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  On one occasion, the Buddha said to the monks this:
"No other form do I know, O monks, that so persists in obsessing the mind of a man as the form of a woman.
The form of a woman persists in obsessing the mind of a man.

"No... continue...

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→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: CIRCLE TALK
vertical line Posted on Aug.13.2007 @ 09:01AM EDT by stephen

We recently reached the end of the year, and what do you know, we’re right back at the beginning. Of course the calendar is man-made, but it’s the same in the natural world. There’s a cycle of seasons; you reach the end, and you’re at the beginning.

It may seem obvious, how it goes round and round like this. But consider: if you’d just been born, even with a fully developed intellect, would you automatically know that the world operates in these circular cycles? Maybe it’s something we learn through experience.

Zen isn’t different from life, so we also find many circles in Zen teaching and art. Zen Master Seung Sahn illustrated his teaching with the Zen Circle. Points around the circle have particular meanings… but the big meaning is the metaphor of the circle itself. You start at zero degrees, and you progress to 360 degrees, which is the same point. It illustrates that the truth, the goal, the pure and clear thing, is not something separate in space or time. It’s already appeared in this moment.

Our teaching style doesn’t say, “You must struggle for decades or lifetimes, and then attain holy ‘egolessness’” or whatever. But rather: “Just now, before the thought of ‘I/my/me’ even arises, everything is already perfect and complete.”

The circle metaphor stands in contrast to the more common image of spiritual life as a path to a mountaintop. This path image puts me in mind of people who climb Everest. Climbers speak of a problem they call summit fever. It’s not just the craziness caused by oxygen deprivation, but a psychological affliction. Climbers can become so focused on reaching the summit that they lose all reason. They don’t consider that after they summit, they’ll still have to climb back down! They make stupid decisions in striving for the peak at all costs; it turns out that most climbers who die do so on the descent.

Metaphorically, that’s what it’s like to follow a path. When you strive to reach something, you don’t clearly perceive and respond to the reality of the moment.

On the other hand, if we see that we’re going around and around in circles, there’s nothing special to look forward to, or to look back on. Then it’s possible to connect with just now. In walking meditation, as we go around and around the room, we can return to a meticulous awareness of the moment, the breath going in or out, the pressure of the floor against the soles of the feet.

Sitting meditation is similar. Trains of thought appear and disappear, over and over again in circular rotation. When I recognize that the thinking cycle is going nowhere, it points back to the clarity of What am I doing right now?

Ken Wilber is a writer and modern philosopher, popular in spiritual and New Age circles. In constructing his view of human development, Wilber has used the metaphor of a ladder. You start with body-consciousness, then move up to the next rung of emotional consciousness, then intellect, then witnessing and other spiritual rungs, higher and higher. He provides an interesting map of this process, but it lacks any sense of circularity.

One of his critics argues that Wilber and his group are missing half of reality. Wilber focuses entirely on development, but existence is more than growth and development, it’s also decay and death. To avoid facing this other half of the circle is like having summit fever, with a mind clouded by refusal to see the whole picture.

If we look at the full circle, it becomes clear. A hundred years ago, I didn’t exist. Then I got born, so now I do exist. A hundred years from now, I’ll be dead, I’ll have returned to that same point of not-existing that I started at! In Buddhism, we say that emptiness becomes form, then form becomes emptiness. First zero, then one, then zero, around and around and around.

Sometimes, I get distracted for half a second, then my attention returns. Sometimes, I get an idea, and keep thinking about it for months before letting it go. These circles, large and small, are encompassed by the circle of life — appearing out of emptiness, and eventually disappearing back into emptiness. It all points back to one thing. We’re not going anywhere, so we’ve got precisely one thing: What is this moment?

 From -  http://home.comcast.net/~sresnick2/mypage.htm


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Reply from ______
Aug.13.2007
10:42AM EDT 
vertical line All the circles are connected with ladders dynamically; a line cuts through all the circles and curves upward; within the circles, spirals gyro-move up and down, left and right.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 73431
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Reply from Lynnoh
Aug.13.2007
11:02AM EDT 
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vertical line are you speaking of like in Taiji... where the movement is circular but coming from a center.. often this ceter is spoken of as like being a pole (could be ladder?)often we believe this "center" or "point" is within our body...but it can also be outside of it.. because outside is entirely inside too...hence the point can be between two empty palms... often this is seen in martial artists who are able to spiral from "inside the outside body".  is this what you refer to? so what is this moment? it all fits
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Reply from Lynnoh
Aug.13.2007
11:09AM EDT 
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interesting as just this morning thought of spiral and turns and practice of Taiji...but what is not so much considered it that body is body and so that your practice is other practice is our practice is....and can momentarily be felt and realizations can be made, though not mantained, maybe.... or maybe so ! what is maintained?

