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Question Any Zen out there ( Physics Help and Math Help - Physics Forums Philosophy )
Updated: 2008-09-01 05:36:04 (79)
Any Zen out there

I recently stumbled upon this quote:

When you have faith, you have the impression that you have the truth, you have insight, you know the path to follow, to take. And that is why you are a happy person. But is it a real path, or just the clinging to a set of beliefs? These are two different things. True faith comes from how the path you are taking can bring you life and love and happiness everyday.

When we believe something to be the absolute truth, we are closed. We are no longer open to the understanding and insight of other people, and this is because the object of our faith is just an idea, not a living thing. But if the object of your faith is your direct experience and your insight, then you can always be open. You can grow everyday in your practice, in sharing the fruit of your practice, and in making your faith, love, and happiness grow.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh


I'm really interested in learning more about Zen meditation. Does anyone know anything about it? Can anyone recommend a good book to start?

Answers: Any Zen out there ( Physics Help and Math Help - Physics Forums Philosophy )
Any Zen out there

I don't knwo much about zen, but my grandmother is a follower.

I know that it is a branch of Budhism but which is more strict. It is a lot about your "center of energy" (nothing of scietific in here) which is supposed to be your navel and around it, and you are supposed to get compresed into a very small area having your legs really curved and your hands around your navel and try to meditate. Your are supposed to eat very very little. They don't talk too much. I have a zen proverb........

Only the master knows the sound of his shadow behind the wall.

It makes no sense at all.

<<>>

Any Zen out there

Zen is a way of looking at the world, with out any barricades between you and your ability to see and experience your life. It might be stated that as we grow and learn and behave and believe as we are expected to in our societies, we slowly imprison our perceptions, so that we become humans doing things, rather than experiencing first hand states of being.

One of the tricks of Zen is to quiet internal dialogue, so that everything does not have to be judged, or pigeonholed, or elevated, or debased, the mind is free to come forward, to the edges of perception, freeing up a lot of internal bytes to fully experience the moment.

People who have been faced with life or death situations describe a suspension of time, and an incredible silence from which they make succinct survival moves, this is also a technique in martial arts. Zen is the practice of living in that state of clarity, so there is a peace and yet a nimbleness with which to approach everyday living. You are never going to see the book, Zen And The Art Of Road Rage. Zen masters will be each unique, and have a different sort of finesse, or lack of it. Find a place near you where people do Zen meditation, and if it is too militaristic, or overbearing, then find another, and try it. Just look for someone near where you live that has a lively meditation place, or who offers classes at a university near you.

Dayle Record

Any Zen out there

I had a dream about talking to God and He told me of how everything descends from the spheres. To make a long story short I was informed by someone who studies philsophy that it sounds just like Taoism what I was told.

It doesn't mean I have all the answers, quite the oppisite, it encourages me to seek out more knowledge. And develop a more powerful mind. That is my geas. And God didn't pre-destine it for me, He just stimulated my brain enough to recindle the flame I lost long ago for the thirst of knowledge. (When I was a child I was a REAL bookworm..)

Big Evil

Any Zen out there

I can't add much more than what others have spoken to already. Take a look at "The Three Pillars of Zen" as a good intro. Also look into the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu for interesting things the thingk about.

DocToxyn

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by <<<GUILLE>>>
I don't knwo much about zen, but my grandmother is a follower.

I know that it is a branch of Budhism but which is more strict. It is a lot about your "center of energy" (nothing of scietific in here) which is supposed to be your navel and around it, and you are supposed to get compresed into a very small area having your legs really curved and your hands around your navel and try to meditate. Your are supposed to eat very very little. They don't talk too much. I have a zen proverb........

Only the master knows the sound of his shadow behind the wall.

It makes no sense at all.
Of course it makes no literal sense. It isn't meant to. That doesn't mean it makes no sense metaphorically. With metaphor we can explain things that are impossible to explain in a literal sense. Most poetry is this way.

Only the master knows the sound of his shadow behind the wall.
I would interpret this to mean that when a person truly understands any situation then there is no barrier that can prevent their understanding. It could be interpreted in any number of ways, and this is where the essense of Zen enters. It isn't something you can teach. It isn't something you can learn. It is something that you just understand when you are ready.

I enjoyed reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance. I'm sure you can find many books on the topic. The best advice I could give would be not to try too hard.

Huckleberry

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by pattiecake
I'm really interested in learning more about Zen meditation. Does anyone know anything about it? Can anyone recommend a good book to start?
Try the library. You are pretty much guaranteed to find several shelves worth of books on Zen/Buddhism/Tao covering a wide range of levels. I'm sure there will be several good introductory books that will suit you. And you can take them out for free!

There are a couple of Zen introduction books by Alan Watts I have on my shelf. These are some of the books I have on my shelf that I've enjoyed reading

The Way of Zen
Spirit of Zen
The Tao of Pooh
The Tao of Inner Peace

imabug

Any Zen out there

You may want to take a look at Shambhala Press. I cam across them reading a few of John Stevens' books. There is a lot to be read on this tiopic.

http://www.shambhala.com

FredGarvin

Any Zen out there

I just got done with Classics of Buddhism and Zen, Volume 1 : The Collected Translations of Thomas Cleary

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

Fantastic book. Very easy to read, I'm an average speed reader and it took me about a month.

Greg Bernhardt

Any Zen out there

I started my own meditation career with Zen years back. But to get anywhere I had to study the original texts, and especially the words of the Buddha himself. I did so because unlike most people who seem to write today, I am disappointed with the ?modernization? that’s happened to Zen. Zen has become so watered down, people now use it as a prefix and attach it to anything from cooking and archery to sex. If you have the patience to read this somewhat wordy post, I’ll explain myself.

If you want to know what it was orignally, you’d have to study not just Zen, but the development of Buddhism. Buddhism didn’t start out as Buddhism (i.e., the religion). It started out with the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama, and his enlightenment came about after years of devoted meditation. As ?the Buddha? he set up and invited people to join his sangha, which was a monastic community devoted to meditation.

The four noble truths taught by the Buddha, that (essentially) being dependent on anything outside oneself for happiness leads to suffering, was a way of inviting people to learn the techniques of strict dependence on inner skills to be happy and content . . . and that too was learned through meditation. The eighfold path? Well, again, it was guidelines for remaining unentangled in life so that one could focus on the main goal samadhi meditation (the 8th step of the eightfold path).

So the followers of the Buddha were meditators first and foremost, and every bit of philosophy/guidance the Buddha gave them had no purpose in and of itself, but was solely aimed at keeping followers inward-oriented. But Buddhist religion switches all that by giving top priority to the philosophy/guidance stuff the Buddha offered his devoted meditators.

Not so long after the death of the Buddha, missionary efforts had spread his teaching all over the East where, as typically happens when enlightenment is taken to superstitious populations with indigenous occult practices already in place, it began turning into religion. And as a result of altering the Buddha’s priority, in Buddhism one learned a way to behave, to believe, what to think . . . and if one has time, slip in some meditation.

Jump ahead to a thousand years after the Buddha’s death and there are unmistakable signs that Buddhist religion is dominant. It is recognized by prolific temple building, sutra copying and chanting, relic veneration, pilgrimages to and circumambulation of commemorative monuments (the stupas), worship of semi-divine beings, along with a plentiful collection of stories, philosophic works, new ?scriptures,? and beliefs—none of which had been taught or recommended by the Buddha.

Now, it is often the case that while religion proliferates, a much, much smaller core of devotees remains true to the original teachings of the master. I call these devotees preservationists because they work to preserve enlightenment by practicing inwardness (particularly meditation) just as vigorously as the master taught it (there is a parallel case of preservationism in Christianity by the way).

Religion appeals to the masses, so the size and growth of religion usually completely overshadows the work of the preservationists (usually the average person knows nothing about them). In the case of the original teachings of the Buddha and the religion of Buddhism, I believe Zen came about from a preservationist who left India to look for new preservationists in China, traditionally believed to be Bodhidarma.

With a new start and a true enlightenment master, meditation blossomed beautifully in fertile souls where a fresh expression of the Buddha’s realization became known as Ch’an (Zen is the later Japanese pronuciation of the Chinese word chan-na -- abbreveated Ch’an -- which was their rendering of the sanskrit word dhyana, which means meditation). It is easy to see Bodhidarma was a genuine preservationist because he brought the experience alive in himself. He could therefore serve the essential role of teacher, emanating the enlightenment experience for aspirants.

That is exactly why enlightenment became a reality in Ch’an. We don’t know how the founding teacher really taught, but we do know the teaching format that descended from him was very close to the Buddha’s. It was an exceptionally simple system of initiation by the master, listening to and interacting with the master, and sitting in meditation. The so-called Four Statements of Ch’an (attributed to Bodhidarma) reflect this simplicity:
1. No dependence on words and letters.
2. A special transmission outside the Scriptures [meaning, passing the experience to an aspirant through initiation by a realized teacher].
3. Direct pointing to the heart of man.
4. Seeing into one's nature and the attainment of the Buddhahood.

Because samadhi meditation was central to Ch’an, it confirms the Buddha relied primarily on ?right meditation? to teach inwardness. Even six hundred years after its origin as Ch’an, meditation was still the central practice, as is shown by Japanese Zen master Dogen’s words (who had traveled to China to study Zen), ?In the study of the Way, the prime essential is sitting meditation. The attainment of the way by many people in China is due in each case to the power of sitting meditation. Even ignorant people with no talent, who do not understand a single letter, if they sit whole-heartedly in meditation, then by the accomplishment of meditative stability, they will surpass even brilliant people who have studied for a long time. Thus students . . . do not get involved with other things.?

So you might understand why today, as I said, I am unimpressed with what is called Zen. Plus everybody and their uncle is setting themselves up as teachers. I’ve meditated an hour or more daily for almost 32 years and would never offer myself as a teacher, but I know of people who have never even meditated, but just became ?realized? by reading Zen stuff, and now offer themselves as a master.

I’d be careful who you let teach you. I think a good start is to understand the Buddha before, or at least while, you check out Zen. The problem is finding the words of the Buddha, rather than all the later religious interpreters. Fortunately, his first followers made a point of memorizing and recording his words, so we have quite a bit material preserved. I might suggest starting with a book like Thus Have I heard ? The long discourses of the Buddha translated by Maurice Walshe (it might be out of print, but Amazon should have it cheap used). It has a great collection of the Buddha’s talks, give a history of some of the texts, and also discusses some of the Buddhist religion beliefs.

In terms of Zen, my all-time favorite master is Joshu. A great book (likely out of print too, but Amazon’s used book search is awesome) is Radical Zen ? the sayings of Joshu by Yoel Hoffmann.

If I can be of any more help, PM me and I can make other suggestions for learning meditation.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

zen practice is sitting and counting breaths and watching your thoughts come and go without attaching to them without repulsing from them. the counting breaths keeps you focused on one thing. It is about being awake and present, free of internal dialoge and concepts. THat allows us to interact directly and honestly with world we experience. Thats about all you need to know about Zen.imo

Vossistarts

Any Zen out there

I only have one question: why hasn't this thread been deleted? Isn't it about religion after all?

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Johann
I only have one question: why hasn't this thread been deleted? Isn't it about religion after all?
Where exactly do you see religion in talking about meditation?

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
Where exactly do you see religion in talking about meditation?
In fact Les, your long post specifically separates the practice of Zen from the historical Buddhist religion, and asserts that Gautama's original teaching had nothing to do with that religion as it developed. That's about as far from a "religious" post as I can imagine.

selfAdjoint

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by pattiecake
I recently stumbled upon this quote:

When you have faith, you have the impression that you have the truth, you have insight, you know the path to follow, to take. And that is why you are a happy person. But is it a real path, or just the clinging to a set of beliefs? These are two different things. True faith comes from how the path you are taking can bring you life and love and happiness everyday.

When we believe something to be the absolute truth, we are closed. We are no longer open to the understanding and insight of other people, and this is because the object of our faith is just an idea, not a living thing. But if the object of your faith is your direct experience and your insight, then you can always be open. You can grow everyday in your practice, in sharing the fruit of your practice, and in making your faith, love, and happiness grow.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh


I'm really interested in learning more about Zen meditation. Does anyone know anything about it? Can anyone recommend a good book to start?
Zen is highly disciplined, or, in the least, that is my experience of the practice.

The Zen disciplines require that you find the universe in the leg of a chair or in the dew on the leaf.

That's why people talk about "the Zen of Motorcycle Maintanence" or the Zen of Eating or whathaveyou. There are Zen practitioners who have spent 20 years painting the image of the same mountain for 20 years. Through this disciplined approach to understanding a phenomenon, there is the belief that the practitioner will understand every mountain, every tree, every river, every rock and everything else, just by concentrating, fully and wholey on one aspect of their environment.

Paul Cezzan, the French artist who is credited with starting part of the Impressionist movement was a natural Zen type of guy. He painted Mount Victoria for around most of his life. He is also credited with starting the Cubist movement through this discipline3 he developed.

This kind of devotion to a single aspect of one's life and one's experience often results in a Quality of understanding that is rarely attained by the general populace. I suppose that's why the Zen monks and practitioners are few and far between. Its a hard road and Boot Camp is not just 6 months in the mud. Its 20 years of purile concentration.

Personally, I am of the belief that Jack of All Trades, Master of None can evolve into a form of what the Zenists have tended to attempt to attain.

Because great minds think alike... and, similarily, fools seldom differ .... I lean more towards the multidisciplined approach that includes less beliefs, rituals, balognia and more actual experiences. Because, that's all there is, really.

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

If you take the Buddhist metaphysics out of it, meditation is just a trick you play with your brain that often causes its practitioners to develop false beliefs about the nature of reality. Which is why I don't practice it and don't recommend to anyone.

This kind of devotion to a single aspect of one's life and one's experience often results in a Quality of understanding that is rarely attained by the general populace
A few milligrams of LSD often have exactly the same effect.

Because great minds think alike... and, similarily, fools seldom differ ...
Sheesh! If that is not preaching, I don't know what is! Can we talk about saints and sinners now? Believers and infidels?



Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by nameless
As our commonly accepted notion of 'my-self' (as if there were a 'my' who possesses the 'quality/quantity' of 'self'!), whom we see in the mirror, is also 'fiction', asking 'whom' might not be appropriate here. I have never found any evidence of someone 'here' in 'existence'. Ultimately, it appears that 'concsiousness/awareness' contains/produces (words at this level must be metaphorically examined, considering the 'context') 'mind/ego'. It is mind/ego that conceives Duality, an imaginary boundary drawn around 'concepts', 'naming' the 'concept' into petrification, and taking the 'concept' as a distinct and uniquely seperate 'thing', apart and distinct from all other concepts that have become 'things'. We 'conceptualize' our universes, populating them with things. From the subtlest of 'things', like 'thought', to the 'grossest', such as a galaxy, we populate our 'concept of life', our concept of space/time, our universes, our fiction, our 'dream'... Of course, I use the word 'our' almost as if there really were a 'me' or a 'we' other than as a 'dream' of consciousness... Consciousness is a rather homogenous 'thing', in and of itself... Perhaps thats why It 'dreams' in such 'living color'?
Yes, but illusions of our mind have nothing to do with if the physical universe is real. I don't think you understand Royce's point yet (not that I claim to represent his view).

The physical universe is real and our consciousness is real in that they both exist. This Eastern concept that the world is an illusion is commonly misinterpreted to mean the world itself is an illusion when it really refers to what consciousness believes about the world.

A similar example is someone on the desert who believes a mirage is water. Is the mirage real? Yes it is, it is a real mirage with actual physical characteristics. Is it an illusion? Yes it is an illusion as well if consciousness believes the mirage is water.

Our consciousness, bound in physicalness for now, accepts much about the effects of physicalness on consciousness as our nature. Since, for instance, in relation to us the physical is "out there" and we are thoroughly submerged in physical circumstances from the moment we are conceived, we come to believe contentment and lasting happiness are "out there." The inner perspective, however, claims there is nothing "out there" which can satisfy because physicalness isn't our true nature. So our pursuit of contentment and lasting happiness "out there" is an illusion; but a common way to say this in the East has to been to say "out there" (or the world) is an illusion.

BTW, recognizing a distinction between physicalness and consciousness doesn't have to be duality. Check out substance monism for an answer to that.


Originally Posted by nameless
Almost, we all and each occupy a 'different' universe experienced from our own unique(?) 'perspectives', our own corner (ego/duality) of consciousness. The entire omniverse has existence, solely, within consciousness; there is not so much 'one universal consciousness', as consciousness of all universes as merely 'dream'. Consciousness, the literal 'Creator God' of all that is. Creator of Dreams that dream...
I say, one reality, many perseptives; and, most of us may be dreaming, but it isn't the only option. Once can experience reality without the dream.


Originally Posted by nameless
The state of understanding that all that we see in our universes is 'one' and that all 'distinctions' are subjectively arbitrary is commonly referred to as 'enlightenment'. Even the scientists will tell you that there is no definite place where one 'thing' ends and another 'begins'. Even science is becoming 'enlightened'. Sheesh! Hahahaha....


