Yoshizen's Blog

修行での矛盾 — Paradox in Zen Practice

しかし禅の修行とは何か? そもそも禅とは何か? しかし禅が何であるかを答えたとしたら、それは禅ではないし、答える事自体が既に禅では無い。  

禅には問う事も無ければ答える事も無く実にそれが無くなった所に禅が在るのです。と言うより、元々禅などと言うものは存在していない。  

禅習得の足しになる方便は武道とか芸事など色々在り、それぞれの技能の習得、その進歩が目に見え体で感じられたりするので修行としたら大変都合が良い。 ---しかし、その都合良さに惑わされてしまうと、まるで禅と呼ばれるたいそうな事でもやっているような錯覚に陥る。

禅は神経生理上、シグナル(入力情報)が情動域(主に偏桃体)の関与無しに自動的に処理されるようになるので (情動域が『私の』というタグを付ける事で『我』=エゴ、欲、自己保存意識が発生する = 逆に言えば情動域が無視するような、害も無い反復シグナルを送り続けると情動域は無感覚になり入力を運動域などに直通させるようになる) 例えば武道においては恐怖のためらい無く、体が無意識に反応して神技のように動いたり、習い事で目をつぶったままでも完璧な所作が出来るようになったりする。 しかしここで生じる問題は、体や意識がその行に特定されてしまうという事です。(武道の奧義に達したからと言って禅の達人になるとは限らないーーー実在する奥義の後に禅が在ると思いがちですが、在ると思うのは禅などと言う観念に捕われた妄想に過ぎません。何故ならそのような観念すら存在しないのが禅なのですから) 

しかし刀も持たず、対峙する相手もない状態で、---例えば己自身に対してどれだけ無心になれるか? そもそも刀が無かったら己はここまで来ていたか? 

禅の修行はしばしば川を渡る事に例えられ 『川を渡りなば舟を投げ捨つるべし』と教えられる。 これが難しい。(笑)

方便とは言え刀を振回し五年十年と修行して来た揚句、それを投捨て意識の中から抹消するなどと言うのは書込む事よりよ程難しい。 果して刀も方便も無く出発し、どこかに到着する事が有るのか? 無から出発し無に到達し得るものか? (で、皮肉なことに実はどこにも到達しない、それこそが禅,と言うのが禅らしい。

古来より行なわれている修行はぐるぐるとひたすら歩く事ですが、人は元々無意識でも歩ける。それをわざわざ修行と名付け意図的にやらせ、しかもやっている将にその事を意識の中から抹消させようとする矛盾。 逆に言えばそれを教えた人自身、実は無私無心という境地に達してはいなかったのではと疑わせます。(禅の観念にこだわっている師匠が考えそうな事ですよ)

ーーーもちろんそうした徹底した無意識化、無私化が無い訳ではありません=彫刻家のノミがあたかもそれ自身で動き出し、ノミと石だけの対峙になると言うのも在るし、形は元々石の中に在った(つまり『アタシが彫ったのではない』)と言うのはしばしば聞く。 (しかしここまで行くのは大変です。ーーーまァ精々やることで、それが平常心と言うモノ。 だからこそ犬のクソと言われるのです)

***

禅などと大上段に振かぶったものではなく単なる日常を平常のものとして丁寧に生活していく=そのうちに何故かその日常の手順がえらく軽やかでなめらかなものになっていくーーーそれで充分なのです。 (別に禅を極めたからといって閻魔大王に褒めてもらえる訳でも無いしそもそもあの世なんてものも無い。 生きているうちに充実した日常を送る事が肝心)  

___/\___

. 

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ZEN Practice ?

