Monday, January 02, 2006

It Is All in the Allowing, not the Physiology

What does it mean to allow? For me that question is the beginning and the end of practice. Nishijima Roshi goes on and on about balance of the autonomic nervous system. Physiological balance must be a vital part of what is allowed to happen in Zazen. But to focus too much on that, it seems to me, might be a kind of mistaking the finger for the moon. The essence of the practice is not in the physiology but in the allowing.

1 Comments:

Blogger MikeDoe said...

"What does it mean to allow?...Physiological balance must be a vital part of what is allowed to happen in Zazen. But to focus too much on that, it seems to me, might be a kind of mistaking the finger for the moon. The essence of the practice is not in the physiology but in the allowing."

As you now know you are mostly right. All I think Gudo Nishijima was trying to do was show that Zazen and Buddhism has a sound basis in reality. I think his grasp of science in his second(?) language was not unfortunately sufficiently precise to express this.

I have created a posting here that tries to explain more fully about the physiology of Zazen and what a 'natural' body state is.

None of this knowledge helps in the allowing. It is only an explanation of what is going on at a physiological level. It is not pointing at the moon, merely describing the colour of moondust. Ultimately it is pointless (no pun).

Monday, January 09, 2006  

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