Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Zen and Silence

People, a humble request, please try to read it completly, don't stop because you are getting bored, Zen is a very beautiful concept, just try to give it a complete read.

Part 1 - Zen and Zen fundamentals
The concept of Zen is a middle path between Buddha and Lao Tzu. It is a culmination, a transcedence, both of the indian genius and Chinese genius. It is merged in such a fashion that it is not possible to seperate them both, it is not possible to say one from the other. So Zen is neither Buddhist nor Taoist and yet both.

First, Zen is not a theology, it is a religion. All other religion's around the world have theologies, all are God-centric, their ultimate goal is God. In case of Zen, it is man-centric, man is the goal, man is the end. God is something hidden within man. Zen says that God is not extrinsic to religion, it is intrinsic. It is not there, it is here. In fact there is "no" there for Zen, all is here. There is no other space, no other time, This moment is all. In this moment the whole existence
converges, in this moment all is available. If u cannot see it, doesn't mean it is not available - it simply means you don't have the vision to see it. God has not to be searched for, you have to only open your eyes. According to Zen, there is no God sitting somewhere in heavens and controlling life and existence. There is no controller. Life is moving in harmony and in its own accord. Man is responsible for himself and the world he lives in. If there is suffering, you are responsible; there is nobody else to look to. You cannot throw your responsibility. If the
world is ugly and in pain, we are responsible for it, there is nobody else. You have to take hold of your life, you have to take the reins in your own hands. You have to be more alert and more aware because for whatsoever is going to happen, you will be responsible. This gives great responsibility. One learns to become more watchful.

Zen says there is no beyond, the beyond is within you, there is no beyond beyond you. So the question is not to raise your eyes and pray - but meditate. You have to become quiet and silent and go withinward to find your center. That very center is the center of existence too. When u have come to your innermost core you have come to the innermost core of existence itself. That's what is God in Zen.

Zen says everything is divine, so how can anything be special ? All is special, Nothing is non special, so nothing can be special ;). According to Zen, everything is holy, Zen bringes holiness to ordinary life. Zen is non-conceptual, non intellectual. It is the only religion in the world that preaches immediacy, moment to moment immediacy - to be present in the moment;
no past, no future.

Zen says: Be empty. Look without any ideas. Look into the nature of things, but with no idea, with no prejudice, with no presupposition. Don't be preoccupied. If you have an idea, there is a possibility that u will find it in reality - because mind is very creative. If you want something badly you will see that thing, but that thing will be only your imagination. Zen says drop all your imagination, Unburden yourself. So Zen is simple, and yet very difficult. Simple because as far as Zen is concerned - it is the most simple thing, the most spontaneous - but because our mind is cluttered with so many ideas - it becomes difficult.

The second fundamental: Zen is not a philosphy it is a poetry. It does not propose, it persuades. It doesnot argue, it simply sings its own song. It is aesthetic to the very core, it is not ascetic. Zen is concerned with the beauty. Zen seaker looks into reality to find the beautiful, in the songs of the birds, in the trees, in the dance of the peacock, in the clouds, in the lightning, in the sea, in the sands. It tries to look for the beautiful. Hence Zen is passive - that's why in Zen sitting
became one of the most important meditation. Just sitting - zazen. Zen says that if you simply sit doing nothing, things will happen. Things will happen on their own; you need not go after them, you need not seek them, you need not search them. They will come. You simply sit. If you can sit silently, if you can fall into tremendous restfulness, if you can relax yourself,
if you can drop all tensions and become a silent pool of energy, going nowhere, searching nothing, God starts pouring into you. From everywhere God rushes towards you. Just sitting, doing nothing, the spring comes and grass grows itself. And when Zen says just sitting, it means just sitting, nothing else, not even a mantra. If you are repeating a mantra you are not just sitting, you are again going into a cycle, again into some mind thing. If you are not doing anything whatsoever, Thoughts are coming, coming; they are going, going - if they come, good; if they don't come, good. You are not concerned with what is happening, you are just simply sitting there. If you feel tired, you lie down. If you feel your legs getting tense, you spread them. You remain natural, not even watching, not making any effort of any kind. Just sit.....

