"No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

"No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Alex123 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:44 pm

Hello all,

Linchi has said
The way I see it, there's no call for anything special. Just act ordinary, put on your clothes, eat your rice, pass the time doing nothing. You who come from here and there, you all have a mind to do something. You search for Buddha, search for the Dharma, search for emancipation, search for a way to get out of the threefold world. Idiots, trying to get out of the threefold world! Where will you go? (Lin-chi, ZTML, 53-4.)


1) I wonder the context of the above. Is this relevant only to those who were practicing hard (zazen 20hours a day for months or years at a time) ?

Or does this apply to those who don't practice zazen as much (or at all)?

2) What is the difference between an ordinary worldly person and Buddhist who follows the above?

Thanks, :anjali:

With best wishes,

Alex
Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean"
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby futerko » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:23 pm

The idea is of the realisation of original unity. So the "ordinary" person grasps their object, and in so doing creates the illusion of a separate self, but the practitioner, realising the dream nature of "reality", avoids engaging with it on a level of discursive thought.
The idea that one would need to practice formally, as if to achieve something other than what is already primordially present, adds to the illusion created by subject-object relations, as if enlightenment were elsewhere and could somehow be discovered as an object for grasping consciousness rather than as a lived experience of primordial unity. The same idea as is expressed in your signature line.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Alex123 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:57 pm

Thank you very much for your reply.
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Meido » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:23 pm

Alex123 wrote:1) I wonder the context of the above. Is this relevant only to those who were practicing hard (zazen 20hours a day for months or years at a time) ?

Or does this apply to those who don't practice zazen as much (or at all)?

It is relevant to everyone. It is not experienced by everyone. It is definitely not experienced simply by understanding conceptually what it points to.

2) What is the difference between an ordinary worldly person and Buddhist who follows the above?


An ordinary, worldly person believes Rinzai's words affirm his/her preferences, and that the habit of dualistic fixation is cut via conceptual grasp of the meaning. A practitioner sets aside his/her preferences, recognizes the difficulty of cutting dualistic habit, brings all the activities of life within the sphere of practice, and gives rise to direct experience of Rinzai's actual state which alone is the context of the quote.

Rinzai's manifestation of "no-seeking" took the form of engaging in extensive formal practice, wearing robes and living in monasteries, traveling to meet and study with various teachers, participating in periods of structured retreat, and so on.

What is recognized in Zen is not something exterior which is acquired or achieved. That is why it is said that seeking it is fruitless. But clearly recognizing, integrating and actualizing it is the point. That is why practice may not be dispensed with.

Of course, determining exactly what sort of practice is best suited to one's situation is one of the reasons for seeking out a teacher (as Rinzai did).

~ Meido
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Astus » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:48 pm

To answer the original question, the Extensive Record of Baizhang starts with these words,

"In language you must distinguish the esoteric and the exoteric; you must distinguish generalizing and particularizing language, and you must distinguish the language of the complete teaching and the incomplete teaching.
The complete teaching discusses purity; the incomplete teaching discusses impurity. Explaining the defilement in impure things is to weed out the profane; explaining the defilement in pure things is to weed out the holy.
Before the nine-part teaching had been expounded, living beings had no eyes; it was necessary to depend on someone to refine them. If you are speaking to a deaf worldling, you should just teach him to leave home, maintain discipline, practice meditation and develop wisdom. You should not speak this way to a worldling beyond measure, someone like Vimalakirti or the great hero Fu."

(Sayings and Doings of Pai-Chang, p. 29, tr. T. Cleary)

From the Record of Guishan,

"There was a monk who asked the Master, “Does a person who has had sudden awakening still need to continue with cultivation?” The Master said, “If one has true awakening and attains to the fundamental, then at that time that person knows for himself that cultivation and noncultivation are just dualistic opposites. Like now, though the initial inspiration is dependent on conditions, if within a single thought one awakens to one’s own reality, there are still certain habitual tendencies that have accumulated over numberless kalpas which cannot be purified in a single instant. That person should certainly be taught how to gradually remove the karmic tendencies and mental habits: this is cultivation. There is no other method of cultivation that needs to be taught to that person.”"
(Sun-Face Buddha, p. 24-25, tr. M. Poceski)

