Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:42 am

Hi everybody

I did saw video by Chan Monk practicing hand mudra?

so I was wondering if Mudra is practiced in Chan/Seon/Zen?

Video

phpBB [video]

User avatar
BrianG
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by BrianG » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:55 am

ShineeSeoul wrote:Hi everybody

I did saw video by Chan Monk practicing hand mudra?

so I was wondering if Mudra is practiced in Chan/Seon/Zen?

Video

phpBB [video]
Mudras are practiced by all three Vehicles, to one extent or another.
Telepaths - I like to kill them

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 7039
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by Astus » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:52 am

It depends on what you mean by "practising mudra". As far as I know, in Chinese Buddhism it is a ritual element of certain ceremonies.
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"

User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:27 pm

BrianG wrote:
ShineeSeoul wrote:Hi everybody

I did saw video by Chan Monk practicing hand mudra?

so I was wondering if Mudra is practiced in Chan/Seon/Zen?

Video

phpBB [video]
Mudras are practiced by all three Vehicles, to one extent or another.
really? even theravada? what they call it in theravada?

User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:29 pm

Astus wrote:It depends on what you mean by "practising mudra". As far as I know, in Chinese Buddhism it is a ritual element of certain ceremonies.
what they call it? do seon buddhism also use mudras?

I guess zen buddhism they do it

User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:31 pm

Why Mudras always associated with Esoteric Buddhism?

udawa
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by udawa » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:20 pm

Anjali mudra is common to all Buddhist traditions.
Edwards: You are a philosopher. Dr Johnson: I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.

User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:14 pm

udawa wrote:Anjali mudra is common to all Buddhist traditions.
I know this one...I mean the moving mudras

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 1329
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by seeker242 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:52 pm

ShineeSeoul wrote:do seon buddhism also use mudras?
Cosmic or Dhyana mudra is used during sitting meditation practice. That's the most I've ever seen them used, but I've never been to korea myself. :smile:
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!

User avatar
Meido
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:50 am
Contact:

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by Meido » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:55 am

Instead of asking if Chan/Zen/Son does xyz, when discussing specific practices it's generally best to ask if such-and-such line of transmission or teacher does. You really never know what you're going to find taken up as supporting practices, depending on the interests and capacities of each line's forebears.

In Zen, I have seen in some Soto kuyo (puja/ceremony) that the chief officiant forms mudras with hands hidden under the kesa. In Rinzai kuyo, I have seen different but related things which I've never witnessed Soto priests doing. In our line here we have a collection of mantra/mudra practices intended for specific situations...but I know for a fact these have their origin in the particular training experience of one of the teachers in our line, so I doubt you'd find them elsewhere. Etc., you get the picture.

~ 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

User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am
Contact:

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by Seishin » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:14 am

Chinese Chan Buddhism tends to contain elements of practice from other schools, such as chanting the name of Amitabha Buddha. I believe in Richard Payne's book "Tantric Buddhism in East Asian", he suggests that Chinese Chan schools absorbed elements of esoteric Buddhism, adding them to their own practice. As Rev Meido said, how much (or how little) of these esoteric elements are practiced various greatly from temple to temple, teacher to teacher.

As to you question of why mudras are associated with esoteric Buddhism: mudras are practiced as a path to enlightenment in esoteric Buddhism (one of the three vajras - mantras and visualisation/mandala being the other two). In other schools, such as zen, they are seen as part of ritual, not a path to enlightenment.

In gassho,
Seishin

User avatar
Meido
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:50 am
Contact:

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by Meido » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:49 pm

Seishin wrote:In other schools, such as zen, they are seen as part of ritual, not a path to enlightenment.
Just to say that this distinction of ritual vs. path would not be accepted in Zen, due to its understanding of the purpose of kuyo/okyo (beyond generation/dedication of merit, mundane benefits and so on).

Essentially: it is not specific practices that define the Zen path, but rather an approach to practice. This is important to grasp if one is to make sense of statements that Zen is ultimately method-less, a One Vehicle approach transcending the 3 vehicles, not dependent upon texts, not bound by distinctions of exoteric vs. esoteric, etc.

~ 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

User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am
Contact:

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by Seishin » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:22 pm

Meido wrote:
Essentially: it is not specific practices that define the Zen path, but rather an approach to practice. This is important to grasp if one is to make sense of statements that Zen is ultimately method-less, a One Vehicle approach transcending the 3 vehicles, not dependent upon texts, not bound by distinctions of exoteric vs. esoteric, etc.

