable to sync to 
this life-force energy that several of us acknowledge is there, but 
JM takes an active role in using this energy for purposes of other's 
health and well-being. While this is admirable, it definitely is not 
Zen. I do believe the the Buddha himself practiced Zen, even if Zen 
is said to have been started at a later date... Like I have heard 
before, it was always there, the Buddha is just credited with the 1st 
person who found it. Through Zen like meditation, and living the 
precepts and wisdom he had gained. The Eight-fold path, the Middle 
Way and such. But that is just my buddhist philosophy that is 
coloring my opinion.  

Thanks Anyway,
Later,
Chris

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Fitness63" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> From: cid830 >if you detach yourself from your Ego through these 
> 'mind-numbing' practices you will be a better person, more in-tune 
with the 
> world around you and enabling you to be an agent of change or 
positive 
> influence to others. >
> 
> I would like that, but Bill, Mike, Edgar, etc., state it is just an 
illusion 
> which is trancended when you reach the JUST THIS stage.
> 
> I realize that I can be a bit combative about some issues, so I 
apologize 
> for that. I think a while back I hit this wall we are discussing 
now and it 
> was never clarified for me and I gave up on zen and just chalked it 
up as 
> another bogus path that I had followed.
> 
> I am enjoying this discussion because I realize that it is 
something that 
> has been bothering me for a long time. Where is the connection to 
God, 
> Universal, Dharma, ancestors, etc. What is the point of living a 
good life 
> if it means nothing and has no value? Why make sacrifices if we are 
just 
> bits of meaningless nothing?
>



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