It's a trap!

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  • disastermouse

    It's a trap!



    What do you think are the pitfalls on the path of Zen?

    (het
  • disastermouse

    #2
    Re: It's a trap!

    I guess I should start, huh?

    Well, how about this idea of 'Enlightenment' as a goal? As a permanent state or as some sort of conditioned thing that is exempted from the arising and passing away to which all conditioned things are subject?

    The idea that 'this can't be it, Enlightenment must be something else - something not present here!'

    Comment

    • Taigu
      Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
      • Aug 2008
      • 2710

      #3
      Re: It's a trap!

      Hi Chet,

      Indeed. This idea of enlightenment is a big distraction as well as a terrible expectation. At the same time it brings many people to a cushion and year after year they forget to chase the ghost. I think about the end of one of Joko Beck's books, this station where people go about their lifes without going to any other special place. I would call this way of being the spontaneous and natural action of Buddhas.

      This can't be it is a big obstacle and delusion.At the same time thinking that this is it is also a major problem. The invitation of Dogen is to be enlightened about our delusions not deluded about our enligthenment. For instance, as we spend the day, we can happily notice how far off we are, so many times. And just come back home. Until we drift again. As we walk, chat, shop, drive, sit or jump, come back to a state where nothing is fixed, and the identity drunk with its own pursuit. There is something not Zen at all in the core of our practice, no taste of Zen or enlightenment at all, as I wrote recently to one of my students:

      I also invite you to forget totally about Zen and act out from the selfless mind, free of discrimination and choices. We are not trying to nurture a religious mind, but to penetrate deeper into the lion's den. Once the lion tamed, once the lion, or the dragon, has had its share of your flesh and blood, the action is very natural, flowing, unconcerned by external conditions. Not tainted anymore. Having a mind like flowing water. Like clouds passing. Unsui, this is the old name given to the young monk... cloud , un,and water, sui. Allow your body mind to flow into every action, every situation.
      Something like that.

      Anyway, thank you for throwing yet another nice stone in this water.

      gassho


      Taigu

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39221

        #4
        Re: It's a trap!

        Yes, wonderful theme for a thread.

        Yes, I think that we can get trapped by thinking that this "enlightenment" dance ever stops.

        We can be both trapped by failing to see that "nothing is lacking in us, nothing must be added to this life and moment" ... and then trapped by the thought that we can thus just stop and be complacent because "nothing is lacking, nothing need be added." In fact, both realities are necessary to realize at once. We realize "enlightenment" ("realize", both in the meaning of "truly knowing" and of "making real, bringing to life") by our actions each step-by-step which realize these truths.

        The dance is always perfect, every step and stumble too. "Just what it is". But it is a trap to believe, thereby, that we do not have to constantly strive to keep our balance, not trip over our feet and that we need not work hard to be the most skillful and graceful dancers we can be. No goal, no finish line to cross ... yet we keep doing our best and pushing forward.

        No "traps" to fall into in this dance, so we strive as best we can not to fall (yet sometimes, fall we will!). A dance unending, no beginning no end ...

        Gassho, Jundo
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • Shohei
          Member
          • Oct 2007
          • 2854

          #5
          Re: It's a trap!

          Hiyas
          Self doubt and over confidence are a pitfall in this practice for me which makes me squirm by times.

          Actually I have to say that me thinking that this Zen has pitfalls is one too!! This practice is tricky (ooooh that peskwy wittle Zen!!) because we are. We dig the whole hole, read the warnings set up around it and then still fall right into it Reading, others experience and our own, usually points out these pitfalls very clearly and we still step and stumble into them, they are very important steps, as long as we learn from them - eventually ops: (said as i clamber up from one)

          Gassho
          Shohei

          Comment

          • scott
            Member
            • Oct 2009
            • 138

            #6
            Re: It's a trap!

            How is it possible to be over-confident in shikantaza?

            Comment

            • Dosho
              Member
              • Jun 2008
              • 5784

              #7
              Re: It's a trap!

              Having enemy ships in Sector 47? :mrgreen:

              Comment

              • Shohei
                Member
                • Oct 2007
                • 2854

                #8
                Re: It's a trap!

                Originally posted by scott
                How is it possible to be over-confident in shikantaza?
                Hi Scott!
                hmm perhaps by thinking I cannot be over confident?
                Or perhaps by thinking "Ah I've got it because i sit so much/so right"? I really dunno.

                I was not being specific about shikantaza...Thinking more broadly about this:

                What do you think are the pitfalls on the path of Zen?
                I was taking that statement to mean the path in general. As in getting over confident that - HA! I HAVE IT...
                to be honest Im still "trying" to get it -LOL! you know... im deluded about there being an IT to get L ...Ill inevitably scream Whooo i got it,.... but thats another day, another delusion

                Gassho
                Shohei

                Comment

                • scott
                  Member
                  • Oct 2009
                  • 138

                  #9
                  Re: It's a trap!

                  Originally posted by Shohei
                  Originally posted by scott
                  How is it possible to be over-confident in shikantaza?
                  Hi Scott!
                  hmm perhaps by thinking I cannot be over confident?
                  Or perhaps by thinking "Ah I've got it because i sit so much/so right"? I really dunno.

                  I was not being specific about shikantaza...Thinking more broadly about this:

                  What do you think are the pitfalls on the path of Zen?
                  I was taking that statement to mean the path in general. As in getting over confident that - HA! I HAVE IT...
                  to be honest Im still "trying" to get it -LOL! you know... im deluded about there being an IT to get L ...Ill inevitably scream Whooo i got it,.... but thats another day, another delusion

                  Gassho
                  Shohei
                  Oh, OK, I get it now. Overconfident because you think you "get it". I'm chuckling. But what do you do after you scream you got it (woohoo)? Since you have superb confidence that you've had a stupendous kensho experience, you don't strive to "get it" anymore ... so you actually can "get it", yes? :-D

                  Comment

                  • Shohei
                    Member
                    • Oct 2007
                    • 2854

                    #10
                    Re: It's a trap!

                    Oh, OK, I get it now. Overconfident because you think you "get it". I'm chuckling. But what do you do after you scream you got it (woohoo)?
                    Hi Again!

                    beats me
                    depends on who that You is pointing at.
                    - now who said I got it (or anything else)?

                    Since you have superb confidence that you've had a stupendous kensho experience, you don't strive to "get it" anymore ...
                    Hmm if that "you" is pointed at me, and not us... then I would say I do not have supreme confidence in that much about me. I lean towards plenty of self doubt. Im working with that. Kensho shmensho - I do not think I have experienced that. The woohoos for me are more like "kids slept in!" or snowday!! or Hot water!!! breath in!!!

                    So you actually can "get it", yes? :-D
                    Skip, skip, skip to my Lou! ops:

                    Gassho
                    Shohei

                    Comment

                    • Rich
                      Member
                      • Apr 2009
                      • 2595

                      #11
                      Re: It's a trap!

                      this is the trap. thinking there is something to get or understand. just do it. it,s a bitch sometimes byt you just keep trying. so my biggest pitfall is either not being present or thinking there is something oth3er than this moment.
                      "look what i've got, its nothing at all" from the forgotten song

                      /rich
                      _/_
                      Rich
                      MUHYO
                      無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                      https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                      Comment

                      • disastermouse

                        #12
                        Re: It's a trap!

                        Originally posted by Jundo
                        Yes, wonderful theme for a thread.

                        Yes, I think that we can get trapped by thinking that this "enlightenment" dance ever stops.

                        We can be both trapped by failing to see that "nothing is lacking in us, nothing must be added to this life and moment" ... and then trapped by the thought that we can thus just stop and be complacent because "nothing is lacking, nothing need be added." In fact, both realities are necessary to realize at once. We realize "enlightenment" ("realize", both in the meaning of "truly knowing" and of "making real, bringing to life") by our actions each step-by-step which realize these truths.

                        The dance is always perfect, every step and stumble too. "Just what it is". But it is a trap to believe, thereby, that we do not have to constantly strive to keep our balance, not trip over our feet and that we need not work hard to be the most skillful and graceful dancers we can be. No goal, no finish line to cross ... yet we keep doing our best and pushing forward.

                        No "traps" to fall into in this dance, so we strive as best we can not to fall (yet sometimes, fall we will!). A dance unending, no beginning no end ...

                        Gassho, Jundo
                        People seem to fall into two camps on this, eh? Either they strive thinking they'll get somewhere, or they lose sincerity of practice and do not put real effort into it.

