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The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Dan74 on Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:16 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Caodemarte, do you mean that being a rebel and a reformer is the definition of orthodoxy in Buddhism?

As to your other remarks, bokki said that Rev Jundo was orthodox. In my reading of Rev Jundo over the years, his contention that Buddhism and Zen is full of prescientific and hagiographic teachings such as rebirth, 'unrealistic' characteristics of enlightenment, etc. place him in my view in decidedly unorthodox camp along with Stephen Batchelor and the like. Whether useful or not is another conversation, but IMO it is important to be clear about this point.

_/|\_



It is funny because this is decidedly orthodox from my point of view (blind men and the elephant story once again). Leaving Jundo out of this, traditional teachers (fully ensconced and recognized in their tradition as very orthodox) who have addressed this sort of thing whom I have met (and many, like the Dalai Lama whom I have read), have said Buddhism has accreted a lot of superstition and even nonsense over the years that should be cleaned up. There are mistakes, blunders, and corruption in Buddhist institutions as in all long-lasting human institutions and need reform. When people take anything in a literalist way all the life and truth is choked out it. All firmly held beliefs are at best temporary expedients that become anchors or are abused as rationalizations.


HH the Dalai Lama may lament the importance of spirits in Tibetan Buddhism or show respect for scientific understanding of the world, but please show me where he supports Rev Jundo's views on enlightenment or rebirth.

You may want to dig around. If I recall correctly Matylda, a long-term Japanese Soto practitioner used to engage in these conversations. She is certainly worth checking out. My own experience with Soto is too little to count for anything.

_/|\_

PS BTW I don't think this is a huge deal in and of itself.
Last edited by Dan74 on Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby jundo on Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:18 pm

Sticks and stones ... :)

Gassho, J

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby jundo on Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:30 pm

By the way, one thing about religion is that it is not even worth the time to try to debate or persuade someone who believes their traditional or modernist beliefs are fundamental.

No reason to even try, because it is religion. If someone is convinced that X is the Word of God written in the Holy Bible, it is unlikely that one could ever convince them otherwise. Likewise, if someone is convinced the Y is the Word of Buddha written in a Holy Sutra, it is unlikely that one could ever convince them otherwise ... not absent some very unusual circumstances, such are the workings of "cognitive dissonance and cognitive consistency".

Best to just respect everyone's cherished beliefs, to each their own. One person's myth is another person's sacred story, and we should simply honor that. Everyone to their suited Path. Some folks, for example, want and need very literal views on post death rebirth, and others do not, and to each their own. Each just expedient means to save the sentient beings. Very little reason to argue about who is right or wrong, and better simply to let each Practice in his/her own way. I myself take no stand, although I am very a very skeptical agnostic ... to the point of disbelief ... concerning very detailed, literal models of post death rebirth. However, it does not matter, and to each their own. I often say ...

If there is post death literal rebirth ... fetch water and chop wood, sit Zazen and live gently, piercing human ignorance to be free of rebirth, realizing the dreamlike nature of such.

And if there is no post death literal rebirth ... fetch water and chop wood, sit Zazen and live gently, piercing human ignorance to be free of rebirth, realizing the dreamlike nature of such.

In any case, sit Zazen, live gently, realizing the dreamlike nature of such.


Today I am reading a wonderful book on the Rinzai Tradition of Myoshinji, but many of the descriptions can and do apply equally well to all the Japanese Zen schools, if not all Japanese Buddhism ... if not all Buddhism. For example, this custom of Higan ...

