Caodong vs. Soto

falcon
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Caodong vs. Soto

Post by falcon » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:33 pm

Greetings Zen Bodhisattvas and Dharma Practitioners,

General Question:
Besides being brought to Japan from Dogen, what are some of your thoughts on the differences between the China practice of Caodong and the Japanese practice of Soto?

Are the historical and cultural differences severe in the method of practicing or understanding in your opinion? If not, please illuminate why?

Is it merely a preference of lineage/transmission?

Or different teachings such as emphasized sutras?

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Astus
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:06 pm

falcon wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:33 pm
differences between the China practice of Caodong and the Japanese practice of Soto?
Do you mean now or in the early 13th century? If now, then Chinese Buddhism is fairly uniform, and lineages have only nominal meaning. If in the 13th century, then there are some studies on the matter (by Steven Heine, William M. Bodiford, Carl Bielefeldt, etc.) of how Dogen transformed what was in China, and then there were further changes over the centuries within Soto.
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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Dan74
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Dan74 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:27 pm

I've sat with Soto groups and recently did a short Rinzai sesshin. So that makes me no kind of an expert. :D

Firstly, my impression is that lineages matter. So Soto is not the same as Soto. And teachers matter too. Some teachers know little and share less, no matter how well meaning. But that's another topic.

My other impression is that while Soto tend to talk about just sitting, goalless, perfect as it is, Rinzai are open about the need for kensho - the taste of the Original Nature, before further practice.

There are of course also differences in the form, etc.

falcon
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by falcon » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:08 am

Astus wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:06 pm
falcon wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:33 pm
differences between the China practice of Caodong and the Japanese practice of Soto?
Do you mean now or in the early 13th century?
Well. I mean now and back then I guess. The be all end all to practicing Soto Zen means to study what Dogen and Keizan taught right? The rest over the years from 13th century to now is almost irreverent no? Because not much has changed to the essential points? :sage:

Matylda
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Matylda » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:35 am

falcon wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:33 pm
Greetings Zen Bodhisattvas and Dharma Practitioners,

General Question:
Besides being brought to Japan from Dogen, what are some of your thoughts on the differences between the China practice of Caodong and the Japanese practice of Soto?

Are the historical and cultural differences severe in the method of practicing or understanding in your opinion? If not, please illuminate why?

Is it merely a preference of lineage/transmission?

Or different teachings such as emphasized sutras?
Soto of today and caodong are completely different things. Chinese cao dong practices koans, just like Chinese linchi monks.. They have no different monasteries in China, they stay in the same place.. about 90% are within linchi lineage and about 10% in cao dong, and it means nothing.. They pratice same thing basically.
Japanese soto does not practice koan... almost not, the only exception is lineage coming from Daiun Sogoaku known also as Harada Roshi.. but all koan in soto comes from rinzai, Japanese Hakuin rinzai in fact.. Soto in Japan lost completely its own koan line. Soto is focused on shikan taza, unknown completely in China, even so called mokusho zen in China is almost unknown in the terms of zazen practice. People have some false impression theat there is practice of silnet illumination in China but it is wrong.. there was only one person Sheng yen who taught it but only after some 7 years of practice in Japan with soto master, Ban Tetsugyu, heir of Daiun Sogaku.. silent illumination is not practiced in monasteries of mainland China.. this I am sure since I was there and have friends monks who completed their practice within linchi and cao dong so I asked for details, shikan taza and so called silent illumination..
In the 13th century there was almost no difference between Japanese soto, Chinese caodong and Chinese linchi.. Moreover around 14th century to Japan came 2 caodong roshis, or chinese soto masteres and they served in Japan in rinzai monastery as abbots, exactly in Nanzenji.. rinzai or soto in China, there was no significant difference... even today.

falcon
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by falcon » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:43 am

Matylda wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:35 am
falcon wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:33 pm
Greetings Zen Bodhisattvas and Dharma Practitioners,

General Question:
Besides being brought to Japan from Dogen, what are some of your thoughts on the differences between the China practice of Caodong and the Japanese practice of Soto?

