Meditation

_Simon_

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This is the hard part to swallow for many.

Ha, the day I forgot about my own suffering, suddenly a thousand others filled that void.

Every now and then it returns but the best medicine, I've learned, is to focus on them.
Yeah... years ago when I came upon all this stuff I was on cloud 9, thinking I've found the solution and no more suffering to be had. Then the last 5 years have been an unstoppable avalanche...

Brought me to not fun places of such despair and doubt... but perhaps that's the point... it's breaking down all my "certainties" about life, the things I hid behind, to tell me that no... even that is not "it"...
 

hoshin1600

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Just go back and take the blue pill.

But seriously, I believe enlightenment is a neurological rewire. ( bringing back the op) the brain has plasticity so it can go back to the common state.
 

Oily Dragon

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Just go back and take the blue pill.

But seriously, I believe enlightenment is a neurological rewire. ( bringing back the op) the brain has plasticity so it can go back to the common state.
Yeah and it's funny that certain traditions (like Chan) are basically a mashup of Daoist return to nature meditations and Chinese breathing/body/mind techniques combined with Mahayana concept of enlightenment (and Indian breathing/body/mind techniques).

Before Buddhism came to China, the best they had was "become one with the Dao" etc and after it became "Buddha says, you are suffering because you are not yet one with the Dao yet".
 

Gyakuto

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Yeah... years ago when I came upon all this stuff I was on cloud 9, thinking I've found the solution and no more suffering to be had. Then the last 5 years have been an unstoppable avalanche...

Brought me to not fun places of such despair and doubt... but perhaps that's the point... it's breaking down all my "certainties" about life, the things I hid behind, to tell me that no... even that is not "it"...
The great doubt is an important part of the Zen process, but what you describe doesnt sound多ealthy or at all pleasant. We do live in an increasingly uncertain world but its not worth despairing over things we have little control.

Im pretty certain my dying thoughts as I float in my interstellar transport pod () will be, Was that it? Life was quite dull and boring, but Im fine with that and Im sure there are many in Ukraine and Iran etc who would love those to be their last thoughts.
 

Gyakuto

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Just go back and take the blue pill.

But seriously, I believe enlightenment is a neurological rewire. ( bringing back the op) the brain has plasticity so it can go back to the common state.
When I was a kid, I had a Sega Megadrive with the Space Invaders game. It was challenging and a bit frustrating. By some weird fluke, I discovered that flicking the on/off switch a couple of times I could glitch the game allowing my artillery space laser cannon to fire two rounds in quick succession - no waiting for the fired shell to hit a previous target! I DESTROYED those aliens and reached unimaginable scores and was the envy of all my friends (whom I didnt tell or noticed).

Thus, I increasingly agree with Hoshi and think meditation is a hack that allows awakening caused by the wiring of some peoples brains. The whole robes/sutras/church/synagogue/Gurudwara thing is just human superstition, our love of ritual and a fearful desire for a benevolent father-figure to watch over us.
 

Gyakuto

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Yeah and it's funny that certain traditions (like Chan) are basically a mashup of Daoist return to nature meditations and Chinese breathing/body/mind techniques combined with Mahayana concept of enlightenment (and Indian breathing/body/mind techniques).

Before Buddhism came to China, the best they had was "become one with the Dao" etc and after it became "Buddha says, you are suffering because you are not yet one with the Dao yet".
Its all man-mad. Im reading about Neo-Confucianis and this mash-up so obvious!
 

Gyakuto

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I think there are some enlightened people who post on this forum地nd some, like me, who just like shiny swords and a well-tailored hakama 戊 Oooo I loves a sword佞弘
 

Gyakuto

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Ive recently found a Zen (Chan) meditation group that meets up for a monthly retreat (4-5hrs of sitting meditation) in the middle of beautiful Dartmoor. Its turbocharged my recently rather limp, but daily Zazen practise, theyre a great bunch of very experienced practitioners (one was a monk in Kamakura for 7 yrs, another an expert on consciousness and bit of a hero of mine-I was a bit starstruck when I met her!). The Kamakura monk has set up a weekly meet, not too far from me too. Everything is falling into place!
 

hoshin1600

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Ive recently found a Zen (Chan) meditation group that meets up for a monthly retreat (4-5hrs of sitting meditation) in the middle of beautiful Dartmoor. Its turbocharged my recently rather limp, but daily Zazen practise, theyre a great bunch of very experienced practitioners (one was a monk in Kamakura for 7 yrs, another an expert on consciousness and bit of a hero of mine-I was a bit starstruck when I met her!). The Kamakura monk has set up a weekly meet, not too far from me too. Everything is falling into place!
That's great.
My entire lineage of teachers have passed away except one and he is in Hawaii. I'm on the east coast of the US. There are groups for meditation in my area but they don't have the same flavor and I'm not really interested.
 

Gyakuto

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That's great.
My entire lineage of teachers have passed away except one and he is in Hawaii. I'm on the east coast of the US. There are groups for meditation in my area but they don't have the same flavor and I'm not really interested.
Is that Chozen-ji? A wonderful lineage匈 buy lots of stuff from their shop!

