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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Explained in plain simple clear language. You have to listen closely because the accent can be a problem at times, but this is the reason. This is the founding insight of zen and buddhism, explained by one who has experienced it.


http://www.upaya.org/dharma/people-do-not-die/

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:53 am 
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Greetings M0rl0ck,

Do you fancy giving us a synopsis of the talk, or what you personally got out of it?

:yinyang:

Metta,
Retro. :)

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 2:46 am 
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retrofuturist wrote:
Greetings M0rl0ck,

Do you fancy giving us a synopsis of the talk, or what you personally got out of it?

:yinyang:

Metta,
Retro. :)


Its the same insight in kind, if not degree, that the buddha had. Explained in modern day english by the person who had it. A japanese zen teacher.

Thats the synopsis.

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 8:42 am 
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How to apply teaching approaches with flexibility in own mind stream is worth to contemplate about. Nice test.
thank you M0rl0ck. :smile:

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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 6:27 pm 
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retrofuturist wrote:
Greetings M0rl0ck,

Do you fancy giving us a synopsis of the talk, or what you personally got out of it?

:yinyang:

Metta,
Retro. :)

I listened to it.

Synopsis: WE DO NOT DIE!

No self = no death. EXPERIENCE of no self.


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 9:05 pm 
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It was entertaining to hear such a strong, masculine Japanese accent. Doumo arigatou!

But let's look at the content too.

- Zen is not a religion, not Buddhism, so Christians and others can do it too
- Sanbo Kyodan focuses on original Buddhism, which is the enlightenment of Shakyamuni
- The essence is selflessness (anatma), ie. people cannot die (amrta), this is seeing nature (nirvana)
- Science is very much compatible with Zen
- Sanbo Kyodan is the only Zen group in Japan focusing on the essential experience
- People really can experience this essence on retreats

This is so modern, a stripped Zen, fit for those who reject everything religion but embrace science.

I have one question, however. If Zen is separate from Buddhism, not a religion at all, then who tells what true nature is? I'm pretty sure Christians have their own ideas about the nature of man's soul, for instance that it is sinful.

And I put down the "essential" part of the speech, about the meaning of Zen, the universe, and everything.

I say, people don't die. More sharply, people cannot die. Even if you want to, you can't die. Why? Because there is no self who's dying. If there is no self, how you can die? This is the discovery. This is the absolute solution. [?] You cant die. Look into it, nobody there, nothing there. There's no self, then how you can die, when there's nothing there? That is the discovery, that's all. That's all. This is all about Buddhism. [...] but you cannot get this nothing at all, really. You cant see anything at all. You can never die because this nothing at all, nothing-at-all-ness, this is your true self.

(24:38 - 25:46)

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"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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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Astus wrote:

I have one question, however. If Zen is separate from Buddhism, not a religion at all, then who tells what true nature is? I'm pretty sure Christians have their own ideas about the nature of man's soul, for instance that it is sinful.



Why is religion important? Was the buddha a buddhist? Does it diminish his insight if he wasnt?
If the truth is the truth doesnt it have to be the same truth for everyone?
Is buddhism a conditional concepual framework? a means to an end?
What tells one what true nature is, is the actual perception of it. Which i would guess is more or less likely to the degree that one has occluding beleif to penetrate (i.e. atta or original sin)


Here is the the Wiki on Sanbo Kyodan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanbo_Kyodan they look kosher to me, more zen heretics *yawn* :) emphasising, as zen does, direct experience and practice.

As far as the modern stripped zen criticism goes, read blofelds Zen Teachings Huang Po. This modern stripped zen seems to have been a problem since at least 800 CE or so. I think its high time someone did something about it :)

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 3:27 am 
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Back from work and safely ensconced with some nice black tea :)

Astus wrote:
This is so modern, a stripped Zen, fit for those who reject everything religion but embrace science.



Actually this doesnt sound like the case at all:

Quote:
The Sanbo Kyodan school was formally established in 1954 as a Zen Buddhist Religious Foundation [4] by Haku'un Yasutani Roshi, a successor of Harada Daiun Sogaku Roshi. As an independently established Religious Foundation at its founding, Sanbo kyodan was intended to be a Third School of Zen Buddhism specifically for lay practitioners acting as an alternative to the existing two schools of Rinzai and Soto Zen that operated primarily as monastic institutions for the purpose of training a priesthood for local temples who officiated at religious ceremonies but who did not interact significantly with lay people.

