Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Wsong0000
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Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Wsong0000 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:17 am

Hi everyone,

It would be a very difficult topic to be discussed, but I am not clear whether one is higher and the other is low basically on one Buddha's teachings, in terms of enlightenment and post-enlightenment.

I know clearly that the ways or means to enlightenment on Zen and Dzogchen are clearly different. I have read that 10th bhumi can achieved in Zen, but 13th bhumi is achieved in Dzogchen.

So my questions are:

1) What are the similarities and differences in terms of enlightenment and post-enlightenment(i.e. behaviors and ways of thinking after enlightenment) between Zen and Dzogchen?

2) Is it impossible to achieve 13th bhumi through Zen?

I hope the answers and explanations respecting each tradition beyond which is better or not.

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Aryjna
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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Aryjna » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:01 pm

No one can really answer all these questions involving comparisons between Dzogchen and Zen. There is no master of both who can give a meaningful answer.

Crazywisdom
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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:30 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:01 pm
No one can really answer all these questions involving comparisons between Dzogchen and Zen. There is no master of both who can give a meaningful answer.
Not true. There is a very big difference. Zen of today’s ilk has no basis by which to realize the 3 kayas. It is basically a sutra level approach and has no connection with vajrayana, which is the only means to achieve the three kayas in any Loka. The key feature is yogic direct perception of luminous pure appearances that have no material basis.
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The criticisms of others are like wrathful mantras. Fast purification. Welcome it. -can’t remember who

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Meido
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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Meido » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:44 pm

RE 3 kayas in Zen: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=14047

[note: there's a broken link within that old thread, the referenced resource is here: https://terebess.hu/zen/hakuin1.html#1]
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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Aryjna
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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Aryjna » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:50 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:30 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:01 pm
No one can really answer all these questions involving comparisons between Dzogchen and Zen. There is no master of both who can give a meaningful answer.
Not true. There is a very big difference. Zen of today’s ilk has no basis by which to realize the 3 kayas. It is basically a sutra level approach and has no connection with vajrayana, which is the only means to achieve the three kayas in any Loka. The key feature is yogic direct perception of luminous pure appearances that have no material basis.
This was being discussed yesterday in a different thread.

The OP wants some kind of side by side comparison which few if anyone are well versed in both to be able to do. Also, he said he doesn't want statements as to which one is better, if I understood correctly. According to Dzogchen, Dzogchen is better and there isn't much more to say on the subject.

There is a short book by ChNNR called Dzogchen and Zen, but it is based on a centuries old text discussing the relationship between Dzogchen and Zen. That text takes Hashangs teachings as representative of Zen, and I do not know if and how the Zen schools that are practiced today differ to that.

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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:11 pm

Vajrayana is the only path to Buddhahood. Even Arya bodhisattvas who traverse the ten bhumis by way of six perfections eventually are initiated by Vajradhara. Maybe zen don’t want to accept that, but there are sutras that allude to this point of bodhisattvas being blessed with light etc. Zen path works with nonconceptual dhyana and do not work with key points of the body mandala so they have no way to recognize the form bhumis, let alone nondual dharmakaya.
She glares menacingly at your corpse.

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

PeterC
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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by PeterC » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:30 pm

It is a futile exercise to compare the two, as there are (as far as I know) no people alive who are sufficiently advanced and knowledgeable practitioners in both systems to be able to contrast them from experience. So all we can do is compare language in texts and make conjectures - which can be interesting.

Sam van Schaik has done some interesting work on Dunhuang manuscripts from the two traditions. For what it’s worth, he felt that from an academic perspective there was little mileage in exploring these connections, as the two traditions are in dialogue with two different sets of texts.

From an individual perspective, if you are a committed practitioner of one of these two systems, the comparison cannot have more than academic interest.

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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Dan74 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:58 pm

PeterC wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:30 pm
It is a futile exercise to compare the two, as there are (as far as I know) no people alive who are sufficiently advanced and knowledgeable practitioners in both systems to be able to contrast them from experience. So all we can do is compare language in texts and make conjectures - which can be interesting.

Sam van Schaik has done some interesting work on Dunhuang manuscripts from the two traditions. For what it’s worth, he felt that from an academic perspective there was little mileage in exploring these connections, as the two traditions are in dialogue with two different sets of texts.

From an individual perspective, if you are a committed practitioner of one of these two systems, the comparison cannot have more than academic interest.
:good:

Tradition shopping on the basis of which one is the bestest, is the worst way to go about it, IMO. It's like before learning to paint, obsessing about the brushes and which brand of paint and canvasses to buy (which I confess to have done). Which art school, Paris or Rome, or London?? Your motivation and attitude are going to be so much more important than the tradition. And your specific teacher and your relationship to him/her. Tradition is important so far as karmic affinity goes and this is tricky to determine. Sometimes what rubs us the wrong way is exactly what the doctor's ordered.

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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by SilenceMonkey » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:28 pm

Wsong0000 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:17 am

2) Is it impossible to achieve 13th bhumi through Zen?
In the Chinese tradition, there are no Bhumis beyond the tenth. Tenth Bhumi Bodhisattvas such as Guan Yin (Avalokiteshvara) and Manjushri are sometimes said to be Buddhas, but have temporarliy taken form as celestial bodhisattvas for the benefit of beings.

