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Dead Tree Zen

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"The deluded man clings to the characteristics of things, adheres to the
of oneness, thinks that straightforward mind is sitting without moving and casting aside delusions without letting things arise in the mind. This he considers to be the samadhi of oneness. This kind of practice is the same as insentiency (i.e., being like rocks, trees, etc.) and the cause of an obstruction to the Tao."

 

Paralleling what is imbedded within the above quote, the book TAOIST YOGA: Alchemy and Immortality (1970), translated by Lu K'Uan Yu, emphasizes if a person goes into the void but there is no spirit light energy created then this is a false void -- a false emptiness.

 

This is what can happen with "Dead Tree Zen" as introduced by Hempel in his post and as Master Nan, Huai-chin calls it -- because if a person practices only mind yoga without in the process transforming the body, then they won't ever have the power of the full life force energy.

 

And therein lies the rub as there is no body in the classical sense to transform, to wit, as found in the sutras, the simile of the chariot and the body:

 

"There is no 'being' found...[within oneself], only a heap of karmic constituents. Just as the word chariot is used when we come across a combination of parts, so we speak conventionally of a [human] being when the five aggregates are present."

This article talks about harnessing the full life force energy, which I assume is centered in the sexual organs and is also know as kundalini, or serpent fire.
Is it possible to neglect the bodies transformation when just concentrating only on mind yoga? If the mind and body are inseparable, wouldn't the transformation of the mind also lead to the transformation of the body?
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Your Q: "Is it possible to neglect the bodies transformation when just concentrating only on mind yoga? If the mind and body are inseparable, wouldn't the transformation of the mind also lead to the transformation of the body?"

 

 

I think it depends greatly on the individual. However, in most, if not all Vajrayana paths, there is quite an emphasis on balancing the two levels of practice, up to a point.

 

From what i hear, when the result or fruit of practice is attained, then both mind and body is transcended.

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""The deluded man clings to the characteristics of things, adheres to the Samadhi of oneness, thinks that straightforward mind is sitting without moving and casting aside delusions without letting things arise in the mind. This he considers to be the samadhi of oneness. This kind of practice is the same as insentiency (i.e., being like rocks, trees, etc.) and the cause of an obstruction to the Tao."

 

 

Paralleling what is imbedded within the above quote, the book TAOIST YOGA: Alchemy and Immortality (1970), translated by Lu K'Uan Yu, emphasizes if a person goes into the void but there is no spirit light energy created then this is a false void -- a false emptiness."

 

 

Excellent quote. Thank you.

 

 

I would somewhat disagree with CT. It is not possible to transcend body and mind without both sides of the (same) coin.

 

(Edit - format)

Edited by Jeff
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There are different approaches to this but it's fair to say (as in the Dhammapada) that "mind is the forerunner of all actions".

In any kind of meditation - stabilization is going to help, and this can be developed in various ways. A measure of tranquility enables a contemplative to direct (or not) his mind.

 

Both physical and mental energy work are options - the link between mind and energy is well known.

 

I'm not sure to what extent one can entirely transform a physical body (beyond a slight improvement) but there is also the astral body which can be developed and this is linked to development in the waking state.

Edited by yabyum24
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This article talks about harnessing the full life force energy, which I assume is centered in the sexual organs and is also know as kundalini, or serpent fire.
Is it possible to neglect the bodies transformation when just concentrating only on mind yoga? If the mind and body are inseparable, wouldn't the transformation of the mind also lead to the transformation of the body?
This is an excerpt from Nan Huaijin's The Diamond Sutra Explained:
"...As to the perfect reward body, the rupakaya, this is the result of one's cultivation work and is very difficult to achieve. I mentioned before the thirty-two marks of a Buddha and the eighty detailed physical characteristics. The body of anyone who has succeeded in cultivation, attained the Tao, has undergone a complete physical transformation. This physical body is the reward body.

 

Why is it called the "reward body"? Actually, everyone's body is a "reward body." If throughout one's life one is very comfortable and fortunate, this is the reward of previous virtue. Others may experience a lot of pain and suffering and lead a very pitiful life. Their body is the result of non-virtuous actions in a previous life. Through cultivation work, we transform this karmic reward body.

