Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jikan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:50 pm

from here: http://www.mondozen.org/about/what_is_mondo_zen.htm

Mondo Zen™ is based on Japanese and Chinese Zen, updated for the 21st Century. Mondo Zen™ transcends the hierarchical/authoritarian, gender-biased and constraining monastic aspects of traditional Zen in favor of practical, experiential “in the world” engagement. Relying only on direct personal experience - as taught by the Buddha himself - it does not allow mythic constructs to complicate its philosophical orientation. This includes ideas such as reincarnation, soul as personality, bardo realms, past lives, a creator deity, or other faith-based beliefs. It is important that in our practice of Mondo Zen™ we consciously choose to set aside all such ideas at least until we have experienced, tested and evaluated for ourselves a simpler and stronger way of knowing.


from: http://www.integralzen.org/

Integral Zen consciously brings together the Integral AQAL maps and the territory of Zen practice. We use a perspective of the world that is broad enough and insight into ourselves that is deep enough to understand and solve today’s complex problems in brave new ways. Using Integral tools and Mondo Zen™ we develop enhanced clarity, creativity, vision, and decisive compassionate action.

"Mondo Zen training is one of the most important, creative, and novel additions to the meditation pantheon, highly recommended for the accelerated effect it has on spiritual growth and development. Definitely check it out!"

- Ken Wilber, The Integral Vision


Anyone know what's going on here? "novel additions to the meditation pantheon?"
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:59 pm

It seems that the founders and members found Zen presented in America lacking in certain aspects, thus created this newer format. I consider it a natural evolution of modern (non-Buddhist) Zen.

Look at this bibliography: http://www.mondozen.org/resource_librar ... g_list.htm
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jikan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:05 pm

In that sense, I don't see much daylight between the "Mondo Zen" approach and that of, say, Jundo Cohen (treeleaf zendo), except where the Mondo Zen people seem strongly influenced by the doctrines of Ken Wilber (including the eagerness to copyright everything [tm]).

I'm interested in what is bracketed out and what is retained. Doctrinal positions such as "reincarnation" and "the soul as personality" (of which more in a moment) are set aside, but as the photos of their teachers show, traditional-appearing Zen garb is retained. The *image* of the traditional Zen teacher is upheld. If we're asking the question, what does this do for me now (as with traditional Buddhist teachings), why not also ask, what does this robe do for me now, this image? (which reminds me: what precepts do the Mondo Zen set take?)

Now, what on earth is meant by "soul as personality" in the quotation above? is the writer suggesting that Buddhism teachings that there is such a thing as a soul, and that the soul is identical to the personality? Curiously, that more closely resembles Wilber's position (influenced strongly by German Idealism & Advaita Vedanta) than it does to any kind of Buddhism I'm familiar with. Is the author dissing Wilber in attempting to critique Buddhism?
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Yudron » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:51 pm

I don't know anything about Zen, but doesn't it seem like a bunch of serious students trying to find their way forward after their main lineage holder Eido Shimano repeatedly disgraced himself? They are in a difficult position.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jikan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:30 pm

Yudron wrote:I don't know anything about Zen, but doesn't it seem like a bunch of serious students trying to find their way forward after their main lineage holder Eido Shimano repeatedly disgraced himself? They are in a difficult position.


Indeed. This may be worthy of its own thread: what to do when your teacher disqualifies himself.

An earnest question for the board:

I know next to nothing about the situation surrounding Shimano, only the scuttlebut that has been kicked around publicly. That said, I do wonder if this move into the Wilberness (a pun!) accurately reflects Shimano's teachings. Are these students being true to their teacher's intentions in taking this approach? Or is this a departure?
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Thus-gone » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:25 pm

This is just a bunch of commodified psychospiritual nonsense. Not to mention that the "teacher", Jun Po, is open about and proud of his own sexual misconduct.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:36 am

What I'm really missing is the description of the actual methods and teachings. There are all these praises about the teacher and the method, but no real information. However, by a simple search I've found their Training Manual (PDF) that describes the whole process. It seems to me like a very interesting application of Rinzai Zen koan process transformed into a modern training. So, before any further critiques, I recommend everyone to read it.

Image
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Thus-gone » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:12 am

I'm sure it's helpful on a psychological level, and may even trigger some kind of opening experience, but I see no place for the deepening and integration of awakening that is the very essence of the Zen school.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jinzang » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:25 am

The abbot, Jun Po / Dennis Kelly has a biography published, A Heart Blown Open, which is a good read. He's certainly led an interesting life, including a period where he produced and sold windowpane acid. There's a bit about his approach to zen at the end of the book. It didn't impress me, but I'm hardly his target audience.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:09 pm

Thus-gone wrote:I'm sure it's helpful on a psychological level, and may even trigger some kind of opening experience, but I see no place for the deepening and integration of awakening that is the very essence of the Zen school.


What makes you say so? In their koan training they seem to really work on making people realise the essentials of Zen, and after that they also have a 60-day follow up programme to deepen the realisation. And depending on personal choice one could still continue practising with or without a group.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:41 pm

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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jikan » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:42 pm

Astus wrote:What I'm really missing is the description of the actual methods and teachings. There are all these praises about the teacher and the method, but no real information. However, by a simple search I've found their Training Manual (PDF) that describes the whole process. It seems to me like a very interesting application of Rinzai Zen koan process transformed into a modern training. So, before any further critiques, I recommend everyone to read it.


The manual is dated April 2012; this syllabus is basically from last semester. My point is that this is all very new. I wonder how it'll turn out?

I haven't read the manual completely yet but at first glance I'm struck by the deconstruction/reconstruction diction. Deterritorialized Derrida, reterritorialized Deleuze. :shrug:
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:56 pm

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.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:26 pm

Sorry for the snarky "contrast and compare" post earlier... I couldn't help myself.

Maybe here's where the snark comes from. Within the Mondo training syllabus one can find stuff like this " Now can I have permission to talk with the real Controller, the one who is absolutely resistant to change, the one who is humoring me right now? Will you, the real Controller, open up and allow a shift in your understanding?" This really sounds of Genpo's 'Big Mind" (TM) stuff...the EST, Voice Dialogue, pseudo-Zen cocktail that he peddles for $20,000 per seminar.

I've often had the impression that Wilber, Genpo, and their associates create these enterprises, and cross sell them, all in the 'dharma' of profit and opportunism. My two cents.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jikan » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:36 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:Sorry for the snarky "contrast and compare" post earlier... I couldn't help myself.

Maybe here's where the snark comes from. Within the Mondo training syllabus one can find stuff like this " Now can I have permission to talk with the real Controller, the one who is absolutely resistant to change, the one who is humoring me right now? Will you, the real Controller, open up and allow a shift in your understanding?" This really sounds of Genpo's 'Big Mind" (TM) stuff...the EST, Voice Dialogue, pseudo-Zen cocktail that he peddles for $20,000 per seminar.

I've often had the impression that Wilber, Genpo, and their associates create these enterprises, and cross sell them, all in the 'dharma' of profit and opportunism. My two cents.


I tend to this point of view as well.

Time will tell. The sun's gone down on "big mind" almost completely and "integral life" in many respects. In this as well: time and practice have a way of vetting things.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:57 pm

Jikan wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:Sorry for the snarky "contrast and compare" post earlier... I couldn't help myself.

Maybe here's where the snark comes from. Within the Mondo training syllabus one can find stuff like this " Now can I have permission to talk with the real Controller, the one who is absolutely resistant to change, the one who is humoring me right now? Will you, the real Controller, open up and allow a shift in your understanding?" This really sounds of Genpo's 'Big Mind" (TM) stuff...the EST, Voice Dialogue, pseudo-Zen cocktail that he peddles for $20,000 per seminar.

I've often had the impression that Wilber, Genpo, and their associates create these enterprises, and cross sell them, all in the 'dharma' of profit and opportunism. My two cents.


I tend to this point of view as well.

Time will tell. The sun's gone down on "big mind" almost completely and "integral life" in many respects. In this as well: time and practice have a way of vetting things.


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

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:07 am

BuddhaSoup,

Yes, I've recognised that too. However, it might as well be viewed as a working technique. It doesn't determine anything about the cost of training and the way it is run. Instead of jumping to conclusions the facts should be checked first.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jinzang » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:24 am

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.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:35 pm

Jinzang,

People who are not already in Buddhism must have a reason to engage in Zen or any other form of Buddhist practice. It is not by accident that the Dalai Lama propagates the scientific research on meditation, it actually validates Buddhism and makes it more appealing to people than just a strange eastern religion. Self-help (pseudo-)psychology is a common entry point to the Dharma.

Why is it wrong? What is confirmed is how the practice should be done. Especially at the beginning it is important to have a clear understanding of what the method is about and to develop faith and aspiration. Otherwise, if people are left in the darkness and just told to sit silently it will hardly bring any good result. In the case of Zen in order to do it correctly one must first become experientially established in buddha-mind, or it is not Zen.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Thus-gone » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:56 pm

It is wrong if the motivation is not to spread the Dharma but instead to make money (which, if you are at all familiar with the Wilber crew, is obviously the case). In that case, the student will not be taken on his or her own terms, but will be fed whatever keeps them paying.

Who can say, ultimately, what the net effect is of commericialised spirituality? It certainly gets way more people interested and practicing than otherwise, and it also most definitely degrades the standards and authenticity of the spiritual path in general. Since these things are going to be around for a while to come, better to ask: how can I, as a serious Buddhist practitioner, take advantage of this situation to further the Dharma?
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