What the Zennies say...?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Anagarika » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:56 pm

5heaps wrote:theres nothing buddhist about jhana. all the meditative nonbuddhist traditions do it also--thats how they realize the eternal self etc, through extremely sophisticated concentrations
what makes jhana a buddhist practice is correct analysis ie. right view


Bhante Henepola Gunaratana makes clear that in fourth jhana "one sees deeply into impermanence, suffering, and not-self." See Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English. What is very 'Buddhist' about the type of jhana taught by the Buddha is this absorption into intense mindfulness of the reality of anatta. Gautama is understood to have deviated from the Vedic jhanas to teach, rather than a self=based "soul," as was popular in his time, but a very radical idea of jhana as freeing one of the delusion of self or of a permanent surviving self.
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:19 am

Sekha wrote:
Beautiful Breath wrote:I recently spoke to a Seon nun who suggested that practices like Anapanasati, Jhana and so on can actually exagerate the ego instead of revealing its nature. She recommended practices like Hwadu/Koan in order to directly address the ego.

Thoughts...?

From what I have seen, this kind of thing happens a lot with monks who practice in a way that I would qualify of unbalanced, by practicing only samadhi and not pañña, whether through anapanassati or by other means. I don't want to give names, but it happens in some well-known places where it is believed that samadhi should be mastered thoroughly before practicing vipassana (and where by the way there is a general deprecation of techniques in which vipassana gets started sooner, as "artificial vipassana" and the like). It depends on people though. Some have a proclivity to inflate their ego when they gain jhanas without practicing vipassana, whereas some others don't. So I would totally agree with the first sentence, all the more that it is confirmed by the scriptures imo (see below).

Of course, the second sentence reveals a mahayana perspective. In Theravada, the advice would rather be to practice vipassana. In my experience, there are much less ego problems in places where meditators develop vipassana alongside with concentration.

My stance on this subject is backed by AN 2.32:
Samatho, bhikkhave, bhāvito kam-attham-anubhoti? Cittaṃ bhāvīyati. Cittaṃ bhāvitaṃ kam-attham-anubhoti? Yo rāgo so pahīyati.
When tranquillity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Passion is abandoned.

Vipassanā, bhikkhave, bhāvitā kam-attham-anubhoti? Paññā bhāvīyati. Paññā bhāvitā kam-attham-anubhoti? Yā avijjā sā pahīyati.
When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Discernment is developed. And when discernment is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned.

Rāg·upakkiliṭṭhaṃ vā, bhikkhave, cittaṃ na vimuccati, avijj·upakkiliṭṭhā vā paññā na bhāvīyati. Iti kho, bhikkhave, rāga-virāgā cetovimutti, avijjā-virāgā paññāvimuttī.
Defiled by passion, the mind is not released. Defiled by ignorance, discernment does not develop. Thus from the fading of passion is there awareness-release. From the fading of ignorance is there discernment-release.

Those who practice samatha remove raga and dosa (craving and aversion), but not avijja (ignorance). And ego is a matter of avijja.
They need to practice vipassana in order to remove avijja and thereby resolve their ego problems.


:goodpost:

Thanks Sekha...
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:16 am

Kim OHara wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote:Her comment is interesting in that jhana et al are the practices that the Buddha taught as recorded in the early suttas. Seems to me that her tossing aside Buddhavacana (and substituting Tang Dynasty origins koan practice) has a bit of unhealthy ego involved. Attachment to koan practice might be unskillful. I am always a bit surprised that some in Mahayana have little idea what is the teaching (as best as we can understand it from the early texts), and what is not.

Hi, BuddhaSoup,
That's a bit harsh, IMO.
Surely "the teaching" for the Mahayanists is "the teaching" they received and "the teaching" they find beneficial?
And surely most of them are not "tossing aside" early teachings but simply - humbly - sticking to the teachings they have received?

See also http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=1136#p7150 for a wise mahayanist's viewpoint on what is Buddhavacana.

:namaste:
Kim



I can't believe to see Ven. Huifeng saying the following:

Nowadays it is popular to talk about the "historical Buddha" (complete with little "scare quotes"), ie. Sakyamuni, the founder of what we now call "Buddhism". However, even before the "Buddha (tm)", this word was used for any "awakened one". In fact, that is precisely what the word "buddha" means, "budh+ta --> buddha", "awake-ened". Some early Mahayana sutras indicate that basically whoever is also "awakened" is also thus qualified to teach the teaching of the "Buddha". This is an ancient idea, not a new one. Rather, the idea of narrowing the sense of "Buddha" to one single person, is the newer idea!

So, when someone asks: "Is the Buddha the author of the Mahayana sutras?" These above points may be worth bearing in mind. It is easy to transpose a more recent criteria of "buddha" onto an ancient question. But that may miss the point, and lead to all sorts of anachronistic problems.


"Rather, the idea of narrowing the sense of "Buddha to one single person, is the newer idea!"

^^

Sorry, that sounds more than a little bit wrong to me. At the very best it's a case of semantics, since the Buddha is an epithet that doesn't usually appear in the Suttas.

But in regard to the sentiment of the post at large, one can apply the label of awakened to whoever one likes, and thus there is no qualification at all beyond one's own predilections. Some Mahayanists seem to see the "awakened'ness" of their sutra propogators as a foregone conclusion and thus something that requires no qualification, when in reality the qualification of such is the most important thing.
Last edited by BlackBird on Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Crazy cloud » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:29 am

I dont know so much about anything, but has had great fun and experienced new pieces of insight by reading and contemplating poems and koans, written by some of the great zen-masters.

sometimes it all can be so stiff and dry ... :tongue:

A master’s handiwork cannot be measured
But still priests wag their tongues explaining the “Way” and babbling about “Zen.”
This old monk has never cared for false piety
And my nose wrinkles at the dark smell of incense before the Buddha.


:candle:
your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:02 am

BlackBird wrote:I can't believe to see Ven. Huifeng saying the following:
http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=1136#p7150
Nowadays it is popular to talk about the "historical Buddha" (complete with little "scare quotes"), ie. Sakyamuni, the founder of what we now call "Buddhism". However, even before the "Buddha (tm)", this word was used for any "awakened one". In fact, that is precisely what the word "buddha" means, "budh+ta --> buddha", "awake-ened". Some early Mahayana sutras indicate that basically whoever is also "awakened" is also thus qualified to teach the teaching of the "Buddha". This is an ancient idea, not a new one. Rather, the idea of narrowing the sense of "Buddha" to one single person, is the newer idea!

So, when someone asks: "Is the Buddha the author of the Mahayana sutras?" These above points may be worth bearing in mind. It is easy to transpose a more recent criteria of "buddha" onto an ancient question. But that may miss the point, and lead to all sorts of anachronistic problems.


"Rather, the idea of narrowing the sense of "Buddha to one single person, is the newer idea!"

^^

Sorry, that sounds more than a little bit wrong to me. At the very best it's a case of semantics, since the Buddha is an epithet that doesn't usually appear in the Suttas.

He is certainly described as "awakened" (buddho), which I think is just a different form of the term.
Arahaṃ sammā-sambuddho bhagavā.
The Blessed One is Worthy & Rightly Self-awakened.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#morning
[This line is in many suttas, of course...]
[/quote]
BlackBird wrote:But in regard to the sentiment of the post at large, one can apply the label of awakened to whoever one likes, and thus there is no qualification at all beyond one's own predilections. Some Mahayanists seem to see the "awakened'ness" of their sutra propogators as a foregone conclusion and thus something that requires no qualification, when in reality the qualification of such is the most important thing.

Since Ven Huifeng is explaining a particular Mahayana point of view on a Mahayana forum, I don't see why it should be surprising. And even in Theravada one could point out that the idea of attempting to seek out the "Historical Buddha" in preference to supplementing the canon with advice from ancient and contemporary adepts seems to be quite new and it is clearly far from being a universal approach.

Going back to the OP: Without the context of the conversation I would be cautious about drawing any general conclusions. The comment may have been a response to the strengths and weaknesses that she saw in the people she was addressing. I could certainly imagine teachers from any traditions making similar assessments for particular students.


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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:55 am

mikenz66 wrote:Since Ven Huifeng is explaining a particular Mahayana point of view on a Mahayana forum, I don't see why it should be surprising. And even in Theravada one could point out that the idea of attempting to seek out the "Historical Buddha" in preference to supplementing the canon with advice from ancient and contemporary adepts seems to be quite new and it is clearly far from being a universal approach.


