"transmission outside the scriptures"

upasaka_/\_
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"transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby upasaka_/\_ » Tue May 08, 2012 2:56 am

for anyone who doesn't know that is a line from a very famous zen/chan statement traditionally attributed to bodhidharma. here it is in full:

"a special transmission outside the scriptures,
not founded upon words and letters.
by pointing directly to one's mind,
It lets one see into one's own true nature and thus attain buddhahood."


it seems to imply that one can only learn zen from a teacher who has received transmission of it from someone else. does this mean that all books are utterly useless for zen training? i don't think they are, but doesn't this statement make it seem that way? as if it's something that cannot be explained in writing but only "outside the scriptures" without use of "words and letters" at all? in much of the zen tradition (especially in the past) a student is officially a master when they receive "dharma transmission" from the master. does this mean that if the student had left the master and moved across the world, reached enlightenment on his or her own and never received any transmission that it wouldn't count as "zen" enlightenment but would be a different type? does this also mean that only the student(s) that receive transmission can be enlightened and the others can never be considered enlightened (this would be something considering there have been teachers in the past with hundreds or even over a thousand students) in the zen sense?

what does everyone think?


then there is the emphasis on the flower sermon, for those who don't know this is where the buddha gathered his students for a talk and stood silently and just held up a flower. everyone was bewildered but mahakasyapa, who smiled. this signified his mental cognition of the buddha's teachings in that instant and the buddha said:

"i possess the true dharma eye, the marvelous mind of nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. this I entrust to mahakasyapa."

so again, we have the same thing. this implies zen enlightenment is transmitted from teacher to student by use of telepathy, and this supports the idea of the zen lineage going back from bodhidharma all the way to the buddha. so again, i don't believe the following to be true: but it seems that there is no such thing as zen except learning it directly from a zen master. reading sutras, books by masters, practicing things you have learned from these books, all of it is utterly pointless if you have not been given a telepathic transmission.

obviously even most zen masters don't believe these things are literally true as they wouldn't spend so much time writing the wonderful zen books that they do!

i would love to hear some peoples own ideas about what these statements means and what "transmission" is really about. it seems to me that one could re-interpret these ideas but that they do literally imply what i've written above and this is confirmed by dharma transmission ceremonies, whether only in spirit or literal understanding it still confirms that these ideas are promoted within the zen tradition.


personally i believe there are and always have been mixed feelings toward these ideas within zen at large. i think that a person could learn zen and reach enlightenment solely from reading and practicing as long as they had absurdly detailed instructions. after all, anything you can say out loud, you can write! but then that goes against this whole "outside the scriptures" thing.

and then there's the "not founded upon words..." thing, and the thing where the buddha didn't even speak and mahakasyapa got it, so it is very firmly opposed to written, or even spoken, zen as having any function or merit whatsoever and implies that any buddhism that is not this kind of telepathic transmission is not "the true dharma eye" entrusted to mahakasyapa and brought down through millennium to bodhidharma on so on.

when you pigeon hole a tradition to be only valid when it's transmitted by telepathy it seems to make things a little difficult, no? i mean if we took it literally then you would never practice without finding a master, then what are the odds of finding a truly enlightened master? how would you know? it would mean the majority of people practicing zen would be totally and utterly wasting their time. as it is only a small minority of people teaching zen are enlightened, and this is by their own admission usually, and this is fine, in the normal world you can lead someone toward enlightenment by using teachings from the past and things written down and generally accepted as valid, but with the dharma transmission logic, this is totally impossible. probably there would be no more real zen as at some point there would likely have been only one enlightened person and they could have died before transmitting it.

but again, almost all zen masters write constantly so it doesn't seem like anyone takes this seriously. in that case, why promote this idea at all?

what do we make of all this?

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Huifeng
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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Huifeng » Tue May 08, 2012 4:51 am

Probably best not to make anything of all this.

~~ Huifeng

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Astus
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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Astus » Tue May 08, 2012 8:50 am

That four-line verse says nothing about teachers, telepathy, and papers of enlightenment.
First, note that all monastics are also teachers of the Dharma. So there is no point in saying that you are now a special teacher. Of course, there are specific roles in a monastery monks can take up, among which the highest is the abbot, who is the primary organiser of life there. The so called lineage was and is used (to a minimal extent) to relate the abbots of different monasteries.
In the West it is obviously different. Zen came here first from Japan, and also it is not practised in a monastic environment. This resulted in the idea that the only proper teachers are those who have been recognised as such by other teachers. Then you can add to this the legend of recognition lineage going back to Shakyamuni. Since in the West everyone is a lay person, the only obvious way to make a difference between teachers and students is using this paper transmission like a diploma to authenticate people to teach.

This can be detailed on and on, but I can assure you, there is no telepathy involved, neither is anyone actually enlightened by being handed down a piece of fancy writing.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby DGA » Tue May 08, 2012 5:47 pm

Ven Huifeng has the best idea I think. But if you have to do something with it, start with Broughton's recent book, Zongmi on Chan.
DGA's PhD dissertation, a history of "mindfulness," is available here:

https://www.academia.edu/25482900/WHAT_ ... _OF_STRESS

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Astus
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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Astus » Tue May 08, 2012 6:28 pm

Or if you want to know about the formation of the idea of "transmission outside the scriptures", you should read "How Zen Became Zen: The Dispute Over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China" by Morten Schlütter.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby deeku » Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:54 am


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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby LastLegend » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:08 am

And the only reason I’ve come to China is to transmit the instantaneous teaching of the Mahayana This mind is the Buddha. I don’t talk about precepts, devotions or ascetic practices such immersing yourself in water and fire, treading a wheel of knives, eating one meal a day, or never lying down. These are fanatical, provisional teachings. Once you recognize your moving, miraculously aware nature.

Our nature is the mind. And the mind is our nature. This nature is the same as the mind of all Buddhas. Buddhas of the past and future only transmit this mind. Beyond this mind there’s no Buddha anywhere. But deluded people don’t realize that their own mind is the Buddha. They keep searching outside. They never stop invoking Buddhas or worshipping Buddhas and wondering Where is the buddha? Don’t indulge in such illusions. Just know your mind. Beyond your mind there’s no other Buddha. The sutras say, "Everything that has form is an illusion." They also say, "Wherever you are, there’s a Buddha." Your mind is the Buddha. Don’t use a Buddha to worship a Buddha.

According to the Sutras, evil deeds result in hardships and good deeds result in blessings. Angry people go to hell and happy people go to heaven. But once you know that the nature of anger and joy is empty and you let them go, you free yourself from karma. If you don’t see your nature, quoting sutras is no help, I could go on, but this brief sermon will have to do.


Bodhidharma Bloodstream Sermon
http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... DHARMA.htm
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Bodhidharma [my translation]
―I come to the East to transmit this clear knowing mind without constructing any dharma―

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yan kong
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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby yan kong » Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:21 am

Neither of the bolded texts in the OP imply that scripture or words are useless in my opinion.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun

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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby seeker242 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:43 pm

upasaka_/\_ wrote:for anyone who doesn't know that is a line from a very famous zen/chan statement traditionally attributed to bodhidharma. here it is in full:

"a special transmission outside the scriptures,
not founded upon words and letters.
by pointing directly to one's mind,
It lets one see into one's own true nature and thus attain buddhahood."


then there is the emphasis on the flower sermon,
so again, we have the same thing. this implies zen enlightenment is transmitted from teacher to student by use of telepathy,

i would love to hear some peoples own ideas about what these statements means and what "transmission" is really about.

and then there's the "not founded upon words..." thing, and the thing where the buddha didn't even speak and mahakasyapa got it, so it is very firmly opposed to written, or even spoken, zen as having any function or merit whatsoever and implies that any buddhism that is not this kind of telepathic transmission is not "the true dharma eye" entrusted to mahakasyapa and brought down through millennium to bodhidharma on so on.

when you pigeon hole a tradition to be only valid when it's transmitted by telepathy it seems to make things a little difficult, no?


