Huifeng wrote:In general, the influence of the Lao-Zhuang* teachings on Buddhism in China was not that deep. It hit a few earlier Buddhist exegetes rather heavily, but it was largely shaken off in later generations.
However, the influence of Buddhism on Daojia* was much, much heavier. For example, even during the Tang when the ruling Li family supported Daojia as their personal and state religion, Buddhism was still more popular and more powerful. The Daojia group rather shamelessly copied Buddhist scriptures just changing key words and so forth, while the whole approach and structure remained the same. (eg. Laozi hua Hu jing "Classic of Laozi converting the Barbarians".)
For example, despite claiming the Daojia influence on Chan, one cannot find a single reference by an classic Chan teacher to common phrases from, say, the Laozi or Zhuangzi. References to Buddhist scriptures, however, abound everywhere.
The term "Shikantaza" is from Dogen's Soto Zen school in Japan. This derives from the Chan Caodong school, but Chan doesn't really use the phrase itself. Moreover, it is partly from the Japanese Tendai (Ch: Tiantai) school that influenced Dogen before he went Zen. The influence is obvious.
Daojia "qigong" is quite a later invention. Buddhism had forms of breath meditation right from it's earliest times in India (ie. anapana, etc.) These forms became standard in Chinese Buddhist meditation systems, including Tiantai and Chan in particular. So, the roots can be found elsewhere.
* I use the Chinese terms Lao-Zhuang and Daojia, rather than the confusing English neologism "Taoism" or "Daoism". Laozi and Zhuangzi were only adopted as the founders of Daojia at a rather later date, partly influenced by Buddhism having a clear founder. The term "Dao" is a pan-Chinese culture term, and not confined to any given philosophy or school of thought. But, in the Tang, the Daojia brought in Lao-Zhuang thought, trying to formalize and systematize things in the light of every increasing Buddhist presence and influence.
Frank wrote:Taoism is very cool, lots of amazing teachings and works. It almost seems like it's the last pieces of Buddha Kassapa's teachings from long ago, it's got such a vague underlying similarity to Buddhism (Obviously I know this is not the case, just a fun thought).
Huifeng wrote:"However outright denying any influence of Taoism on Buddhism in China is a little to far out there in my opinion..."
Okay, but I never "outright den[ied] any influence...", I said "influence ... not that deep", so please don't quote my post and then argue against things I never said.
When you say "The Shikantaza-like meditation is from a book written long before the Caodong school existed", may I inquire as to what book you are referring to?
LastLegend wrote:I think Lao Tzu was an enlightened being. However, Taoism does not really emphasize liberation from suffering or any clear cut teachings to liberate sentient beings from suffering. And from what I heard, many Taoist practitioners end up in heavenly realms for that reason. But still Taoism is big moral teaching which is no difference than Buddhist teachings of moral conducts. In that respect, there is overlapping. But in terms of liberation from suffering, it is quite illusive.
Similarly with Confucianism, Confucius was probably an enlightened being. And Confucianism is a moral teaching also. If people really follow and practice Confucianism, they will become saint like no difference from Arahants. Out of all the 3, Buddhism is most comprehensive in terms of teachings and practice.
And my conclusion is Lao Tzu and Confucius were probably manifestations of Bodhisattvas.
Seishin wrote:Ven Huifeng;
Am I right in thinking that "Daoism" wasn't ever formalised as a religion until Buddhism was brought to the country? I think I read it somewhere but really can't remember.
Frank: Ven Huifeng is right when he said that the term shikantaza came from Tendai. We call it "makashikan" which was a term that came from the Tientai monk Zhiyi (538-597 CE) "mo-ho-chi-kuan" (摩訶止観) which was also a meditation instruction manual by Zhiyi (Chi-i in Japanese). Altough I'm not any kind of historian, I doubt that Ven Zhiyi was the guy who coined the phrase...
seishin wrote:Am I right in thinking that "Daoism" wasn't ever formalised as a religion until Buddhism was brought to the country? I think I read it somewhere but really can't remember.
The first socio-cultural group whose participants consciously identified themselves as "Taoist" - and began conceiving the first comprehensive collection of Taoist texts - appeared in what some would call "early Medieval China," during the fifth century CE. That group consisted specifically of people whose sense of Taoist identity was stimulated by the fact that Buddhism had gained acceptance and political favor throughout the land, which was, at that time, politically divided, with one imperial regime in the north and another in the south. There were many then, in the north and south alike, who had no wish to identify themselves with Buddhism.
Frank wrote:Taoism is very cool, lots of amazing teachings and works. It almost seems like it's the last pieces of Buddha Kassapa's teachings from long ago, it's got such a vague underlying similarity to Buddhism (Obviously I know this is not the case, just a fun thought). Not that that's all that's great about it! There is so much rich philosophy and wonderful mythology surrounding it!
Interface, overlap and and combining with Ch'an/Zen?
Huifeng wrote:In the literary sense, pointing to Rujia (= "Confucian") style yulu (= "analects" / "records of sayings") literature, would probably have a greater influence on Chan literature. But again, this is just common Chinese heritage when it boils down to it.
Other ideas, paradoxes, riddles, etc. can already be found in Indian Buddhism, particularly some early Mahayana works. Similarity does not necessitate influence.
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