Many, many universes comprising the omniverse, within Counsciousness which is the Reality that contains all the baby dream 'realities'...
That is not enlightenment. If you want to use the word as it was applied in 18th century Europe, then maybe. But the Buddha's enlightenment is something entirely different. It is to escape the "dream" you are talking about and merge with reality. Since that enlightenment is realized in a still mind, there is no possible way to "think" enlightenment.

And there is one place that both ends and begins in the same place, and that is each individual.


Originally Posted by nameless
Then perhaps one is a mite short from 'enlightenment', as, if all is 'one', then there is no longer an 'I' to 'Be' or to 'know' as there IS nothing to know, and no individual 'me' to 'Be'!
I posit that the only thing that can be truly 'known' is delusion.
Perhaps you mean 'strongly believe'? Otherwise you are dealing in the 'coin' of religious 'faith' and 'belief'. Dogmatic fundamnentalism. <shudders!>
How do you 'know' that you 'are'? The 'evidence' of the senses? Ego demands? Mind? Someone told you?
You can speak for yourself, but not everyone. If you can't stop your mind, then yes you are doomed to knowing only what it tells you. If you can silence it and experience reality without it's incessant interpretations, colorations, aversions, lusts . . . then you may experience your own existence with the sort of certainty Royce hints at.


Originally Posted by nameless
'convictions' make convicts, 'beliefs' make 'believers', thought makes 'thinkers'.
. . . and meditation can make enlightenment.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Royce
This is why the eastern mystics say that the physical world is illusion. It is not illusion as I know that there is one reality and all that is, is of that one reality. If it is, it is real. The physical world, universe, is real. It is a part of, a subset of, all that is, of all of reality. When looked at by the "mystics" it may be a small and insignificant part of reality; but, it is real.

This is in no way meant as a condemnation or even criticism. It is simply an observation by one who has been there, done that, got the tee shirt and the tattoo.]
Sorry, that is not why the 'mystics' say that the physical world is illusion. We say that it is illusion because it only exists within 'mind', as a 'mental fiction', a 'dream'. It all certainly 'feels' real though... How is it that you speak and interpert for 'the mystics'?

About your one 'reality', are you implying that 'your' reality is all inclusive of 'illusion', 'delusion', 'truth', 'lies', all 'concepts', all 'perspectives', all 'theories', etc...?
Thanx..

Bye the bye, I've got a few tattoos myself! *__-

nameless

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by nameless
Sorry, that is not why the 'mystics' say that the physical world is illusion. We say that it is illusion because it only exists within 'mind', as a 'mental fiction', a 'dream'. It all certainly 'feels' real though...
I know what some mystics say and what some others say. If the physical world exists only in the mind or is only a dream then in whose mind does it exist as we all experience it? Whose dream is it and how do we all experience it? Are we all then of one mind, one universal consciousness that is the one reality?

How is it that you speak and interpret for 'the mystics'?
Because here at PF the words mystic, mysticism etc have come to be used for those of us who meditate and are non-physicalist and argue for the something more position. I do not consider myself a mystic nor what I believe as mysticism.

About your one 'reality', are you implying that 'your' reality is all inclusive of 'illusion', 'delusion', 'truth', 'lies', all 'concepts', all 'perspectives', all 'theories', etc...?
If there is one universal consciousness then my reality is your reality as we are all of that one consciousness. If there is one consciousness and all that is, is mental of that consciousness then there can be only one reality.

I have said in the past and here above that if it is, if it exists, it is real and that if it does not exist it is not real. If it is not real it does not exist. This view, theory or whatever you want to call it is the result of recent meditation. Not long ago I thought the same way that the physical world is illusion and in many ways it is depending on how we look at it. Lately I have come to see, to know that it is one and it is real. One Universe, One Consciousness and One Reality and it is all One. In that some of all that is, is real then all of what is, is real. In short ; "If it is, it is real. If it is not, it is not real." I know this ( possibly the same way I know that I am.)



Bye the bye, I've got a few tattoos myself! *__-
We all do, although some call them scars.

Royce

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Royce
I know what some mystics say and what some others say. If the physical world exists only in the mind or is only a dream then in whose mind does it exist as we all experience it? Whose dream is it and how do we all experience it? Are we all then of one mind, one universal consciousness that is the one reality?
Nice to meet you Royce.
You must have been around for a few years. I can 'smell' it from the clarity and conciseness of your questioning.

As our commonly accepted notion of 'my-self' (as if there were a 'my' who possesses the 'quality/quantity' of 'self'!), whom we see in the mirror, is also 'fiction', asking 'whom' might not be appropriate here. I have never found any evidence of someone 'here' in 'existence'. Ultimately, it appears that 'concsiousness/awareness' contains/produces (words at this level must be metaphorically examined, considering the 'context') 'mind/ego'. It is mind/ego that conceives Duality, an imaginary boundary drawn around 'concepts', 'naming' the 'concept' into petrification, and taking the 'concept' as a distinct and uniquely seperate 'thing', apart and distinct from all other concepts that have become 'things'. We 'conceptualize' our universes, populating them with things. From the subtlest of 'things', like 'thought', to the 'grossest', such as a galaxy, we populate our 'concept of life', our concept of space/time, our universes, our fiction, our 'dream'... Of course, I use the word 'our' almost as if there really were a 'me' or a 'we' other than as a 'dream' of consciousness... Consciousness is a rather homogenous 'thing', in and of itself... Perhaps thats why It 'dreams' in such 'living color'?

...and argue for the something more position.
Can you please explain what you mean by this? I am unfamiliar with that 'position'. (Two knees and an elbow? *__- ) It sounds 'somehow wrong' in that the way to 'truth' appears to be a 'something less' position... But, hey, WTFDIK?

If there is one universal consciousness
Almost, we all and each occupy a 'different' universe experienced from our own unique(?) 'perspectives', our own corner (ego/duality) of consciousness. The entire omniverse has existence, solely, within consciousness; there is not so much 'one universal consciousness', as consciousness of all universes as merely 'dream'. Consciousness, the literal 'Creator God' of all that is. Creator of Dreams that dream...

then my reality is your reality as we are all of that one consciousness.
If you are referring to 'consciousness' as an/the 'ultimate reality', both of us having our 'existence' within that Consciousness as 'dream', then perhaps. So from one 'perspective', that is correct. If you refer to our 'reality' as that which the mind conceives and the senses 'corroborate', our individual 'perspectives'. We all experience different universes. All existing in Consciousness.
But, THERE IS NO QUANTITATIVE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANYTHING IN OUR 'DREAMLAND UNIVERSES'

If there is one consciousness and all that is, is mental of that consciousness then there can be only one reality.
I wish that youd use a perhaps, capital 'R' or something to indicate Reality, that which is of omniversal perfect symmetry, 'ever the same', 'That-ness', 'Am what it Am' Reality, as opposed to the 'reality' that if I don't brush my teeth, I probably wont get kissed (except by my wolf, of course*__-) small 'r' 'subset(?).
One 'Reality', many (apparent) 'realities'.
Neils Bohr said once, "There are great Truths and there are trivial truths. The opposite of a great Truth is also True, the opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false!"

I have said in the past and here above that if it is, if it exists, it is real and that if it does not exist it is not real. If it is not real it does not exist.
'Exist' as in our common consensus 'reality', our 'Dream' 'existence'? That is the only 'brand' of 'existence' of which I have any 'experience'. Bye the bye, I think that the word 'real' comes from the Latin 'res' meaning 'thing', if memory serves..

This view, theory or whatever you want to call it is the result of recent meditation. Not long ago I thought the same way that the physical world is illusion and in many ways it is depending on how we look at it. Lately I have come to see, to know that it is one and it is real.
The state of understanding that all that we see in our universes is 'one' and that all 'distinctions' are subjectively arbitrary is commonly referred to as 'enlightenment'. Even the scientists will tell you that there is no definite place where one 'thing' ends and another 'begins'. Even science is becoming 'enlightened'. Sheesh! Hahahaha....

One Universe, One Consciousness and One Reality and it is all One. In that some of all that is, is real then all of what is, is real. In short ; "If it is, it is real. If it is not, it is not real."
Many, many universes comprising the omniverse, within Counsciousness which is the Reality that contains all the baby dream 'realities'... What some take to be 'real', isn't 'Real', just subjectively assumed to have 'inherent' existence. Delusion. I guess that is some ways, delusion can be 'reality'.

And, I guess that my understanding of what your 'in short' meaning means depends on what you mean by 'is'...

I know this ( possibly the same way I know that I am.)
Then perhaps one is a mite short from 'enlightenment', as, if all is 'one', then there is no longer an 'I' to 'Be' or to 'know' as there IS nothing to know, and no individual 'me' to 'Be'!
I posit that the only thing that can be truly 'known' is delusion.
Perhaps you mean 'strongly believe'? Otherwise you are dealing in the 'coin' of religious 'faith' and 'belief'. Dogmatic fundamnentalism. <shudders!>
How do you 'know' that you 'are'? The 'evidence' of the senses? Ego demands? Mind? Someone told you?
Remember,
'convictions' make convicts, 'beliefs' make 'believers', thought makes 'thinkers'.

We all do, although some call them scars.
And would display them proudly,
if 'pride' weren't a 'sin'...
*__-

Lots of words dealing in areas where words are rather tenuous at best. I hope that I have made some sense to you, and thanx for the opportunity of clarifying a bit of thought...
Peace...

nameless

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by selfAdjoint
I have seen this said before and never followed it up. Have you any sites where I might learn more about these meditation imaging studies?
I don't have time to do a web search right now (will try later), but experiments of this sort are described by the researchers in the book Why God Won't Go Away.

hypnagogue

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by hypnagogue
Have you experienced any seizures?
Indeed I have not. But the literature is abundant, and even the word seizure is derived from the concept of being "seized," and that is just about exactly opposite of the "release" that occurs in union. If reports about seizures are accurate, then it is easy for me to differentiate what I experience and what's described as a seizure.


Originally Posted by hypnagogue
Actually, whether these transcendent states are related to seizures or not, it is known that the baseline EEG of experienced meditators is different from non-meditators in a marked and predictable way, and various other brain imaging studies have shown distinct neural correlates of transcendent or ecstatic states arising from meditation.
True. But what if what is being measured only tells what physical effects meditation has on the body? Only if you assume up front that a transcendent state is purely physical can you also assume that the EEG is reflecting all that's going on.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by selfAdjoint
I have seen this said before and never followed it up. Have you any sites where I might learn more about these meditation imaging studies?
I couldn't drum up a good all-purpose or review site on these matters, but here's a full paper and an article about the effect of meditation on EEG readings:
Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice
Meditation Gives Brain a Charge, Study Finds

You can also find abstracts pertaining to this on PubMed. Entering "meditation eeg" returns 129 results, although "meditation fmri" and "meditation pet" return only 6 and 4 respectively.

I skimmed through the first chapter of Why God Won't Go Away and the writers mention research where they use PET to scan the brains of experienced meditators just as the meditators tug on a string to indicate that they are at the peak of their experience. The scan showed that during this experience, activity in the posterior superior parietal lobe (what the authors call "orientation association area" or "OAA") was significantly inhibited compared to baseline. One function of OAA is to help us orient our bodies in space and navigate through the world safely and coherently, and part of carrying out this function involves drawing an implicit boundary between the body/self and the external world. The authors propose, then, that decreased activity in OAA may be what is responsible for consistent reports that during peak meditative experiences, the self seems to 'dissolve' and become one with the entire universe. Because the OAA is being inhibited, no body/self boundaries can be drawn, and so the self is experienced as if it indeed has no boundaries.

hypnagogue

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by hypnagogue
I skimmed through the first chapter of Why God Won't Go Away and the writers mention research where they use PET to scan the brains of experienced meditators just as the meditators tug on a string to indicate that they are at the peak of their experience. The scan showed that during this experience, activity in the posterior superior parietal lobe (what the authors call "orientation association area" or "OAA") was significantly inhibited compared to baseline. One function of OAA is to help us orient our bodies in space and navigate through the world safely and coherently, and part of carrying out this function involves drawing an implicit boundary between the body/self and the external world. The authors propose, then, that decreased activity in OAA may be what is responsible for consistent reports that during peak meditative experiences, the self seems to 'dissolve' and become one with the entire universe. Because the OAA is being inhibited, no body/self boundaries can be drawn, and so the self is experienced as if it indeed has no boundaries.
Or . . . the OAA is one way consciousness is connected to the body, and a meditator's disassociation from the brain shows itself there.

What has become interesting to me is how clearly I can see the physicalist a priori assumption in all the brain research and subsequent theorizing, abiogenesis theory, and all evolution only by way of genetic variation and natural selection. Those theorizing have already decided that only a physical explanation is possible.

Lately I've been rereading my favorite books on evolution, plus perusing the net looking for the lastest finds. What is it that evolutionists claim evolution has done? Well, in 600 million years it has evolved most of the life forms that we see. That life includes some extremely complex organs, including the human brain.

What's the evidence that mutating genes can provide the variety of traits needed for nature to select in 600 million years (which includes a couple of mass extinctions) what's needed to produce a human brain? Well, there is none. What there is evidence of is that genetic variation and natural selection can make superficial changes to an extant organism. There is also genetic evidence that all life is related, so it is logical to infer life developed through genetic changes. What is missing, however, is evidence that self-directed genetic variation, naturally selected, can produce an organism. What you see in the record is bursts of creative genetic change that result in new organisms, followed by millions of years of relative stasis in surviving species. I say "relative stasis" because it's proven species can be modified superficially by genetic variation and natural selection.

There is not enough evidence to say that the force of genetic variation and natural selection alone can create an organism, or even an organ! Genetic variation and natural selection is far too puny, in terms of what we can actually observe, to at this time say it can do it without some sort of additional principle, force, process, etc.

So when reading evolutinary theory what you get is tons of information about simple speciation (because that's all we can observe), and then TONS and TONS of "the model predicts . . ." to fill in the huge evidentiary gaps needed prove genetic variation and natural selection can create an organism. This is exactly what physicalists have done with abiogenesis. They get a few proteins to self organize and then claim they've all but proven life started that way. Brain researchers see the brain respond to conscious activity and assume, without hesitation, that the brain is causing consciousness; it couldn't possibly be that consciousness is entwined with the brain somehow so there is correspondence.

It doesn't have to be true consciousness isn't physical, or that some creationary consciousness has been able to manipulate genes during key phases of evolution. But it doesn't have to be untrue either. Yet to the physicalists, they say "we can find no evidence of a creationary consciousness, all we find is physical stuff." But they also won't acknowledge they are only looking for physical stuff and what supports their beliefs, that they will only accept physical evidence and physical theories for the gaps in evidence, and that they exaggerate the significance of evidence they do have. Nobody in the physicalist camp admits what they are doing.

To get right, all they'd have to do is say is that they observe a small degree of self organization, they observe genetic variation and natural selection producing relatively superficial changes to extant organisms, and they have found correspondence between consciousness and brain activity. Beyond that, they don't actually know anything.

So why the incessant huge leaps to "physicalness has done it all" if physicalists are just trying to prove their theory (which would be fine), and really don't have an anti-spiritual agenda? Why treat doubters like they are too stupid to understand if there is no a priori assumption that physicalness alone is the orgin of all?

To me what's stupid is watching someone take apart a once living thing elegantly organized to function with near perfection as a self-sustaining system, describe all the relationships between the parts correctly as chemical, and then stand in the clutter of their disassembled life form and say, "See, mere chemistry." Now that is stupid.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
But what if what is being measured only tells what physical effects meditation has on the body? Only if you assume up front that a transcendent state is purely physical can you also assume that the EEG is reflecting all that's going on.
Here are some of the results of MRI and other studies on meditators and a brief overview of the benefits of meditation from http://www.channel4.com/health/micro...editation.html

Meditation

what is it?

For thousands of years meditation has been an important spiritual practice among Buddhists, Islamic Sufis, Christian mystics and other religious groups. But as recent research demonstrates its benefits for mental and physical well-being, efforts are underway to demystify and secularise the practice. Different schools of meditation favour different techniques, but all share a common basis: a focus of attention to which the mind can return if distracted.

what it's supposed to do

Professor Herbert Benson of the Mind/Body Institute of Harvard Medical School developed what he calls the 'Relaxation Response' after studying transcendental meditation practitioners in the 1970s. He found that simply sitting in a quiet place for about 20 minutes and concentrating on the breath or a particular word or phrase can reverse the physiological changes produced by stress. (In theory a word plucked at random from the telephone book will do, but most people seem to prefer something with a spiritual connotation.) Blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, metabolism and muscle tension are reduced, and the brain slips into a slower, calmer rhythm.

Meditation is commonly recommended to relieve stress and anxiety, high blood pressure, headache, migraine, fatigue, depression, insomnia, chronic pain, to overcome addictions, to enhance the immune system and for personal development.

what happens

Whatever approach is used, you will probably need a quiet environment where you won't be disturbed, a comfortable position (the lotus position is not obligatory but lying down can send you to sleep; many people like to sit upright in a chair), and a focus for your mind. The usual advice is 15-20 minutes meditation once or twice a day, before a meal when you won't be distracted by a full stomach.

