Author Topic: Zen Stories  (Read 1781 times)


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Zen Stories
« on: January 05, 2009, 11:14:52 AM »
Someone asked the great Zen Master, Bankei, about 'sitting Zen'.
He repied:

"Harmonization with the ineffable wisdom inherent in everyone
before getting involved in thinking and conceptualization is called
'meditation.'  Detachment from all external objects is called 'sitting'.
Just closing your eyes and sitting there is not what I call 'sitting
meditation.'  Only sitting meditation attuned to subtle knowledge
is to be considered of value.

" All confusion is a matter of revolving in vicious circles of delusion
because of using thoughts.  When angry, thoughts come out,
you become a titan.  Craving makes you an animal. Clinging to
things makes you a hungry ghost. If you die without giving these
up, your revolve in a routines forever, taking on all sorts of forms,
whirling in the flow of birth and death.

"If you detach from thoughts, there is no confusion, so there is no
cause or effect. There being no cause or effect, there is no revolving
in routines. As long as you entertain thoughts, when you cultivate
good thoughts there are good causes and effects. And when you do
wrong, there are bad causes and effects.  When you have detached
from thought and tuned to the subtle knowledge, there are no causes
or effects of birth and death.

" When I speak this way, it seems like a vision of Nothingness.
But it is not so.  The reason I say that this it  is not Nothingness is
that when I say so, each of you hears it. Even though you do not
think of hearing, because the original knowlege innate in everyone
is effectively aware, you can hear it distinctly.  When you touch fire
or water, you know it is hot or cold, yet no one 'learns' to feel heat
or cold.

"This is working beyond thought, so even if there is no thought,
it cannot be called Nothingness.  This inherent subtle knowlege
comprehends everything without involvement in the dualistic
ideas of Being and Nothingness, just as a clear mirror refelcts
the images of things distinctly.  So what discursive thought is
necessary for this?

"Discursive thought is there because there is confusion.  When you
arrive at nondiscursive knowledge, you perceive and distinguish
things before discursive thought, so in the end there is no confusion.
That is why non discursive knowledge is valued.

"For this reason, sitting meditation with unfabricated subtle knowledge is the highest practice."

To be without needs, (and therefore without desires and thoughts)
is Self actualization.  To sleep without dreams is self actualization.

(Source: Zen antics. Thomas Cleary.  Thomas Cleary. Pub. Shambhala,

Arunachala Siva.