You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

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jundocohen
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Re: You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

Post by jundocohen » Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:44 pm

michaeljc wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:53 pm
there were no instructions from Dogen or the founding Soto priests in Japan to pick up a Koan or phrase ala Tahui or Hakuin
Wrong - sorry. There are very explicit instructions (according to the translation) from Dogen. The text I refer to is buried among other stuff. Once I find it I will quote line and chapter.
Please do. It is good to know that the long lost missing Dogen text is located in your closet.

You are probably referring to this section of the Koroku in which he advises, by letter, a lay person to get a Koan and chew on it.
Good gentleman, when you meet a teacher, first ask for one case of a
[kßan] story, and just keep it in mind and study it diligently.140 If you
climb to the top of the mountain and dry up the oceans, you will not fail
to complete [this study]. [Dazu Huike] standing in the snow to attain the
Dharma and engaging the way for eight years was not in vain. The eightmonth effort of [
Dajian Huineng] pounding rice had the power for
[receiving] transmission of the robe. If someone sees wise people and
thinks of being their equal, how could they not become a person who
rises high above the herd? Already knowing the difficult and lofty, you will
never hesitate to advance. Now I see worldly people who visit and practice
with teachers, and before clarifying one question, assertively enjoy
bringing up other stories. They withdraw from the discussion as if they
understand, but are close-mouthed and cannot speak. They have not yet
explained one-third of the story, so how will we see a complete saying?
Someone says that the Buddha Dharma is difficult to understand. Another
says that they are not a vessel. They end up wandering on mistaken paths
and vainly stumble around the great way. How can we help but pity them?
Even in the mundane world, there was the respectful invitation to
Kongtong [Mountains] and the inquiry to the border guard of Hua—
adorned with expressions about following the wind or about riding on the
clouds [respectively]—both of which have been broadcast for a hundred
generations. How could a buddha be without direct pointing that is
before words and outside of things, and not have the virtue to change
iron into gold? He transforms all the many beings
https://terebess.hu/zen/dogen/EiheiKoroku.pdf
Taigen Leighton, the translator, explains in the Introduction to his translation...
Unlike in the formal Rinzai curriculum, or the kßan study of Dahui,
Dßgen does not explicitly recommend the kßan stories as objects of formal meditation,
but offers them for general contemplation and intent
study. For example, in the last Dharma word, 14, Dßgen says: “When
you meet a teacher, first ask for one case of a [kßan] story, and just keep
it in mind and study it diligently…. Now I see worldly people who visit
and practice with teachers, and before clarifying one question, assertively
introduction ❘ enjoy bringing up other stories. They withdraw from the discussion as if
they understand, but are close-mouthed and cannot speak. They have not
yet explained one third of the story, so how will we see a complete saying?”
Yes, Dogen loved Koans and chewed on Koans, as do most Soto folks. My own teacher, Nishijima, translated Dogen's Koan collection ...
https://www.amazon.com/Master-Dogens-Sh ... 0952300265

Gassho, Jundo

Turtle Clan
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Re: You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

Post by Turtle Clan » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:38 am

jundocohen wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:54 am
michaeljc wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:46 am
He was a KOAN man. NOT a 'just sitter'!
Of course Dogen was a Koan man. Shobogenzo is chock full of koans wall to wall
...
Sitting is a Koan
I have never heard it said that Rinzai was a Shikantaza man, so to speak.

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jundocohen
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Re: You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

Post by jundocohen » Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:54 am

Turtle Clan wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:38 am
jundocohen wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:54 am
michaeljc wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:46 am
He was a KOAN man. NOT a 'just sitter'!
Of course Dogen was a Koan man. Shobogenzo is chock full of koans wall to wall
...
Sitting is a Koan
I have never heard it said that Rinzai was a Shikantaza man, so to speak.
Actually, it is funny you should say that, for the voice of Master Rinzai as heard in the Rinzai-roku (Record of Rinzai) is very different from the Koan Introspection flavor which later became so associated with the "Rinzai Lineage." I wrote this once:

==================

Most Zen folks do not realize that the actual Master Linji Yixuan (Master Rinzai, 臨濟義玄, died 866) probably practiced a kind of non-seeking meditation seemingly closer in attitude to "Just Sitting" non-seeking, non-gaining "Shikantaza" than to the Koan Introspection Zazen which is now associated with the "Rinzai School" of Zen.

