Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 21

Thread: The Eastern Way of Thinking

  1. Top | #11
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    5,598
    Rep Power
    14
    I take a completely different view. Try thinking of Zen as a form of therapy. I think of Buddha as the first 'self help guru'.

    Just had a conversation with a lifelong pot smoker. He gets a 'sense of the divine' from pot. Pot has always been linked with mystical experience. Native Americans and peyote hallucinogenics. Now called ethnogens.

    To me after a long recovery from bad health and heart failure you are either mentally and physically healthy or you are not. When you are healthy you feel good and do not need other things. Tobacco, drugs, and alcohol are easy ways out of getting to health by desensitizing you. A lot of people these days ar taking powerful mood stabilizing drugs including teens. Anxiety, depression, suicide rising.

    I am not a doctor but it seems to me to be a matter of not learning positive mental health growing up. We used to get that from family.

    One of my greatest spiritual experiences was when I drove cross county in 1979. It was night in the middle of Montana with a clear moonless sky. The stars and the Milky Way. For a city kid it was pretty intense. Almost overwhelming.


    Back in the 90s I heard the Seattle Symphony do the entire Bach Brandenburg Concertos. For a few hours I was transported to another existence, as I expect was the entire audience.Something I read, a Zen monk realizing enlightenment at the sound of leaves he was raking. Or a Zen master creating a rock and sand work. He acieves the divine in the act, we precieve it in the result.

    So, what is the divine? And back to something we talk about but can not articulate. We can experince it and communicate through mediums like art, poetry, and music.

    The seeker and pilgrim are on a quest for the indescribable and inexpressible. The quest for The Holy Grail in the Arthurian legends.

  2. Top | #12
    Deus Meumque Jus
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    9,552
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    19,066
    Rep Power
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    I take a completely different view. Try thinking of Zen as a form of therapy. I think of Buddha as the first 'self help guru'.
    That's partly what I was getting at and why I mentioned Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

    If you take those two constructs: Zen and ACT, they both have similar goals of relieving suffering and present more or less the same idea, but Zen takes a cosmic, holistic approach (the divine), while ACT looks at the science while ignoring spiritual implications.

  3. Top | #13
    Deus Meumque Jus
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    9,552
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    19,066
    Rep Power
    47
    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Zen Buddhism

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, an acceptance- and mindfulness-based cognitive behavior therapy, is said to reflect many common tenets underlying Zen Buddhism. However, little has been written about the relationship between Zen Buddhism and ACT. A few researchers have highlighted the parallels between Zen Buddhism and ACT, but writing about the plausible influences of Buddhism on the development of ACT is almost nonexistent. In the present chapter, entitled Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Zen Buddhism, Kenneth Fung and Josephine Wong first provide a short account of the historical development of Western Buddhism in America and explore its influence on the development of ACT. Second, they describe how ACT is similar to and different from Zen Buddhism. Finally, using clinical examples, they propose a more explicit integration of Zen Buddhism into ACT to strengthen its practice.

  4. Top | #14
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,577
    Archived
    3,946
    Total Posts
    5,523
    Rep Power
    63
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ... but Zen takes a cosmic, holistic approach (the divine), while ACT looks at the science while ignoring spiritual implications.
    I don't think I've ever read anything about "the divine" in any of the Zen books I've read. Can I ask where you got that?

  5. Top | #15
    Deus Meumque Jus
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    9,552
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    19,066
    Rep Power
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ... but Zen takes a cosmic, holistic approach (the divine), while ACT looks at the science while ignoring spiritual implications.
    I don't think I've ever read anything about "the divine" in any of the Zen books I've read. Can I ask where you got that?
    It's been a number of months since I went through Suzuki's Essential, I can't recall for certain if it made direct reference to the divine. It's possible, but it might just be my interpretation. That said, I'm definitely referring to an atheistic divine, nothing to do with any type of God.

  6. Top | #16
    Deus Meumque Jus
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    9,552
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    19,066
    Rep Power
    47
    Satori.

    I'd say Satori is the essence of it - it comes from within yourself and your new experiential relationship with the world, rather than impinging on you.

  7. Top | #17
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,577
    Archived
    3,946
    Total Posts
    5,523
    Rep Power
    63
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ... but Zen takes a cosmic, holistic approach (the divine), while ACT looks at the science while ignoring spiritual implications.
    I don't think I've ever read anything about "the divine" in any of the Zen books I've read. Can I ask where you got that?
    It's been a number of months since I went through Suzuki's Essential, I can't recall for certain if it made direct reference to the divine. It's possible, but it might just be my interpretation. That said, I'm definitely referring to an atheistic divine, nothing to do with any type of God.
    Suzuki was looking at western religion to find correlations in it, so he could say in effect "THAT thing in your religion is like THIS thing in Zen". IMV that's always a mistake. There's no nontheist "divine", that's a contradiction in terms. For a while Suzuki was going on about Swedenborg as the western Buddha. That's how incredibly bad this "looking for correlates" problem can get.

    Nevermind alleged similarities, they will always mislead. It's not even hardly apples and oranges. Western thought's dualistic and essentialist to the core, Zen is the exact opposite entirely.

    IMO, you're best off reading no books older than 2000. Unless you're going straight to the source and reading some Zen sutras.

    About the similarity between Zen and ACT, I think the main one is the retraining of the sense of self. It's therapeutically useful to "de-fuse" from your thoughts and feelings by identifying as an observer of them. That way you can stand outside them and observe dispassionately, so they don't have a hold on you (so you don't "fuse" with them). We tend to think we are our thoughts and feelings, but we're not.

    You build up a psychological flexibility in doing this, where you can "expand" enough to hold both pleasant and unpleasant experience, including the jibber-jabber of "the monkey mind", within the observing awareness. Then, "you" are the empty space in which everything in "the world" happens - all the thoughts, memories, feelings, experiences. Then, you're not "fused" with them.

    Zen maybe emphasizes this even more. The story about who "I" am is not who your true or original self is. So psychology isn't of interest anymore, in a contemplative practice like this, since improving the "me" that psychology obsesses over is of no interest. Psychology is a study of (and treatment of) awareness-contents, not of awareness itself for which there is no therapy since it "just is".

    But in any case, the point is "you're not your stories, your 'face before you were born' isn't defined by the beliefs, stories, thoughts, philosophizing, or any other abstractions, that go on in your mind (or in anyone else's either)". That's liberation, when that aforementioned space is so empty that there's just the world and no "me" coloring it with its judgments. This is the emptiness mentioned in your Satori wikipedia link. Presumably compassion with all the world results, since letting the whole world replace your self makes everything intimate... there's no separation, no distance, between "me" and "the world" anymore. "You" are empty for the world (to phrase it dualistically... like I can't help but do since that's the nature of language).

    I'm no Watts or Suzuki, of course. I just read a few books too . Watts, with his genius analogies, would have been more clear. But I think the newer books are clearer still. It's also interesting to see Zen from contemporary Zen eyes instead of hearing it from these fellows who were still wondering "how can we translate these exotic ideas to these westerners?" Maybe read a book or two by Steve Hagen and David R Loy next, if interested?

  8. Top | #18
    Deus Meumque Jus
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    9,552
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    19,066
    Rep Power
    47
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Suzuki was looking at western religion to find correlations in it, so he could say in effect "THAT thing in your religion is like THIS thing in Zen". IMV that's always a mistake. There's no nontheist "divine", that's a contradiction in terms. For a while Suzuki was going on about Swedenborg as the western Buddha. That's how incredibly bad this "looking for correlates" problem can get.
    That's fair and I fully understand your perspective as well as the intent of zen. Truthfully, the use of divine comes from me, for the most part, although I tend to be liberal with how I use words. Maybe some other word is appropriate.

    For me it's that when looking through the perspective of zen I experience a kind of.. 'moreness'. Surely there is intrinsically nothing more actually there, but the experience isn't just.. nothing. If that makes sense. I can't help but tie in a sense of spirituality with it, or if one prefers, emotion.

  9. Top | #19
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    5,598
    Rep Power
    14
    A sense of the divine is not just theism. We all feel it at times, theists think it is unique to their beliefs and goat the end of The Power Of Myth and an historical review Joseph Campbell concluded all myths portray the same fundamental human truths in different cultural forms and metaphors.

    That is my view.

  10. Top | #20
    Member aupmanyav's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    New Delhi, India
    Posts
    170
    Archived
    18,926
    Total Posts
    19,096
    Rep Power
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    So, what is the divine? And back to something we talk about but can not articulate. We can experience it and communicate through mediums like art, poetry, and music.
    Yeah, we can and we do, but why call the experience 'divine'? Nice, wonderful, magnificent will do just as well.
    Well, I hate words like God, divine, etc. They have nefarious connotations.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •