A Big Bang (or My Satori Porno)

Why this post?

“What I see, I want all people to know.”
-Linji, quoted by Yuanwu (Cleary; Cleary 1994: 104)

If you cannot drink the entire river, take a ladle full at a time.

True kensho means no kensho. The Heart Sutra says, “no attainment with nothing to attain.” This means you must attain no attainment. That is true kensho. You still want something; you still want kensho. That is a big mistake. That way you will never get Enlightenment, never get true kensho. If you want true kensho, you must make your opinion, your condition, and your situation disappear. Then the correct opinion, correct condition, and correct situation will appear. The name for this is kensho. The name for this is our True Self. The name for this is Great Love, Great Compassion, and the Great Bodhisattva Way. Not special. When you are hungry, eat. When you are tired, rest. When you see a hungry person, give him food. When you see someone sad, you are also sad. Only this. Moment to moment, you must keep your correct situation. All your actions are for other people. Put down I, my, me.    Zen Master Seung Sahn in a letter to a student

Here’s an assertion. Just about everyone has had some kind of awakening experience. Actually, I’m moderately confident even those who can’t make the report, have had that experience. They just never believed it, and gradually forgot it. If my tradition teaches correctly that we are in fact all already awakened, then various glimpses, indeed, wholesale Damascus Road encounters should be the common currency of our human lives. And it should happen to people of every religion and none.  from Stepping Forward from the Hundred-Foot Pole– by James Ford Roshi

There seems to be a lot of individual variance in how awakening happens. Some people have grand experiences that transform them overnight, and others have smaller glimpses of freedom that seem to run together over time and change their lives. John Tarrant Roshi in “Sudden Awakening”

My Satori Porno

If people I know and know of would talk of experiences they’ve had while following the Buddhist path, particularly but not exclusively Zen, then all this ridiculousness about the “special”, “rare” or “mystical” kensho/satori/enlightenment business would be dispelled. But it’s soooo outrageous to even mention the possibility of such a thing.

But then again there are all kinds of people claiming to be completely enlightened and leading Sangha and all kinds of things.  So before I narrate this teasing little tale, take into account that I too may be one of those frauds, or I may be psychotic or at the very least exaggerating my delusions for literary kicks. How can you really know?

But I am inclined to take the above words of James Ford Roshi seriously, that just about everyone has had some kind of awakening experience. What seems to occur, in the maelstrom of life is that we just aren’t in a position of to recognize it. Sort of a whole Where’s Waldo scenario? There is so much going on and so much making an impact on our consciousness both from without and within, that to have an awakening moment occur at a time when we are able to break from distractions long enough to realize it is difficult.

Here’s a little thing that happened 5 or 6 years back. Was on a rather arduous trek up the Harkidoon valley (pictured below). It was pre-season, and still into the end of the monsoon season here. Which means a lot of mud, landslides and difficult terrain. We were the first visitors (it is a somewhat popular route) of the season so only a few village people had made a new trail, which has to be done after every monsoon again due to landslides and such. On the third day going up we had crossed a number of small landslide areas but we came to an impasse. There was a huge section, approximately 50 meters (yards) that had been washed out. Normally you can climb up and over these sections but this one was too steep. A large pine tree had fallen across the gap, or the abyss as I recollect it. A few of the village people had scraped off some of the branches so that one could, with good balance walk across it. (Village people have a life time of practice with this sort of thing) It was about 40 meters (120 or so feet) above the ground and neither end of the tree looked to be anchored with much stability. The only other option was to go back about an hours walk, take a steep path down to a mule trail by a swollen river, which would have to be waded in parts and then climb back up again. About 5 hours extra work and freezing water to boot. So a decision was made to cross it. Now I’ve always had some trepidation with heights, especially on wobbly structures with no railings. Kind of a survival instinct thing. To fall here, if not certain death would entail a trip out on a mule’s back and would be enormously painful with broken bones etc. So no room for errors.

My trekking partner made it across safely by keeping low, holding the occasional branch and well he’s just a real coordinated individual not to mention being raised in these mountains. Did I mention we were both carrying packs? Well my turn. Started out fine. Got to the middle of the tree trunk and felt a tug on my boot. My shoelace had gotten caught on one of the stubs of the broken branches. What to do? There were no hand holds. I was simply balancing there with a pack and an attached boot. I tried lifting my foot to detach the shoelace but it didn’t work. I tried to step backwards so the tied up boot would be in front and I could possibly bend and untangle it. I almost fell off. My partner put down his pack and tried to come across to where I was but the log shook horribly and we were afraid we were both going to come off it or it would break. Bit of a dilemma. I wanted to cry. I began to panic. I talked myself down from that emotional state after about another 10 minutes.

I could not think. I could not move. There was no other choice. I gave up. At that moment it just didn’t matter. I might fall and die or I might not. It didn’t matter. I didn’t matter. My personal survival didn’t matter. The bottom dropped out. I fell to my knees. It was as smooth and easy as an acrobat could do. Moments of thought had stopped. Moments of feeling trapped had stopped. All moments had stopped.

I looked up and saw the sun gleaming golden off the water of the Supin river. I was there, or this body that is typing these words was yet not in a way that was “embodied” in that separate casing. I was there and everywhere at the same time.  Words came into my head. “IT will go on”  Not me, not I, but IT. I saw IT, felt IT within. (Man I’m sounding like Alan Watts here!) There was no separation between me and that river. It moved flowed.  The clouds above it shifted around continuously feeding it. The sun warmed it. It moved. It was all in motion all the time. There was no stopping point. There was no end or beginning to it. I was no different. (“this arriving of the universe” “Life in the present exists in this pivot-state, and this pivot-state exists in life in the present.” Dogen : “Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll be free, even of birth and death…” Bodhidharma)

The body just reacted. It was the most simple movement in the world to untangle that knot and stand and easily walk to the end of that tree trunk. There was no thought. There was just a movement that was part of another movement and on and on. It was perfect. It was walking down the side of the 100 foot pole. There was no other moment. When I reached ground on the other side I just stood for a moment taking a few deep breaths. My partner asked if I was alright. I said “It’s OK. Chalo (let’s go)” and we carried on.

What can one say/do when such an experience occurs? WTF? comes to mind. I pondered it for quite a few months. Thought occasionally to ask someone about it. But there seemed to be no reason to do so. It was something that defied description.

A few years later I did bring up this experience with a certain Japanese Roshi. Him being a Soto guy told me:

So in such a situation I would like to recommend you to think that you have
solved the problem in the best way, and so it might be the best solution for you
to forget such a small matter completely.

And he said to keep on practicing. Good advice.

Then this is what I wrote about the experience.

Unnamed Poem

Sunlight breaks
the clouds apart,
Splits the mountains
to the valley.
Supin river flows on.
Warmed.*

supin

*The Supin River flowing through the Harkidoon valley. Here’s a little coincidental Hindu mythology. Harkidoon is known as the gateway to heaven due to an incident in the great Hindu epic Mahabharata. One of the heroes Yudhishtira takes a long journey to reach Harkidoon,  He declines to ascend Indra’s chariot to heaven because he cannot take the dog that followed him all the way, with him there. The dog turns out to be his father incarnated and he is rewarded for his loyalty with a trip to heaven. As well the Supin river is also called the river of Karma because it is said to collect all the karma somehow related to the “bad guys” in the Mahabharata having been the kings of Harkidoon valley (where the people still worship them and claim descent BTW). It is alleged that to drink from the Supin is to take in that karma (in the Hindu sense of the word) and add it to your own.

Effects of the experience and some realizations.

Here’s a list of some stuff that came to mind to describe this thing. If you have different realizations  or if your experience belies what I’ve written below I’d like to hear about it.

An awakening experience-general characteristics:

  • does not happen “in the head” or “in the guts” but everywhere all at once
  • is not a state of mind like a mood or concentration on something
  • has nothing to do with personality
  • is neither pleasant or unpleasant
  • is not a “high”
  • is a radical shift in perspective
  • is all-inclusive
  • is not an “epiphany”  or an “aha” moment-these are thinking/intellectual related realizations
  • stays with you like a shadow but cannot be caught
  • develops further over time  (10,000 petal lotus opening) diligence in practice refines this
  • is not a “personal” experience
  • gives no sense of gratification or satisfaction nor the opposite
  • happens when all else has been exhausted
  • does not “blow your mind” (that would be a dharma-rapture type experience) but something much more fundamental shifts
  • the concept of identity changes (hard to say how)

This is a list of some stuff I’ve noticed since then that has been affected.