Are the historical and cultural differences severe in the method of practicing or understanding in your opinion? If not, please illuminate why?

Is it merely a preference of lineage/transmission?

Or different teachings such as emphasized sutras?
Soto is focused on shikan taza, unknown completely in China, even so called mokusho zen in China is almost unknown in the terms of zazen practice.
From wiki: In the thirteenth century, Dōgen Zenji who introduced the Soto School in Japan, used much of Hongzhi's writings on silent illumination to help shed light on what he termed "shikantaza".

While silent illumination is in theory a "methodless method", it is important to realize that, the Dogen practice of shikantaza "took a somewhat different approach."[18]

Is the difference in approach just the omitted koans? Or is there something fundamentally different between the two?

It is said that Silent Illumination is the same as the integration of shamatha and vispashyana. Would this be more accurate to convey Shikantaza or is Shikantaza more akin to the mahamudra and dzogchen view of bare awareness/experiencing rigpa?

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Astus
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Astus » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:18 am

falcon wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:08 am
The be all end all to practicing Soto Zen means to study what Dogen and Keizan taught right?
There is nearly 800 years of history between Dogen and today, so there is actually quite a lot one could study. Taking a practical approach is another matter, and it is more about participating in the temple (or Zen centre in the West) activities and following the guidance of a teacher.
The rest over the years from 13th century to now is almost irreverent no? Because not much has changed to the essential points?
The very idea that one should study the works of Dogen is from the 17th-18th century reformation of Soto, just like a good number of other things that today qualify this school.
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"

Matylda
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Matylda » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:24 pm

falcon wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:43 am
Matylda wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:35 am
falcon wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:33 pm
Greetings Zen Bodhisattvas and Dharma Practitioners,

General Question:
Besides being brought to Japan from Dogen, what are some of your thoughts on the differences between the China practice of Caodong and the Japanese practice of Soto?

Are the historical and cultural differences severe in the method of practicing or understanding in your opinion? If not, please illuminate why?

Is it merely a preference of lineage/transmission?

Or different teachings such as emphasized sutras?
Soto is focused on shikan taza, unknown completely in China, even so called mokusho zen in China is almost unknown in the terms of zazen practice.
From wiki: In the thirteenth century, Dōgen Zenji who introduced the Soto School in Japan, used much of Hongzhi's writings on silent illumination to help shed light on what he termed "shikantaza".

While silent illumination is in theory a "methodless method", it is important to realize that, the Dogen practice of shikantaza "took a somewhat different approach."[18]

Is the difference in approach just the omitted koans? Or is there something fundamentally different between the two?

It is said that Silent Illumination is the same as the integration of shamatha and vispashyana. Would this be more accurate to convey Shikantaza or is Shikantaza more akin to the mahamudra and dzogchen view of bare awareness/experiencing rigpa?
of course you may follow wiki roshi, that is not problem, for sure.. as for Dogen and Wanshi Shogaku, I think you write about him, there is not much similarity in fact.. if you know writtings in original you see it clearly.. whatever wiki roshi says :)

But seriously Dogen had his own insight and clear realization under Tendo Nyojo, and he based his teachings actually on his realization, if you read Hokyoki you may see what teachings he got as well. But it is still far from what Dogen had to say... Even if you read recent 2008 Chinese edition of Tendo Nyojo you see very different style from Dogen's.. Fortunately Tendozan published original ttext, so it is not in modern Chinese... However beyond any question shikan taza was practiced taught to Dogen by Tendo.. later on there were not even traces of this practice in China.. Wanshi Shogaku was not follow in China later on, since it was Daie Soko, who pushed very much koan practice including great doubt as indispensable requirement... actually what is left from cao dong in China follows Daie Soko in their practice, you cannot hear or see much of Wanshi influence.. this is what I was communicated directly by chinese teachers who are in cao dong lineage today.

