Hi Bill; Thank you for your post and also for the reminder of the spell checker which I hardly ever used!. Perhaps this is because the additional spell checker of the yahoo mail is not very good and can't add or subtract anything on it. May I ask you what spell checker do you use?. Don't worry about spelling correctly or incorrectly my name. In real life here in Scotland, there are many people who can't even pronounce it correctly. So some people call me Maya, Mika, Mayko, Maikio, Maka.....It's understandable as Mayka is amongst the variety of short name of Maria Carmen in Vasque Language and also the way my family calls me. Questions If a person knows in advance that the mind will be entangled with whatever given koan, why to get over to all that trouble over and over again with different koans?. Why to keep given more koans if the result will always be the same?. Though, I can understand that in all that process the practitioner is having the mind concentrated into something that is giving a headache and finally finds a release in letting the koan go. At the same time if the student let the koan go, what is the response that should give to the Teacher asking to resolve the koan?. And how it comes that the Teacher gives a next koan?. How does the Teacher knows that? I suppose as in all zen experience is difficult for me to understand the koan part because I've ever worked or have a Teacher who gave me those complicated koans. Though there is a recent koan (if one wants to call that as such) given by TNH and that is: "This is a happy moment".
--- On Sat, 9/10/10, billsm...@hhs1963.org <billsm...@hhs1963.org> wrote: From: billsm...@hhs1963.org <billsm...@hhs1963.org> Subject: RE: [Zen] New member. To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Date: Saturday, 9 October, 2010, 10:43 Mayka, (by the way, speaking of misspellings, I have a hard time not spelling your name as ‘Makya’ – I don’t know why that is. I actually had to add the proper spelling of your name to my Spellchecker to make sure I get it right…) You ask very good questions and I’ll try to answer: I have a question: If the goal of the koans is to lead the student to the non discriminative mind and to drop the thinking, what is the point of giving such a nonsense koans that leads to more entanglement in the mind?. [Bill!] The short answer to your question is the discriminating mind needs to be entangled so that it can no longer function. The purpose of a koan is indeed to assist in stopping the activities of the discriminating mind. This is the mind that creates all illusions, but most fundamentally the illusion of duality – self/not-self (or other). The way a koan does this is to give your discriminating, rational mind something to work on that is non-logical. Something that cannot be reasoned out. You (your discriminating mind) tries and tries, and finally gives up and shuts down. This could be because it gets frustrated or tired or maybe just bored – I don’t know why really, but I know from experience this can finally happen. When it does happen and all thinking stops, Buddha Mind appears - or perhaps ‘is revealed’ is better since Buddha Mind was there all the time but in the background, being obscured by the much more active, attention-grabbing discriminating mind. Is it no much more simple and easier to just sit down and breath in awareness of the in and out breathing?. In a way that every time a thought, sensation, mental formation, any kind of distraction...arises one goes back to the awareness of the breathing. [Bill!] Yes, this is much more simpler and direct. This is the usual teaching advice of Soto Zen. What you are describing is exactly how a zen master would instruct you to sit shikantaza (clear mind). The more you practise what you’ve described, the less often thoughts arise and the more clear mind (Buddha Mind) persists. If you use ‘getting wet’ as a simile for ‘enlightenment’ or ‘awareness of Buddha Mind’, I’ve heard the differences between the use of teaching of just shikantaza and the use of koans to be this: - Soto Zen and shikantaza is like being lead out into a peaceful garden and left to walk around in a soft mist or very gentle rain. You get wet so gradually you don’t even notice it until you come inside and someone points it out to you. - Renzai Zen and koan study is like someone giving you a little puzzle to solve, and then while you’re working on it they sneak up behind you and push you into a lake. You’re immediately soaked and come up out of the water gasping for air and wondering ‘what just happened to me?’. The experience is then smoothed out and more fully integrated with further koan study. Hope this helps answer your questions…Bill! --- On Sat, 9/10/10, billsm...@hhs1963.org <billsm...@hhs1963.org> wrote: From: billsm...@hhs1963.org <billsm...@hhs1963.org> Subject: RE: [Zen] New member. To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Date: Saturday, 9 October, 2010, 2:17 Mayka, I’ve studied under both Renzai and Soto masters. Generally speaking, Renzai uses koans and Soto only shikantaza (clear-mind meditation). The culmination of both teachings is shikantaza. Koans are just teaching techniques or tools used to help you stop your discriminating mind so you can be clearly aware of Buddha Nature. Some Soto schools do, however, employ koans. The teacher I ended my formal training with had teaching credentials (Inca) from masters in both Soto and Renzai schools. He tailored his teaching techniques according to the student. Since I started with his Renzai master and began koan study with him, he continued to use koan study with me all throughout my training. To what ‘slaps’ are you referring? I didn’t read about any ‘slaps’ to a lady in the koan that was posted a couple days ago. …Bill! From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Maria Lopez Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2010 4:19 AM To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [Zen] New member. Thanks Jody. Doesn't the Soto tradition uses koans?. Should be understood them that slaps the lady received in the koan given, were defectuos because nobody can awake anybody else except for oneselves? Mayka --- On Fri, 8/10/10, Jody W. Ianuzzi <j...@thewhitehats.com> wrote: From: Jody W. Ianuzzi <j...@thewhitehats.com> Subject: RE: [Zen] New member. To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Date: Friday, 8 October, 2010, 17:10 Hello Mayka, It is my understanding that Soto Zen is just about sitting and Renzei Zen is about koans. When the Roshi slaps a student in Renzei it is not punishment it is to wake them up and bring them to the moment. The student bows in gratitude for the reminder. 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