TED Lecture

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  • Dojin
    Member
    • May 2008
    • 562

    TED Lecture

    A nice lecture on TED about meditation



    Gassjo, Dojin.
    I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment
    - the Buddha
  • Sydney
    Member
    • Aug 2010
    • 120

    #2
    It's good to see the public being exposed to the idea of taking a 10 minute break from the cycle of crazy.
    Diligently attain nothing. Sort of. Best not to over-think it.
    http://www.janxter.com/

    Comment

    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39441

      #3
      Thank you, Dojin.

      It sounds lovely. I support the whole world taking a few minutes each day of letting thoughts go. I gave a listen to a guided meditation he teaches.

      Click here to join Andy Puddicombe as he guides you through a ten-minute meditation, part of his "TAKE TEN" program. For more, read his book GET SOME HEADSP...


      But I might offer my small reservations about some forms of "mindfulness" mediation such as the above or by Jon Kabat Zinn. These are lovely ways to get people meditating who might no otherwise give it a go, or in setting (such as companies) where it would not otherwise be possible. However, if one strips Zazen or other meditation of some key Buddhist elements ... The Four Noble Truths, Non-self, Emptiness and the like ... then it becomes a bit like the sun without its light and heat, the ocean without the lively fish. Something is missing.

      Also, if the above meditation is any example, the emphasis can be too much on just "relaxing". Nothing wrong with that, but a valium or a back massage or a run might do better. Such is also small potatoes in the True Existential Freedom which this Way opens. It is sometimes called "Bompu Zen" (here is one teacher's take on the subject) ...

      Bompu zen, or "usual zen," means engaging in a meditation practice in order to procure the same kinds of things that one has always been looking for; that is to say health and happiness, some sense of well-being. (Zen practice without the motive or intention to liberation, for physical and mental well-being, relaxation, or stress management.) There is nothing wrong with wanting to develop a sense of health and well being. We are not saying that any of these approaches to practice are "wrong"; it is just that some of them are more limiting than others. To limit oneself when it is not necessary is like tying your own hands. ...

      ... [However], the fifth kind of Zen is saijojo zen which means "Great and Perfect Practice." It is great and perfect practice because it is not based on trying to realize anything. It is based on practising practice. It is based on sitting the sitting. It is based on seeing what you see, hearing what you hear, not looking for Buddha in any way but simply realizing one's own looking to be Buddha.
      Taigu spoke something touching this in his talk ... on not using Zazen as just a way to get another cheap and temporary pay off and passing "feel good" in life ...

      The Dharma is utterly useless


      Gassho, Jundo
      Last edited by Jundo; 03-04-2013, 04:42 AM.
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

      Comment

      • Sydney
        Member
        • Aug 2010
        • 120

        #4
        Interesting point, Jundo.

        I have been in the habit for a while of referring to stress relief and such as "side-effects" of the practice.
        Diligently attain nothing. Sort of. Best not to over-think it.
        http://www.janxter.com/

        Comment

        • Ernstguitar
          Member
          • Feb 2013
          • 97

          #5
          Dear Jundo,

          I am new in this forum and I needed a lot of time to read all the very good postings in this forum. I also had a few questions, which brought me to your forum. The questions are partly answered, but now I had the feeling that somehow I did not get it yet. If there is no goal and no "what´s next..", if there is no satori, dharma or enlightnment as a orientation, if just sitting is the way and the goal......How can sitting be "wrong" or not so elegant. How can zazen be "not zazen", if I want to decrease stress. If I sit for 30 min two times a day and I do all your instructions.....that is zazen. Or did I miss something? And that leads me to my 2nd question: "Some people go to treatments or sesshins. Whatfore ist that?" I hope, I made clear, what is my point of view. I want to contribute in a positive way in this forum. So, this is a real question. If we are all beginners and there is just zazen or shikantaza, what is wrong with health as intention and what is the "master" doing or the leader of a treatment?

