Mayka,

Thank you for your very candid and profound post.  I appreciate your 
sharing with the forum your admiration for Thich Nhat Hanh.  You are 
representing him and his teachings very, very well.

Please remember that I don't get your posts in my email, and I don't 
always check the website.  So, if you have a post you want to direct 
specifically to me or to assure my awareness of the post, please 
email it to me directly as you have in the past.

My comments are embedded in your post below:

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Mayka" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> Bill;
> 
> I have no idea if Thich Nhat Hanh is a self proclaimed Buddhist or 
> not.  Knowing him a little bit I can not see him doing any 
> proclamation about anything for he's a very wise, sweet, humble 
> profoundly peaceful man.  I know about him that he has turn round 
the 
> dharma wheel and created a new way slightly different way tradition 
> from the tradition he comes from.  This is natural, the dharma is 
> something alive which comes first from guiding books and education 
> and becames through daily direct experience practice a living 
dharma. 
> I can say for sure about him that whatever he teaches is something 
> that he has experienced first by himself. He won't ever talk about 
> something that he has not experienced first.  In fact one amongst 
his 
> multi remarkable skills is to reduce to the minimum the use of 
words 
> that can create distraction in the mind and using words that are 
very 
> simple but a smack to the intelectual mind, individualism and ego. 
A 
> person who is looking for sophisticated discourses and candy words 
> would find Thic Nhat Hanh tedious and boring.   Or on the other 
hand, 
> a perosn who can also be intelectual but has reached to conclusion 
> that intelectuality can be a boundary when this is not used in the 
> appropiate way, then that person, if receptive enough, would find 
> Thich Nhat Hanh a very enlightened person. 
>
> My direct experience about him is that he is a living Buddha.  I 
can 
> sense, touch and see that in all his body language, his living 
> dharma, his energy, in each action he does.... When he pass on his 
> dharma he doesn't pass on just words but also pass on his direct 
> experience about it!.  So the words become like something very 
lively 
> and real in him.  He never talks about something that he has not 
> experiencing first by himself.
>
 
Thank you again for your vivid description of Thich Nhat Hanh and 
your impression of him.  He is honored to have you as a student.

One of the things you've said above rings especially true for this 
forum: living dharma cannot be expressed by words alone - especially 
in only written text.  It's only from face-to-face contact with some  
as you describe that you can fully appreciate their total absorption 
in the dharma.

> The tradition he teaches I'm not sure but I'm under the impresion 
> that has its roots in Mahayana Buddhism.  
>

Zen Buddhism does have it's roots in Mahayana Buddhism.  Some beleive 
Zen is a type of Mahayana Buddhism, and some beleive Zen is the 
evolution (culmination) of Mahayana Buddhim and is a branch of its 
own.  I assum Thich Nhat Hanh being Vietnamese would have grown up 
under the influence of Theravada Buddhism, but anyway Theravada is 
not mutually exclusive from Mahayana Buddhsim.

As you and I both know and have said repeatedly, none of these names 
or terms are really important.  I usually only bring these up in 
response to someone else's post referring to some specific type of 
Buddhism.  I'm not really overly concerned with Buddhism.  All you 
Buddhists can give it what ever names, and divide it up into whatever 
categories you want.

> I have never hear before zen without the influence of buddhism or 
> having as buddhism in its root. Interesting also the simplicity you 
> seem to follow your own practice.
>

I know what you say is true.  Most people (99.9%?) inextricably 
assocaiate zen and Buddhism.  Some think it is just one of the many 
branches of Buddhism.  Some, like the Vispassana Buddhists here in 
Thailand, think Zen is not a part of Buddhism at all - more like a 
cult, a derranged and impure psuedo-Buddhism.  Some think of Zen as 
the culmination of all Buddhism - the most pure form.

I think of zen as pre-dating Buddhism, Hinduism, Judiasm, 
Christianity and all other religions.  I think of zen as the core of 
most other religions, and these other religions, including Buddhism, 
are zen with a lot of extra crap stuck all over it.  In a lot of the 
religions the extra crap is so thick that the zen core is totally 
obsucured.  I do think that in Zen Buddhism, even with all the crap 
attached, at least the zen core is recognizable and accessible. 

>I like from it [Bill's zen practice] how direct is and 
> its simplicity.  I also like from it how open is to criticism, and 
> the fact that one can talk  about positve things and negative 
things 
> happening to one in a very open way. In constrast to the profound 
> wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh I have always found difficult to relate 
> myself in the non monastic sanghas due to its kind of Disneyland 
way 
> of doing. I certainly share with you that as a practicioner I don't 
> like to wave but to deal with what it comes as it comes alone. 
> Though, I do lack of the mental stability over my emotions and 
> solidity you seem to have.  
>
 
I also feel a close connection with you, even though we often 
disagree, or at least seem to disagree.  I respect your perspective 
and enjoy your posts.

> You say that you practice from the perspective "Just This".  
But "Just
> This" can not exist without "Just That".
>

Your statement above is actually true.  As soon as you say 'this', 
you imply there is a 'that'.  This is a good example of dualistic 
thinking, but something that is all but impossible to extract from 
our language. Language ASSUMES and is based on dualism.  This is why 
zen masters often refrain from giving language-based answers to 
questions like 'What is Buddha Nature?'.  As soon as you open your 
mouth to speak, you're lost.  So what do they do?

Sometimes they do use language, but in such a non-ordinary way that 
the listener cannot take their reponose literaly.  Examples of these 
are 'mu', or 'the cypress tree in the garden', or 'dried shit on a 
stick'.  Sometimes they just yell something that is not a word at 
all, like 'Katz!' or 'Wah!'.  Since these are not words they cannot 
be misunderstood.  Sometimes they don't speak but just slap the 
floor, or turn around and walk away.  They do avoid using ordinary 
langauage if at all possible.

If you and I were face-to-face and your were to ask me about Buddha 
Nature I would not say 'Just THIS!'.  I would demostrate Buddha 
Nature.  The best way I figured out how to do this in writing like on 
this forum is to type Just THIS!
 
> zen or buddhism are not bigger or smaller.  They may be different 
> ways in which the dharma is transmitted and nothing else.
>

When I say zen is smaller than Buddhism, I mean zen is the core and 
Buddhism (or Hinduism or Christianity) is the packaging.  Like zen is 
the marrow and Buddhsim is the bone which contains but hides the 
marrow, or maybe even Buddhism is the entire body.  It's hard to get 
to the marrow if you have to hack through the body and the bone.
 
> I'm truly happy to see you active in the list.  Sorry if we can't 
> help oneselves by letting you lurking.  I suppose we all miss you 
> very much.  The zen forum is not the same without you, JM, Mike, 
> Edgar....
> 
> A respectuos bow to you
> Mayka
>
 
El gusto es mio...

...Bill!


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