--- On Tue, 11/1/11, SteveW <eugnostos2...@yahoo.com> wrote:

S: Hi Mel. 

MEL: Hello

S: Subject and object are conceptual constructs that are inter-dependant and 
relative to one another. 

MEL: Yes

S: It is meaningless to say that some object exists if it is not ever 

MEL: Yes. However, to say so may not be needed. We watch in silence, and just 

S: 'Exists' just means 'perceived'. 

MEL: Yes

WARNING: Because of the nature of language of the current post, I may or may 
not understand quite a fair bit. For future reference, it may be helpful to put 
everything in just plain English, and to forget about mystical, esoteric, or 
metaphysical explanations which those of low education may or may not 
understand(eg. myself)...which is why I asked for daily activities to 
illustriate a theory. Zen and daily life are inseparable. And now I continue to 

S: By the same token, if there were no objects of perception, including mental 
objects such as thoughts, then subjective awareness could not be aware of 
itself, could not be aware that it existed as such.  

MEL: As long as one is breathing(eg. in zazen), one will always be aware of the 
'small' Self irrespective of what's out there

S: The subjective ego-self is just a conceptual boundary line that does not 
really exist as such. 

MEL: Ideally, yes. This 'self' is only a temporary object of existence...or at 
least that's what they teach in Zen. There may be moments when the living may 
have such moments, but not all the time. Unfortunately(or otherwise), Homo 
Sapien has too many in-built sensors and other bells and whistles which will 
always lead this creature to dualistic thinking, which is opposite of the ideal

S: Observe this curved line: ( . Is this curved line concave or convex?  
It is both and neither. 

MEL: Yes, but it could also be outside that line of thought. You described it 
as a line, but how do we know it's not something else? Is it made up of one 
thing, or many? Plural, or singular?

S: The Flower Garland Sutra says that everything exists as a reflection of 
everything else. 

MEL: Yes, although I am personally ignorant of sutras and have no desire to 
approach them(I've gone that way already..no thanks..)

S: In order to see ourselves as subjective ego-selves we must draw boundary 
lines that do not actually exist. 

MEL: But...why even bother to make an effort to see ourselves as anything at 
all? If I'm going to cook, I will not utter to myself....

..'Ok, here I am. I exist, and therefore I will cook. Here are the knives, and 
I say that because they're there'....

S: All of this is just conceptualization and, as such, is not Zen, just 
Idealistic Buddhist philosophy (Yogacara, Vijnanavada, Cittamatra). 

MEL: I can see that(*grin/smiles*). A part of me says.....

...'There are 2 people here, and they may be talking to each other in 2 
different languages'....

Nevertheless, I'm doing what I can here even if it's doing my head in at the 
same time

S: Zen wants to capture life as it actually happens. In the actual moment of 
any experience, such as hearing a bell ring, there is no conceptual division 
between subject and object.

MEL:...How true...so true....

S: Only later (a split-second) do we conceptualize about our memory of the 
experience and thereby divide Just This into subject and object.

MEL: Yes, and no. Not necessarily when we're doing activities one after the 
other, and it also depends on one's mindfullness for each moment. For example, 
I was working with bomb detonators and shell-casings(for bullets) by checking 
them for quality. The machine belt was coming too fast, and I certainly had no 
time for those I rejected for quality purposes and would therefore not waste 
time thinking on them. After all, production quotas, targets, and/or schedules 
must be met 

On a slow day however, such as walking along the beach, I may every once in a 
while check what I may have passed or even thought of(shells, beautiful women, 
the waves, beautiful women, women, women...ahhh... the list goes 

S: In the moment of experience, before deciding whether the curved line is 
concave or convex by positioning a subject on one side and an object on the 
other, we are the totality of the experience. In the case of the ringing bell, 
we ARE the ringing. 

MEL: Yes

S: A split-second later, we conceptualize a subject that experiences an object, 
and then decide whether we like the object or dislike it. 

