I'm missing something...

Re: I'm missing something...

Postby BuddhaSoup » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:19 pm

Very nice essays, Sara, well written and to my eye, quite accurate. I hope you stay active as a voice in Buddhism in the West.

My point of view on matters of ethics and behavior is that we are fortunate that we have suttas and sutras that provide a very nice roadmap for ethical boundaries in Buddhist practice. It would be a shame that we had only our sense of Japanese Zen tradition to inform us as to how to conduct ourselves on the Path forward. As you note, the nature of Japanese government strictures forced on monasteries change...changes that fell outside the usual rules for monastic conduct.

When modern American Zen teachers are found to be having cocktails, multiple girlfriends, and eating lavishly in the evening, it suggest to me that they are taking for granted the suffering of the historic Japanese experience, and forgetting that in the modern West, we need to revert more to the Vinaya and/or Bodhisattva Precepts. Zen in the West needs to become more grounded, more traditional in the face of eroding ethical boundaries, IMO.

Zen in the West will become more vibrant, more influential, to the extent that it can act as a counter weight or antidote to the greed, anger, delusion, and consumerism, in the West. The idea that monks and priests live renunciate lives suggests that those deeply in practice and taking these aforementioned vows can stand as an example of what a liberated, ethical life looks like, with the hope that students of these ethically grounded teachers can take refuge in their good example. In my view, there is no "crazy wisdom," nor are so-called enlightened teachers exempt from strict ethical conduct. Crazy anything is just that...crazy, harmful and chaotic.

I feel it's important to study and understand the history of Buddhism, Zen, and the Soto school to see how the practice went right, and how it went wrong over time.
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Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Matylda » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:32 am

Zen is not about ethics etc. If one needs it then can follow strict Chinese version... what zen is about it is complete enlightenment. Bodhisattva vows are of biggest importance as well as bodhicitta, without it there is no zen path.

Time of eating etc. is minor thing. Maybe people would like to be so restrictive about zen, specially Japanese zen which is all the time bashed here, because of their restrictive Christian background? I do not know... I do not know how American teachers behave with all these girlfriends etc. but what it has to do with Jpanaese Zen IN Japan??? this is really do not know...
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Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Matylda » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:04 am

Matylda wrote:Zen is not about ethics etc. If one needs it then can follow strict Chinese version... what zen is about it is complete enlightenment. Bodhisattva vows are of biggest importance as well as bodhicitta, without it there is no zen path.

Time of eating etc. is minor thing. Maybe people would like to be so restrictive about zen, specially Japanese zen which is all the time bashed here, because of their restrictive Christian background? I do not know... I do not know how American teachers behave with all these girlfriends etc. but what it has to do with Japanese Zen IN Japan??? this is really do not know...



Sorry I was boarding and it slipped... should be this is something I really do not know ....
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Re: I'm missing something...

Postby Sara H » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:48 am

BuddhaSoup

Thank you very much.
I really appreciate that.
I've been very fortunate to have had some people in my life who were very patient with me when I needed to learn things.
I hope that one day I may be as patient with others as those people were and have been with me.

With bows of gratitude,

A very deep 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

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