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.
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.
Right. The practice may not suit everybody, and you may be one whom it didn't suit at the time, in the conditions you may have had. But you never know -- practice keeps on changing, and so do conditions.
And -- as is known -- koan practice is a practice and study between a teacher and a student. Unless one has that formal and actual relationship, and undertakes koan practice in the midst of it, there is no way to proceed with koans at all. That may be where your impression of "hit and miss" comes from. In any case, one may sit a long time with the first koan, for example, before you have something acceptable to present to the teacher. I think many practitioners agree, and teachers may, too, that the first koan is usually the "hardest". The reason is that this practice forces you to abandon (or exhaust... ) all reasoning, and come to rely faithfully on other resources. For most practitioners, that is a new experience, and a new necessity. It may take some time! And to discover such resources is actually rather a surprise. Without a relationship with a teacher, this will always, always, go wrong, of course (which is to say, go nowhere). So, first things first.
Soto Zen Buddhist practice, although it may be known for the technical practice of shikantaza, is not without its use of koans. Zen Master Dogen, noted as a Soto exponent, for example, himself assembled a collection of 300 koans. My friend, the late John Daido Loori Roshi, of New York, brought out a translation and commentary on all these 300 cases of Dogen's, in his TRUE DHARMA EYE -- ZEN MASTER DOGEN'S THREE HUNDRED KOANS (2005); Shambhala.
Mind you... I'm not advocating koan or hua-t'ou practice. Just sharing information about it.
The old masters you quote, Colin, knew nothing about "brains". But they knew something you don't!
If you are aligned with the Tao, and Buddha-Tao, one does not pick and choose, IN DAILY LIFE.
If you are aligned with the Tao, and the Buddha-Tao, YES, it is reasonable not to pick and choose. That is... there's no REASON to pick and choose!
There's great wonder in the state that these words point to. (I'm sure you're wondering right now! ).
That, there, then, sir, is the bottom line. Suck it up.
Please get clear about it this instant.
what Joe said...
no, koans are not designed for this.
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
Heavens to Murgatroid! This Forum -- and this thread -- is turning into a rather richly-appointed "Zen Buddhism-101" for Mr. Colin!
What a lucky fellow. And a good opportunity for those here to "review".
Tread kindly, now. We were all beginners, once.
Yup, aside from my admiration for Colin's tenacity I see this topic as worth reading by anyone contemplating Chan/Zen practice
Indications are that Colin has not been taught how to practice Zazen which is the one common denominator throughout Chan/Zen history. It shows
He does not realise and has not experienced the fundamental point that Chan/Zen practice is through the body and that it manifests itself as much through the body as through the mind. Both change
Zen is the prize scalp for those who profess to know one universal truth of all disciplines and shout their accomplishment from the roof tops
How miraculous - to have conquered the mysteries of Chan/ Zen without actually having practiced it
What is practice? To experience it try this for starters:
I do not advocate that anyone maintains such a regime without guidance but that they try this alone for a few days to get a taste of what is meant by practice being through the body. This requires Orthodox spinal posture that is difficult to establish without some help
As this topic is under 'Practice without a teacher" I am going to throw in my penny's worth on how to establish a feel for posture
Steady cold rain this morning but the birds still sing - "what the hell have you got to be happy about!"
Michael, your practice is not just yours, but ours, too. I send greetings from this warm desert.
The White-Winged Dove here now sings, "Who cooks for YOU? Who cooks for YOU?"
(well, before I discovered this interpretation in birding-texts, I thought I heard, "Here Come da JUDGE!")
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The purpose of Ch’an was to take away delusion and obsession towards everything including Sila, Samadhi (meditation) and our physical body. Ch'an record (Gong-an) in a way served the purpose sometimes with stories involved with killing, sexual activities and sexual assault. However, we should not treat it as record of incidents really occurred or actions acceptable unconditionally. Everyone has their own way of studying Gong-an. I just put myself in there. And it is said some record especially later ones were fake. I may be wrong but I do not see a practitioner going very far without cutting off lust. The realized wisdom inherently contains Sila, Samadhi. Wisdom, Sila and Samadhi are “not three”, “not two”. Doctrine and Ch’an are “not two”.
Last edited by LAO_Z on Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:10 am, edited 3 times in total.
How do Zen masters confirm your method?
Aren't those masters dead??
Doesn't matter as long as you believe then it is okay.
That may happen in the beginning
But after several sessions of Dokusan with a teacher, that notion goes away
And focus on the Koan becomes very intense ...
It's not necessarely about 'cutting and embracing' but seeing things as they are, when desire is understood (I don't mean intellectually) there is nothing which arises which is in need of cutting, altering, avoiding or liberation. For in its empty nature it liberates itself into its own condition.
The same activity can both be from one's vasana's or be the function of the True Mind.
Arising is illumination when the delusory/illusory mind does not arise.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
We can't stop others living life, no. That would be against the 1st Precept: "No killing".
But in discussion(s), we can present the truth, and put that in contrast with errors. That's called "Not to Speak Falsely", the 4th Precept, and "Not to Spare the Dharma Assets", the 8th Precept.
While it's not necessary to bring the Precepts in, why not recollect them.
Is killing the function of the True Mind?
The question remains: Can this family activity be performed normally (say, in a "ZEN" way) without being a hindrance toward liberation?
Therefore, Ananda, if cultivators of samadhi do not cut off lust, they will be like someone who cooks sand in the hope of getting rice. After hundreds of thousands of aeons, it will still be just hot sand. Why? It wasn’t rice to begin with; it was only sand. If you seek the Buddha’s wonderful fruition and still have physical lust, then even if you attain a wonderful awakening, it will be based in lust. With lust at the source, you will revolve in the three paths and not be able to get out. Which road will you take to cultivate and be certified to the Thus Come One’s Nirvana? You must cut off the lust which is intrinsic in both body and mind. Then get rid of even the aspect of cutting it off. At that point you have some hope of attaining the Buddha’s Bodhi. What I have said here is the Buddha’s teaching. Any explanation counter to it is the teaching of Papiyan. -- The Shurangama
To be honest, I have never heard anything differently from the above before I came to this forum, probably due to regional differences.
It is impossible to do a massive comparison study and yet meaningless for people have different capacities (previous lives’ preparation) and could execute same methods differently.
It is conclusive though for those who are serious to conduct a self comparison study. Have I done mine?
Well: a statement like, "Someone gaining enlightenment through excessive sexual activity" ain't that common
It keeps the forum interesting though
Before the True Mind reveals itself, at no time has one been able to get away from delusion/illusion. --lankavatara sutra
Oh, ok, almost missed this, thanks.
No, no killing, please.
But in the context of your mechanical-model-of-mystical-mis-meditation (from a Zen Buddhist point of view), your practice as described is indubitably personal and private. All good, about that.
Suffice it to say that Zen Buddhist zazen (dunno about your "meditation") is not entirely about "posture", although Michael is correct to emphasize appropriate posture, as the seat of the Buddha, as true teachers -- like Meido Roshi, here -- have always done. But it's about correct method and application, once one is seated.
And then it's about the other twelve practices of Zen Buddhism, which you do not speak or write about, evidently because you have not practiced. Well, how authentically Zen Buddhist is that? True Zazen is only the indispensable one-thirteenth part of the practice-suite that Zen Buddhists have inherited, have always practiced, and which they are fortunate to practice.
Personal and private. I see no other proper way for you to appropriate your own way.
Stop digging, Colin! You're at the bottom of a hole. Rest... .
I won't dodge the question. That's not my way. I'll "tell" you to ask a teacher in person.
There is no better way. Don't cheat yourself. I advise this in all compassion, Colin. But, persist in practice with the teacher and sangha there a few months or much longer intensively, don't just expect that a one-off is going to break all your bad habits and instill good new ones. One needs continuing corrections of posture, and method, for a long time, because ...things change. The influence of Teacher and Sangha are immense, and rightly scored as "Treasures" in our Zen Buddhist tradition, and in all living Buddhist practice streams in which people and living beings are actually liberated.
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
So why did you bother to write up the expedient talk of the Shurangama?
You might be reading things which are not there.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
The region that I referred to was not the Netherlands, and I do not speculate on what people in the Netherlands have been doing, sorry, just to clear some confusion I caused in my previous posting.
You're a good man Joe.
Glad to have met you.
But, was never one for the yellow robe
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