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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 desert_woodworker on Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:53 am

Av, howdy,

Avisitor wrote:You're a good man Joe.
Glad to have met you.
But, was never one for the yellow robe

Well, thanks, sir, it's good to know you, too.

The rakusu I sewed for the Diamond Sangha Jukai is black, not yellow. The ornate yellow or brocade rakusus are for teachers. From my teacher Sheng Yen, where the rakusu is not part of the tradition (although Aitken Roshi says the rakusu originated in China), I have a black layman's robe (again, not yellow).

Hmm, I wonder where you encountered a yellow robe in your formal practice. Theravada? Vajrayana?

Rather hot for robes at this season in the desert, now. :)

--Joe
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby fukasetsu on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:07 am

LAO_Z wrote: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.


Thanks Lao_Z, I also wasn't thinking in that region. I tend to forget where I'm located at times, well I tend to forget just about anything. :lol2:
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Avisitor on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:41 am

desert_woodworker wrote:The rakusu I sewed for the Diamond Sangha Jukai is black, not yellow. The ornate yellow or brocade rakusus are for teachers. From my teacher Sheng Yen, where the rakusu is not part of the tradition (although Aitken Roshi says the rakusu originated in China), I have a black layman's robe (again, not yellow).
:)

--Joe


Remembering youth ...
Yellow robes have always been associated with Buddhist and its formal ceremonies
Red was considered happiness and special days (like Lunar New Year and lucky money)
Black was more for ninjas and assassins and funerals
That is just my cultural color bias
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby LAO_Z on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:50 am

Hello, fukasetsu,

Thank you for your reply. I was probably waiting for an opportunity to jump on, after reading some previous messages at the forum since April.
But back in my mind, I was weighing the benefit versus damage I could have done.
Anyway, enough has been said.
Take care!
LAO_Z

fukasetsu wrote:Thanks Lao_Z, I also wasn't thinking in that region. I tend to forget where I'm located at times, well I tend to forget just about anything. :lol2:
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Michaeljc on Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:40 am

Michaeljc wrote:
To be honest, I have never heard anything differently from the above before I came to this forum, probably due to regional differences


Well: a statement like, "Someone gaining enlightenment through excessive sexual activity" ain't that common :lol2:

It keeps the forum interesting though :tee:


I am prepared to give it a go though :lol2:
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:41 pm

chankin1937 wrote:I read of one lucky person who became enlightened through sexual excess!!!


LAO_Z wrote:
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”.


Hello LAO Z,
The “lucky person” I mentioned may have been lawfully married and committed to one partner. We will never know. The point I intended to make was that although Zen may be the best way to profound peace-of-mind (because the way is so clearly delineated in the written records of the Masters) it is not the only way. The entire human race wants happiness (contentment – peace-of-mind) but finding it is not intuitive. They think of conscious mental activity (all aspects of thinking) as an end in itself when it is only a means to an end. The role of CMA is strictly limited to the satisfaction of our appetites. It plays no part in our being happy. The vast majority of people are reluctant to abandon conscious mental activity so are never truly happy – in that sense they “suffer” the tyranny of thought. Zen is the psychology of happiness - the common human gaol. It can – with practice and understanding – release them.
The lucky one certainly had plenty of lust – the reprobate! But I’m surprised that ordinary sex between married couples is frowned upon in Zen. That’s echoed in the Catholic Church with disastrous results. And what future for the human race if we all stop reproducing?
Colin
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:36 pm

Av,

I'm fascinated that you may have a cultural connection with Buddhism where Buddhism has been "in place" and influential on culture and society for a long time. Is that right?

It's early-days, here. But thanks (!) to pioneering teachers coming to the States (and maybe to all 'the West"), and to their transmitted successors, we have the Dharma, now.

I think of the Saffron-colored robes of the Theravadins of Sri Lanka. Are those the yellow robes you know?

--Joe

Avisitor wrote:Remembering youth ...
Yellow robes have always been associated with Buddhist and its formal ceremonies
Red was considered happiness and special days (like Lunar New Year and lucky money)
Black was more for ninjas and assassins and funerals
That is just my cultural color bias
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Avisitor on Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:56 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Av,
I'm fascinated that you may have a cultural connection with Buddhism where Buddhism has been "in place" and influential on culture and society for a long time. Is that right?
It's early-days, here. But thanks (!) to pioneering teachers coming to the States (and maybe to all 'the West"), and to their transmitted successors, we have the Dharma, now.
I think of the Saffron-colored robes of the Theravadins of Sri Lanka. Are those the yellow robes you know?

--Joe

Sorry to disappoint.
Only from HK originally (when under British rule)
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:06 pm

Av,

Avisitor wrote:Sorry to disappoint.
Only from HK

Wonderful. No disappointment! Quite the opposite. Delighted!

A good friend is from there. He was Ven. Master Sheng Yen's first translator (Chinese-English, and vice-versa) in New York at the Ch'an Meditation Center, in the late 1970s and early 1980's. I knew him then: "Ming". Mr. Wang Ming-Yee. I think he's in California, now. Guo Gu knows him very well, too. Ming was not a monk, but a Mathematics PhD candidate at NYU.

Ha!, I'm surprised you love coffee so much. Had enough of good ginseng tea? :lol2:

I like the long-leaf Oolongs these days. :)

And pea-berry coffees. :heya:

Cheers!,

--Joe
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby Avisitor on Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:37 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:A good friend is from there. He was Ven. Master Sheng Yen's first translator (Chinese-English, and vice-versa) in New York at the Ch'an Meditation Center, in the late 1970s and early 1980's. I knew him then: "Ming". Mr. Wang Ming-Yee. I think he's in California, now. Guo Gu knows him very well, too. Ming was not a monk, but a Mathematics PhD candidate at NYU.

Ha!, I'm surprised you love coffee so much. Had enough of good ginseng tea? :lol2:

I like the long-leaf Oolongs these days. :)

And pea-berry coffees. :heya:

Cheers!,

--Joe

Don't want to throw this off topic
So only quick answers
Coffee because of the rich roast flavor
Ginseng ... too bitter (wife forces me to drink sometimes)
The other teas are fine
Have Oolong tea all the time with Dim Sum (Yum Cha - drink tea)
Although not too much Dim Sum since moving from NYC

Don't know Ming, sorry.
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:35 pm

Thanks, Av. Point well-taken about not going OT.

NYC, yes, I miss the old stomping-grounds since moving to the desert to stomp, 27 years ago. And the Broadway Local (No. 1 IRT train) no longer goes by my house -- that's downright inconvenient! The sacrifices we make, to see the stars... . ;)

--Joe

Avisitor wrote:Although not too much Dim Sum since moving from NYC

Don't know Ming, sorry.
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby LAO_Z on Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:22 pm

Hello Colin,
chankin1937 wrote:The “lucky person” I mentioned may have been lawfully married and committed to one partner. We will never know.

The one I read was about a married man coming back home after three years intensive meditation. Interested in working on this Gong-an?
chankin1937 wrote:But I’m surprised that ordinary sex between married couples is frowned upon in Zen. That’s echoed in the Catholic Church with disastrous results. And what future for the human race if we all stop reproducing?

How much luck have you had promoting your restraining from CMA on people? Wouldn’t that be disastrous for the human race if we all stop CMA? This kind of arguments can go on forever: “If everyone strives to be a doctor, then there are no farmers left”, “If everyone becomes a Buddha, then there is no human, animals etc left ”. (BTW, wouldn’t that be wonderful?)
But people have their own choices: Outer Path, secular, ordinary …
There is a poem
曾虑多情损梵行,
入山又恐别倾城。
世间安得双全法,
不负如来不负卿。
expressing an idea of following the Buddha’s path while at same time keeping a lover (spouse). But, I am afraid this is not The Path.
Sila is not a rigid dogma, with exceptions allowed. It was explained extensively in The Mahanirvana Sutra (northern version) where you will see words Nirvana, happy and bliss. Restraining sex itself does not lead to Bodhi. And ordinary people may have problems without it. Buddha Dharma should not be stripped off as rigid Sila only. Sila, through correct practice, gives rise to Samadhi where Prajna is based upon.

Be happy and remain healthy.

LAO Z
Last edited by LAO_Z on Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby chankin1937 on Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:33 pm

chankin1937 wrote:The “lucky person” I mentioned may have been lawfully married and committed to one partner. We will never know.

LAO Z wwrote:
The one I read was about a married man coming back home after three years intensive meditation. Interested in working on this Gong-an?


chankin1937 wrote:But I’m surprised that ordinary sex between married couples is frowned upon in Zen. That’s echoed in the Catholic Church with disastrous results. And what future for the human race if we all stop reproducing?


How much luck have you had promoting your restraining from CMA on people? Wouldn’t that be disastrous for the human race if we all stop CMA?


Hello LAO Z.
If we all stop it in meditation the world would be saved. I am very careful in my posts to stress the value of CMA in solving our problems and satisfying our appetites, realising our goals and achieving our ambitions. It has no part to play in our being happy. The key statements are :
when a problem etc is solved, CMA has fulfilled its role.
There is no point in persisting further with it.
Simultaneously we feel a little happier.
The link is established. Less CMA results in more happiness.


This kind of arguments can go on forever: “If everyone strives to be a doctor, then there are no farmers left”, “If everyone becomes a Buddha, then there is no human, animals etc left ”. (BTW, wouldn’t that be wonderful?)


If every one became a Buddha (understood theoretically and practically the psychology of the common human goal) they would get their just and proper rewards for their successful actions. They would lead extremely happy lives as doctor or farmer.


But people have their own choices: Outer Path, secular, ordinary …
There is a poem
曾虑多情损梵行,
入山又恐别倾城。
世间安得双全法,
不负如来不负卿。


(The windows translator could not cope with this!)

expressing an idea of following the Buddha’s path while at same time keeping a lover (spouse). But, I am afraid this is not The Path.
Sila is not a rigid dogma, with exceptions allowed.

It was explained extensively in The Mahanirvana Sutra (northern version) where you will see words Nirvana, happy and bliss. Restraining sex itself does not lead to Bodhi. And ordinary people may have problems without it. Buddha Dharma should not be stripped off as rigid Sila only. Sila, through correct practice, gives rise to Samadhi where Prajna is based upon.

永離婬欲乃至夢中不失不淨
cutting of lust permanently and no leakage during dreams. --- The Mahanirvana Sutra (northern version) Volume 6.


I cannot for the life of me see any advantage in that.
(Mind you, at my age, that has occurred quite naturally. :) )

Buddhism seems to have split into so many warring factions these days. Perhaps it would benefit the world if the original very simple idea was re-expressed in the modern vernacular.
“In meditation, Nirvana (bliss) results from the extinction of dukkha (the tyranny of CMA).”

Be happy and remain healthy

And the same to you.
Colin
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Re: Seeing One's True Nature

Postby LAO_Z on Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:16 pm

chankin1937 wrote:There is no point in persisting further with it.

I am glad to hear that from you!
chankin1937 wrote:I was never supple enough to manage the lotus or even sit cross-legged

chankin1937 wrote:I cannot for the life of me see any advantage in that.
(Mind you, at my age, that has occurred quite naturally. :) )

You see, I am not surprised to hear that from you. But do take care yourself!
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