Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Acchantika » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:58 pm

alwayson wrote:
ajax wrote:I would have said that the Four Nobel Truths, which I believe are rational and include the things you mention, are the backbone of Buddhism.



You are extremely ignorant.


Dependent Origination is THE cardinal doctrine of Buddhism from Theravada to Dzogchen to the extinct schools.


P.S. Until you study Madhyamaka, you have no credibility whatsoever. :toilet:


What a bizarre post.
...
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:31 pm

alwayson wrote:You are extremely ignorant.

That I can agree with.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:37 pm

Acchantika wrote:
ajax wrote:The poll performed it's function quite well and the instructions are clear and unambiguous.


I don't think you have understood the criticisms directed at the poll. You can't make conclusions about people's psychology from arbitrary data.

The data was not arbitrary, it was quite consistent. What makes you believe that it was arbitrary? Also it's not clear what you mean by people's "psychology." The topic is about dogma, essentially.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:45 pm

"rational" and "irrational" each represent a way of processing thought.
But these are not the only two ways,
because both are based on an assumption about the way that thought process occurs.
We say something is rational because of certain conditions
or irrational because because of certain conditions
But when thinking isn't based on those conditions,
when that criteria isn't applied
then the question of rational/irrational becomes moot.
It's like asking a rabbi whether ham is better baked or roasted.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:54 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:"rational" and "irrational" each represent a way of processing thought.
But these are not the only two ways,
because both are based on an assumption about the way that thought process occurs.
We say something is rational because of certain conditions
or irrational because because of certain conditions
But when thinking isn't based on those conditions,
when that criteria isn't applied
then the question of rational/irrational becomes moot.
It's like asking a rabbi whether ham is better baked or roasted.

Perfect analogy PadmaVonSamba, thanks. The Rabbi cannot answer because of religious dogma.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Kyosan » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:42 pm

ajax wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:"rational" and "irrational" each represent a way of processing thought.
But these are not the only two ways,
because both are based on an assumption about the way that thought process occurs.
We say something is rational because of certain conditions
or irrational because because of certain conditions
But when thinking isn't based on those conditions,
when that criteria isn't applied
then the question of rational/irrational becomes moot.
It's like asking a rabbi whether ham is better baked or roasted.

Perfect analogy PadmaVonSamba, thanks. The Rabbi cannot answer because of religious dogma.

I think you misunderstand what PadmaVonSamba said. Rational/irrational (as judged by someone not adept in Buddhism) isn't of concern to them. Practicing the dharma is important to them because they see it as being beneficial. It makes sense to do things that are beneficial. Some of the people on the Zen forum explained that to you but I guess you didn't understand. Does siting silently for hours, focusing on a Koan, practicing sunyata or non-duality make sense? Well maybe not to the person who isn't into this type of Buddhism, but for people with experience in these things these practices are beneficial and important.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby alwayson » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:51 pm

The funny thing is that by far, most people here Vajrayana practitioners.

Not Zen.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Kyosan » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:16 am

alwayson wrote:The funny thing is that by far, most people here Vajrayana practitioners.

Not Zen.

You are correct; most people here Vajrayana practitioners. Why is it funny?
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:16 am

Kyosan wrote:
ajax wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:"rational" and "irrational" each represent a way of processing thought.
But these are not the only two ways,
because both are based on an assumption about the way that thought process occurs.
We say something is rational because of certain conditions
or irrational because because of certain conditions
But when thinking isn't based on those conditions,
when that criteria isn't applied
then the question of rational/irrational becomes moot.
It's like asking a rabbi whether ham is better baked or roasted.

Perfect analogy PadmaVonSamba, thanks. The Rabbi cannot answer because of religious dogma.

I think you misunderstand what PadmaVonSamba said. Rational/irrational (as judged by someone not adept in Buddhism) isn't of concern to them.

Yes exactly, the judgement of Zen being characterized as rational or not (you wrote irrational) is irrelevant to those who are not constrained by that belief system, constrained by Zen dogma, so there is nothing to prevent them from saying how they feel. Those constrained by religious dogma may have a tendency to deny dissonant thoughts or feelings, even if they are consiously acknowledged as fleeting.

Practicing the dharma is important to them because they see it as being beneficial. It makes sense to do things that are beneficial. Some of the people on the Zen forum explained that to you but I guess you didn't understand.

You worry me Kyosan. If you are referring to the quote that you posted earlier by So-on Mann, that was only one person. Also, if you follow this link: http://www.zenforuminternational.org/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7218&start=20 one might suspect it possible that So-on took her queue from there. Not that she couldn't have reasoned it out for herself.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:20 am

Kyosan wrote:
alwayson wrote:The funny thing is that by far, most people here Vajrayana practitioners.

Not Zen.

You are correct; most people here Vajrayana practitioners. Why is it funny?
:namaste:

Yes, I'd like a good laugh also.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby alwayson » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:56 am

If you are making a poll whether Zen is rational or irrational, Vajrayana practitioners are going to say irrational.

Because Vajrayana practitioners hate Zen.


viewtopic.php?f=69&t=5341
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:05 am

alwayson wrote:If you are making a poll whether Zen is rational or irrational, Vajrayana practitioners are going to say irrational.

Because Vajrayana practitioners look down on Zen.

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=5341


Nowhere in the poll question or instructions is irrationality mentioned, on either poll.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Jinzang » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:07 am

The Zen master wanted to decide which of his two chief disciples would succeed him as abbot of the monastery. So he set up an Internet poll and asked, "Is Zen Rational?" The first disciple posted a reply and said, "It cannot be considered non-rational." The second disciple wrote a Perl script that crashed the server. The old master laughed heartily and declared that the second disciple would be his successor.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:12 am

Yes, poor Achilles.

Image
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby Kyosan » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:46 am

ajax wrote:
Kyosan wrote:I think you misunderstand what PadmaVonSamba said. Rational/irrational (as judged by someone not adept in Buddhism) isn't of concern to them.

Yes exactly, the judgement of Zen being characterized as rational or not (you wrote irrational) is irrelevant to those who are not constrained by that belief system, constrained by Zen dogma, so there is nothing to prevent them from saying how they feel. Those constrained by religious dogma may have a tendency to deny dissonant thoughts or feelings, even if they are consiously acknowledged as fleeting.

Perhaps you missed the words "(as judged by someone not adept in Buddhism)". Are these practices irrational? Not really; it's just that you don't understand them so you think they are irrational. It's rational to do things that are beneficial. People who actually practice the dharma know that Buddhist practices are beneficial because they have actually experienced the benefit.

You should be more respectful of others and not assume that they are idiots without understanding them. What you are doing is very un-Buddhist like. Go on one board and ask some questions. You don't like the answers, so you go on another board and criticize the people on the first board. Instead of doing that just start practicing Buddhism in a way that you feel is appropriate for you. That is if you are interested in Buddhism.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:18 am

Kyosan wrote:
ajax wrote:
Kyosan wrote:I think you misunderstand what PadmaVonSamba said. Rational/irrational (as judged by someone not adept in Buddhism) isn't of concern to them.

Yes exactly, the judgement of Zen being characterized as rational or not (you wrote irrational) is irrelevant to those who are not constrained by that belief system, constrained by Zen dogma, so there is nothing to prevent them from saying how they feel. Those constrained by religious dogma may have a tendency to deny dissonant thoughts or feelings, even if they are consiously acknowledged as fleeting.

Perhaps you missed the words "(as judged by someone not adept in Buddhism)". Are these practices irrational? Not really; it's just that you don't understand them so you think they are irrational.

Kyosan, please be reasonable. Once again you are using the word irratinoal, I've not used it.

