Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:42 pm

And my goodness, we are talking about Zen here people - we are all Lords and Ladies Buddha, and we are all totally ordinary. THIS is the message of the Lotus Sutra, Dogen, Linji, the whole tradition. Let's try not to pretend we're suffering from the delusions of ages past, that every turn of the wheel has attempted to rectify, providing us with so many tools to free ourselves from dhukka (which after all just means "stuckness.")
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:38 pm

Here, opinions diverge. In the Lotus Sutra, among the most popular sutras in East Asian Buddhism, Buddha Shakyamuni makes a series of claims that suggest he is not now nor has he been for a very, very, very long time an ordinary mortal (present tense is intentional). Depends who you ask or where you look, I suppose.


My understanding is that depending on the canon you uphold, it is up for debate whether he attained enlightenment in this world as Siddhartha Gautama or in another world a long time ago.... But in either case, he started out as an ordinary being who perfected himself.

I find it interesting HHDL mentions at teachings he finds it more inspiring to think Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in this world through cultivation rather than the traditional Mahayana account of a previous enlightenment in another world system.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:11 pm

JKhedrup wrote:
Here, opinions diverge. In the Lotus Sutra, among the most popular sutras in East Asian Buddhism, Buddha Shakyamuni makes a series of claims that suggest he is not now nor has he been for a very, very, very long time an ordinary mortal (present tense is intentional). Depends who you ask or where you look, I suppose.


My understanding is that depending on the canon you uphold, it is up for debate whether he attained enlightenment in this world as Siddhartha Gautama or in another world a long time ago.... But in either case, he started out as an ordinary being who perfected himself.

I find it interesting HHDL mentions at teachings he finds it more inspiring to think Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in this world through cultivation rather than the traditional Mahayana account of a previous enlightenment in another world system.


Sure. My comment was intended in support of the practice of referring to Buddha Shakyamuni as Lord Buddha in this context, but evidently I didn't communicate that properly. apologies for obfuscation!
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:26 pm

Not to digress too far, but how anyone in this time can still think that one "perfects oneself" through practice, when you have 1000's of years of teaching telling us that isn't the point, well, it just shows how far we have to go. "perfect understanding" is knowing that there is no perfect understanding. What a tragedy to defame the idea of Shakyamuni Buddha by suggesting he attained some special state, in this world or some other. That is NOT what the Lotus Sutra teaches, much less so the Diamond or Prajna Paramita.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:46 pm

Perhaps mastery is a better word, which is what the Tibetan word for Buddha, sangs rgyas, implies in certain contexts. In Tibetan there are countless words used to describe the state he achieved.
I used perfected because I think it ties in nicely with the Paramitas, "The Perfections" that must be cultivated in order to achieve the fully enlightened state.
These perfections include generosity, ethics, patience, effort, concentration which are the method side and wisdom, which is the wisdom side :tongue:

Once enlightenment is achieved the two obscurations- afflictive obscurations and obscurations to omniscience, are completely cleared away.


Of course, I am in the Zen forum here so if my Mahayana Paramitayana ideas from being steeped in mostly Gelug and some Kagyu teachings diverge from the understanding in this section of the forum, I am the one who is out of my element so I apologize. I do think though that from the little I know of the Avatamsaka Sutra for example and the Perfections of wisdom Sutras, this should be a pretty general understanding.

Of course in the Gelug and Kagyu traditions this is definitely a recognition that the ´"perfect state" is within us, in terms of our Buddha-nature. But this is understood to be covered by the defilements. So the tradition of the Gelug especially is to emphasize the accumulation of the two collections of merit and wisdom through the six perfections, as well as the purification of the obscurations, so that that Buddha nature can be "activated". The presentation you find on this topic comes from the Sublime Continuum or Uttaratantra Shastra, which is an explanation of important teachings of Lord Buddha on Buddha Nature.

Anyways, just responding to the qualm but of course this is off topic and also in the wrong section of the forum!
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:12 pm

jisahn108 wrote:Not to digress too far, but how anyone in this time can still think that one "perfects oneself" through practice, when you have 1000's of years of teaching telling us that isn't the point, well, it just shows how far we have to go. "perfect understanding" is knowing that there is no perfect understanding. What a tragedy to defame the idea of Shakyamuni Buddha by suggesting he attained some special state, in this world or some other. That is NOT what the Lotus Sutra teaches, much less so the Diamond or Prajna Paramita.


are you suggesting (in the bolded bit) that those who take a different interpretation than you are somehow premodern or of another time? (I'm reminded of the anthropology behind calls to find the essential or "real" Buddhism or Zen behind the Asiatic "cultural trappings" early European convert Buddhists were so eager to eschew, for their own reasons.)

http://books.google.com/books/about/Tim ... zVdQfAKVgC

That's ancillary to the thrust of your post, however.

Your take on the discourse of perfection and perfecting, and on the Prajnaparamita and some aspects of the Lotus Sutra, are ones I can get behind myself. There are other approaches to the Lotus, however, with plenty of evidence in the text to support it, that emphasize the eternal or cosmic Buddha (think about the chapter on the Buddha's lifetime). I don't disagree with your overall position. That said, it falls to me to point out to you that you have a tendency to overhastily generalize, which is clear in this instance and elsewhere in this thread.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:13 pm

Which reminds me.

From the moderator: again, there's no evidence deweyboy is Paul Lynch apart from one user's assumptions and inferences.

Kindly refrain from seeking to "out" the identities of others on this board, who may well have good reason to choose an anonymous handle.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby jisahn108 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:08 pm

As for "outing" anyone, I think if I, as a poster, have suspicion due to their abusive, negative commentary and obstructive behavior, that happens to perfectly echo that of the figure (according to their activity) they joined this site with the express purpose to defend, then I have a right and obligation to put the pieces together. That said, I have made my point and others are capable of making their own decisions. For my part, I think there is "plenty of evidence" Deweyboy is Lynch. I've made the case. Let others make of it what they will.
And yes, I think that "in this time" we shouldn't be pretending we live in medieval Tibet or China, and we should incorporate our modern understanding to open up and access Buddhist teachings - because that is the only way to access them, since that is who we are. And to somehow still believe, as I said, that after Dogen, after the Diamond Sutra, after 1000's of pages of Prajna Paramita, after Avatamsaka, after Mahamudra, after Dzogchen, and yes after Zen, that you can maintain any idea of Buddhism being a self help program in which "becoming a Buddha" means becoming a paragon of moral virtue or a "nice person", then yes, in a long tradition of Dharmic truth-telling, I suggest you are indeed somewhat clueless and to reappraise your understanding. With all respect, and palms together. Which is not to say that we don't also attend to being a nicer person and helping build a saner, less corrupt society, based in the values instilled from the Buddhist tradition and the idea of Vinaya, and precepts - which after all were not "commandments" Buddha received from on high, but rules that were created one by one as issues arose and guidelines were needed for a smooth functioning community. How modern. How non-magical.
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Jikan » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:48 pm

jisahn108 wrote:And yes, I think that "in this time" we shouldn't be pretending we live in medieval Tibet or China, and we should incorporate our modern understanding to open up and access Buddhist teachings - because that is the only way to access them, since that is who we are. And to somehow still believe, as I said, that after Dogen, after the Diamond Sutra, after 1000's of pages of Prajna Paramita, after Avatamsaka, after Mahamudra, after Dzogchen, and yes after Zen, that you can maintain any idea of Buddhism being a self help program in which "becoming a Buddha" means becoming a paragon of moral virtue or a "nice person", then yes, in a long tradition of Dharmic truth-telling, I suggest you are indeed somewhat clueless and to reappraise your understanding. With all respect, and palms together. Which is not to say that we don't also attend to being a nicer person and helping build a saner, less corrupt society, based in the values instilled from the Buddhist tradition and the idea of Vinaya, and precepts - which after all were not "commandments" Buddha received from on high, but rules that were created one by one as issues arose and guidelines were needed for a smooth functioning community. How modern. How non-magical.


Thank you for this. I agree that my understanding is incomplete and I'm confident my behavior is full of errors.

That said, I don't think that your comments here correspond to my position (assuming your comments are directed to me). I don't recall claiming that Dharma corresponds to a self-help program of the kind you describe (see the bolded bits); in fact, I've been critical of such proposals, in public. It's the reason I stopped practicing in the "insight meditation" scene and moved on to more traditional approaches. Which means...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby Keizan » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:53 pm

Greetings! Long time lurker, first time poster.
I took up Deweyboy's gauntlet and contacted the Golden Wind Zen order, headed by Jibong Robert Moore, asking for clarification regarding Mr. Lynch.
This was the response, and its good enough for me. Thought I would share.

Thank you for your thoughtful letter.
I will forward it today to Dr. Robert Moore, Zen Master Ji Bong. In the past he has instructed me to attach his original letter to any inquires like this, feeling it addresses any confusion. I can assure you the letter I am attaching is the original written by Zen Master Ji Bong in August of 2008. (I have not seen any others.)
I was unaware of the thread on Dharmawheel.net. I will check it out.

With many bows,
Tim Colohan, JDPSN, Abbott, Golden Wind Zen Center.


That attached letter reads thus (should be familiar to most here it seems):

Dear Students of the Golden Wind Zen Group and the Public at Large:

It is with a great deal of sadness and wistfulness that I write this letter is to inform you that Paul Lynch was permanently suspended on July 13, 2008 as a Ji Do Poep Sa Nim in the Golden Wind Zen Teaching Order. I originally asked Paul to take a leave of absence as a teacher during which time he could begin to practice regularly once again and make an effort to deal with his severe health problems and personal issues. When informed of this leave-of-absence from teaching, Paul decided to walk away from the sangha entirely.
A Ji Do Poep Sa is permitted to teach only under the direct supervision of their supervising Zen Master according to the Korean/American Zen tradition.
Any teaching done by Paul (under the rubric of a “Before Thinking” organization or in any other forum) is, therefore, presented without the consent or approval of Zen Master Ji Bong. Consequently, Zen Master Ji Bong accepts no responsibility for any of Paul Lynch’s words or actions currently or at any time in the future. Paul Lynch is not in any respect to be considered the Dharma heir of either Zen Master Seung Sahn or Zen Master Ji Bong.
If a student -JDPS is unwilling to follow his/her teacher, that student gives up all rights to any claims of lineage. One has authentic lineage or one has nothing – that is the majesty of the Zen Tradition.
Ironically, this experience has become a good teaching experience for all of us. We must watch our steps in each moment – remember there is always a banana peel close by.
Zen Master Ji Bong (August 17, 2008)
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Re: Five Mountain Zen Order & Paul Lynch

Postby purple rose » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:22 pm

Please note:

This topic will remain locked until such times as Paul Lynch publishes an official statement with evidence about his teaching authorization after which if the management feel there is any benefit to this community the lock may be removed.
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