Chris,

No need to wait to resume your practice.  What better roshis could you have
than your in-laws?  What better koans could you work on than your Xbox?

...Bill!

From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf
Of cid830
Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2008 11:37 PM
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Zen] Re: 2009 Best Way Pledge

Bill, 

That is why you have my vote for Guru of the Zen Forum. 

When I said I did not want to go around and around with you defining 
terminologies, I really meant that I did not want you to run circles 
around me with your superior knowledge of the subjects at hand. I 
have, once again, exposed my ignorance. I do appreciate this history 
lesson on Zen, I did know all of this at one time, but I tend to 
forget things quite easily (if you read my post on Satori experience 
you might understand why). The lessons that I do remember may be 
subject to the way I want to remember them! Just like the RELIGIONS 
you mention. I understand your belief that these figures are myths. 
Repetitions of teachings of enlightened beings that may or may not be 
true, flavored by cultural (and political?) viewpoints along the way. 
I see more clearly where you are coming from, and like how you 
interpret what are said to be Jesus' sayings. You have my respect and 
I always welcome your Chimes! 

I have begun reading again, and soon hope to resume my practice, just 
not today. Today my in-laws are in town, and tonight some good fights 
are on, and Call of Duty is waiting for me on the Xbox360. But soon, 
very soon!

Thanks again for your time.

