Taoist and Zen Wisdom

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

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  1. legacyAccount Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2012
    going back to the "empty the cup" story...

    But when it contradicts the Bible is when you have to watch out. The Bible is the center of my beliefs.


    this is a prime example of why you need to "empty your cup." if you are making an effort to avoid evil, or "watching out" then you won't be able to fully understand taoism. for a little bit, forget what you've learned about christianity, and focus on just this, after you've absorbed it all, then you can go back and compare what you've learned. but if you are constantly comparing what you've learned with what you know, then you've already given yourself a slant against it, and will never fully understand it. you don't have to agree with something to understand it.
  2. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    One of master Gasan's monks visited the university in Tokyo. When he returned, he asked the master if he had ever read the Christian Bible. "No," Gasan replied, "Please read some of it to me." The monk opened the Bible to the Sermon on the Mount in St. Matthew, and began reading. After reading Christ's words about the lilies in the field, he paused. Master Gasan was silent for a long time. "Yes," he finally said, "Whoever uttered these words is an enlightened being. What you have read to me is the essence of everything I have been trying to teach you here!"


  3. Aged-Master-Genghis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2000
    star 1
    Hello Padawans! The Genghis is very pleased to see this discussion going on. He has something that he wishes to add.

    The Genghis was in New Orleans enjoying the Mardi Gras festivities, when his friends made a toast that he had forgotten. The Genghis has forgotten a great many things in New Orleans, but he also learned a great deal as well. For example, the Genghis learned that tequila & Hand Grenades are an explosive combination. OHO!!!

    The Genghis was with his old friends, and his new friend, who is also Genghis. To celebrate the moment, we raised a toast. Ponder this one, if you will:

    If a duck can pull a truck, hook him up!
  4. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    LOL!

    :)

    Thanks for dropping by Genghis. Oh and be careful out in NO I had a friend who was out driniking, got drunk, and then his drinking buddies mugged him. Granted it was a little tavern somewhat off the main drag, but he got hit over the head with a brick...I guess you just never know.
  5. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    "this is a prime example of why you need to "empty your cup." if you are making an effort to avoid evil, or "watching out" then you won't be able to fully understand taoism. for a little bit, forget what you've learned about christianity, and focus on just this, after you've absorbed it all, then you can go back and compare what you've learned. but if you are constantly comparing what you've learned with what you know, then you've already given yourself a slant against it, and will never fully understand it. you don't have to agree with something to understand it."


    This is something I just can't do. I've done my searching. I've doubted my faith and compared it to others. I know the alternatives. And I know that my beliefs are true, and the Bible Itself is true. That being said, I will never give myself to some form of philosophy that contradicts the Bible in any way. In regards to understanding without agreeing, why try to understand something you don't agree with? The point is, I agree with the Bible. So, if something disagrees with it, I, in turn, disagree with that particular thing.
  6. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    "why try to understand something you don't agree with?"

    Because it broadens your understanding of humanity and human nature. Hopefully by learning of other people's experience one can find the similarities in theirs, and we'll all hold hands and sing. It's not like you're condoning something you don't agree with. It just means you've taken the time to think it through. Builds character.

    What would have happened if the taliban had tried to understand the west instead of hating it? We don't burn witches at the stake anymore. Because now we can understand the knee jerk reactions of primitive people towards anything that made them question themselves (not saying witches are real, i highly doubt they are).

    Personally i am flabergasted by some people on the political left. What they beleive just doesn't make sense to me. That's why i am trying to learn how they come to their conclusions. Not because i think they are right, but so i can understand where they are coming from, and not hate them so much as people ;)
  7. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    I see how what you say is true. :)


    But I can't compromise my beliefs. I've already been through that, and I see what I need to do. Sure I can understand where people are coming from, but I know enough about other religions to know that I don't want to have anything to do with them. Once you find out what you need to know, then you can move on. I've found out what I need to know. ;)
  8. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    I guess the thing that would make me disagree with you is this: i'm an american. This isn't some cheesy patriotic statement. The founding fathers were the originators (at least in the last two thousand years) of freedom and human rights. They knew the best society was one where all individuals, especially regardless of religion, deserved equal respect. "Not wanting anything to do with them" was something they helped us move past.

