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Fifty-two Buddhist Factors of Consciousness

To: alt.zen,alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan,talk.religion.buddhism,alt.buddha.short.fat.guy
From: (Karen McCormack)
Subject: Re: Fifty-two Buddhist Factors of Consciousness
Date: Thu, 02 May 1996 00:01:33 GMT

[newsgroups trimmed a little]

Sorry to follow up on my own post, but someone quite nicely asked me in
email if I'd explain what I meant.  If someone more knowledgeable would
like to jump in, I'd appreciate it! 


>>I found that shutting my mind
>>off became rather easy.  There is one drawback, however, when one is not
>>thinking, one is not accomplishing anything.  This seemed positively
>>Buddhist until I realized that many of the things that I wasn't
>>accomplishing were having to be done by other, harder working individuals.
>This is a misunderstanding of Buddhism.  It has nothing to do with
>stopping your thoughts.  Even less to do with being lazy and

Ok, in Buddhism you are not taught to stop your thoughts.  In zazen, you
let your thoughts come and go as they may.  You simply watch them.  You
don't follow them, or try to suppress them, just watch them.  

Suzuki Roshi said:

"To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to
control them.  So it is with people.  First let them do what they want
and watch them.  This is the best policy.  To ignore them is not good,
that is the worst policy.  The second worst is trying to control them.
The best one is to watch them, just to watch them without trying to
control them.  The same way works for you yourself as well.  If you want
to obtain perfect calmness in your zazen, you should not be bothered by
the various images you find in your mind.  Let them come, and let them
go.  Then they will be under control.  But this policy is not so easy.
It sounds easy, but it requires some special effort.  How to make this
kind of effort is the secret of practice."


"The true purpose [of Zen] is to see things as they are.  To observe
things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes...Zen  practice
is to open up our small mind."

This was nothing to do with abdicating your responsibilities.  If
something needs to be done, do it.

It has nothing to do with not thinking.  There is a time and place for
planning, discursive thought, and so on.

>> I suppose that this lesson can be echoed in most of the religions (ie.
>>relying on the spirit world for your accomplishments), however, doesn't it
>>seem like more of a cop-out?
>Yes, it does.  It's very easy to get caught up in spiritual concerns and
>let "the world" go to hell.

The body and mind are not two, neither are they one.  To paraphrase JN,
"Don't neglect the body by being too attached to the intellect."

Again, do what needs to be done.

>>I'm not so sure the Bible reflects this stance, however, most modern Christians
>>speak of something like this, and Buddhism seems positively built upon this
>>concept.  Correct me if I'm wrong.
>You're wrong.  ;-)

I was trying to inject a little humour here.  Sorry if I goofed it up.



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