Mayka,

Sure. Which particular aspect of vipassana would you like me to elaborate on?

Mike




________________________________
From: Maria Lopez <flordel...@btinternet.com>
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tue, 12 October, 2010 17:46:22
Subject: Re: [Zen] New member.

  
Mike:
 
I didn't see your posting as it keeps coming into the spam folder for some 
reason.   Yahoo do this by itself sometimes. 

 
I was wondering if you could share something from your experience in that 10 
days retreat you attended.  
 
Thanks for posting
Mayka 

--- On Tue, 12/10/10, mike brown <uerusub...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:


>From: mike brown <uerusub...@yahoo.co.uk>
>Subject: Re: [Zen] New member.
>To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
>Date: Tuesday, 12 October, 2010, 3:03
>
>
>  
>Mayka,
>
>When I started Zen in Australia the centre I attended was from the Robert 
>Aitken 
>lineage. There wasn't really that much emphasis put on them beyond the 
>break-thru koans that Bill has already mentioned. Here in Japan I just sit 
>(instruction in English is very rare) although I find I'm attending the 
>temples 
>less and less and just trying to be mindful in everyday life (I've also found 
>the 10 day Vipassana retreats in Kyoto very helpful for my meditation and 
>would 
>recommend it to anyone). No matter how complex looking, the 'secret' with 
>koans 
>is to remember that they always lead us to, or back to, this moment now as the 
>only reality. How you express this understanding has to be concrete and 
>immediate and there are as many 'correct' answers as there are people. 
>
>
>Mike 
>
>
>
>
________________________________
From: Maria Lopez <flordel...@btinternet.com>
>To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
>Sent: Sun, 10 October, 2010 19:12:15
>Subject: RE: [Zen] New member.
>
>  
>Good morning Bill:
> 
>I don't have the Microsoft package with word application software but 
>the substitute free download called: Open Office Org. Writer.  I write and 
>post 
>directly.  My BT Yahoo settings has a spell checker which is not as good as 
>the 
>word. I started to make use of it for first time  yesterday posting to you!. 
> Better than nothing.  I was wondering if Is there any home software with  
>word 
>application that could be download for free?.  The Open Office is not a great 
>deal and it often conflicts and crashes  with the Microsoft windows system. 
> 
>Thank you for your clear explanations about the koan system.  Although, it's 
>also my impression that straight away sitting down with the awareness of the 
>in 
>and out breathing is the much easier and simple of all methods.  This one of 
>the 
>koans also seems to have its own value.  Agree with you that because it's a 
>tricky method one would need a very experienced Teacher from the tradition 
>preferably.   Mike lives in Japan so perhaps he may have a Teacher of koans 
>over 
>there.  And if we would live near by I could ask you to show me this way.  
>It's 
>an interesting method for as long as the one who guides is very experienced on 
>the field.  Meantime, Better keep persevering in the awareness of the in and 
>out 
>breathing applied as part time daily life practitioner.
> 
>Thank you!
>Mayka
> 
>Note to all Members:
>Any misspellings mistakes in the future complain to yahoo and not to Mayka.
>
>
>--- On Sun, 10/10/10, 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: Sunday, 10 October, 2010, 9:24
>>
>>
>>  
>>Maria Carmen (a.k.a. Mayka),
>>My responses are embedded below:
>> 
May I ask you what spell checker do you use?.
[Bill!] I use Microsoft Word to compose my responses, so use the Microsoft 
spellchecker.  I don’t usually read or respond to posts on this forum directly 
in Yahoo!.  I don’t know anything about the Yahoo! spellchecker. 
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?.
[Bill!] There are a set of koans called ‘breakthrough’ koans.  These are used 
in 
the beginning to assist the student in stopping their discriminating mind and 
get at least a glimpse of Buddha Nature.  Koans such as this are ‘Mu’, ‘Show me 
your face before your mother was born”, ‘What is the sound of one hand 
clapping?’, etc…  Also, some zen masters create a breakthrough koan especially 
for the particular student.  The subsequent koans (koan study) are used to 
deepen and broaden the student’s awareness of Buddha Nature.  The zen master 
picks the appropriate koans to zero-in on some aspect with which he feels the 
student is having trouble, or some illusions to which the student is still 
clinging.  The koan study can consist of as many or as few koans as the zen 
master feels in necessary to bring the student into full awareness. 

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? 

[Bill!] The response that the teacher will accept is completely up to the 
teacher, and I can tell you it is not the same for every student.  I or someone 
else could tell you what they did or said to our zen master to finally pass Mu, 
and you could go into your zen master and do and say the same things and get 
‘rung out’ (abruptly dismissed by the ringing of a bell).  It is up to the 
skill 
and experience of the zen master to be able to discern if a response is genuine 
and acceptable, or not.  Sometimes this takes more than just a few visits to 
the 
zen master to satisfy him that you have indeed become aware of Buddha Nature.  
I 
answered the questions on how the zen master knows which koan to give you next 
in my response above. 
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".
[Bill!] Like I said, koans and koan study are not necessary.  If employed by a 
skilled zen master they can be helpful, but ‘just sitting’ (shikantaza – ‘clear 
mind meditation’) is the end result of all zen training – and this includes 
doing zazen when not sitting on a cushion, but holding the awareness of Buddha 
Mind in everything you do every day. 

…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, 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.
>
>JODY  


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