~ Meido
Thank you Rev Meido, I hadn't considered this. And sadly I lack the linguistics to adequately explain my thoughts.

In gassho,
Seishin

User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:26 pm

seeker242 wrote:
ShineeSeoul wrote:do seon buddhism also use mudras?
Cosmic or Dhyana mudra is used during sitting meditation practice. That's the most I've ever seen them used, but I've never been to korea myself. :smile:
Thank you for the information, I didn't know about this

User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:28 pm

Seishin wrote:Chinese Chan Buddhism tends to contain elements of practice from other schools, such as chanting the name of Amitabha Buddha. I believe in Richard Payne's book "Tantric Buddhism in East Asian", he suggests that Chinese Chan schools absorbed elements of esoteric Buddhism, adding them to their own practice. As Rev Meido said, how much (or how little) of these esoteric elements are practiced various greatly from temple to temple, teacher to teacher.

As to you question of why mudras are associated with esoteric Buddhism: mudras are practiced as a path to enlightenment in esoteric Buddhism (one of the three vajras - mantras and visualisation/mandala being the other two). In other schools, such as zen, they are seen as part of ritual, not a path to enlightenment.

In gassho,
Seishin
Thanks

so thats mean mudra is part of three vajra...but for zen or seon its just ritualistic, rather than about enlightment

User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:29 pm

Meido wrote:
Seishin wrote:In other schools, such as zen, they are seen as part of ritual, not a path to enlightenment.
Just to say that this distinction of ritual vs. path would not be accepted in Zen, due to its understanding of the purpose of kuyo/okyo (beyond generation/dedication of merit, mundane benefits and so on).

Essentially: it is not specific practices that define the Zen path, but rather an approach to practice. This is important to grasp if one is to make sense of statements that Zen is ultimately method-less, a One Vehicle approach transcending the 3 vehicles, not dependent upon texts, not bound by distinctions of exoteric vs. esoteric, etc.

~ Meido
is it important to practice mudra in zen or seon? as path enlightment

User avatar
Meido
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:50 am
Contact:

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by Meido » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:45 pm

Seishin wrote:Thank you Rev Meido, I hadn't considered this.
Thanks also to you, Rev Seishin. I appreciate the exchange.
ShineeSeoul wrote:is it important to practice mudra in zen or seon? as path enlightment
If one's Zen teacher transmits practices that involve mudra (or anything else), what is important to know is how to encompass that within the Zen path. That is, to grasp how a practice fulfills one or more of the three general purposes of all practices (from the Zen standpoint): to remove obstructions to recognizing one's nature, and/or to directly point it out, and/or to embody a seamless upwelling of that recognition.

In other words, "Direct pointing at the mind, seeing nature, becoming Buddha".

~ 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

User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am
Contact:

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by Seishin » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:52 pm

ShineeSeoul wrote:
Thanks

so thats mean mudra is part of three vajra...but for zen or seon its just ritualistic, rather than about enlightment
In esoteric Buddhism it isn't just a ritual, or a prayer or whatever. This is what I'm (inadequately) trying to explain. The three vajras (aka 三密 san mitsu in Japanese) is a direct path to enlightenment.

User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:52 am

Meido wrote:
Seishin wrote:Thank you Rev Meido, I hadn't considered this.
Thanks also to you, Rev Seishin. I appreciate the exchange.
ShineeSeoul wrote:is it important to practice mudra in zen or seon? as path enlightment
If one's Zen teacher transmits practices that involve mudra (or anything else), what is important to know is how to encompass that within the Zen path. That is, to grasp how a practice fulfills one or more of the three general purposes of all practices (from the Zen standpoint): to remove obstructions to recognizing one's nature, and/or to directly point it out, and/or to embody a seamless upwelling of that recognition.

In other words, "Direct pointing at the mind, seeing nature, becoming Buddha".

~ Meido
thanks...it seems mudra in zen or seon depend highly on the teacher, rather than being essential part of it like in vajrayana for example

User avatar
ShineeSeoul
Posts: 256
Joined: Fri May 29, 2015 9:49 pm

Re: Does Chan/Seon/Zen practice mudra?

Post by ShineeSeoul » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:53 am

Seishin wrote:
ShineeSeoul wrote:
Thanks

so thats mean mudra is part of three vajra...but for zen or seon its just ritualistic, rather than about enlightment
In esoteric Buddhism it isn't just a ritual, or a prayer or whatever. This is what I'm (inadequately) trying to explain. The three vajras (aka 三密 san mitsu in Japanese) is a direct path to enlightenment.
I understand..Thanks

Post Reply

Return to “Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests