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Tathagatha Zen, and Patriarchal or Ancestral Zen

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Re: Tathagatha Zen, and Patriarchal or Ancestral Zen

Postby Kigen Ekeson on Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:42 am

desert_woodworker wrote:Kigen, thank you! very much, and it's good to meet you here for a first time.

I was especially interested in the aside that Judy brought in, about the relationship of "tathagatha" and "tathaagatha", in Sasaki Roshi's way of presenting them in teachings. The latter is a polarity I had never heard or thought of before, but obviously it's an available one -- at least theoretically -- given that there is "tathagatha".

So, then, are we to interpret it really as "thus-not-come"? The former, translated as "thus-come" was "hard enough" for me at first (well, long ago) to come to "terms" with -- not that it can be made concrete, in writings -- but the latter, as its antithesis, may take some clarifying because I don't have as clear an EXAMPLE of it, so far as I'm aware. Yes, I'm thinking of "Tathagatha" as in the Sutras... .

Do you suggest it can, could, or should be understood as Linji's "host"? And, is this the way that Sasaki Roshi taught with regard to it, and as you teach? Surely, the guest comes (and visits), but the host receives (and is a home-base). Maybe it's taken this way?

In Sutras, Shakyamuni Buddha refers to "the Tathagatha". Is he given as ever referring to the opposite, by the way? I don't recall an instance (but that's neither here nor there).


Thank you again, and thanks for being here at ZFI.

With best Greetings,

--Joe

Hey Joe,
Nice to meet you too. My teacher taught us that the two opposites, tathagata and tatha-agata when taken together, can be represented by a third term; Tathagata (emphasis on capitol “T”), i.e. the complete activity that encompasses all oppositions.

Our translators would usually translate tatha-gata and tatha-agata as “thus-come” and “thus-gone”. The über-term “Tathagata” was translated as “Thusness” or even “Buddha”.

Yes, the host “receives” and the guest “initiates”. Both are distinct-yet-simultaneous expressions of “giving” i.e. Dana in Sanskrit. That is, tatha-gata gives through initiating, and tatha-agata gives through receiving. They should be understood as exactly corresponding to “host and guest” (as well as many other synonymous terms) in the old texts.

Sasaki Roshi taught his students to perceive how every moment of space and time could be understood and experienced as an expression of the cycle of change between these two opposites…an expression of something ultimately unnamable but what he often referred to as “True Love”. This was all done using the classic texts as reference. Perhaps a comparison to this teaching might be the “Five Ranks of Tozan”, though in my opinion, the detail and subtlety of Sasaki Roshi’s teachings go far beyond anything I’ve read concerning the Five Ranks. Some of his work will be published in the not too distant future. I Hope this helps.

Kigen
An osho in the lineage of Joshu Saski Roshi. www.bodhidharmazendo.net
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Re: Tathagatha Zen, and Patriarchal or Ancestral Zen

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:11 pm

Kigen, many thanks!

Ah, "thus-gone" is helpful.

I've got a hand on a part of the elephant, now, thank you. I'll keep palpating.

Coincidentally, I received yesterday an advance copy of the late Yamada Koun Roshi's (1907-1989) book, ZEN NO SHOMON (1983) translated to English by Paul Shepherd, as ZEN: THE AUTHENTIC GATE (July, 2015). I had practiced with a Diamond Sangha affiliate sangha (the first ever) in Tucson for over 20 years, so it is a special feeling to have a book written by one of Aitken Roshi's own teachers in hand (aside from Yamada's wonderful GATELESS GATE, which I've had for a long time). Our sangha teacher Patrick Hawk Roshi (1942-2012) passed away recently, near the time I resigned membership. My main teacher was the late Ven. Sheng Yen, of New York City, and Taipei.

Well... Yamada's book, ZEN: THE AUTHENTIC GATE (2015)... there are 17 chapters, one with a 12-page section on Tozan's Five Ranks, or Modes. I'll start reading today. What a beauty of a book!

:Namaste:,

--Joe
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Re: Tathagatha Zen, and Patriarchal or Ancestral Zen

Postby Kigen Ekeson on Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:50 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Ah, "thus-gone" is helpful.

I've got a hand on a part of the elephant, now, thank you. I'll keep palpating.

Coincidentally, I received yesterday an advance copy of the late Yamada Koun Roshi's (1907-1989) book, ZEN NO SHOMON (1983) translated to English by Paul Shepherd, as ZEN: THE AUTHENTIC GATE (July, 2015). I had practiced with a Diamond Sangha affiliate sangha (the first ever) in Tucson for over 20 years, so it is a special feeling to have a book written by one of Aitken Roshi's own teachers in hand (aside from Yamada's wonderful GATELESS GATE, which I've had for a long time). Our sangha teacher Patrick Hawk Roshi (1942-2012) passed away recently, near the time I resigned membership. My main teacher was the late Ven. Sheng Yen, of New York City, and Taipei.

Well... Yamada's book, ZEN: THE AUTHENTIC GATE (2015)... there are 17 chapters, one with a 12-page section on Tozan's Five Ranks, or Modes. I'll start reading today. What a beauty of a book!


Hi Joe,
Happy to reply. So much to learn for us all.
I'll look up the book you mention as it sounds interesting.

In Gassho,
Kigen
An osho in the lineage of Joshu Saski Roshi. www.bodhidharmazendo.net
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Re: Tathagatha Zen, and Patriarchal or Ancestral Zen

Postby Guo Gu on Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:02 pm

joe,
here you go: http://www.chancenter.org/chanctr/ddp/c ... -1993.html
shifu's comment on thus come thus gone.
be well,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.org/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
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Re: Tathagatha Zen, and Patriarchal or Ancestral Zen

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:44 pm

Guo Gu,

Thank you for this!

I have all the issues of CHAN MAGAZINE from the beginning, starting about a year before I showed up in Feb., 1979 (from Vol. 1, no. 1). :)

But I had forgotten this article of Shifu's teaching, transcribed and published 22 years ago!

You're (one of) the (VERY!) best! :lol2:

:rbow:,

--Joe

ace_corazon.jpg

Guo Gu wrote:joe,
here you go: http://www.chancenter.org/chanctr/ddp/c ... -1993.html
shifu's comment on thus come thus gone.
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