What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:56 pm

Huseng wrote:The Indic literature, however, is far more consistent and coherent.


Zen literature is not just short stories and poems full of metaphors. There are many completely understandable teachings too from the Tang, Song and later eras. Zen has its own scriptures like the Shurangama and the Vajrasamadhi that form the basis of many other teachings, and generally most of the Zen teachers (and the audience) were familiar with the Mahayana corpus, thus many Zen works presuppose that knowledge.
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:26 pm

Huseng wrote:
Sara H wrote:And Dogen said "it is futile to travel to other dusty countries, thus forsaking your own seat."


What Dogen said doesn't negate my experience.

After my previous post I went to do some sitting meditation.

While I was sitting, these words came up regarding you:

In form and feel we clutch at things,
and then compound delusion later on by following ideals.


It's a combination of two lines from the Sandokai.

"Here born, we clutch at things

And then compound delusion later on

By following ideals."


and,

"In form and feel component things are seen

To differ deeply, and the voices in

Inherent isolation, soft and harsh."


The way I interpreted this, with regard to the line that came up in meditation, is to be reminded that ideals, in Buddhism are regarded as a from of delusion.
And following them, and chasing after things how they should ideally be, in our minds, is only compounding our own delusion.

Things don't have to be perfect.

We can still train, and do perfectly good Buddhism, if they arn't.

Buddhism is not Aestheticism, it's not Jainism.

It's a middle path, between trying to get things perfect, and not trying at all.

With the idea, comes the actual. As the saying goes.

The whole Sandokai is here:

From west to east, unseen, flowed out the mind

Of India’s greatest sage, and to the source

Kept true as an unsullied stream is clear.

Although by wit and dullness the true way

Is varied, yet it has no patriarch

Of south or north. Here born, we clutch at things

And then compound delusion later on

By following ideals. Each sense gate and

Its object all together enter thus

In mutual relations and yet stand

Apart in a uniqueness of their own,

Depending and yet non-depending too.

In form and feel component things are seen

To differ deeply, and the voices in

Inherent isolation, soft and harsh.

Such words as “high” and “middle” darkness match;

Light separates murky from the pure.

The properties of the four elements

Together draw just as a child returns

Unto its mother. Lo! The heat of fire,

The moving wind, the water wet, the earth

All solid; eyes to see, sounds heard, and smells;

Upon the tongue the sour, salty taste.

And yet in each related thing, as leaves

Grow from the roots, and “high” and “low”

Are used respectively. Within all light

Is darkness, but explained it cannot be

By darkness that one-sided is alone.

In darkness there is light, but here again

By light one-sided it is not explained.

Light goes with darkness as the sequence does

Of steps in walking.

All things herein have Inherent, great potentiality;

Both function, rest, reside within. Lo! with

The ideal comes the actual, like a box

All with its lid. Lo! with the ideal comes

The actual, like two arrows in mid-air

That meet.

Completely understand herein

The basic truth with these words. Lo! Hear!

Set up not your own standards. If, from your

Experience of the senses, basic truth

You do not know, how can you ever find

The path that certain is not matter how

Far distant you may walk. As you walk on,

Distinctions between near and far are lost,

And should you lost become, there will arise

Obstructing mountains and great rivers.

This I offer to the seeker of great Truth:

Do not waste time.

"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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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby kirtu » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:16 pm

Sara H wrote:
In form and feel we clutch at things,
and then compound delusion later on by following ideals.



Unfortunately this verse is missing (or seems to be) from the Zen Mountain Monastery liturgy.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby randomseb » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:44 pm

Huseng wrote:
Astus wrote:Actually Zen itself has a huge literature that can be used just like other sutras and treatises.


The Indic literature, however, is far more consistent and coherent.

Chinese Chan literature is often quite vague and requires extensive interpretation. Just reading it literally, it makes little to no sense without understanding all the symbolism and allusions. As a form of literary study it is rewarding, but I don't see it providing much insight into the workings of the mind and reality. Someone might argue otherwise, but I'm just stating my opinion on the matter.

I like early Chan literature (the Tang Dynasty treatises attributed to Bodhidharma and the Seven Gate Treatise for instance), but I don't see much value in Chan records of patriarchs, which forms the bulk of Chan literature, and gong'an.


