Tag Archives: The Zennist

Dignāga and Anātman

For the Buddhist segment in our series we need to turn to the general father of Buddhist epistemology, and additionally the doctrine of the No-Soul (Self). Dignāga (480-540 CE) was a profound Buddhist scholar and logistician and elucidates in his epistemology that there are essentially only two ‘instruments of knowledge’ or ‘valid cognitions’ (pramāṇa); “perception” or “sensation” (pratyaksa) and “inference” or “reasoning” (anumāṇa). In his magnum opus, the Pramāṇa-samuccaya, he writes: read more

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The Udāna and Covid 19

In these unprecedented times I shall remember these days as my Udāna period here at Unborn Mind Zen. With this new rendition of the suttas written in Light of the Unborn and accompanied with exegesis the ever-present and dominant backdrop has been the lingering presence of Covid 19. I live in upstate NY, pretty close to ground zero in NYC. The death tallies just keep adding up and up, hopefully there will be a peak shortly. But returning to anything resembling normalcy just isn’t in the cards any time soon. The economy has been destroyed, and millions are out of work—quickly to surpass Depression-Era statistics. Social distancing has become the new norm. I used to write many blogs encouraging solitude and aloneness but this present period out-trumps them all. It all started in early March when the Zennist informed us on his blog that he has suffered a debilitating stroke—we wish him well and recovery soon—but it was just a black omen of what has been befalling us since. I pray for the safety and well-being of everyone—we’re all in the same boat together on this one. Despite the doom and gloom we still need to take heart. This horror-show will one day subside, the enemy will be defeated, and it will all become a tragic memory indelibly etched in our collective-consciousness. read more

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A Darkness Visible

Milton’s striking metaphor in Paradise Lost, the oxymoron Darkness Visible, is unparalleled in referring light (lumen) itself to something like a hellish tomb of veritable blackness. Robert J. Edgeworth in his essay entitled, Milton’s ‘Darkness Visible’ and ‘Aeneid’ 7, writes: read more

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Like an Ethereal Flower

[* It needs to be stated at the outset that the Sagathakam as translated by Suzuki oftentimes just stated “Chapter/Verse”, in which the reader was forced to go back into the main text to discover the full verses. What follows for this series is taken from the Complete Lanka and Discussion which can be found in our library. At the time in 2002, each chapter of the Lanka had to be copied down in its entirety since no such translation of Suzuki’s Lanka was available on the net. I copied the main body of the text, while the Sagathakam was copied by two other students at the time from Tozen’s Zen School of the Unborn Mind, courtesy of Orphea and Atimaya who copied the actual chapter and verse without the reader having to backtrack time and time again into the text. Their efforts are to be commended.] read more

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Ekacitta: Advanced Studies in Dark Zen

The idea for this series occurred to me when contemplating one on George Grimm and his notion of “Self”. Then it struck me how someone in particular has thoroughly broken-down Grimm’s formulations on the matter, that someone being “The Zennist.” In point of fact, the Zennist’s foremost expertise on this can be considered as second to none as he is one of the most advanced, contemporary-sages when it comes to Ekacitta, or the One, Absolute Mind/Spirit. The Zennist’s long familiarity and vivacious acumen within the field of Zen Mysticism is vastly underrated when compared to more Western materialistically-bent and spiritually-myopic (purportedly Buddhist) “celebrities” whose focus is exclusively upon psychophysical components at the expense of the Transcendent. As the Zennist writes, “It almost goes without saying, but without the transcendent, there can be no mystical experience. Furthermore, without the transcendent, neither can there be genuine salvation and, hence, no actual deliverance from suffering.” He goes on to say that for those who hold fast to today’s fashionable notions of Zen, the “mystic” element is indeed an “inconvenient truth.” As a result, these incorrigible personages have downplayed the Zennist’s principles and teachings over the years, in particular during his “Dark Zen” days. Truth be told, they never took the time to digest the teachings, which even now speaks volumes. His Dark Zen Manual can be found in our library and one is encouraged to read and study it. It also needs to be underscored that since the inception of his blog, roughly circa 2007, the Zennist’s teachings have proven to be even more insightful and I for one have been studiously attentive to them over the years. This series will certainly expound upon the Zennist’s notions of Self, but also upon his profound insights into Zen Mysticism as a whole—including even some prevalent (and timely) sociological insights. We will survey the spectrum from Self, to authentic Zen- meditation, to his relationship and mystical encounters with “the kalyana-mitra (or virtuous spiritual friend)”. read more

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A Shamanistic Dimension

Just finished reading the Zennist’s post entitled Restoring our spiritual senses. It evokes a shamanistic-dimension to destabilize our “despiritualized culture.” Reading this for me was one of those synchronistic moments as my blog from this past summer, Notes from the Iron Stupa , had as its salient theme a Shamanistic-Dimension. As the Zennist states it may indeed take a “modern form of shamanism” accompanied with “spiritual artifacts” that include special forms of incense and ritualized techniques to help remedy the despiritualized material malaise. If one were to read from the blog category here, The Divine Liturgy of Vajrasattva, then one would be privy to a mystically-charged form of Spiritual Liturgy that I conduct alone once a week—accompanied with my monk’s robe and the ritual tools required. From reading the “About Us” tab above I have now totally devoted my life like a spiritual anchorite “choosing to withdraw from the mundane affairs of samsara in order to devote myself to lead a life of intense meditation/contemplation and dharma-study in Light of the Buddhadharma.” The very creation of this website was done in the spirit of creating an online-monastery, where one is free to withdraw for a while from the hustle and bustle and just savor the sweetness of the Buddhadharma.  It has become obvious to me for many years now that the monastic-hermetic route is a viable option in today’s increasingly dharma-ending age. read more

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Elements of Right Observance

ii.32 Observances that set spirit free

2.32 Elements of Right Observance.

Spiritual Contentment
Ascetic Discipline
Spiritual Reading
Devotion to the Lord of Yoga read more

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Mind Mastery

i.40-47 The Refinements leading to Perfection

1.40 Mastery of Mind extends from the smallest particle to the infinite vastness of the Cosmos. read more

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The Dharma-Wizards of Oz: Bardo 1, Part 2

The mystical waters of my life flow deep, both internally and externally. Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680), the “Native American” woman—affectionately known in my neck of the woods as the Lily of the Mohawks, lived just 4 miles from my home. She will be canonized as a Saint this coming October. This area in which she lived, along with the North American Martyrs, is considered to be very sacred. The Shrine of the North American Martyrs, with its massive “Coliseum” and adjoining grounds, has always been a place of spiritual refuge and comfort. There are accounts by many who have experienced a strange and glowing “blue-flame-light” appearing at dusk, gently hovering through the deep ravine that contains the remains of the martyrs. Along with Kateri, Hildegard of Bingen—the 12th century Rhineland, Abbess, musician-composer and visionary Mystic—was recognized formally as a Saint earlier this year by Pope Benedict XVI and will be declared a “Doctor of the Church” this coming October; this will be an honorary title she will share with such Saints like John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila—the great Carmelite Mystics. Over the years I have sensed Kateri’s presence while contemplating and walking through those sacred grounds in Auriesville and have also experienced some mystic revelations while meditating along with Hildegard’s rich and vibrant polyphonic music. read more

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