Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Admin_PC » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:42 pm

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Kim O'Hara » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:11 am

:good:
Great to see such a positive attitude, especially in response to some fairly critical posts.

:namaste:
Kim

Edit: that was in response to Luke, of course. PC's post just snuck in ahead of it. :D

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:11 pm

Admin_PC wrote:...I really suggest you get beyond "Intro" books written by westerners...

While I get your general point, you should clarify something:

I did mention that I have read the Dhammapada, the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, and the Diamond Sutra. Did you really mean to imply that these are "introductory books written by westerners"?? lol

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=23701&start=20#p359806

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Admin_PC » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:38 pm

Luke wrote:
Admin_PC wrote:...I really suggest you get beyond "Intro" books written by westerners...

While I get your general point, you should clarify something:

I did mention that I have read the Dhammapada, the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, and the Diamond Sutra. Did you really mean to imply that these are "introductory books written by westerners"?? lol

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 20#p359806
Can't speak to the middle one (because I haven't read it yet), but I can say that the other 2 neither talk explicitly about lay practice in Buddhism, nor are they definitive, all-encompassing texts that should be held up as the rubric of what is Buddhist or not. In other words, you missed the entire context of what I was talking about (that, or you're being intentionally obtuse): namely that I was speaking specifically in regards to Buddhist lay practice; particularly devotional practices and Belief in Kannon. Can't hold up 3 random texts and make the claim that because a particular practice isn't in either of them that the practice isn't Buddhist or perfectly in line with Buddhist doctrine. If you want to know about devotional practices and how they fit into Buddhist doctrine, then read primary sources for those practices - in this case, the Pure Land sutras, the Avatamsaka, the Lotus Sutra, the Shurangama sutra, the Ksitigarbha Sutra, Nagarjuna's commentary on the Bodhisattva Bhumis (particularly the chapter on the Easy Path), Vasubandhu's commentary on the Larger Sukhavati Sutra, etc, etc, etc.
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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:02 pm

Admin_PC wrote:Can't hold up 3 random texts and make the claim that because a particular practice isn't in either of them that the practice isn't Buddhist or perfectly in line with Buddhist doctrine.

True, but I never made such a claim.

Anyway, you seem to be in a bad mood, so I'm sorry if I disturbed your mental peace.


Admin_PC wrote:If you want to know about devotional practices and how they fit into Buddhist doctrine, then read primary sources for those practices - in this case, the Pure Land sutras, the Avatamsaka, the Lotus Sutra, the Shurangama sutra, the Ksitigarbha Sutra, Nagarjuna's commentary on the Bodhisattva Bhumis (particularly the chapter on the Easy Path), Vasubandhu's commentary on the Larger Sukhavati Sutra, etc, etc, etc.

Yes, those are more good recommendations. Thanks.

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Admin_PC » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:28 pm

Luke wrote:True, but I never made such a claim.

As a matter of fact, going back to your first post in this thread:
Luke wrote:The temples and statues shown in the documentary are very pretty, but to me this video just underscored the huge divide between Asian lay Buddhists who mostly just do devotional practices such as the man in the video did and western lay Buddhists who mostly value meditation and philosophy over simple devotional practices.

Do any Buddhist sutras talk about the value of making pilgrimages to many different statues and temples of a Buddhist deity?
Or is all of this mainly just a type of Asian folk belief which isn't supported by any teachings from any sutra?

and then later...
Luke wrote:Thinking about all of this stuff more, I think that part of the reason for the big divide between western Buddhists and Asian Buddhists is that very few Buddhist books in English explain how most Asian Buddhist laypeople actually practice Buddhism or the significance of many different rituals and practices.

and then later...
Luke wrote:...And the fact the practices of these Asian lay Buddhists seem like the practices of laypeople of any other religion is exactly what I find problematic. I think the whole point of Buddhism is its unique view of impermanence, non-self, and nirvana. People who outwardly look like they are worshipping idols in a simple-minded way give ammunition to other Buddhists who are critical of Mahayana Buddhism to begin with. But Mahayana Buddhism CAN of course display itself in really deep and sophisticated ways: the Diamond Sutra, Nagarjuna's writings, Zen masters' writings, Shingon rituals, etc.

