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Zen is boring - Brad Warner

ZEN IS BORING

Let's face it. Zen is boring. You couldn't find a duller, more tedious practice than Zazen. The philosophy is dry and unexciting. It's amazing to me anyone reads this page at all. Don't you people know you could be playing Tetris, right now? That there are a million free porno sites out there? Get a life, why don't you?!

Joshu Sasaki, a Zen teacher from the Rinzai Sect, once said that Buddhist teachers always try to make students long for the Buddha World, but that if the students knew how really dry and tasteless the Buddha World actually was, they'd never want to go. He's right. Look at Zen teachers. Not a one of them has any sense of fashion. They sit around staring at blank walls. Ask them about levitation, they won't tell you. Ask them about life after death, they change the subject. Ask them about miracles and they start spouting nonsense about carrying buckets of water and chopping up fire wood. They go to bed early and wake up early. Zen is a philosophy for nerds.

Boredom is important. Most of your life is dull, tasteless and boring. If you practice Zazen, you learn a lot about boredom. I remember the first time I sat Zazen, I was real excited. I figured I'd be seeing visions of four armed Krishnas descending from the Heavens, or I'd be fading into The Void just like the old Beatles song, or reach Nirvana (whatever that was) or some great wonderful thing. But the clock just ticked away, my legs started aching, and stupid thoughts kept drifting by. Maybe I wasn't doing it right, I thought. But no, year after year it was the same. Boring, boring, boring. After almost 20 years it's still boring as Hell.

People hate their ordinary lives. We want something better. This, our day to day life of drudgery and work, is boring, dull and ordinary, we think. But someday, someday... There's an episode of The Monkees* where Mike Nesmith says that when he was in high school he used to walk out on the school's empty stage with a guitar in his hands thinking "Someday, someday." Then he said that now (now being 1967, at the height of the Monkees fame) he walks out on stage in front of thousands of fans and thinks "Someday, someday." That's the way life is. It's never going to be perfect. Whatever "someday" you imagine, it will ever come. Never. No matter what it is. No matter how well you build your fantasy or how carefully you follow all the steps necessary to achieve it. Even if it comes true exactly the way you planned, you'll end up just like Mike Nesmith. Someday, someday... I guarantee you.

Your life will change. That's for sure. But it won't get any better and it won't get any worse. How can you compare now to the past? What do you know about the past? You don't have a clue! You have no idea at all what yesterday was really like, let alone last week or ten years ago. The future? Forget about it...

People long for big thrills. Peak experiences. Some people come to Zen expecting that Enlightenment will be the Ultimate Peak Experience. The Mother of All Peak Experiences. But real enlightenment is the most ordinary of the ordinary. Once I had an amazing vision. I saw myself transported through time and space. Millions, no, billions, trillions, Godzillions of years passed. Not figuratively, but literally. Whizzed by. I found myself at the very rim of time and space, a vast giant being composed of the living minds and bodies of every thing that ever was. It was an incredibly moving experience. Exhilarating. I was high for weeks. Finally I told Nishijima Sensei about it . He said it was nonsense. Just my imagination. I can't tell you how that made me feel. Imagination? This was as real an experience as any I've ever had. I just about cried. Later on that day I was eating a tangerine. I noticed how incredibly lovely a thing it was. So delicate. So amazingly orange. So very tasty. So I told Nishijima about that. That experience, he said, was enlightenment.

You need a teacher like that. The world needs lots more teachers like that. Countless teachers would have interpreted my experience as a merging of my Atman with God, as a portent of great and wonderful things, would have praised my spiritual growth and given me pointers on how to go even further. And I would have been suckered right in to that, let me tell you! Woulda fallen for it hook line and sinker, boy howdy. If a teacher doesn't shatter your illusions he's doing you no favors at all.

Boredom is what you need. Merging with the Mind of God at the Edge of the Universe, that's excitement. That's what we're all into this Zen thing for, right? Eating tangerines? Come on, dude! What could be more boring than eating a tangerine?

Some years ago some psychologists did a study in which they sat some Buddhists monks and some regular folks in a room and wired them up to EEG machines to record their brain activity. They told everyone to relax, then introduced a repetitive stimulus, a loudly ticking clock, into the room. The normal folks' EEG showed that their brains stopped reacting to the stimulus after a few seconds. But the Buddhists just kept on mentally registering the tick every time it happened. Psychologists and journalists never quite know how to interpret that finding, though it's often cited. It's a simple matter. Buddhists pay attention to their lives. Ordinary folks figure they have better things to think about.

If you really take a look at your ordinary boring life, you'll discover something truly wonderful. Our regular old pointless lives are incredibly joyful -- amazingly, astoundingly, relentlessly, mercilessly joyful. You don't need to do a damned thing to experience such joy either. People think they need big experiences, interesting experiences. And it's true that gigantic, traumatic experiences sometimes bring people, for a fleeting moment, into a kind of enlightened state. That's why such experiences are so desired. But it wears off fast and you're right back out there looking for the next thrill. You don't need to take drugs, blow up buildings, win the Indy 500 or walk on the moon. You don't need to go hang-gliding over the Himalayas, you don't need to screw your luscious and oh-so-willing secretary or party all night with the beautiful people. You don't need visions of merging with the totality of the Universe. Just be what you are, where you are. Clean the toilet. Walk the dog. Do your work. That's the most magical thing there is. If you really want to merge with God, that's the way to do it. This moment. You sitting there with your hand in your underwear and potato chip crumbs on your chin, scrolling down your computer screen thinking "This guy's out of his mind." This very moment is Enlightenment. This moment has never come before and once it's gone, it's gone forever. You are this moment. This moment is you. This very moment is you merging with the total Universe, with God Himself.

The life you're living right now has joys even God will never know.
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Comments

  • I love playing Tetris!
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    I love this guy's message.
  • chanrattchanratt Veteran
    Brad....one of the best. Pisses me off sometimes but one of the best
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    Even the best Zen Masters, never taught one real thing about Zen..

    Zen isnt about sitting around staring at blank walls. Real Zen would actually be the one playing tetris.
  • Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed this.
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    edited May 2012
    Even the best Zen Masters, never taught one real thing about Zen..

    Zen isnt about sitting around staring at blank walls. Real Zen would actually be the one playing tetris.
    What is a "real thing" about Zen? Surely Dogen did teach at least one thing about Zen in the Shobogenzo. Shunryu Suzuki definitely taught a bit about Zen in "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind." If those aren't "real," or if they're "not about Zen," then what is?

    And sitting on a cushion is as much a part of Zen as sweeping floors or playing Tetris. If you don't see that then you're totally missing the point of this excerpt, and by association, Brad Warner's writing as well as Zen itself.
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    One will never find 'zen' in a book.
    If u notice, Shunryu Suzuki never wrote a book. It was just his talks put together.
    When his students were sat listening to him, they need to have realized that as soon as his talks had finished, 'real' zen BEGAN..

    As for dogen.. He believed that meditation was enlightenment itself.. (Not bad) but if we take away buddhism, and take away meditation and only spoke of 'zen', then zen is what he was doing in between 'buddhism and meditation' :-)
  • edited May 2012
    Taking your day-to-day life for granted

    Vs

    Seeing every moment as new and fresh and full - being 'tuned-in' to the most "mundane" of things.

    I'm very interested in the fact that some people who get diagnosed with a terminal decease suddenly wake-up to the rich banquet of their lives that sat right in front them all along. Some times it takes a shock like that to bring us to our senses (in a very literal way).

    Supernatural power, wondrous activity – just a matter of
    carrying fuel or drawing water.
    All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone. - Blaise Pascal
  • chanrattchanratt Veteran
    "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone. - Blaise Pascal"

    one hell of a quote
  • edited May 2012
    Even the best Zen Masters, never taught one real thing about Zen..

