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Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind."

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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:52 pm

Meido wrote:Well, actually Japanese Zen had done that several hundred years earlier.


The only Japanese Zen master I've read who was explicitly dismissive of the Nembutsu was Dogen, so it's not surprising that Obaku is part of the Rinzai tradition.

I believe his criticism was less focused on the nembutsu as a practice, and more on the belief that one could just recite the nembutsu and that was it. Namely, people who had no real commitment to Buddhism, but wanted to secure their rebirth in the Afterlife in Amida Buddha’s Pure Land, while they persue a worldly life here.

Interestingly, within Pure Land Buddhism, a persistent belief arises where people believe they can lead a bad life because they’re assured of rebirth in the Pure Land by Amida Buddha. This is known as Antinomianism and Honen spoke sharply against it, as did Shinran...
https://klingonbuddhist.wordpress.com/2 ... -nembutsu/


I've seen it claimed that Dogen recommended the Nembutsu for lay people, but I've never seen it from his mouth.
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:04 pm

BB,

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote: But my way was Ch'an, and samadhi-practice, and I have stuck with it.

As Zen/Ch'an masters have taught throughout history, the deeper purpose of reciting the Nembutsu is to enter samadhi, in which the separation or distinction between and Amida ourselves falls away, as we see into our true nature. As it says in the OP, "there is no Buddha apart from the mind."

I find that as one develops a skill and a reliable, repeatable ability for sinking into samadhi states, one continues to use the method or methods one has been taught to do so.

In my life, as it happens, Master Sheng Yen taught me characteristic Ch'an methods, not Pure Land methods. He taught Pure Land methods to people who were not interested in Ch'an methods.

I practiced the Pure Land methods at communal gatherings organized for the purpose a few times (very lengthy recitation meetings at the Ch'an Center in New York), and found the gatherings warm and convivial, and, again, as I mentioned, the practice was good for the breath and the breathing diaphragm muscle. This was work I did not particularly need, however, as I was a thorough yoga practitioner and long-distance runner, on the physical side. What I wanted from my master and sangha was refinement of meditation, and teaching along the lines of Lin Chi and Ts'ao-tung, both of which Ven. Sheng Yen was heir to.

I feel and felt more suited to sangha-development and sangha-feeling (? dunno what else to call it, this morning) in Ch'an- and Zen-Buddhist circles than what I experienced in the Pure Land circle. This kinship is entirely idiosyncratic, and should not bear on the quality of the Pure Land practice as led by my Ch'an master.

If Pure Land practice is good for you, you are a lucky person (practitioner) to have found your entre, as I have in Lin Chi and Soto circles. Onwards!

--Joe
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:08 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:In my life, as it happens, Master Sheng Yen taught me characteristic Ch'an methods, not Pure Land methods. He taught Pure Land methods to people who were not interested in Ch'an methods.


Master Sheng-Yen is one of my favorite teachers and, as far as I know, he did not teach that zazen or silent meditation is superior to reciting the Nianfo as a Buddhist practice. Please forgive me if I'm wrong.

Out of anyone, he was very familiar with the combined practice of Ch'an and Pure Land:

Pure Land Buddhism advocates reciting the Buddha's name or mindfulness of the Buddha, based on the teaching that the mind itself is buddha. Ch'an Buddhism teaches that as the mind is purified, so is the land purified. Reciting Buddha's name and the approach of Ch'an Buddhism are essentially identical.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9vxoMMUmEU
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:21 pm

BB,

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:In my life, as it happens, Master Sheng Yen taught me characteristic Ch'an methods, not Pure Land methods. He taught Pure Land methods to people who were not interested in Ch'an methods.

Master Sheng-Yen is one of my favorite teachers and, as far as I know, he did not teach that zazen or silent meditation is superior to reciting the Nianfo as a Buddhist practice. Please forgive me if I'm wrong. Out of anyone, he was very familiar with the combined practice of Ch'an and Pure Land.

Sir/Madam, I wish you'd lose the chip on your shoulder about "superior", or dismissing".

I've seen no one here "dismiss" the Nembutsu, nor claim that someone, anyone, teaches that zazen is superior to Nembutsu.

I've told you about my coming-up in practice with my teacher Sheng Yen (and I've had other teachers who were of Japanese lineages). But I'll say no more about such things with you because it is clear that you do not read, but merely reiterate your bias, disrespectfully.

You seem to be "playing the victim", and the advocate, where you act-out that everyone is attempting to minimize the importance of recitation-practice, even though their written replies and posts do not contain any belittling or criticism of it.

If you're an enthusiast of a technique, great. Run with it! Find a teacher and sangha whom you can refine it and practice it with.

But note that it will not be "superior" or "inferior" to other methods, except for yourself. And that's only natural. We are different, even in our Unity.

rgds,

--Joe
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:36 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:You seem to be "playing the victim"


I am not a victim. If anything, it's Asian Buddhists who've been victimized by the prejudices of Western Zennists, something of which I am not accusing you specifically.
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

"Reciting the name of the Buddha constantly... His own body is the limitless body of Amida, the treasure trees of seven precious gems, the pond of the eight virtues." - Hakuin Ekaku

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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:21 pm

BB,

Agreed!, that you're not a victim. Only playing one. Not-convincingly, either.

"Asians" can speak for themselves, and could resent your considering them in need of you trying to speak for them, after your reading books for two years.

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:I am not a victim. If anything, it's Asian Buddhists who've been victimized by the prejudices of Western Zennists, something of which I am not accusing you specifically.

Ah, goody. I'm comfortable in the ranks of the unspecifically-accused. Good company.

Really, a new hobby-horse, already, please. :peace:

--Joe
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Caodemarte on Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:32 pm

Meido wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:Although it was criticized for its use of nembutsu the main problem with it was that it arrived just as Japanese Zen was shaking off its dependence on China for legitimacy.


Well, actually Japanese Zen had done that several hundred years earlier. Obaku really starts developing around 1620...somewhat past the time that Japanese Zen become distinctly Japanese and no longer focused on transmission from China.

The combined practice of Zen and Pure Land was criticized by some Japanese at that time because it was viewed as an eclecticism having come to dominate Chinese Buddhism more recently, i.e. it was seen as a degradation of the "pure" late Song Zen that Chinese masters like Bukko brought over, or that Japanese monks like Nanpo and Dogen brought back, of which the Japanese schools saw themselves as heirs and preservers.

~ Meido



Thanks Meido. I may have spoken too glibly and over simplified complex matters (in which I am not an expert) for my simple brain. "Just as" is simply wrong.

I am interested in the claim of some modern scholars that Japanese rejected the "Chinese-ness" of the Obaku sect in what I would call a nationalist reaction leading to the sectarian division of the Rinzai lines at the time. ( Baroni, Obaku Zen p 6 ) . The claims made that the Obaku sect was an example of how Chinese Buddhism had degenerated, but had been preserved in Japan I would also think that a nationalist reaction to at least some degree (much as extreme Japanese nationalists in the 20th century claimed that Chinese culture as a whole had degenerated and had to be "corrected" by a pure and vigorous Japan). Certainly the practice of having Japanese visiting monks dress up in Chinese robes caused what I would consider nationalist or patriotic resentment (op.cit., p101).
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:33 pm

This is exactly the reason why we need more moderators, it distracts ZFI from actually manifesting what this forum is intended for,
and members shouldn't have to waste time on this since this place is about Zen Buddhism and not psychology.

If the moderating team internally doesn't discuss this I would still very much like to see Joe as a moderator, there are more canditates ofcourse but Joe's my first pick for obvious reasons due to experience in the Way and its integration into daily life.
He is quite perceptive into "human behaviour" and all that.
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:55 pm

fukasetsu wrote:This is exactly the reason why we need more moderators, it distracts ZFI from actually manifesting what this forum is intended for,
and members shouldn't have to waste time on this since this place is about Zen Buddhism and not psychology.


A. This is the General Buddhist Discussion Sub-Forum
B. The combined practice of Zen and Pure Land has been taught and practiced throughout history:
viewtopic.php?f=64&t=11897

If the moderators have something against discussing traditional Zen teachings and practices on a Zen forum, then they are welcome to sanction against it, and I will accept their decision. I am not here to disrespect or pick a fight with moderators.
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

"Reciting the name of the Buddha constantly... His own body is the limitless body of Amida, the treasure trees of seven precious gems, the pond of the eight virtues." - Hakuin Ekaku

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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:07 pm

If you are so deluded that you aren't aware of your own behaviour it's even more a serious matter that you should talk to a psychologist, please refrain from projecting your internal conflict onto members on ZFI, your friends or family in daily life, work it out and drop this bullshit, you are being utterly selfish, dress it up whatever you want, play the victim I'm sure many people are fooled and you provide stress more importantly to ppl in your daily life, again go see a psychologist.

And yes if you want to know I am experiencing arisings of vexations, not because of you but because other members have to waste time on you and moderators too, find me a quote about the 8 winds if you want it will at least start an interesting discussion regarding vexations which arises as a phenomena like everything due to causes and conditions instead of discussing your emotional conflicts dressed up as a so-called caring for traditional zen and pure land, or whatever fancy tricks you use to get attention. Most humans want to be loved and need attention, any conflict there should be discussed with a psychologist and not on the internet, especially since you yourself seem or play to be unaware of it, all this is utterly useless and damaging to this forum.

I've said it here too, and I'm done with being a prop in your theatre.
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=11898
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:09 pm

fukasetsu wrote:If you are so deluded that you aren't aware of your own behaviour...

