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Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Caodemarte on Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:56 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:
The already cited The Zen Master Hakuin by Yampolsky contains a letter giving the example of samurai charging into life or death battle while keeping the mind of zazen (not that he was urging people to charge into battle!).


That's Samapatti(which is not seperate from zazen ofcourse)
but its quiet different then what average people call zazen for 5-10 minutes, I like to call that "prerequisite practise" but Jundo might not approve of such a term.


Not sure I follow the reference to samapatti here, but here is a bit from Hakuin on real practice.

"I cannot emphasize enough that the true practice of intro­spection is an absolute essential that must never be neglected. The true practice of introspection (naikan) consists of[ this contempla­tion] : "the area below my navel down to my loins and the soles of my feet is all Chao-chou's Mu. What principle can this Mu possibly have! The area below my navel down to my loins and the soles of my feet is all my own original face. Where can there be nostrils in this original face! The area below my navel down to my loins and the soles of my feet is all the Pure Land of my own mind. With what can this Pure Land be adorned! The area below my navel down to my loins and the soles of my feet is all the Buddha Amida in my own body. What truth can this Amida preach! The area below my navel down to my loins and the soles of my feet is all the village where I was born. What news can there be from this native village !"

If at all times even when coughing, swallowing, waving the arms, when asleep or awake, the practitioner accomplishes every­thing he decides to do and attains everything that he attempts to attain and, displaying a great, unconquerable determination, he moves forward ceaselessly, he will transcend the emotions and sentiments of ordinary life. His heart will be filled with an extra­ordinary purity and clarity, as though he were standing on a sheet of ice stretching for thousands of miles. Even if he were to enter the midst of a battlefield or to attend a place of song, dance, and revelry, it would be as though he were where no other person was. His great capacity... will make its appearance without being sought. At this time all Buddhas and sentient beings will be like illusions, "birth and death and Nirvana like last night's dreams." This man sees through both heaven and hell; Buddha worlds and demon's palaces melt away. He strikes blind the True Eye of the Buddhas and the Patriarchs... He makes clear all the countless activities [of a bodhisattva] and establishes a teaching of wide influence. Attaching to his arm the supernatural talisman that wrests life from death, he lets reverberate in his mouth the talons and teeth of the Cave of the Dharma, smashes the brains of monks everywhere, and pulls out the nails and knocks out the wedges... Thus will he recompense his deep obligation to the Buddhas and the Patriarchs. The status he has achieved is known as the causal conditions for a Buddha-realm or for the dignities of a bodhisattva. He is a great man, far excel­ling all ordinary people, who has accomplished his cherished desire.There are some blind, bald idiots who stand in a calm, unperturbed, untouchable place and consider that the state of mind produced in this atmosphere comprises seeing into their own natures. They think that to polish and perfect purity is sufficient, but have never even in a dream achieved the state [of the person described above]. People of this sort spend all day practicing non-action and end up by having practiced action all the while; spend all day practicing non-creating and end up by having practiced creating all the while. Why is this so? It is because their insight into the Way is not clear, because they cannot arrive at the truth of the Dharma-nature..."
pp 38-40 Yampolsky, op.cit.

None of this is meant to imply that the monk Hakuin was anti-monk, just anti-bad practice and enthusiastically for vigorous practice anywhere, anytime, by anybody.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:05 pm

Caodemarte wrote:Hakuin did give advice to lay people and urged formal seated zazen for all.


What form of practice did Zen master Hakuin actually recommend to lay people?

Whether you sit in meditation,
recite the sutras, intone the dharani, or call the Buddha’s name, if you
devote all your efforts to what you are doing and attain to the ultimate,
you will kick down the dark cave of ignorance, destroy the evil bandits of
the five desires, smash the illumination of the Great Perfect Mirror, penetrate
to the true status of the perfect knowledge of the Four Wisdoms,
and attain to the understanding of the Great Matter. The content of the
practices may vary but what difference is there in the goal that is reached?
...

It should be known that those who think that the Mu koan and the recitation of the Buddha’s name are two
different things belong to the class of evil heretics.
How sad it is that the
Pure Land practitioners today are unaware of the basic aspiration of the
many Buddhas. They believe only that the Buddha is in the Western Land
and are unaware that the Western Land is the basis of their own minds.
tspro.ru/loadpdf/download/asin=0861713699&type=full


I have again demonstrated the lack of appreciation on this forum for how Zen masters have, at least for lay people, recommended the Nembutsu as a meditation device throughout history. How many "evil heretics" are there on this forum?
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: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Caodemarte on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:22 pm

Hakuin organized little lay zazen groups focused around the practice of the koans, taught lay people koans, lectured on koans to lay people, and tested lay people on their resolution of koans (see Beating the Cloth Drum by Waddell). He also recommend the practice of nembutsu as koan (see previous quote from Yampolsky). He also advocated the practice of nembutsu as nembutsu to nembutsu practioners. In short, although most closely and famously associated with koan practice, he taught whatever practice worked for the individual (as your quote indicates).
Last edited by Caodemarte on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:23 pm

Caodemarte wrote:he taught whatever practice worked for the individuals.


