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A Brief Introduction to Zen

By Driusan in Culture
Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 09:47:41 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

 


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A Brief Introduction to Zen | 110 comments (72 topical, 38 editorial, 0 hidden)
+1FP (1.33 / 6) (#6)
by Resonant on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 09:10:43 PM EST



"I answer, 'This is _quantitative_ religious studies.'" - glor
+1 )(-1 (1.80 / 5) (#9)
by minerboy on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 09:40:13 PM EST



A little less detail (2.40 / 5) (#10)
by EvilGwyn on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 09:42:48 PM EST

k thx

Unfortunately.. (none / 1) (#15)
by Driusan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 09:55:22 PM EST

..you posted the comment as I was taking it out of the edit queue. Otherwise I would have trimmed it down by a word or two.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
I'm too zen for a subject (3.00 / 2) (#27)
by bugmenot on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:36:04 AM EST

If this gets dumped, you should think about reposting a more concise version.  Or, just submit it to /.

---

I am living on borrowed time.
[ Parent ]

but (none / 1) (#85)
by llimllib on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:43:19 PM EST

there's already a surplus of stories at /. that don't say anything.

Peace.
[ Parent ]
An ice cream koan (2.75 / 12) (#14)
by codejack on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 09:55:18 PM EST

If you have some ice cream, I will give you some;
If you have no ice cream, I will take some from you.

This is an ice cream koan.


Please read before posting.

An orange traffic koan (3.00 / 7) (#40)
by gusnz on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:33:41 AM EST

If the cone is present, I will drive where it would be;
If the cone is absent, I will drive where it is.

This is an orange traffic koan.



[ JavaScript / DHTML menu, popup tooltip, scrollbar scripts... ]

[ Parent ]

A koanhead movie. (2.00 / 2) (#60)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:04:29 PM EST

If the skit is fresh and fully-developed, Lorne Michael will shelve the script.
If the skit is stale 20 years and has 5 minutes of joke material, Lorne Michael will make a movie of it.

This is a koanhead movie. It's from France.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

If I like this (2.60 / 5) (#17)
by EvilGwyn on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 10:03:19 PM EST

should I applaud? And with which hand?

+1 FP (2.44 / 9) (#19)
by D Jade on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:36:41 PM EST

This is the best introduction to Zen I have ever read. It's actually more informative than every book on Zen I have encountered in my quest to understand.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
Informative. (none / 0) (#33)
by Driusan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:33:42 AM EST

.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
I never knew what it was about Zen that fascinated (2.66 / 3) (#21)
by taste on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:57:50 PM EST

me... in fact, the more I studied Zen the more I didn't know why I didn't know either. Ultimately, I don't know at all anymore now.

Well done. (3.00 / 2) (#75)
by RadiantMatrix on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 11:40:04 AM EST

the more I studied Zen the more I didn't know why I didn't know either. Ultimately, I don't know at all anymore now.
Exactly.

"In any sufficiently large group of people, most are idiots" - Kaa's Law

[ Parent ]
Zen (2.25 / 8) (#22)
by gusnz on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:23:40 AM EST

 

.



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yeah (none / 1) (#26)
by bugmenot on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:33:24 AM EST

but our comments are so more zen then those old ones are.

---

I am living on borrowed time.
[ Parent ]

Tomorrow morning is Monday. (none / 0) (#28)
by Driusan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:39:04 AM EST

I predict an influx of angry purist comments around 9:00AM.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
the people who abstain are on the path. [nt] (2.40 / 5) (#24)
by the77x42 on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:30:57 AM EST




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

I didn't even abstain. [nt] (none / 0) (#44)
by eruonna on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:05:52 AM EST



[ Parent ]
but, (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by MMcP on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:37:13 PM EST

Not to abstain is to abstain.  

Scratch that

Not to abstain is neither not to abstain nor is it to abstain.

Wait, I'll get this...

Not to abstain is.