[T]he spring and autumn equinox celebrated a week in March and September, characterized as the most representative practice for Buddhists (Hanazono Q & A, 192). Higan means “the other shore” (i.e., nirvana, satori or the Pure Land),. ... When day and night are of the same length it is said that the Pure Land is approachable in all four directions (Zen Q & A, 138), a time most efficacious in bringing ancestors to the other side through ritual services and in realizing the ideal of the ritual agent acquiring a “mind of the other shore” ( Josei no bukkyō 4, 24). ... priests conduct memorial services at local temples, in the subtemples, and in the memorial hall (shidō) in the Buddha hall at the honzan, and of one of the most celebrated rituals in Japan, obon


Now, whether or not the realms of the dead are actually closer on such days because of the position of the earth as it orbits the sun, well, I have my great doubts. However, it seems to bring comfort to families who have lost someone dear and the ceremonies, besides raising funds for the temples that perform them, seem to bring comfort to many. I am not the kind of Buddhist priest who engages in such ceremonies nor believes in their literal efficacy (apart from any psychological effects as consolation), but I honor and celebrate those who do.

Gassho, J

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby bokki on Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:24 pm

well, very very glad 2 c such open, challenging and straight talk! imo Reverend Jundo went out on a limb and provided us with a lot of direct pointers.
so, ill play a bit, but in thankfulness 2 RJ
every 1 knows im a stray street mongrel, hanging beside the trash container , but i threw away my orthodox bone a few days ago, and since then have been hungry. but now, im WAGING waging waging my tail, iv found a whole round PIZZA..and all cats welcome 2 share a piece, ill be chewing all day!!!
thnx 4 this every 1, Dan thnx 4 questioning, every1 post some more!!
b
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Caodemarte on Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:54 pm

Dogen brought back the most advanced hygiene advice available. I have heard of one Soto monk who decided to follow the instructions out of respect for Dogen. Out of respect for Dogen's intention to use the healthiest method available most Soto monks use toilet paper instead. So who is the real traditionalist here? They guy who uses three small stones to rub his flesh? Or the monks who follow the intention? There is a similar story about Dogen and brushing your teeth, but the gist is clear.

In China it is very traditional to question the old texts, both in terms of historicity and content. Dogen records at least one conversation with his teacher. He himself was certainly free with criticism. Why is it now untraditional to do so now in the sect that "is not dependent on words and letters?" Especially as belief in reincarnation or other beliefs are not central to Zen.

This Dalai Lama quote on astronomy may be appropriate here.

"On the philosophical level, both Buddhism and modern science share a deep suspicion of any notion of absolutes, whether conceptualized as a transcendent being, as an eternal, unchanging principle such as soul, or as a fundamental substratum of reality. Both Buddhism and science prefer to account for the evolution and emergence of the cosmos and life in terms of the complex interrelations of the natural laws of cause and effect. From the methodological perspective, both traditions emphasize the role of empiricism. For example, in the Buddhist investigative tradition, between the three recognized sources of knowledge - experience, reason and testimony - it is the evidence of the experience that takes precedence, with reason coming second and testimony last. This means that, in the Buddhist investigation of reality, at least in principle, empirical evidence should triumph over scriptural authority, no matter how deeply venerated a scripture may be. Even in the case of knowledge derived through reason or inference, its validity must derive ultimately from some observed facts of experience.

This means that, in the Buddhist investigation of reality, at least in principle, empirical evidence should triumph over scriptural authority, no matter how deeply venerated a scripture may be. Even in the case of knowledge derived through reason or inference, its validity must derive ultimately from some observed facts of experience. Because of this methodological standpoint, I have often remarked to my Buddhist colleagues that the empirically verified insights of modern cosmology and astronomy must compel us now to modify, or in some cases reject, many aspects of traditional cosmology as found in ancient Buddhist texts." https://www.dalailama.com/messages/budd ... crossroads

This is pretty well true for everything. Buddhism asks us to use our reason and experience with the argument from authority being the weakest possible. It also advises us not to cling to any belief.

If one's reason, knowledge, and experience leads one to believe in reincarnation or whatever that is great. One may be right or wrong. Not using them or clinging to beliefs is the mistake in traditional Buddhism.

BTW, If you examine the DL's explanations of reincarnation one will see he holds the orthodox belief that there is certainly no person to be reincarnated and no "rebirth." Similar causes have similar effects. All very traditional and orthodox.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Dan74 on Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:21 pm

Thank you, Caodemarte.

