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Torn between soto zen and thai forest - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Torn between soto zen and thai forest

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:24 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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christopher:::
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby christopher::: » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:42 am

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby PeterB » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:03 am


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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby dojhana » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:57 pm

May I speak about myself? I don't know if I'll answer your question, but this thread touches a lot of what I've gone through.

I've also been involved in both zen and theravada traditions but never have felt torn. This is because when I studied zen it was zen and when I turned to theravada it was theravada. I've spent three years reading the suttas, reading Thanissaro Bhikkhu and listening to his dhamma talks. Also practicing breath meditation more or less according to his teachings. Now I'm very involved with zen and I'm not reading any sutta nor listening to Thanissaro Bhikkhu anymore.

The point is that I don't feel like being "zen" or "theravada". When I follow these teachings is not for their own shake but for the shake of liberation. That's all. For me the teachings are no more than tools that serve a pourpose -I know, I'm not the devotional/emotional type. Practising zen now doesn't mean I've done with theravada, nor the opposite. It can be considered a journey in which one visits many different countries and not remains in any of them, because the goal is other.

So may you all attain liberation, whether with a soto nose or a theravada nose or a dzogchen nose
:bow:
david

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christopher:::
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby christopher::: » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:42 am

Here, on the left, is a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama meditating. His sitting position doesnt look that different from Leonard Cohen, a Soto Zen priest and great songwriter, in the middle, although if His Holiness were in a Zen context, his head tipping slightly to the side might be viewed as a request from the attending priest to slap his shoulder with a bamboo stick. Their mudras look pretty similar. On the right is Ajahn Chah, his hands are set differently, but is that really going to make such a big difference? From my reading of Ajahn Chah's dhamma talks, seems to me the results attained from long-term meditation are very very similar...

ImageImageImage

A page on Zazen meditation instructions, for anyone interested...



:meditate: :meditate: :meditate:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:30 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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bodom
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby bodom » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:36 pm

Ajahn Chah has said "Do not be a Bodhisattva you will suffer. Do not be an Arahant you will suffer. If you are anything at all you will suffer." I have long been faced with this same dilemma. These words from Ajahn Chah have always brought me peace of mind in times of doubt. May they do the same for you.


:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Laurens
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Laurens » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:04 pm

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Bankei » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:25 pm

I too started off in Zen and still love it, but as it is now it is far removed from the teachings of the Buddha. I could never understand those later mahayana sutras and was disappointed with the state of modern Zen discipline - no Bhikkhu lineage in Japan at all. So I just take the idealised aspects of Zen/Chan from books. Similar with Theravada - it is also far removed from what the Buddha taught, but perhaps closer to it than modern Zen.
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Bankei

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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:36 pm

_/|\_

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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:51 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Bankei » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:40 pm

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Bankei

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Dan74
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Dan74 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:15 am

_/|\_

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catmoon
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:37 am

If you go to a smorgasbord, are you torn between choices? Or do you simply choose what works for you?

I do not think you are under any obligation to select a single path and follow it dogmatically. There are many well defined paths out there, and while they are somewhat more self-consistent than what you might assemble for yourself, it is entirely possible that rigid adherence will not work for you. Come to think of it, I know of no practioner anywhere who has not selected and adapted his beliefs to some degree.

My view, (and it is only a view, note well) is that the most beneficial way is to build around those texts, teachers, and practices that inspire you. Seek checks and balances. For instance, I can't see why anyone would wholly abandon Zen, because it offers a hard clarity that is almost impervious to delusion. It's a marvellous counter to irrational flights of fancy. OTOH Tibetan Buddhism offers great scope for the imaginative mind and can harness the talents of such a mind for benefit.

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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:09 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Bankei » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:23 am

Don't get me wrong, I still have a high regard for Zen and Chan - especially the idealised classical version. We just have to be critical of some aspects of it.

There are some great articles out there by some Soto Zen priests from Komazawa University in Tokyo, Hakamaya and Matsumoto - who argue that Zen is not Buddhism (nor is the rest of Japanese Buddhism). There is a book in English called Pruning the Bodhi Tree with some good articles by these and other scholars.

Bankei
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Bankei

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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:00 am

Last edited by Paññāsikhara on Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Bankei
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:40 am

Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Bankei » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:34 pm

Thanks ven Paññāsikhara. This is a fascinating topic.

We what need now is a critical Buddhism movement in modern Theravada!
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Bankei


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