I guess my question is "What is the point of the word 'Buddhist' if one just worships idols with a viewpoint which is very similar to those of Catholics and Hindus?" This seems like exactly what the historical Buddha wanted to avoid and becomes more a matter of cultural identity than of religious viewpoints.

followed by:
Luke wrote:Because a typical western Buddhist like me who has read introductory Tibetan Buddhism books, introductory Zen books, the Diamond Sutra, the Jewel Ornament of Liberation, and the Dhammapada, stills knows next to nothing at all about the day-to-day life and rituals of most Asian Buddhists.

First you dismiss (as simple & possibly un-Buddhist folk belief), then you ask if they exist, then you say they don't exist, then you jump to all sorts of conclusions based on what you say you've read (dismissing it as unsophisticated or the same as other religions), and finally you list a bunch of books that are introductory books or books with nothing to do on lay practice... You claim I didn't address your statements properly by telling you seek out primary sources for lay practice. In response, I pointed out some of the primary writings you should read for devotional teachings, including writings by Nagarjuna & Vasubandhu that talk about the exact things you're looking for - so obviously you haven't read everything you say you've read. Now you deny what you've claimed and insult me with this:
Luke wrote:Anyway, you seem to be in a bad mood, so I'm sorry if I disturbed your mental peace.
Why do people always assume I'm angry and attack me personally? Next thing I know, you're going to be bringing up my status as a mod and complain how I've bullied you...
Luke wrote:Yes, those are more good recommendations. Thanks.
I'm glad you approve.
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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby The Cicada » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:55 pm

Luke wrote:
Queequeg wrote:Funny. Westerners who get all judgy about what Buddhism actually is annoy me. :shrug:

That's understandable, I guess.

Don't feel bad. I think some people feel that Buddhism is actually a kind of big secret that only a select few grasp. Naturally, such people consider themselves to be part of the select few. LOL

Luke wrote:
Queequeg wrote:Actually, not really. The thought is too taxing. Like getting worked up over a blow fly.

Oh, I have no doubt whatsoever that many Asian Buddhists find the opinions of white Buddhists completely worthless.

Having not asked for my non-Asian, half-bred opinion, here it is: I actually got into it with a Theravadin monk online who was a Westerner. I had met him in person at a local shop that sold incense and Buddha statues, and he invited me to a gathering for the consecration of a Buddha statue.

I attended the gathering and had a long talk with another guy of Amerindian background, though he was actually Native American, and I could tell that many of the things I discussed challenged his view of Buddhism. He kept talking about "the zeitgeist" and parroting these platitudes about how we have to practice Buddhism "for today" and that Buddhism is a living tradition. I could tell that he was upwardly mobile, and occasionally his white (of course) girlfriend would dart out from the other room to say something in a sharp tone, and I would come up with a reason to reference Steven Seagal. I could tell that he didn't like a lot of what I was saying, but it almost seemed as if I was answering questions that he had pondered over for a long time.

I can't help but sound harsh if I'm honest, but it seemed like the monk was just making up Buddhism as he taught it, telling the majority what they wanted to hear, tradition, scripture, and orthodoxy be damned. I would even say that the words "He thought he was wiser than the Buddha himself" would be an appropriate description for that monk... So I kind of just had it out with him online, since frankly, anymore Buddhist presence in the area is preferable to less, though I couldn't not sharply contradict this person, even if only in a symbolic way.

Point is, what I had encountered was "white people Buddhism," MastersOfTheUniverseYana, and since the middle and upper middle class whites who usually take up Buddhism are too disconnected from much of society to comprehend what takes place on the decks below, they don't seem to grasp the full implications of many of the teachings, and thus many things they think are useless are in many cases just the opposite - irreplaceable.

