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Sam's interest in Zen
Posted: 21 October 2007 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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??????????
“The path of heaven is righteous and favors no one, yet it is always with the one who is virtuous and compassionate.”

“The path of Gaia is simple and favors no species, yet it is always with the species who is virtuous and compassionate towards Gaia.”

You mentioned : “our most destructive behavior is based on well-meaning ignorance. ‘Heaven’ doesn’t help us, doesn’t instruct us, but will punish us for our mistakes…or, more likely, punish our children and grandchildren. “

The ancient sage is not ignorant and the sayings is still applicable today thousands of years after it was spoken.

It is only those who does not understand and thus being ignornant and hence causing punishment for generations to come due to their current actions.

Every leader of man tried to help and find the right path for their followers at one point in time to another till they got lost themselves. Mao is one example, so is Nixon.

The modern day science is just childs play a few thousands years from now.

It is just like starting a fire was science ten thousands of years ago in the cave by the ancient man.

Hence, making a portable fusion energy charger is child play a few thousands years from now.

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Posted: 21 October 2007 06:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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sgxbroker - 21 October 2007 01:38 PM


“The path of Gaia is simple and favors no species, yet it is always with the species who is virtuous and compassionate towards Gaia.”

I like that. That’s a pretty clever translation of ‘heaven’ according to my limited understanding.
Also opens up a new point of view on ‘virtue and compassion’ that I think works better than our Western view which is based so heavily on ‘free will’.

I nominate cyanobacteria for a Gaia Recognition award.
Those are virtuous little critters. At one point they were criticized for polluting the atmosphere with oxygen, but that was a short-sighted view. Gaia had plans, big plans, that depended upon dangerous materials. Gaia likes to play with fire. Cyanobacteria understood that sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omlette. Cyanobacteria looked toward the sun without fear. They danced with photons and split the mighty water molecule. With great compassion they worked all day, every day, in stormy seas and calm.
Year after year, millions, yea, billions of years they have continued to do the task assigned to them, as Gaia continues to smile upon their fate.

Listen, oh eukaryotes, and don’t be proud, for blessed are the meek. They may yet again inherit this earth.

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Posted: 09 November 2007 09:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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????Poem of Night Meditation (By :Bodhidharma, First Zen Master)[a direct translation]

??????????????????
Eight o’clock in the night, sitting in the meditation posture,
The relaxed senses/divinity shine tranquilly as the realm becomes the void.

??????????????????
Since the infinite ever lasting cycles are never created and annihilated, why then is there the need for the cognition of creation and annihilation till there is nothing to be extinguished.

??????????????????
All dharma are like illusions.
The original true state of one’s nature is inherently void hence there is no need to empty it.

??????????????????
If one understand that this natural state of one’s heart/mind is not of shape and form.
Thus remaining completely still and not moving will enable the self to become the real Buddha’s natural state.

??????????????????
Ten o’clock in the night, the concentrated senses/divinity turn bright and clear/clean.
Not having any thoughts and memories and this is similar to the real Buddha’s natural state.

??????????????????
After ten thousands shapes, form and images as numerous as thick forest in the surrounding have returned to the void.
If one still insist that there is a void then this is still a sickness/non-enlightenement.

??????????????????
All the dharma original state exists on its own and it is non-void.
Mortal man is delusional in trying to cast judgement of good and evil.

??????????????????
If one is not tainted by the duality while residing within the dharma realm,
whoever says/mentions about it, is but a mere mortal and not a saint.

??????????????????
Twelve o’clock in the night, the heart/mind is clean/pure and is equivalent to the empty/virtual void.
This heart/mind is encompassing and covering all the ten directions and there is no blockage/obstruction.

??????????????????
Mountain, rivers, stone cliff/walls are no longer obstacles.
One is within the everlasting realm where worlds are as many as sands in the river.

??????????????????
The original nature state of the world is the real Buddha’s natural state.
Hence by not holding on to the understanding of ‘no-natural state’  means understanding and assimilating into it.

