Hi Mike- --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, mike brown <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > Thanks for your email. As always you write very eloquently. > I haven't read that in Alan Watts, but I think he's > absolutely correct. How many non-Buddhist Zen practitioners > do you know who look really good on paper, but if they get > a toothache or are criticised their whole 'house of cards' > comes tumbling down? I know quite a few.
Agreed:-) But to be fair, a rip-roaring toothache is enough to put anyone off their game (seriously). Also I know lots of people who's house of cards tumbles down under criticism, not just non-buddhist zen practitioners. Criticism activates the insecurities and puts the ego on red alert. I once knew a psychologist who talked about "belief structures." He was fond of saying "The acronym for belief structure is B.S., and we all know what B.S. stands for!" I think he had a good point. Ah yes, little ego, problem child. But I always try to remember the ego has a lot in common with James Brown- the ego is the hardest working part of the psyche. I try to remember that egos really do need love and compassion too - even my own. > Yes, the Eight Precepts are the 'standard' ones in > Buddhism. I'm not sure if they're used so much to keep > people grounded after realisation (zazen should be taking > care of that), but rather that it's difficult to sit in > meditation if you've just broken a precept (eg, stolen or > killed something). Similarly with the others (right thinking, > right livelihood etc) - it's difficult to mediatate or be > mindful if you've just sold drugs to a teenager or been > perving on your friend's husband/wife or gossiping about them > etc. Is it difficult because of guilt? Or some other preoccupation with the transgression? Yes, these questions are partly rhetorical, but they are partly serious as well. It seems like a no-brainer to me that it would be difficult to meditate or be mindful after killing something or selling drugs to a teenager (and I'm not being a smart-alic), it seems to me it would be hard to concentrate on much of anything. That is, at least, for some people. That is the interesting thing about morals (precepts)- the people who "need" them the most don't see any value in them or follow them. Again, I'm not trying to be a smart-alic. I know many people (myself included) who don't follow any precepts or other moral code that would never sell drugs to a teenager or sleep with a friend's husband or wife. On the other hand I can also see how precepts could be an aid to mindfulness. > To sit zazen as a regular practice and follow the precepts > (I believe) helps to transform the self andkeep it that > way. Enlightenment is a moment to moment 'experience' and > therefore it is easy to backslide back into samsara (for > want of a better word). I think many people have had a > glimpse of their true nature, but then make the mistake of > thinking that they now 'have it' permanantely. Ability to > write academic treatises about consciuosness, chi, time, > causality doesn't replace the need to periodically > sit zazen/shikentaza and just BE. This is where zen is > watered, nurtured and flowers. But just try and do this > if you don't at least try to follow the precepts. I hope > this made sense to you. If what you are saying is that "enlightenment" is a process, I wholeheartedly agree. The only difference is that I think there are more ways to do the process than just zazen and precepts. I could very well be wrong. I should say now, I have a personal problem with religion. It's just something that's not right for me. You seem quite sane and sincere and I very much enjoy talking with you and hearing your point of view. Margie (roloro1557) -------------------------------------- FROM: Over the hills and far away. . . Don't wobble. Yunmen OldWomansZenChronicles.blogspot.com ------------------------------------ Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are reading! Talk about it today!Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zen_Forum/ <*> Your email settings: Individual Email | Traditional <*> To change settings online go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zen_Forum/join (Yahoo! ID required) <*> To change settings via email: mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/