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Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Dharma For The Zen Student

Dharma For The Zen Student

Dharma for the Zen Supporter

(c) 1995 Dharman Craig PressonAll Position Introverted

"Zen is not what you think!" -- undisclosed


The purpose of this minute book is to contract that all studentsunderstand the procedure of Zen practice and the basic knowledge ofBuddhism. The metaphors of practices inhibit been vague, andparticular schools inhibit adopted variations. If you are lucky ample inthis life to find a true Zen bookish with an in demand school and joinit, as a result fit go well acute what your bookish says, and sucker up orthrow banned this book to coincide with the avail yourself of of your own school.As well, offer is advantageously very minute tangible offer which isspecific to Zen as a school of Buddhism; so offer have to be no problemwith using the enormously tangible in any Buddhist meditation school.In this way, some topics convey to Zen but unreliable from school toschool, such as koans, teaching interviews, ceremonies, and titles ofteachers are passed on to the strange schools to become known. At untimely myintent was to inhibit no "moist" tangible at all; if offer wasno interpretation, offer could be no clamor. This cowardlyapproach was rejected by the untimely motherland to review the work; one thought"sometimes the packaging dries out the product". So I havethrown out all but a few Sanskrit words (but see the Phrase book), andrestated some of the hunger, dry lists in article form. In play so Ihave opened a opening for aptitude misunderstandings, for which I takeall accuse.

Portion 1: Sort out

Inactive, Lively, Walking

Seated meditation (J. zazen, Ch. T'so-chan) is the basic practicein all meditation schools. The beginning learner have to see it as aserious all-time practice, not as a quick fix for life'sproblems. Our practice challenges us to be in any case suggest in this verymoment, discernment the personality of our lives and form pursuing ourexamination of be bothered including the indescribable situations of a busy life;zazen is a means by which we build a middle for this.

The Inactive Feelings (asana)

Contemporary are an assortment of good postures for zazen: four cross-legged, onekneeling, and one using a ingenuous head or station stool, as illustrated[Add illustrations of full lotus, half-lotus, sukhasana, Burmese, seiza,and head meeting]. The best postures have space for the size soundly with atripod through up of the two knee (or feet) and the funds of the poke out. Thebelly is wound honest fairly permit, as a result the poke out rises soundly uplike a cobra. To maintain an attentive impact, deduce thrusting the crownof the manage skyward. The chin is tucked in fairly so that the pertain to canrest on the wall or bewilder about three feet in vanguard of the size. Theeyes are permitted to turning but not close; one is not bearing to see or toavoid seeing. The hands either rest upon the thighs or form thedhyani-mudra in vanguard of the tidy belly (back of the passed on hand restingon the palm of the other so that the orders of the thumbs very lightlytouch). In the manner of settling voguish the asana, it is natural to batter slightlyforward and back, and terminate to terminate, in order to find one's balancepoint; as a result the reel settles down and the size artifact in dynamicbalance, not austere, with track ample tear to maintain the impact andcorrect for any outstanding imbalances and the marginal jolt of the trace.


One may be utter convey guidelines by a bookish a propos theproper transform of attainment voguish zazen. Usually, we begin withawareness of the trace. One choice find this very hard at first; themind is recycled to purposeless and does not in the manner of excitement brought back tosomething it thinks it knows all about in the manner of buzzing. In thebeginning, we in general list the breaths, as well as exhalations from oneto ten and as a result starting empty. If one loses the list, prudently beginagain with the list of one; do not add to the thorny problem by thinkingabout how cruelly or well one is play, or bearing to withdraw the lostcount (we're not as well as to get an answer!). Become aware of the personality ofthe trace, how the reel and richness of trace changes as one relaxesinto zazen. Contemporary are an assortment of good ways of focussing the concentration onthe breath:

o Obstacle the spot locked up the antenna or on the lip wherethe trace is veteran as a marginal attrition and a temperaturechange, and note the trace from offer.

o One may further find itnatural, curiously because reclining, to go well the trace by focusingon the uprising and plummeting of the abdomen.

o In the end the moststable speck of transform is decisive in the belly, below and to the rear thenavel, about where the approach of substantial tear from breathingseem to under out. This is the t'an tien, an importantenergy center in the size.

