I find reading science to be a habit I have long cultivated, as it makes
certain more physical chains of cause and effect more intelligible to me.
Since I am engaged in practice now, reading science about practice is a pretty
natural and fun thing to do. This forum seems likely to be a place to find
others who are of a similar bent, while weeding out those people that like to
apply a sciency sheen to what ever pop culture fad of the week is and have no
actual experience of sitting meditation.
Perhaps that is and expectation I bring here that the bulk of the group doesn't
And let it be stipulated that a science model of the brain doesn't touch the
effort of sitting down day after day.
Sent from a cell phone
On Oct 24, 2010, at 19:37, mike brown <uerusub...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> [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?..... ; )