    Zen isnt about sitting around staring at blank walls. Real Zen would actually be the one playing tetris.
    It ain't cheap! It may be a situation of the fish looking for water, but finding that already-present water does not come cheap! Zen IS about sitting looking at a blank wall... it is about sitting and giving up the ghost. and if you do not cultivate that discipline.. the discipline of the Four Noble Truths.. then you are just saying zen bullshit to yourself... like " Just be". Take refuge, pass through the narrow gate of discipline... then play tetris.

    "Nothing to do" does not mean nothing to do!

    Research Warner's lineage.. look at the effort put in, before talking cheap "Zen" bullshit.


  • I love reading Brad Warner, I spent years not reading because I was doing my best to 'do'. Can't claim anything much but I feel that it was the best focus.
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran


    Zen IS about sitting looking at a blank wall...


    LOL.. You will never ever find real zen whilst sitting at a blank wall.

    May I ask, do you have a family?
    Do you provide for them?
    Do you devote your time to be with the ones you love?
    Do you do all you can for them?
    Do you do what you 'know is right'?

    This my friend, is true zen!

    Please allow me to tell you a real story if I may?

    Once a friend of mine went away for 3 months. He left his wife and child at home to seek liberation.
    He wanted to meet with zen masters who could show him the way.

    After 3 weeks of travelling in china and camping rough in the mountains he finally met real 'hermit zen masters'

    I ask them if he could stay with them and become their student.

    He asked them; 'please teach me all the zen you know?

    One of the hermits ask about his current life back home..

    My friend told them everything..

    The reply he got was; "go home and look after your family, for that is real zen!





















  • edited May 2012


    Zen IS about sitting looking at a blank wall...




    LOL.. You will never ever find real zen whilst sitting at a blank wall.

    May I ask, do you have a family?
    Do you provide for them?
    Do you devote your time to be with the ones you love?
    Do you do all you can for them?
    Do you do what you 'know is right'?

    This my friend, is true zen!

    Please allow me to tell you a real story if I may?

    Once a friend of mine went away for 3 months. He left his wife and child at home to seek liberation.
    He wanted to meet with zen masters who could show him the way.

    After 3 weeks of travelling in china and camping rough in the mountains he finally met real 'hermit zen masters'

    I ask them if he could stay with them and become their student.

    He asked them; 'please teach me all the zen you know?

    One of the hermits ask about his current life back home..

    My friend told them everything..

    The reply he got was; "go home and look after your family, for that is real zen!

    This my friend, is true zen!
    Read your books... reflect...got your intuition... got your "life experience"... now your a Zen master.

    A dime a dozen on the internet.

    ..and you have no idea how much family life and responsibility I do or do not have.. no idea.. you have no idea how long I have stared at wall or not.. or what it is about.
    This my friend, is true zen!
    oh fuck.






  • Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed this.
    Welcome @Telly03 :)
  • "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone. - Blaise Pascal"

    one hell of a quote
    Sesshins: highly recommended for any Zen student
  • edited May 2012


    Zen IS about sitting looking at a blank wall...




    LOL.. You will never ever find real zen whilst sitting at a blank wall.

    May I ask, do you have a family?
    Do you provide for them?
    Do you devote your time to be with the ones you love?
    Do you do all you can for them?
    Do you do what you 'know is right'?

    This my friend, is true zen!

    Hi @zenmyste

    Perhaps you would like to tell us your qualifications and experience in Zen practice under the guidance of a Zen master, or do you only have second hand stories to regale us with?

    Presuming that you do not know much about Zen except what you can read on the internet in bookstores (which is worse than a journalist in spiritual studies), then perhaps I can help fill you in as well.

    As Richard wisely points out, many of the great Zen teachers did their time, a lot of time and effort in practice. Then they might be qualified to talk about life and simplicity, don't you think?

    A large component of our practice is indeed spent in meditation, real genuine sitting meditation. That is not all of course, but to say it is not there, is factually incorrect.

    And from that pain a lot can boon.

    Then one might teach or expound.

    But these people do and have done their work, a lot of it.

    Mistaking understanding for understanding is one of the grave errors of Zen Buddhism, and I hope you will not commit this in future.

    Although of course it is one of the most common and rudimentary of errors.