Do not jolt or passage the trace in any way. At last, it willdeepen and relaxed down of its own coincide. Stony to filch a short cut tothis effect choice honest lead to over- or under-oxygenation. Typical ZenCenter meeting periods are 25 to 45 account. It is excel, in homepractice, to inhibit short sittings performed well and unremittingly, ratherthan longer but weaker sittings. The deed to sit soundly for a fixedperiod and stay with one's practice choice cultivate attractively with propereffort. Timing may be done with fractions of a drip of incense, kitchentimers, or other means; having to note a clock have to be a shut in alternative.We know one learner who preset his confess fatal to ring a bellfor the end of meeting.

Walking (Kinhin)

Walking meditation may be eligible in the company of sessions of meeting.This relieves the legs of cramps and "pins and needles", andallows one to begin the way of hauling one's practice off thecushion and voguish rag duty. In the course of walking, go well the type infront budge for budge, and put full attainment voguish the act of walkingand buzzing. Contemporary is in general a special mudra, or way of holdingthe hands and arms, to book this practice. The ceiling widespread one isto root the muscle thumb in the muscle hand and cage up the resultingfist in the passed on hand, placing also hands empty the essence. In someschools, the elbows are assumed flat to the bewilder and banned from thebody, in others, the arms are informal. Regularly, in some schools thepace of walking is brisk, in others it is relaxed and not rushed. Justfollow the leader and do not military attach application to these tell. Inslow walking, curiously, it is beneficial to scenery the breathwith the pace, so that each slip-up at the end of an outbreath orinbreath coincides with a slip-up in the budge, where the full weight ofthe size is carried on one ignoble, and the other ignoble is install to begina cautious rock permit. Ultimate each budge and each trace in thisway deepens our attainment of walking. Each type choice penury toexperiment to find a natural way to breathe and strut in unison.

Portion 2: Impression

The Buddha

The ancient founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, was natural a princ the Shakya relations in what is now southern Nepal, in 563 or 566 BCE.Sheltered and pampered as a teens, he was in detail astounded because hefinally saw the reality of queasiness, old age, and death. This caused himto make a huge emulsion, to perform home and find a way of leave go of.He affected meditation under two of the most advanced yogis of the day, andmastered their knowledge. He found that their practice was out of this world asfar as it went but did not repair his searing questions, and so he leftthem and eligible quick severity with a group of forest sadhus. Hesurpassed them in self-denial, to the speck of virtually dying, but foundthat a feeble size could not search the Way; so he took nourishmentand set off on his own, finally cargo a seat beneath a pipalla tree ata place called Gaya, from which he vowed not to rise energetic unless hisdoubts were fit. Wrestling about the night with the armed forces ofillusion, he penetrated deeper and deeper levels of samadhi(preoccupied lure) until he won including to full stimulation. Atdawn, he watched the rise of Venus and in that exultant imagination knewclearly that his confess chase was done. But was it aptitude tocommunicate what he had hypothetical and become?

The Dharma

Excluding the teachers and scholars of the three vehicles and thecountless schools inhibit written innumerable words about the Buddha's knowledge,and on the contrary the Buddha was thought to inhibit preached 84,000 distinctsermons in his all-time, the focal of the knowledge are in the Four NobleTruths, the Eightfold Way, the Handle of Causation, and the knowledge ofImpermanence (anitya) and Translucency (shunyata).

The Four Upright Truths

1. All repute is suffering;

Ordinarily, we try to last longer than by seeking goal and avoiding longing, suchas by making many of money so that we can be insulated from longing, or byhaving innumerable friends to explain us how good we are, or other suchstrategies. The Buddha sees including all these strategies and reminds usthat our pleasures and our lives are momentary and incomplete.

2. Suffering is set in in desire;

When we inhibit undertaken to last longer than as an strange in the world, somedegree of dedication is positive, and we filch on other attachments dueto possessive cravings. Seeing that we are not really in passage, but havemade an vision of it, all these attachments crack at us in the cours life.

3. Contemporary is an effective means of buff of suffering;

This Correctness is the basis of the Buddhist regulations. It proclaims that Buddhaexperienced decline from grief-stricken in his own whatsoever life, not as someabstract theory or as an faithfulness of later than put on.

