Zen has No Morals

Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:55 pm

oushi wrote:Inquiry morality. When you realize what it is, you will see the falsehood of it. I cannot tell you anything If you didn't even bother to ask what morality is. Maybe if you are lucky, you will see that you are good by nature, not by moral conducts. Until that, you will believe that you need a leash.


Oushi, I believe I understand what you are saying. I'm guessing that you act with a strong sense of ethics, not because you are told to act that way, but because it is in your nature to do so.

I wish there were more like you in this world....
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:28 pm

What do you need the label for? Do you see this mere label that hurts when touched? Morality comes from outside, as a measure of punishment that can be inflicted upon you, by society. You simply are, and society using the tool of morality, shapes you. But you are what you are, not just a shape. True nature has no sense of good and wrong. Don't defend that cage, no matter how shiny it is. Golden chains bind us, otherwise we wouldn't cling to them. Undefended illusion wont last. Only because people defend their views, are they wandering in samsara. You don't need a barrier to stay away from disgusting things. That's why they are disgusting in the first place.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby shel » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:06 pm

oushi wrote:True nature has no sense of good and wrong.

Hence all the scandals in the Zen tradition.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:14 pm

I care not about local events... Those happen all over the place. All this is zen.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby shel » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:42 pm

oushi wrote:I care not about local events...

Yes, that follows.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Sara H » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:01 pm

oushi wrote:Has Zen no morals? I don't know what Zen is, to be honest.
About masters, once I heard that there are none, so who is lacking morals? Karma flow continues even after realization, how can it be otherwise? It simply doesn't stack. So, post awakening actions are result of past karma, and circumstances. Enlightenment doesn't break the causality. No walking on water, sorry. Masters are not examples to follow, they are spiritual guides. When you go for a holiday trip, do you care for the sexual life of the tour guide?
Deification is a bad habit.

Zen, is a word that means meditation.
It is derived from "ch'an", the Chinese equivalent, which was in turn derived from "dhyana", the sanskrit version of the word.
It refers to the meditation traditions of Buddhism, and specifically in the "Zen" form to the meditation traditions in Japan, and those descended from Japanese meditation traditions in the west.
Rules, and laws, are for the sake of those who do not understand the consequences of their actions.

We do have rules and guidelines in Zen Buddhism.

It is not a moral free-for-all as the Beats would have had it.

While ultimately, yes, there is nothing that is free from or separate from the Eternal; in a relative sense, we can still do harm, that is do things that perpetuate greed, anger, and delusion, so it is helpful to have rules and guidelines, to show people how to stop doing that.

Because "Delusions in the trainees minds were topsy turvy"

"The setting up of doctrines, practices" is helpful.

Or as Dogen put it in the Shushogi:
"...for it is impossible to escape from karmic consequence if we do evil on the assumption that, by not recognizing an act as evil, no bad karma can accrue to us."

The reason why we have teachers, and doctrines and practices, or rules and guidelines, is because due to ignorance, people don't necessarily know what is harmful and what is not. And even those who have found the Buddha Nature within themselves can still get off-centre after realization.

Teachers serve to show people how to discover this knowledge in themselves.
We also take refuge in the Dharma, and the Sangha, as a checks and balance system against our own delusion, as even after an enlightenment, or spiritual experience, delusion can still come up, as an initial glimpse of our Buddha Nature does not mean we are free from all delusion. The Three Refuges are not just a beautiful saying. There's a practical purpose for why it's there.

Dogen put this very simply in his "Rules for Meditation":
Why are training and enlightenment differentiated since
the Truth is universal? Why study the means of attaining it
since the supreme teaching is free? Since Truth is seen to be
clearly apart from that which is unclean, why cling to a means
of cleansing it? Since Truth is not separate from training, training
is unnecessary—the separation will be as that between
heaven and earth if even the slightest gap exists FOR, WHEN THE
OPPOSITES ARISE, THE BUDDHA MIND IS LOST. However much you
may be proud of your understanding, however much you may
be enlightened, whatever your attainment of wisdom and
supernatural power, your finding of the way to mind illumination,
your power to touch heaven and to enter into enlightenment,
when the opposites arise you have almost lost the way
to salvation. Although the Buddha had great wisdom at birth,
He sat in training for six years; although Bodhidharma
Transmitted the Buddha Mind, we still hear the echoes of his
nine years facing a wall. The Ancestors were very diligent and
there is no reason why we people of the present day cannot
understand..."


To help keep those opposites from arising, and training with them when they do, is why we have rules and guidelines, and doctrines and practices.

Morals, essentially.

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

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:24 am

FOR, WHEN THE OPPOSITES ARISE, THE BUDDHA MIND IS LOST.

Moral, immoral.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Sara H » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:47 am

oushi wrote:
FOR, WHEN THE OPPOSITES ARISE, THE BUDDHA MIND IS LOST.

Moral, immoral.

I didn't say moral or immoral.
I said "morality" as in, "ethical rules".

Zen Does have ethical rules, -and practices.

In Gassho friend,

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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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:54 pm

To be clear. You said that zen is meditation, and what is meditation?
If we take Zen as religion, then no doubt it has rules and practice. No question about it. I would never argue about labels. I'm talking about Zen:
Bodhidharma wrote:Buddha is Sanskrit for what you call aware, miraculously aware. Responding, arching your brows blinking your eyes, moving your hands and feet, its all your miraculously aware nature. And this nature is the mind. And the mind is the Buddha. And the Buddha is the path. And the path is Zen. But the word Zen is one that remains a puzzle to both mortals and sages. Seeing your nature is Zen. Unless you see your nature, it’s not Zen.

----
Sara H wrote:I didn't say moral or immoral.
I said "morality" as in, "ethical rules".

When you break ethical rule, your behavior is labeled immoral. I say, you don't need rules to stay away from things that disgust you. What is the morality you were born with? Why is it insufficient?
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Astus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:26 pm

Oushi,

If you say that moral conduct, goodness, is inherent in humans, that contradicts the fact of unethical behaviour and evil deeds. If you say that from the buddha-nature comes buddha acts, that is not argued, but then it requires first attaining enlightenment. To reach such a realisation there is a path, and the first part of that path is ethical discipline. Without teaching that very first step the further levels are not available.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:39 pm

oushi wrote: Morality comes from outside, as a measure of punishment that can be inflicted upon you, by society.
Bzzzzzzzt... Wrong! According to Abhidharma and (dhamma) moral dread, fear of wrongdoing and shame are actually mental factors (beautiful universal factors, to be exact).

Show me the "outside" and I will show you the "inside"!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:57 pm

Astus wrote:Oushi,

If you say that moral conduct, goodness, is inherent in humans, that contradicts the fact of unethical behaviour and evil deeds. If you say that from the buddha-nature comes buddha acts, that is not argued, but then it requires first attaining enlightenment. To reach such a realisation there is a path, and the first part of that path is ethical discipline. Without teaching that very first step the further levels are not available.

You say that to walk the path you need to first run from it. Whom do you want to shape by that ethical discipline? Illusory self, or Buddha?
Linji wrote:This (Dharma) pervades everything; it is in the worldly and in the sacred, in the pure and impure, the fine and the coarse.
{...}
For if you love the sacred and hate the worldly, you go on floating and sinking in the ocean of birth and death.


Astus wrote:Without teaching that very first step the further levels are not available

What is the reason for traversing in the first place?
Bodhidharma wrote:Those satisfied with merelycompleting the ten stages of the Bodhisattva are like serfs. Those content with universal and profound awakening are but fellows carrying cangue and chains. Arhats and Pratyeka-Buddhas are like cesspits. Awakening and Nirvana are like tethering posts for donkeys.


gregkavarnos wrote:
oushi wrote: Morality comes from outside, as a measure of punishment that can be inflicted upon you, by society.
Bzzzzzzzt... Wrong! According to Abhidharma and (dhamma) moral dread, fear of wrongdoing and shame are actually mental factors (beautiful universal factors, to be exact).

Show me the "outside" and I will show you the "inside"!
:namaste:

Will you feel ashamed on a lonely island?
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:32 pm

oushi wrote:Will you feel ashamed on a lonely island?
Would I be fearful of the repercussions of wrongdoing? Is that your question?
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:36 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
oushi wrote:Will you feel ashamed on a lonely island?
Would I be fearful of the repercussions of wrongdoing? Is that your question?
:namaste:

Why didn't you answer?
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Astus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:44 pm

Oushi,

Direct realisation of buddha mind is fine. In theory. In real life hardly anyone teaches it (I've heard of only one teacher like that in this century: Daehaeng Sunim, although there might be others). Therefore there is a need for a gradual path, as it has been devised by the Buddha. It is also true that a bodhisattva on the second bhumi perfects ethical discipline, but that is already a high level compared to all the other 41 levels on the path before that. And if we consider Jinul's teaching, sudden enlightenment is just level 1 of 52. When the precepts are not taught by a teacher but instead the teacher himself is raised beyond all moral concerns, we can see the results as in the original essay posted at the beginning of this thread.

There isn't much on ethics in the Record of Linji. You should look at Baizhang's Regulations as a prime example of added ethical discipline in the Zen tradition besides the Vinaya and bodhisattva precepts.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:45 pm

oushi wrote:Why didn't you answer?
Coz I don't think I fully understood your question. Maybe you are defining shame, or morality, or ethical behaviour differently from what I understand it to mean, that's why I asked you to further define your question.

Shame is defined in the Abhidhammattha Sangaha as:
Shame (hiri) and fear of wrongdoing (ottappa): Shame has the charactersitic of disgust at bodily and verbal misconduct, fear of wrongdoing has the characteristic of dread in regard to such conduct. They both have the function of not doing evil. their proximate cause is respect for self [for shame] and respect for others [for fear of wrongdoing] respectively. These two states are called by the Buddha "the guardians of the world" because they protect the world from falling into widespread immorality.


In Ju Mipham Rinpoches Gateway to Knowledge shame is defined as:
Shame has the function of causing one to shun misdeeds, either because of being reproached by other [noble]people or by the world.
...
Lack of conscience means not shunning evil deeds on account of oneself. It belongs to the category of the three poisons and assists the disturbing emotions and subsidiary disturbing emotions.

Shamelessness means to personally engage in what is unvirtuous without inhibition on account of others. It belongs to the category of the three poisons and helps all the disturbing emotions.
...
Heedlessness is not to apply oneself earnestly and carefully to adopting and abandoning evil deeds and is due to the three poiosons along with laziness. It is the opponent of conscientiousness and its function is to increase non-virtue and to diminsih virtue.

:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:22 pm

Astus wrote:Oushi,

Direct realisation of buddha mind is fine. In theory. In real life hardly anyone teaches it (I've heard of only one teacher like that in this century: Daehaeng Sunim, although there might be others). Therefore there is a need for a gradual path, as it has been devised by the Buddha.

I do not follow. No teachers pointing directly to the mind, doesn't imply the necessity of gradual path.
Astus wrote:It is also true that a bodhisattva on the second bhumi perfects ethical discipline, but that is already a high level compared to all the other 41 levels on the path before that.

I do not fall into differentiation. I speak for myself, and it happen to be similar to what Rinzai Zen and Dzogchen states. Both of those traditions have their view on gradual approach, and I'm not interested in flooding this topic with quotes. Sometimes it is easier to just quote, but if it doesn't change the attitude, I wont be able to explain.
Astus wrote:There isn't much on ethics in the Record of Linji.

No wonder. It required few moments of honest contemplation on ethics to see their falsehood. Do it, present your views, and we will discuss. Before you contemplate on things you defend, it wont be fruitful.
You should look at Baizhang's Regulations as a prime example of added ethical discipline in the Zen tradition besides the Vinaya and bodhisattva precepts.

And then you ask why Yamada Mumon said that Zen is dead in Japan....
gregkavarnos wrote:Coz I don't think I fully understood your question.

You don't understand what being ashamed on a lonely island means? You are alone, no people around, and you are ashamed. Is is possible? Will you feel ashamed while running naked? Why not?

Shame is defined in the Abhidhammattha Sangaha

Hence hinayana. 1 Buddha/2000 years ?
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:26 pm

oushi wrote:You are alone, no people around, and you are ashamed. Is is possible? Will you feel ashamed while running naked? Why not?
So what you are asking me is if I would feel ashamed about running around on a desert island without clothes on? Is that what you are asking me? Or are you asking if it is possible for one to feel shame when alone?

To the first question I would say no since I do not particularly consider nudity shameful.

To the second question I would say yes because some people do consider nudity to be shameful.

In both situations it has to do with ones mind.

Why don't you read the two quotes I gave, the spell out the situation quite clearly.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:33 pm

In both situations it has to do with ones mind.

So? It's conditioned.

Longchenpa wrote: Even though samsara and nirvana and virtue and vice appear dream-like in the gnostic scope, they do not cover the face of pure mind, which is thus free of moral conditioning.
...
The most excellent hyper-yogin or yogini, therefore, lacks moral discrimination yet always acts harmoniously and appropriately. Recognizing all appearances as perfect images of gnosis there is no escape from pristine awareness.
...
In truth, cause and effect cannot be distinguished because there is no change between one moment and the next. Therefore, moral causality is never true for anyone, and particularly not for the yogin or yogini, for whom it does not exist even as a lie—karmic maturation cannot be experienced!


Quite clear, isn't it?
:namaste:
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Astus » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:51 pm

Oushi,

If teachers don't usually instruct in the direct way, the reason is either that they don't think people will understand it or they don't know it. In either case it shows that the direct method is for those who are already well prepared.

Rinzai Zen (Japanese) has a clear systematic training programme that actually culminates in the contemplation of the bodhisattva precepts.

Baizhang was Linji's teacher, Chinese. The regulations were written in China, not Japan.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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