Monday, February 15, 2010

SPIFFY NEW PAGES!

The main point of today's entry is to draw your attention to the following:

SPIFFY NEW PAGE ABOUT MY 2010 TOUR

SPIFFY NEW DIMENTIA 13 PAGE

I made these last night. Thanks are due to John Graves for turning me on to the iWeb program I already had in my computer. I never knew what it was for! One of John's compositions was featured in NBC's broadcast of the Winter Olympics. Yay!

By the way the spiffy new DIMENTIA 13 page has a link on it where you can download the complete liner notes for the Disturb The Air album for free. So if you wanna read all about the record and see some reviews and articles that came out at the time of its release, go download the notes!

On Saturday we talked some about love. I quoted from a poem called Be Still And Follow by my first Zen teacher, Tim McCarthy. Here's what I quoted:

God, she said over soup,
cannot add or subtract from who He is
You believe in God then?
He doesn't want me to
knowing,as He does
that God does not exist


All fingers grasp the edge
of this cliff. All other moments
are absent


To experience
is to smother
You cannot breathe
with or within me
You cannot breathe
without or out of me
And there is
only breath

P.S. Bummed out to hear that Doug Fieger of The Knack has died...

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Onesers!

UncaDan said...

Looking forward to getting/hearing TV Screen Head and Moth. I have the others but they are vinyl rips of adequate quality so I will wait to upgrade them. How about the Hovercraft project? Any chance of hearing that in its entirety?

anon #108 said...

OK. I've just spent at least an hour on the internet and I've decided what the problem with Genpo is - the problem is Taizan Maezumi, who transmitted him. His fault. Genpo was messed up in the first place and never got sorted out.

Seems S Suzuki (my kinda guy) and his crew didn't like Maezumi. And if SS didn't take to him, I'm sure I wouldn't've either. Maezumi also transmitted John Daido Loori, whose style ain't my cuppa tea. Yes, he did transmit Charlotte Joko Beck, and she seems nice - but far too soppy and pretentious for me. Another wrong-un. Then there's Tetsugen Bernard Glassman. All the street politics (and he likes Genpo)!...Nah. Not for me. I'd be surprised if the rest of em shared the faintest twinkle of the True Dharma Eye between em. Dodgy teacher. Dodgy lineage.

Yep. Mixing Soto and Rinzai don't work. It's the koans - turns their brains - and judgement - to mush. You have the proof.

I am not kidding.

mysteriosis said...

"Mixing Soto and Rinzai don't work. It's the koans - turns their brains - and judgement - to mush. You have the proof.

I am not kidding."

Well.. I don't know about all that.. but I would say Maezumi used bad judgment falling asleep in his bathtub after a night of heavy Saki drinking.

anon #108 said...

[It's the koans...] Well.. I don't know about all that.."

Yes, mysteriosis. That's a tentative theory at the moment. I'm working on it. There may yet prove to be connection.

anon #108 said...

I've worked on it.
It's not the koans, it's the 'solutions' that may be the problem.

Work continues.

aumeye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

anon #8 said...

" I'd be surprised if the rest of em shared the faintest twinkle of the True Dharma Eye between em. Dodgy teacher. Dodgy lineage.

Yep. Mixing Soto and Rinzai don't work. It's the koans - turns their brains - and judgement - to mush. You have the proof."

Nice to hear you judge someone else!

alan said...

anon #108,

You have never met any one of the people you are pronouncing judgment on, have you?

Disregarding that, your statements are pretty darn clever based as they are on a least an hour of searching the internet :-)

Another half hour and I think you just might figure it out.

And start your own branch of zen.

Cheers.

anon #108 said...

Nice to hear you judge someone else!

Thanks anon @2.54pm. I thought I'd give it a go.
It's easy! I discovered I do it all the time. Courage is the key, I think.

And start your own branch of zen

That's the plan, Alan ;-)

alan said...

anon #108,

Anon Zen, eh?

Let me know the details and I'll drop my mindless worship of Brad and mindlessly transfer over to you.

I'm sure Brad-san will be relieved.

Cheers.

Jinzang said...

