1. Subscriberno1marauder
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    19 Apr '07 20:54
    Pick your favorite at http://www.rider.edu/~suler/zenstory/zenstory.html

    I like Not Dead Yet:

    The Emperor asked Master Gudo, "What happens to a man of enlightenment after death?"

    "How should I know?" replied Gudo.

    "Because you are a master," answered the Emperor.

    "Yes sir," said Gudo, "but not a dead one."
  2. The sky
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    19 Apr '07 21:56
    I like this one (which I have heard before):

    Ritual Cat

    When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.
  3. Joined
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    19 Apr '07 22:07
    I like this one:

    Knowing Fish

    One day Chuang Tzu and a friend were walking by a river. "Look at the fish swimming about," said Chuang Tzu, "They are really enjoying themselves."

    "You are not a fish," replied the friend, "So you can't truly know that they are enjoying themselves."

    "You are not me," said Chuang Tzu. "So how do you know that I do not know that the fish are enjoying themselves?"


    It reminds me of Nagel's 'What it is like to be a bat' essay http://www.clarku.edu/students/philosophyclub/docs/nagel.pdf and is apt, given recent discourse on this forum of subjectivity and the nature of existence.
  4. Standard memberChronicLeaky
    Don't Fear Me
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    20 Apr '07 14:25
    Originally posted by Starrman
    I like this one:

    [b]Knowing Fish


    One day Chuang Tzu and a friend were walking by a river. "Look at the fish swimming about," said Chuang Tzu, "They are really enjoying themselves."

    "You are not a fish," replied the friend, "So you can't truly know that they are enjoying themselves."

    "You are not me," said Chuang Tzu. "So how do you know that ...[text shortened]... iven recent discourse on this forum of subjectivity and the nature of existence.[/b]
    Nagel is Joshu's dog's bolloques. You should read Nagel and Newman's presentation of Goedel's theorem when you do philosophy of maths next year 😉.

    "A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?'

    Joshu answered: `Mu.'"

    I also like:

    " A travelling monk asked an old woman the road to Taizan, a popular temple supposed to give wisdom to the one who worships there. The old woman said: `Go straight ahead.' When the monk proceeded a few steps, she said to herself: `He also is a common church-goer.'

    Someone told this incident to Joshu, who said: `Wait until I investigate.' The next day he went and asked the same question, and the old woman gave the same answer.

    Joshu remarked: `I have investigated that old woman.' "
  5. Hmmm . . .
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    20 Apr '07 21:17
    I liked this one, which I think is about Ryokan—

    A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. "You have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift." The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon. "Poor fellow," he mused, " I wish I could give him this beautiful moon."
  6. RDU NC
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    20 Apr '07 22:46
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I liked this one, which I think is about Ryokan—

    A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. "You have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you sho ...[text shortened]... ching the moon. "Poor fellow," he mused, " I wish I could give him this beautiful moon."
    Great "story?"

    I'm not sure how to refer to Budhist quotes, since to my understanding, they would not consider them "scripture."

    According to your previous posts, you are a practicing Budhist with an appreciation for universal truth found in all religions (and the natural world). Is this an accurate description of you?
    If so, could you, to the best of your ability, help me understand the nirvana of the Budha? He sat under a tree, and with no conscious effort discovered the way to nirvana. I don't understand. I realise that is the point, but perhaps you could shed a little more light on it.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    21 Apr '07 00:014 edits
    Originally posted by Big Mac
    Great "story?"

    I'm not sure how to refer to Budhist quotes, since to my understanding, they would not consider them "scripture."

    According to your previous posts, you are a practicing Budhist with an appreciation for universal truth found in all religions (and the natural world). Is this an accurate description of you?
    If so, could you, to the best of rstand. I realise that is the point, but perhaps you could shed a little more light on it.
    First, I’m not a “practicing Buddhist.” I am a non-dualist who finds streams of the “perennial philosophy” in most religious expressions.

    I am, however, more Zen than “Zen-Buddhist.” And sometimes, I just tell people that—whatever religious language I might be using at the time—if they just think “Zen,” they are likely to have me pegged pretty well. But Taoist or Advaita Vedantist would work as well... 🙂

    There are lots of kinds of Buddhists. What the Buddha discovered was (1) a way out of suffering/anguish in this life (recognition of the Four Noble Truths, the 4th one being the Eightfold Path); and (2) Buddha-nature, which all sentient beings have.

