Where is Joe?

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:53 am

What a beautiful place Guo Gu has made there, Fuki.

If you attend Ch'an retreat, it may be there with him, or maybe someplace else.

I recall that there was an instance when you were ready to travel to a Ch'an retreat which Guo Gu had invited you to, but it didn't work out. Sorry it didn't work out. If you DO attend sometime, you and I will have more words in common to discuss things. It won't be theoretical for you. So, this is a hope of mine, that you'll attend retreat, perhaps with your Dharma group there, or with a Ch'an teacher like Guo Gu, or a Zen Buddhist Roshi, or Sensei. This is the traditional way of training, and it is powerful. A good way to learn. And, to forget.

Cheers, and good Springtime wishes to you and your new crop of Beard,

--Guo Xiang (Joe)

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by Spike » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:44 am

"Personal" is telling other people how they must practice, i.e., they must attend sesshin. None of your business.

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:48 am

Spike wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:44 am
"Personal" is telling other people how they must practice, i.e., they must attend sesshin. None of your business.
Yes, stay out of it. None of your business.

I'm talking with Fuki, who has a history.

Teachers invite us to sesshin, ...well, for a reason (or more). It's up to us to see the point. Or not!

You say "must". I do not. Check yourself.

rgds,

--Joe

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by Spike » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:21 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:48 am
Spike wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:44 am
"Personal" is telling other people how they must practice, i.e., they must attend sesshin. None of your business.
Yes, stay out of it. None of your business.

I'm talking with Fuki, who has a history.
I will always try to speak out in a circumstance like this.
desert_woodworker wrote: Teachers invite us to sesshin, ...well, for a reason (or more). It's up to us to see the point. Or not!

You say "must". I do not. Check yourself.
desert_woodworker wrote: Part of that practice is definitely Retreat.
There's your "must".

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:25 am

Spike wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:21 am
desert_woodworker wrote: Part of that practice is definitely Retreat.
There's your "must".
Sure; "part".

Part is also chanting.

Our way has some two Baker's-Dozen practices. Sesshin is one.

Review your basics! :lol:

:116:

--Joe

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by Spike » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:37 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:25 am
Spike wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:21 am
desert_woodworker wrote: Part of that practice is definitely Retreat.
There's your "must".
Sure; "part".

Part is also chanting.

Our way has some two Baker's-Dozen practices. Sesshin is one.
"Definitely!"

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:43 am

Spike wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:37 am
"Definitely!"
Well, if you think so.

Eggs-cellent. A day after Easter...

--Joe

eggs_Easter_a_few.jpg
Excellent...
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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by fuki » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:55 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:53 am
So, this is a hope of mine, that you'll attend retreat,
Brother, thank you, I understand. I have no "desire" or feel any movement at the moment which could direct this psychosomatic form to a official retreat, but I don't know about the "future", I do remember that in the future I will fly above this blue planet 2-3 times but that's more to collect data then to actively engage in religious practises with the few humans left. I also have a hope, that people will change to a 100% vegan diet for the sake of the billions raped, tortured and slaughtered in the farming industry, and to inspire "others"
Best of Spring wishes back, happy cultivating!
:namaste:
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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by fuki » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:57 pm

Spike wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:44 am
"Personal" is telling other people how they must practice, i.e., they must attend sesshin. None of your business.
Spike :111:
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Mason
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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by Mason » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:28 pm

Is non-dwelling or ordinary mind just about doing what one wants to do, going wherever desire leads? Obviously desire is a pretty precarious guide. I understand making an effort to act from wisdom instead of defilements, but that doesn't seem to be what is meant by the phrase "ordinary mind."

At the same time, when I do follow my desires lately, I still meditate and do physical exercise and try to be honest and harmless, going to the local Theravada temple to sit with a good teacher and sangha, practicing metta and so on. And also it's a "practice" which seems to lower my doubts.

It is confusing. Best answer I've heard so far from a dharma friend: "No distance."
"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

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by [james] » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:38 pm

Mason wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:28 pm
Is non-dwelling or ordinary mind just about doing what one wants to do, going wherever desire leads? Obviously desire is a pretty precarious guide.

It is confusing. Best answer I've heard so far from a dharma friend: "No distance."
Desire is not a precarious guide if one will be truly welcoming of going wherever desire leads. I think “No distance” can include this perspective. Keeping the precept of non-harming of course.
Last edited by [james] on Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by fuki » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:39 pm

Mason wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:28 pm
going wherever desire leads?
Non-dwelling="affirming no direction" action=non-action, whether sitting, standing, walking etc

ps what do you mean with desire, the common desire arising from causes and conditions, the desire from the Heart which is "calling you home" or as some might say "the deepest seat of your consciousness" etc etc Give us some everyday example, and say what concerns you or what is confusing about it, or what your doubts are.
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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by Mason » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:34 pm

Ok, some examples:

I'm addicted to nicotine. I want to quit, but I also want to continue. The latter is what tends to happen, so to be "ordinary" would be to just let it happen. But it makes me feel pretty crappy and increases my anxiety.

I love movies, poetry, music, video games, etc. But some of that stuff is really, really dark and bloody, and I'm not sure I should be putting my mind in that kind of space. I also understand the Middle Way to be one of renouncing both self-mortification and sensual pleasures. At the same time though, doing these things somehow seems to provide good opportunities for practice. So that makes doubt arise, but that too seems to be a good opportunity for practice.

I love talking about the Dharma but I have a fear that I am screwing it up, missing the point, or acting too much like a teacher when I'm really just a trainee. My facility with words can make me seem wiser than I actually am. But I just love the feeling of exploring the dharma and giving advice to people who are struggling, especially if they seem to be struggling in a way that I have myself experienced, or which seems to be directly or indirectly addressed in the scriptures that I've studied.

I love what might be called "spiritual materialism." Studying all sorts of different paths and experimenting with different techniques - for example, working with the ordinary mind koan. Not being in a Zen Buddhist practice situation, working with a koan doesn't make a lot of sense. But I feel a need to work with this koan because I want to be more grounded and ordinary, but without halting in my practice.

And so on and so on. Ultimately I would like to attain full enlightenment, but how can I get there if I'm just sitting around, playing video games, smoking cigarettes and making fart jokes in the Lounge??
"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

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by fuki » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:13 pm

Mason, all the things you name and mention (including the bloody dark stuff) is exactly all the things I loved/did. funny!
You're clearly in between your own crossfire, I agree that everything you mention (and whatever arises) is a good opportunity for practise/insight, on the other hand...well you already know/feel that so I won't have to waste any words on it.

It's all about conditions, and you can't force a flower to bloom, what I will say that helped for me (eventhough it's never been a mental goal or exercise)is to change just one thing "completely", whether it's movies/games and every morning go take long walks/bicycle rides in nature, go easy on yourself, don't suddenly give up everything because that will lead to other extremes (like meditating for 12 hours per day and then the old habits will return) Things will fall of by themselves, which means habits aren't given up but they will lose their meaning, so practise is important, but keep it simple, take daily walks and practise (zazen) naturally, like 5 minutes a day, or a few times 5 minutes, whatever flows best, and then stick with that. Also for me it was vital to have that one trusted brother or teacher which I could always go to for advice, whether it was offline or online. Forget about reading texts perhaps because you seem to be in a mental zone so I would focus on physical practise, which Ch'an (mostly) is afterall. You can't go wrong with nature, don't go on a hour bike ride with the idea that you're doing it to overcome or transform anything, just do it. You'll notice that if you change one thing, or one thing will fall off, the rest will follow effortlessly, and you won't have to pick and choose, but start with that one thing (whatever it may be) Don't worry about the dark stuff, you will lose interest in it. ps there's no problem giving advice to people, we all are each others students and teachers, don't worry about it. A lot of stuff you worry about you seemed to have picked up from Buddhist forum nonsense from self-contracted indivuduals who talk about "true teachers" and students all day, and "truee buddhadharma" If you can't help someone else with your buddhadharma experience you're at least helping yourself in the very process, actually you're probably helping more then you know. ;)
Get some outside practise or hobby, photograph (farting) birds or something or take up gardening, something like that, perhaps the wabi-sabi stuff interest you, try out new thingies. I loved gaming and watching horror movies, now I watch birds and clouds and sing silly songs to people on the street, it's a different type of horror movie but I like it! :lol:

Cultivate your ground, put some seeds in it and rain will come when you least expect it (drop the books for now?)
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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by Mason » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:52 pm

Thanks Fuki, sounds about right, but I'm not sure what you mean by "change on thing completely." Are you saying that I should focus on renouncing one thing at a time? Or that I should acquire new habits, or otherwise change my life in some small way one at a time?

Also, other people seem to be perfectly capable of keeping their habits throughout their lives, so what is it that makes me any different? If everybody is ordinary, why isn't everybody on the Way? If indeed ordinary mind is the Way?

