Hi Ed,

I noticed that you have addressed to me the following article.

We teach people how to Sit the Chan way. It is just a practice. Through this practice, each of us experience our own journey. Then each of us can explain, describe and share whatever we deem precious.

Bible is the description for Jesus.  Sutra is the description for Buddha.

In other words, each path is unique and precious. Language is simply not adequate to describe every journey.

Sit down and experience it the most important.

This is what we teach.

Thank you for asking.


Be Enlightened In This Life - We ALL Can

On 10/23/2010 9:21 AM, ED wrote:

Bill, Mike, Mayka, JM and All, does this below look kosher to you? Thanks, ED

*"Q. Zen emphasizes a kind of selflessness, or self-transcendence. Why is this desirable, and why so difficult to achieve? *

Let's take your last question first. It is difficult to escape from the lifelong habits of our many-sided self.

This is because some of our egocentricities are not only innate, but are habit-patterns that have hardened ever since we were infants.

It is very difficult to reverse any conditioned behaviors that have had such a long head start.

/Zen and the Brain/ discusses a way to represent -- as a psychological construct -- this complex we refer to as *"self."* For shorthand purposes of description, one may think of this "self" in terms of its three interactive components: *I , Me, and Mine.*

Unfortunately, it takes years to fully realize that this triad combines liabilities with assets. True, this I-Me-Mine complex does confer survival value on each person.

But many dark, unfruitful aspects also inhabit the triad. The I is arrogant; the Me feels besieged; the Mine is captured by its greedy impulses. The result generates much anguish and impairs our performance.

Before I started Zen training, I could never have imagined how it would feel to lose the "self." Nor could I have then foreseen how much this fact of experience implies for our scientific understanding of consciousness.

Only after I underwent two different kinds of alternate state experiences -- one more superficial and one at a deeper level -- would it become obvious: each event had peeled off different layers of my egocentric self.

A term, /internal absorption/, describes the first, shallower category of such experiences. It briefly dissolves the sense of the /physical/ self.

In contrast, the later variety reflects a deeper penetration, an "awakening" to insight-wisdom. It is also known as /kensho-satori/ in the Zen tradition. In this category of experiences, the sense of one's /psychic/ self dissolves.

A gardener might recognize this process as reminiscent of a kind of "pruning." Why? Because during this particular "awakening," many unfruitful aspects of the triad are seen to drop off.

Thereafter the person finally starts to become liberated from old, maladaptive conditioned responses.

Source: James H. Austin, M.D. discusses/ Zen and the/ Brain ) http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/AUSZP/austin/interview.html

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