1. Hmmm . . .
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    27 Nov '07 04:252 edits
    I just tonight came across the following quote from a Korean Zen master. It captures precisely my understanding, and the state of my own (unripe) Zen.

    To it, I will add a simple koan:

    Without any thinking at all, what are you?

    Or, without any thinking at all, what is this? (This being the present moment now in all its just-suchness—tathata—which includes you, of which you also are.)

    To answer here, you must use words. But what words can capture what is before thinking?

    _____________________________________

    What is important is one moment of clear mind. Clear mind is before thinking. If you experience this mind, you have already attained enlightenment. If you experience this for a short time—even for one moment—this is enlightenment. All the rest of the time you may be thinking, but you shouldn’t worry about this thinking. It is just your karma. You must not be attached to this thinking. You must not force it to stop or force clear mind to grow. It will grow by itself, as your karma gradually disappears.

    Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky. Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but the moon is always behind them. Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly. So don’t worry about clear mind: it is always there. When thinking comes, behind it is clear mind. When thinking goes, there is only clear mind. Thinking comes and goes, comes and goes. You must not be attached to the coming or the going.

    —Seung Sahn Soen-sa

    _______________________________________

    Two notes:

    (1) You can just think of “karma” here as no more than habitual thinking, mind-making, patterns; and the behavioral patterns that result.

    (2) I don’t use the term “enlightenment” since people seem to make such a big, convoluted deal out of it. Just think of it here as “clear mindedness” or “clear sightedness”.

    Seung Sahn is a proponent of what he calls “easy Zen.” I would not say “easy” at all; I would say simple Zen.
  2. Illinois
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    27 Nov '07 19:532 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I just tonight came across the following quote from a Korean Zen master. It captures precisely my understanding, and the state of my own (unripe) Zen.

    To it, I will add a simple koan:

    Without any thinking at all, what are you?

    Or, without any thinking at all, what is this? (This being the present moment now in all its just-suchness—[ ...[text shortened]... proponent of what he calls “easy Zen.” I would not say “easy” at all; I would say simple Zen.
    "It is not hard to master this way of thinking. I am certain that even the most uneducated man or woman, accustomed to a very primitive type of life, can easily learn it... Surely it is beginner's fare, and I consider him hopelessly stupid and dull who cannot think and feel that he is; not how or what he is, but that he is. Such elemental self-awareness is obviously proper to the dumbest cow or most unreasonable beast... In any case, do not think what you are but that you are. For I grant that to realize what you are demands the effort of your intelligence in a good deal of thought and introspection... Instead, remember that you... possess an innate ability to know that you are, and that you can experience this without any special natural or acquired genius. So now, forget your misery and sinfulness and, on that simple elemental level, think only that you are as you are..."

    ~ Excerpt from The Cloud of Unknowing (Author unknown).
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    27 Nov '07 20:46
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    "It is not hard to master this way of thinking. I am certain that even the most uneducated man or woman, accustomed to a very primitive type of life, can easily learn it... Surely it is beginner's fare, and I consider him hopelessly stupid and dull who cannot think and feel that he is; not how or what he is, but that he is. Such elemental ...[text shortened]... that you are as you are..."

    ~ Excerpt from The Cloud of Unknowing (Author unknown).
    Good! Thank you for responding. I hope your vacation was wonderful.

    But neither the koan nor Seung Sahn’s piece asks strictly about the sense that you are. The question is what? It would not be a koan if it only asked “that”; nor if it asked for a thought-full answer. The koan has to be tackled on its own terms, so to speak.

    If you [that’s a general “you”] have to use thought (“the effort of your intelligence* in a good deal of thought” )
    then what you have are thoughts about yourself. If I ask you what you are, you will give me your thoughts. Where do they come from? Is there any “you” before thinking?

    “Cloud” (I’ll just call the anonymous author that) says: “[T]hink only that you are as you are”. I would ask: “What (who) is that ‘you are as you are’ that is thinking?”

    (This last question also, I think, points at a limitation in Seung Sahn’s analogy. Of course, all such analogies are limited. Can you see what it is?)

    ____________________________________

    Note: I suspect that what’s going on here a is two somewhat different approaches toward the same kind of thing, and that Cloud is using a bit more of an indirect approach that the koanic one. See my note below. If I remember correctly from my Centering Prayer days, Cloud uses a “sacred word” in a meditation much more akin to Soto Zen than Rinzai Zen, which tends to use more koans. In Centering Prayer, when you discover that you have gotten caught in the thought-flow, you simply return to the “sacred word”; in Soto Zen, you return to your breath.