The aim is to achieve a state of 'passive awareness', alert but detached from everyday surroundings. Whenever the mind wanders, draw it calmly back to the focus of meditation. Breathing is slow and regular so that the abdomen rises and falls gently.

The focus of meditation may be the rhythm of your breathing, a mantra (a word or phrase that is repeated continually, either silently or aloud), a physical object such as a candle flame or religious icon, a positive affirmation, feelings of loving kindness, visualising a sacred figure, or (for those who find it difficult to sit still) a repetitive movement, as in walking or t'ai chi. The Buddhist technique of vipassana or 'mindfulness', is defined as 'moment-to-moment non-judgmental awareness', or paying attention to whatever feelings or actions one is experiencing at the time.

what's the evidence?

Followers of transcendental meditation (TM), who work with an allocated mantra, have carried out extensive studies, though not always of a high quality. But recent trials published in Stroke in 2000 and The American Journal of Cardiology in 1996 and 2000 show that TM can reduce atherosclerosis and the risk of heart disease.

A form of meditation known as sahaja yoga, based on yogic breathing exercises, was found to help people with severe asthma, according to an Australian study in Thorax in 2002.

Research into an adaptation of the Buddhist technique of 'mindfulness' led by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, shows relief for symptoms of heart disease, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, headaches, anxiety and panic, cancer, AIDS, stress and chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients also claimed to have more energy, confidence, 'enthusiasm for life', and be more able to deal with stressful situations.

When combined with cognitive therapy (which aims to change unhelpful beliefs and thoughts), mindfulness meditation halved the risk of relapse for people with a history of clinical depression, according to a recent Medical Research Council study in Cambridge.

Neurobiologists have used positive emission topography (PET) scans and functional MRI scans to study what happens in the brain during meditation. Results indicate that different areas of the brain are involved than when merely resting, and suggest the mind can control the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary body functions like respiration and circulation.

precautions

Go to the safety first section of 'before you start' for some general precautions to take into account when considering a complementary therapy.

* Check with your doctor before starting meditation if you have a history of psychiatric problems.
I have promoted and observed relaxation programs that were used in Cancer Institutes and that boosted the survival rates among patients to higher levels than those among patients not using meditation and relaxation as a complimentary treatment program. The rise in survival rates was significant to more than 20% above a 40-45 % level.

As far as I know today, relaxation programs for cancer patients have been scaled back by "budget concerns" and jealous pharmaceutical companies. The cost of a relaxation program equals the salary of two neurolinguists and some foam mats for the floor.

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

There seems to be some misunderstanding here about meditation. Focusing on an image mental or physical, focusing on our breathing or counting our breathes, quieting our minds are exercises by which we learn to find that quiet place within us all that Les mentioned above. and learn to listen and observe with our being. Only then do we without effort or intention slip into the meditative state of consciousness. We do not try to meditate nor learn to meditate. Trying and learning are doing something and doing something is the antithesis of meditation. Doing nothing is not meditation either; however, only by learning to quieten our minds of the constant chatter and random thoughts and images that we get hung up on and get carried away with, then finding that quiet place and doing nothing, can our consciousness automatically assume the meditative state. Then and only then are we actually meditating.

All the rest, all the techniques, the images and focusing are exercises by which we learn and train ourselves to come to the mental quietness necessary to allow meditation to happen. We benefit tremendously both mentally and physically by doing these exercises but it is not meditation. Once there, once finally quiet and in our center we begin meditating. It takes months if not years to train ourselves to achieve this quiet, doing nothing state. Once there meditation occurs on its own without effort or intention, without trying or focusing. When we finally reach the meditative state we do not know it or are aware of it until after the fact. It is very much like an "Oops, I did something right." experience.

This "oops" unintentional uncontrolled experience is the very essence of Zen thinking, martial and creative arts such as flower arranging, the tea ceremony, and calligraphy. It is doing without thinking, without analyzing. Seeing instantly what is necessary and doing it automatically. Golfers call it getting out of their own way and trusting there swing. We call it being in the moment and doing what come naturally. One aspect of this is that if what we are trying to do is proving to be difficult then we are not doing it the right way.

There are many levels of meditation. Deep meditation is when we become completely disassociated with our bodies and become "one with the universe", "one with the universal consciousness." There are many "places" that we may go during deep meditation, one is the Light, another the Void and another the circle (of consciousness). There are many hang-ups and distractions alone the way. We can only work our way through these. There is a reason why we get hung-up and distracted and we will not move on until we are ready. It is a guided tour not random meandering around where we will. There is no danger and we are never alone. We may be afraid or reluctant to proceed, to go thru the door but we will never be forced or pushed. When we are ready the door will open again and we will go through with out hesitation or thought and only later will we realize that we went through and wonder what all the fuss was about.

The ultimate result of meditation is enlightenment, the complete enlightenment reached by Buddha, becoming a Buddha ourselves, actualizing and becoming one with the Buddha within us all. In the Western Judeo-Christian religion it is actualizing our souls and becoming one with our God that is within us all.

[A bit aside:
I think this feeling of never being alone, of being gently and patiently led without feeling led, of seeing and feeling purpose, intent and direction in all that is, is one of the reasons that we so called mystics are so adamant that there is more, so much more to the universe, to life, to consciousness and to evolution than just the physical. There is a pattern, a purpose, an intent, a direction to all that is; and, all that is, is one, one universe, one consciousness, one reality. It becomes so obvious, so right, so true that we despair when others cannot and will not see it but cling desperately and stubbornly to their rock of physicalism and determinism, denying to the death, sometimes even violently that there is or can be anything else. As the saying goes;" Me thinks the Lady doth protest too much." As with all fundamentalist they cling to their paradigm, not allowing the least little bit of doubt to creep in lest their whole mind set, belief structure, come crumbling and shattering down leaving them no place to stand, no place to set their feet. They fear that this way leads to insanity, to chaos.

Know this: Sanity appears insane to the insane. Reason appears unreasonable to the unreasonable. Truth appears as lies to those living untruth and unwilling to accept or acknowledge the Truth. Reality appears unreal, illusion, delusion to the unreal. This is why the eastern mystics say that the physical world is illusion. It is not illusion as I know that there is one reality and all that is, is of that one reality. If it is, it is real. The physical world, universe, is real. It is a part of, a subset of, all that is, of all of reality. When looked at by the "mystics" it may be a small and insignificant part of reality; but, it is real.

This is in no way meant as a condemnation or even criticism. It is simply an observation by one who has been there, done that, got the tee shirt and the tattoo.]

Royce

Any Zen out there

Like you, Les, I am constantly amazed at the huge leaps made in physicalist's claims.
I am also confounded when they see that the brain does exactly what it is expected to do in meditation, near death, out of body or any other phenomena and then claim that it is the physical brain that is both the source and sole cause for these apparent effects and the one experiencing these things are simply deluded.

Again it is the cart before the horse, confusing effect for cause . I ask why they would expect anything else other than to see corresponding brain activity to any experience whether spiritual, mystical or common everyday experience.

Royce

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
What has become interesting to me is how clearly I can see the physicalist a priori assumption in all the brain research and subsequent theorizing, abiogenesis theory, and all evolution only by way of genetic variation and natural selection. Those theorizing have already decided that only a physical explanation is possible.
Not at all. Nobody said it was the only explanation, just that it was a SUFFICIENT explanation. It accounts for the facts and doesn't require special pleading.

selfAdjoint

Any Zen out there

Pages and pages of concepts trying to decide what zen is or what zen practice is and who should teach it . Zen and zen practice or zazen can be taught in a sentence. Sit and breath, learn to quiet your thoughts. No one can teach you to the goal. Its nothing more than learning to be quiet by being quiet so you can see the world for what it is, rather than what you think it is.

Vossistarts

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Vossistarts
Pages and pages of concepts trying to decide what zen is or what zen practice is and who should teach it . Zen and zen practice or zazen can be taught in a sentence. Sit and breath, learn to quiet your thoughts. No one can teach you to the goal. Its nothing more than learning to be quiet by being quiet so you can see the world for what it is, rather than what you think it is.

Learn to quiet your thoughts....This is very much easier to say than it is to do. Thoughts have a tendency to just keep on flowing, and for most people, learning specific techniques is the only way to achieve that quiet state from where they can then progress in their practice.

Simetra7

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by selfAdjoint
Not at all. Nobody said it was the only explanation, just that it was a SUFFICIENT explanation. It accounts for the facts and doesn't require special pleading.
But, my friend, it doesn't really account for the design principles (and I am not talking about a designer, just the quality of organization of living things).

When you say "it accounts for the facts," IMO you are saying it explains the relationship between parts. As long as we stay on the level of looking at how things are linked up, a physicalist explanation works perfectly. My frustration here has been trying to get anyone to look at the quality of organization of those physical connections that leads to life. That quality contrasts about as dramatically as anything can from how physicalness operates outside of living things.

If you saw how Bystander debated me in the ID thread, when I complained about the lack of an explanation for organizational quality, he came back at me every time with more details about the purely mechanistic relationship between the components of life (which I've never disputed). In my years of debating here, possibly one person on the physicalist side has ever admitted to a problem with the self-organizing principle (Eh).

When I debate the physicalist, they typically try to overwhelm me with details about the purely physical nature of component interconnections. In that area, the evidence we already have is all that's needed for a proof. There is no dispute there! Those rare times I get anyone to address the organizational issues, all I hear is the Miller-Urey experiment, etc., the natural selection-genetic variation stop gap, and brain studies showing a correlation between brain activity and consciousness.

The contrast between the HUGE amount work done to illustrate physical component relationships and the ridiculously tiny amount of work done to account for organizational quality stands out like a sore thumb.

So that's why my opinion is that relationship-between-parts experts can become blinded by their own expertise. They look so exclusively at one thing they come to think that's all there is.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Simetra7
Learn to quiet your thoughts....This is very much easier to say than it is to do. Thoughts have a tendency to just keep on flowing, and for most people, learning specific techniques is the only way to achieve that quiet state from where they can then progress in their practice.
You are right. It is very difficult to quiet the mind. Maybe you'll tolerate an analogy.

I make pizza, and if you haven't made it you might not know that the dough is the absolute most difficult aspect to master, especially in home kitchens where people may not have the right equipment.

You can easily find tons of pizza recipes online or in books, but they don't reveal the secrets of the dough. Those secrets are in the possession of bakers, passed down from centuries of breadmaking, who have reduced the variables to a science. Once you master the science, only then you can be an artist.

The majority of home pizza makers just do the easy popular thing, so that's the common knowledge. But pizza nuts who get into it find out things like the importance of the final temperature to yeast action, hydration effects, enzymes ability to develop the dough, what refrigeration of the dough overnight does, the effect of oil on guten development . . . and so much more. Learn it all and you can really get into the art of dough-making.

Well, meditation has a popular version and the science-leading-to-art version. The popular stuff says just sit and breathe, or repeat a mantra, or stare at a candle, or count sheep. There is a lot more to it.

It isn't more "complicated" than sit and breathe, it is just more accurate. My favorite meditation thought for the day is to explain that the mind isn't stilled by any sort of effort to stop the mind. Rather, there is something inside of us that is already perfectly still. Learning how to find that is the first part of the secret; the second part is to submit to that stillness. When that happens, that which is still automatically and naturally stops that which is incessantly moving (the mind). My experience has been that finding the still place is hard, but mastering submission to it is a lifelong endeavor.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

If you want to continue this or any other discussion then open another thread.

Saying repeatedly the all is delusion with out support or reason and asking repeated to define my terms and then define my definitions is hardly an
"intelligent logical philosophical discussion." You are the one who repeatedly referred to dualism. I did not label you but referred to the position that you seemed to have taken. You then accuse me of doing exactly what you are now doing.

You have again and again resorted to name calling and belittling and misquoted me and Les. Is it any wonder why I dismissed the discussion (not you). The wonder is why it has gone on as long as it had.

Well, Les has alway had more sense than I and quicker to pick up on such things. Sweet Dreams.

Royce

Any Zen out there

How special, a daisy chain of two. Good night, Gracie.

nameless

Any Zen out there

The Zen of yakity yak.

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Royce
That to me is the difference between knowing the truth and knowing the Truth. truth is relative to subject and individual at a given time. It may not be true concerning so another subject, individual or time; whereas, Truth is always true for all time for everybody.
The trouble with this, is that as soon as you 'define' a Truth that is, "always true for all time for everybody." someone will jump up and tell you in no uncertain terms that you are 'wrong', speaking from your 'nether regions' (humor?), evil, lying, etc... Trying to 'define' anything in 'universal' terms will run up against this problem. Have you ever heard of 'e-prime' language? It removes these invitations for emotional responses. You can read a bit about it HERE.
I think that I understand what you are trying to say, if what I think that I understand is what you are actually are trying to say... You are using terms with different meanings for each person and yet you are offerring no 'definitions so I can know if what I understand is what you are offering.

I have the same trouble with my ego but most don't understand me when I talk of it that way. You are the only other person who I have encountered that talks of their ego in that way.
One either surrenders to the ego and lives evermore asleep in delusion, or the battle against ego and its illusions is endless. Anyone who says different has 'surrendered' already.

You infer too much. I was just urging you to take the next logical step. I don't presume to teach but merely air my thoughts and observations. If this leads some one to see something from a different view point and improves their understanding or induces them to think beyond their present position then so much the better. I do this for my own benefit as it gives me a better understanding to attempt to but my thoughts into word that others can understand and I get to read other's thoughts and view points.
Acceptable. Me too.

Universe is defined as all that is, that exists. There can be nothing beyond or out side the universe. If there was so meting outside any given universe then that universe would be a subset and the universal set would contain that universe and that which is outside of it. Both would be inside the Universal set which is the universe.
Your age is showing. (humor)
Just Google 'multiverse', 'omniverse', 'metaverse' and find what the latest thinking on the subject is. It's not 'that' new.. Here is a good start.

That which exists is real. that which is not real does not exist.
You use these terms often. You tie the definitions of 'real' and 'exist' together. Will you please define your meanings for these words? Do you mean 'real' as in 'thing'? Something must be a 'thing' to 'exist? If something is a 'thing' then it 'exists'? If it is not a 'thing' then it does not 'exist'?

If something exists, it is real and it is within the universe. As the universe contains all that exists the universe contains all that is real. As the universe is what it contains, the universe is real.
Leaving your 'personal' definition of 'universe' alone, for the moment, so, again, if something is a 'thing' it is real. Your universe consists of 'things' making it 'real' and 'exist'?

There is and can be only one universe. If there would be multiple universes they would be subset universes of the universal set of the Universe.
Nope. See above. Your premise appears faulty.


If one accepts that there is a universal consciousness of which we are part and is part of us,
I do not, according to experience, accept that Consciousness is 'part of me'. This appears as egoic delusion. That which is in a 'universal' state of unchanging permanence, Consciousness, is 'part of ME'? Nope. I find that calling it 'universal Consciousness' is a poor term as Consciousness 'predates' and 'encompasses' 'omniverse'.

and accepts that that consciousness is real it is contained within or is the universe.
Consciousness is a 'thing'? With attributes and changes in time?? Even you referred to Consciousness as an ultimate 'Truth', capitol 'T'. If so, it must 'exist' outside of the 'illusion' of time and change. 'Truth' doesn't change. So, I cannot accept your premise here..

Either way there is that of the universe that is conscious and self aware.
You? Me? Do you think that the other person in your dream last night was 'conscious and 'self aware'?

As I said before I any part of the universe is real then the universe too must be real.
Accordind to the temporary definition above of 'real' (until you give me yours, if different than the above...) the universe is not a 'thing', it is a hologramic 'thought', a 'concept'. Is a thought a 'thing' in your lexicon? If 'thought' is considered a 'thing' then I can understand where you are comming from here.

It follows then that if any part of the universe is conscious and self aware then the universe is conscious and self aware.
That is a mighty big 'if'! It is still a great philosophical discussion, and always
will be, whether or not there really is a 'self' to be 'aware of'. That is what we are talking about. If you take your-'self' as a given (unscientific) then you can posit the above. I cannot accept this as a 'given' just simply on the 'authority' of my senses and mind...

I know that there is one consciousness of which we all are part
How? 'Know' for certain? Absolutely 'sure'?

I infer, to date, that this One universal consciousness is the same entity as is the One Universe and the One Reality.
Perhaps One Reality, perhaps, but I still can't hang with your 'universe' fetish..

Yes to all. The mirage is real, it exists. What our mind interpret the image of the mirage to be is not correct or accurate.
HUH? The 'mirage' is an image in our mind, interperted correctly or not, it is still hallucination. So you attribute 'reality', 'thingness' to thoughts.. Ok, I am beginning to see what you are on about.. We seem to have a semantic variance, as our concepts of 'reality' are semantically based, we seem to have different 'realities'.

The dream is real. We all have dreams and experience dreams; therefore, dreams exist. The content of the dream may not be real, accurate or correct.
I quote, "As I said before I any part of the universe is real then the universe too must be real." Then by the same logic, if the dream is accepted as 'real' then the 'contents' of the dream must be real. Your 'universal' logic must be logic for 'dreams' also as dreams are a subset of universe.

