Kirk,

The below was an interesting read. If I read it correctly. you seem to be 
saying 
that practioners of Zen need to adapt their practice to suit their own 
particular cultural milieu. As someone who is living in Japan, and is reminded 
daily of the chasm between Asian/western thinking, I think I'd have to agree. 
'Zen' is Japanese, but what is at the heart of Zen is not. The change towards a 
more western approach to Zen, however, is slow and incremental and maybe that's 
as it should be. I wonder tho, will a more western approach to Zen include 
it as 
'just' part of a wider, eclectic system of religious/philisophical etc. study 
and practice - or will the efficacy of Zen be diluted by such an approach (the 
traditional Japanese viewpoint).

Mike  




________________________________
.From: salik888 <novelid...@aol.com>
To: zen_fo...@yahoogroups.comto 
Sent: Mon, 13 September, 2010 2:28:50
Subject: Re: [Zen] Practical Mysticism - Evelyn Underhill

  
Dear Ed

I appreciate the affirmation, you never know what is going to be taken out of 
context in the wrong way in the peanut gallery. Nevertheless, at some time, 
later for me than sooner, and really through the Sufis, who have a different 
way 
of explaining psychology, where they break down the levels of delusion and 
attachment, it became clear to me, at least for myself what my overall aim is 
and could be. 


We were talking about mysticism earlier, in my estimation a wholly unproductive 
discussion, since people would be speaking about the end results and their 
definition of this -- enlightenment, cosmic concsiousness, etc . . . The reason 
I bring this up is that it has to do with greed and not realizing first things 
first. If you look at Zen Masters, Texts, and Sufi Masters, you will find 
plenty 
of address about having your mind on the wrong things first -- enlightenment. 
The Sufis would address this as a sort of greed that operates and is furthered 
in the Nafs, The Commmanding Self, that is overlayed with personal experiences, 
wrong education, trauma, prejudices, opinions, and all the seven deadly sins. 
Oftentimes we bring our lower instincts into our practice without ever 
realizing 
it, through worldly conditioning. 


I have witnessed plenty of ego maniacs who are very clear in terms of their 
meditation practice, or their pious dedication to their path, but are as greedy 
as if they were thieves. 


Now, having said that, I realize that I am a thief as well, robbing this and 
taking that. Now we are in the realm of what a Zen Buddhist Master used to talk 
about -- the big doubt. He was not doubting the tradition, but doubting our own 
sincerity and utilization of the tradition. This can be useful, make us human 
and humble . . . keep us from being big shits, big know it alls, big kahunas . 
. 
. there are big kahunas in Zen and big Kahunas in Sufism too, in fact lots more 
in Sufism, since it has a devotional nature to teachers at times. 


I think what is needed sometimes is fresh perspective on an ancient message. 
That is pretty much it. There is really nothing new, and I don't say this to 
bring attention to myself, although there is that, we are all looking for 
attention, or we would be doing something else, but also as a reminder. As the 
Sufis say, we are forgetful people. Remembrance on the path is a useful tool. 
We 
want to keep our practice and path alive and vital, not by rote, fall victim to 
Japanese cultural customs of order and clarity. This is a by-product of Soto 
Zen, and only gets you so far -- a bad imitation of Japanese practitioners. 


At times I am very excited to see the expression of Zen Buddhism in America, it 
appears to be trying to keep the tradition alive and deal with cultural 
conditioning that might not be applicable. Let's keep in mind the expression of 
Chan in China and then Zen in Japan. Once again, the Sufis have addressed this 
thoroughly, in terms of pluralism -- one path, many permissions. 


As anyone might be able to gather my area of practice and specialization has 
been mostly Soto Zen and Sufism. I have delved into the Hermetic traditions 
considerably, as they related to Sufism. I have not joined the Tibetan 
discussion but have found it interesting, since I know very little about the 
Dalai Lama other than he wears glasses and has a nice smile and appears to be 
everywhere. I don't know much about the Basques either, other than Ernest 
Hemingway sure thought they were swell. So hopefully my offerings will serve as 
crumbs to strengthen you heart in the path, nor detract. 


Thank you all for letting me post here . . . 

Donkey is never happy.

K among the permissive

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "ED" <seacrofter...@...> wrote:
>
> 
> 
> Kirk wrote:
> 
> > I think it is safe to say that Zen is a path that addresses the
> > experiential with zazen as its central methodology -- a sort of
> undoing of yourself,
> > the conditioned cultural and experiential part of your personality
> that
> > continuously reacts and feeds your ego.
> >
> > Think of it this way, while you are reading this you are already
> reacting
> > inside in an automatic way. Zen seeks to loosen the bounds of your
> false
> > self and return you to your natural state. Part of the reason why Zen
> > honors spontaneity, clarity, nature and a sense of the primordial
> untouched
> > mother that feeds us all.
> 
> 
> 
> Greetings!
> 
> I resonate strongly with the above statements on zen. Does anyone hold a
> different perspective?
> 
> --ED
> 
> 
> 
> --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, novelidea8@ wrote:
> >
> > Greetings
> >
> > In my estimation there really is no way to assert what Zen is, whether
> you
> > are restricting it to zazen; or opening it to a wider religious and
> > cultural discussion. The best we can do is just admit we fall short
> and perhaps
> > point to our own experience, to presence. Of course we could ask
> ourselves
> > who is being present?
> >
> > So repeating zazen zazen zazen with platitudes to support it, or
> explaining
> > big Zen and little zen, does do much but tell us something about who
> is
> > doing the talking and perhaps who is doing the listening here.
> >
> > I think it is safe to say that Zen is a path that addresses the
> > experiential with zazen as its central methodology -- a sort of
> undoing of yourself,
> > the conditioned cultural and experiential part of your personality
> that
> > continuously reacts and feeds your ego.
> >
> > Think of it this way, while you are reading this you are already
> reacting
> > inside in an automatic way. Zen seeks to loosen the bounds of your
> false
> > self and return you to your natural state. Part of the reason why Zen
> > honors spontaneity, clarity, nature and a sense of the primordial
> untouched
> > mother that feeds us all.
> >
> > In this respect Zen shares a great deal in common with Sufism,
> although the
> > methods might be a great deal different.
> >
> > Best wishes
> >
> > Kirk
>





      

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