Luke wrote:Oh my! If you are correct, then I am quite embarrassed because being anything like a Christian is something I always try hard to avoid... lol

LOL

But anyway, I went back to doing Nichiren practice and daily gongyo, but I still take time out to call on Kannon and maybe chant a sutra associated with Kannon in shindoku. Might not exactly be "kosher" in some people's interpretations of Nichiren practice, but it isn't anything outside of the norm for the Japanese or of common sense applied to one's practice of devotion. Puts me in a good mood.

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:58 pm

Admin_PC wrote: Why do people always assume I'm angry and attack me personally?

Ay-yay-yay! Just chill, bro!

I wasn't trying to attack you personally, and I appreciate the work you put in to maintain this forum. :namaste:


Admin_PC wrote: Next thing I know, you're going to be bringing up my status as a mod and complain how I've bullied you...

Naw. No way. Just relax, please.

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:20 pm

The Cicada wrote:I can't help but sound harsh if I'm honest, but it seemed like the monk was just making up Buddhism as he taught it, telling the majority what they wanted to hear, tradition, scripture, and orthodoxy be damned.

Yes, departing so far from Buddhist tradition is clearly no good. Even though I am now questioning a lot of different things, I want to avoid going down the Stephen Batchelor path and find some way to rationalize the traditional path to myself.

The Cicada wrote:Point is, what I had encountered was "white people Buddhism," MastersOfTheUniverseYana, and since the middle and upper middle class whites who usually take up Buddhism are too disconnected from much of society to comprehend what takes place on the decks below, they don't seem to grasp the full implications of many of the teachings, and thus many things they think are useless are in many cases just the opposite - irreplaceable.

That's always the negative stereotype I had of Buddhist groups in the US, but I have never visited any Buddhist groups in the US, so I can't confirm it. But as a result of the many kind and traditional American Buddhists I have met on this site (such as Meido Roshi), I am no longer sure how true that stereotype is. And there are plenty of poor white people in the US and Europe who are interested in Buddhism.

The Cicada wrote:But anyway, I went back to doing Nichiren practice and daily gongyo, but I still take time out to call on Kannon and maybe chant a sutra associated with Kannon in shindoku. Might not exactly be "kosher" in some people's interpretations of Nichiren practice, but it isn't anything outside of the norm for the Japanese or of common sense applied to one's practice of devotion. Puts me in a good mood.

I wouldn't worry about it. Chinese Buddhists mix all types of practices together and are fine with it.
It is mainly in Japanese Buddhism that people try to just have one main practice and avoid mixing it with other schools of Buddhism.

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Admin_PC » Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:27 am

Luke wrote:Ay-yay-yay! Just chill, bro!

I wasn't trying to attack you personally, and I appreciate the work you put in to maintain this forum.

...

Naw. No way. Just relax, please.

Again, I really haven't been angry. I'm trying to help fill in gaps in your understanding while you've gone out of your way to criticize me. I really don't think you understand where I'm coming from. Is English not your first language? Maybe it's a culture thing? I'm happy to help you track down any resources you're looking for, just ask. Otherwise, best just leave it be.
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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Admin_PC » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:41 pm

Since we took this thread way off topic, I think it'd be a good idea to get back to the OP...
Kannon Bodhisattva wrote:KANNON BODHISATTVA, KANNON BOSATSU
LORD OF COMPASSION, GODDESS OF MERCY

Comes in Many Forms, Many Manifestations.
Represented in Artwork as Male or Female.
Assists People in Distress in Earthly Realm
and in all Six Realms of Karmic Rebirth.
One of Asia’s and Japan’s most beloved deities. Kannon worship remains non-denominational and widespread.

