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Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huang Po - Dhamma Wheel

Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huang Po

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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clw_uk
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Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huang Po

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:38 am

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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convivium
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby convivium » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:24 am

next you should do buddhadasa and huineng!
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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gavesako
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby gavesako » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:25 pm

Actually it was Buddhadasa who translated the Chinese Chan classics into Thai (via English I think) and Ajahn Chah read some of them towards the end of his life. Also his Western disciples used to question him about Zen. But he would not have known these teachings in his young and middle years. Also some of the early Western translations of Ajahn Chah were done by monks who were keen on Mahayana and they would have chosen terminology that reflects that and might not be quite accurate when compared to the original Thai.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Dan74
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:35 pm

_/|\_

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gavesako
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby gavesako » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:55 pm

Just compare the early editions of Ajahn Chah books with the most recent translations, such as those by Ajahn Thanissaro. Terms such as "Original Mind" or "Buddha Nature" occur in the former but not in the latter.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

greggorious
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby greggorious » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:25 pm

Just a question here. Do you think many Thai forest teachings and Zen teachings are similar because they are both fundamentally meditative traditions? The Thai forest tradition doesn't reference the Pali canon as much as say, the Burmese or sri lankan's do, and Zen doesn't cling to mahayana sutra's as much as Tibetans and Pure lander's do. They are both traditions that practice finding out was is true for yourself.

This is a very VERY lay person't observation, but do I have a point?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah

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Mr Man
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby Mr Man » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:15 pm


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gavesako
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby gavesako » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:03 pm

It is mainly the choice of words, which of course depend on the translators' own background against which they are interpreting Ajahn Chah's words. It is described quite well by Paul Breiter in his book Venerable Father (he was one of the early translators). Someone like Jack Kornfield in A Taste of Freedom seems to have chosen terminology that reminds one of the old Chan masters for example. But more recent translations were done by monks with a much longer experience in Thailand and much better grasp of the Thai language. Ajahn Jayasaro said that there were inaccuracies in the way the early generation of Western monks understood Thai-Isan language itself, and it took them a while to deepen their comprehension and include the wider context of the whole Thai Buddhism within which it is embedded. (For instance, it might have escaped the early translators that quite often Ajahn Chah is actually referring to some Suttas or standard "Nak Tham" subjects which he learnt as a young monk, but they never came across.)

But there is definitely a point in that the Thai forest monks just like the old Chan/Zen monks emphasize meditation practice and will speak from their direct experience rather than be quoting some commentarial texts in a strict way.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Mr Man
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby Mr Man » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:43 am


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suriyopama
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby suriyopama » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:34 am

Last month I attended a meditation retreat with Ajahn Brahm, and he warned us that some books are putting things in the mouth of Ajahn Chah that he never said. They consulted the original tape recordings, just to be sure that he did not said those things, and then they asked the writer why he was doing that. The answer was: “that is what Ajahn Chah would have said”.

He didn’t mention who is that writer.

:shrug: :reading: :shrug:

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Dan74
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Re: Theravada meets Zen-The teachings of Ajahn Chah and Huan

Postby Dan74 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:40 pm

It's nice to see parallels in teachings of various traditions especially as a defense against sectarianism and to promote the notions of 'all paths lead to Rome'.

I've sort of given up on that, not because it isn't so, but because it doesn't really cut the mustard. It doesn't help to attend to this moment and cut through the tangled mass of habit and delusion, which is right here, rather than in thoughts about various traditions and similarities. For me, that's just more proliferations that don't really help.

They may help some people, so I don't want to diss them, just my take on this.
_/|\_


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