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  Tri Bao was the Vietnamese Zen master of the 10th generation of the linage of Vo Ngon Thong.
When he did not realize yet the Tao, he happened meeting a Zen monk. The Zen monk asked him:
- Where did you come from when you were born,... continue...

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→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: ANSWERS
vertical line Posted on May.24.2007 @ 10:19PM EDT by En Shin
To all,

I haven't spent a lot of time on this forum, but I have been in and out enough to notice a couple of things.  I offer the following not as criticism, but as observation and commentary.

First, I notice that there are always the same four or five people constituting the bulk of every thread.  Some threads consist of over 50 postings by no more than two or three people.  Why are there no more posters?  And how does this avoid being a completely insular conversation, the same old people takling about the same old things, over and over again?

Second, I notice that when a rare newcomer checks in, generally they can't get a straight answer.  Sometimes they are ignored completely, sometimes they are offered answers which are not answers, sometimes they are met with snide remarks, or remarks which might be interpreted as snide, by some of the long-term participants.  

Third, several participants are occasionally simply rude.  No other way to put it.  You write terse, flippant, ill-considered posts which seem intended to demean or belittle the other writer.

My thoughts about this:

First, there are not more participants because the forum feels like and old-boys (and girls) club.  A newcomer picks up on this immediately and feels left out/shut out.  Newcomers should be welcomed, if this in indeed a public forum and not just a place for five people to conveniently IM each other.

Second, related to the first, people who ask a straight question deserve a straight answer.  When someone says "I don't know how to use this forum.  What do I do?", "Beautiful answer" is not a proper response.  This person needs an explanation.  Moreover, a smiley face or a couple of dots might work for you and the three people you have corresponded with forever, but don't provide much of an answer for anyone else.  "Skillful means" means understanding what the other person needs and coming to where they are to help them in a manner that is meaningful to them.  Being 'zenny' and mysterious is generally not helpful to most people who might come here with a serious inquiry.

Third, there is absolutely no reason for rudeness and inconsideration.  It is the height of self-undulgence.  If you can't take the time to understand where the other person is coming from and offer something that is useful/helpful/meaningful, why bother?  Certainly this forum was set up to provide a place for people to go for answers, not as a stage for three or four people to strut and posture.  Please, be considerate of others.

Peace,

En Shin


Go to Latest Reply   Reply to this Topic   Email En Shin
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Reply from ______
May.25.2007
05:21AM EDT 
vertical line You want answers? So listen to your questions. The listening is your answer.
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Reply from En Shin
May.25.2007
10:00AM EDT 
Email En Shin
vertical line And my fourth point is, no one ever engages. This is not a conversation.  It's people shooting one-liners art eachother.

Once again, the response to my post was terse, flippant, ill-considered, not to the point, and had virtually nothing to do with what I said. 


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Reply from zbishak
May.25.2007
10:32AM EDT 
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Hello En Shin,

Welcome, a creek or a stream in places deep or shallow, the current fast or still, they are as they are.
My wife has a husband though i am not him, would i be exactly as she thinks, what would there be for her to know of me?

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Reply from shayne
May.25.2007
10:48AM EDT 
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vertical line hey en shin. whats up?
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Reply from stephen
May.25.2007
10:50AM EDT 
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Dear En Shin:

I agree with you.

Question should be address is a helpful manner.

To be flippant is not being helpful.

Statements of contention should be discussed in the light of the teaching.

Compassion should be offered.

 

However no pages of Buddhist interactions would be complete without the Trickster. A fundamental paradigm or archetype is the “trickster,” an impish hero reflecting wisdom through his own foolishness or the foolishness of others.  This to can be a teaching tool if handle with style and grace.

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Reply from ______
May.25.2007
10:58AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "And my fourth point is, no one ever engages. This is not a conversation.  It's people shooting one-liners art eachother.

Once again, the response to my post was terse, flippant, ill-considered, not to the point, and had virtually nothing to do with what I said. 




"
.........

Once again? Nothing flippant in my response, no shooting of one-liners, not ill-considered, not terse, very much to the point and had everything to do with what you said. You don't like it and you don't understand. But you need the ears to hear.
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Reply from ______
May.25.2007
11:01AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "

Dear En Shin:


I agree with you.


Question should be address is a helpful manner.


To be flippant is not being helpful.


Statements of contention should be discussed in the light of the teaching.


Compassion should be offered.


 


However no pages of Buddhist interactions would be complete without the Trickster. A fundamental paradigm or archetype is the “trickster,” an impish hero reflecting wisdom through his own foolishness or the foolishness of others.  This to can be a teaching tool if handle with style and grace.

"
.........


And the same goes for you too.
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Reply from ______
May.25.2007
11:03AM EDT 
vertical line Let me know when you come up with a fifth point.
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Reply from whatzen
May.25.2007
01:00PM EDT 
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               WU

Theres a one-liner for you.

   And have a nice day!

               ;-)

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Reply from En Shin
May.25.2007
03:50PM EDT 
Email En Shin
vertical line Quote: "Quote: "And my fourth point is, no one ever engages. This is not a conversation.  It's people shooting one-liners art eachother.

Once again, the response to my post was terse, flippant, ill-considered, not to the point, and had virtually nothing to do with what I said. 




"
.........

Once again? Nothing flippant in my response, no shooting of one-liners, not ill-considered, not terse, very much to the point and had everything to do with what you said. You don't like it and you don't understand. But you need the ears to hear.
"
.........

But I did not say I "want answers," I said all folks should get well-considered, courteous answers, and often they don't.  And I didn't ask any questions, so "listening to my questions" is not an option, nor will my "answers be found in them."

Moreover, if your advice is for everyone, that they should simply listen to their own questions and find their answers there, doesn't that just invite them buzz off and keep their questions to themselves? 

This is what I mean when I say that the response was not to the point, that and the fact that it did not acknowledge or address anything I said, as did the posts of some others.

I don't mean to get on a big soapbox about this, but real live discussions, where people bring what questions they have and share what wisdom they have, and actively engage each other in the pursuit of wisdom, ought to be possible here, don't you think?


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Reply from Woodsman
May.25.2007
04:20PM EDT 
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vertical line I'm even worse in person.
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Reply from En Shin
May.25.2007
04:39PM EDT 
Email En Shin
vertical line Hello to all who have signed on in this thread.  Thank you for your comments.

Just a few more thoughts and perhaps we'll leave it alone.  My Zen teacher, with whom I have studied for many years, is relentless.  In sanzen (interview), when he asks you to demonstrate your grasp of a koan, or manifest your true nature in a certain context, nothing but the real thing will pass.  When an action is required, it might be as simple as a hand gesture, but it must be exactly the right one.  When words are required, sometimes only one word will do, but it must be exactly the correct word.  Tone, inflection, body language, look in the eye, all are part of the answer.  A long verbal explanation is unacceptable.

But then he comes out and gives a Dharma talk.  It might go on for 45 minutes and involve a detailed explanation and demonstration of a specific teaching.  During this talk he asks for questions and goes to great lengths to answer them as specifically, directly and precisely as possible.  At no point does he answer a question with the kind of demonstration that might be given in sanzen.  It is not the place for it.

The point I am making is that I'm drawing a comparison between the two types of teaching.  One is a direct communication between teacher and student, and much of that communication is beyond words, and does not appeal to the intellect, but to a deeper wisdom.  The other is a direct appeal to the intellect, because intellectual understanding of the teachings is one of the two halves of the path to awakening.

I can't help but think that a discussion of this type is far more closely allied to the latter than to the former.  That's why I feel that it is important to engage participants and attempt to provide real, sensitive, compassionate contributions to the best of one's ability.  Also, I'm just not sure that a forum like this is the proper place to attempt to demonstrate one's immediate grasp of zen, as one would in interview.  There is simply too much room for misinterpretation.  I can't see your eye or hand, read your body language.  I know it wouldn't wash with my teacher.

When someone signs on and asks a thoughtful question, such as " Can someone be both a Buddhist or a Christian?"  They are not asking anyone to manifest their grasp of zen for them.  They are asking, "Can someone be both a Buddhist or a Christian?"  This is what I mean about skillful means, and about my teacher being relentless.  Only what is appropriate will pass.  And in this case, a thoughtful question requires a thoughtful answer.  We have to listen to the question, try our best to determine what the questioner needs and provide that in a form which works for the questioner.  

Anyway, this is what guides me in my postings, and will continue to guide me.  I offer it for your review.

Peace,

En Shin

 


 
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.25.2007
06:29PM EDT 
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vertical line :)
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.25.2007
06:36PM EDT 
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En Shin,

what is the significance of "nine" bows? I've heard this many times before.

Lynn

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.25.2007
06:39PM EDT 
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vertical line thank you
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Reply from En Shin
May.25.2007
09:39PM EDT 
Email En Shin
vertical line HI, Lynn,

As I understand it, nine bows is is a token of deepest respect.  In some Japanese traditions in is customary to bow nine times on entering the room with the roshi for sanzen.  I can't say exactly which traditions those are, but I believe they are of the Soto lineage.

I believe the significance of the number nine is that it is three times three.  Three bows are given at the start of any supervised zazen session, and represent a bow in honor and recognition of each of the Three Jewels, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.  In token of deeper respect or reverence, three bows are made to each on the most solemn occasions.

Probably there is more to it than this, but this is what I can say with some measure of surety.

Peace,

En Shin
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Reply from kelvintan
May.25.2007
11:45PM EDT 
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When the Wheel of Dharma turns, let  go off all our emotions and desires.

