Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:58 pm

How they manage their organisation is a different area than their doctrinal and practical teachings. If a commercial model works better than the one based on donations I don't see it as an error. Profit oriented spiritual enterprises are a problem when the money is not used for the welfare of the people but turned into the private wealth of the owners of the organisation. In fact, the Buddhist form of community is that there are no owners or leaders but only members. In practice, however, throughout the history of Buddhism the system produced strong managers and head teachers who had overwhelming influence over spiritual and financial matters. Is Mondo Zen about benefiting only those few at the top or is it about bringing the Dharma to more and more people?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:48 pm

The dana principle, I feel, is an important one. While it is important for Dharma sanghas to survive financially in a modern society, I feel it's also important that the Dharma be considered something that is not sold. The original idea was that the sangha would support itself by the leaders teaching and the lay sangha providing, through the spirit of dana, the support.

From Richard Baker, Trungpa, to Genpo, and others, the Buddhist landscape has been littered with the misdeeds of profiteers in the dharma, and it really falls to practitioners, IMO, to uphold the precept of dana. We really need to balance a common sense approach to supporting the financial needs of the sangha, but never to the point of profiteering.

The Buddha foresaw the erosion and disappearance of the dharma, and it is through the profiteering of dharma that Buddhism will fall down a very slippery slope. Ajahn Thanissaro, for example, charges nothing for his books or live teachings. His approach has brought him patrons who support him through the patron's heart motivation, but always the support is derived from the good that his sangha feels he is doing. I know this is true of other sanghas and traditions, as well.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:23 pm

The question is whether there is an option to just participate in whatever programme for free. Usually in any European country people can go in to a Christian church and just listen to the priest or minister. There are temples that are open for the public all day and they don't ask for anything. However, the major Christian organisations receive state support in many countries. That means that the buildings and the priests are paid indirectly by everyone. Buddhist organisations have that only in Asia. However, regardless if it's Christian or Buddhist, if there is a special programme, like a retreat, people are asked to pay. The system of donation works only when there are enough people willing to pay for those who can't pay, or rather when the people supported receive sufficient funds to run the organisation. Ultimately it is up to the people who pay, not those who ask for the money. So if the question is what we can do as individuals, it is choosing an organisation that we are happy to support regularly.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby coldwater » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:59 am

Hello all,

New person here...I sometimes poke around but not a contributor. I keep a distance in fear I get too heady about practice as is my tendency.

Though I hesitate...thought this might be a relevant subject to give a two cents on if it might be helpful.

I just sat with some Mondo people and had some of the same suspicions brought up by many here but suspended them in the attempt to experience it before believing myself. So here go my impressions!

It was a half day retreat this last Sat. It was a mix of regular students and some new ones. About 10 people I'd say and 2 priests. It was a by donation event, held in a public library and seemed like a pretty sincere group of people doing their thing. Some of the text, a reading from a book of collected teachings by their founder Junpo, seemed a bit like a reaction to the shortcomings of Japanese Zen tradition/institution (as there are always in institutions). It had a 'feeling' or a 'tone' of this a lot. Defining itself through what it is not. Maybe this was reactionary to the Shimano situation and Junpo's involvement and issues with it. That aside there wasn't anything shady about it. As young and new as it was...it seemed very authentic in trying to present a Buddhism that was relevant to the community it was serving at that time. An emphasis on 'embodying the experience' in daily life rather than deifying/worshiping Buddha/Dharma. Maybe appealing to certain types of western raised people looking more for a philosophy or method of awakening than a religion? I dunno. Basically some honest folks figuring it out together as best they can? Whether this new take on Rinzai will be enduring is hard to say but what tradition and form has been truly forever?

I had some serious skepticism in the beginning as a friend of mine was involved and the TM set up some red flags for me. When I met her teacher I was impressed by her directness, open attitude and embodiment as a human. So I went to one of the sits to check it out. Taught me a lesson in jumping to conclusions about what people post on their website...and what it is in real life to practice with those same folks. Apparently the TM is because people pop up with traditions/lineages a lot and it was aimed at 'protecting' the structure and technique from people who might want to abuse it for financial gain or wrongly/incorrectly claim and transmit the thing...?

