Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

hornets
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Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby hornets » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:27 pm

Hi everyone

My question to you all, (but especially to Astus and Huseng!) is this-

Pure Land and Zen seem to cover some fairly common ground. I have started Nembutsu as part of my practice as well as my 20 minutes of (nearly almost-daily) shikantaza. Are there pitfalls to practicing both or merely things I should be mindful of that a beginner may not have picked up on? I've had a good look at previous posts and I may have missed the relevant posts that would be useful to my question.

I've been doing zazen for some months now, also attending a local weekly Serene Reflection Meditation group, and joining the Tree Leaf online zendo. All great. In a few weeks I will be doing a 1 day retreat at the end of September I go to Throssel Hole Abbey for a Beginner's 3 day retreat.

The more zazen I do the more I seem to be drawn to Pure Land. (I was hugely drawn to an online image of a Buddha then came across and subsequently bought a resin copy of it that turned out to be a Japanese Amida Buddha and it's been going on from there...).

I've started reading 'Buddhism of Wisdom & Faith' by Thich Tien Tam and there seems to be a definite mutual appreciation society between Zen & Pure Land.

Look forward to any answers or threads to this.

Best wishes Paul

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Matt J
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Matt J » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:20 pm

The legendary Xu Yun believed they were compatible.

The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming


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Mr. G
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Mr. G » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:41 pm


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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Astus » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:19 pm

Pure Land and Chan are simply two styles of practice. They are not incompatible at all, as one can see in China, Korea and Vietnam. In Tiantai teachings one can find both forms. The only point where they seem to be separate is when people think of them as exclusive methods. The first person in Buddhism who came up with the very idea of an exclusive practice was Honen. But even in his view exclusivity didn't mean invalidating or rejecting other methods, it was about focusing initially on the single practice of reciting the name and that in itself was sufficient to attain birth in Honen's view.

Doing zazen only can be a path to the Pure Land as long as you dedicate all the merits gained to attaining birth there. Adding to it the nenbutsu is also fine. Also, you can simply do the nenbutsu and it can be both a Zen practice and a way to the Pure Land. As far as the Pure Land path is concerned, what matters is your faith and dedication to it. As for Zen practice, what matters is the living wisdom. Since both are methods on the bodhisattva path with the aim of complete enlightenment, there is no contradiction.
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.



hornets
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby hornets » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:34 pm

wow. many thanks for replies. i'll see how this pans out for me, then.

links were of great help, I've just located & bought a second hand copy of http://www.scribd.com/doc/92062041/Pure ... -Yin-Kuang on amazon so I can read it without my eyeballs going fuzzy.

thanks again.

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Mr. G
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Mr. G » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:52 pm

You may also enjoy the book, "No Abode: The Record of Ippen".

hornets
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby hornets » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:02 pm

bit pricey at the moment is that one mr.g!

I'll crack on with 'Buddhism of Wisdom & Faith' and await 'Pure-Land Zen, Zen Pure-Land'. I'm sure that'll do me for now.

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Mr. G
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Mr. G » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:10 pm

It's around $5 used on Amazon :smile:

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Astus
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Astus » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:35 pm

The book is very brief and gives a good list of buddha remembrance practices. It shows how all the different methods can be found in a single practice. It says, "In alert, focused Buddha recitation there is samatha, vipassana, samadhi, wisdom - each recitation is perfect. Where else can Zen be found if not here?" This refers to the same practice that is mentioned in Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith under Real Mark Buddha Recitation (5.29.1).

Another work related to both Zen and Pure Land practice is "Doubts and Questions about Pure Land Practice" that you find in .
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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Mr. G
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Mr. G » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:22 pm

Additional resources:

viewtopic.php?f=60&t=4317

hornets
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby hornets » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:22 pm

Mr G, Astus--

Again many thanks.

For some reason I can only buy goods on Amazon U.S. directly from Amazon U.S. with my Pay Pal account but not other sellers. I don't have a credit card anymore, and don't intend to ever have one again. I'll print off a copy of the pdf 'Taming the Monkey Mind: A Guide to Pure Land Practice' at work as it only seems to be available in the UK as either a Kindle Edition or a very expensive used copy.

Obviously Pure Land isn't as established in Britain as it is in the U.S. (Or perhaps I need to search smarter on the internet!)

I have more than enough to be getting on with for reading matter. It was very kind of you both to take the time to reply with some excellent tips and links. I'm sure I'll have more questions in a few weeks.

Very best wishes

Paul

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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby cheondo » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:34 pm

Hi,
I'm also drawn to and practice both Pure Land and Zen. I find nembutsu painful to do all the time, so I mix periods of zazen with recitation. The most helpful thing for me has been to start off with chanting the Buddha's name for ten to fifteen minutes with a moktak and then do zazen. Chanting makes the mind quiet and pliable.

Amitoufo!


_____________
Writings on Pure Land Buddhism
purelandway.wordpress.com

KeithA
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby KeithA » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:12 pm

I suspect if you do either one wholeheartedly, things will turn our just fine. I am not sure it is a either/or situation.

:anjali:

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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Admin_PC » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:32 pm


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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Mr. G » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:25 am


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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Rakz » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:38 am


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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Admin_PC » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:37 am


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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Admin_PC » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:25 am

Geeze. I tried to edit my last post, but I guess it didn't take.
I hit p181-182 of "Buddhism of Wisdom & Faith" and it answered all my questions.
Basically retract anything I said in my previous post(s).
In fact, in validating what my friend originally told me, it's made me a lot more excited about the practice.
Pure Land practice reminds me of positive visualization in sports.

hornets
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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby hornets » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:54 pm

Hi Pork Chop,

I'm struggling with Thich Tien Tam's book too. I thought it was me being a bit bit thick and there being no pictures. I couldn't really follow a lot of it and it made my brain hurt in places. I also bought a cheap copy of his 'Pure-Land Zen, Zen Pure-Land' which I'll attempt to tackle soon.

I heartily recommend Jeff Wilson's 'Buddhism Of The Heart' and Taitetsu Unno's 'Bits of Rubble Turned Into Gold'. The former I read over a couple of days and is one to keep going back to. The latter is wonderful too- I'm ploughing through it and doesn't batter my head either. Both are about Shin Buddhism.

I've just signed up for the internet course Introduction To Pure Land that the Amida Trust do. Here's a link if you're interested
http://amidatrust.ning.com/group/introd ... e=activity

All the best from Paul

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Re: Doing zazen but drawn to Pure Land,

Postby Admin_PC » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:46 pm

hornets

thanks much for the resources!
I'll definitely check them out.
This thread has been a real learning experience for me.
I thought I'd had things figured out and then was (pleasantly) surprised.
Feel embarrassed for jumping to conclusions, but I guess the take away is "just keep reading."
Could actually see myself possibly practicing Pure Land.
Interesting what a difference 1 thread and reading a few pages can make...


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