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6 realms of existence

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6 realms of existence

Postby Stano1 on Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:56 am

Hi All,

New to the forum but have been a reader for quite a while.

I apologize if this has been answered before ( i couldn't find it) but wanted to know what the Zen perspective was on the 6 realms of existence of Buddhist cosmology?

Is it more symbolic and metaphorical or actual realms to be reborn into?

Also does it differ from Soto to Rinzai or is it universally the same throughout Zen buddhism.

Thanks in advance!

:peace:
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:13 pm

Stano1,

Welcome to the Forum! Good to see you posting.

What are the six realms? And what do you make of them? Does an appreciation of them impact your life as you live it? How so?, I wonder. Tnx,

best,

--Joe
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby Linda Anderson on Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:31 pm

Welcome Stano, There is a discussion on this forum about this here:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11058&hilit=6+lokas#p171368

here is the Tibetan Bon 6 Lokas which correspond to the 6 Realms, as far as I know. I once did a retreat with Tenzin Wangyal and found this practice very useful.

Introduction to the Six Lokas – This section provides an excellent foundation for your meditation practice, with a thorough overview, and an introductory meditation practice. Familiarize yourself with the online course format, meet your classmates from around the world.

1. The Hell Realms – Transforming our Anger into Love

2. The Hungry Ghost Realm – Transforming our Greed into Generosity

3 The Animal Realm – Transforming our Ignorance into Wisdom

4. The Human Realm – Transforming our Jealousy into Openness

5. The Demigod Realm – Transforming our Pride into Peacefulness

6. The God Realm – Transforming our Laziness into Compassion
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby Meido on Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:24 pm

Stano1 wrote:Is it more symbolic and metaphorical or actual realms to be reborn into ?Also does it differ from Soto to Rinzai or is it universally the same throughout Zen buddhism.


You will find both approaches emphasized by different teachers depending on the circumstances. They are not meant to negate one another. E.g. the following from some Rinzai fellows:

These future results become again the next cause, and the cause again produces results: a circling around without end, from birth to birth revolving through endless Kalpas. This is the turning on the Wheel of coming to be and ceasing to be. But since it is difficult for us to comprehend events so far in the future, we can look at it in a more immediate interpretation and consider it as the principle of birth and death from moment to moment. In our own hearts thoughts arise and thoughts die away again; we inevitably have to accept this fact. [Daibi, teisho/commentary on Shumon Mujintoron]


Also, the routines of transmigration in the six ways of life [i.e. six paths/realms] are not just a matter of other lives; even in one day there is floating and sinking. [Torei, Essential Secrets for Entering the Way]


There is no difference in view between Rinzai, Soto, Chan etc. There are differences in skillful means and style between teachers.

To my mind, settting up "symbolic" vs. "actual" is to miss the point. The different paths experienced by beings are precisely as real or actual as the ones we each are experiencing at this moment.

The question you raise is often asked, however, by folks wondering if Zen denies a post-mortem continuation of the process of becoming. The answer to that is no.

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:00 pm

Stano1 wrote:Is it more symbolic and metaphorical or actual realms to be reborn into?


Is your existence now metaphorical or actual, are your dreams metaphorical or actual?
You take the idea that "I am born" to be true, there lies the issue, when that is resolved questions about what comes after, whether it is actual or not no longer arise. Why not understand the nature of your question?
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby chankin1937 on Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:21 am

Stano1 wrote: Hi All,
New to the forum but have been a reader for quite a while.
I apologize if this has been answered before ( i couldn't find it) but wanted to know what the Zen perspective was on the 6 realms of existence of Buddhist cosmology?
Is it more symbolic and metaphorical or actual realms to be reborn into?
Also does it differ from Soto to Rinzai or is it universally the same throughout Zen buddhism.


Hello Stano1.
Welcome.
I wouldn’t worry about that.
Zen is direct transmission of the way outside the scriptures.
That means without the voluminous complications introduced by well meaning but often misguided philosophers – like those six realms.
If you want profound peace-of-mind, allow your awareness to empty of thoughts in meditation while staying alert.
Remember, one Zen Master struck his students if they even dared to think!
That’s the ultimate economy of expression – if a little ambiguous!
(Perhaps he just hated them all! :lol2: )

Colin
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:17 pm

Colin,

chankin1937 wrote:Remember, one Zen Master struck his students if they even dared to think!

Nope. It was whether they spoke, or did not. Or hesitated either to speak or not speak. ;)

And it wasn't just ONE master.

Most compassionate!, such a teacher.

Note, the "striking" was not / is not a "punishment". It is a goad.
Words can be goads. But for the most part, Zen Buddhist work is a transmission of Mind not dependent on words. :Namaste:

Hail!

--Joe
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby Nothing on Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:14 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Stano1 wrote:Is it more symbolic and metaphorical or actual realms to be reborn into?


