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May 16, 2013


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Eventually, one leaves the Prussian-like discipline and becomes a hermit living in Zhongnan Mountains, seeking pure Mind.


When I read your comment I was thinking about some old grizzled Tang dynasty Zen master's response and what it might be (which always shows the function—not the essence or substance itself). :)

If people don't like scandal and politics they can also go to Asia, there are some authentic temples and, while they might not be enlightened, at least they're strict and don't care about Western psychological-emotional bologna. You have to observe strict rules there, and there's no questioning the authority and the hierarchy. While this very rigid, order sounds anti-spiritual, it is in fact the opposite. It's hard to explain, though. Ritual and automatism sets the spirit free. If the spirit has to deal with "what kind of Shampoo do I want to buy?" every day, it's hard to focus. But if everything is ritual and predetermined - you don't have to think about those things. You wake up, you go to the zendo, you go to the field ... while the body is being tortured by the Prussian discipline, the spirit roams free.

This is probably the time to say this. Once you advised me: Ask your teacher to show you pure Mind. And since we had just come from a student discussion group in which we were supposed to discuss our ideas about what Bodhi is I stuck up my hand in class and asked "Our group was confused because none of us has seen true mind...could you show us bodhi?" And our shifu replied "No, I can't." And seeing my face fall he said (and I reviewed the mp3 of the lecture later) "I know this disappoints you...but what is always here can not be shown." Later, I told this story to my husband & he commented "This is a good teacher for you." (I think so too.)

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