          Gassho, Ernst

          Comment

          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39441

            #6
            Originally posted by Ernstguitar
            Dear Jundo,

            I am new in this forum and I needed a lot of time to read all the very good postings in this forum. I also had a few questions, which brought me to your forum. The questions are partly answered, but now I had the feeling that somehow I did not get it yet. If there is no goal and no "what´s next..", if there is no satori, dharma or enlightnment as a orientation, if just sitting is the way and the goal......How can sitting be "wrong" or not so elegant. How can zazen be "not zazen", if I want to decrease stress. If I sit for 30 min two times a day and I do all your instructions.....that is zazen. Or did I miss something? And that leads me to my 2nd question: "Some people go to treatments or sesshins. Whatfore ist that?" I hope, I made clear, what is my point of view. I want to contribute in a positive way in this forum. So, this is a real question. If we are all beginners and there is just zazen or shikantaza, what is wrong with health as intention and what is the "master" doing or the leader of a treatment?

            Gassho, Ernst
            Hi Ernst,

            I responded to you on another thread ...

            I recently read "Radically Condensed Instructions for Being Just as You Are" by J Jennifer Matthews. I thought it excellent, very thought-provoking and completely consistent with the perspective I discern in Zen teachings. actually, when I read it, I didn't think of it being other than a Zen Buddhist point of view.


            Gassho, Jundo
            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

            Comment

            • Neika
              Member
              • Dec 2008
              • 229

              #7
              TED really has some amazing stuff if you go back through the history of their speakers.
              Neika / Ian Adams

              寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
              火 Ka - Fire

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

              Comment

              • Nindo

                #8
                Originally posted by Jundo
                Also, if the above meditation is any example, the emphasis can be too much on just "relaxing". Nothing wrong with that, but a valium or a back massage or a run might do better.
                Sorry, Jundo, I disagree. The benefits I see in a program such as Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR by Kabat-Zinn) are

                1. The practitioner learns to "stand their own company", addressing such issues as self-worth, self created stress, lack of patience etc.
                2. The practitioner gains insight into mental patterns and habits, addressing destructive cycles of thoughts, self-talk, self-pity etc.

                I do not think that "valium or a back massage or a run" could provide the same, because they don't turn the practitioner towards the problem (their mental fabrications) but offer just another escape. Mental training stripped down of all buddhist trappings and beliefs is certainly not Buddhism or Zen anymore, but it does have its (proven) place in addressing mental and physical health issues.

                Comment

                • alan.r
                  Member
                  • Jan 2012
                  • 546

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Nindo
                  Sorry, Jundo, I disagree. The benefits I see in a program such as Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR by Kabat-Zinn) are

                  1. The practitioner learns to "stand their own company", addressing such issues as self-worth, self created stress, lack of patience etc.
                  2. The practitioner gains insight into mental patterns and habits, addressing destructive cycles of thoughts, self-talk, self-pity etc.

                  I do not think that "valium or a back massage or a run" could provide the same, because they don't turn the practitioner towards the problem (their mental fabrications) but offer just another escape. Mental training stripped down of all buddhist trappings and beliefs is certainly not Buddhism or Zen anymore, but it does have its (proven) place in addressing mental and physical health issues.
                  Yes, I'm absolutely with you, Nindo. Many counselors, psychiatrists, mental health professionals use meditation techniques to the great benefit of their patients. It's not Buddhism, but it's not the same as going on a run, either (and certainly not a valium). There is someone very close to me, actually, who has benefited from such things. Without the four noble truths, non-self, emptiness, etc, something might seem to be missing for us Zen and Buddhist peoples, but for someone else, just coming face to face with certain things during meditation is most certainly a great something gained (while there is nothing ever to be missed nor anything to be gained, wink).

