ED, Chris, Bill! et al, Yes, you're quite correct to state that different environments and methods suit different people, and I would never advocate closing the temples (and instead advocate the wearing of white lab-jackets and machines that go 'ping!'), but I think the development of scientific research into meditation helps completely separate Zen from the more faith based systems of religion (a belief in something supernatural in the abscence of evidence) and towards something more intrinsically human and natural.
Mike ps you might disagree with me but you have to applaud the fact I wrote all of that above without the use of a single full-stop (or 'period' for my American cousins). ________________________________ From: ED <seacrofter...@yahoo.com> To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com Sent: Fri, 22 October, 2010 0:40:17 Subject: Re: [Zen] Questions, questions, question Mike, Not only one way. Different strokes for different folk. --ED --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, mike brown <uerusub...@...> wrote: > > Bill!, > > The thing for me though, is that Zen is (or can be) too cloaked in arcane and > esoteric language placing it on the borders of religious/spiritual thinking - > something it definitely is *not*. A basic scientific understanding of the > process of meditation and what physiologically happens to the brain as a > result > > of zazen grounds a person much more than faith will do. > > Mike > Mike, > > I understand what you are saying below, and even support your sentiments, > but I worry that an emphasis on understanding just how meditation affects > your body might take someone in the wrong direction, or at least down a > useless side road in which they could get entirely lost. No "emphasis", just knowing the truth, rather than floudering in a sea of 'faith', illusions and delusions. > As you know I already believe zen is the â€˜art of livingâ€™, and have long > since jettisoned the â€˜religious mumbo-jumboâ€™, including Buddhism. I don't > want to replace that with 'scientific mumbo-jumbo'. To me there is not any > difference. > > Bill! IMHO, 'scientific mumbo-jumbo' is *your* illusion/delusion. Zen, being a natural phenomenon, is quite amenable to observation, meaurement and logical scrutiny - like all natural phenomena are. The degree of "emphasis" on this scientific inquiry is an indivudual's choice - the one that works best for the temperament of the individual. Surely, you are not frozen in the stance of "only one way"? --ED > ED, Bill, Mayka et al, > > If I can just jump in here. There is scientific data to suggest that the > brain has a kind of plasticity and so can be neurologically changed > according to how it is used. I think this isÂ should hold aÂ huge interest for > those of us interested in zen/meditation. Learning to pay attention to the > moment and letting go of negative thoughts can be seen as a 'skill' just > like learning a language or playing the piano. If one incorporates sitting > into their daily lives it'd be possible to change the physiology of the > brain to better respond to internal/external stimuli with happier results. > Zen, as an art of living, could then jettison all the religious mumbo-jumbo > that it's wrapped up in now. > > Mike