bulhaeng wrote:Of course in the countries where mahayana assumed a more syncretic form like China and Korea it is not easy to distinguish which practice is zen, which is not zen. Some will agree that chan is only sitting, or only sitting with a huatou, or only silent ilumination. But then again, a teacher who is nominally chan/seon could teach whatever - chanting, bowing, different kinds of meditation, mantra, sutra studying - if it makes it a chan/zen practice remains for me an open question. But considering that all off today's zen schools have their root in the idea of "seeing nature", teaching gradual meditation stages seems an acquired addition.
Astus wrote:We don't even need to go to Dogen. The very idea of a Chan school is based on direct insight into the nature of mind. The early teachers, those from the East Mountain (Daoxin, Hongren) and what was later called as the Northern School (Shenxiu and heirs) still used some forms of specific meditation techniques, but after Heze Shenhui and the schools of Baotang, Niutou and especially Hongzhou the Chan school was defined as the direct path that does not require gradual stages like in other Mahayana schools.
Jnana wrote:And by the time we get to Dōgen Zenji we find him explicitly stating in the revised version of his Fukanzazengi that zazen is not the same as dhyāna: "Zazen is not the practice of dhyāna: it is just the dharma gate of ease and joy."
Astus wrote:But long before them there were Shenhui's criticism of all sorts of gradualism and the Platform Sutra addressing this subject more than once.
Matylda wrote:I do not know what do you mean by the revised edition.
Jnana wrote:Matylda wrote:I do not know what do you mean by the revised edition.
According to Carl Bielefeldt the earliest version of the Fukanzazengi is the Tenpuku version which was only rediscovered in 1922. It displays editorial differences from the Kōroku version. Both have been translated and studied by Bielefeldt in Dōgen's Manuals of Zen Meditation.
Jnana wrote:There's little doubt that this sort of rhetoric was the more popular and therefore more successful meme, with the consequence that important authors such as Guifeng Zongmi and Yongming Yanshou were relegated to second class status.
Astus wrote:Jnana wrote:There's little doubt that this sort of rhetoric was the more popular and therefore more successful meme, with the consequence that important authors such as Guifeng Zongmi and Yongming Yanshou were relegated to second class status.
Zongmi put the dhyanas into the path of humans and gods, the first "chan", while the sudden teaching is in the "fifth chan". As he says, "[One who] cultivates the four stages of meditative absorption and the eight attainments is born into [one of] the heavens of the realm of form or the realm of formlessness." (Peter N. Gregory: Inquiry into the Origin of Humanity, p. 49) So it is not even the "lesser vehicle" by his assessment.
Huifeng wrote:Hmmm, well, yes. But, just saying that dhyana will only get one to the human or deva realms is not the same as saying that it is not taught. For instance, the five precepts basically is standard for rebirth as a human, but that doesn't mean that chan / zen does not teach the five precepts. The basic "five vehicles" notion - which is related to the position above from Zongmi - almost always emphasizes that the higher stages rely on the lower ones, and the higher ones cannot be attained without the lower ones. I hope you can see the distinction here. (Not to mention that there is basically no Buddhist school that indicates that dhyana is ultimate...)
Astus wrote:Zongmi put the dhyanas into the path of humans and gods, the first "chan", while the sudden teaching is in the "fifth chan".
Huifeng wrote:Considering that the OP is "are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?" in the present tense , I am wondering whether a distinction between classic Chamber teachings that are availability in English books on one hand, and the actual practices which are taught in Chan meditation halls on the other, should be made.
Huifeng wrote:Material in English is quite selective - based on what the scholar is interested in, not necessarily the same things that Chan practitioners are interested in or actually do.
Huifeng wrote:It is also like the prescriptive vs descriptive problem. Don't mistake the former for the latter.
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