Art is real. Works of art such as paintings exist and are real but they are illusions.
So you are saying that 'illusions' have 'real' existence? That, my friend, is the definition of 'delusion'.

Originally Posted by nameless
I know of no-thing 'outside' of Consciousness. There is also no-'thing' within Consciousness that I have found beside hologramic dreaming egos. Like a bit of 'turbulence' in the Chaos?

Nor do I; however, with consciousness there are things, not physical things, but subjective things such as memories, thoughts, ideas, intent, purpose, will, mathematics, logic, sciences, philosophies. They may or not may be true or True. They may or may not be accurate, correct or complete, but they are there. they exist and are real.
In Consciousness there are only 'apparent' things, whether horses or mathematics. All the same dreamstuff. All illusion. NOT REAL. You seem to accept everything at all as 'real', mirages, hallucinations, delusions, illusions.. So if something 'appears' real to you, you assume it's reality in 'fact'? Based on what?

"All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense."

exist - to be, is
real - that which exists, is.
Define 'is' and 'to be'.

You said; "I posit that the only thing that can be truly 'known' is delusion."

Knowing is not believing. One cannot know a delusion one can only believe a delusion. One can know that it is a delusion but that implies that one does not believe the delusion.
One can 'know/believe' (one and the same!) that 'illusion' is 'reality'. That is the definition of delusion, hence, the only thing that we can 'know/believe' is 'delusion'. Youll have to SHOW me how 'belief' differs from 'knowing'.

If the only thing that we can really know is delusion then knowing that is a delusion.
Ego cannot (ordinarilly) accept that which it 'knows/believes', creates, is illusion. Once ego can understand that it 'believed' that 'illusion' was 'reality', and accepts 'illusion' as illusion, one is no longer deluded, but awakened to the dream.

Once we learn that most of what we have accepted as true during our lives is delusion, we then begin to learn and know the Truth.
Replacing one 'knowing/belief' with another is still 'delusion'. If there IS a 'Truth', it is not a 'knowledge or a belief'.

The thing that makes a truth a Truth is that we know that it is True.
"The more we learn, the less we KNOW!"
Only ego 'KNOWS/BELIEVES', and the only thing that the ego can KNOW/BELIEVE is 'delusion'.

Knowing is experiencing the Truth, knowing it is true. Believing is accepting something that one reads, learns, hears or thinks to be true without experiencing or observing it oneself, without proof, without knowing it to be True.
So you don't believe that you know anything? You don't know that you have beliefs? You 'think' that you know. You believe that you know because you believe your 'experience' to be 'real'. You appear to be disingenuous here. You cannot honestly seperate one from the other. If you were honest, you would say thet "I believe what/that I know..." "I know that/what I believe..."

If the truth is offensive and rude so be it.
Hahahahaha, where have I heard that before??
What a lousy excuse for rudeness.
You dishonor 'truth'. If YOUR 'truth' is 'offensive and rude', perhaps you aughtn't share it? Calling me an '***' (should you be tempted), no matter how true you believe/know it to be, is not too useful in a friendly discussion.
'Truth' is not a whip, my friend.

I am disappointed in you for saying that unless it was intended as humor.
If you relinquished 'expectations', 'hopes', 'beliefs', 'illusions', etc... you would never be 'disappointed' or 'disillusioned' again.

Birds of humor carry 'truth' the farthest for the most.

*__-

nameless

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Royce
I am convinced that there are as many paths to Enlightenment and/or to God as there are individuals as we are all different and unique.
Hmmm, so it 'appears'.
I wouldn't know what it feels like to be 'convinced' about something. As soon as I am arrogant enough to think that I really 'know' something, really am 'sure', another 'perspective' will point out that arrogance in a hurry! Damned ego takes constant vigilance (for me, anyway) or its through the fence and down the block in a heartbeat! And it always causes trouble if let loose! Sneaky bastard, that ego!

Originally Posted by nameless
We all experience different universes. All existing in Consciousness.

But, THERE IS NO QUANTITATIVE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANYTHING IN OUR 'DREAMLAND UNIVERSES'
Originally Posted by Royce
Analyze and justify your above statements, the one I highlighted and the one you Capitalized. You have come this far. Take the next step and realize that they are both True and are both saying the same Truth.
I'll elaborate a bit, but I protest the formation of the question. I am infering from your question that you somehow 'know the 'Truth' and if I can just understand and see things from your perspective, then I too may 'have/be Truth'. The 'you have come this far. and 'take the next step and realize' has an unpleasantly pedantic flavor. I'll ignore it for the moment. We are each just sharing our 'perspective'. I'm not here to teach, and I cannot be taught.

"A true seeker could not accept any teachings, not if he sincerely wished to find something. But he who found, could give his approval to every path, every goal; nothing separated him from all the other thousands who lived in eternity, who breathed the Divine."
-Herman Hesse in Siddhartha

"If a teacher is indeed wise, he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind." - Kahil Gibran

The only 'universe' that can 'exist' for us is that which 'exists' as concepts, as constructs within 'mind'. As we all appear as different, unique creatures, occupying different 'perspectives' (egos?), for all intents and purposes, everyone's (perceived) universe is absolutely subjective to that one 'ego' (perspective).
That speaks to the first part of my quote.

The second says that a) all is 'One', unless acted upon by 'ego' creating an artificial 'duality' from which springs the 'illusion' of a universe of 'things'. And, b) if all things exist as concept, as a hologramic dream, there is truly no 'difference' between anything, as every point of a hologram reflects all other points (has all the 'information' of every point). So, ultimately, a concept is a concept. A concept is not a 'rock', a concept is not a 'banana' other than as 'appearance'. A concept is just a concept. In that sense, in/as the hologramic dream within mind within Consciousness, all is One. In your dreams at night, it the 'table' 'real'? Is the 'chair'? Do they 'really exist'? Where do they go when you awaken? Where do they come from when you drift off? The same applies here.
"Nothing so much blinds us to the fact that we are still 'dreaming', as 'wakefulness."
This 'awakening' to the dream (especially the Oneness beyond 'Duality') often happens in 'meditation'.

Consciousness is the Ultimate reality. It is REALITY!
Consciousness is the 'deepest' 'reality' of which I have awareness. If there is anything beyond, I cannot say. What makes you so sure that there is nothing beyond? You certainly have not 'been there'... I tend to tentatively agree that it is Reality with a capitol 'R'! That I have 'found', anyway...

As it is real all within it is real
Is the 'mirage of water' real? Are you redefining 'real' (from the latin 'res' meaning 'thing'.) Is your 'daydream' before the schoolbell rings 'real'?

and all outside of it is unreal, is not.
I know of no-thing 'outside' of Consciousness. There is also no-'thing' within Consciousness that I have found beside hologramic dreaming egos. Like a bit of 'turbulence' in the Chaos?

If as you said;"THERE IS NO QUANTITATIVE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANYTHING IN OUR 'DREAMLAND UNIVERSES.'" then our dreamland universes is the same universe seen and experienced in different ways by different beings.
The no difference realted to everything being made of the same 'dreamstuff'...
Perhaps this quote can shed an alternative light on what I'm trying to say;

Originally Posted by Principoeia Discordia
"The Aneristic Principle is that of APPARENT ORDER; the Eristic Principle is that of APPARENT DISORDER. Both order and disorder are man made concepts and are artificial divisions of PURE CHAOS, which is a level deeper that is the level of distinction making.

With our concept making apparatus called "mind" we look at reality through the ideas-about-reality which our cultures give us. The ideas-about- reality are mistakenly labeled "reality" and unenlightened people are forever perplexed by the fact that other people, especially other cultures, see "reality" differently. It is only the ideas-about-reality which differ. Real (capital-T True) reality is a level deeper that is the level of concept.

We look at the world through windows on which have been drawn grids (concepts). Different philosophies use different grids. A culture is a group of people with rather similar grids. Through a window we view chaos, and relate it to the points on our grid, and thereby understand it. The ORDER is in the GRID. That is the Aneristic Principle.

Western philosophy is traditionally concerned with contrasting one grid with another grid, and amending grids in hopes of finding a perfect one that will account for all reality and will, hence, (say unenlightened westerners) be True. This is illusory; it is what we Erisians call the ANERISTIC ILLUSION. Some grids can be more useful than others, some more beautiful than others, some more pleasant than others, etc., but none can be more True than any other.

DISORDER is simply unrelated information viewed through some particular grid. But, like "relation", no-relation is a concept. Male, like female, is an idea about sex. To say that male-ness is "absence of female-ness", or vice versa, is a matter of definition and metaphysically arbitrary. The artificial concept of no-relation is the ERISTIC PRINCIPLE.

The belief that "order is true" and disorder is false or somehow wrong, is the Aneristic Illusion. To say the same of disorder, is the ERISTIC ILLUSION.

The point is that (little-t) truth is a matter of definition relative to the grid one is using at the moment, and that (capital-T) Truth, metaphysical reality, is irrelevant to grids entirely. Pick a grid, and through it some chaos appears ordered and some appears disordered. Pick another grid, and the same chaos will appear differently ordered and disordered.

Reality is the original Rorschach."
There is one consciousness, one universe and one reality and they are all the same entity.
Perhaps that is how you see it, but not from my perspective. But, I haven't seen your definitions of 'exist' and 'real'... They are obviously different than mine.

We individuals at different places seeing and experiencing it from different viewpoints see it as different universes and as we cannot justify this with the One it must be dreamland, an illusion or delusion that is not real.
All you can 'know' (or be 'convinced' of) is your 'dreamland', you cannot ever know other unless bodily identification is transcended and union with/in Consciousness is 'realized'. Sometimes this too occurs within the context of 'meditation'.

Omniversal is redundant and unnecessary as there is One Universe seen and experience in as many different ways as there are entities.
This is an unsupported assertion, kind of like a 'belief', or a 'conviction'... You cannot logically posit that for which you cannot obtain/provide evidence. Since you can only know your subjective little personal universe, one among the many (hence Omniverse), it becomes a matter of a religious form of 'belief' beyond that, a matter of 'faith' in something for which there is no evidence.

There is nothing that is 'ever the same'. The universe, the Creator, you and I are ever changing and ever creating just as the river I alluded to earlier.
You stated that you were a 'Xtian'. Don't Xtians believe that 'God' (Consciousness?) is the "same yesterday, today and forever"? I would posit that Truth/Reality is in an omniversal state of perfect symmetry, unchanging and unchangeable. That which changes is 'temporal' (hologramic illusory 'dream') and unworthy of the capitol 'T' of Truth and the capitol 'R' of Reality.

I am merely a traveler on a long twisting path or better in the stream. I have come a long way and have miles to go before I can rest.
Journey well my friend...

In another thread I said that when God spoke to Abraham and sad; "I AM. I AM THAT I AM" he said all that was necessary to say, all that could be said.
I said here that I know, possibly the same way that I know that I am.
With all due respect, egoic balderdash! How do you KNOW that you are? Hence '***-umptions and beliefs'...
"I am that I am", although trimmed of most 'fat' is still within the world of words and hence duality. Consciousness, God, is 'beyond' 'duality'. At that level, Renee Guinon's quote of "To speak is to lie" makes sense. I Am referred to having no 'qualities or quantities', an 'unchanging state of universal permanence'.

My writing often contain far more truths an what the mere words say. When I reread it, I am often surprised and delighted at the Truths it contains if one looks beyond the words alone.
So, you are saying that you impress yourself? *__- I did once also, until I realized that there was no 'self'. A concept of 'self' is ego.

This is Zen at its best, a delight that often makes one laugh out loud
An innocent and true delight.
In this life, Zen 'is' when 'self' isn't.

when he learns that he knows more Truth than he knows that he knows.
The truths that I thought I 'knew' turned out to be tiny truths.
Then I became Truth.
Now, I haven't the foggiest 'concept' of what Truth might be.

Here I have to agree with Les, you are talking out you back side.
One cannot know delusion as delusion by definition is not real. One cannot know a lie one can believe a lie but cannot know one.
Again with the ***-ertions. First, though, could you please tell me what you mean by accusing me of speaking from my asss? Are you implying that my head is 'up my fundament'? That I am lying? Being dishonest? Seems kind of rude to me...

'Delusion', by definition, is believing (being 'convinced', 'convicted', 'faithful'...) 'illusion' to be 'reality'. Believing the 'evidence' of the senses and mind to be 'reality' is 'delusion'. So, knowing, in the sense of being 'convinced', 'convicted' etc... is 'delusion'. Hence, the only thing that we can 'really know', is delusion.
What is your distinction between 'knowing' and 'believing'? As far as I can see, they are both delusion.


I know that I am because I experience, am conscious of self
Evidence of the senses and mind.
<spits in the (illusory!) dust!>
I learned a long time ago to believe nothing that I hear, nothing that I see, (and on through all the senses) and only half of what I think and I NEVER know which half!
*__-

just as I experience, am conscious of, I am a part of a greater consciousness that is part of me.
So you say...

If you do not know that you exist, that you are, then I posit that you do not exist,
Why? By what train of logic would you posit this?

except possibly in your imagination, that you are not.
Where have I seen this before? Hmmmm....

Please make up you mind. Are you or are you not?
Define 'are'? I guess that would tie in with your defining of 'exist'.

By the way I too am ego-less and take great delight in telling everybody and anybody who will listen that I am ego-less.
'Scuuuse me??
Where did I claim to be 'ego-less'? I gotta have the most monstrously big ego on the block! That is why the constant vigilance is necessary. BUT, I do not believe the 'illusions' of the ego to be 'Reality'. I also detect 'humor'. Are you intending 'humor'? ---ooo--*U*--ooo---

I am however still working on my humbleness. It's so hard to be humble when your so great! Its like trying to soar with eagles when your surrounded by turkeys.
ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz...............

nameless

Any Zen out there

From my understanding of what you have written your position is that of a dualist who thinks all is delusion and thoughts are not real.

This is the very contradiction and paradox that started me on my journey to what I call Realism, though I doubt that it is Classical Realism. It was through meditation that I encountered the One and have come to know it as the Universal consciousness. I conclude that there is one universe, one consciousness and one reality. I infer that they are the same entity that I think of as God the Creator and Master of the Universe, the universe itself.
Others have suggested that the term 'god head' may be more applicable.

Thoughts, mentality exist and are real. They effect and change physical matter. If we accept that matter exists and is real we must accept that thought exists and is real because it is absurd to believe that the unreal and nonexistent can effect or change the state of physical matter.

If as you say all is delusion then who or what holds the delusion. Would that which is being deluded not also be a delusion. Where then is Truth and where is there any reality.

If nothing is real and nothing is true then nothing exists not even consciousness as that too is part of the all and therefore delusional.

This is semantics just as your continual demands for definitions and then definitions of the definitions. I will not play games of semantics with you or anybody.

I have said over and over again all that I have to say on this subject. Even I am bored with this as must be other readers and it is clearly off the subject of this thread which we have high jacked far too long. I am ending this discussion right now.

Royce

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Royce
From my understanding of what you have written your position is that of a dualist who thinks all is delusion and thoughts are not real.
First you label me. You don't give me the respect of dealing with what I think and say, but drop me in a category that yoyu can easily 'deal with'. First comes that labelling, and then comes the ...

I have said over and over again all that I have to say on this subject. Even I am bored with this as must be other readers and it is clearly off the subject of this thread which we have high jacked far too long. I am ending this discussion right now.
...dismissal.
That is the problem with most 'believers'. You seem incapable of having an intelligent logical philosophical discussion. A mutual understanding of basic terms requires consensus definition before these terms can be used in intelligent conversation.. Considering the sloppy way that you use your words and seem incapable of effective definition of the words that YOU use, this tells me much about your 'understanding' of even your own words. But, hey, what need for a logical structure of understanding and communication when you are 'convinced', are 'convicted', have 'beliefs and faiths'... all anti-intellectual. I'm sorry we have hit the end of your intellectual capacity to finish our conversation. Evidenced by your dismissal. Why is it, do you think, that you asked me questions and finished by blowing me off? Can't stand the heat? Sheesh. Pathetic. I might have expected more of one of your age. I guess that years mean nothing but years. Oh well...
Sweet dreams...

nameless

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
Yes, but illusions of our mind have nothing to do with if the physical universe is real. I don't think you understand Royce's point yet (not that I claim to represent his view).
First, you posit one HUGE 'if'. So far, if there is anything 'out there' it cannot be known, only posited as a 'speculative 'if''.
Second, if Royce feels that I didn't understand what he said, then I'm sure that he'll let me know. I can speak with him about 'his' understanding, I can speak with you about 'your's'.

The physical universe is real and our consciousness is real in that they both exist.
Fine, first define 'real' and 'exist' so I can understand YOUR meaning, your perspective?

