How is Dzogchen/Mahamudra different from Zazen Samadhi

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How is Dzogchen/Mahamudra different from Zazen Samadhi

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:02 pm

I practice offline with the White Plum lineage of the Soto Zen school.

My teachers (and Zen in general) seem to place little emphasis on reincarnation in their "philosophy" - compared to Tibetan boasts which are heavy on references to the phenomenal certainty of rebirth, especially in reference to their claims of a possibility of no-rebirth if one practices in their tradition (to the degradation of other schools).

1. Would that make certain aspects of Tibetan Buddhism a 'counter-reformation' in regards to the Mahayana development of the Bodhisattva Ideal, or a being who forgoes parinibbana to work toward liberating all beings in future lifetimes?

2. I read a Zen teacher on Zen International responding to Namdrol's sectarian arguments on here concerning the inefficacy of Zazen to produce "full awakening" Since Tibetan Buddhism is more of a path of moral/ethical self-edification than of self-knowing (in stark contrast to Zen), can Namdrol really make such a claim?

3. Even as an earnest Zen practitioner, I question the validity in a belief in reincarnation. Read Jiddu Krishnamurti on the subject. All this rigidity makes people like us seem like a bunch of beatnik westerners fascinated by some new philosophical trend from the east.

4. I know from my studies that Dzogchen and Mahamudra practitioners consistenly refer to "the natural state". How is this natural state different from Zazen samadhi, and how is the insight gained in the tibetan natural state "superior" to insights into selflessness gained in Zazen samadhi?
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, ect.

Postby Jikan » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:17 pm

Actually, the attitude toward foundational Buddhist doctrines (dependent origination, karma, & concomitant appeals to past and future lifetimes in samsara) you describe here are not particularly traditional and not particularly characteristic of Zen broadly speaking until very recently. Check out the recent book Zongmi on Chan, for instance.

I'm interested in your question on Vajrayana as a counter-reformation, but I don't think I understand your meaning properly (or rather I see two plausible but contradictory interpretations and I don't want to guess the wrong one). Would you please clarify what you're after on that one?
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, ect.

Postby kalden yungdrung » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:40 pm

Beatzen wrote:I practice offline with the White Plum lineage of the Soto Zen school.

My teachers (and Zen in general) seem to place little emphasis on reincarnation in their "philosophy" - compared to Tibetan boasts which are heavy on references to the phenomenal certainty of rebirth, especially in reference to their claims of a possibility of no-rebirth if one practices in their tradition (to the degradation of other schools).

Well for the Bodhisattva(s) is/are reincarnation and karma of the utmost importance to fullfill their target....

1. Would that make certain aspects of Tibetan Buddhism a 'counter-reformation' in regards to the Mahayana development of the Bodhisattva Ideal, or a being who forgoes parinibbana to work toward liberating all beings in future lifetimes?
Well we have Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya to reach enlightenment. As Buddha one can serve sentient beings better then dwelling endless in Rupa kaya forms. So regarding Dzogchen one is able to reach / realise enlightenment within 1 live.


2. I read a Zen teacher on Zen International responding to Namdrol's sectarian arguments on here concerning the inefficacy of Zazen to produce "full awakening" Since Tibetan Buddhism is more of a path of moral/ethical self-edification than of self-knowing (in stark contrast to Zen), can Namdrol really make such a claim?
Tibetan Buddhism knows Dzogchen and here is incoporated Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. Full awakening is to know also the lights , sounds and rays, which is missing in Zen. A self is known in Dzogchen meditation but then without dualism(s)


3. Even as an earnest Zen practitioner, I question the validity in a belief in reincarnation. Read Jiddu Krishnamurti on the subject. All this rigidity makes people like us seem like a bunch of beatnik westerners fascinated by some new philosophical trend from the east.
Reincarnation of what ? In case of yes then from the ego centric mind / soul in case of the Bodhisattva Bhumis or the many successive lives of the Bodhisattva Mind.


4. I know from my studies that Dzogchen and Mahamudra practitioners consistenly refer to "the natural state". How is this natural state different from Zazen samadhi, and how is the insight gained in the tibetan natural state "superior" to insights into selflessness gained in Zazen samadhi?

Dzogchen knows on top of the empty states of Mind, also the inherent light, rays and sounds. These are all inseparable connected to the empty state of mind.


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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, ect.

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:53 pm

Topic moved to "Dharma-free-for-all" forum.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, ect.

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:05 pm

Well we have Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya to reach enlightenment. As Buddha one can serve sentient beings better then dwelling endless in Rupa kaya forms. So regarding Dzogchen one is able to reach / realise enlightenment within 1 live.

"...to study the self is to forget the self, to forget the self is to be enlightened by all things" -Dogen Zenji

How is Zen any different?



A self is known in Dzogchen meditation but then without dualism(s)

That sounds like the same as Zazen Samadhi, but as you probably don't practice Shikantaza, you wouldn't be able to draw that parallel.



Reincarnation of what ? In case of yes then from the ego centric mind / soul in case of the Bodhisattva Bhumis or the many successive lives of the Bodhisattva Mind.

I don't believe in reincarnation personally. Even though I am an earnest practitioner. I believe that there is no transmigration, and that the aggregates simply disolve at death. I don't think I'm necessarily right in believing this, but this the opinion I currently hold. If I have a meditative insight that leads me to feel otherwise, I will eat my own hat.

Dzogchen knows on top of the empty states of Mind, also the inherent light, rays and sounds. These are all inseparable connected to the empty state of mind.

That sounds like occult nonsense to me, due respect.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby AlexanderS » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:12 pm

I hope to see Namdrols angle on this.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:31 pm

AlexanderS wrote:I hope to see Namdrols angle on this.


Namdrol is a tibetan practitioner. I doubt that he will able to adequately guage the merit of Zazen practice.

As far as karma is concerned, I believe very ardently.

But I don't think that reincarnation is literal. I apologize if you think that it automatically casts me as a materialist. Quite the contrary.

I don't think the buddha taught continuity of consciousness as we are referring to it as literal transmigration after death. I think he was referring to a cessation of "becoming." Anything else is eternalism.

I don't think Buddhism is a psychotherapeutic method, as you seem to imply that I do. Then again, I don't really believe that "Buddhism" is buddhism.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, ect.

Postby kalden yungdrung » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:38 pm

Beatzen wrote:
That sounds like occult nonsense to me, due respect.


Well in case of nonsense with respect, then here starts Zen. :)


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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:47 pm

Beatzen wrote:Namdrol is a tibetan practitioner. I doubt that he will able to adequately guage the merit of Zazen practice.


I think this is an unfair statement if we are going to have some meaningful discourse here. Using the same argument, one could say that no Zen practitioner can possibly gauge Tibetan Buddhism and say that Tibetan Buddhists are wrong.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:49 pm

Mr. G wrote:
Beatzen wrote:Namdrol is a tibetan practitioner. I doubt that he will able to adequately guage the merit of Zazen practice.


I think this is an unfair statement if we are going to have some meaningful discourse here. Using the same argument, one could say that no Zen practitioner can possibly gauge Tibetan Buddhism and say that Tibetan Buddhists are wrong.


Please don't distract yourself from the thread's topic.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:50 pm

Beatzen wrote:
Mr. G wrote:
Beatzen wrote:Namdrol is a tibetan practitioner. I doubt that he will able to adequately guage the merit of Zazen practice.


I think this is an unfair statement if we are going to have some meaningful discourse here. Using the same argument, one could say that no Zen practitioner can possibly gauge Tibetan Buddhism and say that Tibetan Buddhists are wrong.


Please don't distract yourself from the thread's topic.


This is completely on topic.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:52 pm

Beatzen wrote:
2. I read a Zen teacher on Zen International responding to Namdrol's sectarian arguments on here concerning the inefficacy of Zazen to produce "full awakening" Since Tibetan Buddhism is more of a path of moral/ethical self-edification than of self-knowing (in stark contrast to Zen), can Namdrol really make such a claim?


Hard for me to reply to a response of something I may or may not have said. You would need to reproduce here what I said, and their "response".

As to your second contention, Tibetan Buddhism is not a monolithic tradition.

If you do not accept rebirth, this simply represents a defect in your present understanding of Buddhadharma.
Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:55 pm

Alright, fair enough.

1. The writing style of the earliest buddhist scriptures has very little common with the upandishadic literature of the buddha's time. It is not a reliable source upon which to base one's faith in my opinion. As with Mahamudra, if there is something to be held as true, find it in the mind.

2. I did not say that Namdrol or Tibetan Buddhists were wrong. You're putting words in my mouth, which is most unkind. I was only being fair considering that we're talking across sect lines.

3. Again, how is Samadhi different between Zen and Tibetan Buddhist experiences of it? Tibetan Buddhists are often quite aggressive about the superiority of their method to insight.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:28 pm

Beatzen,

I will split the rebirth portion of this topic you would like to discuss to our other 'rebirth' thread.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:49 pm

Beatzen,

I have split point 3 from your original post:

    3. Even as an earnest Zen practitioner, I question the validity in a belief in reincarnation. Read Jiddu Krishnamurti on the subject. All this rigidity makes people like us seem like a bunch of beatnik westerners fascinated by some new philosophical trend from the east.

to here: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=5678

Thread title has been changed to: "How is Dzogchen/Mahamudra different from Zazen Samadhi"
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:03 pm

Beatzen wrote:3. Again, how is Samadhi different between Zen and Tibetan Buddhist experiences of it? Tibetan Buddhists are often quite aggressive about the superiority of their method to insight.


Which school of Tibetan Buddhism; do you mean samadhi in a sutrayāna sense, or in a tantric sense?

Your question is so broad as to be meaningless.
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Re: How is Dzogchen/Mahamudra different from Zazen Samadhi

Postby Lhug-Pa » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:07 pm

See also:

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 1388#p9305

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 838#p64745

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 141#p76141


And, the idea that Zen/Chan would deny rebirth (transmigration or metempsychosis) is strange.

I don't ever recall hearing or reading any Zen teachings that tried to refute rebirth.
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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby kirtu » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:22 pm

Beatzen wrote:1. Would that make certain aspects of Tibetan Buddhism a 'counter-reformation' in regards to the Mahayana development of the Bodhisattva Ideal, or a being who forgoes parinibbana to work toward liberating all beings in future lifetimes?


What does the first part of this question even mean? What is a counter-reformation?

Since Tibetan Buddhism is more of a path of moral/ethical self-edification than of self-knowing


A false statement from the start. This is just completely incorrect.

4. I know from my studies that Dzogchen and Mahamudra practitioners consistenly refer to "the natural state". How is this natural state different from Zazen samadhi, and how is the insight gained in the tibetan natural state "superior" to insights into selflessness gained in Zazen samadhi?


I practiced Zen Buddhism formally for about ten years. My main Zen teacher was Daido Roshi although I did not formally belong to the Rivers and Mountains Order and I had been practicing with a Gay and Lesbian Zen group in Washington DC for about 4-5 years before I did my first sesshin with Daido Roshi. I have now practiced Tibetan Buddhism for about 13 years.

