Zazen Notes

The Mudra of Zen

Fuxi's Poem

Zazen Notes homepage

Register   or   Sign In for Comments

(return to Posts)

Post Detail

 
 

Mark Foote

Post title:  Hearing the Sutra: the Lankavatara

(Nov 3 2013 at 01:56 PM)

 

 

The issue for me is not whether the Lankavatara was a part of the Sixth Patriarch's enlightenment experience; the issue is the nature of that experience. Here's something I found under Milton Erickson on Wikipedia the other day, and I think it goes to the heart of the matter:

"Erickson maintained that it was not possible consciously to instruct the unconscious mind, and that authoritarian suggestions were likely to be met with resistance. The unconscious mind responds to openings, opportunities, metaphors, symbols, and contradictions. Effective hypnotic suggestion, then, should be 'artfully vague', leaving space for the subject to fill in the gaps with their own unconscious understandings - even if they do not consciously grasp what is happening. The skilled hypnotherapist constructs these gaps of meaning in a way most suited to the individual subject - in a way which is most likely to produce the desired change." (from Wikipedia, Milton_H._Erickson)

Sounds like Zen, doesn't it? There's a discussion in the article of using confusion or the interruption of a flow of actions normally executed as a chunk to induce a state of trance, actions like tying one's shoe lace or shaking hands. Erickson was famous for "handshake induction".

If metaphor and symbol combined with the induction of trance is the way Zen is traditionally taught, you may well ask why I am so concerned with particular senses these days; that's 'cause I can't breathe sometimes without calling them to mind. It seems I'm developmentally challenged in this regard. I'm know I'm not alone; here are two articles by David Brown about the vestibular sense and proprioception, and their importance in teaching the deaf and blind:

The Vestibular Sense

The Forgotten Sense: Proprioception

It's not just the deaf and blind; my take is that many people are developmentally challenged with regard to these senses, and that the exercise of these senses comes forward in the practice of zazen of a necessity in the relaxed movement of breath. Observing the role of these senses in zazen only requires a suspension of the exercise of will at the right moment, and that's where the induction of trance comes in.

Was it the portion of the Lankavatara Sutra the patriarch overheard in the market place, or was it a state of trance induced by hearing the sutra read in a marketplace that allowed the patriarch to experience his own nature intimately? That's the issue, to me.



comments: 0  (post a comment)

 

ARCHIVES

June 2019

1


May 2019

1


April 2019

1


February 2019

1


January 2019

1


2018


2017


2016


2015


2014


2013


2012


2011


2010


2009


 

 

 
Google SiteSearch privacy notice:  if you use the Google SiteSearch on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your users' browser, or using web beacons to collect information, in the course of ads being served on the search results page. You can Opt Out of Behavioral Advertising- The Network Advertising Initiative.

Zazen Notes