Talking About Kensho

Talking About Kensho

Postby Jikan » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:05 am

there has been a debate elsewhere at DW...

viewtopic.php?f=77&t=12420&start=20#p162794

...on the merits or demerits of discussing kensho publicly. I would like to know how you have been taught on this matter. Ought kensho to be discussed publicly? If so, in what context, and to what end? If not, why not?
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:28 am

As I see it, kensho is personally verifying the truth of the Buddha's teaching that all phenomena are empty. Since this is a central teaching I don't see a reason why it couldn't be discussed.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
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“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
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Does marvelous nature and spirit
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Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby lobster » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:42 pm

It is very easy for those lacking insight, to pretend, imply or suggest they are enlightened.
If they are, we can learn from them.

Blind leading the blind is just a pleasant dream . . .

As soon as I am enlightened, I will let you know. It was good enough for the Buddha, it'll do me . . . :namaste:
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Matylda » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:37 pm

Jikan wrote:there has been a debate elsewhere at DW...

viewtopic.php?f=77&t=12420&start=20#p162794

...on the merits or demerits of discussing kensho publicly. I would like to know how you have been taught on this matter. Ought kensho to be discussed publicly? If so, in what context, and to what end? If not, why not?


Everything depends on what one wants to discuss... if personal experience, then it ends up in a heap of nonsense, there is no public space for it. If, on the other hand, as a main or crucial point of zen practice then to some pretty limited degree it may be possible.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:56 pm

I brought up the traditional prohibition about talking about meditative attainments in response to a question as to the origin of that idea. Discussing kendo is not exactly the same thing. The other thread was about 'enlightened masters' and it was in the context of that also.

I can quite understand that it is something that is and ought to be discussed in a sangha group or with a teacher.

On the other hand there is a lot of commercialisation of the whole idea of enlightenment nowadays. There are people who charge big money for seminars on it, and so on. So it does not hurt to be reticent about the subject. It is a very subtle thing. It is very easily exploited and misunderstood as I'm sure we would all agree.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:14 pm

jeeprs wrote:There are people who charge big money for seminars on it, and so on. So it does not hurt to be reticent about the subject. It is a very subtle thing. It is very easily exploited and misunderstood as I'm sure we would all agree.


But if you make it open and clear there's nothing left to misunderstand and exploit. Although even if it were part of the primary school's curriculum there would be a few people falling for charlatans.
"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: Talking About Kensho

Postby Matylda » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:22 pm

jeeprs wrote:I brought up the traditional prohibition about talking about meditative attainments in response to a question as to the origin of that idea. Discussing kendo is not exactly the same thing. The other thread was about 'enlightened masters' and it was in the context of that also.

I can quite understand that it is something that is and ought to be discussed in a sangha group or with a teacher.

On the other hand there is a lot of commercialisation of the whole idea of enlightenment nowadays. There are people who charge big money for seminars on it, and so on. So it does not hurt to be reticent about the subject. It is a very subtle thing. It is very easily exploited and misunderstood as I'm sure we would all agree.


The origin is not that obscure... it was only simple teaching on pure vision of buddha nature, and realizing buddhahood. In fact there is not much to discuss :)
The long discussion about teachers does not in fact touch the idea.As for the sanghas there should not discuss it either, yes teacher may say something if has such wish. But I guess should be rather very careful since it brings often a lot of misunderstanding.

As for commercial approach, I have heard about it... well everyone is responsible for one's own actions, isn't it? So then the last sentence might be very true... :(
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:28 pm

What is there we shouldn't talk about? I can understand that people don't want to talk about their insights because they don't what those to be demystified. Keeping them secret makes them safe? If those are delusions... they yes. Those experiences, whether kenshos or makyos, are all there is to talk about in a spiritual conversation. Still, some weird people make taboo out of it.... Envy rules.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Matylda » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:31 pm

oushi wrote:What is there we shouldn't talk about? I can understand that people don't want to talk about their insights because they don't what those to be demystified. Keeping them secret makes them safe? If those are delusions... they yes. Those experiences, whether kenshos or makyos, are all there is to talk about in a spiritual conversation. Still, some weird people make taboo out of it.... Envy rules.


The only person to talk about kensho or any other experience one has is only qualified zen teacher.
Yes, keeping it secret saves others from confusion, misinterpretation and illusions.
There is no "spiritual conversation" in this context.
:) well then most zen masters in Japan are truely weird... and of course act relying on envy rules... sorry it is just a joke. In fact it is the only way to keep tradition, the path and transmission as genuine. There is nothing to talk about in public. For such things some people were dismissed from practicing group in Japan. And for monks in training it would be just beyond any imagination to talk about such things.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:02 pm

Matylda wrote:The only person to talk about kensho or any other experience one has is only qualified zen teacher.
Yes, keeping it secret saves others from confusion, misinterpretation and illusions.

Tell me more about those qualifications....
... and about saving others from confusion, misinterpretation and illusion..
There is nothing to talk about in public.

And nothing to be silent about.
For such things some people were dismissed from practicing group in Japan.

So, now fear should be the guide?
Matylda wrote:And for monks in training it would be just beyond any imagination to talk about such things.

That implies narrow imagination. Narrow mind is something opposite to kensho. Fear of being honest is a great sight of delusion.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Matylda » Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:03 pm

Oushi

There is nothing more to talk about the matter. Whatever you say may be your own view. But as far as traditional and real Japanese zen may be considered it is just as I wrote. And only person to talk about kensho or any other experience related to zen practice is proper zen teacher... and it should be kept secret or just to oneself.. and do not ask me who is a proper teacher.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby shel » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:45 am

:spy:
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Cloudrider » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:37 am

Pretty sure Buddha said,


I possess the Treasury of the Correct Dharma Eye , the wonderful heart-mind of Nirvana, the formless true form, the subtle Dharma gate, not established by written words, transmitted separately outside the teaching.


Is this not the same thing as described by the term Kensho? It's wonderful to know what the goal is and I don't think those who have it can be fooled by those who don't but certainly those who don't are fooled by those who do. :thumbsup:
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Meido » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:29 am

Cloudrider wrote:Is this not the same thing as described by the term Kensho? It's wonderful to know what the goal is and I don't think those who have it can be fooled by those who don't but certainly those who don't are fooled by those who do.


Kensho is not the goal. It's the beginning or entrance.

This is why it is said that it's not terribly difficult to recognize one's true nature; however, clarifying, integrating and actualizing that recognition is uncommonly difficult. To do so is the lifelong training after kensho which constitutes the meat of "Zen". It's not so glamorous, and therefore not the subject of most popular Zen books.

The fact that many folks interested in Zen don't understand this, and that so few people follow through with the entire course of practice, are additional reasons why it's generally not fruitful to discuss kensho with anyone except one's teacher.

In other words: kensho, though crucial, is by itself really not worth discussing at all.

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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Cloudrider » Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:41 am

Thank you for explaining. From the definition I read of Kensho it said something along the lines of awakening or enlightenment - further study showed that it is regarded as initial like you mention. It sure would be nice to believe that there was something "eye-opening" about studying Buddhism I'm still very skeptical however. I did read a few segments, once upon a time, by one Linji of the Chan school and he said something along the lines of instruction being a form of deception or counter-productive to some degree which is what my little 'those who do don't, but those who don't do" which may have been better stated as those who do, do and those who don't do also" Which ultimately leads one to consider that one who does, does in fact do and those who don't do, do although they don't truly do.

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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:43 am

Meido wrote:In other words: kensho, though crucial, is by itself really not worth discussing at all.

Hakuin in his letter had no problem describing his experiences, as ground breaking. Somehow, he felt a great urge to share them. Maybe, just maybe because they were worth it. But I'm not the expert in Hakuin, so maybe you can explain us why hi did that?
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Meido » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:18 am

oushi wrote:Hakuin in his letter had no problem describing his experiences, as ground breaking. Somehow, he felt a great urge to share them. Maybe, just maybe because they were worth it. But I'm not the expert in Hakuin, so maybe you can explain us why hi did that?


To affirm...

...that it's not terribly difficult to recognize one's true nature; however, clarifying, integrating and actualizing that recognition is uncommonly difficult. To do so is the lifelong training after kensho which constitutes the meat of "Zen".


You'll recall that after his first kensho, Hakuin was certain he had attained deeply and was rather full of himself. Later he would say how fortunate he was that this confidence was "crushed like an eggshell" by Shoju Rojin, who threw him back into exhaustive practice.

Hence Hakuin's emphasis not only on post-kensho training and the need to embody realization through a lifetime of practice (described in terms of actualizing the 4 wisdoms and 3 bodies), but also on the foolishness of self-verified kensho, and the danger of stopping at kensho.

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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:33 am

Meido wrote:
oushi wrote:Hakuin in his letter had no problem describing his experiences, as ground breaking. Somehow, he felt a great urge to share them. Maybe, just maybe because they were worth it. But I'm not the expert in Hakuin, so maybe you can explain us why hi did that?


To affirm...

So, kensho is not worth discussing, but worth affirming?
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Meido » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:17 am

oushi wrote:So, kensho is not worth discussing, but worth affirming?


Please re-read what I wrote.

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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:40 am

You further explanation is a different, later thing, you see. We are not discussing self-verification, stopping at kensho, or how the training should look like. I wander why did you bring those into discussion? Precaution?
We are discussing the issue of talking about kensho. Discussing ones experience is already a form of verification that is based not only on self-view, as others will surely make their judgement. So, even here we see the value of discussing it with others. When we do not talk about it, then it is only self-verification. And I also want to say that there is nothing wrong with self-verification, as it is the only true verification. I like the comment to case 45 "who is that one? from Mumonkan ;)
Still, mere verification is worth nothing.... it is just an opinion. If the thing is true, it does not need verification. If it isn't, no verification will make it real. Suffering is the only reliable source of verification. This way you cannot get stuck in your view. I think it should be clear for anyone that had a Kensho. It is not about fireworks, but no suffering.
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