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 Deifing the "still small voice" and intution

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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:01 am

First topic message reminder :

http://edge.org/conversation/the-marvels-and-flaws-of-intuitive-thinking

So I am starting this new topic.... what is this "still small voice" that is often used in spiritual circles. How we deify, glorify "the still small voice," deciding that one of the voices in your mind is God, the Cosmic Buddha, the TRUTH.... and the practice of seeking out these inner voices and making that a focal point of your spiritual practice. This goes hand in hand with denying and even demonizing rational / logical thinking and analysis. And the excessive confidence we place in our inner stories that the mind constructs based on little or no evidence. People have great belief and faith based on little evidence. It is the suppression of all doubt, of all ambiguity, all rational thinking.

Certainly at Shasta, starting with Kennett's lotus blossom period, the emphasis on listening to "the still small voice" became a dominant aspect of the religious practice. This concept overwhelmed conventional Zen practice, creating what we have called the Church of Kennett.

The concept of "the still small voice" comes out of the Old Testament, the mythology / story of the ONE TRUE GOD who talks to his chosen people and they obey -- and the jewish prophets connect to this deity, they hear his voice and instructions and follow his words. This deity, God, Jehovah - is mostly related to as a voice, as instructions, as specific directions that must be followed. Yes, every so often there is a burning bush or a pillar of fire, but mostly this deity comes through as a voice. The Buddha, the Zen tradition, did not teach that we should find and listen to any voices in our minds. Just the opposite actually. It taught the end of all voices, all mind constructions, all projections, all stories.

Connecting to this "God", this divine, and listening to this voice - is a common practice in western religion as well as new age circles. Finding and connecting to this God, this deity, this higher self, that has a particular voice and point of view, channeling this voice, asking this voice questions and getting answers, common religious practice found all over the world. But what is it? We try to listen to our intuition, our inner knowing, but what is this?

There are so many current examples of this kind of religious thinking. There is a series of books -- Conversations with God -- great example. This fellow says he is talking to "God" and channels thousands of pages of dialogues with "God" and makes millions of dollars, selling books and giving workshops and seminars. Other people channel other divine entities, deities, angels, ascended masters, presenting these voices and dialogues as divine instructions. The new age section of the book store has literally hundreds of examples of people channeling divine beings and voices.

As I left Shasta, Kennett was dialoguing with the "Cosmic Buddha' dozens, hundreds of times each day, asking the "cosmic buddha" what truck to buy, who she should vote for, when she should go down to San Francisco, what to do - in literally every situation, even the most minor. And she asked that everyone around her also participate in this practice of asking this cosmic buddha, of listening to these voices, and making sure we all got the same "answer." Setting aside this extreme situation -- and it was extreme, even bizarre, we can reasonably ask what it means to make listening to the "still small voice" or the "voice of the eternal" the central aspect of spiritual practice. And what does this have to do with dharma, zen, the teachings of the Buddha?
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Stan Giko



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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:56 pm

Hi Glorfindel,

I`m wondering if your " Essence of existence is aware ? How do we know that ?"
is a rhetorical Forum type of question or a personal one from the heart.

Knowing you a little from your forum postings, I wonder if you really anticipate
someone to "prove" that question of yours. I may be wrong.

Any proof would have been derived by someone else and so can never be relied
on fully `at the death` so to speak. Proof needs to be owned by you 100%.
Zero doubt if it`s going to nail it.

I see two conflicting positions here.
1. That you are by your own words `very scared of death` and..
2. Having the knowledge that `the essence of existence is aware` would
resolve the fear of death. This by virtue of a once cold impersonal awareness
now being seen as the essence of life itself.

You now `ratchet` up the conflict by saying that you "really" want it to be
true that the essence of existence is aware but dare not. You dare not
commit without proof.

If you risked taking this view and later it proved to be untrue, you would then
have even more ground cut away from under you. The floodwater of doubt
would rise nearer and nearer to neck level.

What to do ?

As Kozan said, a direct experience of the ground of awareness or your true
nature would clear away all doubt and also bring peace to heart and mind.

When you have run out of choices and have to know the truth above anything
else, including life and death, you will be delivered quite naturally to the place
where you can jump `beyond all fear`.

You are already taking `baby trial jumps` all the time as witnessed by your " I
really, really, REALLY, want it to be true".

It may take enumerable small jumps or one mighty ` go for it` jump. It doesn`t
matter. It depends on your need to know.

All the teachers and books say it can be done as you will know. The knowledge
has to be at your core though.
You have all you need. You don`t need the books, the teachers or the zazen
in the end. There isn`t a method.

The eyes have to leave the end of the finger and travel through empty space
till they see the moon.

All of existence always was `compassionate awareness` because there is no
separation. We all share the same universal awareness. There is only one
essence of existence and not a separate one for each of us. It has been
waiting for you with `open arms` long before you even knew of it.

It can all seem such a mighty problem. Looking back, it can be viewed as a
simple confidence issue. Embarrassing almost.

The very fact that you can say out loud that you "are actually very scared of
death" is admirable. We all have or have had this `dirty little secret` and
almost never come near to truly facing it. I imagine a lot of teachers would
smile with satisfaction at how well things are going for you.

Whichever way your question was intended, I wish you the best of luck. Not
that I think you`ll need it !

I truly hope you don`t find all this `teachy,preachy`. It`s not my intention.
I hope you know me better. It`s just my style. I can`t help it. I heard your
question.

Stan.
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Henry



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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:26 pm

Kozan and Glory,
I would have to somewhat disagree with you, Kozan. I think we can give Glory a scientific basis for essence of existence being aware, or more accurately put: awareness. As this may be breaking news, I will try to present this hypothesis as coherently as possible. Please note, Lise, if the media gets hold of this, please maintain my anonymity. I like to lead a quiet and humble life and fear for what the bright lights of fame and fortune may do to my obscure, but contented existence.

My understanding is that science has pretty much established that matter is merely a form of energy. Matter, essentially, when looked at as the subatomic particles that make it up, is almost completely void. Subatomic particles themselves are not even looked upon as solid in any way, but more as a condensed form of energy. So what we percieve as solid is not solid at all. What keeps two solid objects from merging is not their solidity but the energy in the atomic and sub atomic particles that repels those things outside its sphere.

So when we look at the essence of existence, it is energy, which itself--in its smallest manifestations, as far as science can tell at this point--arises and passes back into the Void (sound familiar?). But as people we do not experience experience existence at this level; we usually experience it at the level of solidity. What is this experience of solidity then, other than consciousness? Isn't it consciousness that takes a swirlying mass of energy and organizes it into discrete objects. People are energy and our environment is energy, and it is all porous and swirling about together in a cosmic dance. What separates it off into self and other? What perceives the arising and passing of energy into and out of the void as patterns--such as people, mountains, and rivers? These patterns, though to us having duration and a discrete existence are, in cosmic terms, too brief and too porous to be seen as separate entities having physical existence.

As far as I can tell, what does all that is consciousness. Without consciousness what would transform these swirling endless patterns of energy (whatever that is) into discrete objects: people, worlds, galaxies? So the existence of the physical universe, which is extrapolated from energy, is done so through the alchemy of consciousness. Existence--that which exists--is a function of consciousness. Without it there would be only a chaotic (whose judgement is that?) arising and passing of particles made of energy (whatever that is) into and out of the Void. Given all that, it seems to me that to say the essence of existence is aware (or awareness or consciousness) seems to have a very firm footing in science.

If any of this ad hoc treatise has any merit, I would like take full credit for it myself. If there are any flaws in the reasoning, I would like to blame Howard, since all I've written here was simply a private message I received from Howard put through my Turn It Into The Opposite software, then copied and pasted above.
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Henry



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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:42 pm

Stan,

Yes you do sound a bit preachy. I'm very glad your enlightenment has resolved the issue of the fear of death for you. I for one don't know what will happen when I face death in the face. Perhaps it will be long, horrific one, where unable to breath at times I will be quite fearful; perhaps even terrified.

It is my sincere hope that you haven't been hanging around monks too long. Unfortunately, many of them feel the need to attribute feats of prowess that they may or may not have achieved, Eko being an excellent case in point. I think this comes from devoting your life to something truly extraordinary (the Dharma) and feeling like you have to be better at it than others, like myself, who have idled away the years having sex, farting around on the internet, and studying a profession apart from Buddhist teachings.

Let me get a bit preachy myself, Stan: On the bus of life, we truly don't know who is the biggest Bozo. (Though my best guess is it's Howard).


Last edited by Henry on Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:48 pm

Stan Giko wrote:
The eyes have to leave the end of the finger and travel through empty space till they see the moon.

Stan.

In other words "kensho smensho". Seriously, it is unfortunate that "seeing into the true nature of things" has been equated with perfecting the personality, or worse "fame and gain". This nonsense has caused a backlash where some people think such experiences are without merit or even worse than useless within the context of spiritual practice, and that just compounds the delusion. To see the moon you have to want to see it, but to the extent possible you have to keep in mind what it is not. If you want to be a rock star buy a guitar.
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Howard



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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:49 pm

I smells a sacred cow, my precious, I does!

Glorfindels
The essence of existence is aware? How do we know that?

We don't but religious experiences from all directions manifest as the same answer to that question.
Those answers always match the fashions of ones particular religion which should be reason enough to question it
but for some reason this sacred cow runs on ground too hallowed to play on.
The most common answer to this question from any devotee who has spent serious effort within a religious field is, "Well I've experienced it". Find it yourself! What seems like a reasonable answer to a question is really a " one day you too will experience it" but I don't think that's really the answer to your particular question because you are already questioning the validity of that answer.

In the end, the difference between believing (experiencing) it or not, only dictates the validity and size of your tribe.
Those with big tribes (universal) feel more connected and inclusive to others than those with tiny tribes. (Henry)

As said in the final words of one of my favourite movies, "The adventures of Buckaroo Banzai",.... Big Deal!

or.. one could steadfastly meditate (in the manner of one's choice) and eventually see the boundaries between yourself and every thing else fall away as the only construct that ever limited the realm of awareness. Of course at that point it's not your awareness, anymore than the Internet is your computer.

Good on you for the question, Glorfindel, while many consider it too hallowed a ground to walk through, it's really just a pen of our own making filled with religious droppings where sacred cows have been cooped up far too long.

Knowing is largely over rated compared to luxuriating supine within a limitless question.

Cheers All


Last edited by Howard on Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : not so much of a correction as a release while I was on the henry.)
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:20 pm

Hi Henry,

O.K, I hear you. You`re entitled to your comments but I am too.
Thanks for your handing me the `enlightenment` crown but I don`t claim it.

You don`t really know me Henry. For me , the idea of death ceased to be a
problem over thirty years ago. Before I went to a monastery. I don`t see death
as being the biggest problem in the world. Under certain circumstances, most
people would jump at the choice of death. It doesn`t take a lot of imagination
to see that.

I too don`t know what will actually happen when I face death. It could be
long drawn out and difficult to breath and worse as you say. What you`re
actually talking about here is the process of dying and not the point of death
itself. Many people believe as we all know, that there is nothing after death
so, even they don`t fear it. It`s the pain and suffering of dying that is the
problem there. Fear ? Maybe. Terror ? I don`t think so. I`ve had to walk
the walk a couple of times and it doesn`t get past fear. Terror is a totally
different animal and in my experience it requires a willingness to go there and
try and hide in it.

I`ve not spent much time with monks Henry. You`ve spent far more time
with them than I have. I see my sister once or twice a year if I`m lucky and
I`ve seen other monks less than a dozen times in thirty years. I chose to
leave Shasta a long time ago as did you. I don`t however feel that laymen
are superior to monks and vice versa. Actually, Eko was always very kind to
me. When I was leaving, he came to me to say that I shouldn`t take leaving
as a failure ( which I didn`t, but it was nice for him to say) and he had left
earlier once himself, so not to make a deal of it.

For some reason, I seem to be one of those lucky guys where things seem to
work out despite myself. I almost daren`t say it but even the bad times have
been good. I haven`t just had some kensho that has shown me that there is
life after death and am now playing with my new toy.

I saw an open question from Glorfindel and queried in what way he was asking
it. I made my answer and thought that was the end of it.

After a lifetime of trying to study Buddhism or the self, I`ve got some results.
That`s what`s supposed to happen. I`m not going to try to pretend that it`s
otherwise. Why should I ? Because it`s not pc ? Buddhism works.

I would rather define my life by what I have found useful as opposed to what
I have found hurtful.....speaking generally.

Who is the biggest Bozo ? I don`t know nor care but, I don`t think it`s
Howard. The best way in my book is to ask a man`s wife..
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:22 pm

Hello Isan

In other words "kensho smensho". Seriously, it is unfortunate that "seeing into the true nature of things" has been equated with perfecting the personality, or worse "fame and gain". This nonsense has caused a backlash where some people think such experiences are without merit or even worse than useless within the context of spiritual practice, and that just compounds the delusion. To see the moon you have to want to see it, but to the extent possible you have to keep in mind what it is not. If you want to be a rock star buy a guitar.

Maybe I'm not understanding what you are saying? But..

Seeing into the true nature of things is so much more stiltifying than mere personality or "fame & gain" if one identifies with that spiritual experience. There you have a true compounded delusion that some will ride intact to the next dirt nap.. Year after year never letting the same hobby horse go by without leaping into the saddle again. Glorifying such an experience is like inviting ones ego to guild or lasso it..

Thinking those experiences are without merit hurts ...Who?? What?? Does thinking that those experiences are with or without merit, limit there worth in anyway?. Wanting to see the moon is not a required condition for seeing it. In fact I'd submit that within a meditative tradition "seeing into the true nature of things" or "seeing the moon" usually arises when such "wantings" have been finally dropped.

Cheers
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jack



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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:00 pm

[quote="glorfindel"]
bellclaire wrote:



I really want what you say to be true but I can't help thinking, "maybe people just make that stuff up in their minds."

Just like with Santa Claus. (I really wanted him to be true too Sad )


i don't come by here much anymore, but I noticed your post and thought of my own experience facing what I thought was probably imminent death a couple of years ago -- and it could have been. To my surprise I did not find it particularly scary. I was aware I was fighting a losing battle to remain conscious, and that consciousness once gone might never be reclaimed.

I recalled that if Christianity were true in the very fundamentalist sense I'd been taught as a child, then things might be bleak. If Buddhism was correct and the Tibetan Book of the Dead was correct, then I was in for an interesting journey of sorts. But I almost had to laugh; it didn't matter which or if either were true. I was going along for the ride anyhow. I thought it might be interesting to find out.

I didn't die. My ghost isn't writing this. But the experience has been a compelling memory that the actual experience of dying wasn't the scary thing my imagination had always cooked up

This quote I came across in the book, "Finding Flow." by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi sort of sums up my currently changing views on Zen.


"Accordingly in this book, "life" will mean what we experience from
morning to night, 7 days a week, for about seventy years if we are
lucky, for even longer if we are very fortunate. That might seem a
narrow perspective when compared to the exalted views of life that myths
and religion have made us familiar with. But to turn Pascal's wager on
its head, it seems that, when in doubt, the best strategy is to assume
that our seventy years or so are our only chance to experience the
cosmos, and we should make the fullest use of it. For if we don't, we
might lose everything; whereas if we are wrong, and there is life beyond
the grave, we lose nothing."


As as a UU acquaintance of mine put it, "we UU's believe in life before
death.".

Since that experience, the value of zazen in my life has become to live this life fully -- freely -- .without conditioning. Living an ethical life has become similar to flying an airplane within its limits of performance -- if you stay within those limits, you can fly and explore endlessly in great freedom without crashing and burning.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:55 am

Good post Jack
Regardless of 'How long one has been given to live'
It is always very comforting to know that one can live more in a few hours than one had previously lived in a whole life
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:07 am

Howard wrote:
Hello Isan

Seeing into the true nature of things is so much more stultifying than mere personality or "fame & gain" if one identifies with that spiritual experience. There you have a true compounded delusion that some will ride intact to the next dirt nap.. Year after year never letting the same hobby horse go by without leaping into the saddle again. Glorifying such an experience is like inviting ones ego to guild or lasso it..

Howard, we have experiences all the time without "identifying" with them. The danger of identification is not addressed by invalidating the value of experiences. It is its own issue.

Howard wrote:
Thinking those experiences are without merit hurts ...Who?? What?? Does thinking that those experiences are with or without merit, limit there worth in anyway?. Wanting to see the moon is not a required condition for seeing it. In fact I'd submit that within a meditative tradition "seeing into the true nature of things" or "seeing the moon" usually arises when such "wantings" have been finally dropped.

Saying an experience has no merit hurts those who identify their hope with the notion of having an experience. It is a completely personal matter whether or not someone needs to have an experience. People who have experiences may need to get over the fact. People who don't may need to get over the notion that they lack something or are less than people who do.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:27 am

Hello Isan

Perhaps I'm poking a hornets nest here but...

Stan's quote The eyes have to leave the end of the finger and travel through empty space till they see the moon.

How did this mean Kensho/smensho to you?

In the balance though, I also didn't see Glorfindel's original question infer that he was particularly afraid of death which started all of this rolling. If you read this Glorfindel, I'd be interested if you thought Stan was on to something?

Isans quote
Howard, we have experiences all the time without "identifying" with them. The danger of identification is not addressed by invalidating the value of experiences. It is its own issue.

Jiyu waved the freak flag of spiritual experience for all to see and while I don't want to debate why she choose to do this, it definitely had consequences that echo today as demonstrated by the postings here. If the mini me's in and out of Jiyu's church continue this spiritual flag waving today, I think part of dealing with this identification and confirmation idiocy is to mock it as the presumptuous twaddle it's become.


There are a number of disparities between what was taught at Shasta and what was done. There were good written & verbal teachings to adequately help people deal with spiritual experiences but they ran counter to what the founder and seniors of Shasta actually did. The great hypocritical chasm between the teachings and the teachers actions has always been at the heart of most of the complaints here at the OBCC.

The worth of a spiritual experience is always found in the letting go of it for reasons I do not need to tell you about.
I would submit that the presentation of mockery for it, for any that would hold onto it, is the more actively compassionate approach than the deifying of it. I would also suggest that if spiritual experience didn't end up being held aloft in such high Shastinian esteem then ones identification or claim over it might be as appealing as it would be for a public psychotic episode.

Saying an experience has no merit hurts those who identify their hope with the notion of having an experience.
Where would the 4 noble truths fit in here?

Cheers
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:38 am

The Zen experience
I think you are right Isan people should not be belittled for revealing what they have experienced. It of course relevant and personal to them.
Our lives are full of experiences,
Here are some of mine, I was on a plane when it caught fire, everybody stayed cooled we landed and we all clapped . We were alive and it was great
I was on another airplane when a guy went nuts and started smashing the plane up , the stewards had already taken a knife off someone. The smashing up guy was surrounded,but what do you do then every one was scared.I said I would sit next to the guy,everyone was relieved; we landed . It was great to be alive.
I was at LA Zen Centre a girl took me out up the coast to a private beach a rock star had a house there, There was me and altogether 5 girls, they all took their clothes off,I felt out of place wearing mine, I felt awkward, so I took mine off,I felt uninhibited like never before.Nothing else happened it was no big deal. I felt it was great to be alive.
I was standing on a hill in Mid England looking at the vast expanse of countryside, it made me feel my problems were so small and out of proportion to a bigger picture. It seemed great to be alive.
Everybody has these experiences ,we are with people when they are born and die,we live our lives.
they are relevant and personal experiences. The labelling anything kensho or Satori is the problem.JK's experience of previous lives was meaningful for her ,but it is the first time that I have heard that people; disciples actually themselves say hang on experience yes but kensho no,Religious experience in Zen if one wants to claim such a thing is peculiar; it is usually stated by an elder, but as Howard says why claim, why make a big deal.Deeper experience in meditation in Zen are greeted with greater responsibility to practice with emphasis on saving or helping all sentient beings,rather than wanting to experience and keep for oneself some secret to be shared with the gods
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Henry

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:33 am

Back to the topic of the thread: the still small voice.

There was a monk at Shasta when I was there, who had a "2nd Kensho." The only thing I heard about that kensho both from the monk himself and from what Rev. Kennett spoke about it was that said monk had heard and was, if I remember correctly, conversing with Koho Zenji. When I think of my spiritual experiences (not that they place me in the upper echelons of enlightened beings; the bargain basement might be a more accurate assessment--but hey, there are real treasures there!), hearing voices not only isn't included, but even if I did, it doesn't seem that that aspect of it would be the one, and seemingly only, aspect worth talking about. Nonetheless, his hearing Koho Zenji appeared to be the most noteworthy aspect of his kensho. Unfortunately, this monk went on to develop delusional disorder, grandiose type. He visited me in Florida many years after I left the monastery. He was in terrible shape, physically and mentally, although his subjective experience was that he was one of the most enlightened people in the world. He continued to hear voices, which supported his delusion.

It would be interesting to investigate what might have happened, or not happened to this monk in particular, had his having heard Koho Zenji's voice not been so aggrandized in a self sustaining environment, such as a monastery, where spiritual experience, in this case hearing voices, recognized by the abbot elevates a person in the eyes of many, and thus, without much further encouragement, can be made by the recognized person, into an essential part of his identity. A person genetically predisposed to psychosis, receiving recognition and an elevated position in an enclosed community, could, once hearing those voices is established as an important if not essential part of his spiritual experience and, by the miracle of karma, by extension, his identity, could precipitate a psychotic experience.

I'd like to make clear that I don't think everyone who listens to "the still small voice" is going to develop a psychosis; however, it does point to how inherently dangerous this practice can be. I once read parts of "Conversations with God," and was aghast at how blatantly obvious is was that this man was simply having a conversation with himself. Yet millions and millions of people thought he had some great spiritual insight. It was absolutely ridiculous blather, but that didn't stop the believers from signing on in droves. What a distration and dangerous detour into absurdity. I think the man himself eventually realized it was nonsense.

On top of that, it is easier to see other people's absurdity as absurdity, but even with that this man had a best seller and became the guru de jour. And how much harder it is to know our own delusion, and even harder still to grasp the delusion of the church we are in. How many church's collective still small voice is different from the collective still small voice of the neighboring church. I guess that's why there are so many different churches. I know that valuable intuition can often come as a voice, but as with everything else, I wouldn't go overboard with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:55 am

The chances of someone going nuts when he has conversations with Koho Zenji,and then told he is in an elevated position of having a second kensho is rather high
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:18 am

Sounds like schizophrenia to me, poor guy.

Surely to God his kensho was not confirmed by the notion of hearing voices ??

Still small voice as intuition is one thing but hearing and possibly acting on
voices is a whole different world. Did he say whether he got any type of help ?,
or was he just right out of it ? I sure hope they tried to get him some help when
he was still in the monastery. Disturbing.

Stan.
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:43 am

Howard wrote:
Hello Isan

Jiyu waved the freak flag of spiritual experience for all to see and while I don't want to debate why she choose to do this, it definitely had consequences that echo today as demonstrated by the postings here. If the mini me's in and out of Jiyu's church continue this spiritual flag waving today, I think part of dealing with this identification and confirmation idiocy is to mock it as the presumptuous twaddle it's become.

