Chris,

The 'origin' of zen is difficult to talk about because has a 1:1 
relationship with the 'origin' of reality; and, the concept 'origin' 
presumes there is time, and that time flows in a constant direction.  
That's a lot to tackle before my morning cup of tea.  I beleive the 
sense of time is a human construct (maya), so anything I would say 
using the concept of time would be misleading.

Now that the caveat emptor is in place I will say I believe the 
ability to have a direct experience of reality has existed 'forever', 
or as long as reality, and that it is only the advent of sentient 
beings (evolution of the rational mind) that has occuluded the 
awareness of this ability.  I think there were many, many people who 
were able to directly experience reality before Siddhartha Buddha (or 
the myth of) Siddhartha Buddha.  Whether he and his story are real or 
not, his story is just the one we have mythologized, and for us he 
stands for the one who rediscovered (became aware) of this ability 
universal and pre-existing ability.

That is  pre-morning-cup-of-tea MY OPINION...Bill! 

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "cid830" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> 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" <fitness63@> 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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