Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Offer your suggestions about how we can improve this forum to better serve our members, and tell us here about any technical problems.

Does Zen/Chan/Seon need its own Wheel?

1. I am a Zen/Chan/Seon practitioner and on the balance I would prefer our own dedicated space.
3
10%
2. I am a Zen/Chan/Seon practitioner and I think the Forum should stay as it is.
5
16%
3. I am a Zen/Chan/Seon practitioner and I don't care either way.
3
10%
4. I am not a Zen/Chan/Seon practitoner and I think the Forum would be better if it was more focused tradition-wise.
4
13%
5. I am not a Zen/Chan/Seon practitoner and I think the Forum should stay as it is.
12
39%
6. I am not a Zen/Chan/Seon practitoner and I don't care either way.
4
13%
 
Total votes: 31

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Dan74
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Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Dan74 » Sat May 30, 2015 10:46 am

To gauge the feelings of the members here, I wanted to create a poll, not just about whether or not Zen needs its own Wheel, but also if we are to stay as one Forum, what changes if any should be made.

Please feel free to comment constructively.

_/|\_
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sat May 30, 2015 4:59 pm

The perspective of Zen practitioners is useful to others here, and the views of broader Mahayana is similarly useful to me, especially since I do practices from a few schools sometimes.
Also there is already ZFI, and I'm not a fan so I don't go there.
Zen stink (as called in a thread on here) is much harder to get away with in a broader community like DW.
that's my opinion anyway.
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Boomerang » Sat May 30, 2015 9:20 pm

There are already forums where Zen Buddhists can do their own thing. I appreciate the inter-tradition dialogue here, and I think the community is all the better for it.
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Matt J » Sat May 30, 2015 9:49 pm

Learning about emptiness from other traditions in particular has enhanced my Zen practice to no end.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Malcolm » Sat May 30, 2015 9:59 pm

This poll is just sour grapes.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Urgyen Dorje » Sat May 30, 2015 10:52 pm

And then are people like myself who have teachers in Tibetan and East Asian traditions. The spread of Buddhism across the world allows unprecedented nonsectarian study and practice. I'd think that is a good thing.

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Dan74 » Sun May 31, 2015 12:04 am

Thank you, Folks, for doing the poll and commenting. I hope to hear from broader membership.

It is heartening to hear that some members at least benefit.

There is no sour grapes. Everybody can see that there's very little activity in the Zen/Chan/Seon parts of the forum and without adding any of my perceptions or biases I wanted to see how other members particularly Zen/Chan/Seon practitioners felt. Whether something can be improved or a separate forum was needed.

_/|\_
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sun May 31, 2015 12:21 am

Some consolidation might be good. Are the differences between Zen/Chan/Seon/Soto/Rinzai/etc. enough to merit their own subforums? After all, we don't have a Jodo Shu/Jodo Shinshu distinction in the Pure Land forum, and there are some differences in views and practices. That's my suggestion anyway, to consolidate some of the East Asian subforums... it can be a bit confusing right now.
Amitābha Buddha!
OM MA NI PE ME HUNG
TAYATA OM BEKANDZE BEKANDZE MAHA BEKANDZE RADZA SAMUDGATE SOHA

Pure Land Buddhism resources
* Teachings of Hōnen
* Jōdo-shū North America Buddhist Missions
* Free Pure Land books
* Taming the Monkey Mind
* Buddhism of Wisdom and Faith
* Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-Hung

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by DGA » Sun May 31, 2015 12:36 am

I voted no. Why? Because there are already sub-fora available for Zen practitioners to discuss Zen practice.

Also: there are two "wheel" boards: DharmaWheel, for Mahayana practitioners, and DhammaWheel, for Theravadin practitioners. Splitting Zen and cognates into a third "Wheel" implies that Zen practitioners are not Mahayana practitioners. Because Zen Buddhism is Mahayana Buddhism*, this implication is untenable.


*Anybody want to argue this point?

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Dan74 » Sun May 31, 2015 12:45 am

Jikan wrote:I voted no. Why? Because there are already sub-fora available for Zen practitioners to discuss Zen practice.

Also: there are two "wheel" boards: DharmaWheel, for Mahayana practitioners, and DhammaWheel, for Theravadin practitioners. Splitting Zen and cognates into a third "Wheel" implies that Zen practitioners are not Mahayana practitioners. Because Zen Buddhism is Mahayana Buddhism*, this implication is untenable.


