How do you make decisions?

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Alberto
    Member
    • Apr 2008
    • 78

    How do you make decisions?

    This link may be of interest in the study of the preson we tend to think makes decisions

  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39065

    #2
    Re: How do you make decisions?

    Originally posted by HezB

    Master Dogen and Nishijima Roshi were/are quite big on 'intuitive right action', the idea that we eventually harmonize with universal 'rightness' through our practice (we become somebody 'who cannot break the precepts' as Nishijam Roshi puts it).
    Hi,

    I don't think that anyone is saying that Zazen Practice will always let one know "the right decision" (e.g., which number to choose on the roulette wheel of life). I think that if you ask Nishijima Roshi's family members, students or the other folks that know and love him, they will tell you that he is not always "right" (even when he thinks he is). Same for anyone, long time Zen Practitioner or not.

    But what Buddhist teachings and Zazen Practice will allow to happen is a new way to look at "right" and "wrong", and also a new way to open to ourselves in making choices.

    So, for example, when practicing Zazen together with the Precepts, we tend to be gentler, more generous, patient, tolerant and forgiving (yes, the "6 Paramita Virtues" I am discussing on the netcast). We will also more easily seek to choose the way that avoids harm, and that is giving, harmless or helpful to ourselves and others (not two). Yes, I think our personality can change in that way. There will be less resistance to life, more a feeling of harmony and going with "the flow" (the 'Tao' perhaps).

    But that does not mean that the effects of our actions will always be as we anticipate, or that the available data will be complete, or that we won't make dumb decisions or screw things up royally and make a mess of it all.

    However, that is when our Zazen Practice allows us to know that, at the crossroads of life, the road we choose is just the road we choose, beyond "right" or "wrong". For that reason, being just our life, it is always "Right". If you seek to choose the straight and smooth road, but you accidently choose the winding, dead-end and bumpy road ... then just "bump bump bump!". That is life.

    So, yes, in that way, our choices are always "Right"!

    Gassho, Jundo (don't doubt what I say, for I am never wrong) 8)
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Dojin
      Member
      • May 2008
      • 562

      #3
      Re: How do you make decisions?

      Yes i totally agree with Jundo.
      there is no right or wrong... only the idea of right or wrong.

      whenever someone asks me what do i think is right and what he should do...
      i always tell them to do what feels right. and what they actually want to do... if they tell me that they do no know what they want or should do. i always remind them it is their life and they know better than anyone about it, they usually agree and admit it to themselves that they wish to do something more than the other.

      but if you think of it, the right action one chooses is usually right for him, and even if it is wrong than it is wrong for him... one mans hell is another mans paradise.

      i guess dropping all judgment of right and wrong good or bad. and anything else in zazen really transcends the sitting and accompanies you to all areas of life.

      Gassho, Daniel ( making the "right" choice by keeping it short )
      I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment
      - the Buddha

      Comment

      • Ryumon
        Member
        • Apr 2007
        • 1689

        #4
        Re: How do you make decisions?

        Originally posted by Zen
        there is no right or wrong... only the idea of right or wrong.
        Of course there's right and wrong, it's just we don't see it, because very few of our decisions are that crucial. Should I drive of that cliff, or make a left. There's certainly a right or wrong there. Should I put my hand into that animal's mouth? But since we came out of the caves, we don't often have decisions to make.

        (Actually, if you watch yourself some day, you'd probably be surprised how many "right" decisions you make that keep you alive...)

        Kirk
        ---
        Ryūmon (Kirk)
        流文

        SAT/LAH

        I know nothing.

        Comment

        • Tb
          Member
          • Jan 2008
          • 3186

          #5
          Re: How do you make decisions?

          Originally posted by kirkmc
          Originally posted by Zen
          there is no right or wrong... only the idea of right or wrong.
          Of course there's right and wrong, it's just we don't see it, because very few of our decisions are that crucial. Should I drive of that cliff, or make a left. There's certainly a right or wrong there. Should I put my hand into that animal's mouth? But since we came out of the caves, we don't often have decisions to make.

          (Actually, if you watch yourself some day, you'd probably be surprised how many "right" decisions you make that keep you alive...)

