Void in the Head

All things related to beginning Zen Practice. Here is where to exchange information between those that have already started Zen training and those planning to do so.
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loves' the unjust
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Void in the Head

Post by loves' the unjust » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:28 pm

This is the summary of my wisdom.

that's all counts.

Void In The Head

I'll practice this from now on.so, will be begin practicing zen.enough of reading.

any comments?
cooper

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[james]
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Re: Void in the Head

Post by [james] » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:45 pm

Enver M. wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:28 pm
... enough of reading.
any comments?
Only if you read them ...
Last edited by [james] on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:00 pm

Enver, remember our English friend with the animated vortex avatar image who claimed in the manifesto he'd written on what he called "Zen" that all there is to "Zen" is not thinking.

(this was at the site "Zen Forum International", ZFI. His membership screen-name and real name was "Colin", while you were "Organizational", and I, Joe, was "desert_woodworker", as here, now).

He repeatedly posted selected quotes from Buddhist literature that he felt supported his hypothesis to that effect. And he was repeatedly corrected by Teachers at ZFI, Nonin Roshi and Meido Roshi, among others, but would not take their correctives to heart for himself. His manifesto was based on his readings, made over 40 years ago. He had never practiced Zen Buddhism, and never worked with a Zen Buddhist teacher and sangha. Therefore, he probably continues to err, even today. You may remember that he was eventually ejected from the board, barred from posting, for his spreading of harmful dis-information.

Some teachers may tell you, Enver, that it is good to begin one method of practice, and to continue with that one method for a long time, months or years (probably years). Changing methods frequently is a sign of, ...well, what is it??

best,

--Joe

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Larry
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Re: Void in the Head

Post by Larry » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:50 pm

:116:

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by loves' the unjust » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:25 pm

[james] wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:45 pm
Enver M. wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:28 pm
... enough of reading.
any comments?
Only if you don’t read them ...
Thank you.
cooper

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KeithA
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Re: Void in the Head

Post by KeithA » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:52 am

Larry wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:50 pm
:116:
off topic - this is my favorite emoji! kind of funny in a slapstick way. :113:
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

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Larry
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Re: Void in the Head

Post by Larry » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:21 am

Yes, a little comedic koan :D

I wasn't sure if it was Joe bashing Colin (again) or me bashing Joe for bashing Colin or Colin bashing everyone for not being Hindus :lol:

Probably the former :D

Just throwing pebbles from outside the bus :lol:

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by Larry » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:17 am

And....to borrow Joe's style of humour....I'm not sure why I've gone red in the (type) face :oops: :lol:

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by loves' the unjust » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:31 am

:lol:
cooper

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:37 pm

No matter who's doing what to whom, I don't think that the old Vortex-avatar fellow's way has won favor, compared with actual Zen Buddhism.

And so I remind Enver (even a little bit by way of suggesting caution) that mere empty-headedness is not Zen Buddhism.

Nonetheless, it may be some sort of practice, in general, and maybe something akin to the "witness"-consciousness that is sometimes a practice that one hears about in Hindu practice circles. Prof. Richard Alpert (a.k.a. "Ram Das") wrote about it in the classic book BE HERE NOW, and it was a practice he learned in India and continued with as a sadhu after his return to USA, he writes.

But it may also be akin to the quite widespread Buddhist practice of samatha: "stopping". Perhaps only Enver can say.

--Joe

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by loves' the unjust » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:09 pm

desert_woodworker wrote: And so I remind Enver (even a little bit by way of suggesting caution) that mere empty-headedness is not Zen Buddhism.
What is your understanding of zen buddhism?
Nonetheless, it may be some sort of practice, in general, and maybe something akin to the "witness"-consciousness that is sometimes a practice that one hears about in Hindu practice circles. Prof. Richard Alpert (a.k.a. "Ram Das") wrote about it in the classic book BE HERE NOW, and it was a practice he learned in India and continued with as a sadhu after his return to USA, he writes.
What is the difference between your BE HERE NOW and my void in the head, could you elaborate?
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Re: Void in the Head

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:46 pm

Enver M. wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:09 pm
desert_woodworker wrote: And so I remind Enver (even a little bit by way of suggesting caution) that mere empty-headedness is not Zen Buddhism.
What is your understanding of zen buddhism?
What I mean is Zen Buddhist practice:

Enver, it's what is taught and practiced between teacher and student, and cultivated with a sangha (group of practitioners).

