Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Jikan » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:41 pm

Greg_the_poet wrote:You seem to have an answer to everything don't you? Me and this site are finished. There's no room for independent thought here.


Everyone disagrees with Huseng from time to time. And in this instance, I have to disagree with you too. There's plenty of room for independent thought at DW.

Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree before the discussion turns samsaric (round and around again, going nowhere, producing only frustration).

:cheers:
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Jnana » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:19 pm

Greg_the_poet wrote:"In the begginers mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mind there are few."

To me it seems we have far too many experts here.

I suspect that most people here will readily admit that with regard to the great vehicle, they are beginners.

Greg_the_poet wrote:Whether or not Buddha taught rebirth, I don't care. Whether or not Buddha believed in rebirth, I don't care, and if that means I have a "wrong view" I still don't care. I believe in my own experience....

And how does this attitude accord with maintaining a "beginner's mind" that is open to "many possibilities"?
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Fruitzilla » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:15 pm

Jnana wrote:
Greg_the_poet wrote:"In the begginers mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mind there are few."

To me it seems we have far too many experts here.

I suspect that most people here will readily admit that with regard to the great vehicle, they are beginners.

Greg_the_poet wrote:Whether or not Buddha taught rebirth, I don't care. Whether or not Buddha believed in rebirth, I don't care, and if that means I have a "wrong view" I still don't care. I believe in my own experience....

And how does this attitude accord with maintaining a "beginner's mind" that is open to "many possibilities"?


The sight of dogma being spouted with an air of authority does stir up many defensive reactions in people (me included). And rightfully so I think, as this is the way children are beaten into submission to society.
And by the way, everyone does as good a job as they are capable of doing at present (me included :thinking: )
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Jikan » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:58 pm

Fruitzilla wrote:The sight of dogma being spouted with an air of authority does stir up many defensive reactions in people (me included). And rightfully so I think, as this is the way children are beaten into submission to society.
And by the way, everyone does as good a job as they are capable of doing at present (me included :thinking: )


:good:

I think Jnana's advice is also helpful in this respect too: since we all still have a great deal to learn, it helps to have an open mind about these issues and a healthy respect for uncertainty ("don't know mind").
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby dharmagoat » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:38 pm

Greg_the_poet wrote:There's no room for independent thought here.

There is plenty of room, as I believe we are demonstrating.

Huseng wrote:Oh come on. I'm just having fun.

I recognise this. Debate is a game.

Huseng wrote:We disagree with each other and on a subject like this we're never going to get anywhere ultimately.

We achieve an exchange of ideas every time. When the ideas run dry, we move on.
May all beings be happy
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Samsaric_Spiral » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:16 pm

I am a Soto Zen practitioner, and I believe this stuff is not important to the practice. Rather, living in the moment and dropping the subject/object dichotomy in all activities takes priority. Whether rebirth is true or not has little to no impact on my life at the moment; if it were either true or false, a practitioner would still go about his daily tasks without intent, goal, or an "I"-barrier. Soto Zen is more concerned with daily living, hence why it is a great school for non-monastic people. I believe in almost all Zen schools, all ideology is treated as non-absolute and provisional, so attaching oneself to ideology could serve as a barrier to sustaining Beginner's Mind/Mindfulness.
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Astus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:17 pm

Samsaric_Spiral wrote:I am a Soto Zen practitioner, and I believe this stuff is not important to the practice. Rather, living in the moment and dropping the subject/object dichotomy in all activities takes priority. Whether rebirth is true or not has little to no impact on my life at the moment; if it were either true or false, a practitioner would still go about his daily tasks without intent, goal, or an "I"-barrier. Soto Zen is more concerned with daily living, hence why it is a great school for non-monastic people. I believe in almost all Zen schools, all ideology is treated as non-absolute and provisional, so attaching oneself to ideology could serve as a barrier to sustaining Beginner's Mind/Mindfulness.