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bokki
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by bokki » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:17 pm

Madam Matilda, Thank you very much.
Soto of today and caodong are completely different things. Chinese cao dong practices koans, just like Chinese linchi monks.. They have no different monasteries in China, they stay in the same place.. about 90% are within linchi lineage and about 10% in cao dong, and it means nothing.. They pratice same thing basically.
Japanese soto does not practice koan... almost not, the only exception is lineage coming from Daiun Sogoaku known also as Harada Roshi.. but all koan in soto comes from rinzai, Japanese Hakuin rinzai in fact.. Soto in Japan lost completely its own koan line. Soto is focused on shikan taza, unknown completely in China, even so called mokusho zen in China is almost unknown in the terms of zazen practice. People have some false impression theat there is practice of silnet illumination in China but it is wrong.. there was only one person Sheng yen who taught it but only after some 7 years of practice in Japan with soto master, Ban Tetsugyu, heir of Daiun Sogaku.. silent illumination is not practiced in monasteries of mainland China.. this I am sure since I was there and have friends monks who completed their practice within linchi and cao dong so I asked for details, shikan taza and so called silent illumination..
In the 13th century there was almost no difference between Japanese soto, Chinese caodong and Chinese linchi.. Moreover around 14th century to Japan came 2 caodong roshis, or chinese soto masteres and they served in Japan in rinzai monastery as abbots, exactly in Nanzenji.. rinzai or soto in China, there was no significant difference... even today.
and
But seriously Dogen had his own insight and clear realization under Tendo Nyojo, and he based his teachings actually on his realization, if you read Hokyoki you may see what teachings he got as well. But it is still far from what Dogen had to say... Even if you read recent 2008 Chinese edition of Tendo Nyojo you see very different style from Dogen's.. Fortunately Tendozan published original ttext, so it is not in modern Chinese... However beyond any question shikan taza was practiced taught to Dogen by Tendo.. later on there were not even traces of this practice in China.. Wanshi Shogaku was not follow in China later on, since it was Daie Soko, who pushed very much koan practice including great doubt as indispensable requirement... actually what is left from cao dong in China follows Daie Soko in their practice, you cannot hear or see much of Wanshi influence.. this is what I was communicated directly by chinese teachers who are in cao dong lineage today.
Thank you, again. i would like to say so much, about the things, and Roshis you mentioned, i do not know where to start, so i will desist that.
I would want to ask of your opinion, you did already stated it, that there is no or little practice of shikantaza, or silent illumination (though i believe they are not the same) in China Caodong or Linchi. Madam, is that your opinion based on the current practice the caodong and linchi use in china now, ...basically, is it your opinion that shikantaza, as tought by tendo nyojo and dogen, ..is NOT practiced in China???
Thank you very very much, Madam, for quite a few things i will not mention here.

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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Temicco » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:33 pm

Matylda wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:24 pm
falcon wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:43 am
Matylda wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:35 am


Soto is focused on shikan taza, unknown completely in China, even so called mokusho zen in China is almost unknown in the terms of zazen practice.
From wiki: In the thirteenth century, Dōgen Zenji who introduced the Soto School in Japan, used much of Hongzhi's writings on silent illumination to help shed light on what he termed "shikantaza".

While silent illumination is in theory a "methodless method", it is important to realize that, the Dogen practice of shikantaza "took a somewhat different approach."[18]

Is the difference in approach just the omitted koans? Or is there something fundamentally different between the two?

