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What brings the universe into being?

 
EN
 
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EN
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21 June 2021 11:09
 
weird buffalo - 21 June 2021 07:26 AM
EN - 21 June 2021 06:54 AM

Then just say “be yourself” and stop putting all kinds of complicated adornment on it.

The complicated adornment can be useful for some people.  The “word salad” stuff in Zen to me serves a useful purpose.  The wisdom is not in the “word salad” itself, but the best koans and proverbs are those that encourage you to engage in lateral thinking.  They teach you to alter your perspective in order to consider problems from another angle.

A major difference between Zen sayings and something from Deepak Chopra/Jordan Peterson, is that Zen tends to rely on simple language in it’s attempt to convey significant meaning, where as Chopra/Peterson rely heavily on $10 words in order to give the air of significance to what they say.

I would agree with you that there is no inherent truth value in the teachings of Zen, except that it is one of many pathways to trying to be a more humble person who is willing to look at an issue from a perspective other than their own.  It is a way to learn and adopt useful thinking patterns that comes with no moral/tradition baggage.

But you can say that about anything. Some people may find the word salads in Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity or Pastafarianism helpful. Here is my saying - “Life is a Word Salad Bar. Help yourself. All you can eat for $6.99.”

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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21 June 2021 12:08
 
EN - 21 June 2021 06:54 AM

Then just say “be yourself” and stop putting all kinds of complicated adornment on it.

quote:  “[The renowned poet} Bo Juyi asked the Bird’s Nest Monk, “What is the Way?”  The Bird’s Nest Monk said, “Don’t do any evils, do all forms of good.”  Bo Juyi said, “Even a three-year-old could say this.”  The Bird’s Nest Monk said, “Though a three-year-old might be able to say it, an eighty-year-old might not be able to carry it out.”  (end quote)

So a Zen master could say, “Be yourself,” but how many know who they are?  That’s why a Zen teacher might ask a beginner, “Who are you?”

In your own case (not implying that you are a beginner) would you answer, “I’m a Christian.”  Or, “I’m a legal counselor.”  How many know their original self - the mind they were born with, their inherent mind that took billions of years to evolve?  For most of us, inherent mind is buried under an avalanche of parental and cultural conditioning, not to mention knowledge, opinions, ideas, and so forth.  Surely when you say, “Just be yourself” you don’t mean ‘be a Buddhist’ or ‘be a Christian’?

I’m assuming you agree that inherent mind means the mind you were born with, the mind that has taken billions of years to evolve

Zen master Yuansou comments, “Buddhist teachings are prescriptions given according to specific ailments, to clear away the roots of your compulsive habits and clean out your emotional views, just so you can be free and clear, naked and clean, without problems. 

(quote continued)  “There is no real doctrine at all for you to chew on or squat over.  If you will not believe in yourself [your inherent mind] you pick up your baggage and go to other people’s houses looking for Zen, looking for Tao, looking for mysteries, looking for marvels, looking for buddhas, looking for Zen masters, looking for teachers.

(quote continued)  “You think this is searching for the ultimate, and you make it into your religion, but this is like running blindly to the east to get something that is in the west [running blindly away from your inherent mind looking for it in someone else’s mind]  (see picture of dog and cat in post #13)  The more you run, the further away you are, and the more you hurry the later you become.  You just tire yourself, to what benefit in the end?”  [looking externally for your own inherent mind that took billions of years to evolve]

(Bird’s Nest Monk story quoted from the book, ZEN LETTERS - teachings of Yuanwu - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary.  Yuansou quoted from the book, ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary

[ Edited: 21 June 2021 12:13 by unsmoked]
 
 
EN
 
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21 June 2021 12:21
 

I was not born with a mind. I had the potential for a mind, but it took a lot of sensory input and cerebral growth before my brain developed enough to create a “mind”.  My mind is inseparable from the sensory input that made it. It is always becoming. There may be something called consciousness that is part of the fabric of the universe - burt is the expert on this. But beyond just the basic capacity to be aware, my mind brings up memories, attitudes, viewpoints, opinions, etc. I’m not sure exactly what inherent mind is. When I was born, as far as I know, there was nothing in the way of a mind.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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21 June 2021 14:22
 

weird:

I would agree with you that there is no inherent truth value in the teachings of Zen, except that it is one of many pathways to trying to be a more humble person who is willing to look at an issue from a perspective other than their own.  It is a way to learn and adopt useful thinking patterns that comes with no moral/tradition baggage.

Agreed. One of the “gods” of computer programming, Alan Kay, said: “The correct perspective is worth 80 IQ points”.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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21 June 2021 15:04
 
EN - 21 June 2021 11:09 AM
weird buffalo - 21 June 2021 07:26 AM
EN - 21 June 2021 06:54 AM

Then just say “be yourself” and stop putting all kinds of complicated adornment on it.

