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Intellectual Zen

To: alt.magick.tyagi
From: tyagI@houseofkaos.Abyss.coM (Hsi Wang Mu)
Subject: Intellectual Zen 
Date: 49941129

Quoting: | (Barbara O'Brien) 
         # Kapleau and others 

|...a more significant quotation by Kapleau is:

# ... Not unsurprisingly, therefore, we do have the attempt on the part of 
# some commentators, obviously unpraticed in Zen, to show that sitting is not
# indispensable to Zen discipline. In his _The Way of Zen_ (pp. 101,103)
# Alan Watts even tries to prove, by iting portions of a well-known dialogue, 
# that the Zen masters themselves have impugned sitting.

Watts, p. 101:

% The record of Lin-chi's teaching, the _Lin-chi Lu_ (Japanese, _Rinzai 
% Roku_), shows a character of immense vitality and originality, lecturing
% his students in informal and often somewhat 'racy' language.  It is as
% if Lin-chi were using the whole strength of his personality to force the
% student into immediate awakening.  Again and again he berates them for
% not having enough faith in themselves, for letting their minds 'gallop
% around' in search of something which they have never lost, and which is
% 'right before you at this very moment.'  Awakening for Lin-chi seems
% primarily a matter of 'nerve' - the courage to 'let go' without further
% delay in the unwavering faith that one's natural, spontaneous functioning
% is the Buddha mind.  His approach to conceptual Buddhism, to the student's
% obsession with stages to be reached and goals to be attained, is icono-
% clastic.
% [Quoting Lin-chi]
%	Why do I talk here?  Only because you followers of the Tao go
%	galloping around in search of the mind, and are unable to stop
%	it.  On the other hand, the ancients acted in a leisurely way,
%	appropriate to circumstances (as they arose).  O you followers
%	of the Tao -- when you get my point of view you will sit in
%	judgement on top of the ... Buddhas' heads.  Those who have
%	completed the ten stages will seem like underlings, and those
%	who have arrived at Supreme Awakening will seem as if they had
%	cangues around their necks.  The Arhans and Pratyeka-buddhas
%	are like a dirty privy.  *Bodhi* and *nirvana* are like hitching-
%	posts for a donkey.
% [Watts' note: _Lin-chi Lu_ in _Ku-tsun-hsu Yu-lu_, 1. 4, pp. 5-6.]

Does Kapleau not sit atop the Buddhas' heads and pronounce judgement
about intellectual practices?  Is it possible that, as Lin-chi says
here, those who are now revered for their 'mastery' are, in truth, 
poseurs who have learned to feign wisdom-as-immobility, judging others
in an obvious and embarrassing display of their hubris?

Watts goes on:

% On the importance of the 'natural' or 'unaffected' (*wu-shih*) life
% he is especially emphatic:
% [Again quoting Lin-chi]
%	There is no place in Buddhism for using effort.  Just be
%	ordinary and nothing special.  Relieve your bowels, pass
%	water, put on your clothes, and eat your food.  When you're
%	tired, go and lie down.  Ignorant people may laugh at me,
%	but the wise will understand....  As you go from place to
%	place, if you regard each one as your home, they will all
%	be genuine, for when circumstances come you must not try
%	to change them.  Thus your usual habits of feeling, which
%	make *karma* for the Five Hells, will of themselves become
%	the Great Ocean of Liberation.
% [Watts' note: *Ibid*, p. 7.]

Isn't a 'roshi' a contradiction to 'nothing special'?  Isn't dedicated
sitting in pursuit of 'enlightenment' 'using effort'?  How much can
these writing roshis say that they are 'being ordinary'?  Isn't the 
height of 'trying to change things' when we begin to sit in order
to change ourselves?  There is a potent argument here which cannot be
easily passed off, even by Roshi Kapleau.  Watts lets Lin-chi do the
talking, and in this he is founding himself upon the very masters with
which Roshi Kapleau might wish to associate.

|Before we go any further, we should note that several other teachers,
|including Thich Nhat Hanh, have leveled the same criticism at Watts. 
|I've heard my teacher call Watts a "dilettante" on several occasions.

