Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanza! Festival Festivus! Good Hannukah!

I can’t think of anything else to write today. Happy Holidays, everybody!

 

 

 

21 Responses

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  1. Fred
    Fred December 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm | |

    Thanks Brad . Merry Christmas to you.

  2. chasrmartin
    chasrmartin December 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm | |

    Time for KFC?

  3. A-Bob
    A-Bob December 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm | |

    Frank Costanza: “Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.”
    Cosmo Kramer: “What happened to the doll?”
    Frank Costanza: “It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!”
    Kramer: “That must have been some kind of doll.”
    Frank Costanza: “She was.”

    huh.. so that’s what festivus is.. Had no clue.

  4. SoF
    SoF December 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm | |

    And happy Uttarayana.

  5. King Kong
    King Kong December 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm | |

    MERRY CHRISTMAS BRAD !!
    MERRY CHRISMAS EVERYBODY !!
    THIS IS A PRESENT FOR YOU FRED ::
    Ordinary people look to their surroundings, while followers of the Way look to Mind, but the true Dharma is to forget them both. The former is easy enough, the latter very difficult. Men are afraid to forget their minds, fearing to fall through the Void with nothing to stay their fall. They do not know that the Void is not really void, but the realm of the real Dharma. ~Huang Po

  6. AnneMH
    AnneMH December 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm | |

    Happy all the holidays! We are doing the Christmas thing with family, cool santa pic.

  7. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote December 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm | |

    Yes it’s my hat:

    ‘The Chan teacher Yuanwu appears to have described the induction of a hypnogogic state, when he wrote:

    “You must strive with all your might to bite through here and cut off conditioned habits of mind. Be like a person who has died the great death: after your breath is cut off, then you come back to life. Only then do you realize that it is as open as empty space. Only then do you reach the point where your feet are walking on the ground of reality.”

    (Zen Letters, translated by J.C. and Thomas Cleary, pg 84)

    Yuanwu opens his paragraph by telling the reader to “bite through here”, drawing to mind the placement and orientation of the jaw together with the sense of location. The advice is to “cut off conditioned habits of mind”, to cease any voluntary activity of thought or direction of the body, just as though one were letting go of life itself. Yuanwu states that as a matter of course, such a cessation of habitual activity results in a feeling that the activity of breath has been cut off, and causes a person to come to their senses as though they have been returned to life from the dead. Returned to one’s senses, the location of awareness is freed to shift in three-dimensional space without restriction, as in empty space; single-pointedness of mind is realized along with the ability to feel necessary to the relaxed movement of breath; activity is engendered by the stretch necessary to the movement of breath rather than through the conditioned habits of mind.’

    I’m working on it, thanks everybody.

    1. Owen
      Owen December 26, 2012 at 8:43 am | |

      Mark – I’m new here to posting but I had to reply to this hypnogogic stuff. I’m, shall we say, puzzled at to what this has to do with Zazen. Hypnogogic refers to the period between waking and sleeping, falling asleep or coming awake. The only connection this has to Zazen would be if you were falling asleep while sitting!

      What exactly are you referring to here?

  8. Janina
    Janina December 26, 2012 at 12:17 am | |

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Regards:
    Jakuryuno

  9. The Grand Canyon
    The Grand Canyon December 26, 2012 at 4:51 am | |

    Crystal Methmess.

  10. minkfoot
    minkfoot December 26, 2012 at 6:06 am | |

    Happy Aftermass

  11. yesno
    yesno December 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm | |

    sleep well ;)

  12. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote December 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm | |

    Hey, Owen- keep in mind that I must keep the other hardcore Warnsterites from making me walk the plank, not to mention Anonymous who believes me to be Fu Manchu- but here goes.

    Trance as I am sure you understand is anathema to Zen teachers. The notion of someone on a cushion entering into a state where they might be suggestible, vulnerable to someone like Bela Lugosi in a kimono and fright wig is bound to be repudiated in any zendo (although it might be embraced in a house of ill-raspute).

    The really odd thing is, that in the earliest records we have of the teachings of Gautama the Buddha, nine trace states are consistently mentioned and described, and the records are consistent in the records of the Canon in Tibet, China, and Southeast Asia. Or meditative states. Or whatever Houdini did in that coffin.

    I’ll bet he did attend rather closely to his breath. Oddly enough, the historical records also indicate that was the practice of Gautama, both before and after his enlightenment- bringing to the fore mindfulness with respect to in-breath and out-breath.

    What I find is that if I attend to my sense of location as I am falling asleep, sometimes I discover that my awareness seems to shift around. I’m here in my body, then I’m there; sometimes in my head, sometimes in my chest or shoulder, sometimes in my leg. Here’s a description a friend in New York City gave, when he looked for the same thing as he tried to return to sleep:

    “I woke up at 4:30 AM, after a quick drink of water. returned to bed and tried your practice.

    I hope I did it correctly, I was somewhat surprised that my mind moved around quite a bit. not fast, but in slow motion the awareness would shift, from left cheek to right side of torso etc. The end result was a light sleep state, but I was glued to the bed and then woke up exactly at 6AM, feeling refreshed like I had a complete 8 hours of sleep.”

