Shikantaza & Visions

Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:52 am

Thigle,

"Solid vision" like "pure vision" can appear out of "ignorance", or as expression of knowledge, which is the end of "ignorance"


What is the difference then? The supposition that pure vision has no external source but "self-generated". That is not the case, however, as there are conditions for the pure vision just as for the solid one. Both appear as visual phenomena, and only mentally makes one a difference between solid and pure, but not visually. And that mental difference is just the supposition that pure vision is self-generated. And there is another assumption here.

The described natural capacity and development of "knowledge" closes this important gap.


That idea of capacity and development do not exist in Zen, so it cannot be used as an explanation or basis for the occurrence of pure visions distinct from other sensory phenomena. Consequently, both solid and pure are interpretations not made in the Zen tradition, thus even if they came up during meditation, they would not be handled in any special way.
"If the Buddha-Nature is seen, there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing."
(Nirvana Sutra, T12n374p521b3; tr Yamamoto)

"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: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby thigle » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:49 pm

Astus,

Astus wrote:
"Solid vision" like "pure vision" can appear out of "ignorance", or as expression of knowledge, which is the end of "ignorance"


What is the difference then? The supposition that pure vision has no external source but "self-generated". That is not the case, however, as there are conditions for the pure vision just as for the solid one. Both appear as visual phenomena, and only mentally makes one a difference between solid and pure, but not visually. And that mental difference is just the supposition that pure vision is self-generated. And there is another assumption here.


for you it's important if "pure visions" appear or not. For me it's important how visions appear. "Solid visions" like "pure visions" are only visions/appearences; both are nothing special and both seems to be lack of knowledge/transparency, if "ignorance" seems to be "active". You always talk about "visions" in the context of "ignorance". But the mentioned "difference" in the "straw-metaphor" is about "solid visions" and "pure visions" in the context of "knowledge/transparency". And you can't understand this "difference" in the way you "think about" it.

Astus wrote:
The described natural capacity and development of "knowledge" closes this important gap.


That idea of capacity and development do not exist in Zen, so it cannot be used as an explanation or basis for the occurrence of pure visions distinct from other sensory phenomena. Consequently, both solid and pure are interpretations not made in the Zen tradition, thus even if they came up during meditation, they would not be handled in any special way.


If knowledge/transparency is really immeditate obvious and relative stable, the described natural capacity and development of "knowledge", closes the mentioned gap.
If knowledge/transparency isn't immediate obvious and relative stable, it seems there's no natural capacity and development of knowledge", closes the mentioned gap.

For me it doesn't matter which names and sectarian context one gives the possible "methods", which leads de facto to "knowledge/transparency". Knowledge is knowledge, ignorance is ignorance. But there are a lot of possible methods and a lot of methods including a lot of possible different outputs. If one mixed-up this outputs far away from discriminative wisdom, it makes only disorientation and opened the way for the lot of traps. For me it's about these "different outputs", relative independently of the names one gives the methods. Therefore it doesn't matter which names and sectarian context one gives... .

That's why I want to return to my original request and experimental content for soto-brothers/sisters, because I've explained enough: If you just sit in front of the sky or in darkness, like you just sit in front of the sky or in darkness, therefore primordially natural, neither as "practice" nor reified "non-practice", could you tell me something about "pure visions"? If they appear, how they appear? I'm interested in "how they appear". Do you "reject" these visions, do you "accept" these visions, do you neither "reject" nor "accpect" these visions because "rejection" like "acceptance" doesn't matter from itself? Are these visions lack of "knowledge/transparency" or are these visions the immediate expression of knowledge/transparency.. and so forth.
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby thigle » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:52 pm

Summary:

If there's primordially no need for artificial "acceptance" and artificial "rejection" or anything else reified "non-practice", pure visions like rays and lights appear and develop naturaly as exact inseparable-expression of immediate-obvious knowledge/transparency, because of the "capacity" of "unfolding" knowledge/transparency, which is called "wisdom". Such "exact vision" appear and develop as the stability of "transparency/knowledge" develops; the two go together.


Excursus: Immediate-obvious "knowledge/transparency" in "zen-speech":

[..] "Knowing" does not mean perception; for perception is of little measure. It does not mean understanding; for understanding is artificially constructed. [...] "Thought" is itself "knowing", without dependence on another's power. "Its knowing" is its form, and its form is the mountains and rivers. These mountains and rivers are "subtle", and this "subtlety" is "mysterious". When we put it to use, it is "brisk and lively". (Zazenshin)
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby Luke » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:09 am

Dear Thigle,

I am not sure if you are going to find anyone who will observe their meditation experiences in exactly the way you want them to while using exactly the language you want them to. Perhaps the best thing would be for you to practice with a Soto Zen group for a while yourself and then to observe your own experiences while doing so. :namaste:
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby thigle » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:16 pm

Luke wrote:I am not sure if you are going to find anyone who will observe their meditation experiences in exactly the way you want them to while using exactly the language you want them to. Perhaps the best thing would be for you to practice with a Soto Zen group for a while yourself and then to observe your own experiences while doing so.


Do nothing. But now you're doing "do nothing" instead of 'do nothing'. Recognice the difference exactly. Now do nothing.
Leave everything as it is. But now you practice "leave everything as it is" instead of 'leave everything as it is'. Recognice the difference exactly. Now leave everything as it is.
Don't focus anything. But now you focus "don't focus anything" instead of 'don't focus anything'. Recognice the difference exactly. Now dont focus anything.
Just sit. But now you practice "just sitting" instead of 'just sitting'. Recognice the difference exactly. Now just sit.

I'm not interested in "meditation experiences".
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby Matylda » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:26 am

I think someone tries here to give instructions and plays his role of a teacher of soto or dzogchen... better stop it. It is just heap of nonsens.
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby thigle » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:49 am

Middle capacity of direct understanding:

Leave everything as it is. But now you practice "leaving everything as it is" instead of leaving everything as it is. You concern your task under mistaken basic conditions. Recognice the difference between practiced "leaving everything as it is" and factual "leaving everything as it is" exactly, and leave everything as it is. The first time as fact. This primordial 'natural looseness' is not constructed. Completely naturally by itself, it doesn't matter whether it has a origin, or no origin. "It doesn't matter" is immediate-obvious knowledge and knowledge is "it doesn't matter", primordial inseparable from what appears. Hence everything is the expression of knowledge, which is called transparency.

Marginal Note I: In the beginning knowledge/transparency is only temporaly. Ignorance seems to come back again and again, but now you know without a doubt that neither practice nor reified a reified nonpractice is necessary. Therefore you take a subtle decision and primordial stability is the result.

Marginal Note II: The term 'immediate' should not be understood in a temporal sense. It's just primordial naturally without any need for an artificial knowledge-focus like this: "Now, knowledge/transparency is obvious".

Marginal Note III: The term 'naturally loosed' does not mean practiced natural looseness. But some people do that in perfection. They do not know that they only practise. Such a reified nonpractice tends to a special state of consciousness. Now the disciple maybe think: "That's the big goal, because of my natural relaxation, I have the sensation of clarity or openness. But these are are only reified concepts, based on grasping and the complementary big brother. That's really different from the terms "naturally relaxed" or "naturally loosed" in our context. What sounds the same, may also be different.
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby Sara H » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:29 am

Hoo! It's been a while since I've been on here! Wow! *dusts off the account*

So I just wanted to point out, that visions and such, are not necessarily considered makyo in Soto Zen. Dogen had extensive visions himself, and attached great importance to them, as did Keizan. There are actually numerous records of this, including in Dogen's own hand.

For example, one of his most famous, was one of 16 Arhants appearing to him at Eiheiji, during a ceremony.

He wrote about the importance of it:

""As for other examples of the appearance of auspicious signs, apart from [the case of] the rock bridge of Mount Tiantai, [in the province] of Taizhou, in the great kingdom of the Song, nowhere else to my knowledge has there been one to compare with this one. But on this mountain [Kichijōsan, the location of Eiheiji] many apparitions have already happened. This is truly a very auspicious sign showing that, in their deep compassion, [the Arahats] are protecting the men and the Dharma of this mountain. This is why it appeared to me."

-Eihei Dōgen
in the Dōgen Zenji Zenshū

Soto Zen has always been a very "visionary" branch of Zen. Keizan had many visions, and recorded them in detail in the Record of Tokoku.

While most visions and things that occur before kensho experience are dismissed as makyo, visions during, and after kensho are not. And those are treated with a lot more seriousness.

Ultimately a vision has to be let go of like anything else, after all, clinging to anything is not good. But that doesn't mean the visions themselves can't impart great value, or teaching, or be of great spiritual merit.

Not everyone has visions, and they aren't necessarily doing their practice badly if they don't. But some people do, and some people have lots, and they can be of great value to those who do, and they are not necessarily just distracting makyo to be dismissed.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby catmoon » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:47 am

You look at a cloud and see a rabbit.
There is no rabbit.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby Sara H » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:54 am

Hey Catmoon! Long time! :)
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby catmoon » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:08 am

Sara H wrote:Hey Catmoon! Long time! :)


There is however, a kittycat.
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby Dan74 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:47 am

Hi Sara :hi:

Happy to see some activity in the Zen parts of the forum. They've been pretty quite until recently.
Hope you stick around.

_/|\_
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Re: Shikantaza & Visions

Postby Sara H » Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:58 pm

Hi Dan! We'll see.

I may stick around for a little bit. The Zen boards have always been a bit quiet though, but I may stick around for a little bit. :)
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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