history principles practice stories, books, media discussion forum organizations resources
zenguide.com logo
 
Tuesday Jul 29 2014 12:40AM ET
º login º register º email º guestbook º printer friendly
grey dot
  One day, a monk traveled into the mountain where Gensha Shibi resided
to see the Zen master and study Zen with him. The monk said to Gensha:
-I am a new comer, please be kind to tell me where I can enter the Zen gate.
Gensha... continue...

z
.
e
.
n
menu left history menu spacer principles menu spacer practice menu spacer zen media menu spacer discussion forum menu spacer organization directory menu spacer resources  
login
  DISCUSSION FORUM
» topic list   » start a new topic   » my tracked topics   » view topic
grey dot

horizontal line
→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: KARMA
vertical line Posted on Feb.28.2012 @ 07:48PM EDT by Anatta

1    The circumstances in your life are a result of your actions during  past lives. Likewise, your actions throughout your life will determine your circumstances in future lives.

2   The circumstances in your life are a result of another person's actions during past lives. Likewise, your actions throughout your life will determine another person's circumstances in future lives.


Q:   Statement 1 above is

       a.  the opposite of statement 2

       b.  the same as statement 2

       c.  a and b

       d.  neither a nor b

       e.  an easier sell than statement 2

 



Go to Latest Reply   Reply to this Topic
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Feb.28.2012
08:27PM EDT 
vertical line Is true ...
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136354
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from so_teh
Feb.28.2012
09:07PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line Is poop ...

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136355
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.28.2012
09:08PM EDT 
vertical line You're outdoing each other...
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136356
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from so_teh
Feb.28.2012
09:18PM EDT 
Email so_teh
vertical line Mildly, considering.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136357
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.28.2012
09:38PM EDT 
vertical line If there are only cittas clicking away like a shutter, accompanying the rise and fall of this, or that, or the other illusion, then who is the beneficiary or victim of my actions?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136358
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Feb.28.2012
09:56PM EDT 
vertical line The invisible light.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136359
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.28.2012
10:05PM EDT 
vertical line The invisible light. One hand clapping. Tree falling with no one to hear it... We all know that our awkward language based on subject-predicate sentence construction is not the ideal way to express what we're after. But can we bring ourselves to try harder than lines from 1970s samurai movies?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136360
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Hollow
Feb.28.2012
10:29PM EDT 
vertical line neither c or d.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136361
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.28.2012
10:53PM EDT 
vertical line I digs it.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136362
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Hollow
Feb.29.2012
12:36AM EDT 
vertical line When all else fails, throw logic out the window.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136363
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.29.2012
02:19AM EDT 
vertical line Hollow,
I find it interesting that you chose the unspoken choice, "neither c nor d." I purposely, and maybe somewhat spitefully didn't include it, although this is what I believe was meant by Dr. Walpola Rahula when he wrote that,
"The person who dies here and is reborn elsewhere is neither the same person, nor another."
What I hope to understand is whether the recycling of mental factors through the lifetimes may be thought to form a direct and discrete chain, or whether there is a "co-mingling", similar to the re-absorption of the physical remnants of a person into the environment. While there is certainly a possibility that after its chemical breakdown and a trip up the food chain the material content of one person can become, in its entirety, the living body of another, this is an extremely unlikely possibility, and would take a near infinity of trials to accomplish. Some explanations appear to suggest that a similar process takes place as the mental constituents re-become for another lifetime.
I was curious about the Zen perspective on this question, and whether Zen practitioners encountered any insight into it during their practice. Based on the initial responses my question received, I am now unsure whether this is a relevant question to be asking. I'm also unsure whether this is the place to be asking it.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136364
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from starduster
Feb.29.2012
04:20AM EDT 
vertical line

Quote: "Hollow,
I find it interesting that you chose the unspoken choice, "neither c nor d." I purposely, and maybe somewhat spitefully didn't include it, although this is what I believe was meant by Dr. Walpola Rahula when he wrote that,
"The person who dies here and is reborn elsewhere is neither the same person, nor another."
What I hope to understand is whether the recycling of mental factors through the lifetimes may be thought to form a direct and discrete chain, or whether there is a "co-mingling", similar to the re-absorption of the physical remnants of a person into the environment. While there is certainly a possibility that after its chemical breakdown and a trip up the food chain the material content of one person can become, in its entirety, the living body of another, this is an extremely unlikely possibility, and would take a near infinity of trials to accomplish. Some explanations appear to suggest that a similar process takes place as the mental constituents re-become for another lifetime.
I was curious about the Zen perspective on this question, and whether Zen practitioners encountered any insight into it during their practice. Based on the initial responses my question received, I am now unsure whether this is a relevant question to be asking. I'm also unsure whether this is the place to be asking it.
"
.........

Zen is not so much about defining, or refining, reality as it is about seeing past it.

Things as It is, aka reality, does not begin and end with life and death, and goes beyond the limitations of our five senses, or six if you count intuition.

We are primitive in our understanding of reality.  Much that has been perceived by many on a metaphysical level, including reincarnation, cant be proved.  So one either believes it or not, depending on their own experiences.  Seeing is believing.  Those who have not seen something themselves tend not to believe.

I tend to believe that who we are as individual selves, as opposed to who we all are as the Original Self, is a spiritual self spun off from the original Self. 

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136365
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Feb.29.2012
06:44AM EDT 
vertical line Multiple choice - I'm not buying.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136371
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Feb.29.2012
07:32AM EDT 
vertical line - I don't know what's worse. Your karma or the crap in it.
- Karma is a thug.
- Yes. Snap snap.
- Pardon?
- At your heels.
- Oh.
- On the way to the cessation of meaninglessness.
- Karmarama?
- Blinking Kursor.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136373
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.29.2012
09:26AM EDT 
vertical line Joe Chip - I'm not selling. Thanks for Playing.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136381
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.29.2012
09:41AM EDT 
vertical line Starduster, Thank you for posting an answer, and for not resorting to a trite attempt at a koan. I am a collector of thoughts, opinions, impressions, and hunches, which I string like beads and re-examine along with my own during times of quiet.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136382
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from starduster
Feb.29.2012
10:01AM EDT 
vertical line

Quote: "Starduster, Thank you for posting an answer, and for not resorting to a trite attempt at a koan. I am a collector of thoughts, opinions, impressions, and hunches, which I string like beads and re-examine along with my own during times of quiet."
.........

Good idea !!

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136383
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Feb.29.2012
10:30AM EDT 
vertical line Anatta - it's easy and to put it tritely, the guff is, I make jewellery, I don't buy it.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136386
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.29.2012
11:15AM EDT 
vertical line Joe Chip - You make word salad.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136388
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Feb.29.2012
11:35AM EDT 
vertical line The ultimate meaninglessness of words in the language game or they have no meaning they are a form of activity, or don't look for meaning, look for use, or it could be all that residual karma. And if life really is play, then work must be impossible with no afflictive emotions to contaminate actions and create negative karma.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136389
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Feb.29.2012
11:36AM EDT 
vertical line I also make jewellery.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136390
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Woodsman
Feb.29.2012
05:53PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line I make wood art with carving and pyrography designs.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136391
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Feb.29.2012
06:44PM EDT 
vertical line We make art.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136392
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.29.2012
08:04PM EDT 
vertical line I make sound sculptures.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136393
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Feb.29.2012
08:04PM EDT 
vertical line Starduster,

Did you use the word "reincarnation" purposely, and do you think it's an appropriate one to use here, considering all it's implications?

...Or am I splitting hairs?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136394
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Feb.29.2012
08:11PM EDT 
vertical line This is it. Coherence. Karma as perception. And I'm not even concerned about past and/or future lives or punishment/reward judgements on conditional circumstances.

Regarding 'the initial responses [your] question received', I thought the 'is true' link to the Dead Man clip apropos of your original post.

Karma is creation, it's about how we act, about how we create ourselves. And with pure perception, the problem of karma is dissolved.

"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would
appear to man as it is, infinite."
~ William Blake

Apparently 'word salad' is a technical, diagnostic term used to describe a psychosomething type disorder. I didn't know that. This is an example of word salad: "Blue afraid you no carpet cat got fear bricks of orderly mess."

Yes, it's communication but not as I know it. It's perception at the level of conditioning with karma playing us out.

Roll the credits.

All the best.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136395
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.01.2012
02:56AM EDT 
vertical line Venerable Sir,

You are knowledgeable and skillful, and extremely annoying.

Lord Avalokitesvara called, wants his compassion back.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136396
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from starduster
Mar.01.2012
04:33AM EDT 
vertical line

Quote: "Starduster,

Did you use the word "reincarnation" purposely, and do you think it's an appropriate one to use here, considering all it's implications?

...Or am I splitting hairs?
"
.........

We all have our own trip, or path, as you wish.

I have met people who tell me they remember past lives. I have no such recollections.

In meditation, I asked the Spirit about reincarnation and she said, "They are all my lives."

We are all the same One.  I am the Spirit being me; you are the Spirit being you; and on and on and on. 

So I dont give reincarnation much thought.  There are not so many implications.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136397
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from IZIZIZ
Mar.01.2012
05:11AM EDT 
vertical line

From a previous thread:

As I have stated I do not know myself to be re-incarnated, therefore I do not know myself to be such.

I don’t need beliefs of any kind, for a belief is a belief and that’s all. The truth is something else.

I have come to learn that life mirrors my thoughts and  feelings.

I feel and experience that my outlook and my karma are the one.

I am the continuance of many humans (as far as I know I think they have all been humans?), so I am a genetic cocktail of many before me.

This makes me this mix that I am.

This makes me what I am, what I think and feel.

This is at the same time my karma, for without thought and feeling karma serves no-one.

 I serve myself with karma.

Being continuance and Karma. Me.

There is no need for a debt belief system. No need for a re-incarnation belief.

When I sit and know myself for the continuance that I am. The karma that is me. In and out.

I am faced with me, the reckoning, and karma is the way.

There is in-carnation, there is reckoning.

Re-incarnation is Buddhist religionist belief.

It is a method to bestow guilt, which is what controlling people want.

If the Buddha recalled past lives. Who had passed and what did Buddha recall?

