The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Temicco
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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Temicco » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:57 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:52 am
Temicco wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:52 am
LuisR wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:26 pm
Does Zen follow the Four Noble Truths? If so what texts do they get it from?
Classically, Zen does not "follow" or posit any doctrines. Except maybe that it doesn't follow any doctrines.
I think that's a bit of a misreading, because as is evident from the OP and some of the comments beneath, Zen (and related schools) have produced an enormous body of literature and commentary. Zen and Ch'an monasteries typically have libraries and adhere to a pretty strict schedule and monastic routine. Sure there are also wandering mendicants and solitary practitioners but I think the idea that Zen doesn't follow or posit doctrines is something of a simplification.
No, it's actually a common refrain throughout that enormous body of literature and commentary. Read the teachings of Huangbo Xiyun or Deshan Xuanjian, for example. These were major monastics in the tradition saying such things.
"Deliberate upon that which does not deliberate."
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Re: Chan Texts: Translations & Studies

Post by Grigoris » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:26 pm

Temicco wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:48 am
Really? There is nothing grasping or identifying about setting the record straight as to how Zen is actually traditionally taught. It is people who want Zen to follow their ideals and thus misrepresent it who have that problem.

I am far from free of the three poisons, but that is manifest in other areas.
You are grasping to the idea that there are no Zen Buddhist doctrines, when quite clearly there are.

What you call "traditionally taught" is just the method of a certain tradition.

It is a common fantasy among western Zen converts. But even if it were the case, it would just mean that the Zen doctrine is no doctrine, which is still a doctrine.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Chan Texts: Translations & Studies

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:31 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:26 pm
[talking about someone else's position] the Zen doctrine is no doctrine, which is still a doctrine.
Is no doctrine a doctrine?

"What are your doctrines."
"None. We don't have any."
"Is that doctrine?"
"No."
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

haha
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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by haha » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:35 pm

LuisR wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:20 pm
How important are these to Mahayana and what source text do they get it from? Thank you.
Whether one practices Sravakayana or Mahayana, The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path are equally important. If one is regarded to gain higher insight in Dharma practice, he or she can’t go contrary to the eight fold path and to sixteen aspects of the four noble truths. One may not know the exact words, one definitely know the meaning. Generally speaking, Mahayana includes all Sravakayana practices.

Even it is practiced in Vajrayana.

In this world hatred never ceases with hatred
With non hatred it ceases, this is the ancient lore.

Upakilesasuttaṃ

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Re: Chan Texts: Translations & Studies

Post by Grigoris » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:37 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:31 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:26 pm
[talking about someone else's position] the Zen doctrine is no doctrine, which is still a doctrine.
Is no doctrine a doctrine?

"What are your doctrines."
"None. We don't have any."
"Is that doctrine?"
"No."
Yes, mainly because it goes a lot further than that. There is a whole explanation as to why there is no doctrine. There is a theoretical and philosophical analysis of what it means to have no doctrine. There is a method by which one practices without a doctrine. Etc...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:46 pm

LuisR wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:20 pm
How important are these to Mahayana and what source text do they get it from? Thank you.
Any Buddha teaches 4NT.
She glares menacingly at your corpse.

The criticisms of others are like wrathful mantras. Fast purification. Welcome it. -can’t remember who

ItsRaining
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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by ItsRaining » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:46 pm

Temicco wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:55 am
ItsRaining wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:43 am
Temicco wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:47 am


Nice try.

The 4 noble truths are very rarely discussed in Zen texts; I suspect this may relate to the fact that they are a shravaka teaching per the Mahayana sutras.
The Four Noble Truths are not just Sravaka teachings, in the Tiantai school from the Sravakayana to the Perfect teaching each one has their own set of Four Noble Truths. And the Flower Garland Sutra has a chapter on the Four Noble Truths that state it’s importance and that it’s taught by all Buddhas under various names.
Sure, I am just relating how the sutras present them. Apparently Tiantai is fine with nevertheless incorporating the 4NT, but you won't see the same enthusiasm in most Zen texts. I'm not familiar with the Avatamsaka chapter, so I'll give that a look -- thanks.
Which Mahayana sutras present the Four Nobles truths like that?

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Re: Chan Texts: Translations & Studies

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:07 pm

Temicco wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:47 am
I suspect this may relate to the fact that they are a shravaka teaching per the Mahayana sutras.
It's generally an E. Asian thing, largely because of the Mahayana sutras, but also, I would argue, the influence of Nagarjuna who deconstructs many teachings including the Four Noble Truths in Mulamadhyamikakarika.

