toxic thought waste site

Theological whimsy, metaphysical larks, and other spiritually radioactive waste products.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Adventures in Enlightenment: Zero to Zen Master

So it's time to take it up a notch. I've had some fun with my monthly samplers from the enlightenment buffet. But now it is time for a full meal. While I'm capable of many things, becoming enlightened by way of a month long experiment is apparently not within my power.

Let's make it a year then. If I can't get enlightened in a year then I think it's safe to say that this whole enlightenment thing is (gasp) a sham. Or I'm spiritually tone deaf, metaphysically color blind, or just dumb.

By a not very scientific assessment it seems that zen is the best bet. First of all the amount of clearly ridiculous beliefs you have to start out with are at a minimum and secondly there does appear to be some half way credible evidence around that meditating is good for you.

Zen seems to be one of those things that in a sense gets a "free ride" from otherwise skeptical people. My goal is to determine if there really is something interesting behind this whole zen thing or if its just more metaphysical gobbledygook. Along the way I could just get in on some of that satori action.

Over the next few days I'll start outlining exactly what my year long schedule is going to be and what the specific month long zen themed enlightenment experiments will be. Until then if you want to help a struggling zen-weenie along, what books would you recommend or warn against?

If you need a little zen snack to get you through the day while you are awaiting my words of wisdom, you could probably do worse than checking out the HARDCORE ZEN blog. (This author actually has at least a small role in my revisiting zen as I hope to talk about in the near future).

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