Buddhahood in Chan

Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:28 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Let's just say Chan's method of introducing is equivalent to this. I don't think so. I think such an introduction is special to Vajrayana, but it could be in theory.


Here's Zichang's conversation with Huineng from the Platform Sutra (tr. McRae).

[Zhichang] said, “After arriving there I received no teaching for three months. Because of the importance of the Dharma, one night I entered [Shenxiu’s] quarters alone to inquire of him, ‘What is my fundamental mind, my fundamental nature?’ Shenxiu then said, ‘Do you see space?’ I said, ‘I see.’ He said, ‘When you see space, does it have characteristics or not?’ I answered, ‘Space is without form. What characteristics could it have?’ He said, ‘Your fundamental nature is like space in that there is not a single thing at all that can be seen. This is called correct seeing. For there to be not a single thing that can be known is called true knowing. There are no blue and yellow, long and short. Just see that the fundamental source is pure, the essence of enlightenment is perfect and bright: this is called seeing the nature and achieving buddhahood. It is also called the perceptual understanding of the Tathāgata.’ Even though this student heard this explanation, I was still not certain, and I beg Your Reverence to teach me.”
The master said, “That teacher’s explanation still allows perceptual understanding to exist, which is why you were unable to comprehend. I will now reveal a verse for you:

Not seeing a single dharma but maintaining the view of nonbeing
Is much like floating clouds blocking the face of the sun.
Not knowing a single dharma but maintaining one’s knowledge of emptiness
Is just like the great void generating lightning and thunder.

When such perceptual understanding arises for the slightest instant,
How can mistaken recognition ever understand expedient means?
You should understand the error of this yourself, in a single moment of thought,
And the numinous brilliance of the self will be constantly manifest.

When Zhichang heard this verse, his mind became suddenly expansive [in enlightenment], and he related a verse:

There is no reason to activate perceptual understanding,
To be attached to characteristics and seek for bodhi.
When one’s intelligence harbors a single thought of enlightenment,
How can one transcend the delusions of the past?

The self-nature, enlightened to the essential source,
Illuminates the crazed currents [of awareness].
Without entering the room of the patriarch,
In a daze, going about with two heads.

One day Zhichang asked the master, “The Buddha preached the three vehicles, and he also spoke of the Supreme Vehicle. I don’t understand these doctrines and would like you to explain them for me.”
The master said, “When you contemplate your own fundamental mind, do not be attached to the external characteristics of dharmas. There are no four vehicles in the Dharma; it is only that peoples’ minds vary. To learn and recite is the small vehicle, to be enlightened to the Dharma and understand its meaning is the middle vehicle, and to cultivate according to the Dharma is the Great Vehicle. To penetrate all the myriad dharmas and to be equipped with all the myriad dharmas, without any defilement at all; to transcend the characteristics of the various dharmas, without anything that is attained: this is called the Supreme Vehicle. ‘Vehicle’ has the meaning of practice and cannot be argued about orally. You must cultivate yourself, not ask me about it. At all times the self-nature is itself suchlike.”
Zhichang thanked [Huineng] and served the master until the end of his years.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby LastLegend » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:15 am

The mind cannot be conceptualized or imagined in any way. We can experience the changes. We can experience the mind, however.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:18 am

Astus wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Let's just say Chan's method of introducing is equivalent to this. I don't think so. I think such an introduction is special to Vajrayana, but it could be in theory.


Here's Zichang's conversation with Huineng from the Platform Sutra (tr. McRae).

[Zhichang] said, “After arriving there I received no teaching for three months. Because of the importance of the Dharma, one night I entered [Shenxiu’s] quarters alone to inquire of him, ‘What is my fundamental mind, my fundamental nature?’ Shenxiu then said, ‘Do you see space?’ I said, ‘I see.’ He said, ‘When you see space, does it have characteristics or not?’ I answered, ‘Space is without form. What characteristics could it have?’ He said, ‘Your fundamental nature is like space in that there is not a single thing at all that can be seen. This is called correct seeing. For there to be not a single thing that can be known is called true knowing. There are no blue and yellow, long and short. Just see that the fundamental source is pure, the essence of enlightenment is perfect and bright: this is called seeing the nature and achieving buddhahood. It is also called the perceptual understanding of the Tathāgata.’ Even though this student heard this explanation, I was still not certain, and I beg Your Reverence to teach me.”
The master said, “That teacher’s explanation still allows perceptual understanding to exist, which is why you were unable to comprehend. I will now reveal a verse for you:

Not seeing a single dharma but maintaining the view of nonbeing
Is much like floating clouds blocking the face of the sun.
Not knowing a single dharma but maintaining one’s knowledge of emptiness
Is just like the great void generating lightning and thunder.

