Mike and Al and everyone else...

I definitely agree with the sentiment of your statement below,  but 
can see where terminology would cause a lot of people to disagree.

I think of zen (lower-case 'z') as any methodology which helps leads 
a person to a direct experience of reality.  The methods of 'zen' 
extend after that to help that person expand and deepen that 
experience, and integrate that experience into their everyday life, 
or you might say fine tune their everyday life to be more in 
synch/harmony with the experience.

Zen Buddhism (upper-case 'Z') is a specifc methodology which is based 
on Buddhism and uses Buddhist terminology, and has been heavily 
influenced by Japanese culture and uses some Japanese terms.

'Zazen' is a Japanese term that means: 'za' = to sit, 'zen' = 
zen.  'Zen' (Japanese) is term that comes from 'chan' (Chinese) that 
comes from dhyana (Sanskrit) and can be translated as 'meditation' 
(English).  'Zazen' is used to differentiate Japanese Zen Buddhist 
meditation from other forms of meditation - like trancendental 
meditation or contemplation or prayer, etc...  Zazen is used in 
Japanese Zen Buddhism to cut through the  concept of self and all 
other dualistic thinking to a direct experience of reality.  The 
English term for this is 'enlightenment'.

In my experience I would confindently say zazen is the primary method 
used by Japanese Zen Buddhism to 'attain, cultivate and integrate' 
enlightenment.  Other methods are kinhin (walking meditaion), koans, 
dharma combat (testing another's awareness) chanting, fasting and 
doing household/garden chores (or any activities) while keeping a 
clear mind (I forget the Japanese term for this, and actually this is 
just an extended form of kinhin).

So, I agree that zazen or any kind of meditation is not an absolute 
requirement, but I do not know of any other way that is better.


--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Owen <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Mike and Bill and Al,
> Zazen has nothing to do with Zen whatsoever. And I suspect Bill at  
> least would agree with me. There is no requirement to do zazen or  
> anything else whatever. Zazen may be an exercise that helps some  
> people, others it may just stand in the way. Same about anything 
> one could possibly think of.
> True zen is just finally admitting to yourself that you are 
> enlightened and have always been, that is just finally realizing 
> always existed that you just didn't notice before.
> True Zen takes no 'work' of any kind whatsoever. You are already  
> there, you just need to realize it.
> Edgar
> On Sep 14, 2008, at 12:33 PM, mike brown wrote:
> >
> > Hi  Al,
> > I think the tricky thing about zen is that it often feels that  
> > 'getting it' is always just around the corner or that if I just  
> > read the right book/passage/haiku/manga comic etc it'll all 
> > clear to me. Unfortunately, this just takes us further than ever  
> > away from any kind of 'breakthru' into a zen life. As Bill says, 
> > need to have faith that this thing actually works, but this 
> > is not enough (as opposed to most theistic belief systems). You  
> > have to do the hard work. That means plonking your arse down on 
> > mat and doing zazen. There is no escape (for most of us) from 
> > requirement. Just believing in zen is useless. However, even if 
> > just get a tiny sniff of a breakthru' then a kind of  
> > 'knowing' (read - 'not knowing') occurs which surpasses mere 
> > belief. True, this can't be measured objectively, but so what? 
> > know the truth of the taste of a cup of tea, and even tho' it 
> > be measured objectively, you just know - it doesn't matter what  
> > anyone else thinks. Same with zen. You just live your life fully  
> > and hopefully your actions/words will indicate the truth of zen 
> > how deep your zen is. Mike.
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----
> > From: Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> > To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> > Sent: Saturday, 13 September, 2008 9:03:15
> > Subject: [Zen] Re: Antwort: JUDO
> >
> > Al,
> >
> > Everthing you know and feel is based on belief and faith. Even
> > science is based on the belief in cause and effect and faith in 
> > rational capabilities. The belief in enlightenment and the faith
> > that you can achieve it is what gets you started in zen. It's like
> > dangling a carrot in front of a horse, or more accurately a 
> > of a carrot.
> >
> > The concept of enlightenment is indeed an illusion as is 
testified to
> > over and over again in zen literature.
> >
> > The only thing that is not an illusion is Only THIS (Buddha 
> > but the only way you can really know that is to experience it.
> >
> > And to do that all you need to do is sit (zazen) and allow your
> > concept of self to melt away.
> >
> > ...Bill!
> >
> > --- In [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com, "Fitness63" <fitness63@ ..> 
> > >
> > > From: cid830> We can only follow their teachings if we choose to
> > accept
> > > them, regardless of whether or not they actually taught them at
> > all. >
> > >
> > > What we are talking about is the proverbial LEAP OF FAITH that 
> > required
> > > for any belief system, and thus zen, like any other religion or
> > philosophy
> > > requires that the adherent BELIEVE in what may very well be 
> > fiction.
> > >
> > > So is Maya the illusion, or is the actual illusion that
> > enlightenment that
> > > so many strive to achieve and which cannot be objectively 
> > After
> > > all, when a Roshi says that he is enlightened, all we have is 
> > word on
> > > it, and the word of his peers. Can you measure or otherwise 
> > > enlightenment? Is enlightenment itself not an Illusion (Maya)?
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >


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