Training and Practice

Discussion of Zen Buddhism, Soto Zen, Rinzai Zen, Chan, Seon and Thien.
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[james]
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Training and Practice

Post by [james] » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:15 pm

I noticed, in another thread here some time ago, that Meido’s place, Korin-ji, was called a training monastery. Meanwhile, here in zen1.space, I have never heard anyone here refer to their zen activity as anything other than Zen practice. In my view there is a difference in intent and purpose. Training, something like an apprenticeship, is undertaken to recognize, absorb, and explore the fundamental qualities that describe the Zen ways of being in the world. Practice, the process of refinement and perhaps elaboration, begins when goals of training have been clearly realized.

Some questions then. Is it necessary to train in Zen in order to practice? Are the two distinct or is there a (necessary) overlap? How may a layperson undertake an effective training in zen outside of a monastery setting? What degree of immersion in training is needed to build a strong enough foundation for a lifetime of resilient, determined and beneficial practice to unfold?

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Meido
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by Meido » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:02 pm

Nice topic, James.

Not much time right now, but I'll just say that my describing Korinji as a "training monastery" is meant to emphasize that it is what in Japanese would be called a "sodo" or "senmon dojo." That means that it is a place where a residential monastic schedule is followed, and a certain rigor/amount of practice can be expected, in contrast to a temple or Zen center open to the public which welcomes and teaches beginners. It also implies that training of ordained folks is going on, though here we don't make that distinction so much and lay folks are welcome to apply for residence or come to sesshin.

There are a number of words in Japanese used for training: tanren, kunren, keiko, kufu, shugyo, etc. The habit in our lineage has been to just say "Zen training" when discussing the path as a whole; D.T. Suzuki may have been the one to start that, not sure. I personally started to emphasize the word "practice" more than "training," because to my ears the latter sounds like something athletic, or that would exclude people who are not young. But essentially, to me the words are mostly interchangeable.

I hadn't looked at those words in the way you describe, I'll give it some thought and chime in later.

~ Meido
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

[Note: not reachable by PM. To get in touch please email through the website above.]

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lindama
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by lindama » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:44 am

well, apart from all these words, I know I'm welcome at Korinji if the occasion should ever arise.... even tho I'm not the athletic type. I know Meido would be a good host.

So, James brings up a point of discussion which I usually bypass because at the end of the day, we're all welcome. I'll add my experience. After many years with my local sangha in koan contemplation, I volunteered at SFZC Tassajara (soto) to work for their summer program. David Chadwick, Suzki Roshi's librarian, greased the wheels for me to go. It's a revenue generator for their monastary with summer tourists. (haha, that is a reality all it's own). Nonetheless, it was my first exposure to ppl who had dedicated their lives to the dharma and the monastic way of life. I was in awe, we need these folks. Yet, it's not a path most of us walk.. no matter. I was grateful to spend time there and to cook in their kitchen. Still, I was a visitor tho I participated in meditation morning and night and worked in blazing heat during the day ... on the second day, an unknown man sat next to me at evening meditation, I know in the silence that this was a being who got me wondering. The next day or two, I sat with him at lunch and we talked. Still, I didn't know who he was, but he asked a very relevant question about my sangha. After that he gave a darma talk.... and years later, I found him on ZFI.... Nonin.

I think we all walk our own paths. Welcoming visitors is always called for.... just like I visited Sasaki Roshi's sessins at Cobb Mountain for his dharma talks. It's important to keep the welcome mat out for us'ns. I saw at Tassajara that zen training does imply a period of monastic retreat... and I think this calls for revision and integration in these times. And, don't forget, folks who dedicate their lives to this in the US are SOL in the US at retirement. SFZC and Guo Gu are addressing how to care for seniors who have no retirement.

anyhoo, training and practice are ideas... ask the tea lady

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fuki
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by fuki » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:16 pm

Nice topic James, never given it thought before but now it's here I hardly ever use the word training and that's because in language we divide things in moments or parts. So training is a word I'd use in a more timeless sense, for instance life is training. We live and sometimes learn, what we learn (from life or from teachers, instructions,school,courses,retreats etc) we put into practise (or integrate/actualize) on a daily basis.

I practice darts each day for 20 years, but there were years I didn't practise, nevertheless what is "learnt" from training is put into practise. Without training and starting practise today the method and functioning would be very different ofcourse. Ofcourse these are merely notions but I do notice I use practise in a more timely sense (when asked) and training more in a timeless sense, as in not dividing it in time/space.

Just the way I would use the words, well I never noticed up till now thanks to you....smily teeth.

But the words are as always used in relation ofcourse, so nothing fixed, more habit.

ps to avoid confusion I see "life" not in a way of coming or going or the so called phenomenal birth and death. So training is beginingless and endless, yet practise comes and goes. But if someone would turn the words around thats fine too.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:04 pm

We may train in forms, but practice is key in all training. And, when not training, practice is key.

Some call "practice" by the name "training". Don't be confunded... .

I still really like Jundo Roshi spelling practice as "Practice". That upper-case "p" does it for me. Kudos... .

