Taoist and Zen Wisdom

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Wylding, Jan 15, 2002.

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  1. rdsiam Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2001
    star 1
    Wylding - The archer story was great! It reminds me of a story one of my karate instructors told me. He said a student of his came to him one day saying he had found oneness out in the wilderness, on top of a mountain through meditation. My instructor replied to the student, "That's great. Now go find oneness on I-95 at 5:30 in the evening, during rush hour... than I'll be impressed."

    Here is one of my favorite stories, paraphrased from "The Tao of Pooh," by Benjamin Hoff (a great book).
    There once was a stonecutter, who was unhappy with himself and his place in life. One day he saw a wealthy merchant and was overcome with jealously. "How powerful that merchant must be. I wish I were he."

    To his surprise, he became the merchant. He was wealthier than he could imagine and envied by all. Than one day he saw a high official being escoted by his estate. "How powerful that official is. I wish I were he."

    Than he became the high official. One day he looked up at the sun, and saw how brilliant it was. ?How powerful the sun is. I wish I was the sun.?

    He became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers. One day a huge black cloud came and covered him, so no light could get through. ?How powerful that cloud is. I wish I were that cloud.?

    He became the cloud, but one day found he was being pushed around by the wind. ?How powerful that wind is. I wish I were that wind.?

    He became the wind. He was able to blow tiles off roofs and uproot trees. One day he found something that he could not move no matter how hard he blew against it. It was a huge, towering stone. ?How powerful that stone is. I wish I were that stone.?

    Than he became the stone, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into solid rock, and felt himself being changed. ?What could be more powerful than I, the stone?? he thought. He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.


  2. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup." '


    Why must he "empty his cup"? To me, you can never have too much knowledge. If this refers to the Zen master not being able to teach the professor until he-how should I say this?-unlearns what he has learned, then it doesn't make sense to me. As I said before, you can never gain to much knowledge, and "emptying your cup" shouldn't be required to fill it up more. Although this is true for an actual cup, it doesn't really apply to our minds, because we can't empty them, so to speak.


    Unless of course I'm interpreting this all wrong?


    EDITL I've heard that story before, rdsiam, and I find it quite amusing. The grass is always greener on the other side, eh?
  3. rdsiam Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2001
    star 1
    Here is another way to interpret the "empty your cup" story: before learning something new, you must rid yourself of any preconceptions you have of that new subject. You can't learn to drive a car if all you know about them is from watching "The Fast and the Furious" (you can't learn about acting either, but that's another story). To put it in Star Warsian terms (Star Warsian... hey, I like that...): Luke thought that becoming a Jedi was as simple as leaning how to use a lightsabre and move things with just a thought. He didn't realize the true commitment that becoming a Jedi was.
  4. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    BTW, I don't understand the moderation policy. If we only post quotes, this thread will be closed, but look at this thread. I don't see it being closed for just posting of poetry. I hate to bring this up, but really ... the policy isn't quite equal now is it?

    Good point. Some moderators just seem to be overzealous about exercising their authority. As of late, I've heard some complaints from friends that the moderation has become...how should I put this...sub par.

    JM201, regarding emptying your cup, I was going to launch into a short yet meaningful diatribe on how our stereotypes, preconceptions, and misconceptions can seriously distort our preception of reality, and thus hamper our development in a chosen area; but that's all been said already :)

  5. McNerf-Burger Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 5
    Here is some Hindu wisdom that I think SEVERAL members of this forum should think about.

    It says, "Ekam Sataha Vipraha Bahudha Vadanti."

    This is translated as "The truth is one, but different Sages call it by Different Names."
  6. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Good point McNerf!

    Here's another little gem. :)



    'Two people are lost in the desert. They are dying from hunger and thirst. Finally, they come to a high wall. On the other side they can hear the sound of a waterfall and birds singing. Above, they can see the branches of a lush tree extending over the top of the wall. Its fruit looks delicious.
    One of them manages to climb over the wall and disappears down the other side. The other, instead, returns to the desert to help other lost travelers find their way to the oasis.'



  7. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    A beautiful girl in the village was pregnant. Her angry parents demanded to know who was the father. At first resistant to confess, the anxious and embarrassed girl finally pointed to Hakuin, the Zen master whom everyone previously revered for living such a pure life. When the outraged parents confronted Hakuin with their daughter's accusation, he simply replied "Is that so?"
    When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility. "Is that so?" Hakuin said calmly as he accepted the child.

    For many months he took very good care of the child until the daughter could no longer withstand the lie she had told. She confessed that the real father was a young man in the village whom she had tried to protect. The parents immediately went to Hakuin to see if he would return the baby. With profuse apologies they explained what had happened. "Is that so?" Hakuin said as he handed them the child.



  8. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Here's one I found threw me for a loop:

    Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.

    Discuss.
  9. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Self is always changing, day to day, hour to hour it's not the same. Not only does self change all the time, but we are so close to the nature of ourselves that to truly define ourselves is to to try to be blind to all of our preconceptions and misconceptions about reality. On a practical level this is next to impossible without deep meditation.

    That's just my immediate thought on the subject.

    Good post Merkurian!
  10. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    "Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. "

    Sounds like Alan Watts.
  11. Darth Dradus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2000
    star 3
    words words words, if you want Zen wisdom simply go outside.. experience ...
  12. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
  13. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Very clever, JM201!

    Cydonia, you are correct!

    Darth Dradus, even moreso! It reminds me of one of my favorites:

    Before enlightenment: Gather water, chop wood. After enlightenment: Gather water, chop wood.

    Another saying that I really enjoy, I actually got from a Doctor Strange comic. It was the Sorceror Supreme remembering a lesson on meditation from his master The Ancient One:

    Only in silence can you hear the deafening roar of the infinite.

    That's a really profound one for me. I have a lot of trouble putting things into words (natal 12th House Mercury Retrograde for you astrology buffs) so one of the things that I really like about Zen is that it encourages you to go beyond words to see the Truth of It All. Of course, that's also one of the frustrating things about Zen as well...
  14. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Whenever anyone asked him about Zen, the great master Gutei would quietly raise one finger into the air. A boy in the village began to imitate this behavior. Whenever he heard people talking about Gutei's teachings, he would interrupt the discussion and raise his finger. Gutei heard about the boy's mischief. When he saw him in the street, he seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried and began to run off, but Gutei called out to him. When the boy turned to look, Gutei raised his finger into the air. At that moment the boy became enlightened.


  15. Darth Dradus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2000
    star 3
    Hey Wy if you see the Buddha comming, kill him
  16. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Why do I feel as if I'm throwing my pearls before swine?
  17. Darth Dradus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2000
    star 3
    um anyone else here ?

    Have any of you seen "Why has the Bodhidarma goe to the East".. it's a very good film and very relievent to this topic.
  18. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Would you please go troll somewhere else?
  19. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
    He's on break for a few days.
  20. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Thank you LB. Perhaps I was wrong in my intial assessment of the admining in this forum.
  21. Darth_Grundel Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2002
    HI i saw the title and could not resist asking .. Do they hit the students in the Soto schools? My Brother went to a Rinzai monestary near where i live and bascily he said that they hit.. no I know why they do that but basicly do they hit in the "not -sudden" enlightenment schools ?
  22. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Good question Darth_Grundel. I really don't know. Perhaps Jedi Merkurian will know the answer. I have seen documentaries of Zen monks and in their early morning meditations they have a monk who will strike them once across the back if they fall asleep instead of meditate. However, I don't remember what school of Zen it was...sorry.
  23. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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  24. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    'A Tibetan story tells of a meditation student who, while meditating in his room, believed he saw a spider descending in front of him. Each day the menacing creature returned, growing larger and larger each time. So frightened was the student, that he went to his teacher to report his dilemma. He said he planned to place a knife in his lap during meditation, so when the spider appeared he would kill it. The teacher advised him against this plan. Instead, he suggested, bring a piece of chalk to meditation, and when the spider appeared, mark an "X" on its belly. Then report back.
    The student returned to his meditation. When the spider again appeared, he resisted the urge to attack it, and instead did just what the master suggested. When he later reported back to the master, the teacher told him to lift up his shirt and look at his own belly. There was the "X".'
  25. Darth Dradus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2000
    star 3
    Grundel, the "hitting " is used in the sudden schools a lot more.. but i know of a few that don't.
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