Of course, to say that Linji practiced "Shikantaza" would be incorrect, if we mean the way of sitting honed by Dogen in Japan some 400 years later. Shikantaza as we know did not exist at the time. However, Koan Introspection Zazen also did not exist at the time. Koan Introspection Zazen was developed by a monk in the Rinzai Lineage named Dahui (Dahui Zonggao 大慧宗杲) in the 12th Century, and further developed by others later including in Japan by Master Hakuin in the 18th Century, many many centuries after Rinzai lived. We do not know exactly what form of meditation Master Rinzai practiced, and the evidence is thin. But it is unlikely to have been Koan Introspection as we now know it, which did not exist at the time ... and most of the Koan stories themselves (many about Rinzai himself!) were not created as Koan stories until the Song Dynasty. There is no doubt that Silent Illumination and the like is an older tradition in the Zen/Chan world than Kanna (Koan Introspection) Zazen.

I simply make the point that so many of the Linji quotes below seem like dandy "don't seek, don't stop the thoughts, don't doubt, Just Sitting" instructions!

Anyway, here are the "Shikantaza-ish" quotes from the Record of Linji, and please judge for yourself:

----



“In my view there is no Buddha, no sentient beings, no past, no present. Anything attained was already attained—no time is needed. There is nothing to practice, nothing to realize, nothing to gain, nothing to lose. Throughout all time there is no other dharma than this. ‘If one claims there’s a dharma surpassing this, I say that it’s like a dream, like a phantasm.’ This is all I have to teach.

“Outside mind there’s no dharma, nor is there anything to be gained within it. What are you seeking? Everywhere you say, ‘There’s something to practice, something to obtain.’ Make no mistake! Even if there were something to be gained by practice, it would be nothing but birth-and-death karma."

“Bring to rest the thoughts of the ceaselessly seeking mind, and you will not differ from the patriarch-buddha. Do you want to know the patriarch-buddha? He is none other than you who stand before me listening to my discourse. But because you students lack faith in yourselves, you run around seeking something outside. Even if, through your seeking, you did find something, that something would be nothing more than fancy descriptions in written words; never would you gain the mind of the living patriarch.

“If you wish to differ in no way from the patriarch-buddha, just don’t seek outside. The pure light in a single thought of yours—this is the dharmakāya buddha within your own house. The nondiscriminating light in a single thought of yours—this is the saṃbhogakāya buddha within your own house. The nondifferentiating light in a single thought of yours—this is the nirmāṇakāya buddha within your own house. This threefold body is you, listening to my discourse right now before my very eyes. It is precisely because you don’t run around seeking outside that you have such meritorious activities.

“A true follower of the Way is never like this; conforming with circumstances as they are he exhausts his past karma; accepting things as they are he puts on his clothes; when he wants to walk he walks, when he wants to sit he sits; he never has a single thought of seeking buddhahood.

“Virtuous monks, time is precious. And yet, hurrying hither and thither, you try to learn meditation, to study the Way, to accept names, to accept phrases, to seek buddha, to seek a patriarch, to seek a good teacher, to think and speculate.
“Make no mistake, followers of the Way! After all, you have a father and a mother—what more do you seek? Turn your own light inward upon yourselves!
A man of old said, Yajñadatta [thought he had] lost his head,
But when his seeking mind came to rest, he was at ease.
“Virtuous monks, just be ordinary. Don’t put on airs.

“One thought of doubt, and instantly the demon [māra] enters your mind. Even a bodhisattva, when in doubt, is taken advantage of by the demon of birth-and-death. Just desist from thinking, and never seek outside. If something should come, illumine it. Have faith in your activity revealed now—there isn’t a thing to do. [Jundo Note: An interesting quote for a man often associated with recommending 'Great Balls of Doubt'}

“There are a bunch of blind shavepates who, having stuff ed themselves with food, sit down to meditate and practice contemplation. Arresting the flow of thought they don’t let it rise; they hate noise and seek stillness. This is the method of the heretics. A patriarch said, ‘If you stop the mind to look at stillness, arouse the mind to illumine outside, control the mind to clarify inside, concentrate the mind to enter samādhi—all such [practices] as these are artificial striving.’ [Jundo Note: This and several other quotes on not trying to still the flow of thoughts]

“Blind fools! Wastefully squandering the alms given them by believers everywhere and saying, ‘I am a renouncer of home,’ all the while holding such views as these! I say to you there is no buddha, no dharma, nothing to practice, nothing to enlighten to. Just what are you seeking in the highways and byways? Blind men! You’re putting a head on top of the one you already have. What do you yourselves lack? Followers of the Way, your own present activities do not diff er from those of the patriarch-buddhas. You just don’t believe this and keep on seeking outside. Make no mistake! Outside there is no dharma; inside, there is nothing to be obtained. Better than grasp at the words from my mouth, take it easy and do nothing.