While the very earliest literature is very complex and demands much contemplation and auxiliary understanding to "get", such as the Records of the Bodhidharma Anthology, the texts left by the patriarchs are not that confusing, once you understand that they are making references to the "thisness" of situations. This, what we would consider external to ourselves, is part of the essence of mind and is not actually external to ourselves, and most zen stories are trying to point this out in varying ways. Not intellectually, directly. Finger pointing to the moon, don't look at the finger and think you've understood the moon!

Chan/Zen is not something that can be understood by intellectualism, unfortunately, but such can point out the way, right. This is not some westernism, this comes straight from the likes of Bodhidharma and the various early Masters. If you think you've understood via intellectual analysis, you are mistaken. This is clearly stated by those people.

The Platform Sutra of the 6th Patriarch is very straight-forward and easy to understand, though.

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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:06 pm

randomseb wrote:While the very earliest literature is very complex and demands much contemplation and auxiliary understanding to "get", such as the Records of the Bodhidharma Anthology, the texts left by the patriarchs are not that confusing, once you understand that they are making references to the "thisness" of situations. This, what we would consider external to ourselves, is part of the essence of mind and is not actually external to ourselves, and most zen stories are trying to point this out in varying ways. Not intellectually, directly. Finger pointing to the moon, don't look at the finger and think you've understood the moon!

Chan/Zen is not something that can be understood by intellectualism, unfortunately, but such can point out the way, right. This is not some westernism, this comes straight from the likes of Bodhidharma and the various early Masters.


:good:
"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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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:02 am

randomseb wrote:the texts left by the patriarchs are not that confusing, once you understand that they are making references to the "thisness" of situations.


The teaching of "thisness" (tathatā) is quite an old one and it is explained extensively by various sutras and treatises. For instance, Vasubandhu's short definition is "the [true] nature of entities and the insubstantiality of entities" (Inner Science of Buddhist Practice, p. 241). Asanga discusses three types of tathatā in the Abhidharmasamuccaya (favourable, unfavourable, neutral), and matches it with other terms like selfless, emptiness and signless. So, when you say that Zen texts are only referring to a well established Buddhist teaching - instead of saying it directly - it just proves how much they lack clarity.

Chan/Zen is not something that can be understood by intellectualism, unfortunately, but such can point out the way, right. This is not some westernism, this comes straight from the likes of Bodhidharma and the various early Masters. If you think you've understood via intellectual analysis, you are mistaken. This is clearly stated by those people.


Understanding is intellectual. Comprehending words is intellectual. Understanding a teaching without intellect is not understanding it at all. A thoughtless state is also quite useless and it is not wisdom. Mystifying it that it's impossible to understand only makes it ambiguous and something that is left to everyone's imagination. How could any of that be called "directly pointing to mind"?
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:19 am

Astus wrote:
randomseb wrote:the texts left by the patriarchs are not that confusing, once you understand that they are making references to the "thisness" of situations.


The teaching of "thisness" (tathatā) is quite an old one and it is explained extensively by various sutras and treatises. For instance, Vasubandhu's short definition is "the [true] nature of entities and the insubstantiality of entities" (Inner Science of Buddhist Practice, p. 241). Asanga discusses three types of tathatā in the Abhidharmasamuccaya (favourable, unfavourable, neutral), and matches it with other terms like selfless, emptiness and signless. So, when you say that Zen texts are only referring to a well established Buddhist teaching - instead of saying it directly - it just proves how much they lack clarity.

Chan/Zen is not something that can be understood by intellectualism, unfortunately, but such can point out the way, right. This is not some westernism, this comes straight from the likes of Bodhidharma and the various early Masters. If you think you've understood via intellectual analysis, you are mistaken. This is clearly stated by those people.


Understanding is intellectual. Comprehending words is intellectual. Understanding a teaching without intellect is not understanding it at all. A thoughtless state is also quite useless and it is not wisdom. Mystifying it that it's impossible to understand only makes it ambiguous and something that is left to everyone's imagination. How could any of that be called "directly pointing to mind"?


You're not understanding it Astus.

It's not meant to be understood by the head.

There is more than one way to understand something actually.

Most of what is written in Zen texts is meant to be understood from what has been refered to as "the mind of meditation"

In other words, if you've had a kensho, you get it, because you've experienced directly what they are talking about.

It then makes perfect sense. If you try to understand it from a logical or rational point of view, it doesn't work.

This is why Rinzai gives people koans, to try and force people out of their head, and give them a sortof riddle that they can't solve using logic.
It forces them to let go, and just trust their gut, (however forcefully this technique is).

Soto just has people sit in meditation, and do working and walking meditation, and practice, and then this understanding arises naturally.

But however way you approach it, true understanding of those sorts of scriptures often require experiencing a kensho first.

This is why it's required to have one first to teach, and to recieve Dharma Transmission, because otherwise, you wouldn't know what you were talking about.

There are many Zen scriptures written in plain English. And most of the problems with the older ones have to do with translation problems with the way people spoke back then, or due to the fact that some were translated poetry, and are now missing the rhyme and syntax of their original languages, or were written in flowery language that makes translating them more difficult, or using ancient and obsolete "figures of speech" or cultural references that must now be accounted for, and scholarly translators often don't.

In the OBC they've made considerable effort make these things readable in plain English. Rev. Hubert Nearman (Dr. Mark J. Nearman) Has considerable experience in ancient Chinese and Japanese languages and the ancient cultures, as well as being a Zen Master himself. They're not too fond of those kindof "Zen Jokes" that make people sound clever without really getting anything of value to their practice.

The Shobogenzo, is very well translated, as are many other scriptures, but again, even a well translated text, is still written in a way may sound a bit disjointed or "blocky" when rendered in modern language, even if accurately done.

This is true of all translations of ancient texts.

The point is, they're trying to teach you something that goes beyond the normal mind, the "thinking mind".

That actually is not the only way to understand things. And that's what they're pointing to. They are trying to teach one to be able to listen to and rely on the Unborn/Imaculacy of Emptyness/Thusness/Dharmakaya/Cosmic Buddha/Eternal/etc, etc. whatever you want to call it.



Sara
"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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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:33 am

One of the things they've done is use a formatting device which helps clearly explain when something is referring to the Ultimate Nature of Things.

They will render it in capitols or ALL CAPS so that you know when someone is talking about the true value of RICE, (for instance) you know they are not referring to the common food grain.

They are using a metaphor, referring to the ULTIMATE NATURE which is our True Nourishment.

This way it's a lot easier and clearer to understand.

Sara
"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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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:51 am

Sara wrote:Most of what is written in Zen texts is meant to be understood from what has been refered to as "the mind of meditation"

In other words, if you've had a kensho, you get it, because you've experienced directly what they are talking about.

It then makes perfect sense. If you try to understand it from a logical or rational point of view, it doesn't work.


I think there are people here who *do* get that, But if they're not 'part of the in-group', if they haven't 'received dharma transmission from a true master' then what are they? Outcastes? Heretics? This is what is causing difficulties for me in reading your posts. There seems an implicit view that you 'get it' and other people who comment don't 'get it' on account of institutional affiliation.

This is just what happened at the formation of the Christian church. There were many ructions, schisms, and so on, until those who came to regard themselves as representing 'the real transmission' won the argument, and wrote the official history. (I often feel that my forbears were amongst those consigned to the sidelines.)

On the one hand, I can see the point of saying to people who want to learn about Zen, the importance of studying it formally, and being taught by a teacher. This is because there are clearly many ways of misconstruing it or misunderstanding its intent. But this doesn't mean that the formal school has a monopoly on it. (I remember that Zen book with the very evocative title 'selling water by the river').

It's probably not possible to reconcile these differences, which is why, as I said earlier, I am currently not enrolled in a school.

As regards the rejection of idealism and 'ordinary mind' - I don't interpret this to mean that there is a halfway station between making no effort, and chasing an impossible ideal. I don't think that is 'middle path'.

I think idealism is rejected, because it is a projection, something the mind generates and then chases after. But this also doesn't mean that our ordinary mind, in its unreformed state, uninformed by wisdom, is 'fine just as it is'. I think it has to be understood as radically deficient due to avidya. I notice this kind of complacency with some contemporary Soto teachers in this regard. Surely the point of 'awakening' is to awaken to the 'inherent perfection of thusness' - but this is an extraordinary state, even if it is, in some sense, always present. We still manage to find countless ways of not realizing it. But I think the proper attitude towards it is a sense of awe, or something very much like it.
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:56 am

jeeprs wrote:
Sara wrote:Most of what is written in Zen texts is meant to be understood from what has been refered to as "the mind of meditation"

In other words, if you've had a kensho, you get it, because you've experienced directly what they are talking about.

It then makes perfect sense. If you try to understand it from a logical or rational point of view, it doesn't work.


I think there are people here who *do* get that, But if they're not 'part of the in-group', if they haven't 'received dharma transmission from a true master' then what are they? Outcastes? Heretics? This is what is causing difficulties for me in reading your posts. There seems an implicit view that you 'get it' and other people who comment don't 'get it' on account of institutional affiliation.


No, no.

The whole point of Zen, or any Buddhism is to teach you to find the Eternal (or whatever word you want to use to call it)

It's not about doing something esoteric.

Someone who's received Dharma transmission, is just someone their teacher has said, "ok, this person gets it well enough to teach it to others, I'm comfortable letting them do so"

It's not just there are the "transmitted ones" and the "non-transmitted ones".

Being transmitted (being certified to teach in your tradition) doesn't have anything to do with whether someone who isn't has had a kensho or not, or whether they can become Enlightened or not, or whether they can or do train as a Zen Buddhist, or not.

It's just a certification to teach, to make sure that if someone is saying they are a teacher of the lineage, they know what they are talking about, and are not a fraud.

In my own tradition there are PLENTY of laypeople who've had kensho's. Enlightenment is not just for priests, this is something everyone can do.

Sara
"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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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:04 am

Thanks for the clarification.

Astus wrote:Understanding is intellectual. Comprehending words is intellectual. Understanding a teaching without intellect is not understanding it at all.


I don't think so. There is a difference between prajñā and general knowledge. The former is an insight into the nature of being. The nearest word for it in Western languages is actually 'noetic' which is understood as a kind of 'transformative knowledge'. But this is not at all understood in recent Western philosophy.

I don't think that it is something that is not esoteric. 'Esoteric' is not a disparagement or a put-down. It is simply 'inner, internal to the mind, requiring subtlety of perception'. When you talk about 'meditative mind', you're talking about an esoteric insights. If you try and spell it out, make it explicit, objectify it, the point is lost.
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:12 am

Well esoteric as it's generally understood is something or knowledge that is select, available only to an initiated in-crowd, or select few.

Like a fraternity, or secret society.

Being able to know the Buddha Nature is not something that is esoteric, because anyone can do it.

The teachings are offered openly, and the Dharma is freely given (most of the time).

If you go on a retreat at Shasta, they arn't going to charge you, they arn't going to make you pay for books (most are free to download, unless they are out of print, or a newer one from Throssel), and you sit, and stare at a wall and as Dogen said: withdraw within, and reflect upon yourself.

That's not esoteric, it's openly stated.

How to do this, how to find the Eternal (or whatever, which word you want to use)... It's freely given.

You don't have to join a secret society, pay initiation dues, be part of the in-club, etc, etc, to get this.

Anyone is welcome, and anyone can do this.

This is what the Buddha taught, that this is available for all Beings, and as humans, we're especially lucky because we can hear the Dharma.

Sara
"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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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby randomseb » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:29 am

If you understand it intellectually, you are understanding a concept construct, a mental object, not "this", this is the difference.. It's like looking at a picture of a jumbo jet and thinking you therefore understand jumbo jets in all of their parts and functionality.. How can you do so from just a picture? But the picture might give you clues as to what to examine :shrug:

The dharma center I live at offers free retreats for our visitors, assuming one brings one's own food and covers one's own heating during the cold season, there's nothing secret or hidden about anything, nor at a cost. It would be nice if you donated a gift to visiting dharma teachers though, and we're donation funded as well!

But some teachings in any location might not be shared with all people because not all people would be willing to accept all teachings, some would be confused or upset by the more advanced stuff, let's say, if one was new to buddhism, coming from a western tradition.. Teachings for all capacities of beings are available right?
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:40 am

Sara wrote:If you go on a retreat at Shasta, they arn't going to charge you, they arn't going to make you pay for books (most are free to download, unless they are out of print, or a newer one from Throssel), and you sit, and stare at a wall and as Dogen said: withdraw within, and reflect upon yourself.

That's not esoteric, it's openly stated.


'Withdrawing within and reflecting upon yourself' is an inner discipline, hence, esoteric. Satori, kensho, insight, is not something that everyone natively possesses, otherwise, what would there be to teach?

Zen has been an esoteric movement right from the beginning: the Buddha held up a flower, and Maha-Kasyapa smiled. Wikipedia translates it as:

I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa.


This is what esoteric means. It doesn't mean, secretive, cult-like, although that is what it has come to mean.

Anyway, I am in agreement with most of what you write.
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:57 am

randomseb wrote:But some teachings in any location might not be shared with all people because not all people would be willing to accept all teachings, some would be confused or upset by the more advanced stuff, let's say, if one was new to buddhism, coming from a western tradition.. Teachings for all capacities of beings are available right?



That's kindof a question, and different people have approached that differently.

In the OBC, they have sortof laid it out on the table, and let people think what they like.

People who need more advanced stuff, tend to gravitate toward it and get it, and people who need or want to start at the basics, because that's where they are at, or intuitively feel that's what they should work on for the time being, do that as well.

It kindof works out.

And, it sometimes goes both ways, up and down like snakes and ladders.

Sometimes no matter how advanced you are, what you need to hear right then is what is in the most basic scriptures.
That's often the case.

And sometimes, a beginner needs to open up a chapter of an advanced book and check on something and see if they are working on something right now, and need to hear what it has to say on that.

It all just depends.

Also, there are teachers and people around who can suggest something if someone has something particular they are working on, if they know it to be helpful.

Yay! for donations! Donations are always welcomed an nice!
:twothumbsup:

Sara
"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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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:00 am

jeeprs wrote:
Sara wrote:If you go on a retreat at Shasta, they arn't going to charge you, they arn't going to make you pay for books (most are free to download, unless they are out of print, or a newer one from Throssel), and you sit, and stare at a wall and as Dogen said: withdraw within, and reflect upon yourself.

That's not esoteric, it's openly stated.


'Withdrawing within and reflecting upon yourself' is an inner discipline, hence, esoteric. Satori, kensho, insight, is not something that everyone natively possesses, otherwise, what would there be to teach?

Zen has been an esoteric movement right from the beginning: the Buddha held up a flower, and Maha-Kasyapa smiled. Wikipedia translates it as:

I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa.


This is what esoteric means. It doesn't mean, secretive, cult-like, although that is what it has come to mean.

Anyway, I am in agreement with most of what you write.


I agree if that's how you are meaning it,
I was just meaning it more in a common sense, than an exact scientific sense as you noted.
:)

I looked it up, and this is what I got on Webster's website:
(just trying to inform, btw, for the sake of clarity not trying to argue or anything :) )
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/esoteric

es·o·ter·ic
adjective \ˌe-sə-ˈter-ik, -ˈte-rik\
Definition of ESOTERIC
1
a : designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone <a body of esoteric legal doctrine — B. N. Cardozo>
b : requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group <esoteric terminology>; broadly : difficult to understand <esoteric subjects>
2
a : limited to a small circle <engaging in esoteric pursuits>
b : private, confidential <an esoteric purpose>
3
: of special, rare, or unusual interest <esoteric building materials>
"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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Sara H
 
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby shel » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:15 am

randomseb wrote:If you understand it intellectually, you are understanding a concept construct, a mental object, not "this", this is the difference.. It's like looking at a picture of a jumbo jet and thinking you therefore understand jumbo jets in all of their parts and functionality.. How can you do so from just a picture? But the picture might give you clues as to what to examine :shrug:

Hello Randomseb,

Continuing the metaphor, so we *experience* the jumbo jet. We may have first understood it functionally and mechanically, and then later experientially, but now that the rides over it's business as usual, right? or is it claimed that the experience is significantly transformative? if it is transformative, in what way is it transformative? and how is this demonstrated?
shel
 
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby randomseb » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:20 am

It has been said: "Before enlightenment, chop wood.. After enlightenment.. Chop wood."

How exactly it might be transformative, I wouldn't know
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!
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randomseb
 
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby shel » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:50 am

Enlightenment is meaningless in Zen?
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:02 am

Sara H wrote:While I was sitting, these words came up regarding you:

In form and feel we clutch at things,
and then compound delusion later on by following ideals.


It's a combination of two lines from the Sandokai.



So, you've concluded based on what I post on an internet forum that I am compounding delusion?




The way I interpreted this, with regard to the line that came up in meditation, is to be reminded that ideals, in Buddhism are regarded as a from of delusion.
And following them, and chasing after things how they should ideally be, in our minds, is only compounding our own delusion.


So, you've basically written off the pursuit of arhatship, noble bodhisattvahood and buddhahood -- these are all forms of delusion in your version of Buddhism.
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