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#76 2007-10-27 12:18:25

Spiralbrain
Member
From: Bremerhaven/Germany
Registered: 2007-09-21
Posts: 15

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

A teacher is definitely needed, otherwise you might have great overwhelming mystic experiences and take them as a bigger truth or as kensho, but they are just makyo. You might attach to those experiences and go on stumbling around in illusions. Then a roshi approved teacher who knows what s/he's talking about who says "Yeah, fine, great experience, a sign of good concentration, but that's not it." is helpful.

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#77 2007-10-28 04:48:00

KODOAN.COM
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From: NORTH BEND, OREGON
Registered: 2007-01-16
Posts: 24
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Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

WWHND?

(What Would Hui Neng Do)

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#78 2007-10-28 05:44:45

Spiralbrain
Member
From: Bremerhaven/Germany
Registered: 2007-09-21
Posts: 15

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

HAC ?
(Have a cappuccino)
smile

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#79 2007-10-28 05:48:55

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
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Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

WTFDWCAWPS?


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#80 2007-10-28 06:11:51

Spiralbrain
Member
From: Bremerhaven/Germany
Registered: 2007-09-21
Posts: 15

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

I guess you cared about what your shakuhachi teacher said. ; )

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#81 2007-10-28 08:11:28

Harazda
Member
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 126

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

Spiralbrain, you've touched on something that I find very interesting: the idea that "overwhelming mystical experiences" are illusions.  This reflects what it is that I think bugs me so much about Zen, as it does about Western scientism, popular media, and Western religious forms. 

As a Tibetan Buddhist myself, I also have a deep interest in shamanism.  Having seen the crystal clarity of no-self brought about through zazen, I also know that the constructive work of a shaman takes place in non-ordinary reality. 

Madhyamika philosophy recognizes the "two truths" of relative and absolute.  Shamanic activity, like going to work and brushing your teeth, for example, takes place in the realm of relative truth.  Yes, from the absolute standpoint of Zen awakening, it's illusion, but on a relative level where things are done and constructivity enacted, there is work to do also at the level of spirit.  That's just how it is.  To simply ignore matters of spirit through dry intellectualism denying their existence is just counterproductive, like gong through life with one eye covered, losing the stereoscopic vision nature provides.

I just think that everything as it is naturally manifesting out of the Void should be recognized as empty, but that we shouldn't just throw the baby out with the bathwater.  There is important work to be done at all levels.

-Harazda

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#82 2007-10-28 09:52:22

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
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Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

Hi Harazda!

Good post. What you wrote does make some sense but we also have to be careful also not to think that the Madhyamika mode of thinking is only limited to itself. In fact lots of Chinese Zen but especially the Japanese Zen was greatly influenced by the Madhyamika. We can see this for example in the Shikantaza of Dogen. Most people who are in Soto or just student of Zen might not know this but Dogen being a Tendai monk originally was trained in the Makashikan type of meditation which is actually a Tendai product that originally came from China.

The original Tendai School in China, which was founded by智顗Chigi/Zhiyi, was essentially based on Madhyamika before the esoteric practice was introduced later on. Chigi the Chinese founder of the Tendai School was originally born into a Taoist family and was a known Taoist scholar until he converted himself to Buddhism.

So basically most of the Japanese Zazen practice was influenced by the zhiguan/Shikan of Chigi which was later on renamed by Dogen as Shikantaza.

If you want to read more about the Sino/Japapnese Madhyamika I suggest reading the following books.


This one is the English translation of the Makashikan of Chigi
http://www.amazon.com/Stopping-Seeing-C … amp;sr=1-2

This one complete treaty on the Madhyamika according to the Chinese Tendai lineage.
http://www.amazon.com/TIen-TAi-Buddhism … 51-2253462


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

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#83 2007-10-28 13:54:23

dstone
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From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2006-01-11
Posts: 552
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Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

Harazda wrote:

Shamanic activity, like going to work and brushing your teeth,

Harazda, I have to ask...  What's this about such "ordinary" activities being shamanic?  (You'll forgive me if a snicker a bit.)  What does this labelling accomplish?

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#84 2007-10-28 15:34:58

Spiralbrain
Member
From: Bremerhaven/Germany
Registered: 2007-09-21
Posts: 15

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

I didn't mean EVERY "overwhelming mystical experience". Of course you could say EVERYTHING is an illusion, but that's still philosophy. And I neither deny the relative nor the absolute reality.
What I ment is that there is a danger of getting stuck half way if your spiritual experience is not checked by a teacher from time to time and one might think "ooooh, I'm so enlighted and wise now, let's spread the word".
This is is of course only valid if you decided to go a special way (Zen in this case).
I just hope you understand what I mean, seems my abilities to put my arguments into english words are restricted = )

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#85 2007-10-28 16:18:41

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

Spiralbrain wrote:

I just hope you understand what I mean, seems my abilities to put my arguments into english words are restricted = )

Seemed quite clear to me, up front.

eB


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#86 2007-10-28 18:24:57

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3222
Website

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

Spiralbrain wrote:

I just hope you understand what I mean, seems my abilities to put my arguments into english words are restricted = )

Your English is very good. Unfortunately not all our German members can say that. smile

Horst Xenmeister wrote:

To Realizing bier und wurst. There in a sentence is completely in contrast to the subtle nature; Not prevent the use of words such as Makeshifts, schnitzel und schnapps but This has limits.

Maybe he's from a different part of Germany? wink


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

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#87 2007-10-29 10:56:38

Harazda
Member
Registered: 2007-06-07
Posts: 126

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

Hey Darren,

I was just saying that shamanic activity, like any of our ordinary acivities, takes place at a phenomenal level, though it is a different order of phenomenal arising: not necessarily visible to the eyes or audible to the ears, though empirically verifiable in it's own way (according to experts in the field).

Zen, as I don't understand it (thank you Soen Sa Nim!), pretty much is about:

"A special transmission outside the scriptures;
No dependence upon words and letters;
Direct pointing at the mind of man;
Seeing into one's nature and the attainment of Buddhahood."  -trans. by Thich Thien-an, 1975

As it is, it's true one must avoid obvious fluff through the guidance of a qualified Roshi.  There seem to be an infinite number of sidetracks which endanger both the individual and tradition.

Authentic shamanism involves meetings with teachers of non-ordinary reality, and hopefully these teachers are wise.  In the Tibetan system supplications are made to the wise protectors of the lineages, et al.

Anyway, my initial reaction was just about a statement about mystical insight being illusory.  In a sense, it may be so from the standpoint of Praj˝aparamita insight, but it's relative value for personal breakthrough and healing cannot be overestimated.

Spiralbrain, thanks for your response above.  We're all cool here.

With love,
Harazda

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#88 2007-10-29 12:32:08

dstone
Member
From: Vancouver, Canada
Registered: 2006-01-11
Posts: 552
Website

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

Thanks for clarifying, Harazda.

I like the definition you quote there.  And of course I agree with the avoidance of obvious fluff.  Though if fluff is obvious, one doesn't need a Roshi, in my humble opinion.  As for less-than-obvious fluff...  I think walking through those kinds of illusions or traps or distractions, and seeing them as clearly as possible for what they are is a pretty reasonable path, with or without a teacher.  I mean, that's what we're all on this earth doing anyways, and my intuition tells me we don't all need teachers to behave in such a fundamental and bare, essential way.

Sometimes transmission comes from a human teacher and sometimes significant transmission (pardon me if I use that word) comes from direct experience, no?  Or perhaps not for the lineage- or tradition-minded.

-Darren.


When it is rainy, I am in the rain. When it is windy, I am in the wind.  - Mitsuo Aida

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#89 2007-10-29 12:44:46

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

dstone wrote:

Sometimes transmission comes from a human teacher and sometimes significant transmission (pardon me if I use that word) comes from direct experience, no?  Or perhaps not for the lineage- or tradition-minded.

