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Zen philosphy

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posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 11:53 PM
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The devil once went for a walk
with a friend. They saw a man
ahead of them stoop down and
pick up something from the ground.

"What did that man find?" asked
the friend.

"A peice of truth," said the devil.

"Doesn't that disturb you?" asked
the friend.

"No," said the devil,
"I shall let him make
a belief out of it."




posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 06:23 AM
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reply to post by Seraphim_Serpente
 

Originally posted by whaaa
I live a stones throw from a Zen center and the Roshi, monks, wannabes and groupies, are some of the most funloving, gentle, well adjusted, free, and happy, beautiful people I have ever encountered.

And I live in a country whose population is almost three-quarters Buddhist. If I throw a stone in any direction, I'll hit a monk. The place is full of them. Miserable sods for the most part, and many are also enthusiastic propagators of misery among lay folk.

And yes, Seraphim_Serpente, they're Theravadin.

Since there's a Mahayana school for just about every permutation of Buddhist thought and practice you could imagine, I don't doubt that there's one which will contract to carry you through to nirvana without disengagement from the world (ie monastic life). Vajrayana, perhaps? Or those stupid schools that promise liberation through chanting the name of Buddha or some bodhisattva? At any rate, such a promise would surely attract believers.

But is it possible to attain liberation in Zen without embracing the monastic life? 'A day without work is a day without food,' the Zen master says. Yes -- but in the monastery.

And so briskly on:


The Pali Texts refer to Theravada (i.e. Orthodox) Buddhism.

It is true that they were originally written down by Theravada monks in Sri Lanka, but they are canonical to all Buddhism, Mahayana as well as Theravada. Their contents overlap the agama scriptures of the former, and they state, quite clearly, the point about disengagement from the world in order to attain liberation.


It is said that Buddha - like Jesus - taught Students only so much that they were capable of understanding in Public. If they were capable of more then they would receive "Special Teachings" from the Buddha in Private (Christ was also known to have done this).

This is the sort of thing anyone can claim ('my great-great-nine-times-removed grandfather received special, secret instructions from the Master, which I am now passing on, as a special boon, to you!') but nobody can prove. Only a very gullible person would take it seriously.

Besides, even the earliest Buddhist texts (the good old Pali Canon) were written down in the first century CE -- between four and six hundred years after the Buddha's death! Read the story of how the Canon was defined -- a process that involved, among other things, several great councils at which the contents were gnawed over by, essentially, all Buddhists alive at the time -- and it becomes pretty clear that no Buddhist text is authoritative, at least as to details of the Buddha's sayings and life. Certainly not the most frequently-consulted Mahayana texts, which are mainly Chinese confections less than a thousand years old. Even the Pali texts themselves are little better than hearsay. Along with the admittedlly genuine wisdom, Buddhist texts tend to represent the codified ideals of generations of feckless layabouts who had found a way to get a living without working for it.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 07:10 AM
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Originally posted by pai mei


Zen stories. This kind of stories should be taught in schools, they are more useful than whatever stories about how to "be successful" they teach now.



Zen would be useful indeed.

But the required 12 year Public school cirriculum(sp?), here in the USA
..should not be changed to require Zen thought (presented in stories, etc)

Private schools and institutions are available to those who wish to immerse their kids in eastern philosphies.
( i think the Romanian, the OPs location, education system is generally like other western societies.)

[edit on 17-9-2007 by St Udio]



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 07:20 AM
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Astyanax wrote:

And you can practise Zen or any other form of Buddhism you like without being a monk, my friend, but only monks get to go to Nirvana. If you have heard different anywhere else, you have heard wrong. Read the relevant Pali texts.



Quite wrong Astyanax. Had you read the Lotus Sutra you would know that Siddharta Buddha himself only dictated one of the Buddhist texts in person and that was the last one, in which he taught his followers to disregard all the other sutras and only heed the Lotus sutra.

In the Lotus Sutra the Shakyamuni Buddha said the opposite to what you say. The original historical Buddha taught that all men and women can attain enlightenment in one lifetime.

You don't have to become a monk and follow religious dogma to becoem enlightened. In fact it is the other way around that you must cultivate a clear and original wisdom of your own.




Originally posted by pai mei
I think Zen teaching requires a Zen master, not just any teacher



Not necessary Pai Mei. I follow the Japanese sect of Nichren Buddhism. The Buddha taught that we already are Buddhas within and anyone can find that truth within ourselves. It is just our lack of understanding that prevents us from understanding our own Buddha natures.



Pai Mei wrote:

When we suddenly awake to the realization that there is no barrier, and has never been seen, one realizes that one is all things, mountains, rivers, grasses, trees, sun, moon, stars, universe are all oneself.


In your very next quote Pai Mei you spoke the truth and contradicted yourself about everyone needing a Buddhist master, however having a mentor is very important which I think is the point you were trying to say.





Benevolent Tyrant wrote:

Buddhism is often thought of as a religion. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Buddhism is a philosophy -- a way of living life through a zen perspective.



Sorry BT, but I live a Buddhist path. Buddhism teaches that spirituality is within us all (as indeed early Christian teachings taught too). Buddhism is about connecting our everyday selves to the inner spiritual self by conquering ignorance. To an outsider without understanding, it may just appear a philosophy, but it is a spiritual faith too.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 07:29 AM
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You guys might be interested to study the concept of mutual possession of the ten worlds within us.

Within every person are ten worlds from Hell, Hunger, Animalism, Anger, Learning, Euphoria, etc through to Buddhaood.

We can manifest any or all of the above in our life. There are higher and lower expressions of anger for example. The lower form of anger is negative and destructive. the higher form is positive and constructive.

Hence being a Buddhist does not imply passive indifference to suffering.

An enlightened person might constructively choose to intervene to prevent cruelty and protect the weak from the strong. That too is buddhahood. It is especially constructive if it inspires the weak to be strong and bullies to be humble.

That is why there is no inconsistency in Shaolin priests using violence in their Buddhist practice too.



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by sy.gunson
Quite wrong Astyanax. Had you read the Lotus Sutra you would know that Siddharta Buddha himself only dictated one of the Buddhist texts in person and that was the last one, in which he taught his followers to disregard all the other sutras and only heed the Lotus sutra.


From Wikipedia, and pretty much in keeping with the story as I understand it:


The Lotus Sutra was probably compiled in the first century CE in Kashmir, during the Fourth Buddhist Council of the newly founded Mahayana sect of Buddhism, more than 500 years after the death of Sakyamuni Buddha. It is thus not included in the more ancient Agamas of Mahayana Buddhism, nor in the Sutta Pitaka of the Theravada Buddhists, both of which represent the older Buddhist scripture...

The Lotus Sutra appears to be a discourse delivered by Sakyamuni Buddha himself toward the end of his life. The tradition in Mahayana states that the Lotus Sutra was written down at the time of the Buddha and stored for five hundred years in the realm of the dragons (or Nagas). After this, they were re-introduced into the human realm at the time of the Fourth Buddhist Council in Kashmir.


Ah yes, the Naga realm. Turn left at Mount Kailash, then walk for six hundred yojanas across the surface of the Sea of Milk, ask at the Transcendental Post Office and they'll direct you from there.

The Lotus Sutra is a Mahayanist fabrication.

[edit on 17-9-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 11:20 PM
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But is it possible to attain liberation in Zen without embracing the monastic life?


Yes, it is definitely possible to attain enlightenment in Zen without embracing monastic life! Sheesh, are you missing the point. Did you catch this statement that I made earlier:

"In this way the Zen Practitioner's MIND is ALWAYS Balanced & ready for ANY SITUATION in which it might find itself."

Do you see how this can be useful & practical in the world we live in?

The whole idea of Zen - why it is so useful & comes in so handy - is that it is meant to be practiced right in the Middle of the World - right in the middle of all the Suffering & Attachment & Hate & Anger of the world - that is the BEST place to Practice - not in a Monastery. You can even practice Zen in situations like being in a "Boot Camp"!

The only thing that separates a Monastery from the rest of the world is a buildings walls. Were can you run to escape from Samsara? Nowhere in the world because...
the World IS Samsara. There is no Difference. The only place that you can go to Escape, to find Peace, to attain Freedom, to attain "Liberation", to attain enlightenment - is WITHIN your self. To achieve total mastery & control over your Mind, Body & Actions. In this way you have conquered the world & are like a Lotus floating in an ocean of Serenity - right smack in the middle of a World of Chaos. I actually know an authentic Zen Master - he would agree.

[edit on 17-9-2007 by Seraphim_Serpente]

[edit on 17-9-2007 by Seraphim_Serpente]



posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 11:46 PM
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Originally posted by Seraphim_Serpente


But is it possible to attain liberation in Zen without embracing the monastic life?

Yes, it is definitely possible to attain enlightenment in Zen without embracing monastic life!

In Buddhism, 'liberation' has a specific meaning. It means 'liberation from the cycle of life, death and rebirth'. It means the attainment of nirvana.

'Enlightenment' is different. It is what the Buddha found under his tree.

Not the same thing at all. Are you a Buddhist? Strange that you should not know this.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 12:04 AM
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Would they recognize the master while he lives and breaths? Or would they treat him as a prisoner and force him to leave? Would they poison his food and make lies of the truth?
Any fool can become a master, even a fake master can be great if the disciple is ready.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 01:29 AM
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Would they recognize the master while he lives and breaths? Or would they treat him as a prisoner and force him to leave? Would they poison his food and make lies of the truth?
Any fool can become a master, even a fake master can be great if the disciple is ready.



Why do you feel the need to acknowledge someone else as a master ?

Aren't you the master of your own destiny ?

Are you unable to master your own life ?



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 01:41 AM
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Astyanax wrote:




In Buddhism, 'liberation' has a specific meaning. It means 'liberation from the cycle of life, death and rebirth'. It means the attainment of nirvana.

'Enlightenment' is different. It is what the Buddha found under his tree.



The path to Liberation however is through the attainment of Enlightenment which is derived from wisdom and insight. Not from an ego driven need to be right at all costs.

Wikipedia is nothing more than a series of commentaries about a series of commentaries. The land of the Nagas can be taken literally as you do, or as a hyperbole.

If you had insight into human nature you might realise that over 2,500 years people will embellish the origins of the lotus sutra because of their own ego driven needs.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 02:32 AM
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The spitball in the lotus


Originally posted by sy.gunson
The path to Liberation however is through the attainment of Enlightenment which is derived from wisdom and insight.

Whatever. They are still entirely different things and no real Buddhist could possibly confuse them.


The land of the Nagas can be taken literally as you do, or as a hyperbole.

Is hyperbole a Buddhist virtue, then? Did the Buddha exaggerate when he stressed the universality of karma? An intriguing thought...


If you had insight into human nature you might realise that over 2,500 years people will embellish the origins of the lotus sutra because of their own ego driven needs.

You might also realize

  1. that embellishement and exaggeration usually pervert and frequently destroy the original meaning of a text, and

  2. that, over a period of 2,500 years, any number of fake 'teachings' might be invented and attributed to some long-dead 'master'. As in fact, they have. And as is clearly the case in this instance.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 02:48 AM
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Originally posted by sy.gunson

Benevolent Tyrant wrote:

Buddhism is often thought of as a religion. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Buddhism is a philosophy -- a way of living life through a zen perspective.


Sorry BT, but I live a Buddhist path. Buddhism teaches that spirituality is within us all (as indeed early Christian teachings taught too). Buddhism is about connecting our everyday selves to the inner spiritual self by conquering ignorance. To an outsider without understanding, it may just appear a philosophy, but it is a spiritual faith too.


I can agree with you. Any difference in opinion comes from our varying definitions of religion.


It is neither a religion in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, for it is not "a system of faith and worship owing any allegiance to a supernatural being."SOURCE


My definition of religion is one of a hierarchal system, for example, Catholicism. A system where we have a divine being and a structured framework wherein we are able to worship that divine being. But I understand Buddhism to be quite different from what anyone considers a "traditional religion"


Although a Buddhist seeks refuge in the Buddha, he does not make any self-surrender. Nor does a Buddhist sacrifice his freedom of thought by becoming a follower of the Buddha. He can exercise his own free will and develop his knowledge even to the extent of becoming a Buddha himself. SOURCE



Furthermore, I do not not discount the inherent spirituality of Buddhism. But I feel that the spirituality to be found through the practice of Buddhism comes from the recognition of the oneness of the universe through observation. The spirituality in Buddhism comes from within ourselves. In "typical, traditional religions" we pray to a Supreme Being. In Buddhism, we do not pray, per se, we meditate.


"Prayers take the character of private communications, selfish bargaining with God. It seeks for objects of earthly ambitions and inflames the sense of self. Meditation on the other hand is self-change." -- Sri Radhakrishnan. SOURCE


With these aspects in mind, I see Buddhism not as a religion but a "way of life". When I described Buddhism as a philosophy, I thought of "philosophy" in that same way, i.e., a personal philosophy is a choice as to how one wishes to govern ones life. This is the context in which I defined philosophy. When applying this to Buddhism, I view Buddhism as the way some choose to govern their lives -- in the personal search for enlightenment.

















[edit on 9/18/2007 by benevolent tyrant]



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 06:41 PM
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In Buddhism, 'liberation' has a specific meaning. It means 'liberation from the cycle of life, death and rebirth'. It means the attainment of nirvana.

'Enlightenment' is different. It is what the Buddha found under his tree.


Enlightenment leads to Liberation my friend. I thought that you would have realized that - I guess there is a difference in reading about Buddhism & Practicing it. There are various levels of enlightenment & liberation - these eventually lead to "Ultimate" Enlightenment & Liberation. This is not always everyones goal - as a said before the Mahayanna path of the Bodhisattvas postpones entry into "Ultimate Nirvana" in order to continue to Teach & Save/Enlighten other Sentient beings.

[edit on 18-9-2007 by Seraphim_Serpente]



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by Seraphim_Serpente
Enlightenment leads to Liberation my friend.

Kindly see my post immediately preceding.

Blissed-out arhats may enjoy repeating themselves, but I do not.

[edit on 19-9-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 08:41 PM
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Originally posted by sy.gunson
The path to Liberation however is through the attainment of Enlightenment which is derived from wisdom and insight.


Whatever. They are still entirely different things and no real Buddhist could possibly confuse them.


"Whatever"? Nice. A real respectful response. I happen to agree with "sy.gunson".

You are very Arrogant my friend & it is Unwarranted. You Fail to Impress.
You should try practicing Buddhism (instead of just reading about it) - maybe it will shrink your Enormous Ego.

[edit on 19-9-2007 by Seraphim_Serpente]



posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 08:50 PM
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zen is... stepping in dog poo.



posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 01:04 AM
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Originally posted by Seraphim_Serpente
"Whatever"? Nice. A real respectful response. I happen to agree with "sy.gunson".

Whatever.

Meaning, 'whatever you say about it, you cannot establish that liberation (nirvana) and enlightenment are the same things, because they are different'.

Certainly one may lead to the other, just like sex may lead to pregnancy. But sex is not pregnancy, and no more is enlightenment nirvana.


You are very Arrogant my friend & it is Unwarranted. You Fail to Impress. You should try practicing Buddhism (instead of just reading about it) - maybe it will shrink your Enormous Ego.

Oh, I prefer to practice the English language. You should try it some time.

[edit on 20-9-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 12:49 PM
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Two men were arguing, "I see it!" one man said, "no you don't", said another.

Zen is realizing there is no argument if things are truly seen. From what do social discrepancies arise? Language.

Zen is the eye and the light that enters. The light in front of your eyes.

Enlightenment... already in front of your eye. No books, no teachings, no words are needed to see.

Why wait for someone and their words to open your eye, when you yourself can.

Zen is deriving purpose, then surpassing the root of that purpose. It only exists if you allow it to.

You get angry, you realease anger. Zen is realizing what knocks at the door of the mind, and either letting it in, or shutting it out.

You make anger, nothing else does. That goes for everything.

What is the sound of one hand clapping? A slap to the face!

If you discard the mind, what can attack it?



posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 01:44 PM
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"actions speak louder than words".

If that's the case, then silence speaks louder than the greatest orator.

EDIT: There are many examples of conventional wisdom showing extreme insight and profound meaning if a little creative thought is applied to the mix - this is only one of them.

[edit on 20-9-2007 by Throbber]



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