You are merely repeating gossip.  Why don't you look at what these
supposed teachers are criticizing and compare it directly with your
own experience?  Look, here's the other quote which appears to 
trouble Kapleau:

Watts p. 103:

% Thus it should be obvious that the 'naturalness' of these T'ang
% masters [Ma-tsu, Nan-ch'uan, Chao-chou, Huang-po, and Lin-chi]
% is not to be taken just literally, as if Zen were merely to glory
% in being a completely ordinary, vulgar fellow who scatters ideals
% to the winds and behaves as he pleases -- for this would in itself
% be an affectation.  The 'naturalness' of Zen flourishes only when
% one has lost affectedness and self-consciousness of every description.
% But a spirit of this kind comes and goes like the wind, and is the
% most impossible thing to institutionalize and preserve.

HERE is why ROSHI Kapleau (and perhaps other adherents to tradition)
argues against Watts!  People may get the idea that if the 'zen spirit'
is impossible to institutionalize and preserve, then the institutions
may amount to something OTHER than the preservation of the zen spirit.

In fact, I assert that the traditions, the institutions, the historio-
graphy of masters and the lineages are composed entirely of KARMA.  It
is as if one were to take all the most horrid aspects of the various
masters through the ages and combine them into a badge to wear.  The
lineages are carrying the karma of the masters and corrupting the zen
spirit at its base through attempting to institutionalize and preserve
it, CONTRARY to what many masters teach (such as those of the T'ang).

And of course those who reside *within* these traditions will castigate
and criticize those who point out the problems of organization, of
institutionalization, for the critics are *part of the karma of the 
masters*, degenerating the teachings and putrifying the teachings of 
the Buddha.

Watts goes on:

% Yet in the late T'ang dynasty the genius and vitality of Zen was such
% that it was coming to be a dominant form of Buddhism in China, though
% its relation to other schools was often very close....  
% In 845 there was a brief but vigorous persecution of Buddhism by the 
% Taoist Emperor Wu-tsung.  Temples and monasteries were destroyed, 
% their lands confiscated, and the monks compelled to return to lay 
% life.  Fortunately, his enthusiasm for Taoist alchemy soon involved 
% him in experiments with the 'Elixir of Immortality,' and from 
% partaking of this concoction he shortly died.  Zen had survived the 
% persecution better than any other school, and now entered into a 
% long era of imperial and popular favor.  Hundreds of monks thronged 
% its wealthy monastic institutions, and the fortunes of the school 
% so prospered and its numbers so increased that the preservation of 
% its spirit became a very serious problem.
% Popularity almost invariably leads to a deteriorization of quality, and
% as Zen became less of an informal spiritual movement and more of a
% settled institution, it underwent a curious change of character.  It
% became necessary to 'standardize' its methods and to find means for the
% masters to handle students in large numbers.  There were also the special
% problems which arise for monastic communities when their membership
% increases, their traditions harden, and their novices tend more and more
% to be mere boys without natural vocation, sent for training by their pious
% families.  The effect of this last factor upon the development of
% institutional Zen can hardly be underestimated.  For the Zen community
% became less an association of mature men with spiritual interests, and
% more of an ecclesiastical boarding school for adolescent boys.
% Under such circumstances the problem of discipline became paramount.  The
% Zen masters were forced to concern themselves not only with the way of
% liberation from convention, but also with the instilling of convention,
% of ordinary manners and morals, in raw youths.  The mature Western student
% who discovers an interest in Zen as a philosophy or as a way of liberation
% must be careful to keep this in mind, for otherwise he may be unpleasantly
% startled by monastic Zen as it exists today in Japan.  He will find that
% Zen is a discipline enforced with a big stick.  He will find that, although
% it is still an effective way of liberation at its 'upper end,' its main
% preoccupation is with a disciplinary regimen which 'trains character' in
% the same way as the old-fashioned British public school or the Jesuit
% novitiate.  But it does the job remarkably well.  The 'Zen type' is an
% extremely fine type -- as types go -- self-reliant, humorous, clean and
% orderly to a fault, energetic though unhurried, and 'hard as nails'
% without lack of keen aesthetic sensibility.  The general impression of
% these men is that they have the same sort of balance as the Daruma doll:
% they are not rigid, but no one can knock them down.
% Still another crucial problem arises when a spiritual institution comes
% into prosperity and power -- the very human problem of competition for
% office and of who has the right to be a master.  Concern for this problem
% is reflected in the writing of the _Ch'uan Teng Lu_, or _Record of the
% Transmission Lamp_, by Tao-yuan in about 1004.  For one of the main objects
% of this work was to establish a proper 'apostolic succession' for the Zen
% tradition, so that no one could claim authority unless his *satori* had
% been approved by someone who had been approved ... right back to the time
% of the Buddha himself.  [pp. 103-105; all Watts from _The Way of Zen_.]  