*Anybody want to argue this point?
Of course I would not argue that Zen Budddhism isn't Mahayana though it has it's own unique methods. That said Zen doesn't see itself the way Vajrayana sees Mahayana and it doesn't accept that it is a path requiring incalculable aeons etc. This is partly the problem.

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun May 31, 2015 12:48 am

Dan74 wrote:
Jikan wrote:I voted no. Why? Because there are already sub-fora available for Zen practitioners to discuss Zen practice.

Also: there are two "wheel" boards: DharmaWheel, for Mahayana practitioners, and DhammaWheel, for Theravadin practitioners. Splitting Zen and cognates into a third "Wheel" implies that Zen practitioners are not Mahayana practitioners. Because Zen Buddhism is Mahayana Buddhism*, this implication is untenable.


*Anybody want to argue this point?
Of course I would not argue that Zen Budddhism isn't Mahayana though of course it has it's own unique methods. That said Zen doesn't see itself the way Vajrayana sees Mahayana and of course doesn't accept that it is a path requiring incalculable aeons etc. This is partly the problem.

Zen sees itself as superior to other Sutra traditions by virtue of being a direct path outside of scripture. This is actually quite a similar view in some ways...of course different sides will view their own take as the correct one, but Zen is not exempt in the least from viewing itself as more efficacious than other paths.
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Malcolm » Sun May 31, 2015 12:58 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Zen sees itself as superior to other Sutra traditions by virtue of being a direct path outside of scripture.
All paths are outside scriptures. There are two kinds of Dharma, the Dharma of realization and the Dharma of texts.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun May 31, 2015 1:01 am

Malcolm wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Zen sees itself as superior to other Sutra traditions by virtue of being a direct path outside of scripture.
All paths are outside scriptures. There are two kinds of Dharma, the Dharma of realization and the Dharma of texts.
Sure, realization is *always* outside of scripture, in whatever path. My point is that this is how plenty of Zen practitioners frame it, and IIRC this idea comes from straight from Bodhidharma, and the fact that Zen was very much a kind of "back to basics" movement which saw itself as a return to more essential, less scholastic pursuits.

Ah, here's the quote:

A special transmission outside the scriptures;
No dependence on words and letters;
Direct pointing to the mind of man;
Seeing into one's nature and attaining Buddhahood.
Bodhidharma


Not trying to argue the validity of this in realtion to some other position (nor do I think that's an appropriate thing to do in this thread)...just pointing out that Zen itself has a form of triumphalism in how it views itself in relation to other Sutra methods.

As someone with a Zen background prior to Vajrayana, personally I feel Zen comports pretty well with Sutra level stuff i've learned in Vajrayana, and do not experience any feeling of conflict at all between the two.. but other people's mileage may vary.
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by DGA » Sun May 31, 2015 1:32 am

Dan74 wrote:
Jikan wrote:I voted no. Why? Because there are already sub-fora available for Zen practitioners to discuss Zen practice.

Also: there are two "wheel" boards: DharmaWheel, for Mahayana practitioners, and DhammaWheel, for Theravadin practitioners. Splitting Zen and cognates into a third "Wheel" implies that Zen practitioners are not Mahayana practitioners. Because Zen Buddhism is Mahayana Buddhism*, this implication is untenable.


*Anybody want to argue this point?
Of course I would not argue that Zen Budddhism isn't Mahayana though of course it has it's own unique methods. That said Zen doesn't see itself the way Vajrayana sees Mahayana and of course doesn't accept that it is a path requiring incalculable aeons etc. This is partly the problem.
All Mahayana traditions have their own unique methods.

Zen traditions understand Zen differently from each other, so it's hardly surprising that Zen understands itself differently from how Vajrayana understands itself. But how is that a problem? And for whom is it a problem?

I don't think that's a problem. I see no one who is harmed by Zen understanding itself differently from how Vajrayana understands itself.

Further, it is not at all clear how, even if this is a problem, how it is a problem for DharmaWheel.

Further further, it is not clear how, even if it is a problem for DharmaWheel, the isolate-ourselves-from-challenging-discussion approach ZFI took years ago would be helpful for DharmaWheel members.

(by the way, how are things at ZFI of late?)

Counterarguments?

