Anthony,  The way Asian languages are transliterated into English is still a 
mystery to me.  A good example is the simple work in Thai for 'shrimp'.  
Sometimes it's transliterated into 'gung', sometimes 'kung'.  The truth is the 
beginning consonant is somewhere between the softer English 'g' and the harder 
English 'k'.  I've seen Zhaozhou transliterated into English as Joshu and Joju. 
 Who knows where they come up with all this?

That is an interesting point about ancient Chinese 'wu' being pronounced closer 
to 'mu'.  It's important because when working on the koan Mu students usually 
eventually revert to just 'sitting only with mu' or even chanting mu while 
sitting.  The hard 'm' at the beginning of the word and the following drawn-out 
'ooooo' is great for a good exhale during zazen.  This is one of the many, many 
reasons I think the koan Mu is such a gem.

I have not read much or maybe even any pre-Mahayana literature.  In general I 
don't read Buddhist literature anymore, only a little out of the Diamond and 
Hear Sutra.  Otherwise it's just all zazen for me.


From: [] On Behalf Of 
Anthony Wu
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 10:21 PM
Subject: RE: [Zen] Nature?

I agree that at least 'mu' means 'no' or 'whatever'. If we go deeper, like you 
say, that sets up a conumdrum for the student to work as a koan.
I don't understand why Zhaozhou becomes Joju in Japanese literature, it should 
be 'Chooshuu'. The former sounds more like Korean. To make things more 
interesting, the modern 'wu' was pronounced more like 'mu' in Zhaozhou's time. 
I should stop here, or Edgar would critisize me for 'showing off'. Anyway, it 
is 'mai-pen-rai'.
To talk about something more serious, did you read any pre-mahayana literature 
that mentions 'Buddha nature'? I have not in my limited reading.

--- On Sun, 21/12/08, <> wrote:
From: <>
Subject: RE: [Zen] Nature?
Date: Sunday, 21 December, 2008, 6:19 PM

In answering that student's question in the koan your 'no' is absolutely just 
as good as my 'whatever'.

I'm not an Asian language expert (although I do speak Thai), but Zhaozhou must 
have actually said 'wu' since he was Chinese. Joju is ZhaoZhou's name rendered 
in Japanese, and he is reported to have said 'mu' since this was a retelling of 
the encounter in Japanese. Thai's use 'mai' which means 'negative'. It can mean 
no, it can mean not, it can mean 'nothing'.

The whole koan stems from the 'fact' that Siddhartha Buddha is reported to have 
said 'all sentient being have Buddha Nature'. JoJu's student then asked Joju: 
'Does a dog have a Buddha Nature?' To which JoJu reportedly replied his now 
famous 'mu'. Now that could have meant 'no', and since the student already knew 
Buddha said ALL SENTIENT beings have Buddha Nature, it set up a conundrum for 
him, an un-solvable puzzle - a koan. Why does Buddha say one thing and Joju say 
something different? BUT, in the absolutely sublime response Joju could have 
also meant 'who cares?', or 'moot', or 'go fish', or maybe today even 'fuck 
off'. He could have meant anything to get the student to concentrate so hard on 
solving the unsolvable that his mind finally gives up and STOPS - No Mind - and 
that is KENSHO - an initial breakthrough. That No Mind is meeting Joju and all 
the other Buddhas and teachers face-to-face. That No Mind is Buddha Nature.


From: zen_fo...@yahoogrou [mailto:zen_fo...@yahoogrou] On Behalf 
Of Anthony Wu
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2008 4:34 PM
To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou
Subject: RE: [Zen] Nature?


I don't see a difference between my 'no' and your 'whatever'. Both mean 'stop 
bullshiting about Buddha nature'. Next time you meet Zhaozhou zen master, give 
him a better carrot.


--- On Sun, 21/12/08, billsm...@hhs1963. org <billsm...@hhs1963. org> wrote:
From: billsm...@hhs1963. org <billsm...@hhs1963. org>
Subject: RE: [Zen] Nature?
To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou
Date: Sunday, 21 December, 2008, 11:32 AM
I have met Zhaozhou face-to-face. His response 'mu' to his student's question 
on whether a dog (or duck or maggot) did not mean 'no'. In our vernacular it 
could be translated as 'whatever', or 'moot'. If you're spending all your time 
or posts speculating about Buddha Nature you're barking up the wrong tree, or 
swimming in the wrong pond, or gnawing on the wrong carrion.

Back in Thailand and lurking no more...Bill!

From: zen_fo...@yahoogrou [mailto:Zen_ fo...@yahoogrou] On Behalf 
Of Anthony Wu
Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2008 3:42 PM
To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou
Subject: [Zen] Nature?


Your missed the point. On the one hand, everything has Buddha nature (your word 
'innate' is correct). On the other, you should not attach to that idea. That is 
why Bill Smart's great grand father Zhaozhou zen master says, 'no', when asked 
'does a dog have Buddha nature?'.


--- On Fri, 19/12/08, Edgar Owen <edgaro...@att. net> wrote:
From: Edgar Owen <edgaro...@att. net>
Subject: Re: [Zen] Ducks Have Buddha Nature?
To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou
Date: Friday, 19 December, 2008, 11:56 PM

It is nonsense to think that humans could convey Buddha nature on to anything 
at all by thinking about them. Buddha nature is innate in all things.

Your ignorant Zhaozhou master needs a duck to teach him about Buddha nature!


On Dec 19, 2008, at 9:47 AM, Anthony Wu wrote:


Ducks have Buddha nature when we have sympathy with them. When you think about 
them in general terms, they should have no Buddha nature. Otherwise, you would 
attach to them. That is a teaching from Zhaozhou zen master.


--- On Tue, 16/12/08, Karin <tortillera77@> wrote:
From: Karin <tortillera77@>
Subject: [Zen] Ducks Have Buddha Nature?
To: zen_fo...@yahoogrou
Date: Tuesday, 16 December, 2008, 4:55 PM
I work at a shopping mall and there is a canal nearby and there are 
lots of ducks in the area.. I feed them out of the back of the store 
sometimes, and they run towards me and I talk to them. That is fun. 

However, many people dislike the ducks because they poop a lot, and I 
have seen some people run them over with their cars when they are 
driving through the shopping center. They have contempt for the ducks 
and think that if the ducks are in the way of the car, it is OK to run 
over them. This is very sad to me. 

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