Al et al,

I was bothered all night because I SCREWED UP when I added the 
mapping from the 'Mountain' saying to the 10 Oxherding stages.  I 
added them at the last minute before posting and should have thought 
more before doing so.

So, now that I do have that morning cup of tea in front of me, I'll 
correct that.

The 'Mountain' saying starts off BEFORE any enlightenment experience:

First there is a mountain,
This is meant to describe your experience of dualism.  There is me 
and there is a mountain.
This first verse would corrspond to before 1 of the Ox Herding 
pictures to about picture 3 or 4, or the period before you have 
experience non-duality.

Then there is no mountain,
This describes non-duality.
It would correspond to the Ox Herding pictures 4 or 5 to 8.

Then there is.
This describes the integration of an enlighented being back into the 
world, where you can remain grounded in direct experience of reality 
(JUST THIS!), but also function in the world of illusions (maya) 

So, the new and improved, and tea-enabled matrix is:

First there is a mountain, (oxhearding prior-to-1 to 4 or 5)
Then there is no mountain, (oxherding 4 or 5 to 8)
Then there is.             (oxherding 9 and 10)

Okay!  I feel better now!  I think I'll have another cup of tea...


--- In, "Bill Smart" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Al,
> You're asking very difficult questions.
> I'll pass for now on the one about 'What is the point of living a 
> good life if it means nothing and has no value?'.  I'll only say 
> that although I don't worry about a point or a meaning to living, I 
> wouldn't say life has no value.
> I'd like to instead go back a few posts to your question about JUST 
> THIS being 'Zombie Zen'.  I only answered that I thought that you 
> were selling JUST THIS short, and that it had a lot more richness 
> than you thought.  After mulling this over for a while I remembered 
> the 10 Oxherding Pictures and Verses, and direct you to them.  You 
> can Google 'zen oxherding' and you'll get a lot of links.  (Make 
> you get the 10 version and not the 8 version, at least to synch up 
> with this posting.)
> In case you're not familar with these, they depict the journey to 
> enlightenment in 10 stages or pictures, each with its own verse.  
> just want to make sure no one really thinks there are 10 actual 
> stages to enlightenment - these are just someone's examples of 
> milestones along the way.)
> The first 6 depict the search for and the eventual realization of 
> enlightenment, which is represented by the ox.
> The 7th depicts a very advanced stage where enlightenment is 
> forgotten.
> The 8th stage depicts the 'void' stage that I think you are 
> to and worrying about.  You don't want to get stuck there.  But 
> heart!  There are 2 more stages.
> The 9th stage depicts the worldly phenomenen coming back into focus 
> again, but this time a new focus through the prism of the 
> enlighenment experience.
> The 10th and final stage depcits an enlightened being fully 
> integrated back into society - driking wine, eating fish, buying 
> selling in the market.  This is the end product of zen.
> These stages are also represented in a familar saying and song 
> First there is a mountain, (oxhearding 1-7)
> Then there is no mountian, (oxherding 8-9)
> Then there is.             (oxherding 10)
> Usually on this forum I only post about no mountian, but when all 
> integrated fully, then there is.
> So Al, you see there is something to look forward to after 
> the 'void', if you need that assurance to go forward.
> ...Bill! 
> --- In, "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-
> 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 
> 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 
> 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 
> just 
> > bits of meaningless nothing?
> >


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