Never Surrender!

Discussion of Zen Buddhism, Soto Zen, Rinzai Zen, Chan, Seon and Thien.

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KeithA
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by KeithA » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:32 am

Seeker242 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:45 pm
KeithA wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:32 pm
Seeker242 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:03 pm
lindama wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:40 am
WOW!

First, this is an issue for Zen and any tradition.... let's put our feet on the ground and walk. I've seen it covered up, processed in public, break apart sanghas in several traditions.


Of course it's an issue. If it wasn't, then no teacher would have been able to get away with misbehavior. "Surrendering" to teachers, even though it is not actually a part of zen practice, is what has allowed teachers to get away with abusive behavior. It doesn't matter is it's not part of actual zen practice, it still happens anyway. Therefore, it is certainly an issue.
I recall having a similar discussion at ZFI. The good Reverend Nonin was pretty adamant about the need to "submit" to the teacher. "Surrender" sounds similar. I personally prefer "trust". If I didn't trust my teacher, I would find another one.

Words like surrender and submit suggest to me giving up one's autonomy. Not really a fan of that idea!
I think it depends on how one defines "surrender". :) In the video Brad appears to define it as "giving up all your personal power". And then explains that when someone does that, saying no and just walking away if the teacher did something inappropriate, would be very difficult because you would no longer have the power to just say no and walk away. Given that definition, not appropriate to "surrender" IMO.

Furthermore, if you do give up that power, then how are you going to kill the buddha, your teacher and your parents? You're probably not going to want to kill someone that you worship like a god. :lol:

And good story! :D
Yes, there are definitely different interpretations to be had. I am very much on board with surrendering ones ideas and opinions!

But, surrendering one's personal power, never. The last sentence says it all. :105:

ZM Seung Sahn was forever saying: "You must believe in yourself 100%!". That's not possible if one turns over their autonomy to the teacher. That's the point of the story I posted.

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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fuki
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by fuki » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:54 am

KeithA wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:32 am
Yes, there are definitely different interpretations to be had. I am very much on board with surrendering ones ideas and opinions!
On board? No don't get into the car! Just watch the traffic come and go, nothing to grasp or avoid.
"surrendering" is just more traffic, an internal narrative of the driver, it's merely the emotional link which perpetuates the bondage of past and future traffic, just lose interest in the memory of traffic.

Image
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KeithA
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by KeithA » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:21 am

fuki wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:54 am
KeithA wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:32 am
Yes, there are definitely different interpretations to be had. I am very much on board with surrendering ones ideas and opinions!
On board? No don't get into the car! Just watch the traffic come and go, nothing to grasp or avoid.
"surrendering" is just more traffic, an internal narrative of the driver, it's merely the emotional link which perpetuates the bondage of past and future traffic, just lose interest in the memory of traffic.

Image
meh...emptiness with no direction is not my way.

"I hope you only go straight, don't know, try try try for 10,000 years, nonstop. Attain enlightenment and save all beings!"

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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fuki
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by fuki » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:46 am

KeithA wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:21 am
meh...emptiness with no direction is not my way.
Interesting interpretation brother.

Ofcourse sometimes you get in a car, if it's functional, not driven by partial knowledge and views. :hatsoff:
Not sure what your way is, but I pointed in the same direction you did with your post, funny eh?

ps my cars have "remote control", don't have to get in or out of any vehicle or affirm a direction.
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Larry
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by Larry » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:03 pm

Tales of Tough Love and Grandmotherly Kindness remind me of the first time I had Dokusan with Tenshin Fletcher Roshi, Maezumi heir & Head Honcho at White Plum.

I said "I can't see you very clearly because of the bright sun behind you." (he was sitting in front of a window & the sun was genuinely very bright). He responded "You're not here to be a smart arse!" :lol:

He had me worked out straight away :lol:

A friend of mine stumbled over describing the Koan he was working on. Tenshin responded "If you can't even remember the Koan properly, you might as well leave!" :lol:

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KeithA
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by KeithA » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:17 pm

fuki wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:46 am
KeithA wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:21 am
meh...emptiness with no direction is not my way.
Interesting interpretation brother.

Ofcourse sometimes you get in a car, if it's functional, not driven by partial knowledge and views. :hatsoff:
Not sure what your way is, but I pointed in the same direction you did with your post, funny eh?

ps my cars have "remote control", don't have to get in or out of any vehicle or affirm a direction.
Ha! Yes, a little harsh from me. Apologies.

You wrote:
Just watch the traffic come and go, nothing to grasp or avoid.
To my mind, this is half of the equation. The other half is if the light turns red, please stop.

We are probably saying the same thing, though!

:112:
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fuki
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by fuki » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:13 pm

KeithA wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:17 pm
To my mind, this is half of the equation. The other half is if the light turns red, please stop.

We are probably saying the same thing, though!

:112:
That often happens :D

Sorry if the metaphor was crappy, was from the "angle" of the sky, or "timeless boundless awareness/immediate presence etc" no traffic (coming/going, sensations, impulses, consciousness etc) obstructs, so nothing to "surrender" didn't have any phenomenal forms such as traffic lights or cars in mind. Ofcourse the correct function/relationship in the objective world=red is stop, green is go (not that I always do but that's beside the point)

Sorry if found superfluous.
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desert_woodworker
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:48 pm

My sainted Dad used to say about his old car: "Everything makes noise except the horn." (may he R.I.P.). --Joe :|

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by Great Sage EofH » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:49 pm

The whole obsession with surrender is best described in Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. Like trusting your guru to jump to your death?

And the point is?

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Emmet
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by Emmet » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:25 pm

"Submission of your will" to an instructor is rather the whole point of a teacher-student relationship; the acknowledgement and acceptance that they know more than you do. However, this does not extend to guru worship or allowing them to stick their hand down your robes. Keep an open mind, but not so much as to allow your brains to fall out.

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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:26 am

Still not an issue in formal Ch'an/Zen Buddhist practice. --Joe

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Dan74
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by Dan74 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:19 pm

It's a thorny issue and I suspect different lineages have different takes on it and use a variety of skilful means (and sadly sometimes, unskilful ones) to make use of surrender, submission and trust.

For me, it came up in my very first Zen retreat. I went in thinking I had Zen pretty much figured out and was wondering what the pain in my knees was really for, when the teacher said: "There is so many aspects to pain and to how we deal with it. The physical is just a minor one." I though: "hey, she might have a point. My mind is throwing up all manner of excuses and avoidance mechanisms, what's that all about?"


And later she went though the 10 Ox-herding pictures and I slowly began to realise there was a bit more to the path than an intellectual graps of Watts' The Way of Zen. Like Keith, I like trust. In the following years, there were some disenchantments and even disappointments, but as far as practice went, the trust remained unbroken. I think this is important.


_/|\_

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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:06 pm

"Trust", "faith", are important: Surrender is not an issue.

--Joe

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KeithA
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by KeithA » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:42 am

Dan74 wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:19 pm
It's a thorny issue and I suspect different lineages have different takes on it and use a variety of skilful means (and sadly sometimes, unskilful ones) to make use of surrender, submission and trust.

For me, it came up in my very first Zen retreat. I went in thinking I had Zen pretty much figured out and was wondering what the pain in my knees was really for, when the teacher said: "There is so many aspects to pain and to how we deal with it. The physical is just a minor one." I though: "hey, she might have a point. My mind is throwing up all manner of excuses and avoidance mechanisms, what's that all about?"


And later she went though the 10 Ox-herding pictures and I slowly began to realise there was a bit more to the path than an intellectual graps of Watts' The Way of Zen. Like Keith, I like trust. In the following years, there were some disenchantments and even disappointments, but as far as practice went, the trust remained unbroken. I think this is important.


_/|\_
Interesting, this is the second time the idea of disappointments has come up recently for me. There is a thread over DW where someone mentioned "disappointments galore". How wonderful!

For me, Zen is a losing everything practice. Every single thing.

My teacher has a very annoying way of answering questions. Always with another question. I hated this for a long time. I mean, really hated it. Just answer the f&*king question!!

But, I also had trust in him and trust in the process. So, over time, i got it. I wanted something from him. But, even if wanted to, he can't give me anything. It's all up to me.

I love this story:
Preface

A while ago I gave a public lecture at a university. The speaker who preceded me talked for about an hour and a half, running over his allotted time. The break period between our talks was shortened, and I was called to the podium right away. Concerned for the audience, I opened by asking, “Did you all have time to urinate?”

Apparently this was not what the audience had expected to hear. Perhaps they were particularly surprised because the person standing before them, talking about pissing, was a monk. Everyone broke into hearty laughter.

Having started out on this note, I continued to press on. “Pissing is something that no one else can do for you. Only you can piss for yourself.” This really broke them up, and they laughed even harder.

But you must realize that to say, “You have to piss for yourself; nobody else can piss for you” is to make an utterly serious statement.

Long ago in China, there was a monk called Ken. During his training years, he practiced in the monastery of Ta-hui, but despite his prodigious efforts, he had not attained enlightenment. One day Ken’s master ordered him to carry a letter to the far-off land of Ch’ang-sha. This journey, roundtrip, could easily take half a year. The monk Ken thought, “I don’t have forever to stay in this hall practicing! Who’s got time to go on an errand like this?” He consulted one of his seniors, the monk Genjoza, about the matter.

Genjoza laughed when he heard Ken’s predicament. “Even while traveling you can still practice Zen! In fact, I’ll come along with you,”—and before long the two monks set out on their journey.

Then one day while the two were traveling, the younger monk suddenly broke into tears. “I have been practicing for many years, and I still haven’t been able to attain anything. Now, here I am roaming around the country on this trip; there’s no way I am going to attain enlightenment this way,” Ken lamented.

When he heard this, Genjoza, thrusting all his strength into his words, put himself at the junior monk’s disposal: “I will take care of anything that I can take care of for you on this trip,” he said. “But there are just five things that I cannot do in your place.

“I can’t wear clothes for you. I can’t eat for you. I can’t shit for you. I can’t piss for you. And I can’t carry your body around and live your life for you.”

It is said that upon hearing these words, the monk Ken suddenly awakened from his deluded dream and attained a great enlightenment, a great satori.

I hope that as you read this, you will realize that I am not just talking about myself or about something that happened elsewhere. No, it is about your own urgent problems that I speak.
From here.

It's up to you. What can you do?

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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clyde
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by clyde » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:49 pm

:560:
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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KeithA
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Re: Never Surrender!

Post by KeithA » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:51 pm

clyde wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:49 pm
:560:
:bow2:
You make, you get.

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