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

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

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:15 am

In the following passages, Shinran Shonin presents teachings that are remarkably similar to what's usually associated with Zen Buddhism:
67 The Commentary on the Treatise states:

To aspire to be born in the Pure Land of happiness is necessarily to awaken the mind aspiring for supreme enlightenment.

68 Further, it states:

This mind attains Buddhahood means that the mind becomes Buddha; this mind is itself Buddha means that there is no Buddha apart from the mind. This is like the relationship of fire and wood: fire arises from wood; it cannot exist apart from the wood. Because it cannot exist apart from the wood, it consumes the wood. The wood, on the other hand, is consumed by the fire; it becomes the fire.

69 The [Master of] Kuang-ming temple states:

This mind attains Buddhahood. This mind is itself Buddha. There is no Buddha apart from this mind.

70 Hence we know that the mind that is single is termed, “to be in correspondence [with the significance of the Name] by practicing in accord with reality.” This is the right teaching. This is the right meaning. This is the right practice. This is the right understanding. This is the right act. This is the right wisdom.

71 The threefold mind is the mind that is single; the mind that is single is the diamondlike true mind: here ends the answer concerning this matter. Reflect upon it.
http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expos ... n-shinjin/


This was from the Kyogyoshinsho, which Shinran intended to be the magnum opus of his teaching work.

This is from the Sutra on the Contemplation of Buddha Amitayus, one of the three traditional Pure Land sutras:

Then the World-Honored One said: Now do you not know, Vaidehi, that Buddha Amitayus is not very far from here?…

Every Buddha Tathagata is one whose spiritual body is the principle of Dharma-nature, so that he may enter into the mind of any beings. Consequently, when you have visualized Buddha, it is indeed that mind of yours that possesses those thirty-two signs of perfection and eighty minor marks of excellence which you see in a Buddha.

In conclusion, it is your mind that becomes Buddha, nay, it is your mind that is indeed Buddha. The ocean of true and universal knowledge of all the Buddhas derives its source from one’s own mind and thought.
http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/meditationsutra.html
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 Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:21 pm

Q: What method must be practiced to attain liberation?
A: Only by practicing the Dharma of Sudden Enlightenment can we attain liberation.

Q: What is Sudden Enlightenment?
A: "Sudden" means instantly stopping false thought. "Enlightenment" means [awareness] that one attains nothing.

Q: What method is used to begin this practice?
A: Just practice using the fundamental teaching.

Q: What is it and how does one practice using the fundamental teaching?
A: Mind is the fundamental source.

Q: How do you know that mind is the fundamental source?
A: The Lankavatara Sutra says: "When the mind comes into being, then various conceptions (dharmas) come to be; and when the mind ceases to be, then these various conceptions cease to be." The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra says: "If you wish to attain the Pure Land, you should purify your own mind, because if your mind is pure, all Buddha-Lands are also pure." The Sutra of Transforming Teaching says: "Just concentrate the mind on one point and all things are achieved." Another sutra says: "The holy person seeks Mind and does not seek Budha. The foolish man seeks Buddha and does not seek Mind. The wise man regulates the mind and does not regulate the body, while the foolish man regulates the body but does not regulate the mind." The Sutra of the Buddha's Names says: "The evil arising from the mind can be extinguished only by the mind." Thus, we see that all good and evil arise from one's own mind and that the mind itself is the fundamental source. Therefore, if one wishes to seek liberation, he should recognize this fundamental source. On the other hand, if one does not understand this truth, he will seek liberation outside himself, always laboring in vain. The Dhyanaparamita Sutra says: "As long as you seek it from external forms, you cannot come to complete Enlightenment even after many kalpas. However, through perceptive insight Bodhi is suddenly attained."

~Hui Hai (entering the tao of sudden enlightenment)
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby [james] on Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:52 pm

fukasetsu wrote:Q: What method must be practiced to attain liberation?
A: Only by practicing the Dharma of Sudden Enlightenment can we attain liberation.

Q: What is Sudden Enlightenment?
A: "Sudden" means instantly stopping false thought. "Enlightenment" means [awareness] that one attains nothing.

Q: What method is used to begin this practice?
A: Just practice using the fundamental teaching.

Q: What is it and how does one practice using the fundamental teaching?
A: Mind is the fundamental source.

Q: How do you know that mind is the fundamental source?
A: The Lankavatara Sutra says: "When the mind comes into being, then various conceptions (dharmas) come to be; and when the mind ceases to be, then these various conceptions cease to be." The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra says: "If you wish to attain the Pure Land, you should purify your own mind, because if your mind is pure, all Buddha-Lands are also pure." The Sutra of Transforming Teaching says: "Just concentrate the mind on one point and all things are achieved." Another sutra says: "The holy person seeks Mind and does not seek Budha. The foolish man seeks Buddha and does not seek Mind. The wise man regulates the mind and does not regulate the body, while the foolish man regulates the body but does not regulate the mind." The Sutra of the Buddha's Names says: "The evil arising from the mind can be extinguished only by the mind." Thus, we see that all good and evil arise from one's own mind and that the mind itself is the fundamental source. Therefore, if one wishes to seek liberation, he should recognize this fundamental source. On the other hand, if one does not understand this truth, he will seek liberation outside himself, always laboring in vain. The Dhyanaparamita Sutra says: "As long as you seek it from external forms, you cannot come to complete Enlightenment even after many kalpas. However, through perceptive insight Bodhi is suddenly attained."

~Hui Hai (entering the tao of sudden enlightenment)


Thanks fukasetsu.
For the above quote.
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby jundo on Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:55 pm

Hi,

Many or most Zen Practitioners, particularly on the Continent, have combined Zen and Pure Land Practices to one degree or another. There are all manner of scholars writings now on the relationship ... sometimes criticism of one group by the other, sometimes finding common grounds. Here is one such paper ...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=jp

It is not my way, and I am a Sitter. But I cannot criticize anyone who finds their way in Amida Buddha.

However, while your Practice may be fine for you, and there are aspects of Zen and Pure that express each other, it is not what most folks Practice here, so if you want to Practice that, you may be in the wrong place.

It is exactly the same as if a fellow came here who wanted to pray to Jesus. I would say to him, "If you want to sit Zazen, and pray to Jesus afterwards, I feel you can. There may even be commonality depending how one looks at "Jesus"" However, if you say "I want to only pray to Jesus and not sit Zazen," I would say "Fine, and I am sure it is good for your life, but you are in the wrong place to discuss such a Practice."

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

Postby Caodemarte on Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:02 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:In the following passages, Shinran Shonin presents teachings that are remarkably similar to what's usually associated with Zen Buddhism:
67 The Commentary on the Treatise states:

To aspire to be born in the Pure Land of happiness is necessarily to awaken the mind aspiring for supreme enlightenment.

68 Further, it states:

This mind attains Buddhahood means that the mind becomes Buddha; this mind is itself Buddha means that there is no Buddha apart from the mind. This is like the relationship of fire and wood: fire arises from wood; it cannot exist apart from the wood. Because it cannot exist apart from the wood, it consumes the wood. The wood, on the other hand, is consumed by the fire; it becomes the fire.

69 The [Master of] Kuang-ming temple states:

This mind attains Buddhahood. This mind is itself Buddha. There is no Buddha apart from this mind.

70 Hence we know that the mind that is single is termed, “to be in correspondence [with the significance of the Name] by practicing in accord with reality.” This is the right teaching. This is the right meaning. This is the right practice. This is the right understanding. This is the right act. This is the right wisdom.

71 The threefold mind is the mind that is single; the mind that is single is the diamondlike true mind: here ends the answer concerning this matter. Reflect upon it.
http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expos ... n-shinjin/


This was from the Kyogyoshinsho, which Shinran intended to be the magnum opus of his teaching work.

This is from the Sutra on the Contemplation of Buddha Amitayus, one of the three traditional Pure Land sutras:

Then the World-Honored One said: Now do you not know, Vaidehi, that Buddha Amitayus is not very far from here?…

Every Buddha Tathagata is one whose spiritual body is the principle of Dharma-nature, so that he may enter into the mind of any beings. Consequently, when you have visualized Buddha, it is indeed that mind of yours that possesses those thirty-two signs of perfection and eighty minor marks of excellence which you see in a Buddha.

In conclusion, it is your mind that becomes Buddha, nay, it is your mind that is indeed Buddha. The ocean of true and universal knowledge of all the Buddhas derives its source from one’s own mind and thought.
http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/meditationsutra.html


Lovely quote. I suspect you will find all forms of Mahayana Buddhism pretty much the same at the core.
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Caodemarte on Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:53 pm

Since we have been talking about the connections between Pure Land and Zen we should also note that there have been periodic campaigns to push out Pure Land practice. Not deep Shinran style practice as much as it's degeneration into superstitious mumble-jumbo or magical thinking (as Zen can decline as well). Individuals have received recommendations to practice Zen-style Pure Land, but other individuals have also been given warnings against it. I beleive Zen and Pure Land are historically close and do meet by going in opposite directions around a globe. We should not a-historically think that they are always friends.
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:06 am

