My rant on Hui Neng's poem

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My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 16, 2011 7:25 am

Hui Neng's poem:
Fundamentally no wisdom-tree exists,
Nor the stand of a mirror bright.
Since all is empty from the beginning,
Where can the dust alight


Shen Hsiu's poem:
The body is the wisdom-tree,
The mind is a bright mirror in a stand;
Take care to wipe it all the time,
And allow no dust to cling.


Well where can the dust alight? My dust is in many forms of 3 karma of body, speech, and mind (greed, anger, igorance). When I see ladies, my thoughts arise. When things don't go my way, I get angry. When I am irritated, I don't sound very pleasant. When others don't do things my way, I get angry. So karma is living my life and I do what it wants me to do. No...I must recognize this is suffering, and I must not follow these thoughts and emotions. I refuse to engage in these thoughts and emotions. I must strive to remain dust free. I must remain in Buddha-Dharma-Sangha as in Awakened-Dharma-Purity. I must cultivate meditation through conducts-concentration-wisdom.

I must constantly Take care to wipe it all the time, only then my mind will be pure one day no dust or suffering can alight.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

What do you get from reading the poems?
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby Sherab » Mon May 16, 2011 8:11 am

I prefer Hui Neng's explanation over Shen Hsiu because it is more subtle.
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 16, 2011 8:14 am

Sherab wrote:I prefer Hui Neng's explanation over Shen Hsiu because it is more subtle.


But for practice, Hui Heng is the goal and Shen Hsiu is the means.
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby Sherab » Mon May 16, 2011 8:27 am

LastLegend wrote:
Sherab wrote:I prefer Hui Neng's explanation over Shen Hsiu because it is more subtle.


But for practice, Hui Heng is the goal and Shen Hsiu is the means.

For me, the goal informs the means. If the goal is wrong, the substance of the means will be wrong even if the form of the means is correct. If the substance of the means is wrong, the goal will not be reached, even though the form of the means is correct.
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 16, 2011 8:30 am

Sherab wrote:
LastLegend wrote:
Sherab wrote:I prefer Hui Neng's explanation over Shen Hsiu because it is more subtle.


But for practice, Hui Heng is the goal and Shen Hsiu is the means.

For me, the goal informs the means. If the goal is wrong, the substance of the means will be wrong even if the form of the means is correct. If the substance of the means is wrong, the goal will not be reached, even though the form of the means is correct.


So based on your understanding, is there anything wrong with the goal. Are you not happy that the goal is to exit the cycle of death and rebirth?
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby Sherab » Mon May 16, 2011 8:45 am

LastLegend wrote:Are you not happy that the goal is to exit the cycle of death and rebirth?

No.
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 16, 2011 8:53 am

Sherab wrote:
LastLegend wrote:Are you not happy that the goal is to exit the cycle of death and rebirth?

No.


What is it that you are not happy about?
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby Anders » Mon May 16, 2011 11:31 am

I think it's important to recognise that it is not a question of one being right and the other wrong. One represents a gradual perspective and the other a sudden.

It is far better to sincerely practise gradually, than to be conceited about being a 'sudden' practitioner. We should endeavour to practise what we can. The sudden approach requires a lot of trust and a lot of goodness and maybe people need to spend some time cultivating these qualities before they are ready to make the leap.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby Anders » Mon May 16, 2011 11:37 am

LastLegend wrote:But for practice, Hui Heng is the goal and Shen Hsiu is the means.


Well, that is the special feature of the sudden approach. It takes the ultimate as the starting point, rather than our own relative defiled experience. And so the path and the goal is one and the same, there are no stages or progress delineated and so forth.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 16, 2011 2:54 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
LastLegend wrote:But for practice, Hui Heng is the goal and Shen Hsiu is the means.


Well, that is the special feature of the sudden approach. It takes the ultimate as the starting point, rather than our own relative defiled experience. And so the path and the goal is one and the same, there are no stages or progress delineated and so forth.


