Zen has No Morals

Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:12 pm

Astus wrote:Mentioned before, the 10 virtuous acts and others describe it fine. In brief, it is harmlessness and compassion.

So, Buddha is a person that behave in accord with 10 virtuous acts? Did you miss the Bodhidharma statement that I posted before, or you simply disagree with it?
Astus wrote:1. Those who already know need no instructions.
2. Inquiry is needed when one is without knowledge, and by inquiring one goes through a gradual investigation.
3. In that case, it is not based on one's own buddha-mind.

1. Yes.
2. Yes.
3. Yes. Who would be the owner of the buddha-mind?

CASE 45: Who Is That One?
Case:
Master and Patriarch En of Tôzan said, "Even Shakyamuni and Maitreya are servants of that
one. Just tell me, who is that one?"
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Astus » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:23 pm

The Bodhidharma quote was about false visions of buddhas, not ethical conduct.

Ideas of self and owner are rejected and refuted by all Buddhist schools under the teaching of selflessness. How is that subject relevant here? Or, as Wumen asks, "Why should you ask whether you recognize him or not?"
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:38 pm

You cannot refute something that cannot be found. Now what "all Buddhist schools" say about that? Yes, they are in agreement here.
The Bodhidharma quote was about false visions of buddhas, not ethical conduct.

And what is the true Buddha?
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Astus » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:59 pm

oushi wrote:And what is the true Buddha?


Lu Sheng-yen?
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby oushi » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:14 pm

I don't know, what you don't know.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Alex123 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:37 am

From what I understand, "Zen has no morals" has to be taken in cultural context. From what I've read, in China and Japan there is/was a very strong ethical culture due to Confucianism. So I guess it was expected that a person would already be conditioned in behaving a certain rigid way. So there was no need to hammer in ethics in Zen... In fact, teaching less clinging to rigid ethical rules and regulations might have been a good middle way for them.

It is different in America, though.

Just my 2 cents.
If life is imperfect (dukkha), then it is ignorant to try to change it to perfection (sukha). Accept what is!
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby KeithA » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:15 pm

Alex123 wrote:From what I understand, "Zen has no morals" has to be taken in cultural context. From what I've read, in China and Japan there is/was a very strong ethical culture due to Confucianism. So I guess it was expected that a person would already be conditioned in behaving a certain rigid way. So there was no need to hammer in ethics in Zen... In fact, teaching less clinging to rigid ethical rules and regulations might have been a good middle way for them.

It is different in America, though.

Just my 2 cents.


Actually, the context is that the article was a: "Paper presented on 7 July 2012 at the International Cultic Studies Association's annual conference in Montreal, Canada." From here.

nuff' said.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Matt J » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:29 pm

:rolling:

Astus wrote:
oushi wrote:And what is the true Buddha?


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

http://nondualism.org/
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Alex123 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:45 pm

KeithA wrote:Actually, the context is that the article was a: "Paper presented on 7 July 2012 at the International Cultic Studies Association's annual conference in Montreal, Canada." From here.

nuff' said.


I am not feeling well right now so I can't read the file in full.

What I believe is that it is possible to misuse any system be it Zen or any other. It may be possible to justify one's vice using any tradition. Fault is with the person.


A quote from that file:
"In conclusion, I therefore concur with the aforementioned critics that the structure and teachings of Zen Buddhism itself lie at the root of the problem"

As I've said. In those cultures at those times when Zen/Chan began, the people were following very rigid ethical system. So perhaps Zen didn't emphasize ethics because

a) It didn't want to impinge on territory of Confucianism.
b) People already had deep background in ethics.

Of course when the cultural setting and people change, teaching may need to include more ethical component. IMHO.


Even during Buddha's time there were really bad monks... Nothing to say 2,500 years later...
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:21 pm

Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Matylda » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:35 pm



This is very good study I think. It opens an eye on western students approach and shows to some degree a motivation people have.. Just started to read first account of a lady working I guess for Japanese teacher for some years at the center...

In a way it is difficult for me to believe that serious zen student might have that sort of motivation, I can understand the human part of it of course. Those are things one cannot see in Japan or the perspective is completely different. It is not that such things do not happen, but perception, reaction etc. are so different.

Well, this is a real hit for me... The top story how to say.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby KeithA » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:03 pm

Alex123 wrote:

What I believe is that it is possible to misuse any system be it Zen or any other. It may be possible to justify one's vice using any tradition. Fault is with the person.


It's like that. :good:
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Sara H » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:17 am

I think there is this tradition in the west to say that an institution or practice must be 100% perfect or else it's trash.

Those are actually two extremes.

On the one hand we expect something to be flawless, (which isn't realistic) and on the other hand when things don't live up to our ideals, we tend to say it's all garbage and discard it. (another extreme, the opposite of running toward perfection, which is running away from reality)

I think this comes out of our response to Christian teachings and their saying that the Bible is 100% perfect, etc, and so is the church, and so on, and our reaction to that.

This is not Christianity, And Buddhism is not the Christian church.

"With the ideal, comes the actual" after all, and we "then compound delusion later on, by following ideals".

Buddhism is about finding a middle way, not following ideals.

Expecting perfection out of an institution, or practice is idealism.

That's not the point of Buddhism, to be an idealistic sense of perfection.

It is rather to be a vehicle and provide a way to training and the cessation of suffering.

Nowhere does it say that all monks or practitioners are going to be perfect simply by virtue of being Buddhists.

This expectation, that we need to find a "savior" is one of the things to let go of in Buddhism.

We train ourselves, and with other people, and with the Eternal, with the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

We are human beings, and Buddhism is for human beings, not for flawless idealistic perceptions of how we think ourselves or other people "should" be.

That's one of the beauty's of Buddhism, is that everybody can do this.

Angulimala was a serial killer, who purportedly killed 999 people and was on his search for his "thousandth" when the Buddha got hold of him.

He later became a disciple.

Even the kind of sexual morality we place on people in the West has it's background in Christianity.

Gasp, someone has hormones and may be sexually attracted to someone.
And some of those people follow through with it.

This is human nature, and humanity.
This is why we train, to better ourselves, not to hold ourselves down and judge ourselves and others when they or we make a mistake.

I think we could all do well to remember this and remember that we too are human beings and have made our share of mistakes.

In Gassho, friends,

Sara H
"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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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Matylda » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:54 pm

Actually Christianity almost criminalized human body.. anyway all confessional religions are pretty against humans, putting extremely strong judgments of good and bad, purity and impurity and they are all related to the body, sexual functions etc. All which are based on Bible, make human being more or less criminal and all are repressive and even able to kill for any deviation from the god's rules... well let it be for those who wish to torture themselves, but in the context of dharma it is a pure nonsense.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby shel » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:35 am

Sara H wrote:Expecting perfection out of an institution or practice is idealism.


I think that would be perfectionism rather than idealism, actually, but that's probably just my perfectionism talking. :tongue:
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby StuartM » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:36 am

Matylda wrote:Actually Christianity almost criminalized human body.. anyway all confessional religions are pretty against humans, putting extremely strong judgments of good and bad, purity and impurity and they are all related to the body, sexual functions etc. All which are based on Bible, make human being more or less criminal and all are repressive and even able to kill for any deviation from the god's rules... well let it be for those who wish to torture themselves, but in the context of dharma it is a pure nonsense.


A bit extreme Matylda, there are many Christians and Christian churches who do not exhibit any of the characteristics you've listed above. Moreover, their theology and practice ascribe a positive meaning to the world, to our embodiment within it, and value the human person/individual for who/what they are (not simply valuing human life as an ideal opportunity for spiritual practice), providing food, shelter, and human contact for those in need etc (and no, it's not simply all about trying to 'convert' people).
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Matylda » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:25 am

Well, maybe bit extreme.. why not? It is not my opinion.. it is mostly what I have heard from Catholic priests, when talking to them... yes they in the same statement acknowledged some sort of preciousness of life, but all in all it sounded that extreme. I know from my friends, Buddhists converted from Catholic faith what horrors they have, anyway I can see it, with accepting their bodies, needs etc. and how they feel about it.

But having contact with protestant priests and seeing on tv some preachers, well, they were not very positive.. we are sinners :D etc. etc. well maybe it is good for Europeans or Americans, but sounds like bit extreme to one who is a stranger in this culture.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby StuartM » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:50 am

Matylda wrote:Well, maybe bit extreme.. why not? It is not my opinion.. it is mostly what I have heard from Catholic priests, when talking to them... yes they in the same statement acknowledged some sort of preciousness of life, but all in all it sounded that extreme. I know from my friends, Buddhists converted from Catholic faith what horrors they have, anyway I can see it, with accepting their bodies, needs etc. and how they feel about it.

But having contact with protestant priests and seeing on tv some preachers, well, they were not very positive.. we are sinners :D etc. etc. well maybe it is good for Europeans or Americans, but sounds like bit extreme to one who is a stranger in this culture.


I agree in that there are plenty of extremist voices in Christianity, from a range of denominations. Unfortunately, it's always the extremists who, by their very nature, shout loudest. Truthfully, there are ascetic and life-denying elements to many faiths - including Buddhism - that have been reinterpreted in the modern world and which many folk these days would find unacceptable. In terms of Christians, I've always found Anglicans and Episcopalians to be a pretty moderate bunch; rational, thinking, and balanced in their approach to life and faith.
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby seeker242 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:56 pm

If Zen has no morals, then why do all the zen monks for the past 1,500 years, take precepts vows?
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Re: Zen has No Morals

Postby Matylda » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:36 am

seeker242 wrote:If Zen has no morals, then why do all the zen monks for the past 1,500 years, take precepts vows?


It is very simple... since zen has no morals, it is better to give zen monks some vows and precepts, for the sake of security.. what would happen if they did not have?! difficult to imagine!
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