Faith in Zen

Re: Faith in Zen

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:16 am

From my observations debating on philosophy forums, current culture puts a premium on the individual ego. The motto of most modern people really ought to be Nihil ultra sui, 'nothing beyond self'. They might be fine people, altruistic, but they reserve the right to be the sole arbiters of right and wrong. They get to decide. 'Nobody is going to tell me what to believe'.

One of the things I learned from retreats was 'bowing three times' at the beginning and end of each meditation. I do that now. Of course in Buddhist cultures, that is perfectly normal - you wouldn't think twice. But it goes against the grain in Western culture.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Faith in Zen

Postby shel » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:23 am

jeeprs wrote:From my observations debating on philosophy forums, current culture puts a premium on the individual ego. The motto of most modern people really ought to be Nihil ultra sui, 'nothing beyond self'. They might be fine people, altruistic, but they reserve the right to be the sole arbiters of right and wrong. They get to decide. 'Nobody is going to tell me what to believe'.

One of the things I learned from retreats was 'bowing three times' at the beginning and end of each meditation. I do that now. Of course in Buddhist cultures, that is perfectly normal - you wouldn't think twice. But it goes against the grain in Western culture.

Indeed, most in the West, Catholics namely, kneel in prayer.
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Re: Faith in Zen

Postby shel » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:25 am

smcj wrote:
shel wrote:You speak in extremely broad terms, Smcj, and of course there is nothing wrong with that. According to Buddhism, suffering does indeed begin with ignorance.

Are you suggesting that renunciation, if that's what you meant to say, is synonymous with faith?

Faith in Zen is the title of this thread. I don't know anything about that, except what I'm learning here.

But the initial type of faith that I can see in the Shravakayana is confidence in the correctness of what the Buddha taught. In order to have that confidence it seems necessary to admit that we somehow have it all wrong, or at least that is my current understanding. So faith and renunciation are two sides of the same coin (imho). Or if you prefer, the carrot and the stick.

From a few posts higher up in this thread:

smcj wrote:
The buddhist term for faith…..is Śraddhā meaning literally 'to place your heart upon'.

I hadn't heard that before and like it. The literal translation is usually precise, but my rock'n'roll knee-jerk interpretation on what that might mean is "to invest oneself (in Dharma) with trust."

Believing in the rightness of Dharma is having faith with your head. Having the courage to trust it is having faith with your heart. Both are "placing you heart upon".

These are just my ideas. Don't take any of this to heart. In any case if you've got a teacher run it by him and see what he says. Otherwise just consider it entertainment.

:focus:

I interpret this as no, you don't see faith and renunciation as synonymous. Good.
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Re: Faith in Zen

Postby smcj » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:31 am

I interpret this as no, you don't see faith and renunciation as synonymous. Good.



Sorry for the excessively wordy post. Yes, that's correct.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Faith in Zen

Postby Daniel » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:28 am

Astus wrote:There are various forms of faith. There is the general faith in the Three Jewels, common to all Buddhists. There is the very first stage of faith within the ten faiths in the 52 stages system of the bodhisattva path, something one could call Mahayana faith. Such Mahayana faith has various interpretations depending on what source we look at. In Zen it is discussed for instance by Bojo Jinul, who identifies it with faith in buddha-mind, an initial insight into the nature of mind. Then there is great faith among the three essentials of Zen practice as taught first by Gaofeng Yuanmiao, and that is mostly about faith in one's ability to reach enlightenment (i.e. a form of faith in buddha-nature) and faith in the practice itself. In general, Zen teaches the faith that mind is buddha, and that is the highest faith of suchness as taught in Mahayana, where faith is in fact equal to enlightenment.

Dogen writes (Practical Advice On Pursuing the Buddhist Truth):

"In general, students of the truth want to be caught by the truth. To be caught by the truth is to lose all trace of enlightenment. Practitioner s of the Buddhist truth should first of all believe in Buddhism. Belief in Buddhism should be the belief that we ourselves originally ex ist inside the truth, without delusion, without wrong images, without disturbances, without anything extra or anything missing, and without mistakes. These are the kind of beliefs we should establish, and this is how we should make the truth clear. Then according to these beliefs, we practice. Th is is our basis for pursuing the truth."

Sources to look at:

Sung-bae Park: Buddhist Faith and Sudden Enlightenment
The Aspiration for Enlightenment through the Perfection of Faith in The Awakening Of Faith In Mahayana 3.1
The Ten Faiths


Killer info! I was about to write how faith doesn't have much to do with my practice, or rather, the type of faith I've experienced is of a very subtle sort and may not be considered faith at all. But when I read...

In Zen it is discussed for instance by Bojo Jinul, who identifies it with faith in buddha-mind, an initial insight into the nature of mind.


.. that nailed it a good bit. Thanks. :smile:
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