Buddhahood in Chan

Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:05 am

LastLegend wrote:Don't talk practice. When we have realized enlightenment we can come back and talk about all the paths not just the path we have employed.


Is there some taboo on discussions? This is a Buddhist Forum. Is it that the purpose of such a board as this is unclear? It is meant for talking about Buddhism, about Zen, etc. Questions like "why talk about this?" is saying that we should just shut down this section or even the whole forum. I doubt that's what you or those who make similar comments actually mean. But such meta-discussions like this is disrupting and very much off topic.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby mindyourmind » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:40 am

Astus wrote:
LastLegend wrote:Don't talk practice. When we have realized enlightenment we can come back and talk about all the paths not just the path we have employed.


Is there some taboo on discussions? This is a Buddhist Forum. Is it that the purpose of such a board as this is unclear? It is meant for talking about Buddhism, about Zen, etc. Questions like "why talk about this?" is saying that we should just shut down this section or even the whole forum. I doubt that's what you or those who make similar comments actually mean. But such meta-discussions like this is disrupting and very much off topic.



I am one of those who questioned (still do, in fact) the wisdom of a discussion like this one, and the tone and content thereof.

Is there a taboo on questioning certain discussions? Discussions that exist to criticize and debate the real or perceived failings and shortcomings of a tradition?
Of course this is a Buddhist forum, and of course we come here for discussion and debate, but it does not follow that all topics are appropriate. Personally I find that a discussion about the status, content and nature of what a particular tradition regards as buddhahood and how that tradition actually does not have The Real Deal as both pretentious and offensive (and it is not even my own tradition we are talking about).

You may choose to see only the academic side of the discussion, but I see something else there also. Right throughout the discussion there is a subtle comparison happening, or to paraphrase a part of the discussion we can say that "Chan's buddhahood is not what they say it is".

It is not my place or even my goal to make off-topic comments or to be disruptive, as you say these comments are, but I do believe that as a member I have the right to question whether certain topics or at least parts of their contents are appropriate. As an example, Namdrol's response to my question above in part answered my question.

You may seek to pretend that this is not the case, but this entire discussion is one of comparison, bordering on sectarian dogma, thinly veiled as an academic discussion.
Of course I can simply choose to ignore the discussion, and maybe I should, but for now I am trying to understand the policy on this type of discussion.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:24 am

Indeed, this discussion was started based on the different interpretations of Buddhahood in Chan. So it is a "debate topic". And unless it deteriorates into personal attacks I find it a very fruitful form of interaction.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:21 pm

mindyourmind wrote:
... this entire discussion is one of comparison, bordering on sectarian dogma, thinly veiled as an academic discussion.


Actually, I am questioning the entire basis of certain Chan claims to buddhahood because they broadly contradict Indian Mahāyāna.

It is a doxological discussion and therefore, about dogma.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:17 pm

Namdrol wrote:Actually, I am questioning the entire basis of certain Chan claims to buddhahood because they broadly contradict Indian Mahāyāna.


That was Xuanzang's view too, he wanted to "correct" Chinese Buddhism - and he didn't really mean Chan since at that time it was still marginal. However, his doctrines were soon forgotten and the Huayan-Tiantai interpretations conquered the land on which Chan was built. Therefore, to connect Chan to Indian Mahayana one has to go back in time a bit, to around the 4th century when things started to take shape. That means that the primary treatises of Chinese Buddhism are not those that are used in Tibet to understand Mahayana.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:26 pm

Astus wrote:Therefore, to connect Chan to Indian Mahayana one has to go back in time a bit, to around the 4th century when things started to take shape. That means that the primary treatises of Chinese Buddhism are not those that are used in Tibet to understand Mahayana.


Well, this is definitely not so. Sutra studies in Tibetan Buddhism is based primarily, though not exclusively on treatise authored between the 2-6th century.

WHat is more accurate to say is that China, being an outpost of Buddhism, was in many respects out of the main stream of the development of Mahāyāna theory in India. What is also true, is that Chinese Buddhists tended to ignore Indian sastra literature, and prefer their own interpretations of Buddhist sutras to those of Indian masters. For example, Huayen masters really looked down on Asanga.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:02 pm

I didn't mean they knew nothing about those works from India but they rather developed on their own way. The Maha-Prajnaparamita-Upadesa is one example, it was used heavily by both Sanlun and Tiantai, the Mahayana-Sraddhotpada-Sastra is another classic example used often by Huayan teachers.
Consider these works studied in the Korean Jogye Order's curriculum for novices (source): Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra, PP8000 Sutra, Avatamsaka Sutra, Shuramgama Sutra, Lotus Sutra, Nirvana Sutra, Awakening Faith in Mahayana, Abhidharma teachings, Huayan teachings, Seon teachings. And if that sounds a very broad range, the texts studied in depth are (source): Flower Adornment Sutra, Awakening of Mahāyāna Faith, Sutra of the Heroic March Concentration, Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, Platform Sutra, Diamond Sutra. They are all related to Chan/Seon and Huayan/Hwaeom in different ways. No Nagarjuna, no Vasubandhu, no Haribhadra.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:05 pm

Astus wrote:Flower Adornment Sutra, Awakening of Mahāyāna Faith, Sutra of the Heroic March Concentration, Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, Platform Sutra, Diamond Sutra. They are all related to Chan/Seon and Huayan/Hwaeom in different ways. No Nagarjuna, no Vasubandhu, no Haribhadra.



As I said, they tended to ignore Indian Mahāyāna masters, preferring their own interpretations. The only text of clear Indian origin in the short list given here is the first. The rest are native Chinese compositions.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:34 pm

Namdrol wrote:As I said, they tended to ignore Indian Mahāyāna masters, preferring their own interpretations. The only text of clear Indian origin in the short list given here is the first. The rest are native Chinese compositions.


Plus the Diamond Sutra. But yes, that is part of the difficulty of simply putting Chan under "sutrayana" and expecting it to conform with Tibetan views what it should be like. Therefore, if we don't count Indian Mahayana, perfect enlightenment in this life can be as valid a claim as in Vajrayana.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:18 pm

Astus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:As I said, they tended to ignore Indian Mahāyāna masters, preferring their own interpretations. The only text of clear Indian origin in the short list given here is the first. The rest are native Chinese compositions.


Plus the Diamond Sutra. But yes, that is part of the difficulty of simply putting Chan under "sutrayana" and expecting it to conform with Tibetan views what it should be like. Therefore, if we don't count Indian Mahayana, perfect enlightenment in this life can be as valid a claim as in Vajrayana.


But we do count Indian Mahāyāna, since Vajrayāna is an extension of Indian Mahāyāna.

BTW, no one said it was impossible to become a buddha in this life. The notion is "is buddhahood in a single lifetime" a possibility? In India Mahāyāna, the answere is no-- Indian Mahayāna of whatever stripe requires three incalculable eons at minimumfor full awakening. In Vajrayāna, the answer is yes, since through special methods it is made possible.

It seems to me that rather than providing methods, certain Chan masters who try to prove full enlightment in the span of a single lifetime, engage in a philosphical feints to support their conception, in general resorting to arguments by means of ultimate truth to try and prove their point, basically arguing the doctrine of paths and stages is an unnecessary conceptual limitation. However, when challenged, I don't see a coherent defense being mounted, which has lead me to believe that much like pure land buddhism, Chan is in fact a faith oriented school.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:39 pm

Early Chinese schools do study the Indian treatises in great detail, such as Abhidharmakosa, the 3 principle Yogacara treastises, Satyasiddhi, etc. But after Fazang, Chinese Buddhists no longer look so much towards India and Central Asia.

Modern Chan masters are more circumspect about the notion of sudden enlightenment. I suspect it is due to the influence of Ven. Yinshun, who refocused Chinese Buddhism to the study of Indian sutras and shastras. For example, see this Q&A with Master Shengyen and HHDL - from the way he described the Chan notion of sudden enlightenment, it is not full samsaksambodhi, but rather attainment upon the bhumis.

http://www.dharmadrum.org/content/chan_ ... aspx?sn=16

Ven Dharmamitra has also mentioned in E-Sangha before that in his tradition, "sudden enlightenment" means attaining anutpattika-dharma-ksanti as an 8th Bhumi Bodhisattva, so it is the sense of being able to skip or quickly advance to the later stages, not full Buddhahood.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Jnana » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:28 pm

Namdrol wrote:It seems to me that rather than providing methods, certain Chan masters who try to prove full enlightment in the span of a single lifetime, engage in a philosphical feints to support their conception, in general resorting to arguments by means of ultimate truth to try and prove their point, basically arguing the doctrine of paths and stages is an unnecessary conceptual limitation. However, when challenged, I don't see a coherent defense being mounted, which has lead me to believe that much like pure land buddhism, Chan is in fact a faith oriented school.

Every Mahāyāna tradition is faith based. One of the glaring shortcomings of Tibetan Buddhism is in taking a faith based, visionary tradition, and trying to interpret it literally. Of course, this began in India, with proofs of omniscience and so on. But that doesn't legitimize it. Here the Tibetans could learn a thing or two from the Chinese and Japanese masters. But this likely won't happen any time soon, since virtually every Tibetan Buddhist has already been thoroughly convinced by their tradition's self-proclaimed superiority.

Namdrol wrote: BTW, no one said it was impossible to become a buddha in this life. The notion is "is buddhahood in a single lifetime" a possibility? In India Mahāyāna, the answere is no-- Indian Mahayāna of whatever stripe requires three incalculable eons at minimumfor full awakening. In Vajrayāna, the answer is yes, since through special methods it is made possible.

It's a flimsy argument. There is no reason to accept that the vajrayāna rhetoric of progressing from a common person to complete buddhahood in one lifetime is anything more than a provisional teaching. Firstly, the numerical disproportion makes any literal, direct equivalency absurd. We're to believe that the path of method is so extraordinarily efficacious that meritorious activities and supramundane knowledge which would normally take a minimum of three incalculable eons to accumulate can magically be achieved in the span of one human lifetime. And second, the description of the abilities attained upon entering just the first bhūmi are so cosmically mind-blowing that to interpret this bhūmi model literally, one will have already progressed from an average Joe to a cosmic superhero merely upon entering the first bodhisattva stage.

Much to their credit, the Chinese and Japanese Chan/Zen masters were pragmatic and sophisticated enough to not take these Indic archetypes too literally. For example, the Zazenron states:

    Q: Do Bodhisattvas of the Mahayana also have this way of no-mind?

    A: Bodhisattvas have many defiling and obscuring obstacles in their consciousness and do not yet accord with no-mind until they reach the tenth Bhumi. These “defiling obstacles” mean that, until the tenth bhumi, they still desire to seek the Dharma, and they do not accord with their original way. It’s only when they arrive at the tenth Bhumi and the virtual enlightenment that they arrive at the way of no-mind.

    Q: If it is so difficult for even a Bodhisattva to accord with, how then could beginners so easily accord with this way?

    A: True Dharma is inconceivable. The setting up of the Bodhisattva path is for those of dim spiritual vision. Those who are clear-sighted realize the true enlightenment of no-mind when they first give rise to the aspiration.

    Q: One who see’s one’s true nature and awakens to the Buddha way is called a Buddha. Why then do they no also have psychic powers, show radiant lights, or perform the mystic feats of the Buddha which would distinguish him from a regular person?

    A: Since this body has been built from ignorant thoughts from the past, even though we see our nature it does not show off the psychic power and radiance. Yet, is it not psychic power to be master over the six dusts of the senses and deluded thoughts? Without resorting to hard & painful practice, without passing through the 3 great incalculable eons, to cut off birth and death, see straight into one’s nature and become a Buddha - this are the mystic feats [of a Buddha]. And to employ the light of prajna that is the pure Dharmakaya to save all beings from the darkness of delusion - what other kind of radiant light do we need? To desire psychic powers other than great wisdom and understanding is the way of Mara and the infidels. Even foxes have these psychic powers and ability to transform themselves - but should we pay homage to them? Just cultivating no-mind, we can extinguish at once the three incalculable eons and suddenly see our nature, becoming Buddhas.

