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Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:00 am

bokki wrote:whats up with all the quotes?


I quote Zen teachers who are reputable, which is better than making things up as I go along. I have no need for justifying traditional Zen teachings and practices on a Zen forum, of all places. People can take the words of the masters or they can leave it.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:07 am

Michaeljc wrote:While practicing Zazen regularly (ideally 2 hours/day) I walk different, talk different, feel different, think different, see different, sleep different....... When I stop I am back to just normal after a couple of days - be there a long-term change that is hard to define


Two hours a day? Are you kidding me? Try doing that with a job, a wife, and three kids.

Not even Dogen recommended for lay people to do zazen more than five minutes a day. This again shows how out of touch you are with traditional Zen teaching and practice, instead seeing it through a Westernized filter.

Michaeljc wrote:Going purely on my own perspective understanding Pure Land from a Chan/Zen perspective would be impossible without engaging in regular Zazen


Again, zazen, as in seated, silent meditation, is not the only legitimate form of Zen meditation, as Zen masters have taught throughout history.

I will not hesitate to call out Westernized hippie Zen for what it is, and neither would Mu-Chou:

Mu-Chou's teaching methods were extremely rough, utterly abrupt. It is
said that he would listen to the sound of the footsteps of approaching
monks and if they didn't indicate the Way he would refuse to open his
door. Yunmen came to him twice and Mu- Chou refused to open the door;
the third time, Yunmen succeeded in getting his foot in. Mu-Chou grabbed
him and urged him, "Speak! Speak!" As Yun-men was about to say
something, Mu-Chou threw him out, slammed the door on him, breaking one
of his legs. The intense pain awakened Yunmen instantly.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/bolleter.txt


I am sorry if I'm being too abrupt. :hugs:
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 Michaeljc on Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:22 am

Two hours a day? Are you kidding me? Try doing that with a job, a wife, and three kids.


In reality I suspect that most lay students sit less than this each day at home. Jundo will tell you that even 10 minutes/ day is enough for a beginning. 2 hours is more like the intensive end of the scale. I don't do that on average myself

The interesting thing is that if we/I sit for 40 minutes before we/I sleep we/I need one hours less sleep. When times feel really tough then this is the very best time to sit

In my case after 1/2 hr on the cushion the mind settles: no thoughts, just other stuff like mind following breath. Its a wonderful medicine

The more intense our life the more we can get from this wonderful practice. The obstacles are an aid

As I'm seeing it right now

m
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:26 am

Michaeljc wrote:The more intense our life the more we can get from this wonderful practice.


As Zen/Ch'an masters have taught throughout history, Buddha-name recitation is a wonderful practice. I am sorry for being repetitive, but your disregard of history is pompous at best. If it weren't for the Zen/Ch'an masters from throughout history, whom your posts are insulting, I wouldn't even bother. May you be happy and well.
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 Michaeljc on Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:32 am

Boatman - Genuine Chan/Zen practitioners cannot be insulted

This is just one of the fruits of this practice

Goodnight :Namaste:
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:41 pm

Michaeljc wrote:Boatman - Genuine Chan/Zen practitioners cannot be insulted

This is just one of the fruits of this practice

Goodnight :Namaste:


I unclog my nose in your direction, son of a window dresser. So, you think you could outclever us zen folks with your silly, knees-bent, running-about, advancing behavior? I wave my private parts at your aunties, you cheesy-leather, second-hand, electric donkey bottom biter!

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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby jundo on Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:57 pm

Please see my comment here ...

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



viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11887&p=190223#p190223

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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Caodemarte on Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:57 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:....Not even Dogen recommended for lay people to do zazen more than five minutes a day......


Citation please. I am unfamiliar with this quote.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:08 pm

I enjoyed the Monty Python reference. Now let's all try to get back to the topic and see if we can avoid the provocations & responses.
Good on ya'.

Wearing my moderator hat. :october:
_/|\_
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:35 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:Can someone practice Zen/Ch'an Buddhism without being particularly interested in seated, silent meditation?

What if someone is interested in Zen ritual/chanting, koan practice, studying Zen philosophy/doctrine, etc., but without being particularly interested in seated, silent meditation?


As I see it, theory and practice are raised by this question. It is an apparently simple question that has much complexity.
My short answer is "yes."
My long answer is "No." I can see not taking "seated" literally, but the mind must be seated and silent in mediation. A seated mind may be discovered in any activity such as ritual chanting, reading the sutras, etc. But for most people who have busy mindedness, taking some time for physically seated meditation is the most direct method of facing one's own busy monkey-mindedness. It is not a question of one size fits all, but of what is best for most. There are always exceptions and exceptional students who do not fit any practice molds.

When it comes to ecumenical Zen, I recommend Hakuin's Letter to An Aged Nun for seeing how recitation practice and other Buddhist schools relate to koan practice.

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/ ... Letter.htm
Hakuin wrote:The Patriarchs of the various schools encourage sitting in meditation and, although they advocate the recitation of the sutras, isn't this recitation merely a device to make us reach the state where the mind is unperturbed, pure, and without distractions? The founder of Eihei-ji has said: "If one practices and holds to it for one day, it is worthy of veneration; if one fails to hold to and practice it for a hundred years, these are a hundred years of regret." It is enough to make one shed tears at the regrettable and wretched state of understanding in which, while possessing the difficult-to-obtain body of a man, a person does not cultivate in himself the determination to practice. Instead, like a dog or a cat or some beast that has no understanding at all, he allows his whole life, one so difficult to encounter, to rot carelessly away, and returns to his old abode in the three worlds of suffering, without having learned a thing. To say "a difficult thing is very, very difficult," leaves no doubt on our part. But what does this "an easy thing is very easy indeed" mean? Should a person release his hold on the Sutra and attempt lightly to maintain the dignities of walking, standing, sitting, and reclining, he must make a vow seeking once to verify for himself the True Face of the Lotus. Once a person sees this True Face of the Lotus, then coughing, swallowing, waving the arms, activity and quietude, words and actions, all plants, trees, tiles, stones, the sentient and the non-sentient, all manifest the Sutra of the Wondrous Law, and throughout all the hours of the day, harmonize deeply with the Sutra. What need is there to hold to any other thing? If you try to hold to the Lotus Sutra without seeing once the True Lotus, you will be like a man who holds a bowl of water in his hands and night and day tries to keep from spilling it or letting it move, but still expects to gain sustenance from it. Even if he should succeed in holding it in this way for his whole life, he wouldn't be able to sustain himself or keep himself from dying of thirst. His hopes to benefit himself and others by the practice of the vow will be cut off midway. What possible use does this serve?
For the person who once sees the True Lotus and holds to the Sutra, it is as if he had poured this one bowl of water into rivers and lakes everywhere. At once it merges with the thirty-six thousand ripples and its beneficence joins with the waters, so that if all the creatures that leap, run, fly, or crawl came to drink at the same time, it would never be exhausted.


_/|\_
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:07 am

Michaeljc wrote:Genuine Chan/Zen practitioners cannot be insulted
Image
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 Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:50 am

jundo wrote:Please see my comment here ...


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.
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

https://matthewsatori.tumblr.com/
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:15 am

Gregory Wonderwheel wrote:When it comes to ecumenical Zen...


This is not a matter of "ecumenical Zen," as if the combined practice of Zen and Pure Land is a modern invention.

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:I've always based my understanding of Pure Land practice on the teachings of Zen/Ch'an teachers and masters. For centuries, the combined practice of Zen and Pure Land has been the norm, not the exception, in countries like China and Vietnam, even for monks and nuns. And in
Japan, there's the Obaku school of Zen:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%8Cbaku


Many Zen/Ch'an masters have, throughout history, passed away with the Nembutsu on their lips.
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

https://matthewsatori.tumblr.com/
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:19 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:....Not even Dogen recommended for lay people to do zazen more than five minutes a day......


Citation please. I am unfamiliar with this quote.


https://books.google.com/books?id=HWdKl ... ay&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=NmTrD ... ay&f=false
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

https://matthewsatori.tumblr.com/
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Caodemarte on Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:53 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:
Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:....Not even Dogen recommended for lay people to do zazen more than five minutes a day......


Citation please. I am unfamiliar with this quote.


https://books.google.com/books?id=HWdKl ... ay&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=NmTrD ... ay&f=false



Sorry, but these introductory books merely assert that Dogen said this without a source. Dogen said many things and is incorrectly quoted as having said many, many more. If Dogen actually said this, I would like to see the context to understand better hence my request for a citation. I am not saying he said or did not say this, just looking for a source.

By the way I am aware that introductions to zazen for first timers often suggest you start with very short breath counting and gradually increase the period of time to whatever period is normally used at the temple/group and randomly take a minute to do Zazen during the work day (or watch it emerge). I am just looking for the Dogen quote, if you would be so kind.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Boatman Bodhisattva on Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:39 pm

Caodemarte wrote:Sorry, but these introductory books merely assert that Dogen said this without a source.

Image

Okay. I guess you might just have to do your own research into the matter.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Caodemarte on Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:56 pm

Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:Okay. I guess you might just have to do your own research into the matter.


Thank you. I have done my own research and can't find the alleged quote. I was hoping that since you used this line you would have verified it.

One of the books you cite places the alleged Dogen quote in the context of a beginners intro to zazen and says 5 minutes "is a good place to begin" which implies they are suggesting the formal zazen period should be extended later on. By the way, the other says that zen meditation is to "empty the mind" or "await enlightenment." This is actually criticised as a trap and fake zazen In traditional and modern Zen practice and texts. Both books seem like popular introductions written by non-experts for the commercial market. Not perhaps the best sources.
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby jundo on Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:43 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Boatman Bodhisattva wrote:Okay. I guess you might just have to do your own research into the matter.


Thank you. I have done my own research and can't find the alleged quote. I was hoping that since you used this line you would have verified it.

One of the books you cite places the alleged Dogen quote in the context of a beginners intro to zazen and says 5 minutes "is a good place to begin" which implies they are suggesting the formal zazen period should be extended later on. By the way, the other says that zen meditation is to "empty the mind" or "await enlightenment." This is actually criticised as a trap and fake zazen In traditional and modern Zen practice and texts. Both books seem like popular introductions written by non-experts for the commercial market. Not perhaps the best sources.


For what it is worth, I second Caodemarte here. I also cannot find any similar Zazen recommendation to lay people by Dogen.

Now, I personally do recommend short sittings to folks who can put aside measure of time and quantity, plus many short momentary "sittings" (or standings) scattered through the day at a variety of times such as in the postal line, on the bus, while housecleaning. So, a 5 minute sit is worthwhile if one can forget 01234 and 6789 while sitting. There are time to sit long ... days and days ... and time to sit a moment or half a moment. All are valuable if beyond time.

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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby Caodemarte on Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:57 pm

Hakuin did give advice to lay people and urged formal seated zazen for all. However, like many Chinese masters before him, he often made the point that practice in the midst of busy everyday life could be much superior to sitting quietly in the monastery.

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!).
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Re: Zen/Ch'an for Lay Householders

Postby fukasetsu on Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:03 pm

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.
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