One will be able to see clearly and directly  the truth of our experience in this very moment, to be aware, to be mindful.

Let us All take delight in this sharing and connecting

Happiness come from the Heart

You give and I take  the joy in Sharing It

May All Beings

 Be Well & Happy

With Metta

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Reply from Pendragon
May.26.2007
12:08AM EDT 
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Too many tricksters!  Way too many tricksters! One trickster is like a dash of salt in the soup. Twenty tricksters is like a cup of salt in the soup.

A little boy at a Quaker meeting kept standing up and speaking as the spirit moved him.

Finally, an elder stood up and said "I think the spirit is moving Tommy too often."

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Reply from kelvintan
May.26.2007
12:31AM EDT 
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LadyYour Number Nine Observed Humbleness

With Metta

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Reply from ______
May.26.2007
06:57AM EDT 
vertical line sees no tricksters.

sees fragmented selves basking in bounty.

sees displays.

sees discontents.

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Reply from -----0
May.26.2007
11:27AM EDT 
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En Shin, the discussions here are neither interviews nor Dharma talks. This forum is simply just what it happens to be. People are not here as teachers and students, they are just posting. This is not know in traditional Zen, this is new.

You are imagining something and are troubled by the fact that reality does not fit your expectations.  What you can do about it is go on posting in your own way.

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.26.2007
12:53PM EDT 
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En Shin,

thank you

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.26.2007
12:54PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line "austere" ?
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Reply from Woodsman
May.26.2007
01:51PM EDT 
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vertical line "posture"
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Reply from Davidseon
May.27.2007
05:02AM EDT 
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Enshin, I agree with you about the one liners, I think they are are just from people who are playing at Zen and trying to come across as Knowing.

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Reply from kelvintan
May.27.2007
08:05AM EDT 
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vertical line Quote: "

En Shin, the discussions here are neither interviews nor Dharma talks. This forum is simply just what it happens to be. People are not here as teachers and students, they are just posting. This is not know in traditional Zen, this is new.

You are imagining something and are troubled by the fact that reality does not fit your expectations.  What you can do about it is go on posting in your own way.

"
.........

"
.........

O Just as one lamp can disperse the darkness of a thousand years, one thought of wisdom can destroy then thousand years of delusion.

O if you meet a Good Knowing Advisor, if you listen to the true and right Dharma and cast out your own confusion and falseness, you can see your own true nature.

With Metta to All

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Reply from zbishak
May.27.2007
08:54AM EDT 
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''One is a direct communication between teacher and student, and much of that communication is beyond words, and does not appeal to the intellect, but to a deeper wisdom.'''

Hello En Shin,

contrary to how it may be for you, it was just that which appealed to the intellect so intensely that it could not be let go, and was the single motivation for the journey into zen.

The necessity of seeing for oneself did suggest a nuance of some unconditional credibility, equally appealing to the intellect and see it in the heart of the journey itself.

i am both a father and a son,

my father and son each hold my heart in their hands

it remains undivided

...............................................................................

can one be both a Christian and a Buddhist?

enlightenment has no deadline.

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Reply from ______
May.27.2007
09:50AM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "

Enshin, I agree with you about the one liners, I think they are are just from people who are playing at Zen and trying to come across as Knowing.

"
.........

On-liner.
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Reply from -----0
May.27.2007
10:45AM EDT 
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no-liners come the closest
all the rest is just a theory of complex concepts

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Reply from Woodsman
May.27.2007
02:38PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Coca-Cola
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Reply from Pendragon
May.27.2007
10:45PM EDT 
Email Pendragon
vertical line "the discussions here are neither interviews nor Dharma talks. This forum is simply just what it happens to be. People are not here as teachers and students, they are just posting. This is not known in traditional Zen, this is new."

Actually, similar conversations occurred among lazy and ignorant monks in decadent and intellectually sterile Buddhist monasteries, as Dogen noted. So there is nothing at all new about them.

One is always free to choose one's own actions and words.  We can always  make a continual effort to do better. Things do not have to "just happen".

En Shin speaks from his heart and shares wisdom based his experience. It is very fortunate for those who can see this. It is very unfortunate for those who cannot see this.                        

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Reply from Woodsman
May.27.2007
11:00PM EDT 
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vertical line Thank God, I'm no monk.
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Reply from -----0
May.28.2007
12:29PM EDT 
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Quote: ". . . one thought of wisdom can destroy then thousand years of delusion . . ."
.........

True! But still, in most of those Aha! -situations one delusion is replaced with another.

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Reply from kelvintan
May.28.2007
12:54PM EDT 
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vertical line Quote: "

Quote: ". . . one thought of wisdom can destroy then thousand years of delusion . . ."
.........

True! But still, in most of those Aha! -situations one delusion is replaced with another.

"
.........

"
.........

O Delusion mislead us

"No other single thing exists

Like the hindrance of delusion,

Which so obstructs humankind

And makes it wander on forever."

Respect is an important ingredient in life.

If we do not respect others

we may not treat them well.

Everyone deserve respect

and to be treated well.

I thank you for your reply

May All Be Well And Happy

With Metta

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Reply from El_Cid
May.28.2007
04:37PM EDT 
vertical line En Shin, you funny fellow ;-)

'I'm looking for the moon! Everyone except Bodhidharma chop off your fingers!' ...LOL!...

If you're looking for the 28th patriarch,
You'll find him pointing at the moon.
If, after that, you still seek the moon,
You won't find it in any of our worthless fingers.
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.28.2007
04:40PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line in that pointing thing
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Reply from boymonk
Jun.02.2007
07:35PM EDT 
vertical line Ok-now! If all the whining is f i n a l l y over with can we get back to rude one liners PLEASE!! hehe :)
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Reply from HarryB
Jun.02.2007
08:31PM EDT 
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Hi,

The gibberish of madmen speaks its own sort of sense in volumes, and 'The Good Fight' is just another fight.

Have a little rest, be compassionate to all our neurosisesesesesesessssss..... there's plenty of room for all.

Remember when all the monks came running out of the haunted woods terrified by the ghosts and ghouls? The Duddeah sent them back in instructing them to say to everything that they met "may you be happy, may you be well..."... and all was well-er or so they say. People are a pain in the ass though, there's no denying it, or rather there is denial, which isn't healthy either.

Regards,

Harry.

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Reply from oliveplume
Jun.03.2007
01:14AM EDT 
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En Shin,

I appreciate this post; I could be placed under the umbrella of newcomers. I can barely understand any of the answers given and my previous post was never actually answered.

If it wasn't for my confidence (faith?) in the philosophy, I just would have considered all these guys foolish and left a long time ago.

I'm hoping that maybe here and there, I will get a good response amongst the jibberish.

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Reply from Davidseon
Jun.03.2007
04:47AM EDT 
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Unfortunately, there are a number here, who consider their idioms as koans.   They think they know what ther'e on about, however, it's obviously just their delusional thinking.  To which, they will probably come back again with some crappy one liner and consider it intelligent. 

Let us for the sake of compassion, just ignore them and pray they realise their true Buddha nature.

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Reply from HarryB
Jun.03.2007
06:22AM EDT 
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When we realise our Buddha nature (we, all of us, that is), when our boat comes in, when the fat lady sings, when the angel blows his trumpet, when the waters part, when the horse runs well, when the mystery has finally come (good man, Leonard)... then, what will we think of such things as spurious comments on an internet site...?

Buddha has been typing all this time... tell him/her off!

Regards,

Harry.

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Reply from ______
Jun.03.2007
07:41AM EDT 
vertical line The world, including internet forum fora flora and fauna, will never conform to your structures, to your your ideas, of how you perceive things and people should or shouldn't be - your demands on your perceived other - your little disapproving, tetchy, sniffy, parrotboxes of disdain. Oh, and invoking 'compassion' won't work in that manner either, so sorry.
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Reply from ______
Jun.03.2007
07:48AM EDT 
vertical line As for the sake of compassion - you are only just ignoring yourself and your own jibberish - who exactly are they that you feel so compassionate for that you solicit others to pray with you for them?
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Reply from Woodsman
Jun.03.2007
10:12AM EDT 
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vertical line I love the different sounds of birds singing each sunny morning. Each one of them has something special to sing about, but I can't understand. So, I just listen..
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Reply from Woodsman
Jun.03.2007
10:37AM EDT 
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vertical line I love listening to silence when people tend to want to cut another down, it's like I am completely alone... it's great!
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Reply from ______
Jun.03.2007
10:59AM EDT 
vertical line One bird said:
Believe in love and I'll believe in you
Believe in love and I'll believe if you

Believe in me

Manifest alive in the palm of a hand
Aching
Dreaming
Breaking
Crying
Flying
Crawling
Falling
Fading
Wading
Vital

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Reply from boymonk
Jun.03.2007
01:55PM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "

En Shin,


I appreciate this post; I could be placed under the umbrella of newcomers. I can barely understand any of the answers given and my previous post was never actually answered.


If it wasn't for my confidence (faith?) in the philosophy, I just would have considered all these guys foolish and left a long time ago.


I'm hoping that maybe here and there, I will get a good response amongst the jibberish.


"
.........

D e a r Oliveplume!

Consider that (faith?) in philolo may be in actuality beliefeo, comprendo? And it's not like beliefeo is badeo, just don't clingeo. You dig, dadeo?!

Faith is an open heart nailed to a cross. <-- that's a pretty good one liner, huh!?
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