Heaven and Hell

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Crystal
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Heaven and Hell

Post by Crystal » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:55 pm

I came across this response from the late Soto Zen teacher Gudu Wafu Nishijima to a question which was asked to him.

Q. What is Heaven and Hell ?

A. "Heaven is a human supposition and Hell is also a human supposition. But when our autonomic nervous system is balanced, it is just Heaven, and when our autonomic nervous system is not balanced, it is just Hell."

http://www.dogensangha.org/questions.html

Any comments?

I'd really appreciate straightforward answers please - without smilies jiggling about all over the place.


Many thanks _/|\_


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fuki
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by fuki » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Being swayed by conditions is heaven and hell, and thus we are transformed by our delusions and experience heaven or hell, eventhough there is no such thing.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

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jundocohen
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by jundocohen » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:15 pm

Crystal wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:55 pm
I came across this response from the late Soto Zen teacher Gudu Wafu Nishijima to a question which was asked to him.

Q. What is Heaven and Hell ?

A. "Heaven is a human supposition and Hell is also a human supposition. But when our autonomic nervous system is balanced, it is just Heaven, and when our autonomic nervous system is not balanced, it is just Hell."

http://www.dogensangha.org/questions.html

Any comments?

I'd really appreciate straightforward answers please - without smilies jiggling about all over the place.


Many thanks _/|\_


.
Hi Crystal,

I think that what my Teacher Nishijima meant was that, the question of "heavens" and "hells" after death aside, we see folks create mental heavens and hells for themselves (and for the people around them, near and far through their ugly or gentle thoughts words and acts) in -this- present life depending on whethere their heart and mind is balanced or disturbed.

Nishijima knew the peace and balance of the heartmind as what he called "balance of the autonomic nervous system," which he believe would free us from the excess desire, anger and violence and divided thinking which is the source of those hells. I think he went too far in ascribing so much to the "autonomic nervous system" (he was looking to be modern, inspired by Herbert Benson, in focusing on some physiological basis for behavior and the peace known in Zazen) but he was right on in saying that our heartmind creates heavens and hells in this life for ourself and other people we impact.

Gassho, Jundo
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Crystal
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Crystal » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:25 pm

'
Thank you for your replies, FukI and Jundo. I certainly don't believe in a literal heaven and hell as depicted in these 2 buddhist pictures below. To me they are mental states which we can all experiences at one time or another in our lives here and now.


Image

Image


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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Great Sage EofH » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:18 pm

Heaven and Hell describes exactly where we are. Everything here depends on everything else. We have Hell in Syria and Nigeria, and our proud nations (us) are doing everything they can to make Hell become Pure Hell. And we do it to keep ourselves in the Heaven of our pathetic cocoon of comfort. We spawn innumerable global Hells for sentient beings to die and suffer in, and scarcely do a damn thing about it, because our preoccupation is with being in Heaven. Sadly for us we miss the point, that there is only One Path, the Bodhisattvayana
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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boda
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by boda » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:25 pm

Can’t get more straightforward than a micro demo of hell —> :109:

What Nishijima could mean is that emotions are autonomous (we have no control over them).

Caodemarte
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:28 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:18 pm
...We have Hell in Syria and Nigeria...
As a former resident let me say that we should leave Nigeria out of this (Syria will have to speak for itself) where different people live in Hell and Heaven at different times. We will all go to both places countless times as our mind changes.

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jundocohen
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by jundocohen » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:54 pm

bodhi wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:25 pm
What Nishijima could mean is that emotions are autonomous (we have no control over them).
No, Bodhi, that was not his meaning.

He meant the "autonomic nervous system" ...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22685240

If you don't know what that is ...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0025455/

Nishijima was influenced by the writings, popular in the 70's, of Harvard Professor Herbert Benson on the "fight or flight" response and meditation.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... n-response

Nishijima was an early supporter of the idea that many of the effects of meditation and Zazen have physiological effects and a physiological basis. We now know that there is much more to it that just the autonomic nervous system, but that is one component.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Great Sage EofH » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:43 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:28 pm
SunWuKong wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:18 pm
...We have Hell in Syria and Nigeria...
As a former resident let me say that we should leave Nigeria out of this (Syria will have to speak for itself) where different people live in Hell and Heaven at different times. We will all go to both places countless times as our mind changes.
I’m merely responding to the current refugee crises; and I’m living in a nation that has hardened its own heart and deserving of condemnation - nothing more. Complicity is simply complicity
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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boda
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by boda » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:12 am

When the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous systems are balance we may be relatively resilient to stressors, even jiggly emoticons. Nevertheless for whatever reason an individual may be conditioned to have a negative or sympathetic nervous system activation to them. A negative or ‘hellish’ emotional response, in other words.

We need to take into consideration the the fact that “heaven” and “hell” are emotion concepts that are imparted to us by our culture, and which are linked to interoceptive sensations and our conditioning (such as to emoticons), all of which operate beneath conscious awareness. This autonomy is apparently essential for efficient responses. In this way our conscious minds are more like witnesses in our emotional lives than directors.

The subconscious mind is directly linked to the autonomic nervous system, whereas the conscious mind is less so.

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Crystal
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Crystal » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:06 am

bodhi wrote:We need to take into consideration the the fact that “heaven” and “hell” are emotion concepts that are imparted to us by our culture, and which are linked to interoceptive sensations and our conditioning (such as to emoticons),
NO. My objection to jumping emoticons around a screen has nothing to do with my emotions or conditioning, it's because I get visual migraine. Its because of an eye condition which is also triggered by dense blocks of font and various coloured fonts.Perhaps someone with an kind adult mentality will understand. In the meantime I'll take my posts to other places on the internet.


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Dan74
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Dan74 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:55 am

Crystal wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:06 am
bodhi wrote:We need to take into consideration the the fact that “heaven” and “hell” are emotion concepts that are imparted to us by our culture, and which are linked to interoceptive sensations and our conditioning (such as to emoticons),
NO. My objection to jumping emoticons around a screen has nothing to do with my emotions or conditioning, it's because I get visual migraine. Its because of an eye condition which is also triggered by dense blocks of font and various coloured fonts.Perhaps someone with an kind adult mentality will understand. In the meantime I'll take my posts to other places on the internet.


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Crystal,

I'm sorry that the smilies cause you discomfort. But in fairness you neglected to mention the reason for your request. Had you done so, I am sure they wouldn't be here in this thread.

Nevertheless, the forum is set up so that every time one replies, the silly things are right here on the right. This may be something for our incoming Tech Admin to address..

And lastly... I think this is your fourth Goodbye Cruel Forum post here...

_/|\_

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Crystal
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Crystal » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:53 am

.
Dan74 wrote:you neglected to mention the reason for your request.
Ah, ...perhaps I should have attached a note from my doctor.
Dan74 wrote:I think this is your fourth Goodbye Cruel Forum post here,
Really ? I wonder why!
but hey, who is counting
You are!
Stick around by all means but enough with the drama, please
How rude and aggressive.


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Dan74
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Dan74 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:58 am

Crystal wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:53 am
.
Dan74 wrote:you neglected to mention the reason for your request.
Ah, ...perhaps I should have attached a note from my doctor.
Dan74 wrote:I think this is your fourth Goodbye Cruel Forum post here,
Really ? I wonder why!
but hey, who is counting
You are!
Stick around by all means but enough with the drama, please
How rude and aggressive.


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Wondering is good. Not enough wondering and self-reflection in the world, IMO. "Rude and aggressive" was not my intention, but sometimes a time comes when you need to call a spade "a bloody shovel".

Didn't you use to study with Lama Yeshe? It was he, I think, who taught that people who push our buttons are our greatest teachers, if we are prepared to learn. Maybe we can both take this opportunity and make something good out of it? No need to proceed in a habitual predictable pattern..

Have a great Easter, Aloka.

_/|\_

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Crystal
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Crystal » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:09 am

Dan74 wrote: Didn't you use to study with Lama Yeshe?

No I didn't........and you are not my teacher either.

I've had some amazing one-to -one in "meat space" teachers from both Vajrayana and Theravada traditions, to whom I will always be indebted.


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Last edited by Crystal on Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:16 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Dan74
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Dan74 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:09 pm

I am reminded of this story, which though coming from a Rinzai master, is relevant to all of us.
A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: "Is there really a Heaven and a Hell?"
"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin.
"I am a samurai," the warrior replied.
"You, a soldier!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar."
Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head."
As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: "Here open the gates of Hell!"
At these words the samurai, perceiving the master's discipline and compassion, sheathed his sword and bowed.
"Here open the gates of Heaven," said Hakuin.

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KeithA
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by KeithA » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:59 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:09 pm
I am reminded of this story, which though coming from a Rinzai master, is relevant to all of us.
A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: "Is there really a Heaven and a Hell?"
"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin.
"I am a samurai," the warrior replied.
"You, a soldier!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar."
Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head."
As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: "Here open the gates of Hell!"
At these words the samurai, perceiving the master's discipline and compassion, sheathed his sword and bowed.
"Here open the gates of Heaven," said Hakuin.
I thought for sure when i saw the thread, this going to be the subject of it! lol!

I don't know much about "sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous systems"...

_/|\_
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

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Crystal
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by Crystal » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:34 pm

.

Gettan used to say to his companions, "When you have a talking mouth, you have no listening ears.
When you have listening ears, you have no talking mouth. Think about this carefully."


Source: Zen Antics...http://info.stiltij.nl/publiek/meditati ... tories.pdf



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Last edited by Crystal on Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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boda
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by boda » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:34 pm

Crystal wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:06 am
bodhi wrote:We need to take into consideration the the fact that “heaven” and “hell” are emotion concepts that are imparted to us by our culture, and which are linked to interoceptive sensations and our conditioning (such as to emoticons),
NO. My objection to jumping emoticons around a screen has nothing to do with my emotions or conditioning, it's because I get visual migraine.
Sorry to hear that. My wife gets nasty migraines so I know how bad they can be. If you’re interested in a practical solution see my post in the nothing goes topic.

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bokki
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Re: Heaven and Hell

Post by bokki » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:55 pm

Crystal, hm, plz bear a few words, b4 reacting
zen is quite used to intense questioning and free answ3ering
if two arrow heads do not meet in mid flight,
some injury is to be sustained.
so:
Gettan used to say to his companions, "When you have a talking mouth, you have no listening ears.
When you have listening ears, you have no talking mouth. Think about this carefully."
my eyes and ears r not subject to such random ..hmm. . .a pause, due 2 bad words..think about it. all senses come from 1, what is the above wisdom?

and who is gettan?


OkOkOk, crystal..
heaven and hell?
r u sure u want 2 ask, since u react emotionally 2 a lot..?

say, Crys, have u heard of a zen saying,? im not sure myself here..lol
it goes like this:
" A saint does not go to heaven, a sinner does not go to hell."

have u heard that 1, Crystal, or anyway, does it mean or say anything 2 u?

thnx, sry, Crystal.

big welcome 2 u.

bokki
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
- Linda Anderson

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