Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

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Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Ervin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:24 pm

What's Zen Buddhism? I went to an Eckhart Tolle meditation meetup in Melbourne and they where talking about Zen, but the bloke that spoke about it was speaking for way to long, way to fast and I think he was talking about some scriptures and in the end I didn't have a clue what he was on about.

From what I know Zen is an understanding that all knowledge and beliefs are equally valid, not just Buddhism. And I think it would be a very liberal understanding and practise of Buddhism.

Something like the saying that goes: All rivers lead to the same Sea.

Is my understanding Corect? Is Zen in Buddhism like liberal Sufism Rumi style is in Islam?

Thanks
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:18 pm

Zen is the Japanese Buddhist tradition inherited from China, which in Mandarin is Chan.

It isn't anything like you're suggesting. It has lineages, doxographies, specific practices, histories, rites and rulebooks.
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Ervin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:30 pm

And does all that come from Sakyamuni Buddha himself?
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:32 pm

Ervin wrote:And does all that come from Sakyamuni Buddha himself?


Buddhadharma in this age stems from Śākyamuni, so yes, Zen Buddhism stems from him.
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Ervin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:00 pm

So Buddha was a Zen master?
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Astus » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:07 pm

You should read some history and other basic things about Zen. See Wikipedia on Zen.
"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: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:23 pm

Ervin wrote:So Buddha was a Zen master?


By definition Shakyamuni Buddha was the first Zen master.

The story of the first transmission is that Shakyamuni Buddha was teaching on Vulture Peak, but during this particular teaching he didn't say anything. He just held up a flower. No one knew what he was getting at except for Mahakashyapa who smiled in response. Shakyamuni Buddha gave the flower to Mahakashyapa and that was the birth of the Zen lineage.

As for the meaning of Zen Buddhism - the meaning is to become a fully enlightened Buddha and through that enlightenment to save all beings by bringing them to enlightenment.

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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Ervin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:27 pm

I would rather someone briefly explain to me the gist of it, so that I dont t have to do a lots of reading. I find it easier that way and someone who already knows all that can summarise it for me.

And I can debate then. I believe that debating is a good and interesting way to learn what others think and or know.
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Seishin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:37 pm

In all honesty, Zen Buddhism (all of Buddhism) is quite a hefty subject. Surely a summarization is not the best thing to debate over? :shrug: If I wanted to debate politics, I wouldn't do so on a paragraph or two of knowledge. That wikipedia article is a summarization. What you are looking for is a summarization of a summerization?

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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby viniketa » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:52 pm

The Gist


Image

You may now debate...

:smile:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Ervin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:04 pm

Does flower being pretty, what I mean is you know it looks good and its pleasant to an eye . Does that have anything to do with why he picked up the flower?

I am not asking only those that claim enlightenment wich I haven't met on this forum. I value discussion with everyone equaly. You don't have to be that bloke who was the only one to understand what that meant to give your opinion as an answer to my questions.

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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby viniketa » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:16 pm

Ervin wrote:Does flower being pretty, what I mean is you know it looks good and its pleasant to an eye . Does that have anything to do with why he picked up the flower?


"Pretty" has nothing at all to do with it. He could have as easily held up a dog turd...

Our conversation is virtual, so you cannot directly "realize" flower, but it is just a metaphor for the nature of mind. No one can "tell you" the nature of mind over the Internet. Do yourself a favor and either read the short Wikipedia article or pay a visit to your local Zen center. ;)

Oh, and, BTW, I am not one of the fully enlightened ones. :hi:

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Ervin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:24 pm

Thanks for your advice but I don't want to go to the Zen centre. I want to talk about it on the internet right now. But then again, I am alowed to change my my mind and one day I might go there.

Actually, you got me itchy now about the centre. Are there any in Melbourne, Australia? Sowhere close to the city.


Thanks.
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Seishin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:28 pm

There is a phrase which I really like "You can talk about tea, write about it, research it, debate about it, but you'll never really know until you taste it" (not sure who said it). Buddhism is like that. :smile:
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby viniketa » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:32 pm

Ervin wrote:Actually, you got me itchy now about the centre. Are there any in Melbourne, Australia? Sowhere close to the city.


Seems there are several in Melbourne: http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/search.ph ... vince_id=0

A visit is not a commitment, so go visit! ;)

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Astus » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:45 pm

If you want an even shorter introduction to Zen, but still something conceptual, here is this four line poem attributed to Bodhidharma that is usually used as a definition of Zen.

教外別傳
不立文字
直指人心
見性成佛

Outside doctrines a separate transmission
Doesn't rely on letters and words,
Directly points to human mind
To see nature and become buddha.
"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: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby Ervin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:03 pm

I have heard someone say that in Zen there is a saying that if you see Buddha kill him. Does that mean have something to do with equanimity? Or is it just a nonsense?
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby infinitywaltz » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:13 pm

"If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him" is a koan, which is a sort of riddle one meditates on in some forms of Zen and Chan practice. Some say that it is meant to convey the idea that the Buddha-nature is something not separate from you, so if you're "meeting the Buddha on the road," that Buddha is existing somewhere else, separate from you. Shunryu Suzuki said, "Kill the Buddha, because you should resume your own Buddha nature."

It's basically an admonition not to get distracted by appearances, thoughts and delusions.
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby oushi » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:23 pm

Ervin wrote:I have heard someone say that in Zen there is a saying that if you see Buddha kill him. Does that mean have something to do with equanimity? Or is it just a nonsense?

It is better to find the source then deliver interpretations.
Linji wrote:Followers of the Way, if you wish to see this Dharma clearly, do not let yourselves be deceived.
Whether you turn to the outside or to the inside, whatever you encounter, kill it.
If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha; if you meet the patriarchs, kill the patriarchs; if you meet Arhats, kill Arhats; if you meet your parents, kill your parents; if you meet your relatives, kill your relatives; then for the first time you will see dearly.And if you do not depend on things, there is deliverance, there is freedom!

Concepts, kill the concepts.

And that is a great explanation of Zen:
Linji wrote:This pervades everything; it is in the worldly and in the sacred, in the pure and impure, the fine and the coarse. The most essential thing is that you refrain from making labels, such as fine or coarse, worldly or sacred, and (mistakenly) think that by naming them you now know them. But the fine and the coarse, the worldly and the sacred cannot be known to man by the name only.

Followers of the Way, realize this and make use of it, but do not slap labels on it, for these tend to be like pen-names, only creating mystery.

Still want to slap a label on it?
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Re: Whats the meaning of Zen Buddhism?

Postby shel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:13 pm

viniketa wrote:The Gist


Image

You may now debate...

:smile:


Wrong. The gist is...

Image
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