I was reluctant to go to a Chan group -I follow Japanese Zen. But despite being Chinese, its exactly the same as Japanese Zen, they even use the Japanese terminology because its more widely familiar. The only real difference is their lineage master (Sheng Yen) explained things far more clearly than any Japanese Zen master Ive heard or read. He was fantastically lucid and straight forward. I think it was @Oily Dragon, a while back, who said, to my irritation, that the Japanese Zennists make things overly complex. He was absolutely right
 

_Simon_

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Ive recently found a Zen (Chan) meditation group that meets up for a monthly retreat (4-5hrs of sitting meditation) in the middle of beautiful Dartmoor. Its turbocharged my recently rather limp, but daily Zazen practise, theyre a great bunch of very experienced practitioners (one was a monk in Kamakura for 7 yrs, another an expert on consciousness and bit of a hero of mine-I was a bit starstruck when I met her!). The Kamakura monk has set up a weekly meet, not too far from me too. Everything is falling into place!
Really happy for ya mate, that's really awesome to hear :). I really miss group sittings.. I must look into finding a group I think.. something really powerful about the group energy and aligned intention.
 

hoshin1600

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Is that Chozen-ji? A wonderful lineage
Yes.
First Omori Sogen passed away, then Tenouye Roshi. Some time after was Fumio Toyota who ran the Chicago branch Diayunzen-ji where Moore and Miller trained (myself and my local teacher included) then my local teacher passed. To my knowledge Hasakawa Roshi is still alive.
 

hoshin1600

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I dont feel the Japanses complicate it, But I find a unique very riddle like and indirect way of talking about things. At least for myself I find it easier to communicate in these riddles that are a direct pointing to the thing I'm trying to express, but if your not familiar with the thing then what I say is meaningless. An analogy would be a movie reference quote, "WE ARE THE KEEPERS OF THE WORD NI" but if you never saw the movie you just think I'm weird for saying it.
 

Gyakuto

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Yes.
First Omori Sogen passed away, then Tenouye Roshi. Some time after was Fumio Toyota who ran the Chicago branch Diayunzen-ji where Moore and Miller trained (myself and my local teacher included) then my local teacher passed. To my knowledge Hasakawa Roshi is still alive.
Sogen Omori and this lineage, for me is the epitome of what I want to be involved with. Ken Kusher is an excellent teacher too and he put me in touch with one of his students, Andy Robins, here in the southwest of England. Alas we never managed to arrange a meeting.
 

Gyakuto

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I dont feel the Japanses complicate it, But I find a unique very riddle like and indirect way of talking about things. At least for myself I find it easier to communicate in these riddles that are a direct pointing to the thing I'm trying to express, but if your not familiar with the thing then what I say is meaningless. An analogy would be a movie reference quote, "WE ARE THE KEEPERS OF THE WORD NI" but if you never saw the movie you just think I'm weird for saying it.
Yes, I find that obscures things. Its like scientific paper authors that write in such a complex way that it excludes some people from understanding its content and I think they do it deliberately to appear deep and mysterious! Keep it simple so we can all understand!

(We are the knights of NI! -Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
 

Gyakuto

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I had a quick look on my bookshelf and found this very rare book of Omori Sogens calligraphy.

CCBCEACD-899F-45CA-9D84-ADC2BAF61743.jpeg
EB9517F8-83C1-4FA8-8DEE-886D6D096F47.jpeg
 

Gyakuto

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Really happy for ya mate, that's really awesome to hear :). I really miss group sittings.. I must look into finding a group I think.. something really powerful about the group energy and aligned intention.
Im a cognitive misanthrope in that I dont like the thought of other people! But youre right, theres some sort of energy in group meditation thats hard to define and it certainly helps with ones own practise.

Old churches and Buddhist monasteries have that same sort of feeling too. Sometimes I arrive early for my campanology instruction and so sit in the semidarkness of the 1000 year old, little church and theres a definite energy there that is no doubt liberated by thousands of worshippers, over many years, praying in despair, joy and death. And this is from someone who doesnt believe in any woo-woo!
 

hoshin1600

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I had a quick look on my bookshelf and found this very rare book of Omori Sogens calligraphy.

View attachment 30979View attachment 30980
Those may or may not be Omori Sogens calligraphy. He was the inheritor of the Teshu line of Shodo. In training they had a book like that of Teshu's work. The Roshi would select one of the works and then each student would have a turn to write it.
After, they would hang everyone's calligraphy on the wall and Roshi would analyze each work.
A person's calligraphy is an outward manifest of the mind. It's all there on paper. The Roshi can "see" what's going on with you and give guidance.
I belive you may have one of those books.
 

Gyakuto

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Ive got some of Tesshus work too. Can you see the signature? Its not the same as the ones I posted above.

90F2D117-DF6C-4E58-B95A-C4EB4486E20C.jpeg
 

Prince_Alarming

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I do it as part of treatment for a serious mental illness, not as a religious exercise. I'm not a Buddhist, I'm a Christian. I don't do it for long- 20 minutes maximum, usually only about 10 minutes. I sit in bound angle pose- unconventional, I know, but it works for me- and breathe deeply while repeating the word 'relax' in my head, gently returning to the word 'relax' every time my attention wanders.
 

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