The Tao of Zen?

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Ikkyu
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The Tao of Zen?

Postby Ikkyu » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:18 pm

I have studied both Buddhism and Taoism, and while many individuals assert that Taoism has had no influence on Buddhism I find this difficult to believe. Philosophical Taoism (Daojia) at least has had some semblence of influence on Ch'an Buddhism in China. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy asserts that Taoism has had major influences on Buddhism, especially during the T'ang Dynasty period in China when Ch'an/Zen was flourishing. It is no surprise to me that Dogen spoke of "the Way" (Tao) and "the ten-thousand things" (both terms that are featured numerous times in both the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzhi).

The author Ray Grigg devoted a whole book to explaining how Taoism influenced Zen Buddhism.

A documentary on Zen Buddhism by Empty Mind Films, The Zen Mind, postulates that the "Tao... is to be found in Zen."

I once spoke to the abbot of the Sangha I attend for zazen. He leads a tradition based on Thich Nhat Hanh's, that is... the Lam Te (Rinzai) Thien (Vietnamese Zen) tradition. he has studied with the Dalai Lama, in the Vajrayana, Theravada and Mahayana. He is a former monk and now is a leading priest. When I asked him about the connection between Taoism and Buddhism, he described how "Taoism explains why, whereas Buddhism explains how and what". He also said that Vietnamese Buddhism had been influenced by both Taoism and Confucianism.

The I-Kuan Tao sect attempts to combine Zen Buddhism with Taoism.

There's an old myth postulating that Lao Tzu taught the Buddha many things when venturing to India. Although this is pretty much like I said, a myth.

Lastly, I just can't read the Tao Te Ching without feeling that it was written by a very enlightened individual. Its wisdom is equal, if not greater than that, of some sutras.

So basically my question is, what are your thoughts? Do you feel that Zen is influenced by Taoism or Daojia? Do you consider Lao Tzu to have been enlightened, perhaps a Pratekyabuddha or Arhat? And aren't there 84,000 different teachings What are your thoughts?

:yinyang: :buddha1:
"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


DGA
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby DGA » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:43 pm

relevant recent thread:

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=8355

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Wesley1982
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Wesley1982 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:52 pm

There's a book I've studied called Christ the Eternal Tao which is a Chinese rendition of the gospel storytelling narrative.

http://www.amazon.com/Christ-Eternal-Ta ... 0938635859

The Tao by itself is also a interesting study.

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Astus
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Astus » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:25 pm

Here's Chengguan's (4th patriarch of the Huayan school) view on the influence of Taoism on Buddhism.

豈言象之能至。故云迥出。又借斯亡絶以遣言思。 (T36n1736, p2 b19)
Words may resemble very much. But the cause (behind it) is very different. We borrow the words but not accept their meaning.

言有濫同釋教者。皆是佛法之餘。 (T35n1735, p521 b15-16)
Those who go too far and equate [false teachings] with Buddhism are all outside of the Buddhadharma.

無得求一時之小名。渾三教之一致。習邪見之毒種。為地獄之深因。開無明之源流。遏種智之玄路。誡之誡之。(T36n1736, p107 a11-13)
Do not seek after the trivial reputation of a single age and confuse the three teachings as one. Studying the poisonous seeds of false views is a deep cause for being born in hell, opens up the wellspring of ignorance, and blocks of the road to omniscience. Take heed! Take heed!

And his disciple, Zongmi says regarding Confucianism and Taoism, that is, the outer teachings:

由於時命;故死後卻歸天地,復其虛無。然外教宗旨,但在乎依身立行,不在究竟身之元由。所說萬物不論象外,雖指大道為本,而不備明順逆起滅染淨因緣,故習者不知是權,執之為了。(T45n1886, p708 a27-b4)
the essential meaning of the outer teachings merely lies in establishing [virtuous] conduct based on this bodily existence and does not lie in thoroughly investigating the ultimate source of this bodily existence. The myriad things that they talk about do not have to do with that which is beyond tangible form. Even though they point to the great Way as the origin, they still do not fully illuminate the pure and impure causes and conditions of conforming to and going against [the flow] of origination and extinction. Thus , those who study [the outer teachings] do not realize that they are provisional and cling to them as ultimate.

(Translations from Peter N. Gregory's "Inquiry into the Origin of Humanity")
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.



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Ikkyu
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Ikkyu » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:37 pm

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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Astus
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Astus » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:08 pm

I recommend you first read this: (PDF) by Louis Komjathy, Ph.D. It gives a nice list of incorrect ideas. The is also a valuable source of information.
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.



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Wesley1982
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Location: Magga ~ Path to Liberation.

Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:30 am


DGA
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby DGA » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:11 am


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Ikkyu
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Ikkyu » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:14 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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Ikkyu
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Ikkyu » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:16 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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Astus
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Astus » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:37 am

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.



DGA
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Posts: 8493
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby DGA » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:32 pm


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seeker242
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby seeker242 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:12 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!

White Lotus
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby White Lotus » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:17 pm

there is great wisdom in the tao, it has greatly complemented my approach towards buddhism...
however does it reveal nature? is nature the Great Tao. it might be, but if it were, it would be limited.

is 'it' nature?

'it' is nature 'it' is not nature; 'it' is nature, 'it' is beyond nature, 'it' is within nature, 'it' is below nature, 'it' is above nature.

in his chapter Bukojoji in the Shobogenzo; Dogen speaks of going beyond nature (Icchantika).

a zen master once said that as long as one is attached to a 'name', it is like a donkey tethered to a post for 10,000 years.

Hui Chung the National Teacher taught... ''no name whatsoever for it''. this is going beyond nature, beyond Mind. where one finds No mind at all.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.

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Ikkyu
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Ikkyu » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:21 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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Ikkyu
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Ikkyu » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:24 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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dharmagoat
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:52 am


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Astus
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Astus » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:16 am

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.



User avatar
Ikkyu
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby Ikkyu » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:18 pm

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


DGA
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Re: The Tao of Zen?

Postby DGA » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:58 pm

Indeed. It's possible to be trained as a veterinarian and a Buddhist too, but that doesn't mean theories of animal health care are forms of Buddhism.


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