April 7, 2005 at 2:40 pm #4078
The ongoing discussion about buddhism/daoism seems to be intersecting in places with what’s been coming up with my fusion I practice lately, so I thought I’d take a sec to toss this out there.
I admit I have not studied buddhism outside summary texts on the topic. I have had several teachers who were impacted by their own study of that philosophy, but never taught it to me directly, only the techniques that they found useful. So I’m sure I don’t have enough background to really grasp a lot of the context of what Max was trying to say.
What does hit me whenever I hear it is, what exactly is a meritous deed supposed to be anyway? I have always found it tough to imagine (and this is what caused me to leave the Catholic church) that there’s a cosmic checklist being made of every virtuous move I make. That, when I die, somebody’s gonna say “You know, I’d love to let you into the pearly gates, but you didn’t give to the poor as much as we’d like.” Catholics get sent to hell or purgatory forever, other faiths may get reincarnated in some way and they get to try again. So when i see that being brought up, I’m thinking “oh great, another list of things to do somebody’s preaching about.”
Here’s where it got a little interesting… The way I see Fusion I from the Healing Tao school is that it’s a set of methods of digging through emotional and energetic clutter. As it comes up, some of it you release, some of it you try to ‘digest’ by appling methods that utilize “positive” expressions of the shen, or virtues. (I sorta see virtues as the separate components that make up the inner smile. You can strengthen the inner smile, or you can strengthen the pieces that make it up)
Among many things that’s coming up in this practice, my perspective on what I do, and what a “good deed” is, is changing. I’m still just in the kiddie pool when it comes to this stuff, so my perspective may change over time. But what I’m coming out of this with now is that virtue (and perhaps, this is what is meant by merit) isn’t a specific action, its a *state of being*. Looking at it this way, it appears to be less important what I actually do, than my energy level/ attitude/ intention/ feeling when I do that action.
So it doesn’t have to be a rule I follow, to do “good” deeds to get onto the next level of existence (if that’s the goal). I can still be in personal hell if I give to the poor because i’m supposed to, but feeling all the while (consciously or unconsciously) “get a job” or do anything that my feelings are not really in line with. But same situation, if you express geniune kindness because you have enough to share, accepting the person for where they’re at because you really feel that way, and not have the inner conflict… whether you gave that person a handshake or a hundred bucks, that interaction probably gonna come across a little differently to everyone involved.
I like this point of view because it also allows for the opportunity to do things from that same virtuous place, but that others observing might not consider outwardly meritous, or uncomfortable, like a parent disciplining a child (obviously I’m talking about discipline as coming from a *way* different place than senseless beatings or withholding of love for not providing the correct action), because I see it allowing the parent who’s interested in these things, but little time to do much training, the chance to practice within their lives. I know I feel pretty damn good if I am able to act genuinely kind, or with integrity, not much different than in a meditation to tell the truth.
That to me seems like meditation in action; that if I can do that, then I’ve taken my meditation practice and begun applying it in a real way out in the world. Maybe that’s what Max is referring to, that my experience and practice is validating his statements. But I don’t necessarily agree that giving up the meditation practice while only trying to do these kinds of things is the only way to go, either. Best I can tell, the practices only deepen our ability to act in this way, not interfere with it. Certainly we can resolve any internal blockages in the outer world too, but maybe the fusion practice will help me unravel things that might be more painful to act out in the world. I have a friend who lost a leg in an accident, who was sorta okay with life before, but now, happier than most people I know now, because it helped him move through some really heavy crap in his life really quickly. I think that’s awesome for him, but the part of me that likes hiking likes the idea of an alternative. 🙂
Maybe a time comes when I will think about abandoning the official practice, but i’m not even gonna start thinking about it until I can get thru a 24 hour period feeling like I do one minute after I close a meditation/qigong session. 🙂
Sorry to ramble,
BrianApril 7, 2005 at 6:30 pm #4079
I don’t quite VIBE with any of this recent stuff . Probably because the American Zen teacher who I met and practiced with and took eyeball to eyeball teaching with thought Qigong was great and “A wonderful complement to zazen”.
I think Max is starting to sound like my Roman Catholic sister . She almost became a Nun a few years ago .She was fine with me doing Taoist practices and zen and a bit of new age but then started pushing her agenda a little .”What if Christ is God? What if it’s true? I don’t want you to not get into Heaven or follow false paths”.
This Missionary crap is ANTI ZEN to me . Not one of the Amercian zen teachers I have known, who my guess is have done more Buddhist practice then Plato, Max, Harry Pain combined would be so disrepectful as to go on the website of another spiritual tradition and post this nonsense.
If Max and Plato are the new arbitrators of truth, Let them go to every Religious Church and cult around the world that is really hurting people and taking away their power, not someone who is thought of as a generally nice and caring Qigong teacher like M Winn.
Do you really think Winn is destroying people’s lives with his Summer retreats and audio tapes? This is crazy! In the grand scheme of things even if Winn is teaching “Semblence Dharma” It is still more useful than much of the crap out there that people devote their lives too!!
Your posting pornography all over a site is another symbol of your disrepect of others.
I have had a positive experience with Bodri but agree with Michael..he, along with Plato, think Nan is 1 degree below God.
The first Zen book I read over 10 years ago was The Three Pillars of Zen by Roshi Phillip Kapleau. I still think that book, along with 8 Gates of Zen by John Loori, are the best introduction to Zen Buddhism for Westerners.
Kapleau says be careful of those that constantly sing their teachers praises. No matter what level Nan is at he more than likely still has his faults like the rest of us mortals and his opinion is not the end all be all of both Zen and Taoism.