I would also suggest that if spiritual experience didn't end up being held aloft in such high Shastinian esteem then ones identification or claim over it might be as appealing as it would be for a public psychotic episode.

Why must the discussion of "experiences" (or anything else) be limited by how they got it wrong at Shasta?
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mokuan



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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:26 am

Hi Stan,

Sadly, they didn't get him help. They kicked him out, and when he refused to leave, they petitioned for a restraining order.

I spent many hours on the phone with him -- and his parents -- just listening to his side of the equation. I knew well, that's the only thing I could do. I had/have no qualifications to offer any sort of guidance at all.

Oddly enough, one of the things I do remember him saying was that Eko had it wrong. Eko was leading the Abbey in the wrong direction. But I don't remember the specifics of what was said.

Not long ago, I tried to see if I could find his parent's phone number just to see how he was doing, but I guess I don't have it. His parents were very concerned and couldn't believe the horrendous transformation in their son. I do know at one point he was living on the streets.

It's all very sad, especially since Daizui was still living at the time and this person had been a monk for twenty years.


Last edited by mokuan on Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:32 am; edited 2 times in total
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:30 am

Hey Isan

Why must the discussion of "experiences" (or anything else) be limited by how they got it wrong at Shasta?

There are a lot of different facets and responsibilities with your question but for me its always been about how we got or might be continuing to be, delusioned. These questions are just about trying to face and be open to levels of conditioning that blind & bind.

Shasta is just the petri dish that cultured and made errors distinquished enough to point out as a commonly shared example.

Cheers


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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:42 am

mokuan wrote:


It's all very sad, especially since Daizui was still living at the time and this person had been a monk for twenty years.

Mokuan, can you say more about this? It seems to me that Daizui was the only one qualified to understand and respond appropriately to this situation and I have to wonder why he did not, or perhaps could not?
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:08 pm

Quote :
how we got or might be continuing to be, delusioned

We got born surely? What the Christians would call original sin.

For me one of the geat things about OBCC is that anything one might say is likely to get picked up on and questioned, sometimes minutely shredded! Hopefully enough to help keep us on the 'straight and narrow'; though it looks rather open and trackless from where I'm sitting. Anyway I also hope it will continue to do so, and welcome anyone of good heart.
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:45 pm

We aren't picking on Shasta in particular. Other OBC places had similiar problems.

A constant theme in the teachings at North Cascades by Rev. K -- who has since left the OBC because they insisted on having unfettered access to "his" disciples and "his" monastery -- was who was on the verge of kensho and who had had a kensho and whether it was a "great" kensho or just an ordinary one. Rev. K and his female monk friend apparently had a "joint" kensho where they were seeing and hearing the same visions. It went on for months and maybe more than a year. He taped a talk while he was in the midst of the experience and it was pretty incoherent. Looking back, I wonder if he was having some sort of psychotic break.

Henry said: "A person genetically predisposed to psychosis, receiving recognition and an elevated position in an enclosed community, could, once hearing those voices is established as an important if not essential part of his spiritual experience and, by the miracle of karma, by extension, his identity, could precipitate a psychotic experience."

I agree. The emphasis on kensho and hearing the voice of God or having visions can be dangerous. It's especially harmful when the monks in charge of the person having the spiritual experience don't know anything about psychology or or what signs of danger to watch for. Rev. K actively taught about the evils of psychological treatment and was strongly opposed to it.

Rev. K. also spoke about the senior monk at Shasta who went in his words "crazy." Jiyu was alive then, and the whole business was treated as nothing but a burden on her. I never heard a word of sympathy or empathy or compassion for the troubled monk and nothing was ever done to help him. He was locked out of the Shasta gates and kept out with a restraining order. I believe the sheriff was called to take him away.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:08 pm

I did not know the monk who had the retraining order on him, I have not heard the story, It is really good to see that you guys are still concerned for him.

Here we are again Great kensho ordinary kensho,I would loved them to have shared this kensho with someone independent like Bob Aitkin, who may well have given some encouragement
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:17 pm

Hi Mokuan,

Thanks for your input about our monk friend. What a pity it`s such difficult
news. It would be good if we could find out if he got some recovery.

I had a friend long ago who started losing his grip. When we all went to a
seshin once at Throssel, during sitting, RM Jiyu approached him. She pulled
him back as he was leaning into the wall. She said " You have a problem
friend. I don`t know what it is but, if you continue sitting, you absolutely must
not lean into the wall.".

He moved south shortly after that and I lost track of him for a while.
Eventually, I rang his parents who were family friends to inquire about his
whereabouts. His father said that he had been nothing but trouble and that
he is in a mental institution. They didn`t want to know. He was an
embarrassment and they couldn`t handle it anymore. I found out where he
was and went down to see him with my wife Maggi taking fruit and chocolate
etc.

He was interned in a most awful victorian mental hospital of the old fashioned
type. It was truly depressing. When we saw him the first time, he was
completely overcome with gratitude that we had come to him, crying profusely
and throwing his arms about us, trying to kiss us. He was so overcome with
relief that someone cares about him and his desperate plight. We had truly
done nothing that much to help him but it broke the despair and he started
to get more confidant and stable over a short period of time.

Pretty soon he was ensconced in a small flat on his own and given long term
medication. His parents still did not visit him but allowed him to come home
at weekends occasionally. He always struggled on his own and was always in
debt as he couldn`t manage the tiny amount of money he was paid by the
social services. He worked for us for as many hours as he could manage and
slowly over the years improved more and more. We always had to help him out
but it was not a bother. He had a huge kind heart and would forever be giving
money and food away to people he thought were worse off than he was !

He overheard my wife and myself talking once that we were really up against
it that week to find the wages for the forty or so people we had working for
us. He told us not to pay him and to keep that week`s coming allowance so as
to help us out. It was our turn to cry with him. I`ve never since met anyone
with so little be so generous and be so caring.

He could still be difficult. If he had a drink the night before work, we would
soon know as we would find him talking to the staff about " martian tomatos"
and such like. However, over twenty years or so , he returned to a state that
was almost normal and he was pretty relaxed.

We sold our business and were going abroad and our last worry was how well
our friend would cope. As it turns out, A couple of weeks before we were to
leave, his parents said that he could come home permanently. He refused
saying he values his independence but might stay for half a week at a time !

On top of that, the social services for some reason saw fit to more than
double his weekly allowance and made a back-payment to boot. A lawyer also
got in touch with him saying that he could successfully sue the health
authorities for a considerable sum . It transpires he had been treated without
his permission with experimental drugs. I said he should go for it but he
refused saying they had his best interests at heart. What can you say.

Anyway, just before we left, he said that his father would be leaving him the
major proceeds of the house when he dies as he is the most needy and had
not been treated well.

He may have had the mental problems but he did recover and is still one of the
most honorable, considerate and generous people I ever met. Bar none.
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:55 pm

Hi Isan,

My conversations with the Reverend Master monk took place starting in the spring of 1999. When his issues at Shasta began, I'm not certain. Laura could better speak to that as I believe she was in residence at the time.

I do remember, though, he said that he saw Eko as a problem. He felt Eko was heading Shasta in the wrong direction.

As to why Daizui didn't help, Laura is also in a better position to answer that. It could be that Daizui was at his hermitage. Some time in the early '90s he bought a piece of property that had a small house, a dome or two, and a bunker. What monk doesn't need a bunker, right? Anyway, he may have been spending more time out there. This may also have been the time when the individual communities were becoming more autonomous and maybe Daizui didn't want to interfere with Eko's decision. It's all speculation. I just don't know.

