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Zen, Dogen and being put off... - Dhamma Wheel

Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Myotai
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Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby Myotai » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:35 am

Hi,

Spent the last month or so looking into the teachings of Dogen and how they're used by the Soto school. A few things that I have come away with, and in advance these are not meant to offend, merely my personal observations - but I would value your opinions:

1) You are already enlightened, just sitting is Enlightenment nothing more is needed - Huh? I have really struggled to get my head around this and I am afraid I am still utterly lost to its meaning. They say there is no goal and nothing to gain. All aspirations are futile and doomed from the onset. They recommend sitting for sittings sake. Leaves me cold I am afraid.

2) There is almost no mention of anything to do with philosophy. Emptiness is mentioned but never discussed and there is nothing from what I can see that acknowledges the Abhidhamma.

3) I detected a Meme of sorts...I might be wrong but statements like "just be who you are before thought" and "don't sit for anything, just sit"....seemed to be batted round like its something I 'should' have understood. I suggest emptying your mind is something that is not as easy as some of the people I spoke to seemed to think.

4) There is an unshakable belief that the process of sitting on the cushion and doing nothing in particular is different than sitting on the couch and doing nothing in particular. sitting on the cushion is somehow seen as sacred.

5) The biggest impression I left with was questioning whether it was Buddhism at all. There was a thread of Buddhist thought but a monumental absence of anything I am familiar with in the Suttas and an almost exclusive emphasis on Dogen, Hongzhi and so on with a palpable (almost exclusion) of what the Buddha actually taught.


Anyway, like I said, not a critique more observations. I'd appreciate your thoughts and experiences.

M...

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Dan74
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby Dan74 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:18 am

Hi Myotai,

There've been a few threads on this in the past and you might want to check out:







I've sat with Soto groups for some time and I have reservations about how efficacious their method of no method is for most people but there's no doubt in my mind that it can work for some.
_/|\_

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James the Giant
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby James the Giant » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:40 am

Are you just studying Zen or actively practising it?
I found Zen pretty incomprehensible when reading it cold, but after sitting a Zen retreat and practising a while, it started to make sense.

But I did eventually abandon it, my analytical mind got too pissed off by the excessive crypticness of it all.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.

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Myotai
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby Myotai » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:40 am

Hi guys,

I have been practicing Silent Illumination for quite sometime - desparatley trying to find a similar practice in Theravada as this tradition is where I feel most at home.

Will check those threads out, but yes James, my analytical mind absolutely will not have any of it :reading:

chownah
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby chownah » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:09 pm

Number two through five seem pretty ok to me but number one while making some sense as a skillful means for setting a mental mood seems to rely too heavily on the delusional construct of self.

I could say more but it would be just a lot of old stuff rehashed and seems like people are bored with that.
chownah

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tiltbillings
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:37 pm


befriend
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby befriend » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:02 pm

you become the philosophy, doing nothing means just sitting, not just spacing out, it is an alert yet relaxed awareness using correct posture. the focus is on being in the present not worrying about results, because deep down you already are the result. I practiced silent illumination (shikantaza) for one year 1 hour a day. it is samatha and vipassana practiced simultaneously. it leads to the feeling of huge compassion and also deep insights.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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kirk5a
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby kirk5a » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:09 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Anagarika
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby Anagarika » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:50 pm


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Myotai
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby Myotai » Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:16 pm


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Jon. S
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby Jon. S » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:03 am

I was born naked.
My beloved parents
kindly gave me a name.
When I reached twenty
I thought "a name is a chain,
I want to abandon it".
Whoever I questioned
No one answers me.
When I hear the wind in the pines
I get an answer.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:13 am


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seeker242
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby seeker242 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:54 pm


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kmath
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby kmath » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:47 am


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drew
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby drew » Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:51 am

Excellent question. Some of my views.

1) You can not sit without intention. Just sitting involves Effort, Right Effort actually if you are practicing Zen, Dzogchen pure mind or Vipassana correctly.

2) Buddhist practice is not a philosophy but a practical way to experience the Dhamma for yourself, here and now. We just need to do it.

3) Attempting to get somewhere or do something is missing the point. Just observe reality arising and passing away, and see how the experience affects your Heart. Being aware and present with a clear Mind and allowing things to be leads to Liberation. Reacting with desire or aversion leads to Suffering.

4) You can practice anywhere, anytime. Associating Buddhist practice with a cushion is incorrect. Think "Chopping wood, carry water" for a simple Zen guide.

5) Every tradition has it's own cultural overlay. Remember cultural overlays are not Dhamma. Dhamma is in your Heart, look there and see if your are Liberating yourself from Suffering.

Always remember the Seven Factors: Concentration, Mindfulness, Effort, Joy, Loving kindness, Compassion and perhaps most importantly Equanimity. These should be the yardsticks of Dhamma for any practitioner.
The gift of the Dhamma excels all gifts (DP354)

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Aloka
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby Aloka » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:12 am


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convivium
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby convivium » Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:16 am

dogen is the probably most important buddhist philosopher for westerners to get into. undercuts our whole way of seeking after experiences and sensations, along with the whole instrumental and technological outlook, and ressentiment. opens up the needed realm of communal spirit and focal practices. really the most profound and relevant buddhist thinker for our times.
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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m0rl0ck
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:17 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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convivium
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Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby convivium » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:37 pm

what madhyamaka does i think is allow for the inversion of the mundane/transcendental... just how N inverted the suprasensory/becoming... what schopenhauer had in mind with 'positive nothingness' and what heidegger had in mind with conealment/unconcealment for the completion of nietzsche's aforementioned overturning of metaphysics is tightly knit with what dogen does. the idea of instant enlightenment is working within the madhyamaka, heraclitean, heideggerean etc. paradigm of language as the house of being; dogen says 'those who are enlightened are not deluded about enlightenment; those that aren't are deluded about enlightenment'. you should check out heine's book 'existential and ontological dimensions of time...'
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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waterchan
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Location: Kamaloka

Re: Zen, Dogen and being put off...

Postby waterchan » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:36 am

quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)


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