WHEN YOU ARE NOT DECEIVED

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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27 December 2013 16:48
 

“The time when you “see the sun in daytime and see the moon at night,” when you are not deceived, is the normal behavior of a Zen practitioner, naturally, without edges or seams.  If you want to attain this kind of normalcy, you have to put an end to the subtle pounding and weaving that goes on in your mind.”  -  Zen master Hongzhi

(quoted from the book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’  -  translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

 
 
burt
 
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28 December 2013 13:48
 
unsmoked - 27 December 2013 03:48 PM

“The time when you “see the sun in daytime and see the moon at night,” when you are not deceived, is the normal behavior of a Zen practitioner, naturally, without edges or seams.  If you want to attain this kind of normalcy, you have to put an end to the subtle pounding and weaving that goes on in your mind.”  -  Zen master Hongzhi

(quoted from the book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’  -  translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

 

He obviously never saw a production of Taming of the Shrew.

 
KathleenBrugger
 
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28 December 2013 14:59
 

I have to admit I find that quote somewhat confusing. Deceived about what? Deceived about what is reality?

Here’s something from my book; is this what your quote means?

Distinguishing between objective and subjective reality is the meaning behind the famous Zen saying, attributed to the Eighth Century Buddhist Ch’ing Yuan [bracketed comments by the author]:

Before I studied Zen, mountains were mountains and rivers were rivers.
[My mind-generated reality is reality—unquestioned]

While I studied Zen, mountains were no longer mountains and rivers were no longer rivers.
[I questioned my assumptions. Everything is mind-generated, both subjective reality and objective reality—therefore nothing is real; all is illusion]

But when I mastered Zen, mountains were again mountains and rivers were again rivers.
[I now see the difference between objective reality and subjective reality and I am less confused about reality]

 
 
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28 December 2013 16:31
 
KathleenBrugger - 28 December 2013 01:59 PM

I have to admit I find that quote somewhat confusing. Deceived about what? Deceived about what is reality?

Here’s something from my book; is this what your quote means?

Distinguishing between objective and subjective reality is the meaning behind the famous Zen saying, attributed to the Eighth Century Buddhist Ch’ing Yuan [bracketed comments by the author]:

Before I studied Zen, mountains were mountains and rivers were rivers.
[My mind-generated reality is reality—unquestioned]

While I studied Zen, mountains were no longer mountains and rivers were no longer rivers.
[I questioned my assumptions. Everything is mind-generated, both subjective reality and objective reality—therefore nothing is real; all is illusion]

But when I mastered Zen, mountains were again mountains and rivers were again rivers.
[I now see the difference between objective reality and subjective reality and I am less confused about reality]

Zen master Foyan comments:

“Usually it is said that there is true Buddhism, and then there are imitations and remnants.  I say that Buddhism does not have true, imitation, and remnant versions.  Buddhism is always in the world.  If you get the point, it is true; if you miss the point, it is an imitation or a remnant.”

I take this to mean that if you find the quote in the OP confusing then it is an imitation or a remnant and there is no need to linger over it.

(Foyan quoted from the book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

 
 
sojourner
 
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02 January 2014 01:30
 

“We can look to the world of neurology for support of the concept that the brain operates as a closed system, a system in which the role of sensory input appears to be weighted more toward the specification of ongoing cognitive states than toward the supply of information–context over content. This is no different than sensory input modulating a pattern of neural activity generated in the spinal cord to produce walking, except that here we are talking of a cognitive state generated by the brain and how sensory input modulates such a state.” Llinas, Rodolfo. I of the Vortex: From Neurons to Self.


Essentially, the theory here is that sensory input is not the basis of brain activity (our brain as a conduit for incoming information). When walking, we don’t base every step on sensory input, that is simply feedback to help regulate the process (here comes a rock, rough terrain, etc.) Animals who have the nerves needed for said feedback severed can still walk - walking is intrinsically generated. Much like incoming info could be said to be fit within the context of our brain states (which, I imagine, includes a sense of self,) but does not create them.To me, this says something about the limits of human perception and objectivity.

 
 
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02 January 2014 04:04
 

The OP makes sense to me.  If seeing the sun and moon need an explanation then something isn’t right.  Clear your mind and see what is plain.  When there’s too much shuckin’ and jivin’ then leave it be.

 
unsmoked
 
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02 January 2014 15:45
 
Skipshot - 02 January 2014 03:04 AM

The OP makes sense to me.  If seeing the sun and moon need an explanation then something isn’t right.  Clear your mind and see what is plain.  When there’s too much shuckin’ and jivin’ then leave it be.

4000!

 
 
sojourner
 
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08 January 2014 14:15
 

You know, Buddhism has been depressing me lately. My first introduction to it was through secularized meditation, mindfulness, etc. Recently, when I finally started looking at the original (albeit translated) sutras, I expected the Buddha to sound like John Kabat-Zinn using kind of an old-timey voice. In fact, the original Buddhist texts read very much like religious texts, with promises of some sort of fire and brimstone for bad behavior (hell realms), and strict ideas about what constitutes good behavior.


But what disappointed me most was that they seemed pretty clear on the idea that you don’t go to hell, you’re already in hell, which gets better or worse based on prior actions but is still doomed to be unhappy. I think people in modern times have kind of explained away the “life is suffering” part of Buddhism to make it palatable for secular audiences, but the Buddha seemed pretty clear on that. The point of Buddhism is to get out of samsara, which is pretty much existence as we know it.


Anyways, this all bummed me out, but today I was thinking of it in a different way, which reminded me of this quote. I was remembering something from years ago, walking with a little autistic boy I was baby-sitting to a stop sign, because he liked to point to the letters on street signs. And how often memories like that are imbued with this sort of golden glow quality, even if they didn’t seem particularly special at the time. Pleasant, yes, happy, yes, but not ‘special’ in the sense of being particularly noteworthy, again, not at the time. And how memories of pain and pleasure, in the more sensate sense, really don’t ‘encode’ that way. Remembering a medical procedure, you don’t really recall the pain, remembering eating some amazing thing, you don’t really recall the pleasure. In that sense, those memories don’t really stand out one way or another in the mind, important as they seem at the time.


So, rather than think in terms of samsara (which is totally depressing,) I like to think of Buddhist philosophy as being about touching ‘true’ existence. Many seemingly important experiences as more illusionary than we’d think, with a truer baseline of experience behind them. “Enlightenment” being, in a sense, a state of being in full contact with it at all times. This is what this ‘touching the sun’ idea makes me think of now.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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08 January 2014 23:04
 

When I first learned about Buddhism, I also objected to the “truth” that life is suffering.  I was a young gal in college at a lovely university.  Yeah, life included suffering, but it wasn’t all suffering.  I still believe this.  Life is bitter and sweet.

However, for many people, and maybe for Buddha back in his day, life was much harsher.  If I had to do back-breaking labor every day just to put food on the table and clothes on my children’s backs, and if I delivered a passel of children without anaesthetic and lost several children to disease or starvation…yeah, I’d more likely think that life was suffering.  Buddhism grew out of it’s time, just as Christianity did.

Pleasure is impermanent; Buddhism is right on that.  And we are full of desires.  Yes.  However, rather than saying that desires only cause suffering, we could see that they also take us new places.  To live is to desire. 

Not saying I have any sort of deep understanding of Buddhism.  But Buddhism might not be THE path, just A path.

 
burt
 
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09 January 2014 01:04
 

Freedom is not a lack of possessions, it is not being possessed. 

Now we can all go and make lists of all the things that possess us, including the urge to make lists.

 
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09 January 2014 01:47
 
Hannah2 - 08 January 2014 10:04 PM

Buddhism might not be THE path, just A path.

Yep.  The difference from Christianity and Islam is Buddhsm won’t persecute or kill you for not being Buddhist.  And Zen isn’t the same as Buddhism.

 
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09 January 2014 16:39
 
Skipshot - 09 January 2014 12:47 AM
Hannah2 - 08 January 2014 10:04 PM

Buddhism might not be THE path, just A path.

Yep.  The difference from Christianity and Islam is Buddhsm won’t persecute or kill you for not being Buddhist.  And Zen isn’t the same as Buddhism.

Zen master Mi-an writes:

“All people have their own living road to heaven.  Until they walk on this road they are like drunkards who cannot tell which way is which.  Then when they set foot on this road and lose their confusion, it is up to them which way they shall go - they are no longer subject to the arbitrary directions of others.”  (end Mi-an quote)

Speaking of the ‘arbitrary directions of others’ - yesterday I read these paragraphs in the December 16, 2013 issue of The Nation - an article by Ann Jones titled ‘WHEN SOLDIERS BREAK’:

“Dr. King cited another extraordinary book, historian Kenneth M. Stampp’s study of slavery in America, The Peculiar Institution.  Stampp had used manuals and other documents produced by slave owners to spell out their surefire techniques for remaking a man or woman as a slave.  King cited many of Stampp’s examples in a long paragraph impossible to read without recognizing the very model of modern military basic training.  He summed up the methodology this way:  Here, then, was the way to produce a perfect slave.  Accustom him to rigid discipline, demand from him unconditional submission, impress upon him a sense of his innate inferiority, develop in him a paralyzing fear of white men [read: officers], train him to adopt the master’s code of good behavior, and instill in him a sense of complete dependence.”

Ann Jones continues:  “Current basic training gives the formula one significant twist:  while impressing upon the soldier his inferiority to his military masters, it swells his sense of superiority over others - women, weaker men, “lesser” races, designated enemies, civilians.  But everything else in the description is strictly by the drill sergeant’s book.”  end Ann Jones quote - see customer reviews for her book, ‘THEY WERE SOLDIERS: How the Wounded Return From America’s Wars - The Untold Story’ - http://www.amazon.com/They-Were-Soldiers-Wounded-Americas/dp/1608463710 

It’s also hard to read quotes from the slave owner’s manual without recognizing the model for religious indoctrination.  Compare ‘instill in him a sense of complete dependence’ with Zen master Rinzai’s remark, ‘Trust yourself.  There is no one else to trust.’  Rinzai is calling attention to the independent spirit of ‘a wild bird in the forest, or a tiger in the jungle.’  If they are independent and have their own road to heaven, why not humans?

(Mi-an quoted from the book ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

[ Edited: 09 January 2014 16:52 by unsmoked]