Edgar and JMJM,

My first Japanese Zen Buddhist roshi (teacher) was a Soto master.  He 
stressed 'shikan taza' or 'clear mind' zazen.

When he died I moved to the other teacher in the zendo who was also 
Japanese but had dual linage from both Soto and Renzai schools.  He 
mixed shikan taza with koans.

One day he was asked what was the main difference in the technique 
between Soto and Renzai, between shikan taza and koans?  His answer 
was 'Soto is like walking around in a light misting rain.  You are 
contstanly getting wet but don't notice it until one day you realize 
you're thoroughly soaked!  Renzai is like getting pushed in a 
swimming pool.  You're wet and soaked immediately, but aren't quite 
sure just what happened.  I stress koans especially on Americans 
because they want to see results quickly, like the way the Japanese 
martial arts have changed from a traditional white belt, brown belt 
and black belt rankings to adding green, blue, yellow, etc...  
Americans want to see results quickly.  Most of them just don't have 
the patience for Soto techniques.'

Just a little zen anecdote I thought you'd like.

...Bill!

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Owen <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> JM,
> 
> If northern chan was the gradual awakening and Japanese zen comes  
> from that why does most Japanese Zen emphasize sudden, not gradual  
> awakening?
> 
> Edgar
> 
> 
> 
> On Dec 1, 2008, at 9:33 PM, Jue Miao Jing Ming - 覺妙精明 wrote:
> 
> > Hi Bill and Mayka,
> >
> > I love the sincerity, honesty and warmth of your post. Instead of
> > picking on Bill, which I am guilty of, I like to share with you my
> > experience of Chan/zen.
> >
> > Historically, in most of the written words, Chan is a Chinese  
> > invention
> > regarding BodhiDharma as the founder or the First Patriarch. He 
came
> > from the linage of Kasyapa, who were told to teach without words 
and
> > formalities. So yes, Chan has Buddhism DNA.
> >
> > Gradually however, Taoist influenced Chan. Compare the Shin-Shin 
Ming
> > by the Third Patriarch of Chan with that of Tao-Te-Chin by Lao 
Tzu,  
> > the
> > founder of Taoism. They are almost similar in content. In other 
words,
> > words are useless. Essence is in the synchronization of spirit, 
or chi
> > in Chinese.
> >
> > Because the Taoist meditative technique is more effective and 
Buddhist
> > teaching is more popular, gradually Chan meditative practice 
became  
> > more
> > Taoist, such as QiGong, acupuncture, etc., Yet Chan still utilizes
> > Buddhist terms for describing spiritual experience. Chan is quite 
a  
> > hybrid.
> >
> > Since the Sixth Patriarch, Chan split into the sudden awakening 
in the
> > south and the gradual awakening in the north. I have a huge linage
> > book given to me by my Teacher. It listed every patriarch in the  
> > linage
> > with some of the recent records destroyed by the communist. 
Northern
> > Chan was passed to Japan and pronounced zen about 700 years later.
> >
> > Because its 2,000 year history, there are variation in the 
linages.
> > Some are more Buddhist and some are more Taoist and some are 
neutral.
> > The essence and bulk of Chan, however, are actually quite well
> > maintained in the at-home practices. Through out Chinese history, 
most
> > scholars, court officials practices Chan. Because they are the 
most
> > suitable candidates.
> >
> > I agree with Bill, Chan/zen is the core of all spirituality,  
> > because of
> > its simplicity. It is just a naked connectivity of one's spirit 
with
> > that of the universe. It is just a formless, formality less, 
wordless
> > spirituality. There is no robe, no shaving head, no bible. Any
> > religion can dress it any way they prefer.
> >
> > As long as the practitioner is truly and spiritually in touch his 
true
> > self internally and with that of the universe externally, nothing 
else
> > matters.
> >
> > All labels and descriptions existed for a reason. They are all 
forms.
> > Forms are all relative and pertinent to that particular moment  
> > only. We
> > don't have to compare, accept or reject. These actions in the  
> > knowledge
> > domain does not relate to our well being whatsoever.
> >
> > In the end, be liberated from all sufferings, be content with 
every
> > moment is the only thing matters.
> >
> > A bow to all,
> > JM
> >
> > Bill Smart wrote:
> > >
> > > Mayka,
> > >
