PDA

View Full Version : Zen



Kendrah
October 12th, 2005, 12:36 PM
As a random curiousity, I was thinking about Zen this morning. I studied it a lot in my early days of paganism and am feeling a pull back towards the simple approach (I'm not sure if it's the Zen itself or if I'm searching for a bit of peace in my life.)

Well, as I was thinking, I remembered that a lot of people that have found their way into paganism have dabbled with Zen. And I'm kinda curious as to why. Is it that Zen is very compatible with witchcraft? Or that it's a less drastic path to try out when you leave christianity (as opposed to jumping into the witchcraft bandwagon.)

Any thoughts?

Paracelsus
October 12th, 2005, 03:34 PM
I sit zazen every day, but I wouldn't really consider it as a "spiritual" discipline - just a good way of being. Trying to see things the way that they really are just seems a sensible practice for any human being.

gurlygurl2004
October 12th, 2005, 11:49 PM
I've never tried it, but it sounds neat.

LadyCelt
October 13th, 2005, 12:41 PM
what religion is zen, shinto?

Kendrah
October 13th, 2005, 12:42 PM
Zen isn't shinto, though it is practiced in Japan. It's a form of buddhism.

wyrdmage
October 17th, 2005, 10:53 PM
Zen is such a great tool! Why don't more people use it in magic? I would definitely incorperate some Eastern Philosophy into my work. I also recommend a systematic approach as well.:blor:

Sev
October 18th, 2005, 06:27 AM
This thread kind of confuses me. Zen is to religion as a hammer is to a house; the hammer does not contain a house within it, but it can be used to build a better house.

Zen is, really, at its core, a statement of being, rightness of action, of being the moment you're being.

Kendrah
October 18th, 2005, 11:18 AM
This thread kind of confuses me. Zen is to religion as a hammer is to a house; the hammer does not contain a house within it, but it can be used to build a better house.

Zen is, really, at its core, a statement of being, rightness of action, of being the moment you're being.

Where did I say Zen was a religion? I asked if someone practiced Zen before moving onto witchcraft as a path. The word religion is no where in my post because I don't feel either Zen nor Witchcraft are religions. Please don't put words into my posts that aren't there.

crimsonhearts
October 18th, 2005, 11:25 AM
my b/f is ordained in Soto Zen, and I use it in my practice....but now am having some problems with it...
Zen is a belief about living in the moment....and finding your true nature.
I have done readings in my practice.....but thats not living in the moment...that is wanting and desiring the future....which is what zen is not.
I have to leave for work in a few minutes...but will respond more later...

Every thursday evenings we have zen meditation, and after that he does a zen talk....I have been participating for the past 2 1/2 years.
Now i'm still trying to find my way.....in which I'm getting it...slowly!
Until later this evening...have a great day!

crimsonhearts
October 18th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Zen is a great philosophy(how i explain it) and way to live. When life hits you hard, just breathe.......and take a step back...thinking ...I really don't know how this is going to transpire...so why fret?.
I have been in witchcraft for about 11 years, and when I was introduced to zen I really needed it. I had been going through major stress. It took me a while to get the whole idea. My parents had always made me feel guilty about my way of life....
Anyways.........what I was saying earlier....
Being a witch I have done spells...and readings with tarot. In studying zen, you live in the moment...spells are used to change , or enhance life..or a situation. So what do you do from that persective?
That has been one of my major problems using the two beliefs(if you will)
together. Any ideas or thoughts are welcome!

Pol
October 18th, 2005, 05:10 PM
I voted yes, though I was only just studying it and practicing a few breathing meditations.
It was Zen that lead me into Paganism, in the vein of 'If this is condemned as Evil, and is doing such good, what else might my religion be wrong about?'

MoonDragn
October 21st, 2005, 02:44 PM
Someone had to say it :

Living for the moment? That was Zen and this is now!

Richard Henry
November 27th, 2005, 02:50 PM
Someone had to say it :

Living for the moment? That was Zen and this is now!


Well done very good But that was so last moment

David19
April 1st, 2006, 11:14 AM
Does anyone know any good sites (or books) on Zen, like meditations, excercises, etc, as i'd like to learn more about it, and i've heard it does help in magic.

Thanks.

Cerulean_damselfly
April 3rd, 2006, 09:53 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen

You can scroll down to "External Links" and the Zenguide.com

Or "recommended reading":

http://www.zenguide.com/zenmedia/zen_buddhism_recommended_readings.cfm

Hope you find the specifics that you need.