The psychological language and the daily service we did seemed a little bit of this and a little bit of that to me...but was overall thoughtful, meaningful and not too dramatically out of line with more traditional Japanese flavor Zen. Maybe just a more casual and relaxed atmosphere with some eclectic additions. It was interesting to sit with other people from a different tradition and see what spoke to them as a personal and group practice. Wasn't my jam at all in the end...but I suppose that is why there are 84,000 doors to the dharma.

-lance
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby BuddhaSoup » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:06 pm

:good:
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:19 pm

Thanks Lance for sharing your experience. :good:
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:23 pm

Jinzang wrote:
Astus wrote:I've read the manual and besides its language and using some psychological terms and ideas it is within the limits of a Zen Buddhist training. In fact, to me it looks very good as a modern application of classical techniques. It is to the point, step by step and helpful.


The terminology used is idiosyncratic. I don't know, it looks like meditation practice is destined to merge with the self-help movement and we'll see more hybrids like this. My feeling is that it's wrong to validate the experience of new practitioners. Whatever you validate they will hang onto and will eventually become an obstacle. Better to say, no, no, no, try harder. This drives people away, I'm sure, but its not about the numbers, unless you're in it for the money.


Well said, as usual, Jinzang.

Unfortunately many in the circle consider money making a higher goal than Dharma practice and liberation.

Such people want to create followers and dependency. What the Buddha taught was genuine release and liberation - a much higher and joyous goal in the long term.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:51 pm

Jikan wrote:I know next to nothing about the situation surrounding Shimano


Eido Shimano Archive

A long standing history of sustained, calculated harm, and abuse - and a sad situation for all involved.

No-one should go to work or support this man, or those that are still in unison with him, including all of Zen Studies Society and his main Dharma heir - Shinge Sherry Chayat, as well as any designated 'heirs'.

i.e. his teaching is certainly qualified to say the least
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:32 pm

coldwater wrote:Hello all,

New person here...I sometimes poke around but not a contributor. I keep a distance in fear I get too heady about practice as is my tendency.

Though I hesitate...thought this might be a relevant subject to give a two cents on if it might be helpful.

I just sat with some Mondo people and had some of the same suspicions brought up by many here but suspended them in the attempt to experience it before believing myself. So here go my impressions!

It was a half day retreat this last Sat. It was a mix of regular students and some new ones. About 10 people I'd say and 2 priests. It was a by donation event, held in a public library and seemed like a pretty sincere group of people doing their thing. Some of the text, a reading from a book of collected teachings by their founder Junpo, seemed a bit like a reaction to the shortcomings of Japanese Zen tradition/institution (as there are always in institutions). It had a 'feeling' or a 'tone' of this a lot. Defining itself through what it is not. Maybe this was reactionary to the Shimano situation and Junpo's involvement and issues with it. That aside there wasn't anything shady about it. As young and new as it was...it seemed very authentic in trying to present a Buddhism that was relevant to the community it was serving at that time. An emphasis on 'embodying the experience' in daily life rather than deifying/worshiping Buddha/Dharma. Maybe appealing to certain types of western raised people looking more for a philosophy or method of awakening than a religion? I dunno. Basically some honest folks figuring it out together as best they can? Whether this new take on Rinzai will be enduring is hard to say but what tradition and form has been truly forever?

I had some serious skepticism in the beginning as a friend of mine was involved and the TM set up some red flags for me. When I met her teacher I was impressed by her directness, open attitude and embodiment as a human. So I went to one of the sits to check it out. Taught me a lesson in jumping to conclusions about what people post on their website...and what it is in real life to practice with those same folks. Apparently the TM is because people pop up with traditions/lineages a lot and it was aimed at 'protecting' the structure and technique from people who might want to abuse it for financial gain or wrongly/incorrectly claim and transmit the thing...?

The psychological language and the daily service we did seemed a little bit of this and a little bit of that to me...but was overall thoughtful, meaningful and not too dramatically out of line with more traditional Japanese flavor Zen. Maybe just a more casual and relaxed atmosphere with some eclectic additions. It was interesting to sit with other people from a different tradition and see what spoke to them as a personal and group practice. Wasn't my jam at all in the end...but I suppose that is why there are 84,000 doors to the dharma.

-lance


Greetings lance,

Your post is a perfect example of the issues of (so-called) modernising and selling Buddhism/Dharma.