Zhiyi who is also very influential in E. Asia analyzes the Four Noble Truths in terms of the Tetralemma, concluding the neither/nor view is the highest, framing the 4NT, like all dharmas, as Inconceivable, and contextualizing provisional teachings as those given to Sravaka in relation to the Real Aspect of Reality.

This gets into the issue of upaya/Buddha wisdom correspondence. Beyond the scope of this particular question.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Vasana » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:09 pm

Suffering , it's causes and cessation are clearly taught in Mahayana just as dependent origination and the wheel of rebirth is taught in both. It's the spokes of the 4th truth that are presented differently in Mahayana and Zen.

Why would anyone practice Mahayana or Zen for that matter if there were not some foundational motivating factor to begin with ? I.e - the recognition that suffering and dissatisfaction is evident and that these teachings present methods and insights to uproot the causes of those .
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:14 pm

Vasana wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:09 pm
Suffering , it's causes and cessation are clearly taught in Mahayana just as dependent origination and the wheel of rebirth is taught in both. It's the spokes of the 4th truth that are presented differently in Mahayana and Zen.

Why would anyone practice Mahayana or Zen for that matter if there were not some foundational motivating factor to begin with ? I.e - the recognition that suffering and dissatisfaction is evident and that these teachings present methods and insights to uproot the causes of those .
So I'm going to try and tackle a subtle point here and hope this illuminates why the 4NT are not emphasized in East Asian Buddhism. For one, see my post above - 4NT are Sravakayana; Nagarjuna's influence; Tientai view.

I'm going to put aside the sources and just try and explain the view, so don't crucify me if my post is not properly footnoted. This is for information purposes.

To define unenlightened life as suffering is rather arbitrary - "coarse". As the higher teachings inform us, there really is no suffering - suffering is the side effect of a glitch in our perception of reality. That said, there are these experiences which the Buddha referred to in order to problematize ordinary life, but his point was not to create some morbid world view - "Suffering, suffering, all is suffering." Rather, his point was to show people how they could be freed from the unwanted side effects of life lived as little more than immediate, largely unthinking reaction to stimuli. By defining Suffering, he set down a dharma against which a path could be formulated, but more importantly, could be ascribed with meaning, that would lead people toward liberation from mistaken perceptions about life and those nasty, uncomfortable side effects on an individual level. This simple view and path could also serve as the creed on which an institution could be founded, the four-fold Sangha, that would endure and share this wisdom for generations to come; Buddha was not merely a wise man; he was a great leader of men who understood how to organize people (around a simple idea - a banner or Standard) into enduring social structures that could survive without a charismatic leader (just as Augustus established a system of government in Rome that endured centuries of inept leadership) (that's the training Gotama received as a boy who would be a king and a general). I digress.

But back to suffering - by defining unenlightened life as suffering, Buddha simplified life to a single, problematic principle. That simple problematic principle implies a simple cause. That simple cause implies a simple solution: bring karma to its end in parinirvana. The actual solution in practice drew on the meditative sciences that were being developed and refined by the sravakas (in the generic, not exclusively Buddhist sense of that word). And now, there was a sangha of lay supporters and dedicated practitioners, endeavoring for parinirvana.

Now Buddha had to address the excess of the pursuit of nirvana, and all these people exerting all their effort to bringing all clinging to an end. First he taught about this greater ideal - the bodhisattva - the being who puts off nirvana in order to work for the liberation of other beings. This expanded the Buddhist path beyond the relatively short religious career of the sravakas - a few life times, at most, until nirvana is attained - to three eons, or more. The 4NT however stays intact though drawn out.

Then he revealed these bodhisattvas who actually put off nirvana until all beings are liberated - essentially a perpetual bodhisattva career.

The 4NT then become indefinite - the completion of the 8 Fold Path is no longer the point, but rather perpetual practice for others... still, theoretically, once infinity is exhausted, the bodhisattva will enter parinirvana.

And then the Buddha goes and reveals, that actually, he himself, is without measure. A lot of gymnastics are performed in some circles trying to reconcile the ever enduring Buddha with the 4NT, but in East Asia, this concern was dropped as an upaya, as the petals of the lotus eventually drop off to reveal the fruit.

If the Buddha is ever enduring, without beginning, without end, then the problem-solution structure proposed by the 4NT no longer makes sense.

A different view emerges about the nature of reality/life, and its this nature of reality that becomes the focus of Buddhist practice at the later stages in East Asian Buddhism. 4NT are like the first proposition to get the conversation going, but as the conversation progresses, its limitations become apparent and its simply relinquished - not rejected, but understood for what it is, an artful beginning, but no longer particularly relevant to the task of full knowledge, and left, effortlessly, like a baby spontaneously releasing its grasp of the rattle to grasp the bottle.

