Agreed.  Often, we interpret "merit" as a report card.   There is no 
need for that.  It is just another term for "act out" or "giving" 
without expectation...  :-)

Edgar Owen wrote:
>
> JM,
>
>
> I don't think of Zen action as adding up pluses or minuses as the term 
> 'merit' suggests. That may be a useful idea in ordinary Buddhism, but 
> Zen transcends the notion of good or bad.
>
> Edgar
>
>
>
> On Sep 30, 2008, at 10:35 AM, Jue Miao Jing Ming - 覺妙精明 wrote:
>
>> The volume/degree of "act out" or "flow through" is called 
>> "merit"............ There is no merit by just sitting, no matter where..
>>
>> Edgar Owen wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi Margie,
>> >
>> >
>> > Your words "when the dancer becomes the dance" or
>> >> "the poem writes itself." are spot on.
>> >
>> > To my mind there are two levels of Zen. The first is just 
>> > consciousness and realization. The second is active Zen, which is to 
>> > act in the world out of Zen directly. That requires becoming empty of 
>> > self and just letting the flow of chi or tao act through one. That's 
>> > my take on your words which are better than mine in expressing it.
>> >
>> > Best,
>> > Edgar
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > On Sep 30, 2008, at 12:16 AM, roloro1557 wrote:
>> >
>> >> --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Zen_Forum%40yahoogroups.com> 
>> >> <mailto:Zen_Forum%40yahoogroups.com>, mike brown <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 
>> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> > Hi Margie,
>> >> > 
>> >> > Welcome to the forum. My name is Mike and like you I had a
>> >> spontaneous break thru', but unlike you I was fortunate to pick up a
>> >> book literally minutes after my experience (a book on kundalini as it
>> >> happens). Eventually I was led to Zen and so able to put words (as
>> >> such) to my experience. I have found that sitting has helped deepen
>> >> that initial experience, although not in the 'whizz, bang, wallop' way
>> >> that the initial experience occured. It's helped by allowing the daily
>> >> internal chatter to dissapate so that that window of body and mind
>> >> just 'dropping away' (Dogen)opens a little longer. Mike.
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >> Hi Mike-
>> >>
>> >> Thanks for the welcome. And it's good to know that I'm not the only
>> >> one who has had a spontaneous Satori.
>> >>
>> >> If meditation works for you, that's wonderful! If it deepens your
>> >> experience, helps you turn off the internal dialog, and makes your
>> >> life better, then of course you should do it. 
>> >>
>> >> But did you know that there is now evidence from neuro-biology (or is
>> >> it neuro-physics? I forget...) that the ability to "successfully"
>> >> meditate is a matter of wiring? Some people are literally wired for it
>> >> and some are not. Some people physically (for lack of a better word)
>> >> cannot do it. The other evidence is that your body doesn't know the
>> >> difference. In other words 20 minutes of "successful" meditation and
>> >> 20 minutes of sitting quietly with your eyes closed and "daydreaming"
>> >> have the same benefits as far as stress relief, cardio-vascular
>> >> health, etc.
>> >>
>> >> Long before the lightning Satori, when I was growing up in the 70's
>> >> transcendental meditation was all the rage. I tried and tried. I read
>> >> books, I went to gurus, I was given secret mantras, I practiced alone,
>> >> I practiced in groups. All that ever happened to me as far as a
>> >> different state of consciousness is concerned was that I got so
>> >> relaxed I fell asleep. It has just never worked for me. The best way
>> >> for me to turn off the internal dialog is to get really involved and
>> >> engrossed in something...like "when the dancer becomes the dance" or
>> >> "the poem writes itself." I don't know if I'm making myself clear. 
>> >>
>> >> Part of the reason I had kept quiet so long about my experience is
>> >> that I remembered my days when I was trying transcendental meditation
>> >> and all the talk about whether someone had had an "authentic"
>> >> experience, etc. I knew my experience was authentic and I didn't feel
>> >> any need to have it validated or approved of by anyone else. The
>> >> experience was plenty deep and has had a profound effect on my life. 
>> >>
>> >> One of the things I like best about zen is the deep respect for
>> >> individuality, privacy, and the active principle of minding one's own
>> >> business. How can anyone make judgments about someone elses'
>> >> experience? How can I fault anyone for meditating? Not meditating?
>> >> I cannot know their experience. 
>> >>
>> >> So to do zazen or not to do zazen? For me that is not the question.
>> >> The question is: Is whatever you are doing working for you, does it
>> >> resonate, does it feel right, does it make you stronger, help you
>> >> grow? If the answer is yes then I will support you in it with all I've
>> >> got. If the answer is no, then I will try to help you find something
>> >> that does work for you, but only if you want me to. To me, this is one
>> >> of the aspects of compassion that is a natural outgrowth of Satori.
>> >>
>> >> I hope I haven't botched it - words don't always serve well when it
>> >> comes to zen.
>> >>
>> >> Margie (roloro1557)
>> >>
>> >
>> > 
>>
>
>  

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