ORIGIN = India. Kannon personifies compassion and is one of the most widely worshipped divinities in Asia and Japan in both ancient and modern times. Kannon’s origins are unclear, but most scholars agree that Kannon worship began in India around the 1st or 2nd century AD and then spread to Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and most other Asian nations. Veneration of Kannon in Japan began in the late 6th century, soon after Buddhism reached Japan by way of Korea and China. In Japan, Kannon’s paradise is known as Fudarakusen. It is commonly said to be located at the southern tip of India (which supports theories of Kannon’s Indian origin). Many Kannon statues from Japan’s Asuka Era (538 to 710) are still extant. Originally male in form, Kannon is now often portrayed as female in China, Japan, and other East Asian countries. Each of these nations dressed Kannon in different forms to suit their own temperaments and spiritual concepts.

TRANSLATION. Avalokitêśvara is a Sanskrit term, masculine in gender, that translates as Lord Who Regards All (avalokita = observe, iśvara = unimpeded). Īśvara, another name for Śiva, Mahêśvara, or Īśvaradeva (the king of the deva), is a likely component of the name Avalokitêśvara. The Sino-Japanese term Kannon 観音 (Chinese = Guānyīn) literally means watchful listening, and is often translated as “one who sees / hears all.” This is indeed the task of the compassionate Kannon — to witness and listen to the prayers and cries of those in difficulty in the earthly realm, and to help them achieve salvation. Another Japanese name for Kannon is Kanzeon 観世音, the one who constantly surveys (kan 観) the world (ze 世) listening for the sounds (on 音) of suffering. It was later shortened to Kannon.

SCRIPTURAL BASIS. Kannon is a Bodhisattva (Jp. = Bosatsu), one who achieves enlightenment but postpones Buddhahood until all can be saved. Kannon is mentioned in numerous Mahayana sutra (religious texts), especially the Lotus Sutra 法華経 (Hokekyō), which was translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva (Jp. = Kumarajū 鳩摩羅什, 350 - 410), who rendered Kannon’s name as “One Who Observes the Sounds of the World.” Kannon also appears in the Kegonkyō 華厳経 (Skt. = Avatamsaka Sutra) and Hannya Shingyō 般若心経 (Skt. = Prajnaparamita Sutra; Engish = Heart Sutra), as well as in scriptures of the pure land school like the Muryōju-kyō 無量寿経, and in tantric (esoteric) texts such as Jūichimen Kanzeon Shinju-kyō and Senju Sengen Darani-kyō.

MEMBER OF PURE LAND SECTS. Kannon is an active emanation of Amida Buddha, and thus s/he occupies a major place in the liturgy of Japan’s Pure Land (Jōdo 浄土) sects, whose principal deity of worship is Amida. In Mahayana Buddhism throughout Asia, Kannon is the most important of Amida’s two main attendants (kyōji 脇侍). The other is Seishi Bosatsu. In Japan, the three appear in a popular grouping known as the Amida Sanzon (lit. = Amida Triad), with Amida in the center, Seishi (representing wisdom) on the right, and Kannon (representing compassion) on the left. See photo in adjacent sidebar. In another popular grouping known as the Amida Raigō (Amida’s Welcoming Descent), the three are typically shown atop clouds descending from above to welcome the souls of the dying -- those on their death bed who are faithfully chanting Amida’s nenbutsu 念仏 (a set phrase for praying to Amida which is “Namu Amida Butsu” 南無阿弥陀仏, meaning All Hail Amida Buddha). Kannon is also one of 25 Bodhisattva who descend from heaven with Amida to welcome dying souls into Amida’s Pure Land. In triad and other artwork, the top of Kannon's crown is often adorned with a small image of Amida (called a Kebutsu 化仏), symbolizing Kannon’s role as Amida’s principal attendant. Jizō Bosatsu, like Kannon, is one of Amida Buddha’s main attendants and, like Kannon, is one of the most popular modern deities in Japan’s Pure Land (Jōdo 浄土) sects. The two share many overlapping functions -- both protect the Six Realms of Karmic Rebirth (the Six Jizō, the Six Kannon), both are patrons of motherhood & children (the Koyasu Jizō, the Koyasu Kannon), and both protect the souls of aborted children (the Mizuko Jizō, the Mizuko Kannon). In some scriptures, they even share the same Ennichi 縁日 (Holy Day). The 18th day of each month is considered Kannon’s Ennichi. Jizō’s Ennichi is generally on the 24th, but at many temples it occurs on the 18th.

FEMININE VERSIONS. Although depicted with masculine features in the earliest representations, Kannon later appears with attributes of both genders and eventually becomes a symbol of the divine feminine, the divine mother in both China and Japan. Popular feminine versions in modern Japan include Koyasu Kannon (child giving), Jibo Kannon (loving mother), Gyoran Kannon (carrying fish basket), and others. Kannon’s Śakti is Tara Bosatsu, who is sometimes depicted as Kannon’s wife; Śakti is Sankrit for “female personification or avatar of the male.” Feminized forms of Kannon also exist in Japan’s Christian and Shintō traditions, notably Maria Kannon (Virgin Mary) and the Shintō Sun Goddess Amaterasu (often paired with Kannon in Japan’s Kami-Buddha matrix).

KANNON PILGRIMAGES. Kannon can appear in many different forms to save people. The Lotus Sutra (Hokekyō 法華経), one of the most popular Mahayana scriptures throughout Asia owing to its message that anyone, whether male or female, has the potential to attain Buddhahood, mentions 33 (thirty-three) forms that Kannon assumes when aiding sentient beings. In modern Japan, Kannon’s 33 forms are the basis for hundreds of Kannon Pilgrimage Circuits. Among the best known are the Saigoku Pilgrimage to 33 sites (Kansai area), the Bandō Pilgrimage to 33 sites (Kantō area), and the Chichibu Pilgrimage to 34 sites (Saitama Valley). These three circuits cover 100 sites, and making the pilgrimage to each site in proper order is said to save the believer from hell and to open the gates to everlasting life. The Lotus Sutra is the scriptural basis for these pilgrimage circuits.

ESOTERIC KANNON FORMS. In addition to the 33 Forms of Kannon, this deity also comes in six salvific forms to save all sentient beings trapped in the Six Realms of Karmic Rebirth (the cycle of suffering, the cycle of samsara). Kannon is also one of the 13 Buddha 十三仏 (Jūsanbutsu) of Japan’s Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism (Mikkyō 密教) invoked in memorial services for the dead. In this role, Kannon presides over the memorial service held on the 100th day following one's death.

ENNICHI (Holy Day). The 18th day of each month is considered Kannon’s Ennichi 縁日, literally "related day" or “day of connection.” This is translated as holy day, one with special significance to a particular Buddha or Bodhisattva. Saying prayers to the deity on this day is believed to bring greater merits and results than on regular days. Says the Digitial Dictionary of Buddhism (login = guest): “The deity is understood to be in special charge of mundane affairs on that day, e.g. the 5th is Miroku, 15th Amida, 25th Monju, 30th Shaka. According to popular belief, religious services held on such a day will have particular merit.” <end quote> See Ennichi list for 30 Deities (Sanjūn Nichi Hibutsu 三十日秘仏; Japanese only).

MANDALA. In Japan’s Taizōkai Mandala, Kannon appears in esoteric forms in the Lotus Court (Rengebu-in 蓮華部院), which is also known as the Kannon Court (Kannon-in 観音院). These and other esoteric Kannon forms are classified into the Kannon-bu 観音部 (lit. = Kannon family).

Worshipped independently as a savior par excellence by many sects, including Japan’s Pure Land Sects (devoted to Amida), the Nichiren sect, the Zen sect, the Tendai and Shingon sects of Esoteric Buddhism, indeed, by nearly all Buddhist sects. Kannon worship is essentially non-denominational and widespread.

In Japan, numerous historical figures are considered emanations of Kannon, including Prince Shōtoku Taishi (Japan’s first great patron of Buddhism), Daruma (the founder of Zen Buddhism), and Chūjō Hime 中将姫 (a Buddhist nun regarded as one of Japan’s greatest early embroidery artists). To Tibetans, the current Dalai Lama is an incarnation of Kannon. The powerful protector deity Bishamonten (the lord of the north, one of the Four Heavenly Kings, and one of Japan’s Seven Lucky Gods) is also considered a manifestation of Kannon. See Bishamon & Kannon at Kurama Dera (Kyoto).

