Question about Zen School

Re: Question about Zen School

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:00 pm

Huifeng wrote:
While I always try to use "Chan" with respect to the Chinese tradition(s), and this is fairly the norm in academia, the realm of online internet forums is something else...

~~ Huifeng


That's true. And I guess it does not help that even established teachers/schools identify themselves as Zen, even when they are really not. For example, Thich Nhat Hanh's Zen is really not "Zen".
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby seeker242 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:57 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:Do you have to be invited to learn & study Zen or can you do that on your own? thanks.


You really don't have to be invited, so to speak. A lot of zen teachers have already "pre-invited" everyone. So you can just walk in and say "Hi, I'd like to learn how to practice and study zen" They will say "Hi! Ok, come on in!" But most dedicated zen students eventually wind up finding a teacher as there is no good reason not to. But if you don't have access to a teacher, there is no reason why you can't practice on your own. But a teacher is like a guide, it's always beneficial to have a guide.
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!
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Huifeng » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:27 pm

pueraeternus wrote:
Huifeng wrote:
While I always try to use "Chan" with respect to the Chinese tradition(s), and this is fairly the norm in academia, the realm of online internet forums is something else...

~~ Huifeng


That's true. And I guess it does not help that even established teachers/schools identify themselves as Zen, even when they are really not. For example, Thich Nhat Hanh's Zen is really not "Zen".


Agreed. I think part of it is that many of the non-Japanese established teachers, when going to English (or other Western language) settings, ask their local disciples what term to use, and those disciples say "Zen". They then get used to using this term. Only some time later, when they get to see the clearer picture, it is already too late to change.

At FGS at least, early on people used to use "Zen" a lot. A number of us have managed to break that old habit, and now "Chan" is the normal term we use. Phew!

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Wesley1982 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:11 am

Thus far, it seems like Soto zen has little to do with the Magga - Path to Liberation or being a follower of Jesus.

Unless, Dogen trod the Path.
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Fu Ri Shin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:59 am

Wesley1982 wrote:Thus far, it seems like Soto zen has little to do with the Magga - Path to Liberation

It can seem like that at times, but Soto is most definitely about the path. Though the path often is presented as no-path (or you can think of it as the opposite).

Wesley1982 wrote:or being a follower of Jesus.

What does Jesus have to do with Buddhadharma?

Wesley1982 wrote:Unless, Dogen trod the Path.

He did.
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Wesley1982 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:53 am

Fu Ri Shin wrote:What does Jesus have to do with Buddhadharma?


Very little to do with its philosophical context.

You might want to see this thread: Buddhist opinions about the Historical Jesus ~

search.php?st=0&sk=t&sd=d&keywords=buddhist+opinions+about+the+historical+jesus . . .
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Fu Ri Shin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:11 am

I'm aware of the speculation around Jesus and Buddhist teachings. It's just that saying Soto doesn't seem to be much about following Jesus is a redundant statement, unless you're comparing it to Taizan Maezumi's lineage or other American Zen groups that have ties with Christians, and even then... Soto (and Buddhadharma) has no special relationship with the Christ to begin with, so I'm not sure what the dichotomy you've posited is based on.
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Bonsai Doug » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:01 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:I do think it will be interesting to try and incorporate the art of Zen buddha into my Christian prayer life.

Perhaps you know of this:

Dan Rather, a one-time CBS anchor, asked Mother Teresa what she said to god during her prayers. She answered, "I don't say anything, I listen."
So Rather turned the question and asked, "Well then, what does God say to you?" To that Mother Teresa replied, "He doesn't say anything. He listens."

Sounds like "meditation" to me.
Now having obtained a precious human body,
I do not have the luxury of remaining on a distracted path.

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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Fu Ri Shin » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:26 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:I do think it will be interesting to try and incorporate the art of Zen buddha into my Christian prayer life.


Oh, I get it now. Sorry, Wesley, I had managed to not read this post of your when first going over the thread.

In that case, if Soto doesn't seem compatible with your Christian prayer life, that's fine. You're the one looking to find an effective pairing and you get to make that call. However, as far as I know, the American Zen (and I do mean just of the Japanese strain; I'm not aware of this phenomenon in other American Buddhist groups) lineages that have self-identified Christian followers and teachers all have at least partial Soto roots. Not that this says anything special about comptability, since there's nothing strictly Soto about them, all having roots in multiple Japanese schools (to the best of my knowledge). My perhaps unclear point being, I just wouldn't discount Soto practice for your Christian prayer life too easily.

Let me know if you want any info on the American Zen lineages I mentioned. Might be a very good opportunity if there's a group near-ish to you. We can PM back and forth if you want to go into depth, whch I'd certainly be up for.
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Wesley1982 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:57 pm

Fu Ri Shin wrote:Let me know if you want any info on the American Zen lineages I mentioned. Might be a very good opportunity if there's a group near-ish to you. We can PM back and forth if you want to go into depth, whch I'd certainly be up for.


That would be a start. My question about Buddhist school isn't about lineages but How to Follow the Path or How to do the Practice.
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby Huifeng » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:58 am

Bonsai Doug wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:I do think it will be interesting to try and incorporate the art of Zen buddha into my Christian prayer life.

Perhaps you know of this:

Dan Rather, a one-time CBS anchor, asked Mother Teresa what she said to god during her prayers. She answered, "I don't say anything, I listen."
So Rather turned the question and asked, "Well then, what does God say to you?" To that Mother Teresa replied, "He doesn't say anything. He listens."

Sounds like "meditation" to me.


Great! So, Guan Shi Yin - the one who listens to the sounds of the world.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Question about Zen School

Postby jundo cohen » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:31 pm

In the Soto corner of the Zen world where I sit, the main work is by you with your self. Nobody can do it for you, and nobody can give you many answers.

However, it is a good thing to have a Teacher and other experienced folks to lend an ear and offer guidance, and a Sangha of folks to support you and each other. Books are helpful, but can only go so far in that way.

It is a bit like learning to sail a boat on the open sea. You have to get out there and do the actual sailing ... just you and the wind and the sea ... but good to have some experienced old salts around to show one the ropes a bit, how to read the compass and handle a storm.

Gassho, Jundo
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