'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by fuki » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:17 pm

desertwoodworker wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:04 am
And here's a wood avatar-likeness that an Aztec woodsman artist made of me out there, in the Sierra Madre Mts. of Old Mexico, one autumn. So, you see, it's all true.

I paid him in Coatamundi pelts (I no longer kill animals now that I'm here in town, not even Coyotes; Precepts, you know).

--Mt. Man
That's a beautiful piece of craft Joe, yes no killing, every now and then a Medicine Man appears in the dream and provides precepting, though too much buddhadharma bypassing and neglecting conduct/behaviour of town folks. alas.

Fuki greeting to all fortunate sons and daughters, and coyotes, stay cool and safe.
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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Larry » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:26 pm

fuki wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:01 pm
give me a job and see what happens.
:D

Sorry, the Anxious Clown is still on lockdown :lol:

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by fuki » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:38 pm

Larry wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:26 pm

Sorry, the Anxious Clown is still on lockdown :lol:
:lol:

Waiter there's a fly in my soup! :lol:
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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Larry » Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:42 pm

fuki wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:38 pm
Waiter there's a fly in my soup! :lol:
:lol:

I’m not going anywhere near Save the Fly jokes :lol:

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by fuki » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:07 pm

Larry wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:42 pm

I’m not going anywhere
:lol:
Wonderful but wrong thread, though there's exit everywhere! :lol:

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Nothing » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:39 pm

fuki wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:55 pm
Nothing wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:10 pm

In the pali canon there are examples of practitioners who have awakened without going through any of the samadhi states.
To Samadhi or not to Samadhi.... :lol:

ec8967b6ed8d277b384ddd2455ee507b.jpg
:D Cheers to that :112:
“Here it is--right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it.”
― Huang Po

https://beingwithoutself.org/retreats/

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Nothing » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:51 pm

desertwoodworker wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:17 pm
Fuki,
fuki wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:35 pm
Those are fine qualties to have on hand, Joe.
Commited for sure, but taking no prisoners. :D
Thanks!, Old Man. Will you write me up a character-reference for my next job-search? I am presently un-exploited (err-r, un-Employed, that is). Actually, I describe myself (accurately) as "Self-Unemployed": it sounds so much more "entrepreneurial" and enterprising than just ..."out of work", wouldn't you agree?.

But, "Committed", as I've used it, harks to the thinly-veiled reference in our venerable English lingo of being qualified to be "committed" to a mental-institution (as they were blandly called), i.e., consigned to a nut-house, booby-hatch, funny-farm, loony-bin, psycho ward, laughing-academy, madhouse, nut-hatch, bedlam, or rubber-room!

I'll take the great outdoors. When they used to call me "the feral Mountain-Man". Now you know, too, Jimbo-San.

TNX!

--J.

mt_man_me.jpg
Great pic Joe, what year is that? :)
“Here it is--right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it.”
― Huang Po

https://beingwithoutself.org/retreats/

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Nothing » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:59 pm

fuki wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:01 pm

A character reference, hmmm when applying for a job I never bring a CV or tell tales of "weakness or strength" or 'interpersonal abilities' If the boss doesn't recognize what's in front of him, then he's unfit to be a boss anyway for this employee. But I'm old skool like that, no credential fuzz, give me a job and see what happens.

Image
I hate those interview questions , with asking them they want you to lie them , the better you lie, bigger chances to get the job. :) Also play by that motto, give me a chance and see if I am fit for the job. Somehow, the few jobs i had, I got the jobs without those corporate style interview questions, lucky i guess.

That pic looks familiar, what was the movie? :idea:
“Here it is--right now. Start thinking about it and you miss it.”
― Huang Po

https://beingwithoutself.org/retreats/

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by fuki » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:09 pm

Nothing wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:59 pm
I hate those interview questions , with asking them they want you to lie them , the better you lie, bigger chances to get the job. :) Also play by that motto, give me a chance and see if I am fit for the job. Somehow, the few jobs i had, I got the jobs without those corporate style interview questions, lucky i guess.
I guess we're both infidels then, good company! ;)
That pic looks familiar, what was the movie? :idea:
"The astonishing panorama of the end times" :D

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:10 pm

Hi, Jundo,
A moment or so together in the same room, and we'd be communicating. :namaste:

I can say more, and can answer any question you put. But maybe better, or best, not out here in the clear. Anyway, what I've already said is just how I'd say it, probably, nine times out of ten. So, maybe just let that prior scribbling stand.

To recap? No thoughts. No movement of mind for months. This was so completely novel, astonishing. The miraculous mind of no-mind is all there was. My sleep was also completely dreamless, and the most restoring and relaxing ever in my life (perhaps, although I can't recall how sleep was when I was a baby). In these months, when I sat down, a samadhi state would come on in about 15 seconds, even on a park bench in a busy place in Manhattan, NYC where I lived, and everything would go all golden, and deep, deep golden at that. To come out of it, I had to raise a periscope, it seemed/felt like, and try to diminish the sensation of the soy-bean on the forehead, pressing, or otherwise making itself felt. It's in or from that soy-bean that true Wisdom felt to me to arise, enabling appropriate action and responses in circumstances, without delay and without deliberation, and definitely without thought. But the feeling of the soy-bean on the forehead never departed, until it DID. It departed when I took on many extra responsibilities and work, which I performed well. But practice didn't keep up with the new extra output of work energy(ies), and eventually the no-mind began to be covered, and illusions or delusions of a "movement of mind" came back. The soy-bean was gone, did not assert itself, could not be felt, true Wisdom did not arise, and true Compassion did not follow. The appearance of the world changed back, too, from self-luminous, with 3 or 4-dimensional depth of shadows, to rather flat and bland.

Soon afterwards, following this decline, further practice and further retreats brought on similar phenomenology to the first opening, but never as thorough, because the purifications preceding the newer openings were not as thorough, themselves. These were physical emptyings much like the first time (not to be spoken of except privately with a Roshi, or etc. I hereby restrain myself). In any case, the depth of samadhi which developed on subsequent retreats was lesser, and openings, stoppings, as they occurred, were weaker on these retreats, and lasted shorter durations afterwards, although, yes, for some weeks, as did the dreamless sleep, weightlessness of body, spontaneity of compassionate action based on arising wisdom, and luminous appearance of all of Nature and the built-world (but especially of Nature).

Well, as we know, there's a wealth of treasure in practice: our true and original nature is findable, and nourished into operation. Dogen teaches they're equivalent! -- practice and that nature -- and I don't see why not.

I'm hoping we understand each other. If not, great! If so, great!

I've been a lucky camper and I thank my teachers, and their lineages. So happy to be among those lucky many or lucky few who have been and are so lucky to have encountered them and sat with them, among our many other practices together.

:!:

--J.

jundocohen wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:31 am
Hi Joe,

Thank you for the lovely response, and it is wonderful. May I ask you a question or two about it, so that I may understand better? I would like to understand what you are saying. Pardon me for asking you to speak too plainly.
desertwoodworker wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:19 pm
And how surprising not to be able even to force oneself to have a thought, for weeks and months after this. There is only true Wisdom, and true Compassion, arising in seamless response to doings, events, conditions, and Beings, when one is is this original condition of no-mind. Well, there may be just ONE Being, if that many.

I'd say that the various obvious physical changes in body and brain are what have enabled this condition to reign, for a time (weeks, months).
When you say that you could not even "force [your]self to have a thought, for weeks and months" do you mean that you were literally and thoroughly not having any thoughts? It is hard for me to believe that you could have been functioning as a living, walking, talking human being, working a job, choosing in the store and communicating more than basic ideas to others without any run of the mill thoughts.

Or perhaps did you feel that you were functioning as some kind of vessel or tool through which wisdom and compassion were doing the activity automatically, and you were just observing what was happening to your body almost as a passenger?

Surely you mean something else, which I suspect, such as that the thoughts you were having were somehow illuminated, simpler, lighter, less binding and infused with a beautiful wisdom and compassion for some weeks (that I can understand), not that you were totally without most of the mental functions which we call thought.

Or am I misunderstanding you altogether?