I've decided what the problem with Genpo is - the problem is Taizan Maezumi, who transmitted him.

By all accounts, Maezumi Roshi was a nice guy. Here's another account of Maezumi Roshi,. There's no real glory in being a teacher. People picture them raking in bucks and surrounded by adoring students, but it's mostly hard, thankless work. Anyone willing to do it has my gratitude.

Taizan Maezumi was part of the Sanbo Kyodan, probably the most common style of Zen practice in America. The mixture of Soto and Rinzai was not his doing, but the Sanbo Kyodan's, originally Yatsutani Roshi. Yes, they use koans. Though it's not a practice suited for everyone, it seems to work for some.

You shouldn't be so quick to judge people and situations you only have a limited understanding of.

john e mumbles said...

Yasutani Roshi I think it is Jinzang. I agree, its not nice to judge people and situations you have ltd knowledge of. You warned me about doing this and you were right. What I saw as a "problem" with Brad turns out was my old distrust of authority issue, and had little to do with Brad choosing hot topics for book titles. I really don't care, and may even eventually read his first book and see what happens. I've found that koan study can be a nice alternative to watching your breath and provide a disconnect for logic and a good jumping off point...it works, with a good teacher to flog you with it.

Anonymous said...

Jinzang wrote: "You shouldn't be so quick to judge people and situations you only have a limited understanding of."

I could be wrong but I think that was the point 108 was making, J. Or some point about opinions and judgements. We all do it.

Anonymous said...

I would agree the Maezumi roshi lineage is odd...
But it is not just a two lineage blend, it is three, three blends in one. Maezumi started his own--the White Plum Asangha
rinzai, soto, and sambokyodan (Yatsutani's stuff--)
I've asked myself... If someone has received transmission from a zen master, why would someone want to go out and get it again from a zen master in another lineage and then go for a third?
Seeking, seeking, seeking?
What would propel one for further 'enlightenment?
What 'more' enlightenment could there be?
My own personal opinion, and it comes from contact directly with ZCLA and sitting with those affiliated with this group, is that they are a mixed bag, and that their teacher (whom I never met) was deeply flawed and brilliantly talented at the same time this seems to describe most of the lot for me.
I just saw the movie Twilight and that's what they feel like to me--members of the Collins family--something going on there, palpable but not discernible.
I have an appreciation for the mutual process in finding a teacher
I think it is good to be exposed to various lineages
I myself don't aspire to being anything other than an ordinary person at some point I hope even this thought disappears
there are other lineages of Special People and Somebodies
but I don't want to be Somebody when I 'grow up'
sometimes 'i' think 'i' have something to say I try to keep this in check by always being anonymous: just a brain fart of a thought among the others...useful to others...good, just another stink of a think--let it pass

john e mumbles said...

FYI re anon 108's original post: That cuke link is just one person's opinion and really says nothing about Maezumi Roshi and Suzuki's relationship. As I understand it, Suzuki Roshi was more interested in establishing a more "American" version of Zen by choosing Richard Baker as his Dharma heir than in slighting his good friend Maezumi.

anon #108 said...

Brad -

Tim McCarthy's very nice poem ends:

And there is
only breath


Regadless of what he may have meant by this in the poem, it got me wondering whether Tim taught or recommended you to count or follow your breath during zazen (and now john e has mentioned it too). If so, did you ever find it useful?

Gudo is part of a small group of Buddhist teachers who (like mine) regard focusing on the breath as a form of mental consideration/concentration/mind training, and so not Dogen's shikantaza, but something quite different...a tainted, provisional, end-gaining practice, even.

Are the breath-followers missing out?
What might that say about their zazen, and their Buddhism?
What might that say about this?
Does such a disagreement about this fundamental aspect of practice matter?

Mysterion said...

Dogen actually used koans...

To study Buddhism is to study the self
To study the self is to forget the self
To forget the self is to be awakened by all things
And this awakening continues endlessly

Dogen- "Koans are o.k. for the 'changing of the moment', but I prefer and teach shikantaza." (just sitting)

anon #108 said...

...and thanks for that Maezumi link, Jinzang.

"The World is Not as It Appears."
True.
There again, "nothing in the entire universe is hidden."

It's a mystery!

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jinzang said...

"The World is Not as It Appears." True. There again, "nothing in the entire universe is hidden." It's a mystery!

"Things are not as they appear, nor are they otherwise." Not so hard to understand. It's just that our concepts give us a limited sense of how things are. Suppose you buy a six pack of beer and then can't find a bottle opener. Then one of your friends shows you that your Bic lighter can be used as a bottle opener. Nothing about the Bic lighter has changed, but you never think about it the same way again.

john e mumbles said...

Wow, Jinzang -that Ed Muzika link brought back memories! The whole It Is Not Real site is interesting to read through and especially anything to do with Robert Adams, the only American devotee of Ramana Maharshi's to bring his potent non-dual Adviata Vedanta teachings home and utilize them in an effective way.

anon #108 said...

Thank you for your explanation, Jinz.

But the universe remains a mystery.
Don't you think?

anon #108 said...

sometimes 'i' think 'i' have something to say I try to keep this in check...just a brainfart...let it pass...

Yeah, I do that too anon. All the time.
You should see the comments I don't publish.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad Warner said...

Anon. #108, Tim sometimes taught breath counting. Although now that I think about it, it was always, "Some teachers say you can count breaths." I don't know that I ever heard Tim actually recommend it himself without some qualification.

Nishijima's against breath counting. So was Dogen. Maybe someone can quote chapter & verse but I don't remember exactly where it was. But he comes out pretty strongly against it somewhere in Shobogenzo.

I find it distracting, myself. I dropped it years ago and yet I still find myself doing it sometimes because it became a habit.

And UncaDan... wow. Thanks. I will be asking Smog Veil if they're interested in Hovercraft.

Mysterion said...

In Hinayana, there are two elementary ways (of beginner's practice): one is to count the breaths, and the other is to contemplate the impurity (of the body). In other words, a practitioner of Hinayana regulates his breathing by counting the breaths. The practice of the Buddha-ancestors, however, is completely different from the way of Hinayana. An ancestral teacher has said, “It is better to have the mind of a wily fox than to follow the way of Hinayana self-control.” source

LOL

Modern scholars prefer the term THERAVADA rather than Hinayana. The latter is a pejorative term meaning 'Lesser Vehicle.'

also

Different strokes for different folks, Brad.

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Thanks for the reply, Brad.
And thanks for finding that bit of Dogen, M - it's the one I had in mind when asking the question(s).

So it appears that Dogen (and Gudo) feel strongly that counting/following breaths is NOT THE WAY, although Gotama B thinks it is. But Brad says...meh, as long as you're sitting.

Is that fair?

proulx michel said...

anon #108 said...


So it appears that Dogen (and Gudo) feel strongly that counting/following breaths is NOT THE WAY, although Gotama B thinks it is. But Brad says...meh, as long as you're sitting.


Gotama B does'nt say that one ought to count one's breath. He only says that, when you are sitting, if the breath is long, you observe that the breath is long, and if it is short, you observe that the breath is short. He doesn't say "concentrate on the breath", he just states what happens when you are sitting with your back straightened.

anon #108 said...

Hi PM -

He doesn't say "concentrate on the breath", he just states what happens when you are sitting with your back straightened.

Yes, I've heard that interpretation of 'mindfulness of breathing', (recently from Mike Cross as he translates Ashvaghosha's Saundarananda). Frankly it's not how I hear the words of the early suttas. If GB meant to describe "what happens when you are sitting with your back straightened" he wouldn't have bothered to enumerate all the ways in which the attention can be directed, via observation/discernment of the breath. Why bother to repeatedly talk about the breath if all your recommending is sitting with a straight back?

Anyway, it's not what happens - not to me. I don't count or follow my breaths (although it was very helpful when I first started sitting), but I do sit in lotus with a straight back. I find my breathing, when I notice it - which I hardly ever do - has become very light and slow. This happens naturally. There's (almost) nothing to observe/notice/discern. When I do notice/become conscious of it, it's immediatley strained and a little forced. (I've heard gniz/Aaron say this tension while observing the breath goes with practice, but it's not a technique I'm interested in developing at the moment).

I'm content with my shikantaza practice, but I'm also interested in the relation between the early texts and teachings and what we, all the different 'Buddhists', practice. Descriptions of 'mindful breathing' meditation are plentiful throughout the history of Buddhism (aren't they?). To my ear, it's very clear what all those ancestors are saying. And I'm curious, given Dogen's, and Gudo's, strong objection to the practice, just what it is they feel those who do it are missing and what that says about every other difference of opinion in the Buddhist world. It's a hobby.

Meanwhile, I'll carry on doing what I want :)

anon #108 said...

PS to PM -

Gotama B does'nt say that one ought to count one's breath.

True. I've not heard anyone say so.

Blake said...

Anon #108 said: "It's the koans - turns their brains - and judgement - to mush. You have the proof.

I am not kidding."

Perhaps the way they handled koans but it's definitely not the case with all koan practice.

Blake said...

Slick pages, by the way!

john e mumbles said...

This only worries when you are adapting yourself to a tradition. Why bother with labels like "Buddhist"? Do you think The Buddha thought of himself as a "Buddhist?" And who cares what anyone says about "how to do it" when it really comes down to what works for You. Try it, if it works, use it. If not, move on.

anon #108 said...

I think that's a very sensible, realistic attitude, jem, and I think it accurately describes what we do, but - like I said -

I'm also interested in the relation between the early texts and teachings and what we, all the different 'Buddhists', practice...I'm curious, given Dogen's, and Gudo's, strong objection to the practice, just what it is they feel those who do it are missing and what that says about every other difference of opinion in the Buddhist world. It's a hobby.

Not a worry or a problem - just an interest.

anon #108 said...

Hi Blake -

If you read my early posts subsequent to "koan brain mush" you'll be able to witness for yourself the transition of my theory from its tentative beginning through revision, to the establishment of the foundations of a new movement in Zen Buddhism.

And I was not kidding. It would be very easy for me to subscribe to that analysis of Maezumi's lineage...and I'm sure there's a part of me that believes it, or something pretty much like it. It may even be true!

I've got lots more ill-thought-out, prejudiced views like that. Really...loads.

Anonymous said...

"And who cares what anyone says about "how to do it" when it really comes down to what works for You. Try it, if it works, use it. If not, move on."

No, no, no. Brad the impaler disagrees completely:


Zen is not a "bottom line is what works for you" philosophy. "What works for you" is crap teaching. Don't ever accept crap teaching."
--BW

natio said...

"what works for you" can and does include "I don't like what your telling me, but I'll try it coz I respect you and I want to get it right". so brad's right (you should take advice from people who've done it before you) AND mumbles is right (in the end you only do what you feel works for you).

Brad Warner said...

Brad the Impaler? Oh yeah!! I like that one.

I think this is one of those times when things get garbled as a result of changing their context.

I'm not sure when I said that "whatever works" is crap teaching. But at this moment I can think of ways in which that is true. "Whatever works" is crap teaching when it's not really "whatever (actually) works" but merely a lazy way of picking those things that agree with you or are easy.

Shunryu Suzuki said once something like, "If the teaching doesn't feel like it's forcing itself on you, it's not good teaching." This I agree with. It's got to be difficult. When it's too easy it's no good.

But you gotta choose for yourself what you're gonna do. So in that sense, "whatever works" might be OK. Meaning you find the teacher or style that you can live with then pursue that. But you also don't drop it just because it makes demands on you.

Unless those demands are, "Drink this Kool Aid® we're going to join our brothers on Alpha Centauri."

aumeye said...

I realize this is not relevant to the main thrust of these comments; however, as a long-time fan, I am compelled to add that I, too, was bummed to learn Doug Fieger died. Good Girls Don't always makes me smile.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PhilBob-SquareHead said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4_G7HHJ0GE

'nuff said....

elvis said...

proof cows have a mu nature...

A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion - but won't.

this tub o' lard rocks and rolls - literally.

Rich said...

The Buddha delivered the Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing in the Anapanasati Sutta of the Majjhima-nikaya

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html

vebuibbi said...