I've heard HH the Dalai Lama say this much in person. Not sure how that answers my question though.

But look, Rev Jundo provides Treeleaf for free which is an amazing service. Whether or not he is lacking as a Zen teacher is not something we are going to establish here. But he is an impressive articulate man who does great service. So kudos to him!

_/|\_
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby bokki on Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:11 pm

Thank you very much, Dan.
i think your posts resound with sense and true questioning,
may i please ask, if u you dont find it impertinent,
what is exactly your question?
Not sure how that answers my question though.

in sure well all try our best to answer, but what is exactly your question?
Thank you very much Dan 4 ur contributions plz feel free to prod and poke my or any1s opinions anytime u feel like it, im sure ill or we will come 2 some understanding, thnx 2 u.
what is ur question?
thnx
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Dan74 on Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:41 pm

Bokki, I guess that you saw that my question to Caodemarte was "please show me where he supports Rev Jundo's views on enlightenment or rebirth."

More broadly, my question is what can be done to breathe some life into this forum.

And ultimately, my question is between me and my teacher.

Does this satisfy you?

What is your question and are you sincere?

_/|\_
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby bokki on Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:51 pm

well, thank u very much, Dan.
yes, im very sincere, i asked what is ur question within Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism thread, now i c.
what can be done to breathe some life into this forum... is 1 of the main reasons i post here
and yes sir im satisfied.
actually im very glad and happy to talk 2 u and wait 4 ur posts.
thnx, Dan
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Dan74 on Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:04 pm

Sincerity comes with an openness. You're mostly playong games I think.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby bokki on Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:18 pm

thnx 4 ur sincerity and openness Dan, did u mean play-along games? i play sincere games sir
y so suspicious, whats in it 4 u 2 loose? iv just tried 2 b really honest with u, within simple questioning. if its not 2 ur pleasure, ill quickly let it go. but thnx
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Dan74 on Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:21 pm

I let it go. This thread has gone off course because of me. So I withdraw with apologies to all.

_/|\_
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby bokki on Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:42 pm

thnx Dan, i happen to think this thread is right on course, by very much ur help 2, as a
The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism thread...
and i never take offense at any zen or dharma or even personal questioning here at zfi
and b4 i end 4 tonight and go, ill post 1 more, maybe a bit unpleasant, but hey this is a zen forum
thnx Dan
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby bokki on Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:45 pm

sometimes, i know not y, but i understand they try, bodhisattvas, like a foolish snail climbing mnt fuji, think of peace, deep meditation, inhaling morning daoist mist, totally free or in deep feeling of nature of existence. but a foolish snail uping up mnt fuji will either die of hunger, cold, or what not up there, and if lucky will have someone roll him quickly back to luscious fields, or have enough strength and slime to slide down by himself. what id like to say, once, if, they come down, they may not like the weeds they find...but thats exactly where they do become bodhisattvas...in samsara.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Dan74 on Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:50 am

The Parable of the Snail is good, Bokki.

The only thing is that snails are not so stupid as to leave the grasses. And mountain goats when climbing the mountain don't do it for the imaginary morning mist or other fancies. To a snail who stays in the grasses, they look like a stupid snail and he cannot fathom why they would do such a thing. Which is also fine.

_/|\_
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby bokki on Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:43 am

yes sry Dan, i should have omitted the word foolish! and it is a bit streched parable, and certainly only one view..
is it ok if i repost other members posts? i found this in the GG Roshi Play thread, by Mrs Carol and it is also another view on bodhisattva practices..
thnx Dan, b
(nice little poem spike!)
Quiet Heart wrote:
:)
Well, at age 67, I am still playing the game.
But I admit to getting tired of playing this game over and over, and therefore I hope that if I return to the game again it will not be many more returns that I have left.
But I will keep returning anyhow until everyone else also leaves the game as well as me.
That's a promise I made some time ago.
What is there anyhow, but playing in the game?
What is there?
:)

Mrs Carol wrote:
This reminds me of something I've been realizing recently. In chanting the four boundless vows ... the second one is to cut off or abandon greed, hatred and ignorance. I am finding I can no longer say that second vow. I cannot abandon or cut off all the suffering beings, but must stay with them until all are free ...
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Dan74 on Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:24 pm

Why not use your own words, bokki?