Harada Roshi was an established and well respected Soto figure who had also studied extensively with both Soto and Rinzai masters.[5]

Yasutani Roshi, too, was ordained in the Soto School but felt that Soto as a traditional school had become too preoccupied with superficially carrying out Buddhist ceremonies and bogged down with religious bureaucracy[4]. He wanted a deeper personal experience of Buddhism and recognized that the founder of Soto himself, Dogen Zenji in the 13th century, had used and encouraged koan study which, by Yasutani Roshi's time, had become a lost practice within Soto. In 1925 Yasutani met Harada Roshi who was among those within the Soto school leading the way to rediscovery of koan practice. Yasutani Roshi began to engage in koan study with Harada Roshi, and eventually received Soto dharma transmission from him.

Harada found in Yasutani the perfect vessel for organizing and carrying on his vision of renewed koan practice, while Yasutani found in Harada the perfect teacher who fused the best of both Soto and Rinzai traditions while at the same time sharing and supporting his vision of Zen for the people.

Though thourougly trained and committed to the monastic system Harada Roshi also stepped outside the religious conventions of their day by teaching laypeople on an equal basis with monastics. After World War II with the presence of Americans in Japan, Harada and Yasutani began to teach Western lay people. In 1951 Philip Kapleau began to study with Harada Roshi[6] and later with Yasutani[7].



from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanbo_Kyodan

This organization was at the forefront of the spread of zen from japan to the rest of the world.

And as far as using physics as a metaphor, metaphors are used as teaching aids all the time. I agree that sometimes the dharma gets a little warped when its compared to physics or polluted with western psychology, but in the above case i think it works, maybe because he takes the metaphor as far as it will go and ends up with nothing.

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:36 am 
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I was talking about the speech itself, not Sanbo Kyodan as a whole. But I guess as he is the leader of the group what he says is a representative introduction of their view.

Focusing only on the experience of emptiness might look like the common theme of every Zen teaching. But actually such teachings were for the meditation hall mainly and not for every situation and every stage of training.

It is true that Sanbo Kyodan was the best in spreading Zen to Americans, thanks for those who went to Japan after WW2. It seems very likely that their opennes to foreigners and adaptability to modern views helped achieve that.

Also, it is not so minimalist to focus only on enlightenment. First of all, the idea of transmission is carried on as a validating and governing system. Then there is the koan system, rituals, vows, robes, statues. Although they say it is not Buddhism but their name is Three Treasures, which they take refuge in, they originate their teaching from Shakyamuni and the Zen patriarchs, they teach Buddhist teachings, etc.

I think what Ryoun Roshi said was the PR part. Not that I say there is some secret teaching behind it, but the whole teaching does seem like something not at all far from Japanese Buddhism. This is how the Roshi kept referring again and again to Buddhism. It's like holding up a stick and saying it is not a stick.

True, this view that no matter what you believe in you can do Zen is attracting for those with little or no religious background. At the same time, it creates a very narrow path where only the Zen teacher represents anything valid, because he is the embodiment of enlightenment. Looks very much like the Tantric idea of a guru.

This makes Zen "user friendly" for the masses, which looks like their goal actually. So it is fine. But it doesn't provide a complete training in Buddhism, for that one would need to look at other groups.

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"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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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 4:30 pm 
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Astus wrote:
I was talking about the speech itself, not Sanbo Kyodan as a whole. But I guess as he is the leader of the group what he says is a representative introduction of their view.

Focusing only on the experience of emptiness might look like the common theme of every Zen teaching. But actually such teachings were for the meditation hall mainly and not for every situation and every stage of training.



From reading about it, i gather that this organization was founded, at least partly, with the purpose of taking zen to laymen and liberating it from the monasteries and meditation halls.
Astus wrote:
It is true that Sanbo Kyodan was the best in spreading Zen to Americans, thanks for those who went to Japan after WW2. It seems very likely that their opennes to foreigners and adaptability to modern views helped achieve that.

Also, it is not so minimalist to focus only on enlightenment. First of all, the idea of transmission is carried on as a validating and governing system. Then there is the koan system, rituals, vows, robes, statues. Although they say it is not Buddhism but their name is Three Treasures, which they take refuge in, they originate their teaching from Shakyamuni and the Zen patriarchs, they teach Buddhist teachings, etc.

I think what Ryoun Roshi said was the PR part. Not that I say there is some secret teaching behind it, but the whole teaching does seem like something not at all far from Japanese Buddhism. This is how the Roshi kept referring again and again to Buddhism. It's like holding up a stick and saying it is not a stick.


I dont think it was PR in the marketing sense :) of course like any good teacher he did spend some time establishing rapport with his audience before he got into the meat of the talk. What he was relating was an actual experience and its context and meaning. This experience necessarily has elements and meaning that are not easily conceptualized in language or easily expressed in speech.
Astus wrote:
True, this view that no matter what you believe in you can do Zen is attracting for those with little or no religious background. At the same time, it creates a very narrow path where only the Zen teacher represents anything valid, because he is the embodiment of enlightenment. Looks very much like the Tantric idea of a guru.

Having practiced zen/chan over the better part of two decades, this has not been my experience.
Astus wrote:
This makes Zen "user friendly" for the masses, which looks like their goal actually. So it is fine. But it doesn't provide a complete training in Buddhism, for that one would need to look at other groups.


Zen as a tradition has generated a considerable amount of scholarship and academic context and in my experience as a practitioner holds the canon in high regard. It does emphasize practice and experience however. Practice that leads to the same kind of experience that the speaker in my original post in this thread is talking about. Practice that leads to the same kind of experience that the buddha had.

If there is a short way home, why not take it?

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Last edited by m0rl0ck on Thu May 13, 2010 5:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Astus wrote:
And I put down the "essential" part of the speech, about the meaning of Zen, the universe, and everything.

I say, people don't die. More sharply, people cannot die. Even if you want to, you can't die. Why? Because there is no self who's dying. If there is no self, how you can die? This is the discovery. This is the absolute solution. [?] You cant die. Look into it, nobody there, nothing there. There's no self, then how you can die, when there's nothing there? That is the discovery, that's all. That's all. This is all about Buddhism. [...] but you cannot get this nothing at all, really. You cant see anything at all. You can never die because this nothing at all, nothing-at-all-ness, this is your true self.

(24:38 - 25:46)


Just wanted to compare this to a conversation between Subhuti and the Buddha in the Diamond sutra:

“When I got supreme unexcelled enlightenment, what did I get ? Did I get supreme unexcelled enlightenment ?” “No, Teacher”, Subhuti replied “You did not get anything when you got supreme unexcelled enlightenment.” “Correct”, the Buddha continued, because if I had got anything it would not be supreme, unexcelled enlightenment.”

http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/sp ... alism.html

Not gaining anything is one thing :) Losing something is another. Whats lost, as i understand it, is exclusive identification with the small self. Thus suffering is eased and reality as it is becomes apparent.

Also compare the "people do not die" theme with references in the canon to the Unborn and the Deathless.

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:22 pm 
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m0rl0ck wrote:
Having practiced zen/chan over the better part of two decades, this has not been my experience.


What other quality control is there? Do people learn to evaluate their progress on the path or it is always the teacher who tells it? Is the study of the Buddha's teachings encouraged at all? Isn't the teacher a person with the seal of enlightenment? Isn't the teacher required to do the koan practice?

m0rl0ck wrote:
It does emphasize practice and experience however.


Which is fine. However, it is not irrelevant to ask what practice consists of. There is this tendency to regard only formal meditation as practice, which is again I think is a narrow view. Practice can and should include all that are the six paramitas, starting with giving and moral conduct.

m0rl0ck wrote:
Practice that leads to the same kind of experience that the speaker in my original post in this thread is talking about.


It'd be a good idea to compare such koan practice with something more organised practice. With a fine samatha basis one engages in systematic vipasyana, that way insight into no-self is pretty much guaranteed. No surprises, no waiting for enlightenment but gradually progressing on the path. It doesn't sound like sudden enlightenment when one fumbles with a koan for many years to get a sight of emptiness. Make no mistakes, I don't say koan practice is ineffective, it is indeed a very powerful stuff as I see. But I believe systematic progress is more reliable and effective on a large scale, if one is actually clear about the way.

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"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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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:51 pm 
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You win by virtue of sheer endurance :) Unless my practice involves sitting on my cushion thinking up snappy comebacks, this thread is interfering with it.
A minutes worth of practice is better than an hours verbal quibbling.

Metta :)

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Last edited by m0rl0ck on Thu May 13, 2010 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:19 pm 
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Astus wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:
Having practiced zen/chan over the better part of two decades, this has not been my experience.


What other quality control is there? Do people learn to evaluate their progress on the path or it is always the teacher who tells it? Is the study of the Buddha's teachings encouraged at all? Isn't the teacher a person with the seal of enlightenment? Isn't the teacher required to do the koan practice?

m0rl0ck wrote:
It does emphasize practice and experience however.


Which is fine. However, it is not irrelevant to ask what practice consists of. There is this tendency to regard only formal meditation as practice, which is again I think is a narrow view. Practice can and should include all that are the six paramitas, starting with giving and moral conduct.

m0rl0ck wrote:
Practice that leads to the same kind of experience that the speaker in my original post in this thread is talking about.


It'd be a good idea to compare such koan practice with something more organised practice. With a fine samatha basis one engages in systematic vipasyana, that way insight into no-self is pretty much guaranteed. No surprises, no waiting for enlightenment but gradually progressing on the path. It doesn't sound like sudden enlightenment when one fumbles with a koan for many years to get a sight of emptiness. Make no mistakes, I don't say koan practice is ineffective, it is indeed a very powerful stuff as I see. But I believe systematic progress is more reliable and effective on a large scale, if one is actually clear about the way.


You should really see a zen teacher with these questions.

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:44 pm 
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I'm not asking these questions as if I wanted an answer personally for myself but as part of our discussion, questions I raised for you - or whoever is up for a discussion.

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"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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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:55 pm 
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Astus wrote:
I'm not asking these questions as if I wanted an answer personally for myself but as part of our discussion, questions I raised for you - or whoever is up for a discussion.


ok Duh :rolleye: sorry to have misinterpreted.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:16 am 
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Astus wrote:
And I put down the "essential" part of the speech, about the meaning of Zen, the universe, and everything.

I say, people don't die. More sharply, people cannot die. Even if you want to, you can't die. Why? Because there is no self who's dying. If there is no self, how you can die? This is the discovery. This is the absolute solution. [?] You cant die. Look into it, nobody there, nothing there. There's no self, then how you can die, when there's nothing there? That is the discovery, that's all. That's all. This is all about Buddhism. [...] but you cannot get this nothing at all, really. You cant see anything at all. You can never die because this nothing at all, nothing-at-all-ness, this is your true self.

(24:38 - 25:46)

lack of a self to persons is the ultimate truth of persons. this doesnt mean that persons dont exist, arent born, and die.


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:34 am 
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m0rl0ck wrote:
Why is religion important? Was the buddha a buddhist? Does it diminish his insight if he wasnt?


Shakyamuni designated himself as the tathagata and drew a line between the sangha and externalists. The later were Brahmins, Jains and so on.

While the lexical item "Buddhist" is a relatively recent creation in European languages, Shakyamuni did draw a line between the "Buddhist" community and everyone else.

So, yes the Buddha was a Buddhist.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:40 am 
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Astus wrote:
I say, people don't die. More sharply, people cannot die. Even if you want to, you can't die. Why? Because there is no self who's dying. If there is no self, how you can die? This is the discovery. This is the absolute solution. [?] You cant die. Look into it, nobody there, nothing there. There's no self, then how you can die, when there's nothing there? That is the discovery, that's all. That's all. This is all about Buddhism. [...] but you cannot get this nothing at all, really. You cant see anything at all. You can never die because this nothing at all, nothing-at-all-ness, this is your true self.

(24:38 - 25:46)



This just sounds like nihilism coupled with some meditation experience. In Buddhist cosmology there is the arupa-loka which which includes what in Pali they call akiñcaññayatanupaga-deva (nothingness). However, this is not the ultimate. It is a few steps away from the peak of existence, but it is still on the wheel of birth and death.

It sounds like this teacher experienced this and has declared his experience of nothingness to be the fundamental idea of Buddhism.

Unfortunately if this is so then he is espousing a wrong view and misleading people.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 2:34 am 
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Huseng wrote:
This just sounds like nihilism coupled with some meditation experience.


Does nihilist philosophy talk about "true self"?

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