It's rational to do things that are beneficial. People who actually practice the dharma know that Buddhist practices are beneficial because they have actually experienced the benefit.

I just posted a link dated last week where I used the same basic reasoning. I assume you did not follow the link?

You should be more respectful of others and not assume that they are idiots without understanding them.

This topic is about dogma, not intellegence.

[You] Go on one [Zen] board and ask some questions. You don't like the answers...

Why do you say that I don't like the answers? I thought the answers were fascinating and somewhat ironic. And it's not like the answers were any kind of surprise, I made a similar poll (with different instructions) on this forum before making the poll on the Zen forum. Alwayson posted a link to it in one of the posts above.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby alwayson » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:46 am

ajax wrote:This topic is about dogma, not intellegence.


There is NO such thing as nonduality in Buddhism, including Zen.

:crazy:
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:50 am

@ alwayson: I am a vajrayana practitioner and I love zen. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that they are amazingly similar at the core, although different in methodology.

@ ajax: I would like to share this with you, if you are not familiar with it already.
This is the translation of a great zen work, a poem that is not too long,.
I read frequently. It can be a real eye opener.

ON BELIEVING IN MIND (J: SHINJIN-NO-MEI)
by Chien-chih Seng-ts'an (J: Sosan), Third Zen Patriarch [Died 606CE]
Translated by D.T.Suzuki
http://home.primusonline.com.au/peony/faith_in_mind.htm

This can be found in the book Manual Of Zen Buddhism by D.T.Suzuki.
I think it will give you an understanding of what going beyond dualistic thinking is,
and that also includes the tendency to define things as either rational or irrational.

Now, originally you asked,
Are some Zen practitioners in the West so attached to the ideas and culture of Zen that they cannot even entertain the notion of expressing how they feel in an nonintellectual or undogmatic way?


...and of course the answer is YES, and you can easily find those who cling to dogma among vajrayanists, atheists, marxists, trekkies, and any other group of people. But I don't know that zen people clinging to dogma is a particular trend.

I'd love to know, why do you ask?
.
.
.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby ajax » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:40 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I think it will give you an understanding of what going beyond dualistic thinking is, and that also includes the tendency to define things as either rational or irrational.

Hello PadmaVonSamba

I will try to explain again. Here's the first stanza of SHINJIN-NO-MEI

The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise;
A tenth of an inch's difference,
And heaven and earth are set apart;
If you wish to see it before your own eyes,
Have no fixed thoughts either for or against it.


The instructions for the poll did not ask for fixed thoughts either for or against. They requested an "immediate" response to the prompt, a "gut reaction." An immediate gut reaction may or may not express 'fixed thoughts for or against'. If the expression were true to the immediate intuitive responce it could only be expressing a temporary predilection primed by the conditions of the previous moments, hours, days, and so on.

Now, originally you asked,
Are some Zen practitioners in the West so attached to the ideas and culture of Zen that they cannot even entertain the notion of expressing how they feel in an nonintellectual or undogmatic way?


...and of course the answer is YES, and you can easily find those who cling to dogma among vajrayanists, atheists, marxists, trekkies, and any other group of people. But I don't know that zen people clinging to dogma is a particular trend.

I'd love to know, why do you ask?

I was not necessarily suggesting a trend. I've just been thinking lately that some Zen institutions in the West may be placing so much emphasis on emptiness that they've lost sight of Buddhism, and that's what might account for the many scandals in Western Zen that we've been hearing about. Discernment and moral reasoning are integral parts of Buddhist practice, I believe.
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Re: Zen and the dogma of non-duality

Postby alwayson » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:26 am

ajax wrote:I've just been thinking lately that some Zen institutions in the West may be placing so much emphasis on emptiness that they've lost sight of Buddhism.


What you think emptiness means is really hilarious.

:rolling:


Why not research what REAL emptiness (sunyata) is....since it IS the core teaching of Buddhism?
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