Following the discovery of my old climbing boots, I found something amazing (to you)

out of packed up boxes I’ve stashed, may be 25 years ago.  🙂

Some of  readers, even a keen Zen practitioner may be horrified to see this 😀

Then, some might ask, What this to do with Zen.   Or, to be a Zennist, does it necessary to do it

in this extent ? —– There is no rules or requirement.   All up to the person. —– Some might

be taking easy to sitting or could be walking, even cutting a lemon.   Why not stitching.  🙂

Woolly Socks A09A2165

But, I didn’t do this thinking of Zen.  (It was long before I even become aware of

the meaning and the effects of repeating practice in the Buddhism) = I just did it

as I got too much time in a winter mountain shelter or in a tent while imprisoned by the snow

blizzard.   What else to do then ?   (Other than this, I curved fire log into such as a spoon.)  

Still, it was only me doing like this and I never seen anybody else

did the same, then and ever since.

(And many years later, I realized that it WAS effectively a Zen practice.)

[] []

Mountain woolly socks couldn’t last for ever, of cause.   Soon or later, thread would be getting

thinner and break.  But if we threading it with another woolen thread to reinforce

the part, it extend the life = pretty obvious = So, I did. 😀

(The socks photographed here had been worn, I think more than 8 years or more while using

it about 100 days a year.   The heel part seemed to have 3rd ~ 4th generation of the

thread, and 40 years later, it is still usable !)

—– If you don’t know how to do the same, just look at how knitted thread runs.

Then just follow the existing thread, go through the loop alongside.  And keep doing it to cover

all the part necessary to reinforce.  (Use the thread partly doubled to make it even stronger.)

(My mother was very good making Kimono (of cause by hand stitching) hence by watching

her to do the work, I learned some sewing technique though, when my mother and sister saw

my re-threaded socks,  it frightened them = so, it was not a common practice, and out of

imagination even to the Zen monk’s family.  🙂 )

[]

If this is a practice for Zen, provably this is the most humble yet easy to do

practice you ever heard of,  still not such a labour than to sweep the street.

And on top of it,  it would save some expense on your pocket too.

= You must be very grateful.  So, have a try, when you are not too busy. 😀

[]

The kernel of the Buddhism is to do and to live unconditionally.

(So, if there is a thinning hole appeared on a heel of socks,  just mend it.

= simple and straight.  No need to think at all.  🙂 )

Therefore, Buddhism is not to search or ask something but just live.

Anyway there isn’t any answer. —– Hence,

Lord Buddha ignored the question, on this reason.

Since living and doing unconditionally in the first place, there couldn’t be

any hindrance or doubt.  (Doubt was CREATED in the mind)

Hence, even going through the sufferings, it will be passing away without

causing any mind to buckle, even without taking notice.  Therefore, even

when the death is arriving, there couldn’t be any stir in the mind. 

This is the Nirvana.  And this is what

Lord Buddha has taught.

___/\___

[]

Funny Practice

A man who I met recently, and read this blog, gave me a response saying that

he was pretty impressed by Zappa photo and the camera I made though, he

couldn’t make any connection of them to the Zen.

And he wondered,

“You are not serious to the Zen don’t you, as you are making a fun of it

or even cynical”

—– Well said. So, I replied to him.

Yes, I can see you got certain idea of Zen though, I’m afraid to say it is mere

pretense or crèche.

I’m doing the Zen Buddhism not Parroting what the books say.

Lord Buddha taught how to alleviate the suffering in the life. He didn’t give a

false hope to escape from it by living in a fantasy world, but taught a practice

to gain the clear eyes and the mind how to see and deal with the matter.

Instead to tell a sweet story of heaven to such as a woman who just lost her

child, but her to running about the village.

Zen is the teachings of how to run 🙂

While running, the person will acquire the Mind and the eyes to see the suffering

in detached eyes, hence able to get rid of blinding emotion and the stacked mind.

—– Do you think, could the woman alleviate the sorrow by sitting all day

next to the dead body ?

It is the exactly the same situation.

You are stacked with an idea or crèche of so-called Zen.

So-called “Serious concentration of the Mind etc etc” so that you may see I’m

doing something useless to the Zen and not serious enough.

But Zen is also free the person from those stereotypical fixed idea

include the Zen itself.

[]

In any eye point, in any scope, the life is a troublesome matter.

If this is the nature of the matter, complaining it would be useless because

it is inescapable anyway.  

But, in the same time while billions of the people struggling, it is an awesome view and may

have quite funny moment, especially if we can see it in bird’s eye view.

I’m serious enough to the life and I’m dealing with it, as nothing else is on the board.

It’s mean, I have no false dream believing another world such as a heaven etc rubbish.

And as I have nothing else to see, I could see even the minute detail of the subject of which

most of the people wouldn’t bother.  —– So, I could see lots more funny side of the situation

as my eyes are above the water, as I, at least know how I can avoid drowning in the water.

—– So, I’m not drowned in the Zen.

(Anyhow, Zen is an extremely funny practice.   😀 )

Convinced ?

___/\___

[]

ZEN in Making

Well, the title Zen in Making is the double

meaning.   🙂

Zen is not coming but you need to make it.

So, I’m making it or doing it by Making, literally.

[]

The people who was attracted to the Buddhism with its

mythical, hence intellectual connotations, it might be a

phenomenon, utterly out of expectation though, this is

what Lord Buddha taught as to gain the state of

the Mushin (Mind of No-Mind, since No-Self,

= since No Atman = Perpetual Soul kind what Brahmanism taught,never exists)

—– it’s mean the widely believed myth of Reincarnation is the later invention of the

professional monk who needed to enslave the followers to keep donating the money to them

(otherwise you will go to the hell and reincarnates into a beasts) —– though, what

Lord Buddha taught was “The death is THE Nirvana = No more suffering there”

(Since, it was called Nirvana = fire just goes off = no glorious departure to the heaven kind 🙂

—– But, if everybody can get Nirvana naturally, no need to pay money and ask the monk 😀 )

That was why, the Buddhism was the revolution ! (Rich and poor alike, all can get Nirvana).

[]

Some people has misinterpretation of the Buddhism, as Teachings is the Teachings of how to die. 

This is a misconception.  If you see the structure of the Teachings = The observation of

the Dharma lead to the understanding of its mechanism = the relation of each element, its

Cause and the effect = Definition of the Karma.  As the mechanism is in constant flow of the

Cause = Occurrence, which never stop = hence it led to the understanding of No Perpetual

Existence = Everything keep changing = hence the Life of Man too = Death is only the End.

As everything keep changing and  Time never stops = Life has to deal with

what the one is immediately facing. = Anything is NOT there mean, it is only in the MIND.

Death fallen into the same category = Unless a Man is there in the moment of Death, Death is

not an existence = What the Man has to deal is The Current issue = TO LIVE the LIFE.

Likewise, when Fish-tin is on front —> Just deal with it.  Even think NO ELSE. = ZEN.

[]

Other than the practice how to keep up dairy life such as the way to walk, beg a food and talk

with people, only few sample of the [special] teachings of the

Lord Buddha was scripted. One of the most well-known episode was, how Kisa Gotami was let

running the house to house looking for the seeds.

Another story was how Chuli Pantak (Shuri Bantoku in Japanese) was ordered to sweep the

grounds of the Deer Garden.

Both stories are highlighting the repeated continuous practice lead the person’s

mind to the state of Mushin hence enable to get Enlightenment.

[]

This tradition was kept by the Buddhists, thousands of the years.

As a good sample, I wrote about the artistic practice of an artist Pok (link here) some time ago.

Please read how and why his work is the Buddhism (as he is aware and says too).

And my practice here is a part of the work to make a housing to a LED Ring Light.

To make an inner casing of the Ring Light, I found a fish tin which got the matching

size for the purpose.

To make a fish tin to be used as the inner pipe, the bottom part has to be removed = I did it

by drilling a lots of holes (about 70 holes by 1.5mm drill), then after the bottom was removed,

the jagged edge was filed and made to a smooth circle which is matching the 77mm filter ring

(by which, the Ring Light can be fixed on front of the lens).

