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Showing posts from January, 2016

Moving Forward

With respect, Hello All,
This morning I went on a training hike for the Bataan Memorial Death March to be held on March 20th at the Army base at White Sands, NM. I’m doing the short version at 14.2 miles.  It is a trail run with sand, hills, and (did I say) sand?  Anyway, I am training on desert trails out behind my house.  This morning I did nearly 3 miles in 29 degree weather.  I stayed on pace at 20 minutes per mile. It was a good effort over rough terrain.  
What does this have to do with Zen?  Well, biking, running and walking have a cadence.  As we are out there on a course eventually our body settles into a “zone” where breath, footfall, and attention seem to integrate into a seamless pattern…almost oneness itself.  We are aware of the scenery, looking forward enough to check our path but, most of all, mindfully moving along.  I call this, “Stillness in motion” and have this phrase on the back of our “Team Zen” tee shirts.
The “zone” I am talking about is not a “zoned-out” thing, r…

The Zen of Knowledge,Part two

With respect, We left Part one with the question, “So what?” In that piece I talked about ways we “know.” I covered this in a superficial way: epistemology and ontology, like existentialism and phenomenology are complex and sit at the core of philosophy. Philosophers have debated them for centuries. Such debate, possibly useful, but likely not, is sort of like mental masturbation. It feels good in the moment, but leaves us wanting the real thing. So, what is the real thing? In the world of Zen practice our aim, should we actually have one, is to let mind and body fall away and in this process live in what Master Dogen thought of as “practice realization.” To get to a better understanding of what this means, we must break it down piece by piece. In Master Dogen’s Fukanzazengi He gives us a clear sense that we each ought practice zazen, that ancient contemplative form once referred to as “Serene Reflection Meditation” or “Silent Illumination.” He put forth the unheard of notion th…

The Zen of Knowledge, Part one

From Outside the Margins
The Zen of Knowledge, Part One by Daiho Hilbert
With respect,
We do not get to the truth of anything by believing it to be true. We get to the truth by questioning it to be true. Therein arises faith.
There is an observation common amongst Jews: Jews tend to answer questions with questions.  It is always interesting when a question is answered with a question. The person asking the question may feel threatened so answers the returning question with defensiveness or the questioner understands the nature of the discussion is one of seeking the truth in which case he/she considers the response and allows feelings of defensiveness to flow away thus allowing further exploration. 
When we are convinced of the truth of something the larger truth eludes us as our conviction becomes an untested declaration. 
Someone in the various threads of my Facebook page asked the question, "how do we know?" In philosophy, especially the philosophy of science, this query…