There are very many challenges here, not to 'sitting and discipline', but
to the *notion of lineage and institutionalization*, which Roshi Kapleau
has an interest in preserving.  I'd love to hear how Watts' rendition of
the history of Zen Buddhism is false, has been skewed, or is in need of
balance.  Other than this, Kapleau can do nothing to argue against him
except to slew epithets about Watts' 'state of awareness', about which
he probably knows little and damages his own reputation if critiquing.

|Kapleau goes on ...old Dharma dialogue ...about the attitudes one
|takes into zazen, not a repudiation of zazen itself: "If you cling to
|the sitting form you will not attain the essential truth." 

Here you present fragments with the Kapleau/Babs interpretation ready-made.
Why not just quote the masters and discuss what you think that they mean,
instead of pre-digesting it for us and attempting to sway our opinions?

Clinging to anything -- sitting form, tradition, teachers, ideas -- will
prevent us from realizing the cessation of dukkha.  This is a very sound
basis to criticize the institutionalization of Zen Buddhism.  If Kapleau
passes it off (you do not quote him here) then he is just arguing the
point for his purposes.  The issue stands, and anyone's use of it is
reasonable, *especially* if one finds value in it.

|(Watts is a good example of why it's dangerous to form opinions about 
|any aspect of Zen if you have no direct experience with it.) 

I would rather that you remark only regarding what you have yourself
experienced and/or read.  If you did not meet Mr. Watts directly and
are only repeating slanderous rumors, then please say so and let us
move on.  So far you seem overwilling for my tastes to assess the
experience of others and I would like to move away from such 
pretentiousness.  It is one thing to have spent a great deal of time
with someone and to then give one's impression of them and their
presence.  It is quite another to slander and repeat rumors for which
we have no personal support.  You say yourself, 'books (and I add 
'rumors') are no substitutes for direct experience'.

|Kapleau then calls forth hoards of other masters who taught that 
|sitting zazen is essential to Zen.

Watts and others have given ample explanation of why this was taught.
Nobody is saying that sitting ('sitting zazen' is redundant, isn't it?)
ought be EXCLUDED as a form of practice.  That 'hordes' of masters within
an institutionalized tradition bent on acculturation took to this method
is not surprising.

|>I'm inclined to agree perhaps for different reasons.  There can be no
|>'orderly and comprehensive account' of zen.  zen transcends our very
|>ability to characterize.  Attempting to capture it in this way will
|>only succeed in snuffing out its life, much like caging a wild animal.

|Looking for the ox, perhaps? 

No.  The teachings of the ox (often 10 circles depicting various scenes,
some of these in relation to an ox) do not in any way refer to caging the
beast, holding it to one position.  In fact, both figures in this series 
are usually shown at some point to be mobile, running, one leading the
other, the monk riding the bull, etc.  Immobility is death.  It is 
important to understand the teachings of death.  Awakening is not simply
about death-discipline.  For many of us it is also about life-enjoyment.

|Knowing the Roshi, you'd better be careful. He wants you to SIT STILL.
|Attaching any other meaning to him would be your meaning, not his.

Of course.  I can only reflect upon my experience and attempt to understand
his words.  My extemporaneous analysis may well have veered somewhat from
his intent, especially given that the quote was taken out of context, and
yet I think I did it justice.  

You say that the Roshi wants us to sit still.  That is all very good, yet
why does he want this so very badly, who gains by my accession, and what
are the consequences of countering his desires?

|>However, zazen can be much more than mere stationariness.  

|Zazen is stillness. You can be "still" in activity, but how do
|you do it? If you can't sit zazen on the zafu, there is no way you can
|do it any other way. You may have some kind of mindfulness practice
|going on that's a fine practice, and very beneficial, but to call it
|"zazen" is more than arrogance.

I hear your contrasting ideas here.  I think there is more than enough
room for a Middle Way between our words.  What you seem to be saying is
that if a person cannot maintain the extreme of stillness (encompassing
the physical body as well as other aspects) then there is no alternative.
I think you are only following the fanatical claims of the raving roshis.
Being able to attain to the extreme is not the Middle Path as I know it,
though it may be a *part* of that Middle Path.

|>...such a thing as 'zazen-in-motion' has been
|>described by many writers on zen, some perhaps masters, and that the
|>more advanced teachings even indicate that any activity (including the
|>study and discussion of texts) may be utilized as effective means.

|This is true, but without the sitting practice there's no zazen to take
|into motion. 

This is the last post in which I will address this point you make (again 
without reasonable justification).  You may say over and over again that 
nobody can 'do the practice' without taking to the extreme.  I only say 
in response that I have seen what I consider to be practice (zazen in 
the sense of stillness-through-motion, laziness) that contradicts you 
and that you appear to be attached to form.  

If you were to somehow justify your assertions (masters have said many 
things, including, as Watts points out, things totally at odds with what 
you are claiming) then I might take you more seriously.  As it is you
merely come off like a fundamentalist of any other institutionalized
religion.  I challenge you to do more than this.

|Don't confuse zazen with mindfulness. The stillness of zazen can indeed 
|be taken into activity. This is taught through martial arts, ink brush 
|painting, etc., and cultivated in moment-to-moment mindfulness. But 
|there must be stillness. 

Ok, we are now getting to the heart of your dogma.  You associate zazen
with physical immobility.  It is clear that some masters wrote about
zazen in ways which can be interpreted to support you, some which can
be interpreted to contradict you.

Yet let us look at what you are saying *to me*.  You are telling me that
there is an *absolute difference* between 'zazen' and 'mindfulness', that
understanding zazen in any other way than as immobility is to err.  At
least this is what I hear.  Perhaps I am mistaken.  

I suggest to you that you have siezed upon one understanding of these terms
and taken them as your truth, when in fact many different meanings for them
will suffice, including the integration of the theory that the absorptive
state implied by 'zen' may arise *within activity*.  

This is why I say that I wonder if people who make such extreme statements 
as you do have severed all connection with the Chinese roots.  Look at 
Taoism and its promotion of wu-wei.  The Way may be found in activity also.  
The Butcher who for years cut up cows until he could do so without dulling 
his blade had found a means by which zazen was made of butchery.  

There are alternatives to your dogma.  This is all that I am saying.


I urge you look at your ad hominem arguments carefully and find out
where they come from.  First you attach enormous importance to the
association of 'zazen' and immobility, then you criticize me on this
basis without knowing who or what I am or do.  In this regard whether
or not I do or do not immobilize my body and mind is immaterial.  Does
the argument make sense?  Does it conform to your experience?  Why did
you feel the need to indulge in character-assault?

|...The Roshi is talking about Zen practice. When he says "The heart of 
|Zen discipline is sitting" he is echoing the teachings of all other Zen 
|masters going back to Bodhidharma, and before that to Shakyamuni Buddha. 

Yes, Watts even gave a very wonderful analysis of how this 'apostolic
succession' idea came about, of why institutionalization arose and what
conditions inspired it.  Here you appear to be merely defending the Roshi
on the basis of your presumption of his 'awakening', when it is unlikely
that you have ever met the man and spent a great deal of time with him
so as to truly assess this (corrections welcome).

Watts and others have shown that your words above are overly-extreme, that

some masters did indeed write in ways which can be understood as criticism
of attachment to form.  If the Zen Buddhist tradition made an institution
out of attaching to this form, then of course you shall find within its
lineage a consistent conformity of writing that supports the practice.

However, my guess is that Chinese and Indian authors (such as the Ch'an
and any Dhyana Buddhists which may have preceded Zen in Japan) probably
place less of an emphasis on the particular form, perhaps pointing out
the value of immobility yet not becoming fanatical about it to the point
of exclusion.

|>However, missing from Kapleau's analysis is compassion for the way in
|>which Watts and others practiced -- what *constituted* their zazen --
|>and a respectful addressing of this.  

|I think the Roshi is being very compassionate. He's saying, "Quit 
|fooling around and get your fanny on the zafu." No more kidding
|yourself. No more making excuses. Just do it.

Well, you and I have been using the term 'compassion' in different ways,
as has been shown in another thread, and I don't see you doing anything
here except perpetuating that misunderstanding.  When I said that Kapleau
was not compassionate I meant that he didn't take it upon himself to come
to some understanding of what those about whom he was speaking were doing,
of what sort of 'practice' they might have been engaging.  I have given
reasons why the Roshi may have done this, as in wanting to pursue a vigorous
argument to sustaining the coherency of his particular lineage.  Perhaps
he was merely speaking in an extreme manner so as to address what he saw
as an 'imbalance' in current trends.  Who can say without further quotes?

Your words in evaluating him sound very much like the master of the 'boys
schools' that Watts analyzes in the history of Zen Buddhism.  It supports
the notion that Zen Buddhism is full of authoritarian arrogance.

[Re: 'Zen is zazen is physical-/mental-immobility]

|He is uncompromising on this point, as are all the teachers. 

Apparently this is not true.  Perhaps you could explain why there are
teachers who seem to contradict you, especially those which are associated
with the history of Zen Buddhism yet who are not necessarily Japanese.

|Zazen IS zen.  Zen IS zazen. Zen masters all say there is no Zen without 

This much is evident.  The meanings of the terms here appears to be in 
contention, however.

|and believe me, they mean keep-your-fanny-on-the-zafu stillness. By 
|stillness I don't mean just keeping your body still. 

It does seem incredibly important to you that I believe you, yes.  I hear
what you are saying (over and over).  You are being clear about what you
believe.  Being clear and being convincing are not the same thing.

|Zazen is training the mind to be still. When the body moves, the mind moves.

You see, even here we agree.  The only difference comes about when we begin
to analyse what might be *included* as 'zazen'.  

|The active forms depend on the sitting form as a basis, however. If you
|are not doing the sitting form, you can't be doing the active forms,
|either. Don't confuse "active zazen" with mindfulness.

What grounds do you have for the assertion that the active forms necessarily
depend on the sitting form (all speaking about the physical) as their basis?
If it is true that when we are not sitting zen then we are not acting zen,
the is it also true that if we are not acting zen we are not sitting zen?
The question is slightly rhetorical, but I'd enjoy your response.

|Watts and Suzuki were Zen scholars, not Zen masters or teachers.

How do you go about assessing whether or not another is a Zen master?
Can you do so post-humously, through writings?  What is the basis of
your assessment of Suzuki and Watts?  Did you meet them and spend a
great deal of time with them, or do you feel that this is unnecessary?
Do you accept that your teacher smokes but also consider him to be
beyond bias in theoretics?  How infallible are Zen masters and just
where is the dividing line between 'Zen master' and 'nonZen master'?

|Although Suzuki spent many years as a monk and did have at least
|one kensho experience that I know of, he never finished his training.
|His writings reveal a fairly intellectualized view of Zen, IMHO.
|Watts played around with Zen for many years, but never gave himself
|to it. Watts was never into formal practice. What the two of them wrote 
|was valuable, but no substitute for experience.

Aside from your analysis of Watts/Suzuki (and I hope you'll address my
questions above), the same can be said about Kapleau in regards his
writings being "valuable, but no substitute for experience".  This is
true about EVERY writer.

And yet perhaps you mean that the fact THAT they wrote was valuable but
not itself zazen.  This much it is obvious that you believe and forms
the major element of the dispute which I'm attempting to question.

|...I don't believe it is wise to form an opinion of zazen until you've 
|done a lot of it (in which case, you still wouldn't form an opinion). 

This is an interesting statement given that you appear to be asserting
very many opinions about zazen within this thread.

|In Kapleau Roshi's case, that's his job. He's maintaining the integrity
|of Zen as a distinct path of practice. 

Zen as he understands it, of course.

|...If the teachers hadn't been this strict about maintaining the integrity 
|of Zen practice for all these generations, Zen would long ago have mutated 
|into just one more hocus-pocus belief system.

So *this* is what you are contrasting it with: "one more hocus-pocus belief
system"?  Is this what you think of all the other mystical traditions the
world over?  Why do you think that zen is or could ever be associated with
beliefs?  What *is* a belief that zen would or would not associate itself
with one?  What is 'hocus-pocus' and why does institutional Zen Buddhism
attempt to separate itself from this?  What, precisely, are you saying
that 'Zen' is not and continues to try not to be?

|Again, I don't believe it's "his" point. He's just doing his job as
|a Zen teacher. 

As a Zen teacher, it is his point, else it is someone else's point which
he is pushing.  You are helping him to push this point (without doing
much more than restatement, I might add).  There is not much difference
between the Zen Buddhist who clings to such 'facts' and any other
religious fundamentalist, attempting not to 'lose the traditional
(presumed true/effective) teachings'.  It is a type of fanaticism 
that displays a lack of equanimity.  As such it only hurts the school,
it doesn't help it in the slightest, except to become more extreme.

|...Go out and find a Zen master who says you don't have to sit zazen 
|to practice Zen. ...Betcha can't do it.

Too late.  I consider the dog that lives in the House of Kaos to be
a zen master.  She is truly skilled at absorption, has the ability
to be extremely compassionate, cuts off her enjoyments at a moment's
notice, and her one 'weakness' is that she is devoted to me utterly
(which I consider a teaching all in itself).

I have met many trees which I thought to be masters of zen.  I suppose
that the traditional will shake their heads and claim that only the
human teachers within the approved institution count, yet I think that
this is merely bias.  

None of these zen masters has told me that I have to sit zazen.  Some
(notably the trees) sit continuously.  Some (the dog) sleeps very often,
and she lays down and watches alot.  She is the perfect example in many
ways, yet she accepts that I practice how I practice and does not rebuke
me or try to change me in any way.  I count this a mark in her favor and
think that her approach is similar to what Watts says about Lin-chi.

|(Hui Neng doesn't count, since I don't believe he taught that zazen 
|wasn't important, although his words are sometimes interpreted to mean 
|that zazen wasn't important. Bad interpretation, IMHO.) 