Thank you for helping me to get your words.

Gassho, Jundo

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by fuki » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:23 pm

Beautiful Joe, inspirational as always.
:namaste:

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by jundocohen » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:34 pm

desertwoodworker wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:10 pm

To recap? No thoughts. No movement of mind for months. This was so completely novel, astonishing. The miraculous mind of no-mind is all there was. My sleep was also completely dreamless, and the most restoring and relaxing ever in my life (perhaps, although I can't recall how sleep was when I was a baby). In these months, when I sat down, a samadhi state would come on in about 15 seconds, even on a park bench in a busy place in Manhattan, NYC where I lived, and everything would go all golden, and deep, deep golden at that. To come out of it, I had to raise a periscope, it seemed/felt like, and try to diminish the sensation of the soy-bean on the forehead, pressing, or otherwise making itself felt. It's in or from that soy-bean that true Wisdom felt to me to arise, enabling appropriate action and responses in circumstances, without delay and without deliberation, and definitely without thought. But the feeling of the soy-bean on the forehead never departed, until it DID. It departed when I took on many extra responsibilities and work, which I performed well. But practice didn't keep up with the new extra output of work energy(ies), and eventually the no-mind began to be covered, and illusions or delusions of a "movement of mind" came back. The soy-bean was gone, did not assert itself, could not be felt, true Wisdom did not arise, and true Compassion did not follow. The appearance of the world changed back, too, from self-luminous, with 3 or 4-dimensional depth of shadows, to rather flat and bland.

Soon afterwards, following this decline, further practice and further retreats brought on similar phenomenology to the first opening, but never as thorough, because the purifications preceding the newer openings were not as thorough, themselves. These were physical emptyings much like the first time (not to be spoken of except privately with a Roshi, or etc. I hereby restrain myself). In any case, the depth of samadhi which developed on subsequent retreats was lesser, and openings, stoppings, as they occurred, were weaker on these retreats, and lasted shorter durations afterwards, although, yes, for some weeks, as did the dreamless sleep, weightlessness of body, spontaneity of compassionate action based on arising wisdom, and luminous appearance of all of Nature and the built-world (but especially of Nature).
Hmmm. I thought so. I have that too, and pretty much can summon such stateless at will, complete with the little third eye sensation (which, by the way, I don't put much stock in except as a release of tension and focus there). They can be all manner of profound, and about anywhere I have a moment to drop things. I would not say that it is a complete absence of thoughts while functioning in the world more than sitting on a bench. At such times, I would describe more "thoughts no thoughts" at once.

It is just that, for Master Dogen and in Soto Zen, there is no more than a "nice place to visit, don't want or need to live there" attitude. That's not enlightenment more than everything is enlightenment when perceived as such. I don't think that the experience is indispensable to practitioners, although I believe that the vast vast majority of Shikantaza sitters can and do experience such just in Just Sitting (assuming that it is taught right, and not merely as some "sit, breathe, let thoughts go" mindfulness. However, perhaps even the great majority of mindfulness sitters will if they really stick with it.)

Thanks Joe.

Gassho, J

PS Allowing such a moment right now.

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:32 pm

Thank you, Roshi.

May I ask you please about some phenomenology? :

Not to get personal about private things, Jundo... . But perhaps you can discuss this in terms, if not of your own experience (though I hope you're able and open to do so, or will allow yourself), then perhaps in terms of what your students over the years of your teaching may report to you, or ask you about, say, in dokusan, or sanzen, even if you were to speak quite generally here, and not get into cases.

I ask this just by way of appreciating beauty, and not because I consider it in any way an essential development in one's practice, nor even as a "confirmatory-sign" that things are "going-well", or even going-wrong. But I am surprised there's not more notice made of it, as to me it is very striking.

The phenomenon is that of what I call "sesshin-vision".

One can have this kind of vision during the ordinary level of intensity of practice in one's daily life, but it can come on especially strongly on 7-day sesshin, on or about Day 3, say. It's not a kind of vision as in the awakened state, particularly (nor, only), but is present during any period of intensive practice. In daily-life practice it seems to come on with an amount of sitting, say, of 2+ hours per day, at a minimum, if practice is consistent. On sesshin, of course, we do much more than that.

