Kirk
 
Fascinating stuff you write, it's really grabbed my attention. I look forward 
to reading more of your posts.
 
Rose

--- On Wed, 9/15/10, salik888 <novelid...@aol.com> wrote:


From: salik888 <novelid...@aol.com>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Practical Mysticism - Evelyn Underhill
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 4:03 PM


  



Dear Rose

Glad you liked the sharing. I stop a while in this Caravansarai, this Zendo, to 
sip tea and see the travelers come and go . . . 

Kind of reminds me of the bar scene in Star Wars . . .

I think I saw Bobo Fet come through the door.

best wishes

Kirk

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Rose P <things_r...@...> wrote:
>
> Hi Kirk
>  
> I really enjoy reading the poetry of Rumi. I don't know a lot about Sufism 
> but it certainly looks interesting.
>  
> Rose
> 
> --- On Tue, 9/14/10, salik888 <novelid...@...> wrote:
> 
> 
> From: salik888 <novelid...@...>
> Subject: Re: [Zen] Practical Mysticism - Evelyn Underhill
> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 5:32 PM
> 
> 
>   
> 
> 
> 
> Dear Bill
> 
> The Imam behind the controversial Islam Community Center is a Sufi, and he 
> has done some good things to further and mediate tensions in the past with 
> education and a more pluralistic viewpoint, or so it seems. I don't know much 
> about him, but do know that he is Sufi and used to come on Cable News and put 
> forth a moderate position, which means nothing -- that's politics.
> 
> On the other hand, Sufism in the West, as well as the East I assume, has been 
> suffering from decades of competing with the Salafi (Wahabi) expression of 
> Islam. Also, it has had a difficult history with legalism in Shia Islam as 
> well. For whatever reason what I call "The Super Sufis" spend much of their 
> time winking and nodding toward the universal expression and reality of 
> Sufism but putting forth that there is no Sufism without Islam, so they make 
> it contained within Islam, specifically. They do all this with legalistic 
> proofs and historical assertions that all the great Sufis were followers of 
> Islamic Shariah, Muftis, Muslim Saints, Hadith Scholars, what have you. They 
> take great care to trace the Silsila (Orders/Tariqa) back to the Prophet 
> Muhammad, peace be upon him. 
> 
> Of course, any impartial objective sociological rational investigation of 
> this will show otherwise -- that Sufism was a reality without a name before 
> and in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and that, since it is not a 
> Religion perse, it operated within Dar Al Islam once Islam was the religion 
> of the people as Esoteric Schools that had a variety of Religious 
> practitioners. You could say it preceded Bahai in its Universalism. It also 
> had connections to Hermetic, Gnostic, Zorastrian, and Christian wanderers. 
> Sufism is about personal transformation (alchemy) and the symbolism of The 
> Bees, among many other things. It is a school without a schoolhouse offering 
> -- poetry, sober mystics, drunken mystics, magistrates, wanderers, musicians, 
> merchants, philosophers, metaphysicians, psychologists, warriors, etc . . . 
> So there really are not any contradictions with Sufism in the realm of Islam, 
> as well as Christianity, Judaism, Zen, Tibetan Buddhism,
 Shiavite
> Vedanta, Vedanta, etc . . . many of the great Sufi teachers in India held 
> dual citizenships. Hazrat Inayat Khan, one of the first Sufi teachers in the 
> West had a Hindu Guru as well as involvement in Four Major Sufi Orders. I 
> guess the closest we have in the West is the old associations of Freemasonry. 
> At least there are close parrallels, in fact many believe that Freemasonry 
> came from Sufi Origins.
> 
> So, current Sufi Scholarship in the West and the rising immigration to the 
> West has created a Sufi that is much more inclined to compete with the 
> decayed forms of Imamism, Wahhabism, Salafism -- in short, false Sufism. 
> 
> Bill -- 
> 
> My connection to Sufism was at first that I was coming out of Zen Buddhist 
> background. Of course I had been raised by Christians. It was from Zen 
> Buddhists that I first heard about the Sufis. When I delved into the study of 
> it one thing lead to another and then pretty soon I was amongst most Middle 
> Easterners practicing Islamic Sufism and following of Shariah. For those 
> years I practiced nominally as a Muslim Sufi -- salat, ramadan, mosque on 
> friday, gatherings for zikr (chanting), study of fiqh (legal), instructions 
> in shariah, and Quran study, with some Arabic, enough to recite prayers and 
> practice daily, and chant the shorter Surahs (chapters of Quran). 
> 
> However, probably because of having the Zen background, and because of the 
> inconsistencies in my studies, I began to see something seriously wrong. As I 
> studied the Poets, some Scholars, and the history of what most were 
