Friday, October 30, 2015

Final Exam Topics


The Four Noble Truths: 1- The truth of misery, 2- the truth that misery originates from the craving for pleasure, 3- the truth that this craving for pleasure can be eliminated (controlled), 4- the truth that this elimination is the result of a method that must be followed:

Eightfold Path: 1- The right views, 2- right aspirations, 3- right speech, 4- right conduct, 5- right livelihood, 6- right effort, 7- right mindfulness, and 8- right meditational attainment.

Dharma: cosmic law, duty, also the teaching of Buddha.  

Karma: The principle of causality,

Nirvana: same as moksha: liberation.


1- T’ien (or heaven) is purposive, the master of all things. T'ien is immanent: “Heaven sees through the eyes of the people, Heavens listens through the ears of the people.” Not necessarily anthropomorphic but anthropogenic, T'ien is embodied in the people and exemplified by the people. Heaven is a principle and that relates to human as that of part/whole relationship. 

2- Jen (also pronounced as “ren” means indistinctly, altruism, humanity and fairness and appears more than 100 times in the Analects. Jen requires compassion. 

Zhong-Yong: the Doctrine of the Mean = centrality = not to be “one-sided.” It doesn't mean just being in the middle regardless of context. The idea is to stay between two vices, not between excellence and vice. “Excess is as bad as deficiency.” (A, 20:1). Confucius defines it as: “Do not impose to others what you don't want,” the negative form of the Golden Rule. “If you want to establish yourself, establish others. If you want to promote yourself, promote others.” To be able to apply the golden rule one has to follow Shu

4- Shu, means to be empathetic, i.e., to be able to understand the circumstances. Shu needs... 

5- Xue or learning. It means a stronger sense of affecting oneself by improving one’s sensitivity, understanding or ability. With xue one appropriates what’s learned, a process of becoming transforming.

6- Si, means reflecting. “Learning without Si, one will be perplexed, thinking (Si) without learning, one will be in peril.” (A, 2:15). 

7- Li which is the idea of ritual. Li can be seen as the embodiment of refinement that rules one’s life. If jen is the internal quality that makes a person an authentic person, then li is the body of external behavior that allows jen to be manifested and applied publicly. When li is properly performed, it becomes "yi,” a word that can be translated as righteousness. Li provides the fabric of social order. It’s the proper social behavior of a person embedded in a community of equals. Li is also a vital constituent of education: Humans are like raw materials, they need to be carved, chiseled, grounded and polished to become authentic individuals. By doing li one learns and instills oneself in the practice of li


1- Tao (the Way) is the ONE. Natural, eternal, spontaneous, nameless and indescribable

Lao Tzu assumes the YING YANG principle. Yang is the cosmic energy of Heaven, male, aggression, firmness and brightness. Ying is the cosmic energy of earth, a female element that is receptive, yielding and dark. Harmony in nature is achieved through these two cosmic energies. They are both equally important. 

2- Being/Non-being, meaning the dialectic aspect of the universe. It's duck-rabbit. The second part of the dichotomy is referred to as Wuji (limitless, infinite)It's the ultimate nothingness. 
Know whiteness, Maintain blackness, and be a model for all under heaven. By being a model for all under heaven, Eternal integrity will not err. If eternal integrity does not err, You will return to infinity. 
3- Cycles: Tao moves in cycles. But the life cycle is an unchanging truth. While everything in nature and all sentient beings follow their respective cycles, so do worldly events. The main lesson here is that there is no rule by which one can foresee the future. Beware of Black Swans!

4- If a person shows Tao, he/she has applied Te (virtue). The ideal life for the individual and the ideal order for society and government are based on and guided by it. Te = harmony with your milieu, thus the universe.   

One who understand the the dominating character of the male yet keeps to the passive nature of the female, behaves properly

Te "produces but does not possess, cares but does not control; it leads but does not subjugate." 

5- Tao has a 5-point method: 

a- Simplicity: "less is more"
"less" here is not deficient, or lacking, or reduced. It's the best possible less: the just less that makes it happen.   

b- Spontaneity or tzu-yan: "blaze the trail not often followed" 
Even at the verge of erring, err honestly.  

c- Tranquility: "moon illumines the crystal blue water" 
The quiet horizon amidst the noise. Levelheadedness in crisis.  

d- Flexibility: "be a blade of grass" 
Dare let the weather lead.  

e- Non-action or wu-weiBecause of its importance, I intend to explain wu-wei in more detail in my next post.


1- Talking silence (Dogen):

"Avoid unnecessary words.
Speak with your mind.
Read people’s minds."

2- Being a fool (Master Ikkyu):

"How to reach out?"
Listen… ask.
"How can I obtain wisdom?"
Be a fool.

"What is Zen?
Nothing special."

A monk asked Ummon: "What is Buddha?" Ummon answered him: "Dried shit."
3- Gentle Face (Shin-Hiu)

"Gentle face means a happy spirit,
Let people know it.
Let people see it.
What if they resent it?
Since they need it, they will come to love it."

4- Compelling mind (Ryokan)

"The compelling mind is peaceful."

"How can I feel my mind?
Look at the mountain…"

"Read minds and look at the mountains.".....

"Beathe with your mind and think with your heart!"

5- Cultivate Poetry (the koan as a device for enlightenment)*

Language is evoked by the present occasion itself; it is not merely a mapping of the present in terms of learned structures. thus, language has more of a poetic than a discursive dimension. poetry proper is never merely a higher mode of everyday language. it's rather the reverse: everyday language is a forgotten and therefore used-up poem, from which there hardly resounds a call any longer.

6- Doing Nothing

"Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water."

"When you seek it, you cannot find it."

"After enlightenment, the laundry."


Anonymous said...

Test is thursday correct?

-geoff robbins

atRifF said...

Yes. But we have class tomorrow. Well, more like just saying good bye.

Anonymous said...

Are we going to be tested the same way we were tested on the mid term? Defining the terms?

-Gabby Gallardo

atRifF said...

Yes, Gaby.

Derek Lewis said...

What are the terms for Zen? All I see are concepts and quotes. Are we supposed to memorize those quotes?

Anonymous said...

The test is on Tuesday?

Anonymous said...