Obaku Zen

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Blackthorne
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:55 pm

Obaku Zen

Post by Blackthorne » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:41 pm

What are the spiritual practices of Obaku Zen? Ex. Chanting? What do they chant?

Is there any reading material online where I can learn more?

Thank you

Blackthorne

Matylda
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Obaku Zen

Post by Matylda » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:23 pm

Blackthorne wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:41 pm
What are the spiritual practices of Obaku Zen? Ex. Chanting? What do they chant?

Is there any reading material online where I can learn more?

Thank you

Blackthorne
since it is zen school then koan is the main focus.. and koans used in obaku are from Hakuin lineage of Takuju, plus few koans of their own used in the Ming era in China.. chanting more or less same as in other zen plus few other things and melody is added, chinese style of the Ming, not what one can hear in modern Chinese monasteries.

Blackthorne
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:55 pm

Re: Obaku Zen

Post by Blackthorne » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:31 pm

Excellent, thank you.

Wiki mentions that was was a dual practice, Zen and Pure Land, during the Ming Period. What are the Pure Land elements in Obaku?

Matylda
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Obaku Zen

Post by Matylda » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:34 am

Blackthorne wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:31 pm
Excellent, thank you.

Wiki mentions that was was a dual practice, Zen and Pure Land, during the Ming Period. What are the Pure Land elements in Obaku?
Not in Japan, they have hardly any pure land practices, exception could be chanting of some pure land texts, but frankly I did not see it at Mampukuji, the main seat of obaku in Uji - Japan. They really focus mainly on zazen - koan practice. Of course they have many rituals but it is norm for big zen monasteries in Japan.
Obaku had its influence on Japanese zen in the 17th 18th centiuries, specially soto zen, but again with exception of using instruments, there is nothing of pure land in soto, though it is clear that many masters of soto did practice with obaku teachers of that time.

The myth of pure land in obaku comes mainly from heavy criticism fired by Hakuin zenji against mixture of zen and pure land, though he was no critical of pure land, just he was against mixture. Finally obaku was in reversed way influenced in its core practice by Hakuin lineage of Takuju koan style and training. At certain point in the history obaku had no masters to transmit koans, so they simply went to train in rinzai monasteries or invited rinzai roshis, any way it went like this. What I write is not my knowledge but is based on the testimony of obaku teachers with whom I talked years ago at Mampukuji.

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