However, reading Stan's post above, it looks like kindness and compassion for those who are truly in need can have the healing quality that our poor monk so desperatley needed. Stan's post makes my grief for our monk even greater. Instead of help he got the boot.

mokuan
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:06 pm

Hi all,

I just wanted to say that I was not actually in residence at the monastery at the time that the monk who was listening to voices had his trouble. He was gone from the monastery by the time I arrived there as a postulant. I'm sorry that I am not able to shed any light on the situation. I would like to say though, that the teaching about the "still, small voice" seemed to have pretty well evaporated from the monastery by the time I arrived. I believe this is largely due to the difficulties that this monk experienced. Whether he experienced these difficulties because of that teaching or not, I couldn't say.
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:03 pm

In that bizarre letter Kennett wrote to the British Sangha in an effort to demonized Daiji - that was posted on this site -- she defines the goal of zazen --- "one can hear the still small voice of the Cosmic Buddha, or of Dogen Zenji​ or Keizan Zenji within."

So, the voices multiply. There are now many voices - and they are not symbolic. This is not a metaphor. These are voices that tell you stuff to do.

So is that the goal of zen meditation? To hear these voices of not only the Cosmic Buddha, but now the added inner voices of Dogen and Keizan? And later, as someone recounted, a monk is certified as having experienced this "second kensho" when he starts hearing Koho Zenji inside his head. What a chorus. Pretty noisy in the Zendo. Babel Abbey.

What is going on?

Where does the Buddha ever teach that the goal of mindfulness is to hear voices? Where does Zen teach enlightenment is expressed in hearing the voices of various previous teachers? Nowhere. What are these voices saying? and why should you be listening to them? Is this some higher teaching? Hardly. And when you believe this story that the purpose of meditation is to hear and listen to voices - and that some voices and divine and some are demonic or some such story -- how do you live your life? What happens when this becomes your daily practice?

With this huge departure from sanity and basic Buddhist teachings, Kennett ceased teaching Zen or Dharma. It doesn't matter that her devotees still recited Zen morning service, called what they did Soto Zen, and wore kesas, it wasn't Zen that she was transmitting. It became the Church of Kennett, a mess of blind devotion and inner confusion as she glorified her shadows and worshiped her mind chatter.

There was the recent discussion about whether we would recommend Shasta and should a person go there for a retreat. I don't think that someone attending a retreat at Shasta would get molested or brainwashed. He/she might have a pleasant enough experience. But i have to ask -- what are they teaching there? They aren't following Kennett's still small voice nonsense? Really? Or is seeking voices taught as some higher, secret practice for the spiritual elite? The OBC folks have never disavowed the lotus blossom stuff.

The OBC bunch still seems to worship and venerate Kennett and her teachings, so of course i would never recommend someone go there. What are they "transmitting?" Why would I strive to hear Keizan or Koho Zenji babbling in my head?

What is the value of any of this?


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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:08 pm

Laura

I would like to say though, that the teaching about the "still, small voice" seemed to have pretty well evaporated from the monastery by the time I arrived.

Timely info on Shasta's "still, small voice"..

What I found interesting from the time that this monk "went over the wall" was how disturbing it was for some Shasta seniors to try to explain how it all unfolded. It was like a level of security & comfort in the firm belief that for the ardent devotee, Shasta practise was the medicine for all spiritual ills had been breached and was generally confusing. In addition to the expressions of concern for anothers suffering, seemed a genuine concern that their own spiritual world was no longer as safe as they had once believed.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:32 pm

Jcbaran wrote:
In that bizarre letter Kennett wrote to the British Sangha in an effort to demonized Daiji - that was posted on this site -- she defines the goal of zazen --- "one can hear the still small voice of the Cosmic Buddha, or of Dogen Zenji​ or Keizan Zenji within."

For the record in that letter Jiyu Kennett does not make the above statement. While she certainly endorses it it is attributed to Yoshida Roshi during a discussion between him and "Mr Lazzarine". If we're going to attribute quotes to JK let's be accurate and if we take it at face value then we must acknowledge that JK wasn't alone in her beliefs.
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:00 pm

There is no way that a japanese teacher used the phrase "still small voice" and said that Zen meditation was hearing the voices of Keizan and Dogen. Impossible. That's Kennett. Pure and simple.
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:30 am

The foundation of the OBC is based on Jiyu's experience and teachings. Slowly, over time, they seem to be guarding her teachings such as "the cosmic buddha" and "the still small voice." I remember hearing about the teachings in "the book of life" and actually saw one monk running through the enclosure with it in her hands as if in response to some spritual emergency. So now they guard them, but don't be fooled, the influence of these teachings are everywhere. So Laura says the "still small voice" stuff had virtually disappeared; this is true regarding what the public saw and maybe most of the monks, but what influence does this stuff have? Who knows? This is why I am interested to know where a retreat based on Jiyu's teachings could possibly go at this point since they do not seem to teach most of her specific nuances anymore and yet they remain devoted to her.

So Josh, is your point that all of Jiyu's teaching is rubbish? Because this is what I believe. There is absolutely nothing Buddhist at all about any of Jiyu's teachings. How can anyone, in good conscience, refer another human being to the OBC for any type of Buddhist training, event, teaching, retreat, or anything? I certainly can't. The Buddha, according to the "scriptures," is against even discussing let alone debating any kind of spiritualism and actually he warns against it. Don't all Buddhists know this? The cosmic buddha, morphing Zen with Christianity, the still small voice, all this is NOT Buddhism and the Buddha would be seriously put-out if he was here right now. The OBC is a "you-know-what"; it is a spin off of Zen, but even Zennist's can't get behind what Jiyu taught. It is literally the church of Kennett- it is an organization or group who shares the beliefs of a specific person and who uses these beliefs to support their own lifestyles.

I agree with most of what of folks have shared here. One thing I find to be a bit disturbing is the position that since Daizui was a psychologist, that he should have had more influence. I know people are apt to think of him in a saintly light, but he was part of the problem, folks. One interesting thing I found was a study he did where he used monks' MMPI scores for a study which he originally formed to prove one hypothesis, but he actually changed the whole study and it turned into some test of monks kensho experiences. Maybe even some of you here took part in this experiment. This experiment was highly biased and I'm sure if anyone tried such a trial today they would either be prosecuted or denied publication. Daizui was highly, highly, biased. And just like every other current member of the OBC and especially every therapist, doctor, lawyer, health care worker, or psychologist/psychiatrist they are all highly, highly biased. This is an ethical problem that can't be resolved; if you are a part of the group, you have to adopt those beliefs.

One thing that is upsetting to me here on the forum is watching former members flip-flop over certain topics or actually end up defending what one caused them so much pain. Sometimes I wonder what certain people are doing! For example, Isan, sometimes it sounds like you are defending Jiyu's position. Why? What do you have to gain from this? I swear, it feels like you are a mole here. I don't get it.

And yes, the delusion! The psychopathology! Wholly moley! Monks have gone crazy, monks have been abused, monks have committed suicide, monks have harmed lay people, monks have gone totally off their rockers and developed highly delusional and dangerous ideas...and what is the result? An "assessment" from FTI? Is this it? I hope not. I hope we continue to question and challenge the ideas from Jiyu and the OBC for as long as they are around. I hope that the public can continue to get whatever information about the OBC that is out there so that they can make an informed decision about whether or not to participate in such shenanigans.

So, is the OBC teaching any Buddhism at all? I wonder. How about they start with the basics...Four Noble Truths, anyone?...anyone?...

Peace,

Diana
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:55 am

Lets be clear,the still small voice is not taught in Zen in Japan
What is taught is that which is true.Practice in Buddhism is mindfulness. The daily life of a temple allows one to practice mindfulness to a deep extent.
When one practices mindfulness one also realizes very quickly the mental comings and goings that actually prevent one from being mindful.These mental comings and goings are the creation of self or ego.Simply by practicing mindfulness,it is easy to see that the ego is not permanent is not fixed,and is illusionary by nature , it is created by itself.
The voices are mind stuff; churning; they are rather than spiritual aspects of ourselves, are part of what causes our own duality, So Zen practice in Japan is simple. It is living and learning to live in the here and now, the practice of Zen unifies us, visions and mind chatter such as voices creates an ides of self and allows one to compound delusion
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:44 am

OK..maybe this is a kettle calling the pot black kind of a posting.

