Talking About Kensho

Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby kirtu » Sun May 26, 2013 5:17 pm

oushi wrote:Seriously, I don't see many people running around, elaborating about their experiences. But even if they appear, there is always the same, rigid attitude toward it. They are either making it up, or they are wrong. Now "our" job is to prove it to be a makyo....


kensho IS a kind of makyo. After all, it's not final or definitive.

Years ago I described my own experience and the first response I received was very positive. Instead of struggling with myself and others, I returned to the experience which was very beneficial. I can imagine that I wouldn't be so grateful if somebody started to make fun of it instead.
On the other hand, I can understand people that didn't experience anything profound and they are eager to despise any insight experience, just for their own sake.


Okay, but the problem is that humans are perfect at creating delusion.

Is kensho "real"? No of course not, ultimately nothing is actually real. But does it move you in the direction of Buddhahood or Bodhisattvahood or even Arhatship or the development of positive qualities? Then it can be accepted and worked with. But not all teachers are going to do that. I know a Seon teacher who will just reject it outright although they are not actually rejecting the experience itself necessarily. But they will ask how you are treating your family or people around you? Kensho doesn't usually cut bad behavioral patterns although if it is real over time it can because as a mirror it shows that this behavior is counter to what you personally know to be true.

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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby kirtu » Sun May 26, 2013 5:20 pm

Matylda wrote:Second - Hakuin Zenji out of his kindenss wrote privately about his personal problems and how miserable he was...


Where did Hakuin Zenji write about this? It's come up over and over again but I don't remember the reference.

Thanks!

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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun May 26, 2013 6:38 pm

It seems to me that meditation experience period is only worth discussing when one needs help, or can offer it to someone who does. There's really no other good motivation I think, why else would you even want to describe them? Once we start describing them anyway, they become their own story..it's akin to trying to describe a dream, you can use whatever language or imagery you want, but the taste of the actual dream is never present in those things.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby kirtu » Sun May 26, 2013 6:48 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:It seems to me that meditation experience period is only worth discussing when one needs help, or can offer it to someone who does. There's really no other good motivation I think, why else would you even want to describe them? Once we start describing them anyway, they become their own story..it's akin to trying to describe a dream, you can use whatever language or imagery you want, but the taste of the actual dream is never present in those things.


One of the reasons people do this is because it's unlike anything they have experienced before and are startled (or they have experienced it once before but are still startled) and don't know what to do or how to integrate it into their lives at that moment. Some examples would be the kensho experiences cited by Phillip Kapleau at the end of "The Three Pillars of Zen".

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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby tingdzin » Sun May 26, 2013 8:37 pm

Yes, Johnny Dangerous hit it on the head. There is no real point in discussing such things with anyone other than a teacher or very qualified senior student, since the experience is never the same as the telling of it, particularly if it is repeated over and over. Just as "people who show all soon become all show", people who tell all soon become all talk.

I believe Kapleau Roshi printed his students' accounts to encourage others to strive hard, and in that they show that a wide variety of people can, through hard work, actually break some barriers, they have some value. Unfortunately, they also make it easier for the charlatans and the self-deluded to go astray. And in the end, reading about other peoples' experiences is just a kind of spiritual pornography.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby lobster » Mon May 27, 2013 6:50 am

The reason for alluding to, symbolically describing, creating a template for, writing poetry about, expressing in song or dance etc
is to assure us that Love . . .
and awakening exist.

Some never get it. Still the songs.

:popcorn:
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby MalaBeads » Mon May 27, 2013 9:06 am

lobster wrote:The reason for alluding to, symbolically describing, creating a template for, writing poetry about, expressing in song or dance etc
is to assure us that Love . . .
and awakening exist.

Some never get it. Still the songs.

:popcorn:


Lobster,

While Love may be just what the doctor ordered, speaking about it and kensho in the same breath is.just.not.done.

Cheapens them both. Cheapens kensho. Cheapens Love.

Now I'll get off

:soapbox:

And back to my life.

:namaste:
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Matylda » Mon May 27, 2013 3:05 pm

kirtu wrote:
Matylda wrote:Second - Hakuin Zenji out of his kindenss wrote privately about his personal problems and how miserable he was...


Where did Hakuin Zenji write about this? It's come up over and over again but I don't remember the reference.

Thanks!

Kirt


Yasenkanna is good reference point... I think that there was once a thread on this tpic.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Sara H » Tue May 28, 2013 2:03 am

tingdzin wrote:Yes, Johnny Dangerous hit it on the head. There is no real point in discussing such things with anyone other than a teacher or very qualified senior student, since the experience is never the same as the telling of it, particularly if it is repeated over and over. Just as "people who show all soon become all show", people who tell all soon become all talk.

I believe Kapleau Roshi printed his students' accounts to encourage others to strive hard, and in that they show that a wide variety of people can, through hard work, actually break some barriers, they have some value. Unfortunately, they also make it easier for the charlatans and the self-deluded to go astray. And in the end, reading about other peoples' experiences is just a kind of spiritual pornography.


