Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Jikan » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:01 pm

How so? One of the transmissions Dengyo Daishi brought back to Japan from China was that of the Ox-Head School (Niu T'ou); see Doumelin's book Zen Buddhism around p. 115-116 for details, Paul Groner discusses Saicho's having received this transmission in the year 804 in his biography, Saicho, p. 43.

Many of the forms of practice we have in Tendai-shu are essentially Tang-era Chinese forms that have developed independently in Japan, but a clear continuity can be seen (even as much of this is no longer existent in Chinese Buddhism as we know it now). Even if Ox Head-style Ch'an does not closely resemble Soto or Rinzai Zen as now known, it does not follow that there is no Zen (or is it Ch'an?) integral to Tendai practice.

Cutting to the point: Tendai-shu is a Zen school.

:stirthepot:
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:56 pm

Yes this claim is not groundless... tendai has kept some kind of ancient zen practice in Japan.. interestingly from pics I have seen they used to sit like in rinzai, face to the middle of the meditation hall. Anyway some call it zazen shikan [this shikan has nothing to do with shikan taza, different characters are used]. So it is useful for serious zen practitioners to read some of the Makashikan or Shoshikan texts. I heard from a friend that some parts were translated and are in English. But I do not know any title actually.

Zen has transformed itself greatly since Tang and Sung so what is still in tendai tradition might be of very interesting points referring to very old form of zen practice... not onl ox head school.

But frankly in Japanese tendai zazen/shikan practice is not very popular... mostly priests are concerned with goma and some esoteric/tantric rituals and meditations. So I wonder if there are any good teachers of 'zen' within tendai camp.
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Astus » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:43 pm

Let's reverse this. Chan is a Tiantai school. See for instance Faure on Shenxiu's background in his "The Will to Orthodoxy", p 49-53, where you get a short description of how Huisi and later Tiantai teachings influenced early Chan, like Daoxin's "one act samadhi". Even the idea of a lineage was first invented by the Tiantai school.
"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: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:34 pm

Dogen and Eisai were both Tendai monks originally. They even have their portraits on the official Tendai website:

http://www.tendai.or.jp/rekishi/sou-hito.php

Japanese Zen is clearly more Tendai than the reverse.
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Meido » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:03 pm

Indrajala wrote:Dogen and Eisai were both Tendai monks originally.


Yes, and as far as I know Eisai identified as a Tendai monk until the end of his life - and continued to engage in Tendai practice - even as he worked to transmit Zen teachings.

In Torei's Shumon Mujintoron he examines Tendai and Shingon teachings from the standpoint of Zen's approach, and discusses similarities/differences. It's a revealing text for someone interested to know how Rinzai Zen (as it later developed) came to view other schools. Tendai is described as a complete school whose practitioners do arrive at recognition of the true nature; the means for doing so, and subsequent practice of actualizing that, of course differ. But from Zen's One Vehicle standpoint, at least, there's plenty of feeling of inclusiveness (in between the triumphalist expressions).

Perhaps, then, Jikan's assertion of Tendai as Zen would not be considered terribly controversial on the Zen side...at least from that big-boat view. The question of Ox-Head influence being preserved and transmitted in Tendai-shu, and what impact that has on praxis today, is all the more interesting.

Indrajala wrote:Japanese Zen is clearly more Tendai than the reverse.


People coming to practice Zen who've read the various popular works about it often ask with surprise: why are there so many seemingly esoteric practices (mantra, mudra, dharani, rituals with both mundane and deeper motivation, amulets, spells, exorcisms, etc.)? Even a use of iconography that can cross the line into self-visualization as the deity (though no kanjo).

So I do sometimes think it would be nice if we could just say, "Well, Zen is a Tendai school". :smile:

~ Meido
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby jikai » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:12 am

While Tendai does preserve the Ox-Head Zen transmission, it was not highly valued at any point in Tendai history. Most Tendai monks felt that their own meditative practices were superior to those transmitted in the Ox-Head Zen transmission. Therefore, while it is true that Tendai involves Zen practices, I wouldn't say it is a Zen school. I have seen older publications make this claim abd i think it does more harm than good if you will.

As Meido suggested, Shikan and Shikantaza have nothing to do with each other. In fact i believe Dogens coining of the term was a play on words attempting to draw comparison with the already established Tendai Shikan, but i could be wrong.

And on the Chinese Tiantai side, many of Tiantai Dashi Zhiyi's works are clearly critical of Zen tendencies. This was followed by almost every other later Tendai patriarch- notably Siming Zhili/ Shimyo Chiri.

So im not sure id agree with the OP .
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Indrajala » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:28 am

jikai wrote:And on the Chinese Tiantai side, many of Tiantai Dashi Zhiyi's works are clearly critical of Zen tendencies. This was followed by almost every other later Tendai patriarch- notably Siming Zhili/ Shimyo Chiri.


Curiously Chinese Chan developed in such a way as to appreciate Zhiyi's works as primary manuals for meditation, which didn't happen with Japanese Zen.
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Anders » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:02 am

Jikan wrote:Cutting to the point: Tendai-shu is a Zen school.

