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genkaku Veteran

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Username
genkaku
Location
Northampton, Mass. U.S.A.
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  • As far as I know, "The Cucumber Sage" [http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/C - Zen/Stories/The Cucumber Sage/The Cucumber Sage.htm] is made up entirely of whole cloth. And yet for all that I am willing to swallow it as a very respectable, sutra…
  • "Transmission" is above my pay grade, but I will say that of all the pointing and nudging my Zen teacher seemed to dole out, the snippet I honor most is that he never, to the best of my knowledge, acknowledged, whether formally or informally, the un…
  • My sense is that everyone goes through a gooder-than-good phase of practice. In the beginning, all the effort -- as for example, the precepts -- seem impossibly daunting. So much energy is expended on the failures and screw-ups ... well, it's enough…
  • A Zen friend and I once decided to do an all-day sitting together in his apartment. We weren't really sure how to structure it, but we thought we would try. Basically, we followed the structure of the zendo we both attended ... start with morning (c…
  • im ok being a layperson. @paulyso -- May it neither restrain nor advance you.
  • But we can also consider Zen as the loose framework of insights for the transmission of the fundamental principle of Buddhism (Buddha nature) directly from teacher to student. And in this use of the word, if there is no teacher, there is no Zen. …
  • And what is not clearly shown here is that without a personally invested teacher, there really is no Zen. @jwredel -- I believe it was Huang Po who once stood before his assembled monks and said among other things, "There is no such thing as…
  • Ah @federica ... it takes me back ... and makes me recall my own failure at a Zen monastery (went for six months, lasted two) here in the U.S. I came away with three invaluable lessons that I would expect no one to emulate: 1. As a monk, I'm a flun…
  • Phew! For a thread dedicated to an "enlightenment" many claim not to possess or know, there surely is a lot of willingness to implicitly declare direction, intent and understanding. Kind of a "I know where I'm going but I don't know where it is?." …
  • I believe I might ask, "What made you assume you weren't enlightened in the first place?"
  • The comedian Richard Pryor was once doing a riff on parenting and said approximately, "When the first kid comes along, every cough and sniffle is cause for the deepest concern. By the time the fifth one arrives, it's 'Don't do your heroin in the liv…
  • I vote with @federica -- a little too cute, a little too sincere.
  • @mushin -- Try not to concern yourself with a future you have no control over in the first place. Try not to assume that being good today means you will get a gold star tomorrow. Do try to breathe in and breathe out -- no point in dying before yo…
  • Could you rephrase the statement/question above? I'm lost.
  • I'd say one of the biggest obstacles of learning Buddhism is actually un-learning Buddhism. No one can un-think a purple cow, but it sure can be diverting to try. @mingle -- I think you are on target ... just keep on sitting. Sit when it's b…
  • As some (Daido? Aitken?) latter-day Zen roshi once commented, "Silence is golden and sometimes its color is pure yellow." Having lived through a bunch of Buddhist 'scandals,' my experience is that no one can play the haute couture Buddhist -- ser…
  • Stop fussing... You got up in the morning. You took a piss. You had breakfast. You went to work..... How does any of this differ from the Buddha in even the smallest detail?
  • OK, I'll play.... I am enlightened.,, Oh, and by the way, I have a bridge in Brooklyn on which I can give you a very good price.
  • When it comes to counting the breaths: 1. If you are interrupted by a Big Mac or a rent check ... just go back to "one" and 2. If you space out and find yourself at 358 with no clue as to how you got there ... just go back to "one." No bells, no …
  • I always thought "dreams bring out what we long for or what we fear" was a pretty good definition.
  • Would you say your practice gets easier with age? @mingle -- Still looking for a silver lining, are you? "Easier" and "harder" are for high school math tests. Practice probably becomes less solemn as time passes, but I'm not sure. To be hone…
    in Turning 30 Comment by genkaku October 14
  • @Mingle -- Take up Buddhism for a change. It may help you to stop believing in time, believing in age, believing in death and worrying about stepping in the dog shit we all step in from time to time. Or, alternatively, find a nice quiet corner, s…
    in Turning 30 Comment by genkaku October 13
  • If you "don't know," what good would it do you? If you "do know," what good would it do you? From this it can be known that what is good for you is suspect at best ... just like what is bad for you.