An awakening experience-personal characteristics:

  • less tendency to anger
  • less urgency
  • more patience
  • less preference
  • less needy about anything
  • more tolerant
  • more laughter
  • less exertion to enjoy life
  • less seeking
  • avoidance of things that cloud the mind (like alcohol)
  • more open and honest
  • less tense
  • less concern for other’s opinions or need for permissions for what to do in life
  • everything and everyone matters but not in a desperate clingy way
  • way way less emotional drama
  • greater ability to deeply listen
  • more generous with time, money, love, patience, kindness, laughter
  • less preachy and dogmatic
  • thinking is much sharper
  • increased creativity
  • sense of limitlessness
  • inability to panic (not that I was a big panic-er but even the edge of that sensation has gotten far more remote)
  • more acceptance of human and other error (includes computer crashes)
  • less blaming
  • more direct words
  • more ability to accept direct words and criticism
  • better quality of sleep
  • entertaining dreams (no nightmares as well)
  • body feels more agile and lighter (even with the few extra pounds)
  • enthusiasm for simple things
  • all work is just work and enjoyable
  • deeper sense of connection/immersion (this affects activist/political things as well)
  • less self-criticism and deprecation (I used to be rather hard on myself ambition-wise)
  • get way more work done
  • get way more enjoyment out of pleasurable things
  • even find unpleasurable and unpleasant things sort of interesting
  • there is nothing wanting in life
  • way less fear of death

If the mind is not hauling around tons of self-manufactured nonsense about who “I” am and was and want to be, all bolstered up by being symbolized and attached to a lot of material stuff (like “my” lifestyle crap, “my” fashion sense accoutrements, “my” symbols of accomplishment, “my” big plans and grandiose ideas, etc.) and all the social things that go along to support that, it seems logical to me that these results could be replicable by anyone. And it wouldn’t have to be in a potentially dangerous situation either. Just open the moment in life. Recognize what is and what is attachment to what is and unattach. Not detach-that is quite opposite to my meaning. That is rejection which is twice as difficult as attachment. Just open the moment in life.

Aftermath

Writing this recollection and examining it in this way might freak some people out. I’m NOT in any way saying I have some great enlightenment because I don’t think that. From that taste all I know is that there is more. More what I can’t say as I’ve not experienced it. And there is no desire to seek for that more. It is here and flowing. And when allowed, by the strictures one contends with, openings appear again and again. Like the vista of a vast landscape as one drives down a highway. Between the speed-blurred clumps of trees a flash of water, a boat on the ocean, a desert of golden sand, a mountain valley.

I just know that the gate is open and however or whenever “more” is encountered it will not be on my timetable or by any act of volition on my part. Nor can I tell you how your experience is or will be.  I have no idea. I am just documenting this sort of like a reporter I guess. The who what where when why or how. I know the answers to the first 4 questions and have written that here but not the answers to how or why. I am a little intellectually curious about those and for a little time I pursued some answers.

But the why or how just don’t seem worth obsessing about in the big picture any more though. They don’t matter really.

Links-some to folks who describe experiences they have had (which I neither “endorse” nor “not endorse” ummm because I’m not privy to all the contents of their experiences and who the hell am I to think I could endorse anything anyways) and others to give some further helpful information about that.

As I find more of these accounts I will keep adding them. Maybe I ought to make a Satori Porno page!(ha)

Buddhism and Crack-Cocaine. ~ via John Pappas in elephant journal

Post-kensho practice and enlightenment on the Zen path from Ted Biringer’s Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing

Early Morning Reflection on Awakening by James Ford

Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen: Sa+0ri pr0n from the Suicide Girls website

By request: How I became a Buddhist (and why I’m trying to un-do all that). RDeWald posts on his lengthy experiences with Zen

Dirty Watches and Filthy Buddha-Nature – John talks about the dropping out of the bottom of the pail.

Who Am I? from the One Bright Pearl blog touches on a personal account

Jiyu-Kennet-an account in Wikipedia of Jiyu-Kennet’s experiences as well as one of her students-under the Visions section

A Letter to a Beginning Student by Paul Lynch discussing the don’t know mind and the use of koans and what is kensho and the various types/levels/experiences of it.

Kensho is a wonderful milestone on the Zen path by Ted Biringer

Some Mistakes on the Zen Way-by James Ford

Note:

If you come across any more blogs describing these experiences please note them in comments so others can read them as well. Thanks.

