Greetings, All.

It's been some time since I've been active on this list. Now is a good time
to jump back in. Hello familiar faces (Bill! Anthony, Chris, Mayka, JMJM

Interesting questions, Ed.

Why do some people engage in studying the mind/nature of being/the
metaphysical and others don't? And by what means to we undertake such

I think that many people are happy-go-lucky, are content and satisfied (or
simply distracted), and don't tend to connect with questions about the
nature of being. Then there are those of us who spend lifetimes seeking
something ... driven by some pain or bliss, or "fracture of being" (not
"damaged", just containing a kind of chasm).

I think the more fractured the being, the more intense the experience may be
desired to stimulate "breakthrough." Some are served by a cramped knee in
sitting or a psychological surrender to something supernatural, others need
the extremes of whips and bindings, the isolation of monastic life, or the
traumas of the ICU. In this context, they are just tools, the cultural
judgment about the nature of these tools is something else.

Yogis, zennists, monks, glossolalists, psychotherapy clients, and
sadomasochists are equally apt to "miss the lesson". From where I sit, pain
and joy are catalysts, and not so different.

I find more ease in my life as a result of daily sitting rather than
retreat. I'm a drama queen, and sesshin provides me all kinds of intense
experiences for Big Stories, which take a while to come down from. I have
experienced the heightened sensory awareness that's been mentioned, but I
dramatize that specialness, too. LOL! I haven't attended many retreats,
however ... perhaps that too shall pass?

Whether breakthroughs are the result of the neurochemistry or metaphysical
forces is not the question of zen or vipassana. Such conjecture is story.
And stories are what we practice releasing, they are the veil through which
we glimpse ...


On Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 8:00 AM, ED <> wrote:

> A few questions (which may stimulate comments/dialogue) come to mind:
> (1) In meditation practice, is pain a necessary ingredient for the
> breakthrough to bliss and ecstasy?
> (2) Is this phenomenon similar to or identical with the bliss and ecstasy
> reported by some or many masochists in BDSM practices?
> (3) Is this experience explainable as a natural process, or does it call
> for postulating the intervention of supra-natural forces?
> (4) Are these cycles of pain and bliss a necessary concomitant of the
> process of realizing one's Buddha Nature?
> (5) Have Zen masters made any statements concerrning the naturalness or
> supra-naturalness of 'Buddha Nature'.

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