Are Zen teachers awakened?

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LastLegend
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by LastLegend »

Zen “I don’t know.” Does any master teach this deliciousness? Or it’s too new agey.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
Daizan
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Daizan »

Matylda wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:29 am
Daizan wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:05 pm
Matylda wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:52 am I see the great difficulty in transferring zen or dharma in general and any Buddhist tradition to the hemisphere which was under completely different religious or culture influence for thousands of years.
Every culture has a tendency to believe it's superior to all others. That's perfectly natural.

Such claims are impossible to prove because, for one thing, you'd have to discover which Zen teachers are awakened in the East and West in order to make a comparison. For that, you would need objective criteria, and no such criteria exists.
It is of course not about culture superiority... ths would be mistake. Still culture - mentality based on the dichotomy naturally makes difficult for zen to get through and establish itself properly in a new mental and social ground. It is not about the superiority...
Well, without the ability to prove the claim you can only give reasons for why it might be true. The reason that you put forward is "mentality based on the dichotomy." You say dichotomy as if it's a specific one, but it's not clear if you meant to communicate that. Whatever the case, all cultures have dichotomies. We know that you have dichotomies in your culture because you make them here with the dichotomy between Eastern and Western culture that you present.

If nothing else you could say what the dichotomy is and why it makes Zen difficult to establish in the West.
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Matylda »

Astus wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:09 pm
Matylda wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:58 pmit is the case all over East Asia. over 90% of Chinese monks received dharma transmission. It became a custom, withoutreal meaning. The same is in soto zen in Japan, it is still different in rinzai, but situtation is not good, since it is possible to receive dharma transmission without genuine insight in rinzai...
And that is how it is slightly different in the West, because most have the view that such a transmission should be meaningful, that it should be for at least some level of insight, or at least proficiency.
It is just the view, but not the real state of things.
Last edited by Matylda on Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Matylda
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Matylda »

Daizan wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:18 pm Well, without the ability to prove the claim you can only give reasons for why it might be true.
It is rather simple, but difficult to apprehend perhaps. In the West people tend to think too much, and this thinking is pretty sophisticated and very valued. Over thinking and overtalking are its marks, and it is considered to be a good quality of human intelligence.
On the other side people in the East, at least Japanese, rather do not tend to think that much, and in such way, reasonable, logical, based on strong reason, with deeply rooted analitical conditioning. They are much more conditioned by emotions, not by reason.
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by avatamsaka3 »

It is rather simple, but difficult to apprehend perhaps.
Then why don't you explain it?
Matylda
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Matylda »

avatamsaka3 wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:48 pm
It is rather simple, but difficult to apprehend perhaps.
Then why don't you explain it?
I just did it.
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

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There was a great show on television here in Australia last night, Monty Don's Japanese Gardens. It was a tour of various gardens in Tokyo and Kyoto and included visits to several Zen monasteries and interviews with one of the head monks about the symbolic significance of the gardens. Very beautiful show.

Something that really struck me was the quality of attention that Japanese culture brings to these things. It's grounded both in aesthetics - in the the appreciation of beauty, of space and of emptiness, among other factors - but it's also grounded in disciplined attention and skilled activity. It has a high cultural content - that is, attitudes, practices and abilities that are transmitted culturally, so as to enable a particular way of doing/way of being. It's highly skilled but as it is deeply ingrained into cultural practices, it becomes natural in its exponents. Tradition, in other words, but not 'just tradition' as it is still carried forward in a living culture. It's an aesthetic, an ethic, and a way of being.

I am learning to appreciate it, although it is very different from the way-of-being I experience in the world, due to my own cultural background and conditioning.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi
Daizan
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Daizan »

Matylda wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:37 pm
Daizan wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:18 pm Well, without the ability to prove the claim you can only give reasons for why it might be true.
It is rather simple, but difficult to apprehend perhaps. In the West people tend to think too much, and this thinking is pretty sophisticated and very valued. Over thinking and overtalking are its marks, and it is considered to be a good quality of human intelligence.
On the other side people in the East, at least Japanese, rather do not tend to think that much, and in such way, reasonable, logical, based on strong reason, with deeply rooted analitical conditioning. They are much more conditioned by emotions, not by reason.
I believe that I now know what you're getting at though you haven't really touched on it yet.

