Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:43 pm

Luke wrote: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?


There are just monks (and nuns, in fact, a lot more nuns than monks in Taiwan). Whether they say they belong to this or that lineage (that includes even Tiantai, Huayan or anything else) is usually not relevant, because it is often defined by what monastery they were ordained or live in. For instance, Ven. Xingyun of Fo Guang Shan is Linji lineage but there isn't anything Linji (or even Chan) specific in his teachings. And while Ven. Shengyan has created the Dharma Drum lineage (combination of Linji and Caodong), his teachings are a mixture of Tiantai, Humanistic Buddhism and a bit of Japanese Zen (but mostly his own system), while at the same time in the Western Chan Fellowship (followers of Ven. Shengyan) they teach a mixture of Soto Zen, huatou practice and some sort of therapeutic techniques (just to show how Western perception and presentation can be quite different even if there is a direct relationship). Korea is another good example here, since the majority of monks belong to a single church, the Jogye Order, that actually promotes Ganhwa Seon (i.e. Linji style Chan), but individual monasteries and teachers can transmit very different things (even rejecting Ganhwa practice).

The sort of "objectless meditation" is called mozhao (silent illumination, mokusho in Japanese), just as Ven. Shengyan uses it. Interestingly, it was originally a derogatory term used by Dahui. That is, mozhao used in the Caodong context. Otherwise it can have many other names, like no-thought, no-mind, prajnaparamita, one act samadhi, etc.
"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 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:06 pm

Astus wrote:There are just monks (and nuns, in fact, a lot more nuns than monks in Taiwan). Whether they say they belong to this or that lineage (that includes even Tiantai, Huayan or anything else) is usually not relevant, because it is often defined by what monastery they were ordained or live in. For instance, Ven. Xingyun of Fo Guang Shan is Linji lineage but there isn't anything Linji (or even Chan) specific in his teachings.

Okay, okay, so being a "lineage holder" in Chan means less than I thought it would (from what you've said, the "lineage holder" may actually have little experiencing practicing that lineage). But I guess what I'm always referring to are "Chinese Buddhist teachers who choose to specialize in Caodong teachings."

I can now ask the opposite question: Have any Chinese Chan masters taken any interest in studying and practicing Dogen's ideas?
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Astus » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:16 pm

It seems to me that Caodong as a distinct form of teaching in China has disappeared around the 13th century, if it ever really existed at all. As for anyone interested in Dogen's teachings, I have no information, maybe there are a few.
"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 Huifeng » Wed May 01, 2013 1:14 am

Up until this century, probably nobody in China had a clue who Dogen was. Some scholars write a bit about him now. Due to material from Zen in English now being translated into Chinese, some people will know a bit about him. But, I've never heard of any meditation specialists in China / Taiwan who really try to follow some kind of idea about what Dogen taught meditation wise. Even Master Rujing is rather an unknown figure, there being a large number of other more significant masters that attract much more attention.

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

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed May 01, 2013 3:24 am

Huifeng wrote:Up until this century, probably nobody in China had a clue who Dogen was. Some scholars write a bit about him now. Due to material from Zen in English now being translated into Chinese, some people will know a bit about him. But, I've never heard of any meditation specialists in China / Taiwan who really try to follow some kind of idea about what Dogen taught meditation wise. Even Master Rujing is rather an unknown figure, there being a large number of other more significant masters that attract much more attention.

~~ Huifeng


I find many Chinese people I talk to are really into teachings by Hongzhi Zhengjue.
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Huifeng » Wed May 01, 2013 4:16 am

How many is "many"?
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Son of Buddha » Wed May 01, 2013 5:13 am

Huifeng wrote:How many is "many"?


I never kept track of exact numbers but it was enough that caused me to remember his name.

Peace and Love
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 am

Huifeng wrote:Even Master Rujing is rather an unknown figure, there being a large number of other more significant masters that attract much more attention.

Did any of these "more significant masters" teach ideas from the Caodong tradition?
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby Astus » Wed May 01, 2013 9:40 am

Luke wrote:Did any of these "more significant masters" teach ideas from the Caodong tradition?


The mentioned Hongzhi Zhengjue is the most famous person. The "founders" of the Caodong lineage are also well known: Dongshan Liangjie and Caoshan Benji. Then there are Touzi Yiqing, Furong Daokai (Furong being the actual reviver of the Caodong school in the Song era and inventor of "silent illumination"), Zhenxie Qingliao and others of the Song era. But there's very little from any of them in English.
"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 Miguel » Sat May 11, 2013 7:38 am

Luke wrote: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?


There were some Caodong teachers that went from China to Japan to teach there around the time of Dogen or shortly after, but they didn't have much influence on establishing a school in Japan. The book "five mountains":
http://books.google.com.br/books?id=Dxv ... edir_esc=y
Has some information on them.
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Re: Caodong lineage in China after Rujing?

Postby MalaBeads » Sat May 11, 2013 2:20 pm

I know the title of this thread is 'Caodong lineage in China after Rujing' but I'd add something here. Even in Japan, Dogen's teachings were forgotten until recently when they have been revived. It is said, in a proverbial way, that they were forgotten for 'five hundred years'.
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