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  Twenty monks and one nun, who was named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain Zen master. Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved and her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her. One of them wrote... continue...

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→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: "CENTERING" AND ZEN
vertical line Posted on Apr.11.2018 @ 02:22PM EDT by Robert1954
My introduction to Zen came in college many years ago which I attended on the G.I. Bill. The first book used was Paul Reps’ *Zen Flesh, Zen Bones,* which I’m sure is familiar to most if not all here. I was instantly intrigued by the “Centering” practices appended to the back of the book, which Mr. Reps’s speculated antedated Zen and perhaps served as a basis for it. I find them to be the most practical guide to this philosophy I’ve yet encountered. If anyone is interested, here is my take on them. Thank you.

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How does one learn to ride a bicycle? By studying the aerodynamic principles of the proposition beforehand? Or rather, does one mount, fall, tries again and eventually…*understands*?
Paul Reps speculated that these centering practices antedate Zen and perhaps formed it basis. If one studies these 112 metaphorical gates into enlightenment (existential understanding), then one discerns they all point to the same focal points: events, the purpose of which is to understand the illusory basis of all events, *duality*: “In moods of extreme desire, be undisturbed.” “This so-called universe appears as a juggling a picture show. To be happy look upon it so.”
So what is real? What is the underlying structure of realty that cannot be further sublated and forms the basis for all that we perceive and experience as if such were real? Number 99 virtually spells it out: “This consciousness exists as each being, and nothing else exists.”
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As with learning how to ride a bike, enlightenment is not a goal that can be comprehended and obtained on an intellectual basis because the underlying reality is consciousness, eternally and timelessly existing which exists within a logic alien to the human intellect. It cannot be comprehended by the mind any more than a computer can comprehend a program written in a computer language it is not programed to interpret. Mystics of many religions and philosophical belief systems have told us this since time immemorial through the Upanishads and similar revelations such as these centering practices. “Centering” means the *knowledge* that all is one: “Each thing is perceived through knowing, The self shines in space through knowing. Perceive one being as knower and known.”
Universal, undifferentiated (“one without a second”) consciousness unfolds like a Rubik’s cube, constantly changes its outward faces to form different patterns that we interpret as motion and change while all the while retaining its essential integrity as the unchanging one. And who or what “moves” the cube’s faces? A metaphorical algorithm called “karma,” or work. “So as you sow so shall ye reap.” And where did this algorithm come from? “…let there be light, and He saw that it was good.”
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Intellectually understanding this principle is easy, learning how to experience it is the rub. These centering practices, like so many tools in Zen and Advaita Vedanta (a more intellectual version of Zen, albeit Hindu and not Buddhist), directly point the way just as one can point a youngster to a bike advising “Balance yourself on it.” It is, however, up to the youngster to mount, fall, try again and eventually *understand*. It is an empirical endeavor, not an intellectual one.
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Reply from Robert1954
Apr.11.2018
02:41PM EDT 
Email Robert1954
vertical line I’m sorry the spacing between most paragraphs didn’t come out correctly, but this is my first post and there doesn’t seem to be an edit function on the forum. (I’m not complaining. It’s a privilege to post here.) I’m going to try doubling the spacing in this reply as an experiment.


If anyone is interested, I can link (if links are allowed) to a website that has the 112 Centering practices on it; a blog that appears to have been long abandoned by its owner but not taken down as yet. I originally posted my OP there, but expect no responses due to its dormant nature. However, I’m uncertain of copyright considerations. Perhaps the owner of this forum can advise me if it appropriate to link to the blog for the benefit of those who don’t have a copy of the practices and would be interested in them. Thank you.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162508
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Reply from Enver m.
Apr.14.2018
06:24AM EDT 
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vertical line https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=FLT1oU1OGwQ
Epica ~ Cry For The Moon
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162510
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Reply from Robert1954
Apr.15.2018
10:31AM EDT 
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vertical line I haven't the faintest idea what your link has to do with my post. But thank you anyway.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162511
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Reply from Enver m.
Apr.15.2018
11:21AM EDT 
Email Enver m.
vertical line Hello Robert welcome to the forum.Unfortunately there left no one around.And i was alone.playing.sorry for playing the 'unknown'.
Yes i have read the Zen Flesh Zen Bones.It is my bedside book.or should i say the only one of few books you can find in my country about Zen.Think about a big country which you can reach only a few books about Zen or Buddhism.My knowledge is limited.But i can say i have read that part.i does take my interest too.especially to be able to know about pre Zen.What i can say about the subject is the book is not near me otherwise i could have share the items that i underline if it were.beautiful book.i think you should focus on the word "Centering" more to have some idea.at least it is the main point that left trace in my mind.
I think it is as you mention on the example we should not focus on anything rather turn the wheels.
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Reply from Enver m.
Apr.16.2018
07:20AM EDT 
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vertical line https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=otbVMyiqUDA

DMX - Soldier

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162513
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Reply from Robert1954
Apr.16.2018
03:24PM EDT 
Email Robert1954
vertical line Thank you again. Best, Bob
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Reply from Enver m.
Apr.21.2018
02:55PM EDT 
Email Enver m.
vertical line Motörhead - Ace Of Spades 

https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=pWB5JZRGl0U
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Reply from Enver m.
Apr.26.2018
08:25AM EDT 
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vertical line _/\_
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Reply from Enver m.
Apr.29.2018
06:24AM EDT 
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vertical line 10 Bulls

2. Discovering the Footprints
These traces no more can be hidden than one's nose, LOOKING HEAVENWARD. 
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162518
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Reply from Enver m.
May.01.2018
04:10PM EDT 
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vertical line everyone is playing big

Right? friend
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162519
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Reply from Phil Space
May.20.2018
06:09AM EDT 
vertical line Big BULL. Right Fiend?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162576
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Reply from Avisitor
Jul.16.2018
09:41PM EDT 
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vertical line Bob seems like a good person to get to know
Like people who are walking along the same path
It helps to talk to people who have the same interest
And I believe that centering is only part of the practice
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162866
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Reply from Phil Space
Jul.17.2018
03:55AM EDT 
vertical line Bob bob bobbin' along.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162869
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Reply from Avisitor
Jul.17.2018
11:53PM EDT 
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vertical line Quote: "Bob bob bobbin' along.

"
.........

What is your practice??
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162895
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Reply from Phil Space
Jul.18.2018
07:40AM EDT 
vertical line I'm your own very personal kairomancer.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 162905
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