                  I once heard a Theravada monk and the Dalai Lama say that the best thing for everyone on the planet would be to become monks, more and more becoming monks, and I have to say, that sounds just awful to this little mind. Even worse would be a bunch of zen assholes like me. There's a great danger in a culture consumed by soma (feel-good escaping from life) and we don't need more of that. But I'd say that in the light of our current culture, especially in America, which is one of absolutely consuming "feel good" culture, a culture of drug use and abuse, alcohol use and abuse, prescription drug use and abuse, entertainment mindlessness and abuse, consumer and materialistic abuse, all in the name of feeling good and being satisfied, etc, sitting down and being quiet for ten minutes is probably not a terrible proposition. And, I mean, I don't mean to be speculative or overly confident or just arrogant, but the Buddha did sit beneath a tree without any knowledge of the things he gave us - sometimes, perhaps fleetingly, I feel that things like no-self, emptiness, are so radically tied up with existence, with meditation itself, that it's possible for someone to get a taste without even the need of telling them what to taste. Not probable, but also not impossible. Okay, off high horse.

                  Gassho
                  Shōmon

                  Comment

                  • ZenHarmony
                    Member
                    • Feb 2012
                    • 315

                    #10
                    Well put, Shōmon, especially the part about Buddha sitting under the tree.

                    Gassho,

                    Lisa

                    Comment

                    • ZenHarmony
                      Member
                      • Feb 2012
                      • 315

                      #11
                      Oh, and in regards to Headspace, I like the guy, he has a soothing voice but after sitting zazen, I can't abide someone else's voice in my head during that time.

                      Gassho,

                      Lisa

                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39441

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Nindo
                        Sorry, Jundo, I disagree. The benefits I see in a program such as Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR by Kabat-Zinn) are

                        1. The practitioner learns to "stand their own company", addressing such issues as self-worth, self created stress, lack of patience etc.
                        2. The practitioner gains insight into mental patterns and habits, addressing destructive cycles of thoughts, self-talk, self-pity etc.

                        I do not think that "valium or a back massage or a run" could provide the same, because they don't turn the practitioner towards the problem (their mental fabrications) but offer just another escape. Mental training stripped down of all buddhist trappings and beliefs is certainly not Buddhism or Zen anymore, but it does have its (proven) place in addressing mental and physical health issues.
                        Hi Nindo,

                        Oh, this is a good point and you are right. All forms of Buddhism emphasize awareness of the "mind theatre" and getting past all the mind games we play. Here too, although we tend to do so "off the cushion" and not as part of Zazen "on the cushion" (as in Vipassana meditation).

                        Hi, Sometimes the simplest of practices can be most effective. The following is based on teachings by Thich Nhat Hahn as well as many others. It's roots stretch back to the very origins of Buddhism. It is a simple and common sense approach to changing how we think and feel ... realizing that our experience of life is always


                        If a non-Buddhist "mindfulness" meditation program emphasizes that as well, then yes, it has more value than I described, although I still think that if certain vital Teachings are left out (such as "Non-self", Emptiness, Dukkha and the Four Noble Truths, etc.) then much of the real medicine that goes to the heart of the human condition is missing.

                        I also would be cautious of any meditation program (whether Buddhist or not) that does emphasize simply attaining a feeling a peace and temporary pleasantness. In Shikantaza, I believe, we taste something much more profound ... a Peace of One Piece (capital "P") that holds all the broken life pieces of times which feel peaceful and times which are not peaceful at all, a Joy (big "J") that includes both times we feel joyful-happy and times we may feel sad or grieving, etc. That is something at the heart of Dukkha and the human condition of dissatisfaction.

                        For some reason, I am reminded of the "Serenity Now" meditation from Seinfeld!



