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May 25, 2011

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Joseph

yikes! I wonder how many beings my blog has killed! (;_;)

Kyle

hey, i just want you to know that i stumbled on this blog through reddit a while back and have been following it avidly. about to order zen master man gong's book! thank you for sharing with the internet!

Genju

Joseph, you and me both! :-|

Now what....

Daniel

I might say instead...

Sentient human-beings are taught by our culture to "know", and not how to live in from original position of "don't know".

Other sentient beings seem to have a different experience: The bird just is.

Primitive cultures? Maybe not too much "knowing".

Ours? Definitely lost in the "known".

Mine? A daily un-learning.

On books:

It's okay to find yourself at a buffet table and only eat one item...don't blame the buffet if you gorge on ten-thousand tastes, muddling each one into one shade of mushy gray until your confused, bloated, and gassy.

Wise discernment says: if you're hungry, pick up one item (book) at a time, and study it with care. The more items studied, the more careful the discernment needs to be.

Zazen says: pick up no-thing, and study it with care.

Of course, something needs to crack the facade of "know" in order for one to even contemplate the possibility of "don't know", given the cultural conditioning from above.

We Americans love our buffets.

Barry Briggs

Hey Joseph, Kyle and Genju - nice to hear from you!

Daniel, thank you for your clear-eyed comment. Zen Master Seung Sahn used to say, "Pig understands pig's job. Dog understands dog's job. Only human beings don't understand their job."

Daniel

Apologies for my comment being so long. I've been thinking quite a bit recently about the different faces of Zen and which one is appropriate at which time for which people: what's the right medicine for person A vs. person B.

I'm humbled by the recorded Zen Master's ability to dose out the right medicine: for some, a whack with the stick, for other's, a complicated koan, and for those who are ready, GO DRINK TEA!!

I enjoy looking back over my experience with Zen and Buddhism in general and non-duality and philosophy and seeing all of it as this wonderfully random experience: picking up a little here, a lot there, too much at times, but somehow just right in the end.

And when I'm out in the world, I try to consider the medicine I dose out: a hug here, a more stern reminder or rebuke there, a pointed question, or silent ear.

So much to learn, so little to know.

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  • Zen teachers sometimes use the Ten Ox Herding Pictures to describe the path of awakening. Within this metaphorical framework, the ox symbolizes the secretive, unruly human mind.

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