It is said that Silent Illumination is the same as the integration of shamatha and vispashyana. Would this be more accurate to convey Shikantaza or is Shikantaza more akin to the mahamudra and dzogchen view of bare awareness/experiencing rigpa?
of course you may follow wiki roshi, that is not problem, for sure.. as for Dogen and Wanshi Shogaku, I think you write about him, there is not much similarity in fact.. if you know writtings in original you see it clearly.. whatever wiki roshi says :)

But seriously Dogen had his own insight and clear realization under Tendo Nyojo, and he based his teachings actually on his realization, if you read Hokyoki you may see what teachings he got as well. But it is still far from what Dogen had to say... Even if you read recent 2008 Chinese edition of Tendo Nyojo you see very different style from Dogen's.. Fortunately Tendozan published original ttext, so it is not in modern Chinese... However beyond any question shikan taza was practiced taught to Dogen by Tendo.. later on there were not even traces of this practice in China.. Wanshi Shogaku was not follow in China later on, since it was Daie Soko, who pushed very much koan practice including great doubt as indispensable requirement... actually what is left from cao dong in China follows Daie Soko in their practice, you cannot hear or see much of Wanshi influence.. this is what I was communicated directly by chinese teachers who are in cao dong lineage today.
You actually believe in the historicity of Hokyoki?
"Deliberate upon that which does not deliberate."
-Yaoshan Weiyan

"Right now if students are in fact truly genuine, source teachers can contact their potential and activate it with a single word or phrase, or a single act or scene."
-Yuanwu Keqin

PeterC
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by PeterC » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:09 am

falcon wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:43 am
Matylda wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:35 am
falcon wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:33 pm
Greetings Zen Bodhisattvas and Dharma Practitioners,

General Question:
Besides being brought to Japan from Dogen, what are some of your thoughts on the differences between the China practice of Caodong and the Japanese practice of Soto?

Are the historical and cultural differences severe in the method of practicing or understanding in your opinion? If not, please illuminate why?

Is it merely a preference of lineage/transmission?

Or different teachings such as emphasized sutras?
Soto is focused on shikan taza, unknown completely in China, even so called mokusho zen in China is almost unknown in the terms of zazen practice.
From wiki: In the thirteenth century, Dōgen Zenji who introduced the Soto School in Japan, used much of Hongzhi's writings on silent illumination to help shed light on what he termed "shikantaza".

While silent illumination is in theory a "methodless method", it is important to realize that, the Dogen practice of shikantaza "took a somewhat different approach."[18]

Is the difference in approach just the omitted koans? Or is there something fundamentally different between the two?

It is said that Silent Illumination is the same as the integration of shamatha and vispashyana. Would this be more accurate to convey Shikantaza or is Shikantaza more akin to the mahamudra and dzogchen view of bare awareness/experiencing rigpa?
Sheng Yan was very clear that his approach to teaching nonconceptual meditation - 'silent illumination' - was something he developed himself, drawing inspiration from the writing of Hongzhi Zhengjue and using it to explain his method.

I would not try to equate it to the systems of Mahamudra and Dzogchen for all the reasons discussed extensively elsewhere on this site - in short because they are different systems based in different texts and traditions, and these sorts of comparisons just end up in confusion. This comment isn't intended to denigrate any system, they're just apples and oranges.

It's important also to distinguish between Taiwan and the mainland when we're talking about chan practice today.

Matylda
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Matylda » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:30 am

Temicco wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:33 pm
Matylda wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:24 pm
falcon wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:43 am


From wiki: In the thirteenth century, Dōgen Zenji who introduced the Soto School in Japan, used much of Hongzhi's writings on silent illumination to help shed light on what he termed "shikantaza".

While silent illumination is in theory a "methodless method", it is important to realize that, the Dogen practice of shikantaza "took a somewhat different approach."[18]

Is the difference in approach just the omitted koans? Or is there something fundamentally different between the two?

