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Zen is a mystery

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Zen is a mystery

Postby Drolma on Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:01 am

I'm such a goof, but is there like a "Zen in a Nutshell" teaching of any kind?

Or does anyone want to give me his/her own personal version of what Zen is in a nutshell?

Despite some efforts on my part to understand it, it's still a bit of a mystery to me.

:O:
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby ReturningToTheSource on Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:03 am

Your mind free from all notions of 'positiveness' and 'negativeness'. Completely receptive.

:O:
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Jundo Cohen on Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:02 am

It depends on which 'flavor' of 'Zen' you mean, because (as you can tell from the discussions in the place) there are many though all are one. But in our way ...

-A- Dropping from mind all idea and resistance to "this" thing and "that", the pleasant and unpleasant, all friction between your "self" and all things you perceive as not your "self" (and thus are constantly bumping and crashing into). Dropping from mind all idea of mind and friction too. Dropping concerns about the laundry you need to wash because it is dirty, dropping "dirty" and "clean". Dropping all likes and dislikes, judgments about circumstances, regrets for the past or hopes/fears for the future. Then, dropping the idea of "dropping".

-B- Allowing the mind to be the mind, ideas and resistance to be ideas and resistence, this to be this and that that, friction to rub rub rub, crashes to crash, things to be things and self perfectly-what-it-is self. Avoid the unpleasant even as you allow it just to be. When you bump, just bump. Like what you need to like and dislike what you must (because you could not survive in this world for long without likes and dislikes ... you walk into the street and get hit by a bus). Allow the past to be and the future too (and don't even regret your regrets or fear having some fears, because that is human ... although we seek to keep those in moderation). Go wash your laundry because your shirts are dirty.

-C- Practice and hold within you both -A- and -B- at once, so intimately that we say they are "not two"

When you do this, you will find that -B- is no longer -B- in the same way as experienced by those poor folks who do not know -A-

Gassho, Jundo
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Rider on Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:25 am

If you are holding something, or making something, or attached to something, you are not practicing Zen... So it is very important to put down your ideas and your feelings. What are you? If you don't know, only go straight -- don't-know.
- Seung Sahn
~founding member

Don’t be distracted,
your very own mind is
what makes all this real.
- Tilopa

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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Fugen on Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:38 am

Hi.

I like the Nike slogan, "just do it"

Mtfbwy
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby christopher::: on Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:20 am

Drolma wrote:I'm such a goof, but is there like a "Zen in a Nutshell" teaching of any kind?

Or does anyone want to give me his/her own personal version of what Zen is in a nutshell?

Despite some efforts on my part to understand it, it's still a bit of a mystery to me.

:O:


Hi Drolma,

These short dharma talks from 2 modern masters might help to make Zen clearer, though the greatest clarity could require that simply let go of any attempt to "grasp" Zen, conceptually...

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Master Sheng Yen: What Is Chan?

:peace:
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"You are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.” ~Pema Chodron
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby olcharlie on Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:43 pm

Life, the universe and everything is a mystery. Birth, consciousness, death, that anything exists at all where such things can take place strikes me as a bit of a mystery. To me, zen is the experience of being present with these mysteries, as opposed to being present with our many explanations of them.
will nap for food
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Kobutsu on Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:55 am

There is nothing "mysterious" about chopping wood and carrying water....

K.
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby lungshan on Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:41 pm

"Find your seat, wear your robe, and go forward and see for yourself."
Master Hongzhi

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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Luzdelaluna on Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:13 pm

There is a quote that goes something like...if you have come to find something in Zen, we have nothing to offer at all. Can someone help?
:blush:
The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They’re not the Way. The Way is wordless. Words are illusions. Freeing oneself from words is liberation.
Bodhidharma
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Mustafa on Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:06 am

Drolma wrote:I'm such a goof, but is there like a "Zen in a Nutshell" teaching of any kind?

Or does anyone want to give me his/her own personal version of what Zen is in a nutshell?

Despite some efforts on my part to understand it, it's still a bit of a mystery to me.

:O:

I dont say that i have understood Zen. Neither do i say that i am a beliver despite that i do my duties frequently.
A perspective from Islam may be helpful to explain why i think like that.
In islam there is a difference between a beliver, and a muslims.

Roughly said for explanations sake from an atheistic view on islamic theism:
A muslim deacleres himself being a posessoion of God, but he is not in posesson of God will.
A beliver deacleres himself being a posessoion of God, and he is in posesson of Gods will.
These are two levels, i dont know if zen enlightenment is a third level in addition, because it is empty and nothing.

Zen is a mystery in a sense that it takes your breath away by simplicity.

Zen cannot be understood they say. It is really about questions and not answers.
So, to find your answer you have to define your question. And you are the only one who can define the question.
What is your question in this thread? You question is: what is my question. Fact is, noone will know that.
A (true) believer does not taunt, damn, slander and abuse people and is bereft of two attributes: telling lie and stinginess - The Prophet Muhammed
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby shantideva on Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:19 am

what is this zen you speak of? :spin: :spin:
when shall i withdraw into the forest,and live among the trees,with the birds and deer ,who say nothing unpleasant,but are a joy to live with!
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Stephanie on Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:37 pm

"The three worlds are nothing but mind."
-The Avatamsaka Sutra, as paraphrased by John Daido Loori

"[Zen is a] special transmission outside the scriptures
Not founded upon words and letters.
By pointing directly to Mind,
It lets one see into one's true nature and attain Buddhahood."

-Bodhidharma

From Bodhidharma's Bloodstream Sermon, as translated by Red Pine in The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma:

"Everything that appears in the three realms comes from the mind. Hence buddhas of the past and future teach mind to mind without bothering about definitions.

But if they don't define it, what do they mean by mind?

You ask. That's your mind. I answer--that's my mind. If I had no mind, how could I answer? If you had no mind, how could you ask? That which asks is your mind. Through endless kalpas without beginning, whatever you do, wherever you are, that's your real mind, that's your real buddha.
This mind is the buddha says the same thing. Beyond this mind you'll never find another buddha. To search for enlightenment or nirvana beyond this mind is impossible. The reality of your own self nature, the absence of cause and effect, is what's meant by mind. Your mind is nirvana. You might think you can find a buddha or enlightenment somewhere beyond the mind, but such a place doesn't exist.

Trying to find a buddha or enlightenment is like trying to grab space. Space has a name but no form. It's not something you can pick up or put down. And you certainly can't grab it. Beyond this mind you'll never see a buddha. The buddha is a product of your mind. Why look for a buddha beyond this mind?

Buddhas of the past and future only talk about this mind. The mind is the buddha, and the buddha is the mind. Beyond the mind there's no buddha, and beyond the buddha there's no mind. If you think there's a buddha beyond the mind, where is he? there's no buddha beyond the mind, so why envision one? You can't know your real mind as long as you deceive yourself. As long as you're enthralled by a lifeless form, you're not free. If you don't believe me, deceiving yourself won't help. It's not the buddha's fault. People, though, are deluded. They're unaware that their own mind is the buddha. Otherwise they wouldn't look for a buddha outside the mind.

Buddhas don't save buddhas. If you use your mind to look for a buddha, you won't see the buddha. As long as you look for a buddha somewhere else, you'll never see that your own mind is the buddha. Don't use a buddha to worship a buddha. And don't use the mind to invoke a buddha. Buddhas don't recite sutras. Buddhas don't keep precepts. And buddhas don't break precepts. Buddhas don't keep or break anything. Buddhas don't do good or evil.

To find a buddha, you have to see your nature. Whoever sees his nature is a buddha. If you don't see your nature, invoking buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless. Invoking buddhas results in good karma, reciting sutras results in good memory; keeping precepts results in a good rebirth, and making offerings results in future blessings--but no buddha.

If you don't understand by yourself, you'll have to find a teacher to get to the bottom of life and death. But unless he sees his nature, such a person isn't a teacher. Even if he can recite the Twelvefold Canon, he can't escape the Wheel of Birth and Death. He suffers in the three realms without hope of release.

Long ago, the monk Good Star was able to recite the entire Canon. But he didn't escape the Wheel, because he didn't see his nature. If this was the case with Good Star, then people nowadays who recite a few sutras or shastras and think it's the Dharma are fools. Unless you see your mind, reciting so much prose is useless.

To find a buddha all you have to do is see your nature. Your nature is the buddha. And the buddha is the person who's free: free of plans, free of cares. If you don't see your nature and run around all day looking somewhere else, you'll never find a buddha. The truth is, there's nothing to find. But to reach such an understanding you need a teacher and you need to struggle to make yourself understand. Life and death are important. Don't suffer them in vain. There's no advantage in deceiving yourself. Even if you have mountains of jewels and as many servants as there are grains of sand along the Ganges, you wee them when your eyes are open. But what about when your eyes are shut? You should realize then that everything you see is like a dream or illusion."
:???: .. :<.<: :HAHA:
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Drolma on Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:44 pm

These are all very helpful answers, thank you :Namaste:
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Lazy_eye on Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:59 pm

Hi Drolma,
Awhile back, I came across something about "five recurring ideas in Zen", and then posted these for discussion. I don't know if they're useful to you, but no one seemed to object. :lol2:

http://www.zenforuminternational.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1245

The five recurring ideas (five fingers to point with?) were:

-- The Highest Truth is inexpressible
-- Spiritual cultivation cannot be cultivated
-- In the last resort, nothing is gained [ed: or lost]
--There is nothing much in Buddhist teaching [ed: 'nothing' in the Heart Sutra sense]
--In carrying water and chopping wood [ed: or in fixing your car, cooking dinner, washing the dishes, doing yoga, writing an e-mail], therein lies the wonderful Dao

Since you did ask for a nutshell...
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Shonin on Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:32 pm

Drolma wrote:Or does anyone want to give me his/her own personal version of what Zen is in a nutshell?


Opening up the heart and mind to reality in it's fathomless depth.
The Victorious Ones have announced that emptiness is the relinquishing of all views. Those who are possessed of the view of emptiness are said to be incorrigible.
- Nagarjuna
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Nonin on Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:11 pm

Drolma wrote:I'm such a goof, but is there like a "Zen in a Nutshell" teaching of any kind?

Yes, it's called "zazen."

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin
Soto Zen Buddhist Priest. Transmitted Dharma Heir of Dainin Katagiri Roshi.
Abbot and Head Teacher, Nebraska Zen Center / Heartland Temple, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
http://www.prairiewindzen.org
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Carol on Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:12 pm

What Shonin said. Everlasting love.
Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
~Lankavatara Sutra
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby Unequaled108 on Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:33 pm

Drolma wrote:I'm such a goof, but is there like a "Zen in a Nutshell" teaching of any kind?

Or does anyone want to give me his/her own personal version of what Zen is in a nutshell?

Despite some efforts on my part to understand it, it's still a bit of a mystery to me.

:O:


Come here a sec.

Little closer.

Little closer.

*WHACK*
JB MuSsang Jaeger, Dharma Teacher, Baltimore Zen Center (Blue Mountain Order/WZF), http://www.baltimorezen.org
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Re: Zen is a mystery

Postby stonedrenched on Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:45 pm

Saw something like this recently and it seems about right for a nutshell. "If you wake up one morning and your body and mind have fallen away, without your efforting, and you are still very much alive, what are you? Don't know? Abide just there."
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