Learning about Tendai

Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby Huifeng » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:53 am

Hi,

Have been asked to join the discussion, but not sure what is expected of me... Almost all the Tiantai I've read is Master Zhiyi himself, from Xiao zhiguan, Liu miaomen, Shi chanboluomi, etc., the basic meditation manuals. I haven't found much that goes into the notion of benjue or shijue there, though there is a little IIRC. That, and the Sijiao yi text on doxography (panjiao) systems.

The basic notion is not something I personally have a great deal of interest in, but if there is anything that people would like me to check up or translate from Chinese (or Sanskrit), please feel free to ask.

One may want to check if Prof. Hans KANTOR from Huafan Uni here in Taiwan has written anything about it. He's a Tiantai specialist, and Buddhist Studies at Huafan Uni also is based on the Tiantai school (such as Ven. Renlang, etc.)

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:15 am

Whats the difference between Yogacara and Hongaku views/teachings?

it seems to me that the Hongaku view is saying that Buddha nature is in blades of grass and every inanimate object because all elements possess "life"

we all are derived from this primordial soup of mixed chemicals,and molecules that with the right cause and effect produces a "sentient being" .
the chemicals/molocules amino acids them themselves are not considered "sentient" but after they mix just right they produce that which is "sentient"
so if we are all made of the same building blocks as everything else(elements) then the Buddha nature would be in every element.

of course this is just my view on the subject.
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Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby Huifeng » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:23 am

Early Yogacara doesn't really haven't anything like "original awakening" as far as I understand.

There are a bunch of seeds, all of which are conditioned, impermanent and tainted. One hears the Dharma, gets some pure seeds. They go to work conditioning the others, cleaning them up. One finally abandons the tainted seeds. That's realization through purification of defilements. (Okay, that's just one Yogacara take, there are others, granted.)

Not sure how that fits with "original awakening" at all...

Maybe Paramartha's (Zhendi's) take would have some sort of Yogacara / Tathagatagarbha synthesis like this, though to be honest, I am not very learned on it, so not sure at all.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby Son of Buddha » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:18 pm

Huifeng wrote:Early Yogacara doesn't really haven't anything like "original awakening" as far as I understand.

There are a bunch of seeds, all of which are conditioned, impermanent and tainted. One hears the Dharma, gets some pure seeds. They go to work conditioning the others, cleaning them up. One finally abandons the tainted seeds. That's realization through purification of defilements. (Okay, that's just one Yogacara take, there are others, granted.)

Not sure how that fits with "original awakening" at all...

Maybe Paramartha's (Zhendi's) take would have some sort of Yogacara / Tathagatagarbha synthesis like this, though to be honest, I am not very learned on it, so not sure at all.

~~ Huifeng


i'm not sure, I could see how "original awakening" could be the same as the idea of "inherent Tathagatagarbha" generally Enlightenment is already originally Pure and it is only obscured by the defilements.
hence everything is already "originally Enlightened"
(also it seems like every Yogacara school has a different view so this question seems like one would have to pull out a certain "strand" of Yogacara then work a comparision from that "strand")

:namaste: Venerable
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Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby PorkChop » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:09 pm

Indrajala:
Thanks for the recommendations, I'll make sure to check them out.
I could probably make it through the Kodansha version okay, but the classical Chinese is pretty daunting.

Huifeng:
Appreciate the heads up on Prof Kantor, Ven Renlang, and Huafan University.
Hopefully I can find some publications to help me out.
Haven't really been able to dive too much into TianTai philosophy with my teacher yet because I'm just so new & we don't have a lot of time.
I think he saves a lot of it for folks who study the Lotus Sutra with him.


My understanding of Original Enlightenment has been something similar to what Son of Buddha has described, or in short, that state of Enlightenment is unconditioned, and to realize it we must disregard that which is conditioned/defiled. It's not something that needs to be added, but something that is uncovered once you strip away defilements. I always took the statements of "well you're already Enlightened you just don't know it yet" to be more about doing away with any grasping - not that "the work's already done, you don't have to do anything, you're Buddha already, congrats". As far as monist readings into Original Enlightenment, I am curious if that's a misunderstanding of emptiness applied to self and other.
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Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:32 pm

PorkChop wrote:Indrajala:
Thanks for the recommendations, I'll make sure to check them out.
I could probably make it through the Kodansha version okay, but the classical Chinese is pretty daunting.


The Kodansha bunko has the Chinese, a kun-doku reading, some annotation and then a modern Japanese translation.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E5%85%AB%E5%AE ... 1%E8%A6%81

I have a copy on my desk right now. It really is swell. :sage:
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Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby PorkChop » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:44 pm

Indrajala wrote:The Kodansha bunko has the Chinese, a kun-doku reading, some annotation and then a modern Japanese translation.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E5%85%AB%E5%AE ... 1%E8%A6%81

I have a copy on my desk right now. It really is swell. :sage:


oh thanks!
maybe I'll use that as a primer to get me started in becoming familiar with the Chinese.
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Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby Nikolay » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:21 pm

rory wrote:Nikokay; you seem unaware of the Huayan [Flower Garland, Kegon] school, Ven. Indrajala when I discussed this point with him, said the idea is that rocks and trees are the same suchness as everything else and pointed out to me this nice quote: There is no difference between sentient and insentient beings, because all things are the realization of the same thusness. A tenet of the complete teachings 圓教, i.e. the doctrine of pan-Buddha. See 草木國土悉皆成佛. [Charles Muller; source(s): Soothill, JEBD]

The Tiantai school, used Zhiyi's philosophy of ichinen sanzen to point out the inter and copenetration of the Buddha with the world, sentient and nonsentient.
fun discussion!
:namaste:
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Rory

I am aware of this doctrine, I just don't quite see the point they were making. Sure, in some sense there is no difference. For example, we may say that there is no difference between sentient and non-sentient beings because both are composed of elemental particles. In this sense, there is no difference. But according to different criteria (which are arguably far more important to us on a practical level) there is a very clear difference. Likewise, from Buddhist POV all things might be the same on the ultimate level. Now that I think of it, this is kind of obvious and all Mahayana schools I am familiar with would probably agree with it. So I don't quite get what exactly is unique about Kegon/Tendai teaching in this respect. How is their position different from say Tibetan Buddhism, with its teachings about everything arising from the basis, etc?

And still, isn't it true that sentient beings have (or are) individual mind-streams, but non-sentient beings do not?
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Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby rory » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:23 am

PorkChop wrote:
Indrajala wrote:The Kodansha bunko has the Chinese, a kun-doku reading, some annotation and then a modern Japanese translation.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E5%85%AB%E5%AE ... 1%E8%A6%81

I have a copy on my desk right now. It really is swell. :sage:


oh thanks!
maybe I'll use that as a primer to get me started in becoming familiar with the Chinese.


Wow what a fascinating discussion thanks for the recs Ven. Indrajala I certainly can read Awakening of Faith and the Gyonen and Fazang; as for the rest, well I'll have a lot to look forward to studying Japanese and then Classical Chinese :reading: Ven. Huifeng thanks for your recs and your generous offer to translate; my library has a volume by Hans Kantor on Tiantai and if I brush up my German I can read it. Basically I just need to prepare myself for a lifetime of scholarship, which is pretty delightful. But I also need to take care of my sangha!
many thanks to you both for so generously sharing your time and knowledge :namaste:
gassho
rory
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Re: Learning about Tendai

Postby Jikan » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:55 pm

rory wrote: Basically I just need to prepare myself for a lifetime of scholarship, which is pretty delightful. But I also need to take care of my sangha!


:twothumbsup:

That's a life well-lived right there!

:reading:
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