A reoccurring critique and usual argument to differentiate Chan view from Dzogchen (nb. I don't say they're the same!) is that Chan knows nothing about the aware nature of mind but only the empty. That is of course not so.
Astus wrote:Bummer. It is another myth that there is no Chan but in Japan only. Obviously there is Chan in China, some teachers have even come to the West (Ven. Xuanhua [City of Ten Thousand Buddhas], Ven. Shengyan [Dharma Drum Mountain], Ven. Xingyun [Fo Guang Shan]).
There are certain concepts shared by the different lineages (similar to greater groups like Madhyamaka, Mantrayana), like the teaching of sudden enlightenment and buddha-nature. By Chan here I generally referred to (1) common basics of the "Bodhidharma School", (2) the schools present around the 7-8th centuries.
Yogicfire wrote:Aren't we saying that the Chan school died out in China completely, and was resurrected at some later stage by other lineages and modern teachers?
Yogicfire wrote:Then, looking at the Five Houses of Chan, only the Linji survives today in China. I note that some have stated that the Caodong has survived in some shape, but maybe they are talking about the transmission into Japan.
So, the Linji school has an unbroken lineage going through all the centuries, and all the persecution and suppression linked with the Communist regime?
Astus wrote:What do we mean by "school"? In Chinese the word is 宗 (zōng) that can mean a lot of things. I would say it is more like a "school of thought" than an institutional thing. Or, to be truer to the original word, it means "clan" - they are separate separate families (the "five houses" are in fact "five families" 五家) with a common ancestor. Master Huifeng can explain it much better how family relationship terms are used in Chan and Chinese Buddhism. Another interesting term here regarding transmitting the Dharma is that it is called a "blood vessel" (血脈) which passes through generations. But this is not as strict as it appears to be in Tantra - others may disagree. So it is one thing how a group of people wants to look in the eyes of outsiders and history is another thing. It is like with Buddhism and its many traditions. Every tradition likes to look like the original and true teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha, and in some sense they all are. Every Chan group says they're the heirs of Bodhidharma, which is true in a religious and historical sense. It's just that things are not always what they appear to be.
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