Is your existence now metaphorical or actual, are your dreams metaphorical or actual?
You take the idea that "I am born" to be true, there lies the issue, when that is resolved questions about what comes after, whether it is actual or not no longer arise. Why not understand the nature of your question?


Great answer/question Sir :rbow:

:O:
"There is no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end" - James Hutton
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby Avisitor on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:34 pm

Well, If a person dies and absolutely nothing survives and there is no reincarnation
Then what was the point of trying to see into one's original nature?

So, the six realms and reincarnation gives one the idea that it doesn't just end
That there is more to this that is dreamt of in Colin's world

Joe can't answer your question because he doesn't know
No one knows for sure .. well, at least for us less enlightened beings
May be there are a few who have full enlightenment and can answer .. but won't

So, dream and imagine and all that good stuff about the six realms
And know that all those thoughts hold one back ... clinging to them as something more real than life itself

All of it is here and now ... there in one's lap is the world
There in one's mind is the universe

Funny thing is ... it doesn't seem to be any heavier than it was before all this ... hahahaha :lool:
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: 6 realms of existence

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:41 pm

How many realms of non-existence are there?

--Joe
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:07 pm

Av,

Avisitor wrote:Joe can't answer your question because he doesn't know

Now, now! :)

I just put a lot of QUESTIONS, because it's more interesting to know what another's concerned with, than to put one's understanding forward. To a point... .

"You's" guys already know where I am coming from. A Practitioner's point of view, small "p". Or large.

--Joe, of no RANK (I had my shower this morning)
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby chankin1937 on Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:35 am

Avisitor wrote: Well, If a person dies and absolutely nothing survives and there is no reincarnation then what was the point of trying to see into one's original nature?


Hello Avisitor,
The point of Zen practice is to reconnect us with the ability to experience real peace-of-mind.
It frees us of the burden of obsessive thinking – of random and habitual CMA. It works in this world and it allows us to make the most of our lives here and now.
Whether or not reincarnation is a fact is irrelevant. I can’t remember any of my previous lives so, what does it matter?

So, the six realms and reincarnation gives one the idea that it doesn't just end
That there is more to this that is dreamt of in Colin's world


You’ve hit the nail on the head. People can’t accept that they will just die and that’s it. They want to be comforted by the idea there is something else. But let’s examine this a little further. My character and personality are conserved in the connections between the neurones of my brain. That organ does not survive my death so what entity is reborn? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with me, especially as we are asked to believe the “self” to be an illusion anyway!! (I don’t, by the way.)
We are alive now, we should make the most of it. Keep practicing.
Colin
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:46 pm

Colin,

chankin1937 wrote:Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with me, especially as we are asked to believe the “self” to be an illusion anyway!! (I don’t, by the way.)

You're on an outer-path of your own. As shown here previously (i.e., Q.E.D.).

See Plato's PHAEDO. The same theme, of what may be the case in this life or subsequent (?!) lives is, very lively-like, discussed, there. A pivotal and seminal Western Philosophical work. Good reading, and Pelican or Penguin has a low-cost edition out (or find it "Used"). You can't go wrong. Of course, Socrates dies on drinking the Hemlock poison, and his disciples lament and wail, but that happens only at the very end (oops!, "spoiler-alert", too late on the clock).

Maybe you have the book discoverably (find-able) among and along with your old dusty 1950s "zen-" literature fossils. Good digging / reading.

-Joe
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby chankin1937 on Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:06 am

chankin1937 wrote:Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with me, especially as we are asked to believe the “self” to be an illusion anyway!! (I don’t, by the way.)


Joe wrote: You're on an outer-path of your own. As shown here previously (i.e., Q.E.D.).
See Plato's PHAEDO. ……Maybe you have the book discoverably (find-able) among and along with your old dusty 1950s "zen-" literature fossils. Good digging / reading.


Hello Joe,
Still sniping away!
What evidence have you got for life after death?
You like quibbling over the meaning of words. Death is the end of life! How clear can it be?
Colin
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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:51 pm

Colin,

No, sir. Not the meaning of words.

Just meaning.

Read Plato! Read PHAEDO! It's just that it's wonderful. And fun. And foundational. OK, there's a "sudden" denouement. Alas. The loss. "The horror!" (Jos. Conrad).

My own teacher wrote about Death (his own, upcoming quickly after he inked this):

"Busy with nothing, growing old.
Within emptiness, weeping, laughing.
Intrinsically, there is no “I.”
Life and death, thus cast aside."


--translated by Prof. Dr. Jimmy Yu (Guo Gu)

--Joe

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Re: 6 realms of existence

Postby Michaeljc on Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:23 pm

Death is the end of life!


Really? Every atom within our bodies is recycled from other organisms and compounds. Our bodies decay and renew throughout our lives. The energy driving our nervous and physiological system is part of a constant flow generated billions of years before our birth. At death this process does not stop

If death is the end of life, why do you fear it?

m
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