I don't see it that way at all. It has nothing to do with telepathy, but rather simply seeing your own true nature for yourself. The flower sermon for example. The Buddha did not transmit anything to Mahakasyapa. But rather, Mahakasyapa understood what the Buddha meant when he held up the flower because Mahakasyapa had already seen his true nature and already understood it. Mahakasyapa "got it" because he already understood it before the Buddha even held up the flower to begin with.

it seems to imply that one can only learn zen from a teacher who has received transmission of it from someone else.


It's more like "You can only learn the truth of zen from seeing your own true nature" and to look for it outside yourself, AKA in books, etc, is a mistake. My teacher says this about the transmission that you speak of. He says "Nothing that I can say can help you". :lol: In other words, the only thing that will really help you is seeing your true nature for yourself, the truth of which is inexpressible with "words and letters".
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

NoToo
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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby NoToo » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:01 am

Astus

Would you please let me know where the following is from. Thank you.

1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?
2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.
3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.
4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.

P.S. I am new here today.

Matylda
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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Matylda » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:39 am

there is nothing about the telepathy in zen teaching, transmission and enlightenemnet. concering zen masters with genuine realisation.. indeed, that is kind of question.. there are very few probably... it does not mean that people cannot practice zen...
as for the books.. there are not that many which are reliable source of instructions.. of course we may read some texts about one mind, no mind etc. however zen texts appeared in a certain historical context, when there was serious need for them.. still some masters opposed it and even destroyed written text concerned by the fact that students may go astray with practice and understanding due to grasping someones word... some teachings survived not as books writen by their authors, but rather as private notes of students who after death of master edited them even against the will of an author, though if he was already dead he could not oppose it in fact :)

to learn zen from the books and on own wits, or gain satori due to ones own skills is like 99,99% impossible for very many reasons.

concerning detailed instructions and going on these, is also invalid... in fact instructions follow disciple's experience... so in zen it is impossible to give ALL instructions... and we may see disciples who tried and failed badly... no gaining anything but bitter feeling of failure or even worst heavey arrogance, concluding that they are indeed 'enlightened'... it is very risky way.

One needs a teacher , who may help us, could be better one or not very skilled, anyway should be qualified with some sort of relible certificate... best way is to find truely enlightened one.. in fact it is not so easy... but with years of practice, and with opened and clear mind one may find such individual. I hope so :)
years of sincere practice should help.. but where are sincere students today? people demand true masters, but are they themselves true students? predominant arrogance and indecisiveness plus serious conditioning by the modern world does not produce such students.. and enlightement could be also kind of personal mania for some as well. it makes things even more difficult...

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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby AlexMcLeod » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:05 pm

I don't know about the transmission of enlightened mind, so I won't touch that particular part of the conversation.

However, I have had experience with transmission outside words and letters, both on the receiving end and a few times on the giving end. It is not really a form of telepathy, but rather simply very advanced modeling. If I wish to transmit the skill of relaxing, first I must be completely relaxed. Then, I expand the quality of relaxedness into my extended energy field and radiate the skill and energy outward.

I believe this is the type of thing that they are talking about. So it would be an enlightened being modeling the enlightened mind and radiating that quality outward. Only someone ready would receive the benefits of such a transmission, but I believe it to be possible, based on my experience with other skills.
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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Astus » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:29 pm

NoToo wrote:Would you please let me know where the following is from.


It is there in my signature:
1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1
2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto
3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia
4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Soma999 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:15 pm

Someone with realisation transmits much more than words. What are words ? Recipients. And if the one who speak is inspired, they are full of energy, vibration, sensations, experience. They transmit something, they touch you, they feed you, they awake something inside of you. Even their body transmits something, and just focusing on them transmit something. And their energy, their intention transmit also. Their presence can transmit SO much, and even to people far away from them.