It is said that Silent Illumination is the same as the integration of shamatha and vispashyana. Would this be more accurate to convey Shikantaza or is Shikantaza more akin to the mahamudra and dzogchen view of bare awareness/experiencing rigpa?
of course you may follow wiki roshi, that is not problem, for sure.. as for Dogen and Wanshi Shogaku, I think you write about him, there is not much similarity in fact.. if you know writtings in original you see it clearly.. whatever wiki roshi says :)

But seriously Dogen had his own insight and clear realization under Tendo Nyojo, and he based his teachings actually on his realization, if you read Hokyoki you may see what teachings he got as well. But it is still far from what Dogen had to say... Even if you read recent 2008 Chinese edition of Tendo Nyojo you see very different style from Dogen's.. Fortunately Tendozan published original ttext, so it is not in modern Chinese... However beyond any question shikan taza was practiced taught to Dogen by Tendo.. later on there were not even traces of this practice in China.. Wanshi Shogaku was not follow in China later on, since it was Daie Soko, who pushed very much koan practice including great doubt as indispensable requirement... actually what is left from cao dong in China follows Daie Soko in their practice, you cannot hear or see much of Wanshi influence.. this is what I was communicated directly by chinese teachers who are in cao dong lineage today.
You actually believe in the historicity of Hokyoki?

Well I do not believe in anything... I am not a believer. And I am not historian or scientist.
Anyway I can read chinese or kanbun goroku of Tendo Nyojo and Shobogenzo in original Eiheiji edition in 100 chapters.. If you see both texts you might see that it is written by two different individuals, with two ways of expressing their insight... but if one does not believe that those texts were written by those 2 masters, then there is easy sollution. We simply do not read them. Then we read Master Wiki, which is definite clarification of any buddhist teaching :)

As for cao dong and soto what I wrote comes from my own observation mainly at Tendozan, my personal friendship with monks who graduated there and completed koans under modern cao dong teachers, and lin chi as well, at the very same place, since unlike Japan in China they did not seperate as opposite or different institutions soto and rinzai monasteries. cao dong and linchi in China are of the same uniform and stay in the same temples.

Matylda
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Matylda » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:57 am

bokki wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:17 pm
I would want to ask of your opinion, you did already stated it, that there is no or little practice of shikantaza, or silent illumination (though i believe they are not the same) in China Caodong or Linchi. Madam, is that your opinion based on the current practice the caodong and linchi use in china now, ...basically, is it your opinion that shikantaza, as tought by tendo nyojo and dogen, ..is NOT practiced in China???
Thank you very very much, Madam, for quite a few things i will not mention here.
My knowledge is very outer thing.. I did not study in China.. I asisted official delegations from Japan at Tendozan, mainly Tendozan, since it has historical link to japanese soto.
I know monks from China who are heirs of chinese cao dong or linchi, ie. soto and rinzai of Chinese blend. When we discussed details of practice, it is what came up. First linchi or caodong practice koan... second they do not have what we call dokusan or sanzen, formla visit at the master room for clarification of so called kenge - the view of the koan coming from samadhi of disciple, or kensho. yes they practice in very loose way koans.. they meet teacher in the room, but it is private room not dokusan room with all formaliries. They talk over koans at the table and tea. Mostly their favorite is peur cha.. koans of caodong or linchi might very slightly differe.. but there are no serious differences.
those chinese monks revisited Japan, some stayed for considerably long time, some enetered Japanese unis for their PhDs.. those were mainland China monks. So naturally they visited or even practiced in Japanese monaseteries.. Shikan taza, they did not know before visiting Japan.. they did not practice it.. what they know is koan practice, in their own specific way unknown in Japan within rinzai, which is based on Sung period of transmission including structure of koan practice based in some way on 18th century master Hakuin.. japanese rinzai and chinese linchi are again two very different stories.
BTW in very early 70s there was Chinese monk from Taiwan well known in the West. Ven Sheng Yen.. we mentioned him here in some posts. And as I was sure after my talks to Chinese monks his teaching of silent illlumin. was his own 100%.. whatever inspiration he got. Mainland China does not practice SI.. this is 100% confirmed by Chinese monks of high status.
Shikan taza was something practiced by Tendo Nyojo, most probably, and was promulgated by Dogen in Japan. Tendo Nyojo lineage was not popular in China latere on and died out completely.

