Soto Zen

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shanyin
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Soto Zen

Post by shanyin »

I am interested in Soto Zen.

Can someone link me to Soto Zen teachings? Or maybe a book?
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Wayfarer
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Re: Soto Zen

Post by Wayfarer »

Global Soto website is https://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/index.html

A ton of resources there.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi
shanyin
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Re: Soto Zen

Post by shanyin »

Is a difference between Soto and Rinzai that one teaches gradual and the other sudden enligtenment?

Sitting makes me think that all this Dharma and Buddhism is all supposed to be subjective so I am attracted to the idea that there is nothing one can do to attain enlightenment. Is that what Soto teaches?
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Astus
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Re: Soto Zen

Post by Astus »

shanyin wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:12 pmIs a difference between Soto and Rinzai that one teaches gradual and the other sudden enligtenment?
No. All Zen schools teach sudden enlightenment.
Sitting makes me think that all this Dharma and Buddhism is all supposed to be subjective so I am attracted to the idea that there is nothing one can do to attain enlightenment. Is that what Soto teaches?
Soto teaches the oneness and equality of practice and realization, so actually you can only do everything to attain enlightenment.
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"
avatamsaka3
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Re: Soto Zen

Post by avatamsaka3 »

Is a difference between Soto and Rinzai that one teaches gradual and the other sudden enlightenment?
My understanding is that Soto teachings are neither sudden or gradual. They transcend the normal ways in which enlightenment is discussed.

In terms of suggestions, just study Dogen. He founded Soto Zen in Japan. There is a famous anthology of his teachings called "Moon in a Dewdrop". You can also find PDFs of his complete Shobogenzo translated into English on BDK Tripitaka's website.

Aside from studying Dogen, I'd highly recommend reading the work of Shohaku Okumura. He wrote a booklet called "Soto Zen: An Introduction to Zazen" that is quite good. Here is the link:

https://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/li ... to_zen.pdf

I'd definitely try visiting a local Zen center (virtually, or in person when it's safe to do so). It's good to learn meditation in person from an experienced student, rather than just from books. Be aware that many people come to Zen centers with different preconceptions of what meditation is. So, some will reject the idea of regarding Dogen as an authority, and some will have learned a version of zazen that is calm abiding. In any case, reading Dogen and considering his thoughts will be a good starting point before visiting a center.
Lillian
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Re: Soto Zen

Post by Lillian »

shanyin wrote: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:09 am I am interested in Soto Zen.

Can someone link me to Soto Zen teachings? Or maybe a book?
Hello Shanyin,

The Soto Zen Buddhist Association lists dozens of groups, many of which are online now because of the Covid. Please see what is available.

http://szba.org/affiliated-teachers/

I want to recommend to you two very good books on Soto Zen. Maybe three.

One is called Opening the Hand of Thought by Uchiyama Roshi, and is about sitting Shikantaza Zazen.

https://wisdomexperience.org/product/op ... d-thought/

One is entitled What is Zen? by Norman Fischer and Susan Moon, two very respected people.
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/book ... usan-moon/

Another excellent book by the founder of Soto Zen, Dogen, and Uchiyama Roshi is this:

https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/ ... edir_esc=y

The most important part is to sit Zazen, of course.

Lillian
shanyin
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Re: Soto Zen

Post by shanyin »

Is Zazen always breath following oriented?
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Zhen Li
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Re: Soto Zen

Post by Zhen Li »

shanyin wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:11 am Is Zazen always breath following oriented?
No. I suggest you begin by reading some of the above linked resources. It is a good idea to have clear guidance before proceeding.
Lillian
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Re: Soto Zen

Post by Lillian »

shanyin wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:11 am Is Zazen always breath following oriented?
Hello Shanyin,

I suggest you find a good Soto Zen teacher and ask, assuming that you are interested in Soto Zen.

Breath following or counting is very common in Zazen instruction. Others center on the posture or Hara, some on "choiceless awareness." My teacher's teacher, Matsuoka Roshi, did so and that is what I was taught. In Soto Zen, we also often emphasize the goalless aspect of Zazen even when following the breath, the posture or "choiceless awareness."

But the best thing is not to ask on an internet board or just read a book, and instead to find an actual teacher to advise you.

Lillian
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