The master said, “It is because you cannot stop your mind which runs on seeking everywhere that a patriarch said, ‘Bah, superior men! Searching for your heads with your heads!’ When at these words you turn your own light in upon yourselves and never seek elsewhere, then you’ll know that your body and mind are not different from those of the patriarch-buddhas and on the instant have nothing to do—this is called ‘obtaining the dharma.’

There are many more ...
http://info.stiltij.nl/publiek/meditati ... sasaki.pdf

Gassho, Jundo

Turtle Clan
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Re: You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

Post by Turtle Clan » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:20 pm

jundocohen wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:54 am

Shikantaza as we know did not exist at the time.
....
Gassho, Jundo
I find it hard to see how shikantaza did not exist at a time. What was Bodhidharma up to in his cave? Dogen didn’t pull it out of thin air after all. Actually, he probably did. What we call shikantaza is ever present, timeless and enduring ... always there to be discovered.

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jundocohen
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Re: You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

Post by jundocohen » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:29 pm

Turtle Clan wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:20 pm
jundocohen wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:54 am

Shikantaza as we know did not exist at the time.
....
Gassho, Jundo
I find it hard to see how shikantaza did not exist at a time. What was Bodhidharma up to in his cave? Dogen didn’t pull it out of thin air after all. Actually, he probably did. What we call shikantaza is ever present, timeless and enduring ... always there to be discovered.
Well, yes, timeless and all direct from the Source ... and yet, and yet, Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Zen, Zazen, Silent Illumination, Koan work, Shikantaza, Soto Zen all evolve and develop over time, taking on different flavors and additions or changes from different teachers and practitioners.

All composite things are change ... even the changeless and timeless.

Gassho, J

STLah

Turtle Clan
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Re: You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

Post by Turtle Clan » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:45 pm

jundocohen wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:29 pm
Well, yes,
... and yet, and yet,
Well ... I don’t think so.
All these different flavors, additions and changes which develop over time become fixed, ossified and self referential/reverential to the extent that the window to the source is obscured, closed even. The “finger” ends up pointing at itself.

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jundocohen
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Re: You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

Post by jundocohen » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:40 pm

Turtle Clan wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:45 pm
jundocohen wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:29 pm
Well, yes,
... and yet, and yet,
Well ... I don’t think so.
All these different flavors, additions and changes which develop over time become fixed, ossified and self referential/reverential to the extent that the window to the source is obscured, closed even. The “finger” ends up pointing at itself.
In our Soto way, Dogen spoke of the moon shining brightly in each and all of the many different things of the world, yet each and every one fully embodies the whole moon. I feel that it is the same for the many paths of Buddhism, each expressing the whole moon in its unique way.

Even the bad paths contain the whole moon, although it is obscured.

I am also not a fan of "essentialism," or "perennial philosophy." That is like saying that we need to pull out all the many different flowers of the garden in order to get to the original soil ... thus missing the soil which has become the flowers. Or it is like saying that the only "true flower" is the ancestor which became all the variety of the garden. Or it is like insisting that all the beautiful flowers, with their shapes and colors so varied, are really just the same flower. That is missing that the true soil, the true richness, is fully held in each flower, including the beautiful buds and the sharp thorns.

Gassho, J

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jundocohen
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Re: You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

Post by jundocohen » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:53 am

Prof. Heine came this week for his talk on Dogen and Shobogenzo:

https://youtu.be/qHxWg68mWYw

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Re: You Are Invited: a LIVE 'SIT & CHAT' with Zen Historian & Dogen Specialist, Dr. Steven Heine

Post by desertwoodworker » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:42 pm

Too much "Front-loading".

Work on perfecting posture and health. Zazen will take it from there.

--Joe

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