Yes, as any sensible Buddhist master would. "Evil heretics," on the other hand, don't. Your words that he "urged formal seated zazen for all" reflected an ignorance or disregard for actual history.
I mean no disrespect to forum members on my ignore list. Gassho. __/\__

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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby fukasetsu on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:38 pm

Boatman wrote:
I have again demonstrated the lack of appreciation on this forum for how Zen masters have, at least for lay people, recommended the Nembutsu as a meditation device throughout history. How many "evil heretics" are there on this forum?


How come this is important to you?

I don't dwell on the similarities or differences between this and that tradition, what are you trying to convince us of that we all say "Zen is just as perfect as pure land"?

please check my signature, its a direct insight into dependent origination and the emptiness of all phenomena, which demonstrates the relation between zen and pure land without even mentioning them. Im not sure what your trying to accomplish but is it to really share your experiences with both traditions or is it more about your own attachments to your methods?

Which again I'm happy that you practise.
What zen masters of old have to say about it I have zero interest in, I would have an interest in your own findings by practising both traditions but not in quotes of old masters to either negate or assert something. Which is totally useless for your or mine practise, it's just gathering views.

I already appreciate that which your trying to appreciate us of, frankly your attempts are not necessary at least for me
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Caodemarte on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:50 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:What form of practice did Zen master Hakuin actually recommend to lay people? ....
I have again demonstrated the lack of appreciation on this forum for how Zen masters have, at least for lay people, recommended the Nembutsu as a meditation device throughout history. How many "evil heretics" are there on this forum?


Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:....Yes, as any sensible Buddhist master would. "Evil heretics," on the other hand, don't. Your words that he "urged formal seated zazen for all" reflected an ignorance or disregard for actual history.


Speaking historically on specific practices, there are numerous collections of Hakuin's writings where he urges seated zazen done in the proper spirit as well as continuous zazen in activity for people of all stations and situations. I don't know of any place he suggests that most lay people would be better off doing nembutsu or not doing zazen if that is what you mean. In his writings he most often strongly recommends zazen and koan practice to the vast majority of lay and the clergy (why would most people ask a "specialist" for advice if they were not Interested in learning his "speciality," his way of practice?). That said, he naturally ALSO recommended other practices or advice on how to do such practices (normally in a zen way) to the minority of people who wanted advice on such practices.

Sorry if looking at actual documentation and doing my own research makes me an ignorant evil heretiic, but c'est la vie.

P.S. Please don't PM more copies of your public posts to my private inbox. I realize it makes terms more personal, but really it just fills up the inbox and is perilously close to spamming or trolling.
Last edited by Caodemarte on Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Meido on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:33 pm

BB, for some reason you have been sending PMs en masse to the teachers here, repeating posts that you've made in this thread.

There is no need to bring threads repeatedly to our attention this way.

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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:30 am

I'm sorry for giving a wrong impression. I don't mean to be rude or offensive for the sake of being rude or offensive. I know that, throughout history, certain Zen masters would have done far worse to call out ignorance and delusion than I have done here, but I am far from a Zen master.

In the words of D. T. Suzuki, in echoing Zen masters from throughout history, "We find our inner self when NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU is pronounced once and for all. My conclusion is that Amida is our inmost self, and when that inmost self is found, we are born in the Pure Land."
Image
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:36 am

Ultimately, there might be more benefit in the words of those we know and trust, than in the personal whims of anonymous posters on an internet forum. While I don't claim to represent any teacher in any way, shape, or form, I have been blessed to have certain teachers in my life. I'm sorry that I am unable to convey and exemplify Buddhist teachings and concepts as well as they do.

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:Here's something that really resonated with me:

About a year ago, the Sensei at the local Jodo Shinshu temple led a meditation night that included zazen and walking meditation. Some students from the local university came to learn more about Buddhism. After the meditation service, the students asked him what the difference was between Shinshu and Zen. His answer was that Zen and Jodo Shinshu are the same.

