Welcome admin !

It is currently Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:48 pm
Pathway:  Board index Zen Discussion Forum Zen Practice & Philosophy Sutras & Zen Records

Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

For discussions focused on Sutras and Zen texts, old and new.

Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby konshu82 on Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:34 pm

I'm reading the John R. McRae translation of the Platform Sutra. I've run across a passage that is confusing me:

"'Good friends, the deluded speak with their mouths, but the wise prac- tice with their minds. Furthermore, there are deluded people who empty their minds and sit in quietude without thinking of anything whatsoever, claim- ing that this is great. You can’t even speak to these people, because of their false views!'

I practice Soto Zen. Huineng sounds like he's deriding an activity that seems similar to shikantaza. Is this the case? It seems like I've read elsewhere that something like "no-thought" is virtuous (although I'm aware that, practically, thoughts can't simply be stopped and must be accepted). I wouldn't claim that this practice is "great", at least not any greater than other forms of Buddhist practice. It's just what I do.

Maybe my confusion is due to social complexities at the time and place in which the sutra was written. I'm not attempting to take this reading literally or color it with my subjective inclinations, hence my desire for others' perspectives on this little issue.
User avatar
konshu82
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:13 pm

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:53 pm

K.,

It's a big issue, not little.

I'd say all of Zen Buddhism is in there (all "3 pillars").

Perhaps your Soto Zen teacher will add some pointers for you in private, and perhaps a Rinzai teacher here will give the Rinzai perspective in the open. I hope so! Those who are heir to both streams (Ch'an Teacher Guo Gu?) would also be most welcome to be heard from.

Welcome, Konshu82!

--Joe
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6384
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Pedestrian on Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:57 pm

It's certainly worth noting that modifier "claiming that this is great." In my reading, Huineng isn't taking shikantaza to task; he's taking us sentient beings to task who sit around "emptying" "our" "mind" and then patting our selves on the back, saying, "Wow, Chris! Great shikantaza! You're one heck of a Buddha, you are, all no-mind and calm right there on that mat. Great work today!"

I know that guy well, see him a lot more often than I'd care to admit, and believe me he's deluded. Given Huineng's critique, I think that sort of Zenny delusion has been around for a long time, and not just on my cushion!

Oh, and welcome! Great first question for sure. And I agree with Joe: this is big, not little.
"Buddha, to liberate beings, cultivates practices everywhere." Avatamsaka Sutra.

Chris Seishi Amirault
Pedestrian
Benevolent Street Sangha
User avatar
Pedestrian
 
Posts: 1328
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:24 am
Location: Rhode Island USA

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:17 pm

I'm reading the John R. McRae translation of the Platform Sutra. I've run across a passage that is confusing me:

"'Good friends, the deluded speak with their mouths, but the wise prac- tice with their minds. Furthermore, there are deluded people who empty their minds and sit in quietude without thinking of anything whatsoever, claim- ing that this is great. You can’t even speak to these people, because of their false views!'


To stop, block, accept or reject thought implies action, without any attempt of interfering or altering it is naturally liberated into its own condition (like clouds in the sky)
since there is no support for the arising or dissolution of emotion, thought, perception, sensation or consciousness, no foundation nor ownership. There is no one practising, nor is there any mind for practise. Just rest in the native state and remain in that “bright” always fresh sense of presence, whatever arises does not effect the natural state, so refrain from making conditioned interpretation upon perception, so just be attentive, which is not an effort of mind or practise.

But speaking from a practise sense, don’t try to prolong that moment, just repeat it many times throughout the day until it becomes spontaneous or natural until your always aware of your original face, whether there’s coming or going, thought or no thought, empty or not empty, all such toys are shaken of as dust in the wind. I remember the first time I read that Hui-Neng piece, it got me off my game for about a year, because I naturally remained in a “no-thought” state from kid on, but ever since I read that a torrent of thoughts hit me the second I sat on my zafu, I assumed I was doing something wrong, it drove me nuts for a long time. It’s actually very interesting, creating problems where there are none, afterall nothing can trouble you but your own imagination! But I recognized there’s no imagination within me, nor any support or foundation, yet it arises! how mysterious but yet so ordinary. Just stick to the method (whatever your practise is) and don’t be further distracted and confused by conditioned interpretation upon perception, that happens enough already (for most) I refrained from reading books for about over a year after the Hui Neng piece. Don’t try to fix your confusement or do something about it, that will only cause more of it! It dissolves the same way it arose, this is the key, not what any ancient texts says about what’s right or false. That is always false if you grant or entertain it anything it is not.

