Mohe Zhiguan Study Thread 摩訶止觀 Part 1

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Queequeg
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Re: Mohe Zhiguan Study Thread 摩訶止觀 Part 1

Post by Queequeg » Fri May 18, 2018 3:51 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 1:19 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 12:35 am
The union of mind and dharmatā. This seems to be the common motive linking the various sects and movements of Buddhism.
This may warrant its own thread.

This may be the most 'religious' idea in Buddhism, and certainly some forms of Mahayana. It's comparable to Einstein's theory of relativity - E=mc2. Here the assertion is matter=mind.
I'm reminded of discussions we have had on this passage:

"In Vasubandhu's theory of consciousness-only, there is only the one consciousness, but it is divided into the discriminating and the undiscriminating forms of consciousness; the discriminating consciousness is what we usually call consciousness, whereas the undiscriminating consciousness is "consciousness appearing to be an object" (sì chén shí / 似塵識). All the physical objects in the universe- vases, clothing, carts, and carriages- are all this undiscriminating form of consciousness.... But since they are all one nature, we can equally say that there are two forms of matter, the discriminating and the undiscriminating.... It is in this sense that the mind and matter are non-dual. Since he [Ven Vasubandhu] is able to say there are these two different forms of consciousness, we can equally say that they are two different forms of matter.... In the Integrated Teaching we can also say that all things are matter only, or sound only, or scent only, or flavour only, or tactile sensation only, or consciousness only. In sum, every dharma inherently mutually possesses all the dharmāḥ comprising dharmadhātu."

IIRC, Ziporyn goes on to discuss this in Evil as/and/or Good, particularly, the implications of this about the nature of the mind. If "discriminating consciousness" is a function of Green Cup, mind becomes something very different than what we suppose about the mind we ordinarily attribute to sentient beings. It also suggests something startling about things we otherwise consider insentient, like the Green Cup. Reality itself becomes something quite different and strange to the common sense intuitions.

It also provides an abrupt retort to some Mind-Only views and others who propose we abide in nothing more than a mirrored room.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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jikai
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Re: Mohe Zhiguan Study Thread 摩訶止觀 Part 1

Post by jikai » Sun May 20, 2018 4:08 am

Hi all,

Just a quick message to say that part 4 of the Study Notes is up on the website. Truth be told I've written most of the next section of notes as well, and had intended to publish them with these notes. The problem is that the commentaries use the following section to discuss the Tiantai concept that insentient beings possess Buddha Nature. While I'm sure that most of you would find that discussion fascinating, the question I've been faced with in editing the notes has been what to introduce when and how, so that it is still understandable in a meaningful way. The Buddha Nature of insentient beings is a reasonably complex discussion, and it is important to understand why figures like Zhanran put forward these ideas. Rest assured I will discuss the concept, but I am trying to make sure I don't introduce too many other concepts in the process.

http://tendaiaustralia.org.au/documents/Guandingpt4.pdf

Gassho,

Jikai.
"止觀明靜前代未聞"
(摩訶止觀)

"此妙法蓮花經者本地甚深之奧藏也"
( 法華玄義)

"觀心者空觀是般若假觀是解脫中觀是法身"
(法華文句)

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Re: Mohe Zhiguan Study Thread 摩訶止觀 Part 1

Post by jikai » Sun May 20, 2018 4:20 am

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 6:57 pm
Many thanks Jikai, your response is clarifying!

As for the life of this bodhisattva, any generally accepted traditions about who he was in any of his rebirths?

No support for this notion, but his depth & comprehensiveness in presenting buddhadharma, reminds one of Je Tsongkhapa.
No problem.

From memory the only discussion of Zhiyi's rebirths postulate that he was formerly on MT Ghrdrakuta when the Buddha preached the Lotus Sutra. Some of these stories suggest he was actually physically there, and others explain it as a samadhic vision experience. Interestingly stories talk of Huisi being reborn in Japan as Prince Shotoku (Shotoku Taishi 聖德太子). These stories probably grew out of the Prince's commentary on the Lotus Sutra, and the Constitution he is said to have helped author (in legend it is said to be based on his faith in the Lotus Sutra. In fact, it does enshrine Buddhism, but it doesn't strike me as particular to the Lotus Sutra).

