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Saturday, March 2, 2002

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  • Jerry Katz
    JAN BARENDRECHT [Image] i m a studied stork even to consume a snack i use knife and fork these are my nondual tools all my snacks consist of fools!
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2002

      i'm a studied stork
      even to consume a snack
      i use knife and fork
      these are my nondual tools
      all my snacks consist of fools!




      observing this, as I read all that.. sharing these
      personal thoughts as there is perhaps only one of
      us here..
      in this open, generative space of being..
      endless bits of low resolution, flotsam-patterns show up..
      barely discernible at first.
      if they are allowed to pass, before the hook of animation takes hold..
      no position is taken as relationship. low resolution, neutral observation remains.
      if, however, they manage to seduce animation..
      resolution increases, wrought from the crucible fire of 'position'.
      position-point fueled by counterpoint..
      animation: the fire-fuel of position,
      amply draws the cartoon as life.
      endless moments of observing these animated pattern totems,
      on lists, as opinions
      in life, through emotions
      reveals high resolution bliss and mayhem.
      sometimes seen clearer as 'other',
      until honesty prevails.
      begs the question..
          what is being served?
          what has ever been served in mesmerized, animated iconography?
      re-turns eyes to
      the generative,
      positionless, low resolution
      open space.
      slip out of the cartooned cameo form,
      allow awareness to in-form
      as intaglio moments in gelatinous essence.
      ~~ thanks for the pointer



      ...for others a meaningful recycling program for
      bits of broken glass, silver and gold foil,
      cast-off furniture...




      For those of you who have access to the current
      Utne Reader, check out:

      THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JAMES | by Greg Bottoms,
      Creative Nonfiction How a quiet janitor heard the
      voice of God and created one of the great monuments
      of outsider art.

      Why? Because one must...



      To be categorized as "mentally
      ill" has come to mean in our
      culture as "not ok".
      It's heard as an insult and
      a put down.
      And as such, it is human nature
      for one to rebel against such
      a 'lesser' labeling.
      But if we will agree to use the term in its broadest definition,
      it would mean: the activity
      of the mind that brings about
      adverse, painful or harmful
      As such, it would be fair to
      have called me "mentally ill"
      most of my life.....it would
      be fair to observe how my
      thoughts and attitudes had
      adverse, painful and harmful
      It would be fair to observe
      how my fighting so hard to
      win respect and 'legitimacy'
      for my 'group' was the very
      activity that reinforced
      identification, rather than
      loosened it.
      Circumstances from these past
      weeks has brought to light just
      how 'ill' I have been.  And yet,
      if someone had called me mentally
      ill up until recently, I would
      have probably knocked their lights out. :-))


      Then there is dealing with the world, as it sees
      you. My contention (and gripe with your line of
      thinking) is that you are ignoring the issues of
      the social reality, the stigma given to all those
      who are marginalized. Gays and TGs ARE still
      murdered for being who they are, tell them its just
      a label.These issues have been discussed here
      before, the messages are on the webpage.

      Sure, we can be free in an unfree world. Denial
      isn't helpful to that, nor to social justice.

      BOBBY G.

      Thank you for taking the time to post this. It is
      not a new thought that mental illness finds
      expression in different sexual preference or gender
      identity. Whether a general assumption about it can
      be made is open to discussion. To argue for this
      association is to allign oneself with the groups
      committing the homophobic violence. These views
      about TG's being disturbed are better kept to
      oneself than provide fodder for the severely



       "Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to
      sea and sink."
      -- Suzuki Roshi

      ............my favorite story about Suzuki Roshi: Back in the 60's
      before the zen center, he would have people just coming by his house
      for informal teachings, and zazen too. At the time, given that it was
      in san francisco he was getting mostly hippies, all with long hair,
      ragged and wild colored clothes, wearing sandals and beads of all
      kinds and he said to his wife (this story was told by her) "if they
      would all shave their heads and wear robes then i could tell them



      Language is alive and it inhabits your mind, the
      way your old uncle charley inhabits the front porch
      - he's "just there", ever since you can remember,
      peering out over them bifocles, puffing that old
      pipe, making comments about the world passing by.