??????????????????
Not only all the Buddhas have this ability,
All sentient beings with emotions can also be of equivalent ability.

??????????????????
Two o’clcok in the night, there is no annihilation and there is also no creation.
Matter(Quanta/energy) and the void are the same/equivalent/level in the dharma realm.

??????????????????
Not leaving and not arriving,  thus not arising and not annihilated.
Not exisitng and not non-existing and not dark nor bright.

??????????????????
Not having any thoughts/views arising is thus the Buddha’s thought/view.
No name to be named is thus the real Buddha’s name.

??????????????????
Only those who understand can encounter this experience and knowledge,
The masses of beings who have no such encounter are just like being blind

??????????????????
Four o’clock in the night, the prajna shine endlessly across all realms,
Not having a thought/idea/cognition arising and thus experienced the three thousand realms/worlds.

??????????????????
If one want to see the real Buddha’s natural state of equilibrium/equality.
Be careful and do not arouse the heart/mind and thus it is in front of your eyes.

??????????????????
This miraculous truth is deep and divine and cannot be envisaged by the heart and mind.
There is no need to search and chase after it till one become totally exhausted.

??????????????????
If one can have no thoughts/idea/cognition/mind of it, then it is the real search/wish.
If one still searches/wishes for it then one still does not understand and recognise it.??

A modern adaptation of the same poem : http://www.poetseers.org/spiritual_and_devotional_poets/buddhist/bod/bodp/1

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Posted: 10 November 2007 01:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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Maybe it can be fitting if I use this as an opportunity to say what I think about Sam and “Zen ” if you want to call it that.

That he uses the eastern -flavored religions as an example of something that can be used to stimulate the spirtual self is not surprising to me at all. What he is thinking of is the mind-; the human mind and it’s ability to reach higher planes of exsistence . I don’t know if he would consider “nervana ” or “bliss” , or something like it the ultimate goal , but meditation brings better heights of awareness, and it could be what some would actually call “God” .  Like Ekhart Tolle’s heavenly state of bliss, or the idea of being “one with the universe” etc.

I’m pleased that Sam has that belief in the power of the human mind, because that means he recognizes that thing we call “soul” . He’s smart to embrace the glories of the mind idea . And I think what he is trying to do is to find something to equate with what the world has called religion, only without an actual religion.

Buddism has no God, but believes a certain state of mind can set a person free of the shackles of earthbound exsistance .  It would be a desirable
denomination but it carries too much baggage for me. Still , the core of it all is not a bad idea.

I’m glad Sam mentions meditation etc.in his book and beieves in it .That sort of thing makes sense to me ;why should he be criticzed for it ? It’s a thing of the mind for heaven’s sake. People need that kind of meaning in thier lives. It’s a good substitute for religion, you could say .

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Posted: 20 November 2007 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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?????????????????“???????”One day the world honoured one shows the beautiful mani pearl with brilliant color which can change according to one’s thought to the five heavenly kings and asks : ” what is the color of the pearl ?”
??????????The five heavenly kings each answers a different color according to what they see.
?????????????“??????” The world honoured one keeps the pearl into his sleeves and then raises his hand and asks : ” What is the color of the pearl ?”
????“???????????”The Heavenly Kings answers : ” There is no pearl in thy hand, hence where can there be color ?  “
?????“????????????????????????????????????????” The world honoured one sighs : “You are all lost ! When I show you the mani pearl of the world, you each anwered that it is green, yellow, red, white; When I show you the real mani pearl, yet all of you do not know.”
?????????.Only then the five heavenly king understand the truth.

ANT STORY (The Next Episode)
One day the trans-dimensional being shows a beautiful pearl with brilliant color which change according to one’s thought to five ants on a leave.

The five ants all shout out the amazing color of the pearl which they each sees and begin to tell their fellow ants about their divine encounter.

Very soon, the five ants have told hundreds and thousands of ants and each group of ants only believe in the color of the pearl which they believe they see and thus argue with the other groups.

The trans-dimensional being keeps the beautiful pearl and the ants are at a lost as the brilliance and the color which they each saw is gone.