          Kirk
          Hi.
          I do believe if you say one thing is right then the other is wrong.
          But that is only if you look in a small perspective, for example what may be right for you (eating a whole cheese because you like cheese) might be wrong for another (who is allergic to cheese).
          To quote another old zenguy, you think to small!
          There is no "universal right or wrong" there just is.

          May the force be with you
          Tb
          Life is our temple and its all good practice
          Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

          Comment

          • Ryumon
            Member
            • Apr 2007
            • 1689

            #6
            Re: How do you make decisions?

            Again I disagree. It's very zen to say there's no right or wrong, but, seriously, look at everything you do during a given day, look at how many decisions, if made incorrectly, could cost you your life. Crossing a street? Driving a car? Choosing fruit or food that may look like it's past its date?

            There's right, there's wrong, and there's maybe. We make many more right/wrong decisions in a day, it's just we don't reflect on them because the right way (crossing the street on a green light) is so obvious.

            Kirk
            ---
            Ryūmon (Kirk)
            流文

            SAT/LAH

            I know nothing.

            Comment

            • will
              Member
              • Jun 2007
              • 2331

              #7
              Re: How do you make decisions?

              When we do what we do, whether look both ways when we cross the street, or don't drive off a cliff, they are actions that are done, but they are just done. No right, no wrong only present action. If we were to stand around thinking about right and wrong, then it would take a long time to cross the street.

              So which part of us labels what's right and what's wrong?

              Gassho Will
              [size=85:z6oilzbt]
              To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
              To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
              To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
              To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
              [/size:z6oilzbt]

              Comment

              • Ryumon
                Member
                • Apr 2007
                • 1689

                #8
                Re: How do you make decisions?

                Sigh... You're telling me you don't look and decide whether you should cross or not?

                Kirk
                ---
                Ryūmon (Kirk)
                流文

                SAT/LAH

                I know nothing.

                Comment

                • will
                  Member
                  • Jun 2007
                  • 2331

                  #9
                  Re: How do you make decisions?

                  Of course I do, but do I say to myself it's wrong or right? Ha.

                  I live here in China, and crossing the street is quite the affair in some places. If you hesitate and think about it, you could very well get hit by a car. Or, you could be waiting for a quite a while until there are no cars, which is ok if you got no where particular to get to

                  Gassho
                  [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                  To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                  To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                  To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                  To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                  [/size:z6oilzbt]

                  Comment

                  • will
                    Member
                    • Jun 2007
                    • 2331

                    #10
                    Re: How do you make decisions?

                    Let me put it this way Kirk. There is the one side that likes to label what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes this particular side of us forces those rights and wrongs on others. Then there is the other side of us which realizes that things are inherently empty. Being so, there is no right and wrong. Although this is the case, right and wrong or "pure conduct" naturally arises. So, we save the drowning child in the lake. Actually, we don't need to save the drowning child in the lake because that is inherently empty; however, it is a sad practice or person that ignores such a thing.

                    So pure conduct or right and wrong go hand in hand with emptiness. Without gratitude and doing good, I feel this practice isn't really worth anything and we might as well just not practice.

                    Practice can come from many angles. The way I see it, there is a reason why we call it Zen "Buddhism". The Buddha didn't only teach emptiness.

                    So in this society, although we know there are no rules or right and wrong, we follow the rules and try to do good

                    Gassho Will
                    [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                    To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                    To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                    To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                    To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                    [/size:z6oilzbt]

                    Comment

                    • Jundo
                      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                      • Apr 2006
                      • 39065

                      #11
                      Re: How do you make decisions?

                      Originally posted by Zen
                      Yes i totally agree with Jundo.
                      there is no right or wrong... only the idea of right or wrong.
                      Hi,

                      I have read the above debate among Will, Kirk and Daniel, and I want to say that you are all "right" and all "wrong" :wink:

                      Okay, I think we do have "rights" and "wrongs" in Zen Practice, and in life in general (not really two things, by the way ... life and Zen Practice).

                      It is true that we drop all thought of "Right" and "Wrong". This is true on Channel One.

                      But, on Channel Two, we must do what Kirk said ... choose the road less likely to lead off a cliff.