We're not conditioned by emotion because the basis of emotion is interoceptive affect (arousal/valence) which exists independent of culture. Culture largely conditions our emotions, or rather, trains our emotion concepts. We are trained or conditioned by our culture, in other words, to a large extent. Emotionally, the conditioning is designed to adaptively regulate energy as circumstances require. Of course, the conditioning varies by culture, sub-culture, and individual experience. I can assure you that Americans are very emotional though perhaps less restrained than the Japanese in expressing their emotions. Many Westerners are also quiet and intuitive rather than talkative and analytical.

What I think you're trying to say is that Eastern culture tends to be more holistic and Western culture tends to be more individualistic. This has to do with cultural values, and not how intelligent, thoughtful, talkative, analytical, or emotional people are. Buddhism could be seen as being more holistic than individualistic, and therefore more easily integrated into a culture that tends to value holism. On the other hand, a culture that experiences the stress that individualism may be prone to could be hungry for a holism that reduces this stress, in which case Western soil would be fertile ground, at least for the segment of it that's lost touch with religion/spirit.
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

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Matylda,

Criticism is nicely spoken. However, what makes a Buddha a Buddha is he doesn’t see any being any difference. I think that’s what meant by my teacher ‘wisdom of Buddha’ (just Buddha in Asian language no plural). A Buddha would ‘receive’ any sentient being with no differentiation. This I think is very deep. Karma of sentient beings is what keeps them in rebirth. When karma (doesn’t matter whose) comes to Buddha, it’s liberation. Truly in Buddha nature there is no self. This is what really makes realized beings really stand out and that’s walking towards becoming a Buddha. My teacher said when there is karma, he is very happy to receive it. I am far from being proper on this forum, so my role is to pass on what I received, and hope it doesn’t get warped in anyway by me.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Malcolm »

Matylda wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:55 pm
avatamsaka3 wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:48 pm
It is rather simple, but difficult to apprehend perhaps.
Then why don't you explain it?
I just did it.
If I am ever in Japan, I’m inviting You to dinner at your favorite restaurant.
muni
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by muni »

It is rather simple, but difficult to apprehend perhaps. In the West people tend to think too much, and this thinking is pretty sophisticated and very valued. Over thinking and overtalking are its marks, and it is considered to be a good quality of human intelligence.
On the other side people in the East, at least Japanese, rather do not tend to think that much, and in such way, reasonable, logical, based on strong reason, with deeply rooted analitical conditioning. They are much more conditioned by emotions, not by reason.
Emotional or intellectual, both can give problems. Like in the Himalayas ( perhaps not in Japan) empowerments are very important, the teaching not always. In the West even the empowerment becomes a thing to talk-know intellectually about. People always have to show their best, to prove. No wonder many have health issues like depression and other. Intelligence is admired while simplicity, relaxing/opening into practice...could be more difficult.

It is very important there is some teaching, which penetrates and transforms, whether in West or East. We may not forget that the teaching of the Buddha is to eliminate suffering and so its causes. :anjali:
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Matylda »

muni wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:36 am Emotional or intellectual, both can give problems. Like in the Himalayas ( perhaps not in Japan) empowerments are very important, the teaching not always. In the West even the empowerment becomes a thing to talk-know intellectually about. People always have to show their best, to prove. No wonder many have health issues like depression and other. Intelligence is admired while simplicity, relaxing/opening into practice...could be more difficult.

It is very important there is some teaching, which penetrates and transforms, whether in West or East. We may not forget that the teaching of the Buddha is to eliminate suffering and so its causes. :anjali:
Yes of course both are an obstacle. But from my observation intelectual overthinking is a bit stronger than emotional.
Empowerment in Japan like tendai or shingon is of primer importance.
in zen, teaching plays very little importance... one learns zen through the bodi not intellect, it is most proficient way to cut through intellectual obstacles of entangled thinking... it is why in the inner circles teachers who are too talkative are criticized by their colleagues. Masters of teachings and words are not valued in zen
what is needed is transmission of proper instructions, which relate to the problem, and this is often missing
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Matylda »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:49 am
Matylda wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:55 pm
avatamsaka3 wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:48 pm

Then why don't you explain it?
I just did it.
If I am ever in Japan, I’m inviting You to dinner at your favorite restaurant.
:thanks: but you cannot afford it :D
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Matylda »

Daizan wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:29 am
What I think you're trying to say is that Eastern culture tends to be more holistic and Western culture tends to be more individualistic.
Buddhism could be seen as being more holistic than individualistic, and therefore more easily integrated into a culture that tends to value holism.
On the other hand, a culture that experiences the stress that individualism may be prone to could be hungry for a holism that reduces this stress, in which case Western soil would be fertile ground, at least for the segment of it that's lost touch with religion/spirit.
Well terms like holistic or individualisic I thnik do not even exist in the East. So it is already problem how to communicate zen teaching that it does not fall into the pit of great misunderstanding. At least it is part of my experience as an interpreter.
Then to go further I am not sure if lack of holism etc. is a driving force for zen practice, maybe?
But it is possible that thinking in he western hemisphere is determined by the Western philosophy since 17th century, and overloaded intellect.
The other thing is that nobody told people in the Far East that the Earth with its living creatures was given to them, always it was obvious that power of nature is feeding and also killing, and as human beings we depend entirely on weather and nature. There was no other supreme power to govern our lives. no Creator who loves us and hates us.
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by muni »

Matylda wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:02 am
muni wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:36 am Emotional or intellectual, both can give problems. Like in the Himalayas ( perhaps not in Japan) empowerments are very important, the teaching not always. In the West even the empowerment becomes a thing to talk-know intellectually about. People always have to show their best, to prove. No wonder many have health issues like depression and other. Intelligence is admired while simplicity, relaxing/opening into practice...could be more difficult.

It is very important there is some teaching, which penetrates and transforms, whether in West or East. We may not forget that the teaching of the Buddha is to eliminate suffering and so its causes. :anjali:
Yes of course both are an obstacle. But from my observation intelectual overthinking is a bit stronger than emotional.
Empowerment in Japan like tendai or shingon is of primer importance.
in zen, teaching plays very little importance... one learns zen through the bodi not intellect, it is most proficient way to cut through intellectual obstacles of entangled thinking... it is why in the inner circles teachers who are too talkative are criticized by their colleagues. Masters of teachings and words are not valued in zen
what is needed is transmission of proper instructions, which relate to the problem, and this is often missing
Teaching becoming an object for individual intellect is indeed strong. . This needs care while of course some guidance is necessary.
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
Matylda
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Matylda »

muni wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:29 am Teaching becoming an object for individual intellect is indeed strong. . This needs care while of course some guidance is necessary.
Zen instructions are very very simple... just body breath and proper focus. There is not much to add to it
One learns zen more through the body than teaching in the sense of reason or intelectual explanation
muni
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by muni »

Matylda wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:27 am
muni wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:29 am Teaching becoming an object for individual intellect is indeed strong. . This needs care while of course some guidance is necessary.
Zen instructions are very very simple... just body breath and proper focus. There is not much to add to it
One learns zen more through the body than teaching in the sense of reason or intelectual explanation
:namaste:
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by LastLegend »

Matylda wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:02 am
muni wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:36 am Emotional or intellectual, both can give problems. Like in the Himalayas ( perhaps not in Japan) empowerments are very important, the teaching not always. In the West even the empowerment becomes a thing to talk-know intellectually about. People always have to show their best, to prove. No wonder many have health issues like depression and other. Intelligence is admired while simplicity, relaxing/opening into practice...could be more difficult.

It is very important there is some teaching, which penetrates and transforms, whether in West or East. We may not forget that the teaching of the Buddha is to eliminate suffering and so its causes. :anjali:
Yes of course both are an obstacle. But from my observation intelectual overthinking is a bit stronger than emotional.
Empowerment in Japan like tendai or shingon is of primer importance.
in zen, teaching plays very little importance... one learns zen through the bodi not intellect, it is most proficient way to cut through intellectual obstacles of entangled thinking... it is why in the inner circles teachers who are too talkative are criticized by their colleagues. Masters of teachings and words are not valued in zen
what is needed is transmission of proper instructions, which relate to the problem, and this is often missing
That’s nice. However, there is one thing it’s not often talked about is a state that doesn’t have delusional thoughts, it’s clear and alert. Yet it’s mistaken for final enlightenment. This is probably where most Zen masters have achieved. This is the very issue. I might be wrong.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

Post by Matylda »

LastLegend wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:45 pm However, there is one thing it’s not often talked about is a state that doesn’t have delusional thoughts, it’s clear and alert. Yet it’s mistaken for final enlightenment. This is probably where most Zen masters have achieved. This is the very issue. I might be wrong.
Clear and alert is comparatively easy to achieve, and some teachers talked about it, warning at the same time about dangers and pitfalls of this apparent equilibrium, free from the thoughts of good and bad...but it does not make a zen master probably. I do not think that you are wrong
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Re: Are Zen teachers awakened?

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I think that’s where I part with Zen and take a different route that’s more efficient and quicker, but feel free.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
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