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About Butcho

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  1. Buddhism transcends the Tao

    Friend, There is no pure Taoism. There is no pure Buddhism. Nothing stands alone, separate. The only thing that is of itself so is existence. Words, concepts, are muddied. Synthetic. A map and not the territory they depict. All is not One. All is a unity. A unitive one. A quality that cannot be quantified. Think Pi. "From the first not a thing is." Hui Neng. Nothing is separate from that thing which is not a thing. We are each a part of that which has no parts. Of course there is up and down. North and South. Mountains and Rivers. There is a grain to existence. Don't look to the West to see a sunrise. Don't look to the East to see a sunset. All is not One. A Monism. A monotheism. There is no God. But, there is more than one no God. Existence is not what we think it is. Descartes had his carte before his horse. Thoughts come and go. We were never born and will never die. We do not come into the world. We come out of it. Disregard everything I have said but this. There is a New Moon tonight. Look for yourself. It is there. Even if you can't see it. Welcome to the Dark Path. Butcho
  2. Origins of Taoism

    Friends, Taoism is an umbrella term that covers a lot of territory. Religious, philosophical, and so on. The history of the Tao goes back to a time long forgotten in the historic record. A time before the written historic record. Taoism began as an oral tradition. To a time when most people felt an intimate connection to Nature. And yet the eternal Tao is timeless. Outside of or beyond the dualistic concept of past and future. The Tao is a word for the underlying unity of existence. Or at least that which is the source of the underlying unity of existence. Or.... words. The course that can be discoursed is not the eternal Course. A reality beyond words. Beyond thought. The best we can do in this regard is experience the Tao for ourselves. Thus the sagely tell us the first step of a journey of a thousand miles begins when we sit down and follow our own breath home. The Dark Path of Lao Tzu. The Journey to the Interior of Basho. The yin path. Dark does not come out of light. Light comes out of dark. There is a natural order to existence. All is not chaos for there is a grain to reality. The watercourse way of the eternal Tao. Butcho
  3. Hello from Nick...

    Trunk, All practice and no play makes Johnny a dull boy. What is invisible and smells like bananas? I have never really talked with a gorilla before. So, if I do it poorly please have om mani peme hung on me. Prose is all I nose for I am just a man when I am not being the Tao. ... monkey farts. Thought you would never ask. Nick just left the building. Wonder if I am still getting a new Camaro for Christmas. Two straw dogs and three hail Marys. Butcho
  4. Hello from Nick...

    Trunk, You may be guilty of parsimony here. Of oversimplification. One is not always speaking to the choir. And yet I find the gist of what you are saying resonates with me as a fellow wayfarer. However, all is not one. All is a unitive one. Mountains are mountains again. Rivers are again rivers. Also the wayfarer is not refining the ego. She is re-defining her sense of self. From the sense of a completely separate self to the experience of the self as a part of the Self that has no self. We are each a part of that which has no parts for there are no lines of demarcation in nature, rather, there are merely areas of confluence. Where does one end of a whole string end and the other end begin? No such point exists. The tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao. The tao that can be numbered is not the eternal Tao. The return to the One is not a full return. Where existential matters are concerned qualitative terms trump quantitative ones. All is not one, all is a unitive one. A whole greater than the sum of its parts. The whole cannot be said. But not everyone is conscious of this fact. Other people are people again. Butcho
  5. Hello from Nick...

    Nick, I do not believe it is consistent with the way of the Buddha or that of Lao Tzu to make one's life complicated by religious considerations. Both men, in my opinion, were mystics and philosophers first, men of religion a distant second. I think they would have gotten along fine with each other. Such men as the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Jesus, Ramana Maharshi, Rumi, Hui-Neng, and so on, were first and foremost true to themselves. They were irreligious men. Liberated men. Free men. Wherever you go, trust your own mystic heart. It was given to you by existence and no one can take it away from you. It is the idealization of our concepts, in this case our religious mindsets, that divide us one from the other. That divide what is by nature whole. Such deliberations de-liberate. The liberated are no longer mesmerized by conceptual reality, this religion versus that for instance, but by being in accord with the way things are. Existence as it is and not merely as we think it is. I think, therefore I think I am. Learn from whatever is in front of you. Everything else is a distraction. Everything I have said applies to women at least as much if not more so. Man comes out of woman. Woman does not come out of man. There is an order to existence. All is not chaos. All is a unity. And yet even the word unity comes up short. The Course that can be discoursed is not the eternal Course. Does a dog have Buddha nature?... if you answer the question either yes or no you do not understand the nature of the question this most fundamental of koans asks. Buddhism is not what one "thinks" it is. Thinking about existential matters does not lead to enlightened understanding unless it is grounded in non-conceptual experience. Direct experience. Follow your breath home. Not my breath. Not the Buddha's. Not Lao Tzu's. Yours. Butcho
  6. Ramana's 40 Verses on Reality

    In response to Ramana Maharshi #40 I would say he is simply stating that until one no longer confuses conceptual reality--no matter how thoughtful one's model, with actual reality one is not liberated. Butcho
  7. Hi! We search for the fellow traveller to...