[ Parent ]

But you commented (none / 0) (#91)
by EvilGwyn on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 07:07:01 PM EST

so did I

[ Parent ]
There is no path (none / 0) (#99)
by zantispam on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 10:17:20 AM EST



Free Duxup!
[ Parent ]
Where have all the motorcycles gone? (2.54 / 11) (#32)
by BlackErtai on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:24:09 AM EST

Where oh where?
-|BlackErtai|-
Ok, the article's quippy and all... (1.66 / 3) (#35)
by The Amazing Idiot on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:01:43 AM EST

But there's no constructive comments about it. No discussion means boring article, even if only certain "zen" in-people get it.

Course, the nothing is lame and overused.

Though it is different than the standard here... so +1

I get it... (none / 0) (#46)
by wageslave on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:18:04 AM EST

i just think it's stupid.
--- Wage Slave
[ Parent ]
whats that i hear? (2.75 / 12) (#37)
by forgotten on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:27:11 AM EST

that is the sound of 0 hands clapping.

--

You're fortunate. (3.00 / 7) (#55)
by Meshigene Ferd on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:19:24 PM EST

I can only hear the sound of -1 hands clapping from here.
--
‮‫אַ גויישע קאָפּ!‮


[ Parent ]

Funny one (none / 1) (#56)
by Niha on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:25:30 PM EST

 The pity is, I´ve read this one is not new...

While we're at it. (3.00 / 5) (#58)
by Driusan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:54:45 PM EST

The Iraq war was a mistake, Bush is worse than Hitler, Kerry is the same as Bush and while it may be true that Saddam was a bad person we can't get let ourselves get distracted from the fact that rusty gassed his own people!

Now if only someone would write a HOWTO about making a meta complaint about a meta complaint. That would surely be a fun story for everyone to read, especially the people who havn't been here since the beginning.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

rusty didn't gas anyone (none / 0) (#72)
by Delirium on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 10:38:53 AM EST

this is the internet, there's no gas

[ Parent ]
n/t (1.00 / 4) (#57)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:36:13 PM EST


-- Today's programming tip: Writing Cross-Platform Softw
While this has been done before (2.50 / 6) (#62)
by RandomLiegh on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:46:44 PM EST

it has never been done this well before.

---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
"fridge magnet" spirituality (2.91 / 12) (#65)
by geoswan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:01:04 PM EST

I have an old friend. I visited her a few years ago, and she took me to this spiritual book-shop she frequented.

It followed a kind of shotgun approach to spiritual truth. It was utterly unselective. They would clearly carry anything that sold, no matter how trashy, exploitive, or foolish. Carlos Castenada, Edgar Cayce, von Daniken -- all the usual suspects were there.

And they sold these spiritual fridge magnets. Most of them were from the hindu pantheon. But you could get a fridge magnet shaped like a cro-magnon "Venus".

This struck me as profoundly disrespectful, and exploitative.

So does Madonna's -- excuse me -- Esther's new infatuation with Jewish mysticism.

Thirty years ago, back when I was a teenager, and I had lots of buddies falling for wacko cults, I read a criticism I found very memorable.

When Americans "search for Truth", they think, when they find it, they can get it "wrapped to go".

It seems to me that most quickie books on the spiritual paths of other cultures amount to a kind of cultural-religious strip mining.

Spiritual Materialism (none / 0) (#70)
by boxed on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:24:58 AM EST

The tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche worked against this, and a good analysis of this type of bullshit is available in his book "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism".

[ Parent ]
Yup (none / 0) (#88)
by MMcP on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:24:44 PM EST

Cripes that is a good book.

[ Parent ]
+1Mu (nt) (1.75 / 4) (#67)
by ubernostrum on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 12:34:18 AM EST




--
You cooin' with my bird?
I am interested in your idea. (2.40 / 5) (#68)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 01:50:22 AM EST

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter. Where do I sign up?

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
you already have [nt] (none / 0) (#97)
by monkeymind on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 09:23:52 AM EST


I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

Oi! (none / 0) (#98)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 10:08:45 AM EST

You're back! where the heck did you get to?!

