Posts by: won il


Synergy One

Export to PDF | Export to DOC We’re at a unique place where we’ve outlived the significance of many of the religious images. These days a lot of my contemporaries view them as mythology/Jungian archetypes. Are they any more relevant?   I just read an interesting article by neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga. He cites  studies  done over many years with lobotomy patients.  “… a series of experiments with split-brain patients that would change our understanding of the human brain forever… the two halves of the brain experience the world quite differently.” One of the tests, an image was shown to a patient and they were asked what they saw. When isolated, the left side of the brain could describe the image, but the right side remained silent. It had no ability to communicate. But if you showed the patient the image, or something related to it, the patient could point to it.  “… through analysis and examination of all kinds of neurologic cases, you realized there are consciousnesses all over the brain!” We think of ourselves as one but actually we are two separate entities. One of the interesting points in the article, a monkey’s brain has only one consciousness. We’re the only ones with multiple. What caused our split from the three tribes of guerrillas in Africa 60,000 years ago? Were we an anomaly?   This is something we’ve been grappling with for our entire history, something Zen is acutely focused on resolving: the unity of two hemispheres, clarifying, magnifying, bridging, building infrastructure; awakening events that completely change the relation between self and other; stepping out of the dream, resolving duality, becoming one. Many of the Zen phrases point to this: to attain One Mind, moment to moment, just do it, only go straight; not one, not two — to attain the...

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Neo Surangama Five

Export to PDF | Export to DOC Ananda continued, “How can the sense organs cause me to transmigrate in samsara and be happy in absolute nirvana?” “Bondage and liberation are not two different things.” Ananda was still unsatisfied. The Buddha looked at him, probably smiled for half a second, then called to the audience. “I want to ask you, bodhisattvas and arhats who have practice my Dharma, by what method did you enter the state of samadhi?” Twenty-five rose to give testimonies, ending with Avalokitesvara, who’d used sound to penetrate through. This was determined the most appropriate method by “all the Buddhas in the world,” in a gatha sung by Manjusri under “uncountable rays of light interlaced in precious nets, where showers of green, yellow, red, and white lotus blossoms turned the whole of space into a seven-colored expanse and caused mountains, rivers, and the great earth to disappear…” …the light was blinding. It seemed to emanate from all points at once. From the ringing void, a sound arose.. I thought at first it was an entity from the Akanistha realm, but no, no… It was Ananda, Ananda as a disembodied voice arising, again. “If the Buddha’s substance were real, how could there be… hells… hungry ghosts… self-existing or… are these hells really somewhere?” The Buddha’s voice, like the peal and rumble of thunder… it continued for some time… unfortunately the mojo wire began acting strangely, many words lost to its analog circuitry, the chirping wires vibrating in and out of phase, sometimes here, sometimes there. In the moaning silence an eruption of words: “Destroy the Buddha seed… the excellent roots… the steeling of mind… against the holy current… the annihilation of all things… the taint of desire… generative fluid… the willing sacrifice of even one’s own life… the...

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Neo Surangama Four

Export to PDF | Export to DOC The Buddha told Ananda, “Bodhi and Nirvana are still very far away and cannot be attained without eons of practice and experience.” Though Ananda was known for his wide knowledge of the Dharma, he was, “unable to avoid the pit into which Mantagi fell.” The difference between knowledge and practice, Ananda was “rescued by the Surangama mantra, which caused the woman to extinguish the fire of lust completely.” If you want to learn the drum, you have to sell your soul to the devil. That’s the important part. Mantagi made a clean break of it, no question. I began to develop some affection for her. She would understand me. She’d suffered, lived, to the point of a break. A great upheaval is required before we’re able to defy the Gods and cut the cord. The teaching has two aspects: the discipline, the putting down; dispersing the entity, and the complex mature way of living in accord with the One. To walk freely on this earth, a great press through countless obstacles, requires the greater self. That all lines return to the One, desire is a good, strong line. The main point of the Surangama is to help Ananda reach samadhi, or deep state meditation. For this, scientific theory and religion are unnecessary. There’s a poetry, a beauty to the text that has its own use, but for the world we inhabit… today’s science is flowering in all directions. It’s much more immediate, accurate, more real than the old book of magik. We don’t need it anymore. Attempting to fit the modern world into an outdated system… it was predicted that the Surangama would be the first to fall. The path alone. To this end, developing a deep practice was as crucial for...