This Eastern concept that the world is an illusion is commonly misinterpreted to mean the world itself is an illusion when it really refers to what consciousness believes about the world.
By your authority? Are you a Zen Master that feels qualified to interpert, broad brush, the entire 'Eastern concept'? A Zen Master would not have that 'egoic problem'. Having learned, practiced and understood 'Eastern Mysticism and philosophy and scriptures, I have found, in my experience, something other than what you have 'found'. Consciousness has no 'beliefs'.


A similar example is someone on the desert who believes a mirage is water. Is the mirage real? Yes it is, it is a real mirage with actual physical characteristics. Is it an illusion? Yes it is an illusion as well if consciousness believes the mirage is water.
The mirage is only APPARENTLY 'real' to the perceiving mind. You claim actual physical characteristics for a mirrage? A hallucination? Really? Sorry, in my understanding, illusion believed to be 'reality' is called 'delusion, not 'Truth', 'Reality'! It is only apparently (appears as) 'real' to the 'deluded mind'.
Again, Consciousness has no 'beliefs', 'beliefs are within 'thought' only.

Our consciousness, bound in physicalness for now, accepts much about the effects of physicalness on consciousness as our nature. Since, for instance, in relation to us the physical is "out there" and we are thoroughly submerged in physical circumstances from the moment we are conceived, we come to believe contentment and lasting happiness are "out there." The inner perspective, however, claims there is nothing "out there" which can satisfy because physicalness isn't our true nature. So our pursuit of contentment and lasting happiness "out there" is an illusion;
I understand your perspective, but I see it as deluded. Error creeps in with 'belief' and 'assumption'; fer instance, assuming that the 'evidence' of your 'senses/mind' is a true 'picture' of an 'external reality', 'believing' this apparent 'evidence' uncritically is unscientific, dishonest, and deluded.

but a common way to say this in the East has to been to say "out there" (or the world) is an illusion.
Appealing to your 'broad brush opinion' of 'Eastern thought' for validation of your 'beliefs' is cognitively fallacious. Might as well say that, "If Barbara Streisand believes it, it MUST be true." Do your own work, your own practice, your own studies, your own critical thought. Then, you can quote your own experience. You can find Eastern 'physicalists' to 'orbit' if you like, but they would be rare...

BTW, recognizing a distinction between physicalness and consciousness doesn't have to be duality. Check out substance monism for an answer to that.
Apparent 'substances' are 'monistic'. All distinction is artificial and ultimately, all is made of 'dreamstuff'.

I don't research cognitive error, unless I wished to learn more of error. Everything that you can define, name, percieve, believe, conceive, say, think MUST be within Duality. Without the artificial contrast of Duality, apparently, nothing can 'exist'. There can only be 'existence' within the artificial construct of Duality.
Do you find any distinction between the 'reality/world' of your nightly dreams and the 'world' of your 'waking' day?

I say, one reality, many perseptives; and, most of us may be dreaming, but it isn't the only option. Once can experience reality without the dream.
The only 'reality' that you can experience, have knowledge of, is the 'reality' within your dream, within your mind. You cannot 'know' that which is, if anything is, beyond your own mind. The very definition of 'knowledge' tells you this. You cannot 'experience' anything but within 'mind' which is where 'experience' occurs.

That is not enlightenment.
Perhaps you can describe YOUR 'enlightenment', so I can understand what it means to YOU? I already know what the sages and teachers and the mystics and the Buddha, and the scriptures, etc... mean by 'enlightenment' through the millennia. Perhaps you are describing a different experience. I can only assume (!) that you consider yourself 'enlightened' as you seem to be discussing it in a rather authoritative manner...

But the Buddha's enlightenment is something entirely different.
I'm truly humbled by your 'personal understanding' of the Buddha's 'enlightenment'! I read on with relish (and a bit of mustard! *__- )...

It is to escape the "dream" you are talking about and merge with reality.
Perhaps to 'awaken to the dream' into the 'Reality' of Consciousness. Nothing to 'escape' but one's delusions, and they are not 'escaped, but 'understood' as delusion, no one to 'merge' with anything. Thats part of the 'delusion'.

Since that enlightenment is realized in a still mind,
Is that a rule? Is that the only way that people have become 'enlightened'?

there is no possible way to "think" enlightenment.
You might do a search for Jnana Yoga... Educate yourself before offering these definitive pronouncements.

You can speak for yourself, but not everyone.
Then why are you 'helping' poor Royce here? Has he PMed you? Asked you to help him out? Then how is it that you are attempting to speak for all Eastern thought as if your 'broad brushing' has any 'meaning' other than as a misinterperted validation of your 'beliefs'?

. . . then you may experience your own existence with the sort of certainty Royce hints at.
Again, I'll discuss what Royce thinks with Royce. Do you think that he is incapable of communication? He appears to be very capable, to me. Is he a guru of your's? Do you feel a 'need' to 'defend' him?
If you are 'certain' of anything, convinced and convicted, a 'true believer', perhaps you would feel more comfortable discussing things with other fundamnentalists?
People who think are thinkers.
People who are 'certain' are deluded 'believers' and only 'think/assume' to 'validate' their delusions, not discover 'Truth'.

. . . and meditation can make enlightenment.
Meditation CAN provide an 'atmosphere' conductive to an 'enlightened understanding'. Yes, that is my experience. It is not the only way, but certainly one of the best practices for said result.
How long have you been practicing meditation?
What 'form'?

nameless

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by nameless
How long have you been practicing meditation?
What 'form'?
32 years this December, usually a bit over an hour daily at dawn. For the first 20 years I practiced up to 4 hours per day. I practice samadhi, period, which is what the Buddha taught.

I haven't claimed to be a Zen master, or any other sort of master.

So, you think I am undereducated in the history of enlightenment or mediation? As a matter of fact, I have an undergrad degree in exactly that subject, it has been the subject of my lifelong study, and it is plays an important role in a book I'm now trying to complete. But I agree, I am still a student.

Regarding Royce, he and I have exchanged ideas for years, so I think I understand him at least a little. But if he is upset over anything I've said, then I apologize.

In any case, your concept of "enlightenment" is easily recognizable by many people here as idealist philosophy. You can call it enlightened if you wish, but since this is a thread on Zen, and that enlightenment was defined by the Buddha's realization, I don't see how you would think it is appropriate to substitute your own idealist interpretations.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
32 years this December, usually a bit over an hour daily at dawn. For the first 20 years I practiced up to 4 hours per day.
I practice samadhi, period, which is what the Buddha taught.
Ten dollars if you can show me where the Buddha taught that you 'should', nay, even CAN 'practice' Samadhi? If you understood what you are talking about, you wouldn't have just made this statement.

So, you think I am undereducated in the history of enlightenment or mediation? As a matter of fact, I have an undergrad degree in exactly that subject, it has been the subject of my lifelong study, and it is plays an important role in a book I'm now trying to complete. But I agree, I am still a student.
What has a 'student' to offer in a book?
If you hold that a scholastic education in this matter is of such value, perhaps you should have just taken an 'Enlightenment 101' course. You'll be able to proudly display your 'Certificate of Enlightenment' when you're done! And, reading about the 'history' of the 'writings and claims' of 'enlightenment' doesn't give you the foggiest idea of the 'actuality'. Become 'enlightened' and then (see if you still want to) write your book.

Regarding Royce, he and I have exchanged ideas for years, so I think I understand him at least a little. But if he is upset over anything I've said, then I apologize.
I try not to discuss others, other than the 'principles' in a conversation. It always leads to trouble. You are not an expert on Royce, you might be an 'expert' on yourself. Speak for yourself, please. Royce can speak for himself, though I'm sure that he appreciates your 'interest' and 'concern'.

In any case, your concept of "enlightenment" is easily recognizable by many people here as idealist philosophy. You can call it enlightened if you wish, but since this is a thread on Zen, and that enlightenment was defined by the Buddha's realization, I don't see how you would think it is appropriate to substitute your own idealist interpretations.
I guess that if you cannot discuss the subjevt intelligently, you can 'dismiss' me easily by 'labeling' me (like a 'nigger' or a 'kike' or a 'slope'.. or whatever 'group' you find easily dismissed). Now you dont have to deal with the 'meat' 'cause we all know about them 'niggers', 'idealists', Jews, etc.. You aren't exhibiting much intellect here. I do not think like any 'group', if you happen to find parallels, it is irrevelent.

And you seem to be 'reaching', again, for 'validation' in trying to assert that because and 'if' others agree with you that you are somehow more 'right'. Fallacy and ego!

I speak here on Zen as I live it.
You obviously are still trying... and your ego is showing....

Have I missed something? Have you been voted spokesman for the people here also as you presume to speak for Royce? I'm hearing no sign of original thought or experience. That is one problem with a formal 'education', you are not taught HOW to think, but WHAT to think. And now you try to seek validity in 'numbers'.

Then again, you did call yourself a student, so.. instead of automatically egoically arguing an alternative perspective, as a 'student', perhaps you might make the attempt to 'understand' it first? Otherwise, your statement about being a 'student' is only a nice sounding false humility...

nameless

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by nameless
Nice to meet you Royce.
You must have been around for a few years. I can 'smell' it from the clarity and conciseness of your questioning.
Thank you. Nice to meet you too and a slightly belated welcome to PF.

I must apologize for the delay in responding to your reply. This morning I was typing up my reply. It was the best work of my life, brilliant, elegant, impeccable logic unassailable reasoning, epochal in clarity and mind shattering in revelation and enlightenment! I can only conclude that mankind is not ready for such brilliance as when I submitted it God, the god head, the universal consciousness or maybe it was just Greg or a gremlin caused the server to not respond and all was lost perhaps forever. This is the first chance that I've had to re-respond.

As our commonly accepted notion of 'my-self' (as if there were a 'my' who possesses the 'quality/quantity' of 'self'!), whom we see in the mirror, is also 'fiction', asking 'whom' might not be appropriate here. I have never found any evidence of someone 'here' in 'existence'. Ultimately, it appears that 'consciousness/awareness' contains/produces (words at this level must be metaphorically examined, considering the 'context') 'mind/ego'. It is mind/ego that conceives Duality,
That is my point. There is no duality. There is only one reality. Whether we wish to call that reality God, the One or the Universal Consciousness doesn't matter as they are all human terms of the same entity. All is One. There is no outside, no meta or supernatural. All that is, is One. As that One is real, is Reality, all that is, is real. All that is not of the One, the One Reality is not real and does not exist. Ultimately there is only one I AM. There can be no distinction's no differences, no others.

an imaginary boundary drawn around 'concepts', 'naming' the 'concept' into petrification, and taking the 'concept' as a distinct and uniquely separate 'thing', apart and distinct from all other concepts that have become 'things'. We 'conceptualize' our universes, populating them with things. From the subtlest of 'things', like 'thought', to the 'grossest', such as a galaxy, we populate our 'concept of life', our concept of space/time, our universes, our fiction, our 'dream'... Of course, I use the word 'our' almost as if there really were a 'me' or a 'we' other than as a 'dream' of consciousness... Consciousness is a rather homogeneous 'thing', in and of itself... Perhaps thats why It 'dreams' in such 'living color'?
We, however, on another level, do exist as unique individual beings with our own identity, consciousness and experience. Yet we are of and one with the One. As the cells of my body are individual unique cells with existence of their own they are part of my body and cannot be separated from that unity that is me. Again this is not another reality but another facet or level of the one Reality.

My, your and everyones existence is real and not a dream nor figment of imagination Of the One, nor is the physical universe. It is all real and all of the one reality.

To say that all existence is a dream a mental image of consciousness it to say that there is that which is but is not real. Again duality. The One Consciousness is real as are the dreams, mental thoughts, and ideas of that consciousness. Ideas, thoughts, philosophies are real, even our own. If they were not real they would not endure, would not have any effect or meaning and lead to contradictions, oxymorons and paradoxes. Reality consists in part or that which we call physical, mental and spiritual. All are real. There is one reality. It is logical and reasonable. There are no contradictions and no paradoxes. Those which we do come up against are products of our language and sequential thinking and are not real.


Can you please explain what you mean by this? I am unfamiliar with that 'position'. (Two knees and an elbow? *__- ) It sounds 'somehow wrong' in that the way to 'truth' appears to be a 'something less' position... But, hey, WTFDIK?
Here at PF there are a number of physicalist who state that consciousness is an emergent property of the physical brain due to the brain reaching a sufficient complexity and size. They also believe that life came about by accident or a natural result of the mixing of the chemicals in the primordial soup. They also believe that Darwin's Evolution satisfactorily explains the origin of the species and all or our organs such as our brains.

One the other side of this on going discussion are people like Les and myself who believe that there is something more, be it God, the Creator, Intelligent Design or the Universal Consciousness. We believe that there is purpose, intent and direction to the universe itself as well as all life. Hence the coined phrase "the Something Else position" rather than the non- physicalist, meta- physicalist or the mysticism.


Almost, we all and each occupy a 'different' universe experienced from our own unique(?) 'perspectives', our own corner (ego/duality) of consciousness. The entire omniverse has existence, solely, within consciousness; there is not so much 'one universal consciousness', as consciousness of all universes as merely 'dream'. Consciousness, the literal 'Creator God' of all that is. Creator of Dreams that dream...
To create, the Creator must be real; or the creator is not real and there is nor can be anything that is real. If there is nothing real then there is nothing.
i am is absolute proof that I AM exist, is; i. e. in that my existence is undeniable to me, my existence implies, contains the necessity, that the Creator, I AM, exists, is. This is confirmed virtually every time I deeply meditate and is understood, acknowledged, at all other times.

I am.
i am of I AM.
I AM is the ultimate and one Reality.
As i am is of I AM, i am is real.

I have received order from SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED and have to take a break now. I will pick up where I left off later this evening.

Royce

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by nameless
Hmmm, so it 'appears'.
I wouldn't know what it feels like to be 'convinced' about something. As soon as I am arrogant enough to think that I really 'know' something, really am 'sure', another 'perspective' will point out that arrogance in a hurry! Damned ego takes constant vigilance (for me, anyway) or its through the fence and down the block in a heartbeat! And it always causes trouble if let loose! Sneaky bastard, that ego!
That to me is the difference between knowing the truth and knowing the Truth. truth is relative to subject and individual at a given time. It may not be true concerning so another subject, individual or time; whereas, Truth is always true for all time for everybody.

I have the same trouble with my ego but most don't understand me when I talk of it that way. You are the only other person who I have encountered that talks of their ego in that way.

I'll elaborate a bit, but I protest the formation of the question. I am inferring from your question that you somehow 'know the 'Truth' and if I can just understand and see things from your perspective, then I too may 'have/be Truth'. The 'you have come this far. and 'take the next step and realize' has an unpleasantly pedantic flavor. I'll ignore it for the moment. We are each just sharing our 'perspective'. I'm not here to teach, and I cannot be taught.
You infer too much. I was just urging you to take the next logical step. I don't presume to teach but merely air my thoughts and observations. If this leads some one to see something from a different view point and improves their understanding or induces them to think beyond their present position then so much the better. I do this for my own benefit as it gives me a better understanding to attempt to but my thoughts into word that others can understand and I get to read other's thoughts and view points.

Consciousness is the 'deepest' 'reality' of which I have awareness. If there is anything beyond, I cannot say. What makes you so sure that there is nothing beyond? You certainly have not 'been there'... I tend to tentatively agree that it is Reality with a capitol 'R'! That I have 'found', anyway...
Universe is defined as all that is, that exists. There can be nothing beyond or out side the universe. If there was so meting outside any given universe then that universe would be a subset and the universal set would contain that universe and that which is outside of it. Both would be inside the Universal set which is the universe.

That which exists is real. that which is not real does not exist. If something exists, it is real and it is within the universe. As the universe contains all that exists the universe contains all that is real. As the universe is what it contains, the universe is real. There is and can be only one universe. If there would be multiple universes they would be subset universes of the universal set of the Universe.
If one accepts that there is a universal consciousness of which we are part and is part of us, and accepts that that consciousness is real it is contained within or is the universe. Either way there is that of the universe that is conscious and self aware. As I said before I any part of the universe is real then the universe too must be real. It follows then that if any part of the universe is conscious and self aware then the universe is conscious and self aware. Please note that I said 'it follows'. It is not proven nor do all accept this to be true.

I know that there is one consciousness of which we all are part and is part of all of us. I infer, to date, that this One universal consciousness is the same entity as is the One Universe and the One Reality.

Is the 'mirage of water' real? Are you redefining 'real' (from the latin 'res' meaning 'thing'.) Is your 'daydream' before the schoolbell rings 'real'?
Yes to all. The mirage is real, it exists. What our mind interpret the image of the mirage to be is not correct or accurate.

The dream is real. We all have dreams and experience dreams; therefore, dreams exist. The content of the dream may not be real, accurate or correct.

Art is real. Works of art such as paintings exist and are real but they are illusions.

I know of no-thing 'outside' of Consciousness. There is also no-'thing' within Consciousness that I have found beside hologramic dreaming egos. Like a bit of 'turbulence' in the Chaos?
Nor do I; however, with consciousness there are things, not physical things, but subjective things such as memories, thoughts, ideas, intent, purpose, will, mathematics, logic, sciences, philosophies. They may or not may be true or True. They may or may not be accurate, correct or complete, but they are there. they exist and are real.


Perhaps that is how you see it, but not from my perspective. But, I haven't seen your definitions of 'exist' and 'real'... They are obviously different than mine.
exist - to be, is
real - that which exists, is.

All you can 'know' (or be 'convinced' of) is your 'dreamland', you cannot ever know other unless bodily identification is transcended and union with/in Consciousness is 'realized'. Sometimes this too occurs within the context of 'meditation'.
Agreed


This is an unsupported assertion....
No, this is an observation, one you have yourself made but drew a different conclusion.

You stated that you were a 'Xtian'. Don't Xtians believe that 'God' (Consciousness?) is the "same yesterday, today and forever"? I would posit that Truth/Reality is in an omniversal state of perfect symmetry, unchanging and unchangeable. That which changes is 'temporal' (hologramic illusory 'dream') and unworthy of the capitol 'T' of Truth and the capitol 'R' of Reality.
I never have nor never will say that I am an Xtian. I sauniversalid I was a chriChristianstian and the lower case c was and is intentional. As to what Christians believe or don't believe I can't really say other than no two Christian ever believe exactly the same same thing despite what the dogma is of their particular sect.

[quote]Journey well my friend...

Thank you. You too. We will meet at the end of our journeys.

With all due respect, egoic balderdash! How do you KNOW that you are? Hence '***-umptions and beliefs'...
"I am that I am", although trimmed of most 'fat' is still within the world of words and hence duality. Consciousness, God, is 'beyond' 'duality'. At that level, Renee Guinon's quote of "To speak is to lie" makes sense. I Am referred to having no 'qualities or quantities', an 'unchanging state of universal permanence'.
One of the few things that I do know is that I exist, that I am. I am conscious and self aware. I experience my existence. That things and entities exist outside of myself that I have not experienced and personally observed is all supposition and inference, deduction and induction. I know very little but I do know this.

So, you are saying that you impress yourself? *__- I did once also, until I realized that there was no 'self'. A concept of 'self' is ego.
I am disappointed in you for saying that unless it was intended as humor. My following sentence , I thought made it clear that it was a surprise and unintentional. How or why should I be impressed by something that was an accident or unintended.

There is no independent and exclusive 'self.' Only the ego demands that that be true, that there is nothing greater than itself. Yet the ego is necessary for individual character development, to become an individual. The ego must then be integrated into the entire being and made to realize that it is not the end all and be all even within that being. The spirit or soul within then becomes the ruling force within and and grows toward enlightenment and becoming one with the One.



Again with the ***-ertions. First, though, could you please tell me what you mean by accusing me of speaking from my asss? Are you implying that my head is 'up my fundament'? That I am lying? Being dishonest? Seems kind of rude to me...
No, I'm saying that you are wrong, your statement is wrong, incorrect, false.
If the truth is offensive and rude so be it.

QUOTE]'Delusion', by definition, is believing
That's what I said. You said; "I posit that the only thing that can be truly 'known' is delusion." Knowing is not believing. One cannot know a delusion one can only believe a delusion. One can know that it is a delusion but that implies that one does not believe the delusion.

...Hence, the only thing that we can 'really know', is delusion.
That statement has no meaning. If the only thing that we can really know is delusion then knowing that is a delusion. Once we learn that most of what we have accepted as true during our lives is delusion, we then begin to learn and know the Truth. The thing that makes a truth a Truth is that we know that it is True.

What is your distinction between 'knowing' and 'believing'?
Knowing is experiencing the Truth, knowing it is true. Believing is accepting something that one reads, learns, hears or thinks to be true without experiencing or observing it oneself, without proof, without knowing it to be True.

Why? By what train of logic would you posit this?

Where have I seen this before? Hmmmm....

Define 'are'? I guess that would tie in with your defining of 'exist'.

'Scuuuse me??
Where did I claim to be 'ego-less'? I gotta have the most monstrously big ego on the block! That is why the constant vigilance is necessary. BUT, I do not believe the 'illusions' of the ego to be 'Reality'. I also detect 'humor'. Are you intending 'humor'? ---ooo--*U*--ooo---

ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz...............
Yes, humor.

Royce

Any Zen out there

I'm back!

I swear, I can't leave you two alone for two hours without you getting into a fight and calling each other names What ego-less Zen practitioner is calling which ego-less Buddha practitioner a WHAT?

God, where is Li when you need him? A good taoist could straighten this out in a heartbeat if he didn't keep bumping into two living oxmorons or is it paradoxes?

Bye the way I am 63, have been studying, reading, Tao, Buddha and Zen for forty years and meditating for as long as Les ( mainly Zen) focusing on my breathe to start. I am more Zen because of its real life applicability and small steps to enlightenment along the way to Enlightenment. I am also a convinced christain

Les and I are old friends both joining PF in March of 03. We rarely have discussions between us because it sounds too much like a mutual admiration society though we do enjoy ganging up on and baiting physicalist. We usually see eye to eye, albeit, somewhat heatedly at times, but are coming from different places with different view points.

I am convinced that there are as many paths to Enlightenment and/or to God as there are individuals as we are all different and unique.

Now, where was I?

If you are referring to 'consciousness' as an/the 'ultimate reality', both of us having our 'existence' within that Consciousness as 'dream', then perhaps. So from one 'perspective', that is correct. If you refer to our 'reality' as that which the mind conceives and the senses 'corroborate', our individual 'perspectives'. We all experience different universes. All existing in Consciousness.
But, THERE IS NO QUANTITATIVE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANYTHING IN OUR 'DREAMLAND UNIVERSES'
Analyze and justify your above statements, the one I highlighted and the one you Capitalized. You have come this far. Take the next step and realize that they are both True and are both saying the same Truth.

Consciousness is the Ultimate reality. It is REALITY! As it is real all within it is real and all outside of it is unreal, is not. If as you said;"THERE IS NO QUANTITATIVE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANYTHING IN OUR 'DREAMLAND UNIVERSES.'" then our dreamland universes is the same universe seen and experienced in different ways by different beings. There is one consciousness, one universe and one reality and they are all the same entity.
We individuals at different places seeing and experiencing it from different viewpoints see it as different universes and as we cannot justify this with the One it must be dreamland, an illusion or delusion that is not real. It is not unlike Einstein's relativity.

I wish that you'd use a perhaps, capital 'R' or something to indicate Reality, that which is of omniversal perfect symmetry, 'ever the same', 'That-ness', 'Am what it Am' Reality, as opposed to the 'reality' that if I don't brush my teeth, I probably wont get kissed (except by my wolf, of course*__-) small 'r' 'subset(?).
One 'Reality', many (apparent) 'realities'.
Neils Bohr said once, "There are great Truths and there are trivial truths. The opposite of a great Truth is also True, the opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false!"
I have tried to comply with your wish but I cannot see that it helps much.

Omniversal is redundant and unnecessary as there is One Universe seen and experience in as many different ways as there are entities.

There is nothing that is 'ever the same'. The universe, the Creator, you and I are ever changing and ever creating just as the river I alluded to earlier.

One 'Reality', many (apparent) 'realities'.
Yes, now you've got it, the TRUTH.

The state of understanding that all that we see in our universes is 'one' and that all 'distinctions' are subjectively arbitrary is commonly referred to as 'enlightenment'. Even the scientists will tell you that there is no definite place where one 'thing' ends and another 'begins'. Even science is becoming 'enlightened'. Sheesh! Hahahaha....
In Zen it is a little step of enlightenment on the path to Enlightenment. There is a Japanese term for it but I don't remember what it is. Of course there are a number of different schools of Zen thinking.

Then perhaps one is a mite short from 'enlightenment', as, if all is 'one', then there is no longer an 'I' to 'Be' or to 'know' as there IS nothing to know, and no individual 'me' to 'Be'!
I am merely a traveler on a long twisting path or better in the stream. I have come a long way and have miles to go before I can rest.

In another thread I said that when God spoke to Abraham and sad; "I AM. I AM THAT I AM" he said all that was necessary to say, all that could be said.
I said here that I know,possibly the same way that I know that I am.

My writing often contain far more truths an what the mere words say. When I reread it, I am often surprised and delighted at the Truths it contains if one looks beyond the words alone. This is Zen at its best, a delight that often makes one laugh out loud when he learns that he knows more Truth than he knows that he knows.

I posit that the only thing that can be truly 'known' is delusion.
Perhaps you mean 'strongly believe'? Otherwise you are dealing in the 'coin' of religious 'faith' and 'belief'. Dogmatic fundamentalism. <shudders!>
How do you 'know' that you 'are'? The 'evidence' of the senses? Ego demands? Mind? Someone told you?
Here I have to agree with Les, you are talking out you back side.
One cannot know delusion as delusion by definition is not real. One cannot know a lie one can believe a lie but cannot know one.
I know that I am because I experience, am conscious of self just as I experience, am conscious of, I am a part of a greater consciousness that is part of me. If you do not know that you exist, that you are, then I posit that you do not exist, except possibly in your imagination, that you are not.
Please make up you mind. Are you or are you not?

By the way I too am ego-less and take great delight in telling everybody and anybody who will listen that I am ego-less. I am however still working on my humbleness. It's so hard to be humble when your so great! Its like trying to soar with eagles when your surrounded by turkeys.

Royce

Any Zen out there

Les, I can understand your reaction. Sorry if sometimes the 'truth' is a bit rough.
Please don't equate honesty and forthrightness with disrespect. You don't have to even read my words if you so choose. What I have related is just words. If you have no use for them, let it go. I'm sure that others reading this can understand that which you can/will not. I'm just sharing my perspective. My 'credentials' are completely irrelevent to anyone capable of applying independent thought to my words. If you have no use for the words that I offer, ignore them. If you don't understand them, ask for clarification. If you don't 'agree' with them, again, ask for clarification. At least understand what you don't agree with.
I 'pretend' to speak for no-one but myself. I am entrained to no group. I have nothing to prove.
Your defensive egoic namecalling and sarcasm will be ignored, and since your reply was without discussive or intellectual merit, I'll let it rest here. Good night.

Royce, thanx for the welcome. Let me sleep, and I'll respond to your post later.
Peace, Good night.

nameless

Any Zen out there

During the lull and to get back on topic, I personally prefer Dogen or Soto Zen and practice a form of ZaZen, sitting meditation. While there is no way that I can or will even attempt to get into a lotus position just sitting in a chair, even putting my feet up on an ottoman or in a recliner works just as well and without the pain. Below are some links to Zen and Dogen-Soto zen in particular and some book titles, out of print but you should be able to find them on Amazon.

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/kasulis.htm

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/kasulis.htm

http://www.uoregon.edu/~munno/Oregon...Dogen_Zen.html


The names of those books are:
1. Zen in Daily life.
2. Zen beyond Zen.
3. Soto Approach to Zen.

Royce

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by nameless
Ten dollars if you can show me where the Buddha taught that you 'should', nay, even CAN 'practice' Samadhi? If you understood what you are talking about, you wouldn't have just made this statement.
As Joe Pesci said in "My Cousin Vinny," show me the money. Why doesn't an expert like you know samadhi (the eighth step of the eight-fold path) is the meditation the Buddha taught?


Originally Posted by nameless
What has a 'student' to offer in a book?
Nothing to a know-it-all.


Originally Posted by nameless
If you hold that a scholastic education in this matter is of such value, perhaps you should have just taken an 'Enlightenment 101' course. You'll be able to proudly display your 'Certificate of Enlightenment' when you're done! And, reading about the 'history' of the 'writings and claims' of 'enlightenment' doesn't give you the foggiest idea of the 'actuality'. Become 'enlightened' and then (see if you still want to) write your book.
YOU are the one who asked for credentials. Remember? What is this, bait and switch? Besides, I didn't say it was just scholastic . . . recall the 32 years of meditation? What have you to offer as expertise?


Originally Posted by nameless
I guess that if you cannot discuss the subject intelligently, you can 'dismiss' me easily by 'labeling' me (like a 'nigger' or a 'kike' or a 'slope'.. or whatever 'group' you find easily dismissed). Now you dont have to deal with the 'meat' 'cause we all know about them 'niggers', 'idealists', Jews, etc.. You aren't exhibiting much intellect here. I do not think like any 'group', if you happen to find parallels, it is irrevelent.
Nice try. Associating yourself with the down-trodden to appear the victim. It is you sir who has consistantly been rude, condescending, and talking out of your backside.


Originally Posted by nameless
I speak here on Zen as I live it.
Hmmmmmmm . . . so Zen is what you are living?


Originally Posted by nameless
Then again, you did call yourself a student, so.. instead of automatically egoically arguing an alternative perspective, as a 'student', perhaps you might make the attempt to 'understand' it first? Otherwise, your statement about being a 'student' is only a nice sounding false humility...
Understand what? Meditation? Let's hear your credentials please . . . years devoted to meditation, education, posts/publications here or anywhere exposing to everyone on the planet to what you do and don't know . . . you know, a little more than big talk.

Do you understand my complaint? You are disrespectful, and trying to pretend you know more than you do. Just be honest and share ideas; you don't have to "be" anything to be accepted (or tolerated) here except sincere, willing to learn, teach (when you actually know), and respectful to others who are struggling like everyone else to understand things.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
Let's say you wanted to understand Socrates. Do you read books by people who studied Plato's reports, or do you read Plato's reports? I don't understand all this talk about Watts, Tolles, Capra, et al when we have original texts to study. 20th century interpreters of the Buddha being studied over the Buddha himself it doesn't make the slightest bit of sense.

Dr. Yes, I especially cannot follow this sort of thinking, "I haven't suggested a person should dwell on any one, single aspect of being. I am suggesting that all aspects of life, past, present and future, have something to offer in terms of usefullness and practicality. More importantly, these aspects (among others) add a balance and breadth to the near-sighted condition of "the now".

Understanding all aspects of life may very well have something to offer one, but what does this have to do with Zen? Study it historically, from original texts, and precede that by studying the Buddha because Zen is nothing more than a slight variation on how the Buddha taught, adjusted for the Taoist audience Bodhidarma was to address.

"NOW" is exactly, precisely, totally what Zen (and all samadhi meditation) is about. There is nothing near-sighted about it . . . rather, it is specialized. Do you think it is easy to attain the experience of now? If it were then you might have a point. But it takes years of practice, and serious dedication. So just like someone who wants to be an Olympic wrestler gets focused (tho according to you, near-sighted), to achieve the very difficult realization of "now" a person dedicates himself.
Hello Les, I have a good understanding of the tao (way) and the now. This has been going on for 24 years for me. I am offering a flip-side or the shadow side of Zen where I view it's focus on "the now" as a resource among many other available resources. Nothing more. Nothing special about it. Equal in importance to learning wrestling, as you have mentioned.

Claude Monet (an early impressionist artist) was near-sighted. This condition helped him to produce what we view today as masterpieces of impressionism.

Monet's near-sightedness was a resource that was useful in his endeavour. That doesn't mean it was the gospel to all art or even all impressionist art. In this case near-sightedness was simply one of an infinite number of conditions from which one can draw resources.

As for your confused state concerning the book list I posted: I recommend staying in the now and accepting those events that you have attracted to yourself.

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

Let's say you wanted to understand Socrates. Do you read books by people who studied Plato's reports, or do you read Plato's reports? I don't understand all this talk about Watts, Tolles, Capra, et al when we have original texts to study. 20th century interpreters of the Buddha being studied over the Buddha himself it doesn't make the slightest bit of sense.

Dr. Yes, I especially cannot follow this sort of thinking, "I haven't suggested a person should dwell on any one, single aspect of being. I am suggesting that all aspects of life, past, present and future, have something to offer in terms of usefullness and practicality. More importantly, these aspects (among others) add a balance and breadth to the near-sighted condition of "the now".

Understanding all aspects of life may very well have something to offer one, but what does this have to do with Zen? Study it historically, from original texts, and precede that by studying the Buddha because Zen is nothing more than a slight variation on how the Buddha taught, adjusted for the Taoist audience Bodhidarma was to address.

"NOW" is exactly, precisely, totally what Zen (and all samadhi meditation) is about. There is nothing near-sighted about it . . . rather, it is specialized. Do you think it is easy to attain the experience of now? If it were then you might have a point. But it takes years of practice, and serious dedication. So just like someone who wants to be an Olympic wrestler gets focused (tho according to you, near-sighted), to achieve the very difficult realization of "now" a person dedicates himself.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
I haven't suggested a person should dwell on any one, single aspect of being. I am suggesting that all aspects of life, past, present and future, have something to offer in terms of usefullness and practicality. More importantly, these aspects (among others) add a balance and breadth to the near-sighted condition of "the now".
I agree with this. I believe however that the argument is simply a matter of semantics. I've read Eckhart Tolles book and I think it is quite good.
Tolle uses the word NOW in terms of the nothingness that everything is happening in. He doesn't mean that only the present moment counts, he means that both the past and the future is happening in the NOW - which is of cource true because it couldn't be any other way. The future is always a concept, an idea, sence it hasn't yet happend. If you're focusing on the future it is a sure sign that you are focusing on abstractions of what is happening in the NOW. Do you see? I, as you, believe everything is of equal importance but I agree with Tolle when he says that NOW is all there is. To focus your whole attention on an abstraction, the future, is to run from life - which is happening NOW.