Cerulean_damselfly

mtpathy
April 10th, 2006, 01:09 AM
Zen is such a wonderful study, So simple in it's nature
and yet so complicating when seen from outside its
experience.
In my opinion Zen is one of those kind of studies thats
best explored by the most basic of information,This information
will give you everything you need to explore it.
However if you come across obstacles theres many books that
can help you understand how to move beyound them.

Turning the Light Around and Tuning the Breath


This doctrine just requires single-minded practice. One does not need to seek experiential proof, but experiential proof comes of itself. On the whole, beginners suffer from two kinds of problems: oblivion and distraction. There is a device to get rid of them, which is simply to rest the mind on the breath.

The breath is one’s own mind; one’s own mind does the breathing. Once the mind stirs, then there is energy. Energy is basically an emanation of mind. Our thoughts are very rapid; a single random thought takes place in a moment. Inward breathing and outward breathing accompany each other like sound and echo. In a single day one breathes countless times and has countless random thoughts.


So should one have no thoughts? It is impossible to have no thoughts. Should one not breathe? It is impossible not to breathe. Nothing compares to making the affliction the medicine, which means to have mind and breath rest on each other. Therefore turning the breath should be included in turning the light around.

When you sit, lower your eyelids and then establish a point of reference. Now let go. But if you let go absolutely, you may not be able to simultaneously keep your mind on listening to your breathing. You should not allow your breathing to actually be audible; just listen to its soundlessness. Once there is sound, you are buoyed by the coarse and do not enter the fine. Then be patient and lighten up a little. The more you let go, the greater the subtlety; and the greater the subtlety, the deeper the quietude.

Eventually, even the subtle will be interrupted, and the true breathing will appear whereupon the substance of mind will become perceptible. This is because when the mind is subtle, breath is subtle; when mind is unified, it moves energy. When breath is subtle, mind is subtle; when energy is unified, it moves mind. Stabilization of mind must be preceded by development of energy, because the mind has no place to set to work on; so focus on energy is used as a starting point. This is what is called the preservation of pure energy.

Buddha said, “Place the mind on one point, and everything can be done.”

If the mind tends to run off, then unify it by means of the breath; if the breath tends to become rough, then use the mind to make it fine. If you do this, how can the mind fail to stabilize?

Generally speaking, the two afflictions of oblivion and distraction just require quieting practice to continue unbroken day after day until complete cessation and rest occur spontaneously. When you are not sitting quietly, you may be distracted without knowing it; but once you are aware of it, distraction itself becomes a mechanism for getting rid of distraction.

As for unaware oblivion and oblivion of which you become aware, there is an inconceivable distance between them. Unaware oblivion is real oblivion; oblivion that you notice is not completely oblivious. Clear light is in this.



Distraction means the spirit if racing; oblivion means the spirit is unclear. Distraction is easy to cure; oblivion is hard to heal. Using the metaphor of illness, one that involved pain or itch can be treated with medicine, but oblivion is a symptom of paralysis, where there is no feeling.

A distracted mind can be concentrated, and a confused mind can be set in order; but oblivion is unformed darkness, in contrast to distraction, which still has some direction.

Oblivion means the lower energies are in complete control, ruling in negativity and darkness. When you are sitting quietly, if you become drowsy, this is oblivion. Repelling oblivion is simply a matter of tuning the breath. The “breath” in this case is respiration, not the “true breathing.” Nevertheless the true breathing is present within it.



Whenever you sit, you should quiet the mind and unify your energy. How is the mind quieted? The mechanism is in the breathing, but the mind alone knows you are breathing out and in; do not let the ears hear. When you don’t hear it, the breathing is fine; and when breathing is fine, the mind is clear. If you can hear it, the breathing is rough, which means the mind is cloudy. Cloudiness means oblivion, so it is natural to feel sleepy. Even so, the mind should be kept on the breathing.

Just maintain a subtle looking and listening. What is “looking”? It is the light of the eyes spontaneously shining, the eyes only looking inward and not outward. Not looking outward yet being alert is inward looking; it is not that there really is such a thing as looking inward.

What is “listening”? It is the light of the ears spontaneously listening, the ears only listening inward and not outward. Not listening outward yet being alert is inward listening; it is not that there really is such a thing as listening inward.

Listening means listening to the soundless; looking means looking at the formless.