I've never thought of comparing Zhiyi to Tsongkhapa but its an interesting comparison.

Gassho,

Jikai.
"止觀明靜前代未聞"
(摩訶止觀)

"此妙法蓮花經者本地甚深之奧藏也"
( 法華玄義)

"觀心者空觀是般若假觀是解脫中觀是法身"
(法華文句)

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Re: Mohe Zhiguan Study Thread 摩訶止觀 Part 1

Post by jikai » Sun May 20, 2018 4:27 am

Queequeg wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 3:43 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:01 pm
Both Donner-Stevenson & Swanson agree that the heart or distilled essence of this text, and I suppose of Tien-tai itself, is this paragraph. Swanson's version is on pp 99-101, but here is the D-S version from 1993, pp 112-14:
Perfect and Sudden Calming and Contemplation

[1c23] The perfect and sudden calming and contemplation from the very beginning takes ultimate reality (shih-hsiang) as its object. No matter what the object of contemplation might be, it is seen to be identical to the middle. There is here nothing that is not true reality (chen-shih). When one fixes [the mind] on the dharmadhātu [as object] and unifies one's mindfulness with the dharmadhātu [as it is], then there is not a single sight nor smell that is not the middle way. The same goes for the realm of self, the realm of Buddha, and the realm of living beings. Since all aggregates (skandha) and sense-accesses (āyatana) [of body and mind] are thusness, there is no suffering to be cast away. Since nescience and the afflictions are themselves identical with enlightenment (bodhi), there is no origin of suffering to be eradicated. Since the two extreme views are the middle way and false views are the right view, there is no path to be cultivated. Since samsāra is identical with nirvāna, there is no cessation to be achieved. Because of the [intrinsic] inexistence of suffering and its origin, the mundane does not exist; because of the inexistence of the path and cessation, the supramundane does not exist. A single, unalloyed reality (shih-hsiang) is all there is --- no entities whatever exist outside of it. That all entities are by nature quiescent (chi) is called "calming" (chih); that, though quiescent, this nature is ever luminous (chao), is called "contemplation" (kuan). Though a verbal distinction is made between earlier and later stages of practice, there is ultimately no duality, no distinction between them. This is what is called the "perfect and sudden calming and contemplation."
Several profound themes for meditation here in this pith teaching.
:applause:


I think it can rightly be said that the rest of the MHCK is an expansion and explanation of this.

This is indeed an incredibly important passage. And it most probably Guanding who placed it here (it occurs later on) for this reason. It's importance has been long recognised in the Tiantai/ Tendai School, and we chant it in a number of our services. In fact, when I publish the notes on that section (in the next set of the notes) I am going to provide the Chinese with Japanese furigana (for chanting purposes), and encourage anyone who is reading the text, or following along with these notes to do the simple practice before their study.

Gassho,

Jikai.
"止觀明靜前代未聞"
(摩訶止觀)

"此妙法蓮花經者本地甚深之奧藏也"
( 法華玄義)

"觀心者空觀是般若假觀是解脫中觀是法身"
(法華文句)

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Mohe Zhiguan Study Thread 摩訶止觀 Part 1

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun May 20, 2018 6:07 pm

jikai wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:27 am

This is indeed an incredibly important passage. And it most probably Guanding who placed it here (it occurs later on) for this reason.

Gassho,

Jikai.
What page in Swanson does it occur? Is it is the Synopsis or the main text?
Manjushri is the hallowed Dharma, the ruler of the Dharma, the shining one, the superb illuminator of the world;
He is the powerful lord of Dharma, the king of the Dharma, the one who shows the most excellent pathway of mind. Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Mohe Zhiguan Study Thread 摩訶止觀 Part 1

Post by Queequeg » Fri May 25, 2018 5:10 pm

    Nicholas Weeks wrote:
    Sun May 20, 2018 6:07 pm
    jikai wrote:
    Sun May 20, 2018 4:27 am

    This is indeed an incredibly important passage. And it most probably Guanding who placed it here (it occurs later on) for this reason.

    Gassho,

    Jikai.
    What page in Swanson does it occur? Is it is the Synopsis or the main text?
    In Swanson's translation, the passage first appears at page 99-100. Not sure about the second occurrence.
    Those who, even with distracted minds,
    Entered a stupa compound
    And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
    Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

    -Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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