The trans-dimensional being sighs: ” When I show you the pearl of the world, you each argue among yourself about its color; When I show you the real pearl of the world, you are all lost.”

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Posted: 23 December 2007 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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The Difference Between Zen and Christianity

Zen master Bunan said, “Nothing at all can adhere to essential human nature.”

A Zen adept manifests his essential human nature as a wild tiger manifests his essential tiger nature.  Everyone is born with this nature.  It exists prior to thought.  No matter how a person is conditioned by parents or society, no matter what knowledge, ideas, beliefs, or habits he accumulates in later life, nothing at all adheres to this essential human nature.  Getting back to original nature is the practice of the Zen Student.  It can only be done now, by observing present reality impartially, without comment.  It can’t be done in the future by following some program or teaching.  There is nothing to be learned, gained, accumulated, thought about or recaptured.

The wild tiger doesn’t refer to anything else, or any other tiger in order to manifest himself as a wild tiger.

In his book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ Thomas Cleary writes in the translator’s introduction, “Zen is the source of ideas, not a product of ideas; and this is what distinguishes the essence of Zen from all derivative philosophy, religion, art, and science.”

Just as the wild tiger doesn’t ‘put on a show’ of being a wild tiger, the Zen adept doesn’t put on a show to startle the common people.  The ordinary person is one who lacks self-confidence, one who doesn’t trust himself.  Perhaps as a child he or she was conditioned to be dependent on externals, dependent on some kind of instructions or belief system. 

The mental independence of the adept is a private state of mind, but sometimes this is recognized by another. 
Those who are inwardly quiet can be recognized by people whose original essence is surfacing sponatneously, or by those who caught a glimpse of it by such things as reading, or observing nature.  Those with affinity can recognize the Zen adept even though, superficially, there is nothing remarkable to see.  When the two meet, a useful exchange can occur.

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 23 December 2007 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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unsmoked - 23 December 2007 06:00 PM

The Difference Between Zen and Christianity

Zen master Bunan said, “Nothing at all can adhere to essential human nature.”

A Zen adept manifests his essential human nature as a wild tiger manifests his essential tiger nature.  Everyone is born with this nature.  It exists prior to thought.  No matter how a person is conditioned by parents or society, no matter what knowledge, ideas, beliefs, or habits he accumulates in later life, nothing at all adheres to this essential human nature.  Getting back to original nature is the practice of the Zen Student.  It can only be done now, by observing present reality impartially, without comment.  It can’t be done in the future by following some program or teaching.  There is nothing to be learned, gained, accumulated, thought about or recaptured.

The wild tiger doesn’t refer to anything else, or any other tiger in order to manifest himself as a wild tiger.

Ah, but the wild tiger also does not have any possibility of escaping from its conditioning, just as the dog that has been beaten will always run at the sight of a stick (thus manifesting one aspect of its dog nature).  Only human beings have the possibility of return to the original consciousness.  This requires stripping away, disolving, or otherwise dropping the state of hypnotic trance we are conditioned into.  So, to say “It can only be done now, by observing present reality impartially without comment” is somewhat like saying to an aspiring pianist: “You can play well only by being in present reality, without external distracting thought.”  It ignores that there may be things that have to be unlearned and many scales that have to be practiced before a person is capable of observing present reality without comment or bias.  Zen students, after all, spend years looking at that blank wall.  grin 

unsmoked - 23 December 2007 06:00 PM

In his book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ Thomas Cleary writes in the translator’s introduction, “Zen is the source of ideas, not a product of ideas; and this is what distinguishes the essence of Zen from all derivative philosophy, religion, art, and science.”

And I would say that Zen, as with all legitimate spiritual paths, is an adaptation of the universal teaching to specific circumstances and peoples.  It is not the source of ideas, but the state that Zen practitioners may attain is the state from which recognition of possibilities and potentialities, hence creative new ideas flow.

“Know yourself, that’s the power
Watch your breath, that’s the wisdom.

