theravada equivalent of koan study?

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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby nibbuti » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:29 am

theravada equivalent of koan study?

Sutta study.

Some koans are meant to get one's mind off the habitual conceptualization but leave it at that perplexed state ('emptied cup').

Some suttas - spoken by the Buddha, the teacher - get one off habitual conceptualization (e.g. MN 1) and go beyond perplexity toward wise attention (e.g. MN 19) and sunnata (MN 121, 122).

However, similar to koan study, it can only be understood and developed through practise and direct experience, rather than blindly accepting as 'my' doctrine.

:anjali:
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:12 am

Try reading this,
http://www.koreanbuddhism.net/hwadu/con ... =37&page=1

Be warned this uses Korean and proper spelling/terms what we know as a koan (gong-an) is actually known as Hwadu in Korea (at least but I don't know if the Japanese is different).

The only practices I know of that are similar is the recitation of the term(s) Buddha (Bud-dha) Dhamma (Dham-ma) and Sangha (san-gha) as a form of mantra. the first half on the inhalation and the second half on the exhalation. And recollecting teachings which can be done nowadays by reading a passage of full text & using that teaching as a meditation subject.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby Nyorai » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:34 am

Cittasanto wrote:Try reading this,
http://www.koreanbuddhism.net/hwadu/con ... =37&page=1

Be warned this uses Korean and proper spelling/terms what we know as a koan (gong-an) is actually known as Hwadu in Korea (at least but I don't know if the Japanese is different).

The only practices I know of that are similar is the recitation of the term(s) Buddha (Bud-dha) Dhamma (Dham-ma) and Sangha (san-gha) as a form of mantra. the first half on the inhalation and the second half on the exhalation. And recollecting teachings which can be done nowadays by reading a passage of full text & using that teaching as a meditation subject.

My apology for mistaken the koan as "who am I" sort of in zen that simultaneously engaging into nirhodha and magga - inquiring of mind but free from demanding as answer. As such, it is not possible for beginner to achieve the state of nibbana through koan as it only specifically in nibbana state - the truth of the cessation of dukkha
in the four noble :

1.The truth of suffering (dukkha)
2.The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya)
3.The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha)
4.The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)

For most practitioners including beginners, it still has to develop the mind through dharma lecture surrounding the four noble truth repeatedly and meditation.
:anjali:
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:50 pm

I do not know what you think I was replying to but it was to the OP.

Nyorai wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Try reading this,
http://www.koreanbuddhism.net/hwadu/con ... =37&page=1

Be warned this uses Korean and proper spelling/terms what we know as a koan (gong-an) is actually known as Hwadu in Korea (at least but I don't know if the Japanese is different).

The only practices I know of that are similar is the recitation of the term(s) Buddha (Bud-dha) Dhamma (Dham-ma) and Sangha (san-gha) as a form of mantra. the first half on the inhalation and the second half on the exhalation. And recollecting teachings which can be done nowadays by reading a passage of full text & using that teaching as a meditation subject.

My apology for mistaken the koan as "who am I" sort of in zen that simultaneously engaging into nirhodha and magga - inquiring of mind but free from demanding as answer. As such, it is not possible for beginner to achieve the state of nibbana through koan as it only specifically in nibbana state - the truth of the cessation of dukkha
in the four noble :

1.The truth of suffering (dukkha)
2.The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya)
3.The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha)
4.The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)

For most practitioners including beginners, it still has to develop the mind through dharma lecture surrounding the four noble truth repeatedly and meditation.
:anjali:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby alan... » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:34 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:If this topic interests you, Alan, try reading up on papañca, which seems to be the Pali term that describes what you're talking about the best. Thanissaro talks about it in the introduction to his translation of the Madhupindika Sutta, which is one of my favorite suttas ever.


awesome. thank you!
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby alan... » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:43 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:Hi LonesomeYogurt,

It seems like there is some misunderstanding, and you've been letting it run.

Do you actually think that when someone works with a koan, that he would end up seeing things in the way that you said?

:anjali:

I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say "the way that I said." Please clarify, and I apologize if I've misunderstood something.

Also refer to this essay by Bhikkhu Bodhi: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_27.html


The Mahayana schools, despite their great differences, concur in upholding a thesis that, from the Theravada point of view, borders on the outrageous. This is the claim that there is no ultimate difference between samsara and Nirvana, defilement and purity, ignorance and enlightenment. For the Mahayana, the enlightenment which the Buddhist path is designed to awaken consists precisely in the realization of this non-dualistic perspective. The validity of conventional dualities is denied because the ultimate nature of all phenomena is emptiness, the lack of any substantial or intrinsic reality, and hence in their emptiness all the diverse, apparently opposed phenomena posited by mainstream Buddhist doctrine finally coincide: "All dharmas have one nature, which is no-nature."