When such perceptual understanding arises for the slightest instant,
How can mistaken recognition ever understand expedient means?
You should understand the error of this yourself, in a single moment of thought,
And the numinous brilliance of the self will be constantly manifest.

When Zhichang heard this verse, his mind became suddenly expansive [in enlightenment], and he related a verse:

There is no reason to activate perceptual understanding,
To be attached to characteristics and seek for bodhi.
When one’s intelligence harbors a single thought of enlightenment,
How can one transcend the delusions of the past?

The self-nature, enlightened to the essential source,
Illuminates the crazed currents [of awareness].
Without entering the room of the patriarch,
In a daze, going about with two heads.

One day Zhichang asked the master, “The Buddha preached the three vehicles, and he also spoke of the Supreme Vehicle. I don’t understand these doctrines and would like you to explain them for me.”
The master said, “When you contemplate your own fundamental mind, do not be attached to the external characteristics of dharmas. There are no four vehicles in the Dharma; it is only that peoples’ minds vary. To learn and recite is the small vehicle, to be enlightened to the Dharma and understand its meaning is the middle vehicle, and to cultivate according to the Dharma is the Great Vehicle. To penetrate all the myriad dharmas and to be equipped with all the myriad dharmas, without any defilement at all; to transcend the characteristics of the various dharmas, without anything that is attained: this is called the Supreme Vehicle. ‘Vehicle’ has the meaning of practice and cannot be argued about orally. You must cultivate yourself, not ask me about it. At all times the self-nature is itself suchlike.”
Zhichang thanked [Huineng] and served the master until the end of his years.


The bolded portion of the quote is not quite the same as what I wrote about. What you have quoted is an introduction to the nature of mind itself. What I wrote was an introduction to the nature of appearance which is indeed special to Vajrayana. Vajrayana's introduction to the nature of mind itself is basically identical to the quote you gave here. What is also special to Vajrayana is the teaching on the spontaneous presence and primordial presence of the form body, and the effortless manifestation of it.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Malcolm » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:45 pm

Astus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:What I do know is that certain Chan claims have no basis in Mahāyāna sutra.




So indeed, Chan is not based on sutras, shastras, or any doctrine.
[/quote]

You missed my point -- certain Chan claims seem to be based on nothing more than the personal fabrications of those who make those claims.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:03 pm

Namdrol wrote:You missed my point -- certain Chan claims seem to be based on nothing more than the personal fabrications of those who make those claims.


The sudden teaching - compared to the gradual bodhisattva path - occurred with the appearance of Chan itself, it's been one of its fundamental doctrines since about the 7th century. You may call that the personal fabrication of all these people, but that is practically making the tradition a mistaken idea. Could it be that this claim of immediate liberation is wrong simply because the Indian Mahayana interpreted in a particular way can't accept it, very much like the legendary debate between Hashang and Kamalashila. On the other hand, when it came to (Gampopa's) Mahamudra - accused to be Hashang's teaching - they could say without much trouble how it is present even in different Mahayana sutras, like the Samadhiraja and the Lankavatara Sutra. I'm not saying here that Mahamudra would be identical to Chan, it's just that because you split up teachings as sutrayana and mantrayana Chan becomes predefined as necessarily a teaching that must fit into a specific interpretation of Mahayana, while the fact is that - as you have said before - Chinese Buddhism took its own course in interpreting the Mahayana teachings. Of course, not all in China agreed that there could be such a thing as sudden perfect enlightenment, although it has become the dominant view long ago.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby kirtu » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:20 pm

Astus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:What I do know is that certain Chan claims have no basis in Mahāyāna sutra.


The classical definition of Chan:

教外別傳 - Separate transmission outside doctrines
不立文字 - Doesn't rely on words and letters

直指人心 - Directly points to human mind
見性成佛 - To see nature and become buddha

So indeed, Chan is not based on sutras, shastras, or any doctrine.


This was not always the case. Chan evolved in this direction over time.

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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby kirtu » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:26 pm

Namdrol wrote:
kirtu wrote:So it's in this vein.


Which contradicts what the Buddha said about there being no persons of the four ranks of āryas outside of his dharma and vinaya.


No it doesn't. From the POV of Zen Buddhism saintly people of other faiths aren't aryas (except that there are in fact some people who would admit some of these saintly non-Buddhists to the position of aryas - Bodhisattvas manifesting in other faith streams for the benefit of beings).

Clearly people following other faith streams can accumulate merit and purify negativities. So this is what is meant when some Zen teachers say that other systems can be considered as the lowest rank of Zen.

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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:36 pm

kirtu wrote:This was not always the case. Chan evolved in this direction over time.


The first line about being outside of doctrines (jiao) was added in the 10th century when Chan was gaining popularity and posited itself against other schools. The other three are, however, were there before. So we can say that this definition is the hallmark of mature Chan as it's appeared in the Song dynasty.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:45 pm

Namdrol wrote:What I do know is that certain Chan claims have no basis in Mahāyāna sutra.


"The use of the Buddha-nature idea, the sun of enlightenment within all human beings (indeed, within all sentient beings), the quality of non-discriminatory wisdom that is the sine qua non of buddhahood itself, is a profound innovation that separates proto-Chan and early Chan from early Indian Buddhism."
(John McRae: Seeing Through Zen, p. 42-43)
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby White Lotus » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:16 pm

Astus, i dont mean to be impertinent, but i take it that you see your own nature and that you know that nature is not a thing. You are a highly realized being and so should be respected, by the wise. seeing your own nature you see emptiness, but have you returned yet to normal awareness (which is emptiness). flowers red, mountains blue... just typing at this computer. awareness of mind (no mind to be aware of), awareness of True Self (no self), awareness of emptiness... ordinary awareness aware of profound things.

i guess its natural that people cant see that all of these traditions have something valuable to say. I respect you Astus, not that it counts for much. And l like very much what Jnana has to say. there is nothing to realise, realisation is spontaneously complete, just as you are. just knowing this is realization.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby klqv » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:46 pm

hi,

i think this is a silly question - but i like it ha.
doesn't zongmi survey the prominent chan houses of his day - including hongchou - and decide that hongchou teaches sudden sudden enlightenment?
the thing about that being that for him, i am pretty sure though confused because you must know this already, sudden sudden means enlightenment into the abodes?


i would guess that either he distorted their teachings of they did indeed state that none of them were, quite, identical to the buddha.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:54 pm

klqv wrote:hi,

i think this is a silly question - but i like it ha.
doesn't zongmi survey the prominent chan houses of his day - including hongchou - and decide that hongchou teaches sudden sudden enlightenment?
the thing about that being that for him, i am pretty sure though confused because you must know this already, sudden sudden means enlightenment into the abodes?

i would guess that either he distorted their teachings of they did indeed state that none of them were, quite, identical to the buddha.


Zongmi had his own unique interpretation of Chan. Others had their owns. Jinul, following Zongmi, taught sudden enlightenment and gradual practice. Seongcheol, a former head of the Jogye Order, said that Jinul is wrong and Zen is sudden enlightenment and sudden practice. In Soto Zen they say that practice is enlightenment, in Rinzai Zen they have many levels of enlightenment. In Chan, well, you can find them all.

