are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby bulhaeng » Fri May 25, 2012 11:14 am

I would agree with Astus on this one. Btw, I think that OP's question isn't limited to jhanas as in the Pali Canon but also to corresponding dhyanas, am I right?

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.

I remember that long ago in the beginning of my practice I was really confused by a statement by late Ven. Sheng-yen in one of his books about chan. He said something like "This is the first dhyana. Can you attain it? No? You should try." Now I'm pretty sure that going through dhyanas wasn't a part of his chan teaching so I have no idea why somebody put it in the book. Of course I couldn't reach the first dhyana :shrug: which made me quite anxious so I asked my teacher about it. He explicitly told me that our practice's scope wasn't attaining any dhyanas - they're irrelevant to huatou, although they can, of course, appear.

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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Astus » Fri May 25, 2012 2:19 pm

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.


Syncretism

I wouldn't say there was a point when in China/Korea/Vietnam they begun syncretising schools. First of all, there were never really separate schools, so it's not possible to mix them up. The exception is actually Japan where they separated Buddhism to different institutions. What happened is that Chan - actually, the idea of dharma-transmission and lineages - spread far and wide in the Song dynasty and again in the Ming dynasty in China and created a seeming unity among monastic leaders. But Chan as a school, a path, a practice was not taken up and preserved with the same enthusiasm or exclusivism.

Chan practice

There is no Chan practice really. It's not about practising something specifc. What can be called distinctly Chan method is the huatou technique, which was actually made up by Dahui. And that is why any Mahayana meditation can be embraced as Chan, or rather as a preliminary to Chan.

Chan teacher

If Chan teacher is anyone with a Chan lineage, the majority of Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean monks are Chan teachers. If it means those who specialise in teaching meditation, the leaders of the meditation hall in a monastery, then it can be any kind of meditation method. Only if Chan is defined by a specific doctrine and praxis, or a set of those, can we state that the teaching given is like what Chan meant for certain ancient teachers.

Additions

As said before, the common practices are not really additions to Chan, rather they have always lived together, as both the monastic and lay community possess several methods and traditions of those practices. Exclusive Chan practice is quite rare in fact.
"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: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Jnana » Fri May 25, 2012 5:06 pm

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.

It seems to me that the issue isn't so much about the Chan notion of sudden awakening; it has more to do with emphasis or lack of emphasis on prior and/or subsequent gradual cultivation. My impression is that Dōgen's point is to differentiate his sitting meditation from the benefits of dhyāna attainment. I'm not so sure that this differentiation is explicit in earlier Chinese Chan sources such as the Zuochanyi of Changlu Zongze or Foxin Bencai.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Astus » Fri May 25, 2012 8:31 pm

Jnana,

True, neither Changlu nor Foxin makes their meditation different from dhyana, and that statement appears only in the revised version of Fukanzazengi and the Zazengi in the Shobogenzo. But long before them there were Shenhui's criticism of all sorts of gradualism and the Platform Sutra addressing this subject more than once.

"The deluded person is attached to the characteristics of dharmas and grasps onto the samādhi of the single practice, merely saying that he always sits without moving and without falsely activating the mind and that this is the samādhi of the single practice. To have an interpretation such as this is to be the same as an insentient object! This is rather to impede the causes and conditions of enlightenment!"
"When the mind does not reside in the dharmas, one’s enlightenment flows freely. For the mind to reside in the dharmas is called ‘fettering oneself.’ If you say that always sitting without moving is it, then you’re just like Śāriputra meditating in the forest, for which he was scolded by Vimalakīrti! Good friends, there are also those who teach meditation [in terms of ] viewing the mind, contemplating tranquility, motionlessness, and nonactivation. You are supposed to make an effort on the basis of these. These deluded people do not understand, and in their grasping become mixed up like all of you here. You should understand that such superficial teachings are greatly mistaken!"
(Platform Sutra, ch. 4)

"In this teaching of seated meditation, one fundamentally does not concentrate on mind, nor does one concentrate on purity, nor is it motionlessness."
"Good friends, what is seated meditation (zuochan)? In this teaching, there is no impediment and no hindrance. Externally, for the mind to refrain from activating thoughts with regard to all the good and bad realms is called ‘seated’ (zuo). Internally, to see the motionlessness of the self-nature is called ‘meditation’ (chan). Good friends, what is it that is called meditative concentration (chanding; samādhi)? Externally, to transcend characteristics is ‘meditation’ (chan). Internally, to be undisturbed is ‘concentration’ (ding)."
(Platform Sutra, ch. 5)
"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: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Matylda » Sat May 26, 2012 12:15 am

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."