Best wishes, these are a lot of words, yet you are free of all words, nevertheless a good Ch'an teacher might strike away confusement or delusion with a single word, it might be a good idea to bring that confusement to them and dont fixate on the words which causes your confusement.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6493
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:24 pm

Pedestrian wrote:I know that guy well, see him a lot more often than I'd care to admit, and believe me he's deluded.


That's not the point, unless one wants to lock the world up in a mental picture of the "deluded and not deluded".
My greatest teachings were the spawn of delusion, until I became the very mirror in which it appeared.

But for those who rely mostly on the "outer" teacher, it is good advice for them to differentiate (free of judgment though) although in my view there's no such thing as "choice" or "choicelessness", everything functions perfectly and everything is the perfect teacher.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6493
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Pedestrian on Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:12 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Pedestrian wrote:I know that guy well, see him a lot more often than I'd care to admit, and believe me he's deluded.


That's not the point, unless one wants to lock the world up in a mental picture of the "deluded and not deluded".


Who said anything about locking the world up? I think that you're locked onto some point here... not sure what it is, but it's not any point I was making!
"Buddha, to liberate beings, cultivates practices everywhere." Avatamsaka Sutra.

Chris Seishi Amirault
Pedestrian
Benevolent Street Sangha
User avatar
Pedestrian
 
Posts: 1328
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:24 am
Location: Rhode Island USA

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby fukasetsu on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:17 pm

Notice the word "unless" Pedistrian :PP:

No worries I wasn't speaking to anyone in particular, it's called "free thought" or something, not sure I just welled it up.
The point was general, like in unversal-ish.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6493
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby zenophile on Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:38 am

konshu82 wrote:Huineng sounds like he's deriding an activity that seems similar to shikantaza. Is this the case? It seems like I've read elsewhere that something like "no-thought" ...

Shikantaza and no-thought are nothing like what Huineng is describing and deriding. If you like, I can attempt to clarify the difference.
zenophile
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:01 am

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Avisitor on Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:20 am

zenophile wrote:
konshu82 wrote:Huineng sounds like he's deriding an activity that seems similar to shikantaza. Is this the case? It seems like I've read elsewhere that something like "no-thought" ...

Shikantaza and no-thought are nothing like what Huineng is describing and deriding. If you like, I can attempt to clarify the difference.


Please try an attempt to clarify the difference.
Would like to know what others think about this.
It does sound big.

Could it be that there is no difference between Shikantaza and sitting with no thought??
Or is the difference the strong determination to put in the right effort?? Whatever that is??
Or, is this a way to promote working with Koans??
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
User avatar
Avisitor
 
Posts: 1671
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:51 am

hui neng 2.jpg


a.k.a "non-dwelling" - "don't know" "sillent illumination" etc etc

However, all the various kinds of non-thinking which have been touched upon accord with the needs of particular circumstances, being merely expedient terms; and even though different names are used expediently, there is no difference whatsoever in the substance. There is only no mind whatsoever dwelling nowhere at all. When this stage is reached, one is, quite naturally, liberated.
~Hui Hai

Differences are only in practise and theory, which are merely conditioned interpretations upon perception.

The root of the whole of samsara and nirvana is the nature of mind. To realize it, rest in unstructured ease without meditating on anything. When all that needs to be done is to rest in yourself, it is amazing that you are deluded by seeking elsewhere! Everything is of the primordial nature, without its being this and not that.”
~Saraha
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6493
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby bubuyaya on Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:00 am

konshu82 wrote:I'm reading the John R. McRae translation of the Platform Sutra. I've run across a passage that is confusing me:

"'Good friends, the deluded speak with their mouths, but the wise prac- tice with their minds. Furthermore, there are deluded people who empty their minds and sit in quietude without thinking of anything whatsoever, claim- ing that this is great. You can’t even speak to these people, because of their false views!'

I practice Soto Zen. Huineng sounds like he's deriding an activity that seems similar to shikantaza. Is this the case? It seems like I've read elsewhere that something like "no-thought" is virtuous (although I'm aware that, practically, thoughts can't simply be stopped and must be accepted). I wouldn't claim that this practice is "great", at least not any greater than other forms of Buddhist practice. It's just what I do.


