--- 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
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
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
> 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.
FROM: Over the hills and far away. . .
Don't wobble. Yunmen
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