Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

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Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby Sara H » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:16 am

Does anybody know of any place where I can find a translation of Zen Terms into Tibetan Buddhist Terms and vice/versa?

It would be nice to know so that when things come up in conversation, I can say, "in Tibetan Buddhism they call that ____________"

Smiles, this is for my own reference, and also so we know what we are talking about across Buddhism, and also because I simply wish to understand and relate better to my Tibetan Buddhist Cousins. *big smiles*

Anyway, this would be appreciated and helpful.

I also mean in regard to more advanced terms not just general ones.

Thanks a dozen! *smiles, grins*

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:38 am

This link might help
http://www.acmuller.net/
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:55 am

Having a connection to both Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, I would be very interested to see such a dictionary.

If one doesn't exist, could we compile one on this very thread? This forum seems like the very best place for such a collaboration.
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby Sara H » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:42 am

Thanks PadmaVonSamba for the link. : )

I agree, dharmagoat, why don't we start one here, it's as good a place as any, and it will help lots of people talk about Buddhism.

Lets say post and explain either the equivalent terms for either Tibetan or Zen Buddhism, or if there is not one, explain what there is instead, such as several stages of things, etc. This I'm sure will be helpful for people talking about Buddhism, especially to non-Buddhists, but also to other Buddhists.

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby viniketa » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:47 am

Ive been interested in finding some sort of multilingual "meditation terms" glossary (see this thread: viewtopic.php?f=81&t=10179&start=0). My primary interest is English/Sanskrit/Tibetan, but I don't see why Japanese, Chinese, etc. could not be added by those knowledgeable.

Dharmawheel is certain appropriate for discussion, but a wiki might be better for documentation. That's easily available, for example, here: http://wikinet.org/wiki/Main_Page

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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby tomamundsen » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:49 am

I do like this idea, but I think there are a couple obstacles. The first is to figure out how to find consistent sets of terms and definitions for either side. For example, I have discussed with a friend that practices Ch'an who has also read some Dzogchen materials that I have suggested. It seems like what he refers to as the "field of emptiness" might be a cognate for kadag in Dzogchen. The first problem here is that I never came into contact with the term "field of emptiness" when I practiced Soto Zen; similarly, kadag isn't really used by sarma schools, if I remember correctly. So, having monolithic labels like Zen and Tibetan somehow requires you to homogenize all sects under one big umbrella. Finally, I don't think that "field of emptiness" is actually equivalent to kadag. There's more to it; kadag also implies primordial purity. Sometimes there is no translation because each tradition possesses unique concepts.

Having said that, it would actually be interesting to homogenize things and look for cognates between these two traditions. I also have been drawn solely towards these two flavors of Buddhism.
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby viniketa » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:00 am

tomamundsen wrote: So, having monolithic labels like Zen and Tibetan somehow requires you to homogenize all sects under one big umbrella. Finally, I don't think that "field of emptiness" is actually equivalent to kadag. There's more to it; kadag also implies primordial purity. Sometimes there is no translation because each tradition possesses unique concepts.


Yes, which is one reason I'd like to see some comparison. One way to handle this, in a wiki context, would be to link to "known cognates" and "possible cognates"...

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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby viniketa » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:03 am

Also, I don't think one could start from English terms, as translations into English are often very imprecise. Perhaps starting from lists of known terms in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, etc. might be best.

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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby ngodrup » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:26 am

If you know the Sanskrit base for the Chinese word, then you can find the Tibetan equivalent.
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby Indrajala » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:01 am

ngodrup wrote:If you know the Sanskrit base for the Chinese word, then you can find the Tibetan equivalent.


But Zen/Chan terms largely evolved out of native Chinese monasteries and ideas. They don't correspond to Indian thought, so tracing them to Sanskrit and then Tibetan is impossible. You can easily find the equivalent terms in the case of Abhidharma, but not Chan. Chan specific terms won't exist in Tibetan.
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:10 am

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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby Sara H » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:26 pm

That is a useful reference. : )
Thank you for posting that.
I should've known wikipedia would have something like that. *grins*

On a curious point, Zen tradition has Dharma Transmission which it uses to certify it's priests and Dharma Teachers.

What is the Tibetan equivalent (or equivalents if it's multi-layered/leveled) and what are they called? How does that apply, for instance, am I correct in understanding that the Tibetan system uses an esoteric-style initiatory system with different "levels" (for lack of a better word) of certification? Or am I completely misunderstanding it?
A clarification please would be helpful, thank you!

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby Sara H » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:08 pm

Huseng wrote:
ngodrup wrote:If you know the Sanskrit base for the Chinese word, then you can find the Tibetan equivalent.


But Zen/Chan terms largely evolved out of native Chinese monasteries and ideas. They don't correspond to Indian thought, so tracing them to Sanskrit and then Tibetan is impossible. You can easily find the equivalent terms in the case of Abhidharma, but not Chan. Chan specific terms won't exist in Tibetan.


Oh, I'm not so sure about that... *grins*


I'm sure there must be a Tibetan equivalent or three to what we might call the Cosmic Buddha/Dharmakaya/Eternal/Unborn/etc..

Or Kensho? The Tibetans don't have a word for that? I would guess they at least call it something. Even if it's "recognizing your inner nature".

In form and feel we may be different, but on certain fundamental levels I suspect the division starts to dissolve.

We have our differences in approaches and specifics to our paths, but Buddha recognizes Buddha. Even if it's on a more colorful cushion. *smiles*

We're not going to have a straight across on everything...- as far as I know, Tibetan Buddhism doesn't use an "awakening stick" for instance, (but then again, neither do a lot of Zen traditions anymore), And Zen uses much less mantra's than they do, (although some of us do use a mudra system),
But for basics and certain fundamental things, I'd imagine there's at least an equivalent or substitute term.

After all, we all take refuge in the Buddha, now don't we?

In Gassho, Friend,
Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby Malcolm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:17 pm

Huseng wrote: Chan specific terms won't exist in Tibetan.



Well, that just isn't true actually. There are a number if Chan texts in Tibetan translation dating from the eighth century and before.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby pemachophel » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:51 pm

For a discussion of the Tibetan Chan Malcolm is referring to, Google Sam van Schaik + Tibet. This will get you to his blog on early Tibetan history. He has 3-4 articles on this issue based primarily on texts from the Dunhuang cache. IMO, definitely worth the read. :namaste:
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby Malcolm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:01 pm

pemachophel wrote:For a discussion of the Tibetan Chan Malcolm is referring to, Google Sam van Schaik + Tibet. This will get you to his blog on early Tibetan history. He has 3-4 articles on this issue based primarily on texts from the Dunhuang cache. IMO, definitely worth the read. :namaste:



Also in another a thread, there is a link to some papers published on sems sde, one of which review Jeffery Broughton's contention that Chan was influential on Dzogchen.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby Matylda » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:27 pm

Huseng wrote:
ngodrup wrote:If you know the Sanskrit base for the Chinese word, then you can find the Tibetan equivalent.


But Zen/Chan terms largely evolved out of native Chinese monasteries and ideas. They don't correspond to Indian thought, so tracing them to Sanskrit and then Tibetan is impossible. You can easily find the equivalent terms in the case of Abhidharma, but not Chan. Chan specific terms won't exist in Tibetan.



No that is not so.. Terms appearing in Abhidharma appear also in zen. Moreover there are just Zen ''idiomatic'' terms but there are specific and are explained in strictly Buddhist language. In Japan you may find thick dictionaries of Sanskrit-Tibetan-Chinese (Chinese in this sense are used in Japanese dharma language). Those are rather precisely used terms which were designed by Chinese and Indian translators, who mutually knew Sanskrit and Chinese.

Anyway Abhidharma used to be a part of the curriculum for zen monks in their academic studies. If it uses different language then zen teachings then it would be a nonsense to study it, since those zen students could not understand what is said and written.

The problem was rather with first translation into English of Japanese Buddhist literature which tend either to christian words or to philosophical and lost their Buddhist meaning. But many zen texts from Japanese one can translate very closely to Tibetan translations into English. So terms like bodhicitta, or bodaishin in Japanese are sometimes translated in very strange manner which I cannot understand. But this is very trong habit of English speaking translators. Well talking about bodaishin-bodhicitta I heard number of translations and one was pretty astonishing - ''way seeking mind''. and there are hundreds terms like this.

If one translates those Japanese dictionaries, it might help for mutual understanding between Japanese and Tibetan Buddhism in the West...
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby viniketa » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:27 pm

Matylda wrote:The problem was rather with first translation into English of Japanese Buddhist literature which tend either to christian words or to philosophical and lost their Buddhist meaning.


:D This has happened a lot, and not just translation from Japanese! :D

If someone knows of a list of Abhidharma terms that might get the ball rolling, perhaps that could be posted here.

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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby Matylda » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:02 am

viniketa wrote:
Matylda wrote:The problem was rather with first translation into English of Japanese Buddhist literature which tend either to christian words or to philosophical and lost their Buddhist meaning.


:D This has happened a lot, and not just translation from Japanese! :D

If someone knows of a list of Abhidharma terms that might get the ball rolling, perhaps that could be posted here.

:namaste:


Yes I am aware of it. I have read terrible translations from Tibetan based entirely on subjective creation of terms etc. However there is already vast literature translated into English and more important into Russian - Russian translators are very good and pretty close to the original. Anyway number of translations of the classical texts from Tibetan excels number of translations from Japanese. So newer translations are improving and also number of translators is much higher. Still translators of Buddhist texts from Japanese is fairly limited. In Europe I met many translators who can do it from Tibetan. From Japanese, one or two... I mean those who can translate Buddhist teachings.

Moreover many Tibetan teachers of different traditions arrive in the West with their knowledge and texts... How many from Japan? Less then number of fingers of a single palm. So there is also no base or support for Japanese translations. There are few well known translators, but still it is not enough. And mostly those are some scholars who also pursue their own researches so often write on their own.
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Re: Zen to Tibetan Dictionary? *grins*

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:19 pm

viniketa wrote:
Matylda wrote:The problem was rather with first translation into English of Japanese Buddhist literature which tend either to christian words or to philosophical and lost their Buddhist meaning.


:D This has happened a lot, and not just translation from Japanese! :D

If someone knows of a list of Abhidharma terms that might get the ball rolling, perhaps that could be posted here.


Here is a very small start of about 80 terms that I made in 2009 and abandoned shortly thereafter. This list should not be considered reliable.
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