There is no fixed Dharma, so one must see what your own teacher teaches to you directly, and see how you will modify or augment it, with the teacher's help. The sangha helps, also, even if only by its presence (through its presence, and our response to it).
Enver M. wrote:What is the difference between your BE HERE NOW and my void in the head, could you elaborate?
Yes, Ram Das's book, BE HERE NOW, had/has a short section of white pages of paper, printed in blue ink, called "Cookbook For the Spiritual Life"; there, he writes about the "Witness-Consciousness" method, and other methods which he learned from his Hindu guru teacher in India. The Witness- Consciousness is a fictitious division of consciousness which nonetheless can possibly be felt to "monitor" what the rest of body and mind is doing. Just to monitor, not to do anything about what it observes.

For example, if you are on a weight-loss diet, when you go to the refrigerator at 02:00 in the morning for a snack, the Witness Consciousness may observe, "Oh, there he goes again, making a move to eat between meals, and to snack on high-calorie sugary cake with fatty icing". Or, if you become angry with someone, the Witness Consciousness might observe, "Oh, there he goes, taking out frustration on the mailman for bringing too many bills that he must pay!" That's the "Witness".

But Buddhist shamatha practice may be closer to what you practice. Shamatha is "stopping". The sense of a moving-mind is simply baldly and boldly abandoned, during the practice; or, the moving-mind is stopped, repeatedly.

A fuller practice is shamatha-vipassana, "Stopping-And-Insight". But your keeping void in the head may be more like shamatha alone.

:namaste:

--Joe

Be_Here_Now_1971.jpg
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just for fun, here's a photo of the old paperback book
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Be_Here_Now_1971.jpg (98.82 KiB) Viewed 1175 times

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by loves' the unjust » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:25 am

It is what you don't like in "no thought" Joe?
cooper

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:02 pm

Enver M. wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:25 am
It is what you don't like in "no thought" Joe?
I don't understand the question, or the statement, Enver.

But my initial point was a reminder that Zen Buddhism and its practice is not just "no thought". Yet, your practice of this may be good for you for some purposes. But we must not call it Zen Buddhist practice, in case others here think that it is so.

Indeed, in the awakened state or awakened condition, it is difficult or impossible to cause a thought to arise, and there is no need for such. There is then also no mind, no self, and no suffering; there is then only true Wisdom and true Compassion.

Now, to be clear, does your "void in the head" mean "no thought(s)"?

I think it is a GOOD practice (in the general sense of the word "practice": a good thing to do, or not do) NOT to become carried-away with thoughts, because being carried away with thoughts can be "obsession". But even obsession can be temporarily useful at times, say, to a creative person, an Artist, or Scientist, or... someone like Sherlock Holmes, trying to solve a mysterious case and pouring all his mentality and energy into it. Also, to win a medal in the Olympic Games probably requires a (large?) degree of obsession. Well, "dedication", certainly, to put the best face on it. ;)

--Joe

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by [james] » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:03 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:02 pm

Indeed, in the awakened state or awakened condition, it is difficult or impossible to cause a thought to arise, and there is no need for such. There is then also no mind, no self, and no suffering; there is then only true Wisdom and true Compassion.
In any state, is it possible to “cause a thought to arise”? Can we ever know what the next thought will be? Is a thought discrete?

Answering my own questions ... no, no and no.

I am not clear, Joe, if, in your statement above, you are equating the awakened condition with the non-arising, the presence or the absence of thought ... or perhaps a particular condition of mental activity. And what are you suggesting with “there is no need for such”? No need for a thought to arise? When is there ever a need for a thought to arise?

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Re: Voice in the Head

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:37 am

Thanks, James. Thoughtful questions... .

In the awakened state, a thought cannot arise, no. And, no need, indeed (you have it right). Other more primary faculties are operating, parts of our original Human inheritance. There are no thoughts. Only Wisdom and Compassion, of the true variety (not Webster's dictionary type).

Need?, you ask? Some might say there is a need for a thought to arise in figuring your Tax liability on the USA Tax Form 1040.

(not necessarily; while I worked for NASA, I found I could still do advanced mathematics, although how different the feeling was!, especially in the first weeks! Discrete thoughts were simply IMPOSSIBLE. Yet, I could do my work, even better than usual, and I somehow instigated others to do better, also, and I got a second job at night-time for a few months, because there was so much more available energy, un-wasted by thinking, otherwise; that was just the first awakening, Spring of 1979).

We can talk more about this, but I was speaking momentarily of the state of, say, Awakening, and how it is even IMPOSSIBLE to "cause", to force!, a thought to arise then, there, and in that condition, say, during several months. I could not do it. God knows I tried, as a Scientist, to see if it was possible. Wonderful!, because what is then instead possible -- "instead" -- is quite unspeakable. Except for a large fee, of course... . ;)

Awakening is usually covered-up after a few months, if it was a strong awakening. At this moment, I am not in the awakened state, alas. And so, I am able to speak about it pretty plainly, as a Bodhisattva, blessedly caught between Samsara and Nirvana.

For Mahayanists, this is a shipwrecked or temporararily-stranded status to be recommended!!,

And commended.

Best, to you, in 2019, and beyond,

Best wishes for Strong practice, All!,

--Joe
[james] wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:03 am
desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:02 pm

Indeed, in the awakened state or awakened condition, it is difficult or impossible to cause a thought to arise, and there is no need for such. There is then also no mind, no self, and no suffering; there is then only true Wisdom and true Compassion.
In any state, is it possible to “cause a thought to arise”? Can we ever know what the next thought will be? Is a thought discrete?

Answering my own questions ... no, no and no.

I am not clear, Joe, if, in your statement above, you are equating the awakened condition with the non-arising, the presence or the absence of thought ... or perhaps a particular condition of mental activity. And what are you suggesting with “there is no need for such”? No need for a thought to arise? When is there ever a need for a thought to arise?

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by loves' the unjust » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:16 pm

sorry for the late reply joe.i have had some works to be done..
desert_woodworker wrote: Now, to be clear, does your "void in the head" mean "no thought(s)"?
my "void in the head" thesis depend on the final result of my 15 years of contemplating. My strength failing and my vitality exhausted -ten bull level 1

so joe, I have analyse the subject (zen) both horizontally and verticaly.

when examing horizontal: to get the forward back is the result and void in the head is the main princible here.

while looking vertical: zazen - empty mind - daily life is the result.here the main principle is to learn the empty mind in zazen and put it in daily life.

At the same time we can chew over:
one pointedness of mind (zazen) is daily life.

So, to come to your question yes it is no thought in one side but there is the flow of life which is the daily life on the other.

finaly, i get tired of this contemplating issues after all these years.all i am is about to begin truly practice, as whatever it is.
Last edited by loves' the unjust on Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
cooper

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by loves' the unjust » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:29 pm

it is whatever it is.what does this mean to you?
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Re: Void in the Head

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:03 pm

Enver M. wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:16 pm
finaly, i get tired of this contemplating issues after all these years.all i am is about to begin truly practice, as whatever it is.[/b]
This sounds very good, Enver.

If you are able, and if you are open to it, I hope you can associate yourself with a Zen Buddhist teacher, and with the sangha surrounding that teacher. That is, if it is Zen Buddhist practice that you want to begin. You have my best wishes.

--Joe

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Re: Void in the Head

Post by loves' the unjust » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:14 pm

desert_woodworker wrote: You have my best wishes
You too have my best wishes.
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