A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

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jundo cohen
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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by jundo cohen » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
If you tell me I am wrong, you are praising me for being right. Guess I can't win.
Even a Zen guy must scratch his head over what the heck that means!?! :?
As all things are buddha-dharma, there are delusion, realization, practice, birth and death, buddhas and sentient beings [elephants and imaginary elephants]. As myriad things are without an abiding self, there is no delusion, no realization, no buddha, no sentient being, no birth and death [no elephants or imaginary elephants]. The buddha way, in essence, is leaping clear of abundance and lack; thus there are birth and death, delusion and realization, sentient beings and buddhas [elphants and imaginary elephants].

...

Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water [at the elephants' drinking hole :smile: ]. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water.
Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky. The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long or short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky [shining as bright as an elephant's eye].

...

A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. [An elephant runs in the jungle, and no matter how far it runs there is no end to the jungle.] However, the fish and the bird [and the elephant] have never left their elements. When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm. If the bird leaves the air it will die at once. If the fish leaves the water it will die at once [if the elephant leaves the jungle, well, it will probably be okay ... but you get the point! :sage: ]. Know that water is life and air is life [and the jungle is life]. The bird is life and the fish is life [and the elephant is life]. Life must be the bird and life must be the fish [and life must be the elephant].
http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/ ... oKoan8.htm
Gassho, J
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: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by Astus » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:40 pm

jundo cohen wrote:I feel your two posts reveal another one of the "paradox-non-paradoxes" of Soto Zen ... attaining by non-attaining, goalless goaling and such ... "joyful ease" and "diligence" ...
I don't see any paradox here. (Although you conclude the same eventually)

"there is not the slightest interval between establishment of the mind, training, bodhi, and nirvana"
(Gyoji, in SBGZ, vol 2, BDK Edition, p 163)
in a moment of Shikantaza, one can experience simply and clearly what Nagarjuna and Dogen were pointing to through all their words.
That should be the case, yes.
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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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:50 am

Question: how do you know you're not kidding yourself?

I understand that in formal Zen training, there's a process of assessment whereby the teachers validate your overall progress and 'attainment of non-attainment'. What if you have not really grasped the point of the teaching but you think that you have? If you're a solo practitioner, is there anything to tell you that your understanding is erroneous?
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by jundo cohen » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:24 am

Astus wrote: I don't see any paradox here. (Although you conclude the same eventually)

"there is not the slightest interval between establishment of the mind, training, bodhi, and nirvana"
(Gyoji, in SBGZ, vol 2, BDK Edition, p 163)
Yes, there is no "paradox" in Shikantaza, although it does seem like a paradox. It is the seeming paradox of "original enlightenment", namely, if we are already "Buddha" why don't we know it and act like it? If there is "nothing to seek and do", does that mean that we don't have to seek it? (No, we have a lot of work to do!) Here is how I usually explain it.

We begin at the bottom of the mountain, lost in ignorance. We set our mind on escaping ignorance by climbing the mountain, training, climbing higher and higher to attain the wisdom and compassion of Buddha, and all the wondrous perfection of Buddha at the summit. Up up up we climb, step by step.

However, along the way, we realize that the entire mountain has been Buddha all along, top to bottom, although the fellow at the bottom and start of the climb did not recognize so until the fog of ignorance began to clear. Soon he realizes that each step along the path, right and left, up and down, walking smoothly and even falling in the mud or poison ivy sometimes, is itself total arrival at Buddha for all is Buddha all along. Buddha good at the beginningless beginning, good in the middleless middle, good right to the endless end. Each step (even the imperfect ones in which we stumble and fall, twisting our ankle) is perfectly Buddha too. There was never any place to "get", and each step is the finish line ...

... nonetheless, one keeps walking walking, climbing climbing, actually getting better at this Practice, closer to the summit, more "Buddha-like" with time ... clearing away the fog, getting better at avoiding the mud and staying clear, now much less likely to trip and fall down (although it can still happen to even the best climbers).

Better said, in this "climbing Buddha mountain", one comes to realize that it is in fact the mountain climbing you, you climbing you, climbing climbs climbing, mountain mountaining mountain, all Buddha Buddhaing Buddha. (So many of Dogen's word plays and bent grammar was just expression of this).

One has never actually gone any "place" cause always Buddha here and Buddha there ... yet the fellow at the bottom does not know it, the fellow at the top after years of climbing is so much better at it, ever closer to Buddha. Although all "Buddha Buddhaing Buddha", the difference between a climber on her first day, and a climber 30 years down the path is that hopefully the climber 30 years down the path is 30 years better at knowing and living this "Buddha Buddhaing Buddha", ever freer of greed anger and divisive thoughts, better understanding of the trail and how to avoid those mud puddles and the poison ivy of delusion. She knows too that we are "Buddha Buddhaing Buddha" if we just sit complacent at the campsite, but also "Buddha Buddhaing Buddha" when we move and get on with life ... so she gets up to live and continue to walk, but now embodying "Buddha Buddhaing Buddha".

When we sit Shikantaza there is only sitting as sitting sitting, us, us using us, sit sitting sit, "Buddha Buddhaing Buddha" ... no place to go, nothing more in need of attaining, all fully realized and resolved ... "Buddha Buddhaing Buddha". When we get up from the cushion, off the Zafu, crawl out of the tent and get on with life we now know that we are us living life, life lifeing life ... "Buddha Buddhaing Buddha".

Every step total arrival, yet walking on and on.

Gassho, J
Last edited by jundo cohen on Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:56 am, edited 10 times in total.
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: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by jundo cohen » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:40 am

Wayfarer wrote:Question: how do you know you're not kidding yourself?

I understand that in formal Zen training, there's a process of assessment whereby the teachers validate your overall progress and 'attainment of non-attainment'. What if you have not really grasped the point of the teaching but you think that you have? If you're a solo practitioner, is there anything to tell you that your understanding is erroneous?
Hi Wayfarer,

I will tell you what I feel on this. I believe that, when one reads one of those old Koan stories in which the student gives some witty answer, and the teacher says something like "Ah, yes, that's the ticket!", the words of the answer were really the least important thing. (That is why one finds all those old Koans when two students give what seems like the same response, and the teacher approves one but not the other). My feeling is that the teacher was probably living with the fellow and seeing the "total package" of how the fellow was acting and saying in his daily life, the glint of confidence in his eye, the wisdom and compassion which the person expresses ... observing the whole person, then the teacher could know.

It is a bit like listening to Coltrane versus listening to me, who has had 5 saxophone lessons. One can hear and see who is the truly gifted musician (and who is the hack).

Now, in my own life, I feel I know a peace and harmony that has come to fill my bones even during life's greatest tumult and storm, a sense of the amazing interflowing in which you me and the other thing are but are not yet are again. It's good in the beginning middle and end, thus I dare to come here and talk about it, playing my music for you. When you know you just know. Maybe I am fooling myself? It is so good, I could not care for it bring such Peace and Wholeness to my life and this always Beautiful and sometimes very ugly world.

Further, the "proof is in the pudding" on the testing ground of life ... when you get the cancer diagnosis, live the death of the dear loved one, as you grow old and weaker, lose the cherished hope or treasure ... and one reacts to each now free of Dukkha even as the tears roll down one's face sometime, knowing that which can never be lost or broken even as the loved one is lost and the heart is broken ... at Peace in and as all life's broken and sharp pieces ... when one could react with greed or anger and instead manifests in gentleness and peace ...

... that when one is living life with grace .... one knows. One knows that this is Good Music!

That is my little view on this.

Gassho, J
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: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:46 am

That's a very beautiful and heart-felt answer and it really resonates with me, speaking subjectively. But in respect of such grand statements as to what one sees in 'one moment of shikantaza', I do wonder whether we can ever really validate such sentiments. I just fret that I might be selling them short, but never mind.

:namaste:
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by jundo cohen » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:24 pm

Wayfarer wrote:That's a very beautiful and heart-felt answer and it really resonates with me, speaking subjectively. But in respect of such grand statements as to what one sees in 'one moment of shikantaza', I do wonder whether we can ever really validate such sentiments. I just fret that I might be selling them short, but never mind.

:namaste:
Please practice and verify for yourself. I do not feel that the teacher verifies that the student knows. I feel more that the teacher verifies that the student knows that the student knows. When the student knows that the students knows, the student does not require the verification of anyone except that moment. When the teacher knows that the student knows that the student does not require verification, the teacher then may offer verification.

One thus receives what cannot be given and does not need to be received.

It is also important for the teacher to distinguish between the student who clearly through the balance and harmony Wisdom and Compassion in words and behavior, knows something good, and folks maybe who just have a bit of a peak experience or the like or some dualistic feeling or bit of insight and convince themselves that they are Maitreya come to earth. This is a living practice, and the teacher must know how the student is living. Is she living well? It is not a real and useful Insight unless it is put into practice in life, not just in the head.

