There is a general sadness, a feeling of regrets and disappointment that I sense from reading the various post on various Zen forums on the internet.
The post and commentators tend to have hopes and aspirations that some “performance art” that they desire to learn will ‘Save them’ from Samsara – This existence of suffering (hell).
Many praise a teacher who they have pinned a lot of hope upon, liken to a savior, that will reach into them and show them their own suffering, and cure it!
Many pray that some Lineage, some “Practice” will help them. Many take sides, align with a lineage in the hopes that showing their devotion will somehow reward them.In all of this, many face their own disappointment – for no amount of ‘Performance Art’ will take them out of the realm of Samsara!
Those who are disappointed often do not take this well, not at all. All too many get this idea that they have to ‘Double down’, a gamblers fallacy. That if what you are doing is not working, well “to do more of it louder and harder!” – and that is actually the definition of insanity.
Now, if you say the above to them..well expect reproductions – censorship, banishment, and of course, your post deleted. Yes, we are dealing with creatures of Samsara, not Buddhist (disciples of an ontology of liberation)
These creatures ask me all the time:
Do you sit? (as in Performance Art)
What if I had no legs? No butt to sit on? No arms, no chest, and not even eyes to see any of this? What if I knew nothing of these body appendages? Now how will any Performance Art based on phenomenal-suffering-existence (samsara) do anything but create more suffering?
But, what about Zazen?
Zazen has nothing at all to do with ‘Performance Art’, and once you understand that then The Path of Zen will be shown to you. Za means “to place” or “to sit” as in an intended purpose. Zen means to ‘awaken to truth’ or to have ‘the intention to awaken to truth’. This is not a Performance Art, not a ritual, not a contest or theatrical play.
The Buddha and all Bodhisattvas preach to you to “Relinquish all of those notions that some performance art, that anything in this phenomenal-suffering-existence can save you”, for this is The Path to Liberation, the way of the Bodhisattva – to become Buddha.This path is simple, for those who have ‘Eyes to see it”:
Elder Ding asked Linji, “What is the essence of Buddhism?”
Linji, getting up from his seat, seized Ding, slapped him, and pushed him away. Ding stood still.
A monk standing by said, “Elder Ding, why don’t you bow?” As he bowed, Ding suddenly became enlightened. (BCR 32)
What did Ding see?