MEL: Steve, I admire your fervor, but don't you think that may be taking things 
too far? Me? I see, decide...and then gone. Zooomm!! Onto other matters. 
Breaking down thinking to minute details..well..I don't know...butttt I also 
have been told(rightly, or wrongly) that I myself do think too much as well. 
However, it's sometimes hard to hear things when the person giving advise is 
controlled by his youthful desires(I'm middle-aged, and the 'wise' boy was 
well...just a boy...)

S: Anyone who does zazen long enough realizes that consciousness is 
discontinuous, that there are momentary gaps. This arises in consciousness and 
then that.

MEL:...But conscious of what exactly?..The only thing I'm conscious of in zazen 
is the breathing(if at all), and constant streams of thoughts..which we all let 
go of course

Straight spine/posture, breath(normally)...that's all I do sitting on a chair 
with hands on my knees(or thighs). Eyes half-closed and facing the wall. 
Thought(s) come, thought(s) go..

That's my zazen

S: As the spotlight of attention rests here and there the skanda of samjna or 
perceptual recognition arises to reinforce the feeling of being an ego-self in 
relation to an object of perception. 

MEL: Object of perception? I don't know about that one, because I don't 'see' 
anything out there but the empty space during zazen, and I don't particularly 
look for anything. Or perhaps you mean when I'm tired and I start to lose my 
posture. Then yes, I would certainly be called to my 'small' Self at that moment

I don't know those Hindi/Indian words above, and I personally keep well away 
from such 

S: But if one pays very close attention to the gaps in between perceptual 
recognitions, one will rest in the awareness of no-self, before the boundary 
lines are drawn.

MEL: The gaps don't matter. Just like thoughts, they come and they go. I don't 
know about any boundary lines 

S: In those moments we experience life as it really is, before we cut Just This 
up into fragmented pieces and decide which pieces are agreeable and which are 

MEL: I can't say I know anything about such during zazen. Breath, 
posture...that's it...no goals, no ideas, nothing....

S: These momentary gaps can be seen at all times. Between one movement and the 
next. Between one thought and the next. Between one breath and the next.

MEL: One followed by the other, but I don't know about the gaps during zazen 

S: You must see this for yourself, and not just think about it. IMO.

MEL: You know, we probably basically agree on a lot of things. The only 
difference would be how we each word ourselves. Me personally? I try not to get 
too wordy, mystical, or metaphysical

S: Namo Amitabha!

MEL: I don't know what that is but it sounds good. If so, likewise buddy!

S: "All Buddhas and all sentient beings are no different from the One Mind. In 
this One Mind there is neither arising nor ceasing, no name or form, no long or 
short, no large or small, and neither existence nor non-existence. it 
transcends all limitations of name, word and relativity, and it is as boundless 
as the great Void. 

MEL: Yes

S: Giving rise to thought is erroneous, and any speculation about it with our 
ordinary faculties is inapplicable, irrelevant and inaccurate. 

MEL:..Wellll...ideally, yes. At least that's what Zen teaches..

S: Only Mind is Buddha, and Buddhas and sentient beings are not different. All 
sentient beings grasp form and search outside themselves. Using Buddha to seek 
Buddha, they thus use mind to seek Mind. Practicing in this manner even until 
the end of the kalpa, they cannot attain the fruit. However, when thinking and 
discrimination suddenly halt, the Buddhas appear." -Huang Po

MEL: And this is partly why I don't look at the so-called Buddhist scriptures, 
nor describe myself as...

- Zen Buddhist
- Mahayana Buddhist 
- any plain old Buddhist something or another

I go to the bookstore, hit the Zen section, and pick what appeals according to 
teaching or mode of language. One can rightly(or wrongly) say that the 'zen' 
teachings I follow are wrong interpretations. People could also say that Zen 
was a big lie, and was never part of the old man's teachings. Nevertheless, I 
pick the source material. Is it authentic? Who knows? As I said in another 
post, the writings came up so many ages after the old man died. If someone can 
give me absolute fool-proof proof..

(*laughter*...every once in a while I do 'butcher' the English language to 
carry a meaning through) 

....of what the old fella actually dictated to a scribe(if such an event was 
even possible), then I'd be interested in looking at such




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