Bill,

Assume that person A, who has never heard of Zen before, is made aware
of the literature, history and mythology of Zen, and about experiences
of  'Buddha Nature.'

Person A goes to a zendo, learns how to practice zazen, and finds that
it quietens his mind.

However, he is skeptical about claims, hinted at in Zen literature, and
reinforced by Zen teachers and Zen students about  Buddha Nature and the
Ubermenschen status of deceased Zen Masters - and even of live ones.

This skepticism is no different than his skepticism of the specialness
claimed by Jews, Christians and Muslims concerning their respective
religions and selves.

Person A says to himself: There may be something to this Zen thing, or
maybe this is just mythology reinforced by interminable repetitions of
unverified and unverifyiable opinions of Zen Masters and mesmerized
students.

Person A then says to himself: Of course I can spend decades doing zazen
with great rigor, arrive at an exquisite mind-state, and then be
informed by roshi that I have realised kensho or even satori.

But, person A also says to himself: All I really know is that I have
experienced mind-states that are ineffable, and that it is my Master's
opinion that they are kensho-satori states - and I have faith in him.

But in Hindu and Buddhit literature and especially Theravada Buddhist
literature, there dozens of blissful mind-states that have been
identified, carefully defined, and classified.

Therefore, person A faces the following reality: All he can assert is
that he has experienced mind-state that his Teacher says are so-and-so.

And, so what?

What are the special characteristics of a person who has realized Budda
Nature?

Of what value to humankind is his enlightenment, arrived at after the
expenditure of enormous time and effort?

--ED






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