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

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

Postby Simon E. » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:53 am

And is this paralled in Japanese Buddhism Venerable ?
" My heart's in the Highlands
my heart is not here.
My heart's in the Highlands
chasing the deer."

Robert V.C. Burns.

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

Postby Huifeng » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:10 am



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

Postby Astus » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:27 am

In Japanese:


1: teacher; master; one's mentor;
2: () religious leader;
3: (Suffix) specialist;
4: (Noun) (Archaism) five-battalion brigade comprising 2500 men (Zhou-dynasty Chinese army)

examples:
医師 【いし】 (n,adj-no) doctor; physician
印刻師 【いんこくし】 (n) seal engraver
画師; 絵師 【えし; がし(画師)】 (n) painter; artist; painter supported by patron
思惑師 【おもわくし】 (n) speculator
楽師 【がくし】 (n) master musician
教師 【きょうし】 (n,adj-no) teacher (classroom)
技師 【ぎし】 (n) engineer; technician;
写真師 【しゃしんし】 (n) photographer
花火師 【はなびし】 (n) pyrotechnist; pyrotechnician
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.



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

Postby Simon E. » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:45 am

Thank you Venerable and Astus.
" My heart's in the Highlands
my heart is not here.
My heart's in the Highlands
chasing the deer."

Robert V.C. Burns.

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

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:05 am

perhaps a big part of the problem in all of this is the word 'Master'. After all modern liberal democracies presume a very 'flat' system. People can be 'experts' - hey, maybe roshis should call themselves experts! - but 'master' has connotations of 'superior to' or 'above'. So it becomes 'OK, you call yourself Master, but how are you different to ME (who is after all master of my own domain)'.

Juat a thought.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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

Postby Astus » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:40 am

Jeeprs,

I think it's the opposite, people want a superior being to guide them and show the way, someone they can completely trust. And for that trust one has to believe in the purity and goodness of the other person, to appear someone like Jesus. And if you believe that the other person is a living saint and an omniscient buddha it is quite easy to surrender yourself to him in every aspect. This is the easy way. The more difficult path is when you have your own confidence and the teacher is there to help, to assist you, but not to overtake the control of your (spiritual) life. However, such confidence comes from one's own study and experience, from the personal faith in the Triple Jewel. Therefore it is up to the system to show the correct way to beginners that will teach them how to gain that confidence and not to give up yourself to a seemingly superior being.
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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Wayfarer
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Location: Sydney AU

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

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:56 am

My point was simply about the connotation of the word 'master'. I think that is part of the problem.

The problem might be different if Zen teachers were simply called 'teachers'. But 'master' has connotations which 'teacher' doesn't.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:13 pm

Maybe what we have here is a problem of decontextualisation. 'Master of what?' Is the question. 'Cant be explained' is the answer. In the context of a Buddhist culture there was much that could be left unsaid in all of this. So it didn't need explaining. Now we want transparency, public accountability and so on.

Maybe this is really all a symptom of the fact that Zen can't actually make the transition to Western culture. It will be lost in translation.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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

Postby DGA » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:22 pm


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

Postby Matt J » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:06 pm

The emerging pattern I see is teacher as mentor, not all knowing guru.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming


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

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:48 pm

If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica

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

Postby Huifeng » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:16 pm



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

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:35 pm

If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica

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

Postby shel » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:51 pm


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

Postby Sara H » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:29 pm

I wouldn't say that there is a myth of a Zen master, Zen master's clearly exist and are not just a story or narrative.

I would say that there is a myth of "Zen master's being infallible". That, I would say is a "story" or "narrative" or a common enough misunderstood perception.

Saying that "Zen masters" themselves are a "myth" is a misnomer, as they do, in fact, exist, and do in fact have standards and qualifications that are peer-reviewable and verifiable, and so not just a "traditional story".

That would be like referring to college professors as an "academic myth" because of the "traditional story" of the knowledgeable professor.

It's not accurate linguistics.

In Gassho,

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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

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

Postby Sara H » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:34 pm

"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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy

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

Postby shel » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:28 pm


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

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:59 am

You seem to want to be persuaded.

Whilst idly web-surfing (as I spend far too much time doing), I re-discovered the charming Website of the Zen Order of Hsu Yun, Empty Cloud, a renowned Zen Buddhist Master who reputedly lived to the ripe old age of 119.

There is a series of brief essays on that site about the process of transmitting Zen to the West, called . I note the concluding page refers to the critical essay about Richard Baker that was referenced in the thread that grew out of this one, plus references to Stuart Lachs' critical essays on American Zen including his Means of Authorization: Establishing Hierarchy in Ch'an/Zen Buddhism in America. Pulls no punches, is completely up-front about the issues. So I really don't think American Zen can be accused of being sanctimonious or trying to gild the lily.

Anyway the real Dharma is not anywhere in the outside world. All these things - teachings, books, movements, practices - are only there to remind you to look to the only place where truth resides, which is within. (Which is not to say that they are not important or even vital.)

:namaste:
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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

Postby greentara » Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:29 am

Sarah H, "in fact have standards and qualifications that are peer-reviewable and verifiable" This sort of arguement leaves me cold. Are we discussing a learned pundit or an enlightened master?

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

Postby Sara H » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:38 am

"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 Singer

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy


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