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136400
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from nowornever
Mar.01.2012
07:17AM EDT 
Email nowornever
vertical line Peter Voke: Are you following your karma?
Zen Master Wu Bong: Yes.
Peter: How are you following your karma?
ZMWB: I am sitting and talking to you.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136402
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from frozenaomi
Mar.01.2012
10:30AM EDT 
Email frozenaomi
vertical line I must say that from then point of view of zen I have never really understood reincarnation. If the self is in-truth no self but a particular view within one being of the all self. If individuality is an illusion, if the veils between the worlds not a true mist but the bleariness of our eyes waiting only to be wiped away, the who exactly could we be possibly reincarnated from except the all-self who we already are?

But, much more than that, my question is, as it is with all religions, who cares? If we are reincarnated or not reincarnated, if there is some adjudicator or point system or an all benevolent noodle appendage, what possible difference can it make? If we live life according to any of these external realities then we are following their way, not our own.

If I am to follow my way, then I must follow my way irregardless of the influence of past me's or deities. If they exist I wish them well, and may they find their dharma as I find mind.

But then again, how can they, and I, not. Is not my way to be here, typing, now?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136405
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from nowornever
Mar.01.2012
10:46AM EDT 
Email nowornever
vertical line It is the only way to be here.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136406
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.01.2012
03:13PM EDT 
vertical line There are nations in Asia where millions of people rush to temples several times a month to offer food and bring home trinkets, along with the assurance that the merit they are storing up will mean more money, better looks, better social standing and a hotter wife in a future life. The Buddha may as well be St. Peter, waiting at the gate in a toll booth with a score-card and a difficult conversation to be had. Never mind that his greatest achievement was to un-become during the short span of his own long-concluded lifetime. Somehow he still keeps that toll booth job...

The Buddhist clergy in these nations often see no reason to disabuse their people of this nonsense. Little wonder, as in some cases they are the same monks who recently supported the extermination of thousands of Tamils on the same sandy beaches where you can now go, and sip a drink with an umbrella in it while staring at tits.

I am curious whether these monks are simply materialists in silly costumes, ready to do whatever it takes to retain political power, or whether they use the concept of "skillful means" to excuse their actions in their own minds. It is much easier to convince a person that he is working for his own private betterment, that his right actions are being deposited into a metaphysical Buddha-bank where they will yield karmic interest to be collected in a future life, than it is to tell him that his right actions are just as likely to benefit a total stranger, no more or less connected to his current self than any other random person in the universe. That makes the Buddha-bank a communist enterprise where all earnings go to the same pot, to be re-distributed according to need. That alternative takes away the illusion of control over one's own existence, and might not motivate people to run to your monastery with bowls of rice and curry in hopes of gaining personal favor.

Do Buddhist clergy feel that they are showing the lay practitioner the more attractive side of the coin, more palatable to the mind but equally true as the side of indiscriminate karmic altruism? Do they feel that one raft looks sturdier than the other to the eyes of the unawakened?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136412
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from nowornever
Mar.01.2012
04:25PM EDT 
Email nowornever
vertical line Anatta-this is your karma what you are writing here in this topic. Read it again carefully. Please. If you do not do it, that karma will inevitably control you :(
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136413
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.01.2012
05:43PM EDT 
vertical line Nie martw sie, nowornever, nie ma po co. I find that life's questions, when examined, somehow turn out to be answers themselves.

I suppose I'm trying to verify whether the dharma really is all that is and all that isn't, or if this is all an insidious scheme to control human minds by getting them stuck in loops, much like our own Roman Catholic "faith" with all its fancy hocus-pocus.

If Buddhism is simple intellectual fraud, and meditative states just self-hypnosis, self-imposed on a desperate and terrified mind seeking shelter from unpleasant sensory input, that would be all well and good. However I am fascinated, and unsettled, by things like the importance which quantum mechanics places on the effect the observer has on the system being observed. The theory that reality is subjective and concrete runs into problems very quickly, yet only a very limited number of people, Zen monks included, seem willing to investigate this seriously. Most others are happy to ignore it.

Have you ever wondered what the color green looks like to other people? Does it look like what you think green looks like? Or does it look like what in your mind looks like blue, or yellow, or purple? And how would you ever know?

I once spent a kindergarten trip to the park examining this question, sometime in the 1980s. Years later, I'm still examining it.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136414
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.01.2012
05:48PM EDT 
vertical line I misspoke.

I may have meant the theory which wants to see reality as OBJECTIVE and concrete. The fact that it appears to be undeniably SUBJECTIVE is where the problems happen.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136415
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.01.2012
07:05PM EDT 
vertical line frozenaomi,

Your view of karma sounds almost deterministic. Wherever you go, there you are... Does your free will change the course? Or are your volitional formations pre-determined by your karma, armed and ready to fire by the time you get to the set of circumstances which trigger the particular volitional act?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136416
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.01.2012
08:23PM EDT 
vertical line The dualistic distinction between the idea of free-will and no-free-will begs the question 'causal-chain determinism or block-universe determinism?'
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136419
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.01.2012
08:28PM EDT 
vertical line Wave or particle?

It's your choice how you observe it.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136420
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.01.2012
08:34PM EDT 
vertical line I can't say what it is, I can only say things about it.