    Best wishes,
    Abu
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    This moment. You sitting there with your hand in your underwear and potato chip crumbs on your chin, scrolling down your computer screen thinking "This guy's out of his mind." This very moment is Enlightenment.
    This man is a genuine Master! He has supernatural powers! He knows where a have my hand!
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    "A lot of people like to wear long robes and practice meditation hoping to one day be like buddha... Me too, only I call my robes jeans and a t shirt and my meditation is life itself.."

    #real zen# _/l\_
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    "If sitting in meditation makes someone a Buddha, then every frog is enlightened."

    "Sitting Zazen is enlightenment!"

    The great Masters began this debate a thousand years ago.

    Have some tea.
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    edited May 2012

    Have some tea.
    Now your talking! Thats what i call ZEN :-)
  • edited May 2012
    On other more focused fora there have been debates about "Zen" sans Buddhism..

    "Have tea" oddly enough, is actually a favorite to toss out .. along with Watts, and, Krishnamurti... by the self-proclaimed Enlightened.... though usually not Hesse.

    There is room for everything out there, but to come online and expound what "real" Zen is just plain ignorant. If you have never practiced Zazen within Sangha, and do practice Zazen alone... you can still call whatever reveries and "being " you are up to "Zen".. There is a spa just opened around the corner from me called "Zen Beginnings".. that offers "Zen massage". ...

    But Zen Buddhism The actual practice involving taking Refuge, and commitment... is a different matter. If this forum gets drowned in the facile pop zen crap of "zenmyste"... two things will happen. Theravadins will rightly start saying Zen is not real Buddhism. ...this is a Buddhist website after all. ... and actual Zen practitioners will have to remind impressionable new people that "just being" or "mindfulness" is not Enlightenment.

    When "Zen" is ignorant about the Four Noble Truths.. it is just a New Age "being" therapy.


    Once again...

    Reading your books... reflecting...having intuition... having "life experience"... then coming to pose as a Zen master. It is dime a dozen on the internet.


    Sorry.. had one of these characters get disruptive at a sitting recently.. and I ain't feeling patient . show some humily about what maybe , just maybe, you do not have a friggin clue about.


  • Sorry.. had one of these characters get disruptive at a sitting recently.. and I ain't feeling patient .
    Did you go off on them with the same rant used here? Probably freaked them out good if you did.
  • Sorry.. had one of these characters get disruptive at a sitting recently.. and I ain't feeling patient .

    Did you go off on them with the same rant used here? Probably freaked them out good if you did.
    No.. I tried to say (not being a teacher, but just a facilitator) that we where not going to talk a lot but just sit. He insisted that sitting was useless and we all didn't get it... It was so simple ..just be. I haven't done a lot of facilitating for a while and did not feel it would be appropriate to just say "go" which is what I would have at one point. So we sat while he sighed and shifted around.. then we finished up and left.
  • personperson Veteran
    Zen isnt about sitting around staring at blank walls. Real Zen would actually be the one playing tetris.
    I sit around all day watching porn and playing video games, I guess I'm zen. This is easy.

    But seriously I don't practice zen but I have to side with @RichardH here. Zen sounds like its an attitude about everyday life, but isn't the important thing the attitude and not just the everyday life. So doesn't one have to put in some time and effort to establish a proper zen attitude?
  • Sorry.. had one of these characters get disruptive at a sitting recently.. and I ain't feeling patient .

    Did you go off on them with the same rant used here? Probably freaked them out good if you did.


    No.. I tried to say (not being a teacher, but just a facilitator) that we where not going to talk a lot but just sit. He insisted that sitting was useless and we all didn't get it... It was so simple ..just be. I haven't done a lot of facilitating for a while and did not feel it would be appropriate to just say "go" which is what I would have at one point. So we sat while he sighed and shifted around.. then we finished up and left.
    This person when to a sitting group to tell the group it is useless to sit? Sounds crazy.
  • edited May 2012
    Sorry.. had one of these characters get disruptive at a sitting recently.. and I ain't feeling patient .

    Did you go off on them with the same rant used here? Probably freaked them out good if you did.


    No.. I tried to say (not being a teacher, but just a facilitator) that we where not going to talk a lot but just sit. He insisted that sitting was useless and we all didn't get it... It was so simple ..just be. I haven't done a lot of facilitating for a while and did not feel it would be appropriate to just say "go" which is what I would have at one point. So we sat while he sighed and shifted around.. then we finished up and left.

    This person when to a sitting group to tell the group it is useless to sit? Sounds crazy.
    I was a facilitator every Sunday morning 10am till noon for around 15 years..... it is amazing what the cat drags in. It would not be uncommon to see some peaceful guy sitting (usually in a chair not a cushion) gently swaying... on closer look, there were always red eyes. I'd ask if the person had smoked up before coming in.. yup.


    ...anyway... yeah I was being a hard-ass tub thumper up thread. Sorry.

  • zenffzenff Veteran
    edited May 2012
    Posing like a zenmaster is silly and annoying. Posing like a humble eternal student – I think – is just as silly and annoying.
    And Brad Warner is acting out just another cliché; being such a rebel of Zen. Yawn!

    And you can all see more clearly than I can, where and how I am deceiving myself.
    Tell me about it. We shouldn’t be defending our illusions. :cool:

    Arrogant beginners could be right; Established Masters can certainly be wrong.
    I think that when we take up Zen-Buddhism we are in big trouble, right from the start.
    (And that’s another cliché; I know.)
  • Posing like a zenmaster is silly and annoying. Posing like a humble eternal student – I think – is just as silly and annoying.
    And Brad Warner is acting out just another cliché; being such a rebel of Zen. Yawn!

    And you can all see more clearly than I can, where and how I am deceiving myself.
    Tell me about it. We shouldn’t be defending our illusions. :cool:

    Arrogant beginners could be right; Established Masters can certainly be wrong.
    I think that when we take up Zen-Buddhism we are in big trouble, right from the start.
    (And that’s another cliché; I know.)
    I tend to agree! The modern wonder boy! Lol

  • Posing like a zenmaster is silly and annoying. Posing like a humble eternal student – I think – is just as silly and annoying.
    And Brad Warner is acting out just another cliché; being such a rebel of Zen. Yawn!

    And you can all see more clearly than I can, where and how I am deceiving myself.
    Tell me about it. We shouldn’t be defending our illusions. :cool:

    Arrogant beginners could be right; Established Masters can certainly be wrong.
    I think that when we take up Zen-Buddhism we are in big trouble, right from the start.
    (And that’s another cliché; I know.)
    All posturing is pretty much bullshit at the end of the day; a big fancy drama where we all don masks and act out roles. How we want to be viewed, how we want to view ourselves. I think the key is to be aware as much as possible, to remind ourselves as often as possible that it is all a facade; and not be totally enchanted by the play. Sorry if my words sound flowery, but hey, I fancy myself as a poetic philosopher today!

  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    No one is trying to 'pose' as a zen master. Get a grip.

    Anyway...

    There is a reason Zen has been so hard to explain, and thats because it is so simple, (hard to explain because how do we explain simpe?)

    The people who dont like it when we talk of 'just be' is because they dont understand the meaning of 'just be'

    For a start, most people are not happy that the world is just as it is..nothing more unfortunitely.. But they want something more, they want something mystical, they want to believe that there is more to 'just be..'

    Having said that, there is a deeper meaning to 'just be' but this is whats hard to explain. People have tried to explain it in books and have got no where. Hence why i said 'you wont find zen in a book' although zen is all over the book ;-)

    If one wants to sit, then sit..
    if one wants to watch porn, ^^ then watch porn..
    However, watching porn will not get you any closer on your spiritual path, Neither will sitting facing a blank wall. So when people say 'just be', their not saying watching porn is enlightenment.. the people who think this do not understand 'just be'

    When we sit in zen, it isnt to 'achieve' anything. Although thats the thing to try and achieve itself.. (not to achieve anything) just be. Be one with everything. Accept life.

    My teacher often said ''if you want to sit, sit.. if you want to chant, chant, if you want to say prayers, say prayers.. but you aint gonna go to heaven by praying, and you aint gonna become enlightened by sitting. try and find another reason to do these things..''