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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by SilenceMonkey » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:45 pm

PeterC wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:30 pm
It is a futile exercise to compare the two, as there are (as far as I know) no people alive who are sufficiently advanced and knowledgeable practitioners in both systems to be able to contrast them from experience. So all we can do is compare language in texts and make conjectures - which can be interesting.

Sam van Schaik has done some interesting work on Dunhuang manuscripts from the two traditions. For what it’s worth, he felt that from an academic perspective there was little mileage in exploring these connections, as the two traditions are in dialogue with two different sets of texts.

From an individual perspective, if you are a committed practitioner of one of these two systems, the comparison cannot have more than academic interest.
Yeah, I think your hunch may be a little bit off. They're rare, but you can find practitioners of both Ch'an/Zen/Seon and Dzogchen or Mahamudra. I'm a bit more familiar with Chinese tradition, but I've heard korean zen (Seon) practitioners sometimes have tantric influence. Undoubtedly, some go for teaching from Tibetans.

There is a master in Taiwan of Ch'an, Dzogchen and Mahamudra. He told us that they were all of the same level and the same in nature, with only the slightest differences... He may have meant differences in flavor, or perhaps in technique. But he said Ch'an was only suitable for people of the highest capacity, and it relies on self-power. Vajrayana is easier, as it relies on blessings of the guru. He often talked about Xuyun (Empty Cloud) as the last person in history to achieve enlightenment through purely ch'an methods. (By enlightenment, he probably meant buddhahood. Often he would compare Empty Cloud with Milarepa, Chatral Rinpoche and Shakya Shri.)

Nan Huai-Ch'in was a famous master in China and Taiwan who studied Dao and Ch'an as well as tantric methods. I'm not sure if he studied Mahamudra and Dzogchen in particular, but he might be good to check out.

I also know of a Hungarian student of Khenpo Munsel Rinpoche, who meditated in a cave behind Khenpo Munsel Rinpoche's monastery for 9 years. He also studied Ch'an in China and says that Ch'an, Dzogchen and Mahamudra are basically the same. He lives in Beijing now.

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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Norwegian » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:46 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:58 pm
PeterC wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:30 pm
It is a futile exercise to compare the two, as there are (as far as I know) no people alive who are sufficiently advanced and knowledgeable practitioners in both systems to be able to contrast them from experience. So all we can do is compare language in texts and make conjectures - which can be interesting.

Sam van Schaik has done some interesting work on Dunhuang manuscripts from the two traditions. For what it’s worth, he felt that from an academic perspective there was little mileage in exploring these connections, as the two traditions are in dialogue with two different sets of texts.

From an individual perspective, if you are a committed practitioner of one of these two systems, the comparison cannot have more than academic interest.
:good:

Tradition shopping on the basis of which one is the bestest, is the worst way to go about it, IMO. It's like before learning to paint, obsessing about the brushes and which brand of paint and canvasses to buy (which I confess to have done). Which art school, Paris or Rome, or London?? Your motivation and attitude are going to be so much more important than the tradition. And your specific teacher and your relationship to him/her. Tradition is important so far as karmic affinity goes and this is tricky to determine. Sometimes what rubs us the wrong way is exactly what the doctor's ordered.
It also helps to know the differences.

You want to practice Buddhadharma. OK, very nice. Why? You want to become an Arhat. OK, then Theravada is your best bet. You want to become a Buddha. OK, then you have two/three options:

1. Practice Mahayana, of which Zen is included.
2. Practice Vajrayana.
3. Practice Dzogchen.

But which one to go for of these three alternatives? Is there a difference?

Well, they lead to Buddhahood. But the timetable is very different. For Mahayana, it takes the best practitioner, i.e., the one with superior capacity three incalculable eons to manifest Buddhahood. In Vajrayana and in Dzogchen, it takes one life to do the same thing. At worst in Vajrayana, it takes sixteen lifetimes.

Then you must decide whether you feel very patient and have a lot of time on your hands in this life and in myriad lifetimes to come for many, many eons ahead. Or, if you think that's a bit too much, that there's infinite sentient beings and they don't really have that much time, they've already spent enough time as it is in samsara already, and so you decide that Vajrayana and/or Dzogchen sounds like a better option. Then that becomes your starting point, and you try to find a qualified teacher from whom you receive teachings, etc.

In this manner one can certainly say "Yes, I think this is the best for me, because reasons X, Y, and Z."

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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Dan74 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:15 pm

This is not a universally accepted scheme, Norwegian, and one I don't find persuasive or practical at all. But horses for courses.

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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Norwegian » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:21 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:15 pm
This is not a universally accepted scheme, Norwegian, and one I don't find persuasive or practical at all. But horses for courses.
It is an accepted scheme in this sub forum.

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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Meido » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:29 pm

Norwegian wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:21 pm
It is an accepted scheme in this sub forum.
Yes, of course, but you were talking about someone wanting to practice Buddhadharma and comparing various traditions to determine a best choice. It would therefore seems reasonable to consider other schemes as well, no?