The various Buddhist teachings are cures for particular ailments, but once they cure the particular ailment for which they were prescribed, those teachings themselves become the source of illness and need to be treated by successively more refined medicines. 4NT is a cure for a rather coarse conception of life. In East Asia, the focus became reality itself. As taught in the Tiantai school:
The perfect-and-sudden [method of practicing cessation-and-contemplation] involves taking the true aspects [of reality] as the object from the very beginning. Whatever is made to be the object [of contemplation], it is the Middle; there is nothing that is not truly real. [When one attains the state of contemplation wherein] reality itself (dharmadhatu) is fixed as the object [of contemplation], and thoughts are integrated with reality itself, [then one realizes that] there is not a single color or scent that is not the Middle Way. It is the same for the realm of the individual, the
realm of Buddhas, and the world at large. All [phenomena experienced through] the aggregates (skandha) and senses (ayatana) are thusness; therefore there is no [substantial] suffering that needs to be removed. Since ignorance (avidya) and the exhausting dust [of passionate afflictions (kleša)] are indivisible with bodhi-wisdom, there is no origin [of suffering; i.e., craving] to be severed. Since the extreme [dualities] and false [views] are [indivisible with] the Middle and what is right, there is no path to be cultivated. Since [this cyclic world of] samsara is [indivisible with] nirvana, there is no extinguishing [of craving] to be realized. Since suffering and its causes do not exist [substantially], there is no mundane world [to be transcended]; since the path and the extinction [of craving] do not exist [substantially], there is no transcendent world [to be gained]. There is purely the single true aspect [of reality-as-it-is]; there are no separate things outside this true aspect. For things in themselves (dharmata) to be quiescent is called “cessation” (samatha); to be quiescent yet ever luminous is called “contemplation” (vipassana). Though earlier and later [stages] are spoken of, they are neither two nor separate. This is called perfect-and-sudden cessation-and-contemplation.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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seeker242
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Re: Chan Texts: Translations & Studies

Post by seeker242 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:13 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:31 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:26 pm
[talking about someone else's position] the Zen doctrine is no doctrine, which is still a doctrine.
Is no doctrine a doctrine?

"What are your doctrines."
"None. We don't have any."
"Is that doctrine?"
"No."
AKA Diamond sutra chapter 7, which is a very popular sutra in zen :)
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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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Vasana » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:19 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:14 pm
If the Buddha is ever enduring, without beginning, without end, then the problem-solution structure proposed by the 4NT no longer makes sense.
Hi Queequeg, thanks for that post. I followed it all up until the point above.
It still makes sense since beings have themselves not reached the level of an arhat, Bodhisattva or Buddha. Intellectually knowing that suffering,kleshas and sentient-beings are empty and without beginning or end in the ultimate sense does not make this an experientially realized truth within one's own cognition. (But then perhaps E.A Buddhism has a different take on that?)
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:14 pm
A different view emerges about the nature of reality/life, and its this nature of reality that becomes the focus of Buddhist practice at the later stages in East Asian Buddhism. 4NT are like the first proposition to get the conversation going, but as the conversation progresses, its limitations become apparent and its simply relinquished - not rejected, but understood for what it is, an artful beginning, but no longer particularly relevant to the task of full knowledge, and left, effortlessly, like a baby spontaneously releasing its grasp of the rattle to grasp the bottle.
This is true for Mahayana in general as we see in the Prajnaparamita Sutras so I'm not sure what makes this a distinct view of East Asian Buddhism.

Heart sutra:
  • 'no Birth no Death,
    no Being no Non-being,
    no Defilement no Purity,
    no Increasing no Decreasing.

    The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
    and their Extinction
    are also not separate self entities.
    Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
    the End of Ill-being, the Path,
    insight and attainment,
    are also not separate self entities.

    Whoever can see this
    no longer needs anything to attain.
    '
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:14 pm
The various Buddhist teachings are cures for particular ailments, but once they cure the particular ailment for which they were prescribed, those teachings themselves become the source of illness and need to be treated by successively more refined medicines. 4NT is a cure for a rather coarse conception of life. In East Asia, the focus became reality itself. As taught in the Tiantai school:
Again, I am not versed well enough in E.A Buddhism and Tiantai to see how your summary, 'the focus became reality itself', differs from the standard Mahayana view.

As for the last quote you shared; It's great and we can find quotes with the same profound theme across the entire Mahayana spectrum. I still feel that those kind of writings can easily be misconstrued to think that since everything is empty and unborn on the ultimate level, that the relative, conventional experience of suffering, dualistic conceptualization, afflictions and karmic vasanas are completely fine left as they are. I know many Advaita and neo-advaita proponents think in that way and I I think some people who follow Zen may ascribe to that view but then I don't know how representative these views are of Zen.

The Sutra on the Purification of Karma explains the point I'm trying to make much more clearly:
  • The Blessed One was asked by bodhisattva Nirvirana-Vishkambin, “What is the nature of the ripening of karma?”

    The Buddha replied, “The nature is the intrinsic nature (dharmata).” He was further asked, “If that is so, it would be logical that all sentient beings are effortlessly liberated.

    The Buddha replied, “No, it would not be logical. As butter does not appear until the milk has been churned, or as silver does not come forth before the silver ore has been smelted, sentient beings do not awaken unless they practice and meditate.”

    Again he was asked, “If (sentient beings) are primordially the intrinsic nature, what is the point of practicing?”

    The Buddha replied, “They should practice because it is necessary to clear away the momentary conceptual thinking that is like a cloud appearing in the sky.”

    Again he was asked, “If the conceptual thinking is momentary, it is logical that it could reappear even after one has attained buddhahood.”

    The Buddha replied, “With the attainment of buddhahood, conceptual thinking has been totally annihilated, just like someone who has fully recovered from smallpox.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:18 pm

Vasana wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:19 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:14 pm
If the Buddha is ever enduring, without beginning, without end, then the problem-solution structure proposed by the 4NT no longer makes sense.
It still makes sense since beings have themselves not reached the level of an arhat, Bodhisattva or Buddha. Intellectually knowing that suffering,kleshas and sentient-beings are empty and without beginning or end in the ultimate sense does not make this an experientially realized truth within one's own cognition. (But then perhaps E.A Buddhism has a different take on that?)
This does need some explaining.

I'm not eloquent enough to summarize it, but this is more or less the import of the so-called Perfect and Sudden. In this, while the beginning and end of the path can be provisionally distinguished, those distinctions are not absolute. One who just hears the Buddha's teachings for the first time is, viewed from within the Sudden and Perfect - not significantly different than a Buddha. Not that they are the same, either. "Neither different nor not different." One analogy would be the lotus seed and the mature lotus plant; distinctions can be drawn in the life cycle of the plant, but seed and plant are thus. That's the last line, " Though earlier and later [stages] are spoken of, they are neither two nor separate."

I can't do justice to this, though. My primary point was addressing why 4NT are not particularly emphasized in E. Asia. The only thing I can really offer is to invite you to participate in the group reading of Mohozhikuan and Jikai is leading in the Tendai sub-forum. He should be getting to the treatment of the 4NT in that commentary shortly.
As for the last quote you shared; It's great and we can find quotes with the same profound theme across the entire Mahayana spectrum. I still feel that those kind of writings can easily be misconstrued to think that since everything is empty and unborn on the ultimate level, that the relative, conventional experience of suffering, dualistic conceptualization, afflictions and karmic vasanas are completely fine left as they are. I know many Advaita and neo-advaita proponents think in that way and I I think some people who follow Zen may ascribe to that view but then I don't know how representative these views are of Zen.

The Sutra on the Purification of Karma explains the point I'm trying to make much more clearly:
  • The Blessed One was asked by bodhisattva Nirvirana-Vishkambin, “What is the nature of the ripening of karma?”

    The Buddha replied, “The nature is the intrinsic nature (dharmata).” He was further asked, “If that is so, it would be logical that all sentient beings are effortlessly liberated.

    The Buddha replied, “No, it would not be logical. As butter does not appear until the milk has been churned, or as silver does not come forth before the silver ore has been smelted, sentient beings do not awaken unless they practice and meditate.”

    Again he was asked, “If (sentient beings) are primordially the intrinsic nature, what is the point of practicing?”

    The Buddha replied, “They should practice because it is necessary to clear away the momentary conceptual thinking that is like a cloud appearing in the sky.”

    Again he was asked, “If the conceptual thinking is momentary, it is logical that it could reappear even after one has attained buddhahood.”

    The Buddha replied, “With the attainment of buddhahood, conceptual thinking has been totally annihilated, just like someone who has fully recovered from smallpox.
The Original Enlightenment conundrum. I think Tiantai avoids that like this:

There is no "because" to Dharma practice in the Sudden and Perfect. There is only practice. There is nothing else to do. When you lop off the starting point and the goal, there is nothing to contextualize a "because" or a progression. There is nothing but realizing the real, trying to, perfecting it. Everything else is just fancy.

Positing a because, a beginning and end, etc. is a provisional view still mired in conventional organization of experience. That said, we nominally posit these reasons and progressions because we are completely free to do so. And so we do that.

I'm sure that comes off as ridiculous. But that's because the assumptions that make that seem ridiculous are actually ridiculous. :shrug:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:16 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:18 pm
ridiculous
I should not have been so flippant. As whimsical as this may seem, its not treated whimsically at all in the Tiantai schools and its offshoots. This is a matter of earnest seriousness without a hint of humor.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Chan Texts: Translations & Studies

Post by Grigoris » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:31 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:13 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:31 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:26 pm
[talking about someone else's position] the Zen doctrine is no doctrine, which is still a doctrine.
Is no doctrine a doctrine?

"What are your doctrines."
"None. We don't have any."
"Is that doctrine?"
"No."
AKA Diamond sutra chapter 7, which is a very popular sutra in zen :)
I wonder what the Platform Sutra (more Zen doctrine) would have to say about this issue?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Snowbear » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:25 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:18 pm
There is nothing but realizing the real, trying to, perfecting it.
What does that look like for a person following the Perfect and Sudden? Is it an attitude rather than a practice?

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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:50 pm

Snowbear wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:25 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:18 pm
There is nothing but realizing the real, trying to, perfecting it.
What does that look like for a person following the Perfect and Sudden? Is it an attitude rather than a practice?
I think it looks like Tientai practice, Tendai practice, Nichiren practice, other Tientai derived practices... it also looks like a scarab (dung beetle) rolling balls of shit (I believe that's Zhili's characterization).

I'm not sure if "attitude" is the right word. Its just doing what is thus required at the moment.

To get hokie, its kind of captured in that stupid ending to Last Samurai with Ken Watanabe lies dying on the battle field, looking up at the cherry blossoms falling and remarking, "they're all perfect." Its heavy handed on the wabi-sabi, but, you know, Japanese are sentimentalists.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Wayfarer
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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:34 pm

There are many paradoxes on the path. That is because from different points on the path, or from the perspective of people at different stages of development, things appear differently. So attempts to say 'it is like this' generally overlook those divergences of perspective. That's why there are 'two truths' and why Buddhism is non-dogmatic.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

Temicco
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Re: Chan Texts: Translations & Studies

Post by Temicco » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:43 am

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:26 pm
Temicco wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:48 am
Really? There is nothing grasping or identifying about setting the record straight as to how Zen is actually traditionally taught. It is people who want Zen to follow their ideals and thus misrepresent it who have that problem.

I am far from free of the three poisons, but that is manifest in other areas.
You are grasping to the idea that there are no Zen Buddhist doctrines, when quite clearly there are.

What you call "traditionally taught" is just the method of a certain tradition.

It is a common fantasy among western Zen converts. But even if it were the case, it would just mean that the Zen doctrine is no doctrine, which is still a doctrine.
It's not grasping at all -- it is how the teachings actually are. If you read them, you would understand.

It is no just "a certain tradition" -- it is the tradition that all modern Zen claims to stem from.

No doctrine does not have to be a doctrine.
"Deliberate upon that which does not deliberate."
-Yaoshan Weiyan

"Right now if students are in fact truly genuine, source teachers can contact their potential and activate it with a single word or phrase, or a single act or scene."
-Yuanwu Keqin

Temicco
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Re: The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Post by Temicco » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:54 am

ItsRaining wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:46 pm
Temicco wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:55 am
ItsRaining wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:43 am


The Four Noble Truths are not just Sravaka teachings, in the Tiantai school from the Sravakayana to the Perfect teaching each one has their own set of Four Noble Truths. And the Flower Garland Sutra has a chapter on the Four Noble Truths that state it’s importance and that it’s taught by all Buddhas under various names.
Sure, I am just relating how the sutras present them. Apparently Tiantai is fine with nevertheless incorporating the 4NT, but you won't see the same enthusiasm in most Zen texts. I'm not familiar with the Avatamsaka chapter, so I'll give that a look -- thanks.
Which Mahayana sutras present the Four Nobles truths like that?
The Lotus, for instance. I've seen it elsewhere, but that's all I remember for now.
"Deliberate upon that which does not deliberate."
-Yaoshan Weiyan

"Right now if students are in fact truly genuine, source teachers can contact their potential and activate it with a single word or phrase, or a single act or scene."
-Yuanwu Keqin

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