I'm missing something...

User avatar
Hickersonia
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:23 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Contact:

I'm missing something...

Postby Hickersonia » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:17 pm

I'm missing something, but I'm not sure what it is exactly.

Rev. came up in discussion in another thread of mine and has sparked a bit of research on him and the tradition with which he seems to be associated. Just to start this off, however, I'm asking for informational purposes and not because I necessarily need the answers to conform to what I'm already aware of, although I of course can only speak of that which I am already aware and understand, so please don't take my inquiry the wrong way.

My question goes back to "basics" as I understand them, the 8 Precepts in particular. I've found some musical compositions authored by Heng Sure and, in the course of my searches, found a Zen Center (not necessarily affiliated with Heng Sure) that has a segment of it's Ethical Guidelines page devoted to relationships of a sexual nature between Teacher and student, placing rules on such relations (as opposed to an outright ban of it, as my understanding of the 8 Precepts would expect with those referred to as "Sangha").

I'm not familiar with Zen -- I'm coming at this question from a mostly Theravada knowledge-base (something I'm on a mission to expand this year). Do Zen monks / Priests (I've seen them referred to in this way) follow the same Precepts and Vinaya rules as those of the Theravada or is there a complete and distinct on it's own version of this in Zen?

Further, does any such distinction apply across the board amongst all East Asian Mahayana?

Thank you very much for your information as I broaden by admittedly limited knowledge.
Hickersonia


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

Nam mô A di đà Phật!

Namgyal
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Namgyal » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:51 pm

Chinese Chan monks are celibate (except for mainland Chinese 'monks', who aren't actually monks at all). Japanese priests of all traditions (sometimes called monks) are not celibate and can marry, as can priests from the Korean Taego sect American Zen is derived from Japanese sources therefore its teachers are not celibate, which has created some problems in the past. The teacher you mentioned appears to come from an overseas Chan tradition, so he should be celibate and have a set of rules much like those with which you are familiar from the Theravada.
:namaste: R.

User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Sara H » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:14 pm

"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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
Posts: 1783
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am
Contact:

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Seishin » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:28 pm

Japanese monks take the 10 major and 48 minor Bodhisattva Precepts, not the Vinaya. This was initiated for various reasons by Seicho who was the creator of the Tendai Tradition. From what I understand (little admittedly) celibacy was part of the vows, which was changed at a later date during the Meiji restoration (I think) so that monks were allowed to marry, drink alcohol and eat meat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haibutsu_kishaku
In Japan the monks are still referred to as monks and hold the same status and respect as those with vinaya vows. Japanese schools in the west tend to prefer to use the word "priest" to try to save confusion with the celibate monks.
This subject is hotly debated on this board and elsewhere.

Note: Someone with a better understanding of Japanese history might be able to correct the above. :smile:

Gassho,
Seishin

Namgyal
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Namgyal » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:35 pm

:smile: Yes, that's quite correct, a few Japanese priests do indeed volunteer to maintain celibacy and other practices on top of their Japanese Bodhisattva vows. I didn't include OBC monks in my brief list because they are a synthetic Western tradition rather than Japanese...nor are they strictly speaking 'American Zen', because Peggy Kennett was British. In any event, I should have included them, if only for the sake of completion, perhaps under the heading 'British Zen'. :smile: My apologies.
:namaste: R.

User avatar
Hickersonia
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:23 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Contact:

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Hickersonia » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:37 pm

Very interesting.

Is this non-celibate ordination generally perceived as an equal level of ordination or do even the priests/monks that practice in that manner see themselves as working up toward the celibate life (or, inversely, that their vows are of greater standing than the Vinaya)?

Further, would these 10 major and 48 minor Bodhisattva Precepts be applicable / available as a version of ordaining under other Mahayana traditions?

Would page be a fair representation of what is being referred to as the 10 major and 48 minor Bodhisattva Precepts? Could anyone direct me to other pages that would be worthy of study on this matter?

Thank you very much for the thoughtful and rather helpful replies. :)
Hickersonia


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

Nam mô A di đà Phật!

User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
Posts: 1783
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am
Contact:

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Seishin » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:35 pm


User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Sara H » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:49 am

"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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

Namgyal
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Namgyal » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:51 am

Dear Sara,
As I am sure you know 'American Zen' is a term commonly used to describe a specific group of organisations. As for the OBC, according to 'The Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America's' entry for Rev. Jiyu-Kennett;
'Her adaptation of Zen for Westerners has been likened to Japanese Soto Zen with a flavor of the Church of England...'
Furthermore, her foundation in the UK preceded Shasta Abbey, so strictly speaking it is not correct to call her organisation 'American'.
:namaste: R.

User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Sara H » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:10 am

"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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Sara H » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:21 am

"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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

Namgyal
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Namgyal » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:44 am


User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Sara H » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:13 am

I want to make a correction here,

When I said the OBC is not a member of the SZBA, that's not strictly speaking correct.

While I do not believe the OBC as a whole is a member of that organization, several senior monks including Rev. Master Meian, the current abbess of Shasta Abbey have had active involvement in the SZBA.

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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

User avatar
Hickersonia
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:23 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Contact:

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:40 pm

Hickersonia


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

Nam mô A di đà Phật!

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 8493
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby DGA » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:13 pm


DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 8493
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby DGA » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:16 pm

Re: celibacy in the OBC

The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives took up celibacy well after the order was established. I am not clear on the timeline or the reasoning behind this. There has been extensive debate within and eventually without the Order over it.

Interested persons may search around the OBC Connect forum, which includes many past and some present participants:
http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/

User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
Posts: 1783
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am
Contact:

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Seishin » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:17 pm

Cool cheers. Aren't you at Gyo?

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 8493
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby DGA » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:03 pm

Gyo starts for me early Friday morning, but that's a topic for a separate forum! :lol:

User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Sara H » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:01 am

"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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

User avatar
Sara H
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Sara H » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:13 pm

One of the things that's interesting to note, is that political, organizational, or social institutions, once established, are difficult to change.

Once temples became hereditary by rule of law by the Imperial decree, that way of doing things became established as an institution. Once married priests became a way of life, it may have become highly difficult or nearly impossible to change once the laws allowed them to do so again.

Indeed, it may have only been after the U.S. occupation of Japan, post WW II, and with a change of the Japanese Constitution, that such institutional changes may have even been legally possible at all, for Buddhism in Japan.

Combined, that, with a Japanese culture that is highly conformist, and largely unwilling to buck trends or foster leaders willing to make dramatic statements in favor of change or reform, and the old ways of doing things that were forced on them by Imperial decree may have largely gone unchallenged.

Indeed, they may have even become nationalized as some sortof patriotic Japanese cultural ideal. And defended as Japanese cultural uniqueness.

But none of these things have anything to do, with whether it was a Buddhist decision, or whether it was in the best interests of Buddhism in the first place.

Indeed, the decision seems largely made because it wasn't in the best interests of Buddhism, and was rather deemed in the best interests of the Emperor, and wanting to keep power to himself, of those who controlled him if he was a puppet.

These sorts of practices, do not mean that we have to follow, repeat, or perpetuate the mistakes, or cultural Japanese ethnic traditions in the west that have little to do with Buddhism itself, and everything to do with Japanese Culture.

Add to that, our own bipolar mix of sexual prudishness/libertine sexual greed, and our suspicion of religious practices regarding sexuality due to the Catholic church, and religious ritual, and you get a fermented mix that needs to be examined soberly, and in context, and not just taken for granted based on our emotional feelings of religion, of or celibacy.

We don't need to make the mistakes of the Japanese,
And Buddhism is not Catholicism.

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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy


Return to “Zen”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests