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Madina-Spike
21 Jan 12, 12:39
Hi all!

Just a brief, non-related-to-anything question. Are there any Zen Buddhist members? Zen totally does it for me. Its the branch of Buddhism I can relate to the most. I'm great at making no sense! Would love to hear how other Zen students are getting on.

Chai yen :hands:

Trilaksana
21 Jan 12, 16:36
We have some Zen Buddhist members here, myself included.

Madina-Spike
21 Jan 12, 18:09
Hi Trilaksana! Brilliant. I've been studying for a couple of years now, but I need focus. Can you help please?

Trilaksana
21 Jan 12, 18:39
Well I haven't even been studying for a year but maybe I could help. One of the other Zen Buddhists on here recommended the book Zen Mind Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. Definitely has made a huge positive impact on my practice. So if you haven't read that I highly recommend it. There's actually a recorded reading of the book on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1xoEawM3xw

Madina-Spike
21 Jan 12, 18:50
Anything you could suggest would be more than welcome. I tend to live Zen more than know much about it. I feel I should understand more about it, but I've always tried to keep my reading material limited.

Trilaksana
21 Jan 12, 20:22
I definitely am sympathetic with that approach I agree in many ways but to me that book seems like a must read. Any particular part of your practice that you're struggling with?

Madina-Spike
21 Jan 12, 20:39
My meditation. I started with a Tibetan style of meditation, but as Zen worked its way into me with its discarding of pretty much everything, (lol!) I don't know what to meditate about! I can concentrate on my breathing, but I don't know if there's something else I should be doing.

CowpieDan
21 Jan 12, 21:11
Hi

I've just joined the forum and am a Zen student too. I've found Joko Becks books really helpful - Everyday Zen especially - and second the Zen Mind, Beginners Mind suggestion. There is also a free pdf book called Sitting Buddha written by Daishin Morgan at Throssel Hole - available on their website - which I quite liked.

Dan

Madina-Spike
21 Jan 12, 21:35
Welcome Dan!

I'll give those a look, all be it more can be learned from living Zen than reading about it! Try Zen Reflections by Robert Allen. Simple, to the point.

Chai yen

Trilaksana
21 Jan 12, 22:48
I found simply focusing on my breath during meditation is extremely rewarding and I don't really feel the need for much else.

Madina-Spike
22 Jan 12, 07:45
Excellent. Something less to worry about! Thankyou.

stoneflow
25 Jan 12, 19:47
Hello M-S,
From quite a few years perspective, I suggest that you look into mindfulness meditation such as zazen taught by most all Zen/Chan traditions. There will be different names for it but "Zen" is the meditation school of Buddhism. Zen incorporates the 2 methods originally taught by Buddha even though they are often combined into one in the different schools.

You ask about "focus" and there is no better way than meditation to focus. Find some materials - plenty online -about meditation, equanimity and concentration in Buddhism. Do you know that the founder of Zen called it a "Mind to Mind Transmission"? This suggests that a teacher would be a good idea. Very good luck to you.
_()_

Madina-Spike
26 Jan 12, 11:27
Thankyou Stoneflow. Oddly enough I'm just getting into zazen! I definitely
think it'll give me the focus I need. :hands:

emeraldeye
31 Jan 12, 23:30
Bit of a n00b question, but how does Zen Buddhism differ from other forms?

Trilaksana
01 Feb 12, 03:19
Zen is the only branch of Buddhism I know of that's influenced by Taoism. It also differs in that it focuses on meditation. Soto (Japanese) Zen puts a great amount of emphasis on Zazen. Zen also is unique in it's Koans and sayings which often appear to be paradoxical. For example "Everything different, everything the same."

emeraldeye
01 Feb 12, 03:47
Hmm... guess that's probably not for me then, I like things to be straight-forward. Interesting enough to read about but not to practice personally :)

Yuan
01 Feb 12, 04:26
Zen is the only branch of Buddhism I know of that's influenced by Taoism.

Zen is influenced by Taoism? How so?

Trilaksana
01 Feb 12, 13:09
Well according to the article I looked up I'm wrong. I thought that in Zen Buddhism the teaching of non-dualism was influenced by Taoism.

http://www.shaolin.org/zen/zen-is-zen.html

Esho
01 Feb 12, 14:50
How so?

Hi Yuan,

By a process known as "Acculturation" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acculturation) well documented at any anthropological research about how believes are adopted and then, adapted by different cultures.

Buddhism traditions, schools and sects are an example of a large history of Acculturation processes around the world. The outcome of an Acculturation process is sometimes called "Novelty by Combination". So, in this case there is no Buddhism and no Taoism but Zen.

;D

Yuan
01 Feb 12, 15:42
Hi Kaarine,

I was really asking for specific examples.

Maybe when he said Zen, he meant Japanese Zen, which I admit I am not as familiar.

Trilaksana
01 Feb 12, 23:11
I would assume it would be in Chinese Zen (Chan) since Taoism originated in China.

Lazy Eye
02 Feb 12, 20:48
I was really asking for specific examples.

Paul Williams draws some parallels in his book "Mahayana: the doctrinal foundations". He gives this example from the Huai nan zi (淮南子):


The essence of man is calm and pure in its original state, and only becomes cloudy and restless through contact with the objects that cause desires and emotions .... This original pure essence dwells in man. It will be temporarily covered, just as the clouds cover the stars . . . it is easy to foster this essence; since it is originally good and spoiled only by reacting to external influences, it is enough to
remove the external causes and man will right himself all of his own accord.

Likewise in Zen, "through cutting discursive activity the mind is 'returned' to the state it was always really in, that of pure, mirror-like, radiant stillness. Since this is its own natural state it is thereby quite possible for enlightenment to occur not as the direct result of a long period of moral and spiritual cultivation but rather at any time, suddenly or apparently spontaneously."

One of the main linking points, I gather, was the "Buddha-essence" or "essence-function" (體用) doctrine found in Awakening of Faith (大乘起信論). Fa-tsang is also said to have been influenced by Taoism.

Dae Bi
05 Feb 12, 03:19
I practice Korean Seon (Zen) we use Kong an (Koan) as meditation tools.

However, Kong an aren't just for sitting with. They are to be held whenever possible.

nowornever
05 Feb 12, 07:04
"1. Don’t wish for perfect health. In perfect health there is greed and wanting. So an ancient said, “Make good medicine from the suffering of sickness.”
2. Don’t hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind. So an ancient once said, “Accept the anxieties and difficulties of this life.”
3. Don’t expect your practice to be always clear of obstacles. Without hindrances the mind that seeks enlightenment may be burnt out. So an ancient once said, “Attain deliverance in disturbances.”
4. Don’t expect to practice hard and not experience the weird. Hard practice that evades the unknown makes for a weak commitment. So an ancient once said, “Help hard practice by befriending every demon.”
5. Don’t expect to finish doing something easily. If you happen to acquire something easily the will is made weaker. So an ancient once said, “Try again and again to complete what you are doing.”
6. Make friends but don’t expect any benefit for yourself. Friendship only for oneself harms trust. So an ancient once said, “Have an enduring friendship with purity in heart.”‘
7. Don’t expect others to follow your direction. When it happens that others go along with you, it results in pride. So an ancient once said, “Use your will to bring peace between people.”
8. Expect no reward for an act of charity. Expecting something in return leads to a scheming mind. So an ancient once said, “Throw false spirituality away like a pair of old shoes.”
9. Don’t seek profit over and above what your work is worth. Acquiring false profit makes a fool (of oneself). So an ancient once said, “Be rich in honesty.”
10. Don’t try to make clarity of mind with severe practice. Every mind comes to hate severity, and where is clarity in mortification? So an ancient once said, “Clear a passageway through severe practice.”
11. Be equal to every hindrance. Buddha attained Supreme Enlightenment without hindrance. Seekers after truth are schooled in adversity. When they are confronted by a hindrance, they can’t be over-come. Then, cutting free, their treasure is great."

Zen Master Kyong Ho (1849-1912)

Aloka
05 Feb 12, 07:15
Hi nowornever,

Please don't copy and paste quotes without any personal input to say why they're being posted - and also give a URL link if possible.


Thanks.:hands:

nowornever
05 Feb 12, 07:41
Dear Aloka-D

You are not reading this topic carafully. Probably you do not practise zen so maybe you are not interested in this topic in detail, it is understandable.

One of the people here asked a question and many people answered it and my post is one of them. Please think 3 times before your each control.

This is not Aloka-D topic but zen topic and zen says "Do not make anything". That's why I prefer to give an appropriate text from a great zen master than my theories(my silence is better than holiness).

I hope I haven't offended you. My language is sometimes too aggressive-it is my bad habit or karma. I promise to change myself to be a better human being.
Hugs,
non

Aloka
05 Feb 12, 07:54
Dear Aloka-D

You are not reading this topic carafully. Probably you do not practise zen so maybe you are not interested in this topic in detail, it is understandable. One of the people here asked a question and many people answered it and my post is one of them. Please think 3 times before your each control. This is not Aloka-D topic but zen topic and zen says "Do not make anything". That's why I prefer to give an appropriate text from a great zen master than my theories(my silence is better than holiness). I hope I haven't offended you. My language is sometimes too aggressive-it is my bad habit or karma. I promise to change myself to be a better human being.
Hugs,
non

Hi noworrnever

In response to you post #26 ....Firstly, the OP #1 of this topic began:


Just a brief, non-related-to-anything question. Are there any Zen Buddhist members?.....



Then another two questions arose:


how does Zen Buddhism differ from other forms?

and later :


Zen is influenced by Taoism? How so?

Just as an aside, I can't see how your quote #24 was answering any of those questions - but the actual issue was the lack of any personal input in the post, or a URL.

Secondly, in my role as owner and administrator of the website, I suggest you read the Code of Conduct carefully. Clearly you have not done so.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?197-Code-of-Conduct

(There's also an extra 'Forum Guidelines' thread underneath the Code of Conduct.)

Please also check Woodscooter's post in the Technical Help forum about copyright issues .

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?1798-Copyright-Issues

Finally, if you think that your own language is too aggressive, why leave it there, its easy enough to remove from the post instead of writing afterwards about it being a bad habit!

Thanks in anticipation of your future co-operation.

Kind regards,

Aloka :hands:

Aloka
05 Feb 12, 08:25
So sorry for the interruption, please continue with the thread everyone ;D

Dae Bi
29 Feb 12, 21:25
Please, anyone interested in Zen, check out all the different Schools before choosing. Vietnamese (Thien), Chinese (Chán), Korean (Són) and Japanese (Zen) Japanese Zen is the most fractured Soto and Rinzai. The others are more blended. However, Vietnamese and Korean, Generally follow the style of Lin Chi.

Abhaya
17 Mar 12, 23:40
Zen has worked wonders for my practice. One of my downfalls involves over-analysis, with a heavy reliance upon logical reasoning. Although this can also be a strength, it has tended to work against my happiness more often than not, as I sometimes seek answers to questions for which there are none. Zen practice has helped ground me in moment-to-moment happenings, shaping my outlook to be less about speculation and more about what can be known and experienced in this life.

It initially struck me as bizarre and immensely frustrating that koans never contained a direct answer to any of the questions posed. I later realized these "answers" were more direct than any other, though not in the expected way. I have found that Zen has helped me shed my attachment to unhealthy expectations. In daily living, I still seek predictability during times of uncertainty, but I find myself gaining confidence in the unpredictable, however gradually.

Gassho

plwk
18 Mar 12, 01:53
However, Vietnamese and Korean, Generally follow the style of Lin Chi.I find that these two are sometimes blended with Pure Land practice like the case in the Chinese Tradition, where both Ch'an and Pure Land are practiced as dual doors rather than the exclusive practice as found the Japanese ones...