Chris

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> Chris, My comments to your recent post are embedded below:
> 
> >Bill,
> >I was hoping you would chime in on that point.
> 
> CHIME! CHIME! CHIME!
> 
> >I know that 
> >often times it's a matter of symmantics or labels that we have to 
> >use to describe what you call JUST THIS!. I really don't want to 
go 
> >around and around defining terminologies.
> 
> Agreed! Semantics are set aside in this post. You can say po-TAY-
toe and
> I'll say po-TAH-toe. 
> 
> >Siddharta Guatama is the 
> >one who found the path to enlightenment (so I have heard).
> 
> Caveat: I believe the story of Siddhartha Gautama is a myth, like 
the story
> of Jesus is a myth. A myth doesn't mean the story is not 'true'. 
A myth
> very often conveys much deeper truths than a 'real' story. I 
believe in
> both cases the myth is based on actual events, but these events may 
not have
> all happened to one person or in even the same era, and 
embellishments have
> probably been made after-the-fact to emphasis or clarify (and maybe
> muddle-up) some points.
> 
> The above caveat notwithstanding, I do not believe Siddhartha 
Gautama was
> the FIRST 'one who found the path to enlightenment', and certainly 
not the
> ONLY one. He happens to be the one on which the Buddhist Religion 
and
> consequently Zen Buddhism was founded.
> 
> >Zen 
> >Buddhism, in my understanding, attempts to re-create that path 
> >through his teachings, while losing alot of the unneccessary dogma 
> >of traditional Buddhism.
> 
> All Buddhism teaches a means to attain a direct perception of 
reality.
> 
> Buddhism has two main divisions: Hinayana (which addresses the 
alleviation
> of suffering) and Mahayana (the path to emptiness). Zen is either
> classified as a sub-set of Mahayana or sometimes a third division 
itself.
> The VAST MAJORITY of the followers of Buddhism practice Hinayana, a 
small
> percentage Mahayana, and a VERY, VERY small percentage practice Zen.
> 
> I agree with you that Zen Buddhism does have less dogma and depends 
less on
> rituals as does the other branches. I'd be careful, however, about 
throwing
> around the term 'unnecessary', since in actuality all of Buddhism is
> unnecessary to having a direct perception of reality. 
> 
> >Was not that 'transmission' at Vulture Peak 
> >preceded by years of strict adherence to the Buddha's teaching of 
> >the path that he followed, as well as the knowledge he had learned 
> >from his enlightenment? That student had trained to be ready for 
> >that moment.
> 
> Siddhartha Gautama's wordless sermon at Vulture Peak is usually 
marked as
> the beginning of what we now call Zen Buddhism. This was proceeded 
by first
> his own winding search for an answer to human suffering, his 
subsequent
> enlightenment, and what are now called his Hinayana teachings and 
then
> Mahayana teachings (and if you want to separate it, finally his Zen
> teachings - Vulture Peak). 
> 
> >You practice zazen, a meditational technique to train yourself 
> >to dissolve the illusion of self. This, IMHO, is the one of the 
> <Buddha's teachings. 
> 
> I do practice zazen. I do think it was the primary technique 
(coupled with
> the koan Mu) which enabled me to have a my first direct experience 
of
> reality. Shikantaza (clear mind) zazen both helped me prepare 
myself for
> the experience, and afterwards helped me incorporate the experience 
into my
> daily life. When I sit zazen now, I sit shikantaza.
> 
> >Which other "religions" recommend this practice?
> 
> Many other religions teach meditation techniques. Christianity 
does. Some
> Christian teachings even instruct the practitioner to meditate or
> contemplate on unknowable qualities such as God's love or 
emptiness, or the
> infinite nuances of a particular Bible verse. 
> 
> <Do you follow (or did you follow) any other teachings to get to 
this 
> <point? 
> 
> I was taught and practiced Christianity throughout my childhood and 
into my
> young adulthood. At one time when I was about 14 or 15 and 
attending a
> Christian Summer Camp I had a very moving religious experience and 
actually
> started thinking about going into the clergy 'when I grew up'. I 
discovered
> Zen Buddhism through reading (Alan Watts) when I was about 16 and 
attended
> an introductory session at the Zen Center of Los Angeles in 1964 
when I was
> 18. After that I increased my activity at the center, my personal
> involvement with the two roshis there, and my real zen practice was 
born.
> 
> Other Zen Buddhist practices I have employed are fasting, chanting 
and sleep
> deprivation. All of these are found in other religions. Other 
religions
> also employ such practices as dancing, singing (like chanting),
> self-flagellation and drugs. 
> 
> >You even acknowlege the Buddha Nature, but you have re-
> >defined it as JUST THIS?
> 
> I renamed Buddha Nature for two reasons. One - I now know this 
quality is
> not EXCLUSIVELY connected with Buddhism so I wanted to use a term 
that did
> not have a Buddhist context. Two - it is my experience so I'll 
call it what
> I want. Tozan called it 'three pounds of flax'. Gutei held up one 
finger.
> Ta Kuang did a dance. I call it 'Just THIS!' Po-TAY-toe, Po-TAH-
toe. Get
> over it! 
> 
> >I agree with you that zen has always been there. Many of these 
> >other religions you mentioned were created to explain JUST THIS in 
> >their own way. But most of them that I have any knowledge of 
profess 
> >that there is a KEEPER of JUST THIS, and you must follow their 
> >teachings to experience it in the AFTER-LIFE. They say to "follow 
my 
> >finger to get to the moon" so-to-speak. I think you may be reading 
> >ALOT into the meaning of Jesus' sayings.
> 
> I do read a lot into the sayings of Jesus. His sayings meant a lot 
to me
> before I found zen, but they mean a lot more to me now. I think my 
zen
> experiences have enabled me to better understand his sayings, or at 
least
> better relate to them. It is the RELIGIONS that have sprung up 
around
> enlightened beings that have made all these caveats - like AFTER-
LIFE.
> Jesus never said that you had to die to go to heaven. He in fact 
said,
> referring to himself (his Buddha Nature) that 'The Kingdom of 
Heaven is at
> hand!' It's here! Right now! I am an embodiment of it. You are 
too!
> 'Seek and you shall find!' 'Knock and it shall be opened unto 
you!'.
> 'Split wood, I am there. Break rock, I am there also.' I really 
don't know
> how much 'reading into' you have to do with these sayings. 
> 
> >Zen Buddhism does not 
> >worship the Buddha, we only show respect for the man for showing 
us 
> >the path. Not the only path, but a significant one nonetheless. It 
> >is my contention that you have followed a Zen Buddhist Path to get 
> >to this point, you do often mention the Buddha's teachings.
> 
> Again, it is the RELIGIONS that teach worship of the originator of 
their
> beliefs. Christianity certainly does in the case of Jesus, but 
Judaism and
> Islam don't teach that their prophets, including Mohammed, are 
deities. And
> also, MOST BUDDHISTS in the world worship Buddha as a God. All 
Buddhists
> here in Thailand do.
> 
> >I had been trying to 'strip' my Zen Buddhist beliefs from zen 
> >for the sake of discussion on this forum. I see that zen means 
> >different things to different people. Honestly, you have 
influenced 
> >me temendously on here and have caused me to re-think my Buddhism 
> >interlaced with my Zen. But, when Mike called me on it, I had to 
> >take a second look at what got me to this point.
> 
> There is really no need for you to strip out the Buddhism from your 
zen
> practice, and as you say there are a lot of good reasons to keep 
it. Do
> whatever you are most comfortable with. Just practice!
> 
> Most of the above responses to your post are written in just plain 
words or
> what I call 'words about zen'. I will respond to your post below 
with what
> I call 'zen words'.
> 
> >Do you practice Zen? Or is it just a concept? I would really 
> >like to know what makes up your practice today.
> 
> When hungry I eat. When tired I sleep. CHIME! CHIME! CHIME!
> 
> Just THIS!
> 
> >With Deepest Regards,
> <Chris 
> 
> As always.Bill!
> 
> P.S. Margie, Did you enjoy the dessert?
>
 

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