Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

florin
Posts: 1129
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:05 pm

Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by florin » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:54 am

krodha wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:06 am
Florin,

I respected your wishes regarding not sharing restricted quotes in the public forum but there’s no way I’m continuing this discussion in the private messages. The prospect of a long drawn out discussion on pm is daunting.

I always view these interactions as collective ventures in a way, in that they engender constructive inquiry for everyone. I’d rather the forum as a whole have accesss to discussion.

In any case, I removed the quotes, and will refer to them in response but won’t post them. By the way, many, or most of the quotes lack citations indicating where they originate from.

Maybe going forward we can simply say “X” tantra communicates such-and-such and share the message of the text in question via summary without having to worry about quoting restricted material verbatim.

Unfortunately much is left to be desired in your response sans all the quotations. Your arguments are deprived of reference, but your comments capture enough of your retort to reveal some semblance of the import the quotes are intended to substantiate.

In any case I didn’t run this past you but your writing is straight forward and I removed the quotes so I don’t anticipate you taking issue with bringing the interaction back to the main forum.

I will respond later this evening when I get a chance.

- Kyle
florin wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:19 pm
Hi Kyle,

I thought long and hard about posting this in public.

Since most of the quoted material is restricted i decided to be respectful
Here is my answer.

First of all these are very complicated topics and some of the points reflected in these quotations are controversial and not easily understood.

My passion for dzogchen does not give me any license to uphold the correctness of my interventions around some of the quotes provided. So in other words passion does not equal correctness. Like many i struggle with these issues but i am trying my best to be respectful and understand these things correctly and in their proper context.
krodha wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:41 pm
This does not mean samsara is pure
There are many instances in dzoghcen tantras where both productions of samsara and nirvana are said to be understood as pure from the very beginning .
nor does it mean delusion regarding mind and appearance does not lead to suffering
.

My understanding is that if we do not valorize suffering through the view of dzogchen it remains an understanding that is of the lower yanas, where we have processes based on the subject object split and where causes and conditions play an important role in generating, across a temporal line, the result of suffering.
Nevertheless, sentient beings do not accurately apprehend these appearances.
In Dzogchen affliction is not found in appearances, it is found in the mind.
The fact that we use expressions like “deluded appearances “ does not mean that we are thinking somehow that appearances are themselves deluded in isolation from the influence of misapprehension. In the context of the dzogchen view if you posit a mind like you seem to do you fall in the view of the two truths.
You are not differentiating between (i) mind, (ii) pristine consciousness [jñāna], and (iii) appearances.
Well, prior to knowing the state of dzogchen we can make as many differentiations as we like.
Why would we need to differentiate anything while in the state of dozgchen ? When the view is transmitted there is only one truth that we need to know.
But if we don't have the capacity to know that truth at that time we are not yet at the level of dzogchen.
florin wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:45 am
We find a similar explanation from Rongdzompa:
TNR made this statement to oppose the view that maintains enlightenment is ONLY when the mind is un-deluded. Since mind is seen as the energetical manifestation of our state it is not the case that the mind itself can get un-deluded ONLY, in isolation of the basis where arises from.
Your vidyā must be purified of mind
Since one rests in the knowledge of one's state what mind is there to purify ? One has already arrived at the supreme goal. At the time of knowledge mind has been completely conquered and diversity is understood as the empty clear light wisdom of our already enlightened state.In lower yanas the abyss of no-knowledge and knowledge is crossed in eons or lifetimes but here through the empowering energy of our masters transmission the abyss is crossed in no time.
it is not the case that your vidyā is free from association with affliction at this time. This purification is accomplished at the time of the result, and not before then.
At any moment one can connect with the transmission of knowledge at that instant one is a Buddha.

But mostly we are Buddhas for a second or two.
That said, we are in agreement regarding appearances. Although it is worth noting that Dzogchen still differentiates between karmic appearances and the appearance of dharmatā, the latter is primarily used for support on the path, and the former is then at a later time, correctly apprehend as a result.
By removing the quotes it is indeed meaningless now.
People wont understand anything and the context of these interventions.

You made a mess of it and i leave to you to sort it out.
I do not wish to continue this conversation without the support of scriptures .
My private exchange with people on these matters is always punctuated by the appropriate scriptural quotations so people can see for themselves that my statements and conclusions are not just hearsay.

To me it is very clear that when people wish to communicate privately, among other things they communicate a very simple fact, that the issues are sensitive and they wish to keep them in private due to the sensitivity of the material.
I am not comfortable even with summaries of scriptural evidence to be debated in public because implicitly they would contain ideas of oral, symbolic and direct secret transmission and people who have not had transmission can lift them and spin the s***t out them until they end up an ever-spinning ball of nothing.
Anyway it's done.

SilenceMonkey
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:54 am

Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by SilenceMonkey » Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:20 am

PeterC wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:09 am
SilenceMonkey wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:45 pm

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.
There are plenty of people who have practiced in both traditions. I have myself. But to have a useful experiential point of view on how they differ you would need to have done multiple decades of study and practice in each. Most people who claim knowledge of multiple traditions have credible experience of one and much lighter experience of another. That’s not really enough. Bear in mind that there are some prominent dzogchen teachers around today who were told by their gurus not to give dzogchen teachings until they were in their 50s. So that’s forty or so years of practice until they’re in a position to share their experience.

Nan Huajin’s experience, and the validation of that experience by his teachers, is in large parts self-proclaimed. I seriously doubt how much he really knew about the Vajrayana from a practice perspective.

It is easy to say that these things are all basically the same. Superficially they look very similar. But there are profound differences in how they are presented and practiced. I just don’t think it helps anyone to conflate them.
I just remembered, there's also Master Xin Dao in Taiwan. He is a recognized master of the three vehicles, but mostly teaches Ch'an to the public. The main practice he teaches is a 4-step meditation leading to listening to the sound of emptiness, based on Guan Yin's enlightenment story from the Surangama Sutra. He practices a lot of Great Compassion Dharani each day and has a strong connection with Guanyin. He is also very interested in interfaith dialogue. That's all I know about him.

I think there are more practitioners out there with deep experience of both Ch'an and Dzogchen or Mahamudra than we are aware of. Mostly in Chinese speaking countries, because that's where Ch'an is strong.

There was a great master at Wutai Shan named 夢參老和尚 Master Mengcan who recently passed away, famous for expounding the Avatamsaka Sutra. He grew up in Beijing studying Chinese Buddhism, then studied with a lama at Yonghegong (the lama temple in beijing) for a couple years before following him to Tibet, where he studied Tibetan Dharma. When he passed away in a hut, there were rainbows in the sky. He may or may not have left a heap of jewels where his body would be.

Japanese and Korean Zen, I'm not so sure about, but there are bound to be practitioners if you go looking. You might hear about some contemporary masters from the monks and nuns in those communities, they tend to know more about the Buddhist circles in their cultures.

Japanese zen has always been somewhat intertwined with Shingon, Tendai (and even Shinto). I think someone was telling me that a famous Korean master in the past couple hundred years was a great master of Tibetan Tradition and came back to Korea to teach. So I'm sure there's interest in those two countries, which means they're not completely isolated from Tibetan Dharma. But I personally don't know anything about those two countries.

PeterC
Posts: 600
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by PeterC » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:00 am

SilenceMonkey wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:20 am

I think there are more practitioners out there with deep experience of both Ch'an and Dzogchen or Mahamudra than we are aware of. Mostly in Chinese speaking countries, because that's where Ch'an is strong.
Maybe, maybe not: if we're not aware of them, how would we know? You'd need someone to first find a qualified Chan teacher and spend a few decades training under them - then (as a non-Tibetan) find a Dzogchen master and spend similar amounts of time training with them. Possible, but there will be a vanishingly small number of people who have done that. So while if you wanted to find someone who could talk from experience about Mahamudra vs. Dzogchen or one major system of tantra vs. another, it is going to be very, very difficult to find someone who can opine from experience about Chan/Zen/etc. vs. Dzogchen.

And even if we could, it's not clear that we would really gain anything from that opining, except perhaps talking points in the endless debate on whose tradition is best. (Of course we already know which tradition is best: the tradition that you're going to actually spend time practising.)

Matylda
Posts: 654
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Dzogchen and Zen on enlightenment and post-enlightenment

Post by Matylda » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:07 pm

SilenceMonkey wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:20 am
Japanese zen has always been somewhat intertwined with Shingon, Tendai (and even Shinto). I think someone was telling me that a famous Korean master in the past couple hundred years was a great master of Tibetan Tradition and came back to Korea to teach. So I'm sure there's interest in those two countries, which means they're not completely isolated from Tibetan Dharma. But I personally don't know anything about those two countries.
Not really... as far as Japanese zen is talked about it kept very seperate from tendai or shingon... there were some shingon monks whp practiced zen, but originally the first generations of zen monks were tendai monks, and got tendai education but one may hardly find any references in their teachings to tendai...
much later there were streams of tendai esoteric rituals, as well as shingon which penetrated into some zen monasteries, but those are very individual lines, and one can hardly see an influence.
however all those tradtions stayed in one country so naturally there were contacts between them.. but there was never any syncretism in this. same for shinto, yes there were shinto shrines around zen monasteries, but again zen was far away from shinto philosophy, or practices.. when ceremonies were held in shinto shrines there were strictly buddhist but dedicated to certain dieties, who served as protectors...

Japanese zen is for sure pretty strange to Tibetan tradition, first contact was in the beginning of the 20th century. and nothing structured or official was behind it, just a few individuals on their own adventure went over there..
if Japanese zen got something from shingon it is not equal to any degree to Tibetan dharma.. Tibet was much influenced by Indian buddhism of particular form, and was transformed later on by Tibetans... for example philosophical approach is much different than Japanese, which was rather never so much structured.
Zen does not use any initiations like mantrayana, and Japanese shingin might be very different in the way of empowerment ritual than big Tibetan public empowerments, opened almost to everyone.

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