Had to start somewhere, unless, of course, it was all handed down on stone tablets....


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

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#90 2007-10-30 11:13:23

Kerry
Member
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 183

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

Harazda wrote:

Shamanic activity, like going to work and brushing your teeth, for example, takes place in the realm of relative truth.  Yes, from the absolute standpoint of Zen awakening, it's illusion, but on a relative level where things are done and constructivity enacted, there is work to do also at the level of spirit.  That's just how it is.  To simply ignore matters of spirit through dry intellectualism denying their existence is just counterproductive, like gong through life with one eye covered, losing the stereoscopic vision nature provides.

Hi Harazda,
   Considering this shamanic existence, the historical buddha(Gautama) delivers his message and example. Is this character a grand shaman of sorts with a new spiritual language re-identifying any various number of shamanic beliefs and applications? Are the roles of the shaman and bodhisattva intertwined? Separate?......And BTW, I find nothing illusory about toothbrushing, especially flossing!smile and no, my zen is not better than yours, just different.
Thanks, Kerry


The temple bell stops, but the sound keeps coming out of the flowers. -Basho

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#91 2008-01-05 23:23:20

jmeade
Member
Registered: 2007-12-07
Posts: 15

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

I am thankful that you are raising this as an issue. I was brought to Zen during the late 60's because of the Vietnam war. I chose conscientious objector status in 1968 as my solution to the dilemma it posed for me and have wondered since about my entitlement to this classification as a semi-white middle class male. My draft board granted me this status through my affiliation to Zen and I used Buddhist tenets as a basis for my objection to this war. I was granted C.O. status, but in retrospect I think not because of my beliefs but because they were convinced I would make them put me in jail if they tried to draft me and they didn't want to make a big deal of me. I remember the two FBI agents who came to my little hovel of an apartment and tired to convince me I was making a mistake and I also remember the local  judge, who I was asked to see by the draft board and who told me how much he enjoyed war and how during war you could really be free. He meant free to act out. Exposure to the three of them really focused me and convinced me of my purpose. Two years working in a hospital emergency room also really changed me.
  I look back at my choices and see how culturally bound they were, although they were somewhat divergent from the mainstream, the opportunities and the choices I was exposed to were products of my time. I wonder how different I would be if I had been living in a culture where war had been commonplace for centuries and when it wasn't commonplace it was was because of the extreme repression of a privileged and rigid military class. I think of the untouchables, the treatment of women, the extreme racism and classism, the ability of the warrior class to kill people at whim, and the societal acceptance of violent suicide. How free is one to choose or not to choose in this context and what are the limitations of your choices?
  And then you have Ikkyu, who drank a lot, slept with whores, lived with and loved a blind prostitute, wrote great poetry about sex, equated orgasm with enlightenment, was the son of an emperor, ran around with a skull dangling from stick at New Years to remind people of where they were headed and became the head of a famous temple. Could he have made a different choice about war?
  I have these two paintings by Nantenbo and I take them down and put them back depending on how I feel about this issue, but ultimately I take the bad with the good. I do not throw these paintings away because he was tainted by his culture and his beliefs about war and  killing. I keep them because they are an expression of vivid truth much like the music I am trying to learn. I also don't believe that Zen leads to a place so disconnected from human realities and so free from illusion that killing becomes irrelevant or simply an act of the human condition like breathing or eating.

2 cents worth

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#92 2008-01-05 23:33:43

jmeade
Member
Registered: 2007-12-07
Posts: 15

Re: "Zen at War" (moved)

By the way, I love Horst-shan. Insight? and humor my favorite combination.

I awoke at 4:00 dreaming of this conversation and what came to me was that the big song that I hear in the Honkyoku was formed in this crucible of war and violence. It is not comfortable music , it is more like the skull on the stick of Ikkyu. Pointing, pointing, pointing, but no place to point   
from.

1 cent worth

Last edited by jmeade (2008-01-06 11:35:46)

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