Energy

Discussion of Zen Buddhism.
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Larry
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Energy

Post by Larry » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:58 am

Just lifted this very interesting post by Corey Hess from the Zen Dialogue Facebook group. I think it shows how valuable Meido is to this forum.

"Al Rapaport was curious about how I see the "official" Japanese Rinzai differing from the Western offshoots.

First of all, I am not a representative of the official Japanese Rinzai Zen establishment. The place I trained in was not a typical SoDo. It was an experiment, with men and women, ordained and lay people, training in a monastic environment in Japan. It is not a place of true Japanese culture, as most of the Sodo are. Usually Japanese Rinzai Monasteries are designed to have monks go there for three years in order to get their certificate and then become priests, take over their father's temple. They could care less about the true essence of zen or enlightenment. The numbers are down. Not too many young people want to stay for twenty years and become Roshis. And in order to become a Roshi, it is not just passing 1700 koans, but also being able to go through the incredible bureaucratic red tape. Ceremony upon ceremony, a specific certain number of calligraphies written, etc.

Where I trained there is no certificate option, so the shugyoshas (people of training) are usually there for the right reason. To break through and then save all sentient beings. For us Westerners, we have fantasies of going to Japan for a few years, even ten, and being given transmission to be a Roshi and bring it on back to America or Australia or Europe. But it's damn near impossible for us. Even if we have had huge enlightenment experiences. That's just the beginning. The Roshi would always say, "That is when your training begins." But most of us are not ready to spend twenty or thirty years in a monastery. It is just not a part of our culture, and the folks who do stay are often not the most talented practitioners. Often, finding inner freedom does not bode well with monastic life.

The thing I saw with Zen in Japan that is different than in America is a sublime energetic embodiment. The Roshi I trained with is a tanden (Dantien in Chinese) master. His whole being is coming from his Tanden. His functioning does not filter through his brain, but through this whole body Tanden energetic samadhi functioning place. I have written about this quite a bit on my blog. Meeting someone like this is so incredibly shocking. So immensely powerful. Seeing him at least twice a day for sanzen, the most important aspect is this energetic transmission he gives. The sanzen may be about sussokan (breathing training) or Mu or later doing Koans, but it is mostly about an under the table energetic transformation. It is the main training.

The difference between people who have cooked in the oven of the monastery and those who have gone to an osesshin here and there, is that in the monastery the essence of this energy penetrates deeply into the practitioner's bones. Zen is primarily a body transformative practice. It is a cellular transformation. In this way Zen is more a body energetic awareness training than a type of study.

Seeing Zen teachers in America and the different offshoots of the Rinzai tradition, I see some great stuff happening. Really wonderful! But I do not see this sublime energetic essence being presented. I see folks who are really smart, and if they have an energetic point of focus, it is generally from the head. It is not a huge full energy that I experienced in Japan. It does not have the energetic component.

I am all for Zen coming to America, but what I see missing is this energetic essence. To see the Buddhas huge state of mind. We are not meeting someone who knows a lot about Buddhism, but we are meeting the Buddha's state of mind when we meet a real Roshi.

You see him whisking tea, or walking through the garden, and just seeing that changes your whole life. And I am not being romantic or dramatic when I say that.

I wish everyone great depth in their training."

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fuki
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Re: Energy

Post by fuki » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:51 am

Thanks Larry,

reminds me of a woman I met in the forest, all wild animals were drawn to her circling around her, kissing her face, playing. Deer, foxes, bird, amazing, the whole forest was blessed with the energy emanating from her being.
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Meido
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Re: Energy

Post by Meido » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:59 pm

I have no argument with most of that quote.

The main issue not only with Zen but most Buddhadharma in the West is that practice and fruition are presented as primarily conceptual/philosophical/psychological affairs, rather than psychophysical ones.

It is a yogic undertaking we are involved with, in the original sense of the word. But many practitioners still unknowingly carry deep assumptions RE separation of so-called spiritual and physical.

It only takes one generation for linages to lose their treasures of oral instruction and inwardly die. We can see even from photographs of some teachers, east and west, where this has happened.

