Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

ItsRaining
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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by ItsRaining » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:20 am

Astus wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:03 pm
Dharma Flower wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:40 pm
I think we might need to politely agree to disagree.
What is there to disagree with? The term "one mind" does not appear in that passage in any of the translations in Chinese, nor even in Suzuki's English translation.
I see this quote a lot from the Lanka a lot in Chinese
That which is void is know as the One Mind. The One Mind is the Tathagatabarbha. Tathagatabarbha is the trapped Dharmakaya
寂灭者,名为一心。一心者,即如来藏。如来藏,亦是在缠法身

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:25 am

I have a Tumblr page with over 3,000 followers, mostly dedicated to quoting articles and books on Pure Land practice from a Ch'an/Zen perspective. The URL is matthewsatori.tumblr.com. I would really appreciate it if anyone can please suggest content to include on my page. That would be very helpful. Thank you.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:29 am

ItsRaining wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:20 am
I see this quote a lot from the Lanka a lot in Chinese
That which is void is know as the One Mind. The One Mind is the Tathagatabarbha. Tathagatabarbha is the trapped Dharmakaya
寂灭者,名为一心。一心者,即如来藏。如来藏,亦是在缠法身
That is not in the Lankavatara, but the Zongjinglu, vol 4, where it is claimed to be a quote from the Lankavatara. Only in Bodhiruci's translation there is something similar: Nirvana is called one mind, one mind is called tathagatagarbha, entering the realm of personal wisdom (sva-pratyatma-gati-gocara) is the anutpattika-dharma-ksanti-samadhi. (寂滅者名為一心,一心者名為如來藏,入自內身智慧境界,得無生法忍三昧。)
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"

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by ItsRaining » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:36 am

Astus wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:29 am
ItsRaining wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:20 am
I see this quote a lot from the Lanka a lot in Chinese
That which is void is know as the One Mind. The One Mind is the Tathagatabarbha. Tathagatabarbha is the trapped Dharmakaya
寂灭者,名为一心。一心者,即如来藏。如来藏,亦是在缠法身
That is not in the Lankavatara, but the Zongjinglu, vol 4, where it is claimed to be a quote from the Lankavatara. Only in Bodhiruci's translation there is something similar: Nirvana is called one mind, one mind is called tathagatagarbha, entering the realm of personal wisdom (sva-pratyatma-gati-gocara) is the anutpattika-dharma-ksanti-samadhi. (寂滅者名為一心,一心者名為如來藏,入自內身智慧境界,得無生法忍三昧。)
Ah okay, the wordings almost the same. Then the last two phrases could be Yongming Yanshou's own comments seeing as Classical Chinese didn't have quotation marks or perhaps just paraphrasing.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by DGA » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:29 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:25 am
I have a Tumblr page with over 3,000 followers, mostly dedicated to quoting articles and books on Pure Land practice from a Ch'an/Zen perspective. The URL is matthewsatori.tumblr.com. I would really appreciate it if anyone can please suggest content to include on my page. That would be very helpful. Thank you.
I think it would be great if you promoted Meido sensei's book.

https://www.shambhala.com/the-rinzai-zen-way-15207.html

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by DGA » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:44 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:09 am
DGA wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:10 am
Start here:

viewtopic.php?f=69&p=435762#p435581
Like the layperson Vimalakirti, it is my turn to respond in silence, and to hopefully allow my practice to speak for itself.
That's one approach...

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:28 pm

Amida Buddha is not a theistic god. In reciting the name of Amida Buddha, and bowing to his statue on the altar, we seek to realize Amida as our true Buddha-self:
So the question becomes, “what does the statue of Buddha represent?” Buddhism is a non-theistic religion, so, by definition, idolatry can’t be an issue here.

In Zen, we usually say that we are bowing to our own Buddha Nature, that higher aspect of ourselves which we have in common with all other beings.

When we bow, we are reminding ourselves of our inborn enlightenment, which our greed, hate, and delusion keep us from realizing, and making a renewed commitment to become what we truly are.
http://www.chzc.org/bowing.htm


In the Ch'an/Zen teaching, Amida Buddha is a mirror into our own Buddha-nature.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by fuki » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:54 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:47 am
Thank you for sharing this. I love Master Sheng-Yen.
Me too ;)

ps posted this elsewhere on the forum though it might be of additional value to the thread here, if not my apologies.

Sheng yen on (Chan) practise and faith;
Many people think that Chan practice depends solely on their own efforts, requiring self-reliance, while those who practice by reciting the Buddha’s name depend solely on external help. Both of these views are incorrect.
http://chancenter.org/cmc/wp-content/up ... dFaith.pdf
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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:20 am

Learning the Ch'an/Zen understanding of Pure Land practice helped me to harmonize the Nembutsu with the Buddha's last words to be a lamp* unto yourself, seeking no external refuge.