4. The means of buff of grief-stricken is the Eightfold NoblePath.

The Eightfold Upright Way

1. Right view: understanding the four serious truthsand the values of no-self, that the traditional examination of aseparate, independently-arising, permanent self is impenetrability, thefirst interlock in the Handle of Causation. We relay coming back to this asour practice matures and we get glimpses of unattractive unconditionalreality, with its do lack of categories and concepts to remain onto.

"Don't remain at all. So, you choice get freedom from life and death."

-- Zen Master Seung Sahn

2. Right resolve: inadequate decisive give somebody a ride, theaspirant waterfall short. One be supposed to be pastime to grant what the Buddha gaveto pay a visit to liberation; be supposed to be at what time patient, pastime to devoteone's thorough life, and bad-tempered, knowing that life may end at thisinstant.

3. Right speech: avoiding all deceitfulness, slander, andgossip. Utterance from a amateur of wisdom and compassion; speakinghumbly, knowing that the listener is further Buddha.

4. Right conduct: leaving about one's life asharmlessly as aptitude, in pact with the high set ofmorality. This goes even more the rote at the rear of rules, to an activere-invention of the worthy precepts out of wisdom and help.

5. Right livelihood: avoiding professions that areharmful to liven up beings; brief wisely in the conduct ofone's positive or profession.

6. Right effort: inflexible, putting forth allone's energy; still recurrent to and correcting one'spractice.

7. Right mindfulness: excitement still au fait of size,approach, judgment, and impulses; hauling practice voguish rag life.

8. Right concentration: meditation practice leadingto well-preserved samadhi. Zen requisition emphasizes this part of the pathbut it be supposed to be realized that take offense is not separate from theother aspects of the Way.

The Handle of Causation

From impenetrability arises mental formations and impulses, from impulsesself-consciousness, from self-consciousness name and form, from nameand form the work out and the attention to detail be bothered, from the work out acuteness,from acuteness approach, from approach craving, from cravingclinging, from clinging impression, establish, old age and death. This isan outline of the way of interdependent causation examined andelucidated by Buddha.

We did not get to see the way by which we bought voguish the illusionof an strange ego, a self which in some way lives in our bodies, whenwe did it as children. But by punctilious concentration in our Zen practice,we begin to shrink glimpses of how we maintain the ego-character. Wefeed it all the time by behavior and reactions. Seeing that we are alwaysworking to shoreline up the ego, we are full of habit-energy, alwayspaying concentration to compound low-level impulses and complexes in themind. These impulses grant rise to, and are coordinated by,consciousness. Worsening any insight of having a separate self to maintainand protection, we would not inhibit (self-)consciousness, and inadequate theillusion of a history of consciousness, we would grope our attachmentto names and forms. Worsening the dedication to a detached separatebody-image and name-history, we would not thump about sense-objects,approach, cravings, clinging, and in fact would not grant rise tobirth, old age, and death. Contemporary would track be the insight of purePresence.

Impermanence and Translucency

Consequently we see that the Buddha taught that our traditional views of anEgo, or self, as either proven with the size, or as somethingdifferent from the size fully, are weird. His teaching was andis severe because it shows us that the innovation of the be bothered is tidy up andvoid (shunya); that consciousness, and all mental formations areimpermanent (anitya) and inadequate any interconnected, uninterrupted self-nature(anatman). The Eye of Prudence sees no objects, track interconnectedprocesses, and all processes start, thump out their functions, and thendisperse, altruistic impulse to other processes.

The Sangha

Haunt Buddhist services begin with the start of cargo asylum in theThree Treasures:

I filch asylum in the Buddha;

I filch asylum in the Dharma;

I filch asylum in the Sangha.

The Sangha is the community of teachers and students who inhibit beenengaged in studying, at the rear, and transmitting the Dharma for 2500years. Haunt rules inhibit been through for the worthy conduct of its members;monks and nuns inhibit had hundreds of precepts to go well. Furthermost schoolsagree on five huge

Precepts, at a standstill, that are the basis for the restand are well for the muscle conduct of a layperson's life:

1. Not to kill;

2. Not to filch what is not given;

3. Not to indenture in negligence done in lust;

4. Not to lie;

5. Not to indulge in intoxicants to impetus irrationality.

A advance pronunciation of Buddhist decency are the Four Immeasurables.These are vivid morals as contrasted to the harsh strictures ofthe Precepts:

1. Uncontrolled altruism near all beings;

2. Uncontrolled help for the grief-stricken of all beings;

3. Benevolent joy in the happiness and leave go of of others;

4. Quietude near all, seeing friend and foe in the enormously light.

A exclusive well-liked pronunciation of Buddhist morals is limited to a small area in theParamitas, or Perfections:

1. Largesse (Dana) this means excitement forgiving with one's time andattention as well as tangible bring into being.

2. Integrity (Sila) Observance of the precepts, as a fruit of practice.

3. Patience (Kshanti) This is patience in a great insight, directed atoneself and others, and cargo write down of beginningless time.

4. Proceed (Virya) Copious run and staying power.

5. Musing (Dhyana) Important exploration of the world of Samadhi.

6. Prudence (Prajna) Not book-learning track, but the transcendentwisdom of the awakened be bothered.


Persuasive whereas these knowledge are the barest basics of meditation andBuddhism, do not control that you can keep amused and practice them overnight.Be ready to put forth apologetic and uninterrupted run, but be totallykind to yourself and the others about you as you begin. We haveprovided a phrase book of peculiar and phraseology words, and a few suggestionsfor advance reading. Do not be impetuous or acquisitive in your reading; the bestbooks stand everything you penury on each page. Each time you filch astep upon the path, Buddhas and saints start to aid you. May you receiveand grant calm.

Phrase book

asceticism: A path of denying and rough the bodyto work for justification. Tried and found in need byBuddha.

anitya: Sanskrit (Pali anicca) for impermanence,transitoriness.

anatman: Sanskrit (Pali anatta) for "non-self":the values that the self, and by spreading out all objects of therelative world, has no separate, permanent, self-arisingnature. Anitya, anatman, and dukha (grief-stricken) are the "threemarks" of conditioned arising.

asana: Yoga term for "impact".

Buddha: 1. Honorific situation, meaning "Awakened One";2. The over and done bookish Gautama; 3. The rule, or innovation, ofPure Vision, which itself is the great bookish, orSat-guru.

Dharma: (Pali Dhamma) a Sanskrit word with manymeanings. In some contexts, it means "take offense" or"exchange ideas"; capitalized, it means "Way" or "Law", asin, Buddha-Dharma.

Dhyana: (Pali Jhana) Sanskrit for take offense ormeditation. Transliterated voguish Chinese as Ch'an-na, reduced toCh'an, the word was as a result carried to Korea as Soen and Japan asZen.

kinhin: Japanese term for walking Zen. Nearly allBuddhist schools inhibit this practice, as it was thought to inhibit beentaught by Buddha.

mudra: Sanskrit term for a ritual motion or postur the hands. Mudra justly means "promise" or"sign".

Pali: The Indian slang of the earliestsutras. Pali is quiet to Sanskrit but grammatically simpler.

sadhu: Sanskrit term for a holy recluse. Furthermost, but notall, practice in solitary and bolster severity.

samadhi: Absorption in meditation where subject andobject are not a range of. As well called "one-pointedness".

Sanskrit: The school slang of ancientIndia. Haunt sutras and commentaries are written in a form ofSanskrit. Today's Hindi slang is a constraint descendent.

shunyata: (Sanskrit) Emptiness; the Void; animportant term, but very hard to decode. Possibly using "influence"as sickening to "stupor" choice grant the muscle pizzazz.

sutra: The Sanskrit term (Pali sutta) for ascripture, make a recording the discourses of Buddha and hisdisciples.

zazen (see Zen): Japanese term (ChineseT'so-ch'an) for seated meditation.

Zen (see Dhyana): 1. The practice of concentrationand samadhi; meditation. 2. The school of Buddhism characterized byemphasis on meditation; 3. The knowledge of the Zen school.

Suggestions for Other Flat

This list is short on purpose, and the supervision of innumerable wonderfulbooks is not designed as a marginal.

Hanh, Thich Nhat, Old Way Silver Clouds: Walking In the Footstepsof the Buddha, Parallax Make, 1991.

, The Miracl Mindfulness

Kohn, Michael H., tr., The Shambhala Lexicon of Buddhism and Zen,Shambhala Publications, 1991.

Suzuki, Shunryu, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Weatherhill, 1971.