Yogacara and Zen

Scholarly area. Academic discussion of Zen.

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Caodemarte
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Caodemarte » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:50 am

Nothing wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:09 pm
....
Regarding Yogacara, I think that it should be made clear that The Lankavatara is not a Yogacara text, because Yogacara is Consciousness Only School, while the Lankavatara sutra is One Vehicle sutra with presents the teaching of Mind Only...
I personally don’t understand why Ekayana, by definition, would exclude either.

As background, the history of the distinction between Mind Only and Consciousness Only made by Japanese Buddolgists and their Western disciples, and not in Sinic or Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, is explained here http://buddhism.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT ... L/lai4.htm

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Nothing » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:09 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:50 am
Nothing wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:09 pm
....
Regarding Yogacara, I think that it should be made clear that The Lankavatara is not a Yogacara text, because Yogacara is Consciousness Only School, while the Lankavatara sutra is One Vehicle sutra with presents the teaching of Mind Only...
I personally don’t understand why Ekayana, by definition, would exclude either.

As background, the history of the distinction between Mind Only and Consciousness Only made by Japanese Buddolgists and their Western disciples, and not in Sinic or Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, is explained here http://buddhism.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT ... L/lai4.htm
I am not saying that there is exclusion, but that there is difference and that the Lanka is not Yogacara text, because the teaching of Mind Only or Cittamatra is not present in the Yogacara school where Vijnaptimatra is the central teaching.

Here are exceprts from D.T. Suzuki Lankavatara Sutra and the Study of Lankavatara sutra.
The Yogacara is essentially psychological standing in contrast in this respect to the Madhyamaka school which is epistemological. But the Alayavijnana of the Yogacara is not the same as that of the Lanka and the Awakening of Faith. The former conceives the Alaya to be purity itself with nothing defiled in it whereas the Lanka and the Awakening make it the cause of purity and defilement. Further, the Yogacara upholds the theory of Vijnaptimatra and not that of Cittamatra, which belongs to the Lanka, Avatamsaka, and Awakening of Faith. The difference is this: According to the Vijnaptimatra, the world is nothing but ideas, there are no realities behind them; but the Cittamatra states that there is nothing but Citta, Mind, in the world and that the world is the objectification of Mind. The one is pure idealism and the other idealistic realism. To realise the Cittamatra is the object of the Lanka, and this is done when Discrimination is discarded .....
The doctrine expounded in the Lankavatara and also in the Avatamsaka-sutra is known as the Cittamatra and never as the Vijnanamatra or Vijnaptimatra as in the Yogacara school of Asanga and Vasubandhu.
Gassho

Viktor

Caodemarte
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Yogacara and Zen

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:28 pm

Nothing wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:09 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:30 pm
hi, Viktor,

Indeed. Sheng Yen also routinely taught however that two big influences on the development of Ch'an were Madhyamika (as you mention, but also works by others of the school besides Nagarjuna's kārikā), and the teachings and observations of Yogacara, particularly the 8 Consciousnesses Theory, or model of Mind, culminating in the theory of the Alaya.
Hi Joe,

Yes, true, not only the karika by Nagarjuna, I mentioned the karika because it is the most famous representative of the school.

Regarding Yogacara, I think that it should be made clear that The Lankavatara is not a Yogacara text, because Yogacara is Consciousness Only School, while the Lankavatara sutra is One Vehicle sutra with presents the teaching of Mind Only , so that is why I mentioned the Lanka as one of the key text that shaped Zen Buddhism as representative of the One Vehicle tradition.
Not that the Yogacara school did not have influence on shaping Chan/Zen Buddhism , just that it's impact is not as big as the Mind Only teaching found in the Lanka, as I understand.
desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:30 pm
He valued very much the "coming-at Mind" from the opposite directions that Madhyamika and Yogacara come at it. The first comes at it from the point of view of Awakening; the other comes at it from the point of view of Delusion. Wonderful!
Yes, wonderful, exactly. That is what is Mind Only teaching!......

Gassho,

Viktor

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Re: Yogacara and Zen

Post by Caodemarte » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:44 pm

This is mostly an academic distinction of academic interest, but Suzuki was a Japanese Buddhologist and followed the distinction made by Japanese scholars and their Western disciples between Yogacara and a separate so-called Mind Only (or “Mere Consciousness”) school in the Lanka. Neither the definition of Yogacara as “pure idealism” (with the exception of critics attacking Yogacara) nor the distinction claimed is found in the Sino-Indian tradition so the Lanka would have been understood as a Yogacara text by the founders of Zen (note Vasubandhu is a Zen patriarch). This does not preclude being understood as an Ekayana, Madhyamaka, etc. text as these are not really separate schools or sects. Or so I have heard!

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Re: Yogacara and Zen

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:52 am

Gregory Wonderwheel is big on that distinction but I must say I have trouble following all the intricacies. The subject that really interests me is the relationship between madhyamika and Yogācāra - how from some points of view they seem very different but from others they are like two sides of a coin [the subject of this book.]
The most important thing is not at all important.

Caodemarte
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Re: Yogacara and Zen

Post by Caodemarte » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:57 pm

I am fully on board with Yogacara and Madhyamaka being the same coin, sometimes viewed from one side or another (Nagarjuna also being a Zen “ancestor,” at least mythologicaly, with Yogacara’s Vasubandhu). Historically in India the “two” schools sometimes fought and sometimes merged in the works of Buddhist philosophers.

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