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

Post by Astus » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:30 am

1. There are separate sections for 'Tibetan Buddhism' and 'East Asian Buddhism'. That is in recognition of their different historical development.
2. There is no Vajrayana forum in and of itself anywhere here, unless one counts Shingon as that, but that is in the EA section, exactly because it is an EA school.
3. Sub-forums in the Zen area were created years ago because at that time people thought it is worth trying. It might be reconsidered, but I don't think it makes a difference in any way.
4. ZFI is a different type of forum that focuses mostly on Zen, not even EA Buddhism.
5. I cannot account for the low traffic in the Zen area here, but I don't see either how setting up a Falun/Hourin 法輪 (i.e. Law Wheel) forum separately could bring in more people, unless perhaps by drawing in more English speaking Asians.
6. Just because there is not the same amount of interaction in the Zen area as in other parts does not mean there is a problem. Dogen was happy with training only a couple of monks in the countryside, just as Zhaozhou spent his teaching years in a small remote monastery.
7. As perhaps mentioned already, it is better not to think of all the traditions as separate Buddhisms but as various skilful means. Both EA and Tibetan Buddhism developed a fairly unified set where every section of the Tripitaka has its place. The difficulty is that the Tibetan and the East Asian systems have not yet been harmonised. And to this process I'd add Theravada as well, since all three major parts of Buddhism meet in the West and also globally.
8. There are at least a few of us who have benefitted from studying various traditions. And for everyone on the Mahayana path there is a universal vow: "Dharma-gates are measureless, I vow to learn them." (Famen wuliang shiyuan xue 法門無量誓願學)
9. It may seem that Zen has a sectarian approach, and certainly there are examples for that. But if we take a closer look, in China, Korea and Vietnam it was and still is mostly a unifying idea and not a dividing one. As for Japan, its modern history is different, but Dogen's words should be remembered: "Those who randomly call themselves by the name “Zen sect,” which has never existed in India in the west or in the Eastern Lands, from the past to the present, are demons out to destroy the Buddha’s truth." (Butsudo, in Shobogenzo, vol 3, p 88, BDK Edition) Those who believe otherwise have yet to find out that the eyes are horizontal and the nose is vertical.
10. As I see it, this forum provides space both for discussions among Zen followers and among followers of different paths. Conflicts are inevitable, the question is whether one can solve them or not. Monasteries are rarely defined by what doctrine they follow, and people can live together simply by observing the precepts in general and the local rules and customs in particular. I think that should be the example here as well.
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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lobster
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by lobster » Fri Jun 05, 2015 5:11 am

Meido wrote:
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
:ban:

oops I mean :good:

I feel that the aspiration and practice of skill is through de-cloaking/de-lurking and getting ones ablutions out of the way ready for the dirtying ...

'Zen Forum International' is an excellent forum for practicing Vajrayana 'Dharma debate', however the approach and insights have a different emphasis.

How do you feel this expression can be practiced? More forums? More practice? More zennies? More inter-forum drift; perhaps?

Personally I feel the clarity exercised in your post for example, would be a welcome empowerment ... :woohoo:

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

Post by Lindama » Fri Jun 05, 2015 5:37 am

Dan74 wrote: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...
Sorry to see your conclusions Dan, don't be fooled by others. Self identification can't be trusted either. Separation is the root of suffering.
Not last night,
not this morning,
melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho

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

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:28 am

Greetings,
Malcolm wrote:This poll is just sour grapes.
No - this is governance based on something other than self-styled autocratic leadership.

I voted for things to stay as they are because Zen Forum International exists already as an option for those interested in an exclusively Zen-focused forum.

As I see it, the bodhisattva vow that Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners share in common should be adequate common grounds to enable mutual respect and a positive cross-pollenation of beneficial Dharma discussion. Buddhist forums require a certain critical mass to be viable and interesting to participants so I'm not in favour of any unnecessary fragmentation.

Maitri,
Retro. :)
Live in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.

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

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:06 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
Malcolm wrote:This poll is just sour grapes.
No - this is governance based on something other than self-styled autocratic leadership.
No, it is sour grapes based on an interaction that Dan and I had which he found troublesome and frustrating, which is resulted in yet another untenable TOS resolution (like the one about metadiscussions).
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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Ayu
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Ayu » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
Malcolm wrote:This poll is just sour grapes.
No - this is governance based on something other than self-styled autocratic leadership.
No, it is sour grapes based on an interaction that Dan and I had which he found troublesome and frustrating, which is resulted in yet another untenable TOS resolution (like the one about metadiscussions).
This is how you think, but you've put your informations in a wrong way together. :namaste:

Please: :focus:
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:16 pm

Dan74 wrote: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...
One cannot count the three who responded as negatives, a third responded that they don't care either way.

Anyway, fragmentation is normal in internet forums. Vajracakra, for example, exists because people became unhappy here and so they left. Some of them still no longer post here. Some of them bounce back and forth.

Personally, I go where there are conversations that are of interest to me to participate in, such as the one Astus and I were having in the Mahāyāna thread that spawned this absurd poll.

Frankly, Dan, if you want to have another Zen forum that is not dominated by Nonin, you should. It is not hard. It is easy. It will not actually cause people to stop participating here. Then you can limit conversations to those you find palatable.
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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Malcolm
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:17 pm

Ayu wrote: This is how you think, but you've put your informations in a wrong way together. :namaste:
Umm no, I haven't.
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

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

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:21 pm

How is Malcolm's post a departure from the topic ?... :shrug: I have no dog in this fight at all..but his point seems entirely germane. :shrug:
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

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

Post by Ayu » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:30 pm

Please take any "fight" you want to have, via PM! It is off topic here
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:37 pm

Ayu wrote:Please take any "fight" you want to have, via PM! It is off topic here
No one is fighting.
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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Ayu
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Ayu » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Ayu wrote:Please take any "fight" you want to have, via PM! It is off topic here
No one is fighting.
Very good. Then Simon E. will read that for sure. :smile: I quoted his word: "fight".
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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

Post by plwk » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:48 pm

...not just about whether or not Zen needs its own Wheel,
I doubt it. Since the nativity of this site, it has been slow but steady and hardly warrants another site of its own which in turn will create another administrative headache and cost to David where as it is, this site is already fortunate to have a dedicated team to manage.
...but also if we are to stay as one Forum, what changes if any should be made.
Perhaps, the Rinzai & Soto sections could be subsumed as sub forums under Zen with Zen as its main general forum rather than the present layout of 'Zen, Chan, Seon, Rinzai, Soto'?

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

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:52 pm

Ayu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Ayu wrote:Please take any "fight" you want to have, via PM! It is off topic here
No one is fighting.
Very good. Then Simon E. will read that for sure. :smile: I quoted his word: "fight".
He was using an idiomatic expression in English: "I have no dog in this fight at all," which means " I have no personal stake in this issue." Similar expressions, "I don't have a horse in this race", etc. It does not mean that there is a "fight".
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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Ayu
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Re: Poll: Should Zen/Chan/Seon have a separate Forum?

Post by Ayu » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:55 pm

Malcolm wrote:...
He was using an idiomatic expression in English: "I have no dog in this fight at all," which means " I have no personal stake in this issue." Similar expressions, "I don't have a horse in this race", etc. It does not mean that there is a "fight".
Ah, thanks for that explaination. I never heard this idiom before. :namaste:
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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

Post by Dan74 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:58 pm

Thank you Folks for constructive suggestions.

As for any implication of me wanting conversations that I find 'palatable', rather than 'frustrating' or 'troublesome' - this isn't my concern at all, nor is it how this Forum works. The Staff discuss matters together and thrash out a consensus course. As Retro said, it is not an autocracy and as an Admin, I just have a few extra duties. The overarching objective is to provide a space for robust debate but also a supportive collegiate environment. I know this Forum doesn't always conform to the course some members would like it to take, but lets be pragmatic here and return to the OP. If you have other suggestions, please put them in the Suggestions forum, PM us, etc.

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