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Metafilter: Enlightenment Koan
One afternoon a student said "Roshi, I don't really understand what's going on. I mean, we sit in zazen and we gassho to each other and everything, and Felicia got enlightened when the bottom fell out of her water-bucket, and Todd got enlightened when you popped him one with your staff, and people work on koans and get enlightened, but I've been doing this for two years now, and the koans don't make any sense, and I don't feel enlightened at all! Can you just tell me what's going on?"

"Well you see," Roshi replied, "for most people, and especially for most educated people like you and I, what we perceive and experience is heavily mediated, through language and concepts that are deeply ingrained in our ways of thinking and feeling. Our objective here is to induce in ourselves and in each other a psychological state that involves the unmediated experience of the world, because we believe that that state has certain desirable properties. It's impossible in general to reach that state through any particular form or method, since forms and methods are themselves examples of the mediators that we are trying to avoid. So we employ a variety of ad hoc means, some linguistic like koans and some non-linguistic like zazen, in hopes that for any given student one or more of our methods will, in whatever way, engender the condition of non-mediated experience that is our goal. And since even thinking in terms of mediators and goals tends to reinforce our undesirable dependency on concepts, we actively discourage exactly this kind of analytical discourse."

And the student was enlightened.
zen  meditation  zazen  enlightenment  metafilter 
5 hours ago by migurski
Bishopsgate Institute - About the Library
Bishopsgate Institute is open to everyone. We operate a free public space for private study (the Library), and a Special Collections and Archives Researchers Area where our unique and nationally renowned collections can be consulted.

To find out more about our Special Collections and Archives, please see our collection pages and read the Accessing the Special Collections and Archives page.


As well as providing a space for independent, quiet study, our Library space is stocked with daily newspapers and current affairs periodicals and magazines. Personal devices and laptops can be used with our free WIFI access. Drinks are permitted in the Library, but food must be consumed elsewhere.

Both the Library and the Special Collections and Archives Researchers Area are wheelchair accessible. Assistance dogs are welcome.
library  London  zen 
5 weeks ago by mandarine
Bear Cam - live from Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park | Explore.org
TONS of soothing live cams from all over the world, lots of different animals
live_cams  calming  zen 
6 weeks ago by Aidara

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