Reminder: Wheel Turning and Wheel Spinning ...

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39459

    Reminder: Wheel Turning and Wheel Spinning ...

    I posted this on a couple of threads today, and feel it deserves its own highlighting ...

    .............

    I wish a little ... that some of this conversation [and others like it] had an "off switch".

    It would be fine to discuss some of these topics in a forum about artificial intelligence or scifi, ethics or philosophy or the like ... but in a Zen Forum, we often find the clearest clarity by keeping things simple and avoiding questions. My job is often to toss cold water on good discussions. It is not because I am anti-intellectual and don't enjoy such dorm room and coffee shop ruminations (I do!!). It is just that, for Zen Practice, we generally find our "answers" by stilling the debating mind.

    For example, on the subject of the chicken-or-egg question of "mind" and "brain", please see this other thread where the question is side stepped.

    Brain, Mind ... NEVER MIND!
    NOTE FROM JUNDO: I SPLIT THIS BIG TOPIC FROM THE JUKAI DISCUSSION ON THE PRECEPT ON AVOIDING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT Isn't this like the difference between 'brain' and 'mind'? Brain may be the outward organ, but mind is the internal experience. Chet


    On the subject of "free will", Buddhists generally believe that ... imagined or not ... we seem to choose our next step, are ever at a crossroads, and certainly pay a good deal of the consequences of our volitional actions. Apart from that, we are happy to avoid the chicken-egg debate. More here:
    I APOLOGIZE FOR THE LENGTH OF THE FOLLOWING ... IT MAY TAKE SEVERAL LIFETIMES TO READ! [monk] Hi Ho, It's been a couple of weeks since our last "BIG Questions". But now fate has led us to the next which, though seemingly some of the trickiest, I find not so tricky at all ... What about KARMA? Mr. D asked ... In


    I offered this today on violent video games, and feel it may apply to this topic too ... and am not going to go much further.

    I would think that it is not good to hurt sentient beings, even if they are imaginary sentient beings and "simulated" violence.

    I am sorry if we sometimes sound like the "just stop it" fellow that was posted on another thread today ...


    ... but we are, although with an important twist. That twist is that we are more just "let it be" people when it comes to certain points of mental wheel spinning and debate. Is there free will, do robots have Buddha nature, is vanilla better than chocolate (and countless other such questions) ... just sit, live gently.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-15-2012, 05:49 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Shujin
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Feb 2010
    • 979

    #2
    From someone who is often carried away by thought, thank you Jundo.

    Gassho.
    Kyōdō Shujin 教道 守仁

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    • Heisoku
      Member
      • Jun 2010
      • 1338

      #3
      ... just sit, live gently.

      Gassho.
      Heisoku 平 息
      Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

      Comment

      • Heishu
        Member
        • Sep 2012
        • 484

        #4
        Sometimes we over think things,
        Sometimes we talk to much,
        Sometimes we need to be quite,
        Sometimes we need to just sit.

        Gassho,
        Alan


        “Blessed are the flexible, for they never get bent out of shape." Author Unknown

        Comment

        • disastermouse

          #5
          Sometimes we don't think enough,
          Sometimes we remain silent because we're uncomfortable with the topic,
          Sometimes we need to speak up,
          Sometimes we need to get up from our cushion and do something that needs doing.

          Gassho,

          Chet

          Comment

          • Omoi Otoshi
            Member
            • Dec 2010
            • 801

            #6


            /Pontus
            In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
            you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
            now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
            the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

            Comment

            • Heishu
              Member
              • Sep 2012
              • 484

              #7
              Originally posted by disastermouse
              Sometimes we don't think enough,
              Sometimes we remain silent because we're uncomfortable with the topic,
              Sometimes we need to speak up,
              Sometimes we need to get up from our cushion and do something that needs doing.

              Gassho,

              Chet
              My thoughts are my thoughts and I put them here in response to the OP. If it offended you I do not understand why. BTW I think that I was actually doing just what you said in your reponse to my post. I was thinking and therefore I spoke up. I no longer remained silent.

              Gassho,
              Alan


              “Blessed are the flexible, for they never get bent out of shape." Author Unknown

              Comment

              • disastermouse

                #8
                Originally posted by AlanIn
                My thoughts are my thoughts and I put them here in response to the OP. If it offended you I do not understand why. BTW I think that I was actually doing just what you said in your reponse to my post. I was thinking and therefore I spoke up. I no longer remained silent.

                Gassho,
                Alan
                Alan,

                I apologize - that post was completely not meant as a rebuff. I wasn't offended in the slightest and I have no problem with what you wrote - I merely thought that the corollary would be fun to post.

                No offense intended! Sorry.