> > > Thank you for your very candid and profound post. I appreciate 
your
> > > sharing with the forum your admiration for Thich Nhat Hanh. You 
are
> > > representing him and his teachings very, very well.
> > >
> > > Please remember that I don't get your posts in my email, and I 
don't
> > > always check the website. So, if you have a post you want to 
direct
> > > specifically to me or to assure my awareness of the post, please
> > > email it to me directly as you have in the past.
> > >
> > > My comments are embedded in your post below:
> > >
> > > --- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Zen_Forum% 
> > 40yahoogroups.com>,
> > > "Mayka" <flordeloto@> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Bill;
> > > >
> > > > I have no idea if Thich Nhat Hanh is a self proclaimed 
Buddhist or
> > > > not. Knowing him a little bit I can not see him doing any
> > > > proclamation about anything for he's a very wise, sweet, 
humble
> > > > profoundly peaceful man. I know about him that he has turn 
round
> > > the
> > > > dharma wheel and created a new way slightly different way  
> > tradition
> > > > from the tradition he comes from. This is natural, the dharma 
is
> > > > something alive which comes first from guiding books and 
education
> > > > and becames through daily direct experience practice a living
> > > dharma.
> > > > I can say for sure about him that whatever he teaches is 
something
> > > > that he has experienced first by himself. He won't ever talk 
about
> > > > something that he has not experienced first. In fact one 
amongst
> > > his
> > > > multi remarkable skills is to reduce to the minimum the use of
> > > words
> > > > that can create distraction in the mind and using words that 
are
> > > very
> > > > simple but a smack to the intelectual mind, individualism and 
ego.
> > > A
> > > > person who is looking for sophisticated discourses and candy 
words
> > > > would find Thic Nhat Hanh tedious and boring. Or on the other
> > > hand,
> > > > a perosn who can also be intelectual but has reached to 
conclusion
> > > > that intelectuality can be a boundary when this is not used 
in the
> > > > appropiate way, then that person, if receptive enough, would 
find
> > > > Thich Nhat Hanh a very enlightened person.
> > > >
> > > > My direct experience about him is that he is a living Buddha. 
I
> > > can
> > > > sense, touch and see that in all his body language, his living
> > > > dharma, his energy, in each action he does.... When he pass 
on his
> > > > dharma he doesn't pass on just words but also pass on his 
direct
> > > > experience about it!. So the words become like something very
> > > lively
> > > > and real in him. He never talks about something that he has 
not
> > > > experiencing first by himself.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Thank you again for your vivid description of Thich Nhat Hanh 
and
> > > your impression of him. He is honored to have you as a student.
> > >
> > > One of the things you've said above rings especially true for 
this
> > > forum: living dharma cannot be expressed by words alone - 
especially
> > > in only written text. It's only from face-to-face contact with 
some
> > > as you describe that you can fully appreciate their total 
absorption
> > > in the dharma.
> > >
> > > > The tradition he teaches I'm not sure but I'm under the 
impresion
> > > > that has its roots in Mahayana Buddhism.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Zen Buddhism does have it's roots in Mahayana Buddhism. Some 
beleive
> > > Zen is a type of Mahayana Buddhism, and some beleive Zen is the
> > > evolution (culmination) of Mahayana Buddhim and is a branch of 
its
> > > own. I assum Thich Nhat Hanh being Vietnamese would have grown 
up
> > > under the influence of Theravada Buddhism, but anyway Theravada 
is
> > > not mutually exclusive from Mahayana Buddhsim.
> > >
> > > As you and I both know and have said repeatedly, none of these 
names
> > > or terms are really important. I usually only bring these up in
> > > response to someone else's post referring to some specific type 
of
> > > Buddhism. I'm not really overly concerned with Buddhism. All you
> > > Buddhists can give it what ever names, and divide it up into  
> > whatever
> > > categories you want.
> > >
> > > > I have never hear before zen without the influence of 
buddhism or
> > > > having as buddhism in its root. Interesting also the 
simplicity  
