Zazen and breathing

tingdzin
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by tingdzin » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:14 am

Varis wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:18 pm
What's the point in watching TV, hanging out with friends, etc. when you could spend that time practicing the dharma? What makes studying history worse than these other activities?
Don't get me wrong -- I love studying history, and have surely spent more time at it than watching TV.
it's just that as I grow older, I find am more and more seeing it as just another way to distract oneself. To each his own. And if you can earn a living from solid critical study of history (as opposed to just following academic fashions), more power to you.

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rory
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by rory » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:37 pm

Varis wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:56 am
Matylda wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:54 am
It will be not surprising if one may find some similarities within taoist practices or indian or tibetan yoga. they do not have to be exactly very same but similar, yes. However the aim might be very different. Finally taoism or indian non-buddhist yoga have different agenda. Moreover they have nothing to do with Nagarjuna's emptiness, or zen realisation of no-self.
I looked further into the subject, Thomas Cleary says that the practice of placing attention in the hara originated in Tendai. He also states that the practice was acknowledged by an 18th century Zen figure as having its origin in Taoism, I assume the breathing practices do as well.
Good catch Varis; yes it's from Tendai. Here is a pdf with a diagram and explanation from a priest:
https://tendaiuk.files.wordpress.com/20 ... tation.pdf
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Meido
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Meido » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:24 am

I am not surprised if Tendai-shu preserves some practices not dissimilar to those preserved in Zen lines. But to say the Zen practices involving cultivation centered on the tanden come from Japanese Tendai is to ignore evidence of their existence among the Song Chinese Chan teachers and monks that came to Japan during the Kamakura era. I have mentioned here in the past that Shonan Kattoroku famously preserves a number of anecdotes in which such things figure (and which were later taken up as koans, that could only be passed upon concrete demonstration of the fruition of such cultivation in one's own body). For example:

http://www.tlayt.org/tokimunes-thing-be ... l-koan-18/

The search for origins of these things in Japanese Zen is more fruitfully done elsewhere I think.

~ Meido
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

Matylda
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Matylda » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:03 am

In fact it always surprises me how people try to find all sorts of origins of zen practice, as if it had any real meaning, maybe it has just intelectual value or is only information. But still it has no influence on current zen practice. There is none in fact.
More surprising is repeating about connection of zen to taoism etc. it goes on without any knowledge of indian roots and origins of zen practice. People imagine probably that zen was just dropped to China out of the blue, without any support or proper instructions.
In Japan one may hardly find books on breathing in zazen which are not connected to Indian origins. Mostly authors base their materials on Indian sources not taoist. Somehow in the West people came to funny conclusion that taoism and zen are strongly connected. I dooubt this connection and since I started to ask teachers in Japan about it their eyebrows were lifted in surprise, and they asked back why Westerners do not see Indian origin or yoga origin? It is in fact the source we should look at. Of course even other traditions like tendai could have similar influence.
In Japan Indian monks were present since 7th century, did they do nothing??? In China Indian monks were present for many centuries, and the number of them was really great. Why Chinese buddhists, including zen monks should go to taoists for information about breathing, who in fact were often hostile to buddhism or zen???

If one reads about mula bhanda and other yogic breathing including retention, one will find many similar instructions one got from a zen teacher.

But after all who cares where all the pointers and instructions of a true master are from? just trust his wisdom and long experience that is really enough.. all the rest is just unnecessary ballast added to our heads.

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Meido
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Meido » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:44 am

Scholars have their motivations of course. But other people seem largely motivated by their own affinities/aversions. For example, people who study Zen for some years but never learned or heard about such practices are hesitant to admit that perhaps their lineages lost something , or didn't preserve the thread of oral instruction. People who are cobbling together their own understanding outside of relationship with a teacher don't find these things in books, and are happy to dismiss them saying "It's not Buddhist."

