Anthony, All morals and ethics are PERSONAL. They apply ONLY TO YOU. You cannot project them on others.
So, when in the post below you ask, 'But what if they don't [know right from wrong]?', and when you also cite an example of a doctor who tries to help dogs and ends up getting bitten, you are coming from the perspective of a TEACHER who seeks to teach OTHERS. In that respect, my answer is as long as YOU'VE done what YOU KNOW to be RIGHT, you've done all that you can do. You're teaching by example, the only real way to teach anything. Just keep doing what you know is right. If, however, you're real question is 'How do 'I' know right from wrong?', or 'How can 'I' learn right from wrong?', then that's a different matter. (CAVEAT: I'll use the terms 'right and wrong' in this post, but in actuality these concepts are maya.) The short answer to that question is 'you already know'. You already know what to do in any situation - this is your Buddha Nature. Borrowing a quote from a non-zen source to support this I offer a passage from the book PHAEDRUS by Plato: "And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good? Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?" Most religions do not give YOU the assurance that YOU have this knowledge. Older religions looked to worldly signs to tell them what to do. They observed the behavior of birds and fish and animals, or the shapes of wisps of smoke, or tea leaves or the entrails of dead cats. They made up processes to help them like the system of the I-Ching. They altered themselves so they could better make these decisions. They refrained from sex and food and sleep, castrated themselves, ingested hallucinogenics of all kinds, beat themselves, allowed poisonous snakes to bite them, went into trances. They did all this because they did not think or were not confident that they, in their everyday existence, could tell right from wrong. More modern religions point to 'holy scriptures', like the Bible or Sutras as the source for this knowledge. Most also go further by developing handy little Cliff Notes-like versions of this knowledge. Examples of these are the Buddhist Precepts (5 or 8 or 10 - depending on whether you're a lay or clerical Buddhist - as if being lay or clerical matters!), the 4 Bodhisattva Vows, the Old Testament Bible's 10 Commandments, or even the New Testament's 1 Commandment (Love one another). These are all suitable for printing out on wallet-sized cards that you can carry around with you in case you need to know just what to do in a specific, and perhaps very tricky, situation - but have unfortunately forgotten the rules. A flash-card is more convenient to carry around than a rattlesnake. There's probably even an 800 number access to a Right and Wrong Hotline somewhere - operators are waiting! I'm telling you, YOU ALREADY KNOW! This is your face before your mother was born! This is the cypress tree in the courtyard! This is three pounds of flax! (And in Al's case - this is dried shit on a stick!) This is your Buddha Nature! All you need to do is relax and allow yourself to experience it. And one thing that helps you do that is zazen - just sitting, no thoughts, no fears, no self - Just THIS! (Another thing that seems to help is a lightning strike, but if I were you - and I am - I'd suggest we go with zazen.) You just need to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and your innate ability to know right and wrong, BE CONFIDENT IN YOURSELF AND YOUR JUDGEMENT, and DON'T BE AFRAID TO ACT. Don't get frozen up. Don't over-think things. One more thing... Next time ask an easier question, like 'which direction should I face when sitting?' or 'what color cushion works best?'. I do best at responding to those. ...Bill! From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Anthony Wu Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 7:56 PM To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [Zen] Re: Zen and Accountability Hi Margie, This is a very moving story. I hope things will always work out like that. But what if they don't? Please note I am not contradicting you. Please don't be offended. My question is what if the 'bad' student keeps stealing with no repentence. Did you read Mark Twain about a doctor that heals a wounded dog. The dog brings another dog the next day. The doctor again cures it. But the following day, the two dogs bring four dogs. etc, until the poor doctor is sorrounded by a large number of them and is bitten by them. We all like a happy ending. Sometimes we may not have it. Regards, Anthony --- On Sun, 5/10/08, roloro1557 <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: From: roloro1557 <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Subject: [Zen] Re: Zen and Accountability To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Date: Sunday, 5 October, 2008, 6:21 PM Hi Chris :-) Glad you liked my post. Here is one of my favorite zen stories about morality: A student was caught stealing and his fellows asked master Bankei to expel him from the community. The master ignored the request, but the student stole again. The others drew up a petition demanding his expulsion, stating that otherwise they would all leave. Bankei called them together and said, "You are wise, my friends. You know right from wrong. You can go somewhere else to study, but this poor fellow- who will teach him if I do not? I must keep him as my student even if the rest of you leave." The student who had stolen was overcome with tears and never stole again. Margie (roloro1557) --- In [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com, "cid830" <summitjags@ ...> wrote: > > Good Post Margie! > --- In [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com, "roloro1557" <roloro1557@ > wrote: > > > It's not very enlightened of me, I know, but I'm sorry I started > this > part of the thread. I don't want to make anyone feel bad for > believing > whatever they believe. I don't want to be misunderstood or made out > a > monster for believing what I believe. I mean no offense to anyone by > anything written here. > > How to explain. . . . . ________________________________________ New Email names for you! Get the Email name you've always wanted on the new @ymail and @rocketmail. Hurry before someone else does! __________ NOD32 3494 (20081003) Information __________ This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system. http://www.eset.com ------------------------------------ Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are reading! Talk about it today!Yahoo! 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