Linjis teachings overlooked

Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby greentara » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:18 am

Astus, "Or is it still perceiving and acting but like a lunatic who can't understand anything that happens" How do you know a lunatic can't understand anything? Are you saying this in the most conventional sense? A 'lunatic' may see things differently or have altered perceptions but 'can't understand anything' thats hard to believe. Maybe our great grandparents would have considered us abnormal sitting for hours in front of TV starring vacantly, we sit in front of our computers, our flickering screens. Yet we are not lunatics, perhaps more isolated, we are certainly not wise, we are products of our time.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:18 am

Greentara,

I was talking generally about someone "who can't understand anything that happens", and not about any specific mental illness or such, as it was used only as an example.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby oushi » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:36 am

Astus wrote: You say that "nothing to do" is where doing and not doing something are both possible, where one has the freedom. That is good. Still, how do you achieve that? That's what I'm asking.

You can go read Linji honestly, and when he asks "What are you so hotly chasing? Putting a head on top of your head, you blind fools? Your head is right where it should be. What are you lacking?", answer. Then face "There is no Buddha, no Dharma, no training and no realization." and try to acknowledge it. If you honestly go through the entire teaching, you will gain some confidence of yourself. Then read the teaching again, and again. After few times, you will grasp the whole thing, like swallowing an ocean, but still it will be digested after some time, and it will escape. Read it again, and you will see that your previous understanding is not the same an your current one, but from now on, every reading will end with firm grasping of the meaning. This is the point in which it will start to work you out. Every iteration will reveal more and more. I can easily accept your present doubts, as the teaching looks to simple to be true. It will change, you just need to give it your attention.
This is how I would suggest using Linjis teaching to achieve the goal your are asking for. I went through this teaching something like 50 times last year. People think that they know what he is talking about, after hearing few sentences. But when you pick up a quote, and kindly ask them for interpretation, they remain speechless. I'm not even talking about Bodhidharma sermons. I mixed reading them with reading Linji, and similarities are obvious, but Bodhidharma sermons are absolute mystery at the beginning. To work with those texts you don't need any external sources, just repeatedly contemplate them. They are complete.

I highly encourage you to read those teachings, nothing more.

PS. The translation I am using is that of Irmgard Schloeg. I found it more fitting and easier to grasp from the beginning.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:06 am

Thanks for your recommendation.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby LastLegend » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:26 am

NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby greentara » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:11 pm

Astus, 'Who can't understand anything that happens", I don't wish to labour the point but what I'm trying to say is 'who can't understand anything?' There is no such person.
A 'lunatic' may only understand part of what you say or only have an inkling but to say a person can't understand anything....is very harsh and shuts the door to all communication.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby Astus » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:45 pm

greentara wrote:Astus, 'Who can't understand anything that happens", I don't wish to labour the point but what I'm trying to say is 'who can't understand anything?' There is no such person.
A 'lunatic' may only understand part of what you say or only have an inkling but to say a person can't understand anything....is very harsh and shuts the door to all communication.


As you say, there is no such person because I used it as an example, not as describing or addressing anyone particularly.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby randomseb » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:08 am

The book "The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-chi" is pretty informative, a pretty decent translation of the Lin-chi Lu

(Lin-chi being the name used under the Wade–Giles romanization system for the Mandarin Chinese language)

Here's an amusing little sample:

#3
The Master ascended the hall and said, "Here in this lump
of red flesh there is a True Man with no rank. Constantly he
goes in and out of the gates of your face. If there are any of you
who don't know this for a fact, then look! Look!".

At that time there was a monk who came forward and
asked, "What is he like - the True Man with no rank?"

The Master got down from his chair, seized hold of the
monk and said, "Speak! Speak!"

The monk was about to say something, whereupon the
Master let go of him, shoved him away, and said, "True Man
with no rank - What a shitty **bum-wiper!"

The Master then returned to his quarters.

(** I modified the book's translation to bum from a less savory 3 letter term meaning the same thing - literally "shit-wiping stick" in Mandarin, according to the footnote)
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby Cloudrider » Thu May 09, 2013 7:12 pm

A voice in the wilderness


I say to you there is no buddha, no dharma, nothing to practice, nothing to enlighten to. Just what are you seeking in the highways and byways? Blind men! You’re putting a head on top of the one you already have. What do you yourselves lack? Followers of the Way, your own present activities do not diff er from those of the patriarch-buddhas. You just don’t believe this and keep on seeking outside. Make no mistake! Outside there is no dharma; inside, there is nothing to be obtained. Better than grasp at the words from my mouth, take it easy and do nothing. Don’t continue [thoughts] that have already arisen and don’t let those that haven’t yet arisen be aroused. Just this will be worth far more to you than a ten years’ pilgrimage. “As I see it, there isn’t so much to do. Just be ordinary—put on your clothes, eat your food, and pass the time doing nothing. You who come here from here and there all have a mind to seek buddha, to seek dharma, to seek emancipation, to seek escape from the three realms. Foolish fellows! When you’ve left the three realms where would you go? “‘Buddha’ and ‘patriarch’ are only names of praise-bondage. Do you want to know the three realms? Th ey are not separate from the mind-ground of you who right now are listening to my discourse. Your single covetous thought is the realm of desire; your single angry thought is the realm of form; your single delusive thought is the realm of formlessness. These are the furnishings within your own house. Th e three realms do not of themselves proclaim, ‘We are the three realms!’ But you, followers of the Way, right now vividly illumining all things and taking the measure of the world, you give the names to the three realms. -The Record of Linji (Sasaki)


I don't believe that I've ever read anyone save for a Rabbi's writings that has resonated so deeply with me. It is so very curious to me that I am moved to feelings of love whenever I read his writings.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby Dan74 » Sun May 12, 2013 2:44 pm

Just piping in to say I really appreciated your conversation, oushi and Astus, both in substance and tone.

I think the recommendation :

You can go read Linji honestly, and when he asks "What are you so hotly chasing? Putting a head on top of your head, you blind fools? Your head is right where it should be. What are you lacking?", answer. Then face "There is no Buddha, no Dharma, no training and no realization." and try to acknowledge it. If you honestly go through the entire teaching, you will gain some confidence of yourself. Then read the teaching again, and again. After few times, you will grasp the whole thing, like swallowing an ocean, but still it will be digested after some time, and it will escape. Read it again, and you will see that your previous understanding is not the same an your current one, but from now on, every reading will end with firm grasping of the meaning. This is the point in which it will start to work you out. Every iteration will reveal more and more.


can be a good one, but it seems to me oushi is being somewhat naive about the power and the momentum of clinging and delusion as well as of the latent seeds. That's why this steep path is not accessible to most people and why even those who tread it for a time, often backslide to a place worse than before.

Many have seen what Linji is trying to point out, but how many have integrated it with function, so that realization pervades every moment regardless of the circumstance? Aye, there's the rub!

PS In my experience with a Zen teacher, Linji's teachings were not overlooked and were presented at appropriate times.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby oushi » Sun May 12, 2013 4:39 pm

Dan74 wrote:can be a good one

Yes, worth trying.
Dan74 wrote:That's why this steep path is not accessible to most people and why even those who tread it for a time, often backslide to a place worse than before.

This path is not easy. I was always surprised while listening to people saying it is easy. Many discard it because it sounds too easy. Simple doesn't mean easy.
Many have seen what Linji is trying to point out, but how many have integrated it with function, so that realization pervades every moment regardless of the circumstance?

Maybe because of that, it is not enough to read/understand it once? It takes some time until one recognizes that wishes do not come true so easily. It is not enough to say to oneself "just be ordinary self". Quickly you will see that you can only apply it to some parts of your being, and the further you go the more difficult it becomes. I don't know how long it takes to fully immerse in it regardless of the circumstances, especially when environment demands from you to improve, change, control. Nevertheless, I see Linjis teachings as one of those which bring notable differences for a practitioner.
"Nothing to attain" is a direction, not a quick solution, because there are many attainments that we desire, which we are not aware of.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby shel » Mon May 13, 2013 12:41 am

Dan74 wrote:Just piping in to say I really appreciated your conversation, oushi and Astus, both in substance and tone.

I think the recommendation :

You can go read Linji honestly, and when he asks "What are you so hotly chasing? Putting a head on top of your head, you blind fools? Your head is right where it should be. What are you lacking?", answer. Then face "There is no Buddha, no Dharma, no training and no realization." and try to acknowledge it. If you honestly go through the entire teaching, you will gain some confidence of yourself. Then read the teaching again, and again. After few times, you will grasp the whole thing, like swallowing an ocean, but still it will be digested after some time, and it will escape. Read it again, and you will see that your previous understanding is not the same an your current one, but from now on, every reading will end with firm grasping of the meaning. This is the point in which it will start to work you out. Every iteration will reveal more and more.


can be a good one, but it seems to me oushi is being somewhat naive about the power and the momentum of clinging and delusion as well as of the latent seeds. That's why this steep path is not accessible to most people and why even those who tread it for a time, often backslide to a place worse than before.

Many have seen what Linji is trying to point out, but how many have integrated it with function, so that realization pervades every moment regardless of the circumstance? Aye, there's the rub!

PS In my experience with a Zen teacher, Linji's teachings were not overlooked and were presented at appropriate times.


You seemed to be suggesting that it's the "power and the momentum of clinging and delusion as well as of the latent seeds," that causes problems. These things have nothing to do with Linji, right? Linji or no Linji, there will be clinging, delusion, and latent seeds.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby Dan74 » Mon May 13, 2013 2:12 am

shel wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Just piping in to say I really appreciated your conversation, oushi and Astus, both in substance and tone.

I think the recommendation :

You can go read Linji honestly, and when he asks "What are you so hotly chasing? Putting a head on top of your head, you blind fools? Your head is right where it should be. What are you lacking?", answer. Then face "There is no Buddha, no Dharma, no training and no realization." and try to acknowledge it. If you honestly go through the entire teaching, you will gain some confidence of yourself. Then read the teaching again, and again. After few times, you will grasp the whole thing, like swallowing an ocean, but still it will be digested after some time, and it will escape. Read it again, and you will see that your previous understanding is not the same an your current one, but from now on, every reading will end with firm grasping of the meaning. This is the point in which it will start to work you out. Every iteration will reveal more and more.


can be a good one, but it seems to me oushi is being somewhat naive about the power and the momentum of clinging and delusion as well as of the latent seeds. That's why this steep path is not accessible to most people and why even those who tread it for a time, often backslide to a place worse than before.

Many have seen what Linji is trying to point out, but how many have integrated it with function, so that realization pervades every moment regardless of the circumstance? Aye, there's the rub!

PS In my experience with a Zen teacher, Linji's teachings were not overlooked and were presented at appropriate times.


You seemed to be suggesting that it's the "power and the momentum of clinging and delusion as well as of the latent seeds," that causes problems. These things have nothing to do with Linji, right? Linji or no Linji, there will be clinging, delusion, and latent seeds.


I am not quite sure what you are asking. Can you elaborate?

What Linji is pointing at has everything to do with clinging, delusion and latent seeds. But glimpsing it is certainly just a start, not the end.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby shel » Mon May 13, 2013 3:41 pm

What Linji is pointing at has everything to do with clinging, delusion and latent seeds.


So when would that pointing ever be inappropriate?
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 14, 2013 10:44 am

shel wrote:
What Linji is pointing at has everything to do with clinging, delusion and latent seeds.


So when would that pointing ever be inappropriate?


Plenty of times, I think. Pointing has to be specific to the student, otherwise it can cause more harm than good. But I am still not sure if you have a question, shel, and if so, what it is.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby oushi » Tue May 14, 2013 10:52 am

Dan74 wrote: Pointing has to be specific to the student, otherwise it can cause more harm than good.

How does one measure that?
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:13 pm

oushi wrote:
Dan74 wrote: Pointing has to be specific to the student, otherwise it can cause more harm than good.

How does one measure that?
:?:


Measure? Do you mean how do I know that it can do harm?

There have been many warnings about the various doctrines, like the Suvikrantavikrami-pariprccha Prajnaparamita sutra. I posted on it some years back here:

http://zenforuminternational.org/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=5677&hilit=emptiness+label

We also see folks around the interwebs from time to time who've read some Zen masters of old and come declaring their enlightenment to the rest of us fools, stuck in delusion. There are more cases of so-called masters...
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby oushi » Tue May 14, 2013 12:31 pm

But how does one isolate a cause of this, or that behavior, and limit it to this, or that cause? How can: "We also see...", be a reliable source for fair judgement? I think that it takes more then just looking, to see through a person, and be able to say how did this, or that influence him.
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 14, 2013 12:36 pm

oushi wrote:But how does one isolate a cause of this, or that behavior, and limit it to this, or that cause? How can: "We also see...", be a reliable source for fair judgement? I think that it takes more then just looking, to see through a person, and be able to say how did this, or that influence him.


Yes, it takes more. I am not positioning myself as a judge of that, just sayin...
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Re: Linjis teachings overlooked

Postby shel » Tue May 14, 2013 5:06 pm

Dan74 wrote:
shel wrote:
What Linji is pointing at has everything to do with clinging, delusion and latent seeds.


So when would that pointing ever be inappropriate?


Plenty of times, I think. Pointing has to be specific to the student, otherwise it can cause more harm than good. But I am still not sure if you have a question, shel, and if so, what it is.


You say that Oushi seems to be somewhat naive about the power and the momentum of clinging and delusion as well as of the latent seeds. Whether or not that's true, you seem to be expressing the same degree of naiveté, if not more so. Linji's words are not as influential, for corrupting or liberating, as you seem to believe.

In the modern world we are constantly bombarded with advertisements that are painstakingly designed to appeal directly to our base instincts (clinging, delusion, and latent seeds). Effective advertising doesn't create our desires or make us buy things, it merely provides an excuse for us to indulge ourselves, or, do what we already know is the right thing to do.
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