    _____________________________________

    * I’m not sure how Cloud is using this word; in some older usages, it was closer to what we might call intuition. Perhaps you could provide some commentary? I suspect, especially given the last line of your quote, that Cloud and Seung Sahn are not far apart. In fact, I’m not sure that Cloud is not posing his own koan with that last line, and that he may not be using the word “think” the way Seung Sahn is, or I am. After all, he’s a contemplative/mystic.

    If you were to pose his last line as a question—as a koan—how would you pose it?

    ____________________________________

    I’m going to ask that we take our time on this, both because I want to limit my time on here a bit, and because I think it’s worth it. I’ll drop all the other threads for this one (unless someone resurrects Zen Curioso I).
  4. Hmmm . . .
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    27 Nov '07 22:07
    Just as a quick side-note: I don’t think we have to argue dualism versus non-dualism at all here. And here’s why—

    I will, for purposes of this discussion, call the clear-mind realization of tathata the “zero-point.” Not only ought not that be argued about, I would say that it properly cannot be argued about, since it is non-conceptual. It just, incorrigibly,* is.

    Our argument has been that you think the theistic spiritual experience pushes beyond the zero-point; whereas I think it is a step back from the zero-point, and is adulterated by making-mind.** That is probably the argument between Merton and D.T. Suzuki as well.

    Buddhist metaphysics may speculate beyond that zero-point, but Zen stops there. It is the existential and epistemic ground for any such speculation. Any metaphysical assertion of non-dualism reasons from the experience of existential non-separability at that zero-point. But in that zero-point, there are no such concepts. Christian metaphysics argues, I think, that the zero-point itself has (needs?) a further epistemic ground.

    Just a thought—

    ______________________________________

    * A nod of the head to LemonJello.

    ** When I speak of the makings of the mind, I am excluding sense perceptions made by the brain in response to sensory stimulus. I use thinking-mind and making-mind pretty interchangeably, but the latter is really a broader term:

    When you are thinking, there is thinking mind.
    When you are angry, there is anger-mind.
    When you are praying, there is praying-mind.

    I use making-mind to include all such makings.
  5. Illinois
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    28 Nov '07 05:316 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Good! Thank you for responding. I hope your vacation was wonderful.

    But neither the koan nor Seung Sahn’s piece asks strictly about the sense that you are. The question is what? It would not be a koan if it only asked “that”; nor if it asked for a thought-full answer. The koan has to be tackled on its own terms, so to speak.

    If you ...[text shortened]... rth it. I’ll drop all the other threads for this one (unless someone resurrects Zen Curioso I).
    The vacation was wonderful, thanks!

    But neither the koan nor Seung Sahn’s piece asks strictly about the sense that you are. The question is what? It would not be a koan if it only asked “that”; nor if it asked for a thought-full answer. The koan has to be tackled on its own terms, so to speak.

    Yes, but as a koan the question presents an impossibility, i.e., it is impossible to answer the question without thinking. The "clear mind" is the simple, instantaneous acknowledgment that one is, without any attending conceptualizations. For this reason I thought the Cloud quote was right on point.

    “Cloud” (I’ll just call the anonymous author that) says: “[T]hink only that you are as you are”. I would ask: “What (who) is that ‘you are as you are’ that is thinking?”

    Out of context I think it's easy to miss the purpose and direction of Cloud's teaching here. For instance, he uses "you are as you are" in direct correlation with God's declaration, "I am that I am." Such a declaration only God can make, since He is the only self-existent Entity, whereas every thing else is contingent upon Him for its existence. The point being, our being is also self-existent in the sense that our existence derives ultimately from God's own being.

    "Being filled with the fullness of God is like a bottle in the ocean. You take the cork out of the bottle and sink it in the ocean, and you have the bottle completely full of ocean. The bottle is in the ocean, and the ocean is in the bottle. The ocean contains the bottle, but the bottle contains only a little bit of the ocean."

    ~ A. B. Simpson

    Cloud's purpose, I think, is to bring the contemplative to an experience of God's presence (God's "is-ness" ), at least initially, through our own contingency. Where Seung Sahn's "easy Zen" ends is where Cloud's teaching begins (from what limited exposure I've had to Sahn's teaching). Cloud eventually moves toward the explicit goal of achieving only God-consciousness rather than self-consciousness.

