Talking About Kensho

Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Matylda » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:43 am

yes Hakuin wrote about his kensho as warning for the future generations... he just bacome miserable, arogant etc. whith whom did he share? With teachers whom he met and who put him down...
later on he contracted serious illness from wong mind set and wrong attitude.. read carefuly Hakuin, it helps.
Anyway masters of the future generations were less eager to talk about kensho etc.

The new definition of kensho whoch became popular due to Hakuin is neither original rinzai tradition point nor is what the term in fact means.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Meido » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:13 pm

oushi wrote: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?


Because you asked about Hakuin's intent in writing about kensho.

oushi wrote: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 ;)


I did not say there is no value in discussing it. I said that by itself it is not worth discussing.

If one has the confidence to self-verify, naturally there should be no hesitation to approach one's teacher to see if they agree; that is the primary type of talking about kensho that is valuable. Of course anyone is free to make the choice not to do so. I am pointing out what Hakuin stated in the writings you mentioned.

oushi wrote: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.


Mere kensho is ultimately worth nothing...without its deepening, integration and actualization. It may even become an obstacle. That is my point.

Of course verification is just an opinion: and Zen teaching states that if the thing is true, it does need verification...ours, and that of others.

All of this is because Zen practice takes place within relationship, not alone. Why? Partly because getting stuck in one's views - and believing that a lessening or temporary freedom from suffering/vexation equals completion of the Way - are obstacles that claim many: as has been said, the field is littered with skulls.

I would be the first to say that we must use Zen "teaching", "methods" and "tradition" carefully, so as to not be used by them. That is another topic. Perhaps here we may simply agree that one is free to do whatever one likes. There is a traditional view of when it is useful to discuss kensho experiences, and with whom. At this point I think we've clarified that.

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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:39 pm

Meido wrote:I did not say there is no value in discussing it. I said that by itself it is not worth discussing.

What worth can there be in discussing something unstoppable? None. But there is a great pressure, energy released by such experience that should be addressed, especially when it is the the first time.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby shel » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:42 am

Meido wrote:Mere kensho is ultimately worth nothing...without its deepening, integration and actualization.

So an un-actualized kensho is not an actual kensho?

Let me guess, when people (with kensho) behave with compassion, wisdom, and other good qualities they are exhibiting depth, integration, and actualization of kensho. When people (with kensho) behave badly they exhibit shallow, unintegrated, and un-actualized kensho.

Have I got that right? :tongue:

All of this is because Zen practice takes place within relationship, not alone. Why?

Because there's seven billion people in the world?

Partly because getting stuck in one's views - and believing that a lessening or temporary freedom from suffering/vexation equals completion of the Way - are obstacles that claim many: as has been said, the field is littered with skulls.

And of course people in groups never get stuck in views. :tongue:

I would be the first to say that we must use Zen "teaching", "methods" and "tradition" carefully, so as to not be used by them. That is another topic.

Not to go off-topic, but I'm curious what you mean by this, and it may indeed be an interesting topic to start.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby icylake » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:03 pm

the meaning "Kensho" in each east Asian countries is seemingly used sdomewhat differently . in mainstream of Korean zen buddhism, "Kyun sung"(kensho)would be used as more archaeic meaning(enlightment) not like that in Japanese rinzai zen(Korean zen practitoners call Japanese rinzai zen "ladder zen"), in Chinese buddhism after Song dynasty, "Jian xing(kensho)" became more obscure term, for from thet time, authentic Chan buddhism became heavily assimilated with pureland tradition, so in some times, it seemes that the term"Jian xing" just meaning a kind of lyterary rhetoric. in many casese, it would be used as the combined term "Ming xin jian xing(light the mind, see the nature)" in this case"jian xing"usually doesn't mean a certain status of enlightment, but is a kind of "literary rhetoric".
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby tingdzin » Thu May 23, 2013 12:54 am

Actually, Matylda had it right. Even in such a short thread one can read all kinds of self-justifications, rationalizations, and attempts to show off which are incompatible with serious Zen training. The modern obsession with making personal experiences public (usually with dishonest or competitive motives) is a huge obstacle to the genuine practice of any form of Buddhism.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Thu May 23, 2013 6:34 am

Now the question can be asked: Are you trying to show off by pointing it out? ;)
Read letters of Hakuin, a guy that took Zen practice too serious (zen sickness). They are full of "all kinds of self-justifications, rationalizations, and attempts to show off".
Welcome to multidimensional world of meaning, where even the "84 000" can be seen as a set of show offs.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Beatzen » Thu May 23, 2013 6:13 pm

oushi wrote:Now the question can be asked: Are you trying to show off by pointing it out? ;)
Read letters of Hakuin, a guy that took Zen practice too serious (zen sickness). They are full of "all kinds of self-justifications, rationalizations, and attempts to show off".
Welcome to multidimensional world of meaning, where even the "84 000" can be seen as a set of show offs.


It's good that some of them show off.

Sometimes bodhisattvas employ theatrics and verbal sparring in order to engage people. It isn't a critical problem when students become arrogant and complacent, because there's always gonna be someone down the road who's gonna challenge them to give up the ghost... like dogen sparring with the other master: "how do you cut a can in one?"

There's no doctrine that's going to get rid of difficult people. And there's no such thing as taking the dharma "too seriously."

The pseudo- or overly-erudite are always going to be there to push our buttons or be distracting. Of course, most of us try to show off like that at some point or another. It's an expression of frustration on our part. Sometimes we feel insecure about the knowledge we feel that we should have gained by now through practice/study.

It's rooted in a fear of being nailed to this present moment, of contentment with "don't-know-mind," and having no escape from the dullness of our own minds.

So have compassion for the show-offs.

And realize that sometimes they come around to challenge us to relax and practice equanimity. It's not like they're in a state of mind to realize that they're not going to give us an education by speaking empty words.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Thu May 23, 2013 7:54 pm

Beatzen wrote:It's good that some of them show off.

Because there is nothing wrong in showing off. One can even show off with his calmness, so there is no point in running around and rebuking people. I feel sorry for people that have negative attitude toward people speaking about their experiences especially.
Beatzen wrote:And there's no such thing as taking the dharma "too seriously."

I don't know If you are quoting me here, but I was not speaking about taking the dharma too seriously, but practicing too seriously.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby seeker242 » Thu May 23, 2013 11:42 pm

How do you know if you have experienced kensho? If before kensho you can't see your true nature and then you have an experience, how do you know that this experience is seeing your nature, if originally you do not know what seeing your nature is to begin with? How do you know it's actual kensho, rather than just what you think is kensho?
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Fri May 24, 2013 6:57 am

seeker242 wrote:How do you know if you have experienced kensho? If before kensho you can't see your true nature and then you have an experience, how do you know that this experience is seeing your nature, if originally you do not know what seeing your nature is to begin with? How do you know it's actual kensho, rather than just what you think is kensho?

This is something one knows when experienced.

If you clearly recognize that one, it will be just like meeting your father at the crossroads. It is not necessary to ask others whether it is he or not. -Mumon
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby seeker242 » Fri May 24, 2013 11:39 am

oushi wrote:
seeker242 wrote:How do you know if you have experienced kensho? If before kensho you can't see your true nature and then you have an experience, how do you know that this experience is seeing your nature, if originally you do not know what seeing your nature is to begin with? How do you know it's actual kensho, rather than just what you think is kensho?

This is something one knows when experienced.

If you clearly recognize that one, it will be just like meeting your father at the crossroads. It is not necessary to ask others whether it is he or not. -Mumon


Ok! But what happens when you experience something and you think it's it, but it's actually not it?
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Fri May 24, 2013 11:58 am

seeker242 wrote:
oushi wrote:
seeker242 wrote:How do you know if you have experienced kensho? If before kensho you can't see your true nature and then you have an experience, how do you know that this experience is seeing your nature, if originally you do not know what seeing your nature is to begin with? How do you know it's actual kensho, rather than just what you think is kensho?

This is something one knows when experienced.

If you clearly recognize that one, it will be just like meeting your father at the crossroads. It is not necessary to ask others whether it is he or not. -Mumon


Ok! But what happens when you experience something and you think it's it, but it's actually not it?

No suffering and boundless compassion are hard to miss out. Since doubt is also gone, one has no doubt about it.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby seeker242 » Fri May 24, 2013 12:09 pm

oushi wrote:No suffering and boundless compassion, are hard to miss out. Doubt is also gone, so one has no doubt what he is experiencing.


Ok! :) But, that is not really the situation I was talking about. I was talking about a situation where a person really believes they have "got it" and they have no doubts about it, but in reality they actually haven't. In other words, the person is wrong but they really believe they are not wrong. If a person has no doubt about what is experienced, but at the same time the person is wrong, then how can the person know they are wrong?
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby tingdzin » Fri May 24, 2013 10:39 pm

Yes, seeker, there are all sorts of self-deluded people out there, and the longer I am around, the more I see. Agehananda Bharati used to talk about people who were sincere, eloquent, and inspired talking about experiences they had not had. Just master the patter and talk yourself into believing it, and -- presto -- you've had a deep experience. Furthermore, every time one talks about an experience, it becomes more and more distorted; this is called polluting the stream at its source.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Sat May 25, 2013 7:22 am

seeker242 wrote:
oushi wrote:No suffering and boundless compassion, are hard to miss out. Doubt is also gone, so one has no doubt what he is experiencing.


Ok! :) But, that is not really the situation I was talking about. I was talking about a situation where a person really believes they have "got it" and they have no doubts about it, but in reality they actually haven't. In other words, the person is wrong but they really believe they are not wrong. If a person has no doubt about what is experienced, but at the same time the person is wrong, then how can the person know they are wrong?

First of all, I said that doubt is gone entirely, not only doubts about this experience. Secondly, there is no "here it is!". It's not a place, not a thing. It's the minds "attitude" toward everything. So, even if a person is wrong, he isn't, because having no doubt, he has nothing to seek, nothing to attain. This way desires are let go of. When desires are let go of, this is "it".
You can also trigger it just by believing in it. What is more, you can trigger it by tricking the mind to believe in it. There are such practices, and those are very effective ones.
Thirdly, you cannot be right, or wrong about something that cannot be known intellectually.

No insight, whether it looks reliable, or not, should be despised. Neither should it be takes as something important.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Wayfarer » Sat May 25, 2013 10:28 am

We could start a Zen reality TV show about who has had the best kensho. It would be called 'The Biggest Nobody'. :tongue:
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby oushi » Sat May 25, 2013 11:24 am

Seriously, I don't see many people running around, elaborating about their experiences. But even if they appear, there is always the same, rigid attitude toward it. They are either making it up, or they are wrong. Now "our" job is to prove it to be a makyo....
Years ago I described my own experience and the first response I received was very positive. Instead of struggling with myself and others, I returned to the experience which was very beneficial. I can imagine that I wouldn't be so grateful if somebody started to make fun of it instead.
On the other hand, I can understand people that didn't experience anything profound and they are eager to despise any insight experience, just for their own sake.
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby lobster » Sat May 25, 2013 12:35 pm

jeeprs wrote:We could start a Zen reality TV show about who has had the best kensho. It would be called 'The Biggest Nobody'. :tongue:


:twothumbsup: Sounds like a plan.

I agree with meido, 'kensho is a good beginning'.
In the right circumstances covert or overt awakening exists by recognition . . .
Perhaps more compassionately, the Buddha Nature can be engaged with, encouraged and eventually exposed as nothing of any consequence . . .

:popcorn: I will be in the audience :popcorn: Will there be dharma juggling? :juggling:
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Re: Talking About Kensho

Postby Matylda » Sun May 26, 2013 4:06 pm

''Show off'' is very wrong thing, and ends up in severing bonds with teacher in Zen. All temples and monasteris I knew would do it without hesitation. I remeber once Morinaga Roshi group were 2 Westerners were kicked out, why trying to show off.... same happened when some tried to engage in talk bout koans.
Second - Hakuin Zenji out of his kindenss wrote privately about his personal problems and how miserable he was... and there is no justification to let common people of today to compare themselves to Hakuin! This is simply peak of arrogance.
As for being so called "lack of doubt" it is no sign of kensho etc. it is just emotinal state of being pretty misguided, by own emotions. Some experience it and do it very painfuly, not seeing even that they are rediculous.

I think that goo reference text is Torei's Mujinto and its commentaries, specially by Daibi Zenji, it may clarify problems.
However even that approach to kensho was critisized within rinzai and soto as well. But since Hakuin line predominates now totally within rinzai tradition it is good to refer to its core teachings not letters send to private students. It may be easily misunderstood.
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