    After you come out of your 'sitting' or chanting..Then REAL ZEN begans when we go work, when we deal with reality. when we deal with the bully at the gas station. when we have to provide for our family. when we have to put food on the table. The REAL stuff is REAL ZEN.. (not sitting staring at a wall) Hey, i do it too. But not coz i think its zen. lol

    I dont practice zen because i want to more 'zen-ish'
    i dont practice zen because i want to be a zen master. (thats silly thinking)

    I practice Zen because i havent got a choice. Zen is reality. Zen is NOW. Everywhere.
    You cant escape it. Zen is just...LIFE..


    (Come on, tell me where im wrong.. ill let my teacher know where you all think hes wrong too.) lol :-)
  • Oh there is a division? You got that wrong already...
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    Oh there is a division? You got that wrong already...
    OK!
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited May 2012
    "Just be" is usually a total cop out. It's the "easy way out" that deviates from the required practice often because the person just does not want to put in the required effort. "Real Zen" has no clinging, especially no self clinging. "Just be" people often think playing video games and sitting zazen are the same. They are not for ordinary persons. Perhaps for a fully realized Buddha yea. But, no one here is a fully realized Buddha. "Real zen" require discipline to achieve. The Buddha practiced "real zen" and he sat under a tree for hours and hours every day, abstaining from sense pleasures like video games.
    The Great Way is not difficult
    for those who have no preferences.
    To simply follow your preferences is not the "real zen" way, that is the "pop-zen" way. To abandon your preferences requires discipline. If you have not abandoned your preferences, then you are just fooling yourself by thinking that you have found "real zen". If you cling to anything, at all, "real zen" has yet to be found. If "I, my, me" making is still present, "real zen" has yet to be found.
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    edited May 2012
    ...."real zen" has yet to be found.
    You cant 'find' real zen. For it is not lost.
    The only thing to find is your true 'self'

    Real zen is all around you.
    Your staring at it right now.
    If you think you still cant see it, you may be too close, STEP BACK!

    ''Zen and Buddhism are kissing cousins, but they are not married..''

    ZEN, when understood, doesnt need Buddhism. But Buddhism needs ZEN. For Zen is everything. Zen is Breath..
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited May 2012
    ...."real zen" has yet to be found.


    You cant 'find' real zen. For it is not lost.
    The only thing to find is your true 'self'

    Real zen is all around you.
    Your staring at it right now.
    If you think you still cant see it, you may be too close, STEP BACK!

    ''Zen and Buddhism are kissing cousins, but they are not married..''

    ZEN, when understood, doesnt need Buddhism. But Buddhism needs ZEN. For Zen is everything. Zen is Breath..
    Yup, but if you still have preferences, you still haven't found it. It's very easy to miss something that is right in front of you when your eyes are closed.

  • edited May 2012
    People who don’t understand and think they can do so without study are no different from those deluded souls who can’t tell white from black. Falsely proclaiming the Buddha-Dharma, such persons in fact blaspheme the Buddha and subvert the Dharma.

    Bodhidharma
  • edited May 2012
    Blasphemer!!

    sorry.. My inner Torquemada has been wanting to yell that at someone for a while.... :D

  • (Come on, tell me where im wrong.. ill let my teacher know where you all think hes wrong too.) lol :-)
    Hi friend

    Sorry about my last response, that was not well considered as I had only just skimmed your post. I read it again.

    Just a few comments:

    1. It is fine for your teacher or you to say things like everything is Zen, but if you are a Zen student then it is probably necessary to do some practice of Zen.
    One of our fundamental practices is meditation. Walking, sitting etc. It is true that in reality there is no difference between life and the sit, which is what makes the sit most valuable.
    2. If you are still differentiating between what is Zen and what is not, then you are still probably in error.

    Your points contain some truths, but they are only half truths and therefore not, in my opinion, representative of Buddhism or Zen practice.

