For discussions focused on Sutras and Zen texts, old and new.
You are welcome. Thank you
I think the basic ‘thread’ in these quotes that is most relevant here is the crucial importance of clear and accurate understanding or “right views.” Zazen, practice-enlightenment, nonthinking, shikantaza, sanzen, meditation, cultivation, practice – or any other name for that which is the keystone of actualizing the Buddha Way or path of Zen must be accurately understood if it is to be accurately and effectively applied.
“…;smooth-tongued, worldly-wise Zen teachers who feed their students rations of utter nonsense…”
“…students don’t understand…” “…supposing this to be the Dharma… If you take this… to be the right way, then you will be making ignorance the lord and master.”
“…because [people] do not wake up from views…” “…they seem… to have lost the boundary of clear understanding. Few even learn that they should speak the words.” “…among heads of the table... there are some who die without once in their life voicing the expression of the truth…”
“…people …do not depend on the guidance of the written teachings, but …assume that the successive transmission …is the path. “…you should follow words and teachings …expounded in accordance with reality …to determine the proper procedure in regard to awakening and cultivation.”
If the technique of a practitioner’s “practice” is based on “utter nonsense” (Hakuin), a “false supposition” (Linchi), an absence of “clear understanding” (Dogen), or a wrong “assumption” (Chinul), they can hardly be expected to actualize authentic Zen.
I’m not exactly sure what you are getting at here. In any case, as far as Zen practice-enlightenment goes I don’t think you “should” or “should not” be confused, on the cushion or off. When there is confusion act accordingly, when there is clarity act accordingly. Zen practice-enlightenment, in my experience, does not begin when your ass hits the cushion and it does not end when the bell rings. Similarly, confusion and clarity are not confined to particular aspects or activities of sentient existence – when we are confused or clear about words and concepts (objects of mind consciousness) we are confused or clear; when we are confused or clear about sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or tactile sensations (objects of eye consciousness, objects of ear consciousness, etc.) we are confused or clear about sights, sounds, etc.
At the same time, even though it makes little (or no) difference what things, beings, or events we are confused or clear about (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or thoughts), and little (or no) difference when/where we are confused or clear (on the cushion or off), there is no doubt that some objects of consciousness are more likely to be confusing (e.g. thoughts, words, concepts, etc.) and some are more likely to be clear (e.g. sights, sounds, etc.). Likewise, it is (usually) much easier to experience clarity on the cushion than it is at work, in rush-hour traffic, or the dentist chair. These 'differences' are, of course, multiplied when it comes to beginners; after some years on the path it gets easier to work with all the various kinds of dharmas, as well as to maintain clarity 'off' the cushion.
While mindfulness of “posture, breathing, and hara” are great for concentrating focused awareness (both on and off the cushion), such awareness should not be limited to these, in my view. Ultimately, each and every thing, being, and event (i.e. dharma, or object of consciousness) that actually constitutes our experience/existence (self/world) here-now should be fully and deeply discerned as it is – when the things, beings, and events constituting my very existence/experience arise and set as they are in the ceaseless advance into novelty that life (self/world) is, practice-enlightenment occurs. Here-now (in practice-enlightenment) things, beings, and events continuously arise as they are, undivided by ‘self’ and ‘other than self’ – there is only ‘hot’ in the whole universe, or nothing but ‘cold,’ only ‘tweet, tweee, tweet’, just ‘that tea-taste’, or ‘this burning knee,’ no ‘me’ and ‘it’ – only “Mu” or “Wash your bowl!”
When you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you grasp things directly. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illumined the other side is dark.
Accordingly, in the practice-enlightenment of the buddha way, meeting one thing is mastering it--doing one practice is practicing completely. Here is the place; here the way unfolds.