When the eyes do not look outside and the ear do not listen outside, they are closed in and have a tendency to race around inside. Only by looking inward and listening can you prevent this inner racing as well as oblivion in between.


When you sink into oblivion and become drowsy, get up and take a walk. When your spirit has cleared, sit again. It’s best to sit for a while in the early morning when you have free time. After noontime, when there are many things to do, it’s easy to fall into oblivion. Also there’s the need to fix the length of time of meditation; it is only essential to set aside all involvements and sit quietly for a while. Eventually you will attain absorption and not become oblivious or sleepy.

mtpathy
April 19th, 2006, 11:20 PM
Does anyone know any good sites (or books) on Zen, like meditations, excercises, etc, as i'd like to learn more about it, and i've heard it does help in magic.

Thanks.

If your wanting to approach zen,approach it from the perspective of no
assumtions, Don't think its going to do any thing for you, And simply let
it track its own path.
Begin with reading the book Being Zen:Ezra Bayda, when you have begun
understanding and working with the concepts in that book move too..
The Three Pillars of Zen: philip kapleau,quite advanced study,and goes
very deep into methodology and practices.
Surprisingly ive only had a intrest in zen for less then a year,but my whole
practice in paganism and sorcery "imo" has led me to it.

Shield_Wolf
April 20th, 2006, 09:28 PM
I still work with Zen, I think it's helping me relax when things get steresful.

mtpathy
April 21st, 2006, 04:30 PM
sit bout a foot facing the wall,your eyes slightly open, using lotus,half lotus
or indian style,with back straight head straight,and eyes slightly down,don't
focus your eyes,but dont intentionaly let your eyes go out of focus, just sort
of gaze passivley.If you have trouble with knees,legs,or back hurting during
sitting then get a cushion to sit on.

now focus on your breath,count 1 when you breath in,then count 2 when
you breath out,let your mind wonder,feel the emotions that your imagination
produces, "these are emotions,these are thoughts".

10 or 15 or 30 minutes, I tend to do these in 15 minute incroments

you should start feeling alot more settled and relaxed,and you should be clear
with your minds wonderings,you let it wonder.Now its time to place your
thoughts in line with your breath,You do this by making your imagination
follow your breath, "think along the lines of a train running on its track, how
can they not work together? Or a cloud slowly drifting across the sky,One
cannot exist without the other,As they both are the same thing.And both
are Mu.

By consistently practicing the two above methods,you'll eventually find
yourself in a state of intense focus,that focus dosen't seem to be coming
from inside or outside of you, And ive personally have had moments of getting
the two "inside and outside",confused with each other.
Now you sit without counting and without following breath with thought.

In this state i've personally had alot of odd experiences,Ive gotten the idea
of inside and outside confused,as well as ive have very intense clairvoyant
and clairaudient experiences,None of those are to be dwelled upon,they are
not the point of the practice and not worthy of breaking meditation for.

The part ive found to be the hardest,is attempting to keep myself within that
state for the whole day, Energy conjures through conflicting with it,Having
moments of anger then dwelling on those emotions is confliction.
having anger then aknowledging it as anger and not dwelling on it isn't
confliction.

Anyone else have any advice or experiences,that might help in keeping this
state throughout your daily life?

mtpathy
April 21st, 2006, 05:04 PM
Zen isn't shinto, though it is practiced in Japan. It's a form of buddhism.

depending on what form of Zen you follow,it might not even be that.

Garm
April 22nd, 2006, 10:59 PM
Being a witch I have done spells...and readings with tarot. In studying zen, you live in the moment...spells are used to change , or enhance life..or a situation. So what do you do from that persective?
That has been one of my major problems using the two beliefs(if you will)
together. Any ideas or thoughts are welcome!


The problem seems to run parallel to Crowley's dichotomy of magick and mysticism.

He conceived of the two as a nescesary polarity, a Yin-Yang with Magick being the active and Mysticism being the passive aspects.

mtpathy
April 24th, 2006, 05:02 PM
The problem seems to run parallel to Crowley's dichotomy of magick and mysticism.

He conceived of the two as a nescesary polarity, a Yin-Yang with Magick being the active and Mysticism being the passive aspects.


i honestly dont know how to comment on that without sounding like a
fortune cookie, in zen there is no duality or right and wrong, but that
non-duality is only experienced and expressed through finding and
existing within the various stages of self or bliss.
imo its rather like a faithful follower of the rede "in it harm none do what
thou wilt",although that law is very strict,by following it you become free
through it. But only through experiencing that freedom does the concept of
right and wrong,duality and non-duality cease to exist.
by existing within the moment,that is magick.
it isn't however casting magick,because in order to do that you have to
accept the idea of right and wrong,and duality.

Garm
April 24th, 2006, 11:15 PM
That's the paradox of magic, to project your will past the boundaries of self you have to negate those boundaries.

But once you do that there isn't any "you"
left to project the will.

Tricky problem, that

Cerulean_damselfly
July 5th, 2006, 01:35 AM
I don't know if this is helpful, but being able to practise a little bit on a new musical instrument or learning a new art form not only 'settles me,' but quenches and soothes.

Taking a small paint brush and practising letterforms or calligraphy sometimes works. Being able to know that a small time for art practise and focus helps me become settled.

I am similar to other people who can fall into a 'rote' feeling or perhaps a sense of staleness, I will vary the repetitive practises; sometimes it's bicycling, sometimes it's walking, sometimes it's drumming or brushwork. It can be scrubbing the bathtub clean or folding laundry as well...paying attention to a small task that takes some action can be a 'chop wood, carry water' kind of energy and focus practise...I hope that this is a helpful suggestion and I'm explaining myself clearly.

This site had interesting suggestions for musical zen practise and learning:

http://www.maui.net/~zen_gtr/lesson16.html


Best regards.

Cool Music Guy
October 6th, 2007, 02:21 PM
Here is a collection of Koans...

The Gateless Gate (http://www.ibiblio.org/zen/cgi-bin/koan-index.pl)

I have found many of them to be very helpful when I practice Zen meditation...


Enjoy...:spinnysmi

Cool Music Guy
October 6th, 2007, 02:54 PM
I don't know if this is helpful, but being able to practise a little bit on a new musical instrument or learning a new art form not only 'settles me,' but quenches and soothes.

Taking a small paint brush and practising letterforms or calligraphy sometimes works. Being able to know that a small time for art practise and focus helps me become settled.

I am similar to other people who can fall into a 'rote' feeling or perhaps a sense of staleness, I will vary the repetitive practises; sometimes it's bicycling, sometimes it's walking, sometimes it's drumming or brushwork. It can be scrubbing the bathtub clean or folding laundry as well...paying attention to a small task that takes some action can be a 'chop wood, carry water' kind of energy and focus practise...I hope that this is a helpful suggestion and I'm explaining myself clearly.

This site had interesting suggestions for musical zen practise and learning:

http://www.maui.net/~zen_gtr/lesson16.html


Best regards.


CD,

I read the link you provided, and I found this one passage to be particularly refreshing to my muses....




Preparation Before Each Session: Adjusting Your Mindset
Be aware of the instrument in front of you.
Does this instrument draw you to make a sound?


Whether you're a beginner or an advanced player, become open to a new way of making your sound.
The drum is now new to you whether you've never played it or you've been playing it for many years.





I am a professional composer/musician and have been playing musical instruments for almost thirty years now.
I am highly proficient on at least a dozen instruments. The above passage was fresh nectar for my creative flow,
especially the highlighted words in yellow. Thanks for sharing with us...:ringaroun

mtpathy
December 14th, 2007, 04:19 AM
i can pretty well be considered a zazen practitioner nowdays, i very rarely ever
practice magick anymore, and when i get that twinge to cast a spell i can usually
find more reason not to then reasons to.
the practice of zazen; to monitor your thought, disassociate yourself from them
then constantly but gently place yourself back into the moment is magick, nothing
more is necessary.
im actually the opposite, i didnt start through zen,then work into paganism, i actually
worked into mystical studies and eventually settled/found zen.
salutations

Thyrsos
May 24th, 2008, 03:36 AM
Zen gives the clarity, discipline and control that is the essence of all Magic.

punxzen
May 24th, 2008, 03:49 AM
Zen gives the clarity, discipline and control that is the essence of all Magic.

So does Zen ask for anything in return? A backrub or foot massage maybe? Human sacrifice? Some good ole :fpraise:?

Thyrsos
May 25th, 2008, 10:21 PM
I believe that learning zen is absolutely crucial to all human spiritual develpment. This poem, written by the Thrid Century Zen Patriarch, is the best explanation of the zen state that I have ever heard. I believe it to be so essential that I have committed it to memory.

If you are open to it, just reading it will attune you to a zen state. I cannont recommend this highly enough:

http://home.att.net/~paul.dowling/archive/zen/hsin.htm