The product Christianity sells is forgiveness from sin, and it can't sell its product unless it convinces people that they are sinful.

The product Buddhism sells is freedom from suffering, and it can't sell its product unless it convinces people that they are suffering.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136421
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.01.2012
08:52PM EDT 
vertical line I think that most people are suffering, and very actively at that. It is their pastime, their hobby, their compulsion... And most are quite proud of how good they've gotten at it.

Venerable master sufferers.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136422
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.01.2012
08:56PM EDT 
vertical line Are you suffering?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136423
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.01.2012
09:00PM EDT 
vertical line Oh yes, I suffer with panache. And I make it look effortless.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136424
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.01.2012
09:05PM EDT 
vertical line Well, I just thought I'd expand on the 'e' choice in a devil's advocate kind of way. Maybe the English word 'suffering' misses the mark somewhat.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136425
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.01.2012
09:15PM EDT 
vertical line Do you find 'dukkha' does a better job? I don't speak Pali, but it seems a broader term. Or maybe 'broader' doesn't really reflect the nuance...?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136426
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.01.2012
09:30PM EDT 
vertical line I think dukkha has a wider range of meaning. There's almost a kind of impossibility about translation. The Italian proverb 'traditore traduttore' captures this idea quite well - something along the lines of 'to translate is to betray'.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136427
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Mar.01.2012
09:48PM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line in Asia to be a monk is seen as a potential way to elavate status, to be educated.
and there are many types of Buddhist, if it helps the people then who cares right or wrong. I know many thais and they will sometimes practice in this way (i have been to asia and seen exactly what you mean) but they are no differant to christians.

the issue here is not with the established religion, it is with people :)

I have an image for ya,

and obviously dead dude nailed on a cross, with blood with thorns, i cringe everytime i see this boddisatva.
Contrast this with a smiling guy looking very serene, and peaceful for all the world like a friend. usually surrounded with flowers.

I understand what u mean though and Buddha talked about it with the anology of the lotus bud, in mud, in water, above.

some people learn at differant rates, and look for differant aspects. In thailand Buddhism is the state religion, and it is to be expected there will be many strata of understanding. Overall i must say i loved being in a Buddhist country. But there is the possibility that if i had been born there i would be as bad (lazy?)  a Buddhist as most christians i have met. In thailand monks are not allways monks for life, i think most just go back to normal life, but i can tell u that when the monks do not behave as they should the thais get upset. To them it is very bad, it happens monks are corrupt, monks abuse their position for their own  ends. after all they are people.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136428
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Mar.01.2012
09:53PM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line Does your free will change the course?

this is a christian concept and not as strongly held in buddhism, in the sense we do not exist as individuals 'self' so how can i ever entirely have free will. my will is always connected in ways i am not even aware of to others.

the point is to observe your self and discover just how much your thoughts trick u.

which is what u are doing,

Annatta, you seem to me fairly highly strung, relax have a cup of tea and let u mind work it out by itself (it will)
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136429
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Mar.01.2012
09:56PM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line everything is mood
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136430
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from frozenaomi
Mar.01.2012
10:16PM EDT 
Email frozenaomi
vertical line “frozenaomi,

Your view of karma sounds almost deterministic. Wherever you go, there you are... Does your free will change the course? Or are your volitional formations pre-determined by your karma, armed and ready to fire by the time you get to the set of circumstances which trigger the particular volitional act?”

Well, I guess my response to this is yes and no. Karma for me falls, largely, into the heading of deity and reincarnation: external existences and tallying systems. I have no way of confirming or refuting none all or some of these ideas. But, the point that I want to stress, is that I do not care. Is there a running check list in this life and others that responds to what I do and sets up some cosmic game of shoots and ladders? Maybe. But it really doesn't matter. I am unwilling to alter my life to try to appease some nebulous other, because, by so modifying my actions I will be living their dharma, not my own. I won't live the life of my kharma either. The choices I make and do not make are because they are the ones that seem best. They are my own, I own their consequences, and if kharma or the catholic deity(s) object, then I will have to accept what other extra challenges or boons that may or may not entail as well.

However, what is, is. I am sitting at my keyboard trying to explain a system that I fundamentally do not understand that operates in a world that I fundamentally do not understand, about a life (this one) that I fundamentally do not understand, knowing full well the futility there in, because, as you have your own paradigm, and I mine, no amount of explanation can ever fully integrate our two realities. Therefor, my way is this explanation, and my awareness of this explanation, and the awareness of that awareness. I am, at base, operating my dharma as I type, be I am, at base, operating. I am not certain I see this as mechanistic, if you would elaborate I would be happy to try again, but it is certainly a tautology. This concerns me, and I have no solution. But then, many aspects of zen concern me. Then again, then again, if I was not concerned I should probably run away terrified.

So, to go through the questions in a more orderly pattern. Wherever you go, there you are...yes. Does your free will change the course...yes, while I recognize that external forces constrain the total possible movements of my will, I cannot, for instance, fly, and it may be that there are more ineffable boundaries, I do what I can do in that moment and that action, or inaction, is a choice that I am responsible for and I do not give a fig for any metaphysical poopooing. Are your volitional formations (I like that line can I keep it?) pre-determined by your karma armed and ready etc... ...maybe, who can say, but it does not factor into my decision making.

Free will is a tricky subject no matter how you slice it. Modern neurochemistry suggests that a great deal of what we think, feel, and even the actions we commit and do not commit are chemically and not consciously resolved. I am a moderate on that point. I feel better when I run and this is because of the dopamine and norepinephrine that is released. However, when I choose to don a jacket because the weather is near freezing this is a cognitive phenomenon probably not _directly_ chemically linked (insofar as any brain activity can be disambiguated from the chemical mechanisms along the axon and between the cells but the larger points holds).


“There are nations in Asia where millions of people rush to temples several times a month to offer food and bring home trinkets, along with the assurance that the merit they are storing up will mean more money, better looks, better social standing and a hotter wife in a future life. The Buddha may as well be St. Peter, waiting at the gate in a toll booth with a score-card and a difficult conversation to be had. Never mind that his greatest achievement was to un-become during the short span of his own long-concluded lifetime. Somehow he still keeps that toll booth job...”

True. There are absolutely monks who take advantage of this, just as there are members of every religion who are willing to use the authority of their faith to selfish ends. This isn't even always black and white. Some of that money doubtless goes to genuine charities, and some to good old fashioned graft. This is inevitable, and while regrettable, is hardly shocking. I am not a Buddhist, and a novice at zen at best, which makes talking about your analogy somewhat difficult. But, magical thinking is an essential aspect of the human makeup. We have all twinkled our toes and hopped around like fools hoping for the snow fairies (de jour) to chase away the nasty school bus. This exists in all faiths and philosophies because all faiths and philosophies are human generated and thus contain this nuance. You can rail against it, ignore it, tolerate it, or try to exploit it. Most people do most of these at some point in their life. I, myself, cannot follow them too closely, it just isn't in me. But I do not look down on those who do. To truly follow a religion, and all of the tenets is not easy. There are as many rules and customs as potential rewards, and living up to this system, as hard as life is, is commendable in much the same way as swimming the English channel. It is a fantastic feat of human endurance.

“The Buddhist clergy in these nations often see no reason to disabuse their people of this nonsense. Little wonder, as in some cases they are the same monks who recently supported the extermination of thousands of Tamils on the same sandy beaches where you can now go, and sip a drink with an umbrella in it while staring at tits.”

No they don't see any reason to stop it. Some of this is the tenets of the faith. Some is human greed. Or malice. Or avarice. Monks are human. Any human is human whatever customs, creed, or politics. Humans are capable of amazing acts that one would have to declare goods, and horrifying acts one would have to declare bad, often both existing in the same life. Most of the time though, it isn't even grey, it is just humans being human doing human things in a human world. Not commendable or condemnable, just things that people do. Still, if you want to be mad pick any culture, and go back far enough in time and you will find abominations go forward and you will find calamity. It's a crappy world and there isn't any of us who will survive it unstained.

If you want to find reasons to get angry though it is easy. History is full of tragedy and atrocity. It really is tempting to jump up and down in rage, and one would be perfectly justified in doing so. It's just that being angry is a waste of time. Trying to end the conflict, and more importantly trying to help those hurt, in your case the Tamils, if there are any left, or their memory, is a much more sensible effort, it seems to me, than any, no matter how fully warranted, lambasting. To look at if from another less charged vantage, if I was at a party and two people were fighting, I might try to break up the fight, but first I would move the hosts lamp out of the way, and seek her antiseptic before the dust settles. It is a defense mechanism ultimately, another version of undoing. “If only we can make these people pay, if only we can avenge these death, it will be better.” But it won't. What was done was done. What was, was, and is forever untouchable. What is is what we have, what can we do to ameliorate the pain that is. That has value. What we can do to revenge the pain that was … that only has satisfaction.

“I am curious whether these monks are simply materialists in silly costumes, ready to do whatever it takes to retain political power, or whether they use the concept of "skillful means" to excuse their actions in their own minds. It is much easier to convince a person that he is working for his own private betterment, that his right actions are being deposited into a metaphysical Buddha-bank where they will yield karmic interest to be collected in a future life, than it is to tell him that his right actions are just as likely to benefit a total stranger, no more or less connected to his current self than any other random person in the universe. That makes the Buddha-bank a communist enterprise where all earnings go to the same pot, to be re-distributed according to need. That alternative takes away the illusion of control over one's own existence, and might not motivate people to run to your monastery with bowls of rice and curry in hopes of gaining personal favor.”

Again, the answer is probably both. We do tend to forgive ourselves and condemn others, this is human nature and monks are human. Some do this intentionally, some intentionally do not do this, most do so inconsistently when pressed to by some external need some of which will be magnanimous and others not. I don't really care about kharma like I said before, so I don't have much to say on the second half of this. We are all a part of the universe, indeed we are the universe, albeit, the universe as it exists within the framework of our point of view. Therefore, and the coldest level, help some one else is sheer practicality, a matter of putting out one's hand when one notices it happens to be on fire. But, beyond that, at an instinctive level, I dislike the concept of the goodworks-bank what ever system it comes from. It may be practical, a way of coercing civility out of people. But in the end it is no different from coercing civility by being punching them in the nose. Being forced to an action is not the same as choosing to commit it. Imposing civility is sewing closed a wound while leaving in the weapon. The exterior looks pretty but the operating level is still being lacerated. It is not, however, possible to remove this metaphorical weapon, rather we can only remove it from ourselves (to the extent we can) and hope that others will choose to do the same. This is a poor way of saying that actions must be chosen to be meaningful. Imposing choice not only doesn't solve the problem, it prevents the problem from being solved, because it denies people the ability to choose for themselves whether to inflict pain or not to.

Also, what is the alternative? Can a monk, or anybody else, neatly encapsulate all the ideas and teachings of their life? Only if they take a lifetime to do so. So we come up with neat phrases and simplified answers that approach what we know reasonably well.

“Do Buddhist clergy feel that they are showing the lay practitioner the more attractive side of the coin, more palatable to the mind but equally true as the side of indiscriminate karmic altruism? Do they feel that one raft looks sturdier than the other to the eyes of the unawakened?”

Again, of course, monks are still human. They are going to paint the best picture. The honest one's will continue on into the complications that lie within Buddhism, but they want people to stop and listen (those that do want people to stop and listen). A doctor does not say I am going to rebreak your bone. This is necessary to heal it. This only makes the patient panic and probably miss the salient point and at least tense up. The doctor says “don't worry. I am going to heal your bone. Unfortunately, to do that we will have to rebreak it.” There are bad Buddhists. There are bad monks. There are good Buddhists. There are good monks. There are bad and good whateverists and non-ists. They are also the vast minority, but there is a terrifying number of people on this planet. Still, most people are just people. A mix of good and bad choices.


“I suppose I'm trying to verify whether the dharma really is all that is and all that isn't, or if this is all an insidious scheme to control human minds by getting them stuck in loops, much like our own Roman Catholic "faith" with all its fancy hocus-pocus.”

Believing in anything without deep consideration and experimentation is a terrible idea. Then believing in anything absolutely is absurd. Particularly in zen, it seems to me, that mindset misses the point entirely. Living a life by some one else's rules is to live their life. It is to follow their path. And to entirely miss your own. Moreover, there are undoubtedly elements of Buddhism, Zen, and the way which are radically wrong. These are human considerations in a chaotic world. Perfection does not exist. Not it nature, art, science, or even mathematics. Dig deep enough and things get messy. At some point we apply reasons as we can. At some point we just guess. At some point we accept imperfection as a facet of what is and keep moving on.

“Have you ever wondered what the color green looks like to other people? Does it look like what you think green looks like? Or does it look like what in your mind looks like blue, or yellow, or purple? And how would you ever know?”

Yes I have. It is very interesting isn't it? It is even more interesting when different cultures divide the color wheel up differently, having multiple views of green but no distinction between violet and purple in one African example. www.youtube.com/watch?v=4b71rT9fU-I
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136432
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Anatta
Mar.02.2012
03:59AM EDT 
vertical line justin and frozenaomi,

Thank you kindly for your responses. They have given me a lot to consider, and I will take time to do so.

I brought up the Tamils because I find Sinhalese Buddhism troubling. As a solitary Westerner investigating Gautama's teachings, I have often relied on translations and commentary by Sri Lankan bhikkus to help me understand the Pali Canon and the Abhidhamma. But Buddhist clergy are also very active in the Sri Lankan government, which recently employed a military 'final solution' to the 'problem' of human beings of a different ethnic extraction on their island. Buddhist explanations have included suggestions that it was the individual soldier's karma to kill, and the individual victim's karma to die. This sounds convenient, but then as frozenaomi said, we are human beings doing human things in a human world, interacting with a system we don't fully understand. This is a concept I have been digesting for some time now and it hasn't been easy. But that is also why I read the Sri Lankan bhikkus, and why I'm here.

Justin, you made a rather accurate call. I am extremely impatient and prone to outbursts of anger, which is very damaging and has cost me dearly. If you think I threw a fit here, you should see me behind the wheel.

I do drink tea but that doesn't always help. I know that I need to find a different way of seeing myself and others, because I'm very tired of being angry, distracted, and exhausted as a result of it. I'm too old for this...

I know the Buddha had something. Reality bears this out. I don't meditate, yet I don't need convincing that there is actually no "I" here, that the fundamental medium of the universe is just contorting into temporary shapes, endowed with consciousness and perception for a moment too brief to figure out what's really going on. I want to understand the genesis of our thoughts, and the way in which our first-person experience affects the reality we are experiencing.

frozenaomi, as much as I'd like to, I cannot lay claim to the term "volitional formations", as I believe it comes from my translation of the Lankavatara Sutra by D.T. Suzuki. There, the Buddha describes the mind as a pac-man-like device chomping away at reality, generating cittas with every bite, and using volitional formations as a rudder to direct and propel itself towards the next bite based on the pleasure/distress content of the last one. I'm sure the long-departed Prof. Suzuki won't mind you borrowing his take on Gautama's technical jargon.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136433
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.02.2012
06:40AM EDT 
vertical line There are other deceitful ways of telling the truth and/or putting truth in the service of falsehood.

Translation - can it be done? Traditore traduttore - in English, literally 'traitor translator' preserves the alliteration if nothing else. Although 'to translate is to betray' seems a freer translation, in keeping with the spirit of the original, succinctness is lost.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136435
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from nowornever
Mar.02.2012
07:56AM EDT 
Email nowornever
vertical line DISSATISFACTION or UNSATISFACTORY-ness was once mentioned by a zen teacher when trying to figer out the English word for KARMA. He mentioned that SUFERING was a wrong translation.
(Agatha-my dear native-juz uspokoilas moj martwiacy sie umysl)
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136439
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.02.2012
08:04AM EDT 
vertical line Karma - English: 'action', 'deed'.
Dukkha - English: 'suffering', 'dissatisfaction', et al.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136441
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from justin
Mar.02.2012
10:01AM EDT 
Email justin
vertical line Justin, you made a rather accurate call. I am extremely impatient and prone to outbursts of anger, which is very damaging and has cost me dearly. If you think I threw a fit here, you should see me behind the wheel.

I did not think you were throwing a fit, i have no insight, i have just spent years looking at myself, and it becomes easy to see others when u always look at your own mind.

Anger is your enemy, you are not hurt by your anger you are hurt through your anger, it hurts you more then anyone else and it hurts you first.

If you are interested read the diamond sutra, it really does cut through everything.

Recently i have been influenced by comments made by CT on this site, about ego. I discovered my ego caused me to preclaim righteousness and avoid anger (it was still there)  lately i just let it go i have had circumstances where i explode and three seconds later it is gone totally gone. previously i would have held back out of a belief i was wrong to behave that way and i would have carried that anger (even though it repressed) for a long time. So i have learnt emotions in themselves are not the issue so much, it is when u attatch to them and make them more that is the issue. The dharma teaches us to be aware. this is all that is important.

and the person who causes u anger is only trying to live this life the best way he or she knows.

further if i am troubled by my anger i pick it up, i talk to it i tell it it is ok i have noticed and now i will give it a bottle and put it to sleep, when u look at it it usually leaves/relaxes. anger is fear deeply, and fear only works when u do not acknowledge it .Once acknowledged fear turns to compassion and understanding.

good luck
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136444
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.02.2012
10:30AM EDT 
vertical line Wow.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136446
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.02.2012
10:32AM EDT 
vertical line Bourbon?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136447
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Joe Chip
Mar.02.2012
10:32AM EDT 
vertical line Bottle of smoke?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136448
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from omshiva
Mar.05.2012
05:35AM EDT 
Email omshiva
vertical line 1 The circumstances in your life are a result of your actions during past lives. Likewise, your actions throughout your life will determine your circumstances in future lives. 2 The circumstances in your life are a result of another person's actions during past lives. Likewise, your actions throughout your life will determine another person's circumstances in future lives. Q: Statement 1 above is a. the opposite of statement 2 b. the same as statement 2 c. a and b d. neither a nor b e. an easier sell than statement 2 answer: d. neither a nor b
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136551
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from starduster
Mar.05.2012
10:33AM EDT 
vertical line

Quote: "1 The circumstances in your life are a result of your actions during past lives. Likewise, your actions throughout your life will determine your circumstances in future lives. 2 The circumstances in your life are a result of another person's actions during past lives. Likewise, your actions throughout your life will determine another person's circumstances in future lives. Q: Statement 1 above is a. the opposite of statement 2 b. the same as statement 2 c. a and b d. neither a nor b e. an easier sell than statement 2 answer: d. neither a nor b "
.........

Doesnt apply to me.  I freejacked this body when the baby before me died in a fall onto a concrete floor.  I took over the body in midair as soon as he left, survived the fall, and assumed his identity, which I have had since 1956.

I believe that when I die I will go home to the Void to be with the Spirit.  Thats what I want to do.  Otherwise I suppose I will look for another body to freejack.  Thats okay, I was looking for a body when I found this one.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136567
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from creature
Mar.09.2012
10:33AM EDT 
vertical line I am not a zen practicioner. I don't believe in karma or reincarnation. There is nothing that needs carrying between bodies. When I can look at other people and see them springing out of life, as I see myself, the distance between me and them lessens and I'd like to think that's special enough.

I had a meditation experience in which there was no self, only swallowing emptiness. Yet there was a body, seemingly thousands of miles away. So a question was raised, whether the body was within the void or the void was within the body. But there was an unmistakable recognition that only the body grows and dies, and that it had grown out of what there was before, and in that process, a connection or attachment -sticks- to the body, within itself. So do all bodies, so does the world.There was a sense of what there is before birth, and what there is after death, or should I say, before another birth. Maybe that's reincarnation to some.

There was an understanding that the mind of the body believes there is a way to awaken or become enlightened or whatever, when if anything, it is the other way: The attachment hinders the allness of recognizing the body and mind that it has grown, along with the world. 

The I and You cease, and as for questions whether there is an it or not it, or even a happening. Well, maybe that's the ultimate illusion.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136654
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from nowornever
Mar.09.2012
05:45PM EDT 
Email nowornever
vertical line creature-why have you not ever talked about karma wth a zen teacher. A zen Sensei or Master knows very well what it is all about. You cannot rely on yr computer or any forum. Come on, do it and share yr experience with us, if possible :)

hugs

confused but talked personally to lots of them,
non
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136660
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from creature
Mar.09.2012
06:08PM EDT 
vertical line Quote: "creature-why have you not ever talked about karma wth a zen teacher. A zen Sensei or Master knows very well what it is all about. You cannot rely on yr computer or any forum. Come on, do it and share yr experience with us, if possible :)

hugs

confused but talked personally to lots of them,
non
"
.........

Much obliged, but I am not interested in doctrine.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136661
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from starduster
Mar.11.2012
08:20AM EDT 
vertical line

Quote: "I am not a zen practicioner. I don't believe in karma or reincarnation. There is nothing that needs carrying between bodies. When I can look at other people and see them springing out of life, as I see myself, the distance between me and them lessens and I'd like to think that's special enough.

I had a meditation experience in which there was no self, only swallowing emptiness. Yet there was a body, seemingly thousands of miles away. So a question was raised, whether the body was within the void or the void was within the body. But there was an unmistakable recognition that only the body grows and dies, and that it had grown out of what there was before, and in that process, a connection or attachment -sticks- to the body, within itself. So do all bodies, so does the world.There was a sense of what there is before birth, and what there is after death, or should I say, before another birth. Maybe that's reincarnation to some.

There was an understanding that the mind of the body believes there is a way to awaken or become enlightened or whatever, when if anything, it is the other way: The attachment hinders the allness of recognizing the body and mind that it has grown, along with the world. 

The I and You cease, and as for questions whether there is an it or not it, or even a happening. Well, maybe that's the ultimate illusion.
"
.........

Im not qualified to say whether your experience in meditation qualifies as a satori experience, or nirvana, although it would seem so to me.  You might run it by a certified teacher and see about that.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 136686
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Jun.13.2012
10:24AM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Karma is like when two massive stars encounter each others' gravity.
Once caught in the field, they spiral about each other until they crash into a spectacular show of light and gas.
From these ashes are born a new form ... some times life arrives .. 
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 138767
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from starduster
Jun.14.2012
06:08AM EDT 
vertical line

Quote: "Karma is like when two massive stars encounter each others' gravity.
Once caught in the field, they spiral about each other until they crash into a spectacular show of light and gas.
From these ashes are born a new form ... some times life arrives .. 
"
.........

Opposites may attract, but they dont stick together.

Karma is more the idea that like attracts like things,

birds of a feather flock together.

Amazing Grace was written by a slaver who had an ephinany that God spared his life one night on the deck of the slave ship, and he changed completely because of it, spending the rest of his life as a Minister in New England.

Maybe he wasnt such a bad sort after all, and it just took a little push to get him going in what was for him the right direction.

Our nature determines our Karma, not the other way around.  Or as the Moody Blues put it, *In the end, you will be what you want to be*.

There is such a thing in Psychology as a *Personal Inventory*, as an exercise in self-examination.  Its not a bad idea, to see if you are being the you that you want to be.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 138816
horizontal line
 
horizontal line
Reply from Avisitor
Jun.14.2012
09:47AM EDT 
Email Avisitor
vertical line Quote: "

Quote: "Karma is like when two massive stars encounter each others' gravity.
Once caught in the field, they spiral about each other until they crash into a spectacular show of light and gas.
From these ashes are born a new form ... some times life arrives .. 
"
.........

Opposites may attract, but they dont stick together.

Karma is more the idea that like attracts like things,

birds of a feather flock together.

Amazing Grace was written by a slaver who had an ephinany that God spared his life one night on the deck of the slave ship, and he changed completely because of it, spending the rest of his life as a Minister in New England.

Maybe he wasnt such a bad sort after all, and it just took a little push to get him going in what was for him the right direction.

Our nature determines our Karma, not the other way around.  Or as the Moody Blues put it, *In the end, you will be what you want to be*.

There is such a thing in Psychology as a *Personal Inventory*, as an exercise in self-examination.  Its not a bad idea, to see if you are being the you that you want to be.

"
.........
Didn't say that opposites attract ... I also didn't say like things attract..
You are reading your own thoughts and prejudices into my words.
What does that say about how your mind works??

Please don't take this as an attack. I am learning and therefore, I push and probe.
As for looking for inspiration, I see plenty around me. Am I who I want to be??
I can be no other than what I am ... harsh and brutish ... but I again apologize for it.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 138823
horizontal line
 
Back To Topic List   Go to Top of Page

 



SUPPORT ZENGUIDE.COM
If you are planning on purchasing any product from amazon.com, you can help us out by using the search box to the right or by clicking on this link to begin shopping.


Purchase posters, art prints, media (music CD & DVD)

buy this ZEN CIRCLE
by Torei Enji
Puchase this Item
More Art Prints & Media
Zen & Buddhism books
 
 
d
.
i
.
s
.
c
.
u
.
s
.
s
.
i
.
o
.
n
.

.
f
.
o
.
r
.
u
.
m
.
Copyright © 1999 - 2014 zenguide.com - All rights reserved. °