I want to expand a little on one of my answers below to avoid
misunderstanding…

The posting exchange was:

[Anthony] But we can try to use our finger to point to the Moon.
[Ed] In the final analysis one must just have faith in the reality of
'Buddha mind', yes?
[Bill!] Yes!

My answer Yes!, that you do have to have faith in Buddha Mind is meant for
the period BEFORE you experience Buddha Mind/Nature for yourself.  AFTER
that it is experience, not faith.

I often use the word 'zen' as short for 'zen practice', and when I do I
don't distinguish between the phases of zen practice.  There are 2 distinct
phases: one before experiencing Buddha Nature and one after.  There is also
an 'transition phase', especially in Rinzai (See, I spelled it right this
time!) Zen Buddhism koan study, where the experience of Buddha Nature is
often so sudden that it takes a period of follow-on training to successfully
reconcile and integrate that experience into your everyday life.

It is not unheard of to divide zen practice into phases like this.  Take for
example the 10 (or 8) Ox Herding phases.  These are an excellent depiction
of the phases one may go through from first wanting a change in your life
and having FAITH that you can somehow do that (#1 Seeking the Ox), to full
enlightenment, complete integration (#10 Entering the Marketplace With Arms
Hanging Loose) - no faith involved here.

You can find this set all over the web.  One such place is at
http://www.terebess.hu/english/oxherding.html. 

…Bill!  

From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
Of billsm...@hhs1963.org
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2010 9:29 AM
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [Zen] Questions, questions, question

  
Anthony and Ed, My comments are embedded below:

[Anthony] Zen is illogical, so undefinable.
[Ed] To an individual student, the utterances of his Zen master may appear
to be none, one or both of {logical, not-logical} simultaneously. 
In other words, Zen is beyond logic, or is it?
[Bill!] Zen is allogical – not confined or restricted by logic.
 
[Anthony] But we can try to use our finger to point to the Moon.
[Ed] In the final analysis one must just have faith in the reality of
'Buddha mind', yes?
[Bill!] Yes!

[Anthony] For instance, zen strives to see and realize your own Buddha
nature. 
[Ed] Is 'Buddha nature' definable?
[Bill!] Not really. We have a lot of answers to that question – such as Mu,
The Cypress Tree in the Garden, A Dried Shit-stick, and Just THIS!

[Anthony] What the hell is the use of Buddha nature? Don't worry, as long as
that makes you happy.
[Ed] I have good reason to believe that experiencing my Buddha nature would
make me a much happier person. But if that were my only motivation, would
that not be unacceptable in Buddhism? 
[Bill!] Zen/Buddha Nature is of no practical use. It is the absence of
illusions and therefore the absence of attachments. Without attachments
there is an end to suffering, but and end to suffering is not the same as
happy. Happy, suffering, etc…, are illusory dualisms which evaporate with
the awareness of Buddha Nature.

…Bill! 
/www.eset.com


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