More Topics »

Who's Online
Now online:
  • 252 guests
Latest members:
Total members: 167



SAVE the DATE! Friday May 6th is First Friday Festival at Zonolite. Plan to attend and bring your family and friends. Music, great food and even a circus! Watch for more details to follow.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 23 March 2016 09:51)


ASZC, STO Training Center, Has Had A Makeover!

Zendo Renovation 2 compressed

Thank you to everyone who helped to remodel and reset the Zendo. The remodeling lasted 60 days but the outcome is, well, as you can see, beautiful! ASZC will have a "grand-reopening" celebration soon so be on the lookout for an announcement with the details! Retreats are planned for February and March. Please plan to attend one or all!

Last Updated (Wednesday, 17 February 2016 19:32)


DharmaByte February 2016

INTELLIGENCE – Artificial vs Natural

The dictionary defines intelligence as "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills." I have also heard it defined, in an even more stripped-down version, as "the ability to learn." Without going into the overwhelming research on the subject, or its controversial political sideshow—resistance to dumbing us down to the level of our primate cousins—let us consider what the role of intelligence might mean, in Zen. We learn, from Master Dogen, that insight in Zen has little or nothing to do with conventional intelligence; but that "human faculties may be sharp or dull," from the Harmony of Difference and Equality (J. Sandokai).

If we take the latter, simpler definition, we can expand the meaning of intelligence to include so-called "lower" animals, obviously. But with a little more liberal attitude, may even countenance the behavior of a tree, as exhibiting the ability to learn. That is, a root grows through the soil, and encounters a blockage, such as a stone, or another root. The tree does not keep pushing against the stone, like a human being, beating her or his head against the wall. Instead, it follows the route of least resistance, by going around the impediment. You might argue that there is no recognition, by the tree, of what is occurring, that indeed, it does continue pushing, but that it is the yielding of the relatively softer soil, that enables its change of direction. And, of course, you would be correct, insofar as that analysis goes. We do not attribute intent to a tree, after all, let alone the stone.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 17 February 2016 19:25)

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Copyright Details Website Design