Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Luke » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:36 pm

Did the Caodong Chan lineage continue on in China after Rujing (Dogen's main teacher)?

All the Caodong lineage trees I find online list Rujing and Dogen and then stop.
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:50 pm

The Caodong lineage in China survived via the Shaolin monastery, where Xueting Fuyu established its lineage and it was the source of the 17th century revival of the Caodong line. Even today the Shaolin monastery belongs to the Caodong lineage. Ven. Shengyan also has the Caodong transmission, you can see his lineage chart here.
"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: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Luke » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:59 pm

Astus wrote:The Caodong lineage in China survived via the Shaolin monastery, where Xueting Fuyu established its lineage and it was the source of the 17th century revival of the Caodong line. Even today the Shaolin monastery belongs to the Caodong lineage. Ven. Shengyan also has the Caodong transmission, you can see his lineage chart here.

Awesome! It's always nice to find out that another Buddhist school has survived up to the present day! :thumbsup:

This leads to my next question: Did any Soto Zen Buddhists after Dogen ever go to China to study with the Caodong Zen teachers there?
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:34 pm

Maybe, but they have obviously not established any lasting community. In China the Linji school practically took over the Chan scene, just as in Korea and Vietnam. The Japanese who travelled to China and returned, or the Chinese who went to Japan during the 13th century belonged to the Linji school, Dogen seems to be an exception. It should be also noted that belonging to this or that lineage in China had little or no relevance to the everyday monastic life.
"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: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby plwk » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:07 am

Funny Astus, that DDM chart didn't mentioned Dr Jimmy Yu aka Guo Gu amongst the five lay Dharma heirs listed or was his 'inka' unconnected to being a 'Dharma heir'?
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:18 am

plwk wrote:Funny Astus, that DDM chart didn't mentioned Dr Jimmy Yu aka Guo Gu amongst the five lay Dharma heirs listed or was his 'inka' unconnected to being a 'Dharma heir'?


It lists only Western heirs.
"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: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Luke » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:46 am

Astus wrote:Maybe, but they have obviously not established any lasting community.

Yes, I know, but I was just curious if in the past, any Soto Buddhists in Japan kept contact with the Caodong Buddhists in China ("Oh hey, we're going to China again this summer to meet the Caodong guys again." This sort of thing).
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby icylake » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:12 pm

but in China the name of Linji of Caodong has not the distinguishing function at all. Shaolinsi temple's "Daqi(winter retreat)" is totally the same to those of other Linji manasteies, and they mainly use "Nian fo chan(Buddha rememberence zen)" which is very commen in Chinese, Vietnamese buddhism, not "just sitting" used in Japanese Soto zen. Caodong or Linji , Modern Chinese chan practice is very simmilar to that of Japanese Obaku zen.
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Luke » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:30 pm

icylake wrote:but in China the name of Linji of Caodong has not the distinguishing function at all. Shaolinsi temple's "Daqi(winter retreat)" is totally the same to those of other Linji manasteies, and they mainly use "Nian fo chan(Buddha rememberence zen)" which is very commen in Chinese, Vietnamese buddhism, not "just sitting" used in Japanese Soto zen. Caodong or Linji , Modern Chinese chan practice is very simmilar to that of Japanese Obaku zen.

So no Buddhist priest/monk in China who is a Caodong lineage holder practices shikantaza anymore?! :o
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Astus » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:42 pm

Two things should be clarified.

1.
In China association with any particular lineage is mostly irrelevant in terms of doctrine and practices. At certain times in Buddhist history such lineages meant association with certain groups of elite monastics, but those times were rather exceptional. Normally life in a monastery goes on just as it did before, following similar rituals and daily routine. Individual monks can specialise in the area of their choice and do the practices they prefer. And when there is an outstanding (usually old and experienced) monk, younger monks go and study from him.

2.
Dogen didn't actually transmit a specific style of Zen to Japan but rather what he saw as the common form of Buddhist practice. It is Zen just before the reforms of Dahui - i.e. kanhua chan, using Zen stories for meditation - spread everywhere. Shikantaza is not an exclusively Caodong/Soto method but ordinary sitting meditation in the Zen way.
"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: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Luke » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:10 pm

Astus wrote:1.
In China association with any particular lineage is mostly irrelevant in terms of doctrine and practices. At certain times in Buddhist history such lineages meant association with certain groups of elite monastics, but those times were rather exceptional. Normally life in a monastery goes on just as it did before, following similar rituals and daily routine. Individual monks can specialise in the area of their choice and do the practices they prefer. And when there is an outstanding (usually old and experienced) monk, younger monks go and study from him.

Ah, so all Chan monks receive shikantaza instruction and can practice it whenever they wish?

Astus wrote:2.
Dogen didn't actually transmit a specific style of Zen to Japan but rather what he saw as the common form of Buddhist practice. It is Zen just before the reforms of Dahui - i.e. kanhua chan, using Zen stories for meditation - spread everywhere. Shikantaza is not an exclusively Caodong/Soto method but ordinary sitting meditation in the Zen way.

Hmm, but didn't Rujing have his own "style" of Chan? If his style wasn't unique then why is it given its own special name (Caodong)?
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Astus » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:12 pm

Luke wrote:Ah, so all Chan monks receive shikantaza instruction and can practice it whenever they wish?


Monks may receive a lot of instructions or almost nothing, depending on their ordination teacher and the community they live in. There is no such thing as a "Chan monk", there are only monks and nuns. Nowadays in Taiwan the major Buddhist churches have seminars for those who ordain and they study a curriculum. Same goes for Korea and Japan. But a hundred years ago you learnt what and from whoever you could. I don't know what is the situation in mainland China these days regarding monastic education.

Hmm, but didn't Rujing have his own "style" of Chan? If his style wasn't unique then why is it given its own special name (Caodong)?


Caodong is simply a lineage, a virtual system of relationships among elite monastics (primarily abbots). Theoretically the Caodong school's teaching style involved the Five Ranks of Dongshan, and (as mentioned in Fayan's Guidelines for the Zen Schools) "knocking and calling out" (whatever that means), and the five positions of prince and minister (mentioned in the Blue Cliff Record, case 7), and if I recall correctly they also liked to use the Yijing to illustrate teachings. Dogen apparently didn't follow any of that. As for the practice of "shikantaza", on the one hand every Buddhist monk knows sitting meditation, on the other hand the expression itself "just sitting" was most likely created by Dogen himself.
"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: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby icylake » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:14 am

Ah, so all Chan monks receive shikantaza instruction and can practice it whenever they wish?

to the some extent, yes.
in Korea, if an ordinary layman practitoner wanted to start "cham son(zazen)"practice, the first stage would be "breath counting" - the second "just sitting", then go to zen master receive "Hwadu"(the third one is very individual thing).
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Huifeng » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:37 am

High time to get out of using Japanese versions of Chinese Tang (and Song) dynasty Buddhism to look at the actual facts of modern Chinese Buddhism, and Western notions based on these Japanese narratives. A lot can happen in 1000 years, surprisingly enough.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Astus » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:14 am

Here are the four major Taiwanese Buddhist organisations' description of their aims and programmes:

FGS Objectives
CTS Threefold Education
About DDM
Tzu Chi Principles

Or you may look into the free e-books to see what topics they cover and how they present Buddhism:

FGS: Buddhism in Every Step
DDM: Free Literature

An interesting fact is for instance that while Ven. Shengyan is called "Chan master" in English, he is "Dharma teacher" (fashi - common title of all monks) in Chinese. Another thing is that while Ven. Shengyan was known in Taiwan primarily as a scholarly monk, in the West his organisation is mostly about promoting a newer style of Chan.
"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: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby icylake » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:56 pm

Luke wrote:
icylake wrote:but in China the name of Linji of Caodong has not the distinguishing function at all. Shaolinsi temple's "Daqi(winter retreat)" is totally the same to those of other Linji manasteies, and they mainly use "Nian fo chan(Buddha rememberence zen)" which is very commen in Chinese, Vietnamese buddhism, not "just sitting" used in Japanese Soto zen. Caodong or Linji , Modern Chinese chan practice is very simmilar to that of Japanese Obaku zen.

So no Buddhist priest/monk in China who is a Caodong lineage holder practices shikantaza anymore?! :o


in Chinese, "shikantaza(zhi guan da zuo 只管打坐)" even is not special term usage, but just is an ordinary, every day term means "just sitting". :namaste:
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Huifeng » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:01 am

icylake wrote: in Chinese, "shikantaza(zhi guan da zuo 只管打坐)" even is not special term usage, but just is an ordinary, every day term means "just sitting". :namaste:


Yes. It's another one of those things where on one hand, people who use the original language of the phrase understand it in very general terms according to the actual phrase, whereas those who don't use the original language but keep a special kind of transliterated phrase understand it only through a particular case.

In Chinese, 只管打坐 really just means "just tend to sitting". Doesn't have any particular connotation to any particular school, or indicate any particular type of practice or method, at all. Often used to refer to meditators who don't deal with other stuff, ie. the monastery 清眾 qingzhong, who don't have administrative or other such responsibilities. What do they do? They just sit in meditation.

Another Chinese equivalent would be 只管修行 zhiguan xiuxing "just tend to cultivation". Pretty much the same thing.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Huifeng » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:02 am

Astus wrote:Here are the four major Taiwanese Buddhist organisations' description of their aims and programmes:



Very useful. Note, of course, just like Ven. Shengyen's title, that all those links are how these organizations are portrayed in the English language medium. Not identical with how they are portrayed or perceived in Chinese.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Luke » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:08 pm

Huifeng wrote:
icylake wrote: in Chinese, "shikantaza(zhi guan da zuo 只管打坐)" even is not special term usage, but just is an ordinary, every day term means "just sitting". :namaste:


Yes. It's another one of those things where on one hand, people who use the original language of the phrase understand it in very general terms according to the actual phrase, whereas those who don't use the original language but keep a special kind of transliterated phrase understand it only through a particular case.

In Chinese, 只管打坐 really just means "just tend to sitting". Doesn't have any particular connotation to any particular school, or indicate any particular type of practice or method, at all. Often used to refer to meditators who don't deal with other stuff, ie. the monastery 清眾 qingzhong, who don't have administrative or other such responsibilities. What do they do? They just sit in meditation.

Another Chinese equivalent would be 只管修行 zhiguan xiuxing "just tend to cultivation". Pretty much the same thing.

~~ Huifeng

I think I understand your objections, Ven. Huifeng. But when Dogen used the phrase "shikantaza" ("just sitting") he meant a special type of objectless meditation. Another English term that often seems to be used for this is "silent illumination" (which is used on the Dharma Drum website). Although I don't think Dogen ever said it directly, it seems like shikantaza is the union of shamatha and vipassana. Dogen described it as "non-thinking."

You have indicated above that "shikantaza" ("zhi guan da zuo") literally means something very generic. So which Chinese term would you recommend for the specific meaning of the type of objectless meditation I described in the paragraph above? And which English term do you think is best to use for this?
Last edited by Luke on Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Luke » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:15 pm

Astus wrote:Caodong is simply a lineage, a virtual system of relationships among elite monastics (primarily abbots).

I think I'm finally starting to understand what you mean, Astus.

So in reality, in modern China and Taiwan, there is little difference between a Chan monk who is a Linji lineage holder and a Chan monk who is a Caodong lineage holder? (Both Chan monks have probably studied mostly the same things.) Is this correct?
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