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New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Discussion of Japanese Sōtō Zen / 曹洞宗

New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:04 pm

I just recently learned of a new book by Steven Heine, Dogen and Soto Zen, that Dosho Port describes as "a collection of essays by leading Buddhist scholars about a wide range of issues regarding Dogen and, of course, Soto Zen."

Dosho, in his charmingly provocative way, titles his review of the book as "Dogen Did Not Practice Shikantaza and Even Had a Gaining Idea"

Dosho includes Heine's opening summary to the first chapter written by T. Griffith Foulk “Dogen’s Use of Rujing’s ‘Just Sit’ (shikan taza) and Other Koans”

“A central thesis of this chapter is that Dōgen does not actually teach (or even conceive of) the mode of zazen practice—now generally referred to as shikan taza—that is attributed to him by modern Sōtō school scholars as well as Zen teachers. The instructions Dōgen does give for the practice of zazen, which Foulk analyzes in considerable detail, do not employ this term, nor do they recommend an approach that is consistent with what contemporary researchers say about just sitting.”


Looks like this book is guaranteed to stir up some dust on the bottom of the ocean.

_/|\_
Gregory
Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Postby Michaeljc on Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:19 pm

Bring it on :)

What cannot be denied is that Dogen's works are chock full of proactive methods. Anything obviously related to 'Just Sit' takes a lot of finding

This debate will go nowhere I'm picking. That's sad

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Re: New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Postby Chrisd on Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:27 pm

If ppl feel just sitting works for them, who cares who said it? :)
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Re: New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:40 am

Chris,

But "just sitting" is "just-" sitting in a very STRONG sense. ;)

My claim is that this is always more a RESULT of practice as it is a practice itself. Give oneself ten years to discover and settle into it.

Once one has established just-sitting, then one may practice it.

The body must be -- or will become -- utterly transformed. Don't reply to me about this, reply to your teacher.

There is no greater beauty and no greater opportunity in all of life.

Strong practice!,

--Joe

Chrisd wrote:If ppl feel just sitting works for them, who cares who said it? :)
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Re: New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Postby Michaeljc on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:40 am

Joe wrote:
My claim is that this is always more a RESULT of practice as it is a practice itself.


This to me is the root cause behind most misunderstanding relating to Zen Dharma. This principle can be applied much of the scripture, along with many Koans and methods - mindfulness too - and, of course: Shikantaza. Bowing, chanting.

Even breath following can come naturally without any effort or hindrance

These are all in their pure form when they manifest as a result of practice

Many have got it arse-about-tit

As I see it today

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Re: New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Postby Mason on Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:57 pm

Also, maybe "just sitting" is a bit of a misnomer, because Dogen also strongly emphasized the need for a true teacher who would be constantly pointing out the state of realization, as Dogen was clearly doing for his students, and as Ru-jing was clearly doing for him.
Interconnectedness: it's like two sides of the same coin, except each side is everything in the universe - including the coin.
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Re: New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:05 pm

Michael,

I think we are in agreement, then, but I see I have erred in my grammar, which bears unfortunately on the semantics. Please bear with me while I make a correction to my hasty sentence.

I should have written:

"My claim is that this is always more a RESULT of practice THAN it is a practice itself."

Or, perhaps more correctly, and probably more universally true:

"My claim is that this is always as much a RESULT of practice as it is a practice itself."

I do not at all in any way denigrate or deprecate methods: I find them absolutely necessary, and I am a disciple of a very great master-teacher of methods, but I'd say in any case, too, that when samadhi comes on, any intentional method disappears anyway, and cannot any longer be grasped during that period of sitting. But that's off-topic and perhaps too plain-spoken.

I've enjoyed other books that Prof. Heine has edited, and enjoy the variety of writers that he brings in and collects. His books all make quite a statement, each of them, and quite a splash. I'll look for this new collection that Gregory brings up. [Thanks!, Gregory].

I have a passing interest in Dogen, have a few works by him and about him, and I attended "The First International Conference on Dogen", in New York City in 1980 when I was a Philosopher, and as a Ch'an practitioner, and disciple of Ch'an Master Sheng Yen in New York.

--Joe

Michaeljc wrote:
Joe wrote:
My claim is that this is always more a RESULT of practice as it is a practice itself.


This to me is the root cause behind most misunderstanding relating to Zen Dharma. This principle can be applied much of the scripture, along with many Koans and methods - mindfulness too - and, of course: Shikantaza. Bowing, chanting.

Even breath following can come naturally without any effort or hindrance

These are all in their pure form when they manifest as a result of practice
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Re: New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Postby cam101+ on Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:40 am

There is no dust to stir up, and the ocean is without a bottom. Yet there IS dust, and the ocean DOES have a bottom. Once we understand this simple truth (which is always in front of our very noses), then we do not need to read about what Dogen may or may not have said.
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Re: New book: Dogen and Soto Zen

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:08 pm

cam,

cam101+ wrote: ...then we do not need to read about what Dogen may or may not have said.

Yet, nice to know that someone else has been there, done that. Like having a brother on the Path, or having a letter from Home.

It's like posting here, to the (possibly-) like-minded. And, reading here.

Else, why post?, why read?

No, but your point is well taken. When the medicine has been effective, one can put aside some unnecessary modalities. But, one still may have brothers and sisters on the path, even some who lived in 13th Century Japan (or longer ago, in China). No one will fault us for communing with their hearts too, from time to time, I shouldn't think, nor prevent us.

And if one has any interest in history, and in the true richness available of the resources of the teaching, it's gladdening to know something of the figures of the past who, through their reformations and innovations, have in fact influenced our own living flesh-and-blood teachers, and hence our very own current-day practice.

But, yes, I'd say that such pointed study is definitely on a "take-it-or-leave-it" basis. There is no particular compulsion on anyone.

--Joe
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