A Rewarding Essay Design
It unites many traditions and supports your own thinking, eventually. Besides, it is rather easy to master.
- according to plan.
THE "Get Tao" icon heads a hundred chapter essays and more on the Gold Scales. Where you come across it, a summary of such an essay is usually further down there too. I recommend taking a look into the summary first. It may help you relate to the material somewhat, or whet your appetite. No matter what, you can save yourself time by glancing through the summary and the headings of the "Get Tao" chapter. The summary also suggests how to make practical use of the chapter content; there may be several options for each chapter, if you learn the details of the "trade".
The easy-to-learn basic structure or skeleton of a "Get Tao" presentation is multiform Taoistic in essence, and conforms to general lines of basic study, research and presentation in science. It further shows up that the standard take of extended "Get Tao" chapters is akin to that of Kigen Dogen (1200-53).
Below we go into some detail, so that you can see the underlying "skeleton" of the "Get Tao" essay format. As for Dogen, the Shobogenzo, his main work, is full of examples, as stated by Reverend Gudo Nishijima of Dogen's Zen lineage (see further down). The over-all way of Tao-presentation that is explained on this site, conforms all in all to a presentation pattern expounded by the Reverend Nishijima, a patterns he says he recognises in Dogen essays and lectures.
So, by piecing together selected data or sayings according to the Tao design, we may form tables, essays, poems, and generate many more sayings, as by-products, so to speak. But the most treasured use of the "Get Tao" articles (essays, tables) here, are practical applications. The summaries suggest step-by-step takes until some Tao is had. Further teachings may be needed after that, to be sure, but first things first.
By arranging and sequencing thoughts, procedures, and general presentations neatly, you arrive at a wider frame to put segments of main ideas into, and suggestive tools for mind training, lojong in Tibetan. In such training, fine ideas are given time to work deeply on the mind to expand it and reprogram from not adequate ways of thinking too. "Fin ideas" consist of key lines and carefully structured summary-gist which rides higher than isolated keylines (sayings). [More]
- Tormod Kinnes
Dogen's Simplified Buddhism and Designs
In the Shobogenzo Master Dogen says, "To practice Zazen [Zen sitting] is the whole of Buddhism, and Buddhism is just the practice of Zazen." - Reverend Gudo Nishijima
You may find the passage near the rear of an interesting article, "The Theory of Four Views". [See "Three Philosophies and One Reality" in the downloadable Ref. A]
According to "Buddhism is just the practice of Zazen", terms like "Buddhism" can be dispensed with, but there is no need for that, although what is meant by the finest "sitting" is the major thing to assess. There are other, sound outlooks of what Buddhism is to take into account. Buddhism is variegated, and Soto Zen is one school of Zen Buddhism which travelled to Japen through China.
The Soto school was founded in Japan by Dogen. Even though he taught sitting contemplation as the highest thing to do, he spoke and wrote and walked too - there is Zen walking, Zen archery and much else as well as what matters the most in Soto Zen, namely Zen sitting. Below we look into a good Zen way of presenting salient points and others. Zen reverend Nishijima of Dogen's lineage thinks that the all-round way of presenting items as used by Dogen (1200-53 AD) derives from four ideals in Gautama Buddha's teachings. [Zwm] [More Zen].
Our standard presentation of patched sayings and the like has no claims to a lineage, but the all-round, simplified designs line up with Dogen's way of writing nicely.
❖ As one greets one is also thanked [German proverb]
One may take the many and sound academic reservations away from any text and add to text statements from such an "arsenal of reservations". Compare Sir Bertrand Russell's, "If you want to make a statement with a great many qualifications, put some of the qualifications in separate sentences." The site is aligned to Sir Bertrand's formidable counsel throughout. Details are spelled out here: [Link]
So, look deeply into "Buddhism is just Zazen (Zen sitting)" and read on. You may see that the interpretation of that statement depends on outlook and perhaps your schooling and standing too. For example, Gautama Buddha's Buddhism contains both (1) meditation, (2) teachings, and (3) organisation of adherents (in the sangha). These three are called the Three Jewels. Minding that the foremost way is a good, meditative one, later Buddhism got many diversified schools of philosophy, added teachings, cultural adaptations, and ceremonies added to it as time went by. And, interestingly, Dogen did not dispense with old Buddhism and earlier Buddhist writings either, after all: He referred to them and used them.
Here is how to handle dubious statements in two sound, all-round ways:
You do not have to embrace Buddhist canon to get into Dogen's best hits: (a) study to ascend; (b) contemplate along with that; (b) think your own thoughs to help the dear ones. Thinking for oneself may work against dwarfing. Mind mapping shown.
Good scholing may seem traitorous to average minds at times. And yet, sound breeding should be far more worthwhile than moulding minds a lot.
❖ A small brook becomes a large river [German, adapted].
The Shobogenzo Structure
"I found that the Shobogenzo is in fact constructed in a very special way; using a unique pattern of expression.
These words by a contemporary Zen priest, Gudo Nishijima, are found in the essay "The Theory of Four Views", written in preparation for a series of talks given in San Francisco in the Fall of 1986. [See "Three Philosophies and One Reality" in Ref. A]
Nishijima also informs us somewhere else: "The Shobogenzo is written with a unique logical structure, which I have called "Four Views" or "Three Philosophies & One Reality." He also makes a deep study of how the work is "full of contradictions".
Problems may be resolved through a suitable depth structure and work according to plan.
❖ Lots of problems are presented according to one's views. For example, it seems like a problem for a lover of beer not to have it around, but not a problem for others and beer drinkers with ample supplies at hand.
❖ At some times the beer drinker misses beer, at other times he has had enough of it. Hence, some contradictions are resolved in "the river of" Time. And stepwise solution-building can be helped in or by the flow of time too.
There is a close match between Dogen's "unique logical structure" of ideas and ours: Nishijima writes - and we just repeat and add our standard icons and headings fit for them:
"Master Dogen expresses his ideas in the Shobogenzo
based on a pattern of four phases." [Gudo Nishijima]
NOTE. A "Get Tao" essay or table is arranged for three steps toward gaining Tao welcomes (and handling skills, ways, means etc.) In some cases only the first two steps are found.
"The Shobogenzo is full of these four-phased
explanations." [Gudo Nishijima]
Occasionally you see this icon in a summary (gist): the cauldron signals that the general drift - especially the last stretch of it - seems non-productive and alarming, perhaps dangerous in some ways too. A cauldron signals a drift - a take - that should be avoided, as it seems little likely to get you some into "welcoming arms" of Tao. Steer away from this take, is the purport of the cauldron, since you risk losing much if you take such a course as sketched.
More thought on how to present good items
ONE MAY study Buddhism as a victim of alien canon, as an expert reader, or let it be. But it seldom pays to be uninformed outside one's waters or on thin ice for long. The information shared with you above, should go against fictitious standards if some people co-operate with tact.
Life is for the living - let it rise above words and thought and include mantrayana (mantra contemplation) too to be weighty.
Dogen's work Shobogenzo exists in several versions. The Zen teacher Nishijima has taken substantial part in a translation of it, and also done a remarkable analysis of it. He tells that Dogen constructed his philosophical system around four intermingling ideation groups - they are cardinal ideas with some ramifications. A fit aim for using them is to rise higher in spirit than falling victim of this and that special statement. Further, our back-up orientation is that of fostering sanity and fitness by and large, and smartness can be helped on and up too by sound and delicate measures to probe.
How Dogen structured his Shobogenzo is laid bare under the headline "The Structure of The Shobogenzo" in booklet by Reverend Nishijima. [Ref. B]
The surface arrangement of various points in a Dogen discourse is according to a groundwork, and here at the Gold Scales we too build up chapters of such pinpointed items (salient points) in a very similar if not identical groundwork.
"Tao is Zen"
Professor D. T. Suzuki once said that "Tao is Zen and Zen is Tao." It is seldom as simple as that, but a Tao outlook is at the backbone of many Zen teachings and intermingles with some of Buddha's. A succinct term for Tao is Way. Tao means such as ways or means of handling this and that, ideas and things, and so on. Zen is also eminently practical in a series of outlets. Below is how to reach such outlets stepwise for tactful ones.