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
Have been spending a bit of time at (none / 0) (#107)
by monkeymind on Tue Oct 12, 2004 at 08:51:29 PM EST

the other 'Other Site' of late.

Have been lurking here on and off but not posting much.


I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

Brief != Null (1.71 / 7) (#69)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 04:51:46 AM EST

Fucking weirdos.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
-1, (1.75 / 4) (#71)
by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 09:47:40 AM EST

Motorcycle Repair = Drivel


___
localroger is a tool.
In memory of the You Sad Bastard thread. A part of our heritage.
most useless fp story ever (1.00 / 2) (#73)
by Delirium on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 10:40:20 AM EST



Perhaps ... (none / 1) (#77)
by Toshio on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 01:02:19 PM EST

... but Zen is like most of other things in our lives. Precisely that, what we make out of it.

To those who think that they know what Zen is, the story is perfect explanation of Zen.

To those who don't want to think and question authors' motives and methods, this is probably The Most Useless Story they have ever seen on K5. Oh, and yes, Zen is crap.

To the rest of us it is simply a tiny and interesting, albeit misunderstood, gem clearly showing the dynamics of social groups based around internet "communities".

So I think it actually shows the complete emptiness and lack of reason in all of us arguing here and trying to find content where there is none. And if you can see it from all these and more aspects at once, then you will realize how can you clap with one hand.

And these are only words. They are crap. They cary no meaning. To true Zen seeker they are superflous, meaningless and serious obstacle in flowing in Zen. It is ironic that those who think that Zen is crap are actualy closer to what Zen masters want to show their pupils about the world, than Zen pupils are.

Thank you for your time.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
eris disagrees (3.00 / 2) (#79)
by Delirium on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 01:30:51 PM EST

Your zen is tangled in knots, and you stare at a blank page to untangle it because you are bad at knots.

[ Parent ]
There is a story on K5. The story says nothing. (none / 0) (#82)
by Driusan on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 04:00:36 PM EST

Some people look at this story and they get angry because they know everything about the topic. Other people look at this story, and they laugh because they know nothing about the topic.

Who knows anything about the topic?


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

I do (none / 0) (#83)
by Delirium on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 04:11:32 PM EST

I know several things about the subject, although I would not be so immodest as to claim I am familiar with all its intricacies.

[ Parent ]
People who know something about nothing.. (none / 0) (#84)
by Driusan on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 04:58:37 PM EST

..are better off sharing their knowledge with people who know nothing of something than they are complaining that everyone else knows nothing of nothing. That way, at the end of the day, everyone knows something.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
I'll tell you something about nothing ... (none / 1) (#86)
by Toshio on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:44:07 PM EST

... because I can't complain about people that know nothing of nothing. Actualy I like people thet know nothing of nothing. They tend to be quiet and good listeneres.

What I can say about nothing is quite simple: you can't clap with one hand. The answer is simple, logical and every child knows it. Every adult caught talking about it, wishes impossible to be possible. They want life to be a logical undertaking based on actions and reactions. They want life to have a meaning. They want to be a part of something greater that is (preferably) incomprehensible to them. You can watch them trying to answer the question. Twisting their logic and laws of physics, while ignoring the beauty of their own imaginations.

If you really have to know: Zen questions, stories and even thoughts are merely a tool that enables a person to concentrate. A tool like a hammer or a fork. Nobody talks about eating the soup with a fork, but the question is just the same.

Ssomebody who is Zen, can find questions and points of removal in empty pages just as well as in full pages. Every time one has to explain about Zen it gets removed from Zen. Explaining entails communication, logic, metaphores. All these are tools that are contraproductive for one who is looking for Zen. All these tools attach you to your surroundings, force "rational" logic on your flow of thougts and prevent you from detaching and *being* Zen. Consequently there are no Zen teachers. Those who know Zen, don't teach. Those who don't know Zen are walking the same path as you and me.

If you want to clap with one hand, please go ahead, while the silent minority that admits to knowing nothing (worth mentioning) of nothing (that is called life) uses the metaphor to shed light on how utterly meaningless and futile the awerness of self is.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
eh, you can't BE zen, zen is path (none / 0) (#101)
by boxed on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 05:19:19 PM EST

You can't be the path, you can only walk it. Thus there ARE zen masters, but they aren't buddhas. Your terminoligy is just a bit mixed up :P

[ Parent ]
I'll bite (none / 0) (#104)
by Toshio on Fri Oct 08, 2004 at 08:22:31 PM EST

You might say that this is twisting words... or something, but down the road, what exactly is the difference between the path and the person walking the path. After all it is all in our heads. Each individual path to self-enlightenment is just a figment of imagionation. Imagination of the person imaginig to walk the path. In this sense, what exactly is the difference between what person imagines to be and what person imagines to do.

All metaphores are meaningless. All metaphores are still just a poor mans' way of explaining what ones imagination can not yet fully grasp. The metaphor of "the road" that you "walk" to reach "nirvana" is meaningless. Neither Buddhas, nor Zen masters didn't walk some imaginary roads in their heads to reach the state they are now in.

A road is simply a metaphor for going from point A to point B. In mental sense it is simply a metaphor for transforming one viewpoint on the existance (I'll conviniently call it viewpoint A) to another viewpoint (I guess I'll call this one viewpoint B). The "walk" is simply shedding some logic, adding some different logic, and perhaps trying to imagine a larger picture.

If you take this metaphor of "path" for exactly what it is (it's just a metaphor) and see that "walking" is actually just modifying self awareness, then you can in a way claim that somebody IS Zen. Because the "path" is only his personal logic used to move from point A to point B. Personal logic is part of who I am, ergo I am the one walking the path and the path at the same time.

Oh, and yes... I agree there are Zen masters, including ones that are not Buddhas, but my claim was that there are no Zen masters that are teachers. Teaching removes them from Zen in much the same manner that it removes me from my zen. Trying to use foreign and "educated" logical argument to explain internal perceptions is burdening, distracting and overall useless endeavour. Teaching is best left to those still walking the their path. And Zen masters are notorious for smacking you if you bother them with too many questions.

Oh, I almost forgot. About masters of any kind: everybody that knows more than you is your master. To everyone who you know more from, you are the master. So, next, we can argue about each particular definition of the work "master". And by the time we've done with it, we'll start arguing about some other even more meaningless word, though or metaphor. All the time drifting further and further away from the original topic. Kind of like what happens to restless pupils that haven't been properly smacked by masters staff... yet.

Thank you for your time


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
I see your point and yes it's twisting of words (none / 0) (#105)
by boxed on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 07:22:53 AM EST

A "zen master" is a zen student who has been licensed to teach by another "zen master". In fact, the term "master" is not used in japan, they say "zen teacher" or "man of zen" or some other term with basically the same meaning. So maybe we should just stop using the western bs frase "zen master" :P

[ Parent ]
Wow! (none / 0) (#109)
by Toshio on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 01:41:54 PM EST

If there will ever be a competition to find simple, direct, precise, short and absolutely correct explanation, I will nominate what you have said.

Thank you for your time.


--- To boldly invent more hot water ---
[ Parent ]
"Succinct." (none / 0) (#110)
by Driusan on Fri Oct 15, 2004 at 02:27:20 PM EST




--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Ironic part is (none / 1) (#74)
by cione on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 11:00:00 AM EST

since this didnt create much discussion I had nothing to do but judge and rate all the comments which totally frustrates me

___________________________________________

$.04 to make a $100 bill now thats a profit margin

If you think this is dull.. (2.00 / 3) (#76)
by tonyenkiducx on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 11:52:07 AM EST

..try the zen newsgroup on Yahoo. Its like spam, but without the bad grammar.