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:I am not looking for a confrontation or an argument with people who are already respectful of history. It would be ridiculously hypocritical of me to look for an argument with people whom I already side with anyway, and I'm sorry if I've given that impression.
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

"Reciting the name of the Buddha constantly... His own body is the limitless body of Amida, the treasure trees of seven precious gems, the pond of the eight virtues." - Hakuin Ekaku

https://matthewsatori.tumblr.com/
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:34 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:I am not looking for a confrontation or an argument with people who are already respectful of history. It would be ridiculously hypocritical of me to look for an argument with people whom I already side with anyway, and I'm sorry if I've given that impression.

Let that be my epitaph! :lol2: ;) :tongueincheek: :lol2: ;) :tongueincheek: :lol2: ;) :tongueincheek:

--Joe
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:41 pm

What I like most about Pure Land Buddhism, and especially Jodo Shinshu, is that it recognizes, from the beginning, that we are foolish beings of blind passions. Because of this, Pure Land Buddhists are less likely to pretend that they have special spiritual attainments that others don't have. If Buddhism is about letting go of the ego-self, it's good if we're honest about our limitations from the beginning.
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

"Reciting the name of the Buddha constantly... His own body is the limitless body of Amida, the treasure trees of seven precious gems, the pond of the eight virtues." - Hakuin Ekaku

https://matthewsatori.tumblr.com/
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Michaeljc on Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:46 pm

It is hard to know what to do in a case like this. We have another one way valve

It is all about seeking attention IMO and all rather sad

Also, according to my observation an obsession with food and diet is very often a symptom of something more serious going on

Just a gut feeling

m
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:56 pm

Mike I noticed the same, also very often accompanied with OCD.
But not speaking for or to anyone here, just observed those patterns, there are always exceptions to the "rule"
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:58 pm

BB,

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:If Buddhism is about letting go of the ego-self, it's good if we're honest about our limitations from the beginning.

That's not the half of it.

In Mahayana, " 'Buddhism' is about" waking-up, opening the heart of true Wisdom, simultaneously opening the heart of true Compassion, and saving all Beings.

Better to take our teacher's practice-instructions to heart than to piously believe that we are being true to ourselves if we suppose we are ever "honest about our limitations". Better to belay that little or large voice of ours that talks to us and says how honest we are, and how open we are to admit our "limitations". In other words, better to PRACTICE. And to practice correctly. :tongueincheek:

As I'd emphasize it,

--Joe
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:05 pm

Michael,

Michaeljc wrote:...an obsession with food and diet...

Just a gut feeling

Love your wise puns.

:Namaste:

--Joe

p.s. The Boatman is at-sea, though. That's not happy-making. I think I give up, however. Help may come in the other forums he treads.
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:16 am

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:Master Sheng-Yen is one of my favorite teachers...

Getting back to near the OP, I'll note that one of the troubles brought in by having a "favorite" teacher is that this probably means that one does not have an actual teacher.

To have a teacher, in Ch'an-, or Zen-, of Son-, or Thien-Buddhist circles, means that you have a flesh-and-blood, three-dimensional (or higher) teacher, whom you see face-to-face and can meet with often, or regularly, and practice with that teacher and the sangha surrounding that teacher for some time, to learn and refine methods and practices, and to cultivate zazen and other practices together for awakening and for daily-life (plus refinement of one's character, and saving Beings).

I recall that my teacher Ven. Sheng Yen passed away in early Feb. in Taiwan, in the year 2009. Hence, he is not possibly now your actual teacher (may he R.I.P.). I hope you may have practiced with him while he was living, however.

Else -- and since the date of Ven. Sheng Yen's death -- I hope you have a living teacher now.

Of course, we can appreciate other teachers' publications and recorded appearances where they dispense teachings and answer questions, etc. But this is not the same as having a teacher, not in Ch'an and Zen Buddhism. Nor, I think, in any other living Buddhist school.

--Joe
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:27 am

In the Jodo Shinshu tradition, because pretense and self-importance is usually avoided, there's a rich history of unlearned and ordinary men and women who end up becoming amazing saints:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myokonin

D. T. Suzuki wrote extensively regarding the myokonin, and compared them to Zen masters in terms of their level of spiritual insight.

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:What I like most about Pure Land Buddhism, and especially Jodo Shinshu, is that it recognizes, from the beginning, that we are foolish beings of blind passions. Because of this, Pure Land Buddhists are less likely to pretend that they have special spiritual attainments that others don't have. If Buddhism is about letting go of the ego-self, it's good if we're honest about our limitations from the beginning.
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

"Reciting the name of the Buddha constantly... His own body is the limitless body of Amida, the treasure trees of seven precious gems, the pond of the eight virtues." - Hakuin Ekaku

https://matthewsatori.tumblr.com/
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:30 am

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:In the Jodo Shinshu tradition, because pretense and self-importance is usually avoided, ...

This is true in Baseball, too. One is either a good player, or it becomes quickly clear that one is not.

--Joe
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