There have been discussions here and elsewhere in the past RE the influence of so-called "Taoism" on Buddhist practice; I recall Huifeng in particular discussing it. My understanding at this point is that the influence went mostly the other direction.

But in any case, I don't know practitioners who worry much about origins.

~ Meido
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

Varis
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Varis » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:05 pm

Matylda wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:03 am
In fact it always surprises me how people try to find all sorts of origins of zen practice, as if it had any real meaning, maybe it has just intelectual value or is only information. But still it has no influence on current zen practice. There is none in fact.
More surprising is repeating about connection of zen to taoism etc. it goes on without any knowledge of indian roots and origins of zen practice. People imagine probably that zen was just dropped to China out of the blue, without any support or proper instructions.
There is nothing wrong with Zen having a connection to Daoism, just as there's nothing wrong with Buddhism's connection to Hinduism in its various forms. That doesn't make Zen any less legitimate than other forms of Buddhadharma. Chan in China and Vietnam is even more influenced by Daoism/Shenism than Japanese Zen is. It is not uncommon to find Chan masters who talk about the Jade Emperor, Immortals, etc. and the Surangama sutra shows clear Daoist influence.
The Buddhadharma adapts to sentient beings and their needs, there should be no shame in this.
In Japan one may hardly find books on breathing in zazen which are not connected to Indian origins. Mostly authors base their materials on Indian sources not taoist. Somehow in the West people came to funny conclusion that taoism and zen are strongly connected. I dooubt this connection and since I started to ask teachers in Japan about it their eyebrows were lifted in surprise, and they asked back why Westerners do not see Indian origin or yoga origin?
On the surface they bear similarity to pranayama, but looking deeper they don't, IMO.
Daoist breathing practices focus on returning to naturalness, that is, the pre-heaven state before birth. That's the point of focusing on the dantien, this is in opposition to the focus of Indian pranayama, which is the central channel. Dr. Michael Saso has written about these differences in energetic cultivation on his blog, if you'd like a more in-depth explanation from someone who is both an ordained Daoist and Tendai priest, I'd look there. I won't deny that there is possibly partial origins in India, but to deny these practices have any Daoist origin at all is absurd.
In Japan Indian monks were present since 7th century, did they do nothing??? In China Indian monks were present for many centuries, and the number of them was really great. Why Chinese buddhists, including zen monks should go to taoists for information about breathing, who in fact were often hostile to buddhism or zen???
Daoists and Buddhists lived on the same mountains, practiced in the same caves, were in frequent contact with each other, etc. many Buddhist monks were converts from Daoism and vice-versa.
But after all who cares where all the pointers and instructions of a true master are from? just trust his wisdom and long experience that is really enough.. all the rest is just unnecessary ballast added to our heads.
I understand this is just samsaric activity, but so are plenty of other things we all do, like posting on this forum. If you trust your master and their teachings, there's no reason to feel hostile towards the non-Buddhist origins of certain practices.

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rory
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by rory » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:58 pm

Bhikshu Dharmamitra translated:
Zhiyi: Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime: A Classic Meditation Manual on Traditional Indian Buddhist Meditation

The dissemination came from China, Martin Collcutt writes in "Five Mountains: Rinzai Zen Monastic Institutions in Japan" Harvard University Press,p. 33 that Japanese visitors to Sung dynasty China already had learnt Ch'an posture, meditation and breathing techniques via Japanese Tendai training. And that Sung Ch'an monasteries studied basic Tiantai texts which were held in high regard. He then points out novel features of Sung Dynasty Ch'an like koan usage.