So here you find a site linked to one of the most influential Zen teachers in history, and what is more, we hold on to a sort of skeletal arrangement of topics that is fairly accurately identical with the grand TULIP considerations of Calvinism. It is the stratifified tick tack toe design of ours that is purely Calvinistic, and much else ties in with it. Our special way of designing the material is also terribly much akin to the main ways of Dogen throughout, as the Zen roshi Nishijima has laid bare - see our main reference source: [ Ref. B]
1. The Calvinist outlook is summarised by the acronym TULIP. The newly developed TTT essay design (tables) corresponds much to the TULIP scheme, but that is not its key focus at all. [More]. At any rate, the acronym TULIP shows attitudes fostered. Each TULIP letter stands for a topic, which is backed up by one or more Bible suggestions. Read a critic and study all the gospels to get a grasp of John Calvin's ideas: [Ref.]
2. Also, our hovering design shows much congruence with the structural ascent trek as conceived by Algirdas Greimas in the heels of Vladimir Propp.
3. And at bottom is our kind of philosophical cybernetics, which derives in part from structures within Taoism and exemplify a general philosophy of cybernetics: It is one that has its own schemas and structuring gambits evolved, and is fit for use today. Thus, this is basically thought up in tune with much that assists good life - and why not assisting thinking that precedes it and helps further too? [More]
The Over-all Training Route
Be reminded of the "get dao" figure; it might just as well have professed "Get into welcoming arms". We think that can happen once you ATTAIN to the sixth 'pearl' or bead at the sharp angle (origo) of the figure:
Many survey schemes may explain the design better. See for example a mainframe exposition: [MORE]. By adhering to the general way or ways built into essays here, you "get to the (some) welcoming arms" - ways which can serve as a stepwise training route too. Practice is easier told of than done. Training may get hard, but should not exceed one's capacities and calibre.
Note in particular: The first two (blue) beads are grouped under "tick" below. Tick consists of two spans or levels of accomplishment, in other words. And so on with the rest.
The little figure is designed for beginning attempts and as an iconic reminder too.
Loose hint: "If you learn to access that trend-giving over-all systemic route, you tend to get richer and more favoured - maybe more and more."
Be reminded a route requires drill and careful study for things like that to happen. Thus, we advocate a many-faceted way up into good living and things that accompany it here and there - and that may suffice for now.
NOTE: Each stage of our all-round model for progress is marked by important significators that have to be well understood. If over-all conditions agree fairly well, you may set out to get figurative eggs of gold eventually. They derive from practical handling and good thinking together. At the very least the term 'gold eggs' refers to handy and good thinking according to the schematas given. That is a bit of the definition.
Tick sifted or suggestedDo not walk blindly. Use common sense and be helped by jolly good extracts a very long way, so as to become more able as time goes by.
Tack is likewise suggestedWeighty evidence is found.
Toe gives handling hints fit for beginnersPlain dealings are fit if none is bluffing.
More on this methodology
Dog: Masunaga, Reiho, tr. A Primer of Soto Zen. A Translation of Dogen's Shobogenzo Zuimonki. Honolulu: University Press, 1975.
Ebu: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2007 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007.
Shz: Cleary, Thomas, tr. Shobogenzo: Zen Essays by Dogen. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986
Szd: Nishijima, Gudo Wafo and Cross, Chodo, trs. Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. Book 1. Woking, Surrey (UK): Windbell Publications, 1994.
Szi: Nishijima, Gudo Wafo and Cross, Chodo, trs. Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. Book 2. London: Windbell Publications, 1996.
Szm: Nishijima, Gudo Wafo and Cross, Chodo, trs. Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. Book 3. London: Windbell Publications, 1997.
Szp: Nishijima, Gudo Wafo and Cross, Chodo, trs. Master Dogen's Shobogenzo. Book 4. London: Windbell Publications, 1999.
Zazc: Kasamatsu, Akira and Hirai, Tomio. "An Electroencephalographic Study on the Zen Meditation." Psychologia, vol 12, 1969, p 205-25. Kyoto, Japan.
Zwm: Herrigel, Eugen. Zen i bueskytingens kunst ("Zen Archery"). Oslo: Gyldendal, 1971.
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