--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Mel <gunnar19632...@...> wrote:
> --- On Tue, 11/1/11, SteveW <eugnostos2...@...> 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 respond...
> 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
> 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 not.
> 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
Peace to you, as well.
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