Actually, there is a point, and that's to demystify the experience of it. As well as to help people who are little experienced in the sense of length of practice, but are nonetheless having a legitimate spiritual experience come up, to have access to it, to help them understand it as they have it come up.
Not everyone has access to ideal Dharma teacher circumstances, (and sometimes actually getting access to a Dharma teacher to discuss these things can be very difficult for a new person who is having such things happen to them) and these experiences when they come up, don't often wait for bureaucracy, or protocol, or to be convenient for other people's time-frames or schedules, or what their opinion is of what that person should be ready for. It doesn't really work that way.
When you need this stuff you need it, and you sometimes need it right away.

The Buddha talked about his kensho experiences in great detail.

There's entire Sutra's devoted to the subject, such as how He personally described His full enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree, His past lives spelled out in great detail, etc.

This idea that they shouldn't be talked about is certainly not true in every tradition.

In Soto, Keizan talked about his in great detail, and even Dogen, while usually reticent on the subject, he also wrote about his own in explicit detail on more than one occasion.

It's certainly not something that is forbidden or immoral to talk about, it simply has to do with the reasons why you are doing it.

If you're trying to show off, and say "look at me, see how great I am" well, then that's probably the wrong reason.

If you're trying to teach on the subject, and/or give people more information on an often misunderstood subject, that's another thing entirely.

Again, it depends on the purpose, and why you are doing it.

You are right, that it can become a great distraction to people, but then again, so call all of the Dharma. For instance people can use the Dharma scriptures as "spiritual pornography" (so to speak, as you put it) to distract themselves by just constantly reading about it, and never practicing it.

It's still worth talking about, and putting it out there for people who do need it though. You can't do much about whether people are going to use it to distract themselves, that's their choice, but you can do something about whether or not people who need it, get it. That you can do something about. And it's isn't necessarily something that you can tell just by whether they are a disciple or not. Not everyone speaks about what their needs are, some people live in isolated parts of the country, other people may be new to Buddhism, but be having such experiences come up already, and need it right now anyway.

It's a false assumption to assume that just because someone's been doing it for a while, that they are more advanced. People can have kensho experiences or legitimate other spiritual experiences come up (that are actually not makyo, but real spiritual experiences) within the first time or couple times of their sitting, and they may need this information to help them.

It's arrogant to assume that human beings are able to keep track of everyone else's spiritual needs like that, in all circumstances. Sometimes people's needs fall outside of the box.

If people want to delude themselves with distraction, there's infinite numbers of ways for them to do that, and you can't stop them.

When people need help though, you need to provide it, or put it out there so they can get it, regardless how how "advanced" some people might think they are/ or should or should not be.

Someone's level of "advancement" can literally change overnight.

And now they need it. Right then.

-Sara
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IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby lobster » Tue May 28, 2013 7:04 am

MalaBeads wrote:speaking about it and kensho in the same breath is.just.not.done.
Cheapens them both. Cheapens kensho. Cheapens Love.


Perhaps so. :shrug:

Wake up to Free Love.

Sale item. All must go.
:woohoo:

So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings; radiating kindness over the entire world…outward and unbounded, free from hatred and ill-will.
( from the Karaniya Metta Sutta)
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby MalaBeads » Tue May 28, 2013 9:15 am

lobster wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:speaking about it and kensho in the same breath is.just.not.done.
Cheapens them both. Cheapens kensho. Cheapens Love.


Perhaps so. :shrug:

Wake up to Free Love.

Sale item. All must go.
:woohoo:

So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings; radiating kindness over the entire world…outward and unbounded, free from hatred and ill-will.
( from the Karaniya Metta Sutta)


Lobsta, lobster, lobsta,

I am from the free love generation. I have so been there, done that. I am old now and know the value of certain things. And the quote from the sutra is priceless.

All the best to you.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Tue May 28, 2013 12:51 pm

kirtu wrote:kensho IS a kind of makyo. After all, it's not final or definitive.

Elaboration on kensho may become makyo, but Kensho is not a makyo. Kensho is not a thing, not an object like makyo. If one objectifies kensho wrongly, he will end up with makyo by trying to recreate/reconstruct the experience. Kensho cannot be know through thinking.

Is kensho "real"? No of course not, ultimately nothing is actually real.

Depends on how you define "real". Nothing is real and kensho is not a thing, thus it is real.

But does it move you in the direction of Buddhahood or Bodhisattvahood or even Arhatship or the development of positive qualities?

It depends on your karma, but it is hard to find a better way to Bouddhahood then through seeing true nature.
Say what you think about me here.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:06 pm

One problem I have with talking about stuff like kenshos it is it can become a kind of bragging exercise, or groupthink exercise. "So how many kenshos have you had? I 've had a couple this morning before breakfast!" Of course it can be discussed, but generally better not to shout it from the rooftops.
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