WeeDie

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by WeeDie
Fritjof Capra - The Tao of Physics is a classic, and the Amazon collection seems to flood with books trying to integrate physics with the esoteric teachings of mysticism, religion and the rational of western and eastern philosophy. I even think there are models around based on Bell's theorem that fits quite well with results within quantum physics and even the latest results in ESP statistics.


A Zen of Physics would be this very cool set of people that designs the most awesome starship, complete with the most beatiful and perfect mathematical models concievable, and then takes off to some distant galaxy before some other gang of conventional physicist figure out how it works and use the same technique to build a bomb and blows up the planet.
Yes. To me the Zen of Physics would be the discipline involved in being and administrating oneself as a physical being.

As that physical being, your body (including mind and all the crap it generates) experiences all the laws of physics and therefore it is possible that, since you are a physical being, you are learning and understanding all laws of physics. Through this method one would attain the Zen of physics.

Here is a list of Alan Watts' books, recordings and articles (some of them deal with Zen in particular)

* The Spirit of Zen (1936)
* The Legacy of Asia and Western Man (1937)
* The Meaning of Happiness (1940)
* The Theologica Mystica of St. Dionysius (1944) (translation)
* Behold the Spirit (1948)
* Easter - Its Story and Meaning (1950)
* The Supreme Identity (1950)
* The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951) (cool!)
* Myth and Ritual in Christianity (1953)
* The Way of Zen (1957)
* Nature, Man, and Woman (1958)
* "This Is It" and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience (1960)
* Psychotherapy East and West (1961)
* The Joyous Cosmology - Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness (1962)
* The Two Hands of God - The Myths of Polarity (1963)
* Beyond Theology - The Art of Godmanship (1964)
* The Book - On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)
* Nonsense (1967)
* Does It Matter? - Essays on Man's Relation to Materiality (1970)
* Erotic Spirituality - The Vision of Konarak (1971)
* The Art of Contemplation (1972)
* In My Own Way - An Autobiography 1915-1965 (1972)
* Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown - A Mountain Journal (1973)
* Tao: The Watercourse Way (unfinished at the time of his death in 1973 - published in 1975)
* The Early Writings of Alan Watts (1987)
* The Modern Mystic: A New Collection of Early Writings (1990)

In addition, a number of books have been published since his death that contain transcripts of recorded lectures and/or articles not included in the above.* They include:

* The Essence of Alan Watts (1974)
* Essential Alan Watts (1976)
* Uncarved Block, Unbleached Silk: The Mystery of Life (1978)
* Om: Creative Meditations (1979)
* Play to Live (1982)
* Way of Liberation: Essays and Lectures on the Transformation of the Self (1983)
* Out of the Trap (1985)
* Diamond Web (1986)
* Talking Zen (1994)
* Become Who You Are (1995)
* Buddhism: The Religion of No-Religion (1995)
* The Philosophies of Asia (1995)
* The Tao of Philosophy (1995)
* Myth and Religion (1996)
* Taoism: Way Beyond Seeking (1997)
* Zen and the Beat Way (1997)
* Culture of Counterculture (1998)

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

hi All,

I just PubMed meditation and there are thousand...

Int J Neurosci. 2005 Jun;115(6):893-909.

Impact of regular meditation practice on EEG activity at rest and during evoked negative emotions.

Aftanas L, Golosheykin S.

Psychophysiology Laboratory, State Research Institute of Physiology, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia. aftanas@iph.ma.nsc.ru

The main objective of the present investigation was to examine how long-term meditation practice is manifested in EEG activity under conditions of non-emotional arousal (eyes-closed and eyes-open periods, viewing emotionally neutral movie clip) and while experiencing experimentally induced negative emotions (viewing aversive movie clip). The 62-channel EEG was recorded in age-matched control individuals (n=25) and Sahaja Yoga meditators (SYM, n=25). Findings from the non-emotional continuum show that at the lowest level of arousal (eyes closed) SYM manifested larger power values in theta-1 (4-6 Hz), theta-2 (6-8 Hz) and alpha-1 (8-10 Hz) frequency bands. Although increasing arousal desynchronized activity in these bands in both groups, the theta-2 and alpha-1 power in the eyes-open period and alpha-1 power while viewing the neutral clip remained still higher in the SYM. During eyes-closed and eyes-open periods the controls were marked by larger right than left hemisphere power, indexing relatively more active left hemisphere parieto-temporal cortex whereas me
ditators manifested no hemisphere asymmetry. When contrasted with the neutral, the aversive movie clip yielded significant alpha desynchronization in both groups, reflecting arousing nature of emotional induction. In the control group along with alpha desynchronization affective movie clip synchronized gamma power over anterior cortical sites. This was not seen in the SYM. Overall, the presented report emphasizes that the revealed changes in the electrical brain activity associated with regular meditation practice are dynamical by nature and depend on arousal level. The EEG power findings also provide the first empirical proof of a theoretical assumption that meditators have better capabilities to moderate intensity of emotional arousal.

Publication Types:

* Clinical Trial
* Randomized Controlled Trial


PMID: 16019582 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

somasimple

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
Conditions other than 'the now' may include any of the following:

then, again, before, after, probability, possibility, prediction, plans, history, prehistory, imagined scenarios and so on.


I don't think that Zen "disallows" any of these things, but shows us that dwelling on the past or wishing for our circumstances to be different in the future does not enrich our lives because we live in the present and it is here and now where we have the power to make a difference.

Simetra7

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
Alan Watts also does an excellent write up on the similarities between Indian and other eastern philosophies and high-end physics. I don't know if he is the authority on the comparitive similarities here but, its almost as though much of particle physics and matter anti-matter, etc... has been studied and documented then, over time, most of the method and rational has been lost only to become philosophy and religion. What's left is enormas myths and stories that fit like an overhead transparency over the formuli and conjectures of modern day explorations into physics.
Fritjof Capra - The Tao of Physics is a classic, and the Amazon collection seems to flood with books trying to integrate physics with the esoteric teachings of mysticism, religion and the rational of western and eastern philosophy. I even think there are models around based on Bell's theorem that fits quite well with results within quantum physics and even the latest results in ESP statistics.

Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
Zen of Physics... can anyone tell me what this would look like?
A Zen of Physics would be this very cool set of people that designs the most awesome starship, complete with the most beatiful and perfect mathematical models concievable, and then takes off to some distant galaxy before some other gang of conventional physicist figure out how it works and use the same technique to build a bomb and blows up the planet.

WeeDie

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Simetra7
I don't think that Zen "disallows" any of these things,
Let us know when you know for sure.

I haven't suggested a person should dwell on any one, single aspect of being. I am suggesting that all aspects of life, past, present and future, have something to offer in terms of usefullness and practicality. More importantly, these aspects (among others) add a balance and breadth to the near-sighted condition of "the now".

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

Zen is all about embracing and fully experiencing the present moment and one of the best books i have read on that subject is The power of NOW by Eckhart Tolle. Without getting bogged down in any particular religious teachings, this book guides the reader through all manner of tricks the mind can play to distract us from the present, and strategies to help focus on, and fully appreciate the only thing that is truly real in life; The infinite unfolding of the NOW.

Simetra7

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Simetra7
Zen is all about embracing and fully experiencing the present moment and one of the best books i have read on that subject is The power of NOW by Eckhart Tolle. Without getting bogged down in any particular religious teachings, this book guides the reader through all manner of tricks the mind can play to distract us from the present, and strategies to help focus on, and fully appreciate the only thing that is truly real in life; The infinite unfolding of the NOW.
Yes. I've also heard or felt that Zen is a rather exclusive sort of practice where its a kind of boot camp nazi crap, a kind of brain washing technique that disallows for things other than "the now".

Anytime people focus on one aspect of being, it seems to go a little extreme and therefore, out of balance. This, I would think, is something a practitioner of any discipline would rather avoid.

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Johann
If you take the Buddhist metaphysics out of it, meditation is just a trick you play with your brain that often causes its practitioners to develop false beliefs about the nature of reality. Which is why I don't practice it and don't recommend to anyone.
Look whos preaching now.



Originally Posted by Johann
A few milligrams of LSD often have exactly the same effect.
Do tell.



Originally Posted by Johann
Sheesh! If that is not preaching, I don't know what is! Can we talk about saints and sinners now? Believers and infidels?
None of those topics has much to do with Zen, but....... go ahead.

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

If you want to know about Zen I warmly recommend Alan Watts: http://deoxy.org/watts.htm

Originally Posted by Johann
If you take the Buddhist metaphysics out of it, meditation is just a trick you play with your brain that often causes its practitioners to develop false beliefs about the nature of reality. Which is why I don't practice it and don't recommend to anyone.
Please man, how could observation on what is (which basically is what meditation is all about) encourage development of false beliefs about reality?
I'm more inclined to believe that such an endeavour would pattern the nervous system to be more in concordance with what's actually "out there" and so make your brain better conditioned to find TRUE beliefs about the nature of reality.
Maybe you should try practising it before handing out expert advice on it. Seriously, someone like you would probably gain a lot from a crashcourse 10 days Vipassana retreat.

Originally Posted by Johann
A few milligrams of LSD often have exactly the same effect.
Have you actually tried LSD?

LSD doesn't come close to the effects attained by a advanced meditator. Used right it can be a very practical tool though - not for the faint-hearted. Enjoy Timothy Leary and his info-psychology! More "serious" books are published nowadays but Leary will forever be the #1 rascal Guru ;)

I've personally enjoyed tremendous benefits from meditation. It certainly makes me smarter - more creative and intelligent. With perseverant practice it allows you to experience reality as it is without the encumberment of language, indoctrination and conflicts conditioned upon the nervous system.

WeeDie

Any Zen out there

[quote=Dr.Yes]Yes. I've also heard or felt that Zen is a rather exclusive sort of practice where its a kind of boot camp nazi crap, a kind of brain washing technique that disallows for things other than "the now".

What 'other things' are you talking about?

Simetra7

Any Zen out there

[quote=Simetra7]
Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
Yes. I've also heard or felt that Zen is a rather exclusive sort of practice where its a kind of boot camp nazi crap, a kind of brain washing technique that disallows for things other than "the now".

What 'other things' are you talking about?
Conditions other than 'the now' may include any of the following:

then, again, before, after, probability, possibility, prediction, plans, history, prehistory, imagined scenarios and so on.

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Johann
If you take the Buddhist metaphysics out of it, meditation is just a trick you play with your brain that often causes its practitioners to develop false beliefs about the nature of reality.
Could you expound on this a bit? What meditation-related beliefs do you feel are false, and how do you conclude that they are indeed false?

hypnagogue

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by WeeDie
If you want to know about Zen I warmly recommend Alan Watts: http://deoxy.org/watts.htm
Alan Watts also does an excellent write up on the similarities between Indian and other eastern philosophies and high-end physics. I don't know if he is the authority on the comparitive similarities here but, its almost as though much of particle physics and matter anti-matter, etc... has been studied and documented then, over time, most of the method and rational has been lost only to become philosophy and religion. What's left is enormas myths and stories that fit like an overhead transparency over the formuli and conjectures of modern day explorations into physics.




Originally Posted by WeeDie
Have you actually tried LSD?
The one thing LSD replicates as a state is quantum reality. When you see 60,000 seagulls left behind along only one seagull's flightpath, a quantum form of perceiving reality becomes immediately apparent.

What would the Zen of Physics look like?

Is it some monkish dude hunkered down beside some cyclotron or using a linear accelerator to write equasions? Would it entail this monkish dude or dudette studying the same equasion over and over for decades until a blinding flash of inspiration showed them the ultimate unification theory?

Zen of Physics... can anyone tell me what this would look like?

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by selfAdjoint
I loved her from the moment I saw her, only minutes after she was born.

One of those perfect NOW experiences that makes the world a better place...

Simetra7

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
But I am constrained by what the experience has taught me. I say it is nothing like a seizure.
Have you experienced any seizures?

Actually, whether these transcendent states are related to seizures or not, it is known that the baseline EEG of experienced meditators is different from non-meditators in a marked and predictable way, and various other brain imaging studies have shown distinct neural correlates of transcendent or ecstatic states arising from meditation.

hypnagogue

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by hypnagogue
Actually, whether these transcendent states are related to seizures or not, it is known that the baseline EEG of experienced meditators is different from non-meditators in a marked and predictable way, and various other brain imaging studies have shown distinct neural correlates of transcendent or ecstatic states arising from meditation.
I have seen this said before and never followed it up. Have you any sites where I might learn more about these meditation imaging studies?

And BTW, Les, I am perfectly comfortable with the idea that my love for my granddaughter, along with all my other thoughts and emotions, are the product of brain states. Whether I trained my brain to produce them I don't know - I loved her from the moment I saw her, only minutes after she was born.

selfAdjoint

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
Well, you are making my case for me that you've been talking about something you don't know much about. Besides the fact that modern Tibetan Buddhism is another subject, if you review my posts you will see that I've attempted to describe the origin of Zen--what it originally was--and not anything that's "organized" today. I am as against religion as anyone I know because I believe every time it strays miles from what the original teacher was doing.

That's why, if you read my first post in this thread, I attempted to show that Zen (Ch'an) started out with someone still trying to keep what the Buddha originally taught going (what I called a "preservationist") while the religion of Buddhism had totally overshadowed what little preservationism was left. Most of what people call "zen" today has little to do with the type of serious and lifelong dedication to meditation the Buddha and his faithful were into.

By the way, there were serious meditators within first the early Eastern Greek monasteries and later in the Catholic monasteries (although they called it "prayer" such as prayer of the heart or union prayer). The Catholic monastics appear to have learned this from the Orthodox practitioners, who themselves descended from the desert hermits populating remote areas of Palastine, Egypt, Asia Minor soon after the death of Jesus. The inner practices of these "preservationists," IMO kept the original teaching of Jesus alive for centuries while, again, the Christian religion grew and dominated until today all people think Jesus was about is the dogmatic and fantastic beliefs that represents so much of religion.




What is "organized meditation"? Meditation is personal, you can't do it "with" someone else even if they happen to be in the same room doing it too.

If you mean organizations set up to promote meditation, then it seems you equate "organized" with evil, but I don't think that's a fair assessment. The Buddha organized a sangha (monastic lifestyle) for people who wanted to give their full attention to inner practice. While devotees had the benefit of his single-pointed focus, the organization served a meditation purpose. But later (after the Buddha's death) when those in charge of the organization started adding religious practices, then the organization started serving a religious purpose. So organization isn't inherently evil, it depends on what the focus is. In the early Ch'an monasteries, it appears the focus was meditation just as it had been with the Buddha. But now, look at all the stuff people are doing in the name of Zen and you can see what the focus is (or isn't).




I haven't said or implied anything of the sort. In my profile you can review every post I've made here, and you will find me always recommending meditation for personal enlightenment, not world enlightenment.
You're right Les, I don't know anything about Zen because I don't practise it. Its like you said, people reading books about Zen don't cut the mustard, what I've heard about Zen doesn't cut the mustard either.... ya really "got to get some on ya" (Ken Kesey) to know what it is.

I apologize if I mistook you to be a modern day nazi boot camp zen kamindant. You have clearly shown me that you are simply a person who wishes the best for himself and others and offers an example to anyone who shows an interest in doing the same. I'm all for that.

Are you cutting and pasting all this information into this page or do you type at a ferocious speed with perfect accuracy and grammar???

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by selfAdjoint
Believe me Les I don't want to insult you or your practices, but I have to respond to this.

Suppose I said "This is a person who has trained his brain to produce a certain result by self-hypnosis, biofeedback or whatever, and the brain produces it by say, a subclinical complex partial seizure such as Zooby has posted about, and now the person can reliably trigger that seizure, whose only perceivable symptom is this experience of oneness (which some epileptics also experience)?" This explanation accounts for the effects and uses only known facts about the brain. How would you respond?
You aren't insulting me, so I hope you understand this response.

Suppose I said of the love you feel for your grandaughter, "This is a person who has trained his brain to produce a certain result by self-hypnosis, biofeedback or whatever, and the brain produces it by say, a subclinical complex partial seizure . . . and now the person can reliably trigger that seizure, whose only perceivable symptom is this experience of [grandaughter love]?" Are you ready to buy my theory, based on my own belief system about what a human being is, or do you prefer to trust your experience?

If your theory is that a seizure is at the root of 3000 years of consistant reporting by inner practitioners (and don't you think a seizure would grip the body in tension instead of producing the most total and complete relaxation I've ever experienced?), then it seems to me that should show up on electroencephalagrams, which it hasn't.