I really wish that the postings here were more than black & white presentations. That they were more than the polar opposites of the OBC. That the diminishing body of authors on the OBCC we not just leaving the agenda driven behind to continue spitting into the wind. That speaking of different views was not considered flip flopping. That saying that Jiyu was not all bad didn't automatically get you labelled as a mole.

Sigh.....

I see no evidence that there are secret teachings at Shasta now.
Saying that there is nothing Buddhist of Jiyu's teachings only says that ones knowledge of Buddhism does not include the wide body of its esoteric schools.
There is also more than enough fundamental mainstream Buddhist teaching from Jiyu to easily power a retreat.
To believe the Buddha would be put out requires getting beyond the doubtful integrity of a thousand years of editing.

Perhaps the best presentation of Jiyu's poor teachings are best demonstrated by us on the OBCC for how wildly and one sidedly we are willing to portray her as her formers students.
Perhaps the great satin routine assuages some of the pain that some posters obviously still hold her responsible for but if such fanaticism makes me yawn you can imagine how tedious it must be for any visitors.

Peace..

That part's a joke...right?
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:54 am

Well I have to confess I like Diane's postings.
It is always 100% Diane. Maybe we are one sided I think that is what a lot of us have in common,we have been there, made deep commitments and than found out it was not true for us.
I think there are some balanced views even with the still small voice, Mark made the comment about prick of conscience. I think Stan tries his best to look for common ground, and to rewrite balances.
However we are talking again of very basic issues. Is the still small voice one of paranoia or even schizophrenia, at best it is dualistic mind matters. I think most Buddhist groups in the USA would raise an eyebrow at Shasta's revelations of previous lives and voices. America seems to be doing very well at the ,moment in saying like with Gempo 'this is not right' and now we have heard that the Kanzeon Center has closed due to not having the funds that Gempo generated. Well that is the result of people wanting the truth, and actually realizing that the sexual antics were not Zen Buddhism
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:01 am

Stan,
I wouldn't diagnose this monk with schizophrenia. With schizophrenia there is a pervasive loss of reality testing. With delusional disorder, also a psychotic disorder, much of one's reality testing remains intact. There is generally one or a few delusions that the person is thoroughly convinced of. This delusion often becomes a central feature of a person's life so functioning in the world can be quite difficult, if not impossible. In this monk's case, his delusion was that he was true heir of Koho Zenji and one of the most enlightened people in the world. He spoke of this incessantly. The fascinating thing about this disorder is that other areas of reality testing are intact. It's Tuesday; this is San Jose, CA; it's sunny out; Obama's president; I went to such and such a high school, college, etc.; of course I can't fly, haven't you heard of gravity? But when it comes to their specific delusion, there is no convincing the person that the delusion is not real.

One more point. You previously stated that in your experience, terror is something that requires a "willingness to go there." To me the key words are in "your" experience. There are many people with a variety of mental and physical disorders, genetic predispositions, and life experience such as abuse or horrible combat or other violent experiences, where there does not have to be a "willingness" to enter terror. It is something that overwhelms a person. There is a way of speaking about our experiences that can imply that it applies to others, when it doesn't necessarily do so. That can be inadvertantly insulting (unlike with myself, being advertantly? insulting). Isan made a good point too, in that spritual experience doesn't perfect the personality. In my opinion, it just provides a clearer view of the personality in the context of a much larger reality. Old habits remain, old propensities still pull. We are simply like people with delusional disorder getting a glimpse that the delusion is actually a delusion, but we can still be easily pulled back in. Because undoing a particular habit is easy for somoeone else, doesn't mean it will be at all easy for me; and visa versa.



Mokuan et al.

Thank you for clarifying how things went for said monk after his extreme difficulties. It doesn't surprise me. After what happened to me at Shasta, and what Amalia and others have related, it is difficult for me to believe that Shasta would have handled his mental illness in a manner that would have minimized harm. I can imagine a good deal of unnecessary drama based in ignorance of how to handle such situations that would do more harm than good. Monk or not, Zen master or not, if one forgets one's knowledge has limitations, trouble ensues. I truly hope the OBC opens their minds to the value of therapy on many many levels. If they drop their fear of it as some contamination to meditation, they might find they develop insight into many things that can help their practice.
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:12 am

Stan,

I'm off to work so have little time, but wanted to write this to you. When I wrote the above post, I had not read your account of the mentally ill person you had helped. I just wanted to say how truly admirable and kind your actions were. I have visited such institutions as my mother suffered from severe depression at times. I understand the gratitude given for small acts of kindness and understanding. That you would extend yourself as you did....I am grateful there are people such as yourself in this world.

PS I hope I can still give you a hard time, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:29 am

Henry,

If I didn`t think you were a wonderful old git, I wouldn`t be talking to you.

You humble me with your kind words. Thank you.

p.s Was that an example of you giving me a hard time ? LOL.
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:40 pm

Diana wrote:
One thing that is upsetting to me here on the forum is watching former members flip-flop over certain topics or actually end up defending what one caused them so much pain. Sometimes I wonder what certain people are doing! For example, Isan, sometimes it sounds like you are defending Jiyu's position. Why?

Monks have gone crazy, monks have been abused, monks have committed suicide,
Peace,

Diana

Dianna, I find the incident recounted here of the monk who "went crazy" very disturbing as well. I practiced along side him for many years and although I was no longer in the community when his episode occurred he visited me a few years later and I got to experience his madness firsthand. It looks like the Abbey was incompetent and negligent in the way they handled him, but we don't know the whole story. I will speculate that having him "arrested" may have been justifiable if he was out of control. Regarding trying to get him help there is the matter of whether or not he would accept it and if not if it was possible to have him committed against his will. I expect you know there are very strict laws governing that process and I don't know what the law is in California. If he could not be forcibly committed and if he continued to trespass, etc, then the restraining order may also have been justifiable. Now, if Jiyu Kennett had seen psychological services as a necessary adjunct to spiritual practice instead of a detriment to practice it would have been possible to have a safety net in place for this kind of situation. In particular Daizui, who I believe was a licensed clinical psychologist, would have been allowed to support people in that capacity, but he was not. There is also the fact that Jiyu Kennett was getting progressively more ill and the community more preoccupied with her care - I agree with Carol when she says "the whole business was treated as nothing but a burden on her (JK)". None of what I'm saying should be taken to mean that I'm justifying what happened - it is only an attempt to understand it. To my mind the apparent incompetence and indifference on the part of SA is inexcusable. I believe that providing access to psychological services should be a legal requirement for a seminary as it is for other educational institutions. While I was at SA it was registered as a school with the State of California, but I don't know what legal obligations that entailed.

Regarding Daizui being part of the problem, that is also hard to determine. He struggled for years to moderate what he felt was harmful about Jiyu Kennett's behavior. I would say that to the extent he went along with her against his own better judgement he was part of the problem. What is harder to know is would he have done more good by leaving the community and speaking out against the abuses instead of staying in and doing what he could to moderate them? I can't answer that.

Regarding my "flip flopping" I would say it's not easy finding the middle way through bitterly opposing points of view, but that is my priority because it is the only approach that brings me any relief. I am as tempted by rage as anyone, but giving way only steals my peace.


Last edited by Isan on Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : edited for clarity)
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:18 pm

Ok, I know I have no business jumping in here but this is the passage in the Hebrew bible 1 Kings 19:9-13 in which the teaching of the "still small voice" was initiated:


And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The
Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put
your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now
they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
Then
a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the
rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind
there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:50 pm

What is harder to know is would he have done more good by leaving the community and speaking out against the abuses instead of staying in and doing what he could to moderate them? I can't answer that.

fair comment Isan. Did he manage to moderate anything by staying?

