Well Deborah,

If we sit down and observe our surroundings, the stars, the trees and clouds and rivers, it is perfect. We will also notice the following characteristics.

   * It harmonizes.
   * It evolves.
   * It integrates.
   * It balances.
   * It allows.
   * It cares. etc.

In other words, as an inseparable part of the universe, we inherit the same characteristics.

To be enlightened, is to be awakened to these characteristics. These are the nature of the universe. These are the nature of us. These are also the Tao, the Chan and the Zen. These natures are in everything of the universe, big and small. A fancy name for it is Self Nature, or Buddha Nature.

It is called Buddha nature, because this is the same nature Shakyamuni witnessed, then Buddhism was organized to honor his teaching. Buddha nature does not belong to Buddha.

Whether it is Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Chanist or Zenist, all practice to realize this. Some of us don't even need a religion to be awakened to.

I do recognize the fact that some the teachings from school to school may be different, or the practice maybe different, but all in all, Chan or Zen or Christian or.... are just labels to convenient the selection process for our karmic mind.

After all, even in the same school, each teacher teaches differently and in turn having different followers.

Yet, all are Chan. Therefore Chan does not belong to any particular religion, nor any philosophy, or any institution. It is always there without birth or death, and continues to evolve, just like the galaxies.

Be Enlightened In This Life - We ALL Can

On 1/6/2011 6:48 AM, Deborah Mingins wrote:
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. It seems what you are saying is Chan sees yin and yang as one and not two in, the continuous division of one. I understand that in Chan all is one, but there is a division. Australia and the USA are all one part of the earth, but very different, as Chan and Zen are very different. They are closer than other forms of Buddhism to each other, but the influences of their cultures and interpretors have made them different. I have found Zen louder, harsher, yelling, whereas Chan is gentler, more natural, and not forceful. Please let me know how you see this. taomtnsa...@yahoo.com <mailto:taomtnsa...@yahoo.com>

*From:* Jue Miao Jing Ming - 覺妙精明 <chan.j...@gmail.com>
*To:* Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com; zenliv...@yahoogroups.com
*Sent:* Thu, January 6, 2011 2:29:57 AM
*Subject:* [Zen Living] Chan & Tao

Hello Deborah,

Thank you for your question. Perhaps you noticed that I usually just say what Chan is, and avoided to compare Chan with Zen.

Though some of my posts are being labeled as illusory, I had not done so on the contrary, because Chan taught me that Chan includes everything, including Zen. Chan is all. If I had not heard of a Zen post, then I should learn about it. That's why I join this forum six or seven years ago -- to learn.

The Tao influence in Chan is quite evident. If we read the Xin-Xin-Ming by the third patriarch, it almost sounded like Tao-Te-Jing. However, the Tao influence to Chan is more so in the practice - the sitting and the motion chan. Sitting is the Ying and Motion Chan is the Yang.

Tao is really not dualistic in the Chan sense. Tao merely laid out the path from TaiChi to the rest of the manifestation of all the forms, through Ying-Yang, the two to the four to the Eight, etc. It just illustrated the continuous division of the One. That's all.

Now back to what is Chan. Chan is really just a nick name for our universe. Academically, a comprehensive term for everything, those we know and we don't know, visible and invisible, permanent and impermanent, static and dynamic, etc. etc.

While most of the teachings tried to rationalize the form, Chan's focus is on the formless, or simply the life's energy and its wisdom, because everything is manifested by this energy and the wisdom. It is the dharma and the ultimate truth.

The only way to get to it, is to sync to it by first rejuvenating our physical body to be a baby, then open up our heart like a baby. Because, baby state is our closest state to our birth, and to our creator, the universe.

Somehow, the most important part of the practice, cultivating our chi, is not quite evident in Zen, which is the most natural and effortless way to sync up to the universal wisdom.


Be Enlightened In This Life - We ALL Can

On 1/5/2011 5:55 PM, Deborah Mingins wrote:
To Jue Miao Jing Ming- It seems you feel there is not much difference between Chan and Zen, whereas in my humble experience they are quite different. Zen is obsessed with the moment and staying in it whereas Chan is a gentler just being. One thing I cannot understand with Chan, considering it's having been so influenced by Taoism, is how it doesn't believe in duality, where Taoism definitely does. I would appreciate your thoughts on these things, as you have made alot of sense to me, and have had accurate information and good suggestions...taomtnsa...@yahoo.com <mailto:suggestions...taomtnsa...@yahoo.com>

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