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Bullshitting about Enlightenment - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Jan. 8th, 2004

12:45 pm - Bullshitting about Enlightenment

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I'm enjoying spouting my random thoughts about Enlightenment (and the fallacy of suicide as a solution to "the problem of ego") over in soulsong's journal.

The Zen notion of enlightenment is a topic I find myself talking about a lot. It's fun to talk about. It's certainly something I've spent a lot of time reading and thinking about (I've been drawn to Zen since 8th grade, really, and have been studying it informally ever since).

I'll never make a decent practitioner (and don't really have designs to practice anyway, still too much of an atheist to go for the organized thing, no matter how compelling it is) because I'm so obsessed with thinking about it instead of just doing it. They say the more you think about enlightenment, the further you are from it.

But I do think my study of Zen has helped me structure a lot of my ideas about the world and my place in the world and has given me a lot of appreciation for simple mindful action. That's all I could possibly ask of any philosophy, really. Also, a rich topic set to bullshit online about is nice too.

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From:zarfmouse
Date:January 8th, 2004 11:16 am (UTC)
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Oh I know. I've read a lot of that kind of stuff. But I'd still feel like giggling in the meditation hall. And I've read enough about it that I'd feel like a new age poser if I didn't do it in a meditation hall under a master (given that the whole mind-to-mind transmission thing is the only really fundamental part of Zen).

So I pretend I know what I'm doing sometimes but I'm not going to call myself a Zen practitioner. I'll just call myself "that atheist who meditates and reads about Zen". I'm happy with that.

Sometime I might go to the local Zen center for the experience (so early!), but I'll never be able to have true faith so I'll always giggle a little on the inside and I won't get very far.
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From:boannan
Date:January 8th, 2004 11:28 am (UTC)
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I think giggling silently in the meditation hall might be right on the money.

I can recommend (what a weird word to use for this kind of thing) the local Zen center -- I sat there on and off for a year. Different kinds of meditation than the type they practice work better for me, but it gives you good "being still" training (which you may not need).
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From:zarfmouse
Date:January 8th, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC)
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The crazy thing is that I THINK there are actually two local zen centers. One might just be a group that meets at the Y though.
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From:boannan
Date:January 8th, 2004 01:28 pm (UTC)
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the one I was at (Prairie Zen Center) had a zendo and a teacher. I think those folks did mention something about another group that met regularly, but didn't have a permanent location.
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