Sex Scandal Has U.S. Buddhists Looking Within

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Re: Sex Scandal Has U.S. Buddhists Looking Within

Postby Indrajala » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:57 pm

Jikan wrote:Huseng's diagnosis is accurate in many respects but it's important not to make total and blanket statements about these issues, which are rarely as simple as they may seem.


I've never said there are no realized priests in modern Japanese Buddhism. I just haven't met one.
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Re: Sex Scandal Has U.S. Buddhists Looking Within

Postby kirtu » Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:37 pm

Huseng wrote:
No I'm not mixing them together at all. I'm roughly equating the realization born from authentic kensho with Stream-Entry although that isn't exact (there is a "weak" level of Stream-Entry that only lasts for this life mentioned in the Theravadin cannon so perhaps kensho is roughly at this weak level).


Stream-entry is a step towards Arhatship and cessation. Kensho isn't about attaining Arhatship. You're conflating two very different models of Buddhist practice.


No I'm not conflating them - I'm comparing them across traditions.

The realization of emptiness of an Arhat, Praetyakabuddha, Arya Bodhisattva and Buddha are the same. Kensho does not easily fit into the traditional comparisons between the Northern School and the Southern Schools and it's not really an important point.

The issue is that most Zen teachers who have had realization have weak realization.

Another way of putting it is that authentic kensho is results in a middle level on the Path of Accumulation or very weakly on the Path of Joining (like very, very weak Heat). The reason for attempting these bad equivalences is that kensho results in deep and authentic bodhicitta and people can cut superficial negativities. However deep negativities can still arise. And the other reason for harping on this point is that it appears that most Zen teachers who have had enlightenment experiences have had kensho and not satori. So their insight is relatively weak (although a lot better generally [on most days] that the average person).



You really need to start pointing to some kind of scripture because what you're outlining sounds less like a standard Buddhist model of practice and just your own motley mix of ideas.


Kensho itself is a Japanese construct (perhaps though taken from Chinese Ch'an via Dogen or another master). Currently I have divested myself of most of my text's as I need to sell my condo but I'll put it on my to-do list. I can quote from a Tibetan source later today describing initial breakthoughs and glimpses that is similar to the kensho experience.


As for comparing models between the Southern School and the Northern Schools, such comparisons are made all the time but mostly they center on comparing the qualities of Arhats and Bodhisattvas from the side of the Northern School.


What are you talking about? Theravada and East Asian Mahayana?


Yes, Mahayana schools make these comparisons.

How would you recognize someone's realization?


Observe their behaviour, action, presence and go with my gut feeling. If they're really enlightened and I don't think they are, they won't get upset.


That's what it comes down to straight from Nagarjuna (or Shantideva or Chandrakirit ?). Just as smoke indicates fire extraordinary actions indicate a bodhisattva (however that line was talking about an Arya Bodhisattva giving away a needed body part for the benefit of other beings - since in olden days body parts couldn't really be used by others I have always assumed that this was more metaphorical).

No they aren't BUT people in Zen have not engaged renunciation deeply. This is a long-standing problem and was not evident within Zen institutions during the 90's.


You ever read about Dogen?


Certainly .....

Or how about his lectures? He talked about how degenerate monks were for having their own closet space. He advocated an absolutely stoic lifestyle along with celibacy, renunciation and devotion to the path.


Dogen is without question the model that Soto Zen at least needs to emulate. Some people do too.

[qoute]I think Dogen is a better character to represent Zen than Suzuki.[/quote]

Suzuki was without question a modern Dogen. However hunger is not alleviated by eating painted rice cakes. Having said that with the current fairly low level of realization sex and maybe other problems can continue. As you have pointed out Zen needs a reinvigoration based on the vinaya precepts. The vinaya precepts will protect and guide people. However people can attain some degree of realization via the Bodhisattva precepts alone. This was Saicho's mistake.

Huseng - your view of Buddhism is informed by 6th Century Mahayana commentary. It's something to keep in mind.


Daoxuan was 7th century. His insight is just as valid as it was in his own time.


His insight is valid but may not correctly fit the circumstances.

Really? You don't come from a mixed libertine-puritarian society? You were raised in North America, no? You haven't meet Chinese or Vietnamese Buddhists?


Puritanism is a term utilized in a Christian context. It isn't an appropriate term to apply to Buddhism.


No puritanism refers to people basically who think sex is negative (permit me to make an appeal to a late-adolescent/early adult movie: "Wait, you think all sex is unhealthy..." - Billy Brubaker/Matthew Lilliard in Summer Catch). That's puritanism and if the European Christians hadn't made such an issue of it then we would associate the term with traditional Chinese Buddhist views of sex. And since you come from Canada you come from a mixed libertine-puritan society. Within that framework oftentimes religious people go off too much toward the puritan side.

The institutions did. It's not possible for really enlightened people to do this. But then this goes back to the weak level of enlightenment that many people seem to experience.


Weak level of enlightenment? Okay, well some of the big names in Zen back in the early 20th century were in full support of the war effort in Asia.


This is exactly my point.

Huseng - have you actually read about the nature of enlightenment in Zen? If not, Kaplleau's "Three Pillars of Zen" would be a good start. And here you have Kaplleau being dragged by his teacher to a house of prostitution.


Yes, I read that book, but then I realized this watered down version of "Zen" being marketed to people on the spiritual marketplace is largely nonsense. If you want Zen read Dogen not Kaplleau.


Sure but most people can't begin with Dogen even beginning with the Fukanzazengi.

Anyway for me personally I left Zen practice because it was difficult to take the precepts and I needed to take them formally.

What will come of this development at Dai Bosatsu is a reexamination of Zen Buddhist ethics in the US.

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Last edited by kirtu on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sex Scandal Has U.S. Buddhists Looking Within

Postby Jikan » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:54 pm

Huseng wrote:
Jikan wrote:Huseng's diagnosis is accurate in many respects but it's important not to make total and blanket statements about these issues, which are rarely as simple as they may seem.


I've never said there are no realized priests in modern Japanese Buddhism. I just haven't met one.


Understood. I made this comment for the benefit of the gallery.

Meanwhile:

kirtu wrote:What will come of this development at Dai Bosatsu is a reexamination of Zen Buddhist ethics in the US.


This would be a good outcome. A better outcome would be a thoroughgoing reexamination of Zen Buddhist practice and institutions in North America, which can be rather uneven.

by "rather uneven" I mean: to what extent is contemporary Zen in North America a transmission of the spectrum of Zen traditions of Asia, and to what extent is it something else? (a platform for varieties of syncretism...). Following that: to what extent or in what contexts might be those "something elses" themselves be a manifestation of Zen as understood by any tradition? &c.
Last edited by Jikan on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sex Scandal Has U.S. Buddhists Looking Within

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:23 am

Just my opinion and once again not even a Buddhist necessarily..

It seems to me if you loose your ability to objectify you loose the ability to have sex as well.
YOu could have sex but you would need to objectify to do so.

As spiritual practice I hear rumor of some who utilize such means but some are stated to have the capacity to equalize piss and crap with the finest food. If such were the case it seems sex would be not sex at all.

So to my opinion....and certainly all here will disagree.....people conducting themselves in this fashion are not well along the path. Householder whatever.....it means to me you still objectify. You could objectify if your intent was to start a family or other particular reason but when that is done...to what purpose?

Satisfaction of spouse...that would lead spouse to objectify. To what purpose is that?
The whole thing seems a waste of time. And priority as to violate monks or ordained vows....that person is a idiot to my opinion.

If I want to objectify I will engage in sex..but why would I want to objectify?
This will probably make no sense to all here, buddhists.
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Re: Sex Scandal Has U.S. Buddhists Looking Within

Postby kirtu » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:41 pm

Since I mentioned Richard Baker - one will note that more appears to be going on than just consensual but possibly inappropriate behavior. And a link to discussions of the book "Shoes Outside the Door".

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