The complicated adornment can be useful for some people.  The “word salad” stuff in Zen to me serves a useful purpose.  The wisdom is not in the “word salad” itself, but the best koans and proverbs are those that encourage you to engage in lateral thinking.  They teach you to alter your perspective in order to consider problems from another angle.

A major difference between Zen sayings and something from Deepak Chopra/Jordan Peterson, is that Zen tends to rely on simple language in it’s attempt to convey significant meaning, where as Chopra/Peterson rely heavily on $10 words in order to give the air of significance to what they say.

I would agree with you that there is no inherent truth value in the teachings of Zen, except that it is one of many pathways to trying to be a more humble person who is willing to look at an issue from a perspective other than their own.  It is a way to learn and adopt useful thinking patterns that comes with no moral/tradition baggage.

But you can say that about anything. Some people may find the word salads in Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity or Pastafarianism helpful. Here is my saying - “Life is a Word Salad Bar. Help yourself. All you can eat for $6.99.”

Except this is missing the point I was trying to make.  But whatever.

 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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21 June 2021 17:43
 

What makes one an expert on consciousness being part of the fabric of the universe?

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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21 June 2021 18:43
 

If you pay close attention to your thoughts, or meditate, it is the gaps of silence between the thoughts, ruminations, and churning passing emotions that are Buddha Mind.

It’s pretty simple, really; right there on the surface. It’s the silence between the noise.

But people rarely have moments of silence in their minds. We are in ceaseless monologue with ourselves. Who are we talking to?

It’s that silent observer, the aware space which contains the entire world, that Zen Buddhism is pointing to, as well as other religions and philosophies.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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21 June 2021 21:10
 

Or, a neurotypical brain is wired to process many thoughts through language.  Meditation helps focus brain activity in the pre-frontal cortex, which allows us to concentrate better on the thoughts we do wish to focus on.  This may allow for new connections to be made by one of the most complex parts of our brain.  Executive function allows us to differentiate between things with intention, and so meditation can enhance our ability to perceive differences and characteristics we might not normally consider.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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22 June 2021 12:35
 
weird buffalo - 21 June 2021 09:10 PM

Or, a neurotypical brain is wired to process many thoughts through language.  Meditation helps focus brain activity in the pre-frontal cortex, which allows us to concentrate better on the thoughts we do wish to focus on.  This may allow for new connections to be made by one of the most complex parts of our brain.  Executive function allows us to differentiate between things with intention, and so meditation can enhance our ability to perceive differences and characteristics we might not normally consider.

Yep. And so do psychedelics:

Psychedelic-affected brains have decreased activity in the DMN and Amygdala, and an increase in the emotional processing centers.  Neuroscientists using fMRIs have shown that during these states there is an increase in connectivity between parts of the brain that do not usually communicate.  Terms like “mind expansion” are now commonplace in the halls of cutting-edge laboratories.

https://psytechglobal.com/psychedelics-treat-depression/

The DMN is the Default Mode Network, which is basically the endless chatter that goes on in our heads.

Of course, from the Zen perspective, the mechanics of how the brain works is superfluous. It’s silencing the mind and the experience of awareness that matters.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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22 June 2021 13:35
 
Cheshire Cat - 22 June 2021 12:35 PM
weird buffalo - 21 June 2021 09:10 PM

Or, a neurotypical brain is wired to process many thoughts through language.  Meditation helps focus brain activity in the pre-frontal cortex, which allows us to concentrate better on the thoughts we do wish to focus on.  This may allow for new connections to be made by one of the most complex parts of our brain.  Executive function allows us to differentiate between things with intention, and so meditation can enhance our ability to perceive differences and characteristics we might not normally consider.

Yep. And so do psychedelics:

Psychedelic-affected brains have decreased activity in the DMN and Amygdala, and an increase in the emotional processing centers.  Neuroscientists using fMRIs have shown that during these states there is an increase in connectivity between parts of the brain that do not usually communicate.  Terms like “mind expansion” are now commonplace in the halls of cutting-edge laboratories.

https://psytechglobal.com/psychedelics-treat-depression/

The DMN is the Default Mode Network, which is basically the endless chatter that goes on in our heads.

Of course, from the Zen perspective, the mechanics of how the brain works is superfluous. It’s silencing the mind and the experience of awareness that matters.

