A Zen and Theravada monastic bridges traditions, languages, and worlds

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Lucas Oliveira
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A Zen and Theravada monastic bridges traditions, languages, and worlds

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Integrating Dharma Practice in Spanish: An Interview with Venerable Dhammadīpa Samaneri

A Zen and Theravada monastic bridges traditions, languages, and worlds

https://www.buddhistdoor.net/features/i ... a-samaneri


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Coëmgenu
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Re: A Zen and Theravada monastic bridges traditions, languages, and worlds

Post by Coëmgenu »

Zen and Theravada are also hugely syncretic in Vietnam. Venerable Nhất Hạnh's double-focus on agama and prajnaparamita material is a product of this.

Zen has a "true self" current that runs through some of it that would be inimical to Theravada, but Zen is also the "back-to-basics meditation school," if we can forgive me giving it that categorization. That is how many Zenners describe Zen at least. They sometimes, when not having true self doctrines, have a very hardline Madhyamaka approach to the emptiness of all dharmas and nirvana, in my experience, and I can actually see that getting a lot of sympathy in non-traditionalist Theravadin quarters. Likely her Theravadin preceptor has Madhyamaka-Suttanta interpretations of Buddhadharma. I assume, that is.
If you see a river, pray that beings gain entrance into the stream and into the ocean of wisdom. If you see a reservoir, pray that beings swiftly taste the one taste of the Dharma. If you see a pond, pray that beings become great in locution and skillful in preaching. If you see a well, pray that beings draw deep from the well of reason to disclose all dharmas. If you see a spring, pray that beings have inexhaustible roots of virtue. If you see a bridge, pray that beings carry all across to safety, as via a bridge. If you see a waterfall, pray that all beings cleanse the stains of delusion.
Dan74
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Re: A Zen and Theravada monastic bridges traditions, languages, and worlds

Post by Dan74 »

Coëmgenu wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:34 pm Zen and Theravada are also hugely syncretic in Vietnam. Venerable Nhất Hạnh's double-focus on agama and prajnaparamita material is a product of this.

Zen has a "true self" current that runs through some of it that would be inimical to Theravada, but Zen is also the "back-to-basics meditation school," if we can forgive me giving it that categorization. That is how many Zenners describe Zen at least. They sometimes, when not having true self doctrines, have a very hardline Madhyamaka approach to the emptiness of all dharmas and nirvana, in my experience, and I can actually see that getting a lot of sympathy in non-traditionalist Theravadin quarters. Likely her Theravadin preceptor has Madhyamaka-Suttanta interpretations of Buddhadharma. I assume, that is.
True self is just a pointer. Thai Forest Ajahns used it too. It would be a mistake in Zen to make something of it.

I have no idea if fundamentally the two are compatible. Knowledgeable people say that due to the notion of the Bodhisattva, the different teachings on the Buddha and the arahat, etc, they are not. At my beginner's level, I draw on both. There are wonderful teachings in both traditions and I have not reached an irreconcilable difference yet.
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Re: A Zen and Theravada monastic bridges traditions, languages, and worlds

Post by DNS »

Dan74 wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:16 pm True self is just a pointer. Thai Forest Ajahns used it too. It would be a mistake in Zen to make something of it.

I have no idea if fundamentally the two are compatible. Knowledgeable people say that due to the notion of the Bodhisattva, the different teachings on the Buddha and the arahat, etc, they are not. At my beginner's level, I draw on both. There are wonderful teachings in both traditions and I have not reached an irreconcilable difference yet.
I agree. Ajahn Chah had some Zen master like qualities in terms of his teachings and reactions to his students.

In terms of the practice at Zen centers there is sitting meditation, standing meditation, walking meditation. At Theravada centers there is sitting meditation, standing meditation, walking meditation. A common and important meditation subject at both is the breath.

Theravada and Zen are probably more similar to each other than each is to other schools of Buddhism, imo.
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: A Zen and Theravada monastic bridges traditions, languages, and worlds

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I knew cases of practitioners who started in Zen Buddhism and then went to the Theravada Tradition ... and practitioners who started in Theravada Buddhism and then went to the Zen Tradition ..

But a person who has ordered himself in both traditions and continues to follow the 2 paths, this is something new for me.

I'm happy for Ven. Dhammadipa is managing to follow this path and can help many people!
I aspire to offer teachings that are encouraging, that support people to discover how they are an expression of Dharma. I'm particularly interested in the interplay between stilling and settling the mind, and opening to greater kindness and generosity of heart.

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Re: A Zen and Theravada monastic bridges traditions, languages, and worlds

Post by Coëmgenu »

AFAIK, and I will admit to stepping outside my bounds of knowledge here, but in Vietnam, regardless of if the teacher is Mahayana or Theravada, the Pali scriptures are almost always used over the Chinese agama versions when dealing with that body of literature, because it is simply much more convenient and treated as equivalent.
If you see a river, pray that beings gain entrance into the stream and into the ocean of wisdom. If you see a reservoir, pray that beings swiftly taste the one taste of the Dharma. If you see a pond, pray that beings become great in locution and skillful in preaching. If you see a well, pray that beings draw deep from the well of reason to disclose all dharmas. If you see a spring, pray that beings have inexhaustible roots of virtue. If you see a bridge, pray that beings carry all across to safety, as via a bridge. If you see a waterfall, pray that all beings cleanse the stains of delusion.
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