A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

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

Postby Malcolm » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:44 pm

jundo cohen wrote:It goes on from there ...

https://web.stanford.edu/group/scbs/szt ... ation.html



Seems very straight-forward to me.
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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Postby jundo cohen » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:
jundo cohen wrote:It goes on from there ...

https://web.stanford.edu/group/scbs/szt ... ation.html



Seems very straight-forward to me.


Maybe you have an ear for his jazz. I dig it too.

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

Postby Malcolm » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:03 pm

Malcolm wrote:
jundo cohen wrote:It goes on from there ...

https://web.stanford.edu/group/scbs/szt ... ation.html



Seems very straight-forward to me.


For example, the Chinese original text where it literally reads Bodhidharma faced a wall for 9 years, in the Tibetan translation of the same passage, the passage reads "faced reality." In explaining Chan to Tibetans, Chinese Chan masters often had to depoetacize their texts to make them understandable to Tibetans. Studying Chan texts in Tibetan translation is illuminating because of the (invisible) oral commentary that was required to make often multivalent passages in Chinese comprehensible to non-Chinese speakers, and it gives us a sense of use of how colloquial passages that are hard to understand were understood at that time.

I suggest you pick up a copy of Tibetan Zen.
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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Postby Norwegian » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:20 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
jundo cohen wrote:It goes on from there ...

https://web.stanford.edu/group/scbs/szt ... ation.html



Seems very straight-forward to me.


For example, the Chinese original text where it literally reads Bodhidharma faced a wall for 9 years, in the Tibetan translation of the same passage, the passage reads "faced reality." In explaining Chan to Tibetans, Chinese Chan masters often had to depoetacize their texts to make them understandable to Tibetans. Studying Chan texts in Tibetan translation is illuminating because of the (invisible) oral commentary that was required to make often multivalent passages in Chinese comprehensible to non-Chinese speakers, and it gives us a sense of use of how colloquial passages that are hard to understand were understood at that time.

I suggest you pick up a copy of Tibetan Zen.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/1559394463/

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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Postby jundo cohen » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:28 pm

Norwegian wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Seems very straight-forward to me.


For example, the Chinese original text where it literally reads Bodhidharma faced a wall for 9 years, in the Tibetan translation of the same passage, the passage reads "faced reality." In explaining Chan to Tibetans, Chinese Chan masters often had to depoetacize their texts to make them understandable to Tibetans. Studying Chan texts in Tibetan translation is illuminating because of the (invisible) oral commentary that was required to make often multivalent passages in Chinese comprehensible to non-Chinese speakers, and it gives us a sense of use of how colloquial passages that are hard to understand were understood at that time.

I suggest you pick up a copy of Tibetan Zen.

http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/1559394463/


Been reading it. Zen, like much of Buddhism, comes in many flavors, pure and mixed.

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

Postby Malcolm » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:43 pm

jundo cohen wrote:
Been reading it. Zen, like much of Buddhism, comes in many flavors, pure and mixed.

Gassho, J


Pretty sure Tibetan Chan was no less pure than Japanese Zen.
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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Postby jundo cohen » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:
jundo cohen wrote:
Been reading it. Zen, like much of Buddhism, comes in many flavors, pure and mixed.

Gassho, J


Pretty sure Tibetan Chan was no less pure than Japanese Zen.


Yes, of course. Tibetan Chan purely Tibetan Chan. Japanese Soto Zen purely Japanese Soto Zen.

All Purely Chan, thoroughly each other, yet just itself. All just what they are.

Always precisely the same, though sometimes very different. Sometimes quite quite different, yet ever just the same.

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

Postby Astus » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:32 pm

As I understand it, the essence of Dogen's message is zazen, and the essence of zazen is hishiryo, also called shinjindatsuraku. What is non-thinking, dropping off body and mind? The experience that whatever appears there is nothing to grasp. And what is the essence of Nagarjuna's teaching? It is that all phenomena are without substance, hence there is nothing to grasp. So, in terms of goal, they likely agree. In terms of method, however, there is the difference between the gradual stages of the bodhisattva taught by Nagarjuna, and the direct realisation taught by Dogen.
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

Postby krodha » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:58 pm

Astus wrote:So, in terms of goal, they likely agree. In terms of method, however, there is the difference between the gradual stages of the bodhisattva taught by Nagarjuna, and the direct realisation taught by Dogen.

The bodhisattva path begins with the direct realization championed by Dogen.

