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June 18, 2013


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I began my serious exploration of "what Buddhism had to offer" in April of 2012, but I specifically came to see what it had to say about the nature of the Self, to complement and continue an 8 year intellectual and increasingly personal inquiry into the subject. And--as you say--a year later, I left the island. It was a nice place and much was learned there, but moving on has taught even more.

Zen masters on meditation:

"Learned Audience, what is sitting for meditation? In our School, 'to sit' means to gain absolute freedom and to be mentally unperturbed in all outward circumstances, be they good or otherwise. To meditate means to realize inwardly the imperturbability of the Essence of Mind." (Hui-Neng)

"I am not telling you to sit on a bench with your eyes closed, rigidly suppressing body and mind, like earth or wood. That will never have any usefulness, even in a million years." (Foyan)

"Both torpor and excitation were condemned by the former sages. When sitting quietly, as soon as you feel the presence of either of these two diseases, just bring up the saying, “A dog has no Buddha-nature.” Don’t exert effort to push away these two kinds of disease – just be peaceful and still right there. Over a long time, as you become aware of saving power, this is the place where you gain power. Nor do you have to engage in quiet meditation– this itself is meditation." (Dahui)


A modern-day "Zennist" on meditation:

"... sitting in chairs is not zazen. Zazen is a physical practice. To sit in a chair and call it zazen is incorrect." (Brad Warner)

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