10/26 - Experiencing and Behavior p.90

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39272

    10/26 - Experiencing and Behavior p.90

    The prior discussion can continue, but we shall move on too ...

    Experiencing and Behavior! J
  • Keishin
    • Jun 2007
    • 471

    experience and behavior

    Hellos to everyone.
    Well this is a sweet morsel of a chapter.
    I was reminded a bit of phenomenology--the study of perception--but I've long forgotten what little I ever knew.

    It is very beautiful the way Joko takes a solid--a diamond hard solid, and shines a light right through it. There is no obstacle for this play of dancing, dazzling light and color: our persons, our personalities as we allow ourselves to be lived by life, just before thinking throws a blanket over everything.

    That pesky stinkin' thinkin'!

    Thank you, Joko!



    • Gregor
      • Apr 2007
      • 638

      What a chapter, very deep stuff. I'm a bit a loss for words after reading the chapter, such a profound teaching here.

      I won't try to boil it down because while my eyes are open to it, I don't feel like clouding it with my opinion. . . I'll just let the experience of reading the chapter speak for itself and go do some Zazen.

      Perhaps I'll fell more able to talk more about this latter.

      good night.
      Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)


      • John
        • Sep 2007
        • 272

        Yes, in a way, saying anything about this passage is succumbing to what she is talking about - the temptation to voice our judgemental opinions and biases. But I guess ‘you have to say something’, and I find it helps me to try to write something when I’m studying Zen books, even if it sounds like rubbish to everyone else - this fool rushes in..... I'm really only paraphrasing what Joko has said to see if I have understood it myself.

        I guess it would be possible to stay at the level she describes of ‘just experiencing’ (or would it?) if we were sufficiently ‘enlightened/realised’. We would then be experiencing and living life, reality, without the obscuring filter of conceptual, habitual, solidified thoughts and thereby reacting to others from a deeper, and more intuitive level. But I suppose this level of experiencing can only be allowed to develop gradually through our practice.

        It’s so easy to slip into judging people from their outward behaviour and not accepting, avoiding, or rejecting them on the basis of our judgement of this behaviour. But could we survive in this world by living out of pure experiencing? That would seem to make us too open and vulnerable to others. But, then again that’s probably the undesirable trait that Joko is pointing to - our tendency to want to protect, maintain and strengthen our carefully constructed and precious egoic self-image.



        • Eika
          • Sep 2007
          • 806

          Keishin wrote:
          . . . as we allow ourselves to be lived by life, just before thinking throws a blanket over everything.
          The crux of the chapter, I agree.

          I benefited from her clear explanation of how pure experiencing = true compassion—that only when we are free from separateness can we experience/become true compassion. I suppose glimpses of pure experience help us obtain glimpses of that kind of compassion and serve as a foundation for its further growth . . .

          John wrote:
          But could we survive in this world by living out of pure experiencing? That would seem to make us too open and vulnerable to others.
          My slant on this is that it is not an "either-or"situation. That what we want is to develop the skill to be in control ('in control' is not the best way to say it) of how we experience/react. For instance, an analytical mind is necessary for nearly all of our day to day activities. We could not drive in a state of pure awareness, we would wreck if we didn't not categorize objects as obstacles, etc. Likewise we could not communicate with others if we were in a "pure experience" state; conception and abstraction are the core of language. BUT, if we have a part of our mind that has become comfortable with the skill of pure experience, we might be able to 'run' that program in 'parallel' (rather than in 'series') with our day to day mind so that the two parts are in consultation with one another thereby allowing the everyday mind to have access to the wisdom of the 'pure experiencing' mind.
          There is a bit of brain research that suggests something similar in that are brains are actually multiple programs (minds) that work together, at least most of the time, to create what appears to be a single mind. This is used to explain folks like Mozart, who was completely clueless about many things but had a remarkable ability with music. That's just my spin on her teaching.

          Thanks to all . . . I like discussing books with you folks.

          [size=150:m8cet5u6]??[/size:m8cet5u6] We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life---John Cage


          • Bansho
            • Apr 2007
            • 532

            Hi everyone,

            This chapter reminded me of talk Jundo gave a while back on the topic of 'friction'. What Joko and Jundo have said is very true, we only see one side of the coin when we observe others' behavior. From others perspective, they always act correctly, just as each of us do from our own personal perspective. I try to keep this in mind when conflicts arise, or better said, before conflicts arise, since I’ve found that this really works in preventing them from arising. Even if I say 'A' and someone else says 'not A', we’re both correct from our own perspective, or as Joko says, as seen through the filter of our own experience.



            • Gregor
              • Apr 2007
              • 638

              The experience usually is never the problem, but how we react to it. . .

              In my Job (working in the ED) we deal with lots of "unpleasant" sights and smells, but in truth those things only become problematic to us if we let our minds dwell and react to them. Otherwise a smell is just a smell, its good to be mindful of our sensory perception and not let our aversions lead us around by the leash.
              Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)