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by zengen » Sun May 31, 2015 5:03 am

I think Chan and Zen forums should be merged into one forum: Chan/Zen

As to Seon, I don't think it's needed. I didn't even know Seon means Korean Zen until a poster posted something about Seon in the Meditation forum. This whole time I didn't notice the Seon sub-forum :shock:

But what about Rinzai and Soto forums? They are quite inactive. Maybe merge Chan/Zen/Rinzai/Soto/Seon into one forum and name it Chan/Zen? Then you'll get lots of activity in one forum and not so many sub-forums which I think is quite annoying to navigate through.
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Ayu » Sun May 31, 2015 8:19 am

zengen wrote:I think Chan and Zen forums should be merged into one forum: Chan/Zen

As to Seon, I don't think it's needed. I didn't even know Seon means Korean Zen until a poster posted something about Seon in the Meditation forum. This whole time I didn't notice the Seon sub-forum :shock:

But what about Rinzai and Soto forums? They are quite inactive. Maybe merge Chan/Zen/Rinzai/Soto/Seon into one forum and name it Chan/Zen? Then you'll get lots of activity in one forum and not so many sub-forums which I think is quite annoying to navigate through.
Ah, sorry, I think this topic is not about the rearangement of subforums, but the question is if zen people feel to get any benefit out of this Dharmawheel or if there was a wish to have a new separated Zen-Wheel-Forum.

There are good answers by now and I can only join what was said before: If we only could bear that all traditions claim to be superior, the exchange of different views would be very precious and helpful often. On the other hand: all forums, that are completely isolated, have less & less traffic after some time until they die because of poor attendance.
So there is much sense in many different subforums, I think, and there is sence in splitting the main directions Theravada & Mahayana, but it doesn't make sense to separate all traditions into own boards in order to prevent discussions.

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Meido » Sun May 31, 2015 4:14 pm

Ayu wrote:If we only could bear that all traditions claim to be superior, the exchange of different views would be very precious and helpful often.
Amen.

It would be a shame for a split in forums, I think. ZFI already exists, and it suffers at times from a lack of participation by experienced practitioners.

But some thoughts in general regarding what I've observed here:

Triumphalism doesn't bother me at all, being common as noted. Since each tradition justifies its triumphalism with reference to its own texts, though, I can't fathom why anyone would think that folks adhering to other traditions would be convinced, or care to be hit over the head with such things repeatedly.

Whether or not practitioners in any tradition have actually brought one of the dime-a-dozen highest/fastest/most profound methods to fruition is the only important question, and not one to be determined in a place like this.

What does bother me a bit is the occasional lack of skillful expression. Given the limitations of communication in this format, I have come to think it important to enter conversation setting aside personal loyalties to a tradition, impulses to transform discussion into debate, and ideas that it is my job to correct others. There is a time for these things, of course: we should not hesitate to clearly say, "This is what my tradition claims". But in an open forum is it so difficult to do so making one's primary orientation a seeking of community/commonality rather than, reflexively, error - and an openness to the possibility that one's understanding of other sublime traditions (or, the understanding found in one's own tradition) is, in fact, a bit off?

We're not even talking a joint Dharmic-Abrahamic forum here, for pete's sake...just different expressions of Buddhadharma.

I personally have come away from some years of lurking, and occasionally contributing, at DW with a much more profound appreciation for other traditions, and the conclusion that triumphalist rhetoric is not actually a useful tool for accurately judging other traditions at all: it's main usefulness is for judging my own practice, which at any given time could well fall into being an expression of the lesser vehicles which my own tradition's rhetoric names and criticizes. But of course that's something for me (and my teachers) to worry about, not anyone around here.

I guess another approach is just to say whatever one wants/believes, and if folks get pissed off wash one's hands of it because really it's their problem that they're thin-skinned, ignorant and obstinate - or of inferior capacity/roots. I personally aspire to greater skill in means than that, though...and to a different approach to my own training.

~ Meido
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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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Urgyen Dorje » Sun May 31, 2015 8:44 pm

I think it would be interesting to try to stimulate more inter-sectarian dialog. I'm a noob so it's really not my place to knock on those doors...

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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:30 am

Great post Meido, thank you.
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Dan74 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:57 am

9 self identified Zen Buddhists responded and an even split. If we take this as representative of the membership, then only 1/3 seem to actually like the proximity to other traditions. This might be indicative of minority feelings. Whereas a lot more if the other Buddhists would prefer to keep the forum in its current form.

Not sure how representative this is of broader membership but maybe some food for thought...

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