The bhūmis and paths simply convey a decrease in karmic obscuration and an increase in omniscience. Something a Zen adherent would also experience.

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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Postby Matt J » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:14 am

Piecing the logic of the statements in this thread together, it seems that theoretically, Soto Zen should be producing more enlightened students than paths that use concepts and philosophy.

I don't think its a matter of resonance but a matter of capacity. Personally, I think Zen is actually high capacity stuff--- but high teachings require students with high capacity to receive it. So if you don't have the capacity, it seems the message is to find another tradition. In other traditions, you might find a wide variety of approaches--- which may include both conceptual and non-conceptual forms of practice. Rather than either/or, it's both/and. For those who aren't caught up in analysis and concepts, Madhyamaka might not be necessary. For those who are, it is a real blessing to be able to walk step-by-step into discovering how empty concepts really are.

jundo cohen wrote:I measure a "successful" Zen practice when it allows the Practitioner to realize (grock) one's True Nature, then realize (making real) such in one's daily life. The student is freed of Dukkha, sees through the appearances of this ordinary world of birth and death, lives gently and in peace, piercing the interconnection and interflowing of all things in Sunyata.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:02 am

Matt J wrote:I don't think its a matter of resonance but a matter of capacity. Personally, I think Zen is actually high capacity stuff--- but high teachings require students with high capacity to receive it. So if you don't have the capacity, it seems the message is to find another tradition.

Despite what I may think privately, I would hesitate to make any claim that implies that Zen is any way superior to another tradition, even (or especially) on a Zen subforum.

If it is a matter of capacity that allows one individual to benefit more from the Zen approach than another, then that individual's capacity is a capacity for Zen.

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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:38 pm

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)
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

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:49 pm

Matt J wrote:I don't think its a matter of resonance but a matter of capacity. Personally, I think Zen is actually high capacity stuff--- but high teachings require students with high capacity to receive it.


"A person who seems superficially dull but has a sincere aspiration will attain enlightenment more quickly than one who is clever in a worldly sense. Although he could not recite even a single verse, Cudapanthaka, one of the disciples of the Buddha, gained enlightenment during one summer practice period because he had earnest aspiration."
(Zuimonki 2.20)

"There is a saying in the secular world, “I sell gold, but no one will buy it.” The Way of the buddhas and patriarchs is also like this. It is not that they begrudge the Way; even though it is always being offered, no one will accept it. To attain the Way does not depend on whether you are inherently sharp or dull witted. Each one of us can be aware of the dharma. Slowness or quickness in attaining the Way depends on whether you are diligent or indolent. The difference between being diligent or indolent is caused by whether your aspiration is resolute or not. Lack of firm aspiration is caused by being unaware of impermanence. Ultimately speaking, we die moment by moment, not residing for even a little while. While you are alive, do not spend your time in vain."
(Zuimonki 6.9)
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

Postby jundo cohen » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:14 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
Despite what I may think privately, I would hesitate to make any claim that implies that Zen is any way superior to another tradition, even (or especially) on a Zen subforum.

If it is a matter of capacity that allows one individual to benefit more from the Zen approach than another, then that individual's capacity is a capacity for Zen.


I feel so too.

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

Postby jundo cohen » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:36 pm

Hi Astus,

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" ...

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)


and

"A person who seems superficially dull but has a sincere aspiration will attain enlightenment more quickly than one who is clever in a worldly sense. Although he could not recite even a single verse, Cudapanthaka, one of the disciples of the Buddha, gained enlightenment during one summer practice period because he had earnest aspiration."
(Zuimonki 2.20)


Seems like Dogen is talking out of "both sides of his no sided mouth" on this question of "attaining enlightenment." Zazen is "totally culminated enlightenment" and yet we must "attain enlightenment".

Which is it? Yes! :twothumbsup:

In our way, one "attains" by realizing what one has been all along, and thus has no need of "attaining." It is rather like someone standing in Times Square who has been looking to get to New York City. By settling the mind in Shikantaza's "joyful ease" of "total culmination" the eyes open to where one has been living all along (better said, the bustling Metropolis is just who we are and have been all along). One gets to NYC by realizing NYC, not by searching for it in New Jersey.

Likewise, we need diligence and "earnest aspiration" to realize this "nothing to attain", and can't be lazy about it! Sometimes one has to be very attentive to clear the eyes to see this Buddha Big Apple. :smile: There must be realization right to the bone. We must police these city streets, clearing Time Square of all the greed anger and divided thinking that pollutes if we wish to see it clearly in all its shining glory. The result is discovering that Manhattan has always been one's Marrow, so ever right to the bone.