I agree, if one is interested only in sustaining a selfless awareness, no issues of past and future are relevant, not even the present. But then, why is selfless awareness important? Why sustain a beginner's mind? Sports, dating, computer games, etc. are all fun, aren't they? Doing daily tasks without intent sounds interesting. But what are those daily tasks? A butcher's daily tasks are Zen practice if done with mindfulness? Stealing the tax payer's money is just fine if done as a beginner? How about cheating on one's spouse or beating the kids? And these are just simple ethical issues that one can actually face. If Soto Zen is concerned about daily living, how is it addressed with the single idea of acting without a goal? And if one has truly no purpose in life, why get out of bed at all? These are real questions of daily life, where causes and conditions matter. Actions have consequences, and behind all action there is intention. Which intention is right, which is wrong? And so we arrive at the teaching of karma and dependent origination, and from that to rebirth, the matter of life and death.
"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: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Jesse » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:46 pm

If Soto Zen is concerned about daily living, how is it addressed with the single idea of acting without a goal? And if one has truly no purpose in life, why get out of bed at all? These are real questions of daily life, where causes and conditions matter. Actions have consequences, and behind all action there is intention. Which intention is right, which is wrong? And so we arrive at the teaching of karma and dependent origination, and from that to rebirth, the matter of life and death.


Questions like these don't have any real answer, and really only cause suffering by contemplating them.. so the purpose of acting without a goal may be to escape a pointless and mindless circle of thinking that only harms you. :shrug:
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Jikan » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:19 pm

ghost01 wrote:
If Soto Zen is concerned about daily living, how is it addressed with the single idea of acting without a goal? And if one has truly no purpose in life, why get out of bed at all? These are real questions of daily life, where causes and conditions matter. Actions have consequences, and behind all action there is intention. Which intention is right, which is wrong? And so we arrive at the teaching of karma and dependent origination, and from that to rebirth, the matter of life and death.


Questions like these don't have any real answer, and really only cause suffering by contemplating them.. so the purpose of acting without a goal may be to escape a pointless and mindless circle of thinking that only harms you. :shrug:


Are you claiming that reflecting on the consequences of one's actions can only be harmful?

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, because thinking about getting cancer from cigarettes can only be harmful. That's the logic that emerges from your post.
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Astus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:25 pm

ghost01 wrote:Questions like these don't have any real answer, and really only cause suffering by contemplating them.. so the purpose of acting without a goal may be to escape a pointless and mindless circle of thinking that only harms you. :shrug:


Thinking is tiring, so better stop it? Consider Dogen's works for a little here then. He produced a few manuals for sitting meditation, yes. He also gave hundreds of teachings on a large variety of Buddhist doctrines in the Shobogenzo, the Shobogenzo Zuimonki and the Eihei Koroku. He established rules for the entire management of monastic life in the Eihei Shingi from cooking to administrative tasks. And there are some other works, like the Mana Shobogenzo, his collection of 300 koans. So if we look at Dogen as the exemplary Soto Zen practitioner, there is a lot more than just sitting with a beginner's mind. Dogen was familiar with the important Buddhist teachings and so could rely on a tradition that was more than 1500 years old by then with a great number of texts from India, Central Asia, China, Korea and Japan that he had access to. Again, the Soto Zen school in Japan is about 800 years old, a living tradition with a massive textual corpus of its own. True, for lay people, this is all not important. They can feel content with sitting a little in silence. However, that also means one is not ready to transform one's entire life and continue the bodhisattva's work in every aspect of daily living. That's what being a lay person actually means.
"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: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Jesse » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:40 pm

Are you claiming that reflecting on the consequences of one's actions can only be harmful?


No, I mean thinking for thinking's sake. Questions like; is there a purpose to life? etc.

True, for lay people, this is all not important. They can feel content with sitting a little in silence.


So not being content sitting in silence makes you a Bodhisattva?
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Samsaric_Spiral » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:42 pm

Astus wrote:
Samsaric_Spiral wrote:I am a Soto Zen practitioner, and I believe this stuff is not important to the practice. Rather, living in the moment and dropping the subject/object dichotomy in all activities takes priority. Whether rebirth is true or not has little to no impact on my life at the moment; if it were either true or false, a practitioner would still go about his daily tasks without intent, goal, or an "I"-barrier. Soto Zen is more concerned with daily living, hence why it is a great school for non-monastic people. I believe in almost all Zen schools, all ideology is treated as non-absolute and provisional, so attaching oneself to ideology could serve as a barrier to sustaining Beginner's Mind/Mindfulness.


I agree, if one is interested only in sustaining a selfless awareness, no issues of past and future are relevant, not even the present. But then, why is selfless awareness important? Why sustain a beginner's mind? Sports, dating, computer games, etc. are all fun, aren't they? Doing daily tasks without intent sounds interesting. But what are those daily tasks? A butcher's daily tasks are Zen practice if done with mindfulness? Stealing the tax payer's money is just fine if done as a beginner? How about cheating on one's spouse or beating the kids? And these are just simple ethical issues that one can actually face. If Soto Zen is concerned about daily living, how is it addressed with the single idea of acting without a goal? And if one has truly no purpose in life, why get out of bed at all? These are real questions of daily life, where causes and conditions matter. Actions have consequences, and behind all action there is intention. Which intention is right, which is wrong? And so we arrive at the teaching of karma and dependent origination, and from that to rebirth, the matter of life and death.


Soto Zen does have precepts to follow. However, people are encouraged to make the precepts "ingrained" within themselves, so spontaneous compassionate action can emerge more often. The Diamond Sutra says real merit comes from good acts of charity where there is no perception of a giver, no perception of someone receiving a gift, and no perception of a gift. In other words, it is 'just doing', where subject-object dichotomy fall apart. There are still precepts that one must practice with, like a raft, but eventually they become second-nature and the raft may be put behind.

Soto Zen also acknowledges actions have consequences. The accumulation and effects of these are what's referred to Karma in Zen.

Siddhartha's Cūļa-māluńkya Sutra alludes to how we will never have an absolute answer to whether the Tathagata exists after death. What's important aren't the intellectual answers to such questions, but how we live our lives right now. In Soto Zen, living with compassion, awareness, and in the moment are the three most important things. My Sensei also emphasizes on the resolution of opposites, and I think he's referring to the collapse of subject/object dichotomy during immediate experience, and the lack of separation between stillness/movement and time/space (check Dogen Uji Koan) during such experiences.

True, for lay people, this is all not important. They can feel content with sitting a little in silence. However, that also means one is not ready to transform one's entire life and continue the bodhisattva's work in every aspect of daily living. That's what being a lay person actually means.


The distinction between lay persons and heavy practitioners can be quite arbitrary sometimes. Zazen is not about feeling content.

In Soto Zen it is emphasized every being, everything, shares the same Buddha-nature. When people sit in Shikantaza with single-minded effort in the Zendo, and when in proper posture, everyone is said to be enlightened in that moment. Such titles are irrelevant towards Soto practice, since there is no "end" to the practice; no Satori that one is trying to attain, unlike in the Rinzae school. Of course, one's practice deepens as they continue, but it can provide obstacle when one reflects on such "improvements". Nothing to attain, nothing to lose.
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Astus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:40 pm

ghost01 wrote:So not being content sitting in silence makes you a Bodhisattva?


What I'm saying is not reducing everything to a single idea. As for bodhisattvas, they use infinite skilful means in order to remove suffering from the whole world.
"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: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Jikan » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:50 pm

ghost01 wrote:
Are you claiming that reflecting on the consequences of one's actions can only be harmful?


No, I mean thinking for thinking's sake. Questions like; is there a purpose to life? etc.


Yes, that's getting lost in the constipated existential weeds. But I don't think that's at issue here.
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Astus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:52 pm

Samsaric_Spiral wrote:There are still precepts that one must practice with, like a raft, but eventually they become second-nature and the raft may be put behind.
Soto Zen also acknowledges actions have consequences. The accumulation and effects of these are what's referred to Karma in Zen.


There are precepts and there is karma, just like in any other Buddhist tradition. How come that rebirth is not understood to be a basic idea?

Samsaric_Spiral wrote:Siddhartha's Cūļa-māluńkya Sutra alludes to how we will never have an absolute answer to whether the Tathagata exists after death. What's important aren't the intellectual answers to such questions, but how we live our lives right now.


The existence of a buddha after death is quite a different issue than the existence of ordinary beings after death, about whom we find lot of teachings regarding the different places of birth and consequences of actions.
Life is not lived "right now". Moving, action requires all three times. And just as this day is the result of all the previous days and the cause of all the following days, this life is the result of previous lives and the cause of future lives. Not a difficult concept at all. And why is it important? Because life is short and people die every day. We can die at any moment. How will we reach buddhahood and liberate all beings then?
"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: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Samsaric_Spiral » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:52 pm

Astus wrote:
Samsaric_Spiral wrote:There are still precepts that one must practice with, like a raft, but eventually they become second-nature and the raft may be put behind.
Soto Zen also acknowledges actions have consequences. The accumulation and effects of these are what's referred to Karma in Zen.


There are precepts and there is karma, just like in any other Buddhist tradition. How come that rebirth is not understood to be a basic idea?

Samsaric_Spiral wrote:Siddhartha's Cūļa-māluńkya Sutra alludes to how we will never have an absolute answer to whether the Tathagata exists after death. What's important aren't the intellectual answers to such questions, but how we live our lives right now.


The existence of a buddha after death is quite a different issue than the existence of ordinary beings after death, about whom we find lot of teachings regarding the different places of birth and consequences of actions.
Life is not lived "right now". Moving, action requires all three times. And just as this day is the result of all the previous days and the cause of all the following days, this life is the result of previous lives and the cause of future lives. Not a difficult concept at all. And why is it important? Because life is short and people die every day. We can die at any moment. How will we reach buddhahood and liberate all beings then?


I understand what you're getting at now. In Soto Zen tradition rebirth is understood to occur moment-by-moment. To use an example, 10 years ago 'I' was essentially a different being; even the molecular components that make me up now have changed. Since in emptiness there is no defining quality that can be used to rigidly define another, there is only constant change. Rebirth is essentially occurring right now, like beads attached to a string. In acknowledging constant change and no fixed beingness, the rigid distinction between living and death can vanish, for death and birth are happening moment-by-moment.

Also, the stuff about stillness and motion was referring to Dogen's Uji koan ('Time-being') and what I heard some Chinese monks say in the documentary Amongst White Clouds.

Don't put the plants to close, they need space.
quiescence (calmness) and action, you can't separate.
Don't distinguish these, there is no difference.
Put your heart into work, work with one mind
with one mind, all this is done in no time.
Even work is very calm, don't get distracted,
if you work, just work.


Taiun Michael Elliston also discusses it here:

To enter into this primordial stillness, first we must become physically still. Buddha moved, surely. But when Buddha was still, he was very, very still. It is said that he stopped the sun in the sky. Everything in Universe is floating in this stillness. When we wake up to it, we are finally, irrevocably, at home with all beings. In stillness. Stillness.
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Astus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:40 pm

Samsaric_Spiral wrote:I understand what you're getting at now. In Soto Zen tradition rebirth is understood to occur moment-by-moment. To use an example, 10 years ago 'I' was essentially a different being; even the molecular components that make me up now have changed. Since in emptiness there is no defining quality that can be used to rigidly define another, there is only constant change. Rebirth is essentially occurring right now, like beads attached to a string. In acknowledging constant change and no fixed beingness, the rigid distinction between living and death can vanish, for death and birth are happening moment-by-moment.


Momentariness (a very old Buddhist idea) is one important thing. Rebirth is another important teaching. One is continuous change on the micro level, the other on the macro level. They complement each other perfectly. The body changes on the cellular level rapidly, but we can still grow old. The mind changes every moment, but the continuity is not interrupted even by death.
"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: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Samsaric_Spiral » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:53 pm

Astus wrote:
Samsaric_Spiral wrote:I understand what you're getting at now. In Soto Zen tradition rebirth is understood to occur moment-by-moment. To use an example, 10 years ago 'I' was essentially a different being; even the molecular components that make me up now have changed. Since in emptiness there is no defining quality that can be used to rigidly define another, there is only constant change. Rebirth is essentially occurring right now, like beads attached to a string. In acknowledging constant change and no fixed beingness, the rigid distinction between living and death can vanish, for death and birth are happening moment-by-moment.


Momentariness (a very old Buddhist idea) is one important thing. Rebirth is another important teaching. One is continuous change on the micro level, the other on the macro level. They complement each other perfectly. The body changes on the cellular level rapidly, but we can still grow old. The mind changes every moment, but the continuity is not interrupted even by death.


I don't think we're in disagreement then. Just Soto Zen Buddhists don't really discuss what happens after death, even though it is generally agreed the idea of a pure vacuum is nonsensical. It's not like "we" fall into a nothingness, but rather the "we" is already empty of self-existence and there is nothing but constant change (i.e., lack of fixed beingness).

Also, I will get off-topic a bit by mentioning something that's related my friend recently brought: there was a German philosopher Bahnsen who's views on death sort of agree with both Theravadan notion of reincarnation and Mahayana emptiness. it also acknowledges constant change. Bahnsen had this to say regarding death:

Manolito Gallegos wrote:Having finished the excellent "Der Widerspruch im Wissen und Wesen der Welt/The Contradiction in the Knowledge and Nature of the World", I'd like to share share a choice bit with some explanation thereafter, to pass the time while why food unfreezes in my sink - since the passages are somewhat long, I'll kind of paraphrase:

Near the end of his metaphysics, in which he has discarded all abstract conceptual thought and logic (making him probably the most extreme empiricist/phenomenologist I have heard of) as ways in which to explain the world, he comes to the discussion of what exactly singular beings of will are: due to biological findings and inner emotional continuity of consciousness, we see that there is some sort of unified entity at work, however to hypostasize this as an entity that is something over and beyond its parts would be to create something out of thin air that does not present itself to us.

On the other hand, abstracting from this unity the different parts we are "made up of" denies the unity just mentioned, as well as the qualitative new information created by the union of the parts (rather than merely abstract mathematical and quantitative new information, as reductionists that completely ignore qualitative difference are wont to do).

Bahnsen concludes: both views cannot be denied - we are entities which have been torn apart previously and now reunited in the eternal quagmire of cyclical time. As individuals, we only ever exist when we are organically whole, but our individuality, upon our deaths, is torn asunder again to become part of other organisms, or the free-floating particles of matter/will-substance in this universe.
While probably a horrifying view if thought further, I find it grande and unusual as well - of course it breaks quite a few laws of logic, but there's nothing unimaginable about the view (an important part of Bahnsen's overall argumentation relies on differentiating conceptual and logical reason from perceptual/emtional/spatiotemporal imagination and descriptive language), and he did take 400 some pages of arguments and examples to get there. In any case, I will probably have to revise my views regarding mystical monism and throw it out entirely for Bahnsen's concrete monism of an internally torn about continuous material/will substance that despite its continuity, still has distinct "parts" within itself. I'm quite amazed I must say.


It's cool, but this is outside of the scope of human experience or knowledge and not worth fretting over. Ruminating over what happens after death is not the focus of Soto Zen practice, but I find Bahnsan's explanation very plausible.
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Astus » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:44 am

Samsaric_Spiral wrote:I don't think we're in disagreement then. Just Soto Zen Buddhists don't really discuss what happens after death, even though it is generally agreed the idea of a pure vacuum is nonsensical. It's not like "we" fall into a nothingness, but rather the "we" is already empty of self-existence and there is nothing but constant change (i.e., lack of fixed beingness).

Also, I will get off-topic a bit by mentioning something that's related my friend recently brought: there was a German philosopher Bahnsen who's views on death sort of agree with both Theravadan notion of reincarnation and Mahayana emptiness. it also acknowledges constant change.


The difference between Theravada and Mahayana in interpreting rebirth is that Theravadin Abhidhamma does not accept the intermediate state (bardo) between births while all Mahayana school does. There is no real self in any Buddhist system, and all teach karmic causality, dependent origination and even momentariness. Also, since Mahayana is the path of the bodhisattva, it is impossible not to have rebirth, without which the bodhisattva path itself couldn't exist. Another few specialities of Mahayana is the immanence of bodhisattvas and buddhas, and the accessibility of buddha-lands. Soto Zen temples include altars for worship, shrines for ancestors, bodhisattvas and buddhas, and other practices of worship.

The point is, seeing the unity of emptiness and dependent origination, the oneness of essence and function, is the middle way in view, meditation and conduct. And just as on an everyday level - although it's all momentary and insubstantial - we go here and there, live like people with lifespan, on a larger scale beings die again and again, worlds collapse and reappear, etc. There is not a "fixed being", but we can tell without thinking whose toe was stepped on.
"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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Astus
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Re: Soto-zen, Dogen and reincarnation

Postby Jnana » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:21 pm

Samsaric_Spiral wrote:It's cool, but this is outside of the scope of human experience or knowledge....

I can't speak for Bahnsen's views, but according to the Mahāyāna teachings knowledge of past lives and knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings are not considered to be outside the scope of human experience or knowledge. They are higher knowledges (abhijñā) which are developed on the bodhisattva path.
Jnana
 
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