When I visited Tendo Nyojo grave, he died in Hangzou at other monastery, monks even did not know who was Tendo Nyojo.. the grave might be was build in the 80s by Eieheiji officials.. but this I am not sure... anyway Chinese monks did not know who was Nyojo zenji and I had to kick up my poor chinese pronauncation to verbelize what we want to see and pay respect to... then one young monk suddenly understood and took us to the grave, which is on the side of the sidewalk path, inaccessible for the public... anyway Chinese are pretty indifferent to Tendo Nyojo, for Japanese he is important.

So what I know is from others.. it is not my personal experience or knowledge, but from Chinese monks and teachers from mainland China.. As for Taiwan I had only brief contact with nuns who wanted to visit Kamakura rinzai monasteries, since they wanted to construct zendo, back at their monasery in Taiwan, and did not know how to do it, so their idea was to see take pictures or draw them etc. when visiting Engaku or Kenchoji they were not undertood and were shown nothing.. so they asked me for help and I told them how to do it properly... however I do not know the result of their research..

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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Meido » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:50 pm

About Ven. Sheng Yen, in his writings he differentiates his silent illumination method from shikantaza, but it's interesting still to consider how much of his approach was influenced by his practice with Ban Tetsugyu Roshi while he was studying in Japan.

During one retreat, I heard him say that he felt that Japanese Zen students were sharper in their sitting posture, while some Chinese practitioners were too casual, and that he wanted to change that. Some aspects of the retreat structure were very similar to Japanese practice also. At the time i assumed it was just Chan style, but later I wondered.
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

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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by PeterC » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:09 pm

Meido wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:50 pm
About Ven. Sheng Yen, in his writings he differentiates his silent illumination method from shikantaza, but it's interesting still to consider how much of his approach was influenced by his practice with Ban Tetsugyu Roshi while he was studying in Japan.

During one retreat, I heard him say that he felt that Japanese Zen students were sharper in their sitting posture, while some Chinese practitioners were too casual, and that he wanted to change that. Some aspects of the retreat structure were very similar to Japanese practice also. At the time i assumed it was just Chan style, but later I wondered.
If I remember correctly, it was only after studying in Japan that he started teaching, and before going to Japan he had already spent a lot of time in retreat after receiving yinke. It was clear from his comments at various times that the time he’d spent in Japan had influenced his thinking on teaching quite a bit. He had gone there because he considered his formal education - interrupted by war and moving to Taiwan.

Re-reading my comment above it might be taken to imply that the innovations in his teaching made it inauthentic, which wasn’t what I meant. He was a very special teacher and the his passing was a great loss.

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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Meido » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:20 pm

PeterC wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:09 pm
Re-reading my comment above it might be taken to imply that the innovations in his teaching made it inauthentic, which wasn’t what I meant. He was a very special teacher and the his passing was a great loss.
Agreed: nothing inauthentic indeed, and he has some good heirs as well.
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

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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Astus » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:21 pm

PeterC wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:09 pm
If I remember correctly, it was only after studying in Japan that he started teaching, and before going to Japan he had already spent a lot of time in retreat after receiving yinke.
1961 - six years solitary retreat
1969 - six years in Japan, obtains PhD at Rissho University
1975 - goes to the US to teach
1976 - Dongchu gives Caodong transmission
1978 - Lingyuan gives Linji transmission

(source 1, source 2)
innovations in his teaching
See: A Tentative Exploration into the Development of Master Sheng Yen’s Chan Teachings by Dr. Jimmy Yu
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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bokki
Posts: 229
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by bokki » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:06 pm

thank u astus,
thank u meido roshi,
thank u very very much Madam.
i have learned so much from a paragraph or two of yours.
well, actually, my head is spinning.
questions just multiply, i dont know where to start...


so, roshi sheng yen was the student of ban tetsugyu????????????????????
4 seven years???????????????????????????
inquiring into shikantaza?????????????????