That’s all that has been taught
all that has been learned
by the children of Adam
since the Garden of Eden.”

            One Truth (from the CD of the same name)

We cannot criticize a path until we know who it was designed for, under what conditions, and whether or not those conditions remain or whether adaptations need to be made.

[ Edited: 23 December 2007 10:36 PM by burt]
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Posted: 24 December 2007 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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burt - 24 December 2007 01:59 AM

It ignores that there may be things that have to be unlearned and many scales that have to be practiced before a person is capable of observing present reality without comment or bias.  Zen students, after all, spend years looking at that blank wall.  grin

Suppose two Zen students are sitting in zazen looking at a blank wall.  One has been there for 23 years, and for the other, it is his first five minutes.  The 23 year fellow is wondering how much longer he is going to have to sit there before awakening.  The five minute fellow, following the suggestion of the Zen master, just sees the blank wall without thinking anything about it.  He sees a silverfish scurrying across the wall and suddenly bursts out laughing.  After that, he didn’t have to sit looking at the blank wall anymore. 

“You are luckily all right by yourself, yet you struggle artificially.  Why do you want to put on fetters and go to prison?  You are busy every day claiming to study Zen, learn the Way, and interpret Buddhism, but this alienates you even further.  It is just chasing sound and form.  When will you ever stop?”  ZEN MASTER DAZHU (quoted in ‘Zen Essence - The Science of Freedom’ translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

(luckily, the tiger is all right by himself)

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 24 December 2007 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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unsmoked - 24 December 2007 07:47 PM
burt - 24 December 2007 01:59 AM

It ignores that there may be things that have to be unlearned and many scales that have to be practiced before a person is capable of observing present reality without comment or bias.  Zen students, after all, spend years looking at that blank wall.  grin

Suppose two Zen students are sitting in zazen looking at a blank wall.  One has been there for 23 years, and for the other, it is his first five minutes.  The 23 year fellow is wondering how much longer he is going to have to sit there before awakening.  The five minute fellow, following the suggestion of the Zen master, just sees the blank wall without thinking anything about it.  He sees a silverfish scurrying across the wall and suddenly bursts out laughing.  After that, he didn’t have to sit looking at the blank wall anymore.

That’s right, but the 5 minute student was in a condition where he or she was ready for that to happen.  Same with all spiritual paths—a person primed for enlightenment gets there, a person who is not takes a bit longer.  Most of us seem to take the long way home.

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Posted: 25 December 2007 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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burt - 25 December 2007 03:11 AM
unsmoked - 24 December 2007 07:47 PM
burt - 24 December 2007 01:59 AM

It ignores that there may be things that have to be unlearned and many scales that have to be practiced before a person is capable of observing present reality without comment or bias.  Zen students, after all, spend years looking at that blank wall.  grin

Suppose two Zen students are sitting in zazen looking at a blank wall.  One has been there for 23 years, and for the other, it is his first five minutes.  The 23 year fellow is wondering how much longer he is going to have to sit there before awakening.  The five minute fellow, following the suggestion of the Zen master, just sees the blank wall without thinking anything about it.  He sees a silverfish scurrying across the wall and suddenly bursts out laughing.  After that, he didn’t have to sit looking at the blank wall anymore.

That’s right, but the 5 minute student was in a condition where he or she was ready for that to happen.  Same with all spiritual paths—a person primed for enlightenment gets there, a person who is not takes a bit longer.  Most of us seem to take the long way home.

The passing of time doesn’t bring us to the present.

A person who isn’t primed for enlightenment is a person who is more interested in his own thoughts than he is in the silverfish.  Enlightenment means to be awake.  We can only be awake now.  We can’t be awake in the past, or in the future.

“One thought about it and you fly into hell like an arrow.”