So do you want to practice zen? Then do so! Spend time in a Sesshin where you are not allowed to talk for one week and then come and tell everyone how low level American teachers are!
from what I can gether from these sites, Max, Plato and crew are additicted to posting and would do well to follow the Zen dictum to practice and shut up! And don’t spend your days critisizng others faults and elevating your own teacher!
From the perspective of oneness(Which from last I heard both Zen and Taoism have SOMETHING to do with) Your actions are a DISGRACE.
Winn just “does his thing”. He doesn’t attack others MUCH. I have heard him off handedly put down other qigong teachers or other traditions at his RETREATS. But Zen teachers probably do the same AT THERE RETREATS. If you have sepnt the time and money to go meditate with someone for a week it probably means you feel pretty strongly in what they are saying so they can open up. Their opnions are THERE OPINIONS. You can take any part of what they are teaching you like and leve the rest.
I like Winn’s Primordial Qigong and practice it regularly. I don’t do everything he teaches or agree with everything he teaches that doesn’t give me liscence to disrespect him all over a public forum and tell the guy’s students he is going to hell for teaching what he teaches.
Look, I have ALOT of work to do on myself. From what I gather we all do. If behavior is any indication of one’s spiritual level then most of us that post here are spiritual infants. And in case you werent aware you destroy the Buddha every time you you endlessly point out others faults. The buddha is not about disrepect .The Buddha lived in a time when just about everyone else was against him. He was surrounded my other spiritual schools that taught differently than him.
Show me the Sutra where Buddha is endlessly putting down other spiritual schools and saying they are going to the hell realms. show me when Buddha taught anything other tha compassion for life because he head a realization of the Tathagata.
Master Dogen, who’s work Shobogenzo diplays the mind of one is fully Enlightened, said when you realize the Tathagata(Suchness, Reality) You live your life THUS. You live your life in harmony with your spiritual realizaion. When you have had this spiritual realization, the first thing you realize is that when you put down others you put down yourself, when you have had this spiritual realization you realize Emptiness is actually fullness.
When you realize Emptiness, A zen woman once told me, you realize the fullness of the 10,000 things .The universe fills you and you come to a direct realization of the Bodhisatva Vow, not as an egotistical mission designed to produce personal merit, but as the direct action of the Enlighted Mind that has dropped the illusory idea of Self and Other.
Now, as usual I feel I have said to much. I guess what differentiates me from other’s who have spoken about zen as the path is I feel this is All part of my path .My Zen teacher is part of my path, my Qigong teacher is my path. Michael Winn and other’s I have learned Taoism from are part of my path.
Maybe every path grows into a unique beautiful creation just like Trees grow differenly and Mountains have their own shapes. Why does one spiritual tradition have to be better than another? Is one mountain better than another mountain shaped diferenty?
MuuuuuuuuuuApril 7, 2005 at 7:11 pm #4081
Brother, I’m a little confused by your response. Are you writing in response to me, or kinda venting about what’s been going on lately? I admit it’s kinda confusing after posts were made in spyrelx’s name.
For the record, Max did not write that, I did. Nobody hijacked my account. He’s not my pal, nor did I personally support him or Plato through any the recent arguments or childish antics, and who was clearly not pleased by the pictures posted in that process. (there were a few I could’ve gone my whole life, not seen, and been pretty much okay with.)
This was just me, posting about an understanding I came to, of one *tiny* piece of what had automatically turned me off whenever I read what Max was writing about. I found a way to integrate something I previously resisted because of my own prejudices, and got there through an exploration of Michael’s teachings of Fusion. I may have done a poor job of communicating exactly what I intended, but I’m absolutely sure I didn’t bust on Michael in the process or promote scatalogical study. 🙂
If I read correctly, you were in his fusion class in march, as was I. If you really do have a beef with me, and you’re coming back for the next class, let’s talk it out in a couple weeks, eh? As baba knows, I prefer the Noodle Shop, but I’m open to the venue. 🙂
BrianApril 7, 2005 at 7:17 pm #4083
No, nothing directed at you. I should have done a new thread to avoid confusion. Good luck on your path.April 8, 2005 at 8:49 am #4085
Meritorious deeds have always been considered necessary in Daoism. But it doesn’t mean we have to worry about doing them, on the contrary, they should just come up spontaneously, as a result, or a testimony to the point of development we’ve reached. They should come up naturally, without thinking, WU Wei way, effortlessly, they say just like a blooming tree spreads its fragrance.
But checking on one’s behavior is also considered a useful way of progressing. It’s a type of self-examination whereby every night one reviews the various good or bad actions committed in the day. A hard thing to do, there are special checklists, but this is said to be a most efficient way of evolving. That’s closer to the traditional Catholic way
It’s even considered that this moral education can have the same results as other types of methods, like Alchemy, and lead you to the top beingness. Because the evolution process is finally always a thorough purification, or decontamination of one’s original pure being. No kidding, it’s said you have nto do 3,000 meritorious deeds, that may be one evry 15 minutes!!!
Lastly, it’s also the final stage for all that have reached full realization, for the rest of their time, (or out of time), they are to be active in selfless service, purely helping out others because they don’t need anything for themselves anymore.
What about virtue? Is-it suffering or deprivation, striving and moaning? Not at all, virtue, believe it or not, virtue is enjoyment. Virtue is pure bliss. How, how an that be? That can be because the essence of virtue is what you feel when you care for a little child, or also when you smile.
This by the way is not my own brew, but taken from Daoist writings.
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