March 11, 2014
ZEN is an invitation to go beyond human prejudice for pleasure over pain, winning over losing, joy over sadness. Within the context of compassion, ZEN is impartial, plays no favorites.
ZEN is a first step in seeing the finite universe from the perspective of the infinity from which it is born. The shark's teeth are created with the same care as the baby's eyelashes.
ZEN is an invitation to re-think the way we see the world, putting human sympathies into a balanced perspective.
Thankyou, John, for your thoughts. I like the way you say Zen is an invitation to rethink (or perhaps, re-experience) the way we see the world.
Compassion, though, is a tricky subject. I know for many years I had a problem with Buddhism (and possibly still do, with many Buddhists) with a sense that somehow compassion is not as important an aspect as it is, say, in Christianity. But there is much nuance in the whole idea of compassion in Buddhism - and Zen.
I agree with you that Zen is impartial in regards to compassion, but only if you are saying that it is impartial to the ''idea'', or ''concept'', or ''goal'' of compassion. But at the same time, the truth of Zen, the expression of it, is inseparable to the reality of compassion.
It is not so much that in Zen we aspire to compassion; rather, through Zen we break down the barriers that separate us from compassion. The word itself means, ''to suffer with''. It is the essence of our Boddhisattva Vow. Not an aspiration, but a recognition of the lack of intrinsic separation between us and other.
Take care, and again, thankyou for your thoughts.
Impartial compassion is not indifference.
"THE PATH" The path which is worn into the ground by my feet every morning in the spring summer and fall. The path ground by my feet into the grass and soil which is regulary manicured. The path, which leads to an organic vegetable garden where there is a bench where I sit and meditate weather permitting. To silence the mind and then garden, weeding, planting, trimming, raking, Then at the end watering. Whatever task is at hand which needs to be done that day if any. Reminding myself of my impermanence and thinking of the "unknowable" and accepting what I do not have answers for. Grateful for the chirping birds or crickets and all that is good peaceful and serene. Calmly and patiently awaiting the answers maybe perhaps someday. A Flower arrangement maybe picked? To bring in the home for others to enjoy. The happines of truth because happiness is the truth. When vegetables are finally available to be picked and eaten. A most satisfying and healthy salad meal. This is the heaven on Earth. Look no further "grasshopper" "To be like a duck in a lake when it is raining" ("bABYLoN joHN" John McArdle FACEBOOK [bowing humbly]