Monday, January 23, 2006

Just Wake Up, Again

In Master Dogen's original instructions for Zazen that he wrote just after coming back from China, he teaches: When something arises in the mind, just wake up; just become conscious.

What does it mean to wake up? What does it mean to become conscious?

It means, in my understanding and my real experience, to allow one's body to liberate itself from unconsciousness.

An unconscious person cannot make themselves more conscious by controlling themselves with their unconsciousness. We cannot cause ourselves to become conscious by adjusting our posture unconsciously this way and that; we become conscious by the indirect means of allowing.

We realize consciousness in Zazen by stopping our unconscious habitual postural activity and allowing something else to happen.


Are there any other teachers in Master Dogen's lineage, other than Pierre Turlur and myself, who are clear in the understanding of the above? If you know of any, please let me know about it. I would like to join forces with them and establish a totally new movement. As a provisional name for this new movement, I tentatively propose: True Buddhism.

10 Comments:

Blogger Michael Tait said...

I was mistaken to equate the ineffable with 'what we are not conscious of.' There is 'some state' that emerges from context to foreground in zazen but it flows into consciousness, blooms in consciousness and ebbs into consciousness. It is indeed an aspect of consciousness. It is manifest in zazen, maintained through the practise of zazen and by extension, maintained-by and nourishing-of the activity of zazen in our lives referred to as the middle way. I emphasise this point for anyone I have misled and prostrate to Mike Cross for his direction in this.

Monday, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Michael Tait said...

To further clarify, the ineffable may in fact be equated with consciousness itself. Terminology here becomes difficult however. If we refer to consciousness as its 'inclusive' expression, as the state of zazen - synthesizing opposites, resolving extremes to manifest one 'subjectobjectentityexperience' then the divided, reactive form we more usually refer to as consciousness is the aspect, not the ineffable, which is the whole.

Monday, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

FW,Thank you.

I am not worthy to receive your prostration. If any right direction has come to you through me, it has been not thanks to Mike Cross but thanks to FM Alexander and in spite of Mike Cross.

Monday, January 23, 2006  
Blogger MikeDoe said...

[Sorry Mike, I need to do this here]

FW:
I have been trying to contact you but I think your dog died.

I'd like to reassure you that I am perfectly OK. [I believe] No harm was done (at least to me). I think you pointed me in the right direction and I made my own choices based on that, I'm a grown man. My choices and the consequences are always my own.

I am quite happy with where I am now. Wherever I am needs no name and needs no maintenance. I will call it merely being alive. That is the one term with the least number of connotations. I'm not going to reccommend anyone else do what I did.

It looks like we have both learnt something from this experience.

I wish both you and Mike well.

(I still exist on hotmail.co.uk)

Monday, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Friend said...

What does it mean to wake up?

Great question!

Now... how is it answered?

Monday, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Addenda,

Now. I pay attention.

I notice that as I sit here on a swivel chair, my legs are in their familiar macho orientation, pushing away from each other. It a pattern that many men tend to cultivate unconsciously; it is a pattern I cultivated strongly in the martial arts and it is my habitual orientation in Zazen. It is the way I sit as the guy who knows. I notice it.

And what do I do about it? Nothing. I decide not to do anything about it, but to accept it and to acknowledge the possibility of another way of being, a less unconscious but more unknowing way of being. A more open condition which cannot be produced, which cannot be realized through adjustment or manipulation, but which can be allowed.

Not to do, but to allow. Now.

Monday, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Friend said...

And then should one keep on noticing/accepting/allowing whatever stimulus/action presents itself?

Monday, January 23, 2006  
Blogger goofball said...

"Are there any other teachers in Master Dogen's lineage, other than Pierre Turlur and myself, who are clear in the understanding of the above? If you know of any, please let me know about it. I would like to join forces with them and establish a totally new movement. As a provisional name for this new movement, I tentatively propose: True Buddhism."

Wow, so now you and Pierre are teachers in Dogens linage. I thought you had not recieved permission to teach from Nishijima, and I thought Nishijima was your only link to Dogens linage.

Is there some other true teacher in Dogens linage who has confirmed your understanding and given you permission to teach? Or is Nishijima, who has written that your not even teaching Buddism at all, your only link to Dogens linage?

So, unless theres some other Soto teacher I don't know about, your only real link to Dogens linage, Nishijima, wrote: "After having begun my blog, my student called Mike Cross expressed his opinion, which is completely different from Gautama Buddha's teachings. The reason, why I do not answer his opinion recently at all, comes from that even though I expressed my Buddhist opinions to him for more than 10 years at least, his opinion was always an one-sided idea, which is based on the theory of Alexander Techinic, and so I have stopped almost all discussions with him."

I don't think you can really be honest if you say you are a teacher in Dogens linage and you have never got permission to teach from someone who is really in Dogens linage. No wonder you want other teachers to "join up" with you in a seperate "movement". You need their credibility.

Monday, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Addenda,

Master Dogen's original instruction is: "When something arises in the mind, just wake up. Wake up to it and it will vanish. Forget involvements forever, and naturally become one piece. This is the essential technique of Zazen."

Later he revised this as follows:
"Think the state of not thinking. How can the state of not thinking be thought? It is different from thinking. This is the essential technique of Zazen."

(See my Fukan-zazengi blog)

These are not two instructions, but two attempts to express one essential skill (let us call it "allowing") that can't adequately be expressed in words.

Our intention is to liberate the body from unconsciousness. This is a conscious intention. It is realized not by doing, but by allowing. What can eventually follow from this effort (not an effort of doing but an effort of allowing) is a more open, balanced, integrated condition of being.

Master Dogen calls this condition the samadhi of accepting and using the self. This samadhi itself is something far beyond our conscious intention, or far prior to our conscious intention--it is our innate, original, natural condition.

Samadhi is our natural condition. But it is not our habitual condition. So we need to establish a conscious intention to enjoy it.

In those rare moment when we are just enjoying it, we just keep on enjoying it -- "being caught by the stillness."

My answer is not adequate. But keep on asking the question.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006  
Blogger Friend said...

good enough for me

gassho amigo

Tuesday, January 24, 2006  

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