ED,

Your posts always involve or provoke insight. I won't comment on the 
relationships between pain and bliss, as I know nothing. However, the 
'naturalness of Buddha Nature' has a profound meaning. It is also 
controversial. Zen masters say everybody has Buddha nature, though it is 
normally veiled one way or the other. So it is 'natural' that you realize it. 
But I assume that remark was invented by 'later day saints' of mahayana. I have 
yet to run into Theravada literature that says something similar. The original 
Buddhist sutras say Buddha was enlightened after meditation and gained 
universal knowledge, able to read mind and remember past lives. I don't see him 
proclaiming everybody's Buddha nature. I may be wrong. If you have read 
otherwise, let me know. Nevertheless, the mahayanist invention is one of the 
greatest. I like it. On the other hand, there are some mahayanist remarks I 
don't like and think them harmful. They are as follows:

- You don't have to work hard in the forest meditating, but you can get 
enlightened in the day to day life (I sometimes joke that you will be 
enlightened in an orgyhouse while enjoying sex).
- It is selfish to go a long way on the Noble Eightfold Path to reach 
arahantship, because it only saves yourself, not caring about others. You 
should strive to be a Bodhisatva, saving others first before you realize 
anything yourself. This is a controversy that you should first put your own 
house in order before helping others, or the other way around. I have seen some 
mahayanist monks speaking tall, but they never walk the talk. 

Don't say that is nothing to do with zen. Buddha left behind an 'estate' that 
was developed into zen. You can say thank you and goodbye to your father for 
leaving such a nice estate, but never say he was a jerk.

Anthony

--- On Fri, 15/10/10, ED <seacrofter...@yahoo.com> wrote:

From: ED <seacrofter...@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Zen] New member.
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Date: Friday, 15 October, 2010, 11:00 PM







 



  


    
      
      
      
Mike wrote:
 "You can be in intense pain around the 40 minute mark (if you haven't moved), 
but suddenly the body/mind experiences a letting go of the pain and changes to 
intense bliss and euphoria - and I mean ecstasy (personally, I don't think this 
is anything 'spiritual', but just the effect of endorphins)."
 
Hello Mike, Bill, Edgar, Mayka, Anthony, JM and All,
Mike, thank you for this most interesting post. I love the 'SAS'.  :-)
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'.
I do look forward to your understandings and insights.
--ED
 
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Mike wrote:
>
> Mayka,
> 
> Well, a 10 day vipassana course is pretty much like an 8 day sesshin except 
> in the following ways. The vipassana course goes for 10 days and there is 
> absolutely no talking, reading, writing or any form of communication 
> whatsoever. Wake up at 4am; last meal 11.30am; lights out at 9.30pm. 
> Mediatate all other times. 
> There is no emphasis on how you sit to meditate and you can use whatever you 
> like (any number of cushions etc). The first 4 days just gets you to 
> concentrate on the air moving in and out of you nostrils with the 4th day 
> concentrating only on the space below the nostrils where the breath 
> enters/exits. 
> On the 5th the Vipassana 'technique' proper begins which involves a kind of 
> 'scanning' of the body (from head to toe) or subtle sensations. This has the 
> effect of pushing the consciousness into very subtle levels. 
> On the 5th or 6th day you're expected to not move for one hour - not one 
> movement! This is realllllllllllllly difficult and pushes you into levels of 
> pain you cannot begin to imagine! However, an amazing thing happens. 
> You can be in intense pain around the 40 minute mark (if you haven't moved), 
> but suddenly the body/mind experiences a letting go of the pain and changes 
> to intense bliss and euphoria - and I mean ecstasy (personally, I don't think 
> this is anything 'spiritual', but just the effect of endorphins). 
> The lesson learnt is that nothing lasts (pleasure - pain) and so not to 
> cling to/avert anything. Equanimity is the state that walks that middle line. 
> Now, this may all seem pretty obvious to those of us aquainted with Zen and 
> Buddhism *but* reading or imaging pain/pleasure is one thing, but the intense 
> experience of it (try not moving *at all* for one hour) is another.
Furthermore, the course is absolutely free of any religious icons/paraphenalia 
and is also completely free of cost (incl. accom. and food). An amazing 
experience. The SAS of the meditation retreats!
>  
> Mike



    
     

    
    


 



  





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