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genkaku Veteran

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genkaku
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Northampton, Mass. U.S.A.
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  • As someone once observed, "Without ego, nothing gets done." To which I am inclined to add, "With ego, what is accomplished turns out to be flawed."
    in The Ego Comment by genkaku September 1
  • The Hindu Vedantist Swami Vivekananda got it right: "The mind [he was referring to intellect] is a good servant and a poor master." Yes, it's scary. But that doesn't mean it's not true.
  • Besides missing the mark, too many no's is every bit as flummoxed as the yes's that preceded them. Ask any daisy or sneeze.
  • Wherever there is something "else," there will be a problem. Wherever there is nothing else, there will be a problem. What's the problem? Exercise patience and courage and watch. Or, as a teacher once instructed me, "Forgetaboutit."
  • @Carameltail -- And your feeling about all this is??? Buddhism laced in philosophy strikes me as being a bit like sex using a condom: It's kinda-sorta like unprotected sex but not much comes of it. On the other hand, safe-sex philosophy is a lot …
  • Welcome @LadyEmmaE -- hope you find something useful here. Here (https://zmm.org/teachings-and-training/meditation-instructions/) is a pretty good site for the basics ... and it has photos. The fact that it comes from a Zen Buddhist source needn…
  • "Joining the majority" is something my Zen teacher's teacher used to reference. Imagine -- instead of working so long and so hard to stand out as the individual called "me," there is a welcome change from potatoes. Talk about a party!
  • As with Buddhism -- just speak your piece and let the other fellow find out for him- or her-self.
  • The first phrase that comes to mind is, "very inside-the-box."
  • Is anyone else curious how a group of boys, trapped in a cave for two weeks, should manage to dominate a news cycle filled with people who are homeless, hungry, dying and ravaged in a variety of other ways and have been that way for a lot more than …
  • A lot of years ago, here in the U.S., a young woman climbed over a zoo's two restraining railings and stuck her arm into a cage inhabited by a polar bear. The bear bit down on the arm that was extended in an imagined friendship. The woman screamed. …
  • It's amazing how many Buddhists turn up when I stop trying to call them "Buddhists."
  • if people around you are displaying unquestioning devotion rather than great freedom and creativity, then your cult is probably heading in the wrong direction. @kerome -- Just sitting here this morning thinking about the search for some deep…
    in Cults Comment by genkaku July 1
  • Have those 'words out of his mouth' hit you on the raw as many times as they have done to me? @kando -- Someplace or other there is a verse that goes Wishing to entice the blind The Buddha has playfully let words escape his golden m…
  • @ScottPen A couple of thoughts: 1. If you want a laugh, stick with the Hindus. They are the eldest of the religious flock and as such have a maturity that such new kids as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. have not yet attained. That is my un-…
  • if enlightenment could happen at any moment, then why practise at all? Once upon a time there was a little bird who refused to fly south for the winter. His friends tried every argument they could think of, but the little bird was adamant: H…
  • ... or, as the French might have it, "Jamais deux sans trois."
  • What would it actually take to stop this guy? I mean, apart from the obvious..... @federica -- I hesitate (almost) to say, The Second Amendment.
  • In those awful moments... Look over the hoard or three or four. Quiver in your boots. Now look closely ... how well-dressed they are; how supple their rejoinders; how kool their clothes; how smart and casual they are ... and what a tongue-tied klut…
  • For the story-prone and Zen-inclined, a good list is: http://www.101zenstories.com/
  • What happens when no "thank you" is expected or demanded? My mother used to say, "Don't get too holy by next Thursday." As long as you think there is some sort of brass ring or gold star for involving yourself in Zen or Buddhism, for exactly that…
  • @Kundo -- Tnx for the tale. When I once complained to my Zen teacher (abbot of a Japanese monastery) about leg pain when sitting in meditation (zazen), he said he knew what I was talking about: "For the first seventeen years, it was pretty painfu…
  • One that sticks in my craw: "It is what it is."
    in Platitudes Comment by genkaku May 24
  • Synopsis, please...? @federica -- @person pretty much nailed it. PS. As an addendum, I am one of what I hope is a growing number of people who bridle every time they hear the phrase, "drugs and alcohol." Let's get this straight: Alcohol I…
  • In Zen, sometimes "the four propositions" are employed for study: It exists. It does not exist. It both exists and does not exist. It neither exists nor does not exist. And the teacher the Zen teacher Ummon once observed approximately, "Whe…
  • When I flunked out of a Zen monastery, it depressed the hell out of me. My sky-high aspirations were more full of poop than a Christmas turkey. I was a lousy student. Looking back now, I see the adventure as one of the most important and affirmin…
  • During my first nine years of formal Zen practice, it was rare -- I mean really rare -- that anyone mentioned either "enlightenment" or "the precepts." At first, I was miffed that such heavy-duty Buddhist constituents were apparently set aside. B…
    in Inquiry Comment by genkaku May 18
  • I think that anyone who consents to actually practice what Buddhism preaches will have to admit it: Buddhism is a pain, both literally and metaphorically, in the ass. Why? Because no one can out-think it, as torrents of caring 'scientists' continue …
  • At the risk of repetition and the ever-present self promotion, here is a one-page cheat sheet I once wrote for a young Christian woman who visited the small temple here as a means of learning what she called "tolerance." Whether she ever learned tol…
    in Initiation? Comment by genkaku May 11
  • Practice makes perfect ... including to remember that as surely as there is generosity in the universe, so there is greed and grasping ... you know, the ones who play the generous ones for suckers.
  • Once upon a time, in the long ago and far-away, there was a period during which levitation caught the public eye. Maybe in the 1970's or '80's. A lot of people wanted to get in on the action and my mother, who was a curious soul, read a bit here and…
  • Go ahead and make a mistake. Over time, it is the mistakes that float to the surface as the most credible and useful lessons no matter what name is used. Just my guess.
  • The wonderful thing about well-entrenched habits is that if you start paying close attention to them, they tend to dissipate all by themselves.
  • it would uphold the feelings because they never tackled them themselves head on - they just kept going for temporary aleviation that just upheld the cycle. Sending her meta. @Kaydeekay -- agree.
  • Hmmmm... does suffering recognize international borders? Pardon my lingo, but I think the question itself is utter bullshit ... another way of wasting time that might otherwise be spent in practice. Practice what? Why suffering, of course. What i…
  • @David -- "Spreading the dharma" has always left me a bit flummoxed: How would anyone go about spreading what they couldn't escape in the first place? PS. Reminds me a bit of that Zen scoundrel Ummon who was said to have observed, "When you can't…
  • At the risk of repeating.... I once asked my teacher -- Kyudo Nakagawa -- what role hope and belief played in Zen practice. He said, "For the first four or five years [of practice] hope and belief are necessary." "And after that?" I asked. "After…
  • As to "achieving/reached Nirvana" -- if you have "achieved/reached" anything whatsoever, doesn't that mean you've missed the point?
  • ^^^^^^ ... and you do a hell of a job!