Anyway, I know this is for me to chew on, and that my many questions may not lead anywhere or could even spoil the process.

But so far, great responses. Thanks! ....but I wonder..... Where is Joe??
"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

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:11 am

"Mace!",

Hi, Mason.
Mason wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:28 pm
I understand making an effort to act from wisdom instead of defilements, but that doesn't seem to be what is meant by the phrase "ordinary mind."
IMO, "ordinary mind" is the mind after awakening. Nothing sophisticated, smart, or artsy-fartsy.

Very many -- too many! -- folks mistake the phrase to mean "Ordinary DELUDED" mind. Wrong-O-roony!

Ordinary mind is NOT ordinary-deluded-mind.

Correct and sufficient practice, and awakening, allow ordinary mind to emerge; that is, to be uncovered, and thereafter to be in force. Meanwhile, it's COVERED. Covered-up. No inkling of it is sensed until it is ...uncovered. A teacher will confirm that it is truly uncovered, one cannot do this on one's own. ( "Danger, Will Robinson!" ).

But, It becomes covered up again, as many know. Maybe after weeks or months. "The Three Poisons Rise Endlessly". And, so we PRACTICE. And continue to PRACTICE. And practice.

It's just the Zen Buddhist way.

Job-security.

So I say!

Don't blame Joe, though. I'm in this boat, too!

The Big Vehicle...

;)

--Joe

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by Mason » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:29 am

Thanks Joe, good to see you. I tend to disappear when you do, so thanks for giving me something I can feel!

Okay, let's throw out the formal Zen labels for a moment, and look at this very practically.

I don't know what Nan-ch'uan meant by the phrase, but it resonates with something that is coming up in my life lately. Having recently emerged from a phase of rather intense delusion, I feel the need to take it easy and let go of effort sometimes. That seems to me like a reasonable thing to do.

However, when I let go of effort, practice seems to continue, and oftentimes in a deeper way than if I had forced myself to meditate or avoid certain thoughts. Which is not to say that I have given up meditation or working skillfully with thoughts. And as I said, I do attend the local Theravada temple several days a week to sit with sangha and ask questions of the teacher. So I do have correct practice, in my opinion.

There is a place for this kind of thing in Theravada Buddhism, by the way, called "Right Effort." I interpret that to mean, very simply: do what works. Maybe it has absolutely nothing to do with Nan-ch'uan, Chao-chou, or Ch'an/Zen/Buddhism at all. The core question is this: following desire, freed up from certain habitual behaviors by the precepts, seems to take me to places of great fruit for practice, including sensual pleasures (music, poetry, the Lounge, etc.). But sensual pleasures don't seem to be approved of or practiced by the great masters of Ch'an, such as Hsu Yun.

This gives rise to doubts, but those doubts also occur to me as a fruitful area for practice. And so I practice them, taking leap after leap in the darkness.

So yeah, that all sounds good and like I'm doing the right thing, eh? ....But, in the final analysis, I still don't know.
"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

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by Mason » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:10 am

fuki wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:13 pm
Forget about reading texts perhaps because you seem to be in a mental zone so I would focus on physical practise, which Ch'an (mostly) is afterall.
Ah, oops! By the time I read your post today, I had already ordered three books (The Record of Linji, The Sayings of Layman P'ang, and Sun-face Buddha: Teachings of Ma-tsu)... Well, it's what I wanted to do! :lol:
"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

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:17 am

Mason, an incredible amount of what has traditionally filled-up the time of monastics in the Ch'an and Zen traditions has been the Arts.

This has also been considered necessary by the "Masters" of those monastics. Else, "Out you go, Jimbo", to the next monastery down the road a piece (10-20 miles?). (hmm, ha!, I'm probably wrong about that, and just imagining it, ...in a "perfect world" ;) ).

Anyway, "Fine-business", as we say in the amateur-radio arena. It means, just, "Cool", I think. Cool. I have a call-sign, but won't give it here, unless there are other Hams here who wanna know. I'm doubting it. But, best 73,

Yours,

--Joe

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Re: Where is Joe?

Post by fuki » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:55 am

Mason wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:10 am

Ah, oops! By the time I read your post today, I had already ordered three books (The Record of Linji, The Sayings of Layman P'ang, and Sun-face Buddha: Teachings of Ma-tsu)... Well, it's what I wanted to do! :lol:
92706020.Wq4OnTek.CausesandConditions.jpg
Close the book and exhale
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There you've read it! :hatsoff:
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