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February 18, 2014

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Three years after recommencing Zen practice and beginning Sutra study I am much more optimistic about the future of Buddhism in America. (Certainly, one of the reasons is that I discovered The Zennist.)But beyond that in the Ch'an, Chinese tradition, it is more easy-going to learn. After being wary and uncomfortable for such a long time, I suddenly realized that I could go "along the Way" at my own pace; that no one was going to force me to drop my "cultural baggage" until I was ready. And, I began to recognize that all the other students have baggage as well. It hasn't anything to do with speaking a language, having a particular ethnicity or with being from Taiwan, India or the USA. It has to do with being human, and even though practice is a solitary struggle we all had to help each other through it as well as we could. So the ideal life of Mahayana is to form connections rather than attachments and to learn from others (from observing sentient beings, as it says in the Diamond Sutra) rather than torturing ourselves with a life of deprivation on a mountaintop.

cloudless: Ego is a Western invention. He is the dude who takes care of the nasty id. In Buddhism, the concern is misidentification with what-is-not-our-true-self. We are not this psychophysical body consisting of physical shape, feeling, perception, volitional formations and consciousness. Remember, cloudless that your self or âtman is not physical shape, feeling, perception, volitional formations and consciousness.

What distinguishes all forms of Buddhism from Western psychology is that in psychology the purpose is to make an ego feel better and to be adjusted in society, while in Buddhism the point is to see the ego as illusory and the cause of suffering. Final release from suffering would be to extinguish the ego thought or feeling totally. When there is no sense of me or mine then there is no person to live or die. There is no one to suffer. The question of what the nature of reality, in any objective sense, is not important

N. Yeti: I hate to use this expression but some of us have a 'calling' for the mystical. :)

:-)

N. Yeti: I hate to use this expression but some of us have a 'calling' for the mystical. :)

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