Now, this is a kind of condition of vision NOT while one is sitting, but while one is moving, walking around, doing kinhin, doing samu, doing to dokusan, talking with the teacher, walking outside, working in one's daily life when not on sesshin, etc. Nothing seems to scare it away. It will disappear if practice falls below a minimum, though.

To describe: It's a very marked appearance of things as if wetted, with color of things quite saturated, not washed-out by a surface-covering of dust, or otherwise, by scattering. A deep, depth of color. And shadows appear very dark, but seem to have a depth to them, of 3 or "4" dimensions, as I have written. There's a cream-colored-ness of whites, a softness, not a blue harshness, and the boundaries of things appear as present and distinct as ever, but seem not to be as significant as at other times, in other words, things seem more related, or seem more to belong together, and are not estranged or abstracted singularities: Nature appears more continuous. In addition, objects seem to be emitting their own light, and the quality of light itself appears liquid, liquidy, wet. It is beautiful, beautiful!, and one can indeed softly take-in or contemplate just this changed, or opened, appearance of the face of the world, and enter some samadhi state, and sink, sink, down, down, and sit for hours. And, often, one does.

Now, is this "sesshin-vision" familiar? Do students mention it? Do you have any appreciations of it that you would share? :namaste:

I've brought this up in person with a few teachers of mine, and they have words or a description for it that I'll share with you, some time. Their description, ascription, or attribution does not surprise me, but I wish they would have had more to say.

Ah, there's a mirror-like aspect to this sort of vision, looking a bit like seeing objects in a mirror. There's also a bit of an effect of white objects seeming to be made of wax, a sense of seeing some depth below the upper surface, and down into a translucent depth. There's also a sense as if everything is lighted by moonlight, and although things may be brighter or much brighter than that, the light is soft, and pleasant.

I hope to hear from you on this. Thanks for so very kindly considering seriously some of the things I've had to say here. I've enjoyed our interchanges over the years very much.

Yours truly,

--Joe

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by Crystal » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:34 pm

desertwoodworker wrote:My sleep was also completely dreamless,
Is that so unusual? I never have any dreams at all, Joe.


_/|\_

.

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:05 pm

Hi, Crystal,

Glad you're here!
Crystal wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:34 pm
desertwoodworker wrote:My sleep was also completely dreamless,
Is that so unusual? I never have any dreams at all, Joe.
Yes, for me, this was unprecedented, in the 2 1/2 months in which the no-mind condition reigned, the first time.

This was but one factor which was remarkable about this time following the onset of the no-mind state or condition on Ch'an retreat in late May, 1979, with my teacher, Ch'an Master Sheng Yen, in New York.

--Joe

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by jundocohen » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:49 am

desertwoodworker wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:32 pm

To describe: It's a very marked appearance of things as if wetted, with color of things quite saturated, not washed-out by a surface-covering of dust, or otherwise, by scattering. A deep, depth of color. And shadows appear very dark, but seem to have a depth to them, of 3 or "4" dimensions, as I have written. There's a cream-colored-ness of whites, a softness, not a blue harshness, and the boundaries of things appear as present and distinct as ever, but seem not to be as significant as at other times, in other words, things seem more related, or seem more to belong together, and are not estranged or abstracted singularities: Nature appears more continuous. In addition, objects seem to be emitting their own light, and the quality of light itself appears liquid, liquidy, wet. It is beautiful, beautiful!, and one can indeed softly take-in or contemplate just this changed, or opened, appearance of the face of the world, and enter some samadhi state, and sink, sink, down, down, and sit for hours. And, often, one does.
I am not sure, Joe, but after several days of Sesshin and intense sitting "I" have entered a trance-like state, a kind of hypnotic state from the sitting, repeated activities of the day, quiet mind. There is a kind of tunnel vision, colors can be quite vibrant, hearing and other senses quite perceptive. Objects that are usually separate do seem to merge and be whole, and everything has "meaning." "I" can be just swept in all this. I put it down to the sensory deprivation and the induced trance of pouring oneself into Zazen. There may even be some low blood pressure.