 

In the Taoist school, they describe the process as getting rid of illness to lengthen one's life and achieving immortality. This is talking about transforming the reward body. Achieving the perfect reward body is gaining complete liberation, changing mortal bones into immortal bones and gaining every kind of super power.

 

This is extremely difficult to achieve. The perfect reward body is very difficult to cultivate. The Taoist cultivation, opening qi mai, as well as Esoteric cultivation, opening the three channels and seven chakras, both start from the reward body. Samatha and samapatti (stopping and introspection), the Pure Land practice of reciting the Buddha's name and vipassana meditation are all examples of practices which mainly cultivate the dharmakaya. When one cultivates to the point where he or she has at will another body outside of this physical body, this is the sambogakaya or transformation body functioning. This is a very basic overview of the three bodies.

 

The average person who practices Buddhist or Taoist cultivation works on the dharmakaya.

 

The Esoteric school emphasizes the achievement of the three bodies because only when one achieves the three kayas has one successfully completed the Path. This is also called completion in one lifetime. "In one lifetime," means in this one lifetime to settle the question of life and death, to succeed at achieving the three bodies. In theory, this can be done, but in actuality, it is of the utmost difficulty. One must achieve perfection of vinaya (discipline), samadhi and wisdom as well as completely transform this physical body of four elements born of one's parents. Only this can be called completion in one lifetime

."
As a direct response, to Drew Hempel's musings on Lu Kuan Yu's "Taoist Yoga", I post this excerpt from Nan Huaijin's "Tao & Longevity":
"It is unfortunate that those who learn Taoism have confused the different traditions. Some students thought that all they had to do was find a good master who would teach them a hidden secret, and they could become an immortal instantly. They therefore ignored the study of the principles of the Taoist methods. Taoist methods were not organized into a science of immortality with principles, rules, systematic sequences, and methods. As a consequence, these practices lend to calamity rather than to the achievement of immortality."
On the preceding page, Nan Huaijin asks a rhetorical question, on the different emphasis of meditation methods:
"...Whether one is Buddhist or Taoist, there is one question regarding meditation that should be asked: "Is there any method that neglects or abandons the physical body, the sensations, emotions, mental states or thoughts associated with it?"
As for "dead tree zen", I always assumed that this referred to clinging to a state of samadhi or the absence of discursive thoughts. Chan Master Dahui, was a critic of the "silent illumination" that was practiced during his time, which lead to him introducing the usage of the hua-tou.
Edited by Simple_Jack
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"...Whether one is Buddhist or Taoist, there is one question regarding meditation that should be asked: "Is there any method that neglects or abandons the physical body, the sensations, emotions, mental states or thoughts associated with it?"

 

Another excellent quote. Thank you SJ.

 

The body is a direct mapping to all that "is".

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""The deluded man clings to the characteristics of things, adheres to the Samadhi of oneness, thinks that straightforward mind is sitting without moving and casting aside delusions without letting things arise in the mind. This he considers to be the samadhi of oneness. This kind of practice is the same as insentiency (i.e., being like rocks, trees, etc.) and the cause of an obstruction to the Tao."

 

 

Paralleling what is imbedded within the above quote, the book TAOIST YOGA: Alchemy and Immortality (1970), translated by Lu K'Uan Yu, emphasizes if a person goes into the void but there is no spirit light energy created then this is a false void -- a false emptiness."

 

 

Excellent quote. Thank you.

 

 

I would somewhat disagree with CT. It is not possible to transcend body and mind without both sides of the (same) coin.

 

(Edit - format)

By transcendence, i was referring to the stage where an adept gains complete cessation of clinging to misapprehended views regarding both. In the process of ending erroneous views, eventually all notions surrounding what is a body, and what is a mind will be corrected, and their lack of a permanent, substantial existence will eventually be clarified.