--Joe

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Re: Training and Practice

Post by avisitor » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:58 pm

"Training" sounds more like a rigid schedule of practice for a short period of time to reach a goal
"Practice" sounds more like training for a much longer period of time ... :113:

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Enver M.
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by Enver M. » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:42 pm

i'm thinking the opposite.

why do you have so interest in the dictionary meaning of words, avisitor?

ex: primary school, high school or university are training while the tests or the problems you solve are the practice

or

likewise buddhism itself is the training like with the eightfold path while zen is the practice

totally my comment
no need for mathematic !!!
:waving:

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[james]
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by [james] » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:55 pm

Enver M. wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:42 pm
... likewise buddhism itself is the training like with the eightfold path while zen is the practice
As I see it, and taking the Noble eightfold path as an example, zen is the training ... examining, investigating, looking at how one might integrate this into life experience, trying things out ... until it “fits”. One may then begin to put this new knowledge and understanding into noble practice and refinement. Still Zen. Training and practice are never separate, I’d say. Conditions are ever changing.

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Re: Training and Practice

Post by avisitor » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:15 am

Enver M. wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:42 pm
why do you have so interest in the dictionary meaning of words, avisitor?
First, I apologize for taking this off topic,
The interest is not in the dictionary but how others choose to use their words.
You focus on my hand instead of what I have to offer

Common mistake of Zen Buddhist practice is to believe meditation is to stop thought
This is what you have done with my use of the dictionary and the meaning of words

In order for people to communicate, there must be words
And those words need to be understood or defined
Reference ....

I don't believe that your first language is English
So, you may not understand so easily .. not just the words but the meaning of what is being said.
If you find your true wisdom and compassion then you may not only see the words but also the meaning!
It won't mean that you will always be right but you will know when to turn yourself around.
Wish you the best in your future practice

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Enver M.
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by Enver M. » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:11 am

[james] wrote: As I see it, and taking the Noble eightfold path as an example, zen is the training ... examining, investigating, looking at how one might integrate this into life experience, trying things out ... until it “fits”. One may then begin to put this new knowledge and understanding into noble practice and refinement. Still Zen. Training and practice are never separate, I’d say. Conditions are ever changing.
I didn't say training and practice are seperate. could be saying the same.
no need for mathematic !!!
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Enver M.
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by Enver M. » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:21 am

avisitor wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:15 am
Enver M. wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:42 pm
why do you have so interest in the dictionary meaning of words, avisitor?
First, I apologize for taking this off topic,
The interest is not in the dictionary but how others choose to use their words.
You focus on my hand instead of what I have to offer

Common mistake of Zen Buddhist practice is to believe meditation is to stop thought
This is what you have done with my use of the dictionary and the meaning of words

In order for people to communicate, there must be words
And those words need to be understood or defined
Reference ....

I don't believe that your first language is English
So, you may not understand so easily .. not just the words but the meaning of what is being said.
If you find your true wisdom and compassion then you may not only see the words but also the meaning!
It won't mean that you will always be right but you will know when to turn yourself around.
Wish you the best in your future practice
Avisitor, a word may come to different meanings.
Understanding what is what requires mastery.
Other than this chewing on words is not zen.
no need for mathematic !!!
:waving:

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Re: Training and Practice

Post by avisitor » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:32 am

Enver M. wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:21 am
Avisitor, a word may come to different meanings.
Understanding what is what requires mastery.
Other than this chewing on words is not zen.
Not everything I do is about Zen but, ....
Chew upon the word Mu, yeah, guess that is not Zen practice .... :115:

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Re: Training and Practice

Post by avisitor » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:37 pm

:waving:

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Nothing
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by Nothing » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:25 am

I like to call zazen at home training and zazen on a retreat practice. :)

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Enver M.
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by Enver M. » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:54 pm

There is a lock and key relation between buddhism and zen.
no need for mathematic !!!
:waving:

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Nothing
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by Nothing » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:24 am

Yes Enver, there is no Zen without Buddhism, only Zen Buddhism.

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Re: Training and Practice

Post by avisitor » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:37 am

Enver M. wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:54 pm
There is a lock and key relation between buddhism and zen.
No lock and key relationship
There is Buddhism
Inside Buddhism, there is Theravada, Mahayana, Nagarjuna, Tibetan, PureLand
There is Zen Buddhism
Inside Zen Buddhism, there is Soto, Rinzai, etc.
There is Chan Buddhism
And now there is Western Buddhism and all the countries in between

Buddhism is not only defined by Zen Buddhism because it is a different path for the each one
Buddhism is open to the disciple monk, open to the lay person, open to the passerby, open to anyone who wants to learn
And yes, learn at their own pace.

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Enver M.
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by Enver M. » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:00 am

avisitor wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:37 am
Enver M. wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:54 pm
There is a lock and key relation between buddhism and zen.
No lock and key relationship
Okay, no problem.
no need for mathematic !!!
:waving:

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Re: Training and Practice

Post by avisitor » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:31 pm

Enver M. wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:00 am
avisitor wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:37 am
Enver M. wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:54 pm
There is a lock and key relation between buddhism and zen.
No lock and key relationship
Okay, no problem.
I told you why I believe there is no lock and key relation.
Don't give up so easily.
Tell me why you believe there is a lock and key relation???

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Nothing
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Re: Training and Practice

Post by Nothing » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:02 pm

I think what Enver is trying to say with the lock and key, at least to my understanding , but could be very wrong, is that Buddhism and Zen Buddhism have more similarities or commonalities than differences and that without Buddhism there would not be Zen (Buddhism).

And probably by Buddhism he refers to the teachings that are attributed to the historical Buddha i.e the Pali Canon sutras and the Mahayana sutras.

To my understanding the heart of Chan/Zen Buddhism is of Indian origin.
For example without the existence of Madhyamaka and Yogacara schools we would not have the school of Chan/Zen Buddhism as we know it today.

Apologies for chiming in. :namaste:

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