I try to get though the day with as many moments as possible when I treasure the beings around me, as well as myself. I can wax lyrical about no-beings, no one to save, no separation, you are me, etc. But when I push the old fat curmudgeon on his wheelchair and he mouths off at me for not reading his mind or perhaps just for feeling like an old fat curmudgeon in a wheelchair, I feel the tumult of feelings arise and pass, and see that we are both fucked in our superficially different ways.

And when my son tells me that my words just increase his boredom, or complains about my cooking after a long day without a moment of sitting down and wondering if there's enough money to last for the rest of the month, and wondering about my career and lifestyle choices that led to this, I watch the tumult of feelings arise and pass, and allow the warmth to fill my heart. We are suffering. Him, me, you, bokki, and playing the games is pretending otherwise or shutting out this deep and frightening recognition. All that other stuff, compassion, insight, no-self, comes from it, as far as I can tell.

And then the sun shines, or a gentle rain falls, and little tingles of joy fall like sparkling jewels upon us. In this moment, the seeds of sadness are planted. Just like in the times of suffering, the cracks of happiness appear. So it is.

_/|\_
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:43 pm

jundo wrote:By the way, one thing about religion is that it is not even worth the time to try to debate or persuade someone who believes their traditional or modernist beliefs are fundamental.

No reason to even try, because it is religion. If someone is convinced that X is the Word of God written in the Holy Bible, it is unlikely that one could ever convince them otherwise. Likewise, if someone is convinced the Y is the Word of Buddha written in a Holy Sutra, it is unlikely that one could ever convince them otherwise ... not absent some very unusual circumstances, such are the workings of "cognitive dissonance and cognitive consistency".

Best to just respect everyone's cherished beliefs, to each their own. One person's myth is another person's sacred story, and we should simply honor that. Everyone to their suited Path. Some folks, for example, want and need very literal views on post death rebirth, and others do not, and to each their own. Each just expedient means to save the sentient beings. Very little reason to argue about who is right or wrong, and better simply to let each Practice in his/her own way. I myself take no stand, although I am very a very skeptical agnostic ... to the point of disbelief ... concerning very detailed, literal models of post death rebirth. However, it does not matter, and to each their own. I often say ...

If there is post death literal rebirth ... fetch water and chop wood, sit Zazen and live gently, piercing human ignorance to be free of rebirth, realizing the dreamlike nature of such.

And if there is no post death literal rebirth ... fetch water and chop wood, sit Zazen and live gently, piercing human ignorance to be free of rebirth, realizing the dreamlike nature of such.

In any case, sit Zazen, live gently, realizing the dreamlike nature of such.




It would be nice if everyone remembered that scripture or any oral teachings are expedient means or medicine which only appeared in relation to being's needs (sickness/delusion) ofcourse no words are true in themselves.
It's ridiculous therefore to attach to any religion and have the desire to defend it opposed to another relative view. differences are never in opposition, eventhough we think they are and fight over it. silly humans :PP:


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i.e., it is not what it would be in itself"
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby Caodemarte on Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:18 pm

[quote="fukasetsu"]
It would be nice if everyone remembered that scripture or any oral teachings are expedient means or medicine which only appeared in relation to being's needs (sickness/delusion) ofcourse no words are true in themselves.
It's ridiculous therefore to attach to any religion and have the desire to defend it opposed to another relative view. differences are never in opposition, eventhough we think they are and fight over it. silly humans :PP:
[quote]

Bipeds! What can you do with them! :hugs:
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Zen Buddhism

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:24 pm

C., et al.,
Caodemarte wrote:Bipeds! What can you do with them! :hugs:

We can put them on ALL-FOURS. Prostrations are a great centering and strengthening practice.

More to say, but let's go with that.

:rbow:

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