As for Daoism and Japanese Buddhism, those who don't know the long history and influence start with something like this:Daoism in Japan: Chinese Traditions and their Influence on Japanese Religious Culture ed. Jeffery Richey, Routledge

It's helpful to realize that scholars now agree there weren't sects as we imagine them in pre-Tokugawa Japan, rather it was more like temple faculties with monks freely travelling and studying at other temple centers. There was a great dissemination of information, teaching and practices. This was the norm.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Astus » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:03 am

rory wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:58 pm
Bhikshu Dharmamitra translated:
Zhiyi: Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime: A Classic Meditation Manual on Traditional Indian Buddhist Meditation
In that work Zhiyi modifies and expands on one of the Indian methods of anapanasmrti. It does not include any sort of "energy" (qi/prana) practices.
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"

ItsRaining
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by ItsRaining » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:16 pm

Astus wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:03 am
rory wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:58 pm
Bhikshu Dharmamitra translated:
Zhiyi: Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime: A Classic Meditation Manual on Traditional Indian Buddhist Meditation
In that work Zhiyi modifies and expands on one of the Indian methods of anapanasmrti. It does not include any sort of "energy" (qi/prana) practices.
I remember reading a Tiantai text that did teach it, I don't remember if it was by Zhiyi or someone else though. It recommended Zhiyi's six sounds as well as the movement of Qi around the body.

Matylda
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Matylda » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:49 pm

rory wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:58 pm
It's helpful to realize that scholars now agree there weren't sects as we imagine them in pre-Tokugawa Japan, rather it was more like temple faculties with monks freely travelling and studying at other temple centers. There was a great dissemination of information, teaching and practices. This was the norm.
gassho
Rory
This norm prevailed even in the XIX and XX century, though Japanese gov made much to set sectarian borders. As far as zen is considered many serious soto monks went to rinzai monasteries for training among most famous were Harada Sogaku, Watanabe Genshu and Keido Chisan. Still there are few who did training in rinzai.
On the other hand I know temple in Japan were there was a soto roshi, who drew much attention form monks of 4 different schools, jodo-shu, tendai-shu, rinzai and of course soto.
On the other hand I knowsoto teachers, who did training in shingon-shu.

In the 70ties of the XIX century gov put certain restriction concerning education of priests and unfortunately it truned situation from more open to much close and limited within each school.

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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Varis » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:34 am

ItsRaining wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:16 pm
I remember reading a Tiantai text that did teach it, I don't remember if it was by Zhiyi or someone else though. It recommended Zhiyi's six sounds as well as the movement of Qi around the body.
Zhiyi taught the six sounds? They feature quite prominently in various texts about nourishing life practices in the Daoist cannon, and in particular in the writings of Dao Hongjing, who organized the teachings of the Shangqing sect.

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rory
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by rory » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:18 pm

Varis wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:34 am
ItsRaining wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:16 pm
I remember reading a Tiantai text that did teach it, I don't remember if it was by Zhiyi or someone else though. It recommended Zhiyi's six sounds as well as the movement of Qi around the body.
Zhiyi taught the six sounds? They feature quite prominently in various texts about nourishing life practices in the Daoist cannon, and in particular in the writings of Dao Hongjing, who organized the teachings of the Shangqing sect.
Livia Kohn in Daoist Body Cultivation University of Hawaii Press, 2006
states that Zhiyi in Xiuxi zhiguan zuochan fayao discusses the 6 healing breaths.
(sorry I don't have a page number, but it's under Master Ning's Model)

the Daoism Handbook Brill, 2000 ed. Livia Kohn , p. 467 also mentions that Zhiyi's teacher Huisi lived on Mt. Heng where the Daoist master Deng Yuzhi lived and Huisi vowed to cultivate neidan and waidan It's mentioned that this may be later hagiography but Daoist practices did influence Tiantai and there is mention of a Ch'an master Shitou Xiqian composing a Buddhist text called Cantong qi
here also is an article:
https://www.qigonginstitute.org/abstrac ... hi-therapy

Buddhist intellectual history is a fascinating topic!
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by anjali » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:02 am

Meido wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:44 am
...
There have been discussions here and elsewhere in the past RE the influence of so-called "Taoism" on Buddhist practice; I recall Huifeng in particular discussing it. My understanding at this point is that the influence went mostly the other direction.
I don't have much to add to the conversation other that to briefly mention Cleary's translation of the The Secret of the Golden Flower. I've never been attracted much to Taoism, but found this book to be very nice in its presentation. From the Intro,
The Secret of the Golden Flower is a lay manual of Buddhist and Taoist methods for clarifying the mind. A distillation of the inner psycho-
active elements in ancient spiritual classics, it describes a natural way to mental freedom practiced in China for many centuries.