—– technical detail would be explained in the later post.

—– Here, I’m showing how laborious the repeating work is 😀

Technically, there are many ways to cut the metal in such case = laser cutting, high-pressure

water cutting etc though, it spoil the game and unless the machine is in my hand and ask

somebody specialist to do the work, it would be very expensive = this is a poor man’s DIY.

(it may seem laborious though, soon or later it will be finished, and still have a fun. 😀 )

[]

What I’m saying is, this is what the Zen Practice is. = Zen or Buddhism is not a magic

or imaginary fantasy (hence, not thinking), but an effort to DO the job bit by bit.  Because of

Lord Buddha did teach it.  He was not a successful austere Yogi (otherwise, he could have

become a miracle Superman) but ordinary human being.  And he taught ordinary people.

Because he was not a Superman, he felt the Life is in suffering. —– He didn’t find the life is

an opportunity to perform and show-off supernatural miracles. (Hence, he was not a Divine).

To make a Life, a person has to make a Life to do something, not sitting and thinking but to DO.

To ordinary people, to DO mean, by their own mean, not in miraculous spectacular way but DO

the job next by next, bit by bit. = This is the Life.  Hence, the Teachings of

Lord Buddha was accordingly. = No miracle answer or super natural phenomena.

(That’s why a story of the Rain drop curves a rock, was in Zen story ! )

( —– I’m not implying you should drill a fish-tin. 😀 = I only showing a sample, there are

many this kind of concentration or so-called mindfulness behind the craft work or art pieces.

They are in fact, the ZEN.

___/\___

[]

How to reach ZEN MIND ?

Someone asked me “ Hey Yoshizen, I read your [Will-power] post and understand what

ZEN MIND is,  —– the question is HOW to reach there ?

Well, this is the question worth one’s life.

It costed Master Bodhidharma who started the practice of ZEN,  for his 9 years sitting, and costed me just

to have a glimmer of idea, 3 years Disco Dancing.   😀    And yet another 20 odd years more of experiments.

And I’ve written many times before, but repeat it here referring the last post.

> > Buddhist has completely different psyche —– there was no will at all,  hence those

—– Masters got enlightenment  !  ( Buddhist doesn’t intentionally pursuit the goal by will

—– but to set the goal as the default = if nothing else is there, what else can we wish for ? )

—– When (to his eyes) no chocolate is there, why want to eat chocolate —> once this kind

—–of mind  became the norm,  do something by the will doesn’t need a chocolate   :-D

MIND or the information process in the Brain has distinctive tendency, If the same signals are repeated,

the response becomes routine or the signals will be completely ignored in order to save the energy

by short-cut or shut-out.  This is an acclimation ( acclimatization) process of the brain and the physiology.

If you eat chocolate all-day, ton of it, soon you will fed-up with it ( it’s a metaphor don’t try this in home and

I wouldn’t presume any responsibility of its consequence ) = you become immune to it.  Even hate it.

Or if you love your partner, love a lot, a lot  for 7 years equivalent amount (Well, some says 2 years these days)

she ( or he ?) become either part of yourself or invisible.  In both case she or he no longer bother your Mind

(= hence brain can save energy) = life just goes on as it is.  —– It’s a Peace !

—– If he wants to do [A],  Just Do [A] —– anyhow nothing else is in the scope.

—– But to choose [A] out of 26 and try to do, it may need to think and use a will. 

—- —– But if nothing else is there, it is only a thing he can do.

So that, if you think and try doing it [A] all-day, next day, repeating million times = it become routine.

Then, You become able to do it automatic = without thinking.

Strangely, once you master this, by doing [A],  you are able to use the same mind-set to any other subject

in any moment at once.  The fundamental OS (operation system) of the brain changed to Zen Type.

Non

Buddha had been doing this in his daily life (life was simple, handling only few same things

everyday = routine, as he went through the life of austere already, he didn’t need much)

—– the followers copied his action and later realized the hidden effect as it is the way to get

the State of Mushin (Mind of No-Mind) = routine work without thinking.

