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Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby partofit22 on Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:58 am

It's necessary to communicate- With words- To speak up- To be open to be spoken to- To listen-
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Ted Biringer on Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:52 am

konshu82 wrote:

Ted, thank you for this set of quotes.


You are welcome. Thank you

konshu82 wrote:

I apologize that, in spite of your efforts, I'm still confused. I'm having a difficult time seeing the thread of similarity running through these quotes. I don't know if I'm thinking too much, not enough, or if, rather than quantity, it's the quality of my thought that's making my mind a breeding ground for confusion.


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…”
Hakuin

“…students don’t understand…” “…supposing this to be the Dharma… If you take thisto be the right way, then you will be making ignorance the lord and master.”
Linchi

“…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…”
Dogen

“…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.”
Chinul

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.


konshu82 wrote:

It may be relevant here for me to say that this confusion only seems to arise when I'm trying to understand words and concepts; when I'm on my zafu, I'm not entirely confused. Should I be?


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.

konshu82 wrote:

Am I too comfortable on my zafu? I try to be as mindful as possible of my posture, my breathing, and my hara while trying to allow thoughts and emotions to have some time to run, play, and be crazy without bridles, collars, leashes, etc. I just sit there and let shit happen. Unless I've misunderstood something, this is what my teacher taught me.


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.

konshu82 wrote:

So, going back to my original post in this thread, I'm curious as to whether or not I'm doing something incorrectly as per Huineng. I don't go around saying, "shikantaza is the best thing ever, all my thoughts fall away, I am one of the enlightened, and everyone else is a tool for not doing whatever I do, because shikantaza is the best, and I win." I don't do that.


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.
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
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Avisitor on Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:43 am

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
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.
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Frog on Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:16 pm

Great stuff here. Thank you.

The way I see that pointer in the op: Thought abiding in/as suchness is not suchness.
"Thought" referring to a me which can also be in a form of conceptual no-self.
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby bubuyaya on Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:56 am

bubuyaya wrote:
Linda Anderson wrote:
Huineng is making it clear that to think that zazen is to “quietly sit with an emptied mind” is just the perverted view.

(m)
Then the question arises, how can that be perverted or confused?

(m)
Quite sitting nor noisy running is not different at Me.
Lambdin's Thomas gospel has the Platform sutra's.


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.
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Anders on Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:47 pm

TigerDuck wrote: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.

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.


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
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Michaeljc on Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:45 am

No common formula

- only personal encounters when the practice fits

Any concept of understanding is only a blockage

Why interfere?
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:43 pm

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 :PP:

Understanding a single breath is enough.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby Avisitor on Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:29 am

fukasetsu wrote:So they're all good, or all crap. In any case things are never the way we think they are :PP:

Understanding a single breath is enough.


Very good Fuki.
Can I get an Amen??
Come on now ... just say it ... Amen

Just kidding
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.
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:06 am

This little Light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine.

AMEN! :daisy:
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Re: Platform Sutra: "the deluded"

Postby bubuyaya on Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:30 pm

bubuyaya wrote:
Huineng is making it clear that to think that zazen is to “quietly sit with an emptied mind” is just the perverted view.

Lambdin's Thomas gospel has the value of Diamond sutra's, so English language users may use.
Younghung(永興) is today's Partriach, so Korean language users may attend to him.

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.
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