I see, so find a Zen Buddhist from the institution who YOU INTERPRET
as teaching that zazen (physical immobility?) is unimportant to the
practice.  I think your request is somewhat ludicrous given the context
of the institution's derivation and the substance of the conversation.

|>This is the same the world over.  The doings and sayings of the mystic
|>masters are always shocking to the general population no matter *what*
|>the tradition.  

|Including the doings and sayings of Philip Kapleau Roshi, it seems.

His are neither shocking nor even unexpected.  They are boringly traditional.
He is, as you said, 'just doing his job'.  Admirable, yet not the same as
shocking people into wakefulness.

|[Kapleau] is a master in HIS tradition, which is Zen, which is the 
|tradition under discussion.

And within his very rigid lineage as it comes to form today he is entirely
correct.  'Zen' has always been and will always be more than 
institutionalized immobility.

|...very Americanized Zen sanghas that are exploring ways to fit Zen 
|practice into Western lifestyles. And they all insist on sitting zazen.

Given that they identify Zen with Zen Buddhism and zazen with physical
immobility, they cannot be otherwise insistent, nor can they fit such 
practice into Western lifestyles, which are founded on motion, doing, 
transcience and intellectualism.

I'm not saying that their work is worthless, only that it represents an
extreme which may at some point inspire a purely Western variant (and
has, as I pointed out, though the fundamentalists may not see this).

|...Watts's influence was mostly to get people interested in Zen, but 
|those who stay with Zen tend to drift away from Watts.

Consider that 'Zen' as you speak of it here is just one diligent and
fundamentalist sect of a mystical tradition without absolute definition.
In such a case, Watts addressed people with *different needs and lives*
than does the 'Zen' of which you speak.  My point in my review of Kapleau
(which you appear to have bypassed completely) was that Watts and Suzuki
inspired a foundation for a NEW FORM of zen, not the repetition of the
institution to which you appear to adhere.

|He has had no influence whatsoever in the real development of and
|practice within the many active Zen sanghas in the U.S., that I can
|see. He is more of a historical artifact that an active influence.

Again, consider the possibility that your vision is skewed by fanaticism
and that what you dismiss as 'unreal' may be in fact a very important
development.  If you are wrong, if in fact the alternatives to the
institution are effective means of awakening which address specific types
of individuals, then your fanatical assault upon them may be preventing
people from waking up -- you may be working to keep people ignorant.

|Cutting yourself off from sitting zazen is severing the roots to China.
|From Shakyamuni to Bodhidharma, from Bodhidharma to Dogen, from Dogen
|to Kapleau, the heart of Zen is the stillness of zazen. Before continuint
|to pass judgment on this matter, you should look into it more closely.

I have certainly not passed judgement on the matter.  I consider myself
one of the most ignorant of students and yet I consistently challenge
supposed 'authorities', especially when these authorities are making
extreme statements which contradict the heart of my experience.  I can
do nothing else and understand that this is one of the central elements
of the teachings ascribed to the Buddha.

You may find value in the institution of Zen Buddhism.  Nobody is trying
to find fault with it, excepting that it may promote a type of extremism
which the example of the stories of the Buddha would appear to contradict.

To the extent that ANY teacher within the institution of Zen Buddhism 
(and I include Hui-neng here) can be understood to support the lack of 
adherence to physical immobility, it is important that this be recognized.  
It is my understanding that the reason such statements are made by roshis 
is that the issue of the form of practice within the institution of Zen 
Buddhism is *controversial*, and that the 'masters' are either attempting 
to put it to rest through the extremity of their rhetoric or wish inspire 
heated debate, I'm not sure which. :>

By promoting the extreme yourself, Babs, you are only adding noise to the
discussion without using the writings of the ancient masters or some
reflection on your *own* practice as communication of substance.  Mostly
what I hear out of you, however, is proclamations about what is true,
which in the short term are unconvincing and in the long term become quite
tedious.  Please respond with more substance and I'll be happy to continue
the exchange.  Elsewise I'll let your repetition and extremism speak for

Hsi Wang Mu

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Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races