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November 27, 2012


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"This might shock you, shock many of you. I think Buddhism, the whole Dharma practice, is a placebo. You know placebo? Placebo. Placebo is a pill, it is a fake, it is not a medicine. Sometimes you give it to someone saying that this will work. And they eat and they think it works. Whole Buddhism is that. And Buddha said so. It is not that as if I am making it up actually. Buddha said that. The path, it’s a deception but it’s a necessary deception. It is a necessary deception. Let’s say you and I are in the dessert. You are very thirsty. Everywhere you look you see mirage and you think it is a water. And you say you really want to go to this water. Now I have been to the desert and I know you are hallucinating. Now I can be very unskilled, little bit of compassion but no skillful means, no wisdom. And then I can tell you: “Hey you shut up, this is not a water, this is a mirage.” That is not going to help you. So if I am a compassionate, skillful, then I might say: Yes. Even so knowing that this is not true. Because I know that you will not hear me saying this is not water. I will have to say: “Yeah, let’s go.” I might even go with you. And as we get closer you yourself will see it is a fake. And this is what we call skillful means of the Buddha. There is a thousands of that. How many? Eighty four thousands placebos."
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

I suspect the Zennist is anticipating the future ... in my humble opinion research into the placebo effect will be crucial in/to the future of science, even more than other central philosophy of science topics such as the ontological status of the observer, and the ontological status of possibility.

Princeton University has proven that "mind over matter" is a reality:

In the PEAR Labs, operators frequently spoke of "achieving a state of resonance" with the devices they were working with, which positively correlated with higher than chance performance in random trials. Their data gives “a consistent empirical indication in the presence of groups of people engaged in shared cognitive or emotional activity”, “One conceptual hypothesis for the group-related anomalies indicated by FieldREG is that the emotional/intellectual dynamics of the interacting participants somehow generate a coherent ‘consciousness field,’ to which the REG responds via an anomalous decrease in the entropy of its nominally random output.” That is, emotional intention, especially group emotional intention, increases order. “Bonded co-operator pairs” also show increased order (Dunne, 1991) Jahn and his team confirm Radin’s experiments indicating that random chance machines “may be affected by group consciousness.” Such a group consciousness field effect would then transcend space and time limitations defined in historic models." -

"Consciousness" transcending space and time!

This coming from hardheaded scientists, not New Age spiritualists.


Dogen's shikan-taza (只管打坐, lit. solely engrossed in sitting) is one of those typical Dogen, off-the-wall, interpretations of accepted Buddhist terms. In this case, it is an interpretation of 止觀 zhi-guan (samatha-vipasyana) with the addition of 打坐 da-zuo. Both sound the same, but both are entirely different. I use zazen in the blog to refer to meditation in general.

Now, dost thou mean "zazen" as in general word for sitting meditation, or specifically "shikantaza"?

Otherwise a somewhat odd entry.

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