The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Discussion of Zen Buddhism, Soto Zen, Rinzai Zen, Chan, Seon and Thien.
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fuki
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by fuki » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:12 pm

boda wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:05 pm
You speak as though identifying something or someone as traditional were pejorative, Fuki. It isn't.
Not my intention, just expressing that if someone for whatever reason say "I'm this or that" like I'm smart or fat, and then someone says "you're not smart or fat" it has no function (to me), just sharing, no criticism. But it's interesting to me why people react or communicate the way they do, for instance what in your obervation is your interest in telling others the opposite (to your mind) of what they expressed.?

Just an interest of mine, I ask people these questions offline too.
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boda
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by boda » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:50 pm

fuki wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:12 pm
boda wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:05 pm
You speak as though identifying something or someone as traditional were pejorative, Fuki. It isn't.
Not my intention, just expressing that if someone for whatever reason say "I'm this or that" like I'm smart or fat, and then someone says "you're not smart or fat" it has no function (to me), just sharing, no criticism.
That's quite a convoluted way of saying that you don't get the point. Allow me to explain.

Jundo is endeavoring to market (he says "package") a product and I fit the target market of that product. That being the case, my perception of the product while it's in production should be of value.

That's one way of looking at it anyway. In reality I'm in the midst of some production work on a computer and am a bit bored and distraction seeking.

Ps: please stop using the color text. :106:

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fuki
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by fuki » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:57 pm

boda wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:50 pm
Jundo is endeavoring to market (he says "package") a product and I fit the target market of that product. That being the case, my perception of the product while it's in production should be of value.
Ok thanks, one more question; do you find your target practise selective at times based on individuals instead of content or product or is that just my perception?
Ps: please stop using the color text. :106:
Allright, was experimenting with the off-topic colours, didn't find it comfortable to the eyes myself.
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boda
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by boda » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:48 pm

fuki wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:57 pm
boda wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:50 pm
Jundo is endeavoring to market (he says "package") a product and I fit the target market of that product. That being the case, my perception of the product while it's in production should be of value.
Ok thanks, one more question; do you find your target practise selective at times based on individuals instead of content or product or is that just my perception?
I don’t understand the question. You can rephrase it if you want.

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KeithA
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by KeithA » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:32 pm

boda wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:07 am
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:40 am
boda wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:39 pm

I imagine that most of these meditators are not part of a traditional practice with a teacher and all that jazz. I have no justification for this imagining, it's just a guess. This got me thinking about cultural trends and the general declining interest in Buddhism and the rising interest in secular forms of contemplation. So, of course, I checked google trends in order to get to the absolute truth of the matter. :)

Sure enough, mindfulness is on the rise and Zen is on the decline.

Your thoughts?
As I recall the label "Secular Buddhism" started with Zen teachers (Steven Bachelor, Brad Warner). I'd not call mindfulness meditation always secular, many very Buddhist teachers (Thich Nhat Hahn, Bhante Gunaratana, etc.) are offering teachings in mindfulness meditation. So your basic generalizations don't quite follow the simple look-see. I wouldn't say that the many meditators in the Insight community don't have teachers either. The good news is that the sky is not falling.

In general, the term mindfulness is borrowed from an English translation of Anapanasati, which literally translated means "remembering the in- and out-breath" - or "mindful of the breath" - "mindfulness" is over-redundant to begin with. Anapanasati type meditation is taught everywhere, even in Zen. It means just sitting with the breath (samatha). In vipassana, you do the breath work first, then take up the insight portion (based on Satipatanna Sutta) -

Mindfulness is enjoying a bonus round currently, but I'm sure its only a phase.

Keep Calm and Carry On!
Good points, thanks.

My only disagreement is that mindfulness is a phase. If you look at the graphic in the OP it shows slow steady growth that covers about a decade. Also, there are new developments in neuroscience that may spur further advances and interest.
I tend to agree with your assessment, Shel, but in the final analysis, isn't everything a phase? :117:
You make, you get.

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boda
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by boda » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:09 pm

KeithA wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:32 pm
in the final analysis, isn't everything a phase? :117:
You know I hate being wrong. :102:

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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by jundocohen » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:34 pm

boda wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:25 pm


For instance, how do you use theoretical physics in your book? Is it a pseudo mystical explanation, that only that Master has access to, which merely substitutes the mythical? Perhaps your application of it is more practical, I don't know. Maybe you can wet our appetite by telling us how you include it, if you do include it.
No, I an not one of those guys who just append "quantum" onto everything. My writing partner is a serious scientist and university professor who wouldn't let me get away with such baloney. In fact, ain't I the guy around this forum who always gets his panties in a twist about pseudo-scientific claims and such? There are commonalities between some aspects of Mahayana claims and modern physics, plus claims made in Zen and other corners of Buddhism about the mind, space and time, that are perfectly defensible and reasonable even to modern skeptics and the science minded.

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fuki
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by fuki » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:44 pm

KeithA wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:32 pm
I tend to agree with your assessment, Shel, but in the final analysis, isn't everything a phase? :117:
Well everything is merely a modification of ephemeral consciousness that's for sure, so everything constantly changes, much ado about nothing.
You make, you get eh? Don't make Zen, it's good for Nothing. :D
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KeithA
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by KeithA » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:10 pm

boda wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:09 pm
KeithA wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:32 pm
in the final analysis, isn't everything a phase? :117:
You know I hate being wrong. :102:

:lol:


Fuki wrote:

Well everything is merely a modification of ephemeral consciousness that's for sure, so everything constantly changes, much ado about nothing. You make, you get eh? Don't make Zen, it's good for Nothing. :D
Emphasis mine. Buddhists wringing their hands and tut-tutting about mindfullness gives me the eye-rolls. Lol!

:roll:

_/|\_
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fuki
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by fuki » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:06 pm

KeithA wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:10 pm

Emphasis mine. Buddhists wringing their hands and tut-tutting about mindfullness gives me the eye-rolls. Lol!

:roll:

_/|\_
Funny you and me the same, same when I see people thinking they/there are Buddhists or anything in particular. :hatsoff:
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boda
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by boda » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:12 am

jundocohen wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:34 pm
There are commonalities between some aspects of Mahayana claims and modern physics, plus claims made in Zen and other corners of Buddhism about the mind, space and time, that are perfectly defensible and reasonable even to modern skeptics and the science minded.
You’re missing an opportunity to generate interest. There must be something you can say to intrigue us.

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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:20 pm

Zen Buddhist practice has usually been for those who have a certain maturity, defined somehow. And those with a certain maturity are those who stick with the practice of Zen Buddhism.

Numbers of participants in popular trends and fads will probably always overtake the numbers of those engaged in a mature or even exploratory Zen Buddhist practice.

Ch'an and Zen Buddhism is not a proselytizing sect. We should be glad of that, in our sanghas.

I see no "decline".

--Joe

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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:52 pm

Marcel,
fuki wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:57 pm
Allright, was experimenting with the off-topic colours, didn't find it comfortable to the eyes myself.
Probably better (here) than off-colour topics. ;)

Just to say again, though, in all seriousness, I think that just the right number of people is/are taking up Zen Buddhist practice in sanghas and practice centers.

--Joe

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boda
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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by boda » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:38 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:20 pm
Numbers of participants in popular trends and fads will probably always overtake the numbers of those engaged in a mature or even exploratory Zen Buddhist practice.
You're not reading the data correctly. According to the google trends graph that I posted in the OP it will be a number of years before "popular trends" overtakes interest (expressed in google searches) in Zen, assuming the rate of decline/rise remains relatively constant.

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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by Caodemarte » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:26 am

Why should Buddhism be exempt from rise and fall? The Lanka is pretty clear that such an expectation is not very Buddhist!
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:40 am
....In general, the term mindfulness is borrowed from an English translation of Anapanasati, which literally translated means "remembering the in- and out-breath" - or "mindful of the breath" - "mindfulness" is over-redundant to begin with. Anapanasati type meditation is taught everywhere, even in Zen. It means just sitting with the breath (samatha). In vipassana, you do the breath work first, then take up the insight portion (based on Satipatanna Sutta) ...
I think you are right that much of what we call mindfulness comes from the modern SE Asian Theravada meditation practices of Samatha and Vipassana. These practices are not very old at all as a living tradition in the region. Meditation was essentially and consciously “reinvented” by examination of the suttas and commentaries in the 19th and 20th centuries. This was partially caused by the reformist, modernist, and nationalist reaction to Western colonialism. The only surviving living meditation tradition appears to be a Hindu Tantric meditation form that may stem from that period in SE Asian religious history.

These modern “reinvented” techniques from written sources are mostly the same as those seen in East Asian Mahayana texts, with the possible exception of the complex elaboration of these techniques in the Pali commentaries.

For some reason, the contemplation of rotting bodies was as popular in early East Asian Mahayana as it is in Theravada, but faded out and disappeared from actual popular practice. In Tibetan Buddhism Vasubandhu's and Asaṅga's presentations of breath meditation of breath meditation were and are studied, but were replaced in popularity by techniques involving visualizations. As B. Alan Wallace put it, Tibetans “just love” their visualizations while most other cultures prefer a focus on breath when introducing Samatha and Vipassana.

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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by lindama » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:58 am

Meditation timer app? :lol: Is that an Italian Opera? .... ascesa e caduta :cat:

ofc, to stay on topic, I know zennies (therapists) who teach the official mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) just to mix it up

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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:15 pm

boda wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:38 am
desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:20 pm
Numbers of participants in popular trends and fads will probably always overtake the numbers of those engaged in a mature or even exploratory Zen Buddhist practice.
You're not reading the data correctly. According to the google trends graph that I posted in the OP it will be a number of years before "popular trends" overtakes interest (expressed in google searches) in Zen, assuming the rate of decline/rise remains relatively constant.
You -- and that -- may be right; I dunno.

"Quality, 'versus' quantity": What good is quantity, if quality (depth... ) is absent?

Of course, I take my hat off to those who use "Mindfulness" and similar practice-regimens, as clinical and therapeutic interventions and treatment modalities. But, ...they do not concern us intimately at a Zen Buddhist conversation site; yet, KUDOS!, to them, and theirs.

May true Dharma continue,

--Joe

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Re: The Decline of Zen and Rise of Mindfulness

Post by Great Sage EofH » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:19 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:20 pm
Of course, I take my hat off to those who use "Mindfulness" and similar practice-regimens, as clinical and therapeutic interventions and treatment modalities. But, ...they do not concern us intimately at a Zen Buddhist conversation site; yet, KUDOS!, to them, and theirs.
Unless maybe, their paperwork lists Lin Chi's name, and their teacher gave them mindfulness practice, but then again maybe not

:hatsoff:
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