Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Tuybachau
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Tuybachau » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:47 pm

Matylda wrote:
Today people can say whatever they like, teach whatever they THINK and call all this junk ZEN. Scary...
- If one is able to tell what zen is then what is there to be scared of? I see that you claimed to be able to do that.
- What is there to be scared of if one is able to see the dharma for oneself. Scared are those who cannot see the dharma. Scared are those who seek to rely on worldly authorities/things.

MalaBeads
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by MalaBeads » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:39 am

Matylda wrote:
Japanese are harsh in criticising the state of zen
That's not surprising, since at least according to Ed Brown, Japan is a shame-based culture.

Yes, you are correct about the fact that Suzuki-Roshi was sent to SF by the soto headquarters. This was the "official" reason he went to sf. if you would like to know more about these events, you can read David Chadwick's biography of Suzuki-Roshi entitled "Crooked Cucumber" I don't think it was strange at all that Suzuki would send Richard Baker to Japan to study even though he was not satisfied with the state of Japanese Buddhism. He knew very well how the world works and where the power was located and knew instinctively the RB had to study in Japan in order to represent a Japanese form of Buddhism. Especially 50 years ago.
I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

Matylda
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Matylda » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:58 pm

MalaBeads wrote:
Matylda wrote:
Japanese are harsh in criticising the state of zen
That's not surprising, since at least according to Ed Brown, Japan is a shame-based culture.

Well it has nothing with shame-based culture.. it has to do with quality of training and experience nowdays..

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CedarTree
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by CedarTree » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:29 pm

What can be said is thanks to a lot of great monasteries and training locations within North America and Europe like Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery, Korinji Rinzai Zen Buddhist Monastery, Sanshin Zen Community, and Tahoma-san Sōgen-ji Zen Monastery.

Both Rinzai and Soto within Japan are really stepping up their game. The practice is having new life breathed into it and a lot of those young guys that would simply be taking over their dads temples and doing funeral services now are excited and interested in delving into the depths of Zazen and into the writings of Masters like Dogen and Hakuin!

Next 10-20 years will be very interesting for both Tibetan Buddhism and Zen and in particular for the development and right practice of Mahamudra and Shikantaza. Places under the Okumura Roshi network will most likely become the "go-to's" for Shikantaza and for Mahamudra I am not knowledgeable enough to say.

Practice, Practice, Practice

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jkarlins
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by jkarlins » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:43 pm

Thanks for the positive perspective Cedar tree! Some days I get down about the state of practice, but there's also a lot of good stuff going on in many sanghas. I dream of the dharma expanding more and more, and helping lots of people.

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CedarTree
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by CedarTree » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:56 pm

jkarlins wrote:Thanks for the positive perspective Cedar tree! Some days I get down about the state of practice, but there's also a lot of good stuff going on in many sanghas. I dream of the dharma expanding more and more, and helping lots of people.
You and me both, it will be up to use and the younger generation to help bring those realities to fruition.

Means lots of practice and lots of scholarly work as well ;)

Practice, Practice, Practice

Matylda
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Matylda » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:28 am

CedarTree wrote:What can be said is thanks to a lot of great monasteries and training locations within North America and Europe like Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery, Korinji Rinzai Zen Buddhist Monastery, Sanshin Zen Community, and Tahoma-san Sōgen-ji Zen Monastery.
Indeed. However there will be question of disciples and quality of practice and devotion... stil, there are really few places like these. The West is just in the begining of its quest and future will show if it will go the right way. It is not that easy. Generally the time is not in favor, the world changes rapidly and there are far more distractions than ever before. Modern society is much more confident in its own wits even if they come out of very depth of ignorance.

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Meido
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Meido » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:44 pm

Matylda wrote:Indeed. However there will be question of disciples and quality of practice and devotion... stil, there are really few places like these. The West is just in the begining of its quest and future will show if it will go the right way. It is not that easy. Generally the time is not in favor, the world changes rapidly and there are far more distractions than ever before. Modern society is much more confident in its own wits even if they come out of very depth of ignorance.
Yes.

Speaking from the Zen side regarding monasteries in the West: though as I've said I think their establishment is important and that there will be more of them, still they will serve a different function than they historically have. I do not think they will in the foreseeable future become the central focus of practice. In the West, it's lay practitioners - practicing at home - who will remain the center.

Monasteries will serve as needed places of immersive, rigorous practice and retreat; in those groups that establish them, they will hold the line of lineage integrity and transmission. A few people will indeed ordain and spend years living in them. But most of the people coming and going to them, attending sesshin, etc. will remain lay. We are not, as far as I can see, going to have hundreds of people in black robes sitting in monastery zendos.

What I'm calling "monasteries" will also for the most part not be what one usually envisions, or sees when going someplace like Kyoto: large, well-endowed facilities. Monasteries here - the good ones where practice one might characterize as "severe" will be the focus, rather than Zen-lite programming and fundraising - will for now be small and poor...more hermitages, really, where a few disciples live with a teacher. Of course there will continue to be places that are more "meditation resorts", but these have not proved themselves terribly relevant so far, and they will continue to be precisely what they are.

All of this is as it should be, I think. The participation of lay folks in the full-on practice including multiple retreats (sesshin) each year is important. The existence of places where that can be done, and where a few interested folks who want to live communally while devoting years or a lifetime to retreat, remains also important. Should society spin apart in various ways, small hermitages - rather than large establishments that are hard to maintain, heat, and staff - will be key. As will solitary practitioners who conceal themselves, and normal folks integrating practice with so-called "normal" lives.

