Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

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seeker242
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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby seeker242 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:06 pm

BuddhaFollower wrote:Ok, suppose I am a Chan/Zen person.

I completely recognize the nature of mind.

Whats next?



I think The ten ox-herding pictures give a good picture of what is next. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/weai/exeas/r ... rding.html
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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby steve_bakr » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:49 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Astus wrote:You think there is a different instruction for lay people in Chan?


No. I think that the word 'mind' has a different meaning in Mahayana Buddhism than it does in other contexts. So the instruction may not be different for 'Chan lay-people' - i.e. those who lived in Lin Chi's place and time - but it might be very different for 'modern urban lay-people'.

Imagine you were invited to address the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. Your talk consists of explaining how 'the one mind' is 'not actually different to the Buddha'. How do you think that would be interpreted? The audience would be thinking, 'hey, what conference is this, again? What is a Buddhist doing here?' They wouldn't really have any understanding of 'the nature of mind' as it is understood in Ch'an or Zen literature. That is why I am saying it is context-specific.

So the meaning of 'mind' in literature like the Record of Lin Chi is very specific, and very profound. The Mahayana view of 'nature of mind' is different to the Theravada view, let alone to the view of non-Buddhists. So to simply state the idea that 'mind is Buddha' doesn't convey that point; it doesn't really address the question asked.

Here the OP asked 'I have recognised the "true nature of mind". Now what?' Whereas I am sceptical that this has actually taken place. After all, why go to the trouble of joining a Ch'an/Zen monastery, where they ring bells at 4:00am every morning so you can get up an sit for four hours a day, between long stretches of manual work and sutra recitations?


I think it was stated, "How many minds do you have?"

"It is the mind of the person who is asking."

It is this mind here.

It is not a doctrinal or sectarian statement. The purpose is to turn the questioner away from externals and look to himself. It is a statement that is immediately understood. The only difficulty here is that it is so simple. You're complicating it.
Last edited by steve_bakr on Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby steve_bakr » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:00 am

seeker242 wrote:
BuddhaFollower wrote:Ok, suppose I am a Chan/Zen person.

I completely recognize the nature of mind.

Whats next?



I think The ten ox-herding pictures give a good picture of what is next. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/weai/exeas/r ... rding.html


This! If it is 24/7 recognition, take it back into the world. But all doubt must be removed, and the omniscient Buddha must be made to disappear like a puff of smoke.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby Meido » Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:26 pm

RE Ox-herding pictures: more commentaries here, a couple are useful. Even one there by CTR.

http://terebess.hu/english/oxherd0.html

Sheng-yen's commentary on these pictures in Oxherding at Morgan Bay is nice, as is Omori Roshi's in Introduction to Zen Training.

Besides these famous pictures, there are many Zen texts in which the path is laid out. On the Rinzai side, Torei's Shumon Mujintoron (translated twice into English that I know of) maps it out precisely from beginning to end with clear descriptions of common pitfalls. A succinct text is Hakuin's treatment of the Five Ranks in Keiso Dokuzui, which maps out the path in terms of 4 wisdoms/3 bodies from initial awakening, to its integration in the practice of hokkyo zanmai (jewel mirror samadhi) and hen sho ego zanmai (alternate samadhis of hen and sho), to the untransmissable advanced practice:

http://www.kaihan.com/fives.htm

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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

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby jundo cohen » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:19 am

Astus wrote:The nature of mind is buddha. Any other buddha besides the mind itself is illusion. In other words, once you've dropped fabricating objects and identities to hang on to there is no new identity to make up.

"Bring to rest the thoughts of the ceaselessly seeking mind, and you will not differ from the patriarch-buddha. Do you want to know the patriarch-buddha? He is none other than you who stand before me listening to my discourse. But because you students lack faith in yourselves, you run around seeking something outside. Even if, through your seeking, you did find something, that something would be nothing more than fancy descriptions in written words; never would you gain the mind of the living patriarch. Make no mistake, worthy Chan men! If you don’t find it here and now, you’ll go on transmigrating through the three realms for myriads of kalpas and thousands of lives, and, held in the clutch of captivating circumstances, be born in the wombs of asses or cows.
Followers of the Way, as I see it we are no different from Śākya. What do we lack for our manifold activities today? The six-rayed divine light never ceases to shine. See it this way, and you’ll be a man who has nothing to do his whole life long."

(Record of Linji, p. 8, tr. Sasaki)


Lovely.

Even as we keep trying to live in a way ever more Buddhalike, know that there is not one thing to change or place to go. The bottom of the mountain we climb, the middle and top ... Buddha All Along.

Know also that the more we search, the more we sometimes create distance from what we search for. If Buddha is always pictured as far away and far removed, he is. Sometimes, giving up the hunt over distant hills is the way to find what is right in hand.

