Saturday, January 21, 2006

Not Opium for the Masses

Not to do, but to allow,
And thus, just by sitting,
To wake up.
This is Buddhism.

Master Dogen wrote that the act of sitting is the Buddha-Dharma and the Buddha-Dharma is the act of sitting.

Buddhism is just the act of sitting in the lotus posture, and the fundamental unit of sitting in the lotus posture is THE INDIVIDUAL.

A group of people can sit together, each one in the full lotus posture. But the full lotus posture itself is inherently a matter for one individual. When I cross my legs to sit in the lotus posture, there isn't room in there for anyone else's legs. When the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree, there wasn't room in the Buddha's full lotus posture for anyone else to put their legs in.

Albert Einstein, quoted in the blog of Oxeye, said:

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.

Einstein saw what kind of religion might cope with modern scientific needs. Whether or not Einstein truly knew Buddhism, however, is another matter.

18 Comments:

Blogger NickM said...

can a person with no legs not practice buddhism?

Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Dan said...

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Dan said...

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Dan said...

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Dan said...

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Dan said...

jesus h christ. i'm nihilistic? fair enough. allow u then.

Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Dear Dan,

My students are not many but they are all of excellent makings--hand-picked and hand-made, not mass-produced.

I don't accept any old nihilistic bum as a student. I am sorry if that there is anything in this blog that led you to assume otherwise.

Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger dogen said...

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

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Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

To answer the question of nickm:

If a person asks me to teach them what I have understood of Gautama Buddha's teaching, and if that person is sincerely motivated by belief in the truth of Gautama Buddha's enlightenment (not as an ideal but as a real historical fact), then I would hope to do my utmost to teach that person, regardless of how many legs that person has got.

Pierre Turlur is clearly a person of such true motivation, but other examples are very few.

People who visit this blog who have no will to the truth, even if they have their own two legs, are just a pain in the backside to me.

But if I react blindly to the stimulus of their comments, the fault is not with the stimulus; the fault is with me in failing to stop off at source my blind reactions. The fault is with me for following my unconscious bad habits, and for failing to allow something else.

Saturday, January 21, 2006  
Blogger oxeye said...

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Sunday, January 22, 2006  
Blogger oxeye said...

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Sunday, January 22, 2006  
Blogger oxeye said...

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Sunday, January 22, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

My predicament is your predicament, oxeye, and yours is mine. We are all slaves, in varying degree, to emotional attachments and emotional reactions. The solution lies not in sage advice delivered over the internet, but in the state of stillness without fixity which is the true criterion of the Buddhist transmission.

In 1997 Gudo Nishijima took the view that I was out to undermine the Shobogenzo translation by infiltrating it with Alexander theory. Together with Michael Luetchford and others at Windbell, he took the decision to break the fundamental rule of our translation partnership and make some changes to Book 3 unilaterally, without consulting me. I perceived this as a total betrayal, and I have been reacting to that perception for more than ten years--notwithstanding the advice of friends that I should "move on."

More recently, Brad Warner, who is my junior by many years, who was not around during the many years of hardship that I endured in Japan for the Shobogenzo translation, mocked and insulted me on his blog, calling me "a prick," and I reacted to that.

It is only our blind reactions that cause our predicament.

When we come back to stillness in Zazen, there is no predicament.

Sunday, January 22, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Errata:
Nearly ten years, not quite ten years yet.

Sunday, January 22, 2006  

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