    And despite the people on the left saying, "but they were slave holders, so they are evil!"(whatever) and the people on the right saying "The founding fathers were all born again fundamentalist christians!" (not true) the seed has been sown. This is the freest, most tolerant country in history,. and all because we are almost forced to publicly respect the individual in society.Through my rose -colored glasses, i'm glad they had the foresight to know that we need to be able to live with each other, and that all expression equally valid under the law.

    This is my long winded way of saying, "open your mind". ;)
  9. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    JM"And I know that my beliefs are true, and the Bible Itself[sic] is true. That being said, I will never give myself to some form of philosophy that contradicts the Bible in any way.

    I would simply state that "Empty your cup" does not contradict the bible.

    Rather it compliments it...

    Matthew 18:3 "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (emphasis given by yours truly)

    I would say that emptying your cup is exactly what Christ is talking about here when he talks about becoming as little children. Little children are open minded, willing to accept truth/good when they see it, and they love everyone without condition.

    I think God is simply too big for one religion. Now I'm not saying that all religions are correct. Far from it. In my opinion many are not filled with truth, but some come quite close to Christianity and as such they have a lot to offer. Again these are just my opinions and you should go with what you are impressed to believe is correct.
  10. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    "...why try to understand something that you don't agree with?"

    JM_201: How can you disagree with something when you don't understand that with which you're disagreeing?

    By going in with the very assumption that learning about what you're against is a compromise of your beliefs... you're making implying that you're too afraid to find out that what you believe in may not be true. Your refusal to investigate doesn't make your beliefs any more true and your vocal declaration of your refusal to investigate suggests you have self-doubts regarding your beliefs... Furthermore, by your say, you have put those doubts on display for all to see.

    Let me simplify: I say the Eiffel Tower isn't in Paris... but I refuse to go there and prove it. Then I repeatedly insist that I don't need to go to Paris... raising the suspicions of everyone around me that I lack faith in what I'm claiming.

  11. Darth Dradus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2000
    star 3
    One of the biggest issues in Zen is experience.. everything is fasle but the experience so how can you claim to know Zen but disagree with it becasue it goes against the teachings of the Bible. It's like if I were to say that the Bible contradicts Buddhisim.. how could I say that with out first "getting into" Christianty first..See you must experience before you make a judgement. So I ask HOw do you know about Zen and Taoism, have you experienced it ? Then how do you know.. I can just read the Bible but to "get it" takes more...I once saw a Jesusit priest give a dicussion on how a Christian can be Zen with no conflict. He was a preist as well as a Dharma sucessor. Basicly Zen is a life philosophy and Christianty is a religion, tell me where the two conflict becasue I don't see the conflict. you can have a philsophy and a religious belief, Zen is not spritual in the normal sense it is not suposed to replace religious belief but to complament it. I have lent my freinds who range from "Born again to liberal Jewish" zen books and they all have told me that is has increased their understading of thier own religion. So you see Zen is a tool to harness your own knowlegde of things. Ultimatly none of us can convince you, that is not the zen way of things you have to experience it for yourself, and if you don't then no big whoop. I hope you get to where you need to go spiritualy.
  12. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    Cydonia- I am not against people of other religions, but against the religions themselves. I don't want to have anything to do with other religions, but I don't mind people of other religions, as long as they're kind to others and repsect my beliefs. I'm in no way saying I don't to have anything to do with them. :) And as to me opening my mind, I've already done that more than once. But I keep coming back to the Bible. I;m done opening my mind, religious-wise. ;)


    SnowDog- As I've already stated, I've already checked out other religions. i'm done with that now. It's not like I've never tried to understand them, I'm just decided now. No need to dive into them further.