Nowadays Zen is modified one, not Huineng's.
Huineng's is the pure.
All and whatever each is the made of you, the pure.
Freely frankly sit, move, think, say, make, give and get, taste, sleep and live as you are the pure.
which is right pure life of 8 right path.
bubuyaya
 
Posts: 659
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:50 am

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby konshu82 on Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:56 am

Thank you for your replies, everyone.
User avatar
konshu82
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:13 pm

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Quiet Heart on Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:15 am

:PP: Oh dear.
Caught like the Monk who climbs a 100 foot pole.
Then clinging to the top sways precariously in the wind ..... where to go now, where to go?
Just let go.
Don't be the 100 leg centipede who gets so confused at how to move his legs he can't take a step and lays paralyzed in a ditch for that reason.
You already know how to walk, just do it.
Take a step, take a step!
:)
In Quietness is the beginning of all Things
User avatar
Quiet Heart
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:12 am

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby TigerDuck on Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:34 am

konshu82 wrote: Furthermore, there are deluded people who empty their minds and sit in quietude without thinking of anything whatsoever, claim- ing that this is great. You can’t even speak to these people, because of their false views!'

I practice Soto Zen. Huineng sounds like he's deriding an activity that seems similar to shikantaza. Is this the case? It seems like I've read elsewhere that something like "no-thought" is virtuous (although I'm aware that, practically, thoughts can't simply be stopped and must be accepted).


This confusion arises probably because of misleading translations that have appeared at many places/books.

Be careful with the word - NO THOUGHT.
It is misleading.

Probably, this mistake is caused by direct translation from Chinese - word to word. (Translation shall be done based on meaning to meaning.)

This little book "The Ceasing of Notions: An Early Zen Text from the Dunhuang Caves with Selected Comments" probably can help.

Image

NO NOTIONS is far better than NO THOUGHT.

We can have thoughts and yet not having any notions at the same time. (THIS IS POSSIBLE)
But,
We cannot have thoughts, while we have no thoughts at the same time. (THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE - it doesn't make sense.)

Because it is a practice that doesn't make sense, what makes sense is then really not to have thoughts. So, they clear any thoughts that appear whether by force or by letting go with the hidden target to calm the dust to have pure water.

This kind of philosophy/understanding is flaw right from the start, and the main culprit is this word - NO THOUGHT.

There are many people can see this flaw as well. This is one the book that may interest you - Thoughts are not your enemy.

Surely, if you don't know no notions within thoughts, your own thoughts can be your own enemy.

Image

The ability to differentiate between NO THOUGHT and NO NOTION is very critical. It can cut thought your unnecessary confusion - a confusion that actually not supposed to be there in the first place if you know the right word.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

[Nagarjuna]
User avatar
TigerDuck
 
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:38 am

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Ted Biringer on Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:05 am

TigerDuck wrote:
konshu82 wrote: Furthermore, there are deluded people who empty their minds and sit in quietude without thinking of anything whatsoever, claim- ing that this is great. You can’t even speak to these people, because of their false views!'

I practice Soto Zen. Huineng sounds like he's deriding an activity that seems similar to shikantaza. Is this the case? It seems like I've read elsewhere that something like "no-thought" is virtuous (although I'm aware that, practically, thoughts can't simply be stopped and must be accepted).


This confusion arises probably because of misleading translations that have appeared at many places/books.

Be careful with the word - NO THOUGHT.
It is misleading.

Probably, this mistake is caused by direct translation from Chinese - word to word. (Translation shall be done based on meaning to meaning.)

This little book "The Ceasing of Notions: An Early Zen Text from the Dunhuang Caves with Selected Comments" probably can help.

Image

NO NOTIONS is far better than NO THOUGHT.

We can have thoughts and yet not having any notions at the same time. (THIS IS POSSIBLE)
But,
We cannot have thoughts, while we have no thoughts at the same time. (THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE - it doesn't make sense.)

Because it is a practice that doesn't make sense, what makes sense is then really not to have thoughts. So, they clear any thoughts that appear whether by force or by letting go with the hidden target to calm the dust to have pure water.

This kind of philosophy/understanding is flaw right from the start, and the main culprit is this word - NO THOUGHT.

There are many people can see this flaw as well. This is one the book that may interest you - Thoughts are not your enemy.

Surely, if you don't know no notions within thoughts, your own thoughts can be your own enemy.

Image

The ability to differentiate between NO THOUGHT and NO NOTION is very critical. It can cut thought your unnecessary confusion - a confusion that actually not supposed to be there in the first place if you know the right word.