I remember a master who said "maybe you don't understand what i'm saying here, but my words travel, and many receive them and are being touched".

Maybe that's a kind of telepathy : the description of the teaching is in words, but the spirit of the teaching, the real things is all around, and we catch it if our mind is open, awake.

Can a book teach and transmit ? Well, what are all those words inside ? Are they dry, like those a thesis, or the words full of potency of a master who transmit experience, energy in the form of words ? Then you have an answer, and throught those words, you can connect to the mind of the teacher, and even to other Gurus through him or her.

I really feel the real teaching IS the Guru. By connecting to His or Her mind, a transmission is received, and it's not always about gaining something. It's often about losing something : your ignorance, and then the Light shine.

And even some energy or words can awake experiences from other lives. We never know from where we come from, and everything we did. So maybe you think you start the path, but maybe you have more experience than what you think.

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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Astus » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:23 pm

Apparently there is still a misunderstanding of what "transmission" means. There is nothing transmitted, it is merely an expression in the sense that when one attains genuine insight, one carries on the torch of the Buddha's realisation.

"People of the world hear it said that the Buddhas all transmit the Dharma of mind, and they take it that there is a Dharma apart from the mind that can be realized and grasped. They search for the Dharma with the mind, not understanding that the mind is the Dharma and the Dharma is the mind. You cannot search for the mind with the mind—you will pass through a thousand and ten thousand eons [trying] and never get it. [Such useless efforts] are not equal to right now achieving no-mind—this is the fundamental Dharma."
(Huangbo: Essentials of the Transmission of Mind, in Zen Texts, BDK ed, p 18)

"You cannot seek the mind with the mind, you cannot seek the Buddha with the Buddha, and you cannot seek the Dharma with the Dharma. Therefore, trainees should achieve no-mind right now. Simply conform with [the mind] in silence—if you try to use the mind you will miss it.
To transmit the mind with the mind—this is the correct view. I warn you, do not look outward and chase after realms but recognize that the realms are the mind. [To commit this error would be] to accept the thief as one’s own child."

(Huangbo, p 22)

[The questioner] said: If one is without dependency, how can [the mind of the patriarchs] be transmitted?
The master said: The mind is transmitted with the mind.
[The questioner] said: If the mind is transmitted, how can you say that the mind is also nonexistent?
The master said: To not attain a single dharma is called the transmission of the mind. If you comprehend this mind, then there is no mind and no dharma.
[The questioner] said: If there is no mind and no dharma, why do you call it a transmission?
The master said: You have heard me say “transmission of the mind” and have taken it that there is something that can be attained. It is for this reason that the patriarch said, “When one recognizes the mind-nature, it should be called inconceivable. Clearly and distinctly without anything that is attained, when one attains it one does not speak of it as understanding.” If I taught this to you how would you be able to understand it?

(Huangbo, p 36)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Jeff » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:08 pm

upasaka_/\_ wrote:for anyone who doesn't know that is a line from a very famous zen/chan statement traditionally attributed to bodhidharma. here it is in full:

"a special transmission outside the scriptures,
not founded upon words and letters.
by pointing directly to one's mind,
It lets one see into one's own true nature and thus attain buddhahood."


it seems to imply that one can only learn zen from a teacher who has received transmission of it from someone else. does this mean that all books are utterly useless for zen training? i don't think they are, but doesn't this statement make it seem that way? as if it's something that cannot be explained in writing but only "outside the scriptures" without use of "words and letters" at all? in much of the zen tradition (especially in the past) a student is officially a master when they receive "dharma transmission" from the master. does this mean that if the student had left the master and moved across the world, reached enlightenment on his or her own and never received any transmission that it wouldn't count as "zen" enlightenment but would be a different type? does this also mean that only the student(s) that receive transmission can be enlightened and the others can never be considered enlightened (this would be something considering there have been teachers in the past with hundreds or even over a thousand students) in the zen sense?