:stirthepot:


Welcome to the fold! :smile:
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby jikai » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:07 am

Another point worth considering is that the Ox-Head lineage is considered to fall outside of the 'orthodox' transmission of Chan/Zen which makes the claim to Tendai being a Zen school somewhat problematic.

@Ven. Indrajala, There isn't really any significance to Dogen Zenji and Eisai Zenji picture being on the Tendai sect website. The lecture hall on Hieizan has pictures of all the Kamakura sect founders that trained initially on Hieizan. This is in celebration of their image as mother mountain of Japanese Buddhism. That is true, the influence of Tiantai is visible on Chinese Chan where as you say, the Mohe Zhiguan and XiaoZhiguan and so forth are used as meditative manuals. I believe Japanese Zen practitioners also use the ShoShikan but im not sure it is any more thorough-going than that.

We also have to face the fact that Tiantai/Tendai polemics are just not like those of Chan/Zen. Tendai meditation when compared to standard Zen forms are rather different too.

On a quirky note, if Tendai is a Zen school, kind of changes the significance and 'wisdom' of Dogen Zenji and Eisai Zenji's actions.
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:27 am

jikai wrote:Another point worth considering is that the Ox-Head lineage is considered to fall outside of the 'orthodox' transmission of Chan/Zen which makes the claim to Tendai being a Zen school somewhat problematic.

@Ven. Indrajala, There isn't really any significance to Dogen Zenji and Eisai Zenji picture being on the Tendai sect website. The lecture hall on Hieizan has pictures of all the Kamakura sect founders that trained initially on Hieizan. This is in celebration of their image as mother mountain of Japanese Buddhism. That is true, the influence of Tiantai is visible on Chinese Chan where as you say, the Mohe Zhiguan and XiaoZhiguan and so forth are used as meditative manuals. I believe Japanese Zen practitioners also use the ShoShikan but im not sure it is any more thorough-going than that.

We also have to face the fact that Tiantai/Tendai polemics are just not like those of Chan/Zen. Tendai meditation when compared to standard Zen forms are rather different too.

On a quirky note, if Tendai is a Zen school, kind of changes the significance and 'wisdom' of Dogen Zenji and Eisai Zenji's actions.


I do not think that it is problematic to point at tendai as kind of zen preservation, even if oxhead died out. Actually most zen lineages even connected to Daikan Eno simply disappeared, but they are not disapproved. Generally it is known and accepted in Japan that there were various forms of zen practices, and nobody claims invalidity of oxhead school. And there are alos some works on it as well.
Yes one can buy easily in big bookstores or buddhist bookstores text of Shohikan or even Makashikan.. but it is not widely studied by zen monks. Anyway they are busy with duties they have already. But there is no any hindrence if one would like to read it or study. In most temples which have libraries one may find copies of the these texts.
I am not sure but I may think that oxhead teachings or practices might be close to chinese tendai, with all shikan approach. But I am not sure about it. Might someone has real knowledge about it?
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:30 am

Meido wrote:People coming to practice Zen who've read the various popular works about it often ask with surprise: why are there so many seemingly esoteric practices (mantra, mudra, dharani, rituals with both mundane and deeper motivation, amulets, spells, exorcisms, etc.)? Even a use of iconography that can cross the line into self-visualization as the deity (though no kanjo).

So I do sometimes think it would be nice if we could just say, "Well, Zen is a Tendai school". :smile:

~ Meido


There is no 'kanjo' in rinzai??? I wonder.. in soto there is kanjo during jukai, which is very important part and has many explanations.
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Anders » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:31 am

jikai wrote:Another point worth considering is that the Ox-Head lineage is considered to fall outside of the 'orthodox' transmission of Chan/Zen which makes the claim to Tendai being a Zen school somewhat problematic.


No it's not. The Oxhead lineage didn't fall under the popular song dynasty classification of the five houses, all descended from Huineng, but that was as much to do with the fact that it was mostly extinct by the time such classification came in vogue.

The authenticity of the oxhead lineage hasn't seen much questioning by the nameless establishment of Chan.
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As your companion in practice"

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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby jikai » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:37 am

@Matylda, Yes I am aware that the MakaShikan and the ShoShikan are not primary texts for Zen monks. Of course there is no problem with them reading them.

I think you misunderstand what i meant about the Ox-Head lineage being considered unorthodox- the Ox-Head lineage is considered unorthodox because the founder of the Ox-Head lineage was not an recognised accomplished student of Zen in the same way as the founders of Linji and Coding were. information aboutout it can be found here: http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/His ... China.html
or:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/mindins.htm

Ox-Head lineage Chan has no connection to Chinese Tiantai- they were simply both practiced at monasteries on mt Tiantai.

Gassho,

Jikai.
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"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby jikai » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:41 am

@ Anders,
That may well be so, and I trust your superior knowledge of Zen over my own side readings. Nevertheless, if we don't use the five houses categorization to differentiate between orthodox and otherwise Zen transmissions then what can we use in our determinations?
Gassho,
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"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Astus » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:41 am

jikai wrote:if we don't use the five houses categorization to differentiate between orthodox and otherwise Zen transmissions then what can we use in our determinations?


The "five houses" idea was made up in the Song as a method to organise lineages and stories in major collections, starting with the Jingde Chuandeng Lu (pub. 1009) that uses the scheme but does not name it (the reason behind the scheme of five houses is unknown), then the Guandeng Lu (pub. 1039) uses five discrete sections for the houses but does not call it as such, and the first clear mention found of the five houses is from around 1060. (source: How Zen Became Zen, p 22-23)

Talking about "orthodox" in Chan is a difficult question. When Saicho travelled China things looked very different from how later generations imagined it. At that time none of the five houses existed, as schools like Linji and Fayan were created much later.

By the way, could someone specify what kind of practice/teaching is recognised in Tendai as Oxhead?
"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: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Qianxi » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:15 pm

The most widely quoted product of the Ox Head School is probably a poem called 信心銘 On Faith in Mind. There's longer version called the 心銘 On Mind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinxin_Ming

The modern Taiwanese Chan teacher Shengyan wrote a commentary on it, Baizhang Huaihai and Zhaozhou often quoted from it, and the second founder of Japanese Soto, Keizan Jokin, wrote a commentary on it 信心銘拈提 Shinjinmei nentei in Chinese: http://www2.fodian.net/baoku/FoJingWenI ... x?ID=T2587

I don't know about orthodoxy or Chan-Tiantai influence.
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Astus » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:26 pm

As for Oxhead School texts, this is a really good one: Jue guan lun - A Treatise on the Ceasing of Notions. But more interesting would be to see how it all appears in Tendai, if at all.
"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: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:14 pm

jikai wrote:@Matylda, Yes I am aware that the MakaShikan and the ShoShikan are not primary texts for Zen monks. Of course there is no problem with them reading them.

I think you misunderstand what i meant about the Ox-Head lineage being considered unorthodox- the Ox-Head lineage is considered unorthodox because the founder of the Ox-Head lineage was not an recognised accomplished student of Zen in the same way as the founders of Linji and Coding were. information aboutout it can be found here: http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/His ... China.html
or:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/mindins.htm

Ox-Head lineage Chan has no connection to Chinese Tiantai- they were simply both practiced at monasteries on mt Tiantai.

Gassho,

Jikai.


I see now it is clearer. Anyway I am not sure if it is possible to deceide 100% if the founder of oxhead was or was not a heir of Doshin, the 4th zen patriarch. We have to keep in mind that formality of dharma transmission was developed much later, with all documents which are in use today both in rinzai or in soto. Moreover in soto tradition there are 2 documents added to dharma transmission document which makes 3 documents.

I think that historically nobody in Japan today claims that the oxhead was problematic in this sense. Never heard about it. What I meant by connection to tendai shikan or makashikan is not that it was same school but that oxhead used shi and kan, which may make it more similar to tendai meditation. Not that poth schools are same :)

Anyway I am not a scholar, so I have to apologies for any mistakes I may make.

I think that modern historians could claim unorthodoxy od oxhead concerning dharma transmission, but what I refer to is popular or general view. If we would be meticulous about the history then probably all zen schools should be considered "unorthodox" since their accepted history and historical facts as we know today are sometimes in deep opposition :)

As of Shoshikan and Makashikan... yes anyone is free to read it.. when I mentioned temples which keep in thheir libraries copies of those texts I meant zen temples. Iknow some tendai temples as well, but i visited only friends there, so I had no chance to go through thier libraries I have to admit. Anyway I have some sentiment for both texts since they are really great, specially I am great fond of Shoshikan, so simple and full of spirit. And somehow I had emotinal impression of ancient times and zen, and how it was probably practiced by thousands anonimous individuals in retreats following strict and simple instructions. I find Dogen has great admiration for such individuals in his Shobogenzo.
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Matylda » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:17 pm

Qianxi wrote:The most widely quoted product of the Ox Head School is probably a poem called 信心銘 On Faith in Mind. There's longer version called the 心銘 On Mind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinxin_Ming

The modern Taiwanese Chan teacher Shengyan wrote a commentary on it, Baizhang Huaihai and Zhaozhou often quoted from it, and the second founder of Japanese Soto, Keizan Jokin, wrote a commentary on it 信心銘拈提 Shinjinmei nentei in Chinese: http://www2.fodian.net/baoku/FoJingWenI ... x?ID=T2587

I don't know about orthodoxy or Chan-Tiantai influence.


I always thought that it was Kanchi Sosan, the 3rd patriarch of the lineage who wrote it.. it would mean 2 generations before oxhead appeared. Am I wrong?
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Re: Tendai is a Ch'an school.

Postby Astus » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:48 pm

Matylda wrote:I always thought that it was Kanchi Sosan, the 3rd patriarch of the lineage who wrote it.. it would mean 2 generations before oxhead appeared. Am I wrong?


It is as you say. Farong's work is the Xinming (心銘), Mind Inscription. Also this: The "Hsin-Ming" Attributed to Niu-T'ou Fa-Jung by Henrik H. Sorensen.

The mentioned Wikipedia article questions the authority of the Xinxinming: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinxin_Ming#Authorship
"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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