From Shobogenzo, Genjokoan (trans. Robert Aitken Roshi and Kazuaki Tanahashi)
I am not sure what you mean by “trying to allow thoughts and emotions to… etc.” I was taught that thoughts and emotions were to be recognized and treated in the same way as any other dharma (object of consciousness), that is, to be clearly discerned and (thereby) actualized (given the appropriate response, e.g. assimilated, dismissed, pursued, considered, etc.). In practice-enlightenment experience/existence totally “happens” as it is – there is no ‘I’ in contrast to ‘shit’, there is only ‘happening’ or only ‘I’ or ‘shit’ (I/shit) in the whole universe here-now.
In my view it does not really matter if Huineng is right or wrong (though I have yet discover him wrong on anything), but it does matter that you resolve any and all personal doubts about the true nature of practice-enlightenment. If you are uncertain about the authenticity of your Zen or Buddhist ‘practice’ you cannot even know if it really is ‘Zen’ or ‘Buddhist’ practice. Without accurate understanding or realization the best you could hope for was that your ‘practice’ was at least a genuine form of Zen or Buddhist practice – then at least you would be less likely to injure yourself or others. But such imitation forms of practice (i.e. void of understanding and realization) are really only a slight bit better than no practice at all. Indeed, it would be better to have understanding and realization without practice then it would to have just practice without understanding or realization.
There are four kinds of people who study. The highest are those with practice, with understanding, and with realization. Next are those with understanding, and with realization but without practice. Next are those with practice and understanding but without realization. Lowest are those with practice, but without understanding or realization.
Zen Dawn, J.C. Cleary, p.53
In sum, keep doing what you’re doing; digging into it – strive on, strive on. If the teacher you have is unconvincing, try another one; some teachers work well with some students and not so well with others, and as always, there are plenty who only qualify as ‘teachers’ in name only.
Please treasure yourself.
Do not misunderstand Buddhism by believing the erroneous principle ‘a special tradition outside the scriptures.’ Zen Master Dogen, Shobogenzo, Bukkyo (trans. Hee-Jin Kim)
Ted Biringer Author The Flatbed Sutra
Shikantaza is a practice where the mind is very actively involved in just sitting
This type of practice is difficult and makes it too easy for the mind to become distracted
And a mistaken belief develops that Zazen means sitting with empty minds
They are too set in their ways and in their belief of their actions
And will not listen anyone else's opinions
So, there is no way to talk to these people and help
Thoughts are not an impediment to Zazen
They are a natural vibration in the flow of the mind
Awareness is not to chase or suppress thoughts
In this world, Younghung(永興) is Partriach, who say the same Huineng-like's, the sudden school's.
World zen people may see Him at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFL9j1t0fzs
Younghung say Korean language, He preach one or two days a week at near Chogye temple, Seoul.
I don't read much these days, but your post inspired me to buy this book. Reading it now. Good stuff. Basically applied Madhyamika with a real sense that if you really listen, it will really work.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice" --- Gandavyuha Sutra
Words do not confuse, nor do images or sounds, it's the identification with the see-er or the seen which begets confusion.
The one who thinks of themselves as the "knower"
When one does not know, one interpretates and says "I know" that is the problem, knowing is always is relation to something, so this condition can never be "that" just a temporary medicine, when not sick no sutra is interesting.
There's no such thing as the best translation, to me all translations are the best translations.
But one might work better the other, which is also dependable on a myriad of circumstances.
So they're all good, or all crap. In any case things are never the way we think they are
Understanding a single breath is enough.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
Very good Fuki.
Can I get an Amen??
Come on now ... just say it ... Amen
The oldest Laotsu(楚簡) is Laotsu's Zen, so Chinese language users may proudly challenge Tao.
The Laotsu, written about 2400 years ago, contains 1700 letters of world best Zen contents.
Unnabho Brahmano Sutta, Bahiya and Malunkyaputta Sutta are also for people's sudden awakening.
More than today's Gongan or Sikantaza practicing is needed for world and people.
Tunwhang Platform sutra need be rightly translated, but not yet corrected.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest