Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:23 pm

Hi Christopher

christopher::: wrote:Hi Manapa and JC.

This question of what is essential dharma, essential practice and what is a cultural add-on is not something people tend to come to easily, it really requires that we all put our heads together and discover from a mix of practice and study what works, and what doesn't. I think there are a lot of modern Zen practitioners who put a great emphasis on meditation but push away certain key Buddhist teachings. With something like belief in literal reincarnation i think that's okay (initially) but if you push away the precepts, ignore aspects of the 8 fold path or the teachings on dependent origination one may not really be practicing Buddhism.

The emphasis on the precepts, especially, is a strong point of Theravada as many of you practice it here, I feel. Though interestingly in both Thailand and Japan there are a lot of Theravada and Zen laypersons who seem to have completely lost touch with this. The taboo against sexual misconduct, alcohol and meat eating is ignored by many many here in Asia who call themselves Buddhists. In Japan we even find Zen priests drinking and eating meat, without a second thought.

I view things like prayer posture, rituals, bowing, clothing, chanting, etc as cultural additions, not core. But the precepts are core, meditation is core dhamma, imo. I'm not saying this in a holier than thou way, more based on my own struggles and lack of self discipline. Reading the discussion here last night that some of you were having about 5 precepts vs. 8 really humbled me. I'd say that each week I violate over half of the precepts at least once.

One reason I've been spending time here is that most of you provide a good model of practice for me to aspire to. I don't have a sangha or teacher here in the city where i live. I can study and discuss Buddhism on my own or at other websites but i really believe practice is key, how i practice day to day, situation to situation. And for that i need a sangha of like-minded individuals, with plenty of good role models. I don't feel we need to agree on all the teachings, its the transformation of bad habits, actions, behavior patterns that matter most, imo.

:roll:

PS. Last night I had chicken soup and two beers for dinner. Does that count as 3 violations or two?


The Fifth precept is against intentionally harming a being and has very little to do with eating meat, the buddha never banned anyone from eating what was available to them (unless under very specific conditions for a monk).
Reincarnation isn't a core teaching in my understanding/view, it is the here and now that is the core teaching! next lives are a side order, added bonus if you will.
Satipatthana Sutta::: wrote:"Now, if anyone would develop these four frames of reference in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here & now, or — if there be any remnant of clinging/sustenance — non-return.

I may add clinging refer to any and all things including Dhammas?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Anders » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:01 pm

retrofuturist wrote:I'm always told by people that this interpretation of events is wrong, but it still feels to me that as Buddhism arrived to Japan there was a strong urge, amongst all the paraphernalia and cultural accretions to cut to the heart of Buddhism. To extricate the concessions made for the Chinese, Tibetans, Mongolians and so on and cut to the heart of the teachings.


It's a bit off. Most of what you will likely know of the classic Zen stories etc came from China. And I'm not sure I would call the rest concessions, just different paths. But that aside, I'd agree Zen is basically about cutting to the heart of Buddhism and attaining liberation as swiftly as possible.

As a Chan practitioner, I've always felt the thai forest tradition fairly close to Chan. My reasons for not identifying with Theravada so much anymore are similar to JC superstar's only in the other direction. I increasingly found there was 'baggage' in Theravada that didn't harmonise too well with how I saw things (primarily abidhamma) and a culture of language that just didn't allow you to speak plainly of certain topics without riscing being pointed out as adhammic, topics that are spoken of more freely in mahayana. That and over time bodhicitta began taking hold.

Nonetheless I continue to hold traditions like the thai forest tradition in very high regard as models of strong practitioners. As a point in fact, ven Hsuan Hua always singled out Luangpor Sumedho as the standard for being a monk that his own students should aspire to.
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Anders » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:04 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:think zen is very lucky that early on it proclamed itself as a tradition outside of the sutras.. unfortunatly it has never been a tradition outside of the culture it is in, and that culture was very informed by mahayana buddhism.


[Edited to correct ascription of quote - Retro.]

has there ever been such a thing as a tradition outside of culture? Imo, this notion only confuses matters. Culture is an inevitable vehicle of the Dharma, not its necessary opposite.
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby christopher::: » Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:03 pm

Anders Honore wrote: I continue to hold traditions like the thai forest tradition in very high regard as models of strong practitioners. As a point in fact, ven Hsuan Hua always singled out Luangpor Sumedho as the standard for being a monk that his own students should aspire to.


nothing beats following in the wake of those who are truly walking their talk...

:clap:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Individual » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:48 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Caveat: the following is bound to be riddled with historical inaccuracies and so on... I present it as an hypothesis, a current understanding, and look forward to hearing how this understanding can be corrected and/or developed. I'm also incredibly interested in other people's opinions on the relationship between the two traditions and the fellowship and mutual respect that seems to be emerging between the two.

Despite Japan being the most remote of the Northern Buddhist countries, with respect to the North-western Indian heartland of the Buddha, I often feel there is much in common between Zen and Theravada. There are strong differences in certain aspects, such as the position of the suttas, cultural heritage and teaching methods, but again there is something very similar they share. I feel they both approach the matter of experience and suffering directly, naturally, and in accord with nature.

As a modern Theravadin, open to Buddhist sources which are consistent with the Pali Canon, I find there is much to be learned from Zen stories and Zen methods. I also find that many Zen practitioners also feel a certain respect for Theravadin teachers, particularly those of the Thai Forest Tradition, who are perhaps a little less interested in scriptural orthodoxy than other areas of the Theravadin spectrum.

I'm always told by people that this interpretation of events is wrong, but it still feels to me that as Buddhism arrived to Japan there was a strong urge, amongst all the paraphernalia and cultural accretions to cut to the heart of Buddhism. To extricate the concessions made for the Chinese, Tibetans, Mongolians and so on and cut to the heart of the teachings. As I understand it though, there was little awareness or understanding of the Pali Canon or the agamas, so the early Zen masters would have to find out for themselves what was important and communicate that to their students via their unique method. I believe these Zen patriarchs connected to the original straight-forward simplicity and subtlety of the Buddha's teaching, yet expressed it in a unique form aligned with the Japanese culture, because understanding can never be totally separated from culture from which it is born and related.

What do you think of the relationship between Theravada and Zen? What benefit do you feel there is for a Theravadin in examining classical or modern Zen works?

Metta,
Retro. :)

With some minor differences, I do not find hardly any lack of a correspondency between them and incorporate both into my practice. I attend a local zendo for Zen meditation and dharma talks by the Zen monk there, but I still don't consider this teacher above the authority of the Pali canon, and still read the Pali canon for insight.

I would say that Zen Buddhists resemble Theravadins simply because they are such great and disciplined meditators. "Shikantaza," for instance, while often considered a distinct form of Zen meditation seems to be the same as the "signless concentration," of the Pali canon. And many (but not all) of the Zen koans seem to be derived from stories in the Pali canon, but with some details changed a bit.

To understand how Zen and Theravada are the same, it may be good to see how Zen and the rest of Mahayana are very different. You can contrast the mainstream Mahayana Buddhist interpretation of Buddhas as being all-powerful celestial beings we devote ourselves to (through prayer and offerings) for salvation (much like the devas of Vedic Brahmanism), but then in Bodhidharma's Bloodstream sermon, he says:

Buddhas don't ferry Buddhas to the shore of liberation. If you use your mind to look for a Buddha, you won't see the Buddha. As long as you seek Buddhas outwards, you'll never see that your own Heart is the Buddha. Don't use a Buddha to worship a Buddha, and don't use the mind to invoke a Buddha. Buddhas don't recite sutras, Buddhas don't keep precepts, and Buddhas don't break precepts, Buddhas don't keep or break anything. Buddhas don't do good or evil.

To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature. Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don't see your nature, being mindful of Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are not equal to it.


At the same time, this shouldn't be taken out of context, because he continues:

Being mindful of Buddhas results in good karma, reciting sutras results in a good intelligence; keeping precepts results in a good rebirth in heavens, and making offerings results in future blessings -- but no buddha. If you don't understand by yourself, you'll have to find a teacher to know the root of births and deaths.

...

If you don't find a teacher soon, you'll live this life in vain. It's true, you have the buddha-nature. But without the help of a teacher you'll never know it. Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher's help.

...

People who don't understand and think they can do so without study are no different from those deluded souls who can't tell white from black.

Now, Ven. Huifeng told me that Bodhidharma's Bloodstream sermon wasn't likely written by Bodhidharma, because of some historical something-or-other about the date it was allegedly composed being long after Bodhidharma's life. But then, you could apply the same skepticism to Mahayana sutras as a whole, being composed so long after Gautama, and without clear authorship. Regardless, they've been influential.

You should also consider the way that Huineng defines the "Trikaya" in the Platform Sutra. Whereas most Mahayana Buddhist (especially Vajrayana) have an esoteric explanation, of the Buddha having three bodies: the Nirmanakaya (i.e. Gautama's physical body), the Sambhogakaya (i.e. Gautama's celestial body -- what caused him to glow after his enlightenment), and the Dharmakaya (i.e. the Dharma, the Buddha, same thing, transcendent body). This kind of teaching, to me, seems like very useless, abstract speculatory nonsense.

But Zen takes a very different position than this. From Wikipedia:

The Three Bodies of the Buddha from the point of view of Zen Buddhist thought are not to be taken as absolute, literal, or materialistic; they are expedient means that "are merely names or props" and only the play of light and shadow of the mind.

"Do you wish to be not different from the Buddhas and patriarchs? Then just do not look for anything outside. The pure light of your own heart [i.e., 心, mind] at this instant is the Dharmakaya Buddha in your own house. The non-differentiating light of your heart at this instant is the Sambhogakaya Buddha in your own house. The non-discriminating light of your own heart at this instant is the Nirmanakaya Buddha in your own house. This trinity of the Buddha's body is none other than he here before your eyes, listening to my expounding the Dharma."

In other words, Huineng took what was becoming a ridiculous superstition and then tried to turn it into something useful. Gautama did the same thing with proto-Hindu beliefs... I see Bodhidharma and Huineng turning Chinese folk religion on its head as basically being the same thing Gautama did with proto-Hinduism. Rather than trying to work against the concepts through preaching beliefs people didn't agre with or understand, they took the wisdom of the Buddha and applied it contextually, working through the concepts and mindsets of the people there.

Oh, and Retrofuturist, I would add, based on the above, that "Zen Buddhism" shouldn't be merely associated with Japan, but rather, China (Chan) and it was exported to Japan. Bodhidharma, Huineng, the Zen classics from the Song Dynasty, these were all Chinese. What later became of Zen Buddhism (i.e. under the Samurai and the Zen Buddhist establishment during WW2), this was largely an embarrassment. As a result of it, and also as Chan died out in China, there have been many good Japanese Zen teachers, like D.T. Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki, and Gudo Wafu Nishijima, but there was also Hsuan Hua from China and Thich Nhat Hanh from Vietnam. Some people also like Seung Sahn, but I'm pretty skeptical of him, given his proselytizing, sexual impropriety, and handing out monk robes like they were napkins. There are probably many very good but less well-known Zen monks from Asian countries besides Japan, in countries like China, Korea, and Vietnam.
Last edited by retrofuturist on Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: No need to refer to alternative interpretations as "corruptions"
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Element » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:10 pm

Anders Honore wrote:Nonetheless I continue to hold traditions like the thai forest tradition in very high regard as models of strong practitioners. As a point in fact, ven Hsuan Hua always singled out Luangpor Sumedho as the standard for being a monk that his own students should aspire to.


With my limited exposure to Zen, such as the Verses on Faith in Mind, I have always held Zen to be close to pure Theravada, especially close to the Thai forest tradition of Ajahn Chah & Ajahn Buddhadasa.

Luangpor Sumedho is an example of this tradition, emphasising the here & now Nibbana and not emphasising periferal subjects such as rebirth.

However, since exposure to chat sites, I notice Zen adherents verge towards extremes of nothingness and are soft in moral foundation.
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Individual » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:45 pm

Element wrote:However, since exposure to chat sites, I notice Zen adherents verge towards extremes of nothingness and are soft in moral foundation.

Your observation is correct. But I think this has more to do with western laypeople claiming to be Zen Buddhists, "embarrassing the Buddha," as it were, possibly even with some poor instruction from monks, rather than the actual teachings of Zen Buddhism.

See Bodhidharma's Bloodstream Sermon mentioned above, where he clarifies that the extreme of emptiness as mere "nothingness," or spacing out isn't what it actually means, and he clarifies the importance of a strong foundation in morals and study of the sutras, under a knowledgeable teacher.

Some of the people from e-Sangha, like Anders Honore, Ven. Huifeng, and Astus, these people are all Zen Buddhists but aren't deluded by the falsehoods of emptiness-rooted nihilism or moral relativism. :)

Metta :heart:,
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:22 pm

My knowledge of zen i must admit is limited but when looking at it i think of this.

Is there the 4 noble truths and is there the noble eightfold path, as buddha said wherever there are these two things there will be arahants.

To my knowledge Zen has these two teachings so its all good to me :smile:

Metta
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Element » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:58 am

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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Element » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:02 am

Individual wrote:See Bodhidharma's Bloodstream Sermon mentioned above, where he clarifies that the extreme of emptiness as mere "nothingness," or spacing out isn't what it actually means, and he clarifies the importance of a strong foundation in morals and study of the sutras, under a knowledgeable teacher.


Thanks Individual,

I have seen Zen. Such as the Ten Oxherding Pictures. The ninth & tenth pictures go beyond emptiness into form (nature, elements) & conventionality.

I am referring to those that anihilate all form.

Kind regards,

Element
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:39 am

Element wrote:Luangpor Sumedho is an example of this tradition, emphasising the here & now Nibbana and not emphasising periferal subjects such as rebirth.

I have never met or read of a Theravada teacher who emphasizes rebirth over the here & now. In fact, the only time I see rebirth being emphasized are by people who don't want to accept rebirth. They ask lots of questions about it, they argue about it, they try to reinterpret scriptures over it... meanwhile the other students are simply trying to learn to get some control over their minds. Honestly, if it weren't for people constantly trying to argue against rebirth I think I'd hardly ever have cause to talk about it.
Last edited by retrofuturist on Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected attribution of quote from Anders to Element
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:42 am

Peter wrote: Honestly, if it weren't for people constantly trying to argue against rebirth I think I'd hardly ever have cause to talk about it.

:thumbsup:

Mike

PS, Peter, you were quoting Element, not Anders...
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Element » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:49 am

Peter wrote:In fact, the only time I see rebirth being emphasized are by people who don't want to accept rebirth. They ask lots of questions about it, they argue about it, they try to reinterpret scriptures over it... meanwhile the other students are simply trying to learn to get some control over their minds.


Peter,

I disagree. I notice those who wish the explain dependent origination so students can gain control over their minds & end dukkha.

Still not seen how self-view arises? Then still stuck without control.

Contact > feeling > craving > attachment > becoming > birth >dukka

This process is best to discern intimately and clearly.

With metta,

Element
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby christopher::: » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:34 am

Individual wrote:
With some minor differences, I do not find hardly any lack of a correspondency between them and incorporate both into my practice. I attend a local zendo for Zen meditation and dharma talks by the Zen monk there, but I still don't consider this teacher above the authority of the Pali canon, and still read the Pali canon for insight.

I would say that Zen Buddhists resemble Theravadins simply because they are such great and disciplined meditators. "Shikantaza," for instance, while often considered a distinct form of Zen meditation seems to be the same as the "signless concentration," of the Pali canon. And many (but not all) of the Zen koans seem to be derived from stories in the Pali canon, but with some details changed a bit.

To understand how Zen and Theravada are the same, it may be good to see how Zen and the rest of Mahayana are very different. You can contrast the mainstream Mahayana Buddhist interpretation of Buddhas as being all-powerful celestial beings we devote ourselves to (through prayer and offerings) for salvation (much like the devas of Vedic Brahmanism), but then in Bodhidharma's Bloodstream sermon, he says:

Buddhas don't ferry Buddhas to the shore of liberation. If you use your mind to look for a Buddha, you won't see the Buddha. As long as you seek Buddhas outwards, you'll never see that your own Heart is the Buddha. Don't use a Buddha to worship a Buddha, and don't use the mind to invoke a Buddha. Buddhas don't recite sutras, Buddhas don't keep precepts, and Buddhas don't break precepts, Buddhas don't keep or break anything. Buddhas don't do good or evil.

To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature. Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don't see your nature, being mindful of Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are not equal to it.


At the same time, this shouldn't be taken out of context, because he continues:

Being mindful of Buddhas results in good karma, reciting sutras results in a good intelligence; keeping precepts results in a good rebirth in heavens, and making offerings results in future blessings -- but no buddha. If you don't understand by yourself, you'll have to find a teacher to know the root of births and deaths.

...

If you don't find a teacher soon, you'll live this life in vain. It's true, you have the buddha-nature. But without the help of a teacher you'll never know it. Only one person in a million becomes enlightened without a teacher's help.

...

People who don't understand and think they can do so without study are no different from those deluded souls who can't tell white from black.

Now, Ven. Huifeng told me that Bodhidharma's Bloodstream sermon wasn't likely written by Bodhidharma, because of some historical something-or-other about the date it was allegedly composed being long after Bodhidharma's life. But then, you could apply the same skepticism to Mahayana sutras as a whole, being composed so long after Gautama, and without clear authorship. Regardless, they've been influential.

You should also consider the way that Huineng defines the "Trikaya" in the Platform Sutra. Whereas most Mahayana Buddhist (especially Vajrayana) have an esoteric explanation, of the Buddha having three bodies: the Nirmanakaya (i.e. Gautama's physical body), the Sambhogakaya (i.e. Gautama's celestial body -- what caused him to glow after his enlightenment), and the Dharmakaya (i.e. the Dharma, the Buddha, same thing, transcendent body). This kind of teaching, to me, seems like very useless, abstract speculatory nonsense.

But Zen takes a very different position than this. From Wikipedia:

The Three Bodies of the Buddha from the point of view of Zen Buddhist thought are not to be taken as absolute, literal, or materialistic; they are expedient means that "are merely names or props" and only the play of light and shadow of the mind.

"Do you wish to be not different from the Buddhas and patriarchs? Then just do not look for anything outside. The pure light of your own heart [i.e., 心, mind] at this instant is the Dharmakaya Buddha in your own house. The non-differentiating light of your heart at this instant is the Sambhogakaya Buddha in your own house. The non-discriminating light of your own heart at this instant is the Nirmanakaya Buddha in your own house. This trinity of the Buddha's body is none other than he here before your eyes, listening to my expounding the Dharma."

In other words, Huineng took what was becoming a ridiculous superstition and then tried to turn it into something useful. Gautama did the same thing with proto-Hindu beliefs... I see Bodhidharma and Huineng turning Chinese folk religion on its head as basically being the same thing Gautama did with proto-Hinduism. Rather than trying to work against the concepts through preaching beliefs people didn't agre with or understand, they took the wisdom of the Buddha and applied it contextually, working through the concepts and mindsets of the people there.

Oh, and Retrofuturist, I would add, based on the above, that "Zen Buddhism" shouldn't be merely associated with Japan, but rather, China (Chan) and it was exported to Japan. Bodhidharma, Huineng, the Zen classics from the Song Dynasty, these were all Chinese. What later became of Zen Buddhism (i.e. under the Samurai and the Zen Buddhist establishment during WW2), this was largely an embarrassment. As a result of it, and also as Chan died out in China, there have been many good Japanese Zen teachers, like D.T. Suzuki, Shunryu Suzuki, and Gudo Wafu Nishijima, but there was also Hsuan Hua from China and Thich Nhat Hanh from Vietnam. Some people also like Seung Sahn, but I'm pretty skeptical of him, given his proselytizing, sexual impropriety, and handing out monk robes like they were napkins. There are probably many very good but less well-known Zen monks from Asian countries besides Japan, in countries like China, Korea, and Vietnam.


Many excellent points there, Individual.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby christopher::: » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:40 am

Element wrote:Hi Craig

I like the The Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses of the Faith Mind.

:namaste:


Me too. If we all spent more time considering these ideas, there would be little to debate about. Amazing how still the mind becomes as we learn to detach a bit from our most cherished opinions and views...

:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Dhammakid » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:02 pm

Hello all,
When I was practicing Zen, Bodhidharma's teachings, as well as The Gateless Gate, The Blue Cliff Record and Verses on the Faith Mind were among my favorites to read and contemplate. I found them to be so clear, and I still refer back to them when speaking of emptiness and mind.

Individual, can you please point me to information concerning Zen Master Seung Sahns sexual impropriety, proselytizing, and loose-ness of handing out of robes? As a former Korean Seon practitioner, I have a soft spot for the late great, so this information would be of use for me.

:namaste:
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Element » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:08 pm

christopher::: wrote: Me too. If we all spent more time considering these ideas, there would be little to debate about. Amazing how still the mind becomes as we learn to detach a bit from our most cherished opinions and views... :heart:

I disagree. Verses on faith in mind are insufficient for the whole path. It is useful for samadhi development however.
Last edited by Element on Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:16 am

Hi Dhammakid & Individual,

Dhammakid wrote:Individual, can you please point me to information concerning Zen Master Seung Sahns sexual impropriety, proselytizing, and loose-ness of handing out of robes? As a former Korean Seon practitioner, I have a soft spot for the late great, so this information would be of use for me.


Since allegations about this teacher aren't really relevant to the topic, discussion of them would be better continued by pm. Incidentally, the subject has been discussed at considerable length in a thread at E-sangha.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby christopher::: » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:47 pm

Hello friends,

Element wrote:
christopher::: wrote:
Me too. If we all spent more time considering these ideas, there would be little to debate about. Amazing how still the mind becomes as we learn to detach a bit from our most cherished opinions and views... :heart:


I disagree. Verses on faith in mind are insufficient for the whole path. It is useful for samadhi development however.


I didn't mean to imply that it's sufficient for the whole path, just that it can help calm the mind and promote detachment, especially when expressing and encountering opposing views in these online discussion situations.

:group:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Theravada and Zen - a comparative analysis

Postby Heavenstorm » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:03 am

However, since exposure to chat sites, I notice Zen adherents verge towards extremes of nothingness and are soft in moral foundation.


A further problem is that many of them believe in a sudden instance of Enlightenment rather than a gradual experience. Hence they see the non necessity of studying scriptures and enjoy mocking the learned. As a result, they are tend towards interpreting emptiness as voidness and don't see morality as a requirement for achieving deep states of calm (Jhanas).
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:37 am

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