I do not know what do you mean by the revised edition. But this part iwayuru zazen wa shuzen ni arazu is very clear in reference to tazuneru ni sore do moto enzu. As for different stages of jhanas/dhyanas he rejects this idea in ikadeka shushou wo karan and shujou jizai nanzo kufu wo tsuiyasan. then shuzen ni arazu becomes even clearer. In his teaching the jhanas or dhyanas are of no use. But as one can read in Shizen biku the knowledge of particular dhyanas is important based on very instruction of the teacher, for the sake of saving disciples from mistakes in practice. His core zazen teaching is direct buddhahood or buddhanature, beyond stages. but this he taught in depth in different parts of Shobogenzo. One may say that it is particularly Japanese, but we cannot forget that he brought this teaching directly from China.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Jnana » Sat May 26, 2012 12:41 am

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.

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.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Jnana » Sat May 26, 2012 12:53 am

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.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Frank » Sat May 26, 2012 6:02 am

bulhaeng wrote:Btw, I think that OP's question isn't limited to jhanas as in the Pali Canon but also to corresponding dhyanas, am I right?



you are correct sir.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Matylda » Sat May 26, 2012 10:32 am

Sorry I fave some problems editing
Last edited by Matylda on Sat May 26, 2012 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Matylda » Sat May 26, 2012 10:32 am

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.



Well here is original handwriting by Dogen himself of Fukanzazengi...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fukan_Zazengi.jpg

and on this list as well, the same script

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Na ... gs:_others)

One can read directly from Dogen without any doubt of the origin or version.

As for the different copies, yes there were even written by Dogen himself, so there are about 8 double chapters of Shobogenzo. Eiheiji publishes them all together in one volume. But validity could be judged also from writings of Meiho or Gasan, who were just after Dogen and one could compare FZ to their teaching of zazen/shikan-taza, which as far as I heard were not translated in English or some other Western language. But they go into more lengthy details and then FZ becomes even clearer...
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Astus » Sat May 26, 2012 11:19 am

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.
"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: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Huifeng » Sat May 26, 2012 11:24 am

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.


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...)

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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Astus » Sat May 26, 2012 11:54 am

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...)


Yes, all is seen in a complete view, all teachings are included. But it points out very well that what is understood by Zongmi as the Chan of the Tathagata, what the Chan School is about, is a very "minimalist" path. His definition of the Chan path is no different from what was stated by the already mentioned meditation manuals of Changlu, Foxin and Dogen, and also matches the Platform Sutra's no-thought teaching.

"If a thought arises, be aware of it; once you are aware of it, it will disappear. The excellent gate of practice lies here alone. Therefore, even though you fully cultivate all the practices, just take no mindfulness as the axiom. If you just get the mind of no mindfulness, then love and hatred will spontaneously become pale and faint, compassion and wisdom [prajna] will spontaneously increase in brightness, sinful karma will spontaneously be eliminated, and you will spontaneously be zealous in meritorious practices. With respect to understanding, it is to see that all characteristics are non-characteristics. With respect to practice, it is called the practice of non-practice. When the depravities are exhausted, the rebirth process will cease; once arising and disappearing has extinguished, calmness and illumination will become manifest, and responsive functions will be without limit. It is called becoming a buddha." (Chan Letter in "Zongmi on Chan", p. 88)
"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: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Jnana » Sat May 26, 2012 2:24 pm

Matylda wrote:One can read directly from Dogen without any doubt of the origin or version.

The early version is also in Dōgen's handwriting.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Jnana » Sat May 26, 2012 2:32 pm

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".

In the Chan Prolegomenon he also makes the following astute observation:

    At present scholars are extremist in stressing the step-by-step teaching, and Chan adepts are extremist in championing the all-at-once gate.... Originally, the Buddha spoke the all-at-once teaching and the step-by-step teaching, while Chan opens both the all-at-once gate and the step-by-step gate. The two teachings and the two gates fit together like the notches of a tally.

Therefore, practice should accord with conditions and not rigidly adhere to any dogma. Whichever class of dhyāna described in the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra that accords with the situation is appropriate. Changlu Zongze is quite clear on the importance of meditation in his Zuochanyi:

    This one teaching of meditation is our most urgent business. If you do not practice meditation and enter dhyāna, then when it comes down to it, you will be completely at a loss. Therefore, to seek the pearl, we should still the waves; if we disturb the water, it will be hard to get. When the water of meditation is clear, the pearl of the mind will appear of itself. Therefore, the Perfect Enlightenment Sūtra says, ''Unimpeded, immaculate wisdom always arises dependent on meditation." The Lotus Blossom Sūtra says, "In a quiet place, he practices the control of the mind, abiding motionless like Mt. Sumeru." Thus, transcending the profane and surpassing the holy are always contingent on the condition of dhyāna; shedding [this body] while seated and fleeing [this life] while standing are necessarily dependent on the power of samādhi. Even if one devotes himself to the practice his entire life, he may still not be in time; how then could one who procrastinates possibly overcome karma? Therefore, an ancient has said, ''Without the power of samādhi, you will meekly cower at death's door." Shutting your eyes, you will end your life in vain; and just as you are, you will drift [in saṃsāra].

Sudden awakening followed by further gradual cultivation is not at all contradictory. According to Guishan:

    Like now, though the initial inspiration is dependent on conditions, if within a single thought one awakens to one's own reality, there are still certain habitual tendencies that have accumulated over numberless kalpas which cannot be purified in a single instant. That person should certainly be taught how to gradually remove the karmic tendencies and mental habits: this is cultivation.

And Jinul, Encouragement to Practice: The Compact of the Samādhi and Prajñā Community:

    This mind at first is without past or present, ordinary or holy, good or evil, attachment or rejection; nevertheless, their influence is gradual. As one passes through all the stages, compassion and wisdom are gradually made complete and sentient beings are perfected; nevertheless, from beginning to end that mind does not move from one time, one thought, one dharma, or one practice.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Huifeng » Sun May 27, 2012 1:44 am

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. 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. It is also like the prescriptive vs descriptive problem. Don't mistake the former for the latter.

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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Jnana » Sun May 27, 2012 4:08 am

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.

Sure, distinctions can be made. Jhāna/dhyāna is a designation primarily referring to clusters of concomitant mental factors. There are a number of different meditative practices which can give rise to these concomitant phenomena. These practices include silent illumination and huatou practice.

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.

Modern Chan/Zen retreats can offer fairly good conditions for the development of the nine stages of mental abiding and the arising of the dhyāna factors.

Huifeng wrote:It is also like the prescriptive vs descriptive problem. Don't mistake the former for the latter.

I remember many years ago Ven. Heng Sure commenting about one monk from the CTTB who could sit in dhyāna for 5+ hours at a time. And there's the reports of Ven. Xuyun remaining in samādhi for extended periods, once for a period of 18 days, and twice for periods of 9 days each. Granted, these are exceptional cases, but dhyāna requires a dedicated, refined level of practice.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Astus » Sun May 27, 2012 11:17 pm

"Suffice it to say that there are many approaches to meditation in Buddhadharma that are to be found under the headings of Ch'an and Ch'an Ting. Ch'an Ting alone is an umbrella name for many methods: the Four Dhyanas, the Four Infinities, the Four-Void Worldly Ch'an, the Nine Observations, the Samadhi of Nine Degrees (supramundane), the Ch'an of Self-Nature and the Ch'an Ting. These approaches can lead one to deep dhyana, where real wisdom is to be found; and with real wisdom, there can be self-enlightenment, enlightenment of others and the Ultimate Perfect Enlightenment."
(The Fundamentals of Meditation Practice by Ting Chen, tr. Lok To, p. 71, PDF)

In the above book Ting Chen (about whom I have no information) gives meditation guidance mostly according to Zhiyi's manual of Six Gates and in general the samatha-vipasyana method.

"The Sweet Dews of Chan" (PDF) by Cheng Kuan, who is a 20th century Chinese monk, gives a rather traditional instruction that includes the dhyanas and even meditation on a corpse.

But, as I've mentioned before, it is not easy to pinpoint what Chan stands for. Since it can include any method, there are no restrictions. On the other hand, what is called the Chan School has always embraced the direct path.

Huangbo said,
"From now on whenever walking, standing, sitting or lying down, only practise no-mind. You wait for a long time to have true realisation, because you have little strength for sudden break through. So for three, five, or even ten years you wait to obtain entrance and naturally progress then on. Because you are not that sort of person, you have the need to practise meditation and practise the path. But what does that have to do with the Buddhadharma?" (T48n2012Ap0383c05-08, my translation)

Zongmi's "sudden enlightenment, gradual practice" approach is not really different. Zongmi says, "Therefore, from the first time one produces the thought [of awakening] up to and including becoming a buddha [it is] just calm, just Knowing, immutable and uninterrupted. It is just that according to the stage [of practice] the terminology differs somewhat." (Zongmi on Chan, p. 94)

What is that gradual practice then? Jinul says,
"From this passage we see that the "no-mind which conforms with the path" of the patriarchs' school is not bound by samadhi and prajna. And why is this? The training in samlidhi accords with the noumenon and absorbs all scatteredness; hence it involves the power which can forget conditioning [by lessening the entrancement with sense-objects]. The training in prajna investigates dharmas and contemplates their voidness; hence it involves the effort of effacement [by clearing away the deluded process of thought]. In the direct cognition of no-mind which frees your path of obstructions, the unhindered wisdom of liberation manifests before you and not even one sense-object or thought can enter from outside. They are nothing special; why waste your effort on them?"
(Collected Works of Chinul, p. 286-287)

Zongmi, also quoted by Jinul, explains here the meaning of gradual cultivation within Chan, as different from common gradual techniques. This matches the idea of continuing the original practice of no-thought, what in Dogen's case is called shikantaza.

"If one's practice is based on having all-at-once awakened to the realization that one's own mind is from the outset pure, that the depravities have never existed, that the nature of the wisdom without outflows is from the outset complete, that this mind is buddha, that they are ultimately without difference, then it is dhyana of the highest vehicle. This type is also known by such names as tathagata-purity dhyana, the one-practice concentration, and the thusness concentration. It is the basis of all concentrations. If one can practice it from moment to moment, one will naturally and gradually attain the myriad concentrations. This is precisely the dhyana that has been transmitted down from Bodhidharma. Before Bodhidharma arrived, all of the scholars from early times had understood only the four dhyanas [of the realm of form] and the eight concentrations [that is, those four plus the four formless concentrations of the formless realm]. Various illustrious monks had effectively practiced them, and they had all obtained results. Nanyue [Huisi] and Tiantai [Zhiyi] relied upon the principle of the three truths to practice the three tranquilizations and three viewings. Although the principles of their teachings are most perfect, their entrance gate is step-by-step. It also involves the type of dhyana mentioned above. It is only in the transmission from Bodhidharma that the practitioner all-at-once identifies with buddha substance. This is like no other gate."
(Zongmi on Chan, p. 103-104)

Hanshan Deqing advises the same,
"So called sudden enlightenment and gradual practice refers to one who has experienced a thorough enlightenment but, still has remnant habit tendencies that are not instantaneously purified. For these people, they must, implement the principles from their enlightenment that they have realized to face all circumstances of life and, bring forth the strength from their contemplation and illumination to experience their minds in difficult situations. When one portion of their experience in such situations accords[with the enlightened way], they will have actualized one portion of the Dharmakaya. When they dissolve away one portion of their deluded thinking, that is the degree to which their fundamental wisdom manifests. What is critical is seamless continuity in the practice. [For these people,] it is much more effective when they practice in different real life situations."
(Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners)

But there is another point that should be considered, whether one faces stronger or weaker defilements. In this case application of general methods is recommended.

