Monday, June 26, 2006

Zen Dialectic

Master Dogen instructed:
Sit in the full lotus posture, bodily.
Sit in the full lotus posture, mentally.
Sit in the full lotus posture, dropping off body and mind.

The thesis is doing, a physical effort.
The anti-thesis is non-doing, a mental effort.
The synthesis is undoing, a spontaneous happening which, as such, can be investigated as an example of the second law of thermodynamics.

The thesis is intention.
The anti-thesis is intention.
The synthesis can truly be interpreted as “transcending having any kind of intenton.” But in that case, it must be clarified, at all costs, that transcendence and negation are totally different principles -- because, if there is even the slightest gap, heaven and earth are far apart.

Because Gudo Nishijima taught me to think like this, using dialectic, and seeking parallels between East and West, I repay the Master’s benevolence like this.

7 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

mike,
this has nothing to do with your post i'm just curious about something. what do you actually do to make a living? how do you earn money?
thanks

Monday, June 26, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Master Dogen instructed us:
Sit in the full lotus posture, bodily.
Sit in the full lotus posture, mentally.
Sit in the full lotus posture, dropping off body and mind.

Monday, June 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Still grooving on that Dogen! here's a riff from the Dhammapada)

There's no fire like passion,
no loss like anger,
no pain like the aggregates,
no ease other than peace.

Hunger: the foremost illness.
Fabrications: the foremost pain.
For one knowing this truth
as it actually is,
Unbinding
is the foremost ease.

Freedom from illness: the foremost good fortune.
Contentment: the foremost wealth.
Trust: the foremost kinship.
Unbinding: the foremost ease.

Monday, June 26, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Thank you, anonymous.

Monday, June 26, 2006  
Blogger danaparamita said...

Hi Mike. What do you make of this?

www.dharma.org/ij/archives/2002a/zazen.htm

Monday, June 26, 2006  
Blogger danaparamita said...

Hi Mike what do you make of this?

www.dharma.org/ij/archives/2002a/zazen.htm

Monday, June 26, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Good question, danaparamita.

Issho clearly knows that there is sitting with body that is different from sitting with mind. Issho is a Dharma-heir of Master Kosho Uchiyama, who was a Dharma-heir of Master Kodo Sawaki. So Issho knows what Kodo knew -- that there is sitting with the body that is different from sitting with the mind.

But does Issho know that there is sitting with the mind that is different from sitting with the body?

I do not know. It is an open question.

I know that Issho has investigated Alexander work -- although I have never met him in person, I have corresponded with him, and I revere him as a true seeker of the truth.

But has Issho truly appreciated Alexander work for what it is -- "the most mental thing there is" -- or has he only been able to understand it, so far, as another kind of bodywork, to do with gravity, anti-gravity, aligning this and releasing that?

It is an open question. I don't know.

For me, the true translation of Zazen is sitting-meditation. The sitting should not be dropped, and nor should the meditation.

If Issho says it is just physical sitting, not mental meditation, he should also understand the opposite viewpoint, that it is just mental meditation, not physical sitting.

Maybe Issho does know that. Without meeting him in person, I cannot be sure.

Monday, June 26, 2006  

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