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April 06, 2015

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Very interesting post. Completely taming the Ox is not sufficient but is certainly necessary, and something to be worked on constantly. This is not accomplished by just sitting, or attending lectures and retreats. What an unfortunate misunderstanding for modern Buddhists who want to keep their Samsaric cake and eat it. The Mahayâna-Sutras pick off from where the Pali Canon left off - they state very clearly their intended audience: those who have tamed the Ox, whose hearts are "filled with a joy indescribable" and whose "eyes are fixed on things not of the earth" and "however enticed he will no more be kept back".
(Suzuki, Manual of Zen Buddhism p.132 London 1st ed.)

If we are not lucky enough to have a good father we should find one. I think martial arts provide this for many kids, a lot of them from tough situations and hard realities who manage to mold themselves into better human beings through discipline and practice. As a parent I have learned the best effort a parent can make is to prepare a child for life when we are gone and no longer able to provide guidance. This means children must internalize their instruction, and not merely comply with orders or commands, and neither to disrespect or ignore the wisdom gained through greater experience. Buddha entered parinirvana much in this way, giving humanity everything he had to teach, but knowing that reliance upon him must one day transform the adept into one who is spiritually self reliant. It is not by coincidence he told his disciples they are the Sons of Buddha. Thank you for the excellent post and the time you have devoted to helping people such as myself to attain to better understanding of Zen Buddhism.

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