Hi there Chris!

--- On Thu, 13/1/11, ChrisAustinLane <ch...@austin-lane.net> wrote:

From: ChrisAustinLane <ch...@austin-lane.net>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Not understanding mindfulness
To: "Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com" <Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com>
Cc: "Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com" <Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com>
Received: Thursday, 13 January, 2011, 6:29 AM


I do not think that followers of Judaism try very much to recruit new converts. 
MEL: You're quite right. I do get the impression that they're somewhat more 
subtle though(except in Jerusalem, apparently). Once they know you're 
interested, keen, and genuine, the evangelical hornets do come out of the nest 
In Jerusalem, it was reported some time ago that an Armenian congregation 
marching down a path had their old but highly revered wooden cross(200 years 
old?) smashed by a group of very zealous/fanatical Jewish students. In the 
report, it was said that it was also apparently not unusual for devout 
Christians(even priests) to be spat on and verbally abused as well by 
these young boys during pilgrimages to the Holy Land. I would personally 
say...well...yes, this could be a form of Jewish 'evangelism'...sort of ..... 
Christianity and Islam are a bit more evangelistic, 
MEL: Yes, they are...especially these days...and those 2 are competing with 
each other for fresh recruits all the time, and I thought the Mormons and JWs 
were bad enough
With the Muslims, there seem to be this constant trumpet-blowing about how many 
have left Christendom and  joined Islam every month(or year) according to the 
latest statistics or reports(What reports/statistics??!!). I mean, hey, one's 
gotta do what one's gotta do to increase the army of the child-molestor(the 
prophet), yeah?
but I am left wondering about what you mean by Semitic evangelism. 
MEL: I often use the term 'semitic' to save having to type 
Christian/Islamic/Jewish, and for all other Middle Eastern folk near and/or 
around the Fertile Crescent and Gulf regions. Academically, that may not be 
right(especially as I've put the Egyptians and Iranians/Persians in the same 
I'm rather hesitant with the Jews, but I find the other 2 to be quite keen on 
spreading their faith...and therefore why I used the term 'semitic evangelism'
I ask for clarification on this forum because of some threads that asserted 
that westerner folk who pursue zen tend to be more contaminated with Semitic 
ideals of good and evil than those from Eastern societies. 
MEL:...Ummm....you might want to blame that one on me, but that's what I 
personally tend to see. There is no good or evil in Zen. There's only activity. 
Once one starts categorizing which are good or bad, then a problem may 
ensue(Buddha just acts...just is..). For example, I see nothing wrong with..... 
- capital punishment
- abortion on demand
- contraception
...and so on, because that's what comes out of me. We all have our own 
conscience on one thing or another, whether they were learned(drummed into us), 
or not. As adults, we all make our choices. Just my personal view
So is it the dualism or the evangelism that is claimed to be Semitic?
MEL: The dualism might be ED's(I think, if I remember correctly), and the 
evangelism part is mine 
I wonder if you Mel agree with Ed that my original line about the peach And the 
painting was in fact evangelistic? 
MEL: I've been looking up the above in the archives and I found the 
'peach' posting but not the 'painting' bit. The thing is(and I think I've 
explained it to ED already, albeit indirectly) that when one is in a spiritual 
and/or religious forum that one will eventually be asked to make the choice 
of....are they in, or are they out? That can be clear and direct, or 
subtle(subtle, but only for a short while). The fence-sitters eventually stick 
out like a sore thumbs, especially by the way they post on forums, or message 
boards...and they often get abused but that is to be expected. I did, when I 
was in an Islamic forum
Let's take the Muslims for a moment. I have worked with quite a few of them, 
and I asked this and that question about the Qur'an. Well, they soon got tired 
of me, because I wasn't willing to convert. In the end, some of them were 
starting to get quite annoyed and so I decided not to speak to them of Islam 
from then on. I work with them. That is enough(and I don't read the hadiths or 
the Qur'an in front of them)
In this instance, ED is seriously interested in analysing Zen and keeping it 
all academic, or at least that's what I see so far. He can do that, and it's no 
good stopping him. Let him. However, academic conclusions will draw either 
derision, or silence. If you find his ideas as disagreeable, then so be it. 
It's no good asking academics and the like to do zazen before they make 
attempts to talk any sort of substance. It leads to nothing fruitful, but 
that's just my view. If they're completely off the mark...ah, 
well.......because for the rest of us, zazen practise is indeed very good
I've agreed with ED on certain points, but I'll let him find out for himself. 
He's an adult. Let us give him the freedom to make his choices. Lastly, if his 
statements are too outrageous, I say let it be so....but that's just me
This is just the thing about Zen...we all eventually become our own counsellors 
through the concept of emptiness...or nothingness...BIG MIND...something, or 
another(*laughter*)....Zensters see it there, but isn't there...and 
unfortunately, an experience that pure academics may not comprehend

For the record, while I myself answer 'sit' to people seem receptive to that 
method of easing living, I do so with an implicit assertion that they are free 
individuals and will work out their path according to their own lights. 
MEL: Absolutely Chris, I couldn't agree more. That is what separates us from 
the Semites. Now, I'm being dualistic here but I only say that because some of 
their flock try so hard to bring me back from being that...well...that 'lost 
and wandering sheep'...*more laughter*....and back into Yahweh's fold...
The sheep's fold....and all Semites are sheep, and some in this world obviously 
think I need another sheep's bath in the fold after having been 'lost' for so 


Chris Austin-Lane
Sent from a cell phone

MEL: My pleasure
PS. Obligatory zen story: 

A politician visits the wise zen master and asks the secret. The master 
replies, "do what is good and do not do what is not good." the politician rolls 
his eyes and says, "my kid can tell me that!" the master says, "we all know 
this, but even this wise zen master has trouble doing it."

MEL:....(*BIG LAUGHTER*)...I loved it, thank you!
in peace


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