    As a Zennist—and finding eight steps too many to keep track of—simply abiding in the Buddha-nature (awareness prior to conceptual thinking of any kind: I just call it clear mind) is a state in which there is no mental suffering/anguish. Easier said than done, but do-able. In that way of being, one is in harmony with the Tao, the tathata (suchness/thusness) of the universe, with the sat-chit-ananda (being-consciousness-bliss) that is the nature of the whole.

    One can think/conceptualize whenever one wants/needs to—one just realizes that is what s/he is doing.

    Nirvana means “extinction.” In Hinduism (out of which Buddhism comes) one’s self (or soul) is reincarnated many times, until one is enlightened (realizes one’s true nature), and which point the cycle of death and rebirth ends, and one returns to the Whole from whence one arose to being with. Buddhism—at least some Buddhism—kept that metaphysics.

    Like Zen Master Gudo, I don’t speculate much about such stuff—and when I do, I realize that I am doing just that: speculating. My own view is that when I die, my transient individual “I-ness” will simply disperse into the Whole (the One-without-a-second, the All-without-another, Tao, Brahman—whatever name you wish) from whence I arose, of which I am, and in which I exist. Like a wave arising from, and of, the one ocean—and collapsing back into that ocean. I might call that “Nirvana.”

    Now, there are many practices for discovering the Buddha-nature in oneself. Here is a westernized version of a Zen koan—

    “Behind the makings of the mind,
    before all images, thoughts or words,
    what are you able to find
    that is not just another making of the mind?”

    Two points: (1) the exercise is to see if you can find, not speculate, posit or think; and (2) any concept—even the concept “I” may be just another making of the mind (i.e., the ego-self, the somebody-self construct).

    _____________________________

    EDIT: Such a practice will not make you a Buddhist; there are Christian versions as well. Koans are very prominent in Rinzai Zen; there is a practice called "Centering Prayer" from the Christian tradition that is close to Soto Zen meditation, which may well be akin to what the Buddha did...
  8. RDU NC
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    21 Apr '07 00:12
    Originally posted by vistesd
    First, I’m not a “practicing Buddhist.” I am a non-dualist who finds streams of the “perennial philosophy” in most religious expressions.

    I am, however, more Zen than “Zen-Buddhist.” And sometimes, I just tell people that—whatever religious language I might be using at the time—if they just think “Zen,” they are likely to have me pegged pretty well. Bu ...[text shortened]... called "Centering Prayer" from the Christian tradition that is close to Soto Zen meditation...
    Thank you for clarifying. I am a Christian. But, I have an appreciation for other religions, as well. I have a degree in Comparative World Religion from a U.S. school.
    I am fairly familiar with the 4 Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. I think I understand what you are saying. But, as is expected, I have no idea how to completely erase the "I" or ego. Christianity seeks to diminish the I (as in John the Baptizer's quote, "I must decrease so that He may increase."😉. But, Christianity never seeks to do away all together with the individual, in that Christianity is based on an individual's walk with God in Christ and that the heaven will be populated by individuals.
  9. Hmmm . . .
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    21 Apr '07 00:321 edit
    Originally posted by Big Mac
    Thank you for clarifying. I am a Christian. But, I have an appreciation for other religions, as well. I have a degree in Comparative World Religion from a U.S. school.
    I am fairly familiar with the 4 Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. I think I understand what you are saying. But, as is expected, I have no idea how to completely erase the "I" or ego. Ch individual's walk with God in Christ and that the heaven will be populated by individuals.
    In Galatians 2:20, Paul said:

    zo de ouketi ego,
    ze de en emoi Christos


    “I-live, but not ‘I’ (ego),
    lives but in me [the] Christ.”

    Don’t assume you know what Paul means—e.g., that it is a metaphor for his relationship with Jesus Christ, or whatever Biblical exegesis you’ve been taught. (Note, that I have inserted “the” with “Christ”—the definite article can be implied, even if not expressed, in the Greek, and Christ was not Jesus’ last name: he was the Christ.)

    Instead, see it in a fashion similar to a Zen koan, upon which to meditate intensively. See it as a two-stage spiritual practice: the first stage is to let go of the constructed somebody-self (here, the ego-self)—or, rather, it is a matter of not clinging to that, so that it can relax. Only then might you realize en emoi [ho] Christos. That is what I think St. Paul was trying to express here—aside from, but not in conflict with, the rest of his theology, Christology, etc. [Note: the ego-self is distinguished here, I think, from the "psyche"--or soul-self; the ego-self is important, but it is a construct.]