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Neo Surangama Three

Export to PDF | Export to DOC The Surangama is a tangled pull through many forks and branches. There’s a clean line through, but it’s broken into a hundred pieces. The Buddha asked Ananda, “Why did you decide to give up love and affection and follow me?” Ananda mentioned his “shining, crystal-like form, and the wondrous brightness of his golden-hued body.” The Buddha used this as an opening to teach. After looking at many different objects at various distances, he said, “Passing clouds and flying birds, the wind rising and dust, trees, mountains, rivers, grass, men, and animals. They’re all external and not you… the great variety of things… appear different, whereas the nature of your seeing is uniform. This wondrous bright essence is really the nature of your perception.” A very simple analogy, but difficult to realize. It doesn’t include the years of practice, what it takes to put down the entity, for the seeing requires a break from this. The simplest analogies are often the most difficult to realize. The questioning was finally resolved only when Ananda had exhausted all possible locations of seeing. Ananda said, “I’ve realized that the wondrous bright Mind is fundamentally perfect, that I’ve always dwelt in my mind-ground.” Still he doubted whether he heard correctly. The Buddha used the example of a finger-pointing at the moon. “If you look at the finger and mistake it for the moon, you lose sight of both.” Zen Master Seung Sahn often spoke so forcefully that his statements became power phrases. When I’d finally penetrated through to a deep state, I’d long forgotten the words he’d used. It all seemed so abstract. They weren’t wrong, it’s just that, in the mind of an enlightened master, the crossing is easy. The Buddha used simple analogies, tracing back...

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Neo Surangama Two

Export to PDF | Export to DOC The Surangama, with its religious overtones, has a molten core that forces one to continue, regardless. There are enormous lists of sense data and a laborious process of refuting their existence, 100 pages of it. Love is also dismantled, but subliminally. It has to be read with the understanding that it comes from the Hindu culture of 2,500 years ago, with no concept of evolution, astronomy, particle physics… It assumes that a particle of dust, when split to its smallest possibility, is void, therefore it doesn’t exist! It reveals the changing nature of reality, and what remains constant, by using the example of a seer looking at an object. The object changes, the act of seeing continues, whatever the object. It’s a symbolic representation of meditation. It doesn’t stop there. It claims that phenomenon are a product of delusional thought, created by our senses. The framework of meditation is superimposed over the world of form, an attempt to create a unified theory of everything. Why demote the One to a mind that has delusional thoughts? If it were an emanation, a wavelength, a pulse through the Higgs field… but this couldn’t be considered a thought. The notion of wrong thought is quite far from the One Mind state, it has no duality, more the work of sentient life attempting to comprehend its origin. But the Higgs field theory has some wisdom. Everything moves, rotates, shakes, resonates, beats, chirps, leaps, vibrates, rattles to pieces, burns, expires, reforms, coagulates, builds, explodes, drips from the ceiling, rolls, tumbles, quakes, fiddles, falls apart, every piece of it radioactive, blasting particles back into the maw of the void, the flow and exchange of energy! “Sustained confrontation of subjective awareness with objective dim voidness produced vibration and movement…...

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Neo Surangama One

Export to PDF | Export to DOC The whole weight of the Surangama, written thousands of years ago, was to pry Ananda from Mantagi’s sensual bed. Of course I labored over it. It’s thoroughly steeped in old science and hell and brimstone, a direct blow to the senses, all combined into some kind of hyper-mad state like a bullet flying clear of the barrel. I was struck down and later exhumed, and spent a few good weeks in a zombie-like state before a clear line of thought emerged. It wasn’t until the fourth reading that I began to get the flow of it, which for all the world reminded me of an old book of witchcraft from the high school library. In it the Buddha calls love out: “It’s a contagion.” Agreed. For me it comes in a crashing stampede of wild horses, shadows and limbs flying, enormous beating hearts, gallons of urine, everything pounded flat. I live on a plain devoid of features, what was once a dream landscape. Love, the Buddha had no need of it. There’s no further information to be gleaned from this text. Ananda went to a brothel and was magnetized by Mantagi’s sensual bed. Before submitting fully to her kapila magic, Manjusri leapt into the room chanting the Surangama mantra, and Ananda was deterred. If this is an accurate account, it proves the authenticity of the Buddha’s powers, as girl magic is impossible to break. Ananda apologized to the Buddha, stating his love for him, “from his eyes and mind.” The love between them was OK, it was the woman. In the Buddhist precepts a woman is compared to a spiteful snake. How have we survived them? For me the only way was to open to it completely, to not let it be...