    To say that you will not find Zen through sitting is contradictory to the generations of teachers and lineages who hold true to the practice of Zen Buddhism, and their work and efforts to bring compassion and livelihood to the marketplace. And I am grateful that I have taken their practice pointers as a guide, and not this 'just be' principle -- which probably takes a lot of effort to genuinely actualise.

    So I think you are fundamentally wrong in how you represent the school, but perhaps this is just your interpretation of some guidance your teacher was trying to impart.

    Just some more thoughts.

    Best wishes,
    Abu
  • Here open the gates of paradise
  • Posing like a zenmaster is silly and annoying. Posing like a humble eternal student – I think – is just as silly and annoying.
    And Brad Warner is acting out just another cliché; being such a rebel of Zen. Yawn!

    And you can all see more clearly than I can, where and how I am deceiving myself.
    Tell me about it. We shouldn’t be defending our illusions. :cool:

    Arrogant beginners could be right; Established Masters can certainly be wrong.
    I think that when we take up Zen-Buddhism we are in big trouble, right from the start.
    (And that’s another cliché; I know.)
    Well said!
  • No one is trying to 'pose' as a zen master. Get a grip.

    Anyway...

    There is a reason Zen has been so hard to explain, and thats because it is so simple, (hard to explain because how do we explain simpe?)

    The people who dont like it when we talk of 'just be' is because they dont understand the meaning of 'just be'

    For a start, most people are not happy that the world is just as it is..nothing more unfortunitely.. But they want something more, they want something mystical, they want to believe that there is more to 'just be..'

    Having said that, there is a deeper meaning to 'just be' but this is whats hard to explain. People have tried to explain it in books and have got no where. Hence why i said 'you wont find zen in a book' although zen is all over the book ;-)

    If one wants to sit, then sit..
    if one wants to watch porn, ^^ then watch porn..
    However, watching porn will not get you any closer on your spiritual path, Neither will sitting facing a blank wall. So when people say 'just be', their not saying watching porn is enlightenment.. the people who think this do not understand 'just be'

    When we sit in zen, it isnt to 'achieve' anything. Although thats the thing to try and achieve itself.. (not to achieve anything) just be. Be one with everything. Accept life.

    My teacher often said ''if you want to sit, sit.. if you want to chant, chant, if you want to say prayers, say prayers.. but you aint gonna go to heaven by praying, and you aint gonna become enlightened by sitting. try and find another reason to do these things..''

    After you come out of your 'sitting' or chanting..Then REAL ZEN begans when we go work, when we deal with reality. when we deal with the bully at the gas station. when we have to provide for our family. when we have to put food on the table. The REAL stuff is REAL ZEN.. (not sitting staring at a wall) Hey, i do it too. But not coz i think its zen. lol

    I dont practice zen because i want to more 'zen-ish'
    i dont practice zen because i want to be a zen master. (thats silly thinking)

    I practice Zen because i havent got a choice. Zen is reality. Zen is NOW. Everywhere.
    You cant escape it. Zen is just...LIFE..


    (Come on, tell me where im wrong.. ill let my teacher know where you all think hes wrong too.) lol :-)
    Sounds like Zen to me.
  • ... if you still have preferences, you still haven't found it ...
    Don't worry about losing your preferences, just pay attention to them.
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    ... if you still have preferences, you still haven't found it ...

    Don't worry about losing your preferences, just pay attention to them.
    My point was that one who already has their eyes open, has already lost them. But yes I agree that paying attention to them is part of the training to open the eyes. :)

  • I guess I got something different from what Brad wrote... The part of not sitting because it is boring was sarcasm because he later explains how we need boredom, bringing life down to simplistic ideas. You can't get more simple than just sitting and focusing on your breaths.
  • I guess I got something different from what Brad wrote... The part of not sitting because it is boring was sarcasm because he later explains how we need boredom, bringing life down to simplistic ideas. You can't get more simple than just sitting and focusing on your breaths.
    image

    "Like"

  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    I guess I got something different from what Brad wrote... The part of not sitting because it is boring was sarcasm because he later explains how we need boredom, bringing life down to simplistic ideas. You can't get more simple than just sitting and focusing on your breaths.
    It's also simple truth. Some of you folks have a problem with the simple truth that sitting zen is as exciting as watching paint dry? Boy, I'd like to attend your zen sessions once in a while. Every one I've been to, we'd love to have wet paint to watch. It would be the high point of the session.