There may be "stages" of awakening for some, but the ultimate awakening at the end of the long climb or road is that one was Always Home. We get better, Wiser and more Compassionate in riding the Ox ... and yet, what Ox, what boy? All was riding smoothly from the start.

Even so, seek to live gently, abandoning anger, excess desire and divisive thinking with every step along the mountain path.

Gassho, Jundo

PS- Hope it is okay to post here, as I am not a Chan Practitioner.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:33 am

jundo cohen wrote:If Buddha is always pictured as far away and far removed, he is.


Doesn't that contradict what Linji said?

Do you want to know the patriarch-buddha? He is none other than you who stand before me listening to my discourse.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:19 am

tomamundsen wrote:
Do you want to know the patriarch-buddha? He is none other than you who stand before me listening to my discourse.


Keeping this quote from Linji in mind, I once studied with a Soto Zen teacher named "Muho". He explained that his name means "no path".

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby jundo cohen » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:28 am

tomamundsen wrote:
jundo cohen wrote:If Buddha is always pictured as far away and far removed, he is.


Doesn't that contradict what Linji said?

Do you want to know the patriarch-buddha? He is none other than you who stand before me listening to my discourse.


No, not at all. He is "far" in the distance which is the self-created delusion of separation of the small mind.

Bring to rest the thoughts of the ceaselessly seeking mind, and you will not differ from the patriarch-buddha. ... But because you students lack faith in yourselves, you run around seeking something outside


Gassho, Jundo
Priest/Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha. Treeleaf Zendo was designed as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. The focus is Shikantaza "Just Sitting" Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby tomamundsen » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:59 am

Thank you :namaste:

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby steve_bakr » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:15 pm

Buddha is right here. He is the one who is reading these words.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby jundo cohen » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:10 am

steve_bakr wrote:Buddha is right here. He is the one who is reading these words.


Then why do you bother to type them and, moreover, what do I bother to sign onto this Forum to read them? (a Koan)

Gassho, Jundo
Priest/Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha. Treeleaf Zendo was designed as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. The focus is Shikantaza "Just Sitting" Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby steve_bakr » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:21 pm

jundo cohen wrote:
steve_bakr wrote:Buddha is right here. He is the one who is reading these words.


Then why do you bother to type them and, moreover, what do I bother to sign onto this Forum to read them? (a Koan)

Gassho, Jundo


Who is asking?

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby Sara H » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:39 pm

I think it's important to point out, that people sometimes erroneously refer to the Buddha Nature, as "Buddha"( one word) and then mix up the Buddha Nature, with Buddhist concept of Buddhahood.

Buddhahood is a very specific thing. And it refers to someone who has cleaned up all their past life karma, and generally has attained the Three Knowledges and will not be reborn again.

This is because having cleaned up all their karma, there is nothing uncleansed to be reborn. They are fully united with the Buddha Nature in living form.

When we refer to someone as "a Buddha" in Buddhism, this is what we are referring too. Full Enlightenment.

When one experiences the Buddha Nature, they come to know with certainty that the Buddha Nature exists. And that certainty helps give them the faith to continue sitting (meditation) through very difficult periods where things will arise in their practice.

But simply experiencing the Buddha Nature, And Knowing (and you DO really know) that you are not separate from IT, is not the same as being a being who has cleaned up all of one's karma, and one's ignorance, and greed, anger and delusion.

You still have to deal with those, and clean them up, well after an initial enlightenment or kensho.

This is why it's very important to not mislead people into thinking that an initial experience of the Buddha Nature, is the same as Full Buddhahood, because it is not.

Nearly every Chan and Zen Master has had an experience of the Buddha Nature and years of follow up training (It's a requirement for them to be considered a Master) but the vast majority of them still very much have karma that they are training with, which means they still have ignorance, still have greed, still have angers, and still have delusions.

Actual Buddha's are very few and rare in any lifetime.

And the Buddha Himself pointed out, that the period of time between one Buddha and another is actually one of the Eight Difficulties, because the kind of wisdom that comes from an actual Buddha, is very different than the kind of wisdom that comes from somebody who's had an experience of the Buddha Nature, but still has karma working upon them.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby Temicco » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:07 am

I would have to disagree with the last few posts -- this isn't Dzogchen we're talking about. I'm principally aware of Hongzhou teachings, so perhaps there are other Chan doctrines which differ, but there is no post-enlightenment work in Hongzhou Chan. Huangbo repeatedly asserts that a single tacit understanding is all that is needed -- "in a single flash you attain to full realization." Linji says that "if you can attain true insight, clear and complete, then, indeed, that is all." There is no residual karma to exhaust; recognition of the nature of mind entails not only ending production of karma but also understanding karma's groundlessness. And besides, having things to do (i.e. post-enlightenment practice) seems antithetical to the teachings.
"The nature of mind has no defilement; it is basically perfect and complete in itself.
Just get rid of delusive attachments, and merge with realization of thusness."
--Baizhang Huaihai

"It is just a matter of never letting there be even a moment's interruption in your awareness of your real nature."
--Yuanwu Keqin

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby krodha » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:16 pm

Temicco wrote:I would have to disagree with the last few posts -- this isn't Dzogchen we're talking about. I'm principally aware of Hongzhou teachings, so perhaps there are other Chan doctrines which differ, but there is no post-enlightenment work in Hongzhou Chan. Huangbo repeatedly asserts that a single tacit understanding is all that is needed -- "in a single flash you attain to full realization." Linji says that "if you can attain true insight, clear and complete, then, indeed, that is all." There is no residual karma to exhaust; recognition of the nature of mind entails not only ending production of karma but also understanding karma's groundlessness. And besides, having things to do (i.e. post-enlightenment practice) seems antithetical to the teachings.

There's always more to do after initial awakening, always affliction to exhaust, etc... those who awaken directly to fully omniscient buddhahood are rarer than stars in the daytime.

Whether the system is Hongzhou Chan or any other doesn't matter. The system does not dictate the capacity of the individual or how ripe they are in terms of awakening. One cannot say that just because someone practices X path they therefore do not have residual karma to exhaust and so on... it doesn't work that way.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby Dan74 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:12 pm

This is an ancient debate in Chan/Zen and was fairly recently played out in Korea between the late patriarch of the Chogye Order Seongcheol Sunim and the Master of the Ssongwan-Ssa (Chinul's) Temple, Kusan Sunim. There was a thread on this here previously, but it's not a debate I feel qualified to engage in.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby Temicco » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:29 pm

krodha wrote:There's always more to do after initial awakening, always affliction to exhaust, etc... those who awaken directly to fully omniscient buddhahood are rarer than stars in the daytime.

Whether the system is Hongzhou Chan or any other doesn't matter. The system does not dictate the capacity of the individual or how ripe they are in terms of awakening. One cannot say that just because someone practices X path they therefore do not have residual karma to exhaust and so on... it doesn't work that way.


But in Hongzhou Chan, it's asserted that no matter what your path is, awakening is always complete and in a flash. They thus do say that it's incredibly rare. In what way is there still affliction to exhaust or more work to do? I know of no Hongzhou text that supports that idea. The school leaves no room for people of lower or middling capacities; it's the one school I know of which doesn't even really support expedient means. Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi or bust :P
"The nature of mind has no defilement; it is basically perfect and complete in itself.
Just get rid of delusive attachments, and merge with realization of thusness."
--Baizhang Huaihai

"It is just a matter of never letting there be even a moment's interruption in your awareness of your real nature."
--Yuanwu Keqin

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby Dan74 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:45 pm

This may well be so, but it's not really good news for the rest of us, is it? Hence the need for another approach, IMO.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby Temicco » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:56 pm

Dan74 wrote:This may well be so, but it's not really good news for the rest of us, is it? Hence the need for another approach, IMO.


I don't think it's necessarily so bad -- the school doesn't make a big deal out of your karmically determined capacities, it just says that "if you are confused, then mountains and rivers block your way." In a sense, you determine your capacity -- perhaps this is karmic, but you still have quite a bit of agency in the matter. By relying on things, seeking the buddha, engaging in conceptual thought, being attached to form, and trying to understand things, you retard your attainment. Just don't do any of that -- easy, right? :tongue:
"The nature of mind has no defilement; it is basically perfect and complete in itself.
Just get rid of delusive attachments, and merge with realization of thusness."
--Baizhang Huaihai

"It is just a matter of never letting there be even a moment's interruption in your awareness of your real nature."
--Yuanwu Keqin

krodha
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Re: Path to Buddhahood in Chan/Zen

Postby krodha » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:50 am

Temicco wrote:But in Hongzhou Chan, it's asserted that no matter what your path is, awakening is always complete and in a flash.

Awakening [bodhi] occurs in a flash in every system. Bodhi is not buddhahood.

Temicco wrote:They thus do say that it's incredibly rare. In what way is there still affliction to exhaust or more work to do?

Bodhi just means one has awakened to recognize dharmatā, but is not a removal of the two obscurations.

Temicco wrote:I know of no Hongzhou text that supports that idea. The school leaves no room for people of lower or middling capacities;

Then it isn't a school at all, but rather just a club for cig car ba's. Not very realistic or reasonable.

Temicco wrote:it's the one school I know of which doesn't even really support expedient means. Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi or bust

There hasn't been a practitioner of that ability for centuries... and that being the case I'm not sure how Hongzhou can pretend they have a lineage (this is, if your definition is accurate, which it most likely isn't).

You might very well be misunderstanding Hongzhou.


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