Tendai is a Ch'an school.

DGA
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Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby DGA » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:01 pm

How so? One of the transmissions Dengyo Daishi brought back to Japan from China was that of the Ox-Head School (Niu T'ou); see Doumelin's book Zen Buddhism around p. 115-116 for details, Paul Groner discusses Saicho's having received this transmission in the year 804 in his biography, Saicho, p. 43.

Many of the forms of practice we have in Tendai-shu are essentially Tang-era Chinese forms that have developed independently in Japan, but a clear continuity can be seen (even as much of this is no longer existent in Chinese Buddhism as we know it now). Even if Ox Head-style Ch'an does not closely resemble Soto or Rinzai Zen as now known, it does not follow that there is no Zen (or is it Ch'an?) integral to Tendai practice.

Cutting to the point: Tendai-shu is a Zen school.

:stirthepot:

Matylda
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:56 pm

Yes this claim is not groundless... tendai has kept some kind of ancient zen practice in Japan.. interestingly from pics I have seen they used to sit like in rinzai, face to the middle of the meditation hall. Anyway some call it zazen shikan [this shikan has nothing to do with shikan taza, different characters are used]. So it is useful for serious zen practitioners to read some of the Makashikan or Shoshikan texts. I heard from a friend that some parts were translated and are in English. But I do not know any title actually.

Zen has transformed itself greatly since Tang and Sung so what is still in tendai tradition might be of very interesting points referring to very old form of zen practice... not onl ox head school.

But frankly in Japanese tendai zazen/shikan practice is not very popular... mostly priests are concerned with goma and some esoteric/tantric rituals and meditations. So I wonder if there are any good teachers of 'zen' within tendai camp.

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Astus
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Astus » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:43 pm

Let's reverse this. Chan is a Tiantai school. See for instance Faure on Shenxiu's background in his "The Will to Orthodoxy", p 49-53, where you get a short description of how Huisi and later Tiantai teachings influenced early Chan, like Daoxin's "one act samadhi". Even the idea of a lineage was first invented by the Tiantai school.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Indrajala
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:34 pm

Dogen and Eisai were both Tendai monks originally. They even have their portraits on the official Tendai website:

http://www.tendai.or.jp/rekishi/sou-hito.php

Japanese Zen is clearly more Tendai than the reverse.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Meido
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Meido » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:03 pm

Even though you have attained insight into the True Nature (kensho), there is yet the barrier of differentiation, and there is the One Path of Advanced Practice. If you have not yet even seen into the True Nature, what a lot there is yet to do! - Torei


Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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jikai
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby jikai » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:12 am

While Tendai does preserve the Ox-Head Zen transmission, it was not highly valued at any point in Tendai history. Most Tendai monks felt that their own meditative practices were superior to those transmitted in the Ox-Head Zen transmission. Therefore, while it is true that Tendai involves Zen practices, I wouldn't say it is a Zen school. I have seen older publications make this claim abd i think it does more harm than good if you will.

As Meido suggested, Shikan and Shikantaza have nothing to do with each other. In fact i believe Dogens coining of the term was a play on words attempting to draw comparison with the already established Tendai Shikan, but i could be wrong.

And on the Chinese Tiantai side, many of Tiantai Dashi Zhiyi's works are clearly critical of Zen tendencies. This was followed by almost every other later Tendai patriarch- notably Siming Zhili/ Shimyo Chiri.

So im not sure id agree with the OP .
Gassho
Jikai.
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"

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Indrajala
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Indrajala » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:28 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Anders
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Anders » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:02 am

"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby jikai » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:07 am

Another point worth considering is that the Ox-Head lineage is considered to fall outside of the 'orthodox' transmission of Chan/Zen which makes the claim to Tendai being a Zen school somewhat problematic.

@Ven. Indrajala, There isn't really any significance to Dogen Zenji and Eisai Zenji picture being on the Tendai sect website. The lecture hall on Hieizan has pictures of all the Kamakura sect founders that trained initially on Hieizan. This is in celebration of their image as mother mountain of Japanese Buddhism. That is true, the influence of Tiantai is visible on Chinese Chan where as you say, the Mohe Zhiguan and XiaoZhiguan and so forth are used as meditative manuals. I believe Japanese Zen practitioners also use the ShoShikan but im not sure it is any more thorough-going than that.

We also have to face the fact that Tiantai/Tendai polemics are just not like those of Chan/Zen. Tendai meditation when compared to standard Zen forms are rather different too.

On a quirky note, if Tendai is a Zen school, kind of changes the significance and 'wisdom' of Dogen Zenji and Eisai Zenji's actions.
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"

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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:27 am


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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:30 am


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Anders
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Anders » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:31 am

"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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jikai
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby jikai » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:37 am

@Matylda, Yes I am aware that the MakaShikan and the ShoShikan are not primary texts for Zen monks. Of course there is no problem with them reading them.

I think you misunderstand what i meant about the Ox-Head lineage being considered unorthodox- the Ox-Head lineage is considered unorthodox because the founder of the Ox-Head lineage was not an recognised accomplished student of Zen in the same way as the founders of Linji and Coding were. information aboutout it can be found here: http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/His ... China.html
or:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/mindins.htm

Ox-Head lineage Chan has no connection to Chinese Tiantai- they were simply both practiced at monasteries on mt Tiantai.

Gassho,

Jikai.
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"

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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby jikai » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:41 am

@ Anders,
That may well be so, and I trust your superior knowledge of Zen over my own side readings. Nevertheless, if we don't use the five houses categorization to differentiate between orthodox and otherwise Zen transmissions then what can we use in our determinations?
Gassho,
Jikai.
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"

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Astus
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Astus » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:41 am

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Qianxi » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:15 pm

The most widely quoted product of the Ox Head School is probably a poem called 信心銘 On Faith in Mind. There's longer version called the 心銘 On Mind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinxin_Ming

The modern Taiwanese Chan teacher Shengyan wrote a commentary on it, Baizhang Huaihai and Zhaozhou often quoted from it, and the second founder of Japanese Soto, Keizan Jokin, wrote a commentary on it 信心銘拈提 Shinjinmei nentei in Chinese: http://www2.fodian.net/baoku/FoJingWenI ... x?ID=T2587

I don't know about orthodoxy or Chan-Tiantai influence.

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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Astus » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:26 pm

As for Oxhead School texts, this is a really good one: . But more interesting would be to see how it all appears in Tendai, if at all.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



Matylda
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:14 pm


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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:17 pm


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Astus
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Astus » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:48 pm

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.




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