I know nothing about sudden approach for I am of low capacity, and for this reason I am not really interested in discussing about it. All I said is Hui Neng spoke of an enlightened state, and that is the goal for all practitioners. Shen Hsui spoke of what we need to do to keep our mind empty or pure. So we have to practice to get there. And I am more interested in discussing about our attachments to this life such as wealth, lust, fame, food, and sleep for examples as these attachments need to be gone in order to help with meditation.
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby Astus » Mon May 16, 2011 4:58 pm

LastLegend wrote:Shen Hsui spoke of what we need to do to keep our mind empty or pure. So we have to practice to get there. And I am more interested in discussing about our attachments to this life such as wealth, lust, fame, food, and sleep for examples as these attachments need to be gone in order to help with meditation.


A practical and understandable position of course. However, I don't understand then why you would choose a text like the Platform Sutra that is very much about the sudden path instead of gradual cultivation. There are so many other texts on gradual methods explaining everything in detail. In fact, the Platform Sutra (just like most of the Zen texts) are quite useless in giving instructions at length.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 16, 2011 5:05 pm

From what I see what's alight in our my mind everyday

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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby ground » Mon May 16, 2011 5:20 pm

There is not real difference between Shen Hsiu's poem and Hui Neng's poem.

You may understand Shen Hsiu's poem, especially the "Take care to wipe it all the time" as an exhortation to recollect (or "to be mindful of") Hui Neng's poem.


Kind regards
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Tue May 17, 2011 8:06 am

I think the platform sutra is actually a platform for all practitioners if we understand this sutra properly. Except for those who don't take this sutra seriously, then of course this sutra is not for them.
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby Jnana » Thu May 19, 2011 11:13 pm

LastLegend wrote:Well where can the dust alight? My dust is in many forms of 3 karma of body, speech, and mind (greed, anger, igorance). When I see ladies, my thoughts arise. When things don't go my way, I get angry. When I am irritated, I don't sound very pleasant. When others don't do things my way, I get angry. So karma is living my life and I do what it wants me to do. No...I must recognize this is suffering, and I must not follow these thoughts and emotions. I refuse to engage in these thoughts and emotions. I must strive to remain dust free. I must remain in Buddha-Dharma-Sangha as in Awakened-Dharma-Purity. I must cultivate meditation through conducts-concentration-wisdom.

I think that this is necessary to acknowledge. No question about it. This is also acknowledged in the traditional teachings. For example, Guishan states:

    There was a monk who asked the Master [i.e.. Guishan], “Does a person who has had sudden awakening still need to continue with cultivation?” The Master said, “If one has true awakening and attains to the fundamental, then at that time that person knows for himself that cultivation and noncultivation are just dualistic opposites. Like now, though the initial inspiration is dependent on conditions, if within a single thought one awakens to one’s own reality, there are still certain habitual tendencies that have accumulated over numberless kalpas which cannot be purified in a single instant. That person should certainly be taught how to gradually remove the karmic tendencies and mental habits: this is cultivation. There is no other method of cultivation that needs to be taught to that person.”

And in his text titled Moguja’s Secrets on Cultivating the Mind (Moguja Susimgyeol), Jinul explains the experiential relationship between sudden awakening and gradual cultivation as follows:

    Question: You have said that this twofold approach of sudden awakening/gradual cultivation is the track followed by thousands of saints. But if awakening is really sudden awakening, what need is there for gradual cultivation? And if cultivation means gradual cultivation, how can you speak of sudden awakening? We hope that you will expound further on these two ideas of sudden and gradual and resolve our remaining doubts.

    Jinul: First let us take sudden awakening. When the ordinary man is deluded, he assumes that the four great elements are his body and the false thoughts are his mind. He does not know that his own nature is the true dharma-body; he does not know that his own numinous awareness is the true Buddha. He looks for the Buddha outside his mind. While he is thus wandering aimlessly, the entrance to the road might by chance be pointed out by a wise advisor. If in one thought he then follows back the light [of his mind to its source] and sees his own original nature, he will discover that the ground of this nature is innately free of defilement, and that he himself is originally endowed with the non-outflow wisdom-nature which is not a hair’s breadth different from that of all the Buddhas. Hence it is called sudden awakening.

    Next let us consider gradual cultivation. Although he has awakened to the fact that his original nature is no different from that of the Buddhas, the beginningless habit-energies are extremely difficult to remove suddenly; and so he must continue to cultivate while relying on this awakening. Through this gradual permeation, his endeavors reach completion. He constantly nurtures the sacred embryo, and after a long time he becomes a saint. Hence it is called gradual cultivation.

    This process can be compared to the maturation of a child. From the day of its birth, a baby is endowed with all the sense organs just like everyone else, but its strength is not yet fully developed. It is only after many months and years that it will finally become an adult.

All the best,

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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Thu May 19, 2011 11:37 pm

Just to elaborate further:
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas always live within Awakened-Truth-Purity and Conducts-Concentration-Wisdom. And so all the enlightened ones such as Hui Neng and patriarchs. If we are to follow their way, we must strive to do the same. After one has sudden awakened, one is now ready for cultivation (Awakened-Truth-Purity and Conducts-Concentration-Wisdom). So there is no separation between cultivation and awakened.

Thanks for reading
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby James418 » Mon May 30, 2011 7:37 pm

LastLegend wrote:I think the platform sutra is actually a platform for all practitioners if we understand this sutra properly. Except for those who don't take this sutra seriously, then of course this sutra is not for them.


I totally agree. I was taught part of this text when I trained at a traditional Rinzai temple. The Zen Master mocked the view that this was about sudden vs. gradual. Scholars don't get that kind of line by line explanation by an enlightened guide, so they read but don't understand.
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 30, 2011 8:13 pm

^ You are absolutely right. It does require an enlightened guide to understand certain Sutras, as a matter of fact most.
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby Quiet Heart » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:19 am

LastLegend wrote:
Sherab wrote:
LastLegend wrote:Are you not happy that the goal is to exit the cycle of death and rebirth?

No.


What is it that you are not happy about?

====================================
Last Legend:
I am not unhappy...and do not mean this as any criticism....but since you asked.... I am actually saddened by your insistance that there is a YOU that can exit the cycle of death and rebirth and that you consider that as the goal of your study and practice of Buddhisim and specifically Zen.
What we have displayed here (in that story) is the conflict between Hui Neng's individually orientated style of Zen and the more traditional and formalised type of Zen...that institutionalized type of Zen being the study of Zen as meditation and a hierarchy guided formal training regime.
In fact, if you consider it, in my opinion; that same basic idea is exactly the point of Hui Neng's poem, isn't it?
Now there are many people who want that kind of formalised Zen, and maybe they do need for it their practice...but it is exactly the opposite of my "type" of Zen. Maybe, that's just me and my nature...I'm a bit of an iconoclast and rebellious I guess.
Anyhow, I have to firmly side with Hui Neng on this.
Hope we can still be "friends"...but that's just the way I feel.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: My rant on Hui Neng's poem

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:19 am

Quiet Heart wrote:Last Legend:
I am not unhappy...and do not mean this as any criticism....but since you asked.... I am actually saddened by your insistance that there is a YOU that can exit the cycle of death and rebirth and that you consider that as the goal of your study and practice of Buddhisim and specifically Zen.
What we have displayed here (in that story) is the conflict between Hui Neng's individually orientated style of Zen and the more traditional and formalised type of Zen...that institutionalized type of Zen being the study of Zen as meditation and a hierarchy guided formal training regime.
In fact, if you consider it, in my opinion; that same basic idea is exactly the point of Hui Neng's poem, isn't it?
Now there are many people who want that kind of formalised Zen, and maybe they do need for it their practice...but it is exactly the opposite of my "type" of Zen. Maybe, that's just me and my nature...I'm a bit of an iconoclast and rebellious I guess.
Anyhow, I have to firmly side with Hui Neng on this.
Hope we can still be "friends"...but that's just the way I feel.
:smile:


You just want to talk about Zen don't you?

I don't need friends. Why do you need friends?
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