    My friend wanted more details of how it worked than I could give him. This morning I rewrote some of what I posted last night, and I think these are the details my friend wanted:

    Yuanwu opened his paragraph by telling the reader to “bite through here”, drawing to mind the placement and movement of the jaw relative to the current sense of location; placement and movement of the jaw involves the sense of proprioception, or “the awareness of movement derived from muscular, tendon, and articular sources” (credited by Wikipedia to Sherrington’s “The Integrative Action of the Nervous System”, 1906), and Yuanwu instructs his reader to engage the proprioceptive sense with the sense of location (“here”), just as the Gautamid did in his description of the first meditative state.

    Yuanwu provided a connection between the engagement of proprioception with the sense of location and the ability to “cut off conditioned habits of mind”, to cease any voluntary activity of thought or direction of the body, just as though one were letting go of life itself. Yuanwu states that as a matter of course, such a cessation of habitual activity results in a feeling that the activity of breath has been cut off, and causes a person to come to their senses as though they have been returned to life from the dead. Returned to one’s senses, the location of awareness is freed to shift in three-dimensional space without restriction, as in empty space; single-pointedness of mind is realized along with the ability to feel necessary to the relaxed movement of breath; activity is engendered by the stretch necessary to the movement of breath rather than through the conditioned habits of mind. Although Yuanwu is not explicit that walking on the ground of reality requires an aware state of relaxation like that in which a subject of hypnosis rests, he is quite explicit that walking on the ground of reality is associated with an experience of necessity connected with the movement of breath, and I believe it is here that the link between the waking and the sleeping state lies.

  13. boubi
    boubi December 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm | |

    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/12/the-antimatter-supernova-largest-cosmic-explosion-ever-recorded.html#more

    In 2007, a supergiant star two hundred times bigger than the sun was utterly obliterated by runaway thermonuclear reactions triggered by gamma ray-driven antimatter production. The resulting blast was visible for months because it unleashed a cloud of radioactive material over fifty times the size of our own star, giving off a nuclear fission glow visible from galaxies away. SN 2007bi was discovered by the international Nearby Supernova Factory based at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The explosion ejected more than 22 solar masses of silicon and other heavy elements into space, including more than six solar masses of radioactive nickel which caused the expanding gases to glow brightly for many months.
    The super-supernova SN2007bi is an example of a “pair-instability” breakdown, and that’s like calling an atomic bomb a “plutonium-pressing” device. At sizes of around four megayottagrams (that’s thirty-two zeros) giant stars are supported against gravitational collapse by gamma ray pressure. The hotter the core, the higher the energy of these gamma rays – but if they get too energetic, these gamma rays can begin pair production: creating an electron-positron matter-antimatter pair out of pure energy as they pass an atom. Yes, this does mean that the entire stellar core acts as a gigantic particle accelerator.

    The antimatter annihilates with its opposite, as antimatter is wont to do, but the problem is that the speed of antimatter explosion – which is pretty damn fast – is still a critical delay in the gamma-pressure holding up the star. The outer layers sag in, compressing the core more, raising the temperature, making more energetic gamma rays even more likely to make antimatter and suddenly the whole star is a runaway nuclear reactor beyond the scale of the imagination. The entire thermonuclear core detonates at once, an atomic warhead that’s not just bigger than the Sun – it’s bigger than the Sun plus the mass of another ten close by stars.
    The entire star explodes. No neutron star, no black hole, nothing left behind but an expanding cloud of newly radioactive material and empty space where once was the most massive item you can actually have without ripping space. The explosion alone triggers alchemy on a suprasolar scale, converting stars’ worth of matter into new radioactive elements.

  14. boubi
    boubi December 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm | |
  15. Fred
    Fred December 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm | |

    “Hypnogogic refers to the period between waking and sleeping, falling asleep or coming awake. The only connection this has to Zazen would be if you were falling asleep while sitting”

    Ordinary life is a walking sleep. The I that sits down on the cushion is a sitting
    sleep. The I that seeks enlightenment is a seeking sleep.

    You are already asleep before Zazen.

  16. Fred
    Fred December 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm | |

    “Ordinary people look to their surroundings, while followers of the Way look to Mind, but the true Dharma is to forget them both. The former is easy enough, the latter very difficult. Men are afraid to forget their minds, fearing to fall through the Void with nothing to stay their fall. They do not know that the Void is not really void, but the realm of the real Dharma. ~Huang Po”

    Thank you Kong.

  17. King Kong
    King Kong December 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm | |

    YOU”RE WELCOME _/|\_

    I”M GIVING UP WEBSURFING FOR 2013 >>>>>
    TIME TO GET CLOSER TO THE VOID ::))
    BYE BYE

  18. anon 108
    anon 108 December 30, 2012 at 3:22 am | |

    Farewell very large primate, fictional.

  19. anon 108
    anon 108 December 30, 2012 at 3:22 am | |

    *sniff*

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