oh, not to ask impolitely...
how come he comes up with his own ?
hmm, disregard that.

im immensely grateful for the facts iv learned here.
thank you Madam Matylda, very much

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Meido
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:50 am
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Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Meido » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:47 am

Astus wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:21 pm
See: A Tentative Exploration into the Development of Master Sheng Yen’s Chan Teachings by Dr. Jimmy Yu
Thanks Astus, nice resource. Hadn't read that paper by Guo Gu, it fills in some blanks for me.
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
Posts: 647
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Caodong vs. Soto

Post by Matylda » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:35 pm

Astus wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:21 pm
PeterC wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:09 pm
If I remember correctly, it was only after studying in Japan that he started teaching, and before going to Japan he had already spent a lot of time in retreat after receiving yinke.
1961 - six years solitary retreat
1969 - six years in Japan, obtains PhD at Rissho University
1975 - goes to the US to teach
1976 - Dongchu gives Caodong transmission
1978 - Lingyuan gives Linji transmission

(source 1, source 2)
innovations in his teaching
See: A Tentative Exploration into the Development of Master Sheng Yen’s Chan Teachings by Dr. Jimmy Yu
I read the article.. very extensive.. however contains many mistakes concerning zen buddhism in Japan..

1. to mention just a few, lack of great doubt in Japanese rinzai, specially within Hosshinji line
2. lack of three studies in japanese - sangaku, just see Asahina Sogen teachings, or Kitano Genpo of Eiheiji
3. " For a lineage to combine the teachings of two distinct lineages of Zen is unheard of in Japan", well among soto teachers it was not only Harada Sogaku, but also Watanabe Genshu who hold two inkas from Engakuji lineage of rinzai and taught koans, he was supreme abbot of Sojiji, then Keido Chisa - who got inka from Nantembo of takuju line, he was abbot of Saijoji and Sojiji, Miyazaki zenji of Eiheiji who completed training at Daitokuji and was the only one who got inka from roshi of Daitokuji at that time..
Mokurai zenji of Kenninji mentioned some soto monks training there with him by name and others who practiced at Bairin and other monasteries.
4. quote:
For example in the works of Yamamoto Genpō 山
本玄峰 (1866-1961), who is often considered by Rinzai Zen to be the second coming of
the famous master, Hakuin Ekaku 白隠慧鶴 (1685-1768), it is stated that for a Zen monk
the most important requirement is the mind for the way (dōshin 道心), and that engaging in
“learning” (gakumon 學問) is unnecessary

well the author should know that over 90% of soto or rinzai monks first complete their buddhist studies before enetring zen monastery...
in the footnote20 on the page 10, he writes about Ban Tetsugyu: " He became
a student at a Sōtō Zen university, Komazawa University, in 1938 and graduated in 1941"

Well I guess he knows Ban's authobiography in three vol since he mentions his 4 years at Komazawa uni. soto zen uni - same footnote - There is also a three volume autobiography; see Tetsugyu (1976-1981)

Tetsugyu Roshi went in depth into details of this uni curriculum and exams.. they were many and he struggled through Yogachara strict course with exams and Madhyamaka as well, what I briefly recall from my memory of the 3 vol-s.. so it is in fact strange that somehow author of this extensive paper cannot seperate two things - study and practice.. study and practice are typical for zen monks in Japan.. but taken seperately. Why? intelectual knowledge is an obstacle in reaching zazen samadhi or koan samadhi.. but they do not exclude academic education.. even Tetsugyu's master, Harada Sogaku was a professor at Komazawa - soto uni.. so it is kind of paradox.

This seperation of doctrine and practice as Mr Yu says comes only from misunderstanding of very outer knowledge of japanese zen... there is no space for intelectual elaboration in samadhi practice.. and the doctrine is very useful when one is in depth of koans, which touch madhyamaka, or in advanced stage when doctrine is confirmed by experience and experience is confirmed by the doctrine...

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