grace

Discussion of Zen Buddhism.
User avatar
clyde
Site Admin
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

grace

Post by clyde » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:08 pm

I was reading a classic book on Tibetan Buddhism and read the following description of the “direct path”, that liberation is “without any apparent preparation.” This seems to echo the Zen saying that “Enlightenment is an accident. Practice makes us accident prone.”

So my question is: Is an “accident” different from grace (as in a gift)? Or are they two ways of seeing/talking about the same event?

They feel different to me. If it’s an accident, an accident I want to occur, then I could/should do something to be in the right place at the right time and/or the right mind state for the accident to occur; i.e., I should make the accident happen! (Silly, when I stop to think about it.)

If it’s grace, well then, I’m not responsible for it happening nor am I responsible for it not happening. It’s a gift, so it’s not about deserving it or earning it. So I can relax about it not happening.

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

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”

User avatar
[james]
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:19 am
Location: Are we there yet?

Re: grace

Post by [james] » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:59 pm

clyde wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:08 pm

So I can relax about it not happening.
You (general you, include yourself if appropriate) can relax about it not happening. You can also relax about it happening. In either case though, will you?

We are drawn into Buddhism, mostly, because we think, feel, sense, worry that something is amiss and are wondering, sometimes desperately, what we can do about it. The opposite of “relax”. Buddhism tells us that this something we are sensing is called dukkha/dissatisfaction and outlines a plan of action ... Four Noble Truths, Noble Eightfold Path and all the permutations and fine tunings arising therefrom.

And yet too many of us, regardless of our getting with the Buddhist program ( we think, we hope), remain dissatisfied, unhappy and tense. “It’s not happening, I must be doing something wrong, better read another book, listen to another talk, sit longer, etc, etc, etc.” Or ... “This is it! I’ve got it now. I want more of this!” The opposite of relax.

So is liberation without apparent preparation? Perhaps. Relax.
Is liberation the fruit of endless diligence and determination? Perhaps. Relax.
Does it settle upon us as a “gentle rain from heaven”? Perhaps. Relax.

User avatar
loves' the unjust
Posts: 706
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:17 pm
Location: Ankara, turkey

Re: grace

Post by loves' the unjust » Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:36 pm

If nothing has ever been

Why worry

I am a zen student.now turning into a zen practioner.

i've come to an end in reading.

i've focused on to forget everything.

no memory

like to be having a fish memory

i recommend.

i thought many many years.

now come to forget everything.
cooper

User avatar
loves' the unjust
Posts: 706
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:17 pm
Location: Ankara, turkey

Re: grace

Post by loves' the unjust » Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:40 pm

instead of thinking prefer to listen/hear locusts chirring.
cooper

User avatar
loves' the unjust
Posts: 706
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:17 pm
Location: Ankara, turkey

Re: grace

Post by loves' the unjust » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:06 pm

he he
cooper

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 1501
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: grace

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:45 pm

Thanks, Clyde. Glorious question.

I'd like to minimize the idea of "accidental". Please bear with me.

To my mind -- and my experience, in myself, and in my experience with others' awakening -- a certain amount of work is done, prerequisitely, usually yogic work. In the process, at the extreme-edges during the very most intensive practice (for example), certain purifications occur. These allow continued progress toward an awakening, given best circumstances. I'd opine that samadhi states are involved, and the sudden shattering of samadhi institutes the onset of genuine awakening. This never happens without a teacher, and usually never without a teacher and a sangha. The reason is that, within the Ch'an and Zen Buddhist sects such as our thrust and topic happens to be here in a Zen forum, a teacher is needed to confirm awakening, and to guard against a random state being a mere flash in the pan of something much lesser, imaginary, or unrelated. No confirmation, no awakening, that is. Kudos!

It's a great and wonderful system of Humans helping Humans. And helping Humans be and become Human, to their maximum and original capacity, and inheritance. Ancient... .

Best,

--Joe
clyde wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:08 pm
I was reading a classic book on Tibetan Buddhism and read the following description of the “direct path”, that liberation is “without any apparent preparation.” This seems to echo the Zen saying that “Enlightenment is an accident. Practice makes us accident prone.”

