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Zen & Theravada: Not So Different?

Discussion of Theravada Buddhism in the light of Zen.

Re: Zen & Theravada: Not So Different?

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:04 pm

The biggest similarity between Zen and Theravada that I've seen is the emphasis on reliance on one's own efforts to attain enlightenment.

According to the Pali scriptures, the Buddha's last words were to be a lamp unto oneself, seeking no external refuge. Here is Shunryu Suzuki quoting this passage:

Buddha said once, according to Mahaparinibbana Sutra.[10] "You should rely on self-light, light of self. And you should rely on light of dharma." So we-we call-we call hotomyo-jitomyo.[11] Hotomyo is "dharma lamp." Jitomyo is "light of self-self-lamp." "Self," you know, originally "self-lamp," and there's no difference between "self-lamp" and "buddha-lamp." But so-how to-we shouldn't-we must depend on ourselves. He always taught us to depend on ourselves. We should not depend on someone else. And you yourself is someone who-whom you can depend on. Without depend on yourself, how is it possible to find out someone-something who can depend on. He says in Dhammapada: "You yourself is refuge for yourself," or "You yourself is something which you can depend on." Without depend on yourself, how is it possible to find out something-something to depend on? Only you is something which you can depend on. So we call it jitomyo, "lamp of self." Hotomyo means, you know, "lamp of dharma"-dharma in its wide sense, everything, various being, and it-in its narrow sense, Buddha's teaching. Buddha's teaching, as I said now, is immortal because it is manifestation of the real truth which is-which exist with everything, which is supported by everything, and at the same time, which is supporting by-supporting everything.

So everything is supported by dharma, and dharma is supporting everything. So dharma is-so dharma is everything, and everything is dharma. Dharma and teaching is one. That is our conviction, our faith. And it-it is actually so. That is why we, you know, transmit our lamp to others. You may say: "If everyone has, you know, his own lamp, there will be no need to transmit a lamp to others." But even though you have it, if you don't feel you have it, it doesn't make sense. How you have the feeling of having dharma lamp within yourself is to-through your teaching-your teacher.

So "transmission of dharma" means to "find your own lamp through your teacher," you know. That is transmission. Ju-ju is "to give transmission" or sometime, "to receive transmission." Ju or "receive." This is hand. To accept something is ju, and to offer something is also ju. And ju means "realization" in Buddhism-in Zen Buddhism, you know, ju means, "realization." So ju equal kaku. Kaku means sometime "enlightenment" or "realization" or "to realize something." That it is so is kaku.
http://suzukiroshi.sfzc.org/archives/in ... ?seemore=y
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Boatman Bodhisattva
 
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