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Thread: Is there anything in Zen?

  1. Top | #21
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    O:
    I don't know if the difference is that the center I went to is Soto Zen? All they do is sit. Except when it's paella+movie day.

    Oh yeah, I forgot about the walking meditation. But, yeah, most of it is shikantaza.

    In short: zazen+walking meditation+mindful cleaning up+teatime chitchat.
    Empíricamente,
    Perspicuo

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    Did somebody mention paella?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perspicuo View Post
    O:
    I don't know if the difference is that the center I went to is Soto Zen? All they do is sit. Except when it's paella+movie day.

    Oh yeah, I forgot about the walking meditation. But, yeah, most of it is shikantaza.

    In short: zazen+walking meditation+mindful cleaning up+teatime chitchat.
    I think it's more that I have "special circumstances." I'd been previously trained in Diamond and Heart Sutras, which both require a different methodology for sitting meditation. The Heart and Medicine Buddha mantra states are automatic to me now, so it was decided that in order to grasp the teachings - I required a different physical state to do so. Also being a Westerner...they are sometimes more liberal with the application of the teachings.

  4. Top | #24
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    I'm content with my no-ideology thing. That's why I love Zen. Even if I'm attracted to, say, metta and core Siddhartha Gautama teaching, I'd hate to be preached at. I cna get all the cool Siddhartha reading, thank you! Blabla was important at times of widespread illiteracy, because books were an impossibly rare and expensive commodity before Guttenberg. Now it's just mind-control IMHO.

    I like my shit to be a practice. When I went into Transcendental Meditation (which I love) they started all secular-ish, then we got the Gita and crap, which I tolerate but I can't stomach.

    Zen is perfect for an empiricist such as I because I don't get any ideological mumbojumbo, no worshipping, and chants are just rote repetition of obvious things about being and becoming mindful. We had a 10 minute introduction and then we were told to sit. At first I thought it was crappy instruction, but after a while I got used to zero sutras, zero talkablabla, zero minding sexy GuanYin statues or any religious trappings. Soto Zen rocks. For me.

    Also, I guess, the deal is you can have your own religion and participate in zazen, and yes, there are practicing Catholics, but most, I suspect, are non-religious like me. It goes well with skeptical and get-yer-Jesus-off-my-penis modernity.

    It floats my boat.
    Empíricamente,
    Perspicuo

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    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Perspicuo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kharakov View Post
    So, that's why I and every zen master in the world, all we have to say to you is: sit.
    You're no master.
    I didn't say I was.
    Yes, you did!
    You said 'I and every other zen master in....'
    Oh. Wait, no, you didn't say 'other.'

    Darn, i hate when that happens....
    Your know master didn't confuse everyone.

  6. Top | #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perspicuo View Post
    I'm content with my no-ideology thing. That's why I love Zen. Even if I'm attracted to, say, metta and core Siddhartha Gautama teaching, I'd hate to be preached at. I cna get all the cool Siddhartha reading, thank you! Blabla was important at times of widespread illiteracy, because books were an impossibly rare and expensive commodity before Guttenberg. Now it's just mind-control IMHO.
    I think the issue with other practices is that the teacher can become a large scale obstacle to inner peace via wrong view. The other thing is that the teachers are said to be infallible. I do not believe this and had to leave a Buddhist order because of this misguided belief. I don't mind the preaching as much. I find the rhythm of it soothing, especially the mantras.

    That said, there is nothing like Zen. I always come back to it. It is easy, effortless, peaceful. Utterly without all the bells and whistles because it doesn't need it.

    I like my shit to be a practice. When I went into Transcendental Meditation (which I love) they started all secular-ish, then we got the Gita and crap, which I tolerate but I can't stomach.
    lol! That is the other aspect I enjoy: all of everyday life is the practice. Effortless.

    Zen is perfect for an empiricist such as I because I don't get any ideological mumbojumbo, no worshipping, and chants are just rote repetition of obvious things about being and becoming mindful. We had a 10 minute introduction and then we were told to sit. At first I thought it was crappy instruction, but after a while I got used to zero sutras, zero talkablabla, zero minding sexy GuanYin statues or any religious trappings. Soto Zen rocks. For me.
    Agreed. Zen is also the reason why my name is "0" (zero), which I call a state of "effortless effort."

    Also, I guess, the deal is you can have your own religion and participate in zazen, and yes, there are practicing Catholics, but most, I suspect, are non-religious like me. It goes well with skeptical and get-yer-Jesus-off-my-penis modernity.
    Much of Buddhism is like this, though. At its root, it is more akin to philosophy than religion. So it is often compatible with just about any other ideology save nihilistic based world-views, which result in psychotic breaks when fused with intense meditative practices.

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0 View Post
    Much of Buddhism is like this, though. At its root, it is more akin to philosophy than religion. So it is often compatible with just about any other ideology save nihilistic based world-views, which result in psychotic breaks when fused with intense meditative practices.
    Could you elaborate on this? As I understand it, nihilism is the central tenet of Buddhism: everything is empty, value is nowhere to be found in the world, all things are transient, and attachment causes suffering.

  8. Top | #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 0 View Post
    Much of Buddhism is like this, though. At its root, it is more akin to philosophy than religion. So it is often compatible with just about any other ideology save nihilistic based world-views, which result in psychotic breaks when fused with intense meditative practices.
    Could you elaborate on this? As I understand it, nihilism is the central tenet of Buddhism: everything is empty, value is nowhere to be found in the world, all things are transient, and attachment causes suffering.
    Certainly. What follows are general explanations as I understood them academically rather than definitive truths I espouse myself:

    From my limited understanding, the Buddhist concept of "inherent emptiness" of all external manifestations merely equates to the scientific understanding that our reality is comprised of empty space. Yet simultaneously, this empty space is not empty. From the Tibetan Buddhists, one learns the concept of "Clear Light Wisdom," which is essentially the full knowledge and acceptance of what this emptiness really means: that all things are one interconnected fabric of living conscious awareness.

    The multitudes are unaware that existence is transient, yet eternal, empty, yet full, valueless, yet priceless - all at the same time. This lack of awareness is called Samsara, the false or superficial world of perception. Meditation, The Eight Fold Path, and so forth are techniques to lift the veil of Samsara to truly see existence as it is. Therefore, the enlightened person equipped with this knowledge feels compassion towards all others because they are unenlightened to this fundamental truth, yet are still an extension of ourselves worthy of acceptance, forgiveness and unconditional love.

    Nihilism, on the other hand, in its three most common manifestations (existentialist, metaphysical or epidemiological) argues that:

    1) external reality holds no intrinsic value, meaning or purpose
    2) knowledge of the external world is impossible or always incomplete in its acquisition and comprehension
    3) reality (internal and/or external) does not actually exist

    Nihilists often fuse this view with negative, anarchistic, cynical and destructive conclusions, often the result of pre-existing anti-social and dysfunctional mental states. Nihilism when taken to its conclusion creates an island of an individual consciousness. External reality is unknowable, empty, unconscious. Therefore, the only will is your own. The only rules are those that the individual can create. The only limitation - positive "feel good" emotions and ideologies that seek to blunt the edges of the truth: that all things are disconnected, unconscious and without purpose at all.

    In Nihilism, Man becomes an island of One. In Buddhism, Man becomes One with The Great All.

    Now to clarify the dangerous aspects: I took classes with The 14th Dalai Lama for six full days among over 400 students and other academics. One of the central lectures consisted of the effects of meditation on the Western mind, specifically when paired with a nihilistic view point. Nihilism in these circles is said to be akin to a disease that is highly prevalent in the West and toxic to our societies.

    When fused with meditation, such a person may come to the conclusion that he or she is a lone god/consciousness in a sea of illusion. This can create depression, anger and hostility. If the person is unprepared for the visions that certain meditative states can cause, they may also take them literally and act on what they've seen. If the belief is that others are not real, for example, it begs the question if there are really consequences when performing harmful actions. It can also lead to the elevation of concepts like chaos and pain as core methodologies used to "feel something." In extreme cases, the classes described instances of suicide and rampant violence towards others. Some Buddhists also equate the self-emulations of monks as a type of nihilistic "wrong view" as well.

  9. Top | #29
    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    You don't notice a nickel worrying about its composition.

  10. Top | #30
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    It should, as it's nearly all zinc these days. Way to let yourself go, nickel.

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