> > you
> > > > seem to follow your own practice.
> > > >
> > >
> > > I know what you say is true. Most people (99.9%?) inextricably
> > > assocaiate zen and Buddhism. Some think it is just one of the 
many
> > > branches of Buddhism. Some, like the Vispassana Buddhists here 
in
> > > Thailand, think Zen is not a part of Buddhism at all - more 
like a
> > > cult, a derranged and impure psuedo-Buddhism. Some think of Zen 
as
> > > the culmination of all Buddhism - the most pure form.
> > >
> > > I think of zen as pre-dating Buddhism, Hinduism, Judiasm,
> > > Christianity and all other religions. I think of zen as the 
core of
> > > most other religions, and these other religions, including 
Buddhism,
> > > are zen with a lot of extra crap stuck all over it. In a lot of 
the
> > > religions the extra crap is so thick that the zen core is 
totally
> > > obsucured. I do think that in Zen Buddhism, even with all the 
crap
> > > attached, at least the zen core is recognizable and accessible.
> > >
> > > >I like from it [Bill's zen practice] how direct is and
> > > > its simplicity. I also like from it how open is to criticism, 
and
> > > > the fact that one can talk about positve things and negative
> > > things
> > > > happening to one in a very open way. In constrast to the 
profound
> > > > wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh I have always found difficult to  
> > relate
> > > > myself in the non monastic sanghas due to its kind of 
Disneyland
> > > way
> > > > of doing. I certainly share with you that as a practicioner 
I  
> > don't
> > > > like to wave but to deal with what it comes as it comes alone.
> > > > Though, I do lack of the mental stability over my emotions and
> > > > solidity you seem to have.
> > > >
> > >
> > > I also feel a close connection with you, even though we often
> > > disagree, or at least seem to disagree. I respect your 
perspective
> > > and enjoy your posts.
> > >
> > > > You say that you practice from the perspective "Just This".
> > > But "Just
> > > > This" can not exist without "Just That".
> > > >
> > >
> > > Your statement above is actually true. As soon as you 
say 'this',
> > > you imply there is a 'that'. This is a good example of dualistic
> > > thinking, but something that is all but impossible to extract 
from
> > > our language. Language ASSUMES and is based on dualism. This is 
why
> > > zen masters often refrain from giving language-based answers to
> > > questions like 'What is Buddha Nature?'. As soon as you open 
your
> > > mouth to speak, you're lost. So what do they do?
> > >
> > > Sometimes they do use language, but in such a non-ordinary way 
that
> > > the listener cannot take their reponose literaly. Examples of 
these
> > > are 'mu', or 'the cypress tree in the garden', or 'dried shit 
on a
> > > stick'. Sometimes they just yell something that is not a word at
> > > all, like 'Katz!' or 'Wah!'. Since these are not words they 
cannot
> > > be misunderstood. Sometimes they don't speak but just slap the
> > > floor, or turn around and walk away. They do avoid using 
ordinary
> > > langauage if at all possible.
> > >
> > > If you and I were face-to-face and your were to ask me about 
Buddha
> > > Nature I would not say 'Just THIS!'. I would demostrate Buddha
> > > Nature. The best way I figured out how to do this in writing 
like on
> > > this forum is to type Just THIS!
> > >
> > > > zen or buddhism are not bigger or smaller. They may be 
different
> > > > ways in which the dharma is transmitted and nothing else.
> > > >
> > >
> > > When I say zen is smaller than Buddhism, I mean zen is the core 
and
> > > Buddhism (or Hinduism or Christianity) is the packaging. Like 
zen is
> > > the marrow and Buddhsim is the bone which contains but hides the
> > > marrow, or maybe even Buddhism is the entire body. It's hard to 
get
> > > to the marrow if you have to hack through the body and the bone.
> > >
> > > > I'm truly happy to see you active in the list. Sorry if we 
can't
> > > > help oneselves by letting you lurking. I suppose we all miss 
you
> > > > very much. The zen forum is not the same without you, JM, 
Mike,
> > > > Edgar....
> > > >
> > > > A respectuos bow to you
> > > > Mayka
> > > >
> > >
> > > El gusto es mio...
> > >
> > > ...Bill!
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>



------------------------------------

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