Such is how I would go about things anyway.

In any event, please practice and find for yourself. It is not up to a bureaucrat like me or anyone to confirm to you with some stamps what is.

Gassho, J
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: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by Astus » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:40 pm

jundo cohen wrote:It is the seeming paradox of "original enlightenment", namely, if we are already "Buddha" why don't we know it and act like it? If there is "nothing to seek and do", does that mean that we don't have to seek it?
Everything is already empty, never has been otherwise. Ignorance itself is empty, an illusion, and not knowing that is how ignorance functions. This story of Dogen searching for an answer, wasn't that Keizan's invention, something nowhere mentioned in Dogen's works? It is a sort of basic question anyway, like asking if there is no self why do we think there is.
We begin at the bottom of the mountain, lost in ignorance. ... However, along the way, we realize that the entire mountain has been Buddha all along, top to bottom, although the fellow at the bottom and start of the climb did not recognize so until the fog of ignorance began to clear.
That is very much what the bodhisattva path is, moving from stage to stage, accumulating merit, deepening wisdom, and at the same time it's prajnaparamita all along. Zen is shedding body-mind completely, not just one piece at a time.
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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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by Astus » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:35 pm

Wayfarer wrote:Question: how do you know you're not kidding yourself?
One is always kidding oneself. "I am correct." - that's a thought. "I am wrong." - that's another thought. Creating an identity of either is the basic error.
there's a process of assessment
There is no measuring stick. It's up to whatever the local teacher considers acceptable.
What if you have not really grasped the point of the teaching but you think that you have?
Ultimately, all views are wrong. What amounts to correct view in Buddhism is what helps in abandoning unwholesome qualities, developing wholesome qualities, and letting go of attachments.
If you're a solo practitioner, is there anything to tell you that your understanding is erroneous?
There are a lot of things, starting with the sutras and shastras. Correct view develops from learning. Besides that, zazen is not simply a practice, but also verification. That is, if one pays attention to one's experiences, it becomes crystal clear that there is no physical or mental phenomena that is permanent. That's Zen's direct approach. Otherwise, one can follow the instructions for insight meditation.
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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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by jundo cohen » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:08 pm

I came across on nice Koan story, retold by Dogen in "Shōbōgenzō Ikka-no-myōju (One Bright Pearl)" that touches on a lot of what we have been discussing in this thread ...

... Realization in the body although it is said [by Malcolm? :tongue: ] "all is empty" ... stumbling on the mountain walk ... a student recognized for "knowing that he knows it", but another student rejected for just mouthing the same words or philosophizing up in his head ... not needing to travel anywhere to find [or not travel to find, for that matter] for all is the jewel here there and all around ... this one bright pearl that is all ...

In [this] sahā world, in the great kingdom of Song [China, there lived] Great Master [Gensha]. One day [while still a young monk, a student of Master Seppo], in order to explore widely the surrounding districts, he leaves the mountain, carrying a [traveling] bag. But as he does so, he stubs his toe on a stone. Bleeding and in great pain, [Gensha] all at once seriously reflects as follows: “[They say] this body is not real existence. Where does the pain come from?” He thereupon returns to Seppō. Seppō asks him, “What is it [tough guy]?” Gensha says, “In the end I just cannot be deceived by others.” Seppō, loving these words very much, says, “Is there anyone who does not have these words [inside them]? [But] is there anyone who can speak these words?” Seppō asks further, “Why do you not go exploring?” [Gensha] says, “Bodhidharma did not come to the Eastern Lands [of China, although his historically is said to have done so]; the Second Patriarch did not go to the Western Heavens [of India, although historically he is said not to have done so].” Seppō praised this very much.

,,, After he had attained the truth at last, Gensha taught people with the words that the whole universe in ten directions is one bright pearl. One day a monk asks him, “I have heard the master’s words that the whole universe in ten directions is one bright pearl. How should the student understand [this]?” The master [Gensha] says, “The whole universe in ten directions is one bright pearl. What use is understanding?” On a later day the master asks the question back to the monk, “The whole universe in ten directions is one bright pearl. How do you understand [this]?” The monk says, “The whole universe in ten directions is one bright pearl. What use is understanding?” The master says, “I see that you are struggling to get inside a demon’s cave in a black mountain [i.e., you have your head where the sun don't shine :smile: ]”
Gassho, J
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: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by Wayfarer » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:56 pm

thank you both for the wise advice. Won't miss any days in April!