The degree and amount of practice is indeed another consideration. But dead practice done extensively is still mostly useless.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

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fuki
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Re: Energy

Post by fuki » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Meido wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:59 pm

It is a yogic undertaking we are involved with, in the original sense of the word. But many practitioners still unknowingly carry deep assumptions RE separation of so-called spiritual and physical.
Thank you, I notice a lot of time some of us on forums are laughed at as "new-agy" or "hindu" Simply because we sometimes talk about "spritual experiences" which to many ppl is auto-negated as not Buddhism, or not Zen. As if Zen is just sitting quietly with a blank/empty mind and nothing 'out of the ordinary' must happen.
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Meido
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Re: Energy

Post by Meido » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:19 pm

Yes, but to be clear: i am specifically talking here not about experiences, but about the core manner in which the body is engaged and used, the physical penetration of realization into the body over years that is "liberation", and the resultant bodily transformation that is evidenced.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

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Larry
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Re: Energy

Post by Larry » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:26 pm

Meido wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:59 pm
But dead practice done extensively is still mostly useless
What is your differentiation between dead & live practice?

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fuki
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Re: Energy

Post by fuki » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:28 pm

Meido wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:19 pm
Yes, but to be clear: i am specifically talking here not about experiences, but about the core manner in which the body is engaged and used, the physical penetration of realization into the body over years that is "liberation", and the resultant bodily transformation that is evidenced.

~ Meido
Thanks for elaborating Meido, is it allright to say that the "body" is so much more then a conceptual notion of "flesh" of self-centered flesh? Rather the conceptual notion is just an idea limited from identification to embodied existence, not very "alive" meaning conceptually
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Re: Energy

Post by Meido » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:32 pm

The key point is that one's entire existence is to be engaged and transformed.
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

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fuki
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Re: Energy

Post by fuki » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:34 pm

Meido wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:32 pm
The key point is that one's entire existence is to be engaged and transformed.
Lots of work to be done, how joyous. :)
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Re: Energy

Post by fuki » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:48 pm

Thanks El G.

It's a natural function to divide/differentiate for sure, through the "practise of non-dwelling" it's also natural to investigate and coming to the 'conclusion' that we're spiritual beings "having" a human experience instead of humans "having" a spiritual experience, but even that is highly likened to be interpretated via the ego-concept, or the "spiritual ego" But to my mind there are differences, yet differences are never in opposition. So yes whatever is our method or non-method it eventually leads to dissolving delusions instead of adding them through logical/conceptual assertion and negation.

"Reality alone exists - and that we are. All the rest is only a dream, a dream of the One Mind, which is our mind without the 'our'. Is it so hard to accept? Is it so difficult to assimilate and to live?"
~wei wu wei

There is no truth, only dreaming. :cat:
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lindama
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Re: Energy

Post by lindama » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:20 pm

Amen, thanks for starting this Larry and all. I've seen one zen master with this quality in person: Sasaki Roshi. Dilgo Khentse ... thru his picture. Seems to me that we are talking about an octave higher than uniting body and mind... like the light is released from the cells permeating one's existance. wether there is light or not, it's a quality perhaps. Not much ever needs be said in that presence.

a koan comes to mind that I've had above my sink posted to a clay piece with a spider imprinted, made by a child..... "this is the stone drenched with rain that points the way."

linda

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KeithA
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Re: Energy

Post by KeithA » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:39 am

fuki wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:51 am
Thanks Larry,

reminds me of a woman I met in the forest, all wild animals were drawn to her circling around her, kissing her face, playing. Deer, foxes, bird, amazing, the whole forest was blessed with the energy emanating from her being.
Legend has it that one day, ZM Joshu was walking through the forest.with a student. A rabbit ran onto their path and when it saw them, ran away quickly. The student was confused and asked Joshu: "You are a great Zen Master, and have dropped body and self, why did the rabbit run away?" The Master replied: "I am a very efficient killer." Correct function, correct situation.

_/|\_
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

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fuki
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Re: Energy

Post by fuki » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:59 pm

KeithA wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:39 am

Legend has it that one day, ZM Joshu was walking through the forest.with a student. A rabbit ran onto their path and when it saw them, ran away quickly. The student was confused and asked Joshu: "You are a great Zen Master, and have dropped body and self, why did the rabbit run away?" The Master replied: "I am a very efficient killer." Correct function, correct situation.
Thanks, love a good story!

Reminds me of a dog (Marinka) who is afraid of me, out of the hundreds of dogs I've known, even the most abused in animals shelters no dog except Marinka is afraid of me, in turn she's never been afraid of any human except me. Often ppl raise the subject why that may be, I've heared so many theories/stories (constructs of mind) and every single time when they ask "what do you think" I reply; "don't know" :hatsoff:
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Re: Energy

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:37 pm

Meido,
Meido wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:19 pm
Yes, but to be clear: i am specifically talking here not about experiences, but about the core manner in which the body is engaged and used, the physical penetration of realization into the body over years that is "liberation", and the resultant bodily transformation that is evidenced.

~ Meido
:bow2:

Yeah, I'd talk that way too. Kudos!, on the ways you transmit this.

--Joe

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boda
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Re: Energy

Post by boda » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:34 am

KeithA wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:39 am
fuki wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:51 am
Thanks Larry,

reminds me of a woman I met in the forest, all wild animals were drawn to her circling around her, kissing her face, playing. Deer, foxes, bird, amazing, the whole forest was blessed with the energy emanating from her being.
Legend has it that one day, ZM Joshu was walking through the forest.with a student. A rabbit ran onto their path and when it saw them, ran away quickly. The student was confused and asked Joshu: "You are a great Zen Master, and have dropped body and self, why did the rabbit run away?" The Master replied: "I am a very efficient killer." Correct function, correct situation.

_/|\_
That would make sense it he claimed to be a clever killer, setting rabbit traps or whatever. Any rabbit could effortlessly evade any human.

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fuki
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Re: Energy

Post by fuki » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:56 am

Even when "enlightened" one still drinks from the spring of illusion.

ps animals "colour" too.
20180318_143219.jpg
20180318_143219.jpg (1.52 MiB) Viewed 895 times
In fact, they recognize beauty where humans often colour it in according to their own "picking and choosing"

Image

Image

Saying animals don't appreciate beauty while humans do is just the human ego speaking - colouring, in fact, the human persona is not qualified to determine this at all. (or anything for that matter)
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fuki
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Re: Energy

Post by fuki » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:59 am

bodhi wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:34 am

That would make sense it he claimed to be a clever killer, setting rabbit traps or whatever. Any rabbit could effortlessly evade any human.
I think the masters words regarding "killing" was related/intended for the students mind (attachments about "zen" or "enlightenment") nothing to do with the rabbit, imo. Just a prop.
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Re: Energy

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:19 pm

el gatito wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:25 pm
In my experience, the initial separation and differentiation between "spiritual" and "physical" ("body" and "mind") is quite normal. No problem then, one may just try to focus exclusively on the "physical" side (as one sees it), just for the sake of experimenting. Then, if doing this persistently, and with great effort, the original separation and differentiation tends to gradually transform. The outcome of focusing exclusively on the "spiritual", however, will be different, so that one will not succeed in such transforming of their initial views of how things are regarding the "body".
I agree that a practitioner may start out on one tack, but a course-correction may come as a result of practice(s).

I think that if one works carefully with a good teacher, however, a practitioner will not stray far from a "correct" (healthy, or healthful) center-line which will more reliably bring about the necessary transformations. Else, one is bound in one's "experimenting" to fetishize this or that, and lose years here or there in by-ways and cul-de-sacs, or get into dire troubles with one's health physically and/or mentally (& emotionally). Caution (All)!

--Joe

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lindama
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Re: Energy

Post by lindama » Tue May 01, 2018 3:31 am

as far as I can see, humans who are awake are still humans.... thus humans are qualified to speak of awakening.... tho I would reserve the term "qualified" for doctors and lawyers.

The whole jist of this thread is that existence is permeated with an energy for lack of a better word. An awakened one can speak about awakening, politics or sports.... the presence is unmistakable and all serve.

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Re: Energy

Post by lindama » Tue May 01, 2018 4:02 am

ofc, awakening is not personal... the force is speaking or not. words for some, silence for others.... forget those silly non-duality discussions. I'll agree with you on that. :113:

Larry and Meido made the point that it permeats existance, and I'd agree.

linda

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