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June 10, 2015

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to mathesis- excellent questions and comments, ultimately all semantics , all words are absolutely irrelevant and though useful potentially to some degrees, can be a trap, in as much as they cannot possibly contain what enlightenment is. Only experiencing it can one know it. The blog author/owner has said as mc and very truly. The limitless and infinite cannot then be encapsulated fully in words. As to experiencing it and then it not remaining in the awareness of the experience, as it gradually fades and you return to your ego self more- you are still left with the deep memory and some of the deep knowledge of what that IT is- enlightenment. And so, it lives in your mind by degrees, and sometimes more and sometimes, most times less, but you are changed by it in that you are aware of both the fact it is something as written of bliss and transcendent nature, and also that what it is. Zen, is just a word about a practice that might show you it. But, any other practice which also results in your experiencing enlightenment is also equally valid and the same thing. Its why I pondered Kundalini recently. and vipassana is also the same practice as zen. So semantics. I am reading the nirvana sutra today and now,, i highly recommend it to you since it addresses all that you questioned and wrote also. But repeating that outside th experience of enlightenment, the words talking of it will always leave the inexperienced wondering about the mystery and the meaning of those words.Being a buddha is remaining in the full knowledge and awareness of that enlightenment - a gift from it.

I have followed you blog with interest for several years and would like to observe the following as a comment to several past posts:

1) The koans and commentaries of the Mu-mon-kan seem to me to all have a very subtle yet definite meaning. They are not merely repeating a deliberately absurd semantic-logical scheme or mere thought-stoppers.
2) You dwell a lot upon enlightenment, but not on living and relating to it. Can it know degrees of intensity and permanence, or be lost, or just come sometimes ? How does it change your life and how does one who has a regular contact with it appear ? To have even a drop of enlightenment is to "become thus", to "become all" , to be established in the harmony and unity of all life.
3) It seems to me that the path to enlightenment involves the shedding of the deep desire and illusion of wanting to find the Pure Mind within another, through another, and by a relationship with another, which can take the form of the teacher or the institution. Then there is the crucial moment of: I see the wonder of Pure Mind yet nobody else does, I am despised and slandered because I hold the Pure Mind, but all the others, all teachers, schools, etc. do not and even despise it - the world is thus Empty of the Pure Mind. But then the real conversion should happen...
4) "Emptiness" is not the equivalent modern concept in Zen nor used as thus but something with a definite wide-ranging subtle meaning, which is related to various Sanskrit and Chinese (Daoist) concepts and spiritual practices. Perhaps the word "universal life" is actually closer.
5) Zen is both extraordinarily difficult and demanding and extraordinarily easy, in front of your nose. The problem with Zazen (Shinkan taza and Dogen) and the West is that this doctrine is true and illuminating only after you have searched heaven and earth to their limits, only then can it be understood. There is no way that the modern Buddhists you criticize could ever understand the meaning of "just sitting" and "already a Buddha". If someone is looking for a priceless jewel the teacher can point out that it is already around your neck and that someone can turn and find that this is indeed true. But if your have never seen or have any idea or reject the concept of "priceless jewel", then such a statement is meaningless. Also did Dogen really teach that Zazen is Enlightenment? Wasn't it rather that there is no doing or condition in Enlightenment, of which the simple physical zazen is an adequate symbol ?
6) What is your view of the Pali Canon ? There are certainly luminous core portions that represent the genuine teaching of the Buddha. But are there also in the Pali Canon many later misrepresentations, distortions and accretions by a deviated degenerate( materialistic, Pharisaic) form of monasticism? Does not the Mahâyâna, and in particular the Lankavatara, represent the restoration of the purest original essence of Buddhism, totally in harmony with Vedanta and Daoism ?

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