what does everyone think?


then there is the emphasis on the flower sermon, for those who don't know this is where the buddha gathered his students for a talk and stood silently and just held up a flower. everyone was bewildered but mahakasyapa, who smiled. this signified his mental cognition of the buddha's teachings in that instant and the buddha said:

"i possess the true dharma eye, the marvelous mind of nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. this I entrust to mahakasyapa."

so again, we have the same thing. this implies zen enlightenment is transmitted from teacher to student by use of telepathy, and this supports the idea of the zen lineage going back from bodhidharma all the way to the buddha. so again, i don't believe the following to be true: but it seems that there is no such thing as zen except learning it directly from a zen master. reading sutras, books by masters, practicing things you have learned from these books, all of it is utterly pointless if you have not been given a telepathic transmission.

obviously even most zen masters don't believe these things are literally true as they wouldn't spend so much time writing the wonderful zen books that they do!

i would love to hear some peoples own ideas about what these statements means and what "transmission" is really about. it seems to me that one could re-interpret these ideas but that they do literally imply what i've written above and this is confirmed by dharma transmission ceremonies, whether only in spirit or literal understanding it still confirms that these ideas are promoted within the zen tradition.


personally i believe there are and always have been mixed feelings toward these ideas within zen at large. i think that a person could learn zen and reach enlightenment solely from reading and practicing as long as they had absurdly detailed instructions. after all, anything you can say out loud, you can write! but then that goes against this whole "outside the scriptures" thing.

and then there's the "not founded upon words..." thing, and the thing where the buddha didn't even speak and mahakasyapa got it, so it is very firmly opposed to written, or even spoken, zen as having any function or merit whatsoever and implies that any buddhism that is not this kind of telepathic transmission is not "the true dharma eye" entrusted to mahakasyapa and brought down through millennium to bodhidharma on so on.

when you pigeon hole a tradition to be only valid when it's transmitted by telepathy it seems to make things a little difficult, no? i mean if we took it literally then you would never practice without finding a master, then what are the odds of finding a truly enlightened master? how would you know? it would mean the majority of people practicing zen would be totally and utterly wasting their time. as it is only a small minority of people teaching zen are enlightened, and this is by their own admission usually, and this is fine, in the normal world you can lead someone toward enlightenment by using teachings from the past and things written down and generally accepted as valid, but with the dharma transmission logic, this is totally impossible. probably there would be no more real zen as at some point there would likely have been only one enlightened person and they could have died before transmitting it.

but again, almost all zen masters write constantly so it doesn't seem like anyone takes this seriously. in that case, why promote this idea at all?

what do we make of all this?


Yes, you are correct. Books are basically useless. Like the proverbial looking at the finger instead of the moon, let alone "becoming the moon".

Mind to mind transmission (or connecting mind streams) makes a vast difference. Think of it like you are trapped in your own bubble of sense of self. The transmission of a true master is better described as the master can connect mind streams and get "inside of your bubble". That connection creates sort of a crack in the wall of your bubble of self. The "luminosity" shines through the crack helping you to break down the walls.

Authors make money from writing books, but "clarity" can be shared by a master.

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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Astus » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:22 pm

Jeff wrote:Yes, you are correct. Books are basically useless. Like the proverbial looking at the finger instead of the moon, let alone "becoming the moon".


As Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch of Chan instructed (Platform Sutra, ch 10, tr BTTS):

"Since they maintain they have no need of written words, they should not speak either, because written words are merely the marks of spoken language. They also maintain that the direct way cannot be established by written words, and yet these two words, ‘not established’ are themselves written.
When they hear others speaking, they slander them by saying that they are attached to written words. You should know that to be confused as they are may be permissible, but to slander the Buddha’s Sutras is not. Do not slander the Sutras for if you do, your offense will create countless obstacles for you."


