Saturday, March 2, 2002
- JAN BARENDRECHT
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 LIST AS A POINTER
observing this, as I read all that.. sharing these
personal thoughts as there is perhaps only one of
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
positionless, low resolution
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,
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
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.
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
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
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.