Mondo Zen Blog

Thoughts About Zen and the Art of Love

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some comments from Tom Carroll to Jun Po ... on your Integral Institute interview:

Your interview with Jeff was as good a talk as I've heard you give. It took a while for Jeff to find his focus, and he stumbled a bit getting started.

"The closest Zen gets to love is warmth." Interesting remark but not good for the laugh he was looking for....
"Still water runs deep" .... Pretty good recovery from you.
"Your ego thinks your heart can be broken. [But it's] vast beyond comprehension." That's a line I will not soon forget.

"The heart as the focus for practice." This certainly simplifies things... but I guess the woman who called at the end did not see this. "It's so complex," she said. "Why does it need to be so Complex?" Your answer was good - but the answer is also touched by paradox - making insight more illusive.

The only place I heard you get a bit ragged is when Jeff makes laudatory remarks about his childhood training - his appreciation of the sense of being the child of a loving god. You stalled out...let in some dead air - maybe intentionally. What I liked is that you went on to talk about passion - to identify the place and the case for passion! I think you sidestepped Jeff's intended meaning. But the argument for passion was worth it. Maybe at some point you could revisit what what Jeff was really saying - which I'd guess was about how we can relate to archetypes at any stage of development.

I think you are doing a better job of explaining compassion. Added to this, the emphasis on the place and need for passion in practice and the heart as the center of practice - all very helpful for anyone straddling traditions.

I am glad  to hear you speak as you did. You may have always thought or seen this. But for myself, a one time church boy, to come toward Buddhism was a very dispiriting experience. I see now, and you apparently agree, that this was not necessary. The rigidity of a tradition, be it Buddhism or Catholicism - both can be stultifying.

Thanks - no comment necessary - just some thoughts.

Best to ya.

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