Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22

Thread: help pls - my thoughts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    australia
    Posts
    10
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default help pls - my thoughts

    I'm interested in Zen and Shinto, I generally favour Zen but there are no teachers of either where I live. My main concern with religion is clearing the mind and achieving perfection - I believe Zen teaches that well (I have only read limited sources - perhaps fraudulent ones), but is Zen purley meditation?
    Is there any rituals? What other practice is there in Zen if any?
    I'm at times not the most patient person and think twice before adopting a religion that spends hours of time meditating, but think perhaps with time I could come to appreciate it and accept it as regular practice. Afterall I am looking for a clear conscience, so that I may walk a straight path in life.
    So any help please? Thankyou.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D_03
    I'm interested in Zen and Shinto, I generally favour Zen but there are no teachers of either where I live. My main concern with religion is clearing the mind and achieving perfection - I believe Zen teaches that well (I have only read limited sources - perhaps fraudulent ones), but is Zen purley meditation? Is there any rituals? What other practice is there in Zen if any?
    A good, but difficult to answer question, because it's a much larger question than you may realize. Also, different people have different interpretations/beliefs regarding Zen.

    Here's my take:

    Zen isn't so much a religion as it is an approach to thought. It is said to have originated in India and been brought to China -- where it is called Cha'an -- by Boddhidarma (Ta Mo in Chinese, Daruma in Japanese). Because the first practitioners were Buddhists it is closely associated with Buddhism, but there can be Christian Zen, Muslim Zen, even athiest Zen.

    Zen has no original doctrine or belief system. Those that we think as as Zen doctrines are actual Buddhist (or even Toaist) doctrines.

    All sects and forms of Zen that I know of encourage meditation. But there is more. Some sects are "just sitting" while others use mind-stretching riddles called koan.

    As far as rituals and other practices, it varies from sect to sect. Also, practices such as the Tea Ceremony, Kyudo, Iaido, Calligraphy, etc. can all be "Zen practice" if approached that way -- from a state of "mindfulness."

    As far as reading, try finding copies of the following:

    What is Zen by Allan Watts

    Zen Mind, Beginer's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

    Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Zen Meditation by Dogen

    The Practice of Zen Meditation by Father Hugo LaSalle
    Zen Way to Enlightenment by the same author

    An Introduction to Zen Buddhism by DT Suzuki

    Even the not-so-serious
    The Everything Zen Book by Jacky Sach & Jessica Faust

    I would avoid anything that starts with "Zen and the Art of..." for now.

    These are my suggestions; others will have their own, and may not like mine.

    HTH.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D_03
    ...I am looking for a clear conscience, so that I may walk a straight path in life.
    I think you have that reversed.

    Walking a straight path will keep your conscience clear...at least from the time you start walking it.

    If you are concerned about the past, Zen may not hold the answers you seek. As a person raised in a Lutheran (Christian) background and now a Universalist, I have some more thoughts on that. Send me a PM if you are interested in pursuing that line of thought seperately from your questions about Zen.

    HTH.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    australia
    Posts
    10
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    While the past has its burdens. I am more affraid of the future. I want to stress less and be more at peace, so that I can live my life and pursue my goals without worry, and I'm finding that quite hard at times. Jujutsu practice really helps to a degree. But I still find myself under alot of pressure in life and I desperatly wish to relieve that. I was thinking some Zen meditation would help. I am not a toatlly spiritual person, I am moreso however these days than yesteryear. Also I am afraid of death and loss and find myself desiring the loss of desire. Isnt that a funny one?
    Last edited by R.D_03; 4th March 2006 at 09:02.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D_03
    ...I want to stress less and be more at peace.
    I think you will find that zazen will help with that; particularly the stress part.

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D_03
    ...I...find myself desiring the loss of desire.
    Ah! That's a tough nut to crack, for sure.

    It sounds like you're on the right path, though; all 8 folds of it.

    Check out some of the books I mentioned, but don't stop looking for a good teacher. If there are no roshi near you, hopefully an advanced layman will be nearby.

    Good luck.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Speaking of walking a straight path, I need to put my moderator hat on now, and remind you that you need to sign your real name to EVERY POST. That was part of the agreement you read when you joined this site. Full name preferred, but first initial and last name is okay.

    I see where it has been mentioned in a couple of other threads you've posted on, but you may have missed it.

    The easiest way not to forget is to add it as an automatic signature in your User Control panel. If you need assistance doing that, go to the Help forum and ask.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    australia
    Posts
    10
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    np, adding signature now.
    *signature check*
    R. Doherty

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    9
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Personally, I very much like "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" and "Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenence", which is the original book with that prefix.

    However, neither one provides what one could call a formal introduction to Zen. Arguably, all they provide are a number of memorable quotes.

    In fact reading either one might set you back in meditation practice by making meditation as a formal practice seem less important. So this may or may not be a good route for you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BGalehouse
    ..."Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenence" which is the original book with that prefix.
    Actually, I think Zen and the Art of Archery (1953, Eugen Herrigel & DT Suzuki) has that distinction.

    [Edit] I just realized it's actually Zen in the Art of Archery, so technically you may be correct about 1974's ...Motorcycle Maintenance.
    Last edited by Brian Owens; 5th March 2006 at 05:16.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    9
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Pirsig was almost certainly making a playfull reference to Suzuki, a point which I hadn't noticed before.

    ZAMM is important enough as literature, and spent enough time on the best seller lists, that I still find it hard to believe that the more recent books with the prefix aren't making a homage to or simply trying to take advantage of this success. But then, I already said that I realy liked the book.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    20
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D_03
    I'm interested in Zen and Shinto, I generally favour Zen but there are no teachers of either where I live. My main concern with religion is clearing the mind and achieving perfection - I believe Zen teaches that well (I have only read limited sources - perhaps fraudulent ones), but is Zen purley meditation?
    Is there any rituals? What other practice is there in Zen if any?
    I'm at times not the most patient person and think twice before adopting a religion that spends hours of time meditating, but think perhaps with time I could come to appreciate it and accept it as regular practice. Afterall I am looking for a clear conscience, so that I may walk a straight path in life.
    So any help please? Thankyou.
    Good Friend:

    If you want to practice Zen the best suggestion is to contact a Zen organization or Temple near you. "Near" might not mean in the same town. You might be able to visit only now and then; but I would still make that kind of effort to get some direct contact.

    Your question about "ritual" is intereting. Actually, there is a lot of ritual in Zen, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. The rituals of Zen are like the kata of the martial arts. They are a form that is conducive to the practice of Zen, just as kata are forms that are conducive to the practice of martial arts. So if you contact a traditional Zen practice center there are rituals, but that's simply part of the package.

    If you want to follow up on your interest in Shinto there is a Shinto Temple near Seattle here

    http://www.tsubakishrine.com/test/home.asp

    They seem like nice people and are accessible, meaning you can probably correspond with them so that you can get informed answers to your questions.

    Best wishes,

    Jim Wilson
    Dharmajim

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Wilson
    ...If you want to follow up on your interest in Shinto there is a Shinto Temple near Seattle here

    http://www.tsubakishrine.com/test/home.asp

    They seem like nice people and are accessible...
    I can second that. Barrish Sensei is very warm and open. In addition to his regular Aikido classes and Shinto services he offers a weekend Shinto Seminar every now and then for those wanting to learn more about Shinto.

    It would be a bit far to travel from Australia, of course, but might be worth looking into should you ever be "in the neighborhood."
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    australia
    Posts
    10
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    Thanks, you have inspired me to look abroad for contacts and further information aswell as some good book titles. Unfortunatley I am in australia and I dont imagine headding to seattle any time soon, I guess you must not have seen that.
    R. Doherty

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    6,226
    Likes (received)
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by R.D_03
    ...Unfortunatley I am in australia and I dont imagine headding to seattle any time soon, I guess you must not have seen that.
    If you were addressing your comment to Mr. Wilson, he said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Wilson
    ...They seem like nice people and are accessible, meaning you can probably correspond with them so that you can get informed answers to your questions.
    If you were addressing it to me, I said:
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Owens
    ...It would be a bit far to travel from Australia, of course, but might be worth looking into should you ever be "in the neighborhood."
    In the mean time, reading some of the suggested books can be a good start.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    australia
    Posts
    10
    Likes (received)
    0

    Default

    There is a Soto Zen group in Melbourne near my home town.
    Can you describe Soto at all ? While I imagine its a matter of choice, Is Rinzai worth holding out for ?
    R. Doherty

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •