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Torn between soto zen and thai forest - Dhamma Wheel

Torn between soto zen and thai forest

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
Munki
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Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Munki » Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:46 pm

Hi There,
I have been practising in the Soto Zen tradition for just over a year and was planning to take the precepts fairly soon. However, I was recently introduced to Thai forest and now feel kind've torn between the two. I feel drawn to both traditions for different reasons, and feel that there are alot of similarities,but at the same time do not know enough about Thai forest to make an informed decision. I know that you are not supposed to "mix" traditions, and feel that perhaps it would not be right to take precepts in Soto Zen when I am also leaning towards Thai Forest. I would truly appreciate any advice you have to offer.

Munki :namaste:

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Cittasanto
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:57 pm

Although I do agree that sticking to one tradition is best, I don't see anything wrong with experiencing another, and I think it can even help in understanding your main one.
if you have a look at this site http://www.forestsangha.org/index.html there are teachings links to monestaries all over the world which may help you decide which one you prefer.
the site is from the Ajahn Chah "School" if you can call it that, and he mentions Zen monks in his talks (book format) I personally think the two are complimentary.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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kc2dpt
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:39 pm

Explore both for a while, then decide. But remember you don't know enough to compare them directly. Rather you are seeing which one appeals to you more, which one inspires you to practice more.
- Peter


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jcsuperstar
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:50 pm

i came from the soto school with 5 years studying under a teacher i loved. i find that i learned much from zen, but the mahayana sutras were too much of a problem for me.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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GrahamR
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Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby GrahamR » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:13 am

With metta :bow:
Graham

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kc2dpt
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:00 pm

What a cheesy answer! :lol:
- Peter


Individual
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby Individual » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:44 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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David N. Snyder
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:00 pm

Image




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clw_uk
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby clw_uk » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:20 pm

LOL :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

:clap:
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

DarkDream
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby DarkDream » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:28 am

Just a couple of my thoughts.

I think whatever tradition you go into it is important to feel comfortable with it. Having said that, I also think it is essential that their is some flexibility in the teachings and there is a great emphasis on experience rather than the metaphysical aspects.

At least for me, I could never join something which says you must believe X, Y, and Z in order to be a part of a group.

I do not have much experience from the Zen tradition, but as the Thai forest tradition, I have met Ajahn Sumedho and have taken retreats by some of his former disciples. What really appealed to me was the emphasis not so much on the exact teachings and metaphysical realities but on the teachings in the here and now.

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christopher:::
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby christopher::: » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:53 pm

"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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retrofuturist
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:27 pm

Greetings Monki,

Just take your time... and maybe think about which option poses the most roadblocks for you in the future.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:41 pm

i still kinda sorta consider myself a zen buddhist, but there is a very heavy theravada (and thai theravada) filter there and i always side on the pali cannon side of things and pretty much just ignore anything mahayana... but i think only in zen not other mahayana schools can one do this since theres the whole "outside the scriptures" thing...
its also a very very modern and western thing.. :cookoo:

i think mostly its just some sort of wierd "debt" i still think i owe my old master... :anjali:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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christopher:::
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby christopher::: » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:44 am

"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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jcsuperstar
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:59 am

my zen teacher told me to forget about bodhisattvas and saving others. to just sit. thinking youre gonna save all sentient beings is just ego.

by mahayana i mean all those made up sutras about godlike buddhas and super bodhisattvas, and a true atman or we're all one etc etc
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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AlaskanDhamma
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby AlaskanDhamma » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:40 am

To me it always seemed that when Mahayana buddhists talk about bodhisattvas and saving the world,etc., it just meant that by working towards reaching enlightenment they would eventually be helping others someday. Does that make sense? But don't worry, I have met plenty Mahayana buddhists who, despite it being harmful to them, have seemed very egotistical.
"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." -Buddha

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:11 am

well in the mahayana sutras they are "real" guys who vow to come again and again to help people, some were even at one point buddhas who regressed(?) into bodhisattvas to help people. there are also buddhas that create worlds and offer salvation to people who "pray" to them... its all "very real" in the sutras, though there are some zen preists who turn it all into metaphor... which is how i used it

kannon is karuna
monju is panna
fugen is sila
jizo is vows or practice...

so i still have those statues and i use them that way.... they are not however on my main altar... although a statue of daruma(indian monk who brought zen to china) is
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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christopher:::
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby christopher::: » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:26 am

"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

PeterB
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby PeterB » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:44 pm

Is the breath going into and going out of your nose Soto, or Forest Tradition, or is it it perhaps Dzogchen ? :?:
Is it Japanese or Thai or Tibetan ?
All I know is that if we follow it , it can take us home.

:anjali:

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retrofuturist
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Re: Torn between soto zen and thai forest

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:55 am

Greetings Munki,

So what are your thoughts about your dilemma at the moment?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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