The third fundamental: Zen is not science but magic. Not magic of magicians, it is a magic as a way to look into life. Science tries to discover, tries to reveal the mystery. Zen tries to retain the mystery. Zen believes that they mystery of life is not to be solved, it cannot be solved, it has to be lived. One has to move into it, cherish it, relish it and live it. Life has to be celebrated. Zen is the magic, it gives the key to open the miraculous and that miraculous is in you and the key is also in you.

And the last fundamental: Zen is not morality, it is aesthetics. It does not impose any code of morality; it does not give you any commandments. It simply makes you more sensitive towards the beautiful and that very sensitivity becomes your morality. It arises out of you, out of your consciousness. Zen does not give you any conscience as against your consciousness; it gives you more consciousness and your consciousness becomes your conscience. It comes from your innermost core. And when it comes from there, it is not that you are doing it as a duty, reluctantly. You enjoy doing it. It becomes your love.

From the book: Zen the path to Paradox.


Blogger kitchenette soul said...

Zen is something wonderful, yet exquisitely simple. A techniqueless technique. A path which states The Truth is simply being in the present all the time every time. Looking forward to more

4:29 PM  
Blogger Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

Cool...Got to know something about Zen. I think if a religion has to get caught with public, it has to be God centered. I guess this is why Zen has not caught that much popularity like Chritianity, Hinduism or Islam. People need support and they are afraid to stick on to a religion that doesn't offer them a stick in the name of God. Probably, this explains why Buddhism is not that popular in India and philosophers like Jiddu are not as popular as Swamijis.
Please note that I am not telling anything against Zen. It is a beautiful religion as I see it. I am just trying to see why it is not that popular.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Aatma - Wonderful article my dear friend.

10:01 PM  
Blogger kavitha said...

"Science tries to discover, tries to reveal the mystery. Zen tries to retain the mystery. Zen believes that the mystery of life is not to be solved, it cannot be solved, it has to be lived."

awesome, simply awesome. I wonder how many see it this way!

1:42 AM  
Blogger Aatma said...

Thanks everyone, it helps a person to write more, when he knows there are people to read it.

kasturi, that is the whole idea behind, Zen doesn't want to be God Centric, because it believes that people will follow it for the wrong reason. And not that it doesnot believe in God, but the definition is completely different.
Zen is only for people who want to find their self, it only wants followers who understand that they are responsibile for everything.

Thanks Kitchenette Soul, Arjuna and Kavitha.

11:31 AM  
Blogger chutneypopcorn said...

Zen is a pure comedy. They have a nice humor about things. For example:

A basketball player asked a zen monk, "What is the time?" The zen monk replied "You mean now?"

I once asked a Zen master. "Do you beleive in GOD" and she said. "If you beleive in GOD u are stupid" My jaws droped. She continued to say" If u don't beleive in GOD u are equally stupid. All you can do is expereince it"

A famous saying in Zen is "Pointing the moon". When you point the moon to children they will start looking at the finger rather that the moon. Due to technology and the world so much closer people have come to see the irony of theologies. Zen doesnot replace their faith. Many zen practioners are christians and other religions. Zen becomes a catalyst...

Om Tat Sat

3:03 PM  
Blogger Swahilya said...

There is Zen in Silence
There is Zen in one Word
There is Zen in a Sentence
There is Zen in a Book
There is Zen between the lines
There is Zen in the Space between Words.
It is all Just Zen.

12:28 AM  
Blogger chutneypopcorn said...

"Its all Just Zen"

I like that very much, sounds so much like "Sarvam Krishnarpanam" and "Om Tat Sat"

Thanx Swahilya

2:17 AM  

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