Zen Research

Zen practice is research:  seeing what is.  It can free us from thousands of years of incrustation caused by conditioning.  Some of the ideas we have been conditioned by are very primitive.  Perhaps they were useful at another time; now they plague us globally and personally.  In our daily lives they stand in the way of our freedom and  expansion.  I don’t think we know what our limits are.  I don’t know if that can be known or if there are any.
Research in the Zen tradition is direct looking into the mind, and it is a simple and pragmatic approach.  When we want to see what is “in” our universe, we use a telescope, or a spacecraft.  Here on earth historically we used forms of transportation like boats.  Preconceptions, particularly fearful ones, like falling of the edge of the earth, only block us from knowledge, from seeing what’s really there.  This is as true in our minds as anywhere else.
I believe it is very important to engage in traditions and practices that make us more conscious at this time.  It’s what Lost Coin is about.  As our technology gains power, as our machines become intelligent, we need to become more intelligent and conscious.  I think we need to enhance the same potentials we hope to create in our technology.  Small, negative views that are actually just primitive, combined with advanced technology, would likely lead to disaster.  But on the other hand, it can be a call for our awakening.  I think of Raymond Kurzweil’s inspiring book, The Age of Spiritual Machines.  When our machines acquire intelligence will their first book be The Age of Spiritual Humans?

Lost Coin

The tradition I have trained in has developed, researched, and refined a non-dualistic understanding that I feel is very important at this time.  It has cultivated a “singularity” of consciousness that has been validated by practitioners for thousands of years.  Anyone that looks into his or her mind by means of certain forms of meditation and other practices has access to this understanding.  Basically it is the understanding of all existence as one thing.  This has historically been referred to as enlightenment or realization.  This realization includes its integration into dualistic, pragmatic terms–our lives and everyone’s life.
Today this relates well to the quickly expanding direction of technology and I believe our increased union with technology is capable of making us “better than well” – a phrase I read and liked very much.  It is a wonderful time for a psychological technology also capable of making us “better than well”  to merge with and unify all our efforts to develop and evolve.  I think we have incredible possibilities available at this time.  Lost Coin Development is about using our knowledge to contribute to this process of evolution, which is likely to be both human and transhuman.
Throughout history Zen has adapted to its time, letting go of old forms. At this point I believe it is time for it to adapt again – away from old religious and monastic forms. a history that we can appreciate but also move forward from.  It has been said that Zen practice is about becoming one with our lives.  We cannot become one with a life that is centuries past.  Our life today is science, technology, the internal expression that is art, and engagement with the state of our world.  I believe that all this can and must move forward as one thing:  one thing that is  both one and multidimensional, like a coin in which heads, tails, and the whole coin are equally the truth.