The teaching of the Buddha as found in the Pali canon does not endorse a philosophy of non-dualism of any variety, nor, I would add, can a non-dualistic perspective be found lying implicit within the Buddha's discourses. At the same time, however, I would not maintain that the Pali Suttas propose dualism, the positing of duality as a metaphysical hypothesis aimed at intellectual assent. I would characterize the Buddha's intent in the Canon as primarily pragmatic rather than speculative, though I would also qualify this by saying that this pragmatism does not operate in a philosophical void but finds its grounding in the nature of actuality as the Buddha penetrated it in his enlightenment. In contrast to the non-dualistic systems, the Buddha's approach does not aim at the discovery of a unifying principle behind or beneath our experience of the world. Instead it takes the concrete fact of living experience, with all its buzzing confusion of contrasts and tensions, as its starting point and framework, within which it attempts to diagnose the central problem at the core of human existence and to offer a way to its solution. Hence the polestar of the Buddhist path is not a final unity but the extinction of suffering, which brings the resolution of the existential dilemma at its most fundamental level.


if i had to guess i would say that the zen schools usually mean from an ultimate, after entering nirvana standpoint that there is no difference between samsara and nirvana. for the random person who is not enlightened there is a huge difference, but since there is no ultimate difference (as in a separate realm that cannot be entered from this reality or something) one can enter it from this moment, in this life. as in there is no physical barrier, it's all mental. and theravada agrees with this, one can remain in exactly the same spot in space and time and enter nibbana, consciousness changes, nothing else. so it's perspective. a person who thinks they have an ultimate self is suffering, a buddha would look at them and see that they have no reason to suffer, then that same person could see things differently and realize they have no self and stop suffering. same person, same life, same reality, different mind set.

so there is no difference between the two in that sense. it's not a place you go (at least not until after death, but that's not really hashed out one way or the other), it's a place you experience as a shift in thinking. after death is another story, not really defined in either schools.

some teachers likely teach otherwise. and many surely have used this idea to justify violence and other bad behaviors. but i've read many teachers that mean roughly what i've written above when they talk about it.

but who knows? i'm just giving my view on it really with some vague memories of books from years past influencing it.
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby Nyorai » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:14 am

so there is no difference between the two in that sense. it's not a place you go (at least not until after death, but that's not really hashed out one way or the other), it's a place you experience as a shift in thinking. after death is another story, not really defined in either schools.

Buddhism is not psychological thought shifting. There is no after death once one is enlightened or attained nibbana. The death of living beings and the enlightened is vast different although it looked the same that the enlightened died leaving a corpse behind.
metta :anjali:
ImageTo become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.
If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self.Image
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby alan... » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:19 am

Nyorai wrote:
so there is no difference between the two in that sense. it's not a place you go (at least not until after death, but that's not really hashed out one way or the other), it's a place you experience as a shift in thinking. after death is another story, not really defined in either schools.

Buddhism is not psychological thought shifting. There is no after death once one is enlightened or attained nibbana. The death of living beings and the enlightened is vast different although it looked the same that the enlightened died leaving a corpse behind.
metta :anjali:


if it's not psychological thought shifting then what is it? that's pretty much the only thing it can be without getting into metaphysics. in fact there are numerous suttas where the buddha defines nibbana as just that: a shift in thinking. no more mental proliferation, the end of the illusion of a self, the destruction of the fetters (all of which are mental fetters) and so on. these are mental events. it's even called "final knowledge". after death is a different story, as i already said it's "not really hashed out one way or the other" and it's "not really defined in either schools". so yes, there is something special about the death of an arahant, but what exactly happens is never clearly laid out in the suttas. likely it's ineffable and therefore any attempt at a firm definition is futile. this is why i'm only talking about it as a mental event for a living person.
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby Nyorai » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:57 pm

@alan - If you have been following closely and explore the suttas links that are kindly provided in this thread alone, it clearly laid out in the suttas. Needless to mention in all sutta. If you can't get it, it is purely your dukka that ought to be elimintate away through meditation practice. metta :anjali:
ImageTo become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.
If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self.Image
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby alan... » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:49 am

Nyorai wrote:@alan - If you have been following closely and explore the suttas links that are kindly provided in this thread alone, it clearly laid out in the suttas. Needless to mention in all sutta. If you can't get it, it is purely your dukka that ought to be elimintate away through meditation practice. metta :anjali:


yes, in the suttas it says that one can enter nibbana. it talks about it as a mental thing, arahants don't leave their bodies or change form (other than when using supernormal power but that's not anything to do with nibbana, for example devadatta was not an arahant but could use the powers). i have no idea what you're talking about. i've read many, many suttas and books and all kinds of fun stuff. nibbana while one is still living is largely a mental phenomenon, not a physical activity. the mind is freed from suffering and delusion.

an example is mogallana, he was brutally murdered by bandits even though he had already achieved nibbana. if nibbana was a physical freedom from suffering he would not have had to experience this event. only his mind was free, his body was still bound by previous bad kamma of killing his parents. after death his consciousness entered nibbana, which, as i keep saying, is a thing of it's own that is beyond explanation and not what i'm talking about. all i'm saying is that, for a living person, nibbana is a mental event. a purification of the mind that ends suffering.

if you believe otherwise perhaps you could display some sutta quotes where the buddha clearly states otherwise?
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Re: theravada equivalent of koan study?

Postby Gena1480 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:20 pm

Hi Alan if you want to know about Nibbana
i suggest you read Nibbanna the mind stilled
by Venerable Bhikkhu Ñāṇananda
http://www.watflorida.org/Nibbana-The%2 ... illed.html
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