Mind to mind transmission (or connecting mind streams) makes a vast difference. Think of it like you are trapped in your own bubble of sense of self. The transmission of a true master is better described as the master can connect mind streams and get "inside of your bubble". That connection creates sort of a crack in the wall of your bubble of self. The "luminosity" shines through the crack helping you to break down the walls.
Authors make money from writing books, but "clarity" can be shared by a master.


Where do you get those baseless assertions from? I guess not from any sutras or authentic Buddhist teachings, since you consider them useless.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Soma999
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Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Soma999 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:24 am

Everything comes from the mind, and if we live an experience, it comes from our mind, so maybe there is no transmission.
But for this experience to occurs, soething has been done, and on a relative level, there as been a transmission.

A real Guru sing and your reality dissolve. The experience is happening in your mind, the experience do not live outside of you. But you received, relatively, something, that created the experience.

Still, is the Guru you see outside of your mind ?

It's a matter of relativity and absolute reality.

It's like in Phowa. Are we travelling ? Yes in some case (Phowa of the three ideal, for travelling to Dewachen for exemple). No in other (Dharmakaya Phowa). Which one is true ? They are all true. Point of view differs.

Speaking about those subject is trying to grasp the wind. It has to be lived. Otherwise, it creates confusion.

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Alex123
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:32 am

Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Alex123 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:35 pm

Hello Seeker242,

seeker242 wrote:It's more like "You can only learn the truth of zen from seeing your own true nature" and to look for it outside yourself, AKA in books, etc, is a mistake.


Can the books help you by pointing out where/how to look?

seeker242 wrote:My teacher says this about the transmission that you speak of. He says "Nothing that I can say can help you".


Then what is the point of a teacher?

Maybe that phrase means that he cannot make you see your own true nature, but can the teacher help you by guiding you for you to see for yourself?

Jeff
Posts: 315
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: "transmission outside the scriptures"

Postby Jeff » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:54 pm

Astus wrote:
Jeff wrote:Yes, you are correct. Books are basically useless. Like the proverbial looking at the finger instead of the moon, let alone "becoming the moon".


As Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch of Chan instructed (Platform Sutra, ch 10, tr BTTS):

"Since they maintain they have no need of written words, they should not speak either, because written words are merely the marks of spoken language. They also maintain that the direct way cannot be established by written words, and yet these two words, ‘not established’ are themselves written.
When they hear others speaking, they slander them by saying that they are attached to written words. You should know that to be confused as they are may be permissible, but to slander the Buddha’s Sutras is not. Do not slander the Sutras for if you do, your offense will create countless obstacles for you."


Mind to mind transmission (or connecting mind streams) makes a vast difference. Think of it like you are trapped in your own bubble of sense of self. The transmission of a true master is better described as the master can connect mind streams and get "inside of your bubble". That connection creates sort of a crack in the wall of your bubble of self. The "luminosity" shines through the crack helping you to break down the walls.
Authors make money from writing books, but "clarity" can be shared by a master.


Where do you get those baseless assertions from? I guess not from any sutras or authentic Buddhist teachings, since you consider them useless.


Hopefully, we can agree that the Lankavatara sutra is pretty universally accepted in Zen. From the second chapter on the point...

Mahamati, you and all Bodhisattvas should dicipline yourselves in the realisation and patience acceptance of the truths of the emptiness, un-bornness, no self-natureness, and the non-duality of all things. This teaching is found in all the sutras of all the Buddhas and is presented to meet the varied dispositions of beings, but it is not the Truth itself. These teachings are only a finger pointing towards Noble Wisdom. They are like a mirage with its springs of water which the deer take to be real and chase after. So with the teachings in all the sutras: They are intended for the consideration and guidance of the discriminating minds of all people, but they are not the Truth itself, which can only be self-realised within one's deepest consciousness.

Mahamati, you and akk the Bodhisattvas must seek for this inner self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, and not be captivated by word-teachings.


On transmissions themselves, there is some good stuff in the Lotus sutra about them and the turning of the wheel by Buddha that allowed them.


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