American "Zen"

Re: American "Zen"

Postby shel » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:03 am

Seymjo wrote:(Students) take written teachings as spears and shields and attack each other ...


:tongue: Not only students, friend.
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:31 pm

jeeprs wrote:I don't hang around UFO enthusiast forums saying 'hey UFOs are just projections, you know.' It would be a waste of everyone's time.

There is a relevant difference between UFO enthusiasm and "Zen" which is that "Zen" is presented as being part of Buddhism, whereas UFO enthusiasm is not typically presented as part of some larger spiritual or cultural movement. As an American Buddhist I think I am well within my rights to concern myself with how Buddhism is being presented in this country, and online discourse is actually a very important part of that these days. So, I don't think criticism of "Zen" in online forums is necessarily a waste of everyone's time.
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: American "Zen"

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:50 pm

I was referring to a particular comment on that thread on Sweeping Zen which was linked to, which called into question the whole idea of Zen practice on the grounds of it being projection and evasion. (I can't find it again now). My point only was that if your view is that the practice of Zen is pointless, why bother engaging in commentary?

Actually I am going to take my own medicine now. I have been spending too much time on forums, making comments and debating. I don't know if it is useful. I am going to take some time out. Bye. :namaste:
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby shel » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:17 pm

If it's the comment that I think it is, Spike is saying that's how zazen is in the West, not that that is how all Zen is.
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:37 pm

jeeprs wrote:Actually I am going to take my own medicine now. I have been spending too much time on forums, making comments and debating. I don't know if it is useful. I am going to take some time out. Bye. :namaste:

Bye. :hi:
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: American "Zen"

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:49 pm

Poor Nonin, he really seems to have shot himself in the foot with that article. :oops:
I'd feel sorry for him but he is, after all, a "Zen Master", so I figure he can take it.
This Katagiri thing is blowing up in his face and I think that may explain why his comments
are so belligerent.
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: American "Zen"

Postby Jikan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:52 pm

dzogchungpa wrote: As an American Buddhist I think I am well within my rights to concern myself with how Buddhism is being presented in this country, and online discourse is actually a very important part of that these days. So, I don't think criticism of "Zen" in online forums is necessarily a waste of everyone's time.


:good:
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby shel » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:41 am

dzogchungpa wrote:Poor Nonin, he really seems to have shot himself in the foot with that article. :oops:
I'd feel sorry for him but he is, after all, a "Zen Master", so I figure he can take it.
This Katagiri thing is blowing up in his face and I think that may explain why his comments
are so belligerent.

Hopefully Zen teachers like this will wise-up and stick to their own sanghas and internet sites like Zen Forum International where they are well insulated from critical feedback.
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:02 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Comments like this really make me feel like "Zen" is some kind of spiritual illness.


Much of what passes for "Zen" in the English-speaking world is just that, in my opinion. This is evidenced in some of the threads here at DharmaWheel.

Much of it. Not all of it. There exist Zen teachers and centers in the US who practice Dharma authentically, often quietly, letting their practice speak for itself. I have seen this first-hand. I can give some examples if you like.
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:10 pm

Jikan wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Comments like this really make me feel like "Zen" is some kind of spiritual illness.


Much of what passes for "Zen" in the English-speaking world is just that, in my opinion. This is evidenced in some of the threads here at DharmaWheel.

Much of it. Not all of it. There exist Zen teachers and centers in the US who practice Dharma authentically, often quietly, letting their practice speak for itself. I have seen this first-hand. I can give some examples if you like.

I'm sure you're right, and I would be happy to hear your examples. Astus also provided some, and I've been meaning to check them out.I began this thread mostly as a reaction, possibly an overreaction, to what I see online. I kind of wonder why there is so much "Zen" these days, and I don't think the Conze quote from the OP is totally off. I think there may have been something about how Zen was initially presented to the west that made it particularly vulnerable to the rise of "Zen", and we're seeing the results.
Last edited by dzogchungpa on Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: American "Zen"

Postby Astus » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:31 pm

The deviations you see in Zen today happened before in China and other countries too. You just have to read the laments of the masters of the era.
"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: American "Zen"

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:34 pm

dzogchungpa wrote: I think there may have been something about how Zen was initially presented to the west that made it particularly vulnerable to the rise of "Zen", and we're seeing the results.Zen


^^^This. Absolutely. The anti-intellectualism and authoritarian tendencies of Japanese Zen led to this kind of culture, at least in part. Even David Loy, whose work is problematic in its own way*, makes this point (this is in The Great Awakening), just to cite one instance.

I've had very positive experiences at the Zen Community of Oregon, led by Jan Chozen Bays. I've had excellent interactions with the Blue Heron Zen people in Seattle, the Golden Wind Zen people in SoCal, Daiyuzenji Temple in Chicago, among others. Remarkably for this thread, I once sat a weekend retreat with a student of Joshu Sasaki (long before the abuse we have been discussing became public knowledge) in Reno that transformed my life. There are others.

At the risk of overgeneralizing, it seems to me that the Zen proponents who do the self-promoting and speaking online and in the media are often the ones who face problematic situations (ahem) of the kind we are discussing. The ones who know don't talk so much online; the ones who talk a lot, by contrast... (speaking as someone who rarely hesitates to open his mouth online)


*If you'd like a detailed criticism of Loy's position, we can do it in another thread. I'm working on Loy's social thought as part of a separate project...
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:38 pm

Astus wrote:The deviations you see in Zen today happened before in China and other countries too. You just have to read the laments of the masters of the era.


Certainly. I think the point I'd like to make is that while there are real failings going on (and on and on and on) in this context, there are also earnest practitioners.

I'd like to encourage people to practice earnestly, together. This ropes in a number of serious and grave issues around leadership, institutions, healing, and so on moving forward. These must be addressed publicly and critically, and permanently. How else to avoid repeating those same failings?
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:12 pm

Jikan wrote:I once sat a weekend retreat with a student of Joshu Sasaki (long before the abuse we have been discussing became public knowledge) in Reno that transformed my life.

May I ask who that was?
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: American "Zen"

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:18 pm

Jiun Hosen, Osho.

She's among the most straightforward people I have ever met.
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:32 pm

Jikan wrote:Jiun Hosen, Osho.

She's among the most straightforward people I have ever met.

OK, thanks.
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: American "Zen"

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:00 pm

Kobutsu Malone's comment is quite amusing:

http://sweepingzen.com/unethical-practices/#comment-11506

:rolling:

As far as I can tell, Nonin's ridiculous article has not even been mentioned at "Z"FI, which is a good indication of the nature of that forum. A thread like this could not even begin to take place there.
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: American "Zen"

Postby shel » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:40 pm

I wonder what the lighthearted and witty comeback will be. :tongue:
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby shel » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:29 am

Well, not so witty or lighthearted after all.

I have received many positive compliments on my article from a variety of people who were calm enough to read it and smart enough to understand it. The negative stuff posted as comments here comes from the internet trolls...


So positive feedback is from calm smart people, and negative feedback is from stupid trolls?
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Re: American "Zen"

Postby Dan74 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:29 am

Jikan wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote: I think there may have been something about how Zen was initially presented to the west that made it particularly vulnerable to the rise of "Zen", and we're seeing the results.Zen


^^^This. Absolutely. The anti-intellectualism and authoritarian tendencies of Japanese Zen led to this kind of culture, at least in part. Even David Loy, whose work is problematic in its own way*, makes this point (this is in The Great Awakening), just to cite one instance.

I've had very positive experiences at the Zen Community of Oregon, led by Jan Chozen Bays. I've had excellent interactions with the Blue Heron Zen people in Seattle, the Golden Wind Zen people in SoCal, Daiyuzenji Temple in Chicago, among others. Remarkably for this thread, I once sat a weekend retreat with a student of Joshu Sasaki (long before the abuse we have been discussing became public knowledge) in Reno that transformed my life. There are others.

At the risk of overgeneralizing, it seems to me that the Zen proponents who do the self-promoting and speaking online and in the media are often the ones who face problematic situations (ahem) of the kind we are discussing. The ones who know don't talk so much online; the ones who talk a lot, by contrast... (speaking as someone who rarely hesitates to open his mouth online)


*If you'd like a detailed criticism of Loy's position, we can do it in another thread. I'm working on Loy's social thought as part of a separate project...


Jikan, I think it is not a good idea to cast such aspersions. Nonin has already copped enough flak over this article without innuendos cast that he might himself be "one who face problematic situations ( ahem)."

Those who know of our interactions, would know I am no fan of Nonin, but many of the attacks are unskillful and unfair.

Sometimes it is a good idea to bite ones tongue (yes).
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