Historical as opposed to what? The suggestion is that before the modern Western scientific tradition came along the Buddha being a real person wasn't all the important. I see absolutely no evidence of this beyond the opinions of a few.

It is clear throughout the suttas that the Buddha's enlightenment is used to back up the veracity of the Dhamma, even back to the very first sermon at Deer Park - They wouldn't pay him any attention until his position as a Buddha was established. It was important that the Buddha was enlightened, it determined that what he said had merit, that the he had experienced the path that he was setting forth. If he wasn't real then that's entirely negated. So I think this idea that his actuality wasn't that important until recently is quite unfounded.

with metta
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"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Dan74 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:14 am

daverupa wrote:
Dan74 wrote:
daverupa wrote:Hwadu and koans; how do they align with satipatthana? How are the hindrances dealt with in these terms? Or, which aspect of the gradual training to these methods embody?


These questions can be answered, Dave, but I don't get the impression that you are particularly interested.


Let's have some answers... except I'm supposed to ask a teacher, which presumably is a role you won't be taking up in this case. Perhaps another will be able to respond to my request to lay these chronologically late materials alongside the earliest available Dhamma for comparison. It's certainly true that I expect a certain result, but this is a defeasible bias on my part; accordingly, I await discussion on these points.

In case I am wrong, let me add that doubts borne of ignorance are best cleared by asking respectfully (of a teacher) rather than poured out in public as a slight on a tradition one does not understand.


Where was the slight? I conveyed an historical fact, asked some questions, and ruminated about Mahayana-style anapanasati pedagogy - this last has been addressed a bit already, leaving the rest unattended as yet.

:popcorn:


Dave, to really do a proper comparative analysis of doctrine and practice of Theravada and various Zen schools is a huge undertaking and I am completely unqualified for it. If you care, you might get some good answers at Dharma Wheel or at ZFI where they have a new Chan teacher, who is also a scholar.

As for the second part, I am sorry but your post sounded to me more than just some questions and ruminations, i thought that it had veered into ill-founded judgments. I apologize if I had misread it.
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:12 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:I recently spoke to a Seon nun who suggested that practices like Anapanasati, Jhana and so on can actually exagerate the ego instead of revealing its nature. She recommended practices like Hwadu/Koan in order to directly address the ego.


I would think that progress in most Buddhist practices could be counter-productive if held in the wrong way and viewed as an accomplishment.
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby daverupa » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:09 pm

Dan74 wrote:Dave, to really do a proper comparative analysis of doctrine and practice of Theravada and various Zen schools is a huge undertaking and I am completely unqualified for it.


I'm really not asking for that. A quick summary of anapanasati and its steps as related to satipatthana, despite variations, could be conveyed in a forum post. Can shikantaza be described according to a similar sort of comprehensive summary? What about these koan practices?

As for the second part, I am sorry but your post sounded to me more than just some questions and ruminations, i thought that it had veered into ill-founded judgments. I apologize if I had misread it.


Well, it isn't just you, so I'd better pay more attention.

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    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Anagarika » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:40 pm

"Rather, the idea of narrowing the sense of "Buddha to one single person, is the newer idea!"

It's just a wild guess on my part that when the Bhikkhus gathered at the First Council, the Dhamma that they were concerned with capturing was that of Gautama, and only Gautama. It is this fully enlightened man's teachings that we are concerned with as a practice. It was he who shed the Vedic teachings and introduced a new Way. It's that simple.

Sure, there must have been many who claimed in 500 BCE, and thereafter, to be awakened. These claimants may have had communities around them. But none of these individuals were the focus of the First Council, and none of them were the focus of the preservation of a Dhamma / Vinaya.

It's a serious mistake that Mahayana makes when it tries to take new non-Gautama material, and weave new Tatagathas from it. I understand where Mahayana is coming from, and understand to some degree the motivations behind what Mahayana argues (we Hinnie yanees get the joke), but it's just important, IMO, that we keep a focus on what may be historically true and what is fabrication or hybridization.