    A & A, If I were not a philosophical Taoist I would tell you that I am jealous of your travels... Hell with it, I am jealous of your travels. Be careful. By the Way. Your English is reel guud. Butcho
  8. From the Land of Oz

    Desert Eagle, Actually when I say Dark Path I am referring not to a negative path, the via negativa, but to the negative-negative path that leads to the Great Affirmation. The path Dogen speaks so eloquently to. A double negation is an affirmation. As such the Dark Path is neither dark nor light but both and more. Dark Path is just a name like Tao is just a name. Dark Illumination. Another way to put it is there is emptiness, then there is Emptiness. The difference being Emptiness is empty even of emptiness. Emptiness is full of emptiness. Words pointing at that which is beyond words often seem contradictory to the rational processes of conditioned thinking. In my opinion one does not master one's breath. One follows one's breath. One slows down and watches. The breath does all the mastering. One cannot force the breath. Not for very long. When it is deep, from the heels, it is natural. Unforced, but deep. Most of us are shallow breathers. Babies are deep breathers. Babies and those that cultivate awareness of the natural breath breathe deeply. Some people think wu-wei means non-action. I believe it means unforced action. Natural action. Spontaneous action. Action in accord with the way of the Tao. I do not believe all action is in accord with the Tao. One can go with the grain, or against it. Thank you for the welcome. magus, $100,000 for an original copy of the Wizard of Oz is not in my budget at the moment. Can you say Powerball? Have you read "The Zen of Oz" by Joey Green? Interesting little book. Can be had from Amazon for about $16. Ultimately Dorothy attains Satori, awakening, enlightenment. That sort of thing. When one lets go of one's conditioned thinking their brain, heart, courage, flow without restraint. Unforced. I had a conversation with Frank Baum's grandson, Roger Baum, a few years ago about "The Zen of Oz" and he was skeptical but admitted that there might be something to some of Green's extrapolations. Though now past my second Saturn Return I like to think I am still young at heart. Nice meeting you. Butcho
  9. From the Land of Oz

    Oz. Downwind of Kansas where the Hillbilly's congregate. I consider myself a philosophical Taoist, among other things. The whole cannot be said. Existence is organic. In my opinion all of the great sages and mystics from every time and every place are pointing at the same moon. The conditioned sense of self is a straw dog. Existence is synergistic. There is more than one of us, but less than two. "From the first totality is a unitive one." Hui Neng. We are each a part of that which has no parts. It is yin/yang, not yin and yang. Direct experience trumps indirect experience. The level of awareness that creates a problem cannot solve it. The breath is the master key to the gateless gate. To the Dark Path. Wu-wei means unforced action. Butcho
  10. The fabric of life is woven with a very fine thread. The only place we ever really have is right here. The only time is now. Don't worry, be happy. Butcho
  11. Buddhism transcends the Tao

    I suppose these kinds of discussions are not entirely without merit. There is a time and a season for everything. The thing I think that needs to be remembered is that terms like Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Hinduism, and so on, are all "Umbrella Terms". None of these "isms" are monolithic. Each has various schools of thought. And as such many of these schools can have as much or more in common with their counterparts found under other umbrella terms. And of course Zennists claim that Zen represents a distillation of all the great teachings. But then we find that there are various schools of Zen. The course that can be discoursed is not the eternal course. The whole cannot be put under any one term for all names name in part only. The highest teachings are beyond words. Some things can only be said, or heard, in silence. Thus meditation, awareness training, is fundamental to any true understanding where the existential is concerned. Anything wholesome that is practiced until a feel is developed for going with the grain of the task at hand is a type of meditation. Paying attention is fundamental. None of the great teachings are what we "think" they are for they all speak to that which is beyond words. Whatever is before us is our teacher. Butcho
  12. We are each a part of that which has no parts. Butcho