Since then, all the Buddhist’s sect having a simple repeating act in their Buddhists practice.

Especially the Master Bodhidharma was the one who used the effect of repeating action as

the main tool to get the state of Mushin and the Enlightenment which is known as ZEN.

Therefore, repeating or bombarding the brain with the same signal ( as long as it is the same

stimulant = thinking or action) the brain reacts the same —> either it became routine

or immune.

Then once this tendency was established, the brain become able to handle any signal, either

completely ignore it or automatically reacts with full concentrated force. This is the ZEN.

It is obvious, if anyone did [A], million times, he must become an expert, and able to do while eyes closed,

without thinking, but with exactly same precision.

Yet strange phenomenon is that the person who mastered to do the thing without thinking, also become able

to see (or concentrate) only the subject and able to [not to see] others. Then, if necessary not to see anything.

Since the brain become more efficient, not waste energy or time, it able to see something new

or its wider implications = hidden meaning and the truth.

And, some become able to see which is invisible to others. (Literally, third eyes, or Hyper vision = able to see

such as a high-speed movement in slow-motion) —– all by the training of sensory.

(It is rather well-known phenomenon, a person encounter such as a car-accident or explosion

seeing the moving scene in slow-motion.   This is the Hyper-vision) —– ZEN is only using

natural body and brain capability, but just enhancing it. —– no fancy magic or placebo effects.

( That’s why the past Masters described it as ” Dog Shit” as it was nothing special or miraculous.   😀 )

___/\___

Why TALK, Why Blog ?

It is the most fundamental contradiction in Zen Blog.   Which I’m well aware.

Zen is after all, [in practice] how to live.   Not a system of thinking or idea.  Nor dubious magic at all.

Therefore, if any notion or thinking of even an idea of spirituality or any religious notion is there, it is

not the Zen but mere pretence.

In Zen, because of no preconceived idea or thinking is there (or no longer there) it is described as Mushin

and having the eyes to see the subjects without preconception, it is fully opened clear eyes by which

the one can see the object as it is, hence, there couldn’t be any barrier between

seeing and be seen = it is the Oneness / Ichijo.

Seeing and be seen are no longer there as the separate entity, hence no Self could exist

—– all those are not a logical conclusion or answer,  but just a state of the brain.

( Brain is not only for thinking   🙂 )

non

State of the brain ( In fact, the balance of hormone,  Dopamine  and  Serotonin  etc)  will be

reflected to one’s feeling and the actual action,  so does to the results  ( hence to the one’s Karma)

not as a revealing words.   ( Because, Zen is not a word game but real dairy life )

non

This is the Buddhism of which Buddha taught.

To learn this,  the followers literally followed

Buddha and copied what he does,  down to the minute details,  since

Buddha himself was the teachings itself.  And as

Buddha did practice his own dairy life according to the Dharma,

and himself was a part of the Dharma too,  his actions or practices were the Dharma.

( So that the recordings of those teachings were also called as Dharma,  and those practices has been reflected

into the Zen Buddhism,  such as in the Soto Zen,  there is no verbal communication but just follow the practice,

and through practice,  the learning could be achieved and even sudden realization could be occurred,

which was called Direct Transmission )

non

—– this is the reason why I feel deeply paradoxical to talk about Zen,  let alone blogging.

In the so-called Buddha’s biography, there was the story of

Buddha’s hesitation to teach what he found in his Enlightenment, which was needed a persuasion of

the Brahman to start.

(So far I couldn’t find the origin of this story in the Scripture —– the author of the biography must have

really deep understanding of the Buddhism and had the insight )

Buddhism having inherent trouble refusing to be explained by the words.

Understanding or so-called enlightenment may just come while practising.

So that,  I can definitely say,  Just Do it.

___/\___

禅仏教とは  What is the Buddhism

This is the shortest explanation of What is the BUDDHISM, which I made to my friend in Japan.

