1. Melbourne, Australia
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    16 Sep '12 03:35
    By the Head of the National Buddhist Prison Sangha, and Abbott of the Zen Centre of New York City:

    "...Sometimes students think that their practice is creating this cave of confusion. Yet practice is not creating anything; it’s just showing ourselves to us. It’s showing us what’s always been there, simmering below the surface.

    How many times I’ve gone down into the Blue Dragon’s cave for you—is this the teacher talking to the student? The teacher and the student do have to go down together. Or is it the student talking to him or herself? How many times have I gone down into that cave for you?

    It’s an important fact of spiritual practice; it’s an important part of coming to life—the courage and willingness to go down into that cave. Truly, this is the hardest part of the path. Yet the fear most arises when you’re standing at the edge of the cave looking in, imagining all the dark, uncertain places. Once you enter, you see it’s just you. Once you enter, you see that you have the power to meet yourself.

    .... There’s a danger in speaking of it. We can get fixed in our sadness and spread it to others. How can we be honest in our practice, acknowledging the illness, but also be attentive in offering to others what will alleviate rather than perpetuate their illness?

    In the end, we need to see that we can only speak to ourselves. This body of the Buddha is the body of the great universe itself. This is where we let go of reason. Sun-face buddha, moon-face buddha. Where do you find yourself?

    Clear-eyed patched robe monks should not take it lightly. This is the great matter; this is the fundamental illness. What each of us can discover is that the illness and the medicine, the path to our own completeness or wholeness, and that reality itself, can never be discovered outside. When we realize this for ourselves then we see there never has been an illness or one who needs to be healed. Find out for yourself.

    http://mro.org/zmm/teachings/shugen/shugen23.php

    *Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei is Abbot of the Zen Center of New York City: Fire Lotus Temple and head of the National Buddhist Prison Sangha. He received dharma transmission from Daido Roshi in 1997.
  2. Melbourne, Australia
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    16 Sep '12 12:07
    From the meditation resource page of the Melbourne Zen Hospice:

    This page is a straight-forward summary about meditation and the varying postures used.

    The site also has reading resources on death, dying and bereavement.

    http://www.zenhospice.org.au/meditation.html
  3. Standard memberRemoved
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    16 Sep '12 14:52
    I see this as vanity, confusion and despair. The problem with introspection by self is that there is no hope. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. The heart is at fault. It is deceitfully wicked and who can know it? It does not change, it cannot be healed, it must be destroyed and reckoned dead. Only when we receive a "new heart" from God will we really find solace and peace as we trust God for our very being.
    All religion has to offer is to mask the stench of the old self, but it is still there. A pig can be dressed and bathed, but it will still run right back into a mud hole and be content because that is it's nature. The same is true of the human heart. It's very nature is to lust, envy, and continue to serve self.
    When we reckon ourselves dead to self and receive Jesus Christ as our new nature, to follow Him, then we have hope, courage, faith, joy and a sense of confidence knowing God will never leave us nor forsake us.
  4. Melbourne, Australia
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    16 Sep '12 15:382 edits
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    I see this as vanity, confusion and despair. The problem with introspection by self is that there is no hope. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. The heart is at fault. It is deceitfully wicked and who can know it? It does not change, it cannot be healed, it must be destroyed and reckoned dead. Only when we receive a "new heart" from God will we ourage, faith, joy and a sense of confidence knowing God will never leave us nor forsake us.
    How it is understood from a Buddhist perspective, friend...

    "Self" is a mental construct that arises out of mental processes (e.g perception, thoughts streams) dependent and interacting on other mental processes. We feel like we have a "self", but it is an illusion. This is a central understanding of Buddhist philosophy, one that, until you realise it, remains a cause of suffering. You are gripping onto something and defending something that ultimately doesn't exist. But "you" are happening anyway and that is a wonder and a marvel. You will likely not see why that is so, just yet.

    You appear to have a very low opinion of human nature.

    I respect your master Jesus of Nazareth a lot, but the portrayal of him as the only Son of God, who was sacrificed to pay for our sins is a Gnostic myth, there were many such myths around at the time. If we can accept it as the rich myth that it is, then it becomes quite powerful. Myth does not mean a lie, it means a historically conditioned way of expressing spiritual truth. It is a hyped up distortion of the actual man Jesus, one who does not need to be hyped up for ancient religio-political reasons.

    You are not a 'pig', you are human. If you fall in the mud, you will still be human and not a pig. Best then to have a bath and a reflect and press on, I think. Honor your master.

    Peace to you, checkbaiter.
  5. Standard memberRemoved
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    16 Sep '12 17:53
    Originally posted by Taoman
    How it is understood from a Buddhist perspective, friend...

    "Self" is a mental construct that arises out of mental processes (e.g perception, thoughts streams) dependent and interacting on other mental processes. We feel like we have a "self", but it is an illusion. This is a central understanding of Buddhist philosophy, one that, until you realise it, rem ...[text shortened]... h and a reflect and press on, I think. Honor your master.

    Peace to you, checkbaiter.
    We are as far apart as east is from west..I /we Christians believe,And profess that this Jesus, the Christ, has been raised from the dead and is very much alive. He is actively interacting with His Church and will someday soon return to this Earth to retrieve His people and judge this world in righteousness . You are free to your opinion and I respect it. It just breaks my heart for you and those like you...Jesus is the only way to God and all truth. No other religion offers the hope and love and promise that is found in Christ.
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    16 Sep '12 17:56
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    I see this as vanity, confusion and despair. The problem with introspection by self is that there is no hope. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. The heart is at fault. It is deceitfully wicked and who can know it? It does not change, it cannot be healed, it must be destroyed and reckoned dead. Only when we receive a "new heart" from God will we ...[text shortened]... ourage, faith, joy and a sense of confidence knowing God will never leave us nor forsake us.
    Introspection of self by self:

    If what you’re looking for
    is what you’re looking with,
    how will you find it anywhere?

    ________________________________________________

    Hi, CB. Haven’t heard from you in ages! Is all well with you?

    By the way, you know that I disagree with most of what you just wrote, right? I suspect you’d be surprised if that were not the case. 🙂 Still nice to know that you’re still this side of the grass.
  7. Standard memberRemoved
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    16 Sep '12 18:091 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Introspection of self by self:

    If what you’re looking for
    is what you’re looking with,
    how will you find it anywhere?

    ________________________________________________

    Hi, CB. Haven’t heard from you in ages! Is all well with you?

    By the way, you know that I disagree with most of what you just wrote, right? I suspect you’d be sur ...[text shortened]... sed if that were not the case. 🙂 Still nice to know that you’re still this side of the grass.
    Hello V... Nice to hear from you...I survived a heart attack, but all is well.. I know you would disagree..I was hoping otherwise, but hope all is well with you too.
    I cannot but speak what the Lord has taught me. How can I? He has been faithful all these years...
    Take care...CB
    Btw ...you made my point...
  8. Melbourne, Australia
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    17 Sep '12 03:341 edit
    I am glad you recovered, friend.

    This post not only deals with how Buddhist process enables us to effectively confront our own stuff, in this case anger and its flow. (Arising from the originating thread on "Anger" ).

    The source of both the excerpts here underline that those who speak, do not do so these days from a hidden cave in Tibet, but places like prisons and hospices for the dying, where the Blue Dragon's Cave echoes.

    Fearless is the Lion of the Dharma.
  9. Hmmm . . .
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    17 Sep '12 03:51
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Hello V... Nice to hear from you...I survived a heart attack, but all is well.. I know you would disagree..I was hoping otherwise, but hope all is well with you too.
    I cannot but speak what the Lord has taught me. How can I? He has been faithful all these years...
    Take care...CB
    Btw ...you made my point...
    Yeah, I know I made your point—just from a different perspective. 🙂 Glad all’s fine now. I’m fightin’ the cholesterol thing: age, man.

    Feeling a bit nostalgic tonight for those days of yesteryear when there seemed to be so many of us who argued like crazy, but still liked and respected each other (even if, on occasion, we had to apologize for losing our cool—I know I have, far too many times); it seems to me that some of that has been lost—but maybe that’s an error of perception. There’s still a lot of good people here who just happen to—disagree.
  10. Standard memberRemoved
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    17 Sep '12 04:20
    Originally posted by Taoman
    I am glad you recovered, friend.

    This post not only deals with how Buddhist process enables us to effectively confront our own stuff, in this case anger and its flow. (Arising from the originating thread on "Anger" ).

    The source of both the excerpts here underline that those who speak, do not do so these days from a hidden cave in Tibet, but places lik ...[text shortened]... for the dying, where the Blue Dragon's Cave echoes.

    Fearless is the Lion of the Dharma.
    I understand your point. In the world it is mostly dealt with in psychiatry or philosophic teaching. But what I am talking about is that the human heart is sick, has been since the beginning. It was cursed in Genesis chapter 3...Jesus spoke of what comes from within the heart,,,evil, murder, greed and the like. Not everyone displays each of these but they have the potential to do so. Man has no choice but to sin. Ever wonder why little children are selfish with their toys? God, in Christ offers the solution...a new heart.
    Yes the old heart is still present in a believer, but now we have a choice. It is my daily battle of the mind. Like the old proverbial saying, it is like two dogs fighting in my head. Which one wins? The one I choose to feed. I can either feed it what the world has to offer or I can feed it God's Word. God's promises. He endues us with power from on high to overcome daily.
  11. Standard memberRemoved
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    17 Sep '12 04:25
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Yeah, I know I made your point—just from a different perspective. 🙂 Glad all’s fine now. I’m fightin’ the cholesterol thing: age, man.

    Feeling a bit nostalgic tonight for those days of yesteryear when there seemed to be so many of us who argued like crazy, but still liked and respected each other (even if, on occasion, we had to apologize for losing ...[text shortened]... ’s an error of perception. There’s still a lot of good people here who just happen to—disagree.
    I am fighting the cholesterol thing myself. I try to take natural herbs, like red yeast rice, etc...also watching my diet.
    I gave up on this forum some time ago, thought it to be a waste of time. I check in from time to time...I know what you mean about the good old days, it seems a little hostile in here at times. But I agree there are still some good people here who enjoy a little civil discourse...Be well my friend...🙂
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    17 Sep '12 05:32
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    I understand your point. In the world it is mostly dealt with in psychiatry or philosophic teaching. But what I am talking about is that the human heart is sick, has been since the beginning. It was cursed in Genesis chapter 3...Jesus spoke of what comes from within the heart,,,evil, murder, greed and the like. Not everyone displays each of these but the ...[text shortened]... an feed it God's Word. God's promises. He endues us with power from on high to overcome daily.
    Thank you, checkbaiter. I don't understand how you have a choice now and didn't before.

    You chose your "Christ" didn't you? - And which verses you find inspirational, and the particular interpretation you like. And that's all ok. In the main its a fine choice of a way to live, particularly if you are able to maintain the civility you note is too often lacking here. And at least to listen and consider other's viewpoints. What else could be asked?

    Some are not aware of their mind's role in all this. The Buddhist way calls out for our attention to the mind's role in constructing of what is out there and what we choose to experience.
  13. Standard memberRemoved
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    17 Sep '12 14:01
    Originally posted by Taoman
    Thank you, checkbaiter. I don't understand how you have a choice now and didn't before.