I’m pretty sure the mechanics of how the brain works is central.  I don’t think Zen meditation could achieve the effects it does if the brain did not function that way.

 
unsmoked
 
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22 June 2021 13:44
 
EN - 21 June 2021 12:21 PM

I was not born with a mind. I had the potential for a mind, but it took a lot of sensory input and cerebral growth before my brain developed enough to create a “mind”.  My mind is inseparable from the sensory input that made it. It is always becoming. There may be something called consciousness that is part of the fabric of the universe - burt is the expert on this. But beyond just the basic capacity to be aware, my mind brings up memories, attitudes, viewpoints, opinions, etc. I’m not sure exactly what inherent mind is. When I was born, as far as I know, there was nothing in the way of a mind.

I wonder if you are confusing inherent mind with the self?

 
 
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22 June 2021 18:44
 
unsmoked - 22 June 2021 01:44 PM
EN - 21 June 2021 12:21 PM

I was not born with a mind. I had the potential for a mind, but it took a lot of sensory input and cerebral growth before my brain developed enough to create a “mind”.  My mind is inseparable from the sensory input that made it. It is always becoming. There may be something called consciousness that is part of the fabric of the universe - burt is the expert on this. But beyond just the basic capacity to be aware, my mind brings up memories, attitudes, viewpoints, opinions, etc. I’m not sure exactly what inherent mind is. When I was born, as far as I know, there was nothing in the way of a mind.

I wonder if you are confusing inherent mind with the self?

I don’t know.  Tell me what mind you had when you were one hour old.  Tell me what you experienced.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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23 June 2021 05:22
 

Gosh! This thread covers everything.

It is no surprise that if someone agrees with our perspective, they will appear to be much more intelligent to us.

A well-spoken Zen master is indistinguishable from a Zen troll. Cue the coughing lady.

This all seems like a collision of incompatible explanations until one discovers that they are all admirable if primitive renderings of our trioon nature.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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23 June 2021 12:36
 
EN - 22 June 2021 06:44 PM
unsmoked - 22 June 2021 01:44 PM
EN - 21 June 2021 12:21 PM

I was not born with a mind. I had the potential for a mind, but it took a lot of sensory input and cerebral growth before my brain developed enough to create a “mind”.  My mind is inseparable from the sensory input that made it. It is always becoming. There may be something called consciousness that is part of the fabric of the universe - burt is the expert on this. But beyond just the basic capacity to be aware, my mind brings up memories, attitudes, viewpoints, opinions, etc. I’m not sure exactly what inherent mind is. When I was born, as far as I know, there was nothing in the way of a mind.

I wonder if you are confusing inherent mind with the self?

I don’t know.  Tell me what mind you had when you were one hour old.  Tell me what you experienced.

One hour old?  I think you’d agree that while still in the womb we’re already managing ‘ten thousand’ complicated functions and processes.

About 1200 years ago, Zen Master Linji took a stab at describing inherent mind:

quote:  “If you want to be free, get to know your real self.  It has no form, no appearance, no root, no basis, no abode, but is lively and buoyant.  It responds with versatile facility, but its function cannot be located.  Therefore when you look for it you become further from it, when you seek it you turn away from it all the more.”  -  Linji

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

 

 

 

[ Edited: 23 June 2021 12:41 by unsmoked]
 
 
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23 June 2021 17:49
 
unsmoked - 23 June 2021 12:36 PM
EN - 22 June 2021 06:44 PM
unsmoked - 22 June 2021 01:44 PM
EN - 21 June 2021 12:21 PM

I was not born with a mind. I had the potential for a mind, but it took a lot of sensory input and cerebral growth before my brain developed enough to create a “mind”.  My mind is inseparable from the sensory input that made it. It is always becoming. There may be something called consciousness that is part of the fabric of the universe - burt is the expert on this. But beyond just the basic capacity to be aware, my mind brings up memories, attitudes, viewpoints, opinions, etc. I’m not sure exactly what inherent mind is. When I was born, as far as I know, there was nothing in the way of a mind.

I wonder if you are confusing inherent mind with the self?

I don’t know.  Tell me what mind you had when you were one hour old.  Tell me what you experienced.

One hour old?  I think you’d agree that while still in the womb we’re already managing ‘ten thousand’ complicated functions and processes.

About 1200 years ago, Zen Master Linji took a stab at describing inherent mind:

quote:  “If you want to be free, get to know your real self.  It has no form, no appearance, no root, no basis, no abode, but is lively and buoyant.  It responds with versatile facility, but its function cannot be located.  Therefore when you look for it you become further from it, when you seek it you turn away from it all the more.”  -  Linji

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

 

 

 

This is nice. Now, give me evidence that it exists.  Because I think it is BS.  I’m sorry.  You Zen guys get a pass on these word salads.  There is no “inherent mind”.  Mind develops over time, and is not pure.  If you are tying into some universal consciousness, then you might as well believe in God and the Holy Spirit.  Quoting a Zen master does not advance your argument.

Look, if it blows your skirt up, go for it.  But don’t preach it like it is some self-evident truth, because it is not.

 
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