I respect and value traditional Mahayana. It is a very valuable and authentic vehicle. Just as I love Rumi, I also love the poetry of Walt Whitman. I've never confused the two, though.
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:43 pm

BlackBird wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Since Ven Huifeng is explaining a particular Mahayana point of view on a Mahayana forum, I don't see why it should be surprising. And even in Theravada one could point out that the idea of attempting to seek out the "Historical Buddha" in preference to supplementing the canon with advice from ancient and contemporary adepts seems to be quite new and it is clearly far from being a universal approach.


Historical as opposed to what? The suggestion is that before the modern Western scientific tradition came along the Buddha being a real person wasn't all the important. I see absolutely no evidence of this beyond the opinions of a few.

I wasn't referring to denying that the Buddha was a real person, assumed to have been awakened. I was referring to the development of approaches to the teachings beyond what is in the suttas, based on the experience of (again, presumably awakened) ancient and modern practitioners.

Of course, the relative emphasis put on such things is entirely a mater of opinion, and depends which books you read and who you mix with. I appear to have quite a have a different impression from you. Thai Forest teachers Ajahn Maha Bua, or Ajahn Buddhadasa, would be some of the more obvious examples of not worrying much about an historical approach, or exactly where the teachings came from (from personal experience, Mahayana, and so on). In contrast, the Burmese traditions make a lot of use of the knowledge and experience collected by the Theravada in the Abdhidhamma, Visuddhimagga, and so on. One could speculate that the latter is analogous to the respect that the Zen Patriarchs comand in that tradition (but, interestingly, without much about personalities, or even names).

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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:48 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:It's a serious mistake that Mahayana makes when it tries to take new non-Gautama material, and weave new Tatagathas from it. I understand where Mahayana is coming from, and understand to some degree the motivations behind what Mahayana argues (we Hinnie yanees get the joke), but it's just important, IMO, that we keep a focus on what may be historically true and what is fabrication or hybridization.

I don't think it is particularly interesting to judging Mahayana using a traditional Theravada prism, or a Historical prism. Any more than using Mahayana concepts to judge Theravada as "Hinayana", and so on... To somewhat mangle a Zen simile, there is a risk that in obsessing about the originality of the finger one misses the usefulness of that finger in locating the moon.

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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:00 am

mikenz66 wrote:I don't think it is particularly interesting to judging Mahayana using a traditional Theravada prism, or a Historical prism. Any more than using Mahayana concepts to judge Theravada as "Hinayana", and so on...


I agree, it doesn't seem particularly productive. Though if there is anyone with substantial experience of both Anapanasati/Jhana and Hwadu/Koan it might be interesting to hear from them.
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Anagarika » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:42 pm

For the record, I wasn't judging Mahayana through a prism. I'm unsure whether I was trying to point a finger at the moon, but feel it's important when pointing a finger at the moon, we have some idea of which moon we're pointing at. What I go back to is the sensibility that Prof. Rita Gross has tried to instill over these kinds of questions. This summer's Tricycle has a fine article from her on historicity, Theravada, Mahayana, et al, and how we might view the Buddhist teachings as being separate from Buddhist legends, and a sense of why that exercise is important.

Here's an example of her point of view:

"The study of history, then, which includes the study of legends, sacred narratives, and the ways they serve Buddhist practitioners, can be helpful in lessening sectarianism and avoiding fundamentalist doctrinal squabbling. When legend and history are not confused with each other, each can take its appropriate place in an accurate understanding, both of the whole of Buddhism and of one’s preferred lineage and practice. Rather than fostering doubt, such a foundation can provide support for accurately informed confidence in the dharma." http://www.ritamgross.com/documents/BD% ... entary.pdf

It's this idea of having confidence in Dhamma that I feel is so important. This sensibility doesn't take anything away from practices that might not be Dhamma. It doesn't repudiate sutras that bring practitioners closer to awakening. Again, if we employ the excellent Zen sensibility of not confusing our finger with that of the moon, the next question becomes "which moon, then, are we pointing at?"
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby nibbuti » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:54 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:I recently spoke to a Seon nun who suggested that practices like Anapanasati, Jhana and so on can actually exagerate the ego instead of revealing its nature. She recommended practices like Hwadu/Koan in order to directly address the ego.

Thoughts...?

Hi BB

My thought is obviously the honorable Seon nun doesn't know about the historical Buddhas teaching:

Then Ven. Rahula, emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the Blessed One and, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to him, "How, lord, is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing to be developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?"

