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Buddhadharma : Fall 2007
fall 2007| 42 |buddhadharma up to the highest point, as much as one can, to the point of limitlessness. At that point, ordinary logical conclusions and logical debates become meaningless, and one develops higher thinking, the epitome of the highest way of relating with the reasoning mind. In the Zen tradition, it seems that the whole approach is intuitive. The student’s mind is put into situations of practice and the simplicity of dis- cipline so that the student does not have a chance to use his or her intellect or logical mind at all. The only use of logical mind a student could develop is the choice at the beginning to go to such and such a temple and study under such and such a master. That is the student’s only intellectual choice, and that choice may be tinged with emotionalism and intuitive feelings toward Buddhism and commit- ting oneself to it. But beyond that, once a student has entered into Zen discipline, there is no place for intellect. It is simple and direct. For example, if you are composing your own verses about the dharma, the master catches you if the slightest intel- lectualization comes up. Such intellectualization is cut down and swept away along with the dust on the meditation hall floor. A dichotomy arises at this point, in that Zen logic is constantly engrossed with relative refer- ence points. We could almost say that if a person doesn’t have any relative reference to the world, it is impossible for that person to understand Zen. “If, as it has been said, prajna is neither big nor small, then what?” “Since it has been said that prajna is neither big nor small, then I don’t know.” “That’s it! You don’t know.” Not knowing prajna, you are confronted with the choice of whether you should associate your- self with prajna as large or small. But you have lost your choice because you have no hold on either of them and you are bewildered. At that point, in the middle of bewilderment, a very refreshing glimpse of a gap begins to appear in your state of mind. You caught something – or you missed it. Ironically, the Zen tradition is largely based on dichotomies and paradoxes of all kinds, but those paradoxes are more about feeling rather than RolAndSChmId