Personally speak your mind..Say your piece.. Have some guts..Other people may not feel so isolated.
Staying is also condoning.
But that.s my opinion and as you say I can't answer that
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:46 pm

Hi Diana,
Perhaps you would like to read the following:

Thank you for joining the forum and letting everyone know how you are doing. It is so
difficult when you've built a relationship with a community and then
have to let go without an explanation or goodbye. I think your intent is
clear here. Saying hello to the sangha and letting everyone know how
you feel and
what you are doing is an example, a teaching in its own
right, of how to remain compassionate and steadfast. To me, it's a sign
that you have taken whatever teaching and practice you have found into
your being and heart. How wonderful! And what a breath of fresh air for
this venue!


I have to say that your posting moved me into a new position, a much more positive and compassionate one, and so I say "thank you!" I think my anger has finally run out of steam. I believe I have worked through so much and I don't want to slip back into re-hashing old stuff. I'm ready to move on. I also appreciate how you
set up boundaries here and I will take that teaching to heart as well.


[....] My first summer at the Abbey was so
wonderful [....] There were so many
wonderful people there and a few have always stood out for me.
[...]

Thank you for reminding me about the good things. It is nice that after all that has happened, to
feel that love and friendship in my heart for all the sangha members
again. I guess I'm at that place on the "healing" path, finally! It
feels pretty good.



I think you will agree that most situations, if not all, have many facets, and we, as creatures endowed with mere human minds, cannot grasp the whole complexity of them. Speaking for myself - I view things somewhat differently from moment to moment, depending on many things, including, no doubt, my digestion, ha ha, or if I got enough sleep last night (seldom).

I like very much Isan's writings. His position is not necessarily the same as mine - why should it
, or could it, be. But I do sense a very honest attempt to be true - there is intellectual honesty there. I think his position is different from that of many of us on the forum - he trained with Roshi longer, and was perhaps closer to her than many of us (certainly closer than I ever was). To think that he might be a mole here, my dear girl, you do have a vivid imagination sometimes!

But I like reading your contributions, too. Often you hit the spot, for me.

So, where was I....Is electron a wave or a particle? Oh shuck, no certainly in this world, is there....
Wink

Ol'ga




Last edited by Ol'ga on Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Wouldn't YOU like to know! OK, then replaced 'but' with 'mere'. Happy now?)
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:58 pm

Jcbaran wrote:
There is no way that a japanese teacher used the phrase "still small voice" and said that Zen meditation was hearing the voices of Keizan and Dogen. Impossible. That's Kennett. Pure and simple.

Before I went to Shasta Abbey in 1971 I occasionally practiced zazen at the Zen Studies Society in Manhattan, NY. Eido Tai Shimano was the resident teacher and he would give a little talk after the meditation. On one occasion though there was a guest speaker - Yasutani Roshi. He spoke no English and so Eido Roshi had to translate. His English wasn't great either, but it was clear enough. Yasutani Roshi talked about realization and about finding and following the "master" within. Eventually Eido Roshi gave up because it became too complex for him to translate, but I was intrigued and did not forget what he said. The words "still small voice" were not used, but in my opinion he was referring to a dynamic experience of inner guidance arising naturally from realization through and sustained by zazen practice. Based on this I would have to disagree with you and affirm the possibility of a Japanese Zen Master expressing an experience not dissimilar from "the still small voice".
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:06 pm

Hi Isan,

Thanks for the response; I feel like I do have a better understanding of where you are coming from now. I guess I should have elaborated on what I was refering to; I was refering to your post:

"I find that how I interpret my experience of connectedness changes. More importantly I'd like to suggest that we stop reacting to Jiyu Kennett's excesses. Just because she sometimes had a need to exaggerate and required the rest of us to participate in her theater doesn't mean there is no validity to the experience of inner guidance." (italics mine)

I interpreted what you where saying as coming from a point of exhaustion and with a plea to stop dissecting Jiyu's teaching. It sounded to me like you where saying in essence, "oh god, not another thread from Josh slamming Jiyu..." That was what I got from it and if I'm wrong, I'm sorry. It just triggered in me some things that I'm becoming acutley aware of, one being that the older I get, the less tolerance I have for unclear messages. I prefer to be as explicit as possible, and yet in my last post, I seem to have caused yet another misunderstanding. Oh well, gotta keep trying. I am trying to move towards making the implicit explicit, stopping any form of paradoxical communication, and developing more clarity and understanding. Part of learning about how to respond to another for me, has to do with understanding their motivation if their words are not clear to me. Now that you have clarified the context in which you view things, I feel like I understand not only the quote above, but much of what you say here.

And Howard,

If you just read what I said to Isan, then you'll understand better where I am coming from also. I must say, that I so do not understand you and the way you communicate. I just don't appreciate the paradoxical form of communication at all. I have no idea what you are saying most of the time and have no idea where you stand. I do not appreciate calling people out for the sake of calling them out. I do not appreciate the devil's advocate stance. I do not like feeling I have to defend myself either, but I will say my wish for peace is NO JOKE. Everytime I send a post out I pause a moment so that I can fully realize the responsibility that comes behind pushing the "send button." Even though I may make mistakes and cause harm, I really do not wish any ill-will on anybody.

Hi Olga,

I am guessing your response was a way of calling me out on the "flip-flop" issue and possibly defending Isan? I'm not sure because it is unclear of what you meant by bringing up that particular quote. Shall I explain that quote/post? I was going to connect with Alden by personal message, but found that since he was so quickly attacked and was quickly retreating that I had better post it publicly so that he could view it anytime. I do not believe in demonizing monks. I personally knew Alden and witnessed many accounts where he was publicly humiliated by Eko. It was one of the saddest things I ever saw there. I guess because I felt so bad for him, that I reacted badly to him being attacked on the forum. I felt sorry for him and wanted to offer my support. In my view, he is a victim. Eko had it out for him, in a bad way. Eko told me how he felt about Alden (one of the many he had problems with) and it was really scary. I could go on, but I'll leave it at that. Now, later on I criticised Alden on something, but I can't waver on my judgement about Jiyu; I really think her teaching stinks. Alden probably would not want to be my friend because of my views, but I'll always believe he has a good heart and I'll always be grateful that I knew him.

Doing this forum thing is exhausting.

Peace,

I mean it,

Diana
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:47 pm

Hi Diana,
I agree with you that this forum thing is exhausting. For me, it is also a bottomless pit. You say something, I respond, I miss the mark, you miss the mark...it happens all the time. I, for one, often wonder if all this accomplishes much, in the long run.

Yes, I guess, I did intend to call you out on the flip-flop thing. Or, rather, I wanted to show, how you used a very different measuring stick for Alden. You, who normally don't mince words (I like that, myself) were all of a sudden (to my mind, very uncharacteristically), soft, accommodating, gentle, loving. I understand that you knew Alden as a nice human being (just a shorthand for what you said). I never met him - only here on the forum. My perception is not so much as him being attacked here, as, rather, him behaving rather badly. If one is to take his word for it, he had a very limited use for this forum, and never intended to stay on. He actually declared he was leaving, and already said his good-byes, before various - shall we say - very pointed things were said to him, or about him. But he did declare how much he loved Roshi, how glorious she was. He said this on a forum which had existed for some time, and where testimonies of very different, disturbing experiences with her - some of considerable pain - had been voiced. He had no time for any of it. You chose to overlook this treatment of Roshi by him - far, far from calling him a mole here. Yes, I understand - you see a human being in him, one that you had witnessed being tormented by your tormentor, Eko. So you used a soft focus - exclusively for Alden, if I am not mistaken.