It's already been linked. Well, a shorter one in the Samyutta Nikaya by anon108 at the end where it says "what might that say about THIS" at 4.36pm.

I think it's the same, the part about breathing?

john e mumbles said...

Hey Brad, why is last year's tour on the new tour page? Just wonderin' -seems a little odd. Can you move backward in time? If so, which locale will you revisit and why? And if you do, will it show up on the 2010 schedule? As a redo?

Mysterion said...

Rich:

That's tripitaka - which Soto does not stress.

Also "putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world..." should read "putting aside greed & craving with reference to the world..." (a very minor point).

and the word "breathing," though repeated is just a device to scaffold the various aspects of the lesson (just as a diamond is a device for carrying facets.

Back in the days of "memory palaces," the round brilliant cut with 58 facets was used to remember a sequence of 58 things.

Notice also how the scribed copied twice the introductory paragraphs - a common error in all scriptures.

Also notice how, in the years subsequent to the legendary event, names and numbers were added to authenticate the various branches and schools that had already developed around 'elders.'

My comments may be metacognitive and a bit off subject but that's kinda where my head rests. Old habits die hard.

anon #108 said...

M - you say: "...should read "putting aside greed & craving with reference to the world..."

This is the pali text:
àtàpi sampajàno satimà, vineyya loke abhijjhàdomanassam
Here translated as: ardent, fully aware, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

The translation you take issue with is of the compound abhijjhàdomanassam For abhijjha the Pali Text Society Dictionary gives "covetousness". For domanassam, grief. The Sanskrit equivalent of 'domanassa' is 'durmanas' (dur = bad/manas = mind) - hence, "bad disposition, perversity of mind...in bad or low spirits, sad, melancholy...sadness."

So not, I think, "greed and craving" (both of which are translations of abhijjhà), but "greed and distress/sadness"

Yeah, a very small point...but I was bored ;-)

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Interestingly -

The Sanskrit equivalent of abhijjhà is abhidhyA, comprising the prefix 'abhi', meaning "towards/into/over/upon" and 'dhyA' meaning 'thinking/meditation'. Hence, for abhidhyA the Monier-Williams Dictionary gives "wish, longing for, desire" - presumably via 'thinking/contemplating towards/upon (something)'.

- And 'dhyA' is derived from the same root (dhyai, to think of/imagine/contemplate/meditate on) as the noun 'dhyAna' = ch'an = zen.

Well it interests me.

opium said...

Remember these guys?

Only in San Francisco...

Dinner with the brother of the President of Afghanistan.

Now that the Bushies are out, there is a future for Hamid Karzai - bussing dishes at his brother's restaurant.

Will Afghanistan return to Buddhism? I wonder.

Anonymous said...

one thing done at ZCLA, (other places too, I believe) is a service for 'hungry ghosts' in which the person officiating the service makes all these special hand movements to 'call forth' the hungry ghosts. These hand movements are covered by a cloth so that the rest in attendance do not see what they are. These hand movements are considered dangerous and not to be imitated; hence hiding them under a cloth.

I've wondered about this. I've wondered about this business of 'hungry ghosts' being considered as being 'outside' of me, or the need to make what are treated as dangerous gestures to summon the hungry ghosts forth.

Where does this stuff come from?

I've wondered about a practice which incorporates such regular services: what does it open up? what is it flirting with?

anybody out there got some thoughts?

Mysterion said...

Start with the Zen of Eating

Hungry Ghosts = Halloween.

It is a corruption of Buddhism by China and silly beyond my wildest dreams. It also makes for good mellow-drama and can be a device for pulling in the gullible.

Even a ceremony of remembrance for those members of the sangha that have died. I no longer participate but I did when they held a separate one for departed pets.

It is mostly a lantern lighting ceremony.

Hungry Ghosts are just "Night of the Living Dead" bullshit.

Mysterion said...

Try Obon Odori on for size...

“Obon is a time to remember and honor all those who have passed on before us. It is a time to appreciate all that they have done for us and to recognize the continuation of the influence of their deeds upon our lives. Obon is also a time of self-reflection; the joy one feels is not from the happiness of getting what you desire, but the joy of being shown the truth — the joy of awareness.”*
source

now my wife is dancing and singing the Obon Odori saying: "You started it!"

