24 September 2009


Thank you for the info. on your web site. I am not sure if this is meant
to be "Stump the Guru" question, but you are welcome to use it there. As
a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, I have been "steeped" in the Two Wings,
Emptiness and Bodhicitta (Compassion) . So, the concept "Sudden
Enlightenment" is quite new to me. I have been pleasantly surprised by
what I have learned recently in the Zen world of Buddhism. I have two

1.  I certainly can see the Emptiness side of Zen. What I do not see
(and probably because I do not know where to look) is the Bodhicitta or
Compassion emphasis in Zen teachings. Can you explain to me or direct me
to explanations of how Zen approaches and incorporates Bodhicitta in its

2. In Tibetan Buddhism, the Tulku concept is quite interesting and
appears to be quite useful for its potential to identify those, if
nothing else, with high probability of great attainment and therefore
(if so) ability to guide others to Enlightenment (or Bodhisattva-hood).
(Being a "human" process, I am aware that the tulku process has its
problems, too.) In reading many biographies of Zen masters, I find
little to no teachings (yet) on what is occurring to these Masters
during or after transition. I find it impossible to believe that they
have no further interest in helping sentient beings but see no
systematic teaching to that effect. Is there such a thing in Zen
teachings or is that pretty much a "your karma may vary" thing, looking
at it from the point of view of us schmucks still in samsara?

You can edit the above questions as you see fit if you want to use them
in your "Stump the Guru" blog. Thank you for your time.




Zen in literature has little to do with compassion.

By Tulku you mean reincarnated teacher?  No such thing in Zen or Advaita.

When you go from one tradition to another you should not expect the
same concepts to exist in both. That would defeat the whole
idea of different traditions. In fact though, most Zen masters I
have known were good guys and some kind. But it is not a universal
character trait.



Yeah, perhaps I am just trying to have my cake (Tibetan Buddhism) and my
icing (Zen Buddhism) and eat them both (without desire, of course). If I
might ask a couple more questions: (If you don't have the time or prefer
not to address the questions below, I still appreciate your website and
writings. I think they are very, very helpful.)

1. So, what is the difference between Zen and Advaita? (I know little
about Advaita at the moment. Read Sri Ramana's bio and books recently.
Very interesting. Found your site from within the Wanderling Awakening
101 site.) What makes Zen a Mahayana thing and Advaita non-Buddhist, as
opposed, say, to Theravada or Hinayana? There are quite a few
similarities in those three traditions.

I believe Zen incorporates the Bodhisattva vows into the Esoteric form
of Zen. I have interest in "leaving samsara permanently", of course, but
have more interest in helping others, such as my family, do so, too. I
realize that we are just rehashing samsara every second, but dropping
everything, including family, to "get 'er done" seems counter-productive
for them.

2. I recently read a note on your web site about "Kundalini experiences"
where you noted that, for more info., one should search your web site. I
have not been able to locate that area. About 5 years ago, when I was
wondering which path to take, I had an amazing vision/dream/experience,
which I can only describe as being "touched" (or nearly overwhelmed) by
a female "goddess" or female Buddha, or dakini (whatever that is) or
something. (No idea who it was, but she was BIG and looked like the
Pre-historic goddess carvings of "The Witches of Eastwick". LOTS of
femininity.) I am still curious as to what happened or whether there was
or is any significance in that event. (Or whether this is just another
game played by my ego.) It certainly energized my practice so to that
extent it has been helpful.

Other things have and do still occur in my life that keep my practice
energized to the extent that the experiences are "new". Practically
every night for the last 30 years, I have had and continue to have
dreams of what I interpret as "other lives" experiences. Often, these
dreams include experiences of dying, of existence in the Bardo, and the
heading for the re-birth. Often, a large or significant GURU figure is
leading the way. Mostly, the dreams are just of me continuously making a
fool of myself. (Bah-ha-ha!) I have only been practicing Buddhism for
the last 5.5 years so these started happening way before I ever knew
anything about Buddhist cosmology. Ah, well. Life is weird.

Thank you for any and all assistance. I am grateful for your website and




All your questions are about philosophy, experiences, ideas,
comparative religion, etc.

None of this has ANYTHING to do with who you are.

Forget about goddesses, gurus, teachings, compassion, going beyond,
these are all head trips.

Your only concern should be to understand who you are which can only
be found by you through self-investigation.

I attach only one book.

Download it and let it be your guide to self-exploration. Read it
every morning for a half hour. Sit in silence after that and let it
and your pondering sink in.

Slow down your mind and reflect only on your own self-teaching. You
can know all about the subtleties of Buddhist philosophy and be even
further away from self realization than a Wall Street stock
manipulator. All concepts are your enemies.


Thank you. Very much.

I will do what you suggest. I hope you don't mind if I modify your
instructions a bit. I will do the reading and the sitting,  prior to
work every morning and after work every evening. (Got two kids in
college.) Interesting. Last night and this morning, I read a couple of
chapters of a book about Sri Ramana. (Book link at home). His definition
of Happiness is interesting. wow.

I know that this body is not "Me" or the "I am". I know that this mind
is not Me or the "I am". (Nor these feelings, etc.) I have understood
that for a few years. I have only "known" that for a few months. I know
(the word "know" is all I have. perhaps "feel" or simply understand)
that my universe is "Me" or at least my perception of it is completely
created by this current body and mind, and the karma or my previous (and
current) mental actions. I originally thought this was (or is) the my
holy guru as (I reasoned) how could someone like me provide me with the
universe, body, and mind that I have. 'Course, my Karma "could" be my
part of the deal. I guess I don't know.

Last Spring, during my morning practice, I "saw" or "became one with",
for a very short period of time, "Me". I was a perfect diamond-like
essence. It was every color of light, forever. I was very sorry to see
that recede.

Again, thank you. I look forward to following your advice.



You need no further advice at this time. Just gently begin the practice of gaining acquaintance with yourself as just consciousness, awareness.

You are doing well.

These are good experiences, but remember being one with I Am is only
an experience, and you are not that; you are the knower of the experience.


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