You do a good job of selling the model, but your post contains quite a few factual errors that anyone reasonably familiar with Buddhist practice would immediately see:

1. You say there is "an emphasis on 'embodying the experience' in daily life rather than deifying/worshiping Buddha/Dharma"

There is no practice center of a genuine nature which emphasises deifying Buddha/Dharma - as opposed to Buddhist practice. Refer Dzgochen, refer Zen, refer Thai Forest Theravadan, refer Ch'an: all good teachers emphasise and know that the path of Buddha IS a path of practice - not of deification or worship.

This is a most basic and obvious premise - and the Buddha's teachings are themself based on 4NT/Eightfold - a path of action and life.

Therefore, your representation is not only misleading: but it is false and poorly informed. Please try not to do that again.

2. You then say "maybe appealing to certain types of western raised people looking more for a philosophy or method of awakening than a religion?"

Again, read any Buddhist book, any practice book and you will know that everyone knows that Dharma practice is not just a philosophy - that is for scholars. It is by nature, by the foundation of its roots - a path of awakening, of genuine liberation and practice.

Therefore, again, a sly but unfortunate misrepresentation of the Buddha Dharma.

Read "What the Buddha taught" by Rev Walpola Rahula. Read the Lankavatara Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, the Heart Sutra - these are all practice guides laid down by the Awakened Buddhas themselves. Awakening and insight is one of our foremost goals -- so again, very unfortunately, you attempt to misinform the still unknowing audiences.

Additionally, the proof is always in the pudding, and never in snake oil salesmen techniques and commerce.

3. You then say "Basically some honest folks figuring it out together as best they can?"

And you seem to claim that you could gauge the honesty and decency of the owner and group from a half day sit - wow! Even Lord Buddha taught: let the Dharma be your guide, test the teachings for yourself until you know.

4. Finally, you also comment: "Whether this new take on Rinzai will be enduring is hard to say but what tradition and form has been truly forever?"

You make a good attempt I guess - in your own way - to suggest that this is just plain ol' Rinzai Buddhism in a "new tradition and form". But no, that is wrong. This is not a new take. This is a commercialised package aimed to deliver people into the realms of a distorted framework - and all good practitioners know the TRUE jewel, the TRUE gem of Buddha-Dharma is not contained in the form - but in its very essence in any case. Therefore there is no "new take on Rinzai". Rinzai Buddhist teachings have been established for many thousands of years and the practices and formats have been honed, presented, and very fortunately for us, been demonstrated by many enlightened Ones of these last centuries and more.

And in THAT truth of the teaching, there is NO fudging. All the sales mastery of the world can attract the ignorant, the naive and the unfortunate, with a lot of money perhaps, but it will never replace the genuine joy, liberation, release and knowing of the Buddhas, of the Buddha-Dharma's deepest practices.

Your post is so well cloaked that it reminds me of some of the Tripadvisor forum posts I have read about great new hotels.

My advice for any person genuinely interested in Buddha-Dharma is - stay away. There are enough good institutions and lineages/guides in this world for you to have a real shot at Buddhism.

This Mondo (TM) etc model is not a new invention and it will not be the first time people try to make business models out of Buddhism, or claim authenticity, and/or "innovation" where there is none. I would enourage you to not be attached to such groups, because once in, and without exposure to genuine Buddhist practices and insights, it can be hard to separate truth from fiction.

"Lance's" incidental post also speaks volumes IMO.

FWIW.

Best wishes,
Abu
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby BuddhaSoup » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:09 am

Abu:

" And what other five conditions must be established in himself [i.e. a bhikkhu who desires to admonish another]?

“Do I speak at the right time, or not? Do I speak of facts, or not? Do I speak gently or harshly? Do I speak profitable words or not? Do I speak with a kindly heart, or inwardly malicious?” "

samma vaca

AN V (From The Patimokkha, Ñanamoli Thera, trans.)

with Metta,

Mike
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:37 pm

Thanks, my post stands.

Best wishes,
Abu
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jinzang » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:27 am

Just so that I'm not misunderstood or my opinion is mistaken for someone else's, I assume that Junpo and everyone else who wishes to reform and modernize Zen are acting in good faith and are not trying to cheat people.

I have my doubts about this approach, because I feel there is a certain crassness, a certain Philistinism, about much that goes under the banner of modernization. As one computer scientist said, people often ask when we will have a robot that will act like a human. But the real danger is that people are acting more and more like robots. If the goal of Zen is to see through delusion, how is a modernized Zen going to see through the delusions of modernism? The truth is neither tradition or modernism is going to save us, but it easier for a modern person to see the faults of tradition and resist them than to see the faults of modernism.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:40 pm

Thankyou for clarifying, Jinzang, My post stands as my viewpoint indeed.

