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Otherwise, it fears that if the practitioner remains in the stillness of meditation, while suspending judgment on action, it falls into one-sidedness, a source of prejudice and misunderstanding of reality. Augustine, Husserl and Merleau-Ponty? There is in both cases a suggestion of involvement of the autonomous activity of the unconscious, of which Zen demands we must stand outside.

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It points to a non-dualistic experiential dimension that is zero-time and zero-space, by which Zen means that neither time nor space is a delimiting condition for Zen-seeing. One can also say that both time and space, experienced from the point-of-view of the everyday standpoint, is relativized when zero-time temporizes and zero-space spatializes, where zero time and zero space characterize the bottomless ground.

Accordingly, Zen contends that zero-time and zero-space are the natural and primordial being of all things including human beings, for they are all grounded in it. Taking these points together, the Zen enlightenment experience suggests a leap from a causal temporal series.


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This means that one time contains all times and one part contains the whole, as in the case of a holographic dry plate in which each part contains the whole. See the entry on Japanese Philosophy , Section 2. Caution must be exercised here, however. In other words, Zen does not understand time and space by imposing a formal category on them, by presupposing in advance a form-matter distinction, which indicates an operation of the discursive mode of reasoning by appealing to the either-or, dualistic, and ego-logical epistemological structure.

Just as importantly, Zen maintains that time and space are lived as integrated space-time in the interfusion of a concrete temporalization and spatialization. This is a concrete spatialization-temporalization that is lived without any intellectual abstraction, reflecting the Buddhist position that everything, without exception, is impermanent. Zen abhors an intellectual abstraction that merely thinks time and space.

The Platform Sutra of Huineng (Talk 1)

This is because the Zen person rides on the rhythm of living nature. Nor does it conceive of it as a linear progression from past to future through the present, although it does not exclude them insofar as they are useful for everyday life. Zen understands time to be living. Rather it is a living space.

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To be more specific, nondiscriminatory awareness signifies that it is the foundational background, as articulated in the foregoing, that is bottomless or nothing, and as such does not participate in discriminatory activity. However, when a thing appears, a discrimination occurs on this foundational, though bottomless, background. Because it occurs on this foundation, it does not distort the shape of things to appear along with its force. It may also be characterized as nondiscriminatory discrimination, in order to capture a sense of how things appear in meditational awareness.

In such awareness no ego is posited either as an active or a passive agent in constituting the things of experience, as this awareness renders useless the active-passive scheme as an explanatory model. This awareness lets a thing announce itself as a thing. This is because the ego is turned into nothing in the state of nondiscriminatory discriminatory awareness, and hence no-ego, where this nothing is paradoxically a background that is not the background at all, because it is a bottomless background.

Accordingly, the noematic object is allowed to announce iteself without an intentional constitution by the latter. It consequently opens up a bottomless horizon, on which a noematic object announces itself in toto as a phenomenon. This opening up simultaneously accompanies, as mentioned in the foregoing, a de-substantialization and de-ontologization of the things of experience, because there is no act of the ego that substantializes and ontologizes them; substantialization and ontologization both arise as a consequense of anthropomorphic activity that is intricately tied to the discursive mode of reasoning.

Consequently, we are led to conclude that the things of experience announce themselves in toto without concealing anything behind them. This is because there is nothing in the bottomless background to determine or delimit how things appear. In order to see how the above-mentioned structure of appearing operates under the conditions of zero-time and zero-space, we must capture a sense of a temporal-spatial awareness reflective of the nondualistic experience. Hence, neither time nor space is conceived to be a container.

This thing-ing of things springs from zero-time and zero-space. It will deprive Zen, for example, of an opportunity to utilize Zen-seeing in the actions of everyday life. This movement is symbolized in Zen by a circle, an image of the whole, which is also an image of perfection. When Ungen is making a cup of tea, the dialogue runs as follows:. Ungen: Fortunately, I am here to do it for him.

Ueda, , — This is because he or she is one who follows the non-dualistic, non-ego-logical standpoint having practically transcended the former. This creates the dilemma of how to be trans-individual while assuming the form of an individual. If this is not properly dealt with, Zen warns that it results in developing a pathological condition or a mana -personality. In spite of, or because of this, such a person is a carrier of freedom who goes beyond these perspectives, i. Yet, he or she is quite ordinary in appearance.

All of these points are synthesized into a Zen person. How then does the Zen person, thus understood, live freedom? This action then carries a sense of spontaneity , much like the spontaneous creative act of living nature. This idea of freedom is foreign to the Western intellectual tradition, however. For example, consider how freedom is defined by British empiricists like John Locke.

According to Locke, freedom or to be specific, liberty is defined as a lack or absence of external constraint. For what motivates the Zen person to action is a thrust he or she feels, surging from the creative source in the bottomless ground. Does this mean then that the Zen person has eliminated the demand of instincts or desires?

If they are eliminated , the Zen person would turn into a living corpse. Such a person can perform no action, let alone a free action. We see a heightened spirituality upheld by Zen master Baso Chin.

Such a mind does not fluctuate in its center, in the deep region of psyche. In this state, because the mind moves in such a way that it does not dwell on anything, there is no obstruction for the mind to move freely.

Buddhist Sutras: The ULTIMATE Collected Works of 10 Famous Sutras (With Active Table of Contents)

However contradictory it may seem, this is a description of how Zen understands its freedom as expressed through an integrated mind and body. In order for this sense of freedom to be embodied, however, Zen emphasizes that a performer of any kind repeatedly undergoes mind-body training. This describes a freedom of action in a Zen person for whom the mind is completely assimilated into the object-body, while the body is equally rendered into the subject-body. They are one. In short, Zen freedom designates a term of achievement.

What Zen says about freedom of action has an implication for every action people perform in daily life, from the simple act of opening a door to the magnificent play of a great athlete or performer of any kind.

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In them, Zen contends however, the spirituality of a performer must be expressed. Zen extends an invitation to all of us to act in this way, so that our quality of life will be enhanced with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, free from stress and anxiety. In closing this entry, a cautionary remark is in order, however: all of the preceding accounts are simply a heuristic way of conceptually articulating Zen philosophy.


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    Zen as Anti-Philosophy 5. Overcoming Dualism 5.

    An Experiential Meaning of Not-Two 6. Returning to the Everyday Lifeworld: Not One 8. Although it is lengthy, we quote it in full in order to provide a sense of how a Zen dialogue unfolds: The disciple asks: Then what is it [i. The master replies: It just sees nothing. The disciple asks: When it is nothing, what can it see? The master replies: Seeing is not like something you can call a thing. The disciple asks: If it is not like anything one can call a thing, what does it see?

    Ungen: There is the person who wants it.