the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

Postby Arabic Buddhist » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:00 pm

Hello my dear dharma friends

I asked soto teacher in facebook about the ten dharma realms and Amitabha pure land .

She said to me the ten dharma realms is states of mind which means not real realms .

And she said about Amitabha :

Soto Zen does not focus on any sort of business with Amida Buddha. This is Pure Land Buddhism. We do not believe you can be reborn into a pure land that is somehow better than this. Master Hakkuin said that this very body is Buddha's body, this very land is the land of the lotus (the pure land).. in soto Zen we teach that JUST THIS .. here and know. is enough. work on engaging with reality, not on dreaming of a better future.

Dose all soto followers believe in this teaching ?
Or just modern soto ?
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Re: the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:22 pm

Arabic Buddhist wrote:Hello my dear dharma friends

I asked soto teacher in facebook about the ten dharma realms and Amitabha pure land .

She said to me the ten dharma realms is states of mind which means not real realms .

And she said about Amitabha :

Soto Zen does not focus on any sort of business with Amida Buddha. This is Pure Land Buddhism. We do not believe you can be reborn into a pure land that is somehow better than this. Master Hakkuin said that this very body is Buddha's body, this very land is the land of the lotus (the pure land).. in soto Zen we teach that JUST THIS .. here and know. is enough. work on engaging with reality, not on dreaming of a better future.

Dose all soto followers believe in this teaching ?
Or just modern soto ?


What kind of Mahayana Buddhist teacher does not have any sort of buisness with Amitabha Buddha?

http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/larger.html

Here is a link to the Infinite Life Sutra...read it and see if this soto zen teachers views are in line with the actual sutra.

The Nirvana Sutra has a great quote which I love it goes alittle something like this
"Depend upon the Dharma/Sutras ,do not depend upon persons"
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Re: the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:37 pm

It's been my impression that in the US at least (and a bit of personal experience here) that there are many people attracted to Soto Zen that have a somewhat disdainful attitude towards what they see as the 'religious' end of Buddhism, and incorrectly take a couple of the positions of Zen to mean something they might not mean historically.

II admit i'm not totally in the know of the doctrinal positions of Soto Zen, but i've read stuff here and there, and have some experience of Zen practice, to me..it reads like what it is, which is a school of Mahayana Buddhism. Many forms of Buddhism (in fact arguably most of the Mahayana) takes takes a similar approach that we are already Buddha, that the pure land is obtainable here and now etc. However, it seems some Modern Soto folks have taken this kind of thing to mean that anything outside this interpretation is incorrect, and that it being "here and now" means that's the only mode things exist in, that it's only here and now. That is very different from what i've read of Zen, where Bodhisattvas are revered etc., and the general worldview is still Mahayana Buddhism.

I have never read anything from a "traditional" source Zen wise (though maybe it exists) that differs very much from typical Mahayana ideas in terms of worldview, the difference seems to me to be the premium on a "back to basics" approach regarding meditation, and a somewhat iconoclastic viewpoint - not denial of standard Buddhist doctrine. In fact, as an example (though this is Rinzai, not Soto I think), I just read a commentary on The Ten Oxherding Pictures - http://www.buddhanet.net/oxherd1.htm

It is so similar in theme (though of course the style is different) to reading texts from other Mahayana teachings, that if it weren't for the pictures and cultural backdrop, I wouldn't even know it was Zen.

My guess is (again I could be wrong) that you were talking to a western Soto teacher that has taken a "secular" approach, for lack of a better term, take it for what it's worth, if it jives with you..great. If not, talk to someone else!
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:57 pm

Arabic Buddhist wrote:JUST THIS .. here and know. is enough. work on engaging with reality, not on dreaming of a better future.



This is a bit myopic: JUST THIS is certainly my immediate experience, here, now in my shrine room typing on a laptop at 1:45pm EST. However, if I did not project my thought beyond JUST THIS I would be unable to sit up, get organized to leave the house, dress in my winter jacket, hat, scarf and boots-- check my mail, and get to my studio-- which takes an elaborate plan to achieve according to which public transportation route I choose. Life is a series of negotiating the present experience with planning for the future- both short term and long term.

Purelands are not metaphors. But you need to plan your trip to one, in the same way you would use a map or GPS to drive to a location you've never been before. You wouldn't just say this JUST IS, and neglect to plan your route. If you said this JUST IS, and never stood up from your seat to do anything, then your body would atrophy and you'd probably starve to death unless someone force fed you. Perhaps some Zen practitioners never think anymore, they just act spontaneously.. perhaps this is the case but I doubt it. It is the quality of the mind that thoughts constantly arise. Projecting into the future to plan activities is part of that quality. By making a direct connection with Amitabha Buddha through recitation of his name, or through learning the practice of Phowa to eject one's own mind-stream out of the crown chakra to his pureland at the time of death: using visualization and aspiration prayers as well as mantric power-- either of these approaches are like using GPS or a map to plan a trip to the destination you want to go, and beginning the journey by fueling the car. So don't be concerned about this person's response, they are just bias and not well studied in the context of Buddhadharma it seems like.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

Postby Jikan » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:17 pm

It's interesting that your Soto Zen teacher chose to rely on the great master Hakuin as an authority in this instance (and not only because Hakuin is the paragon of Rinzai Zen practice). If you read Hakuin's Precious Mirror Cave, you can see that Amida plays not a small role in his articulation of the teachings.
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Re: the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

Postby Meido » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:47 pm

RE the bit from Hakuin, it's a quote from Zazen Wasan found in the final lines. Folks may judge for themselves if it's correct to use this text to negate Pure Land teachings:

All sentient beings are essentially Buddhas. As with water and ice, there is no ice without water; apart from sentient beings, there are no Buddhas. Not knowing how close the truth is we seek it far away—what a pity! We are like one who in the midst of water cries out desperately in thirst. We are like the son of a rich man who wandered away among the poor. The reason we transmigrate through the Six Realms is because we are lost in the darkness of ignorance. Going further and further astray in the darkness, how can we ever be free from birth-and-death?

As for the samadhi of the Mahayana, there are no words to praise it fully; the six paramitas, such as giving, maintaining the precepts, and various other good deeds like reciting the Buddha’s name, repentance, and spiritual training, all finally return to this. Even those who have experienced it for only a single sitting will see all karma erased. Nowhere will they find evil paths, and the Pure Land will not be far away.

If we listen even once with open heart to this truth, then praise it and gladly embrace it, we will receive boundless blessings. How much more so then if reflecting within ourselves we directly realize Self-nature, giving proof to the truth that Self-nature is no nature. We will have gone far beyond idle speculation. The gate of the oneness of cause and effect is thereby opened, and not-two, not-three, straight ahead runs the Way. Realizing the form of no-form as form, whether going or returning we cannot be any place else. Realizing the thought of no-thought as thought, whether singing or dancing, we are the voice of the Dharma.

How vast and wide the unobstructed sky of samadhi! How bright and clear the perfect moonlight of the Fourfold Wisdom! At this moment what more need we seek? Nirvana reveals itself before us: this very place is the Land of Lotuses, this very body the body of the Buddha.


~ Meido
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Re: the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

Postby Astus » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:21 pm

The five/six/ten realms are samsara itself, it is where beings are reborn. See this thread: How did Dogen present karma & rebirth?

"The basic teaching of the Buddha is that our life is suffering and we transmigrate within the six realms of samsara because we live and act based on three poisonous states of mind : greed, anger/hatred and ignorance. All Buddhist practices are about cessation of suffering in samsara by being released from these three poisonous minds."
(Shohaku Okumura, in Dharma Eye, no. 13)

"In ten thousand kalpas and thousands of lives, how many times are we born and how many times do we die? This cycle of lives is samsara, caused only by blind clinging to worldly affairs."
(Dogen: Shobogenzo Zuimonki, 1.16)

In the official Soto School Scriptures For Daily Services And Practice we can find various references to the ten realms and even to birth in a pure land. The followings are from the Kanromon.

"We also pray that your bodies, conveyed by this dharani-food, may leave suffering behind and gain liberation; that you may attain the joy of birth in heavens; that you may, in accordance with your wishes, be delivered to one of the pure lands in the ten directions; that you may give rise to the thought of awakening, practice the path to awakening, and in the future become buddhas; that you may never backslide; and that whoever first attains the way may vow to lead the others to liberation as well."

"With the good karma gathered in this practice, we repay the virtuous toils of our fathers and mothers, that the living may be blessed with joy and long life without distress, and the deceased freed from suffering and born in the pure land. May the four benefactors, sentient beings in the three classes of existence, and those born in the three evil destinies and eight difficulties all be able to repent their transgressions, purify their defects, entirely escape the round of rebirth, and be born in the pure land."
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

Postby Arabic Buddhist » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:39 pm

Thank you friends

Jikan , she's not my teacher .
Actually i don't like modern buddhist because they playing in buddha dharma .
I am just want to make sure that her answer to me is not the teaching of master dogen but the teaching of modern soto .
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Re: the ten dharma realms is states of mind ?

Postby thigle » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:17 am

Arabic Buddhist wrote:She said to me the ten dharma realms is states of mind which means not real realms .


Jōdo-Shinshū: Say the words 'namu amida butsu' for a while. But now you "practice" saying the words 'namu amdida butsu' instead of saying the words 'namu amida butsu', because of grasping. If you "practice" nembutsu and remain in that, a special state of consciousness is the result, complementary to grasping. Sōtō: Sit for a while. But now you practice 'sitting' instead of sitting, because of grasping. If you practice 'sitting' and remain in that, a special state of consciousness is the result, complementary to grasping. If you "practice" nembutsu or shikantaza, it's neither nembutsu nor shikantaza. Note: Forget about all this "here and now"-phrases, because their coming out of "practicing to be here an now", which is an artificial focus based on artificial and reified concepts.
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