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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:00 pm

Jinzang wrote:If the goal of Zen is to see through delusion, how is a modernized Zen going to see through the delusions of modernism? The truth is neither tradition or modernism is going to save us, but it easier for a modern person to see the faults of tradition and resist them than to see the faults of modernism.


The delusion to be seen through is the attachment to identity. Modernism, traditionalism, and any other form of presentation are only meant to make the realisation accessible. As long as a teaching leads to correct view it is an authentic method. The important question is the efficiency of the way, not the embellishment used to attract people.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby coldwater » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:05 am

Hello Abu,

Greetings back and thank you for the thoughtful response and the analysis of my experience with a Mondo sit. Though I do feel my comments were taken out of context and used in a broader application than ever intended. So in those cases I would disagree with how my experience was formed into generalized statements about Buddhism as a whole. It seemed a little ad hominem rather than your experience of the Mondo group.. but maybe that was me just reading it wrong. My post was only meant to be my impressions of a Mondo group based on real life interaction with them rather than my opinion of the entire system or even Buddhism based off of what I've 'heard' of them.

To clarify the selections of my experience you used:

1) Genuine practitioners wouldn't deify as the Buddha is not a deity to be worshipped. Those who deify will inevitably deify though and may go through phases of their relationship to 'Buddha'. I am sure there is internal variances among people, denominations, organizations and so forth. I was simply saying how the Mondo info available has defined itself...could have been in response to an experience of this deification attitude, at some point, by the founder and/or members.

2) I agree and disagree. Buddhism is not *just* a philosophy, I don't think I said anything that suggests the view that it is. Only that some people may be looking for such a thing more on the philosophy/intellectual spectrum and may find it in the Mondo approach. I believe scholars and intellectuals have a dharma door available for their disposition. 84,000 ways to enter the dharma. No matter the door though everyone needs practice AND study on a foundation of ethics. Whether one is dominantly a do-er or a thinker...both need a little of the other in their life. This is just one approach of many.

3) I disagree and don't think my experience is invalid because of a one-day sit. Yes they are sincere people from my own experience with them. Saying I feel they are sincere does not mean I am saying an organization or institution is wholly sincere because of a group of individuals. Nor does it mean groups operating under an auspices take on the faults of the organization. Snakes and dragons mingle in any organization and so I don't give much weight to ANY organization or structure really as it is always a 'mixed bag'. The people I meet are important to me more than a tradition or lack of. For me it is irresponsible to make blanket statements about an ENTIRE structure when it is comprised of so many people. It can only have 'tendencies' with lots of variations I believe. I also know many of them outside of a one-day sit, though I didn't feel it necessary to list for the world personally how I know each individual person and my history with them- just giving my general impression as someone who has practiced with the tradition in question. The group I sat with didn't seem like a business-model to me as no one marketed it, sold it, charged for it or asked me to be a paying member. Something I've experienced at dharma 'centers' with far less criticism against them.

4) I don't practice Rinzai and didn't realize it had many thousands of years of history as a tradition that was maintained consistently without much reform. I am assuming by your response you are a practitioner of Rinzai and have had a negative interaction with Mondo as an organization at some point...so I can understand how you have strong feelings about it. I would too if I thought someone was trying to make a buck off of something dear to me. Maybe the group you practiced with was more snake and less dragon and it is unfortunate you might've had such an experience...as I am sure not all the Mondo people are out to mislead others into distorted views and take advantage of others.

Also, my name is actually Lance, you can verify my identity as a human who does not work for Tripadvisor. Try looking at my website if you want an idea of me as a human being and not a saleperson: http://www.cloudrevolve.com.

-lance
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jikan » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:25 am

quoted from lance's blog:

Check for yourself. Look past the language of advertising. You are sitting with creativity and freedom right now and no one can give it to you or take it away. You choose how to live this moment.


This is good advice. I think it is very much in the spirit of Abu's posts in this thread as well!