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Reply from ______
Aug.13.2007
11:40AM EDT 
vertical line Although I may think of chronological 'time' as linear, it curves and is coiling as a transcendent ladder.

As individual self-sacrifice is made, the coil trembles and changes being and time for all life.

Alpha > Beta > Gamma > Delta > Epsilon > Omega > > >

< < <
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Reply from stephen
Aug.13.2007
11:44AM EDT 
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Quote: "All the circles are connected with ladders dynamically; a line cuts through all the circles and curves upward; within the circles, spirals gyro-move up and down, left and right. "
.........

One must be very careful about the term ladders in Buddhism. No Rusty, Buddhism is not a children’s game of “shoots and ladders”. There is no aspiring, only being.

Jacob's Ladder refers to a ladder to heaven described in the Book of Genesis (28:11-19) which the biblical patriarch Jacob envisioned during his flight from his brother Esau.

The Christian interpretation of this passage is based heavily on Jesus’ words in Book of John 1:51. In this view, Jesus is seen as being the ladder, bridging the gap between Heaven and Earth, being both the Son of God and the Son of Man, tying into his mediatorial role.

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Reply from ______
Aug.13.2007
11:49AM EDT 
vertical line Why must I be careful in or out of Buddhism. I am not Buddhist. To use the metaphor 'ladder' in this context does not imply 'aspiration'. Surrender doesn't work or happen like that.
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Reply from ______
Aug.13.2007
12:03PM EDT 
vertical line In no time was the beginning of creation, not an historical event because here is God hovering over the face of my deep, darkness and confusion now; and here is Christ.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 73444
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Reply from Lynnoh
Aug.13.2007
12:21PM EDT 
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vertical line not "shoots and ladders"... what about "go fish"? simply incrediable :)
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Reply from ______
Aug.13.2007
12:42PM EDT 
vertical line Not incredible, just very predictable and a children's game that I never heard of.
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Reply from ______
Aug.13.2007
12:48PM EDT 
vertical line As far as my attempted description goes, well, I suppose you would have to be here. And as far as your 'children's game' goes, well, unless you become like those children you will never be able to empty your supercilious cup.
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Reply from stephen
Aug.13.2007
12:49PM EDT 
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Quote: "not "shoots and ladders"... what about "go fish"? simply incrediable :)"
.........

Interesting! Go fish. The words mean I have nothing you want. Go to the randomness of the deck. Is this not the nature of the Zen teaching? MU

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Reply from ______
Aug.13.2007
01:01PM EDT 
vertical line Paper Cranes

"How can we tell a paper bird
Is stronger than a hawk
When it has no metal for talons?
It needs no power to kill
Because it is not hungry.

Wilder and wiser than eagles
It ranges around the world
Without enemies
And free of cravings.

The child's hand
Folding these wings
Wins no wars and ends them all.

Thoughts of a child's heart
Without care, without weapons!
So the child's eye
Gives life to what it loves
Kind as the innocent sun
And lovelier than all dragons!"

~Thomas Merton~
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Reply from Lynnoh
Aug.13.2007
01:05PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line "go Fish" the game I was playing with my grandson... just before reading no "shoots and Ladders"... a game we play as well. "I am kicking your butt"... he said and winked...  giving name to me? but I'm sorry as this is not quiet right...oh how I wish to be able to explain the incrediablness...
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Reply from Lynnoh
Aug.13.2007
01:06PM EDT 
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vertical line cherry
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Reply from Lynnoh
Aug.13.2007
01:10PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line oh how I don't know who anyone is !
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Reply from Lynnoh
Aug.13.2007
01:12PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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gassho

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Reply from ______
Aug.13.2007
05:47PM EDT 
vertical line Hey Mister Musty-Snide, your bag - 'circle talk': is it a euphemism? For some kind of personal and unnatural practice you have become addicted to over the years? That's a rhetorical question, so, you know....just in case you thought of engaging in meaningful dialogue.
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Reply from Woodsman
Aug.15.2007
01:49PM EDT 
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vertical line grassheohsshh...
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Reply from kelvintan
Aug.17.2007
01:30PM EDT 
Email kelvintan
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Dedicate this song to All of You

All My Life Is A Circle

  • Harry Chapin

    All my life's a circle, sunrise and sundown
    Moon rolls through the night-time till the daybreak comes around
    All my life's a circle I can't tell you why
    Seasons spinning round again, the years keep rolling by

    Seems like I've been here before, and I well remember when
    I've got a funny feeling that we'll all be together again
    No straight lines make up my life, all my roads are bends
    There's no clear-cut beginning and so far no dead ends

    I've found you a thousand times, I know you've done the same
    Then we lose each other, it's like a children's game
    If I find you here again the thought comes through my mind
    Life is like a circle, let's go round one more time

  • Hope You All like It

  • With Metta

  • Kelvin Tan

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