Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Khalil Bodhi
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Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Thu May 31, 2012 12:15 pm

I have been reading the book Opening the Hand of Thought and found myself wondering how Soto Zen envisions the factors of the Eightfold Path with an especial regard to Right Effort. In brief, it is understood in the Pali Canon as follows:

The nature of the mental process effects a division of right effort into four "great endeavours":

(1) to prevent the arising of unarisen unwholesome states;

(2) to abandon unwholesome states that have already arisen;

(3) to arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen;

(4) to maintain and perfect wholesome states already arisen.

Source: http://www.vipassana.com/resources/8fp5.php

Does Zen use the same understanding, if not is there another formulation of the 8FP and Right Effort?

Gassho,

Mike
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Astus
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Astus » Thu May 31, 2012 1:07 pm

First of all, in Mahayana the eightfold path is generally forgotten, and usually reduced to the threefold training of morality, meditation and wisdom. In stead, there are the six paramitas, what has the virya paramita (paramita of vigour/effort/diligence). And then if we go to Chan, such gradual and detailed practices are mostly left behind and focus is on realising the buddha-mind, and that is mostly equivalent to prajna paramita. So we arrive to Dogen - who is, however, not the only source of Soto Zen - who transforms Zen into shikantaza, just sitting, and in that the primary thing is non-thinking (hishiryo). When there is non-thinking, it is pointless to talk about effort or no effort. What we may interpret, if we really want to, as right effort, is keeping non-thinking.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Thu May 31, 2012 1:21 pm

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Wesley1982
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu May 31, 2012 4:28 pm

Generally what Astus explained - plus the "right effort" to purify oneself in course of the virtues.

Matylda
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Matylda » Thu May 31, 2012 6:33 pm


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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Matylda » Thu May 31, 2012 6:37 pm

In Dogen's Shobogenzo the chapter Ippyaku hachi Homyo mon 8fold path is listed very clearly and actually opens the list of 108 gates to liberation.

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Astus
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Astus » Thu May 31, 2012 11:27 pm

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



Matylda
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Matylda » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:47 am


Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:27 am

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retrofuturist
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:23 am

Greetings Khalil Bodhi,

I remember asking a similar question once at Zen Forum International and those who responded were largely horrified with the notion of trying to proactively improve one's mindstate in such a way.

If Dogen's words are anything to go by, what I saw at ZFI more represented some kind of American Internet Zen interpretation of the Dharma, than classical Zen.

Maitri,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.

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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Matylda » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:24 am


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greentreee
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby greentreee » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:39 pm

hi,

i'm just curious as to the origination of the eightfold path. ie; textual references etc.
scratching thick hair'd head,
"if air can be conditioned,
like where's the shampoo?"

"greentreee"

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Astus
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Astus » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:46 pm

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



Matylda
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Matylda » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:51 pm


Matylda
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Matylda » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:53 pm


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greentreee
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby greentreee » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:14 pm

scratching thick hair'd head,
"if air can be conditioned,
like where's the shampoo?"

"greentreee"

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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby plwk » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:25 pm


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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Matylda » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:52 pm


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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby seeker242 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:32 pm

One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Right Effort - How Is It Understood in Zen?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:10 am

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