:cheers:
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:18 pm

Hi Lance - just quickly:

coldwater post # 1 wrote:(Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (TM)) seemed very authentic in trying to present a Buddhism that was relevant to the community it was serving at that time. An emphasis on 'embodying the experience' in daily life rather than deifying/worshiping Buddha/Dharma.


coldwater post # 2 wrote:1) Genuine practitioners wouldn't deify as the Buddha is not a deity to be worshipped. Those who deify will inevitably deify though and may go through phases of their relationship to 'Buddha'. I am sure there is internal variances among people, denominations, organizations and so forth. I was simply saying how the Mondo info available has defined itself...could have been in response to an experience of this deification attitude, at some point, by the founder and/or members.


And again you mean Mondo has defined itself, as opposed to other sects? As I said, Buddhism does not deify and even in traditions such as Tibetan, which may seemingly deify, they are using methods to reflect the students' Buddha nature and teach them through these means. Therefore your post, and admirable understanding of the deep principles of Mondo Zen might be based on misconceptions, as opposed to the actual situation.

When you say it is authentic, it is also highly questionable as a statement - authentic as opposed to what? Your examples I have addressed above, including again, that anti-deification which might appeal to the 'This is the 21st century man, update this religion! :quoteunquote: ' mind, is presented a bit dishonestly.

Let me also share my own viewpoint. The essence of Buddhism is unchanged, even from Gautama's time to before then, and to now. That is why it is said it is the Law of Dharma, it is in essence, timeless, pivotal and unchanging even whilst it conforms to the times, the places and the context.

Various traditions have evolved over the thousands of years, through and as form, to teach that which is beyond form. These are tried and tested, and hold true to the formless in good hands.

The risk when people take Buddhism, which when not plumbed to its depths, is that they lack the skill and depth of mastery to teach it, and further conflate the issue through a product relaunch and marketing blitz, including impressions such as 'updated Rinzai' which is a misnomer in itself. They think the issue is the form when the form is just the package, and they confuse seekers through impressions such as 'we have the updated, modern solution to your Buddhist problems'. :quoteunquote:

If this was just a new soft drink, I wouldn't have any issues with it, it is just that as practitioners, there is a wish that the genuine Wheel of the Dharma is retained and nurtured in an authentic setting.

You claim to be independent, and you claim to be knowable via a blog. And you also claim to have come across and sat half a day yet have a clear and sustained understanding of the Mondo Zen principle, adjusting here and there as required. That is fine, and I respect that, but as we are all here to share perspectives, those are mine.

Well wishes,
Abu
Last edited by floating_abu on Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:19 pm

Jikan wrote:quoted from lance's blog:

Check for yourself. Look past the language of advertising. You are sitting with creativity and freedom right now and no one can give it to you or take it away. You choose how to live this moment.


This is good advice. I think it is very much in the spirit of Abu's posts in this thread as well!

:cheers:


Indeed, but also preferably with clarity and in truth! :D :cheers:

:anjali:
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby coldwater » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:25 pm

Hi Abu,

The topic was Mondo Zen specifically. I find your broad opinions of Buddhism very agreeable but as I read them I keep asking myself: how is this about Mondo zen as a form and what it's contents are? How is any of it defining the realizations, motivations, or methods and their relationship to buddhadharma?

I only shared my experience and observations of Mondo zen. Not of Buddhism throughout time and space...or what I think Buddhism is and is not. Whether any reader believes my experience is more deep or shallow is besides the point really- it is an internet forum. It could be lies, truth or a mix. I think that is pretty common sense and so doesn't invalidate my post automatically or make me into a Tripadvisor scammer. Anything on an internet forum needs two spoons of salt with it.

I'd like to suggest some questions since you are as much a mystery to me as I am to you. Your claim to knowledge of Mondo seems deeper and more experienced than mine. So your sharing of experience would be a great contribution to this discussion and helpful in clarifying their setting and 'what is going on'.

What is your own real life experience with Mondo, the founder, the participants, practice and/or individuals that gives you the knowledge of their motivations, realizations and intent?

How have you practiced and studied with the tradition? How can you publicly criticize or analyze it based on experience or are you just giving your opinions based on what you've seen or heard of? If so what have you seen and heard exactly? What gives your words more weight than another's in this topic?

What experience with it do you have that proves it to be an inauthentic setting, invalid transmission or distortion of dharma?

Are you communicating in such a way that misleads others into believing you have knowledge, expertise or insights that comes from inside experience?

I feel like I mostly answered these questions myself in my initial post. That I was essentially skimming the surface of the practice and based on that observation, dharma talk, sit, and friendships- I felt they were sincere in trying to figure the mess of living and not malicious, deceptive, or dishonest in their methods nor were they trying to scam me for money and sell me on anything. Of course if you think the inverse is true of me and I am on a mission to mislead others into hell or something...there isn't much of a conversation left as this is the internet.

If this were a different discussion, like 'what do you think Buddhism is' your viewpoint of Buddhism as whole would be words out of my own mouth!

"Let me also share my own viewpoint. The essence of Buddhism is unchanged, even from Gautama's time to before then, and to now. That is why it is said it is the Law of Dharma, it is in essence, timeless, pivotal and unchanging even whilst it conforms to the times, the places and the context.

Various traditions have evolved over the thousands of years, through and as form, to teach that which is beyond form. These are tried and tested, and hold true to the formless in good hands.

The risk when people take Buddhism, which when not plumbed to its depths, is that they lack the skill and depth of mastery to teach it, and further conflate the issue through a product relaunch and marketing blitz, including impressions such as 'updated Rinzai' which is a misnomer in itself. They think the issue is the form when the form is just the package, and they confuse seekers through impressions such as 'we have the updated, modern solution to your Buddhist problems'. "

Vessels/forms change and dissolve, contents still remain. Other questions from this example come up for me that I have no absolute answer for but often ask- Is this just a not so attractive vessel? When and who determines the contents are true if not the person who eats from the vessel themselves? Is it 100% content or is there sometimes air and empty space with a bit of content? Does that devalue the content? Do some vessels feed more and satisfy more people and hunger while others can hold less and so feed less? Are some vessels broad and some small? Are the contents even quantifiable?

-lance
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:06 pm

Hi Lance,

I am happy you have found a clear place in your heart for Mondo Zen (TM) and I wish you and the group every success.

My posts addressed the impressions I read from your post and they stand because they relate to Buddhism, and how you presented Mondo Zen as offering something comparative, and then presenting the misnomer 'updated Rinzai', which I am not sure is actually even possible.

After your scolding, I did a bit of reading and found this about a Mondo Zen retreat:
These long sets of sitting and walking meditation make up only the Genuine Insight portion of the Hollow Bones Five Element Training methodology. Fortunately, Mondo Zen offers four more allies to complement this bold journey. Every morning and evening we would have Conscious Embodiment sessions where we would do various qi gong, yoga, and kung fu forms to keep our minds in our bodies, our focus on our breath, and our bodies limber and strong to endure the long sits. Each day we would also engage in the Mondo Zen Koan Ego Deconstruction and Emotional Awareness Intervention process that Roshi has been fine-tuning for over 30 years. This process combines Socratic dialogue with Neuro-Linguistic Programming to systematically take apart the participant's false sense of self, and then give them a key to access the deeper, ever-present state of meditation whenever emotionally challenging charges come looking for violent responses. ....It took a while to figure-out what to say, but once the ego got rolling, I was off on a raucous bender of self-indulgent blather. I felt drunk by the end of the night, not caring as I casually stumbled across my previously cherished impeccable formalities


Oh that's wonderful marketing. Bravo, Mondo Zen. NLP too?

My comments stand doubled, and no one can not critique a group that proclaims Zen/Buddhist practices within the context of Buddhism/Zen.

Buddhism has important elements including dependent origination, Heart Sutra, Diamond Sutra, and many other aspects that are important to be realised. It has a complete solution in and of itself already. Adept traditions and teachers can and do guide within tried and true vehicles - and the key is the adeptness of the teacher who has him/herself mastered the depth of the Sutras. The risk of these so called marketing modern approaches is that they combine psych/psychology with Buddhism, conflating both, and producing a psychological result or maybe worse, a result that cannot really be segregated for what it is and the student imagines that it is a transcendence, when it is just another psychological shift.

It's fine - everyone needs to make a living - but I would hope myself that people seeking a Buddhist solution and outcome would perhaps be wary of groups such as these with this combo of psychoanalytic principles and practices - marketed as "Zen" -- when NO, it is not Zen Buddhism, at least not as laid down by all the Buddhas and Ancestors of the past. And that timeless essence, needs no update, despite any marketing to the contrary. I can understand its appeal, since it is easier to classify and chew on and be led step by step :quoteunquote: -- but if you are really interested in Zen Buddhistn practice, I would vote to go elsewhere.

You also say that Mondo Zen should be critiqued based on its own theories, well those theories cannot be separated from Buddhism/Zen, thus the conformity should be that way.

Well wishes,

Abu
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