Hanshan Deqing writes,

"This state of actualized-enlightenment can be further divided into shallow and profound realizations. If you exert your efforts at the root [of your existence], smashing away the cave of the eighth consciousness, and instantaneously overturn the den of fundamental ignorance, with one leap directly enter [the realm of enlightenment], then there is nothing further for you to learn. This is having supreme karmic roots. Your actualization will be profound indeed. The depth of actualization for those who practice gradually, [on the other hand,] will be shallow.
...
So called sudden enlightenment and gradual practice refers to one who has experienced a thorough enlightenment but, still has remnant habit tendencies that are not instantaneously purified. For these people, they must, implement the principles from their enlightenment that they have realized to face all circumstances of life and, bring forth the strength from their contemplation and illumination to experience their minds in difficult situations."


I think that saying "no seeking" requires loads of practices is contrary to Linji's approach to the matter.

"Bring to rest the thoughts of the ceaselessly seeking mind, and you will not differ from the patriarch-buddha. Do you want to know the patriarch-buddha? He is none other than you who stand before me listening to my discourse. But because you students lack faith in yourselves, you run around seeking something outside. Even if, through your seeking, you did find something, that something would be nothing more than fancy descriptions in written words; never would you gain the mind of the living patriarch. Make no mistake, worthy Chan men! If you don’t fi nd it here and now, you’ll go on transmigrating through the three realms for myriads of kalpas and thousands of lives, and, held in the clutch of captivating circumstances, be born in the wombs of asses or cows."
(Record of Linji, p. 8, tr. Sasaki)

"This threefold body is you, listening to my discourse right now before my very eyes. It is precisely because you don’t run around seeking outside that you have such meritorious activities."
(p. 9)

"What is my purpose in speaking this way? I do so only because you followers of the Way cannot stop your mind from running around everywhere seeking, because you go clambering aft er the worthless contrivances of the men of old."
...
"Virtuous monks, time is precious. And yet, hurrying hither and thither, you try to learn meditation, to study the Way, to accept names, to accept phrases, to seek buddha, to seek a patriarch, to seek a good teacher, to think and speculate.
Make no mistake, followers of the Way! Aft er all, you have a father and a mother—what more do you seek? Turn your own light inward upon yourselves! A man of old said:
Yajñadatta [thought he had] lost his head,
But when his seeking mind came to rest, he was at ease."

(p. 10)

"Outside mind there’s no dharma, nor is there anything to be gained within it. What are you seeking? Everywhere you say, ‘There’s something to practice, something to obtain.’ Make no mistake! Even if there were something to be gained by practice, it would be nothing but birth-and-death karma. You say, ‘Th e six pāramitās and the ten thousand [virtuous] actions are all to be practiced.’ As I see it, all this is just making karma."
...
"There are a bunch of blind shavepates who, having stuffed themselves with food, sit down to meditate and practice contemplation. Arresting the flow of thought they don’t let it rise; they hate noise and seek stillness. Th is is the method of the heretics. A patriarch said, ‘If you stop the mind to look at stillness, arouse the mind to illumine outside, control the mind to clarify inside, concentrate the mind to enter samādhi—all such [practices] as these are artificial striving.’"
(p. 17)

"Followers of the Way, true buddha has no fi gure, true dharma has no form. All you’re doing is devising models and patterns out of phantoms. Anything you may fi nd through seeking will be nothing more than a wild fox-spirit; it certainly won’t be the true buddha. It will be the understanding of a heretic."
(p. 20)

"I say to you there is no buddha, no dharma, nothing to practice, nothing to enlighten to. Just what are you seeking in the highways and byways? Blind men! You’re putting a head on top of the one you already have. What do you yourselves lack? Followers of the Way, your own present activities do not diff er from those of the patriarch-buddhas. You just don’t believe this and keep on seeking outside. Make no mistake! Outside there is no dharma; inside, there is nothing to be obtained. Better than grasp at the words from my mouth, take it easy and do nothing. Don’t continue [thoughts] that have already arisen and don’t let those that haven’t yet arisen be aroused. Just this will be worth far more to you than a ten years’ pilgrimage."
(p. 22)
"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: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby greentara » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:33 am

"I say to you there is no buddha, no dharma, nothing to practice, nothing to enlighten to. Just what are you seeking in the highways and byways? Blind men! You’re putting a head on top of the one you already have. What do you yourselves lack? Followers of the Way, your own present activities do not diff er from those of the patriarch-buddhas. You just don’t believe this and keep on seeking outside. Make no mistake! Outside there is no dharma; inside, there is nothing to be obtained. Better than grasp at the words from my mouth, take it easy and do nothing. Don’t continue [thoughts] that have already arisen and don’t let those that haven’t yet arisen be aroused. Just this will be worth far more to you than a ten years’ pilgrimage."
Of course this is wonderful and reminds me of the great advaitic teachers which's so similar to Zen. Would you agree this is only for the very ripe?
Maybe this is what the Buddha meant that "it is only for those with a little dust in their eyes'
The truth is if you are still enamoured with the world you simply havn't had enough of it yet!
Can you train yourself or block the mind into enlightenment? Can you will yourself into enlightenment? I suspect not!
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Astus » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:50 am

When the Buddha talked about those with little dust in their eyes, it was about people who are capable of understanding the Dharma. That is, any Buddhist.

Enlightenment is not about gaining or getting rid of something. It is realising for oneself that there is nothing to gain or lose, which is the same as saying that there is nothing to seek, that the mind is originally perfect. The one reading this is without form or substance and there is no hindrance to its all encompassing activities. Isn't this true?
"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: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby ground » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:47 am

Alex123 wrote:2) What is the difference between an ordinary worldly person and Buddhist who follows the above?

Ideas are the substance of "difference" ... both on the side of the assessed "worldly person and Buddhist" and on the side of the one who is assessing. :sage:
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby greentara » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:58 pm

Astus, It maybe premature to say that I am without form or substance .....even though the scriptures may say it's true.
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Astus » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:03 pm

greentara wrote:Astus, It maybe premature to say that I am without form or substance .....even though the scriptures may say it's true.


Is there a thought, a feeling or any experience that you constantly perceive? If not, it can't be said there is a substantial thing anywhere. Nevertheless, you can still perform your daily tasks, interact with people and decide what you want to do next. Isn't that how it appears to you? That's why there is no need to seek anything beyond this mind.
"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: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Alex123 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:24 pm

ground wrote:
Alex123 wrote:2) What is the difference between an ordinary worldly person and Buddhist who follows the above?

Ideas are the substance of "difference" ... both on the side of the assessed "worldly person and Buddhist" and on the side of the one who is assessing. :sage:


Is it correct to say that Buddhist understands whatever that occurs to be anatta while worldly person does not?

Interesting experiment:
Sit in meditation posture and order your body-mind not to perceive, feel, intend, think or cognize anything. Thoughts will still occur, sounds can still be heard, there still be bodily feelings even if "you" have ordered "your" mind not to experience anything.

No matter how much we try to experience or not experience something, events still occur. There is no Self to control them.

Things happen the only way they could happen due to impersonal cause-effect process.

Maybe this sort of understanding/observation applied every moment helps to develop more understanding of anatta and this separates non-doing of a practitioner vs ordinary worldling living ordinary life.
Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean"
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Music » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:31 pm

This is a dangerous teaching. There is so much to do - the mind is a mess, and it needs cleaning up. Doing nothing changes nothing.
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby songhill » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:29 pm

This is from Lin Chi's "Finger Pointing at the Moon."

"Followers of the Tao, this mountain monk's view does not differ from that of Sakyamuni Buddha. In all the variety of our daily activities, is there anything lacking? The spiritual light manifesting through the six senses, has never been interrupted. He who is able to perceive it (in this manner), can be an unconcerned man for (the rest of) his life" (trans. Charles Luk).


Without the experience of this "spiritual light" or as it is called in the Lankavatara Sutra, the "light of Mahayana" one knows nothing of Sakyamuni's Buddhism or, for that matter, patriarch Zen.
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby ground » Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:43 pm

Music wrote:This is a dangerous teaching.

What fabricates danger upon seeing meaningless words aka form? Where does fear come from?

Music wrote:There is so much to do - the mind is a mess, and it needs cleaning up. Doing nothing changes nothing.

Let mess be mess. Mind cannot be found. :sage:
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Yudron » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:26 pm

Music wrote:This is a dangerous teaching. There is so much to do - the mind is a mess, and it needs cleaning up. Doing nothing changes nothing.


You can't clean a mess with a mess. Ulitmately, we have to find that which is other than the mess and abide in that. However, since we don't believe that, the Buddha gave all kinds of things for us to do.
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Meido » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:40 pm

"Abide in that" which has been recognized is indeed the point.

Theoretical understanding of what Linji says is not sufficient. Recognition of one's nature - what he calls "the true man of no rank" - is not by itself sufficient. Integrating activities of body/speech/mind within that recognition - described by Hakuin in terms of actualizing the Four Wisdoms and Three Bodies - is the often neglected part.

Any of us who think to follow Linji's teaching have to ask ourselves to what extent we have accomplished all three of these things...and if we are, indeed, among those very few with deep enough qualities that all are accomplished immediately or simultaneously, without recourse to the long and exhaustive practice undertaken by the teachers and Patriarchs we discuss.

~ Meido
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Astus » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:52 pm

Although this is from Menzan Zuiho's Jijuyu Zanmai, the sentiment is the same:

"If Zen indicated nothing but doing dhyana, it would be the dhyana of the six paramita, or the samadhi of the three studies. All bodhisattvas practice these, and since they all practice zazen, they would not select just one of those practices and give it the special name of marvelous mind of nirvana a, the eye of the storehouse of true dharma, and pass it down.
Even though there are many people who are said to be doing zazen, all of them are apparently doing the practice of the ordinary deluded followers of the two vehicles or following the provisional bodhisattva [way]. Those who know the Buddha Samadhi, the realm of the original awakening of the Buddhas, are rare. Because of this [misunderstanding] people concentrate on a koan to hasten awakening. They labor the mind to find the subject who sees and hears [kenmon no shujinko]. They sweep clear the distracted mind [monen] and think that no-mind [munen] is good."

(Zen Classics, p. 257-258)
"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: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby greentara » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:26 am

Astus, I think it's best to stay with what I know. I know I exist..... more then that I can't be sure of! To quote these great masters, they are talking from the top of the mountain from enlightenment itself, it is incomprehensible, beyond words. If I ever have a breakthrough I'll be shrieking: "This is it! This is it!"
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby ground » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:28 am

Alex123 wrote:
ground wrote:
Alex123 wrote:2) What is the difference between an ordinary worldly person and Buddhist who follows the above?

Ideas are the substance of "difference" ... both on the side of the assessed "worldly person and Buddhist" and on the side of the one who is assessing. :sage:


Is it correct to say that Buddhist understands whatever that occurs to be anatta while worldly person does not?

Don't know but what I do know is that "I" is not a buddhist. So "buddhist" .. is it an imputation on something different from self or is it self or both?

Alex123 wrote:Interesting experiment:
Sit in meditation posture and order your body-mind not to perceive, feel, intend, think or cognize anything. Thoughts will still occur, sounds can still be heard, there still be bodily feelings even if "you" have ordered "your" mind not to experience anything.

No matter how much we try to experience or not experience something, events still occur. There is no Self to control them.

Things happen the only way they could happen due to impersonal cause-effect process.

Maybe this sort of understanding/observation applied every moment helps to develop more understanding of anatta and this separates non-doing of a practitioner vs ordinary worldling living ordinary life.

If practitioner practices to achieve the practitioner and worldling, both take aggregates as self. Then there is no difference since there is no knowing. However if there is knowing then there is no difference either from the perspective of knowing. Difference only is from the perspective of not knowing which takes aggregates as self and therefore as difference. :sage:
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Re: "No Seeking" teaching of Linchi (Rinzai)

Postby Astus » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:53 am

greentara wrote:Astus, I think it's best to stay with what I know. I know I exist..... more then that I can't be sure of!


That knowledge is already enough. There is nothing else to be discussed in Buddhism.

"I know I exist" - this is the starting point. Then one has to look at what is it that exists. That's the five aggregates and the eighteen sensory areas. They are two ways of categorising our everyday experience.

Image

There is nothing else that we can consider existing beyond those. Forms, sounds, feelings and ideas are all covered. And this is where one has to investigate, look at how they exist. This is called insight meditation, vipasyana. This is level one. Zen comes a couple of steps later.
"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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