LOL

Mysterion said...

Obon Odori a.k.a. Yukata Time

anon #108 said...

Aaron/gniz's "Reblogging Brad Warner" blog has been dormant for a while...There are a couple of new posts up.

Smith said...

"Eight in 10 English men 'will be too fat by 2020, according to new data released Wednesday.

Researchers said that while recent research showed obesity among children levelling off, instances among adults show no sign of doing the same. "

I don't know what to say to this.. It's a lie just like global warming is a lie. Seven out of ten men at the very most.. Sorry to go off topic but this is too much!

john e mumbles said...

Its Maitreya, the archetypal laughing Buddha with the enormous belly manifesting...in England anyway.

mtto said...

Sweet. I made it on the hardcore zen blog. Now I'm big time!

Two things about the quote from Dogen's extensive record that myst linked to above. The next part, in true Dogen style, sort of contradicts what he wrote in the first part. Second, the Hinayana schools which Dogen criticized were not the same as Theravada, they were Japanese schools.

http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/how_to_do_zazen.html

anon #108 said...

Hi mtto,
Thanks for the heads-up.

You must mean this 'next' part (which I don't read as any sort of contradiction of the first part)...

"There is also the Mahayana way of regulating breathing. That is, knowing that a long breath is long and that a short one is short. The breath reaches the tanden and leaves from there. Although the exhalation and inhalation are different, they both pass through the tanden. When you breathe abdominally, it is easy to become aware of the transciency (of life), and to harmonize the mind.

My late teacher Tendo said, “The inhaled breath reaches the tanden; however, it is not that this breath comes from somewhere. For that reason, it is neither short nor long. The exhaled breath leaves from the tanden; however, it is not possible to say where this breath goes. For that reason, it is neither long nor short”. My teacher explained it in that way, and if someone were to ask me how to harmonize one's breathing, I would reply in this way: although it is not Mahayana, it is different from Hinayana; though it is not Hinayana, it is different from Mahayana. And if questioned further regarding what it is ultimately, I would respond that inhaling or exhaling are neither long nor short."


Is Dogen describing what is pro-actively to be done, or something that happens? I think the "it's just what happens" understanding that proulx michel attributed to Gotama (2.43am) might be Dogen and Tendo's understanding, but not Gotama's. I think Gotama's and Dogen's approaches to knowing that a long breath is long and that a short one is short might be different.

...which I find interesting, but not a problem.

CynicalBoy said...

Eat, sleep, desire, breathe
But not too much of any one
There isn't much time

Anonymous said...

"Sweet. I made it on the hardcore zen blog. Now I'm big time!"

Aww...don't be that way, mtto.

No idea who your talking about...could be anyone, including you, your very own self, of course. It's not a bad thing to want to engage with people on teh interwebs...and to get to see your name in lights at the same time. You can learn from that.

Anonymous said...

Name in lights??

Yes. Even us anonymouses!
I know it's ME.

Mark Foote said...

Alright, I like to talk to myself, it's true. Here I am, doing so again in the disguise of a comment on comments on comments.

My experience has been this: at some point in my practice, the long and the short of inhalation and exhalation enters in. It's taken me a lot of years and a lot of luck to discover that the "cross-legged" posture is more about the cranial-sacral rhythm than the pulmonary rhythm, but having found that out I still discover that there is a moment where the apprehension of the character of the specific movement of breath enters in. To my mind, this is in fact the most difficult aspect of the Gautamid's practice to discover in my own experience (even though in the "intent concentration on in-breaths and out-breaths" he goes on to describe mindfulness of impermanence, detachment, cessation, and relinquishment).

I can't speak to the context of Dogen's remarks, or those of his teacher, but I can say that as in hypnosis, only the positive and substantive suggestion makes it for me on some level. The Gautamid was remarkable for saying positive, substantive things about the relationships that matter, and many Zen teachers who no doubt were (are) saints in their own right have been content to be the left hand to his right, and speak mostly in "no" and "not". I myself have found the vocabulary I needed to learn to sit the lotus in the literature of cranial-sacral therapy, in the facts of anatomy, and in the teachings in the sutta volumes of the Pali Canon.