The name Amida means “boundless light.” Amida is, from a Ch'an/Zen perspective, the boundless light of our own Buddha-nature. In reciting the Nembutsu, we awaken to the True Self, the lamp within.

*I realize that some modern translations of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta translate the Pali "dipa" as "island" rather than "lamp," but the word can have both meanings. Either way, the message of "seek no external refuge" would remain.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:12 am

fuki wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:54 pm
Sheng yen on (Chan) practise and faith;
Many people think that Chan practice depends solely on their own efforts, requiring self-reliance, while those who practice by reciting the Buddha’s name depend solely on external help. Both of these views are incorrect.
http://chancenter.org/cmc/wp-content/up ... dFaith.pdf
I always appreciate the insight of Master Sheng-yen. Thanks again.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:06 pm

Dharma Flower wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:20 am
Learning the Ch'an/Zen understanding of Pure Land practice helped me to harmonize the Nembutsu with the Buddha's last words to be a lamp* unto yourself, seeking no external refuge.
fuki wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:54 pm
Sheng yen on (Chan) practise and faith;
Many people think that Chan practice depends solely on their own efforts, requiring self-reliance, while those who practice by reciting the Buddha’s name depend solely on external help. Both of these views are incorrect.
http://chancenter.org/cmc/wp-content/up ... dFaith.pdf
Chan/Pure Land and Chinese Pure Land generally = self-power plus other-power. One's own efforts to the utmost plus Amitabha's vow power and merits.

Do you completely deny other-power, DF?
namu amida butsu
OṂ  HRIYADHE  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  HRIDAYA  GARBHE / DZOLA  DHARMADHATU  GARBHE  /  SANG  HARANA  ĀYUḤ  SANGŚHODHAYA  /  PĀPAṂ  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  SAMENDRA  UṢHṆĪKHA  BIMALE  BIŚHUDDHE  SWĀHĀ

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by fuki » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:58 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:06 pm
Dharma Flower wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:20 am
Learning the Ch'an/Zen understanding of Pure Land practice helped me to harmonize the Nembutsu with the Buddha's last words to be a lamp* unto yourself, seeking no external refuge.
fuki wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:54 pm
Sheng yen on (Chan) practise and faith;
Many people think that Chan practice depends solely on their own efforts, requiring self-reliance, while those who practice by reciting the Buddha’s name depend solely on external help. Both of these views are incorrect.
http://chancenter.org/cmc/wp-content/up ... dFaith.pdf
Chan/Pure Land and Chinese Pure Land generally = self-power plus other-power. One's own efforts to the utmost plus Amitabha's vow power and merits.

Do you completely deny other-power, DF?
We could also ask ourselfs why make "internal" why make "external"? In our Practise there is neither, full attention leaves no room for a conceptual center. Like this everything is complete, reciting, bowing, zazen etc

Dharma Flower made several threads on zfi on this topic and I want to apologies for my bad conduct toward him, I might not agree with everything he says but I see my attitude towards him was arrogant and foolish and wrong. When we do not seperate between "self-power" and "other-power" "internal" and "external" there are neither extremes nor the middle way. Just stick to the method/non-method. When we make this and that, internal and external, all is wrong, or at least limited.

I'm reminded of Tokusan on that day (of his awakening) in front of the lecture hall, he burned to ashes his commentaries on the sutras and declared; "In comparison to this awareness, all the most profound teachings are like a single hair in vast space. However deep the complicated knowledge of the world, compared to this enlightenment, it is like one drop of water in the ocean." Then he left the monastery.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:10 pm

If you haven't practiced and therefore studied carefully Pure Land, fuki, it's prone to being misunderstood. All those in this thread who practice schools of Pure Land have been in unison on these points (including a Zen and Thien practitioner) except DF and yourself.

(edited my post to be less crabby) :toilet:
namu amida butsu
OṂ  HRIYADHE  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  HRIDAYA  GARBHE / DZOLA  DHARMADHATU  GARBHE  /  SANG  HARANA  ĀYUḤ  SANGŚHODHAYA  /  PĀPAṂ  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  SAMENDRA  UṢHṆĪKHA  BIMALE  BIŚHUDDHE  SWĀHĀ

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by fuki » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:28 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:10 pm
If you have not practiced Pure Land, fuki, how can you comment on it? In particular these schools are misunderstood. All those in this thread who practice schools of Pure Land have been in unison on these points except DF and yourself.
I'm sorry Monlam I wasn't commenting on Pure Land practise, sorry if I gave that expression. I dont see where I have been in unison or not in unison to be honest, I was just making amends and tried to be helpful but probably looking at your comment made an unhelpful post. I appreciated Meido post which was clear so I wasnt really commenting on views at the moment, thought I shared something "practical" not from a viewpoint or side.
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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:32 pm

Apologies, fuki. I tried softening my post up but you saw the original anyway. Not been an easy few weeks here. :anjali:
namu amida butsu
OṂ  HRIYADHE  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  HRIDAYA  GARBHE / DZOLA  DHARMADHATU  GARBHE  /  SANG  HARANA  ĀYUḤ  SANGŚHODHAYA  /  PĀPAṂ  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  SAMENDRA  UṢHṆĪKHA  BIMALE  BIŚHUDDHE  SWĀHĀ

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by fuki » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:38 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:32 pm
Apologies, fuki. I tried softening my post up but you saw the original anyway. Not been an easy few weeks here. :anjali:
No harm done friend thank you and appreciate your comment. Keep going strong and be well.
:anjali:
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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:40 am

fuki wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:58 pm
We could also ask ourselfs why make "internal" why make "external"? In our Practise there is neither, full attention leaves no room for a conceptual center. Like this everything is complete, reciting, bowing, zazen etc...

When we do not seperate between "self-power" and "other-power" "internal" and "external" there are neither extremes nor the middle way. Just stick to the method/non-method. When we make this and that, internal and external, all is wrong, or at least limited.
I agree with all the things you are saying here. This is the Zen sub-forum, so it's natural that we discuss here Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective:
The relationship with Chinese “Chan” Buddhism (Zen) is long and complicated, but by the time of the Ming Dynasty (明朝), Chan and Pure Land Buddhism slowly converged into two sides of the same “Chinese Buddhism”. This in turn influenced China’s neighbors of Korea and Vietnam.

To illustrate this point, Buddhist authors in late-medieval China and Vietnam frequently describe Pure Land Buddhism’s practice of reciting the Buddha’s name in terms of three levels:

Mundane, regular level: reciting the Buddha’s name to achieve rebirth in the Pure Land.
Middle-level: reciting the Buddha’s name to “bring out” the Buddha within the practitioner.
High-level: reciting the Buddha’s name with the understanding that there is no Buddha outside the mind.
Examples of these teachings include Tue Trung (Tuệ Trung Thượng Sĩ) in Vietnam and Ou-I in China.

The point is that the “ultimate” teaching of Pure Land Buddhism has nothing to do with an external refuge, but that the Pure Land is the mind itself, and is synonymous with Chan (Zen) teachings in Chinese Buddhism.
https://klingonbuddhist.wordpress.com/2 ... -buddhism/

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:41 am

In terms of whether the Pure Land is after death or here and now, these words of the Buddha are helpful:
"With his heart thus unhostile and unafflicted by ill will, thus
undefiled and unified, a noble disciple here and now acquires these
four comforts. He thinks: 'If there is another world and there is fruit
and ripening of actions well done and ill done, then it is possible that
on the dissolution of the body, after death, I might be reborn in a
heavenly world.' This is the first comfort acquired. 'But if there is no
other world and there is no fruit and ripening of actions well done
and ill done, then here and now in this life I shall be free from hostility,
affliction and anxiety, and I shall live happily.'
https://books.google.com/books?id=7AO9O ... &q&f=false
Seeking to live in the Pure Land here and now, through the dual practice of Ch'an and Pure Land, need not deny the existence of a Pure Land after death.

Yet if our true nature is ultimately the same as Amida Buddha's, then we can here and now in this life be free from hostility, affliction and anxiety through the mindful recitation of Amida's name.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Dharma Flower » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:55 pm

In Zen practice, it's often said there's nothing to attain. This is because the practice itself is an outward expression of the Buddha-nature we already are, which has been obscured by the deluded ego.

From a Zen perspective, Pure Land practice is an expression of our original nature, which is the same as Amida Buddha's. In reciting the name of Amida and bowing to his image, we humble the ego-self to let the Amida-self shine through.

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Re: Pure Land teachings from a Zen perspective

Post by Astus » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:16 am

Dharma Flower wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:55 pm
In Zen practice, it's often said there's nothing to attain. This is because the practice itself is an outward expression of the Buddha-nature we already are, which has been obscured by the deluded ego.
As long as the nature is obscured, it cannot be expressed.
From a Zen perspective, Pure Land practice is an expression of our original nature, which is the same as Amida Buddha's. In reciting the name of Amida and bowing to his image, we humble the ego-self to let the Amida-self shine through.
With the obscuration present, all actions are the products of ignorance.

"If you don’t see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless."
(Bodhidharma: Bloodstream Sermon, tr Red Pine)
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"

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