Then one must get on with making it real, by living in this Truth. Being the City is one thing, figuring out how to live in it with all its seeming complexity, greed, anger and ignorance, is another. That takes diligence and energy and "earnest application" too. One "gets to Buddha City" too by living as Mayor Buddha recommends and shows us about following the Law. This is the "Bodhisattva Path" revealed in each word thought and act of City Life, i.e., Practice-Enlightenment as a Bodhisattva in the Five Buroughs.

These days especially, people only know how to chase chase chase to get get get. In Shikantaza, one learns to diligently and energetically give up the chase totally to find that which cannot be "got" because our bounty all along, finding the "ease" and "rest" that is present at the heart of lifes greatest "dis-ease" and "un-rest" (I mean, notice that the word "dis-ease" holds the word "east" within it, and "un-rest" contains "rest". Thus we might say that we find the "ease" that has always been within "dis-ease" when properly seen, the "rest" never missing from "unrest". :tongue: )

The "paradox" proves to have been no paradox at all, and all seeming contradictions are resolved.

Getting back to Nagarjuna, perhaps that is what he was pointing to with all his fancy deconstructions. in a moment of Shikantaza, one can experience simply and clearly what Nagarjuna and Dogen were pointing to through all their words.

Gassho, J

PS - Sorry, I tend to run a bit far with my similes and metaphors sometimes.
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

Postby Malcolm » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:10 pm

jundo cohen wrote:
Getting back to Nagarjuna, perhaps that is what he was pointing to with all his fancy deconstructions.


Nāgārjuna was not pointing to anything in MMK. If you want to understand what Nāgārjuna was pointing to, you need to read the Praise to the Inconceivable (Acintyastava):

    One who asserts dualities in pristine consciousness
    such as birth and death,
    coming and going,
    or bondage and liberation,
    does not know reality.
    There is no arising from anywhere,
    that is what nirvana is;
    because of being similar to an illusory elephant,
    in reality, peaceful from the start.
    Even arising does not arise,
    held to be just like an illusory elephant.
    In the same way too everything arises,
    or in reality, never arises.
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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Postby jundo cohen » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:
    One who asserts dualities in pristine consciousness
    such as birth and death,
    coming and going,
    or bondage and liberation,
    does not know reality.
    There is no arising from anywhere,
    that is what nirvana is;
    because of being similar to an illusory elephant,
    in reality, peaceful from the start.
    Even arising does not arise,
    held to be just like an illusory elephant.
    In the same way too everything arises,
    or in reality, never arises.


But to see only so is one sided (perhaps no sided) when reality is not one not two sided ...

... and thus too reality in pristine consciousness is
birth and death,
coming and going,
knowing and not knowing,
bondage and liberation
... the realization of which is liberation
...for everything arises and never arises as one,
... as even non arising does not arise.

Buddha tames a panicked tusker.

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

Postby Malcolm » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:36 pm

jundo cohen wrote:
... and thus too reality in pristine consciousness is
birth and death,
coming and going,
knowing and not knowing,
bondage and liberation
... the realization of which is liberation
...for everything arises and never arises as one,
... as even non arising does not arise.

Buddha tames a panicked tusker.

Gassho, J


No, Jundo.

There is no one, no two, and it goes without saying that nonarising never arose.

No panicked elephants to tame. There aren't even elephant tamers.
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Re: A Tale of Two (Not Two) Nagarjunas

Postby jundo cohen » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:No, Jundo.

There is no one, no two, and it goes without saying that nonarising never arose.

No panicked elephants to tame. There aren't even elephant tamers.


Sorry, Malcolm. What you say is absolutely right, yet it is completely and utterly wrong.

This world is completely empty. This world is totally full. A blind man gropes the imaginary elephant.

(anyone who says otherwise is totally full of it. :tongue: )

Gassho, J
Last edited by jundo cohen on Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:42 pm, edited 1 time 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

Postby Malcolm » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:40 pm

jundo cohen wrote:
Malcolm wrote:No, Jundo.

There is no one, no two, and it goes without saying that nonarising never arose.

No panicked elephants to tame. There aren't even elephant tamers.


Sorry, Malcolm. What you say is absolutely right, yet it is completely and utterly wrong.

This world is completely empty. This world is totally full.

Gassho, J


If you tell me I am wrong, you are praising me for being right. Guess I can't win.
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