May I ask if you have any history of epilepsy, migraine headaches or the like, assuming that you are comfortable with discussing the same? Epilepsy can cause very similar symptoms, and can be induced by repetitive activities or sights. Sometimes a seizure in certain parts of the brain is rather hidden, and does not impact other behavior (i.e., not the "grand mal" kind of seizure which causes loss of consciousness, foaming at the mouth, etc., but very subtle). A couple of examples:

https://www.noted.co.nz/health/health-p ... w-seizures

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 131158.htm

(p 167 here):

https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=MFu ... es&f=false

I am not saying that it is so in your case (I have no medical credentials). However, even if so, it would be part of who you are, a gift, a way to see and experience things in ways shut out to most people who cannot experience so.

I am also not saying that your experience is "only" epilepsy, etc., and thus to be discounted. Quite the contrary, our encounter with all the universe is via the brain, so a brain that is able to encounter the universe in alternative ways may be gifted with a precious, and perfectly valid way of experiencing life not open to our day to day experience (much like animals encounter the world in their unique ways through their special senses which are unavailable to humans).

In my case, I am pretty sure that there is something about my brain, in the frontal cortex perhaps, that lets me quiet or shut it down more easily that many people. Perhaps it is genetic, perhaps it is something I taught myself through years of practice. Frankly, I remember such experiences starting at the age of 20 puffing the funny weed listening to YES in the dorm room. 8-) The sense of time would slow, stop, the hard borders and sense of self would soften, all phenomena would seem linked, interpenetrating and ultimately identical. Colors and sounds would be vibrant. I suspect that my brain is just more prone to allow me to slip into that than other people, and Zazen is just a trigger.

Gassho, Jundo

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:17 am

Hi, Jundo,

Thanks for your careful and considered response.

No, I have no medical conditions, other than good health. I've been blessed all my life. I also have perfect uncorrected vision, and have been an observational astronomer and scientist from a very early age. Thus, I have a lot of experience with paying attention to the visual field, and maybe I notice more about changes within vision than the average-Joe (oh, that's ME).

As purifications and strengthenings of body and health accrue, these visual changes become more obvious, and more acute, during extended or intensive practice. Nature has a very beautiful face. For me, this requires, as I have written, some 2 hours per day of proper sitting, to become quite strong in daily life, and for this changed vision to be present "24-7". On sesshin, it's much stronger, usually quite early on retreat, day 3?

Some call it samadhi vision.

Teachers I've consulted on it say the following, and although they are different teachers consulted at different times, they uniformly say the same thing, which to me was a surprise and a very nice thing. They say, when I describe these sense phenomenon, that I am "seeing Nature", or "seeing THE Nature". Yes, I think it must be so.

Of course, seeing one's OWN nature may be different from what they mean, but I feel there is a linkage.

Again, this is not vision within the awakened state, nor during sitting, it is vision during somewhat -- or quite-- intensive practice, just ordinarily, and persists for weeks after the intensive retreat or sesshin. Or, if daily practice is 2+ hours or so per day, it never leaves, even for years.

I figure that from the intensive sitting, something builds up in the body/brain, which affects perception. Brain chemicals, or sumpthin'. I'm pretty ignorant about such kinds of science, and should pointedly ask my present teacher, the Soto sensei/Neuro-Scientist, about the mechanics or chemistry of it, ...if he knows! With this vision come other changes, which are also helpful in one's practice. I ought to look further into this.

:namaste:

--Joe

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by avisitor » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:09 am

desertwoodworker wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:17 am
I figure that from the intensive sitting, something builds up in the body/brain, which affects perception. Brain chemicals, or sumpthin'. I'm pretty ignorant about such kinds of science, and should pointedly ask my present teacher, the Soto sensei/Neuro-Scientist, about the mechanics or chemistry of it, ...if he knows! With this vision come other changes, which are also helpful in one's practice. I ought to look further into this.
Have always thought this to be true
That sitting does change the brain
But, I am no scientist.

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by jundocohen » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:34 am

Perhaps the one thing to offer is that such experiences, as special and amazing as they are, are not to be considered more special and amazing than all of life, even the ugliest and most mundane. All of the world is special and amazing, including the aspects which do not always seem so special and amazing at all.

Perhaps this is the special contribution of Soto Zen (perhaps other traditions too) which does not raise up "Kensho" to be wondrous and sacred beyond this ordinary life, but rather, raises up this ordinary life to be all "Kensho," wondrous and sacred. Some traditions seem to value such experiences as somehow "more real" than this ordinary world, and take this ordinary world as somehow an obstacle and obstruction to reaching such states. An alternative approach (typical of the little corner of Soto Zen where I sit) is that there are no obstacles and obstructions to the wise eye, and one way of experiencing turns out to be just another way of experiencing the other, like two sides of a no-sided coin.

There is the aspect of many Eastern religions, including much of Buddhism, that there is something wrong with the ordinary world and a need to get "there." In fact, I AGREE that there is something most wrong with this ordinary world when we are still imprisoned by excess desire, anger and violence, and divided thinking. However, in the end, form is emptiness, emptiness just form ...

It is a version of "mountains are mountains, mountains are just mountains, mountains are mountains again."

What I also like to emphasize is that experiences such as what you describe are simply lovely, but not strictly necessary to "non-attaining" this "mountains are mountains again." Your experience is just an interesting vantage point. Why?

As I have tried to express, at first, people are in a house looking for their true home, feeling very alienated and divided within this house. Then, they may have an experience of the whole house dropping away, or some wonderful colors and wholeness in the house, until they finally realize that they are in the house ... in fact, ARE the house ... and the True Home all along. HOWEVER, one can also realize so by really really profoundly giving up the hunt for the house and home in Shikantaza, thus slippin' in the back door or ... better said ... not needing to slip in or out of anywhere for there is no anywhere else all along. Shikantaza is radically just opening the eyes and realizing that the house is inside the eye ... and am "I" ... all along.

Gassho, J

STLah

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Re: 'The ZEN of EVERYTHING! Podcast' with Jundo & Kirk is ON THE AIR!

Post by desertwoodworker » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:02 am

Jundo, one of the things that may cause the enhancement of visual impact (a production and build-up of some compensatory natural brain-chemicals?) of seen objects and the overall panoply of Nature in my experience during intensive practice (to produce what I call "sesshin-vision"), may be ...posture, i just thought to mention.

I feel that sitting through the pain of repeated sittings in early days of sesshin -- and, even extended or repeated sits at home -- is what has brought the greatest benefits for me and all beings. My posture has always been half-lotus. I worked-up to it as a yogi, before encountering Ch'an practice, but came to be able to improve or perfect it under Master Sheng Yen's guidance. I've never sat any sesshin any other way, never used any other posture (although I can take them, can "strike" them: Seiza; easy-pose; full-lotus; chair-sitting; bench-sitting; etc.). I think I've sat about 75 retreats to date since the late 1970s, many 7-day, and some 3-day, both in Sheng Yen's style and sangha, and in a Diamond Sangha affiliate sangha with early successors of Aitken Roshi.

Even though I may sit 2+ hours per day in daily life, it still takes 2-3 days on 7-day sesshin to settle into the posture very comfortably in the many recurring sits without incurring sensible pain. At 2-3 days is when the "sesshin-vision" also comes-on strongly (more strongly than in daily-practice life), soo-o, maybe whatever enables the posture to become entirely comfortable is what produces the visual and other perceptual change. Chemical changes in the nervous system?

Now, note, again, we're talking here of phenomenology, "off-the-record" of any known particular Soto interpretation, teaching, or suggestion, just talking human-to-human. Leaving "Rinzai" aside, too.

Jundo, I note thus far that you have not mentioned instances of students of yours mentioning a change in vision (or "the brain's" visual interpretation or reporting of scenes seen) upon undertaking intensive practice as on sesshin, with you. Does this mean that no one has approached you about this? That would be very interesting. I can't imagine that this phenomenon is rare. But, have a look at posture. Do many -- or few? -- sit half-lotus?

Particular posture may be key in this / to this... .

Tnx,

--Joe

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