Advertisements

13 comments on “A Big Bang (or My Satori Porno)

  1. After reading this it occurred to me that I also must have had one of these “enlightenment” experiences, except that mind happened while I was drunk. I know, sounds crazy, but my experience shared the same elements as yours: I was in a vulnerable position when something very frightening occurred and all I could do was completely let go. And when I did, disaster was averted.

    I’ve never thought about that experience in this way before. Interesting. I may blog about this in the future. Thank you for the inspiration. I will certainly credit you as the source.

    • Hi Richard. I look forward to such a blog post. That’s kind of my point is that some experiences happen that are hard to frame in a conventional sort of way. I am interested in exploring that sort of thing. Thanks for comment

  2. Hi Marnie,

    this is lovely. Shunryu Suzuki has a piece which I’ll dig up and post myself—some time soon—about the way awakening doesn’t have to be conscious—he uses the image of a basket being full of water by sinking into the water. Thanks for being so thorough, I think it’s a good thing to share the different experiences we have.
    Cheerio

    • Hi John
      Will be on the look out for the piece you mention. Sounds to me like some kind of osmosis/circumstantial way. To my way of thinking that is how we absorb most of what is called identity. I didn’t take classes to learn to become as I am. It just sort of formed. Undirected or soft learning as opposed to directed. May hold onto this idea for a bit. Thanks.

  3. Nonetheless, it is a good idea to have such experiences checked by a competent Zen teacher in a line that practices with such “milestones,” that is, a Rinzai or Harada-Yasutani teacher. I don’t mean to knock straight orthodox Soto, but they routinely downplay such experiences and testing them and gauging their depth and clarity is not really their stock and trade.

    • I suppose if one is spiritually ambitious, for lack of a better word, that might be an idea. I don’t see any advantage or even reason to do so though. It’s not like you can do anything with it like run a nuclear power facility or pilot an aircraft. It’s of absolutely no use. Why bother myself or others with something so useless? And especially it’s not like I need or even vaguely want the validation of my experience of reality provided by some stranger who cannot in any way share such a subjective thing. Testing, measuring, gauging like a bunch of religious surveyors. What’s to build with this surveying but some ridiculous structure with a sign on it? Do they put a big rubber stamp on one’s forehead that says “Contents Cleared” like customs inspectors do? That’s how the whole “validation” thing strikes me.

      • The way I see it, getting the “Contents Cleared” stamp probably isn’t all that helpful. However, I think that getting the “Still Not Enlightened” stamp can be very helpful, if you’re at all prone to kidding yourself into thinking that you might be. And naturally you can’t have one without the other.

        Another reason is that the whole process of koan examination/validation of insight can in and of itself be very helpful. Not for everybody, of course. Lots of people in my group (Harada-Yasutani) practice this way, and it has worked out very well for many of them.

        I’m sure the process can go horribly wrong, and become a twisted competition for kensho. But then again traditional Soto can go wrong and turn into buji zen. But please don’t dismiss it so cavalierly, Marnie—it’s a method with a long pedigree, and it’s stuck around for a reason.

        • If one is going around saying they are completely enlightened then they are pretty foolish.

          I don’t think it’s a binary is/isn’t but a lifelong process of realization. I have issues with most cut and dried polarities but this one in particular. As soon as one (or someone else) says Yes that’s it! then one is in an immediate duality which negates the “it” because for “it” to be “it” in an affirmative sense means there is a “not it” negating. And that’s only from a logical point of view. From an experiential point of view even moreso.

          I do think that koan introspection can bring an unfurling of further realization. Obviously it has worked for a long time so I’m not dismissing that methodology.

          I am not dismissing such practices as not being useful but am criticizing them on the basis of validating something ultimate as an end point which is actually not ultimate because that term is endless and therefore not a final point to be reached.

          Now one can have some stamp, even a dharma transmission which can be meaningless for a plethora of reasons (gotten for political, economic, social reasons etc.) which means a whole lot of nothing in terms of realization. I have written about that quite a bit so won’t go into details.

          If one wants to be a teacher or Zen master or whatever then the little gold stars do perhaps provide something of a checklist of dharmic activity which followers can cling onto as indicating a relative amount of accomplishment and therefore put some faith in what is being taught. A vague sort of quality assurance. Useful in that way to at least sort out some of the most obvious rogues. But even water heaters with ISO stickers sometimes blow up. (I think I just called Zen masters a bunch of water heaters…hmm)

          I have always preferred the Soto approach just because it doesn’t go overboard with chasing something called satori. And it can also lead to some weird ideas such as I am already Buddha Doesn’t mean I don’t think there isn’t such realization available but I don’t think it’s quite the achievement that so many seem to think it is.

          It could be quite a sad nightmare to get pretty far along the path and to be able to start to see what’s going on, to realize it and then be surrounded by those who don’t and probably never will get any of it and who even actively fight against it, which it seems many do with a vigor that suggests the flailing of a drowning victim.

          But I suppose though that’s what the Bodhisattva koan is all about. Bodhisattva as life guard on the shores of Hell.

          There are so many warnings about undertaking the Buddhist endeavor, especially in the Zen literature. And the histories of various masters also demonstrate that some seemed to have a hard time living with it as they became even harder to live with in terms of their colleagues, students and others who surrounded them. It seems to lead to greater and greater koans.

          “I don’t remember making a mistake called enlightenment.” ~Ikkyu

  4. Few people are nuts enough to go around *saying* it. And I don’t know that *completely* is critical either. I do think there is such as thing as realizing your true nature or seeing through the illusion of duality or whatever you want to call it. I also think that there are all kinds of other insights. And I think there are things that feel like insights but aren’t. In fact, I think that all kinds of pathological stuff comes from things that feel like insights but aren’t, or insights that go subsequently wrong when people pile other stuff on them.

    I also think that it’s possible to tell the difference between genuine insight and self-deception, at least some of the time. Some people are naturally good at it, and I believe you can get better with practice. The more insight you have, the better you are at recognizing it in others.

    That’s why I think it can be useful to have someone to (in)validate insight.

    Also, validation of insight in the Harada-Yasutani (and, I’m virtually certain, Rinzai) tradition is anything but an endpoint; it’s more like a starting point—seeing the ox is, what, the third picture in the series. Greater and greater koans, as you say.

    So I do still think it has its place. There are a few fairly prominent Net characters who, I think, would have avoided painting themselves into a corner had this kind of practice been a part of their training. OTOH there are others who painted themselves into a corner even thought it was, so what do I know.

    • I’m not disagreeing with you Petteri on the situation regarding insights because obviously by writing this piece I have stated that shifts in perception are possible even though I can only provide the above anecdotal evidence. It’s all anecdotal anywhere you come across it because it is such a subjective experience. There is no objective empirical sort of measurement so that makes it a little hazy.

      That’s the point where I part ways, somewhat, with others in that verification of a subjective anecdotal experience. There we are relying on the interpretation of someone else’s experience of my experience for example. It’s a bit of an Escher staircase.

      That is not to say or to rule out in a gross fashion that others cannot ascertain whether someone “gets it” or not. I mean I roll my eyes every time I hear that “kill the ego” phrase or when some New Agers go on about Indigo Children and 2012 being the end of the world. It’s just such an obvious drama. And no doubt others roll their eyes at whatever obvious dramas I may present, I know I do when I recognize them in myself.

      But here we’re talking subtlety not gross delusion. And yes self-delusion is a huge possibility. At that point then one has to consider whether they are putting effort into supporting that viewpoint or not. If one has to distort things or ignore reality or deny some other part of their experience in order to prop up a perspective then the perspective is false. It takes a lot of work and cognitive distortion and discomfort to prop up a false perspective. The results of that show up in how an individual comports themselves. If they are not genuine with others, not sincere or honest in their dealings, if they are unreasonably, even rabidly, antagonistic towards those who question their viewpoint, unwilling to discuss matters towards reaching a resolution, if they are basically closed to anything but their own viewpoint then that is some kind of indicator. And especially if they gild it over with a bunch of “enlightened” religious talk. (I am thinking at the moment of some of that Integral stuff that responds to criticism by saying “No it’s your lack of development that causes you to criticize”)

      So again I’m agreeing that in some ways that can be deduced from words and deeds if one is looking for it, either in themselves or in others. And yes some people are better at it than others.

      It’s exactly the same thing with teachers and the reason why so many students get stuck or sucked in by bad teachers. Students lack of experience with themselves and others in this area as well as teachers either unconsciously or deliberately lying to themselves and others. And we even see allegedly “realized” teachers, with all the stamps and certificates and accolades rarely, if ever, bothering about correcting any of it.