A monk asked, "What is the Buddha right before my eyes?"
The master said, "The one inside the Buddha Hall is."
The monk said, "That is an image of Buddha. What is Buddha?"
The master said, "Mind is."
The monk said, "Mind is still something limited. What is Buddha?"
The master said, "Not mind is."
The monk said, "Mind or not mind, do you allow me to choose between them?"
The master said, "Mind or not mind, you can choose as you wish, and, if you can, tell me which one it is and it will be all right."
(The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu, tr. James Green, p. 57-58)

"Buddha said, if you want to know the realm of buddhahood, you must make your mind as clear as empty space and leave false thinking and all grasping far behind, causing your mind to be unobstructed wherever it may turn. The realm of buddhahood is not some external world where there is a formal "Buddha": it's the realm of the wisdom of a self-awakened sage."
(Dahui's letter in "Swampland Flowers", p. 1, tr. Cleary & Cleary)

"To become a buddha, one must definitely pass though three asamkhya (immeasureable) great kalpas; or must deinitely pass though incalculable, countless, unthinkable kalpas; or else must definitely pass though one moment of thought. Although these three [time periods] are not the same, [fulfilling buddhahood] is neither difficult nor easy, and is neither a far distant time nor a sudden instant of time. Some fulfill buddhahood within a fist; some fulfill buddhahood at the top of a monk's staff; some fulfill buddhahood on the headtop of a patch-robed monik; and some fulfill buddhahood within the eyeball of a patch-robed monk."
(Dogen's Extensive Record, 6.446, tr. Leighton & Okamura, p. 402-403)

What you all have from your parents innately is the Unborn Buddha Mind alone and nothing else, so instead of trying to realize buddhahood, always abide in that Unborn Buddha Mind. Then, when you're asleep, you're sleeping in the Buddha Mind, and when you're awake, you're awake in the Buddha Mind; you're always a living buddha, and there's no time when you don't remain a buddha. Since you're a buddha all the time, there's no other special buddhahood for you to realize. Rather than trying to become a buddha, nothing could be simpler than taking the shortcut of remaining a buddha!
(Bankei Zen, tr. Peter Haskel, p. 22)
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby klqv » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:32 pm

bbbut i wasn't talking about zongmi's interpretation of chan, i was talking about his understanding of other people's interpretation of chan.
Elsewhere he [shenhui] claims for himself the tenth bhumi, something that is only possible in the most demythologized interpretation of the bhumi theory.
Peter Gregory.

edit more to the point it's fine quoting ancient sources but i think to make your point you've got to do more than you have done - because there's always the possibility of adding "but" to them; the caveat that one is not [in all senses of whatever] as close to buddhahhod as that.
what you need is something that say but absolutely no buts, or says that some particular buts are not the case.


i find the idea that there are 100s or 1000s of buddhas running round, a strange one. e.g., wasn't maitreya the next buddha? that kind of thing...
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:36 am

klqv wrote:bbbut i wasn't talking about zongmi's interpretation of chan, i was talking about his understanding of other people's interpretation of chan.
Elsewhere he [shenhui] claims for himself the tenth bhumi, something that is only possible in the most demythologized interpretation of the bhumi theory.
Peter Gregory.

edit more to the point it's fine quoting ancient sources but i think to make your point you've got to do more than you have done - because there's always the possibility of adding "but" to them; the caveat that one is not [in all senses of whatever] as close to buddhahhod as that.
what you need is something that say but absolutely no buts, or says that some particular buts are not the case.


i find the idea that there are 100s or 1000s of buddhas running round, a strange one. e.g., wasn't maitreya the next buddha? that kind of thing...


Zongmi had a double presentation. On one hand, he affirmed that all Chan schools ultimately teach the same thing, on the other hand, he listed the Heze teaching (again, his interpretation, doesn't have much to do with Shenhui himself) as the superior one. He differentiated between talking to outsiders and insiders. I think he was biased a bit since he wanted to make the point that schools like the Baotang and Hongzhou are wrong and even immoral - a reasoning similar to the Tibetan view of Hashang.

Talking about a "demythologised view", one of the great innovations of early Chan (Hongren, Shenxiu) was to interpret common teachings in the light of buddha-mind, and not as a theoretical buddha-mind but as direct experience. And this is really an important point, that it's not a doctrinal idea they taught but wisdom unbound by fixed tenets.