  • Welcome @jhutter33 -- hope you find something useful here. I suppose if you look long enough and far enough, you can find a statue of "Buddha" doing parkour. Of course that and $2 will get you a bus ride. Symbolism and tall tales have their uses …
  • If you think that suffering will be alleviated because you DO have children, think again. If you think that suffering will be alleviated because you DON'T have children, think again. Kids (full disclosure: I have three) are the closest thing I…
  • If I could, I would urge everyone to relax a little. "Spiritual" stuff isn't labeled and then offered in Aisle 3. Wanting to get things right (spiritually speaking) is only half the story. The other half is getting them sometimes horribly wrong. …
  • I hesitate to mention it, but ... oh what the hell! Once upon a time, in what I then imagined was my trip to the corporate spiritual board room, I mentioned casually to my mother that I was going to try to give up cussing. She looked at me with s…
  • Hey guys! After you have sorted all this out and got the Jell-O nailed to the wall, would you let me know? At 77, I haven't got a clue.
  • September 30 edited September 30 @genkaku said: Call and ask. Of course. One problem. We have a language barrier. I speak no Vietnamese (and Cambodian, Thai, and Japanese). I've researched this. So I am asking you guys too and seeing what…
  • Call and ask.
  • For an introductory while, the mythic and poetic was kool and tasty. Now I stick with the graffito I once saw: "Man without God/ Is like a fish without a bicycle."
  • Funny how "letting go" has the capacity to reinforce attachment. After all, in order to let go, a person is forced to restate what, precisely, needs to be let go of and the result can be a dog endlessly chasing its tail. Hard as it may be, perhap…
  • @nakazcid -- Two possibilities, among others: 1. When something seems too big for you, whittle it down to bite-sized portions. Try meditating for a mere fraction of what you did before. Go small ... as small as you need to. See what happens. 2. D…
  • Isn't "making peace with death" just one more fantasy desire to be able to foretell the future? Pretty arrogant, I suspect -- claiming to know what death is and then making peace with it. I thought one of the characteristics of the future was tha…
  • Welcome @adamcrossley. Hope you find something useful here. * It may help you to recall that what you call "Buddhism" is built for the failures ... it is not built for the successes. What you currently see as a downside to your poor, hobbling p…
  • Sneezewareness? @Dhammika -- I've got five bucks that says you can't do that. PS. The Zen teacher Ummon once observed, "When you can't say it, it's present. When you don't say it, it's missing." FWIW.
  • Make your very best effort to have a wise and profound thought when sneezing. Learn from the sneeze.
  • For the first eight or nine years of my practice, I almost never heard anyone mention the precepts (don't lie, steal, cheat, etc.) I tried to 'study' them on my own. It didn't seem to work very well, but I never was a very good student. After eig…
  • Welcome @jsimon329 -- Hope you find something useful here. I have never heard of the steps you outline, but would suggest you go easy on whatever recommendations you run into. Recommendations point, but it is how you follow that pointing that cou…
    in PLEASE HELP Comment by genkaku August 30
  • There's not much choice, is there? Whether anyone goes kicking and screaming or serene as a kumquat, still there's not much choice. All the fairy tales in the world, religious or otherwise, can't change the facts.
  • Will someone explain to me how you could possibly LOSE beginner's mind?
  • As an assistant during one Zen meditation retreat, I suggested to the teacher that instead of having longer sitting periods, there should be an announced sitting of only four or five minutes. He scoffed at the idea, although later in the day he anno…
  • I once asked my Zen teacher if hope and belief had a role to play in the practice we preferred. "For the first four or five years [of practice]," he replied, "hope and belief are important." "And after that?" I asked. "After that, they are not so im…