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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:03 am 
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Posts: 1500
Sara H wrote:
I feel like it would be helpful to quote a Zen Master on this subject:

" The Zen Master is not released from all future karma result-
ing from his actions as a reward for ascending the mountain ;
he is just as much bound by karmic consequence as is every-
one else. Should he commit acts that result in bad karma he
will enter real hell for he knows the joy of Union with God
from the visions and has turned his face away thus placing
himself in the same position as Marlowe's Mephistopheles
whose hell was not to see God. "


-Rev. P.T.N.H. Jiyu-Kennet, Rōshi, Page 51,
The Book of Life © 1979, Rev. P.T.N.H. Jiyu-Kennet, Rōshi, and Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy, Shasta Abbey Press

In Gasshō,
Sara H


...or he just successfully ascended a foothill...


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:01 pm 
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Thank you, Sara H. and Seeker242, for trying to inject some common sense into the discussion. Unfortunately, this article just stokes the fires of the "I told you so" crowd. :stirthepot: Surely, it cannot be dismissed outright, but it is really poorly written and was concieved with a particular audience in mind. Lots of footnotes and citations does not equal good research. I think I will ask my teacher next time I see him if he used his super powers to fly from NY or if he just drove his car! :tongue:

Nice to "see" you again, Shel.

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:05 am 
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seeker242 wrote:
Astus wrote:

Maezumi Roshi, who is not discussed in the original paper, was an alcoholic, just to give you an example. ... or the entire life story of Ikkyu.


And I would have not followed any of those teachers myself. I would have called them a fool to their faces! :)


Ikkyu wasn't a wildman his whole life (just most of it and after his enlightenment). I think his life needs to be read carefully.

You would really NOT train under Ikkyu? I think that's a tragedy.

Maezumi Roshi broke the mold for sure. I don't know why he was an alcoholic. However he successfully transmitted Dharma to many students directly and these in turn have transmitted Dharmna to thousands of students. Maezumi Roshi's lineage is mixed in a sense but almost all his close students are authentic.

People did criticise Maezumi Roshi but mostly after his death. A few students did have serious problems with him but stayed with their own teachers who were close students of Maezumi Roshi.

Kirt

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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:00 pm 
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KeithA wrote:
Thank you, Sara H. and Seeker242, for trying to inject some common sense into the discussion.


With bows.

In Gasshō,
Sara H

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"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:14 am 
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kirtu wrote:
Maezumi Roshi broke the mold for sure. I don't know why he was an alcoholic.

Generally the same reasons as anyone else I would think. He also had affairs with students while married and with children. That broke a few hearts, not the least of which his daughters.

Quote:
However he successfully transmitted Dharma to many students directly and these in turn have transmitted Dharmna to thousands of students. Maezumi Roshi's lineage is mixed in a sense but almost all his close students are authentic.

A lot of Big Mind was transmitted, for a lot of $$, via Genpo. Genpo is well know for giving special attention to his female students also. Like master like disciple, as they say.

Quote:
People did criticise Maezumi Roshi but mostly after his death. A few students did have serious problems with him but stayed with their own teachers who were close students of Maezumi Roshi.

Actually the fallout occurred well before his death.

-------------

:hi: Keith!


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:21 pm 
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after enlightenment some do become antinomian... this is because they see the sameness or oneness of all things. subject and object one mind. good:evil - one mind only. padmasambhava warned his students to mentally be free, but socially perfect in respect of the vinaya. this has always been a problem that the enlightened one has had to face.

a good firm grounding in morality should protect one from antinomian tendency.

in a sense all things are lawful for the enlightened person, but not all things are expedient... i think that sums it up pretty well.

best wishes, Tom.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:44 pm 
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Morality is subjective. We can no more adopt a common morality than we can wear a collective overcoat. The eloquent silence implicit in morality speak shouts...
'I say this is moral therefore NOT this is immoral. You heretic!'
Morality,all of it; is merely ossified tribal taboos albeit taboo embroidered within fine sounding language.
Ethical precepts however, those we can agree upon and choose to abide by, or not; as the case might be.
Therefore the claim that 'Zen has No Morals' is necessarily correct. Zen practitioners though, by and large; are as ethical as the next Buddhist.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:39 pm 
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What about the 3 pure precepts and the 10 grave precepts? Including four good ones for forum use:

Refrain from untruthful speech
Refrain from speaking of others' errors and faults
Refrain from elevating yourself and blaming others
Do not give vent to anger


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Has Zen no morals? I don't know what Zen is, to be honest.
About masters, once I heard that there are none, so who is lacking morals? Karma flow continues even after realization, how can it be otherwise? It simply doesn't stack. So, post awakening actions are result of past karma, and circumstances. Enlightenment doesn't break the causality. No walking on water, sorry. Masters are not examples to follow, they are spiritual guides. When you go for a holiday trip, do you care for the sexual life of the tour guide?
Deification is a bad habit.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:16 pm 
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Gin dobre Oushi
:good:

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More about Mindfulness here
http://bemindful.co.uk/

" A Zen master's life is one continuous mistake."
(Dogen).


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:19 pm 
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oushi wrote:
Masters are not examples to follow, they are spiritual guides.


Guides but not examples to follow, hmmm. :tongue:


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:50 am 
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Interesting thread guys :twothumbsup:
Quote:
in a sense all things are lawful for the enlightened person, but not all things are expedient... i think that sums it up pretty well.


Exactly. Cat slicing is not the most skilful means as it violates the saving of sentient beings.
Cutting ones own head off is more dramatic but also a waste of a good dharma lineage.
However one uses what pusses and heads one has in the moment . . .

:jedi: I am your mother . . . (Daft inVader) :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:06 am 
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It can never be said that Zen has no morals. A perversion of Zen, its teachings, and a misunderstanding of Buddhadharma might lead one to believe that morality is relative in Zen. It is not. Dogen, for example, was a monk who insisted in strict observance of precepts. He emphasized training to cultivate positive actions.

Some read the Kalama Sutta to suggest that the Buddha had a relativisitic view toward ethics, toward the selection of teachers. He did not. This Sutta is clear that the Path is one that is well considered, is ethical, is correct, is wise, and leads to appropriate decisions.

A Zen without morals is a rubbishy development in the West, perhaps something that arose when Zen hit the US in the 60's and 70's.

To understand Zen is to understand that a fairly strict set of precepts and standards are integral to its practice.


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:20 am 
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BuddhaSoup wrote:
To understand Zen is to understand that a fairly strict set of precepts and standards are integral to its practice.

"Understand Zen" is an oxymoron. Probably that's why you are confused by morals. Zen is not something you should follow by action, it's something that you can't leave, so yes, morals are no concern in Zen.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:45 am 
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Well to say it has morals or has not, is both mistaken view. Basically zen has both levels, in fact one common view of precepts and ethics, and the other one beyond any good or bad. It means that then there are neither morals or no morals since both are only extreme views, and the final view is free from extremes.


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:48 pm 
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oushi wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:
To understand Zen is to understand that a fairly strict set of precepts and standards are integral to its practice.

"Understand Zen" is an oxymoron. Probably that's why you are confused by morals. Zen is not something you should follow by action, it's something that you can't leave, so yes, morals are no concern in Zen.



I'm not trying to be critical, but the above is the kind of thinking that infused Zen once it hit the US and the hippie culture, beat poets, and the guru culture in this country after the 1960's. I do not believe that this idea that "Zen is something not understandable; morals are no concern in Zen" expresses a lack of understanding of the history of Zen, the teachings of the Indic and Chinese patriarchs.

I'm completely OK if people want to see Zen as something that is ungraspable, something that has no ethical anchor points....it's just not Zen, and it might be best if this kind of view was called something other than Zen. Maybe "American Beat Buddhism," though even that would be a perversion, in that there's nothing Buddhist about holding a view that there are no moral roadmaps or precepts in the practice.

"Dōgen tirelessly admonishes his disciples to practice unceasingly and strive further and further toward an unending moral and spiritual excellence. In Dōgen's view, a rigorous adherence to the precepts is descriptive of the moral character of the advanced Zen practitioner." Credit: Who is Arguing about the Cat? Moral Action and Enlightenment according to Dōgen By Douglas K. Mikkelson


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:35 pm 
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BuddhaSoup wrote:
I'm not trying to be critical, but the above is the kind of thinking that infused Zen once it hit the US and the hippie culture, beat poets, and the guru culture in this country after the 1960's.

I am not from US, I didn't live in 60's, nor do I read contemporary writers. If you believe in morality, go on, that's your path. But as long as you are not able to explain the source of morality, and its universal nature, you can only repeat after Dogen. How can this barrier of morality be a symbol, or a sign of freedom? People think that without morality, they will start doing crazy shit. Steal, kill, rape and harm everything around. Sad indeed.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:41 pm 
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I believe it is called nihilism, an extreme clearly rejected by both Buddhism and Zen.

BuddhaSoup wrote:
I'm completely OK if people want to see Zen as something that is ungraspable, something that has no ethical anchor points....it's just not Zen, and it might be best if this kind of view was called something other than Zen. Maybe "American Beat Buddhism," though even that would be a perversion, in that there's nothing Buddhist about holding a view that there are no moral roadmaps or precepts in the practice.

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If only there is no picking or choosing
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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:21 pm 
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"How can this barrier of morality be a symbol, or a sign of freedom? "

Oushi, respectfully, how does Zen equate with freedom (ie to act in a morally neutral way)? Yes, there is the idea of freedom or liberation from suffering, for oneself, and others, but this Bodhisattva path necessitates the practice of the precepts and Paramitas, which are moral and ethical requirements. I just do not feel that a true understanding of Zen equates with a laissez faire attitude toward moral actions, the idea that to be 'free' means that "anything goes, so long as it is in the moment." That's just not Zen, or Buddhism, and to the extent that folks equate Zen with nihilism as was correctly mentioned earlier, or reject the law of karma, this is a misunderstanding of the practice, and a mistaken view, IMO.

As a side note, there have been a number of scandals in American Zen, which have been explained away by some as being just "Zen Masters" actualizing the moment, or not being bound by human moral concepts or precepts. In effect, these were examples of men serially sexually abusing members of their sangha, financially ripping off their sanga, and otherwise acting as though being transmitted teachers gave them carte blanche to do as they pleased and to take advantage in any way they deemed fit, all under the guise of acting without regard to "fixed moral standards."


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 Post subject: Re: Zen has No Morals
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Inquiry morality. When you realize what it is, you will see the falsehood of it. I cannot tell you anything If you didn't even bother to ask what morality is. Maybe if you are lucky, you will see that you are good by nature, not by moral conducts. Until that, you will believe that you need a leash.

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