So my question is: Is an “accident” different from grace (as in a gift)? Or are they two ways of seeing/talking about the same event?

They feel different to me. If it’s an accident, an accident I want to occur, then I could/should do something to be in the right place at the right time and/or the right mind state for the accident to occur; i.e., I should make the accident happen! (Silly, when I stop to think about it.)

If it’s grace, well then, I’m not responsible for it happening nor am I responsible for it not happening. It’s a gift, so it’s not about deserving it or earning it. So I can relax about it not happening.
Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind. - Ma Tsu

Liberation is awakening to one's original nature. - Ma Tsu

A guest never knows how much to laugh at a family joke. -Henny Youngman

Bodhi-Mind is working for the good of others. -Hakuin

User avatar
Mason
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:41 pm

Re: grace

Post by Mason » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:19 pm

How does the concept of grace fit with the Buddhadharma, a teaching based on karma (actions and results)?

Practicing diligently without expectations or frustration with minimal results is a wonderful mindset. But I believe there is also a place for getting dirty with the mechanics of practice. That means, for me, cultivating the 37 wings to awakening and purifying the mind of bad qualities. So I believe there is a recipe, and also that there are great cooks to learn from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhipakk ... hamm%C4%81
"The Way needs no cultivation, just do not defile. What is defilement? When with a mind of birth and death one acts in a contrived way, then everything is a defilement. If one wants to know the Way directly: Ordinary Mind is the Way!"

- Record of Ma-tsu

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 1501
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: grace

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:03 am

Mason, good to see you.

I'm pretty sure that grace -- even gratuitous grace -- is operative, in our sangha circles.

But it all depends on the degree and depth of one's actual yoga. No yoga?, no grace. Lots of appropriate yoga?, maybe some grace, but don't depend on it. Keep working! That's all that's needed: keep working. Teacher and sangha supply the activation-energy (if you've studied Chemistry). In time, well, if it's natural to occur, and conditions are right and ripe, one may awaken.

;-)

--Joe

Mason wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:19 pm
How does the concept of grace fit with the Buddhadharma, a teaching based on karma (actions and results)?

Practicing diligently without expectations or frustration with minimal results is a wonderful mindset. But I believe there is also a place for getting dirty with the mechanics of practice. That means, for me, cultivating the 37 wings to awakening and purifying the mind of bad qualities. So I believe there is a recipe, and also that there are great cooks to learn from.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhipakk ... hamm%C4%81

Spike
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:35 am

Re: grace

Post by Spike » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:05 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:45 pm
. . . a teacher is needed to confirm awakening, . .
True. This should be obvious: this is and should be strictly the purview of the teacher.
desert_woodworker wrote: . . . and to guard against a random state being a mere flash in the pan of something much lesser, imaginary, or unrelated . . .
False. A "random state" and a "flash in the pan" would both be correctly identified by the teacher, probably as equivalent.
desert_woodworker wrote: No confirmation, no awakening, that is.
False. No confirmation is only no confirmation.

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 1501
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: grace

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:15 am

Spike wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:05 am
False. No confirmation is only no confirmation.
No "false". Teacher and "student" know what's what, just then, in fact. Even if you don't.

Strong practice,

--Joe

Spike
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:35 am

Re: grace

Post by Spike » Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:48 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:45 pm
No confirmation, no awakening, that is. Kudos!
An individual's experience of awakening cannot be erased. The student did all the heavy lifting, and was the one and only experiencer. Confirmed or not, the experience stands on it's own. The experience can be regarded as quintessentially nothing special, if the student is humble. Otherwise, he may be likely to wind up on a zen blog bragging about it, how long it lasted, how he now pals around with the roshi as a virtual co-teacher, knows about or may even have participated in some aspect of another student's development through related teaching, etc. Not a good look, imo. I.e., not graceful!

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 2461
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:02 am
Location: Zandvoort, The Netherlands

Re: grace

Post by fuki » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:36 pm

Grace flows uninterrupted after being "touched by the guru" though the teacher doesn't always have to be in the human form. Then One's Faith is unshaken and the deepest stillness remains.
A Sangha of cats and orange juice is a bonus.
20190807_164349.jpg
20190807_164349.jpg (1.85 MiB) Viewed 200 times
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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

Seeker242
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:43 pm

Re: grace

Post by Seeker242 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:04 am

How about this: Grace, or gift, yourself with the opportunity for the accident to occur. :)

User avatar
loves' the unjust
Posts: 706
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:17 pm
Location: Ankara, turkey

Re: grace

Post by loves' the unjust » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:43 pm

Seeker242 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:04 am
How about this: Grace, or gift, yourself with the opportunity for the accident to occur. :)
Sounds Cool..! :D
cooper

User avatar
[james]
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:19 am
Location: Are we there yet?

Re: grace

Post by [james] » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:39 pm

Seeker242 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:04 am
How about this: Grace, or gift, yourself with the opportunity for the accident to occur. :)
How do you do that?

User avatar
[james]
Posts: 336
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:19 am
Location: Are we there yet?

Re: grace

Post by [james] » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:00 pm

fuki wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:36 pm
Grace flows uninterrupted after being "touched by the guru" though the teacher doesn't always have to be in the human form. Then One's Faith is unshaken and the deepest stillness remains.
“Uninterrupted” is without after or before, as I understand it ...
Are you stating that the flow of grace is necessarily impeded if not for the touch of the guru?
This sounds to me as if the guru’s touch is the “grace” or perhaps is the vehicle by which Grace is manifested.
I’m very interested in before and after as elements and qualifiers of experience.
:558:

avisitor
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:13 am
Location: Albany, NY

Re: grace

Post by avisitor » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:16 pm

clyde wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:08 pm
I was reading a classic book on Tibetan Buddhism and read the following description of the “direct path”, that liberation is “without any apparent preparation.” This seems to echo the Zen saying that “Enlightenment is an accident. Practice makes us accident prone.”

So my question is: Is an “accident” different from grace (as in a gift)? Or are they two ways of seeing/talking about the same event?

They feel different to me. If it’s an accident, an accident I want to occur, then I could/should do something to be in the right place at the right time and/or the right mind state for the accident to occur; i.e., I should make the accident happen! (Silly, when I stop to think about it.)

If it’s grace, well then, I’m not responsible for it happening nor am I responsible for it not happening. It’s a gift, so it’s not about deserving it or earning it. So I can relax about it not happening.
Ignoring every post that came after the OP, ...
Accident or grace?
Accident being something that just happens
And grace being something one is bestowed or given
Grace seems to require a giver to give something
And as far as I know, there is no giver, no angel, no fairy, no demon, no God
So who or what does the giving or grace?
To me it all seems like an accident and practice makes the probability higher, accident prone
But, that saying means, to me, that one can not practice to earn enlightenment
There is no merit system. But, practice gives one a better probability to experience it

Sorry for the interruption

User avatar
clyde
Site Admin
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: grace

Post by clyde » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:39 pm

Thank you for your ‘interruption’.

I don’t think of grace as requiring a giver - other than this world itself. So, it feels like a gift to the one who receives it.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”

Seeker242
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:43 pm

Re: grace

Post by Seeker242 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:25 am

[james] wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:39 pm
Seeker242 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:04 am
How about this: Grace, or gift, yourself with the opportunity for the accident to occur. :)
How do you do that?
Practice. :bow2:

User avatar
Mason
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:41 pm

Re: grace

Post by Mason » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:18 pm

"'If you do not give birth to the mind, the ten thousand dharmas are not transgressed.' Just sit and go into [this matter] for twenty or thirty years. If you do not come to an understanding, you can cut off my head." - Joshu
"The Way needs no cultivation, just do not defile. What is defilement? When with a mind of birth and death one acts in a contrived way, then everything is a defilement. If one wants to know the Way directly: Ordinary Mind is the Way!"

- Record of Ma-tsu

Post Reply