Mike,

Thanks for your replies.  I can appreciate your previous comments better
now.

And you’re absolutely right!  Poetry and other lyrical writings are a much
better ways to express zen.  I call these ‘alogical’ communication – not
based on logic (although they might contain some logical structures).
Non-verbal, just actions, is probably the best way.

Thanks again for your replies and your continued participation in the forum.

…Bill!


From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
Of mike brown
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 9:38 AM
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Zen] Zen and the Brain

  
Bill!,

[Mike] Well, I can't speak for others, but this zen practioner finds such
articles both interesting and helpful.
[Bill!] I can understand that, but interesting and helpful for what?
Certainly not for your zen practice.
 
I see my zen practice as a 24/7 thing (including the fast amounts of time
when I'm caught up in my thoughts/desires and aversions - coming back to
'the now' is an indispensible part of the practice) and so I include
everything in my practice. An understanding of what happens physiologically
is not essential to my practice, but is IMHO useful in grounding the
practice of people starting off in Zen away from all things ethereal and
metaphysical. 


[Mike] Science helps us get down to the 'nuts and bolts' of how and why
things are what they are.
[Bill!] Science is just another worldview, and it's viewpoint is no more
valid than any other worldview. It does help you create concepts of WHY and
WHAT things are, but all these are illusions. The 'nuts and bolts' are
fantasy (concepts) but very important for science because science focuses on
deconstruction. It is based on believing nothing exists as a whole in and of
itself, but everything is just a compilation of other things.
I don't think science has an aversion to unity and maybe the deconstruction
process is essential to discover the underlying unity of everything - just
as zazen can be a deconstruction of the layers that obscure Buddha Nature.
Each layer is an illusion, but needs to be seen for what it is before it is
let go of. Science, or at least the natural sciences, castegorises things
out of a convenience for research (think of the vastness of each discipline)
and not because there is no connection. 

[Mike] If we think, and appreciate, that science has helped us debunk most
religious dogma and superstition, then I find it hypocritical to not turn
the light of science on zen. 
[Bill!] Science has merely replaced religious dogma and superstition. You
seem to have the idea that science shows us ultimate 'truth' rather than
just being another perspective on truth (reality) based on what we perceive
to be probabilities. Logic is not truth. Rationality is not truth. Buddha
Nature is truth because it is pure experience.
I don't believe science shows us the ultimate 'truth' because we can't
even define it in the first place. Is it even an objective 'truth'? Never
the less, I'd still argue that the scientific method takes us closer to a
stripping of the superflous, supernatural dressing of zen which does more to
obscure zen than anything else. True, rationality and logic aren't truth,
but they are easier tools to work with cutting the path and are easier to
put down when the Truth is (re)discovered.
 

[Mike]Or perhaps we'd secretly like to keep zen "cool and mysterious"... ; )
[Bill!] Zen might be thought of as 'cool', but it's certainly not at all
mysterious - and you know that as well as I do.
 
Only when you've passed thru the gateless gate and met Buddha eyeball to
eyeball can you say such a thing... Hmm, maybe poetry and literature are
better tools for expressing zen?..... ; )

...Bill!
Mike




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