You can't dispute a theory that fits the facts, but competing theories can be made to fit the same facts. The only thing one can be sure of is one's experiences. I could go into why brain malfunction doesn't make sense, but you still won't be convinced because you and I can't share facts about the experience. I know it, you don't, so you are free to speculate anything you please about what it is or isn't. But I am constrained by what the experience has taught me. I say it is nothing like a seizure.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les sleeth
If an individual has the right inner methods, then he can attain union. One can get so good at meditation that he achieves it at every sitting; but alas, the experience fades over the day, so one keeps practicing daily so that the union experience can last through life's hassles. This partial, in and out experience is not enlightenment, which is when someone achieves permanent absorption. When that happens, then that person may go and teach others if the orignal teacher is dead.
Believe me Les I don't want to insult you or your practices, but I have to respond to this.

Suppose I said "This is a person who has trained his brain to produce a certain result by self-hypnosis, biofeedback or whatever, and the brain produces it by say, a subclinical complex partial seizure such as Zooby has posted about, and now the person can reliably trigger that seizure, whose only perceivable symptom is this experience of oneness (which some epileptics also experience)?" This explanation accounts for the effects and uses only known facts about the brain. How would you respond?

selfAdjoint

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Simetra7
This was more of a general question in line with the content of this thread. I was just wondering whether these people are out there, and available to teach someone who may be genuinely interested.
Well, let me answer your question like this. How many people do you know who have meditated over an hour per day for nearly 32 years and still consider themselves unworthy to teach? The only reason for that is because the competence of stillness of who taught me is still far beyond what I have achieved. So why should I get in the way? Yet I am thrilled with what I've accomplished, and can heartily recommend others to try it.

My experience is, there are many, many willing to teach, but very, very few who actually can both impart the experience and keep one on track until one realizes how to realize the experience for oneself.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
What does the Tao have to do with Zen? Taoists aren't reknown for meditation, but rather for participating in life a certain way, in harmony with the Tao. This has absolutely nothing to do with Zen.
I takes a certain meditation to participate in harmony with the Tao. I refered to the Tao because I saw it mentioned somewhere in the above posts.




Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
What is the shadow side of Zen, meditation? Zen IS meditation and the experience that results when that meditation is successful, period.
The "shadow of Zen" is another way I attempted to describe the "flip-side of Zen".

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
Sorry, but I don't think you are making sense. We are in a thread talking about Zen meditation, ......edit We aren't talking about other resources, we are talking about Zen.
On the contrary, if you include my participation in this discussion, we are talking about resources etc.

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
I am not confused, I just don't think you know much about Zen, yet you are acting like you do.
My opinions are based on what I've experienced or know about a subject like you or anyone else.

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
Today all the lazy people think they get to be an expert on Zen by reading books,
They are experts at reading books.

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth

I am not trying to say that your practices are wrong, or even that they might not be superior to a true Zen practice. If they work for you that's fine. What I am trying to say is that you haven't been speaking accurately about Zen.
Superiority is an unbalanced state which I try to avoid. I've only spoken generally about Zen. If Zen Buddist tradition is similar to what the Dali Lama practises, I have it on good authority that it is as outdated and psudo-domineering as the Roman Catholic Church and its cousins.

Meditation (of any sort) is one thing. Organized meditation is out-of-balance and down-right-plain-dangerous.

And please don't tell me about how organized, vigilante meditators can save the world. What are they, everyone's Mommy?

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
My experience is, there are many, many willing to teach, but very, very few who actually can both impart the experience and keep one on track until one realizes how to realize the experience for oneself.

So are you saying that the original meaning and practice of Zen meditation could eventually be lost forever, or are these teachings passed down through generations of certain dedicated families.

Simetra7

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
Superiority is an unbalanced state which I try to avoid. I've only spoken generally about Zen. If Zen Buddist tradition is similar to what the Dali Lama practises, I have it on good authority that it is as outdated and psudo-domineering as the Roman Catholic Church and its cousins.
Well, you are making my case for me that you've been talking about something you don't know much about. Besides the fact that modern Tibetan Buddhism is another subject, if you review my posts you will see that I've attempted to describe the origin of Zen--what it originally was--and not anything that's "organized" today. I am as against religion as anyone I know because I believe every time it strays miles from what the original teacher was doing.

That's why, if you read my first post in this thread, I attempted to show that Zen (Ch'an) started out with someone still trying to keep what the Buddha originally taught going (what I called a "preservationist") while the religion of Buddhism had totally overshadowed what little preservationism was left. Most of what people call "zen" today has little to do with the type of serious and lifelong dedication to meditation the Buddha and his faithful were into.

By the way, there were serious meditators within first the early Eastern Greek monasteries and later in the Catholic monasteries (although they called it "prayer" such as prayer of the heart or union prayer). The Catholic monastics appear to have learned this from the Orthodox practitioners, who themselves descended from the desert hermits populating remote areas of Palastine, Egypt, Asia Minor soon after the death of Jesus. The inner practices of these "preservationists," IMO kept the original teaching of Jesus alive for centuries while, again, the Christian religion grew and dominated until today all people think Jesus was about is the dogmatic and fantastic beliefs that represents so much of religion.


Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
Meditation (of any sort) is one thing. Organized meditation is out-of-balance and down-right-plain-dangerous.
What is "organized meditation"? Meditation is personal, you can't do it "with" someone else even if they happen to be in the same room doing it too.

If you mean organizations set up to promote meditation, then it seems you equate "organized" with evil, but I don't think that's a fair assessment. The Buddha organized a sangha (monastic lifestyle) for people who wanted to give their full attention to inner practice. While devotees had the benefit of his single-pointed focus, the organization served a meditation purpose. But later (after the Buddha's death) when those in charge of the organization started adding religious practices, then the organization started serving a religious purpose. So organization isn't inherently evil, it depends on what the focus is. In the early Ch'an monasteries, it appears the focus was meditation just as it had been with the Buddha. But now, look at all the stuff people are doing in the name of Zen and you can see what the focus is (or isn't).


Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
And please don't tell me about how organized, vigilante meditators can save the world. What are they, everyone's Mommy?
I haven't said or implied anything of the sort. In my profile you can review every post I've made here, and you will find me always recommending meditation for personal enlightenment, not world enlightenment.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Simetra7
So are you saying that the original meaning and practice of Zen meditation could eventually be lost forever, or are these teachings passed down through generations of certain dedicated families.
Well, this is a difficult question to answer quickly. To do it right, I have to distinquish between Buddhist meditation, and the practices specific to Ch'an (I'm going to use Ch'an because the Chinese are who developed the practices that later became part of Japanese Zen).

The meditation the Buddha mastered and realized enlightenment through is called samadhi, which means union. It's called union because one's consciousness, normally split into several aspects (intellect, sense data, emotions, etc.) all merge into one single experience. The mind becomes still, and one experiences "oneness" with the whole of reality. This practice involves a series of methods where one learns to recognize the inner brightness of consciousness, its inherent vibrancy, a gentle pulse consciousness has, and a total release from holding or feeling the body. Believe me, it takes practice to get anywhere first because the thinking mind won't let go either of control of consciousness, or of the body.

Letting go becomes a big deal, because as one learns, one realizes that one is surrendering one's self to a greater "something" that will absorb it once one can get the mind to submit (just as Mohammed said). When that absorption happens, that is samadhi/union. Most people think the purpose of meditation is to stop thinking, but it isn't (not samadhi meditation anyway). It's just that thinking prevents absorption; the real goal of samadhi/union meditation is that absorption.

If an individual has the right inner methods, then he can attain union. One can get so good at meditation that he achieves it at every sitting; but alas, the experience fades over the day, so one keeps practicing daily so that the union experience can last through life's hassles. This partial, in and out experience is not enlightenment, which is when someone achieves permanent absorption. When that happens, then that person may go and teach others if the orignal teacher is dead.

So, back to the Ch'an story. What the Buddha did was to achieve permanent union, and then he set up a situation where he could teach. Never in history have students had the opportunity for so much attention from a master. The Buddha taught for 40 years, and as a result quite a few people realized enlightenment. These people (the "preservationists") kept the experience alive, teaching others through the generations, but as the religion of Buddhism grew some went off to teach in more "neutral" settings (i.e., where Buddhism wasn't the dominant thing).

Before China, it appears some Buddhists taught Hindu priests because meditation masters show up there. The great master Kabir claims to have been taught by a Hindu master, and many believe Kabir taught Nanak, who would initiate several generations of serious samadhi meditators before it deteriorated into the Sikh religion. Some say Jesus went to India during his "missing years" and learned union; that would certainly explain the presence of monks and nuns practicing union in monasteries centuries after Jesus' death.

Anyway someone went to China about a thousand years after the Buddha. As usual, a preservationist adjusts his message to fit the beliefs, values and attitudes of his audience (the Buddha, for instance, designed his message for the forest full of ascetics who were his first followers; his "middle way" was a message aimed directly at their severe self-denial practices which were often physically debilitating and even life threatening). The preservationist who went to China, thought to be Bodhidarma, likely found his most enthusiastic followers among Taoists. I say this because you often see in the pecularities of Ch'an the Taoist value of naturalness. This shows up in the best Ch'an koans where students are constantly pressed to experience, and stop maintaining a concept about enlightenment.

I consider Joshu the greatest of all Ch'an masters, someone who meditated for 40 years and waited for his master Nansen's death before teaching. His koans show the naturalness that Taoist understanding seems to have imparted to Ch'an. For example, someone asked Joshu, "Master, where is your mind focused?" Joshu answered, "where there is no design."

"No design," is a what union is like, which is what is practiced first and foremost in meditation. If you know that, then you can see what a true master, someone within the experience himself, is doing when he interacts with students. He is trying to keep them in the "oneness" experience all day. That's how the experience eventually becomes permanent.

Here's another good one (and reflects Taoist influence too):

A monk asked, "Master, what does the enlightened one do?"
Joshu said, "He truly practices the Way."
The monk asked, "Master, do you practice the Way?"
Joshu said, "I put on my robe, I eat my rice."

There is "no design again. The Way is not a concept but the undivided experience of the present. Another example:

A new monk asked, "I have just entered the monastery, and I understand nothing. Please master teach me."
Joshu answered, "Before entering the monastery, you understood even less."

In other words, before you entered the monastery you hadn't heard about the Ch'an concept of being an empty vessel and understanding nothing, but now that concept is in your head which violates "no design." Here's one of my favorites:

A monk asked, "When you do not carry a single thing with you, how is it then?"
Joshu said, "Put it down!"

That is a teaching of no design too. Joshu recognizes the monk is carrying a concept about not carrying concepts instead of being in the experience of no design.

I've tried to show what was really going on FIRST in the original Ch'an, which was samadhi meditation, just like it was with the Buddha's followers. What people now think of as Ch'an or Zen is merely the external techniques used to guide students to stay in the experience. But obviously no student can be guided who hasn't experienced union regularly, yet that is exactly what Zen today has become. It isn't about samadhi (and that's the only kind of meditation to associate with the Buddha), it is about naturalness, and koans, and slapping initiates, etc. It's like trying to drive a car without the motor in it. You aren't going to get anywhere with Zen if you don't have the union experience there that Zen was designed to assist in maintaining.

Now to answer you question. My point has been that I believe preservationists have kept the experience alive throughout the centuries. Samadhi meditation still relies on the same inner methods, but the external methods change with each teacher. I don't see Zen as alive anymore, its time is past. But it I do think it was a great approach because it emphasized, just like how the Buddha taught, the experience and discouraged concepts.

Is there anyone around today qualifed to teach samadhi/union? As I said, I only discuss that in private.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

[/quote]Today all the lazy people think they get to be an expert on Zen by reading books, when the people who made Zen a reality had to meditate for decades.[/quote]



You stated in your first post in this thread that anyone who is serious about learning Zen meditation should be careful about who they let teach them. In your opinion, is learning from a master of the original teachings the only way to truly learn this ancient discipline, and if so, are there many Zen masters around the world who still teach this way.

Simetra7

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Simetra7
You stated in your first post in this thread that anyone who is serious about learning Zen meditation should be careful about who they let teach them. In your opinion, is learning from a master of the original teachings the only way to truly learn this ancient discipline, and if so, are there many Zen masters around the world who still teach this way.
Private message me if you are interested.

Les Sleeth

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Les Sleeth
Private message me if you are interested.


This was more of a general question in line with the content of this thread. I was just wondering whether these people are out there, and available to teach someone who may be genuinely interested.

Simetra7

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by WeeDie
I agree with this. I believe however that the argument is simply a matter of semantics. I've read Eckhart Tolles book and I think it is quite good.
Tolle uses the word NOW in terms of the nothingness that everything is happening in. He doesn't mean that only the present moment counts, he means that both the past and the future is happening in the NOW - which is of cource true because it couldn't be any other way. The future is always a concept, an idea, sence it hasn't yet happend. If you're focusing on the future it is a sure sign that you are focusing on abstractions of what is happening in the NOW. Do you see? I, as you, believe everything is of equal importance but I agree with Tolle when he says that NOW is all there is. To focus your whole attention on an abstraction, the future, is to run from life - which is happening NOW.
Quite often a carpenter will have to focus on the future and wonder if he can fit a piece of wood into a slot or whathaveyou. He must contemplate the future in order to work in the now on the piece of wood that must fit into the slot in the future.

The carpenter uses the future as a resource that is helpful in constructing somthing in the now that will remain for some time, into the future... and become something from the past which may also be useful at another point.

You said someone named Tolle wrote " NOW in terms of the nothingness that everything is happening in".

This is an assumption. My assumption is that nothingness is a part of everything and that everything is simply... happening.

I cannot confirm or deny that everything is happening in something. Therefore, I'd rather not assume anything of the sort. Thanks!

Dr.Yes

Any Zen out there

Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
Hello Les, I have a good understanding of the tao (way) and the now.
What does the Tao have to do with Zen? Taoists aren't reknown for meditation, but rather for participating in life a certain way, in harmony with the Tao. This has absolutely nothing to do with Zen.


Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
This has been going on for 24 years for me. I am offering a flip-side or the shadow side of Zen where I view it's focus on "the now" as a resource among many other available resources. Nothing more. Nothing special about it. Equal in importance to learning wrestling, as you have mentioned.
What is the shadow side of Zen, meditation? Zen IS meditation and the experience that results when that meditation is successful, period.

Sorry, but I don't think you are making sense. We are in a thread talking about Zen meditation, and what it might offer. So what if there are other valuable resources? (I assume you mean conscious resources.) We aren't talking about other resources, we are talking about Zen.


Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
As for your confused state concerning the book list I posted: I recommend staying in the now and accepting those events that you have attracted to yourself.
I am not confused, I just don't think you know much about Zen, yet you are acting like you do. Watts was a lifelong alcoholic, who nonetheless thought he could expound on Zen philosophically. I read him quite a bit when I first started meditating, so I'm not guessing when I say he was trying to explain silence by talking about it. See the problem?

Today all the lazy people think they get to be an expert on Zen by reading books, when the people who made Zen a reality had to meditate for decades. I am into my fourth decade of daily meditation and I am pretty sure I can recognize when someone is experienced in meditation and when they are talking from theory. Which are you? Here's a sampling of your thinking which I say gives away you are philosophizing sans experience:


Originally Posted by Dr.Yes
There are Zen practitioners who have spent 20 years painting the image of the same mountain for 20 years. Through this disciplined approach to understanding a phenomenon, there is the belief that the practitioner will understand every mountain, every tree, every river, every rock and everything else, just by concentrating, fully and wholey on one aspect of their environment.
You might be right that there are people doing this, but it isn't anything the Buddha or followers faithful to his teaching ever recommended. This is something made up by people who believe as you stated you believe, "Personally, I am of the belief that Jack of All Trades, Master of None can evolve into a form of what the Zenists have tended to attempt to attain." Such thinkers decided they could interpret the Buddha's teaching anyway they pleased, and did just that. But I say Bodhidarma was true to the Buddha's teaching, and that the only true Ch'an/Zen masters have been those true to the Buddha's teaching. If you want to call devotees of bastardized approaches "masters" then make them masters of archery or motorcycle maintenance, not Zen.

Before you claim you can do what Zen masters have done, don't you think you need to understand what samadhi is? What is, or I should say, was Zen? As I pointed out in my first post to this thread, Zen is the later Japanese pronuciation of the Chinese word chan-na -- abbreveated Ch’an -- which was their rendering of the sanskrit word dhyana, which means meditation. The realization that can come from samadhi meditation the Buddha taught is what Ch'an, and early Zen was all about.

It is a very specific skill, and requires a very specific practice. You are really misleading people (and this is why I am challenging you) when you claim someone can realize via the jack-of-all-trades approach what someone realizes through a dedicated meditation practice. I know because I do both, and I know that there is no possible way to get what one gets from meditation any other way than from doing the work of meditation.

A true meditator knows that to practice, one has to actually reverse one's attention 180? from the usual "out there" focus to a totally inside focus. It is not the normal way consciousness operates, and it take a lot of practice to get anywhere. So how does one go around doing only out-there stuff and attain that inner realization? When someone tells me they meditate by staring at candles or a wall, or by communing with nature, or by mastering archery or painting . . . I know they are lost (when it comes to Zen) because they are focused in the wrong direction.

I am not trying to say that your practices are wrong, or even that they might not be superior to a true Zen practice. If they work for you that's fine. What I am trying to say is that you haven't been speaking accurately about Zen.

Les Sleeth

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