                      Remember, please, "Jundo's Law", that we are always functioning on these multi-layered, seemingly conflicting perspectives in our Zen Practice, in total harmony ... so "drop all right and wrong" and "there are rights and wrongs", no problem!

                      So, what is "wrong" in Zen Practice? Well, the Precepts set out many gray areas, but there are clearly areas that are "wrong" according to the precepts because they clearly cause harm. For example, driving your car intentionally to hit somebody ... pretty clearly wrong. Becoming a prisoner of greed, anger and ignorance ... clear wrong.

                      Also, there is a "right" way and a "wrong" way to do Shikantaza. I wrote about this the other day:

                      Allowing things to just be the way they are, no judging, not resisting, being with the flow, allowing 'happy' days to be happy and 'sad' days to be sad, all while dropping all idea of 'happy' and 'sad', whether really enjoying or really not enjoying ... fully dropping away any and all thought of doing Zazen 'right' or doing it 'wrong' ... THIS IS DOING IT RIGHT. And when you are doing it right, it will usually feel like you are doing it right, for there is no resistance, and a great sense of balance.

                      Fighting things, wishing things were some other way that how they are, judging, resisting, going against the grain and the flow, wishing 'sad' days were happy or 'happy' days were happier ... filled with a sense of self bumping up against all the other 'selfs', with a mind held by thoughts of doing Zazen 'right' or doing it 'wrong' ... THIS IS DOING ZAZEN WRONG. And when you are doing it wrong, it will usually feel like you are doing it wrong, for there is resistance, and a sense of imbalance.

                      But as well, even at those times when Zazen feels 'wrong', when there is resistance or imbalance ... it is still 'right', still 'Zazen', still just what it is. It cannot be wrong.

                      Yes, that is a Koan. Is it clear? Please really really penetrate in your body and mind what I just wrote.
                      So, don't get too caught up in the idea that "there is no 'right' or 'wrong'. Also, do not get too caught up in the idea "there is 'right' and 'wrong'"

                      Gassho, Jundo
                      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                      Comment

                      • Dojin
                        Member
                        • May 2008
                        • 562

                        #12
                        Re: How do you make decisions?

                        i didnt mean literally there is no right and no wrong....
                        i only say that they are perspectives.
                        of course there is right things and wrong things.... but at the same time it is not right or wrong things.... it is just things.

                        like killing an endangered tiger... very wrong.... but killing that tiger to save the life of some one the tiger is trying to eat is right.

                        all things are right or wrong only in their time and place. so if nothing is always right or wrong.... there is not really a right or wrong. but they still exist at a certain point of time.
                        and then they are not right or wrong after that.
                        I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment
                        - the Buddha

                        Comment

                        • will
                          Member
                          • Jun 2007
                          • 2331

                          #13
                          Re: How do you make decisions?

                          There was no intentional debating in my post. Rather practice viewed from many angles (including those mentioned by others)

                          Gassho Will
                          [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                          To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                          To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                          To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                          To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                          [/size:z6oilzbt]

                          Comment

                          • Alberto
                            Member
                            • Apr 2008
                            • 78

                            #14
                            Re: How do you make decisions?

                            Remember, please, "Jundo's Law", that we are always functioning on these multi-layered, seemingly conflicting perspectives in our Zen Practice, in total harmony ... so "drop all right and wrong" and "there are rights and wrongs", no problem!
                            That is one of the most awesome aspects of our practice: the dismantling of our fundamentalist persona. I can remember a little concern I used to have: "If I begin to see things like these zen dudes, that may not be a really good thing, because in the real world consistency and a strong position is better appreciated by others". Just how dumb is that? Unless you're running for president, sticking firmly to this or that point of view usually doesn't help. Magnanimous mind is the strong, unwavering position most suited for a life full of inconsistency and paradoxical situations.

                            Comment

                            • will
                              Member
                              • Jun 2007
                              • 2331

                              #15
                              Re: How do you make decisions?

                              but killing that tiger to save the life of some one the tiger is trying to eat is right.

                              I don't know about that one. Hmmm... maybe we should just let the tiger eat us

                              And the baby tigers

                              Gassho
                              [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                              To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                              To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                              To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                              To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                              [/size:z6oilzbt]

                              Comment

                              Working...