The Zen one is somewhat different, and in fact is not for classifying traditions as lower or higher at all. It is for classifying practitioners, and especially for reminding oneself how far one has personally fallen short of fulfilling the promise of whichever "highest" tradition one follows.

In general I have to agree with those expressing the futility of comparison. Moreover, someone who comparison shops traditions based on such things as these schemes is foolish. A student should not seek a tradition, but a teacher with whom there is affinity. All else follows from that.
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: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Norwegian » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:54 pm

Meido wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:29 pm
Norwegian wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:21 pm
It is an accepted scheme in this sub forum.
Yes, of course, but you were talking about someone wanting to practice Buddhadharma and comparing traditions to determine a best choice. It would therefore seems reasonable to consider other schemes as well, no?
Well, this thread is in the Dzogchen forum, and Dzogchen belongs to uncommon Mahayana. This fits into the Indo-Tibetan scope of things, and that is the presentation I am familiar with and find to be reasonable. Also the one that is presented by Indo-Tibetan traditions.
Moreover, someone who comparison shops traditions based on such things as these schemes is foolish. Students should seek a teacher with whom they have affinity, not a tradition.
Initially I think someone who is a newcomer to Buddhadharma should look into all the levels, be it Hinayana, Mahayana, or Vajrayana. And they should try to become familiar with these things as much as they can. Spend a good amount of time on this. Read the Pali canon, read Mahayana sutras and commentaries, and so on.

Then if and when they get a very basic understanding of what the differences are, that should naturally rouse something within them, if there is a connection from before, and then as an example, if this means the person finds Vajrayana to be the most interesting, the next step should be to find a qualified teacher that they have a connection with. The teacher of course is of absolute importance.

The opening line from a paragraph of a Dzogchen tantra states that the beginner should be like the bee which is tasting nectar from flowers everywhere, in other words, the beginner student should receive teachings from as many qualified teachers as possible. Not only is this great for learning and understanding Buddhadharma, but it is also very likely that the root guru will arise from this.

When I said the above, please do not take it as me downplaying the importance of the teacher. I merely mean that if you're a beginner and you're comparing traditions etc. it helps to spend some time trying to understand what they all say, and how it is presented. Then through past karma and dependent origination, if there is a connection, you will surely find what resonates the most with you. Then as I said you should do your best in spending time receiving teachings from qualified teachers, not thinking about whether it's the Nyingma school or the Sakya school or the Kagyu school etc. (taking Vajrayana as an example).

Someone whose affinity is for creation and completion stage practice would be wasting their time if they settle down with a teacher of Hinayana for example.

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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by passel » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:25 pm

That chan is sutra is a straw dog argument, however well founded in exalted traditional schemes.
Sutra could be a suitable basis for Chan, but it’s not limited to sutra. Nor is Chan tantra; it is not deficient dzogchen either

The sorts of questions one asks can really force inadequate conclusions. It’s like medieval theologians arguing over whether the dog men have souls or not-
Last edited by passel on Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Malcolm
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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:57 pm

passel wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:25 pm
That chan is sutra is a straw dog argument, however well founded in exalted traditional schemes.
Sutra could be a suitable basis for Chan, but it’s not limited to sutra. Nor is Chan tantra; it is not deficient dzogchen either
Sure it is. It is based on the sudden awakening approach exemplified in the Lankāvatara Sūtra.

In the translation of Bodhidharma's words we have in Tibetan, his point is simple, "Once the view is confirmed, do not rely on scriptures." Sound advice.

The approach of Chan is superior to that of the gradual path advocated by Kamalashila.

On the other hand, both Longchenpa and Jigme Lingpa express skepticism about Tibetan treatments of Chan. Tulku Thundup discusses this in his Dzogchen Book.
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

passel
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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by passel » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:12 pm

Lankavatara is old news in Chan as near as I can tell- supplanted. And do we really know how influential the LS was? It seems to be an open question still. (I like van Schaik’s hypotheses that Chan sprang from the first of the three Mahayoga samadhis, though I’ve only just dipped a toe into that material)

Curious what the source is for Tibetan translation of Bodhidharma? I’ve never come across it- maybe in Broughton?

I like the distinction between L Sutra and Khenpo Bodhisattva’s gradual path- when I read some comments on this topic, the term “sutra” is often not used with much nuance.

The thick TT dzogchen book? It’s been a while since I read it, but I recall thinking he had a thoughtful (though brief) treatment of Chan, tho don’t recall him bringing JL and Longchenpa in- I should revisit. Thx for the comments
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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Malcolm
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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:21 pm

passel wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:12 pm
Lankavatara is old news in Chan as near as I can tell- supplanted.
Nevertheless, the sudden approach comes from it.
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

passel
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Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by passel » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:39 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:21 pm
passel wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:12 pm
Lankavatara is old news in Chan as near as I can tell- supplanted.
Nevertheless, the sudden approach comes from it.
Is dzogchen not ‘sudden’ then, since it has its own sources, or are there multiple origins for ‘sudden’ teachings?
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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