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Sobeh
07 Apr 10, 23:35
In the dojo where I practice zazen we only have a statue of the budhha, nothing more than that. And I realy enjoy that kind of austerity.

This brings up something I've often wondered about. Zen, for example, despite having come from China, nevertheless has a strong identity with traditional Japanese architecture with respect to simplicity and the use of space and 'blending'.

Contrast that with the highly intricate and prolific ritual of Tibetan practice, including the many ritual devices and beautiful artistic imagery, and it definitely makes for a stark contrast.

Generally speaking, "urban" Theravadan art is, itself, the Suttas. In Sri Lanka, for example, it is very popular to have a Sutta written on real palm leaves in precious ink and given as gifts to monasteries.

Because I'm ordaining in the Thai Forest Tradition, I thought about the use of art in that tradition; the daily cycles of the monks there don't really come into contact with art at all...

Any thoughts on the consequences based on this difference? Or is it all just a matter of choosing the curry flavor for ones Rice Dhamma?

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frank
08 Apr 10, 00:26
Any thoughts on the consequences based on this difference?

I think it's a case of keeping your eye on the ball.
Trying not to get distracted by hype,trying to remember what the point of the exercise is...liberation.

Aloka
08 Apr 10, 01:28
Maybe we could include some photos ?

Esho
08 Apr 10, 01:33
Any thoughts on the consequences based on this difference? Or is it all just a matter of choosing the curry flavor for ones Rice Dhamma?

This is a very good question. Thanks Sobeh for it.

I will choose the issue of "the curry flavor for ones Rice Dhamma" and as Frank tells in # 2 the important thing is not to be caught up in the art that has developed each tradition:



I think it's a case of keeping your eye on the ball.

In my personal opinion the austerity of a temple, in this case, at a Zen dojo, is fundamental to develop a pacefull environment with the less distraction about ornamentation. For me it is too "noisy" all the ornamentation that has developed Tibetan tradition and I think that this is because of the culture and temper of the tibetan people.

Since I started to practice Dhamma I have felt a need to be austere also in my personal life. I am learning to keep my self silent and keep my environment silent. Im surprised I have had diminish a lot the time I used to listen to music with out feeling anxiety.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Aloka
08 Apr 10, 01:42
I'm not keen on Tibetan statues though I like the thangkas. When I went to Amaravati (Forest Tradition) in the UK, I was astonished by the difference and simplicity when I walked into the temple shrine room. The big golden Buddha on the shrine is the nicest Buddha statue I've seen ...and I also really liked the black Buddha outside. Here's a photo.


http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/dazz/black_buddha.jpg

Aloka
08 Apr 10, 01:48
I think one gets very caught up with the colors and all the artifacts in Tibetan Buddhism as well as the sounds and the instruments and so on. Is it all absolutely necessary? No. - but it had a big impact on me to begin with because of my love of bright colors and so on. I found it all very attractive - which doesn't really have anything to do with Dharma - although some would say otherwise.

Esho
08 Apr 10, 01:50
and I also really liked the black Buddha outside. Here's a photo.

What a beautifull statue Dazz, it is unavoidable the pacefull feeling it brings to you as you contemplate it...

Thanks Dazz,

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hug.gif

From Dazz # 6: "Is it all absolutely necessary? No."

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Sobeh
08 Apr 10, 02:02
Trying not to get distracted by hype,trying to remember what the point of the exercise is...liberation.



unavoidable the pacefull feeling

It's an interesting note. I thought of the idea that the peaceful feeling would not have occurred but for the presence of that art, and perhaps a monastic or layperson walking past it would derive much benefit, but of course always mindful of the fact it was mere enjoyable feeling coming in through the sense organ of the eye.

Perhaps in the forest tradition, nature itself is the art we are supposed to receive this peaceful benefit from? Perhaps this is an interesting similarity with Zen?

Esho
08 Apr 10, 02:10
Perhaps this is an interesting similarity with Zen?

It seems that it is maybe in the aspect of austerity. But in zen besides austerity there is an intention to depict the essencial aspect of a "thing" cleaned from any personal view and without loosing movement or a sense of motion... giving you a paradox between essence and impermanence... You know... Zen loves paradoxes.

While I am not an expert in Zen art, I am curious about it... and I am starting to explore it; seems an interesting exploration.

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