      That’s where the issue of endpoint comes in. So many, including verified teachers, rest on that notion of having “made it” that it’s like they just drop dead in their practice because of it.

      I can’t help but bring in something I learned from martial arts. Lots of people think that once they have the black belt they’ve made it because they can teach. But when you learn from and listen to those who have gone to 6th or 7th level (Dan) black belt they liken the first level to be just the beginning, the basics. The 12th Dan is a very rare bird. That’s how I see Buddhist practice. And that’s how I think it’s meant to be seen which means I am agreeing with you again.

      It does have it’s place, this checking in as it were, especially where spirituality is some special category of experience usually reserved for an hour on Sunday (or some other day) and not part of every day life. That’s kind of another issue but it does influence my thinking on this somewhat.

      The Net characters…what can be said? In time their exposure to others will demonstrate their veracity or not. There’s always a tipping point where self-delusion (and other delusion) either intentional or not, falls. It may take a while, or even the occasional push from the outside, but the effort to sustain a castle in the sky is incredibly wearying.

      • Thanks for the clarifications, Marnie—it sounds like we’re in agreement after all.

        This Soto/Rinzai perspective thing is interesting, though. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone with a Soto background describe validation of kensho as a potential “endpoint;” however, the Rinzai or Harada-Yasutani people I’ve listened to or read always seem to describe it as a starting point. Even teachers, even talking about themselves, and in many cases at least I don’t think it’s false modesty.

        OTOH I think that many Rinzai or Harada-Yasutani people seem to miss what Suzuki Roshi meant by “getting wet in the fog;” there seems to be an assumption that shikan-taza is the same as dead sitting is the same as buji Zen. The Zennist takes this to a ridiculous extreme, for example.

        • This endpoint notion seems to be very common generally, not just a Soto thing. And I don’t even think it is necessarily a Soto thing, which AFAIK has a view of continuous practice regardless of milestones or depth of insight. I see such points simply as pivotal… a re-adjustment or re-orientation on the path…a turning moment (rather like the turning phrase in koan practice)…one that opens up a situation further.

          The endpoint idea is far more a popular culture thing than anything I’ve encountered in any form of Buddhism that I’ve either studied or am acquainted with. Even when I studied Pure Land Buddhism in Taiwan that Pure Land among the monks & nuns (not necessarily among the popular version of Pure Land where lots of people see it as a type of “heaven”) was not some endpoint. I recall discussions of how to live in the Pure Land, how to evince that in people’s lives, how to embody that…a Bodhisattva viewpoint that was endless.

          Just now I’ve read this on Twitter:

          “I’m not aware of any sci-studies, but no doubt, the brain needs time after ‘awakening’ to interpret the event & make new neuron connections.”

          (I have quibbles with the whole idea presented there but will save that for now)
          The point the person was making was about a gradual psycho-physical process but within that he marks this ‘awakening’ as somehow a single event…I don’t know beneath, within, between the psycho-physical??? So even when the process idea is adopted there is still this sticking point of a notion of a single event and perhaps some kind of psychological/neurological mop-up after said event. Seems to be a common viewpoint for many many people.

          One can sit shikan-taza like a sack of rice (that often snores) so I can see where that viewpoint could come from. When I read some accounts of meditation on some blogs for example it’s pretty clear that’s what’s going on. So involved with and protective of whatever is going on in the head that the dampness never penetrates. The umbrella mind maybe. No questioning of those mental doings, no awareness of any other senses except if legs get painful or something-like a gerbil running on a wheel faster & faster. Total self-fascination. Worrying about when the bell will ring or what tasks have to be done after that and so on…rather than just having the experience. I think that’s just a misunderstanding of what shikan-taza is. Lack of instruction, lack of knowledge, fear of the openness, fear of the sense of dissolution that the openness brings, fear of going crazy without something to hang onto…all that is presented in such a practice.

          And The Zennist, I just gotta luv him for his persistence. He explains the same thing 50K ways and doesn’t use the same word twice (and can still miss the point too). But I do find I agree with him about 25% of the time, though not about sitting. And he does have a sly sense of humor which I think a lot of people don’t detect.

  5. Slight correction—I wasn’t writing clearly: when I mentioned Soto people discussing kensho as an endpoint, I meant that they appear to mischaracterize the Rinzai approach in this way. I.e., Soto says Rinzai says that kensho is the goal, whereas in my experience Rinzai says no such thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s