~ Meido
Even though you have attained insight into the True Nature (kensho), there is yet the barrier of differentiation, and there is the One Path of Advanced Practice. If you have not yet even seen into the True Nature, what a lot there is yet to do! - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

Matylda
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Matylda » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:01 pm

Meido wrote:
Matylda wrote:Indeed. However there will be question of disciples and quality of practice and devotion... stil, there are really few places like these. The West is just in the begining of its quest and future will show if it will go the right way. It is not that easy. Generally the time is not in favor, the world changes rapidly and there are far more distractions than ever before. Modern society is much more confident in its own wits even if they come out of very depth of ignorance.
Yes.

Speaking from the Zen side regarding monasteries in the West: though as I've said I think their establishment is important and that there will be more of them, still they will serve a different function than they historically have. I do not think they will in the foreseeable future become the central focus of practice. In the West, it's lay practitioners - practicing at home - who will remain the center.

Monasteries will serve as needed places of immersive, rigorous practice and retreat; in those groups that establish them, they will hold the line of lineage integrity and transmission. A few people will indeed ordain and spend years living in them. But most of the people coming and going to them, attending sesshin, etc. will remain lay. We are not, as far as I can see, going to have hundreds of people in black robes sitting in monastery zendos.

What I'm calling "monasteries" will also for the most part not be what one usually envisions, or sees when going someplace like Kyoto: large, well-endowed facilities. Monasteries here - the good ones where practice one might characterize as "severe" will be the focus, rather than Zen-lite programming and fundraising - will for now be small and poor...more hermitages, really, where a few disciples live with a teacher. Of course there will continue to be places that are more "meditation resorts", but these have not proved themselves terribly relevant so far, and they will continue to be precisely what they are.

All of this is as it should be, I think. The participation of lay folks in the full-on practice including multiple retreats (sesshin) each year is important. The existence of places where that can be done, and where a few interested folks who want to live communally while devoting years or a lifetime to retreat, remains also important. Should society spin apart in various ways, small hermitages - rather than large establishments that are hard to maintain, heat, and staff - will be key. As will solitary practitioners who conceal themselves, and normal folks integrating practice with so-called "normal" lives.

~ Meido

Thank you, very insightful. As you wrote big centers, or Western style monasteries are not necessarily ideal solution. As they are they are, but quality will be always in question. Anyway big institutions in Asia since 1000 years ago were often problematic. More people one has it is more difficult to avoid poisnous interactions and corruption in the end.
Poor hermitages with devoted serious dozen of disciples sounds very zen like ideal. I heard Joshu had no more than 20 disciples with himself... but I wanted to write about something else.
Yes lay practice could be some sort of focus at the moment. To build monastic communities could take long time, in spite of this that some could think that we have them. I did not see yet even one, which could correspond to Japanese or Chinese monasteries.
So I think very much of what happened in Japan with teachers who came from the lineage of Sogenji, i.e. Tekisui Giboku line including Tenryuji and Engakuji. Togther with revolutionary changes in Japanese society, sudden westernization, modernization etc. people like Imakita Kosen and others foound how important it was to turn to lay practice. And there were suddenly many illustrious examples like Yamaoka Tesshu student of Tekisui, Ida Toiin student of Nantembo of riznzai or soto zen lay person Ouchi Seiran - compiler of SHUSHOGI and student of famous Hara Tanzan of Daiyuzan...
It is what makes me think if there will be any lay practitioners in the West who will get that kind of fire and strong will to awaken. One has to understand that those examples of lay people had families, so called 'normal life' and were still able to throw themselves completely in zazen practice, koan, dokusan and following their zen masters... I recall one Tokyo temple were everyday bunch of lay people would show up at 5 am for dokusan and koan investigation just before work.
If there is will there is a way.

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Meido
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Meido » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:24 pm

Yes, it's as you say.

We do have some laypeople here who are doing it. I don't say they are of the level of someone like Tesshu (and, sometimes when some people here bring up Tesshu, saying "see, he lived a normal life, and still was very realized", they do it as a kind of justification for their own distractions...so I like to remind them that Tesshu's "normal life" and daily practice were not so "normal" at all, or something most people could bear)

But, if there are a few, it will be a good start and at least we could keep the thread intact. The kind of pop-Zen we saw for a long time is less prevalent now. But the conditions are getting more challenging as you said: since Zen practice is physical, less people are attracted to it these days...they don't have any experience of embodiment in their daily lives to begin with, so it's hard for them to grasp what "practice" means. Even to teach basic zazen, we have to first help them remember how humans are supposed to breathe and use their senses (just in a normal untrained way, not talking here about methods of cultivating breathing)...most adults have lost this.

On the other hand, of course, all of this is why we need to preserve it even more.

~ Meido
Even though you have attained insight into the True Nature (kensho), there is yet the barrier of differentiation, and there is the One Path of Advanced Practice. If you have not yet even seen into the True Nature, what a lot there is yet to do! - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

Matylda
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by Matylda » Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:38 am

Meido wrote:
On the other hand, of course, all of this is why we need to preserve it even more.

~ Meido
Yes, definitely.

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CedarTree
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Re: Mahamudra same as Shikantaza

Post by CedarTree » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:08 pm

I've said it before but this is why Meido and Shoryu Bradley have so much respect in my eyes. Two masters from the two sides of Zen both establishing serious places of training in America and the struggles that come with that.

Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery and Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery will become house hold Zen names in America in the next decade I am sure.

Practice, Practice, Practice

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