Kwan Um School of Zen

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KiwiNFLFan
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Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:12 pm

Does the Kwan Um School of Zen accurately teach Jogye Seon Buddhism, or have they deviated from the standard Jogye teachings? They have quite a bit of material available in English, so it would be good if they were a faithful representation of Jogye Buddhism.

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Dan74
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by Dan74 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:20 pm

Probably depends who you ask. I've practiced with a traditional Jogye teacher and read Seung Sahn's books as well as listening to some teachers. I think to some extent Seung Sahn did his own thing, but was still a product of Jogye. And as anywhere, there are different teachers and personalities.

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Astus
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by Astus » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:05 pm

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:12 pm
standard Jogye teachings
I have not seen such a thing. Jogye is an institution, not a doctrine.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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seeker242
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by seeker242 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:09 pm

Our local Kwan Um group meets and practices at a local Jogye temple. The day to day practices are basically the same. :smile:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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KeithA
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by KeithA » Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:53 pm

Kwan Um is Western Zen with Korean roots. Our founder was a Chogye monastic, but he did not force his tradition on the students he came in contact with.

KiwiNFLFan
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:25 am

KeithA wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:53 pm
Kwan Um is Western Zen with Korean roots. Our founder was a Chogye monastic, but he did not force his tradition on the students he came in contact with.
Okay thanks. Is Chogye practiced in Korea significantly different to the Kwan Um School of Zen practice? In their introductory book, it looked like their altars have Shakyamuni Buddha as the main figure. Is this the case with Korean Chogye temples? Do some have Kwan Se Eum Bosal (Avalokiteshvara), Amita Bul (Amitabha) or Jijang Bosal (Ksitigarbha) as the main statue on the altar?

I think that Japanese Zen in the West can be quite different to Zen in Japan. I visited Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), a Zen temple in the Rinzai lineage, when I was in Kyoto last year, and on the grounds there was a small temple dedicated to Acala (Fudō Myō-ō), the wrathful Dharma protector who is worshipped in Shingon temples with the goma fire ritual!

Matylda
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by Matylda » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:54 am

it seems that approach to koan practice in chogye and ku is pretty different.

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Meido
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by Meido » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:54 pm

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:25 am
I visited Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), a Zen temple in the Rinzai lineage, when I was in Kyoto last year, and on the grounds there was a small temple dedicated to Acala (Fudō Myō-ō), the wrathful Dharma protector who is worshipped in Shingon temples with the goma fire ritual!
Such things are not unusual in the West. At our place there is a practice hall (apart from the zendo) where Fudo Myo-o is the honzon, and an image of Marishiten is also venerated there.
Matylda wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:54 am
it seems that approach to koan practice in chogye and ku is pretty different.
I don't have first hand knowledge, but have been told that Seung Sahn was influenced by some Japanese lineages' approaches to koan kufu.
It is relatively easy to accomplish the important matter of insight into one’s true nature, but uncommonly difficult to function freely and clearly [according to this understanding], in motion and in rest, in good and in adverse circumstances. Please make strenuous and vigorous efforts towards this end, otherwise all the teachings of Buddhas and patriarchs become mere empty words. - 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

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KeithA
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by KeithA » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:36 am

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:25 am
KeithA wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:53 pm
Kwan Um is Western Zen with Korean roots. Our founder was a Chogye monastic, but he did not force his tradition on the students he came in contact with.
Okay thanks. Is Chogye practiced in Korea significantly different to the Kwan Um School of Zen practice? In their introductory book, it looked like their altars have Shakyamuni Buddha as the main figure. Is this the case with Korean Chogye temples? Do some have Kwan Se Eum Bosal (Avalokiteshvara), Amita Bul (Amitabha) or Jijang Bosal (Ksitigarbha) as the main statue on the altar?

I think that Japanese Zen in the West can be quite different to Zen in Japan. I visited Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), a Zen temple in the Rinzai lineage, when I was in Kyoto last year, and on the grounds there was a small temple dedicated to Acala (Fudō Myō-ō), the wrathful Dharma protector who is worshipped in Shingon temples with the goma fire ritual!
In my opinion, there are significant differences, but there are also strong similarities. Most of the chanting is the same as Chogye, except for some different inflections that were changed to accommodate Western vocal patterns. We chant the Heart Sutra in Sino-Korean but also in the language of the country where the practice is being held, as KUZ is an international organization. Kong ans (koans) are treated differently in our practice and ZM Seung Sahn borrowed the interview process from the Japanese tradition, although we don't do the running thing. We go one at a time, when the teacher rings the bell.

Shakyamuni Buddha is the indeed the the main figure, except for the Cambridge ZC, which recently decided to install a Kwan Seum Bosal on their main altar. I am not sure why, tbh.

Kwan Seum Bosal and Ji Jang Bosal are often found on a side altar. Their is also usually a Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Painting) located somewhere in the Dharma room.

_/|\_
Keith

Matylda
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by Matylda » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:43 am

Meido wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:54 pm
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:25 am
I visited Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), a Zen temple in the Rinzai lineage, when I was in Kyoto last year, and on the grounds there was a small temple dedicated to Acala (Fudō Myō-ō), the wrathful Dharma protector who is worshipped in Shingon temples with the goma fire ritual!
Such things are not unusual in the West. At our place there is a practice hall (apart from the zendo) where Fudo Myo-o is the honzon, and an image of Marishiten is also venerated there.
Matylda wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:54 am
it seems that approach to koan practice in chogye and ku is pretty different.
I don't have first hand knowledge, but have been told that Seung Sahn was influenced by some Japanese lineages' approaches to koan kufu.
I have a friend in south east Asia who practced with SS, himslef he became a teachr in KU. As far as he told me they did very intense kong an training with something like 10 obligatory koans at every 7 day retreat similar to Japanese sesshin. It was fast and quick. Anyway SS produced large number of teachers in the West, some of them I could meet and generally they confirmed what I had heard before. It was said by some that SS was influenced in some way be Japanese rinzai, but the approach to koan is completely different. I guess that it was his own invention. When meeting Jogye teachers I asked how do they train monks in koan/kongan, and I was told few times that it is very different, and there is more stress on some insight with one single koan in the first place, and great duobt is major factor. I had to translate some of the exact koan instructions by 3 Jogye teachers, and definitely it was different from what my friends from KU told me.
Anyway I do not say it is bad,no way, just my guess is that SS most probably for some reason developed his own system of koan practice. So people continue it today as Kwan Um school of Korean blend.

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seeker242
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by seeker242 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:28 pm

Matylda wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:43 am
When meeting Jogye teachers I asked how do they train monks in koan/kongan, and I was told few times that it is very different, and there is more stress on some insight with one single koan in the first place, and great duobt is major factor. I had to translate some of the exact koan instructions by 3 Jogye teachers, and definitely it was different from what my friends from KU told me.
Was it actual koan practice, as in all the various cases of Blue Cliff Record, etc. or was it Hwadu? Kwan um basically does both. :smile:
As far as he told me they did very intense kong an training with something like 10 obligatory koans at every 7 day retreat similar to Japanese sesshin.
It was the "10 gates" but is now the "12 gates". :smile:
https://kwanumzen.org/teaching-library/ ... elve-gates

But there is also single Hwadu practice like "Who am I" contemplation, where great doubt is major factor.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

Matylda
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by Matylda » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:24 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:28 pm
Matylda wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:43 am
When meeting Jogye teachers I asked how do they train monks in koan/kongan, and I was told few times that it is very different, and there is more stress on some insight with one single koan in the first place, and great duobt is major factor. I had to translate some of the exact koan instructions by 3 Jogye teachers, and definitely it was different from what my friends from KU told me.
Was it actual koan practice, as in all the various cases of Blue Cliff Record, etc. or was it Hwadu? Kwan um basically does both. :smile:
As far as he told me they did very intense kong an training with something like 10 obligatory koans at every 7 day retreat similar to Japanese sesshin.
It was the "10 gates" but is now the "12 gates". :smile:
https://kwanumzen.org/teaching-library/ ... elve-gates

But there is also single Hwadu practice like "Who am I" contemplation, where great doubt is major factor.
thank you. do you practice in Kwan Um?

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passel
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by passel » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:53 am

My recollection is that there was some pretty substantial influence on Korean Seon by Japanese Rinzai during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the first half of the 20th century (as part of an official policy of colonization), but that Seung Sahn's particular approach was as much influenced by the fact that students in the U.S. came to him with expectations from reading D.T. Suzuki and Harada-Yasutani- influenced material that they would be working through a koan series ("curriculum.") So he did what good teachers do and came up with something.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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seeker242
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Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by seeker242 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm

Matylda wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:24 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:28 pm
Matylda wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:43 am
When meeting Jogye teachers I asked how do they train monks in koan/kongan, and I was told few times that it is very different, and there is more stress on some insight with one single koan in the first place, and great duobt is major factor. I had to translate some of the exact koan instructions by 3 Jogye teachers, and definitely it was different from what my friends from KU told me.
Was it actual koan practice, as in all the various cases of Blue Cliff Record, etc. or was it Hwadu? Kwan um basically does both. :smile:
As far as he told me they did very intense kong an training with something like 10 obligatory koans at every 7 day retreat similar to Japanese sesshin.
It was the "10 gates" but is now the "12 gates". :smile:
https://kwanumzen.org/teaching-library/ ... elve-gates

But there is also single Hwadu practice like "Who am I" contemplation, where great doubt is major factor.
thank you. do you practice in Kwan Um?
Since the early 90s. :bow:

There is a pretty good article in the Korea Journal discussing some differences. :smile:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... _LXo2Kkvgc
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

Matylda
Posts: 704
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Kwan Um School of Zen

Post by Matylda » Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:52 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:07 pm
Matylda wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:24 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:28 pm


Was it actual koan practice, as in all the various cases of Blue Cliff Record, etc. or was it Hwadu? Kwan um basically does both. :smile:



It was the "10 gates" but is now the "12 gates". :smile:
https://kwanumzen.org/teaching-library/ ... elve-gates

But there is also single Hwadu practice like "Who am I" contemplation, where great doubt is major factor.
thank you. do you practice in Kwan Um?
Since the early 90s. :bow:

There is a pretty good article in the Korea Journal discussing some differences. :smile:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... _LXo2Kkvgc
thx

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