While reading this morning 9-12-14 MOUNTAIN RECORD OF ZEN TALKS by John Daido Loori pg 187, I was struck how this spoke to the question about bypassing:
In Zen training, when we get the surface mind quiet, a lot of the
deeper stuff that we do not want to think about begins popping
up...Little by little, as concentration builds, and joriki, the power
of concentration, develops...If the joriki becomes strong enough,
samadhi happens...but it can also be a trap. It can also be a way of
avoiding dealing with things or tuning them out. In Zen, it is
considered "dead-end samadhi" to stop in samadhi. To stop anywhere is a
This is the big trap. Or stopping anywhere and thinking you have arrived is a trap.
The author goes on page 188
Developing concentration and samadhi, sitting in meditation year after
year, is like scaling a mountain. You struggle up the slopes...Finally
you reach the top, which is like the ground of being...But if you stay
there, it becomes just as much a delusion as everything else...You
need to keep going down the other side of the mountain, back into
everyday life, into the marketplace...in the way we raise a child, grow
a garden, drive a car, live our life...Zen has to do with everyday
I leave the rest of the answer, but you probably do not need to read it. The above really answers the question for me.
One pathway that steers around bypassing is to meditate to experience your inner suffering without running from it or reacting to it.
Meditation can be a highly elevated experience that is a tempting way to get out of suffering temporarily, but the human condition is suffering. By running from suffering, the shadow it casts is larger than life and it is constantly chasing us.
If one could bypass this suffering would that really be a Buddhist practice or would it just be a clever self-deception that would fall at the first test?
Here is a zen story that illustrates how a true practice and a contrived practice hold up under real life situations.
"Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.
Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
"Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"
"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?""
There are many sources of this story. this one was found at
The point I see is that any self-deception will not stand against the realities of life.
The intention of the practice may be a key factor. If the goal is self-enlightenment all the trickery of the self can hamper real awakening. If the goal is to dedicate all the results of your life and practice to helping all, then where can the tricky appearance of self get a foot hold?