Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

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Astus
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:58 pm

How they manage their organisation is a different area than their doctrinal and practical teachings. If a commercial model works better than the one based on donations I don't see it as an error. Profit oriented spiritual enterprises are a problem when the money is not used for the welfare of the people but turned into the private wealth of the owners of the organisation. In fact, the Buddhist form of community is that there are no owners or leaders but only members. In practice, however, throughout the history of Buddhism the system produced strong managers and head teachers who had overwhelming influence over spiritual and financial matters. Is Mondo Zen about benefiting only those few at the top or is it about bringing the Dharma to more and more people?
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.



BuddhaSoup
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:48 pm

The dana principle, I feel, is an important one. While it is important for Dharma sanghas to survive financially in a modern society, I feel it's also important that the Dharma be considered something that is not sold. The original idea was that the sangha would support itself by the leaders teaching and the lay sangha providing, through the spirit of dana, the support.

From Richard Baker, Trungpa, to Genpo, and others, the Buddhist landscape has been littered with the misdeeds of profiteers in the dharma, and it really falls to practitioners, IMO, to uphold the precept of dana. We really need to balance a common sense approach to supporting the financial needs of the sangha, but never to the point of profiteering.

The Buddha foresaw the erosion and disappearance of the dharma, and it is through the profiteering of dharma that Buddhism will fall down a very slippery slope. Ajahn Thanissaro, for example, charges nothing for his books or live teachings. His approach has brought him patrons who support him through the patron's heart motivation, but always the support is derived from the good that his sangha feels he is doing. I know this is true of other sanghas and traditions, as well.

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Astus
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:23 pm

The question is whether there is an option to just participate in whatever programme for free. Usually in any European country people can go in to a Christian church and just listen to the priest or minister. There are temples that are open for the public all day and they don't ask for anything. However, the major Christian organisations receive state support in many countries. That means that the buildings and the priests are paid indirectly by everyone. Buddhist organisations have that only in Asia. However, regardless if it's Christian or Buddhist, if there is a special programme, like a retreat, people are asked to pay. The system of donation works only when there are enough people willing to pay for those who can't pay, or rather when the people supported receive sufficient funds to run the organisation. Ultimately it is up to the people who pay, not those who ask for the money. So if the question is what we can do as individuals, it is choosing an organisation that we are happy to support regularly.
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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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby coldwater » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:59 am

Hello all,

New person here...I sometimes poke around but not a contributor. I keep a distance in fear I get too heady about practice as is my tendency.

Though I hesitate...thought this might be a relevant subject to give a two cents on if it might be helpful.

I just sat with some Mondo people and had some of the same suspicions brought up by many here but suspended them in the attempt to experience it before believing myself. So here go my impressions!

It was a half day retreat this last Sat. It was a mix of regular students and some new ones. About 10 people I'd say and 2 priests. It was a by donation event, held in a public library and seemed like a pretty sincere group of people doing their thing. Some of the text, a reading from a book of collected teachings by their founder Junpo, seemed a bit like a reaction to the shortcomings of Japanese Zen tradition/institution (as there are always in institutions). It had a 'feeling' or a 'tone' of this a lot. Defining itself through what it is not. Maybe this was reactionary to the Shimano situation and Junpo's involvement and issues with it. That aside there wasn't anything shady about it. As young and new as it was...it seemed very authentic in trying to present a Buddhism that was relevant to the community it was serving at that time. An emphasis on 'embodying the experience' in daily life rather than deifying/worshiping Buddha/Dharma. Maybe appealing to certain types of western raised people looking more for a philosophy or method of awakening than a religion? I dunno. Basically some honest folks figuring it out together as best they can? Whether this new take on Rinzai will be enduring is hard to say but what tradition and form has been truly forever?

I had some serious skepticism in the beginning as a friend of mine was involved and the TM set up some red flags for me. When I met her teacher I was impressed by her directness, open attitude and embodiment as a human. So I went to one of the sits to check it out. Taught me a lesson in jumping to conclusions about what people post on their website...and what it is in real life to practice with those same folks. Apparently the TM is because people pop up with traditions/lineages a lot and it was aimed at 'protecting' the structure and technique from people who might want to abuse it for financial gain or wrongly/incorrectly claim and transmit the thing...?

The psychological language and the daily service we did seemed a little bit of this and a little bit of that to me...but was overall thoughtful, meaningful and not too dramatically out of line with more traditional Japanese flavor Zen. Maybe just a more casual and relaxed atmosphere with some eclectic additions. It was interesting to sit with other people from a different tradition and see what spoke to them as a personal and group practice. Wasn't my jam at all in the end...but I suppose that is why there are 84,000 doors to the dharma.

-lance

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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby BuddhaSoup » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:06 pm

:good:

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Astus
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:19 pm

Thanks Lance for sharing your experience. :good:
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.



floating_abu
Posts: 172
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:23 pm


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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:51 pm


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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:32 pm


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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby BuddhaSoup » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:09 am

Abu:

" And what other five conditions must be established in himself [i.e. a bhikkhu who desires to admonish another]?

“Do I speak at the right time, or not? Do I speak of facts, or not? Do I speak gently or harshly? Do I speak profitable words or not? Do I speak with a kindly heart, or inwardly malicious?” "

samma vaca

AN V (From The Patimokkha, Ñanamoli Thera, trans.)

with Metta,

Mike

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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:37 pm

Thanks, my post stands.

Best wishes,
Abu

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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Jinzang » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:27 am

Just so that I'm not misunderstood or my opinion is mistaken for someone else's, I assume that Junpo and everyone else who wishes to reform and modernize Zen are acting in good faith and are not trying to cheat people.

I have my doubts about this approach, because I feel there is a certain crassness, a certain Philistinism, about much that goes under the banner of modernization. As one computer scientist said, people often ask when we will have a robot that will act like a human. But the real danger is that people are acting more and more like robots. If the goal of Zen is to see through delusion, how is a modernized Zen going to see through the delusions of modernism? The truth is neither tradition or modernism is going to save us, but it easier for a modern person to see the faults of tradition and resist them than to see the faults of modernism.
"It's as plain as the nose on your face!"

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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:40 pm

Thankyou for clarifying, Jinzang, My post stands as my viewpoint indeed.

Abu

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Astus
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby Astus » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:00 pm

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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coldwater
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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby coldwater » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:05 am

Hello Abu,

Greetings back and thank you for the thoughtful response and the analysis of my experience with a Mondo sit. Though I do feel my comments were taken out of context and used in a broader application than ever intended. So in those cases I would disagree with how my experience was formed into generalized statements about Buddhism as a whole. It seemed a little ad hominem rather than your experience of the Mondo group.. but maybe that was me just reading it wrong. My post was only meant to be my impressions of a Mondo group based on real life interaction with them rather than my opinion of the entire system or even Buddhism based off of what I've 'heard' of them.

To clarify the selections of my experience you used:

1) Genuine practitioners wouldn't deify as the Buddha is not a deity to be worshipped. Those who deify will inevitably deify though and may go through phases of their relationship to 'Buddha'. I am sure there is internal variances among people, denominations, organizations and so forth. I was simply saying how the Mondo info available has defined itself...could have been in response to an experience of this deification attitude, at some point, by the founder and/or members.

2) I agree and disagree. Buddhism is not *just* a philosophy, I don't think I said anything that suggests the view that it is. Only that some people may be looking for such a thing more on the philosophy/intellectual spectrum and may find it in the Mondo approach. I believe scholars and intellectuals have a dharma door available for their disposition. 84,000 ways to enter the dharma. No matter the door though everyone needs practice AND study on a foundation of ethics. Whether one is dominantly a do-er or a thinker...both need a little of the other in their life. This is just one approach of many.

3) I disagree and don't think my experience is invalid because of a one-day sit. Yes they are sincere people from my own experience with them. Saying I feel they are sincere does not mean I am saying an organization or institution is wholly sincere because of a group of individuals. Nor does it mean groups operating under an auspices take on the faults of the organization. Snakes and dragons mingle in any organization and so I don't give much weight to ANY organization or structure really as it is always a 'mixed bag'. The people I meet are important to me more than a tradition or lack of. For me it is irresponsible to make blanket statements about an ENTIRE structure when it is comprised of so many people. It can only have 'tendencies' with lots of variations I believe. I also know many of them outside of a one-day sit, though I didn't feel it necessary to list for the world personally how I know each individual person and my history with them- just giving my general impression as someone who has practiced with the tradition in question. The group I sat with didn't seem like a business-model to me as no one marketed it, sold it, charged for it or asked me to be a paying member. Something I've experienced at dharma 'centers' with far less criticism against them.

4) I don't practice Rinzai and didn't realize it had many thousands of years of history as a tradition that was maintained consistently without much reform. I am assuming by your response you are a practitioner of Rinzai and have had a negative interaction with Mondo as an organization at some point...so I can understand how you have strong feelings about it. I would too if I thought someone was trying to make a buck off of something dear to me. Maybe the group you practiced with was more snake and less dragon and it is unfortunate you might've had such an experience...as I am sure not all the Mondo people are out to mislead others into distorted views and take advantage of others.

Also, my name is actually Lance, you can verify my identity as a human who does not work for Tripadvisor. Try looking at my website if you want an idea of me as a human being and not a saleperson: http://www.cloudrevolve.com.

-lance

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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby DGA » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:25 am


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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:18 pm

Last edited by floating_abu on Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:19 pm


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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby coldwater » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:25 pm

Hi Abu,

The topic was Mondo Zen specifically. I find your broad opinions of Buddhism very agreeable but as I read them I keep asking myself: how is this about Mondo zen as a form and what it's contents are? How is any of it defining the realizations, motivations, or methods and their relationship to buddhadharma?

I only shared my experience and observations of Mondo zen. Not of Buddhism throughout time and space...or what I think Buddhism is and is not. Whether any reader believes my experience is more deep or shallow is besides the point really- it is an internet forum. It could be lies, truth or a mix. I think that is pretty common sense and so doesn't invalidate my post automatically or make me into a Tripadvisor scammer. Anything on an internet forum needs two spoons of salt with it.

I'd like to suggest some questions since you are as much a mystery to me as I am to you. Your claim to knowledge of Mondo seems deeper and more experienced than mine. So your sharing of experience would be a great contribution to this discussion and helpful in clarifying their setting and 'what is going on'.

What is your own real life experience with Mondo, the founder, the participants, practice and/or individuals that gives you the knowledge of their motivations, realizations and intent?

How have you practiced and studied with the tradition? How can you publicly criticize or analyze it based on experience or are you just giving your opinions based on what you've seen or heard of? If so what have you seen and heard exactly? What gives your words more weight than another's in this topic?

What experience with it do you have that proves it to be an inauthentic setting, invalid transmission or distortion of dharma?

Are you communicating in such a way that misleads others into believing you have knowledge, expertise or insights that comes from inside experience?

I feel like I mostly answered these questions myself in my initial post. That I was essentially skimming the surface of the practice and based on that observation, dharma talk, sit, and friendships- I felt they were sincere in trying to figure the mess of living and not malicious, deceptive, or dishonest in their methods nor were they trying to scam me for money and sell me on anything. Of course if you think the inverse is true of me and I am on a mission to mislead others into hell or something...there isn't much of a conversation left as this is the internet.

If this were a different discussion, like 'what do you think Buddhism is' your viewpoint of Buddhism as whole would be words out of my own mouth!

"Let me also share my own viewpoint. The essence of Buddhism is unchanged, even from Gautama's time to before then, and to now. That is why it is said it is the Law of Dharma, it is in essence, timeless, pivotal and unchanging even whilst it conforms to the times, the places and the context.

Various traditions have evolved over the thousands of years, through and as form, to teach that which is beyond form. These are tried and tested, and hold true to the formless in good hands.

The risk when people take Buddhism, which when not plumbed to its depths, is that they lack the skill and depth of mastery to teach it, and further conflate the issue through a product relaunch and marketing blitz, including impressions such as 'updated Rinzai' which is a misnomer in itself. They think the issue is the form when the form is just the package, and they confuse seekers through impressions such as 'we have the updated, modern solution to your Buddhist problems'. "

Vessels/forms change and dissolve, contents still remain. Other questions from this example come up for me that I have no absolute answer for but often ask- Is this just a not so attractive vessel? When and who determines the contents are true if not the person who eats from the vessel themselves? Is it 100% content or is there sometimes air and empty space with a bit of content? Does that devalue the content? Do some vessels feed more and satisfy more people and hunger while others can hold less and so feed less? Are some vessels broad and some small? Are the contents even quantifiable?

-lance

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Re: Mondo Zen, Integral Zen (tm)

Postby floating_abu » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:06 pm



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