> practicing, and the mindless devotion to the Shaykhs and authority that many 
> so called Dervishes (students) displayed, I came to the conclusion that I had 
> to leave the practice of Islam and take up the implementation of Sufism. I 
> realized almost everyone I was coming in contact with was just operating 
> under some kind of quasi-Religious affiliation that said they were and are 
> the "True Islam" and that was the "real Sufism" . . . So I left. There was 
> not much difference between who I was interacting with and Pentecostal 
> nutcases on television. The Order I was apart of even began doing initiation 
> online by putting your hands on screen and teaching that we were in the end 
> of times so blessings were needed for so many. Of course no one
 knows
> anything about their bank accounts I am sure. Basically it was all Religious 
> exploitive excesses by people dressing up in turbans and sufi clothes . . .
> 
> We were talking about merchandizing and cultural vampirism, right? Same 
> thing. I was looking for study and serious people, for the most part I got -- 
> "the Shaykh is going to be here, the Shaykh is going to be there, the Shaykh 
> said this, the Shaykh said that . . . " And then there was the kissing of the 
> ring. I had to leave.
> 
> First things first, Sufism calls the teacher to you, not you to the teacher. 
> There is a great deal of preparation in first things first before you are 
> even ready for a Sufi teacher. It is not a wider application and expression, 
> it is purely esoteric and has very little to do with democratic ideals or 
> eastern authoritarian excessess. But westerners gobble this shit up, trust 
> me. 
> 
> So, I am left with my Sufi studies, curriculum, a few teachers, my ongoing 
> approach to the two subjects -- Zen and Sufism. It appears that my life has 
> been very much about these two paths. In my estimation, choosing would not be 
> possible, and would only be superficial. I certainly have been associated 
> with Soto Zen Buddhism longer, and have practiced and studied Zen Buddhism 
> longer. They both have incredible implementation and possibilities in the 
> west. 
> 
> For anyone interested you could take a look at the following organizations 
> that were began by Sufis in the west. Of course the Religionists continuously 
> tell their followers they are the false teachers. But by their fruits they 
> shall be known, right? Take a look at the current controversy -- while the 
> Imam has his right to put the Community Center there, you have to question 
> his judgements. 
> 
> http://ishkbooks.com/books/index.html
> 
> http://www.beshara.org/
> 
> Interestingly enough, it is the Gurdjieffians in their own way that have kept 
> Sufi teaching models alive, which is whole other subject. This has been my 
> experience . . . Sufism really is an Esoteric School that operates with 
> current cultural realities. The Fourth Way schools, the real ones, still do 
> this. 
> 
> And then of course, we are back to Zen, which I am glad to return to as much 
> as I can.
> 
> Appreciate the opportunity to post and to teach a little, shed some light, 
> etc . . . 
> 
> What we were talking about in terms of commercialization of Eastern Wisdom is 
> addressed particularly within my tradition -- they focus on education, 
> children's literacy, thinking, cognitive patterns, business, pyschology, 
> sociology, politics, service, health, etc . . . it is truly a whollistic 'in 
> the world but not of the world' application. That is clearest expression of 
> what Sufism is -- you work in the world in an esoteric manner, share where 
> you can, and let your life be your message . . . 
> 
> How does this begin? The beginning of the path is -- manners . . . you have 
> perfect manners and take that into the world.
> 
> But, well, donkey is never happy.
> 
> Nasrudin Story
> 
> Nasruddin put up with the school for some months. After he left, he bought 
> his wife some new suits and things for the home and found that he still had 
> enough for a bicycle. A neighbour, passing by, said, "That is a fine bike, 
> Hodja. Where are you going to go on it?" "Well," replied Nasruddin, I still 
> have to give that some more thought, but I can tell you where I am not going."
> 
> K among the stable feeders
> 
> --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, <BillSmart@> wrote:
> >
> > Kirk,
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > I heard the imam behind the controversial Islam Community Center near
> > `Ground Zero' in NYC is a Sufi Muslim.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Sufism is described as a mystical practice within Islam - a subset of Islam
> > just as most people would classify Zen as a subset of Mahayana Buddhism
> > which of course is a subset of Buddhism. Is that how you see it? Is that
> > how you practice it?
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Thanks...Bill!
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
> > Of salik888
> > Sent: Monday, September 13, 2010 9:16 PM
> > To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
> > Subject: Re: [Zen] Practical Mysticism - Evelyn Underhill
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Dear Mike
> > 
> > Good questions and good post. It is interesting that perhaps we have come to
> > a little of the same conclusions, only I derived it from an impact of
> > Japanese Soto and Rinzai Zen Buddhism in America and you are seeing the
> > reality of culture and the inner life of Zen in Japan.
> > 
> > To a certain extent, I would have to say that while the Japanese intentions
> > probably would automatically be implementing and apply the Zen (Tradition),
> > I would not say this is entirely true. I will explain. But before I do,
> > having said that, I would like to point out something derived from the
> > Perennialist/Traditionalist School of Comparative Religion, which is a
> > Philosophical and Metaphysical overview of Ancient Traditions perse -- that
> > on an exoteric level, the outward manifestation of the Tradition, of course
> > the Japanese would be closer to this reality, although the West could and
> > should be doing this as well. So, I would say that Zen is in good hands with
> > the Japanese under the onslaught of post modernist times and Secularism,
> > which steam rolls everything in the name of progress. On the other hand,
> > Zen, the esoteric, which is what is essential, the inner life, this no
> > culture can place any claim to. It is the reality and the slipperiest of
> > fish to obtain -- as the Sufis say, the kernal and the kernal. 
> > 
> > In the case of Americans or Westerner plundering the Tradition of Zen. I
> > think that is two answers -- first, there are some who have kept up the
> > Traditions of Soto and Rinzai very well, but expressing a natural sense of
> > American Transcendentalism. We sort of have our own secrets and gnostics
> > inherent in our experience. That is culture and the Tradition, like the
> > differences between Chinese Chan and Japanese Zen. And then of course there
> > has been those that have expressed an anything goes sort of Zen, or Zen and
> > this and Zen and that. So, in short, I don't think Zen Buddhism is under
> > anymore attack in America than Japan, at least on the esoteric level. 
> > 
> > I do think there is a possibility in both Japan and the West for any
> > Tradition, whether that be Sufis or Zen, for it to continuously be under
> > attack from Secularism and syncretism. This is post modern information age
> > times. In some sense it is what is wrong at the heart of the Middle East . .
> > . not only is Islam fighting the Secular West, but more importantly they are
> > fighting themselves, in terms of post modern times. Technological and
> > Western individualism and syncretism has made advances on their civilization
> > (traditional culture)and they are having a sort of nighmarish reform that we
> > are all witnessing. Trust me, it probably was not much fun in Europe for
> > many during the upheaval post Reformation. 
> > 
> > So, in perspective Zen is alive and well. It offers a good Tradition and
> > leans on its pluralistic expression. The Sufis do likewise, however they are
> > on the run in Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two major power brokers in Middle
> > Eastern culture. When the Sufis can practice again in Mecca, you will know
> > that its all turned for the better. But in the case of Zen, and even in
> > China, which I hear Buddhism is flourishing after all these years, as I
> > said, I think the prospects look good.
> > 
> > best wishes
> > 
> > Kirk
> > 
> > --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Zen_Forum%40yahoogroups.com> , mike
> > brown <uerusuboyo@> wrote:
> > >
> > > 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 isÂ
> > 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.Â
> > study 
> > > and practice - or will the efficacy of Zen be diluted by such an approach
> > (the 
> > > traditional Japanese viewpoint).
> > > 
> > > Mike  
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > ________________________________
> > > .From: salik888 <novelidea8@>
> > > To: Zen_Forum@ 
> > > Sent: Mon, 13 September, 2010 2:28:50
> > > Subject: Re: [Zen] Practical Mysticism - Evelyn Underhill
> > > 
> > > Â 
> > > 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 <mailto:Zen_Forum%40yahoogroups.com> ,
> > "ED" <seacrofter001@> 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 <mailto:Zen_Forum%40yahoogroups.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
> > > >
> > >
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > __________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature
> > database 5448 (20100913) __________
> > 
> > The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.
> > 
> > http://www.eset.com
> >
>









      

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