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 25 December 2007 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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unsmoked - 25 December 2007 10:28 PM
burt - 25 December 2007 03:11 AM
unsmoked - 24 December 2007 07:47 PM
burt - 24 December 2007 01:59 AM

It ignores that there may be things that have to be unlearned and many scales that have to be practiced before a person is capable of observing present reality without comment or bias.  Zen students, after all, spend years looking at that blank wall.  grin

Suppose two Zen students are sitting in zazen looking at a blank wall.  One has been there for 23 years, and for the other, it is his first five minutes.  The 23 year fellow is wondering how much longer he is going to have to sit there before awakening.  The five minute fellow, following the suggestion of the Zen master, just sees the blank wall without thinking anything about it.  He sees a silverfish scurrying across the wall and suddenly bursts out laughing.  After that, he didn’t have to sit looking at the blank wall anymore.

That’s right, but the 5 minute student was in a condition where he or she was ready for that to happen.  Same with all spiritual paths—a person primed for enlightenment gets there, a person who is not takes a bit longer.  Most of us seem to take the long way home.

The passing of time doesn’t bring us to the present.

A person who isn’t primed for enlightenment is a person who is more interested in his own thoughts than he is in the silverfish.  Enlightenment means to be awake.  We can only be awake now.  We can’t be awake in the past, or in the future.

“One thought about it and you fly into hell like an arrow.”

“Know yourself, that’s the power
Watch your breath, that’s the wisdom.

That’s all that has been taught
all that has been learned
by the children of Adam
since the Garden of Eden.”

            One Truth (from the CD of the same name)

What is always changing
in permutations rearranging
the flow of night and day
the ocean in its play
the drops of foam and spray
what, indeed, are they
but that which does not change
And if this seems too strange
the only thing to say:
Take it all away.

 

I once made a trek to Nasruddin’s tomb
seeking the great philosopher’s doom
The door was forboding all bolted and chained
locking him, or so thought complained
but then I looked, and what did I see…
the tomb had no walls and so he was free.

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Posted: 26 December 2007 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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burt - 26 December 2007 02:02 AM

I once made a trek to Nasruddin’s tomb
seeking the great philosopher’s doom

You show a penchant, burt, for liking really bad poetry. Not just everyday bad, but Hallmark-greeting-card bad. You probably drive an Oldsmobile.

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Posted: 26 December 2007 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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Salt Creek - 26 December 2007 04:43 PM
burt - 26 December 2007 02:02 AM

I once made a trek to Nasruddin’s tomb
seeking the great philosopher’s doom

You show a penchant, burt, for liking really bad poetry. Not just everyday bad, but Hallmark-greeting-card bad. You probably drive an Oldsmobile.

Not liking, writing.  Isn’t that the essence of Zen? LOL  Haven’t driven an Oldsmobile though since I got a 56 Olds for $1 from one of my dads cousins back in 1964 and wrecked it in 65.

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Posted: 26 December 2007 10:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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burt - 26 December 2007 06:31 PM
Salt Creek - 26 December 2007 04:43 PM
burt - 26 December 2007 02:02 AM

I once made a trek to Nasruddin’s tomb
seeking the great philosopher’s doom

You show a penchant, burt, for liking really bad poetry. Not just everyday bad, but Hallmark-greeting-card bad. You probably drive an Oldsmobile.

Not liking, writing.  Isn’t that the essence of Zen? LOL  Haven’t driven an Oldsmobile though since I got a 56 Olds for $1 from one of my dads cousins back in 1964 and wrecked it in 65.

Can’t you see a bunch of ad-men sitting around a conference table trying to come up with a name for a new car company?

Lester:  How about Rustmobile?

Hubert:  No, are you nuts?  What do you think of Faultymobile?

Jerry:  Listen, here it is:  OLDSMOBILE!

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 27 December 2007 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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unsmoked - 27 December 2007 03:39 AM

Can’t you see a bunch of ad-men sitting around a conference table trying to come up with a name for a new car company?

Lester:  How about Rustmobile?

Hubert:  No, are you nuts?  What do you think of Faultymobile?

Jerry:  Listen, here it is:  OLDSMOBILE!

My name is Oldsymandias, King of Cars. Ransom Eli Olds, American Pillar of Industry:

[ Edited: 27 December 2007 09:43 AM by Traces Elk]
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