——————–

これは日本の友人に送ったメールで、仏教とは何かを説明した部分ですが改めて読んでみると、

極度に簡略化した割に要点はちゃんと収まっている。

これは皆に読んでもらうのに手頃では?と、ポストに加えました。

—-

仏教的倫理観では、人間も含めた全存在は実は無限に広がり断え間なくつながった

「法(ダルマ)」であると理解しています。 個人が個人と見え、当人もそう考えているがそれは単なる

見かけで実体の無いもの。 (ましてその当人のエゴだ欲だといったものは当人の幻想、雑念以外

の何物でもない)---で、当人は実は全体のー部分、他の人ともつながっているから、ちょうど怪我をした

手の痛みが全身に伝わるように、仙台の痛みが大阪のヤクザにさえ伝わりトラックを駆って現地の救援にと

かり立てる。 それも坊主が説教してかり出した訳ではなく、全く自発的な行動です。

ーーーという事は別に仏教に依らずとも、元々これが人間のモラル、「法」として存在していたという事実です。

当然、救援に向ったトラックで石コロを運んだような馬鹿は居ない。自発こそは「法」であり、英知です。

例の倫理構造図式の、実在、真、正、英知、さらにそこから抽象された倫理意識や、具体的に

何をすべきかは人に言われるまでもなく、まして坊主に説教されるまでもなく誰もが解っている事です。

釈尊はこれを指摘して「法」がいかに全てをカバーし有効に機能しているかを説明しただけで、別に

[法]やモラルを発明して人類に与えた訳ではありません。(僕は単にそれを図式化して説明しただけです)

元々「法」の中に無我も慈善も含まれているのですが人間、我や欲、執着があって素直に「法」を

見る事、従う事ができない。 で、小乗仏教では細かく禁忌義務を列記して、

形の上だけでも「法」に従った、つまり悟りを開いたとされる人間を生産しようとした訳です。

しかし何百もの禁忌を記憶しそれにこだわりつつ生きる事自体が雑念ではないか?となった。

ここから大乗ヘの進化が始まった訳です。


「法」は全ての人間に(実は虫けらにも)元々備っていて雑念がそれをマスクしているだけだから

要は無心になれば良いーーーとは言うものの、それ程簡単ではない。

「精々努力しなさい。しかしムリしなさんな」というのが「中道」と言うもの。

極端に執着したり固定観念でタメにするのは別として人が人として自然に着想してやっていく事は

「法」の内と見るのが大乗です。 しかし、それならー流の職人が寝食を忘れて完璧を追求するのは何か?

あるいは連続強姦魔はどうなのか?ーーーなどというタメにする質問が出たら、

質問者をー発ドツケば即解決する。禅は明解です。

—–

面白いのは長年黙々と手作業をやって来た人、全く空しく水面を見つめて来た釣り帥などの中に

しばしば「ムッ、お主できるな」という人物がいる事です。ーーーで、この効果を意図的に再現するように

考えたのが、それぞれの宗派の「行」で、全く何の足しにもならない事を延々と繰り返させる。

初めは疑問や不平があってもいずれ思念を放棄し黙々とやるようになる。意図的に与えられたものでも

無心に遂行する心理、行動様式が定着すると余計な思考や逡巡なく物事を処理できるようになる。

ーーーーー(僕はこれを仏教の持つ第3のアスぺクト=心理工学と呼んだ訳ですが)

(思念のマスクが取除かれると潜在意識の中にプログラムされていたものが反射的に出る。.しかし、

本人すら自覚していないものが何故そこに在るのか?ーーーだからそれが「法」なのだ、と説明する)

無心とは、一切の構えなく心を開く事でもありますから自由な発想を持つには最適ーーーで、

それをテストする為に僕は色々変なものを発想しては、それを作っている訳です。

実験心理学、実験仏教学と言う所以です。

ーーーーーーーーーー

___/\___   Yoshizen 拝

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