Dzog Chen and Zen?

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Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby monktastic » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:15 am

Has anyone read this book?

http://www.amazon.com/Dzog-Chen-Zen-Nam ... 0931892082

Would anyone care (or dare) to summarize it here?
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby heart » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:47 am

monktastic wrote:Has anyone read this book?

http://www.amazon.com/Dzog-Chen-Zen-Nam ... 0931892082

Would anyone care (or dare) to summarize it here?


Sure, Dzogchen and Zen is not the same, that is a very short summary.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby Fruitzilla » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:25 am

monktastic wrote:Has anyone read this book?

http://www.amazon.com/Dzog-Chen-Zen-Nam ... 0931892082

Would anyone care (or dare) to summarize it here?


I didn't read it, but I can remember from previous discussions on the net that Zen practioners didn't think his presentation of Zen was up to par.
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby yegyal » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:44 am

It's based on the ninth century text by Nubchen Sangye Yeshe called the Samten Migdron, which describes four different approaches to practice that existed in Tibet at that time. The title is a bit of a misnomer as the Japanese Zen tradition didn't exist when Nubchen wrote the original, so it's no wonder that the Zen crowd would find it bizarre. Otherwise, I think Magnus summed it up perfectly.
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:04 pm

"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: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby mutsuk » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:38 pm

See Sam van Schaik : "Dzogchen, Chan and the Question of Influence" (http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/colle ... _24_01.pdf). This pretty much sums up the discussion. See also Tanaka and Robertson's famed paper : Tanaka, Kenneth and Raymond Robertson. 1992. “A Ch’an Text from Tun- huang” Implications for Ch’an Influence on Tibetan Buddhism.” In Steven Goodman and Ronald Davidson (eds.), Tibetan Buddhism: Reason and Revelation. New York: SUNY Press. 57–78.

The question about Dzogchen and Chan (or Zen) comes up regularly on forums. If you read these two papers, then you'll get a pretty good picture of the problem and will understand that Dzogchen and Chan have finally very little in common.
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby Dronma » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:47 pm

heart wrote:Sure, Dzogchen and Zen is not the same, that is a very short summary.

/magnus


:thumbsup:
Yes, I have read the book. Just different paths.
"My view is as vast as the sky, but my actions are finer than flour"
~ Padmasambhava ~
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby monktastic » Thu May 09, 2013 1:46 am

Okay, I got my hands on a copy and have read it. Surprisingly, there's not a lot of direct comparison between Dzogchen and Zen; mostly, it's an elucidation of how Dzogchen is not a path of renunciation or transformation (and there's a lot of comparison with Tantra). But these quotes stick out most as the essence regarding Dzogchen and Zen:

Thus, one can understand that the principle method of Zen is a
way to find yourself in the absolute condition. This principle is a
common element between Chinese Buddhism and Zogqen. But
you must not therefore think they are one and the same thing.
You must never forget that the two methods are different. We
have already spoken of one as the way of self-liberation and the
other as the path of renunciation. From the beginning, in
principle, these two methods are very different.


To my naive ear, it doesn't sound like Rinpoche is differentiating the end state (the absolute condition) between the two, but distinguishing their methods.

As for the ways in which Chinese Buddhism (Ch'an) is a path of renunciation, there's not much said, except for this section a few pages earlier:

In the Buddhist sutras, fundamentally the method used is that
of renunciation. This is true of all of the different schools of
sutric Buddhism, whether it be Theravada, or the school of Zen
Buddhism, or the Mahayana Buddhism of the followers of
Nagarjuna. In this approach, the first action, the first gesture of
those who present themselves as Buddhists is, for example, to
take refuge. When we take refuge, there is, above all,
something negative which we have renounced. It is sufficient,
for example, to think about the fact that in taking refuge one
receives a name. Why does one have to receive a name, if you
are already born with a name? This is a way of expressing, of
exemplifying, that one is renouncing one's prior life and how
one was. If one goes a step further, the best way of living in this
life is held to be monkhood; if one wishes to truly sustain and
support the teaching, one should become a monk, it is said. If
one gives such importance to being a monk, what is the reason?
The monk is the example of renunciation of all that is worldly.

In regard to overcoming all kinds of negativity, the method here
is one of renunciation through the application of an antidote,
such as compassion applied to hatred.


There are certainly many contemporary Dzogchen masters who emphasize going for refuge, and according to the above, presumably they would be considered as teaching paths of renunciation as well.

All in all, very interesting.
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby Jinzang » Thu May 09, 2013 2:57 am

There are going to be strong points of similarity between all forms of objectless meditation, whether Zen's silent illumination, mahamudra, or trekchod. That's because, well, they're objectless! How you going to tell nothing from nothing? But the doctrinal and traditional setting in which the practice occurs is important, very important, and can't be ignored. Here in the West on the part of some there's an attitude that only practice matters, but this is not how Buddhism has traditionally understood itself.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby CrawfordHollow » Thu May 09, 2013 3:10 am

Refuge is an essential element in all Buddhist teachings and paths. Refuge does not separate one vehicle from another, as it is common to all of the vehicles. If you look at all the yanas in the nine yana system, you will see that all of the higher yanas actually contain the lower ones. When talking about the different paths, there is a classic analogy of a poisonous plant. The poisonous plant represents negative emotions or just negativities in general. In the path of renunciation you avoid the plant. This is like taking a vow against drinking. In the path of transformation you transform the poison into nectar. This is like in tantra when you view the impure samsaric state as divine. I can't exactly remember what you do with the plan in the path of self-liberation, but basically the poison can't harm you because you recognize the true nature of the poison (mind). Of course this is a simple way to look at the whole thing and it really doesn't do much to help your understanding of dzogchen or zen.

I can't speak for zen, but in the sutric approach attainment happens because of the two accumulations, which takes place over a large amount of time. In dzogchen the fruition, the three kayas of buddhahood are right there, inherent in the ground. That is why dzogchen is called an instantaneous approach. The recognition of rigpa does not happen because of the accumulation of merit. In fact it is right there, all the time, it just goes unrecognized. The parodox is, and this was the topic of a recent thread, is that you are still under the influence of karma until enlightenment. This again, is the same all across the board. You recognize what is always there, and then you work in whatever way suits you best to integrate that state more and more. This involves purification and accumulation for most of us.

I am sure that I am not telling you anything that you don't know. My point is that even dzogchen can look a lot like the "lower vehicles." In fact, it perfectly encompasses all the vehicles, so nothing is contradictory.
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby monktastic » Thu May 09, 2013 4:17 am

Thanks. I know nothing about how Norbu Rinpoche treats refuge, so I just did a little search. Here's what he says in "Dzogchen teachings":

Refuge can be taken with a vow. If we don't have the capacity to control ourselves, we need to take a vow. ...

The difference between Dzogchen and other levels of teaching is that these relative methods of rules and vows are not considered to be the main point. They are not the fundamental method of Dzogchen practice as they are in Sutra.


That helps clarify for me what he's saying in the quote I posted before.
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby Simon E. » Thu May 09, 2013 7:52 am

I dont ususally post on Dzogchen threads because my Dzogchen teacher is not keen on us doing it on public forums. But Norbu Rinpoche operates as guru for students who do not take Refuge as well as for those who do.
He has students who are Catholic nuns and monks for example.
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby alpha » Thu May 09, 2013 8:56 am

monktastic wrote:Thanks. I know nothing about how Norbu Rinpoche treats refuge, so I just did a little search. Here's what he says in "Dzogchen teachings":

Refuge can be taken with a vow. If we don't have the capacity to control ourselves, we need to take a vow. ...

The difference between Dzogchen and other levels of teaching is that these relative methods of rules and vows are not considered to be the main point. They are not the fundamental method of Dzogchen practice as they are in Sutra.


That helps clarify for me what he's saying in the quote I posted before.


Because according to CNNr the only level of refuge you need as a dzogchen practitioner is A.
But if you want more there is always more, i.e the mahayoga or anuyoga way.
AOM
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby heart » Thu May 09, 2013 9:23 am

ChNNR teach also ordinary refuge and bodhicitta, it is a part of all the practices in the thun book for example. However, it seems he don't give refuge vows or bodhicitta vows which is rather unusual I think.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby Sherlock » Thu May 09, 2013 9:47 am

He considers if that you listen to him and practise you are already taking refuge. Taking refuge with some certificate he doesn't find very important -- where are you going to bring it when you die? He apparently used to teach a longer refuge prayer composed by Longchenpa in the Tun starti g with "namkhai nassu. .." but it mustbe long ago, I can't find it in any texts now.
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby alpha » Thu May 09, 2013 10:25 am

"What is your name ?
My name is George."
-CNNr
AOM
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby Astus » Thu May 09, 2013 10:28 am

Personally I find ChNN's work (or perhaps better to say Nubchen's) misleading regarding Zen, partially because it is outdated. As Jinzang said, the primary method of Zen is practically no different from those of Dzogchen and Mahamudra (and we could add Prajnaparamita, Madhyamaka and even Yogacara). The difference lies in almost all the other things. Guruyoga is one good example, and of course all the other ideas that are based on Tantra. On the other hand, Zen has koan practice, something that is unique to that school.
"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: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby CrawfordHollow » Thu May 09, 2013 1:43 pm

Regarding ChNN and refuge.

His approach of course, is different. He teaches dzogchen in a complete (and traditional way) outside of the normal Buddhist context. That said, his approach really isn't all that different from other teachers. I think that it would be safe to say that refuge is inherent in the ati guru yoga.
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby Holybla » Thu May 09, 2013 3:58 pm

To my mind the fundamental difference is the Dzogchen teaching on sounds, lights and rays.
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Re: Dzog Chen and Zen?

Postby pawel » Mon May 13, 2013 3:00 pm

Holybla wrote:To my mind the fundamental difference is the Dzogchen teaching on sounds, lights and rays.

Right.
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