Senju Kannon (aka the 1000-Armed Kannon) is the Guardian of People Born in the Zodiac Year of the Rat.

Buddhism for the Common Folk. The three deities Amida, Kannon, and Jizō, became especially popular among the common folk during the Kamakura Period (1185 - 1333 AD), and today remain the bedrock of Buddhism for the common folk. Amida for the coming life in paradise, Kannon for salvation in earthly life, and Jizō for salvation from hell. See From Court to Commoner Buddhism.

New forms of Kannon have emerged in modern Japan to deal with contemporary issues such as Alzheimers (dementia), with abortion, and with caring for deceased pets. Additionally, in recent decades, many giant effigies of Kannon have been erected to pray for world peace and to honor war veterans (those who died in war).
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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby rory » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:25 am

I understand Luke, I read those same books too and if that's all you know it's reasonable to make those assumptions. I was pretty shocked at the faith element in Buddhism. I think the 2 best books for you right now are Practically Religious and Pure Land-Zen, Zen-Pure Land: Letters of Patriarch Yin Kuang it's available as a pdf on Buddhanet.

The 19th century scholarly narrative of Buddhism has been updated by scholars such as Bronkhorst, Robert Scharf, archeology, and the discovery of Gandharan Buddhist texts from Central Asia from 1 AD which makes them not Theravada texts the oldest Buddhist texts extant!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandh%C4%81ran_Buddhist_texts Additionally the early Buddhist monks and nuns weren't ascetic but had property and money, early Buddhism began in Maghada which had a culture distinct from Hinduism (Jains were there). The early Buddhist language is a Maghadi Prakit related to Pali, not Sanskrit. Anyway you can do more reading I just wanted to give you a run down.

And of course here is the great Sutra where devotion for Kannon sama is called for! I can say from my own experience Kannon sama really does help.
Ch. 25, The Lotus Sutra[i]I shall now tell you in brief,
That for those who hear his name or see him,
And who are mindful of his name unceasingly,
He can extinguish the suffering of all realms of existence.

If someone is the victim of another's harmful intent,
And is pushed into a pit of fire,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The pit of fire will turn into a pool.
If someone is being tossed about in the great sea,
And is surrounded by the dangers of dragons, fish, and ghosts,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The waves will not drown him.
[/i]


The Avatamsaka Sutra speaks of Guanyin's pure land of Mt. Potala.

So the great Mahayana sutras instruct us to have faith in Kannon sama and vow for rebirth in her Pure Land
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby The Cicada » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:48 pm

rory wrote:
Ch. 25, The Lotus Sutra[i]I shall now tell you in brief,
That for those who hear his name or see him,
And who are mindful of his name unceasingly,
He can extinguish the suffering of all realms of existence.

If someone is the victim of another's harmful intent,
And is pushed into a pit of fire,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The pit of fire will turn into a pool.
If someone is being tossed about in the great sea,
And is surrounded by the dangers of dragons, fish, and ghosts,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The waves will not drown him.



I like this line from the same chapter: If a person, whether guilty or not, who has been put in stocks or bound with chains calls out the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, his fetters will break apart and he will immediately be freed.

It isn't included in Burton Watson's translation used by the SGI.

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby pael » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:10 pm

Lightning saved Nichiren from execution. I have read.
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Luke » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:43 pm

rory wrote:I understand Luke, I read those same books too and if that's all you know it's reasonable to make those assumptions. I was pretty shocked at the faith element in Buddhism. I think the 2 best books for you right now are Practically Religious and Pure Land-Zen, Zen-Pure Land: Letters of Patriarch Yin Kuang it's available as a pdf on Buddhanet.

Thanks for the recommendations, Rory.