                        Gassho, J
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • ZenHarmony
                          Member
                          • Feb 2012
                          • 315

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jundo
                          ...I still think that if certain vital Teachings are left out (such as "Non-self", Emptiness, Dukkha and the Four Noble Truths, etc.) then much of the real medicine that goes to the heart of the human condition is missing.
                          I feel this needs more discussion. Not to be disrespectful, but I think there are probably thousands of people out there who have come to realize these truths through mindfulness/meditation training and have never been exposed to the dharma - are their experiences any less valid than ours and who decides that? Personally, I went looking for the dharma when I started sitting seriously, but that's just me, I have a "need" to do things properly. But what of Buddha (the original one)? I know he was taught but did what he learn bring him to his awakening, or was it just sitting? By all accounts, he didn't suffer himself before leaving home but he was capable of feeling compassion for those who did. Did he have to learn compassion, or is it just part of our human-ness? And if you don't have to learn compassion, do you really have to learn dharma to be able to realize (awaken to) the truth?

                          I encourage my online friends to try mindfulness/meditation because I'm a firm believer that knowing your own mind is the first step in having a better and much more fulfilling life. If that leads them to Buddhism, great, I'll be there cheering them on, no matter what flavour they choose to follow. If it doesn't bring them to Buddhism, that's great, too, because I know they are still going to get great benefit from it, even if they don't understand the whys behind it.

                          Gassho,

                          Lisa

                          (Oh, and just to be absolutely clear, I know I get great benefit from it, even as I know there is nothing to expect, nothing to attain. And I am in no way dissing Zen at all. )

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39441

                            #14
                            Originally posted by ZenHarmony
                            I feel this needs more discussion. Not to be disrespectful, but I think there are probably thousands of people out there who have come to realize these truths through mindfulness/meditation training and have never been exposed to the dharma - are their experiences any less valid than ours and who decides that?
                            Hi Lisa,

                            Oh, I don't care how people come to experience the Liberation of Non-self, Emptiness, Dukkha and the Four Noble Truths, etc. ... whether from formal "Buddhism" or some other meditation program. But I think that, if those are left out, the real medicine of this Way is not taken. Many secular meditation programs leave all that out, and thus are nothing more than a band-aid for the ills of the human condition.

                            On the other hand, different strokes for different folks. Not everybody can handle and digest ... or may even need ... that particular medicine. It may be completely the wrong way for some, just as one medicine does not suit all patients.

                            I'm a firm believer that knowing your own mind is the first step in having a better and much more fulfilling life.
                            All Buddhists agree. Understanding, and not falling into the traps of the "mind theatre", is vital to all Buddhists of all flavors. If they can get that outside of Buddhism, fine too.

                            But lacking "Non-Self", Emptiness and the rest ... they may not really get the full extent of the "mind theatre" show.


                            And I am in no way dissing Zen at all. )
                            But here we just practice Zazen. This is a way which is whole and complete for many folks. The following old essay that someone linked too explains why, and please have a look ...

                            I wrote this for another place, but it is so important a reminder that I want to shout it from the rooftops here. Please sit Zazen in this way, tasting this. Live all of life this way ... Master Dogen often spoke about Zazen as "itself body-mind dropped off". I have this little way of explaining "Zazen is in


                            Other ways may be wonderful too. Flower Arranging or Karate are each wonderful arts too. However, we don't teach those here in our Zazen Dojo, and if wanting to learn flower arranging one should best seek out a teacher of flowers.

                            Gassho, J
                            Last edited by Jundo; 03-06-2013, 04:45 AM.
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • ZenHarmony
                              Member
                              • Feb 2012
                              • 315

                              #15
                              Yes, but we are not discussing flower arranging or karate, we are specifically discussing different ways of sitting, and the validness of such. I asked specifically, "are their experiences any less valid than ours and who decides that?" Also, can you please answer my question about Buddha:

                              "But what of Buddha (the original one)? I know he was taught but did what he learn bring him to his awakening, or was it just sitting? By all accounts, he didn't suffer himself before leaving home but he was capable of feeling compassion for those who did. Did he have to learn compassion, or is it just part of our human-ness? And if you don't have to learn compassion, do you really have to learn dharma to be able to realize (awaken to) the truth?"

                              I am asking questions in order to learn, will you teach? Or will you dismiss me and my observations with "if wanting to learn flower arranging one should best seek out a teacher of flowers."

                              Gassho,

                              Lisa

                              Comment

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