This is from the words of Shinran:

The great practice is to say the Name of the Tathagata of unhindered light. This practice, embodying all good acts and possessing all roots of virtue, is perfect and most rapid in bringing about birth. It is the treasure ocean of virtues that is Suchness or true reality. For this reason, it is called great practice.
http://shinranwritings.blogspot.com/p/k ... ctice.html


Shinran taught that the Nembutsu is an expression of Suchness or true reality, just as Dogen taught that zazen is an expression of Suchness or true reality.
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

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

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:20 pm

BB, et al.,

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:Shinran taught that the Nembutsu is an expression of Suchness or true reality, just as Dogen taught that zazen is an expression of Suchness or true reality.

Dogen's teacher in China, Ch'an Master Ju-ching, also taught the following, regarding the non-necessity for a devoted Ch'an-person of reciting Buddha's name. Reciting can be dispensed with. He stresses instead the prevalent and typical characteristic T'sao-tung practice, that of "singleminded intense", ardent sitting (Chin.: chih-k'uan-ta-tso; J.: shikantaza):

    "To study meditation under a master is to drop the body and mind;
    it is the singleminded intense sitting without burning incense, worshipping,
    reciting [Amidha's Name], practicing repentance, or reading sutras"
    .

    --Ch'an Master Ju-ching (Dogen's teacher in China)
:Namaste:,

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

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:37 pm

BB,

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:Shinran taught that the Nembutsu is an expression of Suchness or true reality, just as Dogen taught that zazen is an expression of Suchness or true reality.

Yes; so I've heard.

I find that Silence is also an expression of Suchness, Emptiness, Tathagatagarbha, Buddhamind, and Buddha-nature.

As we know, "Reciting" has not got a corner on the market, neither in East nor West, neither long-ago, nor now. As you say above.

Hoping all's well,

:Namaste:,

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

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:30 am

Jodo Shinshu traditionally teaches that one is to exclusively recite the Nembutsu, relying on no other Buddhist practice. In the words of Shinran Shonin, "To entrust oneself to the Nembutsu is to already have become a person who realizes wisdom and will attain Buddhahood."

Yet this doesn't mean one cannot recite the Nembutsu with a Zen-like interpretation. As the late Rev. Shigariki explained, Shinran did not intend to teach a dualistic relationship between Amida and ourselves:

The Problem of the True and the False in
Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies
http://www.shin-ibs.edu/documents/pwj3-3/02SG3.pdf

Shigaraki discloses a nondual Pure Land that finds philosophical kinship with Zen but has been little discussed in the West. With its unassuming language and insights drawn from a life of practice, Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path dispels the fog of misconception that has shrouded Western appreciation of Shin traditions to reveal the limitless light of Amida Buddha that reaches all.
https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Shin-Buddh ... dhist+path


Takamaro Shigaraki is a Buddhist priest and scholar, recognized as one of the leading Shin Buddhist thinkers in the world today. His innovative approach to traditional Shin Buddhist ideas via comparative religious scholarship and rational analysis has made him a cause celebre in the Shin Buddhist world. He has served as president of Ryukoku University, one of Japan's oldest and most prestigious universities, where he received his PhD in literary studies and is a Professor Emeritus of Shin Buddhist studies. Dr. Shigaraki has also served as Chairman of the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, the largest Shin Buddhist organization in the world.
http://www.simonandschuster.com/authors ... /451425870
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:23 am

BB,

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:Jodo Shinshu traditionally teaches that one is to exclusively recite the Nembutsu, relying on no other Buddhist practice.

I've heard about it. ;)

Was a big metal sculpture in my neighborhood... .

The bronze image of Shinran Shonin stood about 12 feet high along Riverside Drive, in New York, New York. Impressive. I passed it each night, jogging my 2 1/2 miles per night among the tall Elm trees of the upper part of Riverside Park. I was already a Buddhist, Ch'an sect, and never dropped-in to the Pure Land place. But, nice to see the statue of Shinran Shonin each night, many, many seasons around the calendar, wearing the inverted begging-bowl as his head-gear, and developing richer and richer patina with the years: a "mellowing" we could all participate in, too!

My teacher Ven. Sheng Yen emphasized making this very place of our Ch'an practice the Pure Land. Because we could. Hail!

I attended a few recitation sessions with Ven. Sheng Yen (and many elderly and gracious Chinese ladies in his neighborhood of Elmhurst, Queens). Gave me a good feeling, and was definitely good for the breath and breathing-diaphragm. But my way was Ch'an, and samadhi-practice, and I have stuck with it.

All's swell,

--Joe

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

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:54 am

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

Postby TTT on Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:31 am

jundo wrote:Hi,

Many or most Zen Practitioners, particularly on the Continent, have combined Zen and Pure Land Practices to one degree or another. There are all manner of scholars writings now on the relationship ... sometimes criticism of one group by the other, sometimes finding common grounds. Here is one such paper ...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=jp

It is not my way, and I am a Sitter. But I cannot criticize anyone who finds their way in Amida Buddha.

However, while your Practice may be fine for you, and there are aspects of Zen and Pure that express each other, it is not what most folks Practice here, so if you want to Practice that, you may be in the wrong place.

It is exactly the same as if a fellow came here who wanted to pray to Jesus. I would say to him, "If you want to sit Zazen, and pray to Jesus afterwards, I feel you can. There may even be commonality depending how one looks at "Jesus"" However, if you say "I want to only pray to Jesus and not sit Zazen," I would say "Fine, and I am sure it is good for your life, but you are in the wrong place to discuss such a Practice."

Gassho, Jundo


Good Point Jundo.

First i think Amida and Jesus is not the same. Why teachers and a like, talk about the "samaness" of religous expressions is due to the school system on a large skale.
I came to this conclution after looking att varouse youtob teachings. Almost all of em christianity meets Buddhist thought and practis.
I use to have a good book Named Flowing Brige by a former Christian nun, and Zen master, named Elene Macina.

http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/flowing-bridge

And,
she talkes in terms of Jesus and God and Zen and all this koans.

What to make out of it?

"Sitting" meditation and reciting, what ever, isant this religion?
This is coming for me and it is somthing i have thought of for a long time.

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

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:36 am

TTT wrote:What to make out of it?


The combined practice of Zen and Pure Land has been, throughout history, the norm and not the exception, especially in China and Vietnam. And in Japan, there's the Obaku school of Zen:

The Ōbaku-shū emphasized the taking of various precepts and also observed the Vinaya of the Dharmaguptaka tradition as well as sutra translation. But perhaps most obvious to the Japanese was their use of nembutsu[16] and also their use of the "nembutsu kōan" which entailed the practice of reciting the name of Amitabha while holding in one's mind the kōan, "Who is reciting?"[8] While foreign to the Japanese (despite this "dual practice" being introduced in Japan as early as the late 13th century),[17] this was very common in Ming period Ch'an, where there was no sectarian divide between Pure Land Buddhists and Ch'an practitioners.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%8Cbaku
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:46 am

There's a common misinterpretation, even among some Pure Land Buddhists, that Shinran intended the Nembutsu as a license to commit evil deeds. In reality, Shinran Shonin see the Nembutsu as a free pass to do evil, as if Amida is a magical savior deity:

It is deplorable that you have told people to abandon themselves to their hearts’ desires and to do anything they want. One must seek to cast off the evil of this world and to cease doing wretched deeds; this is what it means to reject the world and to live the Nembutsu.
http://shinranworks.com/letters/lamp-fo ... ages/16-2/
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Caodemarte on Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:10 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:.....The combined practice of Zen and Pure Land has been, throughout history, the norm and not the exception, especially in China and Vietnam....


Not really. At the level of sectarian history, they have often been competitors and have attempted to purge themselves of the other's influence.History is long and complicated.
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:19 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:.....The combined practice of Zen and Pure Land has been, throughout history, the norm and not the exception, especially in China and Vietnam....


Not really. At the level of sectarian history, they have often been competitors and have attempted to purge themselves of the other's influence.


You might be thinking of Japanese Buddhism, in which Zen and Pure Land have sometimes been seen at odds with each other. This isn't true of the Obaku school, which is based on the combined practice of Zen and Pure Land.
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Caodemarte on Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:14 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:
Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:.....The combined practice of Zen and Pure Land has been, throughout history, the norm and not the exception, especially in China and Vietnam....


Not really. At the level of sectarian history, they have often been competitors and have attempted to purge themselves of the other's influence.


You might be thinking of Japanese Buddhism, in which Zen and Pure Land have sometimes been seen at odds with each other. This isn't true of the Obaku school, which is based on the combined practice of Zen and Pure Land.


No, I am thinking of Asian history. The Obaku school is pretty firmly in the Lin-ji line and is currently part of the Rinzai sect. 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.
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:25 pm

Caodemarte wrote:No, I am thinking of Asian history.


I have created another thread for discussing that very topic, and I'm hoping to keep it civilized:
viewtopic.php?f=64&p=190492#p190492
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Re: Shinran Shonin: "There is no Buddha apart from the mind.

Postby Meido on Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:46 pm

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
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
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
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