Soto and Rinzai

Discussion of Zen Buddhism.
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Larry
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Soto and Rinzai

Post by Larry » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:25 am

How does a Soto practitioner know when they’ve entered the same energetic state as Kensho? Is it confirmed by their teacher? Or is it a little more haphazard?

Caodemarte
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Caodemarte » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:35 pm

Larry wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:25 am
How does a Soto practitioner know when they’ve entered the same energetic state as Kensho? Is it confirmed by their teacher? Or is it a little more haphazard?
Kensho is not an "energetic state." Soto and Rinzai teachers will "confirm" kensho, but what "confirm" means in any form of Zen is a whole 'nother bucket of fish. Practice with an authentic (another slippery word!) teacher will make this clear.

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Larry
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Larry » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:37 pm

My bad on “energetic state”. Do you think all Soto teachers value Kensho, Realisation and Awakening? Or are we back to slippery words?

Kim
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Kim » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:13 pm

Larry wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:25 am
How does a Soto practitioner know when they’ve entered the same energetic state as Kensho? Is it confirmed by their teacher? Or is it a little more haphazard?
Hey Larry again :waving:

Couple points come to my mind.

It depends a lot who you ask about energy in soto or rinzai zen. Some talk about it, some don't, some extensively. Anyway, (1) since zen is a sutric tradition, they use pointers and descriptions from sutras and books of masters to practice correctly. They should, at least.

(2) Have you heard Gudo Nishijima discuss symphatetic and parasymphatetic nervous systems? For example, he briefly mentions it here, more extensively in his book and other online videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYnP609nGgs
He was apparently convinced that his theory is correct.

These seem to be ways that make some soto followers convinced of the correctness of their practice.

Caodemarte
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Caodemarte » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:54 pm

Larry wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:37 pm
....Do you think all Soto teachers value Kensho, Realisation and Awakening? ...
In the words of the sutras, we can end pain only because there is no pain, delusion ends because there is no end to delusion, etc. In everyday language, we value ending suffering while recognizing that there is no one to end it and no suffering (the only way to end it). In the words of the sutras, we can end pain only because there is no pain, delusion ends because there is no end to delusion, etc. In everyday language, we value ending suffering while recognizing that there is no one to end it and no suffering (which is the only way to end it). Same with awakening.

Additionally, since we are the biggest or only obstacles to our awakening many teachers stress that we often get in our way. From the Buddha on, it is often noted that the delusion that we can earn or obtain enlightenment by our effort (essentially chasing our own tail) or imagine there is something to seek out there (or in here) is one of the most pernicious. Trying too hard is a real obstacle to learning any athletic skill, for example.

To answer your question in everyday language: Authentic Soto teachers and all authentic Buddhist teachers: YES.

Dogen is great to read on this (if beyond my pay grade to understand).

Kim wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:13 pm
...
Have you heard Gudo Nishijima discuss symphatetic and parasymphatetic nervous systems? For example, he briefly mentions it here, more extensively in his book and other online videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYnP609nGgs
He was apparently convinced that his theory is correct....
Many of his own disciples view his (untrained) beliefs on the nervous system as product of his late decline. Caveat emptor.

Now excuse me as I chase my own trail and delude myself!

P.S. "Recognize" kensho would have been a better word choice by me than "confirm."

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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:03 am

Larry, hell, Dogen's Ts'ao Tung teacher in China saw clearly that Dogen had indeed "dropped-off body and mind".

That's what it takes/took, in the 13th century.

How about nowadays? I dunno. My teachers have been heirs to both Ts'ao Tung and Lin Chi, both. Hybrids.

Maybe this is partially why I drive a Prius since 2002.

But nothing short of "dropped-off body and mind" satisfied them, bless their hearts (R.I.P.). Seems some consistency.

--Joe

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Larry
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Larry » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:47 pm

Kim wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:13 pm
Have you heard Gudo Nishijima discuss symphatetic and parasymphatetic nervous systems? For example, he briefly mentions it here, more extensively in his book and other online videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYnP609nGgs
He was apparently convinced that his theory is correct.
Yes, interesting guy. Seems to have created an overly Materialistic branch of Zen and given us Jundo & Brad :D

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Larry
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Larry » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:53 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:54 pm
Larry wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:37 pm
....Do you think all Soto teachers value Kensho, Realisation and Awakening? ...
To answer your question in everyday language: Authentic Soto teachers and all authentic Buddhist teachers: YES.
Does that mean that Soto teachers who downplay Kensho are not authentic?

Caodemarte
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:58 pm

Larry wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:53 pm
Caodemarte wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:54 pm
Larry wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:37 pm
....Do you think all Soto teachers value Kensho, Realisation and Awakening? ...
To answer your question in everyday language: Authentic Soto teachers and all authentic Buddhist teachers: YES.
Does that mean that Soto teachers who downplay Kensho are not authentic?
No. I said:
Caodemarte wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:54 pm
In the words of the sutras, we can end pain only because there is no pain, delusion ends because there is no end to delusion, etc. In everyday language, we value ending suffering while recognizing that there is no one to end it and no suffering (the only way to end it). In the words of the sutras, we can end pain only because there is no pain, delusion ends because there is no end to delusion, etc. In everyday language, we value ending suffering while recognizing that there is no one to end it and no suffering (which is the only way to end it). Same with awakening.

Additionally, since we are the biggest or only obstacles to our awakening many teachers stress that we often get in our way. From the Buddha on, it is often noted that the delusion that we can earn or obtain enlightenment by our effort (essentially chasing our own tail) or imagine there is something to seek out there (or in here) is one of the most pernicious. Trying too hard is a real obstacle to learning any athletic skill, for example......Dogen is great to read on this (if beyond my pay grade to understand)
Now excuse me as I chase my own trail and delude myself!

P.S. "Recognize" kensho would have been a better word choice by me than "confirm."
Rinzai and Soto teachers (and I imagine other Buddhist sects) constantly point out that this is not a matter of conquest, will, or of seeking really hard, but rather the end of seeking. Does this mean we sit like rocks or take a nice nap? Or lobotomized vegetables? NO.

A basketball coach would probably tell certain players not to focus so much on scoring, not to choke up, to hold the 🏀 a little more lightly and let it flow more and other players to tighten up, hold the 🏀 tighter, etc. This is not contradictory advice, but saying the same thing in different ways to different players that addresses different problems to get to the same result. But I am not a basketball coach, just a fellow player.

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Great Sage EofH » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm

I don't know, if I ever become a teacher (i hope I don't), I'm not planning to "confirm" someone else's "experience"
“Know from the rivers in clefts and in crevices: those in small channels flow noisily, the great flow silent. Whatever’s not full makes noise. Whatever is full is quiet.” - Gautama Buddha, Nālakasutta

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loves' the unjust
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by loves' the unjust » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:23 pm

Great Sage EofH wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm
I don't know, if I ever become a teacher (i hope I don't), I'm not planning to "confirm" someone else's "experience"
Why? what do you lose?
gentleness and frustration in different form of coctails is my present psychology

Thank you, dad.

onefrogj@yahoo.com

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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Great Sage EofH » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:27 pm

loves' the unjust wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:23 pm
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm
I don't know, if I ever become a teacher (i hope I don't), I'm not planning to "confirm" someone else's "experience"
Why? what do you lose?
The 4 Remembrances says "the teaching, not the teacher" - i think if i teach it will be anonymous. But maybe if i teach it will be as an artist or musician... an art degree gives me almost complete autonomy to say whatever i want..

but you can't know another's experience, much less "confirm" it - at best you can decide if the novice has reached graduation - at which point the teacher becomes built into the novice, making him/her no longer a novice -
“Know from the rivers in clefts and in crevices: those in small channels flow noisily, the great flow silent. Whatever’s not full makes noise. Whatever is full is quiet.” - Gautama Buddha, Nālakasutta

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Larry
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Larry » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:38 pm

Great Sage EofH wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:27 pm
but you can't know another's experience, much less "confirm" it
And yet the Zen literature is full of approvals, verifications & the odd confirmation.

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Larry
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Larry » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:48 pm

Caodemarte wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:58 pm
Rinzai and Soto teachers (and I imagine other Buddhist sects) constantly point out that this is not a matter of conquest, will, or of seeking really hard
Not sure what Hakuin would have made of that.

“Should you desire the great tranquility prepare to sweat white beads.”

“I encourage all you superior seekers in the secret depths to devote yourselves to penetrating and clarifying the self, as earnestly as you would put out a fire on the top of your head.”

Caodemarte
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:06 pm

Larry wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:48 pm
Caodemarte wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:58 pm
Rinzai and Soto teachers (and I imagine other Buddhist sects) constantly point out that this is not a matter of conquest, will, or of seeking really hard
Not sure what Hakuin would have made of that.

“Should you desire the great tranquility prepare to sweat white beads.”

“I encourage all you superior seekers in the secret depths to devote yourselves to penetrating and clarifying the self, as earnestly as you would put out a fire on the top of your head.”
I am certain that he would have said it is not a matter of conquest, will, or of seeking really hard or as one of Hakuin’s modern heirs put it “Striving to get somewhere, to attain something, is wrong effort. Is it any better, however, to try and persuade myself that I’m okay as I am, that I don’t need to do anything – after all, all beings have the Buddha nature, right? I trust you can already see what a deceptive and fruitless dead end this is. To put it bluntly, the self that is not at ease is trying to convince itself that it is. It doesn’t work. Far from resolving anything, it tends to become an escape from actual problems. Clearly not right effort.”https://beingwithoutself.files.wordpres ... ctures.pdf

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loves' the unjust
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by loves' the unjust » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:08 pm

Great Sage EofH wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:27 pm
loves' the unjust wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:23 pm
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm
I don't know, if I ever become a teacher (i hope I don't), I'm not planning to "confirm" someone else's "experience"
Why? what do you lose?
The 4 Remembrances says "the teaching, not the teacher" - i think if i teach it will be anonymous. But maybe if i teach it will be as an artist or musician... an art degree gives me almost complete autonomy to say whatever i want..

but you can't know another's experience, much less "confirm" it - at best you can decide if the novice has reached graduation - at which point the teacher becomes built into the novice, making him/her no longer a novice -
At best it is your choice.i can only respect

but what i always want is rather to be confirm to be able to 'get' another enlightened

it is like an instinct in me
gentleness and frustration in different form of coctails is my present psychology

Thank you, dad.

onefrogj@yahoo.com

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loves' the unjust
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by loves' the unjust » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:17 pm

Caodemarte wrote: the self that is not at ease is trying to convince itself that it is
definitely a good subject to discuss
gentleness and frustration in different form of coctails is my present psychology

Thank you, dad.

onefrogj@yahoo.com

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Great Sage EofH » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:29 pm

Larry wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:38 pm
Great Sage EofH wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:27 pm
but you can't know another's experience, much less "confirm" it
And yet the Zen literature is full of approvals, verifications & the odd confirmation.
That's the difference between "having an experience" and "gaining an understanding" - a experience in it's rawest form can never be anything but first person, you and only you can know it. Whether you learn anything FROM it is another matter, and one which can be put to the test. But direct understanding isn't dependent on zazen at all, but it sure can help. Thus to flash on Sunyata can either turn on the light of wisdom, or can simply return to the "shadows" from "whence" it came... are we paying attention to it? Did we see it?

:hatsoff:
“Know from the rivers in clefts and in crevices: those in small channels flow noisily, the great flow silent. Whatever’s not full makes noise. Whatever is full is quiet.” - Gautama Buddha, Nālakasutta

Caodemarte
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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:37 pm

There is a difference between trying to force something, getting in your own way and making right effort. It is a frequent trap, one which I am usually in. Even the Buddha did fell into this until he stopped forcing himself recalled his early childhood experience peacefully sitting under the rose apple tree and began right effort. Right effort again does not mean no effort. You do what has to be done, but fighting against yourself is useless at best.

Since Hakuin was raised, see what apparent wrong effort gets you.

"No matter what I was doing, I never felt free or completely at ease. I realised I would have to rekindle a fearless resolve and once again throw myself life and limb together into the Dharma struggle. With my teeth clenched tightly and eyes focused straight ahead, I began devoting myself single-mindedly to my practice, forsaking food and sleep altogether.

Before the month was out, my heart fire began to rise up­ward against the natural course, parching my lungs of their essen­tial fluids.[1] My feet and legs were always ice-cold: they felt as though they were immersed in tubs of snow. There was a constant buzzing in my ears, as if I were walking beside a raging mountain torrent. I became abnormally weak and timid, shrinking and fear­ful in whatever I did. I felt totally drained, physically and mentally exhausted. Strange visions appeared to me during waking and sleeping hours alike. My armpits were always wet with perspira­tion. My eyes watered constantly. I travelled far and wide, visiting wise Zen teachers, seeking out noted physicians. But none of the remedies they offered brought me any relief." https://buddhismnow.com/2015/09/12/zen- ... er-hakuin/

SPOILER: He gets cured.

P.S. All of this is advice from people who have not met you. You should consider these words. If they do not help in your mature judgement and actual experience re-consider them. Perhaps you misunderstood them or misapplied them or perhaps they do not meet your circumstances or you need to try something else.

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Re: Soto and Rinzai

Post by avisitor » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:55 am

Zen ... whether it is Soto or Rinzai or anything ...
As in the book written by Philip Kapleau, Three Pillars of Zen
Teaching, Practice and Enlightenment

Zen is not Zen without the three pillars
So what value is there in Kensho?
Being part of the three pillars, it supports Zen
Being only one of three, it is meaningless without the other two

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