A Better Zennist

All the people I meet, especially people I care about and who care about me, are my potential teachers. That is just how I look at life.

I met my Zen teacher, Chong Go Sunim, in 2007 and liked what he’d said about just about everything we spoke of. I’d never met Daehaeng Kun Sunim, his teacher, but I read her books, saw her on several occasions, and I bowed to her in respect, several times.

As with anything, I don’t accept all aspects of Buddhism, or Hanmaum Zen, which in Korean is called ”Seon”, but Han-maum, or One Mind Zen has at it’s center of understanding, a beautiful way of looking at reality; namely it says that our inherent nature is interconnected with all things. It also says that if we let go our worries, concerns, and desires to this “foundation”, they will find themselves-through our conscious effort of lettting go of them-solved. This takes place in the interconnectedness of all things, working together. This is called Juingong. But you could call it God*, if you want. It is just the words that are different. You see, in Hanmaum, we “put our worries and concerns in our Juingong”, but I have realized it is the same as praying to God. I mean, I realize it doesn’t involve speaking to God, but you could do that too, if you believe in God. But if I release my worries and concerns to my foundation, does God not hear this? Of course not.

What I love about Hanmaum, though, or Zen, really, is that it doesn’t conflict with science, or any faiths, if you truly understand it.

In a funny way, it’s like The Force, in Star Wars. All life is bound by and penetrated with this oneness, and its energy emanates from all things as well. To me what people call “God” is like this; in everything and everywhere, and so what you call him doesn’t matter. The proof of that is all the names he has. In English it’s God. In Korean it’s Hana Nim (First Man, or First One), and in other languages it is other things. Do you think he cares? It is your heart he hears, not your tongue. He’s God. He’s not bound by the same physical limitations that you and I are bound by. I guess I should say here that I am not arguing a case for the existence of God, but I am arguing a case for the oneness of all things, and if one believes in Juingong, or God, it really doesn’t matter, not too much to practitioners of Hanmaum, anyway, and frankly, to me, that’s beautiful; no dogma here.

To me, Zen meditation can be utilized by anyone at any time, regardless of his or her religious practice. It is a tool for peace, harmony, and relieving oneself of useless worry, greed, and harmful states of mind that give rise to our misfortunes. It brings enlightenment. The main practice in any form of Buddhism, or Zen, is to meditate, which brings one the ability to live consciously, as opposed to unconsciously.

I think Christians and Muslims should meditate. Chistians, especially, often ask me why I cannot just follow God, saying, ‘if you did that’, you wouldn’t’ need meditation’. I love people for caring about me this much, but people who say such things-in my opinion- betray a fear of solutions that can be added to their spiritual ‘kit-bag’, and they are basically saying something tantamount to, ‘hey, I got God; who needs penicillin, or stretching before running, or hammers?’

Though I think of myself as a Zennist, and I am in awe of many of the realizations Siddhartha Gautama had, I am not a Buddhist in the strictest sense, for Buddhists believe in rebirth. I am not sure about this. Actually, I am pretty sure I do not believe in  it, insofar as it means (to some) that my whole consciousness will be reborn in another life-form. I am not sure the Buddha meant that anyway. I think reincarnation and rebirth are vastly different, anyway, but I  don’t prescribe to either notions.

Buddhists also want to be  from the cylce of existence. I do not want to be. I love existence. What else is there? It makes sense, though, that Siddhartha Gautama would have wanted to find a release from the cycle of rebith, as he was raised in a Hindu nation, and the going idea was that you could come back as a worm, or an ant. Who would want that? Sheesh! But I do believe the basic teachings of The Buddha, just as I believe in what Jesus taught**.

I am a Zennist because Zen meditation makes my Christian practice better, and by that I mean my practice of loving others. Period. And as much as I am a Buddhist, because I believe in the basic idea that everything is in our minds, Zen meditation makes my Buddhist practice better. It is a wonderful tool. And to be a better Zennist just means to meditate often, so as to stay more “in the moment”, and less in the ego.

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*Those of you seeing God as something more or less than male, please pardon my use of the masculine pronoun. I use it in the interest of convention according to standard English.

**I  am  actually quite interested in the Gnostic gospels, which reflect ideas and teachings attribited to Jesus that were not permitted into the book we commonly call The Bible. For an accurate and fair assessment of  the origins and history of that book, read world renowned biblical scholar Dr.  Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus: Who Changed The Bible And Why.

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CΛRL ΛTTΞNIΞSΞ

Dear Visitor: Welcome! Peace, Love, Joy and Enlightenment to You and Yours. The Basics: I author essays, video essays, poems, advice, drawings, photographs, and petitions; I also can do narration and have done stand-up comedy. I taught and tutored English as a Second Language for 15 years in South Korea and for about 3 years in the US. Intellectual Interests: My chief personal interests are in... -Love as a Practice -General Philosophy -Consciousness -Aviation -Spaceflight - especially as an avid advocate of an AG module for deep space missions -Culture -All forms of Art, especially Japanese Woodblock Prints, Conceptual,  Film, Comedy -Language - especially in the use of Standard English and as Usage relates to Cognition, Reason and Peace -Restoring Democracy to the United States via Public Campaign Financing -Saving the Earth's biosphere from Climate Mutation -Human & Species Rights via Personhood -The Immorality of Theism Being: I am a secularist, an ex- and anti- theist (The word 'atheist' is presumptuous, prejudiced, inaccurate, insulting and harmful - like the word 'race'). I am also a non-superstitious Zen Buddhist - "Mando" being listed as my middle-name, is my Dharma Name and as opposed to my legal-name is my True Name. Likes -My favorite podcast is Dr. Sam Harris' #WakingUp . I like it so much I support it. -My favorite Vintage TV Shows are Star Trek, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Dream of Genie and That Girl. -My favorite TV Current Shows, now, are Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos, The Bill Nye Show and Curb Your Enthusiam. My favorite Music is Theme Music, so I love movie soundtracks and mood music, such as that by Kitaro and Vangellis. I also love classic Rock and Blues. I work out to Mission Impossible, Pirates of The Carabean, and Van Halen's Mean Streets. I also love Japanese pop, like that of Puffy's and Keske Kowada. I also love Blues and "Non-Insane" Jazz. Reading: Unfortunately, I have little time for fiction. I mostly read scholars such as Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett, Bart Ehrman and Karen Armstrong as well as referring back to Monks such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Suzuki and the Tao Te Ching. I also read and/or listen to the narrations of Plato on Socrates. I also read a lot of astronaut biographies and about the space agency. Goals: -I love flight sims and plan to get my pilot's license. -If wealthy, healthy and "asset" enough, I will hire a space agency to train me and launch me in orbit and beyond. -I intend to publish several books. -I intend to have gallery shows. -I may need a PhD to talk to some of the people I want to talk to in public forum and influential way. -I want to see Private Campaign Finance Banned in the United States. At the time of this writing, I am single. Thank You for Your Generous Interest. CΛRL ΛTTΞNIΞSΞ 卍道 NOTE: 卍道 ("Mando") is my Dharma name

2 thoughts on “A Better Zennist”

  1. Nice post Carl! Would you like to re-post it over on WUaL too? It’d be great if more people could read it. Akll the best to you mate, Marcus _/\_

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