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By transcendence, i was referring to the stage where an adept gains complete cessation of clinging to misapprehended views regarding both. In the process of ending erroneous views, eventually all notions surrounding what is a body, and what is a mind will be corrected, and their lack of a permanent, substantial existence will eventually be clarified.

 

How would you define that "stage"? Would you define it as "emptiness of self"? Emptiness of ultimate reality?

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How would you define that "stage"? Would you define it as "emptiness of self"? Emptiness of ultimate reality?

That stage is simply the process of eradicating views that are predicated on the substantive existence of a self. It is said that such a correction brings about the extinguishing of all dualistic notions such as 'self and other', 'relative and ultimate', 'birth and death', 'living zen and dead-tree zen', and so forth... :)

 

Definitions are quite limited. I think with enough investigation and contemplation, the practitioner who follows the right methods of investigative insight will eventually experience for him/herself the process leading to aforementioned cessation of dualistic notions.

 

It would be interesting to then discover what happens when clinging is dissolved. What remains? ;)

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That stage is simply the process of eradicating views that are predicated on the substantive existence of a self. It is said that such a correction brings about the extinguishing of all dualistic notions such as 'self and other', 'relative and ultimate', 'birth and death', 'living zen and dead-tree zen', and so forth... :)

 

Definitions are quite limited. I think with enough investigation and contemplation, the practitioner who follows the right methods of investigative insight will eventually experience for him/herself the process leading to aforementioned cessation of dualistic notions.

 

It would be interesting to then discover what happens when clinging is dissolved. What remains? ;)

 

Hi CT,

 

Thank you for you insight and I agree with what you have said. I have found that it often easy to become confused about when notions are actually extinguished and find describing things like "light" in the OP very helpful. Many often believe that they are "done", when in reality they have only dealt with issues at the level of conscious mind, while the subconscious issues and fears remain largely untouched. That is why I think it is often helpful to discuss the transition of the body that accompanies such shifts. The mind often "thinks" it knows, while the body actually knows.

 

A while back I posted a thread trying to describe such mind/body/energy descriptions of various stages. I would be interested in your thoughts. I would describe the point we are describing the difference between levels 7 and 8, with light being the "tickle" that I mentioned.

 

http://thetaobums.com/topic/25866-stages-of-progressionenlightenment/

 

In it, I also hint on what remains, but I would definitely enjoy such a discussion with you (and others).

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http://the-wanderling.com/hempel.html

 

This article talks about harnessing the full life force energy, which I assume is centered in the sexual organs and is also know as kundalini, or serpent fire.

 

Is it possible to neglect the bodies transformation when just concentrating only on mind yoga? If the mind and body are inseparable, wouldn't the transformation of the mind also lead to the transformation of the body?

 

My present feeling is that addressing the body is crucial to growth, at least at my point in development.

I recently had the experience of breaking through an extremely troublesome and chronic barrier in my psychological/emotional life.

I am convinced that a part of the breakthrough was related to physical and energetic practices done along with spiritual and meditative work. Similarly I am seeing that mind and spiritual work is having an effect on my body.

 

The Bön approach address body, speech, and mind in all phases of development. There is no question in my mind that the three are inextricably related. Working with the body will influence speech and mind. Working with the mind influences body and speech. Working with the speech affects body and mind. Working with all 3 will give us the best chance of developing in a balanced and predictable way. Some of us may benefit from focusing more on one aspect at various times in our development based on our makeup and predilections. This is probably one area, among many, where the teacher is invaluable in guiding our practice.

 

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It would be interesting to then discover what happens when clinging is dissolved. What remains? ;)

 

aversion and ignorance...

:o

;)

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aversion and ignorance... :o;)

 

Aversion and ignorance is the "clinging". :)

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Aversion and ignorance is the "clinging". :)

All caused by the natural (actually un-natural) tendency of succumbing to cravings. :)

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All caused by the natural (actually un-natural) tendency of succumbing to cravings. :)

 

Agreed. I tend to sometimes also call it conscious and subconscious cravings/responses.

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Aversion and ignorance is the "clinging". :)

Agreed...

I was making a friendly jab in reference to the 3 poisons...

All 3 can be expressed in terms of one another.

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