    For a less intensively focused method, but still quite profound, you might read Basil Pennington’s Centering Prayer. And then practice that prayer/meditation method (along with whatever other spiritual practices you do). You might also want to read Thomas Merton’s The Inner Experience, in which he compares and contrasts the Zen satori experience with the Christian “mystical” experience; as a Christian monk, his emphasis is on the latter.
  10. Joined
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    21 Apr '07 00:54
    Originally posted by Big Mac
    Thank you for clarifying. I am a Christian. But, I have an appreciation for other religions, as well. I have a degree in Comparative World Religion from a U.S. school.
    I am fairly familiar with the 4 Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. I think I understand what you are saying. But, as is expected, I have no idea how to completely erase the "I" or ego. Ch ...[text shortened]... individual's walk with God in Christ and that the heaven will be populated by individuals.
    You may want to consider these:
    "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." Luke 9:23-24

    "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour." John 12:25-26


    Perhaps the Buddhist notion of Nirvana is the same as the Christian notion of God. By giving up the "ego", one is free to be in Nirvana (follow God).
  11. RDU NC
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    21 Apr '07 03:55
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    You may want to consider these:
    [i]"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." Luke 9:23-24

    "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his ...[text shortened]... hristian notion of God. By giving up the "ego", one is free to be in Nirvana (follow God).
    I disagree with your interpretation. Both of these verses seem to regard the individual soul as something vitally important. The goal of both verses is saving one's own life or soul. The means however are through Christ, but the reward is life. So, there is not a denying of desire. It is desiring something far greater than temporal pleasures.
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    21 Apr '07 04:09
    Originally posted by Big Mac
    I disagree with your interpretation. Both of these verses seem to regard the individual soul as something vitally important. The goal of both verses is saving one's own life or soul. The means however are through Christ, but the reward is life. So, there is not a denying of desire. It is desiring something far greater than temporal pleasures.
    Although ThinkOfOne and I tend to be in general agreement, I think, about the perennial philosophy crossing religious bounds, in these two passages, the word translated as “life” is psuche—which in other instances is translated as “soul.”

    It means more than animal life, which is zoe, or life simple, which is bios. It refers to one’s innermost self.

    Interestingly, psuche is the word in John 15:13—No one has greater love than this, to lay down (to put or to place) one's soul (psuche) for one's friends.

    Again, however, psuche is not the same as the ego-self...
  13. Joined
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    21 Apr '07 15:09
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Although ThinkOfOne and I tend to be in general agreement, I think, about the perennial philosophy crossing religious bounds, in these two passages, the word translated as “life” is psuche—which in other instances is translated as “soul.”

    It means more than animal life, which is zoe, or life simple, which is [i ...[text shortened]... he[/i]) for one's friends.

    Again, however, psuche is not the same as the ego-self...
    Well, it's all Greek to me 🙂

    Are there any verses that you know of that directly point to the idea of giving up the ego? It seems likely there would be. There seems to be a theme of being with God (truth, justice, love) rather than of this world. I see ego as what roots one in this world.
  14. Standard membershavixmir
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    21 Apr '07 15:13
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Well, it's all Greek to me 🙂

    I think very few of them were written in Greek.

    Just remember that everything is as it is. Everything is only your perception of it.

    And you'll get the jist...
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    21 Apr '07 15:311 edit
    Originally posted by Big Mac
    I disagree with your interpretation. Both of these verses seem to regard the individual soul as something vitally important. The goal of both verses is saving one's own life or soul. The means however are through Christ, but the reward is life. So, there is not a denying of desire. It is desiring something far greater than temporal pleasures.
    Another way to look at it is this: There are two main forces that control man. Desires of the self or ego (pride, greed, lust, seeking sensory experiences, etc.) and desire for God (truth, love, justice, compassion, etc.). These opposing forces are inversely proportional. So the bigger the desires of the self, the smaller the desire for God. In short, seeking desires of the self gives one a distorted view of reality and keeps one from God. Living in the domain of the self is not life at all, but a form of death. Living in the domain of God is true life.

    Try re-reading the verses I gave above within this context.
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