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Seeing One's True Nature

A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practicing without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.
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A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practising without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.

Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:38 pm

chankin1937 wrote: Man up, Joe. Admit you were wrong. Everyone reading these posts knows it.


Joe wrote:
The Third Patriarch you quote was the fellow who was right. His translators to English are right, too.

. But, I guess that if you can't be anything else, it would really be most charitable of us indeed to allow that you are "right". And, you are, Colin! …….of course you are right, and of course I must be entirely wrong.


Well done, Joe. Taken like a man – on the chin.

I managed to find the koan:
Case 1: Joshu's Dog
A monk asked Zhaozhou, "Does a dog have Buddha-nature or not?"
Zhaozhou replied, "Wú."
Translators often render Zhaozhou's answer as mu from Japanese retellings. Normally, wu and mu mean no, not, without, "nothing", or nonexistence. It is the single most common character in the entire Chinese Buddhist canon. It serves to translate a number of terms which are standard in Indian Buddhism. Centuries earlier, the same Chinese character appeared at the end of verse 40 of Lao Zi's Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) in a line sometimes translated as "existence emerges from nonexistence". Mahayana Buddhist doctrine codified in the Nirvana Sutra held that all sentient beings, including animals, possess the capacity for enlightenment. However, the commentary of teachers in the Linji (Rinzai in Japanese) tradition tends to emphasize that this kōan dialog consists of a challenge the monk posed to Zhaozhou to demonstrate Buddha-nature without becoming entangled in doctrine; and that this interpretation only has meaning to a meditator who contemplates the kōan.
A related kōan in the Book of Serenity reinforces the teaching that Zhaozhou's response does not refer to affirmation or negation:
One time a monk asked Zhaozhou, "Does a dog have Buddha-nature or not?"
Zhaozhou answered, "No."
Another time, a monk asked Zhaozhou, "Does a dog have Buddha-nature or not?"
Zhaozhou answered, "Yes."



If the question is : “Is a dog aware”? The answer is positively “yes”.

However, if the question is “Is a dog enlightened”? That depends on the dog.
Colin
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:48 pm

chankin1937 wrote:You seem to have missed the point entirely, Joe. The Patriarch is talking about meditation when he advises against “picking and choosing”. You denied that it had anything to do with meditation.


Joe wrote:
Your interpretation is flat-wrong. The patriarch's statement pertains to living in alignment with the Tao (and Buddhadharma) during everyday life, everyday activities, in the realm of ACTION. This miraculous and blessed liberation in daily-life, where Wisdom and Compassion arise spontaneously and simultaneously in response to circumstances, is entirely what Zen Buddhist practice is FOR, so, naturally, it's what the Third Patriarch addresses powerfully and adroitly and kindly, right at the start of his poem.

Please, please, get clear on this critical point in the literature of Ch'an, even if not for the purposes of your personal private practice.


Hello Joe,
Oh no! You have retracted your admission.
Have you tried not “picking and choosing" for a whole day yet?
Colin
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Linda Anderson on Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:17 pm

chankin1937 wrote:
chankin1937 wrote: Man up, Joe. Admit you were wrong. Everyone reading these posts knows it.


Joe wrote:
The Third Patriarch you quote was the fellow who was right. His translators to English are right, too.

. But, I guess that if you can't be anything else, it would really be most charitable of us indeed to allow that you are "right". And, you are, Colin! …….of course you are right, and of course I must be entirely wrong.


Well done, Joe. Taken like a man – on the chin.



:lol2: Colin, you missed Zhaozhou cleverly disguised as Joe who is pointing to what is for lack of a better word:

The patriarch's statement pertains to living in alignment with the Tao (and Buddhadharma) during everyday life, everyday activities, in the realm of ACTION. This miraculous and blessed liberation in daily-life, where Wisdom and Compassion arise spontaneously and simultaneously in response to circumstances, is entirely what Zen Buddhist practice is FOR, so, naturally, it's what the Third Patriarch addresses powerfully and adroitly and kindly, right at the start of his poem.

Please, please, get clear on this critical point in the literature of Ch'an, even if not for the purposes of your personal private practice.

--Joe


there is a pattern here which seems to want a yes and no answer for the dog and our obligations to society, etc. no diff in my mind... it is time bound.

It is impossible to say yes or no to enlightenment... it does not exist... it neither began nor does it end. The absence of picking and choosing does not mean that one is deaf and dumb, but it's been said so many times already. At the end of the day, the path, the fruit and the action are all the same... a dzogchen perspective, I think it fits for zen. I'd like Vanilla please.... perhaps Joe would like Chocolate?

Knock yourself out.
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:34 pm

Colin,

chankin1937 wrote:If the question is : “Is a dog aware”? The answer is positively “yes”.
However, if the question is “Is a dog enlightened”? That depends on the dog.

You mean you're in doubt about which way to take the translator's meaning? Where'd your "plain English" go?

Anyway, don't speculate about the question, or Chao-Cho' s answer. It's well known -- when well-instructed -- how to practice with a k'ung-an, or alternatively, a hua-tou. Speculation is not worthwhile of one's time.

This is the board's "teacher-less" area, but koan-practice is a practice between a teacher and a student.

--Joe
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Linda Anderson on Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:42 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Colin,

chankin1937 wrote:If the question is : “Is a dog aware”? The answer is positively “yes”.
However, if the question is “Is a dog enlightened”? That depends on the dog.

You mean you're in doubt about which way to take the translator's meaning? Where'd your "plain English" go?

Anyway, don't speculate about the question, or Chao-Cho' s answer. It's well known -- when well-instructed -- how to practice with a k'ung-an, or alternatively, a hua-tou. Speculation is not worthwhile of one's time.

This is the board's "teacher-less" area, but koan-practice is a practice between a teacher and a student.

--Joe


Agree Joe, speculation is not worthwhile. It happens tho. The way I was taught koan practice... it's about noticing what comes up first. Speculation can be a big clue as to how the mind works, to get a wiff of ourselves. Ofc, it's not the end, it's a beginning... here there is a beginning and end. No end to ice cream choice however unless we are faking freedom.

linda
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:53 pm

Colin,

chankin1937 wrote:
Joe wrote:
The Third Patriarch you quote was the fellow who was right. His translators to English are right, too.

. But, I guess that if you can't be anything else, it would really be most charitable of us indeed to allow that you are "right". And, you are, Colin! …….of course you are right, and of course I must be entirely wrong.

Well done, Joe. Taken like a man – on the chin.

Well, that's just careless. Here's what I wrote in the actual, un-translated, text before filtering by Colin's censorship echo-chamber of selective Outer-Path hearing:

desert_woodworker wrote:I sense that your personal echo-chamber is preventing you from seeing the sense that others here have been making in response to your erroneous views overall. But, I guess that if you can't be anything else, it would really be most charitable of us indeed to allow that you are "right". And, you are, Colin! On your proudly-made Outer-Path railroad-siding mystical-mashup (sounds like a record album that the Beatles never released). We can't help you, there. But on that outer path of yours, of course you are right, and of course I must be entirely wrong. Well, I'm neither happy for you, nor sad for myself about it. You've made a choice. It's yours for as long as you want it.

Linda's just made a good observation for you, too.

--Joe
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Michaeljc on Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:50 pm

chankin1937 wrote:
Michaeljc wrote:
The only relevant question IMO is, 'where to from here?"
Each of us are at where we are at
There is nothing left to do but carry on with practice
Surely?
What else matters?
Practice need not be complicated. What could be more simple than adopt the posture and follow breath? This cannot be a 'wrong' practice for anyone
Its enough


Hello Michaeljc,
As Jundo said “there is no wrong way”, Once you have the requisite degree of concentration and “one-pointedness” you can progress to the next stage of allowing even that to melt away.
Colin


Colin - Over and again you follow the same habit of cherry-picking sections out of statements as further ammunition (your word) for your arsenal to wage a war based solely on your private conviction. It is your private conviction, and as Joe has pointed out we all respect that. Everyone here has wished you well in relation to your path. What we are resisting is your insistence that your approach is the all and end-all of Zen Buddhism

You keep missing the fundamental core of Zen - that everything is changing (Fuki's Flow). Jundo goes on to say that there also, "IS wrong practice" . Why do you ignore this part in his text? Seeking bliss during Zazen is wrong practice! Yet it is not wrong practice because it actually happened! do you understand?