    If you were to pose his last line as a question—as a koan—how would you pose it?

    I don't know, I feel I'd have to be a Zen master in order to do that, which I'm not.

    Meditation is lovely if what you're meditating on is intrinsically fruitful, but to me true contemplation is utterly beyond human capability. Yes, it's possible to prepare oneself for receiving the gift of contemplation, but only an act of God will make it happen. Contemplation is nothing which can be "worked up," in the sense of waking up some latent power within. Zen Christianity, for lack of a better title, always stresses the fact that it is impossible to live a life of contemplation without God's grace. That is, in ourselves, in our own power, we do not have the ability to do it -- we cannot work it up from within, instead we must receive it from without.

    In more Christian terms, this is called the "infilling" or "baptism" of the Holy Spirit.

    I’m going to ask that we take our time on this, both because I want to limit my time on here a bit, and because I think it’s worth it. I’ll drop all the other threads for this one (unless someone resurrects Zen Curioso I).

    That's cool with me; I have plenty of reading to do.
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    28 Nov '07 06:33
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I just tonight came across the following quote from a Korean Zen master. It captures precisely my understanding, and the state of my own (unripe) Zen.

    To it, I will add a simple koan:

    Without any thinking at all, what are you?

    Or, without any thinking at all, what is this? (This being the present moment now in all its just-suchness—[ ...[text shortened]... proponent of what he calls “easy Zen.” I would not say “easy” at all; I would say simple Zen.
    I am not at all farmiliar with Zen philosophy but I've been reading Bruce Lee's book on Gung Fu and he draws on very similar philosphies in his fighting.

    The point of becoming a MASTER in his style means that you are in accord with all movement in the moment and so you don't have to think about what's happening. All movement is a result of not thinking. To be cognizant during a battle is what separates perhaps a very good fighter from the master who is fighting out of practically unconscioussness.

    Am I out of line for seeing a parallel in this philosophy? To be honest I didn't read the entire book yet, partially because it keeps repeating the need to move without thinking! I'm curious...

    The clear mind is what made me think of that book, and I think he even uses the analogy of the moon but he describes moonlight on the water rather than the clouds...
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Nov '07 17:091 edit
    Originally posted by The Dude 84
    I am not at all farmiliar with Zen philosophy but I've been reading Bruce Lee's book on Gung Fu and he draws on very similar philosphies in his fighting.

    The point of becoming a MASTER in his style means that you are in accord with all movement in the moment and so you don't have to think about what's happening. All movement is a result of not thinkin the analogy of the moon but he describes moonlight on the water rather than the clouds...
    Yes, the parallels are there. Bruce Lee was into Zen; his film (I say his film, though it was made after his death, and directed by James Coburn, because Lee conceived and created it) “Circle of Iron” is one long and highly symbolic Zen parable.

    Mushin (“no-mind” ) is not really empty mind; it is only empty of all thought-clouds (or thought-ripples on the water). It just-being-wide-awake-aware here and now mind—with nothing added. In that just-being-aware mind, everything is just-such-as-it-is—tathata—without anything added: tathata in which you are included, of which you also are.

    Thinking itself is not a problem. When you want to think, think. You can watch how your thoughts arise and connect and flow by, just as you can watch a hawk lift from out of the trees, circle in the sun, and then glide swiftly out of sight across the valley. One must slow down in order to do this, and that is part of what happens in meditation. I also practice tai chi: first one must slow down.
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Nov '07 17:531 edit
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    The vacation was wonderful, thanks!

    [b]But neither the koan nor Seung Sahn’s piece asks strictly about the sense that you are. The question is what? It would not be a koan if it only asked “that”; nor if it asked for a thought-full answer. The koan has to be tackled on its own terms, so to speak.


    Yes, but as a koan the questio [/b]

    That's cool with me; I have plenty of reading to do.[/b]
    Yes, but as a koan the question presents an impossibility, i.e., it is impossible to answer the question without thinking. The "clear mind" is the simple, instantaneous acknowledgment that one is, without any attending conceptualizations. For this reason I thought the Cloud quote was right on point.

    I thought the Cloud quote was right on point, too. Whether or not what I’m saying differs from what he meant (Christian context aside), I don’t know.

    The Zen master insists on an answer—without just giving back thinking!. That is just the point. Koan-zen can get pretty hot-box.

    To answer in words is difficult. And since I am not a Zen master, you can't count on me to catch it. Nevertheless, “followers of the Way [Zen-Tao]” work on each other, too. There is a person on here who said two words, and I knew; and he knew that I knew that he knew. I was surprised only that he knew that I would know. I’m still much more a “wild fox” than he is (that’s a metaphor for unripe Zen craziness).

    A koan is intended to be ultimately elicitive.

    _____________________________________

    The "clear mind" is the simple, instantaneous acknowledgment that one is, without any attending conceptualizations.

    Yes, but—

    In his version of the Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell says:

    You can’t know it
    but you can be it,
    at ease in your own mind.

    If he is talking about episteme, he is right. But that is not what I am talking about.

    Your wife walks into the room. You suddenly know that she is there. Do you not know who she is without thinking about it? Does she have to tell you? Is the who-she-is that you know just a bundle of thoughts and memories?

    Much more intimately, is the who-you-are just a bundle of thoughts and memories? That bundle is the “I-thought-complex” that I call the somebody-self-construct. It probably really begins to manifest around 18 months old, when the neurophysiology of the brain has developed sufficiently.

    Another way of expressing the koan in the opening post is:

    Before all makings of the mind,
    can you find an I
    that is not just another
    making of the mind?

    (Just another bundle
    of memories, thoughts,
    images and emotions?)

    Put another way, can you show me that that, that is not just another making of the mind? (Are we in accord that Cloud is not just referring to our sensory awareness of being physical existents extended in space and time? As he says, a cow has that sensory awareness; so does a mite.)

    __________________________________________

    For instance, he uses "you are as you are" in direct correlation with God's declaration, "I am that I am."

    I didn’t catch that; thanks.

    I really can’t address the rest of that without getting into dualism/non-dualism, so I won’t. I understand the point.

    I don't know, I feel I'd have to be a Zen master in order to do that, which I'm not.

    How would you just attempt to pose it as a question then?

    As for the rest here, in Buddhism there is the way of tariki (“other power” ) and the way of jiriki (“own power” ); Pure Land is representative of the former, Zen of the latter. For my purposes here, there is no need to make the distinction. Tariki/jiriki—ichiki (“one power” ).

    __________________________________________

    I am reading Zen and the Brain by James H. Austin, M.D., professor emeritus of neurology at the University of Colorado, and a Zennist.

    I am also trying to learn Spanish with my wife.
  9. Joined
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    29 Nov '07 04:30
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Yes, the parallels are there. Bruce Lee was into Zen; his film (I say his film, though it was made after his death, and directed by James Coburn, because Lee conceived and created it) “Circle of Iron” is one long and highly symbolic Zen parable.

    Mushin (“no-mind” ) is not really empty mind; it is only empty of all thought-clouds (or thoug ...[text shortened]... that is part of what happens in meditation. I also practice tai chi: first one must slow down.
    Thanks!

    I would have no problem with organized religions if their followers possessed your genuine dedication to spirituality.

    The type of mind you describe I think I have had on very few occasions and though I am not a proscriber to Zen or any religion I have learned on my own to pursue this type of wisdom.

    Do you think it's possible to reach a similar state of mind without being a followed of Zen per se? I am reluctant to claim I have had that state of mind because I think once you really reach it it is hard to turn back, or at least I should have worked harder to attain it. What do you think?
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    30 Nov '07 03:382 edits
    Originally posted by The Dude 84
    Thanks!

    I would have no problem with organized religions if their followers possessed your genuine dedication to spirituality.

    The type of mind you describe I think I have had on very few occasions and though I am not a proscriber to Zen or any religion I have learned on my own to pursue this type of wisdom.

    Do you think it's possible to reach ...[text shortened]... is hard to turn back, or at least I should have worked harder to attain it. What do you think?
    Do you think it's possible to reach a similar state of mind without being a follower of Zen per se?

    Absolutely. Zen talk is just a finger pointing to the moon. Don’t get stuck focusing on the finger; don’t follow the finger, look beyond.

    The type of mind you describe I think I have had on very few occasions and though I am not a proscriber to Zen or any religion I have learned on my own to pursue this type of wisdom.

    This can be good.

    I once traveled to see a Zen roshi, who then refused to see me although I had traveled a long way, and was assured that I could meet him. I was disappointed and angry. As I was driving away (literally down from the mountain-top!), I grumbled to myself: “Well, I guess I’ll just have to do it myself!”