Right now, I am reading Nattier's Pure Land article which Admin_PC told me about, and I find it quite interesting. After this, I will check out some of what you recommended.

It's strange that I now feel very warmly about you, whereas in the past, I felt just the opposite. But this is the nature of samsara, I guess: opinions and feelings keep changing and we keep switching roles from life to life and even within the same lifetimes...
And I've been doing a lot of Zen meditation lately, which makes me love everybody a little bit more... :D hehe

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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby rory » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:30 am

Luke: It's strange that I now feel very warmly about you, whereas in the past, I felt just the opposite. But this is the nature of samsara, I guess: opinions and feelings keep changing and we keep switching roles from life to life and even within the same lifetimes...
And I've been doing a lot of Zen meditation lately, which makes me love everybody a little bit more... :D hehe


How kind of you to say so. I do like a sharp argument and I can be quite caustic, but instead of rebuking you for your words my first impulse was empathy, I've been there , and I credit that to my being back practicing Pure Land since last year. It's an ideal practice for someone like me who needs to cultivate kindness and empathy. So I peacefully disagree that our current amity as opposed to enmity can be attributed to the vagaries of Samsara, but rather to both of us practicing the Dharma with results (I'm horribly pragmatic; I left every path that didn't yield results). Good for you.

If there is one near you I suggest visiting a Chinese or VIetnamese temple; both practice both Zen ahd Pure Land and it would do you good. I attended many Western Dharma centers before I entered the Japanese-American Jodo Shinshu temple in NYC and it was all the nihilist Western therapeutic mode...never again, the atmosphere in that ratty run-down temple (since refurbished) was utterly different; kind, welcoming, full of faith....I wish the same for you.
bowing to you in gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58

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Coëmgenu
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Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Coëmgenu » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:49 am

The Cicada wrote:I like this line from the same chapter: If a person, whether guilty or not, who has been put in stocks or bound with chains calls out the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, his fetters will break apart and he will immediately be freed.

It isn't included in Burton Watson's translation used by the SGI.
From the Burton Watson, available at Nichiren Library, an SGI affiliated Dharma propagation website:
“Suppose there is a person who, whether guilty or not guilty, has had his body imprisoned in fetters and chains, cangue and lock. If he calls the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, then all his bonds will be severed and broken and at once he will gain deliverance.
"My pure land is not destroyed,
yet the multitude sees it as consumed in fire,
with anxiety, fear, and other sufferings
filling it everywhere."
(Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra XVI)

All these dharmāḥ are the status of dharma, the standing of dharma, the suchness of dharma; the dharma neither departs from things-as-they-are, nor differs from things-as-they-are; it is the truth, reality, without distortion.(SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶(Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasya Mantra)

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The Cicada
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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby The Cicada » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:12 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
The Cicada wrote:I like this line from the same chapter: If a person, whether guilty or not, who has been put in stocks or bound with chains calls out the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, his fetters will break apart and he will immediately be freed.

It isn't included in Burton Watson's translation used by the SGI.
From the Burton Watson, available at Nichiren Library, an SGI affiliated Dharma propagation website:
“Suppose there is a person who, whether guilty or not guilty, has had his body imprisoned in fetters and chains, cangue and lock. If he calls the name of Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, then all his bonds will be severed and broken and at once he will gain deliverance.


Interesting. Perhaps the version I was referencing was an earlier edition or was not complete, as it was a digital copy. Thank your for bringing this to my attention.

:namaste:

Dharma Flower
Posts: 153
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Re: Belief in Kannon (Documentary)

Postby Dharma Flower » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:58 am

Luke wrote:The temples and statues shown in the documentary are very pretty, but to me this video just underscored the huge divide between Asian lay Buddhists who mostly just do devotional practices such as the man in the video did and western lay Buddhists who mostly value meditation and philosophy over simple devotional practices.


We should also keep in mind that Zen monks in Asia, whether in China or Japan, traditionally engage in these devotional practices as well. Such devotional practices are for humbling the ego-self to let the Buddha-self come through.


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