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called
"It's" (none / 0) (#78)
by Driusan on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 01:03:02 PM EST




--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Ohh, yuu got mey there! <N/T> (none / 1) (#90)
by tonyenkiducx on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:29:56 PM EST



Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called
[ Parent ]
Repeat (3.00 / 3) (#80)
by radghast on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 02:44:10 PM EST

There is nothing new under the sun.

"It remains to be seen if the human brain is powerful enough to solve the problems it has created." -- Dr. Richard Wallace
Nothing (none / 0) (#81)
by Driusan on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 02:55:53 PM EST

New. All's been said.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
If nothing is new (none / 0) (#102)
by mcc on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 07:02:45 PM EST

That says good things for this article, does it not?

[ Parent ]
An ACTUAL brief introduction to Zen (3.00 / 3) (#87)
by boxed on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:05:00 PM EST

Sit down in lotus position (or half lotus, burmese or seiza, in that order of priority) with a good solid cushion under your ass. Make sure your knees touch the ground. Sit with an erect back do NOT slouch. Put your right hand in your lap palm up, your left hand on top, touch the thumbs lightly. Now observe your breathing and count the breaths. Iiiin 1, oooouuuut 2. Up to ten, then start over. If you get lost, start over.

15 minutes minimum. Any less and you're just being silly. Now you go to a real zendo and find a zen master to train under. Oh, and don't be fooled by this pseudo-zen bullshit, zen is nothing without sitting.

ooooh, truly ADVANCED Zen (none / 1) (#89)
by RandomLiegh on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:29:36 PM EST

"zen is nothing, without sitting"

---
Thought of the week: There is no thought this week.
---
[ Parent ]
A zen parable (3.00 / 2) (#92)
by forgotten on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 07:41:10 PM EST

The master saw the student sitting. He went over and asked, "What are you doing?" The student replied, "I am meditating until i become a buddha". The master thought silently about this for a moment, then picked up a large rock and began rubbing it with a piece of cloth. "What are you doing?" asked the student. "I am poishing this stone until it becomes a mirror," replied the master.

Hearing this, the student was enlightened.


--

[ Parent ]

Poishing? (none / 0) (#93)
by Russell Dovey on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 08:31:19 PM EST

The zen master was the "plane'arium" guy from Southpark?

Wo.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

ummm yeh its a ... zen term. (none / 0) (#96)
by forgotten on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 03:07:55 AM EST

zen.

--

[ Parent ]

I don't think you grasp the parable (none / 0) (#94)
by boxed on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 02:27:05 AM EST

The point of the parable is that you should not attach to zazen, not that you shouldn't do zazen.

[ Parent ]
i didnt offer an interpretation (none / 0) (#95)
by forgotten on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 03:06:21 AM EST

but the one i have is different to yours.

--

[ Parent ]

and your interpretation is...? [nt] (none / 0) (#100)
by boxed on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 05:15:54 PM EST



[ Parent ]
an alternative ... (none / 0) (#103)
by pyramid termite on Fri Oct 08, 2004 at 11:39:22 AM EST

advaita ... no sitting involved

click on ramesh baleskar to the left, then click on transcripts ... quite an interesting discussion


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.

What is Zen (none / 0) (#106)
by chanio on Mon Oct 11, 2004 at 06:04:43 PM EST

__"Master, What is Zen?"

And the master slapped the student's face.

________________
Farenheit Binman:
This worlds culture is throwing away-burning thousands of useful concepts because they don't fit in their commercial frame.
My chance of becoming intelligent!

koan (none / 1) (#108)
by YelM3 on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:20:31 AM EST

The master of the temple assembled the monks in order to select the head of a new temple in a neighboring town. He set a large vase on the ground in front of them.

"Who here can say what this is without naming it?" He asked.

Several minutes passed, and the cook rose to his feet, and on his way out the door kicked the vase over and shattered it.

The master laughed.

A Brief Introduction to Zen | 110 comments (72 topical, 38 editorial, 0 hidden)
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