The golden flower symbolizes the quintessence of the paths of Buddhism and Taoism. Gold stands for light, the light of the mind itself; the flower represents the blossoming, or opening up, of the light of the mind. Thus the expression is emblematic of the basic awakening of the real self and its hidden potential.
...
The experience of the blossoming of the golden flower is likened to light in the sky, a sky of awareness vaster than thoughts, and an unimpeded
space containing everything without being filled. Thus it opens up an avenue to an endless source of intuition, creativity, and inspiration. Once this power of mental awakening has been developed, it can be renewed and deepened without limit.
No idea if the practice described in the text is actually taught by any Buddhist lineage.
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Astus » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:42 am

rory wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:18 pm
Varis wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:34 am
ItsRaining wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:16 pm
I remember reading a Tiantai text that did teach it, I don't remember if it was by Zhiyi or someone else though. It recommended Zhiyi's six sounds as well as the movement of Qi around the body.
Zhiyi taught the six sounds? They feature quite prominently in various texts about nourishing life practices in the Daoist cannon, and in particular in the writings of Dao Hongjing, who organized the teachings of the Shangqing sect.
Livia Kohn in Daoist Body Cultivation University of Hawaii Press, 2006
states that Zhiyi in Xiuxi zhiguan zuochan fayao discusses the 6 healing breaths.
It is found in chapter 9 of The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation, on page 8 of that pdf. The same in the Chinese original is here.

Salguero (in Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China, p 103-105) writes that Zhiyi makes use of Chinese healing concepts there and differentiates it from the Indian method of twelve breaths by using different words (qi 氣 and xi 息) for "breath".
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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Anders
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Anders » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:52 am

Meido wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:44 am
Scholars have their motivations of course. But other people seem largely motivated by their own affinities/aversions. For example, people who study Zen for some years but never learned or heard about such practices are hesitant to admit that perhaps their lineages lost something , or didn't preserve the thread of oral instruction. People who are cobbling together their own understanding outside of relationship with a teacher don't find these things in books, and are happy to dismiss them saying "It's not Buddhist."

There have been discussions here and elsewhere in the past RE the influence of so-called "Taoism" on Buddhist practice; I recall Huifeng in particular discussing it. My understanding at this point is that the influence went mostly the other direction.

But in any case, I don't know practitioners who worry much about origins.

~ Meido
In the specific area of energetic practices, my impression is that Chinese Buddhism took a fair amount of inspiration from the daoist.

At the end of the day though, whether it came from Zhiyi, the Buddha or laozi, it boils down to "some dude somewhere sat down and discovered this". The more essential proof is, I think, in the continuous upholding of such methods in the lineages as the seal of authentication.

You can apply the same metric to the Mahayana sutras, imo. It doesn't matter much whether the shurangama sutra was composed in China, in India, or dictation taken from the feet of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. What matters is that great masters over many centuries have used it as a scripture of great profundity and utility.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Astus
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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:27 am

Anders wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:52 am
"some dude somewhere sat down and discovered this"
Would you say the same of other beliefs, like the five elements and the forces of yin and yang? Then Zou Yan might be that "some dude". But there are several other "energy" views out there, so just as combination with Chinese concepts can be acceptable, we might as well integrate readily available Hermetic, Kabbalistic, or any New Age system.
The more essential proof is, I think, in the continuous upholding of such methods in the lineages as the seal of authentication.
Tradition is no proof, otherwise the Vedas should be accepted as well. As the Buddha said (Canki Sutta):

“There are five things, Bhāradvāja, that may turn out in two different ways here and now. What five? Faith, approval, oral tradition, reasoned cogitation, and reflective acceptance of a view. These five things may turn out in two different ways here and now. Now something may be fully accepted out of faith, yet it may be empty, hollow, and false; but something else may not be fully accepted out of faith, yet it may be factual, true, and unmistaken. Again, something may be fully approved of…well transmitted…well cogitated…well reflected upon, yet it may be empty, hollow, and false; but something else may not be well reflected upon, yet it may be factual, true, and unmistaken. Under these conditions it is not proper for a wise man who preserves truth to come to the definite conclusion: ‘Only this is true, anything else is wrong.’”
What matters is that great masters over many centuries have used it as a scripture of great profundity and utility.
Some did, some did not, and some rejected them. So, instead of relying on one's choice of great masters, why not on doctrinal and practical qualities? After all, where the authenticity of the Vaipulya sutras are defended (e.g. Mahayanasutralamkara, ch 1), the argument is not that "Nagarjuna liked it", or "Sthiramati commented on it".
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: Zazen and breathing

Post by Anders » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:21 am

Astus wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:27 am
Tradition is no proof, otherwise the Vedas should be accepted as well.
Tradition and living lineage is not the same thing. At least not in the sense that the pali canon uses the term.
Some did, some did not, and some rejected them. So, instead of relying on one's choice of great masters, why not on doctrinal and practical qualities? After all, where the authenticity of the Vaipulya sutras are defended (e.g. Mahayanasutralamkara, ch 1), the argument is not that "Nagarjuna liked it", or "Sthiramati commented on it".
it more or less is. What has been ignored, or rejected, by the great masters is generally subsequently ignored and rejected by later lineages.

It's a dynamic process of course - Especially in early Chan Buddhism, it was often a case of individual Chan masters extolling the virtues of whatever scriptures they felt matched their own outlook the best - A sharp contrast to the 'scriptural' schools who based their validity on the argued supremacy of a given scripture (or set of them) rather than on the validity of realisation in the ongoing lineage. The general approach in Chan to choice of scripture has moreso been a utilitarian and situational 'toolbox' approach than a hierarchial and systematised hermeneutic approach.

The same can of course happen today.
Last edited by Anders on Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Anders » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:24 am

Astus wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:27 am
Would you say the same of other beliefs, like the five elements and the forces of yin and yang? Then Zou Yan might be that "some dude". But there are several other "energy" views out there, so just as combination with Chinese concepts can be acceptable, we might as well integrate readily available Hermetic, Kabbalistic, or any New Age system.
When it comes to stuff like energetic practices - sure, why not? If they turn out to work really well, I see no reason why Buddhism should not cannibalise these and adapt them to a Buddhist framework.

I think there is a difference betweenn tom dick and harry doing so and generations of realised masters doing so though.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Re: Zazen and breathing

Post by Astus » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:06 pm

Anders wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:21 am
Tradition and living lineage is not the same thing. At least not in the sense that the pali canon uses the term.
How so? A tradition that is still alive (and not, for instance, recreated or revived) means that it's been passed down through the generations.
it more or less is.
What does 'it' stand for here? That the argument for the Mahayana scriptures is mainly just references to respected teachers?
What has been ignored, or rejected, by the great masters is generally subsequently ignored and rejected by later lineages.
If this refers only to Zen lineages, then it's one of the differences between lineages what textual materials they rely on. Being of a particular lineage then also defines whom they consider to be "great masters".
When it comes to stuff like energetic practices - sure, why not?
It is only a matter of fitting them into a Buddhist context.
I think there is a difference betweenn tom dick and harry doing so and generations of realised masters doing so though.
Since there can be no realisation outside Buddhism, nothing could be accepted that cannot be traced back to the Buddha himself. If that is not an important criteria, then there is no difference between there being or not being a history of past teachers.
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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