You are also yet to realise that the power of Zazen is in its ability to condition mind and body. If it did not do this it would be useless. We cannot trust ourselves to see things in the future as we see them now. Nor can we feed of past beliefs and experiences. Where are they right now?

You take Meido's beautiful piece of work literally. It admittedly is difficult to clearly understand but the message is there. It does not provide an answer. Do you understand? I don't

There is only one path capable of destroying your clear convictions. It is not in books. It is on a cushion

Therefore if you want to preserve your path of bliss don't adopt a daily program of Zazen. It will destroy your attachments and addictions, like it or not.

Sit still for a solid hour in the correct posture. Near the end ask yourself "What do I believe?"

m
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:35 pm

Colin,

chankin1937 wrote:I managed to find the koan:
Case 1: Joshu's Dog
A monk asked Zhaozhou, "Does a dog have Buddha-nature or not?"
Zhaozhou replied, "Wú."

Yes, that's it. Now page-down as I suggest to "Wu-Men's Comment" (or "Mumon's Comment"), just below that dialogue of the Case.

In that "comment", there are answers to your questions (your, "What advantage could there be in seeing things differently? Why would anyone want to?" ). And, there are challenges! (encouragement).

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:41 pm

Colin,

chankin1937 wrote:P.S. Why don’t you just post the material? With my computer skills I probably won’t be able to find it. :)

I thought any serious student of Zen Buddhism would have the Wu-Men K'uan / Mumonkan at home. Oh. :tongueincheek:

--Joe
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Avisitor on Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:12 am

desert_woodworker wrote:I thought any serious student of Zen Buddhism would have the Wu-Men K'uan / Mumonkan at home. Oh. :tongueincheek:

--Joe

Sorry, do not own many books on Zen or Buddhism
Guess I must not be serious

Winning the hearts and minds of others will take a very long time if one tries to do it through rational argument
Persuasion is met with resistance
Life on the other hand is met with living it
So let others live that life which brings them closer to the truth of ones original nature
Then they will convince themselves
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Linda Anderson on Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:20 am

whoops, I don't have a copy either tho I have heard many koans from this book and others. Some of them are a living presence. Joe, perhaps we can talk about serious zen scholars who own these books ... I admire them and have learned from them... It ain't me babe....

the Buddha's final teaching was become a lamp unto yourself... sums up zen for me at the end of the day
Not last night,
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Melon flowers bloomed.
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:59 am

chankin1937 wrote:P.S. Why don’t you just post the material? With my computer skills I probably won’t be able to find it.


Joe wrote:
I thought any serious student of Zen Buddhism would have the Wu-Men K'uan / Mumonkan at home. Oh.


Hello Joe,
I’m a Soto Zen Buddhst. Koans are a bit hit and miss. I’ve never been impressed by that method.
Colin
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:41 am

Joe wrote:
Please, please, get clear on this critical point in the literature of Ch'an, even if not for the purposes of your personal private practice.


Hello Joe,
I think it’s time we killed your erroneous presumption that my practice is “personal and private”. This should not be necessary, as I have delineated it many times already in this forum. Yet you persistently ignore that fact for your own malicious agenda.
I sit with my back unsupported in a place as free of distractions as possible and allow all my thoughts (all conscious mental activity) to fade away of their own accord while remaining alert and aware.
If that is not zazen, tell me what is. Don’t dodge the question by telling me to ask a teacher. I’ve read Jundo’s post and found that my method corresponds precisely with his. The Zen Masters also confirm my method as correct. The results of over forty years of practice also confirm that I am meditating correctly. The peace–of-mind that underpins my every waking moment is absolute proof of my practice being true zazen.
Colin

-
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Michaeljc on Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:56 am

I sit with my back unsupported


Colin -

Have you actually been taught correct spinal posture in a formal setting and maintained this throughout numerous sits?

