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inji
03 Feb 11, 13:54
i've never been attracted to any of the mahayana traditions. i've generally found them needlessly cryptic and their various cosmologies unverifiable and too fantastic. but recently i've encountered a couple of books by joko beck. she articulates zen clearly for me sans the cultural baggage. for example, the following the "five questions that help us wake up".

http://www.zencentersandiego.org/global/File/articles/SUN2010-5Questions.pdf

Cloud
04 Feb 11, 04:33
Well naturally Zen is a simplified, practice-focused tradition, unlike some other Mahayana schools. There's also the Thai Forest Tradition of the Theravada. These two schools are very reminiscent of each other despite being of different "branches" of Buddhism.

Esho
06 Feb 11, 19:08
As Joko Beck the roshi with which we practice have come from the same founder, the late Taizan Maezumi Roshi. As a Soto School our core practice and main concern is Zazen and Shikantaza. We have taken a huge distance from Mahayana traditions. And also with other Soto schools. We do not hold on any of the literature that is holly and scared for the Mahayanist, even the idealisms like the Bodhisattva and all the supernatural, fantastic, exotic kind of issues that are around there. We just work with the central teaching left by the Buddha and some other important teachings from Dogen Zenji. We have drop out all the metaphysical baggage, cosmologies and cosmic tales that are found in Mahayana tradition. But there are other Soto schools that are highly metaphysical and highly religious that think that Buddha Nature is a kind of True Self and not the way mind works [a property of the mind] when it is mindfull, pacefull and aware.

;)

Cloud
07 Feb 11, 08:56
I like the idea of a Buddhist school that doesn't have its head in the clouds. :)

Esho
07 Feb 11, 15:40
I like the idea of a Buddhist school that doesn't have its head in the clouds. :)

Sure Cloud, I have come from a week meditation seshin and we had a beautiful teisho about the hara. As you have skilled breathing in zazen which is something like forgeting its counting (one, two, three...) you have to focus in the "hara" which means "abdomen". It is where the mudra of zazen is set. To be focused there makes you mindfull with things as they are. In touch with reality; focused on the mundane; the here and now. For us, the mundane is from where the supramundane is understood. When I joined Soto school we were highly asked about the posture. Last week I understood why and "hara" was a big reason for it. So not to have our head in the clouds, as you have clearly said... Also the simple act of sitting is a beautifull moment!

;)