And on the notion of accumulating merit over three incalculable eons, the same texts says:

    Q: But if we don’t gain merits and plant good spiritual roots, how can we arrive at Buddhahood which is endowed perfectly with the various virtues?

    A: He who seeks Buddhahood by gaining merit and planting good spiritual roots might become a Buddha after 3 kalpas, but one who cultivates the direct pointing at one’s own mind, seeing into one’s nature and becoming a Buddha, knows that one is a Buddha from the very beginning. It is not that he attains the fruit of Buddhahood.

Here we have the same argument of the qualities being present in the basis.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:35 pm

Jnana wrote:[
It's a flimsy argument. There is no reason to accept that the vajrayāna rhetoric of progressing from a common person to complete buddhahood in one lifetime is anything more than a provisional teaching.


So you basically doubt that Virupa, for example, traversed all the paths and stages in a single lifetime?

And what about this Vajrayāna tenet makes it "provisional"? That it seems too fantastic to you?
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Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Jnana » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:40 pm

Namdrol wrote:So you basically doubt that Virupa, for example, traversed all the paths and stages in a single lifetime?

I don't see any reason to take mahasiddha hagiographies literally.

Namdrol wrote:And what about this Vajrayāna tenet makes it "provisional"?

Look at the numbers Namdrol. Any direct equivalency is absurd on the face of it.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:20 pm

Carl Bielefeldt in his "Dogen's Manual of Zen Meditation" discusses nicely (p. 87ff) that the Tiantai meditation system (the Mohezhiguan) that included both gradual and sudden methods (where the sudden part was the culmination of the practices) served as a model for Chan that took out only the sudden part - that is the Tathagata Dhyana (based on which it's called Tathagata/Rulai Chan), the vajropamasamadhi, the very state of buddhahood - and left behind the gradual stages. (Bielefeldt there also explains other important developments that are not relevant here but it's a good source to understand how Zen became like it is in Dogen's teachings and even today.) This shows that Zen is not at all without reasoning or doctrinal bases but what people see are teachings that were well established by that time and needed no apologetics - this is what is also called Patriarchal Chan, where the patriarchs are equal to living buddhas expressing the Teaching of the Unsurpassed Vehicle.

Zongmi, who emphasised the sudden enlightenment followed by gradual practice model, argued primarily against the Hongzhou and Baotang schools who taught instant liberation. In the end, however, the Hongzhou style won and from that appeared the Linji and Caodong schools to be the orthodox lineages then on.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:41 pm

Jnana wrote:[/list]

Here we have the same argument of the qualities being present in the basis.


No, we just have the usual philosophical sleight of hand I mentioned above.

The point that I am really trying to make is that Indian Mahāyānists took their own tradition seriously. For example, Nāgārjuna in the Ratnavali lists in some detail how much merit is required for each of the major and minor marks, when encouraging the king to cultivate merit.

And three uncalculable eons is not even really a Mahāyāna number. It is a number which comes from the earliest ideas about the length of time it took the bodhisattva to acheive buddhahood.

So on the one hand, we have the Indian tradition (Mahāyāna, Vajrayāna and the śrāvaka traditions) insisting that in order to become a buddha one must practice the paramitas for an insanely long period of time. And on the other hand we have a tradition a tradition in China which asserts all this is so much unnecessary proliferation.

Saying that "qualities are present in the basis" is a meaningless statement. Butter is present in milk, but it does not come out all by itself, oil is present in sesame seeds but it does not extract itself. And which qualities exactly?

Of coure what we are dealing with here is a specfies of tathāgatagarbha thinking, but even hear, I don't think that the type of instant buddhahood you see some Chan masters proclaiming can be justified on the basis of any Indian sutras, tathāgatgarbha or otherwise.

Of course, this is the realm of religion, so no one can prove anything since it all boils down to belief.

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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:44 pm

Jnana wrote:
Namdrol wrote:So you basically doubt that Virupa, for example, traversed all the paths and stages in a single lifetime?

I don't see any reason to take mahasiddha hagiographies literally.


I see, so for you, Virupa, Tilopa, Luipa, Ghanapāda are merely nominal "mahāsiddhas", and reports of their realization are not to be taken literally. How about reports of the Buddha's realization? Are they to be taken literally?