      You are NOT your uncle charley!! The sooner you get
      a real handle upon that notion, the sooner will you
      be able to do something with the Life Language is
      Living in your name.

      There are about 8 million stories in the naked ape,
      that was just one. old uncle charley's everywhere
      are "making-up" the world, and you're absolutely
      confined therein. THAT, in itself, should make a
      normal human being take considerable pause.




      The Practice of Zazen is the Secret of Zen Zazen is
      a daily practice. Not easy, not difficult. But very
      effective in expanding consciousness and developing
      intuition. And not only does zazen release great
      energy, it is the posture of awakening. While
      practicing, do not seek to gain anything. Without
      object, only concentrate on the posture, the
      breathing and the attitude of mind.

      The Posture Seated on the zafu (traditional, round,
      kapok-stuffed cushion), the legs are crossed in a
      lotus or half-lotus position, or behind you in
      seiza (kneeling posture). The knees must press the
      floor, forming a stable, three-point posture with
      the buttocks on the zafu. The pelvis is tilted
      forward so the abdomen falls down naturally. There
      should be no obstruction or constriction of the
      abdomen, such as a belt or tight trousers. The
      spinal column is arched in the lower lumbar region,
      and the head presses the sky, stretching out the
      backbone. The upper breast bone is raised,
      naturally throwing back the shoulders and neck. The
      face is perpendicular to the floor, and the nape of
      the neck stretched up. The nose is on the same
      plane as the navel. The ears are on the same plane
      as the shoulders. The shoulders are relaxed, the
      abdomen is relaxed. The mouth is closed--the
      breathing is through the nose--but the jaw is
      relaxed. The tip of the tongue rests on the
      palette, just at the top of the upper front teeth.
      The eyes are open, looking down at a forty-five
      degree angle. The gaze is steady, at rest, but not
      focused on anything. The lower forearms rest on the
      upper thighs against the lower abdomen, the palms
      of the hands facing up. The fingers of the left
      hand rest on the fingers of the right hand. The
      tips of the thumbs lightly touch over the middle of
      the hands, neither "falling like a valley" nor
      "rising like a mountain." Once you are in this
      stable, vertical position, inhale and exhale slowly
      and deeply. Your posture is now vertical and
      balanced. Remain in this posture during zazen
      without moving. Zazen means "to touch the cosmos
      through one single body, our body. All existences
      and myself are one single body." Master Dogen wrote
      in the Fukanzazengi: "The zazen I speak of is not
      learning how to meditate. It is nothing other than
      the way to peace and happiness, the
      practice-realization of perfect awakening. Once you
      have seized its heart, you are like a dragon when
      he enters the water, like a tiger when he enters
      the mountain." At the end of zazen, signaled by one
      strike of the bell, raise the hands and do gassho
      (without bending over), then place the closed
      fists, thumbs inside, on the lower thighs. Stretch
      your torso and head down over the right thigh, then
      straighten up, and bend over the left thigh a bit
      then straighten up. Repeat this two or three times,
      each time bending over a bit more, until you head
      touches your knees. Get up carefully and push your
      zafu back into shape.

      The Breathing Zen breathing plays a primary role.
      The point of the breathing is above all to
      establish a slow, strong and natural rhythm.
      Concentrate primarily on the exhalation, which
      should be calm, long and deep. During the
      exhalation exert a free, relaxed, expanding
      downward pressure on the lower internal organs,
      without pulling the abdomen in. The inhalation
      should be natural, automatic, spontaneous. Since
      the lungs are mostly empty, they quickly fill with
      air again. The concentration on the exhalation
      creates great energy in the lower abdominal region.
      The body's energy center is not in the head or
      upper body but in the major nerve groups located
      from the solar plexus to the lower abdomen. All
      martial arts are traditionally based on this
      breathing. Strong action of the body-mind takes
      place during the exhalation. During inhalation, a
      person is weakest and most vulnerable. Air contains
      the energy of the universal life force and is
      received by our lungs and each cell in our body. It
      is very important to develop our breathing. Usually
      we breathe maybe fifteen times a minute in a
      shallow way, using only a small part of the lung's
      capacity. Deep complete Zen breathing is not just
      localized at the level of the thoracic cage or the
      diaphragm, but affects the lower abdominal organs,
      exerting a strong massage on the internal organs
      and stimulating the circulation of blood and other
      fluids in the body. By the regular practice of
      zazen this breathing, little by little, becomes
      habitual in our daily life and during sleep. The
      more you are receptive to the universal life force
      through Zen breathing in zazen, the more your
      energy increases.

      Attitude of Mind The correct attitude of mind comes
      naturally from a deep concentration during zazen on
      the posture and the breathing. During zazen the
      conscious flow of thought from the cerebral cortex
      is greatly diminished and the thinking brain
      becomes calm and cool. Blood flows toward the
      deeper layers of the brain, the thalamus and the
      hypo-thalamus, and this body-brain becomes more
      active and developed. The nervous system becomes
      relaxed while our deeper brain becomes more active.
      Receptive and attentive in every cell of the body,
      you learns to think with the body, unconsciously.
      During zazen, thoughts, conscious and subconscious,
      naturally and continuously rise to the surface of
      our mind. Don't try to stop these thoughts from
      arising. But at the same time, don't get involved
      with the thoughts or let them take you away from
      concentration on posture and breathing. Just let
      the thoughts pass, like clouds in the sky, neither
      opposing them nor attaching to them. Shadows pass
      and vanish. Images arise from the subconscious,
      then disappear. The brain becomes deeply calm. One
      arrives at the deep unconscious, beyond thought, to
      hishiryo consciousness, true purity. Hishiryo is
      the unconscious of Zen--universal mind. In
      Japanese, shiryo is thinking, fushiryo
      non-thinking. But hishiryo is absolute thinking,
      beyond thinking and non-thinking. Beyond
      categories, opposites, contradictions. Beyond all
      problems of personal consciousness. Our original
      nature, Buddha nature, the Cosmic unconscious. When
      the mind empties and the intellect is calm,
      peaceful, at rest, nothing obstructs the deep
      intuitive and unlimited life force that springs up
      from the depths of our being, that which precedes
      all thought, the eternal flow of the activity of
      the Cosmos. Practicing zazen, sitting
      concentration, without object or goal, you can
      experience hishiryo and understand mushotoku, the
      secret and essence of Zen. But this understanding
      must be beyond that of common sense or intellectual
      logic. It is direct perception, here and now.
      Mushotoku is the attitude of non-profit, of not
      wanting to gain anything for yourself. It is
      essential to true Zen practice. Giving without
      expecting to receive, abandoning everything without
      fear of losing, observing oneself. Zen students
      develop wisdom if they are vigilant in their Zen
      practice, in their effort to know themselves, to go
      beyond themselves, to give of themselves without
      expecting any personal gain. If you abandon all,
      you will obtain all. Hishiryo is cosmic
      consciousness and not personal consciousness. We
      can directly experience this during zazen. We
      usually thinking of our family, friends, anxieties,
      jobs, holidays, all the phenomena that arise from
      our memories and daily life. But during zazen, we
      concentrate on posture and breathing, our thinking
      calms and cools, we harmonize with the cosmic
      current and abandon our ego selves, permitting the
      subconscious to rise to the surface. Our thoughts
      expand and deepen, attaining universal
      consciousness. Through zazen we can go to the
      bottom of this ultimate consciousness. This is the
      essential art of zazen. "Thinking non-thinking,"
      wrote Master Dogen, "How do we think without
      thinking? Think from the depths of non-thinking."
      This is cosmic consciousness. Hishiryo
      consciousness. Our conscious senses cannot define
      it, words cannot explain it. It comes only through
      our living zazen experience. Hishiryo is the
      harmonizing of objective and subjective views,
      ultimate consciousness beyond time and space, the
      highest consciousness, universal, beyond all
      existences, beyond thinking and non-thinking. To
      experience hishiryo consciousness, that is Zen.


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