                        Chet

                        Comment

                        • disastermouse

                          #13
                          Re: It's a trap!

                          Originally posted by Dosho
                          Having enemy ships in Sector 47? :mrgreen:
                          Hey, don't make me post the non-Star Wars trap photos! LOL. 4chan really is the Wild West.

                          Chet

                          Comment

                          • Dosho
                            Member
                            • Jun 2008
                            • 5784

                            #14
                            Re: It's a trap!

                            Hey Chet,

                            Sorry for the sidetracking joke...just couldn't resist and now all I can think about is that Robot Chicken bit with Admiral Akbar Cereal (Colorful marshmallows! Imitation crabmeat! Your tongues can't repel flavor of that magnitude!) :lol:

                            I digress...

                            As for the actual question, I noticed that lately I rarely if ever comment on threads in the Zazen, etc. part of the forum since I basically think to myself, "What the heck do I know about zen?" So, I definitely tend towards the self doubt end of the spectrum, more often than not in the extreme. I did get "flashes" of the other end, believeing I may have uncovered some special tenet of zen, but I try not to focus on them too much and don't really consider any of it kensho or satori or anything of that nature. Maybe it was or is, but does that really matter? I don't believe so.

                            There is one thing however that leads me towards thoughts of "I've got it" since I've had some of the most profound realizations about my life while sitting. Again, I don't really think of these as enlightenment or steps towards it since my mind wanders towards issues of the past or present, not the future. I've often wondered if zen or shikantaza is like allowing your mind/self to unravel but doesn't offer any input on putting it back together. That's been my experience and I don't ever try to compare that to anyone else.

                            Some of these realizations have been startling and even led me to stop sitting for quite awhile. It was only about a week ago I really got down to sitting again (in a literal sense of placing my behind on a zafu) because the experiences were often very painful emotionally. I've always believed one should never pull at the tapestry of one's life since any string could be important to who you are (a pre-zen concoction of my hyperactive mind), but sitting seemed to undo that idea as well. The biggest realization I've had is that, and this may sound harsh, I hate myself. I don't mean that I hate parts of me...I basically believe I'm a worthless waste of space. I've written about that before, but the new parts are how that thought connects to nearly every struggle I've ever had.

                            I'm rambling a bit here...I suppose I end with the same thing I started with (besides the Admiral): I don't know jack about zen. Maybe what I've experienced is zen, maybe it's not....I don't really concern myself with the question anymore, although I would like to feel confident enough to participate in discussions on the topic. That would be nice rather than, as I am now, thinking what I just wrote is probably a big pile of crap.

                            That help?

                            Gassho,
                            Dosho

                            Comment

                            • Rich
                              Member
                              • Apr 2009
                              • 2595

                              #15
                              Re: It's a trap!

                              Originally posted by Dosho
                              Hey Chet,


                              The biggest realization I've had is that, and this may sound harsh, I hate myself. I don't mean that I hate parts of me...I basically believe I'm a worthless waste of space. I've written about that before, but the new parts are how that thought connects to nearly every struggle I've ever had.

                              I'm rambling a bit here...I suppose I end with the same thing I started with (besides the Admiral): I don't know jack about zen. Maybe what I've experienced is zen, maybe it's not....I don't really concern myself with the question anymore, although I would like to feel confident enough to participate in discussions on the topic. That would be nice rather than, as I am now, thinking what I just wrote is probably a big pile of crap.

                              That help?

                              Gassho,
                              Dosho
                              I don't know you personally but I do know that you are not 'a worthless waste of space'. We all have aspects of ourselves that we don't like but maybe 'forgetting the self' makes even those go away. There is something intrinsically pure in all of us and you don't have a choice about that. The first thing to do is love and take care of yourself. But you are right, that deep habitual habit of feeling like 'a worthless waste of space' or 'feeling like a failure' or whatever negative program was imprinted on your brain will always set you up for that exact negative feeling and will 'connect with every struggle' you have ever had. So it doesn't matter what you think you have understood or attained, this life is always a work in progress, always trying to just sit or just do what you are doing. I hope you break free, find peace and save us all.
                              /Rich
                              _/_
                              Rich
                              MUHYO
                              無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                              https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

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