I think he gave this answer for two reasons. Firstly, his family has been ministering temples for 500 years, and before they were Jodo Shinshu, they were actually a Zen family ministering Zen temples. The second reason is that he was looking at the matter from an ultimate perspective, in which Jodo Shinshu and Zen really are the same, despite external appearances.


Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:For the last two years, I've been in correspondence with a meditation instructor who once lived as a monk in China, and who wrote the Pure Land column on a prominent international Buddhist website.

In his monastery, they taught the combined practice of Ch'an and Pure Land, with the understanding that reciting 'Amituofo' is for the purpose of awakening the Buddha within.

He's read relatively little books on Buddhism, but instead bases his writings and teachings on what the masters taught him at the monastery.

I don't claim to represent this teacher in any way, shape, or form. I am just giving an example of how I've already covered some of the bases in learning these things.
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: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby fukasetsu on Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:40 am

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:My conclusion is that Amida is our inmost self, and when that inmost self is found, we are born in the Pure Land."


Forget our self, subtle self, gross self, most inmost self or whatever fabricated
Ironically it is by identifying the present with the past and projecting it into the future that the sense of a self comes into being.
And that is what your constantly doing imv, how is any of this history affirming and future projecting through words conducive to awakening,
how is any of it helpful to your or our practise?

I mean no offense Boatman but you seem obsessed about matters which are not important to practise and only enhance self-grasping, isn't that something to check with an alive teacher, and also checking whether seeking out pure land-zen similarities if that's helpful to your practise?
You even notice similarities such as bells or incense in temples, I mean what's the use?
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:41 am

Meido wrote:BB, for some reason you have been sending PMs en masse to the teachers here, repeating posts that you've made in this thread.

There is no need to bring threads repeatedly to our attention this way.

~ Meido


I am very sorry for dishonoring you.
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: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:44 am

fukasetsu wrote:you seem obsessed about matters which are not important to practise and only enhance self-grasping


I am "obsessed with matters which are not important to practice," such as what Zen masters, including Hakuin, have taught throughout history. How foolish of me for being concerned about traditional Zen teachings on a Zen forum.

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:What form of practice did Zen master Hakuin actually recommend to lay people?

Whether you sit in meditation,
recite the sutras, intone the dharani, or call the Buddha’s name, if you
devote all your efforts to what you are doing and attain to the ultimate,
you will kick down the dark cave of ignorance, destroy the evil bandits of
the five desires, smash the illumination of the Great Perfect Mirror, penetrate
to the true status of the perfect knowledge of the Four Wisdoms,
and attain to the understanding of the Great Matter. The content of the
practices may vary but what difference is there in the goal that is reached?
...

It should be known that those who think that the Mu koan and the recitation of the Buddha’s name are two
different things belong to the class of evil heretics.
How sad it is that the
Pure Land practitioners today are unaware of the basic aspiration of the
many Buddhas. They believe only that the Buddha is in the Western Land
and are unaware that the Western Land is the basis of their own minds.
tspro.ru/loadpdf/download/asin=0861713699&type=full



One shouldn't need to justify, in any way, shape or form, traditional Zen teachings on a Zen forum.

Some modern Western Zennists reject the doctrine of rebirth, while others reject the validity of Pure Land practice, all while ignoring or disregarding what Zen masters have taught throughout history.

I'm not the Dharma police, so people are welcome to whatever they wish to do. It's just unhelpful, when one claims to speak for something, while one's own words suggest the opposite. It's what Hakuin would call being an "evil heretic."

I am very sorry if I've given any impression other than my sincere concern and respect for what Zen masters have taught throughout history, and for the millions of people who've followed and lived by their instruction. :Namaste:
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: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:54 am

Caodemarte wrote:P.S. Please don't PM more copies of your public posts to my private inbox. I realize it makes terms more personal, but really it just fills up the inbox and is perilously close to spamming or trolling.


I'm sorry for dishonoring you.
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: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby fukasetsu on Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:12 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:I am "obsessed with matters which are not important to practice," such as what Zen masters, including Hakuin, have taught throughout history. How foolish of me for being concerned about traditional Zen teachings on a Zen forum.


Nevermind then Boatman, I think we all have the best intentions for each other but if again it's all about you instead of what you think it's about and it results in sarcasm we really can't have a constructive communication to begin with.
I don't think your concerned about traditional zen at all, all I see that everything revolves about you, your views and attachments, no offense and my perception could be erroneous ofcourse.

In the words of Guo Gu, take care of your own dream instead of dwelling on the dream of another.
But since this is a forum and we interact one starts to care about the dream of others too, but it seems that whatever I say to you is completely useless to both you and me.
Well wishes.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Caodemarte on Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:48 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:I'm sorry for dishonoring you.


Thank you, but it is not my honor in danger. Similarly, you seem to be conducting a debate with yourself, paying little or no attention to what others are saying. I think everyone here wishes you well. I do.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:15 pm

I'm sorry if I've given the impression that I am here to hurt or troll anyone. If I've said anything that is historically inaccurate, please let me know specifically, and I will apologize for it.

It's a well-known fact that Western Zennists too often have a tendency to reject or ignore traditional aspects of Asian Zen Buddhism that they don't like or care about.

When I think of Zen Buddhism, I'm thinking of the millions of people, throughout history, who've been influenced by what Zen masters actually taught, rather than the whitewashed version that often passes off as Western Zen.
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: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Caodemarte on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:34 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:I'm sorry if I've given the impression that I am here to hurt or troll anyone. If I've said anything that is historically inaccurate, please let me know specifically, and I will apologize for it.

It's a well-known fact that Western Zennists too often have a tendency to reject or ignore traditional aspects of Asian Zen Buddhism that they don't like or care about.

When I think of Zen Buddhism, I'm thinking of the millions of people, throughout history, who've been influenced by what Zen masters actually taught, rather than the whitewashed version that often passes off as Western Zen.


The historical inaccuracies in your posts have been pointed out before. Frankly, you don't seem to know much about the "teachings" or Buddhist history. Given that you are "too busy" to practice zazen (but strangely free to criticise it and post on the internet) that's understandable. I am baffled by your insistence that you know what East Asian Zen masters have taught and those who have trained in Asia, live in Asia, have studied and practiced for years there don't. I am equally baffled by your strange interpretations of the posts here and what appears to me triumphant declarations of victory over imaginary enemies and emotional denunciations of positions no one here holds. None of this will have much effect on me, but think of the toll this is taking on your mental life. I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but sometimes that is needed and I suspect that you have been told this before. Please consider it as motivated by good will.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Michaeljc on Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:27 pm

BB wrote
It's a well-known fact that Western Zennists too often have a tendency to reject or ignore traditional aspects of Asian Zen Buddhism that they don't like or care about.

When I think of Zen Buddhism, I'm thinking of the millions of people, throughout history, who've been influenced by what Zen masters actually taught, rather than the whitewashed version that often passes off as Western Zen



BB –

IMO you are shooting yourself in the foot

You have made reference to both Dogen and Hakuin to support your belief that Zazen is not advocated by historical masters. Both the above wrote extensive records on what they recommend. How you could possibly come to your conclusion I have no idea. I can only conclude that you have not read these records at all

Take Hakuin. In his autobiography (Wild Ivy) he records his own practice of hour upon hour of intense Zazen (sitting meditation). He emphasises the importance of this in letters to his students. In fact his approach is so intense that it frightens me. I don’t think that I would have the strength to do it

Therefore, I suggest that if you feel the need to attack the practice of Zazen then attack the records of these great masters who were Asian

How Chan/Zen practice differs from a method based on chanting is that we address our own internal struggle with life by meeting it head on. The best place to do this is on a cushion. With time we can learn that all our discomfort and judgments come from within. Its a personal encounter. There is no one else or thing to blame

But it is ongoing work. Nothing is permanent, even a realisation. So we sit

Just one way of seeing at this moment in time

Regards

M
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:52 pm

Michael, and BB,

Michaeljc wrote:But it is ongoing work. Nothing is permanent, even a realisation. So we sit

Experience makes me agree! Well noted, Michael. :rbow:

BB, recall that Zen Buddhist practice in the far East was primarily monastic. In the West, it is primarily lay-practice. We're working it out as we go along, and it is still early days since pioneering teachers came from the East to share what they have, and what they know, and are.

Give us (in the West... ) several centuries to fine-tune things! The "East" had at least that long. :lol2:

But the fact is, WE have the Dharma now. No excuses! Let's not blow it. And, let's treat sentient beings right (including ourselves).

Let's also not slander Dharma-developments, and sangha-building in the West ...nor in the East. There's no future in slander.

:Namaste:,

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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Michaeljc on Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:21 pm

Let's also not slander Dharma-developments, and sangha-building in the West ...nor in the East. There's no future in slander


Just sharing a personal perspective Joe but I don't see anything to slander. It implies that there is a degree of sacredness in the practice and its record

I remember at a sesshin being told to handle the sutra scriptures with care. To me they were just words on paper - with profound meaning maybe. It reminded me of the great reverence given to a wafer of flour and water during catholic mass. I never got it :blush:

Either all is sacred or nothing is sacred

Either way, right now, I don't care

Just me

Cheers

m
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