grace

Discussion of Zen Buddhism.
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desert_woodworker
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Re: grace

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:08 pm

How unmusical.

Dunno where you get that stuff from. But if you do those things, the universe may find it in herself to forgive you. I hope so, for one.
Spike wrote:
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!
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: grace

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:53 pm

Clyde,

Have you gotten any satisfactory or satisfying replies to your OP? I hope so. You've been quiet. But I have too!: wrangling for a new building and environment in town for the meditation community. New building finally found! But much more work still to be done. It's enviable, as a great project, ...but don't envy us! May it be easier, for you-all, always.

I'll add that, in Ch'an- and Zen- Buddhist practice, one practices "Practices" (about 13 or 26 of them; zazen being one).

As I wrote, my sense is that a lot of the upshot and effect of our practices (as Zen Buddhist practitioners, say), is by way of purification(s). Once these (purifications) eventuate, samadhi-state(s) may extend themselves, and Awakening may break through and last as long as it can last, depending on one's preparation and state, and on one's continuance of then-correct practices after awakening.

After awakening, one may learn how to continue to allow the samadhi state to persist. Of course the initial awakening in the midst of the teacher-and-sangha milieu helps to instill the correct sort of practice, especially when that practice has been in the intensive (sesshin; or ango) sort of training setting. Well, see if it can obtain otherwise. If so, good. Otherwise, one knows how one must work (say, again). For oneself and for all beings.

Truly yours, and all ZSF,

--Joe
clyde wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:08 pm
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?

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Re: grace

Post by fuki » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:00 pm

[james] wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:00 pm

“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:
Yes with 'after' I mean like in the same way a sun always shines (well at least for some billion years) but you can't feel that if it's dark/clouded, upon the first caress of Grace no transient affair can impede one's faith.
[SPOILER]
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Re: grace

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:26 pm

Clyde,
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.”
That quote may be misleading you, Clyde.

I think that what's meant is that awakening is not practiced-for. In other words, one does not practice being awake (especially because one does not yet know what awakening is). Instead, one practices given practices, say, Zen Buddhist methods. Yet, as a result of one's practicing those methods, awakening may come. And when it comes, it may be experienced as a total surprise, and one is "unprepared" for it. Unprepared, because there's nothing else like it (when everything stops, and everything is open, and clear; etc.).

But without the practicing of the methods, there is no awakening. Often, even WITH the practicing of the given practices, there is no awakening. If it comes, awakening comes in its own good time, when the ground (body, etc.) is prepared and can support it, even if one's psyche can still be surprised when it comes, unannounced.

Interesting that there may be something in your reading of the Tibetan source called the "direct path". I wonder if that's akin to the radical nature of Zen Buddhist practice, traditionally said as being one "to get at the root, not the branches".

--Joe

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Re: grace

Post by clyde » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:11 pm

Joe; Thank you for your post. I’m in the midst of a downsizing/moving bardo and the disruption has been more intense than I expected (which is little to none; so what do I know).

Upon further reflection, I believe “accident” or “grace” are merely two ways of speaking of the same event. As the Buddha noted, the working of karma is an imponderable.

And while I practice and encourage others to practice, there are people who have awakened spontaneously; i.e., without any practice.


p.s: There are Tibetan Buddhist approaches and practices that are remarkably similar to Zen.
“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”

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Re: grace

Post by fuki » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:03 pm

clyde wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:11 pm
the working of karma is an imponderable.
And yes like that we speak of karma to cover our own ignorance, as karma is but a way to refer to unspent energies so what's to ponder over? It was never meant to be pondered over so ofcourse the Buddha would say it's imponderable lol, as karma is also just a way of thinking.
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Re: grace

Post by Spike » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:09 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.”
Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects (1967)? A good read.

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Re: grace

Post by fuki » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:13 pm

Spike wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:09 pm

Secret Oral Teachings
It's no longer esoteric in Dutchyland
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Re: grace

Post by Spike » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:18 pm

fuki wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:13 pm
Spike wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:09 pm

Secret Oral Teachings
It's no longer esoteric in Dutchyland
Calling it "secret" and then publishing it in a book--kinda let's the cat out of the bag, so to speak. Oxymoronic title, too.
(P.S. no cat should have to live out of a bag. Or dog!)

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Re: grace

Post by fuki » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:36 pm

Spike wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:18 pm

Calling it "secret" and then publishing it in a book--kinda let's the cat out of the bag, so to speak. Oxymoronic title, too.
(P.S. no cat should have to live out of a bag. Or dog!)
Haha true!
The amount of books is ridiculous in the spiritual marketplace, the words of my master were enough, just a few lines we're sufficient, and free too. He visits me in dreams often, what a Comedian!
http://www.byronevents.net/nisargadatta/that7.htm
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Re: grace

Post by clyde » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:52 am

Yes, secret . . . as the author explains:
"It is not on the Master that the· 'secret' depends but on the hearer. A Master can only be he who opens the door : it is for the disciple to be capable of seeing what lies beyond.”
Or more simply, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

And a wonderful read! I’m only surprised that I hadn’t read it years and years ago.
“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”

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Re: grace

Post by clyde » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:23 am

fuki wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:03 pm
clyde wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:11 pm
the working of karma is an imponderable.
And yes like that we speak of karma to cover our own ignorance, as karma is but a way to refer to unspent energies so what's to ponder over? It was never meant to be pondered over so ofcourse the Buddha would say it's imponderable lol, as karma is also just a way of thinking.
I rather like how the author puts it, that we are
“moved by causes whose miscellaneous origins are lost in the inscrutable night of eternity. “
p.s: I think you might appreciate this book. It’s a relatively short and easy read - but quite direct.
“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”

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Re: grace

Post by Crystal » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:23 pm

fuki wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:36 pm
Spike wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:18 pm

Calling it "secret" and then publishing it in a book--kinda let's the cat out of the bag, so to speak. Oxymoronic title, too.
(P.S. no cat should have to live out of a bag. Or dog!)
Haha true!
The amount of books is ridiculous in the spiritual marketplace, the words of my master were enough, just a few lines we're sufficient, and free too. He visits me in dreams often, what a Comedian!
http://www.byronevents.net/nisargadatta/that7.htm

I would suggest avoiding books which contain so-called Tibetan "secret teachings" or which claim to have a "direct path to enlightenment". If you're interested in Tibetan Buddhism, start attending a centre where there's an authentic teacher (who hasn't been involved in sex scandals!) and learn how to practice from direct transmission.

_/|\_

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Re: grace

Post by [james] » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:35 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:08 pm
How unmusical.

Dunno where you get that stuff from. But if you do those things, the universe may find it in herself to forgive you. I hope so, for one.
I would call this a graceful deflection of the speculative content of Spike’s well crafted post.
I enjoy the push and pull of Spike and Joe’s “conversations”.
High comedy at times.
Skillful it also sometimes appears.
Keep up the good game guys!

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Re: grace

Post by Spike » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:08 am

moved

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Re: grace

Post by fuki » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:04 pm

clyde wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:23 am

I rather like how the author puts it, that we are
“moved by causes whose miscellaneous origins are lost in the inscrutable night of eternity. “
p.s: I think you might appreciate this book. It’s a relatively short and easy read - but quite direct.
Thanks, by grace I just might, speaking of cigars, I might just give myself a present in 4 weeks time, I don't 'have' a wife to get me presents.

And speaking of "secrets" well the most common book is filled with secrets, simply when one hasn't experienced what a book is referring to then eventhough one might intellectually think to understand it, it's real meaning is still hidden, so in a sense all books are secret teachings, it depends on the reader if things are secrets or not, in the same way that societies aren't fucked due to criminality, but there's criminality because the society is fucked to begin with, or politics is fucked because society is fucked, it's a vicious circle. In the same way there are only supposed secret teachings due to ignorance, when there's no ignorance no book can contain a secret.
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Re: grace

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:03 pm

Clyde,
clyde wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:11 pm
And while I practice and encourage others to practice, there are people who have awakened spontaneously; i.e., without any practice.
Though they may be FEW -- very few -- their un-practiced putative awakening has thus probably not been confirmed by an accomplished teacher, which, in the Ch'an and Zen sects, is de rigueur.

Thus -- I'd say -- such claims are specious, unless somehow substantiated. Anyway, it is not "awakening" as understood and valued in the Ch'an/Zen (etc.), sects, because THAT requires inspection, testing, and confirmation by one who is familiar with all the vicissitudes.

Though, Clyde, can you substantiate your claims of those "awakening spontaneously", please? No? Else, it's hot air.

;)

But, our/your topic is still "grace", and I assume you mean "gratuitous-grace".

That may be a category in some religions, but I think not in Ch'an and Zen, as I have written. Practice is of the essence (and correct practice, at that, we learn). Guided by an accomplished teacher. There should be no doubt about this, among practitioners in our school.

Granted, there are "Outer-paths", other ways, other Religions, which are not Ch'an, not Zen. Maybe these Outer-paths encompass and host such unsubstantiated "awakenings": I suspect so. There's no reason to think otherwise, since they are, by your definition, not an outcome of practice in Ch'an or Zen circles. Let them be examined by a Ch'an-, Zen-, Son-, Thien- Buddhist teacher. This is the way to be safe, and to remain on-topic, here, in a Zen Buddhist forum.

But the hypothetical, non-practicing, putatively-"awakenened" person may not be amenable to meeting someone truly awakened, to have a reality-check. Alas. It takes some affinity, as we know.

After awakening, a new phase of practice may be begun, guided by the teacher. This is not to be missed, for those Ch'an/Zen practitioners who may be interested. But such people -- here, and everywhere -- probably already know this.

:namaste:

--Joe

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Re: grace

Post by clyde » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:18 pm

[I also copied this post and began a new topic, “confirmation”.]
desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:03 pm
Clyde,
clyde wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:11 pm
And while I practice and encourage others to practice, there are people who have awakened spontaneously; i.e., without any practice.
Though they may be FEW -- very few -- their un-practiced putative awakening has thus probably not been confirmed by an accomplished teacher, which, in the Ch'an and Zen sects, is de rigueur.

Thus -- I'd say -- such claims are specious, unless somehow substantiated. Anyway, it is not "awakening" as understood and valued in the Ch'an/Zen (etc.), sects, because THAT requires inspection, testing, and confirmation by one who is familiar with all the vicissitudes.

Though, Clyde, can you substantiate your claims of those "awakening spontaneously", please? No? Else, it's hot air.

;)

But, our/your topic is still "grace", and I assume you mean "gratuitous-grace".

That may be a category in some religions, but I think not in Ch'an and Zen, as I have written. Practice is of the essence (and correct practice, at that, we learn). Guided by an accomplished teacher. There should be no doubt about this, among practitioners in our school.

Granted, there are "Outer-paths", other ways, other Religions, which are not Ch'an, not Zen. Maybe these Outer-paths encompass and host such unsubstantiated "awakenings": I suspect so. There's no reason to think otherwise, since they are, by your definition, not an outcome of practice in Ch'an or Zen circles. Let them be examined by a Ch'an-, Zen-, Son-, Thien- Buddhist teacher. This is the way to be safe, and to remain on-topic, here, in a Zen Buddhist forum.

But the hypothetical, non-practicing, putatively-"awakenened" person may not be amenable to meeting someone truly awakened, to have a reality-check. Alas. It takes some affinity, as we know.

After awakening, a new phase of practice may be begun, guided by the teacher. This is not to be missed, for those Ch'an/Zen practitioners who may be interested. But such people -- here, and everywhere -- probably already know this.

:namaste:

--Joe
You say there “may be” a few who have spontaneous awakenings, but that their awakenings were not confirmed by an accomplished teacher. OK, we agree.

I believe awakenings are possible external to Zen and even external to Buddhism (though I think Buddhism and Zen are effective skillful means). So, while there are reports and even studies of spontaneous awakenings, there is nothing I can offer you that you will accept.



p.s: If you’re really interested in spontaneous/unexpected awakenings, you can do some research. A few names I’ve run across are:

Douglas Harding
Richard Rose
Metta Zetty

And there are others. So, I’m aware of its reported occurrences, but I’m not interested in one-offs and prefer Buddhist teachings.
“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”

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Re: grace

Post by lindama » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:27 pm

Right on Clyde. I'd say that there are more than a few awakened beings walking around. We don't hear about most of them, no one is claiming or measuring .... The idea that it must be confirmed belongs to the traditions claiming that. ok. Spontaneous is a tricky word tho.... it implies a before and after.... and a something that says so. ask Alice.

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