Hi,  If you are interested to go by the sutra, the journey is composed 
of two parts: (most of the school teach only some of it)

First part is to get one self cleaned up or cultivated, or Hinayana, or 
the first half of Buddha's teaching.

1.  Rid of the three karmic influence, "intent, words, action" or in the 
Chan sense, clean living, no brain, no judgment, go with the flow.
2.  Exercise the "Eight fold path".  Get into the mud and see how we 
react. (in this forum, many are struggling here)
2.  Surpass the three realms, "conscious, subconscious, supra conscious" 
or "desire, form, formless". this get into the spiritual side of things.
3.  Detach from "ego, self, sentient being, death", then we reach the 
land of peace.  (Diamond Sutra)

As we all know, these are the basics of Buddhist teachings.  Sort of at 
the Bodhisattva level.  "Heart dwells in nothing.  Everything manifest 
from the heart."(Platform Sutra)  or in short, "detach from all forms." 
(Heart Sutra)

Second part is for those wanted to be a Buddha.  This Mahayana part 
really get into the mud.  A mud only the ego-less succeed.

1. to ferry everyone we know to the other land, the land beyond the 
boundaries of our knowledge and habitual thinking.
2. to satisfy and resolve every conflict we encounter. "Six Dimensions 
of Actions" (requires wisdom and commitment)
3. To willfully undertake the karma of others. (This requires a 
qualified teacher and guidance)
4. So that our heart resonate with the heart of others. or "Same Body 
Compassion."(Diamond Sutra)
5. The bigger the resonance, the bigger the Buddha.

Chan is taught without words or formality.  Just like when Jesus and 
Buddha started, there were no rules.  After they died, due to the size 
of the audience, rules were gradually formulated.  Since every rule is 
partial, more rules were needed to support the other rules.  The rules 
themselves became self-serving. Then it was later coined as religion.  
Yes, Bill is right.  Chan is the foundation for all spiritual practice, 
because it had no rules. 

Chan utilizes the essence of Buddhism to explain and the essence of Tao 
in its practice.  Both are rather invisible.  That is why it is so 
illusive and difficult for the thinking mind. What does "be" mean in 
Zen.  How can we "be" someone or something.  The correct word is to 
"sync" with ego-less-ly.  Be one in its natural resonance.

So in short, the first part is "detach from all forms".  Second part is 
to sync with every heart or essence.

Continue discussing, or even getting a Phd in the world of forms, labels 
and concept will never be able to sync or affect of the "world of lives".

Let me know if this is confusing or unacceptable.  Thank you for your time.

I did not write a single word.  :-)




 

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