What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Astus » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:36 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Has this been your own experience?


My experience is very limited as I have only participated in the life of a couple of Zen communities and visited some others. That's why I also rely on other people's reports and even more on how the different groups and teachers describe their Zen.
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby randomseb » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:14 pm

Jnana wrote:
randomseb wrote:If there is really no such thing as an independent self, what is it that continues post-mortem?

Moments of consciousness.

randomseb wrote:What is it that has been there from the start of your having read this reply? Not a self, according to Buddha!

Consciousness is impermanent, unsatisfactory, empty, and therefore not a self.


You are born from a body, in which you start experiencing the world, you build up experience, memory, a modal of the world, neuroses,.behavior patterns, the works..Standard psychology, right.. All of this is like a big looming dark storm cloud of mind-crap growing and growing and flowing around and such, and in this analogy, behind this cloud is the clear blue sky, peaceful and serene, and beyond this clear sky shines the brilliant sun, fiercely illuminating the world. This mind-crap cloud is what we usually thing of our self, but clouds are rather insubstantial and temporary, right? In this meaningless analogy, the clear blue sky is undifferentiated pure Mindspace, and the sun is the light of awareness shining forth.

:quoteunquote:
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Jnana » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:22 pm

randomseb wrote:You are born from a body....

You are born because of previous karma.
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:40 pm

Jnana wrote:Someone having a title of "Zen Master", is not a guarantee that that person has realized any level of awakening.


While in  a  very literal sense, you could say that's true, as there's always a slight chance in life that somebody might not be,

In actual practice, a kensho is a requirement to recieve Dharma Transmission. Kensho's are confirmed, and can be peer-reviewed by other Zen Masters.

So it's a pretty good indication of at least some level of awakening.

Sara
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:41 pm

Astus wrote:Sara,

The common idea of Dharma-transmission


Well, the common idea of something isn't necessarily the most accurate, or the one that's true.

When people have a lot of common misinformation about something it distorts the level of accuracy of the common understanding.

is that an enlightened teacher confirms the enlightenment of a student. This has been passed down from Shakyamuni himself, making all person in the lineage equal to the Buddha.


This is a misunderstanding.

Being in the same lineage of the BuddhaKs teaching does not nessicarily mean that one is a Buddha themselves, or was while they were living. They can be, as I've said, but they does't mean they necessarily are.


That is, a Zen teacher is a living buddha (活佛 - the Chinese term used for tulkus, whereas tulku means nirmanakaya, i.e. an emanation of a buddha; just to show how the Zen idea of transmission gives a similar (actually higher) level of importance as being a tulku in Vajrayana).


A tulku, is a person in the Tibetan system who according to their system has been confirmed to be carrying a great teacher, or figure of some importance in a past life.
This is not the same in any way as the Zen system. It does not compare as they are two different things.

What is being transmitted is the buddha-mind, in other words the level of enlightenment confirmed is the realisation of the dharmakaya, something that only perfectly enlightened buddhas know.


No. The Buddha Mind, is something anybody can experience. Complete Buddhahood is something only someone who is a Buddha, has experienced. There is a difference. This is why you have to be careful about reading these things litterally. The term Buddha Mind, in Zen nearly always refers to the Buddha Nature. Something we can all experience. Buddha's may generally be able to stay true to this Mind all the time, but anyone can experience a brief glimpse of it, and train themselves to stay in it, over and over again, over time.

This is the misunderstanding. Having a kensho does not mean you've become a Buddha.

This concept of the Zen teacher comes down to actual practice in the form of absolute authority of the master in all religious issues where students are completely dependent on a teacher to achieve liberation. It is a control system where no one can claim enlightenment unless verified by the master, and receiving such verification is in itself a declaration of buddhahood.

As I've said, this concept is incorrect.
It comes from a literal intepretation of Dharma scriptures. Any Zen Master could tell you otherwise, if one were to simply ask them. This is why we take refuge in the Sangha, and do not just assume we know ourselves better than anybody what these scriptures mean. Oftentimes little differences in misunderstandings make a big difference when it comes to knowing the Dharma and what it actually means.
An initial kensho does not mean you are a Buddha, and a Zen Master will plainly say so if you ask them.

Popular understanding or no, it's not actually true, and is a misunderstanding.

There are of course attempts to degrade the meaning of a Zen teacher, saying that he is only an ordinary fallible person,

This isn't an attempt at degrading. It's an accurate understanding of how it actually is.

it's just that it doesn't agree with the otherwise upheld idea of the transmission of the enlightened mind.

That's because the popular understanding is wrong. A Zen Master will tell you this if you ask them.

Every Zen student aspires to buddhahood

Yes, but a kensho does not mean Buddhahood.

and relies on the teacher to tell them when they are there or not,

No, that's a misunderstanding.

A teacher can confirm a kensho for you, if and when you intend to become a priest, and dependant upon the policies of the organization to which they belong.
When you have a kensho, you know it with your blood and bones, but this is not the same as Buddhahood.


therefore the master is the sole judge about a student's progress,

No, this is incorrect. A kensho confirmation is peer-reviewable. Jiyu-Kennett's kensho for instance, the initial one which qualified her for Dharma Transmission was peer-reviewed by several eminent others, do to the controversy involved in Transmitting a woman in Japan at the time. They had to make sure. 


and since all disciples want to receive that confirmation they will constantly try to please the teacher.

You can please the teacher until you're blue in the face. Pleasing the teacher isn't going to get you a kensho. Doing your own training will. Listening to what they say, they are there for guidelines, and to keep you on track in this process. A kensho cannot be forced by pleasing the teacher. It is not dependant upon that and is just a delusion in and of itself.


Because a student is stripped of all independent understanding,

No, they will get the understanding of experiencing the Eternal, if and when they have one. That is the point of this, to KNOW the Unborn, not to rely on the Master or spiritual teacher to do everything for you. They plainly cannot.

whatever the master says is correct or incorrect must be so.

That's not true either. Again, this is why we take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, AND Sangha. We take refuge in the Buddha in our own sitting, and trust our gut or own intuition, and also take refuge in the advice or counsel of others. Teachers can and do make mistakes.
However, it is important to listen before you have a kensho. Because without one you have no way of knowing whether your feelings you are listening to are just your own delusion and so make mistakes. A teacher does sort this out (as best they can) that is their role.

If you say that transmission is not about enlightenment,

It is about enlightenment. There is more than one stage of enlightenment before becoming Buddha's. A Zen Master is only guaranteed to be of the first step. Not complete Buddhahood.

the patriarchs are not at all equal to buddhas,

Some of them may not have been. Most of them likely achieved final Buddhahood upon death.

it is not the realisation of buddha-mind that is confirmed, then what is the point of Zen?


Yes, it is.

A realization of the Buddha Mind is not the same as Buddhahood.
There is a difference.

Sara
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:50 pm

Astus wrote:Sara,

The common idea of Dharma-transmission


Well, the common idea of something isn't necessarily the most accurate, or the one that's true.

When people have a lot of common misinformation about something it distorts the level of accuracy of the common understanding.

is that an enlightened teacher confirms the enlightenment of a student. This has been passed down from Shakyamuni himself, making all person in the lineage equal to the Buddha.


This is a misunderstanding.

Being in the same lineage of the BuddhaKs teaching does not nessicarily mean that one is a Buddha themselves, or was while they were living. They can be, as I've said, but they does't mean they necessarily are.


That is, a Zen teacher is a living buddha (活佛 - the Chinese term used for tulkus, whereas tulku means nirmanakaya, i.e. an emanation of a buddha; just to show how the Zen idea of transmission gives a similar (actually higher) level of importance as being a tulku in Vajrayana).


A tulku, is a person in the Tibetan system who according to their system has been confirmed to be carrying a great teacher, or figure of some importance in a past life.
This is not the same in any way as the Zen system. It does not compare as they are two different things.

What is being transmitted is the buddha-mind, in other words the level of enlightenment confirmed is the realisation of the dharmakaya, something that only perfectly enlightened buddhas know.


No. The Buddha Mind, is something anybody can experience. Complete Buddhahood is something only someone who is a Buddha, has experienced. There is a difference. This is why you have to be careful about reading these things litterally. The term Buddha Mind, in Zen nearly always refers to the Buddha Nature. Something we can all experience. Buddha's may generally be able to stay true to this Mind all the time, but anyone can experience a brief glimpse of it, and train themselves to stay in it, over and over again, over time.

This is the misunderstanding. Having a kensho does not mean you've become a Buddha.

This concept of the Zen teacher comes down to actual practice in the form of absolute authority of the master in all religious issues where students are completely dependent on a teacher to achieve liberation. It is a control system where no one can claim enlightenment unless verified by the master, and receiving such verification is in itself a declaration of buddhahood.

As I've said, this concept is incorrect.
It comes from a literal intepretation of Dharma scriptures. Any Zen Master could tell you otherwise, if one were to simply ask them. This is why we take refuge in the Sangha, and do not just assume we know ourselves better than anybody what these scriptures mean. Oftentimes little differences in misunderstandings make a big difference when it comes to knowing the Dharma and what it actually means.
An initial kensho does not mean you are a Buddha, and a Zen Master will plainly say so if you ask them.

Popular understanding or no, it's not actually true, and is a misunderstanding.

There are of course attempts to degrade the meaning of a Zen teacher, saying that he is only an ordinary fallible person,

This isn't an attempt at degrading. It's an accurate understanding of how it actually is.

it's just that it doesn't agree with the otherwise upheld idea of the transmission of the enlightened mind.

That's because the popular understanding is wrong. A Zen Master will tell you this if you ask them.

Every Zen student aspires to buddhahood

Yes, but a kensho does not mean Buddhahood.

and relies on the teacher to tell them when they are there or not,

No, that's a misunderstanding.

A teacher can confirm a kensho for you, if and when you intend to become a priest, and dependant upon the policies of the organization to which they belong.
When you have a kensho, you know it with your blood and bones, but this is not the same as Buddhahood.


therefore the master is the sole judge about a student's progress,

No, this is incorrect. A kensho confirmation is peer-reviewable. Jiyu-Kennett's kensho for instance, the initial one which qualified her for Dharma Transmission was peer-reviewed by several eminent others, do to the controversy involved in Transmitting a woman in Japan at the time. They had to make sure. 


and since all disciples want to receive that confirmation they will constantly try to please the teacher.

You can please the teacher until you're blue in the face. Pleasing the teacher isn't going to get you a kensho. Doing your own training will. Listening to what they say, they are there for guidelines, and to keep you on track in this process. A kensho cannot be forced by pleasing the teacher. It is not dependant upon that and is just a delusion in and of itself.


Because a student is stripped of all independent understanding,

No, they will get the understanding of experiencing the Eternal, if and when they have one. That is the point of this, to KNOW the Unborn, not to rely on the Master or spiritual teacher to do everything for you. They plainly cannot.

whatever the master says is correct or incorrect must be so.

That's not true either. Again, this is why we take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, AND Sangha. We take refuge in the Buddha in our own sitting, and trust our gut or own intuition, and also take refuge in the advice or counsel of others. Teachers can and do make mistakes.
However, it is important to listen before you have a kensho. Because without one you have no way of knowing whether your feelings you are listening to are just your own delusion and so make mistakes. A teacher does sort this out (as best they can) that is their role.

If you say that transmission is not about enlightenment,

It is about enlightenment. There is more than one stage of enlightenment before becoming Buddha's. A Zen Master is only guaranteed to be of the first step. Not complete Buddhahood.

the patriarchs are not at all equal to buddhas,

Some of them may not have been. Most of them likely achieved final Buddhahood upon death.

it is not the realisation of buddha-mind that is confirmed, then what is the point of Zen?


Yes, it is.

A realization of the Buddha Mind (or seeing/experiencing a glimpse of the Buddha Nature) is not the same as Buddhahood.
There is a difference.

Sara
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby shel » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:11 pm

Sara H wrote:
Astus wrote: it is not the realisation of buddha-mind that is confirmed, then what is the point of Zen?


Yes, it is.

A realization of the Buddha Mind (or seeing/experiencing a glimpse of the Buddha Nature) is not the same as Buddhahood.
There is a difference.


There is a difference, however Zen is Buddhism, and in Buddhism the point is not to merely get a glimpse of Buddha Nature. Indeed even in Zen, which is Mahāyāna Buddhism, there are daily vows to save all sentient beings. A glimpse of Buddha Nature doesn't end suffering for anyone, especially when in leads to nihilistic irresponsibility, as may be the case in the recent Zen master scandals.
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Astus » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:18 am

Sara,

It is about enlightenment. There is more than one stage of enlightenment before becoming Buddha's. A Zen Master is only guaranteed to be of the first step. Not complete Buddhahood.


Which stage of enlightenment is kensho, the first step? Is it the first of the Ten Faiths (十信), faith (信心)? Is it the first bhumi, i.e. the path of seeing? Or something else?

By the way, once there are stages, it is not the path of sudden but of gradual enlightenment.
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby randomseb » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:36 pm

Sara H wrote:
it is not the realisation of buddha-mind that is confirmed, then what is the point of Zen?


Yes, it is.

A realization of the Buddha Mind is not the same as Buddhahood.
There is a difference.

Sara


Funny, the people who started zen don't agree with you on this, and they do so quite clearly. The Patriarchs, the early Masters and so on. You really ought to study the material they left, it's not that much and it clarifies a lot of things heh

Jnana, do you know anyone who is not born from a body? Previous karma or not, this irrelevant :rolling:
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:16 pm

Astus wrote:Sara,

It is about enlightenment. There is more than one stage of enlightenment before becoming Buddha's. A Zen Master is only guaranteed to be of the first step. Not complete Buddhahood.


Which stage of enlightenment is kensho, the first step? Is it the first of the Ten Faiths (十信), faith (信心)? Is it the first bhumi, i.e. the path of seeing? Or something else?

By the way, once there are stages, it is not the path of sudden but of gradual enlightenment.


All enlightenment is one continual flow, and so using the term, "stage" is a misnomer. But, we have to use words to talk about it, so in the sense of this context, yes, a kensho could be considered stage one from that perspective, out of three.

Another way it's been "categorized into stages" historically is Ten Oxherding Pictures.

It's just another way to do it, to talk about the stages involved.

But yes, while it is "one continual flow", practically speaking, there are discernible stages involved.

Sara
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Astus » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:38 pm

Sara,

There are various ways in Buddhism to categorise the different stages on the path. Various Zen teachers say different things about what level of enlightenment is attained at seeing the nature of mind. So, what interpretation is yours, or your teacher's, in this case? On what stage of the bodhisattva path a Zen master needs to be on?

The Ten Oxherding Picture doesn't really answer the above question as it is used only within the Zen tradition and doesn't specify its relationship to the bodhisattva path.
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby shel » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:40 pm

The first bhūmi, called the "Very Joyous", is attained with the first direct perception of emptiness (a "glimpse of the Buddha nature"). On this first level practitioners train in ethics in order to cleanse their minds of negativity.

That sounds about right. :cheers:
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:14 pm

Astus wrote:Sara,

There are various ways in Buddhism to categorise the different stages on the path. Various Zen teachers say different things about what level of enlightenment is attained at seeing the nature of mind. So, what interpretation is yours, or your teacher's, in this case? On what stage of the bodhisattva path a Zen master needs to be on?

The Ten Oxherding Picture doesn't really answer the above question as it is used only within the Zen tradition and doesn't specify its relationship to the bodhisattva path.


A Bodhisattva is someone who was a Buddha in a previous life, or became one at the time of death, and did not have to be reborn again. However, they chose to do so out of love to help others and continue to try and be of service.

A Zen Teacher must have at least an initial kensho, in order to qualify for Dharma Transmission to be able to teach.

Whether or not they were born as an actual Bodhisattva or not, is not a dependent factor on whether or not they are eligible to receive Dharma Transmission.

They might actually be a Bodhisattva, (who knows), or they might become one later, and some have perhaps become actual Buddha's (it's possible). but all they are certified to be at, is to have at least an initial kensho.

Beyond, that, depends on the person.

Sara
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby conebeckham » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:07 am

Sara H wrote:A Bodhisattva is someone who was a Buddha in a previous life, or became one at the time of death, and did not have to be reborn again. However, they chose to do so out of love to help others and continue to try and be of service.

That is a peculiar interpretation, and at odds with most other orthodox lineages, Sara.
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:51 am

Sara,

As far as I know, all Buddhist schools (including Theravada) consider a bodhisattva to be a person aspiring for buddhahood. Mahayana is also called the bodhisattvayana because it considers the path of the bodhisattva as the definitive and superior way. This is reflected in the four major bodhisattva vows that in most Zen communities people recite regularly. Also, someone who has already reached the level of a buddha is a buddha and not a bodhisattva.

As shel said, the first bhumi is considered the first actual insight into emptiness by most schools. However, for instance Jinul says that the initial insight is the first stage of Faith (i.e. the 1st of the 52 stages, where the 1st bhumi is equivalent to stage 41), while others say that initial enlightenment (seeing nature) is equal to the 1st, or the 7th bhumi, or buddhahood. There was a discussion about it in this thread: Buddhahood in Chan.

Since you say that kensho is not buddhahood it must be something below that level. Because you also say that Zen teachers are ordinary beings (pudgala), it can't be the 1st bhumi either (as that's where the path of the arya/noble bodhisattvas start). That leaves us the question what you actually mean by kensho. What is realised there? Is it the emptiness of self, the emptiness of the dharmas, the emptiness of the mind, or something else?
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Sara H » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:05 am

Astus wrote:Sara,
As shel said, the first bhumi is considered the first actual insight into emptiness by most schools. However, for instance Jinul says that the initial insight is the first stage of Faith (i.e. the 1st of the 52 stages, where the 1st bhumi is equivalent to stage 41), while others say that initial enlightenment (seeing nature) is equal to the 1st, or the 7th bhumi, or buddhahood. There was a discussion about it in this thread: Buddhahood in Chan.

Since you say that kensho is not buddhahood it must be something below that level. Because you also say that Zen teachers are ordinary beings (pudgala), it can't be the 1st bhumi either (as that's where the path of the arya/noble bodhisattvas start). That leaves us the question what you actually mean by kensho. What is realised there? Is it the emptiness of self, the emptiness of the dharmas, the emptiness of the mind, or something else?


The first bhumi as Shel described it above is a perfect description of an innitial kensho.

That, would be exactly what a Zen Master is certified to be at, at a minimum.

Regarding the Bodhisattva, I actually need to retract that previous definition.
I checked with my spouse who is far more knowledgeable on that area of Buddhism than me,
And she confirmed, that the one I put forth was not entirely accurate.

When I'm less tired I may post a better one later.

The rest of that post is fine as it stands though, minus the redacted section on the definition of a Bodhisattva.

Sara
"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: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:33 am

The first bhumi includes a number of qualities, the definition is usually derived from the Avatamsaka Sutra's chapter on the Ten Stages. Among other things, an arya bodhisattva has great compassion and doesn't fail in upholding the precepts bodily and verbally (mental perfection comes on the 2nd bhumi). He is also free from the suffering of mundane troubles.

"The bodhisattva naturally helps sentient beings without distinction or discrimination, but there is still a subject and object involved. This applies to a bodhisattva on the first through seventh bhumi."
(Sheng-yen: Complete Enlightenment, p. 202)

"At the first bhumi, a bodhisattva has transformed the sixth consciousness into the ‘wisdom of non-arising’—where afflictions no longer manifest outwardly, or arise."
(Sheng-yen: There is No Suffering, p. 30)

Other qualities described: The first bhūmi, the Very Joyous; Guide to the Stages and Paths of the Bodhisattvas; The Qualities of the Arya Sangha

Considering the above, it would be impossible for an enlightened teacher to steal others' money or harass female disciples.
"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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Astus
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby seeker242 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:56 am

Astus wrote:
This concept of the Zen teacher comes down to actual practice in the form of absolute authority of the master in all religious issues where students are completely dependent on a teacher to achieve liberation.


I would not go so far as to say that. Unless you consider killing him, and the Buddha and the patriarchs, to be an achievement. The zen teachers that I have met say things like "nothing I can say can help you", "I can't save you", etc, etc. That does not sound like dependence to me. It sounds like the opposite.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:04 pm

seeker242 wrote:I would not go so far as to say that. Unless you consider killing him, and the Buddha and the patriarchs, to be an achievement. The zen teachers that I have met say things like "nothing I can say can help you", "I can't save you", etc, etc. That does not sound like dependence to me. It sounds like the opposite.


What need is there for a Zen teacher then? And what is authorisation about?
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4248
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: What a Zen Master is, and what a Zen Master isn't.

Postby seeker242 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:12 pm

Astus wrote:
seeker242 wrote:I would not go so far as to say that. Unless you consider killing him, and the Buddha and the patriarchs, to be an achievement. The zen teachers that I have met say things like "nothing I can say can help you", "I can't save you", etc, etc. That does not sound like dependence to me. It sounds like the opposite.


What need is there for a Zen teacher then? And what is authorisation about?


Don't know. But don't really care either.

Astus wrote:Sara,

As far as I know, all Buddhist schools (including Theravada) consider a bodhisattva to be a person aspiring for buddhahood. Mahayana is also called the bodhisattvayana because it considers the path of the bodhisattva as the definitive and superior way.



I think it depends on which scripture you read. Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra describes Avalokitesvara as a bodhisattva who can manifest in a Buddha body, pratyekabuddha's body, or any kind of body, if needed to help the world, etc.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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