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  1. #21
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I suppose I could have said Taoist imortal or Taoist Monk but there were western monks and western saints could have the same miraculous powers as the Taoist imortals, I mean it in the historical and philosophical senses I suppose, possibly, or maybe even the function too.
    If we want to make a list of [semi-]similar mystical traditions I would start with: hindusim-Vedanta, Buddhism, Taoism, Kabbalah, Gnostic Christianity, and Sufiism. And yes there were, and presumably still are, western saints and enlightened people. They weren't treated as well as in the East though [cough "burned at the stake" cough], apparently saying "God and I are one" isn't so kosher in the monotheisms. For more detail, read Ken Wilber or works on "The Great Chain of Being", for example Huston Smith.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    Have you come up with a description or definition that can be put into words?
    "Zen is what happens after rational thought ends"

  3. #23
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I would, just to be generous. But you didn't put the right animal in your avatar.
    what does THAT mean??? :steam: <runs off to find kyosaku, ie "motivation stick">

    "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
    "What is your Original Face, the face that you had before your parents were born?"
    "It is just this, just this."
    "Lots of space, nothing holy"-the 6th patriarch of chan/zen's response to the Emperor of China at the time when asked "what is enlightenment?"

  4. #24
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    what does THAT mean??? :steam: <runs off to find kyosaku, ie "motivation stick">

    "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
    "What is your Original Face, the face that you had before your parents were born?"
    "It is just this, just this."
    "Lots of space, nothing holy"-the 6th patriarch of chan/zen's response to the Emperor of China at the time when asked "what is enlightenment?"
    I offer you a book, a comprehensive compendium of the accumulated wisdom of Zen. All the great masters of the ages have contributed their life's knowledge to it. It is the last remaining copy. What should you do?


    Originally Posted by ragashree
    I'm begining to wonder if anyone knows what Zen actually is...
    Have you come up with a description or definition that can be put into words?
    Here is my definiton.
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  5. #25
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Way to miss the point

    I think it's a question worth taking a bit more seriously than that, though not an easy one to answer definitively, if there is indeed a definitive answer. At the moment I don't really know what qualities Lark would associate with a Zen master; without a clearer context there's not much point in me trying to make any definite suggestions, much though the subject interests me.

    If it helps, I'm aware of a poster on this forum who regularly manifests a Zen- like approach. I have no idea whether this person actually has a philosophical committment to Zen or whether it's just their personality, however. I would suspect that either way they have a good understanding of the underlying principles of the philosophy.
    The point is that there is no real Western equivalent of a Zen Master, that's why you couldn't name any examples. Hippies come closer than any subculture we have here.

    Some things about the East are unique to the East.

  6. #26
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I offer you a book, a comprehensive compendium of the accumulated wisdom of Zen. All the great masters of the ages have contributed their life's knowledge to it. It is the last remaining copy. What should you do?
    It doesn't matter. You can throw it out or read it or bow down to it or give it to a friend or the library or use it for toilet paper.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    I offer you a book, a comprehensive compendium of the accumulated wisdom of Zen. All the great masters of the ages have contributed their life's knowledge to it. It is the last remaining copy. What should you do?
    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    It doesn't matter. You can throw it out or read it or bow down to it or give it to a friend or the library or use it for toilet paper.
    Oh you beat me to the punch... I was going to say "ignore it" though

  8. #28
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    The point is that there is no real Western equivalent of a Zen Master, that's why you couldn't name any examples. Hippies come closer than any subculture we have here.

    Some things about the East are unique to the East.
    Depends how you wish to define "equivalent". Mine certainly doesn't seem to be yours in this context, though the question was a bit hard to pin down in any case. I was going for historical significance and endemic cultural and philosophical roots. Parallels, not derivatives like those hippes The op after all was by implication asking what Western culture had that might be similar prior to the recent Eastern influence.


    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    It doesn't matter. You can throw it out or read it or bow down to it or give it to a friend or the library or use it for toilet paper.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Oh you beat me to the punch... I was going to say "ignore it" though
    *Applauds, with one hand of course, then sets fire to the book *
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  9. #29
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    If we want to make a list of [semi-]similar mystical traditions I would start with: hindusim-Vedanta, Buddhism, Taoism, Kabbalah, Gnostic Christianity, and Sufiism.
    Hesychasm would be a far better example from the Christian tradition than Gnosticism, as far as esoteric traditions are concerned.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Hesychasm would be a far better example from the Christian tradition than Gnosticism, as far as esoteric traditions are concerned.
    Perhaps that may be, but I've never heard of them before. I was following Wilber and others in my selection.

    Fwiw, Wilber chooses: Plotinus, Meister Eckhardt, St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila [and Giordano Bruno] as examples of western mystics of different levels

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