Joe; There’s so much to respond to, but I’ll keep my response focused on the notion of “confirmation”.desert_woodworker wrote: ↑Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:03 pmClyde,
Though they may be FEW -- very few -- their un-practiced putative awakening has thus probably not been confirmed by an accomplished teacher, which, in the Ch'an and Zen sects, is de rigueur.
Thus -- I'd say -- such claims are specious, unless somehow substantiated. Anyway, it is not "awakening" as understood and valued in the Ch'an/Zen (etc.), sects, because THAT requires inspection, testing, and confirmation by one who is familiar with all the vicissitudes.
Though, Clyde, can you substantiate your claims of those "awakening spontaneously", please? No? Else, it's hot air.
But, our/your topic is still "grace", and I assume you mean "gratuitous-grace".
That may be a category in some religions, but I think not in Ch'an and Zen, as I have written. Practice is of the essence (and correct practice, at that, we learn). Guided by an accomplished teacher. There should be no doubt about this, among practitioners in our school.
Granted, there are "Outer-paths", other ways, other Religions, which are not Ch'an, not Zen. Maybe these Outer-paths encompass and host such unsubstantiated "awakenings": I suspect so. There's no reason to think otherwise, since they are, by your definition, not an outcome of practice in Ch'an or Zen circles. Let them be examined by a Ch'an-, Zen-, Son-, Thien- Buddhist teacher. This is the way to be safe, and to remain on-topic, here, in a Zen Buddhist forum.
But the hypothetical, non-practicing, putatively-"awakenened" person may not be amenable to meeting someone truly awakened, to have a reality-check. Alas. It takes some affinity, as we know.
After awakening, a new phase of practice may be begun, guided by the teacher. This is not to be missed, for those Ch'an/Zen practitioners who may be interested. But such people -- here, and everywhere -- probably already know this.
I agree, the Zen Way requires confirmation of awakening by an accomplished (authorized) Zen teacher.
But I haven’t met or read of a Zen teacher who holds the view that only Zen practice leads to awakening or that only awakenings confirmed by a Zen teacher are actual awakening.
As I understand it, in Zen, the confirmation is like the “Kosher” stamp on some foods. It’s not the stamp that makes the food kosher; the food is kosher - with or without the stamp. And the stamp isn’t for the food; the stamp is for the benefit of the consumer.