Are you sure that you are using appropriate posture as defined by the vast majority of experienced practitioners (contemporary and historical) ?

These are simple questions

Can you give me a simple answers?
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:18 pm

chankin1937 wrote:
If the question is : “Is a dog aware”? The answer is positively “yes”.
However, if the question is “Is a dog enlightened”? That depends on the dog.


Joe wrote:
You mean you're in doubt about which way to take the translator's meaning? Where'd your "plain English" go?


Doubt? Where is the doubt? Those were the answers.

Anyway, don't speculate about the question, or Chao-Cho' s answer. It's well known -- when well-instructed -- how to practice with a k'ung-an, or alternatively, a hua-tou. Speculation is not worthwhile of one's time.


Surely a koan is designed to induce intense speculation.

Colin,
chankin1937
 

Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:28 pm

Chankin1937 wrote:
I sit with my back unsupported


Michaeljc wrote:
Have you actually been taught correct spinal posture in a formal setting and maintained this throughout numerous sits?
Are you sure that you are using appropriate posture as defined by the vast majority of experienced practitioners (contemporary and historical) ?
These are simple questions
Can you give me a simple answers?

Yes.
Colin -
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Michaeljc on Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:34 pm

Yes and yes ???
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Michaeljc on Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:55 pm

Mmm - the problem is that continuous practice leaves one vulnerable to acting/speaking impulsively driven by instinct/gut feelings :blush:

My gut feeling, Colin, is that you have not practiced steady daily Zazen for 40 years and that your spinal posture is not one of classic Zazen

Why do I feel this? - because I find it most odd that someone after practicing appropriately to such an extent would still be clinging to a rigid perception

I also wonder just how much Zazen training you have had in a formal setting

Something does not fit

My profound apologies should I be wrong

m
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:57 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:
there is a pattern here which seems to want a yes and no answer for the dog and our obligations to society, etc. no diff in my mind... it is time bound.

It is impossible to say yes or no to enlightenment... it does not exist... it neither began nor does it end. The absence of picking and choosing does not mean that one is deaf and dumb, but it's been said so many times already. At the end of the day, the path, the fruit and the action are all the same... a dzogchen perspective, I think it fits for zen. I'd like Vanilla please.... perhaps Joe would like Chocolate?


Hello Linda,
We all prattle on about what the Patriarch said and what it means. But let’s take a common sense look at the subject of our discourse. Is it rational to suggest that we can conduct our lives without using our brains to solve the myriad little problem that involve choices ( picking and choosing) that occur from moment to moment throughout the day? How much more probable is it that such advice relates to the practice of zazen where it is totally relevant.
Vanilla or chocolate?
Colin
chankin1937
 

Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:14 pm

Michaeljc wrote:
Mmm - the problem is that continuous practice leaves one vulnerable to acting/speaking impulsively driven by instinct/gut feelings
My gut feeling, Colin, is that you have not practiced steady daily Zazen for 40 years and that your spinal posture is not one of classic Zazen
Why do I feel this? - because I find it most odd that someone after practicing appropriately to such an extent would still be clinging to a rigid perception


Hello Michaeljc,
Where is the difficulty? Isn’t that exactly what you are doing?
I read of one lucky person who became enlightened through sexual excess!!!

I also wonder just how much Zazen training you have had in a formal setting.


Practically none. But read the rest of my post. You can succeed without going near a formal teacher when you have the Patriarchs as guides.

Something does not fit


According to your rigid perceptions

My profound apologies should I be wrong


Not so much wrong as inflexible.
Colin
chankin1937
 

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