    Wylding- I think by becoming like little children, Jesus meant to have faith like them. Faith was something Jesus emphasized, and little children usually have quite a bit more faith than adults. But I guess it could be interpreted the way you see. :)


    Dradus- I've never thought about it like that. However, the Bible has always been more than enough for me, without adding other philosophes to my life. I guess I don't see anything wrong with it, it's just not for me. ;)
  13. Aged-Master-Genghis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2000
    star 1
    Mmmm....all this talk of empty cups makes the Genghis thirsty!
  14. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    For sake of discussion, I thought I'd add a distilled & interpreted version of the Eightfold Path:

    Right Understanding The recognition that life is impermanent, suffering is linked to desire, and desire is linked to the false notion that were are lacking something.

    Right Thought Thinking kindly and refusing to engage in cruel, mean, covetous or otherwise nasty thoughts. What you think is what you are.

    Right Speech Refusing to lie, talk meanly, gossip, demand everyone's attention, or inflame people. Right speech should be wise, kind, & minimal. Talk when necessary, but don't be a chatterbox.

    Right Action Nonviolence, refusal to kill purposefully; refusal to steal, which covers shoplifting, plagiarizing, or even stealing attention away from someone; control of the senses & appetites (from gluttony to lust); talking sincerely & honestly; refusal to alter the mind with intoxicants.

    Right Livelihood Choosing an occupation that not harmful or unjust. Instead, choose an occupation that is honest, upright, & furthering of love & compassion in the world.

    Right Effort The conscious attempt to cultivate positive qualities, thoughts & actions in yourself, while also working to prevent or eliminate negative qualities.

    Right Mindfulness Being constantly aware of your feelings, your surroundings, what your own body is doing, what thoughts and ideas you are experiencing, and what is happening around you. Zen mind is waking up & living rather than going through the motions as if asleep.

    Right Concentration If you are doing something, concentrate wholly upon what you're doing. The better your mind gets at totally immersing itself in what you are doing (no matter how mundane) the less you will be plagued by distractions, desires, & fragmentation.

    OK, so this conflicts with Christianity how?
  15. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Merkurian: Good point. However, if it's the intention of JM_201 to merely state that he has explored the other paths and decided that Christianity is the one path for him, he is absolutely entitled to that.

    Of course, rarely have I had a discussion with a fundamentalist Christian who didn't preface or footnote their "right to believe" with the statement "...because it's the one true religion." Not all Christians approach beliefs in this manner, and if I have to make a correlation between that extremist response and a demographic that consistently fits that mold of "fundamentalist Christian", I will state that it is almost never well-educated, worldly-experienced people who make that assertion about Christianity, or any religion for that matter, as being the absolute "one true path".

    8 times out of 10, these comments come from younger individuals with less experience in the world, less experience with religions other than the one that has been ingrained in them by their immediate society, culture and/or family, and, dare I say, less intellect. Before you get all steamed at me, let me state that by "intellect" I mean one's ability to think for themselves, The ability to learn and reason; the capacity for knowledge and understanding; the ability to think abstractly or profoundly. I'm not saying JM_201 or anyone else here necessarily lacks intellect, maybe they just love to be the proverbial fly in the ointment for debate purposes... I know I do! :D

    The Eightfold Path is an excellent example to give. I am a Hindu, and yet I put great value in what the Eightfold path teaches, what Taoism and Zen teach, even what Christ taught (not what the clergy tries to interpret of his teachings, but what the obvious underlying lessons of his teachings are.). When you peel back the surface, the core teachings of each religion have too many similarities for there to be a "one true path". Most people ignore the most basic truth and go for the scenery that the institutions tell us is so important... and that is what bothers me.

    Personally, I find a lot of meaning in Zen Buddhism. The relationship between action and inaction is an important one... because it teaches that one's fate is ultimately in one's own hands. Whether you interpret what drives you to choose as being god or not is a personal interpretation to which you're certainly entitled. To me, the path of action, and whether one chooses to act or not, determines each person's fate, the fate of all things, and the fate of the universe.
  16. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    Very good point made, Darth_SnowDog. However, what concerns me about JediMaster_201 is not that he's tried other belief systems & prefers Christianity, but the underlying attitude that he has nothing more to learn from other belief systems.

    A very wise minister once told me that there's a place for people who have nothing more to learn: it's called a graveyard.
  17. Ender Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 1998
    star 6
    Gotta love Eightfold Path. Lots of logic there.

    I've been trying to follow that path for a while now. I have the hardest time trying to focus on the present. Worrying about the future is one of my talents.
  18. Darth Dradus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2000
    star 3
    ah Genghis you remind me of me a week ago.. but i have a feelng nothing will happen to you.
  19. Aged-Master-Genghis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2000
    star 1
    "Right Action...refusal to alter the mind with intoxicants."
    Uh oh! [face_blush] :D

    This is when the Genghis remembers that karma is also in effect. For every action, there is a balancing reaction. The Genghis has a system that so long as he follows, he never has a hangover and is never ill afterwards. Unfortunately the Genghis forgot to follow his own system. [face_shocked]

    So not only did the Genghis not follow Right Action, but he also didn't follow Right Mindfulness. Do not worry though. The Genghis was still mindful enough to safely navigate the French Quarter by himself to find his friends and his room. ;)

    Worst of all, the Genghis didn't follow Right Thought. He was too full of pride to admit that he'd made a mistake in not following his system! The cycle of karma turned *very* swiftly. It turned almost as fast as the Genghis' belly did the next morning! OHO!!!

    That next morning, the Genghis was not too full of pride. Actually, the Genghis emptied himself of everything! OHO!!!

    Padawan! Padawan!!! Where did that duck go?

  20. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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  21. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    star 6
    "Awareness is our true self; it's what we are. So we dont have to try to develop awareness; we simply need to notice how we block awareness, with our thoughts, our fantasies, our opinions, our judgement. We're either in awareness, which is our natural state, or we're doing something else. The mark of mature students is that most of the time, they don't do something else. They're just here, living their life. Nothing special."
    -Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special: Living Zen


    "Seek not what you already possess, you are already free...You are, in truth, the truth you seek."
    -Me'Shell N'degeocello, God Shiva from the album Peace Beyond Passion
  22. Aged-Master-Genghis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2000
    star 1
    Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie
    A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly
    Ask me why and I'll reply
    Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie
  23. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Good stuff there Genghis and Merkurian.

    Genghis it's good to see you around here again. I should have looked in this thread a bit earlier! LOL! Sometimes I abandon threads...

    Anyway, here's another one:


    "A Taoist story tells of an old man who accidentally fell into the river rapids leading to a high and dangerous waterfall. Onlookers feared for his life. Miraculously, he came out alive and unharmed downstream at the bottom of the falls. People asked him how he managed to survive. "I accommodated myself to the water, not the water to me. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it. Plunging into the swirl, I came out with the swirl. This is how I survived."


    (Some versions describe Confucius as witnessing this event. Also, in some versions, the old man explains how he has been jumping into the waterfall like this since he was a small boy. )



  24. Aged-Master-Genghis Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2000
    star 1
    "Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Lt. Valeris. Not the end."
    -Captain Spock, Star Trek-The Undiscovered Country
  25. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Wylding, good post. It's like the concepts behind many martial arts... particularly Kung Fu and Jeet Kune Do. The idea is to flow like water, rather than to be rigid and fixed.

    Go wherever the truth leads. Don't try to conform and contort the truth to fit whatever preconceived notions you have fixed your mind upon. Otherwise you will find yourself searching endlessly for square pegs to fit the round hole you have created.
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