Relationship between Zen and Shingon

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Vidyaraja
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Relationship between Zen and Shingon

Post by Vidyaraja »

Is there any relationship between Zen and Shingon besides them both being schools of Buddhism and both being Japanese forms of Buddhism? What I mean is was there any cross fertilization between these two traditions in Japan and did they influence each other in any way? Also what was the historical relationship between these schools--cooperation and mutual respect, rivalry or enmity, or merely indifference?

I ask because I once had someone tell me that Shingon was basically Japanese Esoteric/Tantric Buddhism with Zen influences....but I am not sure if that is accurate or not. Thanks in advance.
Huseng
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Re: Relationship between Zen and Shingon

Post by Huseng »

Vidyaraja wrote:Is there any relationship between Zen and Shingon besides them both being schools of Buddhism and both being Japanese forms of Buddhism? What I mean is was there any cross fertilization between these two traditions in Japan and did they influence each other in any way? Also what was the historical relationship between these schools--cooperation and mutual respect, rivalry or enmity, or merely indifference?

I ask because I once had someone tell me that Shingon was basically Japanese Esoteric/Tantric Buddhism with Zen influences....but I am not sure if that is accurate or not. Thanks in advance.

In Japan Shingon predates Zen. The Chinese forms of Shingon (Zhenyan) and Chan actually developed in China around the same time, but the former was especially appealing to the Japanese for various reasons.

Actually, Dogen himself was originally a Tendai monk, but went to China and studied Chan there before returning.

Japanese Tendai itself has both exoteric and esoteric components, the latter having some practices not found specifically in Shingon as a result of figures like Ennin obtaining empowerments that Kukai did not (like the Susiddhi Tantra).
meepits
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Re: Relationship between Zen and Shingon

Post by meepits »

FYI - Shunryu Suzuki anecdote re: Shingon
http://www.cuke.com/Cucumber%20Project/ ... ingon.html
Matylda
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Re: Relationship between Zen and Shingon

Post by Matylda »

Vidyaraja wrote: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:45 am Is there any relationship between Zen and Shingon besides them both being schools of Buddhism and both being Japanese forms of Buddhism? What I mean is was there any cross fertilization between these two traditions in Japan and did they influence each other in any way? Also what was the historical relationship between these schools--cooperation and mutual respect, rivalry or enmity, or merely indifference?

I ask because I once had someone tell me that Shingon was basically Japanese Esoteric/Tantric Buddhism with Zen influences....but I am not sure if that is accurate or not. Thanks in advance.
Actually there is not much relationship, if there is or was it was on more personal level. Just some shingon monks practiced zen, for some time.. some of them changed denomination some not.. most famous probably as7teis Jiun Sonja, who did 3 year intensive training in soto temple, under Daibi Zenji and attained daigo - great enlightenmnet. so it happned under zen master.
Some zen monks out of sheer interest or for any other reason did shingon practive as well. Generally in some soto temples there are mantra influenced rituals, but in fact it comes probably more from tendai than shingon. Shingon for example have their own way to perform mudras, different method than tendai, and one may see in zen rather tendai way of mudra. Though if I see zen priest performing shingon way than i am sure that his line of getting techings for the ritual came from shingon.

Historicaly we see that around Keizan zenji time many rituals were adopted. Later on as well.

sorry for bad English but my kids sit on my head and scream badly :D
Matylda
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Re: Relationship between Zen and Shingon

Post by Matylda »

Huseng wrote: Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:35 am
Vidyaraja wrote:Is there any relationship between Zen and Shingon besides them both being schools of Buddhism and both being Japanese forms of Buddhism? What I mean is was there any cross fertilization between these two traditions in Japan and did they influence each other in any way? Also what was the historical relationship between these schools--cooperation and mutual respect, rivalry or enmity, or merely indifference?

I ask because I once had someone tell me that Shingon was basically Japanese Esoteric/Tantric Buddhism with Zen influences....but I am not sure if that is accurate or not. Thanks in advance.

In Japan Shingon predates Zen. The Chinese forms of Shingon (Zhenyan) and Chan actually developed in China around the same time, but the former was especially appealing to the Japanese for various reasons.

Actually, Dogen himself was originally a Tendai monk, but went to China and studied Chan there before returning.

Japanese Tendai itself has both exoteric and esoteric components, the latter having some practices not found specifically in Shingon as a result of figures like Ennin obtaining empowerments that Kukai did not (like the Susiddhi Tantra).

it is off topic but generally it is accepted in Japan that Ennin got biggest bulk of tantric transmissions. I heard soem of them later on were transmitted in Japan to shingon. But it is only what i heard
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