"Rahula, {any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.' There are these five properties, Rahula. Which five? The earth property, the water property, the fire property, the wind property, & the space property.

"And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external. What is the internal earth property?}[3] Anything internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, & sustained [by craving]: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the earth property and makes the earth property fade from the mind.

"And what is the water property? The water property may be either internal or external. What is the internal water property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's water, watery, & sustained: bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, oil, saliva, mucus, oil-of-the-joints, urine, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's water, watery, & sustained: This is called the internal water property. Now both the internal water property & the external water property are simply water property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the water property and makes the water property fade from the mind.

"And what is the fire property? The fire property may be either internal or external. What is the internal fire property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: that by which [the body] is warmed, aged, & consumed with fever; and that by which what is eaten, drunk, chewed, & savored gets properly digested; or anything else internal, within oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: This is called the internal fire property. Now both the internal fire property & the external fire property are simply fire property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the fire property and makes the fire property fade from the mind.

"And what is the wind property? The wind property may be either internal or external. What is the internal wind property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: up-going winds, down-going winds, winds in the stomach, winds in the intestines, winds that course through the body, in-and-out breathing, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: This is called the internal wind property. Now both the internal wind property & the external wind property are simply wind property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the wind property and makes the wind property fade from the mind.

"And what is the space property? The space property may be either internal or external. What is the internal space property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's space, spatial, & sustained: the holes of the ears, the nostrils, the mouth, the [passage] whereby what is eaten, drunk, consumed, & tasted gets swallowed, and where it collects, and whereby it is excreted from below, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's space, spatial, & sustained: This is called the internal space property. Now both the internal space property & the external space property are simply space property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the space property and makes the space property fade from the mind.

"Rahula, develop the meditation in tune with earth. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with earth, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when people throw what is clean or unclean on the earth — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — the earth is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with earth, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with water. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with water, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when people wash what is clean or unclean in water — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — the water is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with water, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with fire. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with fire, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when fire burns what is clean or unclean — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — it is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with fire, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with wind. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with wind, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when wind blows what is clean or unclean — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — it is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with wind, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with space. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with space, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as space is not established anywhere, in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with space, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation of good will. For when you are developing the meditation of good will, ill-will will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of compassion. For when you are developing the meditation of compassion, cruelty will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of appreciation. For when you are developing the meditation of appreciation, resentment will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of equanimity. For when you are developing the meditation of equanimity, irritation will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of the unattractive. For when you are developing the meditation of the unattractive, passion will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of the perception of inconstancy. For when you are developing the meditation of the perception of inconstancy, the conceit 'I am' will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of mindfulness of in-&-out breathing. Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit.

"And how, Rahula, is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.[4] Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

"[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'

"[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion.'[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'

"This, Rahula, is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:12 pm

daverupa wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Dave, to really do a proper comparative analysis of doctrine and practice of Theravada and various Zen schools is a huge undertaking and I am completely unqualified for it.


I'm really not asking for that. A quick summary of anapanasati and its steps as related to satipatthana, despite variations, could be conveyed in a forum post. Can shikantaza be described according to a similar sort of comprehensive summary? What about these koan practices?

As for the second part, I am sorry but your post sounded to me more than just some questions and ruminations, i thought that it had veered into ill-founded judgments. I apologize if I had misread it.


Well, it isn't just you, so I'd better pay more attention.

:candle:


Dave, I don't think I can come close to doing justice even to this reduced scope of inquiry. I tried to find an answer from a reputable source but only managed to come up with a whole bunch of material that would take me a long time to process. So this is at best a personal account of why I see these Mahayana practices as leading to the relinquishment of delusion similarly to satipatthana.

Satipatthana, as I see it, is seeing things as they are, a direct clear vision, unimpeded by the conceit of self, reification in all its forms and all the delusions, distorted views and habits that result from them.

Shikantaza, is generally translated as "just sitting" which is sitting without the daydreaming, conceptualization about the sitting, the sitter or indeed producing anything other than the sitting. Of course whatever arises arises, but nothing further is added. So "just sitting" is none other than direct perception, with the perceiver and all his/her fantasies relinquished. Sometimes it is said that it is the mind that "sits", ie rests in the proliferation-free state, allowing all to be all, just as it is. The mind itself is not separate to this "all", but initially it has a space-life quality - containing everything, until the point when the container is also relinquished, This is called the "non-abiding" - because there is nothing to attach to, no sublime state, no Mind, no "All", no attainment.

Shikantaza as described above is of course not something that a novice can practice, but sometimes a novice might taste it a little. Rather what one does is generally develop some mental discipline and then commit to just sitting. Sitting alert with no agenda to attain what one does not have or reaching beyond what is and thereby dividing oneself from this very moment, one gradually recognizes and lets go of all that is superfluous to just sitting. It is a subtle practice and probably unsuited for most because we tend to spin in the same circles of confusion for very very long without a strong nudge.

Hwadu/Koan practice arose from the realization that many people sitting shikantaza (or silent illumination as the Caodong tradition's practice was called) simply vege out, get addicted to a jhana or reach a quiescent peaceful state and get stuck there. Koans/Hwadu cultivate a deep inquiry that does not let go. This inquiry focuses the attention around it until it becomes a deeply ingrained habit to keep looking and digging deeper. You can even start with these very words you are reading now. An uninstructed wordling just reacts, a practitioner will be aware of his/her reactions to them, a koan/hwadu practitioner may look at where reactions arise and what is it before they do. The moment before conceptualisation, this is what one digs for. Again - direct perception, just like in satipatthana.

Anyway, these are just ruminations of a third-rate practitioner with no solid learning and even less wisdom. My only hope is that someone who knows comes and corrects me before my words cause even more confusion. But I felt that saying nothing would've been even worse. :shrug:

Thank you for asking, Dave, and may you be well.
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:55 pm

Dan:
Hwadu/Koan practice arose from the realization that many people sitting shikantaza (or silent illumination as the Caodong tradition's practice was called) simply vege out, get addicted to a jhana or reach a quiescent peaceful state and get stuck there.


Not sure thats the entire reason Hwadu practice started. I suspect the two practices were developed separately. Although I agree that its certainly a concern of some who practice Silent Illumination that we can lapse into a 'Solitary Peace' - might as well get stoned as someone suggested. However, in the absence of a seasoned teacher with whom one has access to, its hard to differentiate between zoning out and a gateway to Jhana.....might start a thread re that! :broke:

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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:25 pm

See also the comments over here on Zen and Theravada approaches:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 20#p210963
which includes more useful comments from Dan.

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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:40 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:For the record, I wasn't judging Mahayana through a prism. I'm unsure whether I was trying to point a finger at the moon, but feel it's important when pointing a finger at the moon, we have some idea of which moon we're pointing at.


The moon of non-duality/emptiness versus the moon of remainderless cessation, perhaps? :)

My hunch is that for a discussion board conversation it may be best to acknowledge that Theravada and Zen have somewhat different purposes or end points; this avoids rancor.

Maybe with penetrating insight and a great deal of practice one discovers the moons to be the same, but I doubt this is something that can be arrived at through a casual discussion.
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Re: What the Zennies say...?

Postby Anagarika » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:02 pm

Lazy Eye:

You make a good point. I'm all for avoiding rancor at all costs. I do like to have the discussion, though, without there being any sense of one tradition quarreling with another as to whose path is most appropriate. Having said that, I'm just a big fan these days of Prof. Gross, who has written some very interesting articles on the intersection of history and myth or legend in Buddhist practice. I feel she's trying to illuminate which moons might be out there, and allow her readers to decide which moons to point at. I feel her suggestion is to see the moon that is most authentic, most true to what the Buddha taught, but there's no reason to suggest that other moons aren't illuminative as well.

I found this quote from Ajahn Geoff, which although I now take out of context, seems appropriate:

"This program for developing vipassana and samatha, in turn, needs the support of many other attitudes, mental qualities, and techniques of practice. This was why the Buddha taught it as part of a still larger program, including respect for the noble ones, mastery of all seven approaches for abandoning the mental fermentations, and all eight factors of the noble path. To take a reductionist approach to the practice can produce only reduced results, for meditation is a skill like carpentry, requiring a mastery of many tools in response to many different needs. To limit oneself to only one approach in meditation would be like trying to build a house when one's motivation is uncertain and one's tool box contains nothing but hammers." Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... etool.html
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