"Question: Having awakened to the true mind of the third teaching, how does one practice it? Does one employ the cross-legged Chan sitting of the first teaching?
Answer: The person who is prone to turbulent, uncontrollable emotions does make use of the teaching devices of the first teaching, but the person of weak depravities and strong intellect relies on the one-practice concentration (samadhi) of Southern Chan and the third teaching. The one-practice concentration is movement and is carried out in the midst of all activities."

(Zongmi on Chan, p. 139)

Finally, Zongmi actually gives an explanation for the case when teachers have to use first the gradual methods to bring students to sudden enlightenment. And this is where the use of dhyanas fits very well.

"In a master-student transmission, [the master] must know the medicine [for each and every] disease. This means that all instructional teaching devices inherited from the past first show the original nature and then require reliance on this nature to practice dhyana. In most cases, when the nature is not easily awakened to, it is due to the grasping of characteristics. Thus, if [a master] wants to reveal this nature, he must first eradicate grasping [on the part of the student]. In [the master's] teaching devices for eradicating this grasping, he must [employ a type of rhetoric in which] common person and noble one are both cut off, merits and faults are both gotten rid of, in the precepts there is neither violation nor observance, in dhyana there is neither concentration nor distraction, the thirty-two marks are all like flowers in the sky, and the thirtyseven parts of the path58 are all a dream or illusion. The idea is that, if [the master] enables [the student] to have a mind free of attachment, then [the student] can practice dhyana."
(Zongmi on Chan, p. 119)
"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: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby Jnana » Mon May 28, 2012 12:05 am

:good:

Indeed.
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Re: are the jhanas taught in zen/chan?

Postby BuddhaSoup » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:58 pm

By Frank:

i can see now that you didn't literally mean your original post from your point of view but were kind of quoting the whole chan thought process from history. i was thrown off by the word "hinayana" which can be seen as offensive as it means "lesser-vehicle" or "deficient-vehicle" and when it said "superior", even in quotes, combined with use of the word "hinayana" it sounded harsh, coming down on theravada (or nikaya/agama buddhism or whatever) like you personally have distaste toward it. clearly i was wrong, so sorry for that, and i understand that that is the case with this post as well, you are just giving unbiased info, so this isn't directly aimed at you or anything, i'm just speaking generally:
:anjali:

i don't reject teachings unless they seem to serve no purpose or seem to be a hindrance or cause dukkha. there are some i choose not to use if they are incompatible with chan since it's what i'm practicing, but i only out right reject ones i find to be just plain problematic. i am versed in both mahayana and theravada scripture. i have read many books on zen/chan, vajrayana, theravada, and a few on pure land. i use teachings from many different schools as they all have great methods. my temple and teacher are of the ch'an tradition, but they use theravada scriptures as well here and there. from what i have learned, there is a fine line between chan meditation and theravada jhana, in both direct experience of each and reading others experiences i find that they share more in common than they have differences. even shikantaza is nearly identical with some interpretations of theravada vipassana training. i'm sure this is hugely and hotly debated so maybe we should pretend i never said that, but i've read instructions for each that are almost identical. heck, i've read instructions on reaching jhana that are nearly identical with zazen instructions! and almost all chan and zen schools use anapanasati which definitely came from the so called "lesser-vehicle", without which there would never have been the "great vehicle" in the first place. seems everyone forgot their roots. there's gold and diamonds to be found in every school, and thorns and mud in each one as well, at least in my humble opinion.

again, none of that is directed at you huseng :smile: i'm just sharing my thoughts on the very broad topic of nikaya/agama meditation compared and contrasted with chan/mahayana meditation in general and some of the very closed minded sentiments that have appeared over the years. thankfully much of this is dissolving, at least in the west, i don't really know about developments on this topic elsewhere.[/quote]

:good:
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