Anthony and Mike,

I'm jumping into this discussion to say that I still am not getting posts from 
Mike.  I read his post attached to this post (Anthony's) and wanted to say I 
agree with it for the most part.

As for Anthony's questions below:
- Some examples of what an advanced zen practitioner can do are:  wake when 
refreshed, eat when hungry, wash your bowls and sleep when tired.  The 
important part about these are not that they are remarkable, the important part 
about these is when you do them, you DO THEM and ONLY THEM.  You don't think 
about what you're going to do later when you are eating.  When eating, Just 
EAT!  When washing your bowls, Just WASH YOUR BOWLS!  Always, Just THIS!

- The stories you read are just stories - zen stories.  Don't try to 
intellectualize them.  When you read them Just READ!

Read the koan concerning Nanchaun (Nanzen - Jp.) and the cat again.  It's Case 
14 in the GATELESS GATE koan collection.  The part about the monks quarreling 
and the 'killing' of the cat is incidental to the story.  Read the Commentaries 
and Teisho on the case.

Seung Sahn (Soen Sa Nim) was a contemporary Zen Master in the Korean Zen 
Buddhist tradition.  His comparison about sex and a porcupine in a narrow hole 
may have been meant to refer to any type of addiction.  Maybe he had a problem 
with addiction to sex.  His comparison may only apply to him and not to you.  
Again, don't overly intellectualize his words, and no matter WHO the author of 
a quote is, even Gautama Siddhartha Buddha, the quotes are just words, may be 
misquoted or awkwardly interpreted, and may or may not apply to you.  In any 
event YOU are the one who must discovery Buddha Nature and then you burn all 
your books.

The other two examples you cite are just extreme examples of Compassion, a 
trait that is stressed in Buddhism and is inherent in Buddha Nature.

Mike,  I am not getting your posts via email from  
If you post something you REALLY REALLY want me to read, please either copy me 
on the email or send me an alert that you've posted something.  My email 
address I use for the forum is


From: [] On Behalf Of 
Anthony Wu
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 5:44 AM
Subject: Re: [Zen] Re: The Reason For God

Please give me specific examples of what an advanced zen practitioner can do, 
after 'breaking through belief systems and acting beyond ego'.
I have read:
-  Zen Master Nanchuan killed a cat, because it caused a serious quarrel 
between two groups of monks.
-  Zen Master Sohng Sahn (died a couple of years ago) compared having sex to a 
porcupine getting into a narrow hole (too addictive to get out).
-  Monks practisin zen wash their bowls, after having rice, with tea, then dry 
them, so that no water is used to save that precious resource..
-  A monk licks maggots on a wound of a dog, for fear of hurting the maggots 
and the dog (this may be a myth, but is representative of certain thinkings)
What do you think of them?

--- On Tue, 13/1/09, mike brown <> wrote:
From: mike brown <>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Re: The Reason For God
Date: Tuesday, 13 January, 2009, 6:15 PM
Hi Al,

This is not true of Zen at all. A person in a society usually adopts the 
beliefs, moral, ethics that have been passed down to him/her. There is nothing 
inherently true in those beliefs. Often a person will face a situation which 
demands he act in accordance with his society's moals/religious beliefs but 
which creates a conflict with his individual conscience. This in turn creates a 
constant 'mulling' over of the situation eg, is it 'just', good or bad etc. 
This is the very thing Zen stands against because this constant thinking and 
rationalising comes from an ego at war with itself and the moral beliefs of 
society (such beliefs are more often than not an obstruction to executing an 
immediate action). A Zen-aware person has broken thru the belief system of his 
culture and has become a 'master' of himself and so acts instantly with no 
thought of what is 'just', good/bad according to a hegemonic system that comes 
from outside of himself. 

So, a person acting from the Zen standpoint is far from amoral. They are always 
open, present, balanced and acting beyond ego. It is the taking away of a 
belief in morals that creates this state (enlightenment) but which produces 
behaviour that could be called 'moral' as viewed by most of the worlds major 


--- On Tue, 13/1/09, fitness4u2163 <fitness1963@> wrote:

Anthony Wu > Karma is the best thing to ensure moral values. As soon 
as they hear about moral values, many will say we are just dogmatic. >

It is disturbing to me that many who want to practice zen think it is 
some amoral system to ease their conscience every day so they can do 
evil to others while feeling a sense of peace and happiness. 

Get your preferred Email name! 
Now you can and

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