    Our brains are hardwired for stimulus. Forcing our minds to have no stimulus for extended periods is actually defined as torture by all human rights organizations for good reason. If you don't find sitting and staring at a wall to be boring, then you are not normal.

    And when Brad and other Zen folk talk about real Zen starts when we get off the mat, we're pointing out correct Zen does not end when you leave the cushion. That's when the hard work starts the minute you try to apply this Zen mind to your everyday life. "Just do it!" is not a license to party and call whatever we do zen.

    Mindfulness is tough work. When playing a game, just play the game. When shopping, just shop. When driving, just drive. You think we're saying Zen in our daily lives doesn't take effort? Have you tried applying Zen mind to your everyday life? It's the hardest thing you'll ever try to do. You'll fail over and over. After you scream at the guy who cut you off on the freeway, you'll grit your teeth and wonder where all that Zen calm and detachment you found easy on the cushion went to.

    Yes, I suspect Brad kinda enjoys playing the part of a rebel, but he ain't wrong. We need the easy boring cushion practice to help us prepare for the hard getting through the day practice.

  • so...

    enjoying each and every block of tetris is enlightenment

    that makes me enlightened

    :)
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran


    People have tried to explain it in books and have got no where.
    I'm sure there are many people who have found great inspiration and meaning in a book about Zen.

    If one wants to sit, then sit..
    if one wants to watch porn, ^^ then watch porn..
    However, watching porn will not get you any closer on your spiritual path, Neither will sitting facing a blank wall. So when people say 'just be', their not saying watching porn is enlightenment.. the people who think this do not understand 'just be'

    When we sit in zen, it isnt to 'achieve' anything. Although thats the thing to try and achieve itself.. (not to achieve anything) just be. Be one with everything. Accept life.

    My teacher often said ''if you want to sit, sit.. if you want to chant, chant, if you want to say prayers, say prayers.. but you aint gonna go to heaven by praying, and you aint gonna become enlightened by sitting. try and find another reason to do these things..''

    After you come out of your 'sitting' or chanting..Then REAL ZEN begans when we go work, when we deal with reality. when we deal with the bully at the gas station. when we have to provide for our family. when we have to put food on the table. The REAL stuff is REAL ZEN.. (not sitting staring at a wall) Hey, i do it too. But not coz i think its zen. lol

    I dont practice zen because i want to more 'zen-ish'
    i dont practice zen because i want to be a zen master. (thats silly thinking)

    I practice Zen because i havent got a choice. Zen is reality. Zen is NOW. Everywhere.
    You cant escape it. Zen is just...LIFE..

    Yes, ok. The problem I'm having is that you're making it sound like there's a difference between this "REAL ZEN" and everything else that is labelled as "Zen." Since "Zen is life," then the sitting, the chanting, the reading/writing of books, etc are all Zen as well.

  • at a certain point all becomes Zen.
    Before that....
    practise practise practis practise
    playing tetris
  • zenmystezenmyste Veteran
    Since "Zen is life," then the sitting, the chanting, the reading/writing of books, etc are all Zen as well.

    Of course these things are zen.. Its just that you aint gonna get anywhere 'specific' by chanting, or meditating for that matter.

    Zen is also a 'way' of thinking and being. So once one realizes the zen way of 'being/thinking' he doesn't meditated or chant 'for' something. He only meditates because he wants to, or it brings calmness or stillness etc etc.. (Not because its zen-like to do so)

    Just like bodhidharma said that there is 'no merit' for doing good.
    No merit for meditating, no merit for chanting. NO NOTHING!

    That's the secret..
    When people say 'just be' I also believe some people have got the wrong idea of it aswell..
    'Just be' is a 'way of thinking and being' knowing that there is no mystical feeling to life.. Therefore accepts his life as it is and finally starts to LIVE..



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