                Chet

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39459

                  #9
                  Originally posted by disastermouse
                  Sometimes we don't think enough,
                  Sometimes we remain silent because we're uncomfortable with the topic,
                  Sometimes we need to speak up,
                  Sometimes we need to get up from our cushion and do something that needs doing.

                  Gassho,

                  Chet
                  This is a very very very important point, Chet, and I am glad you said it. You are exactly right, and I agree. However, in Zen Practice, there is a certain way to think-non-think, silently-speak and stilly-actively do-not-do. If such is lacking, then something is just a divisive debate between two opposing sides, or merely goal driven doing ... but not really Zen Practice.

                  The internet and airwaves are filled with disagreeing folks arguing this or that. Our heads are no better, filled with 1000 opinions and judgments of this life-self-world. We are always planning how to attain some targets, judging success or failure along the way. That is fine, that is to be human. I like a good debate or discussion, and have many opinions (some very strong) about things in this life and world, and lots of goals I work hard for big and small.

                  But Zen Practice is about not becoming lost and tangled in all that.

                  When the conversation become too dense, the opinions too strong, and the goals to one-sided and all encompassing ... we become caught in Delusion. Thus, all those famous Koans ...

                  Two monks were watching a flag waving in the wind. One said to the other, "The flag is moving."
                  The other said, "The wind is moving."
                  Sixth Ancestor Huineng overheard this. He said, "Not the wind, not the flag. Your mind is moving."


                  Of course, it is perfectly fine to argue and debate the relationship of wind and flags ... on an internet Forum or classroom devoted to aerodynamics for example. Likewise, for our discussions on robots and relationships and "what is a Buddhist" and the like. All fine to discuss ... so long as Huineng is also heard to say "Your mind is moving".

                  We should not fall into either the trap of words/opinions/thoughts/emotions or the trap of dullness/disconnectedness/passivity/emotionlessness.

                  In Zen Practice, we have a certain "Wu-Wei" Way (http://www.zencalligraphy.com/worksh...tyID=2782&t=dg) ... It is a "saying-not-saying" that, while sometimes involving the mouth being open or the mouth being closed, ALWAYS involves a certain Silence (big "S") heard even at the heart of words and opinions. It is a "doing-not-doing" that, while sometimes involving hard work toward a goal and sometimes sitting still, ALWAYS embodies a certain Stillness (big "S") in the heart of it all free of all need and goals.

                  So, for that reason, in a Zen Forum, we do not close down all conversations on politics, opinions, philosophy, film criticism or favorite ice cream flavors. Not at all! I am filled with personal opinions on each of those subjects (I voted in this election, Lawrence of Arabia and the Godfather are at the top of my film list, and cookies and cream is my flavor! ) However, in a Zen Forum, we need to toss water on those times which become so tangled merely in opinions and floods of words that the "Silent Stillness" can no long be heard.

                  Gassho, Jundo
                  Last edited by Jundo; 11-16-2012, 05:09 AM.
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • Geika
                    Treeleaf Unsui
                    • Jan 2010
                    • 4980

                    #10
                    I'm glad you mentioned Wu Wei. I haven't given it much thought since I was studying Daoism.
                    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
                    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

                    Comment

                    • Omoi Otoshi
                      Member
                      • Dec 2010
                      • 801

                      #11
                      Alan's and Chet's posts reminded me of Huineng's verse from the Platform sutra that he wrote on the wall in reply to the verse of the head monk. None better than the other. Both equally important.

                      Gassho,
                      Pontus
                      In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                      you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                      now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                      the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                      Comment

                      • Neika
                        Member
                        • Dec 2008
                        • 229

                        #12
                        Still stuck on wether vanilla is better than chocolate... now craving ice cream...

                        Really though, thank you Jundo.

                        Gassho
                        Neika / Ian Adams

                        寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
                        火 Ka - Fire

                        Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

                        Comment

                        • Mp

                          #13
                          Thank you for the clarity Jundo.

                          Gassho
                          Michael

                          Comment

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

                            #14
                            This is why I keep my words to the bare minimum, most of us are far too wordy and the job of teachers here is to help you to express living words from stilness and utter living words that return to stillness.

                            Gassho


                            Taigu
                            Last edited by Taigu; 11-16-2012, 04:54 AM.

                            Comment

                            • disastermouse

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Taigu
                              This is why I keep my words to the bare minimum, most of us are far too wordy and the job of teachers here is to help you to express living words from stilness and utter living words that return to stillness.

                              Gassho


                              Taigu
                              This reminds me of the Buddhist teacher who repeatedly insists that written words can't capture the dharma.












































                              (Who nonetheless writes books.)

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