Zazen is based on the mind. Wisdom insight arises primarily based on the emptiness aspect of the Prajnaparamita. In general Zen and Chan have no or limited use of what would be termed energy practices (at least publicly but Kwan Um is a public exception and anyway Zen does have some energy practices). Amazingly there is only a moderate emphasis on interdependence in my experience but it is definitely there. From the Tibetan Buddhist perspective zazen is all shamatha and I have to always remind people in conversations that it is a classical case (ultimately) of the unification of shamatha and vipashyana. Tibetan Buddhist teachers also tend to think that Zen is based totally on emptiness (however this is not true). Zen is almost entirely sutric, at least outwardly. The perceived world is functional and is more or less really composed of atoms, etc. (essentially the Vaibhasika view but Zen is also heavily influenced by Mind Only teaching).

Tibetan meditation runs the gamut from traditional analytic meditation, basically skips over zazen as it is presented in the Japanese and Korean traditions (but possibly not the Chan tradition - I haven't had Chan instruction) and then focuses directly on wisdom or an example wisdom experienced during empowerment. Practitioners develop familiarity with that wisdom or example wisdom during deity yoga practice where the deity is an example of a fully enlightened Buddha manifesting in some form that can be glossed as highly symbolic. The peaceful deities in particular are often more accessible as they can often be seen directly by beginners in this tradition as Buddhas and Arya Bodhisattvas. In fact they are an example of ultimate wisdom manifesting in a relative way through the mind of the practitioner. So deity yoga samadhi could just be at a mind level for a practitioner and in this sense is no different from zazen samadhi esp. if the practitioner is basically just doing samatha (so shamatha based on a mental image of a deity or on an external physical representation like a statue or a thangka). However Tibetan Buddhist meditation also directly uses the human energetic body. This is done in a different way that in yoga and in Taoism and has different results. Basically the starting point in Tibetan Buddhism is the vision of the Avatamsaka Sutra - they entire universe is a manifestation of the Buddhas and it is our perception that causes beings to experience it as a place of suffering. Interdependence is mostly but not entirely glossed - it's exposition tends to be muted.

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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:37 pm

kirtu wrote:
Tibetan meditation runs the gamut from traditional analytic meditation, basically skips over zazen as it is presented in the Japanese and Korean traditions (but possibly not the Chan tradition - I haven't had Chan instruction) and then focuses directly on wisdom or an example wisdom experienced during empowerment. Practitioners develop familiarity with that wisdom or example wisdom during deity yoga practice where the deity is an example of a fully enlightened Buddha manifesting in some form that can be glossed as highly symbolic. The peaceful deities in particular are often more accessible as they can often be seen directly by beginners in this tradition as Buddhas and Arya Bodhisattvas. In fact they are an example of ultimate wisdom manifesting in a relative way through the mind of the practitioner. So deity yoga samadhi could just be at a mind level for a practitioner and in this sense is no different from zazen samadhi esp. if the practitioner is basically just doing samatha (so shamatha based on a mental image of a deity or on an external physical representation like a statue or a thangka). However Tibetan Buddhist meditation also directly uses the human energetic body. This is done in a different way that in yoga and in Taoism and has different results. Basically the starting point in Tibetan Buddhism is the vision of the Avatamsaka Sutra - they entire universe is a manifestation of the Buddhas and it is our perception that causes beings to experience it as a place of suffering. Interdependence is mostly but not entirely glossed - it's exposition tends to be muted.

Kirt


And then of course, there is Dzogchen, which is completely different than all of this.

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Re: Reincarnation, Zen, etc.

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:50 pm

kirtu wrote:The perceived world is functional and is more or less really composed of atoms, etc. (essentially the Vaibhasika view but Zen is also heavily influenced by Mind Only teaching).


How does this relate to the Taoist view of fluidity and movement? I have only been earnestly studying for two years now, and I suppose if one were to pose the model of modern physics, Zen conceives the world more as waves than particles.

I can't really respond to Namdol's question of which form of Samadhi I was talking about, since I don't completely comprehend what is meant by "tantric." Remember, I'm not familiar with that branch of Buddhist terminology. I will explain, however, that I am under the impression that we are discussing a similar experience of yogic awareness and eventually, certainty that arises from meditation on anatta
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