Maitreya is the next buddha, yes. But the real buddha is the 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)

"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby klqv » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:28 pm

i don't think that i am denying your last comment.


but i am not sure that there are 100s or 1000s of individuals who have completely realized and are fully integrated with the real buddha - the buddha mind.
it's not the divine powers thing - really. it's more that nirvana is the complete elimination of suffering. and not that i believe that contemporary buddhas are compromised by feeling pain in general. but if - it expressed either religio-soteriologically or existentially - there are so many people who cannot suffer due to the vagaries and effects of samsara, how bad is samsara and why don't people randomly stumble upon it's cessation. that's just the scientist in me hehe but this intuition of mine i am sure can be verbalized, besides just stating that the buddha is just so historical as to be viably "perfect" in the way that i don't think we want to say 1000s of people are.
stumbling upon nirvana seems to run contrary to zen and perhaps all mahayana - at least - i don't know.

i think i just mean - as lame as it sounds, kind like some george lucas fanboy but - if there were 1000s of perfect beings i would expect them, no demand of them, that they created a better world than the one we live in. and not just pass on some kind of perfection to another group of new elites - at least when there is no evidence that this so called "perfection" is not actually freeing people from eternal rounds of rebirth.


so there - i hope you enjoy this post a little - it was nice talking with you :bow: :bow:
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:19 pm

klqv,

I believe there are quite a few enlightened beings among us, some are openly spreading the Dharma, some are hidden. However, I don't think that the presence of sages would mean global or even local revolution. This issue is addressed in the Vimalakirti Sutra's first chapter regarding the buddha-fields and its perception. Creating a "better world" is up to each individual, not some outer beings, otherwise even a single buddha could have liberated all beings instantly.
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Tenzin1 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:37 pm

Is it really possible to paint all Chan traditions with one brush? Chan has an esoteric side that borrows heavily from Tibetan tantra. I would think the attainments in that tradition would be similar to those in TB. And for that matter, is the level of attainment of advanced practitioners in TB all identical? Do they all reach the same level? It sounds like to some extent, this discussion is dealing in oversimplifications.
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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:41 pm

Tenzin1 wrote:Is it really possible to paint all Chan traditions with one brush? Chan has an esoteric side that borrows heavily from Tibetan tantra. I would think the attainments in that tradition would be similar to those in TB. And for that matter, is the level of attainment of advanced practitioners in TB all identical? Do they all reach the same level? It sounds like to some extent, this discussion is dealing in oversimplifications.


Chan is certainly not uniform. However, "esoteric side" is something new to me. Any references?
"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: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby daelm » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:00 pm

Astus wrote:
教外別傳 - Separate transmission outside doctrines
不立文字 - Doesn't rely on words and letters
直指人心 - Directly points to human mind
見性成佛 - To see nature and become buddha



hi astus.

out of curiosity, when did it became tradition that the two clauses in the last line are causal, or actually synonymous? it struck me earlier in the thread too, where similar formulations are quoted.

"If you recognize your own mind and see the nature, you will definitely accomplish the enlightenment of buddhahood." (T48n2008, p351a, 12)


...for example.

just read "flat" as it were, these phrases don't obviously imply relationship or causality between the events they juxtapose.

the second quote above, for example, seems more like encouragement than claim of causation, and doesn't seemingly prohibit there being, foe example, 10 million lifetimes between "see the nature" and "accomplish the enlightenment of Buddhahood". to a non-academic, like myself, these formulations could just as easily read as "see nature" -> "do ten million things" -> "become Buddha", as anything else, and that is pretty much the same progression as "Path of Seeing, etc". (i think that's the position you attributed to Zongmi).

obviously, in light of the extensive commentaries you present, they are largely agreed to be causally related (and therefore "see nature" -> "become Buddha") and, i imagine, so instantaneously causal as to make the events synonymous.

so i was wondering when that happened, historically, and what the reasons for it were?

thanks


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Re: Buddhahood in Chan

Postby Astus » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:23 pm

Daelm,

The nature of the mind is the dharmakaya, to realise the dharmakaya is to realise buddhahood, that's why "seeing nature" is becoming buddha. Or rather, it is realising that the nature of the mind has always been the buddha. It's been taught like this since the early times, based on the Nirvana Sutra and others. This is one end of the possibilities of viewing it. The other end is what Zongmi propagated, that seeing nature is the first step that will eventually complete in buddhahood, although even in his interpretation it is not a matter of kalpas.
"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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