Bill, you are right.  Yet Hanh is not wrong.

Ten thousand dharma for ten thousand hearts. Each is a beauty in itself.

Ferrying sentient beings from a formed domain into a formless domain is always a challenge.

We can only seed the cause....  sigh....

Bill Smart wrote:

On Wed, Jan 09 Jeff ([EMAIL PROTECTED]net) wrote:

>Hello Bill,

>Thanks for your reply. I have come across the Zen view that, as you

>say, "you don't have to understand anything". Why, though, did Thich

>Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist, deal with this "no birth-no death" in his

>book? The impression I got was that one should contemplate "no birth-

>no death" as a core concept of Buddhism. If it is a core Buddhist

>concept, is the Zen concept ("you don't need to understand")at odds

>with Buddhism?



I really don’t know the answer to that question.  You’d have to ask Thich Nhat Hanh.  If you ever do I’d like to know what his answer is.


One of the primary tenets of zen is ‘mind-to-mind transmission’.  The usual example of this is the story of Gautama Buddha setting up to teach before a large gathering of his followers, and instead of speaking he just held up a flower.  One of his students, Mahakashyapa, smiled indicating he had ‘received’ Buddha’s teachings.  He became the first Patriarch of zen.  Many teachers refrain from teaching zen using concepts or even words spoken directly about zen because of their fear of confusing the student.  This is often referred to as ‘the finger pointing to the moon’.  The saying pertinent to this is: don’t mistake the finger [pointing to the moon] for the moon.  Don’t mistake the teaching tools or words for Buddha Mind.  Don’t think you ‘understand’, therefore you are enlightened.  Understanding has nothing (directly) to do with Buddha Mind.   


In my opinion Thich Nhat Hanh is like a overly-doting grandmother who gives her children candy as a bribe so they will do their chores, in spite of knowing full well the candy is really not good for them.  Shame on him!







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