In that vocabulary, the place of occurrence of consciousness is dictated largely by the needs of the pulmonary and cranial-sacral respirations. Gudo speaks of SNS and PNS, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system; turns out one of these concerns the heart and lungs and chest area, and the other concerns the sacrum and cranium (and the guts). I wish Gudo were able to explain his theory more completely, but I can understand that he cannot (at least I haven't seen the explanation, if he has it). At any rate, the key for me is that the place of occurrence of consciousness can precipitate action in the body, the sense of place in the contact of the six senses has impact on the fascial stretch throughout the body as consciousness takes place, and the impact of the sense of place on the stretch can open feeling to the surface of the skin throughout the body.

The other difficulty in the Gautamid's teaching is his use of the word impact, as in the sermon on the six-fold sense field in majjhima nikaya. Kobun Chino said that the literal meaning of the components of the word shikantaza is something like "pure hit sit", and I believe this "hit" is the impact in the fascial stretch of the occurrence of consciousness(and activity is initiated by that stretch, without the exercise of volition), and this accords well with the Gautamid's teaching.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to say anything negative about Doug Fieger or the Knack.

anon #108 said...

Hi Mark Foote -

You may be right. You may be 'on to something'. But it's all beyond me. I'd need to read and learn an awful lot to be in a position to think or say anything useful about your ideas. With respect, I can't see that happening. Not in a hurry.

If what you're saying is important, could you say it simply, in words an idiot like me might understand?

Mark Foote said...

Hey Anon108,

thanks for your question, yes I can simplify it. I'm sure you know that when we write, we write for ourselves, and if we can find our muse then we write to answer our own questions. I wrote a piece called "the mudra of zen"; I titled it that before I knew what I was going to say, and then I wrote to find what I had to say about that. You can google it, I bought the "idiot's guide to web pages" and put it up, probably so I could reread it from time to time. I wrote some letters to some friends, those are up there, there are links at the bottom. I would give you the link but either Google or Brad has inhibited links from this column. Lately I wrote "an unauthorized and incomplete guide to zazen", you can google "zazen guide" for that. I have a blog, and I am adding my entries from Tao Bums, this site, and others because I think the only way for people to understand what I have to say is to hear it in context, in as many different contexts as I can write to. I'm not that good, I know; wordy and around the point, so I am gathering up whatever I can to keep the thread going, so to speak.

With respect to what I said about consciousness, impact and feeling, here is the great one:

(Anyone)…knowing and seeing eye as it really is, knowing and seeing material shapes… visual consciousness… impact on the eye as it really is, and knowing, seeing as it really is the experience, whether pleasant, painful, or neither painful nor pleasant, that arises conditioned by impact on the eye, is not attached to the eye nor to material shapes nor to visual consciousness nor to impact on the eye; and that experience, whether pleasant, painful, or neither painful nor pleasant, that arises conditioned by impact on the eye—neither to that is (such a one) attached. …(Such a one’s) physical anxieties decrease, and mental anxieties decrease, and bodily torments… and mental torments… and bodily fevers decrease, and mental fevers decrease. (Such a one) experiences happiness of body and happiness of mind. (repeated for ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind).

Whatever is the view of what really is, that for (such a one) is right view; whatever is aspiration for what really is, that for (such a one) is right aspiration; whatever is endeavour for what really is, that is for (such a one) right endeavour; whatever is mindfulness of what really is, that is for (such a one) right mindfulness; whatever is concentration on what really is, that is for (such a one) right concentration. And (such a one’s) past acts of body, acts of speech, and mode of livelihood have been well purified.

(Majjhima-Nikaya, Pali Text Society volume 3 pg 337-338, ©Pali Text Society)

thank you, let me know what you think, and please feel free to comment on my blog (google zazen notes)

yers & gassho, Mark

PA said...

That's a seriously spiffy new site - love it!
And good luck with the homeless thing :-)

tingting said...

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Rachael said...

This cannot have effect in actual fact, that's what I think.