Look at the numbers Namdrol. Any direct equivalency is absurd on the face of it.


What do numbers have to do with it?

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:24 pm

Some quotes on the view of Mahayana and the three kalpas long practice from different Chan works.

But the Buddha said, "Only after undergoing innumerable hardships for three asankhya kalpas did I achieve enlightenment," Why do you now say that simply beholding the mind and over-coming the three poisons is liberation?

The words of the Buddha are true. But the three-asankhya kalpas refer to the three poisoned states of mind. What we call asankhya in Sanskrit you call countless. Within these three poisoned states of mind are countless evil thoughts, And every thought lasts a kalpa. Such an infinity is what the Buddha meant by the three asankhya kalpas, Once the three poisons obscure your real self, how can you be called liberated until you overcome their countless evil thoughts? People who can transform the three poisons of greed, anger, and delusion into the three releases are said to pass through the three-sankhya kalpas. But people of this final age are the densest of fools. They don’t understand what the Tathagata really meant by the three-asankhya kalpas. They say enlightenment is only achieved after endless kalpas and thereby mislead disciples to retreat on the path to Buddhahood.

(Breakthrough Sermon)

Q: What is the difference between the Mahayana and the Supreme Vehicle?
A: The Mahayana is the Bodhisattva's vehicle, and the Supreme Yana is the Buddha's vehicle.

Q: How can one practice to attain these vehicles?
A: To practice the Bodhisattva's vehicle is simply Mahayana practice. After attaining the Bodhisattva stage, where there is no longer any need to practice, one arrives at the stage of no-practice, which is permanently still and deep and where there is neither increase nor decrease. This is called the Supreme Vehicle or the Buddha's Vehicle.

(Entering the Tao of Sudden Enlightenment)

The monk asked: How can one suddenly attain the Tao through practice?
The master said: If one really has some good reason and is very sincere, with no trace of falseness, there is, for him, no need to spend endless Asankhyeya-Kalpas in practice. The Mahaparinirvana Sutra says, "A man who sails a boat on the ocean can move very far in a short time in a favorable wind." If there were not a favorable wind, the boat would only stay in the same place for many years. Also, if the boat were to leak, it would submerge and the man would die. The situation of all sentient beings can be compared quite closely to this one. The Surangama Sutra says, "There is Samadhi of seeing all things as illusion, which, in a finger-snap, leads to the state beyond all study." Therefore, in this case, it is not necessary to understand the Three Vehicles nor to attain the Ten Stages of a Bodhisattva's Progress to become Buddha in one thought, thereby transcending Kalpas of practice suddenly.

(Practice and Attain Enlightenment After Understanding the Principles)

"Followers of the Way, if you take my viewpoint you’ll cut off the heads of the saṃbhogakāya and nirmāṇakāya buddhas; a bodhisattva who has attained the completed mind of the tenth stage will be like a mere hireling; a bodhisattva of equivalent enlightenment or a bodhisattva of marvelous enlightenment will be like pilloried prisoners; an arhat and a pratyekabuddha will be like privy fi lth; bodhi and nirvana will be like hitching posts for asses. Why is this so? Followers of the Way, it is only because you haven’t yet realized the emptiness of the three asamkhyeya kalpas that you have such obstacles."
(Record of Linji)
"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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Astus
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:05 pm

Astus wrote:Some quotes on the view of Mahayana and the three kalpas long practice from different Chan works.



Yes, these are often trotted out, but they do not prove anything other than that Chan Buddhists had a view of buddhahood that does not correspond to mainstream Buddhist thinking on the subject.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:23 pm

Namdrol wrote:Yes, these are often trotted out, but they do not prove anything other than that Chan Buddhists had a view of buddhahood that does not correspond to mainstream Buddhist thinking on the subject.


What "mainstream" actually means is debatable since Chan has been the primary doctrine of elite Buddhism in East Asia for a thousand years now.

Proving that Chan, and particularly sudden enlightenment, is a valid Buddhist teaching is the real issue then. For that we would need a couple of terms defined, especially buddhahood and buddha-mind.
"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)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4226
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

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