Well, we are all human beings...even Roshi (Jiyu) was. We, who knew her, can relate to her humanness, too; and some of us can recall her tremendous gifts, aside from the dark aspects of her peron, and the harm, and pain, she caused...etc. So it is not all so black-and-white.
As for Isan - you did not seem to give him any benefit of the doubt (I know, now you may feel differently, as would appear from your last post). Isan really does not need my defending him at all but it's my almost kneejerk reaction when I perceive unfairness.
The upshot of my post, really, was - it's so difficult, even impossible, really, to capture, in a balanced way, all the aspects of any situation, all the facets of a human being and their actions. Isan's take on Roshi is much softer than, say, Josh's; or even mine. There is so much validity to what he has to say. So here, I am not defending him; rather I'm expressing my appreciation of his so valuable contribution to this discussion.

As to the inner guidance.

Roshi, in my time, used the expression Iron Man. It certainly does not have a Christian ring to it. It is, to my ear, more probably a rendering of some Japanese Zen expression. I find the concept very useful and inspiring.

Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:39 am

To me Isan you are saying a practice based on thinking .
For me zen practice is based on living, being here.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:24 am

Diana

Nobody likes feeling like they have to defend themselves but that is the price for choosing to post on a questioning structure like the OBCC over that other organization. I think it keeps us up on our toes or at least not on some dogmatic auto pilot.

That third sentence on my posting that you didn't like was mis written and understandably confusing but I believe you are actually saying that all my postings are not understandable.

If someone writes something here that I don't understand, I ask them to clarify it for me. If someone writes in a way that I don't understand and I never ask for a clarification then it just says that I never cared about what they had to say in the first place. For me there is no one on this forum that falls into that category.

Speaking of that...

What do you mean about not understanding where I stand? I don't know why you'd need to know where I stand beyond the contents of my post? Are you asking where I stand in regards to a particular issue? That might be tough to answer because most of life just seems too fluid to justify maintaining a fixed or consistent agenda to stand upon. I trust myself to try to do what is right in the meditation of the moment without having a particular stand to start from. My biggest mess ups have occured from having stands that no longer applied to the current circumstances.

Of course now I'm afraid I've just written another post that makes no sense to you.
Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:54 pm

Oh, Oh, Howard, I think I am hearing a voice? Smile Anyway, just as Dogen says "We humans are continually arranging the bits and pieces of what we experience in order to fashion a whole Universe and must take care to look upon this welter of living beings and physical objacts as sometime things." Views, circumstances, everything being in continual motion, that fluidity, all we can do is act from what our heart tells us is the right thing to do from moment to moment. As Olga says above somewhere, nothing is ever black and white, we are so ignorant of that whole picture, and yet we have to act, do something, say something, from whatever our experience of the present moment is and hope we are not too much off the mark. If we are, no doubt we will have further lessons to learn somewhere, sometime.
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:48 pm

I vaguely recall a theme on the training of a `Boddhisatva` in Dogen`s
Shobogenzo. I might have the source wrong.

In it, His training in using his `hands and eyes` is likened to someone reaching
behind himselfself in the night, groping with his hand for a pillow`

As we know, Boddhisatva statues are often shown as having a thousand arms
and I don`t know how many eyes.

I believe the point being made was that the `reaching behind` equated to
`searching for` and `in the night` to `being in the dark` as it were.

This type of action is basically instinctive one. No planning and judging is
intended and somehow the pillow is found. Our training is then told to be no
different to that of a Boddhisatva. The Boddhisatva being literally ` All hands
and eyes`

To me, this is similar to `Listening to the still, small voice`. Struggling to get
from the unknown to the known. The action is the same but the sense involved
being hearing rather than touch.

Just as well Jiyu didn`t say that training was like reaching for a pillow I
suppose !
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:18 pm

Stan are you saying your meditation is a form of thinking?
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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:34 pm

I'm back ^^


And I feel, with my question about "G"od, that I hit the jackpot on the obcc fruit machine. Three flashing bells and the dharma is clunking out into the coin tray and spilling all over the floor. I've been filling my pockets!

I know the topic has moved on since then but I will try to write a response in the next few days.

And Stan, no I didn't find you preachy. I found you to be stating exactly what you thought, with no worries as to whether it might come across as preachy or not.

I'd rather people didn't gag their own mouths (with political correctness). It's just too kinky for me.

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:08 pm

Hey Stan

Just as well Jiyu didn`t say that training was like reaching for a pillow I
suppose !


Hey Stan .. perhaps your joking but she used to say exactly that.

She said that training eventually becomes like reaching for a pillow in ones sleep. This was during a teaching that sincere training had a momentum of its own that rippled out beyond the petty hinderences of the mind. Sort of a version of her teaching to just pick up the broom and use it instead of getting caught up in an endless rumination of sweeping theory.

Well back to what is good buddhism and what's bbaaaddd!

H
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:09 pm

Hi, Mike/Chisan,

I`m not saying my meditation is " a form of thinking".

I`m not really clear what you mean by "form of" either. We all know that
meditation is supposed to be neither trying to think nor not to think. I guess
you`ve got something else in mind.

I was comparing Dogen`s commentary re `reaching for a pillow` with listening
for or to `the still small voice` and saying that to me they point to the same
thing. As it`s allegorical , I don`t hear voices nor look for pillows The
commentary actually referred to training not meditation per se. Not that there`s much difference.

I don`t regard meditation as formal sitting only as one would expect but I
don`t try to deny thinking. Thinking happens and only then do I notice it.
All the senses seem to work like this and what a relief. I don`t have to
initiate every single experience in my life and it`s therefore possible just to be.

However, If I am reading a sutra say, and there is something I can`t quite
understand, my mind seems to come to a stop as I struggle for an answer.
part of the struggle may be letting go of `struggling`and using every sense I
have to find the `answer`.

It`s a bit like being thrown into deep water unexpectedly. Somehow you will
come to the surface. What is it that lets you know how to do that ?

I could say to you.... Mike, tell me right now, Why do you train / meditate ?

If you can`t tell me instantly, What is your mind doing in that moment ?

Have you heard of that Christian book ` The Cloud Of Unknowing` ? I see that
as the full length feature version of `The Still Small Voice` !

At one o`clock at night, that`s my best straight, non slippery answer to your
question.

May I ask you a question Mike ? Why do YOU train ?

Take care, Stan.
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:16 pm

GLORFINDEL.....You little so and so !

You nearly had me going there ! You can get a man worried you know.

You`re a sneaky dude. People could think we`re working a double act.

Look forward to seeing you back in the arena....er, on the forum.

Catch you later, Stan.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:52 am

Stan sorry I could not back to you earlier I tend to go to bed and get up very early
Answering your question meditation is the natural thing to do
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Stan Giko

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:13 am

Hey Howard,

That`s weird ! Yes, I was joking when I said " Just as well Jiyu didn`t say.....".

I had to read the first part of your post again to make sure I hadn`t got you
wrong or that YOU were joking.

Anyway, I had to go rooting for that saying as I remember Jiyu doing a lecture
on that topic. I found it in `Roar of the tigress 2` page 198.

It transpires it was from a commentary by Dogen on an original saying by Dogo.

SOooo....If it`s good enough for Dogo, Dogen and Jiyu, it`s good enough for
me. That`ll teach me to put words into other peoples mouths ! It took me
ages to find it.

I`ll refer people to Dogen if they`ve got a beef with that one.


Winter`s setting in and I bet you`re busy trying to keep people warm. Season
for the big bucks ?

Thanks for that connection Howard. I quite like it.

Stan.
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Ol'ga

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PostSubject: Re: Deifing the "still small voice" and intution   Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:39 pm

Michael said:

Stan are you saying your meditation is a form of thinking?

and again:
meditation is the natural thing to do

So is thinking, is it not?

Luv,
Ol'ga
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