    You chose your "Christ" didn't you? - And which verses you find inspirational, and the particular interpretation you like. And that's all ok. In the main its a fine choice of a way to live, particularly if you are able to maintain the civility you note is too often l ...[text shortened]... the mind's role in constructing of what is out there and what we choose to experience.
    When the bible speaks of the heart it is referring to the mind. I know the greek word for mind is nous, but when it speaks of the heart(without getting into all the greek and aramaic words, to save time) it is the "real you", if you will. It is the seat of personal thought, our makeup.
    We did not have a choice in that it was in our nature to sin, now we have a choice because we have this "new nature" in us.
    I chose my Christ after hearing enough of His word. Something supernatural happened at that time. The bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Actually He chose me. He sought me out.
    In a sense I agree with your introspection. When we come to the "end" of ourselves, when we see the hopelessness of this world, we cry out for more.
    In my case, I decided that there must be more to life than 70 or so years and a hole in the ground. I started crying out, I searched out many religions and was on a quest because of a negative personal experience.
    When Jesus "found" me, it was not a dramatic experience like some others I know, it was like I saw a flicker of light, hope. Then when I started searching the scriptures, I was entreated to the most amazing truths, that contradicted what I had learned in popular religious circles.
    Now, because of the faithfulness of God and the Lord Jesus, I seem to be at a place where bridges have been burned. I could never go back to the old ways, knowing how demonic activity works in the world. I see the challenge before me, loving people, being kind to people, putting others first, being all things to all men that I could reach some. I want to be an instrument for the Lord's use, it makes life an adventure, not always knowing what He has planned for me.
    As far as which scriptures are inspirational, I say all of them...As a student of the bible, I pray over what I read and study, I ask the Lord to teach me. The bible is not a book quickly glanced at and then think I know, I read it...The Lord opens up the understanding of anyone who diligently seeks Him, with humbleness of mind. He also rewards us with great joy, peace, etc. I am sorry if I am rambling on, I get excited about this stuff...Peace..🙂
  14. Joined
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    17 Sep '12 15:371 edit
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    I understand your point. In the world it is mostly dealt with in psychiatry or philosophic teaching. But what I am talking about is that the human heart is sick, has been since the beginning. It was cursed in Genesis chapter 3...Jesus spoke of what comes from within the heart,,,evil, murder, greed and the like. Not everyone displays each of these but the ...[text shortened]... an feed it God's Word. God's promises. He endues us with power from on high to overcome daily.
    "But what I am talking about is that the human heart is sick, has been since the beginning."

    You are pointing out a fundamental conflict between two natural "bents" in humans. To name them is to limit them, but here is my effort. The individual person sees two ways to thrive: by taking for himself, and by cooperative effort. These two ways are reflections of our capabilities and in fact, shape our capabilities. The ability to communicate complex thoughts -- language -- is one example. Many animals have a lesser conflict here, because the advantages of cooperation are not as prominent. They have simpler languages. A growl or a purr, etc.

    We share some simpler methods to satisfy the needs, as well. The moth that can look like the eyes of an owl will be selected for, compared to the moth who lacks this trait. It is not too big a stretch to call this a form of deception. Hence, what can be a sickness of the heart, engaging in deception for personal gain or survival, enters the scene and we are primed for it, before we entered the scene. It abounds in nature.

    You say, man has no choice but to sin. This is the case because the two natural needs are not both satisfiable in all situations, and not all solutions are seen as morally equivalent. You see a narrative for this dilemma in Genesis. I see Genesis and other religious explanations as early attempts to place the situation into a perspective that both accepts the problem and offers some hope of a route by which it can be overcome.

    No matter what the "true" religious narrative is, we are stuck with the situation much as it is described in religious texts.
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    17 Sep '12 21:11
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    When the bible speaks of the heart it is referring to the mind. I know the greek word for mind is nous, but when it speaks of the heart(without getting into all the greek and aramaic words, to save time) it is the "real you", if you will. It is the seat of personal thought, our makeup.
    We did not have a choice in that it was in our nature to sin, now we ...[text shortened]... peace, etc. I am sorry if I am rambling on, I get excited about this stuff...Peace..🙂
    🙂
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