:namaste:
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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by krodha » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:11 pm

Astus wrote:
krodha wrote:The bodhisattva path begins with the direct realization championed by Dogen.
Where is that assertion from? Dogen is fairly clear that zazen is complete enlightenment.

"The zazen I speak of is not meditation practice. It is simply the dharma gate of joyful ease, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment." (Fukanzazengi)
Right, this just means zazen is technically resting in equipoise — a direct knowledge of dharmatā.

The first instance of bodhi is a complete awakening, but it is not fully omniscient buddhahood.

This idea that sentient beings are able to miraculously awaken to fully omniscient buddhahood in one fell swoop just because they practice zen is wholly unrealistic. The path does not dictate the capacity of the practitioner.

Awakening to instant buddhahood is essentially unheard of. I'm not sure where the idea that this is the case for zen practitioners, or any practitioners for that matter, originated from. A misreading of the principle texts, I would argue.

"Practice-realization" is simply resting in jñāna, which is unsteady and intermittent until the time of buddhahood.

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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by Astus » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:11 pm

krodha wrote:Awakening to instant buddhahood is essentially unheard of
from Sokushin Zebutsu:

the Sotoshu doctrine is to realize (joto) shikantaza (just sitting) and sokushin zebutsu (the mind itself is Buddha).
In “Gakudo Yojinshu” (“Points to Watch in Practicing the Way”), joto is explained by Dogen Zenji as follows:

Joto (realizing) is to directly realize Buddhahood with this body-mind. In other words, it is not to change the former state of body-mind into some other special state but just to follow the realization of the other (one’s teacher). It is called jikige (right here) or joto.

The fundamental Sotoshu teaching is that of realizing Buddhahood through shikantaza and sokushin zebutsu in each moment. Therefore sokushin zebutsu, as well as shikantaza, is a very important term and a basic teaching for Soto Zen Buddhists.
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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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by krodha » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:32 pm

Astus wrote:
krodha wrote:Awakening to instant buddhahood is essentially unheard of
from Sokushin Zebutsu:

the Sotoshu doctrine is to realize (joto) shikantaza (just sitting) and sokushin zebutsu (the mind itself is Buddha).
In “Gakudo Yojinshu” (“Points to Watch in Practicing the Way”), joto is explained by Dogen Zenji as follows:

Joto (realizing) is to directly realize Buddhahood with this body-mind. In other words, it is not to change the former state of body-mind into some other special state but just to follow the realization of the other (one’s teacher). It is called jikige (right here) or joto.

The fundamental Sotoshu teaching is that of realizing Buddhahood through shikantaza and sokushin zebutsu in each moment. Therefore sokushin zebutsu, as well as shikantaza, is a very important term and a basic teaching for Soto Zen Buddhists.
This is just a colorful way to state that "buddhahood" as such, is an inborn quality, within one's "body-mind", and isn't to be acquired elsewhere. Pretty standard fare.

In my opinion, that passage isn't saying that one awakens to fully omniscient buddhahood in one fell swoop. Just that the reality of what buddhahood entails is directly encountered through awakening [bodhi].

But we may have to agree to disagree.

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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by Astus » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:45 pm

krodha wrote:In my opinion, that passage isn't saying that one awakens to fully omniscient buddhahood in one fell swoop. Just that the reality of what buddhahood entails is directly encountered through awakening [bodhi].
Do you know of teachings in Zen, and in its Soto branch, where they establish the distinction you talk about?
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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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Post by jundo cohen » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:45 pm

krodha wrote:
Astus wrote:
krodha wrote:The bodhisattva path begins with the direct realization championed by Dogen.
Where is that assertion from? Dogen is fairly clear that zazen is complete enlightenment.

"The zazen I speak of is not meditation practice. It is simply the dharma gate of joyful ease, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment." (Fukanzazengi)
Right, this just means zazen is technically resting in equipoise — a direct knowledge of dharmatā.

The first instance of bodhi is a complete awakening, but it is not fully omniscient buddhahood.

This idea that sentient beings are able to miraculously awaken to fully omniscient buddhahood in one fell swoop just because they practice zen is wholly unrealistic. The path does not dictate the capacity of the practitioner.

Awakening to instant buddhahood is essentially unheard of. I'm not sure where the idea that this is the case for zen practitioners, or any practitioners for that matter, originated from. A misreading of the principle texts, I would argue.

"Practice-realization" is simply resting in jñāna, which is unsteady and intermittent until the time of buddhahood.
I hope it is okay, but because this was a bit off topic, I started another thread about it ...

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=107&t=22352

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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