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 Post subject: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:58 pm 
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Greetings,

It was suggested that I repost a question I had in the introductions forum here:



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I have a question to ask which has to do with Satori/Kensho. I recall reading somewhere that simply because one has an satori or kensho experience that this is not an indication of nirvana or having arrived at buddha-mind with any degree of permanence. As I understand it, there is still great danger in the satori/kensho experience because it can mistaken buy the ego mind as something definitive or absolute and thereby more firmly ingrain delusion. IOW, the satori/kensho experience can be misleading and cause people to develop an erroneosu perception of reality, possibly, on the order of a David Koresh or Charlie Manson. :crazy:

I was wondering if anyone could list some Buddhist writing (or any) that may speak more on how the kensho/satori experience can be dangerous or misleading? The only teaching I can remember regarding it is something Hakuin may ave mentioned about how he awoke and then became enraged or his ego was activated or something like that?! I could be wrong about the source.



Thank You for any help,

Sincerely Roneen.


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:18 pm 
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If you don't know your own experience, there is a problem. This is just my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:58 pm 
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LastLegend wrote:
If you don't know your own experience, there is a problem. This is just my opinion.



I'm not sure if I've explained my question well enough:


Is there a danger for a person who experiences Satori/Kensho to draw false conclusions. For example, I am the ANTI-CHRIST or I AM LINJI or I AM a PURPLE ELEPHANT, etc.? As I mentioned in my earlier post I have a brief recollection of reading some Buddhist literature which specifically references the very real possibility of self-deception by improperly construing the information one might experience during satori or kensho>

If there is no such information or literature then please forgive my inquiry.


Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:02 pm 
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Roneen wrote:


I'm not sure if I've explained my question well enough:


Is there a danger for a person who experiences Satori/Kensho to draw false conclusions. For example, I am the ANTI-CHRIST or I AM LINJI or I AM a PURPLE ELEPHANT, etc.? As I mentioned in my earlier post I have a brief recollection of reading some Buddhist literature which specifically references the very real possibility of self-deception by improperly construing the information one might experience during satori or kensho>

If there is no such information or literature then please forgive my inquiry.


Thank you.


I don't have any information or literature about that.

I can give you my opinion. This is my opinion: if you are something at all, then there is a problem. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Opinions are welcome and I agree whole-heartedly with you. :thanks:


ETA: You wrote, 'If you are anything at all then there is a problem.' It is my understanding that kensho/satori is something of an epiphanic experience where the individual has an insight in the true nature of reality. It has been considered inspirational by some and I am very curious what writings if any exist on the risks or delusions inherent in this experience. I would cite any great spiritual teacher of antiquity as evidence of potential delusion. For example, Gandhi or Moses? Perhaps, Siddartha or Laotzi.


Last edited by Roneen on Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:08 pm 
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Roneen wrote:
Opinions are welcome and I agree whole-heartedly with you. :thanks:


Oh. I understand now you want literature about ego tripping experience. Maybe someone can give you such literature you. Ok. Take care.

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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:13 pm 
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Well ego tripping would be part of it i'm sure. :alien:


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:16 pm 
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Roneen wrote:
Opinions are welcome and I agree whole-heartedly with you. :thanks:


ETA: You wrote, 'If you are anything at all then there is a problem.' It is my understanding that kensho/satori is something of an epiphanic experience where the individual has an insight in the true nature of reality. It has been considered inspirational by some and I am very curious what writings if any exist on the risks or delusions inherent in this experience. I would cite any great spiritual teacher of antiquity as evidence of potential delusion. For example, Gandhi or Moses? Perhaps, Siddartha or Laotzi.


Out of curiosity, do you want to understand that as a precaution for yourself or you want to share that with others?

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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:32 pm 
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LastLegend wrote:
Roneen wrote:
Opinions are welcome and I agree whole-heartedly with you. :thanks:


ETA: You wrote, 'If you are anything at all then there is a problem.' It is my understanding that kensho/satori is something of an epiphanic experience where the individual has an insight in the true nature of reality. It has been considered inspirational by some and I am very curious what writings if any exist on the risks or delusions inherent in this experience. I would cite any great spiritual teacher of antiquity as evidence of potential delusion. For example, Gandhi or Moses? Perhaps, Siddartha or Laotzi.


Out of curiosity, do you want to understand that as a precaution for yourself or you want to share that with others?



Well both actually but my primary desire was to use this information to help others. The problem as I've experienced it is that you can't reason with some people who have had these sorts of experiences. The best that I can tell Is that there seems to be some Messianic, Maitreya component to the satori/kensho experience which the ego then uses to authenticate itself?


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:55 pm 
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Hopefully someone will be able to help me with some literature.


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:08 pm 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ranks

http://www.firethroatpress.com/wp-conte ... anks63.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:24 pm 
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Emakirikiri wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ranks

http://www.firethroatpress.com/wp-conte ... anks63.pdf



Hey! That's right on the money, thank you. If there is anymore literature which discusses this specific process I would be greatly appreciative to be apprised of it.



Thanks again! :anjali:


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:04 pm 
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If someone says he can obtain it, he is indeed an arrogant person and indeed is one with those who left the Lotus Assembly, refusing to listen to the Lotus Teaching Thus the Tathagata said: "There was really no Dharma by means of which the Tathagata attained Supreme Awakening."
(Huangbo Xiyun, Chung-Ling Record, tr. Lok To)

A thorough description of deluded states is found in the Surangama Sutra, chapter 8 (PDF): Warning to Practisers: The Fifty False States Caused by the Five Aggregates

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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:07 pm 
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Astus wrote:
If someone says he can obtain it, he is indeed an arrogant person and indeed is one with those who left the Lotus Assembly, refusing to listen to the Lotus Teaching Thus the Tathagata said: "There was really no Dharma by means of which the Tathagata attained Supreme Awakening."
(Huangbo Xiyun, Chung-Ling Record, tr. Lok To)

A thorough description of deluded states is found in the Surangama Sutra, chapter 8 (PDF): Warning to Practisers: The Fifty False States Caused by the Five Aggregates



Another great text, that is EXACTLY what I am looking for. Thank You Again.


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:20 pm 
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If these short video teachings are of any use...from the late Ven Master Dr Sheng Yen...


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:30 pm 
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Roneen wrote:
I have a question to ask which has to do with Satori/Kensho. I recall reading somewhere that simply because one has an satori or kensho experience that this is not an indication of nirvana or having arrived at buddha-mind with any degree of permanence. As I understand it, there is still great danger in the satori/kensho experience because it can mistaken buy the ego mind as something definitive or absolute and thereby more firmly ingrain delusion. IOW, the satori/kensho experience can be misleading and cause people to develop an erroneosu perception of reality, possibly, on the order of a David Koresh or Charlie Manson.

I was wondering if anyone could list some Buddhist writing (or any) that may speak more on how the kensho/satori experience can be dangerous or misleading? The only teaching I can remember regarding it is something Hakuin may ave mentioned about how he awoke and then became enraged or his ego was activated or something like that?! I could be wrong about the source.


The gist of this view of practice is that kensho is not, for the great majority of people, final completion of the Way or liberation. Subsequent cultivation is thus required. Kensho is constantly returned to as the basis of that cultivation, which is why it is considered the beginning or gate of Zen practice.

Danger exists when one-time kensho is thought to be itself sufficient, and so subsequent cultivation is not undertaken. Since delusion/dualistic habit is not uprooted it re-asserts itself...likely bolstered now by the belief that one has attained a special wisdom setting oneself apart from others. So kensho can become just another thing propping up self. The liberative energy and capacity of the recognition ultimately fades, and one is left with a memory of an experience that is clung to.

I would not say that kensho can make a Charles Manson. I would say that a potential Charles Manson experiencing kensho would likely come to use it to bolster existing deluded tendencies. Most of these kinds of figures who have so-called mystical experiences, however, are not experiencing kensho; they are experiencing what in Zen we'd call unified or deep samadhi states, in which one can feel one with the universe and so on. In other words: not wisdom, not experiences of no-self, but experiences of really big, expansive self transcending time, space and individual existence. The "I am God" and "I am beyond morality" kind of thing can come out of that.

Among a Zen teacher's jobs is to make sure that the student does not fall into these traps, and continues to cultivate in whatever manner is appropriate.

Some good resources already mentioned, like the Surangama and Hakuin's Keiso Dokuzui (commentary on the 5 ranks, you can find it online). Torei Enji's Shumon Mujintoron also lays out the path, from kensho through subsequent cultivation to its actualization as embodied realization.

~ Meido

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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:34 pm 
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Roneen wrote:
Is there a danger for a person who experiences Satori/Kensho to draw false conclusions. For example, I am the ANTI-CHRIST or I AM LINJI or I AM a PURPLE ELEPHANT, etc.?
Thank you.


There's a paradox that's able to exist in someone's mind, which I won't explicitly describe, but it causes the affected person to become paranoid.

Examples of such paradoxes exist in "The Matrix" & "Heroes" tv Drama.

The problem for the afflicted individual is that they can develop the irrational belief that they are trapped with their knowledge and might consider suicide as way out.
This paradox is terrible because , believing in life after death, they cannot find a solution; in life nor death.

If someone develops this "complex", for the sake of their own sanity, they should seek assistance of a teacher straight away.

It might be comforting for them to know that although they already thought of this "paradox"; life is generally continuing as is, so they should take their time and not act in haste.


I'm sure there's many hundreds-of-thousands, if not millions, of "experienced" people alive right now. From that perspective; an "experienced" person is nothing out the ordinary.


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:58 pm 
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Meido wrote:

The gist of this view of practice is that kensho is not, for the great majority of people, final completion of the Way or liberation. Subsequent cultivation is thus required. Kensho is constantly returned to as the basis of that cultivation, which is why it is considered the beginning or gate of Zen practice.

Danger exists when one-time kensho is thought to be itself sufficient, and so subsequent cultivation is not undertaken. Since delusion/dualistic habit is not uprooted it re-asserts itself...likely bolstered now by the belief that one has attained a special wisdom setting oneself apart from others. So kensho can become just another thing propping up self. The liberative energy and capacity of the recognition ultimately fades, and one is left with a memory of an experience that is clung to.

I would not say that kensho can make a Charles Manson. I would say that a potential Charles Manson experiencing kensho would likely come to use it to bolster existing deluded tendencies. Most of these kinds of figures who have so-called mystical experiences, however, are not experiencing kensho; they are experiencing what in Zen we'd call unified or deep samadhi states, in which one can feel one with the universe and so on. In other words: not wisdom, not experiences of no-self, but experiences of really big, expansive self transcending time, space and individual existence. The "I am God" and "I am beyond morality" kind of thing can come out of that.

Among a Zen teacher's jobs is to make sure that the student does not fall into these traps, and continues to cultivate in whatever manner is appropriate.

Some good resources already mentioned, like the Surangama and Hakuin's Keiso Dokuzui (commentary on the 5 ranks, you can find it online). Torei Enji's Shumon Mujintoron also lays out the path, from kensho through subsequent cultivation to its actualization as embodied realization.

~ Meido




This is a very interesting and Iine of thought you have elucidated. Especially the distinction between Kensho and what you refer to as the "'Expansive, I am God', 'Make me one with everything'" experience :rolling: I hadn't really ever considered that the two experiences were unique? For example, in some mystical experiences communication is experienced in a sort of timelessness without the usual linear coherency one is accustomed to, say like reading letters and words in context to derive meaning. Somehow the cognitive process appears to derive information supra-rationally from disparate; logically disconnected sources. In other experiences people purport to be God?! In the specific circumstance I am referring to an individual is able to enter a plane of consciousness were his written statements seem to imply an different meaning than what is plainly written in the text - a form of double-entendre which seems to have a self-emphasizing quality which enhances the secondary or alternate meaning of the statement for those able to pick up on it. Moreover this individual has some very base conversational proclivities which disparage women while inflating their own sense of worth. In short the individual is megalomanical and their words are hypnogogic and sexually excitatory. These types of influential characteristics make the person not only a danger to themselves but to others (which is why I made the Manson and Koresh comparison) and so I was looking for some information wherewith I could reason with individual.


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:06 pm 
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plwk wrote:
If these short video teachings are of any use...from the late Ven Master Dr Sheng Yen...




Thank You I will check them out. :namaste:


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 Post subject: Re: Satori/Kensho
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:08 pm 
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garudha wrote:
Roneen wrote:
Is there a danger for a person who experiences Satori/Kensho to draw false conclusions. For example, I am the ANTI-CHRIST or I AM LINJI or I AM a PURPLE ELEPHANT, etc.?
Thank you.


There's a paradox that's able to exist in someone's mind, which I won't explicitly describe, but it causes the affected person to become paranoid.

Examples of such paradoxes exist in "The Matrix" & "Heroes" tv Drama.

The problem for the afflicted individual is that they can develop the irrational belief that they are trapped with their knowledge and might consider suicide as way out.
This paradox is terrible because , believing in life after death, they cannot find a solution; in life nor death.

If someone develops this "complex", for the sake of their own sanity, they should seek assistance of a teacher straight away.

It might be comforting for them to know that although they already thought of this "paradox"; life is generally continuing as is, so they should take their time and not act in haste.


I'm sure there's many hundreds-of-thousands, if not millions, of "experienced" people alive right now. From that perspective; an "experienced" person is nothing out the ordinary.



Greetings and thank you for your response unfortunately that not what I am referring too.


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