Posts Tagged ‘koan’

The Zen Hostage

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

I wonder if the word obsession is related to the latin word for hostage:- obses. It seems like it should be. Our attachments, vexations, let’s call them obsessions, certainly keep our minds hostage.

Desire, aversion and delusion (they spell dad) rooted in the ultimate ignorance of self are certainly vexing. I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel humbled by them. And the fact that I truly know nothing keeps me pretty humble as well. As humble as anyone can be that is deluded by separation.

I do like the Buddha’s comment that “when you see that all forms are illusive and unreal, then you will begin to perceive your true nature.” My own life demonstrates just how importance that practise is, so I keep coming back it that. There’s a great podcast to this effect on Zencast by Ven. Thubten Dondrub.

So how to blend this with Zen huatou (related to a koan) practise. I’m still figuring this out. Perhaps it is in the choice of the correct huatou. I don’t know. I do like the pointer that the asking of the huatou must be non-dualistic, which I understand as with one’s whole being.

All I know is that paradoxically I must keep working at it. Right here, right now without working at it.

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Instant Zen

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

I’ve been thinking of anchoring Koan practice for a while so I bought Instant Zen the other day and had a chance to read it on this flight.

What a very interesting adjunct to the Zen path. I especially liked the section that read

“Like an artist drawing all sorts of pictures, both pretty and ugly, the mind depicts forms, feelings, perceptions, abstract patterns, and consciousnesses; it depicts human societies and paradises. When it is drawing these pictures, it does not borrow the power of another; there is no discrimination between the artist and the artwork. It is because of not realizing this that you conceive various opinions, having views of yourself and views of other people, creating your own fair and foul.

So it is said, “An artist draws a picture of hell, with countless sorts of hideous forms. On setting aside the brush to look it over, it’s bone-chilling, really hair-raising.” But if you konw it’s a drawing what is there to fear?”

I landed this morning after the read and meditation and I’ve become aware of a subtler, but still gross I’m sure, controlling range of thought forms. This book is proving a nice adjunct to: What was my original nature before I was born?

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NAC (2)

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

In the last blog on this topic, I suggested that the fundamental difference between Buddhism and NAC/NLP was that Buddhism was aiming for the unconditioned self, where as NAC was all about conditioning.

What’s interesting is that meditation is a kind of conditioning in that respect, but a conditioning that is setting up the mental space for the unconditioned.

And on that note in Personal Power II, Day 6 Anthony Robbins talks about the power of focus, which he uses to direct the state of mind and emotion. The object for him is still how you feel.

This to some extent is a Buddhist’s objective. Metta bhavana is at least to some extent choosing to focus on loving kindness towards all beings. And Anthony Robbins in his hour of power suggests that a person focuses on gratitude. How dissimilar is that from appreciation?

He further suggests that’s it’s how you’re evaluating things that determines what you focus on, i.e. the questions you ask. This reminds me of the Zen Koan, e.g. What was your original face before you were born, or the more common what is the sound of one hand clapping? The difference is that these questions are meant to bring the stuff of mind (citta) to calm

Thinking = evaluation. That’s true, Anthony Robbins. Duality arises in the mind. But perhaps there is a focus which has its root in Buddhi and is non-dualistic.

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