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Samadhi Dharma Talk For Hwagyesa

Export to PDF | Export to DOC   From a lifelong pursuit that, for most of the time, remained on the surface, I found a deep practice. Although I have a great deal of respect for the structure, the practice form of the Kwan Um School Of Zen, I had to find my own way to realize it, and it wasn’t through the kongan, or starting a Zen group at a local college and evolving into a teacher. That wasn’t either my environment or skill set. “All dharmas such as those purporting to lead to the attainment of Bodhi possess no reality. The words of Gautama Buddha were intended merely as efficacious expedients for leading men out of the darkness of worse ignorance.” – The Zen Teaching of Huang-Po: On the Transmission of Mind I developed into a Zen monk, from what was available to me, how I could. “If you really want to find the Way, don’t hold on to anything. Once you put an end to karma and nurture your awareness, any attachments that remain will come to an end. Understanding comes naturally. You don’t have to make any effort.” – The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma A Zen teacher recently stated that some of us are hard-wired to have deep experiences, and some aren’t. Sometimes you can tell. This is from my own experience, not something I’ve heard. I wasn’t able to penetrate through the small self. I didn’t know this. In my reality, samadhi was a myth. After I was a monk, my father became very sick. It was urgent that I return to the United States. He survived, but in poor condition, slowly dying over a period of six years. I eventually gave back my robes and began working as a carpenter in LA. It...

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Some Other Burning

Export to PDF | Export to DOC The work of Some Other Burning has been censored. Contact me directly if you want to know more about this. It was my struggle to understand the things going on around me — however, the world is not always what it seems.

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The Eternal

Export to PDF | Export to DOC   The act of meditation, largely obscured in mysticism, is easy to describe. The trend toward a momentary awareness, being in the moment; in a simple, blue-collar mindset the act itself becomes a self-perpetuating enlightenment. If so, are we content to remain within the patterns we create? “Yes, I am present. And what strikes me at this moment is that I can go no further – like a man sentenced to life imprisonment, to whom everything is present. But also like a man who knows that tomorrow will be the same, and every other day. For when a man becomes conscious of what he is now, it means he expects nothing further.” — Albert Camus – The Wind at Djemila Repeating a mantra, counting the breath, doing repetitive actions over and over again, being in the moment, what is the result of all this arduous effort? These techniques, what do they seek to accomplish? The practice life is built on a romantic idea that brings with it the whole of the human dilemma, which again prevents the vessel from operating cleanly, the process from being completed. The idea of practice must be carefully taken apart along with the rest – carefully so that the thing is still breathing, that one is still actively pursuing the animus, yet detached from the outcome. It takes a lifetime to master, is far more likely to produce a potted plant than not. When the technique becomes stale, the focus turns toward the infrastructure, every inch of the framework evangelized, vaunted as some kind of magic formula that must be of exact proportion. In other words magic. Most are deeply buried under their own clamor, striving, fighting to clear away through while convincing others of the validity...

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Out Of Darkness..

Export to PDF | Export to DOC A Dharma Talk, from Seoul International Zen Center, where I compare the tough discipline of haengja (novice Zen monk) training with the elemental forces that proved liberating, with teachings from Huang Po and Zen Master Seung Sahn. notes from the talk .. “all dharmas such as those purporting to lead to the attainment of Bodhi possess no reality. The words of Gautama Buddha were intended merely as efficacious expedients for leading men out of the darkness of worse ignorance…” – Huang Po “…But whether they transcend conceptual thought by a longer or a shorter way, the result is a state of BEING: there is no pious practicing and no action of realizing. That there is nothing which can be attained is not idle talk; it is the truth. Moreover, whether you accomplish your aim in a single flash of thought or after going through the Ten Stages of a Bodhisattva’s Progress, the achievement will be the same; for this state of being admits of no degrees, so the latter method merely entails aeons of unnecessary suffering and toil.” – Huang Po haengja training – phase 2 More sophisticated for my situation First time a complete break (through to my return to world) Useful The first was only a demonstration – later I use that tool… In other ways… Similar to a compound miter. The elements that liberated me: 1 – friend died 2 – kyoyuk 3 – my father giving up 4 – injuring my left leg/not walking for 2 years Getting up but still working, though not working. Second point Second time had to go to the University and learn Korean language. Here is the haengja part – not enough time. A tough schedule, so can’t pass the classes… You can’t...

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