    I related the story to the man who has been my wisest teacher (who is not a Zen Buddhist, by the way), including my grumbled conclusion. He said: “Oh, I think you did meet the roshi.”

    I said: “What do you mean. I don’t understand.”

    He looked at me a long time, and said: “What else could he have possibly taught you?”

    People are different. Community can be wonderful. My teacher’s teaching here was for me, and he may well have said something else to someone else. One has to decide for oneself, but one should not be stubborn about it either way. I have known many dedicated, sincere people in different religions.

    I am reluctant to claim I have had that state of mind because I think once you really reach it is hard to turn back, or at least I should have worked harder to attain it. What do you think?

    Another paradoxical Zen saying: There is nothing to attain.

    That is because what you are looking for is there all along. What you are looking for is what you are looking with—and that is you.

    Clear-mind is before thoughts. Do not try to get rid of thinking, just relax and observe how thoughts arise in the mind, what stimulates them, how you associate one thought with another, etc. Thinking itself is no problem: it is a wonderful tool of our consciousness. Who/what is doing the thinking, feeling, remembering?

    Ponder Seung Sahn’s analogy again: the moon is not absent; the moon is your fundamental mind, always shining. That is your real I, behind all the thoughts, including all the “I-thoughts” that make up our somebody-self construct.

    Now, there is a flaw in Seung Sahn’s analogy. (All such analogies are flawed, so this is not a finding of fault; I find his words beautiful.) Can you find the flaw? If you can find that flaw, it may point you to further understanding.
  11. Illinois
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    30 Nov '07 06:212 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]Yes, but as a koan the question presents an impossibility, i.e., it is impossible to answer the question without thinking. The "clear mind" is the simple, instantaneous acknowledgment that one is, without any attending conceptualizations. For this reason I thought the Cloud quote was right on point.

    I thought the Cloud quote was righ sity of Colorado, and a Zennist.

    I am also trying to learn Spanish with my wife.[/b]
    Much more intimately, is the who-you-are just a bundle of thoughts and memories? That bundle is the “I-thought-complex” that I call the somebody-self-construct.

    First off, I love the way you put these concepts into words. Cloud is indeed speaking of this. I believe he refers to the somebody-self-construct as the "external" self. The process he suggests of concentrating on the fact that one is rather than what or who one is, is only an initial practice meant to acquaint one with the interior work necessary to eventually forget oneself and become exclusively aware of only God's presence.

    Put another way, can you show me that that, that is not just another making of the mind? (Are we in accord that Cloud is not just referring to our sensory awareness of being physical existents extended in space and time? As he says, a cow has that sensory awareness; so does a mite.)

    I'm with ya... 🙂

    I really can’t address the rest of that without getting into dualism/non-dualism, so I won’t. I understand the point.

    Do you mean, basically, that there is no distinction between God's being and our own being unless the "being" spoken of is the "I-thought-complex"? Is that what dualism is in a nutshell, in the Zen language: a supposedly false distinction between the true Zen self beyond the "I-thought-complex" and the self of God?

    Christian mysticism in the Cloud vein speaks of the "external" self, i.e. the somebody-self-construct, exactly as you do in every respect (which I am aware of). However, there is always the distinction between one's own being (what one is; i.e., not the I-thought-complex) and God's own being.

    I get the impression that Cloud, though he is dealing with the same soul and spirit as the Zennists are, goes a step further. Almost as if Zen enlightenment is not enough -- that there's more. And the "more" is not a matter of establishing a "dualistic" distinction based on yet another "I-thought-complex," but rather one borne out of an act of God; a miraculous enlightenment to God's presence.

    As Cloud asserts, God's being is self-existent, while ours is contingent. In my own practice, I know the same joys which the Zennist does who moves passed his "I-thought-complex," but I also am aware in those moments of the distinction between my being and God's. Not by positing myself in opposition to him through the makings of my mind, but by the faith which the Holy Spirit supplies -- i.e. that which I cannot work up on my own.
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    01 Dec '07 05:041 edit
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    [b]Much more intimately, is the who-you-are just a bundle of thoughts and memories? That bundle is the “I-thought-complex” that I call the somebody-self-construct.

    First off, I love the way you put these concepts into words. Cloud is indeed speaking of this. I believe he refers to the somebody-self-construct as the "external" self. The e Holy Spirit supplies -- i.e. that which I cannot work up on my own.[/b]
    Thanks; that clears up any misunderstandings based on different linguistic terms I think.

    I want to give this more justice than I can right now, but I’ll just stress that philosophical non-dualism, for me, is a conclusion reasoned from, in part the experienced non-separability and mutuality of tathata. As such, it is certainly arguable.

    In another thread, I was given the example of drinking a glass of water. The following is an excerpt to get at non-separability and mutuality:

    ____________________________________________

    Experientially, there is no such thing here as taste separate from my tasting the water. The taste is neither in the water nor in me. We can go into all kinds of metaphysical speculations, but I am talking about (aware) lived experience.

    It is the same with every moment of lived experience. At that moment, (1) there exists no I that is not drinking the water, and (2) there is no taste of the water except the sense impressions that are created by my brain from the interaction of the water with my taste buds.

    The first is the principle of non-separability; the second is the principle of mutuality.

    It is the same for all lived experience. There is no experience that is not shaped and formed by our brain.

    That does not mean there is not a world that continues outside the boundaries of my skin. It does, however, mean that even the most forceful-seeming image might be a mirage, rather than an oasis. That must be decided on other grounds.

    _________________________________________________

    I have also before used the example of what I will call the maximally expansive orgasmic experience (MEOE). This is an almost paradigmatic analogy in the “mystical” literature, across religious and philosophical traditions.

    None of this requires philosophical non-dualism, but does support it. Non-dualism concludes that there is ultimately one whole, of which we are: of which we are manifestations. Different traditions have different speculations about the nature of this whole.

    On an experiential level, our difference is that I see any experience of personal presence as what I have called “immediate translation”—and James Austin calls “reflexive interpretation”—as a product of that mutuality. As long as there is “I” and “other”, the experience is not “maximally expansive”. One is not, to borrow a felicitous phrase from Dame Julian of Norwich (not to say that she would use it just this way), fully “at-oned” with the experience.

    Now, my own case is that I have had flashes of “iterating” between those two states: I in and with and even of all the rest; and just _________________. I have experienced non-separableness/at-one-ment only briefly, though more than once during a longer period of iteration.

    That “at-one-ment” is ineffable because there is no “I” in that moment to form any concepts about it. (Which is why that blank is there, which is just the experience.) Just as, if you were to ask me to describe MEOE, I would have to use metaphor and poetry. Such metaphor and poetry either resonates to another’s experience, or it does not. It’s damnably hard work for me just to write what I am writing here, searching for analogies, metaphors, words—that all, in the end, can be only fingers pointing at the moon. (That's why I am very appreciative of your kind words for my efforts. Thank you.)

    I wonder if our only difference at that level is the relative emphasis that we each place on the two sides of that iteration.

    ______________________________________________

    One of Seung Sahn’s attempts to use word-fingers to point to that ___________, is as follows:

    Deep in the mountains, the great temple bell is struck. You hear it reverberating in the morning air, and all thoughts disappear from your mind. There is nothing that is you; there is nothing that is not you. There is only the sound of the bell, filling the whole universe.

    Springtime comes. You see the flowers blossoming, the butterflies flitting about; you hear the birds singing, you breathe in the warm weather. And your mind is only springtime. It is nothing at all.

    You visit Niagara and take a boat to the bottom of the Falls. The downpouring of water is in front of you and around you and inside you, and suddenly you are shouting: YAAAAAA!

    In all these experiences, outside and inside have become one. This is Zen mind.

    . . .

    If you want to understand the truth, you must let go of your situation, your condition, and all your opinions. Then your mind will be before thinking. “Before thinking” is clear mind. Clear mind has no inside and no outside. It is just like this. “Just like this” is the truth.

    —Seung Sahn Soen-sa (Zen master)
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    05 Dec '07 05:30
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]Do you think it's possible to reach a similar state of mind without being a follower of Zen per se?

    Absolutely. Zen talk is just a finger pointing to the moon. Don’t get stuck focusing on the finger; don’t follow the finger, look beyond.

    The type of mind you describe I think I have had on very few occasions and though I am not a proscriber ...[text shortened]... Can you find the flaw? If you can find that flaw, it may point you to further understanding.
    The moon doesn't show the same amount of itself from Earth but that can't be what you mean, because it doesn't change in and of itself. The effect it has on tides and supposedly peoples moods I'd put in the same category...

    I don't think I'm right, but tell me if I am and I will think on it and get back to you. I cannot expect to know these things right away...I am only a young grasshopper!
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