Dear Bill
 
Well, no doubt much of what you say is true.  Nevertheless, one can't  keep 
from assessing Zen in this manner (mystical), which is a word like  
'spiritual' that has lost its meaning, they both sort of twist in the wind at  
peoples convenience.  Having said that while Zen has much dialogue about  the 
mundane, indeed, in many other traditions the mundane is, everyday, nothing  
special aspect is emphasized as well, particularly in it exoteric  
application.  I don't think we can make the mistake of getting all Zenny  and 
saying 
that Zen is a special case, something wholly different from other  paths . . 
. the obviousness of this speaks for itself . . . While I would agree  that 
Zen puts forth a unique expression of nothing special, emphasizing Zazen  
and Shikan Taza, at the same time that cannot put Zen in a particularly  
advantageous category . . . you might as well start saying that Jesus died for  
our sins if that is the case.  The only thing we can safely assert is well,  
who is making the assertion about nothing special.
 
So I would say that while I don't like the word mystical all that much, Zen 
 Buddhism, at least Soto Zen, which I am familiar with, does have a 
mystical  flavor to it.  
 
Nothing special can't be special because its nothing special and others  
don't know that . . . that whole game is played way to much in the Zen  
Community.
 
best wishes
 
Kirk
 
 
In a message dated 9/8/2010 12:41:27 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
billsm...@hhs1963.org writes:

 
 
 
JMJM,

You bring up a very good question.

According to  Merriam-Webster Online the definitions of these words and my 
opinion as how  they could be applied to zen are:

MYSTICAL
1:a : having a spiritual  meaning or reality that is neither apparent to 
the senses nor obvious to the  intelligence
[Bill!] Zen is not 'spiritual' and is definitely apparent to  the senses, 
so this definition doesn't seem to fit. Zen is however not  obvious, nor even 
accessible as far as I'm concerned, to the  intelligence.
b : involving or having the nature of an individual's direct  subjective 
communion with God or ultimate reality
[Bill!] This is pretty  close, although I would take out the words 
'subjective' and 'God or ultimate'  which leaves 'direct communion with 
reality'.

MYSTICISM
1: the  experience of MYSTICAL union or direct communion with ultimate 
reality  reported by MYSTICS
[Bill!] I could live with this definition. 
2: the  belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate 
reality can  be attained through subjective experience (as intuition or 
insight)
[Bill!]  Again, this is close, but I don't associate Buddha Nature with 
intuition or  insight - although I know in the West these could be used as a 
poor  substitute. 
3:a : vague speculation : a belief without sound  basis
[Bill!] I don't like this one at all.
b : a theory postulating the  possibility of direct and intuitive 
acquisition of ineffable knowledge or  power 
[Bill!] This is pretty close. I like the word 'ineffable'. That  definitely 
fits. I don't like the words 'intuitive, acquisition, knowledge and  power'.

In English, 'mysticism' is generally associated with God or  'hidden' 
knowledge or insight. I associate zen with just everyday stuff. It's  no big 
deal.

...Bill!

From: _zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com_ (mailto:Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com)   
[mailto:_zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com_ (mailto:Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com) ] On  
Behalf Of Jue Miao Jing Ming - ????
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010  2:14 AM
To: _zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com_ (mailto:Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com) 
Subject:  Re: [Zen] Practical Mysticism - Evelyn Underhill

Dear all, 

I  have a question. In Chinese, the Tibetan practice is literally 
translated as  the "Mystic Order", the Chan practice is literally translated as 
the 
"Grand  Mystic Order". Chan is the grand one, because Rong-Shu Patriarch 
brought the  Chan to Tibet and affected their practice.

In Chan 『秘密內證法』 "Mystic  Inner Witness Dharma" means an inward practice 
enabling heart to heart witness  of Buddha. That's all. There is really 
nothing mystic about it.

Is the  term "mystic or mysticism" means the same as the I described above 
or  not?

Much obliged,
_/\_
JMJM

On 9/7/2010 8:13 AM, DP  wrote: 

That's kind of the point of the book. She is trying to bring  mysticism 
down to Earth, as it were. She wants to show that not only monks can  do it.

--- In _zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com_ (mailto:Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com) ,  
<billsm...@...> wrote:
>
> DP,
> 
> I haven't  heard of this book, but it does sound interesting.
> 
> I don't,  however, associate mysticism with zen, or with `seeing the 
world as
> it  is' (which I do associate with zen). How could anyone call that
>  mysticism? Or with spiritualism as so many are wont to do?
> 
>  …Bill!
> 
> From: _zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com_ (mailto:Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com)   
[mailto:_zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com_ (mailto:Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com) ] On  
Behalf
> Of DP
> Sent: Monday, September 06, 2010 9:22 PM
>  To: _zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com_ (mailto:Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com) 
>  Subject: [Zen] Practical Mysticism - Evelyn Underhill
> 
>  
> I recently downloaded this ebook from a public domain site (the book  is
> nearly 100 year old) and I have to say I'm very impressed with it.  
Underhill
> was an ANglo-Catholic, but her main focus is on how anyone  can appreciate
> the mysticism of everyday life by seeing the world as  it is, without
> categorization. I think this sounds very Zen, and I  wonder if anyone else
> had read it.
> 
> 
> 
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-- 
Be  Enlightened In This Life - We ALL Can
_http://chanjmjm.blogspot.com_ (http://chanjmjm.blogspot.com/) 
_http://www.heartchan.org_ (http://www.heartchan.org/) 

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