Thank you TigerDuck,

Three Full Bows

Ted
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
User avatar
Ted Biringer
 
Posts: 1110
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:11 am
Location: Anacortes, Washington

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Avisitor on Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:36 pm

Could it be that the depth of no thought is what is of concern here?
What I mean is that he could be saying that when a person sits with no thought and thinks it is good ..
that it really isn't because the depth of no thought isn't deep enough to bring about a fundamental change is one's experience of the world??
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
User avatar
Avisitor
 
Posts: 1671
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:56 pm

TigerDuck wrote:We can have thoughts and yet not having any notions at the same time. (THIS IS POSSIBLE)
But,
We cannot have thoughts, while we have no thoughts at the same time. (THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE - it doesn't make sense.)


No-Cloud, means not to be(come) beclouded, even when involved in clouds. (especially on forums) :lol2:

Thoughts (alike the notion of no thoughts) are merely modifications (appearances) of consciousness, for which there is no support.
Not making sense (and making sense) and impossible (and possible) also belong to the realm of imagination, sure it has expedient service, but it doesn't change the facts. Huineng was simply saying to not get "carried away" by perceivables and conceivables, but remain in pure perception of instantaneous presence as did Huang Po, Foyan for instance. Devoid of form, sound, perceived and conceived etc it manifests simply as itself, the very absolute. This very thought, as is everything, only our ideas about it are totally wrong, hence the irony of Hui Neng and all the sages, and everyone who claims to understand any of it :lol2:


Homage to the marvelous and ordinary wisdom that transcends the appearance or disappearance of anything at all!

ps thanks for your post Tiger, you nailed exactly what was the issue when I got "off my game" just because of a single sentence in the sutra of Hui Neng, may it benefit all. Eventhough going through the whole process and seeing one's "mistake" is far more interesting as not going through it I reckon. No matter, plenty of ghosts flying about anyway but they are the same to me as any creature of appearance, and so I work my way though the crowd, not bumping into any of them if I can help it. Dream creatures populating the dream.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6493
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Linda Anderson on Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:16 pm

konshu82 wrote:
"'Good friends, the deluded speak with their mouths, but the wise prac- tice with their minds. Furthermore, there are deluded people who empty their minds and sit in quietude without thinking of anything whatsoever, claim- ing that this is great. You can’t even speak to these people, because of their false views!'



I dunno much, have not read the Platform Sutra or any except Diamond. It seems a big issue, when we arrive there... The way that I read this, it is a prelude... meaning that he is not directly taking on the big issue of thought and no thought, Shikantaza, etc. He is only addressing those "WHO EMPTY their minds"... sounds a bit contrived to me, some might call it effort ... to will one's mind to be empty... like trying to fit into a suit that doesn't fit. Maybe, I could say that calling it deluded is bad manners when he's talking about obstacle mojo... I have a heart for that. In the natural state, there is mind and no mind, thought and no thought, and there is no standing on definitions.

ofc, I don't know the answer, but it reminds me of my teacher who used to talk about re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

this comes to mind, to paraphrase Rumi: out beyond ideas of thought and no thought, there is a field... I'll meet you there...

and, Fuki's: "no thought is not to think even when involved in thought" Hui Neng .... that sounds awfully close to Dzogchen... any thoughts?
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
User avatar
Linda Anderson
 
Posts: 3649
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:14 pm
Location: Forestville, CA

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:37 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:and, Fuki's: "no thought is not to think even when involved in thought" Hui Neng .... that sounds awfully close to Dzogchen... any thoughts?


Dzogchen, Ch'an, Sri Niz (and many other) perfectly the "same" :daisy:

tilopa.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
User avatar
fukasetsu
 
Posts: 6493
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:17 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby macdougdoug on Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:14 pm

"Do not be always speaking of emptiness with your mouth without cultivating the practice in your minds!"
Huineng (a bit further along in the same speech)

Believing that some special practise shall bring about freedom/awakening/enlightenment (whatever the imagined state is called) is delusion/belief, not the practise of emptiness.

However if the words do not set you free, please let them go, as any interpretation/conclusions will only deepen the confusion.

zazen is essentiel. But what is it?
User avatar
macdougdoug
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 831
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:11 pm
Location: France

Next

Return to Sutras & Zen Records

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
RocketTheme Joomla Templates

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 157 on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:44 am

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest